The EU

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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Counting the COVID-19 Costs

For John, BLUFWe get a lot of comparisons of Coronavirus cases, deaths and recoveries, but it turns out not everyone counts the same way.  And that isn't even considering the dodgy numbers out of China, or elsewhere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The National Review, by Spanish Journalist Itxu Díaz, 27 March 2020.

Well down in the article we have this:

We now know that neither Germany nor France is counting the deaths from coronavirus that occur outside of hospitals, and that the Germans don’t call it “death from coronavirus” if the patient had a previous illness.
And what about people in nursing homes?  Are they a Coronavirus death, or not?

So, we bandy around Statistics about the Coronavirus, but if we don't know what they are really measuring, what value are they?

While I have picked out this one item to whinge about, the total article is also very Interest.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 30, 2020

Terminology Issues

For John, BLUFIn every group of people too large under existing coronavirus rules there is always someone who has a new word or a different use for a word you thought you knew.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I was on an EMail amongst my two Brothers and their friends, with a discussion of an AAR—After Action Report.

I referred to AAR as an Acronym.  One of my Brothers' wisenheimer friends asked if it was an Acronym or if it was an Initialism.  An Initialism?  What kind of a woke expression is "Initialism"?  Yes, Initialism is a word in the Dictionary.

I could see the distinction based on pronounceable and not pronounceable, but not using a world like "Initialism".

By the way, based upon my personal experience with AARs, I pronounce it Arrrgh.

Regards  —  Cliff

Crisis Action Approval Polling

For John, BLUFThe President isn't popular and even among those who did vote or will vote for him, their is a deep vein of unhappiness with the way he presents himself.  But, there seems to be a begrudging appreciation for his handling of this crisis, the House Speaker notwithstanding.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Paul Bedard, March 29, 2020.

Here is a key paragraph:

The survey, which appeared in Newsmax, found that voters overall approve of the president’s virus job.  Not only do 53% support it, but so do 44% of Hispanics, 34% of African Americans, and 55% in battleground states.
The numbers for Hispanics and African Americans, wile not in majorities, are still sufficient that they should give Democratic Party Operatives some concern.  It would not be good for their candidate to lost one-third of the Black vote, or a large minority of the Hispanic voters.  This is shaping up to be an interesting election in November.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Cross About Crosswords

For John, BLUFSometimes I do crossword puzzles and sometimes I don't.  My wife does them near every night.  And I like Hallmark's Crossword Puzzle Mysteries series, with Actress Lacey Chabert.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From the pages of The Atlantic, a new torment for woke sophisticates:

From the David Thompson Blog, by Blogger David Thompson, 22 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

That sound you hear is barrel-bottom-scraping.
The popular puzzles are largely written and edited by older white men, who dictate what makes it into the grid—and what is kept out.
The world of woke crossword-puzzlers - because that’s a thing that exists - is one in which enthusiasts, via social media, grumble about white men, bemoan the insufficient prominence of “queer or POC colloquialisms,” share “off-colour jokes about hypothetical titles for a Melania Trump memoir,” and fret about the exact ratio of male and female names used as clues.  Because a lack of “gender parity” in crossword puzzle clues constitutes one of “the systemic forces that threaten women.”

Crossword puzzles can do that, apparently.

The list of possible crossword-puzzle wrongdoings is, of course, extensive, ever-growing and not entirely straightforward.

Transgressions include clues for ILLEGAL (“One caught by border patrol”); MEN (“Exasperated comment from a feminist”); and HOOD (“Place with homies”).
I’ll give you a moment to steady yourselves, to recover from all that gasping.
"The popular puzzles."  Heaven forfend.  The puzzle writers are catering to their audiences.  Can you imagine that?  Life must be hard for the woke.  One wonders if there was more freedom when the Puritans managed affairs in the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

English is an interesting and rich language, with lots or words from the past, interesting words, words that should not be suppressed.  And we shouldn't lose that richness because some word, at some point, had, in some usage, a negative connotation.  Fashion changes, but we shouldn't just condemn those who are still wearing last year's fashion.  It is OK to feel sorry for them, however.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Local Responsibility

For John, BLUFWe have federalism, to split up governmental power.  But, to work everyone must be willing to take responsibility for area.  Federalism means local folks taking responsibility.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller, Correspondent Anders Hagstrom, 25 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

A New York’s health commissioner contradicted coronavirus guidance from the White House on Wendesday, telling people who have been to New York City recently that they should not, in fact, quarantine.

Coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx on Tuesday urged anyone who had been to New York City recently to self-quarantine, as there was a significant chance they contracted the virus.  NY commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, however, said that part of the White House’s guidance wasn’t necessary.

“I would not follow that. I believe you should follow the guidance in general, you should social distance,” he said, according to Wall St. Journal reporter Jimmy Vielkind.

So, now we have a city health commissioner showing independence.  Up to now the local authorities have been saying that because the Federal was not out front, breaking trail in this pandemic, they couldn’t go forward.  See, for example, this item from WWL-TV.

New Orleans would have canceled Mardi Gras if feds had taken coronavirus more seriously, Mayor says.

This is about leadership.  This is about being a leader with vision.  This is about looking ahead and having the courage to act upon what you see.  This is about being willing and able to look ahead and around the corner.

While President Trump will take some hits for not being more forceful earlier, that is not an excuse for, cover for, state and local officials not jumping on the situation early on.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Comparing Health Care Systems

For John, BLUFIt is still early days in the Coronavirus Pandemic and no hard and fast conclusions should be drawn.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

In response to Worldometer Confirmed Cases and Deaths by Country, Territory, or Conveyance, which shows:

 NATION  Cases per 1 Mil  Deaths per 1 Mil 
 Sweden 30410

Someone on the Internet wrote:

Maybe Bernie’s right—Sweden is always doing better than us.
For my Brother Lance, that is sarcasm on the part of the writer.

Regards  —  Cliff

Retirees Activated

For John, BLUFRetired Military personnel are liable to call up even after retirement, but only up to a certain age.  Those in their 70s are exempt.  On the other hand, males 17 to 45, even without prior service, are liable to call up, in extremis, under the Dick Act.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Hundreds of active duty soldiers are also deploying to support field hospitals.

From ABC News, by Ms Elizabeth McLaughlin, 27 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

More than 9,000 retired soldiers have responded to the U.S. Army's call for retired medical personnel to assist with the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as hundreds of active duty soldiers deploy to support Army field hospitals in New York and Seattle.

Earlier this week, the Army sent a notification to more than 800,000 retired soldiers to gauge their willingness in returning to service in a volunteer capacity.  In a Pentagon briefing on Thursday, Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville called the initial response "very, very positive."

Army Surgeon General Scott Dingle told reporters that these volunteers will "fill those holes" in military medical treatment facilities across the nation where some staff are now deployed to field hospitals, leaving vacancies in their traditional assignments.

"What we'll do is even though we get many volunteers, we then will walk through the process of certification, making sure that all certifications and credentials are straight," Dingle said.  "Then once we do that, we will plug them into all of our medical treatment facilities as required in support of the mission."

Notice in the last paragraph quoted that there is a mobilization process.  It isn't instantaneous.  The person activated needs to be transported to the new unit and then given a job.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Transgenders in Sports

For John, BLUFThe area of transgender is not one widely understood, but people tend to be quickly locked in, which is not helpful for rational discussion.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the case (No. 3:20-cv-00201 (RNC)):

SELINA SOULE, a minor, by Bianca Stanescu, her mother; CHELSEA MITCHELL, a minor, by Christina Mitchell, her mother; ALANNA SMITH, by Cheryl Radachowsky, her mother


Here is the lede plus three:

The United States files this Statement of Interest under 28 U.S.C. § 517, which authorizes the Department of Justice “to attend to the interests of the United States in a suit pending in a court of the United States.”  Id.  The United States enforces Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681, and has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of Title IX. The United States also enforces several other federal anti-discrimination statutes that, like Title IX, prohibit sex discrimination, e.g. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17, and the United States has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of these laws.  The United States also has a significant interest in ensuring that federal funds are not used to discriminate on the basis of sex and other protected classes.  See 20 U.S.C. § 1682.


Title IX requires that “[n]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, . . . be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”  20 U.S.C. §1681(a); accord 34 C.F.R. § 106.41(a).  Title IX’s prohibition against sex discrimination extends to athletics operated or sponsored by recipients of federal money.  34 C.F.R. § 106.41.  As a result, covered institutions must “provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes.”  Id. § 106.41(c).

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), however, has adopted a policy that requires biological males to compete against biological females—despite the real physiological differences between the sexes—if the male is a transgender individual who publicly identifies with the female gender.  CIAC claims that “federal law” requires this state of affairs.  CIAC 2019-2020 Handbook (CIAC Handbook), at 55, ciachandbook_1920.pdf; see also Defs.’  Initial Summ.  Issues at 7, ECF No. 63. So do the proposed student-intervenors.  See Mot. to Intervene at 11, ECF No. 36.

They are incorrect.  Title IX and its implementing regulations prohibit discrimination solely “on the basis of sex,” not on the basis of transgender status, and therefore neither require nor authorize CIAC’s transgender policy.  To the contrary, CIAC’s construction of Title IX as requiring the participation of students on athletic teams that reflect their gender identity would turn the statute on its head.  One of Title IX’s core purposes is to ensure that women have an “equal athletic opportunity” to participate in school athletic programs.  34 C.F.R. § 106.41(c); see also Cohen v. Brown Univ., 991 F.2d 888, 897 (1st Cir. 1993) (“Equal opportunity to participate lies at the core of Title IX’s purpose.”). Schools realize that purpose primarily by establishing separate athletic teams for men and women and by ensuring that those teams are on equal footing. See 34 C.F.R. § 106.41(b)-(c).  Because of the physiological differences between men and women, the existence of women’s sports teams permits women to participate more fully in athletics than they otherwise could.

This is a lawsuit to allow transgender females (those who believe they are true females, born in a male bodies).  These transgender females wish to compete in sports with other females.  I see possible outcomes:
  1. If you declare yourself female you can play with the girls.
  2. You play with those who have the same birth sex as you.
  3. If you meet a certain testosterone level you play with males, but below that you play with girls.
  4. There are no teams or leagues based on gender.
From a practical point of view, I support Options Two or Three.  However, if that isn't good enough for some, there is Option Four.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, March 27, 2020

Friday Food During Lent

For John, BLUFThis is a little late for today, unless you are going to have a little nighttime snack, but it does show flexibility in thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Fromo the Boston Pilot, by Pilot Staff Member Gregory L Tracey, 27 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

As the people of Massachusetts find themselves under a stay-at-home advisory and are being urged limits trips outside -- even to the grocery store -- Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has lifted the obligation for Catholics in the Archdiocese of Boston to abstain from meat on Fridays for the remainder of Lent.

In a message to the people of the Archdiocese of Boston sent March 26, Vicar General Bishop Peter Uglietto said, "One of the effects of the current events is uncertainty regarding what food products are available on any given day.  At this time, we are called to make the best of what we have at hand or is available for purchase.  Many people are using what they have stored in their freezers and on their shelves.  Others are depending upon pre-packaged meals or food delivered through support agencies, which are providing an important service for individuals and families in our communities, especially for children and our senior citizens."

"In light of these circumstances, Cardinal Sean is dispensing all Catholics in the Archdiocese from the obligation of abstaining from meat during the remaining Fridays of Lent," Bishop Uglietto added.

In the U.S., Catholics aged 14 and over are required to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and each Friday during Lent, and those who are 18 to 59 are required to fast as well on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

As these are disciplines, or practices, rather than doctrine, they can be waved at the local level, and were.  However, if you live outside the Boston Archdiocese you need to check with your local Ordinary to see what action has been taken in your Diocese.

On the other hand, this is no reason to abandon the seafood dinner you had planned for Good Friday, if you have the fixings, in my humble opinion.

Regards  —  Cliff

Triage in a Time of Pandemic

For John, BLUFWhen medical capabilities run short, some will get support and some won't.  The question is the rules to be followed.  For example, Italy saying no medical support to those 60 and over, seems to be arbitrary and wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Pilot, by Ms Nancy Frazier O'Brien, 25 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

Catholic ethicists and legal experts are sounding the alarm that the scarcity of resources such as ventilators and hospital beds during the current coronavirus pandemic could prompt health care decisions based only on age and disability -- and in some cases already is.

Decisions on life-saving care based solely on those criteria are unjust, discriminatory and a violation of federal civil rights law, they say.

One of the strongest and most persistent voices has been that of Charles Camosy, an associate professor of theological and social ethics at Fordham University in New York, one of the hardest-hit U.S. cities.

"It should not be up to physicians to decide whose subjective quality of life deserves to be prolonged," he wrote in a March 19 opinion piece in the New York Post.  "If rationing arrives, we must stand up unambiguously for the marginalized and vulnerable."

He was especially critical of the Italian government for reportedly recommending that health care resources be rationed by age and limited to those who "could enjoy the largest number of life-years saved."  Italy has had nearly 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,800 deaths as of March 25.

A short article with a lot of food for thought.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fair and Square

For John, BLUFOne's "Day in Court" should include a fair presentation of the facts.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Associated Press, 26 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

“Full House” actress Lori Loughlin, her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, and other prominent parents urged a judge Wednesday to dismiss charges against them in the college admissions bribery case, accusing prosecutors of “extraordinary” misconduct.

Defense attorneys for the famous couple and other parents still fighting the charges say the case cannot stand because investigators bullied their informant into lying and then concealed evidence that would bolster the parents’ claims of innocence.

I'm sorry, but her recent fame isn’t Full House, but, rather, When Calls the Heart.&nb; Is the AP trying to suppress the existence of the excellent Hallmark shows out there?

That said, the issue is prosecutorial misconduct.  For the Citizens, The People, of the United States, if the Government, representing The People, can't win fair and square it should abandon the case.  Maybe the prosecutors should recall the phrase "beyond a reasonable doubt."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Extreme TDS

For John, BLUFAdfter watching City Life Show, Tuesday through Thursday I usually leave the TV on Channel 8 and listen to Ms Amy Goodman.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I have listened to Reporter/Producer Amy Goodman for some time.  I am pretty well convinced she is not capable of saying a positive thing about President Donald Trump.  Even if he washed her car for free, she would, I am convince, crawl under the car to find some place he missed.

This is not a healthy way to live, physically or spiritually.

We should all be praying for Ms Goodman.

Regards  —  Cliff

It Is a Long Time Until the Fat Lady Sings in Milwaukee

For John, BLUFThis seems to be a volatile year, politically.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From News Busters, by Reporter Kyle Drennen, 25 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

During her 12:00 p.m. ET hour show on Wednesday, MSNBC anchor Andrea Mitchell revealed her greatest fear amid the coronavirus pandemic – Donald Trump’s approval ratings going up.  She fretted over likely Democratic nominee Joe Biden “having difficulty” getting his message out during the crisis and support for the President “skyrocketing.”

Turning to former Obama administration official Jim Messina, Mitchell anxiously noted:  “There is politics involved.  We’ve heard very little from, for instance, the more likely, most likely nominee of the Democratic Party, Joe Biden.  He’s having difficulty getting – projecting through this crisis as the campaign goes totally on hold.”

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the MSNBC host referenced positive poll numbers for Trump:

The President is polling 60% over his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Granted, the half-life of a political memory in the United States is 90 days.

And there is now talk about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stepping up in the event of a brokered convention.

I am thinking things are going to be politically bumpy for the next few months.  As Lowell Girl made good, Betty Davis, said:  "Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy ride."

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Suppressing Candidates?

For John, BLUFThe coronavirus is making campaigning hard, and harder still is the need to collect signatures in order to get on the ballot.  And our General Court is not doing much to help.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From a Mass GOP Press Release, Commmunications Director Evan Lips.

Here is the lede plus six:

Entrenched Democrat leaders on Beacon Hill appear to have ignored an electioneering factor they somehow never saw coming during the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic -- the crucial person-to-person gathering of ballot signatures.

“From my own perspective I’m doing most of it (signature collecting) by mail,” House Speaker Robert DeLeo told reporters Monday, after he and Senate President Karen Spilka finished touting an elections bill fast-tracked to Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk.

Massachusetts Republican Chairman Jim Lyons pointed out that most candidates -- especially challengers -- don’t have the luxury of DeLeo’s $780,000-plus campaign war chest.

“The so-called ‘robust mail-in balloting’ program promoted by Speaker DeLeo and President Spilka only addresses the upcoming special elections and not upstart campaigns preparing for November,” Lyons said.  “We even saw the Massachusetts Teenage Republicans and the Massachusetts High School Democrats -- two opposing groups made up of young people typically on the front lines of signature-gathering efforts -- join together to urge the Legislature to act on this problem, only to see Democratic leadership ignore it.

“Their inaction guarantees well-heeled incumbents will receive a free pass.”

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin O’Connor, whose 86-year-old father has been hospitalized as a result of the virus, must gather 10,000 signatures by the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s May 5 deadline to ensure his place on the ballot.

“We want the Legislature to bring the law into alignment with the social distancing requirement,” O’Connor said in a recent interview.

This seems like negligence on the part of the General Court.  Or, it is self-serving political skullduggery.

I ma not impressed by this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Minority Tyranny

For John, BLUFWe need to respect the rights of minorities, but to expect perfection from the individual members of the majority is to expect perfection in an imperfect world.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Minding the Camnpus, by Mr George Leef, 23 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

Shawnee State University in southern Ohio (cross the bridge and you’re in Kentucky) is an open-admissions school that opened in 1986.  It’s very little known, but the school’s administrators are as politically attuned to progressive sensibilities as any across the nation.  A case that has arisen at Shawnee threatens to set a terrible precedent for the suppression of speech that any “woke” student claims to find harassing.

Nicholas Meriwether has been on the Shawnee faculty since 1996, teaching political science.  He has risen to the rank of full professor with the equivalent of tenure.  In a course on political philosophy he was teaching in 2018, he called upon an obviously male student and after the student (registered in class under the name Alena Breuning, but referred to as “Doe” in the court documents) replied, Meriwether said, “Yes, sir.”  That’s all it took to set off a federal case.

Doe approached Meriwether after the class and told him that he was transgender and insisted upon being referred to with female titles and pronouns.  “Miss” would be proper, not “Mister.”  Meriwether was taken aback and replied that he didn’t think students could dictate to professors how to address them, at which point Doe became belligerent, declaring that Meriwether could either comply or be fired.

And it goes from there, with a Federal Court ruling that due to a previous decision (a 1989 Sixth Circuit case) the bureaucratic rules trump the Professor's Free Speech rights.  The good news is the it is on appeal.

I try to give every name, every time used, a title or pronoun.  Unless I know the person well enough to use a first name.  But, in a more formal setting, some prefix is in order, up until now.  Now I may just drop all that falderal and go with the last name, or a first and last name.  Sadly.  A coarsening of discourse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Ban the Bag Ban

For John, BLUFIn Lowell we banned grocery store "one time use" plastic shopping bags.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Herald,by Reporter Adriana Cohen, 22 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

As we combat the coronavirus pandemic it’s important for Americans to note that many environmental initiatives that purport to “save the planet” not only restrict consumer choice and hurt the business sector—it also puts the public safety at risk.

Take the plastic bag bans here in Massachusetts and beyond.

In an effort to “go green” many states have banned disposable plastic bags at supermarkets and other retail locations causing a massive consumer shift to reusable shopping bags we’re now learning could contain the virus.

The coronravirus can live on surfaces for days, including on reusable shopping bags, which are notoriously filthy. Studies have shown that most people don’t clean their reusable bags.

For that reason, New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu issued an emergency order over the weekend prohibiting reusable shopping bags and requiring that stores use disposable plastic or paper bags instead.

Will the Lowell City Council suspend the plastic bag ban?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 23, 2020

The People be Darned

For John, BLUF"Never let a crisis go to waste".  Is that chiseled in the wall of the DNC?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Senate spends all weekend negotiating a bipartisan deal.  Agreement reached. Pelosi flies in from California, whips out her unrelated ‘wishlist,’ and says no.  Senate Democrats then vote against proceeding on a bill they negotiated.  Jaw dropping.”

Freom Legal Insurrection, by Ms Mary Chastain, 22 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The supposed bipartisanship to help the economic fallout from the Wuhan coronavirus fell apart on Sunday after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi returned to DC.

Coincidence?  Probably not because the minute she gets back, shows off her “wishlist,” the Democrats vote no on a bill they negotiated.

What is it with the House Speaker, Nancy the Ripper?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Very Important People

For John, BLUFPoet Rudyard Kipling understood, as he wrote "You will do your work on water, An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Town Hall, by Writer Kurt Schlichter, 23 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Here are some people who are useless, especially now:  Performance artists, diversity consultants, magic crystal healers, sociology TAs, members of the mainstream media, and gender-unspecified entities who brew kale kombucha.

Here are some people who matter, especially now:  Soldiers, nurses, truckers, cops, the guy who stocks the shelves at Ralphs, farmers, and that dude rebuilding your roof.

The Chinese Bat Soup Flu has certainly clarified some of the blurred lines between what is important and what is frivolous garbage.  Yet, in a time when millions of Americans are at risk of dying as a direct result of ChiCom conspiracies and the bizarre need of its serfs to eat any weird thing that crawls or slithers within reach of their chopsticks, our useless elite is fixated on making sure we don’t hurt the feelz of the very people who stuck us in this predicament.

I do think Mr Schlichter is a little hard on the Elite in American society.  Don't you think that it is a very decent way to distance oneself from those kind of people, by categorizing them as elite and letting them self-isolate?

To the more important point, yes, the important folks in society, the "essential" workers, are those who keep things running.  Yes, the truck driver and the shelf stocker are key to our continued functioning.  Even the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania recognized it when it reopened Service Plazas on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, for truckers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Troops Called Out in Maryland

For John, BLUFYes, it is Zero Hedge, and Tyler Durden, but it is also real.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Zero Hedge, by Mr Tyler Durden, 21 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus four:

After thousands of Baltimorians violated a curfew imposed by Gov. Hogan as states around the country crack down on the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the second coronavirus death in Baltimore County (part of the suburbs north, east and west of the city) was confirmed about an hour ago, according to local media reports.

As states crack down around the country, with increasing legal penalties for people who put the public welfare at risk by venturing outdoors for no reason, or not taking the proper precautions, Baltimore appears to be readying for a crackdown as some residents steadfastly refuse to follow curfews.

"As the number of positive cases in Maryland continues to dramatically rise, we need everyone to take this seriously. This is a public health crisis like nothing we have ever faced before - we are all in this together, and we will get through this together," Hogan said in a statement.

Rumors reported on social media and elsewhere have hinted at the possibility of more restrictive measures, and, in some cases, something closely approximating martial law, with the national guard deployed in the streets.  Though, to be fair, that's already the reality in New York, Maryland and nearly two dozen other states.

This issue of folks not congregating was emphasized again this morning by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.  The fact is, this is a real pandemic and a serious problem for many of our fellow citizens.  I hate to see us go all China here, but some enforcement of the emergency rules are needed.  After all, these aren't illegal immigrants.  Law enforcement can be applied.

What I would like to know, after the Maryland National Guard has returned to its barracks, or homes, what was the impact on crime rate.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Cost of Eduction Frills

For John, BLUFWhen I say frills, I mean the extra bells and whistles in higher education.  Given the problems we have in socialization of young people in a period of fewer intact facilities, this may be needed in grades K though 12, but then those students graduate and are adults, with the right to drive cars and vote.  At some point the apron strings need to be cut.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

  • Fox's Tucker Carlson predicted that many college diversity deans could soon be "out of work."
  • As the coronavirus pandemic has a costly impact on colleges, many top-tier schools will weather the storm just fine.
  • Others, however, could have a much tougher financial path ahead.

From Campus Reform, from Managing Editor Jon Street, 21 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Fox's Tucker Carlson took aim at the "higher education establishment" Thursday, predicting that many colleges are soon likely to "go under."

As Campus Reform previously reported, amid federal bailouts of the airline industry and perhaps even many hotels and cruise lines, a survey of college presidents across America before the coronavirus pandemic found that less than two-thirds are "confident" in their schools' financial stability over periods of five and ten years, signaling what could be yet another sought after bailout by American taxpayers.

But as a number of top-tier American colleges have been found to have more money even than some countries, as Campus Reform also has reported, it's unlikely that schools like Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and Stanford will run out of cash any time soon.

As for some smaller, private colleges, on the other hand, they could face a much bleaker picture.

You can almost count on Tucker Carlson to vear into less trodden territory.  And, his comments make sense.  There are smaller colleges, without big endowments, on the edge.  To survive they will have to shed some of the frills.  Like Host Tucker Carlson, I think a "diversity dean, and the accompanying overhead of administrators and deputies, are a frill.  The mission is education and not nursemaiding.  Students need to be focused on what happens after college, when they have to get a job in a world where there may or may not be a "diversity dean".

I would think that colleges could replace their diversity staff with a couple of lectures for the Senior Class on job hunting and interviews and work place social behavior.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

NYC Fail

For John, BLUFAs you think about this major fail in our largest City, remember that just weeks ago the Mayor, Bill de Blasio, was a front runner for the Democratic nomination for President.  We dodged a bullet.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Reporter Susan Edelman, 21 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

One after another, sick Brooklyn Technical High School teachers called union chapter leader Nate Bonheimer last week, to tell him they’d tested positive for COVID-19.

By Friday, five of them had shared the devastating news.  But after being notified about each one, the city Department of Education still ordered the 6,000-student school’s 350 staffers to show up for work last week, saying the building had been cleaned.

“The DOE did not close the school for any of the cases,” said Bonheimer, who worries that inaction exposed others to the dreaded infection.

The city failed to follow a March 9 directive by the state Education Department that “requires an initial 24-hour closure, in order to begin an investigation to determine the contacts that the individual may have had within the school environment.”

DOE did not attempt to identify close contacts, Bonheimer said. “They did not alert the people who needed to know the most to protect themselves, their families and everyone else they came into contact with.”

One infected teacher was so torn by the secrecy he took it upon himself to personally let all his students know his condition.

Around the city, teachers and administrators are outraged that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza resisted a drum beat to close the public schools in the name of safety.

Some renamed the coronavirus “Carranzavirus.”

This speaks for itself.  I figure there must be some Latin phrase for this, and sure enough, there is—Res Ipsa Loquitur.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Coronavirus Source

For John, BLUFIt is the Babylon Bee, but is it any more wrong than The Washington Post.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 20 March 2020, with Contribution by Mr Michael Cunningham.

Here is the lede plus two:

MUSKETVILLE, MA—Authorities have been trying to figure out what party is responsible for the coronavirus, and they've finally found the culprit:  local woman Sarah Hutchins, who prayed a few months ago that her husband, Bill, would stop watching sports all the time.

According to experts, the woman's prayer went up to the Lord, who granted it by causing a global pandemic that canceled all sporting events for the near future.

"It's kind of one of those monkey's paw situations," said medical researcher Dr. Grant U. Healey, who must have been referring to The Simpsons.  "Her prayer was granted, but at what cost?"

Since the Media and Woke scolds tell us we can't suggest China as the culprit, this makes as much sense as any.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Tulsi Suspends Campaign

For John, BLUFYes, amongst the Democrats she was my favorite.  And DNC Chairman Tom Perez did her wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the first paragraph of Candidate Tulsi Gabbard's EMail this morning:
I want you to hear this from me first, C R. I owe you an incredible debt of gratitude for all you’ve done as the heart and soul of our people-powered campaign: Today, I’ve made the decision to suspend my campaign for the presidency.

Note that she suspends, but does not end.

Also, ahe endorses Candidate Joe Biden.

Regards  —  Cliff

President Slimed by Biden Aide

For John, BLUFIs "racism" always the Democratic Party fallback position?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Breitbart, by Reporter Ian Hanchett, 18 March 2020.

Here is the lede:

On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “The Story,” Biden Campaign Senior Adviser Symone Sanders said that while some of what President Trump said during that day’s coronavirus briefing was good, he also referred to the coronavirus by “a racial slur.”
This is a manufactured crisis.

People have been identifying diseases by place of origin, even if the wrong location, for over a century.  Longevity of such attribution doesn't justify it, but ease and accuracy of communication does.  As does the proper understanding of the vector of the disease.  It come from somewhere, rather than magically appearing out of nowhere.  Why are we hiding from that.  There is only one reason.  The Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media find other handles to hot to grab with regard to the President and the Coronavirus and so they are going with one they have thought effective in the past.  It is past disgraceful, it is despicable.  Further, it covers over the actual anti-Chinese racism we see in places like Harvard and the New York City Public School System.

Regards  —  Cliff

  There is the Spanish Flu from 1918, which appears to have originated in Kansas.

Dustup in the 17th Middlesex

For John, BLUFRunning against David Nangle is, historically, a losing proposition.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:


From The [Lowell] Sun, by Reporter Elizabeth Dobbins, 19 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

Three more people have pulled papers to run for the 17 th Middlesex District, adding to a quickly crowding race for a seat held by longtime state Rep. David Nangle.

Republican Martin Burke, who challenged Nangle in 2012, pulled papers as well as independents Donald Persons and David Richmond.

Two Democrats — Lisa Arnold and Zachary Stinchfield — previously joined the race.  Incumbent state Rep. Dave Nangle has also announced his intention to run for re- election while facing a 28count federal indictment.

Nangle has not pulled papers.  Candidates can, though rarely, bypass this step through obtaining copies of these documents from someone who has pulled papers, according to a spokesperson from Secretary of State William Galvin’s Office.

Burke, 46, runs a real estate appraiser business from an office in downtown Lowell.  He said Nangle has “ failed the public’s trust,” prompting him to run for a second time.

Burke challenged Nangle in 2012 and received 23.2% of the vote.

If elected, Burke said he would like to push for an audit of the MBTA, create more revenue streams for the transit service, oppose gas taxes, introduce term limits and advocate for more senior housing.

Having run twice against Representative Nangle myself, I know what an uphill battle it will be to oppose him this year.  However, contrary to what the City Life Show producer says, Candidates are not wasting their Summer.  Anything that creates public debate is good for the public.  Those who raise issues are doing a public service.  And, as elections across the nation show, sometimes the correlation of forces is such that the incumbent is thrown out.

The above is not to suggest that I think the Federal charges against our Neighborhood Guy, Dave Nangle, are necessarily true.  In fact, I see this as looking like it is part of the pattern of charges that have plagued the Trump Administration, due to abuses by a DOJ filled with partisan actors.  For example, why all the theater of an early morning arrest at his house, with the Press invited.  Why was he not invited down to the Federal Attorney's Office?  Do we have a pattern and practice of politicians indicted fleeing the country or barricading themselves in homes or offices?  Not that I have seen.

My issues with Representative Nangle turn to issues, such as who he votes for to be Speaker of the House.  Let us fight this out on the issues  And may the best Martin Burke win.

Regards  —  Cliff

Armed Services v COVID-19

For John, BLUFThe military should not always be the "Go To" people in a crisis.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Lawfire Blog, by Professor Charlie Dunlap, 19 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

With rattled governors calling out the National Guard, politicians demanding the mobilization of the military, pundits characterizing the coronavirus emergency as a national security threat, analysts claiming that “battling a pandemic is a job for the military,” and even talk of “martial law”, the pressure is growing to further militarize the coronavirus response.

In a sense, this is understandable given the high-standing of the military in the eyes of the American people.  But while there are some things the armed forces can and should do now, a significant militarization of the coronavirus response (at this point anyway) is a bad idea. Allow me to explain why.

Here are the author's seven key points:
1) The military needs to be ready to counter any adversary who seeks to exploit the situation.

2) Military health capabilities are more limited than many suppose

3) Civilian leaders and agencies are better suited for what is needed now.

4) There are perils to characterizing even a serious national health issue as a “national security” threat.

5) This particular threat is not one for which the military – and military families – ought to disproportionately bear the burden

6) We are not yet in extremis

7) The military has to be reserved – and preserved – for the worst case scenario.

I think Professor Dunlap does an excellent job of explaining the interface of the military and the response to the Coronavirus.

The author is a retired Air Force Major General, a former deputy judge advocate general of the United States Air Force.  In July 2010 he joined the Duke Law faculty, where he is a professor of the practice of law and Executive Director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security.

Regards  —  Cliff

Political Warfare—Coronavirus Version

For John, BLUFThe US has not been doing well in the area of political warfare for some time, and needs to reverse course.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Beijing deploys soft power as Europe and US fall short on solidarity.

From Politico, by Reporter Matthew Karnitschnig, 18 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus six:

Judging by the propaganda, this really is war.

And China is winning.

As Europe struggles to slow the spread of coronavirus and China begins to show signs that it has put the worst of the outbreak behind it, Beijing is engaging in a not-so-subtle PR campaign.

China’s main strategy is to show that the country that gave birth to the virus (and then covered it up for weeks, allowing it to spread across the globe unhindered) is on the front lines trying to save humanity, while the EU can’t get its act together and the world’s other superpower is busy pointing fingers.

Over the past few days, China has sent planeloads of masks, teams of doctors and even ventilators around the world to help battle the crisis.  Chinese billionaire Jack Ma donated one million masks and hundreds of thousands of testing kits to the U.S., with the first load arriving in Seattle on Monday.

"We are doing instead of talking.  We are the friends not enemy.  Could the American do the same to Chinese?" China's ambassador to South Africa, Lin Songtian, tweeted on Monday.

A shipment of 300,000 masks, sent by Chinese charities founded by Ma and his Alibaba empire, arrived in Belgium this week.  Chinese state news agency Xinhua published a photograph of one of the containers draped with the slogan “Unity makes strength” in French, Flemish and Chinese.

Retired Army Colonel David Maxwell talked about this sort of thing in a 27 February Washington Examiner Article, "China's political warfare strategy takes hit from coronavirus".  Here is an extract:
The priority must be on stopping this pandemic.  However, after it is contained and the international economy is returned to normalcy, responsible governments must take a hard look at Chinese authoritarian political warfare and realize the danger it poses.  China will push back with claims that it will not tolerate a smear campaign.  But China must be held accountable.  We can, on that front, take a page from Sun Tzu's Art of War.  As he wrote, "What is of supreme importance is to attack the enemy's strategy."  It is time the U.S. and like-minded countries attack and neutralize the Chinese Communist Party's authoritarian political warfare strategy.
I believe Colonel Maxwell is correct regarding the needed action, but I would say, even now, someone in the Department of State should be ticked off as the person to start organizing this effort.  And not a junior functionary, but a new George F Kennan.

Regards  —  Cliff

Homelessness in a Time of Pandemic

For John, BLUFHomelessness, even with Federal inputs, is still a local problem, with local people being at the coalface.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The homeless present special challenges in the current crisis.

From City Journal, by Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Stephen Eide, 16 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Thus far, no homeless people have tested positive for coronavirus, though that may be due mainly to the sporadic nature of America’s current testing regime.  Homeless-services agencies long ago realized the threat that they face.  The “phony war” character of the last few weeks has given officials time to plan their response. Most assume an outbreak of COVID-19 among the homeless as a question of when, not if.

The homeless population is large and diverse, and some are more at risk than others, both in terms of contracting the virus and dying from it.  Many of the street homeless practice social distancing as a lifestyle.  Shelters strictly regulate access by non-clients.  The homeless are unlikely to have attended a Biogen conference or traveled recently on a cruise or plane.

But the social isolation of the homeless has major downsides as well, insofar as it may impede the heightened public-health consciousness that officials claim is crucial to mitigating the crisis.  A number of news articles have reported worries among the homeless, but it’s hard to say how representative those reports are, because low-functioning, highly isolated homeless people are less likely to speak to reporters.

The article continues as an even handed and balanced look at the problems of homelessness in a time of a pandemic.

Then we have, from Pajama Media, by Ms Victoria Taft, 15 March 2020.

This is a more cynical look at the homeless problem:
California is the place where nearly 50% of the nation's homeless population have congregated to kick back, live on the beach, collect a check, and use and abuse drugs with impunity.

Citizens from San Diego, where the homeless were hit especially hard by Hepatitis A, to Los Angeles, where typhoid is making a comeback, to San Francisco, where there are visible urine lines on buildings in The Tenderloin, Californians have begged, pleaded, demanded that something be done about the filthy conditions, which threaten everyone's health.  But progressive politicians have done nothing but make such behavior easier.  People like former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon decriminalized anti-social behaviors – open-air drugging, urinating and pooping on the streets. He refused to enforce the law and, indeed, wrote Proposition 47 – passed by voters – that has made the homeless problem even worse.  Gascon is now running for Los Angeles district attorney.

Despite these pleas from the public, little to nothing has been done to get people off the streets and enforce the law to discourage even more from coming.  Californians are being told, in effect, that they're mean and nasty for wanting the drugging, sleeping, pooping, peeing homeless to shove off.  Elected officials claim that they have no way to do this because of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision.  By enforcing few if any laws, they entice more to come.

But in Sunday's news conference on the coronavirus, COVID-19, Governor Gavin Newsom gave away the game. In announcing that people 65 and over should stay home and ordering bars, wineries, and breweries to be closed, Newsom also had a word about the homeless and the virus.

Newsom told reporters, "We’re working in real-time to secure hotels, motels, and trailers to house our homeless safely and protect our communities and the spread of COVID-19."

The difference between now and then is that today we are willing to trample on Civil Rights and before we were willing to allow the rights of some to be trampled to protect the freedoms of others.  No longer.

I hope that when the Coronavirus pandemic is over that we can continue with more positive efforts to end homeless.  Having said that, I recognize that while some of it is mental health, part of it is from social policy failures.  How do we fix that?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

The Bureaucratic Shoulder Shrug

For John, BLUFIn a time when Restaurants and Bars are closed, except for "pickup", one would think the Office of the Secretary of State would be all in for helping out Town and City/Ward Committees have time after the self-isolation period is over to do the job of organizing the Committees.  But one would be wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Each city, ward and town committee shall within ten days after the thirtieth day next following the election of its members, meet and organize by the choice of a chairman, a secretary, a treasurer and such other officers as it may decide to elect; provided that members of said committee elected in nineteen hundred and seventy-six shall meet and organize within ten days after May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and seventy-six. At such meeting a ward or town committee may add to its elected members; provided, that by so doing the total number of members shall not be made to exceed the number determined under section nine.
It goes on, but the above is the key passage.  And the date is "within ten days after the thirtieth day next following the election," which was 3 March.  I am so-so with arithmetic, but I make it to be between 2 and 12 April.

I called down to the Elections folks on Beacon Hill: Secretary of the Commonwealth
Elections Division
McCormack Building
One Ashburton Place, Room 1705
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 727-2828

And I posed the question, given that the Law says we have to organize our Political Party Committees for our Wards here in Lowell in about three weeks and we are in the middle of a State of Emergency declared by the Governor, due to the COVID-19 Virus (aka Coronavirus), can we get the deadline pushed out a while?

I was told that the deadline is in the law and I should contact my State Committee for help.


For Heaven's sake, there are states cancelling primary elections (in the case of Ohio, the Governor bypassing a court ruling) and the Secretary of State, William Francis Galvin, is unable to do anything to buy us some time?  Are his powers so weak under the Governor's Declaration of Emergency?  Or does he just not care?

This is definitely UNSAT.

Yes, I will find a workaround. Regards  —  Cliff

  One would think that this could have been more clearly written, but I guess with the big bucks the legislators get they need to do things in a fancy pants sort of way.  By the way, our State Committeeman thinks it is between March 31 and April 9, based on a different reading of "thirtieth day".  So, I called back down to the SecState's Election Office and they gave me the "salute" and told me to contact the Party.  But, pressed, the person went with the 2 to 12 April dates I came up with.  One is tempted to key the mic and call out Falcon Code 104.  But one wouldn't, because it is NSFW.

Appreciating Our Situation

For John, BLUFThe President sometimes says what he means and describes reality as he sees it, rather than as some idealize it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Note that this article is from two years ago.  But it is still true today.

From The American interest, by Former Peace Corps Volunteer Ms Karin McQuillan, 17 January 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

Three weeks after college, I flew to Senegal, West Africa, to run a community center in a rural town.  Life was placid, with no danger, except to your health.  That danger was considerable, because it was, in the words of the Peace Corps doctor, "a fecalized environment."

In plain English: s--- is everywhere.  People defecate on the open ground, and the feces is blown with the dust – onto you, your clothes, your food, the water.  He warned us the first day of training: do not even touch water.  Human feces carries parasites that bore through your skin and cause organ failure.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a few decades later, liberals would be pushing the lie that Western civilization is no better than a third-world country.  Or would teach two generations of our kids that loving your own culture and wanting to preserve it are racism.

Last time I was in Paris, I saw a beautiful African woman in a grand boubou have her child defecate on the sidewalk next to Notre Dame Cathedral.  The French police officer, ten steps from her, turned his head not to see.

While President Trump was impolitic, I think he captured a truth.  While some of us may idealize people from less capitalist, less democratic nations, those idealized people may not, in fact, be better off than we are, and may not represent an ideal we should ascribe to.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Compare and Contrast

For John, BLUFThere seems to be a division in America between the educated elites and the average Jane and Joe trying to make a Middle Class life.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

  • Middlebury is one of many colleges across the country closing because of coronavirus.
  • Students have responded by vandalizing campus on their way out and at least one local business on the way out.

From Campus Reform, by Digital Reporter Eduardo Neret, 16 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Following a decision to vacate campus for coronavirus, students at Middlebury College in Vermont responded by vandalizing campus and other areas, including ripping down an American flag from a local bar's storefront, according to a report from TheMiddlebury Campus student newspaper.

The campus paper reported that students partied, drank, and vandalized the campus and town.  Damage, the paper reported, ranged from shattered windows to stolen signs to ruined furniture.  Middlebury College Landscape Horticulturist and Staff Council President Tim Parsons told the campus paper that it has taken his staff days to clean up the mess left by students.

“There are seniors seeing people maybe for the last time ever, I get it,” Parsons told Middlebury Campus.  “But why take it out on other people here?  You’re part of a community.”  One worker assigned to secure buildings that are set to be closed on campus said he saw items like fans, microwaves, and soap dispensers from residence halls that were destroyed and tossed.

Maybe this is a good reason to not allow college students to vote in the community in which they are sleeping.  They are not seriously part of the place.

In contrast, there is:

From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Salena Zito, 17 March 2020.

The bells at The First United Methodist Church ring out the noon hour Monday.  For the longest stretch of time, it is the only sign of life along Washington Street.

Everywhere you look, the storefronts in this town are shuttered.  This time, it has nothing to do with an economic downturn; it is the day after Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine closed all of the schools and ordered bars and restaurants to shut down, all an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Outside city hall, a rental truck with voting machines is loading them into the municipal offices.

The new mayor, Greg Bricker, is considering closing the city offices to protect his firemen, police, paramedics as well as clerks -- officials who keep the city functioning -- and the health department workers.

He keeps his distance from the building that will be used for voting as he calmly paces back and forth, taking several calls and dialing into a conference call with the governor’s office.

Here is Reporter Zito's Tweet on the situation and her Column:
SalenaZito @SalenaZito · 6h

As I am heading to different places covering this crisis a couple of things stand out
1) people are pulling together not coming apart
2) there is very little if any talk of politics or blame
3) lot more “in this together” in person than online

And here is how the column ends, with hope and dignity:
On East Fifth Avenue just before you dip down to the Lincoln Highway, you find the old Potters Bank and Trust Company.  The stately 19th Century building has been unoccupied for nearly two decades.  It was within just weeks of finally reopening as Renovatio’s Tap Room and Restaurant.

It was the kind of development that Bricker ran on last year to bring to his hometown; a town that has been plagued with the ravages of serial economic dips for decades.

The “Coming Soon!” sign on the doors points to anticipation, promise and hope -- three things most people in this country are holding onto right now.

This seems to capture my prejudice for average Americans from the middle of the Country as compared to the credentialed elites from our elite institutions of higher learning.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Professor Paul Krugman on the Customer

For John, BLUFHe must have done some real research, back in the day, thus earning his Nobel Prize.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Red State, by Sister Toldjah, 16 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

When last we left you with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, he was making wild and unsubstantiated claims about the Wuhan coronavirus threat, President Trump, climate change, and universal healthcare in an unhinged Twitter thread.  Before that, he boiled Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign failures down to “sexism“, even though that is demonstrably false.

To further demonstrate his utter cluelessness, Krugman took to the Twitter machine on Saturday to mock Second Amendment supporters who have stood in long lines in recent days to stock up on guns and ammunition.  He was responding to a snide tweet by Salon writer “Digby”, who wondered if people waiting to make their guns/ammo purchases were “going to shoot the coronavirus”:

When Professir Krugman gets off the path he tends to wander.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

For John, BLUFNow I just have to find something green to wear today.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, via MSM, by Reporter Gillian Brockell, 5 Narch 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

The miracles of the saints just aren’t appreciated like they used to be.

A 22-year-old Dublin man was hospitalized after being bitten by a snake — the first venomous snake bite reported in Irish history, according to the Irish Post — just weeks before the world celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.

Legend has it that Saint Patrick drove the snakes from Ireland more than 1,500 years ago.  Despite this obvious blessing, people can still import them, even venomous ones, as pets.

This was apparently the case with the man who was bitten in late February by a puff adder, a venomous snake native to semiarid regions (i.e. not Ireland).

Wouldn’t you think keeping of a poisonous snake as tempting fate?  Why try to reverse the good works of the good Saint?

May the good Saint bless and keep us, both the genetically Irish and those who have adopted the Green for the day.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 16, 2020

Our Collective Future

For John, BLUFYes, given the way the Government is waffling re Lieutenant General Michael Flynn and the way he was prosecuted, it is time for all of us to encourage our elected representatives to clean up the exceptions to our Bill of Rights protections.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Times, by Reporter Jeff Mordock, 15 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus fourI can't decide if this is about Representative Adam Schiff's irrational hatred of President Trump or his:

Attempts to rein in the government’s ability to spy on Americans fell flat after Rep. Adam B. Schiff intervened to protect the types of powers that the FBI used to go after the Trump campaign in 2016.

Mr. Schiff, California Democrat and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, ran roughshod over House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, whose panel had control over the battle to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, said advocates on both sides of the aisle.

The power struggle created an awkward moment in which Mr. Nadler canceled the markup of his own bill just minutes before it was scheduled.

FISA allows U.S. intelligence agencies to meet with judges behind closed doors and explain why spying is needed without anyone to question their evidence.  The process has come under scrutiny since revelations last year confirmed that the FBI abused FISA to surveil Trump campaign figure Carter Page as part of its probe into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Liberal civil libertarians and conservative defenders of President Trump united in an attempt to curb the government’s powers with FISA reforms.  Instead, Mr. Schiff, at the urging of the intelligence community, pushed for smaller tweaks to the law.

I can't decide if this is about Representative Adam Schiff's irrational hatred of President Trump or if he is just in thralldom to the Deep State.  Neither is a good thing.

But, this is just part of the Larger issues we face, but fits easily into the angst expressed by Columnist Rod Dreher at The American Conservative (16 March 2020):

In the column Mr Dreher looks to the future and sees our liberal political system (in the old sense) being superseded by something like China's authoritarian Social Credit System.  He sees the authoritarian actions in response to the Coronavirus continuing on long after the pandemic has receded.  Here is how it ends:
It will not end there, though.  The system will stay in place after the crisis has passed, and most Americans, traumatized by the pandemic’s destruction, will be happy with that. It will then be deployed to protect the “health and safety” of the body politic by monitoring political and religious dissidents.  The logic of what we have all seen on campuses — speakers shut down because their points of view supposedly threaten the health and safety of “vulnerable minorities” — is going to be deployed by the state against dissidents of the political and religious right.  The rhetoric of public health is going to be unassailable after this crisis passes — and the political right, having destroyed itself over its Trumpian response to the crisis, will be unable to stand up against it.

It’s coming, eventually.  But I also believe that the professor is right for the shorter term about the possibility of Trump seizing emergency powers.

Either way, the end of liberalism is upon us.  I don’t think any of us foresaw that it would come from a virus.  For that matter, most people on both the left and the right don’t even see how bad it is likely to get.  They still think we’re in normal time, but in truth, it’s August 1914.

I have friend who is a hardened Democrat.  He wrote today:
Renember he ignores science and denies facts.  Whether he has simply gotten the message or not, it still is historic the damage he has done to federal organizations due to his beliefs.  He cant obscure that fact.
Nancy passed a bipartisan bill.
He didn't mention how Speaker Pelosi put a poison pill in the initial bill.  But, we are making political progress, and I am expecting we will have an Election on 3 November.  And, if whoever the Democrats pick wins, we will have a peaceful transition of government in January 2021.  This is a pandemic, not the end of democracy as we know it.  But we all have to fight for our God given "Rights (as Englishmen)" and our Constitution.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  AKA Nancy the Ripper.
  She had, buried in the bill, a repeal of the Hyde Amendment.

Sunday Dem Debate

For John, BLUFI admit I had forgotten about the debate and was watching a Hallmark mystery movie.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The JALTCOH Blog, by Blogger John Althouse Cohen, 15 March 2020.

Here is the conclusion:

My verdict:  Biden won. Sanders is so far behind that in order to make any real progress in turning things around, he would have needed to have a fantastic performance while Biden stumbled badly.  That didn't happen.
We are still a ways from the Democratic National Convention, 13-16 July 2020, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The other thing of interest is that Former Vice President Joe Biden committed to putting a woman on the Ticket, as the Vice Presidential nominee.  Who was not revealed.  Possibilities include Senator Klobachur, Senator Warren, Senator Kamala Harris, Senator Gillibrand, former DNC Chairman Donna Brazille and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Given the terrible way the Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez has treated Representative Tulsi Gabbard I double she is in the running.  I am guessing the call will go to .

As a side note, a guest on Fox and Friends Mr Tony Katz, just made the point that the lack of an audience seemed to hurt Senator Sanders, who feeds off the crowd.  He also made the point that to know what is happening in the hinterland, follow the reporting of Reporter Salena Zito.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 14, 2020

The Wall From the Other Side

For John, BLUFAfter all the whinging about the wall separating us from Mexico, now we have Mexico wanting to keep those Gringos out.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Mail, by Reporter Jennifer Smith, 13 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus one:

For once, the conversation over closing the US-Mexico border is being driven by Mexican health officials who say they are considering shutting out Americans to keep coronavirus out of their country.

There are currently more than 2,000 cases of the virus in the US and it is spreading rapidly. Forty-three people have died from it.

By contrast in Mexico, there have only been 16 confirmed cases and no deaths.

At a press conference on Friday, health minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said: 'Mexico wouldn't bring the virus to the United States, rather the United States would bring it here.

It is good to see that in this first diverse world that some nations see the value of borers.  Poet Robert Frost, in his book North of Boston (Derry, New Hampshire, actually) tells us "Good fences make good neighbors," twice ("Mending Walls").

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Whither the West

For John, BLUFCivilization has been in decline since Eve's Sons were knee high to a grass hopper.  But, now it is serious.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Commonweal Magazine, by Professor Andrew J. Bacevich, 9 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

I read The Decadent Society while on a weeklong cruise from Miami to Miami, stopping at various sun-bleached points in between.  Future historians may well classify such voyages back to the place where you first embarked as the very embodiment of early twenty-first-century bourgeois decadence, with food and drink, entertainment and diversions, all available in seemingly endless supply.  With chapter titles such as “Sclerosis,” “Sterility,” “Repetition,” “Comfortably Numb,” and “Kindly Despotism” (“No jeans in the dining room after 6:00 p.m., please.”), Ross Douthat’s new book, The Decadent Society, seemed particularly apt as I considered whether or not to make another pass through the buffet line before heading to the bar for the extended happy hour.

It is not my intention to have fun at Douthat’s expense, however.  He is, in my judgment, the only New York Times columnist regularly worth reading—this due in no small part to his sturdy refusal to succumb to Trump Derangement Syndrome.  Indeed, his new book pays refreshingly little attention to our forty-fifth president.  Donald R. Trump is “fundamentally more farcical than threatening,” he writes, a point with which I heartily agree.

The Decadent Society offers a fresh take on an old subject:  the decline of Western civilization, with the United States leading the pack.  Douthat writes from the perspective of a Catholic conservative Gen Xer at the top of his game.  To this semi-senescent Catholic conservative Boomer, the resulting critique is original, insightful, and largely persuasive.

Decadence, as Douthat uses the term, consists of “economic stagnation, institutional decay, and cultural and intellectual exhaustion” combined with “a high level of material prosperity and technological development”—not bad as a broad description of our current situation.  A vibrant society, Douthat believes, creates, discovers, and expands.  Until well past the midpoint of the twentieth century, the West generally and the United States specifically exhibited these qualities.  Around the time my fellow Boomers reached maturity, however, anomie and stasis set in, with the results now everywhere evident.  “Resignation haunts our present civilization,” Douthat writes, with “therapeutic philosophies and technologies of simulation” having displaced passion, conviction, and faith.  Overstated? Perhaps, but not wrong.

Yes, our society is drifting from where it was in the 1950s.  How do we go forward?  I guess I will have to read the book to learn the prescription.

Regards  —  Cliff

Unreflective Press

For John, BLUFFrom Walter Duranty to the Wuhan Virus, The New York Times Has been more about the "Party Line" and less about the truth the American People need.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From MRC TV, by Mr Eric Scheiner, 12 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

The leftist media are claiming President Trump and the GOP are up to something sinister if they’ve ever referred to the Coronavirus as the “Wuhan or Chinese Coronavirus,” but they seem okay if they say it.

“We are starting to see a message shift here,” CNN’s Chris Cuomo said on Wednesday.  “Because you are starting to hear the Republicans, especially Trump Co. calling it the Wuhan or the Chinese Coronavirus, they’re looking for someone to blame.”

Hey, Fake News Fredo, if you’re looking for someone to blame for saying “Wuhan Coronavirus” try looking in a mirror, or maybe watch your own network.

From the blog Legal Insurrection we have NY Times reporter:  “disdain for and distrust of the media right now is worse than I’ve seen at any point throughout this presidency”, posted by William A. Jacobson.

Maybe The Paper of Record (no, not The Babylon Bee) could do an in-depth article on when Wuhan was OK and when it became bad, and why.  Otherwise, a lot of us will just struggle along with a high distrust of the Mainstream Media, wondering when arrogance replaced competence.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, March 13, 2020

Twitter the Great Judge

For John, BLUFThe reason for not having rules for social media is that they are already distorting the political atmosphere.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Matt Margolis, 9 March 2020.

Here is the lede:

Is Twitter protecting Joe Biden?  I think it might be.
I have nothing to add.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Italy Fails to Cope

For John, BLUFItaly is showing what happens when you have weak health care and then you get a pandemic.  The example floating around is if the virus victims doubles daily, seven days before it hits 100%, it is less than 1%.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Paula Bolyard, 12 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus three:

Health officials in Italy have issued guidelines for rationing care as hospitals there struggle to keep up with the surge of patients infected with the coronavirus.  Doctors are being told that they'll likely need to deny care to senior citizens and those with other health conditions as the virus explodes across the nation.

Italy has been rocked by the still not-well-understood COVID-29 (sic), with more than 1,200 confirmed cases and 827 deaths—second only to China—and 16 million residents currently under quarantine.

An article published by the Italian College of Anesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care (translated here by Yascha Mounk) warns that "It may be necessary to establish criteria of access to intensive care not just on the basis of clinical appropriateness but inspired by the most consensual criteria regarding distributive justice and the appropriate allocation of limited health resources."  The report goes on to recommend rationing care to certain populations.

Rationing health care is nothing new in Italy and in fact has become an "established trend" in recent years amid an ongoing economic crisis that has strained government resources, including the government-run healthcare system.

I am guessing Italy is not one of those European nations Senator Bernie Sanders looks up to as an example of universal medical care.

Pr Reporter Tim Pearce, at The Washington Examiner, ‘Not a single EU country’ responded to Italian plea for help with coronavirus.  I hope President Trump is aware of this and doing something to help Italy, so they know WE haven't forgotten them.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Let us hope things turn the corner on this, and soon.  Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Hate Fighting "Hate"

For John, BLUFThe SPLC, and CAIR, have been spewing hate for some time.  In the case of the SPLC, it seems to have evolved to its current position.  Which is sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Reporter Tyler o'Neil, 11 March 2020.

Here is the lede plus two:

Liberal activist groups are pressuring donor-advised funds (DAFs) to blacklist conservative and Christian organizations in the name of fighting white supremacy and "hate."  On Tuesday, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), themselves far from immune from scandal, released a report urging this philanthropic sector — which held more than $121 billion in donor contributions in 2018 — to join the political warfare effort of isolating conservative voices from polite society.  The report favorably cites Fidelity Charitable's and Schwab Charitable's decisions to ban contributions to the NRA, citing San Francisco's resolution condemning the NRA as a "terrorist organization."

"Straddling the intersection of public and private, the philanthropic sector — like tech companies — functions as a powerful platform for hate," the report warns.  The SPLC and CAIR pepper their report with mentions of specific white nationalist groups and terrorist attacks inspired by white supremacy, associating these things with SPLC-accused "hate groups."

The SPLC's much-vaunted "hate group" list includes mainstream Christian charities (like the law firm Alliance Defending Freedom and the policy group Family Research Council) and conservative nonprofits like the Center for Security Policy, ACT for America, and the Center for Immigration Studies.  Amid a racism and sexism scandal last year, former SPLC employees confessed that the "hate group" list is a fundraising scam.  A would-be terrorist even used the SPLC "hate map" to target the Family Research Council for a mass shooting in 2012.  The SPLC faces multiple defamation lawsuits regarding the accusations.  (I cover all this and more in detail in my book Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center.)

The Fascist/Communist approach of the SPLC and CAIR to those who deviate from the Party Line is abominable, and very un-American.  These are the thought police.  If you deviate from their line you are evil. As an American, who believes in the value of free speech, this is embarrassing.  Worse, there are those who actually think the SPLC is a criminal enterprise.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff