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
Monday, March 23. 2020
This is not the time for these childish games.
Pundits are replaceable too, but not VDH.
The Legal Problem With Diversity Statements - Public universities can’t make hiring decisions based on political viewpoints
Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers, Walmart is hiring 150,000 — here are the sectors adding jobs amid coronavirus
The Crisis’s Impact on Budgets - Already strained by unfunded pension obligations, states now face a collapse in tax revenue.
Hey - time to raise state taxes!
NYC Mayor To Start Emptying Jails Over Virus Spread
New York Wouldn't Spend $500 Mil on Ventilators, Willing to Spend $500 Mil On Illegals
Starbucks Closes Access to Cafes, Switches to Drive-Thru, Delivery Only
Not Dunkin' because America runs on Dunkin'
A Pandemic of Political Correctness
Say thanks to ‘greedy pharmaceutical companies’ — they’re our best coronavirus hope
Illinois Governor Lists Gun Stores as ‘Essential,’ Exempts Them from Forced Shutdown
Chinese Ambassador Quotes Hillary Clinton’s Tweet Defending China and Attacking Trump
China Is Not the Hero of the Pandemic. You can criticize Trump without parroting Beijing’s propaganda.
Journalist who called President Trump’s tweet ‘ignorant snake oil drivel’ gets schooled by actual doctor
"President Trump has taken historic, aggressive measures to protect the health, wealth and safety of the American people — and did so, while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment."
“I’ve Voted Democrat My Whole Life. It’s Getting Tougher.”
Are Dems Refusing to Support $2 Trillion Stim Bill Unless It Includes a Bailout for Planned Parenthood?
Senate Democrats Block Mammoth Chinese Coronavirus Stimulus Package
Democrats Decide Getting the Orange Man Is More Important than Saving Lives
Stop The Coronabailout From Raining Your Money On Corporate Lobbyists Instead Of Struggling Americans
Which Is Worse, The Virus Or The Responses To It?
U.S. coronavirus lockdown to last 10-12 weeks, top Trump official says
That is crazy talk.
Israeli drug company donating 6M doses of malaria drug to US to combat coronavirus
Iran leader refuses US help, citing virus conspiracy theory
Soros’ Anti-Israel Funding
Took a drive yesterday from Yankeeland way, way down to Brooklyn - Bedford-Stuyvestant specifically. Yeah, it was "essential". If you know this spot (coming north off the Whitestone Bridge), how's that traffic? My gal drove 75 mph the whole way down and back and the cops ignored.
Bed-Stuy used to scare me. Now, at least in my daughter's area, it's a wedge of gentrification. Remarkable to me.
Speaking of Brooklyn, here's what Peter Luger is doing.
Sunday, March 22. 2020
Book recommendation: The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life
One does not need to be Roman Catholic to appreciate this.
Some preliminary numbers are being put together, but time will tell.
1. Powerline reports on a numbers-cruncher: A DATA-DRIVEN LOOK AT THE WUHAN CORONAVIRUS
2. More details on the above here: COVID-19 - Evidence Over Hysteria
3. The median incubation period is 5 days. So without symptoms after a close exposure for a week or so, you likely aren't infected.
4. In the US you can see numbers of cases (+ tests) rising rapidly. That doesn't mean the numbers of cases are increasing that rapidly. It means more people are getting tested.
5. This germ does not appear to be spread as easily as feared, but I were elderly (80+), frail, overweight, or with significant pre-existing ailments, I would self-quarantine for a while. Not sure what "a while" means, yet.
6. What Does Having Coronavirus Feel Like? Here’s What Survivors, Patients Say
7. My expert medical friends tell me we'll have a good idea of when the infection rate will plateau or begin its downturn in the next 5-10 days. Can't go by "cases," though.
Addendum: For those who chose to be quarantined at home, we recommend several activities: Sex, home workouts, taking hikes or runs outdoors, reading Maggie's, doing one or two of The Great Courses, getting some outdoor clean-up done, doing an hour of paperwork, cleaning some closets and getting rid of junk, and having civilized cocktail hours. All sorts of ways to make the most of it. Churches are live-streamed now, so that too.
23:1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.
23:2 He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters;
23:3 he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name's sake.
23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff-- they comfort me.
23:5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Saturday, March 21. 2020
I have not the faintest idea what the ordinary Chinese person on the street would say, if speaking truthfully. I know it is a different culture with different rules, and certainly without Western values and morals. As I may misunderstand it, a culture without the Western ideal of the individual except for those in power.
I am in favor of decoupling from the China behemoth. That means you too, Wallmart, and you too, Apple. And all of the pharma companies that manufacture there.
Taking a drive to a mountain hike is essential travel. Take it from Bird Dog.
A perfect day for a long ride over hill and dale instead of in the ring. You can't close a barn.
Horses will be feisty for sure, but so am I.
Dalrymple on clothing:
First impressions matter
WSJ: ‘The Consequences of Structural Whiteness are Fatal’. A famous medical journal succumbs to radical politics.
Crazy thing is, it's legal for them
Open Borders Dems Threaten U.S. Health Care System
Mike Bloomberg pumped nearly $1B into failed presidential bid
Biden’s memory isn’t the only problem; It’s his lies
District tells Philadelphia teachers not to teach online due to ‘equity’ concerns; quickly backtracks
FBI Finds New Clinton Emails, Including Discussion about Benghazi and Additional Classified Material
Trump Says He Doesn't Want Corporations Spending "Millions Of Dollars" On Buybacks While Workers Suffer
National Guard Deploys In Baltimore As City Enforces Restrictive Curfew
Taiwan Says It Warned WHO About Coronavirus In December, But Its Warnings Were Ignored
Schumer Asks Trump To Invoke Act For Emergency Medical Equipment; Trump Immediately Orders It Done
Walmart hiring 150,000 to meet demand from coronavirus, giving bonuses to current employees
Fox News's Hume rips Alexander over 'gotcha' question to Trump
Stanford Professor: Data Indicates We’re Severely Overreacting To Coronavirus
New York Deems Liquor Stores ‘Essential,’ Says They Can Stay Open During Coronavirus Shutdown
Marijuana dispensaries are deemed 'essential' in LA, allowed to stay open during coronavirus order
As Hospitals Prepare for COVID-19, Life-Saving Trans Surgeries Are Delayed. Though medical facilities may soon become overtaxed for everyone, the coronavirus pandemic has shed light on how transgender people's care can be treated as "non-essential."
Hospitals in Mass. told to limit ‘nonessential surgeries’ due to COVID-19, but abortions still a go
'Endless wars' and political warfare
Friday, March 20. 2020
A sad story: Liberated for Loneliness
This program is designed to minmize loss of fitness while your usual routine is not available. Daily or every other day - but if every other day, walk or jog 3+ miles on the off days
Warm-up: 1 min jumping jacks + 1 min jogging in place
120-sec rest after completing each full 3X circuit -
Circuit #1 (3 times through):
90 Mountain Climbers
Circuit #2 (3X):
Jumping squats, 1 min.
Circuit #3 (3X):
1 min. lunges (body weight or dumbells in hands)
Circuit #4 (3X):
Floor chest presses to failure (dumbells)
Circuit #5 (3X):
Dumbell (or kettlebell) swings, 1 min
If this routine is too easy, let me know in comments.
After viewing this, a reader commented "This makes me see how much my life sucks." The old guy is full of vitality and good cheer. Readers know how much I admire his life planning.
Poll: Americans View Wuhan Virus As A Bigger Threat To The Economy Than To Their Health
The Double-Barreled Coronavirus Threat: Death by Virus or by Ensuing Economic Disaster
"Wow. Bars, clubs, and gyms all closed...my life is about to be seriously the same."
Does he or she need to "get a life"? I have to admit that this mess seriously disrupts my well-planned life routines - work, exercise, play, and social life. Not to mention my local 24-hr Dunkin now opening at 5 am. That's too late for me.
But... Trump touts chloroquine for 'immediate' use treating coronavirus, but FDA wants to see the data first
Is It Time to #CancelChina?
Rep. Michael Cloud: China's coronavirus blunder is the last straw – move past reliance on them
Iran And Italy Are Paying A Hefty Price For Close Ties With Communist China
China Is Avoiding Blame by Trolling the World. Beijing is successfully dodging culpability for its role in spreading the coronavirus.
Biased Press Does China's Bidding on COVID-19
Gavin Newsom Issues Order For All Of California To Stay Home
How does that work? No hiking allowed? No mail?
Senate Republican proposal rejects grants for U.S. airlines, could get equity
Senator Kelly Loeffler dumped $3.1m in stock and Senate Intel chairman Richard Burr sold $1.5m while getting classified briefings on coronavirus before market plunged—then she invested in firm that...
Politicizing the Pandemic: Will Dems' Dark-Money Ads Work?
Special Operations: Forgotten Buried Russian Spyware
Thursday, March 19. 2020
Many of the toughest calisthenics need no equipment. Why Mountain Climbers? It is a total-body exertion.
They recommend 5 sets of 90 for beginners. (I assume that is counting 1,1, 2,2,...) Never underestimate challenging calisthenics. The US Army transforms bodies with daily calisthenics.
Bailout Or Bust - Boeing Stock Battered As Bankruptcy Odds Soar
Brazil's Christ the Redeemer statue lit with flags of countries affected by coronavirus
Baltimore Mayor Begs Residents To Stop Shooting Each Other So Hospital Beds Can Be Used For Coronavirus Patients
CNN’s Dana Bash Praises Trump’s Handling of Coronavirus: “Kind Of Leader That People Need”
Country singers to perform from home for ACM special
Schlichter: The Media Is Even More Garbage Than Usual
Why the Remedy May Be Worse Than the Disease
Neither Biden Nor Sanders Remotely Has The Basic Competence To Be President
" The establishment’s pundits and politicians who cheer for higher death tolls from the virus and for more straitened circumstances must imagine that enough people in their audience are fearful enough to have abandoned all critical faculties—fearful enough to follow the fear-mongers."
Coronavirus: Germany Whips Up Anti-Americanism
Coronavirus death rate drops: Better math, better treatment or more testing?
Economic Meltdown? Mass Unemployment? Solution: More Immigration!
How the European Union Turned the Coronavirus into a Pandemic
Israeli team has coronavirus test kit to test dozens of people at once. This new testing method allows for testing asymptomatic people suspected of having the virus, as well as for dozens of tests to be carried out at once, speeding up efforts to curb the virus's spread.
The European Union Will Close Its Borders In Response To The Coronavirus Spread
In Mexico, a cartel is taking over: Jalisco New Generation
Coronavirus Comes for Europe
Coronavirus Is Not Chinese Germ Warfare (Not Exactly)
Yesterday (3/18) I was watching CBS Morning News. I do tend to watch in the morning before I catch my train, usually not more then 20 minutes to see headlines. Now, working from home, I have tended to watch the entire 3 hours (I watch the local morning portion from 6-7 as I work). I'm no longer surprised at the hyperbole and panic in their reports. Normally it shouldn't matter, but in these unusual times with people watching TV constantly, it's very concerning.
Yes, they do pepper in 'feel good' stories of people giving away products, time, and effort (this morning, a distillery that has shifted to making and giving away sanitizer) in order to limit the panic reporting. These are of a particular type, though. All are about people voluntarily giving of themselves. Key word "voluntarily", something which is rarely mentioned in reporting. I often wonder why.
I found out yesterday when one of the CBS anchors, Jeff Glor, exposed his massive ignorance with this statement (may not be exact, but close enough). "It's nice to see people putting capitalism aside and focusing on cooperation." Wait - WHAT?
Capitalism requires cooperation. Yes, competition is often pointed to as the hallmark of capital. Competition keeps prices down, competition produces innovation, competition leads to forward thinking and proactive behaviors. Competition is critical to capitalism. However, every company would fail if its workers didn't cooperate. Every exchange would fail if the two parties involved did not cooperate because every exchange has to be based on mutual benefit. Every deal between businesses would fail if there wasn't cooperation. Cooperation is essential to every facet of capitalism. I'll compare it to any team sport. The competition between the teams yields high levels of performance from the teams themselves (front office down to the field), but requires the cooperation between teams to set rules, engage in trades, and agree on method of determining winners. It also requires cooperation on the field between team members to make the competition itself intriguing and interesting to watch (or engage in).
This failure on the part of journalists is increasing daily, and it was happening before the panic of the pandemic. It's becoming more common. After all, they are playing to the fears every day. We were told that, at this stage, the number of deaths would double every day. Yesterday, 104 people in the US had died. Today, it's 155. That's close to a 50% increase, which is the highest it's been, and while the number of dead is likely to increase, we shall see if the rate increases. However, the 'model' is still what we're comparing to, and even in regions hardest hit the 'model' hasn't played out. Total worldwide deaths still haven't doubled every day, even with the worst hit places being accounted for. We haven't even topped 10,000. So panic is the only way to describe coverage. We do not know real mortality rates, mainly because we do not know real rates of infection. For what it's worth, I am still convinced I had a very mild form of it already, and several other friends believe they did, as well. None of us have been tested, and I see no reason to be tested.
Jeff Glor's statement, in my opinion, is starting to look more and more like the reason behind the panic. There is an agenda being pushed and it's incumbent upon us to be aware of - and push back against - that agenda with every opportunity we have. Keep informing people that journalists are just tools and these tools are often poorly employed and poorly informed.
Marat's eulogy was given by the Marquis de Sade, a rather fitting person given the ideologies he promoted, which led to the Reign of Terror.
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:58 | Comments (10) | Trackbacks (0)
As I spoke with a friend this morning, we discussed the 'freak-out' and I immediately flashed to one of my favorite movies, so I thought I'd share. Wonka loved a good freak-out, and used it to his benefit to get to what he wanted. I don't think it's far-fetched to believe something too dissimilar is going on now. The boat ride was frightening, most of the participants were disturbed, uncomfortable and angry. It seemed the world was ending. Then...destination arrived, all was well and life went on, though not quite as before.
An interesting side note: none of the actors were told what would occur during this scene as it was filmed, many of the reactions are real. The children, unaware that Wilder was going to sing, thought he was going crazy.
Continue reading "What is This, a Freak-Out?"
Posted by Bulldog in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 10:04 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, March 18. 2020
Order take-out or home delivery meals. A grateful tip is also always required.
These workers are suffering.
Some things to consider in the Covid-19 panic. I've always known Covid is real, and that it's slightly more dangerous than the flu. I'm quite aware of how the mortality rate is considerably higher than some other viral outbreaks, especially with the elderly and those suffering health conditions. I've been less than convinced there is anything we could have done to stop it, short of shutting the nation down completely in January and keeping it shut down for about 2 months....which seems to be where we've gone anyway. That said, even extreme measures are unlikely to stop the spread. I've always supported an abundance of caution. But now that we're here with extreme measures, let's think calmly about HOW we got here.
Fear. Just fear. Yes, many of us would've gotten sick. Yes, some people would die. We can talk all we want about flattening the curve to keep hospital facilities from being overrun...while ignoring how herd immunity is being compromised. Furthermore, in shutting down in the manner we did, we basically sent people on 5 days of panic shopping whereby anyone infected and shopping was busy spreading the virus. It seems to me, the 'cure' is just as bad as letting it run its course. By increasing fear and panic, and even potentially the spread.
What's really concerning to me, however, is less the health issue and more the socio-political issue. This is the largest non-partisan event of our lifetime, and it's been heavily politicized. To that point, consider this - Democrats, who only a week ago complained that President Trump was abusing power, now are complaining that he isn't using enough power to 'fix' this.
Continue reading "Some Notes From Home"
From the sober and judicious Dr. John Ioannidis: As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data
10 Insane Hikes Around the World
Middlebury students tear down local bar's American flag, 'vandalize' campus amid national crisis
The 85 Universities that Discriminate on the Basis of Sex
U.S. Airlines Looking To Pick Your Pockets For $50 Billion
US ‘big 3’ airlines well-positioned to survive possible coronavirus crisis shakeout, analysts say
Amazon Suspends All Shipments Other Than Medical Supplies, Household Staples
Looking to hire 100,000 people
Bartenders and restaurant servers are screwed due to coronavirus
Trump Calls Out NY Times For Missing Half A Quote
BIDEN: "Number one, no more subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, no more drilling on federal lands, no more drilling, including offshore, no ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one."
In other words, dependent on foreign oil
With new technologies and techniques, America’s shale industry will survive this latest crisis—and prove an ever-bigger threat to Saudi Arabian and Russian oil producers.
Clyburn Compares Trump to Hitler, Warns U.S. ‘Could Very Well Go the Way of Germany in the 1930s’
Dems Call for ‘War’ on Coronavirus, But Military Says Help is Limited
Beijing Fears COVID-19 Is Turning Point for China, Globalization:
Tuesday, March 17. 2020