Or…mebbe just SSDD if you’re familiar with that particular military acronym…or mebbe Groundhog Day…or maybe just Quarantine Day…lemme see…109, that’s it…I had to go and look at the calendar and do the math.
What’s going on ‘round these parts.
Nuttin…bupkus…nada…squat…any of those pretty adequately describes it.
The Elks is shut down again…the governor down here in FL authorized bars to reopen as long as social distancing was followed. Naturally…some morons, mostly the young…packed the bars and the virus cases “spiked”. More on that later, but they did go up. So now they’re closed again. We did get out one night to the lodge in between the opening and closing but that was it.
We saw a pretty neat thing this week on the interwebs…Neil’s Internet acquaintance Gary from Everything Everywhere was where he saw it first but on doing a bit of research it seems Gary is right.
When you talk about Presidents…the 10th who was John Tyler…the one that begat the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler Too…is not one of the most revered one although he gets a worse rap from the progressives these days than is deserved…but this really has nothing to do with his policies but rather his family. He was born in 1790, died in 1862, and was the 10th President from 1841-1845. It turns out that his grandchildren are still alive today in 2020…158 years after his death. There is a tradition in the men of the Taylor family that they mostly have had 2nd wives much younger than themselves after becoming widowers. So John’s 2nd wife Julia gave birth to a son named Lyon Gardiner Tyler in 1853 when he was 63. Lyon grew up, married, she died, and his second wife gave birth to Lyon Gardiner Tyler Jr. in 1924 and Harrison Ruffing Tyler in 1928.
As well as we can figure out…both Lyon Jr. and Harrison are still alive in 2020. Neil and Gary independently did some research after seeing the various web articles and both of them found articles interviewing Harrison in 2018 with reference to his living brother Lyon Jr. Nothing newer than that turned up…but given the previous press coverage and the singular nature of them still being alive it seems like there would have been some coverage of their deaths…and Gary searched for but did not find an obituary for either of them…so it appears they’re still alive.
Think about that…a single family where the grandfather and his grandson have encompassed just about the entire history if the United States…pretty darned cool I think.
Anyway…let’s see what else is in the news starting with the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Fauci…as you’ve probably seen he’s reversed course several times since January on masks and various other virus related things…as well he should because your best professional opinion based on science should change as you find new information. Anyway…he was testifying before a House panel this week while wearing a mask…and based on the spike in cases in some states…he stated that masks should be worn at all times outside or inside unless you are at home with known non carriers. After his testimony was over he stood up behind the witness table …and clearly thought that he was no longer visible on camera but it turned out that was inaccurate as you can see from this captured still from the video.
So…is that “do as I do” or “do as I say”…sure seems like he’s violating his own recommendation to me.
Remember a while back there was the whole brouhaha over the anti malarial drug HCL or hydroxychloroquine…you know, the one the President recommended and then was belittled by the press and left because “it doesn’t work”…and then a bunch of studies came out that supposedly proved it did not work despite some colloquial evidence that it did have some effect…and even Dr. Fauci stated that it had no effect on the virus? Yeah…I remember too.
So imagine my shock when I saw reference to two studies released this week…one from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit published in the peer reviewed journal International Journal of Infectious Diseases and the second one from the John Hopkins Medical System published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, another peer reviewed journal. Both of these studies showed that HCL cut the death rate by half and the first one found no serious heart abnormalities…you know, those deadly effects that the WAMM and Dr. Fauci said were the reason it should not be used.
Now I’m not saying that HCL is the panacea that the President said it was…but then based on the anecdotal evidence since March it really isn’t the completely ineffective snake oil that the WAMM has said it is either. Used appropriately…and apparently in combination with zinc and another antibiotic it appears to help in some cases. And since it has been around for 100ish years and is a widely used antimalarial drug…it clearly has been deemed safe by the FDC for usage and is not the killer drug the WAMM claims…could it be that the primary reason for it being “bad” is TDS? Who knows?
It also turns out that the CDC numbers for cases are based on two different kinds of data…one for actual virus tests that show actual ongoing infections and the second based on tests for antibodies that one has after you recover from the disease.
Various states have been combining these two types of data in various ways to get their numbers for “cases” and “deaths”…and while actual cases are still going up based on hospitalizations and ICU occupancy rates…some of the “spike” is certainly attributable to people that had the disease, recovered with no or mild symptoms, and how show antibodies when tested. Further…the CDC also announced this week that “A positive test result shows you may have antibodies from an infection with the virus that causes COVID-19. However, there is a chance a positive result means that you have antibodies from an infection with a virus from the same family of viruses (called coronaviruses), such as the one that causes the common cold.” In other words…there is some instance of false positive cases since apparently colds are a member of the family of viruses known as corona viruses…they’re so named because microscopically they appear to be roundish shaped with spikes coming-out resembling the spikes on a crown. This means that some of the “spike” is likely attributable to these false positives…but how much (as well as how much is due to the post infection antibody testing) is unknown.
If you read in the news…you’ll probably see that Texas, Florida, Arizona, and the Peoples Republic of California are the current hot spots where these spikes are happening…and you’ll also read how the governors of Texas Florida, and Arizona are completely responsible for the “spike” because they reopened or partially reopened their state…but you’ll also read how the governor of the PRC is showing tremendous courage in battling the spike. What I want to know is…why is it that states with Republican governors are doing so poorly according to the WAMM while states with Democratic governors are showing tremendous courage according to the WAMM? Could it be that they have an agenda?
As I’ve said before…governors and Presidents have to weigh a variety of factors in making decisions. In a perfect world…we would all wear masks and stay home hoping that eventually there is a safe, effective, and widely available vaccine against the virus. In an imperfect world…they have to deal with a bunch of other pesky problems besides public health…the economy, unemployment, not bankrupting the state or federal government, dealing with protests, dealing with people who want to abolish the police. As a result…sometimes they have to take into account “the needs of the many over the needs of the few” and make decisions that can best approach the entirety of a situation.
Masks…you should wear them even though they’re mostly effective in preventing you from infecting other people if you are infected and non symptomatic rather than protecting you from other people although they do provide some protection against the latter. They’re all well and good…but then they’re well and good for everybody. Why is it that Presidential rallies in a sparsely and partially filled auditorium are “hotbeds of infection” while mass protests while unmasked outdoors and mass parties in occupied portions of Seattle have been conclusively shown to not result in infections…at least according to The NY Times and other WAMM articles.
You might have also seen on the news a report from Michigan that has a headline like “White Couple Pulls Guns and Threatens Black Woman and her Daughter in Chipotle Parking Lot”…along with selectively edited portions of the video. And if you just look at the video in the article…you might conclude that the couple went out of their way to threaten this woman and her daughter. However…before coming that conclusion…google a bit and find the entire video and you might come to a different conclusion. I did…and it appears that the woman’s daughter and the wife in the couple bumped into each other sometime before the video starts…and the mother is screaming and demanding an apology and calling the woman a racist. The woman calmly tells her that nobody is racist but clearly neither woman is listening to the other. The woman’s husband comes around the car and gets her inside so they can leave…then starts to back out of the parking space. At this point…the offended black mother goes and stands directly behind the car to prevent them from leaving and bangs on the rear windshield of the car. Following that…the white woman who appears terrified in the video gets out of the car and pulls her weapon…for which she has a concealed carry permit and broke no law by being armed…and tells the black woman to back off while simultaneously backing away fro the confrontation and telling her husband to call the police.
The police show up…nobody gets arrested…and everybody leaves. But then the black woman puts the video up on the internet and now the couple has been charged with assault and the man fired from his job…even though his college employer requires showing just cause before terminating someone.
I can’t figure it out…unless there’s a whole lot more than is visible in the video I don’t see them getting convicted of assault…my personal opinion is that the DA is just kowtowing to the WAMM and filing charges hoping that (a) the riot won’t start and (b) that they can scare the perps into pleading guilty to some lesser charge so the DA can claim to be tough on racists.
I’ve been keeping a running list of the monuments, statues, and whatnot that the WAMM is demanding to be destroyed, names changed or whatever.
Stone Mountain…well, that’s gotta come down since it glorifies slavery.
Mount Rushmore…it’s bad too because in addition to slavery it glorifies the repression of Native Americans by white people.
The Emancipation Memorial in Washington DC…this is a statue that was paid for by freed slaves and depicts a standing Abraham Lincoln with a hand out to help a slave with broken chains rise from his knees. While I’ve never seen this in person…from photos it looks to me like a celebration of Lincoln helping them raise from slavery…but apparently I’m wrong. According to the WAMM…it’s racist because it neglects the contributions that blacks made to eliminating slavery. While it is true that some freed/escaped slaves fought on the union side as well as free black men from the North…and they fought extremely bravely as has been well documented…the majority of the Northern armies were not black and I just don’t see how a statue of Abraham Lincoln can possibly be considered racist.
Splash Mountain in Disneyland and World is being “re-themed” because it’s racist as well. As best as I can figure out…the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah which was composed for the 1946 Disney Movie Song of the South was based on a minstrel song from the late 1800s/early 1900s and therefore it is both racist and glorifies the Southern cause.
Gone With The Wind is back though…albeit with an anti racist screed attached to the front end of the movie…and at least according to some is still “an enjoyable movie” despite it’s depiction of the antebellum south.
A statue of George Washington in Baltimore was defaced with red paint and the mob wants it removed because he owned slaves and kept them until his wife Martha died. Another statue of him in Portland was burned and toppled by the peaceful protesters.
Teddy Roosevelt, Columbus, and Ulysses S. Grant…yeah, they’re all being demanded for demolition as well.
Jefferson Memorial, two parks in Chicago named after Washington and Jackson, John Wayne Airport in LA…again…all being demanded for removal.
Yale University…the local rag up there is demanding it be renamed because it’s namesake both owned slaves and was a shipping magnate who imported them.
I have to ask myself…WTF are these people thinking? And I’m still waiting on them to demand that the capital be renamed and that Harvard be renamed as well.
Speaking of Harvard…one of the ringleaders demanding the removal of some of these statues is a Harvard alumni who has a photo on his twitter/Facebook/instagram/whatever stream of himself standing in front of the founder of Harvard…who was…you guessed it…a slave owner.
Just in case you thought that getting rid of statues of Lincoln, Washington and Ulysses Grant was the dumbest idea ever…there’s one statue that has been damaged in the Floyd protests that makes those ideas pale in comparison.
In Portland…why is it that Portland keeps coming up in these crazy ideas…anyway there’s a statue that was set on fire and the base damaged during overnight riots which were deemed as peaceful protests so that the statue is being removed. This statue is 120 years old and has been standing there since it was donated by a former mayor of Portland in 1900.
The statue was previously damaged during the Occupy protests several years ago…again by some of those peaceful protesters…but had been repaired but now the base is fire damaged so the statue has been removed for safety reasons…with a decision on it’s final resting place to be announced later.
So what is this racist monument that must be destroyed? Oh yeah…I forgot to tell you…it is a statue of a mature bull elk that commemorates the elk that used to roam through the Williamette Valley which is where Portland is located.
Yeah…that makes sense. Complete sense.
There’s this private Baptist university in Abilene Texas named Hardin-Simmons University…and I’m pretty sure that they just cost themselves a whole passle of cash.
There is a now former student enrolled there who posted on her Tik-Tok account a series of pictures denoting the reactions of people to black on white, white on white, black on black, and white on black killings. Essentially she posted that in the first three cases people are calm and in the last case they riot and set things on fire.
Now whether this former student is right or not is not relevant to the issue…although to be fair there is a lot of validity to their point, which is that people only riot when white people kill black people and not in any of the other scenarios. However…it is. her opinion, she was off school grounds, and in no way suggested that her opinion was shared by her university. She was wearing a university t-shirt…but that hardly suggests the university endorsed her opinion as t-shirts are available through Abilene.
No matter…the university responded by…apparently since it was not specified exactly what happened…by kicking her out of school. It might be that she withdrew on threat of expulsion but according to the school she “is no longer enrolled”.
I fully support her idea to post her opinion. I also fully support her university’s right to have a different opinion. However…I think that they don’t have the right to discipline her for out of school social media posts…and a recent federal court decision would also tend to support that they don’t have that right (the court decision overturned a school district’s claim that “any student behavior can result in discipline despite being off campus and not school related”).
Now it is a private and religious university…and I have no idea for sure…but given the widespread availability of student loans then I would guess that the likelihood of the university having zero students who have a federally guaranteed student loan is pretty much nothing. And ya know…if they have accepted federally guaranteed student loans…then they’re subject to Title 9 restrictions which forbid discrimination based on a whole bunch of things…and I bet that her lawyers are already working on the lawsuit and Hardin-Simmons will be writing her a big check.
Several of our Democratic Senators have announced that if the win the Presidency and take over the Senate in the November elections that they abolish the filibuster in the Senate because they “will not allow their progressive agenda and the Biden administration to be stymied by the racist filibuster”.
The reason that the filibuster exists is to get the Senate to act like a more reasoned body than the House and have legislation that has bi-partisan support. For decades it required a 2/3 majority but it was reduced to the current 60 votes. The last time the Democrats had a majority in the Senate…they eliminated the filibuster for federal judge appointments so that President Obama’s judges could be approved and be seated…and the Democrats were perfectly fine with that. Then Minority Leader McConnell told them that they would be sorry they did that because they would not always be in the majority and what goes around comes around. Time passed…and the Republicans were now in the majority…and they started approving federal judges based on the no filibuster rule. Then along comes a Supreme Court vacancy…and the Republicans invoked the rule to approve Republican nominees to SCOTUS. This was deemed the “nuclear option” by the Democrats who claimed that they only invoked it for non SCOTUS nominees…and that they would never have done it for SCOTUS nominees, no sir, never. Truth is…they didn’t have a SCOTUS nomination or else they would have obviously done it for SCOTUS as well. Don’t believe me? OK…how about Harry Reid? Former Senate Majority Leader Reid is on record that he would have done it for SCOTUS as well but they didn’t have a SCOTUS nominee that they needed to invoke it for.
Me…I think the filibuster is a good idea…especially in these times where making the other side lose is almost more important than having your side win in politics…it keeps Senate deliberations and passage of laws more to the center as compared to the much more political House side.
Mr. McConnell has again warned the Democrats against abolishing it…with the same warning that they won’t always be in charge he used last time…we’ll see what happens. The Democrats will have to control the Senate to change the rules but once gone they won’t be coming back…and despite the left’s insistence that the country is going blue they won’t always be in charge.
Those same Senators also think we should increase the number of seats on SCOTUS…so that a Biden administration can pack the court with progressives…or as they refer to it “a correctly ruling court”. Another bad idea…what this all comes down to is strict vs loose construction of the Constitution…whether it says what it says or whether it says what you want it to say this week.
A couple of images for ya…no new wildlife ones although we did spot a Little Green Heron in the pond yesterday while Neil was roasting garlic out on the lanai but it flew off before he could get the camera out.
Alex graduated from pre-school this week and things are a lot different than back in the day. We didn’t have pre-school back then and in kindergarten you learned to recognize a few colors and shapes but that was about it. Today…after pre-school he can read, count, do multiplication and other complicated math and he’s pretty good at chess too.
He’s getting all grown up…quite a difference from this one which when he was less than a week old.
Ok…on to interesting things found on the net.
Anagrams…you know what those are, right? They are when you take a word and see what other words you can make if you rearrange the letters…similar to but not really the same thing as an acronym. Anyway; Neil found these on his Ugly Hedgehog photography forum.
Neil’s friend Bill sent him this one showing you how to extend the range of your electric vehicle if you are on a road trip and can’t find a charging station. A Honda 2000 portable gasoline powered generator…identical to the one we have in our garage to keep the freezer frozen, the beer cold, and the internet running in the event of a weather related power outage here in Florida…it will do the trick for ya. Sorta blows that that whole electric vehicle green emission free carbon free thing out the window though.