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.

They 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].

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.

Lens-Artists Challenge #106-Autumn

Autumn has always been my favorite season.  Warm weather does not agree with me, and I prefer the crisp air of autumn to heat and humidity.  Here on the West Coast, we don’t have the hardwood forests found on the East Coast, but we do get some of the fall colors.

We went to Victoria, BC for our honeymoon in October of 2003, and a friend gave us an idea of where to stay.  We booked a room at the Inn at Laurel Point, where we had a wonderful view of the famed Inner Harbour.  We could watch the little harbor-taxi boats plying their way across the water.

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Water taxi, and tall ship. Victoria Inner Harbour

And we were fortunate to be right over the pretty Japanese-style garden.

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Pond and Garden, Inn at Laurel Point

Dusk is a particularly peaceful time of day in this autumn environment.  We had the special treat of watching the float-planes land, right opposite our balcony.  That’s the only route from our Washington State home to Victoria that we haven’t taken yet.

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Harbour Air Plane landing at Sunset, Victoria Inner Harbour

Seattle’s Kenmore Air has regular service to Victoria, and we might just take it someday, if the border opens again.

In the morning, we often take a walk around the neighborhood of the hotel.  Not too far away is the Inner Harbour Marina, where there are all kinds of boats docked.  Some are day-sailers and power boats, and there ere even some houseboats. That wooden boat with the square stern is a houseboat.

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Boats at Marina, Victoria

On our honeymoon, part of our package tour was a trip to the famous Butchart Gardens.  The gorgeous fall colors are at their best, and we try to go there whenever we celebrate our anniversary in Victoria.  The gardens never fail to display their showy colors, and inspired design.

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Valley Garden
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Japanese Garden Path
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Fountain

Literally, beauty wherever you look.

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Walls of Garden

In our own Cascade Mountains, we get some fall colors, even with our preponderance of evergreen trees (not for nothing is Washington called the Evergreen State).  Just over Stevens Pass, in Chelan County, is the Tumwater Canyon, on US Highway 2.  We drive this way many times during the year, because we love to go to Leavenworth on a day trip.  Along the Wenatchee River, if you get there at exactly the right time, you can see the brightly-colored trees reflected in the water.

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Fall Colors on the Wenatchee River, west of Leavenworth, WA

I am happiest when the autumn air is crisp, the leaves on the trees turn yellow and red, and I can be out in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Even right near my home, autumn makes its appearance.  This beautiful red-leafed tree was found in the parking lot of our local Costco store!

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And every year, I notice this line of trees right behind our house, on the property of the Silver Lake Water District.

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Autumn-I can hardly wait until it gets here again.  Simple pleasures, close to home.

 

Link.

They’ve Got Us Right Where They Want Us (with thanks to a Ricochet friend for the idea)

Isolated from friends and family.

Schools closed, so our children cannot see or play with their friends; in fact, being taught to fear their friends.

Churches closed. Movie theaters, retail shops, bars and restaurants closed (these are all the places where we socialize together).

Stuck at home. Working from home, distant from colleagues and supervisors

Jobs lost, so people lose their sense of purpose in life.

Information about the disease itself, and about how individuals should respond to it, inconsistent and unreliable.

Government so-called “experts”, giving contradictory advice on a daily basis.  University computer “modelers” predicting apocalypse regularly, but changing the parameters so nothing is ever constant.

Elderly people in congregate-care facilities even more isolated, forbidden to see their own families, dying alone and in despair.

People required to wear a mask over their face, the one feature of the body that makes a person human.  Unseen: smiles of satisfaction, frowns of concern, kids’ tongues sticking out at their friends’ good-natured teasing.  Seen: lineups outside stores, dozens of people with no faces, just blank masks, Six Feet Apart

Lineup-masks

Citizens encouraged by Governments to inform on neighbors and strangers; asked to turn in their neighbors for violations of mask-wearing and physical-distancing guidelines.  Re-creating the East German Stasi secret police in the United States of America.

And to add insult to injury, Summer Events that define the Summer season are cancelled.  July 4 festivities everywhere are cancelled; the Bellevue Arts & Crafts Fair is cancelled; the Seattle Chamber Music Festival concerts are cancelled in person-online just isn’t the same.  Not only do you have to go around wearing a mask, all of your social events are cancelled.  This is criminal, and very depressing to the populace.

They’ve got us right where they want us.  Cowed, afraid of our friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  Looking over our shoulders whenever we are away from home, watching everywhere for the snitches, just ready to call the enforcers to slap us with misdemeanor charges for refusing to hide behind the mask.  And if, as expected, the promised Wuhan Coronavirus Vaccine does NOT make its appearance any time soon, this state of affairs will be UNENDING.

They are Destroying American Society, with malice aforethought.  Be very careful of complying with every government “guideline”-they are leading you to disaster.

Are you ready to cower forever, afraid of an unseen virus that 96% of us, even if we get sick, will survive?  Not I, said the Patriot.

Watch The Launch, and Cheer! [Updated]

Earlier today, at Cape Canaveral in Florida, a Space Exploration Technology (SpaceX) rocket took off for space, carrying two American astronauts in its Crew Dragon Capsule.  The team on the ground cheered, and Americans who were watching cheered as they watched the first manned space mission in many years.  This is a tribute to the American people who created, built, tested, and sent off the two intrepid astronauts, to the International Space Station.  Watch.

https://www.foxnews.com/science/spacex-launches-nasa-astronauts

 

Update on Sunday morning:

Mission Accomplished. Crew Dragon Capsule docks at the International Space Station.   Congratulations to the astronauts and the private company whose work put them there.

Voices from the Lockdown

Voices from the Lockdown

In my travels through the Wall Street Journal last week, I heard the following voices, calling out of the Wilderness that is “Coronavirus Lockdown”, variously enforced in most of the United States, by Governors and Mayors who don’t like the US Constitution very much.  They issue various decrees upon their Subjects, forcing them to stay in their homes, give up their livelihoods, and shut their small businesses.  Here is what the people say:

The virus is especially lethal to the elderly.  I can say, because I am 73 years old, that I don’t give a darn.  Mr. M.A.S. in Maine

 

I concurred almost entirely with your editorial until I got to the closing comment: “isolate society’s most vulnerable”.  Almost to the biblical four score, I recognize I am in that category.  However, my wife and I still drive our own cars (or did until the “stay at home” order), have many organizations in which we are active, enjoy going to our children/grandchildren’s home (local and out of state), look forward to gathering with friends, and are engaged in our church.  Thank you, but while I will be prudent, I am not ready to be involuntarily “isolated”.  Mr. J.A.B.C. in Virginia

 

Universal poverty isn’t an acceptable solution to any problem that I can think of.  Mr. R.B in Pennsylvania

 

And from Peggy Noonan’s column entitled: Scenes from the Class Struggle in Lockdown:

Since the pandemic began, the overclass has been in charge–schientists, doctors, political figures, consultants–calling the shots for the average people.  But personally they have less skin in the game.  The National Institues of Health scientist won’t lose his livelihood over what’s happened.  Neither will the midday anchor.

 

Here’s a generalization based on a lifetime of experiencd and observation. The working-class people who are pushing back have had harder lives than those now determining their fate. They haven’t had familial or economic ease. No one sent them to Yale. They often come from considerable family dysfunction. This has left them tougheror harder, you choose the word.

 

The overclass says: “Wait three months before we’re safe.” They [ordinary people] say “There’s no such thing as safe.”

And then the Governor of Michigan describes the ordinary people demonstrating against the lockdown as “racist and misogynistic”.  What does that make her?  Her livelihood is not at stake, and she always appears perfectly made-up and coiffed, while her subjects are denied haircuts.

Once again I say:

Defy Tyranny.  Break the Lockdown.

This is Sad. And Criminal. LaConner, Washington

This afternoon, my husband and I defied the “stay-at-home” order, and drove our car up to the Skagit Valley.  It was bright, sunny, and around 80 degrees out.  LaConner is admittedly a “touristy” little town on the Swinomish Slough, with dozens of little local stores selling just about anything you might want.  Not one store is a member of any chain, and we look forward to going up there a few times a year to see what’s new.  This year, this is “what’s new” in LaConner.

LaConner

And then, this.

trail-rules

We were actually surprised to see so many cars parked on the main street.  But this was sad, sadder, saddest.

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closing

And this was only fewer than half the stores on the main drag.  In his infinite wisdom, the governor of the State of Washington has ruined the town of LaConner.  I wonder how many of those little stores will actually re-open, when His Lowness in Olympia decides it is again “safe” for them to operate.  This was the most depressing trip to LaConner that I can ever remember.  The town is not being destroyed by the Wuhan Coronavirus, it is being destroyed by the Government of the State of Washington.

Sickening, this is really sickening, and so unnecessary.  Destroying the town in order to supposedly “save lives”.  No concern for the lives of all those shop-owners whose livelihoods are now in danger.  I wish them all the best, but fear the worst.

And just outside of town, you would never know the anguish being felt.

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What now, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway?

What now, Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway?

This summer, the cruise industry is forced by the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic to cancel all cruises to Alaska.  Cruises to Alaska leave from the ports on the West Coast, including San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC.  So those ports will miss out on the cruise ship passengers’ money, but they have other sources of tourists.  The ports in Alaska, on the other hand, don’t have quite so many sources of tourist dollars.

In the past, those Alaska cities have expressed some degree of dislike of those cruise-ship passengers, who disembark in the mornings, swarm all over their towns, get back on those big ships in the evening, and sail away.  A few years ago, all those towns got together and proposed to levy some rather large taxes on each cruise-ship passenger, to cover the towns’ costs for rubbish removal and other wear-and-tear.  At least one place was concerned about the town’s “cruise-ship passenger carrying capacity”.  Obviously, that swarm of paying customers is a mixed blessing for the Alaska towns that see multiple cruise ships every summer.

So, how will they feel this year, when they receive zero cruise ships, and the many dollars their passengers spend in their cities?  Will they rethink their dislike of all those tourists swarming their towns?  Or will they breathe a sigh of relief when their towns remain quiet all summer?

Ten Years of Kikyo

We brought home our new black cat, Kikyo, in July of 2010.  It didn’t take her very long to settle in, with her new Staff to cater to her every whim.  We bought her a tall cat tree, so she could climb up and watch out the clerestory window in the family room.  We bought her a “toy box” to hold all her many cat toys.  It’s basically a square wooden box about a foot square and two inches deep, with round holes in the top and sides.  If she wants to play with a toy, she has to fish it out of the box first.  We also sometimes put treats in the box, so she has to fish those out too.  She does have fun with it.  Often when I get home from work, her toys are strewn across the family room floor where she left them.

We installed a window perch in our second-floor bedroom, so she can watch out the window into the back yard.  She spends hours there, sleeping or watching out the window.  Here, then, are ten years of pictures of our Owner, The Lady Kikyo (named after a priestess in Medieval Japan, a character in the anime series InuYasha).

This is the first picture I took of her when we brought her home.  Notice the collar and tag.  Being an indoor cat, we removed the collar after about a week.

Here she is in what I like to call her “legless position”.  Some people call it the “meatloaf” position.

We discovered that she could be quite the little acrobat. How about this balancing act?

Here she is on that tall cat-tree.  She can scamper up there in a split-second when there’s a bird in the maple tree outside the window.

How could you resist this face?

Kikyo discovered fairly early on that she could jump up on the banister of our stairs to the second floor, and jump across to the top of the front closet.  From there she saunters over to the plant shelf.  One day, I caught her sitting on the shelf, snuggled up to a vase in the shape of a cat.  Of course, she had no idea that she was next to another cat!

My favorite place to be is on my bed, with a good book or the Wall Street Journal to read.  Kikyo’s favorite place to be is on me.  When we brought her home from the shelter, she wasn’t much for sitting on people.  But I taught her well.

Kikyo, keeping me warm while I read

Now, is that relaxed, or what?!

Anyone who is owned by a cat has seen their owner in this particularly hilarious pose.  I can’t believe she can actually do this-it’s embarrassing to me! Most undignified!

I brought home a little free bag from my oral surgeon, and for some reason Kikyo likes to sit on it.  If I leave it on the bed, she prefers to be on top of it.

She also has a low cat tree, that sits in the kitchen next to the table.  This particular pose made a great Christmas card in 2015, with the addition of a Santa hat.  This is also the picture on the lock screen of my phone.

 

Then, there’s her Aristo-Cat pose.  This picture is priceless.  She sat in this position for a good ten minutes, watching a bird out the window.

When she’s on her window perch, she just looks so relaxed and lazy.  Mistress of all she surveys.

Our cat, Kikyo, on her window perch

This one is more recent.  The look says: “You rang, underling?”.

There is Nothing like being owned by a cat.  We got an especially lovely one, with a coat like mink.

 

 

 

 

I Defy

I defy the authorities who tell me that, as an over-70-year-old person, I should be staying home and not leaving my house.  I defy the Government Authorities who say this:

 The CDC guidance comes as two top infectious disease experts with ties to the federal government have advised people over 60 and those with underlying health problems to strongly consider avoiding activities that involve large crowds.Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC, said these two groups should consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.People in these two groups “should strongly consider not doing these activities at this juncture,” Schaffner said.“This ought to be top of mind for people over 60, and those with underlying health problems, such as heart or lung disease, diabetes, or compromised immune systems,” Schaffner added. “The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people.”

I do this by continuing to go to work each day at my aerospace job, which is defined as Essential.  Now, my job will be a casualty of the Wuhan Coronavirus, since I have accepted a “Voluntary Separation” offer from the company.  I have also been given a rare honor by my immediate supervisor, and her boss who is the Director of Supply Chain at our company.  The rest of those who accepted the offer will be done at the end of April, while I have been given another month to train my successors in the specialized duties of my particular position.

I, however, refuse to be a casualty of the Wuhan Coronavirus.  I will not cower at home and avoid traveling by airplane and shopping, because I insist on controlling my behavior, and not letting the all-mighty Government (even its all-knowing infectious disease “experts”) control my behavior. My over-60 husband and I will fly to Hillsdale College functions when necessary, because we are big supporters of the College.

I am the master of my soul and my life, and only I determine what I do in response to this new health threat.  I am remarkably healthy, and I went many years at my job with nary a sick day.  I have never had the flu, and I get my flu shot every year.  I WANT to get tested for the virus, to see if I have been exposed, but not enough tests are available, and this, I think, is a massive failure of the public health system.  And I should be able to get tested, if I agree to pay whatever it costs.

I will continue to defy the authorities who want me to act like a scared rabbit.  Even when I retire from this job, I will continue to work any way I can.  I intend to work temp jobs if they are available, and I will continue to work my volunteer job compiling the Business Survey for ISM-Western Washington, which I have now done for 21 years.

So the Government can do its best to get me out of the workforce, but I will continue to defy.  I am strong, and a Happy Warrior.