Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Economic Intercourse: Joe Biden's New Mantra

Democratic Presumptive Nominee Joe Biden is known as a veritable gaffe machine. The “gaffe a minute” Joe Biden has never been known as a brilliant linguist or economist. Until now. The former Vice President in a Monday CBS Miami interview said “You’re going to have … economic intercourse.” Jackie DeShannon had a great hit: “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” Joe Biden is crooning “What the world needs now is economic intercourse, sweet economic intercourse.” We know there's sexual intercourse. Intercourse is a village in Pennsylvania. Congress enacted Non-Intercourse Acts (Look it up), but economic intercourse? Such a brilliant concept of economic intercourse should win him a Nobel Prize, joining Al Gore and Barack Obama in that rarified level of genius. What a coup for a student who graduated in the top half of the bottom 10% of his law school class! Let’s see how economic intercourse works. Vice President Biden flew to China in March 2013 to meet with Chinese leaders. Hunter Biden, his ethically challenged, drug addicted son, joined his father. A new hedge fund for Hunter and two friends was created within 10 days of Vice President Biden leaving China. The fund started with $1 billion, courtesy of the Bank of China, owned by the Chinese government. Is it straight, old fashion corruption? No, it’s indirect corruption through the target’s family, just like the multi-million dollar contributions to the Clinton Family Foundation. Donations to the Foundation plummeted once she lost out on the Presidency. Joe Biden unequivocally stated: “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business relations.” That would include Hunter Biden’s sweetheart deal and directorship on a Ukraine energy company. He can also deny any sexual harassment of Tara Reade. He can honestly do so because his memory is slipping. The presumptive Democratic nominee has attacked President Trump for being soft on China. Here is Joe Biden’s China sagacity: “China is going to eat out lunch? Come on, man. I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks, But guess what? They’re not competition for us.” That’s economic intercourse with China. We send out trade secrets, medications, and factories to China. China sends money to the Biden family. The presumptive nominee accused President Trump of doing business with and in debt to China. A totally false accusation. Doesn’t matter. Joe Biden is on record saying “We choose truth over facts.” The candidate is pushing economic intercourse. He has to stay away from social intercourse. The effusive Democrat has trouble keeping his hands to himself. Joe Biden’s economic intercourse will be followed by Gwyneth “Goop” Paltrow’s “Conscious Uncoupling.” Democrats, the media, and the Never Trumpers have to stand by Joe Biden. He is their tool to regain power. Thus, they are one with Tammy Wynette’s classic “Stand By Your Man.” Remember though that Tammy followed up with DIVORCE. President Joe Biden will have a short term in office. The DOJ/FBI, media, and Democrats toyed with the 25th Amendment as a means to remove President Trump. The 25th Amendment Joe Biden is the means to the end, which is political power. He is expendable once it’s achieved. Even the media will be unable to cover up his increasing memory and verbal lapses, bordering on dementia.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

President Trump is Right: America Must Get Back to Work

26 million filed for unemployment in the past 5 weeks. One million unemployed in Michigan alone. More jobs have been lost in the past five weeks than gained in the past decade. Small business is the engine growth of America: 49.2% of private employment in the United states. Small businesses are shutting down daily. Drip by drip, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, week by week, restaurants close for good. Most can’t make it on “To Go.” Look at the ubiquitous strip malls. How many store fronts are closed? Most are small business, many never to reopen. Big box stores are hemorrhaging. Neiman Marcus are Penney’s are bankruptcy bound. More to follow. Cut jobs may never return. Day by day the economic carnage deepens. The longer America is closed, the greater the economic damage, the deeper the abyss, and the slower the recovery. Only the American consumer can recharge the economy. Americans must shop at the malls, large and small stores, fly airplanes, stays in hotels, go to the gym, eat out. Not if they aren’t working! The stay-at-home lockdown has locked down cash. Money is not circulating. If I pay $10 at a corner grocer, the merchant pays $7-8 to a wholesaler, who pays $5 to a producer, who pays the employees. Money equally circulates through the chain of transportation. Today, instead of circulating, that $10 may be sitting today in a bank earning .01%. Reports are that bank deposits rose $1 trillion in March. That’s a lot of money, sitting – not circulating. Factories must start producing. Retailers must start selling. Services must provide their services. Government employees have a job to do. If we don’t drive, demand for gas and sundries at the local gas station plunges. The price may be down, but demand is in the tank (not gas tank). If no one’s buying, the price is irrelevant. These lockdowns are a straight jacket on the economy. Sadly, no matter when we open up, Covid-19 deaths will follow, as with the regular flu. President Trump will be blamed for the deaths and called a murderer. From a medical/scientific perspective, the longer the shutdown, the later herd immunity will kick in. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin has led the Administration’s negotiations with Congress. He said “We need to spend what it takes.” Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank cannot print enough money fast enough to jumpstart the economy. They can though jump start inflation. The only absolute safe day to reopen is when no further cases are possible. That’s impossible. Only a few dreaded diseases, Polio (almost 100%) and Smallpox, have effectively been eliminated through vaccines. Sweden, Georgia and the states that did not totally shut down will provide guidance on the right time to open. State by state, county by county, city by city, industry by industry, factory by factory, service by service, salon by salon, restaurant by restaurant, retailer by retailer, boutique by boutique, America will reopen. The politicians will have no choice. America does not have the luxury of time. Time is of the essence in restarting the economy, stopping the bleed. The economy will be dead if we have to wait for a vaccine or herd immunity. The American people are not used to stay-at-home orders for extended periods. Cabin fever is not an American lifestyle. Kids have to play – outside. Economically desperate small business will start reopening regardless of gubernatorial commands. Today’s polls show an overwhelming support for stay-at-home. Today’s polls will turn on a time when the orders become increasingly become arbitrary, capricious, and inexplicable. Michigan Governor Whitmer is showing the way. Only hundreds are protesting now. The protests are just begining. Big trees out of little acorns grow. The American economy shut down all at once, as if an off button was pushed, which it was. The reopening will not be a grand opening. It will be an increasingly progressive opening with risk analysis for the vulnerable, but it will reopen. Sooner – not later. Beach by Beach, Bodega by Bodega, Bowling Alley by Bowling Alley, Cafe by Cafe, Cr Wash by Car Wash, Carcineria by Carcineria, Fitness Center by Fitness Center, Golf Course by Golf Course, Pizzaria by Pizzaria, Pub by Pub, Tailor by Tailor, Tavern by Tavern, Theatre by Theatre. First, small business, a trickle turning into a flood. Big business will follow. People must eat. Humans evolved as social people - not hermits. Stay-at-home is unnatural. The American people will reopen – politicians, media, Public health professionals notwithstanding. President Trump made a brilliant political move by giving the power to reopen to the governors. The onus is on them, not the President, for the economic carnage that will continue with these lockdowns.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Coronavirus Has Unleashed an Epidemic of Law Suits and Lawyers

The Coronavirus Has Unleashed An Epidemic of Law Suits A mantra of trial law is “Sue the Bastards; Sue’em All.” Send in the lawyers when a disaster hits. File the class action suits. The 40,000+ deaths so far in the United States are a tragedy, a needless tragedy. Over 10,000 Americans have perished in nursing home and assistant living facilities. Sue the nursing homes. Family members have every right to be emotionally distraught over the deaths of their loved ones. Litigation will probably drive most of these facilities into bankruptcy with the plaintiffs splitting defendants’ liability insurance policies. Scores of crew members and passengers died, became ill, and were contained on cruise ships for extended periods of time. Sue Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. They should have warned. Sue China! Missouri’s complaint is a beautifully drafted personal complaint. China calls it “absurd.” Join the private law suits against the sovereign government of China. These complaints are glorified wallpaper. China has sovereign immunity. Sue the airlines for not refunding prepaid airfares, even though Delta has already refunded $534 million. Sue the colleges and universities for either not refunding or insufficiently refunding tuition, room and board and fees for the spring semester. Sue churches for conducting religious services with parishioners. Sue governors for their emergency lockdown orders. Sue the insurance companies to force coverage under policies that don’t cover pandemics. Sue the banks distributing the Coronavirus relief funds because your small business client didn’t get any. The big banks processed the applications for their big customers, putting them at the front of the queue under the Federal Payroll Payback Program, cutting off the small businesses the act was intended to benefit. 150 public companies received $600 million in PPP loans. That may have been technically legal (I haven’t read the fine print) and business wise, but it’s stupid. These banks will face a payback. Sue Fox News because of their early reporting on the pandemic. Sue Magic Mountain Amusement Park for collecting monthly payments when the Park is closed. Sue StubHub for not refunding ticket prices. Sue employers for employees dying of the virus. Sue employers for wrongful termination. Sue Amazon and others for price gouging and overcharging. Sue hospitals and first responders for negligence. We are all brilliant with the benefit of hindsight. The best test of foreseeability is after the fact. Many of these lawsuits represent legitimate claims. Others are lawyers playing the lottery game of Torts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Marie Antoinette: Let Them Eat Cake; Speaker Nancy Pelosi: Let Them Eat Ice Cream

Marie Antionette: Let Them Eat Cake; Speaker Pelosi: Let Then Eat Ice Cream Neither the guillotined Queen nor Speaker Pelosi actually said these statements, but they’re a great lead in. No contemporaneous record exists of Marin Antionette uttering the contemptible remark because she never did. Cake did not exist in France at the time of the French Revolution. The actual quote, “Let Then Eat Baguettes” precedes the Queen’s decapitation by decades, if not generations. She lost her head for other reasons. Speaker Pelosi let James Corden and his Late Late Show crew into her mansion to show how she was coping in the lockdown. She showed him two $24,000 refrigerators/freezers, one filled with ice cream. $24,000 refrigerators filled with ice cream as 22 million Americans filed for unemployment. Ice cream going for as much as $11.75/pint – not quart – not gallon, but pint. The Speaker proudly said “We have all found our ways to keep our spirits up during these trying times. Mine just happens to fill up my freezer.” She added: “I don’t know what I’ve would have done if ice cream were not invented.” One would hope she would do her job on behalf of the American people. 22 million Americans applied for unemployment in the past our weeks, and she’s bragging about Ice Cream. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich called it “the most tone-deaf thing I’ve seen a Speaker do.” Newt knows – the mainstream media frequently accused him of stupid statements and actions. They’re silent on the current Democratic Speaker. Representative Devin Nunes remarked that if Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell or House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had said or done what Speaker Pelosi did, the Republicans would have booted them out of office within minutes of it popping up. It would be a “fatal flaw.” The Representative highlighted the media double-standard. It’s the optics, stupid. Speaker Pelosi says she doesn’t understand why people are protesting the lockdown restrictions. Of course not, she pretends to represent the people, but she cannot understand them, the hoi polloi. She’s left behind her childhood home in Little Italy, Baltimore to a mansion in San Francisco. She and her husband are 1 percenters. They live in a plush mansion on Pacific Heights in San Francisco, overlooking the Bay, and literally and figuratively looking down upon the homeless masses and the rest of us. I don’t begrudge or envy someone because of success. That’s what America is about. No, it’s the optics, the arrogance, the ignorance, the insensitivity, the lack of empathy. The Speaker didn't say "Let Them Eat Ice Cream." She said "I eat ice cream." Tens of millions of hard-working Americans have lost their jobs and she's delighting in ice cream The most powerful woman in America is indulging in premium ice cream while millions of hard working Americans are struggling to put food on the table for their families. The opulence is bad. The optics are a graphic statement of Democratic leadership.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Her Inane Lockdown

Michigan Governor Whitmer and the Inanities of the Lockdown. Michigan Governor Whitmer leads the list of clueless governors on the lockdown. Most governors have locked down their states in the Coronavirus pandemic. The devil is in the details. Each governor can decide what constitutes an essential or non-essential activity. Michigan is hard hit by the virus with the third largest number of cases, half in Wayne County (Detroit) and 7/8 in Southeast Michigan. The media portrays Governor Whitmer as bold, decisive, and strong. She’s none of the above. Her decisions show an elitist bias unrelated to safety. Her distinctions are inexplicable. That’s why Michigan residents, the Trump supporters, are protesting. Motor boats are banned. Fishing off a motor boat is verboten. Canoes and kayaks are OK even if the seating capacity of two is the same. Travel by car is banned, except for critical purposes, which are travel to an essential job, groceries, medicine, and care for a loved one. Permissible exercise is walking, running, hiking and cycling, but you can’t go to a bike shop and you must exercise social spacing. Residents of the Detroit Metropolitan area therefore cannot escape to their isolated second homes in Northern Michigan, nor to a hunting lodge, nor to a house across the state. Nor can they invite others into their house. No public or private gatherings outside a house, and then not even there. The following establishments can remain open: liquor stores, pot shops, and lottery kiosks – they are a revenue source for the state. Garden centers are closed. No gardening in the solitude of one’s abode. Nor can one buy paint for a DIY at home with all this free time. Elective surgery, such as hips, knees, and non-emergency cardiac, are forbidden, but abortions are permitted. The Governor also forbids retailers selling essentials, such as food, from selling non-essentials, such as clothes, gardening supplies and furniture. The seemingly arbitrary nature of her classes of essential versus non-essentially genders opposition. She has explained her decisions: “We’ve got to be very smart about the actions we take now to protect life as well as the actions we take to reignite the economy. “And I know that the vast majority of Michiganders understand that not going to the gas station to fill up your boat … is a sacrifice, but it’s one that worth it. “But who among us wouldn’t rather forego jet-skiing on a boat right now to save your grandparent or neighbor’s life, and that’s exactly the tradeoff in this moment.” The sentiments are appealing, but the constraints don’t match the rhetoric. Rather you motor boat, canoe or kayak, you have to go to the gas station to fill up to get to the recreational site. The Governor’s sense of the pandemic emergency is suspect. She waited until 23 minutes after the Democratic Primary closed to declare the state of emergency.

E Plubus Unum: Out of Many: One – Except for Speaker Pelosi, Representative Schiff, and Senate Minority Leader Schumer on Covid-19

National emergencies, such as World War II and 9/11, unite the country. Not Speaker Pelosi, Representative Schiff, and Senator Schumer! They and the radical Democrats combined with the TDS Sufferers, are even planning to use the Coronavirus to destroy the President. Speaker Pelosi announced creation of a select committee, chaired by Representative James Clyburn, to study the government’s response and management of the Coronavirus pandemic. She explained “Where’s there’s money, THERE’S ALSO FREQUENTLY MISCHIEF.” The Speaker is certainly right about the potential for mischief. Two trillion dollars will be a magnet for fraud, embezzlement, corruption and waste. That does not include the gifts Congress took for itself, including $25 million for the salaries and expenses of the House of Representatives. Representative Schiff with Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris announced legislation to create a bipartisan 9/11 Commission to investigate the government’s response to the Coronavirus pandemic. It will examine U.S. preparedness and response with recommendations for the future. It will also examine state and local government preparedness and responses. The Representative claimed it would not be a political exercise to cast blame, but to learn from our mistakes. It would also not come in existence until February 2021. Yes, Presentative Adam Schiff, There Should be an Investigation of the Causes of the Coronavirus, the Mistakes in Responding, and the Lack of Preparation, but only after the emergency is over. That way we can look at the facts with a legitimate post mortem rather than politic histrionics. Most such investigations occur after the event. The time to determine effectiveness and preparedness for the future. It’s the Pelosi-Schiff Two-Step. We can assume that Representative Schiff is not working at cross purposes with Speaker Pelosi. The timing of heir two investigations is significant. Both want to destroy President Trump. Therefore we can assume that the purpose of Speaker Pelosi’s Committee is to embarrass, tarnish and cripple the President during the election to deny him reelection. If President Trump is reelected, then Representative Schiff’s Committee will further tarnish the President. If Speaker Pelosi and Representative Clyburn can’t get President Trump before the election, then Representative Schiff’s Committee will attempt to destroy President Trump if he wins reelection. Both Speaker Pelosi and Representative Schiff say the panels will be bipartisan. Schiff and bipartisan are oxymoronic. Representative Schiff believes Republicans on his committee should be treated like children - to be seen but not heard. Speaker Pelosi added the Select Committee would “examine all aspects of the federal response to the Coronavirus.” The Select Committee will be given subpoena power. That is an open fishing expedition to find dirt and incompetence on the Trump Administration. The canard is that President Trump is responsible for the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States. We are all brilliant with the benefit of hindsight. An interesting fact is that only a few Democratic Congressional Representatives and Senators have jumped aboard. Their political antennae tells them it’s not a winning issue at this time. They also know Adam Schiff led them down the Rabbit Holes of Robert Mueller and the Russian Conspiracy. They know they were misled for two years by Representative Schiff. Then they fell flat on the impeachment. Casting onus on President Trump is a classic example of The Big Lie. It worked against President Bush with Hurricane Katrina when the screwups were by Governor Kathleen Blanco and Mayor Nagin. It worked because President Bush refused to defend himself against the calumnies. President Trump will fight back. Any investigation should include the bureaucratic foul ups of the CDC and FDA. First, the CDC said testers had to use a test provided by the CDC, which has very few available. Second it set forth narrow conditions on who could be tested, resulting in scores of victims going untested. Third, only the CDC could read the tests, resulting in substantial delays of test results. Fourth, the CDC test was highly unreliable, and thus essentially worthless. Wide-spread testing for the virus was unavailable until the Trump Administration opened it all. Fifth, CDC and FDA protocols, not designed for times of emergencies, prevented experimental trials and approvals of drugs. Let’s ask why CNN, obsessed with anti-Trump animus, crammed 250 people in a small theater for presentations to advertisers. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s star medical expert, said it was completely safe to being in the crowded room. He added you don’t need to wear masks or pull your children out of school. The timeline of Covid-19 and china is critical. The first case apparently emerged on November 17 in Wuhan, followed by a number of patients suffering from a weird, undiagnosable pneumonia. Chinese doctors started putting the picture together. Doctors speaking out about the virus were muzzled. China initially refused to release samples of the virus outside the country. Doctors quickly diagnosed a type of pneumonia, similar to SARS Through CT Scans 12/30 Ophthalmologist Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning of a SARS like pneumonia. His message was published. He and a total of 8 “rumormongers” were summoned by the Wuhan Police. He was forced to write a letter of admonition. Dr. Li contracted the virus on January 8 and died on February 8. He has become a martyr in China. 12/31 Taiwan officials notified the WHO in late December the virus was spreading between people. The WHO dismissed the claim, saying “preliminary investigation” did not justify the claim. To have acknowledged it would have offended China. 12/31 China notifies WHO of a cluster of 41 patients with pneumonia. 1/1 Huanan Seafood Market (wet market), blamed for the virus, closed. 1/1 Dr. Shi Zhengli, China’s famous “Bat Doctor,” was muzzled. She needed only three days to sequence the virus’ genetic composition, link it to the Horseshoe Bat species 1,000 miles away, and note its similarity to SARS. She was muzzled. She was told to stop testing, destroy the samples, and maintain secrecy. She was also ordered to keep officials informed. The sequence was publicly disclosed on January 6. Her lab was closed. 1/5 – 1/17 Hundreds of cases diagnosed throughout China, but not reported Two “expert” teams examined Wuhan. They found no problem. Their criteria was twofold: severe pneumonia and visiting the Huanan Seafood Market You can’t find what you’re not looking for! 1/6 CDC offers assistance to China – rejected, accepted weeks later 1/7 China identifies a new type of coronavirus 1/11 China announces first death. 1/13 Case recorded in Thailand. 1/14 Head of National Health Commission provided a secret “grim” report to Chinese health officials, said human-to-human transmission possible. The highest officials knew. 1/14 The decision is made to proceed with the Chinese Lunar New Year festivities with no public warning. 1/14 Secret warnings were sent to public health offices throughout the country: “All localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic.” It recognized the risk of transmission and spread is high. 1/15 Li Qum, head of China’s CDC told reporters “We have reached the latest understanding that the risk of human-to-human transmission is low.” 1/16-20 Screening begins at U.S. airports 1/18 40,000 families attend a Wuhan Lunar banquet. 1/20 China President Xi issues a statement that the outbreak must be taken seriously and that every possible measure be taken. 1/20 U.S. case in Snohomish County, a traveler from Wuhan. 1/23 Wuhan under quarantine – NOT QUITE! International air travel is still allowed into Wuhan. The departing planes export the virus globally. 5 million people left Wuhan before the lockdown. 1/26 First case of suspected local transmission in the United States 1/30 WHO praises the “impressive Chinese response” 1/31 7 cases in U.S. – no deaths yet The WHO on January 14 said: “Current investigation have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus,” echoing a statement of the Wuhan Municipal Health Committee, which also said no evidence existed of human-to-human transmission. The Wuhan communique had a caveat: “We have not found proof for human-to-human transmission.” It continued: “The possibility of human-to-human transmission cannot be excluded, but the risk of sustained transmission is low.” The WHO added that no sustained human-to-human transmission existed. China confirmed on January 20 human-to-human transmission occurred. The WHO on January 23 said the virus was not a global emergency. It said “At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside of China.” 1/31 President Trump Imposes travel ban on travel to China. The United States only had 8 cases at that date, all related to China travel. The President was roundly criticized for over-reacting and for being xenophobic by the same media and politicians who claim he’s responsible for th spread of the virus.. Democratic nominee Joe Biden exclaimed: “This is not time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia – hysterical xenophobia – and fear mongering to lead this way instead of science.” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, said on February 3 that there is no need for a worldwide travel ban. Representative Judy Chu on behalf of 219 Democratic co-sponsors introduces the “No Ban Act’ to overturn the China travel ban. 2/2 Death in the Philippines 2/8 U.S. citizen dies in Wuhan (had been customer of the wet market) 2/14 China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters “The epidemic overall is under control.” 2/14 Death in France of Chinese Tourist 2/28 Death in United States, as well as Australia and Thailand 3/11 WHO calls outbreak a worldwide pandemic. 3/11 President trump imposes travel ban on EU countries. 3/13 President Trump declares a national emergency. 3/13 President Trump suspends interest on student loans until further notice 3/14 President Trump declares travel ban on UK and Ireland. 3/20 President Trump suspends student loan payments for 2 months with no interest accruing. Where was Speaker Pelosi, the Democrats, and the mainstream media during this time period? They were obsessed with impeaching President Trump. The House of Representatives voted to impeach President Trump on December 18. The House then left on recess. The Letters of Impeachment were not sent to the Senate until January 15, followed by 20 days of more impeachment hysteria until the Senate voted to acquit the President on February 5. Speaker Pelosi invited the public in late February to visit Chinatown. The Speaker had no interest in the Coronavirus until she decided to use it for political advantage. Let’s look at state unpreparedness. Governor Schwarzenegger had California invest hundreds of millions of dollars in portable hospitals because of the Avian Flu scare. He said “It is absolutely a critical investment. I am not willing to gamble with people’s safety.” Supplies were stockpiled for 21,000 beds. 50 million stockpiled N95 respirators dropped to 21 million, all past their expiration date. 2,400 ventilators disappeared. His successor, Jerry Brown, scrapped the program, distributed much of the equipment and supplies to hospitals, and left the state with no reserve inventory. The annual budget savings came to $5.8 million. Billions in tax increases and for climate change, but not public health in a highly foreseeable pandemic. Governor Newsom currently estimates the Coronavirus is costing California $7 billion. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was informed of the acute shortage of ventilators with an opportunity to buy 16,000 ventilators. His response was to create a task force to ration use of ventilators. He demanded 30,000 ventilators from the federal government a few weeks ago. 3/2 Major De Blasio offered New Yorkers a movie recommendation, saying “Since I am encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives and get out on the town despite Coronavirus.” 1/26 New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot said “We are encouraging New Yorkers to go about their everyday lives and suggest practicing everyday precautions that we go through during flu season.” 2/2 She further urged New Yorkers: “The risk to New Yorkers for Coronavirus is low, and our preparedness as a city is very high. There is no reason not to take the subway, not to take the bus, not to go to your favorite restaurant, and certainly not to miss the parade next Sunday.” She added she was going to be there. 2/6 The Health Commissioner reiterated “The important thing for New Yorkers to know is that in this city currently, their risk is low and our city preparedness high.” 2/9 She tweeted: “Today our city is celebrating the #LunarNew Year parade. I want to remind everyone to enjoy the parade and not change any plans 3/2 She proclaimed “We know that there’s currently no indication that it’s easy to transmit by causal conduct. We want New Yorkers to go about their daily lives, ride the subway, take the bus, go see your neighbors.” 3/2 Governor Cuomo said “Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers – I speak for the Mayor also on this one – we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York. So, when you’re saying, what happened in other countries versus what happened here, we don’t even think it’s going to be as bad as it was in other countries.” Arrogance supported by incompetence is a deadly peril. 2/26 Governor Cuomo bragged about New York as the “Front Door” for visitors from around the world. New York City had no comprehensive plan to deal with a pandemic. Let’s look at the Obama Administration. President George Bush built up a standard national stockpile. President Obama dispensed them in the 2009 H1N1 outbreak. He never replenished the stockpile. The problems faced by the experts and politicians in assessing the risk of Covid-19 was the period in which China and the WHO provided misleading information to the world. Thus we had these statements by Dr. Anthony Fauci: 1/21 to Newsman Greg Kelly: “This is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something the citizens of the United States should be warned of.” 2/17 Doesn’t want people to worry about the Coronavirus – the danger is just minuscule 2/29 NBC Today Show: Right now, at this moment there is no need for Americans to change their daily habits, but the risk can change Here’s one final fact. Speaker Pelosi wants to be guided by science and facts. The United States has slightly less than 1/3 of reported global Coronavirus cases, but less than 1/4 of the fatalities.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Essential or Non-Essential Businesses in the Time of Covid-19

Essential or Non-Essential Services: Open or Shut Most states have adopted stay-at-home rules to a greater or lesser extent, with exceptions for essential services. The question, state by state, is “What is essential?” These are tragic times. Therefore I do not mean this list as satire. These are simply the businesses and places which have sought exemptions or which vary from state to state. Bars/Pubs Bicycle Shops Beaches Casinos Cigar Shops Cleaners Craft Stores Dermatology Golf Courses Gentlemen’s Clubs Gun Stores Farmers’ Markets Fitness Centers Hiking, Biking & Riding Trails Hobby Lobby Hone Improvements Stores Indoor Malls Liquor Stores Massage Parlors Outdoor Malls Pet Stores Places of Worship Pot Shops Smoke Shops Surfing Tattoo Parlors WWE

John Prine: Pretty Good, Not Bad: R.I.P. (1946-2020)

John Prine (1946-2020): R.I.P. The Best of the “Next” Bob Dylans The Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate: famous and infamous; known and unknown; rich and poor; actor, actress, politician; prime minister. The virus doesn’t discriminate in who it attacks, but who it kills. John Prine was a victim Tuesday. He twice survived cancer only to succumb to a microscopic virus. The surgeries left his face disfigured, but he continue publicly performing. John Prine was a Chicago mail carrier moonlighting at folk clubs on the side. He and his good friend, Steve Goodman, were discovered by Kris Kristofferson. The famous singer said: “Nobody this young can be writing so heavy. John Prine is so good we may have to break his thumbs.” The rest is history. “John Prine,” the album quickly emerged in 1971. I had read this John Prine was the next Bob Dylan. The album is incredible. Every song had “hit” written all over it, if not by John Prine, then by other singers, such as Bette Midler (Hello in There) and Bonnie Raitt (Angel From Montgomery). Seemingly everyone who was anyone in country or folk sang his songs. He won three Grammys “Best Contemporary Folk Album” for his 1971 debut album. John Prine though was not the second coming of Bob Dylan. No one can be Bob Dylan. And no one can be John Prine. Each is unique. Both are great wordsmiths. Bob Dylan had more commercial success. Both had incredible professional success. Dylan said of Prine: “Prine’s stuff is pure Proustian existentialism. Midwestern mind trips to the nth degree. And he writes beautiful songs.” High praise indeed from Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan had earlier backed up John Prine on the harmonica in an early New York performance by the young singer. John Prine was elected to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2019 as well as the Nashville Hall of Fame. He was the first songwriter-singer to read and perform at the Library of Congress. My favorite song is Paradise, an environmental lament about strip mining in Paradise, Kentucky: “And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg Count, down by the Green River where Paradise lay. … Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking. Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away.” The lyrics include: “The coal company came with the world’s largest shovel. And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land. Well, they dug for the coal till the land was forsaken. Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.” A wonderful YouTube video has pictures of Paradise, both the scenes in the song and the strip mine. His parents were from Paradise before they moved to Chicago. Other songs are riveting; Sam Stone about (Vietnam) vets: “There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes. Jesus died for nothin’ I suppose.” And there’s Illegal Smile: “But if you see me tonight with an illegal smile – it don’t cost very much, and it lasts a long time. Please tell the man I didn’t kill anyone – just trying to have me some fun.” The first album includes “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get Into Heaven Anymore.” “Your flag decal won’t get you in Heaven anymore. We’re already overcrowded by your dirty little war,” and “Jesus doesn’t like killing, no reason what the killing’s for.” Let us not forget Donald and Lydia: “They made love in the mountains, they made love in the streams, they made love in the valleys, they made love in their dreams. But when they were finished, there was nothing to say, ‘cause mostly they made love from ten miles away.” In Pretty Good, he sang “I got a friend in Fremont, he sells used cars you know. Well, he calls me up twice a year. Just ask me how’d it go. Pretty good, not bad, I can’t complain. But actually everything is about the same.” He headlined the inaugural Ann Arbor Folk Festival in 1976. All he asked for was transportation. He performed for free again in 1989. He headlined again in 2007 and 2018. John Prine: Pretty Good; Can’t Complain