COVID-19: Look after the small things you can control

The fear-mongering and panic stations concerning the current coronavirus epidemic are reaching fever pitch.  Politicians are accusing each other of failing to prepare for it;  pundits are bloviating every which way;  and alarums and excursions are the order of the day.  In the midst of all this folderol, we find ourselves rudderless.  Which way should we turn?  Whom should we believe?  What should we do? The short, simple answer is that we should do whatever is in our power and our control to do.  If something is beyond that – national health-care policy, hospital staffing and facilities, international implications – then why are we worrying ourselves about it? 

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COVID-19 and container imports – the cupboard is bare

OK, folks, this isn’t a news broadcast or a government statement.  This video was put up today by a truck driver at the Port of Los Angeles.  She shows us the real conditions on the ground at the container facility there, thanks to the coronavirus epidemic.  I’ll let her do the talking. If you buy much from stores that rely on Chinese products – stores like Walmart, Target, Harbor Freight, and many others – you can now see where they’re going to be a couple of months from now.  What’s in the supply pipeline right now – the containers that

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COVID-19: An update, with links

For those of you tired of the hype in the news media, and wanting the “straight dope” on what’s actually happening around the world, here are some reports that give us the facts and don’t exaggerate. First, health news.  COVID-19 continues to spread with alarming speed.  You might want to bookmark the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker, and refer back to it from time to time.  It provides detailed, up-to-date statistics on what’s going on.  Among its other information, it shows the following graphic representation of the current spread, and number of cases per region: Keep going back there to track what’s

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COVID-19: Time for a dose of realism

The media hysteria surrounding the coronavirus epidemic (which doesn’t yet deserve that name in any part of the world but China, BTW) is getting repetitive and annoying.  What’s even worse are attempts by his political opponents (aided and abetted by the generally anti-Trump news media) to make the President appear responsible for it, and to hold him accountable for every “failure” or “mistake” or “misstep” or inept behavior by officials that comes to light.  That’s simply not true, as any investigation of the facts will demonstrate. See, also, the hysteria surrounding Vice-President Pence, who is (according to some news media) allegedly

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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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COVID-19: an update, and planning considerations

Last week I wrote about preparing for the economic impact of China’s coronavirus epidemic.  It now looks certain that it’s going to cause major disruptions to world trade, and probably to the social fabric of many (perhaps most) countries – including the United States.  COVID-19 is showing a very rapid infection rate, far faster than might be expected.  South Korea went from zero reported cases to (at the time of writing) 1,146 infected and 11 dead in less than a week.  Italy has gone from zero to 229 infected and 7 dead in a similar period.  The USA now has 53 confirmed cases,

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Concerning Michael Bloomberg and farmers

. . . which we’ve previously addressed here and here, I received this image over the weekend via e-mail (origin unknown). Makes sense to me.  When I look at the size of Michael Bloomberg’s fortune (over $60 billion, by all accounts), I have to ask how much “dirt” went into amassing so great an amount.  If it all happened without a single lapse in ethics or honesty, and entirely within the law, I’ll go out and buy a hat so that I can eat it! (Of course, the same applies to most large fortunes, irrespective of the political affiliations and/or ambitions of their

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“The Roots of Our Partisan Divide”

That’s the title of a long and very interesting article by Christopher Caldwell.  Basically, he argues that a culture of “civil rights” has usurped, and threatens to overthrow (and may perhaps already have overthrown) the constitutional foundation of our republic.  I’m going to quote from it at some length, in an attempt to capture the essence of his argument. But it is a third strand of the story, running all the way down to our day, that is most important for explaining our partisan polarization. It concerns how the civil rights laws of the 1960s, and particularly the Civil Rights Act of 1964, divided

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A farmer replies to Michael Bloomberg

Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg was rather scathing about farmers and farming a few years ago.  This video clip surfaced recently as he ramped up his presidential campaign. A sheep farmer from northern Texas has replied. Dear Mr Bloomberg, I am not an anybody … a middle of the country farm girl with no college education … but your comments about farming not taking as much “gray matter” as what you do made me want to address this serious misconception you and many in our society seem to have. Farming is not simply planting a seed or feeding an animal

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He’s got a point . .

After President Trump pardoned several individuals a few days ago, reaction from the Democratic Party and the news media was very negative.  However, as Donald Trump Jr. tweeted yesterday: It’s kinda hard to argue with those numbers, isn’t it? Peter

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