Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Day 67: COVID-19 Numidiocy


We’re #1! Not a distinction for which the US was looking. And it might not be true anyway if we had a clear picture of what is going on in the world’s most populous country — China. (Or is it India, now?) And we are not #1 on the “misery index” (yet).


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. New Virus Hobby: Marine Traffic!


Seal Beach Pier, L.A. Harbor, Palos Verdes, Catalina off to the left.
I’m assuming others have stumbled upon a new virus hobby while cooped up. Here’s mine: marine traffic! Working from home, I have an ocean view in Seal Beach in Orange County, CA, which is nice, but what is all this traffic out there?

I have a clear view of every ship lining up to dock in the L.A. Harbor to my right, and the Naval munitions dock at Anaheim Bay to my left. But I know almost nothing about them.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson: The Corona Economy with John B. Taylor




Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Coronavirus Update: Death Rate As of 3-26-2020


The big news today is that the US now has more reported COVID-19 cases than any other country. Remain calm. Remember that our rates of infection remain far below those of the two hardest-hit countries, Italy and Spain. The US has about 5.5 times the population of Italy and about 7 times the population of Spain. So it is no surprise that we have the most cases.

I’ve reviewed all of the data for today (March 26) from Johns Hopkins, and there are no significant departures from prior trends.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: The Quick and The Dead


“Power undiluted by fatigue is not heroic; it is professional.” — Pavel, The Quick And The Dead

Pavel, a former Spetsnaz master of fitness, has been an exercise guru in this country for years. He’s been, at least for the past decade, my go-to guy for all things Kettlebell.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Majestyk’s Giant ‘Jeopardy!’ FAQ


Everybody already knows that I was going to appear on the biggest, best, longest-running game show in the history of whenever – “Jeopardy!,” of course! – but now I have a conundrum on my hands: How do I handle all of the questions and fan mail?

Never fear, gentle reader: I am here to answer your burning questions about all things J!


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. QOTD: Every Instant of Every Life


The “Lord’s Prayer” is not to be prayed with resignation: “Father, what will happen will happen,” or “Since it’s an order, I’ll obey”–as though we were being called to attention by a spiritual commander-in-chief. Such an attitude would indicate that “the servant does not know what the master is doing” (John 15:15), which is not at all the case. He who has given up his life guides us along his path, making us acquainted with God’s will so that we do it freely. And the will of God is that each of us contributes to the salvation of mankind. Once we know this, a prodigious perspective opens up before us, affecting both our prayers and daily existence.



Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Duration: Rotaria


We’re in lockdown starting Friday at 5 PM, but as far as I was concerned it started today. Wife has an essential-person deferment; so do I. No plans to use it but it’s nice if it’s there. When Wife held up her document stating she could move about freely, it was like a Letter of Transit. I’ll hide it in the piano.

The sun came out and the temps soared. I stood on the porch at the top of the hill and watched all the dog-walkers and moms with strollers. Made a point of waving if they looked up. When I’m walking the dog and I see people coming up the sidewalk, I move to the street, but I wave, and smile. For a few weeks we weren’t looking at each other. Now we need to wave, and smile.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Death Spasms of a Debt-Driven Economy


I intended to post something on this days ago, but every day brings a new outrage that forces me to rewrite it. At this point, I’m simply stunned.

COVID-19 is not the fundamental cause of the stock market crash and the insane response to it of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Government. The fundamental cause is a nation that has not saved for a long time, lives on ever-expanding debt and cheap credit, and expects bailouts anytime something goes wrong. Such a system is extremely fragile, and what otherwise would be an inconvenient but manageable financial problem turns into an existential crisis. We are like the man with half a dozen maxed-out credit cards, living large as long as he can make the minimum payments, but has his life destroyed when he loses his job. Instead of having savings to tide him over until he finds the next job, he’s now homeless.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. And the Corona Report from Bavaria


@misthiocracy thought I should share some thoughts about the situation here in Germany with folks on FB, but I thought, “Why not Ricochet first?” And here I am with some impressions.

Here in Bayern, on the order of our Governor, Markus Söder, we have, since midnight last Thursday, not been allowed to go on walks with anyone who is not a family member. No picnics or barbeques, either (Germans are nuts about the latter, if you did not know- better than southerners even), and you have to maintain 1.5m distance from other people in line at any of the stores that are still open (drugstores, grocers, chemists, specialty food stores, supermarkets in the Walmart mode and that is about it.). Churches, houses of prayer, schools, bars, cinemas, opera houses, basically any kind of business or establishment where more than 3 people could interact are closed- basically it’s like New York (as I hear). And yet, last I checked, public transportation is still in operation. You know, busses and trams. Mobile disease breeding labs and infection damn-near-assurance zones. That aside, most people are observing this curfew…some with grumbling and most with good humor and many of my associates with even more than usual prayer and worship- which we are steeped in already, being part of a 24/7 prayer movement anyway. 


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. The Lasting Benefits of Repeated Failure


I grew up on a hog farm in an Amish community in southeast Ohio. We did not practice the Amish religion of our neighbors, but we farmed that way, and working with draft horses (we used Belgians) teaches one patience. We were very good at farming hogs, but after Dick Celeste was elected governor (our first Democrat governor after many years of the Republican Jim Rhodes), our income taxes went up 90%. We lasted about a year after that. Ten days before my 16th birthday, we lost our farm, all of our stuff was sold at a Sheriff’s sale, and we had to move. It’s hard to express how angry I was. I was 16 years old and I hated the whole world. I don’t think that most people really understand hate, but I do. On the other hand, my Dad got out of farming and eventually ended up teaching math at our public high school, which, combined with his military time from Vietnam, allowed him to retire, which would have been very difficult as a hog farmer. So things actually worked out eventually.

I was a good athlete, which in Ohio means I played football at a high level. I’m in the Athletic Hall of Fame for my area of Ohio (for football and discus and a few other things, per the picture at the right). The attitude problem inspired by the loss of my home helped make me into an exceptional football player. As it turns out, though, I wasn’t THAT good. As I encountered better and better athletes, I found some that were better than me. So after college sports, I abandoned athletics and moved on to other things. It hurt at the time, but things worked out ok, eventually.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Very Short History of the World


Let’s posit that a Clockmaker G-d created the entire natural world, wound it up, and let it go. By itself, though, Planet Earth is pretty predictable and cyclical – even repetitive. Since the Clockmaker built the world, nothing comes as a surprise; it ends up being pretty boring.

So G-d creates change agents, independent creatures infused with a divine spirit. These agents (we’ll call ourselves “people”) come from G-d and are potentially very powerful, indeed. Alas, we barely scratch the surface of our potential.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Conclusion: Atomic Terror Over the African Coast


Pour a beverage, turn down the lights, and pull up a chair! Tonight, we finish the adventure told in imaginary old time radio style that we began two nights ago.

In the first episode, we met physicist and midwestern tycoon Hank Rhody, the mastermind and paymaster of a complex international scheme to secure and remove a long-hidden rogue atomic weapon from South Africa. The rest of Hank’s top-notch team of specialists, wizards, and heroes is known to every attentive Ricochet member. In the second episode, they contrive to buy the bomb and gather the electronic evidence that will incriminate its seller. Then they all make their escape in a rebranded Rhody jetliner, intending to take the fragile, laboratory-created bomb to a CIA nuclear disposal team 1500 miles north along Africa’s east coast.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Widely-Cited US Coronavirus Projection Drops from 2M Deaths to 84,000

Imperial College London’s Neil Ferguson.

Imperial College London made headlines on March 17 for their apocalyptic projection of Coronavirus deaths worldwide. Their lead researcher, Neil Ferguson, claimed that 250,000 citizens of the UK would die from COVID-19. On Thursday, he dramatically reduced it to less than a tenth that number.

Ferguson now claims that UK deaths “could be substantially lower” than 20,000. He adds that two-thirds of these victims would have died in the next six months anyway due to underlying health conditions.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Changes in Lassitude, Changes in Attitude


Isolation hasn’t been too bad down here. Monroe County, FL, is (last time I checked) still in the low single digits for COVID-19 victims. A couple of the cases can be directly attributed to people from up north who decided to escape their domiciles in high-risk areas and fled to the Keys already infected. Awesome. Thanks.

On Friday, 27 March, Monroe County is establishing a no-entry rule. If you don’t live or work down here, you’ll be turned around. If you work down here but don’t live here, you’ll have to undergo a nominal screening and then be allowed to pass. It’s not, I assess, to overly protect from infection, although I’m sure that’s part of it. We have been blessedly light in that regard. Instead, it’s the people from the greater Miami area coming down here to load up on supplies after their Miami environs have been sucked dry. On a daily basis, the toilet paper preppers, the red meat ransackers, and the fresh produce pillagers descend upon us like locusts and strip the grocery stores bare. Long-suffering smiles of welcome are wearing a bit thin.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Papers, Please


When I was a kid, the copy of The Hunt For Red October we recorded off the TV was one of my favorite movies. My dad was a submariner, and while he had served on missile boats instead of fast attack ones like the American sub Dallas, he was able to give the perspective of someone who’d actually been there and done that in his commentary on the movie. (E.g., when Dallas evades a live torpedo by surfacing so quickly it breaches halfway out of the water, his comment was, “If you didn’t have an emergency before you did that, you do now, because if you don’t have enough air to repressurize the ballast tanks you’re going to be sinking as fast as you surfaced.”)

In the middle of the movie, there’s a quiet scene where the defecting Russian captain Marko Ramius (Sean Connery) and his first officer Vasily Borodin (Sam Neil) are discussing what life will be like in America.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Scrubbing Away What’s Not Important


As a property manager, I look after beach properties for part-time owners. I received a text from an alarmed Atlanta client, saying that security encountered a strange individual who claimed he paid $2,400 to someone on Craig’s List to rent his home. Police were called and the dude claimed he drove from Michigan to Florida to move in.

He gave two numbers of the person who “rented” the property to the police, both of which were disconnected; clearly a scam. My client was alarmed that the person claimed that he entered into this agreement with someone who had the same last name as the owner, a very unusual last name. They also had a private gate code. So scammers are well at work during the worst worldwide event since World War II – why take a day off?


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Another COVID Casualty


Experts in epidemiology are starting to remind me of Gen. George McClellan—he could promise you a brilliant battle plan but only if he had perfect data about the numbers, location and intentions of the enemy. So in the meantime, you wait, hunkered down, stripped of the initiative.

Like with climate scientists, the virus modelers offer either mild, easily handled transient changes or large-scale disaster depending on the assumptions (offerings) we feed the models.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Words to Remember, Especially for Never-Trumpers


I don’t agree with everything that Kevin Williamson has to say but a recent article of his contained a few sentences that should be required reading for those who “just can’t get past” Trump’s volatile personality. And, it’s a reminder for all of us that, even though the poster child for senility has taken the lead in the Democratic race, it’s still the party of AOC and Bernie.

When James Carville warns about driving away blue-collar and rural voters, Democrats in Brooklyn hear that Southern accent and quietly whisper, “Good riddance.” The Democrats are in the mood for culture war, not for coalition-building and reconciliation. They do not wish to win with moderation and compromise, because they do not wish to govern with moderation and compromise.


Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Politicians Have Overreacted to Coronavirus


The coronavirus crisis put Americans to the test. Could we function in a sane, scientifically informed, non-partisan manner to rationally protect the public while encountering a newly discovered viral disease?

The answer is no. Goaded on by in unrelenting hysterical media, our leaders have inflicted far more economic and societal pain on Americans than was warranted.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. You won’t BELIEVE these five hidden community college benefits!


Everyone knows community colleges are cheaper than just about any other option. But I’ve found that going to community college gave me some advantages now that I’m finishing my degree at a university.

1. Small Class Sizes/Lecture Hall Avoidance
Yup, this is something of a cliche, since just about every college pamphlet I’ve seen advertises a low student-to-faculty ratio, or something like that. But often, introductory classes at larger universities meet in lecture halls, with as many as a few hundred students in the room. Regardless of how many students there are per faculty member, larger schools often need to be efficient this way, especially in 100 and 200 level courses where the material is less in-depth. Meanwhile, I don’t think I ever had a class at my community college with more than 50 students, and usually that was closer to 30. The teachers almost always knew my name, and if I had a question, I could walk up to them after class and ask, rather than having to make an appointment, send an email, or visit office hours.
By the time you get to the university, you will have finished most classes that would normally take place in lecture halls at community college, and move on to the upper-level courses that usually have small class sizes. Going to community college allowed me to almost completely bypass lecture halls.


Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Sometimes You Just Need to Curl up in the Fetal Position and Cry


This was some of the best advice I’ve ever heard. After my husband commissioned to the army, we moved to Southern Georgia where he received his leadership training in the jungle and I received mine at soirees.