Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy Birthday America!

There have always been enemies of liberty, freedom, independence, self-reliance - essentially everything America was founded on and most of us still believe in. But it’s hard to accept that those who have benefited the most from our country’s freedom and way of life are those who would now destroy it. They hate our history, our constitution, our flag, even our national anthem.

I once thought that Ronald Reagan’s warning was directed at foreign tyrants:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. The only way they can inherit the freedom we have known is if we fight for it, protect it, defend it, and then hand it on to them . . . [to] do the same.”

I now think his warning was also directed toward a more lethal enemy, the one Cicero warned of:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

So while the New York Times bashes President Trump for “barely mentioned the frightening resurgence of the pandemic” he was most certainly addressing a more deadly plague: a new far-left fascism that imperils American values and seeks to erase history.

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities.”

The NYT characterized it as “a dark and divisive speech” – exactly what they said three and a half years ago about the President’s inaugural address. At least they have consistency going for themselves; that and the protection of the First Amendment, which they would happily eliminate if they could for anyone who they disagree with. Which is precisely why our President is exactly right and the NYT and their ilk are exactly wrong.

So as we celebrate our country’s birth this year, commit to maintaining its values, character, institutions and greatness for at least 4 more years.

HD wallpaper: event, USA, Independence Day, Statue of Liberty, NY ...

Happy Birthday America – Long May You Run!

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Friday Before the Fourth of July: Let’s Shut Everything Down Again!

Could things possibly get any more transparent? A June jobs report that indicates 5 million new jobs were created. Well technically that’s 5 million jobs that were hijacked and held hostage by Cootie Panic were just released. Trump’s economy is attempting to come back with a vengeance. Can’t have that in an election year so time to re-trigger the panic button:

COVID-19: Evolving Cybersecurity Considerations for Business ...

Surge! Surge! Ten  thousand new cases - in a day! A DAY! – in Florida. Alert! Alert! Stop the great recovery reopening of America!!!! NOW!

We are to ignore the fact that this virus was NEVER going to abate until it had run its course (mutating to something either more or less lethal and/or the population developing herd immunity). We are to ignore that with the increase in non-fatal cases the death rate, which was most likely greatly overstated anyway is declining. We are to ignore the fact that this was and continues to be a media induced panic based on what turns out to be baseless predictions by “experts.

So cue the handwringers and the government dictats: we’re going to shut this economy down if it’s the last thing we ever do. So when a bunch of (otherwise) responsible Millennials and Gen Z’s hooked up at a bar in East Lansing and created a cluster of 185 COVID infections that was the only excuse GG needed to rollback the rollback that had only begun a few weeks ago. You’ve had enough fun, time for last call; we’re closing the bars…again. Somebody wrote a new Executive Order for her Majesty to sign and just like that every bar in lower Michigan (with the exception of those in touristy-rich areas of Petoskey, Harbor Springs, Traverse City – where GG’s summer home is located) was again ordered to stop serving customers – inside. Oh yeah, they can still serve beverages outside, assuming it doesn’t rain. And customers don’t get heat stroke in the 90+ degree temps we’ve enjoyed all this week and are forecast through next week as well.

Here are some of the nuances of Executive Order 2020-143 (COVID-19) (July 1, 2020):

  • Establishments that earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages must close for inside service.

Why does alcohol give you the munchies? - CNNThat brewski can be had for just $1, but you have to order chips with it. Which now cost $9.

  • They may continue to serve beverages outside; customers are allowed into the establishment only to use the facilities but must wear a face mask while inside.

Anxiety, relief mark reopening of Utah bars, restaurants ...How to safely approach the rest rooms

  • You’re not allowed to order a drink at the bar, unless you are seated at the bar, even if the bar is outdoors.

Bars, restaurants to see limited outdoor seating, as Illinois ...Better yet: bring your own table

  • Access to common areas in which people can congregate, dance, or otherwise mingle is prohibited. Visions of Footloose and the 6 degrees of separation a la Kevin Bacon come to mind.

footloose Memes & GIFs - Imgflip

  • You can order an alcohol beverage to go (there’s a great Idea, let’s all get a roadie!) but you MUST be seated while ordering said beverage.

takeout alcohol at a barI’ll take a dozen Martinis to go please

And most importantly:

  • This order does not apply in Regions 6 and 8 (the chi-chi Great White North tourist meccas in Northern Michigan, described above)

Good luck with stopping this coronavirus – something that’s never been done in the entire history of mankind. I say let the bar owners make a living. Especially given that the college kids, our country’s future, are holding COVID parties anyway. See there? Just when you were beginning to wonder if a college education was worth the cost, the kids answer for you. At least they’re making as much sense as any of the experts.

Extra credit assignment:

Check out the author of the The’Gander article about the Harper’s Bar COVID cluster and tell me: Katelyn Kivel, natural born woman or what?

Katelyn Kivel - Political Reporter - Courier Newsroom | LinkedIn

I honestly don’t know or care. I’m just passing on what my lyin’ eyes see.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

I’ll Be Watching You

Raj and I are going for his and her Ortho appointments for our knees (both of his, one of mine) this morning. Also, we’ve had a house guest since last Friday who needs extra care and attention so, well, I’m tired. Which is why I’m handing the mic off to you this Throwback Thursday.

 Don’t make me regret it

Today’s featured artist: The Police, back when Sting use to be a team player.

In the Age of the Ubiquitous Coronavirus Mask where we gave Karens on every corner, two of their biggest hits - Don’t Stand So Close To Me, 1980 and Every Breath You Take, 1983 - seem almost prescient. Although I rather doubt Sting was actually thinking about Orwell and our crazy times when he penned the lyrics and the Police laid the tracks on vinyl tracks 40 (!) years ago. Strange, I remember those times so clearly;  I was barely 30 and already knee deep in the hoopla. I barely had time to breathe let alone march, protest, or occupy anything other than my office. Sheeze, kids today.

No Shaking Head GIF - No ShakingHead Cowboy GIFs

But enough nostalgia, on to our Throwback Thursday musical interlude:

I'll be watching you
Every breath you take and every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take (I'll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I'll be watching you)
Every move you make, every vow you break
Every smile you fake, every claim you stake (I'll be watching you)
Every single day, every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay (I'll be watching you)

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

No Biggie, Just the Fate of the World

As New York sinks further into the cesspool of their own creation,

Council Speaker Corey Johnson“Who are those masked men?”

Seattle rushes to become the country’s first truly police-free nation,

Chase Burns in the CHAZ on Twitter: "Designated smoking sections ...Good luck with that

and the Chicago black genocide program continues unabated

Mitchell: Our city, one year, 780 murders - Chicago Sun-Times

there are actually bigger fish getting ready to fry elsewhere around the world.

For those who don’t know, Wretchard is also Richard Fernandez, founder of the Belmont Club.) He knows things.

So perhaps we can stop obsessing over Russia Russia Russia for a bit and focus on China China China who already owns the majority of the US media, Hollywood, silicon valley, academia, the Democrat party and all of their official and unofficial offshoots (e.g. BLM and Antifa). And they are masters of misdirection, so while we focus on statues tumbling they are focused on getting their own man elected this year.

Joe Biden's 'confused crazy rants' should have discounted him ...“I know, let’s vote for the crazy old man in the basement, At least he’s not Trump!”

But no biggie, it’s just the

at stake.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

I Stand With the Lion

I’d like to give a big shout out to John Hinderaker’s “Trump Is Right” post. It’s a reflection on Ben Domenech’s oval office interview with the President for the Federalist. How refreshing to have someone discussing our President’s virtues rather than his flaws.

Someday the world will recognize this President’s courage and strength.

Although the entire world seems to be against him, still he persists.

Until then our job is to stand with our lion.

Because remember…

Monday, June 29, 2020

The Great Education Bubble Machine

Glenn Reynolds flagged the higher education bubble nearly a decade ago.

America is facing a higher education bubble. Like the housing bubble, it is the product of cheap credit coupled with popular expectations of ever-increasing returns on investment, and as with housing prices, the cheap credit has caused college tuitions to vastly outpace inflation and family incomes.

Institutes of higher education ignored the warnings and continued their great expansion under the operating premise that “if we build it, they will come.” And come they did: an ever increasing pool of unqualified, remedial ‘stew-dense’ without the basic skills to figure out that an $80-100k a degree that qualifies them for an entry level job doesn’t have a promising payback potential.

Then came the Great Reckoning in the form of the Coronavirus pandemic.

NYU prof: ‘Hundreds, if not thousands’ of universities will soon be ‘walking dead.’ “An NYU professor of marketing says the coronavirus will result in many schools closing in coming years. Students aren’t getting their money’s worth, and the pandemic has exposed that, he says.”

Apparently college administrators are beginning to smell the coming declination. Expect their solution to be the same as any business - as that is what they’ve become – increased advertising budgets and special promotions. Case in point, this ad for Eastern Michigan University’s fall semester currently running on a local TV stations. EMU is currently offering (for a limited time only!) “signing” bonuses, the promise of single occupancy dorm rooms and the waiving of entrance test scores (because they are both meaningless and racist). Oh, and did I mention your own bottle of hand sanitizer?

This article chronicles (with admiration) a few of the facility excesses universities have invested in recently. Let’s start with one of the college towns recently in the news for their woke-fueled anarchy: The University of Wisconsin, Madison. Their student union building, completed in 2011 at a cost of $95 million, is just the place to stake out your safe space.

Created with the input of some 36,000 students, Union South at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) is a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired, 277,000-square-foot, LEED-Gold-certified student union with an art gallery, bowling alley, climbing wall, billiard hall, movie theater, restaurants, hotel, and banquet hall. It has drawn praise from many, but also criticism from some for its seeming financial extravagance---usually by those who don’t realize student fees pay for much of the construction costs over time. However, even if student fees and revenues were not behind Union South, the simple truth is the battle to attract and keep students is raging, so a few conveniences are no longer a luxury.

Got that? Universities are no longer pantheons of higher learning, they are cash cows. And they need a never ending supply of cash flow generators (stew-dense) to keep the scam running. They are hardly alone; this fine offering is from the public university of Kennesaw State, Georgia:

The Commons, a 54,000-square-foot dining hall…one of the largest LEED-Gold-certified college dining halls in the U.S.. In addition to its impressive size and tiny environmental footprint is its overall focus: the health of its students and success of local businesses. Its modified farm-to-table (a.k.a. farm-to-campus) focus means most of the food and ingredients at The Commons are from local and campus farms. In addition, there are nutritional and wellness programs, an on-site herb garden, gluten-free and vegan food options, and ties to a community garden involving school kids and local residents.

And this gem, from the University of Akron:

Although, on its surface, UA’s Student Recreation and Wellness Center (SRWC) seems more like a playground than a necessity. Walking into this 295,000-square-foot structure with its leisure pool, lazy river, 30-person spa, workout center, exercise studios, five gyms, and 54-foot climbing wall, one may think they have entered a very large, fancy health club. They may also begin to wonder whether a public university really needs a building like this. However, when you realize that Ohio can have long, cold winters, severely limiting what many students can do to de-stress and stay physically and emotionally healthy, having a sizeable indoor activities center that can accommodate as many students as possible starts to make a great deal of sense.

It might make sense to the stew-dense but at $12,000 a year in tuition ($16,000 out of state) plus $13,000 room and board - or a cost of $100,000+ for a 4 year degree - it doesn’t make dollars and cents for most.

Higher Education Bubble: Another Brick in the Wall?

All we need is relaxation, recreation, farm-to-table dining and safe spaces.

  Maybe we should rethink this whole thing. We don’t seem to do learning very well.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Wolf Light

Entre chien et loup’ - literally ‘between dog and wolf’ – translates to ‘wolf-light,’  the time of day when the familiar becomes wild; twilight, dusk, the gloaming

You are, as you’ve been a thousand times before, someplace familiar and yet nothing seems recognizable. Just light and shadow, playing against each other.

Study after: George Inness - In the Gloaming (Detail 2)

Slowly, from the shadows, edges begin to appear.

Color seeps out.

Shapes emerge.

And the scene reveals itself as it is, at that particular point in time.

Study after: George Inness - In the Gloaming by M Francis McCarthy - 8x10 Oil on Wood Panel

In the Gloaming George Inness, 1893

No need to despair. We are in the gloaming and though it will soon be night just as certainly the dawn will follow. By the light of day things lost to the twilight will be clearly seen.