8/11/2020

Can A Cold Protect Us From Covid-19?

From the Washington Post (Yes, that Washington Post) comes this about how the common cold may have played a part in many people being immune to or resistant to Covid-19.

When researcher Monica Gandhi began digging deeper into outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, she was struck by the extraordinarily high number of infected people who had no symptoms.

A Boston homeless shelter had 147 infected residents, but 88 percent had no symptoms even though they shared their living space. A Tyson Foods poultry plant in Springdale, Ark., had 481 infections, and 95 percent were asymptomatic. Prisons in Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia counted 3,277 infected people, but 96 percent were asymptomatic.

During its seven-month global rampage, the coronavirus has claimed more than 700,000 lives. But Gandhi began to think the bigger mystery might be why it has left so many more practically unscathed.

Even now we’re seeing a lot of people in my home state that test positive for Covid-19 showing minor or no symptoms. There have been no recent hospitalizations and very few deaths.

It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out. Could it be that all we need to do to protect ourselves is to catch a cold?

8/09/2020

Thoughts On A Sunday

It’s been a pretty good weekend here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. We’re seeing a lot of vacationers, though their makeup consists more of folks on ‘staycation’ rather than people from away (primarily Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York).

All of the vacation rentals have been fully booked right up through Labor Day weekend, something that is unusual as summer ‘visits’ fall off starting after the second full week of August as families get ready to send their kids back to school. Weekend visits continue at a reduced rate until the end of September and then fall off to almost nothing. But looking at the bookings of rental properties, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen that way this year. Bookings are solid until Columbus Day weekend. Is it part of the aftermath of Covid-19?

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Checking the TV ratings for MBL, NBA, and NHL games, it appears people are staying away from the televised games in droves. The ratings could hardly get any lower.

It looks like people have other things to do rather than watching sports run by organizations that have caved to a very vocal but very small minority of non-fans and gone ‘woke’.

Serves ‘em right.

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a crew-member on a private jet? Have you ever wondered what goes on during flights on those private jets and the differences between the various types of passengers? You might be surprised at the wide range of passengers, their wants and needs as well as how bad (or good) they behave, this piece from Bloomberg will give you some insight.

The one thing that surprised me? Celebrities tend to be least troublesome and kindest to the crews. Their personal assistants, on the other hand, tend to be a big pain in the a**.

The worst passengers? High-rollers going to/coming from Vegas followed closely by some of the young high-tech giants with more money than sense.

Alas, it is one experience I doubt I will experience in my lifetime unless I hit Powerball or Megamillions.

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As I have reminded more than a few people, stop thinking of Trump as a politician but as a master magician, getting people to pay attention to the “shiny object” in his hand rather than what his hidden hand is doing. He is a good example of a master manipulator.

He latest bit of manipulation? Signing a series of Executive Orders regarding Covid-19 relief the Democrats had been delaying because they couldn’t come to an agreement with the GOP members of Congress and the President, the biggest stumbling block being the amount of money the government doesn’t have to be spent on further relief. The GOP was pushing to spend less than half of what the Democrats were proposing, but Pelosi and Schumer were having none of it. The Democrats were also pushing measures that had nothing to do with Covid relief as a condition of voting for relief, something GOP was against. They were looking for a so-called “clean bill” that included none of the conditions being pushed by the Democrats.

How is this a manipulation?

Trump has forced Congressional Democrats into a position where they will have to oppose Covid-19 relief.

“We have repeatedly stated our willingness to immediately sign legislation providing expanded unemployment benefits, protecting Americans from eviction, and providing additional relief payments to families,” Trump said. “Democrats have refused these offers.”

Before signing the relief bills, the president noted that the Democratic package included many items completely unrelated to economic relief during the coronavirus pandemic.

“So the Democrat bill includes stimulus checks for illegal aliens, they require the mass release of illegal aliens from detention, they also compel the mass release of inmates, including serious felons,” Trump said. “What does this have to do with stimulus, the economy? What does this have to do with the coronavirus?”

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that’s why Trump one-upped them and has forced them to take an opposite position from the one they say they support.

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Considering how much damage Mayor Bill DeBlasio has done to New York City with his Progressive/Communist policies, is it any wonder New Yorkers are voting with their feet and leaving the Big Apple in droves? One particular neighborhood seeing lifelong residents fleeing the increasing violence and decay of the city they love is the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Due to increasingly squalid conditions on the Upper West Side, including two new homeless shelters packed with junkies and registered sex offenders, longtime dwellers are departing the Big Apple with no plans to ever return.

One of the Escape from New Yorkers is Elizabeth Carr, one of the area’s most vocal leaders in combatting mounting crime in the well-heeled hood.

“In the best of times, NYC is a hard place to live,” said Carr. “Now you have all this other stuff. It’s a question for families. … to have to see a guy masturbating on the corner or explain to my kids while I’m buying diapers at Duane Reade why this guy wearing no shoes is collapsed on the floor and they’re doing CPR on him.”

She said she started planning to move before the COVID crisis and recent neighborhood developments, but officially put down stakes Sunday in North Carolina with her finance husband and three kids under 7.

“We reached our New York expiration date,” the former nonprofit exec, who’d lived on the UWS since 2007, told The Post from her new home 600 miles away. “Things weren’t heading in the right direction. What we’re seeing now isn’t at all surprising.”

When even long-time residents are pulling up stakes and leaving for greener pastures, you know it’s getting bad. That the problems being seen in New York were caused on purpose by the Mayor, aided and abetted by the Governor, you know you are dealing with people who are working hard to destroy anything and anyone who stands in their way.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where hot and humid weather is on its way, people will be crowding the beaches, and where air-conditioned offices are going to be a good place to be for the next 3 days.

8/08/2020

I've Had Enough Of Covid-19. Have You?

I don’t know about you, but I am getting sick of the whole debate over Covid-19 and the disinformation, misinformation, pandering, and over-the-top emotional response to the various actions taken and the inaction shown in dealing with it.

We’ve seen response running the gamut from “Shut everything down and lock everyone away!” to “It’s all a hoax and it isn’t anywhere near as bad as everyone says it is so we don’t need to do anything” and everywhere in between.

Do we need to shut everything down again? No, I do not think so, particularly in light of evidence showing that in most cases it had little effect on the spread of the virus, particularly in non-urban areas. It was a one-size-fits-all solution to a problem that was anything but a one-size-fits-all problem. Now that we know that, why would anyone consider doing that again?

Do we stop taking precautions? No, of course not. But how far do we need to go? We certainly don’t need to wear BL-4 biohazard suits like those used in hot labs like Fort Detrick, Maryland. Washing our hands frequently is certainly an easy precaution to take. Masks are easy to use (though there are those who question their effectiveness) and are basically inexpensive. Cleaning frequently used surfaces is easy. None of those efforts are onerous or take much time to perform.

One thing I wish would stop is the misinformation/disinformation taking place, some through ignorance and some from malice. None of it helps us, though there are likely some who benefit from it. Fraudulent study results help no one. (One such study stating hydrochloroquine was ineffective published in The Lancet was later withdrawn when it was found the supposed researcher was not a scientist or researcher of any kind but a science/science fiction writer. The research institute that ‘conducted’ the study didn’t exist. It was a con job.) Others put forth treatments or “cures” that were either ineffective or downright dangerous, if not lethal.

At one point there was a story circulating that 5G was responsible for spreading Covid-19. The explanation was bogus, a bunch of pseudo-scientific gobbledygook cobbled together make it sound legitimate, but it was enough to convince some people and they helped spread the story.

Covid-19 has also driven some people insane. This insanity was not due to being infected with the disease itself, but by the fact of its very existence. It has pushed some people over the edge.

We have seen people overreact when they think someone isn’t taking Covid-19 seriously enough in their judgment. This overreaction has run from people in a public park being maced by an outraged Karen, other Karens reporting an assault to the police because someone was not wearing a mask, and in one case in Manhattan Beach, California, a Karen accosting two men eating their lunch, splashing one of them with her cup of hot coffee when he refused to wear his mask. (Did I mention he was eating his lunch?) At least in this last case she was arrested for assault and battery, as was her boyfriend. Ironically, the man who was assaulted was wearing a body camera as he was regularly accosted because he had the audacity to wear a MAGA hat. (Remember, this took place in California.) His body cam caught the whole incident. When the police arrived (called by the Karen), the man showed the footage to the responding officers which led to the arrest of the woman and her boyfriend.

I have no doubt there are plenty of other stories similar to those above where people are overreacting to perceived dangers. I have been on the receiving end of this, the incident taking place a few weeks ago when I was traveling through the Weirs Channel in the Official Weekend Pundit Lake Winnipesaukee Runabout. As I was making my way from Paugus Bay end to the main lake, a fellow in a boat traveling in the opposite direction started yelling at me for not wearing a mask. It must be understood that New Hampshire had no mandatory mask edict (and still doesn’t), at closest approach I was probably 25 feet from the other fellow, and both he and I were alone on our respective boats. Why would I need to wear a mask when I’m in the middle of a 72 square mile lake in my boat by myself? Or was the guy just being a Ken (male Karen) and being a jerk while doing it?

With Motorcycle Week fast approaching here in New Hampshire, I have to wonder if any of the poor deluded Karens and Kens will be out in force?

Of course they will.

8/07/2020

Be Chill, My Friend

It's time to stop stressing about success. Here's why:

8/02/2020

Thoughts On A Sunday

Our town has seen a small number of new cases of coronavirus. According to the info made available, the new cases involve younger people with minimal or no symptoms. That seems to be the case with most of the people with positive Covid-19 test results. Do these new cases mean we need to shut down again? No, particularly in light of what we know now that we didn’t know back in March.

Do we need to take more extensive measures or will more diligent use of masks and hand-washing be enough? I lean towards the second and not the first. Use of masks and hand-washing seems to be the best way to deal with Covid-19, as well as isolating those most vulnerable to it such as those with underlying medical conditions - diabetes, COPD, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases – or vitamin D deficiencies as well as those who are immunosuppressed. Going so far as to isolate everyone, something we now know doesn’t work all that well, is not the answer.

Hopefully our state leaders will not make that mistake...again.

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I have been viewing a number of YouTube videos dealing with the breakdown of relationships between men and women, the unrealistic expectations and the changes in educational and economic circumstances for men and women.

There is a lot of anger out there.

Men, and particularly younger men, are giving up on relationships with women, tired of being treated as “not good enough” because they aren’t as educated or making as much money as many women these days.

Women, particularly those in the 30’s and 40’s, are wondering “Where are all the good men?” and “How come I can’t meet anyone who wants a long term relationship/marriage/children?”

I spent quite a bit of time watching videos from both sides of the issue, read and posted comments, primarily of the “Is this chasm between men and women something that is across the board or is it more prevalent in some areas rather than others?” type of comments.

I did get a few responses, with only a couple being angry and expletive-laden. But a few did respond, with those responses pointing to this issue being more prevalent in urban areas. When I thought about it, it made some kind of sense to me.

One of the most telling videos was posted by a woman who had worked as a matchmaker, telling why she closed her business: Women have unreal and impossible standards for the men they want to date. Could this be one reason why those aforementioned women in their 30’s and 40’s are still single?

There isn’t any one reason, but it wouldn’t surprise me if all of them are related to changes in our society that started back in the late 1960’s.

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James Lindsay offers some reasons why the ‘woke’ won’t debate those who disagree with them.

Debate and conversation, especially when they rely upon reason, rationality, science, evidence, epistemic adequacy, and other Enlightenment-based tools of persuasion are the very thing they think produced injustice in the world in the first place. Those are not their methods and they reject them. Their methods are, instead, storytelling and counter-storytelling, appealing to emotions and subjectively interpreted lived experience, and problematizing arguments morally, on their moral terms.

To pick an example, you don’t have to have read any of this material as a 20-something college student to understand that there is a group of people who don’t care if the professor speaking on campus is a subject matter expert who might have some sound ideas. What the woke students care about is shouting down a bad person for reinforcing structural harm. You literally don’t have to argue, you just have to have a loud voice and a few accusations to level. And that’s exactly what they do.

I’ve run across this on a few occasions, coming up against someone so convinced their vision was right despite hundreds of years of evidence to the contrary. Nothing swayed their ‘faith’, nothing could convince them their vision was in any way in error even though their ‘vision’ was abhorrent to most folks.

That’s why I will not waste my time trying to convince the more fanatic ‘woke’. I have better things to do with my time.

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Who will be the Democrat Party’s nominee for President? I and others have serious doubts that it will be Biden. As Don Bongino posted on Twitter:

I’m hearing from people close to the situation that Biden’s cognitive decline is rapidly worsening and is becoming increasingly difficult to mask. The Democrats are going to have to make a decision soon.

I think the media has been trying very hard to ignore Biden’s condition, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to not notice and for the DNC and the media (but I repeat myself) to keep from the public.

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An example of appropriate and inappropriate masking:



Heh.TM

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where we’re getting ready for some heavy rain courtesy of Tropical Storm Isaias, getting some boating in before Isaias arrives, and once again grateful that we actually have to go into work on Monday.

8/01/2020

Do The Woke Really Care About Those They Say They're 'Helping'?

Some of you know of my disappointment over major league sports like the MLB, NBA, and NFL caving in to a small but vocal minority and going ‘woke’. As they will be finding out as so many other businesses have found out, going ‘woke’ is likely to make them go ‘broke’. They stop attending to the business that they’re supposed to be dealing with and instead cater to a small minority of people, many who are neither fans or patrons, all while pissing off the people upon whom they depend.

One example that comes to immediately to mind is Gillette, who caved to the ‘woke’ and ran a series of ads that both denigrated and insulted their main customer base – men – and tried to pull in portions of the LBGTQ demographic. The result - over $9 billion in sales disappeared. (Yes, that’s billion with a ‘b’.) Their sales have not recovered.

That major league sports have caved to many of the same ‘woke’ has already caused an increasing number of long time fans to say “We’re done” and choose to no longer support their teams. (I am one of those. Both the NBA and NFL are dead to me. MLB is pretty close and I’ve lost all interest in NASCAR.)

One egregious example of just how ‘woke’ the NFL has become is the drive to change the names of sports teams that white people think should be offensive to non-whites. The example that stands out is the drive to change the name of the Washington Redskins to something that isn’t offensive. But have any of those pushing for the change or considering the change bothered to ask the people on whose behalf the ‘woke’ are being offended by the name whether or not they are actually offended by the name?

Nope.

Maybe they should, but they won’t because the ‘woke’ know better than the people they say should be offended. Here’s the take from one Native American about the whole ‘controversy’:



Or how about this one:



Or this one:



To the ‘woke’ it appears the opinions and desires of those they say they support don’t matter. We must ask the question: Why is that?

7/27/2020

Grammar Is Racist? What's Next?

From the “Just When I Thought They Couldn’t Get Any Stupider” Department comes this from Rutgers University.

It seems the Rutgers English Department has declared grammar is ‘racist’.

The English Department at Rutgers University has declared that proper use of grammar is a hidden form of racism because it disadvantages students of “multilingual, non-standard ‘academic’ English backgrounds.”

--snip--

“Variability instead of accuracy” means incorrect usage of grammatical norms. It’s nice that someone speaks a foreign language, but isn’t the whole point of teaching proper grammar teaching foreigners the proper way to speak English?

Yes, but it’s white and it’s male, and it’s gotta go.

Unfortunately, Rutgers apparently missed the mark with some activists. Aside from being incomprehensibly stupid, the change is, itself, virulently racist.

Indeed. This is taking the whole ‘racism’ thing from the sublime to the extremely ridiculous. We’ve already heard from other quarters that math is racist. The 1619 Project has already declared that history is racist. I suppose every subject of study will eventually be declared as racist. That’s where all of this seems to be heading.

It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid this has become. It’s scary to think just how stupid it will become.

7/26/2020

Thoughts On A Sunday

The heat and humidity has returned to the Lakes Region which means we’ll be seeing a lot of folks out on or in the lake over the next four days or so. I certainly plan to get out on the lake this evening after all of the weekenders have left. I figure I will do likewise over the next three days as well. (At least I’ll be working in an air-conditioned lab as the temps outside will be in the upper 90’s, so it isn’t like I’ll be suffering during peak heat.)

As an aside, although we have seen a slight increase in Covid-19 cases, The Powers That Be have stated that most of them have been in people under 40 years of age, with a lot of them being slightly symptomatic or asymptomatic. This is pretty much what I expected to see. Not that there aren’t those who are quite ill, but they are a small minority. Hopefully it will stay that way. As long as people take the proper precautions we should be able to keep the numbers from growing as wildly as we’ve seen elsewhere.

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Almost thirty years ago, friends Thomas Cooke and Joseph Feeney made a promise that if either won Powerball they’d split the winnings. They lived up to that promise when Cooke hit a $22 million Powerball jackpot and shared the prize with his friend.

Now that’s friendship!

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You know it’s gotten out of control when the President of the Portland NAACP says that the Black Lives Matter protests have lost focus. “The focus has been moved from where it is supposed to be and made to be a spectacle, a debacle.”

The ongoing unrest, which started at the end of May following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, initially began as a series of demonstrations against racism and police brutality. After federal officers under the command of the Department of Homeland Security arrived to defend the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, they became the focus of protests.

--snip--

The Portland NAACP has repeatedly denounced the actions of federal forces in Portland but has also criticized “mostly white anarchists” for inciting violence during the protests. Much of the national scrutiny in recent weeks has centered on the melee that erupts nightly after small groups of demonstrators begin a cat-and-mouse game with law enforcement.

It’s gone from protests to a nightly ritual of destroying property, assaulting federal law enforcement officers, and trying to burn down the federal courthouse those same federal law enforcement officers were protecting.

I’d say the NAACP President is right.

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If we really want to solve the problem of Covid-19 and end the issues that go with it, then I have a suggestion to make, by way of Powerline:



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After the debacle at the New York Times leading to the ‘canceling’ of editor James Bennett because he had the audacity to publish an opinion piece by US Senator Tom Cotton. The know-nothings at the Times got Bennett fired because in their minds he wasn’t ‘woke’ enough.

Staff at the Wall Street Journal tried to force a similar accommodation of ‘woke’ opinion, with 280 of its journalists signing a letter “complaining about the spread of ‘misinformation’ in the paper’s opinion section.” But unlike the Times, the WSJ editorial was having none of it.

In the spirit of collegiality, we won’t respond in kind to the letter signers. Their anxieties aren’t our responsibility in any case. The signers report to the News editors or other parts of the business, and the News and Opinion departments operate with separate staffs and editors. Both report to Publisher Almar Latour. This separation allows us to pursue stories and inform readers with independent judgment.

It was probably inevitable that the wave of progressive cancel culture would arrive at the Journal, as it has at nearly every other cultural, business, academic and journalistic institution. But we are not the New York Times. Most Journal reporters attempt to cover the news fairly and down the middle, and our opinion pages offer an alternative to the uniform progressive views that dominate nearly all of today’s media.

As long as our proprietors allow us the privilege to do so, the opinion pages will continue to publish contributors who speak their minds within the tradition of vigorous, reasoned discourse. And these columns will continue to promote the principles of free people and free markets, which are more important than ever in what is a culture of growing progressive conformity and intolerance.

Perhaps the New York Times, the Washington Post, and a host of other dying newspapers could take a lesson from the WSJ. After all, it seems these publications no longer believe in “the tradition of vigorous, reasoned discourse”. Instead, they believe in censorship, making those who disagree with them “unpersons”, and silencing anyone they do not consider ‘woke’ enough.

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I find it ironic that the ones against changing the name and logo of the Washington Redskins are Native Americans. If one understands the history of both the team’s name and more specifically, the logo, the ‘woke’ white folks might not be in such a hurry to push the NFL to change the name.

But then, the ‘woke’ Guilty White Liberals know better than the Native Americans the name and logo honor. They have to be ‘protected’ from themselves and it’s up to the ‘woke’ to do so, right?

And the soft racism of “low expectations” raises its head again.

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And that’s the news from Lake Winnipesaukee, where the weather is going to be extremely summer-like, the A/C will be humming away, and where going back to work on Monday may be a blessing in disguise.