Riding the tiger

The unthinkable has now become all too thinkable.

It is a good thing to keep in mind when evaluating predictions about what comes after the great lock down. Trump is no longer talking about Easter as the back to normal date and has extended the lock down through April. Governors are now in a race to see who can come up with the bleakest prediction for when things get back to normal. The Brits now lead the race with six months as their estimate. This is an unprecedented time, which means what was considered unthinkable is very thinkable.

For example, ten years ago most Americans assumed the political classes had learned a hard lesson from Watergate. They had let the security services run wild for too long and suddenly they were a threat to the politicians. The days of a J. Edgar Hoover spying on people were over. Not only was that false, but there was a plot among FBI officials to interfere in the presidential election. They went so far as to concoct an impeachment trap in order to remove Donald Trump.

Six months ago is was unthinkable that these same security agencies would have the president removed by some other means. Six month ago we did not have a third of the country hiding under their beds. We did not have major cities turned into ghost towns by quarantine orders. How unreasonable is it to think that the same people who launched the seditious plot in 2015 would find themselves a Lee Harvey Oswald? It sounds crazy, but we live in an age where the crazy quickly becomes the norm.

What about something less cloak and dagger like martial law? State governors are getting pretty close to the line between state of emergency and assuming dictatorial powers over their states. New Jersey is supposedly issuing travel passes to citizens and arresting people for gathering in their own homes. Los Angeles has suspended the second amendment. Trump has contemplated a Federal quarantine of New York City, which would probably mean troops on the streets to enforce it.

If this does go on for months and the cracks in the ruling class begin to show, is civil unrest really unthinkable? Is civil war unthinkable? Rhode Island now considers New Yorkers persona non grata. Pennsylvania is doing the same. Mainers are now going vigilante on suspected New Jerseyites. Sure, concern for the virus is the stated reason, but a general dislike for New Yorkers is the real reason. There are lots of such divisions in this country. Is civil war really so unthinkable?

Just because something is possible, does not mean it is likely. It is possible to hit the lottery for a billion dollars, but the odds are very small. What we’re talking about here though are the things that were thought impossible or close to impossible just six months ago that are now suddenly possible. Maybe they are still unthinkable within the ruling classes, but we thought the FBI and CIA spying on presidential candidates was unthinkable until not so long ago.

Events have a way of reverbating through history, ramping up in ways the people who initially believed themselves capable of controlling them, of directing them for their own purposes, could never have imagined. And then?



Further fame beckons!

Longtime hangarounds at this here hogwallow will be quite familiar already with our friend TL Davis, whose work I’ve linked to and excerpted many times over the years. What y’all might not be aware of is that, in addition to being an accomplished blogger and novelist (I’ve recommended his novels before here, especially the great Shadow Soldier saga), TL is also a screenwriter. As it happens, in the course of a discussion of his next film project with him, TL proposed doing a documentary on my old band. So we’re off and running with that project now, kicking things off thusly:

With our first documentary Lies of Omission finally making its way to Amazon (not quite yet released) and other streaming services, we are encouraged to take the next step in filming a more mainstream documentary about the Belmont Playboys. How this rockabilly band came to our attention is a story in itself, but suffice it to say that we had other interests in common and the revelation of their talent and resiliency as a top performing band was indeed a pleasant surprise. 

From the rural North Carolina countryside, the Belmont Playboys quickly created a sound and an energy that captured the attention of a New York Times music reviewer by the name of Kathy Schoemer in 1989 as the band played the old Delta 88 club in New York City. From that moment on they were able to build a career out of doing what they loved. 

But, why do a documentary on the Belmont Playboys? First, it is in line with promoting those who believe in capitalism and freedom. That will always be a prerequisite for who we want to work with. While that may not always be possible, we will seek it out at every opportunity. Next, it is an all-American tale of talent, drive, perseverance and humor that even the folks at NPR would appreciate, creating a wider audience for the film and distribution opportunities a lot more available. 

I’m thrilled to death and flattered as all git-out about this, I must say. TL is crowdfunding the trailer for the film, as a first step on the road to pitching and completing the project. As he says:

The fact is media will be forever changed by this pandemic. They are already talking about the end of theaters, which I not only doubt, but would hate to see go, but it puts companies like 12 Round on fairly even footing with big studios. Now, while they will always be able to out-spend us, the idea that they would make 100 million dollar movies that they can only stream is not a viable business model. This brings everything down to a common sense budget  and when all of those financiers no longer have to hold huge funds in reserve for big productions, more of that money will be available to smaller production companies making smaller movies that we can make. 

So, this is the first project in the new paradigm. If you like the idea, help us start getting it put together either through Fundrazr or directly through editor@twelveround.com. 

Difficult as these times have suddenly become, with worse to surely follow, feel free to hit him up with some good ol’ palm-grease if you can anyway. We’ll both be grateful for it. I’ll leave this post up top for a few days, to further encourage public generosity.

Update! Had an enjoyable conference-call conversation with TL and Pete earlier today, to hash out a few ideas. TL explains the driving force underpinning this thing over at 12 Round:

We appreciate all the help we have received from the many individuals who have come along for the ride; who see in our efforts the value of being a strong voice for these American values that are daily trampled by the media horde. Our critics are right, we can’t compete with that level of competition. I wish that I did not have to ask for this help, it goes against everything I am or believe in and if I were asking for myself, to better my condition, I wouldn’t be able to do it. But, I can ask, because it is to better the reader’s condition, the condition of the nation, to bolster resistance to the communist trend, to provide for future writers of freedom and capitalism a home, drawing toward itself the talent necessary to influence future generations, especially when they start looking for answers as to why their once-prosperous nation resembles Venezuela.

To that purpose we have found a good, mainstream-type documentary that will attract investors and co-production opportunities while at the same time, perhaps enhance the lives of the Belmont Playboys, who richly deserve to be rewarded for their dedication to freedom, their undying devotion to music that inspires and enriches all our lives. With this documentary we will step into the world of the mainstream and drain some capital from the communist propagandists.

We find ourselves trying to fight a war with people who do not seem to understand the battle, how to fight and certainly not how to win. Here’s a hint: it will not be in the streets with AR-15’s, it will be in the minds of the ensuing generations if we are able to fight at all. Using the enemy’s resources against them is precisely the tactic we are about. It is why I will be using part of my communist government payout to help fund this venture. I know, there are those in this readership who would council me to keep those funds, use them to buy toilet paper without understanding the historical irony of it. To them, I should keep the fruits of communism to further emulate communism and by that somehow arrive at capitalism. It is like the illustrative insanity David Codrea likes to use when he tells of the South Park episode of the underwear bandits, where they draw out their plan to Steal Underwear——-?———-Profits. My version goes like this Communism———-?———–Capitalism. It’s irrational. One arrives at capitalism in America, by denouncing, ridiculing and exposing communism for the fraud and power grab that it is and was always intended to be.

That we are standing at the verge of a wholesale media restructuring, a realignment toward streaming services that rely on new and available forms of entertainment at an insatiable rate means we could parlay this little production company into a serious media outlet. Getting this documentary going will help, but we are involved on a number of different fronts seeking collaboration with investors and other production companies to achieve it. If the reader sees the bigger picture and sees that helping us helps them promote their understanding of America, that we are dedicated to promoting the fundamental understanding of freedom, which I suggest the very definition of which is being obliterated from the American lexicon, all the better. If not, a visit to these pages is unnecessary.

This project ain’t just about music, or one particular band, or me, or TL. Ultimately, it’s about freedom, and how we will go about restoring and retaining it. An important step in that campaign will be to gain a cultural foothold, to establish a voice for liberty and truth amid the cacophany of Progressivist falsehood.

It’s been said many times that instead of abandoning the culture wars entirely, our side desperately needs to start finding ways to embrace new technologies and concepts in order to bypass the Left’s media, entertainment, and artistic blockade. It is vital that we tell our own stories in our own ways, using new outlets of our own design to spread the good word without being subject to liberal censorship or suppression.

The ideals of liberty must win out over tyranny. This will be a long and arduous struggle. It’s high time for Team Freedom to nut up, dig in our heels, and get crackin’.

Prison Planet?

Welcome to Prison Nation.

Over the weekend, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that “synagogues” and “churches” that disobey his order to remain shut down may be closed permanently as punishment. One can’t help but notice that the good mayor conspicuously omitted one type of worship facility from this dire warning. But whether mosques are exempt or not, the bigger issue is that Bill de Blasio certainly does not have the authority to permanently close places of worship as a punitive measure for defying his commands. He has the word “mayor” in front of his name, not “sultan” or “king” or “supreme leader.” And the First Amendment still exists, even if he’d prefer to pretend otherwise.

But this is just one example of government officials seizing power that does not belong to them. And it’s not only happening in the United States. Over in the UK, police are setting up checkpoints to questions drivers about where they’re going and why. Those deemed to be engaged in “non-essential” travel will be fined. Some UK police departments have gone so far as to deploy drones to track and follow non-essential joggers, hikers, and dog walkers.

Well, okay then. But that’s only Once-Great Britain, right? As I pointed out last night, the crucial question of whether the English people remain English was answered long ago. A hint as to which way that decision went might be found in the name of the “overpraised Chancellor” Hitchens complained about in the piece I excerpted, which is hardly one of those fine multi-hyphenated English names of old—the ones PG Wodehouse had such riotous fun with, like Cyril Bassington-Bassington, August Fink-Nottle (“Spink-Bottle” to Wooster’s beloved Aunt Dahlia, of course), or Claude Cattermole “Catsmeat” Potter-Pirbright.

Yep, that’s Anglund, and Anglund definitely ain’t what once it was. Thankfully, America is still America, right? And always will be, right?

Well. About that.

This week a pastor was arrested and charged with criminal offenses for holding a worship service. Let us note that this event occurred not in North Korea or Saudi Arabia, but the United States of America. Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, of Revival International Ministries, turned himself into authorities after leading his congregation in Sunday worship, which put him in violation of his county’s “stay-at-home” order.

Hillsborough County in Florida, like many other states and localities across the country, has forcibly shut down all establishments that it has deemed “non-essential.” As far as I know, no government at any level, anywhere in the nation, has deigned to label churches essential. Our Founding Fathers, who gave the right to assemble and the right to practice religion pride of place in the Bill of Rights, seemed to have disagreed. But in these times we are not subject to the opinions of the Founding Fathers or even the legal document they wrote. We have entered a point in our history where governors, mayors, and local county boards, can come up with any rule they like, outlaw whatever behavior they don’t like, and enforce their edicts at gun point. But to question this new system, I have been repeatedly informed, is to wish death on our nation’s elderly population.

Pastor Howard-Browne insists that his church took many precautions. Hand sanitizer was given out. Staff wore gloves. Congregants were spaced out as much as possible. They may not have all been 6 feet apart, but they were certainly better spaced than you will be if you wait in line at the grocery store. As it happens, you can go to the grocery store 10 times a day and load your cart up with snacks, candy, and soda. You can then stand in a crowd of densely packed people as you wait to purchase your items from a cashier who may or may not be wearing gloves. All of this, says our Dear Leaders, is both safe and essential. But sitting in a church, a few feet from the next person, taking care to cover your mouth when you cough, and making sure that your hands are washed, is both unsafe and inessential. Does that make any real sense? Probably not. Can the government simply declare all churches non-essential, close them indefinitely, and thus circumvent the First Amendment with so much ease as to render it effectively nullified from here on out? I doubt that was ever what the men who wrote it had in mind, but here we are.

I am trying to imagine a definition of “religious liberty” that includes the government closing churches indefinitely on the basis that they are not essential enough to remain open. I cannot think of one that would be at all cogent or meaningful. Indeed, it has become obvious (if it wasn’t already) that our mainstream notions of “liberty” and “rights” and “freedom” are largely nonsensical, as evidenced by the people who normally assert these concepts as absolutes but now insist that the government has the unquestioned power to lock us in our homes and shut our businesses for as long as it pleases.

Most of us, it turns out, do not have a governing philosophy or set of principles. We are slaves to our emotions. So, if the government scares us enough, we will rip the “Give me liberty or give me death” and “Don’t tread on me” bumper stickers off of our cars and stuff them in the closet while we cower along side it. Then when the threat has passed — or at least we are told that it has passed — we will proudly affix the bumper stickers back on our bumpers again, and sing bravely about our love of freedom.

For as long as the authorities still allow anyone to sing, and not one minute longer. Sadly, tragically, at this point a reasonably objective, historically literate person can only conclude that our Founders wouldn’t lower themselves to piss in our mouths if our gums were on fire. Can’t honestly say I’d blame ’em for feeling that way, either.

No fake news here

More plain-and-simple truth, inconvenient though it be, from America’s Only REAL News Source.

Americans Excitedly Anticipate Getting Paid With Their Own Money
U.S.—Americans have reported they’re very optimistic about the stimulus package passed by Congress last week. In particular, people all around the country are excited to get paid with a little bit of the money that they paid the federal government already.

Americans from all walks of life said they couldn’t wait to receive a check with a small percentage of the money the government had already taken from them.

“I can’t wait to get that $1,200.00 check of my own money,” said one man in Texas, rubbing his hands together. “Surely this will get the economy back on track.”

From the rich to the poor, American citizens spent many hours dreaming of all the things they will spend their newfound riches on. “With $1200, I could save enough to pay my taxes on time this year,” said one woman in Los Angeles. “Thanks so much, Congress. You’re the real heroes here.”

A small percentage of the population said they thought it would be way more efficient for the economy if the government just didn’t take the money in the first place. These people were shouted down as “libertarian conspiracy theorist wackos” and told to move to Somalia.

Sure, why not? Makes every bit as much sense as anything else does these days. Plus, what with Minnesota and other places having been “fundamentally transformed” into Somali enclaves, there’s probably lots of room over there now, available at fire-sale prices.

Remain calm, all is (not) well

Bearing in mind the uncertainty factor—that we don’t really even know what we don’t know as of yet—stepping back for a dose of level-headed perspective seems like it might come in useful.

I’m a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and National Health Service consultant pathologist, and have spent most of my adult life in healthcare and science — fields which, all too often, are characterized by doubt rather than certainty. There is room for different interpretations of the current data. If some of these other interpretations are correct, or at least nearer to the truth, then conclusions about the actions required will change correspondingly.

The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month? Statistically, we would expect about 51,000 to die in Britain this month. At the time of writing, 422 deaths are linked to COVID-19 — so 0.8 percent of that expected total. On a global basis, we’d expect 14 million to die over the first three months of the year. The world’s 18,944 coronavirus deaths represent 0.14 percent of that total. These figures might shoot up but they are, right now, lower than other infectious diseases that we live with (such as flu). Not figures that would, in and of themselves, cause drastic global reactions.

Initial reported figures from China and Italy suggested a death rate of 5 percent to 15 percent, similar to Spanish flu. Given that cases were increasing exponentially, this raised the prospect of death rates that no healthcare system in the world would be able to cope with. The need to avoid this scenario is the justification for measures being implemented: the Spanish flu is believed to have infected about one in four of the world’s population between 1918 and 1920, or roughly 500 million people with 50 million deaths. We developed pandemic emergency plans, ready to snap into action in case this happened again.

At the time of writing, the UK’s 422 deaths and 8,077 known cases give an apparent death rate of 5 percent. This is often cited as a cause for concern, contrasted with the mortality rate of seasonal flu, which is estimated at about 0.1 percent. But we ought to look very carefully at the data. Are these figures really comparable?

Cause for concern? Sure. Taking reasonable, appropriate precautionary measures? Of course. The kind of irrational panic response we’ve seen of late—upending society wholesale, wrecking the economy, throwing millions out of work, passively forsaking rights and liberties that can never be regained without bloodshed? Sorry, I just can’t see it. The good doctor makes a lot of sense to me here. But YMMV.

(Via Larwyn)

Religion versus pseudo-science?

The pseudo-science-pimping Left isn’t as anti- or a-religious as they like to think.

All pseudo-science models have one thing in common: They are essentially deeply religious, accompanied as they are by apocalyptic end times scenarios that goad the public into actions fomented by panic and despair. The use of mathematics and charts adds an air of legitimacy to apocalyptic predictions that are almost the exact duplicate of end time scenarios prophesied by cult leaders. Such prophets have used biblical verses, gnostic numerology, guilt and fear to panic their followers into selling all their possessions, buying white robes and heading to the mountains or digging shelters underground in hopes of surviving as the chosen remnant.

In a similar panicked manner, there are those whose disruptive plans are now being put into play while they appeal to “science” and to their higher moral discernment; wisdom that is hidden from the rest of us mortals.

Nothing is more tempting to potential tyrants than utilization of a panic stoked to white heat in order to reinforce and extend state control. The use of partial truth — yes, the virus is real — can be inflated and massaged in order to achieve nefarious ends. Alas, the fact is that the final writhing of a diseased system built on lies can still create havoc. Some ideologues just like to see things burn. Some see ways to profit from societal collapse. Some see the possibility that society can be fundamentally transformed.

We need to consider what will happen if our entire nation is shut down. We need to consider that what is happening in our own country goes far beyond an attempt to take down Donald Trump and is rapidly morphing into hysteria that if unchecked, could change our entire nation beyond recognition.

Don’t look now, bub, but I think maybe it just did.

The coronavirus madness puts before Americans a choice: Revive the progressive/leftist Frankenstein monster or immolate it at last.

Let’s hope America chooses the latter and doesn’t accede to embracing an ideological vision that has long relied on deathly visions of apocalypse now, visions bound to destroy the flawed but redeemable peoples and institutions of the West.

All the while, hope and pray that the panic engendered by an ideological paradigm bolstered by pseudo-science and errant philosophical underpinnings at last collapses; and that true reform and restoration can begin.

And now for something completely different: a look at the brighter side.

Thankfully as a nation this crisis is causing us to reevaluate our priorities: faith, family, community and freedom; and seeing the easy dispatch of liberty also reignites that oft forgotten flickering flame…

Journalists are less important than janitors. Our nations best athletes are healthcare workers rushing to assist those in need. The true heroes are not celebrities, but rather farmers, truck drivers, stock clerks, and supermarket cashiers.

The most valuable businesses do not glitter or present themselves with self-congratulatory award shows; they do today what they have always done to keep our food supply flowing. Perhaps now, at least for a few short weeks, we stop taking them for granted.

Effective right now comfortably invisible workers are recognized as critical priorities; or as the government has official designated them “essential services.” These folks form the network of our lives; they always have, but we didn’t notice. Everything else is less than.

No-one is saying this doesn’t suck; but some people know that standing around bitching about the comparative values of current life in suckdom doesn’t actually accomplish anything.

President Trump is doing what needs to be done; with far more information than me; and in the best manner he can assemble to keep America great. He does this while simultaneously swatting away thousands of piranhas biting at him on an hourly basis.

So again, ask yourself a question: what part are you to play?

Live your best life.

You only have this moment once.

That unlooked-for burst of sunny positivity comes to us courtesy of Sundance, who also steers us to this one:

Truckers are saying “fuck the log rules, I’m hauling” and they’re getting supplies to the stores. People are stocking the shelves all night and letting old people shop first. Folks are buying meals for truckers, who (obviously) can’t go through the drive-ups. Asking ’em what they want, then buying it for them.

Carnival Cruise Line has told Trump “We can match those big Navy Hospital ships with some fully staffed cruise ships”.

GM and Ford have said “hold our cars and watch this — we can make ventilators where we were just making car parts, starting next week” — by re-engineering seat ventilators which their engineers hacked together for a new purpose. In under a week.

In a project with which I’m loosely associated, a very-effective agricultural disease-control agent was re-purposed and re-labeled specifically for Corona-virus control by the FDA and EPA in under ten days, from initial request to distribution.

Restaurants and schools have said, “we’ve got kitchens and staff; we can feed the poor kids who used have school lunch.”

NBA basketball players have said, “Hold our basketballs while we write checks to pay the arena staff.”

Construction companies are saying, “Here are some high-end masks for medical staff and doctors”.

Distilleries are making sanitizer out of distilling “heads and tails” which are normally discarded. Nasty shit to drink, but effective sanitizer.

People are tipping grocery check-out clerks and thanking them for taking the risk.

Local, state, and county governments are taking control of everything the feds cannot do. Some are doing it wrong, but for the first time in decades … they’re doing it. Federalism is re-emerging, and the smallest unit of government is the individual and the family. This, too, is re-emerging after decades of dormancy.

As Japanese Admiral Isokuru Yamamoto said, after Pearl Harbor … “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

I sense this has just happened. We have a wonderful country, the greatest single force for good in all human history. We have closed our borders, with good reason, yet we have top medical people now assisting North Korea in their response to the virus.

Many things have been re-set, and will never be the same.

By microbiological accident, we are living in profoundly transformative historical times.

No denying that. It remains to be seen how that profound transformation shakes out in the end, but we must remain hopeful to whatever extent we possibly can. Horrid as it is, if the current upheaval is what it takes to achieve the aforementioned immolation of the Left at long last, it will have been well worth the cost.

AWWWW update! What the heck, two more feel-good stories—from New Jersey, of all places—below the fold.
Continue reading “Religion versus pseudo-science?”

Chinese Yellow Peril Fu Manchu Wuhan Sino-Flu claims another victim

Peter Hitchens’ equanimity.

As I watched the Prime Minister order mass house arrest on Monday night, I felt revulsion, anger and grief – as anyone brought up when this was a free and well-governed country would. I also felt terribly alone.

You could not have known, from anything broadcast that night or printed the following day, that anyone was unhappy with these events. But they were.

So, above all things this week, I would like to thank all the kind, perplexed people who have got in touch with me by so many means, to say they share my doubts about the Government’s handling of Covid-19.

After last week, can we rule anything out? This new Stasi society has a horrifying level of support. Humberside police are already advertising a ‘portal’ for citizens to inform on their neighbours for breaking the ‘social distancing’ rules.

If you think they won’t get any takers, think again. Northamptonshire police have revealed that their control room has had ‘dozens and dozens’ of calls about people ignoring the order.

I must refer you folks once more to a great quote I read someplace in the aftermath of the 9/11 “Somebody Did Something” man-caused-disaster event. A Brit pundit was asked whether he thought Great Britain could hope to successfully stand against Moslem terrorism. The pundit briskly responded, “That isn’t the question. The question is whether the English people remain English.” Alas, that question was answered long ago, it seems.

Most people will, by now, have viewed the online film of Metropolitan police officers bellowing officiously at sunbathers on Shepherd’s Bush Green in London, energetically stamping out the foul crime of lying on the grass (would they have paid so much attention, two weeks ago, to a gaggle of louts making an unpleasant noise, or to marijuana smokers?).

Others will have seen the films, taken by Derbyshire police drones, of lonely walkers on the remote, empty hills, publicly pillorying them for not obeying the regulations. It is genuinely hard to see what damage these walkers have done.

But as a former resident of the USSR, I can tell you that this sort of endless meddling by petty authority in the details of life, reinforced by narks, is normal in unfree societies – such as we have now become for an indefinite period. It is, by the way, also a seedbed for corruption.

Meanwhile, our economy is still crippled, and the overpraised Chancellor Rishi Sunak, like some beaming Dr Feelgood with a case full of dodgy stimulants, seeks to soothe the pain by huge injections of funny money.

He will get this back from us as soon as we are allowed out again. Just you wait till you get the bill, in increased taxes, inflation and devastated savings.

Gee, thank goodness such things could never happen here, right?

It ought not to be so. In fact, several powerful pieces of evidence have come to light, suggesting that the Great Panic is foolish and wrong.

I shall come to these, to underline the fact that it is not I, alone, who have these doubts. I do not claim to be an expert. But I refer to those who definitely are experts, who doubt the wisdom of what we are doing.

He goes on to cite that evidence chapter and verse. Over there or over here, it’s as I’ve been saying: whatever this whole contretemps was orginally all about, it ain’t about that now. Our would-be masters saw their chance, and they jumped on it with both feet. Long, long after the Chinese Fug itself has faded into dim and distant memory, we’ll be dealing with the disastrous consequences of the panicked overreaction to it.

By their fruits shall ye know them

The mailed fist is beginning to show through the velvet glove of “an abundance of caution” and “concern.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s power trip has reached new heights.

On Friday, de Blasio warned religious leaders during his press briefing that if places of worship do not comply with the city’s shutdown order — he might close them down permanently.

“A small number of religious communities, specific churches and specific synagogues, are unfortunately not paying attention to this guidance even though it’s so widespread,” de Blasio said during the briefing.

While he specifically mentioned synagogues and churches, he did not mention mosques at all.

Anybody surprised by that curious little omission? At all?

“I want to say to all those who are preparing for the potential of religious services this weekend: If you go to your synagogue, if you go to your church and attempt to hold services after having been told so often not to, our enforcement agents will have no choice but to shut down those services,” he added.

The out-of-control mayor continued on to say that if churches and synagogues resist authorities, they may be shut down forever.

Don’t think he wouldn’t, and with a big, happy smile on his face too. Fierce suppression of Christianity and Judaism has always been pretty much di rigeur for Commie tyrants everywhere, after all. Marxism can’t stand up to competition from other faiths.

Overstepping his bounds update! By what authority, Red Bill?

Let us be clear, the government can request, suggest and recommend that faith-based assemblies suspend their services; and in many cases those churches and religious groups may indeed choose to suspend their services. However, under no circumstance, including: war, famine or virus pandemics that could leave only a hand-full of people alive, can the government force the suspension; or punish those who refuse to comply.

Religious worship, including the assembly therein, is enshrined within the first amendment as it carries the first and ultimate essential service. There is absolutely no situation where that right can be removed.

Worse still is the use of the word “permanently” when de Blasio announces his unconstitutional suspension of rights. The mayor threatens to permanently close buildings? What kind of mindset would even fathom forcing the permanent closure of houses of worship because they defy unconstitutional dictates from the state?

This decree by the New York mayor should alarm everyone.

What TRULY ought to alarm everyone is that New Yorkers elected the loathsome Commie shitheel in the first damned place.

SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!!

What was I saying the other day about it being an ill wind indeed that blows no man any good?

Government Accidentally Shuts Itself Down With Ban On Non-Essential Businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Congress has asked all non-essential businesses to limit their hours or close entirely for an undetermined amount of time.

But this shutdown mistakenly shut down the most non-essential entity of all: the government. For a brief period of time, all government in the United States was illegal, since it is completely non-essential to everything.

“Oops,” said Senator Mitch McConnell. “We meant non-essential private businesses. Of course, the government is always essential, even when it’s not doing anything or is making things worse.”

Senators, congresspeople, and bureaucrats frantically rewrote the ban to include only businesses that actually produced something and not government agencies that just watched other people make stuff. Though they had dragged their feet on passing bills related to relieving the financial distress of the shutdown, they passed this revision in record speed, almost as quickly as they vote for pay raises for themselves. 

It’s the Bee, of course, but would that it were true. I do have a quibble to make with that “watching other people make stuff” business too. Actually, if they limited their activities to merely spectating, we’d all be a lot better off. Unfortunately, their primary function is to actively hinder the people who are trying to make stuff, then turn around and tax, regulate, inspect, harrass, and fee them right into oblivion.

The Green New Deal Dystopia

Wouldn’t be caught dead living there, myself.

Greens just can’t help themselves. As the rest of us do what we can to tackle or withstand the Covid-19 crisis, they treat it as a sign, a warning from nature, a telling-off to hubristic, destructive mankind. The speed with which they have folded this pandemic into their misanthropic narrative about humanity being a pox on the planet has been shocking, but not surprising.

Right from the top of the UN, they have been promoting their backward belief that this virus is a reprimand from nature. Inger Andersen, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, says ‘nature is sending us a message’ with this pandemic and other recent disasters, including bushfires in Australia and locust invasions in Kenya. Of course nature is doing no such thing, because nature is not a sentient being, however much the new religion of environmentalism might fantasise that it is.

Britain’s chief bourgeois misanthrope, George Monbiot, was hot on the heels of the UN’s eco-medievalists. He says Covid-19 has shattered humanity’s self-serving myth that it has achieved ‘insulation from natural hazards’. There is a grotesque glee in the way Monbiot describes what Covid-19 has unleashed – ‘the membrane has ruptured’, he says, and ‘we find ourselves naked and outraged, as the biology we appeared to have banished storms through our lives’.

“Insulation from natural hazards”? We somehow “banished” biology? Ummm, excuse me and all, Mr Moonbat, sir, but…well, I can’t honestly say I know ANYBODY—not a single living soul—who believes ANY of that utter codswallop you just disgorged. I certainly don’t myself.

This is also why so many greens online have been sharing images of dolphins swimming near Venice or an absence of airplane trails over California. Because to them, these are signs of a benefit from Covid-19: the humbling of humankind, the reining in of our industrial and technological activity, and the reassertion of nature’s awesome power. If you see a disease as a political statement, as an opportunity to pursue your pre-existing misanthropic agendas, there is something very wrong with you.

Even though all of this is morally perverse, it is not surprising. For a long time, greens have viewed human beings as a pox, a virus in our own right, doing untold damage to the planet. Green god David Attenborough has said humans are ‘a plague on the planet’. Even when greens don’t use such explicitly hateful language, they constantly promote a view of human production and development as toxic and destructive.

And they latch on to everything from bushfires to floods, from plagues of locusts to melting ice-caps, as signs from nature, lessons from a furious Gaia. When religious crackpots blame floods on gay marriage, claiming God is punishing us for losing the moral plot, we rightly mock them. Yet greens offer merely a secular version of such backward, apocalyptic claptrap.

Oh, there’s nothing secular about it. It’s more a contemporary twist on traditional religious faith—a perverse, bitter, ugly one, based not on love and redemption but on bilious contempt—more precisely attuned to the sensibilities of shriveled souls who scorn Christianity, mostly out of juvenile spite.

The truth is that if the Covid-19 crisis has shown us anything, it is how awful it would be to live in the kind of world greens dream about. Right now, courtesy of a horrible new virus, our societies look not dissimilar to the kind of societies Greta Thunberg, Extinction Rebellion, green parties and others have long been agitating for. Fewer flights, industry halted, huge infrastructure projects put on hold. Less driving, less travelling, less human interaction. Over the past few weeks, as a result of our response to Covid-19, the ‘human footprint’ will undoubtedly have shrunk. And what an awful world it has become: smaller, quieter, more atomised.

Also stilted, impoverished, and fearful: a world in which trust has been supplanted by suspicion, comfort and ease by hardship and angst, hope by despair. Green weenies frequently blibber on about the necessity of a mass die-off in order to indulge their pet delusion of restoring “balance” and “harmony” between man and his natural environment. Too bad for us saner sorts that they seem determined to take our helpful response to heart and act on it: By all means. After you.

“The future is not written”

Well, this is kinda cool.

‘He made it’: 101-year-old man who was born during Spanish flu pandemic survives coronavirus infection
A 101-year-old man reportedly survived a fight with the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to overwhelm Italy.

Gloria Lisi, vice mayor of Rimini, announced the news. She said the man, identified only as Mr. P., was admitted to a hospital last week after he tested positive for the flu-like illness. Mr. P. was born in 1919 while the world was grappling with the Spanish flu, a disease that killed millions.

“He made it. Mr. P. made it,” Lisi said. “Even at 101 years, the future is not written.”

She pointed out that, since being born during the Spanish flu, Mr. P. has seen the world change dramatically.

“He saw everything, Mr. P. War, hunger, pain, progress, crisis, and resurrections,” Lisi said.

So, a survivor of Spanish Flu and Chinese Yellow Peril Fu Manchu Wuhan Sino-Flu both, then. He’s a tough old bird for sure, and good on him for it.

A new contender emerges!

A faltering, befuddled Biden makes the only sensible move left to him.

BatBoyBiden.jpg


Congrats to Bat Boy on this welcome news, of course. But there’s more.

BAT BOY TESTS NEGATIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS!
RESUMES 2020 ELECTION CAMPAIGN!

WASHINGTON DC – After a tense few days, the test results have finally come in. Bat Boy does NOT have coronavirus!

Last week, Bat Boy was on Capitol Hill meeting with a number of Senators and members of Congress to discuss his plans to unify the country. Unfortunately, Bat Boy spent some time in a heated discussion with Senators Rand Paul and Senator Joe Manchin. When news broke that Rand Paul had to be tested for coronavirus, the CDC contacted Bat Boy. Out of an abundance of cautious, Bat Boy was also tested.

Bat Boy spent the week in his cave in West Virginia. He did not let any of his staff or friends near him. Bigfoot tried to visit him, but he was too big to fit into the hole leading to Bat Boy’s hideaway. The two mutants did speak to each other through a crack in the cave wall.

Vice President Pence invited Bat Boy to the podium in The White House Press Room to announce his negative test results. Bigfoot, his Vice Presidential running mate and Ph.D., Ape, his campaign advisor joined Bat Boy for his announcement.

Heartening developments all around, then. If a Bat Boy/Bigfoot administration can’t get this damned country straightened out, I’m not sure what can.

From America’s other paper of record: the Weekly World News, which rightly bills itself as “The World’s Only Reliable News.” For some reason or other I have till now neglected to put WWN into Ye Olde Blogrolle, which oversight has been corrected. Thanks to Brack for the steer on the coveted Biden endorsement.

Faltering, befuddled update! Gee, don’t go TOO far out on that limb there, fellas.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson said insiders in the Joe Biden presidential campaign believe he will not be mentally fit to be president come Election Day.

Wrong verb tense, Tucker. He isn’t mentally fit to be president NOW. Or much of anything else, for that matter.

While appearing on the Charlie LeDuff podcast, Carlson claimed that Biden insiders told him they don’t believe the former vice president has the mental fortitude to last until the 2020 election in November, speculating that the Democratic Party may revoke his potential nomination.

“I sincerely and totally believe that Joe Biden will not be the Democratic nominee on Election Day,” Carlson began.

“How does that math work?” another podcast host pressed. “It’s not about math. It’s about will,” Carlson said, saying the Democratic Party is “intent on taking power.”

“Two competing imperatives: We’ve got to win, but we’ve got a guy who can’t win. Therefore, they’re going to replace him,” Carlson continued. “He’s not going to make it, and the people around him know that. Trust me, I know them. And I know they know it, because they’ve said it to me.”

Looks like Senile Uncle Gropey ain’t the only sad, sloppy mess to be found in this election ordeal. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of assholes, if you ask me.

SAD update! Wow. I mean, just…WOW.

2020 Democrat front runner Joe Biden held a Coronavirus town hall with nurses, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

Biden advertised his Coronavirus livestream to his 4.62 million Twitter followers.

But only 632 people tuned in to watch Sleepy Joe on YouTube.

Jeez-O-Pete. The Bat Boy/Bigfoot team has just gotta be looking better and better every day to the hapless Democrat-Socialists, don’tchathink? Salt in the wound:

The Fox News special with President Trump and members of his Coronavirus task force on Tuesday was the highest rated town hall in the history of cable news.

The virtual town hall had 4,409,000 viewers between 12:00 and 2:00 p.m. according to ratings from Nielsen. It also has over a million views on YouTube.

Oof. If Biden was at all capable of shame, he’d be burning up with it right about now. But as we already know, he isn’t.

When fear is fueled, principle is abandoned

And the Left is lovin’ it.

Consider, for a moment, what ideas Americans seem to have generally accepted in the last few weeks.

First, there seems to no longer be a question as to whether or not the government has a responsibility to ensure health care for American citizens. The prospect of some hospitals, in some specific locales, exceeding health care capacity has caused the bulk of the American economy, at the behest of government, to simply stop functioning in order to avoid it. In other words, the health of a comparative few is of far greater importance than the personal, financial, and social interests of the many. If we accept that as gospel and the creed of our governance, as it seems we have, then how is Medicare-for-All anything less than a moral imperative?

Secondly, there no longer seems to be any question as to whether our government needs to act swiftly and decisively to defend against an invisible threat which presents an unknown, and unknowable, future impact, even if that means destroying American free enterprise, and the lives and livelihoods of countless millions. Green New Deal, anyone?

Thirdly, this crisis appears to have nullified any devotion to the concept of individual liberty among Americans. A friend in Chicago tells me that he and his young daughters daren’t risk even walking to the park that his tax dollars built, as he risks a $500 fine for doing so. The stiffest resistance encountered by the government officials imposing these infringements upon law-abiding citizens is the quiet grumbling that exists beneath all these loud sermons about “social distancing” and “flattening the curve.”

And finally, as Americans are left unable to care for themselves because the government is prohibiting their free association in the economic marketplace, the government is now facilitating a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers as cash payments to Americans below certain income thresholds.

It is not a coincidence that the greatest economic depression and the greatest expansion of the federal government’s power in American history occurred at precisely the same moment in time (see: New Deal Era). Once you understand that, why American progressives seem all-too-willing to sacrifice Americans’ economic prosperity while promising government-issued security blankets during the crisis shouldn’t be a mystery to anyone.

Americans are being asked to not only accept unnecessarily rigid social restrictions, but to also accept an indefinitely disabled economy for as long as the government sees fit, even though its continued disability has the potential to destroy our free enterprise system and fundamentally alter the American citizen’s relationship with the government.

To justify all of this, Americans are routinely presented the false metaphor that we are at war, and that this war requires sacrifices on our part. But millions of Americans aren’t enduring economic strife, social anxiety, and government-imposed quarantines because modern-day Nazis are looking to enslave humanity. No, we are enduring all of those things as a result of our blanket government policy responses to this pandemic, which apparently require bigger, broader, and more dangerous government policy responses to rectify.

You guys know what I always say: when the Left is winning, America is losing. In a time when government is using panic to expand its reach and power by orders of magnitude, conservative “principles” are old, stale news as the putative Right joins the general stampede to clamber aboard the Big Government bandwagon. All of which means the Left is winning.

Requiem for the Republic

She’s dead, Jim.

In order to maintain something of an economy with most of the nation locked away in their homes, there has been a 2 Trillion dollar payment to individuals, businesses and corporations to stabilize the economy and another 4 Trillion dollar loosening of the Federal Reserve to go along with it. What does that mean? It means that created out of air is twice the annual tax receipts for the United States. There is no way that is not a significant economic event. It is the invention of 1/3 of GDP. That it would not have a drastic and detrimental effect on the future of the nation is insanity only capable of being ignored by graduates of the public school system.

In one fell swoop of a minor pandemic the United States as a nation has abandoned both the republic and capitalism. Individual rights are destroyed, never again to be seen as rational arguments against the power of the state. Capitalism has lost out to the political and economic ideology of Soviet Russia allowing for such things as “travel permits” and sequestration of healthy individuals. It might be politically acceptable to brush all of this off for the time being as we sort out how big of a problem the pandemic is going to be, but it will never return to what it was and what few and precious rights once available to us will no longer be accessible through the courts.

It’s over. The elephant is dead. Capitalism is gone, the republic is gone. What we have now is an opportunity to feed off of the dead elephant, to stockpile as much as we can, to distance ourselves from each other and prepare for the ultimate battle for survival. The economic collapse is already in motion. It would have come along anyway, eventually, but this stimulus package stacked on top of the already soaring debt and unfunded liabilities will cripple the nation forever. It will implode. That is not to say that it will not chug along on four square wheels for some time, but the last support has been kicked out from under it, that of the belief in the rule of law and an understanding of global economics. Without those, nothing prevents the ceiling up from crashing down. It is what we recognize in Christianity as faith. Remove faith (as we have) and the only thing left are words, memes circulating the popular sites with no structural substance.

I note that hereabouts at least, the Christian churches are among the many things under lockdown, but golf courses…ain’t?!? Strangely, I’ve yet to see much specific mention of mosques, nor of how our newly-decreed statewide lockdown might affect Ramadan. But I do confess the idea of holding “digital Ramadan” observances just tickles me silly.

Oooops!

Never mind.

If it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified. But there’s little evidence to confirm that premise—and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.

Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate—2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others. So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, two million to four million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.

The latter rate is misleading because of selection bias in testing. The degree of bias is uncertain because available data are limited. But it could make the difference between an epidemic that kills 20,000 and one that kills two million. If the number of actual infections is much larger than the number of cases—orders of magnitude larger—then the true fatality rate is much lower as well. That’s not only plausible but likely based on what we know so far.

Follows, some crunching of what admittedly meager numbers we actually have, an unknown portion of which are either incomplete or unreliable. Conclusion?

This does not make Covid-19 a nonissue. The daily reports from Italy and across the U.S. show real struggles and overwhelmed health systems. But a 20,000- or 40,000-death epidemic is a far less severe problem than one that kills two million. Given the enormous consequences of decisions around Covid-19 response, getting clear data to guide decisions now is critical. We don’t know the true infection rate in the U.S. Antibody testing of representative samples to measure disease prevalence (including the recovered) is crucial. Nearly every day a new lab gets approval for antibody testing, so population testing using this technology is now feasible.

If we’re right about the limited scale of the epidemic, then measures focused on older populations and hospitals are sensible. Elective procedures will need to be rescheduled. Hospital resources will need to be reallocated to care for critically ill patients. Triage will need to improve. And policy makers will need to focus on reducing risks for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.

A universal quarantine may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community and individual mental and physical health. We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns.

I feel confident in sticking with a tried and true central premise of mine: whatever the solution to any given problem might be, if any, it’s EXTREMELY unlikely that it will come from government. I have for years now distrusted both its intentions and its capabilities, and see no reason to abandon that position now just because everybody else has suddenly decided to embrace the old faith again out of nothing but sheer terror.

The excerpt above is from a WSJ article, paywalled of course, so the link I provided above is actually to an archive.is snapshot. It may or may not work for some of you guys, I dunno. But except for the statistical nitty-gritty, I already copped the good parts for ya anyhow.

(Via CBD)

Fact check update! More number-crunching, unveiling the truth behind all the Enemedia lies.

It begins

Shit just got REAL, people.

Waffle House says 418 of its restaurants are closed as coronavirus continues to spread

Updated: Waffle House has increased the number of restaurants closed since this story was first published.

Waffle House, the restaurant chain known for having its own unofficial index used during natural disasters, said it’s closing 418 of its restaurants.

In various social media posts, the chain featured a map showing the 418 closed restaurants, while another 1,574 across the southeastern U.S. remained open. The posts also featured the hashtag “#WaffleHouseIndexRed.

Being a HUGE fan of Waffle House myself—anybody who’s spent as much time on the road as I have over the years simply couldn’t NOT be—this reads like a real tragedy to me. But it ain’t just Waffle House that’s suffering; the national Restaurant Holocaust I’ve been predicting is just getting its boots on, looks like.

The Cheesecake Factory, one of the most popular sit-down restaurant chains in the country, says it will not be able to make upcoming rent payments for any of its storefronts on April 1 because of significant loss of income due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Calabasas Hills-based company informed all of its landlords in a letter dated March 18 (reproduced below) that a severe decline in restaurant traffic has decreased its cash flow and “inflicted a tremendous financial blow” to business. Cheesecake Factory’s affiliated restaurants, such as Rock Sugar and North Italia, will also not make April 1 rent payments.

Company chairman and CEO David Overton writes, “Due to these extraordinary events, I am asking for your patience, and frankly, your help.” He continues, “we appreciate our landlords’ understanding given the exigency of the current situation.” The letter says that the company hopes to resume paying rent as soon as possible.

Cheesecake Factory, for those of you unfamiliar with ’em, isn’t exactly your basic small-time mom-and-pop operation.

The Cheesecake Factory was founded in Beverly Hills in 1972 and maintains its original location on Beverly Drive, with 39 locations in California. In total, it operates 294 restaurants in 39 states, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Toronto, Canada. In 2019, the company also acquired Phoenix-based Fox Restaurants, including North Italia, Flower Child, and The Henry. Most of the company’s landlords are malls, including Simon and Westfield.

In telling landlords that it will not able to pay rent, the Cheesecake Factory essentially confirms that it is in the same position that many independent restaurateurs currently find themselves in. In a statement to investors on March 23 — five days after the letter to landlords — the Cheesecake Factory announced that it would curtail development of unopened restaurants and tap into a $90 million credit line to increase its available cash. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Cheesecake Factory has closed 27 locations across the country, and pivoted other locations to a takeout and delivery-only model — which it said just days ago was enabling the company to “operate sustainably at present” — and its stock price has fallen by more than 50 percent in the past month.

With 38,000 employees, the Cheesecake Factory is one of the largest restaurant employers in the country. Given its recent stock woes and the ongoing reduction in business due to the coronavirus pandemic, it seems possible that it, like many restaurants, could end up needing a bailout to survive.

As I keep saying, this shutdown/lockdown business is going to wind up being one hell of a lot more costly long-term than some folks seem to realize. If a huge national chain like CF is struggling, just imagine what this is doing to all the independently-owned places out there—and how many of those businesses are going to simply cease to exist.

Nor is the dismal impact limited to restaurants and bars; pretty much any small business you could name, in any field, is in a similar untenable situation. The jobs they provide, the taxes they pay, the livelihoods their employees depend on—all gone for good, never to return no matter how big a “stimulus” the goobermint finally comes up with. The suppliers and services they support, the customers they serve, the communities they enliven—all damaged if not brought to ruin themselves by this cascade of catastrophe.

Our “leaders,” in the arrogance of their mistaken assumption of omnipotence, decided to light a fuse that cannot be extinguished. Now it’s too late for the rest of us to do anything but sit back and wait for the explosion, and see how much of American society is caught inside the blast radius.

Sad!

He’s sinking fast.

Call off the search, Joe Biden has been found.

After days of people wondering exactly where the former VP has been, Biden decided to appear before some friendly faces on The View today. He was interviewed remotely from what I’m assuming is his home, as it’s the same background he’s had for the last several videos he’s made. Apparently, all the rest he’s been getting the last few weeks has done nothing to sharpen Biden’s mental faculties, as he ended up devolving into incoherence rather quickly.

Follows, a Tweet quoting some trademark Biden-blibber: “We have to take care of the cure. That will make the problem worse no matter what—no matter what.”

Wait, what? Yeah, I’m not going to even attempt to translate that. I have no idea what Biden is attempting to say there.

It got worse, though.

How could it not? The man is actually lapsing into morbidity and decomposition publicly, in real-time. Jazz Shaw picks up the rapidly unraveling thread, and remarkably, it gets worse still.

This is about as close as we can get to a transcript of Biden’s remarks falling into disarray.

“And uh, and, and in addition to that, uh, and in addition to that, we have to, uh, make sure that we, uh, we are in a position that we are, well, lemme, lemme go a second thing. I’ve spoken enough on that”

To be clear, there was almost certainly some sort of technical failure going on here. A couple of seconds into the clip you can see Biden gesturing with his right hand, most likely urging a staffer to keep the teleprompter rolling. I’m assuming it just froze up at that point. But it was the former Veep’s performance after that technical failure that sends some worrisome signals.

Let’s keep one thing in mind. This wasn’t some moment where Biden got caught by surprise when a reporter tossed a loaded question at him or an awkward answer to a pointed comment from an audience member at a town hall. This was a planned, staged event where Biden was able to set the tone and tempo at a time of his choosing. All he had to do was successfully read the words on the teleprompter. And even if the prompter failed, he had plenty of time to practice the remarks in advance, allowing him to push forward and summarize his message in the same general theme. He didn’t even manage to meet that low bar.

I swear to you that I’m not trying to be unkind to Joe Biden or just run him down in the name of gaining some momentary political advantage. My family has struggled with “mental clarity” issues involving some of us in our advancing years, as I’ve mentioned here in the past. I can totally sympathize. But this guy is asking to be made the leader of the free world and be given the launch codes. And if the Democrats are taking this election seriously and honestly care about something besides just replacing Donald Trump with any other warm body they can find, the DNC should be having a long, serious discussion about this by now.

Ahh, but they don’t care about anything else. It’s dubious at best, should he somehow survive and win the Presidency, whether they even have any intention of allowing Uncle Gropey to operate in any capacity other than as a front for the real Power operating behind the scenes anyway. If Biden can stave off his escalating collapse and decay long enough, we could well end up with a ventriloquist’s dummy as POTUS. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you President Charlie McCarthy!

Think I’m kidding? Think they’re not desperate enough to be gaming it all out even while we all watch in horror as Gropey continues to disintegrate before the eyes of the nation?

Think again.

Stay Alive, Joe Biden
Democrats need little from the front-runner beyond his corporeal presence.

Voters seem to have coalesced around Biden for his past—who they have known him to be for the past four decades in American politics—rather than for anything in his present. It’s as if Biden exists primarily as an idea, rather than an actual candidate.

Today, as the country (and the world) enters what is likely to be a prolonged period of darkness, left to the mercy of a deadly virus, Biden is grappling with the reality of what he can—and must—do in this hour of crisis, as the man who would like to take over leadership of the United States.

Gropey is grappling with reality, period.

In all likelihood, the desire to oust Trump will be piercing in the coming days, as death and chaos escalate. The president has been reckless, duplicitous, and morally hazardous in his leadership during a pandemic that is likely to be the defining event of a generation—forget about a campaign cycle. But the many union members looking at their closed casinos and the mothers in lockdown with their children and the students forced off their campuses and the older Americans living in complete isolation may find it impossible to imagine that their earlier fears about another four years of Trump have abated, or that the ferocity of their desire to get him out of office has lessened. Indeed, the emotion of this moment may displace any that has come before it.

Biden’s team appears to understand this, and to believe that what matters most now is keeping their candidate alive in the American imagination as an alternative to Trump.

Keeping him alive at all is the real task.

His appearances these days have an almost parallel-universe quality to them:

Don’t they. Don’t they just.

Biden’s audience-less remarks from his home in Delaware have the suggestion of an Oval Office address, and their content seems intended to offer a glimpse into the twilight zone

Okay, is this hapless bint just trying to be funny now?

where someone else, someone more empathetic and capable, is president. It’s as if Biden is telegraphing to his public: You have already imagined that I can beat Trump; now imagine what it will be like when I am president.

Oh, that one’s easy: we’ll be treated to seeing Gropey (or a stand-in) being trotted out now and then to recite a few meaningless words, maybe taken for a brief stagger ’round the White House lawn, then trank-darted back into stasis and returned to his sarcophagus until another PR turn is required of him. Meanwhile, the nation will continue to be (mis)ruled by a shadowy cabal of Swamp critters—out of view, out of reach, out of control, answerable to none.

Thus will the status quo ante be restored, and the Deep State preserved.

You have been conned

Robert Zimmerman lays out what it’s REALLY all about. Hint: same old thing it always is.

While common sense, caution, and the human ability to adapt to fluctuating circumstances requires our society to react to the COVID-19 epidemic spreading across the globe, our additional ability to think coolly and rationally requires us to not allow our emotions to run wildly and out-of-control, taking actions that might feel good for a moment but do no good and maybe more harm in the long run.

It also requires to look closely at the actions of our lawmakers, whose motives are now commonly not driven by an interest in the country but by their own interests and an insatiable desire for power. Two stories this past weekend were quite revealing in this context.

First we have the incredible request by the Justice Department for new special powers so that it can supposedly react to the epidemic properly.

The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States.

…There are more requests on the list, including the ability for the chief judge of any district court to “pause court proceedings” when the court is impacted by civil disobedience or other emergency situations. Such a “pause” could be put into effect for pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures. In other words, this would effectively throw habeas corpus out the window for the duration of the pandemic. You could, in theory at least, be arrested and tossed in a cell and left there indefinitely without getting the chance to appear before a judge and ask to be released, have bail set or anything else.

Remember, this is essentially the same Justice Department that for the past three years has worked hard to misuse the FISA court in an effort to overthrow the legal election of a president they don’t like, even as they abused their power to put several people in prison and ruin the lives of others for relatively minor process crimes that would not have even existed without their fake investigation.

You think they won’t misuse these new powers, should Congress give such to them? And in what way do any of these totalitarian and unconstitutional powers contribute in any way to overcoming COVID-19?

They don’t. That’s the giveaway, see. Even for those blind or naive enough not to have seen what was coming early on, rely on loathsome Demo-dimwit James Clyburn to be stupid enough to give the game away.

House Democrats are indicating they want to go bigger and broader than the already massive economic stimulus package offered by Senate Republicans to blunt the coronavirus pandemic.

On a Thursday conference call featuring more than 200 members of the House Democratic caucus, lawmakers one by one laid out a sweeping wish list of provisions they want to see included in the nascent package, including a boost in infrastructure spending, an expansion of Social Security benefits and funding for states to set up an all-mail voting system in the event the pandemic extends into November’s elections.

This is a tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our vision,” Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told lawmakers, according to a source on the call.

It is at that, and they’re making the most of it. Hey, isn’t there an old saw, probably apocryphal, about the Chinese word for “crisis” having a dual meaning, also signifying “opportunity”? Back to Zimmerman for the closer:

Can you imagine removing these restrictions next year, when the flu returns (as it always does) and causes even half those deaths? And if the lockdowns have been removed this summer because the Wuhan virus has subsided, I will not be surprised if they are re-imposed next fall, due to the annual much more serious flu season. A precedent will have been set, a precedent that every single one of our power-hungry and very corrupt politicians will wish to use, as often as possible.

Fortunately, we do have an election coming in November. If these thugs in power continue their effort to make themselves our dictators, we will have a chance to tell them otherwise.

The big question however is: Will we? I wish I knew.

Which brings to mind another, darker old saw: If voting could change anything, it would be illegal.

The rights and the wrongs

VDH isn’t often wrong. And he’s mostly right here, too. Mostly.

There is some evidence from Germany and to a lesser extent South Korea, that it may be possible to see the fatality rate dip below 1 percent. And with the breathing space from the lockdown, better hygiene (the degree of constant and near-obsessive cleaning at businesses that are still open is quite amazing), more knowledge and data, better medical protocols, the use of some efficacious drugs, warmer weather, and experience with the disease will, in perfect-storm fashion, begin to mitigate the effects of the virus.

Should we get the lethality rate down to German levels (currently two to three in 1,000), then we can cautiously assume that those who predicted that the coronavirus could eventually be contextualized as a bad, H1N1-like flu will no longer be demonized as nuts, and life can resume with reasonable precautions and focused quarantines and isolation.

Yeah, aside from that whole collapsed-economy thing we’re all gonna be just peachy-keen.

In two or three weeks, if we can just allow most businesses to reopen, gear up to pandemic testing, track cases and contacts in the manner of past protocols that lessened polio, tuberculosis, AIDS, and measles outbreaks, and focus on the ill and elderly, then the economy will reboot.

“Most businesses” assumes that “most” will survive. At least in the bar/restaurant industry, very many of them will not. The effects from that are going to be felt way beyond just some out-of-work wait staff and bartenders, too.

But now the current economy is starting to resemble a patient in an induced coma, one whom no one knows whether he will recover after the respirator is disconnected. But still, there are reasons for optimism: historically low interest rates will eventually encourage big-ticket buying.

By people employed in precarious, thin-margin sectors who haven’t worked in weeks? It’s often said that most Americans are only one or two paychecks away from homelessness. Those people are now past that threshold, with no end in sight. I dunno, maybe I’m just too much of a gloomy Gus and all, but seems to me the math and the optimism are somewhat in conflict at the moment.

Hanson goes on for a bit in that overly-sunny vein, bless his heart. But then we come to the good stuff.

In a sophisticated society under lockdown, is it more existentially valuable to know how to fix a toilet, replace a circuit breaker, or change a tire, or to be a New York fashion designer, a Hollywood actor, or a corporate merger lawyer? At 9 p.m., when you go downtown in need of a critical prescription, are you really all that furious that a law-abiding citizen who has a gun and concealed permit is also in line—or would you be more relieved that gun control laws might ensure that his ilk never enters an all-night pharmacy?

So who is important and who not?

We were often told globalized elites on the coast were the deserved 21st-century winners, while the suckers and rubes in-between had better learn coding or head to the fracking fields.

But who now is more important than the trucker who drives 12-hours straight to deliver toilet paper to Costco?

Sorry, but here’s another nit I must pick. Any trucker who drives 12 hours straight these days is going to find himself out of work somewhere around the 13th one. Electronic logs track every minute of the driving day; with ironclad rules mandating not only total hours but also occasional thirty minute breaks throughout, and freight companies closely monitoring the data so as to avoid thousands of dollars in fines levied by state authorities who monitor ditto, there just ain’t no wiggle-room left in the workday.

My brother, an owner-operator who hauls containers out of Savannah, routinely finds his legal driving time running thin when he’s about 20 minutes away from his home. He then faces a stark choice: pull over somewhere and shut down (a problem all its own considering the chronic shorage of rest-stop parking), step out of the cab, and walk laps around his rig for the required “rest” period (you’re actually not supposed to just sit inside the truck and relax, or lie down in the bunk if you’re driving a sleeper). Alternatively, he can just say to hell with it, go on home and park the damned thing, and hope like hell nobody catches him at such reckless brigandry.

There have also been occasions when his entire daily duty-time allotment is nearly used up only a few miles from his home, which means a shutdown of ten hours before he can make another move legally. On those occasions, he usually just parks at a truck stop not far from the house and has the wife come pick him up and ferry him on home. Then she gets to drag herself out of bed at four AM next day to drop him off again, which she just LOOOOVES. A time or three he’s even had me do it, although I live a good forty miles or more from his place.

He’s gotten away with defying the thirty-minute-break rule a good few times, but is currently on probation after being busted twice recently—”condition yellow,” his employer calls it. One more infraction, and he’s out on his condition-red ass to join all those waiters and bartenders out there on the soup kitchen line.

So sorry again, Victor, but those heroic truckers won’t be driving any twelve hours straight, I’m afraid. Not for long, they won’t. Oh, many if not most of them could easily do it without excessive risk to anybody; hell, most of the old pros from the paper-log days have, in fact, a bazillion times over. I have myself, in fact, and more than just once or twice too. They’re certainly willing enough, mind; running long hours on the road all by your lonesome is simply what they do; it’s the job, no more, no less. But the law—as handed down to us from On High by college-boy goobermint eggheads who never hauled a load or humped freight on a loading dock a single day in their life, and don’t know anybody who has either—don’t allow that sort of thing. And while there used to be certain cracks you could slip through in order to get the job done, those cracks have all been sealed up by technology and the nanny-state mindset now.

But back to the good stuff again.

Do we really need to ask such questions of whether the presence of the czar for diversity and inclusion at Yale is missed as much as the often-caricatured cop on patrol at 2 a.m. in New Haven?

Do social justice student protestors who surround and heckle the politically suspicious now in ones and twos also scream in the faces of the incorrect plumber who unclogs their locked-down apartment drain?

The virus has reminded us again, but in an unorthodox fashion, that the world is bifurcated by the degreed versus the non-college educated, rural versus urban, sophisticates in opposition to supposed rubes—and the dichotomy has been telling. I don’t suppose Rick Wilson will go on CNN again to do his fake-Okie accent to ridicule the supposed unwashed, who deliver his food and energy, as viewers might wonder what exactly was his expertise.

Oh, I dunno. I wouldn’t be willing to place any bets on what depths a pustulent lowlife like Wilson might or might not be capable of stooping to.

When your refrigerator goes out under quarantine and your supplies begin to rot, do you really need another rant from Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.)—or do you rather need a St. Michael Smith and St. Uriel Mendoza to appear out of nowhere as the archangels from Home Depot to wheel up and connect a new one?

The real head-scratcher is how so many people ever convinced themselves they needed anything at all from the cretin Waters other than a cheerful, courteous “drive around to the first window, please” in the first damned place.

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