The Talking Dog

February 29, 2020, Happy Leap Day

February 29th only comes once every four years, so I thought I would take this opportunity to sneak a post in on this "extra" day.

Right now, the world is convulsing through a COVID-19 viral outbreak that has not yet been termed a "pandemic," but today, marked the first death within the borders of the U.S. Naturally, the President did what he always does and lied, first suggesting to one of his Nuremberg rallies that the whole thing was a hoax dreamed up by Democrats to discredit him (which he walked back... eventually), and then misidentifying the victim as a woman.

And so, as the shit-show goes on and decisions must be made (Mrs. TD and I have travel plans coming soon... or do we?), and the worst stock market drop since the financial crisis last week fueled by the President's endless bullshitting at a moment of extreme crisis from the pandemic may continue to play out, as a global pandemic (centered in China no less) would, of course, do wonders for the global economy.

Meanwhile, what if they ran a primary in the middle of this, in say, South Carolina, and Joe Biden were to win big? It might make the Democratic primary battle really interesting all of a sudden! Anyway, while I am ideologically liking Sanders and Warren, I am much more concerned with defeating Mr. Trump, and the headwinds Sanders (or Warren) would face from a Democratic Establishment more concerned with keeping their big campaign donors happy than with keeping their voters happy concern me to the point where I am favoring Mike Bloomberg, who could, hopefully just buy the Presidency, or Mr. Biden should Bloomberg not catch fire on Super Tuesday and beyond.

Finally, I briefly watched coverage of the conclusion of the Tokyo Marathon, which was actually cancelled for non-elite runners.
Seems wise not to bring in 38,000 people from all over the world to a potentially infectious area; I observed most of the race officials in surgical masks. Unless the COVID-19 virus calms down by May, I don't see how they are going to pull off the Olympics there. Just saying.

While it's nice to have one extra day, the exception would be one more day when Donald Trump is President. But this one was baked into the cake. Alrightie then. Happy Leap Day.

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February 16, 2020, Apocalpyse pandemic now?

The novel corona virus originally centered in Wuhan, China now exceeds 71,000 cases world wide and over 1,700 deaths. Supposedly there are about 15 cases in the USA.

The ordinary seasonal flu has infected over 250,000 people, with an estimated 14,000 deaths for the 2019 to 2020 flu season.

I was wondering about some other things going on. In the most recent full year for which data is available (2018), world AIDS deaths were around 770,000.

Meanwhile, in the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, since the outbreak began in August 2018, there have been 3432 total cases resulting in 2249 deaths.

Just for the hell of it, the most recent year for which complete data is available, for 2017, the USA recorded 39,773 total gun deaths.

While I do lay out a number of unusually American statistics in my chapter "Death And/Or Taxes" in Donald J. Putin on American Exceptionalism, among the top ten things Americans die of are fascinating, including medical errors, suicides and accidents, for example.

I don't mean to discount the seriousness of the "COVID19" virus or downplay the suffering it is causing. I merely mean to point out that it is operating in an environment where other things are, at least for the moment, more lethal both worldwide and even within the United States (which, after all, is the only thing Americans care about). My broader point is that there is an agenda out there in telling us what we are supposed to be concerned about; and maybe it makes sense, and maybe it doesn't make sense. I don't quite know about this one.

I just note that any country that goes ahead and elects Donald Trump as its president is a country that has already been fucked with in terms of the things it is told. And what we are told about diseases and threats and death tolls is no exception.

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