Is it a beat up or the real thing?


Residents Near Mystery Case Worry and Wonder...
Missteps at CDC Have Set Back Ability to Detect Spread...
USA to invoke special powers to boost production of protective gear...
FDA reports 1st drug shortage...
Toilet paper rationing in Hawaii...
How Daily Life Could Change...
International Travelers At JFK Appalled By Lack Of Screening...
CDC ominous scenario: Healthcare systems 'overwhelmed'...
GOOGLE employee tests positive...
GATES: May be 'once-in-a-century pathogen we've been worried about'...

Meanwhile, closer to home, my wife went to buy hand sanitiser this morning and was told that the shipment arrives at 4:00 in the morning, is greeted by a massive crowd and is sold out within minutes.

You cannot forecast the American election result

I supported DJT all the way in 2016 but never said that he would certainly win and was never sure he would until he did. I support PDT all the way again but do not say he will with certainly win. Forecasting that he will win and then bragging when he does about your acuity means nothing. In fact, I don’t know why there is any kind of certainty anywhere. For someone like me, every Democrat is poison. But to find nothing worth voting for on the other side is not proof that a Democrat won’t win. Complacency killed Hillary last time. I hope it doesn’t affect Trump this time. It certainly won’t affect the Democrats who will cheat in every way possible, will spend as many billions as they can get their hands on, will go full court press through the media, and use every possibility fate may throw their way, as they are doing with the Coronavirus.

On one side we have Conrad Black: The Necessary (Temporary) Democratic Party Suicide which begins:

The “Gong Show” of a Democratic presidential primary debate Tuesday night just made it clear how desperately this intellectually bankrupt rag-tag team of harpies and hustlers truly is. They are the heirs of the Clinton-Obama place men who mismanaged America, corrupted the Justice Department and the intelligence services, and created such a scarcity of serious candidates for the presidency.

On the other side we have this: This Is Not McGovern’s America: Crazy Bernie Can Win It All.

Sanders, like Trump in 2016, has his finger firmly on the faint pulse of a segment affected by something else that has happened since McGovern-era America. Oren Cass, an analyst now starting a new think tank, asserts that family necessities a typical 1985 male worker could cover working 30 weeks now require 53 weeks. Meanwhile, the president boasted in his State of the Union address that women are benefiting from nearly 60% of new jobs – which has made them a majority of the workforce. Even in the Trump economy, buffeted by high health costs, crippled by debt, and eclipsed in the job market, the “Bernie Bros” may well be falling further behind. Even as millennials in general remain “Generation Screwed.”

It’s not your father’s Democratic Party, or McGovern’s America. What once seemed impossible for a candidate like Bernie Sanders – winning – may just happen.

Not to mentions this from Instapundit.

THE PRESS AND DEMOCRATIC POLS ARE CERTAINLY DOING THEIR BEST TO MAKE IT SO: Coronavirus could cost Trump the election, Goldman Sachs warns. Won’t work for them, though, unless Trump lets it.

Such a joke to say that it “won’t work for them” unless Trump does something or other, that something or other unspecified. New York, New Jersey, California plus many others on the east and west coasts guaranteed to go to the Democrat, whoever the candidate might end up being, Bernie included. It is touch and go.

Killing men for art

Victorian Opera's Salome, Vida Miknevičiūtė

From The Age today: Killing women for art? Opera’s 2020 death toll might surprise. Comes with the picture above. This is how it starts.

At the Palais this week Salome looked like she was doing so well. Singing her heart out, John the Baptist’s head in her arms, Herod humiliated, mum proud. Suddenly the king bellowed the command “Man töte dieses Weib” – “kill this woman”. Slain. Final curtain.

A debate gathering steam in the opera world questions whether the art form is at core misogynistic, patriarchal and oppressive, and in need of reform. So The Age decided to check the body count on Melbourne opera stages in 2020 to see if women come off worse than men. The result (spoiler alert) may surprise.

First, the case for the prosecution. Take a roll call of some of the greatest and most-performed masterpieces. Tosca: jumps off a castle, dead. Carmen: stabbed by a jealous lover, dead. Butterfly: humiliated, stabs herself, dead. Violetta (La Traviata) and Mimi (La Boheme): dead, both by tuberculosis. Liu in Turandot: stabs herself after being tortured, dead. Gilda in Rigoletto: stabbed and stuffed in a sack, dead. Salome: dead. Norma: dead. Lucia di Lammermoor: dead.

So just have a closer look at the picture. Why it’s none other than the head of John the Baptist held aloft by Salome having herself sought his death from the king for having undertaken the Dance of the Seven Veils as her side of the bargain. Mere background detail, there just to move the plot along.

The sentimentality of all forms of art, best expressed by the line-up for the lifeboats on a sinking ship, women and children first, means the death of men is just so it goes. It’s their lot in life. The final stat in the column is that this year eleven men have died on stage but only three women. But no story line I know of makes the death of some male the emotional centre of the plot. As for women, that’s a different story altogether.

Platitudes plus free stuff is hard to beat

Watched my first Democrat debate and very sobering. These people are practised liars who know what to say and what to avoid saying. Filled with empty rhetoric and appeals to be even better than Trump at building the economy, defending America, protecting Israel, and on and on. So far as I could see, there were no differences in the policy outcomes promised from those offered by the president, but that they will be done more fairly and with greater efficiency. Joe Biden did not appear addled or out of it, even with the occasional slip that no one on his side will blame him for.

With one third of Democrats ready to elect a self-confessed communist (whatever that means today), I won’t be comforted until the election is over and I have to start worrying about 2024. This is no sure-thing.



Coronavirus, the economy and the American election, the story thus far …

Whoever does the plot lines for our world is astonishingly creative but does tend to be highly melodramatic. So this is where we are. Our economies are coming good, the virtuous if eccentric Donald Trump is getting on top of things with some of the best economic outcomes in generations. Meanwhile, the Democrats go into self-destructive mode, creating a set of rules and a large crew of incompetents who allow not just anyone, but an out-and-out communist to take first place in the race for the nomination. In almost every conceivable circumstance, the communist must lose, unless there is a major recession. But then, just in time, along comes the coronavirus, knocking supply chains out of kilter across the world, with this coronavirus business looking like it might really create an international recession just in time for the election. Now read on, taken from Instapundit.

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: A Coronavirus Pandemic Is Looking A Lot More Likely. Here’s What That Means.

Harvard scientist predicts coronavirus will infect up to 70 percent of humanity.

WHO says it’s too early to declare a coronavirus pandemic: ‘Now is the time to prepare’.

Coronavirus’s Global Spread May Not Be Contained, WHO Says.

As coronavirus spreads, the US is not fully prepared, but here is how we can be.

What’s it like to be in Italy amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Citi, Credit Suisse among banks curbing Italy trips on coronavirus fears.

Dazed Italy Bickers and Seeks Reason for Coronavirus Spread.

Some Apple retail stores re-open in China after coronavirus closings.

Coronavirus fear sickens stock market, spreads need to diversify manufacturing.

Wall Street plunges as coronavirus spreads.

Global stock markets plunge on coronavirus fears. Though to be fair, I wonder how much the rise of Bernie has to do with this too.

Coronavirus and what needs to be done to get in front of global pandemics.


From here almost anything is possible. Comedy gold! Guaranteed to win the intergalactic Oscars, Tonies and an Emmy.

The most decadent show I have ever seen

Went to see on the weekend the most decadent show I have ever seen, a show so decadent it could only be seen in an upstairs back alley setting far far from the public eye. Actually, just kidding. It was the musical Chicago which has been playing to rapturous full houses at the Playhouse in Melbourne. Tell me what you think of the plot which is taken directly from Wikipedia: Chicago (musical). These bits are from Act I.

Velma Kelly is a vaudevillian who welcomes the audience to tonight’s show (“All That Jazz”). Interplayed with the opening number, the scene cuts to February 14, 1928 in the bedroom of chorus girl Roxie Hart, where she murders Fred Casely as he attempts to break off an affair with her.

None of this is ambiguous. Roxie, on stage and before the audience, murders Fred in cold blood for the reason given. Most of the rest of the plot revolves around the efforts made by Roxie’s lawyer to have her acquitted, both before the courts and before the public as filtered through the media presentation of the facts and circumstance. These are the relevant bits from Act II.

  • Velma returns to introduce the opening act, resentful of Roxie’s manipulation of the system and ability to seduce a doctor into saying Roxie is pregnant; as Roxie emerges, she sings gleefully of the future of her unborn (nonexistent) child.
  • Billy, Roxie’s lawyer, exposes holes in Roxie’s story by noting that she and Amos (Roxie’s husband) had not had sex in four months, meaning if she were pregnant, the child was not Amos’s, in hopes that Amos will divorce her and look like a villain, which Amos almost does.
  • The trial date arrives. Billy calms Roxie by suggesting she will be fine so long as she makes a show of the trial.
  • As promised, Billy gets Roxie acquitted.
  • Amos (her husband) tries to get Roxie to come home. She admits she isn’t pregnant, leaving Amos.

Indeed, as we all know, Chicago has had quite an illustrious history.

The original Broadway production opened in 1975 at the 46th Street Theatre and ran for 936 performances, until 1977. Bob Fosse choreographed the original production, and his style is strongly identified with the show. It debuted in the West End in 1979, where it ran for 600 performances. Chicago was revived on Broadway in 1996, and a year later in the West End.

The 1996 Broadway production holds the record as the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. It is the second longest-running show to ever run on Broadway, behind only The Phantom of the OperaChicago surpassed Cats on November 23, 2014, when it played its 7,486th performance. The West End revival became the longest-running American musical in West End history. Chicago has been staged in numerous productions around the world, and has toured extensively in the United States and United Kingdom. The 2002 film version of the musical won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Great music of course. About a married woman who shoots her lover [not her husband] to death because he wants to leave her, and then through the sleazy actions of her lawyer, and in particular through his ability to manipulate the press, gets her off. Having been acquitted, she ditches her husband who still loves his wife. Based on a play also titled Chicago first produced in 1926 when things were obviously very different from today. Some further details:

The play was adapted as the 1927 film Chicago, then as the 1942 film Roxie Hart, and the 1975 stage musical Chicago, which in turn was adapted as the 2002 film Chicago.

You can watch the silent film version in full at the above link. Worth every minute if for no other reason than to see how the morality of our world has changed since 1927. You can also watch the the 1942 version at the above link. We are more like 1942, starring Ginger Rogers, a comedy from end to end with a very very different kind of ending.

As for Bob Fosse who wrote the book and choreographed Chicago for the stage:

He is the only person ever to have won OscarEmmy, and Tony awards in the same year (1973)

There has, of course, been a petition circulated far and wide to have Fosse’s Oscar, Emmy and Tony Awards taken from him.

Ilhan Omar personifies and leads a Progressive-Islamist alliance against the West

MANCHESTER, UNITED STATES - 2019/12/13: Vermont Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar embrace each other during the campaigns at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

I tend to think of Ilhan Omar as relatively unrepresentative of the trends on the left in the US. She is an Islamist, anti-semitic, anti-American, generally stupid and hardly a leader. Yet there are some very serious and highly insightful people who think this is a very bad mis-reading of what she stands or who she is, and is a particularly bad misunderstanding of what her presence in the midst of the American political system actually means. Scott Johnson has a post today – AMERICAN INGRATE: ILHAN OMAR – in which he discusses a book that has just been released: American Ingrate: Ilhan Omar and the Progressive-Islamist Takeover of the Democratic Party in which the sub-title provides a more sinister take on what she represents. This is all the more so given who have written detailed cover quotes for the book. First, though, the description of the book at Amazon:

In American IngrateFederalist Senior Contributor Benjamin Weingarten exposes Ilhan Omar’s radical and revolutionary Left-Islamist agenda, her seminal role in the progressive takeover of the Democratic Party, and the dire threat she poses to U.S. national security by way of her collusion with subversive anti-American forces.

She says that America was “founded by the genocide of indigenous people and on the backs of slaves,” and that “ignorance really is pervasive” among Americans today.

She says America must “dismantle” capitalism and “demilitarize” U.S. foreign policy, which she sees “from the perspective of a foreigner,” tweeting “thousands of Somalis [were] killed by…American forces…#NotTodaySatan.”

She says American support for Israel is “all about the Benjamins baby;” and that American Jews disloyally pledge “allegiance” to Israel’s “apartheid…regime,” which has “hypnotized the world.”

She says of the 9/11 attacks: “some people did something.”

Shockingly, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) words merely scratch the surface of her hatred of America—and the West—and divert our gaze from the nefarious actions she is taking to sabotage it from within.

American Ingrate is the defining book on the size, scope, and nature of the threat posed by Representative Omar—the personification of the anti-American Left-Islamist nexus—heightened by her hidden collusion with like-minded adversaries foreign and domestic, and alleged criminality and corruption.

This is a clarion wakeup call to the dangers epitomized by Rep. Omar. For she is not merely a lone radical in Congress, but the archetype of the new Democratic Party—and a uniquely dangerous figure at the heart of a uniquely dangerous challenge to America.

I will provide a single sentence from each of the distinguished authors who have taken the time to read the book and offer their own perspective.

Victor Davis Hanson: “She is a metaphor for a larger American pathology of progressive virtue-signaling, and, ultimately, self-loathing.”

Dennis Prager: “Rep. Ilhan Omar is the new face of the Democratic Party; she not only personifies but leads a Progressive-Islamist alliance held together by the glue of hatred of America, of Judeo-Christian values, of Western civilization, and of Israel.”

Newt Gingrich: “It has become clear that left-wing ideology and extreme identity politics have cultivated a dangerous strain of anti-Semitism in the Democratic Party that is part and parcel of its increasingly anti-Judeo Christian and anti-Western orientation.”

Scott Johnson: “Omar is a leading indicator of the direction of the Democratic Party.”

Lee Smith: “The Democratic party’s inability, or unwillingness, to censure or even criticize the Minnesota congresswoman for her hateful remarks about other Americans, American Jews, is evidence that one of the country’s two major political parties is trending in a dangerous direction—not progressivism but Middle East-style sectarianism.”

Caroline Glick: “Ilhan Omar is no mere “symbol” of diversity. She is a hardcore, radical, ideologue who went into politics to advance her goal of weakening America while making the United States an inhospitable place for Jews and for everyone who doesn’t share her bigoted, hatred for Americans, America, and everything it stands for.”

Ingratitude seems the least of it. She is on a mission with our destruction her ambition.

You should read Scott’s entire column.

PDT in India

India pours on the pageantry with colorful welcome for Trump. A bit more realistic, but no less significant.

Embarking on a whirlwind 36-hour visit, Trump opened his speech in Ahmedabad by declaring that he had traveled 8,000 miles to deliver the message that “America loves India, America respects India and America will always be faithful and loyal friends to the Indian people.”

The boisterous scene featured musicians on camels and a musical medley of Bollywood hits and Trump’s campaign rally playlist, including numerous Elton John songs that seemed to puzzle most of the crowd. Trump basked in the raucous reception that has eluded him on many foreign trips, some of which have featured massive protests and icy handshakes from world leaders. In India, he instead received a warm embrace — literally — from the ideologically aligned and noted hugger Modi.

I was going to say, it’s a shame it’s not New York, but when all is said and done, it’s better that it’s India, much better.

From Democratic Socialists to Socialist Democrats

Image result for venezuela shopkeeper meme

There really is a level of communal ignorance shown by the advances made by Bernie Sanders on just how savage socialism is. The problem is not just an inability to learn from history – even from the recent history of the Venezuelan economy. It is also due to the difficulty in understanding why socialism, however nice it sounds in theory, cannot work in practice, which is why it never has. Does anyone actually think Bernie Sanders is the soul of kindness and benevolence? It is hatred and anger all the way down.

The issue is much more than pure politics.

There are lots and lots of longtime Democratic political professionals who believe that nominating a self-proclaimed democratic socialist is a recipe for disaster for their side.

What these “political professionals” are worried about is that Sanders may end up losing in a landslide and then lose the House and the Senate at the same time because there is still a toxic phobic reaction among most Americans to socialism. The reality is that on the non-zero chance that Sanders might win, it would be an economic disaster for everyone, not just for Democrats. Unfortunately, why that is remains very difficult to explain. Understanding what happens under socialism requires a deeper understanding of the processes of a market economy than most people have.

It really is incredible how lacking in any understanding among those voting for Bernie are about what they are buying into, why it would be an economic disaster. There is only a shallow understanding of why socialism will almost immediately stop the economy in its tracks and impoverish almost everyone. It is almost impossible to understand why this is, in the same way it is so difficult to understand why a market economy does work. I wrote a brief pamphlet on the fatal consequences of socialism at the start of last year with the subtitle: “Why a socialist economy can never work”. The actual title may sound odd – I, Mechanical Pencil – but was chosen because it is an extension of a famous anti-socialist publication written in the 1950s titled, “I, Pencil”. This is from the intro:

Political oppression is easy to see, but economic oppression is much more difficult to identify and understand. Anybody can see without difficulty that socialist economies are inevitably poor, but many people need instruction to understand why that is. That is the reason I have written this … to explain the causes behind the economic nightmare of socialism that accompanies the political oppression that is its twin.

You can download the article at the link.

The question asked here is Will Bernie Sanders’ long-ago praise of Socialist regimes hurt Democrats in November? If he is still there in November, one can only hope, but if he is still there in November, win or lose, it will be a very bad sign of things to come, not just in America but across the world.

Image result for bernie sanders socialist meme


Looks mad to me-hope I’m right


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