Fearless Prediction

Americas public school kids are in the middle of the biggest snow day in national history.

In-school classes in much, perhaps most, of the country are canceled for the rest of the year.. While schools are switching frantically to non-traditional, largely online instruction, it’s safe to say the apple cart has been completely upturned.

A former education bureaucrat and current consultant to the educational/industrial complex, writing in the Washington post, is very, very worried about What It All Means:

There is no research to measure what the effect of this massive break will be. In our lifetimes, Americans have never canceled so much school for so many children. But we know one thing for sure: The impact will not simply disappear. It will linger into next school year and beyond. Indeed, Hanushek and others have found that the effects of a single great teacher or a single substandard teacher can be measured into adulthood. And the negative effects of chronic absenteeism(typically defined as missing at least 15 to 18 days in a school year) on student achievement are clear — and dire.

My prediction: the only “dire” results, assuming the truth ever is let out by a media that is completely in bed with the establishment, will be to the establishment of the educational/industrial complex.; I predict it will be showing that the vast majority of children thrive, learning at their own pace, more or less, from home, and not being jammed into uniform desks in airless classrooms, having material presented to them in assembly line fashion as if they are widgets on an assembly line – which, cynical as it sounds, is the model for the vast majority of education, public and private, today.

I predict that most kids come out of this episode smarter than they would have had they stayed in school.

As the author notes, there will be exceptions; children of poor families, or whose parents aren’t able to devote as much attention to dealing with the kids needs while they’re quarantined.

Another fearless prediction: for the vast majority of those kids, this will still be the best educational time of their lives. And for the rest, they are the same ones that the public schools are leaving behind when they’re in class.

Prove me wrong.

Bent

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Everybody who was an expert on the Emoluments Clause a while back, is now an expert on epidemiology. Can’t tell you how many people earnestly explained to me how they’re helping “bend the curve” and I should, too.
Which curve? There are two. One is the number of people who have contracted the Corona Virus. That’s the number breathlessly repeated on the news but really, it’s a meaningless number. It’s like asking: “How many Americans had a cold last Winter?” The answer is “All of them” but nobody cares because nobody died from it. In fact, we WANT every American to get the virus, and recover, to build “herd immunity.”
The number we care about is: “How many Americans died from the Corona Virus?” and that’s only meaningful if we have something to compare it to. That’s the curve we’re trying to bend down, so fewer people die. But how many is few enough?

In 2019, influenza killed 50,000 Americans, mostly children and elderly with chronic health problems. The plain old everyday flu. Nobody batted an eye. 50,000 out of 300,000,000 is nothing to get excited about.
In 2019, abortions were down – only 16,500 per week. Last week, Planned Parenthood of Minnesota – one of the state’s largest abortion providers – was still open for business.
COVID-19 has killed about 300 Americans.

For this, we shut down the entire nation? How far down must the curve be bent?
Joe Doakes

Another curve I, and a lot of Americans, keep in mind; how many people in our lives are susceptible to lung problems?

It’s a pretty fair number in my family. That’s a curve I want to keep to zero. And so I’m acting accordingly, as best I can.

Casualties Of Pestilence

Thousands of people have died of Covid19. Thousands more will likely die.

Every one of those deaths is a tragedy, snuffing out a human life of incalculable worth and immense potential.

Well, all of them but one.

One of the casualties is the “Green New Deal”, says Kevin Williamson, as people life with previews of the Green New Deal:

What we are seeing right now is what it looks like when Washington tries to steer the economy. There are times when that is necessary, and this is one of those times. But emergencies do not last forever, and emergency measures should be, by nature, temporary. The attraction of the climate-change crusade is that it creates a permanent state of emergency. The Left wants very much to convince Americans that climate change presents an emergency of the same kind requiring the same “moral equivalent of war” worldwide mobilization.107

One suspects that the people who are missing their paychecks right now, and the ones who worry that they may be missing them soon, are going to need some convincing. The adverse effects of climate change are likely to be significant and may prove severe — as noted, many of our progressive friends insist that they already are. But we have a new point of comparison, and those challenges feel relatively manageable if the alternative is an extended version of the coronavirus shutdown — and no amount of marketing will change the fact that that is precisely what is being advocated.

A couple of months of this is going to be very hard to take. Nobody is signing up for a lifetime of it.

And two trillion dollars of bailout is bad. The Green New Deal is going to cost an order of magnitude and change more. And unlike Covid, it’ll never end.

Tone Deaf

Moments after the president signed the biggest bailout bill in American history – which included tens of millions of dollars for the Kennedy Center – The Center laid off the entire National Symphony Orchestra:

Hours after President Trump signed a stimulus bill that includes $25 million for the Kennedy Center, its president Deborah Rutter told the National Symphony Orchestra that their paychecks would end this week..

In a conference call Friday night, Rutter told orchestra leaders that the 96 musicians would receive their last paycheck on April 3 and that they will not be paid until the arts center reopens. In addition, she said their health care benefits would stop at the end of May if the arts center is still closed at that time. The announcement was characterized by several NSO members as a shock.

While the orchestra is out on the streets, does anyone want to place any bets on how many key Democrat party figures and donors will get a boost from the taxpayer bonanza?

Les Deplorábles

I can’t think that this bodes well for Team Blue this fall: residents of communities where wealthy New Yorkers have second/vacation homes have had about enough of the epidemic carpetbagging:

People with second homes in the Catskills region of New York are being warned to stay away in venom-laced Facebook posts and blunt messages from county officials.

Boardwalks and beaches in some Jersey Shore towns are barricaded, and residents are urging the closure of coastal access bridges to outsiders.

In the Hamptons, the famous playground for the rich on the East End of Long Island, locals are angry that an onslaught of visitors has emptied out grocery store shelves.

A backlash has grown on the outskirts of the New York region as wealthy people flee to summer homes to avoid the densely packed city, which has become the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis.

This clash between year-round residents and those with the means to retreat to vacation homes intensified Tuesday as White House officials advised those who had passed through or fled New York City to place themselves in a 14-day quarantine.

“They’re pumping gas. They’re stopping at grocery stores,” said Kim Langdon, 48, of Ashland, New York. “If they’re infected and they don’t know it, they’re putting everyone at risk.”

The expletive-filled commentary on a Catskills Facebook page was less subtle.

“The only cases in Greene County were brought here from downstate people so stay down there,” one man wrote. “Just because you have a second home up here doesn’t mean you have the right to put us at risk.”

The paraable of the Ant and the Grasshopper seems, if not appropriate, at least timely.

The Scarlet Letter

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Physical therapy this morning, the receptionist wanted to know if I had come into contact with anyone who is confirmed by medical testing to have coronavirus.

How would I know? Do they wear a big C on their chest?

You don’t have Corona virus unless you’re tested for it. You can’t get tested for it unless you come into contact with someone else who already has been tested for it. I may be infected but without that link, no test for me.

I distrust the official numbers.

Joe Doakes

I’ve long since switched to counting deaths. They’re harder to hide.

Not impossible – I’m more and more convinced the Chinese are hiding something big.

But the number is a lot less subject to the vagaries of bureaucratic competence.

Crowd Psychology

Imagine this:

It’s the middle of June, 1940. Germany has just conquered all of Europe. The British have just withdrawn their army from the continent, in a miraculous evacuation that was the only redeeming note in a catastrophic defeat.

The army had left virtually all of its equipment – just about everything heavier than a rifle – in France; it would pretty much have to be re-equipped from scratch. The Royal Navy had been badly bloodied. The Royal Air Force, likewise, leaving itself under strength to face the German Air Force in the upcoming campaign to try to bomb the UK either to the negotiating table or into a state ready to be invaded. German U-boats were ravaging the merchant shipping on which Britain depended for not only all of its industrial raw materials and oil, but virtually all of its food.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill went on the radio and gave a speech after the last of the British Expeditionary Force arrived home.

What speech did he give?

He could’ve given a realistic speech – pointing out the sobering facts of the situation, and readying the British people for what was likely going to be at best a disheartening and economy-gutting armistice that left them sitting alone on their island, and at worst complete conquest in the face of an invasion that would certainly follow, if the Navy and Air Force failed.

But no.

Churchill gave a speech that was, if all you cared about was the facts on the ground, utterly unrealistic; he told Britain, and the world, that the United Kingdom would fight to the last inch of ground, and if Britain fell the Commonwealth would carry on the fight forever, until Europe was free again.

It was a little like that poster of a mouse holding up a middle finger at a diving eagle; “the last great act of defiance“ was the caption.

And it was one of the greatest bits oratory in the history of the English language.

And it was completely unrealistic.

But it was leadership.

In 1987, Ronald Reagan had already proved he was the best president of my adult lifetime. His leadership had brought America back from the worst case of emotional depression it had ever suffered, and from an economic downturn every bit as nasty as 2008, but much more short-lived. And after running for office on a stridently anti-Communist message, he had already sent the message that Soviet expansionism was off the agenda, and made it stick.

He was scheduled to give a speech at the Brandenburg Gate – the very symbol of divided Germany, and the high watermark of communism in the west.. It was a time when most political and academic “experts“ in the west expected the Soviet union – the “second world“ – was here to stay; well five years later everyone said the USSR was eventually going to collapse, nobody that anybody was paying attention to was saying it in 1987. They had the worlds largest military, the worlds largest nuclear arsenal, and they controlled a good chunk of Europe and Asia.

Reagan’s advisers urged him to take a moderate, conciliatory tone toward the east Germans, the Soviets, their new (or at least newish) leader Mikhail Gorbachev, and the wall he was standing in front of.

To give a “realistic” speech.

 instead, he gave a speech that electrified the resistance in Eastern Europe, that galvanized support for democracy among the downtrodden, and did its part, along with much of the rest of Reagan’s policy, in the downfall of the Soviet union that had a thousand fathers by 1995, but was very nearly an orphan before Ronald Reagan was elected.

It wasn’t “realistic“ to the conventional wisdom of the day. It was leadership.

Donald Trump is no Winston Churchill, and he’s no Ronald Reagan.

This week, he said that he wants America to be “back to work“ by the Easter weekend.

Is this realistic? Maybe not. The experts say it’s unlikely. The legions of not very funny late night comics and blue-checked droogs say the idea itself is risible.. And the whole business of declaring America open or closed is mostly the responsibility of the state governments, and the free market itself. I, myself, plan on working from home (although I am working, knock wood).

But America is a restless, endlessly creative, impatient nation, overstocked with people who are not going to sit on their hands and wait for things to get better; it’s a nation full of people who are descended from people who came from all over the world, uprooting everything they knew, to make things better.

Trump could have echoed the words of the scientists and experts gathered around him. He could’ve lectured the nation like a hectoring schoolmarm, or like Barack Obama. But he’s got a stage full of experts, including his vice president, and more importantly 50 state governors, already doing exactly that.

Trump urging America to “go back to work“ Easter weekend is not the Dunkirk speech, and it’s not the Brandenburg gate speech.

It’s not eloquent, and it’s not going to go down in history.

But it’s leadership..

The economy runs as much on psychology as it does on money, analysis and marketing. It’s trends depend as much on how people are feeling as objective fact. Don’t believe it? Have you checked the toilet paper aisle lately?

The nation’s psyche needs a boost. Trump is setting a tone; the United States is not going to be on sick leave forever. He’s telling a nation with cabin fever that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. When? Maybe Easter, maybe memorial day, but it’s coming.

It was brilliant. It wasn’t scientific. It may not of even been all that well advised.

But it’s what America wants to think, and wants to hear. We’re not stupid, we’ll hash out the details later..

Serious Question

We’re told as of yesterday that Senator Klobuchar’s husband is in the hospital with National Healthcare VIrus.

In the statement, Klobuchar said [husband John] Bessler had a fever and was coughing up blood. He was checked into a hospital in Virginia and is receiving oxygen but is not on a ventilator.

“I love my husband so very much and not being able to be there at the hospital by his side is one of the hardest things about this disease,” Klobuchar said in a statement.

“While I cannot see him and he is of course cut off from all visitors, our daughter Abigail and I are constantly calling and texting and emailing,” she went on to state. “We love him very much and pray for his recovery. He is exhausted and sick but a very strong and resilient person.”

All these years pf campaign appearances and debates and fairground ops and every other kind of contact with her constituents, and I do not recall seeing any mention of John Bessier. Am I dense, or is the media softplaying his existence?

Or, for that matter their status (she’s in DC, he’s teaching law somewhere in Maryland)?

Speaking of Softpedaling: Ih this piece about John Bessier, the Channel 5 report helpfully finishes with this bit:

Klobuchar said she is working in the Senate to ensure Americans receive the help they need.

Sounds like reporter Rebecca Omastiak is bucking for campaign communications gig.

Their Progressive Majesties Demand

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

Minnesota’s Democrat congressional delegation sent a letter to Vice President Pence telling him it was unacceptable that doctors in our state didn’t have enough complete Corona virus test kits. Apparently, the test kits ship without an essential chemical and world-wide demand has been so high, there’s a shortage of the chemical.
The law of supply and demand is unacceptable!
Yeah? So roll up your sleeves and get to work, ladies. Start producing the chemical. Do something useful.

Or Shut The Hell Up and let the adults get back to work, dealing with the crisis as best they can with the tools at hand.

Joe Doakes

I’m wondering if episodes like this mean that Smith, Klobuchar, Craig, Phillips, McCollum, Omar and Peterson genuinely think the economy runs by command? (Don’t bet against that with Smith, McCollum and Omar). Or is it just election-year posturing?

Cattle

Perhaps when this Covid flap is over, we can have a serious discussion about *every single thing* the modern left has to tell us about housing, transit and urban zoning and land use policy.

Mass Transit as it is today might not have actually been built as a contagion transmission mechanism – but if it had been, it’d be hard to see what they’d have done differently. I’m thankful my 18 months of daily use of the Vomit Comet (“Green Line”) didn’t coincide with a major pandemic – I’m pretty sure I caught a cold or two, and most likely the flu, from the train.

Some are trying to start the discussion.

“There is ample documentation that mass gatherings can amplify and spread infectious diseases,” a World Health Organization analysis on “mass gatherings in the context of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 influenza” stated. “Such infections can be transmitted during the mass gathering, during transit to and from the event, and in participants’ home communities upon their return.” The WHO recommended, “Those who are ill should be strongly encouraged to avoid air travel or other forms of mass transit.”

A 2013 “Guide for Public Transportation Pandemic Planning and Response” prepared for the National Cooperative Highway Research Program Transportation Research Board of the National Academies stated that “although some pandemic plans for transportation systems existed, there were limited resources and plans targeted to rural and small urban transportation systems … As a result, although some agencies had all-hazards response plans available, measures for pandemics were not included.”

Last month, the Brussels-based International Association of Public Transport, in its “Management of COVID-19 Guidelines For Public Transit Operators,” conceded that “Public transport systems have to be considered a high-risk environment due to: high number of people in a confined space with limited ventilation; no access control to identify potentially sick persons; a variety of common surfaces to touch (ticket machines, handrails, door knobs, etc.).” Still, it also called public transit “an essential service to be maintained as long as reasonable.” When does mass death become unreasonable, the WHO might be asked in regard to mass transit.

I suspect we’ll see it suppressed sooner than later, if we let it.

Likewise – making it impossible to find anything but “high density housing” (especially by zoning out all alternatives, which has the inevitable, “unintended” effect of jacking up housing prices, which leads to people doubling-up on roommates or living in less-healthy housing they can afford) has *got* to be the dumbest idea out there, if a “resilient” society is what you seek.

On a semi-related side note: I can imagine things more hellish than a couple of weeks of “social isolation” stacked on top of and next to other potentially-contagious people “socially isolating” themselves – but unless all those neighbors get along *really* well, it’s not as easy as you’d think.

Disconnected

This is today’s celebrity class:

The TL:dw version: A bunch of entitled, overpaid people blessed/cursed with fame, are virtue-signaling the rest of us by “singing” the worst song in pop music history [1] – a mewling paeon to socialism and atheism from a singer who himself became so embittered and disconnected from the world by his fame and wealth that it had become something of a cultural punch line before he was murdered and became the icon for the death of every baby boomer’s innocence – as they hole up in their Manhattan condos, California estates and rural getaways…

…as millions of people wonder how long their paychecks are going to keep coming, or if they will, and the rest of the country waits to see if the army of homeless that crowd California’s streets get completely ravaged by this new plague.

Imagine, indeed.

I’ve never been a hugeLarry the Cable Guy fan, but for today, I am totally on board.


[1] This may be a reach – but work with me, here.

I think “ex-Beatle preference” is a key dispositive indicator of political outlook and personal attitude.

I suspect “progressives” prefer John Lennon. He was the angsty, prickly one, the one who seemed most prone to have a penchant for Sylvia Plath He died tragically, relatively young, and in the grand romantic tradition, illustrating and confirming the progressive’s innate hopelessness.

I’m going to guess conservatives trend toward the sunny, optimistic, irrepressible McCartney.

Me? I’m a guitar player. I’m with Harrison.

Sycophants

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

On Friday, when Minnesota had 14 cases of the virus, Governor Walz announced schools would remain open because health care workers needed daycare so they could go to work and fight the virus.
 On Sunday, when Minnesota had 35 cases of the virus, Governor Walz closed the schools except for children of health care workers who need daycare so they can go to work to fight the virus.  Everybody else’s kids, stay home. But not to halt the spread of the virus – no, it’s to give administrators time to figure out how to teach kids who aren’t in school. 

Basically, this is another “in service” week, when teachers and administrators try to recreate the wheel that Phoenix University already invented, what every home-schooled parent already uses: distance learning.

Now.  In the middle of the pandemic.  Now, you start thinking about the possibility of doing something different.  Now, after all those years of criticizing and belittling home-schoolers as ignorant and fearful racists, afraid their kids will catch cooties from The Other; now, you’re adopting their methods without admitting they were right all along.

And the Twin Cities media praised keeping the schools open as bold leadership on Friday; and praised the decision to close the schools as bold leadership on Sunday; without ever mentioning the two decisions made two days apart are completely contradictory.

Here’s an alternate possibility.  St. Paul teachers were on strike last week.  If the governor had closed the schools, they wouldn’t have been paid.  So they quick settled the strike and now they’re back to work at full pay when the schools close.  Lucky for them, they settled.  Almost as if they were tipped off.

Joe Doakes

The DFL and the Teachers Union…connected?

Say it isn’t so!

That’d be like saying “progressive” journalists had a sub rosa agenda or something.

And that’s just crazy talk.


I Think He’s Onto Something

As the city of Baltimore notches it’s fifth COVID-19 case, it’s mayor, Jack Young, has issued a plea to some of his most notable constituents; the city needs hospital beds for victims of the public health crisis, so please stop shooting each other.

No, seriously.

He really, really means it:

“I want to reiterate how completely unacceptable the level of violence is that we have seen recently,” Young said. “We will not stand for mass shootings and an increase in crime.”

“For those of you who want to continue to shoot and kill people of this city, we’re not going to tolerate it,” Young implored. “We’re going to come after you and we’re going to get you.”

I am no expert – like, the mayor of a city that’s been controlled by the Democrats for three generations – but something tells me that this should’ve been a priority before the city had a public health emergency, and if the city wasn’t “coming after and getting, criminals when times are relatively easy, the job is going to be just a little…

… well, Captain Obvious is going to skip straight over Major and jump straight to Lieutenant Colonel if he finishes that sentence, isn’t he?

My Libertarian Nature…

Is offended by government ham-handedness – even in an emergency (although conservatism recognizes the tension between liberty and public order).

However, any talk of domestic travel restrictions that keeps these morons sequestered away from the general public works juuuust fine for me.,

I could just scream.

The Usual Disclaimers Apply…

But more of this, faster:

It may turn out all for naught. But on the other hand, a very timely advance like that – almost deus ex machina, if not a maguffin – would be a wonderful break for the economy, wouldn’t it?

On the slower and steadier front – US Health and Human Services will waive HIPAA regulations for “Telecare” consultations, even for HIPAA infractions committed “In good faith“:

Secretary Azar:

“Thanks to the Public Health Emergency I declared in January, more older Americans will be able to access healthcare they need from their home, without worrying about putting themselves or others at risk during the COVID-19 outbreak. Providers will be allowed to use everyday technologies to talk to telehealth patients, more telehealth services will be covered for millions more Medicare beneficiaries, and providers will be allowed to offer these telehealth benefits to Medicare beneficiaries at a lower cost than traditional services. From the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, President Trump has been knocking out every bureaucratic obstacle possible that stands in the way of a rapid and effective response. We are grateful to the hard work of those across HHS who put together these actions, and we’re grateful to American healthcare providers for working to take advantage of these options and continue their heroic work serving patients during the outbreak.”



What a week: liberals buying guns, people appreciating going to work, kids wanting to be back at school?

I’ve been saying for years – after a disaster, everyone becomes a conservative. Who knows?

The Mother Of Invention

First prediction: there will be a Coronavirus vaccine.

It may arrive sooner, it may arrive later. Probably somewhere in between. I have no idea.

But it’ll come rom a country with a relatively free market for healthcare. The US? Norway? Germany? I don’t know – but it’ll be someplace that hasn’t nationalized healthcare.

Feel free to mark my words on this.

Beyond that ?

Last week on Twitter, Scott “Dilbert” Adams wrote:

The shortage of ventilators is the thing that’s terrifying people. The stories from Italy about doctors choosing who lives and who dies are pretty mortifying, especially if you have older relatives and family with lung conditions.

So people are innovating:

The doctor stresses this is a last ditch measure – to be used in cases where doctors are making life or death choices among 2-4 people at a time.

But it’s a start.

What Could Go Wrong?

Despite the ongoing pandemic, spring break regulars are crowding beaches, bars, and other vacation hotspots along the gulf coast.

Many of them, being 20 somethings and ergo knowing everything, I have heard that people in their 20s always recover, and rarely get sick, from Covid19.

So they cavort about the gulf coast and the south Atlantic, doing what 20 somethings (who can afford to travel to the gulf coast for spring break, which for some reason was never something I or anyone I knew could actually do, and when the hell did this actually become a thing?) on vacation tend to do; hang out in bars, hang out in crowds, and jam together like a colony of penguins.

I saw the footage from Florida, South Padre Island, and New Orleans showing throngs of drunken, loudmouthed, teeming hordes of addlepated bobbleheads. The footage didn’t focus on the bartenders, hotel workers, Uber drivers, Airbnb hosts and retail and hospitality workers in the area, of course. But they will be catching the virus from the throngs of idiots they serve.

And, inevitably, passing it along to their friends, significant others, similes, people in stores – You know, the usual epidemic thing.

And inevitably, the virus will get past to the other great population along the gulf coast; retirees. People in their 60s through 90s. The people who are far and away the most susceptible to the ravages of Covid 19. 

Sorry to say, I am afraid there’s a solid chance of absolute carnage along the gulf coast. I hope I’m wrong.

But it appears Florida’s governor is more than a little concerned, himself.

Imitation

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

On Friday, when Minnesota had 14 cases of the virus, Governor Walz announced schools would remain open because health care workers needed daycare so they could go to work and fight the virus.

 On Sunday, when Minnesota had 35 cases of the virus, Governor Walz closed the schools except for children of health care workers who need daycare so they can go to work to fight the virus.  Everybody else’s kids, stay home. But not to halt the spread of the virus – no, it’s to give administrators time to figure out how to teach kids who aren’t in school. 

Basically, this is another “in service” week, when teachers and administrators try to recreate the wheel that Phoenix University already invented, what every home-schooled parent already uses: distance learning.

Now.  In the middle of the pandemic.  Now, you start thinking about the possibility of doing something different.  Now, after all those years of criticizing and belittling home-schoolers as ignorant and fearful racists, afraid their kids will catch cooties from The Other; now, you’re adopting their methods without admitting they were right all along.

Joe Doakes

Public institutions, like education, or if nothing even more subject to “not invented here” syndrome than the private sector.

But since we are talking about revising “progressive” assumptions about the world?

Perhaps jamming everyone into “high density housing” isn’t the best strategy for (and yes, progressivism is in the midst of corrupting this term as well) “Resiliency”..

I’m trying to imagine people in long rows of apartment buildings, “socially isolated” from their neighbors but unable to escape them, either.

Narrative Multi-Choice

Some people say “the Coronavirus is a very real thing, and it’s going to kill a lot of people, and we’re past the point of no return on a whole lot of misery already [more later today], and we really need to clamp down on social interaction for a while to try to get it under control and save a whoooole lot of lives”.

Others say “The media and left (pardon the redundancy) are using this as one of the crises that Rahm Emanuel told them never to waste, to try to undercut the Administration, draw attention away from the dumpster fire that is their endorsement process, and jam down funding and civil rights restrictions they favor”.

Still others: “Our bureaucracy – which was started neither by Trump nor Obama – has completely crapped the bed on things like developing and distributing tests. And our “elite” media, which seems to be increasingly a PR firm for the establishment, hasn’t done jack to hold them, or the creeping socialism that has presided over this catastrophe, accountable – which is supposedly their mandate”.

Which is correct?

Why choose? They’re all correct.

Sodden Bureaucracy

Joe Doakes from Como Park emailed (late last week):

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control recommended elderly patients stock up on medicine in case the virus causes a supply chain disruption.

I called my pharmacy to stock up. The insurance company won’t let me, it’s too early, I still have pills left.

Yes, but I’m trying to get ahead of the supply chain disruption. I need a refill now. Plus stay on my existing refill schedule. This 30 days supply is just to put in the back pocket for emergencies

The doctor is reluctant to write the prescription, since I already have one and an additional 30 days supply now does nothing to solve the supply chain problem, it’s simply empties the warehouse and moves the problem forward in time.

The experts recommend it, she doesn’t want to write it, he doesn’t want to pay for it, and they don’t want to fill it.  Gee, I can’t imagine why the public is confused about who to believe, and in a panic over what to do about it.

Looks like I’m going online. How do you spell metformin in Mexican?

Joe Doakes

While some of the administration’s moves on regulation over this past few days have, perhaps helped this, the bureaucracy – private and especially public – has not covered itself in glory so far during this crisis.

Downstream End Of The Supply Chain

I stopped by the Roseville Target yesterday morning on my way back from another errand. It was 7:50 AM.

I don’t need toilet paper – a 12 pack tides me over for good long while,  now that I have no kids at home – but I took a stroll past the paper products aisle. There were maybe a couple dozen packages of toilet paper scattered about the place.  Call it 95% empty.   

I thought “must’ve been a busy night“.

Then I talked to one of the girls at the coffee stand. She said trucks came in mid-evening last night and completely restocked the toilet paper (and the produce, which was picked pretty clean last night). And they sold out again before closing at midnight.

And then, more trucks came in, and restocked the paper products overnight – and what I saw was what had gone out the door between opening and 8 AM.  she chuckled recalling that they were 50 people in line to get in when the store opened at 7 AM.

So the good news is, apparently, the supply chain is working as well as it can. And if you own Target stock, you are going to be very happy next quarter.

In fact, I noticed a few tweets like this from young “socialist” fops over the past few days:

 

I tried to ask Mr. Ackerman if stores in Venezuela were upstocking several times a day between bouts of empty shelves. For some reason – dare I say, “unexpectedly” – I haven’t heard back.

The bad news? There are a lot of panicky ninnies out there.

Never Waste A Crisis

Mayor of Champagne, IL, “responding” to Covid19….

...bans gun sales?

According to a local report from WAND 17, Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen has issued an executive order that would give her office “extraordinary powers.” She has issued the order despite the town and surrounding area not having a single case of the disease. 

“The executive order allows the city to be flexible to properly respond to the emergency needs of our community. None of the options will necessarily will be implemented but are available in order to protect the welfare and safety of our community if needed,” Jeff Hamilton the City of Champaign’s Communications Manger told WAND-TV.

Here is the list of other items from the declaration/executive order, which also includes the ability to ban the sale of “food, water, fuel, clothing, and/or other commodities, materials, goods, services and resources,” in addition to alcohol and gasoline. Additionally, government agents or officials have the ability to seize private property and to cut off the city water supply. The mayor justifies everything “in the interest of public safety and wolf.”

The declaration goes a lot further than that. The woman is a Mussolini wannabe.

Spring

Joe Doakes from Como Park emails:

If warm weather kill viruses, is global  warming a good thing?

True, it hasn’t been conclusively proven that warm weather kills this particular virus. But can we afford to take the chance? The time to act is now.

I’m cranking up the thermostat.

Joe Doakes

I don’t want to miss any bets, myself.

Cynical

It’s easy to laugh at the medias predilection for hysteria mongering.. I mean, I get it – it sells papers and gets people to tune in, to newspapers who sales are in death spirals and television stations and networks who’s ratings are in free fall.

And laugh, we certainly are.

But there is a very, very dark side to the squandering of trust that happens every time the media over blows a snowstorm, or a dossier, or an attorney generals report. 

Famine is one of the key markers, and sources for the legends, in human history. It’s been the sabertooth tiger outside the campfire light for most of humanities history.

But never in that history has there been a famine in a society that had two things:

  1. A relatively free market
  2. A relatively free media – Defined as a media that is free to ask questions and report on the answers it gets without government interference.

Those two advances have combined – and I do mean combined, because you don’t get the benefits of the one without the other – To illuminate famine, at least on a widespread, society destroying basis, so every time they have ever been combined. No society with a free market and a Free Press, even relatively speaking, has ever had a famine. Those two factors also combined it to bring other, perhaps even in calculable, blessings to humanity – but let’s stick with famine for right now, since it’s appropriate to today’s situation.

So what happens when you have a Media that is Free – but nobody trusts it?

Who do you trust, these days?

Its’ not an idle question.   One is completely justified in thinking the media is whipping up a certain amount of hysteria to sell papers and to smear the President – which isn’t to say Trump’s been covering himself with glory in this particular crisis, but the “elite” media made it very well known they were in the bag against Trump to the point changing the rules of the trade to “denormalize” the President; in that context, a pandemic is just another crisis not to waste.

Self-government depends on institutions we can trust – not just the  media, but the courts, law enforcement, the bureaucracy, everything.

And we just can’t anymore.  Not when the issue is more political than a car crash or soybean futures.