For all the coronavirus doubting Thomases out there .

those who still maintain that the coronavirus pandemic is overblown, that it’s no worse than the flu, that the authorities are overreacting and using the pandemic as an excuse to take away our civil liberties . . . sorry, but you’re wrong. This is the reality of the coronavirus in full swing, in Bergamo in Italy.  Watch for yourselves. Coming soon to a hospital near you – perhaps with you and your family in starring roles – if we don’t shut down social contact and halt the spread of this disease. As John Mauldin points out: Here in the US there’s

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COVID-19: Update for March 13, 2020

Welcome to Friday the 13th, dear readers!  Here are a few useful links and tips concerning the coronavirus pandemic that I’ve gleaned over the past day or so. First, as most readers know, I was involved with law enforcement as a prison chaplain for a number of years.  I wrote a book about it a while back. In that capacity, I developed contacts with members of the FBI, US Marshals Service, and other agencies that I’ve maintained to this day.  I’m hearing interesting things from them about the supply of illegal drugs in our major metropolitan areas.  Basically, that supply is being

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“California Is a Cruel Medieval State”

That’s the opinion of Victor Davis Hanson, who writes: A paradox ensues that Californians both have a high, indeed smug, view of themselves and yet do a lot of damage to their fellow human beings. Their haughtiness is based largely on the reality that Silicon Valley, sandwiched between Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, became the birthplace of the global computer, internet, social media, and a high-tech revolution. For progressives who deprecate the capitalist lifestyle, having a lot of money still allows one to say one thing and live out the opposite. The state’s multi-trillion-dollar companies have hired tens of thousands

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Rape, political correctness, and the real world

Yet again we’ve seen the usual suspects scream in outrage at even the suggestion that women’s behavior might just possibly contribute to their getting raped.  This time it’s in Kenya. A top Kenyan university has apologised after blaming “reckless” female students for becoming victims of rape. The security memo, which was sent to all students on Tuesday, was “insensitive”, the University of Nairobi’s vice-chancellor admitted. A petition started in response to the memo questioned how women could be blamed for their own rape. Popular media personality, Adelle Onyango, posted on Instagram: “This is what victim shaming looks like.” . . .

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More on buying the election

Tucker Carlson seems to agree with my earlier article. I think this is a very serious issue, and one all of us need to think about.  Are we willing to allow American politics to be decided by the highest bidder?  And, if not, what are we going to do about it? Peter

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The Border Wall may become a vital defense against coronavirus

News that President Trump is about to raid Pentagon funds once again to build more of the border wall between the USA and Mexico will doubtless enrage those who believe in free immigration, with or without official sanction.  However, the emerging coronavirus epidemic may make such a wall an even more important element of general US security. If the coronavirus epidemic spreads to Central and South America, those living there are going to be in dire straits.  There are relatively few medical facilities available, poverty is rampant, and many local, regional and national governments are corrupt and inefficient.  That’s a dire combination. 

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The true State of the Union: perilously disunited

The overwhelming impression I got from last night’s State of the Union address is that our nation is perilously dis-united, so much so that it’s verging on dysfunctional. I’m not going to go into the tasteless, classless, infantile and rude behavior of certain politicians.  Enough has been said about that elsewhere.  It certainly portrayed them, and the offices they hold, in a very negative light – one that in the old days would have been met by calls from their own political party to resign, rather than tolerate such antics, because they demean the offices in question.  Not today, unfortunately. The

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Coronavirus and the economy

We’re beginning to see the impact of China’s coronavirus outbreak on markets in that country and around the world.  Already we’ve seen: Shipping rates have plummeted as demand for cargo space decreases; Air freight availability – critical for factories in Europe and America to maintain their “just-in-time” stocking levels of critical parts – is decreasing dramatically as airlines reduce flights to and from China; Many Chinese factories and consumer outlets are closing their doors under the impact of quarantines, public fears, and the unavailability of supplies (even auto manufacturers); Those who rely on jobs at such establishments to earn a living are suddenly finding themselves effectively out of work,

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Is there a risk from radiation in the oil industry?

EDITED TO ADD:  The article discussed below appears to be extremely misleading, to judge by comments left by well-informed readers (see below).  In particular, my thanks to commenter Henry for this link to an analysis debunking Rolling Stone’s claims.  It’s a bit technical, but does a pretty good job, IMHO. Rolling Stone has published an extended article alleging that the brine discharged from many oil drilling operations is highly radioactive, and poses a severe health hazard. Oil fields across the country — from the Bakken in North Dakota to the Permian in Texas — have been found to produce brine that is highly radioactive.

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Online, you have no privacy

It’s hard to emphasize how little privacy – effectively, none – we have online in this digital age.  The risks to our personal, confidential information are enormous.  For most of us, they don’t amount to more than the danger of credit card fraud, or something like that;  but for others, particularly those active in any sphere of public debate or opinion-forming, they may be targeted by those opposed to their positions.  Such targeting may even become physical, rather than merely electronic.  (Consider, for example, the union activists who blockaded [on private property] the families of politicians with whose policies they

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