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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

"The Poetry" Of Joe Biden

From Video: The Poetry of Joe Biden is an Eye Opener That Every American Should Hear....
The Daily Caller video below begins with a clip of Joe Biden garbling his words but then switches to a tough-guy character in a black t-shirt who recites Biden quotes like it’s poetry. It’s frightening because it’s so hard to believe that this candidate is the frontrunner who may win in November. The video is also funny because of the set-up of the background music and ‘Noir’ lighting....

How can any American consider voting for this man?

By the way, when Biden appears with it for a few minutes, I surmise that he's been injected with B Vitamins and vasodilators. That combination helped my grandmothers to be think and function normally, albeit temporarily.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Remember This....

Related reading, from the Patriot Post, July 25, 2020: Stolen Elections Show the Vulnerabilities of Absentee Ballots.  Excerpt:
No question about it: some people need absentee ballots — those with disabilities, those living abroad and others who can’t make it to the polls on Election Day. But pushing for more absentee balloting — even all-mail elections — is unwise. It would make election fraud far easier.

In-person voting occurs under the supervision of election officials, with election observers there to make sure everything is on the up-and-up. This transparency is a vital hallmark of the democratic process. Mail-in ballots, however, are susceptible to being stolen, altered, forged and forced.

All states ban electioneering in polling places, but there are no such bans on electioneering in voters’ homes. This leaves at-home voters vulnerable to intimidation and coercion by campaign staffers, political party activists, and others with a vested interest in the electoral outcome.

Four elections in California, Florida, Indiana, and North Carolina — stolen through absentee-ballot fraud — demonstrate some of the problems.....
Read the rest HERE.

What would Stalin have said about mail-in ballots? Hmmmm?

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Way That 2020 Has Been Going So Far...

...I wouldn't be surprised to see these come flying over the horizon:

Have a good weekend. If you can. Heh.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Recommended Reading

Returning from blog break, however temporarily, to post this because yesterday I was disgusted beyond belief...

Read and watch the video clips at Legal Insurrection's Democrats Disgrace Themselves During AG Barr Hearing With ‘Reclaiming My Time’ Constant Interruptions. Teaser....
Barr: “Well, this is a hearing. I thought I was the one who was supposed to be heard.”
Read and watch it all HERE.

Quite the spectacle staged by the Democrat Party!  And these are our so-called leaders?

Monday, July 20, 2020

Blog Break

I need to de-stress my life, and backing off from blogging, for an indeterminate time, is one way to do so. Comment moderation enabled.

In my absence, please enjoy this masterpiece of classical music:

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

A sampling of the first-ever singers:

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

No Way to Choose a President

Silverfiddle Rant!
"Where's the Beef?"

Debates are a crappy way to choose a president.  What do they prove? How does winning one of these Jerry Springer spectacles of jabs, jibes, japes and carefully-crafted one-liners prove one's readiness for leading the most powerful nation in the world?

Many argue they are not even debates.  Others argue they should only be held once the primary field is winnowed to two candidates, but I maintain they are worthless for determining who the best candidate is.

A much better test would be to subject each candidate to a brutally-dense power point presentation of bureaucratic gibberish and policy gobbledygook, ask them to arrive at a decision, and then quiz them on the consequences of their course of action.

"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy"

NBC's 10 Presidential Debates That Actually Made an Impact prove my point.  Each example is from the modern TV era and relies heavily on optics and visual impressions.  Lord Bentsen from the State of Texaco reduced Dan Quayle to a grade school boy in short pants, but Bush-Quayle won anyway.

"There you go again!"

Face it, we are far removed from the famous Lincoln-Douglas debates. The men were competing for one of Illinois's Senate seats, which at that time were appointed by the state legislature, but they are exemplars of debates of that era, and the format is timeless, harkening back to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

We wouldn't have patience today for that format, in our pathos-drenched, logo-less world where ethos has been reduced to Maoist mob shaming and twitter scolding.

The modern day presidential "debate" needs to be scrapped.  There's gotta be a better way.

What say you?

Monday, July 13, 2020

Inconvenient Facts

(hat tip to Bocopro, who posted this as a comment at Z's blog)

A little something else from Bocopro (emphases mine):
I’d kinda like for some of the racebaiters to explain why the 1830 US census identifies nearly 4000 free blacks who owned a total of almost 13,000 slaves.


“According to historian R. Halliburton Jr.: ‘There were approximately 319,599 free blacks in the United States in 1830. Approximately 13.7 per cent of the total black population was free. A significant number of these free blacks were the owners of slaves. The census of 1830 lists 3,775 free Negroes who owned a total of 12,760 slaves.’”

Halliburton was, if I read the sources correctly, a black professor.

Another publication, by a black professor named Gates in THE ROOT, has an article discussing “Did Black People Own Slaves?”

Also, there’s RED OVER BLACK: Black Slavery Among the Cherokee Indians, by Halliburton.

Then there’s this paragraph from TOWNHALL’s “Six inconvenient truths about US and slavery:

SLAVERY EXISTED ONLY BRIEFLY, AND IN LIMITED LOCALES, IN THE HISTORY OF THE REPUBLIC – INVOLVING ONLY A TINY PERCENTAGE OF THE ANCESTORS OF TODAY’S AMERICANS. The Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution put a formal end to the institution of slavery 89 years after the birth of the Republic; 142 years have passed since this welcome emancipation. Moreover, the importation of slaves came to an end in 1808 (as provided by the Constitution), a mere 32 years after independence, and slavery had been outlawed in most states decades before the Civil War. Even in the South, more than 80% of the white population never owned slaves. Given the fact that the majority of today’s non-black Americans descend from immigrants who arrived in this country after the War Between the States, only a tiny percentage of today’s white citizens – perhaps as few as 5% — bear any authentic sort of generational guilt for the exploitation of slave labor. Of course, a hundred years of Jim Crow laws, economic oppression and indefensible discrimination followed the theoretical emancipation of the slaves, but those harsh realities raise different issues from those connected to the long-ago history of bondage.

Finally, there’s the inconvenient truth that it was white people who did away with slavery in the US.

Whatever. I know that I’m gettin truly weary of hearin about it all. Seemed to me we were doin pretty well in this category before Barry & Mooch came along.
All of the above is what the Democrat Party wants you not to know!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Recommended Reading

See Seattle held 'segregated' training session on 'undoing whiteness,' encouraged staffers to forfeit 'guaranteed physical safety': 'Racism is not our fault but we are responsible,' one handout declared.  The complete article is below the fold (emphases mine), and please read the complete article before commenting; the full article contains hot links with supportive evidence. All unrelated comments, be they from friend or foe, will be summarily deleted!

Images Worth Thousands Of Words

(with thanks to Franco Aragosta, who sent me the first graphic below)

Weep for America as her culture is canceled — statue after statue, work of art after work of art, and name change after name change.

And none of this mindless destruction addresses the tragedy of the killing of George Floyd! And his very name is already forgotten by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer and California Democrat Nancy Pelosi:

Related reading: In First Weekend Of Riots, Looting Damage In 20 Major Cities Exceeded $400 Million.

Monday, July 6, 2020


(with a hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance)

And old enough to vote!

I am amazed that New York's Finest didn't open fire or, at least, start rolling in the floor laughing!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Happy Birthday, America — Land That I Love!

(with thanks to Warren for sending me the link to this video)

Take time to learn this history lesson for this Independence Day 2020:

Monday, June 29, 2020

What's Really Happening

Yes, this is an election year.

Yes, the video below is produced by the GOP.

Yes, the video below has political overtones.


The above two statements do not negate the truths presented in the video below:

Related reading and a must-see: The Ongoing Cultural Purge.

Now, how do WE THE PEOPLE save our republic and the heritage of our republic?

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Musical Interlude

(For politics, please scroll down)

Enjoy the tranquility of Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Claude Debussy:

Have a restful weekend.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Behavioral Priming

(with a hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance)

Have WE THE PEOPLE been bamboozled

"Science" has made Americans cower in their homes, skip routine medical appointments, wear suffocating masks, hold classes and book club discussions on Zoom or other online platform relying on pixels so as to see another human being's face, lose all sorts of day-to-day gregarious activities which make life worth living, cancel church services, suffer even more isolation in their Golden Years, require appointments for something as simple as getting new eyeglasses, accept an unacceptable "new normal" — and much more.

Is all of the above really necessary to ensure our good health, our very survival?  Or is a wicked experiment being conducted?

From What if we’ve all been primed?:
We’re all in this together. Stay home. Stay safe. We’ll get through this. It’s our new normal.

These words have been repeated so many times, you’d think they’re used for selling the latest superfood.

They’re not selling a superfood, but is it possible they’re trying to sell us something?


What if the phrases we’ve constantly heard have shaped the way we think about our actions, the way we judge others’ actions, and the way we might accept life in the future, if it becomes different from what we’ve experienced in the past?

What if there are motivations behind all of this that aren’t pure?...
Read it all HERE.

A while back, my friend Ed Bonderenka posted this comment to a different thread here at this blog:
There is an acceptance of the abuses to our sovereignty because of fear.

People wearing masks while driving, walking alone.

It's either virtue signalling or fear
Or, I add now, these behaviors are the result of behavioral priming.  Deliberate behavioral priming with the ultimate goal of what, exactly?  The noble goal of saving lives — as we've been told over and over?

Your thoughts?

Additional reading: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut impose 14-day quarantine on travelers from coronavirus hotspot states. Brief excerpt:
Travelers arriving to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut from regions with spiking Covid-19 infections rates will be subject to a 14-day quarantine, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday. As of Wednesday, the states that are above that level are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, Utah, Texas, he said.
Read the rest HERE.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Recommended Reading

See The Narratives of Madness by Greg Gutfeld.

Excerpt (emphases mine):
...[T]he trigger for a repeat performance presents itself daily. And once it’s pulled, such pandemonium will erupt again. All it takes is another video, or a not-guilty verdict for one of those cops, or even a Trump win in November. Because we’ve sanctioned the behavior of the mob, it’s inevitable.

There are 10 million arrests every year. And out of that, roughly 1,000 people are fatally shot by police. Most of the dead are white. But it doesn’t matter. One video with a racial difference and this will kick off again.

Which is why we don’t do something, we are doomed.

We are stuck in a repeat cycle, where the media selects the story offered up by the enraged and amplifies it even more. They ignore one crime but embrace another – to fulfill a narrative.

Mind you, this isn't "woe is me." It's "woe is us." All of us.

My only solution?...
Read the entire essay HERE.

Do you agree with Mr. Gutfeld's assessment?

Do you think that his solution is likely or viable?

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Simpler, Happier Times

(For politics, please scroll down)

Take a step back in time for a few moments and enjoy the time that celebrated family, friends and good times. As the video progresses, note all the happy dads.

There will never be an adequate substitute for the nuclear family — the wonderful family life that good dads made possible.

Happy Father's Day Weekend!

Thursday, June 18, 2020


I'd rather be citing a source other than Eric Snowden. On the other hand, he may know exactly what he's talking about (posted at YouTube on April 14, 2020):

Your thoughts on what is stated in the above video?

Monday, June 15, 2020

Welcome To CHAZ!

A new nation called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) has been established in Seattle, Washington. Jenny Durkan, the mayor of Seattle, has declared them patriots and anticipates a possible summer of love.

Or something....

Related reading: THE DEMANDS OF THE COLLECTIVE BLACK VOICES AT FREE CAPITOL HILL TO THE GOVERNMENT OF SEATTLE, WASHINGTON. Meet these demands, and usher in the new utopia. Or something....

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Remember When?

(For politics, please scroll down)

A little something for Father's Day Weekend for those of us of a certain age (or older or younger)....

When America — and the world — was a different place:

Have a good weekend.

Dad, I miss you.

Dad (1911-1998), circa 1930

Dad, left, in 1975

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lies, Lies Everywhere

Please read both links before commenting!

Here is one recent example:

NY Times report on George Bush not voting for Trump is ‘made up’: spokesman.

Here is another:

Jumping to conclusions about police killings.

Now, time for an antidote to the lies to which we are all being subjected these days. Even if you don't like Tucker Carlson, please watch the June 9, 2020 video below and consider what he says:

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Suffer Your Privilege!

Thus saith Lisa Bender, the president of the Minneapolis City Council:

So, the very concepts of personal safety and private property are to be abrogated? Really? Really?

And then there's this, a must-read because there is more information included besides what the title indicates...It’s come to this: Guilty whites, including cops, kneel, wash feet of black community leaders.

Apparently, nothing is enough now.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Recommended Reading

See The media will never understand the riots as long as they insist on calling them ‘protests' by Benny Huang at Liberty Unyielding (June 5, 2020). Excerpt:
As America presses through its second week of smoldering rage, the media continue to prove their abject uselessness. Round-the-clock coverage of our national mayhem has illuminated nothing and hidden quite a bit beneath hours of pointless chatter.

Journalists have gotten the story wrong since the moment a police officer killed George Floyd because journalists don’t understand it any better than we commoners — and perhaps worse than we commoners. Their Pavlovian conditioning simply won’t allow them to process what’s happening before their own eyes. Whereas normal people see rioting, looting, and mayhem, journalists see dispossessed people protesting peacefully. If the American Psychiatric Association hasn’t yet documented this inability to engage with reality in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it should really get on that posthaste....
Read the rest HERE.

The balkanization of America continues apace — with the mainstream media fueling the fire and pouring gasoline on it.

In the meantime, what else newsworthy is happening? Hmmmmmm?

Saturday, June 6, 2020

In Honor Of Dean Martin

(For politics, please scroll down)

Dean Martin (June 7, 1917-December 25, 1995), aka "The King of Cool," was born 103 years ago on June 7, 2020, in Steubenville, Ohio.

Once no longer part of Martin & Lewis, he specialized in exuding an aura of nonchalance.

A few of his signature songs....

This tune debuted in the 1953 film The Caddy, when Martin & Lewis was still a comedy duo:

The tune that knocked the Beatles from the #1 spot at Billboard on August 15, 1964:

Having fun on his weekly variety show (1965-1974), which aired every Thursday evening:

Dean Martin typically performed one serious ballad on his weekly show:

The world we had then was a simpler place and a simpler time. That world seems far away now.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Quite The Contrast

And another from Comically Incorrect:

Meanwhile, the movement to defund the police appears to be gaining momentum.

Are you as fed up as I am with all this fomenting of anarchy?

How much more can our republic withstand?

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Anarchy's Harvest Of Grief

(hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance)

Heart-breaking!  I'm a tough old broad, but this one made me cry:
Article (dated June 1, 2020): Iowa woman fatally shot while leaving George Floyd protest. Excerpt:
...Italia Marie Kelly was leaving the protest with a friend around midnight Sunday when she was struck from the back by a bullet and collapsed near a local Walmart, according to her aunt.

Police said she was pronounced dead at a local hospital.


Kelly had decided to leave the demonstrations when it became unruly, her aunt said....
Read the rest HERE.

Are CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, et al, carrying this story?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Dangerous And Destructive Forces

Chaziel Sunz, former Black Lives Matter Ferguson organizer, offered some observations, albeit in 2017 (hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance):

On June 1, 2020, Tucker Carlson delivered a thought-provoking monologue which, in my view, is mandatory viewing — regardless of how you may feel about Tucker Carlson:

Monday, June 1, 2020

Blighting Our Cities

[photo credit]

The murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police Officer (and psycho?) Derek Chavin while three other police officers stood by should sadden and outrage any human being with a conscience.

So should what's been happening in United States cities in the days and nights following the murder sadden and outrage us: violence, vehicles set on fire, stores looted.

I well remember the consequences of the 1968 riots in Washington, D.C.  An entire section of downtown Washington remained a blight for years upon years:
The property loss caused by the riots was extensive and included damage to 1,199 buildings, including 283 residential and 1,590 commercial units. Losses to at least partially insured properties in the concentrated area of looting and destruction were estimated at $25 million. Insurance covered only 29% of the total loss suffered by these businesses. As a result of the riot damage, an estimated 2,900 insurance policies were cancelled and 500 businesses suffered inflated insurance rates. The Board of Trade estimated a loss of $40 million in tourist trade during April and May including those due to the cancellation of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The riots devastated Washington's inner city economy. With the destruction or closing of businesses, thousands of jobs were lost, and insurance rates soared. Made uneasy by the violence, white flight from the city accelerated, depressing property values. Crime in the burned out neighborhoods rose sharply, further discouraging investment.

On some blocks, only rubble remained for decades. Columbia Heights and the U Street Corridor did not begin to recover economically until the opening of metro (subway) stations at U Street in 1991 and Columbia Heights stations in 1999, which in turn assisted the areas' gentrification in the 2010s.
The same will happen to these cities being ravaged today.

The destruction of property is no way to grieve — and serves only to perpetuate a particular racial stereotype, thus setting back race relations for years to come.

I weep for our republic and can barely watch the news during these terrible days.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Voices from the Intellectual Dark Web

Silverfiddle Rant!
"Political homelessness and classical liberal principles unify the IDW, not politics or ideology" (What connects the Intellectual Dark Web?)

I started listening to podcasts last year. After sampling this and that and winnowing out the comedians and political talk, it recently occurred to me that my small group of subscriptions are all members of the Intellectual Dark Web. Apologies, but no Jordan Peterson (turgid, cardboard dry and overly-long), no Joe Rogan (too manic, and overly-long).

Here are my faves:

Sam Harris - Making Sense.  He's gone off the deep end lately with his meditation advocacy, and he shifted to a paid platform at the beginning of 2020, but he still gives us a half-hour snippet of each podcast for free, and that's plenty for me.

Brendan O'Neill's Spiked podcast. Heavy on British issues like Brexit and the NHS, which makes sense since he is British, but he explores many issues of universal appeal with his wide variety of interesting guest interlocutors.

Quillett offers a wide variety of intellectually stimulating conversations, and is considered one of the founding members of the IDW

Half Hour of Heterodoxy, podcast of another charter member of the IDW, Heterodox Academy, is also a reliable podcast for reasoned debate by intelligent, educated people who can disagree without being disagreeable.

All of these podcasts discuss a wide variety of controversial topics, and the people discussing them are educated and bring rational, fact-based argumentation to the conversation.  Most striking (and a pleasant respite from our ragey pop culture) is how bereft of ad hominem the podcasts are.  Many episodes feature people who despise Donald Trump, but they are not unhinged over it, and they refrain from disparaging Trump supporters or backhandedly damning them with intellectually-superior condescension.  These are people who can understand something without agreeing with it, people who take the time to understand what they argue against, and who will concede an opponent's  point well made.

Do you listen to any podcasts?  Please give us your suggestions and tell us what's on your mind.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020


Silverfiddle Rant!
Joel Kotkin casts a weather eye on California governor Gavin Newsom outsourcing his state's economic recovery to a task force of high tech robber barons:

When Steyer and other members of the task force—one can’t help but compare them to the crime commission run in New York City by Charles “Lucky” Luciano—decide to open the economy, they will no doubt claim, as with their climate pieties, that they are acting purely on the basis of “science”—as long as it agrees with their conclusions.

Meanwhile, the world's billionaire plutocrats continue to be targeted by the victims of globalism. This could get good:

Most people want billionaires to pitch in to aid poverty and inequality
NEW YORK, April 29 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Eight out of 10 people think billionaires should help end poverty, inequality and a host of global ills, a poll showed on Wednesday, as funding shortages and the new coronavirus stymied hopes of meeting the United Nations' development goals for 2030.
Around the world, there are more than 2,000 billionaires worth a combined $10 trillion, said Martijn Lampert, research director of Glocalities.
"People see that billionaires have a moral obligation to contribute," he said. "This crisis shows the huge inequalities there are, and in the end I think every billionaire has to show his or her true color."
"We will need to tax high-net worth, especially after the current disaster," said Jeffrey Sachs, head of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a U.N. initiative, who was involved in the study.
Those billionaires are smart people who have an uncanny ability to read a poker table and decide when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em (RIP, Kenny Rogers!) They know how to negotiate and come out on top. They won't go down easy, but they have sown the seeds for the bitter fruit people are pelting them with.

They’ve all been talking socialistic crap for years, while sluicing trickles of their vast fortunes smartly and efficiently:  Dodging taxation that hands money to inefficient governments and wasteful NGOs. Instead, they have maximized their bang for the buck by forming their own global philanthropic organizations to feed and inoculate the poor and address global ills.

Look for billionaires to defend this model as they ramp up doling out billions, publicly and loudly, even as people clamor for more. As government models continue to reveal their inherent weaknesses, we could end up witnessing a new global feudalism where the billionaire world controllers eclipse and marginalize hapless government and exercise direct power and influence over a reshaped hierarchy of lords, vassals and peasants.

Think it will happen?  Maybe not.  I take comfort in the notion--brilliantly articulated by Puckish Canadian David Warren-- that The World Cannot be Fixed.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

(with a hat tip to Bunkerville for the first video below)

This Memorial Day, please remember to pause long enough to honor our fallen.  They more than deserve that honor.

American Cemeteries around the world and the number of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice:

Note: the above is the soundtrack opener for the 1998 film Saving Private Ryan.

 In honor of our fallen, the Armed Forces Medley, performed by the National Symphony Orchestra and, my "alma mater," the Choral Arts Society of Washington:

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Coronavirus Humor

(For politics, please scroll down)


Watch and, especially, listen (language warning for the last few seconds):

One of the YouTube comments to the above:
Common sense, truth and intelligence clearly never made it out of the gate.

[hat tip to Powerline Blog's Week in Pictures]

Thursday, May 21, 2020


Silverfiddle Rant!
Forty-seven youth baseball teams gathered for a tournament in Missouri over Mother’s Day weekend, USA Today reported.

Roughly 550 kids between the ages of 7 and 14 participated in the Mother’s Day Classic, which was split between two venues west of St. Louis, according to the outlet. (
Kansas City Star)

The organizers set up social distancing rules, but the joyless scolds are wagging their fingers off and sprouting blisters on their tongues from all their clucking at the flagrant disobedience of the "New Normal"...
However, the Post-Dispatch reported that during the tournament, more than three boys were seen huddled in the dugout and that players stole bases, tagged each other out and leaned in to discuss the game with coaches and other players.
Boys huddling! Stolen bases! Sliding! Tagging each other out! The horrors. I bet there was shameless bubblegum popping and bubble-blowing, too.
Lynelle Phillips, the vice president of the Missouri Public Health Association, told the newspaper. “To hold a huge baseball tournament, even the most optimistic of us have to cringe at that.”
She added that the tournament could burden local health officials if someone from the tournament tests positive for the virus...
“It comes down to the poor contact tracer,” Phillips told the Times. “It’s just an added complication.”
We’ll know the outcome in a few weeks. If one covid-19 case can be traced to this event, the national media will blare it out like like Satan's bagpipes. 

Theory, Meet Reality

Contract tracing is not the panacea the propagandists tell us it is.  In the early stages of an outbreak, as part of a disciplined strategy, it can slow a disease and prevent an uncontrolled epidemic, but we are beyond that.  Implemented now, with a large cohort of new bureaucrats on a broad, federally-funded scale, it would be one more flailing appendage of our multifarious federal public health bureaucracies, an expensive federal jobs program whose greatest accomplishment is augmenting the membership roles of public workers unions.

Lord help the “poor contact tracer” if the sick person has been shopping at Sam’s Club, or riding public transportation.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Safe Spaces?

Silverfiddle Rant!

Where are we most likely to become infected by Coronavirus?  Least likely?

Quillette editor Jonathan Kay put some analytical thought into COVID-19 Super Spreader Events (SSE), and wrote an essay that has now started a project by a group of scientists who took over where he left off.

COVID-19 Superspreader Events in 28 Countries: Critical Patterns and Lessons

The article is an interesting analysis of what types of activities do and do not cause SSEs.  He caveats his work: Although he holds a scientific degree and has hands-on experience with mathematic modeling, he is not an epidemiologist and he is using anecdotal data that is not a proper statistical sample.

Here is the bottom line of his analysis:
When do COVID-19 SSEs happen? Based on the list I’ve assembled, the short answer is: Wherever and whenever people are up in each other’s faces, laughing, shouting, cheering, sobbing, singing, greeting, and praying. You don’t have to be a 19th-century German bacteriologist or MIT expert in mucosalivary ballistics to understand what this tells us about the most likely mode of transmission.
And when COVID-19 SSE's do not happen... 
It’s worth scanning all the myriad forms of common human activity that aren’t represented among these listed SSEs: watching movies in a theater, being on a train or bus, attending theater, opera, or symphony [...] These are activities where people often find themselves surrounded by strangers in densely packed rooms—as with all those above-described SSEs—but, crucially, where attendees also are expected to sit still and talk in hushed tones.
It makes sense to me, although if this bears out, church services and live music concerts are potential hot zones.  What say you?

See Also:

People ‘shed’ high levels of coronavirus early in the infection

London Coronavirus Protests

Fury in Germany

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Railroading Of General Flynn

The story that loyal members of the Democrat Party and the mainstream media are downplaying or ignoring altogether:

Related reading: The Politicized Order Inviting Amicus Briefs against the Flynn Case’s Dismissal by Andrew C. McCarthy (May 13, 2020). Excerpt:
...There is no complex legal issue to be resolved. DOJ’s dismissal motion may be politically controversial, but legally it is pro forma. The only branch of government constitutionally authorized to proceed with a criminal prosecution is the executive. The Justice Department has declined to prosecute. There is nothing for the judge to do besides the ministerial task of ending the case on the court’s records.

Lest we forget, the primary function of the federal judiciary is to protect the accused from overbearing government action, not to agitate for the prosecution of Americans. Even if he’s convinced Flynn is as guilty as the day is long, one might expect Judge Sullivan to be disturbed by the FBI’s perjury trap....
Read the entire essay HERE.

FYI: Eric Holder rejoined Covington & Burling, General Flynn's first attorneys, as partner, after he left the office of United States Attorney General in 2015.

And then there's this: Flynn’s original FD-302 is so important, the Special Counsel had to leak a prosecution threat against Flynn’s son just to avoid turning it over to his original lawyers Covington.

Read more about an FD-302 HERE.   Amazing, really  and disturbing.

There is so much to this travesty of justice inflicted upon General Flynn! Commenters, please feel free to add additional important information in the comments thread.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

(Humor) My new COVID life

posted by Warren 
scroll down for Silverfiddle's latest post.

My life goes on without a lot of changes. I have an "essential" job that keeps me on the run. The biggest change is the lack of traffic on my morning and evening commutes. But I'm going to share my thoughts with you and a few pictures you might find interesting.

Last year really sucked for me, and I found myself somewhat despondent so I asked for a sign.

I am putting on a little weight because I'm not as active in the evenings when I get off work and find myself snacking, but I think I have found a low carb, low fat solution.

 I'm afraid to let my dog outside because she might catch the Covid, and she stands at the back door just watching the wildlife and whining to go out.

It's hard on her to just set there and look out. so I started to take her for car rides and talk to her about my problems. I find her almost reluctant to get in the car now.

 The other day, I saw her looking outside with a strange look on her face and got up see  what she was looking at. 

 I'm beginning to think this mask thing is getting out of hand! 

Our State Planning Commission has a reopening plan that just doesn't seem practical. But maybe it's just me.

 I was talking to the younger guys at work, and they seemed shocked at how wasteful I was in my younger years.

Some people are really having a hard time with this shutdown. I was truly shocked to see this picture.

I saw in the news that a guy who had been in a coma since 2018 had come out of his coma.

And Nancy Pelosi has released the Democrat recovery plan to the public.

I'm having trouble adjusting to our new social standards, and it seems that I'm not the only one.

I'll leave you all with this motivational message from the Democrat Governors Association.

 Now, where did I set down that pack of Camel cigarettes and bottle of Jack Daniels.... errr ..  hand sanitizer? 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Panic & Hysteria

Silverfiddle Rant!
Covid-19 is not the black plague.  We are in the grips of a hysteria-induced panic. The death rates for America's #1 hot spot, New York City, by age group:

75 and older: 1.3%
65-74: 0.52%
45-64:  0.16%
18-44: 0.017%
Under 18: 0.0%

Question #1:  Why in the hell are schools and colleges closed?

Dirty Consciences, Pathetic Empty Lives

Hollywood famous people and the rich elite, who are the biggest polluters , the most flamboyant consumers of man-made goods, and contribute the most to the destruction of the planet's resources, are seeking cheap absolution by calling for "radical change in the world rather than "a return to normal" after the coronavirus lockdowns."

First off, they were never normal, and they would be whining and screaming like toddlers if they had to "radically change" and live like the rest of us. This is their anguished cry from a hollow soul that gobbled up everything and ended up with nothing of substance. These and others who scold us preach sacrifice, because in their own hearts, they know they have sacrificed and contributed very little.  They gained fame and fortune, but it hasn't filled their God hole, so they mount their psychological projection podium and preach to those of us who don't need to hear it.  Those of us living in the real world lead rich full lives working hard and sacrificing for ourselves and our families.  Our pleasures are simple. They have no idea.

The Real Contagion 

The polling continues to reflect the media narrative, and its easy to bash the president while applauding “the governors” and Dr Fauci.  What specific actions has Fauci taken that were especially brilliant, saved lives or were heroically unique? Do people realize a blundering Governor Cuomo sent infected senior citizens into nursing homes and it ended up infecting and killing residents there?
“The opposition expressed by sizable majorities of Americans reflects other cautions and concerns revealed in the survey, including continuing fears among most people that they could become infected by the coronavirus, as well as a belief that the worst of the medical crisis is not yet over.”
Yes, you will become infected, and yes, the crisis will continue, if by that you mean people will continue to die. If you are under 65, you have little to worry about (those numbers at the beginning are based on known cases, not the entire population), and if you are a teenager, you have nothing to worry about.
Many Americans have been making trips to grocery stores and 56 percent say they are comfortable doing so. But 67 percent say they would be uncomfortable shopping at a retail clothing store, and 78 percent would be uncomfortable eating at a sit-down restaurant.
Illogical.  What makes a clothing store more dangerous than the grocery store?
Gun stores are next, with 70 percent saying they should not be reopened, followed by barbershops and hair salons (69 percent opposed) and retail shops such as clothing stores (66 percent opposed) and golf courses (59 percent opposed).
More illogic.  Golf courses??? How do four people socially distancing in an open field pose a threat to themselves or the public?

What makes a gun store, clothing store or restaurant more unsafe than a grocery store? You encounter the most touch surfaces and most people in a grocery store.

Media-Fomented Stupidity

What people are expressing, I think, is not a level of danger, but their risk calculation:  They would risk going to the grocery store because they need food, but they would not risk going to a movie theater, and if stated like that, it is a logical calculation, but as usual, the Infotainment Media Complex makes a mushy hash of it.

Most disturbing is the mob rule in all of this:  70% of people are fearful, so they demand barber shops remain shuttered.  If you’re fearful of a barber shop, stay away.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Coronavirus Humor

(For politics, please scroll down. Siverfiddle posted a good 'un yesterday)

I'm way beyond the date I should have gone to the hair salon to prevent my gray from showing. **wince**  At least I can pluck out my gray eyebrows!

The earliest possible date for getting to the hair salon now appears to be June 9 — if Virginia's tyrannical governor Ralph Northam allows it even then.  And I wonder if hair salons will manage to survive at all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Government-Sponsored Looting

Silverfiddle Rant!
I read this article, and the further I went, the angrier I got. Please read it now.  If you have high blood pressure, caution.

Trump wants schools to reopen. Experts say COVID-19 safety measures will cost billions

This is a full-on cash grab riot. If you have ever worked on a humanitarian mission or been in a war zone and watched the mad stampede of desperate hungry people when the food trucks roll up, you'll understand what I mean.  The poor refugees can be excused--they are fighting (often each other) for their lives.  Today's US Cavalcade of Waste is shameful and cynical. 

The states closed their schools, and now insist they need billions from the federal government to open them back up.
WASHINGTON — If schools are to reopen safely as soon as August, which President Donald Trump has proposed, education experts say billions of dollars in federal funding will be needed in the next coronavirus relief bill.
Uncle Sam has gone senile and fearful, so he is throwing borrowed trillions out the window, and his madness has touched off a free-for-all.
Governors are asking Congress for $500 billion in emergency funding to rescue states with severe revenue shortfalls, but leading education groups say schools should receive half of that money.
some $50 billion of that money would be set aside for minority-serving colleges and universities. Another $25 billion would go to supporting vulnerable children, as well as low-income and minority students.
Remember what a multi-billion dollar budget-busting boon 9/11 was for the MIC, the alphabet intelligence agencies (that failed us) and for the ballooning federal bureaucracy?

The education establishment and domestic federal, state and local bureaucracies are exploiting this crisis to grab their share.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Autoerotic Asphyxiation, Silicon Valley Style

Silverfiddle Rant!
Big tech doesn’t build anything. It’s not likely to give us vaccines or diagnostic tests. We don’t even seem to know how to make a cotton swab. Those hoping the US could turn its dominant tech industry into a dynamo of innovation against the pandemic will be disappointed.
Source:  Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation

Silicon Valley represents a textbook example of what economists call Opportunity Costs:  

You can't do everything, so you choose to do this over that, and there are always costs associated with that decision, most commonly, things that don't get built, achievements forgone.

Silicon Valley is a collection of smart, educated entrepreneurial people, but they have wasted their technological talents on toys, when the world needs intellectual firepower aimed at reimagined cities, transportation, infrastructure, preserving biodiversity and habitat, food production, safe drinking water, energy production, and medical technology.

The world is in need, and a vast pool of "American ingenuity" sits in California playing with themselves and making obscene profits off of Chinese slave labor. A few days after writing the previous sentences, I stumbled across this, written by David Rotman in MIT Technology Review
The pandemic has made clear this festering problem: the US is no longer very good at coming up with new ideas and technologies relevant to our most basic needs.
We’re great at devising shiny, mainly software-driven bling that makes our lives more convenient in many ways. But we’re far less accomplished at reinventing health care, rethinking education, making food production and distribution more efficient, and, in general, turning our technical know-how loose on the largest sectors of the economy.
Source:  Covid-19 has blown apart the myth of Silicon Valley innovation
We were in a hole before Covid-19 hit, and its going to take new ideas and smartly-focused efforts to position us for success going forward.  Economics professor John Van Reenen says "technological innovation is the engine of economic growth," and he describes how to do it

Can government incentivize industry and brainpower to steer some of its attention away from shiny (and financially lucrative) toys, and turn to more prosaic, practical pursuits?  Can we actually build things again here in America?

Monday, May 11, 2020

No Silver Bullets

Silverfiddle Rant!
It is a paradox: Humankind is resilient--life is fragile.

"Do Something!" is a futile cry against an immutable reality.

The 20th Century, while bringing us horrible tragedies of human slaughter on an industrial scale, was also the century of greatest human achievement in many categories:  Manufacturing, hygiene, science, medicine, economics, work-saving and life-saving technologies.

All this has shielded us from the harsh realities our ancestors faced.  We take for granted the collective Herculean effort to elevate us out of humankind's natural state, a Hobbesean world where...
"...there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; no Instruments of moving, and removing such things as require much force; no Knowledge of the face of the Earth; no account of Time; no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; And the life of man, solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."
So, it is a horrible shock to see friends, family, neighbors and fellow community members die from a virus we are powerless to stop.

21st Century American Ingenuity Wasted

Related to this is a question:  Has this marvelous scientific, technological and practical progress of the 20th Century slowed?  Pre-Covid-19, Derek Thomson made the case that Silicon Valley represents a vast waste of talent, focusing as they do on gee-whiz apps and smarter toys, and it all amounts to little more than diddling themselves and their avid customers for money, but to no great advancement of humankind.
For the past two decades, we’ve funneled treasure and talent into the ethereal world of software and digital optimization. Imagine what could be accomplished if American ingenuity came back down to Earth.
Imagine, indeed.  I'll have more to say about this in my next blog post.  Meanwhile...

What say you?

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Mother's Day Weekend 2020

(For politics, please scroll down)

My beloved "second mother" Aunt Elma (January 10, 1916-November 10, 2010) and Mom (January 2, 1916-November 8, 1987) — at their 60th birthday party here at this old house:

Photo taken in January 1976.

I miss both of them every day.

My Aunt Elma's favorite song:

Mom's favorite song:

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Clash of the Biological Imperatives

Silverfiddle Rant!

“Nature cares nothing for logic, our human logic: she has her own, which we do not recognize and do not acknowledge until we are crushed under its wheel” -- Ivan Turgenev

Turgenev's response is all I have to the endless string of articles wringing hands over the horrible possibilities:  The pandemic could last years, there may be no immunity conferred on those who have had it, second wave fears, mutations, etc.

This statement by a medical doctor was flagged by faceboot as "misinformation," but Politifact rates it as "mostly true." (A minor quibble over what he was arguing against prevented an unqualified "True" rating).  So, the facts of the statement are 100% accurate:
"The consensus medical view is that this virus is here to stay. In other words, this virus cannot be defeated simply by staying inside for a couple of months," wrote Murdock, who said he was observing from the rear of the rally at a safe distance to gather material for a memoir. "The world will likely see periodic outbreaks, and we need to accept that and be prepared to deal with COVID long term."
You don't defeat a virus any more that you conquer fire or tame the ocean. Viruses are a vital component to life on earth.  I recommend the book, A Planet of Viruses, by Karl Zimmerman, that explains how viruses fit into nature's big picture.

I'm also reading a fascinating book, Spillover, by David Quamman (published in 2013) that details how viruses spill over from animals to humans.  He explores questions such as, why are strange new diseases emerging now?  He cites research pointing to zoonoses from wildlife contributing to over 60% of emerging infectious diseases.

Why?  Because we humans are breaking into wild habitat and disturbing virgin ecosystems at an ever increasing pace.  All habitats contain reservoirs for viruses, but odds are primeval habitats contain viruses we have never seen before, and some can be deadly.

Quamman makes the point that in North America and Europe, we call wild animals we hunt and eat "game," while in Africa it is called bushmeat, imputing negative connotations, much like Chinese "wet markets" are now cloaked in opprobrium. Point well taken, but Asia, Africa and South America still host dark recesses unexplored by humans and vast undeveloped habitats.  Here in the picked-over continents of North America and Europe, we have few such pristine areas left.

Yes, viruses and diseases still lurk in North America and Europe, and they are known: For years here in Colorado we had to follow special procedures when hunting and dressing elk because of Chronic Wasting Disease. In the west we also have Hanta Virus (of Korean origin), anthrax, Kreutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Military people who have traveled the word are familiar with these names. I can't give blood because I was in Iraq and Afghanistan. People living in Europe during a Mad Cow outbreak (a variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) also cannot donate blood.*

Finally, here is a quick primer on where viruses come from and how they can end up in humans: CDC - Principle of Epidemiology - Chain of Infection

What say you?

* - I have heard there is a time limit on this, but I haven't found a definitive answer.