Covid 19…the enemy?

We have been told that this disease is a global enemy.  At every front, the battle cry  “We are in this together”.  Mask up, distance, wash up.  If we all do our part we will win this war.

As in other wars, nations band together, share assets, share intelligence and share information to defeat their common enemy.  One has to ask.  Why aren’t we all sharing?  Is it because there is money to be made?  It’s not like Dupont selling gun power.  It’s not like an embargo on steel or high tariffs on soybeans.  So what if France finds the cure first, so what if it England or China or even Russia, as long as there is a cure or  pharmaceutical  mitigation.

We have shut the door to sharing data and innovation, and therefore turned back the clock, stifled development and testing which further delay finding a curative. 

The door to corona virus research should be open to every qualified facility, organization, entity, country…  whomever.  If it means that big pharma looses a buck or two, so what. 

Lastly, if POTUS didn’t care about Russian hacking in the past then why worry about it now.  Bundle the data, put it on a zip drive and sent it to them.  Perhaps their expat virologists are better than our expat virologists.  Its a global pandemic, it requires a global response.  Discovery credit and cost notwithstanding.

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Club For Growth PAC…reliable information?

The Alabama Primary run-off was Tuesday, 7/14/2020 and almost as soon as the polls closed and Tommy Tuberville defeated Jeff Sessions this hit job aired.

It singles out Doug Jones as the prime mover in providing funding for elements that run contrary to American interests. It neglects to point out that it takes at least 51 Senate votes to pass a resolution for forwarding to the President for signature. This particular Roll Call was to approve HR-1865. This Bill was titled “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act”

This bill provides FY2020 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies. The Bill was passed in the Senate by a vote of 71 to 23 with six abstentions. 34 Republicans and 37 Democrats, a bi-partisan resolution signed by the President.

The outcome of this resolution was not a settled by one vote. 71 yes votes in the Senate constitutes and overwhelming majority.

It includes 8 of the 12 regular FY2020 appropriations bills:

the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;

the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020; and

the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020.

In addition to providing appropriations, the bill includes legislation that extends several expiring programs and addresses a wide range of policy issues throughout the federal government.

The add was paid for by a super PAC, Club for Growth (CFG) headed by a career politician David M Mcintosh.

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POTUS Managing National Crisis

Gather Subject Matter ExpertsGather Partisans
Divise Plans of ActionGolf
Daily Press Briefings
Tweet Misinformation
Assure the PeoplePoint Fingers
Cultivate Alternative LogisticsClose Borders
Address Markets, Calm FearsTweet more Misinformation

At the onset of a crisis no matter what the genesis, the leaders of nations and the representatives of the people must be the steady hand on the tiller of the Ship of State. Comparing one deadly disease with another or minimising the “death ratio” do not show leadership or compassion. Wearing a gasmask in the House of Representatives (M. Gaetz) to antagonize is childish. Intimating that the COVID19 outbreak pleases Democrats or was a plot by foreign operators is not only insulting but foolish.  

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Cheaters Never Prosper?

Cheating, bribery, payoff’s to “fixers”.

Thank goodness, for the first time in two years they’re not reporting about Trump.

No, it’s the uber wealthy and some celebrities.  Seems they were/are stacking the deck for their offspring so as to secure their individual fiefdoms and further their legacies. I’m not sure this is news.

It’s no secret that cheating in school is commonplace. Some suggest that between sixty and eighty percent of college students cheat routinely or have cheated. Just Google “term paper” and see how many term paper mills or subject matter experts offer their “service”.  Nor is it cloistered information that with enough influence (money) no university door is closed. Whether it be a legacy admission, mega-donation to an institution, or outright payoffs the system is rigged.

I’m not saying that deserving students don’t somehow manage to beat an otherwise rigged system, I’m just saying that the “helped” candidates are allowed to “win” with a perhaps a limited skill set that otherwise wouldn’t them get passed their first interview.

Since the baby-boom it seems that we have dumbed-down every aspect of education and at the same time exponentially increased the level of education (onpaper) required by school systems to “teach”.

Subjects once taught in High School now may not be in the training syllabus until college.

Grade inflation to is problematic. It establishes a false narrative that elevates average to superior and superior to incomparable.  No one, not even Hawking could achieve 101%

I’m not suggesting that anyone without credentials should be in the classroom however, there is also no reason why we in some cases insist that a teacher enter a masters program, or require multiple disciplines to teach primary school.  It under utilizes their skill set and unduly inflates their salary.

I venture a guess that a third grader in 1950 could probably read and write as well or perhaps better than a third grader in 2019. The point being that to teach at that grade level in 1950 many teachers only had a HighSchool Diploma and a Teaching Certificate. Digressing.

Raging against this machine may be late in coming but calls for a much broader look into University and College systems and revisiting everything from federal and private funding to education standards and methods of evaluating the student.

The current paradigm of entrance examinations, evaluation of past academic performance and probability of future success may need an overhaul but more importantly re-introducing honesty is the first step to leveling the field of academics.

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What! Only $5.7B?

Our local ABC affiliate (a Sinclair Broadcasting property) offered quite a simplistic quantification of how much $5.7 billion would cost each American. The amount was $17 and change. His math is unquestionable. He simply divided $5.7billion by the total population of the U.S. If it were as simple as that I would say, no worries, however that’s not the bottom line.

The Trump frequently mentions the $5.7billion. He avoids mentioning the additional $7 or $8 billion for the required additional agents, electronics, vehicles, processing facilities and transportation costs in the first year.

The reporter also indicated that it was ONLY $5.7billion and a drop in the bucket when compared to the entire Federal Budget. True compared to the “operating funds” required to run a nation the Wall Money hardly moves the needle. But, consider what the total of approximately $13 billion will buy.

Building the Wall (that Mexico will pay for)

approximately  equals:

430,000 Scholarships of $30,000.00

170,000 Moderately Priced Homes

200,000 Fully Loaded  Mercedes-Benz GLE

1,000,000 Economy cars

Completely Pay for Hurricane Micheal Damage

sadly, pay for two weeks of the war in Iraq at it’s height.

So when someone attaches the word “only” to the cost of the Wall I have to ask.


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Happy Holiday…or not?

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Fröhliche Weihnachten, and perhaps another dozen or so greetings and wishes of peace and merriment at the winter solstice.  Some of us would argue that if you don’t say Merry Christmas that you are somehow not celebrating or conveying the meaning of this time of the year.  For the christian world it is the birth of Christ, for a practicing Druid it’s the end and the beginning of a new life.  So, why are we so offended by Happy Holiday.  

Holiday:  as per the Online Etymology Dictionary

holiday (n.) 1500s, earlier haliday (c. 1200), from Old English haligdæg “holy day, consecrated day, religious anniversary; Sabbath,” from halig “holy”

A Holiday is supposed to be a day or days of no work, contemplation, renewal and reflection.  Or is some circles it’s and extended “vacation”.  So why so upset when someone wishes you “Happy Holiday”  If it’s the commerce of “Christmas” that has your feathers ruffled then save your money and don’t buy gifts.  If it’s because non Christians also celebrate Christmas then perhaps you should not be so selfish.  If you think you are putting Christ back in Christmas simply by saying “IT” then you have missed the mark.  If one claims Christianity their actions alone will announce to others their faith.  No symbol, no prayer, no holiday  will be their hallmark.  As the hymn proclaims “Know that we are Christians by our song”.  

The idea that everyone should be “Christ in Christmas” compliant can also be somewhat of a misguided philosophy given that only about 1/3 of the population at large consider themselves Christian.  Not to be mistaken with a belief in God.  Most of us believe in Intelligent Design beginning with the Big Bang,  eg: God.  So I ask you.  Please don’t look at me like I’m a dolt or neanderthal because I extend to you a truly heartfelt Happy Holiday.


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Over 18, TTS May be a Problem

Between 49% and 56% of all Americans over 18 suffer from TTS!

What is TTS? Who is afflicted? What are the symptoms? Can it be prevented? Is there a cure?

Toxic Trump Syndrome (TTS) is a psycho-neuro disorder which effects mood, sleep, language, ability to reason and in some instances, uncontrollable nausea.

Manic mood swings associated with TTS are often so deep as to cause otherwise healthy individuals to exhibit manic behavior, depression, fear and anger.

Sleeplessness associated TTS is often accompanied by hellish nightmares, night sweats, bed-wetting, muscle aches, tremor, cramping and thrashing.

Language skills are diminished, limiting conversation to the vocabulary of a ten year old with interleaved expletives. Speech is limited to incoherent ramblings and child-like playground speak. Also manifested is the inability to share more 240 characters (48 words) at a time.

The inability to reason not only affects those diagnosed with TTS but the population at large. TTS causes daily if not hourly miss-direction, lack of focus, wasted energy, unreasonable fear, and dislike if not hatred for fellow citizens. Is there a Fox in the hen house?

There is currently no effective prophylactic for TTS.

Relief from TTS may take time. It may take between two and six years before a cure will be ready for human trials but hope looms. Some relief from TTS can be found in reading credible news sources, not believing everything one sees or hears on electronic media including T.V., Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. etc. Believe what you see, what you know to be true, what is verifiable by multiple sources and include overseas media. The Japan Times, BBC, or Der Spiegel may provide a better picture to how TTS effects you. Listen, Learn, Think.


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Fact or Fiction

As a Cadet Lt. at New York Military Academy, DJT was assigned as a squad leader for a two week bivouac. After a week encamped in rural Virginia provisions were running low and it appeared they would not have sufficient rations to complete the bivouac period. This would have meant failure, not only for DJT but the entire squad. The young Cadet Lt. set out alone to find and acquire provisions for his troops. A day in the woods brought DJT back to his encampment. Gathering his men he announced he had both good news and bad news. “First the bad news” he reported “all I have found to eat are cow-pies, now for the good news, THERE ARE PLENTY OF THEM”

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Stoneman Douglas High School, Bellwether or Flash in the Pan?

Will the demonstrations, marches and outcry for safety and gun control weather the dozen or two months until many of the student activists are eligible to vote?
Will it be the beginning of a new political era that defines itself with pragmatic, empathetic and reachable goals or be overwhelmed by big money and big politics? Will the judicial, constitutional and legislative hostage taking by the NRA prevail?

Politics as usual took a backseat during the elections of 2016. Will politics again see a new paradigm in 2020? Over the next two years roughly 7.5 million high school students will be eligible to vote. Those filled with the fever of positive change have the potential to swing elections across the country. Their collective kinetic energy can be a tsunami of positive change.

Former Senator Rick Santorum suggests that these students time would be better spent learning CPR or perhaps learning how to duck and cover whilst providing first aid. Senator Marco Rubio offers milquetoast solutions and no indication that he makes decisions independent of gun lobby influence.

Some conservatives and the NRA would have you believe the nonsense that recent protests are being organized and funded by anonymous billionaires. They believe the students are incapable of the intelligent problem solving, organizing or the dedication to execute such important actions. These marches and protests are from the grass roots and threaten the establishment.

Lobbyist and politicians are forced to take notice. Conservative and liberal partisans alike will not be able to soft soap responses to the questions raised by these students. It is no longer just a kitchen table discussion. It’s a front and center issue that if not acted on by current legislatures then undoubtedly the next general election will prove the durability and resolve of those “kids”.


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Trade War…Will You Win?

Consumers, Middle Class lose in Trade War

Trade war skirmishers and pawns are the only long term causalities in trade battles. The implementation of restrictive tariffs benefit few and hurt many. Approximately 200,000 jobs were lost due to similar tariffs imposed by G.W.Bush in 2002.

Big business, big government, big investors, and big speculators never lose in a trade war. The middle class consumer is the only loser. We are the skirmishers and pawns of war in every aspect. When prices go up, those on restrictive budgets feel even the slightest increase in price. By some statistics 40% of households live payday to payday with little or no buffer for inflation or emergencies. Any uptick in price is a down tick in quality of life. Abandoning economic policy, disregarding or disestablishing trade pacts and holding to a policy that only tends to fan the flames of inflation.

Restrictive tariffs on imports will not rebuild heavy industry. The glory days of manufacturing may once again return but it takes years of long term investment and yes, even some losses or slow growth.
It takes years to build a modern steel plant and huge investments in skilled education and training to fill positions in automated manufacturing.

Yes, it would be wonderful if everything from automobiles to zippers were manufactured in the U.S. but, its not probable with our current employable cadre’, and even less probable due to a lack of investment both public and private in “Made in America”. We have spawned to many MBA’s and not enough welders, to many lawyers and not enough machinists, to many accountants and doctors and stock brokers and real estate agents and a hundred more jobs that don’t actually make anything. However, all of those non-manufacturing jobs rely on products, equipment and equipage to sell more and more snake oil to the biggest consumer fueled economy on the planet.

All to often we forget that we live in a global economy. Airbus assembles in Alabama, Motorola assembles in China, Chevy in Canada and Mexico, Ford from Australia to Zimbabwe. Trying to obviate and eliminate trade imbalance with punitive actions will only hurt consumers at home and alienate trading partners.

And please, don’t confuse flipping off our trading partners as patriotism.

We have seen nearly nine years of steady, albeit slow, growth and nearly zero inflation. As we, as a nation move forward, caution and fiscal wisdom should rule the day, not short sighted or often inflammatory measures that alienate trading partners and reduce the domestic spending power of the average consumer.


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