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posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 18 2020, @10:08AM   Printer-friendly

COVID-19 Has Blown Away the Myth About 'First' and 'Third' World Competence:

One of the planet's – and Africa's – deepest prejudices is being demolished by the way countries handle COVID-19.

For as long as any of us remember, everyone "knew" that "First World" countries – in effect, Western Europe and North America – were much better at providing their citizens with a good life than the poor and incapable states of the "Third World". "First World" has become shorthand for competence, sophistication and the highest political and economic standards.

[...] So we should have expected the state-of-the-art health systems of the "First World", spurred on by their aware and empowered citizens, to handle COVID-19 with relative ease, leaving the rest of the planet to endure the horror of buckling health systems and mass graves.

We have seen precisely the opposite.

[...] [Britain and the US] have ignored the threat. When they were forced to act, they sent mixed signals to citizens which encouraged many to act in ways which spread the infection. Neither did anything like the testing needed to control the virus. Both failed to equip their hospitals and health workers with the equipment they needed, triggering many avoidable deaths.

The failure was political. The US is the only rich country with no national health system. An attempt by former president Barack Obama to extend affordable care was watered down by right-wing resistance, then further gutted by the current president and his party. Britain's much-loved National Health Service has been weakened by spending cuts. Both governments failed to fight the virus in time because they had other priorities.

And yet, in Britain, the government's popularity ratings are sky high and it is expected to win the next election comfortably. The US president is behind in the polls but the contest is close enough to make his re-election a real possibility. Can there be anything more typically "Third World" than citizens supporting a government whose actions cost thousands of lives?


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by AnonTechie on Monday May 18 2020, @10:26AM (65 children)

    by AnonTechie (2275) on Monday May 18 2020, @10:26AM (#995668) Journal

    Is it possible that this myth of competence of the "First World" countries was a media creation, rather, than it being based on fact ? or, Were the "Third World" countries so incompetent, that even a semblance of competence was enough to be considered as superior ?

    I am reminded of the Dunning-Kruger Effect ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect [wikipedia.org] ), as, I feel that it applies to governments as well !!

    --
    Albert Einstein - "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."
    • (Score: 5, Informative) by gtomorrow on Monday May 18 2020, @10:35AM (4 children)

      by gtomorrow (2230) on Monday May 18 2020, @10:35AM (#995669)

      "First World" is the new "Third World."

      Let us all not forget the original definition of "Third World." [wikipedia.org] Non-alignment, anybody? Everything else, economically speaking, trickled into the perception.

      • (Score: 4, Funny) by acid andy on Monday May 18 2020, @11:03AM (2 children)

        by acid andy (1683) on Monday May 18 2020, @11:03AM (#995680) Homepage Journal

        Yeah, I think they secretly want to become Third World countries so the labor is cheaper. Higher profit margins.

        --
        If a cat has kittens, does a rat have rittens, a bat bittens and a mat mittens?
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bzipitidoo on Monday May 18 2020, @12:19PM (1 child)

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Monday May 18 2020, @12:19PM (#995715) Journal

          You jest, but lots of people do see other groups, even within the same nation, as rivals and competitors, and want misfortune to fall upon them. The ambivalent political response is a reflection of this.

          They will even accept damage to themselves if those others are taking greater damage. They also do not wish to be outed as the heartless, evil scum they are. They prefer to be misunderstood as just incompetent, rather than stupid and full of malice.

          The myth that's being blown away is that of First World enlightenment. We were supposed to be better than that. "With malice towards none..." Oh Party of Lincoln, how low you have fallen!

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:37PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:37PM (#995750)

            Jefferson founded the party you speak of.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:24PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:24PM (#995846)

        "First World" with "Third Rate" leader.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by zocalo on Monday May 18 2020, @10:57AM (51 children)

      by zocalo (302) on Monday May 18 2020, @10:57AM (#995676)
      I think it's *far* too early to say. The initial spread was via international travel, almost exclusively a "first world" luxury, so they are going to be ahead of the curve. Now that we're starting to see traditional second and third world countries ramping up the situation on the ground is looking much, much, worse and - to re-iterate - they are *still* only just starting to ramp up. The whole reason that Lombardy in Italy was so bad was that their local health service simply ran out of facilities, but at least they managed to cover the initial surge; that swamping of available beds and respirators is going to happen much faster if you don't have the numbers to start with.

      That's totally separate to the absymal failure of our politicians to get on top of things though (regardless of which "world" they are in). Yes, they're walking a fine line on damaging their economies, but it's pretty clear that they pretty much universally did some combination of prevaricating too long, bungled the measures they put into place (if any), sent out mixed messages, put too much focus on economy over lives, and (once it became painfully obvious they'd screwed up) took the "lies, damn lies, and statistics" game they'd been playing up to a whole other level. Maybe it's time to update the old proverb - "Those who can do, those who can't go into politics."
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @01:33PM (35 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @01:33PM (#995747) Journal

        put too much focus on economy over lives

        For the 99%, economy is life. If you can't work, you don't earn money. If you don't earn money, you can't buy food or pay rent. If you can't do those things, you and your kids lose your place and starve to death. It might be a little slower, but you still all die.

        30 million people in the US are out of work because of the lockdowns. If a third of them die from starvation, suicide, etc then was it worth killing 10 million people to save 1 million who might have died without the lockdown?

        That's the real calculus surrounding the quarantines.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @01:48PM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @01:48PM (#995756) Journal

          For the 99%, economy is life.
          ...
          That's the real calculus surrounding the quarantines.

          And the implicit constraint of the optimization problem is "minimum impact on the wealth of rest of 1%".
          Otherwise the problem of life for the 99% wouldn't be tied to "If you stop working for 1 month, you are screwed" and quite trivial a problem to solve.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 4, Interesting) by HiThere on Monday May 18 2020, @03:42PM

            by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:42PM (#995868) Journal

            It wouldn't be trivial, but it would be easier.

            That said, the basic problem is not the 1%, but the corruption. Without the corruption, of course, the 1% wouldn't be the 1%, but you can easily have corruption without the concentration of wealth.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:49PM (13 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:49PM (#995757)

          For the 99%, economy is life.

          No.

          30 million people in the US are out of work because of the lockdowns. If a third of them die from starvation, suicide, etc then was it worth killing 10 million people to save 1 million who might have died without the lockdown?

          That's a nice way of saying that US is no better than one of the "African shithole countries"? In every other not-destitute nation, there are resources available to feed the population and not having to teeter-totter between famine and disease.. I honestly didn't believe that Trump America is choosing the path of famine AND disease.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @02:44PM (12 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:44PM (#995803) Journal

            That's a nice way of saying that US is no better than one of the "African shithole countries"? In every other not-destitute nation, there are resources available to feed the population and not having to teeter-totter between famine and disease.. I honestly didn't believe that Trump America is choosing the path of famine AND disease.

            What? Food and other resources cost money. They do not materialize out of thin air. Even if they did materialize out of thin air, you'd still have to pay people to transport them and distribute them. If the great Socialist Fairy in the sky handed your country a giant pile of stuff, you'd still have to guard it, move it, and distribute it lest it all be stolen by the great Black Market Demon and held for ransom.

            That is true no matter what country you are in. There is no magical Some Other Place where that is not true.

            The WHO thinks China's brutal lockdown was great and the right way to go. The WHO also thinks Sweden's non-lockdown is great and the right way to go. Those are both right at the same time, but everything the US has done is an epic disaster?

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 4, Touché) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @02:51PM (11 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @02:51PM (#995811) Journal

              If the great Socialist Fairy in the sky handed your country a giant pile of stuff, you'd still have to guard it, move it, and distribute it lest it all be stolen by the great Black Market Demon and held for ransom.

              Then let that pile rot at the place of production, because dead people and people without money won't buy them.

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
              • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @03:19PM (10 children)

                by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:19PM (#995840) Journal

                So...you're saying that if those goods don't magically transport, guard, and distribute themselves then it serves the end consumer right somehow? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

                People who live in cities need others in other places to produce food and bring it to them. But the people who produce that food and bring it to them are bad because they shouldn't be out producing food and bringing it to the people in the cities and "spreading the virus!!"? Is it that you want people to starve to death instead of possibly, maybe (we're not really sure) dying of Wuhan coronavirus?

                Should they resort to eating their pets, and their neighbors afterward instead? Can they get what they need by becoming Breathairians?

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 4, Informative) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM (#995877) Journal

                  So...you're saying that if those goods don't magically transport, guard, and distribute themselves then it serves the end consumer right somehow? I'm not sure what you're trying to say.

                  I'm saying that optimizing the economy/profit while sacrificing the life of people is antisocial. Economy should be a mean, not a purpose.
                  Corner cases like this will show what impact the "can't afford a month without work" will have until and on the recovery.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by meustrus on Monday May 18 2020, @04:53PM (8 children)

                  by meustrus (4961) on Monday May 18 2020, @04:53PM (#995917)

                  Sounds like someone is substituting the Fake News straw man for the person they're talking too.

                  This conversation is about distribution of resources, not whether the meat packing plants are open or closed. An issue where I must try really hard not to get side tracked on how people only ever seem to care about the safety and availability of their food and have zero shits to give about the health and safety of the people making it. And no, I'm not saying the places should be closed, I'm saying we should give a shit about the health and safety of the people working there.

                  No, the point here is that "the economy" is NOT life. At least not the economy [smbc-comics.com] they like to talk about on cable news.

                  We are the wealthiest nation in the world. Our government could feed everybody for free if we all decided that's what we wanted it to do. Granted, there are good reasons to be skeptical about such a direct approach. But compared to someplace like Canada, where people living in isolation are now receiving regular checks from the government to help maintain existing standards of living until the isolation is over, the response in the US is dangerously inadequate.

                  It's not all about wealth, though. As humans we have been able to feed ourselves long before modern economic theory ever existed. We don't need "the economy" to feed ourselves. What we need is for "the economy" to stop demanding we spend all our time paying off the literal rent seekers so we have time to take care of ourselves.

                  What are some of the ways we could feed ourselves without "the economy"? Maybe community organizations like food banks. Maybe 21st century "freedom gardens". Maybe buy some chickens, get free eggs. Granted, a lot of this stuff takes an economic input. We used to be able to supply that input from last year's harvest, or from the waste products of other production.

                  Economic efficiency has stolen our self-sufficiency. It's time to embrace redundancy and community, band together (at a distance of 6 ft), and organize little communes. It's time to rediscover what it means to be a human capable of maintaining life with nothing more than the earth and the tribe to sustain it.

                  --
                  If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
                  • (Score: 5, Interesting) by hemocyanin on Monday May 18 2020, @05:09PM (7 children)

                    by hemocyanin (186) on Monday May 18 2020, @05:09PM (#995922) Journal

                    I have chickens. I give away my extra eggs to friends. Sometimes they offer to pay but I always decline, or they'll slip a few bucks into the returned egg cartons and I'll roll my eyes and say nothing. My eggs cost me roughly $8-10/dozen between feed, facilities, vermin control, and so forth. None of those cost calculation includes labor. Some of those costs are the same whether you have 10 chickens or 100, some scale with the flock, but the idea that you get free eggs from chickens is not correct. You get really excellent eggs that put any supermarket egg to shame, but you don't get free eggs. The friends of chicken owners do -- if what you want is free eggs, see if you can manipulate a friend into getting chickens -- of course that would just make you an asshole more than a friend, but that's the only way you get free eggs.

                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday May 18 2020, @05:11PM

                      by hemocyanin (186) on Monday May 18 2020, @05:11PM (#995923) Journal

                      I forgot to add -- the reason I don't take money for my eggs is that unless I'm getting $10/dozen, I'm losing money. I'd rather give a gift and lose nothing (because it's a gift and the compensation is the warm fuzzies), than sell eggs for a loss.

                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Pav on Monday May 18 2020, @11:20PM (3 children)

                      by Pav (114) on Monday May 18 2020, @11:20PM (#996076)

                      Even before governments existed to shake down societal non-contributors (taxation, what a crime against humanity and God!) a tribe would either club such people with stone axes until they contributed or banish them. Without that a society degrades into a prisoners dilemma that either progressively collapses at every crisis bigger than one persons ability to fix, or else gets rolled by the next tribe/society to come along.

                      • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:05AM (1 child)

                        by pdfernhout (5984) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:05AM (#996110) Homepage

                        Definitely one of the most interesting and insightful and pithy things I've read in a while...

                        --
                        The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
                        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Pav on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:33AM

                          by Pav (114) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:33AM (#996180)

                          Thanks, though it was a "collaborative" process in a manner of speaking. Continually dealing with right wing libertarians just boiled the pot dry, and rendered out the essentials.

                      • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:39AM

                        by dry (223) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:39AM (#996183) Journal

                        Usually started with shunning. Heard a blog about a small group of hunter gatherers (15?) where one guy was taking more then his share (as judged by the rest of the tribe). A bit of shunning straightened him up and made him realize he was dependent on the rest of the tribe.

                    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:58AM

                      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:58AM (#996163) Homepage

                      This is actually why I don't keep chickens and produce my own eggs... the eggs might be 'free' but keeping the chickens is not (unless you just turn 'em loose, which isn't very efficient for eggs, but delights the foxes), and cost/benefit isn't very good at that small scale, especially not when I can get the same quality of eggs from the Hutterites for $2/dozen.

                      --
                      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by meustrus on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:19PM

                      by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:19PM (#996413)

                      Fair point. I thought I addressed it, but it was clearly too abstract; "waste products of other production" is supposed to mean that if you're running any other agriculture, you shouldn't have to pay for chicken feed. At least, that's how I imagine it worked in the past.

                      --
                      If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:50PM (8 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @01:50PM (#995758)

          They could have nullified rents during the pandemic but that would mean nullified mortgages . Can’t do that, those little old retired ladies need those retirement dividends so they can pay their rent.
          Wait, wasn’t rent cancelled?

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by fustakrakich on Monday May 18 2020, @03:12PM (7 children)

            by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:12PM (#995830) Journal

            They were supposed to freeze all the financial markets. Instead, Wall Street is now tapping a bottomless well courtesy the fed, and without congress nosing around.

            --
            La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday May 18 2020, @03:46PM (4 children)

              by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:46PM (#995871) Journal

              I think freezing all the financial markets might have been nearly as bad as what they did. I don't think there *are* any simple answers that don't cause problems worse than they solve. There are ways of ameliorating things, but they aren't simple, and don't make for good sound bites.

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by fustakrakich on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM (3 children)

                by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM (#995878) Journal

                Yes, you freeze all personal debt, rents, mortgage, etc. The fed should feed payroll and pensions, not Wall Street coffers. Nobody seems to wonder why the financial markets are doing so well in a "collapsed" economy.

                This is a heist, of the worst kind

                --
                La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @03:55PM (1 child)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:55PM (#995882) Journal

                  never let a disaster go to waste.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday May 18 2020, @04:11PM

                    by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday May 18 2020, @04:11PM (#995895) Journal

                    Sometimes you have to create one. Like so many others this one is man made, through this so-called "incompetence"

                    --
                    La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
                • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:14PM

                  by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:14PM (#996437)

                  Pretty sure the system is working as intended. Isn't it pretty clear that Trump cares more about the health of the economy [smbc-comics.com] than the health of the general population? The far-right commentators he likes have definitely been arguing for that preference explicitly.

                  --
                  If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
            • (Score: 3, Funny) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @08:55PM

              by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @08:55PM (#996012) Homepage
              It's not bottomless - money machine only go brrrr to eleven.
              --
              Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:12PM

              by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:12PM (#996434)

              The FED isn't exactly set up to distribute money to the little people. Doing so was completely impossible when it was first designed. It might be possible now, but lots of people would be rightfully skeptical about the amount of extra bureaucracy the FED would need to do it.

              Not saying that what they're doing now is the best possible solution. Just that it's all they're in a position to do, and keeping Wall Street afloat is probably a net positive.

              Besides, I'm pretty sure Congress is completely happy not to be "nosing around". If they did that, they'd have to go on record supporting or opposing individual actions. Letting the FED do whatever they want without accountability definitely helps Congress itself avoid accountability.

              --
              If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by zocalo on Monday May 18 2020, @02:18PM (2 children)

          by zocalo (302) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:18PM (#995782)
          I'd say that's where targeted state welfare comes in - the UK's furlough and company bailout/loan schemes, or the US' distribution of $1,200 checks, for instance. No, that's not cheap (especially once you factor in loss of tax revenue from people just staying at home and not earning and spending as much), but it's still a drop in the ocean compared to what typical nation states are spending on things like defence, services that can be at least partly mothballed during lockdowns, numerous "pork" projects, and so on. It's also just a different priority - the general welfare of the people vs. the state's finances, and it's one that's falling along very predictable lines.

          There's no disputing that it's a tough calculation, nor that there's going to be a lot of guesswork involved, but it's certainly interesting to see where people's priorities lie, and how responsibility for any problems with re-opening their businesses are not *their* problem to resolve. Human nature at it's finest - almost everyone out for number one. In particular those of the notional 1% that actually run the businesses (no doubt from home, or some other "safe" location), that are expecting their minions in the 99% to get back to work and take their chances. Lots of sociopaths being outed as a result of this, that's for sure.
          --
          UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @02:32PM (1 child)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:32PM (#995795) Journal

            In particular those of the notional 1% that actually run the businesses (no doubt from home, or some other "safe" location), that are expecting their minions in the 99% to get back to work and take their chances. Lots of sociopaths being outed as a result of this, that's for sure.

            Yes, there are those sociopaths, and then there are the other sociopaths, who are not part of the 1% and are not out of work because they can do their jobs remotely, who excoriate those who have to show up physically to do their job. Those latter should just starve because they're endangering the investment bankers and brave journalists who continue to blog from home during this crisis.

            It is a tough calculation that does not fit into an "economy vs. lives" dichotomy.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Monday May 18 2020, @05:22PM

              by hemocyanin (186) on Monday May 18 2020, @05:22PM (#995929) Journal

              I've been thinking a bit about how backward our economy is. Anything that cannot be done from home, has a much higher liklihood of being an actual essential task -- as in essential for survival (food, water, energy) and you will or could die without it. These people typically get paid the least. Work a person can do from home though, most of it is just superfluous overpaid busy work. I will grant that there a few things people can do with computers that improve the world, but most of what gets done is just bullshit.

        • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:23PM (4 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:23PM (#995785)

          How easily your balloon of ignorance got popped. Maybe you should reconsider your later-in-life switch to conservative ideology. 90% is so called common sense that falls apart in this more complicated modern world.

          • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @02:34PM (3 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:34PM (#995799) Journal

            If you're going to attack someone, then at least try not to gibber. Or is it beer o'clock where you are already?

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:30PM (2 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:30PM (#995908)

              Gibber? Maybe you should ask TMB to dump your comments for the last year so you can see the patterns for yourself. Hard to say in this age of anonymity what someone's true motivations are, but your backstory does not jive with your rather Republican worldview.

              • (Score: 3, Touché) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @09:00PM (1 child)

                by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @09:00PM (#996018) Homepage
                https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jibe
                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:46PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:46PM (#996568)

                  TIL thanks!

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:41PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:41PM (#995802)

          "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one."

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @09:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 14 2020, @09:44AM (#1007712)

          If you can't work, you don't earn money. If you don't earn money, you can't buy food or pay rent.

          Yet another fallacy, and evidence of the Third-World state of the US. In the rest of the first world (i.e., western Europe), nobody starved and I haven't heard any concerns about starvation either.

      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @02:32PM (14 children)

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:32PM (#995796)

        What will be interesting (to me) is if there is more natural immunity to COVID-19 in the "third world," much the way there was for Polio and similar diseases pre-vaccination.

        --
        🌻🌻 [google.com]
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM (4 children)

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:51PM (#995876) Journal

          Was there more immunity, or did people without immunity just die young? And probably without having the reason diagnosed, at least not in terms that the western medical world would recognize.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @07:38PM

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @07:38PM (#995974)

            Lies, damn lies, and statistics... there will be statisticians who clean up the variance in the populations and draw meaningful conclusions about it, the question is: will the politicians let them communicate that a) at all? and b) without drowning it in a sea of conflicting/confusing messaging?

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:48AM (2 children)

            by dry (223) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:48AM (#996187) Journal

            Polio got a lot worse once we had clean drinking water. Perhaps it killed off infants, of which many died from various causes, or perhaps some exposure when really young help immunity.

            • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Tuesday May 19 2020, @11:25AM (1 child)

              by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @11:25AM (#996276) Journal

              Or perhaps before then the disease was lost in the general high level of infant mortality. Read the "Spoon River Anthology".

              --
              Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
              • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:00PM

                by dry (223) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:00PM (#996366) Journal

                Which I believe I touched on, or tried.

        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:04AM (8 children)

          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:04AM (#996166) Homepage
          --
          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
          • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:05PM (7 children)

            by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:05PM (#996309)

            If reality has shifted enough that the "first world" no longer acknowledges that our rates of Polio were MUCH higher than India, Africa and other nations from the time of FDR until the vaccine was developed, it's time to stop reading those sources altogether.

            --
            🌻🌻 [google.com]
            • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:52PM (6 children)

              by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:52PM (#996340) Homepage

              I'd like to see that as per-capita (during that period, the first world was vastly more populous than most of the third world. Did you know that as of 1900, the estimated population of all of Africa was only 10 million? and that was the high estimate.) I'd also like to know how you compare a nation with good communication and disease reporting... to one with poor or absent communication and no reporting.

              From a source in Pakistan, a few years back I learned that they average 50,000 new cases per year, and this continues even today. Do you really think it was any better before the vaccine?

              --
              And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
              • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:24PM (5 children)

                by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:24PM (#996352)

                The story I've always been taught:

                Polio reached epidemic proportions in the early 1900s in countries with relatively high standards of living, at a time when other diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, and tuberculosis were declining. Indeed, many scientists think that advances in hygiene paradoxically led to an increased incidence of polio. The theory is that in the past, infants were exposed to polio, mainly through contaminated water supplies, at a very young age. Infants’ immune systems, aided by maternal antibodies still circulating in their blood, could quickly defeat poliovirus and then develop lasting immunity to it. However, better sanitary conditions meant that exposure to polio was delayed until later in life, on average, when a child had lost maternal protection and was also more vulnerable to the most severe form of the disease.

                https://www.historyofvaccines.org/timeline/polio [historyofvaccines.org]

                --
                🌻🌻 [google.com]
                • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:46PM (4 children)

                  by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:46PM (#996360) Homepage

                  I think it's more likely that 3rd world juvenile polio got rolled into general infant mortality, and that later cases often went undiagnosed, and no one really has any idea how many died of it.

                  --
                  And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                  • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:19PM (3 children)

                    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:19PM (#996373)

                    I'm not implying that overall mortality is higher in the first world.

                    What I'm wondering is whether or not baseline immunity for this relatively novel disease is higher in the "third" world? May not be for COVID, or it might, thus the question.

                    I would bet that there are parts of Africa where the human population does have better immunity to ebola than the first world - just like Europeans had better immunity to small pox than Americans did in the 1600s.

                    --
                    🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:24PM (2 children)

                      by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:24PM (#996418) Homepage

                      Oh, there's probably all kinds of variation on that front. But with some diseases it makes no difference (eg. rabies). And with truly novel diseases, it can't make a difference, because there IS no baseline immunity. (Or do you refer to how much generic stimulation their immune systems get? in that case, first world farmers should be equally immune.)

                      Native Americans mostly lived in what we'd call third-world squalor, yet they had no baseline immunity to smallpox, to them a novel virus. I'd guess most of the better European immunity was due less to historic smallpox exposure (remember many Europeans still died from it) as from living in close proximity to their cattle, and thereby frequent exposure to cowpox, which does produce some cross-immunity with smallpox.

                      It does occur to me to wonder if dogs, while readily infected by CV19, are generally asymptomatic because of cross-protection from the ubiquitous canine coronavirus. Nearly all dogs older than six weeks have immunity to canine CV, either through early exposure or vaccination. (Canine CV is not a serious disease, and is only a concern when there's inadequately-good parvovirus vaccination, because CV knocks down the immune system and serves as a gateway for parvo.)

                      --
                      And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
                      • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:55PM (1 child)

                        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:55PM (#996426)

                        do you refer to how much generic stimulation their immune systems get? in that case, first world farmers should be equally immune.

                        Yes, and no. First world farmers may kick the shit, but they're also exposed to a wide spectrum of stuff that screws with immunological profiles - chlorinated water (or not), first world vaccine schedules, pesticides, heavy antibiotic doses in their food animals, etc.

                        So, this "novel" Coronavirus, crossed over from bats we are told, how novel is it, really? As you say, canine coronavirus... do dog owners have better immunity? Apparently cats also contract and spread COVID-19 asymptomatically... whatever that's worth.

                        --
                        🌻🌻 [google.com]
                        • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:46PM

                          by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:46PM (#996456) Homepage

                          CV19: Cats get seriously ill about on par with humans, just have not had many cases yet. Dogs, far as I've heard, only very rarely become ill (again not enough samples) and do not spread it to humans. Ferrets and mink get seriously ill at much higher rates than humans do. At this point it's still mostly field observation, better'n anecdotal but not exactly solid stats, tho contagion studies with cats and ferrets were both in the above ballpark.

                          My observation is that getting vaccinated more often confers better immunity -- after all, vaccine is just a controlled challenge to the immune system, and when it's challenged regularly, it keeps the troops on their toes, so to speak. This is why I get the flu vaccine every year and don't worry if it's the 'right' one or not... having noticed back in the early days that after I'd had a few years of flu shots, I stopped getting the flu even when the vaccine was the wrong one for that season. Even a near miss is useful, or so it appears.

                          Pesticides and antibiotics are very much targeted, they're not just sprayed over everything as you imply. If I have to dose a cow, I certainly don't dose myself too. How would I get exposed? and if it's such a problem, why aren't all the livestock dying, given they're regularly injected with vaccines and parasite controls, and antibiotics at need (tho with the new restrictive regs, gonna be a lot more calves dying of spring scours for lack of immediately-available antibiotics, cuz the $50 profit margin on that calf is not worth the cost of the vet for a ranch call, and when he can't get there today, it's too late anyway).

                          --
                          And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:17PM (#995835)
      Or the premise of the article could just be completely false [nytimes.com].
    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday May 18 2020, @07:16PM (5 children)

      by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday May 18 2020, @07:16PM (#995968)

      I don't think it was a myth at all. (For the sake of this discussion, I'm equating "third world" with "undeveloped", not the Cold-War era "nonaligned" definition.) Decades ago, the 3rd-world countries really were incompetent. That's why they were undeveloped. You can write books about why they were that way and why developed nations moved ahead so much faster, but the end effect was that first-world nations like the US, UK, Japan, Germany, etc. really were much more competent at most things than "backwards" 3rd-world countries where violence and corruption were very common.

      While I haven't read the article, what the authors seem to be missing is that *things change over time*. Remember, back in the early 1800s, the UK was a global empire, and the USA was a relative primitive backwater. Sure, it had managed to fight off the British in a war of independence, but Afghanistan sure has proven to be a problem for the modern US military, and no one thinks Afghanistan is any kind of developed nation, they're just good at fighting off foreign invaders.

      What's happening is that things have been changing. The US and UK are not the world-leading societies they used to be any more. The UK has been in decline for much of the 20th century and this continues today. The US is now in decline too, with standards of living falling farther and farther behind other developed nations, and also behind the standards enjoyed here by previous generations. Meanwhile, those "undeveloped" nations haven't been sitting still, content to remain backwards dens of corruption and incompetence. They've had plenty of time to learn from developed nations, and some of them have been doing just that, and improving themselves greatly. Americans seem to have this perception that those 3rd-world countries have barely changed since decades ago, but instead they've been modernizing a lot; I read somewhere that the capital of Panama, Panama City, built a new subway system in 2 years that's better in pretty much every way than the one in Washington DC.

      There's a phrase that describes what the richer countries have been doing for a few decades or more: "resting on their laurels". I think there's a saying about what happens to those who do that.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @07:48PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @07:48PM (#995979)

        we will see what those 3rd world countries that are now "on par" will do if the prototype makers go to ground ...
        i am personally super excited what a lot of asian countries are gonna do next if they cannot just cherry-pick the "good stuff" that was found thru
        trial-and-error (and thus wastefully) by the so-called 1st world countries anymore.
        once they have "caught up" but with no more prototype stuff made in the so-called 1st world my guess is that the old colors will show again.
        also, methinks by avoiding the "wasteful" trial-and-error steps they also side stepped the "cope with the waste" part.
        we will see if the "china version" of "western society" will work another 50 years (which would be a real testament to original western society blueprints).
        maybe they will even transform into a cocoon and teach us how to make butterflies ^_^

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by meustrus on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:49PM

          by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:49PM (#996457)

          China is the longest-lasting civilization in the history of the world.

          You may look at them right now and think they're a bunch of 20th century communists who, through copying "the west", salvaged a functional economy out of the wreckage of a failed state. That would be a huge mistake.

          The communist party is just the latest in a long series of inheritors of the Chinese national system of governance. There have been many dynasties. There will be many more. Maybe they're done with monarchy and this "democracy" concept is going to stick around as the basis for their legitimacy, but the system of government is unchanged.

          China was China back when England was a distant, often deep-frozen backwater. China was China back when America was full of nomads congregating in great cities that are now archeological sites. China was China back when the whole of Europe and the Middle East still believed in overlapping pantheons of minor gods.

          Maybe "the so-called 1st world countries" had a good swing at it for a few hundred years. Maybe we've even done something great and profound, and the world will forever be better for it.

          But before China cherry-picked industrialization from Europe, Europe cherry-picked gunpowder from China.

          Just about the only thing China did wrong was fail to recognize Europe as a competing power in the 19th century. It's understandable. Europe was a primitive backwater for 90% of the time China had been a magnificent empire. How could Europe possibly catch up?

          So China got their butts kicked in the Opium War, and Europe drank their milkshake for a hundred years.

          They've done a pretty good job of making up for lost time. If you think they're going to stop there, you're just as naïve as the Chinese were about Europe. You'd better wise up before they drink your milkshake.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
      • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:57PM (2 children)

        by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:57PM (#996344) Homepage

        The reason Afghanistan was a losing proposition is because we tried to fight a 'police action' and tried not to kill civilians (another losing policy when you can't tell the civilians from the fighters). If we'd gone at 'em like we did WW2 Germany, or perhaps WW2 Japan, there'd be nothing left but a smoking crater, and the rest of the region would be tiptoeing around us, instead of constantly poking us with sticks.

        --
        And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
        • (Score: 2) by meustrus on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:28PM (1 child)

          by meustrus (4961) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:28PM (#996446)

          You should see how well that strategy worked for the Soviets. I guarantee you they didn't give two shits about killing civilians, and they still failed for exactly the same reason.

          The problem with Afghanistan is that there are too many tribes who are too good at scheming with and against each other. WW2 Germany and Japan were cohesive nations. When we cut off their heads, their societies would have completely collapsed without ceding to the invaders. Afghanistan doesn't work like that.

          I'm not sure there's any way to conquer Afghanistan without simply killing everyone. A thought against which we must all recoil in horror.

          But on a practical level, I also have to ask: why? What's so great about Afghanistan anyway? It seems like the only reason anybody ever cares about invading the place is because it harbors terrorists.

          It's not a new problem. Organized nations have always needed to contend with bandits living beyond their reach. Is it reasonable to think we can ever eliminate those wilds? Is that even really a good idea?

          The only thing we ever should have done in Afghanistan is send a team of assassins to kill Osama bin Laden, then run the fuck away. All of this "war on terror" bullshit is and always was a costly exercise in futility.

          --
          If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
          • (Score: 2) by Reziac on Tuesday May 19 2020, @07:10PM

            by Reziac (2489) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @07:10PM (#996473) Homepage

            I vaguely recall that the Soviets wanted it for a pipeline to the Gulf oil states. Which is kind of a head-scratcher now, tho must have made sense to someone at the time.

            Indeed, the only way to win a war there is too extreme for modern folk to contemplate. Why we'd want it today... well, we don't; as you say its only 'value' is as a nest of terrorists. Agreed on kill bin Laden then run away; there's nothing worth our while to fight over. Let them kill one another as they please; that's nothing new, and we can't stop it anyway. Secure the borders between them and us to keep the bandits out, kill those that refuse to respect that boundary, and that's about all you can reasonably do.

            --
            And there is no Alkibiades to come back and save us from ourselves.
    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:40PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:40PM (#996454) Journal

      Is it possible that this myth of competence of the "First World" countries was a media creation, rather, than it being based on fact ?

      There's some reason developed world countries are better off than the rest. Maybe it's time for you to figure out what that is.

      This reminds me of a principle in geology: mountains don't just happen. If the only geological force in the world were erosion then everything would be eroded to underwater by now. So every time you see a mountain, you're also seeing some force, possibly hundreds of millions old that put that mountain there.

  • (Score: 1, Disagree) by shrewdsheep on Monday May 18 2020, @10:43AM (10 children)

    by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday May 18 2020, @10:43AM (#995671)

    All factors being equal, the criticism would be correct. However, there are (at least) three mayor differences: age structure, climate, and genetics. All three combined easily explain the current state of affairs despite worse measures and health systems in place in "third world" countries. Let's just be grateful they got away this time.

    Mediterranean climate seems to be most covid friendly. Going hotter or cooler seems to protect.

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @10:54AM (5 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @10:54AM (#995673) Journal

      All factors being equal, the criticism would be correct. However, there are (at least) three mayor differences: age structure, climate, and genetics. All three combined easily explain the current state of affairs despite worse measures and health systems in place in "third world" countries. Let's just be grateful they got away this time.

      Interesting hypothesis you have there. From your position, address this then:

      One stand-out is Senegal, which has devised a cheap test for the virus and has used 3-D printing to produce ventilators at a fraction of the going price. Africa, too, has experienced recent outbreaks, notably of Ebola, and seems to have learned valuable lessons from them.

      Maybe instead of "Let's just be grateful they got away this time." we'd be better with "Let's not just be grateful, but maybe start to learn something"?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 1, Disagree) by shrewdsheep on Monday May 18 2020, @02:07PM (4 children)

        by shrewdsheep (5215) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:07PM (#995770)

        Contact tracing and isolation has proven ineffective. That was the initial plan. Otherwise, I only see big strawmen here. Price of the tests has never been an issue, only capacity. Even if that were true, there is no indication that this is what has kept infections low over there (I did argue to the contrary). As much as I would wish there would be something to learn, I do not see what.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @02:35PM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @02:35PM (#995800) Journal

          Contact tracing and isolation has proven ineffective in US

          FTFY. Because in Australia, that's exactly what we do and it works [worldometers.info]. The latest cluster of infections, in the low tens, were traced, other contacts identified, tested and yet asymptomatic infections were identified and isolated before they could spread it further.

          As for why this has been proven ineffective in US? I don't know, a decent hypothesis is maybe because the usians covidiots [urbandictionary.com] are in larger numbers and more foolishly active [independent.co.uk] than in Australia.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @07:57PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @07:57PM (#995983)

            As for why this has been proven ineffective in US? I don't know, a decent hypothesis is maybe because the usians covidiots [urbandictionary.com] are in larger numbers and more foolishly active [independent.co.uk] than in Australia.

            I think the reasons behind that are simple, and they rhyme with "bump."

        • (Score: 2) by Barenflimski on Monday May 18 2020, @03:43PM

          by Barenflimski (6836) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:43PM (#995870)

          Where are you referring to when you say that this has been ineffective?

          In most of the U.S., as in just about everywhere but New York City, NY, the health care system's were not overwhelmed. The hospitals between New York state and California are mostly empty. The "curve" wasn't just flattened, it was obliterated.

          In places where you aren't crammed into small confined spaces this works just fine, which is most of the the United States.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by HiThere on Monday May 18 2020, @03:56PM

          by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:56PM (#995883) Journal

          Contact tracing is ineffective if you don't do it. Similarly for quarantine. Telling people to stay home when you know they're infected and not enforcing it is not quarantine. Telling it to people who CAN'T stay home is more foolishness than quarantine.

          The US has not used either contact tracing OR quarantine. And you need to use both of them. Even so that wouldn't get everyone, because of asymptomatic carriers, but it would cut the number down low enough that those could be identified and either quarantined or treated. (There are reports that plasma works to treat asymptomatic spreaders, though I'd need more evidence to be certain.)

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PiMuNu on Monday May 18 2020, @12:15PM (2 children)

      by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday May 18 2020, @12:15PM (#995711)

      You should have highlighted age structure - cut and paste from my post below... (apologies to dupe post, but how else to do it?)

      Senegal - 2.9 % aged 65+
      India - 5.4 % aged 65+
      UK - 18.0 % aged 65+

      Presumably this is something like a tail of a poisson distribution so the number aged 70+ is even more skewed towards the West (etc).

      So the headline should be "Third world healthcare is so bad that all of the vulnerable people are dead already."

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Senegal [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demography_of_the_United_Kingdom [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_India [wikipedia.org] [wikipedia.org]

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @05:35PM (1 child)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @05:35PM (#995934)

        Well Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan have lots of old people above 65 too with a high population density. South Korea's weather isn't that warm either...

        Sure they're still younger than the UK but their death rates per million are magnitudes lower. At least 100 times. Can that be explained merely by the difference in population age?

        Definitely doing better the USA or most of Western Europe.

        While I still think it's a high chance that the virus came from China, given the level of the virus and incompetence in Europe and the USA it does make me wonder whether it came from somewhere in those places instead and just nobody noticed for more months than China did. China probably took months to notice too, but maybe 2-3 months (assuming the "true" first human case was in Oct 2019, instead of Dec 2019). There were early cases in the USA and Europe that were not detected, and only detected in "hindsight"... Does that mean the USA and Europe are so dependent on China to detect such diseases first?

        FWIW I think India is likely to have a higher death rate, same for Bangladesh. Their curves are just ramping up. With the amount of poor people there, many are going to die of hunger and/or violence. Imagine if you only earn 1-2 dollars day and spend most of it merely to eat to survive. How long can you survive a lockdown? They have the excuse though of being poor. When your GDP/capita is only a few times more than a covid-19 test, and similar to the cost of ventilator your options are lot worse.

        But what's the excuse for the rich countries? Blame China and the WHO? You think Taiwan is doing better because they got better info etc from China or the WHO?

        • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Monday May 18 2020, @06:35PM

          by PiMuNu (3823) on Monday May 18 2020, @06:35PM (#995956)

          Totally agree. To take South Korea as an example, from Wikipedia 13.5 % of population is 65 years and over (much more comparable to e.g. UK 18 %). South Korea GDP per capita is similar to UK as well. Clearly, South Korea managed the pandemic better.

          However, the premise of TFA was "third world countries are handling covid better". TFA highlighted India and Senegal as examples. I point out that India and Senegal have a totally different demographic, and so the comparison is not a fair one and the logic is flawed.

    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @09:11PM

      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @09:11PM (#996024) Homepage
      Nah, up here in the baltics in winter, one of our islands got hit by a fucking bunch of fucking toxic [demonym of a mediterranean country elided, so that I don't offend the fucking italians] that forced us to immediately quarantine the island like on zombie movies, as it ripped through there brutally.
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 3, Disagree) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday May 18 2020, @10:43AM (68 children)

    What complete and utter political horse shit.

    A) Government-provided healthcare is not now and never has been a hallmark of first-world countries. It is in fact an idea that first-world countries picked up from second-world countries.

    B) Government-provided healthcare is not in any way a necessary component of "a good life".

    C) Government-provided healthcare has not done a damned bit better at dealing with covid-19.

    D) When there is a shiny, new virus with no cure and precious little you can do in the way of treatment aside from fifty plus year old tech, there's no difference between a nation on the cutting edge of medicine and one fifty years behind.

    E) When you're losing your shit over a highly contagious but very rarely fatal virus that does in fact confer a respectable degree of lasting immunity, you're a hysterical idiot and your opinion holds negative value.

    --
    My rights don't end where your fear begins.
    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @10:56AM (4 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @10:56AM (#995675) Journal

      Your life is going to shit again, and again you're spreading your shit here.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by The Mighty Buzzard on Monday May 18 2020, @10:58AM (3 children)

        My life is in fact fantastic. That just chaps your ass because your ideals have caused your life to suck.

        --
        My rights don't end where your fear begins.
        • (Score: 3, Touché) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @11:00AM

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @11:00AM (#995679) Journal

          My life is in fact fantastic.

          Agreed. Under the "pertaining to fantasy" meaning.

          Others would call it self-delusion, but this imply a certain amount of honesty

          (large grin)

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:30PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:30PM (#995793)

          You sure sound like the epitome of happiness... rage post much? Again? Every day?

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @12:15PM (8 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @12:15PM (#995710)

      You missed another key flaw in this claim: None of the first-world countries have health care systems that have collapsed, and they don't have "mass graves." The media keeps trying to - or was for a while - drum up hysteria about mass graves in New York, but it's actually just the usual mass grave where they bury unclaimed bodies, because some of the people that died were indigent. Meanwhile, Yemen [apnews.com] and Bangladesh [dw.com] are in tough shape. This is a tragedy, but the article is what's claiming they're doing great.

      • (Score: 4, Informative) by MostCynical on Monday May 18 2020, @12:49PM (7 children)

        by MostCynical (2589) on Monday May 18 2020, @12:49PM (#995721) Journal

        From Table 31a : Death Summary Information by Race/Ethnicity New York State - 2015 [ny.gov] 153,623 died that year, which is~ 421 deaths per day.

        Last month, New York State peaked at over 800 Covid deaths per day [msn.com], with over 500 a day dying from Covid-19 in New York City [nyc.gov]

        Note, others were also dying, of other causes.

        Hardly 'just the usual'..

        --
        "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @06:43PM (6 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @06:43PM (#995960)

          The numbers are probably true, but they don't address the claim being made. This is a non sequitur.

          None of those people were buried in mass graves, unless their bodies went unclaimed, as per usual procedures.

          • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Monday May 18 2020, @11:08PM (5 children)

            by MostCynical (2589) on Monday May 18 2020, @11:08PM (#996065) Journal
            --
            "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
            • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday May 19 2020, @10:52AM (4 children)

              Um, your citation said exactly what AC just told you.

              --
              My rights don't end where your fear begins.
              • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday May 19 2020, @11:30AM (3 children)

                by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @11:30AM (#996278) Journal

                just the usual mass grave

                No: usual: 25 a week; April: 25 per day.

                not "usual"

                --
                "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
                • (Score: 2) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday May 19 2020, @11:45AM (2 children)

                  Yes, usual. Not burying people who've no discernible next of kin and have not made other arrangements in their own grave is business as usual for up there. Numbers are irrelevant to the point and simply an attempt to move the goalposts to keep from losing an argument.

                  --
                  My rights don't end where your fear begins.
                  • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:05PM (1 child)

                    by MostCynical (2589) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:05PM (#996294) Journal

                    here is the only "attempt to move the goalposts":

                    Numbers are irrelevant to the point

                    there have been far more mass graves being dug
                    there have been far more dying than normal

                    This is not 'usual'.
                    I have not suggested those being buried aren't the same category as usual (unclaimed dead).
                    My point, counter to those suggesting "people die, get buried, nothing unusual here" is that ~7 times as many have been ending up in these graves.

                    --
                    "I guess once you start doubting, there's no end to it." -Batou, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Azuma Hazuki on Monday May 18 2020, @01:25PM (5 children)

      by Azuma Hazuki (5086) on Monday May 18 2020, @01:25PM (#995740) Journal

      Yeah, look at all those third-world shitholes like Denmark and Norway and Finland. Government-payer healthcare is the fucking *worst.* How awful. Go get the 'rona and own some libs! I dare you!

      --
      I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
      • (Score: 5, Informative) by Pav on Monday May 18 2020, @01:57PM (4 children)

        by Pav (114) on Monday May 18 2020, @01:57PM (#995764)

        But but... you forgot Sweden and its recently privatised healthcare. It has been WONDERFUL! The righties were ecstatic [theguardian.com]. It's a pity costs then rose to be amongst the highest, and heathcare beds per 1000 fell to being the second lowest (the UKs NHS coming dead last) in Western Europe. And the scandals... thousands of healthcare workers sacked, women being freighted to Finland just so they had a bed to give birth in, aged care facilities not changing adult daipers so they could make some extra coin... and that was BEFORE the pandemic. Bernie Sanders' rhetoric definitely needs an update. If they couldn't afford adult daipers OF COURSE the PPE was inadequate, and aged care faciliies became major epicentres. Healthcare worker shortages became even worse in Swedish lapland when the rest of Scandinavia walled off Sweden, and Finland closed its border so workers on the other side couldn't commute to hospitals in Sweden.

        And the Swedes have been gaslit by both government and media. They've been saying good Swedes can do all that social distancing, PPE etc... organically. Therefore if things go bad it's because of bad Swedes and most particularly recent immigrants. Also, good Swedes don't complain, so if you hear anything it's those bad unSwedish people. And many Swedes seem to have taken this to heart and are pushing this view online. To be fair Swedes aren't as used to media bullshit... they had Aftonbladet (their "Daily Mail") majority owned by the unions until about 12 years ago, so there were genuine arguments from the working side of politics in national discussions. No longer.

        • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:34PM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:34PM (#995797)

          Why do you hate Sweden?

          • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:38PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @03:38PM (#995864)

            Rejected by Swedish Bikini Team.

        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @09:22PM

          by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @09:22PM (#996030) Homepage
          > Aftonbladet (their "Daily Mail") majority owned by the unions

          If you mean to imply "shitrag" by the Daily Fail reference, then "The Mirror" would have been a better example to give, as it was always the left-leaning paper for the workers/unions (no matter if behind the scenes it was as top-heavily corporate and corrupt as any other).
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 2) by dry on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:03AM

          by dry (223) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:03AM (#996195) Journal

          Here in Canada, it has been the private assisted living places that have had the brunt of deaths. A lot has been exposed about these for profit places, ranging from the shitty way they treat their workers to the shitty way they treat the residents. Whether anything changes long term remains to be seen as there are always right wingers claiming private is always better.
          The problem is running a decent society is expensive and so many people don't want to pay for it and even if the country is okay with paying, the global competition makes it hard.

    • (Score: 2) by Pav on Monday May 18 2020, @01:32PM (26 children)

      by Pav (114) on Monday May 18 2020, @01:32PM (#995746)

      Yeah yeah, "who gives a f*ck about boomers" and all that, but airbourne ebola (or equivalent) is coming. Enjoy stewing in the ideology of doing nothing, and simply managing your own societies decline. Call me insane, but I'm happy to live somewhere (Australia) that has some ability to actually grapple with a pandemic.

      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @01:39PM (25 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @01:39PM (#995752) Journal

        Call me insane, but I'm happy to live somewhere (Australia) that has some ability to actually grapple with a pandemic.

        Hold on. Weren't you the ones sobbing a couple months ago how bush fires caused by runaway climate change had destroyed Australia? You are talking about that Australia, aren't you? Failure to clear brush and fight fires is not laudable.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by Pav on Monday May 18 2020, @02:16PM (7 children)

          by Pav (114) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:16PM (#995780)

          I'm not saying Australia is perfect, and our government certainly sucks. The undeniably miserable bushfire response made our prime ministers grip on power somewhat shakey, so that played some part in him taking this pandemic more seriously... though he still managed to blunder a couple of times eg. allowing flights of young partiers from Italy and expecting them to self isolate. Still, he allowed actual experts to mostly control the response, and we've got a heathcare system leagues better than the US... and somewhat better than europes worst (ie. Sweden and the UK).

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @03:06PM (4 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:06PM (#995821) Journal

            I am not panning Australia. It's a lovely country with lovely people. (It has not been very nice to the aborigines, but as an American I really can't talk.)

            My larger point is that nobody knows what the right answer is with this thing. The WHO has alternately praised China and Sweden for their approaches, and held them up as models for the rest of the world. But Sweden and China took opposite tacks so the WHO is really talking out of both sides of its mouth. There's another question, too, implicit in this matter: if Trump did the most amazing job in the world, and managed the largest number of infected to the lowest number of deaths, would anybody who hates him give him credit, or would they find some other thing to criticize him on or give the credit to somebody else? Given what has gone on the past 3 years, I say that for those that hate him, Trump can do nothing right. The other side of the coin is those who love Trump and will never say anything against him.

            Generally, I think jingoism is a bad habit all of us should curb.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by Pav on Monday May 18 2020, @03:36PM

              by Pav (114) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:36PM (#995861)

              On US politics I haven't found a trustworthy mainstream source. I like the "Rising" show on YouTube from "The Hill" and the sarcastically named "Useful Idiots" show from "Rolling Stone"... and I can listen to them while doing other stuff unlike text sources. Granted, they're somewhat fringe... but they criticise and (much less regularly) praise both sides.

            • (Score: 4, Informative) by Barenflimski on Monday May 18 2020, @04:31PM (1 child)

              by Barenflimski (6836) on Monday May 18 2020, @04:31PM (#995910)

              From my experience people will continue to hate the guy and anything that comes out of his mouth.

              I was talking to a very neighbor of mine over the weekend. She can't stand Trump and is much like anyone else I talk to that simply can't stand anything the guy says or does. I said to her, "It seems to me that another issue with this COVID response is that even when the president rambles and says something that is correct people simply go to, 'If he said it, I'm against it.'" She said to me, "Yes, I am doing that for good or bad. I just simply can't stand the stuff that comes out of his mouth most of the time and I'm not going to parse any of it anymore."

              He has turned vast amounts of people off to the point where they simply won't entertain anything that he puts in front of them as he's worn them out. We are seeing this play out in the response to the virus along political lines. It puts all of our politicians in a tough situation. Do something that the president promotes and you may be cast as a Trump supporter. Do something that he doesn't promote and you may be cast as being woke.

              Unfortunately for the rest of us this political nonsense affects us as our politicians are more worried about the correct political response instead of the smart response.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:30AM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:30AM (#996200) Journal
                Why are they even paying attention, if they're not interested in listening? I hate to say this, but I think this is what they want. They need that two minute hate, be it Trump, liberals, or whatever. It's not productive, but at least it's not killing millions of people either.
            • (Score: 3, Informative) by dry on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:18AM

              by dry (223) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:18AM (#996198) Journal

              Here in Canada, actually Ontario, we have Doug Ford, was he hated, for many of the same reasons as Trump. While he started out dismissing the pandemic, telling people not to worry and go party, he quickly turned around and even the extreme left has praised his leadership during the crisis. This includes following scientific advice, calling the protesters out as hooligans and so on. I'm sure once this is over he'll go back to his old self but who knows. Right now his popularity has gone from the low 20's IIRC to the high 80's.
              If he can do it, so could Trump. The key is allowing the experts to lead while giving them support and handling the economic issues. Here in BC, it is the head of health, a civil servant, who gives the daily updates, with the Minister of Health doing introductions and little else and the Premier only showing up occasionally to deal with economic matters. I believe it is similar in all Provinces and all our governments have had a huge uptick in popularity. Of course that is likely to vanish once this is over.
              Meanwhile Trump has been more of a hindrance then a help, doesn't know when to step back and support the experts, steadily wishy washy and seems intend on doing everything opposite what a good leader should do. The weird thing is how his cult worships everything he says, even when he says the opposite 5 minutes later. It's scary that people can be so deranged. Holding your nose and voting for the lesser evil is one thing, worshiping the evil because he's our evil is another.

          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @09:26PM (1 child)

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @09:26PM (#996033) Homepage
            > eg. allowing flights of young partiers from Italy and expecting them to self isolate.

            You too, eh? Estonia feels your pain.

            Right, I'll go and crack open a brilliant local beer brewed by a fantastic Australian brewer who now lives here!
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:32PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:32PM (#996299)

              Those Estonians flying from Italy, mostly went through Riga airport, and overland from there, didn't they? Add to that Latvians doing same, add to that the absence of lockdown in Latvia, look at the statistics, compare with Estonia. Try explaining the difference.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @02:17PM (8 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @02:17PM (#995781) Journal

          Failure to clear brush and fight fires is not laudable.

          You're an idiot if you imagine you can know better from the distance what the conditions were here.
          At least, have the decency and inform yourself however minimally [wikipedia.org]

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @02:56PM (4 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:56PM (#995815) Journal

            You're the idiot if you cannot get that my point was he was praising how great Australia is at managing its affairs after complaining a couple months ago how Australia is ruined because of brush fires. (Sorry, I do not mean to call you an idiot because I know you are not one, but you did call me one)

            See, I think it's less deterministic. Countries do some things well, and other things poorly. Sometimes the strategies they choose ultimately work, and are praised afterward; sometimes the strategies they choose fail, and are panned afterward as ridiculous or evil or worse. Some countries choose better across many areas over time, and thrive, others fail at most and decline. Some countries that fare well for a time lose that Eye of the Tiger and disappear. Others hit their stride and succeed.

            It's all armchair quarterbacking, if we're honest.

            But, yeah, I'm not impressed with brush fires because I grew up in the Rockies which have "devastating," "catastrophic," "worst fire season EVAR!!!" forest fires every summer. BFD. You shrug and get on with life. It's the same as a Texan scoffing at New Yorkers who got their panties in a bunch over the minor Hurricane Sandy. Or like Australians listening to people screaming about black widow spiders, or something.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @03:15PM (3 children)

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:15PM (#995832) Journal

              You're the idiot if you cannot get that my point was he was praising how great Australia is at managing its affairs after complaining a couple months ago how Australia is ruined because of brush fires. (Sorry, I do not mean to call you an idiot because I know you are not one, but you did call me one)

              I did it because you tabled a patently false claim as the main cause for 2019/2020 megablazes - govt or not, nothing you can do to clean that bush after 3 years+ of draught and when the fire season starts 5 months in advance of the usual (June instead of October).

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
              • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @03:27PM (2 children)

                by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:27PM (#995850) Journal

                And he tabled a patently false claim that the government is to blame (or praise) for how the coronavirus has spread and affected regions around the world. But you want to take the one, but not the other.

                In fact I don't blame Australia for how bad its brush fires were. They were worse than authorities there were prepared for. Yes, they could have said, "gosh, we're in a multi-year drought and could be looking at a really bad fire season, so we better triple our budgets for fire-fighting in preparation." But that's not how governments work in the real world. Occasionally they can prepare well, but mostly they're reactive. In Western America there are frequent droughts, so they're more prepared to handle them. It's not because they're more special or smarter than Australia is, but because it's within the range of what they expect and are used to it.

                Is that a shocking or particularly controversial thing to say?

                --
                Washington DC delenda est.
                • (Score: 4, Insightful) by c0lo on Monday May 18 2020, @03:35PM (1 child)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:35PM (#995860) Journal

                  But you want to take the one, but not the other.

                  Come on. You know well the handling of corona situation in US has been so sub-optimal it isn't very hard to do much better.

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:51AM

                    by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:51AM (#996209) Journal
                    Point is that it could be a lot more sub-optimal too. For example, I count at least eight [jhu.edu] European countries with higher covid deaths per capita.
          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:42AM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:42AM (#996207) Journal

            You're an idiot if you imagine you can know better from the distance what the conditions were here.

            Well, how much further away was Phoenix666 than you? I don't see how living in a country means you know anything at all about their wildfire policy, to name an obvious example. Meanwhile, one can google [soylentnews.org] for said policy and get a better idea in a few minutes - assuming they can read English, no matter where in the world they happen to live.

            • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:57PM (1 child)

              by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:57PM (#996304) Journal

              People who live in New York are utterly ignorant about how to farm, ranch, log, make anything, get their hands dirty, and so on. But they are sure they know everything about what the rest of the country needs.

              --
              Washington DC delenda est.
              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:27PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:27PM (#996445) Journal
                But did they spend a few minutes thinking or even googling what the rest of the country needs?
        • (Score: 0, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:26PM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @02:26PM (#995789)

          Lol, your swing away from the DNC led straight into the stupid bush.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @03:09PM (6 children)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:09PM (#995825) Journal

            Is it that you have difficulty with prose in English? Did you get thrown out of debate club? Did you never learn to type properly because your first device was a phone you had to use abbreviations on?

            It's marvelous to hear such from an AC that can't reason, form complex thoughts, or even muster the gumption to use a handle.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Monday May 18 2020, @03:26PM (5 children)

              by fustakrakich (6150) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:26PM (#995848) Journal

              I believe he is mocking the pendulum politics, where angry people swing from one crooked party to the other and back, instead of looking for something else to break the circle. It is a chronic issue that very few people want to address

              --
              La politica e i criminali sono la stessa cosa..
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:36PM (4 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 18 2020, @04:36PM (#995912)

                Exactly, P666 claims he worked for the Clinton campaign, became a disaffected Democrat and now spouts rightwing talking points. Maybe it just highlights how party affiliation is a very rough guide for someone's true opinions.

                • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:54AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @06:54AM (#996210) Journal

                  and now spouts rightwing talking points.

                  Like what? I doubt US rightwingers are defending the handling of covid by comparing it to Australian brushfires.

                • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:38PM (2 children)

                  by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @12:38PM (#996301) Journal

                  I worked for the Clinton Foundation, not the Clinton campaign. I have been a progressive all my life. I first joined the Green Party; they turned proto-Woke, so I left and became a Democrat. When the Clintons rigged the 2016 primary against Bernie, I left that party. I am not affiliated with any party now.

                  Having had a window right into the heart of the Democratic Party, and indeed right into the heart of wealth and power in the world, I see things much differently now. I can discern things I couldn't before. For example, you, dear AC, carry the miasma of government shill all around you. Do the occasional pats they give you on the head fulfill you as much as they used to when you were fresh out of school? Or are you starting to notice that carrying their water doesn't gain you anything, and you're growing ever more concerned and possibly upset at that thought?

                  I call things the way I see them, without script. If that seems "right wing" to you, it's only because you've fallen off the leftward edge of the universe and have lost all sense of perspective.

                  --
                  Washington DC delenda est.
                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:58PM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 19 2020, @09:58PM (#996576)

                    Noice overton shoving yer doing, keep it up! Soon we'll all get to enjoy the freedom of the post-apocalypse. You claim progressive stances, but your use of "woke" and the rest of the opinions you have are definitely rightwing to libertarian. Maybe you'ee just what passes for progressive as an older east coast resident, maybe you're just another fake account astroturfing US voters.

                    I know I'm real, and all I know about you is that your opinions don't match claimed political leanings. The most effective propaganda comes from users with a "reputation." My AC shitposting doesn't do anyone much good unless they're trying to get a better perspective on SN users.

                    I'll offer an apology for calling you rightwing. You are closer to libertarian than the religious noids.

                    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:20PM

                      by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:20PM (#996845) Journal

                      Principles exist in a three dimensional space, but you are a two dimensional being.

                      --
                      Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @02:39PM (18 children)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @02:39PM (#995801)

      Government-provided healthcare is not now and never has been a hallmark of first-world countries.

      List of countries I'd consider relocating the whole family from the US to (without having millions to spend, with millions you just buy a Caribbean island...):

      New Zealand, Canada, England, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Austria, Finland...

      What do all those countries have in common? I'd call that a hallmark of first-world countries.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Monday May 18 2020, @03:11PM (7 children)

        by Phoenix666 (552) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:11PM (#995829) Journal

        You can relocate to most of those right now, JoeMerchant. Except New Zealand, which requires you to invest $250K of your own money there before they'll let you in. But Americans relocate to other countries all the time, and you can too if that's what you want.

        Don't put up with America if you hate it. Life's too short. Go and be happy.

        --
        Washington DC delenda est.
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @03:33PM (6 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @03:33PM (#995858)

          When we were living in KKK country (central Florida), we took a long hard look at relocation - globally. We actually settled on the Hilo-Puna region of Hawaii as a destination to get away from the redneck bullshit, without the hassle of international immigration. Thing is, my wife and I were born in Florida, lived here 50+ years now, and that carries a certain amount of "cultural acceptance," even in KKK country. Employment abroad is challenging, as is services for our kids with Autism. We finally decided to move to a bigger city near the coast, got away from the KKK and their shitty attitude toward disabled services in the schools - though we do still see pickup trucks proudly flying 8' rebel flags sometimes.

          Hilo has its own issues - not too different from the West Coast Florida I grew up in - massive growth, and I know what my family thought about the newcomers while that was going on - not too anxious to become "one of those people." It is affordable, and with the right attitude much more accepting of all people as human beings than Florida is. We have close-ish friends who have lived in Hilo/Puna/Central Florida back and forth for the last 20 years, but the job in the bigger Florida city presented itself first...

          There's some family in Costa Rica, it's tempting - had a shaky/shady job offer to live in a commune on a beach there once... the language would be a lifelong challenge.

          New Zealand is tempting, but I feel like the native issues in Puna would only be bigger with the Maori - and if I'm moving to NZ I'll probably end up in Maori heavy country. I'd treat them with respect, but I'm not sure our pale skin and freckles would get that respect back. NZ$250K isn't an issue - we'd want a house that cost at least that.

          There's an acre of land about 200 meters from the beach just outside Darwin that's hella cheap and tempting... and if we get serious about living on a boat, Port Lincoln is also something to check out. We're not stuck here, but there is something to be said for helping your children to build long term relationships in the community.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by PocketSizeSUn on Monday May 18 2020, @08:26PM (3 children)

            by PocketSizeSUn (5340) on Monday May 18 2020, @08:26PM (#995994)

            On the one hand Pune doesn't require you to immigrate, which I understand is not so easy for an American moving to NZ. Just what I have been told but I never looked into it.

            On the other hand Pune is a good fit for some, hippie types and farmers can do well there. You seem to have experience in Pune however the flew vs brew is still a non-trivial cultural shift for most ha'ole trying to make a home there. I have heard of quite a few ha'ole have difficulty in Pune. Also the serious Meth problems on the south kona side are bit disturbing. I haven't been back since kapohoe went under lava.

            I have not been to NZ but I know people from there and I have never heard of any Maori issues.

            I looked at Costa Rica it is not a place I would consider without knowing the language well and land ownership can be a bit dicey.

            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @09:00PM (2 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @09:00PM (#996017)

              We've already been burned by Costa Rican laws once, ignorant on our part but we invested in a company with an agreement written in English, therefore unenforceable in the courts that have jurisdiction... Not a reason to stay away, and the "burn" cost less than a trip down there and back - cheap education overall. Still, our Spanish would always be 2nd class, I'm sure. Family connections might compensate, might not - hard to guess the future.

              Our friend on the Big Island put us in touch with some locals that we talked with on the phone and e-mailed a bit (people from his church) - they were all really really nice. We had pretty well settled on upper HPP as the place we wanted to move to, but reliable sustaining income was a major concern, and once I found a good job only 75 miles from where we were, what the hell - much easier move, and it was well worth it. Of course there are horror stories out of Puna, cars being stolen and police won't go look for them in "native land", etc. but to hear our ex-army Colonel tell about it: you respect them, they respect you - mostly.

              What I heard about the Maori in the north end of North Island reminded me of 1970s Florida - people getting beat up at the beach over turf wars that basically break down on racial lines, that sort of stuff - also lots of the indie film being made about NZ is emphasizing the raw deal that the Maori got and how that has led to them having similar issues as the North American natives...

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by pdfernhout on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:35AM (1 child)

                by pdfernhout (5984) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @01:35AM (#996122) Homepage

                Rupert may have been wrong about peak oil but he got something right in this essay (after bitter experience trying to move to Venezuela in 2006) about the importance of community/tribe/connectedness:
                https://web.archive.org/web/20161021081420/http://fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/110706_mcr_evolution.shtml [archive.org]
                "Living in Venezuela has been an amazing, brutal, and illuminating lesson. It is a truly alien culture that I find simultaneously beautiful, hard, giving, unfamiliar, uncomfortable and definitely self-protecting to the extreme. That is why I am confident that Venezuela, and most of Latin America, will survive the coming crash of Peak Oil better than any other region of the world. I believe it is already starting to protect itself. It doesn’t need me or any outsider to survive. But as a general rule, only those who are native here will be protected by its blessings. ...
                        The important distinctions about adaptivity are not racial at all. US citizens come in all colors. American culture is the water they have swum in since birth. A native US citizen of Latin descent who did not (or even did) speak Spanish would probably feel almost as out of place here as I do. They would look the same but not feel the same. And when it came time to deal collectively with a rapidly changing world, a world in turmoil, a native-born American’s inbred decades of “instinctive” survival skills might not harmonize with the skills used by those around him.
                        Another one of my trademarked lines is that Post Peak survival is not a matter of individual survival or national survival. It is a matter of cooperative, community survival. If one is not a fully integrated member of a community when the challenges come, one might hinder the effectiveness of the entire community which has unspoken and often consciously unrecognized ways of adapting. As stresses increase, the gauntlets required to gain acceptance in strange places will only get tougher. Diversity will become more, rather than less, rigid and enforced.
                        As energy shortages and blackouts arrive; as food shortages grow worse; as droughts expand and proliferate; as icecaps melt, as restless, cold and hungry populations start looking for other places to go; minute cultural and racial differences will trigger progressively more abrupt reactions, not unlike a stressed out and ill human body will react more violently to things that otherwise would never reach conscious thought.
                        Start building your lifeboats where you are now. I can see that the lessons I have learned here are important whether you are thinking of moving from city to countryside, state to state, or nation to nation. Whatever shortcomings you may think exist where you live are far outnumbered by the advantages you have where you are a part of an existing ecosystem that you know and which knows you.
                        If the time comes when it is necessary to leave that community you will be better off moving with your tribe rather than moving alone."

                --
                The biggest challenge of the 21st century: the irony of technologies of abundance used by scarcity-minded people.
                • (Score: 2, Interesting) by khallow on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:48AM

                  by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday May 19 2020, @05:48AM (#996188) Journal
                  I can't imagine what he got right. As of mid 2019, over 4 million [unhcr.org] Venezuelans had left the country, most in the previous four years. They aren't surviving peak oil better now!

                  One of our former writers has expressed concern for his safety in the current political climate of the United States. I know that he is not alone and that many others feel the same. I say to you all, fight the good fight.

                  I imagine the "former writer" hasn't come even close to having a reason to be concerned for his safety in the subsequent 14 years. Meanwhile, Venezuela has a murder rate of 81 per 100k people [reuters.com] in 2018.

          • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:34PM (1 child)

            by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:34PM (#996846) Journal

            There's a lot of wisdom in what you're saying: there's always a fly in the ointment.

            Still, Costa Rica has a high standard of living and a stable government. So what if you're not going to be writing Nobel prize winning literature in Spanish? You just need to be able to get by. My father-in-law immigrated from Korea 50 years ago but still only speaks pidgin English; he owned his own business and bought property and raised a family just fine.

              New Zealand is a beautiful country with friendly people (if they'll let you in). The Maori are fine. They retain their culture in modernity and thanks to the Treaty of Waitangi have fared much better than natives in almost any country where Europeans arrived. The only reason not to live in NZ is if you have an irrational fear of sheep.

            --
            Washington DC delenda est.
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:59PM

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:59PM (#996856)

              Are sheep really an issue north of Auckland? Because that's where I would see myself settling most comfortably... Agreed that the Maori stood up to the Euro-imperialists better than any other islanders, including Hawaiians (who did pretty well themselves...), but they still got a pretty shitty deal - reminds me of Israel, white people on the beaches and more indigenous brown people shoved back inland.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @09:31PM (9 children)

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @09:31PM (#996036) Homepage
        They've got gold or oil? That describes the US too though.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
        • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday May 18 2020, @10:33PM (8 children)

          by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday May 18 2020, @10:33PM (#996057)

          Netherlands, Denmark? Maybe a little oil, not much gold at all.

          --
          🌻🌻 [google.com]
          • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday May 18 2020, @11:41PM (7 children)

            by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Monday May 18 2020, @11:41PM (#996084) Homepage
            Royal Dutch Shell makes Netherlands clearly on my list.

            The fact yoju only found one that wasn't a good fit compliments my astuteness as much as yours.
            --
            Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
            • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:42AM (6 children)

              by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @02:42AM (#996142)

              Well, the list was selected based on places I've semi-seriously considered moving the family and come back with a positive: yes, I see how that holds the _possibility_ of a better life than what we have here. None are a guarantee, and in some the possibility hovers somewhere around the 50% mark - but... my criteria had nothing to do with oil or gold. However, the correlation is probably not a coincidence - wealthy countries, whether by oil or gold or any other source, at least have the capacity to do good things for their citizens and residents: ergo first world.

              --
              🌻🌻 [google.com]
              • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:33PM (5 children)

                by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Tuesday May 19 2020, @03:33PM (#996379) Homepage
                The overlap with my equivalent list is huge. The populist right-wing undercurrents in a couple of them perturb me somewhat, nowhere's perfect.
                --
                Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
                • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:23PM (4 children)

                  by JoeMerchant (3937) on Tuesday May 19 2020, @04:23PM (#996393)

                  I'll take a populist right-wing undercurrent over a breaking tsunami of ignorance and fear driven conservative corporate welfare anyday, but... the bird in the hand is worth 10 that look better in the bush.

                  --
                  🌻🌻 [google.com]
                  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:41PM (3 children)

                    by Phoenix666 (552) on Wednesday May 20 2020, @12:41PM (#996850) Journal

                    As a foreigner you are going to be instantly disenfranchised no matter what. Politics will become a game you no longer play because nobody will let you. So that shouldn't be a major factor in your decision to relocate. Relative freedom and overall stability are more important.

                    No matter what, though, six months in you will come to hate any place because culture shock always catches up to you.

                    --
                    Washington DC delenda est.
                    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Wednesday May 20 2020, @01:06PM

                      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Wednesday May 20 2020, @01:06PM (#996859)

                      When we moved from Miami to Houston we loved the culture shift, it was the shitty air quality that got us to leave as soon as my 2 year obligation was up.

                      Whether you vote or not, politics is a game that plays you. Any place I would considering moving has enough freedom of speech that even the disenfranchised can make about as much difference "being heard" as the voters. I don't dislike the abstract concept of public service, in an alternate universe-timeline (like the fantasy land portrayed in Madam Secretary/President) I could imagine myself fulfilled by life as a politico... in this reality, I couldn't run for the local schoolboard without fear of myself going postal on the establishment if I had to deal with their hypocrisy in close quarters on a regular basis.

                      --
                      🌻🌻 [google.com]
                    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday May 21 2020, @07:54AM (1 child)

                      by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday May 21 2020, @07:54AM (#997315) Homepage
                      Nonsense. G/f left the US 25 years ago and doesn't miss anything about the US apart from the geography. I left the UK 20 years ago, and miss nothing apart from the real ales. The cultures we both left were toxic, it's not "shock" to be free of them, it's relief.
                      --
                      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by HiThere on Monday May 18 2020, @03:59PM

      by HiThere (866) Subscriber Badge on Monday May 18 2020, @03:59PM (#995886) Journal

      Sorry, government provided health care programs originated in Bismark's Germany. So did several other "socialist" programs designed to ensure a healthy populace. (Bismark wanted healthy armies.)

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Monday May 18 2020, @04:46PM

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Monday May 18 2020, @04:46PM (#995914) Journal

      A) Government-provided healthcare […] is in fact an idea that first-world countries picked up from second-world countries.

      Germany already had it at the end of the 19th century, before there even was a "2nd world".

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
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