December 5th, 2020

#7407: This aligns with what I've been seeing.

Papers are lying about COVID-19.
Headlines from Missouri's major newspapers paint a frightening picture.
From the Kansas City Star: "KC Hospitals 'bursting at the seams' with record numbers of COVID-19 patients"
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "'This virus is a killer': St. Louis breaks hospital records again"
From the Springfield News-Leader: "'The Wolf is at the Door.' Hospitals plead for a statewide mask mandate amid COVID-19 surge"
Here's the reality:
1. There are currently 2,803 people hospitalized in Missouri with COVID-19.
2. Of the state's 22,000 hospital beds, 44% are currently available (including 22% of inpatient beds and 19% of ICU beds).
3. Hospital occupancy in the 4th quarter of 2020 (66.2%) is actually 7 points lower than the 4th quarter of 2019 (72.9%).
Here in the Fungal Vale I've been keeping an eye on the stats presented over at the weather web site for cases/fatalities in my county. Will County is one of Chicago's "collar counties" and it includes Joliet, so it's not all farms and strip malls. Three months ago the case count was around 25,000 or so, and the death toll was somewhere near 300. The case count has since skyrocketed to 42,000 and the fatalities have gone up to 565.

Previous death rate, 300/25000: 0.012

New death rate, 565/42000: 0.013

...the death rate went up by a tenth of a percent. 17,000 new cases, 265 new deaths.

Here in Illinois, they talk about all the bodies piling up in Texas. I bet that in Texas they talk about all the bodies piling up somewhere else.

Just looking at that one number was enough to convince me that the reports of bodies piling up etc were, at the absolute best, wild exaggerations. But that post, with its supporting links (which I did not duplicate), suggests to me that the best case scenario is not what we're seeing here.

What we're seeing here is the media engaging in outright lying and falsehood to push an agenda and keep people scared.

That should not be surprising. The media have been lying to us about a whole bunch of things for a long time, thinking we couldn't possibly figure out their clever tricks because none of us went to the right schools and we're all a bunch of dumb hicks and hayseeds out here in flyover country.

Currently they're not only lying about COVID-19 but about the election, the economy, the environment, and probably other things I can't think of at the moment. It's gotten to the point that if the media told me the sky was blue, I would go look out a window to make sure.

I don't believe them. I don't trust them.

In case you've missed it, the left wing has used COVID-19 to justify all kinds of impositions on our civil rights, and to set up conditions where they could use massive vote fraud to steal the presidential election. The media is composed almost entirely of left-wing people, people who vote Democrat and donate Democrat and tilt their stories Democrat. (If you want evidence, go reread all the Fungus posts where I talk about media bias. There are plenty of them.) The American media support the goals and ambitions of the American left wing, and they have neither the ability nor the desire to tell the truth about anything.

* * *

I was thinking, yesterday, about how the Democrat party must absolutely not tell anyone what they really think.

Democrats can't run on their record, because everything they do turns into a massive, expensive, inefficient boondoggle that solves nothing, and the solutions they offer usually serve only to make the problem worse.

Democrats can't run on their politics, either, because everything they stand for is anathema to the American way of life.

So what do we get? They lie, constantly and without thinking, sometimes for the mere pleasure of lying. They obfuscate their records, because an honest look at their history tells a tale very different from the veneer they present. And when elections occur, they cheat and steal, as much as possible, because they cannot win any other way.

Democrats have opposed voter ID on the ridiculous grounds that requiring a photo ID is somehow "racist", in a society where you need to show a government-issued photo ID to do a lot of things, BY LAW, such as opening a bank account or buying certain kinds of cold medicine, or--indeed--to collect welfare benefits. Requiring positive ID at the polls helps to prevent vote fraud, and the Democrats rely on vote fraud to win elections.

One of the latest media lies I've seen is references to "the Biden wave", which is the media propagandists' attempt to legitimize the massive Democrat vote fraud that took place in the election. There is no Biden wave. Biden didn't win the election. The Democrats cheated.

As always.

* * *

Well! Saturday, and I woke up feeling pretty good. CPAP has done wonders for my ability to stay asleep. Went to bed around 2 AM, woke up at perhaps 4:30 needing the can and to put water into the CPAP machine's humidifier tank. Did both, went back to bed, and slept soundly until my wife woke me up at 10:30.

I may still get a nap, or may not, but I don't know about that. Right now I feel a little sleepy but I also feel like staying awake, because I have things I wanted to get done this weekend. We'll see.

Last night, my wife called me while I was at work: "I have a little problem," she started.

Turned out that she'd bought my Christmas present, only it was too big to fit in her car. "Bring a hand truck," she added.

Gassed up the Jeep and hit the road. Almost immediately, the fuckery started. I was behind a guy who was tailgating a minivan because it was only going 62 in a 55 zone. The right lane was moving only marginally faster but there was a big clump of vehicles on the road, so it was a good time just to relax and go with the flow until things eased up. But that wasn't enough for him, and when there was room, the moron finally ducked into the right lane, sped in front of the minivan, and then--

Well, I'm not sure, really. He did something stupid, though; either he cut the minivan off, or else got in front of the minivan and slammed on his brakes, because he was infuriated that he was only able to go 62 in a 55 and the minivan wouldn't get out of his way (into, I don't know, the nonexistent empty lane, or maybe cut off the people passing him on the right at maybe 65?).

Anyway I had to brake very sharply, and then stand on my brakes, to avoid hitting the minivan (and was rewarded with the gratifying screech of all four tires locking up) and the guy behind me almost hit me, and the guy behind him had to swerve onto the shoulder, and....

You know, if you're in a hurry to get somewhere, and you're angry because someone doesn't share your urgency? Making him rear-end you isn't smart, because you will not get where you are going very quickly that way. I know you're not thinking, though. You're so pissed off you can't think, and the only thing in your mind is that you're going to teach that prick a LESSON. But if you cause an accident, chances are that you will involve other people who have absolutely nothing to do with you or the object of your little temper tantrum, who are just trying to get somewhere as a favor for their wives or whatever.

*sigh*

So, farther up the road, just got past a traffic jam, and there's a long on-ramp to my right. Traffic is moving maybe at about 50 MPH, my exit is coming up. I've got maybe two car lengths in front of me--I'm behind a truck--and in my right-side mirror I see someone coming down the ramp. All right, there's room behind me, he can get in there--

Oh no, that's not good enough. I hear his engine spool up and roll my eyes, because it's some guy in a hot car, and he's going to pass everyone! But by the time he gets to where I am, the entry lane is merging with mine, half-width, and he's moving too fast to slow down to duck over...so he keeps on going, on the shoulder, without slowing down.

...only to merge with traffic some distance ahead, having to immediately slow down to 50-ish.

During all this nonsense it occurred to me--again--that the set of brake pads I replaced this past autumn, on the Jeep, lasted me nearly eighty thousand miles...and that I got more miles out of those brake pads than my brother gets out of transmissions.

He had a Chrysler Concorde, bought new, and while he owned it the thing ate two transmissions. I think his Acura TL used up at least one transmission. His Corvette threw a rod while on the dynamometer at a speed shop. His first car, a 1980 Camaro, needed a clutch every 30,000 miles.

He's very, very hard on his vehicles. Having seen how he drives, not surprised.

I used to drive like that, too. Had too many accidents, and also realized that over a 25-30-35-mile drive, the time you save going 5 MPH faster isn't worth it. If everyone is going 65, go 65--because you don't save any time zigzagging in and out of traffic so you can go 68 for a few tenths of a mile at a time.

* * *

Grey day today. This would ordinarily be the big "small town Christmas festival" weekend, except of course COVID-19, so no.

Today I would like to--AT THE VERY DAMNED LEAST!!!--finish getting the trim in the bedroom masked. I've got the base trim all done; also the bathroom door trim and the south window trim. I just need to do the other window, the entry door, and the closet door trim. Then I can finish sand the walls, wipe them down, and paint. I had intended to finish the masking last night, but of course I ended up spending my evening driving to my wife's office, and then driving home, with a big box in my truck festooned with paper that says "MERRY CHRISTMAS" on it. No idea what it is, but it's big and heavy and I needed a hand truck to move it around.

Anyway, after bringing that home for her, we had dinner, and then it was almost 9, and I played WoW until after midnight.

Maybe today, maybe.

#7408: Illustrating economic illiteracy

Over at Jalopnik, they have a "morning shift" column I read during my morning break at work, and the person who writes it inevitably complains about countries or states mandating all-electric vehicles by such-and-such year: "They should do it right now!" the moron inevitably says. Why? Because the environment, yada yada, and he's a leftist like all the asshats at Gawker Media are. And it reveals just how economically clueless the person writing this dreck is; mandating an immediate change to all-electric would wreck the economy. It'd make the Great Depression look like a mild dip.

Here's the thing: you can't switch over an assembly line to make a different product that quickly. A large corporation that manufactures gasoline automobiles cannot abruptly switch to manufacturing electric ones.

First off, there's the fact of the inventory of parts. The supply lines for automobile manufacturing are now largely built on "just in time" delivery, so that the factory gets its supply of left front fenders from the stamping plant just as their on-hand supply runs out. This also goes for things like engines and batteries. If your pipeline is full of gasoline engines you can't just abruptly change that to electric motors. Trying to do so puts your gasoline engine factory out of business until it can start making electric motors, and the technologies used to do those two things are vastly different, so you'd be laying off a lot of foundry workers and hiring people who make electric motors.

Meanwhile, you need to get your electric motors from somewhere. You can't just dial up Radio Shack and order forty thousand 50 kilowatt electric motors, you know. And you're doing this, by the way, at a time when every other auto manufacturer is doing the same thing. Factories are not infinitely scalable; they need time to ramp up production and then they have a certain maximum output that cannot be exceeded. So you have a shortage of electric motors to contend with.

Ditto, by the way, for the controller systems, and for the batteries. They do not grow on trees. And the industrial infrastructure is supplying the raw materials for all these things at a certain rate, which will not change immediately, either. Copper and aluminum and cobalt and lithium, and a host of other things. So you have a shortage of the raw materials that you need to make the components.

Shortages mean idle factories while the shortages are sorted out. Which means unemployment--lots of it. And idle factories cost their owners a hell of a lot of money, which means less profit and less taxes and less investment in further development.

So now, all new cars are electric. Everyone who buys an electric car needs a charger put in his house; we can be generous and say that charger manufacturing was ramped up at the same time all the difficulties with switching over to all-electric production was done, so this is a freebie.

What is not a freebie, though, is the electricity supply. Power companies need to drastically expand generation capacity, and they cannot do it with windmills and solar panels. If the government mandates only "renewable" energy, there ends up being massive brownouts since renewable cannot supply power on that scale, not reliably, not 24/7. Everyone needs to charge his electric car, and he cannot. There is literally not enough electricity to go around, and so it will become expensive--at times, prohibitively so.

And once the generating capacity is there, you still need to beef up the distribution infrastructure to get that electricty to everyone, because the existing infrastructure is not built to handle industrial, domestic, and transportation energy demands. It's only built for the first two, and transportation uses an enormous amount of energy.

So you need to string wires, and the copper market is still recovering from when you were ramping up motor production (and then generator production) so it costs a packet to string all those wires, making electricity expensive--and since you've largely electrified your economy, energy costs hit everyone harder as the cost of electricty skyrockets.

So the Big Green Depression lasts for a rather long while. Quite a lot of people in first-world nations end up freezing to death in the dark. But hey! You stopped the global warming THAT ISN'T HAPPENING AND HASN'T TAKEN PLACE SINCE 1998 so pat yourself on the back for caring about the environment!

*rolleyes*

This is why you give automakers time to make the switchover, you economically illliterate, communist shithead.