Category Archives: Culture

Covid Claims Another Job

She’s ruined her life because she couldn’t conduct herself civilly. “Ruined” too strong… Perhaps “given herself a cautionary tale to tell her grandchildren.”

A white woman who called the police after a black man asked her to put her dog on a leash in New York City’s Central Park has been fired from her job with an investment firm.

Franklin Templeton announced on Twitter on Tuesday it had sacked an employee, “effective immediately”.

“We do not tolerate racism of any kind at Franklin Templeton,” the tweet said.

[…]

Ms Cooper also faced accusations of animal cruelty, after she appeared to choke the animal with its leash while restraining it to call the police. After the video went viral she returned the dog to a shelter.

“The dog is now in our rescue’s care and he is safe and in good health,” the organisation wrote on Facebook.

Her now-deleted LinkedIn and Instagram profiles suggested she might be Canadian.

I highly doubt she is Canadian. Canadians are always nice, aren’t they, eh?

Liberty, but …

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Here’s a part:

In the Wisconsin Constitution’s Declaration of Rights, it reads, “All people are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” That sentence does not end, “but those rights are void if the governor says so.”

Within days, our government stripped us of our most basic rights to freely assemble, practice our religion, use our property, operate a business, move freely, and even visit our own families. In Wisconsin, this was done on the sole authority and discretion of a single man. In other states, the same thing was done by the pen stroke of a single man or woman. And if a person dared to violate the order by simply having guests to their home or playing outside, the full police power of the state was brought to bear to force compliance. Such an arbitrary and cavalier use of police power is the stuff of totalitarian regimes. It does not belong in America.

When we have finally wrested our rights back from the tyrants, we must reform our statutes to ensure that such power may never be levied again under the color of law. Our nation has faced pandemics before and will face them again, but we must never let a health crisis be used an excuse for the wholesale abandonment of the very principles of liberty upon which our nation was founded.

U.S. Restarts Manned Space Program

This is good to see.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX company hopes to make history on Wednesday by launching the first astronauts into space from US soil in nine years, as the billionaire takes the next step in his dream to commercialise space travel.

Donald Trump will be among the spectators at Kennedy space centre in Florida to witness the launch, which has been given the green light despite the coronavirus lockdown.

At 4.33pm (2033 GMT) on Wednesday, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is due to take off from launchpad 39A – the same one the Apollo astronauts used to get to the moon – with the Crew Dragon space capsule on top of it. It is a demonstration of the new “taxi” service Nasa has agreed to buy from Musk’s firm.

Trump Labels Churches Essential

This wouldn’t be the first time that the federal government had to defend constitutional rights from states. Federalism can be messy.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Friday labeled churches and other houses of worship as “essential” and called on governors nationwide to let them reopen this weekend even though some areas remain under coronavirus lockdown.

The president threatened to “override” governors who defy him, but it was unclear what authority he has to do so.

“Governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now — for this weekend,” Trump said at a hastily arranged press conference at the White House. Asked what authority Trump might have to supersede governors, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said she wouldn’t answer a theoretical question.

92% of Arrested Left-Wing Protesters Live with their Parents

I think we all knew this, right?

The vast majority of left-wing protesters arrested on suspicion of politically-fuelled offences in Berlin are young men who live with their parents, a new report found.

The figures, which were published in daily newspaper Bild revealed that 873 suspects were investigated by authorities between 2003 and 2013.

Of these 84 per cent were men, and 72 per cent were aged between 18 and 29.

[…]

A third of them were unemployed, and 92 per cent still live with their parents.

 

Rich New Yorkers Flee

Well, maybe not “rich,” but well off enough to be able to leave. Will they ever come back?

NEW YORK — New York City has long been a cheek-to-jowl town with cramped apartments and determined strivers. But starting in March, as the coronavirus outbreak began, parts of the city emptied out, with many leaving from New York’s wealthiest neighborhoods. Mail-forwarding requests show where a number of them went. Some abandoned the Upper West Side for sunny Miami. Others left Gramercy Park for New Jersey. Some left Brooklyn apartments for California.

In March, the U.S. Postal Service received 56,000 mail-forwarding requests from New York City, more than double the monthly average. In April, the number of requests went up to 81,000, twice the number from a year earlier. Sixty percent of those new requests were for destinations outside the city.

The empty feeling is the most pronounced in Manhattan. In April, a little more than half of those requests for destinations outside New York City originated in Manhattan, led by neighborhoods on the Upper West and Upper East Sides.

Belgians Get Fat

I expect that the results would be similar in the U.S.

A major study by the public science institute Sciensano involving over 40,000 participants said that during the lockdown, twice as many adults had succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle as two years ago. A total of 56.1 percent said they were sitting or at rest for more than 8 of their waking hours. On average, adults are now sitting or resting 8.6 hours during their waking day compared with 5.8 hours two years ago.

A quarter of respondents said they had gained weight while locked inside, with the oven churning out homemade pastries breads and other recipes from long-forgotten cookbooks.

Vegetarians Cheer Meat Supply Disruption

Heh.

Rosenbaum, 23, went vegetarian in 2017 and is one of about 16 million Americans to make the same choice over the past few decades. From 1971 until 2018, the percentage of Americans choosing meat alternatives grew from 1% up to 5%, according to surveys from Harris Interactive and Gallup.

Many vegetarians and animal rights activists believe the COVID-19 pandemic, and how it has ravaged the meat industry, could be a turning point in more Americans joining their meat-free ranks.

Americans eat more meat per capita than any other country.

[…]

Yanz noted her vegan diet amid the pandemic means she’s not experiencing the same woes as other consumers.

“I’m feeling no shortage of anything, except for toilet paper,” she said concerning the few times she’s gone to the grocery store. “We felt no shortage of meats or things like that; I never bought them in the first place.”

Me either. I still have 60 or 70 pounds of venison in the freezer. There’s a nice chili simmering on the stove now. Mmmmm mmmm.

LA Locks Down For Months

It’s becoming pretty clear that these shut down orders are less and less about health and more and more about statists using a pandemic to reorder society and strip us of our civil rights.

LA will keep its stay-at-home orders in place through to August as infections and deaths continue to rise and the county’s health director warned a ‘dramatic change’ is needed before lockdown rules can be relaxed.

LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced during a Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday that the stay-at-home orders will ‘with all certainty’ be extended for the next three months.

Ferrer said the shocking timeline will only change if LA sees a ‘dramatic change to the virus and tools at hand’.

[…]

The City of Angles started relaxing some restrictions last week.

Parks, hiking trails and golf shops reopened Saturday and nonessential businesses started operating curbside pickup.

Beaches are also set to reopen Wednesday but only for surfing, running, walking and swimming, with sunbathing banned and people required to wear masks when not in the water.

Ferrer’s comments suggest any further easing of restrictions could be some time away.

People Dying At Home

More predictable, if unintentional, consequences.

While no reliable statistics are available on how many Americans with non-Covid-related illnesses are avoiding the health system, doctors responding to an informal Twitter poll reported a 40% reduction in heart attack patients. Cigna, the insurance company, said patients were not actively seeking care for urgent health needs, citing significant reductions in hospitalizations for GI bleeds, seizures and appendicitis.

Though it is not known how many people with chronic disease have died in recent weeks, some may be driving up the number of suspected Covid deaths – a grey area of the data that includes people who have died of related health issues.

Fascists Target Wausau Doctor

As I said before, this frenzy is really drawing out the fascists and totalitarians in our midst.

Police have stepped up patrols outside a cardiologist’s home after he was suspended from his job and targeted by vigilantes who exposed him on social media for not social distancing at an anti-lockdown rally in Wisconsin.

Dr. David Murdock, a cardiologist at Aspirus medical group, has been banned from seeing patients for the ‘foreseeable future’ after photos of him flouting social distancing rules and not wearing a mask at a protest last month went viral on Facebook.

The doctor of 33 years was exposed when Kevin Rusch spotted a photo of him in the crowds at the rally and shamed him for breaking the state’s stay-at-home order and putting his patients at risk of exposure to the virus.

Murdock, 68, admitted he attended the event but insisted he was social distancing.

Authorities have now had to step up protection for the Wausau-based medic after someone left a bag of feces on the front steps of his home – part of a growing spate of social distancing vigilantism emerging across the US as the pandemic continues to divide the American people.

Tupac Denied Unemployment

Oops

On Monday, Governor Andy Beshear said dubious claims were slowing the benefits process.

“Can’t be doing that,” he told media.

“We had somebody apply for unemployment for Tupac Shakur here in Kentucky,” Mr Beshear said.

“And that person may have thought they were being funny, they probably did. Except for the fact that because of them, we had to go through so many other claims.”

The criticism came as a shock to Tupac Malik Shakur, 46, who reportedly lives in Lexington, Kentucky, and had worked as a cook before the coronavirus pandemic closed down restaurants.

Mr Shakur, who goes by Malik, filed for unemployment on 13 March and has since waited in vain for his cheque.

New York Mayor’s Fascist Crack Down of Jews

Is this America? Do you want it to be?

‘When I heard, I went there myself to ensure the crowd was dispersed. And what I saw WILL NOT be tolerated so long as we are fighting the Coronavirus.’

The mayor went on to send a stark warning to the community that the police will issue summons and even arrest people flouting social distancing guidelines.

‘My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed,’ he wrote on Twitter.

De Blasio slammed the Jewish community in a Twitter rant Tuesday night after he had broken up the gathering with the NYPD

De Blasio slammed the Jewish community in a Twitter rant Tuesday night after he had broken up the gathering with the NYPD

‘I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.’

De Blasio’s response faced a backlash from some members of the Jewish community who said he was ‘singling out’ the group.

‘This has to be a joke.Did the Mayor of NYC really just single out one specific ethnic community (a community that has been the target of increasing hate crimes in HIS city) as being noncompliant??’ wrote Chaim Deutsch, a City Council member who represents a large Orthodox Jewish population, in a Twitter post.

Government Coronapanic Causing Cancer Deaths

This is happening in the U.S. too. And it’s harming and killing more than cancer sufferers.

Almost 18,000 more people with cancer in England could die after the coronavirus pandemic led hospitals to suspend treatment and deterred patients from seeking NHS care, research has found.

Cancer experts claim that an extra 6,270 people in England who have been newly diagnosed with the disease could die from it over the next 12 months as a direct result of the disruption caused by coronavirus, and the additional toll taking into account all those living with cancer could be 17,915.

That is an increase of 20% on the 89,576 deaths among cancer patients recorded annually in England, according to the latest available statistics.

Fifty years of Earth Day

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online and in print. Go pick up a copy! Here’s a taste:

The second consequence of the radicalization of the environmentalist movement that the COVID pandemic has revealed is just what zealots they are. For example, as oil prices crashed and American oil workers were losing their jobs, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez celebrated their demise as an advance for green infrastructure. She wasn’t the only one. As global economic paralysis has decreased pollution, radical environmentalists all over the world celebrated it and advocated for keeping the economy shut down for the sake of the environment.

Nothing highlights the extremism of these radical environmentalists as the fact that they welcome economic calamity for tens of millions of Americans and billions of people around the world for the sake of the environment. At the root of the philosophy is a loathing of humankind. In their world view, they would perpetuate a permanent lockdown of modern life. Mass unemployment, economic decline, and universal poverty are not only the price of a pristine environment, but the penance for humanity’s existence.

Reasonable environmental stewardship is an American virtue, but we must reject the extremism that would usher in the permanent retraction of our modern civilization.

Teacher Tells Kids that She Hopes they Die

If there is one thing that this pandemic has shown us, it is who the bullies and totalitarians are in our society. When this is all over, I’m going to remember who stood up for freedom and who didn’t. I hope you do too.

A New Jersey math teacher is under fire after she told a group of teenagers playing football to ‘die a long, painful death’ from coronavirus.

The Steinert High School staffer, identified by The Trentonian as Nicole Griggs, became enraged at students last Thursday after they apparently flouted the state’s stay-at-home orders.

Cell phone footage of the incident shows Griggs standing behind a chain link fence at a local park as she screamed at the teenagers.

‘Am I screaming loud enough that you can hear me over her music? ‘Parks closed. You will get arrested if the cops come.” Griggs said.

After one boy asked if the group can move to a nearby location, Griggs began to unabashedly scold the group.

‘Parks closed. The whole area. Get it through your thick head,’ she yelled.

‘You are the reason we are in this situation. You are the problem, not the solution.’

Griggs then said she doesn’t care that the teenagers are recording the exchange and encouraged them to share it on social media.

‘Go ahead keep recording. Who are you going to show it to? Post me on social media. You’re the idiot doing the wrong thing.

‘I’m just trying to save your a** and save your life. But die, OK. I hope both of you get the coronavirus. I hope you both die a long, painful death.’

Freedom Protests in Madison Today

Good!

People planning to rally Friday against Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order say they will proceed, even though their permit to hold it on Capitol grounds, was denied.

Similar to the rally in Brookfield last Saturday, the one scheduled in Madison is expected to be much bigger. It has the potential to be the largest to date in Wisconsin, with thousands saying on Facebook that they’re going. Nearly 12,000 more say they’re interested in going.

TMJ4 News has learned that some protestors are planning to stay in their cars for a “drive-in” rally. They’ll circle the streets surrounding the Capitol. Still, many plan to get out of their vehicles for a more traditional protest.

“I’m just trying to make sure that we uphold the constitution, and to have our rights protected as Americans,” said one mother from Oak Creek who plans to be in Madison for the protest

I hope they remain safe and take reasonable measures, but huzzah for people sticking up for our rights.

I do think it’s very telling what these folks are protesting versus what the liberals in Wisconsin protesting just a few years ago.

Huge demonstrations were planned for Thursday after protesters marched for three straight days—with crowds up to 20,000 hitting the capital Wednesday—to rail against Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget. While the budget calls for a 7 percent pay reduction for public employees—mainly by forcing workers to pay more into to health insurance and pensions—the biggest bone of contention for workers is the governor’s proposed end to collective bargaining rights for unions. School districts were forced to close Thursday after a massive “sickout” by teachers and the union called on all 98,000 of its members to attend rallies at the capital. Hundreds of University of Wisconsin students also joined in Wednesday, in support of teachers and against a part of the budget that calls to split UW-Madison from the rest of the University of Wisconsin system.

The group today is protesting to preserve their rights to speech, assembly, work, movement, jury trials, and other rights that we used to hold sacred. You won’t see any lefties in the protest today. They only get out of bed to protest when someone threatens the taxpayer gravy train.

Hartford to Reopen Despite Governor’s Unconstitutional Orders

Huzzah for the city leaders in Hartford and the Washington County Sheriff.

HARTFORD — In what Mayor Tim Michalak said could be the biggest decision ever made by the Common Council, aldermen on Tuesday night unanimously agreed to have city staff create a plan to reopen city buildings and services no later than Monday and try to gradually bring them back to normal levels.

“We want the local businesses to also know the police department will not be overtly enforcing the state ‘stay at home’ order,” Michalak said. “Our department will be enforcing criminal and traffic laws.”

City officials said local businesses could reopen after that date “at their own risk and after careful consideration and consultation with their insurance agent and with customers.” The decision comes despite Gov. Tony Evers’ recent announcement to extend the Safer at Home order and other state-imposed rules to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

[…]

“It’s time we do something. We can’t let this go on another month without opening up.”

Michalak said the city is not telling businesses to open up, but city officials are not going to kick in their door if they decide to do it and Washington County Sheriff Martin Schulteis has backed the city up in this decision.

“When it comes to the different communities he said he is going to follow ‘home rule,’ which means if they have their own Police Department he will allow that department to enforce the rules and or take action,” Michalak said. ‘We are saying we’re not going to be the boot that’s on their neck.’

The mayor said he has received numerous phone calls and emails from business owners who said they are faced with possibly closing their doors for good if the state-imposed orders are allowed to continue.

“We’re going to open the library and we’re going to open the public buildings,” Michalak said. “If we don’t do something soon to help our local

businesses we could see another depression. We need to bring freedom back to Hartford.”

Opening America

It feels like we are seeing those early rays of light before the dawn.

Suffering for thee, but not for me

Here is my full column that ran in the Washington County Daily News yesterday.

As Governor Tony Evers extended his despotic rule for another month, abrogated our civil rights, and pushed Wisconsin further into an economic depression, he had the audacity to tweet, “we have to remember that we’re all in this together.” Nothing could be further from the truth and the heavy hand of government oppression puts the difference between public and private America into stark relief.

Throughout Wisconsin, private-sector employees are feeling the full brunt of Governor Evers’ haphazard and tyrannical rule. Every day, we wake up to see what new decree might have been announced from Madison to control or crush some other aspect of our lives. Many businesses have already been devastated and been forced to terminate people’s employment and cut back pay and benefits for the employees who remain.

Harley-Davidson laid off the majority of its production employees. For those who are still working, they had to cut salaries, cancel merit increases, and reduce other expenses. Kohl’s Department Stores has closed all of its stores and furloughed most of its store and corporate employees. Thousands of hotels, restaurants, and other businesses across the state have closed or drastically cut back operations. All of their employees are either out of work or seeing reduced wages.

The results of this are hitting families hard. An estimate from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development says that Wisconsin’s unemployment rate has reached 27%. For some perspective, at the peak of the Great Depression, the nation’s unemployment rate was 24.9%.

In response to the economic and societal devastation being wrought from the governor’s mansion (provided by the taxpayers), private- sector leaders are standing in solidarity with their employees. The CEOs of Harley-Davidson and Kohl’s are both forgoing their salaries. Boards of directors and executives across the state are forgoing or heavily cutting their salaries and benefits to help preserve money for more employees. For small-business owners, many of them do not have a choice. They are being bankrupted and seeing their life’s work obliterated underneath them.

All of these people are “in this together.” Is Governor Evers? Is his staff? What about other government workers?

While private-sector employees are feeling the pain, Governor Evers, his staff, and other government leaders are completely unaffected by the draconian orders they are issuing and enforcing. Their biggest pain is that they are slightly inconvenienced by not being able to go out to dinner or see a movie. That is the extent of their “sacrifice” during these unprecedented times. While Wisconsinites suffer, Governor Evers, his staff, Cabinet secretaries, their staffs, and virtually every other state employee continues to receive their full salaries, comprehensive benefits, and guaranteed retirements – all courtesy of the taxpayers that Governors Evers is subjugating. Last year, Governor Evers gave double-digit salary increases to many of his key Cabinet secretaries. They are all still cashing those bloated paychecks while looking forward to their cushy retirements.

Governor Evers continues to be paid his $152,756 per year with full benefits and a taxpayer-funded mansion. He hasn’t even offered to forgo any of HIS pay as he mocks Wisconsin’s unemployed with tweets saying “we’re all in this together.” Clearly, we are not. Some animals are more equal than others.

One of the many impacts of Evers’ forced shutdown is that government revenue has collapsed. The money the state confiscates in the form of sales, income, and business taxes will not be anywhere near enough to pay for Wisconsin’s distended government. Even knowing this, Evers has not lifted a finger to begin to lessen the cost of government to match the people’s ability to pay. There are only three things one can do to balance a budget – cut spending, raise taxes, or borrow money. Evers is already signaling that he will not cut spending – especially his own paycheck. Wisconsinites better prepare for the other two.

Thomas Paine, in his incomparable “Common Sense,” wrote that government is “in its worst state an intolerable one … our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer.” Wisconsinites’ suffering is made all the more worse by the fact that while our livelihoods are being destroyed, we are being forced to pay the full cost of the government causing it.