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Maskirovka

Well, we are at 18 months and counting of “2 weeks to flatten the curve”. According to the CDC, there have been 39,831,318 cases in the United States, with 644,848 of those cases resulting in death. That means that roughly 1.6% of the people diagnosed with Covid-19 have died from it.

There are 332,712,704 people living in the United States. That means that a little over 8.35% of our population has been diagnosed with Covid-19, and .19% of that population has died from the disease.

That is, of course, a broad average across the entire population. As we have seen, the elderly and infirm have been gravely impacted by this disease. The risk of death from this disease goes up dramatically if the infected person is older, immunocompromised, or has other comorbidities such as lung problems.

In order to stem that tide, first the Trump, and then the Biden, administrations, with the assistance of the various states, instituted broad economic and social measures. These included closing businesses and schools, restricting gatherings and travel, and the enforcement of social-distancing and mask usage.

Of course, nothing happens without consequences. If you shutter a huge chunk of the economy to prevent spread of a virus, the people who depend on the paychecks that economy produces need help. And so, we have seen an unprecedented level of emergency spending.

We have seen schools adapt, some better than others, to a reality in which students cannot congregate. My son’s school did a good job of at least getting the kids exposed to their coursework and enforcing homework, but it’s a small school that was already known for academic rigor. We are only now starting to see the impact of a year or more of remote learning has had on students from larger school districts that were already in trouble before this all started.

The impacts from all of these actions and reactions will ripple through our economy and society for years. In the short term, we are limping along. Things aren’t as bad now as they were a year ago, but they aren’t even close to how good they were two years ago.

We have also seen a litany of public shaming of those who don’t toe the line when it comes to social restrictions, accompanied with private hypocracy on the part of our social, economic, and political betters.

Governors who lock down their states have been caught enjoying a night out with their friends, family, and donors. Politicians who restrict travel within their own state have taken it upon themselves to travel to their vacation homes.

When protesters gather for one cause, they are berated. When protesters gather for another cause, their complaints are deemed worthy, and their lack of social distancing and masks are shrugged off.

When a group of people gather in a remote town to enjoy their hobby, they are labelled as super-spreaders in the national media. When a former president holds a birthday bash in a small community and invites a large number of people from around the world, nary a disapproving eyebrow is raised.

Meanwhile, American families are suffering because the economy is sluggish, at best, and the value of what money they can make is decreasing every day.

Covid-19, in all of its variants, is a serious disease. To some portions of our population, it is a deadly disease. Steps to prevent its spread, done in a prudent manner, are necessary. I am vaccinated against the disease, and even if it’s only as effective as the flu shot I get every year, it’s better than nothing. Masks are not a panacea, but if you feel that you should wear one, please do.

All Americans should take the steps they can to prevent the spread of this virus.

But the government telling us that we have to get our shots and we have to wear a mask and we can’t gather together and we have to follow instructions because they know better and you’ll have to get more shots and you have to do this because they said so is not going to fly with a large number of our fellow citizens.

We have spent the last three generations telling ourselves that the government has no business telling us how we should live or what we should do with our bodies. Is it any surprise that after 50 years of telling The Man he can’t tell us what to do, ex cathedra dictates from the CDC and Washington are being ignored, if not actively defied?

If those in power want us to do as they wish, they need to not only switch from coersion to persuasion, they also need to follow their own rules. Either their rules are law, or they are guidelines. Either they mean something, or they mean nothing. If you want the country to forgo large public gatherings, quit supporting them when they benefit your side. If you want people to stop holding large family gatherings, cancel your own first. If wearing a mask is important, you better be the most anally retentive mask wearer on earth before you waggle a finger at us during one of your daily news conferences.

In other words, the first people to follow these rules need to be the people promulgating and enforcing them. Either they mean something, or they mean nothing, and the first indicator that they mean nothing is when we see a governor, senator, or anyone else telling us what to do, who doesn’t follow their own rules.

Looking At It From a Different Angle

This morning, Joe Biden had a bit of an issue climbing the stairs on Air Force One.  He tripped three times, the last fall taking him to his knees.

This video shows the incident twice, once from behind Mr. Biden, and then again from the side.  

Notice what was missing?  

Here’s a hint – There was an Air Force officer at the bottom of those stairs.  There were guards next to that officer.  There were undoubtedly staff and security on the aircraft.

Nobody came to his aid, or even seemed to make the attempt.   Even if Mr. Biden was able to right himself and make it to the top under his own power, you would think that someone at either end would have rushed to assist him.  Nobody was even at the top waiting for him to make sure he was all right.

Biden is not a young man, nor even a middle-aged man.  He is 78 years old, the oldest man to ever occupy the Oval Office.  He is still recovering from broken bones in his foot.  

There is no shame in admitting that you’re not 25, or 55, or even 75.  Mr. Biden needs to take care of himself, even if it means that someone stays by his side when he is negotiating steps or doing anything else when he may fall and be hurt. We live in a society that has become a cult of youth, and no-one in a position of power wants to admit that they aren’t as spry as they used to be.  But there is no shame for a 78 year old man to have someone along to help him when he needs it.

When folks approach 80, they become more fragile, and it is not uncommon for them to have balance issues.  Mr. Biden, like him or not, deserves to be taken care of in the manner that any elder deserves.

One question we should be asking now is why was he allowed to walk up those stairs without at least having someone walk up with him?  

The more important question we need to ask is why we didn’t see a man in uniform sprinting up those steps at the first sign of trouble, or someone else stepping off the airplane to check on Mr. Biden?

Response from Senator Paul

February 14, 2021

Dear Mr. Bear,

           Thank you for contacting me regarding the 2020 election, Congress’s vote to certify the election, and the attack at the capitol. I appreciate hearing your thoughts on the issue.  

          When I was sworn into office, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States that is why I voted in favor of certifying the election results. Under the Constitution, Congress is tasked with certifying the electors that the states send to them. A vote against certifying the election is a vote in favor of overturning the election. The founding fathers never intended for Congress to be able to overturn state certified elections. Voting to overturn state-certified elections would be the opposite of what states’ rights Republicans have always advocated for.  

          My oath to the Constitution doesn’t allow me to disobey the law. I cannot vote to overturn the verdict of the states. Such a vote would be to overturn everything held dear by those of us who support the rights of states in this great system of federalism bequeathed to us by our founders. The electoral college was created to devolve the power of selecting presidential electors to the states. The electoral college is, without question, an inseparable friend to those who believe that every American across our vast country deserves to be heard. 

          Again, thank you for contacting me. It is an honor and privilege to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the United States Senate, and I hope you will continue to share your views with me.  

 Sincerely,

Rand Paul, M.D.
United States Senator

Musings

  • Now that the latest round of political silliness is over in Washington, I’m looking forward to previews of next season. Here are some leaks that I’ve been able to make up from whole cloth get from insiders:  SPOILER ALERT!
    • That crafty Jill Biden (Secretly a doctor, not sure if witch or otherwise) is going to do an homage to Weekend at Bernie’s, except this time, Bernie Sanders is actually going to be helping her wheel her husband around the West Wing.  Hijinks will ensue as Kamala Harris continually tries to find, fix, and fornicate her way to the top.
    • Nancy Pelosi will start a major subplot as she desperately searches for a virgin, or at least someone of semi-questionable virtue, in Washington DC to sacrifice on the altar of eternal decrepitude.  Mitch McConnell will play the part of a greek chorus as he stands by and clucks his tongue at her.
    • Kamala Harris, safe from Pelosi’s machinations, will continually up her game as she tries to knock Joe Biden out of the White House.  This will be filmed in a series of shots where she talks directly to the camera and describes her latest scheme to bump the old man off.  Think Scooby Doo meets Spy versus Spy meets Pinky and the Brain meets Dirty Jobs.
    • The Christmas episode will be fantastic.  Dr. Jill and the entire White House press corps will decorate Grandpa Joe, with Jen Psaki circling back around to place a bright red star on top of his pointed little head.  Kamala Harris will feature heavily in this episode, as Willie Brown appears as the “Sugar Daddy of Christmas Past”.
    • The season finale will be off the hook.  Literally.  The episode will center around Joe losing the nuclear football and ripping the red phone to the Kremlin out of the wall during a tantrum started when he is denied a second pudding cup after his morning nap.  The entire cast will search the White House high and low as a clock counts down to when a badly-worded Groundhog’s Day presidential proclamation will unleash nuclear armageddon.
  • I’d like to thank the National Weather Service for announcing a winter weather advisory at 3:11 in the morning.  I’d like to thank the local emergency announcement program for alerting me, via text message and robocall, to the coming descent of white death onto the hellscape of the greater Louisville area at 3:12 in the morning.
    • For various reasons, my mind equates “phone ringing at 3:12 AM” as “somebody is hurt, someone has died, or work is on fire”.
    • After acknowledging both the telephone call and the adrenaline dump, I fell back into a stress-dream-filled sleep for a few hours.  There’s no sleep like “Hey, you remember that one time something happened and you can’t even tell a therapist about it?” dreams.
  • Irish Woman is trying to set me up.  “I don’t need anything for Valentine’s Day” indeed.
    • I know my darling wife is likely to be involved in my death somehow, but I’m not going to make her inevitable acquittal that easy.
    • For the record: pearl stud earrings, pearl and diamond pendant necklace, and lavender roses.

Response from Senator McConnell

Dear Mr. Bear;

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding election integrity. Hearing your views helps me better represent Kentucky in the United States Senate.

Voting lies at the very bedrock of our society, and I believe the voting process should be as accurate, user-friendly, and fraud-proof as possible. Trust in democratic elections is crucial to the prosperity of our constitutional republic.

Throughout my career in the United States Senate, I have fought for fair and effective voting procedures, as well as the elimination of fraud. After the 2000 general election, Congress, the states, and various commissions examined our election procedures and voting technologies to determine whether national standards were necessary. As then-Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, I was a principal sponsor of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), designed to improve our election procedures to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat. HAVA required states and localities to meet minimum technology and administration requirements, such as requiring a permanent paper record with a manual audit capacity for federal elections. The bipartisan legislation also established grant programs to provide assistance to states and localities to improve election technology. During HAVA debate, I staunchly defended the primacy of state and local control over election administration.

On December 19, 2019, the Senate passed, with my vote, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 1158), which included a provision I cosponsored provide additional election administration grants to states. This legislation provided an additional $425 million for election security and voting system enhancement for the 2020 fiscal year. Kentucky received another $5 million in federal funding for election security under H.R. 1158. Our total allocation for election security for the country has increased to more than $800 million since fiscal year 2018. President Trump signed H.R. 1158 into law on December 20, 2019.

At my direction, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136), which I introduced in the Senate on March 19, 2020.

As part of the CARES Act, Congress appropriated $400 million in new HAVA emergency grants specifically to help states prepare for elections during COVID-19. This funding will allow these states to respond to the challenges presented by COVID-19 in the way they see fit, fulfilling their role as the facilitators of our elections. Kentucky received over $6 million from this CARES Act funding.

To ensure election integrity in the United States, all legal ballots must be counted and any illegal ballots must not be. The process should be transparent on all sides and the courts are here to work through concerns.

Because our Commonwealth has jurisdiction over administering elections, you may wish to contact your representatives in the Kentucky General Assembly by visiting: http://www.lrc.ky.gov and the Kentucky State Board of Election’s office by visiting: https://elect.ky.gov. Please rest assured that I will keep your thoughts in mind as the 117h Congress proceeds.

Sincerely,

MITCH McCONNELL
UNITED STATES SENATOR

Musings

  • So, Joe Biden and wasshername are going to be in the White House here in a couple of weeks.  Guess we’ll just have to see how bad it can get.  I’m not hopeless, but I’m not exactly hopeful either.
    • Look for any progress made in the last 4 years to be washed away in a few months.  ObamaCare is coming back, the Iran deal will be back on the table, and contracts to tear down the border fencing will likely be advertised by the end of the year.
    • Republican resistance will either be stubbornly ferocious or they will fold like a cheap suit.  Guess where the smart money is placing their bets.
    • We’re about to find out if all those judicial nominations were worth it.
    • If you’re not donating to your favorite political and/or litigation group yet, what’s keeping you?
  • Made a trip out of town on Saturday to buy bacon.  You read that right:  I drove almost an hour from home to visit a little ma-and-pa store to buy bacon for Irish Woman.
    • When our grocery store is selling decent bacon for almost $12 a pound, and better bacon can be had for $5 a pound, it’s worth the effort.
    • Picked up some Amish butter, because Amish butter, and a few jars of locally-canned jam.  Elderberry jelly reminds me of something my grandmother would have made, and Traffic Jam (rhubarb, strawberry, and a few other things) just sounded scrumptious.
  • While I was out there, I stopped at one of the larger gun dealers in the area to see what was to be seen.
    • The store was busier than I’ve ever seen it.  Folks weren’t lined up out the door, but it was almost to that point.
    • There were AR-15’s to be had, but they were priced well above my comfort zone.  People were buying them.
    • Nobody seemed to be bothering with short-barreled rifles or suppressors.
    • The only surplus rifles I could find were old, rusty Carcanos, and those were priced at $250.
    • There was a nice selection of pistols, and prices were only slightly above what I remember them being this time last year.
    • Ammunition was thin on the ground.  I saw no 9mm, .45, or .38/.357.  There was also no 5.56, although there was a limited supply of .308 and 7.26×39.
    • There was also some .22, 7.62x54r, and .30-06, but that was all going for about 50 cents a cartridge.
    • .25 was available, but it was even more expensive.
    • There was no buck shot to be seen, and only a few boxes of slugs were available. They did have lots of bird shot.
    • If you’re looking for odd rifle calibers, you’re probably OK.  There was also a lot of 10mm for hand held boomenmachers, if that’s your thing.
    • I picked up a new bore snake, because happiness is a clean gun, and a couple pounds of coffee.   I’m not really in the market for a gun at these prices, and while I’d like more ammunition, I don’t need it in the calibers they had available.
    • When I checked out, one of the employees remarked that they are getting a shipment of ammunition in every day, but they don’t know what’s coming.  Their distributor is just sending what’s available.
    • Apparently a pallet each of 9mm and 5.56 were put on the floor yesterday morning.  The 9mm was gone in an hour, the 5.56 was gone in two.
  • Well, it looks like my days of working from home are coming to a middle.  Our return to work date has been pushed out a few more months.
    • I’m not complaining. I miss seeing some of my co-workers, and my reading is down a lot since I don’t have a commute with an audiobook every day, but being able to roll out of bed, have a cup of coffee, get cleaned up, and then get to work in less than an hour is kind of nice.

Response from my Congressman

I received this in response to my message from the other day.

Dear Mr. Bear,

Thank you for contacting me with your concerns regarding irregularities and alleged fraud in the presidential election.  I appreciate hearing from you and share your concern.

Please find attached a copy of a letter my colleagues and I sent to President Trump on December 9th, 2020.  Our letter requests the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate irregularities in the 2020 election.  As we state in our letter, the appointment of a Special Counsel would establish a team of investigators whose sole responsibility is to uncover the truth and provide the certainty America needs.  

Thank you again for writing to me.  Please contact me again with any additional questions or concerns.  To receive updates on my work for Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District, please sign up for my email newsletter at https://massieforms.house.gov/forms/emailsignup.  
Sincerely,

Thomas Massie
Member of Congress

Letters to Congress

Below is the text of the messages I have sent to my Senators and Congressman. If you have any opinion about the upcoming events in Congress and our country, please reach out to your own Senators and Representative and let them know.

Dear Congressman Massie / Senator Paul / Senator McConnell,

As a constituent and voter, I ask that you support those of your chamber who will be objecting to the Electoral College vote on January 6.

Over the past few months, I have watched with alarm the rising tide of venom and hatred directed at anyone who dares to question the legitimacy of this year’s election. The shenanigans we have heard about, read about, and seen with our own eyes are unprecedented.

From witnesses who, under oath, testify that ballots were either altered or counted more than once, to video proof that votes were either brought in under shady circumstances or that poll observers were obstructed or lied to, we have seen more than enough to throw a significant amount of suspicion onto the results.

The state legislatures have, for the most part, allowed this to occur and possibly-tainted electoral college slates to be certified. The courts have abdicated their role as an impartial and non-political arbiter of what is and what is not legal. The options available to us to have narrowed and the responsibility for discovering the truth has fallen to the Congress.

If there is no there, there, then the light of an open debate and vote will help to assuage those of us who have misgivings about the integrity of this election. If something untoward is indeed found, then bringing it to light is of the utmost importance.

Please, support those who want to use the powers of Congress to find the bottom of this mess, and either give us proof that the election is legitimate or correct the egregious wrong of a tainted election.

Respectfully,

Daddy J. Bear
Somewhere, Kentucky

MacBiden IV

MACBIDEN

Wherefore was that cry?

PELOSI

The republic, my lord, is dead.

MACBETH

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and… something,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to… you know, the thing
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And Cornpop shows all his homies
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a dog faced pony solder, a poor player
That drools and stumbles his way through a speech
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, kept in his basement,
Accomplishing nothing.

MacBiden

Is this a ballot which I see before me,
The paper toward my hand? Come, let me change thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal ambition, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A ballot of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the Marxist-infiltrated braintrust?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I alter.
Thou marshall’st me the way that I was cheating;
And such an instrument I was to abuse.
Mine minions are made the fools o’ the other parties,
Or else worth votes a hundred thousand or more; I see thee still,
And on thy tally and summation gouts of votes,
Which were not so before. There’s no such thing:
It is the dirty business which informs
Thus to mine eyes. Now o’er the one halfwit
Voters seem dead, and wicked media abuse
The curtain’d sleep; journalism celebrates
Pale Hecate’s offerings, and ignored mischief,
Alarum’d by his sentinel, the mob,
Whose howl’s his watch, thus with his blatant bias.
With Lenin’s ravishing strides, towards his design
Lies like a rug. Thou sure and firm-set cabal,
Hear not my ‘mistakes’, which side they favor, for sure
Thy very stones prate of my misdeeds,
And take the present election from the people,
Which now votes in it. Whiles I cheat, they win:
Votes to the knave of Obama too cold breath gives.

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