BMEWS
 
Death once had a near-Sarah Palin experience.

calendar   Saturday - August 15, 2020

Fauci Gets One Right

Fauci: Voting In Person OK If Social Distancing Done

Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser for the White House coronavirus task force, said this week that there is “no reason” Americans are not able to vote in person for the 2020 presidential election in November.

Fauci emphasized that voting in person would not need to be avoided as long as voters followed CDC guidelines and maintained social distancing.

“I think if carefully done, according to the guidelines, there’s no reason that I can see why that not be the case,” Fauci told ABC News. “If you go and wear a mask, if you observe the physical distancing, and don’t have a crowded situation, there’s no reason why shouldn’t be able to do that.”

Fauci noted, however, that those who are at high-risk if exposed to coronavirus or have a compromised immune system should stay indoors and use mail-in voting.

OK, 99% right. I think most absentee ballots should be dropped off well ahead of time at the polling centers, logged in, and signed for ... once proper ID and voter registration is checked. The USPS is highly leftist, so I would not trust them too much. 


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/15/2020 at 01:04 PM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOMGovernment •  
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calendar   Tuesday - August 04, 2020

Just Mailing It In This Rainy Morning

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I’m such a fan of the PO. Vilmar will understand.

Mail in ballots are flat out wrong, an opportunity rife for corruption. Ballot harvesting - an operative comes around your neighborhood to collect them all - is even worse. Guaranteed corruption.



Simple Solution?


Too afraid to vote in person? Hmmm ... I wonder if ... set up the polling place with one of those counters surrounded by plastic walls. Worker behind the desk all gowned gloved masked. Positive ventilation system blows air outwards. You walk in ... one at a time ... with your ballot envelope ... clerk checks the voter rolls, checks your ID / voter registration, you sign the digital screen with the just wiped wand/pen AFTER you’ve been verified and watched your ballot go into the locked and sealed collection bin. CCTV from 3 angles covers the entire event, cameras run all day, data saved to disk or chip.

Such an arrangement could be built in a couple hours for small expense. When the numbered collection box gets full, several people come in to seal up and evidence sign the old one, count the envelopes several times and sign to that, and put in a new box, identifying themselves on CCTV. GoPro vidcam wearing workers follow the box through the building to the evidence locker, past several locked doors and sign it in with a guard as witness.

The whole Deliver Your Vote process takes under a minute, and the collection box exchange and securing takes only a couple minutes.

No mailing, no lost envelopes, no boxes of votes that magically appear at the last second. This isn’t rocket science.

Of course this will be more difficult in the big cities. But any town or small city under ~~ 50K population should be able to do it. The whole idea is Chain of Evidence, just like the cops do. And CCTV and data chips are so cheap it’s just silly.

Yeah, some people really are not able to get out, and get over to the polling places. Prove it, and you can vote by mail. You “can’t” show up because it’s a minor inconvenience? TFB, then you’re not going to vote.

Naturally the voter rolls would be up to date, matched against the tax records, the credit card company and cell phone address lists, coroner data and the III criminal database etc. As I’ve said a hundred times before, registration closes at least 30 days prior, no exceptions.



!!! ~~~~ !!! ~~~~ !!!



Crivens, it is REALLY pouring out there today. Since long before dawn. Thankfully it’s cooler, and so far not a breath of wind.  But if the big wind shows up later, after 8 -10 hours of ground saturating rainfall, we’re going to lose a lot of trees. Not cool.

The tropical storm winds were reaching the state by 8 a.m. Tuesday and were expected to increase quickly as Isaias was moving through at 33 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

Heavy rain and the potential for flash floods continues to be a significant threat, but that threat has shifted west as the aniticipated track of Isaias shifted west overnight.

The Jersey Shore is expected to be spared the heaviest rainfall though 1 to 2 inches are still possible. The north and western parts of the state, including Hunterdon, Warren and Sussex counties, are still forecast to receive more than 4 inches of rain.
...
The state got a taste of the storm Monday evening as a patch of thunderstorms moved through. A wind gust of 70 mph was recorded at the Robert J. Miller Airpark in Ocean County, and one of 59 mph was recorded at Neshanic Station, according to the weather service’s Mount Holly office.

Neshanic Station is just across the county line here in Somerset County. It’s a sleepy little crossroads semi-rural kind of place, off the beaten track but only a mile or so from a major highway. Situated on the banks of the South Branch of the Raritan River, just a mile or two of where both north and south branches join and flow down to Rutgers, it was a mill town and a produce shipping point back in the long ago day.

There is a rather rare double span lenticular bridge there in perfect condition, with a very old derelict 2 span Pratt through truss RR bridge on one side, and a high plate girder RR bridge, still used daily, a bit downstream on the other side.

There are only about 100 lenticular bridges in the whole country, many are derelict now, and most of them are single span. Binghamton NY has a 3 span one, and Middlesex County CT has a 5 span one. All of these were built 135 years ago by the Berlin Iron Bridge Company.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/04/2020 at 08:56 AM   
Filed Under: • BridgesGovernmentMiscellaneous •  
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calendar   Friday - July 31, 2020

That Didn’t Take Long

Oh, and check the filter that was on this news yesterday. I’m so tired of garbage reporting.

Ohio Pharm Board Drops No HCQ Rule “Proposal”

The Ohio Board of Pharmacy has reversed a rule that prohibited the sale and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in the state after Gov. Mike DeWine (R) asked for the reversal.

“I agree with the statement from Dr. Steven Hahn, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, that the decision about prescribing hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 should be between a doctor and a patient,” DeWine said in a statement. “Therefore, I am asking the Ohio Board of Pharmacy to halt their new rule prohibiting the selling or dispensing of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19.”

...

“As a result of the feedback received by the medical and patient community and at the request of Governor DeWine, the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy has withdrawn proposed rule 4729:5-5-21 of the Administrative Code,” a release said. “Therefore, prohibitions on the prescribing of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in Ohio for the treatment of COVID-19 will not take effect at this time.”

Srsly? Because this was one of yesterday’s top stories, and not one news site mentioned that this was merely a proposal. Heck, I read the damn document, and it didn’t say “proposal” or anything like that on it anywhere. This whole thing was presented as a mic drop. “Here’s the new rule. Deal with it.”

Is this a rule, or is this a proposed rule? World of difference. And has it actually been nixed, or just delayed? If you cancel, reverse, or withdraw a rule or a proposed rule, then it no longer exists, yes? Or is it still waiting in the background, merely delayed until nobody is paying attention?

What rules making process does the Ohio Board of Pharmacy follow, who are they answerable to? Is there public feedback, are they subject to the state legislature or the governor? Is this board even part of the government, or is it an NGO, or what?

Maybe it’s nothing more than a bunch of retired old pill pushers secretly stipended by Big Pharma that make pronouncements that are merely guidelines? Please; outside of their industry, who ever heard of this group before yesterday?

Any of this would be insightful reporting, not just red-button pushing headlines.

Why the hell can’t we get the straight dope from anybody?


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/31/2020 at 08:03 AM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentPandemic Pandemonium •  
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calendar   Thursday - July 09, 2020

A Rare Gem In Pandora’s Box o’COVID

Alas, it has now been repressed.

One NJ County Gets It Right. State Shuts Them Down.

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Warren County is the next county to the north of us. With 109,000 residents in 360 square miles, they’re about 20% smaller than us with about 20% fewer people. They’re also at least as Red Corner as we are, maybe more.

Their COVID updates are through a document, instead of the interactive dashboard our county uses. But it’s a well written document that explains things, instead of just dumping numbers and putting up graphs. They are not stoking the hysteria. Well done.

I read the local and state news sites, and the comments, nearly every day to try and stay abreast of this pandemic situation. While Warren County has been hit a bit harder than we have here in Hunterdon, they are also in the small group of least affected counties in the state. But those comments I read ... OMG, reading comments online can be torture ... so many people having a hissy fit because “they” are hiding the truth, hiding the good data, everything is politics, Murphy sucks, Trump sucks, you suck. Oy. But a big complaint is that “nobody” is putting out anything on how many people have recovered. Another is that the LTC data is hard to get locally, and misleading. I reply to a lot of these comments, and I’ve seen that my concept of active public cases has been picked up by several other folks.

But I didn’t know until yesterday that any county was actually publishing data that supported my idea. Warren has been. But now the state, NJDOH, has squashed recovery data. No longer going to look into it. Interesting, given that NJ has about 40% more contact tracers than needed. So instead of complaining, I politely asked why. You really do catch more flies with honey than vinegar.

Dear Warren County Public Information Department:

I read in the latest copy of the Warren COVID-19 weekly report that NJDOH ended recovery tracking on July 6.

With the latest spikes in the top of the state news, why was this done? I have read elsewhere that NJ has at least 1,000 more contract tracers than minimally required, which allows them to get the job done quickly. So insufficient staff can’t be the reason.

I think the COVID report put out by Warren County is excellent and informative. It may not be as high tech as Hunterdon’s interactive dashboard, but it provides clearly written explanations for the data presented. so it isn’t just numbers and graphs.

It also provides data analysis that few other counties have done, such as segregating the LTCF data from the rest of it. The patient recovery data is almost unique and is very reassuring.  Being able to subtract “restricted access” case numbers (LTCF and prison inmates) and recovered patient numbers from the overall cumulative case numbers is illuminating.  With these two data sets and the death numbers any person can quickly estimate how many active cases there are in public in the county. This goes a very long way towards calming the hysteria and giving the residents a more realistic awareness of the local situation. So why stop the recovery tracking, and the publication of that data? The sensible among us realize that masks and social distancing are going to be with us for quite some time, even long after the daily numbers approach zero.

Obviously Warren County has not been unique in making the effort to acquire patient recovery data, or else NJDOH wouldn’t have stopped this practice statewide. But Warren is the only county I’m aware of that has published this information and I think the lack of it going forward will not benefit the members of the public who have tried to stay well informed about this pandemic in their area.

I looked for information about this new practice at the NJDOH site but could find no mention of it, or the new software package being used by the contact tracers.



I got a response in under an hour. My query has been forwarded, and if they don’t respond in a couple days here’s a number you can call. And thanks for actually thinking ...

Again, thank you. It’s nice to hear from someone who reads beyond a photo and headline. Best wishes, and have a nice day.


The new case rate in Warren has fallen so much that they decided several weeks ago that it was no longer worth updating their documents daily, and switched over to weekly. Why spend the labor money for nothing? And they also publish the recovered numbers right on the main page of the county site, broken down into every township. Unfortunately they don’t list the deaths that way, like Hunterdon does.  And you still have to hit the state dashboard if you want the nursing home specific LTC numbers which have been God awful in Warren.

I think “self reported recovery” data is better than my 6 week approximation algorithm, or at least as good and rather more factual than hypothetical. I wish this were done everywhere. Because active public is the only number we need to know.

Cumulative cases for some area (with or without probables) minus “restricted access” cases (LTC and inmates) minus deaths not in LTC minus recovered. Adjust recovered by the fraction of cumulative cases not in LTC

Or more simply: Cumulative cases minus deaths minus recoveries. This works if you don’t have lots of nursing homes or prisons.

In Hunterdon today, that’s about 55 people; active public cases.
In Warren today, that’s about 74 people; active public cases.

So 129 active public cases from two county combined population of 225,000 people, in almost exactly 800 square miles. 1 per 1,744 folks you might run across in a store. A hair over 2 per square mile. Assuming they aren’t self isolating at all.

Yeah, it’s nearly over, all over over here.

But if you knew that, you might not wear your mask in public or practice excessive social distancing, or hide in your basement in terror. Now be a good sheep and behave.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/09/2020 at 12:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Governmentpandemic and epidemic diseases •  
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calendar   Thursday - June 11, 2020

Running The COVID Numbers Once Again

Are We There YET?


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source. I added the red line.

PS - these numbers include the vastly increased testing. More than 10% of the NJ population has now been tested

Given an average recovery time of 6 weeks for all but the most severe cases, nearly all the people who tested positive before April 30 should be well by now. That’s 118,652 as of April 30. Total cases so far is 165,346, which implies 46,694 active cases, of which a bit more than 21% are in LTC and not out in public. Call it 30,000 net “public” cases, with 1512 of those in hospital. So 28,500 at large. State population is 8.9 million. Under a third of one percent, 1 in 300, and hopefully they’re staying mostly at home.

By the end of April we had about 608 cases in the county.  My point here is that nearly all of the patients identified on or before April 30 are either already recovered or dead. ( Second standard deviation (SD = 1.5 weeks; mean of 3.5+1.5+1.5 = 6.5) covers 95%, so call it 92% recovered as of now. )

1028 total according to today’s reports, with 383 in LTC. 37%. That leaves 420 cases since then. Running with the 37% LTC number leaves 63% in public, 265. April 30 was 6 weeks ago, so it’s fair to assume that at least half of those patients since then have already recovered. Down to 133. Which isn’t really that much, given the size of the county and the 125,000 population. So it’s time to ease up, right?

Small update: prison data shows 3141 cases, of which 2363 are inmates. So that takes the state “at large” number 28,500 down to 26,317 and drops the public cases total to 0.29%, 1 in 338.

Statewide, 34,799 cases of the 165,346 have been at LTC. 21%.  6,327 deaths at LTC of the total 12,337 deaths in the state. 51%.

My county of Hunterdon is seeing 0 to 3 new cases per day.

I finally found the state numbers for the prisons, including the women’s prison here in my Union Township, although COVID testing sites were destroyed by rioting.

UPDATE: Thank you nice numbers lady at the county
Inmates and residents at the state run institutions in the county count as part of the local COVID numbers. Staff only counts if they happen to live in the county.

This changes my numbers, but in a good way. There are 199 inmates and residents at the two facilities in our township. There have been 230 cases in our township since this all began. Which means just 31 “public” cases since February, from a population of 5500. 0.56%.  The next township over ... every single one of their cases is in “Boys Town”, aka Mountainview Youth Correctional Facility. Every. Single. One.

Governor Murphy’s One Size Fits All re-opening plan is faulty. Ok, it’s excessively cautious. Going county by county, or even town by town, would make things much better much faster for almost no risk. And Hunterdon County has been one of the least impacted counties in the state this whole time.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/11/2020 at 08:30 AM   
Filed Under: • Governmentpandemic and epidemic diseasesTyrants and Dictators •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 14, 2020

Cop Union Bullshit

Broward County Cop Unions Force Rehire of Parkland Cowards, With Full Back Pay

Fuck that!

Broward Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brian Miller was fired after hiding behind his car during the February 14, 2018, Parkland school shooting, but has now been rehired following union action on his behalf.

The Miami Herald reports that Miller “was one of the four deputies who were terminated because of a ‘neglect of duty’ in the Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland shooting.” The other three terminated deputies were Edward Eason, Joshua Stambaugh, and Scot Peterson.

On June 4, 2019, Breitbart News reported that Scot Peterson not only lost his job but was actually “arrested for inaction” during the Parkland attack.

Peterson’s inaction centered on him standing outside the building in which the Parkland attack was occurring, instead of going inside to confront the shooter.

Miller, on the other hand, “lost his job after it was found he hid behind his car as the first shots rang out,” according to the Herald. But he challenged his termination “with union backing” and secured an “arbitration ruling” that says, “BSO violated [his] constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.”

Miller is being rehired and will receive back pay.

Not one goddam union for any government employee of any kind anywhere ever. They are anathema.

I hear they’re repainting all the Broward County cruisers. Now it says “To Serve And Protect ... Ourselves” on the doors.

How. Dare. They.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/14/2020 at 09:55 PM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentUnions-Labor •  
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calendar   Saturday - April 04, 2020

NJ BS: Raise Taxes To Stabilize Revenue Stream

This is major BS.

Gas Usage Drops, So NJ To Raise Pump Taxes?
They “deserve” to collect a fixed amount, regardless of consumption

Say what??

A formula in the 2016 state law that raised the tax nearly 23 cents a gallon [ under Chris Christie a couple years ago ] also allows for yearly adjustments to make sure the gas tax generates a steady amount of revenue, just under $2 billion.

If sales go down, the tax goes up. And right now, they’re going down drastically.

“Obviously lower volumes and lower activity in our transportation system is going to cause an automatic need – and that’s how the legislation is written, right? – an automatic need to raise the tax,” said Regina Egea, president of the Garden State Initiative, a conservative think tank. “And we think that’s the wrong thing to do, given we’re going to be in recovery ideally in the fall.”

The state Treasury Department hasn’t issued monthly revenue reports since the coronavirus crisis began, but it said in a notice to bond holders March 23 that collections of motor fuels taxes and others have been reduced significantly.

Egea said the gas stations’ association has estimated a 65% drop in gas sales. GSI says a comparative analysis by the crowd-sourced traffic site INRIX estimates that passenger travel in New Jersey was 55% lower on March 24 than on the same day a month earlier.

Egea said the increase can be avoided if the Legislature steps in and passes a law changing the 2016 legislation. She said it would have to be done before Aug. 31, the deadline for calculating the increase based on past-year collections and future projections. Any increase would take effect Oct. 1.

“It’s just something, one more item that the Legislature is going to have to deal with, and frankly I think it’s to the overall economic benefit of all the residents and all the businesses, this has to be part of their consideration when they do the budget,” Egea said.
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Egea said the formula should be changed permanently to require a law to be passed each time the tax goes up, rather than have it be determined by the state treasurer, in consultation with the top finance official for the Office of Legislative Services.

“Every other tax increase has to voted on by the Legislature,” she said. “This one was delegated, and I think it ought to be back and they ought to have it on their record.”

Another one of my crazy delusional ideas: your state government spends no more than they take in as taxes, so they adjust the budget accordingly. And a good 25% of the budget goes towards paying off what they owe from previous deficit spending.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/04/2020 at 11:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsGovernment •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 11, 2020

Smells Like Fascism And Slave Labor

NY Governor To Use Prison Labor To Make Hand Sanitizer

Nothing wrong with the government entering the capitalist arena with an unfair advantage, right? Corner the market and take over the means of production. Maybe it starts with hand sanitzer in NY, but what’s to stop them from expanding into anything and everything in any state?

Fascism? Nah, couldn’t be.

New York state announced Monday that it is using prison labor to produce its own hand sanitizer product in an effort to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

“We are introducing New York State clean hand sanitizer, made conveniently by the state of New York,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said in a press conference. Cuomo claimed that the sanitizer is superior to others because it contains 75 percent alcohol.

“To Purell, and Mr. Amazon and Mr. eBay, if you continue the price gouging, we will introduce our product, which is superior to your product,” said Cuomo. “And you don’t even have the floral bouquet, so stop price gouging.”

Corcraft Products, operated by New York’s Department of Correctional Services, Division of Industries, is manufacturing the product and expects to pump out 100,000 gallons weekly.

How about that, they already have their shell corporation set up.



~~~~~


A typical countertop bottle of hand sanitizer is 8 fluid ounces; 8 fluid ounces is a cup, 16 cups to the gallon, so 100K g/wk means 1.6 million bottles of the stuff per week. While that sounds like a lot, there are tens of millions of people frantic to buy as much as they get their hands on ASAP.

So let’s look at a basic Build A Factory kit. It really isn’t hard or expensive to set up an operation like this in a matter of hours when you’re the government.

Assuming 24-7 emergency production and a slight amount of product wastage, 100K gal/wk is 600 gallons per hour, the output of 3 small factory size mixing tubs (think surplus dairy tubs), and a simple bottle filling assembly line that can flow 160 bottles per minute. That’s pretty slow. Break the flow into 5 or 6 parts and the fill rate is down to under 26 seconds per bottle. That’s a slow rate even for manual labor using a turkey baster to fill them. Honestly, this is hardly bigger than a garage sized effort.

A small factory based in a closed grocery store - like all those A&Ps sitting around empty - could churn out 10 times as much with hardly any automation or computerized process control. Easy to ramp that up to 1000 times the original expectation with a dozen tubs, process control systems, automatic injection bottle filling. (seriously, you could just take over a beer plant which is 95% similar process. And they can churn 10s of thousands of bottles per hour. In a true emergency you’d even use the beer bottles, just to get the product out the door faster) With flow control systems and hydraulic agitators you don’t even need mixing tanks. Just pump it all together as you need it. Especially given the ease of funding it with tax money, the vast amounts of subsidized ethanol available, and all the labor supply you could ever want. The only (no pun intended) bottle necks I can see are in the plastic extrusions to make the bottles and pump caps, and the printed cardboard boxes to pack them in. But with “emergency powers” the State could co-opt them immediately.

Yup, let government take over the means of existing production and it can ramp up insanely fast. Probably make the trains run on time too.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/11/2020 at 10:41 AM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsGovernment •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 10, 2020

Mama Mia

Italy Shuts Down. Rest of world not far behind.

In addition to the Red Zone, in which the northern third of Italy is in lockdown, the Italian PM Giuseppe Conte delivered a speech in which he specifies that damn near everything is off limits everywhere ...

00:00 …all events are suspended, every type and discipline of sporting competition,
00:06 whether in public places or private.
00:10 Sporting events will be allowed… those with, let us say —
00:14 in which professional athletes participate,
00:20 or in the absolute category, where Olympic games, national / international events,
00:26 but either behind closed doors or open without the presence of the public.
00:32 In addition, all organized events are suspended,
00:36 as well as events in public or private places,
00:41 those events of a recreational, cultural, sporting, religious, or exhibition character.
00:49 But also suspended are all events in cinemas, theaters, pubs,
00:55 dancing schools, gaming rooms, betting rooms, bingo rooms, discotheques.
01:01 So we can no longer allow ourselves to be in these areas where people congregate…

Not that anyone is going to Italy: nearly all the cruise lines have stopped visiting, and many of the airlines are neither going there nor flying out. Italy is closed.

Israel is still open, but everyone who comes there from somewhere else goes into quarantine for 2 weeks. Everyone. From Anywhere.  Just in time for the Easter and Passover season.

Israel will quarantine anyone arriving from overseas for 14 days, a decision coming barely a month before Easter and Passover.

All St. Patrick’s Day parades were canceled in Ireland, including one in Dublin that typically draws half a million to its streets.

All schools in and around Madrid will close for two weeks. The rising number of cases around Spain’s capital “imply a change for the worse,” the country’s Health Minister Salvador Illa said.

Trying to send a message of confidence in the economy, French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife walked on Paris’ Champs-Elysees avenue. “I’m shaking hands using my heart,” he said as he waved to people while keeping a 1-meter distance from passersby.

...

After earlier closing its land borders, Saudi Arabia cut off air and sea travel to and from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Korea, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. All Saudi schools and universities closed beginning Monday.

Qatar cut off travel to 15 countries and said it would shut down schools and universities beginning Tuesday.

Meanwhile back in the USA, at least a dozen more universities have sent their students home and shifted to online learning mode. Watch those numbers grow intensely in the next couple weeks. [ Then watch the primary schools lock the doors. And the malls and movie theaters close for a couple months. Hope you’re well stocked up with food and medications! ]

I have to wonder at the longer term implications of these universities going digital. This could be suicidal for them.

If every lecture for every class is now “in the can”, then why do they need to pay all those professors such big salaries? Why do they even need to have them around at all? Push it a bit further, and every campus in America becomes “matchbook college”, an old name for some of the original distance learning schools that used to advertise on matchbook covers. Why even have students in place? They can get drunk, have cheap sex, and silly protests at home.

And since any and every eager little Millennial will post those videos online, will this cause tuition to drop like a rock? Is this the beginning of the free college education Bernie is promising? If this online campus thing goes on until Christmas, then every Spring, Summer, and Fall course they offer will be taped and accessible, from Freshman English to post-graduate classes. And they’ve just put themselves out of business, aside from charging for the exams and the diplomas.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/10/2020 at 10:07 PM   
Filed Under: • EducationGovernmentHealth-Medicine •  
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calendar   Monday - March 02, 2020

That’s Good Writin There

Daniel Greenfield on Trump bashing, the coronavirus, and the deeper state

This is a must read. 15 minutes.

If the coronavirus becomes a critical problem in this country, the blame will go back to an obscure arm of the State Department, but it will never be placed there. Whatever happens a year from now, no one outside a small professional class will have ever heard of the Directorate of Operational Medicine.

The media will spend all its time bashing President Trump, Pence, assorted cabinet members, and perhaps the CDC, without ever drilling down to the facts, even though it has them at hand. The media’s rule of thumb is that natural disasters and disease outbreaks are always successfully managed by Democrats and mismanaged by Republicans. Katrina and Maria were disasters, but Sandy was a success story. The coronavirus is a catastrophe, but the Ebola virus was brilliantly handed by smart people who are handling the coronavirus response. But it’s different because the guy in the White House is.

The truth is that all of these were mismanaged by the same agencies, many of the same people, and by a government infrastructure that excels at drawing up big budget proposals, but is inept at solving problems when they actually emerge, and just follow whatever protocols will cover its collective asses.

All the rest is a matter of the uncontrollable, the innate qualities of the storm or the disease, and the story that the media chooses to tell about the disaster in the service of its political agenda.

Just as after Katrina and Maria, watch for the outpouring of lies, the claims that New Orleans had reverted to cannibalism and that everyone in Puerto Rico was dead, will be matched and exceeded.

There will be a cure for the coronavirus. But there’s no cure for the spread of viral fake news.

There is however a cure for the decisions that led to a coronavirus problem in the United States.

It’s called the Constitution.

President Trump did not want any of the infected people brought into America, whether they were citizens or not. The shadow government, deeper than the Deep State, did it anyway. Because that was their protocol. The same protocol used for SARS, for Ebola, for Swine Flu, etc, under several presidents. The same people even.

he truth about disaster relief and pandemic management is that it hasn’t changed much between administrations. The Bush administration dealt with SARS in much the same way that the Obama administration addressed swine flu. And the Trump administration is doing most of the same things.

That’s because the actual decisions are being made by bureaucrats based on existing protocols.
...
According to a State Department briefing, the missions were carried out by the Directorate of Operational Medicine within the Bureau of Medical Services. You might think that sounds like it would be part of HHS or NIH, but the Bureau of Medical Services is actually an arm of the State Department.

The Directorate of Operational Medicine is a part of the Bureau assigned to deal with crisis response with a $250 million portfolio and a lot of employees that almost no one outside D.C. ever heard of.

The same guy in charge in 2011 is still in charge today. That doesn’t make him bad, or inept ... but bureaucrats mindlessly follow their own rules, always. Little robots, because that doesn’t require any thought or any risk, and they can’t be blamed for anything. And the vast majority of those rules, and their regulations that the rest of us have to obey, are never made with any kind of legislative oversight. The perils of big government. Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) could write books on this subject. Oh wait, he has.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/02/2020 at 09:42 PM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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calendar   Monday - January 13, 2020

How Soon We Forget

Now Global Warming Made The Seas Dry Up???

Hey, remember a month or so back, when Venice was flooding? And how it was CLIMATE CHANGE that was causing it, and we’re all gonna Greta die??

Well ...


Wait, wait ... where the water be at??

Weeks after Venice, Italy, suffered some of its worst floods in more than 50 years and was mostly underwater, its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.

The boats and gondolas that draw millions to the city each year were beached at the bottom of the canals, which resembled trenches instead of waterways, as water levels have dipped, the BBC reported.

Did you get that? “its famous canals have dried up and been left unnavigable because at low tide.” That’s some top notch professional writing, right there. Two oopsies, one sentence. But aside from being a grammar Nazi for a second, what’s going on here?

The scene of the tourist mecca is a stark contrast to photos and videos of flooded buildings and homes that went viral in November as the city grappled with a surge in water levels.

At one point, 85 percent of the city was underwater, prompting a crisis as officials contemplated how to save historic sites, along with precious artwork and mosaics.

Photos and videos circulated on social media showing intense flooding turning alleyways into rivers and drenching some of the city’s major attractions, such as St. Marks Basilica, which was submerged in more than three feet of water.

Water levels peaked at over 6 feet, the second-highest record ever in Venice. Damage from the floods is estimated at more than $1 billion.

The city is built on a collection of 400 islands and is navigated via canals and more than 400 bridges, according to Sky News. Venice frequently floods when high winds push in water from the lagoon, but last year’s levels were exceptionally high.

Five of the city’s 10 worst floods have occurred within the past 20 years since record-keeping began in 1923. To compound the flooding, Venice is currently sinking at a rate of a few millimeters annually.

The Italian government has been developing barriers and floodgates to mitigate the damage since the 1980s.


Ah ha. There you go. The place floods all the time, whenever the tide is high and the wind is from the south.

The real problem is corruption, both metallic and ethical. They hired Moses to do the job, but he just isn’t doing the job. No seriously, I’m no kidding. Moses.

The 1966 flooding disaster that led to special laws for Venice launched decades of studies and planning and opened a multibillion-euro tap of funding that would go into housing refurbishment, art restoration and a two-part programme to save the lagoon. One part dealt with acqua alta up to 1.1 metres by bolstering the shock-absorbing effect of the salt marshes and sea fronts while building smaller barriers and localised adaptations in Venice and on other islands. The other part, for flooding over 1.1 metres, when the sirens sound, envisioned the massive dams dubbed Mose (pronounced Mosé), a strained acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico (Experimental Electromechanical Module).

The word “experimental” was included in the barriers’ name in a nod to the law’s requirement that the solution be “gradual, experimental and reversible”. This was because solutions to managing the lagoon have historically been found with an element of trial and error. In reality, however, the massive, bright yellow, semi-submerged barriers under construction since 2003 are built on a foundation of millions of tonnes of concrete fixed with enormous piles driven into the sea floor, with no room for changing of minds. Mose also refers to the biblical Moses who held back the tides in Egypt, allowing the Jews to escape the pharaoh – which sets expectations rather high. So, the naming has not been a great boon, and already the flood gates have far surpassed their estimated cost, with more than €5.4bn spent.

Initially expected to be finished by 2011, decades after being conceived, plans were set back even further after a corruption scandal that broke in 2014 – one of the largest in Italian history – and are now only stuttering forward. The dams are still unusable, but now projected to be finished by the end of 2021. When the dams are ready, and a way to fund their €100m annual maintenance bill is found, they will then face their real test: whether they are up to the job – and serious doubts have been raised.
...
Faced with subsidence under Venice and the threat of bigger tides, the authorities planned gigantic dams to be constructed at the three openings where the lagoon meets the sea. In the decades since, another force has picked up that is much more threatening: sea-level rise. The Venice area is among the low-lying coasts of the world that, like the Netherlands, have been saved from the sea by human effort, via the use of dykes and pumping out water, and much of it is very sensitive to sea-level changes.

~~~~

ROME–In 1984, long before global warming and rising sea levels were common notions, Venice already was sinking. The future was so dire for the lagoon city that the local council voted to spend whatever it would take to study and then build a high-tech floodgate system to combat the rising Adriatic Sea.

It took nearly 20 years and a starting budget of $1.8 billion to come up with the so-called “Moses” plan. The project is an acronym for Modulo Sperimentale Elettromeccanico or Experimental Electromechanical Module, and plays on the name of the biblical figure who parted the Red Sea.

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s then prime minister, inaugurated the project in 2003 with the promise it would be completed by 2011, which was pushed back to 2014, which was pushed back to 2016, and, at last check, to 2021. Had the project been completed in time, Moses’ 78 massive mechanical gates might have limited this week’s devastating floods, which inundated 85 percent of the city with a tidal surge that topped six feet, causing millions of dollars’ worth of damage and putting ancient treasures at risk. Moses likely would not have completely kept out the surge, experts say, but it would have certainly done more than the alternative, which was to do nothing but tally the damage and wait for the next high tide.

Enter Moses, stage right

image

Floated along by barge , one of the 10-ton barriers designed to relieve Venice’s perennial flooding looks like a giant plaything: an oversized hinged yellow Lego.

Central to the plan to protect the city, some or all of the 78 barriers will one day be raised when the sea rises more than 110 centimeters (43 inches), to prevent damaging high tides from pushing into the lagoon city, a world heritage site built picturesquely—but somewhat precariously—upon more than 120 islands. Concerns that high tides are becoming more frequent because of climate change have increased the urgency.

While the concept is simple, its realization has been anything but.

The system of movable underwater barriers, dubbed Moses, has been beset by corruption, cost overruns and delays. Projected at 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) and meant to be completed by 2011, the project has so far cost 5.5 billion euros and is running a decade behind schedule.

It took six years to test each of the four movable sea walls covering the three openings to the lagoon, partly because work was slowed by a 2014 corruption scandal that implicated the three main contractors and sent 35 people to jail.

Work is continuing largely with the original subcontractors now contracting directly with the consortium, which itself has been placed under government control as a result of the scandal.

image  image

But now an experimental new defence system - which has been mooted as the city’s savior for almost a decade - is nearing completion.

If successful, the Experimental Electromechanical Module (Mose) will protect the city of canals from the severe high tides that have plagued it for so long.

Across three inlets that connect the Adriatic sea with the Venetian Lagoon, gates have been constructed on the sea floor.  Housed within these gates are dozens of hollow ‘blocks’ that sit submerged and filled with water.

When tides higher than a metre are forecast, authorities based in a nearby control room activate the defence system.

Within the space of 30 minutes, the water inside the blocks is drained and replaced with compressed air, ‘floating’ them above the water’s surface.  However, one end of the block remains attached to the sea floor by a giant hinge.

Because they are constructed in rows, once fully elevated they form a barrier which isolates the lagoon from the sea.

But the people won’t stop worshiping that damn golden calf ...

In the 16 years since the Moses plan was put in place, the budget to finish the project has exploded to more than $7 billion and continues to bleed money at a dizzying rate. Some of the money has gone to bad management or corrupt contractors who have swindled the builders. In July, workers discovered that the 156 hinges—each weighing 36 tons—on the underwater barriers that were supposed to last a century are nearly rusted shut after just a decade under water. The job was awarded to a company called Gruppo Mantovani, which won the $275 million contract without there being a formal bid. La Stampa newspaper reports that the company used sub-par steel and is being investigated. Replacing the hinges will take a further 10 years and cost another $34 million, according to the Consorzio Venezia Nuova, which is in charge of the project.

More troubling still is that a lot of the money meant to finish the project has been siphoned away by rampant corruption. Several special funds fed by art lovers and patrons of the city that were meant to defray costs have disappeared into thin air. In 2014 after an investigation, Venice’s mayor Giorgio Orsoni resigned and 35 people tied to the project were arrested for bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering. The investigation traced some $27 million that had disappeared from the Moses coffers to kickbacks from contractors and foreign bank accounts allegedly used to line the pockets of about 100 people.

I dunno, maybe they should have made these steel boxes twice as thick and twice as long, and mounted them vertically in even deeper concrete bases. That way they’d rise straight up when inflated, forming a nearly solid wall. It would turn Venice into a lake for a short time, so maybe massive pumps would be needed as well, to put the river flow out into the ocean.

Maybe the better solution, like what ought to happen to New Orleans, would be to walk away and let Venice sink back into the swamp. The people who moved there 1000 years ago only did so to get away from attacking enemies. It was not a stronghold. It was a last desperate refuge. And after generations, Venice built a fortune on trade. But two things put paid to Venice: the Islamic invasion that never ended, and some people learning how to build a ship sturdy enough to sail around Africa. Once that happened, around 1500, Venice was over, inside a decade.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/13/2020 at 06:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Climate-WeatherGovernmentCorruption and GreedScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Friday - January 10, 2020

And There Goes Virginia Beach

Biggest City In Virginia Now Second Amendment Sanctuary

Story is a couple days old now. Most of the counties in Virginia have already gone 2A Sanctuary, but the cities are where most of the people are.

The City of Virginia Beach voted 6-4 last night to become a ‘Second Amendment Constitutional City’.

Per WKTR, Mayor Dyer, Vice Mayor Wood, Council Members Moss, Abbott, Berlucchi and Wilson all voted yes.

This resort town, home to 460,000 people, is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Republican activist and Virginia Beach resident Scott Presler tweeted the final vote:

UPDATE:

In a 6-4 vote, Virginia Beach is now a Second Amendment Constitutional City.

VB is the largest city by population in Virginia.
— #ThePersistence (@ScottPresler) January 7, 2020

He also filmed the overflow crowd from last night’s meeting on the vote:

The media will never show you this:

Hundreds & hundreds of Second Amendment supporters outside of city council in Virginia Beach.
[ Twitter video link. There’s an army of them outside the statehouse. Sadly, no pitchforks or torches. YET. ]

I heard reports from several people on the ground that upwards of 1,700 concerned residents in favor of this resolution were present. That’s impressive.

While this move doesn’t have as much teeth as the sanctuary county votes, it’s a symbolic gesture showing Virginia Beach, home to several military installations and next door to the world’s largest naval base, is reliably pro-gun.

This vote to affirm support for the Second Amendment will stun gun control activists, who thought they could exploit that tragedy that befell the city on May 31st, 2019. However, many survivors of the municipal building felt these interests exploited this tragedy for their cause. One survivor, Vincent Smith, told WAVY back in November he hoped the city would become a sanctuary Second Amendment city

So, the new left wing Virginia legislature is now in session. Let’s see what they do. And let’s see how the people react. I’d like to send Virginia a Gadsden flag, but somehow I kind of think they’ve got them raised already. In their souls.

image


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/10/2020 at 04:25 PM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOMGovernmentGuns and Gun Control •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 19, 2019

I feel taller already

US Finally Switches To International Foot After 60 Year Delay

Change is afoot for the official measuring stick used to size up big places in America. The reason? There are actually two different definitions of the 12-inch measurement known as a foot.

Some land surveyors use what’s known as the U.S. survey foot. Others use the definition that’s more accepted by the broader world: the international foot.

The difference between them is so tiny that you can’t see it with the naked eye on a 12-inch ruler. But over big distances, it matters. So, to reduce the chance for errors and confusion, the federal government has announced it’s finally giving the boot to the survey foot.

The international foot is the smaller one — adding about an eighth of an inch of difference when measuring a mile. That means the United States is 28.3 feet wider when measured using the international foot instead of the survey foot.

The change started in 1959, when the federal government mandated that everyone use the international foot but allowed surveyors to keep to the old U.S. survey foot for a while. That temporary reprieve has lasted 60 years, but it will finally end in 2022, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Institute of Standards and Technology announced in October.

Surveyors in 40 U.S. states and territories still use the larger U.S. foot. The rest use the smaller international one.

In 1893, the U.S. government defined a foot as 1,200 meters divided by 3,937. Plug those numbers into a calculator and you get 0.3048006 meters. Those last three digits (and it goes on even longer if you want to be technical) are important. Don’t forget them.

In 1933, the international foot was invented. It was simpler: 0.3048 meters, exactly. Those last three digits just get eliminated.

But those digits kept bedeviling engineers. So in 1959, the U.S. government started the international switch and it will finish the job in 2022.

When it finally happens, the U.S. foot will be relegated to history, NIST’s Benham says, “just like a cubit.”

So they came up with the international foot as a mathematical convenience. And then took 3 generations to put it in place. Also, it was probably one of the first efforts to push the country towards metric.

Hey, maybe next week the government will define pi as exactly 3, which would make so much math so much easier.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/19/2019 at 11:56 AM   
Filed Under: • Government •  
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calendar   Tuesday - July 05, 2016

complete corruption, top to bottom

Guilty As Sin, Free As A Bird

image


Hillary skates while corrupt FBI equivocates.

Laws are for little people. Like you. Serf.



Yet for all her obvious breaches of classified handling regulations, and despite seeming to meet all the criteria for a felony prosecution based on the relevant statute, Comey also said Tuesday that a “reasonable” prosecutor would not press charges, and that he intended to inform the Department of Justice of this opinion.

All this is despite the reality that the facts are not in dispute—and despite these facts painting Clinton and her team in a far from flattering light. Indeed, Clinton’s conduct with her email system was reprehensible, as were her mendacious defenses of it.

For a start, she has been claiming for over a year that there was nothing “marked classified,” or classified “at the time,” in her email system. This denial was essential to the case she has made, because Clinton was well aware that sending classified national security information over an open email system is not just a dereliction of duty, but illegal.

Now we are told that, yes, Clinton did in fact send and/or receive classified information, including some at the most sensitive classification level in the government system. Comey described this all as “extremely careless,” yet said no charges should be filed.

We are told this is because although there was transmission and retention of classified information, it did not rise to the standard of “gross negligence” under the relevant statute. This is legalistic gymnastics meant to justify what is clearly a political decision. Gross negligence does not require proving intent. And in any case, it is a pretty big leap to think that Clinton was entirely unaware that she was reading or typing out information that in many cases were egregious security violations. It doesn’t seem plausible that Secretary of State Clinton was unaware that she was violating the rules with her email system; more likely, she just didn’t care.

And now she will likely get away with it, at least legally speaking; Clinton is almost certain to avoid an indictment under President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, though the final decision rests in the hands of, as we are told, “career prosecutors” who will review the FBI’s findings.

Oh, I knew they were never going to prosecute. That was a given. And after the in-your-face filthy move of AG Lynch meeting with the Godfather , former President Slick Willy, airplane to airplane the other day, where a message was obviously sent and received, it was pretty obvious what was going to happen. No charges, no censure. Just excuses, just business as usual, and the Left sniggering up it’s sleeve that they’ve cock teased the Right for years with this one.

C’mon Charlie Brown, let’s kick that football again!





Has anybody looked into something like the old Triangle Trade? Only simpler? Let’s see ... A large donation is made by a foreign nation to the Clinton Foundation. A sort time passes, then the Secretary of State has an underling put ultra secret documents on her bathroom server, knowing full well that Putin, or the ChiComs, or whoever, hardly even needs to use the keyboard to hack into her totally non-secure server. They snag whatever document. A few weeks later, husband Bill goes over to some foreign country, and gives a speech with content you’ll never know about. He gets a fat check for half a million or so.

And nobody can figure it out.

Like Trump says, it’s totally rigged.

And I’m just sick and tired of it.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/05/2016 at 09:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Democrats-Liberals-Moonbat LeftistsGovernmentCorruption and Greed •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
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Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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