Hitting the Wall


Yesterday in a private group we were talking about how it’s people under forty, particularly women who are terrified of becoming ill and dying with Winnie the Flu.

This is an almost complete mismatch with those the virus is likely to actually kill, since I believe (haven’t looked recently, so it might be a few percentage points off but surely within the margin of error) something like 98% of all people who even have to be hospitalized — or show any symptoms beyond a mild cold — are over sixty and something like 80% are over 80.  And all of them — though there might be a freak case or two here and there, hard to tell because reporting and tallying of deaths has been such a mess, mostly due to the perverse incentive of federal money , who are under 20.  But freak cases happen with anything. People have died I’m sure of being pecked by a sparrow.  Life isn’t safe nor precise, and we’re not promised a certain amount of years on this Earth, and certainly not immortality, barring a new heaven and a new Earth.

However over the weekend more than one report reached me of people saying their friends/acquaintances in their 30s and 40s have just realized they or someone they love might die. (Of Winnie the Flu they think, which is fairly ridiculous unless their friends are over 80.)  This was explained with their not knowing anyone who had died, unless they were very old.  Which I suppose is possible, though strange, since in our own family, in the last ten years we’ve been buffeted by the death of friends and acquaintances ranging from their thirties to their fifties.  In fact younger son lost a beloved mentor of his first robotics team who cannot have been much over forty when son was in his first year of college.

Maybe most people live such halcyon lives?  Older son did report, back when he worked transport in hospitals while in high school that there were any number of people over 100 admitted.  I remember when 100 was cause to be on national news and get phone calls from politicians. But it’s apparently…. well, not common, but not abnormal. Kind of like 80 used to be when I was little. (I saw my first 80+ year old when I was 14.) And of course by the time you’re 100 your closest relatives are also very aged, and because of how spread out our society is, your grandchildren and great grandchildren might never have been very close to you.

So perhaps we are lacking memento mori. It used to be everywhere.  There is a post around here somewhere about how far we’ve come from death, by isolating it in hospitals or nursing homes, sanitizing it, making it something expected and not terrible.  It’s like our loved ones reach a certain point in time, and go on a long journey, and we won’t see them again.

Quite unlike sitting by the bed, waiting for the rattle and the last breath. Or the duty that every woman in the village had performed by the time they were my age (and many might still) many times at that, of washing the dead and dressing them in the clothes you think they’d want to wear at the resurrection. (It was so firmly believed in, as a corporeal and physical event, I remember a family being mortified because — due to illness — they couldn’t DRESS their beloved mother in one of her skirts, so they cut the skirt open in the back and laid it over her for the viewing.  But, they said “She’s going to be mortified when she stands up and her skirt falls off.”)

And that was in the mid 20th century, already, itself, an halcyon time of plenty and lack of terrors. Because in the eighteenth century, upper crust young women included at least 3 baby shrouds in their trousseaus for the babies they expected they’d lose in infancy.

All of man’s civilization is arguably fueled by knowledge that though our minds can comprehend the universe, our time is brief.  I’ve studied history ranging back thousands of years, and have dreamed of the future (mostly in other people’s books, some in mine) but the truth is, my allotted time is likely less than a century: an eye blink.

We’re all like that which fuels urgency, a desire to be getting on with it, and possibly an attempt to live the best life we can.

It also puts things in perspective. We know none of us are going to live forever. Or even close to forever. So when say someone decides to stop the entire economy and risk a global famine so we can escape a –…. what is the last calculation, now we know that this was probably here since November and a lot more people are infected? (And yes, I know, doubts are cast on each of  the studies, and yet across the world those keep corroborating each other.) — 0.02% chance of dying? we say no. We say to hell with that and the horse it rode in on, and the little dog who ran alongside it.  We always knew we were here a short time. Let us leave behind a functional world for others, one in which new brides don’t sew and store up baby shrouds.

But the young and frankly stunted — not all of the young, obviously, hence the qualification — don’t understand that. They’d never confronted their own mortality, and therefore now run in fear, because a virus can KILL them, oh the horror.

Well, cupcake, it always could. You just didn’t have a media dedicated 24-7 to telling you about it with enhanced doom porn.  (When even Dr. Birx (ah) says that a lot more people have been infected than we thought — which means that the denominator goes way up and the mortality way down — the mainstream media is still screaming about a second and third wave, and oh, the devastation. Btw, Germany opened up and no signs of a third wave. As in at all.)

The fact is that all this might have been exacerbated by our psychopathic-tendencies-enhancing education with its emphasis on self esteem and individual whim.

Individual whim? you say. But I thought you were an individualist.

Of course I am. I also am a realist. I know what humans are — jumped up Savannah apes, or if you prefer, made from the common clay of the Earth. Comes to the same — and that because we live only a blink but can compass eternity with our minds, we must belong to something larger than us, something that lasts…. well, longer than us.

This used to be fulfilled by religion, but even those who are religious have trouble living for eternity in a world that is now largely a-religious.

Then it was fulfilled by nationality, but the internationalists hated that idea and cast their sins onto nationalism, as though a scapegoat, and sent it into the desert. All over the western world, children are raised to hate the land of their birth.

Then there is ideology, but the thin gruel of Marxism, forever disproven in practice, keeps hunting for more unlikely “classes” to protect, thereby fragmenting society, destroying families and generally making a lot of very unhappy people.

Unhappy people who are terrified of dying. And who understand self-actuated life at the level of obeying daily-changing whims and desires.  Which in turn makes them more unhappy and more terrified of dying.

I guess some defects are self-correcting, and we’re hastening to either a final downfall of a hollow and ridiculous ideology (Marx really was a total dumbass, you know? BUT really good at narrative. I wish he’d devoted himself, openly, to science fiction instead.)

Or…. I don’t know. Some time of darkness from which civilization might arise again.  What we know for sure is that if they succeed in taking the West down, they won’t erect paradise. But what’s more, they won’t hold power for long.

You see, even dystopian communist societies like Cuba or Venezuela survive only because we made such abundance upon the world, that the tyrants can keep just enough food flowing to stay in power….

Well, we’re about to hit the wall on that. Even the mainstream is starting to clear its throat about food shortages, which have apparently become obvious to a bunch of people.

I don’t think we’ll die in the US (or not directly. I mean, if I have to subsist on rice and potatoes, I WILL become very fat and diabetic and die of that. I once gained weight on 800 cals a day because the diet was all carbs. Don’t ask. Like Russian peasants I was malnourished and enormous.) But the rest of the world is going to hit the wall fast.

What happens?  I don’t know.

I know our society has been distorted by fear of dying, coupled with having so few children that each of them is essential and we refuse to let them risk themselves (something that has affected everything including the military and space exploration) and that we cosset and protect them way too long.

So what happens when we have that, and then the wheels come off and we have to get back to struggling for our daily bread.

I don’t know. As a society we’re about to find out. The only thing I can promise you is that we’re looking forward to interesting times.


456 thoughts on “Hitting the Wall

  1. It will be interesting to see what happens to art. Memento mori was a strong trend in the wake of the Black Death in both art and rhyme; I expect to see themes of loss coming out in popular music.

    Anything would be better than the “woe is me, my life sucks because nobody understands me” trend of 2000-2010.

    1. That trend existed a long time before 2000. It might have had a resurgence, or even more than that then, but I recall hearing that (if not phrased quite the same way) in the 1970’s.

      1. These Styx lyrics seem very appropriate now. Heard this song for the first time in forever on my way into work today, and it’s kinda stuck now:

        “Give me a job, give me security
        “Give me a chance to survive
        “I’m just a poor soul in the unemployment line
        “My God, I’m hardly alive”

      2. Warren Zevon put it best:

        I lay my head on the railroad track
        And wait for the Double “E”
        The railroad don’t run no more
        Poor, poor pitiful me

          1. Ronstadt had the hit record, but Zevon’s name is on the song sheet.

            Per Wiki:

            In keeping with Warren Zevon’s sardonic lyrical style, the song’s verses deal with a suicide attempt, domestic abuse, and a brush with sadomasochism. The song first appeared on Zevon’s 1976 self-titled solo album. It is reputed to be a friendly swipe at Jackson Browne, who produced the song; Browne’s own songwriting (such as “Here Come Those Tears Again” and “Sleep’s Dark and Silent Gate” from The Pretender) could be quite depressing.

            The song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” was produced by Browne and was featured on Zevon’s eponymous 1976 album Warren Zevon with backing vocals by Lindsey Buckingham. …

            … Linda Ronstadt recorded a gender-altered version of the song during 1977. Ronstadt would recall Jackson Browne had pitched “Poor Poor Pitiful Me” to her, teaching it to her in the living room of her Malibu home. “The verse in “Poor Pitiful Me” was “I met a girl on the Sunset Strip,” I think, “She asked me if I’d beat her / She took me up to her hotel room / And wrecked my mojo heater.” It was really funny, and I’m saying to Jackson, “I can’t sing those words, man! That’s not who I am. . . . I have to leave that part out.” Ronstadt’s interpretation was produced by Peter Asher for her multi-platinum album Simple Dreams.

      1. I think this is a more accurate summation:

        “Every single person down there is ignoring your pain because they’re too busy with their own. The beautiful ones. The popular ones. The guys that pick on you. Everyone.”
        (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Earshot”)

      2. Just because they understand you doesn’t mean they will care.

        I suspect that if anybody understood me there would be a bounty on my head.

        1. “Understanding” not equal to “Approving”.

          That’s the real problem with the whinings about “They Don’t Understand Me”.

          While I doubt our favorite wallaby deserves killing (thrown into the nearest deep lake maybe), the whiners deserve “kicks to their heads” and being told to Grow Up. 😀

            1. Or agree with. That’s worse. They can’t understand that no amount of explanation will make their idea right.

              1. Yeah, sometimes I have to say, “I understood you the first time. You’re still full of shit.”

    2. Anything would be better than the “woe is me, my life sucks because nobody understands me” trend of 2000-2010.

      Nobody understands me. I don’t understand most of them, either. It’s called Life. I just don’t go around whining about it.

      If your life sucks, it’s because you haven’t done enough to make it not suck. Nobody living in the modern U.S. has ONE PERCENT of the perspective on suckage of the average medieval peasant. HALF of their children died before they were 16. Most of the survivors didn’t reach 50. They died of diseases we’ve never seen in our lifetimes, or injuries we would consider minor. Diabetes was a death sentence, not an inconvenience. Medieval ROYALTY had short and sucky lives by modern standards.

      And still those idiots want us to go ‘back to the land’ and live a ‘natural, organic’ lifestyle. Was it Bandit 6 in ‘The Last Centurion’ who said, “Organic means there’s shit in it somewhere”?

      I agree with the British bloke who calls 2000-2009 ‘The Naughties’ 😀

      1. Wasn’t it Hoover’s son who died of an infected cut that he got during a tennis game in the late 1920’s?

        Yes — The son of the POTUS, who of course had the best medical technology available to him, died of an infected cut, sustained while playing a non-contact sport less than 100 years ago.

        Becuz antibiotics hadn’t been discovered/invented yet.

          1. Yes, it was this sad event that confirmed for him that the most political power in the world was unable to help him save the life of someone most important to him. It made him realize that the power of political office is not nearly as important as most people think it is, and he didn’t see having it as a prize, but rather a tool to be used carefully.

            He’s the last one to do so.

      2. Every day at dinner, I try to remember in my prayers the amazing gift we have of such abundance and choice in our food. What a blessing it is to live in the 21st century (even if we don’t have flying cars).

    3. It’s a long running theme, but wow there WAS a bunch of really, really bad lameness in that vein about that time, wasn’t there?

      Kind of like the massacre of the love hormone damaged brain songs.

      1. There was one rather popular song that kept coming on the radio that had lyrics something like “it’s so hard to be me.” (I tried looking it up, but the ones that came up weren’t the one I was thinking of.) And the entire freaking song was all about that, and it was obvious that the only problem of the song’s protagonist is that they never really had anything truly bad happen to them, so they had a total lack of perspective.

        1. This one?

          It’s from like the 90s; if it’s newer, I probably haven’t heard it. Since the whole “YOUR GIRLFRIEND NEEDS TO DUMP YOU, YOU MANIPULATIVE TWERP, AND HER DAD IS RIGHT!!!!” reaction to that song about how this guy was going to marry the girl anyways, where I got hte impression that he was more interested in marrying her AFTER the dad said no….

          1. About the time he started going on about running off to another galaxy, I started wondering if the “don’t you know I’m human too?” line was a false claim.

        2. I vaguely remember a song, probably a different one than the one you’re thinking of, where the song’s protagonist has a totally selfish perspective, and the song makes that obvious. E.g., he(?) sings about an accident on the highway where sixteen people died, and it made him late for work, and the chorus is something like “Why does this always happen to me?”

          … I think it might have been a Weird Al spoof of a different song, but I can’t find it in a quick Google.

          1. That is a Weird Al song, one of his originals rather than a parody. (He does parodies, style pastiches, and originals.)

    4. I really think you should have to read the complete works of Shelly and Byron before being allowed to write “woe is me” because at least you’ll absorbs it sounds better as “I fall upon the thorns of life and bleed”.

      1. I read The Sorrows of Young Werther at one point, and it really underscored the point of my music history teacher’s assertion that the Romantic period is “pursuit of the unattainable”—with the idea that if you attain it, you no longer want it. (See Hector Berlioz and the story behind Symphonie Fantastique.) I personally like Thackeray’s take on Werther.

        1. I’ve always liked these lyrics:

          It’s a sad, sad song
          We all must sing along
          If our fondest wish comes true
          We only wish for something new

  2. “We won’t get out of this world alive”. 😉

    I’m 65+ but I don’t dwell on the fact that I’ll die some day.

    I also don’t “imagine” that I’ll never die (unless HE returns in my lifetime).

    As for these people who seem “shocked” that they might die, I say “Grow UP”.

    Yes, the society they’ve grown up in has attempted to put death in the “closet” but that’s foolishness.

    Of course, the Idiot News Media (for IMO political reasons) wants people to “fear the Wu Flu”. 😡

    1. I’m 65 as well, but have no underlying conditions other than high blood pressure and a potentially dicky ticker – and I am exasperated beyond all measure by the fearmongering in the National News Media. It’s disgusting – and the young and gullible are eating it up by the spoonful and panicking.

    2. I’m a month short of 65. I don’t dwell on death either. My plans are to make it to triple digits before I go. I was really disappointed George Burns din’t get to play the London Palladium on his 100th- he had it booked.

    3. “fear the Wu Flu”

      I get annoyed at constant repetition of “deadly coronavirus” and all the wailing and lamentation for the vast number of poor souls sick and dying from it. You would think there were piles of bodies in the streets. What language would these people have left to talk about the Black Death? Where is their perspective?

      1. Given that CDC is only showing about 12K reported “excess deaths” for 2020, I think I shall decline to panic. Even the “predicted excess deaths” are only at 66K, and about a third of it is from New York’s insanity.

        Note: When viewing CDC numbers on excess deaths, be sure to read all technical notes. For example, most death counts shown are for “predicted” deaths that use statistical models to take into account number reported, time lags, etc. The excess deaths for the year also don’t take into account weeks where numbers were below the “excess” threshold, so if a four week period saw three weeks with ten under the threshold, and one week with thirty over the threshold, that counts as an excess of thirty, rather than zero.

        1. Great! They’ve found a way to fiddle the excess mortality numbers. They’re not even being subtle about, which speaks volumes in itself.

          I guess it becomes a matter of falling back to the absolute all-cause mortality count and doing the arithmetic ourselves.

          1. Oh, don’t you (and Steve Stirling) WISH it was that simple. How do you classify someone who died because they couldn’t get necessary treatment / procedures for breast cancer because some goober of a politician deemed that “unessential”? Please God that neither Sarah nor Larry Correia’s wife Bridget end up in EXACTLY that set of statistics. Things we already have the treatments for, because you and Stevie and a bunch of power hungry Leftists encouraged WuFlu Panic, aren’t being treated.

            1. You know what, snelson134? This clusterfuck is trying enough without enduring some cunt deliberately misinterpreting my words in order to portray me as one the assholes trying to destroy us. You can fuck off and I, with apologies to Sarah for the language, shall see myself out.

              1. Tsk. Don’t mind Steve. He doesn’t see the need for allies, all he wants are kameraden.

                  1. I never considered you a friend, Robespierre. I deem you a child playing with matches in a gas-filled house.

                    This is how you address civil rights abuses, and only when it fails do you take recourse to stiking your match:

                    Lawsuit Against Wisconsin Pandemic Orders
                    Yesterday two Wisconsin residents, represented by Cooper & Kirk, filed a lawsuit challenging various Wisconsin orders addressing the pandemic. Notably, they filed their lawsuit—or, more precisely, their emergency petition—as an original action in the Wisconsin supreme court.

                    Petitioners contend that aspects of the state orders violate their rights to engage in religious worship and in political protest. An excerpt (emphases in original):

                    Petitioners do not question the seriousness of the present health crisis, or the weight of the State’s interest in dealing with it. But the inexplicable lines drawn and distinctions made in the Order that Respondents have promulgated in response to the epidemic refute any contention that these constitutional infringements are the least restrictive means, or even sensible means, of combatting the virus. While EO 28 permits 60 individuals—ten adult staff and 50 children (who obviously can not be required or expected to be properly masked and distanced)—to gather together in a day care center, it does not allow even ten religious believers (who can be required and expected to observe recognized protective measures) to gather together for worship. While Respondents allow hundreds of customers into Costco at any given time, no group of any size is allowed to assemble in the park, or any other public or private place, to engage in political protest or expression.

                    – – –
                    Your eagerness to blow it all up is a threat to my civil rights, tearing down structures which preserve those rights without demonstrating those structures are no longer adequate.

                1. I do see why you thought it was clever to refer to me as Sven in your earlier comment. Ah well. I’m used to being called a Nazi by Antifa supporters whether active or passive.

                  1. Good grief, “Sven Nelson” is a stereotypical Swedish name. Not German at all. Nor would I deign to call you a Nazi … merely a useful idiot.

                    Have you had your vision checked lately? You seem to see much that isn’t present.

                    N.B.: “Sven Nelson is the father of Kent Nelson, otherwise known as Doctor Fate. He was killed by poisonous gas released in the temple of Nabu.” – Comics Vine

                    1. FWIW, most people* these days seeing the name “Sven” aren’t going to be thinking comics, they’ll be thinking:

                      A reindeer.

                      Which is also not German, I just thought it was funny.

                      * based on my being median age by the population pyramid, folks 10-15 years older than me being likely to have either had kids or be associated with kids who are watching Disney movies, Frozen being ubiquitous, and then adding in the folks who have grandkids/siblings-grandkids, and of course the kids.

                  1. Well, since you aren’t qualified to select a dog catcher, someone’s got to do it. And I do seem to be in good company……

                    accordingtohoyt liked your comment on Hitting the Wall.

                    “Oh, don’t you (and Steve Stirling) WISH it was that simple. How do you classify someone who died because they…”

                    View Comment

                    1. Look, I liked your comment because we need to take other things in account.
                      I don’t understand why you decided Another Rob was on the other side, unless this is a continuation of an argument started elsewhere.
                      NOTHING he said seemed to indicate he wanted the lockdowns to continue.
                      I’m also not sure what Sterling has to do with this.

                    2. Steve Stirling has been going full-bore that the death figures are accurate and if anything understated, while dismissing any arguments that we can’t establish a death-rate from corona virus until we know how many people have actually had it, and establish what constitutes death from Wuhan Flu as opposed to death from something else in the presence of Wuhan Flu. Oh, and he also dismisses the idea that there is any reason to consider other courses of action other than lockdown, and only ignorant hicks and Trump supporters (but he repeats himself) think otherwise.

                      rob’s comment echoed Mr Stirling’s fallacy, and I responded as such. The resident marsupial decided he’d interject with Nazi comparisons, and here we are.

                    3. The resident marsupial decided he’d interject with Nazi comparisons

                      Nazi comparisons? Only in your fevered imagination. When I engage in ad hominem arguments you will not have to impute them.

                      Besides, your arguments are not Nazi-like, they more closely resemble French Revolutionaries –which is why my reference to Robespierre in a prior response.

                    4. I am mystified as to the source of your understanding about my knowledge regarding dog-catchers. I can only conclude it is like so much more of your self-proclaimed authority, utterly imaginary.

          2. Mortality is ACTUALLY lower than it was any other year. And not by a little bit but like a quarter of what we could reasonably expect.
            Husband has been doing a deep dive as only a mathematician can.
            Yes, there will be post.

            1. Do, please. In any case they keep comparing a manufactured number to another manufactured number without giving any sense of the variability in the number, both error in counting and variability over time. Nothing I’ve seen puts this out on the curve unless you go back to the millions number. Trump and Birx seem to still believe this nonsense. Argh.

              1. I’m sure Dan’s take on it will be more in depth than my brief data odyssey, but I’ll give you the big takeaway after reading all sorts of technical notes and playing with filters in the CDC visualizer pages:

                An absolute majority of predicted excess deaths come from the hot mess that is NY/NJ handling of this virus response, over 25% to NYC alone. By contrast, most states saw no real impact, with either below normal deaths, or with CoVid-19 deaths essentially replacing flu deaths.

            2. I’m becoming convinced that one of the Lessons Learned from this is that medical doctors must NEVER be allowed unsupervised access to authority. Because they don’t have the feedback internalized.

              A doctor buries his mistakes. An engineer is buried BY his mistakes.

              1. Keep in mind that these are not necessarily medical doctors, although they are doctors of medicine. What they actually are are Administrative doctors, a subset of proctologists.

              2. And NYC morticians are reporting death certificates listing the WuFlu when the cause was obviously failure of care, so the number is clearly inflated.

                Plus Cuomo sent WuFlu patients into nursing homes (complete with body bags), and threatened to yank the license of any nursing home that said it couldn’t care for them. A bunch of geriatric patients died, and their families were denied the chance to be with them.

                I’ll leave issues of damnation to God. THAT’s above my pay grade. But I would like that five-fool’s-gold-star progressive to suffer. I want him to be afflicted with a functioning conscience, and to know as sure as gravity and hangovers that HE did this.

                1. When all is done there will be much remaining to be said. There needs to be the mother of all After Action Reviews, looking at not merely the Federal response but also focusing on each state, and the commission must be structured (to the extent possible) without partisan agenda.

                  Legal repercussions ought be few, although what we now see being reported about New York, between sending contagious patients and workers in among the most vulnerable populations, might merit prosecution (although a full airing of the facts ought put paid to any further political ambitions of the principle players.)

              3. Ask Sarah’s son: A doctor makes decisions involving life and death. Too much doubt and he or she won’t make them at all.

              4. I was saying today, that I don’t think I’ve ever told a patient 100% surety on anything. We, more than most people, know that the unexpected happens all the time. Kids I thought were fine, get in bad trouble. Kids I thought were goners turn the corner. If you are waiting for a doctor to say it’s 100% safe, we will be locked in till kingdom come.

              5. When the only item in your (mental) toolkit is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

                There’s a reason I discount my FB friends who are nurses when they complain about how awful the epidemic is. Sure, it’s awful for you. But like I commented before, you don’t ask the troops being shelled right now how the overall war is going.

                1. That is exactly the analogy I use as well. They have a tactical perspective. We need a strategic one.

                  1. Well, they actually have TWO tools in their toolbox. There’s the hammer of Social Justice and the sickle of Equality

                    Oh, and they also have a cowbell so that they’re free to shut down opposition.

                    And they’ve plenty of songs, short-cutting through reasoned thought via banal lyrics about Love between their brothers and their sisters,

                    Well I got a hammer,
                    And I got a bell,
                    And I got a song to sing, all over this land.

                    Imagine, Where have all the flowers gone?

            3. Yeah there’s weird stuff going on in the stats – docs are reporting strokes and cardiac cases are not showing up in numbers expected.

              One might posit that strokes and heart attacks are caused by going to work. Work should be abolished. If it saves one life, after all.

              Okay, okay…

              But the drop in overall fatalities, and in strokes and cardiac emergency cases and other things that happen anywhere one would expect to happen over this period of time, deserve deeper study.

    4. It’s not so much that you will die as how. For the folks in NYFC who got the wrong hospital and either the Diversity of the Union nurses (or both) it’s horrid.

      Dying alone separated from your loved ones surrounded by callous strangers, unable to speak and slowly drowning.

      I ‘m not surprised the ladies are terrified. It might be long odds but if you hit the jackpot…? Gaslighting them (us, to be fair) that there is nothing to fear, silencing them because “isms” and “stigma” drives it all underground to percolate up into fake threats.

  3. Kroger is setting an example of what needs to do.
    They are buying milk from dairies and routing it to food banks.
    Thus they keep their suppliers on life support and purchase goodwill.
    They can charge customers for this later…

    1. It’s called a triple win. Kroger also get the tax breaks on the donation. Which is fine with me.

  4. Perhaps the memento mori will have a beneficial effect on the “contented worldiness” that society is suffering from. Screwtape, at least, seemed to think so…
    “How much better for us if all humans died in costly nursing homes amid doctors who lie, nurses who lie, friends who lie, as we have trained them … And how disastrous for us is the continual remembrance of death which war enforces. One of our best weapons, contented worldliness, is rendered useless. In wartime not even a human can believe that he is going to live forever.” C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

  5. “I wish he’d devoted himself, openly, to science fiction instead.”

    Hasn’t science fiction suffered enough?

  6. I… what? I’m seriously rattled by the idea of the people I’m particularly close to dying, but I was still a child the first time we lost a relative I’d known enough for it to hit me. Granted, it was a great-grandmother, so that was predicated on her having made it a while in the first place and… well, I waited too long for my daughter to know any of my own grandparents, although my husband’s granddad is still kicking.

    1. I was 4 when an Uncle died of Agent Orange cancer, and less than a year later Grandpa passed away (as he wanted, on his Honda, but it was a coronary).

    2. I think only now, in my fifties, am I realizing how different from many people around me I am by losing a younger brother at the ripe old age of eight. There is no point as an adult that death wasn’t real to me.

      1. Yep. The “it can happen to anyone” really hit me in high school, when a freshman on the cross country team died of undiagnosed throat cancer. In the 90s.

        I am much more concerned about the damage we are inflicting on ourselves than whether or not this new virus will be the death of anyone in particular – including my elderly parents or my husband’s grandparents.

    3. I was 16 when Grandpa Pete died, and 18 when my father had his last heart attack. Mom has outlived two husbands, both her sisters, and all of her BILs (barring one ex, lost track of him).

      I like her take on Winnie the Flu: living in a satellite city to Chicago, she’s more annoyed at the lockdown than to the near certainty that a case of it would do her in. I think at 97, she just wants to live her life with something resembling normality.

      We lost my MIL 5 years ago, though Alzheimer’s took her mind beforehand. $SPOUSE’s father passed before I met her, and $STEPFATHER passed about a dozen years ago.

      No, we’re not intimately associated with death, but it’s not a stranger. We’d prefer it use the doorbell and wipe its feet before entering. No existential freakout over the prospect of a visit. We’ve had the usual weird flu, so we’re probably good for the rest of the Kung Flu season.

      1. Same here – wipe its feet and use the doorbell. Me – a kid in my junior high school class, with a serious heart condition died when I was in eighth grade. A girl that I knew in passing in the tenth grade was killed as part of a shooting at a particularly dissolute house party. In a v-bad part of town. (When a large part of Sunland Tujunga was a bad and white-trash part of town.) Grandfather Jim when I was eleven – although that happened almost out of my sight, and on the very same day that my little brother was born – so distraction. All the other seniors in my family, by the time I was in my forties. Also out of my sight and direct involvement, since I was stationed overseas for most of that time. For military – an NCO I knew in passing – a computer genius, on a TDY to sort out our various squadron detachment problems with computer stuff … he was one of those fatally injured in the Ramstein airshow crash. Finished his TDY, waiting on a flight back to the Land of the Big BX, and went down to watch the airshow, killing time until his flight was called.
        I’m at the point where slightly older celebrities that I was fans of as a kid and teenager – are dropping like doves at a hunting-season shoot. Also, the NCOs who were in that bracket when I was a baby airman. Yep, gone and gone, and gone again.

        1. I’m at the point where slightly older celebrities that I was fans of as a kid and teenager – are dropping like doves at a hunting-season shoot.

          I think this is part of the panic. The actors that are dying of old age aren’t the ones that folks remember as “old” when they were kids– I remember being sad when the TOS trek guys started dying.

          1. I’ll admit that I’m a bit more upset about the fact that the Babylon 5 actors appear to be dropping like flies. I’m sad about the Star Trek guys, but they were adults when my parents were kids; B5 was on 30 years later and seems to be having about the same mortality rate.

          2. Authors, too. Heinlein was an ‘old guy’, so were Clarke and deCamp, but Roger Zelazny, James P. Hogan and Leo Frankowski were taken from us far too soon.

            And, agree about Babylon 5. Michael O’Hare lost his battle with depression, Andreas Katsulas and Richard Biggs gone… ‘To absent friends, in memory still bright.’ At least they were part of something truly great.

            1. A few years ago I was looking at my bookshelves and noticed that there was almost no SF past the early 90s. I made some notes, hit the web, and looked up a dozen authors who I had liked. A few of them had quit writing, one had gone down the memory hole, and the rest were dead, most in their 30s or 40s.

            2. Stephen (Vir) Furst, Jeff (Zack) Conaway, and Jerry (Garibaldi) Doyle, too.

                1. Must’ve been ‘almost 70,’ then– we were rattling through actors like crazy. Patrick Stewart is turning 80 this year, which started the conversation.

    1. I’m with you JP, No interesting times, no adventures. Hobbits Unite, we have nothing to lose but our discomfort.

      Although in truth right now I’m doing fine. That said I’d kill for a decent donut. Heck even a McDonalds Hamburger would be a change.

      1. There are times I’m sure my biological mother had to have kicked an old gypsy lady while carrying me.

      2. Although in truth right now I’m doing fine. That said I’d kill for a decent donut. Heck even a McDonalds Hamburger would be a change.

        My husband has, for years, indulged my imported instant ramen obsession with a fond smile. I usually have at least three different varieties in the house, not counting cup-o-noodles American type brands.

        He’s been working from home since…I think mid-March?… and today was making himself a bowl of ramen, with some marinated soft boiled eggs.

        “You know, working from home over a month… I can see why you’re so into ramen. I can deal with leftovers for lunch most of the time, but there’s no way I could stand pizza, grilled cheese and peanut butter sandwiches every day.”

        That, of course, being what the kids will eat without a fight and at a gallop.

        1. Hmm, hotdog and cheese on corn tortillas 4 days a week, leftover chicken and cheese on tortillas or soup on two other days. Market trips, Machaca with rice and beans Before Virus, though now it’s a taco or snack bars until the dining rooms open, if ever. Just enough variety to get by.

        2. There was a period where my younger daughter was a “picky eater”, I think we got her because of the Mother’s Curse “May you have children just like you”. For a period in 1st grade she survived primarily on Hot Dogs, Grilled Cheese, Pizza, PB&J and Boxed Mac and Cheese. Pediatrician in trying to elicit from her what she ate asked “What do you like in Salads”. Her reply “croutons”.

          1. Oh, that is PRICELESS!

            My kids really aren’t picky eaters, they just tend to skip lunch if it’s not grab’n’go, and mommy objects to both hangry kids and heavy snacking.

          2. was a period where my younger daughter was a “picky eater”

            Son was relatively picky eater too. Mostly it was things he wouldn’t touch. Used to drive my mom nuts. But we reinforced the rule “No making food eating a fight. If he won’t eat it. Don’t serve it to him.” Then at 14 he went on the see food diet. Inhaled almost anything that was edible. Somethings I didn’t even try to ever make him eat. I won’t touch Liver or Onions, so never made it 🙂 Few other things too.

            My cousin drove my mom batty. Mom thought she was spoiled. Because the 3 of us ate what we were given; not eat and do without, but eat what we were given*.

            Cousin had to stay with us when her baby sister was born because her parents were spending a lot of time in the Infant ICU (late ’60s). She’d only eat Mac & Cheese, creamy peanut butter, and limited list of other easy to “paste before swallowing”. Those last three words were the cue. Fast forward about 12 years, while she in college. Before then she’d managed to eat other things, but still very limited items. Turns out she had a condition that meant she couldn’t swallow properly. Don’t know the details. Do know it took a lot of physical therapy to correct, and I don’t know what else. Cousin forgave mom. Mom hasn’t quite forgiven herself, not that she could or should have known.

            * Some epic battles too. My sister remembers the “Green Bean” debate. She swears it was “Eat the Green Beans OR get a spanking.” She righteously chose the spanking. Turns out it was “Eat the Green Beans or get a spanking AND eat the green beans” … Then there was the “Eat the cream corn.” Get a spanking when threw up the cream corn for being defiant … I had the dang flu … granted that wasn’t obvious immediately. Start of the annual Christmas Flu season for about 5 or 6 years running … I still won’t touch cream corn.

            1. Haven’t had creamed corn since I was a kid. I can tolerate canned corn; we’ll mix it with green beans for a couple dinners each week, but I prefer my corn to be either on the cob or served as tortillas. Creamed, that’s a nope.

          3. I was much more sensitive to strong tastes back when I was a sprout. Things I eat and enjoy now tasted vile or were actively painful back then, and not just spicy-hot things, either.

            There are some foods that I still find vile, even as my friends and family happily chow down on them. I also have friends who are much more meat-and-potatoes than I am. So I have to wonder how much pickiness about food is an inherent “This tastes like poison!” reaction that varies both by age and from person to person.

            Vegetables are full of toxins. It’s their natural defense against being eaten. Metabolisms differ in their ability to handle those toxins, and so while “This tastes like poison!” might be a false alarm, it also might not be.

          4. My two younger kiddos were amazing when they were little. I made a deal with their mother that I would handle introducing them to foods if she would promise to just quietly not eat things she didn’t like (the girls mother is a VERY picky eater). AND it worked awesome! I would eat stuff, even stuff I hated, and act like it was really yummy. Then let the girls try. 9 out of 10 times, because they didn’t have a preconceived notion, they liked whatever it was. Then came the divorce, and the girls lived predominantly with their mother for a little over 10 years. For the last few years, they have come to live with me.

            Sigh… They hardly eat anything now, and most of what they really like is the… not very good… food their mother likes (They would rather have CANNED beef stew over rice, than home-made stew. Mac and Cheese HAS to be from a box–of a specific brand–or they won’t eat it. They like those horrible cheese hotdogs, the ones with the weird cheese already inside them). Other than a few things it’s like the two of them took a list of all foods and split it in half, because if one likes it, the other one is sure to hate it.

            Except Brussels Sprouts. They both LIKE Brussels Sprouts. Go figure… (Note, I love Brussels Sprouts, their mother hates them).

      3. Before older son left the state, I had promised him a do-over of his most ridiculous birthday.
        I.e. 5 years ago we got up in the morning to get him doughnuts, go to zoo and then get pretzels.
        We went to the zoo, but for a brief time because we got there late, after not being able to find a doughnut place open.
        So, I promised him a do over.
        BUT he needs to move at the end of the month/beginning of June.
        It might not be possible.

        1. If the Fed can move holidays and the Vatican can move saints’ days, there’s no reason you can’t have a birthday early. And it was you who determined when the first birthday was, so you certainly have the right to change it if you want…

          1. Alas, she has no power to make Governor Polis State open up the doughnut shop, zoo, and pretzel shop.

            1. A bag of frosted mini-donuts, some pretzel chips, and going to watch the Legislature perform its clown show might be close enough… or is the People’s Republic of Colorado one of the ones that plots in secrecy?

      4. Santa Clara has the world’s best donut shop. “Stans”. Family owned for over 60 years. “Secret Recipe”. Narrow hole in the wall place. The whole frontage is only about 20 feet. Always a line. Sometimes you have to wait half an hour for a fresh glazed, still hot from the fryer. They still do take out, so the line stretches down the shopping center arcade, with people, (most wearing masks) waiting 6 feet apart. We are blessed. Now if they will only reopen the library.

        1. I used to walk around the Willow Glen neighborhood in the early ’90s. Evening walks, I’d pass by a doughnut shop a bit south of the area. Saw movement one time, and took a closer look. Saw a few dozen rats taking over the front of the shop. Somehow, I never had the urge to give that place any business. (For that matter, I don’t recall eating any doughnuts since then. Go figure.)

          And no, this wasn’t Stans.

        2. My local favorite is a place called Heavenly Donuts, Found mostly in the Merrimac Valley area. They remind me of when Dunkin’ Donuts were good (before they removed all the nasty/tasty saturated fat). They do Blueberry filled and a cake donut that is spectacular. There’s one near church (for some values of near) so often its a treat on the way home.

      5. I’m still working a 40 hour week, so . . .
        I think I bottomed last Friday, anyhow.
        Even though Floor makes me cry regularly, this sorta stuff helps:

    2. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

      1. A sentiment emblazoned on my heart. The Daughter Unit and I watched that movie together at a theater in Oceanside. She was an active-duty Marine, then – deployed to Kuwait early in 2003 for an interesting six months. Some of her adventures there, she still cannot, or will not talk to me about.

      2. Doesn’t sound at all like something Gandalf would say! Wait, your talking about the guy in Dallas, right? Rides a Honda ST1300?
        I’ve a riding buddy in DFW who goes by that handle.

  7. “The only thing I can promise you is that we’re looking forward to interesting times.” And I have SO come to hate the thought of living interesting times! A golden age ended in March of 2020. Hmm, “The March of 2020” sounds like it would be a great title to a military poem or song.

  8. Maybe we should consider that a great many if not the majority of those over 55+ are already on a daily cocktails of Rx, and that may have tertiary side effects detouring the worst of the Winnie the Flu.

  9. The American Revolution, and the French Revolution, were both ‘interesting times’.

    We can only hope to be guided by Franklin and Jefferson, rather than Saint-Just and Robespierre.

    Far too many products of our ‘modern’ education would simply react with: “Who?”
    Those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do remember history are doomed to watch everybody else repeat it.

    1. Worse, they’ll ask why you want it to be guided by racist, white male, slave owners (yes, only Jefferson owned slaves, but based on modern education I think most people under 30 think every white person owned several slaves).

      1. Then I ask them if they like their Party’s heritage of Slavery, Jim Crow, and Klan terrorism…

        I know more history than they do. Of course so does the average cherrystone clam.

        1. That sir is an insult to the cherrystone clams at the left of the bell curve. They’ve actually got
          the average democrat beat, and even many 3-4 sigmas to the right of the mean.

        1. Aren’t they still holding a Pulitzer for Walter “Red” Duranty’s reporting from the early Soviet Union? The two awards would make nice bookends … if only they would stop winning the awards for that type of reporting.

          Was it called a union because you didn’t get to refuse membership, paid corrupt leadership to keep you in poverty and weren’t permitted to leave?

          1. There’s a movie to be released soon about the Holomdor. I can’t remember the name of it, but I’ve seen a trailer. The protagonist is a Westerner who finds out about itcas it’s hapoening.

            I seem to recall that Duranty is at least mentioned in that trailer.

            1. The film is called ‘Mr. Jones’. It shows the events through the eyes of real-world reporter Gareth Jones, whose initial article about the Holomdor prompted Duranty to write what was essentially a (false) rebuttal.

      2. most people under 30 think every white person owned several slaves

        Don’t realize or admit, that natives of the American continent, culture included slavery when they could afford them. If they couldn’t afford them they killed them outright. That black slaves, when freed, held slaves.

        1. one of the complaints of the Trail Of Tears very rarely reported now was how many had to give up their slaves when they were displaced
          Also iirc one of, if not the, first law cases about slavery in the colonies was a black owner being sued by his “servant”

          1. The Cherokee were rapidly adopting European ways, which made them competitors instead of just Injuns. And when they started getting into politics the became a threat.

          2. one of the complaints of the Trail Of Tears very rarely reported now was how many had to give up their slaves when they were displaced

            Did not know this. Somehow I equate the Trail of Tears with occurring after the Civil War. But it didn’t.

            Also iirc one of, if not the, first law cases about slavery in the colonies was a black owner being sued by his “servant”

            Did not know this. Never realized property would have standing to sue …

            Question time. Theoretical premise. No non-African civilization outlet for African Slaves, would slavery been non-existent on the African continent? If not, what would have happened to the, uh, excess inventory?
            Come on now! Quit laughing already.

            Only the first half is laugh worthy. Second half, not so much.

            1. see RES below for the skinny on who sued who for why.
              I just recall it being “You still gotta be property, You ain’t done yet!” vs “NOPE Done!”.

            2. It would not. Egypt ran on slaves; the Jews were simply the most famous.

              1. Stupid Jews, always keeping their own historical records. It is any wonder the rest of the world hates us? Ours would be a much happier world if only we permitted our betters to revise History as needed. What kind of sick, depraved people want to rub folks’ noses in such horrible events?

          3. one of, if not the, first law cases about slavery in the colonies was a black owner being sued by his ‘servant’

            I know of the case, generally deemed the first legal precedent establishing slavery in the colonies. You’ve reversed the parties, however: the suit was a request to convert a contract of indentured servitude from limited term to open-ended, the black plaintiff suing o grounds that the servant had failed to provide promised value of service.

            Somebody ought look that up and publicize it, documenting the facts of the suit in an easily accessed web site.

            It is worth keeping in mind that one of the charges the Declaration levels against George III was his not allowing certain colonies to outlaw slavery (Georgia, I think, was one: settled by transportees it would have a natural dislike for slavery … although evidence is that later generations overcame that aversion).

  10. One of the reasons I appreciate my husband so dearly is that, shortly after we were married, I broke down crying on him because I was so tired of people I knew dying. (Is Aviation. Is Alaska. Is not safe.) And so very tired of people going out, not coming back, and waiting, hating that point when you’re still hoping faintly that it might be search and rescue, but knowing in your gut it’s a search and retrieval… if we even find the bodies (because if they went into the ocean, it’s not likely.)

    And he understood exactly what I meant. And he couldn’t make it better, but he could be there with me, sympathizing from the heart and the gut and the dark places in his own memories.

    You know how very, very, very few people understand that feeling today? Might be a reason I feel so much more at home amoung combat vets than career women.

    1. I’m crossing that search line on a friend who surface level freaked out over having COVID and went to hide and recover or join the husband she lost suddenly 30 months ago.

      The scary part is there are now thoughts it might be foul play by her roommate.

    2. I recall two ARES* searches. One was a plane that wendown “5 miles east of town.” 5 miles from edge of town? Center? Airport? And the search found nothing. A couple weeks later a deputy going through the woods for reasons long forgotten stumbled upon the wreckage. The Bonanza had nosed in.

      The other was a walk-away with dementia, who had always kept to sidewalks and such… but there was a path into the woods that start out well-defined and slowly deteriorated to “path, what path?” This search was more successful, someone (not me) did encounter the fellow and the medical folks pretty much just made sure he wasn’t injured and got him back to where he could be looked after.

      There was one other, that I was not a part of (I was elsewhere). A weather balloon had come dne (spotted from the air) and a practice run of recovering it was decided upon. And then things happened – one of the searchers had a heart attack during the search. The ambulance (and ATV setup for going the ambulance couldn’t) made EXCELLENT time getting there (see: nowhere, middle of) a mere 20 minutes after the call. Whether that wasn’t enough we’ll never know. Didn’t make it.

      * Amateur Radio Emergency Service

  11. They’d never confronted their own mortality, and therefore now run in fear, because a virus can KILL them, oh the horror.

    I am not a fan of the draft. I do not want to bring it back.

    But the isolation of military service to mostly family traditions have severed one reliable source of facing mortality for young men. Even without war experience, it is hard to serve without once having something that makes you face death. Fire inside a metal tube under hundreds of feet of water and hundreds of miles from any fire department will focus the mind. Stuck stern planes will do the same thing. I’m sure surface guys have the same respect for fire. Air crews, ground crews, and every branch of the ground forces will have the similar things, often involving fire as well I suspect.

    Also, the sad but routine deaths in peacetime operations gave that brush of mortality to brothers, sisters, and romantic partners.

    1. My husband served for almost 22 years on subs. Just after getting back from a 7 month Med Run (they were *in* the Persian Gulf on 9/11) he had to send notifications that one of the guys had wrapped his car around a tree. The XO expressed surprise the husband had to look up the procedures. And husband pointed out that in almost 20 years, that was the first time he’d been at a command when they lost someone.

    2. Yup. Things are a lot safer than they used to be – you may be expendable, but that airplane cost Big Money – but everyone in contact with the military has been in contact with death. One way or another.

      1. Military aviation is really still quite dangerous. Military aviators can pretty much all instantly list off flight school buddies that died while aviating.

        Flying in close formation is intrinsically risky, dropping even inert bombs is intrinsically risky, aerial refueling is intrinsically risky, landing planes optimized for going fast is intrinsically risky, and every damn thing about helicopters is intrinsically risky.

        And all of that does not account for other people shooting at you.

        Even experienced crew sometimes don’t come back from things as mundane as training sorties.

        Ejection is called “Attempting suicide to avoid certain death.” Landing on a carrier is called a “controlled crash.”

        Getting into that line of work includes facing the possibility that you will in fact die doing it.

        1. My father made it through carrier landing training, but did not graduate from Pensicola. He unvolunteered aviation when his best friend in flight school died in a formation flying accident. One second the guy was fine. The next there was a wing tip in his cockpit. The next two planes were leaving formation in an unplanned manner.

          His whole life he repeated the saying, “pilots don’t make more money, they just make it faster”

        2. Let’s just say that when I got my acceptance letter to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, I did NOT tell my mother about the sentence that read, “Make out your will.”

          1. I read a letter home from my grandfather to his parents, once. He wrote lightly, humorously, and well; it was disconcertingly like reading Thurber. If Thurber had written a story in which I had to do a double-take and back up to realize that yes, he had just reported that something went wrong with his plane so that he ended up in a tree and his instructor was dead.

            1. Grandfather sounds like his memoirs deserve to be compiled and published.

        3. My uncle left SAC (and got booted from the Air Force) after he requested a non-flying job. That request came because he was the only one in his class of navigators who was still alive. (Circa 1962; he was in KC-135s, frequently out of Goose Bay, Labrador.)

            1. Yeah, judging by the intensity of the cold war at the time, I can see safety being a very low priority. At least the BUFFs were younger than the pilots.

  12. I wonder to what degree these “women under forty” are childless, and finding that life in the year of the (imagined) plague is making them review and question life choices.

    1. They have lost their (in their minds) chance at immortality. No children, no children taught who might remember them in some way, they have made no “difference” in society, they will have left no mark in history. They are not special. Like all snowflakes, eventually they will melt away and leave nothing.

      That’s a hard thing to realize and come to grips with. Especially when you’ve come to believe that this material world is it, period, end, and to change that belief means upending everything you have faith in. (I will never have kids, so all I can do in this world is tell stories. Perhaps a few of my memories will live on. Since this world isn’t the important one, I’m not sweating that fact anymore.)

      1. Stories are good. Even if stories may not last, they do good for a lot longer than we can in this world.

        In the same boat; too many things wrong with me to even consider kids as an option.

        On the upside, one of those “things wrong with me” means I’ve been aware a long time nobody gets out alive. *Wry* ) 0.1% chance of dying from the WuFlu and you want to lock me up? Mister, my chances are worse than that every. Friggin’. Day.

          1. *Amused* You can imagine the looks on their faces when they scream, “You might die!” and you blink at them with, “I might die just walking down the street, your point?”

            1. Duting conversations like these (CHICOM Flu, resisting criminal assault, active shooter) I usually invoke my favorite of Murphy’s Laws of Combat: “Anything you do, including nothing, can get you killed”

            2. “I ride a motorcycle with people like you on the roads”
              still not positive how I managed to squeeze in between the guardrail and the flare of that Red Ford F350.

              1. There’s a reason I really like my big van…. was using my husband’s roller skate commuter car yesterday, two lanes merging, four lanes open on the other side, and there’s a moving type truck pretty far back, going a normal speed.

                The SOB slammed on his gas and tried to force me into the vehicle to my right, in front, or behind me, and then swerved over to weave around other folks when I didn’t move.

                STILL no idea what on earth he thought he was doing, since from the speed he accelerated at the thing had to be empty.

                1. I was helping a friend move, driving a HUGE U-Haul truck past some road construction (or destruction) when some idiot raced down an on-ramp and squeezed through the rapidly narrowing gap between the truck and a row of those temporary concrete barriers. I took a good grip on the wheel and said, “If you don’t make it, it’s all on YOU, dumbshit!” The idiot managed to avoid a Darwin nomination that day.

                  San Diego drivers don’t know what to do when it rains. I was driving downhill at about 60 in light rain one morning when a pickup truck zoomed past on my right, then crossed in front of me while slowly rotating counter-clockwise. I took my foot off the gas and watched him make one and a half full turns to wind up against the center guardrail facing the wrong way. “I hope you packed a spare pair of shorts, bub — or a crowbar to pry the seat cushion out of your ass!”

                  So many roads, so much dumbfuckery…

                    1. You work with it when you can, accomodate it when you can’t… but you can’t demand that it change for your convenience.

                      There are about eleventy zillion “fail” videos on YouTube, mostly involving running, jumping, skateboards, and bicycles, demonstrating that. And that some huge proportion of youngsters have led such padded childhoods they don’t even have the reflex to put a hand out before slamming face-first into concrete…

                  1. Here, people don’t know how to do ice. (It’s probably gotten worse, since it’s been a while since the last good ice storm). Like a good Federal employee (Dept. Of the Army) I was trying to use the two-hour delayed opening one morning to slowly drive to work and came upon a fairly long rise in the road. And sat there a while, watching vehicle after vehicle try to climb it, turn slowly sideways, slide back down….I decided to take the day off after all

                    1. snowed in NOLA once.
                      2 minute commute took 2 hours
                      granted it rained, froze while raining, then snowed 2 inches at most.
                      the is no traction
                      that was in my used tires only days, and I only spun out once. just everyone else trying to get somewhere was very in the way, and most couldn’t get out of the way if the wanted.
                      Well we pushed one guy sideways out of the way, but he was trying to get in his driveway “Just get the back on my grass. I’ll leave it there!”

                    2. It snowed in Tampa at least once in the early ’90s. I was there.

                      At least 90% of the population were apparently from New Jersey, but they acted like they’d never seen snow before.

                    3. Raises hand. We just don’t get enough ice & snow to practice. I know the theory, I follow it. But don’t know it in my bones because of lack of experience. Plus there is always hubby to take over when we are most likely to encounter it (driving over Cascade passes in winter time).

                      Our house in Longview sits (we don’t live there anymore but house is still there) two lots down from a ridge. As the road comes down off the ridge (Hillcrest Drive), it curves slightly as it reaches the Y of the road, at the top of the canyon (street name is Canyonview, FYI). One Y swings NW, the other east. Steep pitch. To go up, when icy/snowy, vehicles made a run at it; slid down, retried again. Coming down they did a very controlled roll, or they slid into our driveway, or if they were really unlucky into the top of the canyon gorge, which had some very big trees to stop them from going all the way down. We learned real quick to 1) Hide the truck in the garage. 4×4 so we kept getting requests to pull people out of their predicament when they ended up in the ditch. And 2) Put the car on the north side of the house. Prevented those who slid down the hill not taking the curve, instead sliding through the lower 2/3rds of our driveway, onto the lower grassy area (behind the hidden car). I only attempted to come down that hill, once in the icy conditions. Difference between me sliding onto the driveway onto the grass, was I was aiming for our driveway. Once got on the grass, just turned & parked it out of everyone else’s way. We owned the house for 9 years. Lived there 5. I only dealt with Ice/Snow once because I was out when it unexpectedly hit. We watched it happen multiple times over the 5 years. Road steep enough that frost was a problem driving up it.

                      Locally in Eugene, when I was working, I learned to avoid the bridge over south Delta from Valley River to Country Club Road. The pitch is wrong. You can inch a vehicle slowly down it on ice, but the odds are you will lose traction and slide into the intersection, or into any vehicles that were luckier than you, especially if, because of other vehicles, you actually had to stop on that pitch. I learned to take the alternative slightly longer route instead. Still had to deal with a downward pitch, but longer gradual down, actually had an option of stopping on the ice, on the pitch. Deicing the roads? Well sure. You could see the deicing sand through the melted refrozen ice …

                  2. Way back I had a very lowered Dodge Colt with super wide tires (for a Colt).
                    Managed to wear them too much in an alignment attempt, and before I could save money to replace them, I got caught in a heavy downpour. In a line of traffic I was near the front when we went from 2 lanes to 3 and I took the opportunity to pass the two slowpokes holding up the line of traffic. Hydroplaned with a rotation to the left and a snap to the right, across the 3 lanes and into the grass. bending a spindle on the bounce over the slanted curb.
                    used it to upgrade to later model larger brakes and eventually a set of new tire (first time in my life I bought NEW tires!)
                    A few years later I was doing outside sales for auto parts, in yet another Colt (not as lowered, same width tires) and coming from the Westbank of NOLA via the GNO, came over a rise to find traffic STOPPED! Oh, and it had just started raining right there! Apparently some diesel was involved with the road conditions as well.
                    The taxi in front of me did 3 pirouettes as I managed to go from far left lane to go I10 West to the far right exit to US90 East
                    with a fun drift for added pucker factor. The cabbie managed not to hit anyone but was against the left wall facing back to the bridge.

                2. Benz doing 20 or so in a 35 so I tried to pass in my 98 Nissan 4×4.
                  Tried to run me into oncoming traffic by matching my speed until I slammed the brakes and pulled behind him. Then he pulls into his driveway (thought I recognized that car).
                  I worked odd hours, and went home very very late.
                  Seems he had trouble keeping tail light lenses for a few months after and the back glass got a few lead smears on it somehow (guess it was at the right angle to deflect lead pellets shot from a pellet pistol without chipping)

                1. I finally identified what makes so many of the new truck drivers terrifying– they’re driving an 18 wheeler like it’s a rollerskate car.

                  And they have no idea how to drive in the first place. “Where is the side of my car? What do you mean?” It works in the little cars, because it’s close enough to wearing the car, but you get bigger….


                  1. I sincerely pray every time I go over a local bridge. The new bridge has narrower lanes… and people still go 60+ when the limit is 45. Me, if I’m doing the limit, I have to work hard to stay in the lane. In a tiny Honda Civic.

                    Now, I admit I’m not a driver in the “best reflexes” category, but still, when the wind picks up… has no one ever heard of “driving to fit conditions”?

                    1. > driving to fit conditions?

                      Any more, I’m happy if they’re not looking down at their phone instead of the road…

                  2. likely wasn’t a newb but I felt the pain of the milk tanker driver I saw the other morning, as the light we were heading to did a short cycle and he just got up to speed (likely just the 25 mph limit at that) when he had to slam on the brakes hard (I wasn’t in his lane and I didn’t make the light either and was pretty had on the binders)
                    Milk tankers cannot have baffles so his whole load was moving the truck back and forth, and he was trying to time the slosh to help him reverse out of the cross lanes.
                    Want smoooooth truckers, make them drive milk tankers, or some vacuum tankers.

                  3. The turnover rate on OTR truckers is very high. There are Federal programs for companies doing training and another for hiring immigrants. A lot of these guys out there who can’t quite keep it in the lane have never had a driver’s license before they went to the trucking school and got their CDL. Some are from countries with very different ideas about law, government paperwork, or rules of the road. A great many quit after a few months.

                    A friend used to work as a trainer for one of those outfits. Some of his stories would raise the hair on the back of your neck…

                    > Where is the side of my car

                    Mrs. TRX found a video series called “Canada’s Worst Drivers” on YouTube. It is reality-show-to-the-max, but I wound up watching most of them with her; besides playing things for the lulz, they actually spend some time teaching the victims how to drive. A frequent refrain is, “Do you know where your wheels are?”

                    “And now we will go through the maze of stacked wheel rims and trash cans. In the forty-foot party bus. Backwards.” And some of them actually manage it…

                    1. A lot of these guys out there who can’t quite keep it in the lane have never had a driver’s license before they went to the trucking school and got their CDL.

                      Thanks, TRX, I didn’t need to sleep for the next month or three…..


                    2. There are whole channels of Russians demonstrating Seriously Oblivious Driving, and all manner of How Not To Drive. Hilarious to scary. (And if a vid puts up a big red warning card, believe it.)

                      I drive an F350 dually… I really *really* need to know where my Other Side is… cuz if I run over you, I won’t notice. But I can make do with five wheels on the road…

                      Favorite Oh Shit Driving Moment: north of West Yellowstone following a spring snowstorm. Everyone is parked, putting on chains, with which you could barely creep along at 10mph max …”slick” does not begin to describe it. “Greased” might approach… it was hard to stand up on, never mind drive, let alone *steer*.

                      So because all the people with a sense of self-preservation are currently parked and busy installing chains, both lanes are empty. And smack down the middle of the road, here comes an 18 wheeler, doing about 30mph and totally out of control,.. you could see the driver going OOOOH SHIIIIIIIT as he slid on by, around the next corner, and out of sight… where pretty soon we heard a tremendous crash.

                      And thirty seconds later here comes another one…. OOOOOH SHIIIIIIT, around the corner, out of sight, and a tremendous crash.

                      So I finally got chained up and my pickup’s load rearranged so I could actually steer (had to sit my passenger on the hood), and crept on down the road… and what did I see? The two 18 wheelers sideways across the road, having missed ALL the cars and ALL the trees, and somehow coming to a noisy halt in the ONE spot where we could drive around ’em on either side… jackknifed in opposite directions, perfectly nested an inch apart but not touching and no visible damage. It was amazing.

                      But I expect they had to pry both of ’em off the steering wheel with the Jaws of Life.

                      Southern plates.


                    3. We have a lowly Chevy 1500 4×4, 8′ box. A baby compared to your F150 Dually. We tow a 25′ TT. Fully outfitted with stabilizer, sway bar, trailer has it’s own breaks. Ice is the one thing that terrifies my husband towing. He knows how to drive Ice & Snow, just fine. We’ve seen ice & snow in Greater Yellowstone area, as early as August. Almost figure on it in early September, which is when we are going this year (we are DANG IT). But ice generally doesn’t hang around in the afternoon, which is when we are most likely be moving the trailer.

                      We got chased out of Yosemite in mid August 2010 because of ice & freezing fog. Camped at Tuolumne Meadows. The closed Tuolumne road out the NE entrance 4 days running until around 1 PM or so. We were suppose to leave Sunday morning. We left Saturday early evening, before light left. That road, after you pass the dam outside the park gates, is scary enough going down, 8% grade, very little edge beyond the road (no room to pull over), and there is no imagination between the road and the bottom of that canyon (no trees). It is a long way down. Road was clear of ice that late, hadn’t reformed for the night. You could see ice on the hillside. We crept down. I think truck was in high 4, and the brakes on the trailer were engaged lightly. We didn’t breath a sigh of relief thou until we saw the group that was with us get down safely. They had a full van (larger one), plus a Suburban towing an enclosed gear trailer. The gear trailer didn’t have breaks (as long as our trailer, but not as heavy).

                    4. Ice scares the shit out of me.
                      I know how to drive on ice.
                      That’s WHY it scares the shit out of me.

                      Haven’t driven on ice in a looooong time, but when those tires break loose it all comes RIGHT the F back.

                    5. Oh, Ghod, you are giving me flashbacks to the one time that I drove I-15 in a totally bad snowstorm. Coming home from Christmas at my parents in northern San Diego County. In the trusty Very Elderly Volvo sedan … fully loaded with supplies, I might add. Warm coats, blankets, etc. Spent the night at the guest quarters at Nellis AFB, and saw that a norther was coming in. Started very early the next morning, hoping to beat the storm home, and got all the way to the down-grade at Scipio, before it got really, really bad. Near to white-out conditions. I honestly didn’t want to get off the highway, as it was so bad that I didn’t think we’d be let on again, and I didn’t have the funds for a hotel room, and my leave was expiring the next day anyway. I just wanted to be home!
                      There was a little red VW with a ski-rack on top going at about 20 MPH in the outside lane. I pulled on behind him, as he seemed to be about the only sensible driver on the road. I think eventually, there were a good few of us following that red VW, in a sort of daisy-chain convoy. Just about all I could see were the clear tracks, and tail-lights. A lot of vehicles which passed us at a higher speed … we later passed, marooned off the road, in the median or off to the side. Got into Provo-Orem, and at least the highway had been cleared of excess snow. As it was, the closest we got to being stopped by high snow was on the turn-off to the street were we lived in South Ogden.
                      Kind of glad this kind of thing does not happen in South Texas … although I do miss four seasons…

                    6. Our similar experience was coming home from inlaws when they lived just north of La Pine off hwy 97. Would have been in ’85 or ’86. Near whiteout conditions taking the Waldo Cutoff to hwy 58, then west to I-5 on hwy 58. A stream of traffic, every 15 minutes the line would stop, pull over -ish, so people could get out to thump the ice off of windshield wipers. My husband could clear ours at the speed we were going, without pulling over. Just reach out the window and lift the wiper to have it pound down & break off the ice. Every once & a while he’d have me half climb out my side & do the same for the passenger wiper. It was cold in the cab, or at least our legs & feet were, because we had the windshield defroster going highest heat on the window. We found out later they did close the passes after we got over. It didn’t help that we had snow from the time we left the inlaws until we pulled into the driveway. Snow the whole way. Though the storm wasn’t quite whiteout conditions once we actually got to I-5. Fully chained 4×4. With extra traction load in the back … Seven hours for a normal 2 hour trip.

                2. Nick at Bad Obsession Motorsports had a good rant on that during a Project Binky episode (Yes, Binky is in tribute to Pterry’s Binky)

                1. They’re hitting >200mph at the Isle of Man TT nowadays. Trees, shadows, blind curves, livestock, stone walls, narrow one-lane roads… three 37-mile laps per heat. https://youtu.be/fFIRZ8pxrPg

                  Look at the guy’s expression at 2:00. A friend of mine said, “I probably looked just like that when I realized they were shooting at us.”

                  I have a fair amount of highway time between 150 and 175, but I never had the reflexes for that kind of road, even poking along at that relative crawl. The IOM “senior” class is age 30 and up… They’ve been running the TT for over a hundred years now. For some reason, not much video on YouTube; either documentaries consisting mostly of people mumbling at a camcorder, or a few minutes of the same video clips remixed to various soundtracks.

              1. “I’m already dying.”

                Technically true and there’s no point explaining it to such folk. So just leave it at that.

      2. “The no children to teach/remember” weighs in weird ways.

        My sister was born after my brother died. As older family members, especially my father and aunts and uncles, die I am aware the time will come when I will be the last living person who remembered him. I feel an obligation to make sure his nieces and nephews, who are mine as well, know of him and the joy he brought their family.

  13. Ma is.. well, well into retirement. But also perhaps the most fit of all her siblings, despite being the eldest. On nice days (not rainy, not too cold, not too hot) she will walk about a third to halfway through the small town to visit a fellow who late last month turned 97. He’s also, obviously, in pretty good health. Given ages, they have reason to be cautious, but terrified – given general health.

    For the last several weeks, they have been together – an unusual circumstance. The last few years they’ve liked going places together rather than alone, and then being able to have time alone again. He would always phone about 8 AM, pretty much to say that he made it through another night.

    They do get along very, very well. However, I suspect they are both looking forward to a time when they can go out for supper at some restaurant and dine in, and then go home, one dropping the other off and a night alone.

    1. The one place the lockdown orders here in the Bay Area Sector of the Gloriously Well Coiffed Gavin’s People’s Republic makes sense is the senior facilities – My Mom lives in the memory care side of hers now, so she’s double-super-locked down. I expect I won’t see her in person until late fall at best, and possibly not until the vaccine is in wide distribution.

      Staff at Mom’s place is running facetime calls, so we’ll talk to her, but were I to take Gavin’s place as Glorious Dear Imperator of California I would keep the senior facilities locked down for a long time.

      But the general population is not highly at risk seniors.

      Those 30-somethings need to note that even in Santa Clara County, pop. over 2 million, there have been a total of 6 deaths of any age that did not have one or more comorbidities (plus 7 where they don’t know), and 25 out of 115 total fatalities were age 60 or younger. Up in the City and County of San Francisco there have been ZERO deaths without one or more comorbidities, at any age group, and only 1 (of 29) SF fatalities was <60.

      I thing statistics should be mandatory from the elementary school level onwards.

      1. Locking down the nursing homes the way they’ve locked down all “non-essential business” would make sense.

        Locking down the nation like they did two months later would’ve made sense back in January.

        Waiting until we had better information that said “do not panic,” a month and a half after our first local infection, adn then locking down everybody EXCEPT the most at risk– it makes no sense.

        1. The thing that gets me is the SAME EXACT PEOPLE who were complaining that the 1/31 travel ban from China was a xenophobic “trick” to distract from the then-ongoing impeachment trial are now claiming that the fedgov waited too long to do anything.

          Well, that counts as a pretty big “anything”, and good luck lugging those goalposts as you drag them around the prairie to their new position.

          They obviously think nobody has access to the internet, and as back in the most sacred 1960s must believe their authoritative “restatement” of the “facts” since they went to J school after flunking out of the english department and stuff.

          1. Hell, look at the change in “flatten the curve” to “crush the curve” to “we can’t let anybody else get infected”.

            Holy F, dude, that’s not possible.

            1. You can’t get infected when you’ve died of starvation or outright murder.

              It is a legitimate goal when you are serious about beating Pol Pot’s record for fraction of population killed.


            2. There was MUCH laughter in my household upon report of Governor Cumao’s insistence that the lockdown would remain in force until there was a 100% safe vaccine.

              As if there is or could be a vaccine that both 100% safe and effective.

                1. The karens already got started trying to make sure the as of yet theoretical vaccine is mandatory, and grown in fetal stem cell lines.

                  Because there is, apparently, no joy like unto forcing people to do that which they do not wish.

                    1. “You refuse to take our experimental first year vaccine? Do you want people to die?

                      “Now that you mention it … I have a little list …”

                    2. You are not alone.
                      Anyone pushing me about will get told: THALIDOMIDE.
                      If they claim it’s different, I’ll bring up the FIRST polio vaccine trials – that caused polio.

                    3. See also: pretty much any “based on live virus” vaccine ever. The balance is always “enough to develop immunity” and “enough for a full blown case”.

              1. Our governor just unveiled his amazing three-stage plan that he came up with after consulting with experts!

                (Literally, reading one of the local news channels a few minutes ago, they make it sound like he came up with it and didn’t just borrow the President’s plan wholesale)

                1. I’m reminded of the replies from Biden and Le Shrill one to Trump speeches and plans that were “Trump’s plan sucks. He should do THIS!” ***the THIS being EXACTLY what Trump said was the plan he was enacting***

              2. Apologies are in order: I misrepresented what the Governor of New York said. He did NOT say he was holding off re-opening the state pending development of a vaccine 100% safe.

                He said he was doing it pending development of a vaccine 100% safe AND 100% effective.

                Sorry, New York. Y’all ain’t never coming back.

            3. It’s a pretext that’s all it is. What they really mean as “we are going to keep lockdowns in place until we succeed in our goal of fundamentally transforming America”-Biden today reiterated that the virus outbreak is “an incredible opportunity to not just dig out of this crisis, but to fundamentally transform the country”

              And remember, he is what the Democrats and their media arm consider a moderate.

          1. Haven’t listened to them in years. Don’t miss it. Stared ignoring then many years ago (like the late 80s/early 90s if I recall) when they would report on some awesome tech that I knew about at least two years earlier and they got it wrong. They have only gotten worse since. Have zero use for “journalist”, a pox on all their houses!

      2. Oregon, population 4 million increasingly pissed off people.

        109 fatalities, 3 between 40 and 49, another 3 between 50 and 59. My understanding is that 44% of the deaths are in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities.

        So, lockdown has been extended to July 6th. We’re already losing restaurants, now the private resorts and campgrounds are going to crash and burn.

        $SPOUSE wanted to get off our land for the first time since mid March. We drove to a couple of boat launch sites, one on the Mighty Wood River, and another on Agency Lake. Nobody boating on the MWR (too many weeds in the channel, AKA “It’s May”, with a few people having fun at the lake. No masks (and no edict–Kate Brown may be a despicable tyrant, but she’s not as dumb as some) and the one or two kids were having fun.

        1. Washington, population 7.5 million.

          15,185 cases, 834 deaths (where “cases” is equivalent to “positive tests” as per the page — no idea whether this is padded or not).

          Age 0-19: 4% of cases (607), 0% of deaths (0), CFR 0%
          Age 20-39: 29% of cases (4,404), 1% of deaths (8), CFR 0.2%
          Age 40-59: 34% of cases (5,163), 8% of deaths (67), CFR 1.3%
          Age 60-79: 23% of cases (3,493), 38% of deaths (317), CFR 9.1%
          Age 80+: 10% of cases (1,519), 53% of deaths (442), CFR 29.1%

          Now consider that the Seattle Times has reported that various different groups have extrapolated from data and estimated that anywhere between 7x to 10-20x the number of official cases have had the virus, then you can reduce the CFRs by the same amount.

          Add to that the probability that the under-60 deaths almost certainly had one or more underlying factors, and you get a truly miniscule CFR for healthy people.

          JFC, Karen, it’s not the Black Death already.

          1. Assuming I haven’t already had the virus back in February when I had a “bad cold”, at age 54 with no health issues I estimate my IFR at around 2 in 10,000. I’ll take those odds.

            1. one of my morning daily reads has WuFlu vs 2017/2018 Flu season numbers ending on April 30th.
              Take out NYC, Detroit, and Boston, and it isn’t even close to being “same as a bad flu season”, it’s milder.
              With the numbers of those three sh*tholes added in, it still isn’t as bad as that flu season to the end of April.

  14. ~20% of those randomly tested in NYC were positive for COVID-19 antibodies in a study released last week. Meaning they had caught it and gotten over it, and for the most part didn’t even know. So no, it isn’t very deadly.

    But on the other hand I know a person who was -sick- with it and still needs oxygen twice a day to function right. That person responded very positively to hydroxychloroquine, got major symptomatic breathing relief in two hours. Thank you, Donald Trump. Without that help, it could have gotten very ugly.

    No one else in that person’s family had anything worse than minor cold symptoms.

    Meaning, the media are reporting ultra-rare cases where “previously healthy” 21 year old dies within 48 hours of catching the Wuhan Flu either for nefarious purposes, or for straight-up sensationalism and eyeballs. Being that the media collectively is a bunch of English Majors, I don’t believe they could manage nefarious. They’re not smart enough, or tough enough for that matter.

    Where I am with it right now is on the low-information side of the equation. Since February we Canadians have learned that:

    -we are governed by people not smart enough to hold a real job, and those morons are advised by people not smart enough to practice as real doctors.

    – every official government communication is spun to keep us, the peasants, in line. We are viewed as ignorant, superstitious, violent assholes by our governing class. Therefore nothing they say can be trusted, because they’ll change it next week to meet some new parameter.

    – there’s a very good chance that our moronic governing class is getting paid directly by the Chicoms to do what the Chicoms want. That’s not proven by forensic audit yet, but the suspicion is certainly not unreasonable given whet they’ve been doing.

    -our Canadian media is 100% controlled by the government, no less than Pravda was in the Soviet Union. There’s nothing on TV, in the papers or on the radio the government didn’t put there, except by accident. And since every single thing about the President of the United States on Canadian media is a -lie-, that tells me a great deal about the ruling class and who their friends are. I don’t need anybody to draw me a map here.

    Where does that leave me? Well, I have to do my own research and make my own plans for infection control. which I did anyway, its just a little bit harder with all the disinformation, that’s all.

    My plan will be mask and gloves in public until I see sufficient research out there showing that you can’t catch it twice. (Preliminary signs are hopeful at this point, but nothing is proven.) So no, I won’t be going to the “We Beat Corona Chan!” parade some astounding government imbecile is going to host one of these days. I might go to the inevitable “Get Off My Lawn Karen!” protest, but if I do it’ll be in a hazmat suit.

    1. We’re under a mask order (just renewed by Der Gesundheitsminister von Santa Clara County) so we’re stuck with that, but gloves are actually tricky.

      If you are going to glove up seek training and really understand how to take them off without getting cross-contaminated.

      Most are better off just washing their hands a lot.

      1. They way I read the health orders, Santa Clara County “strongly urges” masks in public but does not compel it. Most of the other Bay Area counties mandate masks in public.

        1. Correct – “mask order” as my choice of words implies an overstatement. The Gesundheitsbeauftragte des Santa Clara County extended order does not penalizing not wearing masks, just as you note strongly urges public use of masks in public places in the order:

          4. When people need to leave their place of residence for the limited purposes allowed in this Order, they must strictly comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in Section 16.k, except as expressly provided in this Order, and are also strongly urged to wear face coverings as provided in the Health Officer’s April 17, 2020 Critical Guidance on Facial Coverings (the “Face Covering Guidance”).

          1. They should do it the other way around. Mandate the masks (pretty much halts transmission for all respiratory disease) but ignore the social distancing (not needed if everyone is masked).

        2. Went to a Safeway in Santa Clara this morning. They had a “guard” at the door requiring masks for anyone coming. So I suppose you can wander around in the park without a mask, but if you want food…

          Scored an 80 tube of lysol wipes, (only one to a customer). The store had all the paper essentials. TP, Kleenex, napkins, paper towels. Clerk agreed with me that we need to stop calling it a pandemic, and just call it a panic. So new name for this: The CCP Wuhan virus panic.

          When I shop, I wear one glove to touch common surfaces, door handles, screens, tablets. Then carefully pull back at the wrist and discard in the trash. We had a 100 pack of gloves prior to the panic, bought 4 10 packs, and just found another 100, so are well supplied. Prior to the panic, I had my usual supply of 3 mo of TP, so still have almost 2 months left. Strange sighting in Safeway, single wrapped packs of “Kleenex” TP, (88 cents each). Never saw that brand before.

          Weeds in Santa Clara’s Central Park are getting very healthy. Have watched one at the back entrance to the Central Park theatre. It is now about 6 feet high. The alien geese have been very fertile. Many young chicks of all ages. Just a few cute baby ducks. The city has a guy once a week scrape down the walkway next to the pond, to remove the goose poop. So I guess that is an essential. One strange lockdown is the Santa Clara city Cemetary. They locked the gates, so no visiting your dead.

          1. Cemetery: Same in Portugal. Has mom spitting mad. Grandma’s birthday passed with no flowers on her grave, and mom is afraid grandma (her MIL) will feel abandoned. (Look, I KNOW it’s stupid, okay?)

            1. Not stupid. Life does not end at death. Our family plot (wife’s side) is quite crowded. Original burial; Great Grandfather of wife, buried 7 kids who died in a real epidemic 150 years ago. Their names and dates of death carved in marble. The stone a witness. It reveals true tragedy. That was what life was like then. Death a frequent visitor.

              My Wife’s parents, her sister and sister’s husband, our son are also buried in the 20 X 20 plot, in the Catholic Cemetery, down the road from the Santa Clara city Cemetery. We take flowers. We are the ones left. It is responsibility and blessing. We remember, but it is more than mere remembrance.

              No one knows just what Jesus promises actually mean. Just what and where is this place He has prepared for us? I know we live on, it is just that the details are unclear. I look forward to watching the movie of the movements of the continents. Speeded up a million times, it will only take 4500 years. Just what does that “cloud of witnesses” mean? Is the Catholic interpretation that one of the jobs of saints in heaven is answering the prayer line correct? So much we will learn.

              I do know that when I/we arrive, there will be quite a welcoming crowd. My mother who died when I was 11, my youngest brother who died before he made 50, my son dead at 42. Death is a very real for me. I also expect to see several cats, and have a few rabbits hop into my lap.

              1. May 16, 2020, is the Saturday of the weekend before Memorial Day. It is also the day the private family cemetery is cleaned for the year. It is mowed frequently (new in the last 15 years), but headstones will be cleaned, flowers put out, and extra clean up done. Haven’t discussed any plans to cancel with the current president of the non-profit that handles the cemetery based on Oregon open date. I will. Don’t know why I’ll bother, but I will. You see the President’s mother has already weighed in, on the private FB group. She’ll be there. She will be cleaning headstones. She’s bringing chairs for the meeting. She is willing to forgo the traditional potluck, but is bringing Lunch for her family. Sanctioned or not. Official or not. It. Is. Happening. Note, cemetery is private, extended family & descendants of one Jesse Applegate. It sits on private land. She’s in her late ’80s to early ’90s. She’s not the only one of greater age that is going, come hell or high water.

              2. I also expect to see several cats, and have a few rabbits hop into my lap.

                I need to either change/clean my glasses or enlarge my font size. I initially scanned that as rabbis and …

          2. Cat got into the bathroom cabinet again and I rushed to fish her out (she claws the rolls) and noticed a small pack of TP I barely recall buying tucked away in the back. so I’m even more stocked than I thought, and i was sure I had more than I needed already..

      2. I’m a physical therapist among a multitude of other things, I got the glove-deglove training. But I am not a doctor and certainly not an infectious disease specialist.

        IMHO, I’m not in favor of mask orders. Its just bullying.

        I’m very much in favor of masks. I’m going to be wearing the full-face respirator with the glass plate that covers the eyes as well if I’m forced to go into places with elevators etc. Like a government office or a subway. You look at what the medics in Wuhan are wearing, they’ve got hoods/face/eyes/gloves/booties, the full Class 4 setup. I’m guessing they know what’s what, they’ve been dealing with this since November.

        Hilariously, the front page story of the Toronto (Red) Star today is about the government being full of shit about masks because they don’t have any. https://www.pressreader.com/canada/toronto-star/20200504/281492163481416

        Doubly hilarious because the Toronto (Red) Star is essentially Pravda-Lite here in Canaduh. They swing hard NDP party.

        TL/DR, Province of Ontario and Canadian Federal official guidelines specify surgical masks which are not sufficient, based on guidance that COVID-19 is not an airborne contagion. Which is utter bullshit, we know very well that it IS airborne. As becomes clear in the Toronto (Red) Star article, they’re not changing the guidance because they’re A) out of N-95s and B) going to get sued forever by the nurses union and the homecare people.

        I’m satisfied (because I went and looked it up) that the P-95 filters in 3M paint/organic vapor masks are more than sufficient for the purpose of keeping Corona Chan at bay in a civilian environment, and I’m wearing mine out to the store etc. Any Karens out there don’t like it, they can cram it.

        Mask and gloves with intelligent hand-washing and laundry control will keep you safe, and more to the point keep you from unwittingly spreading the thing and killing somebody. You can go out in public, shop, do all that and be okay when they finally stop screwing around.

        I probably don’t have to add this but I will for the weak-minded Leftists that seem to lurk everywhere these days: Just because the government allows you to go to the store again does not mean the virus isn’t still in circulation. It didn’t go away, you can still catch it and still spread it. And if you are a moron and believe what they tell you on television, you WILL most assuredly catch it.

        Good luck with that socialized medicine, Lefties.

        1. And if you are a moron and believe what they tell you on television, you WILL most assuredly catch it.

          Gotta be fair– almost everybody is going to catch it, if they listen to TV or not.

          And that’s OK, that’s how you get herd immunity. We want the folks who aren’t at high risk for complications to catch it, so that they can form a living barrier around those who are at high risk.

          1. I gotta admit, though… I really don’t wanna. I doubt I’d die. Rationally, I don’t think it’s very likely that most cases have scary effects on babies in utero. It’s just that even though people deal with worse all the time and some of my colleagues have commented on basically expecting somebody in the family to be sick all the time while their kids are in school/daycare, it is difficult to exactly muster enthusiasm for the prospect.

            …I have some hope the January Crud was it, although it is small because the dubious characteristic-match (hit the four-year-old first, among other things) and the relatively low positive testing percentages don’t make it seem super likely. As long as I’m wishing for the moon, I hope my husband and parents (Mom has some lung issues but opted to risk it, at the time, to play with her granddaughter and give me a break) caught and kicked it without noticing and we’re personally done.

            1. There are reports of more than one strain, and it is not clear that one strain inoculates against the others.

              Also, the claims of low antibody numbers post infection raise the possibility that our current antibody tests aren’t sensitive enough.

              1. Well, strains that do not confer mutual immunity would definitely let out my hoped-for scenario of not dealing with it repeatedly.

              2. Who are they testing for the post-infection antibody numbers?

                Because the folks most likely to be put in the hospital are….well, folks with already weakened immune systems.

                Comparing their numbers to J Average Population will get much lower numbers.

            2. *sympathy* You know this, but you’re going to be WAY more risk adverse than you’re use to, for the next while, especially when you have rational reasons to fear…..


              I wonder how many of the scared gals who are sure they’re going to die are on the form of hormonal birth control that mimics early pregnancy.

              1. It probably doesn’t help that I’m routinely grouchy about things like the prospect of picking up live as well as dead germs when going to get shots…. In this case, I’m moderately nervous about the possibility of actual danger but also tempted to cast myself on the bed and sulk at the more likely prospect of being uncomfortably but not really dangerously ill for a couple of weeks again. (Also, it made me want to cry when my daughter asked me if she was still going to be sick when she was five, even though by that point she may have been more bothered about not getting to visit our neighbor than about the symptoms.)

              2. …And yes, I’m keenly aware that on a historical level (and for that matter on a current-politics-and-food-supply level) that’s a very trivial thing.

                Interesting thought on the hormones.

        2. I’m still somewhat convinced what circulated initially in Wuhan was deadlier than what hit the rest of the world. I think it’s mutating much faster than the powers that be want to admit, and mutating into less deadly versions. The fact that pretty much all modern nations initiated pretty much the same lockdown orders tells me the intelligence services were reporting a huge death toll in Wuhan. And the pictures and stories that did leak out of Wuhan seem to back that up.

          If it was man-made as a fusion of different viruses, which it appears to have been, it may be the different virus types don’t actually function well together, and the “infectious” part of the virus is shedding the “deadly” part as it reproduces. Just an idea.

          Infectious, for a virus, is a good quality- it allows it to spread and reproduce everywhere. Deadly- not so good. Especially rapid deadly. The host die, and darn it, it didn’t have time to go elsewhere, and dies with the host.

          1. Or that they are all compromised by PRC assets and disinformation.

            1. Also possible. But thens. there’s the 2 million (IIRC 2 million) missing cellphones….

              1. No. That has been WILDLY misunderstood. I found out last month those were MANDATORY phones the party makes you carry. I.e. people trackers.
                It’s not missing (And anyway reports went from 3 to 22 million. Not very credible.) or unpaid (though apparently government makes you pay for them.) It’s REBELLION.

                1. Note, from National Review Online, indexed at https://www.nationalreview.com/latest/

                  Beijing Believes Anti-CCP Sentiment at Highest Since Tiananmen Square: Report
                  By Tobias Hoonhout
                  Beijing’s lies and disinformation following the discovery of coronavirus have been well documented.

                  Chinese State Media Labels Pompeo ‘Evil’ in Response to Claims that Coronavirus Leaked from Wuhan Lab
                  By Zachary Evans
                  Chinese state media have repeatedly criticized Pompeo, who took a hard line against China even before the coronavirus pandemic.

                  House Oversight Reps Launch Probe of Chinese Funding of American Universities
                  By Zachary Evans
                  Signatories include Representatives Jim Jordan (R., Ohio), Virginia Foxx (R., N.C.), Mike Rogers (R., Ala.), and others.

                  Trump Administration ‘Turbocharging’ Withdrawal of Supply Chains from China
                  By Tobias Hoonhout
                  Measures involving the Commerce Department, State, and other federal agencies are being explored to find ways to decouple from China.

                  China Concealed Severity of Virus to Hoard Supplies, DHS Report Concludes
                  By Mairead McArdle
                  The country was increasing imports and decreasing exports of medical supplies as the outbreak worsened within its borders.

                  ALSO NOTE:

                  NYC Police Union Claims ‘City Will Fall Apart’ Unless Cops Taken Off Social Distancing Enforcement
                  By Zachary Evans
                  New York City’s largest police union released a statement arguing that officers should not be tasked with enforcing social distancing ordinances.

                  1. on that last one, the people who slam and backstab the police are busy using the police to annoy the sh*t out of the people
                    this will not end well and the police know it
                    many (the smart ones) are now not enforcing the nonsense, some vocally (the Sheriffs announcing “NO”) others passively (like the DNR officers I saw Friday ignoring the group at the boat launch/park)

                2. They are mandatory cellphones– full on bad scifi Mark of the Beast style stuff– but I haven’t heard any suggestion that they may have gone dark on purpose.

                  I can pray that it has, but, given the way they’ve behaved in the past– I’ve thought it was likely the big numbers were killed, active or passive. Plus the disasters going on.

          2. We had early TV news that showed that the strain of Wuhan that spread to the world was slightly different to the strain that hit Wuhan.slightly less deadly, slightly more infectious. It also apparently mutates every 2 weeks. I am not sure how the number infected changes the rate of mutations. I would have thought that if there was a million cases their would be whole lot more mutations as compared to say 10,000 cases. But it was tv news, I am sure KISS applied. Unfortunately that dims my hope of a good vaccine, perhaps we will end up with something similar to the flu vaccine, where your good for several strains and guess what it is at best good for a year.

            1. All indications are viral load correlates to severity – that is, you get one drop from Sneezing Karen who pulls her mask down to better shout at the bagger who is totally not doing it right, and you have a lighter case, where if you liplock with your local university’s CCP Chinese-Commies-Are-Totally-Nice-Institute administrator you get a worse case.

          3. Wuhan may have still been suffering the after effects of hosting the World Military Games. Part of ‘beautifying the city’ to make it presentable to foreigners involved fencing off businesses and bulldozing home vegetable gardens.

          1. Seriously, they were and are doing psy-ops from the start.
            What China.gov did first in Nov – Dec 2019, deny communicability, deny death rate, hide source (Wuhan Level 4 bio-weapins lab), etc.
            Second, they sent orders to all their overseas companies to then buy all PPE and masks they could get and ship them to China.
            See, for example reports from Australia, Italy, USA, etc. In Australia, a Chinese-owned real estate buying and rental prop. management co made local and intnl news for buying and shipping tons of PPE and masks to China.
            China.gov knew they were screwed by their research lab director ?Wie? who had been personally and research prohect into bat corona viruses, booted from the US, under contract with Faucis’ agency, in 2017?, for bad lab procedures which resulted in the death of a lab assistant.
            After this, she and that research moved to Wuhan, but Faucis’ money followed them.
            *OPINION* I think that the release was accidental. If avirus release by China.gov was intentional, we would be living in a John Ringo novel now.
            Chinas’ economy was already hammered by sanctions by US, and by their top-down misallocation of investment (ghost cities, etc.).
            The virus would have, and will, break their economy, and probably their currency as well.
            This would be November, 2019, when China.gov decided to crash the world economy, so as not to go down alone. This is where the lies and bought politicians came into play. The official line was “no problem, don’t worry, be happy”.
            This aas the time of the impeachment farce. The timing of the impeachment, and Pelosis’ 4 week delay are suspicious, almost as though she had advance knowledge of when the WuFlu could no longer be hidden, and direct Executive action would have to be taken.
            In that time, China.gov t ppl ld the world that WuFlu was horrible, that they were th he only ones with experience, and that massive, totalitarian societal shutdown was the only alternative.
            The Progs, MSM, and DemonRats took this and ran the nation shut, and have thereby killed our economy.
            Private bussinesses are valued as “going concerns”, not as liquidation value. I think that we have lost 1/4 to 2/3 of our nations’ small businesses, an almost incalculable amount of capital and value, which will not be availably for our economic recovery.
            The DemonRats have succeeded in crashing our economy, but not yet our nation.
            I think that we will see shortages of necessities here, and actual famines overseas, with all the disruption that volkwanderung brings.
            The Progs will try to leverage their coastal positions, and extended shut-downs to cut Mid-America off from world import and export markets, while they, and China.gov try to buy control of our food supplies and infrastructure.
            Look for Buffet to buy controlling interests in food, pipeline gas, and electric companies in Mid-America.
            The Progs mean to RULE us all.
            There may ne a Ft. Sumpter moment over the 4th of July weekend, as the Virginia gun control laws go into effect on July 1, 2020, and July 4 is on a Saturday.
            Do what you can, and what you need to do to be safe. The idea which is the USA needs all of us as survivors and exemplars of liberty and character.
            John in Indy

  15. Marx really was a total dumbass, you know? BUT really good at narrative. I wish he’d devoted himself, openly, to science fiction instead.

    Nope, to horror. If only his ideas could have been confined to fictional horror, like H.P. Lovecraft, instead of the century of literal, real-world horror they have given us. Cthulhu ftagn…

        1. That does seem like it would be a nasty catch. And now, I wonder just how nasty, and which world would envy the other – or would they both recoil in mutual horror?

  16. I’ve been wondering about the age difference too. I just turned 65, my husband is in his 70s. Since he’s an accountant and I work reception in tax season, we’ve both been exposed to the public since January, when the “mystery crap,” went around. He got sick, but this time he powered through instead of doing his usual routine (come home sick Friday, load up on cold medicine, be a sofa ornament through Sunday, get up Monday morning and go back to work). I have been feeling punk off and on for several weeks but since I’m allergic to tree pollen and there are thousands of fornicating trees out there I’m pretty sure I know why.

    Neither of us is worried about catching WuFlu. But I see people in, “You people are SELFISH! You want to kill us!” threads who seem to be middle-aged, at best. And I’m seriously annoyed by the, “Only stupid, uneducated, selfish rednecks want to open the economy because they don’t understand Science!” takes and cartoons. And I’m getting tired of realizing I can empathize with and understand where some of our friends in the Northeast are coming from but they won’t even try to understand those stupid, ignorant, scientifically illiterate, selfish, bigoted, etc people
    who just want to get on with their lives outside the Northeast corridor.

    1. My mom is 66 and doing every bit of that, but the older I get the more I don’t think she ever did more than passingly wave at growing up… -_-

    2. Not to excuse them but they’ve been comprehensively lied to. Their sin is to take what they’ve been told as truth without ever examining it. They can’t have thought about it since the whole thing collapses in a pile of non sequiturs as soon as you look at it.

      So far as I can tell, NY and NJ are still putting sick people back into nursing homes, at least I haven’t been able to find anything saying it’s stopped. If they’re committing murder, they need to hide it as long as possible. They also want the US taxpayer to bail out their bankrupt pension funds. The powers that be will lie as long as possible, they have to.

      1. Just counting car wrecks and eaten by grues isn’t getting their numbers up, so they’re going for broke. They *want* piles of dead bodies. They’ve laid their political careers on the line based on that.

    3. “You people are SELFISH! You want to kill us!”

      I am, as they say, “So over” that line of argument.

      to the point where I’m likely to point out that if I wanted to kill someone, I’d come up with something a bit more effective than failing to panic on demand, and not engaging in behavior that might have been rational with what we knew of the virus in January, but is ludicrous in the light of current information.

      1. I haven’t turned to one and said “If I wanted to kill you the only choice you’d have is what caliber!”….. yet.

        1. So far, nobody is insane enough to attempt it to my face.

          So far.

          I suspect a LOT of folks in Iowa are that way– which is why the karens went after the stores, and are DARVOing up anybody who publicly objects.

          1. Jim Butcher says unless the various state governments (including ours, since he’s now in CO) stop playing silly buggers, it’s going to end in shooting in two weeks or so.
            I’m afraid that’s my feeling too. They’re OBLIVIOUS to the building anger and think that if they can make us LARP they win.

              1. Happened in NYC. PBA is publishing open letters to the mayor saying the cops want out of quarantine enforcement. Since crime has skyrocketed, they have a lot of forms to fill out.

                There were protests in the Massachusetts People’s Republic.

                New York still scheduled to begin opening 15 May. it’ll get more and more difficult.

                1. Robbery, rape and murder will be put on hold while they deal with all those dastardly protesters and people breaking curfew isolation trying to make a living.

                  1. It was a very obvious attempt to get the legal process rolling; don’t count it as done until it’s actually done.

                    1. Well, she’s attracted enough attention that a GoFundMe is covering the fines; I haven’t heard about any appeals, though.

              1. Butcher’s Facebook page (which I check frequently) tends to have a lot of pro-“think for yourself” comments. And not in the way that progressives of today use that term. Him noticing something like that wouldn’t surprise me, though I don’t recall seeing it mentioned on his Facebook page.

                1. Sounds like the kind of thing that would be five or ten pages into the comments, when someone starts detailing the Stupid Politician Tricks, AKA “Are they TRYING to start something?”

            1. Given how many times the US has enabled “regime change” in other countries, and looking through the Constitution, it doesn’t look like the Fed could do much if there was a sudden change of leadership in any of the states.

              Some of the people who are angry have done that particular job before. Successfully.

              1. There is historical precedent. In North Carolina in, IIRC, 1896 riots began in Wilmington that culminated in the “replacement” of the state government and Constitution. Results accepted by Feds as fait accompli.

                And that, my children, is how the Jim Crow era began.

                1. Started before 1896. Plessy V Ferguson was decided in 1896. Generally accepted to have started in 1877.

                  1. It likely depends on how you define “Jim Crow.” There was certainly a change at the turn of the Century, with establishment of a variety of regimes quantifiably more oppressive than the prior laws. “Back of the bus” type crap.

                    Amusingly, Richmond Virginia lost its street car system when Negroes, ordered to the back of the vehicle, replied, “No thanks, I’d rather walk” in sufficient numbers to render the light rail economically non-viable.

                    BTW – I must correct the Wilmington Massacre dating: it was 1898, not ’96. My sincere regrets for having misinformed on an easily verifiable matter of fact.

            2. Cop shot in MI today. In addition to it’s just being sad, cop was black, shooter was white, and shooting was triggered when the cop told the shooter’s wife she couldn’t go into store without a mask. Which will “confirm,” all MI protesters are white supremacists, at least to “progressive,” wannabes.

              1. Which will ‘confirm,’ all MI protesters are white supremacists, at least to ‘progressive,’ wannabes.

                They don’t need no steenking confirmation of such “facts.”

                They already knew it in their hearts.

                What it will do is make it harder for us civil libertarians to defend our rights.

                Lord save us from our allies.

                1. “Don’t start none, won’t be none.”

                  Your attitude is different from “Blame America First” only in scale.

                  1. Bull, Sven. You are making the fundamental error typically observed in those who insist whether pushing little old ladies into the paths of buses or pushing them out of the paths of buses it doesn’t matter because either way you’re pushing around little old ladies.

                    Those who initiate kinetic action without adequate casus belli forfeit the public’s support and legitimize “Waco” type repression. My “attitude” s merely let it be clear to all observers who opened the ball, so there can be no reasonable question about the justness of our actions. Shooting a man because he says “Wear a mask or you can’t enter the store” is parlously close to shooting him because he said, “No shirt, no shoes, no service.”.

                    If you prefer I will translate my “Lord save us from our allies” into the applicable Niven’s Law: “No cause is so noble that it won’t attract fuggheads.”

                    1. “Lord save us from our allies.” Your words, no?

                      As it turns out, this had NOTHING to do with “our allies”. But let’s say it did. Let’s say that this had been a heretofore solid citizen who had just reached his or her personal breaking point with this whole unconstitutional illegal fucked up mess.

                      The fuggheads here are the politicians who issued the ridiculous and unconstitutional lockdown orders. The fuggheads are the cops who are following the illegal and unconstitutional orders. The fuggheads are the people like you who excuse the cops following the illegal and unconstitutional orders because you value peace and quiet over what’s right.

                      And this is where “gentlemen crying Peace” leads to: a political class who has no problems acting illegally because they realize that as long as they can tar people with bad motives as they pick them off one by one, you’ll happily go along.

                    2. The fuggheads are the people like you who excuse the cops following the illegal and unconstitutional orders because you value peace and quiet over what’s right.

                      You consider asking a (presumed) customer to don a mask before entering a store a capital offense, justifying summary trial and execution without appeal? You can think of no other recourse for an offended citizen, no alternative means of addressing the offense? Simply taking one’s business elsewhere or filing a civil complaint won’t suffice? No, you’re mad as hell and you aren’t going to take it any more justifies, in your mind, deadly force?

                      You perceive no distinction between “excusing” the cops and stopping short of execution?

                      You can imagine no reason other than cowardice, than valuing “peace and quiet over what’s right” to prefer resolving such disputes through more effective means than initiating a war? You’d have denounced the Declaration of Independence as unnecessarily conciliatory and demanded direct action.

                      I recommend you mind how you point that accusatory finger and who you denounce as a fugghead.

                2. There is no word on what the cop did. Until I know all the facts, I am not going to declare either one of them in the wrong.

                  Unfortunately, whatever the facts turn out to be, that incident provides both ammunition and cover to our enemies, and I really wish it had not happened.

              2. Was wondering why it hadn’t hit my feed yet, went digging– turns out it wasn’t a cop, it was a Family Dollar security guard in Flint.

                Officers were called out around 1:15 p.m. Friday, May 1 to the Family Dollar, 877 East 5th Avenue for a report of a shooting incident.

                They discovered the 43-year-old security guard had been shot in his head in the business’ doorway.

                The security guard was taken to an area hospital where he later died.

                He’s been identified by police as Calvin Munerlyn, of Flint.

                Male suspects fled the scene for high-rise apartments located behind the store, police said at the time.


                There’s links to further stories, which lead to yet more stories.

                The source of the claim it was over the mask appears to be the wife (???) and mother of 6 of his kids. One of whom also works at the store. *shudder*


                I can’t find pictures of the guys.

                Here’s the names:
                Ramonyea Travon Bishop, 23,Larry Edward Teague, 44,and Sharmel Lashe Teague, 45, have been charged with first-degree premeditated murder, along with other charges, the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement on Monday.

                There’s a Zoom video screengrab of the woman, which I guess is being used as a mugshot–even the usual twits who declare everybody they want to abuse to be “white” couldn’t call her white.

                  1. I had guessed from the original story saying something about “disrespecting” the daughter, leaving and coming back with both husband and son– but it does explain why it hasn’t hit my feed.

                    What a dumpster fire.

                    1. So, apparently the only thing the initial report got right was somebody was shot.

                      And every error made leans the same direction.

                  2. But it’s still RAAAACISSSST!!!

                    And right-wing, can’t forget right-wing. More of that damn ‘conservative discrimination’ and ‘institutional racism’ forcing all those oppressed minorities to be poor.

                  3. They definitely aren’t white.

                    Sure they are white, that is what they identify as. What’s wrong with everyone’s eyes? They just have very good tans, with very dark, dark, hair.

                    Okay, turning off sarcasm now.

            3. I agree on the timeline, but it’ll be police response to civil disobedience that will be the triggering event. The Left has no idea just how fed up people are getting.

        2. to paraphrase G, Gordon Liddy, “good quality 9mm ammo costs around a dollar a round. Your’e not worth what it would cost to shoot you”.

          1. It’s a hell of a note when I scurry off to check ammo prices. Yup, $1/round for quality 9mm hollowpoints.

            1. That ends up being the most expensive magazine I shoot every time I go to the range, but I always cycle through what I’ve been carrying. Cheap at the price, since it’s what I rely on to save my life.

          2. Or that fine old expression “You’re not worth the powder to blow you to Hell.”

      2. You people are SELFISH! You want to kill us!

        We have to do it, to save the Earth. Why are you so selfishly insistent on living (if you call that living)?

  17. There has been a War on Courage since the end of the First World War. And after the mess of the Second World War and the scare over nuclear weapons, that War on Courage got some traction. But it seems that since the Berlin Wall came down, the War on Courage REALLY took off.

    Particularly among women. Spartan women would hand a warrior a shield and say, “With it or on it.” Somehow, I don’t see any of the current crop of Karens doing that. Or reloading rifles while their husband was shooting at attacking Indians. Screaming in hysterical terror…THAT is plausible.

    1. In fairness, the more I read actual accounts from the Great War, I get the idea of a war, not so much on courage, but on the kinds of definitions underlying things like white feathers. When our hostess talks about being occupied and destroyed I wonder if Europe, at least, hasn’t been occupied by the ghosts of that war.

      Just some of the recollections on “The Price of a Mile” Sabaton History episode are horrific:

      I recommend the series highly. I think a lot of the Huns would enjoy it.

      It’s one of the two things that has me wondering given Hollywood’s need for “strong women who don’t need no man” military heroes and love of communism why we haven’t see a big budget movie on the Night Witches.

      1. My father managed a trust fund for my mother’s “maiden aunts” and had the aunts lived long enough I would have inherited the responsibility. My grandfather had made provision for his unmarried sisters. They were unmarried because the men who they would have married were dead in WWI.

        My mother’s family were Irish gentry they called them Britain’s Junkers. Casualties among company grade officers were immense. My grandfather survived because he was transferred into the Middle East otherwise he would have been at the Somme or Paschendale.

        Europe never got over WWI. I think communism had something to do with it too though since they bounced back from worse before (30 years war anyone?). A religion of death isn’t going to build much.

        1. How long did it take central Europe to bounce back from the 30 Year’s War though?

          I think there are three large difference between the 30 Year’s War and its effects and the Great War and its effects.

          First, and least, is the former did resolve the issues that led to it while the Great War did not. By 1648 the religious lines in central Europe were recognized and while the American concept of freedom of consciousness wasn’t enshrined the Wars of Religion were over and free practice was assured. They were over enough for the later phase of the war to be lead by Catholic France in alliance with German Protestants against the Catholic Hapsburgs. In the meantime, the Hapsburg dominance of Europe was broken with up and coming states such as France and Sweden, gaining recognition of their authority and power.

          Second, the war occurred before the French Revolution brought the world the nation at arms. While modern Germany was devastated, a devastation which begins a direct line to the German Empire separate from the southern Germans, no other nation was. The armies were professional armies, not mass armies of conscripts. As such, France, Austria, Hungry, Sweden, Spain, and so on were not ravaged by loss of a generation of men or economic activity as would happen in the world wars.

          Third, it was pre-industrial. Imagine men who had at most seen a steam engine on a train or a tractor facing the first British tanks? How horrifying was that? Multiple that by gas, planes, long term trench warfare, machine guns, modern artillery, and so on. The worst of the Siege of Petersburg or the Wilderness, campaigns that got Grant a reputation as a butcher became the normal days activities. Offensives were those battles on steroids.

          Never forget, the French army mutinied in 1917, refusing to engage in yet another offensive patterned after the slaughterhouses of the past two years. To my knowledge none of the major powers in the Thirty Years War faced a mass mutiny at any point.

          There are probably other differences. Where Communism probably has the biggest effect is the dissolution with the idea of progress which the reds hung on the failure of communism. That said, The Great War was a failure of Marx as well. It proved that workers of the world did not see a common interest that transcended national and ethnic identities. Despite Marxist agitation before the war, the war happened which caused a crisis in Marxism. Lenin and Gramscy are both responses to the failure of the workers of the world to unite and overthrow the capitalists sending them to war. The only Marxist revolution happened in a country without an industrial proletariat, thus defying Marx’s predictions.

          Instead, some Marxists retreated from the horrors of the war to create the nihilism in modern Communism, but the Frankford School and Gramsci’s ideas of false consciousness are as much a product of the war as Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and company’s lost generation or the Oxford Union vote about war in the early 30s.

          1. Well the French kept coming back and burning it down so it’s hard to say. Bloody French kept the war going years after it should have ended and then came back and did it again and again.

          2. Another aspect of the Thirty Years War is that it was not fought in both major theaters at the same time. It started in the east, then shifted to the Rhineland. So there was some recovery time, even if the cultural damage was massive.

          3. I think there is one more difference between the First and Second Thirty Year’s Wars.

            In the mid-1600s, people were Christian, with the concept of repentance. They looked at the carnage, repented of what they had done, and came up with Laws of War that held for over 250 years. In the mid-1900s, Christianity was under assault…and the Cold War with the Communists was picking up. The desire for repentance and reform was perverted into self-loathing, ultimately into cultural suicide.

        2. Yeah, you have to wonder if the Brits had stayed home in 1914 and the Kaiser’s troops had marched on in to Paris 25 years earlier than Hitler did, and then left with a punitive treaty just like in 1871 to head over to the Eastern Front and take care of the Tsar, how things would have played out. Would the Russians have cut a deal and given German the Ukraine? If the Tsar makes a deal with the Kaiser in 1915, would part of that deal be Lenin at the end of a rope? Or in a case of transtimeline symmetry, does the Okhrana get Lenin in his library with an icepick in Zurich? After all, there is more ice climbing stuff lying about in Switzerland than in Mexico.

          Is there a naval war between the Kaiser and the British Empire in the 1940s?

          Does Italy’s fascism end up seeding in defeated France rather than victorious Germany?

          Without the War, does Wilson (ptui) simply croak off without doing nearly as much damage? If there was no US mobilization into those unsanitary camps, would there have still been a 1918 flu pandemic?

          1. Lenin would have been nothing without the war. He simply got on the tram and filled the vacuum.

            The brits had to come in once the Germans started to build their fleet. Good county factual, what would have happened had Emperor Frederick lived just a bit longer?

          2. Lenin. I am reminded of a 5- or 6-act playlets entitled “The Death Of Lenin” that I saw 8-15 years ago. Lenin has a climbing axe stuck/strapped to his head, but he is not yet aware of that as the scenes open…

          3. What if Germany goes only after Russia, and not invade Belgium? Do the British stay neutral? Does France attack Germany? I know the thing about train schedules, but Germany didn’t need to attack France to get anything. The Franco-Prussian war gave Germany all it needed in the west. What if France is the one to invade Belgium?

            On the east front, there is too much land for trench warfare. So fighting is not as lethal as in the west. If most of the German might hits Russia, does it collapse? Then do you end up with a union of all the Germanies, with the addition an empire that includes the Balkans, ruled from Berlin. As well as the Germans in Ukraine turning into rulers of an “independent” Ukraine.

            Some of my ancestors were Germans invited to settle in what is now the Ukraine, as a buffer against the Turk. For a hundred years they stayed German. In the late 19th century they moved to America, and became Americans. The melting pot worked. I have wondered why the migration of Germans from Russia to America in the 19th century? If there were problems, why not back to Germany? One of those questions no one ever asked.

          4. Alternatively, the German General Staff gives up on the Von Schlieffen Plan around 1910, comes up with a Plan B and a Plan C. Otherwise known as not picking a two-front war. Or Plan D…realizing the Austro-Hungarian Empire was on its last legs, and not writing them a blank check.

            If you wanted to write an alternate history, one where Wilhelm II’s arm isn’t withered would be a good one. He doesn’t have quite as much of a chip on his shoulder, is just a bit more tactful.

          5. We still would have had Japan causing atrocities in Asia. Much of the prelude for that seems (so far as I can tell) to have been laid by the war between Russia and Japan, and the events over the next several years – largely ending just before World War I broke out (though Japan’s seizure of Germany’s Pacific possessions helped Japan during the early stages of World War 2).

            On the other hand, without Lenin, we might not have gotten Mao…

      2. I would pay to see that one. But only if they stuck close to the facts. A lot of them died. You fly at night with no instruments, you turn off your engine to make the final bombing approach… sometimes you don’t make it home.

        Which might be why we haven’t seen it. Hollywood, show women taking risks where they might die because of patriotism to their country? They’d keel over in shock.

        1. Maybe that’s it. But I can imagine modern sound studios version of the broom sounds made by canvas and wires while a plane glided into to bomb you.

          I know Regiments like the 558 weren’t materially effective, but there were an excellent weapon against enemy moral. I’d much rather hear their story then get another G. I. Jane. I don’t respect men like that character, why should I love women like that?

          Give me people with the brass to do something crazy, pull it off, and sometimes live to tell the tale.

          1. I’d like to see a film about Roza Shanina; the casting is easy as in some photos she looks like Scarlett Johansen.

            (Unless Shanina didn’t actually die in ’45 and Johansen is her current persona…)

          2. There’s a fairly decent Russian series about the Night Witches called “The Night Swallows”, it’s available on YouTube. Sort of like a classic American WWII movie, only with Russian women instead of American men and the added hazard of being shot by your own side for political deviations. With subtitles, translated by someone whose native language clearly wasn’t English.

            Also, there is an outstanding memoir by Anna Egorova, a Soviet attack pilot. After she was finally shot down, held in a German POW camp, and ultimately rescued, she was viciously interrogated by SMERSH (a real thing, not just a James Bond villain.)

            Very well written, highly recommended. I reviewed it here:


        1. *Nod* I have just a layman’s grasp of the history involved, but my gut feeling?

          We had our taste of the horror in the Civil War, and then the survivors had the option of going west.

          It saved a lot of those who’d just had enough of the trauma. And they had the chance to do something that would build up the country, make a fresh start – and have families. Lots of them.

          So when we hit our bit of WWI, our reaction was more “eh, seen this before, keep on.”

        2. I prefer to think of it as:

          20th-21st century European culture is like a man who accidentally shot and killed his brother over a minor argument in his youth, and after some acting out has settled in to drinking himself to death.

        3. US losses in WWI were a fraction of the Europeans and the American part of the war was mostly open warfare. The Europeans had Verdun, the Somme, Paschendale, the Nivelle offensive. Italy had paid a huge price for nothing, Austria lost everything. Russia ended up with Lenin.

          They turned to false gods then, both right and left, which led to greater horrors. All the gods of Europe failed.

          But to me the biggest loss came in the postwar generation. They don’t believe in anything and stopped having children. Europe is a continent of middle age to old people. The demographics are terrifying.

        4. I believe there is an argument that multiple foreign policy issues of the following 100 years were caused by the failure to deal well with the dissolution of four empires as a result of WWI. World War 2 resulting from problems with the end of the German Empire, the Cold War resulting from problems with the end of the Russian Empire, the Balkans crises resulting from problems with the end of the Austro- Hungarian Hapsburg Empire, and the modern Middle East resulting from problems with the end of the Ottoman Empire. (Sykes-Pinchot and other spin offs.)

          1. My outline of the period is there were a series of wars, as follows: Dissolution of the Old Order (WWI), first claim to be “King of the Mountain” (Fascism, WWII), second claim (Socialism/USSR vs Free Markets, Cold War), third claim for dominant position (Militant Islam) and now China is stepping up to the scratch line.

            Until America (or rather, the free market system we represent) establishes we will not lightly abide fleas there will continue to be those who seek to prove themselves “Top Gun.” I believe it was British historian Njall Ferguson who made the argument after 9/11 that the USA was an empire and best accept the responsibility attendant on the role.

            Don’t know as I agree with him, don’t think it matters whether or not I do — America is not structured to be empirical so it doesn’t matter. Whether (and how) we change our structure or keep swatting flies is what our nation will be deciding in the oncoming decades. If we’re not willing to be the world’s beat cop the job will remain unfilled or be taken by somebody we won’t like.

      3. I love WW2 and Sabaton History (And The Great War before them, but Spartacus and Indy sold the idea instead of doing it themselves), though I make Sparty go all stompy foot over calling Nazis leftists, and I don’t think my reply on Blue Helmets- “When it absolutely needs to be done, in the worst possible way. Send in the Blue Helmets, and it will be done, in the worst, possible, way” – was very appreciated by Per and Indy.
        Joachim mighta got a laugh out of it. That vid didn’t have a whole lot of . . . supportive(?) replies

        1. Over time I’m seriously rethinking my position on Nazis in the current left/right spectrum. I can make cases for left, right, and none depending on how you view left/right. If it is statism/liberty Nazis are left. If progressive/traditional they are more right. They are a lot like libertarians in that they don’t fit neatly, which makes sense as left/right has its origins in France right before the revolution and the seating in the National Assembly. Given modern leftists strongly resemble their forefathers in the French Revolution, down to the believe the can create society from a day zero, and modern conservatives arguably resemble the first and second estate of that period much more than liberty minded individuals (the US being the exception where liberty and traditionalism have had an alliance of various ease my entire life).

          More and more I tend to talk in quadrants, referring to the standard quadrants of the Cartesian plane and the definition of the axes from Dr. Pournelle’s chart, which should be famous as it is much more useful, and less loaded, than the Nolan chart.

          1. his definition is solely on the “They ain’t socialist because they let companies be owned by others, not just the gov’t” That they had socialist policies, programs, and called themselves Socialist, means nothing! Far Right Wing. That nothing changed from being the Soviet’s “Cousins in Socialism” to far right other than attacking the Union a bit earlier than Stalin planned, has no bearing. What made them right wing was Stalin’s claim, and embarrassment of the worldwide leftoids for thinking they were the way to “Possibly go, if they’d tone down the Nationalism”.
            But, yeah, the linear spectrum is bunk, but most of the others are only a bit less inaccurate.

          2. One thing that separated the Nazis from most other totalitarian regimes of the time was their open embrace of eugenic and racial theories in designing their doctrines. Yes, there was racism present in pretty much every totalitarian country at the time, even if – for instance – the Communists liked to pretend that there wasn’t. But for the most part, in other nations it was left at the low level of things. With one exception, there weren’t national doctrines built around the idea of treating every other ethnicity as sub-human scum.

            That exception, of course, was Japan.

            1. China may not have done that as an official national policy, but that attitude has been endemic there for at least 3,000 years. Look how they’re treating the rest of the world right now!

              1. Again, racism has been present in pretty much every totalitarian country, even if it wasn’t official state policy.

                The Chinese at the time were too busy fighting amongst themselves to have overtly racist policies on the level of what the Nazis and Japanese did. In point of fact, both the Japanese and Nationalist Chinese governments were trying to avoid open war with each other during the ’30s, and the Nationalist Chinese were desperately trying to court foreign assistance (ironically, the pre-war Nationalist Chinese army was trained by a German officer, and he only returned home – unwillingly – when the Japanese protested to the Nazi German government). Japan was trying to finish consolidating Manchuria. The Nationalist Chinese were trying to bring the warlords to heel, and exterminate the Communists. War between the two was something to worry about at least a couple of decades in the future, as there were more important priorities to sort out. But lower ranking officers on both sides insisted on pushing things, and it wasn’t long before the fighting started.

                Something interesting I read earlier today that seems to highlight where my meandering post has gone –

                The Nationalist Chinese had three light cruisers prior to World War 2. One of them – Yat Sen – was built by a Chinese shipyard. But the other two were built with Japanese assistance. Ping Hai was built in China, with Japanese assistance. But the class leader for the two ships – Ning Hai – was built in Japan (based on Yubari’s design), and commissioned in 1932. In 1934, she visited Japan for a memorial for a Japanese admiral who had died, and had repairs conducted on her by the Japanese before returning to China. In short, while relations between Japan and the Nationalists were strained, there was also a basic understanding at the time that the two countries weren’t necessarily outright enemies.

                Incidentally, all three cruisers were sunk in 1937 by the Japanese, who later refloated them. Ning Hai and Ping Hai were later sunk again by the Americans, but Yat Sen was returned to the Nationalists after the war. She joined the exile to Taiwan, and served the rest of her career as part of the ROC navy.

                Getting back to the original topic, I’ll note that the Chinese attitude toward other ethnicities generally hasn’t been the genocidal approach of the Nazis and Imperial Japanese. Rather, they’ve tended toward forced resettlement and assimilation, and quite a few tribes of what were once barbarian outsiders became recognized as Han within a few generations. Today’s Han are a lot less “ethnically pure” than the Han of two thousand years ago would have been. For China, it seems to be less about the ethnicity, and more about the culture.

                1. Racism, certainly as presently defied, has been extant in EVERY country, ever. I defy anybody to name a nation that did not experience at least some form of racism.

              2. Yep. And I bet to differ with Junior.
                Almost ALL the books of the time and half of sf books approved of eugenics, including “racial hygiene” which consisted of only LETTING the best and brightest reproduce and got rid of the defective.
                Socialists were doing it too, quietly. Just not as systematically as Hitler.
                Hitler just did in earnest what intellectuals talked about all the time.

                1. Scopes trial? The book he used treated eugenics as part and parcel of evolution.

            2. Eugenics were everywhere too. Among garden variety socialists, and even in the US. All the bien pensant embraced it.
              It was Hitler who malgre lui meme made eugenics a dirty word.

              1. True. But other countries by and large didn’t deal with their eugenically unfit types with the same industriousness that Nazi Germany did.

                1. Kind of.
                  BUT Germans were all by the numbers at the time. The Prussian influence.
                  There were programs in almost every country, though the evidence has been buried deep.

                2. Not in the numbers of the Germans, no.
                  AGAIN what Hitler did was take freshman bullshit and EXECUTE it. BY THE NUMBERS.
                  Which horrified all the chattering classes. As it should have. But sometimes they need their nose rubbed in evil.

                3. The Nazis copied our involuntary eugenic sterilizations, not vice versa. (It was the euthanasia that they start to take the lead.)

                  1. IIRC, there was some lobotomization going on, as a more “humane” method than out and out euthanizing.

        2. Oh, and did you watch Between Two Wars? I learned quite a bit and it got me thinking on some subjects. Also, where it challenged me, I took it at face value because on things I do know a bit about, like the Spanish Civil War, they did not spin it where so many other people do, but played it as straight as is possible.

          The press, and leftists in general, could learn from that. By playing it straight where I know, I’m not dropping in huge filters in areas where I don’t.

          1. iirc it was a BTW episode where I pissed him off. The SA, and Commies fighting in the streets, iirc i said I wanted both leftoid groups to lose (and in a way they eventually did after Hitler gutted the SA)
            You are right, Indy especially tries to be as straight as possible on the subjects when narrating. It is, in fact, one of their “problems” as YT gigs them monetarily often for just covering facts. 90% of their stuff is perfect for school kids of all ages and the other 10% fine for highschoolers, but YT thinks they are too radical or something. Sparty and Indy had some breakfast rants about that as they were bringing WW2 about.

            1. Yeah, when I got to “The Rape of China” it almost skipped over because of the content.

              I actually support them in Patreon given how much more straight they are than any other history video program (TV, Cable, or Internet) at this level.

  18. Just so we’re all clear …

    Although I think this overstates my concern over COVID-19.

    1. I pointed out to one worrier that the 1918-1920 Pandemic killed an estimated 17-100 million people, with best guesses running 50 mil and lower. Communist flat out MURDERED 100 million people in the 20th century, not counting war dead. Also not counting Nazi Germany or any of the third world pest holes that never actually called themselves Communists.

      The Winnie-the -flu is an annoyance. The unrestrained State is a constant mean ace.

  19. my allotted time is likely less than a century: an eye blink.

    Whether you live 10 years or 100, when you divide that by eternity you get the same result.

  20. Dear Left:

    All those horribly miserable dystopian books and TV shows and movies? Those were WARNINGS, not HOW-TOs. Stop using minefield maps like dance-step maps.

    – Not a God of the Copybook Headings (I hope!)

    1. Oh, that fear they are all showing is, to my mind, their admission they know the Gods of the Copybook Headings are out there in the mist waiting for them. They realize for at least half a century we’ve gone over the top against them. We’ve let them liquidate all the poor and “undesirable” and know this time when the whistle blows and we go over the top it will be the turn of the insulated and educated.

      They’re trying to make sure that whistle never blows.

      They’ll never accept waging that war is foolish to begin with.

  21. Unhappy people who are terrified of dying. And who understand self-actuated life at the level of obeying daily-changing whims and desires. Which in turn makes them more unhappy and more terrified of dying.

    Dying has always (at least since I became nearly-adult) been on my To Do List. It not only seemed impractical to avoid it but, frankly, I am more terrified of living interminably in this fallen world than I am of whatever happens after — even oblivion seems preferable to enduring another presidential campaign.

    (Normally I prefer the original writer’s performance, but B,S&T owned this.)

    1. Mind you – I don’t expect it all to end when they ring down my curtain.

      But I confess a certain indifference to what happens to y’all as remain.

    2. I know I have to die, because I don’t want to get old enough for a Falcon 9 landing on its tail to become old.

      Joking about that aside, I suffer from the fact I have a hard time forgetting, not a hard time remembering. That might sound wonderful until you realize I’m haunted by my failures and failings as much, if not more, than reminded of my triumphs. For any mortal the former are more common than the later.

      At 150 I fear I would be driven insane by the ghosts in my head. Better to fall asleep in the Lord than dwell in a hell created by immortality in a world not built for it.

  22. I wish he’d devoted himself, openly, to science fiction instead.

    Shucks. I am now imagining an Iron Dream as written by Marx.

    Oh, wait — H. G. Wells wrote those, didn’t he?

  23. ‘“She’s going to be mortified when she stands up and her skirt falls off.’

    That sounds the sort of black-humour I would engage in under such circumstances — be ye sure they meant it seriously?

    Dang-you, now I am envisioning a series of Gary Larson or Gahan Wilson cartoons around the theme of Pranks of the Resurrection.

  24. I think that death was hidden from many of these people. My wife and I spent a lot of time in funeral homes. When I was an altar boy, I used to serve at least one funeral per week, which was great because you’d get paid and fed a linzer tart and coffee from the local bakery.

    I’m the oldest in my generation here in the US so I have to fly back to Ireland/England for my parents generation’s funerals. I have two aunts and one uncle still living in their 90’s, and one of them insists she lived through WuFlu.

    We never hid it from our kids, they went to wakes and funerals — we had a big wedding gap as the families went through the life cycle. Most of their friends have never been to a wake and the whole healing/counselor thing if someone should die is just over the top.

    I suspect a lot of it comes from loss of religion and the substitution of therapy. Too many of the therapists are, to use a Catholic term, disordered.

    1. I had not thought of that, but yes, being active in a religious community prepares you for death as part of life not just in the obvious way of giving you hope for eternity. It also includes the regular commemoration of death. I know it is a rare month we don’t have a remembrance at the end of liturgy even if we haven’t had death that week.

      1. From the Washington Post, so I offer no link. Professional athletes experience a kind of death as their careers are finite and relatively brief, even if they live on in Purgatory awaiting their final release. So this is an interesting unexpected bit of news:

        Ex-MLB star Andre Dawson is now a mortician amid a pandemic: ‘You see a lot of hurt and pain’

        Andre Dawson is seeing the effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic from a vantage point many sports fans would not expect of a Baseball Hall of Famer and former National League MVP.

        The longtime star for the Montreal Expos and Chicago Cubs has spent the past dozen years as a mortician.

        While running his own funeral parlor, Dawson has recently had to shorten services at his facility’s chapel and limit them to no more than 10 people.

        “It’s very sad,” he said Thursday to the Associated Press. “It’s very sad. Because people mourn and grieve differently and they’re not getting through that process as they would under normal circumstances. You see a lot of hurt and pain.”

        Dawson, 65, has owned and operated Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in his hometown of Miami since 2008. A few years after he retired from baseball in 1996, he joined a group of investors his brother organized to buy a different funeral home, then took an even bigger step into the business.

        Dawson did not expect to actually run Paradise Memorial, but “that role sort of fell into my lap,” he told AARP last year. With the same dedication to his craft that enabled a 21-year major league career, Dawson “threw myself into it, body and soul,” despite the unlikely nature of his new line of work.

        “Growing up, I could have never envisioned this,” he told the Associated Press. “I was actually afraid of the dead when I was a kid. When it came to funeral homes and seeing someone in a casket, it would remind me of being young and going to see a real scary horror movie and not being able to sleep at night. That’s where I was. But you grow and change with the times.”

        Since March, the coronavirus has brought change to nearly every facet of American life. Social distancing — which has brought baseball and other sports to a standstill — has helped slow the spread of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, but its toll has nevertheless been devastating, with over a million cases and at least 62,560 deaths in the United States as of Friday.

        There have been more than 12,000 confirmed cases in Miami-Dade County, which has had the highest death count, 352, of any county in Florida (per the Miami Herald). Dawson’s funeral home has handled six deaths from covid-19, and he has talked to his two dozen employees about the possibility of that number greatly increasing.

        “It’s stressful because of the times and the uncertainty,” Dawson told the AP. “But this is what we signed up for. As challenging as it can be, we just pray and hope we’re prepared for it.”

        Despite his fame and stature from his baseball career, Dawson has immersed himself in the day-to-day operations of his funeral home, for which his wife of 42 years serves as office manager. He goes to homes to pick up the deceased, drives hearses, carries caskets and, as shown in a 2018 USA Today profile, even mops the floor.

        These days, Dawson is doing his work while wearing a mask. That has a limiting effect on how many people recognize the tall man helping with their funeral arrangements, but he said his focus is on the needs of those around him.

        “You never know where God is going to lead you,” Dawson told USA Today, “but wherever it leads you, you have to be prepared. When this first fell into my lap, I prayed on it. I thought, ‘How am I really going to pull this off without having the background or knowing anything really about the industry?’ But I wanted to make this as good a facility as I possibly could, and I’m proud of it. It’s important to me because this is a product the community needs.”

        If Dawson did not know the value of hard work before he embarked on his major league career, he certainly learned it while rebounding from more than a dozen knee surgeries that eventually sapped the athleticism of the player known as “The Hawk.” During his early seasons with the Expos, who played on a notoriously unforgiving surface at Olympic Stadium, he was the epitome of a five-tool player and is just one of five players in major league history with at least 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases, alongside Willie Mays, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltrán.

        Dawson’s first season in the “friendly confines” of the Cubs’ Wrigley Field resulted in a 1987 campaign that saw him lead the NL with 49 homers and 137 RBI, good for MVP honors. He was elected for enshrinement in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 2010, the same year he was included in the Washington Nationals’ Ring of Honor.

        “Anytime someone extends the gratitude to pay homage to your career, it’s very gratifying,” Dawson said at the time of a ceremony by the team that became the Nats after the franchise moved in 2005 from Montreal to Washington. “It doesn’t necessarily mean that I had to play here. I understand the history and the connection. I’m most grateful.”

        Of his new career, he told AARP last year: “There are no cheering crowds for me now, just people bearing the heaviest weight anyone can bear. My job now is just to be there for them and to help them get through.”

        1. Limited to 10 people? There is more than that at the final graveyard interment at funerals in my family, on dad’s side. That limitation would not go well.

  25. Des Moines shopping update for this week.

    Was thinking I’d have to give borderline bad news because while most of Walmart was restocked– the only cleaning supplies totally gone were the lysol clean-the-high-traffic-areas stuff– the pizza section looked like a hurricane had gone through, and the was not quite as many folks out as there were last week, or even the week before.

    Didn’t go to Costco, I’m not engaging in Epidemic LARP. Even if they would sell me a mask.

    Go to the Asian grocery– wonder if they’re closed, there’s only one car.
    Nope, they went “no mask, no service.”

    So I drove down the road and bought at a store I hadn’t tried before, because it requires crossing traffic. They had a sensible balance of cutting-obvious-risks, making it easy for folks who are scared to feel safe, and not forcing people to play along.

    Stop at Menards, discover they went to requiring masks, and NO there’s nothing on the website about it.

    So we won’t be shopping there again, until the policy is gone.

    Why do I say this is LARPing? Nothing required this weekend. They took full advantage of the “everybody is out, it’s sunny, the state is mostly open” business and then went to this low quality fertilizer.

    1. One of those small businesses desperate to open turned away about $200 of luxury purchases from me with the mask game, but they made a hell of a showroom for the open business I got to special order the items for me.

      I’m not playing any place I do not absolutely have to do so.

      1. What is really perplexing to me about engaging in that LARPing is for total luxury goods (game supplies) the people coming out on the first day you open after all these aren’t the Karens who will report you for no masks or even those so afraid they wear one even when it’s not required.

        It’s going to be the “I’ve had enough of these BS, I’m back to living” crowd who are best will be uninterested by the LARPing and at worst will be me, use you as a show room and give your competitor who doesn’t have it in stock (because smaller store) his money and wait on the special order just to spite you. I do not see the upside.

        1. “the people coming out on the first day you open after all these aren’t the Karens who will report you for no masks or even those so afraid they wear one even when it’s not required.”

          But do they know that? Because what they’re seeing on the news and on line is that those are exactly the ones coming ou,t and the authorities have announced that the Karens are the ones who count. Now add to that the mailing / e-mail / whatever they got from their liability carrier saying that for them the Karens are the only ones who count too. I understand their fear.

      2. I had to have a document notarized. I called the bank to see if they could do it at the drive-through window. Sure, no problem. So I drive down there and the girl at the window says “we’re not providing that service” and acts like I’m some kind of retard for even bringing it up. I told her I had called ahead and had been told to come down. So she goes off and eventually comes back with a Pelosi-type who carefully says they “not providing that service”, as if speaking to a small child. I told her okay, but I *did* call ahead and ask. Then she got all puffed up and demanded to see the documents I’d brought, and rammed her little metal box out and slammed it into the side of my car.

        I started the car and left. After the anger subsides a little more I’ll write half a dozen letters, print them out, and mail them to the president and various VPs, and giving them the time when they can meet me in the parking lot with the contents of my account, which I am closing. An account I opened in 1973…

    2. For what it’s worth, I’d been wondering about the general bean shortage, and finally looked it up. Nope, not just panic buying. AFAIK, multiple incidents of “unfortunate weather” destroyed bean crops in Canada (4″ of rain in 2 days at harvest), Idaho, Wyoming (hard freeze) and Mexico this year. I haven’t seen it show up in the canned beans yet, but dry beans have been conspicuous by their absence since early April.

      We’d been donating sacks of rice and beans to the Gospel Mission (the largest of the soup kitchens in the area), but it looks like it’ll be rice only for the while.

      The only place that requires masks to enter are the hospital and affiliated clinics. Mask rate was about 50% last week, I’ll see what it’s like tomorrow. The home made masks are too warm (flannel for the heat), so new ones will get made. (Note to self, check if surgical masks are back in stock.)

      1. Have you considered your sanding/panting masks?


        Clinics and hospitals, THAT I’d respect the whole mask thing.
        Or even a flat-out lockdown where they’ll let you in if you scrub down, gown up and put on a mask.

        1. Yeah, I have close to a hundred dust masks (misplace a box, buy another, then oops!) as well as some N95s. $SPOUSE wants to do one and will make a couple for me. Dust masks need over-the-head and I’ve had the elastic band go south on me (age unknown on the masks…), so something I can tie or hang over the ears is a good idea.

          I did discover the hard way that the cotton/flannel mask means my sense of smell is degraded to useless. Bought a bag of potatoes Monday, and since we’re in potato country, we get the worst of the bunch. (Grrrr) Normally, I’ll sniff to eliminate obviously bad bags, but couldn’t without dropping the mask, so didn’t check. When we opened the bag Saturday, some interesting little worms all over the potatoes, both rotten and not. Not going to compost those guys. They even made the dog poop can smell worse than normal. Urrk.

        2. We have a terrible time getting people to keep masks on. And pushback you wouldn’t believe for limiting visitors. But they will put on a mask to go to the store. Go figure.

          1. I won’t.
            A)I’m asthmatic and putting a mask on for some reason can bring on an attack.
            B)I’m not frenching anyone at the store. If I’m not sneezing, the cloth masks aren’t protecting ANYONE from me, and they sure don’t protect me from them.
            It’s hygiene theater, and I have more interesting RPGs.

        3. Heh, funny thing is– the full scrub-down to go into the hospital is a bit of theater.

          However, it’s useful theater– the effects are at least as much physical as mental, just we can deal with it alright most of the time because…well, the bother vs the reward.

      2. You may be able to get a few (limit 10 a week) at a steepish price from mpja -dot- com. They’re an electronics parts surplus house. The masks move around on the website (try Email Specials and New Products) and their stock fluctuates.

        I got enough to last until the Amazon order comes in (fingers crossed).

        1. I looked for surgical masks (I figure I’ve already had it, so surgical fits in with Kung Flu Theater) on Amazon, and plenty are available at about $0.70 cents each (frequently 50 packs). Delivery dates from this Friday to some time in June.

          I’m not surprised to see that the first or second question asked about these masks is “Where are they made?”. Alas, all the examples I checked were China. I think that the tales of N95 masks testing between “N15″(!) to “N35” are getting around.

          $SPOUSE is going to make a few masks without flannel for us. I gave the “it wasn’t flu, but” to her as well, so KF Theater is also applicable.

    3. Didn’t see the Menards here demanding masks, but didn’t go up to the doors, too damned crowded Saturday (when we were FINALLY in the 70’s. snow predicted for Fri btw) but the people coming out were not all wearing masks, I don’t think.

      1. Part of what got me seriously pissed is that they did NOT put the sign outside, or make it highly visible, until you’re already inside and about to go through the gate. And it’s one of three new, poster-sized signs, all with a lot of verbage.

        Somebody was aware that this would seriously cost them customers, and decided to try to be manipulative in making it so folks were already “committed” to shopping.

        1. Sounds like the semi-hidden gun ban signs some businesses put up. “No, you don’t want my business, just say so up front, because I have no problem with dropping your merchandise on the floor and walking out.”

          1. Which is why TX has laws describing exactly what the signs must look like, say, and be placed to be valid. Don’t want my business? Announce at the door.

      2. Despicable Kate Brown might have figured she’d be a lamppost decoration if she mandated masks or even encouraged businesses to do do. AFAIK, the only regulation is “if you require customers/clients/victims patients to wear masks, all staff has to do so, too”. The only example that I’ve seen so far is the med clinic.

        Some places have forced (or at least strongly encouraged) the employees to mask up; one the small box membership store (Bi-Mart) that caters to a very senior clientele, the Kroger affiliate, and the restaurant supply. (Good news, *some* beans are back on the market, but nary a Pinto.)

        OTOH, at Home Depot, on a medium-light day, I saw 3 people masked up. I wasn’t one of them. I’ve decided that I have mask fatigue. Still had to throw out potatoes, but we won’t lose the entire batch. (Why in hell is it that we are in a potato growing area, and the locally sourced spuds suck?)

        1. Not sure how they store potatoes, but with apples that was because the stuff they pulled out of storage to make room for this year’s stuff went local, first. (And I suspect was heavy on “won’t last to hit anywhere else.”)

          Great prices, though.

        2. “(Why in hell is it that we are in a potato growing area, and the locally sourced spuds suck?)

          because they make more sending them on?

          I rolled past our Menards yesterday, and I had forgotten the “No one under 16” rule that the last time was totally ignored.

          1. Ours had a new sign, same time as the no admittance without a mask thing– they would be checking ID for anybody who looked under 18.

            1. sounds like slight differences at the various stores. How are they guessing ages with those wearing hats, masks and glasses?
              Ours also made the garden center doors exit only. Far safer for everyone to funnel in one set of doors don’t ya know and the last time I was in there the turnstile was still the funnel point after the doors, as the gate was still being closed.

              1. After I got home, and had time to calm down….

                I was still outraged.

                I called up the Lowe’s by Costco and asked the kid at the customer service phone if they were requiring masks to walk into the building.

                You could HEAR her brace herself. “No, ma’am.”
                “Outstanding! The place we were going to buy it just started that nonsense– I’m going right on line now and ordering the wood we were going to buy from them. Thank you, have a great day!”
                I could hear her laughing and telling the other gal at the return desk about it before she hang up, too. 😀

                    1. c’est la vie
                      what I get for leaving Texas and coming, almost, home. (add 58 miles to the Lowe’s but about the same for Depot if I was in GLadstone)

  26. Yes, we’ve become so removed from death that it seems uncommon for many of the younger set now. It’s become an abberration, even among many in the military. Our emergency medical services have become so good that even traumatic injuries leave us injured rather than dead. Many childhood illnesses are virtually wiped out.

    I’m old enough (just under 50) and come from a rural state (ND) that I’ve seen first hand how dangerous “normal, everyday” things can be. The first person to die from my class died less than a month after graduation from a car accident. My aunt’s hometown had three consecutive classes lose a student to drunk driving the night before or night of graduation. But even amongst people my age we’ve become insulated from death, or even risk taking. How many people these days don’t even want their kids going to the park by themselves? It’s become ridiculous.

    1. The corollary you left out is that is someone dies, someone else MUST be at fault. Hence, the fear of all our politicians to be the one marked as “at fault”.

      1. ‘Act of G-d’ or ‘Act of own stupidity’ has gone away, alas. (I loved the signs in Germany on the edges of cliffs and other places one ought not go. They said in effect, “If you keep going, you’re going to fall and die. That’s not the park/the state’s/the castle owner’s fault.”)

  27. Perhaps the trauma being expressed is consequent to the wakening from Doublethink?

    For example, Jay Nordlinger, today in The Corner:
    When I interviewed him last year, Thae Yong-ho spoke of “doublethinking.” Before he defected in 2016, he was haunted by “doublethink.” What does this mean?

    The term comes from Orwell, and it applies to many people in unfree societies. (It applies to some people in free ones too, which is an interesting subject by itself.) In one part of your mind, you are faithful to the regime. You believe, or want to believe, or need to believe. In another part, however, you have doubts — and these doubts are unsettling and scary. Events can tip you, one way or the other: toward fidelity to the regime or dissent from it.

    Thae Yong-ho defected from North Korea’s diplomatic corps. He knows that his ex-colleagues — many of them — are haunted by doublethink. The eventual downfall of the regime, he believes, will start when elites tip over into broad dissent.

    His defection — spectacular — was a step in this process. His election in South Korea — equally spectacular, if not more so — is another step.

    I have to marvel at the enduring influence of George Orwell. In 2014, I wrote about a young North Korean defector, Park Yeonmi. I quote her extensively in my piece today, too. My 2014 story was called “Witness from Hell.” Here are two paragraphs:

    Even while a free woman in South Korea, she did not feel completely free in her mind: To a degree, she still felt under the spell of the dictatorship under which she was raised. But in 2011, she read an extraordinary book: Animal Farm, by George Orwell. The book seemed to be about North Korea, she says. She cried all night as she read it. “Animal Farm set me free from brainwashing,” she says.

    Later, she read Nineteen Eighty-four, Orwell’s magnum opus. This book too, she felt, was about North Korea. “A lot of people think it’s just a novel, just fiction, but it tells the truth. It is the real story.” Yeonmi is amazed at Orwell’s capacity to understand. “He’s a genius.”

    There will always people who prefer comfortable lies over uncomfortable truth.

    1. The reason totalitarian regimes place such tight control on communications, media, and such, are to prevent a preference cascade when everyone suddenly discovers that everyone else is really thinking the same thing.

      Remember, Rush states his material success on the radio is due not to his leading people’s opinions, but simply openly stating what they already believe on the radio so they can hear they’re not alone.

        1. It is one reason why I read your blog. 😉 And sometimes pass a link along.

      1. Maybe that’s why the chicken-mobbing on social media is going on.

        … of course, it has the “nasty” side-effect where you can go along and like all the comments you agree with, or want to support.

  28. Because in the eighteenth century, upper crust young women included at least 3 baby shrouds in their trousseaus for the babies they expected they’d lose in infancy.

    Also as part of the bride’s trousseau was the bride’s shroud. Any bride (early-20th?) before the 20th century had a solid chance they wouldn’t survive giving birth. There was no option of a c-section to save the life of the mother. Either the baby was delivered or the mother died. If the baby couldn’t be delivered, maybe they could save the baby by taking it, causing the mother’s death. Often the baby died too. But it was possible. Delivery of the baby wasn’t considered a safe delivery unless both the baby and the mother survived the birth. A baby could be delivered, but the mother then hemorrhage, and die.

  29. While there are many ancillary reasons that these people fear death so much now, I think the core is that they are very narcissistic. Death has always been something that happens to other people. They may have known people who died, but they have few (if any) friends, just wide circles of chattering acquaintances. Protected all their childhoods from the kind of strong emotion that builds character, from failure ( and thus also from real success), and from any real spiritual impulse, they have no depths to call on, and no reference from which to understand that failing.

  30. I was thinking just the other day, when I heard one of my grandchildren say something in a conversation, that was a direct reflection of my father’s beliefs, attitude and manner of expression – “Damn, there is immortality!” Dad’s gone, but mark he left on the world, the ripples on the pond, go on. And it’s not just children. I know that the work I have done in teaching Quality Assurance has kept businesses open, saving jobs, and kept critical defects from reaching the public, saving lives. I do believe in a spiritual afterlife, but knowing that my work will have an effect when I am no longer in this life is nice as well.

  31. At 80 I am beginning to feel a little stir crazy. The only time(s) I have been out of our home is to walk the dog (very short walk in front of house), take daughter to medical appointments (wait in the car) and sit out back on tiny patio watching trees blow in the breeze and blank views of other houses’ closed windows. Groceries are delivered which is a blessing. We do not have a TV which is another blessing.

    The irony is that in November to be closer to family I moved from a fairly isolated 15 acres in the country into a large development. (Poor dog has had to adjust to 1/15 of an acre to run freely in. Good example of why physical activity is good for all of us – she has lost muscle tone and gained some gray around her mouth!)

  32. I want to live forever or die trying. I find the idea that my end, in 90% of circumstances, is not my choice is enough to get me angry and frustrated.

    I know that it’s getting better. Dad is in his ’60s and is in better shape than his dad at the same ages. Even despite the beating Dad has put on his body, he’s in better shape (and really wants to go back to the gym to keep in that shape), and in better health. Mom is nearly at the ten year point on her single lobe lung transplant. Once again, not that long ago, Mom would be on an external oxygen tank at best because of her lung issues.

    We are getting better, one day at a time.

    But, I know that we’re still not far enough ahead of the Reaper. And, that pisses me off in a fundamental way.

    1. Ten years?! Good on her!

      When a friend got a lung transplant they told him the average was five years. He made it for more than seven before rejection problems did him in.

      I used to call him several times a day, often just a touch-and-go to see if he was OK. I was waiting for my wife to get ready before we went somewhere, punched “!” on my antique cellphone that still had speed dial and chatted with him a few minutes. He said he was feeling tired and was going to take a nap. Best as the coroner could tell, he passed away somewhere between hanging up and half an hour later.

      It freaked my wife out, but I was always glad we got to talk one last time.

      1. Most of the problems that people have with transplants are-

        1)People still doing the things that got them onto the transplant list in the first place, and/or
        2)Not doing the after-care after the transplant.

        Dad has been bullying Mom to keep up on her exercises, which has helped.

  33. I’m not convinced that it’s simple “fear of death” playing out here. People are dismissive of the possibility of iatrogenic death from the emergency ‘anti-virus’ orders. They’re not quite willing to admit that they consider trading 100,000 deaths from other causes for 100,000 saved from the Dread Corvid to be a bargain worth grabbing with both hands, but I’m sensing that attitude. I’m reminded of certain gun control arguments where the anti-gun people treated gun deaths as being so much more ‘deathy’ than non-gun deaths.

  34. I just turned 59 last week, so I’m feeling like I’m getting up there, but I do refuse to act my age. I lost my first friend in 7th grade (small plane crash), and then two more in high school (killed by drunk drivers), along with three out of four grandparents. Both parents died within the last seven years, followed by my mother’s sister. Then there’s suicides. Those are the worst. So, yeah, death is a part of life.

    But, I do see the insulation from in many of my friends and colleagues. Especially now. I’m watching normally intelligent, thoughtful individuals absolutely freak out and refuse to leave the house, talk about how can people want jobs at McD’s “it’s so dangerous” etc. It’s astounding to me. I suppose it’s possible they’ve never seen death, but damn. Even us academics should have *some* life experiences…

            1. In case anybody doesn’t know, ‘pain’ is the French word for bread.

  35. Had a gallows’ humor Chuckle today.

    Sunday night one of my neighbors (apartment across the hall) was found dead. No word on how long he was dead.

    Well, today I noticed his family moving stuff out of his apartment and politely asked if they knew the cause of death.

    One of them said “natural causes” and another spoke up that it wasn’t coronavirus.

    My Chuckle (internally) was “so coronavirus isn’t Natural Causes”? 😉

    Seriously, he was an old gentleman so “Natural Causes” could have been plenty of things beside the coronavirus.

    1. “Natural Causes” isn’t a cause of death. It’s a -manner- of death (natural causes, accident/misadventure, homicide, suicide).

      1. You call to mind the turn of phrase employed by New York columnist Jimmy Breslin describinga mobster’s passing: “He died of heart failure. His heart failed when somebody put a knife in it while he was sleeping.”

        1. One of MomRed’s professional associates swore that the day she retired, she would look at the latest expired member of the Local Knife and Gun Club and write down cause of death as “lead poisoning, .38 Special” and see what happened.

        2. I believe it was Heinlein who observed — or quoted someone else’s observation — that every death can be attributed to heart failure.

  36. About the whole “you can die from all sorts of things” idea, there was a story linked to from Instapundit a few weeks ago about the first confirmed case of someone dying from being hit by a meteorite. (There had been a previous case in 1954, but that one bounced off a large console radio first so it just gave the victim severe bruising). I didn’t read the article so I can’t give you details, but perhaps someone here will remember it.

    1. I did run across a historical mention of someone meteor-struck who bled out back in the 10th century in a book which had a lot of speculation about “maybe the real thunderbolts of Zeus were meteorites”.

    2. With 7 billion people, the chance that SOMEbody will get hit by a meteorite is much higher than it was 1,000 years ago.

      1. An archeologist in Israel seems to have found a deadly strike from space that explains what happened to Sodom. He found a place near the Dead Sea that showed signs of a high temperature sudden disaster. His thought a large meteor exploded close over the town. It might also have splashed a large amount of salty water from the Dead Sea over the land, salting the earth. If true, it would mean a large number of people killed from space, and where the story of Sodom came from.

        We live in a dangerous neighborhood.

        1. It looks like there have been at least 2 major impacts in human history (ignoring Chelaybinsk and Tunguska) The first suspected one was at the end of the younger Dryas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Younger_Dryas_impact_hypothesis) think Clovis time period. I saw this recently https://phys.org/news/2020-03-evidence-cosmic-impact-destruction-world.html (and I’ve just gained myself moderation, darn you Word Press). There are papers related to Sodom referenced here: https://www.timesofisrael.com/evidence-of-sodom-meteor-blast-cause-of-biblical-destruction-say-scientists/ (in for a penny in for a pound on the moderation front). The Sodom information is from ~3700 BCE. The Younger Dryas is considerably earlier at ~12500 BCE near the end of the last Ice Age so no direct relation. Yes this is definitely a dangerous piece of sky, though Jupiter seems to have swept the worst of it.

  37. “My plan is to live forever and so far, it’s working.”

    Churchill said “There is nothing more exhilarating than to be shot at without result.” Being shot at – for real, not “Hollywood shot at” – and knowing it is an instant conversion to understanding the reality of death. Extricating people from mangled wreckage and feeling them die in your hands while you’re doing it is one hell of a psychological transition point.

    One knows when it happens to others, but you’ll never know when it happens to you. We’ve santitized death so much it’s become an imaginary thing, and bless medical science because it’s eliminated much, and reduced more, instances of the things that killed our ancestors, and what it hasn’t eliminated or reduced it’s been able to postpone until much later in life; “preserving life” has become so much of a mission, through medicine, risk reduction through application of technology, risk avoidance through lifestyle changes; loggers, farmers, sailors, wranglers, et al used to die in droves, computer operators, sales clerks and baristas, not so much. How many of us know a farmer or a logger these days?

    “Personal” communities have become broader; growing up in a large family, in a small town, meant direct experience with people; television, travel, media, etc. means a great deal less involvement but with more contact points. Our parent and grandparents knew Mrs. McGillicudy down the street, her husband who died in the war, her cousin who lived four blocks over and died in an accident; today we might know of the McGillicudys but not about them.

    I’m not convinced that with all we’ve accomplished, achieved and attained that we’re as much better off as we think we are; all that accomplishing, achieving and attaining has come at the expense of living – understanding our humanity and with whom we share it, much less its limits.

    1. It bugs the younger people when I describe the smell of death. It’s one of those things that your hind-brain knows instantly, even if you have never been around it or told what it is. That’s how I knew one night to let Center know that I was coming in full-throttle and needed the ambulance on the ramp when I rolled up. The med crew didn’t have to tell me (and they were a “wee bit” busy anyway.)

      1. I watched Saving Private Ryan with my dad who got a battlefield commission in Pusan, Korea because all the officers were dead. He was a radio operator and used to joke that he was the only person ever to have his life expectancy go up when he became a lieutenant because he used to follow them around with an antenna sticking up.

        We watched the landing scene and when it was over he was quiet for a while then he said, “they got everything except the smell.”

  38. This morning my friend M died about 1am. He is my second friend to die since the pandemic came to the US. J died February 29 in the afternoon.

    Neither died of COVID or even COVID complications. J was congestive heart failure which could have been stopped if he’d gone to the doc a day or two earlier. He lied about the cough and hid the swelling or I’d have stuffed him in a car and driven him. His wife knew he hurt, but didn’t know what the symptoms indicated as the likely issue. M. died of return of pancreatic cancer that had been in remission. He died in hospice after being told last May he had six months.

    One Karen, me, might have saved J. had they known about his symptoms. No one could save M.

    Death is part of life. Hiding does not prevent it.

  39. BTW: what’s the over/under on when Democrats declare the McCoel Rule means no replacement can be considered by the Senate until after the election?

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg hospitalized with infection
    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Tuesday with an infection, the US Supreme Court said.

    The 87-year-old underwent non-surgical treatment at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore Tuesday for acute cholecystitis, a benign inflammation of the gall bladder, a spokeswoman said in a statement.

    “The justice is resting comfortably,” the statement said.

    She will participate in oral arguments Wednesday morning from her hospital room, where she expects to remain for another day or two….

    1. No bet. Of course the Democrats will say that.

      Now, if only they had a majority they could do something about it. Too bad, though…

    2. They announced that they would not consider any nominee of Bush’s considerably before this.

      Yes, when there was no opening.

  40. Seriously, Mrs. Hoyt: Chickens. Chicks should be available now. Between your family you’ve the skills to build a rolling henhouse. I’m told the things can be socialized (I personally think they’re awful) and you get eggs. High quality protein. And you can strangle the cockerels and there’s more protein. Both our mom’s know how to do it and can help.

    Cats and dogs are fine, but you need to eat.

    1. I was reading about somebody’s experiences raising chickens, the other day. He liked it. I could see some appeal but don’t think I would actually like it or could reasonably add it to my current responsibilities at the moment. Sarah might be a different matter. But the funniest parts were 1. apparently they go wild for cake and 2. he suspected the reason they had not yet had a truly mean rooster like his wife remembered from her rather chicken-filled childhood was that they had failed to fully prevent their small grandson from harassing the roosters, which the roosters understood to mean the then-four-year-old was some kind of giant alpha rooster and they were there on his sufferance.

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