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  • Archive for December, 2020

    New Year’s Eve, 2020/21

    Posted by David Foster on 31st December 2020 (All posts by )

    A thought from the late and very great Neptunus Lex:

    “I’ve often wished that you could split at each important choice in life. Go both ways, each time a fork in the road came up. Compare notes at the end, those of us that made it to the clearing at the end of the path. Tell it all over a tumbler of smokey, single malt.”

    Posted in Deep Thoughts, Holidays | 36 Comments »

    Welcome Wagon – Progress Note II

    Posted by TM Lutas on 31st December 2020 (All posts by )

    I’m currently soliciting for source material and authors to write material for the Welcome Wagon on Quora. You can see that here.

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment »

    Streaming Note: What Killed Michael Brown?

    Posted by Ginny on 31st December 2020 (All posts by )

    We’re pretty cheap, so it took a celebratory night (46 years of fairly amiable tolerance of one another) to splurge on Prime’s “stream for pay” documentary: Shelby Steele’s What Killed Michael Brown?. We’d seen reviews* that sounded interesting. Steele’s voice and perspective define the film; it is directed by his son, Eli. It is polished, its music, use of historical footage smooth.

    He interviews citizens from Ferguson, he compiles a brief but clear description of that fatal afternoon, uses clips of George Stephanopoulos’ interview of Darren Wilson. He notes Holder’s arrival in Ferguson after the shooting, the response of residents to his statements. A repeated presence is Al Sharpton, who seems to represent those who force incidents into patterns presented as “poetic truth” – prejudged, premade narratives that ignore the shifts in culture (and reality) over a hundred years. While the central focus is the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, it interweaves personal narrative to quietly honor the strength and integrity of his father’s choices. He traces his parents’ lives (we see the Kentucky community in which his father was born in 1900 and from which he joined the great northern migration as an orphaned boy at 14; by emphasizing the house ownership rate in the black communities of his youth and showing houses his parents bought in the forties and fifties in Chicago, he tells us much about a culture and a time, about the incremental nature but powerful force of economic liberty and responsibility). Less of his own life is described, but, born in 1946, he lived through the transition: he came of age in the Great Society era: we hear LBJ, we see the projects when as a young man he worked in St. Louis, and we see them implode.

    But the touchstone for him lies in his parents’ choices: their civil rights activism reflected their values in the forties and fifties as were their hard-won and steady movement toward a secure home. He returns to the self-made man, a concept central to his father’s life as it had been to Frederick Douglass, two generations before. His argument, characteristic of a Hoover scholar, is familiar, if subtle, personal and complex. His father was not helpless, but the Great Society assumed helplessness; that assumption was destructive but accepting it was also a choice and also destructive. Steele seems intent on communicating what he has learned over a long lifetime, wisdom and appreciation that connects his father, his own maturation, and the present to the importance of making one’s self, accepting agency. (* Links of reviews below fold.)
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Biography, Current Events, History, Video | 7 Comments »

    4284 Characters

    Posted by David Foster on 29th December 2020 (All posts by )

    A description of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine and how it works.

    Source code for a vaccine?  Well, as Glenn Reynolds likes to say, this is the 21st century.

    Posted in Health Care, Medicine, Science, Tech | 23 Comments »

    Anchorites

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 29th December 2020 (All posts by )

    We are commanded by our so-called experts in this age of the Chinese Corona Crud, to live the enclosed life as a sort of secular anchorite, walled into our little singular cells, supplied by regular deliveries passed in through one narrow passage to the outside, and to spend our days contemplating the televised media worship of the narrative du jour through the window into the shrine of our authoritative masters. Or at least, those who call themselves our masters, although I am certain that’s not the term which they use for themselves. ‘Experts’, ‘scientists’ ‘elected* leaders’ – that’s probably how they term themselves, commanding us to stay at home, eschew social gatherings (although violent BLMAntifa protests are perfectly OK), church services, seeing a movie, getting sit-down dinner inside a restaurant, walking in a public park, hanging out on a beach … all through fear of the rampaging and almost-always-fatal Chinese Corona Crud. To add insult to the injury, those political leaders, to a man, woman and whatever, don’t seem to feel any need to observe their own dictates; traveling freely to their vacation homes, meeting up for holidays with family, going out to supper with friends to the French Laundry, getting haircuts, and omitting the wear of what I’ve begun to call the FFD (the F**king Face Diaper). Really, it’s as if they are getting their jollies out of flaunting their authority and privilege in our FFD’d faces. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Business, Civil Society, Current Events, Predictions, USA | 33 Comments »

    Random Pic

    Posted by Jonathan on 28th December 2020 (All posts by )

    Posted in Photos | 2 Comments »

    Christmas 2020

    Posted by David Foster on 24th December 2020 (All posts by )

    Newgrange is an ancient structure in Ireland so constructed that the sun, at the exact time of the winter solstice, shines directly down a long corridor and illuminates the inner chamber. More about Newgrange here and here.

    Grim has an Arthurian passage about the Solstice.

    Don Sensing has thoughts astronomical, historical, and theological about the Star of Bethlehem.

    Vienna Boys Choir, from Maggie’s Farm

    Snowflakes and snow crystals, from Cal Tech. Lots of great photos

    In the bleak midwinter, from King’s College Cambridge

    The first radio broadcast of voice and music took place on Christmas Eve, 1906. (although there is debate about the historical veracity of this story)

    An air traffic control version of  The Night Before Christmas.

    O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, sung by Enya

    Gerard Manley Hopkins

    A Christmas-appropriate poem from Rudyard Kipling

    I was curious as to what the oldest Christmas carol might be:  this Billboard article suggests some possibilities.

    The story of electric Christmas tree lights

    Mona Charen, who is Jewish, wonders  what’s going on with the Christians?

    The 2017 Christmas season, in combination with the Churchill movie Darkest Hour, reminded me something written by the French author Georges Bernanos:  A Tale for Children.

    Here’s a passage I’ve always liked from Thomas Pynchon’s great novel Gravity’s Rainbow.  The setting: it is the grim winter of 1944, just before Christmas. The military situation in Europe is not good, and WWII seems as if it will never end. London is under attack by V-2 rockets and V-1 cruise missiles (as they would be called today.) Roger and Jessica, two of the main characters, are driving in a rural area in England and come upon a church where carols are being sung. They decide to go inside.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Christianity, History, Holidays, Miscellaneous, Music, Poetry | 5 Comments »

    Things Politicians Like: Alternate Covid Care Facilities

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 22nd December 2020 (All posts by )

    When the books are written about Covid and 2020, I hope to buy the one that lists everything that was dumb and wrong. I feel that at the top of the list would be the lust for politicians to show that they are “doing something” with the alternate care facilities.

    This whole thing started with Cuomo and the big ass boat that parked in New York harbor, that ended up treating a hilariously low total of 182 patients before (I assume) the Navy said “f this”. I think New York also did the Javits Center and that also shut down pretty quickly. I still remember laughing at Cuomo when he was all but crying “we need fohty tousand ventuhlatuhs”. Of course, we now know that most of the people on ventuhlatuhs were getting their lungs blown up, but I digress.

    Governor “you all stay home but myself and my family can do whatever they want during Covid” Pritzker of Illinois and Chicago Mayor Lori “lockdown for you, unless you are blowing up the city or going to a Joe Biden rally” Lightfoot gave each other a high five (figuratively) when they opened up McCormick Place to see Covid patients. A cool $81 million to treat 38 patients. That’s $2,131,578.95 each.

    Recently the governor of Wisconsin, “one term” Tony Evers opened up an Alternate Care Facility outside of Milwaukee, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park. I have been watching the patient count there – you can too, right here. From Saturday to Sunday, there was an insane increase of 20% (!!!) of patients. While this sounds menacing, we went from five to six in reality (see, I can do covid pOrn just as good as the media). Since then we have had a FIFTY percent reduction in patients at that facility, from six down to three. I would assume that this place will also shut down fairly soon. But good on the docs and nurses there, I am sure they are catching up on some reading, knitting and whatever else they haven’t been able to get to as of late.

    Posted in COVID-19 | 20 Comments »

    New Cousin

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on 21st December 2020 (All posts by )

    Finding new relatives that no one in the family talked about or perhaps even knew about is one of the risks/joys/adventures of having a DNA test done.  I have a new relative, just a little younger than me, positioned somewhere between first and second cousin. She was a closed adoption in Ellsworth, ME in 1958.  Only two other listed relatives on her paternal side, both quite remote. She messaged me on Ancestry.com.  People are quite tentative about this, with good reason.  Folks don’t want to hear about extra babies born who were hushed up at the time.  I think I have mentioned before that we have that situation with our adopted nephew/fifth son.  His mother was a closed adoption in 1967.  He has a very close DNA match that we have narrowed down to be his grandmother’s sister. We asked her for details and received the reply that no women in her family had a baby in Cambridge in that year.  They were all in California the whole time.  So we still don’t know, though another match on that line might tell us which girl went away to “summer camp” that year.

    It is uncomfortable.  It became clear that this new cousin must be a child of one of my grandparents or one of their siblings. On that side, my grandfather had four brothers and my grandmother was an only child, so I assumed at first that that side was more likely.  But the centiMorgans of the common relatives did not come close to matching.  We concluded at first that my grandfather must also be her grandfather, with an unknown son born around 1920 or so.  As Ellsworth is across the bay from Nova Scotia, that made some sense.  So…Grampa…he is long gone, died in 1983.  I knew him a bit and it did bother me just a touch.  I worried it might bother some other people more.  What to do?  What to say? How do you ask such questions without giving away the suspicions?

    The woman is working with Search Angels, which helps people locate birth parents.  I spoke with them trying to narrow the places and dates, but it still didn’t add up.  I don’t have a huge number of DNA matches on that side but I have some, but she was not showing up as connected to them at all.  Which is impossible. We cast about until the person (from San Diego) mentioned that it must still be him because he had lived in Westford and her distant connections were from Leominster (he mispronounced it) which was so nearby. Ah, that was the key.  It wasn’t my grandfather from Nova Scotia at all, it was his first wife, from Leominster, whose family had been in that area (Fitchburg, Shirley) for generations. She died youngish in 1952 and I never knew her. I actually had a hard time talking him into that, but it made sense to me. So she had a child before marrying Carl, who was a very silent person.  I never heard him mention her.  Or much of anything else, actually. I don’t know if he even knew about the boy.

    That boy in turn was the father of my cousin, born two states and 300 miles away, so she has two mysteries to solve to place herself in the genetic world accurately. I hope to meet her after all this avoidance of contact is over. My father had a half-brother he never knew about, and I have a half-first-cousin I just learned about, and it is time to close the circle.

    Posted in Miscellaneous | 19 Comments »

    What will Trump do after January 20, 2021 ?

    Posted by Michael Kennedy on 18th December 2020 (All posts by )

    It is quite unlikely that the election fraud can be reversed before Biden is sworn in. I don’t expect any of the nonsense the left has been predicting if that occurs. Trump will leave office peacefully but will not attend the “inauguration,” which will probably be “virtual” anyway.

    What will he do next ? He is the titular head of the Republican Party, and the choice of 98% of the 75 million voters who supported him. He got 10 million additional votes this year compared to 2016.

    Here is one observation.;

    Trump may or may not purposely dominate the political scene in the background as Teddy Roosevelt did from 1909 – 1912 and then run again in 2024, but I argue that Trumpism will dominate the scene for a long time to come, and that any successful GOP presidential nominee will need to be a Trumpist. I go further, in fact, and believe the shuffling of the issue map and the realignment of voting coalitions are as substantial as FDR and the New Deal—and it took FDR four terms to effect that change.

    I don’t see Trump running again in 2024. He will be as old as Biden is now and, while he is a good deal healthier than Biden is, the party will need new blood to carry on. What then?

    This does not seem realistic.

    “I received a call from President Trump last week. We chatted about the election briefly [and] he made it clear that he wasn’t giving up on fighting for a second term,” said Eric Bolling, a Sinclair host and friend of the Trump family who appeared on Trump’s reality TV show years ago. “I mentioned to him that I believe whatever happens with the legal fights, he would emerge as the biggest media personality on the planet. Trump has a clear opportunity to be a media mega-personality post-presidency.” 

    “I think an Apprentice/Celebrity Apprentice revival would be a humongous hit,” Bolling added. “This iteration would be ratings gold for whomever is fortunate enough to get the reboot.”

    That is the least likely possibility, in my opinion.

    What else?

    I’d rather see Trump get involved with something like Newsmax or just generally working to increase the conservative footprint in news media. Since Fox News has become sort of like the Justice Roberts of the news world, there’s a very real opportunity to capture a very large and underserved audience. And with the tech monopolists brazenly practicing story suppression for the Dems, it’s more important than ever.

    That is a thought. How about this ?

    In my opinion Trump should get together with someone like Vince McMahon and invest in something like Parler, expand the platform to take on twitter and facebook simultaneously. I’d bet taking them down a peg or two would be two would be very satisfying to him, and it would be a huge platform if it worked.

    There is a good chance that he will be blocked on Twitter after he leaves office, although Twitter would be foolish to do so financially. Parler is an alternative, as iWe is an alternative to Facebook. I have joined both but not used them significantly. I never joined Twitter and have used Facebook mostly for baby pictures and the like.

    Would he stay in the hotel business ? His kids have been running much of that the past five years and , while some like Ivanka might have political ambitions, I don’t see him getting back into development. My personal opinion is that the consequences of the virus and the insane reaction by Democrat Mayors and Governors have killed many cities. New York City is bleeding emigrants.

    It will be interesting to see if he chooses to supervise the transition of the GOP from a corporate, Chamber of Commerce, party to a populist one. I think that is coming and he is the likely one to lead it. Third parties do not do well in our binary system. The old Republican Party, and many of its stalwarts, like Mitch McConnell, seem out of date, if not beholden to China. Ross Perot and Sarah Palin were warnings ignored. The Tea Party was an attempt that failed because they (we) lacked leadership. Obama went after the Tea Party with every department of the federal government weaponized. It resembled the assault on Trump the past four years in intensity and motive.

    What if the country starts to separate? If the leftist radicals behind Biden try to enact their agenda, their real agenda, we could see a cold Civil War. They would be foolish to pick a hot one with the segment of the population that is comprised of most military veterans and which owns 350 million guns. A book written about such a peaceful separation is “America 3.0”

    The analysis of American history is worth the price of the book and the time to read it. I wish the recommendations for recovery were more likely to be adopted. There are some excellent points about future trends, as in medicine for example. I like some of the suggestions for defense policy. The whole thing is a nice exercise in predicting the future. I just wish it would happen that way. I previously reviewed George Friedman’s  The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century . I think I like this one better and highly recommend it.

    I was not optimistic about their suggestions in 2013 but then world has changed markedly since then. We could end up with a country that has blue crusts on each coast. The rest solid red. Chicago is a blue island that is failing. Maybe Canada would take them.

    Posted in America 3.0, Big Government, Trump | 74 Comments »

    Whom Do You Trust?

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 16th December 2020 (All posts by )

    Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going? Whom do you serve – and whom do you trust?! – TV Series Crusade

    I’m an American, of mostly Anglo-English descent, who mostly wants to be left alone to pursue happiness and a modicum of fame as a writer of historical or comic fiction. Frankly, if I am going anywhere, it’s slightly crazy, and as for whom I serve, my family, good friends and close neighbors, more or less in that order. As for whom I trust …

    Not as many as I once did. One by one by one, the people and institutions which I once assumed to be competent, honest, and worthy of my trust and respect have revealed themselves to be corrupt, shallow, incompetent, partisan and cynical users of those ordinary American citizens like me. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Americas, Anti-Americanism, Civil Society, Conservatism, Current Events, Leftism, Society, Tea Party, Trump | 128 Comments »

    Undeceptions Series

    Posted by Assistant Village Idiot on 14th December 2020 (All posts by )

    C.S.Lewis wrote about self-deception throughout his career. It was his belief that the illusions we embraced did not only damage us spiritually, but impaired our ability to reason. Under the influence of personally convenient myths, we gradually can no longer even know simple things. Ideas which appear at first glance to be intellectual errors are revealed under examination to be something more emotional, more spiritual, more psychological. When I first began reading him I recognised not only the errors of others, but very quickly, favorite little theories of mine that were exploded in a minute under the force of his logic. His logic is a force, yes. Not always pleasant, but often profitable. In my twenties I considered it a challenge to my courage whether I would pick up another of his books.

    Enjoyable, though. Fun, even, and quite quotable. You can use him to expose the ideas of others even if you have an ability to dart sideways yourself.

    Not everyone here is a fan of Lewis, so I have no intention of cluttering up the front page here with a series of essays on him. However, I do link to the whole group for those who have interest.

    1. Undeceptions 

    2. Undeceptions II – Biographical Notes 

    3. Self-Deception 

    4. Undeceptions III 

    5. Undeceptions IV – The Ransom Trilogy and The Great Divorce

    6. Undeceptions V 

    7. Undeceptions VI – Till We Have Faces 

    8. That Hideous Strength.  Not actually part of the series but added in for convenience

    9. Self-Deception Anecdote. A later addition.

    Posted in Human Behavior | 4 Comments »

    Auto Sellers Inventory Question

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 14th December 2020 (All posts by )

    I drive an Acura MDX and the dealership keeps sending me emails begging me to take a 2020 at a super duper deal. I am patiently waiting for the 2021 version to come out as it has many improvements, supposedly. I drive by the dealership on the way home and they have a LOT of 2020’s in their lot. Does anyone reading this know if the dealership actually owns that inventory or if it is consignment? Any way you slice it, that’s a lot of aging, expensive cars sitting around.

    Posted in Business | 8 Comments »

    Random Pic

    Posted by Jonathan on 11th December 2020 (All posts by )

    train running on time with full color coordination

    Posted in Photos | 5 Comments »

    Living in the Hate of the Common People

    Posted by David Foster on 9th December 2020 (All posts by )

    Someone at a social media site, who I will not dignify with a link, wrote:

    I think we need to find a way to stop the working class from voting altogether.

    This individual, who is in the UK and is obviously a furious anti-Brexiter, also wrote:

    Idiots and racists shouldn’t be able to ruin the lives of people who do well in life by voting for things they don’t understand. The problem in this country boils down to low information morons having the ability to vote.

    The above attitude reminds me of something written by that great historian and social analyst Harry Flashman, describing how people of his aristocratic class viewed the workers of the Chartist movement, circa 1848:

    You have no notion, today, how high feeling ran; the mill-folk were the enemy then, as though they were Frenchmen or Afghans.

    There are people in the US who have similar views of politics, only with reference to Trump voters rather than to Brexit.  Many Democrats, and especially ‘progressives’, assume and assert that Trump voters are ignorant people who are failing economically.  It is difficult for them to credit that there are quite a few Trump voters who are educated and thoughtful, and who in some cases are quite successful in career/economics terms…if such people exist, it is assumed that they must either be an insignificant minority or devious malefactors who are manipulating the ignorant masses in their own self-interest.

    An example of this attitude appeared on MSNBC back in August, with anchor Chris Hayes and Washington Post writer Dave Weigel avidly agreeing with one another about the characteristics of Trump supporters (of whom they don’t approve)…men without a college degree who have enough income to buy a boat (Hayes qualifies it as *white* men).  Personally, I tend to *admire* people who have managed to do ok or very well for themselves without the benefit of a college credential. (And anyone believing that a college degree necessarily implies that an individual has acquired a broad base of knowledge and thinking skills hasn’t been paying very good attention of late.)

    The snobbery we are seeing today is partly income-based. it is partly based on a faux-aristocratic contempt for people who work with their hands, and it is…more than any other single factor, I think…credential-based.

    Indeed, education-based credentials seem increasingly to fill the social role once filled by family connections.  In his outstanding autobiography, Tom Watson Jr of IBM mentions that in his youth he was interested in a local girl, but her mother forbade her to have anything to do with him because he didn’t come from an Old Family…the fact that his father was the founder of IBM, already a successful and prominent company, evidently wasn’t a substitute.  Such ‘really, not our sort’ thinking would today be more likely based on the college one attended than based on family lineage.

    Those expressing such attitudes exist in the Democratic Party in parallel with those who talk about their great concern for Working People. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, for example, talked just recently about how physically tiring her work as a bartendress had been…and I don’t doubt that this was so…and asserted that Republicans don’t tend to have any experience doing such jobs.  Yet this same AOC posted a picture of her staring angrily at Joe Manchin–who one might think she would have considered as a possible ally on behalf of Working People–because he dared to question any Defund the Police policy.  And this same AOC helped ensure that Amazon, with the jobs it would have brought for those Working People, was not made welcome in her district.

    It appears that a lot of those to whom the we-care-about-working-people message is targeted aren’t believing it.

    (I’m not fond of the term ‘working class’, btw, it implies a fixed social structure and lack of mobility which is alien to American ideas.  The fact that Class terminology has become so common is a worrisome indicator.)

    Discuss, if so inclined.

     

    (classic song reference in the title)

     

    Posted in Academia, Britain, Education, Europe, Leftism, Society, Trump, USA | 134 Comments »

    Industrial Distribution – A Positive Update

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 7th December 2020 (All posts by )

    I own an HVAC distributor – HVAC distribution is a subset of industrial distribution, at least in the US. I have been trying to give our readers some “boots on the ground” updates as we have been winding our way through a hectic 2020 with the virus.

    All along the main problem for us has been finished goods. I thought when all of the shutdowns started happening that parts and pieces would be the main issue as a lot of that comes from “over there”. Not the case. Parts were never really a problem.

    LTL and parcels were and continue to be an issue. The stuff shows up, but it is always late and we are seeing very poor quality work with damaged skids, missing boxes and the like. Not horrible, but everything is slow.

    American factories, where most of the HVAC that is consumed in the USA is made, had immediate and lasting issues brought about by a few things. Covid safety procedures made people space out on assembly lines, slowing them down. People working from home and not able to go on vacation decided to invest that money into new HVAC systems (they also upgraded plumbing, roofing, electrical, etc). Add to this a relatively hot Summer and demand was quickly outstripping supply. All I did the past six months was work contacts, and try to source equipment from anyone who would sell it. I used many non-traditional partners (more on this in a minute) but it was job number one to keep our contractors moving. I have never worked so hard in my life trying to keep the barns full.

    Over the last month or so, shipments have been much more freely arriving from the factories, taking a major load off of my shoulders. I don’t know if suppliers cancelled orders (I’m guessing some, but not a lot) or if the factories just said “to hell with this” and started crowding the assembly lines back to normal (maybe) or if everyone who was going to get the crud already had it (no clue). Probably some stuff I am missing too. I guess I don’t really care, but I know that my barns are full again, with just a few exceptions, which is normal for this time of year. Hooray!

    MERV 13 filters, you can fuggedaboudit. 4-6 month lead time. I don’t expect that to change any time soon, but you never know. It was always a small portion of our volume anyways. Most people are moving to MERV 11 (lead times extending, naturally) or our stock MERV 10.

    As far as the non traditional partners go, it was interesting to do business with different people and through different channels when I was sourcing product any way possible. I have made some new friends and business partners who I think will help me in my business plans over the next few years. I found some deals I didn’t know existed and met some knowledgeable people (virtually), one of whom I may start trying to recruit. These new business avenues were a pleasant surprise in the hell I was living in last Summer.

    I am happy to report that coming to work, with the exception of me wearing a mask in my office, is just about what it was like in December of last year. We are very fortunate to be an essential business but yikes, what a ton of work 2020 has been. I need a vacation, but doubt that will be happening until we get the vaccines distributed as things are still pretty fluid with staffing and such but finally – finally – there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel.

    Posted in Business, COVID-19 | 15 Comments »

    Santa Arriving, Texas-Style

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 6th December 2020 (All posts by )

    (Yesterday, at noon, at Christmas on the Square, in Goliad. A wonderful time was had by all, even the very tame longhorn.)

    Posted in Holidays, Photos | 11 Comments »

    Net Novostey v “Pravde” i net pravdy v “Isvestihakh

    Posted by Sgt. Mom on 4th December 2020 (All posts by )

    The bitter Soviet-era joke about the honesty and reliability of their major news organs translates as “There is no news in Pravda and no truth in Izvestia” – Pravda (Truth) being the official newspaper of the Russian Communist Party, and Izvestia (The News) was the official government newspaper. Teasing out actual tidbits of accurate and relevant information from those two sources may have been the most popular indoor sport for decades among Russians, after chess, depressing novels and drinking heavily. Pravda and Izvestia told the citizens of Soviet Russia only what the top-tier authorities wanted ordinary people to know about – anything contrary to the interests of party and government was deliberately omitted. Any embarrassing civic disasters with a high casualty count, sexual peccadillos on the part of the Party elite, and serial killers on the prowl – news coverage of that kind of event or development was firmly squelched, as things like that just didn’t happen in the perfect Soviet worker paradise. Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in Big Government, Civil Society, Conservatism, Elections, Leftism, Media, Politics, Russia, USA | 56 Comments »

    If the Battle of Waterloo was Won on the Playing Fields of Eton…

    Posted by David Foster on 2nd December 2020 (All posts by )

    ….as the Duke of Wellington has been quoted as saying, then what battles are being won and lost at Eton College today?

    See also:

    A petition from some of the boys at Eton in defense of their teacher.

    The video itself, which I have not yet watched.

    Posted in Britain, Education, Feminism, History, Quotations | 28 Comments »

    Vitamin D

    Posted by Dan from Madison on 2nd December 2020 (All posts by )

    When the ‘rona began here in the US, the first thought I had was that those with vitamin D deficiencies were going to get ‘rona easier and probably have a harder time if they do get it than those who are not vitamin D deficient. I’m not a doctor by any stretch, but I do know that Vitamin D helps the immune system. It appears that my original thoughts were correct.

    I take a multi vitamin daily that has 1,000 IU of Vitamin D3, which according to the label is 250% of my recommended daily intake. The Mayo Clinic recommends 600 IU/day. Mr. Manifold in the post below is quoted thusly:

    Essentially everyone in the population should take 4000 IU (100 mcg) of vitamin D₃ per day, and many people should take 10,000 IU (250 mcg).

    No links are provided to support his recommendation, however I have heard of others in my immediate circle who are jacking their intake to 4,000 IU.

    I surfed around a bit and of course found conflicting info. Does anyone reading this have concrete proof/evidence of how many IU/day a normal, healthy middle aged guy should have?

    Posted in COVID-19, Health Care | 21 Comments »