Joe Biden headlines a COVID Superspreader event in Florida

Joe Biden should be speaking soon at an indoor COVID Superspreader event that the Followers of Science have organized here in South Florida. From Florida Memorial University:

Note, especially, “this event is expected to reach attendance capacity.” In other words, by design there will be a packed gym of people spreading aerosol SARS-CoV-2 to each other.

What’s especially confusing about this is that there are so many outdoor venues in which as many or more people could be accommodated. It will be partly cloudy with temps in the low 80s this evening in Miami Gardens.

Remember that the headline speaker is the one whose order that Americans wear masks in airports would still be in effect if it had not been found unconstitutional. Mere months after the judge’s order he is encouraging people to crowd together with no masks?

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Trump vs. Biden in the New York Times

According to my browser, the word “Trump” occurs 6 times on the front page of today’s New York Times. “Biden” occurs 3 times.

Biden is featured for expanding government (and, therefore, borrowing and the deficit) as well as for being a quarter century older than the mandatory retirement age for an FAA air traffic controller (gone before age 56, even at the sleepiest airports where there might be one operation every 10 minutes).

Some of the headlines mentioning Trump:

Excerpts from the Trump stories:

Liberal excitement is understandable. Mr. Trump faces potential legal jeopardy from the Jan. 6 investigation in Congress and the Mar-a-Lago search. They anticipate fulfilling a dream going back to the earliest days of the Trump administration: to see him frog-marched to jail before the country and the world.

But the nightmare wouldn’t stop there. What if Mr. Trump declares another run for the presidency just as he’s indicted and treats the trial as a circus illustrating the power of the Washington swamp and the need to put Republicans back in charge to drain it?

There is an obvious risk: If Mr. Trump runs again, he might win.

It’s impossible to understand the G.O.P. reaction to the raid, though, without accounting for the context of the Russia investigation of Mr. Trump’s 2016 campaign that consumed the first two years of his presidency. … investigations of prominent figures of one party carried out by officials of the other party aren’t going to be met by a relaxed attitude and sympathetic understanding.

The last time there was a significant investigation of a Democratic president, Bill Clinton, Democrats waged all-out war on the prosecutor. The independent counsel, Ken Starr, had a Republican background, but he wasn’t working for a G.O.P. administration. He was appointed by a three-judge panel after Mr. Clinton’s own attorney general, Janet Reno, triggered the investigation.

The Russia investigation was a national fiasco that brought discredit on the F.B.I. and everyone who participated in it. The probe prominently featured a transparently ridiculous dossier generated by the Clinton campaign, eventually spinning into a special-counsel investigation that became, to some significant extent, about itself and whether Mr. Trump was guilty of obstruction. People who should have known better got caught up in the feeding frenzy and speculated that the walls were closing in on Mr. Trump or that he might have been a Russian asset going back decades.

That experience guarantees that no Republican is going to take assurances about the Mar-a-Lago search, or any other Trump investigation, at face value.

Is it fair to say that Trump (our distant neighbor here in Palm Beach County, though there is a world of difference between the Palm Beach and Jupiter lifestyles!) has more mindshare, nearly two years after his last election, than any other former president with the same distance from being in office?

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Should we not pay rent due to the COVID-19 public health emergency…

… or should we instead not pay rent due to “Biden administration declares the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency” (CNN):

The declaration follows the World Health Organization announcement last month that monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern. WHO defines a public health emergency of international concern, or PHEIC, as “an extraordinary event” that constitutes a “public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease” and “to potentially require a coordinated international response.”

Some cities and states, including New York City, San Francisco, California, Illinois and New York, have already declared monkeypox an emergency, allowing them to free up funding and resources for their responses to the outbreak.

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden named Robert Fenton as the White House’s national monkeypox response coordinator. Fenton — a regional Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator who oversees Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada — will coordinate the federal government’s response to the outbreak.

Monkeypox can infect anyone, but the majority of cases in the US outbreak have been among men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men and people who identify as transgender. Close contact with an infected individual is required for the spread of the monkeypox virus, experts say.

Concentrating on that last paragraph, now that Science has declared an emergency, should we start wearing protective cloth masks on visits to the local bathhouse?

Separately, one of my most COVID-concerned Facebook friends has been posting images of himself and his wife, fully masked, at a 70,000-person indoor board game convention. Apparently, there was a one-hour process for scrutinizing vaccine papers (Science says that there is no way to transmit a SARS-CoV-2 infection if a person has been injected with proven-by-Science COVID-19 “vaccines”). The same guy posted some rage against convention attendees who did not Follow Science by attending a 70,000-person indoor event while wearing a mask of some sort:

This guy and similar are endlessly fascinating to me. He is concerned enough about COVID-19 to wear a mask and post about others’ mask-wearing. But he is not concerned enough about an aerosol respiratory virus to refrain from attending a 70,000-person indoor event that attracts diseased individuals from all around the world.

Finally, when will the CDC announce a hangar rent moratorium? That’s the kind of COVID-19/monkeypox relief that I feel would be most beneficial.


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Joe Biden is not at risk from Long COVID

“What to know about Paxlovid, the COVID drug President Biden is using to speed recovery” (NPR) says that Joe Biden is sure to be back to his dynamic self soon. No possibility of “Long COVID” and associated “brain fog” is mentioned.

Last month, also from NPR, “Vaccination Nation: The Not-So-Long Odds Of Long COVID”:

According to a new report by the CDC, one in five COVID survivors under the age of 65 has experienced a health condition that could be considered long COVID. For seniors, that number rises to one in four.

So… the typical older American has a 25 percent chance of experiencing Long COVID while Joe Biden’s chance is 0 percent. Our leader will not suffer from brain fog.

A friend with a Ph.D., on hearing the news about Joe Biden’s COVID-19 situation:

Does he have Covid, cancer, dyslexia, dementia, or more? I have no idea.

Meanwhile, we visited Dollywood this week (en route to Oshkosh via Cirrus SR20). The crowds were manageable (much more so than in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which has 1/5th of the infrastructure that it needs to handle the volume of visitors), but it was still a crowded environment. We saw a family wearing masks. Father in a surgical mask. Son in a cloth mask. Mom wearing a chin diaper. They were concerned enough about COVID-19 to wear masks, but not concerned enough to refrain from visiting a jammed theme park. My personal solution for keeping safe from COVID-19 is to avoid obesity via consuming all-natural pork rinds. Here is the Dollywood pork rind operation:

(In fairness, the rate of obesity at Dollywood seems to be lower than at Disney World.)


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Open a gentleman’s resort called Hunter’s?

A friend and I just scheduled a romantic two-day getaway at the Ron Fellows Corvette-driving school (December 7-8 was the earliest they had available). Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, as in most of the United States (see Where New York Times readers don’t want to follow Europe: Legalized prostitution), but legal in some other parts of Nevada, including Pahrump, where the race track is located. One “gentleman’s resort” is Sheri’s Ranch. Given recent publicity, however, such as “First Son spent $30k in five months on ‘the girlfriend experience'” (Daily Mail), I wonder if a successful competitor could be started. A name that everyone can remember? “Hunter’s”

What’s the revenue opportunity? From the Daily Mail:

In January 2019, Hunter texted Moreva (Eva) asking for eight more hours with the women. He said he had already spent $5,000 on eight hours of their time and would like an additional eight for a total 16-hour rendezvous

I am, of course, disappointed that the headline did not read “spent $30k in five months on prostitutes, $*** on crack cocaine, and then wasted the rest of his money”.

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Where the Biden administration diverges from George Orwell’s 1984 playbook

Comparisons between the Party in George Orwell’s 1984 and the Democrats currently ruling the U.S. are becoming more frequent, e.g., referring to the Silicon Valley censors as the Thought Police (from 2016), the new Disinformation Governance Board as the Ministry of Truth (WSJ), etc. Democrats are now apparently about to receive comprehensive data on which Americans support their opponents (see “Judge rules January 6 committee can obtain RNC and Trump campaign email data” (CNN)).

There is at least one area where today’s Progressives diverge from Orwell’s Party. From the appendix to 1984:

[a Party member’s] sexual life, for example, was entirely regulated by the two Newspeak words SEXCRIME (sexual immorality) and GOODSEX (chastity). SEXCRIME covered all sexual misdeeds whatever. It covered fornication, adultery, homosexuality, and other perversions, and, in addition, normal intercourse practised for its own sake. There was no need to enumerate them separately, since they were all equally culpable, and, in principle, all punishable by death. In the C vocabulary, which consisted of scientific and technical words, it might be necessary to give specialized names to certain sexual aberrations, but the ordinary citizen had no need of them. He knew what was meant by GOODSEX—that is to say, normal intercourse between man and wife, for the sole purpose of begetting children, and without physical pleasure on the part of the woman: all else was SEXCRIME.

Regarding sexuality, in other words, 21st century governments that decide how to allocate an ever-larger share of GDP and thus occupy an ever-larger role in an individual’s life went in exactly the opposite direction predicted by Orwell. Orwell was correct in predicting that church-established moral rules would be dead, but he thought that even more strict sexual morality would be imposed by the state.

(Note that, in 1984, the Proles enjoyed more freedom of all kinds, including sexual, than Party members, but their sexual freedom was pretty similar to what was available in 1940s England not what we have in the U.S. right now. Contraception is never explained in 1984, unlike in Brave New World. The only women who have babies are married women, despite the existence of some sex outside of marriage, and family sizes seem to be small.)

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S&P 500 down at least 6 percent since Joe Biden took office

Not a great time for us buy-and-hold index investors….

Since Joe Biden took office, the S&P 500 is down at least 6 percent in real terms (up 3.9 percent nominal, but up is the new down in a high-inflation environment).

Who wants to get bragging rights by calling the bottom on this market slide? I’m going to say that the correct value is 3,200 (pre-coronapanic value) plus 0 percent growth for 2020 when Americans cowered in place and 8 percent growth for 2021. Then add 20 percent for the inflation rate that is experienced by people with enough money to buy stock. So today’s correct nominal value is 4,096. Markets tend to overshoot, though, so let’s take 5 percent off that for the bottom: 3,891.

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Is Joe Biden fighting an undeclared war against Russia?

According to the Constitution, it is Congress’s job to decide when to declare and wage war on a foreign country.

What is the Biden administration doing?

“U.S. Intelligence Is Helping Ukraine Kill Russian Generals, Officials Say” (NYT, May 4, 2022):

The United States has provided intelligence about Russian units that has allowed Ukrainians to target and kill many of the Russian generals who have died in action in the Ukraine war, according to senior American officials.

Ukrainian officials said they have killed approximately 12 generals on the front lines, a number that has astonished military analysts.

The targeting help is part of a classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes anticipated Russian troop movements gleaned from recent American assessments of Moscow’s secret battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said. Officials declined to specify how many generals had been killed as a result of U.S. assistance.

The United States has focused on providing the location and other details about the Russian military’s mobile headquarters, which relocate frequently.

If a country did that to the U.S., would we call it an “act of war” and flatten their capital in retaliation?

“U.S. Intelligence Helped Ukraine Strike Russian Flagship, Officials Say” (NYT, May 5, 2022):

The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.

The targeting help, which contributed to the eventual sinking of the flagship, the Moskva, is part of a continuing classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine.

What if a country helped some jihadists conduct an operation similar to the USS Cole bombing, e.g., by letting the attackers know exactly where one of our ships was?

What about funding? One way to figure out if a country is at war is if its taxpayers are funding a war. From a May 4 NYT article in which the President actually does run a proposal by Congress:

This week, the Senate will take up a request from President Biden to send $33 billion in aid to Ukraine, mostly in the form of artillery, antitank weapons and other military and security assistance. If the measure goes through, the United States will have authorized a total of $46.6 billion for the war, equal to more than two-thirds of Russia’s entire annual defense budget.

The request comes just weeks after President Vladimir Putin of Russia called on the Biden administration in a formal diplomatic letter to stop supplying advanced weapons to Ukrainian forces. If it didn’t, Putin warned there would be “unpredictable consequences.”

It sounds like Americans been doing everything on the Ukrainian side except the final trigger pull. We are funding the entire Ukrainian military, just as we fund our own military. We are directly running the Ukrainian military’s electronic and satellite intelligence branch. With some assistance from NATO allies, we are designing and building the weapons that the Ukrainian military uses in combat.

The above should not be intended as an opinion regarding the Russia-Ukraine war. (I don’t understand the languages, the history, etc.) The topic for this post is the process of governing the U.S. If the Constitution says “Congress shall have Power . . . To declare War” (Article I, Section 8, Clause 11), how is Joe Biden allowed to do all of the stuff that he is apparently doing without specific Congressional authorization?


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Joe Biden asks to speak to Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle’s manager

“Biden administration to appeal ruling striking down transit mask mandate” (Washington Post, today):

The Biden administration will appeal a federal judge’s decision that struck down the mask mandate on public transportation, officials announced Wednesday.

The Justice Department filed notice of its plans to appeal after U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle of Florida on Monday concluded that the mandate exceeded the statutory authority of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The ruling blindsided the White House and sparked days of debate within the administration about how to proceed.

In other words, the muscular Vanquisher of Corn Pop has asked to speak to the young judge’s manager!

Separately, as long as we’re talking about COVID Karens, I still can’t figure out why people who want to wear masks in public are in public to begin with. They’re afraid of COVID-19 so they put on a cloth mask or a non-fitted N95 mask after leaving the house. But if they’re afraid of COVID-19, why did they leave their houses in the first place? Karen visits a Florida theme park is an extreme example of this conundrum.


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Forced masking: the 34-year-old judge versus the 79-year-old president

In a perfect illustration of the intergenerational conflict exposed by COVID-19 and with perfect timing for Passover (a holiday all about freedom), a 34-year-old federal judge struck down the 79-year-old’s order forcing healthy young (non-elite) people to wear masks on buses, subways, and commercial airliners. On one side, we have Dr. Biden’s husband at an age where COVID-19 is often serious and sometimes fatal. He’s presumably hoping to make it to 100 so that he can attend the Metropolitan Museum’s opening of a permanent wing devoted to the work of Hunter Biden (today: “face coverings required for all visitors age 2 and older; in 2043 maybe it will be “face coverings required except for visitors under age 2”?). On the other side, Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, a 34-year-old with no obvious COVID-19 risks (photo below from a Tampa Bay Bar Association interview) who can rely on her immune system to co-evolve with SARS-CoV-2.

Most young Americans meekly accepted the loss of their liberty (and, in many cases, their education) that was, at least in theory, supposed to help rich old people get richer and older. But not this judge!

As you might expect, the ruling was based on more technical grounds, as explained in “CDC mask mandate for travelers struck down by federal judge” (CNN):

A federal judge in Florida struck down on Monday the Biden administration’s mask mandate for airplanes and other public transport methods.

US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle said the mandate was unlawful because it exceeded the statutory authority of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and because its implementation violated administrative law.

A Biden administration official familiar with the White House’s decision previously told CNN the goal of the extension was to gather more information and understanding of the BA.2 variant of the coronavirus. Covid-19 cases in the US are on the rise, leading universities and the City of Philadelphia to reimplement indoor mask mandates.

The first part of the judge’s 59-page ruling turned on the meaning of the word “sanitation,” as it functions in the 1944 statute that gives the federal government the authority — in its efforts to combat communicable diseases — to issue regulations concerning “sanitation.”

Mizelle concluded that that the use of the word in the statute was limited to “measures that clean something.”

“Wearing a mask cleans nothing,” she wrote. “At most, it traps virus droplets. But it neither ‘sanitizes’ the person wearing the mask nor ‘sanitizes’ the conveyance.”

Mizelle suggested that the government’s implementation of the mandate — in which non-complying travelers are “forcibly removed from their airplane seats, denied board at the bus steps, and turned away at the train station doors” — was akin to “detention and quarantine,” which are not contemplated in the section of the law in question, she said.

“As a result, the Mask Mandate is best understood not as sanitation, but as an exercise of the CDC’s power to conditionally release individuals to travel despite concerns that they may spread a communicable disease (and to detain or partially quarantine those who refuse),” she wrote. “But the power to conditionally release and detain is ordinarily limited to individuals entering the United States from a foreign country.”

If her order sticks, maybe young people will say “Thank Mizelle” every time they get on public transit (which the rich old people who created the mask orders never used to begin with).

Speaking of Tampa, the children’s museum there in a photo from December 2021:

(One of the things that I am liking about Florida is the priority given to children. Events that would require paid tickets for each child up in Maskachusetts are generally free to children here. At least half of the time that I expect to pay for our kids I find out that a paid adult admission enables an unlimited numbers of kids to come in as well. A family of modest means, therefore, can afford a wide range of activities that would be out of reach for a family in the Northeast. Disney, of course, is an exception and is financially ruinous for anyone with kids.)

Reaction from a Facebook friend (old white guy): “If there was a hell, it would hold a special place for U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle”

From the NYT readers:

(Kathleen in NY) It’s a shame that not one major airline was brave enough to keep the mask policy in place—offering passengers a choice to fly with other safety-minded people. Missed business opportunity too. It’s a tragedy that airlines caved to the vocal minority, rather than the more compliant majority—placing more importance on individual liberty (aka selfishness) than to the common good.

(Andy in Chicago) Even if masks were about to become optional anyway, this judge’s decision sets a dangerous right-wing precedent for future Covid waves and other epidemics.

(josh in NY): The judge who made this decision was a political appointee of Donald Trump, and utilized no scientific based reasoning in the decision to remove masks from travel. I think this will only harm the nation further and while no one likes to wear them, they are especially useful in tightly packed places like planes, trains, and buses. I hope the administration appeals this blatantly political opinion.

(Jason in NY): I had a trip planned to California next week. As a result of this politically motivated and dangerous move to end masks on flights, I have cancelled my trip.

(Martha in Tennessee) Woo hoo! Now the US needs to drop the negative test requirement for citizens to get back into the country. Those of you who insist on living in fear are just going to have to stay home.

(David in California, replying to Martha) I’ll stay home, thanks for your consideration. And I’m not the only one. Taking action that drives customers away isn’t necessarily a good business decision.

(John in San Jose) I read the decision of Judge Mizelle. It is shockingly bad and is based on narrow views of select words while ignoring not only other sections, but even common sense. … Judge Mizelle claims that the mask mandate exceeds its authority because it does not fit into the suggested list of remedies listed in the law, but she also chose to ignore the closing words of 42 U.S. Code 264 which state “and other measures, as in his judgment may be necessary.” It is sad to realize that the hard work of thousands of well-trained people can be rendered moot by one judge with no knowledge of diseases and a partisan agenda.


  • COVID-safe restaurant chain idea (perfect for the NYT commenters above who want to continue living under the rules that prevailed in New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco circa January 2022)
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