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Messages - monsta666

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Geopolitics / Re: Official Global Police State Thread
« on: May 30, 2020, 12:34:58 PM »
Do you think Dr. King would approve of these current protests? It flies in the face of everything he believed in and stood for..

I don't think Dr. King would approve but he could understand why this happened. It is a natural reaction. The same thing happened in the 2011 London riots which started for the same reasons. Black person killed by white police officer. Like this incident the initial London riot sparked protests in other cities. I can relate to these chain of events.

The key thing that can be learned through these experiences is the American police should try and learn to adopt a more community minded approach. The police need more training in defusing situations rather than use excessive force. Police officers are after all regular citizens given a few extra powers to enforce the law. To be effective they need to make a strong comittment in gaining the trust in their local communities. They need to eliminate the them verus us mentality that is so pervasive in American society. Granted it is a difficult task building up trust but it is something they need to do to prevent future riots.

In terms of the justice system they need to analyse the factors that determine harsher sentences and poorer conviction rates for ethinic minorities. I feel there is distinct lack of introspection in the crime and justice system on why they are systematically delivering biased outcomes. You can't eliminate biases completely but they need to address these root problems. That is the type of action that can also garner greater trust. Too many politicians (Biden, Hilary and even Obama) pay lipservice to this but nothing of substance really happens. REAL change needs to happen.

Geopolitics / Re: Official Global Police State Thread
« on: May 30, 2020, 11:58:55 AM »
I am not going to dispute individual anecdotal cases but on the whole there is systemic discrimination against blacks from the police and justice system. Blacks are more likely to be incarcerated than other ethnic groups and if handed sentences tend to get harsher punishments for the same crimes. Moreover, when blacks are the victims of crime the clearance rates for black crime getting solved is lower than with other ethinic groups. In fact it is this backdrop that is often left unsaid that has sparked many of the riots we see today. It is not merely a perception but a fact that the criminal and justice system are inherently biased against blacks.

When blacks are more likely to become victims of police brutality coupled with the fact the police are less likely or willing to solve crimes against blacks then people will wonder what the real function of the police is. It is true that police brutality effects all in America but these bad behaviours are not equalled distributed across the American population. Certain groups are targeted more than others. This latest incident (it won't be the last) with the death of George Floyd is merely the catalyst that has brought these facts to light. Another issue I see is that the police caught taking part in brutal beatings are rarely ever convicted or worse manage to retain their jobs. This all adds to the feeling of injustice and a double standard in how justice is applied. People cannot stand this. A racist, divisive president will only serve to stroke the fires even more.

Knarfs Knewz / Re: WHO: South America is new COVID-19 epicenter
« on: May 23, 2020, 01:45:51 PM »
I had read that about the lack pf herd immunity so far in Sweden.....I just think that there are many factors that are hard to parse. Like I expect most Swedes are social distancing anyway...and I wonder if they have done such a good job housing immigrants that they don't have the potential hotspots you have in the UK....not to mention Brazil, where people live cheek-to-jowl in the favelas.

Fact is Sweden's stated goal was to acheive high levels of immunity through controlled growth of the virus. They did not achieve this goal therefore the plan was a failure. Possible reasons for low infection rates can be attributed to low population density. UK has a population density of 270 people per km2 whereas the Swedes have a density of only 23 per km2. Sweden has the highest number of single person households in Europe which would be another contributory factor to their low infection rate. Finally Swedes have traditionally valued their personal space more than other countries.

Image is four years old. A gag piece admittedly but highlights that the need for private space is taken more seriously in Sweden than most places.

The Covid-19 crisis is not over. The economic ramifications are only beginning and will get considerably worse in the coming months. Then there is the possiblity of a second wave which I feel is likely to happen come fall or winter season just when the election comes. Lots going in the world to swing the election. The American economy could be on its knees by November and bad economies have traditionally been bad for sitting presidents. I think it is too early to rule anything out at this point. You have to be in it to win it.

<a href="" target="_blank" class="new_win"></a>

Biden could be that Aussie.  ;)

Knarfs Knewz / Re: WHO: South America is new COVID-19 epicenter
« on: May 23, 2020, 12:18:08 PM »
Some people say that Sweden is the model to prove that staying open and letting herd immunity take care of the pandemic is the way to handle it.

I would posit that Brazil  is a better model, of you want to see how it will work out in most places...including a large part of the US.

Pop the popcorn....and  uh, maybe light some scented candles to cover up the stench of rotting corpses.

The level of herd immunity in Sweden does not actually seem particularly high considering that herd immunity was their stated goal:

Just 7.3% of Stockholm had Covid-19 antibodies by end of April, study shows

Remember that Stockholm is the capital of the Sweden and would be the region with the highest population density. 7% is going to do little in slowing the disease even if we assume that Covid-19 has a R0 of 2.5. If that is the case (and I feel R0 of 2.5 is a somewhat optimistic figure) then you need a herd immunity of 55% to stop outbreaks from happening.

To put that in persepective the UK which has generally opted for the lockdown strategy has found that around 5% of its population has Covid-19 antibodies and the most infected region London having an infection rate of 17% (Metro). Not high levels anywhere although 17% might start to effect the R0 value of the disease I do hear it is estimated New York has an infection rate of 25%.

On a per capita basis Sweden is closer to the likes of Italy and UK than its neighbours of Norway, Finland and Denmark when it comes to death rates. The reward? 7% immunity rate which is way below any meaningful herd immunity. To me the strategy seems to be a failure but if one is determined to pursue herd immunity as a national strategy as some people advocate then Brazil looks like it will provide a good case study on the ramifications of that plan.

Biden is a weak candidate but Trump is worse. I am sure at this point, if given the choice, black people would pick Bush stupid over Trump. Not voting (and low voting counts is what Republicans want) increases the chances of Trump winning. If the Democrats were to take a more grounded approach and actually listen to their electorate rather than sing hollow platitudes I am sure they would be more appealing but at this point the Republicians have set a very low bar. When the standard of competition drops there is a tendency to put less effort on your persoanl endeavours. This is what is happening with the Democratic party. It would occur even if there was no money to muddy the waters.

Medicine & Health / Re: Why the gap?
« on: May 22, 2020, 11:30:49 AM »
I really wonder how "Tanzania has defeated coronavirus in their country." How does that work? I'm wondering if this just means a shortage of tests?

Tanzania stopped producing daily reports for the last three weeks but more significant is the fact that their prayers removed the disease from the country. The president has even gone so far as to encourage people to celebrate their victory in the streets. You couldn't make this up...

Tanzania's President Insists COVID-19 Was Defeated With Prayer Amid Concerns Scale of Outbreak Being Hidden (Time magazine)

Just remember Hopkins univeristy and worldometer takes the official sources for daily new cases and death rate at face value...

Medicine & Health / Re: Why the gap?
« on: May 22, 2020, 09:51:49 AM »
A few weeks ago I noticed the Johns Hopkins update pattern was getting weird.  For the total to actually go down by a few which it did a few times yet still have an update cycle slow enough for any particular total to sit for hours clearly was not reflecting reality.

But don't forget this is not China and our government would never put pressure on a medical institution to fudge numbers.  That can't happen here.

Don't take either source as gospel as both the sources themselves may not be collated in the best way and further they both take official numbers from countries which at times can obviously be bogus. Tanzania has defeated coronavirus in their country whilst people in Russia are not dying of Covid-19 in great numbers instead they seem to be afflicted by a mysterious "pneumonia" epidemic that just happened to start when Covid-19 came about. Those are just the coverups, there is also all the flaws in collecting data even if governments are trying to be honest.

I would think Hopkins university is more accurate but ultimately I believe the excess death figure (which will take awhile to complete) is probably the closest number you are gonna get to a real death figure.

Medicine & Health / Re:Worldometer
« on: May 22, 2020, 07:13:47 AM »

I can say that the figures provided in worldometer are generally very accurate when you look at the UK figures. When I crosscheck the worldometer numbers with official numbers from the UK press meetings and the websites they align perfectly. Even the testing numbers are correct. This could diverge in the future as the UK government is about to do mass testing of antibodies and will quote total testing as a figure that includes both the PCR and antibody tests. For the curious however the individual tallies can easily be discovered as the official government website will provide a breakdown on testing using the 4 pillars. Pillar 1 is for hospital patient tests plus staff, Pillar 2 is for key workers, pillar 3 is for antibody tests and pillar 4 is surveillance testing. Official figures just group them as one big number but people who want a breakdown just need to go on the official site.

It should be noted that the daily death figures are NOT accurate and this is acknowledged by the UK government. It still uses these inaccurate numbers as it can still act as a guide of overall trends and these figures largely depend on daily reporting from hospitals and care homes. But due to reporting delays, particularly on weekends, the numbers can be off. This is most obviously seen on Sunday and Monday reports when those daily death totals dip considerably as they are reporting on days from the weekend. This explains the situation where deaths drop considerably on those days but spike on Tuesday. I notice this also tends to happen (albeit to a lesser extent) in the US. So why do you need and continue to use these inaccurate death figures? It is because despite there obvious shortcomings the quick reports enables the government to respond in real time. The need for data is greater than the need for absolute accuracy as you are only interested in the trend and accuratcy is off secondary importance.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) provides far greater accuracy than the numbers offered in press meetings but their data is lagging two weeks behind and even then figures are subject to changes due to the time taken to collate all the death certificates. These differences have resulted in three different death figures. The official report is 36k deaths but the ONS states 42k death certificates with Covid-19 mentioned while the number of excess deaths is around 52k. When the dust settles I suspect the excess death figure is going to be closer to the truth than the other numbers as a considerable number of people who died would have never been diagnosed or even suspected of dying from Covid-19. This will be even more true if you have states, counties etc. that want to suppress Covid-19 deaths. I am sure these type of differences occurs in other countries so a degree of caution is needed when looking at either the Hopkins or worldometer numbers.

Saying all that both sources provide a fairly accurate guide as to what is happening. The figures may not be entirely correct but they are close enough to monitor underlying trends and this is really what is important. Day to day changes occur but we need to know if we going down the curve or up. These sources can deliver that. Also, and this is a saying that football managers say in England. At the end of the day the league table doesn't lie. The teams that do well are at the top and the teams that do bad are at the bottom. This applies to these daily tallies as well despite the fact they may not be entirely accurate.

Medicine & Health / Re: Coronavirus: Trumpvirus
« on: May 15, 2020, 08:21:18 AM »
Want to know how your state is fighting the curve of infection?

I just found this website:

I'd post images but there are too many to screen shot.

Some questionable choices in which states are nearly there. For example how come Maine is nearly there but shares a similar profile to Oregon which is red? West Viriginia also looks quite similar to the Florida graph then there is Puerto Rico that I would hesistate to say is nearly there. I suppose maybe base numbers matter or there is some hidden factor in the background like the R valuethat is taken on board. However if you were judge purely on the basis of increasing/decreasing new daily cases then the standards used to categorise states seems haphazard.

Marathon Man Newz / Re: Herd Immunity Is Going To Take A Long Time
« on: May 14, 2020, 04:02:17 PM »
No.  Your "responses" are crap.  Eddie deserves better and so do the rest of us here.  Eddie is not an Evil Dentist or a capitalist pig.  He's a good man who has spent his life trying to meet his own legitimate needs and care for his family and community.  He doesn't deserve your dumping on him because he's a dentist and you had a bad experience or two with other dentists. Also, those other dentists were also captive to the sort of system Eddie has patiently informed us about here.

Don't worry JRM. You think this is wild? You should have seen the diner in the early years when we had real rackets. Proper mud fights then. People called everything under the sun. In that period I was personally called a racist, a nazi, censor, mouth piece and a whole bunch of stuff I forget now. There was even a poster who regularly accused people of being child molesters. Yes it was that wild! We even dedicated a whole section of the forum for bar fights. Like any diner out there, when there is enough drinks there are fights. Compared to back then today we are quite civil.

I do think RE is unduly harsh on Eddie. He had bad experiences with dentists but not everyone is the same. I had a dental emergency a couple of years back and the dentist then helped me a lot. I figure Eddie does have a genuine desire to help people but the system of dental care is, let us say, sub-optimal for value for money. Eddie ain't the chief beneficiary in this system but the insurance and corporate industry that surrounds it is. This will be even more true in a post-covid world. I personally think RE conflates the insurance/corporate bodies and lobbies with small time people (relatively speaking) like Eddie. People who work at the community level have a greater desire to help people than the ones who are detached and live in corporate executive boards.

Marathon Man Newz / Re: Herd Immunity Is Going To Take A Long Time
« on: May 14, 2020, 01:57:04 PM »
As I joked yesterday, at current infection rates, herd immunity could be accomplished in a mere 46 years.....

This isn't a highly accurate number, but I got there by simply estimating how long it would take for 70% of Texans to be exposed at current reported new case levels....of 1200 new cases a day.

So we know there are more cases than reported...but even if that is will take multiple years to get to herd immunity. I was wondering if anybody would write about this.....and today I saw this.

We need a vaccine.

I would agree that a vaccine is the only viable strategy to achieve herd immunity. However even though the official infection rate maybe 1000 cases per day I am sure this a gross underestimate. For every person who is ill enough to get tested I suspect there is one, two or even more that have such mild cases or are even asymtomatic they never think to get tested. The people who get tested are a self-selecting bunch. Either they are pretty sick or work in a high risk occupations so you get a sample that is not representive of the normal population. The main way to get a better idea of overall infection levels is to undergo surveillance studies using an accurate antibody test. I wonder if Texas is doing high quality large scale background antibody studies that take samples that are representive of the population in general...

Other issue with direct comparisons is the way different countries define covid-19 deaths. The best measure is to analyse the number of excess deaths since this crisis started. Won't get those kinda stats until after the dust settles. I do hear some states like Florida are suppressing death numbers so excess deaths will be the ultimate judge as you can't cover up or underreport (to a significant degree) excess deaths.

Surly Newz / Re: Press Corps Smells Blood
« on: May 13, 2020, 06:51:30 AM »
I think Trump doesn't really get that just because HE can get a test anytime, that most people can't. This is one of those things that you see with megalomaniacs.....for them, OTHER people really don't even exist, except to run errands and provide extras for their movie.

The fact that Boris caught coronavirus probably helped him to some extent. It not only showed the virus was real since the PM himself caught it but it also showed that senior politicians cannot escape the dangers that faced the common person. There are no double standards when it comes to testing. In fact it was not just our PM that caught coronavirus but also his health secretary Matt Hancock.

What do you think the reaction would be if Trump and Fauci got coronavirus fairly early on in the outbreak? I think his supporters would like to see him as one of us (it was one of his main means of promoting himself). Even better if it was a mild case as that would support his idea that the virus is just the flu. Even some corners in the Democratic base would give him respect for not setting double standards.

The statements "best evidence" and "zero hedge" cannot exist together in the same sentence. They are mutually exclusive.

Not sure if this adds credibility to the zero hedge post but the article does link back to the NBC article titled: Report says cellphone data suggests October shutdown at Wuhan lab, but experts are skeptical for its source of information.

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