Friday, December 25, 2020

Covid-19 Narrative

 ABC News provides us with reasons why the vaccine will not end shutdowns and the need to wear masks. Which leads me to wonder why we had all the hype about the vaccine, and to ask why anyone should accept the risks of taking a relatively untested vaccine if it isn’t going to change our lives for the better.

It's another step in an insane progression. The shutdown was initially to be for five weeks in order to “flatten the curve,” and then lasted for more than ten months “until a vaccine is developed.” Now that the vaccine is developed they have moved the goalposts yet again.

1. “Vaccination does not provide instant immunity.” Okay, that’s fair enough, but they do not say that you need to wear your mask and “observe precautions” for two weeks, or four weeks. They say you need to just keep doing it until they tell you to stop, which we know will never happen.

2. “Vaccination trials did not track whether participants wore masks.” There’s a long explanation about this, but it boils down to the vaccine not being adequately tested and that we don’t know whether or not it works. So why are we distributing it with so much hyperbole about it, and why should anyone be willing to take it?

3. “The real world does not mimic a controlled clinical trial.” Another long nonsensical explanation follows, which boils down to “we don’t know if the vaccine works.” See my questions at reason number two.

4. “The herd immunity threshold for COVID-19 is unknown.” This is just unadulterated babble. If the vaccine is worth the time and effort to distribute it, that is if it makes individuals immune, then “herd immunity” is irrelevant. If an individual is immune and can neither catch or spread the disease, then that individual wearing a mask and “taking precautions” has nothing whatever to do with “herd immunity.”

5. “The duration of vaccine immunity is unknown.” Another argument that boils down to “we haven’t adequately tested the vaccine and we don’t know if it works.” So one more time with a sensible question of, why are we distributing it with so much hyperbole about it, and why should anyone be willing to take it?

6. “It is unclear whether vaccines prevent transmission of COVID-19.” This one is simply stunning in its level of stupidity. It means the vaccine was actually not tested at all for the primary purpose of a vaccine, which is to prevent the spread of a disease. Here we are rolling out a vaccine with great fanfare, breaking our collective arm patting ourselves on the back for our “success” and hailing the producers as heroes on the level of those who walked on the Moon, and we don’t even claim to know whether or not it serves the primary purpose of a vaccine, which is to prevent the spread of the disease.

And this garbage was written by an internist, a “Doctor of Internal Medicine” who is, to boot, an instructor at  the University of Illinois School of Public Health and is a physician in private practice. The dishonesty and stupidity of the narrative surrounding this virus is simply astounding.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Promising Signs

The San Diego paper had quite a lot to say (sorry, unable to link) about public opinion of Biden’s pick for Vice President. They said that it “changed few minds” but that survey showed that there were “promising signs” for Biden nationally, which seems a bit contradictory.  


“Overall support for Biden went from 54 percent to 56 percent,” they told us, while “Trump showed a slight bump” going from 25% to 28% in the poll. So a 3.7% increase for Biden deserves no modifying adjective, while a 12% increase for Trump is “a slight bump.” Interesting. Do we detect a slight bias in this reporting? 


If there were any “promising signs” in the survey, they were entirely for Trump, as his numbers improved in nearly every category by more than Biden's did, in some important categories dramatically more. 


In addition to overall support above, where Trump’s increase was larger than Biden’s by 12% to 3.7%, Trump had higher gains within his own party. Biden gained nothing among Democrats, remaining at 86%, while Trump gained 6 points among Republicans, going from 72% to 78%. 


Each gained a single point in the opposing party, which represents a 9% gain for Biden and a 25% gain for Trump. 


Biden gained a single point among white voters, from 44% to 45% which represents a 2.3% increase, while Trump gained 3 points, from 39% to 42% for a 7.7% increase. 


Biden got utterly destroyed in the black vote, which is really weird, since he selected Harris for the specific purpose of courting the black vote. It seems to have had the opposite effect. Biden actually lost ground, dropping from 83% to 80%, which represents a 3.6% decrease. Trump’s support among blacks went from 7% to 15%, giving him a 115% increase which is simply stunning. 


And somehow, Democrats can look at this survey and see “promising signs” for Biden’s election. Can he win the election with 15% of the black vote going to Trump?

Thursday, August 06, 2020

It Depends On Who Says It

Democrats and many Republicans applauded Obama for saying that, "If Congress won't act, then I will." The same people are accusing Trump of acting as a dictator and/or being insane when he responds to Congressional inaction by saying, "I'll do it by myself if I have to." Sign of the times.

Monday, July 27, 2020

This Time It's On Purpose

The last time that home mortgages started being massively defaulted was, wait for it... 2008. This time the government is actually encouraging homeowners to default on their home loans. They seem to think it will turn out differently than it did in 2008. Good luck to us all.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Fine Lines: Riots Explained

From today's edition of Clusterfuck Nation:

"I’d be demoralized, too, were I twenty years old. To make matters worse, the cafes, craft beer joints, and twee little vegan lunch bars are shut down, along with the music halls and every other arts venue, and who has any money? Their intersectional bodies are roiling with youthful hormones, with an assist from weed and other stimulants. What better way to work off all that energy on a warm summer night than to riot in the streets against a society that has actually prepared them for nothing except protesting the unfairness of life."

Monday, May 25, 2020

Doing It Right

NASCAR has been annoying me the past few years with its hype and nonsense, but the race on Sunday (Memorial Day "Coca Cola 600") was pretty nicely done.

They started with a flyover of WW2 warplanes, including a B-24, a P-51 Mustang, F-9 Wildcat and others, all dressed up in their 1940s color schemes. It was, to boot, done during a very nice rendition of the national anthem.

Each car carried above the windshield the name of a military veteran who had lost their life in the service of their nation. During the race they periodically described the lives of these folks and how they perished. It could have been overdone, I think, but they hit a very nice balance. Each driver knew the history of the person whose name they represented, and spoke as if they felt a personal responsibility to do them right. It felt very respectful and serious.

Maybe this pandemic has made people stop and think.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Why Isn't This Obvious

People are complaining that airlines are filling airplanes too full, crowding passengers too close together. Are they doing so at the point of a gun? Why are the people who are complaining about it simply not getting on the airplane, or getting off once it becomes crowded? "I'm not sitting here," addressed to a flight crew member solves the problem. But no, the airline is blamed.

We're not sure that having Covid19 and recovering from it confers immunity? Really? How can one recover from a viral illness without developing immunity? If you don't develop immunity, you remain sick.

Saturday, May 09, 2020

Good Thing We Shut Down

Meat packing plants are shutting down and creating a shortage of product because "all of the workers are going to die." One plant in Minnesota has just completed testing all 2700 of its workers and, sure enough, 1200 workers tested positive. 90% of those who tested positive had no symptoms; 12 of them needed to be hospitalized. That's 1% of those infected, and .4% of the workforce. There have been zero deaths.

There has, however, been 100% unemployment at that plant.

Thursday, May 07, 2020

More Government Logic

San Diego County is undergoing a lengthy heat wave. Usually, in similar circumstances, the city and county issue advisories for elderly people to make use of "cooling centers," located throughout the county, because many elderly people do not have air conditioning.

Obviously, a simple solution would be to have them go to the beach, which is the coolest place in the county. That would have a couple of other advantages as well. It has been very well documented that the virus is much more contagious indoors than outdoors, and there is compelling proof that the virus dies very quickly in direct sunlight.

The problem is that no one is allowed to sit down on our beaches. You are not only required to remain six feet apart on the beach and wear a face mask, you must keep walking continuously. Hard to do when you're 87 years old.

Not sure of the reason for this "keep walking" rule. Do they hope that the virus cannot hit a moving target?

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Military Air Travel

I had been home on leave and asked my father (Air Force) if he could line me up with a ride on one of his airplanes back to my home port on the east coast. He had nothing available, but he arranged for me to catch a Marine Corps R5D going that direction.

I should have been prepared for an adventure, since my interactions with the Marine Corps had always tended to be interesting. (For instance...) For their part, the Marines were delighted to be giving a ride to the Navy, instead of the usual vice versa.

The pilot, a lieutenant who looked to be about twelve years old, came back and asked if any of his passengers was less than 21 years old. I asked him if they were going to be serving drinks, which he didn’t think was as funny as I thought it was. Officers frequently didn’t think I was as funny as I thought I was.

Turned out I had sort of stepped on his humor, because his next line, after a couple of guys raised their hands, was, “Well then this airplane is older than you are. I will now instruct you in the proper use of a military parachute.” Real confidence builder. We were not required to put the parachutes on, merely to know how to use them.

The takeoff was uneventful, as was the flight until somebody looked out the window and observed that one of the propellers was not turning. There was a considerable amount of alarmed discussion among the passengers, who were all Marine Corps other than me, until I was able to reassure them that I grew up in the Air Force, knew something about airplanes, and this airplane could do just fine with three engines.

A bit later one of the Marines came over to me and said quietly, so as not to alarm anyone else, that, “One of the engines on this side is smoking. Is that bad?” I allowed that it might be and he wondered if the pilot knew about it. By that time some others had noticed it and, of course another fairly lively discussion ensued. I was not able to be quite as reassuring this time, and finally I was deputized to go forward and check with the pilots.

The pilot, in fact, did not know about it since he was asleep. The copilot was reading a book. I tapped the copilot on the shoulder and told him about the smoking engine and he told me to tell the pilot. I pointed out that the pilot was asleep and he said to wake him up. Enlisted men, even petty officers, hate waking up a sleeping officer, and I wanted to tell him to wake up the pilot himself, but...

The pilot, after he woke up and I told him, asked the copilot if he had seen it, and the copilot said no. So the pilot told the copilot to take a look, since the engine in question was on his side. I was thinking we were in kind of deep shit if these two clowns were all we had to fly the plane.

The copilot half stood as he turned and looked back at the wing, studied it a moment and then sat back down. Then he looked at me for some reason, not the pilot, and said, “That’s not smoke, that’s fuel.” That sounded a little alarming to me, much more so when the pilot said with a distinct note of alarm, “Shit, we’re leaking fuel?”

I asked the copilot, who had confirmed that we were leaking fuel, if that was as bad as it sounded and he replied, “Well, it would be worse if it catches fire.”

That, frankly, had not occurred to me, and the idea sort of freaked me out, but the flight crew appeared to think it was pretty unlikely because they were not doing much of anything other than having a languid conversation about whether or not they should or should not a) shut down the engine and b) hit the engine with the fire extinguisher.

They finally decided to do both which, of course, resulted in a huge cloud of white smoke from the engine. The passengers in back could hardly fail to miss that, and they didn’t, because when I left the flight deck and rejoined them everyone was frantically strapping on parachutes.

I was actually tending to be pretty much as freaked out as they were, but I had seen how unconcerned the pilots were, and I did know that this plane could go a very long distance on two engines. So I wasn’t putting on a parachute.

An officer commented about my lack of parachute and admitted that, while he could not actually order me to put one on, he really thought I should do so. I told him, “Sir, I am getting off of this airplane when it is on the ground, or when the pilot gets out, whichever comes first.” Like most officers, he had no sense of humor and didn’t think that was funny.

After a while the pilot came back to update us, and when he saw everyone (well, almost everyone) wearing parachutes he broke out laughing. “Where are you guys going?” he hooted, “I don’t know about you, but I’m going to Norfolk.”

He went on to tell us that, while the R5D could not take off with two engines, it could easily fly across the country with two. “If we lose another engine,” he told us, “I might start looking for a soft spot to put her down, but as long as we have two turning we can go wherever we want to go.”

Which we did, landing quite safely and (him being a Marine pilot) nose wheel first in Norfolk.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

On Matt Kenseth

A former NASCAR driver, Matt Kenseth, is returning to active driving in the NASCAR Cup series, driving for Chip Ganassi in the #42 car for the balance of the 2020 season, whatever that consists of. Kenseth is 48 years old, won the Cup championship once, retired in 2018 and is from Wisconsin. He is soft spoken, is a consummate gentleman, and I am delighted to see him back.

Matt Kenseth moved up into the Cup series the same year the Dale Earhhardt Jr. did and it was, of course, the latter who received all of the attention and hype. I was with a group of my fellow "racing nuts" one day back then and pronounced that not only would Kenseth win Rookie Of The Year, he would win a Cup Championship before Earnhardt did. I was both laughed at and sworn at, and regarded as both stupid and insane.

I was right on both counts. He beat Earnhardt for Rookie Of The Year by a substantial margin, and won the Cup Championship three years later, while Earnhardt Jr. has never come close to a Cup Championship. I am looking forward to seeing what he will do in Ganassi's #42 car, which is a very fast car.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Democrats are Awesome

Joe Biden is spreading the alarm that Donald Trump may try to postpone or even cancel the 2020 presidential election, and Democrats are outraged. They are threatening to impeach Trump for something that exists only in Joe Biden's imagination.

Democrats then cancel the New York state Democratic primary election, giving all of the NY candidates to Biden.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

More to Fear

The WHO now says that having survived the Wuhan virus, and having antibodies, does not mean you are immune. You can get it again. They do not say, but certainly want you to understand, that surviving it the first time does not mean you can survive it a second time. You are still going to die.

The concept of "herd immunity" which they have been promoting is therefore invalid. There is no such thing.

The "shut down until we have herd immunity" is also invalid. The shutdown must become permanent. All plans for reopening parks and outdoor recreation, and for restarting the economy must be cancelled. If they go forward, everybody will be sickened by the Corona virus and will die.

They also said that 2.2 million people in the United States were going to die of the virus by April 15th, so one might want to take their advice with a certain degree of skepticism.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Food For Thought

It's from the comic strip "Get Fuzzy," and it's amusing but not really all that funny. And then when you think about it...

"Are you becoming more annoying, or am I becoming less tolerant?"

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What Kind of Immunity?

I swear, the next person who uses the term "herd immunity" to me in person is going to get punched in the face. The population of this nation, roughly 328 million people, is not a "herd."  That many cattle would be a herd, but that many people is a "population," or a "public," or a "people."

What would happen to a politician who referred to an election as "the voice of the herd"? What we need to develop is "population immunity."

Meanwhile We Need Testing

San Diego has reached the ability to test 3000 persons per day. That means that to test the entire 2.5 million people who live in the San Diego metro area will require 2.28 years. That's a long tome to keep the economy shut down. The problem is that any person testing negative will eventually need to be tested again, so... Shut down forever.

Nationwide, we are hoping soon to be able to test 150 per 100,000 daily. Sounds like a lot, but it translates to 0.15% of the population. So if we reach that goal (and it's a goal, we can only do 44 per 100,000 today), it would take 1.82 years to test each citizen one time. By that time there would be no economy to be restarted, and bear in mind that each person who tested negative would eventually need to be retested.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The Burden of Debt, Part 1

Seldom has Dean Baker put so much self-justifying nonsensical rationalization in one article as he did a last Friday in a piece titled "Debt and Deficits with the Coronavirus.” He then compounded it with even more egregious nonsense in Sunday’s “The Washington Post’s Debt Cult.” The man has gone completely down the rabbit hole.

I will start with Friday’s follies, in which he starts by pontificating at great length (and incoherence) on the horror of the thought that the Fed might increase interest rates and why they should not do so. The Fed clearly has not shown the slightest intention since last year of raising interest rates, so he wins that round by default, sort of like urging the sun to come up in the morning. Good idea. Yea, he was right, it did.

Then he addresses the idea that the budget deficits are “overheating demand” and leading to shortages, notably of toilet paper. Right. Except that we ran short of toilet paper before the government started handing out money, so that weakens his argument just a little bit. Maybe more than a little. Perhaps we ran short of toilet paper in anticipation that the government… Never mind.

But he gets more than a bit incoherent again, saying that shortages, “would result in higher prices because the government is giving people money to buy these things, but the shortages would still be there without the budget deficits.” If you don’t follow that don’t feel bad, because no one else does either.

He follows that up with what he seems to think is a solution, saying that, “large numbers of people who are now getting unemployment insurance and other forms of income support in the shutdown period, simply would not be able to buy anything, thereby eliminating the demand and price pressure,” which doesn't address how demand (and prices) got so high in the first place. That’s called “circular reasoning,” and economists do it quite a lot.

He then tells us that he is going to address the issue of, “The other part of the big deficit story is that we are adding more than $2 trillion to the debt that our children and grandchildren will have to pay off, or so the story goes.”

Except he doesn’t, of course, because he address payment of interest on the debt (incoherently, of course) but never addresses “paying off the debt” part.

That's because, like most economists, Baker does not visualize government debt as something that is ever paid back to the lender. Economists live in their own reality. In our reality, if it doesn’t have to be repaid it’s not a loan, it’s an investment, and investment by definition means an ownership stake. How can one have an ownership stake in the United States government?

Well, it’s called “campaign contributions,” but that’s a different topic.

“First,” he says, “this is not a case of our children paying the money to us…” which actually is wrong. We are spending the money, and are receiving the benefit of having spent the money, and our children and grandchildren are paying the money back. How is that not them paying us the money?

(The answer, for Dean Baker, is that they are not paying the money back. No one is paying the money back. We spent the money with no intention that it would ever be paid back. What does that make us?)

“…it is a case,” he goes on, “of some of our children paying money to other of our children.” This is true, he profoundly observes, because, “At some point, everyone who is alive today will be dead.” Interesting. Who among us would ever have thought of that? I was wrong; the man is a deep thinker.

“At that point,” he goes on, “the interest will be paid to whoever happened to inherit the bonds. So, the burden created by the debt … is that most of our kids will be paying interest to the heirs of Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and other wealthy people.”

Dean Baker is one of the wealthy, so he’s quite happy that your kids and mine will be paying interest to his kids. You and I might not like that very much but, as he points out, we will all be dead.

And bear in mind that, according to Baker, “The burden of the debt, insofar as there is one, is the amount of money that we are paying out each year in interest to service the debt.” The debt itself, $24 trillion at this point, is not a burden. It is an irrelevancy and is of no concern to future generations.

Tomorrow I will explore Sunday’s exposition of incoherence and insanity, titled, “The Washington Post’s Debt Cult.” I read this shit so that you don’t have to.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Again, The Story Changes

When the shutdown started, we were told it was about “flattening the curve.” Not so much about preventing people from getting the virus as it was about stretching those cases out over a period of time so that our health care system would not be overwhelmed.

So now that the health care system has been rather massively underwhelmed and the number of cases is declining, we are told that the shutdown cannot be terminated because if we do then a lot of people will catch the disease.

That’s like running your furnace to keep your house warm in the winter and then, when the weather gets warmer, insisting that you have to keep running the furnace because if you stop you will bankrupt the company that provides fuel for your furnace.

(In case you’re missing my point, supporting the fuel company is not why you were running your furnace. You were doing so because the weather was cold, and now that the weather is warm you can stop.)

In the same vein, if we were doing the shutdown to avoid overwhelming the health care system, now that the health care system is clearly not overwhelmed, and clearly will not be, we can end the shutdown. But instead of ending it, government wants to continue it, and is now giving us a different reason for doing so.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

This Is Terrorism

Big headlines yesterday that "US Passes Italy's Death Toll." Many articles hyperventilating about how this country has now passed Italy in the number of deaths from the Coronavirus which is massively slaughtering our population.

They fail to point out that Italy has a population of 60 million to our population of 328 million, which means that on a per capita basis Italy is still at more than five times our fatality rate. That would not add to the amount of panic that the media is deliberately fomenting.

Deliberately creating fear in a society is, by definition, terrorism.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

The Nonsense Continues

The current narrative now is that restarting the economy (ending the shutdown) will depend on the ability to do massive testing and, as usual, this narrative is not being questioned. It not only should be questioned, it should be laughed out of town. It is sheer nonsense.

They are talking about ending isolation and shutdown, which are for the purpose of preventing people from catching the disease, based on testing, which does not prevent people from catching the disease. Where do we get these idiots?

A person could be tested today, found to be free of the virus, and could become infected the very next day and proceed to infect dozens of more people. Again, where do we get these idiots?

If this shutdown were logical, which it is not, then lifting it would not become possible until we achieve a proven vaccine. That may happen a year from now, more likely 18 months or more, or it may never happen at all. This is a corona virus, as is the common cold, and we have no vaccine for the common cold.

We have a vaccine for the common flu, and two years ago it killed 60,000 people in this country. Covid-19 has killed 13,000 so far and is now forecast to top at 30-50 thousand. Is a Covid-19 vaccine (when and if we get one) going to cut that number to zero?

The media propagates utter bullshit about “herd immunity” based on testing, on the myth of a vaccine as miraculous absolute prevention of death, and the American people buy into it like sheep led to the slaughter because we have not been taught the ability to think for ourselves.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020

Fortunately, Profiteering Is Illegal

I bought a new kitchen faucet (Delta) six months ago, choosing it part because it stated that it was made in America. I paid $110 to have it installed.

It turned out to be a piece of junk. Temerature control is erratic, the pull down nozzle does not dock properly, and after just a couple months it would not shut off without slamming the handle. Now it does not shut off at all. I bought a new one (Moen) and now need to have it installed.

I called the plumbing company I used in the past and they charged $45 to send a tech out who would quote me a price and do the work. The price he quoted? $553 for a task that would take about 45 minutes. I told him to do something that is physiologically impossible for male, female or (in these modern times) nonbinary. He probably went home and tried to do it. Why not, he’s undoubtedly done it to a lot of other people, just as he tried to do it to me.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Panic Leads to Stupidity, Part 2

Local media has been hyperventilating about hospitals being stressed and running out of "protective gear;" masks, face shields, etc. They are warning that we might not have enough ventilators in our hospitals. Then, two minutes later, they tell us that in the entire county we have a total of 48 people who have developed the illness caused by the virus. They don't say how many of them are currently hospitalized.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Panic Leads to Stupidity

We are told that 242 people in San Diego are infected by the Coronavirus. How many of them are in the hospital? We are not told that. How many are at imminent risk of death? We are not told that either.

We are also told that many people who are infected by the virus have mild symptoms, and sometimes none at all. How many of the 242 fall into that category? Yet another number which is not being reported.

So, how serious is it that 242 people have been infected by the Coronavirus? There is simply no way to know, and at this point it may not even be significant, let alone serious.

I’m not suggesting that it’s not serious. I’m pointing out that in a city of 1.5 million, 242 is a trivially small number, that it is the only number being reported, and that it is being reported in grave tones as if it represents a major disaster.

San Diego beaches and parks are now closed due to the threat posed by the Coronavirus.

"Social distancing" does not apply, beaches and parks are closed no matter how far you stay away from each other. Proof is offered by film on the news this morning of six or so people on the beach, no one person closer that fifteen feet to any other person, and cops driving by and threatening to put them in jail for being on the closed beach.

Would they be doing "social distancing" in the city or county jail?

Grocery stores in San Diego have special hours for seniors (65+) only. Seniors hour is 7am-8am which, unfortunately, is before the day's trucks are unloaded and the shelves restocked. It also results in very crowded stores at that hour.

Nobody thinks logically about anything today. That’s what happens when panic sets in.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

No wonder we're failing.

What part of “idiot” does Bloomberg News not get? We have a news item informing us that Trump’s import tariffs on steel do not protect the steel industry that gets so many things wrong you’d think it’s trying to sabotage his run for the White House.

It starts with “JSW Steel’s India-based parent company” reducing production at a Texas plant despite “tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum imported to the U.S.” The article goes on to tell us some weeks ago a stupid and ignorant Fox newsman (Bloomberg didn’t use those adjectives) wondered if the tariffs might hurt the plant, “given that much of the raw steel processed at the mill was imported from India and Mexico.”

The plant manager’s reply boiled down to, “Of course not because we support Trump.” He was counting on an exemption on the tariffs, which he didn’t get because he’s importing the steel. (And now we're going to have the grits hit the fan because India is supporting Trump.)

Now, the Bloomberg article tells us, “A big piece of the Baytown project has been postponed indefinitely, in part because of Trump’s tariffs.” But mostly, of course, because the project was based on using imported steel, which is subject to the tariffs. Hello?

The article becomes less and less in contact with reality as it goes on. It tells us that the company’s manager claims that the company, “set out two years ago to do precisely what Trump and his trade hawks said the tariffs would help accomplish: reestablish the U.S. as a premier producer of steel.” And it’s going to do that by importing steel. What?

I don’t know what role Bloomberg plays with his newspaper, but having his name connected to this kind of gibberish does not get him my vote.

Monday, February 17, 2020

No, It's Not Boring

from spaceUpon looking closely you will see that the daily high temperature varies by one degree, and next Friday will be "mostly sunny" instead of "sunny."  Weather forecasters are swooning with breathless excitement.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Marriage is Great

You run out of coffee one time in 26 years, and your wife harasses you from then on as if it is something you plan to do on a weekly basis. "Are we okay on coffee?" becomes a nightly refrain. She is a lovely person.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

This Is News?

NBC Evening News has a segment every night now about a “massive storm” which is either currently or soon will be “sweeping the nation.” So desperate have they become to present this feature that they are reporting storms which will contain “winds of up to 30 mph, and as much as four inches of snow.”

Even as far south as northern Alabama, that is not really a newsworthy storm, but they have to do their bit for global warming climate change.

They also have a nightly segment on the Chinese virus. They refer to it as a “deadly virus" or a “killer,” despite the fact that 98% of people infected by it do not die. The SARS virus is still around and kills 9.6% of people who come down with it, but the media ignores SARS while hyperventilating about coronavirus, which kills 2% of its victims.

The Chinese virus has caused about 600 deaths worldwide, at this point, and is headlining daily while the common flu, having killed more than 10,000 this year in the United States alone, doesn’t so much as get a vaccination advisory.

I know… Besides which, my wife keeps admonishing me. I watch this stuff so that I have something to write about when there’s no football games on.

Monday, February 03, 2020

A Question

If Trump were to say something in the SOTU tomorrow night that really pissed off the Republicans, and they responded by voting on Wednesday to convict Trump and remove him from office, would Democrats still be insisting that the verdict was illegitimate because there were no witnesses? I think we all know the answer to that.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

A Surplus of Incompetence

The House issues subpoenas and the White House rejects them. There is nothing new about this. The White House, regardless of which party occupies it, almost always rejects subpoenas from Congress. Congress then goes to court, gets a judge to enforce the subpoena, and the process moves on.

When this House Committee met with resistance to its subpoenas, however, instead of going to court for what would most certainly be resolution in its favor, it threw in its hand and charged the President with "Obstruction of Congress." The reason they gave for not pursuing legal enforcement of their subpoenas was that the issue was urgent and time did not permit the lengthy process of obtaining court rulings.

In 2000, on the issue of Bush v. Gore and the presidential election, the case went from the initial court filing in Florida on November 17th to a final ruling by the Supreme Court on December 13th. That was a time lapse of 26 days, 7 days less than the 33 days that Nancy Pelosi held the Articles of Impeachment in her office in a (failed) effort to coerce the Senate into conducting the trial in a manner of her choosing.

Sheer logic would dictate a desire to keep the issue in the House of Representatives for the greatest possible degree of resolution. If the charging party cannot win a battle with the President in the House, where they have a majority, why in the world would they punt that battle to the Senate, where they do not have a majority?

Democrats will undoubtedly go forward saying that "the trial was unfair," and that the President and the Republican Party obstructed the process. They are already doing so, in fact, before the verdict has even been reached.

In reality, however, the failure was entirely predictable and was entirely due to a long series of unforced errors by the Democratic Party. As is usual with this party, they showed no real stomach for a fight, and when they encountered push back, they simply caved.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Undisclosed Info, Hereby Disclosed

I am not registered on any dating sites. It will hardly come as any surprise to my wife to learn that astonishing piece of information, and it may by slightly comforting to her to have me divulge it. Probably not, as I doubt seriously that it has ever occurred to her that I might be registered on any such sites.

Anyway, if I was registered on any such sites, I cannot imagine how Russia or China would benefit from knowing that I prefer redheads (again, I am perfectly comfortable revealing this to my wife, since she is a redhead), or that I like hiking, golf, and boating. Just why would Russia or China care?

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Baltimore: Upset Deserved

Lamar Jackson threw for 365 yards and ran for 143, but his numbers included some serious garbage time padding. Ryan Tannehill threw for only 88 yards and ran for only 13, but he passed for two touchdowns to Jackson’s one (which was in garbage time) and ran for the one score that effectively sealed the upset (Jackson ran for none).

Jackson threw for the same amount of scores against Tennessee that Derrick Henry threw against Baltimore, and Jackson’s score was with Baltimore trailing so badly that Tennessee was in a prevent defense. The league's census MVP was intercepted twice, lost a fumble, and twice stuffed on fourth-and-one runs.

The final game “rest” and the “bye” week killed Baltimore, and so did Derrick Henry (with 195 rushing yards) and a Tennessee defensive front that reduced Baltimore's offensive line to a shadow of what it had been all season.

But let’s not give the Super Bowl trophy to Tennessee yet. They beat New England, who clinched the playoffs early and “rested” most of their first string the final week. They then embarrassed the Ravens who did the same thing followed by a “bye” week. So, the question is, what will they be able to do against a team that isn’t rusty, but is coming off a win the preceding week?

Monday, January 06, 2020

Just A Reminder

The “post war period,” from the 1950’s through the 1970’s, was a time of unparalleled prosperity for the working class in this nation. Even more than that, it created a level of prosperity for this nation’s working class that had no precedent in the world at the time.

I am referring here to the working class known as “blue collar;” workers who entered the workforce from high school without advanced educations; people who built the machinery and infrastructure of a great nation.

That period was a time of a nuclear family in which only one member worked at a single job, the wages of which were sufficient to support the worker, a homemaker, several children and often one or more members of an earlier generation.

The economy which provided such great prosperity for the working and middle class of this great nation was based on the principle of capitalism. Whatever ills today’s economy suffers from, capitalism is not the problem.

Saturday, January 04, 2020

Selling Bridges in Brooklyn

General Soleimani was taken out because doing so stopped an "imminent" massive attack he was planning on America. Right. And we had to invade Iraq because they were buying aluminum tubes and yellowcake uranium pursuant to increasing their stockpiles of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.

Patrick Cockburn has spent many years in the Middle East and generally gets things right about what is going on there. What he writes all but invariably is borne out by time to be true. He has been saying for weeks that the unrest in Baghdad was not anti-Iranian, as American media claimed and as American politics hoped for, but was a protest against the Iraqi government, demanding jobs, public services and an end to corruption.

In an article yesterday, Cockburn made reference to “...General Soleimani overseeing the brutal efforts by pro-Iranian security forces and paramilitary groups to crush Iraqi street protests,” and the light dawned. America has been seeing these street protests as anti-Iranian, which they were not. The media has been reporting them as anti-Iranian and, as usual, was reporting inaccurately.

America wanted those street protests to continue, and General Soleimani was the main leader who was shutting them down. Draw your own conclusions.