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On March 16, a 14-year-old girl was allegedly pushed into a boys bathroom at Rockville High School in Maryland and raped by two other students during school hours. Police arrested two freshmen who recently arrived from Central America, 18-year-old Henry Sanchez and 17-year-old Jose Montano. Sanchez, a Guatemalan, has a pending "alien removal" case against him.

Montano, from El Salvador, is a minor, so his immigration status was not released.

The Washington Post reported, "The two took turns holding the girl down and sexually assaulting her as she cried out, fought back and repeatedly told them to stop, according to police affidavits filed in court."

Montano and Sanchez were charged with first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual offense. This inflammatory story about immigrants was seen as Trump-reinforcing news, so ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and MSNBC aerobically avoided it. CNN mentioned it once in passing for about 100 words.

A reporter for WTTG, the Fox News station in the nation's capital, asked White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on March 21 whether the reported crime would change government policy that insists public schools can't discriminate in admitting students based on their immigration status. Spicer replied: "It is horrendous and horrible and disgusting what this young woman in Rockville went through. ... I think part of the reason that the president has made illegal immigration and crackdown such a big deal is because of tragedies like this."

But none of these networks could be shamed into caring.

CNN "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter actually “criticized” Fox for making the Rockville alleged rape a national story. He said: "Rapes and assaults and murders are local news stories on a daily basis. But when do they break through to become national news, and when do they not?" According to him, Fox pumped up the story to help President Trump.

Stelter then cited the story of an alleged white supremacist from Baltimore who drove to New York City and stabbed and killed a 66-year-old black man, saying, "But this story received almost no coverage on Fox or CNN or anywhere else, for that matter -- another example of a crime, but not a crime that fit the political agenda of those pro-Trump hosts on Fox."

He was wrong. ABC gave that crime “three” stories over a 24-hour period, and NBC reported it briefly. One reason for its low profile may not be political. The New York Times first reported that murder in a local "About New York" column by Jim Dwyer on page A-19.

But CNN's Brian Lowry underlined Stelter's point, saying: "It really dovetailed with the theme Fox wanted to push: Fox's immigration agenda. ... And I also think the fact that they could use it to buttress their point that this is the kind of coverage you won't get on other media, that's just a win-win for them."

This is the liberal blindness that the "news" czars demonstrate. An immigrant convicted of raping or killing someone is an inconvenient fact if you're a liberal, but it's a fact. Somehow, the girl allegedly raped in Rockville is not a fact, just as Kate Steinle being murdered in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant was not a fact. The left must always define what the relevant "facts" are, and its supposedly overflowing compassion will never reach the victims of inconvenient crimes.

L. Brent Bozell III
and Tim Graham

Thursday, 30 March 2017 05:54


April 1st, also referred to as All Fools' Day, is one of the most light-hearted days of the year. On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other. April Fools' Day is observed throughout the Western world. Practices include sending someone on a "fool's errand," looking for things that don't exist; playing pranks; and trying to get people to believe ridiculous things.

Historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar. There were people who had not received the news or refused to recognize the start of the new year moving to January 1, as they continued to celebrate during the last week of March through April 1, which made them the butt of jokes and hoaxes. Some having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as "poisson d'avril" (April Fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish.

In Scotland, an April fool is called an April “gowk” (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool). In England, a fool is called a gob, gawby or gobby.

The media can’t resist getting into the act.... In 1933 the "Madison Capitol-Times" announced that the capitol building had collapsed due to a series of explosions causing "large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the Senate and Assembly chambers." Those with a sense of humor laughed while others were outraged.

On April 1,1957, a Richard Dimbleby “news report” aired on BBC’s Panorama. Stating with Spring coming early that year, after a mild winter, there would be unusually large spaghetti harvest in Switzerland. The BBC showed footage of Swiss farmers harvesting noodles from trees. According to the Museum of Hoaxes, “Huge numbers of viewers were taken in.

Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, ‘place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.’”

Sports Illustrated in 1985 tricked many of its readers running a made-up article about a rookie pitcher, Sidd Finch, who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour.

National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” in 1992, announced that Richard Nixon was running for a second term as president with the slogan, “I didn’t do anything wrong, and I won’t do it again.” Listeners called in in droves as they were fooled.

In 1993, the “Arm the Homeless” coalition sent a press release to a Columbus, Ohio newspaper saying:
“The Arm the Homeless Coalition will be collecting donations to provide firearms for the homeless of Columbus... Funds are to be used to provide arms, ammunition and firearm safety training for homeless individuals who pass the coalition’s rigorous screening. Homeless are selected for the program on the basis of need, mental and emotional stability, and potential value to society at large.

In 1996, Taco Bell ran an ad in six major newspapers saying:
“In an effort to help the national debt, Taco Bell is pleased to announce that we have agreed to purchase the Liberty Bell, one of our country’s most historic treasures. It will now be called the ‘Taco Liberty Bell’ and will still be accessible to the American public for viewing. While some may find this controversial, we hope our move will prompt other corporations to take similar action to do their part to reduce the country’s debt.”

Politicians’ offices were even taken in, as the Park Service received phone calls from aides to Sens. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) and J. James Exon (D-Neb).

Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” in 1998 with scores of clueless customers requesting the fake sandwich.

The style of April Fools’ pranks have changed over the years, while most still enjoy sending the unsuspecting on pointless errands and catching friends or family with practical jokes....We would like to wish all a Fun, Safe and Happy April Fools' Day 2017.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 05:52

Sights Set On MEDICAID

Florida lawmakers in Tallahassee are looking to cut Medicaid in a move that has local hospitals worried.

Florida hospitals that serve people who are uninsured or on Medicaid get reimbursed in a variety of ways, this includes a base rate reimbursement, Medicaid enhancement payments and help for absorbing uncompensated care. The state and federal government pay a certain rate or percentage for services for people on Medicaid that is less than the actual cost of services.

Bruce Rueben of the Florida Hospital Association said that reimbursement rate could be much lower next year under the proposed House budget.

“The coverage does not fully reimburse our cost. We already shift costs to those that have insurance,” said Mary Andrews of Lee Health.

If Florida lawmakers cut up to $800 million in Medicaid next year, as proposed hospitals say, private insurers will pick up the costs, “All of us at Lee Health are monitoring these potential changes,” Andrews said.

The Florida House is proposing cutting the base Medicaid rate by 7 percent, Which means Florida hospitals will get paid less for patients on Medicaid. They’ll also get less federal matching funds, so hospitals may see a $622 million loss in funding next year.

Some studies predicts families on private insurance may pay an extra $1,000 to $1,300 per year.

Part of this stems from the state refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare. When the federal government offered the state money to reimburse hospitals for charity care, the state said no thanks, meaning they had to come up with state money instead.

125,000 people qualify for Medicaid in Lee County alone, this is the only healthcare these low-income patients have.

Hospitals serving the most Medicaid patients will feel the biggest impact. When that money shrinks, hospitals must raise other costs. It's known as a hidden tax, and that makes all rates go up for those that have insurance.

While Mr. Rueben said “There’s no critical need to make these kinds of cuts, It’s just something they decided to do.”, the reality is that hospitals and health insurance companies have reported record profits in the past years under ObamaCare.

President Donald Trump's attempts to restrict citizens from a handful of Middle Eastern countries from entering the U.S took another blow on Wednesday when judges in Hawaii and Maryland blocked his moratorium.

While not a surprise, the effort to temporarily halt people from these Muslim-majority countries is one area where Trump's stance is crystal clear while his foes offer muddled logic.

Recall that candidate Trump in December 2015, after the massacre in San Bernardino, California, called for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on." That evolved to a policy of "extreme vetting."

He has not wavered. After taking office, he implemented temporary restrictions on travel for citizens from seven Middle Eastern countries -- Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. After judges blocked the initial order, the president removed Iraq and reissued it earlier this month. That was the one stymied this week.

Trump believes a terrorist threat exists from part of the Muslim world and wants to prevent it. To do that, he seeks to keep people from countries hostile to the United States from entering the country. Six of the seven countries identified by Trump are on the government's list of designated state sponsors of terrorism. Meanwhile, American troops have gone to war or engaged in combat in five of them.

Yet while Trump's point and policy seem clear, the fierce arguments made against the moratorium do not.

For example, the judges who have blocked the travel order assert that it is unconstitutional because it discriminates against practitioners of Islam. Yet Trump does not seek to stop entry by residents of other prominent Muslim-majority nations with similar demographics, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Algeria, Morocco and Turkey.

Moreover, do these rulings mean that the 1952 Immigration and Naturalization Act has been deemed unconstitutional? That law contains a provision that empowers the president to "suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate," if he believes their entry would be "detrimental" to U.S. interests. Just last month, Mae Ngai, an immigration historian at Columbia University, told Time magazine, within the context of the first order being overturned, "The way the law is written, it doesn't matter what the reason (for barring entry) is."

Trump's critics also assert that the order is meaningless because immigrants from those countries have not killed any Americans within the United States. The question arising from the argument is what level of violence is unacceptable? Just within the last six months knife-wielding Somali refugees have attacked Americans in Minnesota and Ohio, injuring a total of 20 people. Should we wait until someone is killed?

Given the lopsided judicial rulings from blue-state judges, the president should follow through on his pledge to take the case to the Supreme Court. Such clarity is needed.

Dr. Ben Carson, in a speech before employees of Housing and Urban Development, the department he now runs, likened slaves to "immigrants": "That's what America is about, a land of dreams and opportunity. There were other immigrants who came here in the bottom of slave ships, worked even longer, even harder, for less. But they, too, had a dream that one day their sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, great-grandsons, great-granddaughters, might pursue prosperity and happiness in this land."

Carson got hammered. Late night comic Trevor Noah said: "It makes them sound like they work at Wal-Mart. ... Calling slaves 'immigrants' is like saying: 'It's not kidnapping. That person just got a free vacation in a basement.' ... Slaves weren't immigrants. Because an immigrant has choice. They choose the country they're going to because they hope it will bring them a better life. Saying that slaves are just another group of immigrants erases how black people were uniquely oppressed in America. It helps justify blaming African-Americans for their hardships."

Actor Samuel L. Jackson tweeted: "OK!! Ben Carson ... I can't! Immigrants? In the bottom of SLAVE SHIPS??!! MUTHAF---- PLEASE!!! #d---headedtom."

Actress Whoopi Goldberg said: "Were the slaves really thinking about the American dream? No, because they were thinking, 'What the hell just happened?!' You know, when people immigrate, they come with the idea that they're going someplace for a better life. ... It's voluntary. ... How does he miss what slavery is?! How does he miss that no slave came to this country willingly? ... Ben, 'Roots.' Watch 'Roots.'"

TV personality Star Jones tweeted: "No way in the world he is that friggin ignorant." Using the pile-of-excrement emoji, she called the renowned neurosurgeon "(expletive) for brains." She ended the tweet: "#UncleTom thy name is #BenCarson."

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., insists that Carson's "slave equals immigrant" perspective means he is unqualified to lead HUD because Carson "doesn't know how urgent it is to confront racism" in housing: "It's disturbing to me, and it should be to every American, not just black Americans. ... For him, the HUD secretary, to have a stunning misunderstanding of history like that, is really, really striking. ... And so for the HUD secretary not to get that means that he doesn't know how urgent it is to confront racism and discrimination in housing, which is a very scary thing for the HUD secretary to not understand."

Following the uproar, Carson posted this clarification on Facebook: "The slave narrative and immigrant narrative are two entirely different experiences. ... The two experiences should never be intertwined, nor forgotten, as we demand the necessary progress towards an America that's inclusive and provides access to equal opportunity for all."

One slight problem.

The "insensitive" and "demeaning" slave-equals-immigrant argument was made on a number of occasions by President Barack Obama: "It wasn't always easy for new immigrants," Obama said at a 2015 naturalization ceremony for new citizens. "Certainly it wasn't easy for those of African heritage who had not come here voluntarily, and yet in their own way were immigrants themselves. There was discrimination and hardship and poverty. But, like you, they no doubt found inspiration in all those who had come before them. And they were able to muster faith that, here in America, they might build a better life and give their children something more."

Even "Daily Show" host Noah admitted, "President Obama said something similar in 2015." But, said Noah, "You could tell before (Obama) said that part he was thinking, 'Damn, my speechwriter f---ed up.'"

In fact, according to the Federalist, Obama likened slaves to immigrants on 11 different occasions. "Whether our ancestors landed on Ellis Island," said Obama, "or came here on a slave ship or crossed the Rio Grande, we are all connected to one another. We rise and fall together."

Goldberg, Noah, Jackson and Ellison were obviously occupied the 11 times Obama showed he "doesn't know how urgent it is to confront racism."

Why the silence over Obama's many slave-equals-immigrant comments versus the desk pounding by the same critics when Carson says the same thing? Carson represents an existential threat to the left. He is deadly to their cause -- a black man, raised in poverty by a hardworking, welfare-abstaining single mom who taught her children to embrace hard work and education. The left believes that blacks are perpetual victims of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. It is vital for the existence of the Democratic Party to convince blacks to vote like victims in need of protection from the racist, sexist retrogrades known as Republicans. So black conservatives like Carson, who argues that welfare creates dependency, who demands choice in

K-12 education and who believes hard work wins, must be attacked, marginalized and dismissed as "against their own people."

Larry Elder

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:46


The Congress is divided as seldom before. Donald J. Trump is remaking the profile of the presidency. The press is under attack. The notion of free speech on campus is under siege. By month's end, serious questions will be raised about the independence, and perhaps even the survival, of the Federal Reserve Bank.

This is a period of unusual tension and tumult, of which President Trump is both cause and consequence. But so are the chasms between the political parties, and the even greater gap between the public and the political establishment. Rarely has the prevailing ethos in the faculty lounge been so isolated from the parents who pay for college education, and never has the value of a college education been so questioned by so many with such fervor.

Indeed, not since the 1960s -- perhaps since the 1930s -- have so many of the governing assumptions and established institutions of the United States been under such stress and strain.

The 1930s, the Stanford historian David M. Kennedy wrote, "tested the very fabric of American culture." The 1960s, the Brown University historian James T. Patterson said, "unsettled much that Americans had taken for granted before then."

Both statements apply without amendment to the second decade of the 21st century, when, according to a poll taken by KRC Research only two months ago, a record-high seven out of 10 Americans believe the country has a major civility problem.

The crisis of the 1930s was prompted by the Great Depression, when economic despair caused faith in capitalism to wane and appeal for communism to rise, at least in some blue-collar and intellectual circles. The crisis of the 1960s was as much one of credibility as content, as American leaders and their institutions struggled with civil rights, and young people rebelled against consumerism, sexism and the Vietnam War. Franklin Delano Roosevelt saved capitalism. Lyndon B. Johnson was ambushed at Credibility Gap.

Just as there was no clear resolution to the American malaise in 1932, nor to the American upheaval of 1967, there is no clear path out of the turmoil and turbulence of this decade. But nearly every foundation stone of American life is on the defensive today.


Two out of three Americans, according to an Allegheny College poll last fall, characterized the 2016 presidential campaign as very or extremely uncivil. Only 3 percent of Americans -- potentially no Americans at all, if the margin of error is employed -- have a great deal of confidence in Congress, according to the Gallup organization.

The spectacle on Capitol Hill right now, with one party determined to overturn Obamacare in an instant and the other party determined to oppose whatever its rivals support, is not likely to add to public confidence in the public's representatives.


About two Americans in five have confidence in organized religion today, a steep drop from 1973, when about two out of three Americans felt that way. Three decades ago, only one in 10 adult Americans said they had no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Research Center; today about a quarter of Americans feel that way. And about one out of three millennials say they are "nones" -- that is, without any religious affiliation at all.


President Trump has mounted an all-out assault on the mainstream media, an attack even stronger than the one mounted by President Richard M. Nixon and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew at the end of the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.

But Nixon and Agnew weren't the only national figures in the past several decades to single out the press for special opprobrium. Each president since Nixon has had worse press relations than his predecessor, and the press has become a soft target. Public confidence in newspapers, for example, has declined by half since 1973, and confidence in television news has declined by more than half in a quarter century, with the public split on whether the press has been too easy or too hard on Trump.


Here's a radical departure: A Republican president has criticized business executives for callousness toward workers and for exporting American jobs. At the same time, public criticism of the wealth gap has been stoked by politicians of all colorations, from Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2016 campaign, to Sen. Bernie Sanders of

Vermont during the Democratic primaries and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts during the early months of 2017.

Public support of banks, at 60 percent in the Gallup study in 1969, has declined by more than half to 27 percent. Fewer than one-fifth of Americans have confidence in big business, though small business wins the support of two out of three Americans.


Trump assailed traditional Republicans during his primary campaign, painting these figures -- in short, the establishment figures of the establishment party -- as ineffective and self-serving. He dismissed Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York as a "clown"; but the most damaging critique of the Senate minority leader may come from fellow Democrats, who deride him for voting for at least a handful of Trump Cabinet nominees and criticize him for not waging merciless war against the Trump agenda.

Then, just last week, Gallup reported that public worries about race relations are at an all-time high, with two out of five Americans worrying "a great deal" about race relations. And what is the institution that Americans respect the most? The military, winning the confidence of about three-quarters of the public -- up substantially since 1973, when the nation was divided by the Vietnam War.

Bottom line: We are in a historic period not only of transformation but also of national introspection. We think this is an era of invective and insult, and there is some truth to that. But underneath the anger -- beyond the shouts -- are serious questions about the way our society and culture are structured, and about the nature and use of power.

That is one of the principal lessons of the 2016 election, lost amid the controversy over President Trump's style and manners. Like the 1930s and 1960s, this is a period of resentment and rebellion. But the questions raised in both those earlier periods helped the United States win, in turn, World War II and the Cold War. We ignore these questions, and put off addressing them, at our peril.

David M. Shribman

The Fort Myers Beach Anchorage Advisory Committee in cooperation with Matanzas on the Bay invites the general public and all mooring field patrons to celebrate the 10th Annual Cruiser’s Appreciation Day on Saturday, April 1, 2017 from noon to 3:00pm in the Matanzas on the Bay waterfront courtyard. The event will feature free admission for all, barbeque, live entertainment, drinks, door prizes, giveaways and friendly island hospitality. This year’s menu items include Cheeseburgers, Hot Dogs, Dave’s Dockside pizza, soft drinks and beer. All available at reasonable prices.

Crossing the Sky Bridge to Fort Myers Beach offers a bird’s eye view of our mooring field. This event is an opportunity to meet and mingle with mooring field patrons, learning about their vessels, extensive travels and our mooring field. Boaters renting a mooring ball on the day of the event will receive a free lunch. Admission is free to the general public.

The Fort Myers Beach mooring field provides 70 mooring balls available for rental year-round at $18/day, $103/week or $312/month (tax is included). The rental fee includes use of the shower, laundry facilities and vessel pump-out service. A public dinghy dock is available for public use to tie up dinghies 10’ or less (no overnight tie-ups). Our mooring field is very popularand highly acclaimed by boaters throughout Florida.

Matanzas on the Bay is located at 414 Crescent Street (under the Sky Bridge), Fort Myers Beach. For more information on the event or to rent a mooring ball, call Matanzas on the Bay at 239-463-9258.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:40

McGregor Delays

McGregor Blvd. is often backed up this time of year at the intersection of Colonial Blvd. Sometimes it can take 3 to 4 traffic lights just to get through the intersection.

New construction slated to begin at the end of the month from Colonial Blvd. to Poinciana could make, as many say, expected delays much worse.

Many wonder why they would decide to begin this project now, instead of waiting until after Easter when there is less congested traffic flows in the area? Further inquiry reveal the project is proposed to be finished by Fall 2018, meaning the sooner it begins the better chance of completion by "Snow Bird Season" 2018.

The project is a necessary evil, since similar to the low lying areas of Fort Myers Beach (where major reconstruction for drainage purposes is ongoing) this stretch of McGregor Blvd. floods during rainy season, specifically north of the Country Club, where they will be replacing drainage pipes in hopes to relieve this issue.

Included in the plans, the project will update crosswalks, replace sidewalks where needed and resurface the road, yet the overall look of the Boulevard should not change.

We recommend alternate routes of travel when headed downtown Fort Myers.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:33

Guns And Religion

If passed a new bill in the Florida legislature HB 849, could arm teaches as well as anyone with a Florida concealed carry license, allowing them to legally bring a gun into any religious institution that has a school.

Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, said, "I think we need to protect the children." Also stating, "this is about protection of students and parishioners during church services."

"Many private religious schools don't have local law enforcement in the building because it costs too much money. Under current law, churches with a school attached are prohibited from gun protection, even when school isn't in session," Combee said. "This is really more about Sunday service and Wednesday service."

Under the proposed bill, anyone with a concealed carry permit could carry a gun into a private religious institution that has a school.

That could mean a private security force or even teachers being allowed to carry.

"It really restores those private property rights back to the churches," Combee said.

As for who would be allowed to carry a gun in the schools, it would be "up to the institution because it's private property and it's their policy."

Many are in favor of proposal HB 849:

"I would be OK with the private security and teachers that are vetted, thorough background checks," said Andrea Schiebe of Fort Myers.

"If more people had the guns out there in the schools and stuff, I don't think as many people would get hurt," said Larry LeBlanc of Fort Myers.

Some are not: "I have two children, and I wouldn't like it if my children were going to school and their teacher had a gun on them. The only people that should be able to have guns and carry guns at schools is law enforcement," said Kristin Sullivan of Fort Myers.

This bill wouldn't require any additional licensing beyond a Florida concealed carry license for someone to carry a gun in a private religious school.

Wednesday, 29 March 2017 22:29


The pizza has been delivered. A Netflix movie is streaming while they eat. The kids will then go downstairs to play multiplayer video games on their own 40-inch TV sets while they text their friends on their cellphones. Their friends are all doing the same thing next door and miles away.

The mailman delivered all the stuff the family had ordered from Amazon yesterday afternoon this morning. Dad ordered more Tums and Billy got a new drone with a better camera to spy on the neighbors, but the neighbors rarely leave their house.

Mom paid all the bills online. She hasn't mailed a check to anyone in five years. The bank does all that. She doesn't even know where the bank is located. Why would she ever need to go there?

Dad hasn't left the house in a week. He works at home on the computer. He says he works for a company that makes a penny every time someone types in the "at" character on their computer, but no one really knows what he does. They just know that it keeps him busy and food delivered to the table.

And it's not just pizza that gets delivered anymore. There are already companies that will deliver fresh food to your house with instructions on how to prepare it for only five or six times the cost of buying the same stuff at the supermarket.

McDonald's just announced they plan to start delivering food. Starbucks is also trying out delivery at some high-traffic locations. Sure, you could buy their brand of coffee in the supermarket and make it at home, but then you wouldn't have the fun of tipping the barista. Even if you don't get the food delivered, people seem to prefer eating already-prepared food at home. Restaurants report take-out meals sales were up 18 percent last year.

Home is not just a place to hang your hat anymore. It is the clothes store, the bowling alley, the bank, the drugstore, the post office, the gym, the casual dining restaurant and the movie theater of our lives. Welcome to the Stay-At-Home Economy.

Work and school are about the only two things that require most people to leave the house. And how long will it be before work and school are something that most people do at home, too? Why go to a brick-and-mortar school when you can Skype into each class and Snapchat your friends at the same time?

And if you ever feel the need to get away from all the people at home and be by yourself, you can go to the mall. It's empty. There are graveyards with more activity. If you see someone else at the mall, it's a good chance that they work there. There is still a crowd at the cellphone store. And every cellphone they sell to a new customer means they've just created another stay-at-home shopper who may never visit the mall again.

Turning old, dying malls into something new has become a business in itself. One city turned an empty mall into a medical center. The wide hallways and large store entrances all on one level made it easy for people in wheelchairs and walkers to get around, and all the different types of doctors are now clustered under one roof. The once nearly empty parking lot is now full from 9 to 6 every day. And best yet, the repurposed mall pays taxes once again. In some places, second-floor mall shops are being turned into apartments. Like the way cities used to be -- apartments above the stores.

Mom wonders where Billy will ever meet anyone if he never leaves the house. He did go on an online date last year, but it didn't work out. He liked "World of Warcraft" and she was a "Call of Duty" person. Thank goodness they never met in person. It might have been dangerous.

Home Depot and Lowes still seem to have real, live customers. If you're not going to leave home, you may as well make it look nice.

Jim Mullen