On Not Being A Sheep

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I confess I probably should take no credit in not following the herd. It is, in fact, more difficult for me to follow it. Witness my struggles in 2016. It took rational arguments from two very different perspectives for me to join the majority of the right.  And occasionally….

BUT now that Das Bild, that notorious American right wing periodical (coff) says thatthe lockdown was a huge mistake, you might ask why I’ve been screaming it and “just protect the vulnerable” since this insanity begun.

Well, part of it was that I’ve watched the wheels come off an economy far smaller and less intricate than the US’s and I really didn’t want to live through that nonsense again. When the unofficial unemployment rate trolls the 80% mark (I don’t remember what shenanigans they were using to make it — I think — 30% and the only thing that functions is the black market, it’s not so much that people die of famine on the streets (considering Portugal is fertile enough a small backyard can feed the family and most people have or have family who has livestock, that would be a feat) but that the simple business of living takes way too much time. Stuff like finding the place that might be selling this or that requires following a network of rumors.  We’re kind of experiencing that right now in Colorado, trying to find out what’s open and what’s not.  It’s horrendously familiar.

Having seen the wheels come off, and knowing what the US economy means to the world, and how the US getting sniffles means a killing chill to everyone else, I was not convinced that even had the Xi disease been as lethal as the stupid model said, and set to kill a million people (out of a population of 300 million) it might be the lesser cost. Yes, go ahead, it’s callous and I want people to die, as all the trolls say.  Or perhaps, since I tend to think instead of emote, I look at a very bad situation, realize the choices are death and somewhat less death, maybe, and think that the “less death, maybe” is on the side of not destroying the economy.  Because, you see, unlike the left, I do understand what the economy is. It is not an artifact of capitalism, and without it, we’d each lie under our perfect Rousseaunian tree and wait for ripe fruit to fall in our mouths. Communist countries have an economy, too. (Though the functioning part is usually the black market.  The official economy is a way to starve on the installment plan.) What we call “the economy” is not Wall Street, (which is what these children of privilege think it is) but the sum total of the transactions that make it possible for people to buy food, cleaners, maintain their houses, get medical care, and everything beyond living in a tree and pelting other monkey troops with fruit.  (And even that is probably an economy. Biologists speak of the mechanism that allows an animal to eat as “making its living.”)

As bad as a million deaths would be (one in 300 people, and at the time we did not know it would be mostly the very elderly) for the economy, it was better than interrupting the supply chain for food. Or even than destroying the most productive years of the generation now in their twenties and thirties, due to a lack of jobs.  My brother and older cousin came out of college at the height of the Portuguese economic confusion and there were no jobs. My cousin found a job that suited her and was happy in her career, but she never really used her degree, which would both have paid better and I presume — since she chose it — have given her great satisfaction.  My brother eventually found a job, but it is safe to say he never found a career, or felt in any way useful, and retired early. There are probably millions like them and some of them might have made significant contributions to their field.  I have a son graduating with two engineering degrees, and the field went from his actively being headhunted to radio silence complete. If he doesn’t use his skills long enough — if we take long enough to recover — his skills will be outdated and likely valueless.

Now you might say that influenced my thought and darn tooting it did. As one of the vulnerable, since my lungs are never …. reliable, I thought from the beginning that if I had to die, well, my work is mostly done.  Yes, you maniacs will miss out on a dozen or more novels (hopefully a lot more, we’ll see. There’s other medical issues in play, as when are they not with me?) but since I expect to be forgotten ten minutes after my death, I don’t think my staying alive is more important than what my son might do in his entire career.

Anyway, that was my thought. I couldn’t prove it with numbers — though, ooh, boy, are we getting the numbers — but even stopping for two weeks seemed insane to me.  I know what stoppages of partial regions for weather or illness cost us, and stopping the whole country was insane.

But more than that, I wondered why we were doing this all in a rush and following a completely unproven strategy, rather than actually taking a few days and working through “Who is most at risk” and then protecting THOSE people.  I mean, if we were going to confine the healthy with the sick, shouldn’t we know which of the healthy were likely to become sick, first?

Then there was the way the whole “Social distancing” made no sense.  I mean they were treating every place, every group, every culture and subculture as exactly the same thing.  And hell, having lived in three states in the US and having friends in a lot of other places, I KNOW that cultures are very different.  And living “structure” is very different.  I might have mentioned this, but every time we fly East (mostly for the annual trek to Liberty Con) every time I hit my first Eastern airport (either Charlotte or Atlanta) I start humming under my breath “don’t stand so close to me.”  Going to New York City as we do once every three years or so, whether we plan to or not (Something tends to come up.) is even more so, with bells on.  And in Portugal I think my family must think I’ve gone nuts, as I spend most of my time there stepping back hurriedly from someone five inches from my face. Beyond that NYC has elevators and subways, and…. I don’t think most people who live there drive as such. So to anyone who knows the virus theory of disease, NYC would seem like it would be a hot spot, while the rest of the country not so much. I mean, in Colorado our normal way of standing and talking to friends on the street is three feet apart. Three feet is enough for ANY VIRUS to drop to the ground, absent it coming from a sudden sneeze. And in a sneeze, btw, the virus travels far more than six feet. So the entire six feet nonsense? Sounded just like that, nonsense. Possibly because it is.

Our first introduction to this, in Colorado, btw, was during our normal Saturday trip to the botanic gardens in Denver.  (We don’t always go there, but it’s there, the zoo or a museum, because memberships to those stretch our entertainment dollar, and I’m not much on movies anyway. I’d go to a drive in, supposing we still had a functioning one, if husband wanted to watch the movie, because I could crochet or read and intermittently “watch” as I do at home, but theaters are not convenient for that.) They’d changed from their normal admission, which involves someone getting a “ticket” from a machine in the atrium (member tickets are free) to you have to buy a ticket, because they only allowed fifty people  — FIFTY — over however many acres.  And they had a trailer with a few young women processing the ticket.  Which means, practically, instead of you waltzing right in and not doing more than handing the ticket to the volunteer, you stood in line to be allowed in.  If this doesn’t ring your alarms, then CERTAINLY the idea that fifty people being allowed into an open air space spreading over acres and acres, while the grocery stores were wide open will.

BUT only a couple of days later, the gardens closed, as did the zoo. There was no time to see if this new policy would work, just panic closing.

Because the despicable Jared Polis tried to make this as painful as possible for Coloradans he hates — since he knows it was vote by mail fraud that elected him, also closed parks I shouldn’t be surprised he’s keeping the now financially desperate zoo and gardens closed through their highest grossing season, and is making incoherent noises about opening them with only fifty people allowed, because apparently that wasn’t good enough before, but it’s totes great now. (Jared, you’ll look ridiculous in the Hugo Boss uniform. You’ve got fat as f*ck. Give up the dream.) He’ll probably be ecstatic if all our fun stuff goes bankrupt and has to close. It’s not good for the peons to have fun.

And before the usual idiots say I’m willing to sacrifice lives for my fun, the truth is we KNOW now the chances of your catching this out of doors, or in any situation you’re not shut in with someone infected and sneezing (the myth of asymptomatic spreaders appears to be just that, a myth.) WE KNOW THIS NOW.  The fact that he hasn’t reopened outdoor institution, and/or said we’ll re-open on x day means he’s not doing this for any “science” but to prolong the pain and stroke his…. sense of power to our misery.

I found out, btw, drive in theaters, at least in other states (and I suspect in CO if we have any left) were also closed. Which makes no sense at all. Because if you just tell people to tune in their radio to the transmission (which is what they did last time we went to one… 15? years ago) what transmission can there be?

But there were other incoherences. If the illness was so dangerous that parks and museums (the Denver art museum is MASSIVE. We normally don’t come within 5 feet of anyone, except when buying tickets. When we have a membership, we sail right in. And they could have gone to “buy tickets online”) had to be closed, how come grocery stores, Walmart and Home Depot weren’t?

Sure, they WERE and are essential businesses, and note I’m not saying they should be closed. BUT if the virus were really that dangerous, how could you keep them open, whether or not you made the isles one way and marked those stupid places to stand on the floor?  IF the pandemic were really as virulent and lethal as we were told, if it was so virulent that the entire botanic gardens COULD only have 50 people in it at a time (apparently it’s exactly like a party with 50 people.) IF weddings had to cancelled, funerals could not be held, parks had to be roped off with yellow caution tape, etc, etc, ad nauseum, shouldn’t the essential businesses have become delivery only?

ALSO if the virus was that dangerous, how come homeless weren’t taken somewhere and quarantined for their protection? How come they were congregating everywhere in massive groups in our deserted city and NOT DROPPING LIKE FLIES. (And yes, I have friends who work ERs. There was no increase in frequent fliers dying.)

Honestly, to me it looked like a combination of LARPing and an attempt to plan the economy and tell us what was important and NOT ALLOW WHAT POLITICIANS THOUGHT UNIMPORTANT TO EXIST.  This gross violation of our most basic constitutional rights seemed far MORE dangerous than any pandemic. Even one that killed 10% of the population. Because once you allow your rights to be stripped away, you’re not getting them back, as we have proof daily.

I have had idiots tell me that fat Jared’s orders are “the law” as if he were the emperor or something. (Don’t get fitted for a crown, either, Jared. It makes your face look rounder.) I can’t begin to tell you how incoherent that makes me. It’s not the law, and it is unconstitutional. And if I were that restaurant owner in Castle Rock, he’d be getting his fat ass sued PERSONALLY for violating my civil rights. (Fortunately in places other than my beloved — and occupied — state, courts and law officers are coming to their senses.)

So, now that we know that as Das Bild put it, this was possibly the greatest criminal insanity the West ever committed upon itself (And I would like to know how much of that is the culpability of our media, who is in Xi’s pay. And how much their utter abysmal ignorance of biology, which led them to propagate nonsense about the virus hanging midair, outdoors, for hours and not to laugh out loud at the idea that you were safer at home from a virus that, like all Coronas (yes, including the beer, you joker) dies in the sun.) NOW that we know that opening does not in fact bring a huge death toll, what are we doing?

Well, people — most sane, normal people — are sick to death of this, and there is a seething anger everywhere.  But the politicians are trying to hang on to just a little bit more glory, and telling us that restaurants, maybe — thank you Fat Jared — might open in May, but at a third capacity, and we have to be very careful…. Because, you know, the virus, which kills mostly New Yorkers (who live in much more crowded conditions than anyone else in this country) and nursing home patients, is suddenly going to hang out in street corners and kill elementary school kids. (If I see one more kiddie in a mask, I’m going to lose my sh*t. How uninformed are those parents?)  As anyone who has ever run a restaurant knows, that means he wants to really, really, really kill our restaurants, and the tourist trade that is 30% of Colorado’s economy.

And the Fat F*ck postures and preens and talks about how he’ll decide to re-open, maybe, perhaps, if only we behave like good boys and girls and “social distance” (i.e. pandemic LARP for his fantasies.) and wear masks.

Even though while there might be some benefit to wearing masks that are N-95 there is NO known medical benefit to a bandana tied over your face, or really any sane reason for a normal, non-sick person to wear a mask. No, they don’t wear them all the time in Asia. They wear them in public transport and close situations, while they THINK THEY MIGHT BE SICK. Not all the time, and not by order of government.  But, oh, you have to wear them, or Fat F*ck Jared won’t let you out. He’s not done trying out his Hugo Boss Uniform in front of the mirror and smirking for the cameras.

To put this in perspective, my favorite charity stores have opened — yay — since we are so massively wealthy (ah!) most of our clothes and furniture — unless it’s an item so rare that we need to have it made or buy it specialty — come from there.  So, let me say with authority that most of the clothes aren’t washed, and that I clean every piece of furniture we get there, because if they clean its not to my standards.

But they’re open. HOWEVER the botanic gardens, which are outdoors, and where people walk more than six feet apart? Totally need to be closed.

Oh, and church? Very dangerous (and you could say I’m having a crisis of faith over the leadership of my church having gone along with this complete insanity) and though some are re-opening now (not ours) they require masks and social distancing.  Look, we don’t go to a mega church, which MAYBE would be dangerous. The service we normally attend the only person within six feet of me is my husband. And honestly, as long as you make sure no one who is coughing and hacking distributes communion, it’s probably not a big deal even in mega churches.

So, what caused me to smell a rat and turn away from the bleating flock heading home to hide under their beds from the scary scary bad cold?

Inconsistencies, panic and outright crazy decisions. I’ve lived under regimes that ruled arbitrarily enough to know that if a regime won’t bother to even TRY to get your buy in, and if they react with no consistency or sense, doing things like curfews, and papers for traveling (it’s a bad precedent and you’ll regret it if Trump loses in November. His election is now more essential than ever, or the “climate crisis” will make the virus LARPing look like a walk in the parks we’ll only wish we had then) while crowding everyone into the five stores that are allowed to stay open in your area of town?

They’re totalitarians, drunk on power, and using their position for petty revenge — such as Fat Jared’s on Weld county — and however bad the crisis, what they’re doing is only making it worse.

So, in the future, and it might be much nearer than we hope, if this election is stolen thanks to insanity and vote by mail fraud pay attention. If what the media and the authorities are telling you makes no sense, the restrictions are arbitrary, and they seem to be enjoying their power way too much (ah, the smirk, Jared. You couldn’t get rid of it, if you tried) they’re lying to you. And you should resist with everything in your power.  And that goes double if you’re a policeman blocking the way to the capitol so we can’t give Fat F*ck a piece of our minds.  Befehl ist Befehl is not a defense, particularly not in America. Don’t find out too late.

So, now you know why I went the other way.  And you?
Well, I recommend massive resistance. It’s time for it. Olly olly oxen free.  It might not yet be too late.  These news gave me great joy, not because I EVER want to take a cruise in my life (water, people, aaaaaack) but because it means most people really aren’t buying this bullshit. They’re going along with the mask cosplay so as not to listen to the karens. But most common, normal human beings have had enough.

So if we open NOW we might yet recover, and quickly.

And Jared, a word to the wise — no, no, not avoid carbs, though that wouldn’t hurt you either — at this point, you might think prolonging the cosplay will allow you to pretend this really was veddy veddy serious.  Or perhaps you’re afraid that if you cave and just open up, your buddy Newsom won’t like you anymore. BUT the truth is, the more random shit you pile on now, while we look at states that opened back up, and states that never closed and fail to see bodies pile up?  The more we see your ass. The more we know you’re just on a power trip.  Judging from overheard conversations, I suspect the tipping point is very, very close.

How sure are you  that you have the fraud sewn up? I mean, you do know that Trump is not Pierre Delecto, to whom we reported massive fraud and who went ahead and conceded, anyway, right?  You do know the sewer at the top is getting the lid blown off it, and who knows what will come out?

Perhaps you want the people of this state to not OUTRIGHT hate you, Jared.  Great state Colorado, you know, full of the milk of human kindness.  We are, for instance, the state that invented and USED the self-hanging machine, to expedite executions.

Get out of the self-hanging machine, Jared. Step out of it. You still can. Say that due to studying the figures from other states, you see science tells us we can just open up.  And then stay off the cameras, and listen to a fellow-fatty: the camera makes you look even fatter. Skip briefings and hit the gym.  And can the crocodile tears. It just makes us giggle when you cry, and makes us want to make you cry again.

Open up the jail doors, Jared. Because if you don’t we’ll open them ourselves.

Military commanders and sane people (which you’re not one of. Either of those) know that you don’t give an order you know won’t be obeyed.

People are humoring you now — sort of — though the number wearing their masks UNDER their noses should tell you something. If you had two brain cells to rub together.

But it won’t last.  It will look better if you let go of your Hugo Boss dreams and just tell us to go back to normal. Then the economy of the state will take off, and we’ll even let you preen. Hell, we’ll try not to roll our eyes in front of you.

But destroy the state economy and you’re done.  One way or the other, Jared. You’re done. Even if we have to clean the voter rolls. Which would destroy your party in this state for a generation.

Turn off the cameras and let us go back to work. You can wear the uniform and the shiny boots in those bespoke clubs.  And we won’t even care.

But you make no sense. And your tyrannical nonsense is killing the state we love. And that — like your love for carbs — is enough of that.

 

 

 

 

 

285 thoughts on “On Not Being A Sheep

          1. You’re gonna miss. Anybody with half a brain would’ve gone on the lamb by now.

  1. Honestly, if you wouldn’t or didn’t do any of the “new normal”social distancing protocols in flu seasons past, or in the future, then you don’t need to do them now. I really, honestly just do not GET the hysteria.

    This is hardly the first novel virus to come out of China in the past twenty years, even. Their safety and health protocols suck. This is KNOWN. The only thing different about this one is Orangeman Bad.

    1. Pretty much.

      Is it bad that I had the errant thought that mass death in NYC might drive media out, thus improving the breed?

    2. Heck, I recall a bit aired on Demento that was likely recorded in 1968 or so. One line was soemthing like “I went to Hong Kong and I came down with New York flu!”

    3. Yep, this only became a “crisis” when Democrats decided that it was a political opportunity to try to damage Trump, advance the “fundamental transformation of America” and try to set up the ability to steal the 2020 elections so they can achieve their power grab. They used their control of media and entertainment to drive panic and fear and openly touted that they saw the CCP Virus as an “opportunity to enact their agenda”. They made sure to enforce orthodoxy by any means necessary as seen by the hysterical effort to go after South Dakota’s governor for not going along with the hysteria and refusing to mandate house arrest for South Dakotans.

      This is just a taste of what Democrats will do if they steal the 2020 elections and have the Presidency and both Houses of Congress, and you can be assured that draconian measures like the Watermelon New Deal (Green on the outside, red on the inside) and gun bans will be enacted by declaring “emergencies”.

      The 2020 election is literally for our freedom and liberty and if Democrats win, you can officially bury the Republic.

  2. *kitty golf clap* I got an e-mail yesterday with a long article about how vital social distancing is because of a guy who didn’t know he was sick, went to a family thing and shared food with people, hugged and kissed people, and then got sick, as did the people he shared food with and hugged. [First though – ew, dude, don’t double-dip the chips! Gross. Ahem. Were was I?] And of course, diagrams of people sneezing and how far droplets can spread (which is why you don’t sneeze at people any time, yes?). I read it, checked that I’d read it, and then went and did my work. What if it had been influenza and not Wuhan fever? Same problem, same vector, no news article.

    Spite does not look good on anyone, political “leader” or otherwise. And we’re seeing far too many people wearing it. And “the smirk.”

      1. Kate Brown pretends to look sort of normal, but one suspects the upper teeth are overlays to hide the fangs. The smile reminds me of the one a recently fed bear has.

    1. Seriously, governors like Witmer, and that plump gauleiter in Illinois, and Northam, and all the rest of that lot … are drunk on authority, and overflowing with anger at any sight, sound, or smell of ordinary citizens defying them. Hence the overreaction.

      1. northam finally caved on shooting ranges rather than have any of the other court cases go thru…

  3. It took rational arguments from two very different perspectives for me to join the majority of the right.

    You act upon rational arguments? You will never be sheepish, never be part of a flock — there aren’t enough like you.

    1. There’s a barbershop in our state, about an hour-and-a-half from me, that the owner has reopened (maybe refused to close originally, too.) Despite the drive, I’ve been contemplating going to get a haircut, both to support the guy (he’s 77!) and because, dang it, my hair is getting shaggy!

      I hate when my hair starts to get shaggy, because I just need a green t-shirt and a big dog to BE Shaggy!

      Ah, here we go:
      https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2020/05/judge-denies-attorney-generals-demand-to-shut-down-owosso-barber-shop.html
      It’s even a bit of good news, a judge has ruled against the state AGs request for a “temporary” restraining order to shut him down.

      1. My young cousin ( 20 years old), and the only hourly employee who continued to work at the restaurant where she is employed during the shutdown recently got a haircut. She had TWO FEET of hair chopped off, and it is still mid back. And she is headache free for the first time that she can remember.

        Haircuts aren’t just about looking good and wanting others to serve you.

    2. Went yesterday and when out to get bottle saw that a restaurant had open dining room so went on a lark. Amazing how much more human it can make you feel.

        1. Oh gosh, I definitely believe this! And isolated humans become dysfunctional. When they say you can’t hold hands in public with your spouse or date, but can do the nasty with a Tinder stranger in private, it screams everything I need to know about those in power.

          1. And once more, Falsi’s prior claim to fame was the completely incompetent response to AIDS (We have known how to deal with STDs for centuries but not this one). Note that it’s still only misdemeanor (if even charged) to knowingly pass that on in PRCal while arrestable for failing to cowtow to King Newsome.

        2. *Wry* Starting?

          Then again, I have a hardwired leap to suspicion about people in power and abuse of same. Especially if I’m not supposed to leave the house. Forgive me the use of the word “trigger” here, but that sets off all my trauma-trained nerves that Something Rotten is Going Down.

          1. Eh, folks usually have some sort of a non-malicious reason for that stuff.

            Like the random totalitarian libertarians (apparently a European philosophy) that show up here, were you’re basically allowed to want whatever they think it’s reasonable for you to want.

            **********

            I blame my dear husband for this, but as an alternative to the now hijacked ‘trigger,’ maybe some variant of “Spidey sense”?

            (He’s got the kids watching the 90s animated Spiderman.)

          1. The thing that keeps tweeking me is that these mask demands by stores are after things started opening back up.

            So for eight weeks not only was I fine going to the store without a mask, buying all the stuff for fixing up the house while we’re all stuck at home, but half of the workers were maskless, too.

            But now, suddenly, we all must bow. Because karen is afraid we’ll all go out, or something.

            1. “Something”. We’ve already seen the first lawsuits; masks help ward off lawyers.

            2. Oh, it gets worse, just wait. Now the hurricane people are saying, “under the current conditions, be prepared to be on your own for two weeks before any aid shows up”.

              …Yeah, I’m typing up a post for tomorrow now.

    3. I did a DIY cut Saturday. Even if we open on Friday, the queue for any surviving hair cutters (if any exist) will be huge. Washing my hair now needs a washcloth. 🙂

      1. You guys don’t want to know what I did to my hair. It’s red, pale blond and white. I was trying to take it back to white.
        There are dark patches. It looks like tiger stripes. I’m pretending it was on purpose. Probably why no one challenges me when I sail through without mask. I mean, I’m obviously insane.

        1. It’s totally on purpose, It’s just that the end result wasn’t precisely what was being aimed for. But who needs a grid square accuracy when you use a nuke?

        2. Wait until they decide hair is a trap for viruses, and then demand everyone wear a burqua.

    4. Ain’t had one in months, what with all the travel. I’ll be back across the Mississippi in another two weeks. Maybe there will be one brave enough this time around…

  4. Governor Cuomo is graciously allowing my region (Mohawk Valley) to reopen Friday. At least… he’s graciously allowing manufacturing and construction.

    I’m halfway between *golf clap* and “I’m curious how he’s going to pull the football away this time.” It’s insufficient, and *still* illusory. -_-

    (He also graciously reversed his decision to force nursing homes to take COVID patients! I’m sure the horse is only a couple of states away by now.)

    1. Given the nature of the city of New York and that of the virus how in good conscience can anyone argue against NYC being locked down until reliable treatments or a working vaccine are in common use?
      And that would include extreme restrictions on any New Yorkers from traveling to other parts of the country.
      And in much the same fashion, strict limits on travel into the US from other hot spots around the world.

      1. It doesn’t seem like it should have been that hard to stop everybody from leaving NYC. They’ve already got barriers everywhere. When I went there to see a relative, maybe it was lack of expertise but it didn’t seem like you could get in or out without a tollbooth.

        1. Do you remember the outrage when Rhode Island tried to require entering New Yorkers remain in two-week quarantine?

          You’d have thought they were being told they had to shut down their businesses, give up hair cuts and remain six feet away from all other humans!

          1. I remember when back when Ebola nurse was out and about after being exposed and asked to quarantine and all the cries that you couldn’t force her into quarantine

              1. And there is some weirdness in transmission. We are pretty sure that it is liquidborn rather than something like TB or Meningitis (EMT’s are hammered over the head on the latter. Think the same question written different ways three times on test as to how to recognize), but the doctor that was brought back didn’t have an obvious exposure. There was questioning at the time as to whether it was aerosolized blood transmissible. It’s not exactly the same as this, but much higher risk at possibly lower opportunity of illness than Wuflu.

        2. Well there is always this:

          Of course given Mayor Comrade DeBlasio running it, he probably likes the idea of keeping people in by building a wall, like his beloved East Germany.

    2. That’s very gracious of your feudal master. You should be properly grateful.

  5. Yeah and that study of one spreader in a restaurant, which I don’t feel like looking up right now. On masks, now. Thank you, Crossover Queen for putting the resistance to them into language that gets across the depth of the problem. Not that those who are bought in grasp it, but it let me try and some people appreciated the effort.

    My current ire is aimed at my county idiots who ‘don’t require masks’ but require businesses to require masks. or some such, I looked at the updated SIP order two days ago and it’s bureaucratese, so doesn’t stick. So the stores I was patronizing because I didn’t have to wear a mask are now requiring them. I called them to confirm it wouldn’t be changing, and that’s what the manager said. Grrr….

    I saved this tidbit : https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/new-study-questions-the-effectiveness-of-masks-against-sars-cov-2#More-virus-on-outer-mask-surfaces – only four people, but “Finally, the team swabbed the outer and inner surfaces of each mask — cotton or surgical.
    They expected to find droplets containing SARS-CoV-2 on the inner surfaces. The question was whether any viral particles had been able to pass through the masks to their outer surfaces.
    After analyzing the swabs, the researchers found particles of SARS-CoV-2 on the outsides of both types of mask, suggesting that neither type can contain the virus.”

    And these were people diagnosed with the wu-flu.

    I’m considering signing up for the ‘telephone town hall’ this weekend on the subject with our idiot master the County Health Dr, to try to get this through. I suspect all I get out of it is angry, though so am waffling.

    1. After analyzing the swabs, the researchers found particles of SARS-CoV-2 on the outsides of both types of mask, suggesting that neither type can contain the virus.”

      And these were people diagnosed with the wu-flu.

      *pictures adjusting a mask, for however long you have to have it*

      Yeah, I can see that, and not even because they’re not stopping the germs– imagine going to the restroom, you wash your hands, then you take the chance to adjust the @#$@# mask from the inside while you’ve got clean hands.

      Start with sticking your fingers under, and then put them over. Might even wash them again, but next time you touch the outside of the mask again….

      I still think it’s likely the masks will increase the risk, since you have to keep adjusting htem.

      1. And do you clean the mask regularly, or do you just re-use it? Are the virus particles on the outside from the same person as the ones on the inside? I’d like to see the methodology of the study a bit more. And most people either don’t know or don’t even follow the recommended guidelines (which make no sense) anyway.

        1. The shipyard CO is requiring masks at all times unless you’re alone in your office (guess how many people have offices and aren’t teleworking). We had a guy go home a couple of weeks ago coughing and feeling ill, he was tested for Wu Flu but it turned out to be bacterial pneumonia because he wasn’t washing his mask. So that’s one more person the policy has gotten sick than it has prevented from getting sick.

          And don’t get me started on the temperature screenings at the gates.

  6. Do you mean ‘vote by mail fraud’ or ‘vote by fraud mail’?

    Because I thought the convention was to strike out the embarrassing truth, and replace it with the convenient lie.

    There’s a post now at Longreads, ‘From Russia, With Malice’ about Russia cracking into our election computers in order to discredit democracy itself. I read along, until I got to the claim that ‘Putin will never have a more reliable ally than Donald Trump’ at which point I wanted to reach into the screen and choke some sense into the writer.

    That it appeared just when the truth is coming out about 0bama faking making up the whole 2016 ‘Trump/Russia’ contretemps is either dreadful irony, or…
    ———————————
    Susan Ivanova: “I do not like Santiago. I’ve always thought that a leader should have a strong chin. He has no chin, and his vice-president has several. This to me is not a good combination.”

    1. My guess is that under Democrats’ insistence we will see a prevalence if not complete vote by mail this coming election. But my expectation is that they fail to comprehend two factors that will take a huge bite out of their collective arses. Trump has had most of four years to cleanse the DOJ of the Obama plants embedded there, so for the most part our Federal law enforcement will be allowed to operate in a non partisan fashion. And since they have raised a valid concern over Russian interference in the election process it’s only fair that every aspect of that process be examined and validated under a Federally driven microscope.
      By their own demands the Democrats will be under such strict scrutiny that all their shady tricks will become nigh onto impossible, or so is my sincere and fondest hope.

      1. I’m still trying to figure out how to put the military in charge of certifying the validity of the election. One mid-grade to senior NCO for each polling station, a captain or major for each legislative district, an LTC or Colonel for each state with the least political general you can find in overall authority. Vote in person, unless probably overseas. Military rules of custody for all ballot boxes. I just don’t think we can do it legally.

      2. Unfortunately the vast majority of the Democratic Party operation is still at DOJ, etc., because those jobs have civil service protections and it is impossible to get rid of them. J. Christian Adams has written on numerous occasions over how the DOJ over decades has been turned into an arm of the Democratic Party and leftist activists, and how difficult it is to clean it out, even when there is a concerted effort to do so.

        1. You can’t get rid of them, but you can promote them a GS level and put them in charge of counting paper clips.

          1. Or you put them in charge of the Combined Federal Campaign.
            Or…back when I worked for the Army, one of my supervisors screwed up by the numbers. Rather than try to get him fired, the Powers that Be “reorganized,” so that all his victims (like me) were reassigned to somebody who actually did performance reviews, and he was given a single employee to supervise. Said employee being a fussy perfectionist who could drive a Vulcan to homicidal mania.
            The supervisor retired after about six months. Maybe less.

          2. Do-nothing government jobs just for them?

            “Throw me back in that briar patch, Mister Wolf!”

            1. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than letting them screw things up.

              If it were up to me there would be no unions at all (at least not as we know them) and nobody outside of the military could work for the government for more than 10 years total. It’s not up to me, more’s the pity.

      1. If there is no solution then we have already lost and might just as well give up.
        In which case many of us will hoist the Jolly Roger and get our anarchist freaks on.
        Sweetie we do billions of dollars of commerce daily over the internet with a remarkably small amount of fraud and cheating. There has to be a way to make just about any process safe, convenient, and relatively fraud free. Of course that has not been done as it does not meet the Democrat’s need to win through cheating and fraud, but that’s because their approach has always been “nothing to see here, move along, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” Bring the full force of the Federal government to bear on any process and they should be able to ensure a system at least as clean as our income tax. Sure there’s cheating around the fringes, but for the most part the tax system processes what something like 100 million returns every year with minimal error. And processes in place to address and correct those errors that do occur.
        And I may be a damned fool, but I shall still hope for the best while planning for the worst.

        1. After this preview of Democrat rule, I’m not longer convinced the risk that hoisting the Jolly Roger might give a suboptimal outcome exceeds the risk of using the system.

          Well, it’s not just the covid preview but the confirmation that the FBI, like the IRS, is so used to using their power to settle personal scores that no one is uncompromised enough to reject or protest their agency’s usage to settle political scores, is a big part too, but they intersect.

            1. I’m figuring it’s going to be our “governor” (or would be if it wasn’t for fraud) so they can claim it was stolen from her again.

        2. Yep. I do wonder sometimes if requiring last years tax documents to be verified at the polling place, and changing the election date to April 18th wouldn’t produce salutory change, though.

        3. Sure It would be possible if everybody involved in election bureaucracy could put aside political motivations for the sake of clean election processes. In the era of “Orange Man Bad” anything is morally justified to save America from the demon Trump.

          1. Well, there is such a thing as “democracy failure,” just as there’s such a thing as “market failure.” There’s the example of the Allende government in Chile, whose overthrow by Pinochet was considered fortunate by a lot of people (including me). There’s Turkey which never was really a functioning democracy, but rather a place where, when democracy fell over, the military launched a coup, put democracy back on its feet and set it to totter off for a while more before it fell over again. (Not an ideal situation, or even a good one, but the alternative was worse, as can be seen with the current Turkish regime.)

            And of course Hitler was initially elected via normal democratic processes.

            Now I do have my own criticisms of Trump, and calling him better than any of the other recent Presidents or presidential candidates is damning with faint praise. But treating him as a literal Hitler is so far removed from reality that I’m not sure the Hubble telescope could see reality from that position. And the Babylon Bee is supposed to be a satire site, but “Resistance Movement Vows To Do Anything To Stop Trump Short Of Treating Other Half Of Country With Respect” is darkly humorous only because it’s so disturbingly accurate.

            1. And of course Hitler was initially elected via normal democratic processes.

              Wellllll … not exactly. It’s late and I’m not going to go into it but remember: they had a parliamentary system and thus his “election” wasn’t exactly a vote of popular support. Nor were the voting processes exactly kosher, if you know what I mean.

              You can look it up or perhaps some Hun who’s delved into those pits more recently than have I can summarise it neatly.

              1. “Wellllll … not exactly.”
                I’d quibble right back, except that I don’t want to go into it here and now either.

      2. This.
        The moment ballots are freely available, results will be freely falsified.

        There is no mitigation.

        1. And don’t forget, the Democrats are trying to impose ballot harvesting in combination with vote by fraud

    2. I thought the convention was to strike out the embarrassing truth, and replace it with the convenient lie.

      I’ve seen it both ways. I’ve also seen multiple strikeouts replacing the truth with the lie then the truth again when the lie becomes too much to even pretend: “Vote by fraud “mail” fraud.”

        1. There’s already a push to vote with some kind of smartphone app.

          “We’ll go to any lengths for security!”

            1. I’m sure they’d whip out a bill to provide “free” Pelosi-phones. They’r probably come with a “vote Demcrat” app already installed…

    3. ‘Putin will never have a more reliable ally than Donald Trump’ at which point I wanted to reach into the screen and choke some sense into the writer.

      In contrast to Barak “Tell Vlad I’ll have more flexibility after the election” Obama?

      On the plus side, if this Russiagate idiocy did nothing else, it at least got the Left to admit that Putin is not our friend. Granted, they’ll forget it as soon as it gets inconvenient again, but we have the records.

    4. > Russia cracking into our election computers in order to discredit democracy itself.

      The Democratic Party seems to be doing well enough already, though I guess they wouldn’t turn donw some help.

      1. I don’t need anything to discredit democracy. I am already aware that a gang rape is a democratic act.

        And that protesting such an act with the use of force is “undemocratic.”

  7. … the choices are death and somewhat less death

    As we now know, there was also the choice of protecting the vulnerable — such as quarantining elder care facilities and New York city — while leaving the economy running that could very well have resulted in far less death.

    Rarely are we confronted by only a binary choice, and when we are it is prudent to carefully examine the agendas of those presenting the choice.

  8. I’m meeting oldest boy and his wife later today for a late lunch in our favorite greasy spoon, eat in, tables properly separated.
    Got word that my members only social club is back open and if enough of us show up our standard Sunday afternoon poker game is on.
    Speaking about the economy, in my younger days before I wised up and started gathering engineering degrees I worked private industry, five years in a factory then ten with a small regional railroad that no longer exists. Both, but the RR in particular, were driven in part by seasonal demands, so we often found ourselves working mandatory overtime one week, then laid off for lack of work the next. Once I’d established that pattern I naturally planned accordingly, setting a bit aside in the fat times to carry me over the lean. Always astounded me how so many of my fellow employees did not have that foresight. During those rich overtime periods they lived up to and just a bit beyond their fat paychecks. When the inevitable downturns struck they were always the first to curse those greedy bosses who were causing their children to starve. Myself, I learned quickly to not try to suggest otherwise as once they discovered I had a bit put away I was subject to endless demands to just “help a friend out.” This is the infamous “living paycheck to paycheck” where a single reduced or absent paycheck is a disaster.
    Honestly, this shutdown should have minimal economic impact over the long haul. Those jobs mostly did not vanish, they were just put on pause for the duration. Workers went on unemployment so with that and the stimulus check ought to be able to hang on until the jobs open up again. And employers supposedly have access to aid and loans to allow them to survive until reopening. The risk and the damage is where an employer, for a host of reasons, is unable to reopen. Probably worst in the service industries where operating under reduced capacity simply is not a viable option.
    So full open now or at least very soon, as the longer the duration the greater the likelihood of ever more businesses losing the ability to reopen. However, always keep in mind that a certain percentage of businesses fail and close even in the best of times, but that is a whole other subject for discussion.

    1. But why would anyone want to start a business, or even keep running the one they already have, if they can be shut down at a minimally-justified executive whim?

      Granted, it’s a margin game–it’ll mostly get the folk already trending that way–but… well. Everything’s a margin game. Still significant.

    2. I’ve watched several businesses close due to becoming untenable. The entire chain Sweet Tomatoes is closed, for example.

      Those jobs are not on hold. Those jobs are gone.

      1. I’m terrified our favorite restaurants will just go. They’re not expensive places, but they hold memories. Like Pete’s kitchen. We started taking the kids there when they were in carriers as infants.
        And same with some of the “cultural institutions” — for a long time, when something went wrong in older son’s life, we’d go to the zoo and show him the elephants.

        1. I am VERY concerned that my favorite very small regional chain of pizza places will be gone when I get back. At least one of the franchise owners in my hometown already had to rebuild after a fire. It’s my favorite go-to place whenever I go home, and I can’t do anything to save it from here.

    3. Honestly, this shutdown should have minimal economic impact over the long haul. Those jobs mostly did not vanish, they were just put on pause for the duration.

      …except for the places that were OK, and just didn’t have two months put by ‘just in case’ the state lost their mind.

      1. I wonder how many businesses have owners whose parents went through the Depression and pounded the “always prepare for the worst” into their heads? I’d lay odds those will likely be able to reopen. Many won’t.

        But.

        I rather doubt this will completely kill entrepenuerial spirit. Some businesses are closed for good. There will be new businesses opened. Yes, it’s harder these days to open a new business. Regulations, at least at state level, are still ridiculous to my eyes. Yes, the ones that are closed, some of them had their life savings tied up and are in dire straits. I’m not discounting the suicides, the divorces, and all the rest either.

        We’re not as bad off yet as we could be, is all I’m getting at.

        1. Well, yes, shooting someone in the foot is unlikely to make them not run if running is their passion… but that doesn’t mean shooting people in the foot isn’t going to greatly reduce the number of runners.

        2. If this doesn’t kill entrepreneurial spirit I’d BE SHOCKED. Why? Because why work your ass into the ground when you can be shut down on the whim of the government?
          WHY do you think other countries lack self-starters?

            1. I’d like to point out Heinlein’s admonition about rigged games: “Certainly the game is rigged. Don’t let that stop you; if you don’t bet you can’t win.”

          1. I am hoping you, and my inner pessimist are both wrong. That when Trump is re-elected that so much will change that people *will* want to take risks again. Slowly, even in the best of cases I can come up with that I only maybe half believe in. Eventually.

            When I say I don’t think it will completely kill entrepenuerial spirit, I mean it will still be there. Reduced by a lot- a whole lot- yes, I absolutely agree with. And maybe this is the area where I’m a crazed optimist (shush, yes, I know. But it could happen). Just that there will be obvious places where there is an economic need that some guy or gal will want to make a quick buck off of, and maybe one in ten thousand says “what the heck.”

            I’m *hoping* it happens in my lifetime. In the next forty-fifty years or so, if I’m extremely lucky. Because I believe we *can* come back from this, even though it has been the *stupidest,* bar none, thing we’ve done as a country in my lifetime and yes, I include 2008 in that as well (by a nose).

            If the lockdown shenanigans persist, then we are doomed.

            If there is massive civil disobedience, outcry, and rebellion against this egregious overreach, such that it becomes a stain that won’t come out on those who hyped it and made it worse… Well, it’d be nice, but I can’t believe in it. There have been baby steps in that direction, good. But not enough. Not yet anyway.

            I guess we shall see. And in the mean time, we save what we can. And when we can, we build- under, over, around, and bloody well through when we can.

            1. I would argue that 2012 was WAY stupider than 2008, because that time they KNEW what they were voting for, instead of merely SUSPECTING.
              ———————————
              Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!!

              1. The GOP ran Bob Dole against Clinton in ’96 and John McCain against Obama in ’12.

                I voted against the incumbent in each as a matter of principle… but we may have dodged bullets there. I disliked Dole and McCain to start with, but after they decloaked and went completely lizard… well, at least Clinton and Obama were the devils we knew.

                1. Technically 12 was Mittens. Not sure if he is worse or better than McVain. Worse in the sense that hasn’t gotten final comeuppance yet but they run neck and neck.

              2. yeah, but there were all these “great” economic news just before the election, and everyone told us it was just paying off now.
                Also, honestly, 2012 was theft, pure and simple. I poll watched.

            2. It may not kill the spirit. It will kill the trust. Next time they are told to shut down they will tell the teller to go-to-hell. It will hit the courts immediately and probably the cartridge box not long after. This is on top of many of the Sheriffs refusing to enforce at once, not just after two months. Although the cops have shown a level of sanity not expected in not quite pushing people past the lock-and-load point. To the arm up point definitely, just not to the load the arms point.

          2. Won’t kill entrepreneurial spirit, more likely it will drive it underground. Barter, black market, off the grid. You know, a lot like what you saw in Portugal, certainly how they managed to survive in Soviet block countries during the worst of the cold war.
            Which means it won’t really be America any more, but honestly that concept has been slipping away from us since we lost the opportunity to say the hell with it and head west.

  9. I have been noting which way the flock was wandering…and setting off in a different direction for most of my life. Oh, I got along with the leftover Hippies I ran into at my first job (Comic book store, in Cleveland, in the ’70’s), I just considered their politics imbecilic.Often, I look at both sides of a cultural divide and conclude they are BOT full of dung. I felt that way about ‘Gay Marriage’; the rank and file gays had a good deal of justice on their side, and the ‘marriage is between a man and a woman’ people struck me as historically ignorant. OTOH, the Gay Activists of the day were full of ‘transgressive sex is a revolutionary act’ nonsense that is going to come back to bite SOMEBODY.

    *sigh*

    I sincerely hope that my fellow citizens live up to my image of them, and take the petty annoyances and smug rights-violations that the Political Class has pushed, and cram them up assorted arses.

    1. There have been a number of times when I’ve wanted to declare neutrality in the culture wars. OTOH there are a few fronts where I really am a wild-eyed extremist. (“I’m a moderate when it comes to gun-control. I believe that children under 18 ought to be required to obtain parental permission before they buy full-auto machine guns.”)

      1. The thing is, I almost never want to declare neutrality; it’s almost always either ‘you both have some points, so why are you being jerks’ or ‘a pox on both your houses’. I tend to have throng opinions, but they seldom match anybody’s talking points.

        I am awfully tired of the Progressive Panjandrums, though. But I don’t think most of them really have opinions beyond ‘this position will help me politically’.

        I’m not even Libertarian, really. I’m a Crank.

        I think that the Third World was better off under The Colonial Yoke, and that it’s a pity there’s nobody with the culture to replace the Victorian British in that regard. I think that Free Trade is a mug’s game when there are players like China and (to a slightly lesser degree) Japan in the mix. I think that both sides of the Marijuana legalization debate are full of dung; the Prohibitionist won’t admit they’ve lost, and the ‘Legal Marijuana will fix everything’ crowd are delusional.

        1. Eh. The Stay Off My Lawn Party has room for plenty of opinions. And plenty of onions as I first typed. Opinions can throng together or be completely standoffish, and everybody can have as many as they want- so long as they aren’t forced upon a single soul elsewise.

          We’re strongly Constitutionalist and strongly in favor of government keeping its bloody paws to itself in any and all ways but the few we permit. And I do mean few. It’d be a rather rough time to start out perhaps, but you could open a lemonade stand without a permit and customers could bloody well buy a cup at their own risk, too.

        2. Most of the time in looking at US politics I’m with Henry Kissinger (commenting on the Iran-Iraq war): “It’s a shame they can’t both lose.”

        3. I tend to have throng opinions


          Sounds more like your opinions run counter to the Throng. Or did you mean ‘thong opinions’? Those should be kept private.

          I’m on the third side of the marijuana issue — legalization would be less stupid than what we’ve got now. It only took our grandparents 13 years to give up on Prohibition; WHY is the War On (Some) Drugs still going after 60 years? Can anybody actually be that stupid, or is something else going on? Laws are not meant to be obeyed, they are meant to be broken, to give the government leverage over us?
          ———————————
          If you call 911 and tell them somebody with a gun is breaking into your house, they will send two cops in 10 or 15 minutes. If you tell them somebody is breaking into your house and YOU have a gun, they will send 10 or 15 cops in two minutes.

            1. Depending on when people break into my place – I have two options: my carbine – or my bearded axe. The brilliant thing about being Irish is that I glow in the dark – no need for a flashlight!

          1. The War on Some Drugs provides somewhere around 30,000 Federal jobs and at least that many state, county, and city jobs. And since “winning” would mean they would lose their places at the trough, they’re even less inclined to be efficient than the usual government flunkies. Though exceedingly militarized…

            1. And a revenue stream outside the budget we could vote out the fools who spend the regular funds. “Make war support war.”

            2. Hey, while we’re at it, let’s get rid of all the other law enforcement folks, too!

              No matter how many thieves and murderers you catch, there’s always more– so clearly, it’s useless.

              Save that money like crazy!

              1. As we’re seeing in CA, NY, and several blue cities. thieves aren’t being prosecuted either these days (never mind emptying the jails so contaminated with WuhanFlu thieves, rapists, etc. can’t stay in them but people arrested not wearing masks CAN), so…..

          2. They also accepted that they had to get an amendment passed to outlaw it as opposed to the rule by edict that the WoD uses (FDA says what drugs have medicinal purposes)

      2. But you are fine with them having semi-auto machine guns without parental permission?
        (Yes I know, but he/she/it started it with his full-auto machine gun.)

        1. You mean like .45mm Glocks? Sure. The low recoil makes them just dandy for kids. 🙂

  10. And now I feel bad about not being much more loudly contrarian.

    I’d just gotten over a case of ‘really pissy’ with some of the internet commentators about that shooting death down in Georgia.

    Some of it is relatively sound. Vigilantism is not a purely wonderful thing.

    But some of it comes from pro ‘criminal justice reform’ lawyers, and them handwringing about vigilantism really irritates.

    If Lawyers were not blinded by their professional training, they would see that if they screw up the criminal ‘justice’ system badly enough, laymen will cease preferring it to vigilantism. And vigilantism makes quite a few mistakes with identity, evidence, etc. A shift in preference to vigilantism has three likely causes: a) Lawyers changing the legal system blindly with regard to how well it serves their lay customers b) Criminal justice reform c) The wonderfully intelligent persons who decided that Covid-19 was a good excuse to release a bunch of prisoners.

    If someone is trying to tell a story of wider responsibility for that incident, and they have anything to do with criminal justice reform, or any formal legal training, they have no principled ground to object to also being held to blame.

    Okay, Shaun King’s habit of framing innocent folks maybe has something to do with people being willing to presume that this was a good shoot until proven otherwise, and some of the people who are concerned about this incident were not fooled by Shaun King. And the mass house arrest is stressful for very many people, and stress makes stupidity more likely. And some folks are concerned about spread of germs, and there are some not too terribly insane paths from that to vigilante use of forces against strangers wandering around a neighborhood, especially when the government proves it is milking a boar’s tits level indifferent to being useful. So it is more complicated than “it is really the fault of the lawyers”.

  11. But more than that, I wondered why we were doing this all in a rush and following a completely unproven strategy …

    You fool! You’d doom us all!

    Don’t you realize that when officials tell you it is an emergency, everyone must IMMEDIATELY get from streets?

  12. The huddle in place orders had little or no affect on my life. Before and during the pandemocrat panic (I still think, more than anything else, if not planned, it was still utilized and extended to make the economy fail before the November elections so they can get rid of that terrible orange man.) I’d make two or three trips a week to North Pole to check my mail, run in to the big city (Fairbanks, Alaska) once a week at the most, usually every other week for shopping and getting cranky if I couldn’t get in and out of town in less than 3 hours.

    & yep, the cure’s going to be far worse than the illness. The scramble’s already started, I just read that the mayor of New York City, Warren Wilhelm Jr, is saying they can’t afford to end the lockdown, to open NYC unless the feds give them $7.5 billion. Oh well….

      1. Perhaps they could try cutting expenses, such as his wife’s make-work job with its $1 billion budget?

        Or is that just crazy talk?

        More crazy talk, from nicole Gelinas who knows her dollars and has good cents:

        NYC should be rushing to furlough workers who can collect from the feds
        Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio brought up the F-word: furloughs. Without massive federal aid, he warned, Gotham will have to “furlough and layoff … the exact people who have been the heroes in this crisis,” namely, “the first responders, the health-care workers.”

        Hizzoner is making a threat here. But a responsible mayor and council would be using furloughs as a tool: transfer people who aren’t doing immediately essential work to the expanded federal safety net, starting, yes, with the Department of Education.

        New York City employs nearly 335,000 people — and plans only 1,000 job cuts over the next six weeks. Even as the city asks for more federal aid, it isn’t using the federal aid Congress already provided through the CARES Act: expanded unemployment benefits that allow any single breadwinner who earns the average household income to have all of his or her income replaced for nine months.

        This system has flaws, including swamped state unemployment systems. But it’s also a lifeline to millions of retailers, restaurants, arts institutions, museums and so forth, who can at least know, as they lay off staff temporarily, that their workers are protected.

        Our city government, too, has tens of thousands of workers, at least, who can’t do their job in a lockdown. The Department of Education, with 149,000 workers, makes up nearly half that workforce.

        These workers do critical tasks in normal times — but can’t do them now. The DOE has nearly 1,500 school-lunch workers, for example, who earn well below the median wage, about $35,000 to $40,000 a year. Save for a skeleton crew preparing to-go meals for parents to pick up, furlough them; the city could help individual workers as they apply for unemployment insurance and pledge not to let anyone lose a paycheck. The city could also continue paying health benefits.

        The city has 5,300 school-safety agents making less than $50,000 a year. Absurdly, de Blasio wants them to enforce social distancing, putting themselves at risk. Save for officers needed to secure meal-pickup sites, transfer them temporarily, too, to the federal safety net.

        Nearly 2,000 educational “community assistants,” who also make well below the median income? 11,000 paraprofessionals, who work with teachers and students, and who likewise make well below median income? With summer school canceled and online classes winding down, the city could transfer most to the federal safety net with no financial harm to workers.

        The city shows no compunction about laying off some education workers: bus drivers, because they work for private contractors, are already on furlough.

        [SNIP]

        This goes for the rest of the city’s workforce: Does the Taxi and Limousine Commission need 230 inspectors when the taxi and limousine business has fallen by 80 percent? 125 day-care inspectors, when day cares are shut? 250 food-safety inspectors, when restaurants are closed? The city simply can’t spend the $30.3 billion it expected to spend on labor for the fiscal year that started July 1. It should be taking advantage of a federal rescue that can cut this bill.

        [SNIP]

        No elected city official will speak publicly about this idea now, because it sounds mean. But what’s really mean is being quiet now, then having overcrowded classrooms and long waits for school lunches a year from now because the money has run out for students and for future laid-off workers.

        1. > Does the Taxi and Limousine Commission need 230 inspectors when the taxi and limousine business has fallen by 80 percent? 125 day-care inspectors, when day cares are shut? 250 food-safety inspectors, when restaurants are closed?

          That’s a silly question. Those aren’t just “government jobs”, they’re part of the political patronage system.

          Uh… you didn’t think that just any schmuck could get one of those, did you?

          1. When I was in college, one of my friends was a younger guy from New York. His goal in life was to be a trashman. Seriously. But you could only be a trashman with the right connections. Get those connections and you were golden. Good job, great paycheck, benefits… But you had to know the right people, he said.

            If that was the case for the guys that pick up the garbage over twenty years ago, I highly doubt it was any *less* for actual bureaucrats today in that city.

            1. You did watch the Soprano’s, right and understand that in NYC in many cases, being a trashman involves being involved in a lot more (and for the things it got wrong, it got the trash hauling part of “the business: very right). Just saying

              1. Eh. I’ve not watched tv much… nearly none, outside of what was required for work… in about two decades. I’m pretty sure I missed a few things. *chuckle*

              2. You have to very carefully ignore the specific nature of some of the ‘trash’ you haul?

            2. That’s probably just the nature of trash companies– it hits the sweet spot between things that nobody wants to go without, and stuff that the state will force you to do when the customer doesn’t pay. (Contrast with water, power, etc.)

              I know every place I know people who were involved in the trash business, it was both a highly sought after position and one you only got with connections. Including having a relative who was there through the quasi VFW connections– all lapsed Catholic Vietnam old hippies– who is still pissed that when the Mormon family bought the company, they fired everybody and hired all Mormons. \ (If I’ve got the timeline right, that would still be when his area was one of the places that got groups of Mormons who did *not* want to be noticed by the main Mormon church went. Was over a decade back, now. DEFINITELY not much like our neighbors in the Seattle Blob.)

              Fighting for the chance to haul trash sounds funny, doesn’t it?

              1. It’s very much one of those types of jobs I’m grateful other people do and I don’t have to. (So’s medicine. And not having to do customer service myself is one of the signal advantages of working for my employer over trying to do the same job freelance. It’s a varied category.) I’m glad to hear it’s something many of the people doing it want to do, if somewhat startled to learn that it’s so hard to get into!

        2. How many of those 149,000 Department Of Education employees are actual teachers? A third, at most?

          1. In terms of job title or ability/outcome? If the latter, I’d say you’re off by an order of magnitude

            1. Okay, how many of them stand in front of a classroom full of students on most school days, tell them what they’re supposed to learn, and hand out tests?

              Because, yeah, there’s teachers, and then there’s teachers.

              I’d bet at least half of those 149,000 are administrative deadwood that never set foot in a classroom.
              ———————————
              Well, you can’t really call it a lawn, but at least all the weeds are cut to the same height.

  13. There is a second reason that masks are commonly worn in Japan, particularly in Tokyo: hay fever. In the 1950s, central planners came up with the brilliant idea of creating a native forestry industry by planting millions of cedar trees. In a country where as much as 30% of the population has cedar pollen allergies. And they never harvested them, discovering it was much cheaper to import lumber.

    Over 30 million people spend months suffering every year because of this. This may be the single most practical product from legendary goofy-gadget maker Thanko: The Pollen Blocker.

    -j

  14. So the entire six feet nonsense? Sounded just like that, nonsense. Possibly because it is.

    I’d going to defend six feet, mildly, as a recommendation.

    Six feet is “we built in a margin of error for how people actually behave”. If you tell people used to being in close proximity, say two feet on average, to move to three feet, the average will move to about 2.5 feet. Most people have poor senses of linear distances. Most people don’t realize that six feet means “laydown with you head where your feet are now and you feet pointed that that person. Once you do there should be a noticeable gap between them and your feet.

    Here, where lots of stores have six feet marked at the registers and the lines to get in, people sill encroach those gaps.

    So, in the abstract, saying “stay about 6 feet apart” will, in dense areas, average about the actual 2-3 feet needed.

      1. Yes.

        In fact, there is a state trooper, from Michigan I believe, who says current limits are too low because they don’t optimize that effect, specifically keeping people who insist on doing the limit too low, while actually driving up top speeds of speeders.

    1. As China uses the archaic and obscure French measurement system, surely the distancing recommendation for the Chinese Communist Party Virus from Wuhan, China where Winnie is God-Emperor should be in meters.

      1. Six feet is the exact height of God-Emperor Winnie, of course!

        Remember when ‘a foot’ was the length of the King’s foot? And it changed when a new King took the throne?

        1. Actually, most of the Middle Eastern and European length measurement systems were based on barleycorns. You laid out X number of barleycorns, marked off the length, divided by the number of barleycorns, and that was your “standard barleycorn”, the average size of barleycorns in your locality. Not perfect, but something any schmuck could do for himself. More than accurate enough for any reasonable use.

          The Industrial Revolution and its requirements for tighter measurements led to government-standardized measures, which are considerably less convenient and more expensive. My set of Johanssen blocks is past its re-certification date…

  15. Sure, they WERE and are essential businesses, and note I’m not saying they should be closed.

    Who knows what is essential? Who knows how that is decided and by whom? Why are there not public metrics posted, subject to appeal?

    Why won’t state government tell everyone what ‘essential’ really means?
    It’s been a month and a half since Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered all “nonessential” businesses shuttered as part of New York’s COVID-19 lockdown, and we’re still no closer to knowing exactly what “non-essential” means.

    Cuomo singled out some businesses as “essential” in his March PAUSE order, but put the Empire State Development Corp. in charge of actually making the calls. That’s the same state agency that oversaw Cuomo’s disastrous upstate economic-development projects, including the corruption-ridden Buffalo Billion scandal.

    And it’s not transparent with the public about its new job: It denied two freedom-of-information requests for a list of businesses declared essential from the watchdog at the Government Justice Center. (The center is appealing, a process that can take weeks.)

    The governor and his minions should always be transparent — but especially now, when Cuomo has vast power to handle the crisis as he sees fit. It makes little sense for the state to declare some businesses open and order others closed without letting anyone know what the criteria are.

    ESDC should release the lists right away, as well as the specific criteria it uses — as well as the details on its decisions as the state starts to reopen.

    Forcing a court fight for this info, when an orderly reopening depends on maximum transparency, is just perverse.

    1. Are you assuming that the essential designation is somehow fair and objective, rather than being subject to graft and influence? I know the way I’d bet, especially with the efforts to hide the list.

  16. I think it’s important to remember that much of this started with a hysteria fueled by the Propaganda Press. And that the Democrats have LONG had a policy of governing as the “crooked auto mechanic”, secretly breaking things so they can charge you to fix them.

    And the CHICOM biological attack, whether accidental or deliberate, provided perfect cover for them. No, I do NOT put deliberate out of consideration. The Chinese Communist Party has been buying influence with the Dems since the mid-90s…and Trump has been working to implement a strategic shift to the Pacific as the primary area of interest, China as the primary potential opponent.

    So the Dems are going to milk the pandemic for all the damage they can, scapegoat Trump for it, then use any relief spending bills to implement their Left-fascist agenda.

    The good news? I think the GOP understands what the Left is doing. Trump may understand that if he loses, he may well be jailed out of spite. And the Obama/Clinton scheme to steal the 2016 election and undermine the Trump administration after he won anyway is now being exposed.

    It’s hard to win elections when you’re campaigning from a prison cell.

      1. While that seems an advance in efficiency there are probably a few politicians who don’t earn jail time for their deeds in office.

  17. restaurants, maybe — thank you Fat Jared — might open in May, but at a third capacity

    Show me the restaurant whose market strategy relies on never running more than a third of capacity and I’ll show you a restaurant planning to launder money.

    Because otherwise there’s no way they remain in business. And even if it is feasible, they’re laying off kitchen and wait staff because excess capacity is a hole through which your money drains.

  18. If I see one more kiddie in a mask, I’m going to …

    Relax. Kids like masks. Kids like emulating their parents — who do (sorta, kinda) need masks. It does the kids about equal amounts good and harm to wear the mask and alleviates endless querying of parents in one category. If that were all that’s being done it wouldn’t much matter. This is growling at a sapling while Birnam Wood is marching.

    1. I’m waiting on a spate of armed robberies where the perps are well-enough masked to be unidentifiable. *Especially* if it’s a favored business/personage.

  19. I’m having a crisis of faith over the leadership of my church

    We’ve lived in truly wonderful times, with at least two Popes in my memory who have raised up the office. They are exceptions and to hope for three in a row is to bet on filling an inside straight flush. Church leadership is usually going to disappoint, except when they appall.

    They do not control access to His Word or to His Throne, so take solace and keep your eyes on those.

    To paraphrase Samuel Johnson, Admirable church leadership is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.

  20. Tell me truthfully — Malignancy never touches cash, never balances a checking account, right? She has people for that, doesn’t she? She just has a credit (or debit) card she uses (or has an underling use) and an accountant or ‘bot makes sure the charge is covered. Money is just an abstraction to her and she’s got so much money that devaluing it doesn’t really affect her, does it?

    Because this is not a good idea. Why do they still think Venezuela an admirable role model? (Other than Maduro’s ability to stay in power in spite of widespread public hatred.)

    House Democrats Propose Extending Incentives For Unemployment Through January
    House Democrats unveiled their latest pandemic relief package Tuesday proposing $3 trillion for a progressive wishlist. The bill allocates money to long-advocated programs featuring an extension of exorbitantly high payments in unemployment insurance keeping it more profitable for workers to remain on government assistance rather than a full-time employer.

    Titled the “Heroes Entering Roles Of Education Service (HEROES) Act,” House Democrats are proposing a six month extension of the beefed up benefits from the CARES Act passed in March which spiked federal unemployment insurance with $600 a week on top of whatever the state already provides with no cap on earnings. …

    1. Sigh. OF COURSE she did.

      Pelosi sneaks SALT tax cut for the wealthy into Democratic stimulus bill
      Amid government orders shutting down employment, more than 30 million Americans have lost their jobs. Entire industries are months if not weeks away from permanent collapse. Disproportionately hurt are low-income workers, more than half of whom report having someone in their household lose a job or take a pay cut as a result of the coronavirus. Nearly two in five lower-income earners say someone in their household has lost a job outright, and fewer than 1 in 4 have at least a three-month rainy day fund.

      In evaluating our spending and re-opening measures, these are the workers and families we must prioritize. After all, higher-income earners are the ones who can disproportionately work from home and already have ample savings. Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has prioritized giving the wealthy a tax cut in form of a temporary elimination of the state and local tax deduction cap.

      [END EXCERPT]

      “Temporary” to ensure they keep financing the Democrats, the “the workers’ party.” After all, why cure an ill when there’s more money in providing temporary symptoms relief?

      1. The SALT tax is a big deal in blue areas. And one of the reasons for that is because both local taxes and cost of living tends to be much higher in blue areas. Someone who’s rich in Pocatello might be just getting by in Pelosi’s home district.

        1. Of course both would not be as a high if the governments in those states and cities were not engaged in the business of redistributing wealth and in particular redistributing it to government employees. When Governor Murphy “warns” of mass government employee layoffs my reaction is that they need to make a lot of those permanent.

        2. High state and local taxes and high cost of living (a result of local housing policies to a considerable extent) do not merit subsidies from states which better manage their economies — which is what the SALT breaks constitute.

          And I wager that is a subsidy Andy Cuomao doesn’t take into account when declaiming about his state being a “net tax contributor” to the Federal government. For that matter, having grown up in West Virginia where strip mines are often owned by out of state (e.g., New York) financial interests I’m doubtful that Andy takes that looting of other states’ economies into consideration, either.

          1. I’m not arguing with you about subsidizing people in those areas. But I’m pointing out that for the people who live in those areas, SALT is a very big thing. And part of that is because someone who’s rich in some parts of the country would be barely getting by in others. In parts of the country with a lower cost of living, it seems like a “help the rich” thing. But in some parts of the country represented by Pelosi’s party, Pelosi’s SALT move (if successful) would help members of the middle class just get by.

            1. I understand that studies have shown that the exchange of SALT deductibility for higher standard deduction has meant that only the very wealthy (or rather, highly taxed — the two are not synonymous) lose by the rule. I spite of what the Dems claim, very few of those harmed by loss of the SALT deduction are in the middle class. You could look it up.

              When people calculate their benefit from itemizing deductions there is a tendency to forget that the benefit of that itemization is only the amount by which they exceed your standard deduction. Think of it this way: when your realtor advises you that your mortgage interest is deductible, if your annual interest is twelve thousand and your standard deduction is ten, that only shields an additional two thousand of income against taxation (if your rate is 36% this “excess” deduction will save you $720 … this year. Next year when your interest paid is eleven thousand five hundred and your adjusted for inflation deduction is ten thousand five hundred you only save $360 and the year after when the interest paid and the deduction are both eleven thousand you gain nothing by itemizing.

              Sure, I’ve shrunk the time scale and fiddled the numbers for the purpose of dramatizing the illustration, but it remains valid.

              Oh, and I probably understated the effect of the higher standard deduction — a quick search reveals that in 2019 it is “$12,200 for single and Married Filing Separately filers, $24,400 for married filing jointly and widow filers, and $18,350 for Heads of Household” meaning “it will not be beneficial for most taxpayers to itemize.” And remember: the SALT cap merely means that your State & Local taxes in excess of $10,000 are not deductible. And keep in mind that the SALT deduction merely represents a deduction in taxable income, presumably at a level of 37%, or about $370 of each additional $1,000 of income. Nothing to sneeze at but remember, before that takes effect you’re talking about people in a very high income group, almost surely in the much reviled 1% and all we’re effectively talking about here is a higher marginal rate — I’m not going to attempt the math but I doubt it would raise their tax rate above 40% … still somewhat lower than Democrats like to offer the highest earners.

              I am not inclined to search for support but will merely observe that if you are being hurt by losing the SALT deduction you probably can afford to move.

    2. The Democrats are going to run on “We tried to give you money when the economy was shut down.”
      The Republicans are going to run on “The Democrats are the reason the economy was shut down in the first place.”

      Which one wins is going to depend strongly on how things turn out in the red states. In case you were wondering why they were so vehemently opposed to the states opening back up. They know Emperor Wu Flu has no clothes. The last thing they need is little Georgia pointing that out.

  21. Explaining this to people instantly brands you as Not Sheep, and it’s disappointing to discover how many people that I know are sheep or wolves. And, the hideously uncomfortable feeling that I’m a sheepdog alone with either the sheep or wolves.

    My family-I had this very uncomfortable revelation on Sunday. They were ghoulishly delighting in the idea of having Trump and Pence die from Wuhan Flu/COVID-19, so Nancy Pelosi can become President and “get things working again.” I will freely admit that I have had the occasional idle fantasy of Obama during his administration dying when a thirty pound frozen turkey, falling out of a clear blue sky, crashes directly through his chest. Preferably while playing golf or catching an illicit smoke outside the Oval Office.

    But, note the absurdity of the idea-entirely strange and odd and kind of funny, in a dark sort of way. Hey, I’ve got Bill Clinton’s ticket punched for a middle-service term in the Garden of Perfect Delights when he finally shuffles off the mortal coil, so satire of political figures is not unknown for me.

    The parents and my sister wanted to see two men that have not done them any harm in a measurable way-beyond their existence-die a terrible death. Every report of what it’s like to have COVID-19 in a bad way is not what I would wish on my worse enemies. Yet, people I love are wishing it and cheering on people that want it to happen.

    I’m listening to people scream that if we have to make massive changes to our lives and social distance and closing businesses, or we’re murdering people because the Wuhan Flu is EVERYWHERE and we have to be careful. The sounds of Emmanuel Goldstein and the fear of wreckers and saboteurs everywhere, hidden in a viral packet.

    My big curiosity is going to be what happens with Elon Musk. He’s a fighter, Texas will bend themselves into a mobeus loop to get his company and his money there, and California and Alameda County either have to enforce their orders or face the consequences of not enforcing it. My bet is that Musk is ready to hit back with facts and information…the last thing they want.

    1. Well, Texas will have to change the law forbidding the direct sale of cars. In this state all new car sales must go through a licensed dealer.

    2. I do not want Musk here. He’ll cut and run once he’s gotten the money, and leave a lot of people stranded. BTDT with the .gov. He can stay in CA or NV.

      1. Musk is already majorly in the Lone Star State with SpaceX, both in MacGregor for rocket testing and such and down at the bottom pointy bit at Boca Chica where he’s building the Starship out of hand-welded rolled stainless and ghostly waves from RAH channeling D. D. Harriman.

        He’s also already in Nevada wherein they built the ginormous new Tesla battery plant outside Reno.

        That’s why he mentioned NV and TX – he has direct experience doing business in more normal states vs. Dear Leader Gavin’s Glorious People’s Bear Flag Republic.

        I do sense a bit of internal angst, however, between Elon’s obvious silicon valley leftward bent and the rightward imperatives of being a solar-system-spanning capitalist business icon.

    3. Musk has effectively won. Even Gov. Newsome is avoiding a confrontation with Musk over this, calling it a purely local dispute.

        1. They’re going to fold. Noisome could have ignored a few thousand irate constituents who couldn’t make the move with Tesla, the local Alameda pols don’t have that luxury.

          1. They folded with a “we’re going to review the plan and make our comments” face-saving gesture.

            Watch as other people try and push the boundaries soon.

    4. Idiot Never Trumper Bill Kristol actually promoted that idea over the weekend; he even went so far as to claim that because their self-quarantining would make them unfit to serve and thus Pelosi would become POTUS. Mind you this is someone who claims, laughably at this point, to be a conservative, who would rather have Nancy Freakin Commie Pelosi as POTUS rather than Trump or Pence.

      1. The Never Trumpers are little more than a reskin of the Establishment Republicans that hated the fact that they lost. (E!Republicans are, AFAIK, the political equivalent of abused spouses. They don’t want the current abuse to stop, because they’ve gotten use to it and any change could be worse.)

        1. I’ve concluded that aside from their extremely irritating condescension, the thing with Newer Trumpers is they’re really motivated by class -as in, the President is not One of Them, and only people of either party who are One of Them are qualified for office.

          1. Which has been Trump’s life in a nutshell. He’s a real estate developer from Queens, who pretty much bailed out the banks and investors in Manhattan and New York proper in the early ’80s, and made them the money they have today. And, they always treated him-outside of business-like an oink with warm, fresh pig shit on his shoes.

            Trump is at the age where the only thing he really has left to do on his list (he’s rich, he’s got a family, he’s got a legacy) is revenge against his enemies and all the people that snubbed him over the years. Since most of them are Democrats in the New York mold, which is to say the nearest thing the United States has to an aristocratic upper class these days, he’s going to make all of them suffer. That he was able to take the election from their Anointed Candidate, actually running things better than they thought he could, having zero respect for the media and the people they think are important,

            1. I wonder who recommended Barr to Trump. This Attorney-General is clearly the consigliere Trump needed from Day 1.

              1. Not quite the perfect consigliere. A perfect consigliere would have arranged more hilarious and untraceable fatal “accidents” (i.e. > 0) for some of the particular idiots.

                But seriously, Barr has been doing a very good job. Give him and Trump four more years and we might turn a good corner.

          2. Keep in mind that Bill Kristol’s ascent to the Big Stage of politics was as Vice-President Quayle’s chief of staff. ow, I think Danny was woefully under appreciated but you would think anybody as bright as Kristol believes himself to be would take a lesson from that experience.

            1. I think it’s interesting that there was never an equivalent memetic nickname for the “I’d crawl through broken glass naked to cast my vote for a syphylitic camel rather than vote for The Dowager Empress of Chappaqua” voters, even though they made the difference in the end.

    5. > so Nancy Pelosi can become President and “get things working again.”

      That may be the new Democrat thing. A few days ago a hardcore Democrat was lecturing me on how much better Obama was than Trump, because Obama “got things done!”

      The conversation went downhill after I told him we’ve spent most of the last three years trying to undo those things…

      1. I genuinely think that Obama won’t be considered our most venal president of the last 100 years (that award goes to Bill Clinton), but he’s seriously in the running for just the most inadequate President.

        1. I dunno – Bill just took advantage of the perks – if Barry actually directed the three letter agencies to withhold information on what they were doing from the incoming president’s administration, that exceeds anything Bill did with a cigar and a dress.

          1. Yea, but nobody’s going to talk about it for years, just the same way a lot of the Clinton hi-jinks are still buried. Nobody wants to catch a suicide.

      2. Ok. Let’s use CV. Failure 1: establishing true danger early enough – intelligence failure. Failure 2: Preparedness (restock of supplies, etc). Failure 3: CDC testing and FDA incompetence. Failure 4: Treatment testing with drugs that didn’t enrich Fauci.

        1. Intelligence agencies were too busy playing politics.
        2. Should have been restocked after 2009 and should have had a plan of purchase X, “sell” Y to states to cycle product so have working, in-date equipment.
        3. The Testing cluster is because we went “by the book” We did not leverage testing available in Europe already by major labs (Not WHO but IIRC Roche had approved tests being used in Gerrmany back in Feb-ish), did not leverage the multiple testing companies we have (Quest, Labcorp, Abbot, etc). We let the CDC define it, the FDA to approve it, and when that basket fell it all broke.
        4. Falsi does have monetary interests in vaccines and part of the regulatory capture is that companies put lots of pressure on agencies to do their will. When the HCQ cocktail was suggesting positive results all that was done is push back against it and begrudgingly allow it to be used in the last stages where it was not likely useful as was already being shown by most of those using it. Later, the trial for Remdesivir is tweaked so that instead of requiring decrease in mortality it only needed to shorten time of illness because they were not seeing mortality change.

        Pretty much all of these are failures of the government over a decade (2 and 3) where the “;normal’ was followed while 1 was function of the rot in govt sped along by dear reader. 4 is just more standard government corruption, supercharged by orangemanbad.

        The only difference that would have happened with a different president would have been that the press wouldn’t have hyped under a dem and failures would be smoothed over rather than blamed.

        1. On 1, from open source information plus area knowledge of how much travel there is between China and Silicon Valley I was thinking the 武漢肺炎中國冠狀病毒來自中國武漢,神皇帝溫妮統治 * would roll over the US by mid-Feb and end up cancelling a planned vacation the last week of February – I was much surprised when the trip happened, and even completed before the hammer fell the second week of March. But my point is that totally-open-source data was looking like it might be a Ringo-event way back on the first week of January.

          The possibility that the line analyst intel folks with access to intel intercepts and those very few surviving US assets inside China were not madly ringing alarm bells back in December frankly boggles my mind. Now intel higher ups blocking those alarms? Yep, I believe that.

          * “wǔ hàn fèi yán zhōng guó guàn zhuàng bìng dú lái zì zhōng guó wǔ hàn, shén huáng dì wēn nī tǒng zhì” = “The Wuhan Pneumonia Chinese Coronavirus from Wuhan China where God-Emperor Winnie reigns” per Bing translate

        2. And on 2), this is standard hospital supply process, and standard military med gear supply rotation as well – that is, there are lot of people both civilian and military who know how to do this. Thus the reason it did not happen, either at the local and state level (looking at you, Jerry Brown) or the federal level is purely not telling (and funding) someone to do it.

      3. Obama got things done? You mean like persuading Iran to accept pallets of several billion dollars in cash to pretend they weren’t continuing development of a nuclear device? You mean like Fast & Furious and siccing the IRS on political opponents?

        Of course, Obama hadn’t been hamstrung by the previous administration creating a wholly false “collusion” narrative or routinely filibustering the most jejune administration and judicial appointments.

        Somehow I suspect your Democrat lecturer was opposed to everything Trump tried to “get done” and would deny Trump credit for what he did get done — just as they’ve tried to claim the last three years of economic growth were the results of the Obama policy overhang.

  22. A minor question occurs to me: will the (how long until the) government decide that “essential” jobs deserve better pay, or perhaps a tax discount for essential work might be incorporated ito the code?

    After all, when we have nurses and doctors Hospital Staff (they also serve who only empty bedpans!) risking their lives to protect ours does it make sense to tax them more than Wall Street speculators who merely pass around money?

    Yechhh – just typing that leaves me filled with self-loathing (above and beyond my usual dosage.) Even if I put a Sarc tag on it there will be too many too ready to declare it a brilliant proposal.

    1. Two points:

      1. Banks and Wall Street traders are essential and have continued to work.

      2. At least one bank, BoA, is giving “hazard pay” (although they are not calling it that) to people out in the branches working.

        1. I was going to call you out for misspelling “propagandists” but decided yours is a legitimate alternate spelling.

    2. You forgot ‘they also serve who only fill out government forms’ which describes a distressing number of Hospital Staff. Not to mention insurance forms.
      ———————————
      Bring out yer dead!

  23. I don’t pay much attention to celbrities, actrs nor comedians, but I can’t recall Kevin james among the Tim Allen crew of PC pponents …

    Actor Kevin James releases short film mocking strict coronavirus response
    Actor Kevin James released a short film mocking strict lockdown measures and the ways social distancing has been enforced during the coronavirus outbreak.

    The film, titled Out of Touch, was posted on the King of Queens star’s YouTube page and directly took shots at people who are afraid to shake hands and those who shame others for not wearing face masks.

    The story begins with James and another actor being chased by police through the woods, and at one point, the other actor is caught and can be heard being ripped to shreds by police dogs.

    The film then shifts to “six hours earlier” and shows the two men shaking hands in a park and being reported to the police by fellow parkgoers with masks on, which then lead to the chase in the opening scene.

    The video has been viewed over 600,000 times since it was posted on Friday.

    James also posted a short film called A Quarantine Birthday, which is centered around a man who is forced to celebrate his birthday alone with a virtual reality headset on.

    He posted another coronavirus-related video on Tuesday titled I Miss Baseball.

    Protests have erupted all across the country over the past few weeks, most notably in California and Michigan, as many people in the United States have grown frustrated with the lockdowns and business closures that have taken place despite the flattening of the infection curve.

    N.B. – Youtube link to Out of Touch to follow, other links embedded at article linked above.

    1. As promised, Youtube link to Out of Touch:

      “I got a couple hand-shakers right in front of me.”

  24. I don’t have a lot of faith that the states “opening up” will stay that way once someone massages the numbers to show the much anticipated “second wave.” A new round of panic and the Commissars will lock everything back down.

    Hopefully, I’m just being overly pessimistic.

    1. I don’t know how much they’d even have to massage the numbers, although I suppose some places will do it anyway. I think it was likely running amok since last fall, but even so, it seems likely that there will be some increase in cases when we resume interacting more, especially since everybody is stressed out now. Hopefully not too bad, and hopefully we don’t get any stupider about it than we have to.

      1. You don’t even need to look at renewed interaction providing more opportunities for infection. The simple fact that more and more people are being tested means that more infected individuals will be discovered.

      2. The people are mathematically illiterate and terrified of the numbers. The media doesn’t have to massage the numbers anymore. They’ve got people thinking with lizard brain completely and utterly.

      1. There was a huge demonstration, much underreported in local media, oout in front of Dear Leader Gavin’s capitol building up in Sacramento last week – PJM story points to the vid of a guy with a bullhorn appearing to shame the line of riot police into standing down: “I’d rather lose my job than my soul.”

        https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/megan-fox/2020/05/05/watch-cops-appear-to-stand-down-after-marine-vet-calls-them-out-for-harassing-protesters-id-rather-lose-my-job-than-my-soul-n388371

        1. Good

          The police need to have this fact shoved in their faces before they completely lose what little is left of the aforementioned souls. Hopefully they will take it to heart.

  25. But they’re open. HOWEVER the botanic gardens, which are outdoors, and where people walk more than six feet apart? Totally need to be closed.

    This is just government shutdown logic…like when Obama PAID to have barriers put up around parks and monuments which are normally opened and unmanned because of the government shutdowns. It was to punish the peons for thinking they could do something other than what the lords of the manor wanted.

    The answer needs to be, and is getting close to, Jacquerie.

    We won’t discuss how on edge I am. However, this keeps up someone might snap with the theory that if they kill more people than are forecast to die of covid that will force reopening to avoid the higher death counts when then the next person snaps.

    1. No, not just anyone, it has to be the Right people, the RESPONSIBLE people, the ones who are doing this to us. THEY must be held Responsible only then will they fear and only then will they change.

      The People should NOT fear their Government, the Government should fear the People.

      The main reason for the 2ed.

    2. I loved the way a bunch of WW2 geezer Vets neatly disassembled and stacked the zer0-mandated barricades blocking the WW2 monument on the DC Mall. The guys that trashed the Reich and the Empire, simultaneously, were supposed to be defeated by

      portable fences and zip ties and idiot-orders?

  26. So on the comments about the various “essential worker” handouts that have been made.

    I recently started thinking more about these, they’re *always* aimed at healthcare / firefighter / police (also note, these are also typically strongly Dem voter bloks by way of the union influence.) My thought was all the workers considered “non-essential” then by the people writing these bills, yet who are ALSO expected to show up for work like nothings changed.

    Namely, the grocery store workers, the trash guys, electricians, plumbers, etc.

    If I could say one thing to them, if ANY of these types of bills pass, it would be “well, seeing as you’re considered non-essential, go home. Just go, leave work right now, if you’re driving a company vehicle, either take it back to the yard and go home, or if you’re close enough, park it, lock it, and walk home while calling your boss (who ALSO should be packing up their things) to let them know where you left it and to come get the keys. Then sit back with a big bucket of popcorn and watch the fireworks when your so-called betters realize they can no longer get groceries, their basement is flooding from a burst pipe, and the lights are out.”

    I’ve yet to go anywhere I’ve had to wear a mask (other people are, but no one has stopped me and said “no shirt, no shoes, no mask, no service,”) but to avoid the screaming of the pod people I’ve had one in my pocket (just a construction-style dust mask.)

    1. I called our weekly take-out order in this afternoon and drove down to the restaurant to pick it up. They had half a dozen fresh “don’t even think about coming in here without a mask” signs on the door.

      I walked back to the car, started the engine, and on a whim called them on the phone and told them I’d just seen their sign saying I couldn’t come in, therefore I was leaving. The cashier on the phone was still asking me not to leave when one of the waiters opened the door and was motioning me in.

      Okay. I *really* had a jones for a nice chicken biryani. I turned the car off and gimped in to pick up my order. But it will be a long time before I go back.

  27. I had to stop at Menards today. Surprisingly they aren’t requiring customers to wear masks like I’d heard. They do however have a sign up prohibiting anyone under 16, with an ID requirement if asked. I kinda wanted to flag down a manager and ask: 1) what do you do with the parents that have toddlers they can’t leave in the car? Do you provide day care while they’re in the store. 2) What’s the infection rate of teens? Last I heard it was the lowest among pretty much any group. 3) How does this prohibition work with the anti-discrimination laws regarding age? Most of the customers inside weren’t bothering with the theatre that the company is making the workers go through.

    Only about a third of the customers at the grocery store were wearing masks. I got one glance from a lady who looked liked she’d like to tell me off, but everyone else was just going about their business as usual and completely ignoring the taped arrows on the floor.

      1. When they tell me ‘you have to wear a mask’ I give ’em The Finger and walk out. NOT directed at the poor schlub on the door, but to the store in general. If only everybody would do that.

        1. I very obviously look at the sign, then turn around and leave.

          I’d look silly flipping people off, anyways; had to get a revolver that isn’t pink or any other bright color just so it will add a LITTLE threat if I have to use it.

            1. Went with a .38 special that looks identical to J Random Detective or Cop from any pre-60s movie, on the theory that not only does it look scary, but anything that routinely survived the abuse an issued firearm does and still fired reliably was a good fit for my diaper bag.

          1. A friend is in his late fifties. He’s an FFL, a motorcycle mechanic, and a patched member of a “motorcycle club”, complete with chest-length beard and tattoos. He carries a pink Taurus .357 revolver.

            I gave him a Babylon Bee T-shirt for his birthday. He wears it to all his church meetings…

  28. The over reaction to this bug is calculated and intentional. Trump a very gutsy old coot, but his Kryptonite is germs. He is a well known germaphobe. The constant drumbeat of doom and infectious gonna-getchoo gloom is weaponized and directed. Hostile foreign powers are exploiting it. Treasonous swine here in the USA are aiding it, knowingly or not. I -hope- Trump has a vindictive streak. What a pay-per-view it could be….

    Ahem.

    Name and shame folks. Don’t accept a return to the status-quo-ante.

    What warms my heart is the snowball-rolling-into-behemoth of defiance. All these little smoldering brush fires of red-blooded-Liberty-DNA -defiance-. So proud of my countrymen (and women).

    Would you be Free? Disobey.

  29. I’m considering going around singing, “They’re coming to take me away, ha ha, They’re coming to take me away, haha (repeat until tired of it).

  30. I’m at the point where the words, “Out of an abundance of caution, we…” causes me to go into, “Extremely irritated customer,” mode. I read them on a sign at Micheal’s this morning, after waiting patiently (maskless) in line to return some yarn. And yes, what they are doing out of an an abundance of caution is not taking in-store returns.

    1. I really wonder about the cognitive capabilities of the people who came up with these policies. Do they think that people use newly bought items as kleenexes to wipe their nose with? Or that there’s some sort of Covid fog that people bathe those items in as soon as they get home? Yeah, I have a virus bath that I store things in.

      And even if I DID have some sort of virus bath, why are you only concerned NOW, and not during flu season every bloody year?

      1. but what if they know chicom assets in the us are using exactly that technique to distribute the follow on strikes

  31. Out here my local has already pretty much given up. I stopped by for my weekly dinner last week, sat down in my usual spot at the bar to wait and to ensure the beer was still good, as is my (recent and lamentable) custom. When my food came the manager asked if I just wanted to eat it there. Of course I did, so I had my salad and wings more or less like normal. On Sunday I did the same thing and when the cook brought the pizza out and asked if I wanted to eat it here he said that bringing me a plate and napkins made him feel normal.

    There’s talk that the Lord Governor will allow restaurants to open if they keep a log that allows contact tracing of customers. I imagine that Jay Inslee and Heywood, the patriarch of the Jablowme clan, will be doing a lot of eating out across the state.

    1. That’s great news. Unfortunately in the Peoples Democratic Respublik of Oregon – that hasn’t really happened.

  32. Military commanders and sane people (which you’re not one of. Either of those) know that you don’t give an order you know won’t be obeyed.

    Interesting you mentioned that. Or to elaborate a bit more, as a half-finished nascent guest column of mine does…

    …the way certain American leaders seem to be veering more and ever more sharply toward just that kind of precipitous command-and-control cliff edge.

    “No, you will do it, and because I say so. Or else, bad for you!”

    “Uh, no sir, actually I don’t think I will.” “Me neither.” “You plannin’ on shootin’ at us with that fancy little pistol of yours, sir, or can we all just stay calm and friendly-like instead?” says the one with his index finger only a bit obviously alongside the trigger guard of his select-fire rifle.

    It’s too bad these guys keep forgetting they live (and rule) in a nation that quite literally exists because Americans can and did mutiny against lawful but improper authority.

    And also can’t seem to understand that “compliance testing” is a lot like “flight testing” a missile or “testing” a nuclear explosive: the test article typically no longer exists to be re-used once the testing is done. (No matter how badly you might wish otherwise: see “no more A-bombs for six months” after Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, and… Trinity.)

    And the way I heard it is a little stronger: Never give an order unless you’re certain it will be obeyed. If only these elected(?) buffoons knew the first thing about real leadership, especially in a crisis. Which of course is their real job.

    1. They need to remember the lessons of Vietnam.

      I don’t mean the one about fighting a land war in Asia, I mean the one about what happens to commanding officers who issue dumb-ass orders.

  33. Well, we all know what the shepherd does to the sheep when the night is cold and lonely, wink-wink, nudge-nudge.

    And I ain’t talking shearing or lamb chops, neither, although both are inevitable.

  34. BTW: In California District 25, previously represented by Katie “Throuple” Hill, the ballots are coming in:

    Candidate . . . . . . . Votes . . . . . Percent
    Mike Garcia (R) . . . . . .78,701 . . . . . 55.91%
    Christy Smith (D) . . . . .62,054 . . . . . 44.09%
    70.55% reporting (206 of 292 precincts)

    By County

    Los Angeles
    % Reporting … 50.00%
    Total Votes … 105,130
    Mike Garcia (R) … 55.31%
    Christie Smith (D) … 44.69%

    Ventura
    % Reporting … 100%
    Total Votes … 35,625
    Mike Garcia (R) … 57.68%
    Christie Smith (D) … 42.32%

    Ballot harvesting will likely continue for several days or until Ms Smith gets a lead outside the margin of recount.

      1. Update as of 3:15 AM:
        Candidate . . . . . . . Votes . . . . . Percent
        Mike Garcia (R) . . . . . .79,543 . . . . . 56.02%
        Christy Smith (D) . . . . .62,456 . . . . . 43.98%
        85.27% reporting (249 of 292 precincts)

        Los Angeles
        % Reporting … 75.00%
        Total Votes … 106,374
        Mike Garcia (R) … 55.46%
        Christie Smith (D) … 44.32%

        Yes, she’s losing ground. But there’s plenty of opportunity for more votes to be manufactured.
        https://pjmedia.com/election/bryan-preston/2020/05/12/ca-25-the-special-election-to-replace-katie-the-hairbrusher-hill-and-her-throuple-n390284

          1. “You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you?!”
            ———————————
            “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

          2. It ain’t over til the ballot printers stop. IIRC most of the harvested seats in 18 were like this.

            1. I gather that Christy Smith has conceded, early afternoon California time.

              She has probably been advised that they weren’t going to tip their ballot-manufacturing technique this early in the game.

              1. A few days ago, they were talking about watching the margin, which would be indicative even if the Republican won.

                It was. Not the way they wanted.

  35. Behind the Wall Street Journal paywall so no URL:

    NYPD Arrest Over 100 People for Crimes Related to Coronavirus
    Police made 125 arrests related to the coronavirus in New York City since the pandemic began, not including violations of social distancing rules, and 91% of the people arrested were black or Hispanic.

    Why is this Democrat-run city so racist?

  36. Back in the 1760s, a major cause of resentment on the part of the American colonies was the set of privileges or legal immunities granted to the British nobility. Since colonists were largely commoners, it became offensive that people should be elevated solely by virtue of their birth, rather than their own work and merits. The thought that “All men are created equal”, although it its basis in Biblical teaching, had never been tried as a basis of a government. Although the founders didn’t entirely live up to that ideal, they did have it. The Constitution explicitly forbade the establishment of a formal aristocracy or titles of nobility, and the same law was supposed to apply to the high and mighty as well as to the common laborer.
    One of the things that concerned me about the 2016 election was how far some of our national leaders have drifted from these principles. The politically influential expect to be treated as exempt from rules about peculation, perjury, or perversion of the public trust for their own private or political gain. They offer up the most absurd lies and expect to be believed because the lies suit the cause and please what their sycophants and cronies want to believe. This can only happen when we as a people tolerate it. Unless we demand honesty and integrity from those we select as our public servants…and enforce it at the ballot box..we can only expect to be ruled by knaves and fools.

    1. There are enough fools out there that sane attempts to remove people from office who should be there, or prevent it from happening, are but fog in the wind.

    2. One of the things that concerned me about the 2016 election was how far some of our national leaders have drifted from these principles.

      It makes my heart swell with joy to contemplate the hubbub if Trump nominates a Supreme Court justice who did not graduate from Harvard or Yale. Sadly, I doubt there’s any graduate from the Antonin Scalia School of Law who has as yet climbed the greasy pole far enough to merit consideration for that bench.

    3. “Unless we demand honesty and integrity from those we select as our public servants…and enforce it at the ballot box..we can only expect to be ruled by knaves and fools.”

      Which is why our ruling class has set it up so that we are ruled by unelected judges and bureaucrats, backed up by systematic corruption of the election process. What then?

      (Rhetorical question. Everyone knows what then.)

  37. “… I’m having a crisis of faith over the leadership of my church having gone along with this complete insanity…”

    Putting Karen on the church council seemed harmless at the time. Several Karens? No big deal, right? No harm, no foul. What could possibly go wrong?

    I have been saying recently that we need to exercise our votes wisely to avoid turning Karen into Gretchen or Jared.

    Sadly that has extended to church governance.

  38. We are born alone. We die alone, But in between we live in groups. Peer groups (live people) and reference groups actual and imaginary (Facebook) fill empty human husks to produce the “person:” perceptions, values, beliefs, thoughts and convictions. As long as we can think and imagine we are never “alone.”

    Growing evidence suggests that the dreaded virus has followed an identical, predictable course regardless of vigorous efforts to contain it. Rather than protect the most vulnerable and quarantine the infected, the authorities called for general quarantine and continue their opposition to lifting it – even though there is little evidence that it has been effective – while workers suffer and the economy tanks. Perhaps we should heed Lord Acton’s warning: “Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    We think of “society” as a “thing,” composed of organizations and institutions (family, church, education, government, the economy, health care, the media, etc.). Being surrounded by the products of society produces and reinforces the illusion of its thingness. But “society” is not a thing. It’s a living process. Everyday social interaction is the origin and the principal agent in the continual construction and production of what we abstractly call “society,” “identity,” the “person,” and yes, “reality.”

    The practice of intense close up social interaction is the life blood of the social body. The most effective strategy for the destruction of a society would be the regulation, control, criminalization and elimination of social interaction. The current crisis is producing an unprecedented attack on and destruction of our social institutions and their human constituents.

    Humans are social animals; the survival of civilization requires unfettered social interaction. Without it we revert to the law of the jungle.

    1. Want all this to have a good outcome? Secure the elderly storage facilities, fix the funding for them, and figure out how to decrease the transmission in them. Might mean that atm your staff needs to act like oil rig workers or the like with week on week off and company housing but this should be an easy place to lock down. Figuring out how to prevent transfer would also largely stop all the other plagues that regularly go thru these buildings. But we are leaving the easy fruit on the tree while we cut it down to get to the one at the very tip top

    2. We are born alone. We die alone

      Twins (as well as triplets and other instances of multiple births) might beg to differ — but they’re a distinct minority so screw em.

      I gather there are already those who are voicing concerns over the effect of children being isolated from playmates during this panic. No schools, no summer camps, swimming pools closed, no birthday parties or other common activities.

      I doubt there is behavioural research extant from the pre-Salk era to provide insight into the potential effects; I also doubt the applicability of such data as today’s children are far less resilient than those prior generations.

      1. A lot of parents with special-needs children are also having significant issues with the lockdown and its effect on their children. Children need routines. Kids with processing issues especially need routines. A disruption can be dealt with if it is planned, and has a known end date. Right now, that is not the case. At all.

        1. Yes. With many children …

          … maintaining a consistent routine can be critically important.

  39. at the time we did not know it would be mostly the very elderly
    I disagree. Even early on, we had reports that it was the elderly most at risk. The cruise ship was pretty early on. We definitely could have gone to a posture of Protect The Elderly from the beginning. IMO.

    it was better than interrupting the supply chain for food
    One legitimate question related to this: how much of the disruption is lockdown, and how much is people out sick? The shutdowns of the meat processing plants has at least partly been when they had lots of positives suddenly crop up. If lots more people were sick, how much would not-lockdown help? (Not “how much” as rhetorical “not much” but actually “how much?”)

    his skills will be outdated and likely valueless
    Pfft. “Continuing education” is part and parcel of engineering, and it doesn’t just happen on the job. Subscribe to professional journals, get on professional forums, etc. Should be no reason for his skills to be outdated even over the course of several years.

    1. It is not just the early evidence about the greater vulnerability of the elderly (although the limited reports escaping the Chinese censors certainly supported that supposition.) The flu has long been recognized to afflict the elderly to greater extent — that is why annual flu vaccines become virtually mandatory after age sixty-five.

      The salient point about the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic is that it seemed to hit young adults most severely.

  40. the myth of asymptomatic spreaders
    Do you have a link? Honestly, I’d love to read some science about that.

    tune in their radio to the transmission … what transmission can there be?
    Well, duh! It’s an electronic device, and we ALL know you can get viruses on electronic devices now!

    1. I don’t remember. Ace of Spades? Most asymptomatic spreaders are now assumed to be false-positives. The reason they posited them is that these people hadn’t been near anyone who’d been to China in the last Month. But now we know that the infection was here, likely November.

    2. It’s more like– every time I try to get folks to give me evidence, it’s either
      that Chinese “study” of the German gal who infected either two or four folks at a business meeting…where they didn’t ever talk to her, just published. She finally heard about it, and conveyed that F yeah she had symptoms, she was miserable and on fever reducers at the time
      or
      glorified contact tracing where they assume that if they KNOW about one contact that had it, and somebody they met got it, it was from the person who later tested positive, even if it was a week before they showed symptoms.
      Problem being, of course, that such a chain depends on the disease not having another vector. (Kind of like when our media reported a Korean lady had infected her church– when from the timeline for people getting sick, she CAUGHT IT at the church, and happened to be the one that got tested and lead them to the other node, which they otherwise would’ve found when folks who regularly visited a local hospital that had an outbreak came down sick.)

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