My Favorite Screwtape Quote, Journalists and #learntomanufacture

If you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I like to quote the C.S. Lewis Class The Screwtape letters which is a series of letters from a senior tempter in hell, Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood who is assigned to tempt and help damn a particular Englishman during 1939 and 1940.

Of all the quotes I’ve used from the 39 various letters the one I’ve used most often comes from a letter excoriating Screwtape for allowing his “patient” an actual pleasure that resulted in repentance.

The characteristic of Pains and Pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality. Thus if you had been trying to damn your man by the Romantic method…you would try to protect him at all costs from any real pain; because, of course, five minutes’ genuine toothache would reveal the romantic sorrows for the nonsense they were and unmask your whole stratagem.

C.S. Lewis Screwtape 13

This has been the great reality of that our current situation has brought us. What has become rapidly apparent is that items that were considered critical for anyone of virtue, from discarding plastic bags and plastic straws to using the right pronouns are nothing compared to stocking shelves, and delivering food, to wit:

“We went from being nobodies to essential workers,” said Chad Montgomery, also a driver with Challenger Motor Freight. “I’ve never felt appreciated in my job until now. A lot of people don’t realize it takes a truck to get stuff on shelves. If it wasn’t for a truck driver, you would have nothing.”

via ace who likely already knew this, but a lot of people, particuarly those in elite media, either in news or entertainment do not grasp that while we can live without media reports or new movies, we can’t live without the food and goods the truckers deliver.

Nothing illustrates this better than journalists who when nuts when Mike Lindell of My Pillow took the podium at the president’s latest presser. Our media betters all had shocked reactions, great quips and clever one liners to deploy at his expense.

What could he offer that was more important than that? Only a factory being retooled to create 50,000 N95 masks a day that the country needs desperately right now.

The reality that is this crisis has illustrated what’s real and what isn’t to a culture that had forgotten.

So to our media and entertainment friends who consider themselves so vital I have some suggestions for you via hashtags

  1. #learntotruck
  2. #learntofarm
  3. #learntomanufacture
  4. #learntostock

When you can do those things, then you’ll be as important as a truck driver or a farmer or a grocery store worker or maybe if you’re very lucky someday, the MyPillow guy.

One point missing from Stacy McCain’s ‘Grisly Calculus’ on the Corona/Wuhan Virus

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:

Anyone who thinks the media has changed its stripes over this crisis is a fool.

CNN Letter to Sean Davis (with apologies to Abe Lincoln & Horace Greeley)

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:

CNN offices,
Atlanta, March 22, 2020.

Sean Davis The Federalist:
Dear Sir.

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.

Yours,
CNN.

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.

Review, Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak

By John Ruberry

“While we can’t predict where the next influenza pandemic is going to come from,” Dennis Carroll, the director of the emerging threats unit of US Agency for International Development, says in the third episode of the new six episode Netflix documentary series Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak, “there are certain places that you want to pay particular attention to–and China is one of those, that’s the place where we’ve seen the emergence of virtually all of the deadly influenza viruses over the last half-century.”

Carroll says this while images of a Vietnamese wet market, where live chickens are sold and slaughtered, are shown.

“We know that viruses move from wildlife into livestock into people,” he says early in that same episode.

I’m writing this from home in Illinois, where I am living under Governor JB Pritzker’s shelter-in-place order because of the COVID-19 coronoavirus outbreak. While the origin of this disease is still being debated it is likely, according to experts, that it did first infect humans at a wet market.

I saw Pandemic last week on my Netflix welcome screen and at first I looked away and said to myself, “If I want to know about pandemics I can switch on the local news–or cable news.” And I was concerned that this was, to use the legendary chant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a “bring out your dead” series. And it starts that way, with Carroll, at a mass grave in western Pennsylvania, one that is marked by a single crucifix. The site contains the remains of victims of the 1918 influenza pandemic. Yes, not only can it happen here–but it has happened here.

And the “not-if-but-when” pandemic has arrived, only it’s coronavirus instead of influenza.

The focus of Pandemic is on the scientists, the aid workers, and the doctors on the front lines of disease prevention and cures. People like Jake Glanville and Sarah Ives, the scientists who are working with pigs in Guatemala to develop an all-strains flu virus, as well as Dr. Dinesh Vijay, who treats flu patients at a crowded hospital in Jaipur, India. But disease isn’t just an urban phenomenon. In Pandemic, we meet Holly Goracke, the sole doctor at tiny Jefferson County Hospital in rural Oklahoma, who works 72-hour shifts. And we also become acquainted with Dr.Syra Madad, the director of the special pathogens program of New York City Health and Hospitals.

Along the way we are introduced to anti-vaccination activists in Oregon, health care workers at an Arizona border detention center, and World Health Organization disease fighters in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who not only face the risk of contracting the extremely deadly Ebola virus, but also getting murdered by gangs.

Surprisingly, religion is viewed favorably in this scientific docuseries. Madad, Goracke, and Vijay all rely on faith to strengthen them as they battle disease.

Not surprisingly there are a few knocks in Pandemic over lack of funding from the Trump administration. Including from Madad. But she’s not infallible. In January, in a CNBC interview shortly after the debut of Pandemic, Madad praised China’s efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, although she did parse her statement with, “It’s too early to tell.” I wager she’d like to take that praise back.

If you are suffering from anxiety over coronavirus, you may want to stay away from Pandemic. The same goes if you are an anti-vaxxer–you’ll just get POd. Also, I suggest if you decide to view Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak then take it in just one episode at a time. At times the series is emotionally exhausting.

Pandemic is rated TV-14, Netflix says, because of foul language and smoking. And there are some disturbing scenes.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Donald Trump & The One Pitch Media

Before the Corona Virus took sports away from America (other than Dynasty baseball which you should sign up for at once use code USA2 for a free month till March 31st and join my leagues) the biggest scandal in sports was the revelation that the Houston Astros were stealing signs illegally during their 2017 World Series Championship season.

The reason why this matters so much in baseball is that a batter has a fraction of a second to decide to swing at a pitch or not. Knowing what is coming increases the odds of a big clutch hit and decreases the odds of a rally killing out.

This is why it’s so important for pitchers to have more than one effective pitch. The more pitches his has the more different deliveries a batter has to be ready for.

And of course the opposite is also true. If a pitcher only has one pitch. unless he’s hall of fame pitcher Walter Johnson (“You knew what was coming but so what?“) that pitcher isn’t going to last long in the majors as the batters will eat him alive.

These days the media is a lot like that pitcher with only one pitch.

For three years the media has thrown the same “orange man bad” pitch every day without ceasing. Practically every single thing the media has said and done from press conferences, to news reports to town halls has been driven by this message.

Now at the start when people were 1st seeing that pitch it could have some effect but after three years we’re reached the point where the administration in general and President Trump in particular see that pitch coming and can hit it every time (in fact President Trump has been hitting that pitch for quite a while). In fact even republicans in the house and senate have reached the point where they are taking the media’s best pitch and driving it up the middle for a hit.

Even worse for the media than President Trump seeing that pitch coming, the American people are seeing it too. Such was the case yesterday during the update on the Corona Virus from the White House.

Yet the media even now has only one pitch in their arsenal the Orange Man Bad pitch. It was growing old in a time of prosperity and full employment, in a time of national and international crisis this pitch, when contrasted to the substance coming from the White House is easy for President Trump to knock over the wall.

The American people because of the crisis have been watching and listening to the daily updates from the President and his team on this subject. The President and his team have been sober and straight on what they’ve said and done and have spent their time talking substance. When people are looking for information and the only thing in the minds of the press is: “How do I nail Trump?” they not only look petty but come off as completely uninterested in informing a public desperate for info.

Even worse at a time when people’s lives are at risk and their lively hoods are at state the whole “woe is me” bit from elite media plays even worse.

This inept and obsessed media is one of the President’s biggest assets and for all his rhetoric I suspect he wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world.

Never have a seen a man so lucky in his enemies.

The story of Brer Media, Brer Donkey , Brer Trump & the Corona Virus Brier Patch

Once upon a time in the land of Brer Eagle, there was a Political Party which thought that they had the right to always be in power. That part was run by Brer Donkey and was supported by their friend Brer Media who had a big platform in news and entertainment and was supported by academic, the news media and the entertainment media.

That party, got very upset when their preferred candidate for president, Sis Paintsuit (Wife of Brer Horny Toad) , lost to an outsider Brer Trump who had never run for office and promised to fix thing for people.

Brer Donkey & Brer media, decided that they were going to get rid of Brer Trump and joined by Brer Deepstate and Brer Rino launched all kind of plans to get rid of him. But despite all the efforts by Brer Mueller and Sis Nancy and all the rants by Brer Media that the was doomed, Brer Trump not only got away from all their traps but seemed to get more and more popular.

Well one day the land of of Brer Pooh, people started to get very sick and fall into the Briarpatch where they couldn’t get out. Brer Pooh downplayed this at 1st but Brer Trump saw the danger and decided to restrict travel from Brer Pooh’s land to Brer Eagle’s land that Brer Trump was in charge of and started to consult Brer Owl & the wisest doctors in Brer Eagle land to keep an eye on what was going on and to see what might be done in case . Brer Media wasn’t happy with this decision and along with Brer Donkey and their new candidate Brer old tired Joe said that Brer Trump was very nasty for not letting people from Brer Pooh’s land come to visit even if they might be sick.

Well after a little wile Brer media, Brer Donkey and Brer Deepstate unable to think of any other way to stop Brer Trump saw that Brer Pooh was in deep trouble in the Coronabriarpatch and thought that they might be able to catch Brer Trump in it. After all the CoronaBriarPatch was a dangerous place and Brer Donkey, Brer Deepstate, Brer Rino and Brer Media were convinced that even though was lucky enough to get out of their other traps Brer Trump would be too stupid to get out of the CoronaBriarPatch.

Meanwhile Brer Trump, who wasn’t as foolish as Brer Donkey thought saw what Brer media was up to and call them out on it saying they were trying to panic people in Brer Eagle country about the CoronaBriarPatch. When he did Brer Media and their friends all screamed that Brer Trump said the Brer Trump said the CoronaBriarPatch wasn’t real but all the Time Brer Trump was keeping an eye on the CoronaBriarPatch and kept consulting Brer Owl & the smartest Doctors on how to be ready coronabriarpatch started growing in Brer Eagles land.

Brer Trump figured out that Brer Owl and the rest of the smartest Doctors would be able to come up with a way to control the CoronaBriarPatch if given enough time and that the if the right precautions made that he would be able to get out of the CoronaBriarpatch and lead most of Brer Eagle’s people through it after some time and with a little help from industry.

Meanwhile Brer Media, Brer Donkey and their candidate Brer old tired Joe managed to scare a lot of people in the areas of Brer Eagle’s country that they were in the majority in and started to tell everybody all over Brer Eagle’s land that the coronabriarpatch was all Brer Trump’s fault, and when Brer Pooh started to say that the coronabriarpatch didn’t start in his land but came from Brer Eagle’s land they repeated it. They demanded that Brer Trump be thrown into the coronabriarpatch convinced the he would never be able to get out of it again.

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.

Well Brer Trump decided he was ready and went straight into the #coronabriarpatch and told the people he and Brer Owl and the rest of his team would do their best. When he did the stock market that had dropped really far because they were afraid of the conronabriarpatch jumped way up, but it didn’t matter to Brer Donkey, Brer Deepstate, Brer Media and Brer old slow Joe. They were sure that once he was in the Coronabriarpatch Brer Trump would never get out again and that Brer Old Joe would be put in charge of Brer Eagle’s land.

I know that you all want to know the end of the story, but I’m afraid the story isn’t over yet, but if I know Brer Trump he’s going to cut his way out of the #coronabriarpatch and because Brer Media, and Brer Democrats and Brer Slow Old Joe said he’s couldn’t what when he what do you think the people who live in Brer Eagle’s land are going to say?

I think they’ll say: Wow! Brer Media and Brer Donkey said that millions were going to die and the economy was going to be destroyed by the coronabriarpatch but Brer Trump got us out if it. Let’s keep him in charge.

Review: Season One of Ragnarok

By John Ruberry

“The whole world groaned beneath them. A storm, the likes of of which had never been seen, scorched the sky. Ragnarök was upon them, the twilight of the gods.” Nicholas Day, in the Netflix series Myths and Monsters.

Many religions have an end-time narrative, including the ancient Norse faith. If you are familiar with the movie Thor: Ragnorok, then you know that Ragnarök encompasses total destruction, only there are no space ships and no Incredible Hulk in those old tales.

A few weeks ago the Norwegian six-episode series Ragnarok began streaming on Netflix. On the surface it’s a teen angst drama. After many years away, teens Magne (David Stakston), Laurits (Jonas Strand Gravli), and their mother, Turid (Henriette Steenstrup), return to the small industrial town, Edda, that is adjacent to a fjord. By the way, “Edda” is the term scholars have given to the medieval collections of Norse mythology, the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda.

As the family arrives in Edda, an old man riding a motorized scooter blocks their car as it stalls. Magne gets out and asks him, “Do you need help?” The old man oddly replies, “Do you know what a strange town this is?” Magne gets the scooter running and then the old man’s wife, who operates the local grocery, smiles at him and then tells Magne, “You’re a good kid” as she touches his forehead. Magne’s hazel eyes then flash with lightning. Magne’s hero journey has started.

Edda is indeed a strange town. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains, the economic engine of the town Jutul Industries, owned by Jutuls, the fifth-richest family in Norway. Its factory sits right next to the fjord. If it is ever said what Jutul produces, other than toxins that end up in the drinking water, I missed it. Vidar (Gísli Örn Garðarsson) is the patriarch and he runs the factory, his wife, Ran (Synnøve Macody Lund), is the principal of the high school Laurits and Magne attend. Their children are Saxa (Theresa Frostad Eggesbø) and Fjor (Herman Tømmeraas). They are all beautiful. Seemingly perfect. Too perfect because the are really jötunn, giants in Norse mythology, the enemies of the gods. And Saxa and Fjor aren’t really children.

Magne learns after his encounter with the grocer that he can run very fast, he has superhuman strength, he can speak Old Norse, and tellingly, he can throw a sledgehammer–Thor’s weapon was a hammer–an enormous distance. And Magne no longer needs his eyeglasses.

Like the young Clark Kent in Man of Steel, Magne has trouble fitting in with other kids, His only friend is Isolde (Ylva Bjørkaas Thedin), another social misfit who is the school’s biggest green advocate. And there is plenty for Isolde to investigate in Edda.

Laurits, who is a bit of a prankster, has better luck working his way up the high school social ladder, which is of course dominated by the student Jutuls, and Ragnarok contains quite a bit of the distress that you find in most television shows centered on teenagers. Meanwhile Magne’s powers, which he barely comprehends, draw the attention of the entire Jutul family.

And Magne and Fjor fall for the same girl, Gry (Emma Bones).

Ragnarok was filmed in Norwegian, it is dubbed in English for Netflix, although the trailer posted here is in Norwegian with English subtitles.

The coronovirus pandemic will sadly find many people with lots of free time on their hands. Watching Ragnarok is a worthy way to fill that void. Although I’m still working, for now, and I viewed the series last week.

Netflix has already approved a second season.

Ragnarok is rated TV-MA. It contains brief nudity, violence, foul language, teen alcohol consumption, and sexual situations.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Why Toilet Paper?

I swear the Demcorat/media who have gone all in on panic must have gone long on Scotts paper shares

My grand mother in law used to hoard Toilet Paper for reasons that I never quite understood but of all the things that are going on the hoarding of Toilet Paper makes the least sense to me.

Yes it’s a vital thing in the western world, and it’s something that doesn’t go bad so you can store it for quite a while, and I completely agree that when you are out of it, you really miss it but think about it.

  1. How much Toilet Paper do you use in a single “sitting”?
  2. How long does it take you to go through a roll in a normal week?
  3. Of all the things whose production might be curtailed by the pandemic, why on earth would Toilet paper be high on that list?

If you add those things together none of this makes any sense.

By an odd coincidence I was almost out of Toilet paper a few days ago and bought 8 rolls for the house. The supermarket was well stocked (and even had it on sale). Two days later the panic began and people began buying as if the world is coming to an end.

Now as I said this is a product that doesn’t go bad, that you will need for your entire life so in one sense all of this insanity is not going to do a lot of harm, other than promulgating an inordinate number of toilet humor, “scared shitless” jokes etc.

But until I see the local junkie’s at the street corners with rolls of Charmin I think I’ll refrain from being rolled by this like everyone else.

Prediction: Three months from now this is something a lot of us are going to be laughing about and lots of people are going to feel stupid about.

Obama’s failures during the 2009 pandemic

 By Christopher Harper

Just after announcing a national emergency to combat the N1H1 virus in 2009, President Obama went out for a round of golf. Later, he appointed Elmo, the Sesame Street character, as the national spokesperson on how to combat the virus. See https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/01/AR2009090103135.html

All told, nearly 13,000 died from the virus. But President Obama got nary a mention of criticism during the year-long battle against the virus.

Contrast the media coverage of the 2009 outbreak with the press attacks on President Trump. DaTimes went so far as to call COVID-19 “the Trumpvirus.” See https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/26/opinion/coronavirus-trump.html

After looking through the archives of DaTimes and DaPost, I found almost no serious analysis of what Obama did wrong in 2009.

In April 2009, the virus was a combination of bird, swine, and human flu viruses further combined with a Eurasian pig flu virus, leading to the term “swine flu.”

The Centers for Disease Control estimated the following illness and death rates from April 2009 to April 2010:

–CDC estimated that about 61 million people were infected.
–About 274,000 people ended up in the hospital.
–About 13,000 people died, mainly people over 65.

The leading suggestions from the Obama administration at the outset of the pandemic included washing hands and sneezing into one’s arm. 

An internal report, which was completed six months after the outbreak of the virus, suggested that the president appoint one official to coordinate the efforts. See https://www.medicalcountermeasures.gov/BARDA/documents/2009%20pcast-h1n1.pdf

Trump made his vice president the coordinator almost immediately, although he faced widespread criticism for the choice.

As the crisis worsened, Obama and his team ramped up the production of a vaccine. By October, an estimated 120 million doses were supposed to be available. Only 15 million hit hospitals, with people waiting in long lines to get the vaccine.

In one of the rare criticisms of the Obama effort, DaPost wrote: “The federal government’s unprecedented campaign to protect the nation against the swine flu pandemic has gotten off to a sputtering start, frustrating parents, pregnant women, and others anxious to get immunized against the new virus.” See https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/22/AR2009102204707.html

Compare the stumbling performance of the Obama team to the 2009 crisis with that of the Trump administration. Maybe the media should do the same, but that’s not going to happen because today’s journalists don’t let the facts stand in the way of a good story. 

Justice Thomas Doc — Not on Netflix

Ginny and Clarence Thomas

by baldilocks

J.J. Sefton of Ace of Spades HQ reviews the new Clarence Thomas documentary.

Besides President Trump, arguably one of the most transformative figures to emerge onto the American political landscape in half a century is Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Clarence Thomas. Yet, it’s not his stellar legal mind, reflected in scores of brilliant opinions he has penned over the course of his nearly 29-year career at the highest court in the land that earns for him that status. Sadly, it is merely for the fact the he is a black man who, after coming of age in the repressive Democrat Deep South and even embracing the black radicalism of the late 60s ultimately had the scales fall from his eyes and dared reject the political Democrat-Left plantation. But when he was nominated to take the seat vacated by Thurgood Marshall on the Supreme Court that he became not only their worst nightmare, but an existential threat.

Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words, a new documentary slated for release at the end of the month, is a powerful journey back in time, told mostly by Thomas in his own words, and in some segments by his remarkable wife Ginny and mentor and champion, former Senator John Danforth

I’ve always admired Justice Thomas as do most who have read his autobiography My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir. By the way, in the book a reader can find yet another display of the character defects of one Joseph Biden.

And I remember Barack Obama’s public and pointless insult toward Thomas during one of the 2008 presidential debates.

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, “with all due respect” the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that “that’s a good one,” and then adding that “I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don’t think that he, I don’t think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution.” The Democrat added that he also wouldn’t have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.

The nerve of some people. It was like a donkey trying to squash an elephant.

Oh wait …

Anyway, read the entire review. I plan on seeing the documentary when it gets here on the 31st.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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