Category Archives: General Interest

Find good fortunes in uncertain times

Yesterday’s GDP news was dismal:

“U.S. GDP: The BEA released its initial report on GDP for the second quarter, revealing the largest quarterly drop since 1958. Down 32.9%, it was slightly less than the estimated 34.7% decline, but still severe. Consumption, which is a major component of GDP, fell 34.6% with goods falling 11% and services – the largest part of the economy, falling 43%. The second quarter was the first ‘full’ calendar quarter to be affected by Covid-19.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikepatton/2020/07/30/gdp-hits-record-low-unemployment-claims-rise-treasury-yields-move-lower/#3cd9a2fd7019

All of the experts and politicians will be arguing for decades about the wisdom of  COVID19 lockdowns, but it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that America has entered uncharted economic territory and frankly many politicians, entrusted with making decisions that impact the fortunes of all of us, have proven feckless, incompetent, and in too many cases disturbingly corrupt.

No matter if you view 2020 as a Year of Compounding Misfortunes or “Oh well, pandemics and economic catastrophes happen,” for most of us we’re left feeling powerless and immobilized if we sit around expecting the government to fix things or provide a safe landing for us.

The other night my son picked up Chinese takeout for my husband and me. I always eat the fortune cookies later.  Two out of the three “fortunes” I kept to glue onto bookmarks or use in my junk journal making.  Both fit with a belief in learning self-reliance that my parents drilled into my brothers, sisters and me and it’s something I believe matters most in determining which people fare best, not only in a crisis, but it determines which people will set out to tackle problems and which will sit passively by and let the crisis tackle them.

Fortune cookie #1: “Apply yourself to the basics and progress will follow.”

With the crises piling one upon another this year,  I believe the people who will fare best are those who recognize we’re probably in for more major crises in the near future and if they haven’t prepared yet, they step it up now.  It’s fine to be worried and it’s fine to feel some anxiety, but the most important survival tool each one of us can acquire doesn’t cost a cent.

The must have survival tool is to develop and hone a positive, proactive, can-do attitude.  You don’t need to go out and buy all the gizmos and gadgets on the “Top 10 Survival Things You Need” lists that fill prepper and survival social media sites.  However, you should start assessing your finances and your basic needs, if you haven’t already done that and it’s prudent to start calmly, carefully and thoughtfully stocking up on some of the basics, while staying within your means.  If you can afford to buy a lot of extra canned goods and basics, that’s great, but even if you live on a very tight budget, try to spring for an extra staple item or two each time you buy groceries.

Being practical matters, especially if you live on a tight budget.  For instance, many of the serious preppers devote time to building up a food supply that can last for several months to a year and also long-term food storage with foods packaged to last 25-30 years.  Using common sense, focus on your short-term food supply now and buy foods that you and your family eat and that you can properly store in your home.

It makes no sense to buy a lot of foods that need to be refrigerated and frozen, if you don’t have a large enough refrigerator or freezer to store it.  It also makes no sense to go online and buy expensive dehydrated and freeze-dried food in large #10 cans, that will last for 25-30 years, if you don’t have your basic everyday foods stored up to last for the immediate future.

I thought I knew a lot about food preservation, but after doing a good bit of research online, I keep learning more dos and don’ts and also coming across great tips and solutions.  When it comes to food storage containers, sure it’s wonderful if you can afford to buy expensive airtight storage containers and all the high-tech stuff like mylar bags and oxygen absorbers, but honestly if that’s not in your budget, try using containers you already have or cheap ones you can afford.  Even empty food containers, especially glass jars with screw on lids work great, if washed and dried thoroughly before using for food storage.  The best tip is whenever possible, use what you have and look for creative ways to store food.

You can even use bay leaves to repel pests in flour, rice, dried beans, etc.  And here’s a hint, often you can find packs of bay leaves in the Hispanic food section in grocery stores, that are much cheaper than the bay leaves in the spice section.

Fortune cookie #2: “Allow your mind to absorb new knowledge.”

As important as stocking up on basics is, all of us should work on acquiring more basic skills before the next crisis hits.  Make it a point to learn to do as many tasks for yourself as possible.   It makes no sense to buy large quantities of dried beans if your family doesn’t like beans or you don’t know how to prepare dried beans.  Stockpiling 50 lbs. of dried pinto and black beans won’t amount to a hill of beans unless you have the skills and know-how to prepare them and incorporate them into meals your family will eat.

Make it a point to learn new skills.  For instance if you don’t know how to cook anything, start learning how to prepare a few simple meals.  If you don’t know how to do basic car maintenance, like changing the oil or changing a tire, take the time to learn how.  Same goes for things like learning how to thread a needle and sew on a button or sew a simple straight stitch.  Everyone should have a small sewing kit with some needles, thread and a pair of scissors.

Many years ago, I came across a bit of home decorating advice that applies to emergency preparedness too.  Shop your own house for items to use in your projects.  Most people can’t afford to go out and purchase a lot of special “prepper gear” or all of the items you will find on the crisis lists cropping up everywhere.

And here’s the most important Libertybelle preparedness tip:  Start thinking about the people around you realistically and with clear-eyed focus on their character.  This goes for family, neighbors, friends, acquaintances in your community and start seriously assessing which ones you think will likely just run around in panic mode, latching onto every dire rumor and conspiracy theory that circulates and which ones will be leeches borrowing everything from you (often these two personalities reside in one person, sad to say).  Then start thinking about who you think will likely be problem-solvers in a crisis and which ones will be helpers (here again, often these two traits reside in the same person).  Hopefully, you aren’t the former and if you are, you’ll need to strive hard to become the later.  Character matters most in a crisis.

Think about your support network right around you, because frankly, no one in the federal government is going to come and save you in a prolonged national crisis.  It’s doubtful anyone among your state officials are going to be a place to turn for immediate help either.  And your local officials will be inundated dealing with all the other mess from people who aren’t equipped to deal with a serious crisis and from people who will use a crisis as cover to perpetrate criminal activity.

Instead of running around acting like the sky is falling, it’s best to think about potential crises that might happen, but think about them with a positive, problem-solving attitude.  Set your priorities on what you can do and stick to these – no matter what.  Think about what things you might be able to do to keep you and your family safe, fed, clothed, with a roof over your head and as healthy as possible.  Once you begin to think about those scary “worst case” scenarios and focus on the things you might be able to do, it takes away the fear and panic.  No excuses, learn to be as self-reliant as possible.

In 2012 I started this blog and one of the early blog posts, Gimme A Knife, written by a friend, Gladius Maximus, focused on this very topic of self-reliance:

“It came to me that our inability as Americans to survive in meager circumstances, or put another way, our dependence on technology, gadgets and the government, is evidence of the decay of character in our society. By that, I mean, our inability to be independent, innovative and willing to put up with hardship reflects how truly weak we have become. Our lack of perseverance in the face of adversity is evidence of our impotence. Unless we are surrounded by what many in the world would consider sumptuousness, we don’t believe we can make it.

If we don’t get our water out of a tap from a government approved water system, where will we get it? If we don’t get our protein from the local mega-store, sliced, diced, shrink-wrapped and priced, how do we get it and process it? If the burners on the range don’t work, or if we at least can’t get charcoal for the grill, how do we cook it? Need vegetables? How do they grow? Where do we get seed? When our shoes wear out, what do we do? When it’s cold outside, how do we stay warm?

I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2012/12/22/gimme-a-knife-written-by-gladius-maximus/

Now if you want the original year in the Rockies kind of survival tale, also in 2012, I came across this fascinating piece, Looking Back at Lewis and Clark, by David M. Lenard, which mentions a half-Shawnee member of their expedition, Drouilliard, who was the go-to guy to send off into the wilderness alone to hunt for animals to bring back to the rest of the party.  Lenard writes:

“Lewis’s entry for August 3, 1805 begins this way: “We set out this morning very early on our return to the Forks. Having nothing to eat, I sent Drouilliard to the wood-lands to my left in order to kit a deer.”  The journals are filled with dozens of similar orders to several different men, although the half-Shawnee Drouilliard seems to have been Lewis and Clark’s most reliable and productive hunter, sometimes returning from such sojourns with hundreds of pounds of meat.  Still, from a 2012 perspective, Lewis’ laconic directive is truly astonishing.  Allow me to fill in the details that Lewis left out: he was ordering Drouilliard to leave the group and go off, by himself, in a dangerous wilderness, with no means of communication, and to not only survive, but to kill at least one edible animal, with only the weapons carried on his back, clean the beast, and bring the meat back to the main group, which of course he was expected to be able to find again, despite having wandered possibly many miles, in a wilderness with no artificial signs or landmarks.  It is remarkable that Lewis does not even mention the incredible risks faced by the men on these little excursions — they could be injured, or killed, in countless ways, or lost without hope of rescue.  This silence is not because he was unaware of the dangers; in fact, in many journal entries, Lewis fretted about the fate of party members who had become separated from the main group for one reason or another.  Rather, Lewis’s silence was because frontiersmen like Drouilliard faced such dangers almost every day of their lives; Lewis’s order was therefore nothing extraordinary to either man.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/09/looking_back_at_lewis_and_clark.html

When you think about the type of men on the Lewis and Clark expedition and compare them to the ‘brave” protesters/rioters in Portland and the silliness with their “shield-making” operation, you might be wondering what on earth happened to the American can-do spirit.  Here’s an entire thread on their “engineering prowess” (sarcasm intended):

We should all try to acquire just a fraction of the dauntless spirit, courage and most of all astounding self-reliance of people like Lewis and Clark, and most definitely Drouilliard.   Looking at that Portland  protester “shield-building operation,  Lenard’s piece on Lewis and Clark says it best:

“In our modern republic, where large segments of our population compete to be declared helpless victims so they can receive government handouts, one cannot help but think that little Jimmy might benefit from being sent out with Drouilliard: “Here’s a musket, son — now go kill that deer, and don’t miss, because if you do, there’s a strong possibility you might starve.”

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2012/09/looking_back_at_lewis_and_clark.html

 

 

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Filed under American Character, Emergency Preparedness, General Interest, Gladius Maximus

Recognizing my emergency preparedness fails

My usual blog topics are American politics and the media, but this post is about my inadequate emergency preparedness efforts and total fails..

“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that [is] it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not before.

Interview to the Wall Street Journal, November 19, 2008.[1]

https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Rahm_Emanuel

Although this Emanuel quote referred to using crises as a vehicle for ruthless political opportunism, for me COVID-19 has been a wake-up call about my own family’s emergency preparedness planning fails.  When the “15 Days To Slow The Spread” mitigation effort began a few months ago, I felt rather confident and a bit smug that I had enough food and supplies to manage just fine for 15 day and we did have plenty of food and supplies for two weeks.

Then the lockdowns around the country continued and the partisan political opportunism did jump into high gear, along with skyrocketing unemployment, some continued supply issues in American stores, and civil unrest around the country.  All of this, coupled with mercurial political decision-making in some states and in Washington, challenged my rather self-satisfied confidence about my emergency preparedness. 

By May, I started taking stock of my family’s basic preparedness and found that I am truly not well-prepared and that much of my overconfidence stemmed from gearing my emergency preparedness toward the natural disaster most common here in coastal GA (hurricanes).

Hurricanes arrive with days, often weeks, of advance warning, as we follow the track as they head towards the US coasts, so I always could mosey on down to Walmart and pick-up plenty of water, long before the mad rush began.  I also never had a long-term food storage plan, beyond stockpiling regular groceries.  I had no clue about what foods can be stored for years or how to store them.

A few months ago, I scoffed at people buying up all the bottled water at the store, confident I had no need for a lot of stored water, beyond the distilled water needed for my husband’s oxygen machine and my c-pap machine during this pandemic.  I didn’t even realize how critical it is to have a sufficient emergency water supply stored  – at all times, not just when there’s a hurricane heading our way.

I never imagined America dealing with multiple crises at a time.  I never prepared adequately for a sudden emergency.  And I certainly never imagined America’s food supply chain being vulnerable to small failures, let alone serious ones.

By May, my attitude evolved to being an engaged prepper in my own home, except that “prepper” label comes with a lot of negative baggage.  My challenge was trying to find common sense information on how to begin becoming better prepared when the entire “prepper” culture seems permeated by doomsday hysteria, zealous anti-government/arm yourself to the teeth preachers and starry-eyed homesteaders dreaming of living off the grid, without modern conveniences.  I don’t want to set off to live in the wilderness, build a bunker in the backyard or turn my home into an armed fortress.  All I want to do is become better-prepared and supplied for sudden emergencies and longer term crises.

I watched a lot of You Tube videos and did a lot of googling on emergency preparedness and learned there seems to be way more useless survivalist stuff, bad information and hysterical doomsday videos than practical information.

By far, the most clear and concise prepper information I found on YouTube is The Provident Prepper channel, produced by Jonathan and Kylene Jones.  Jonathan has worked in civil defense planning and emergency preparedness and he served as vice president of The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), while Kylene has served in an advisory position with TACDA.  This couple lives in Utah and unbeknownst to me, emergency preparedness is an integral part of the Mormon religious practices and culture.  The Joneses also have a website packed with practical information, to include action plans to get you organized, and they’ve written a book on emergency preparedness. The Provident Prepper – A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies.

The Mormon food storage practices are based on preparing to have enough food and water stored to last at least two weeks and then to build up stores to last longer, by buying gradually, not panic-buying.  Their preparedness also goes to having money saved for emergencies too.  This isn’t like the “prepper” craze that took hold in recent years; it’s a practical approach to emergency planning:

” According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), there are many reasons for having a food storage program. One source of this maxim is the command, “Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing,” (“Doctrine and Covenants”, Section 109:8). By being prepared with a basic supply of food, water, and monetary savings, a family can survive short-term and long-term adversities while being a resource to others in their community.”

https://www.learnreligions.com/food-storage-why-what-how-2159413

I  came across an entertaining read, The Stockpile of Food in My Garage, from March of this year, written by McKay Coppins.  Coppins humorously explains life growing up in a Mormon family where stockpiling extra food was the norm.  He expressed how he did not embrace the Mormon preparedness ethos, but his in-laws foisted large cans of emergency food supplies on him and his wife as Christmas gifts for several years.  He kept the cans in the garage and didn’t pay any attention to them until the pandemic panic-buying hit this year:

“A few nights ago, after an unnerving trip to a local grocery store that had been picked over by panic-shoppers, I came home and sheepishly suggested to my wife that we go out to the garage and take inventory of our food storage.

I had never actually looked closely at the cans, and as it turned out, the collection was less grim than I’d imagined. Yes, there was plenty of dehydrated broccoli. But there was also brownie mix and granola and something called “chocolate-milk alternative”—foods that actually seemed edible (or at least servable to our young children).

I knew that the sense of relief I felt as we examined the cans was irrational. Our fridge and cupboards were full. The grocery store would get new deliveries the next day. The likelihood of a serious food shortage in America remained, according to experts, extremely small. But the ritual of counting and stacking and sorting the cans—like so many rituals of faith—offered something more abstract than physical sustenance: peace of mind, a sense of hope, something to grip while the world is unraveling.”

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/03/stockpile-food-my-garage/608290/

American culture gravitates towards fast and disposable, but our ancestors were onto something with focusing on frugal-living, setting up food to see them through the lean times and focusing on the basics of taking care of their own family and community first.  In the digital age, it’s easy to get swept up in political causes and activism or to get caught up in trendy items to buy and social media “influencers” to emulate.  Even with “prepping” the trendy gears and gadget survivalists and living off-the-grid social media types garner large followings, but truly the Mormons are onto common sense and practical steps to take with their  “provident prepping” belief system and planning ideas.

I’m working on planning, building and organizing our short-term food storage for 3-6 months, then planning to push that out to a year.  After that, I plan to work on building a long-term storage plan.

 

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Filed under COVID-19, Emergency Preparedness, General Interest

How do we begin changing America’s course?

President Ronald Reagan understood politics in terms of what ordinary Americans care about.  One of my favorite Reagan quotes came from his farewell address, which is in the video above : “And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table.”  My husband’s favorite Reagan “quote” was when Reagan, in a mic check, jokingly said, “My fellow Americans, I’m pleased to tell you today that I’ve signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.”   My husband, being used to dark military humor, found that Reagan quip hilarious.

A few days ago, Reagan’s farewell address popped into my head, as I was pondering the recent aggressive statue-toppling and revisionist history demands. That speech contains a simple line about the good common sense wisdom of the American people, but sadly families sitting around the kitchen table engaged in family discussions isn’t the norm anymore.  Several years ago I wrote a blog post about 21st century American leadership.  I used this Reagan dinner table quote and even in 2013, family dinners seemed to be on decline across America:

” One of the saddest commentaries in recent years on the state of America, came from pop culture icon, Oprah Winfrey, who devoted an entire show to teaching American parents the importance of finding time for family dinners. Despite the statistics on divorce, out of wedlock births and the steady mass media messaging, the importance of the American family emerged on Oprah, with a host of “experts” on hand, to teach us about family dinner time.  Millions of Oprah followers, I am sure, began talking amongst their friends and just as they buy the books she recommends, most assuredly many started trying to fit family dinners into their weekly schedule. How do family dinners and the quest for American leadership fit together? In our fast-paced, multi-tasking society, few common threads strengthen the waft and weave of our national fabric, so perhaps the family dinner table emerges as the place to begin this quest.”

https://libertybellediaries.com/2013/01/04/the-quest-for-american-leadership-in-the-21st-century-a-few-home-truths/

Reagan, also issued a warning about how we need to teach American children our history and about freedom to foster informed patriotism.  He worried that the people who create our popular culture had stopped promoting positive American messaging.  And Reagan was right.

Here’s the entire passage about remembering our American history,  from Reagan’s farewell speech:

“Finally, there is a great tradition of warnings in Presidential farewells, and I’ve got one that’s been on my mind for some time. But oddly enough it starts with one of the things I’m proudest of in the past 8 years: the resurgence of national pride that I called the new patriotism. This national
feeling is good, but it won’t count for much, and it won’t last unless it’s grounded in thoughtfulness and knowledge.

An informed patriotism is what we want. And are we doing a good enough job teaching our children what America is and what she represents in the long history of the world? Those of us who are over 35 or so years of age grew up in a different America. We were taught, very directly, what it means to be an American. And we absorbed, almost in the air, a love of country and an appreciation of its institutions. If you didn’t get these things from your family you got them from the neighborhood, from the father down the street who fought in Korea or the family who lost someone at Anzio. Or you could get a sense of patriotism from school. And if all else failed you could get a sense of patriotism from the popular culture. The movies celebrated democratic values and implicitly reinforced the idea that America was special. TV was like that,
too, through the mid-sixties.

But now, we’re about to enter the nineties, and some things have changed. Younger parents aren’t sure that an unambivalent appreciation of America is the right thing to teach modern children. And as for those who create the popular culture, well-grounded patriotism is no longer the style. Our spirit is back, but we haven’t reinstitutionalized it. We’ve got to do a better job of getting
across that America is freedom — freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of enterprise. And freedom is special and rare. It’s fragile; it needs production [protection].

So, we’ve got to teach history based not on what’s in fashion but what’s important — why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D – day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who’d fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, “we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.” Well, let’s help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won’t know who we are. I’m warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let’s start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual.

And let me offer lesson number one about America: All great change in America begins at the dinner table. So, tomorrow night in the kitchen I hope the talking begins. And children, if your parents haven’t been teaching you what it means to be an American, let ’em know and nail ’em on it. That would be a very American thing to do.”

https://www.reaganfoundation.org/ronald-reagan/reagan-quotes-speeches/farewell-address-to-the-nation-2/

To understand what happened, we need to go back to the turmoil of the 1960s and look at radical student activism that spread across American university campuses and the rise of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) .

“The Sixties were born at a particular time and place: June, 1962, the AFL-CIO camp at Port Huron, Michigan. (There were preliminary stirrings in parts of the civil rights movement and in the Free Speech movement at Berkeley.) Though most Americans have never heard of the proceedings at Port Huron, they were crucial, for the authentic spirit of Sixties radicalism issued there. That spirit spread and evolved afterwards, but its later malignant stages, including its violence, were implicit in its birth. Port Huron was an early convention of SDS, then a small group of alienated, left-wing college students. There were fifty-nine delegates from eleven campus chapters. One of them described their mood: “four-square against anti-Communism, eight-square against American culture, twelve-square against sellout unions, one-hundred-twenty square against an interpretation of the Cold War that saw it as a Soviet plot and identified American policy fondly.”21 In short, they rejected America. Worse, as their statement of principles made clear, they were also foursquare against the nature of human beings and features of the world that are unchangeable. That is the Utopian impulse. It has produced disasters in the past, just as it was to do with the Sixties generation.”

Bork, Robert H.. Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and American Decline . HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

In the early 70s the massive waves of college protesting had burned out and then those radical activist student leaders finished college, many earned advanced degrees and then they took up positions in academia, where they became tenured professors. They took up the task of radicalizing college curricula and American students ever since.  Just to give one glaring example of this transformation of higher-education in America, let’s look at Bill Ayers, co-founder of the violent, radical 60s, Weather Underground group:

“In June 1969, the Weathermen took control of the SDS at its national convention, where Ayers was elected Education Secretary.[8] Later in 1969, Ayers participated in planting a bomb at a statue dedicated to police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket affair confrontation between labor supporters and the Chicago police.[13] The blast broke almost 100 windows and blew pieces of the statue onto the nearby Kennedy Expressway.[14] (The statue was rebuilt and unveiled on May 4, 1970, and blown up again by other Weathermen on October 6, 1970.[14][15] Rebuilding it yet again, the city posted a 24-hour police guard to prevent another blast, and in January 1972 it was moved to Chicago police headquarters).[16]

Ayers participated in the Days of Rage riot in Chicago in October 1969, and in December was at the “War Council” meeting in FlintMichigan. Two major decisions came out of the “War Council”. The first was to immediately begin a violent, armed struggle (e.g., bombings and armed robberies) against the state without attempting to organize or mobilize a broad swath of the public. The second was to create underground collectives in major cities throughout the country.[17] Larry Grathwohl, a Federal Bureau of Investigation informant in the Weathermen group from the fall of 1969 to the spring of 1970, stated that “Ayers, along with Bernardine Dohrn, probably had the most authority within the Weathermen”.[18]

After the Greenwich Village townhouse explosion in 1970, in which Weatherman member Ted Gold, Ayers’s close friend Terry Robbins, and Ayers’s girlfriend, Diana Oughton, were killed when a nail bomb being assembled in the house exploded, Ayers and several associates evaded pursuit by law enforcement officials. Kathy Boudin and Cathy Wilkerson survived the blast. Ayers was not facing criminal charges at the time, but the federal government later filed charges against him.[7] Ayers participated in the bombings of New York City Police Department headquarters in 1970, the United States Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972, as he noted in his 2001 book, Fugitive Days. Ayers writes:

Although the bomb that rocked the Pentagon was itsy-bitsy—weighing close to two pounds—it caused ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ of damage. The operation cost under $500, and no one was killed or even hurt.[19]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Ayers

From the same Wikipedia bio of Bill Ayers:

“Ayers is a retired professor in the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, formerly holding the titles of Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar.[3] During the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, a controversy arose over his contacts with then-candidate Barack Obama. He is married to lawyer and Clinical Law Professor Bernardine Dohrn, who was also a leader in the Weather Underground.”

Ayers, now a retired professor focused on “education reform.”  Really, you can’t make this stuff up.  So, here’s a Bill Ayers endorsement of the BLM movement in a 2016 Frontier Lab research project, by Anne Sorock:

“There’s a lot of mythology behind Black Lives Matter, assuming the only reason this is happening is because of social media and because of the use of cameras. That is fundamentally false. What is exciting is that the Black Lives Matter moment comes after decades and centuries of the serial assassination of black people.

The driving force of Black Lives Matter is organized young people who have been mobilizing for years around a lot of issues. Black Lives Matter’s focus is state violence against black people. Its focus is also decent education, ‘stop closing our schools,’ jobs for everybody, health care, mental health, drug programs.
It is a comprehensive movement, and the folks involved in it in Chicago are long-time organizers.

Professor and Convicted Terrorist Bill Ayers
University of Illinois-Chicago (ret.)
Liberation Radio
October 30, 2015

https://www.newamericanfrontier.org/report-black-lives-matter

Jack Fowler at National Review wrote a piece, Black Lives Matter: A Thing of the Left Anchored on a Cop-Hate Strategy,  explaining the BLM movement that’s worth a read.  Fowler laid out BLM goals as follows:

“Here in sum are the report’s major findings:

• Black Lives Matter’s core message is built upon, depends upon, and has as its ultimate goal, the larger retelling of the American story as one of oppression and racism.
• The police, as representatives of the state, must be framed as exemplifying the Black Lives Matter framing by being themselves oppressive and racist.
• Black Lives Matter frames their cause as one against a systemic problem and necessarily utterly rejects the “one bad apple” counterargument
• BLM relies upon the elevation and equating of other underprivileged groups to a status “just as oppressed” as Black America in order to build a narrative of an America divided into the “Oppressed and the Privileged.” For this reason causes such as undocumented workers, LGBTQ, and women’s reproductive rights, are recruited and welcomed into the “Allies” category of supporters.
• Supporters of BLM, for the most part, have moved on from desiring to silence dissent through amending free-speech laws; instead, Black Lives Matter (1) pressures authorities to do it for them, (2) creates an atmosphere of intimidation through threats of violence and shows of force, and (3) incorporates a culture of self-censorship in which those with “privilege” have a lesser voice than the oppressed.
• While social-media and cameras are utilized uniquely and effectively to communicate with and recruit new supporters, it is the framework of organizing learned from past attempts and overarching magna-narrative that in reality gives Black Lives Matter its edge.
• There are three distinct segments of supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement, each with their own emotional pathways to a deeply felt connection: Activists, Allies, and Operatives. These mental maps explain current reasons for support as well as provide strategic pathways for weakening that same support.
• Common across all segments is the emotion of fear of being ostracized from the left’s cultural community.
• The specificity of the cause – injustice toward the Black community – is both central to its appeal and also a window into an Achilles-heel weakness of the movement’s core positioning.
• The movement is at a critical juncture in its lifecycle, with maximum cultural influence but having failed to transition this influence into policy impact.”

America’s current radical leftist protesting began with demanding justice for George Floyd, but their demands and targets for “transformation” keep shifting and growing, while their new “rules” spew forth faster than most of us can even keep track of.  The main goal, beyond all the current target lists, really is all about erasing our American history, in order to “reimagine” an entirely different American future.  The goal of rewriting American history  underpins this Great Awokening.

Reagan was right.  We really need to start teaching our children about American history and why freedom matters, but we also need to work on trying to teach plenty of American adults that too.  The challenge America faces goes way beyond preserving statues or Trump’s building a garden of statues, it goes to beginning the long march back to wrest control of our institutions from radical leftists, who hate America and begin the arduous process of peacefully and cheerfully working to restore some pride in believing in America, as an idea that changed the world.  The idea of America has inspired a love of freedom and a belief in the limitless potential of free individuals to achieve their dreams since America’s founding and it’s an idea that can kindle that flame of liberty again.

The thing about Americans placing all their hopes in presidential elections to change the course of America misses the reality that unless we begin the arduous process of changing American culture, we will keep ending up with presidents who are corrupt, amoral and a reflection of our declining culture.  We can’t wave a magic wand and transform America into Reagan’s oft mentioned “shining city on a hill,” but each of us who is concerned about America’s future can begin the change in ourselves, within our own family and within our circle of friends and community.  Each little positive change, focusing on the good that dwells in the hearts of millions of Americans might add up to a transformed country quicker than any of us thought possible, if we just start believing in the spirit of America again.

It’s way past time to stop indoctrinating Americans to hate America and start humbly, but determinedly, steering America in another direction.  If we all put in our oars and row together, we can change course and achieve anything..

 

 

 

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Filed under American Character, American History, BLM movement, Culture Wars, General Interest, Politics

Trump’s political graveyard

President Trump announced plans for a National Garden of Heroes during a speech Friday evening at Mount Rushmore.  Many of Trump’s spin commandos on Twitter went into raptures and cheered this announcement as another sign of Trump’s brilliance at owning the libs.  My reaction was this is a totally idiotic idea. It completely demonstrated that he and his administration have no clue what the hell is really going on with the far-left’s efforts to dismantle our American system, but most of all that Trump highlighted once again that he is a clueless reactionary, who does not think ahead.  He always reacts to whatever the mainstream media is buzzing about on TV and often the things the mainstream media create spin hysteria about are just spin diversions.

The statue-toppling  street theater looks like a deliberate tactic to stoke fear and anger among conservatives, but this street theater is mostly a diversion.  The real efforts to dismantle our American system are happening with the political class, the radical lawyers and being advanced in the mainstream media and on social media.  Radical Dem politicians and the activist organizers can call off the statue-toppling street theater in a heartbeat, if they choose to (see CHAZ/CHOP).

With Trump and the right going into hysterics about the statues, prolonging the street theater keeps Trump and the right chasing after “protecting statues.”  Trump being Trump took the bait and came up with the most spectacular waste of time – a sideshow gimmick to replace his 2016 “build the wall” effort.  His proposed National Garden of Heroes has about as much chance of materializing as his Great Wall of Trump.

It should go without saying, that vandals tearing down statues and destroying public property should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  That does matter, but trying to make “statues” the centerpiece of Trump’s reelection campaign is a huge mistake.

Common sense, after watching how any construction of national monuments goes in America, should clue anyone with a few functioning brain cells, that national monument projects are always fraught with controversies, red tape, financing battles, and endless delays.  Beyond that, any project Trump proposes assuredly will galvanize the Left to protest and the liberal media to write a zillion pieces about either wasting taxpayer money or corruption with private financing.

Trump just gave his adversaries a huge new front to attack his administration’s focus, while offering his supporters a “garden of statues” to rally around…  The vast majority of Americans, Trump included, know very little about American history or have any real interest in a “garden of statues.”  With Trump’s “great wall,” he could constantly churn up anti-immigrant sentiment and fuel fear that America was being overrun by M-13.  Trying to win an election over “statues” just doesn’t seem like it’s going to gain much traction as a kitchen table issue most Americans will care about, especially with so many Americans facing worries about surviving day-to-day due to COVID-19 fall-out.

At some point, hopefully the Trump administration realizes that this latest Leftist uprising melds the MeToo radical feminist movement and BLM’s radical black power movement into a new push to destroy the “male patriarchy.”  Unfortunately, all women in America, regardless of politics are stewed in radical feminist ideology growing up and for decades it’s considered a heresy for women to speak out against any radical feminist dogma and it’s even more unspeakable heresy to speak out against black feminists.  Trump will end up having to campaign more against whoever Biden picks as VP than he will against Biden and that could be a very dangerous political minefield for even the most clever politician.  Trump runs the risk of alienating even more suburban white women, if he attacks a black female VP’s looks, intellect, qualifications and just about anything. Hillary had high negatives and had earned her reputation, making it much easier to attack her

And here we are in July, with Trump still searching for a central reelection theme. His “garden of statues” idea sure seems more like he’s designing his own political graveyard than constructing a winning campaign theme.

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Filed under 2020 Election, General Interest, Politics

A woman’s type of revolution

Doom and gloom prognosticators warned for years that America’s deepening divides will tear our country apart.  The signs didn’t arise suddenly, but now that we’re in the midst of the dam breaking, our partisan divides leave Congress immobilized and unable to respond effectively to any crisis, the President inept at best, downright recklessly self-absorbed and clueless to the seriousness of the situation, at worst.   A most generous assessment finds our news media deeply dishonest and unreliable at analyzing information or reporting facts. Venturing to social media for information usually finds more conspiracy theories and rumors than anything resembling reliable information.  All of this leaves the American people increasingly swept along with the dangerous currents in this rapidly moving culture war.

After decades of entrenched culture war, America has reached a critical inflection point.

A bizarre confluence of crises, our escalating culture war being waged in a relentless scorched earth spin information war, a pandemic resulting in unprecedented draconian government-imposed mitigation efforts intruding on some of our most basic civil liberties and our extreme partisan political discord set the stage for this massive far-left offensive attack in the culture war.  Like everything about America’s far-left culture war, which is fought out via spin information warfare, this offensive came masked as a “civil rights” protest.  So, here we are facing a determined far-left attempt to create enough fear, civil chaos and political pressure  to try and topple our American system. The George Floyd protests began as a BLM demand for “justice for George Floyd, then quickly pivoted to a “Defund the Police” effort, to “reimagine (disband) the police,” to remove Confederate statues, to rename military bases, to tear down Founding Fathers and Columbus statues and the pivots will continue.

The ultimate far-left goal, usually expressed in Utopian slogans, is to destabilize America to the point where our political and civic institutions implode or are totally immobilized.  This ultimate goal is not a mystery and has been the goal of the assorted 16-bean soup far-left groups, who cling to Marxist and neo-Marxist revolutionary Utopian aspirations, since Lenin’s 1919 world revolution goals and the establishment of the Comintern. Heck, some of these far-Left Utopian visions surfaced back in the French Revolution (1789-1799).  America’a top two far-left neo-Marxist power players are radical feminists and the black power groups.  Of course, environmentalists gained power with their environmental Doomsday cult becoming the church of Climate Change, but still radical feminists and the black power groups appear to wield the most power.

That brings us to the Black Lives Matters movement (BLM), which was formed in 2013 by three black women, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi.  BLM combines the two most powerful far-left neo-Marxist elements in ways that seem very different from previous American far-left movements focused more on dreams of violent Marxist revolution.  BLM’s power-players are women and their power-plays have been completely misunderstood and largely unrecognized among our media and governmental elite. 

These female power moves won’t come with armed groups storming the streets. The current violent protests in the streets by Antifa and assorted riffraff are not the power-players and are only a diversion. Don’t mistake these thugs in the streets as the real “revolutionaries” in this far-left “revolution.” This female-led effort involves sneaky, stealth power grabs, loads of emotional manipulation and blackmail, but most of all using men and usurping power from the men with power. That is how women always operate.

After not blogging for a month, there’s a lot of missed ground to cover in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and evolving BLM protests, but for this post, one simple bit of advice on understanding events is keep track of the power-player women and one that hasn’t gotten enough attention as a political strategist power is Symone Sanders, a BLM activist.   Back in 2015, Bernie Sanders hired Symone Sanders, a then 25 year-old BLM activist, as his press secretary for his 2016 presidential campaign after his campaign appearances were under attack from BLM protesters.  In 2019, Symone Sanders was hired by the Joe Biden 2020 campaign as a senior adviser and she appears to be the most powerful Biden adviser, besides his wife, Jill, and former President Obama.  Biden serves as the presumptive Democratic nominee only as a face for BLM, advancing Obama’s “fundamental transformation” objectives and protecting the Obama legacy.

Oddly enough, many Republicans, especially former GWB officials, who despise President Trump, are aligning with Joe Biden, under some bizarre belief that Biden offers a path back to sanity in Americans politics.  The old Joe Biden, these anti-Trump Republicans believe they are supporting does not exist.  This Joe Biden is completely controlled by the BLM movement and Obama and that’s who will be controlling a Biden White House.  Biden went from declaring he would pick a female running mate, to now pivoting to committing to picking a black woman as his running mate. If Biden wins the White House, it’s very doubtful he would finish the four years.  The Biden candidacy appears to be only a useful stealth vehicle to propel a female BLM activist into the presidency. For those 2016 Hillary-alarmists on the right, a female BLM activist as POTUS would make Hillary look moderate.

Oddly enough, many male political commentators fixate on noting the men leading radical far-left movements and some are stuck on visions of some violent overthrow of the US government… kind of the traditional male visions of “revolution.”  Women don’t operate like men and the female revolutionaries of BLM have made more progress at undercutting our American system than any of the radical male-dominated movements in the past 50 years.  It’s been  a black woman, who stealthily rewrote American history (see the 1619 Project) and it’s a black woman, who is the driving force in the Biden campaign and it will be a black female vice president, who decides when it’s time for Biden to step aside.  It would be another Hillary-type move of riding a powerful man’s coattails to power move.

Watch the women, as this latest far-left revolution evolves.  It’s not traditional armed bands of male revolutionaries, who will drive this latest attempt to overthrow the male patriarchy (feminist code for our American system/Western civilization).   Radical feminists and female BLM activists are running this softer, less violent coup effort and most of it will be waged in the media via the spin information warfare battlefield.

 

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Freedom Isn’t Free

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Filed under American Character, Food for Thought, General Interest, Military

Some thoughts on self-reliance

“I understand that folks growing up in the cities don’t have some of the outdoor opportunities that some of us have, but I am convinced that there are opportunities to develop individuality, independence, self-confidence and other survival skills without having to spend a year in the Rockies on some kind of sabbatical. Survival is more a mind-set than a setting. Attitude is everything.

Being innovative and imaginative is essential whether you’re in downtown Houston or central Nebraska. Skills of observation and patience are not natural talents, but acquired skills; both are essential and both can be acquired through discipline. The ability to reason and employ a rational, decision making process is needed in order to survive and thrive. Again, that is an acquired skill. Determination, grit if you will, is a trait to be cherished, not erased.”

Gimme A Knife, by Gladius Maximus

After two months of COVID-19 lockdown/social distancing drama, the relentless spin dramas leave me feeling both sad COVID-19 has devolved into just another partisan flashpoint in our ongoing culture war and at the same time looking for glimmers of hope that there’s enough goodwill and good old common sense left in America to help tamp down on the media and partisan 24/7 spin incitement.  I’m trying to tune out most of the partisan political stuff.

The ironic part about these new COVID-19 social distancing guidelines in my life is my adult children seamlessly pivoted their lectures.  Five years ago I stopped working to stay at home and take care of my husband.  It was no longer safe for him to be home alone for hours.  He was falling frequently and the dementia and memory loss from the normal pressure hydrocephalus had gotten much worse.  Since then, my kids routinely lectured me about, “You need to get out of the house more.”  As soon as the health experts and government officials started putting out these social distancing warnings, my kids began the “Stay at home, Mom!” lectures pointing out, “It’s not only Dad who is at risk, you are too!”  I have, oh, what’s that in vogue term now… ah, yes, “comorbidities.”

I hadn’t been getting out of my house much anyway, so my every day life has continued as normal.  One daughter advised me to use the shop online/pick-up option at my local Wal-mart Neighborhood Market and I have used that a few times.  The only other concerted effort I’ve made is I’ve been assessing my pantry and gradually buying some extra canned goods and non-perishable items.  Since I already keep my pantry overstocked, I’m not out panic-buying mountains of toilet paper, but paying more attention to what food items I have already and what items might be useful to stock up on to round out meals, in case of food shortages.  Yes, as unimaginable as it seems, food shortages in our vast food supply, now seem possible in America.

Here’s the thing about having an overstocked pantry and this especially applies to the people panic-buying and rushing around hoarding one thing or another during this pandemic – overstocking easily leads to more waste.  I learned this from making this mistake many times over the years purchasing those “too good to pass up” sales.  You’ve got to look through your cupboards, fridge and freezer.  You’ve got to learn to rotate your food – pulling the oldest stuff to the front and putting the new items to the back.  That way you use up the older items, rather than having them turn into wasted food and food dollars.  Trust me on this, because I’ve failed to do this so many times and ended up throwing away food items that should have been tossed years (yes, years) ago.

On social media it seems a lot of people, especially celebrity types, while teleworking from home have embraced baking bread and cooking gourmet type meals and plastering photos and videos online.  There’s nothing wrong with baking bread or cooking gourmet type meals, but as with everything, if you’re new to baking bread and cooking, it’s way more practical to start small rather than rushing to buy a lot of new ingredients and cookware, you’re unfamiliar with.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with developing new baking and cooking skills, but acquiring common sense and an ability to slow down and assess the pros and cons are skills that will see you through any crisis in life.  Assessing your finances and making sure you have some money set aside should outweigh buying a lot of cooking utensils and new ingredients, especially if your real goal is to post photos and videos online to impress your followers or subscribers on social media.  Social media has created a very negative “keeping up with the Joneses” culture, where one “popular” person posts something “new” and then dozens (or even thousands) of other people rush to be just like that “popular” person.

Media and social media generated hype and/or hysteria  have induced panic-buying of everything from toilet paper to yeast.  Yes, all that baking bread by the media peeps has led to a run on yeast, where it’s hard to find yeast in grocery stores.  Never fear though, on YouTube there are numerous videos on how to make your own yeast for baking.

My top three crisis coping tips are:

1. Take care of yourself and your family first.  You will be better able to help others if you get your own life in order first. Learn to take time to calmly assess your own life and your own situation.  Assess you and your family’s finances, your food and health needs.  Don’t let the social media personalities, media, politicians, experts or even friends and family prod you into making rushed decisions.  Slow down, take a deep breath and think for yourself.

2. Learning to cultivate calm should be at the top of your crisis preparedness list.  Cultivating calm requires developing patience and hope.  As a worst-case planner type personality, I have to catch myself often and work hard on developing a hopeful attitude.

3. Work to simplify your daily routine rather than adding a lot of confusing and impractical actions.  For instance, I love gardening, but with my household tasks and taking care of my husband, I know I won’t be able to properly care for a garden too.  Then there’s the cost of gardening supplies and from previous home-gardening experience here in GA, knowing that bugs, drought or too much rain can wipe out months of hard work quickly.  Another big factor in my decision-making was remembering all the heavy-lifting gardening tasks my husband always took care of – like roto-tilling the garden and all of the composting chores. I decided buying store-bought canned goods and dried goods, which are safe and will last years is a more practical option.  Setting out on some home gardening/self-reliant dream right now would be setting myself up for more stress, failure and likely a big waste of money.

Learning to be more self-reliant and developing survival skills has way more to do with developing crucial critical-thinking skills and a can-do attitude than with stocking up on particular items or listening to certain “experts.”   My mother was the calmest person in a crisis and she definitely possessed  a fiercely self-reliant attitude.  She also possessed very varied skill sets and knew how to handle everything from nursing to doing electrical wiring.  My father had a perpetually optimistic attitude, could build and fix many things and was an expert gardener.  I grew up in rural PA, where a self-reliant attitude was still the norm.  Around rural America that sort of rugged individualism, where people believe in taking care of themselves and helping their neighbors, still flourishes.

When life is calm is the time to occasionally think about those “what-if” things that might go wrong.  Developing some common sense and proportionality in crisis planning takes practice.  In the midst of a crisis it’s harder to stay calm and it’s certainly harder to slow down and think through those “what ifs.”   Just the mental practice of thinking about those “what ifs’ when the sun is shining and skies are blue can help you develop a crucial emergency coping skill – fighting fear-driven reactions.  Thinking about those “what ifs” should prod you into learning to prepare for problems before they hit and then if you find yourself in the midst of a crisis, you can more easily focus on calmly thinking of  “what actions can I take?” rather than letting fear (or media hysteria) take control.

I had plenty of food and basic supplies to last two weeks, so I wasn’t worried about that initial 15 day “flatten the curve” effort.  When that effort extended past 15 days and items that have never been out of stock in stores, became hard to find, well, it sure seems prudent to spend some time thinking about some “what ifs” that I had never thought about in my lifetime – food shortages in America.

There’s still plenty of food in America, but the disruptions to our food supply system, caused by the lockdowns, panic-buying, COVID-19 outbreaks in meat processing facilities, and economic turmoil left me thinking about what happens if these types of disruptions continue for months or even a year or two?  I’m not panic-buying, but working on looking through my canned and dried food items, my freezer and my fridge and making lists of items I want to purchase to have a food supply that can last 3-6 months.  Of course, my adult kids tell me frequently there’s enough food here to last a year, I don’t really think that’s true, so I want to strategically expand it some.

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Filed under COVID-19, General Interest, Things That Matter

A COVID-19 lockdown reality check

I saw this video on Twitter yesterday and this guy offers the reality check on the politicians and pundits pushing  extending lockdowns for several months.  The mayor of Los Angeles went so far as to say we can’t fully open until there’s a vaccine or cure.  He walked that back, after receiving a lot of push back.  Here’s the video:

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Filed under COVID-19, General Interest

Our American heart

Just when the partisan spin garbage left me feeling totally disgusted, GWB comes through with the message we all should take to heart:

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Filed under American Character, Food for Thought, General Interest

Some COVID-19 Ponderings

This  novel corona virus  (COVID-19) and ensuing global pandemic has created  a petri dish for manufacturing new spin terminology.  It feels surreal that I’ve come to cringe every time I hear a Dem politician or Dem-aligned media pundit harp, “We have to trust the science!” The thing that’s become crystal clear is that “the science” isn’t as rock solid on facts as presented and continually shifts to fit the political agenda… which makes it more spin words than actual “science.”  Even much of the information about COVID-19 presented as good faith scientific fact gleaned from careful research keeps shifting, based on new research that upends the previous scientific research and/or the data used ends up being updated with newer, contradictory data.

Yesterday the Los Angeles Times reported two autopsies of deaths from early February in Santa Clara county reveal they had COVID-19, which is weeks earlier than the previously reported first COVID-19 death in the US on February 29th.  Today CA governor, Gavin Newsom, has ordered medical examiners and coroners in CA to review autopsies back to December, to see if more deaths might have been COVID-19-related:

“California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) ordered medical examiners and coroners across the state to review autopsies dating back to December to “help guide a deeper understanding of when this pandemic really started to impact Californians.”

“When this occurred is important forensic information, profoundly significant in understanding the epidemiology of this disease, all of those things are brought to bear with more clarity and light,” Newsom at a daily press briefing Wednesday. “Not only because of this specific announcement, but I imagine subsequent announcements that may be made by similar efforts all across the state of California.”

Newsom’s announcement came after officials in Santa Clara County said late Tuesday that first American deaths from coronavirus occurred weeks earlier than initially thought.”

https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/494200-california-gov-orders-autopsies-back-to-december-to-find-out-how-long

Twitter tales abound of people wondering if their respiratory illnesses in late 2019-early 2020 were  COVID-19.  There was a dramatic uptick in people presenting upper respiratory infections and these two deaths in early February have moved the confirmed case timeline back several weeks.  It would be very important information to know when the first COVID-19 cases actually occurred in the US, which would give us a better understanding of the data coming from China.

Jim Geraghty at National Review has written frequently about COVID-19 and yesterday he mentioned these two CA autopsies, but he connected this information  to a March Chinese propaganda effort trying to blame the US military for bringing COVID-19 to China:

“In all of the hubbub of mid-March, as the scale of the danger of SARS-CoV-2 and the far-reaching shutdown of American live became clear, it was easy to miss Lijian Zhao, spokesman for the foreign ministry of China, making Twitter accusations that the virus was a U.S. bioweapon. Even easier to miss was his tweet linking to a paper contending the virus was linked to U.S. attendance at the Military World Games, which took place in Wuhan in October 2019. (That paper has since been taken down from the web.)

The 7th World Military Games, an Olympic-style competition, was held in Wuhan and began October 18 and ended October 27. The event was a big one for the city and for China, complete with elaborate opening and closing ceremonies. “More than 9,000 athletes from over 100 countries competed in more than 27 sports, a record number of participants. This year’s games also presented a number of other firsts: the first time the games were staged outside of military bases, the first time the games were all held in the same city, the first time an Athletes’ Village was constructed, the first time TV and VR systems were powered by 5G telecom technology, and the first use of all-round volunteer services for each delegation.”

At the end of March, the state-run Global Times newspaper claimed that the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, was in fact manufactured in a U.S. military lab and brought to China by a cyclist who took part in the World Military Games. They cited the work of a man they labeled an “investigative journalist,” who in 2017 contributed to the brief shutdown of part of the port of Charleston, S.C., over a false claim of a dirty bomb on a container ship.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/the-morning-jolt/what-went-down-at-the-world-military-games/?utm_source=recirc-desktop&utm_medium=homepage&utm_campaign=river&utm_content=featured-content-trending&utm_term=first

 Geraghty states the earliest confirmed case in China, based on a Lancet report, is December 1, 2019.

As one of those people wondering about an earlier severe respiratory infection, I hope that at some point my husband and I can get the COVID-19 antibody test.  My son was sick with an upper respiratory infection the 2nd week of January.  The next week my husband became very ill with an upper respiratory infection and was hospitalized with acute respiratory failure.  Around a week later, I got sick with an upper respiratory infection and my primary care doctor prescribed a Z-Pak.   While I didn’t get severely ill like my husband, I had a cough that took almost a month to clear up.  Of course, as my daughter reminds me, we live in a podunk GA town making COVID-19 exposure unlikely,  I keep reminding her that we are also right next to a large US Army installation, with people coming and going from all over the world.

This COVID-19 timeline in America will be a story I will follow with great interest.  Even if I found out we had COVID-19 already, here again, there’s no sense of security about  “the science” in regards to that providing immunity:

“Another Forbes contributor Bruce. Y. Lee covered many of the main points and what we knew a few weeks ago here, but since then, more reports of people appearing to be re-infected with the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus are popping up everywhere. Most recently, 51 South Koreans with COVID-19 re-tested positive after being released from quarantine. However, a key question South Korean authorities and everywhere else with these “reinfected cases” are now trying to figure out is whether these people did indeed recover and were then re-infected with the virus, or whether they never recovered completely at all.

Although no conclusions about this immunity question can currently be definitively made, a new preprint study from China suggests that some people who have recovered from a mild bout of COVID-19 may have very low, or even undetectable levels of protective antibodies against the SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, with the researchers claiming that their study is the first systematic examination of antibody levels in people who have recovered from the disease.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/victoriaforster/2020/04/08/can-you-get-sick-with-coronavirus-again-after-youve-already-had-it-new-research-continues-to-emerge-but-the-jury-is-still-out/#174a944331a5

At this point it seems saying, “We have to trust the science!” isn’t really based on scientifically rock solid facts, but more evolving studies and research.  It seems rather reckless to base sweeping, long-term public policy decisions, completely changing every aspect of American life, based on trusting in science that is still more a work in progress than settled scientific facts.  Would it change our understanding of the “curve” if we found out COVID-19 was spreading for months before that first confirmed case?  Would it change our understanding if millions of Americans were already exposed?  All I know is it seems the certitude of the partisans ranting about trusting “the science,” as always, is more about advancing their political agenda than about public health… or “science.”

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Filed under COVID-19, General Interest, Politics