Articles blog

Covid-19 – Update 1

An update as I work from home:

So far in the United States:
– no journalists jailed
– various levels of government taking effective action
– some civil liberties curtailed
– companies forgoing profit without being forced to in all cases
– people cooperating
– no civil unrest, riots, looting
– true and false news allowed (free speech lives!)
– people helping one another
– some finance companies allowing two months without payment
– we are still America, a family

Here’s a site for the latest data on coronavirus (COVID-19).
On this date: 54,808 known infected.

Epidemic numbers become more accurate as it progresses. Like other things. The infected number is underreported at the start and some recover without ever seeing a doctor. Early on, the fatality percent is very high since those are nearly always recorded as such.

In project management, a part of my profession and something I’ve taught, we make estimates based on earlier experience when we can. The last novel (new) virus pandemic was the one in 2009. It was H1N1 virus (Swine Flu), not corona, but novel because much of the population didn’t have resistance to it, in that case, it hit young people hardest. For the current coronavirus, it hits older people hardest because no age group is exempt and older bodies are hit especially hard by the effect on the respiratory system.

For the 2009 pandemic, H1N1, the U.S. suffered the loss of 12,469 dead. By way of comparison, 61,000 died from regular flu in the 2017-2018 season, 43,000 in 2012-2013, although 12,000/year is more usual, according to U.S. News & World Report. H1N1 is still with us but much of the population is resistant now.

In 2009, it took about seven months to develop a vaccine. Experts predict it will take longer this time, but we will see.

Here is a site that compares 2009 H1N1 to COVID-19.

If we do what we should, we can control this far better than in the past. We learn more each time. We have to: this will happen again and again.

In this highly partisan present, the government seems poorly equipped to deal with this: the problems are mainly at the top of the executive and legislative branches. Local, county, and state governments are responding, not always quickly, and the necessary steps to slow the spread have been taken. It’s hard for Americans to halt business, travel, and recreation. The streets are not completely empty but there seems to be a serious effort to protect each other.

Because a poor economy and high unemployment work against an incumbent President, it is a time of opportunity for those who want a change. It is a sad reality that when organizations can profit from disaster, they are less motivated to seek solutions, so politicians and media ramp up the competition at a time when we most need cooperation. That’s why Congress hasn’t provided relief yet. We need to break the grip of political parties on Congress.

Left to me, I’d build a relief plan around:

  1. Immediate financial help to everyone
  2. Support small businesses, they employ half of us
  3. Negotiate with big business to avoid layoffs
  4. Ensure hospitals get funding
  5. Help states with increased unemployment claims

In 2009, 60 million people caught H1N1, and we didn’t do much of a shutdown. Few schools closed and not for long, partly because the CDC recommended against it. The current virus takes longer to show symptoms, so it isn’t as simple: a person is contagious for a longer period before they experience symptoms. That’s why we are shutting down. In this case, the economic damage is much more than in 2009, and opening back up too early risks a second, more severe outbreak.

The media seems too reactive and tries to hard to scare people. They tell horror stories about medications considered, which may cause patients to not take livesaving medicine later. Generating fear is an exciting activity for journalists, but they often seem to have little understanding of either science or people. I’ve learned the biggest talkers about science are often pretty ignorant. That’s been true for decades. Try to find reliable sources, not the networks, whether Left or Right. I read The Economist each week, which is often accurate even if I disagree with their interpretations and recommendations. And I have a few doctors, nurses, lawyers, scientists that I follow and can ask. Their answers are less sensational, but calm and reasoned.

The stock market has fallen to where it was a few years ago, but it has been rising so much quicker than is probably healthy and this reset may be a good thing, letting off some pressure. Big investors seem to make money no matter what. Things are going up and down pretty hard, but they seem to have quit dropping. If we relax our efforts and have a fresh outbreak, the market might drop hard again. So let’s be careful out there.

Recommendation of the day: Tangle – fair and straightforward


California AB5 and the PROact

Briefly, AB5 outlaws independent contractors. Computer consultants, translators, audio technicians, independent truckers, graphic artists, writers, and some performers. It mandates that they must be employees and from my own experience, that’s usually a cut in pay because companies don’t always need these services full time, or on a frequent basis. Independent contractors sometimes work for many companies at once, doing a little here, a little there. Some of us enjoy that.

Unions backed AB5, and while unions often protect workers, in this case they are hurting workers who are no threat to them. Unions donate to politicians, of course, and in the end, money talks. 

Some workers are forced to incorporate in some form to continue working, but this means extra taxes for doing that plus increased costs for accounting fees. I’ve experienced this first hand. We pay our taxes on income, but now there is an extra tax just because we are independent.

And be aware that our Representative in the U.S. House voted for this at the national level (PROact), a vote against independent contractors who did him no harm, but also didn’t donate enough.

Note that lawyers and real estate agents are exempt from the law. Many politicians are lawyers. And check out who donated to our Representative.

For more, see AB5 Stories.


Nothing’s Changed for 535

The responsibility is ours for the mess, we keep electing the same kinds of people. We don’t need them to be saints, just honest, smart and able to resist the temptations of money and power. More than 30 years ago, Charley Reese of the Orlando Sentinel wrote this. Here are a few excerpts. Please post this page everywhere since many won’t read the whole article.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 235 [330 in 2018!] million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted – by present facts – of incompetence and irresponsibility.

I can’t think of a single domestic problem, from an unfair tax code to defense overruns, that is not traceable directly to those people.

Please note he was writing when Congress had a Democratic majority, and he later laid the same blame when Republicans were in control. Because it really doesn’t matter which Party is in charge, it’s still run by money, isn’t it?

There are no insoluble government problems. Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take it.

And here is the whole point:

Those 545 people and they alone are responsible. They and they alone have the power. they and they alone should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses – provided they have the gumption to manage their own employees.

Do our young people a favor and fix this. Start by sending independents who aren’t funded by parties or business.

Spread the word, share this now or it won’t happen.

Original Article


Welcome to a different campaign style, for US

Hi, first off I wanted to let you know I write my own material, manage this site and if you mail, text or message, I’m getting it, not an assistant. We have no fundraising and I’d like to keep it that way. Our opponents have millions available through the Democratic and Republican parties. It’s up to you to get the word out.
It helps if you like and follow the Facebook page, and I’ll start posting here more often to keep you updated. I look forward to your questions and suggestions!