Freedom…It’s a beautiful thing!

For the first eleven days of September, Hubby and I drove from our home in Washington State to South Dakota and back.  We went through the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and North Dakota.

The State of Washington has a state-wide “mask mandate”, requiring all open businesses to require all their customers who go inside their establishments to wear a “face covering”.  Effectively, this deputizes all state businesses as enforcers of the Mask Mandate.  A business who allows non-mask-wearing individuals into their premises can lose its license if the state deems it at fault.  No business wants to risk losing its license, so the mandate is fairly well-enforced, everywhere in the state.  Highway rest areas in Washington have signs on the doors of the bathrooms stating that masks are required (rarely or never enforced).  This is manifestly unconstitutional, but has never been challenged in our state.

It was very refreshing, in all the other states we visited, to find either NO mask rules at all (WY, SD, ND, ID), or rules that were not enforced (MT).  We stayed at motels everywhere, of our favorite brand; the Hotel Corporate Office had a mask rule, but I never obeyed it anywhere, even in Montana, and was never challenged.

Once we got to South Dakota, there were never any rules posted.  We went to restaurants for lunch and dinner with our group of up to 14 members, and no one wore a mask, other than the restaurant employees.  Freedom!  We found some stores that required masks inside, and we did comply when visiting Safeway and Walmart stores.  But it was such a relief not to have to worry about where my mask was, and if I would need one.  Many of our members went to the Sturgis Mustang Rally, and no masks were found there.

I can’t believe how wonderful it was, to go through a state and actually be able to see the faces of their people.  Everywhere we went, we saw people wearing masks, and people not wearing masks. It was their choice, not the State’s rule.  Big companies are within their rights to require masks of their customers, but States are way outside theirs to demand all residents wear masks whenever indoors.  As for me, I have always prided myself on being liberated, and incendiary.  I am willing to take my chances on being exposed to the Evil Wuhan Coronavirus (as did our 84-year-old friend we visited in Montana, who did not wear a mask or ask that we wear them).

If I get infected by the virus, then so be it.  If I get very sick, it’s on me.  And if I die of the infection, I can be comforted by the fact that I lived, and died, a Free Person, not cowering under my bed in fear.

Freedom!  It’s a wonderful thing!

In the 1930s, they built a wall.

In the 1930s, in the depths of the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration sent crews to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Little Missouri National Grasslands portion, and set them to work building infrastructure.  By the side of the North Dakota highway, there is a turnout with a viewpoint, and a low wall demarcating the limits of the turnout area.   The wall is roughly built, with a poor grade of cement containing many pieces of obvious local stone.

Turnout wall, ND

You can see that the cement holding the stones together has not weathered the years well.

Now, while looking at this wall, I noticed some components that might be very valuable, just incorporated into this wall in a random manner. I focused on one particular piece of material in the wall.

Valuable?

Upon closer inspection, this looked to me like a large piece of petrified wood. In the Eastern part of Washington State, we have a Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park, where many old trees have been preserved, their woody portions replaced by stone. In my experience, petrified wood is very rare, and valuable. I looked closer at another of the stones in the wall.

Petrified Wood

Isn’t it remarkable, that you can see the wood-grain, and in the top photo you can tell where the branches of the tree grew out of the trunk? It seems to me that those wall-builders didn’t know what they had, and simply built big chunks of petrified wood into their quite ordinary stone wall on a highway turnout. I wonder if other tourists who stop at this highway turnout bother to look closely at the simple wall built from local stone? I wonder if the National Park Service, who is now responsible for the maintenance of the park, even knows today what they have?

Retirement. It’s bittersweet, for me.

Tomorrow, Monday, August 31, will be my last working day at my current job, which I have held for 12-2/3 years.  That’s the longest I have ever worked at any job in my entire working life.  My original goal in life was to work forever, and never retire.  Well, the Wuhan Coronavirus put an end to that goal.  The aerospace industry has been decimated by the travel bans all over the world, and our customers have been pushing out and canceling orders right and left.  And our customers’ customers have been doing the same-dominoes continue to fall on a daily basis.  It has made life at work lately very uncomfortable, and I will be glad not to have to worry about that stuff.

My husband also works in the aerospace industry, and it looks like he will be forced to retire, or get laid off, also within a short time.  We had counted on his working after I retire, as he is younger than I am.  I have been covered under his health insurance, too, and his retirement means I will have to go on Medicare pretty much immediately, something that is very distasteful to me.  Well, as with most things in life, we will get through.  We will have to watch our finances a bit more closely, and I have already been trying to get into the “live poor” mindset.  I did it for many years, and I can do it again.

I have spent the past two weeks training the buyers who will be taking over my responsibilities, and I am constantly reminded of how much I know about the little things of my commodities, and my suppliers.  Who constantly emails with niggling little issues, who always gets back to me right away with quotes, which items are very long lead-time…  I’d almost like to empty the contents of my Tribal Knowledge center in my brain, but the researchers haven’t designed the cables yet for that function.  I know that the people who take over my functions are pretty savvy, and it will not take them long to figure things out.

For the past couple of weeks, my coworkers and suppliers have been celebrating my retirement.  Two weeks ago, my favorite production planner organized a farewell lunch for me, and a couple of other people who are leaving for the same reason I am.

MeAndLy

She is such a bouncy little lady, and she calls me “Mother Goose”.  I think I will miss her more than most of my other work friends.

MeAndEE

This is my other favorite work friend.  He is an Electrical Engineer, and he also plays the violin.  He has taught me so much about the products we make, and how they are put together.  He loves to come by my desk to bother me (but he knows I’m not really bothered).

RetireChick

This is the t-shirt my little lady friend got me.

Last week, I was very surprised to receive a huge bouquet of assorted roses from one of my suppliers.  They are just beautiful, and lasted a long time.

RetirementFlowers

Last Monday, when I came in to work, I found that my desk had been decorated by my boss and a coworker.  I was VERY surprised!

DecoratedDesk

Well, I know for absolute certain, that they will miss me.  A lot.  And I will miss them, but not the company.

This past Friday, they gave a department retirement lunch for me.  The food was great, and my coworkers were supportive.  But there was some of the “bitter” part, which has nothing to do with my job, or my coworkers, or my friends.

EatingRule

How to put a damper on any kind of festivities, from the very beginning!  I have no idea why those people in the picture are smiling.  This kind of thing makes me sad, and angry.  I refuse to be afraid, and socially “distant” from my friends.  Distancing is for enemies, not coworkers or friends.

Distance

Yeah, you can almost talk to each other at lunch, when you are separated by a few feet and wearing a mask.  I did not wear a mask, from the minute I entered the room until it was time to go back to my desk (masks are mandatory in the building whenever you are away from your desk).

Lunch

This shows more of the layout.  Sad.  The lady wheeling in the lunch cart by the door is my boss.  Of course, she is wearing her mask, as always.

On Tuesday, Hubby and I get in the car, and drive to South Dakota for a Ricochet meetup.  As soon as we cross the Idaho border, no state we will travel through has a mask mandate, and I hope to never have to wear one when not mandatory.  I know the hotels we will stay in require them, but I am way looking forward to being able to see my Rico friends’ faces, and see them smile.

I am also looking forward to a more leisurely trip home, with no deadline to get back to work, and no one to answer to except Hubby.  We will be traveling through Idaho, Montana, a little piece of Wyoming, and South Dakota on the way there, and will be going the Northern route through North Dakota on the way back.  We will be able to stop more often to admire scenery, and will be able to spend a bit more time when we visit my supplier in rural North Dakota.  We went through there on our Hillsdale trip in 2010, but this time we will be able to stay longer, and I will be able to take the pictures I missed the first time (the territory around Killdeer is very interesting, and I kicked myself for not taking pictures then).  Stay tuned for a big travelogue post when we get back.

So this week I will be starting an entirely new phase of my life.  It will be exciting and a little frightening, but I know I can handle anything that comes along.  I have my Sweetie to help me, and be a shoulder to cry on if I need one.  I am looking eagerly forward to becoming a Hillsdale Associate, helping the College in any way I can.

Onward to the Next Great Adventure!

Damn You, Jay Inslee.

Damn You, Jay Inslee.

Another notch in your (well, I was going to say gun, but you abhor guns) billy-club.  Congratulations, you have destroyed another small business in Washington State. Another livelihood ruined, lives put in jeopardy by your “Rule by Decree”.  We have to destroy it in order to save it.  You’re lucky that the Sheeple of Washington are more than willing to let you ride roughshod over their lives, in order to “protect” them from the Evil Wuhan Coronavirus.  I feel for the proprietors of the LaConner Sweet Shoppe, who are now forced out of business.  While you sit, secure in your office in Olympia.  Your livelihood and job are in no danger, so it doesn’t matter to you, how many others’ jobs and businesses you destroy.

Well, we are not all Sheeple. It is abhorrent that you make the legitimate small and large businesses in our state do the enforcement for you.  You make THEM require all their customers to don a disguise before entering their establishments.  So if I exercise my God-given right to freedom of association and refuse to cover my face, they are the ones who suffer if I am allowed to.

MaskRules

Welcome?  Masks Required doesn’t sound very welcoming to me.  It says “You and all our customers are Dangerous!  You are by definition Infectious and might Kill us and the rest of the customers in our store!  Max four customers?  Not too welcoming to me.  And then, there’s this:

StateOrder

This has been pretty effective in causing the destruction of Society, for it is not society if we are prevented from seeing our friends’ and neighbors’ faces.  No way of reading lips for deaf citizens either.  Just more destruction.

And you want a third term?  Disgusting!

WheelTug, Driving Aerospace

A friend of mine is the CEO of a company called WheelTug.  They are an aerospace startup, developing a product that fits inside the nose wheel/landing gear of an airplane, enabling it to move under its own power around an airport, including pushing back from the gate, turning around, and gliding up to the taxiway so it can take off.  This is a really exciting product, and they already have about 2,000 commitments from airline customers.

Next month, they will be giving the first fully-public demonstrations of the WheelTug system.  This Video acts as an Invitation to attend the TestDrive, either online or in person.  I invite my readers to take a look, and see if you don’t think this is a remarkable invention.  WheelTug promotes their system to airlines, not as a fuel-saver (which it does), but as a time-saver, adding minutes per day that airlines can use to squeeze in additional flights, or improve scheduling.  The system also saves aggravation, and eliminates the need for a separate ground-tugger and personnel to man that tugger (and potentially get in the way of the airplane, causing damage).

Take a look at the video, and tell me what you think.  Comments encouraged!

He said it better than I could…Today’s Quote

I admit that I copied this quote from George Will’s book The Conservative Sensibility, from a friend’s post over on Ricochet.  He (George Will) said this better than I could.

Conservatives’ task is to build a society that nurtures individuals to self-sufficiency, including independence from politics. Now more than ever conservatives need to be focused on this nurturing because the related forces of urbanization and statism are exerting a powerful pull toward an enervating dependency. It is a dependency on large economic entities, and on government, for security. Ultimately, it is dependency on – and addiction to – security as the highest aim of life. This addiction produces, over time, a timid, fearful debased people erecting barriers against a competitive world and aggressively asserting an entitlement mentality, including an entitlement to government protection against uncertainty. This entitlement exacts a steep moral cost. Government that acknowledges such an entitlement becomes a bland Leviathan, administering a soft, kindly, but ultimately corrupting statism of benighted benevolence.

Those units of Government who now control our lives, due to “emergency” declarations over the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, are demonstrating how far this country has declined into the “Enervating Dependency” Mr. Will describes.  Can we stop it?  I wonder.

Headline: Top CEOs paid 320 Times Typical Worker’s Pay

Yes, it’s a real article.  It set me to thinking.  When you see that kind of a headline, what’s the first thought that comes to your mind?

Is it: Wow, cool!  I wonder how they got to make that much money?  I wonder what they had to do for their company to get that kind of salary?  What company has that much compensation variation?  I wonder what I would have to do to become a CEO?  Maybe I should try to get my foot in the door at that company so I can rise to be the CEO someday.

Or, is it:  That is totally insane!  That CEO is being paid WAY too much money, if he earns 320 times the average worker at his company!  He must be stealing that money from workers  lower down the totem pole than he is.  He must have cheated to make it so high in that company!  That company must be really keeping those other workers down, and favoring the executives.  That firm must have rules that make it harder for the average guy to get a higher salary there.

So, are you like the conservative, who sees that headline as a motivator, who tries to find out how those CEOs rose so high, and earned so much at their company, so he can emulate them?  Who thinks that, if CEO X can do it, so can I!

Or are you like the typical Leftist, whose first thought is how to bring that over-paid CEO’s salary closer to the average worker.  And devises ways to take away the CEO’s huge salary, by increasing taxation on the higher-earners, and lobbying for higher minimum wages so the lower-earners make more without earning more.

Leftists don’t want to give the workers at the bottom a hand up, so they can climb the corporate ladder, and earn a better job at a higher salary.  Their first thought is to bring down those at the top, which benefits exactly no one.  That guy at the bottom benefits not one bit from the CEO earning less, and may actually be harmed, if that excellent CEO takes another job where he can earn what he is really worth.

Think about it.  What would you say to that headline?

Ruining Society Every Day

The so-called “Public Health” “Authorities”, and the so-called “Press” (scare quotes fully intended) seem to be in collusion with the state government to ruin society.  If Society means people interacting with each other for mutual benefit, Society is being ruined, decimated by the reactions of Government to the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  The lockdowns that started in March, and are continuing in various forms six months later, are having deleterious effects on every aspect of Society.  Here are some stories from today’s KOMO Seattle Web site.  [Please note that the actions of the Seattle City Council and mayor might have taken place anyway, but are amplified due to the abrupt halt in revenue from sales taxes curtailed by business shutdowns.]

Nearly 600 Layoffs as Boeing Supplier to Close Plant in Kent

Covid-19: Report Looks at Risks of In-person Learning

Washington adds 800 New Covid-19 Cases While New Report says Cases Are Plateauing

Some counties worry that people fleeing the heat could bring Covid-19

Mayor Durkan extends moratorium on evictions through end of year

All of the above articles directly relate to the effects of government shutdowns to try and halt the spread of the virus.  Please note that none of the efforts to halt the virus have been effective.

Now, to the double-whammy affecting residents and businesses in Seattle, the City Government and local “activists” add their Demands.  Some of these issues stem from the death of a black man in Minneapolis that was immediately assumed to be the fault of the policeman who was arresting him, but now, with new information coming out, may have been the result of medical conditions he already had.  No matter, Seattle activists and Antifa will be equal-opportunity destroyers.

Seattle businesses ask the City Council to stop the Payroll Tax      That would be the tax on high-earners that would affect companies like Amazon and Bartell Drugs (a local chain which was started in Seattle in 1895)

Activists demand Mayor Durkan to use $100 million for minority community

Seattle Police arrest 4 at Cal Anderson Park for alleged criminal trespass   That park was part of the CHOP/CHAZ zone that saw so many incidents of shooting, vandalism, and property destruction.

All the above stories testify to the ruination of Society in our area.  Please see my post on the War of All Against All, where the governments are pitting every citizen against every other citizen.  The Seattle city government is a past master at this, with their ruination of landlords by requiring them to accept tenants who do not pay rent; their ruination of area bars and restaurants by forcing them to close; and their ruination of thriving businesses with a payroll tax on their most creative and productive employees.

I feel sorry for the ordinary citizens of Seattle, who seem to be despised by the people they elect to public office.  Maybe you get the government you elect.  Good and Hard.

This made me laugh.

I have a presence on LinkedIn, but I don’t do much with it, and soon I will be doing even less.  My last work day is August 31, and then I finally retire.  I do intend to do a post to that effect, so they can stop sending me job listings.

I will probably still get requests from people to “join my network”.  I got one request today that made me laugh out loud.  It was from a company in Thailand!  Personally, I am not fond of companies who send their business offshore to save costs.  I don’t think that, in the end, many costs are saved, since you have to consider the costs of shipping to and from overseas, time-zone differences which hamper communication, and problems when you receive defective material from halfway around the world.  The company I work for now is buying some complex assemblies from an offshore source, and it seems to me that they are a bit late, since many firms are bringing their stuff back!

I have a friend in Thailand, and I hope he is also getting a chuckle from this.  Not only will I not accept that Thai company into what network I have, but I am planning a post asking that foreign companies, especially those from Communist China, not ask to join my network.  Being retired, I can’t do them much good, now can I?

The War of All Against All…

or How the Governments Multiplied Their Power by Destroying the US Economy to Fight the Wuhan Coronavirus

The United States has seen epidemics of new and old diseases many times in the past.  The so-called Spanish Flu infected 500 Million people worldwide between 1918 and 1920, claiming between 17 and 50 million lives (figures vary, because governments around the world censored their information reaching the public).  Abot 105 Million people were infected in the United States, with 500,000-850,000 deaths.

In 2009, the Swine Flu Pandemic infected 700 Million to 1.8 Billion people worldwide, with about 250,000 deaths.  The US had about 12,000 die from this flu.

In neither of the above pandemics did the United States Government, and State and Local governments, nearly completely shut down their economies to fight the Pandemic Flu.  Travel restrictions were instituted, and the population was advised to stay home if ill, wear masks in public, and avoid large gatherings.

It is estimated that about 45,000 people die of influenza and its complications in the United States each year.  Flu Season is prepared for regularly, the population (especially the elderly) is urged to get their “flu shot” each year, and life goes on.  Symphony concerts, football games, and rock concerts are held everywhere during flu season, and life goes on.  Thousands die of flu every year, and the so-called Press pays little attention.

This time, and this Wuhan Coronavirus, are different.  The world watched, and took notice, in January when news came of a contagious, deadly new virus in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.  It was supposed to have originated in a Chinese “Wet Market”, where exotic animals are sold, alive and dead, for food and medicine.  There were rumors of medical personnel in China dying of this virus.  Rumors also flew about the Chinese Communist Party suppressing news of the virus, and “disappearing” doctors who tried to warn the wider world about it.

Soon, those rumors were confirmed to be true, and the rest of the world began to take serious notice.  The virus spread within Wuhan and its surrounding territory, the the story of brave Ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who tried to warn the world about this new virus, and was subsequently silenced by the Communist Party, and died of the virus.  Stories emerged about heavy-handed Chinese methods of trying to contain the virus, including welding apartment doors shut so inhabitants could not go out (stories and pictures exist of this).

It took the UN Agency, the World Health Organization until March to declare a pandemic existed, and that organization and its Director General did their best to minimize the effects, and play down the role of the Chinese Communist Party.  Over the weeks, it came out that the WHO has been under the thumb of the Chinese Communist Party for years.

Europe and Asia suffered the most, and the news was filled with stories of how hospitals in Italy and elsewhere were overwhelmed with Covid patients. [editorial comment: I wonder why that name just grates on me? Every time I hear it, I cringe].  The first “country lockdowns” were seen in Italy, with everyone required to remain in their homes, not leaving except for “essential” activities like food-shopping; stores and factories shuttered; travel forbidden.  You may want to check out this story of how Chinese companies are buying up Italian ones-no wonder Italy was so badly affected. Soon many countries were locking down their economies, and closing their borders.

In the US, President Donald Trump instituted a ban on travel from China in January, and of course it set off the wailing dogs of the Leftist Press, bemoaning the travel ban as discriminatory and unnecessary.  The first case of the virus was actually found not so very far from where I live in Washington State; the man, who had traveled from Wuhan, China, before the ban, recovered and returned home.  And also in our area, a nursing home in Kirkland was the first incidence of virus spread among residents of a long-term-care facility.  The disease has been found to disproportionately affect the very elderly, especially in congregate-care settings.  There were many deaths.

In February, the first state-wide lockdowns started.  The San Francisco Bay Area was almost totally locked down, businesses closed, travel forbidden, and the people confined to their homes, supposedly to “flatten the curve”, and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed.  Only “essential” businesses were still permitted to operate, but the definition of “essential” varied by State, and by locality.  The lockdowns were supposed to be only short-term, until the hospitals had time to increase capacity.  The Navy sent two hospital ships to New York and San Francisco, so care for non-virus patients so the hospitals could concentrate on virus patients.  Neither ship saw much use, and they were withdrawn.

Schools and colleges closed, and students were sent home.  K-12 students were advised to engage in “distance-learning”, but many school districts had no experience with this, and teachers had no idea how to do it, so most students got little education at the end of the year.  Parents who lost their own jobs, were now forced to stay home with their kids. Parents who could work from home, discovered that they now had two jobs-their own, and “school teacher” for their kids.

One feature of the anti-virus lockdowns was the requirement that hospitals stop all “non-essential” care; non-essential included joint-replacement surgeries, cancer surgeries, diagnostic radiology services, and all other non-emergency care.  These so-called elective procedures are how most hospitals make their money, and when they were no longer allowed to do them, their revenue suffered.  Many hospitals laid off doctors, nurses, and other personnel-in the midst of a pandemic!  And some hospitals were forced to close their doors, reducing the total quantity of care for many communities.  Numerous people, afraid to go to hospital emergency rooms, died at home of heart attacks and strokes that might have been treated if they had called for help.  How many more cases of cancer will grow worse, because the people were denied diagnostic exams?  That may not be known now for years.

Most localities closed all their bars and restaurants, throwing millions out of work, and contributing to the increase in the unemployment rate from the 3.5% in January, to 15% in March.  State Unemployment offices were inundated with claims that, despite Federal money, were delayed when there were simply not enough people to process them.  All travel being forbidden, decimated the airline industry, and the big aircraft manufacturers.  Many parts of the economy simply shut.  City streets were deserted.

State Governors had been presented with a kind of power they had never had before.  The Feds took the advice of infectious-disease “experts” who had never seen an infectious virus like this one, and so they simply closed the economy, to stop the spread of the virus.  But those who run these government agencies knew nothing about making policy, and their jobs and livelihoods were never in danger.  They were so far “above” the man or woman on the street that it never occurred to them that they might be doing more harm than good.  The news stories emphasized how deadly the virus is, and how you need to protect yourself and others whenever you leave your home.  And all the efforts to stop or slow the spread of the virus, have been demonstrably unsuccessful.  The virus continues to spread.  People still get sick, and some die.  But the War of All Against All is perpetuated by Government.

Children have been denied the right to go to school, learn English, math, and science, and play with their friends.  They are not allowed out of their homes, except for the back yards (if they have one-kids in big cities don’t).  Kids who were eligible for low-cost or free lunch at school cannot get lunch.  Children are now being taught to be afraid of their friends.

“Social Distancing” is the new Mantra-stay away from all those other people, because they might carry disease and death!  The economy has partially re-opened, but stores everywhere install plexiglass barriers at checkout stands, so the clerks don’t get infected by their customers.  Many State Governors have enlisted Businesses to be their “diktat-enforcers”.  It is now mandatory for everyone age five and over to wear a “face-covering” or mask whenever they enter a building other than their own home.  Businesses who allow un-masked customers in their stores can be fined, or their store closed.

Society itself is being destroyed.  Every person is being taught, over and over, to distrust EVERY other person.  Government, in its heavy-handed response to the Wuhan Coronavirus, is proceeding to tear down the foundations of society; ripping the people away from their friends and acquaintances, and destroying businesses on a daily basis.  Here are some news items. gleaned from various places, showing

The War of All Against All

Virus Takes Heavy Toll on Stores

The outdoors store Land, Sea, And Sky, which sells telescopes and binoculars, closed in March and had its employees working remotely.  Once it reopened, it chose to keep the store closed and conduct transactions on the sidewalk.  They chose, because they have high-risk employees, not to allow customers back in the shop.

The [record] store stopped allowing customers to review albums in-store.

Truck stops will now require all their customers to wear masks.  The coronavirus has made life on the road more challenging for truckers as they contend with new requirements and restrictions.

In a Wall Street Journal article, outside meetings are shown.  There is a picture of seven adults in lawn chairs in a circle, all wearing masks, sitting six feet apart.  Outdoors.  The article says that some people may still feel anxious about meeting in groups, even outdoors.

Headline: Fauci, Powell warn of fresh risks to Lives, Economy, if virus spirals

Health experts say mass adherence to basic guidelines is sorely needed.

Due to safety protocols, many colleges aren’t alowing parents in dorms, or, in some cases, even on campus.  Move-in dates have been staggered over multiple days, to allow students to keep distant, with specific time slots allotted. Some schools are limiting the number of suitcases students can bring with them, asking that everything be shipped ahead to reduce trips in and out of the residence halls. Many students will be tested for the virus immediately upon arrival and quarantined as they await results. [Premise: Everyone is assumed to be infected]

About return to schools: Even if the numbers allow them to open, teachers and staff members will have to distance themselves by at least six feet from each other and from children.  Students in third grade and higher will be forced to wear masks.  [effects: children will not see their teachers smile, or their friends either]

...the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest education union, threatened “safety strikes” if reopening plans are not to their liking.

On net, therefore, the value of online public school is much lower, especially for young children, than the value of in-person public school.

Summer school has informed some districts’ plans.  In Norwalk, Conn., as soon as someone at a summer school tested positive in July, the building shut for three week-days of disinfection, plus the weekend.  All six people in the infected person’s group quarantined for 14 days.

Headlines on Wednesday, July 25:  Pandemic Lockdowns Clip Sales at Gucci; Altria Sees Pause In Smoking Slide, Shift to Cigarettes [people locked down at home are smoking more]; Closures, Costs, Dent McDonald’s Profit; Starbucks Loss Worst in Decade; Mondelez Snack Sales Suffer From Measures to Fight Virus Overseas; L Brands to Lay Off Hundreds.

Virus Cases Slow, but States Struggle.   Headline sounds like it is trying to demoralize us.

There have been numerous stories of citizens in big cities “snitching” on their neighbors.  New York issued a phone number for a hotline, for citizens to report others not in compliance with Government Mandates to wear masks and “social-distance” from others. There is now even a word to describe snitches, they are called “Karens”.

Here is a picture from one of my Ricochet friends, of signs she found around her neighborhood one day.  Governments are creating a mini-Stasi, the East German Secret Police that kept tabs on all citizens.

Karens

Below are some very pithy comments from a bunch of my Ricochet friends, who are in general smarter than the average bear.

As we’ve navigated this pandemic, I’ve seen indicators and warnings (term of art, in my previous life) that we’re all getting played across the board by this pandemic reaction and mitigation efforts. What I am saying is not that there should be no mitigation or protection efforts. I’ve stated my preferences of the start point for protecting the vulnerable before, and early on in this grift.   [Boss Mongo]

 

Progressives are pushing a “no risk” solution, which of course is not “no risk.” It goes like this: Do whatever it takes to ensure that no one dies; OK someone died, but let’s now do whatever it takes so that no one else dies; OK someone else died, but now do whatever it takes so that no others die; (wash, rinse, repeat). This maximizes, not minimizes, total losses. And yet it is being sold as the way to minimize loss. It sounds like a wonderful aspiration: we all work together to keep us all alive. But in practice, it is the best way to assure that more people die — if not as a direct loss to the disease, then as an indirect loss due to the response to the disease.  [Rodin]

 

Governments, businesses, organizations, and people have imposed or implemented many virus transmission mitigation efforts, including closing businesses, schools, churches, public events and social activities, preventing travel, forcing people to remain physically distant from one another, and building physical barriers to separate people from one another, including extra walls, face masks, etc. These virus transmission mitigation efforts have and will continue to impose significant costs on society and on individuals. “Costs” that are not just monetary, but also medical, psychological, and social.  [Full Size Tabby]

 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced tonight that he has authorized the city to shut off water and power at homes and businesses that continue to host large parties and gatherings, “in flagrant violation” of health orders:

“Starting on Friday night, if the LAPD responds and verifies that a large gathering is occurring at a property, and we see these properties re-offending time and time again, they will provide notice and initiate the process to request that DWP shut off service within the next 48 hours.”  [ontheleftcoast, but I had already seen this info]

 

This next part is something I copied myself from the KOMO Seattle Web Site.  There is a well-known U of Washington group whose prediction/projection “models” of the virus spread/containment inform the governor of Washington state, who has said that the massive restrictions will stay in place “until there is a vaccine” for the virus.  In my opinion, this is evil.

SEATTLE – Washington state will likely need to reimpose stricter stay-home orders and business closures by October amid a projected increase in the state’s death rate from coronavirus, according to a new University of Washington study released Thursday.

The study says the stricter measures will be needed when the state’s daily death rate reaches 8 per million, and may be similar to those imposed at the start of the pandemic in March and April, including closures of nonessential businesses and expanded stay-home orders.

However, if face mask usage were to increase to 95% of the state’s population, the stricter measures could be delayed by six to eight weeks, the study concluded.

The new study by UW’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation also found that America’s “rollercoaster” approach to COVID-19 is worsening the effects of the pandemic, and that the nation could see nearly 300,000 deaths by Dec. 1 unless there is a wholesale increase in mask-wearing.“We’re seeing a rollercoaster in the United States,” said IHME Director Christopher Murray. “It appears that people are wearing masks and socially distancing more frequently as infections increase, then after a while as infections drop, people let their guard down and stop taking these measures to protect themselves and others – which, of course, leads to more infections. And the potentially deadly cycle starts over again.”

The study forecasts a total U.S death toll of 295,011 by December if mask-wearing does not increase – an increase of 137,000 fatalities over the current total of 158,000.

However, if 95% of the people in the U.S. were to wear masks when leaving their homes starting today, that total number would decrease to 228,271 deaths, a drop of 49%, the study projects. And more than 66,000 lives would be saved.

There is no possible way that those modelers can have any kind of certainty about any of the above statements, and just the thought that they can impose strict stay-home orders on the Citizens of Washington State on such flimsy evidence is appalling!  And, what if there never is a vaccine?  What if the virus just stays around?  Will the people let the State run their lives forever?

Spot Inspections Rise as Officials Seek Covid-19 Safety compliance.

Governments in the United States are pitting each citizen against every other citizen.  Mask-wearing is said to “protect you from others, and others from you”.  Government is creating the ultimate low-trust society in the United States, and that will ensure that the United States as Founded, will disappear.  If each American is taught to be deathly afraid of each other American, how can anyone ever have some semblance of a normal life?  Governments and the Press are already getting us prepared for the “new normal” of remaining socially-distant from our former friends and coworkers, obsessively washing everything in our environment, including ourselves, and suspicion of every place other than our own homes.

Governments have destroyed Sports, both professional and amateur.  My husband goes to an athletic club to play squash; the club was hard-closed for five months!  Even now, the club is open, but he can’t play with another person on the court, or even take a shower after hitting by himself.  This is cruelty!  I wonder if all those pro football season-ticket holders will be keeping those seats, if they are not allowed to watch the games in person?

They have destroyed the performing arts (see my post on that subject from June).  Our tickets for Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra were worthless, since all the 2020 concerts were canceled.  At least the organization got our money.  Will they survive?  Unknown.

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Want Schools to Open? Get Serious about Outbreaks”, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and a co-author say these things:

[low-income children] These are the children whose futures will suffer most from keeping schools shut. The country chose the short-term benefit of reopening un-essential businesses over the long-term benefit of ensuring children could be educated properly. [This is manifestly BS.  Who are they to deem any business un-essential?]

…trying to open schools doesn’t mean pretending Covid poses no risk to children, a move that only sows distrust among parents [as if that statement didn’t sow distrust itself]. Closed schools in the spring protected many children from Covid [impossible to prove]. This deliberate sheltering means we don’t know all the consequences of the virus spreading widely in children [assumption that the consequences would be dire].

And possibly the worst part of all this destruction is that the People, from very early on, have been compliant, obedient, Sheep.  Notice how easy it was for most US Citizens to be herded into their homes, and ordered to stay there.  Like dogs, who drool on their masters and obsequiously do their bidding, the American people allowed themselves to be ruled by their elected officials, with next to no pushback.  Even now, six months later, there is still very little clamor from the people, demanding to be let out of their pens and go back to productive work.  The Powers are saying that it might be necessary for further lockdowns this year-where are the cries from the cowed, compliant masses?

The “Healthcare Emergency” that started in February is now over six months old, and Governments everywhere still have their boots on the necks of all citizens.  Most cities are enforcing mask requirements and insisting that people stay six feet away for all other people.  Bars and restaurants are still closed, or only partially open. Fear literally permeates the entire country.  Adults are prevented from meeting their friends outside, and in many places, even in their own homes!  No one’s life is safe from government mandates anymore.  Unemployment is still stubbornly high, and many people will soon exhaust their benefits.  Governments say, “don’t worry, we will take care of you, and protect you from that nasty, killer Virus”.  But most people don’t want the government to take care of them.  We want the Government to let us get back to work, and play.  We want our children to be able to play outside with their friends, and go to school to learn.

Most of us don’t want to be at war with everyone else.  We need to start fighting back against our own governments.  They are truly Drunk with Power, and need to be stopped.  Starting with the local level.  Tell your Rulers that you will elect new officials who see their citizens as adults who can make their own decisions, instead of as children who need to be controlled by their betters.  We need to Reject the War of All Against All, before we are All ruined.