Covid incompetence

By Christopher Harper

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is my nominee for the covid incompetence award.

Although other state leaders have gotten more publicity for their ill-conceived plans, Wolf has been playing nanny to millions of Pennsylvanians, including me.

He and his bureaucrats created an amazingly complicated plan for reopening the state based on red, yellow, and green designations. The unscientific basis is that a county can plan to open or go to yellow status if its covid cases remain at 50 per day for two weeks. If the county still has less than 50 cases, it can reopen. If a country has more than 50 cases, it is red and cannot open.

Wolf couldn’t even remember where the plan came from.

The governor also condemned local officials and businesses as “cowardly” if they move to reopen businesses without state authorization and threatened to withhold federal relief for counties that violate his stay-at-home order.

Moreover, Wolf has told Pennsylvania residents to remain in their shelters and not go to the open beaches in nearby New Jersey. “There are people there who aren’t wearing masks, and you’re putting yourself at risk. I wouldn’t do that, I haven’t done that, and I’m not sure why the governors of Maryland and New Jersey have opened their beaches, but they have,” he said.

But there’s more. Statewide, 3,234 coronavirus deaths have occurred in long-term care facilities, according to the health department. Those deaths represent 66 percent of the state’s coronavirus fatalities.

That means that Wolf has locked down all of Pennsylvania when he needed to do a better job of keeping the older population of the state safe.

Wolf and Health Secretary Rachel Levine, a transsexual pediatrician, decided to get to the bottom of the issue. They forced all such institutions to provide data on what happened. The state got the data all messed up, including naming one evildoer with more than 100 cases. The facility had only seven patients.

Moreover, Levine wasn’t taking any chances with her mother, moving her to a hotel rather than staying in a long-term care facility. Republicans have called for Levine’s resignation.

The GOP has made Wolf the center of its campaign strategy to battle Democrats in the upcoming national election. Even some Democrats—as President Trump did—have called for Wolf to open up the state more quickly. One Democratic lawmaker from suburban Philadelphia wrote a letter saying residents in her district “have not yet seen evidence that your administration recognizes and sympathizes with the added physical, emotional, and financial suffering they are facing as a result of our prolonged stay-at-home conditions.”

I realize that others may find their governor thoroughly lacking in the ability to run a state. But my guy, Tom Wolf, has got to be near the bottom of the class in the country.

Jackson’s Party Trumps His Faith

Old News

by baldilocks

24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

— Hebrews 10:24-25

The Reverend [sic] Jesse Jackson has other ideas.

Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. is calling on people, especially religious leaders, not to follow through on President Donald Trump’s demand [sic] for churches and houses of worship to start reopening over Memorial Day weekend.

“To go to church or Sunday mass is an act of defiance, not an act of worship,” Jackson told WTOP’s Ken Duffy.

Trump on Friday asked governors to allow the reopening of places of worship, calling them “essential” and to “open them right now.”

The president also threatened state leaders that if they don’t follow through on his demand, he will “override the governors.”

Jackson, founder of the civil rights nonprofit Rainbow/PUSH coalition, believes that attendees who want to go out and worship should stay home until the threat of COVID-19 is over.

Jackson called on religious leaders and worshippers to “lead the way” and continue to obey coronavirus restrictions and social distancing measures.

“The virus does not have religion,” Jackson said. “It has no regard for your situation.”

First of all, the president isn’t giving orders to houses of worship. He is demanding that governors cease from standing in the way of corporate worship and that they come into alignment with the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

And, as mentioned in the Book of Hebrews, part of the free exercise of Christianity involves the assembling together of the faithful. This is simple.

Some questions I would ask Jackson if I thought he had a brain cell in his head that wasn’t devoted to enriching himself.

Do you believe that the God of the Bible is all powerful?
Do you believe that He is a healer and a protector if we ask it of him?
Do you believe the God rewards obedience to His Word?
Do you believe that God is more powerful than viruses?
What makes defiance and worship mutually exclusive?
If your governor outlawed Christianity, would you stop being a Christian?

I could go on, but my point is that Jackson is not a man of the Christian cloth and hasn’t been for a very long time – if he ever was one.

He’s just following orders dispensed from his Organized Left Puppet Masters.

Me in 2015:

Martin Luther King, Jr. was the prototype for the Black Leader concept, though not an epitome of it; other actual black leaders like Harriet Tubman or Marcus Garvey or Malcolm X were leaders organic to black populations/communities.

MLK certainly had rhetorical and financial support from outside of his community, but he didn’t start out that way.

(snip)

[T]he two nationally most well-known Black LeadersTM in this country are the Reverends [sic] Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and I contend that both are created personae, totally supported and publicized by the Organized Left.

A better label for the two? Community Organizers. You’ve heard of those before, have you not?

Also me a year earlier:

Sharpton has been a hilariously awful commentator for MSNBC for a bit. But even before that, MSNBC, CNN and even Fox News had been sticking microphones under him and other “civil rights leaders” as the go-to guys–and sometimes girls–as if they were the go-betweens for “the black community” and the rest of America.

“Civil rights leaders” almost never just spontaneously come to the fore anymore; they are created. The rise in the fortunes — literally and figuratively — of Sharpton should be proof of this. (And, as it turns out, Sharpton has always hidden backers.)

Even the concept of a civil rights leader is a created one. But, ‘agitator’ is better because it is more descriptive. The word makes me think of that part inside your washing machine — the constant spinning and the noise-making. And that’s where the comparison ends.

No one will be made clean by these men.

There have always been fake pastors, but Jackson is the modern American forerunner — and Sharpton is his “son” — selling fear instead of faith. But he’s old now and irrelevant.

Beware of the fear-pastors who are not so old.

Go to church/synagogue/mosque. Or don’t. But it is not your governor’s place to keep you from it. Don’t forget that.

Get some free exercise.

(Thanks to “Carlos Osweda.”)

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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The golden age of journalism wasn’t so golden

By Christopher Harper

As it has become increasingly apparent that the media have become political partisans, I started to wonder how neutral the press was during the more than two decades I worked as a reporter.

The more I thought about it, the more I discovered that the media back in the good old days might not have been as overtly political as today, but slanted stories and opinions often made it into the news.

From 1974 to 1995, I worked at the Associated Press, Newsweek, and ABC News in Chicago, Washington, Beirut, Cairo, Rome, and New York. I worked with Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, Hugh Downs, and many other well-known journalists. I competed against others, including Thomas Friedman, E.J. Dionne, David Ignatius, and many others.

Here’s what I recall about politics in the news back then. During my time in Washington, I watched as the nation’s press eviscerated Jimmy Carter and his team. Carter came from outside the swamp and didn’t fit into Washington culture. Neither did his top aides.

I don’t think Carter was a particularly good president, but the media took him to task on almost everything he tried. I can count on one hand, however, the number of former colleagues who voted for a Republican in the past 40 years.

Almost every reporter during the Iran hostage crisis thought Ayatollah Khomeini had to be better than the shah. How wrong we were!

In Beirut, almost every journalist backed the Palestinians, including me. Jennings had spent much of his early years in the Middle East and had a distinctly Arab tilt. Ignatius did some good work in the Middle East but has since gone off the rails with his analyses.

In Cairo, many journalists supported the peace efforts of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat. I wasn’t one of them, but Sadat had an incredibly positive press in the United States. The opposite was true in many Arab states and Europe. Friedman had no understanding of the assassination of Sadat when he covered the story in 1981.

In Rome, I saw Dionne completely botch the story behind the plot to kill Pope John Paul II.

Just as I arrived in the United States in 1986 to work with ABC’s 20/20, Roone Arledge, a legend in television circles, had killed for the program on the sexual exploits of JFK when he was in the White House. Arledge didn’t want to upset the Kennedy clan and one of his top aides who worked with the family.

At 20/20, it was clear that Walters had a distinctly liberal bent, but she didn’t stand in the way of opposing viewpoints. Downs was just an incredibly decent human being.

Not too long after I arrived at the program, I included an interview with Pat Buchanan. I was accosted by a fellow producer who threatened that she would make sure people wouldn’t work with me if I ever had another conservative on the program.

Although the recollections here are merely anecdotal, they underline the powerful, albeit subtle, ways in which the media set an agenda back in the golden years. The political bias may not have been so apparent and so constant, but it was there. I am the first to admit that my biases probably made their way into my stories.

After I left the mainstream media, I wrote a column for The Washington Times for nearly three years until 2015. My former colleagues berated the conservative tone of the columns, including one who described me as “dumb as a boulder.” I was prevented from sharing my columns on a Facebook page for former ABC employees.

Today, I find that nearly all of my former colleagues have a decidedly liberal or leftist viewpoint.

In fact, a large group of ABC News retirees publicly criticized Trump over his attacks on the press. An Obama organizer and former ABC News producer started the petition. See  https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2018/10/25/trump-inciting-violence-nearly-retired-journalists-condemn-presidents-un-american-attacks-press/

I wonder if these points of view crept into their news coverage back in the day. I think they probably did.

Fear, loathing, and Hunter Thompson

By Christopher Harper

Fifty years ago, Hunter S. Thompson became the father of Gonzo journalism, an irreverent brand of reporting that influenced many young writers, including me. 

Thompson and artist Ralph Steadman “covered” the Kentucky Derby for Scanlan’s, a small, progressive magazine.

Thompson, who grew up in Louisville and hated it, described the focus of the story as “the vicious-drunk Southern bourbon horse-shit mentality that surrounds the Derby than in the Derby itself.”

In an excellent article in Quillette, author David Wills described Thompson’s approach of Gonzo, a reference to a song he played regularly on the 1968 campaign trail:

“He tended to insert himself into the prose as observer and participant, embark on weird and irrelevant digressions, recount conversations and events that probably never happened, discard any pretense of objectivity, lurch erratically in and out of hyperbole and paranoia, and dust his prose with a litany of stylistic quirks and a peculiar lexis that included words like ‘atavistic,’ ‘swine,’ ‘savage,’ and ‘doomed.’ It was a subjective, chaotic, and messy approach to journalism.”

Wills captured the essence of the Derby article:

“The first half recounts Thompson’s arrival in Kentucky, a prank played on a gullible racist at the airport, and then his meeting with Steadman. The second half is a disjointed but somehow intensely personal account of a day spent staggering around the Derby in an inebriated state, terrifying attendees, and spraying a restaurant full of patrons with mace. Thompson and Steadman didn’t bother to actually watch the race they had been sent to cover…. It was a highly unusual piece of writing that trashed the conventions of traditional reporting in favor of a freewheeling rock ‘n’ roll antagonism. It was funny but aggressive, satirical and cruel, and only loosely factual. It was neither exactly journalism nor exactly fiction.” See https://quillette.com/2020/05/02/decadence-and-depravity-in-louisville-kentucky/

As a young journalist, I loved that Thompson did everything I was told NOT to do. His articles were like the Playboy and pack of Old Gold cigarettes you kept hidden from your parents as a teenager. I first read Thompson in Rolling Stone, where he offered some of his most famous prose, including Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas in 1971 and Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail in 1972. 

In Las Vegas, Thompson was investigating the killing of journalist Ruben Salazar, who died covering an antiwar protest in Los Angeles. On a side trip, Thompson and attorney Oscar Zeta Acosta arrived in Sin City, where they indulged in psychedelics, an activity they repeated when they returned a month later to cover a conference on the nation’s drug problem. Eventually, Thompson wrote about drugs in the United States, which became an epitaph for the 1960s. 

Heavily inspired by J.P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man, it offers a wild and funny story of sports journalist Raoul Duke, Thompson alter-ego, and his attorney running amok in Las Vegas.

Although many people think the 1972 campaign book is his best—and it was quite good at the time—Vegas was Thompson’s masterpiece. 

From the mid-seventies onward, however, his output became progressively weaker as Thompson turned to cocaine. As Wills put it: “The one-man literary genre was soon washed up, sold out, and left to reflect upon chances missed. Thompson had earned his place in the literary canon with staggering innovations in form, but he burned out and stopped pushing…. [W]hen a great writer can no longer write, and when even the possibility of turning out another great book no longer exists, there is little else to do.”

Thompson committed suicide in 2005. He was 67, a year younger than I am now. Per his wishes, Thompson’s ashes were fired out of a cannon in a ceremony funded by his friend Johnny Depp and attended by friends, including then-Senator John Kerry and Jack Nicholson. 

OG Fascist

No, The Other One

by baldilocks

I’ve been trying to read this very long piece on Mussolini by Angelo Codevilla for a few days now — mostly because I need a primer on fascism as do, apparently, some of my friends who are quick to wield the Cudgel of Fascism against actions they frown on and against actors of whom they disapprove. And, yes, I’m talking about conservatives this time.

I’m just going to leave a slice of it here.

Today, the adjective “fascist” is an epithet—often mixed promiscuously with “white supremacist,” “sexist,” etc.—that the ruling class uses to besmirch whoever challenges them, and to provide emotional fuel for cowering, marginalizing, and disempowering conservatives.

This maneuver consists of defining fascism in terms of unpopular ideas, political practices, and personality traits observable in many times and places; then, having cited Hitler’s Nazi movement as fascism’s quintessence, of pinning those deplorable characteristics on the intended targets. This reductio ad Hitlerum aims at no less than to outlaw conservatives. As the Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin exclaimed: “these people are not fit for polite society…. I think it’s absolutely abhorrent that any institution of higher learning, any news organization, or any entertainment organization that has a news outlet would hire these people.” And the New Republic explains “why fascist rhetoric needs to be excluded from public discourse.” The establishment doesn’t seem to realize that they are preaching some of fascism’s practices.

This essay looks behind fighting words to fascism’s reality. Although Benito Mussolini, fascism’s artificer and personifier, died discredited in 1945, fascism’s socio-political paradigm, the administrative state, is well-nigh universal in our time. And as the European and American ruling class adopted Communism’s intellectual categories and political language, the adjective “fascist” became a weapon in its arsenal.

We begin with how fascism developed in Mussolini’s mind and praxis from 1915 to 1935, how it was hardly out of tune with what was happening in the rest of the Western world, as well as how it then changed and died. After considering how fascism fit in the 20th century’s political warfare doctrines, we explore its place in contemporary political struggles.

If it does nothing else, it will help heal that attention span of yours that has been splintered by social media.

Okay maybe I’m projecting. Anyway, enjoy.

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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Covid-19 and the nursing home ‘death pits’

By Christopher Harper

Covid-19 has uncovered an incredible dirty secret that nursing home and long-term care facilities are killers.

Not only have roughly 20 percent of the 50,000-plus deaths occurred in these facilities, but the virus has also shown an industry that thrives on death, allowing nearly 400,000 to die each year—often from diseases they get in the homes.

Moreover, many hospitals rejected virus victims during the crisis after they become ill because those in nursing homes are among the most vulnerable because of their age and underlying conditions.

In New Jersey, 17 bodies were piled up in a nursing home morgue, and more than a quarter of a Virginia home’s residents died. At least 24 people at a facility in Maryland have died; more than 100 residents and workers have been infected at another in Kansas; and people have died in centers for military veterans in Florida, Nevada, New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. In the Philadelphia suburbs, a top-rated facility, the Southeastern Veterans’ Center has had nearly 30 people die and expects to see more.

New York officials disclosed the names of 72 long-term care facilities that have had five or more deaths, including the Cobble Hill Health Center in Brooklyn where 55 people died. At least 14 nursing homes in New York City and its suburbs recorded more than 25 coronavirus-related deaths. In New Jersey, officials revealed that infections have broken out in 394 long-term facilities — almost two-thirds of the state’s homes — and that more than 1,500 deaths were tied to nursing facilities, DaTimes reported. See more at https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/17/us/coronavirus-nursing-homes.html

“They’re sitting ducks, the veterans,” said one family member told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “They are dying alone, that makes me utterly mad. It’s inhumane. And they’re withholding information about how dire it is.” For more, see https://www.inquirer.com/news/southeastern-veterans-center-coronavirus-chester-county-covid-20200425.html

The center is one of the best in the State of Pennsylvania, with a long waiting list. 

All told, there are about 15,000 nursing homes in the United States, which house about 1.3 million people. 

In Pennsylvania, about 126,000 people live in these facilities. Nearly half of Pennsylvania’s known coronavirus-related deaths have been residents of long-term-care facilities. 

Because one of the first outbreaks of Covid-19 occurred in a Washington nursing home, most facilities were put on notice about the problems. 

But the underlying issues left many facilities unprepared. These problems include a lack of personal protective equipment, the inability to maintain social distancing among residents, inadequate staff, and the failure to act quickly enough when residents exhibited symptoms of the disease.

Many of the staff are paid at the minimum wage and often job at a facility for a short period. 

Moreover, many state agencies fail to enforce local and federal standards on how the facilities should function. 

As the pandemic slows down, investigators should turn their attention to the severe problems that exist in nursing homes and long-term care facilities to protect those who are most likely to die and have no other place to go.

Higher Ed: Adapt or die

By Christopher Harper

Covid-19 may have created a perfect storm when it comes to higher education, creating an opportunity to take a good, hard look at a college education.

In the past 30 years, the cost of an undergraduate degree has tripled at public schools and more than doubled at private schools, adjusting for inflation. At a four-year, private institution, tuition and room and board averaged $46,950 in 2018. Four-year public colleges charged an average of $20,770 a year for tuition, fees, and room and board. For out-of-state students, the total went up to $36,420.

At roughly the same time, the Federal Reserve estimated that the cost of a college education increased eight times the percentage of wages.

Simply put, the ratio between the cost of a college education and a job is way out of balance.

That equation doesn’t take into account the massive debt that students have amassed as a result of the increased costs.

It’s worth noting that in Pennsylvania, which would be relatively representative of many states, the losses faced by universities have little to do with the classroom. Instead, the losses involve housing, sports, and conferences. Maybe universities should stick to the core mission of educating students and get out of these other businesses. See https://www.inquirer.com/education/coronavirus-stimulus-dollars-penn-state-temple-rutgers-rowan-st-joes-widener-cuts-money-20200420.html

What can be done about the cost of higher education?

The amount of money spent on faculty has decreased over the past few decades as universities hire more adjuncts who receive lower pay and often no benefits.

At the same time, the number of non-teaching personnel on campus, with several administrators at top universities making six-figure salaries with fringe benefits and secretarial support. About two-thirds of university budgets have nothing to do with teaching but instead go toward dormitories, facilities, marketing, and student health.

At Temple University in Philadelphia, where I teach, I have seen a vast expansion of vice deans, assistant deans, associate deans, directors, and assistants to the above over the past 15 years. I don’t know what many of them do, and none of them have visited my classroom.

Higher education will have to expand its offerings of online courses at reduced rates after students and their parents saw that classes could be delivered relatively effectively. That means that faculty will have to come to grips with providing online instruction.

The discussions I have had with faculty about online teaching remind me of my former colleagues in the news business who ignored the implications of the internet more than 20 years ago.

Simply put, colleges and universities must adapt or die.

The Wrong Stuff

Getty Images

Made in China

by baldilocks

From The Epoch Times:

The British government paid $20 million for COVID-19 antibody tests from two Chinese companies, only to later find they didn’t work properly, according to multiple reports.

Half a million of the China-made tests are now in storage, according to a New York Times report.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the kits “[a]s simple as a pregnancy test” in a March statement announcing negations to buy the product, adding “it has the potential to be a total game changer.”

“Because once you know that you have had it, you know that you are likely to be less vulnerable, you’re less likely to pass it on, and you can go back to work,” Johnson said, referring to the way widespread antibody testing could help the country cope with the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, the novel coronavirus that emerged from mainland China last year and causes the disease COVID-19.

Good thing for Johnson that the one used on him worked.

But an Oxford University trial later found that the tests were faulty. The China-made tests did not pass sensitivity and specificity tests, according to British news outlet The Telegraph.  (SNIP)

“Sadly, the tests we have looked at to date have not performed well,” he wrote in the post titled “Trouble in testing land.”

“We see many false negatives (tests where no antibody is detected despite the fact we know it is there) and we also see false positives,” [Oxford University professor Sir John Bell] noted. “None of the tests we have validated would meet the criteria for a good test as agreed with the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us.”

LA Times:

Last week, the Netherlands asked to return 600,000 face masks purchased from China that had inadequate filters and fit incorrectly. On Tuesday, Finland tested a shipment of personal protective equipment, or PPE, from China and found the items unsuitable for hospital use. Australian border officials have also reportedly seized 800,000 faulty or counterfeit masks from China.

The problem is worse at home [in China]. On March 12, officials at a State Council news briefing announced that authorities had seized more than 80 million counterfeit or faulty masks and 370,000 defective or fake disinfectants and other anti-coronavirus products in the prior month alone.

That many nations have learned an expensive lesson is no longer a new story. I simply wanted to point to the irony of the fact that the virus’s origin is China and that the PPE and medical equipment manufactured will neither protect a person against nor help a patient recover from this Chinese virus.

“Made in China” used to be a joke. It still is, but it’s not a funny one anymore.

By the way, be sure to search for the “Made in ____” on the labels of everything, even on items you thought was made in America.

Your bar soap, for example. Yes, I’ve had that surprise. Blessedly, there was no harm, but you never know.

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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Bloodletting the American economy

By John Ruberry

I am living in the third week of Illinois’ shelter-in-place order in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The streets are quiet, the parking lots in many retail spots are either empty, if it’s a mall, or less crowded if that shopping area has a grocery store.

At home there are three of us. I’m the only one with a job. I’m a commission sales person but income is down. Mrs. Marathon Pundit, after getting laid off a month ago, drove Uber until the shelter-in-place order was put in place on March 21. She filed for unemployment for her first time the following week. Little Marathon Pundit’s employer shut down when the shelter-in-place order went into effect. She was paid until she was informed by a letter yesterday that she was furloughed–then she promptly filed a jobless claim. Hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans have done the same recently.

We are holding up okay. We are healthy and not suffering from anxiety. I’ll have more on mental health later.

As of Easter morning there have been nearly 20,000 confirmed novel coronavirus in the Land of Lincoln with 677 deaths. Each person was loved and will be missed. Each death is a tragedy.

Yet most of the COVID-19 fatalities already had illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Or they suffered from unhealthy underlying factors such as high blood pressure and obesity. Or they smoked. Let me repeat, each death is a tragedy.

Two weeks ago in this space I wrote about what I still believe is an overreach in Chicago in response to coronavirus. Mayor Lori Lightfoot, among other things, has closed Chicago’s sprawling lakefront to even solitary walkers, runners, and cyclists. Barbershops and hair salons, along with many other businesses, have been viewed as non-essential by Governor JB Pritzker, although that didn’t stop Lightfoot from getting her  hair done.

But Lightfoot’s reaction is mild compared to what is going on in a nearby state, Michigan. Governor Gretchen Whitmer is a Democrat like Lightfoot and Pritzker. While she hasn’t run out of things to ban or shutter, Whitmer, who is supposedly on Joe Biden’s shortlist of running mates, might reach that millstone.

Travel between homes–even walking across the street–is banned in the Great Lakes State, unless it involves checking on someone’s health. Stores deemed essential are open, but in a bizarre overreach, garden center sections in those open retail outlets are cordoned off, including seed displays. Gardening, generally a solitary pursuit, is a fabulous mental health salve.

Yes, Michigan has one of the highest coronavirus rates in the nation. Cases are concentrated in the Detroit area, which by all accounts has disproportionately more residents suffering from the underlying health issues I mentioned earlier.

There is speculation over a second wave of COVID-19 coming later this year. If that’s the case in between there will be a mental health crisis. Joblessness and money troubles are a reliable predictor of suicides

Not every family is a happy one. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has already decried the “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” now that much of the planet is enduring a lockdown. Alcohol sales are up since the shelter-in-place orders began. Will this lead to a higher rate of alcoholism? Will problem drinkers who kicked the habit suffer a relapse? Will there be a hike in narcotics abuse?

Liquor stores are open in everywhere where they were before the pandemic–I’m not calling for their closure. In Michigan you can buy booze and visit a marijuana dispensary. But stay away from that seed aisle at the local big box store! Governor Gretchen Whitless is watching!

Lee Chatfield, a Republican, is the speaker of the Michigan House.

Flint, which is no stranger to economic turmoil, issued a 9am-6pm curfew as long as Whitmer’s shelter-in-place order is effect. Violators face up to $2,000 in fines and six months in jail. Even the ACLU is rolling its eyes over the Flint curfew. I’ve been to Flint. Take my word for it, most residents of the Vehicle City don’t have $2,000 lying around. 

Two hundred years ago  bloodletting was viewed by most physicians as a valid and effective medical treatment for a variety of illnesses. George Washington, a believer in bloodletting, was arguably killed by his doctor who bled him as he was suffering from a throat infection. That cure for Washington and countless others was worse than the disease. 

Now I fear we are bloodletting the American economy. I fear the wide-ranging shelter-in-place orders could trigger an economic depression with the horrible health repercussions I described above. And more. 

President Donald Trump is right. We need to re-open the American economy as soon as possible. 

Our collective health depends on it. 

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Don’t Think We Ain’t Keepin’ Score

Prince of the Blessed Side-Eye Memory

Somebody has to

by baldilocks

This is pretty much a continuation of my last post on the fear-mongering goals of Big Media.

ABC

The Pentagon says a supposed intelligence report cited by ABC News on an emerging COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t exist.

ABC said the report was issued in November by the National Center for Medical Intelligence, an arm of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). It supposedly warned of a pandemic of what would be later named COVID-19.

Relying on sources who said they saw the report, ABC News said the warning was briefed “multiple times” to the DIA, the staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Trump White House. (…)

Col. R. Shane Day, a physician who heads the medical intelligence unit, issued a flat denial.

“As a matter of practice, the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters,” Col. Day said. “However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”

CBS

CBS News said an “an editing mistake” led to the network airing footage of an Italian hospital during a segment on New York’s coronavirus crisis in a statement to the Daily Caller on Monday.

“CBS This Morning” discussed Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s allegation that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) only gave the state 400 ventilators when they needed 30,000 on March 25. The network aired footage of a crowded Italian hospital room that was reported by Sky News on March 22 during a segment on hospitals in the country.

CNN


There are dozen — hundreds — of examples which long precede the headline dominance of the Wuhan Plague. But ADD is much a more virulent virus, if not as deadly. Usually.

Many of you are still oblivious to this pattern, but now you have a lot more time to pay attention. Seize that time.

Just trying to assist you for the next Big Media “mistake.”

Happy Passover and Happy Resurrection Day!

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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