We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, April 25. 2020
Ants Can Do Some Real Damage To Humans If We Let Them
Rolling Stones Live: Living in a Ghost Town
Etymology of "quarantine"
The idea that this young man wants to work on a farm, and is willing to "roll up his sleeves" and work hard is, apparently, HILARIOUS to this CBC journalist.
That hill she'll die on: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez still championing the 'unwilling to work'
Most Favor Trump’s Halt to Immigration to Help U.S. Workers; Democrats Don’t
Biden: Coronavirus Is a 'Wake Up Call' on 'Climate Change,' an 'Opportunity' for 'Institutional Change'
Europe's Economy Was Hit Hard Too, But Jobs Didn't Disappear Like In The U.S.
Antibody Study: 21.2% in NYC Have Had Wuhan Coronavirus
Coronavirus Update: U.S. Testing Increases, Deaths Fall
Pelosi Spreads Dangerous Misinformation Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: “The President is Asking People to Inject Lysol Into Their Lungs”
FACT CHECK: No, Trump Did Not Tell People To ‘Inject Themselves With Disinfectant’ Or ‘Drink Bleach’
Cuomo Backs Trump: The WHO Was “Too Little, Too Late”
The European Union Bows to China
Communist China Looks for Europe's Backbone, Confirms It Doesn't Have One
Friday, April 24. 2020
Steve Martin's Night Owl on banjo
100 years since the San Remo conference
Slicing up the world
Elites go to war on homeschooling — just when everyone’s doing it
Destroying the Seattle School System
Ivy League schools drop dean's list honors 'given the stress'
Trumping Poverty - The president’s rollback of onerous regulations has helped low-income Americans.
Until now, things were great
"They Demand Unemployment" - Biz Owner Shocked At Angry Response When She Tells Staff Their Paychecks Will Resume
4.4 Million Americans File For Unemployment, Claims Top 26 Million In 5 Weeks
U.S. civil rights agency says employers can test workers for COVID-19
Media Push Fake News About FDA Official Supposedly Fired Over Opposing Hydroxychloroquine, Then the Real Story Comes Out
Rep. Shalala Admits Not Disclosing Stock Sales After Pelosi Appoints Her To Oversee Bailout Billions
The Democrats Totally Want A Depression
Reopening Has to Proceed Carefully
How Adam Schiff secretly thwarted efforts to bring transparency in Russia probe
Democrat demanded DNI keep evidence from Trump, holds transcripts that were supposed to be made public.
Former top CIA spy blasts old boss John Brennan’s ‘unpatriotic’ conduct as 'dereliction of duty'. Daniel Hoffman excoriates former boss's behavior both during his tenure as head of the spy agency and after
Former NSC Chief Of Staff: John Brennan Buried Evidence That Putin Actually Favored Hillary In 2016
Thursday, April 23. 2020
Bruce and his team like this: This Protein-Packed Stew Is the Comfort Food Recipe You Need Now
It's not exactly Moroccan, but I can tell you from experience that Moroccan stews are amazing.
It is not exactly a disease of the immune system, but some supposedly strong immune systems over-react, as I posted yesterday. Cytokine Storm.
It continues to be apparent that the elderly, overweight, or pre-diabetic/diabetic seem to be most likely to face death with this virus. Those people ought to be protected as best we can, but that's difficult. Most people weather it just fine, if miserable for a while. The luckiest ones (most people) get the sniffles and a headache for a few days and then feel fine.
There's a strange theology for you.
Losing someone you love, particularly a family member, is painful. I can't say I know, nobody in my closest circle of friends or family has died. My brother-in-law died 22 years ago, and while we were friendly I wouldn't say we were close. He was family and that was painful enough. For my in-laws it was much worse, but I was more observer and shoulder to cry on.
I received a message from a fraternity brother on Sunday night that my former roommate (also a fraternity brother) had lost his younger (real) brother in a tragic late night car accident on Saturday. I happen to be friendly with my former roommate's older (real) brother through work, and I was friendly with the deceased as well, though only from a distance. My wife knows my former roommate well, as we played beach volleyball for a summer the year she and I started dating, and we've gone to the Preakness every year as part of a large group.
Mrs. Bulldog, having gone through this experience of family loss, insisted I set up a call with all our fraternity brothers as soon as possible. I wasn't sure this was wise. She was adamant. So I checked with my roommate's older brother (who, obviously, was also hurting) to express my condolences and see if this was a good decision. We are all separated by many miles and the lockdown will prevent any of us traveling for a funeral. His reaction was rapid, emphatically positive, and it didn't take much insistence on my part to assure he join.
For 2 hours Tuesday night we videoconferenced with 8 old college buddies, 1 close friend, and 1 older brother. 10 people just sharing experiences. Mostly, however, my former roommate and his brother were expressing grief, sharing their fondest memories, how they will be there for their niece, and all the thoughts and feelings that pass through peoples' minds at moment like this. The rest of us listened, shared some smiles, casual observations, a joke or two where it was fitting, and it felt good to just soak in their memories and feelings. It may be hard for me to empathize, never having lost anyone very close. But I can sympathize and provide some consolation.
As skeptical as I was, I hoped it would be cathartic and meaningful. It seems to have done some good. The older brother sent me a note this morning of an old Jewish saying that grief shared is grief halved. He is a lay minister, and we began to share our thoughts on the nature of God. We concluded a videoconference may not be an optimal setting, yet the appearance of everybody on that call was evidence of God and God's love.
There is a line in The Big Chill: "a long time ago we knew each other for a short period of time; you don't know anything about me. It was easy back then. No one had a cushier berth than we did. It's not surprising our friendship could survive that. It's only out there in the real world that it gets tough." As I contemplate this movie quote, I realized something. If it wasn't for technology, this quote may have described my relationship with these fellows perfectly. I doubt I would be as close with some of them as I have become. I reconnected with many as a result of the internet. The internet provides a source of communion.
We knew each other well for 2-4 years 37 years ago. Some of us fell off the map for many years. Others maintained relationships. In many cases we've had to renew old friendships. Even now, sometimes, we struggle to maintain these connections. Technology has helped us avoid the loss that comes from no longer living together with few responsibilities. It has, now, helped us lean on each other in times of need and sorrow. It has provided great benefit at a very unusual and difficult period in everybody's life.
The conference ended with an exchange that summed up how useful the videoconference was in restoring humor and good feeling.
Steve: "No, not like yesterday. Yesterday was a crappy day. We'll make it like the day before yesterday. That was a pretty good day."
Michael Moore stumbles upon the truth about so-called 'green' energy
John Kerry: Coronavirus Is America’s ‘Great Wake-up Call With Respect’ to Climate Change
Celebrity climate activists cheer coronavirus misery in name of environment
Oklahoma joins the US states planning to reopen: Colorado, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas all prepare to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions
California Law Limiting Independent Contractors is Hindering Coronavirus Response, Experts Say 'It speaks to an absolute ignorance of expert opinion and defiance of common sense'
California Study Shows Virus Much More Pervasive "But Not Killing At Rate We Thought"
Nearly all NY coronavirus patients suffered underlying health issue, study finds
‘We’ve Never Seen This Before’: Americans’ Fear Of Losing Jobs Hits 45-Year High
Regarding China, Trump has been right every step of the way
Stop China’s predatory investments before the US becomes its next victim
13 million documents with information on Nazi victims made freely available online
Wednesday, April 22. 2020
Brit Hume: Time to consider possibility that coronavirus lockdown was colossal public policy calamity
In a political year, everything gets politicised. It's good to hear the other side of the discussion: Time to consider possibility that coronavirus lockdown was colossal public policy calamity.
It might very well turn out that way. I tend to feel now that lockdown was extreme, but good hygiene and masks would have been sufficient especially in hot spots.
We generally recommend resistance (weights) for strength-building, but some people are just afraid of weights or associate them with body-builders. Wrong, but whatever.
However, there are some exertions which can be useful upper body fitness-builders without weights. Four calisthenics in particular: Pushups, pullups, planks, and Burpees.
These are far from comprehensive, but they cover lots of the basic muscle groups, and proper pushups stress core too. There is a reason these are basics of military basic training.
Another good thing about them is that they can be modified until you can do the real thing. For examples, you can do "girl" pushups (on knees) until you can do real ones. You can do assisted pullups (with bands) until you can do real ones. Everybody can do straight-arm or elbow planks, but duration is the challenge. Aim for several minutes. Shoulder-touch planks are a cool variation. Burpees (with the pushups and jumps) are a great upper-body and whole body calisthenic.
How many? That depends on you. Generally speaking, for a middle-aged (45-75) guy or gal who avoids weights, I'd aim for 25-50 pullups assisted or not, 100 pushups (modified or unmodified), 3 or 4 30-45-second planks, and 50 Burpees. Not all in a row, but on the same day.
(For general fitness without weights, this can (should) be coupled with a day of lower-body body-weight workout (eg lunges, squats, step-ups, box jumps, etc) plus a couple of days of cardio. That all is good enough for casual or club tennis fitness, or for a long day hill hike.)
When life gets back to normal, then we can return to our usual routines. Or maybe just stick with these sorts of things.
Some people seem to be more prone to it than others. In the case of COVID-19, children with their less-developed immune systems are unlikely to react in this way.
A brief piece on cytokine storms here.
Not related, The Swedish experiment looks like it’s paying off
If Half the Country's COVID Deaths Were in Montana, Would New York Shut Down?
Oktoberfest Cancelled For First Time Since WW2 As German Hop-Growers Warn Of "Beer Shortage"
'Because JESUS and FREEDOM': Maine prof attacks quarantine protesters in expletive-laden rant
Michael Moore Admits He Had No Idea Where the Juice To Power Electric Cars Came From
New studies suggest huge undercount of coronavirus infections — but are they right?
Republicans Were Right about Unemployment’s Perverse Incentives
CDC screwed up
So much for entitled millennials – it’s billionaires such as Richard Branson who are begging for loans
Advisers Warn Trump His Push To Reopen Economy Carries Political Risks
Duh - it's risk either way
Conrad Black: Democrats Underestimate Trump at Their Own Peril. The president’s enemies have not figured out how cunning he is, because he doesn’t seem cunning—at first.
Joe Biden Advisor Tries to Blame Republicans for Small Business Loan Money Running out, It Doesn’t Go Well
Biden Attacks Trump Over His Response to the Wuhan Virus, But Gets Tripped Up by the Facts
Dem Senators: GOP Small Business Aid Is ‘Political Stunt’
Newly Declassified Evidence: Russia Didn't Try to Help Elect Trump in 2016
Tuesday, April 21. 2020
Few people are flying these days, so why not a virtual private flight? If you ever have the chance to fly private, do it. It's a blast.
This recipe is good enough, but don't mix the beans with the rice. Make lots more of the beans, and dump them on top of the rice. The beans are the food, the rice is the vehicle.
I think I lived on this in college, and I still like it. Beans from the cans, as we always recommend. If anybody wants to spend the time to soak dried beans, God bless ya. That ain't me.
Plenty of salt, and hot sauce of your choice on the side, of course. Salad on the side if you like that stuff, but I think salad causes cancer, and maybe corona too. A Conona beer, on the other had, goes well with this supper.
I don't know what to believe anymore. Everybody with an opinion seems to be viewing the situation through their own particular lens, or filter as Scott would say. Of course, that's normal for everything all the time, but everything is exaggerated now to the point that balanced wisdom seems to have left the room. I guess that's normal too.
"When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout."
I understand that Covid is not the seasonal flu. I also understand that it is neither polio nor the 1918 flu, nor, God forbid, the Black Plague. I understand that it seems to be a highly infectious virus with the power to cut people down and stress medical care in some areas (although less so much right now). I understand that this SARS Covid will be around forever, like all viruses. No escape, ever. Even vaccines are not 100% and it could be 12 months before we have them.
Let's discuss in the comments, in a calm, civil and respectful way. Later, I'll take you on a nice airplane ride.
Higher Ed: Goodbye Meritocracy, Hello…What?
An all-mail election would be rife with fraud
Adam Schiff’s Dirty Impeachment Tactics Coming to Light
Washington Posts media critic asks if CNN, MSNBC will review coverage of discredited Steele dossier
Whilst escaping the Great Plague, Newton’s enormously productive time at Woolsthorpe is often called the Annus Mirabilis, or the “Year of Wonders’. Read about this period of intellectual endeavour...
The final tally is in: Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg (D, Nanny State) donated $1,221,777,405.26 of his own money to fund a quixotic four-month presidential campaign.
Oil below zero: Here's what happened - The day that oil died rocked the most seasoned energy traders
Will the Fitness Industry Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic? Some Important Things to Consider
It is “unconscionable” that Rikers Island inmates who were released due to coronavirus concerns are committing new crimes, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday.
Coronavirus at Smithfield pork plant: The untold story of America's biggest outbreak
Less Than Half Of Adults In Los Angeles Now Have Jobs
Sweden’s Chief Epidemiologist: Our Open Approach To Virus Seems To Be Working
Some US Manufacturers Reopening Amid Fierce Political Heat
Cotton: CCP's Handling Of COVID-19 Could Be "The Biggest, The Costliest, The Most Deadly Cover-up In The History Of Mankind"
Monday, April 20. 2020
Thank God our parents and ancestors were not so fearful.
Seemingly doped up and in terrible shape, shortly before he died
Hymowitz: Alone - The decline of the family has unleashed an epidemic of loneliness.
New York Times published false claim on America's founding. This history professor called its bluff.
Amity Shlaes’ ‘Great Society:’ How Poverty Won America’s War on Poverty
Colleges Must Cut Administrative Costs to Survive This Crisis
Harvard Getting $9 Million in Coronavirus Aid, While Sitting on $40 Billion Endowment
Lessons in Death and Life from the Diaries of Samuel Pepys
Coronavirus lockdown: Lessons from Hokkaido's second wave of infections
Lockdowns just extend the course of infections
Coronavirus report: Massachusetts may not be ready to reopen until June
Sweden Is Right - The Economy Should Be Left Open
Apocalypse Not #8 South Texas Lockdown
Cuomo Praises Trump's Response to the Wuhan Coronavirus: 'Phenomenal Accomplishment'
Chris Wallace CALLS OUT a Stunned Pelosi for Pushing Tourism to Chinatown in Late February
Research Projects Reveal Coronavirus Has Lethality Rate in Same Ballpark as Seasonal Influenza
Trump Rewrites the Book on Emergencies: For the first time in U.S. history, an administration is responding to a crisis with deregulation and decentralization.
END THE SHUTDOWNS! DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN. The United Nations warns that hundreds of thousands of children worldwide may die because of governments’ overreaction to the COVID-19 virus
“Funny how all those bible clinging, gun toting deplorables are keeping this country functioning! I guess they decided not to stay in bed crying!”
Driving trucks, making deliveries, stocking shelves, farming farms, building things, fixing your plumbing, etc etc
People make 'mad dash' to Florida beach after reopening
Maher Says Media’s ‘Panic Porn’ Coronavirus Coverage Could Create Trump Reelection Path
With China’s economy on life support, it’s time to turn off the ventilator
The European Union Is Dead But Does Not Yet Know It
Sunday, April 19. 2020
My town, Encinitas, CA, has a hard left City Council and a recent majority that elected it. Today was a significant protest about its fear-mongering and controlling lives excessiveness shutting down the beach and walkways above the beach. I'm down there every day walking long distances, and walkers have been keeping distances and many wearing masks. I hope come November, the fear mongerers and sheepies get sent home.
Bulldog's post earlier today suggests what many of us have imagined but had no hard data about: this corona virus may be about as lethal as seasonal influenza. That means it kills 0.1 to 0.15% of infected people and, in this case, mostly frail and elderly.
That would make it comparable to the H1N1 virus pandemic of 2009 which had little media or political hysteria.
Read the post, and listen. It's a random sample from California, but it makes sense to me because it gives us an inkling of a denominator. No denominator, no data. More probably similar data will be trickling in over the next weeks. Many people have had this bug and barely noticed it, much less got tested for it.
If the world has hysterically overreacted to this germ for lack of data (thanks a lot, China) - what then?
Since I am always a skeptic, I was always skeptical about the hysteria around me. Skepticism is my default setting, and it usually works out.