Whoever does not see the hand of God in this is blind sir, blind!Stonewall Jackson 1862
I was reading Sarah Hoyt’s list of predictions when I woke up 1st thing this morning concerning how the reverberations of this crisis will treat us over time, some good some not so good and I thought of my parents and how their lives shaped me.
My parents as depression era people and as children of people who basically had little or nothing but what they grew or produced themselves did not waste, did not splurge (well my Dad would TRY to splurge for mom but it just wasn’t her nature too need or want anything more than to be at home with her children and grand children around her) and had a profound sense of gratitude for all the good life brought because believe me they had plenty of bad to deal with and the most dangerous place to be when near them was as a threat to their family in any form. Any man who purposely put themselves in that spot was taking his life into his hands
They were also quite different in their outlook toward people. Dad was a natural optimist, Mom was a realist. Dad was always willing to take a chance (too willing sometimes). Mom was a person who played everything close to the vest. Dad couldn’t bear to see people in pain or want if he could help. For example when he got a plow for his truck he would disappear for hours because if he knew you needed to be dug out it was unthinkable to him not to do it when he had a plow handy. Mom would make sure the house was taken care of 1st and a nest egg secure before quietly offering her hand. Dad was chivalrous to a fault, no door for a woman was ever left upheld, no kid crying left without a piece of chocolate, no guy down on his luck to be passed by without being given a buck or two, even if it was his last one and no person stranded by the side of the road to be un-towed and if it was a woman with children he’d usually get them towed to a friend who would take care of them either at cost or for nothing. Mom was always unfailingly proper and polite, but minded her own business and never even volunteered advice to a friend unless explicitly asked. Dad was universally loved and when he died, too young at 65 the funeral home was overrun with people to a point I haven’t seen since the death of Mike Romano. Mom was universally respected and her wake despite taking place in 2012 a full quarter century after her husbands took place in her own home in the room she died in with her very large immediate family in attendance along with her children and grandchildren a private person to the very end.
Beyond all of this there was one other trait their shared. In any kind of a crisis either or both of them were the best people to have around. I never saw either fail to rise to the occasion in any crisis personal or public the only difference being that Mom hand, being full blooded Sicilian, would be less visible to others when deployed.
In my youth I saw their best traits minced by many in their generation but as I’ve grown older and seen all of my mothers family die and only one sister and brother-in-law of my father’s still remain those traits have become rare to the point of non-existence. That’s because those traits were built on a culture that had seen death and trouble up close and had handled them so thoroughly that their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren thought that peace, comfort and safety were the norm in society rather than the incredible historical exception made only possible by the genius of America and the efforts of her people.
And having seen the errors that this assumption has caused, particularly over the last twenty years I have been remarkably delighted over the last month with my fellow Americans.
With the exception of a few hoarders and some idiots I’ve seen a nation and a community that has done rather well in showing its best face when the chips are down. From hard working staff at the local grocery stores to the folks at the local diner, worried stiff about being able to make it, to folks carrying on at their place of work with a mask on their face I’ve seen Americans rising to the occasion, bending but not breaking.
Even in the field of politics, with some exceptions which must be expected I’ve seen people willing to lead and to do the hard work in concert with others. I’ve seen folks willing to deal with realities on the ground even when their personal philosophies may contradict with them, sometimes they’ve been forced out of their bubbles by events, sometimes with great reluctance, but on the whole reality has been respected and actions have been done accordingly
Only in media have I seen the bubble, shored up by the efforts and cash of our country’s enemies, resist puncture but with the new media, social platforms even if this bubble hasn’t burst it we have seen it bypassed.
When all of this started it was my opinion that we as a country would get though it. The more I’ve seen of our people over the last month the more I’m convinced that we will not just get though it but will thrive to a degree that we didn’t realize we were still capable of.
Perhaps I see to much of the world through my father’s optimistic eyes rather than my mothers realism or perhaps I’ve taken Eric Idle’s advice to always look at the bright side of life too to heart, but if the last three years had brought back the hope that America’s best years are ahead of us, the last month has turned that hope into a conviction that will require a lot of evidence to the contrary to shake.
God has put us to the test and so far it appears that America has decided it will not be content to squeak by with merely a passing grade. I think my father would be proud and my mother, while showing her best poker face to the world, would be pleasantly surprised.
I was completely startled at how rapidly everything escalated over just one week. One minute I was watching a Red Sox preseason game where they were talking about the possibility of the halting preseason games, then, with in a few days governments at all levels were shutting down just about all normal activity. Everything that happened was so unprecedented here in the United States.
I’m worried that since it has happened once it will now happen over and over again. Am I being paranoid about that? I don’t think so. Over the past decade I’ve studied history in great detail, with a particular emphasis on different forms of government. The one theme that has repeated itself most often is that once a government body has tasted power it will soon become addicted to it and will wield it as often as it can.
Were all of the orders to shelter in place and shutter businesses necessary? I don’t know. The only way to prove that it wasn’t is if governments did nothing, I believe the price for that may have been a very steep price, just look at conditions in Italy.
We the people must take careful steps to make sure that this type of government forced social disruptions happens only when absolutely needed, only under the most dire of circumstances. The way we do this is different for each level of government.
The way to prevent the federal government from abusing emergency powers and closing society down is simply to read the Constitution, understand the Constitution, and make sure the federal government follows the Constitution. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government granted the power to restrict what individuals and businesses can do under any circumstances, even during an emergency. That power is not granted to the federal government anywhere in the Constitution therefore it is left up to the state and local government levels. If you don’t agree check out this Tenth Amendment Center article.
I believe some state governments, especially the governors, have gone too far with their Coronavirus measures. Now that they have done it once I believe some governors will do it for much less of a crisis or a made up crisis such as climate change. The residents of all of the states need to order their state governments to reign in emergency declaration powers through legislation. Most governors can declare emergencies on their without the approval of the state legislatures. I believe that if an emergency will last more than 48 hours the state legislatures should approve all plans and measures. What constitutes an actual emergency must also be defined by legislation. Clear guidelines must be included in the legislation to protect the tights of individuals while protecting the health of everyone.
Local governments should be the freest when it comes to declaring emergencies and should have the least restrictions because most emergencies are local.
We the people must remain vigilant and make sure that the federal government and state governments do not make emergencies such as the one we’re dealing with now common place. I fear that they will.
Had some interesting Corona Related personal side effects / stories over the last few weeks.
Yesterday (Wednesday) I went to the Market Basket near my house after dropping off my son to work and noticed that they were now offering Romano’s quality Prime steaks. It seems to me that if this was a crisis where panic buying was warranted such items would not be available. I shot a video on the subject that you can see here.
Because of the cancellation of Events in the area my youngest Son was unable to see Letterkenny Live in Boston on Saturday. Because he was free our family as a whole could go out together to celebrate DaWife’s birthday with our traditional “person who had the birthday picks anyplace they want” that night as it was the closest day to her birthday that we were all free and didn’t have dietary restricts based on Lent or other religious vows.
This turned out to be good luck for her because within 48 hours of that visit Massachusetts imposed a ban on eating at restaurants meaning that if we didn’t have the dinner that Saturday there would have been no birthday dinner out for DaWife.
To paraphrase Job, DaPanic giveth the Panic taketh away
Speaking of DaPanic taketh away my Doctor’s appointment for re-evaluation my shoulder was cancelled as the Governor also ordered all schools in Massachusetts to close which means that my Doctor who has small kids on no notice suddenly had no childcare so he had to stay home.
This meant that I won’t get my shoulder re-evaluated for another two weeks (the new appointment came through while writing this) which means my restrictions at work remain in place and that no decisions to continue or cancel rehab will take place. Yesterday Reliant called and said that due to the new restrictions and the desire to limit exposure they will do my appointment by phone. This means no x-ray but I seem to be progressing OK.
It seems to be that if still like this could be handled this way now it likely could have been handled like this before.
While this has been an inconvenience for me it’s has been a disaster for the Restaurant industry. When we went for DaWife’s dinner instead of the customary wait we were seated at once, there were empty tables and we noticed that they by 8:30 PM there was no sign of them being filled. Our server noted that there were very few people on and that her she and others were really being hit. Tipped her as high as I could afford and it’s a good thing too because as of today her tips are going to be exactly zero.
And that was weeks ago, yesterday I went to the local diner which is doing takeout only. They’re a two person business with no waitstaff so one might thing they could weather it. But Tina told me that business is down 90%+ and if it goes on much longer a business that weathered the great ice storm and the Obama years won’t survive.
Can you imagine being a restaurant owner who two weeks ago spent a ton of money of disinfectant to wipe down the tables with last week who now has a bunch of disinfectant and no tables to wipe?
Some people just can’t be pleased. Last week our place closed early when there wasn’t much work and people were groaning that they were worried about their jobs. This week, much to my surprise and most everyone else our place was listed as vital so remained open after the Governor’s order and now people are complaining about that.
About 35% didn’t bother to show the next day. If this keeps up it means that we will likely not have many, if any short weeks since there are less people to go around. Also yesterday I was practically the only person in my department for 7/8th of the day, the nearest body being 50 yards away.
Now that’s what I call social distancing.
Finally a quick reminder. I am now podcasting again. Rather than pre-recorded stuff I’m streaming live on YouTube Mondays at 12:35 AM EST and Fridays at 9:15 AM EST. I’m going to allow call ins on the Friday show using my old Radio show toll free number 888-9-FEDORA. Yeah it will only be my home phone on speaker but we’ll see if it works. If not then it will just be me.
….when the media could have saved the day for her:
Even Pelosi’s own party started telling leadership they had gone way too far with the assembled list of nonsense legislation. The speaker recognized if she did not quickly make a tactical retreat her party would be crushed by exposure of the brazen politics they were attempting. The reach was so extreme, the media could not protect her.
In an effort to save a horrid face, the speaker was forced to blitz the media alone while all other house members watched to see how she could recover.
Not that the press didn’t try:
The New York Times changed their Sunday headline three times, starting correctly with “Democrats Block Action On $1.8 Trillion Stimulus,” then shifting the truth to “Democrats Block Action On Stimulus Plan, Seeking Worker Protections,” and finally editing the headline to pure farce with “Partisan Divide Threatens Deal On Rescue Bill.”
Ah the days of her youth when all those pesky normal people couldn’t look over a bill and spread the word on social media to the point where the press couldn’t ignore it. The days when a president of the other party couldn’t use social media to fight back.
This is not about the ridiculous Green New Deal. It is about putting our great workers and companies BACK TO WORK!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
This may in fact be the day that Nancy Pelosi cost the Democrats the house by going along with nonsense that she likely would have gotten away with if it was still 1987 when she was 1st elected. One might wonder how a seasoned pro like her would have made such a mistake, and the only answer that keeps coming to mind is this quote from Stonewall Jackson:
“He who does not see the hand of God in this is blind sir, blind.”
The place in which I live at present is the first one in my entire life where I have no on-site access to a washer and a dryer. Even when I lived in homeless housing, there were laundry facilities. (Bad part: you had to keep a close eye on your clothes; I lost a beloved pair of jeans to thieves during my blessedly short stint.)
As a result and beginning in 2015, I have perfected the fine art of handwashing my clothes. When I moved here, I had almost no money for weeks afterward, but I had soap, water and the need for clean clothes. So, I adapted and overcame.
Later on, I bought a small scrub bin and whenever I had a little extra money, I’d head over to the laundromat, but that has become a rarer occasion for three reasons: 1) I almost never have any extra money, 2) I discover that my clothes are cleaner when I handwash them, and 3) I have been grossed out more than once by the detergent and fabric softener containers on the machines.
The reason I’m bringing it up is because various municipalities – including Los Angeles – deem laundromats as essential facilities which must be kept open and I don’t dispute that. What I find ironic, however is this: laundromats seem like a good place for the spread of icky things like the coronavirus.
All I’m saying is that those of you who don’t have machines at home might consider hand-washing your own clothes. Tip: use borax and white vinegar for odor issues. Vinegar also gets rid of mold and mildew – though I can’t find any evidence that has any effect on viruses — and it won’t bleach out colors.
And you don’t have to get near any strangers who are giving you the side-eye in return.
Hand-washing clothes takes time and some extra work, but time is something we all have a little be more of, so there’s that.
By the way, a year or so ago, one of my fans bought me the following. Comes in handy.
Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar!
Re: China and Covid-19
Here are some suggestions about news coverage going forward:
The pandemic started in China because of inadequate sanitary conditions and a lack of law enforcement.
China’s government covered up the virus as it leaped across the world. If you are going to use Chernobyl as a simile, it’s China’s Chernobyl, not that of the United States.
China silenced doctors and dissidents who tried to publicize news of the virus.
Italy and Iran have high numbers of infections and deaths because both countries created strong relationships with China. The Black Plague started on the old Silk Road; the Wuhan virus started on the new Silk Road.
China has launched a massive disinformation campaign, including calling racist the use of the Wuhan virus. That hasn’t stopped DaTimes’ Paul Krugman from calling it the “Trump virus.”
China claimed it bought time for the rest of the world. No, it didn’t. It misled the world.
China expelled journalists from DaTimes, DaPost, and the Wall Street Journal. It was barely a blip on the radar screen because you were frightened China might do the same to your news organization.
The World Health Organization refused for months to declare a pandemic and instead thanked China for “making us safer.” The WHO has refused to allow Taiwan membership, due undoubtedly to Beijing’s influence over the WHO’s purse strings.
Here are some suggestions on what you should report on:
It is only since the outbreak of the pandemic that Americans have learned that China is the primary supplier of U.S. medicines. Eighty percent of America’s “active pharmaceutical ingredients” come from abroad, primarily from China (and India); 45% of the penicillin used in the country is Chinese made; and nearly 100% of the ibuprofen.
America’s broader economic dependence on China needs to be reduced. Materials such as rare earths, 80% of which come from China, should be produced at home when possible, while the U.S. military needs to limit its exposure to Chinese goods for everything from transistors to tire rubber.
Washington must ensure that China does not capture the global semiconductor chip-making industry, which is a priority for Beijing. To surrender a vital part of the digital economy would put America in a position of permanent dependence on China.
It’s time to stop pandering to China!
On Saturday Robert Stacy McCain put up an excellent post concerning the math of the Corona/Wuhan virus:
Notice I’m counting deaths, rather than the reported number of infections. The reason for this is that death is a fixed target, whereas identifying people who are infected is variable. It has been reported that about 80% of people infected with Wuhan coronavirus have only mild symptoms — a few days of sniffling and sneezing, no different than the common cold — and some have no symptoms at all. There has been a shortage of tests for the virus, and many U.S. patients have only been tested in the past few days, so we can expect a significant upswing in the number of known cases over the next week or so, but that does not necessarily mean the actual number of cases is increasing. Therefore, I’m focusing strictly on the number of deaths from the virus.
This is an important point because reducing the number of deaths is the actual goal of all the draconian measures taken to this point.
Stacy Also points out something I’ve mentioned on the Podcast more than once that blue urban areas are the ones most affected.
The key will be to keep track of (a) the total number of U.S. deaths, and (b) the percentage of deaths in the top 10 states in comparison to the rest of the country. As I say, the number of people reported as infected may increase rapidly without telling us very much. You could test positive for Wuhan coronavirus and never get very sick at all. It’s the serious cases requiring hospitalization that will put a strain on our health-care system, and the number of deaths will be a good barometer of how that’s going.
If you don’t have any symptoms, you don’t need to be tested. The media are panicking about the lack of testing because guess what? The media are based in urban centers where the risk of getting this disease is much higher than it is for Americans living out in the boondocks
That’s part of the key as well, if you are in an urban center and/or a place full of people who travel internationally you are much more likely to get the virus than if you are getting a scallop dinner for takeout at Mike’s Clam Shack in Wells Maine as I did with DaWife on Friday. Thus NY, Chicago LA & DC have cause more cause for concern than folks in Fitchburg MA or Wells ME.
But there is one other component of the math that Stacy is Missing concerning the hue and cry over testing. It a point I was making concerning the President’s handling of the case during my tale of Brer Donkey, Brer Rino, Brer Trump and the Coronabriarpatch
Meanwhile Brer Trump took Brer Owl and his team’s advice and coordinated with industry. He realized that while you couldn’t destroy the #coronabriarpatch he started taking the steps needed to keep the #coronabriarpatch under control and did such a good job that even Brer Newsom and Brer Cuomo who worked for Brer Donkey had some nice things to say about him.
Nevertheless Brer Media, Brer Deepstate Brer Rino and Brer Donkey kept insisting that millions of people where going to die and the economy of Brer Eagle’s land was going to tank in the #coronabriarpatch because Brer Trump was doing a bad job. They insisted be thrown in the CornoaBriarPatch and prove there was a safe way out. They were convinced that he wouldn’t be able to get out before election day to stop Brer Old Slow Joe.
Remember for the media and the left the Corona Virus isn’t a dangerous disease that needs to be stopped, to them Donald Trump is the disease and the Corona Virus and panic over it are the tools to use in order to destroy him.
That’s why they are so fixated on the number of infections vs the number of deaths and why they are so anxious to push the idea that not having a test for everyone is proof of failure. This isn’t about informing the public in a crisis situation, it’s about throwing that same “Orange Man Bad” pitch that they’ve been hurling for three years and tying to generate a metric to help that pitch alone.
As I noted on twitter a few days ago:
Always remember that a crisis isn’t going to cause dishonorable people to suddenly become honorable or communists to suddenly renounce micromanaging, mendacity & murder— Peter Ingemi (@DaTechGuyblog) March 19, 2020
Anyone who thinks the media has changed its stripes over this crisis is a fool.
By: Pat Austin
SHREVEPORT – Finally, yesterday afternoon, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards issued a “stay at home” order across the state. All “non-essential” businesses are shut down; restaurants are still open for curbside pickup and delivery, you can still take your dog to the vet, and liquor stores are open.
So, not much has changed under this order from what has been happening all week.
Via The Advocate:
Louisiana has the fastest growth rate of confirmed cases in the world, Edwards said, citing a University of Louisiana at Lafayette study. Louisiana ranks third in the nation — behind New York and Washington State — in per capita cases of people infected with the deadly novel coronavirus. The growth trajectory shows Louisiana increasing its confirmed cases on the same steep angle as Italy and Spain, where the virus has become exceptionally widespread.
Most of the cases in Louisiana are in Orleans parish with a known cluster of cases in an assisted living facility in New Orleans, but like everywhere, COVID-19 is spread throughout the state.
It is not likely to improve for a while as there are still far too many people that don’t appear to comprehend the gravity of what is happening.
Sunday, in East Baton Rouge parish, The Life Tabernacle Church hosted over 1,800 people at their Sunday morning service. Pastor Tony Spell said “if anyone in his congregation contracts covid-19 he will heal them through God.”
If anyone still doubts the severity of this virus, take a look at a viral Facebook post by Chicago resident Michael Bane. He describes the progression of COVID-19 as it has attacked him after a “brief encounter” with someone who later tested positive for the virus. Bane wanted to put “a human face” on the virus and stress to people the importance of staying home.
The numbers in Louisiana continue to climb and as I write this, there is plenty of traffic I can still see outside my window. Our shut-down order doesn’t take effect until 5:00 p.m., and grocery stores (which will remain open) are packed with people clearing the shelves of whatever staples remain. As with much of the country, there has been no toilet paper, hand sanitizer, rice, dried beans, or bread for at least two weeks. If you catch it right, you can get milk or meat as stockers work frantically to keep shelves stocked.
On the plus side, random acts of kindness are on the uptick. One of my neighbors left a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread on my porch yesterday. Neighborhoods are pulling together to support one another, and people are getting creative in keeping the little ones entertained. One activity I saw yesterday was a “bear hunt,” where neighbors put a stuffed bear in their windows for kids to spot, or find, on walks with their parents.
I’m counting my blessings right now and staying inside.
Stay safe wherever you are, stay home, and wash your hands!
Pat Austin blogs at And So it Goes in Shreveport and is the author of Cane River Bohemia: Cammie Henry and her Circle at Melrose Plantation. Follow her on Instagram @patbecker25 and Twitter @paustin110.
There are many who seem confused by the MSM’s behavior toward China, Russia Iran and even towards the efforts to arrest the spread of the Corona / Wuhan Virus in the US. This behavior has drawn harsh responses from conservatives and confusion to those who believe the media operate in the pubic interest. For those who might be confused this letter might explain their actions:
Atlanta, March 22, 2020.
Sean Davis The Federalist:
We have just read your tweet of the 21st. addressed to ourselves through that medium & previous statements through the Federalist. If there be in it any statements, or assumptions of fact, which we may know to be erroneous, We and other mainstream media do not, now and here, controvert them. If there be in it any inferences which we may believe to be falsely drawn, We do not now and here, argue against them. If there be perceptable in it an impatient and dictatorial tone, We waive it in deference to a fellow member of the media although as you are on the right you don’t really deserve such deference.
As to the policy We “seem to be pursuing” as you say, we have not meant to leave any one in doubt.
We would save the Union from Donald Trump. We would save it the shortest way under the Constitution or outside of it. The sooner the national authority of our allies in the Deep state in general and the Democrat party in particular, can be restored; the nearer the Union will be “the Union as it was.” before those horrible days of the internet, Rush Limbaugh and Matt Drudge in the days before he decided to join our noble cause.
If there be those who would not save the Union from Donald Trump, unless they could at the same time attack Communist China or Putin Iran and save the nation from the spread of the Corona Virus , We do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy Communist China, Putin or even Iran, We do not agree with them.
Our paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union from Donald Trump, and is not either to save or to destroy Communist China, Putin Iran or even the Corona Virus. If we could save the Union from Donald Trump without helping Communist China, Russia, Iran or even the spread of the Corona virus we would do it, and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump by directly helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus we would do it; and if we could save the Union from Donald Trump, by helping Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the corona virus in some cases and hindering Communist China, Russia, Iran and the spread of the Corona Virus in others we would also do that.
What we write, broadcast and report about Communist China, Russia, Iran and the Corona Virus,we do because we believe it helps to save the Union from Donald Trump; and what we forbear, we forbear because we do not believe it would help to save the Union from Donald Trump.
We shall do less to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus in the US whenever we shall believe what we are doing hurts the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November, and we shall do more to help efforts to fight the Corona Virus whenever we shall believe doing more will help the cause of defeating Donald Trump in November. We shall try to correct errors when shown to be also errors in our efforts in obtaining that goal of Trump destruction; and we shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be in aid of that effort to destroy Donald Trump.
We have here stated our purpose, shared by other members of the media on TV, online and in print according to our view of the official duty of the media to destroy conservatism in general and Donald Trump in particular; and we intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free of Donald Trump in particular and conservatism in general.
If you wish to read a slightly modified version of this letter which was sent by some fellow named Abe Lincoln to a newspaperman by the name of Horace Greeley on August 22nd 1862 in response to critiques of his actions concerning fighting of the American Civil War you can read it here.