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Everything posted by Specialist

  1. Mekong, the difference is that those vaccines actually worked. They actually conferred immunity. The COVID-19 "vaccines" do not confer immunity. If anything, they make the vaccinated person potentially MORE dangerous to everyone around him, by suppressing symptoms that would otherwise tell him to STAY HOME and NOT go out infecting everyone in sight. Yes, I'm exaggerating. Some.
  2. Some of us decline the vaccination because we've already had the disease, are aware of the concept of "natural immunity", believe that it actually works, and see no reason to take two injections that, for us, apparently have no medical value. I had COVID-19 in March of 2020. I have not been reinfected, despite the fact that about one out of eight Americans is now confirmed to have had COVID-19. That's lots of opportunity for exposure since I had it the first time. I expect that I will eventually be compelled to get it, so that I can once again visit Bangkok and see friends I haven't seen in far too long.
  3. Off-the-wall question. What are prices running on HDMI monitors in Bangkok? Reason I ask: I'm seriously considering, instead of hauling my Windoze notebook computer, hauling a Raspberry Pi and a portable USB hard drive, and picking up a cheap keyboard+mouse and monitor in town. The Pi and hard drive are a LOT smaller and lighter than the notebook. The keyboard and mouse, from just about anywhere in town, will be just about cheap enough to be disposable, and I suspect my regular hotel would not mind having an extra monitor for their office. I can do pretty much everything I need to do on the Pi.
  4. That's entirely possible. The only reason we know I had COVID-19 is that, after a few days of what looked for all the world like an asthma exacerbation that was a bit more recalcitrant than usual (but nowhere near the worst I've seen, even in the last few years), I picked up an entirely-unrelated opportunistic bronchitis and coughed up a mouthful of green slime. I've been under standing orders for decades: when that happens, see the doctor and get antibiotics started, before the bronchitis gets a chance to put me in the hospital. (It has happened.) So I went in. The doctor ordered the antibiotics, agreed that this was almost certainly an asthma flare, but insisted on swabbing me for COVID-19 anyway, since I am one of the patients considered to be at sky-high risk for a bad outcome *IF* I get COVID-19. I emphasize at this point: I had NO symptoms, at any point, that clearly indicated a viral infection. No fever, no chills, no muscle aches and pains, NOTHING. The ONLY thing out of the ordinary was a funny taste in my mouth, and that could have been ANYTHING. I think we were both surprised a few days later when the test came back positive. (Interestingly enough, another COVID-19 test, taken the same day as the first, came back negative. The test depends on the swab actually catching something.) If it hadn't been for the bronchitis, we would never have known I'd had COVID-19.
  5. Coss, a suggestion, if you can take it. Before you get the vaccine, do the antibody test and see if you have already had and recovered from COVID-19. I will admit that it is highly unlikely, given that Thailand locked down thoroughly, and has had very few confirmed cases, but it isn't impossible. I had it in the second half of March 2020. Long before the major US wave even got started. I have been tested SEVERAL times since then, because I was showing symptoms not inconsistent, and the doctors were worried about reinfection. (On the first re-test, the ER doc was SURE it was reinfection, but the test said otherwise.) There is considerable evidence out that showing that surviving COVID-19 confers much better immunity than any of the vaccines. ESPECIALLY the Sinovac, which appears to me to be just about (although not QUITE) worthless.
  6. And why do you think it is that smallpox has not existed in the wild for a long time?
  7. You have clearly never heard of smallpox.
  8. The one in the middle is BLM/Antifa, not a Trump supporter.
  9. The standard recommendation is "Call your physician at 103 F, go to the emergency room at 105 F." Having been on the wrong side of 103 F a few times, I'm probably not going to wait to hit 105 F to go to ER (more precisely, to call for an ambulance ride to ER). My recollection is that 105 F is considered life-threatening, all by itself.
  10. Seriously, when were rush hour passengers NOT packed like sardines on the BTS?
  11. Well, the Dems have a problem. Biden made it to First Place in the primaries. Bernie Sanders came in second, very close on his heels. Everyone else, including Kamala "Heels Up" Harris and Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren, was way back in the back of the pack. Bernie Sanders is not electable. Too many people know what he really is, and what he would mean in the White House, and, while they might be Democrats, and stupid, they aren't suicidal. If the Dems hadn't nominated Sleepy Joe, they would have had a HUGE fight on their hands from the Bernie camp. This would have eliminated their chances of defeating Trump. Their strategy appears to be to run Biden, beat Trump, inaugurate Biden, and then, the moment he has been sworn in, remove him via the 25th Amendment. That puts Kamel-Toe Harris in the Oval Office, and she is then free to name Bernie Sanders as her Veep, and we the people are fxxked. (Not even Kamel-Toe is stupid enough to name Hillary as Veep; she may be stupid, but she does not have THAT big a death wish.)
  12. I am in general not fond of tattoos. I will make an exception for Thai temple tattoos, but that's about it.
  13. Oh, and the Bangkok Post website has a story that says the first load of long-stay "tourists" was supposed to arrive on Oct 9, but they've run into some problems getting all the ducks in a row in China, so they're going to have to reschedule (i.e., slip the date out a while).
  14. It wouldn't matter. The quarantine procedure is just about full lockdown. NO VISITORS, UNDER *ANY* CIRCUMSTANCES. One of the other guys posted about it recently.
  15. Days since about Case #1 in the US.
  16. First, Tet in 1968 was a VC operation, not an NVA operation. It was a "last gasp", intended to convince the US that the war was unwinnable. IT DIDN'T WORK, and it finished the VC. They were never again a factor in "the" war. The US kept right on going, chewing the NVA into little tiny pieces. Second, the US wound down its involvement, and withdrew, in 1972. South Vietnam did not fall until 1974. In the 1972-1974 period, with heavy backing from the USSR and the PRC, the NVA built TWO of the largest mechanized armies ever seen on the planet, larger than anything Hitler ever fielded in World War II. (That's saying something. Germany fielded some BIG mechanized armies.) The ARVN, with US air support, reduced the first one to Brillo (tm) pads, and sent what was left (NOT MUCH) back to Hanoi. When the second one headed south, in 1974, the Democrat-controlled Congress voted the equivalent of ten rounds of ammunition and two hand grenades per ARVN soldier, which was not remotely enough. It should be mentioned. That was one of the most expensive Brillo pad orders the Soviets ever placed, and it was a chunk of why the Soviet Union fell some years later.
  17. Some data, as of a few days ago. The first chart is day-to-day new cases, 7-day moving average, for the US. The second chart is day-to-day deaths, 7-day moving average, for the US. Bluntly, the pandemic is dying out.
  18. FALSE, and badly so, but you have to read the history and look at the actual timeline. Full Disclosure: I am cribbing heavily from Jerry Pournelle's writings in this. First, it is necessary to recognize that there were in fact THREE wars being fought in Vietnam in the 1960s and early 1970s. The first was a revolt-from-within in South Vietnam, by the Viet Cong. The Viet Cong LOST that war in 1968: the Tet Offensive was their absolute last gasp. They were losing, they knew it, and the went for broke. They threw everything they had, including every kitchen sink and chamber pot they could find, at the US Army. The Army took it all, soaked it up, shook it off, and said, essentially "Is that the best you can do?" The VC were never a factor again in the hostilities after Tet. They were done. The second was a conventional land grab from North Vietnam, that had been flaring up periodically for some two thousand years, that usually fought itself to a standstill at about the DMZ. The VC made common cause with the North Vietnamese Army, who saw a chance to use a proxy to weaken the Army of the Republic of (South) Vietnam. Once the VC were off the board, the NVA continued the fight. The US essentially won that war, and withdrew from Vietnam in 1972, leaving only a commitment to provide air cover when needed. With air cover, the ARVN was quite capable of handling the NVA, and did so, handily. This included making Brillo (Tm) pads out of a larger mechanized army than Hitler's Germany ever fielded. Two years later, while hounding Richard Nixon out of the White House, the Democratic Party reneged on the air cover pledge, and South Vietnam fell. The US didn't lose; the Democrats THREW THE VICTORY AWAY. The third war is the interesting one. Vietnam was not just a stand-alone war: it was a critical campaign of attrition in the Seventy Years War between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. In such a campaign, the trick is NOT TO WIN OUTRIGHT, but rather to keep the other guy thinking that he can win it if just commits some more resources to the meatgrinder. The object is to cost the other guy a lot more than he costs you, and, in this regard, the US was howlingly successful in Vietnam. When Vietnam finally fell, the next campaign was in Afghanistan, where all the US did was supply Stinger SAMs to the Afghans, depriving the Soviets of their air cover assets, and letting them learn why nobody in their right minds EVER gets into a serious fight with the Afghans. Bluntly, the US did not "lose" the Vietnam War. By any sensible set of victory conditions, the US won. The problem is that the Democrats then betrayed South Vietnam, and let them fall.
  19. False. Private citizens can own selective fire weapons (i.e., fully automatic), although the hoops are difficult to jump through. They can also own artillery pieces, and even fully operational tanks. There are "license fees", that are quite high, that being the closest the government can actually get to outlawing them. The M-16 and AK-47 are full auto. The AR-15 is the semiautomatic version of the M-16. As you correctly observe, it is quite easy to convert to full auto. The AR-15 is not popular because it is an "assault weapon" (There is NO SUCH THING as an "assault weapon" or "assault rifle".) It is popular because it is an extremely well-designed weapon, with a great deal of flexibility, that was designed with mission adaptation (adding gadgets as needed for special tasks) specifically in mind. It is in part popular because of the very unusual straight-line design, which eliminates muzzle climb. Flash, the Second Amendment was never about hunting. It was never about personal home defense. It was ALWAYS about ensuring that, when and if it became necessary for the people of the United States of America to overthrow the government AGAIN (recall that they'd just had to do that very thing!), they would have the weapons to do it. The other pieces are secondary, albeit absolutely necessary in some areas. (This is precisely why the Supreme Court ruled for Heller against the District of Columbia, and then for McDonald against Chicago.) It is also why the Ninth Circus Court of Appeals just threw out California's attempt to ban "large capacity" magazines.
  20. Nope. There is no law limiting magazine size. There was one for a while, the old Democrat assault weapon ban, from the Clinton Administration I think, but that particular law sunsetted a long time ago, and was not renewed. California recently tried to enact such a law, limiting magazine sizes. It would have banned fully HALF of the weapons in existence. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just threw it out as an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment. When the Ninth Circus throws out a California law, and rules for a Conservative position, you KNOW the California legislature had to have screwed up royally. Things just haven't gone well for the anti-gun crazies ever since Heller and McDonald. District of Columbia v. Heller (2008): The Supreme Court ruled that the right to keep and bear arms is inherently an individual right. McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) applied Heller to the several States.
  21. The problem will solve itself the moment Thailand reopens the border to Chinese tourists. The solution likely won't be pretty. I'm sitting on paid airline and hotel reservation for my 65th birthday party trip in late August. At this point, I strongly doubt that the trip will happen. The hotel has already agreed to treat the nonrefundable unchangeable reservation money as a deposit against my next trip, if I can't come in August. (They've been watching the coronavirus situation, and I am a LONG-term repeat customer, apparently well-liked by all of their people.) The airline tickets are "flexible" and covered by trip insurance. (My life would have been simpler if I'd thought to put the hotel reservations on the insurance as well. Oh well...)
  22. If he is currently working in Khlong Toei, he will probably learn firsthand where the problems come from, if he ever wanders north on Suk Soi 5 in the evening.
  23. No, it doesn't. Full Disclosure: I've been on a ventilator twice. Once, I was conscious for a good part of the period I was on the machine. The second time, they kept me out the whole time. A ventilator assists the patient in moving air, by sucking and blowing. It has no direct effect whatsoever on oxygen absorption. Oxygen absorption is a function of oxygen content in the blood and unimpaired gas diffusion across the capillary (very fine blood vessels: they connect arteries to veins) walls in the pulmonary capillary beds (LARGE networks of LOTS of capillary beds in the lungs). Carbon dioxide buildup triggers the short-of-breath feeling and urge to breathe. The CO2 can only exit the body by gas diffusion across the capillary walls. Gases diffuse from higher concentration to lower concentration. The main muscle for breathing is the diaphragm. You pull the diaphragm down, it pulls a low-grade vacuum on the pleural chamber, that contains the lungs. The lungs try to expand, which requires air to flow in. You push the diaphragm up, it increases the pressure in the cavity, which forces the lungs to blow gas out to the outside world. If you are in trouble, for any of a number of reasons, you get tired doing this. Get tired enough, you pass out and stop breathing from the exhaustion. THIS IS BAD. It is, obviously, an immediately life-threatening emergency. Both times, it was because of bronchitis just getting going on pneumonia, that was also exacerbating asthma. If gas won't diffuse properly, the vent doesn't do any good, and the pressure cycles can damage the lung tissue. This is bad. I remember seeing somewhere that someone was working on some sort of lung bypass technology: they plumb something in, that oxygenates the blood externally to the lungs. Much more invasive than a ventilator, but it gives the healing processes a chance to repair whatever is wrong IN the lungs. The first time, the critical care doc saw that I was in trouble, headed downhill, and he made the decision to vent me before it became an emergency. I have a vague memory from Thursday night of red night light, having a REALLY hard time breathing, and about three or four people working VERY HARD AND FAST on me. (Some time later, my mother told me she woke up from a nightmare, at right about that time, in which she couldn't breathe, and just as she woke up, she heard the sound of a ventilator. She was a Registered Nurse back in the day, and she knew what a vent sounded like.) I woke up Friday morning and realized I was on a vent, because of the way it breathed. I'd once had a SCUBA regulator with a positive pressure inhale characteristic, and the feeling absolutely unique, unmistakeable, and unforgettable. The second time, it was already an emergency. They'd just unloaded me from the meat wagon, they were rolling me down the hall to an exam room. It was Sunday morning, about 1 AM. I closed my eyes for a moment. Next thing I knew, no dreams, no subjective time passed, I was on a different surface, and it was Friday morning. I found out later I'd passed out and stopped breathing there in the hallway.
  24. I'm waiting to see what happens. If the quarantine requirement is still in place as of a few days before I'm scheduled to travel, I'm going to have to call the airline and reschedule, and then call the hotel and see if I can work a deal with them, based on being a very good customer for many years. (It can't hurt to try. Worst that can happen is they say "No", and I suspect that may depend on who I talk to.) On the other hand, if the government figures out just how much tourism revenue they are losing because of the quarantine requirement, they may come to their senses, remove that requirement, and things will go back to normal. My crystal ball is out of order these days.
  25. I'm scheduled to touch down at Swampypoom on 23 August or so. I screwed up and did nonrefundable unchangeable hotel reservations, and forgot to put trip insurance on them. Probably wouldn't have done any good; the indications are that everyone in the industry is trying to call COVID-19 a "force majeur" (sp?) event, and duck out on paying claims. I'm hoping that the world comes to its senses before I'm supposed to go wheels-up on the first leg.
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