A sample of RushBabe’s Email for this week-Coronavirus Edition

The past week has been pretty volatile for everyone, around the world.  Whole countries “locked down”, stock-market swings like never before (2,000 points in one day on the Dow!), panic-buying leading to empty store shelves, restaurants and other public venues closing, and a death-count rising almost everywhere.  I live right smack in the middle of a “hot zone” in the Seattle area, so the local media is keeping us informed of conditions around Puget Sound.

I have a dedicated “professional” email account, where I direct emails from companies I buy from, both online and in person, and use for my employment contacts, should I be looking for a job.  For the past two weeks, I have been receiving emails from most of the stores and businesses I buy from, with a variety of updates and information on how they are dealing with the crisis.  Most places describe how they are keeping their own premises and employees safe; cleaning everything in sight, encouraging everyone to stay home if feeling sick, and following local and national guidelines.

Herewith, a sample of some of the emails I have been receiving:

The first one, from last week, from the head of Alaska Airlines. I was impressed that he has eight children-that’s pretty unusual these days, and I admire him for it:

Please be assured that Alaska Airlines is closely monitoring the situation, including conducting daily briefings with some of the best medical experts in the nation. Our top priority is always the safety of you and our employees. Check out our blog on the extra steps we are taking to keep our guests safe with additional cleaning and updates to onboard procedures.

At Alaska, we are optimistic about the future and hope you feel that way too. We launched our Peace of Mind policy so that you can take comfort in knowing that any ticket purchased after February 27, 2020 can be changed or canceled without a fee (applies for any travel through February 28, 2021). Today, we launched our biggest fare sale yet with fares starting as low as $20 one way* for travel between March 19, 2020 and May 20, 2020. And, we’ve got great deals to Hawaiʻi, New York and Florida starting at $99 one way.* We hope the combination of these great fares and our Peace of Mind policy will help those who want to travel this spring but are concerned their plans may change.

We understand that everyone is in a different place when it comes to what is best for you and your family. Just recently, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said “I just want to echo again that the risk is low—the risk is low. I encourage Americans to go about their life. That includes travel to California, Oregon and the state of Washington.”

In closing, some of you may know that my wife and I are blessed with eight children. We have a family trip to Hawaiʻi planned for spring break this year, and we can’t wait to go! We know things can change, but we are looking forward to our trip together as a family. Hopefully we will see some of you there.

Thank you for being a Mileage Plan™ member.

Andrew Harrison

From my financial institution where I have my “play money” individual stock Roth IRA account:

As you might expect, volatility in the markets has increased the number of clients contacting us. Unfortunately, this has resulted in much longer than normal phone wait times, sometimes keeping us from delivering the level of service we are known for.

Given the potential spread of the virus over the coming weeks, we’re anticipating additional impacts that may lead to a continuation of extended wait times. In an effort to protect the safety and welfare of both our clients and associates, we may deem it necessary to limit or suspend person‑to‑person interactions between our clients and associates within our branches. If that is the case, our branch staff still would be available to clients by phone or other means. Please check the branch locator for the most up to date information on your local branch. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

They also emphasize that their Web site is the place to go for more information 24/7.

From Lands’ End, where I often buy clothing items.  They are located in rural Dodgeville, Wisconsin, and have some of the best customer service around:

We are following guidance from public health officials and government agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), so we can make assessments and provide information and guidance as the situation develops.

Employee self-care is important to us.  We continue to focus on encouraging washing your hands regularly, staying home when you are sick to prevent the spread of germs to others, and hand sanitizers are available for all employees. We also have restricted international travel and US travel is on a case by case basis.

In addition to our regular cleaning procedures at our retail stores, offices, and distribution center, there has been an increased focus on cleaning and sanitizing the more commonly touched hard surfaces, including entrances, bathrooms, fitting rooms, break rooms, conference rooms, phones and registers.

From Enterprise Rent-a-Car, where I often rent when out of town:

Enterprise Rent-A-Car® is offering College Student Travel Assistance in response to the closing of colleges and universities due to coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns.

We are reducing the minimum age and waiving young renter fees for rentals through May 31, 2020, to help students get home safely and ease the burden on families during this time.

Details
• Available to college students 18–24 years of age
• Official student ID must be presented at the time of rental
• Valid on Economy through Fullsize cars, Minivans, Small Pickup Trucks and Cargo Vans
• Valid at U.S. locations only for rentals reserved in advance
• Standard driver and credit requirements apply (excluding minimum age)
• Expires May 31, 2020

A short and sweet note from Barnes and Noble bookstores, which have not been doing well lately, seeing their business decline due to the influence of Amazon.  They are still my primary source of the physical books I still buy (I do not buy ebooks-just old-fashioned, I guess):

Dear Reader,

We’re living through turbulent times together. Our booksellers are your neighbors, your friends and family. Your stories are our stories, and we know how resilient our communities are.

Sincerely,

The Booksellers of Barnes & Noble

An email from Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial in Israel, to whom I donate each year:

In light of the recent directives from Israel’s Ministry of Health in the fight against the Coronavirus (COV-19), Yad Vashem is closed to visitors from Sunday 15 March until further notice.

This one is interesting.  I buy tickets to the University Unitarian Church full-length Messiah Sing-and-Playalong each December, through local ticket agency Brown Paper Tickets.  They are known for their Social-Justice Warrior characteristics, and each ticket-buyer is offered a choice of charities to which to direct their share of agency profits (they concentrate, obviously, on social-service outfits).  Here’s the email I received from them:

To our events community,

For the first time in Brown Paper Tickets’ 20-year history, we are reaching out to our entire community of fans and supporters because artists, performers, and organizers are in crisis. They need our help now.

The impact of COVID-19 on small, community organizations is unprecedented. From independent bookstores, to local theaters, to arts nonprofits, event organizers are in immediate financial danger. For them, every ticket matters – one canceled event could mean the difference between making rent and closing their doors forever.

Our core mission at Brown Paper Tickets is to support events and the people who make events happen. Now, we’re asking you to join us.

Please consider contributing to your local arts organizations during this difficult time.

We currently have over 20,000 small events listed, and more are being added daily – purchasing a ticket to a future event now can have a huge positive impact. Many organizers also accept donations through our platform or on their own websites.

We know that the climate right now is one of uncertainty. Some events may be postponed, some may be canceled, but many will go on. Our commitment to you remains the same: 24/7/365 live support, full refunds for canceled events through the Brown Paper Tickets processor, and an unwavering belief in the power of our community.

Thank you,

And, finally, a missive from one of our favorite local restaurants.  We like going to the local Red Robin for a burger, and we know that they got their start in Seattle in the 1950s.  Their message was encouraging, since we are not locked down yet, and have been going out to eat when we can:

[Edit: Sorry, I just could not make their email work with all its formatting. Suffice it to day, RR is remaining open for business, with increased cleaning and as usual following all the CDC guidelines.  We plan on going there soon.]

Hubby and I are still very well, and living our lives as we have always done.  We are still working (he from home, me at the factory), washing our hands more often (even if our skin is beginning to look like a rhinoceros), and keeping up with regular activities.  We are not panicking, even if many others are (our local Costco is still out of toilet paper!).  And we are grateful that most of our favorite restaurants are still open for business.  It is gratifying that the entities I deal with in person and online are doing what they can to support their customers and employees.

We will make it through this crisis, if we keep a level head, follow directions from health authorities, and just keep on keeping on.

She Who Punishes: Elizabeth Warren and the politics of Envy and Destruction

She Who Punishes: Elizabeth Warren and the politics of Envy and Destruction

In case you have not been following the campaign for the Democrat presidential nomination, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren (AKA Fauxcahontas) is one of the many candidates.  Sen. Warren is also known as The Candidate With The Plans.  She seemingly has a plan for nearly everything; healthcare, Wall Street, big business, corporate governance, regulation, the environment, and on and on.  The main feature that runs through all her plans for the country when she is elected president, is Punishment.  Every one of her many plans is designed to punish one or another group of Americans, whom she deems not sufficiently socially conscious. So, below I will lay out for you all the various plans Elizabeth Warren has proposed, and which group’s ox will be gored.  Then, you can decide if you would like to live in Elizabeth Warren’s America. A big shout out to the Wall Street Journal, whose editorials compiled all these Plans in one place.

Wealthy Americans:  Ms. Warren has proposed a Wealth Tax, to tax net worth over $50 million at 2% per year, and 6% over $1 billion.  To prevent those wealthy Americans from just deciding to leave the country, she would levy a 40% Exit Tax (yes, before you could renounce your US citizenship, you would have to pay the government 40% of whatever you have left after the Wealth Tax).  About 75,000 households might be subject to the taxes.  [unintended consequence: wealthy citizens would have to sell assets to pay the taxes, potentially causing the stock market to decline with all those sales at once, which would not help your 401(k) value] Warren would increase capital gains taxes for the wealthiest 1%.  Thus, the wealthiest might have to pay 40% of their gains to the government.  She would apply a yearly tax on gains, by mandating “mark to market” of assets, even those not sold (today, capital gains are not recognized before an asset is sold).  Warren would tax the sale of financial assets like stocks and bonds (a “financial transactions tax”), and charge big banks a “systemic risk fee”.

Employer “Medicare for All” tax:  Companies with at least 50 workers would be charged an “Employer Medicare Contribution” equal to 98% of their recent outlays on health care for their employees.  This tax might increase or decrease depending on inflation. [unintended consequence, your pay would decrease in the amount of that tax, and the company might have to lay off employees]  If this did not bring in enough revenue, Warren would go after large companies with high executive pay.

Multi-national and large corporations: Warren would raise the top corporate tax rate back to the 35% it was before the 2017 tax law passed.  This rate would also apply to world-wide company earnings.  Foreign companies would also be subject to tax for earnings in America. [unintended consequences: companies would raise the prices of their products and possibly curtail hiring; US companies might lose business to countries with lower tax rates]  There would also be a “Corporate Surtax” on profits over $100 million, of 7% with no exemptions-this would be in addition to the existing 35% rate.  Expensing of assets would slow, so companies would pay higher taxes for a longer time.

Ordinary Americans: She would increase Social Security taxes on all workers and employers, and apply the tax to higher levels of income so higher-earners would pay more into the system.  She would also apply a 14.8% surcharge on net investment income.  Then, she would increase Social Security payouts to retirees.

The Healthcare Industry: Warren would bring about Medicare for All, including illegal aliens. She would mandate Government-run medical care for all Americans.  She would phase out all Private Health Insurance.  She would pay all doctors Medicare rates (which are substantially less than private insurance pays). She would pay all hospitals 110% of Medicare rates (again lower than private insurance pays).  Warren would mandate lower payments to all medical specialists, especially those deemed “over-paid”. She would threaten pharmaceutical companies with assorted taxes and fees if they did not lower the prices of all their branded medicines; she would also threaten to have the government do its own pharmaceutical manufacturing, thus destroying the industry. [unintended consequences: doctors quit practicing, and retire in large numbers; hospitals close when the payment rates from the government do not remotely cover their costs; thousands of employees in the health insurance industry lose their jobs; pharmaceutical companies close or move overseas, as they can no longer afford the research and development of new medicines whose costs are covered by the higher charges for the period of their patents; the result-less and poorer health care for Americans without people to deliver it]

The Energy Industry: Warren would mandate the end of so-called “fossil fuels”, ban fracking, and halt energy leases on federal lands.  She would vastly increase energy research, with the goal of 100% emission-free transportation and 100% carbon-free power generation.  She would retrofit 4% of all dwellings and buildings each year to be “carbon-free”, kill new oil pipelines, and subject all new projects to a “climate test”. She would guarantee workers who lose their energy-industry jobs full pay and benefits in whatever “new energy economy” jobs they get.  Intended consequences: Energy companies close, pipeline companies go bankrupt when there is no longer supply of oil and gas for their pipelines; landowners lose lease income from the drilling on their land when fracking is banned; thousands of workers lose their jobs.

Education: Charter schools lose federal funding for any expansion.

Taxpayers: Much of student debt would be written off, thus charged to the majority of US taxpayers. This also punishes those students who either paid for their own educations, or whose parents did.  College would be “free” for all Americans.  Pell grants would increase.

Big Tech:  Break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Unwind many of their mergers with other companies, like Whole Foods (Amazon) and DoubleClick (Google).  Regulate them as “online utilities”. [unintended consequences: the Internet is no longer “free”. Google and Facebook would start charging fees, and your ISP payments would be much higher]

Banks: Institute a new “Glass-Steagall” act to break up big banks.

Firearms owners: Institute federal licensing for all types of firearms and ammunition.  Raise taxes on all guns and ammunition (30% on guns, 50% on ammo).  Ban sales of so-called “assault weapons”, and hold manufacturers liable for shooting deaths with their weapons.  Mandatory federal registration of all currently-owned firearms.

President Donald Trump: Elizabeth Warren would immediately start extensive investigations of President Trump the minute he leaves office.  She would launch “open-ended criminal investigations” of Mr. Trump and “anyone who worked for him”.  Thus, she would criminalize political differences.  This, in itself, is horrifying.

So, do you think you’d like to live in Elizabeth Warren’s America?  Not I!

Rush the Irreplaceable: Upbeat, in his Own Words

Rush the Irreplaceable: Upbeat, in his Own Words

I just realized one thing about Rush that I had never thought of before.  I wonder if it has also occurred to the rest of Rush Limbaugh’s loyal audience, that he is human, and he might not be around forever.  I think most of us just took it for granted that, from noon to 3:00PM ET, or whenever his program is on where you live, when you turn on your radio, he’s there.  Every day, for three whole hours, he has been there, pretty reliably, for over 30 years.  It simply never occurred to me that someday he might be gone.  So the announcement that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, just hit me like a ton of bricks. Now that I’ve had a chance for it to sink in, and have heard last Friday’s show (I listened to the first hour live through his Web site, before people started interrupting me at work), I am again reminded of his likeness to a Bobo doll-you can knock him over, but he keeps getting back up every time.  And one of the reasons for that is his irrepressible optimism, about himself, about life in general, and about America.

Here, from his two books, are some of what I consider Rush’s best, most pithy, pronouncements.

~~~

So, take some advice.  Lighten up.  We should all laugh more at ourselves. I don’t need to improve much in this area, but admit it, many of you people do. Many of you take things far too seriously in most cases.  Come on, laugh at yourselves, folks.

~~~

We need to encourage people to contribute to the economy, not to sit around basking in self-pity. We need to help them get out of the situation, rather than glorifying and perpetuating it. Encourage them to become economically equal members of this society, rather than a collection of sycophants sidling up to the pig and looking for the biggest nipple they can find.

~~~

Don’t fall prey to the seductive emotional appeals of the Democrats as they attempt to pit one group of society against another with their politics of class envy. Let the facts speak for themselves. If a liberal president gets elected, he, like Jimmy Carter, will make sure “fairness” applies to all economic levels.  He will see to it that we all get poor again.

~~~

The way to save endangered species is to give someone a stake in preserving them. By allowing legitimate ranches to privatize them, we can make sure others don’t pulverize them.

~~~

People are going to have to learn to depend less on the government. We are going to have to separate them from the federal budget sow.  But we can also make their lives better by giving them more choice in how the tax money they do pay is spent.

~~~

I refuse to believe that people, who are themselves the result of Creation, can destroy the most magnificent creation of the entire universe.

~~~

Environmentalists always appeal to the memories of a simpler, more natural time.  They are regressing, wanting to go backward in time.

~~~

I want this to be a great country, and a great country needs as many great individuals as there can be.

~~~

For the black leadership to continue to encourage their people to absorb themselves in the past, instead of helping them to get beyond the bitterness, is doing them a great disservice.

~~~

…man is a spiritual being. If his faith in God is destroyed, the void will be filled with something else. Throughout history that substitute for faith has been a belief in a man-made god called the state. Untold crimes have been committed in its name, Hitler and Stalin being the most bloody recent examples.

~~~

I am convinced that the most important thing conservatives have to do to win is to just keep saying no to the left.  No to their special-interest giveaways. No to their pork-barrel spending projects. No to their privileged congressional empire….Be confident and patient, and never forget History.

~~~

Yes, I am fortunate that I have the opportunity to do what I love.  But nobody handed it to me on a silver platter.  I had to work at it and prove myself every step of the way.  My story is nothing more than an example of the Original American Ethic: hard work, overcoming obstacles, triumphing over enormous odds, the pioneer spirit. These things, my friends–not such vacuous symbolic gestures as wearing ribbons on lapels or government intrusion into every aspect of our lives–are what built this country.

~~~

A man from Alabama recently wrote me a computer letter accusing me of being too upbeat and optimistic. He said that by listening to me, one would get the idea that there is no hurting or suffering going on in the world and that everything is working out for the best. Wrong. I realize that there are failures and suffering.  I just happen to believe that there would be a great deal more of them if everyone had that writer’s pessimistic, defeatist attitude. …What “the Suffering” need is steady doses of confidence-building optimism.

~~~

I have not written a doctoral theses about free enterprise.   Humbly speaking, as the Doctor of Democracy, I am free enterprise. And I operate in the real world, not in the insulated atmosphere of the ivory-tower academy.

~~~

Don’t believe the doomsayers. Don’t believe the negativity-mongers. Don’t believe the America-bashers–even if one of them is the president of the United States. Don’t buy into the lie that punishing high achievers will bring you happiness. Your own success–born of your own ingenuity and industry–is what will make you happy.

 

 

I am a White, College-educated, Well-off, Suburban Woman…

And I support our duly-elected President Donald Trump.  All of my classifications above are assumed NOT to support the President.  That segment of society is assumed to be Leftist.  That segment of society is assumed to be pro-abortion.  I don’t fit that mold either. [and I refuse to use the term “pro-choice” either.  I prefer pro-abortion, because that is the correct descriptive term]

As Ayn Rand used to say: Check Your Premises.

I will go out on a limb here, and predict that President Trump will win re-election in November, win the popular vote, and get his second term by a much larger margin than he won his first.

Have a Very Harry Christmas!

Have a Very Harry Christmas!

It occurred to me recently that my Christmas posts have been very heavily Peanuts.  I love A Charlie Brown Christmas, but I also love Harry Potter.  I was enchanted by my first taste of Harry and his Wizarding World, when I saw the first movie in 2001, and have been an avid fan ever since.  I joined Pottermore when it came out, and worked my way through all the books in the video-game-like part of the site (which was shut down when the kid users made hash of it).  I have remained a member of what is now Wizarding World, gotten sorted into my Hogwarts House (Slytherin), and Ilvermorny House (Horned Serpent), gotten my wand (pine wood with unicorn-hair), and Patronus (a stoat, a relative of the weasel).

One of my favorite parts of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was the time of Harry’s first Christmas at Hogwarts.  Since he had no real family to go home to over the holiday, he stayed at school, along with the Weasley kids and a few others.  One of my very favorite lines in all the books was Harry’s comment when he awoke Christmas morning to find a small pile of presents at the foot of his bed.  Since he really hadn’t been expecting anything at all, and this is what happened:

On Christmas Eve, Harry went to bed looking forward to the next day for the food and the fun, but not expecting any presents at all.  When he woke early next morning, however, the first thing he saw was a small pile of packages at the foot of his bed.

“Happy Christmas,” said Ron sleepily as Harry scrambled out of bed and pulled on his dressing-gown.  ‘You, too’, said Harry. Will you look at this? I’ve got some presents!”  

“What did you expect, turnips?” said Ron, turning to his own pile, which was a lot bigger than Harry’s.

One of his presents was his own wizard chess set (from a cracker at Christmas dinner), and he and Ron would play together.

HarryChess

Harry also received his father’s invisibility cloak, which he just had to try out in the corridor after hours. While under the Cloak, he discovered the room where the Mirror of Erised was stored, and spent hours in front of it, viewing the family he never had.

HarryChristmas

He spent some time alone in the Great Hall, thinking about his family, and what he had missed.  And remembering that Hogwarts was his new family.

In Harry’s Fourth Year, he encounters some of the most harrowing problems he has yet had to face, starting with being chosen by the Goblet of Fire to be Hogwarts’s second champion in the TriWizard Tournament.  But he rises to the occasion.  And then, he is presented with a new challenge-asking a girl to the Yule Ball. It doesn’t go as well as he might have hoped, but the Great Hall was certainly beautiful with all its winter decorations.

Yule Ball

In Harry’s Fifth Year, he is plagued with visions, indicating that Voldemort is inhabiting his mind when his defenses are down. He does, however, make good use of those visions, and hurries to the Ministry of Magic to save Arthur Weasley from Voldemort’s snake, Nagini.  Christmas is spent with the Weasley family, celebrating Mr. Weasley’s recovery.

Weasley-Phoenix

In Harry’s Sixth Year, the social side of being a wizard shows itself again, when Harry is invited to bring a friend to Professor Slughorn’s Christmas party.  It was almost comic, reading about Hermione’s attempts to lose her date, Cormac McLaggen.  But the food items were tasty, and Harry watched as party-crasher Draco Malfoy was taken down a peg or two when Slughorn did not fall all over him with praise about his relatives.

SlughornParty

The first book, and the first movie, remain my favorites.  The kids were so well-cast, and they all did all of the movies, so you could literally watch them all grow up.  Jo Rowling did indeed create a fully-formed Universe, alongside the one we all live in.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes think about how interesting it would be to be a Witch or Wizard in today’s world.

I hope you all have a Very Harry Christmas!

Did you know that President Trump has the power to destroy the Planet?

Did you know that President Trump has the power to destroy the Planet?

Well, he must have, since David Remnick of The New Yorker has GIVEN him that power.  In an editorial, Mr. Remnick says the the impeachment by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives is all about THE FUTURE OF THE PLANET.  Unbeknownst to himself, Remnick has single-handedly handed President Trump power over the entire planet.  Somehow, I don’t think that’s what he meant.

A Judge in London demonstrates: Western Civilization is Doomed

In a news story about the slime treatment accorded to author J K Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, when she spoke the truth, I found a statement by a judge in the UK that set me back a bit (well, not really a BIT, but a HUGE amount).  Ms. Rowling spoke up in support of a researcher who was fired from her job, because she pointed out that a biological Male cannot become a Female.

That brought out the Long Knives of the “Transgender Mafia”, who took to Twitter to angrily berate Ms. Rowling for being a hateful bigot.  The researcher, Maya Forstater, was fired for using “offensive and exclusionary” language in stating that a male is a male, regardless of his “feelings”, and Rowling’s tweet in support made her also offensive (as in, offending someone).

Here is what the Judge in a “Central London Employment Tribunal” said in approving Ms. Forstater’s removal from her job. [emphasis mine]

“I conclude from … the totality of the evidence, that [Forstater] is absolutist in her view of sex and it is a core component of her belief that she will refer to a person by the sex she considered appropriate even if it violates their dignity and/or creates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. The approach is not worthy of respect in a democratic society,” read the ruling from Judge James Tayler.

Yes, a person should not be permitted to hold her job when she states the simple truth about biology.  Now, didn’t I read somewhere that the end-times might be nigh when “Evil is Good, and Good is Evil”?  This is a JUDGE!  What is civilization coming to, when a judge does not recognize the truth when he hears it.  Now, hurting someone’s feelings is a firing offense, and reality is simply denied.  This is not a good omen for Western Civilization.