A different World

Today is April fools day.

This means that when we read the MSM we can pretend that they are just joking around instead of being the asses that they are.

But I’ll leave you all with this thought:

Me to my son just now:

“The day Potus was putting together his Coronavirus task force Speaker Pelosi was giving out #Impeachment pens”

My son to me: “I forget he was impeached”

Boy is the world different or what?

Report from Louisiana: Unfocused

By:  Pat Austin

SHREVEPORT – We are now three weeks into this quarantine business, so how’s it going for you? I thought I would be so productive and get some projects done, make some progress on my book, do some inspired writing…nah. Not happening. My creativity is dry as a bone. Gone.

I did a little blog post about that on SIGIS, and got a lot of unexpected feedback with people feeling the same way, which was reassuring in a way. It’s not just me.

It feels a little like the days and weeks following 9/11, to me. An overwhelming powerlessness and anxiety. Turns out there are a lot of people feeling this same way.

I’m incredibly frustrated with the inability of people to follow simple directions and stay home. Once again, this church in Central, Louisiana held services yesterday with 500 people in attendance this week, which thankfully is about half of what he had last week.

Pastor Tony Spell of the Life Tabernacle Church says, “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated, …We hold our religious rights dear, and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

He’s not alone in his commitment to disregard the stay at home order issued by Governor Edwards. In New Orleans, a growing epicenter of COVID-19, authorities had to break up a large gathering this weekend where people gathered for a Second Line event. Video on social media shows revelers in the neighborhood drinking, dancing, and playing music. Now, warrants have been issued.

In an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19 in Texas, Governor Greg Abbot has put a travel ban of sorts in place. If you travel to Texas from Louisiana, you have to fill out paperwork indicating where you will self-quarantine for the next fourteen days. This does not apply to commercial traffic and the like, obviously.

The grocery stores are beginning to level out however there is still no toilet paper, Clorox wipes, or hand sanitizer anywhere and there has not been for three weeks. My grocery store, apparently depressed by the long empty shelf, now is stocking laundry baskets on that aisle.

The big-box stores in our area, Sam’s Club, sometimes gets those items in; Saturday morning the line to get into Sam’s wrapped around the building as they let in twenty-five people at a time. Hundreds of people in line, much closer to each other than six feet, mind you, and VERY close to each other the closer to the front of the line they got. Insanity.

I’ve mad a couple of quick grocery store runs and have found that some people are keeping their distance but there are others who completely disregard your personal space. I was looking at the eggs yesterday when a man leaned right in front of me and grabbed a carton.

I’m looking at grocery delivery services now or curbside pickup; the turnaround on curbside pickup is days out however. If you need something quickly, too bad.

At any rate, this is our new normal. With Trump’s federal distancing extended to the end of April, I expect that our school year is effectively done, which saddens me somewhat.

Now, if I could just get my creative spark back.

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.

The Corona Holding Action a World War 2 Analogy

There seem to be a lot of folks on the left taking delight in the economic crash brought by the Corona / Wuhan virus and who seem to live for the number of infected and dead to rise in the hopes that it will lead to the defeat of Donald Trump (See my post CNN’s Letter to Sean Davis)

So for the sake of those reading that drivel and those who making who are saying it from ignorance rather than with purpose let me explain something.

Given the normal freedom to travel and the interaction of people you aren’t going to stop this virus from spreading across the nation, people are going to be exposed, 1st and at once in bigger cities where travel is more common but eventually elsewhere. That’s the nature of a virus.

The real idea is to slow down the spread for two reasons.

  1. To keep the level of infection low enough for hospitals to cope on a national level
  2. To give time to the best and brightest to come up with ways of treating this virus so when it does spread we can arrest it.

Both of these goals are frankly within reach and the measures already taken are contributing highly to that goal. Think of it like World War 2 when the plan was to hold in the pacific and push supplies to England in the Atlantic until we were ready to land in North Africa.

When there is a treatment that can prevent death available then we are half way there

But there are also long term goals that are also targets

  1. Give enough time to retool manufacturers to produce the items necessary in this situation
  2. Give enough time to move pharmaceutical production to the states
  3. Develop a Vaccine
  4. Create a strategic reserve of these various products for when and if this type of thing happens again.

Once these things are done then we can move aggressively knowing that no matter how much of a punch this has we can parry it and counter. This is the Invasion of Europe and the push in the pacific.

Oh and one more thing. Some metropolitan centers such as NYC New Orleans, Chicago , New Jersey and LA might have a tougher time . They will likely be under quarantine and restriction longer than others, this is Akin to the Island hoping strategy of the US forces in the Pacific Once the other easier area are secure full attention can be given to these problem sites.

This is what the president and his team are doing and those who are trying to make it something other than it is are just looking for advantage and should be treated accordingly

Adventures in Tyranny

Crises and actors

by baldilocks

Don Surber:

The biggest fear for Democrats today are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. Democrat governors in Michigan and Nevada have banned their use to fight COVID-19, not because the drugs may harm people but because the drugs may work.

The party’s flying monkeys in the press are casting shade on this possible cure.

Politico reported, “President Donald Trump’s all-out push to advance unproven corona virus treatments is deepening a divide between the White House and career health officials, who are being pulled away from other potential projects to address the president’s hunch that decades-old malaria medicines can be corona virus cures.

“The White House directed health officials to set up a project to track if the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine show promise — a dayslong effort that distracted from urgent tasks like trials of other medicines thought to have more potential against the virus. Food and Drug Administration officials also reversed a nearly six-year ban on a troubled Indian manufacturer in a bid to secure the drugs, and top advisers to Trump have encouraged other agencies to locate as much of the product as possible. The White House is also pressuring Medicare officials to pay for unproven treatments being given to desperate patients during a pandemic.”

The headline read, “Trump’s push for risky malaria drugs disrupts corona virus response.”

The risk the Democrats fear is success.

Emphasis mine.

Hard to believe, is it not? But then, if someone had told you three months ago that, by the end of March, we’d all be in our homes, banned from going to work, school, church, etc., and afraid to touch anything, much less each other, you would have labelled the prognosticator as nuts.

And could it be that a drug which has been around for centuries and used to treat malaria and many other conditions is the answer?

Don is right, but it isn’t only success of Donald Trump that they fear. Remember: “never let a crisis go to waste?” In my opinion, they are seeing how much that citizens will put up with from government.

Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam [D] held a press conference Tuesday morning where he recommended limiting gatherings to 10 people or less, in accordance with President Donald Trump’s most recent coronavirus guidelines.

By Tuesday night, Northam had sent out the 10-person limit as an executive order.

Churches, too.

California:

LOS ANGELES – In a sit-down interview with FOX 11, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva declared gun stores as nonessential businesses that will be forced to close.

Sheriff Villanueva also said he’s adding 1,300 deputies to patrol, that he’s released 1,700 nonviolent inmates from county jails, and criticized how local politicians have handled the messaging behind the numerous stay-at-home orders

Rescinded … for now.

Illinois:

The mayor of Champaign, Illinois, gave herself the power to ban the sale of guns and alcohol after declaring a citywide emergency to address the coronavirus.

Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed the executive order on Thursday declaring a state of emergency for the city. That executive order, which is in line with municipal code, comes with extraordinary powers for the mayor to enact over a short period of time as the city combats the spread of the coronavirus.

New Jersey:

Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has ordered all collision repairers and other businesses with personal protective equipment to submit an inventory to the state by 5 p.m. Friday.

“Any business or non-hospital health care facility, including but not limited to dental facilities, construction facilities, research facilities, office-based healthcare or veterinary practices, and institutions of higher learning, in possession of PPE, ventilators, respirators, or anesthesia machines that are not required for the provision of critical health care services should undertake an inventory of such supplies and send that information to the State by no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020,” Murphy ordered Monday.

There are many other examples, but, simply, a potential cure will halt the experimentation of various levels of authoritarianism. This is the other fear of the Democrats.

But, if you ask me, the experiment has already shown “successful” results.

And dashing hopes for a cure is an attempt to soften the ground for more. If the people believe that there will be no cure, we are more likely to let government have its way with us.

Pun intended.

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.

Follow Juliette on FacebookTwitterMeWePatreon and Social Quodverum.

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Facebook moderators lose all sense of humor

My firewood stand apparently doesn’t meet Facebook guidance

When the builders built my house, they took out a lot of tall trees in the front yard so that wind storms wouldn’t drop really big trees onto my new house. Rather than pay to take the trees away, I had them leave the trees and I chopped them into firewood. Since I had so much firewood, I built a little stand to sell it by the main road. It’s an honor system, and so far only one jerk has stolen a bundle.

To advertise, I’d post a funny ad on Facebook Marketplace. In one case, it was about how politically-neutral the firewood is. In another, it discussed how my firewood was totally vegan and free from animal-testing. Simple, but humorous.

But recently, not good enough for Facebook moderators. COVID-19 has taken many things from people, and apparently it has taken the sense of any humor from Facebook. I posted about COVID-19 free firewood, and the ad ran for a while, getting good laughs from people otherwise stuck at home. Two days ago, Facebook shut it down, saying I wasn’t advertising something for sale. I protested, saying that I indeed did sell firewood, hence the picture. No dice, the moderators have removed my ad. Here’s what I wrote, judge for yourself:

So life is collapsing all around you due to Corona Virus. Your favorite sports team is canceled. Toilet paper is being rationed. Your local Karen is trying to make hand sanitizer from essential oils. Everyone has gone mad with COVID-19 fear. In these trying times, you need some security.
You need…firewood.
Yes, firewood. Think of its magical properties. Instead of huddling in your house worried about what paper remains to wipe yourself with, you can light a fire in the fire stand you bought from Home Depot, but never found time to use. Those flames licking into the sky are mesmerizing to watch and take your mind off of the craziness surrounding a virus with a less than 5% chance to kill you.
Even better, the fire from firewood burns viruses. If you left COVID-19 on a piece of my firewood and set it on fire, the virus would die. Firewood has a better track record than Karen’s essential oils and anti-vax children at cutting down on viruses.
Plus, you are guaranteed that my firewood has never traveled to China, Iran, South Korea, or any other CDC-listed country. It’s also never been to a wet market!
If you navigate to ——, right outside the —— complex, you’ll find the firewood stand. Unlike any large store that gouges you for firewood, my stand only asks for a twenty dollar bill for a full wheelbarrow of anti-viral, morale-improving firewood. Even better, its always available, since you don’t need to knock on my door (please don’t, I’m practicing social distancing). If you wake up in horror at your impending doom at midnight and need the reassurance that only a stack of firewood can give you, you’re in luck, because you can pay for and pickup the firewood at any hour, thanks to the light I installed.
Best part: I’m using the money to build a nice playground for my kids, so that while they aren’t at school they can entertain themselves without driving my wife crazy.
So swing by today, grab a stack of firewood, and face the impending Coronapocalypse with firey gusto!
Please share this post! People need a good laugh with the craziness. And it helps me sell wood. #firewood #COVID19 #coronapocalypse

Facebook’s response:

Request denied peasant!

When we talk about free speech, censorship and violating ill-defined rules, it becomes a big deal to the small people of the world. If I needed that firewood money to live on, Facebook might be crushing my ability to make a living. What about a restaurant that hires people? Can they not use humor, or will that disgust moderators?

And the word “appeal” is misleading. It implies I had some process, when in reality I clicked a button, wrote a few sentences saying that I indeed sold firewood, then off to the ether with my request, which was promptly denied. I never met my moderator, never talked to him or her on the phone, or even chatted. I highly doubt anyone complained, given the popularity of the post. And its not offensive by any stretch of the imagination.

If someone is friends with Mr. Zuckerberg, maybe you can ask him to restore my firewood post? Otherwise, I might have to use Craigslist again.

This post represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

Seeing America in this Crisis through my Father’s eyes and liking what I see

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.

We can’t let this become the new normal

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.

Corona Virus Side Effects Under the Fedora

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.

Nancy Longing for those Pre-Internet Days of Yesteryear…

….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 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.”