Tag: COVID

15 Obstacles to Working from Home (and 7 Ways to Overcome Them)

 

I’ve worked out of a home office for the last fifteen years, so I’m familiar with what can happen to prevent you from getting the day’s hours done . . .

1.) Sitting at the computer contemplating graphs triggers a brain-dead feeling.  So you find something else to do that will prod your brain cells back to life.

2.) With your love of civil yet energetic discussion, you inadvertently befriend the Jehovah’s Witnesses who come to your door, ensuring regular visits even though you live way out of town.

The Cost of a Lysenko Bureaucracy

 

How long does it take to Flatten The Curve? About two weeks right? That’s what the esteemed Doctor Anthony Fauci implied in March 2020 to President Trump, that’s all it would require. In the never-ending lockdown era, we finally learned that flattening the curve is like asking ‘How long is a piece of string?’

Since early 2020, we’ve seen how flattening the curve was an excuse. The result is now apparent, and it can be counted by the number of ruined livelihoods, squashed by flimsy policies that were altered carte blanche with scant justification. That justification was ‘Science, trust the science’.

Join Jim and Greg as they hammer Democrats in Texas for fleeing to Washington to avoid voting on an election reform bill. They also note how the media has very different views depending on whether Republicans or Democrats are trying to block legislation. They also rip the Biden administration for even thinking about injecting “fact check” messages into our texting threads to counter alleged disinformation. And they groan as the World Health Organization keeps catering to China, this time by buying 110 million doses of Chinese COVID vaccines that don’t work very well.

Greg is back. Join him and birthday boy Jim Geraghty as they hammer the National Education Association for wanting every student vaccinated before agreeing to face-to-face instruction. They also slam Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf for vetoing legislation that would require Voter ID and signature matching there. And they are grateful for the inspiring Independence Day message from former President Thomas Whitmore.

Freedom from Fear

 

“Freedom from Fear” was one of Franklin Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms.” This, and the other three: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Want, was FDR’s way to redefine American rights from the negative, i.e., the restraints that are put on the government, to the positive, meaning things that the government was required to provide to you.

If anything, the last eighteen months have proven is that the government sees no upside in a population free from fear. Along with their allies in the media, our government (and governments all around the world) have been stoking fear and creating a populace more desperate for safety than liberty.

Further COVID Madness

 

The lockdowns last March violated everything we knew about pandemics. No less an authority than Dr. Jay Bhattacharya stated this last year. Our health geniuses locked down everyone rather than urging older people and those with comorbidities to lockdown. The result was an economic downturn, the destruction of many small businesses, and widespread despair and suicides. Children, especially the poor, suffered because Zoom education is inferior to being taught in person. People like Fauci appeared unconcerned about these terrible, easily foreseeable, results of their policies.

Masks were required in many places where they have little or no effect. This is especially the case where completely useless homemade masks were acceptable. The CDC overestimated the risk of going maskless outside by a factor of 100 or more. This madness has only recently begun to recede. But we can sure that the feds will continue to require it into the indefinite future.

What in the Wide, Wide World of Sports is goin’ on around here?!? After the obligatory acknowledgement of the latest royal progeny, our intrepid duo have a take at the three biggest stories in sport this past week. First up is Ollie Robinson, a bowler (for you Yanks, that’s the “pitcher” for a cricket team) whose debut for England on the international scene was overshadowed by the resurfacing of some social media postings made almost a decade ago when he was a teenager.

They also offer their take on the booing football fans are giving the players for their continued “taking a knee against racism” and the story of Henry Slade, a Rugby Union player who’s become the first high-profile athlete to refuse to take one of the Covid-19 vaccinations. (Slade is a Type 1 diabetic.)

Will Biden Pardon Fauci?

 

This is not a good week for Washington’s ruling class, especially its media-appointed patron saint of pandemics, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

If an organization such as the conservative-leaning Judicial Watch had requested and published Fauci’s treasure trove of 3,200 emails, the media would have ignored it. But it was the reliably left-leaning Buzzfeed, along with the Washington Post, which did their loyal Democrat best to spin it as positively as they could for Fauci. Joining them were two equally sycophantic outlets, CNN and MSNBC.

Join Jim and Greg as they credit Texas Gov. Greg Abbott for taking action on the border crisis while the Biden administration dithers. They also react to the explosive Vanity Fair story exposing how State Department officials and scientists furiously tried to stop investigations into whether COVID-19 leaked from a Wuhan lab. And they sympathize with residents in eastern Oregon who want to secede to Idaho. While they think the likelihood of that happening is low, they also devise an incentive system for state governments to improve.

This week on JobMakers, Guest Host Jo Napolitano talks with Jitka Borowick, Founder & CEO of Cleangreen, a cleaning service committed to environmentally-friendly practices, and Nove Yoga, launched during COVID. Jitka grew up under communism in the Czech Republic. Determined to learn English, she made her way to the U.S., initially with plans to stay for only one year – but ended up making it her home. In this episode, they discuss the difficulties of learning another language and culture, her pathway to entrepreneurship, and her courageous decision to open a new business during a pandemic. Jitka shares insights on how her companies have successfully adapted to the challenges so many small businesses have encountered over the past year.

Guest:

It’s all good martinis today! Jim and Greg welcome the Senate parliamentarian making life much tougher for Senate Democrats and the Biden agenda. They also cheer the mysterious sinking of one of Iran’s largest naval ships. And they are glad to see COVID number continue to drop weeks after the CDC ended mask mandates for vaccinated people.

This week on “The Learning Curve,” Gerard and Cara talk with Heather Staker, founder and president of Ready to Blend. They discuss her work with the late Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen and Michael Horn on disruptive innovation and schooling, as well as her book, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools, and her recent publication, Developing a student-centered workforce through micro-credentials. They review the K-12 American public education system’s response to students’ instructional needs before and during COVID-19, the benefits and challenges of digital schooling that have come to light as a result, and the dangers of returning to the pre-pandemic status quo. They talk about some lessons drawn from other countries on digital and blended learning for American policymakers and educators. Staker also explains the benefits of diverse approaches to content mastery, including one-on-one mentoring, and opportunities for students to work both independently and collaboratively.

Stories of the Week: Declines in science scores from the 2019 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, especially pronounced among lower-performing students, could point to struggles with reading comprehension. In Illinois, Governor Pritzker is threatening to significantly reduce state tax incentives for donations to the ‘Invest in Kids’ tax credit scholarship program, which has helped 22,000 low-income children attend private schools.

Jim and Greg separate fact from fiction as Texas Democrats try to kill election integrity legislation. They’re also glad to see the media admit they were wrong to dismiss the Wuhan lab leak theory. And they roll their eyes as the WHO names COVID variants after Greek letters so their names aren’t “stigmatizing” to the places they were first found.

School’s Out and So Am I … Some Thoughts

 

My school finishes officially on Thursday. This will be my last year; I gave notice in March that I would be leaving at the end of the school year. I leave with my professional relationships in a good place, which I think is always preferable.

It’s been a long year. Some of you might remember the post I wrote after the first day of school when I was overwhelmed by the demands of the new hybrid year. The prospect of nine months surrounded by those cables and machines was intimidating. It got better, as all things do in time, but it remained exhausting to teach remote and in-person students simultaneously. Students and their parents took advantage of the school’s generous remote option. A doctor’s appointment at 3 pm became an excuse not to come to school at all that day and to attend classes remotely, turning what might have been a pleasant and traditional “in-person” class into a dreadful experience with the Teams video (the student always had their camera off, protesting, “my computer is broken, it’ll be fixed soon”). Any exercise planned for in-person had to be scrapped in favor of something that could be done with the remote student. These changes were often discovered last minute, 5-10 minutes before class. Some students simply didn’t come to school at all, even if they hadn’t applied for the remote option; they were just remote every day without an excuse because they “didn’t feel well.” Other students were discovered to be working in public-facing jobs after school at retail stores even though they had applied to be remote students for the year, which made teachers incredulous (to say the least). They went to great lengths to prepare their virtual lessons using new technology they had adopted this year to accommodate the remote students and yet from 3:30 pm, those remote students were working the cash register at The Gap in busy suburban malls, surrounded by people. The administration took note of low teacher morale and tried to take a stand in the 4th quarter but by then it was a bit late.

Member Post

 

A Coronavirus Commission is More Relevant Than One on January 6th. Nearly 14 months ago, on April 7, 2020, I proposed a commission. Not the January 6th commission blocked this week by most Republican US Senators on the evolving and overblown incursion of unarmed yahoos at the US Capitol, which of course, had not happened yet. But a […]

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Jim and Greg cheer Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson for calling out the massive amount of deficit spending since the pandemic, how we don’t need the trillions more being pushed in Biden’s agenda, and how runaway inflation is a real danger.  He’s right, but will people listen after Republicans spent big when they had control?  They also react to a new report showing more than 33,000 people came to our southern border last month who were not from Central American countries.  And they shake their heads as NIH officials admit to Congress that the Biden administration never consulted with them before shutting down a State Department probe into the origins of the COVID pandemic.

Join Jim and Greg as they examine the political and media left now treating the Wuhan lab leak theory seriously after a year of calling such talk a baseless conspiracy, and even the Biden administration is joining the chorus. They also sigh as the Taliban threatens it’s neighbors not to host any military bases for U.S. forces following our withdrawal from Afghanistan this year. And they they’re stunned that California voters not only oppose recalling Gov. Gavin Newsom but strongly support his handling of the pandemic.

Walking the Dogs

 

This afternoon, for reason immaterial to this post, I decided to take the dogs into a local city park for their afternoon walk. Not a long walk, about a mile. Nice park, baseball diamonds, jogging trail, pool (shut down ‘cause covid), playground area. The “city” population I’m guessing at 1,500. It’s the county seat for a county with a population of 7,000 but Tennessee helped with the finances.

So on the way back to the car with the two dogs, I see that people are gathering for baseball practice: mom, dad, the kids. Made me feel good. Then I noticed something that caused me to slow down to look closer.