Reason Roundup

COVID-19 Is Coming for Your Burgers

Plus: sensitive cellphone data swept up in coronavirus containment efforts, and more...


Meat processing plants around the country have been slowing or shutting down operations, and beef shortages could be coming soon, some industry officials say. Production last week was down by about 25 percent amid numerous plant closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.

"Two of the seven largest U.S. facilities—those with the capacity to process 5,000 beef cattle daily—are closed because of the pandemic," reports The Washington Post. And employee absences and social distancing measures are slowing production at the few that remain open.

Another issue for those in the pandemic-era beef business is that restaurants aren't buying, which means many of the more expensive cuts of meat they depend on selling simply aren't being purchased by anyone.

"What's selling? Freaking hamburger," John Bormann, program sales manager for beef and pork processor JBS, told the Post. "All of a sudden 23 percent of the animal isn't being bought because food service is gone."

"There's no evidence at all that there's any risk to consumers," Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stressed at a news briefing on Monday after JBS announced it would be closing its Greeley, Colorado, facility. "It's an issue within the plant."


Politicians are playing the wrong role in handling COVID-19. "Contrary to what some lawmakers imagine, America's current pause is substantially self-imposed," suggests Charles Fain Lehman at the Washington Free Beacon, with data from public opinion polls to restaurant bookings and TSA screenings to back up the claim.

"Data show that America brought itself to a halt, reflecting more a fear of disease—and a sense of solidarity with those most at risk—than the following of government orders," Lehman writes. "If accurate, these data indicate that merely declaring the economy 'open' will not have a major impact. Rather, they suggest a successful reopening is less about making rules and more about helping Americans make informed decisions about what is safe for them to do."

The bottom line: Lawmakers do matter. But their role must be less about declaring specific things on or off limits and more about disseminating information, making citizens feel safe, and working with local businesses to craft policies that benefit everyone.


"Increasingly close cooperation between government authorities and technology companies" is never a nice phrase to read. The Washington Post details how these private-public partnerships against COVID-19 involve "data sets long considered so personal and sensitive—capable of revealing how smartphone users spent their days, and with whom—that many government officials shied away from their use out of fear of public backlash." More here.


NEXT: The Coronavirus Has Exposed Governmental Failures. It Might Also Offer Hope for Change.

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  1. COVID-19 Is Coming for Your Burgers It’s finally hitting home.

    1. Hello. Good to people who live in states run by assholes!

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    2. Here I was thinking Brown the birdbrain took a selfie (see picture)

  2. …beef shortages could be coming soon, some industry officials say. So it was Big Impossible Burger that engineered COVID-19.

    1. Clearly it’s big chicken. I’d say big pork because their don’t seem to be a shortage of pork chops at the store ever but Smithfield got shutdown. Of course I’m open to that being a false flag.

      1. Or it’s those tranny fake-meat bitches

      2. Chick-Fil-A has gone to phase 2 of their plan to get you to “Eat Mor Chikin”

        1. In phase 3 the cows all get knives

    2. Shutdowns will continue until consumption of fake beef improves.

      1. If the government is going to subsidize public healthcare, then encouraging ignorant, Drumpf-supporting hicks to avoid red meat a few days of the week is a small price to pay for improved public health and reduced government costs.

  3. “There’s no evidence at all that there’s any risk to consumers,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis stressed at a news briefing on Monday after JBS announced it would be closing its Greeley, Colorado, facility. No meat means no risk. It’s common sense!

    1. You have it backwards. The political math goes like this: No risk = No (fill in the blank, but pretty much everything)

      1. “If it might help save just one life, ….”

        1. Except for all the killing done in abortion centers?

    2. There was an interview with him on NPR this morning which was basically a bunch of happytalk about how Colorado is “intelligently” engaging this, and whining that the feds weren’t doing enough. The dipshit reporter notably left out the fact that local governments are starting to furlough workers due to a lack of tax revenue. Polis is venal, but he’s not stupid, and even he realizes that if he doesn’t figure out a way to get people back to work, it’s going to be Armageddon for state and local coffers, especially with the summer tourist season rapidly approaching. Pointedly, he vaguely admitted that even if the economy opens back up, the damage is going to take a long time to get fixed.

      1. I’m convinced Polis wants higher office, so it’s a given he’s going to opt for the safest path. He’ll keep everything shut down until July — no one will lay the wrecked economy at his feet (well, no one who matters) but come April 27, if he opens Colorado, every subsequent dead abuela will count against him. He’s a weaselly POS too. Won’t say *anything* about what his plans are, other than “if Colorado isn’t ready to open April 26, it’s because citizens didn’t follow my orders” (paraphrasing).

        1. The man defines the term “passive-aggressive.” And you’re right, I won’t be surprised if he puts his name in for higher office in 2024. It was his money that finally turned Colorado into East California, and he’s going to have a lot of pull within the party, as long as the state manages to muck through it. He can always blame Trump for anything that goes wrong, even though he’s pretty much been running the show the whole time.

        2. Polis’s top qualification for office is he know’s his meat.

  4. If accurate, these data indicate that merely declaring the economy ‘open’ will not have a major impact. … So obviously state police will have to be sent into homes to force workers back on the job.

    1. Since when do we listen to polls?

  5. “Another issue for those in the pandemic-era beef business is that restaurants aren’t buying, which means many of the more expensive cuts of meat they depend on selling simply aren’t being purchased by anyone.” Is this a function of the FDA having seperate packaging rules? Why can’t they re-purpose this for those sales for the supermarket? Are the grocery stores not interested? But fuck that sucks, I want my beef.

    1. I will buy all the prime tomahawk ribeyes and tenderloins I can get my hands on at wholesale prices.

      1. Same. I’d kill for a tomahawk ribeye right now. Maybe not kill but looting is on the table.

        1. Or you could just go to Whole Foods . . .

          1. Well lets not go crazy kirkland.

            1. You ask too much.

          2. Um, you’re ok with that?

          3. Whole Foods is the only place I shop right now. Everyone there wears a mask, both employees and customers. The shelves are stocked, and they have plenty of meat.

            1. Yeah, it’s always been a ‘signalling station’.

              1. I don’t think it’s virtue signaling. I think it’s high conscientiousness, a personality trait common to people in higher income brackets.

                1. That’s FUNNY!

                2. So what are you doing shopping there?

                3. hahahahaha.

                4. So you’re pretending to be higher income now? Because usually higher income arent scared pollyanna.

            2. they have meat but do they have TP. there is no TP in any store in my town that will literally be a bigger problem than a meat shortage.

              1. If you still get a paper, and it’s anything like the Chron, after reading it, you can put it to better use.

      2. I want to know where this is happening. Here in southern california, there are two prices. The first is for tailings- you can get 10lb bags of ground beef for pennies on the dollar. But I already have a meat locker full of this shit. The second is good beef- prime, or at least good cuts. These are still in the $30 – $40 per pound range. What seems to be happening is that the good restaurants are still buying up the prime beef and selling it as “Ready to Cook Dinners, Curbside Pickup”

    2. I’m a little confused at the statement which I interpret as “all we can sell is hamburger, WTH do we do with the rest of the better meat?” Umm… grind it up into hamburger if there is really so much demand for burger and so little for prime cuts? They make it sound like if they can’t sell premium ribeyes to Ruth’s Chris, the only alternative is to throw them in a landfill. I understand that their business model is based on grinding the cheap stuff up and getting a king’s ransom for the good stuff, but if there is really that much demand for hamburger and that little for the expensive stuff, every processor should be in basically the same position and therefore, through the magic of markets, the cost per pound of hamburger should jump to a point where it balances out the increased cost of throwing expensive cuts into the grinder. Of course, again through the magic of markets, when consumers start paying 12 bucks a pound for ground beef, they are going to start thinking “fuck, I might as well just buy a steak and figure out how to cook THAT at home” and then demand for premium cuts increases and ground beef decreases and away we go.

      1. At least in stores by me, there is less nice cuts of steaks than usual. I didn’t even realize only cooking ground beef was a thing.

        1. I didn’t either, and don’t think it really is, but that is what you would get from this article. I don’t think we would actually need to do the step where ground beef gets as expensive as steak before people just start cooking steak. The biggest thing I can think of is perhaps restaurants with drive thrus are doing more business and sit down restaurants, where most steak is served, are doing little to none. Yeah, right now everyone has figured out a way to rebrand as a takeout place, but I can’t imagine that Texas Roadhouse is doing half the volume they were a couple months ago while fast food burger joints are probably close to the same, maybe even higher.

        2. The local grocer in my area has been the opposite. They’re low or out of ground beef, but have plenty of steaks. Fine by me.

  6. I don’t know if I like this new formatting snafu. It’s not going to work out well for my style.

    1. Everyone has to make the sacrifice, Fist. We have to conserve space on the internet now.

      1. stop wasting energy on capital letters and punctuation

        1. flatten the curve

        2. Every time you leave out an Oxford comma I cut off an angel’s wings.

          1. Signthepetitiontogetwelshfiredandhireacompetentmanager.

  7. So did Trump do the right thing or is he now not a dictator?

    1. It’s a problem he’s not taking charge. But it would also be a problem if he took charge.

      1. Trump says one thing one day, then the opposite of what he said the next day just to highlight the hypocrisy of the media. And they fall for it every time.

        1. So, Trump is a super genius playing 11-dimensional chess, and not just a moron running the country with about as much thoughtfulness as I put into pouring my morning cereal into a bowl?

          1. No, he’s a troll who knows how to play the audience.

            1. No no no, he’s either the smartest man alive, or the dumbest. No other explanations exist.

              – Retard obsessed with LoveCon

              1. “No no no, he’s either the smartest man alive, or the dumbest. No other explanations exist.”

                Not very smart person obsessed with not very smart person obsessed with no very smart LoveCon.

              2. We’re all bozos on this bus – but it’s a bus that you and your fellow Trump worshipers made.

                1. How does pointing out how stupid you are make one a Trump worshiper? And how bad of a worshiper am I that I didn’t vote for him? Then again I’ve never been religious so it makes sense I’m doing it wrong.

    2. Trump all but told the D governors they are on the hook for their idiocy.

      1. LOL Andrew Cuomo has handled this like a pro.

        1. Yeah, accusing hospital staff of pilfering safety items, calling it the Chinese Virus, then accusing the President of being a racist. Dago is a real pro all right.

    3. He is more right now than he was when he declared himself all powerful. Still a moron, but at least he’s correct on this point.

      Trumpies lack of indignation at the president declaring himself all powerful has been noted, however.

      1. After all, Obama … did something … something … that justifies it.

      2. That statement was pure tyranny. The death toll from it continues to rise.

  8. We don’t need no stinkin’ line spaces!

    1. But your comment and my comment are now to close together violating my governors orders. The ensuing fines are going to wipe out my stimulus check!

      1. Now thats funny

    2. What’s everyone complaining about? I don’t see anything different. Did they fix it?

  9. …these private-public partnerships against COVID-19 involve “data sets long considered so personal and sensitive—capable of revealing how smartphone users spent their days, and with whom—that many government officials shied away from their use out of fear of public backlash.” … You’ll notice the tech industry didn’t seem to have anything to fear from a backlash.

  10. “Production last week was down by about 25 percent amid numerous plant closures due to COVID-19 outbreaks among employees.” There’s an easy fix for this: open our borders and welcome new employees who will replace the sick ones. #OpenBordersWillFixEverything

    1. How has trump not brought you in on his open america committee? Most basic way to open is tear down the walls.

    2. Genius, so we use the immigrants as our replacement for meat and it comes pre-seasoned. Fajitas anyone?

      1. I said yesterday the only thing I’m missing in this whole thing is good Mexican food. When it is over I think I’m going to eat it everyday for a week.

  11. Just days after claiming he had total authority to tell state leaders how to handle lifting business and gathering restrictions, Trump reportedly told governors in a phone call yesterday, “you are going to call your own shots.” This was the standard talking point on CNN and MSNBC yesterday. Somehow these operatives don’t understand English.

    1. Somehow, this is a pretty accurate summation of what actually happened in the past few days.

  12. Immigration and Customs Enforcement released almost 700 people from detention facilities yesterday, amid concerns over COVID-19 spread. … Keeping immigrants detained doesn’t seem to be as grave a concern as the health of the agents these days.

    1. Naturally, they all tested negative before being released.

      1. Negative for documentation?

        1. They aren’t allowing

          Line spaces?

  13. How Airbnb hosts are handling rentals during the pandemic. … Illegally, would be my bet.

    1. The only thing to handle is cancellations.

  14. Lawmakers do matter. But their role must be … disseminating information, making citizens feel safe Sounds non-essential.

    1. Nothing makes you feel safer than being forced to do something at the point of a gun.

  15. More bad economic news. Charles Koch current net worth: $51.4 billion Completely unacceptable. In fact it was already unacceptable when he was hovering around $60 billion. But barely above $50 billion? Nobody who’s worked as hard as Mr. Koch should have to suffer like this. #VoteBidenToHelpCharlesKoch

  16. Instacart will start delivering prescriptions from Costco pharmacies. … Will this be like half my fries being gone by the time the Postmates driver shows up?

  17. Interesting those big (minority concentrated) cities had a 1/5 to 1/3 reduction in their prisoner populations. Makes me think they are frivolously arresting citizens for their own jollies.

    1. They are all dead!

    2. this should be a huge story. What the fuck are all these people jailed for if it’s not necessary now?

  18. …Trump reportedly told governors in a phone call yesterday, “you are going to call your own shots.” … Trump is ordering governors to do their job?

    1. A true authoritarian monster!

      1. Way to miss the point.

        The point isn’t that Trump is an authoritarian. (He failed miserably at that.)

        The point is that Trump either hasn’t the intellect to understand the Constitution (even though he is the friggin’ President), or just doesn’t give a shit what the Constitution says, or is just a completely random person sitting in the Commander-in-Chief chair of the most powerful nation on the planet.

        1. (Hint:) It’s the last one.

          1. It wouldn’t be a Jeffpost without deflection and distraction from the actual topic.

            “Way to miss the point.
            The point isn’t that blah-blah-blah.
            The point is that blah-blah-blah something completely unrelated.”

            1. Over/under on shittyparody’s iq:
              Any takers?

              1. I’ll take the under at 79. 🙂

              2. Ooh, burn. I’m so devastated.

                Besides, you look up to people with low IQ.

            2. Except it’s not a “Jeffpost”. If it were a “Jeffpost”, the handle would be “chemjeff”, not somethingsomethingsomething1789. It’s not that hard to understand, moron.

  19. “”Coronavirus gives us an opportunity to revamp our electoral system so that it permanently becomes more inclusive and becomes easier for the American people to access,” Holder told Time magazine.”

    1. “expanded no-excuse absentee vote-at-home measures.” Indeed, just check this box [ ] to opt out of having your votes automatically cast for you from here on out.

      1. no excuse = “ if you don’t vote, we will vote for you”

        1. Worked for the vote harvesters in California.

    2. OK, Steve, if you won’t fill out your ballot in front of us in your living room for the $100, then we will threaten to break your leg if you don’t vote the way we want you to. Screw the secret ballot; we have elections to rig.

    3. Are you guys seriously just ignoring the GOP strategy since they realized they are losing the demographic war of voter suppression and gerrymandering?

      Several states use mail in voting only. No widespread abuse or fraud or even changes in election outcomes have been observed. So what’s the argument against mail in voting? The real argument against it is what Donald Trump told us when he forgot he wasn’t supposed to say that part out loud, “They had levels of voting, that if you ever agreed to it you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again.”

      So are you onboard with voter suppression? Does the consent of the governed matter to you? If not, how can you claim to be libertarian, or even Republican?

      1. When did you stop beating your husband, DOB? Are you onboard with second-degree murder? Does honesty mean anything to you? How fucking stupid are you?

        1. That was homophobic. Another area where you show your true colors often.

          1. “homophobic”

            Oh goody, tumblr is here.
            Watch your pronouns, everyone.

            1. They is not tumblr, whoever that is. They is they, somerandomparodyofloveconsittution1789, which is the handle their account is using today.

      2. “Voter suppression” and “gerrymandering.”

        1. “Not” a leftist sure does love leftist buzzwords

          1. The best one was “dedicated public servants” a few months ago during the impeachment circus.

          2. He’s a leftist. And a lying piece of shit.

            1. You’re the one who is lying right now, Mac. The only major party vote for federal offices I’ve ever cast have been for GOP candidates. I held an elected position in my county’s GOP for 8 years. I’m still registered republican.

          3. Letting people vote is a leftist position now?

      3. 85% of the California congressional delegation is made up of Democrats and you’re going to whine about Republican gerrymandering?

        1. Yeah, I am. A trove of leaked documents showed that the GOP has been operating a conspiracy to gerrymander based on racial profiling (which is also illegal, but I know you cultist don’t care about the law) for decades. Truly evil stuff.

          1. Yes, a political party developed a strategy to give themselves advantage. This was certainly a recent development that had no precedent in American history.

    1. It would be interesting to see a “rebuttal”, but one suspects it would be essentially “I’m not going to dignify that with a response.”

      1. It’s not the cleanest article, but I think he gets the groupings pretty on point

  20. Virginia and Kentucky saw small protests yesterday over social distancing and stay-at-home orders. … But they barely share a border!

    1. I take it you think she has a bias… she is a leftist, they have no biases.

  21. Google is tweaking its videoconferencing options in good ways to compete with Zoom. … Are we talking about Hangouts here?

    1. What is important is how many people are twerking while video conferencing

    1. Someone’s been reading zerohedge, again.

      1. Still less random than CNN or Vox.

        1. You are kidding. CNN is about a 2.3 on the bias meter. Zerohedge is a 7.4.

          1. CNN is a 10. They will change headlines if the DNC tells them to. Before today, there were zero articles with “Tara Reade” in them.


            You really can’t be this stupid, can you?

  22. Once again… Anyone else miss Harsayni? Amazing how we’ve just stopped paying attention to just how corruptive Crossfire Hurricane was. What has come out in the last week: 1) FBI knew Russians were pushing misinformation to Steele, but still used it as the basis for their FISA warrants. 2) The warrants extended to search and seizure of any location Page had worked at. 3) The interview Papadopolous had with a CI actually shows Papadopolous fervently pushing back on the CI inferring Russia wanted Trump to win. 4) One of Steele’s Russian assets actually said he wanted Hillary to win, while giving Steele possible misinformation. 5) FBI had plenty of exculpatory information on Page and didn’t list it in FISA. 6) All of this information was known to Mueller and was absent from his report.

  23. What is Joe actually saying in this video? I sat with a guy on, on a telephone and he’s telling me, he said, “I don’t always,” he said, “Look, I, I, I, I, I, I’m, I, I worked at the hospital.” And he said, “Then I, I got, I got myself a position where I got the virus so they quarantined me and, and they put me in the hospital, and I made it out and so I’m out [slurp]. But they don’t want me with my family. I’m on the third floor. I spent 15 minutes on the phone with them saying,’ he said, ‘I have a three-year-old and a four-year-old. They come to the door outside and they just knock on the door and say ‘Daddy, Daddy, can I see you Daddy, can I see you Daddy?’’” So we spent time going through it [slurp], I used to do with my kids when they were little and I couldn’t see them and we’d play games. I said, “Knock, make up a game, knock, knock on the door and say this is, you know [slurp].” [incomprehensible] This is practical things, the guy’s scared to death. And he’s worried about his children, he’s worried about his wie [sic]. I mean, these are practical things. And the president talks about this like, “OK, it’s gonna be OK. We’re gonna open… tomorrow. We’re gonna do this.” I mean, it just, I must tell you, it drives me crazy. I don’t know what he doesn’t understand.

    1. Holy crap.

    2. That would be sad to watch if Biden wasn’t such a piece of shit. Not figurative shit, mind you, but literal skin covered fecal matter.

      1. I honestly feel bad for the guy. He’s a piece of shit, but even he doesn’t deserve what his party is doing to him. He should be relaxing in his house in Delaware enjoying what he can of his life before dementia turns him into a diaper-shitting mess, not being propped up by a rudderless political party with more attitude than sense.

    3. Like I’ve said, the DNC should be charged with elder abuse for putting Biden in this situation. He doesn’t even know where he fucking is half the time.

      If he does win, I give it two years before the DNC gets some Secret Service agent to smother him with a pillow, and we get news reports about him “passing peacefully in his sleep”.

      1. Joe wont survive the balloon drop in Milwaukee. He’ll accidentally swallow one.

    4. It’s all fun and games until he starts ranting about a neutron bomb.

    5. I am still lmao to the bracketed [slurp]

      Fucking shit that’s the hardest I’ve laughed in a while

    1. What does she care? She has a $30,000 freezer full of $2,000 worth of ice cream.

  24. “The bottom line: Lawmakers do matter. But their role must be less about declaring specific things on or off limits and more about disseminating information, making citizens feel safe, and working with local businesses to craft policies that benefit everyone.” Because nothing beats the wholesome goodness of government information, especially delivered by Lawmakers. Unless it is government money. WTF, ENB?

  25. “Two of the seven largest U.S. facilities—those with the capacity to process 5,000 beef cattle daily—are closed *because of the pandemic*,” No, they are closed because of the manufactured PANIC!~!

  26. IseereasonhasyettofigureoutthatspacesarepartofcompositionWAYTOGOWELSH!

    1. Firewelshandhiresomeonecompetent.

    2. Itsthenewnormal!

    3. ah, so I’m not the only one

  27. “Meat processing plants around the country have been slowing or shutting down operations, and beef shortages could be coming soon” Those who thought “where’s the beef?” while reading this are approximately 1,000 times more likely to die of the Coronavirus

    1. where’s the space?

  28. We have to be authoritarian for your own good because we fucken follow and love science! Emotional fear = logic to pant shitters.

  29. “Another issue for those in the pandemic-era beef business is that restaurants aren’t buying, which means many of the more expensive cuts of meat they depend on selling simply aren’t being purchased by anyone. “What’s selling? Freaking hamburger,” John Bormann, program sales manager for beef and pork processor JBS, told the Post. “All of a sudden 23 percent of the animal isn’t being bought because food service is gone.” It’s important that we keep our hyperbole and sarcasm detectors properly calibrated–and don’t take things too literally. Otherwise, people who know what they’re talking about will laugh at us or properly accuse us of being full of shit. Incidentally, the same thing happens when the press is covering President Trump. You’re supposed to be able to think critically and perceive hyperbole and sarcasm. People who can’t can’t do that may be on the autism spectrum somewhere. So . . . um . . . no, I seriously doubt it’s the case that not even the rendering plant wants their filet mignon cuts anymore–while the hamburger still gets eaten. They’re holding out for better prices, and maybe they’ll cut back on butchering whole cows until the price of the better cuts recovers. However, those cuts that were already made are almost certainly being sold, eventually, just not at the prices they were when all the restaurants were hopping. Yesterday, I was able to buy eight t-bone steaks for cheap, four for under $12–and that were on a two packages for-one deal. I doubt that’s because t-bones are being diverted from restaurants to your neighborhood grocer. My understanding is that your grocer orders how ever many sides of beef and breaks it down into various cuts in the back of the grocery. So, they probably aren’t ordering specific cuts that would otherwise go to a restaurant. More likely, it’s that the price of a head of cattle has gone down so far because restaurants aren’t buying the choice cuts–and that drop in the price of a whole head of cattle is translating into a cheap side of beef at my local grocery. If ranchers start holding back on selling their cows to market, OTBE, we should see prices start rising again. Change the year on the chart for Feeder Cattle (slaughtered cows) to 2020 at the following link, and it looks like the price was $135 in March and has dropped almost to $105 since.

    1. In regards to the lock down being self-imposed, I could hardly agree more. And it isn’t just in the USA. It as more or less the same everywhere. The pattern first emerged in Wuhan, where the people started isolating themselves before the government would even admit there was a virus. In fact, the deserted streets of Wuhan was so embarrassing to the CCP, it’s what made them finally start to impose a crackdown–in an attempt to avoid embarrassment because of their inaction. Everywhere. South Korea, Italy, the United States: people in some countries isolated themselves voluntarily with more enthusiasm than others, but in all cases, people started isolating themselves before the government started imposing orders to do so. When a movie theater catches on fire, no one needs the government to tell them that it’s time to exit the building–people are perfectly capable of making tough judgments about the risks to their safety. The government was way behind the isolation curve with the lockdowns, and they’ll be behind the curve when it’s time for people to go back to work, too. The idea that Andrew Cuomo, Gavin Newsom, or any other governor can make choices about what’s in your best interests–better than you can for yourself–is absurd and stupid. It’s absurd and stupid under normal circumstances, and extraordinary circumstances just make the idea that politicians know what’s better for us than we do for ourselves extraordinarily absurd and stupid.

      1. Wasn’t supposed to be a response to anything. I think I was just distracted by the lack of spaces between paragraphs. We may be isolating ourselves, but our paragraphs will stubbornly refuse our efforts to enforce social distancing!

      2. Ken you are starting to sound like a parody account of everything that is wrong with libertarians. Would most people isolate sure? But that wouldn’t help. It only takes one person to spread it to dozens of people. There is an old saying; communists believe man can be perfected by the government and libertarians believe man can be perfected by being left alone. If we just leave everyone alone they will all be just like you Ken. It takes a heart of stone not to laugh at some of the shit you come up with.

        1. Right, we can’t have individuals making choices for themselves because freedom for individuals puts the whole group at risk.

          Congratulations, you’re now a progressive.

          Your qualitative preference for fear of infection isn’t more important than other individuals’ concern for their financial well-being, and using the coercive power of government to impose your qualitative preferences on people who don’t share them makes you nothing but a progressive elitist.

          You and Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo and all your other elitist progressive friends should go fuck your yourselves.

        2. “If we just leave everyone alone they will all be just like you Ken. It takes a heart of stone not to laugh at some of the shit you come up with.”

          If anything is laughable, here, it’s the idea that if we were all free to make choices for ourselves, I think that everyone would choose–what I choose?!

          People with conflicting interests will make conflicting choices–and that is as it should be. No, just because people who choose to isolate themselves are hurting the economy doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be free to isolate themselves, and just because other people choose to open their businesses or go to work, instead of isolating themselves, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be free to do so either–even if it heightens the risk to those who choose to interact with them.

          Other people are not here for your benefit, John. and neither is their right to make choices for themselves. I understand that, but I am still enthusiastic about letting every one of them make choices for themselves–even if they choose to go against my interests and what I want them to do.

          If you really think that I think everyone will make the same choices I do, you’re nuts. Markets are people making choices for themselves–and those choices are often conflicting. Authoritarian socialism is government making our choices for us. Fuck that, and if you support it specifically because they want to inflict your qualitative preferences on people who don’t share them, then you’re at the very best a progressive, and on behalf of free people everywhere who don’t share you qualitative preferences, fuck you!

        3. John, you did spend yesterday morning implying that since model deaths are lowered, it means isolation is working as intended. You failed to recognize that initial projections already took into account isolation and social distancing. So that means that models were wrong to the start, and post matching the models to reality doesn’t help the actual models.

    2. Ken hardest hit by no return characters.

  30. Now about all of you dumb asses who claim the Wuhan flu didn’t come out of a Chinese laboratory. Take it up with the guy who discovered HIV and is the world’s leading expert in retro viruses. I am taking his word that this virus is man made than your typical dumb ass yelling “but Ocaam’s razor” as if they even understand what the term means much less can apply it.

    1. So, if we remain skeptical (or even uncommitted to having any particular belief about) the coronavirus having come out of a Chinese laboratory, we are now “dumb asses”. That’s a bit extreme, John.

      1. Seeing as that as for the last 3 days you’ve made the claim that anyone who thinks it may have originated in a lab is such…

      2. You mean like being skeptical that BatCoof will kill hundreds of thousands of people?

      3. If you remain skeptical for no rational reason other than you don’t want to believe otherwise or somehow think China would never do that, then yes you are a dumb ass. That is really the only reason you dumb asses give. Sorry but “it couldn’t be that” doesn’t persuade at all much less be more persuasive than one of the world’s leading experts on this type of viruses saying it did come from a lab?

        What reason do you have to be skeptical and disbelieve this? None. You are just a dumb ass who wants to believe the truth is one way. Even if you are right, you are still a dumb ass who is right out of luck and not because you thought about it.


    Vox: Lucy Flores isn’t alone. Joe Biden has a long history of touching women inappropriately.
    The media gave Biden a pass for years. It won’t in 2020.

    1. The media seems to be very determined to do just that.

      1. They don’t have a choice. Their party picked the horse they were running with and are going to have to stick with him, even if he should have been sent to the glue factory months ago.

        The whole process shows how miasmic the party has become. They could have picked Klobuchar, who’s charisma-free, but at least has WAHMAN credentials, full lucidity, and is far less of a Karen stereotype than Warren. Instead, they rally behind a guy who thinks it’s his first presidential run in 1988.

    2. This is Joe’s way of evaluating a woman’s potential. He blindfolds her and she has to guess how many fingers he’s holding up.

      1. In their defense, it probably is hard to count the number of fingers inside their vaginas.

  32. The lockdown is killing people, too

    There is emerging evidence that people could be dying as a result of the lockdown. It may be an indirect result – in the sense that the lockdown is not a sentient being that came to their homes and killed them – but it seems real nonetheless. Accident and Emergency chiefs in London are concerned that more people are dying of non-coronavirus-related illnesses than normal because they are reluctant to leave their homes and be a burden on their local hospital. They believe there has been a ‘sharp rise in the number of seriously ill people dying at home’. They report that dozens more people than normal are dying at home from cardiac arrests, for example, presumably because they do not want to impose upon our locked-down society and what is continually presented to us as a busy, stressed-out health service.

    The Royal College of GPs says it has noticed a ‘spike’ in the number of people dying at home from salvageable illnesses. Paramedics report that they are attending more house calls than normal where patients suffering from cardiac arrest are already dead – presumably because people are calling 999 far later than they normally would. Things have got so bad that the NHS has had to issue a statement encouraging gravely ill or very concerned people to continue seeking emergency care. ‘Anybody who needs urgent help – people experiencing heart failure, or expectant mums worried about their baby – should absolutely come forward and seek help from their local NHS’, it said.

    1. ‘There’s no direct evidence that the lockdowns are working’

      Dr John A Lee on why we need to keep questioning the response to Covid-19.

      17th April 2020
      ‘There’s no direct evidence that the lockdowns are working’
      The UK government has extended its lockdown for another three weeks. But could the shutdown of society be doing more harm than good? In fact, is there any evidence it is doing any good at all? Dr John A Lee, a recently retired professor of pathology and NHS consultant pathologist, has repeatedly called for a critical and dispassionate examination of the evidence in relation to Covid-19, raising questions about the government and its advisers’ interpretation of the data. spiked caught up with him to find out more.

      spiked: You have been a relatively lone voice in questioning mainstream assumptions about coronavirus. Why have you found it important to speak out?

      Dr John A Lee: As a doctor and a scientist my entire career, I believe that medicine and science have improved life immeasurably over the past 200 years, and especially over the last 50 years. But in the particular mix of science, medicine and politics that we are seeing now, I am not absolutely sure that is the case. I think it is more important than ever to try and look at this issue in a clear way in order to make sure that we are really doing the right thing on the basis of the right ideas. And it isn’t clear to me at the moment that we are.

      spiked: What problems do you see in the way figures are currently being recorded and reported?

      Lee: The figures are just so unreliable. It’s very difficult to understand when you are looking at figures from different countries, and figures in isolation about things like death, what they really mean. And obviously, if we can’t understand what the figures mean, it is quite difficult to then know what we should do about them.

      ‘We are living in an era of global madness’
      ‘We are living in an era of global madness’
      These figures are then fed into models of the disease and the epidemic which are being used to influence and inform public policy. But those models are only as good as their input data and the assumptions they make. And there are so many unknowns which means the models’ outputs are really quite questionable. And given that we have now got ourselves into this situation, for a variety of reasons, getting ourselves out of it using the same models and predictions is even more questionable. So we are in a very difficult situation.

      For example, we are currently in lockdown for two reasons. One is that the initial figures suggested that we were dealing with a very highly virulent disease. The World Health Organisation initially suggested that the case-fatality rate – the proportion of people diagnosed with the disease who die – would be 3.4 per cent. This is a very high number which would have caused a huge number of deaths. But as we have had gradually more and more data coming in, those percentages have been falling. In many examples, more complete data are now suggesting case-fatality rates of 0.4 per cent. My guess is that it will end up between 0.5 and 0.1 per cent, and probably nearer to the lower end of that. So if the disease isn’t as virulent as was originally thought, the number of deaths will be correspondingly lower.

      We can reasonably question the assumptions of the models, for example. The accuracy of the models, and their predictions of how many people will be infected and die, depend on things like the transmissibility of the virus. But that isn’t something we know very accurately at the moment. It also depends on population susceptibility. The UK models, as I understand it, said that 60 to 80 per cent of the population would be infected by the virus in a short period of time. Whereas in fact some of the evidence from enclosed populations, such as the Diamond Princess cruise ship, suggests that only 15 per cent of the population may be susceptible. Maybe that is because the virus spreads in a different way than we thought. Maybe some people actually have immunity based on other coronaviruses that are already out there in the population.

    2. Yes it is. And the debate we need to be having is whether the price of lifting it is worse than the price of keeping it. Every day the price of keeping it goes up. Sadly, we are not having that debate because everyone seems to be a Karen who thinks the entire world should be locked down forever in the name of safety or a fucking nut who is convinced the entire thing is an evil plot by the globalists and communists.

      1. This may kill the global warming scam. We’ve seen the damage listening to credentialed experts with mathematical models can cause. The models that all of this were based on (4% death rate instead of 0.1-0.5%, 80% of us getting infected) will be picked apart for years and thrown in the face of any credentialed asshole who thinks we’re just numbers in a spreadsheet instead of people just like him or her.

      2. Karen can stay home waiting for the vaccine.

        The rest of us have to get moving again.

        1. Karen is waiting for the vaccine she won’t give her kids because it will make them autistic.

          1. That made me laugh out loud. And then get sad when I realized that it is only so funny because it is true.

          2. It takes about a year to figure out a way to introduce autism into a vaccine, why it is taking so long.

    3. people are dying because what is considered elective surgery is not being allowed yet those delays may well kill many and the hospitals that may close due to lake of elective surgeries to keep them staffed will have long term implications for rural communities and the time it will take to get to a hospital

    4. Personal anecdote alert: my younger son (age 9) was diagnosed with diabetes in October. Of course a big part of the reason juvenile diabetes can be so successfully managed is ongoing clinical consultation and monitoring, including lab work and meeting with a pediatric endocrinologist. He has already had one appointment cancelled, and I fully expect the next one will be as well. Again, this kid is 9 years old, and appointments are at a CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL (or their outreach clinic). He, and his peers, are at statistically zero risk. The percentages of children that have died from this, or even gotten severely ill, worldwide are so small as to be statistically immeasurable. Of course someone will probably troll with “but diabetes! underlying conditions!,” but I am quite confident the data would show (I have not seen it broken down that way) that diabetes is a significant contributing factor when it is type 2 in a fat old sick person, not type 1 in a 9 year old kid. Anyway, the point is my son has a real and serious, but easily manageable, medical condition, and his good health is contingent on properly keeping an eye on that. Now of course, he’s fine; we know what to do, doctors DO have access to his numbers and can make recommendations for dosage adjustments based on that, and I have no doubt that if something more serious did arise we would be able to go and get treatment. But he is NOT getting the regular face to face conversations with his endocrinologist to tell her how he’s feeling, etc., which is part of the assessment of how well treatment is going beyond strictly what the numbers say. He is NOT getting the lab work done that he is supposed to. And it is still relatively early in his diagnosis, when a lot of things are still changing with his body’s reaction, so close monitoring is especially important. All the while, I am sure the hospital is sitting empty, the doctors and nurses sitting around doing nothing (if they are working at all). It would be one thing if there was any indication that this relatively minor sacrifice for him and his health was worthwhile. But there is not. There is NOTHING to worry about- these actions provide zero reduction in risk for him, but there IS a very small but real (and growing with time) increased risk due to less than optimal monitoring of his condition. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of thousands of kids and adults across the nation, and that seems like something that should be in the calculus. But apparently, if it saves just one life of a 90 year old in a nursing home (who is probably begging for the sweet release of death anyway), it’s totally worth it.

      1. How many people are going to croak six months from now, by a cancer that they could’ve had diagnosed and treatment begun before then, were it not for hospitals and clinics freaking out because of Covid? Or from undiagnosed conditions like an aneurysm?

  33. “China on Friday reported a 6.8% year-over-year contraction in its economy for the first three months of the year—the first quarterly decline in gross domestic product since official record-keeping began in 1992 and likely the first since Mao Zedong’s death in 1976, economists said.

    The fall was even steeper compared with the previous quarter: a 9.8% pullback as the coronavirus that first emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan spread across the country and around the world, delivering an economic blow unprecedented in modern times.”

    The political consequences of this may be severe.

    One of the problems with being an emperor is that there’s really no one else in the government to blame when things go wrong. I mean, Emperor Xi will try to blame lower level bureaucrats, have show trials, and execute them. Emperor Xi will try to blame other countries–especially the United States. In the end, however, the people will look to the emperor to solve their problems for them–and this problem doesn’t have a short term solution. If there is only one leader to blame for not having a short term solution, he gets all the blame. If local officials are corrupt and that’s why they all lost their jobs, then the emperor should have had them under his control. If President Trump and the United States are the reason there is no short term solution, then Emperor Xi was supposed to have fixed that problem, too.

    This is traditionally how emperors lose the Mandate of Heaven.

    President Trump might use this as an opportunity to negotiate an end to the tariffs with Emperor Xi. He should be much more willing to make concessions now than he was before the Chinese economy collapsed, and the Chinese economy isn’t likely to improve until the economies of the west and the United States improve. They’re an export driven economy!

    1. Cut China off from the rest of the world until they remove any government structure that traces back to Mao.

      1. See what I wrote just below this.

        To remove any government structure that traces back to Mao, they may need to remove any government structure that traces back to Yu the Great in 2070 BCE. Furthermore, you may need to ignore what the people of China want, which, like Russians who support a strong leader like Putin, may be an artifact of their culture more than just a system of government. If like Romans after Augustus, the people might not want this or that emperor–but want an emperor, how long will we need to hold our breath before that changes?

        And, of course, overriding all of that, there’s the fact that trade with China is of enormous benefit to the United States, its consumers, and its economy. Harming the US economy and the American people for the benefit of the people of China isn’t my idea of putting America first.

        1. This was the problem for the neocons. You can’t recreate American political values, norms and behaviors without American culture.

          The internationalists however, understand the importance of culture, which is why they try to homogenize and blend everything and everyone through globalism and mass immigration.

          1. They’ll even talk about why England, for instance, had a relatively strong legislature and a weaker monarch when France had such a strong monarch with little interference. The old standard argument was that one of the biggest threats to the monarchy was foreign invaders coming in and replacing the monarch with the invaders’ own cronies, and because England was an island, the monarch primarily defended from foreign invaders with a navy. A navy, however, isn’t very effective against the nobles’ foot soldiers when they revolt against the king, so the nobles were in a better position to force their demands relative to the nobles on the continent.

            On the continent, there aren’t any substantial geographical barriers east of the Pyrenees, north of the Alps, and west of the Urals, and foreign invasions by foot soldiers were always the greatest threat.
            So, when the French king built an army, he made it a land based army–which were also effective in putting down revolts by the nobles. This is, supposedly, constitutional monarchy with powers limited by the parliament evolved in England when France had more or less an absolute monarchy–it was largely a function of geography. How many other factors are there like that?

            There are arguments from ancient Greece that democracy is more likely to emerge from societies with a strong navy–because a society where the demos has more power than the aristocrats or the monarch is likely to be driven by the power of traders, whose interests are in protecting their ships and whose ships can be adapted to military use. A society with an aristocracy, however, their military, they said, tended to be dominated by cavalry–because of the size of an estate necessary to maintain horses. Places where the foot soldiers predominate tend to be monarchies–because foot soldiers are also good at putting down rebellions by nobles.

            That’s just talking about why the kind of government that evolves might be different because of geography and the sorts of military you have for various reasons. We haven’t even started talking about why a society that herds cattle might evolve a different, religion, government, and culture than one that grows rice. You can’t ignore all that stuff when it comes to explaining the neocon theory that people in China and Russia or Afghanistan and Iraq supposedly want what we in the United States want.

            Here’s a cultural question like this that stumps me . . .

            There are very few places left in the world that Anglo-Saxons haven’t at least invaded at one point or another–and their culture seems to be highly susceptible to the notion that they’re invading to help the people who are being targeted by their military. The reason Heart of Darkness was so easily adapted from the Congo of the late 19th century to the Vietnam War in Apocalypse Now was because it was about Anglo-Saxon neocons doing the exact same neocon things for the exact same neocon reasons and making horror show of things for the exact same reasons. Cromwell’s army did much the same in Ireland!

            I don’t know of any other culture, other than Anglo-Saxons, who can claim to have invaded pretty much everywhere they could at every opportunity, everywhere in the world, over the course of their history, and because the same reaction tends to happen every time with the same justifications and for the same reasons, I can’t help but wonder if the neocons themselves are just a victim of their own cultural impulses. If you do the same things in the same way with the same justifications over thousands of years, it’s hard not to suspect that isn’t a function of the culture itself.

      2. The biggest mistake Truman ever made was not nuking the fuckers when they started sending human meat shields across the Yalu.

    2. “Intrinsic to the concept of the Mandate of Heaven was the right of rebellion against an unjust ruler. The Mandate of Heaven was often invoked by philosophers and scholars in China as a way to curtail the abuse of power by the ruler, in a system that had few other checks. Chinese historians interpreted a successful revolt as evidence that Heaven had withdrawn its mandate from the ruler. Throughout Chinese history, times of poverty and natural disasters were often taken as signs that heaven considered the incumbent ruler unjust and thus in need of replacement.”

      It is reasonable to think that the kind of governments that evolve over the course of a society’s development are much like their religious beliefs and other aspects of their culture–they’re an adaptation driven by the social forces that created them over millennia. Trying to escape these kinds of governments and a society’s affinity for them may be like trying to escape the culture itself. Changing the type of government could be like changing what it means to be American, Chinese, or Russian.

      A hundreds years ago, Russia had a tsar. They had a revolution to introduce communism, industrialized, had another revolution to get rid of communism, but a hundred years later, Putin is more or less a tsar with a certain amount of legitimacy. Regardless of whether the people of Russia should want a tsar, plenty of Russians want Putin.

      A hundred years ago, China was under an emperor of sorts–maybe a weakened emperor who was subjected to foreign powers, but an emperor nonetheless. They had a vast beuracracy that still exists, more or less, today. My guess is that a thousand years from now, scholars probably won’t talk about “the last emperor” anymore. They’ll talk about “The Mao Dynasty” and what happened when “the last emperor” lost the mandate of heaven.

      Regardless, Emperor Xi is in deeper shit than anyone in the Mao Dynasty has ever been in before, and the Mao Dynasty may be about to lose the mandate of heaven.


    And our other public intellectual masters including Neil De Grasse-Tyson, Lebron and Grover?

    We must not move an inch until we cull all their genius into one lump idea for mankind!


      had to think about who the fuck this is … she was dustbinned.

  35. On a note completely unrelated to the stupid-ass Wuhan bat flu, what the hell happened to “global warming”? We’re in the second of half of April and it’s still fucking cold as shit.

    1. The mathematical models of credentialed experts say it is hot, so its hot. Get your uneducated science doubting ass out of here.

      1. Thermometers are a plot by the oil companies.

        1. Big Mercury

    2. Well no one’s driving so we now have intense global cooling.

    3. We had our second April snowfall today in the Chicago area. This will be deemed just a local weather phenomena and the 70 degree day we had earlier will go in the climate change column making 2020 the warmest year ever.

      1. It’s almost like urban heating is an actual effect and we should stop measuring global data warming primarily through stations effected by UHI with minimal adjustments made.

    4. With CO2 levels higher than they were last year during the same months. See the real time sensor atop Mauna Loa:

      Weird that CO2 keeps rising, when fossil fuel demand has been at a historic low relative to population size.

  36. Everyone wanted Trump to do something then when he says he can do something they all scream you can’t tell me what to do so then he says okay it your problem now and by the way here are the guide lines you have been screaming for for six weeks now shut up and get to work governors it all on you now.

    1. As was said of Bush, when the WaPo reporter saw him walking across the Potomac, the headline was: BUSH CAN’T SWIM!

    2. He didn’t just say “I can do something”. He claimed total authority.

      1. No, he didn’t, you lying piece of shit.

        1. Denial is strong with this one:

  37. “Just days after claiming he had total authority to tell state leaders how to handle lifting business and gathering restrictions, Trump reportedly told governors in a phone call yesterday, “you are going to call your own shots.””

    Rather than contradicting himself, you and your media pals, misinterpreted (deliberately) what he was referring to in the first instance.
    Absolutely disgusting, ENB. It appalling how stupid and gullible you think we all are.


      It’s pretty darn clear. Only a Trump ass kisser could believe he said anything other than what he plainly said.

    2. If you are referring to Trump’s randomness, inarticulateness, and frequent reversals, that is his problem (and yours), not ours.

      1. Don’t be a caricature.

        Also it is your problem, because you’re either going to vote for some third party wannabe who cannot win, or serial sex abuser and dementia patient Joe Biden, who also cannot win. Unless you like being a two time loser, in which case enjoy!

  38. I work for one of the biggest burger-chains in the Country; so, this would deepen my personal shithole.

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