Flashback

Britain starts to panic:

A food policy expert has warned a food disaster could be imminent unless the Government implements rationing. Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University in London, has written a letter to Boris Johnson asking him to ‘initiate a health-based food rationing scheme to see the country through this crisis’.
He wrote to the Prime Minister ‘out of immediate concern about the emerging food crisis’ and in the letter described public messaging about food supply as ‘weak and unconvincing’.
His warning comes after shoppers across the country have been met with empty shelves as panic-buying takes hold.

Back when I was running a now-defunct supermarket chain’s loyalty program in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and New Hampshire (Grand Union, if anyone out there remembers them), we had a common problem with “hot” items.

Often, our buyers got such good deals from manufacturers from bulk orders that our shelf retail prices were better than the wholesale price offered by distributors to local grocery stores and bodegas.  So the small-store owners would descend on our supermarkets and buy up all the sale items, to resell them in their own stores.  Nothing wrong with that, of course — except that it took stock away from our “regular” loyal customers, who typically accounted for 70% of total sales and close to 90% of gross profit.

So I put an end to all that.  Whenever the buyers told me about their hot price discounts (which they had to, as I was also in charge of Advertising), I would do two things:  make the low price available to loyalty card holders only, and then limit the number of items at that price to two or three per day per card.  Result:  we sold the same amount of product, only it was spread across a larger number of customers.

And I designed a sub-system for item purchase limits that automatically instituted the policy whenever the daily sales rate started accelerating past a certain velocity.  So if there were storm warnings and people started to stock up on, say, batteries, the in-store stock was quite- or nearly sufficient and would-be profiteers couldn’t play their reindeer games.

I did all this, by the way, back in the mid-1990s, so it’s not like it’s a new situation.

As I look now at the panic-buying of toilet paper and hand sanitizers, and the resulting empty shelves thereof, I can’t help wondering why all grocery stores haven’t been doing that now.  I know that not all chains (Wal-Mart especially) have loyalty programs, but most of the big ones do.  Doesn’t say much for their planning, does it?

And by the way, there’s also an answer for chains who don’t  have loyalty programs:  just institute price escalation (instead of -reduction) for multiple purchases:  first two items, $1.99 each, third or more items, $8.99 each.  With today’s technology, the software change should take about an hour to implement.

Food logistics is not something government should get involved in, despite the frantic appeals of “food policy” professors.

Unnecessary Protection

I see that despite his support for MOAR Gun Control, Doddering Joe Biden has decided to surround himself with armed Secret Service agents, exactly like his erstwhile boss did:

Now that’s all very well, but unless there are a few disgruntled Bernie Bros around, I cannot see any danger whatsoever coming in Biden’s direction — certainly not from the Usual Suspects (e.g. the Beer ‘n Treason Crowd, which meets informally in country bars and gun shops all over the U.S.), and certainly not from any other conservatives in this  election season.

I know that there’s considerable irony — not to mention hypocrisy — in arming your bodyguards with all the guns you want to ban from private ownership, but having no social conscience to speak of, socialists are largely immune from guilt or indeed irony.

What I think should happen is that Biden should limit his security detail to carrying only the type of guns the old fart once suggested are  okay — double-barreled shotguns — just as a token gesture on his part.

Don’t hold your breath.

Timely Warning

From a buddy:

On a related note, I see that pharmacies are reporting that as more and more people are self-isolating, sales of hair dye are going through the roof:  proof that some among us have their priorities perfectly straight.  (Question:  if you’re immured in your house, who the fuck is going to see you anyway?)  Some people are too stupid, or vain, to exist.

In other news, I await with interest the headlines which will finally attest to the fact that public schools are not educational institutions but really just State-provided daycare:

Suburban mothers go batshit crazy at having to look after the kiddies 24/7;  start drinking Bloody Marys nonstop from 6.30am 

or

Mother stabs teenage son to death after 45th time in a week that he leaves the toilet seat up

or

Mother tells kids to “do whatever the fuck you want” after trying to homeschool them for four whole days

Your suggestions in Comments.

Eucalyptus Now

I often disagree with columnist Peter Hitchens (brother of the late Christopher), but I have to say that his latest column does resonate with me, because he points out what I often say:  that Gummint often uses apocalyptic messages to clamp down on our freedoms.  And he does it using facts and history (always the most difficult argument to refute).  Here’s an example:

The former editor of The Times, Sir Simon Jenkins, recently listed these unfulfilled scares: bird flu did not kill the predicted millions in 1997. In 1999 it was Mad Cow Disease and its human variant, vCJD, which was predicted to kill half a million. Fewer than 200 in fact died from it in the UK.
The first Sars outbreak of 2003 was reported as having ‘a 25 per cent chance of killing tens of millions’ and being ‘worse than Aids’. In 2006, another bout of bird flu was declared ‘the first pandemic of the 21st Century’.
There were similar warnings in 2009, that swine flu could kill 65,000. It did not. The Council of Europe described the hyping of the 2009 pandemic as ‘one of the great medical scandals of the century’.

And Hitchens’ devastating take:

In only one place – aboard the cruise ship Diamond Princess – has an entire closed community been available for study. And the death rate there – just one per cent – is distorted because so many of those aboard were elderly. The real rate, adjusted for a wide age range, could be as low as 0.05 per cent and as high as one per cent.

About 1,600 people die every day in the UK for one reason or another. A similar figure applies in Italy and a much larger one in China. The coronavirus deaths, while distressing and shocking, are not so numerous as to require the civilised world to shut down transport and commerce, nor to surrender centuries-old liberties in an afternoon.

Fortunately, our government in the US is not as quite as panic-stricken as the BritGov, and while we’re being warned to be careful and take healthy precautions, we’re nowhere close to facing the governmental excesses that the Brits are.

This latest Wuhan-virus pandemic may be as terrible as we’re being told;  but I agree with the above conclusions that it probably won’t be — and all our well-meaning precautions may end up costing us more than necessary:  a lot more than necessary.

This means that we should continue to be vigilant — not just against disease, but against the loss of our freedoms — and Hitchens’ article serves as a very timely warning why we should always be on our guard against the doomsayers because very often, their motives are not altruistic.


For a much, much longer examination of the thing, go here.  While the article is long, it’s definitely not too long to read — and its conclusion is even better than that of Hitchens (with my emphasis in red):

The COVID-19 hysteria is pushing aside our protections as individual citizens and permanently harming our free, tolerant, open civil society. Data is data. Facts are facts. We should be focused on resolving COVID-19 with continued testing, measuring, and be vigilant about protecting those with underlying conditions and the elderly from exposure. We are blessed in one way, there is an election in November. Never forget what happened and vote.

You may ask yourself. Who is this guy? Who is this author? I’m a nobody. That is also the point. The average American feels utterly powerless right now. I’m an individual American who sees his community and loved ones being decimated without given a choice, without empathy, and while the media cheers on with high ratings.

When this is all over, look for massive confirmation bias and pyrrhic celebration by elites. There will be vain cheering in the halls of power as Main Street sits in pieces. Expect no apology, that would be political suicide. Rather, expect to be given a Jedi mind trick of “I’m the government and I helped.”

The health of the State will be even stronger with more Americans dependent on welfare, another trillion stimulus filled with pork for powerful friends, and a bailout for companies that charged us $200 change fees for nearly a decadeWashington DC will be fine. New York will still have all of the money in the world. Our communities will be left with nothing but a shadow of the longest bull market in the history of our country.

 

News Roundup

All the non-coronavirus news that’s fit to print:

…oh wait, there was some sorta-non-coronavirus news recently (links in the pics):


…rough guess, the same way they’ve always cleaned them:  badly, and not often enough.


…and this despite all the efforts of the media, Hollywood and the socialists [some overlap] to bring him down.


…nice to see that in these difficult times, people still have their priorities rightActually, the story is even funnier than that.

Okay, one coronavirus-linked news piece that, strictly speaking, isn’t about the coronavirus:


…yeah, rich Manhattanite New Yorkers are total assholes.  Who knew?

And finally, some very good non-virus news:

 
I always thought the blonde dye job made her look trashy, compared to her earlier “natural” look:

A good note to end on, I think.

MOAR Gun Control

From some Commie mayor in California [redundancy alert] comes this opinion:

[A]fter customers lined up around gun stores in several counties Tuesday — including outside the Bullseye Bishop in San Jose — San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo declared that “gun stores are non-essential.”
“We are having panic buying right now for food,” Liccardo said Wednesday. “The one thing we cannot have is panic buying of guns.”

Why not?  Actually, if there’s a risk of society breaking down (e.g. L.A.’s Rodney King riots), that’s precisely the time when law-abiding people have an absolute need for guns.

However, as this little Stalinist is in charge of San Jose (home to the largest per-capita population of socialists outside San Francisco or Seattle), I say:  fuck ’em.  They voted him into office, let them deal with the consequences thereof.

And when the Unwashed Horde comes a-callin’ for some impromptu undocumented property redistribution, most of the good citizens of San Jose won’t be able to defend themselves — although Hizzoner, protected by the mayor’s Praetorian Guard, won’t ever have that problem now, will he?

The same kind of thing is happening in D.C. and Philadelphia as well, but I’ve long since ceased to care about those shitholes.

However, there is one unexpected light in the looming darkness:

When Illinois Gov. J.B. [“Fatboi”] Pritzker (D) issued an executive order Friday to put a statewide shutdown in place, he exempted gun and ammunition stores by labeling them “essential.”

Illinois?  Illinois??  ILLINOIS???  Talk about unexpected.  Had you asked me earlier, I would have put Fatboi near the top of the list of socialist governors standing in line to use the Wuhan virus excuse to hack away at gun dealers’ businesses.

He’s still a total asshole, but hey… I’ll take ’em where I get ’em.