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Lord Ratner

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Everything posted by Lord Ratner

  1. I don't like agreeing with you, but I do.
  2. Just give the Ukrainians whatever they need to destroy the Russian pipeline that crosses their land, and commit to seizing the Nord Stream pipeline should the sovereignty of Ukraine be violated. Problem solved. The problem isn't *how* to deal with Russia, the problem is will power. The American Left has been dedicated to the intentional diminishment of American influence for over a decade now, because they view power as synonymous with tyranny. The rise in tensions with China and Russia are in direct conflict with their foundational philosophy that American power asymmetry is the *cause* of international turmoil. So they'll double down and (fail to) resolve the conflict by further reducing our power footprint. The left has been so busy rewriting history that they have completely forgotten it. In their minds, these aggressions are the product of American exceptionalism. Using our power to constrain Russia would, in their mind, just cause further aggression.
  3. If you look at the countries that already went through Omicron, we are most likely peaking already. Delta followed the same parallel course. Does not look like hospitals will be overrun. Especially when you consider the massive reduction in hospital stay length from omicron.
  4. Suddenly you have new arguments. Maybe just quote the actual argument next time, because “not 100% effective" and "only 40% effective" are not the same. Not even close. Perfectly reasonable? Based on what? It's been two years, dude. The layered strategy failed, even as there goalposts kept moving. And amazingly, what we know about COVID isn't dramatically different from May of 2020. You want to have the conversation, then have it. I posted a ton of unanswered questions regarding the duration and triggers for mandates, but instead of engaging you continue to reply with the supposed-absurd claims of others. So it seems like the only conversation you want to have is the same one everyone is obsessed with: your side is crazier than my side.
  5. Strawman. And there's a certain irony because your stance is all-or-nothing. If it helps at all, we do it, right? That's pretty inflexible. In reality, how much does it help, and what is the required threshold for mandating something? What are the metrics for taking away individual decision making, and what are the metrics for returning it? A lot of this is just ignorance. Most people are never involved in a process that determines the value of a life, or multiple lives. Funnily enough the military does it all the time with collateral damage. And insurance companies have life valued down to the dollar. But every time you get in a car you put other lives at risk. Is it the same risk level as COVID? No. But where's the line between driving and COVID? Isn't it strange that we don't know it, after two years? Who gets to decide? And if it's not up to the individual, does the individual at least have a right to view the process, the metrics, and the data? Most also don't realize how many people die every day. So you get absurd metrics like "1% of everyone over 65 has died of COVID-19." Yup. But over 4% of everyone over 65 dies each year. So what's the point? How many developmentally disabled kids who are *barely* able to comprehend human interactions will be irreparably stunted by the masking and isolation? 1? 100? 1000? How many old lives is that worth? How many fat lives? How many cancer survivors? If parents don't get to make that decision, what are the metrics being used by those who do? What are the government's estimates for childhood developmental damage, and what is their limit for saving the elderly? In the next pandemic, when we have an actually-scary disease, was it worth creating the division and distrust in expertise that we've created with this pandemic? How is it that two years in, the government is only now distinguishing between "died of COVID-19" and "died with COVID?" Do you really think they forgot? No one at the CDC thought that would be relevant until now? There's so much more to this than just "masks do something." You keep throwing the idea of tyranny back at conservatives as though they are making an argument for some sort of Machiavellian takeover of American society. Tyranny most often comes from the idiots and fools, so wildly underqualified for their positions, and deeply aware of it, that they will say or do anything to distract from their nearly-perfect track record of failure. Data and thresholds are the enemy, because they tie a politician to something that can be measured, scored, and held against them at the next election. I'm not concerned about Barack Obama secretly running the Democratic Illuminati from his basement. I'm worried about well-meaning Americans taking the fear mongering and scare tactics of politicians at face value, and sacrificing their Liberty and free will for a threat that is being almost entirely exaggerated and fabricated by politicians. I think I'm wrong? How is it that some of the loudest politicians on the left have been caught violating every safety measure they espouse? Newsome at the French laundry, AOC in Miami. The mayor of Austin going to a wedding. Pelosi going to the hair salon. These are not the actions of people who believe what they are saying. It would be one thing, and still bad, for us to give up our freedom based on the whims of politicians who do not have the data or the thresholds to present us with, but at least believe in their hysteria enough to submit to their own edicts. But we don't. Who are you going to believe? Them, or your own two eyes?
  6. Are you only looking at flying units? If you can get hired at an airline with your AD service, a non-flying guard/reserve gig will be much less work for the same retirement.
  7. Yeah, hand flying full procedure raw navaid approaches in the weather, to mins, then doing the missed approach is perhaps one of the most dynamic hands-and-feet exercises you can do while simultaneously receiving instant and precise feedback from the same navaids. If someone can't see how the ability translates directly to nearly every other aviation activity, maybe they were never that good at it. But it still translates, and at a very low price compared to the alternatives.
  8. You think someone who dropped hundreds of bucks on a plane ticket and has somewhere to be is going to cancel his trip? People have hacked up lungs up on airplanes for decades. Noone gave a shart. It was all part of the human experience. If there's one positive from this entire experience, sick people will wear masks on planes and in public generally. But with how badly the mask narrative was abused by the power-obsessed, I suspect there's too much baggage for any good to come of it.
  9. There's no logic behind this paragraph, just emotion. If you were being logically consistent, you would just say that we should wear masks forever. Because masks also marginally reduce the spread of flu, which kills people. So why now? Should we just be a masked society? Negatory posted an excellent explanation of why the math doesn't work either. If we lived in a universe with an unlimited population, then small percentage changes in spread would have meaningful impacts, but we don't live in that world. With a fixed population, a highly transmissible disease is largely unaffected by single digit changes in spread. The only thing it affects is the speed at which the inevitable occurs, which is relevant for a hospital capacity, but not relevant for saving lives. Since hospital capacity in the overwhelming majority of the country is doing fine, then there are no remaining justifications for mask wear. Except, of course, and emotional desire to feel like you're doing something, even if you really aren't. And at this point, anybody advocating for masks who isn't wearing a properly fitted n95 that they are swapping out every day, is blowing so much smoke up their own ass it's amazing it's not coming back out their ears. Same goes for people who advocate for masks but eat at indoor restaurants.
  10. The question was never about masks working. It was about mask mandates working. We have an answer Watch them try to mandate properly-worn N95 masks and the entire charade end tomorrow. The mandates are very specifically crafted to be tolerable (only just), not to be effective.
  11. But it did accomplish exactly what some of us said it would. Create more division, foster distrust, and ruin the credibility of "expertise." The failure to consider (and value) second- and third-order effects by the American Left is catastrophic in both scope and effect.
  12. The problem with theatre-based policy is that eventually the people you are seeking to control/pacify/motivate/etc become acclimated to theatre and expect it over facts and evidence. Unfortunately, anyone can enter the stage with their own, more interesting theatre, and you lose control of the situation. Donald Trump is a great example of this phenomenon, both in his rise and fall. The deterioration of race relations in America is another. Good intentions are never enough to overcome the long term damage of lying. It may be fun to watch Fauci flounder under the weight of his bullshit, but we are all worse off for it.
  13. Google it. Some of the earliest studies out of China showed single-digit cases of outdoor spread were in April. Prior to that all cases were indoors. It wasn't until the race riots in June that more cases of outdoor spread occurred, and even then a tiny fraction compared to indoor spread. This disease was spread in November 2019, not 2020. By the time it was an American crisis much was known. You don't. Because without a limiting principal, you always have the "what if" driving you to restrictions. Government's job was never to predict. But the very human desire for a pain free world pushes us to stopping hypothetical problems before they happen. The results are never pain free... "An effect" is not the same as "effective." They were not effective and preventing spikes, saving the hospitals, or "stopping the spread." Also, 20-30% is selective science. If you put the studies together you get around 17%, which as you pointed out previously, will not have a meaningful effect of a highly transmissible virus. This is also selective science. We have plenty of research showing why isolation is untenable. Humans just don't do it, and when they closed everything public, people just started meeting in groups at private residences, literally the worst environment for spread. There were also no spread differences noted between countries with differing school policies, indicating that schools were not vectors for spread. Sure, "scientifically" there's going to be some measurable difference, but as I said before, effect ≠ effective. Part of scientific studies is measuring effect, not just on a number but on an outcome. None of the studies indicated that school closures would have a meaningful effect, and Europe actually followed that science. Children didn't stop playing, they didn't start wearing N95 masks properly, and so they didn't stop spreading (insofar as children were spreading the disease, if at all). A scientific study on a hypothetical is sometimes neat, but it doesn't work for policy justification. On that we agree, but the new definition of compromise from the left is you compromise your position to join mine. You're guilty of the same breathless posturing. Are you ok with a 5-15% mortality rate? Yeah dude, I am. So lets compromise. States that aren't ok with it lock down. States that are can open up. The problem with compromise from a political standpoint is that we already have it built it. States' rights was designed specifically to allow for compromise. But the left wants everything dictated from the federal level. That's the antithesis of compromise. But California can't run their lockdown the way they want unless Texas locks down too. Yes... That's the compromise.
  14. Huh? See this is where I think your fantasy of you as the grand moderate falls apart. We knew in March of 2020 that this disease had no documented instances of outdoor spread. But it was overwhelming the left having a panic attack over beaches and parks being open. Study after study after study have shown masks to be ineffective (for COVID), unless you limit the study to properly fitted n95. And yet the left has clung to masks harder and even I thought was possible. "The science" has shown no correlation between lockdown policies and spread. Between masking policies and spread. Yet what have the blue States done? The only politician I can think of that looked at the research and crafted his policy accordingly was Ron DeSantis. Others might have, but they weren't vocal about it. How about all those teachers unions, which are through and through on the left? There was zero scientific justification for closing schools and masking children. I agree that the right usually does a terrible job of leveraging science, but only because everyone usually does a bad job. The left only uses science because it has become their replacement to religion as they established themselves as the anti-religious party. This has been further complicated by the scientific establishment becoming politicized, as we have seen with arbitrary study retractions, and God only knows what nonsense is going to come out about the gain of function research that our chief scientists lied openly about to cover the lab leak story. There is nothing scientific about the left, I think you just really want both sides to be at fault here, furthering your analysis of the middle being the way forward, but as far as the pandemic goes that's not the case. The right has fucked up a lot of things since I've been politically aware, but they were right about covid. Of course that doesn't account for the lunatics you've pointed out who have made scientifically preposterous claims about the disease and the vaccine, but that's another fun element of this new politicized world we live in. Both sides myopically focus on the craziest elements of their opposition and erroneous seek to portray them as some sort of representation of the average. And as the left continues in their new tactic of othering and villainizing anyone who dares think contrary to their agenda, people on the right will come up with new and inaccurate justifications for their actions. And they won't make sense, but they're not willing to tell you the real reason, "I just don't want to." Because somehow that now makes you a racist, or a bigot, or you want people to die.
  15. It's not discounting anything. Jesus, you yourself laid out the best argument I've seen on this forum. There's simply nothing to be done. The vaccines are developed. They're not going to get any better. The therapeutics are developed, and those are getting better by the day, but they're already widely accessible. The disease is understood, and the public has been notified. The only thing we could be doing differently right now is if every single person were forced to wear kn95 masks, properly fitted and regularly swapped out. I don't think that is possible. If you think the people who don't like masks are being intransigent now, just wait until you make them wear n95s, which actually do cause a fairly significant level of discomfort compared to the way humans have breathed for the last million years. And that would be until when? The hopes that a better vaccine is developed? We were infinitely lucky that the MRNA technology already existed, otherwise we'd still be waiting. You clearly think this disease is a big deal. An entire segment of the population disagrees with you, including many who are most at risk. It doesn't matter which of you is correct, not even a little bit. Unless you can convince those people to be as concerned as you are, no amount of coercion is going to successfully result in the type of compliance required to make a meaningful impact on the transmission of this disease. And what ended up happening? The people who think like you were unable to make a persuasive enough case, and so resorted to mandates. And in the most predictable way possible, those mandates have failed spectacularly, both in preventing/beating COVID, creating a whole new source of division in our country. And every time authorities resort to coercion and force in place of persuasion, this is what happens. The excess deaths are going to come back down to normal after everybody who's particularly susceptible to it dies. That sucks, but it's also life. And it's especially life when we don't have any other options. All too often people, and especially liberal-minded people, develop policies that explicitly exclude human nature. This has been a case study in exactly that.
  16. Those are two very different statements. You started your paragraph with "annual mortality." 5 to 15% mortality rate is for those who get it. Not for the entire population. Yet the 1% of everybody dying from it was very much referencing the entire elderly population. And VMFA was responding to the latter statistic, not the former, which is why I didn't waste time with the 15% statistic. It's not what we were talking about. The 1% statistic is best compared to the 4% of the entire population over 70 that dies every year. The 5 to 15% statistic is best compared to other maladies that affect old people and how fatal they are. You might be surprised by just how fragile old people are, otherwise I'm not sure why you'd be bringing this up at all. You already posted the actuarial tables, so I'm not exactly sure why I have to explain them to you. They demonstrate quite clearly that old people, unsurprisingly, die at very high numbers. They are going to continue to die from covid. And pneumonia. And the flu. And heart disease. And falling in the bathtub. I'm not "good with" any of those things, but I'm also not going to start pretending like mortality is something new and terrifying just because we have one more way to die added to the list. Further, since your point is basically "are we going to do anything to protect the old people?!" The simple response is yes, we're going to develop a vaccine and make it free for everyone. And for the millionth time, since neither the vaccine nor the ridiculous cloth masks everybody is walking around in do anything to *meaningfully* affect the transmission of *this specific* disease, developing the vaccine and making it available is the best they're going to get. And like every generation before them and every generation that will follow, they'll just go on knowing that being old is a terminal condition.
  17. And this fits nicely into the article by Mike Rowe. Cynical politicians seeing leverage in every crisis somehow convinced you and a significant number of Americans that this virus would go away if we just did what they told us to. Anyone with an even passing understanding of coronaviruses back in March of 2020 knew that this wasn't going to happen. There's no putting the genie back in the bottle, there never was. But, if you earnestly believe that there was a way to "erase" covid, it is suddenly much more understandable as to why you would be so openly hostile to anyone who disagrees with you. But you're not going to find any reputable sources in the scientific community who even remotely suggested the possibility of covid going away. A lot of us just realized that fact much earlier than you did.
  18. Well, at least we now have concrete evidence that you don't know what you're talking about.
  19. Look at the rates, you walnut. It's not stopping the spread. It's not even slowing it down any more. I know at this point you're so committed to your position that it's nearly impossible to entertain something different, but a small percentage change in transmission rates of one of the most transmissible diseases we've ever experienced does not matter. It. Does. Not. Matter. For all the talk of black and white thinking, it's incredible how black and white your thinking is. For example, both measles and covid experience breakthrough infections. Except with measles the breakthrough infections are so rare that it becomes national news. Further, many of the measles incidents have been directly related to a reduction in vaccination rates against measles. So clearly, the measles vaccine has a massive and meaningful impact on transmission. COVID, however, does not. That you can't see the difference demonstrates your lack of critical thinking, not a lack of empathy in others. Negatory put the math out already, but I don't suspect you'll give that anymore weight than you give anything else that disrupts your narrative, but a highly transmissible disease requires more than a low-double-digit reduction in transmission to make a meaningful impact. And if it doesn't make a meaningful impact, then it shouldn't be mandated by the government. When you're deciding to compel people to do something they don't want to do, the bar is very high. Not because of any sort of ethics either, but because the outcome is incredibly predictable, as we have seen here. People like you, with a barely hidden disdain for people who don't think like themselves, are always lamenting the failings of other humans. Great, maybe in another couple hundred years we'll overcome those. But refusing to adapt your strategy to the very real and very normal "failings" of the species, as it stands today, is a time-tested recipe for disaster.
  20. Not sure who you're arguing with, but I'm not against all mandates. If you get vaccinated, you're protected against COVID. And vaccination does not affect the transmissibility of the disease to those who cannot be vaccinated, so the vaccine serves *only* to protect those who receive it. No mandate. That is not the case with other diseases that require vaccine mandates. Here's another example. The should be no mandate for the rabies vaccine. No one who lacks the ability to get the rabies vaccine is endangered by others who can get the vaccine, but choose not to. Haven't we beaten this horse corpse already?
  21. That's what he said. Add up the number of people over 70 and compare it to the number over 70 who died. It's more than 4% each year. This is what you said. Yes. It's ok because the default is well above 1-2% already. And it's also ok because people die. They die from diseases, they die from heart failure, cancer, car accidents, and all manner of normal ways to die. None of those things, including COVID, are going away soon. You've failed to distinguish how COVID, especially post-vaccine availability, is different from the many things we simply accept. I think Mike Rowe is on to something. Too many people are expecting some sort of victory. I suspect the fact we sacrificed and suffered so much has only made the expectation greater, but we're way past the end of the tale. People have always had a difficult relationship with death and loss, and COVID just feeds into our disposition to want to blame death on *something.* Old and unhealthy people die. Some young and healthy ones occasionally. Now they die of COVID too.
  22. I think we just bought 8 lbs of butter at Costco today. My wife likes to say it helps you maintain a glossy coat 😂🤣. But partially hydrogenated oils are fantastic for making shelf-stable treats, which is why damn near everything had them. Turns out it's one of the few dietary studies that is actually recreateable... PHOs are just bad news. Be that as it may, they are nearly extinct despite then being legal. The market is often capable of doing what done tell us only government can accomplish.
  23. Yes, but partially hydrogenated oils are also on their way out, and those are f'n delicious.
  24. And yet, without any law, HFCS is rapidly becoming a relic of the past. Good post.
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