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Messages - sid waddell

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General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: Today at 11:20:58 PM »
Yer wan from Oxford on PrimeTime was some wagon

Sunetra Gupta is her name

Slagging off Tomas Ryan's estimates of how many people have already had the virus in Ireland

Gupta herself claimed that as many as half of Britain had already got Covid - not now, in September, but back in March

She doesn't have much of a record of accuracy with this sort of thing

She gets a lot of praise from the usual professional contrarian suspects on Twitter, bots and that

Strangely enough, one of the professional contrarian arguments is that a lot of the people who are testing positive now are not really positive at all

And yet they claim herd immunity can be achieved - so simultaneously they claim that a lot more people have got the virus than the figures show, and also that a lot less people are getting it than the figures show

Another professional contrarian argument was that cocooning was destroying the lives of the elderly

Yet now the professional contrarian argument is that the elderly and vulnerable can be effectively cut off from all other human contact indefinitely as the virus runs rampant, no problem, no siree

None of it makes sense

Almost like it's all a grift driven by right-wing politics

General discussion / Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« on: Today at 10:54:25 PM »
So if Democrats take the White House and Senate, push statehood through for DC and PR and pack the Supreme Court what stops the Republicans splitting Texas to create additional states to take the Senate back?
Why should DC and Puerto Rico not have statehood and senate representation if they so desire, which they quite clearly do?

What's the argument against it?


General discussion / Re: Conspiracy Theories
« on: Today at 02:49:16 PM »

The far right always gathers pace when people are unhappy. History has shown that.

Ah now. How many far right movements worthy of the name have we ever had in Ireland?
The Blueshirts is the only one I can think of.
Dunno about that. Are you overlooking the Catholic church and the other mainstream churches? The Legion, of Mary and Opus Dei, for instance were/are more right wing than Oliver Cromwell.
I think there are distinct similarities between the Catholic Church in this country and the far right, and the current far right in Ireland has an obvious overlap with ultra-conservative Catholic ideology, and yet the comparison doesn't quite fit

Certainly there has always been a considerable section of the Catholic Church in this country which has been sympathetic to fascism and fanatically anti-communist - that's a similarity with the far right

Catholic ideology is the reason we don't have a national public health system in this country and the reason our welfare state was always underdeveloped - the far right wants to destroy welfare states, no matter what it says

Catholicism in this country existed as a tool of social control, it preached a crushingly conservative, patriarchal conformity in which those who did not fit were ostracised and often subjected to cruel, inhuman treatment - the far right wants this back

And protection of the institution in the face of appalling wrongs was rife - the current far right, with their ludicrous claims to be anti-paedophilia, actually comes from a lineage which furiously protected paedophilia

And yet I think there are a lot of fundamentally very good people in the Catholic Church - the silent majority, as it were

But there are no good people in far right political movements

The future of the Catholic Church, and indeed all religions, lies in being a movement which genuinely champions the downtrodden in society and which preaches compassion, not dogma

The future of the Catholic Church is not people like David Quinn and Maria Steen fighting an insane right-wing culture, political and propaganda war while claiming to speak for Catholics, when they do not

General discussion / Re: Conspiracy Theories
« on: Today at 02:20:26 PM »

The far right always gathers pace when people are unhappy. History has shown that.
Inequality seems to me to be a real driving force

A prosperous, empathetic and relatively egalitarian society that simultaneously rewards initiative is the best way to stave off fascism, I think Ireland has done better than most in that regard over the last few decades, but at the same time we have stored up serious problems, the housing problem is a ticking time bomb ripe for exploitation by bad faith actors

Democracy isn't just a system of voting, it's a whole eco-system including the media and education, especially how history is taught, it depends on an informed populace

Sections of the media have always been bad faith actors, but that's a particular problem now, and economic changes exacerbate the situation - the business model for media organisations is collapsing, and sensationalism garners clicks, ratings and reaction, so media organisations are increasingly prone to indulging sensationalism, ie. disinformation and propaganda, for clicks, ratings and reaction

At the same time, you have a widespread distrust of the media and journalism itself, which is disastrous, because people just lump all sections of the media in together

This "RTE is the virus" stuff is crazy, though RTE certainly has its faults

A natural extension of that is the distrust of real knowledge in favour of snake oil salespeople - there are limits to the democratisation of information, because you reach a point where widespread disinformation becomes a real problem - we have certainly reached this point now

History as a subject has been roundly denigrated and since Reagan and Thatcher the whole emphasis in society is that there is no society, only individuals

This leaves the gates open for the consistent creation of division, which is also a foundation for the growth of real fascism

Look at Ireland even, everything is about the creation of division, division, division - Independent News and Media has been particularly bad for this, though it pales by comparison with UK and US media

Public v private
Urban v rural
Old v young
The denigration of those on any form of social welfare payment
The targetting of immigrants

Inequality creates confusion and anger, which are a toxic mix

Our current media environment is ripe for the pushing of confusion and anger, thus leads to people wanting easy answers and scapegoats - which is grist to the mill for fascists

There are also very few people around now who remember how fascism destroyed Europe

Folk memory of how evil flourished is a valuable thing, unfortunately it no longer exists, which means a lot of people around now don't understand the evils of fascism and how fascists always cloak themselves as something else - fascism is a con trick

Those who aim to destroy democracy can never be a legitimate part of the political eco-system

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance

We have certainly reached the stage now where there needs to be a bold and progressive re-imagining of politics internationally in a similar way to how politics was re-imagined after World War II

Sadly there are incredibly strong vested interests fighting against this, which does not bode well

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: Today at 01:21:47 PM »
Lockdowns are designed to bring down the number of infections where they are beginning to spread out of control

Lockdowns work, the evidence is overwhelming, there is no place where they have not worked, Victoria is the latest example

But lockdowns are not a long term solution

It seems obvious to me that the real problem is the lack of functioning test, trace and isolate systems

That was supposed to be the solution, but it hasn't happened in most places - which given the systematic running down of government capacity all over the western world and the obsession with inefficient, wasteful outsourcing to the private sector, is hardly a surprise

General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: September 21, 2020, 11:31:28 PM »

Not only is the club management inept at recruiting, they're also abysmal at clearing out the junk. This bloated, directionless stagnation manifests on the pitch.
Manchester United need to find a club naive enough to pay big money for their unwanted players in the same way Liverpool got Bournemouth to do that

Steve Bruce would surely throw a few bob their way

Is that generation of 1990s Manchester United players all gone from management now apart from him?

General discussion / Re: The IRISH RUGBY thread
« on: September 21, 2020, 07:48:52 PM »

This is the health versus wealth debate with all its impossible conundrums, but fans in stadiums appeared to work in France, England and Australia over the weekend. The alternative, according to Browne, is financial collapse.
Bizarre line

It's not as if people were suddenly going to drop dead of Covid inside stadiums

The only way we can work out whether "it works" is over a long period of time and if it's implemented on a widespread basis

Atalanta v Valencia shows that such events can and very likely will contribute to virus spread

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: September 21, 2020, 02:52:10 PM »
If I'm not feeling well should I go to Wobbler or other Gaaboarders, "Karen" or the Doctor???
All illness is a con perpetrated by Big Medicine

They have a vested interest that people think they're ill, if nobody thought they were ill, Big Medicine would all be out of a job

I'm trying to "think" like the Wobbler here

Sid I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

There doesn’t have to be a deep-seated reason why things are the way they are.

The recurring picture since March is that governments are simultaneously confused at what to do, and petrified of making the wrong move.

And I don’t blame them either: if the most important epidemiologists on earth are urging somewhere between clear caution and complete shutdowns, then it would take an exceptionally brave (stupid?) politician to ignore their advice.

But implementing that advice is an absolute minefield and the limbs of governments have been shattered to pieces.

I don’t trust them to make the right decisions here, as there are no right decisions.


And on a related note, I don’t believe the Covid strain that is currently circulating Ireland at a rapid pace, is even remotely as dangerous as the global killer strain we were promised at the start of the year.  There is literally no evidence to suggest that this virus has any (short term) effects on the majority of people it encounters.


Is that clear enough?
I don't know whether you're an actual conspiracy theorist, but what I do know is that you have a worldview that is permeated so much by total and utter cynicism about everything that there is essentially no difference between you and a conspiracy theorist - and that makes discussion with you impossible

Of course you believe there are no right decisions - your whole worldview is based on the notion that there is no right anything, that all knowledge is junk

This is the narrative pushed by Russia and pro-Russian trolls and it's the narrative that has the world in the state it's in at the moment

The virus that is circulating around Ireland is the same virus that has been circulating since March

It is a global kiiller and has been proven to be such, despite your ultra-cynical protestations

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: September 21, 2020, 11:33:14 AM »
If I'm not feeling well should I go to Wobbler or other Gaaboarders, "Karen" or the Doctor???
All illness is a con perpetrated by Big Medicine

They have a vested interest that people think they're ill, if nobody thought they were ill, Big Medicine would all be out of a job

I'm trying to "think" like the Wobbler here

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: September 21, 2020, 12:09:37 AM »
Go to worldometer corona stats. Take the countries that have tested >50% of the population. Remove the countries with small populations which removes the anomalies of small groups.

Or look at at countries who have tested pretty much every in contact and have a large sample size. South Korea is a good example. Only one I really know. Then divide their Deaths by cases to get the fatality rate.

Do it for the top 10 countries in those parameters and you’ll consistently get a fatality rate between 0.05 and 0.01%.

Using uk, Irish or America stats to figure case fatality is really worthless because there’s such a large population of untested positives.
You're doing the maths wrong

According to Worldometers, South Korea has had 22,975 cases and 383 deaths - that's a case fatality rate of 1.66%

The infection fatality rate is lower because you won't catch every infection - although in South Korea they have have done a much better job than almost everybody else, certainly far better than Ireland

Various European countries have done seroprevalence tests and in each case, a low, single figure percentage of the population is indicated to have had the virus

In Ireland it was 1.7%

I had a look at the source and that study was carried out up to July, so let's say it's now around 2.5%, just for argument - and that's a generous assumption - it's nearly four times the recorded case number of 32,933

2.5% of 4.8 million is 120k

1,792 people have died in Ireland, so working off 120k infected that would be an infection fatality rate of 1.49%

Also, there is no true fatality rate, because the fatality rate will inevitably be influenced by what sort of treatment people can receive

The more people infected, the more cases there are, the more difficult it becomes for hospitals to cope, not just as regards Covid, but as regards every other illness and condition

If so many people were to get infected that the hospitals couldn't cope, that would be upward push factor as regards the death rate - though with better treatment available now than in March and April (as long as hospitals aren't overflowing and people can actually get into hospital), that would be somewhat of a downward pull factor

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: September 20, 2020, 11:00:27 PM »

Case numbers started rising rapidly five weeks ago.

That increase is now a national trend, not just confined to Dublin.

Dublin, though, has an incidence three to five times higher than the rest of the country.

More older people are becoming infected; for example, the incidence among 65-74 year-olds, which fell to zero at one point over the summer, is now 23.6 cases per 100,000 population.

Case numbers are doubling every 10-14 days at current rates.

From a letter to The Irish Times on Wednesday:


Sir, – The HSE has rejected the claims of Dr Martin Feeley (clinical director of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group) that Covid-19 is less serious than the annual flu and that people at low risk of the virus should be allowed to be exposed to it, which would enable the country to develop herd immunity (“HSE rejects senior doctor’s comments Covid-19 is ‘less severe’ than annual flu”, News, September 12th).

We fully support the HSE’s rejection of Dr Feeley’s opinions.

When it comes to Covid-19, we must where possible be led by data. On average, seasonal flu strains kill about 0.1 per cent of people who become infected. Current data indicates that Covid-19 is substantially more dangerous than flu. Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the US, has given a death rate 10 times that of seasonal flu.

Regarding herd immunity, no country has explicitly advocated this approach because of the dangers it will entail. Recent seroprevalence studies indicate that 1.7 per cent of the Irish population has been infected with Sars-CoV-2 and there have been 1,784 deaths and many survivors with severe long-term effects of Covid-19. It has been estimated that at least 70 per cent of the population need to be infected (or immunised with a highly effective vaccine) to reach the critical threshold for herd immunity. Therefore, herd immunity through infection will come at price of substantially more morbidity and mortality from Covid-19 in the Irish population.

It would also be virtually impossible to protect vulnerable people, since a large proportion, as many as one in three, of the Irish population are in a high-risk group. Apart from older people, this includes those with heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Widespread infection would also likely give rise to people with debilitating persistent symptoms.

Since he is advocating for herd immunity, can Dr Feeley give an upper limit of the likely number of deaths that would be acceptable if a herd immunity approach were to be taken?

We are in a most important phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is essential that commentators base their statements on current science as best they can. Otherwise they are in danger of misleading the general public or providing support for those who support disinformation for political ends. – Yours, etc,








Trinity College Dublin,

Dublin 2.

Let's do some maths

There are 4.8 million people in the saorstát

1.7% of that is 81,600 - that's how many the experts above think have got Covid to date

We've had 1,784 deaths as of the other day

1,784 as a percentage of 81,600 is 2.18% of a death rate for those infected

70% of 4.8 million = 3.36 million - that's the figure you'd need to be infected for herd immunity, in theory

2.18% of 3.36 million = 73,248

So under the herd immunity the internet experts want you could be looking at a death toll of 73k

Even under more generous assumptions, ie, a death rate of 1%, or even 0.5%, you're looking at a pretty monstrous toll under this crazy plan

None of this takes a big brain, it's basic maths

And we don't even know whether herd immunity exists - it seems that most experts assume immunity of maybe 2 to 3 years - but we don't yet know for sure - and there have now been documented cases of re-infection, even if extremely rare so far

If 1.7% of the population has so far been infected, you'll be waiting a long, long time to reach 70% - we're now over six months into this thing

Let's be generous and assume for the purposes of argument 10% of the population has been infected - you'll still be waiting a long time to reach 70% - unless you let the virus rip - and then you overwhelm the health system and the death rate goes way up

Herd immunity as an idea is hare brained, but the internet experts and libertarian zealots seem to like it

Libertarianism as an idea is also hare brained and beloved of internet experts, so these ideas go nicely together, they tend to come as a pair

The true death rate is between 0.01 and 0.03% and as we get better at treating Covid it will probably move towards the 0.01% and lower.
What's your evidence?

Seasonal flu death rate is typically around 0.1%, which is ten times greater than 0.01%

General discussion / Re: China Coronavirus
« on: September 20, 2020, 08:29:19 PM »
Taoiseach Martin has instructed the people to count the number of close contacts they've had this week, and then try to halve that number for the coming week

I'm sure this will be a topic of discussion in the pubs tomorrow as they re-open for the first time since March

Liverpool join Everton on full points

The natural order has reasserted itself

Going to be some battle for the title between the Merseyside giants

Lamps must have brought in Owen Farrell as a tackle coach

General discussion / Re: Man Utd Thread:
« on: September 19, 2020, 11:10:54 PM »
Manchester United's recruitment under Solskjaer has been quite good but as a manager he's totally out of his depth

They are currently in a similar enough situation to the one Liverpool were in towards the end of Roy Evans's tenure

It's obvious they need a new manager but for purely sentimental reasons they're desperately trying to fool themselves into believing that Solskjaer is the answer, he isn't, and they know it, he knows it, everybody knows it

Pochettino hasn't taken a job since leaving Tottenham, he's clearly holding on for the Manchester United job, but he won't wait forever

Manchester United would very quickly become a very serious force with him in charge

You rate Poch a little too highly is you really believe that. Regardless of manager the Glazers, Woodward and the board will remain the main issue with United.

Yeah, it's questionable that any manager out there is capable of taking the club back to the top under the current ownership.

Money is spent, but with no real vision or consistent direction. Everything is haphazard, panicked, delayed, or done for the wrong reasons.

Investment is routinely deferred until long after it's necessary, resulting in gross overpayments when the need becomes blindingly obvious. Even then, transfer sagas can run for months, or even across windows, because of penny-pinching over the last few percent.

That wiff of desperation to plug gaps in the squad will grow stronger over the next couple of weeks, and any player the club attempt to sign will have a few extra million thrown onto their price tag. The same happens every transfer window. Silly games of brinkmanship that always result in United eventually overpaying and Woodward coming away looking like a tit.

But there's no urgency to do things better, because as long as the CL cash is coming in none of this really matters.
Arsenal's board is the worst of all yet they stumbled upon the right appointment in Arteta and now things are looking up for them

Manchester United have nobody there who really knows what they're doing, so they stumble along

Pochettino does know what he's doing - the organisation of a football club is about leadership and persuasion, which he has in spades - once you have a manager who knows what he's doing on the football side of things, won't tolerate shit and has a clear direction, everything flows from there

He took over Tim Sherwood's shambolic Tottenham team and turned them into title contenders in less than two years, and reached a Champions League final

All on a shoestring compared to what Manchester United have to spend

It's mental they haven't gone for him yet - but I expect he'll be there before the end of this season - few other top jobs are likely to become available in that time, bar maybe Tottenham, who he would be unlikely to return to, Barcelona, who won't appoint him and who he wouldn't join, or perhaps Chelsea, who have their own Solskjaer minus the likeable personality

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