Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Justice Coming for General Flynn?

 

Judge Sullivan’s weekend has been ruined by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. That is the court that is the boss of him. For many years, leftists could count on this district to further their interests. It was understood as important to their longer term projects. However, Republican presidents sometimes get to appoint members. In this case, the luck of the draw was in favor of justice. There is a Bush 41, Obama, and Trump judge on the assigned panel, and they all agreed that they should consider motions, a series of papers, on the petition for writ of mandamus on behalf of Gen. Michael Flynn.

Honest attorneys in the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Barr’s protection and leadership, threw in the towel on the wrongful prosecution of Flynn, a key part of the attempted Obama faction and security agencies coup against President Trump. That, as a matter of federal law and federal court practice, should have been the end of the matter. But Judge Sullivan hates President Trump and his voters more than he respects his oath and the Constitution, so he continued his disreputable conduct and sought to keep control of Flynn, looking for some way to play for time until, he hoped, Biden would be elected.

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The COVID-19 death toll has reached 85,000 and a furious debate is going on around the country about whether, or when, we should reopen the economy. 37,000,000 Americans have filed for unemployment benefits and 100,000 small businesses have permanently closed. Forty percent of those making less than $40,000 have lost their jobs.

And yet, in testimony before the Senate HELP Committee, presidential scientific advisor Anthony Fauci warned that needless suffering and death would ensue if governors reopened the country prematurely. Fauci stated that his advice was based on the best scientific evidence.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Truth: Capital “T” and Small “t”

 

Theologians and philosophers deal in the world of perfection, the ideal – capital “T” Truth. My degree is in Mechanical Engineering; I deal in the world of close enough – small “t” truths.

Tens of thousands of years ago, a great scientist observed that the sun rose in the east every morning and set in the west every night and concluded that the sun rotates around the Earth. And that was close enough to allow us to do some good stuff like navigating around our world.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Frequent Flyers for Beer and Chips

 

The following story has nothing to do with COVID-19. No surfers, beachgoers, parents playing in a park with their children, or hairdressers were harmed or arrested in this story. This is a story about a Midwatch shift on a summer evening. You never know what you’ll run into after roll call or, on this night, what will run into you.

The Midwatch shift started at 1800 hours and ended at 0400 hours. On a Friday night at 1800 hours, the rush hour is still in progress, and the payday drinkers who were paid at noon and didn’t return to work are still sitting in their local watering hole. When they get home, the domestic dispute calls pick up a bit. The slurred demand for dinner creates some marital tension after an afternoon of drinking away half a paycheck.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Second Look at Sweden’s Response to COVID-19

 

It’s not too late to learn from Sweden‘s management of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the first phase winds down and the results can be tallied, it is clear that Sweden is in an enviable position both economically and medically.

Rather than relying on speculative models to justify draconian policies, Sweden’s public health officials noted the lack of evidence that social isolation mandates could reduce COVID-19 deaths over the full course of the virus. Plainly put, you can change the timing of the damage but you can’t make the virus go away.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. 3,000 Attend Block Party in Deland, FL

 

You didn’t misread the title of this post, but it doesn’t accurately describe the actual event, nor does it suggest the dangerous implications of this type of activity given concerns about the outbreak of COVID-19. Gov. Ron DeSantis has done a very good job of managing Florida through COVID-19, but in spite of his efforts, we’re seeing eruptions like the one described in this post. If other states don’t act quickly to lighten the restrictions on its citizens, we may very well see civil violence and destruction across the country.

Let me summarize the way the gathering on Saturday, May 16, took place and how it was conveniently mischaracterized. First, some people tried to characterize its origins with a planned memorial:

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Biden Picks Caitlyn Jenner!

 

In a stunning political move, Democrat Presidential nominee Joe Biden has selected Caitlyn Jenner as his running mate. When asked about his choice, Biden said the following:

Biden: Caitlyn brings much-needed diversity to the ticket. Her knowledge of how change can be difficult will help this country heal after four years of Donald Trump. Plus, I’m told we have a chance to pick up the swing states, which could have gone either way with a different pick.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We Cannot Survive Without Risk

 

playgroundIn strange times, what was once commonplace now seems bizarre. I was walking the dogs earlier this week and a couple of kids on bikes in a nearby park stuck with me. I watched as the boy and girl – probably around 11- or 12-years-old rode their bikes through the grass and down a slope steep enough that in winter makes for a black-diamond sledding hill. Neither child wore helmets nor shoes. The girl’s long, golden hair carried by the breeze was the last I saw as the pair peddled furiously out of view. I looked around. No parents. No nanny. No park overseer waiting to scold them for enjoying a sunny afternoon with such reckless abandon. I smiled at the thought that even in this time of modified police state, there were these two kids unaware of the cynical, fearful world beyond the park. Then it made me sad. I wasn’t mournful in a sense of lost nostalgia, but I realized these kids were an endangered species. And if the government had its way, they would be extinct.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control released statistics showing the US birthrate fell to the lowest level since the data was collected in 1909. And 2019 births numbered approximately 3.75 million – the lowest level in 35 years. Experts attribute the decline to women waiting to start families later in life, after they establish a career and lifestyle. But there is another layer. Americans are losing the faculty for risk. We have long enjoyed the reputation and benefit of a society willing to join the fray up to the point of near brashness and unbridled enthusiasm for venturing into the unknown. We leveraged a font of freedom combined with ingenuity and liberty that created a great nation of unlimited opportunity.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On the Virus and the Rule of Law

 

I am an attorney. My largest area of practice is in the representation of youth in dependency cases. These cases are governed by statutory law, and, in general, the statutes do a pretty decent job of protecting the rights of parents. We may often hear about cases where some form of child abuse or neglect has occurred, and as thoughtful human beings, we tend to respond with a sort of knee-jerk anger directed at parents. We condemn what is often despicable behavior, and we are eager to see children removed and placed in better situations.

But consider what we’re doing when we choose to allow state intervention. It seems fairly uncontroversial to say that children ought to be kept safe, and that the state has an interest in keeping them safe, no? Well, I guess that all depends on your understanding of safety. It depends on the confidence we have in people who would make determinations of safety, and the myriad considerations that go into what really is a complex analysis. Consider that our government is taking legal steps to interfere with the construction of families, and think about what rights and what burdens of proof you might require of any government that wished to interfere with the construction of your family. Not all cases are simple. In fact, virtually none of them are. And, as with everything, our actions carry costs. Are the consequences of removal worth the benefits of some harm being mitigated? What if the cure is worse than the disease?

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Jim Harbaugh is the coach of the University of Michigan football team. For 14 seasons, he was a quarterback in the NFL. He has coached both at the college level and in the pros. Last month, he and Jay had a leisurely conversation about many things. (They are old friends.) Now they have done Round 2. Today’s subjects include: a recent RV trip; dreaming about playing; the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s; William “The Refrigerator” Perry; Tiger Woods; getting sacked; sneaking it in; rules of eligibility; soccer (a game of interest?); and baseball (too slow?). Some fun stuff.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Drawing from CS Lewis’s Well of Wisdom

 

Clive Staples Lewis is one of my favorites. The Chronicles of Narnia books were da bomb as a child (still are) and he’s a frequent font of wisdom as an adult. We could probably fill Quotes of the Day for years and not dry out his wisdom well, so deep and clear is his thinking. Not to worry, I picked just a handful I’ve been pondering during lockdown, interspersed with brief narrative tying them together to fill a few days this month. No need for explanation on the correlation between lockdown extremes and these first two:

The greatest evils in the world will not be carried out by men with guns, but by men in suits sitting behind desks.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A ‘Patchwork’ Approach to Normalcy

 

Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck a fatal blow to Governor Tony Evers and his “Safer at Home” plans. Evers, and secretary-designee of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Andrea Palm, first issued an Emergency Declaration in March, followed by the “Safer at Home” orders that were set to expire on April 24. Shortly before that expiration, Evers and Palm extended the “Safer at Home” orders until May 26. Republicans in the state legislature sued, in part because Palm — not an elected official, but a political appointee — did not have the authority to impose criminal penalties through that order. The 4-3 decision called Palm’s order “unlawful, invalid, and unenforceable.”

The Evers administration was, unsurprisingly, displeased with the state Supreme Court’s ruling. In a call to reporters, Evers accused the state Republicans of being “unconcerned about…massive confusion that will exist without a statewide approach” with the media calling it a “patchwork approach.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Fair…and Unfair

 

This is a story of two world’s fairs, held 25 years apart. The early fair, the one my parents went to as kids, is still justly remembered with fondness and respect, one last good time before World War II. The later one, the space-age fair that my wife and I went to as kids, was also a dazzling, Disneyland-sized tribute to modern progress. It was held in the same place, by many of the same people: companies and designers who created the first one. But this new fair, “our” fair, was scorned by fashionable critics.

Then and forever since, the few writers who mention the New York World’s Fair 1964/65 saw it as ugly and unimaginative if not outright tacky, shallow corporate hucksterism. In the quaint language of the day, the fair was a distraction from pollution, prejudice, and poverty. The New York Times Sunday Magazine said something typical that seemed clueless and unintentionally funny even at the time. It still sticks with me: “Only the people who went to it liked it.” I’m one of them.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Day of Great Social Import

 

Fourteen years ago today. It was a Sunday. A beautiful, young nurse became so fed up with the dating life that she let her father walk her down the aisle aboard the Tall Ship Silva in Halifax Harbour. There she stood, never looking more gorgeous in her flowing white wedding gown, in front of a socially awkward, unemployed former lawyer three years her senior. Ignoring her father’s offer to steal a lifeboat and bring her back to shore, she married him.

That loser found a job a few months after the wedding. It was a really bad job, terrible hours, little pay, soul-crushing work. But within weeks of starting, he got a slightly better job with a much better company. A couple of months later, he got a better job within the company and the news that the beautiful young nurse was now expecting a child. Two promotions followed in rapid succession and by the time that child was born (six weeks premature), that nurse’s husband had a job he could be proud of.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. It Came From Beyond

 

Bit of a drive-by posting, but it’s getting close to 4 a.m. here in the Boston suburbs, and the linked resources (“Mail on Sunday” news coverage, plus the PDF of the study itself) unquestionably tell the tale far more effectively than I could. Suffice it to say that this represents a development that the redoubtable Senator Tom Cotton might well term a Big BSL-4 Deal.

First, the reportage. Second, the PDF of the actual published study:

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Public Health: Personal and Public

 

But for “public health,” you would not be reading these words. What follows starts with the personal and moves to the public, writ large. None of this should be controversial, as we all kind of know, or knew before the latest political gambit blasted through our collective memories and quickly polarized information into take it all for what it is worth.

The personal: But for public health, you would not be reading these words. My mother graduated from college with her BN in the late 1950s and went to work for the city of Philadelphia as a public health nurse. They called themselves “streetwalkers for the city of Philadelphia” because they walked a beat, bringing front-line medical care to poor sections of town. Mom was very tall for her era, a lean 5’11” white woman perfectly safe in an all-black neighborhood because the drug gangs had not yet arisen and driven off the old men who sat on every stoop keeping a watchful eye over “their nurse.”

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’m with Kamala on This

 

Sen. Kamala Harris, joined by Sens. Tammy Duckworth and Mazie Hirono, introduced a resolution in the Senate condemning the use of phrases such as “Wuhan virus,” “Chinese virus,” and “Kung flu” as racist.

I have a proposal for a fitting alternative.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Your Government Inaction: Self Quarantine

 

My sister in-law was a teacher on the Navajo reservation. When her school shut down due to the Chinese Virus crisis, she opted to retire instead of being paid to do make-work. Since her residence was part of her compensation, she had to move out by June 1st.

My wife flew to Albuquerque to help her sister move. The scene at the airport when I dropped her off an hour before her flight was surreal. Ours was the only car in the departures area. There were a handful of employees visible but no other passengers. She told me that she was the only person in the security queue and was done in seconds. There were only 35 people on her flight.

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A lot of us are struggling these days—unable to plan the future, feeling helpless to help everyone who is suffering… how can we find peace in these times? Emily Zanotti and Bethany Mandel are serving up some great guidance and much-needed advice.

Better Help telecounseling (also a sponsor so a double-dip)
https://www.betterhelp.com/ladybrains Psychology Tools “Unhelpful Thinking” worksheet that I have on my fridge.
https://www.psychologytools.com/resource/unhelpful-thinking-styles/The “Anxiety Relieving GIF”
https://giphy.com/gifs/great-deep-anxiety-TnnNlUEmoUAms Headspace App (It’s free right now!)
https://www.headspace.com/ The “Heroic Journey,” exercises for a path to productive sanity
https://www.aheroicjourney.com/ Psychology Today, “How to Deal With Coronavirus Stress” (basically everything we talked about but in a really handy one-page article)
https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sapient-nature/202004/top-ways-deal-coronavirus-stress

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. We need shut-down metrics next time, not just open up metrics

 

I get that when the current situation was getting underway we had little information to go on, so most people in government panicked at the thought of hospitals getting overwhelmed. We had to “flatten the curve” so they shut down just about everything, everywhere. Now they’re slowly opening things back up in stages based on metrics such as declining hospitalizations for 14 straight days.

But now we know more, and it turns out that running out of hospital beds didn’t happen. It was a concern only in the New York City area and maybe a couple of other places, for a little while. If anything, hospitals are empty because of stopping most other treatments. Maybe all the shutdowns helped, but we don’t actually know that. Some places didn’t shut down and did ok.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The CDC Wants You to Homeschool

 

Over the last few weeks, I’ve heard from a trickle of parents considering homeschooling. Thanks to the CDC, that’s about to become a flood. The individuals responsible for these guidelines have, quite plainly, never encountered a child. They don’t know about how they operate or about what’s in their best interest. These recommendations are shocking and speak for themselves. A few highlights:

 

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The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against Betsy DeVos, the secretary of education, for her department’s new Title IX regulations on campus. These have to do with the rights of accusers and accused. Nadine Strossen was president of the ACLU from 1991 to 2008. On this issue, she disagrees with the ACLU and agrees with DeVos. With Jay, she talks about this and much else: including her warm friendship with William F. Buckley Jr. 

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dear Liberal, You’re Not That Special

 

Pop Pundit: Mobs rule: Monster movie mobs and the politics of rageLast night I saw one of my exes post to her wall, the same familiar screed. “Oh my god. My governor is opening up the state of Oregon. Think of all the people who are going to die.”

I checked out the state of Oregon, it has a population of 4.218 million. It has had a grand total of 140 deaths. Over two-thirds of them are over the age of 65 and every single death had an underlying condition according to the stats I can find.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 121: COVID-19 Why Are States Obscuring the Data?

 

The screengrab above is from the Vermont Department of Health Weekly Summary of Vermont COVID-19 Data. It makes quite clear how residents of long-term care facilities are the majority of deaths from COVID-19 in that state. Similarly, the following chart illustrates the same thing, just adding that “Health Settings” include not only hospitals and long-term care, but therapeutic centers and behavioral health institutions as well.

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