An analogy – The corona virus always strikes one person first when it enters a new country


I’m feeling like my cat Moloch’s meow.

No. This post is not about the corona virus. Its an analogy pointing out that what can become an epidemic begins with a first troublesome infection. Perhaps my campaign for Congress will be like that with a few random new readers. While I will digress into
a discussion of history books its starts with how I’m feeling as an unlikely candidate for Congress

I began monitoring my readership in 1999 with my first webpage www.snowbizz.com I had been reading tantalizing stories about such websites for five or six years but initially they required knowledge of computer coding something I had no interest in learning just as, until three years ago, I had no interest in learning a foreign language. Then Microsoft developed a software program that allowed users to put a website up more like Apple’s McPaint program.

When I was able to put a counter on my page it registered perhaps 20 visitors a day because not that many people were looking at the internet in those early days. My blog has a much more sophisticated counting mechanism twenty years on from Snowbizz and many more people sort through the Internet these days. Still, my site is not particularly well visited. I don’t have 85 million followers like President Trump’s Twitter account. As this month comes to an end my stats say that about 3,000 different people will have spent some time perusing my non stop caterwauling. I’ll keep watching that and other statistics as I wade through the Corona virus with the rest of you.

As I said in the previous post the acceptance that my Fall travels to France are become extremely unlikely has shifted my seriousness about this campaign. The incumbent and his Democratic challenges will all be in the same boat as me unable to freely mix with voter. That gives me an immense advantage. I am very nimble on the Internet should my campaign begin to catch hold.

My drive to write daily has been blunted by a couple of non productive days but when I’m cooking the pasta is served fast. Yesterday in a little over an hour I wrote close to 2,000 words. Words that will need heavy editing but I’m good at that except for the occasional typo hiccup that sneaks past me.

And I’ve not been so focused on writing the end all and be all book about American politics that I have ignored other things of importance to me. Yesterday Claudia and I made 25 sandwiches to take to our church to be delivered to CHUM’s homeless population. We walked over to our daughter’s house in masks to deliver a loaf of break that Claudia baked and we’re putting a new jigsaw puzzle together. We keep finding brainy things to watch on television from the series I’m mentioned before to PBS. Last night we watched some science programming. I keep practicing French and keep up a near daily correspondence with French speakers who want to brush up on there English. Learning French has not ended up being the two year project I first anticipated but every time I go back to some old French lesson it gets easier and easier. My goal is learning both to speak and read and write in French. Those are not the same thing as the French literate Thomas Jefferson learned when he became an ambassador in France but was so inept at speaking the language he became something of a recluse.

And I’ve resumed history reading. I’ve been reading a kindle version of a very sly history of George Washington that is wise and unorthodox in treating him as a human and not a God. Its history the way it ought to be told. And as I’ve mentioned before I have resumed reading the book Founding Rivals by Chris DeRose.

I purposely linked to a “conservative” review site because Mr. DeRose is a Republican who worked for a short time with the Republicans on Capitol Hill and who helped Wisconsin’s Sean Duffy win his campaign for Congress. I wondered if DeRose, a practicing attorney was also a member of the damned Federalist Society that is something of the Republican Party’s current version of the Illuminati. Or maybe that should be the American version the Society of the Cincinnati.

I found no such association for DeRose, who if you look him up is not the same as the former extra on the Rockford Files. In fact DeRose has written two other fetching books one that helped me better recall the order of the early presidents The Presidents’ War when there were ten living former Presidents at the time Abraham Lincoln was first sworn into office. The other one was about Lincoln’s lone term in Congress in 1847. I have been tempted to order it but I’ve kept it on my mental list for later.

Last night at 2 AM when I couldn’t get back to sleep I switched on the light and read Chapter 12 about the debate in the Virginia Constitutional Ratification Convention. The book is about the little known friendship and occasional rivalry between Presidents number 3 and 4 James Madison and James Monroe. Its a crackerjack history. Had Virginia’s delegates not endorsed the convention thee would be no United States today. Madison, one of the principle architects of the Constitution took the affirmative and his old friend Monroe riven by suspicions took the negative. This book has been a great follow up to “Decision in Philadelphia” by Chris & James Lincoln Collier about the politics at the initial Constitutional Convention. According to my reading list I read it back in 1991.

I just finished a book on the consequences of the Black Death in England, I’m reading a refreshing book about George Washington and then there is this book by DeRose. I often find when reading diverse books that there is a remarkable synergy that goes on in my head as I make connections between different episodes in history.

And that is very much on my mind as I write my own book to promote my unlikely campaign for Congress. I’ve quoted Santayana on the subject of history many times: Those who can not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. Today’s Republicans can not remember the past as another prominent historian Republican war on history“>noted back in 2012. Twenty years ago I got a kick out of walking past Professor Schamas’ offices and those of several other prominent historians when I visited Columbia University to see where my grandfather George Robb earned his Master’s Degree in History back in 1915. That will be a subject in my book too.

Meow!

No Title. Really? How did I forget that. This is about my evolving plans …

It has become fairly obvious to me that I am unlikely to go to France in October to study French for 45 days come October. That has me doing some serious thinking about running a little more seriously for Congress. If by June the French sponsors call it off I won’t have to campaign while apologizing for being in France during the campaign. It will also mean that for much of the campaign gathering people together will be verboten lest we kill them off with the virus. It will still be the home sheltered corona virus campaign that will bring people to my blog.

Unlike most politicians I think I have some interesting things to say – like the previous posts observations of our slaughter of the Earth’s biomass. Voters will have more time to follow my expansive literature. Of course, the young voters at our local colleges will likely vote at their parent’s homes if they are still sheltering-in-place and that will be a loss. They haven’t developed deep attachments to a political party and I would normally count on to free up their ears and listen to me.

At any rate. I’ve had a good night’s sleep and I’m really in the mood to put my book together today. But first, I wrote the following post which is sort of a short summary of all the things on my mind as a candidate for Congress. I haven’t proof-read it and probably won’t bother too do so. So, please forgive my typos and other tommyrot: Continue reading

Destroying the foundation of Earth’s food chain

My sister shared this image of the Spiny Flower Mantis with me. Call it a work of God or evolution it is still a wonderment. I contrasted it to nightmarish news stories about the loss of insect life all over the world that has been reported the past two years. Humans have riddled the Earth’s most fecund locales with herbicides, insecticides, and chemicals. The fewer insects the fewer birds, frogs and other insectivores upon which the terrestrial food chain depends not to mention all the pollinators which all our most common plants, wild and agricultural depend on for propagation. The latest National Geographic has a front cover full of insects with the heading “You’ll miss them when they’re gone.”

Paging through the magazine I came upon an arresting visualization of our decimation of insects. In Krefeld, Germany in 1994 all the insects captured in a two week span in August 1994 on the left was compared with the insects captured in the same time period in 2020.
Corona virus is far from our worst nightmare.

Good health to you Congressman Stauber, and to us all

I read Congressman Stauber’s column 3 days ago in the Tribune and as I expected read nothing I didn’t know already. I guess it was in the vein of reassurance that everything that could be done is being done. With Donald Trump in charge of bleaching America that is hardly reassuring.

The column began with the painful reminder that up until we started staying at home our economy was roaring on all the money the Republicans made sure to send the Rich a year ago. The rich have gotten even more with the latest package of spending as the banks made quick money on the nation’s back by doling out more “salary security” dollars to some of the richest companies which quickly converted their corona dollars into more stock buybacks. I am of course outraged that this could happen again. Anyway here is how Pete started his column that goes nowhere:

“Just a few weeks ago, our nation was experiencing a “blue-collar boom,” with record low unemployment and historic economic growth. Tragically, the arrival of the novel corona virus changed everything. In response to this virus, stringent social-distancing measures were implemented to flatten the curve and to prevent our hospitals from being inundated. While these measures have certainly saved lives, they also have forced millions of Americans to file for unemployment and countless small businesses to close their doors.”

America can’t live on its fat for two years if that’s how long it takes to produce a vaccine. We will see some businesses reopen for a while but remain prepared to shut down again if the virus kicks up too actively. Already a great many poorly paid people are doing essential things which our laissez faire economy regards as grunt work worthy of little compensation like taking care of the elderly and infirm and delivering food. Like the medical staff in corona soaked hospitals these formerly non essential workers are taking the greatest risks so that those of us of means can take our ease, like the Popes of yore who left the Vatican for their country estates during Malaria season.

If I were in Congress I’d begin working with Democrats who have long urged that we undo the Republican trend of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. That would begin with the Affordable Care Act’s reinstatement. But let’s call it what it ought to be called, “Obamacare.” The last sensible president we had should enjoy that nickname which was formerly imposed on the Affordable Care Act as a term of derision by Republicans. Republicans did everything in their power to deprive truly essential people from enjoying……health security. A European style health system would have been a great improvement over the terribly expensive but incompetent medical coverage we get from the patchy private and corporate health insurance bequeathed to us by leader’s who conflated socialism with Stalinism.

Gentleman Jim writes again. So do I.

From: “Gentleman Jim”
To: “harrywelty”
Cc:
Sent: Saturday April 25 2020 5:26:31PM
Subject: Re: We finally Agree

I’m always gentlemanly Harry. Always.

I am a straight shooter and those threatened by my intelligence find me thorny.

Copper-nickel mining today is not like it was 50-100 years ago. I live with the water. I drink the water. I don’t piss in the water. I don’t throw waste in the water like the Democrat controlled WLSSD and the City of Duluth Street Department, also Democrat controlled.

I support the coal miners and their families, the people that work in the low cost coal-fired power plants and the coke/steel plants. I support spending on clean coal technology by stopping the subsidies for wind mills and solar panels. Have you ever been inside a taconite plant? Go once and then tell me how the hell windmills and solar panels are going to provide electricity to run those power shovels, crushers, grinding mills, balling drums, kilns and all the drive motors. The same goes for paper mills and OSB plants. Can’t be done.

We’ll be OK with PolyMet and Twin Metals. Just as long as the Steelworkers Union doesn’t get in there and fuck things up. They are a part of the reason the Minntac Mine is polluting the Dark River watershed. U. S. Steel is and always has been a bad actor. The Steelworkers Union knows what I know about the dikes and the process, but they have told their members in essence to shut up because they cut a deal with management to get concessions the union bosses wanted but don’t directly benefit the rank & file workers. More dues money for the Democrat party. Whose the real polluters here?

As Always,

Gentleman Jim (and honest too)

My slightly less patient reply to Gentlemen Jim’s second email:

Jim, here are a half dozen statements of yours italicized and my thoughts about them.

I’m always gentlemanly Harry. Always.

Define “gentlemanly.”
Continue reading

A Patient Handsome Harry replies

I stopped attempting to hide the identity of my old ally turned bitter critic “Gentleman Jim”. If you want to take an hour you can find his name in the blog some place. I used to post his complimentary posts during my fight with the old School Board and Johnson Controls over the Red Plan. Then Gentleman Jim got the idea I was opposed to the issue closest to his heart. The attempt by evil liberals to kick industry out of Northeastern Minnesota. This grievance goes back a very long way to when Hubert Humphrey was Minnesota’s United State’s Senator. That’s enough preface. I will only put my reply to today’s email above the jump. Feel free to read Jim’s olive branch email below but beware it doesn’t meet my standards of correspondence. I like Duluth’s Mayor and Country Board member Frank Jewel. Gentleman Jim does not.

Jim, both the gentlemanly and ungentlemanly,

I have never changed my mind on mining. I haven’t studied it deeply enough to know who is blowing smoke at me. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a cross breeze. Copper mining does have a terrible record and fresh water is growing increasingly scarce. I don’t blame anyone who hasn’t studied the science for acting on instinct. I would like to think we set up a system to make rational decisions. Maybe we haven’t.

As my new French pen pal told me copper is the key to all of these new clean energy systems. If we don’t get it somewhere half of 7 billion people will have to count on more coal and oil energy generation. The Chinese are already planning to build 150 such plants in the 3rd world. Heck, I’ve thought nuclear plants were safer in the long run than more greenhouse gasses.If we assume all new coal mines are going to be Chernobyl we aren’t thinking clearly. 

I am pleased if I’m no longer on your shit list. You have never been on mine but you sure came close.

Handsome Harry Continue reading

Pardon my French 4-25-20

For my French listeners the title is a play on words in English. In the same way as Americans were happy to call the influenza virus of 1918 the “Spanish Flu” even though it likely got its start in my home state of Kansas. We Americans apparently like to blame swear words on the French. Pardon my French is said either before one says a rude word or immediately afterward. But in my case I am really asking forgiveness to the French for butchering their language.

This is a trial attempt to keep up my long running and not quite futile effort to learn Francais despite my attempt to plan and run a race for Congress while quarantined. Today’s political news in brief:

Today the Republican Party is reeling from a series of disastrous news conferences by the President of the United States Donald Trump the latest of which he uncharacteristically stayed silent. This was after urging Americans to drink bleach the previous day to kill the corona virus the day before. Recent polls showed that not only was the President sinking in the polls of states he needed to win election but that he might very well take down Senators who seemed impervious to defeat until very recently which could cost Republicans control of both houses of the United States Congress.

The end for today.

Pour mes auditeurs français, le titre est un jeu de mots en anglais. De la même manière que les Américains étaient heureux d’appeler le virus de la grippe de 1918 la “grippe espagnole”, même s’il a probablement fait ses débuts dans mon État d’origine, le Kansas. Nous, Américains, aimons apparemment blâmer les Français de jurer. Pardon mon français est dit soit avant que l’on dise un mot grossier soit immédiatement après. Mais dans mon cas, je demande vraiment pardon aux Français d’avoir massacré leur langue.

Il s’agit d’une tentative d’essai pour maintenir mes efforts de longue haleine et pas tout à fait futiles pour apprendre le français malgré ma tentative de planifier et d’organiser une course pour le Congrès en quarantaine. L’actualité politique d’aujourd’hui en bref:

Aujourd’hui, le Parti républicain est ébranlé par une série de conférences de presse désastreuses du président des États-Unis, Donald Trump, dont la dernière est restée inhabituellement silencieuse. C’était après avoir exhorté les Américains à boire de l’eau de Javel la veille pour tuer le virus corona la veille. Des sondages récents ont montré que non seulement le président s’enfonçait dans les sondages des États dont il avait besoin pour gagner les élections, mais qu’il pourrait très bien abattre des sénateurs qui semblaient imperméables à la défaite jusqu’à très récemment, ce qui pourrait coûter aux républicains le contrôle des deux chambres du Congrès américain. .

La fin pour aujourd’hui.

Books for a Corona virus campaign

I’ve been intrigued to watch so many news anchormen and women reporting from home because of the virus. When ever I see a bookcase in the background I try to read as many titles as I can to see what books we have in common. So for tonight I will show you the little book case I put in my office that has the books queued up that I am most likely to read or resume reading.

At the moment I’m on a kick to finish reading some of the books that have waited several years for me to return to them. Spread out on the floor are four of them. I’ve just read the final section of the book called “the Bosses” by Alfred Steinberg. As of the book’s 1972 publishing date it was the 20th American History book that Mr. Steinberg had written. I was only really interested in reading about the boss of Kansas City, Missouri through the 1920’s and 30’s, That was Boss Pendergast. The last section being about Tom Pendergast. My Dad grew up in next door Independence, Missouri, where then Senator Harry Truman lived about a mile away from my Dad. Apparently there was a possible kidnapping attempt of Harry’s daughter Margaret in 1930 when my Dad was in school or lived across the street from it.

After reading it I began writing an intro to a section of my book about my Dad’s influence on me and his experiences in Republican politics in the 1930’s. He was an avid Reform Republican who wanted to get rid of corrupt politicians. The Steinberg book does a good job spelling out how corrupt Boss Pendergast was by beginning with the election of 1934 where gangsters tied to Pendergast killed four election workers at some of the polls where voters went to cast ballots. No wonder my Dad was serious about keeping things honest.

If you read the previous post you know that I intend to drop everything to finish my book by the end of May. I spent four hours on the task today. I wrote 1300 words and set up the project so I can work quickly from now on. I’ll see if I can put in more than four hours tomorrow. If I do that will be a good sign. If I do it for a week it will be hard to stop me.

My French pen pal wants to read it. Maybe I’ll translate it into French for the continental book market.

Clap trap and my month of book writing

I am deeply saddened because while I live in comfort and security homeless people, one of Republican America’s most successful crops, will be dying like flies because of corona virus.

I could list one hundred other things I’m deeply saddened about. So when I read the Duluth News Tribune Headline about how sad our Republican Congressman is about layoffs in mining I’m am unimpressed. Stauber deeply saddened by mining layoffs

Neither am I impressed with his DFL opponent, Quinn Nystrom. She is given ink because, as the daughter of a miner, she evidently feels strongly too. Give me a break.

I have a sister-in-law who is seeing corona virus up close. That’s no guarantee that I have solutions for the many problems that will face us as corona virus raises more hell. I have a grandfather who was awarded the nation’s highest military award for heroism on the field of battle. That’s no guarantee I can intelligently figure out how to deal with a resentful Russia or an ambitious China. I taught in public schools. That is no guarantee that have any solutions for the state of disrepair in public schools that leaves so many kids behind. I have read far more history and know the past intimately. That is no guarantee I can prepare more intelligently for the future.

I understand better than most because of my devotion to science that for the next ten generations and maybe the next 100 generations the population of the Earth isn’t going to escape this planet even as day-by-day we poison it. Our poison is being released more gradually, the way a frog resting in water is said not to notice that he is suddenly aboil. But gradual or not what we are doing is as lethal as the dinosaur killing asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs who had “ruled” the planet for the previous 200 million years. We’ve darn near equaled that asteroid’s five minute impact in a mere 100 years.

This will be the fourth time I’ve filed for Congress. In every campaign I have run preaching unity and independence from party nostrums. This campaign will be no different. I will continue to channel Republican Abe Lincoln. The only way to save the Earth is to approach the crisis we keep pushing off to periphery as though the entire earth is at war with the destruction of the recent past. No Republicans and too few Democrats are focused on this. Young people are but they don’t call the shots yet and if they can’t get past the Republican/Democrat blood feud they may never have a chance to fix things before its too late – if its not too late already.

I like people even willfully ignorant ones like the 12% who will listen to Donald Trump if he tells them to drink bleach to cure their corona virus. I just won’t cater to their hurt feelings and thus refrain from telling them the truth as honestly as I can. Pete Stauber hasn’t got the stones to do that. HASN’T GOT THE STONES!!!!!! Few people do. And to the Democrats who would forbid all mineral exploration in Northern Minnesota. That’s more twaddle. I don’t know which plans I would allow to proceed but if we don’t mine copper in the United States it will be mined by the Chinese in Africa as destructively as Belgians, French and Americans have mined it in Africa in the past. I know that Glencore is a soulless polluting money machine but just maybe the Polymet mine they bought up is worth pursuing. I’d let science not Pete Stauber, Donald Trump or myopic haters of all mining, determine whether it is feasible and safe or not.

I feel like a blog storm is coming on, on par with Donald Trump’s tweet storms. But this blog already has more than enough on it for a year’s worth of reading. Now its time to act on my oft repeated threat to write a book. If I tune out most everything else I think I can get it mostly done in May.

I’ve mentioned S. a fair amount lately. S. is my French pen pal. S. is very pleased to have been mentioned in this blog. Here is a small part of what I sent S. today. I mean to honor it:

I have been planning on writing a book for this campaign for Congress for 2 years. I was sure I would start in January. It is almost May now. I spend a lot of time on French, reading the news and other distractions. I need a solid month of just writing a book ten hours a day. Much of it is already written from my ten years of columns and blog posts. I just have to assemble them in a coherent book that explains more fully what I tried to explain to you yesterday – what my task will be if I get elected to Congress.

To accomplish that I will have to severely limit my french, my news, my blogging and my correspondence. I won’t disappear completely but I will be harder to reach.

So, don’t be surprised. I will start today.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/373267266357317/permalink/1299571010393600/

“In the case you would win what would be your task?”

In this video I answer the question in the title. My French pen pal S. posed it to me this afternoon. I told S. it would answer it in my next video.

If you don’t want to listening to my yammering for six minutes I recommend you read the political portion of our conversation which I’ve placed below the video. As you read it ask yourself how you would explain the American political system to someone from another country. How would you explain your intention to run for Congress?

S: The father of a friend of mine died of the coronavirus..at the age of 93…he was in a care home.

Me: We have have read many stories of care homes with a great many virus deaths.

….3 died in a Duluth home last week. Continue reading

The Crimes of Barack Obama

NOTE ABOUT IMAGES:

The image above came from the Washington Examiner. I sent one a lot like it from Newsweek, if memory serves, to the Reader to accompany my column this week. At about the same time as corona virus laid the Reader low and cost it advertising and an made it every-other-week publication, it also got a new Editor. Jim has been a fixture in other newsrooms and he brings a journalistic sensibility to his new position. Because I have grown casual about copyrights I have plucked pictures from the Internet without giving thought to rights. When I put them in my blog that’s not much of a problem. Its only when you devalue someone else’s work or make money off it that you subject yourself to potential suits. Since this blog is not intended to generate income I’m not worried about lawsuits. That is not so true of the Reader. So I’ve put the image of both Obama and Trump on this post but you won’t see it in this week’s reader in the next couple days. Its not crucial to the column but I like the image of President 44 and 45 together.

The Crimes of Barack Obama:

It begins: “It was necessary to elect Donald Trump because of the crimes of Barack Obama. I probably won’t remember them all any more than I can remember a day’s worth of President Trump’s crimes.”

And another thing:

I also helped my friend Loren Martell out this week. His computer blew up after he finished this week’s column. When the Reader couldn’t make heads of sense out of what he sent them Loren brought me a disc on which he put it. He asked me to send it to the Reader. But the Reader couldn’t find when I sent it in either. Loren’s systems are a little antique. I took another crack at it and between the Reader, me and Loren we put Humpty Dumpty together again. It would have been a shame not to include it in this week’s paper. Its about experts who are happy to make their living by offering suggestions to School Boards too timid to make any decision without an expert to hold their hand.

Should We Ask the Expert?

Two shows to Stream

I found this map in Wikipedia while reading the book on the black Death by Norman Cantor. Cantor mentions how the ignorant Europeans decided that Jews were responsible for the horrendous casualties of the Plague. It helped that they gained a confession through torture of a poor Jew who admitted he had gotten poison from a Rabbi and poured it into wells all over Europe. Yay Waterboarding!

What I was specifically interested in was the expulsion of the Jews from England. I remembered a scene from the old black and white movie Ivanhoe which showed the hero and a lovely Jewish maiden, we’re talking chaste if forbidden love here, and how the Jews generously loaned money to the English King…..or something like that. I wondered when this Hollywoodized scene would have taken place vis-a-vis the expulsion.

Cantor, who has also written a well reviewed history of the Jews, wrote about how Jews all over France and Germany were burned en masse to avenge their aledged poisoning of the wells. Fortunately for the Jews, a Slavic king welcomed them into Eastern Europe where they lived happily for a couple hundred years until the Orthodox church turned on them unleashing torrents of pograms against them. And then, of course, the millions of Polish jews were wiped out after the Nazi invasion.

This brings me to two shows that my wife and I have been watching. Both are excellent, really excellent. The first is HBO’s serialization of Philip Roth’s dystopic history of what could have happened had FDR not been reelected in 1940 but instead had been replaced by America’s 1920’s sweetheart, Charles Lindbergh. I read the review of the book The Plot Against America twenty years ago but dismissed it as a novelty. I knew our history and even though Lindbergh’s reputation after the war began never fully recovered he was an unlikely presidential candidate. And besides that, the Republicans nominated my Dad’s hero, Wendell Wilkie, who unlike Lindbergh, supported FDR’s war efforts.

But what if? What if Lindbergh had become the President? I have to say that the five sepia laden installments ring true. I was sucked into its dark imaginings. America is not immune to demagoguery and maybe worse.

The other series called “Unorthodox” is a four-parter we finished a couple nights ago. The Polish Jews sent to the holocaust didn’t go completely extinct. Some had already made a home for themselves in America. In the US they continued to live their orthodox eastern European lives. They live scattered in select cities on our Eastern seaboard. Claudia and I boarded a plane a few years back crammed with orthodox Jewish families flying to Israel which was our destination too.

The orthodox communities are pretty insular and don’t mix with outsiders much except in business. They remain very true to the Old Testaments laws Jews are expected to live by. The series we watched was based on the experiences of a young woman who fled New York to escape the smothering confinement of her orthodox life in America. She fled to, of all places, Germany.

The series is an honest portrayal and even a sympathetic portrayal of a life most Americans would avoid like the plague.

“So far so good”


An aerial view of the mass graves for New York corona virus victims

One of my favorite movie quotes comes from the Magnificent Seven; So far so good I knew I’d used it before in the blog at least once and, in fact, in this case it is the title of an earlier post. I’m using it again in quotes to distinguish it.

Considering the joke it was the punch line for in that movie I think its an apt phrase for the denialists in the Republican Party who think guns will protect them from the calamities stupid people like scientists warn will happen. Not might, but will if the world is continued to be led by Republicans who sit on their thumbs praying for the rapture.

Of course the increasing speed of climate change counts as does the acidifcation of the oceans and their imminent rise and the end of significant glacial snow melt to feed the rivers of the world and on and on and on.

But it goes for the corona virus too which is arguably the result of the massive hunting of the remnants of the Earth’s wild areas to feed the Chinese medical trade in “wet markets.” The earth’s fauna is full of microbes and viruses that have yet to find a home in human bodies. The corona virus just made that leap. I haven’t come close to reading the voluminous honest news stories about it but what I’ve heard is to say the least worrisome. It can lie in wait to strike a viral host down for 14 days as the host shares the virus with others. No amount of treatment can save 2 percent of its hosts when their impaired immune systems are also stricken by other diseases like pneumonia. In 2001 I came down with pneumonia with no corona virus to weaken my immune system or scramble my lungs. It was the hardest week of my life as I was drained of all energy. I have the resources to stay away from the virus a year and half if necessary to risk becoming one of its one in fifty moralities.

The fake Pro-life protesters demanding to end the quarantine have no use for fake news sources but they do concede that people are dying. They simply make the argument that keeping the economy rolling is more important. That attitude is what pro-lifers have argued liberals who are pro-choice prefer over day old fetuses that weren’t planned. Texas has just confirmed that its lawmakers consider a day old fertilized egg a full fledged human life since they just used the excuse of the corona virus to make it illegal for a woman to take the day-after pill. Swallowing this pill is now considered an elective medical procedure. I guess my vitamin pills are elective too.

But while they ban the day-after pill they insist the economy must go on. That would mean an massive increase in sickness and hospitalization at a time when the hospitals in the hot spots are over taxed with more patients than they were prepared for. Worse medical staff face the same 1 in 50 mortality rate as the rest of us. Yesterday nurses had their own protest in front of the White House where they read the names of medical staff who have died in the last month from the virus. And of course, in hospitals rife with the virus they have the additional burden of bringing the virus home to their families.

Under these circumstances its hard for me to have any patience with Pro-Trump screamers who don’t give a damn about life.

The worst case scenario is still a little uncertain. a vaccine is most likely a year away. Places that control the virus and bring down infections will cautiously let people go back to work again which will prompt new spurts of massive infection. This cycle could repeat itself every couple of months as schools and business reopen when hospitals have more supplies to fight the virus and as the “herd immunity” spreads to surviving nurses and doctors. But vaccines for other cold viruses aren’t always a guarantee of safety. Worse yet is the news that in China where the virus first emerged 23 new strains of the virus have been detected. Each of this and additional strains which will proliferate could be worse than the first virus studied. Vaccines may not work on newer strains. And this virus isn’t the same kind that circulates every year with a new strain. Its about ten times worse than traditional viruses that infect humans. A new strain that may be happy to reinfect someone resistant to the first corona they caught might still lay them low.

For Trumpers rallying the Presidents tweets calling for the liberation of Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia I have a better idea. Why don’t you volunteer in New York or New Orleans to help bury the dead. And I wouldn’t mind in the least if you protested your contempt for science by burying the dead without hazmat suits or masks.

Lincoln books presidents

Lincoln books presidents

I woke up after 5 hours of sleep thinking about going to movie 2001 Space Odyssey when I was in college 30 years before that millennial milestone was depicted. It was 50 years ago that I saw the movie and 19 years past 2001. Of course humanity is still stuck on Earth and there is more ot it than ever. As if I needed reminding of that in these days of social distancing I got one from the PBS show American Experience last night. It was about the Iowa boy Norman Borlaug and his legacy of creating enough food for us to double the world’s population while crowding out the rest of the Earth’s biome from our most productive land.

Corona virus may set us back growth-wise by a percent or two especially when it scythes through the developing world’s shanty towns where social distancing is largely impossible.

With only humans to feast upon some new bug or virus will come along that is even more virulent, maybe a new Black Death. I finished the Norm Cantor book on that subject before bed. Somehow, despite that, I still managed 5 good hours of sleep.

My pre-get-out-of-bed thoughts turned to presidents and a book I began 4 years ago on Presidents Madison and Monroe. Anticipating my completion of the Cantor book I brought it, “Founding Rivals,” to my bedside table just in case I woke up in the night. I only have another 110 pages left to read and I will finish it off soon to add to my reading list. The book is by author Chris DeRose.

As I switched from space to history I tried to remember if another favorite book of mine hadn’t also been written by Author DeRose. I googled his name and the book title I was searching for eluded Google. So, I typed in the following searche words for Lincoln democrat: Lincoln books presidents.

A whole slew of posts popped up and I was enchanted to read old posts covering that vast sweep of subjects. There were posts from 2006 all the way to 2020. On the 18th post on the list I finally found mention of the book by DeRose. It’s “The Presidents War.”

You get a pretty good sample of me in the posts conjured up by those three magic words.

The money production of professional liars

I listened to the NPR story about Minnesota’s Dorr brothers who make millions by lying through their teeth to piss off pro-lifers and second amendment fans to gin up donations to their phony baloney charities. Lies have always helped people make money. Its probably why my Mother didn’t want me to go into politics and why my Dad, once an insurance investigator for the state of Kansas, didn’t want me to go into insurance sales. Its how Donald Trump has made millions defrauding students at his universities and contractors building his empire. Its how the NRA and a great many groups affiliated with a great many Republican affiliates make money and its how the Koch Brothers stay in a too little regulated industry polluting the hell out of the Earth and lastly its how the Murdoch klan keep increasingly paranoid viewers watching their half ass media new programming.

These people have been fine tuning the majority of Americans out of politics and elections for the last twenty years. As Andrew Jackson has been hailed for helping get poor white men the right to vote the new Andrew Jackson…..Donald Trump, is counting on the GOP to make sure poor non white people don’t exercise their voting franchise. If you want to read up on the Dorrs just google: “dorr brothers money making”

Meanwhile, I spend my time trying to figure out what’s going on. I have not been surprised by the Corona virus epidemic because I have continued reading about this and other threats to our species for years. I’m about twenty pages away from finishing my third book on plagues. I’m not talking fiction like Andromeda Strain or Hot Zone or the dozen others being recommended to get us in the mood for corona virus. For the most part I read non-fiction.

I keep track of the books I read from beginning to end. You will find that list here stopped at the year 2017 when I lost my ability to update my old pages. I read the book on the lef in 1988 and the book in the center in the year 2000. The Cantor book on the right “In the wake of the plague” is my current read. So, it seems, I read a book on this topic about every twenty years. I’ve kept up with the growing knowledge of plagues and how they have impacted mankind. Let me just say I have no use for liars who are telling us that more people will die if we aren’t willing to turn our nursing homes into killing fields. How dare these jackasses call themselves “pro-life.” Bullshit! I am still too busy to fill out this post on that subject but I still plan to get to it. I’ll let my eight loyal readers know when its ready.

Unlike Pete Stauber, and most other congressman, I don’t spend half my waking hours calling rich people to ask for campaign finances. I spend hours each day reading and studying the news, history and science. Those are three things I wouldn’t trust most Republican Congressman to know anything about let alone our ignoramus of a President.

A rare comment from me about ISD 709 in the age of Coronovirus

https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/news/education/5382179-Duluth-Public-Schools-face-large-deficit-for-2020-2021-school-year

I don’t begrudge the Duluth News Tribune putting up a demand for a subscription to access their stories but I miss the days before they put up this obstacle. I still get my postage-stamp-sized DNT delivered to my door. The story began with the latest million plus shortfall and explanations for it this time around. They were very familiar. Board member Sally Trnka, who took my place a couple years ago, bemoaned the shortfalls insisting that this time they were not the fault of the District. I have a caveat that should be appended to that statement. I will agree that this school board hasn’t screwed up BUT…..

….As I always point out to the chagrin of the know-nothing editors of the DNT who are sick and tired of me being an “I told you so,” A twenty million dollar annual budget deficit was planted in our District’s operational funds for the next 25 years when our now ten-year-old Red Plan schools required twenty million to be annually taken from our faculty to pay off lenders. When they are paid off from ten to fifteen years from now we will get it back after all of today’s children are graduated. Sally and company, even Rosie Loeffler-Kemp, were not part of that decision although the latter never raised a peep as these deficits were planted in the heart of our District. No, the guilty parties were defeated or resigned and are now largely forgotten for giving us a quarter century financial burden. Nancy Nilsen was even brought back to life after her defeat and now serves as the St. Louis County Auditor. As she told us at the time when questioned about the consequences of the Red Plan…..I have a masters degree in business administration. (no quotes from me, that’s from memory)

So Sally has been saddled with the consequences of past School Boards for which she is helpless. However, saying that its the state’s fault not the District’s is grossly inaccurate. For whatever reason Sally misses a lot of school board meetings but I must say in many ways she has been a breath of fresh air. I hope she runs for re-election.

One of the worst consequences of the Red Plan was its division of the District into a poor side and a rich side of town. Denfeld, with only sixty high school students to East’s 100, is sending out 300-some paper packets to kids who don’t have computers at home. Of East’s 1000 students only about 100 get the paper packs. The District has required itself not to offer kids with computers more than they can offer kids without access to the internet at home. This is for the sake of equity, so that have-not kids will not fall further behind.

A great irony is that the Edison Charter schools chose to plow their money into chrome books for every child to be taken home. There is no withholding of online education from any Edison child because of a home’s poverty. Meanwhile, the much touted white boards once installed in every classroom paid for by the Red Plan are out of date, broken and being discarded.

What was the promise of the Red Plan again? Oh yeah! Schools of the 21st Century! Not endorsing me because I keep explaining these disheartening and embarrassing facts has not brought the editors of the Duluth News Tribune any happier headlines since they urged my replacement…….Then again they weren’t bright enough or free enough to point out what sort of a ninnie Donald Trump was when they made no endorsements for President in 2016.