Individual Americans show Vladimir Putin how tough we can be

“More than 1,000 gather at SF’s City Hall to protest Russian invasion of Ukraine” (SFGate, 2/4/2022) will no doubt strike fear in the hearts of the any foreign military. The accompanying photo shows that a handful of the Followers of Science are equipped with hearts brave enough to go outdoors without a protective cloth mask (our 6-year-old pointed out, however, that “one has a chin diaper”):

The bellicosity of this partially masked Army of the Righteous is described in the text:

Many waved blue and gold Ukrainian flags, and there was a sea of signs within the crowd. Some read “Russians Go Home,” “No USSR 2.0” and “Support Ukraine.” Expressing both sadness and anger, the crowd chanted “Stop Putin” and “Hands of Ukraine.”

“The reason I’m here is to raise awareness of Putin’s war and show the world that Ukrainians in America stand with those in Ukraine,” said SF resident Andy Soluk, who held a flag.

While the shooting war raged and folks in San Francisco were sending thoughts and prayers, what other foes were significant enough to get the attention of the Army of the Righteous? Were they, perhaps, fighting to provide housing for the thousands of their brothers, sisters, and binary resisters who live in Bay Area tent cities? Working with Barack Obama to continue the planet healing that began in 2008? Here’s a February 25, 2022 letter from administrators at University of California Berkeley:

The campus leadership recognizes that it’s hard to adjust to the reality of masks no longer being required (even if they’re still recommended in some settings). That’s why our campus will be one of the last places in the Bay Area to still require masks prior to when our mandate is lifted on March 7. These changes are indeed difficult and I encourage anyone who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask to continue to do so. But I also encourage you to grapple with the fact that the consensus within the public health community is that it is no longer necessary to mandate masking.

Imagine the tenacity and inner strength of a person who can surmount the trifecta of (1) adjusting to reality, (2) coping with the difficult mask order change, and (3) grappling with the new facts of Science!

(Separately, regarding the impending mask-optional vaccine-and-booster-required Berkeley campus, Science tells us that (1) mask orders and vaccine coercion were highly effective at reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections and (2) the virus will be with us forever, including in potentially dangerous new mutants, Combining (1) and (2), it makes logical sense to drop these proven-effective-by-Science policies and let any future plague rage exponentially. Now that those who Follow Science know exactly how to fight COVID-19, they aren’t going to bother to exert any effort in that fight.)

And, in case that you think the valorous are limited to San Francisco, a friend in Colorado sent me the following today:

I sat in on the Zoom call our public health dept had on ending mask mandate a week ago. When asked why if they decided to end it on Monday the end wouldn’t go into effect till Friday they said they had to give people time to absorb and adjust to the new reality.

I also loved that they are voting on, and agreed to, ending a mask mandate on a zoom meeting because it was still too risky to meet in person.

Fortunately, many local business have followed the science and kept their own mandates in place.

On a vaguely related theme of cultural difference, can readers who speak Russian please tell us what the Russian recruitment video says? And, if military service is compulsory for Russian males, why do they have recruiting videos at all?

And our state-sponsored media (NPR) reminds us to curl up into the fetal position. From “5 ways to cope with the stressful news cycle” (2/25/2022; URL: “anxiety-tips-self-care”):

Russia invaded Ukraine this week, … don’t forget to care for yourself in other ways … Breathe … Nourish yourself. The kitchen is a safe space for a lot of us.

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What are Americans doing with their additional leisure time?

American labor force participation rate is falling (BLS):

An evil (i.e., profit-seeking) company owner whom I know installed an activity logger on the Windows laptops that he provides to employees. “Actual work fell from about 30 hours per week in the office to 20 once people were working from home,” he said. (The young engineers, meanwhile, told HR that they were overwhelmed and suffering from a lack of work/life balance.)

So we have fewer Americans working and fewer hours per week spent commuting and working for those who are, at least in theory, still working.

Here’s a report from Disney World on a recent Monday:

Historically, we’ve seen low crowds throughout much of January and February, but this year has brought 6-hour lines and ridiculously packed parks for what is supposed to be the “off-season.”

By the time we got closer to the front [of the security screening line], the Cast Members were warning the guests at the back that it would be at least an hour before they’d be able to get into the park. WOW!

We finally got through and made it to the monorail, which, unfortunately, had a line of its own. This entire process usually takes us less than 30 minutes at this time of the morning, but today it took a little more than an hour to get inside Magic Kingdom from the parking lot.

But not everyone can be in a theme park.

Perhaps the new leisure hours were filled with people applying for all of the new government grant programs? Bad news… “Biden administration denies funding programs that hand out crack pipes to prevent infection and promote ‘racial equity'” (Daily Mail):

The $30 million grant program will distribute funds to nonprofits and local governments to make drug use safer and ‘advance racial equity’

Included in the grant is money to purchase ‘safe smoking kits/supplies’

A spokesperson for HHS said included in these kits could be pipes for users to smoke substances like crack cocaine and crystal methamphetamine

President Biden’s Health and Human Services department (HHS) denied that it is finalizing a plan for funding to dole out crack pipes to drug addicts as part of its ‘Harm Reduction Plan.’

The $30 million grant program, which accepted applications until Monday and will begin doling out money in May, intends to provide funds to nonprofits and local governments to make drug use safer, to advance ‘racial equity.’

I.e., no matter how hard someone worked on a new crack pipe design, the Biden administration won’t buy it.

What about meeting up (in a COVID-safe manner) with new friends? 2020 was a record year for Tinder and 2021 was even better (source; note that the scale is mislabeled (should be $millions)):

Watching TV, play games, and streaming? It is tough to find statistics for adults, but “U.S. Adolescents’ Daily Screen Time Doubled During Pandemic” (US News): “Recreational screen time among U.S. teens doubled from before the pandemic to nearly eight hours per day during the pandemic…”

What else is a realistic possibility?

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Exclude white trash by excluding pit bulls?

In 2017, I wrote High minimum wage is a city’s way to keep out low-skill immigrants

Friends on Facebook are discussing “A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals” (Washington Post). Of course, like most things in the U.S. media, this starts off with a lie (the minimum wage in Seattle is $13/hour, not $15/hour). But let’s look at the rest of the article…

Suppose that the goal of a liberal is to live in a city without too many unsightly low-skilled people (see Tyler Cowen explains why rich white Democrats freely express love for immigrants and people of color for how liberals already have segregated themselves away from dark-skinned Americans and immigrants).

Can the liberal make it illegal for anyone without a college degree to live in his or her city? Probably not. Can the liberal make it illegal for anyone without a college degree to work in his or her city? Sure! That’s the minimum wage.

(Imagine that in 2017 a $13/hour wage rising to $15/hour was considered princely. Where in the country right now one could hire a reliable worker for $15 per hour?)

I wonder if something analogous is happening in our neighborhood in Florida, the planned-but-not-gated community of Abacoa (within Jupiter; see our search process). There is no means-tested public housing in our neighborhood and therefore we are missing the social/economic class of those who have managed to obtain a lifetime of taxpayer-funded housing. But there is also a missing class of folks who likely could afford to pay market rent here (as low as $1500/month): white trash.

Palm Beach County is not exactly the white trash capital of Florida, but we do sometimes see tattooed folks walking their pit bulls not too far from here and in neighborhoods that aren’t much less expensive. Why don’t we have tattooed pit bull-owning neighbors within a 1-2-mile radius? The Homeowners’ Association (HOA) for each area within Abacoa specifically bans pit bulls and some other dog breeds with a reputation for aggression.

I wonder if the dog breed rules are partly designed to keep out undesirable breeds of humans…


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Martin Luther King Jr. on Freedom

I hope that everyone who works for the government, at least, is enjoying having today off.

This is a reminder to check Reinterpreting MLK’s ideas of freedom for the Age of COVID (July 4, 2021).

Cited back in July:

Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself.

Should it be rewritten?

Vaccinated people cannot remain vaccinated forever. The yearning for a booster shot eventually manifests itself.

The July 2021 post noted that all of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park buildings had been closed in April 2021 (and, presumably, since the start of coronapanic in March 2020). Do visitors have the freedom to enter today?

“A right delayed is a right denied”?

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The unvaccinated can upgrade their image by consuming meth and heroin?

The self-described “progressive” who wrote San Fransicko thinks that one reason homelessness in California is so persistent is that individuals are not held accountable for their choices, e.g., to consume drugs.

Until the early 1980s, many people described the homeless as “bums,” “hobos,” and “vagrants” who chose their lifestyle and were undeserving of help. “It was advocates who coined the phrase, ‘homeless,’” said the University of Pennsylvania’s Dennis Culhane. “They’re the ones who thought ‘homeless’ would be a soft, fluffy term for the public to be sympathetic to.” The term was used as a way to advocate for public subsidies for housing. “The anti-homelessness movement chose the term ‘homelessness,’” wrote Gowan, “as opposed to ‘transient,’ ‘indigent,’ etc., for its implication that the biggest difference between the homeless and the housed was their lack of shelter.”

Words are powerful. The word “homeless” not only makes us think of housing, it also makes us not think of mental illness, drugs, and disaffiliation. The word directs our attention to things perceived as outside of a person’s control, such as the high cost of housing, and away from things perceived as in their control, such as working, parenting, and staying sober.

The news media have framed homelessness as poverty since the 1980s. “It hasn’t been this bad since the Great Depression,” claimed KQED, San Francisco’s main public broadcaster, in 1983. “Yet the stock market is booming. Venture capitalists are making millions of dollars overnight in Silicon Valley video games. For a few, it’s the best of times. For many more, it’s the worst.”

It was a grossly misleading statement. The poor farming families like the Okies who fled to the Bay Area in 1933 were utterly unlike the crack-, heroin-, and alcohol-abusing single homeless men of San Francisco in 1983. The two groups were homeless for completely different reasons and needed completely different things to improve their lives. As for unemployment, it declined dramatically, from nearly 10 percent in 1982, the year when the national news media started to heavily cover homelessness, to just over 5 percent in 1989.

Arresting and prosecuting the homeless for things like defecating in public, injecting fentanyl publicly, and living on the sidewalk is unethical, say a growing number of progressive political candidates and elected officials, because the people doing those things are victims of racism, poverty, and trauma. When he ran for office in 2018, San Francisco district attorney Chesa Boudin announced, “We will not prosecute cases involving quality-of-life crimes. Crimes such as public camping, offering or soliciting sex, public urination, blocking a sidewalk, etc., should not and will not be prosecuted.”68 Enforcing the law contributes to further victimization, says Boudin. “Jails do nothing to treat the root cause of crime,” read his campaign platform. In early 2020 Boudin said, “There are people who are harmed by the addiction crisis in this city, by open-air drug use and drug sales.” But, he added, “those are technically victimless crimes.”

(Living and working in Berkeley, the author may be unfamiliar with the fact that the U.S. actually does have a political party out there for people who think as he does, i.e., that people who use a lot of meth and heroin may have made affirmative choices to use a lot of meth and heroin.)

Is there any class of individuals whose behavior is so outside of cultural norms that progressives are willing to blame them? Let’s look at the official newspaper of the progressive faith. “Doctors and Nurses Are ‘Living in a Constant Crisis’ as Covid Fills Hospitals and Omicron Looms” (New York Times, 12/17/2021). The article itself doesn’t contain anything new or interesting. The NYT reports that Covid is raging in the parts of the U.S. that have the highest vaccination rate. And the reader comments are consistent with this:

The urgent care center on my street has a line snaking around the entire block right now. In Manhattan, in a zip code with vaccination rates in the 85-ish percentile.

Summary of the core article: The folks who collect 20 percent of GDP aren’t happy about having to work extra hard for two Covid waves per year in any given state. What is important for today’s topic is the sentiment expressed in numerous comments. Examples:

I know it sounds cruel, but we need to have a discussion about denying the willfully unvaccinated medical care for Covid – they are keeping it around, helping it mutate and taking up valuable resources that can go to those in real need, to say nothing of destroying our medical systems.

Let the unvaccinated die.

If a person has refused vaccination and a booster, they should NOT be allowed to a hospital. Let Fox News set up Covid-19 hospitals to care for those it continues to mislead for its own profit.

The unvaccinated are destroying our health care system. Time for drastic and draconian steps. If you want to be admitted to a hospital, please provide proof of vaccination. Otherwise you can have a bed at a field hospital that has been set up an an old warehouse, where you will have a bed and a bedpan and no guarantee that anyone will be checking on you.

It may sound cruel, but in all absolute fairness to medical personnel here, people who refuse vaccination and who contract Covid should be treated as attempted suicides. They should be triaged separately and placed in heated tents in available fields or parking lots and treated there by a volunteer or military medical auxiliary, so that hospital personnel can go about their normal duties of handling sane ER cases, strokes, heart surgeries, able to heal those who want and need healing, allowing medical personnel to be preserved themselves from extreme PTSD. If the non-vaxxer patients complain of primitive conditions, they should be reminded of their own primitive behavior in refusing vaccination, when help was available all around them. The medical profession in this country should not be destroyed because of selfish, insane and deliberately suicidal people.

The time to stop accepting people that don’t believe in modern medicine, i.e. vaccines, was 6 months ago.

(from Boston!) Unvaccinated Covid patients can have tent hospitals with their family members taking care of them.

When doing triage, the unvaccinated should go to the bottom of the list! It’s time for insurance companies to refuse to cover treatment for unvaccinated Covid patients, (unless they have a real legitimate reason; not religious, which is almost nobody)

No vaccine should mean no hospital care, no insurance coverage for Covid, and no access to public places.

Stop treating the unvaccinated and send them home. They cannot be allowed to continue on this path of destruction.

Stop admitting the unvaccinated for covid-related care, with an obvious exception for those who couldn’t get the shot for true medical reasons.

(from California) in my world it would look like this: field hospitals in tents with bare bones amenities and treatments for the unvaxxed. Pay the doctors and nurses and facilities staffing these places an inflated rate to compensate for the horrors of it all. Allow hospitals to return to normal, and reserve in-hospital care, vents, etc. for those who are vaccinated.

(response to the above) I’d gladly tell their relatives why: Your husband [dad, son, uncle, brother, or whomever] is in this parking lot Covid facility — probably dying and responsible gif the full cost of treatment — away from responsible patients because he refused to behave like an adult, get vaccinated and wear a mask. This was your husband’s choice.

(Minneapolis) Hospitals need to require people to be vaccinated before entry. No vaccination, no hospital.

(Oregon) Why is it a “ choice “ to remain unvaccinated and be fully responsible the strain and toll on our health care workers , not to mention the financial strain and millions of dollars that have been spent in an effort to keep these people alive . … Why can’t we refuse to treat those who make that choice .

(Separately, some brave commenters pointed out that the hospital staff pictured taking care of COVID patients were not wearing PPE that might be effective against an aerosol virus:

It’s alarming to me that none of the staff pictured are wearing n95’s or eye wear while taking care of these patients.


How can the unvaccinated shield themselves from blame by progressives and, if present trends toward increased government power continue, internment in Protection Camps? What could an unvaccinated Deplorable do that would make him/her/zir/them immune to criticism and demands to live somewhere other than where he/she/ze/they has chosen to live? The unvaccinated must start taking meth and heroin!

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Should supermarkets have live music?

On a recent trip to Naples, Florida, we discovered that the Seed to Table supermarket (across the main road from our Marriott TownePlace Suites hotel; we explained to the kids that this was a double lie because the rooms are not suites and the hotel is not in town) has live music in the evenings. Example:

The first two years of 14 days to flatten the curve have been terrible for musicians, with venues closed by order of Covidcrats, people with money fleeing urban areas, events canceled, etc.

What if other supermarkets adopted the Seed to Table idea, though? Except for the extremely COVID-concerned, people are still going to supermarkets. It is easier to do in Florida because the ceilings are usually so high (the music at Seed to Table happens about 30′ above the main floor), but why not a guitarist in the produce section to encourage people to linger and thereby maximize public health with increased vegetable sales? If I can take over as public health dictator, I will mandate an opera singer performing Wagner in the chips section to discourage sales of Cheetos and Ruffles (also ration coupons for chips and anything including sugar, of course, since obesity is contagious and is an intolerable health risk in the age of COVID).

Readers: dumb idea as usual?

Separately, Seed to Table made the news back in February 2021, e.g., with “Florida grocery store bucks mask mandate; owner says Covid death toll is ‘hogwash'” (NBC):

A video that was taken at a South Florida grocery store shows nearly every customer and employee without a mask.

The footage was filmed this week at Oakes Farms Seed to Table Market in Naples, about 42 miles south of Fort Myers. In it, not a mask is in sight and social distancing is not being followed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has repeatedly stated that masks and social distancing can help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Note that Florida state law eventually came around to the owner’s point of view, i.e., that local officials cannot order masks (see “Florida governor signs law preempting local COVID edicts” (AP, May 3, 2021)).

What does the market look like inside? (produce from local farms in abundance; good restaurants, coffee, and an ice cream parlor; wine shop; not the place to go for cleaning supplies and the other non-food stuff that supermarkets carry)

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How was Karen’s Halloween party?

How did everyone enjoy Halloween? In our Jupiter, Florida neighborhood, not a single mask was observed (other than costume masks). Substantial gatherings were observed in the next neighborhood over (Jupiter Heights), with candy for the kids and what appeared to be booze for the adults. Children were invited to grab candy from common bowls, thus risking the spread of COVID-19 via surface contamination that the righteous have been fighting for 20 months with obsessive disinfection.

(How is the Coronagod punishing the wicked unmasked partyers of Florida? The state is tied for lowest daily case rate among all U.S. states (NYT), at 9 per 100,000 (compare to 44 in Minnesota, 50 in Colorado, and 89 in Alaska).)

Meanwhile, email addressed to a Bethesda, Maryland neighborhood:

While we can’t have our traditional party in the Bent Branch courtyard …

Trick or Treating: In order to facilitate safe trick or treating for neighborhood kids on Halloween (Sunday, October 31st), we are providing recommendations that allow everyone to maintain distance but still participate in this most favorite tradition. Below please find a list of ideas for neighbors who wish to pass out candy, but using alternatives to doing a candy bowl (that all the children reach into)…

Purchase and pre-stuff Halloween baggies…

“Candy sticking” – purchase popsicle sticks that you can tape the candy to and stick along your front walkway [link to photo below]

With so many people having been at home for 1.5 years, my impression is that many more houses are profusely decorated, both in Maskachusetts and here in Florida. From Newton, MA, last week:

I’m playing around with a Canon EOS R5 camera. Here are a few tests from last night in Jupiter, Florida (RF 50/1.8 STM lens):


  • “Get the candy bowl ready. Dr. Fauci says Halloween is a go this year” (NPR): “I think that, particularly if you’re vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it,” Fauci told CNN’s State of the Union this weekend. … “This is a time that children love. It’s a very important part of the year for children,” he said. recommended that families stick to outdoor trick-or-treating and doing so in small groups. For handing out candy and other goodies, the website recommended sitting outside and lining up individually prepackaged treats for children to take.
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