Monday, May 4, 2020

Rhoda to Murray Sabrin: "I really do not appreciate your yelling at me."

Murray Sabrin
The following is an email exchange between Murray Sabrin and Rhoda:

From Murray Sabrin:

Last night I held my last Wednesday class of the semester online before finals week.  After the class I spoke with a returning student who attended Ramapo in the 1990s and was a student of mine.  We were talking about his work activities for a major metropolitan university and the coronavirus symposium he tuned in to last Saturday.

The student complimented the panelists for their insights and told me one of his boyhood friends recently committed suicide because he could not take the isolation any more.  How many tragic events have gone unreported during the lockdown?  Lives are being lost unnecessarily in addition to the grisly impact of COV-19.  This is a grim reminder that the law of unintended consequences has been totally ignored by many governors. 

From Rhoda:

OMG, Murray.

How many lives have been saved by physical separation? Do you know anyone who had had this Virus? I do and it is terrible. The young daughter of a dear friend with NO underlying issues, was put on a ventilator, intubated and near death. Luckily she is recovering now but suffering all sorts of hideous side effects. Please let your people understand that this Virus’ effects are still unknown. Some die, some survive with no problems, others survive with awful problems. Very sad about the suicide, but really, what were this person’s underlying issues?

Sometimes you disturb me with your positions.

From Murray:

To answer your question about separation and lives saved, probably some.  It is, however, impossible to quantify.  Early estimates were that 2 million Americans would die from the virus.  Wrong.  Models were way off.  In addition, no one knows how many lives have been lost because individuals were too scared to go a hospital for a medical condition.  And what about all the other consequences, child abuse, spousal abuse, alcoholism, depression, anxiety, etc.  These are real effects of the lockdown.  And what about the incomes lost and the businesses that may disappear?  These are real costs to individuals and families. 

No one I know is discounting the danger of Covid-19.   However, every season the flu infects tens of millions of Americans and tens of thousands die.  No lockdown because of influenza.  Life is full of risks. Who is to decide how much risk we incur in our lives?.  Trump?  Fauci?  Murphy?  Cuomo?   People smoke, drink excessively, eat junk food...etc. Is the political class going to implement policies to protect us from all the negative outcomes possible in life.  The evidence out there is that the elderly with comorbidities are the most vulnerable and should self isolate.  For younger and heathy individuals the risk of the illness is relatively low.  There has never been an episode in American history where healthy people have been on lockdown.  Quarantines are for the infected so they do not spread the disease.  Yes, there are asymptotic folks.  But does the warrant a government shutdown where 30 million Americans...and counting... have filed for unemployment?

Cuomo forced nursing homes to accept infected individuals and the mortality rate has skyrocketed there.  A stupid decision on his part and yet he is getting praise from the MSM.

Cuomo said if one life could be saved because of the shutdown then it was worth it.  He is a hypocrite if his policy is about saving lives.  He supports partial birth abortion for crying out load!

There are proven treatments to nip the virus that physicians are using successfully all around the globe.  Instead of skepticism because Trump mentioned it, the MSM you would think would rejoice that lives are being saved by hydroxoychloriquine.  See Dr. Brownstein's blog, a holistic MD in MI, who has been treating his patients successfully to cite just one example.

Did you see the Saturday symposium? One of the physicians on the panel is also using the drug in her practice. 

From Rhoda:

We have to agree to disagree. Of course, errors in judgement have been made. I made some out of an arrogance until I have found acquaintances ill and a friend dead because of the virus. Yes a middle aged man in good health succumbed. He lived in NYC as a single father. Oh well.

I think you are wrong on just about every piece of this mess.

Talk again.

From Murray:

Please see this.  There is more than a terrible virus going on.  Three are 2.8 million deaths in America every year.  All tragedies for the survivors.   People die, an undeniable fact of life.  Closing down the economy based on questionable hypotheses is the height of arrogance.  People in power should demonstrate some humility instead of arrogance and power trips.

From Rhoda:

People die all the time. What does that mean?

Should we endure the harm caused by arrogance. Think of the arrogance of Trump and his enablers, including Libertarians, who made light of the problem, did not take immediate steps to act, enabled the Pandemic to expand. A lot of arrogance to pass around The people currently guiding policy do not demonstrate humility and are the problem. How trusted a source is and two MDs who spoke to how many other MDs?  I speak to doctors frequently as many are acquaintances from my hospital and health career days. NOT one confirmed this biased article. I will say there are doctors, entrepreneurs, others who upset about their incomes (understandable) embellish. The doctors and nurses etc. that I speak with are exhausted and have been frantic with trying to help people.

I do think that is the geographic areas with little to no contagion, it is likely ok to be open and just mindful. But too many people cannot be trusted to “behave” which is why we have to fall back on rules.

From Murray:

Fauci, Cuomo, de Blasio., stated there would not be a problem from Covid-19 as late as March.  Trump closed down travel from China early on and was pilloried for it.  That apparently was a good decision.  Cuomo said he needed 30,000 ventilators.  Didn't need them.  The Javits Center was converted.  Not needed.  The Comfort ship was sent to NYC by Trump.  Not needed.

Rhoda, you are engaging in ad hominem attacks.  FEE has been around since 1946.  You don't survive by promoting BS.  In short, their credibility is impeccable.  Use logic to dissect an essay, not where it is published.

Physicians have been blowing the whistle about the need for ventilators and have been silenced by hospital administrators.

I would think you would at least have some skepticism about putting trust in the political class.  After all, Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

From Rhoda:

I agree with your last paragraph completely. But just as you accuse me of ad hominin attacks, I feel the same about you. I do not promote BS. Just because Fee has been around since 1946 means little. But I will do some extensive research on Fee as I am into reliable information. Our public health has been gutted for years. Our health care system is an example of capitalism gone awry. But for another time. Hospital administrators have become more powerful with the marketization of hospitals and health care, but physicians still have enormous clout as the direct customer for most hospitals.

From Murray:

Government pays for 50% of medical costs.  How is that capitalism?  Add the distorting effects of third party payers and we have a medical care mess in this country.  You asserted the FEE article is biased.  How?  It is based on economic analysis, which politicians rarely engage in, as well as many well known economists. 

I do not engage in ad hominem attacks.  I did not personally attack Trump, Fauci, Murphy, Cuomo.  They have made poor decisions.  Counterproductive decisions.  How is that an ad hominem attack? Closing down the economy to Great Depression levels is unconscionable.  Many decisions have been made that have undermined life as we know it.  My plans have been upended.  I resent that politicians are DICTATING my life.  The world has seen the enormous damage done by dictators for the past 100 + years. In America we have Executive Orders, which are no more than a Dictator issuing mandates.    Enough already.

From Rhoda:

I really do not appreciate your yelling at me.  Trump and his team whether you can admit it or not, failed to act immediately upon learning of the Virus and getting briefed. Denial and lies seem to be a popular tool frequently used by this administration. We were not prepared for a lot of reasons. Unlike Sweden which has an enviable different culture, relying on too many Americans to be mindful and considerate of the situation and their role in flattening a curve is living in a fantasy.

All our plans have been upended. I worry for my recent college graduate grandchildren a lot. And one should have had the fun of a 2020 graduation where we all could cheer for her and that is not happening nor is a job for her, despite how accomplished she is, a likely happening.  I do not appreciate being dictated to, but I certainly understand why that happens in a country of diverse, often irresponsible, often ignorant, often selfish individuals, along with many of our government leaders and business/corporation leaders.

Like you, I too resent and fear dictators. We may have one in the White House with such hopes.  It is a mess. The economy and people are suffering and will suffer, but per usual, the real suffering will be by those with the least power and influence.

From Murray:

My last email was not intended to yell but to emphasize the top down, collectivist policies that have gripped the nation for the past several decades.  All was not well in America before Trump was elected, who according to some, has "dictatorial" tendencies, instincts, etc.  That horse left the barn decades ago.  See Twight's 1975 book, America's Emerging Fascist Economy.

I did not vote for Trump and have been critical of many of his policies.  I have been an economic and financial analyst for more than four decades and occasional political candidate.  I have seen the inside of politics and it is nothing like the "political science" textbooks.  We have been headed in the wrong direction for more than 100 years.  See Higgs 1989 book, Crisis and Leviathan.  We have a one party system, a conclusion I reached in 1971; we are ruled  by the Washington Party, made up of two wings, Ds and Rs.

The US economy has been manipulated by the financial elites through their favorite institution, the Federal Reserve, a creature of the Progressive Era.  See Rothbard's The Progressive Era,  Free pdf.

BTW, what the corrupt officials at the FBI did to General Flynn is one of the most despicable episodes in US history.  Most of whom were appointed by Obama. 

We all need to take a deep breath and realize that government officials are not altruists and when they make horrible decisions people die--war--and when they spend money for their cronies and run deficits the vast majority of the people see their living standards decline---the Federal Reserve's unlimited ability to create money out of thin air.  See

Stay well.


  1. That woman's comments highlights yet again the bizarre tendency of most people to clamor for government saviors and nannies. As a libertarian since the early 90s, this is truly a foreign behavior for me, other than what I observe in others.

  2. Rational argument is quickly turning a pure exercise in futility.

  3. Replies
    1. I have no idea not sure why she was worth my attention, but Murray's commentary was great once again.

  4. Great post. Sabrin presents a logical mostly objective case but I was impressed by Rhoda's persistence. Rhoda is obviously concerned and obviously searching for solutions. She believes Trump didn't act fast enough but she also views him as a potential tyrant, the situation is very confusing. She apparently believes that politicians and bureaucrats could do something to mitigate covid-19. There is no evidence that this is correct but the information she can get is mostly confused and corrupt. Very difficult to sort fact from fiction. How in the world is an average person supposed to navigate this mess. She seems to resort to an intuitive impression she gets when meeting people. Rather than analyzing every fact that the person communicates Rhoda relies on her intuition about trusting the person. Unfortunately this method can be very misleading when "meeting" people through the television or newspaper and media interviews. Yet it can be very successful when meeting face-to-face. And when people are struggling to make a life who has time to really analyze everything politicians/bureaucrats say? Sabrin touched on the problem when he wrote that "government officials are not altruists." So maybe we should just kick out all the incumbents and start over.