CDC director highlights the success of a state that ignored CDC advice

From #Science itself:

If we accept the CDC’s premise that humans are in charge of viruses, the map demonstrates that Science-deniers Ron DeSantis (Yale/Harvard grad) and Florida surgeon general Joseph Ladapo (Harvard MD/PhD in Science Denial) are doing a great job in Florida! The people who did the opposite of what the CDC suggested are “doing the best” (if we accept the public health premise that COVID-19 infection/death rates are the appropriate measure of a society’s success).

How could the CDC’s social media nerds not have waited for these data to change before highlighting this map to hundreds of thousands of Americans?

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Checking the COVID-19 Olympics scores for Florida and California ahead of the DeSantis v. Newsom debate

Governor French Laundry and Governor Science Denial are debating this evening. Let’s do a little pre-debate fact-checking. Americans have agreed that all of a society’s success can be measured by the society’s score in the COVID-19 Olympics. A society that achieved 0 COVID-tagged deaths by pushing all of its citizens into Hamas-style tunnels for 10 years (until a vaccine-style vaccine became available that definitively reduced deaths on a population-wide basis) would, for example, be celebrated as the best of all possible societies.

Lockdown-champ California starts off in the lead in the COVID-19 Olympics by having a lower COVID-19-tagged death rate. Once you adjust for the percentage of the population over 65, however, the death rates are about the same and the excess death rate may actually be higher in California (the CDC makes these data available, but somehow doesn’t bother to make it easy to compare states).

Where is SARS-CoV-2 having a field day right now? The CDC’s wastewater page:

The Science-denying Republican strongholds of Minnesota and Vermont are seriously plagued (God hates Republicans and loves #Science). California is moderately plagued and the plague level in Florida is “low”. In other words, if we accept that current Scientific dogma that humans, especially politicians and bureaucrats, are in charge of viruses, Gavin Newsom’s lockdowns, mask orders, forced vaccinations, school closures, etc. have resulted in a higher rate of SARS-CoV-2 infection than the Team Sweden approach that Ron DeSantis adopted in the summer of 2020 (see Ron DeSantis and Coronapanic for excerpts from the not-so-great man’s book).

I continue to maintain my position that Nikki Haley would be more likely to prevail over Joe Biden in November 2024 because Ron D doesn’t have the soothing optimistic tone that Americans love. For example, Americans want to believe that someone who hates Jews and loves jihad will do a 180-degree flip once exposed to suburban life in Michigan or Minnesota. Ron just says “no”:

(Possible influence for Ron D’s rejection of Immigration Dogma: Florida is where, in 2016 (prior to Ron DeSantis assuming the governorship), first-generation Afghan-American Omar Mir Seddique Mateen killed 49 people at a gay nightclub. Mr. Mateen came from a “moderate Muslim” family and had spent his entire 29-year life in the land of Diversity is Our Strength (TM).)

Loosely related:

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Elon Musk and coronapanic

From Elon Musk by Walter Isaacson…

“The coronavirus panic is dumb,” Musk tweeted. It was March 6, 2020, and COVID had just shut down his new factory in Shanghai and begun to spread in the U.S. That was decimating Tesla’s stock price, but it was not just the financial hit that upset Musk. The government-imposed mandates, in China and then California, inflamed his anti-authority streak.

It was not being pro-Science that prevented Musk from embracing measures that proved ineffective against SARS-CoV-2, but a mindless anti-authority attitude. (Keep in mind that the author is a huge hater of Donald Trump, a passionate supporter of Democrats, and a believer in cloth masks against an aerosol virus)

When California issued a stay-at-home order later in March, just when the Fremont factory was starting to produce the Model Y, he became defiant. The factory would remain open. He wrote in a company-wide email, “I’d like to be super clear that if you feel the slightest bit ill or even uncomfortable, please do not feel obligated to come to work,” but then he added, “I will personally be at work. My frank opinion remains that the harm from the coronavirus panic far exceeds that of the virus itself.” After county officials threatened to force the plant to shut down, Musk filed suit against the orders. “If somebody wants to stay in their house, that’s great,” Musk said. “But to say that they cannot leave their house, and they will be arrested if they do, this is fascist. This is not democratic. This is not freedom. Give people back their goddamn freedom.” He kept the plant open and challenged the county sheriff to make arrests. “I will be on the line with everyone else,” he tweeted. “If anyone is arrested, I ask that it only be me.” Musk prevailed. The local authorities reached an agreement with Tesla to let the Fremont factory stay open so long as certain mask-wearing and other safety protocols were followed. These were honored mainly in the breach, but the dispute died down, the assembly line churned out cars, and the factory experienced no serious COVID outbreak.

The controversy became a factor in his political evolution. He went from being a fanboy and fundraiser for Barack Obama to railing against progressive Democrats.

(It cannot be that Democrats evolved, e.g., from being against same-sex marriage to being in favor of gender affirming surgery for teenagers. It is Musk who changed.)

Musk does not love our nation’s second most famous warrior against COVID-19:

… he wasn’t impressed by Joe Biden. “When he was vice president, I went to a lunch with him in San Francisco where he droned on for an hour and was boring as hell, like one of those dolls where you pull the string and it just says the same mindless phrases over and over.”

“Biden is a damp sock puppet in human form,” Musk responded [regarding Biden’s celebration of GM as the most important company in EVs at a time when GM was shipping 26 cars per calendar quarter]

Nor did Musk appreciate the evolution of California progressivism:

“I came there when it was the land of opportunity,” he says. “Now it’s the land of litigation, regulation, and taxation.”

Isaacson, much as he hates Republicans, attributes Musk’s mind-poisoning to libertarianism. But for this poison, Isaacson suggests, Musk might still be among the righteous. How stupid are libertarians? Isaacson describes Peter Thiel not wearing a seatbelt while Musk drives and crashes a McLaren:

Thiel got a ride with Musk in his McLaren. “So, what can this car do?” Thiel asked. “Watch this,” Musk replied, pulling into the fast lane and flooring the accelerator. The rear axle broke and the car spun around, hit an embankment, and flew in the air like a flying saucer. Parts of the body shredded. Thiel, a practicing libertarian, was not wearing a seatbelt, but he emerged unscathed.

Isaacson doesn’t explain why John Stuart Mill and Milton Friedman are against seatbelts in supercars. (I would like an explanation of why the rear axle broke! A pothole on Sand Hill Road?!? Quelle horreur! Acceleration per se doesn’t seem like a plausible cause. In the video below, Musk says “the rear end broke free”; Isaacson, the Harvard graduate, may not have understood that this describes wheelspin, not the rear axle and wheels coming off the car.)

Speaking of coronapanic, Musk and Bill Gates meet in March 2022. They had to agree to disagree on Mars colonization (Gates thinks lacks practical value, as do I, though planning to get to Mars means that if you fail your engineering work makes getting to orbit dirt cheap.)

At the end of the tour, the conversation turned to philanthropy. Musk expressed his view that most of it was “bullshit.” There was only a twenty-cent impact for every dollar put in, he estimated. He could do more good for climate change by investing in Tesla. “Hey, I’m going to show you five projects of a hundred million each,” Gates responded. He listed money for refugees, American schools, an AIDS cure, eradicating some mosquito types through gene drives, and genetically modified seeds that will resist the effects of climate change. Gates is very diligent about philanthropy, and he promised to write for Musk a “super-long description of the ideas.”

Money for refugees? I haven’t heard of Bill Gates doing anything for the 1.7 million Afghans recently expelled from Pakistan nor for the nearly 400,000 Palestinians expelled by Kuwait. Gates wants to fight climate change and also make some money betting that nobody wants electric cars:

Gates had shorted Tesla stock, placing a big bet that it would go down in value. He turned out to be wrong. By the time he arrived in Austin, he had lost $1.5 billion. Musk had heard about it and was seething. Short-sellers occupied his innermost circle of hell. Gates said he was sorry, but that did not placate Musk. “I apologized to him,” Gates says. “Once he heard I’d shorted the stock, he was super mean to me, but he’s super mean to so many people, so you can’t take it too personally.” The dispute reflected different mindsets. When I asked Gates why he had shorted Tesla, he explained that he had calculated that the supply of electric cars would get ahead of demand, causing prices to fall.

[after Gates keeps hitting Musk up for cash] “Sorry,” Musk shot back instantly. “I cannot take your philanthropy on climate seriously when you have a massive short position against Tesla, the company doing the most to solve climate change.”

“At this point, I am convinced that he is categorically insane (and an asshole to the core),” Musk texted me right after his exchange with Gates. “I did actually want to like him (sigh).”

Musk’s investments in Neuralink should be considered nonprofit donations in my opinion. This is blue sky research of the type that governments typically fund because there is no reasonable expectation of a return on investment.

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Dianne Feinstein, the first female U.S. senator (and cloth mask believer)

I was chatting with an Ivy League graduate who is a loyal Democrat and who follows the mainstream media. He shared that he had learned from news articles that the recently deceased Dianne Feinstein was the first female U.S. senator and, therefore, a true pioneer for her gender ID.

According to Wikipedia:

The first female U.S. senator, Rebecca Latimer Felton, represented Georgia for a single day in 1922, and the first woman elected to the Senate, Hattie Caraway, was elected from Arkansas in 1932. Fifty-nine women have served in the upper house of the United States Congress since its establishment in 1789.

(Senator Caraway held her Senate seat for more than 13 years. Like me, she was a prohibitionist.)

A gun owner with a concealed carry permit who wanted to deny her subjects the right to carry guns, Ms. Feinstein was also an early crusher of 2SLGBTQQIA+ dreams. A 1982 NYT article:

Mayor Dianne Feinstein today vetoed a San Francisco city ordinance that would have extended to live-in lovers, including homosexuals, the health insurance benefits that now go to husbands and wives of city employees.

The ordinance she vetoed was introduced by Harry Britt, the only publicly homosexual member of the Board of Supervisors. Mr. Britt was traveling in the East today, but his office released a statement in which he said that ”by vetoing this law, Mayor Feinstein has shown it is our nation’s institutions that lack civility. She has done serious harm to the efforts of gay men and lesbians to gain acceptance and understanding of our life styles.”

Dana van Gorder, a member of Mr. Britt’s staff, said the Mayor ”does not believe in the spirit of this legislation whatsoever.” The spokesman said that the homosexual community ”has had a sense for some time that she has viewed us with a certain moral judgment.”

At dusk about 200 people, many identifying themselves as homosexuals, gathered at the City Hall steps in response to a call for a protest. They cheered speakers who criticized Mayor Feinstein, and they chanted ”Dump Dianne.”

She sought to collect income tax and other revenues in Deplorable states, but not to send any money back to them until they accepted Faucism (press release):

The Science of cloth masks was powerful in the summer of 2020. A quote from the above:

“Research shows that masks reduce transmission of the coronavirus. CDC Director Redfield said this surge in COVID-19 cases could end within two months if we adopt ‘universal masking.’… countries that are successfully controlling this virus require masks. So why doesn’t the United States have a national mask mandate?”

(Remember to check cumulative excess deaths to see how those “countries that [were] successfully controlling the virus” eventually fared.)

What are some example articles that communicate to readers that Dianne Feinstein was the first female senator? From the New York Post:

US Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the trailblazing California Democrat who broke gender barriers throughout her five decades in politics, died Thursday night at her Washington, DC home following a number of health scares. She was 90.

The Guardian: “Senator Dianne Feinstein, trailblazer for women in US politics, dies aged 90″.

The Hill: “Senate loses giant in Dianne Feinstein: ‘A trailblazer in every sense of that word’”

New York Times: “Dianne Feinstein, a Trailblazing Senator, Dies at 90″

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Coronapanic in Panama

This is a report on the coronapanic level in Panama observed during a February 2023 visit.

One of the first sights stepping off our Royal Caribbean ship was a mask directive in the duty free shop:

Walking outdoors in the sunshine near the canal:

Two years after coronapanic began, compliance with these indoor and outdoor directives was spotty. Note the chin diapers on the supermarket employees below, for example, and on a gal in an ice cream shop.

How devoted to Faucism was Panama? See “Panama’s Gender-Based Lockdown and the Resilience of Transgender Activism” (hrw.org):

On April 1, 2020, the government of Panama introduced a gender-based lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This meant that women and men were only allowed to do essential shopping on alternate days. … An unintended consequence of this measure was that police and private security guards began to single out transgender people for profiling for being out “on the wrong day.” In some cases, they arrested and fined trans people, or prevented them from buying essential items like food and medication. These cases of discrimination occurred when security agents’ visually identified trans people, or after they checked the sex marker on their national identification cards.

Panama was celebrated by the United Nations for its California levels of school closure (more than one year). What were the results achieved by locking up the trans shoppers, kicking kids out of school for 1.5 years, forced masking, and coerced vaccination? Panama ended up with a slightly higher COVID-tagged death rate than no-lockdown, no-mask, no-school-closure Sweden (statista).

What if a Panamanian emerged from his/her/zir/their bunker having survived COVID? Our guide explained that Panamanians pay roughly 20 percent of income in tax. “That covers retirement and health care,” she said. “There is no property tax and you don’t have to pay anything when you go see the doctor.” A tourist from Canada asked if there were long waits to see doctors. “Oh yes,” the guide responded. “Sometimes you have to wait for two weeks.” Women retire at 57, men at 62, and police after 25 years of work (age 43 if they start at 18). Life expectancy is almost the same as in the U.S. (ranking), about 82 for women and 76 for men. Thus, women enjoy 11 additional years of retirement compared to men (5 years from the younger retirement age and 6 years from the longer life expectancy).

One mystery is how the life expectancy in Panama can be comparable to what we have here in the U.S. We are informed that abortion care for pregnant people is life-saving health care. The U.S. is the world’s abortion care capital. By contrast, “Abortion in Panama is illegal except in instances that the pregnancy is life-threatening or the health of the woman is at risk, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest. … The punishment for a woman who has an illegal abortion is one to three years in prison. The punishment for a doctor or other person who provides the procedure with the woman’s consent is 3 to 6 years in prison.” (Wikipedia) If abortion care is rare in Panama, how are Panamanians able to live just as long as Americans?

(Also, if Californians boycott U.S. states where abortion care is not available through 37 weeks, as pregnant people will find in Maskachusetts, why aren’t Californians boycotting Panama, including tourism and the purchase of products that have made the expensive trip through the Canal?)

Panama is an underrated tourist destination. The wildlife is as interesting as in Costa Rica. The historic old city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a lot more pleasant than Cartagena. Everything is easier for the traveler because the country is so much richer than these neighbors. Let’s have a look at the old:

Some fancy church interiors:

The “latino style” shop:

(I stopped in to ask directions to the Latinx style shop.)

What pays for it all? Global commerce! Ships going through and also 500,000 containers per year being transferred to another ocean via the Panama Canal Railway.

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Science says to avoid monkeypox by going to the bathhouse every night

A tweet from the Righteous:

According to the Scientists at Science, anyone who is not a Covidian is stupid and, worse, a denier of Science.

My response:

If Peter Hotez doesn’t want to get Covid, why won’t he stay home? That’s the one proven technique for avoiding a respiratory virus. He’s voluntarily entering packed rooms and holding indoor book signings (photo below), then telling others that he knows the secret for avoiding an aerosol contagion?

I included a photo from one of Professor Dr. Hotez, MD, PhD’s tweets:

He spends all day every day in crowded indoor environments talking about how stupid the average American is for not taking Covid-avoidance more seriously. If we translate this Scientific knowledge to another disease we find that anyone serious about avoiding Monkeypox should spend all night every night in a bathhouse.

What did the giant-sized brains of Science have to say about Professor Dr. Hotez, MD, PhD’s book?

… the fierce backlash against sensible public health measures … by uninformed citizens and bad actors on social media… Hotez calls for the US federal government to address anti-science aggression… a proposal for a new entity akin to the Southern Poverty Law Center that would both monitor hateful threats to scientists and offer legal advice and resources.

“Right-wing idealogues” are identified as prime targets who should be hit by those who are pro-Science and “Hotez’s warning about the broader implications of Covid denial must be heeded.”

Let’s check out the Defender of Science’s Twitter feed to see which crowded rooms he’s in.

In a crowded room where nobody wears a mask…

In Manhattan, which is in no way associated with crowding and filth:

Unmasked in a bookstore with a fellow Covidian:

In a Washington, D.C. bookstore with a Floridian and a Covidian:

Getting ready to gather in a crowd of 50,000 for a book festival (in a state where the New York Times informs us that books are banned):

Cuddling indoors with a Climate Doomer/Covid Doomer in Filthadelphia:

Inside a massive convention center stuffed with potentially infected humans:

(The infectious disease experts decided to hold a mass gathering instead of a Zoom-based conference?)

Flashback to three years ago on this blog: What to do when a family member is an anti-masker?

Update: Professor Dr. Hotez, MD, PhD is not afraid of death, but he is afraid of comments from other Twitter users:

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Science says that young people sick with COVID-19 should go home to their parents and grandparents

Courtesy of Jay Bhattacharya, the University of Michigan’s policy for dealing with the discovery of an unclean SARS-CoV-2-infected 18-year-old in a dorm shared with healthy 18-year-olds:

Let’s consider Pat Studymuch, a U-M freshman. He/she/ze/they lives in a single room amidst other 18-year-olds whose risk of hospitalization or death from COVID-19 is minimal. Where should he/she/ze/they go?

Science says “Go back to the parents and elderly grandparents” (in the “permanent residence”). But if removing an infected 18-year-old from a group of 18-year-olds and pushing him/her/zir/them into a community of older people is good, wouldn’t it be even better for contagious students to be sent to quarantine in nursing homes?

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Seal off criminal-rich neighborhoods to tackle the public health emergency of gun violence?

CBS yesterday:

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday issued an emergency public health order that suspends the open and permitted concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days in the midst of a spate of gun violence.

Gun enthusiasts are saying that this is unconstitutional, but that’s irrelevant if there’s an emergency. KOAT:

“I can invoke additional powers,” Lujan Grisham said. “No constitutional right, in my view, including my oath, is intended to be absolute.”

It’s only for 30 days and it is intended to address what the governor has characterized as an “emergency”, so it is unclear why anyone could make a good faith objection to this order. The governor herself summarizes the situation succinctly (nytimes):

“I have emergency powers,” she said. “Gun violence is an epidemic. Therefore, it’s an emergency.”

Let’s look at some history and consider what might be a more effective approach to ending the gun violence emergency…

Prior to 2020, Americans believed that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed each of us the right to leave his/her/zir/their home to assemble, e.g., at work or school. However, it turned out that the Constitution did not prevent lockdowns of young healthy Americans on the grounds that there was a statistical chance that the lockdown could save the life of an old person somewhere.

That the societies with lockdowns had as-high or higher overall excess death rates compared to lockdown-free and mask-free Sweden isn’t relevant to this post. Even if no lives were saved, the idea was that lives might be saved and therefore the Constitution could be set aside. #BecauseEmergency

The majority of Americans, among the world’s meekest and most compliant humans, seem to be happy to have traded what had been their rights for the promise of safety. (Dutch friend at the time: “All of the rights that Americans fought and died in multiple wars to defend, they gave up in one governor’s press conference.”) Here’s part of a recent comment on Twitter, in response to a freedom-lover who complained about lockdowns, forced vaccinations, mask orders, etc. and asserted that they were unconstitutional:

Coercion is not the same as force and weakens your argument when you conflate the two. A majority of society agreed protect public health, that’s democracy.

Nobody was forced to get vaccinated. It is just that a person could have a job or be in a public place only if he/she/ze/they accepted the experimental injection. The lockdowns were okay because they were a product of democratic processes. My response:

Democracy undiluted by the Constitution sounds good. Freedom from crime is an important element of public health. What if a majority of Americans voted to seal the borders of any neighborhood in which the residents had committed more than a certain number of violent crimes? See below for how it could work in practice. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_13

Our democratically elected federal and state governments took away various freedoms based on statistical hopes and using an “emergency” as a justification. Do we have what we need to justify locking down neighborhoods from which we can expect criminal activity? From CNN:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, acknowledged Sunday that gun violence in the US is a public health emergency.

What would it look like in Detroit, Michigan, rated #1 in “Total Crime Index”? Referring to the map below, the neighborhoods in the darkest color (?!?) would be walled off as a reasonable public health measure. Residents could leave their houses only during certain daylight hours and only for purposes deemed essential, such as buying marijuana. (See this March 23, 2020 article: “Michigan marijuana shops may remain open during the COVID-19 coronavirus stay-at-home order issued Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer”) There would be checkpoints at a few points in the wall where people could be screened for guns and drugs on the way in or out (in those situations where the governor was permitting residents to go in or out).

Is there any flaw in the above reasoning? Separately, if you haven’t seen District B13, I recommend it!

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Sam Bankman-Fried continues to make people rich

Having previously enriched the campaign treasuries of Democrat politicians nationwide, the great Effective Altruist Sam Bankman-Fried continues to enrich at least some Americans, according to “A $700 Million Bonanza for the Winners of Crypto’s Collapse: Lawyers” (New York Times):

Lawyers, accountants, consultants, cryptocurrency analysts and other professionals have racked up more than $700 million in fees since last year from the bankruptcies of five major crypto firms, including the digital currency exchange FTX, according to a New York Times analysis of court records. That sum is likely to grow significantly as the cases unfold over the coming months.

What is the NYT’s evil twin, the New York Post, writing about? “Migrant arrested 6 times for 14 crimes in first two months in NYC”:

A man who arrived in New York City two months ago from Venezuela has randomly attacked at least three strangers and two cops, and gotten arrested – and released – six times on 14 different charges, police and sources said.

Daniel Hernandez Martinez, 29, arrived on June 27 and allegedly committed his first crime the following day.

On Aug. 21, he violently attacked a woman in Midtown, cops said. He “grabbed a stranger by the hair, dragged her across the floor and kicked her,” and smashed her phone on West 45th Street around 1 a.m., court documents show.

What else has been interesting in recent news? “Maryland elementary school brings back MASKS for kids as it forces third-graders to don N-95s again after spate of pupils testing positive for COVID-19” (Daily Mail):

In a letter sent to parents on Tuesday, Rosemary Hills Elementary School principal Rebecca Irwin Kennedy said she made the move after ‘three or more individuals’ caught the virus in the last ten days.

She demanded students don thick N95 masks to ‘keep our school environment as safe as possible’, despite a recent study finding the mask may expose users to dangerous levels of toxic chemicals.

And while even embattled medical guru Dr Anthony Fauci admits there is a lack of evidence the masks stop the spread of Covid, Kennedy told parents the N95s will only become optional after 10 days.

This is my old school district, as it happens, Montgomery County Public Schools. It’s interesting that there is no explanation of how SARS-CoV-2 will be stopped if the students remove their masks “while eating or drinking”. The letter from the principal doesn’t mention any changes to lunch procedures. So the kids all sit in the classroom together wearing masks and then they all sit together at lunch not wearing masks?

What the Maryland principal did, of course, would be illegal under Florida law. Not contrary to a governor’s order, but illegal under a statute passed by the legislature. Third graders in Florida could tell the fearful Fauci-denying adults where to put their N95 masks.

Readers: What’s caught your eye in recent news?

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Indoor, Outdoor, and Bearded Maskers in the Boston Area

Photos from August 21, 2023, Allston, Massachusetts (adjacent to Boston University):

My favorite, of course, is the surgical mask over full beard as a means of blocking out an aerosol virus. However, the most confusing are the outdoor maskers. The risk of being in a crowded city is so high that they need a mask when outdoors… yet they won’t move away from the crowded city. I guess the masked supermarket shoppers are also tough to explain. Why don’t they stay safe at home and let the Latinx essential delivery workers incur the risk of gathering groceries? (See The social justice of coronashutdowns)

I visited a friend in Brookline who warned his elderly mother to stay away from me because I was insufficiently cautious about the possibility of a SARS-CoV-2 infection (I had arrived from an oceanfront estate in Maine with about 3,000 square feet of space per person). A few minutes later, he decided that it would be too onerous to cook pasta at home, safe from COVID-19, on the high-end induction cooktop. So we then all went out to a cramped neighborhood Italian restaurant in which the elderly mom was within breathing distance of about 30 local humans (presumably not Covid heretics, however).

Both the mom, a Manhattan resident, and the grandkids spontaneously offered the opinion that Florida schools were terrible, partly due to the fact that reading was banned in Florida. Said grandkids had been removed from the Brookline, Maskachusetts public schools (one of the highest-rated districts in the state) due to being bored and the school system not having any gifted program. So they were paying private school tuition ($55,000+/year per student) on top of state income tax (banned by the FL constitution), state estate tax (also banned by the FL constitution, unless it can be credited toward federal), and property tax at a similar rate to what a typical FL county charges. I pointed out that Florida state law required every public school district to offer gifted education beginning in 2nd grade and that, if necessary, there was also the Big Hammer in which Florida high school kids can take online or in-person courses for free at any state-run college or university (and taxpayers have to buy them the textbooks as well!). Finally, the larger counties run magnet schools for those who are artistically or academically inclined (one of Miami’s is the #4-ranked public high school in the U.S.).

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