Some Of Our Elected Representatives Have Forgotten Who Elected Them

On Tuesday, The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about some recent comments made by Michigan Democrats regarding the education of children.

The article reports:

Michigan Democrats were heavily criticized over the weekend for telling parents that they are not ‘clients’ of public schools and that public education teaches kids what society ‘needs them to know.’  

A Facebook post on Saturday shared by the state’s Democrats on their official page blasted the idea that parents should be involved in what public school teach their children. The post was taken down on Monday morning following heavy disapproval.

This is the post that was taken down:

In case you can’t read the small print, this is what it says:

‘Not sure where this “parents-should-control-what-is-taught-in-schools-because-they-are-our-kids” is originating, but parents do have the option to send their kids to a hand-selected private school at their own expense if this is what they desire.

The purpose of a public education in a public school is not to teach kids only what parents want them to be taught. It is to teach them what society needs them to know. The client of the public school is not the parent, but the entire community, the public”

There was a time when elected officials considered themselves ‘public servants.’ It seems as if we have lost that concept. The parents have every right to tell schools what to teach. Almost all parents want their children to graduate with a basic knowledge of math, reading, and history. It is not too much to ask that our schools prepare our children to become contributing members of American society. By the time a child graduates from high school, he should know how to fill out a job application, how to balance a checkbook (manually or on a computer), how to create a budget, and generally how to take care of himself. That’s why home economics and shop used to be taught in school. We need to go back to the concept of actually teaching our children things that are useful in navigating the world around them.

Is A Refusal To Answer An Answer?

There are many Americans who believe that a lot of what we saw on January 6th was a false flag operation. The fact that no one can explain why President Trump’s request for the National Guard was denied adds to that suspicion. The fact that Roy Epps mysteriously disappeared from the FBI’s Most Wanted List after being seen on video telling people to go into the Capitol also adds to that suspicion. A Congressional Hearing on Tuesday added further fuel to the suspicion that January 6th was a set-up.

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article on Tuesday about the Congressional Hearing. The article reports:

An FBI agent refused to give answers on Tuesday as to who Ray Epps is and whether any agents or informants participated in any capacity in the January 6 Capitol riot.

Senator Ted Cruz demanded to know the level of involvement, if any, the agency had in the deadly attack last year and wanted to know more about an ex-Marine accused of being an FBI plant sent to help incite the events last year.

‘How many FBI agents or confidential informants actively participated in the events of January 6th?’ Cruz asked the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director of the National Security Branch Jill Sanborn during a hearing on domestic violence threats on Tuesday.

‘Sir, I’m sure you can appreciate that I can’t go into the specifics of sources and methods –’ Sanborn began, but was cut off but Cruz re-asking the same question.

‘I can’t answer that,’ said Sanborn, who joined the hearing virtually.

‘Did any FBI agents or confidential informants commit crimes of violence on January 6?’ Cruz pushed.

‘I can’t answer that.’

‘Did any FBI agents or FBI informants actively encourage and incite crimes of violence on January 6?’ the Texas Republican senator asked.

Sanborn repeated the same answer for a third time.

Cruz then said that President Biden needs to answer questions about the FBI’s supposed role in January 6.

‘Unfortunately, under Joe Biden we have seen an incredibly partisan Department of Justice,’ Cruz said. ‘And both the Department of Justice and the FBI have an arrogance that they are not accountable to anyone, that they can stonewall.’

So much for the transparency of the Biden administration.

Good News Out Of Africa

On Tuesday, The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about what is happening in Africa with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The article reports:

Daily Covid cases in South Africa have fallen again by 22 per cent compared to last week’s figures, fuelling hopes that the country’s Omicron wave is over. 

South Africa, whose scientists detected the variant, recorded 21,099 new cases in the last 24 hours, down by nearly a quarter on the 26,976 infections confirmed last Wednesday.

A fifth fewer people were tested for the virus in the last 24 hours compared to the same period last week, but test positivity — the proportion of those tested who are infected — has been trending downwards for nine days.    

…The falling case numbers come despite only 25 per cent of South Africans being double-jabbed and boosters not being dished out in the country. 

It raises hopes that the UK’s Omicron wave will also be short-lived, with Britain also having a layer of protection in its booster programme.  

…The data from the country suggests the outbreak is fading around a month after it was first detected, while ministers and scientists in the UK are panicking about the impact the wave will have over the coming weeks.

…The rise of Omicron is out of step with gloomy Government modelling that predicted the mutant super-strain was doubling every two days and could lead to a million infections per day by the end of the year. 

Meanwhile, latest hospital data shows there were 813 admissions across the UK on December 18, marking an increase of just five per cent in a week. Deaths dropped 15 per cent week-on-week to 140. 

Hospital admissions are rising more slowly than in previous waves and a growing body of evidence suggests Omicron is causing milder illness. 

The article concludes:

Professor Paul Hunter, an infectious diseases expert at the University of East Anglia, told MailOnline that Mr Johnson had made the right decision because cases ‘look like they’ve peaked’. 

He said: ‘It’s not all doom and gloom, it does look like Omicron has stopped growing. The numbers over the last few days seem to have plateaued and maybe even be falling.

‘It’s a bit too soon to be absolutely sure about that, but if it is the case Boris Johnson will breathe a sigh of relief. We have to be a little bit careful because it’s only a few days.

‘And because we’re getting closer to Christmas there is nervousness that people may not come forward for testing because they don’t want to test positive and miss out on meeting relatives.

‘Omicron overtook the other variants around December 14 so most of any changes from there on would be down to Omicron. So if it was still doubling every two days that would have shown and we should have been at 200,000 cases yesterday and certainly more than 200,000 cases today.

‘But the fact it has been around 91,000 raises the point that it might actually have peaked. But it will probably take until at least Wednesday to get an idea of a day that is not affected by the weekend. But I am more optimistic than I was a few days ago.’ 

There were 1.49million tests conducted today which is down from 1.56 million last Wednesday, but Professor Hunter said the ‘relatively small drop’ in testing would not hide a virus truly doubling every two days.

Test positivity is slowly increasing though with 13 per cent of samples positive for the virus by December 15, up from around 9 per cent the month before.

Latest hospital figures show there were 847 Covid admissions across the UK on December 17, up only 7 per cent on the previous week. There were a further 172 Covid deaths today, up 14 per cent.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It includes a number of graphs illustrating the impact of the coronavirus in Britain.

Destroying America’s Foundation

The basic foundation of any western society is the family. Unfortunately many in the political left have been on a mission to destroy the American family since the 1960’s. On Wednesday The Daily Wire posted an article about the status of the two-parent family in America.

The article reports:

Children need a mother and a father — a context that more American youth than ever are lacking.

Among the 130 million households in the United States, only 17.8% feature married parents with children — down from over 40% in 1970, according to the Census Bureau.

The article quotes the Daily Mail:

There are currently just 23.1 million American homes with those ‘nuclear families,’ which is the fewest since 1959. The reasons given for the drop include the pandemic delaying marriage and a continued decline in birth rate.

The average age of a woman at her first marriage is now 28.6 years. In the 1950s and 60s, women typically married at 20.4 years old. The average age for men to marry for the first time in 2021 was 30.4 years old. America’s fertility rate dropped to 55.4 births per 1,000 in the second quarter of 2021, down from 58.5 in the same period of 2019.

Americans are also living alone at a higher rate than they used to. The percentage of adults in the US living with a spouse was 50 percent, down from 52 percent 10 years ago. Over 37 million adults lived alone in early 2021, up from 33 million in 2011. As far back as 1960, 87 percent of adults lived with a spouse.

Oddly enough, there is a government program that is related to this decline:

When the War on Poverty began paying single mothers, the number of single mothers increased. When the government subsidizes something, that something increases. Television also played a role in glamorizing single-parent families. Murphy Brown was a prime example.

The article at The Daily Wire also notes:

Analysts and commentators have pointed toward declining rates of religiosity, higher living expenses, the permutation of LGBTQ ideology, and even climate alarmism to explain the erosion of the American family. Indeed, the United States economy is already feeling pressure from the nation’s demographic crisis — for example, through the looming insolvency of Social Security and other programs.

I would suggest that a decline in acceptance of the basic values that America embraced before the 1970’s also plays a major role. Again, the culture has downplayed the importance of fathers and the role of mothers in raising their children. Children who grow up in stable two-parent homes have a much better chance of being successful and well-adjusted than children who grow up fatherless.

Ignoring The Truth At Your Own Peril

American schools are not the only schools in the world that are forgetting that their job is to teach children. Teaching children means telling them the truth about their history and the world we live in at the present time. On Friday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has cancelled an event with ISIS survivor Nadia Murad. Ms. Murad was taken from her home and sold into sexual slavery at just 14 years old. She was scheduled to discuss her book, The Last Girl: My Story Of Captivity, in February 2020.

The article reports:

Murad was scheduled to sit down with students from the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) – the largest school Board in Canada with nearly 600 schools – to discuss her book The Last Girl: My Story Of Captivity in February 2022. 

Murad’s graphic exposé detailed how she escaped the Islamic State, where she was ripped from her home and sold into sexual slavery aged just 14 years old, according to The Telegraph

…But before the event could happen the superintendent of the Board Helen Fisher said that her students would not participate.

She has since issued an apology but refused to allow her students to attend. 

Fisher expressed that she believed the book would ‘promote Islamophobia’ and cited how offensive the book was to her Muslim students as her reason for cancelling the event.

The decision enraged TDSB parent Tanya Lee, who wrote an email to the superintendent about the decision.

Lee also founded the book club – called A Room Of Your Own Book Club – which allows teen girls aged 13 to 18 from secondary schools around the country to hear from female authors, and was hosting the event set to feature Murad. 

‘This is what the Islamic State means. It is a terrorist organization. It has nothing to do with ordinary Muslims. The Toronto school board should be aware of the difference,’ she wrote, as reported by The Telegraph.

The article concludes:

However, this isn’t the first time Fisher banned a book from a book club event.

Back in October, A Room Of Your Own Book Club featured author and lawyer Marie Henein, who defended Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi while he was being faced with sexual assault charges.

Although Ghomeshi was acquitted on all charges in 2016, the TDSB sill refused to let its students attend the event.

In response, dozens of users took to Twitter to express their fiery discontent towards TDSB’s decision.

One user referred to when Holocaust survivors spoke to TDSB schools and sarcastically said: ‘I guess all the Holocaust survivors who have spoken at schools were promoting hatred of Germans – any response to your idiotic position on Nadia Murad???’

Meanwhile, another user said the school’s choice to cancel Murad’s event is ‘sad (because) she is being de-platformed’. 

Yet another response said the decision is the ‘opposite’ of cancel culture, ‘where incompetent professionals face no consequences for bungling their jobs, because their errors are seen as being committed in the (nominal) service of social justice’. 

I’m not sure I would want thirteen or fourteen-year olds reading Ms. Murad’s book–I think I would want to let the parents decide that, but ignoring the culture of Islamic jihad is something all western nations do at their own peril.

Threatening The Parents Who Oppose Critical Race Theory

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about a recent Fort Worth Independent School District meeting.

The article reports:

A former member of a black militia group was removed by police from a tense school board meeting after he said he had ‘over a thousand soldiers ready to go’ who were ‘locked and loaded’  in support of critical race theory – leaving anti-CRT parents feeling ‘threatened’ and ‘scared.’

The incident took place during a board meeting held by the Fort Worth Independent School District on November 9. The meeting was devoted in part to the teaching of critical race theory, which was opposed by some of the parents.

During the meeting, a man identified as Malikk Austin got up and spoke for a minute, defending the teaching of CRT. 

Austin, an African-American who was part of The Brotherhood Movement, a ‘Second Amendment group,’ said: ‘For those who got an issue with this critical race theory equity, this is something I fight for, for my children.’  

‘How dare you come out here and talk about the things that my daddy and my grandparents went through, the lynching, the oppression, Jim Crow, and my kids are still being afflicted by this.’ 

Sadly, I suspect this man actually believes what he is saying. Critical race theory divides our children into two groups–the oppressors and the oppressed. It creates division. It tells ‘the oppressed’ that no matter how hard they work, ‘the oppressors’ will keep them from succeeding. What a horrible message to give children. How about teaching them that if they are poor, there are a number of ways that they can escape life-long poverty.

The lifesmartblog lists the three life choices to avoid poverty:

Finish high school, marry before having a child, and marry after the age of 20!

The article at lifesmartblog notes:

Here’s the real kicker: only 8 percent of families who do all three are poor; however, 79 percent of those who fail to do all three are poor.

These statistics are compelling and make perfect sense. Students who fail to finish high school will not have access to many well-paying careers and will not be perceived as well by employers. Those who have children before marriage (many teens and young adults) will find it that much more difficult to enter college or complete their degree due to the immense responsibility and financial demands of raising a child. Finally, those who marry before age 20 tend to have higher divorce rates and greater career and life challenges. The common thread of all three poverty causes is reduced access to attractive careers due to lack of education or life circumstances.

The statistics above have no color or race. They are not related to ‘oppressed’ or ‘oppressors.’ We should be encouraging our children to achieve–not to become professional victims.

What World Is College Preparing This Student For?

A college education has value. It has more than academic value (assuming the student earned a degree in a subject that is reasonably marketable). College teaches students how to manage their time, how to get along with a roommate, hopefully how to balance a checkbook and manage consumer credit, and many other useful skills that they will take into the world when they graduate. Ideally it also helps students become adults that will function well in society. Well, the following article leads me to wonder about that last sentence.

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about an Oberlin College student who complained about the people who installed a radiator in his dormitory.

The article reports:

A student at an $80,000-a-year ultra-liberal Oberlin College in Ohio claimed in an op-ed that he was left ‘angry, scared, and confused’ because ‘cisgender men’ installed a radiator in his ‘safe space’ dormitory.

Peter Fray-Witzer, a student enrolled at Oberlin College, posted an article in Friday’s edition of The Oberlin Review in which he takes school administrators to task for giving him short notice about the installation.

Fray-Witzer writes that he asked a campus official if he could be exempt from having a radiator installed in his room so as to avoid the ‘intrusion.’

He also complains that he felt ‘mildly violated’ and ‘a little peeved’ when the contractors returned to his dorm room the next day to ‘check the insulation.’

I truly wonder how this person in going to function in the real world after he graduates from college. The majority of people in the real world are cisgender. The majority of people in the real world do not care what gender he is or was. The majority of people in the real world are not a threat to him. If he actually intends to be a contributing member of society, I suggest he seek therapy. If a radiator installation is this traumatic to him, what will he ever do if he lives in a house or apartment that needs some sort of maintenance? Is he comfortable taking his car to a dealership or buying a car?

It is obvious that this young man’s college experience is not preparing him for life in the real world. Is he the exception or the rule?

It Will Be Interesting To See What The Punishment For This Will Be

We all remember the images of January 6th. Actually, there were two sets of images from January 6th–the ones we were initially shown that looked somewhat scary and the ones the court made the Justice Department release that showed the police inviting people into the Capitol Building. Nevertheless, there were some people on January 6th that did things that were illegal and should have been dealt with by the legal system. Unfortunately, as we have seen, those arrested were not dealt with in a manner consistent with equal justice under the law.

Today The U.K. Daily Mail is reporting that dozens of climate activists forced their way into the Interior Department building demanding that President Joe Biden cease approvals for fossil fuel infrastructure and lead a renewable energy transformation.

The article reports:

The dramatic scenes came during five days of demonstrations in the capital organized by a Native American climate group calling itself ‘People vs Fossil Fuels’, which is demanding that President Joe Biden cease approvals for fossil fuel infrastructure and lead a renewable energy transformation. 

Footage shared by Washington Post reporter Ellie Silverman shows protestors pushing their way into the Interior Department, while chanting ‘sign the treaty’ and ‘protect the water’.

…Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was traveling Thursday and was not in the building during the chaotic protest.

Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe in New Mexico, is the first Native American Interior secretary. 

‘Interior Department leadership believes strongly in respecting and upholding the right to free speech and peaceful protest,” Melissa Schwartz, a spokeswoman for Haaland, said in a statement. 

‘Centering the voices of lawful protesters is and will continue to be an important foundation of our democracy. It is also our obligation to keep everyone safe. We will continue to do everything we can to de-escalate the situation while honoring First Amendment rights.”

She said protesters who were arrested were taken in for booking. 

The article notes:

Capitol Police said 78 people were arrested on obstruction or crowding charges. Three of those arrested also were charged with assault on a police officer.

Does anyone want to speculate on whether or not any of those arrested will be placed in solitary confinement? Does anyone want to speculate on whether or not any of those arrested will still be in jail nine months from now? The way this situation was and is being handled in contrast to the way the January 6th protest was handled tells us all we need to know about the priorities of our current Justice Department. We have become (or are in serious danger of becoming) a banana republic. Our First Amendment rights are only being upheld when they align with the current political administration. Americans need to learn how to stand up for their First Amendment rights or we are going to permanently lose them.

Actions Have Consequences

On Friday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that dozens of cargo ships anchored off the coast of New York City and Los Angeles are experiencing waiting times to unload as long as three or four weeks. The ports lack the manpower to unload the ships.

The article reports:

Dozens of cargo ships anchored off the coasts of Los Angeles and New York face shocking wait times of up to four weeks and railyards and trucking routes are hopelessly clogged due to the lack of manpower to unload goods – with an expert warning that the government needs to intervene or face spiraling inflation and unemployment.

The backlog of billions of dollars of toys, clothing, electronics, vehicles, and furniture comes as the demand for consumer goods hit its highest point in history as consumers stay home instead of spending money on travel and entertainment.

Supply chains have lagged far behind consumer demand due to a lack of manpower at American ports and the restrictions that came with the COVID-19 outbreak early last year. These constraints, which include social distancing and mandatory quarantines, have severely limited the number and ability of port workers to do their jobs.

This is another example of the bad things that happen when the government gets involved in business.

As Milton Friedman once stated:

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”

The article concludes:

In an open letter on Wednesday, the workers groups warned that fragmented and inconsistent pandemic restrictions around the world have thrown global shipping into chaos.

The letter was signed by the union bosses of IRU, the world road transport organization; IATA, the International Air Transport Association; ICS, the International Chamber of Shipping; and ITF, the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

‘We are witnessing unprecedented disruptions and global delays and shortages on essential goods including electronics, food, fuel and medical supplies,’ the shipping workers warned.

‘The impact of nearly two years’ worth of strain, placed particularly upon maritime and road transport workers, but also impacting air crews, is now being seen,’ the group said. ‘Their continued mistreatment is adding pressure on an already crumbling global supply chain.’

‘At the peak of the crew change crisis 400,000 seafarers were unable to leave their ships, with some seafarers working for as long as 18 months over their initial contracts,’ the letter said.

‘Flights have been restricted and aviation workers have faced the inconsistency of border, travel, restrictions, and vaccine restrictions/requirements,’ it added.

‘Additional and systemic stopping at road borders has meant truck drivers have been forced to wait, sometimes weeks, before being able to complete their journeys and return home,’ the workers said.

The groups called on governments to grant freedom of movement for transport workers and prioritize them for vaccinations. 

It may be that the coming shortages are being accidentally created by our government, but there has been so much discontent sown by the Biden administration during their time in office, I am beginning to wonder what it accidental and what is on purpose. Is it possible to mess up our country so thoroughly in nine months accidentally or does it have to be intentional?

Common Sense In Dealing With Economic Migrants

On Thursday, Front Page Magazine posted an article about a new proposal in Denmark to deal with the economic migrants flooding their country.

The article reports:

Denmark has done something sensible – and remarkably, its left-wing politicians have been the ones promoting the measure – by proposing that migrants be required to work 37 hours a week in order to receive welfare benefits. If they refuse, they will be stripped of their benefits and, presumably, will either capitulate and go to work, or leave Denmark, in order to move to another European country that might take them in, or to return to their countries – overwhelmingly Muslim — of origin.

The report on the measure was discussed in an article in The U.K. Daily Mail.

The U.K. Daily Mail reports:

The proposal by the minority Social Democratic government, a traditionally left wing administration that has adopted right wing anti-immigration policies, would require migrants who have been on benefits for at least three years to find work. 

It said the programme was necessary because many women of foreign descent do not work, especially those with roots in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey. 

…’If one cannot support oneself, one must have a duty to participate and contribute what is equivalent to a regular working week to receive the full welfare benefit.’ 

Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen has claimed the policy is intended to help migrants integrate into Danish society, with plans to encourage them to learn the language, but the proposal has been widely criticised as unfair. 

The article at Front Page Magazine concludes:

Could anyone except the Muslims be outraged by such an obvious requirement? Nothing could be fairer, nor more infuriating to Muslims who believe the world of Infidels owes them a living.

If there are not enough 37-hour-per-week jobs available from private employers, it is not beyond the ability of the public sector – the various governmental agencies – to offer full-time jobs, albeit menial ones, to migrants. And of course, it is possible that migrants could take on more than one job – many Americans work two or three jobs to make ends meet – to fulfill the 37-hour requirement.

What should we call this insistence of the Social Democrats in Denmark, that “if you come to Denmark, you have to work and support yourself and your family”?

I’d call it Common Sense.

Why in the world should any nation open its doors to people who want to be supported without contributing anything? America was built by people who came here to work hard and prosper. Denmark should be able to expect the same from its immigrants.

A Dictator Or A President?

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that President Biden has requested the resignation of 18 Trump-appointed officials who are currently on military academy advisory boards. This is highly unusual as these positions are supposed to be apolitical and have specified terms.

The article reports:

Multiple people appointed to military academy advisory boards by Donald Trump are refusing to resign after the Biden Administration told them to quit or they’d be fired. 

Sean Spicer is one of those axed, and decried the other 17 terminations on his Newsmax show Wednesday.

Spicer hit out as fellow appointee Kellyanne Conway wrote in a tweet that Biden should resign instead, and a third board member Russ Vought –  former director of the Office of Management and Budget – asserted that he would carry out his three-year term. 

The article notes:

He (Sean Spicer) continued, ‘To put this in context. The Biden administration came into office and immediately ordered a stand down and a review for all of the military academies for some unknown still unknown reason. For almost a year we’ve been unable to meet, and then we get this email today. You have to ask why why would they want zero oversight during a challenging period where the academies are dealing with COVID. They’re navigating funding issues.’ 

Spicer then spoke directly to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, who named him when addressing the resignations and said the appointees should be qualified and ‘aligned with the values’ of the Biden administration. 

Spicer, a US Navy veteran, responded by saying, ‘When you wear the uniform, you serve the commander-in-chief. We take an oath as officers to the Constitution, not to a party.’

He added, ‘Each of us chooses how we’re going to serve this country. I won’t ever question how anyone chooses to do that. I won’t question how you choose to do that, Jen. But don’t you dare ever minimize or question my service to this nation. You got it?’ 

Note Jen Psaki’s statement, “…appointees should be qualified and ‘aligned with the values’ of the Biden administration. ” Exactly what are the values of the Biden administration?

Obviously lawsuits will be filed, and will will see if the court system will uphold the non-partisan character of the boards involved.

Isn’t this the President that promised to unify the country?

 

A Kinder, Gentler Taliban?

The Daily Caller is reporting that Afghans who helped America or American allies in any way are getting letters pinned to their front doors at night (“night letters”) telling them to attend a Taliban-conducted court or face death.

The article reports:

One of those to receive a warning was Naz, a 34-year-old father-of-six whose construction company helped the UK military build roads in Helmand and the runway at Camp Bastion.

He had applied for sanctuary in Britain under ARAP, the Afghan relocation programme, but had been rejected.

Naz said yesterday: ‘The letter was official and stamped by the Taliban. It is a clear message that they want to kill me. If I attend the court, I will be punished with my life.

If I don’t, they will kill me – that is why I am in hiding, trying to find a way to escape. But I need help.’

Another victim, a former British military translator, was warned he was a ‘spy of the infidel’ and must give himself up or pay with his life.

A third night letter warned the brother of an interpreter that he had been sentenced to death for sheltering him while a fourth was found in the shoe of an ex-British military translator as he left prayers at a mosque.

The letters are a traditional Afghan method of intimidation. They were used by mujahideen fighters during the Soviet occupation and then by the Taliban as both a propaganda tool and a threat. Often used in rural communities, they are now being widely circulated in cities.

A related article in the U.K. Daily Mail reports:

For Naz, the letter was specific. It named his father and their village and was stamped by the Islamic Emirate. 

The warning said he had been a ‘slave’ of Nato forces and had ignored warnings to stop working with them.

He was ordered to ‘present yourself’ to the court otherwise it would be ‘forwarded to the Sharia Court of Appeal where the judgment of death penalty will be passed in your absence. This would be the path you have chosen for yourself’.

Naz said: ‘The message of night letters is clear: you must comply or die. We have moved but we can’t keep moving. We must escape.’

There is no good news in this surrender. It was time to leave Afghanistan, but we could have done it very differently.

What IS Possible

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about the rescue of a Washington Post reporter in Afghanistan.

The article reports:

A Washington Post reporter has shared how British troops helped her and friends flee Afghanistan – as pressure mounts over US forces’ continued refusal to leave Kabul airport.    

Susannah George told of how she and the paper’s Afghan staff were able to latch on to a separate evacuation led by UK troops, after spotting them and asking for help to flee. 

That saw them hurriedly travel along a road to Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport in armored cars driven by private security guards.

Those roads were being guarded from Taliban interference by UK service personnel, before making it to the security gate of the airport itself, which was manned by American troops. 

George did not offer further comment on the troops who helped save her, but the UK’s elite Special Air Service (SAS) have been drafted in to rescue Britons trapped in the war-torn country.

Her difficult journey contradicts President Biden’s assertion that anyone with an American passports would be allowed through checkpoints. 

Her story also illustrates the fact that with the proper equipment people can be safely and successfully evacuated from Afghanistan.

The article concludes:

Kabul airport has been the scene of chaos as Westerners and visa holders desperately trying to get to their flights say they are unable to check in because of the crowd of up to 50,000 desperate locals who are gathering at the gates.

At the main entrance, Taliban fighters periodically fire into the air to clear the crowd in an attempt to disperse the crowd – but video of the fighters unleashing a volley of automatic fire shows the terrifying gauntlet evacuees have to negotiate.

Taliban fighters were seen shooting over the heads of crowds, striking people with rifles, while those on the ground reported beatings and whippings being dished out seemingly at random.

Crowds have also gathered at the entrance to the military wing of the airport, which is guarded by US and British troops who have been firing into the air to disperse the crowds.

Westerners face a race against time to get out of Kabul, with control of the airport resting on the up to 60,000 troops.

Joe Biden has said they will stay until all US citizens are evacuated, but there are suspicions among British troops that they could leave abruptly – leaving the 600 British unable to keep operating to evacuate UK nationals and interpreters.

UK troops have said that firing warning shots is a last resort, the Taliban are causing pandemonium and were filmed today shooting from the hip just yards away from women and children, and whacking people with the butts of their rifles.

Such is the desperation among crowds at the airport that women have resorted to passing babies over barbed wire to soldiers in a vain attempt to get them out of the country.

We have the troops and the resources to successfully evacuate all Americans and those who helped us from Afghanistan. We need to do that.

Maybe The Rules Weren’t Only For The Little People

There was a bit of a ruckus recently about former President Obama’s birthday party. Americans were told it was scaled down from the original numbers, but the leaked photographs didn’t really look very scaled down. However, in a free society, anyone is entitled to have any birthday party he chooses as long as he is willing to accept the consequences of his decision. Well, the consequences arrived.

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that 74 people on Martha’s Vineyard have tested positive for Covid-19 since former President Barack Obama’s 60th birthday on Saturday. Actually, testing positive isn’t that big of a deal–a lot of our test results are not accurate. The article also notes that as of now there is no connection between the sudden spike in cases and former President Obama’s party. If there were a connection, would we know?

The article reports:

But some of the island’s residents scoffed at the measures to create a COVID-free zone, given that partygoers were circulating between various events and locations, in a town raging with a Delta strain that spreads quickly. 

Even vaccinated individuals aren’t immune. Of the 48 people who tested positive last week, more than half were vaccinated, according to health officials.

‘I wouldn’t have gone to the party even if I was invited,’ one resident of Edgartown, who had a friend working at the party, told DailyMail.com. 

‘I’m sure some attendees went home with some extra luggage they didn’t pack or see. Stay tuned.’

It seems that we may need to re-evaluate the vaccine. Given the fact that the majority of the attendees at former President Obama’s birthday party were under the age of 70, I suspect there will be few, if any, hospitalizations or deaths. When we examine the extreme measures that the government has taken in reacting to this disease, it might be a good idea to consider that the vast majority of the deaths from Covid-19 occur in people over the age of 70. The rest of us, if we are basically healthy, have a very limited risk of serious complications from the disease.

Would You Drive Over A Bridge Built By These People?

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article yesterday about a ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics’ program which tells teachers not to push students to find the correct answers to math problems because doing so promotes white supremacy. Do you want to drive over a bridge designed by an engineer who did not believe that math problems have a correct answer?

The article reports:

The program is centered around a workbook for teachers entitled ‘A Pathway to Equitable Math Instruction’ which asserts that America’s education system – even mathematics instruction – reinforces the dominant power structures of white colonizers. 

Grading students, asking them to show their work, requiring participation and even pushing them to get the right answer are depicted in the workbook as harmful to minorities.  

The workbook was created by Oakland, California-based advocacy group The Education Trust-West under its ‘Dismantling Racism in Mathematics Instruction’ initiative, which is funded through a $1million grant from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

So far, the workbook is being used by school districts in Georgia, Ohio, California and Oregon, according to education news site The 74 Million.

It’s part of a larger push nationwide to have students learn about critical race theory, which teaches that racism against minorities is embedded in every aspect of life – even in something as seemingly cut-and-dry as math. 

But many critics of the workbook say it actually reinforces negative stereotypes and drives wedges between students according to their race. 

‘The workbook’s ultimate message is clear: Black kids are bad at math, so why don’t we just excuse them from really learning it,’ Erec Smith, a professor of rhetoric and composition at York College of Pennsylvania and co-founder of Free Black Thought, told The 74 Million. 

Those of us who believe that black kids are as good at math as white kids find this whole thing offensive. Education is the ticket out of poverty in America. To decide that someone is not capable of learning because of their race is racist. It also denies then the opportunity to excel in the future. The idea that math has no correct answers is not only ridiculous, it is dangerous to the future success of American children.

Losing Our Justice System One City At A Time

While no one is paying attention, charges are being dropped against those ‘protestors’ who looted and burned down cities last summer and those who entered the Capitol Building on January 6th are being kept in solitary confinement with questionable legal representation. Seems a little uneven. Meanwhile, The U.K. Daily Mail reported yesterday that out of the 603 were arrested in Manhattan and the Bronx during the most intense days of looting last June, 295 of the cases have been dropped completely.

The article reports:

Now Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr and Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark are facing tough questions about why hundreds walked free after the looting rampage caused an estimated tens of millions in damages.

Business owner Jessica Betancourt, whose Bronx eyeglasses shop was destroyed last summer, vented her outrage at the situation.

‘Those numbers, to be honest with you, is disgusting,’ she told the NBC affiliate. ‘They could do it again because they know they won’t get the right punishment.’

In Manhattan, the NYPD data shows there were 485 arrests connected to last summer’s riots, which saw mobs smashing stores and holding a ‘looting dance party’ in SoHo.

Of those cases, 222 were later dropped and 73 saw convictions for lesser counts like trespassing, which carries no jail time. Another 40 cases involved juveniles and were sent to family court, and 128 cases remain open. 

In the Bronx, 118 arrests were made as mobs smashed shops along the borough’s commercial corridors.

Since then, the NYPD says District Attorney Clark’s office and the courts have dismissed 73 of those cases, well over half the total. 

Eighteen Bronx cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts which carry no jail time.

One of the excuses given is that there is not enough evidence to prosecute the looters. That’s an interesting statement considering a lot of the looting is recorded on the security cameras of the businesses involved (and the news cameras of local television stations).

Some of us (and many New Yorkers) believe that the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is so focused on finding President Trump guilty of something that they are ignoring their regular duties. Hopefully many of the people in that office will find themselves out of a job after the next election.

Doing The Right Thing (Even If It Is Years Late)

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about California’s plan to deal with forest fires.

The article reports:

California is adopting former Donald Trump‘s plan to thin out the state’s 33 million acres of forests with controlled burns and raking the woodland floor – after state officials essentially laughed off the former president’s idea a few years ago.

Trump had suggested in 2018 that the Golden State start sweeping its forest floors of debris that often aids in the spread of wildfires. 

But by Aug. 2020, at the peak of the state’s wildfire season, his suggestion became an ultimatum when he withheld wildfire financial aid on the basis of California’s failure to clear its forests of dead trees, branches and leaves, Politico reported at the time.

The frustrating part of this is that if the plan had been adopted in 2018 when it was suggested or even a year later, how many acres of forest (and homes) would have been spared? Instead, because President Trump suggested it while he was President, it wasn’t done until after he left office (so he couldn’t be given credit for it).

The article notes:

During the 2020 California wildfires, 31 people died and another 37 suffered non-fatal injuries due to 9,639 fires spread across the Golden State, according to the website Cal Fire, which tracks wildfires throughout the state.

Then-President Trump continuously blamed the Democrat-dominated state for not doing enough to prevent the widespread wildfires in 2018 and 2019 during his presidency, while threatening to withhold relief funds as environmentally-conscious Californians balked at his ideas.

‘I’ve been telling them this now for three years, but they don’t want to listen,’ Trump said at the August rally. ‘The environment, the environment,’ but they have massive fires again.’

At some point we have to learn to do the right thing regardless of who gets the credit!

There are, however, still some naysayers:

However, conservation director for Los Padres ForestWatch Bryant Baker warns that these kinds of controlled burns threaten the native plant areas of Southern California’s national forests.

‘There are issues with just assuming this is some sort silver bullet in changing overall fires in the state,’ Baker said. ‘Prescribed fire is not going to be the thing that stops very large wind-driven fires that are occurring.’ 

Gov. Newsom is already asking the state’s legislature to give him $2 billion more in an effort to accelerate the forest thinning process in the fiscal year starting July 1, according to Bloomberg. 

‘Wildfires don’t stop at jurisdictional boundaries. As we respond to wildfires in real-time this summer, improving coordination between the major stewards of California’s forested land will help us protect communities and restore forest health across California,’ Newsom said in a statement obtained by Politico. 

I’m sorry that the controlled burns threaten the native plant areas, but somehow I don’t think the native plant areas have done too well in the recent wild fires.

Who Gets Taxed

Somehow those making or changing the tax laws always seem to be able to write them in a way that does not increase their own taxes. Well, it;s happening again.

Yesterday (updated today) The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about President Biden’s idea for increasing the revenue from capital gains taxes.

The article reports:

President Biden has promised not to raise taxes on anyone earning less than $400,000 but plans to end an inheritance loophole could do just that, according to a new analysis that suggests a widow with nothing to pass on to her children but her home could be badly hit by proposals that would leave the Bidens’ personal fortune untouched.

Tucked away in Biden’s American Families Plan is a revision to the way capital gains taxes are paid on estates when people die.

Critics have dubbed it a ‘middle-class death tax’ and say it will mean thousands of people having to sell assets to meet tax bills they would not get under existing law.

‘The American Families Plan as proposed would impose a new death tax that would punish middle class individuals who chose to invest in America and leave something for their children rather than spend every dollar, said Hank Adler, associate professor at Chapman University and co-author of the new study.

‘The plan does not move the goal posts, it totally changes the rules of the game.’

The article explains how the current tax system works and what President Biden proposes to change. On the surface it looks as if the taxes would only apply to the rich, but when you look into it, middle class families would also be negatively impacted.

The article explains:

At present, capital gains tax is generally imposed on profits when assets are sold.

But for estates worth more than $11.7 million the tax is imposed on what are called ‘unrealized gains’ – that is the increase in value of homes, shares and other assets even if they are not sold.

That means estates worth less than that can be passed on and the increase in home value is reset, so the beneficiary is taxed only when they sell that asset and only on the increase after they inherited it.

Biden last month called this the ‘trust fund loophole.’

‘We need to make a choice to eliminate the loophole,’ he said.

How quickly do you think the value of an estate could be moved down to $1 million or so–a number that in some of our major cities would mean owning a house, a car, and a relatively small stock portfolio. This tax would hit hard to people who have lived in the same house all their lives and had the value of the house increase significantly due to inflation. However, for people like the Bidens, there would be little additional tax because they bought their properties fairly recently. Therefore they would not pay significant tax on their property.

The article notes:

They built their Wilmington, Delaware, home on land bought for $350,000 in 1996. It is now estimated to be worth $2 million.

Their Rehoboth Beach house, also in Delaware, cost $2.7 million in 2017.

That means the total appreciation is likely to be less than the $2.5 million couple’s exemption.

And their estate would pay nothing. 

Meanwhile, a New York widow who had lived in the same house for fifty years would leave her children a house and a ridiculous tax burden:

Suppose a widow buys a house in New York for $250,000 in the 1970s.

She never remarries and by the time of her death her only asset is the home.

She leaves her house, now worth $2.5 million, to her children.

Under current law, the estate faces no capital gains tax.

Her children inherit the house at a value of $2.5 million and would only pay capital gains on its sale.

Under Biden’s proposals, the estate would be subject to capital gains tax.

Its increase is $2.25 million, less a $1.25 million exemption, leaving a taxable amount of $1 million.

At 40.8% that would bring a $408,000 tax bill.

Somehow those making the tax laws always seem to be able to avoid paying more taxes.

 

When Politics Interferes With Science

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article about the search for the origins of the coronavirus. It seems as if not everyone wanted to uncover the truth.

The article reports:

Career staffers at the State Department ‘warned’ officials not to investigate the possibility that COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab, fearing it would expose U.S. funding for gain-of-function research there, according to a new report.

Thomas DiNanno, former acting assistant secretary of the State Department’s Bureau of Arms Control, Verification, and Compliance raised the concern in a memo reported by Vanity Fair on Thursday. 

DiNanno wrote that staff from two bureaus, his own and the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, ‘warned’ leaders ‘not to pursue an investigation into the origin of COVID-19’ because it would ‘open a can of worms’ if it continued. 

In one State Department meeting, officials say colleagues explicitly told them not to explore the Wuhan Institute of Virology’s (WIV) gain-of-function research, because it would bring unwelcome attention to the U.S. taxpayer funds that were supporting the work.

The article continues:

It’s unclear exactly much U.S. government funding was going to the WIV, but at least some of it was being routed through a nonprofit called EcoHealth Alliance.

By 2018, EcoHealth Alliance was pulling in up to $15 million a year in grant money from an array of federal agencies, including the Defense Department, Homeland Security, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, according to tax filings.

EcoHealth Alliance and its founder Peter Daszak have been working with Shi Zhengli, the WIV virologist known as the ‘bat lady’, for more than 15 years. 

British-born Daszak, 55, is the president of EcoHealth Alliance — and in the early days of the pandemic, he was key in establishing the veneer of a ‘scientific consensus’ that the lab-leak origin was impossible.

Daszak not only signed but spearheaded a letter signed by 27 scientists rejecting the lab leak hypothesis, which was published on February 19, 2020 in the medical journal The Lancet.

Leaked emails later revealed that he encouraged colleagues who do gain-of-function research on coronaviruses not to sign the letter, in order to obscure the connection.

The letter declared that the scientists had ‘no competing interests’ — but it seems clear that Daszak did, as a lab leak origin would likely derail his entire field, but an animal origin would justify his life’s work.  

I don’t know whether or not knowing the origin of the coronavirus would have been helpful in finding a cure or a vaccine, but it bothers me that we have people in our government working against the interests of American citizens.

 

Following The Money Trail

I have previously noted that Dr. Fauci has stated that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has not ever and does not now fund gain of function research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology. Well, this is one of those statements that may not tell the whole story.

The U.K. Daily Mail reported the following yesterday (updated today):

Anthony Fauci has defended the United States’ ‘modest’ and ‘very respectable’ funding of the Wuhan laboratory – which is now at the center of speculation as a possible source of the COVID-19 virus.

Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), appeared before a Congressional budget committee on Tuesday.

He defended allocating $600,000 to a group called EcoHealth Alliance, which then paid the Wuhan Institute of Virology to study the risk that bat coronaviruses could infect humans.

Under the terms of the funding, the money could not be spend on ‘gain of function’ research – a controversial practice which explores how viruses mutate and become more transmissible or more dangerous.

Fauci said the research was essential, pointing out that the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s was eventually traced back to bats.

‘I would have been almost a dereliction of our duty if we didn’t study this, and the only way you can study these things is you’ve got to go where the action is,’ he said.

Considering the events of the past year or so, does anyone actually believe that the money was not spent on ‘gain of function’ research?

Please follow the link above to the article–it chronicles the misreporting during the past year about the coronavirus. All of us remember that anyone early in the year who suggested that the virus was the result of a laboratory leak was accused of presenting a conspiracy theory. It is interesting to see how much of what the mainstream media chose not to report in the past year has turned out to be true.

Unfortunately Justice In America Is Not Blind

The U.K. Daily Mail posted an article (updated today) about a appeal by the Biden administration’s justice department to prevent a memo about the Russian collusion charges against President Trump from being released.

The article reports:

The Biden administration said Monday that it would appeal a judge’s order directing it to release a memo explaining why Attorney General Bill Barr didn’t choose to prosecute President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice by allegedly thwarting Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. 

But it also agreed to make a brief portion of the document public, which shows that two senior Justice Department leaders advised Barr that, in their view, Mueller’s evidence could not support an obstruction conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt. 

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson earlier this month ordered Biden’s DOJ to release the entire March 2019 memo as part of a public records lawsuit from a Washington-based advocacy organization. 

She said the department, under Attorney General William Barr, had misstated the purpose of the document in arguing that it was legally entitled to withhold it from the group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

In a motion filed late Monday, the deadline for deciding whether it would comply with the judge’s decision or appeal it, the Justice Department said that it continued to believe even that the full document should be exempt from disclosure.

It appears Biden’s DOJ took the decision to avoid setting a new precedent where more sensitive internal documents would have to be released, Politico reported. 

Presidents and administrations of both parties have constantly fought to keep these documents secret. 

The article concludes:

The department said the decision before the attorney general was not whether to prosecute Trump since the indictment of a sitting president is precluded by longstanding Justice Department policy. Rather, the question that the memo set out to address was whether the facts gathered by Mueller could warrant a criminal case. That question, the government says, was a genuine decision that had to be made.

‘The Attorney General´s determination on that point – and on what, if anything, to say to the public about that question – undoubtedly qualifies as a decision, even if it could not have resulted in an actual prosecution of the sitting President,’ Justice Department lawyers wrote.

‘There was no legal bar to determining that the evidence did or did not establish commission of a crime, a determination the Attorney General made and announced,’ they added.

In a letter to AG Merrick Garland on May 14, Senate Democrats urged him not to appeal the court’s order to ‘help rebuild the nation’s trust in independence after four years of turmoil’.

The group of Senators lead by Majority Whip Dick Durbin wrote: ‘DOJ’s actions in this case, and in another recent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) case seeking information about President Trump’s activities, have raised doubts about DOJ’s candor when characterizing potential evidence of President Trump’s misconduct to courts. 

‘To be clear, these misrepresentations preceded your confirmation as Attorney General, but the Department you now lead bears responsibility for redressing them.

‘In that light, and in order to help rebuild the nation’s trust in DOJ’s independence after four years of turmoil, we urge DOJ not to appeal D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s May 3 decision to order the release of this OLC memo.’

One of the true successes of the Trump administration was to expose the corruption that runs rampant in Washington. It is not surprising that the cadre of people who fought so hard to keep President Trump from exposing that corruption are still fighting to keep their actions hidden. I agree with a friend who posted on Facebook that Washington is not a swamp–it’s a sewer–a swamp has some ecological value!

Policies Matter

On Thursday, The U.K. Daily  Mail posted an article that contained the following chart:

The article reports:

New charts reveals exactly how Joe Biden‘s inauguration triggered a surge of immigrants arriving at the southern border, despite repeated claims from administration officials that they inherited a broken system.

The graphs – showing that border detentions and child arrivals dropped to their lowest level in years at the end of 2020 before rocketing as soon as Biden took office – derailed efforts by the top U.S. homeland security official to deliver a rosy message when he appeared before senators on Thursday. 

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas was forced on the defensive after Sen. Ron Johnson produced his dramatic red chart displaying ‘border apprehensions.’

The article contained another chart about the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border:

The article concludes:

However, the graphs, compiled from Customs and Border Protection data, was used by a string of Republican senators to question his optimistic view that the administration’s position that it was not to blame.

Sen. Mitt Romney expressed his incredulity at what he was being told.

‘I must admit that I have found this hearing to be stunning in that it seems Mr Secretary that you’re proud of the progress being made by the administration, that things are going well at the border,’ he said.

‘And, and I look at this chart that was prepared by Senator Johnson, and I see an extraordinary crisis, I mean, do you recognize this as an alarming crisis?’

‘Senator, I look at immigration as a challenge that has been persistent for many many years … ‘ he said before being cut off.

This should not be a partisan issue, but there is a reason it is. If the Democrats expected the illegal immigrants to vote Republican when the immigrants received voting rights, you can bet that the wall would be finished and twice its current height. Obviously the Democrats are expecting the illegal immigrants to be granted voting rights eventually and to vote Democrat in gratitude for letting them into the country. Meanwhile women are being raped, children are abandoned, and the cartels are getting richer and more powerful. Policies matter.

China And The Paris

On April 2nd, The New York Post reported:

Chinese President Xi Jinping vowed in the 2016 Paris accords to bring his country’s climate-warming greenhouse-gas emissions to a peak before 2030 and make China “carbon-neutral” by 2060, but reality tells the opposite story.

A new study shows that the People’s Republic generated over half of the world’s coal-fired power in 2020, up nine points (to 53 percent) from 2015 — the year before Xi made his pledge.

And China actually opened more coal plants in 2020 than it had in the prior three years combined — three times as many new coal plants as the entire rest of the world.

On February 19th, CBS News reported:

When the U.S. signed the agreement in 2016, its first NDC target was to get “in the range” of an economy-wide 17% drop below 2005 greenhouse gas levels by 2020. It also aimed to achieve a subsequent decrease of 9-11% of 2005 levels by 2025, meaning the U.S. would reduce greenhouse emissions by 26%-28% in the first ten years of the Paris Agreement.

So China gets to increase greenhouse gases until 2030 while we have to drop our greenhouse gas levels by 2025. Has anyone thought through the economic implications of this for each country?

Yesterday the U.K. Daily Mail reported that China released a greater volume of greenhouse gases into Earth’s atmosphere in 2019 than all of the world’s developed nations put together.

The article reports:

The analysis considered six greenhouse gases — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride. 

Global emissions have risen 11.4 per cent in the last decade to reach 52 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2019, with China responsible for 27 per cent of this.

The second-worst emitter was the US — accounting for 11 per cent of the total — with India edging out the EU for the first time to come in third at 6.6 per cent.

The article at the U.K. Daily Mail paints a sympathetic picture of China’s increase in greenhouse emissions, stating that since greenhouse gases linger, other civilized nations have been contributing to the total for many more years than China. That still does not change the fact that the Paris climate accord ties the hands of the United States economy while giving China a free ride.

Something Isn’t Quite Right

Hot Air posted an article today about some rather mundane fact-checking done by the U.K. Daily Mail. What they fact-checked was somewhat insignificant, but maybe it wasn’t.

Hot Air reports:

This may not be the biggest breaking political news story of the year, but it’s certainly a strange tale that might give you pause when it comes to the question of precisely how well President Joe Biden’s memory is doing these days. The Daily Mail was among several outlets that decided to do some fact-checking of a speech that Uncle Joe gave in Philadelphia last Friday. They weren’t looking at any of his policy claims regarding the border crisis or the pandemic or anything else that’s been occupying our attention lately, however. Biden regaled the audience with one of his famous anecdotes from his long political career. As we all know, Biden prided himself on his regular train trips back and forth between Delaware and Washington, mixing in with the common folk and being a regular guy taking public transit. But in this story, Biden gave some specifics. He talked about a time during his fourth or fifth year as Vice President when a train conductor congratulated him on reaching 1.5 million miles on Amtrak while he was traveling to visit his sick mother. It’s one of those heartwarming stories of a regular American guy doing regular American things. But there were two problems with his story. First of all, the conductor he named had retired twenty years before that and his mother had passed away at least four years earlier.

The article concludes:

Just how well is Joe Biden holding it all together these days? He rarely holds any lengthy Q&A sessions with the press or publicly engages in unscripted exchanges on camera. He generally sticks to prepared speeches and has a lengthy set of notes on the lectern when making public addresses. How is he doing when he’s in private meetings or on phone calls with foreign leaders or the top ranks of our military?

I’m not saying this is some sort of end of the world scenario. After all, we made it through Ronald Reagan’s second term without even learning that he was fighting Alzheimer’s at the time. As long as Joe Biden has trusted staffers at his side at all times I suppose things will work out in the end. But these traits should really be taken into consideration before Joe Biden makes a decision about possibly running for a second term. We’ve still got more than three and a half years to go on this term and it could turn out to be a bumpy ride.

At this point, many of us are wondering who is actually running the country.

Great News–But It Was Not An Easy Trip

Yesterday The U.K. Daily Mail reported that the Amish community in New Holland Borough, Pennsylvania, has achieved herd immunity to the coronavirus.

The article reports:

The administrator of a medical center in the heart of the Amish community in New Holland Borough estimates as many as 90 per cent of Plain families have since had at least one family member infected, and that this religious enclave achieved what no other community in the country has: herd immunity. 

‘So, you would think if COVID was as contagious as they say, it would go through like a tsunami; and it did,’ said Allen Hoover, an Old Order Mennonite and administrator of the Parochial Medical Center, a clinic that primarily serves the Plain community.

The article also notes:

By late April, when Pennsylvania was still under stay-at-home orders, the Plain community had resumed worship services, where they shared communion cups and holy kisses, a church greeting among believers.

Infections quickly followed.

‘It was bad here in the spring; one patient right after another,’ said Pam Cooper, a physician’s assistant at the Parochial Medical Center.

Just how deep into the community the infections spread is impossible to know. Hoover speculated that among those displaying symptoms, fewer than 10% consented to be tested.

In late April and early May, when Hoover said the virus ran unimpeded through the Plain community, the county’s positivity rate — the percent of positive tests — exceeded 20%, its highest of the pandemic, according to Covid Act Now, a nonprofit that provides local disease data. (Last year, the World Health Organization recommended governments use a rate of 5% or lower for two weeks as the threshold for reopening.)

If Hoover’s assessment is accurate, and if more Plain patients had been tested, the positivity rate could very well have been higher.

While so few were tested, many exhibited all the symptoms that have become so emblematic of the disease.

Cooper estimated the medical center saw — on average — nearly a dozen infections a day, or roughly 15% of the patients it serves daily.

The disease, as has been true in the wider community, knew no boundaries. Hoover became infected in November; at least one of his children was infected twice.

‘It really went through pretty quick, in a few weeks,’ Cooper said.

The number of patients ebbed in the summer before picking up again in the fall, although not at nearly the rate as was seen in the spring.

Cases now are rare. Hoover said Tuesday that the center hasn’t had a patient present with COVID-19 symptoms in roughly six weeks.

Please note how reluctant the medical types in the article are to admit that this community might actually be done with the coronavirus. The article also fails to note how many people died from the coronavirus during the time it was going through the community.