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When you are caught in transference, you cannot see reality clearly.

Transference happens regardless of your intelligence or emotional stability. It is a deep structure of human relationships. Psychotherapist David Richo says “even without issues with our parents, we would displace, project and transfer, since we are beings who easily slip out of the smart embrace of present reality into the enchanting grip of the imaginary world.” We don’t just transfer our parental stuff, we transfer affection of former partners onto current partners, too.

For these reasons, it’s essential to be aware of how transference shows up in your relationships, and how you tend to respond when it does.

Understand that transference serves an important purpose

Transference is essentially a compulsion to return to our past in order to clear up our old blockages. It has the potential to be destructive.

How to recognize your own transference

The most common clues to transference are:

  • Stronger feelings than seem to fit the circumstance;
  • Instance reactions;
  • Holding onto a relationship when it isn’t working;
  • Obsession;
  • Unexplainable attraction or repulsion;
  • Personalizing others’ actions; and
  • Similarity in characteristics of our partners.

Look for situations and behaviors which can be counted on to elicit swift and powerful responses; those that don’t seem in any way in line with what is happening.

Transference isn’t always negative. A lot of us transfer positive traits we associated with one or both parents onto new partners, not seeing them clearly for who they are.

Seven types of transference love relationships

On that last note, here are the common types of transference relationships.

They aren’t necessary to be aware of, although you will find it interesting if you are the type of person who seeks to account for their attractions.

(1) A Mother-Oedipal Complex: subconsciously falling in love with someone who reminds you of your mother.

(2) the counter version of that: subconsciously falling in love with the opposite.

(3) A Father-Oedipal Complex: subconsciously falling for or being attracted to someone who reminds us of our father.

(4) the counter version of that.

(5) A Mixed-Oedipal and counter: subconsciously falling in love or being attracted to someone who reminds us of a combination of our mother and father, and/or their opposites.

(6) Narcissistic Transference Complex: falling in love or being attracted to someone who reminds us of ourselves, either in the present, past, or as we wish to be.

(7) A Counter Narcissistic Transference Complex: falling in love or being attracted to someone who we view as being opposite to ourselves, which is likely our subconscious way of saying there is a part of us we wish to unbury and bring alive.

How to deal with transference when it happens

Here are the psychological practices suggested by therapists that help you to work through transferences. These must be combined with the practice of mindfulness.

  • Notice the psychical facts about others as they are in the moment. “Ruthless focus on here and now reality avoids the seduction of your imagination”, says expert David Richo.
  • Ask your partner what they are really saying or feeling.
  • Make the transference conscious. Ask “who are they (your partner) like right now?”
  • Ask others what they see as being your possible transferences.
  • Notice when you are trying to find in others what you missed out on in childhood. Mentally check through the so-called ‘5 As’: Attention, Acceptance, Appreciation, Affection, Allowing.

End this process with a loving-kindness practice. (Internally) meditate on the following: “May you and I love more authentically. May we act from a more enlightened place.”

In the transference based on hope, we ask those we love, often tentatively and indirectly, to provide us with what was missing from the past. We believe others, some others, can indeed be trusted to be there for us. In the transference based on expectation, we require this.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 19:15

Meteor shower tonight

You may not be able to see the moon in the sky tonight because it's almost the new moon, but if you look up for long enough at a dark, clear sky, you may catch some "shooting stars." 

The annual Lyrid meteor shower peaks overnight tonight (April 21) and into the early hours of Wednesday (April 22), less than a day before the new moon. Without any glaring moonlight to obstruct the view, skywatchers will have an excellent view of the Lyrids this year — weather permitting. 

The shower's peak will last for a few hours, but maximum activity is expected to occur around 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) on Wednesday, according to the Observer's Handbook of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. That's about 20 hours before the moon reaches its new phase at 10:26 a.m. EDT (0226 GMT). That tiny sliver of a nearly-new moon still won't be visible in the night sky, because the moon will be below the horizon. In New York City, for example, the moon sets at 6:23 p.m. local time tonight and rises again at 5:50 a.m. tomorrow. 

To spot the Lyrids, find a dark sky away from light pollution and look up — ideally while lying on your back, so you don't strain your neck. Lyrid meteors will appear to originate from a point in the sky on the border between the constellations Hercules and Lyra (home of the bright star Vega). This apparent point of origin, known as the meteor showers radiant, will be in the northeast after sunset and almost directly overhead in the hours before dawn. 

“This will actually be a good year for the Lyrids and it is exciting the peak is on Earth Day and in the middle of International Dark Sky Week,” said Bill Cooke, lead of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. “While the Lyrids aren’t as prolific as other meteor showers like the Perseids or Geminids, they usually do produce some bright fireballs, and since the Moon will be nearly invisible April 22, it should be about as good as it gets for this shower.”

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 18:59

The Beach Taking Care of Its Own

As it is throughout the country, many employees on Fort Myers Beach are without jobs, without pay and without unemployment benefits. Many are struggling to feed and shelter their loved ones.

We were notified by a local telling me of a great human interest story that should be shared! So I reached out to Fresh Catch Bistro manager, Jerry Nolan to find out more info.

It seems that one of Fort Myers Beach’s own, some say .... a good Samaritan, others.... a guardian angel, but truly just a regular guy who wanted to help,   Mr. Chuck Bodenhafer, called  Jerry at the Fresh Catch and asked him "is anyone doing anything for Fresh Catch Employees ? "

After finding out that very little is being done for any establishments employees, Chuck stepped up and purchased (30) $50 gift cards from  Publix and donated them to the employees of Fresh Catch to try and help them out during these tough times.

These gift cards were given to bussers, dishwashers, bartenders, servers, hostesses, expos and raw bar personnel with great appreciation from one and all.

Nolan told me "(It's) Very rare someone steps up unsolicitated.  I am glad to share this story in hope it inspires others who have the means, to help out other restaurant and hotel employees who are struggling in these challenging times".

And so we are happy to share this touching story with you because "feel good stories" are too few and far between and to say....... we are proud of our little Island's local ...... with a big heart... !

Jerry added one thing!.... "On behalf of Fresh Catch Bistro’s employees, "Chuck, we all thank you and will not forget your kindness and unselfishness".

Perhaps the coronavirus pandemic began in a Wuhan wet market, as is most commonly claimed. But it makes no sense to dismiss the alternate theory that it escaped from a Chinese laboratory.


The coronavirus originated in Wuhan, home to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, China's most sensitive civilian bioresearch lab. Considering the destructive global consequences to both health and economies wrought by this pandemic, we need to get to the truth no matter where it takes us.


Do not misunderstand us; the virus' genetic code and its nonmaximal mortality rates suggest it came from a bat rather than a bioweapons lab project. Even if the science is strong that it originated with animal-to-human transmission, however, it's plausible that it could have been the result of botched research into bats that infected a lab worker and got outside the facility.


There is now abundant reason to demand investigation of the Wuhan lab. We know that it was investigating viral strains originating in bats. We also know the coronavirus has a high genetic correlation with bat viruses. And now we know that the lab's precautions to prevent an outbreak were sloppy.


Richard Ebright, a Rutgers microbiologist and biosafety expert, told the Washington Post's David Ignatius that he saw a video from the Wuhan branch of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention facility that shows workers "collecting bat coronaviruses with inadequate (personal protective equipment) and unsafe operational practices." The newspaper reported that State Department scientists twice visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 2018. According to cables, the scientists came away warning that the lab lacked sufficient safeguards against a viral outbreak. One cable read, "During interactions with scientists at the WIV laboratory, they noted the new lab has a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians and investigators needed to safely operate this high-containment laboratory."


An investigation is justified yet more by China's repeated and systematic lying and secrecy over the origins of the virus, which means the government's story cannot be taken at face value. Even the World Health Organization, which defers improperly to Beijing, was denied access to Wuhan until late February, months after the outbreak first occurred. Was this because the Communist Party was trying to cover up the origins of the virus near the lab? Was it because China tracked the first infected person back to the lab?


China's secrecy helped ensure its internal outbreak became a global pandemic. But, beyond the secrecy, China has actively spread falsehoods, pretending that the virus originated somewhere outside its borders. The most ludicrous Chinese lie was its assertion that American soldiers brought the virus to Wuhan during an October military sports tournament.


China seems to have something to hide, and we must find out what it is.


The coronavirus has killed tens of thousands of people in the United States, poleaxed the nation's economy, and subjected our citizens to social isolation and unprecedented lockdowns. Pursuing the truth with an open mind is the least of our obligations.



Dear “Andrelina” Cuomo,

Man up and drop your purse! Quit blaming someone else for your ineptness!

President Trump had nothing to do with your BILLIONS of dollars debt service that you created for New York by a “pay for votes with Welfare” scheme. Invite more freeloaders to New York who can’t read or write but will add to your voting base for welfare bucks! Great idea!

We realize that you are scheming ways to steal money from the “pandemic” to pay that debt off!

We, the people of “upstate” NY, which is everybody except the “District” of New York (all 5 boroughs)…cannot take the way, you take away money from upstate, to support your “habit” …NYC! It’s your ego fix…worse than heroin with you…nothing else matters.

You claimed you “forgot” to include, in the Seneca casino renewal contract,  the 25% cut for New Yorkers, a part of which belongs to Niagara Falls and we desperately need to make up for the tax dollars the Casino cost us…hundreds of millions of dollars. Sorry Gov. but only a moron could “forget” something like that…and if that isn’t a confession for Criminal Negligence…what is?

You take our tax base away as if it’s a candy tree that your Daddy left you to take as much as you can…which you have done!

We lost the taxes on the acreage around the Casino, as well as the land the Casino  sits on, we lost the millions per year the Casino paid us (again, thanks to you) as well as the taxes the Mom and Pop services; from gas stations, restaurants  and Motels …paid! They are gone to the Casino and gas stations, restaurants and motels that the Seneca’s had agreed, they wouldn’t do!

You allowed “big bird”, to make NYC a sanctuary city thereby allowing disease riddled , illegal, aliens with, in the least, compromised immune systems and immunization  issues, to add to the drug riddled street people and then wonder why so many are infected and dying from a heretofore unknown disease!?

You whine like the little girl you are, to get 40,000 ventilators because “people are dying”…you cried, forgetting that, just 5 short years before, you turned down 16,000 ventilators  the Government offered you…just in case we had a PANDEMIC! That’s count 2, for Felony Moron!

Then we learn…you just wanted to discredit our President because you really didn’t need them and in FACT you have 4,000 sitting, unused, in a warehouse. Your response to a legit question from the press … “Why are they in a warehouse if you needed 40,000”? You responded, “Because that’s where they belong, until needed”?!

What was more important to you for those funds… AOC’s, impossible to do, Green New Deal?! Count 3 for Felony Moron!

Listen, “Andrelina” ..let me put your little girl mind, at ease…the world isn’t going to end in 10 more years; we will never stop using fossil fuel; airplanes will never be powered by rubber bands, batteries nor solar panels but there is some bad news…please don’t cry…I’m afraid… there is no tooth fairy to pay your debt…you’ll have to scheme another way!

Maybe you should do a “Joe Biden” deal and extort some money from another State…or get into your stimulus funds…then THIS President WILL put your ass in jail…where you belong!

We recently learned that you directed all the Western NY orders for Hydroxy Chloroquine to be directed …not to New York City…but directly to YOU…King Cuomo. Is that true?

Are all your family members on one pill a day for prophylactic purposes? Except, of course, your infected brother …by the way did he pass the disease on to your Mom when he irresponsibly had a visit with her while he was infected? I certainly hope not. I guess there is at least one Cuomo who’s even dumber than you.

I really hope you do put an end to your “Schumer –like”, political career, by quitting the governor part time job and running and losing the Presidential election (which you would do)…we are looking forward to being done with you, once and for all!

The Right Side

gary small

J Gary DiLaura


It is good to see state governors increasingly looking for ways to reopen the economy, for, as we have repeatedly argued, the lockdown can be only a short-term response to the pandemic. People's lives and livelihoods depend on returning to economic and social activity as soon as it can be done safely. So, new state-level discussions and coordination are welcome news.

Ever since the coronavirus outbreak, decisions about whether to close schools and restrict business activities have been made by governors and local officials. This is how the nation's federal republican structure is set up. This is how it should be.

As this crisis emerged, federalism frustrated those clamoring for President Donald Trump to issue a nationwide lockdown. It may now be frustrating those pushing for a swift national reopening. In both cases, however, this is precisely the sort of situation in which local officials should be tasked with making decisions.

Until this week, Trump had successfully undermined critics who argued that he aspires to be some sort of dictator.

If ever Trump were going to make a power grab, it would have been in February or March in response to our national emergency.

Yet, in terms of policies, Trump has been humble, rightly deferential to governors of both parties, and reluctant even to assert all the powers at his disposal as executive. Some Democrats have even complained about his failure to invoke the Defense Production Act for broader purposes than he already has so as to make more businesses manufacture medical supplies.

But Trump's changed his rhetoric this week. He wants things restored to normal, but the facts and the governors' authority stand in his way, and he is suggesting he has the power to do whatever he wants, even to override state officials exercising their sovereign police powers.

"For the purpose of creating conflict and confusion, some in the Fake News Media are saying that it is the Governors decision to open up the states, not that of the President of the United States & the Federal Government," Trump tweeted on Monday.

"Let it be fully understood that this is incorrect. It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons."

Pushed on this point during the daily press briefing, Trump shot back: "When somebody is the president of the United States, the authority is total, and that's the way it's got to be."

It's unclear whether Trump actually wants to test that idea or he's just jousting with the press, as usual. In the same tweet, he also wrote, "With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!"

Trump isn't likely to attempt to take governors to court to force them to reopen businesses against their will. And he wouldn't win if he did. So, it is best to allow states to open, as they feel their state is ready.

We do expect to see the federal government involved in coordinating a carefully balanced reopening of the economy so as to avoid a second wave of cases that could force another destructive shutdown.

It's perfectly appropriate for federal health officials to issue guidance and suggested metrics for reopening to guard against the possibility of the virus spreading from one place to another. But these decisions rest ultimately with governors and local officials who exercise police powers under their state constitutions.

The debate over reopening will require many small decisions that consider the economic and social costs of continued restrictions and weigh them against the potential danger of a new outbreak.

For those decisions to be made by those most familiar with unique local characteristics and most accountable to the people is not only smarter and more efficient, but also more in keeping with the nation's time-tested principle of federalism.


Ed. Note: We've been saying for a while now that the left was going to abandon Sleepy Joe ... Here is one writer leading that charge.


When the nation plunged deep into despair and crisis, the governor of New York rose out of ashes and gave the American people a reason to hope for the future.


Something in the man's distinctive voice, not just words he spoke, consoled to the core. He gave no false comfort. Looking hard times in the face, he discussed ways to conquer them: strategies, numbers and facts that somehow strengthened us. He seemed to speak straight to you.


You know who. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo is an Easter sunrise to a country missing spring things.


The grave pandemic upon us is killing private dreams, shared spaces and public rituals, at least for now. We're held captive to the coronavirus and the president's poor preparedness with hacks and quacks. The best of New York, Cuomo, upstaged the worst, President Donald Trump, showing what commanding leadership looks like.


By contrast, Cuomo emerged as true presidential timber, the right man for right now. And, in good news, he's only 62. Aged Joe Biden, 77, is sidelined and silent in times that try our souls -- robbing bank accounts and jobs by the millions.


Yesterday's man should step down and clear the way for tomorrow's (not Sen. Bernie Sanders) amid failures of epic proportions -- medical and political. That would be a public service full of grace.


There's presidential precedent for this. Indeed, Cuomo evokes a grand ghost, singing of happier days: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, once Democratic governor of New York. In the Depression's darkest days, the governor was elected president in 1932.


I love when history rhymes.


Flying in the eye of a storm's pain, panic and suffering, Cuomo wins hungry hearts and minds, crossing borders in conversational daily briefings. Now is not the time to play Frisbee with your friends, he says. The New York Times calls him a "touchstone."


Cuomo is building field hospitals in Central Park and a cathedral. He summoned a Navy medical ship sailing in by the Statue of Liberty. He respects the ravaging respiratory disease. In sardonic style, he asked if the federal government wants a "pat on the back" for shipping some ventilators.


About (15,000) New Yorkers statewide died from COVID-19. The case count is over (220,000.)


We believe Cuomo when he predicts "a possible (curve) flattening." We believe good news because he levels with bad news. We can handle the truth. "We get reckless, you will see these numbers go up again," he warned.


Sunny and smart about human nature, Roosevelt defeated sitting Republican Herbert Hoover in the Depression's depths. He promised a "new deal for the American people" in his convention speech. A Harvard man, but not a snob.


Roosevelt knew families were fearful. So, he spoke straight on radio "Fireside Chats" to the widowed nurse, the coal miner, the Pullman train car porter -- a friend to all except elite Wall Street.


FDR, as he was known, cheerfully told a crowd, "I welcome their hatred."


Roosevelt and Cuomo share a rare readiness for government solutions to a massive wave of emergencies. As governor, Roosevelt started employment programs to revive the economy. Cuomo became an overnight expert on mass mobilization for a pandemic. Initiative is key.


"Bold, persistent experimentation": FDR's motto for creating New Deal work programs could be Cuomo's. They knew can-do optimism is contagious, too.


Here's how American governing genius works. Cuomo and Roosevelt grasp the federal government was framed to unite the states. To bind them together as one, not only in war but also in peace, life and laws. Washington is not "back-up," as Trump claims, but headquarters.


Several governors plead for national help to play its proper role, Cuomo leading the chorus. Under the Constitution, the federal government matters more than any state -- more than the sum of the states' powers. The federal government is the sun, while the states are like planets around it.


A pleasing parallel between the pair of governors: They're thoroughbreds.


Franklin learned politics from a famous relative, Teddy Roosevelt. The president gave away the bride at Franklin's wedding to cousin Eleanor. Cuomo, a father of three daughters, banters with sick brother Chris, a CNN anchor. COVID-19 has hit home, yet real kitchen table talk comes through.


Andrew emulates his late father, Mario Cuomo, an eloquent governor -- of New York, of course. What an arc.

                Jamie Stiehm

Thursday, 16 April 2020 22:28

The Late-Night Comedians Rage at Trump


The biggest joke in former President Barack Obama's endorsement video for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden was his warning about what Biden is facing. "(I)t won't be easy," he said. "The other side has a massive war chest. The other side has a propaganda network with little regard for the truth."

Obama has almost the entire news media eating out of his hand, and he still whines about Fox News, that irksome "propaganda network." The left complains whenever it can't corner every media market and squelch any uprising of conservative dissent. It's "propaganda" and "disinformation" when you disagree with the left's wonderfully compassionate worldview.

Then there are the comedians, who are even more urgently on the verge of complete groupthink. I opened up my morning email of video clips from Grabien and was just amazed at the venom of commentary from the late-night shows on April 15. Let's start with President Donald Trump's decision to withhold World Health Organization funding for a few months to probe what went wrong with the eruption of the coronavirus from China.

The comedians fell all over themselves competing for the best metaphors to describe Trump as a flaming-hot moron who will harm us all. Who would win the gold medal for hottest burn?

On ABC, there's Jimmy Kimmel, who said: "Stopping funding to an organization that handles pandemics in the middle of a pandemic is like slashing your own tires because you're mad you woke up late for work. So far, he's blamed this on Obama, the governors, the media, the WHO. Has he blamed it on the Mexicans yet?"

On CBS, Stephen Colbert offered his own entry: "It's like when your house is engulfed in flames: The first thing you do is burn down the fire department. The U.S. is the WHO's biggest donor, so Trump is talking about taking away around $553 million. He hasn't done anything this hostile to world health since introducing the burger table" (translation: the fast food feast at the White House for the Clemson football team).

On Comedy Central, "Daily Show" host Trevor Noah joked about Uber when talking about Trump's maligning the "integral" WHO: "It's the same reason you don't give your Uber driver one star during the ride. You do that (expletive) after you are safe at home, not while you're doing 90 on the freeway. 'One star? One star? I will show you one star, motherf-----!'"

The late-night comedians can even trash CNN ... from the left. NBC late-night host Seth Meyers lectured the cable newsers for their live coverage of Trump's coronavirus press briefings. "(I)t doesn't make it better when you give it a negative chyron, like CNN did on Monday with 'Angry Trump Turns Briefing Into Propaganda Session,'" he said. "You know what else turned that into a propaganda session? Pointing your camera at it. Before you showed up it was just 'Crazy Lawn Man Does His Thing.' You can't air a propaganda session and criticize it."

For "balance," we could spy on CBS late-night host James Corden, who interviewed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her kitchen two nights earlier. Now, she would be held accountable, right? Wrong. For 15 minutes, Corden asked softball questions such as this: "Why is it, do you think, the president is choosing to ignore scientists and science and talk about reopening the country, not shut the country down soon enough? Why do you think?"

Then Corden gushed all over Pelosi when she showed him her expensive freezer loaded with chocolate ice cream. "I have always felt a connection with you, and now I understand why," he said.

To CBS, she's a very sweet and creamy Woman of the People. But look over there at Fox. That network is just full of one-sided, partisan propaganda.


Tim Graham

Following new CDC guidlines: "As of April 14, 2020, CDC case counts and death counts include both confirmed and probable cases and deaths. This change was made to reflect an interim COVID-19 position statement issued by the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists on April 5, 2020. The position statement included a case definition and made COVID-19 a nationally notifiable disease.

A confirmed case or death is defined by meeting confirmatory laboratory evidence for COVID-19. A probable case or death is defined by i) meeting clinical criteria AND epidemiologic evidence with no confirmatory laboratory testing performed for COVID-19; or ii)

This change is a further example of one of the many reasons why the label "confirmed cases" (used by some to designate total cases) is now considered incorrect (see definitions for more details). The US CDC (and Worldometer) has always used the label "Total Cases." Canada is another example where the "total number includes publicly reported confirmed and probable cases [source]

so that is why we have had so many death numbers jump so high reaching new record highs but not representing an accurate daily death count for example , New York City reported 3,778 additional deaths that have occurred since March 11 and have been classified as "probable," defined as follows: “decedent [...] had no known positive laboratory test for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) but the death certificate lists as a cause of death “COVID-19” or an equivalent"

From April 14 onward, New York City has provided - and will continue to provide -  the updated number of probable deaths in its daily reports.

For declaring in March that the U.S. economy might be reopened by Easter, President Donald Trump was roundly mocked.


Yet, it appears his political instincts were correct. He was more in tune with his country than were his critics.


By early Easter week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the governors of six states in the New York-New Jersey region had formed a consortium to synchronize the opening of their economies. California's Gavin Newsom and the governors of Washington and Oregon had done the same.


The governors may disagree on the timing, May 1 or May 15, but most agree with Trump. America cannot remain shut down for months without lasting damage to the livelihood and lives of millions of citizens who are about to be shoved into a new Great Depression.


Twenty-two million Americans are now unemployed.


However, something just jolted the gathering consensus over the need to reopen soon. Tuesday and Wednesday, the U.S. set records for the numbers of fatalities from the virus. Tuesday it was 2,364 dead, the following day 2,371. That put the national casualty total above 30,000.


The U.S. did not record its first coronavirus fatality until Feb. 29. It took 38 days after that to reach 10,000. However, it took only nine days to vault from 10,000 fatalities to more than 30,000.


The ominous implication: If this 2,300-dead-per-day figure is near the new normal, we would surpass the 61,000 fatalities projected for the duration of the pandemic -- in two weeks!


Even if we reduce the Tuesday-Wednesday average daily death toll by over half, to 1,000 deaths a day, that would mean 44,000 more dead for a total of 75,000 by June 1.


What makes COVID-19 worse than the flu?


The coronavirus is more easily transmissible. It is more savage in how it maims immune systems. It is more lethal, killing far more of the infected than the regular flu, though we do not know exactly how much more lethal. For we have no hard number of those who carry or have carried the virus asymptomatically.


Nor we do know whether having survived COVID-19 renders one immune to a new infection. Since the medical experts are predicting a second wave of the virus in late summer or fall, this is no small matter.


And seeing what happened on the carrier Theodore Roosevelt, the coronavirus could have a major impact on U.S. global commitments.


Americans were already coming home from the Middle East, drawing down our 12,000 troops in Afghanistan after a deal with the Taliban, and moving our 5,000 troops in Iraq into fewer bases.


We have disengaged from the Saudi war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen and are drawing down our forces in Syria.


In Libya's civil war, it is Russians, Turks, Egyptians and Gulf Arabs, not Americans, who are the supporting actors.


American soft power is also in retreat from the world.


Some 10,000 Peace Corps volunteers have been brought home. Scores of thousands of U.S. citizens have been repatriated by the State Department. We have shut the door to Europe, China, the world.


What now becomes of the U.S. geostrategic "pivot," the shift of planes, troops, ships and bases from the Middle and Near East to the Indo-Pacific theater to contain a rising China?


And contain China with what?


The Roosevelt has been ravaged by the coronavirus. As of Tuesday, 589 cases of COVID-19 were reported from a crew of 4,800. Four thousand sailors in Guam are in various stages of a 14-day isolation period in hotels and spare rooms across the island.


But it is not just the Roosevelt. Every U.S. warship -- carriers, cruisers, frigates, destroyers, subs -- has cramped quarters conducive to the spread of the coronavirus.


How many of these vessels will soon be doubling as hospital ships?


The same question might also be asked of the U.S. Army and Marine barracks in South Korea, Japan, Australia and Okinawa.


There are allegations that the coronavirus did not originate in the Wuhan "wet market" where bats are sold for food but instead escaped through a horrible blunder in a Chinese bioweapons laboratory a few miles away.


Whatever the truth, the Wuhan virus appears to have become the most effective means of disabling U.S. hard and soft power that we have encountered in many a decade.


Of those 10,000 Peace Corp volunteers, and scores of thousands of other Americans who have been repatriated home, how many of these "soft power" soldiers will be going back after they have been out of their host country for 18 months?


Will this pandemic prove the decisive factor in America's retreat from global hegemony?


With the U.S. budget deficit for 2020 originally set at $1 trillion, now triple that, there is going to be a hard reckoning for the allocation of our diminished resources after the nation reopens.


And policing the planet is likely to be seen as yesterday's priority, and a primary candidate for discard.


patrick buchanan small

Patrick J. Buchanan