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Saturday, 25 April 2020 09:48

Beware the Left's 'Degrowth' Movement

It would be natural to believe that nearly everyone on the planet is horrified by the death and economic destruction wrought from the COVID-19 pandemic. But some see the body bags and the shutdown of economic production as a weird kind of blessing in disguise.

These are the proponents of a radical and increasingly chic movement on the left called "degrowth." This is the idea that economic growth and increased prosperity are the root CAUSE of massive ecological destruction and health pandemics. The agenda is to shut down industrial production and industries like fossil fuels, automobiles and airline travel that contribute to global warming. COVID-19 and the economy lockdown are seen as a kind of test run for the theory.

For example, professor Natasha Chassagne of the University of Tasmania and a disciple of this movement gushes that "we can draw many lessons and opportunities from the current health crisis when tackling planetary warming."

A former high-ranking climate adviser to the Obama administration, Jason Bordoff, writes in Foreign Policy magazine that "COVID-19 may deliver some short-term climate benefits by curbing energy use, or even longer-term benefits if economic stimulus is linked to climate goals," but he adds almost regretfully that the "benefits" from the pandemic in terms of less carbon emissions are likely to be "fleeting and negligible."

Degrowth is defended by its proponents as "a political, economic and social movement based on ecological economics, anti-consumerism and anti-capitalism."

The official degrowth website explains that COVID-19 is "an example of why degrowth is needed; it shows the unsustainability and fragility of our current way of life. Additionally, the response to covid-19 has shown that degrowth is possible, because society (and the state) has demonstrated an ability to dramatically change the modus operandi in response to a major crisis."

The philosophy that increased prosperity is the problem and not the solution to our societal problems is not new. In the 1970s, many on the left embraced the "limits to growth" ideology of too many people, too little food and energy, and imminent ecological disaster. Those ideas were discredited over the ensuing 40 years as innovation and technology, plus a renewed appreciation of economic freedom, advanced rapid growth in living standards around the globe and massive surpluses of food and energy.

Of course, the origins of the limits to growth and, now, degrowth movements date back to the days of Thomas Robert Malthus, who famously and wrongly predicted that population growth would always outpace food and economic production. These rotten and dangerous ideas are back in vogue, and the New Yorker magazine recently highlighted the fad on college campuses and in faculty lounges. It's the latest of leftist extremism -- a subversive movement to keep an eye on.

What is scary is that many who subscribe to climate change hysteria, as well as the donors who provide the tens of billions of dollars of resources to climate issues, have come to agree that growth is the enemy and that we would all be better off if we were a little poorer.

It is wrong on so many levels one hardly knows where to start. First, economic freedom and growth go hand in hand and have inarguably positive benefits to the poorest citizens of the world and to health and the environment. Nations that have degrowth are much more polluted and have much higher death rates than the United States.

Environmental protection is the ultimate "superior good." The richer a society becomes, the more they spend on clean air, clean water and nature preservation.

The degrowth fad -- hopefully it is just that -- also reveals the modern left movement for what it is at its core. It is anti-growth, anti-people, anti-free enterprise and anti-prosperity. The entire climate change movement is an assault against cheap and abundant energy and rising living standards. This raises the question of how we could ever rely on the left to fix our economy, help the poor and make us all more prosperous if their goal is to shrink the economy, not grow it?

Stephen Moore

Saturday, 25 April 2020 09:46

The One Certain Victor in the Pandemic War

"War is the health of the state," wrote the progressive Randolph Bourne during the First World War, after which he succumbed to the Spanish flu.

America's war on the coronavirus pandemic promises to be no exception to the axiom. However long this war requires, the gargantuan state will almost surely emerge triumphant.

Currently, the major expenditures of the U.S. government, as well as a growing share of total federal spending, are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

None of these programs will be curtailed or reduced this year or next. And if the Democrats win in November, the nation will likely take a great leap forward - toward national health insurance.

Republicans are calling for a suspension until 2021 of payroll taxes used to finance Social Security and Medicare. While that would provide an economic stimulus, it would also blow a huge hole in federal revenue and further enlarge the deficit and national debt.

Even before the virus struck with full force in March, that deficit was projected at or near $1 trillion -- not only for fiscal year 2020 but for every year of the new decade.

The next major item of the budget is defense, considered untouchable to the Republican Party. Hence a confident prediction: This generation will never again see a budget deficit smaller than $1 trillion.

Indeed, the $2 trillion lately voted on to save businesses and keep paychecks going to workers will lift the deficit for 2020 above $3 trillion.

As of March 1, 2020, the nation was at full employment, with the lowest jobless rates among women and minorities in our history.

Less than two months later, 26 million Americans are out of work.

These workers will soon begin picking up unemployment checks, a new burden on the federal budget, to which will be added the cost of expanding food stamps, rent supplements and welfare payments.

Consider education.

Though Harvard, with its $41 billion endowment, was shamed into returning the $8.7 million in bailout money coming its way, does anyone believe the stream of U.S. revenue going into higher education will ever fall back to what it was before the pandemic?

As for that $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, is it more likely that vast sum will be paid back by those who incurred the debt, or that it will be piled atop the federal debt?

Congress has already voted to bail out our stressed hospitals.

Now, standing patiently in line for their bailouts, are the states -- and America's cities and counties. These governmental units are virtually all certain to face falling tax revenue and expanded social demands, leading to exploding deficits.

Their case: You bailed out the businesses and the hospitals. What about us? When does our turn come?

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, anticipating the mammoth bill for bailing out states and cities, has suggested that governments be allowed to use bankruptcy laws to write down and write off their debts.

Probably not going to happen.

Recall what happened when President Gerald Ford told New York City that Uncle Sam was not going to bail out the Big Apple. "Ford to City: Drop Dead!" was the famous headline splashed across the front page of the New York Daily News.

Ford recanted but did not recover. His perceived callousness in the face of New York City's crisis -- though that fiscal crisis was entirely of the city's own making -- factored into his defeat by Jimmy Carter.

Donald Trump is not going to give Red State governors facing gaping budget deficits because of the coronavirus crisis the wet mitten across the face. For his political future will be decided by those states.

Still, the cost of bailing them out promises to be enormous and to create a precedent for bailouts without end.

Then there is the clamor, already begun, from, and on behalf of, the Third World. The IMF, World Bank and the West, it is said, have a moral obligation to replace revenue shortfalls these nations are facing from lost remittances from their workers in the developed world.

There is talk of hundreds of billions of dollars in monetary transfers from the world's North to the world's South.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist once famously declared: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub."

What is more likely to be drowned in that bathtub is the philosophy: "That government governs best which governs least."

What is more likely to be drowned in that bathtub is the philosophy that champions small government, the primacy of the private sector, a belief in "pay as you go," and that "balanced budgets" are the ideal.

Call it Robert Taft conservatism. Today, it appears irrelevant.

Indeed, the one certain victor in the coronavirus pandemic war will likely be Big Government. As John Donne wrote, "No winter shall abate this spring's increase."

patrick buchanan small

Patrick J. Buchanan

Saturday, 25 April 2020 09:22

Joe Biden Cannot Run on Raising Taxes

President Donald Trump began the year in a strong position to win reelection, in large part due to the best economy in generations. Under Trump, the unemployment rate had fallen to around half-century lows, workers (and disproportionately low-income workers), saw their first real wage gains in a decade, and people reported record confidence in their personal finances.

But thanks to the coronavirus and the resulting lockdowns, in a matter of weeks, the economy came crumbling down, with 22 million people reporting joblessness in the past month alone and second-quarter GDP loss projections reaching as high as 40%.

All of this poses a problem for Trump. But it's possible that it proves an even worse one for Joe Biden.

Although the de facto Democratic presidential nominee ran well to the center of the majority of his competitors, Biden still took the bait to endorse many of their policies, including a pledge to repeal Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The media worked overtime to convince the country that the law was a tax cut for the wealthy, and that may have worked for a time. But two years into Trump's first legislative achievement, the people know better, namely, that unless you're a high-dollar, white-collar earner in a heavily blue state and, thus, slapped with the SALT deduction cap, it was overwhelmingly likely that you saw a tax cut.

It's one thing for Biden to argue for a tax hike while the economy is booming. But it's another to want to hike taxes on small businesses, when 1 in 4 reports being just two months from extinction, and hike rates on the individuals still earning cash and driving our direly necessary consumer spending.

If Biden actually followed through on his promise, it would devastate just about everyone. Americans for Tax Reform crunched the numbers, and they're not pretty. For a family of four earning the nation's median income of $73,000, taxes owed would increase by $2,000. A single mother of one child making $41,000, less than 250% of the federal poverty line, would owe an extra $1,300 in taxes.

The child tax cut would be slashed in half for millions of households across the board, and millions of the country's most unprivileged would be hit with the return of the individual mandate tax. And none of that is to mention that tens of millions more of these people would lose their jobs when small businesses, on the cusp of permanent closure, are hit with the repeal of the 20% deduction for small business income.

Biden is in a bind. Does he rely on his record of the Obama administration presiding over the slowest economic recovery of all time?

Or does he commit to his promise of fulfilling his party's laundry list of spending plans by punishing hundreds of millions of people and threatening their livelihoods?

Biden can't run on his past, and now, he can't run on his promises. Stuck in a Wilmington basement with an unrelenting left still trying to tether him to its socialist fantasies, he doesn't have many other campaign strategies than to wait and ride the coronavirus wave.

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.

sm no smile face with sunglasses

Thursday, 23 April 2020 21:48

What Will Be the New American Cause?

After the Great Pandemic has passed and we emerge from Great Depression II, what will be America's mission in the world?

What will be America's cause?

We have been at such a turning point before.

After World War II, Americans wanted to come home. But we put aside our nation-building to face the challenge of a malevolent Stalinist empire dominant from the Elbe river to the Barents Sea.

And after persevering for four decades, we prevailed.

What, then, did we do with our epochal victory?

We alienated Russia by moving our NATO military alliance into the Baltic and Black Seas. We launched bloody, costly crusades for democracy in the Middle East that, invariably, failed. We exported a huge slice of our manufacturing capacity and economic independence to a coddled China.

Historically, blunders of such magnitude have undone great powers.

Even before COVID-19, Americans had begun to realize the folly of decades of mindless interventionism over matters irrelevant to our vital interests. "Unsustainable" was the word commonly associated with our foreign policy.

But if our foreign policy was unsustainable during President Trump's economic boom, with unemployment at record lows and a bull market to rival the Roaring '20s, can an interventionist foreign policy be sustained after the losses of this major depression we have induced to kill the pandemic?

If the Democrats win in November, we know their priorities: national health insurance, carbon taxes, the Green New Deal, open borders, amnesty, reparations and wealth redistribution to reduce social and economic inequality -- an agenda costing trillions of dollars.

And Democrats will be looking at the defense budget as a slush fund to finance this new progressive era.

If the Republicans win, given the influence of hawks and neocons among the party elite, interventionism may get another run in the yard.

Having been exposed as naive beyond belief for their indulgence of China from the Bush I days to 2016, some Republicans are looking to make amends by casting China in the Soviet role in Cold War II.

There is talk on Capitol Hill of refusing to pay off U.S. bonds that Beijing holds and of suing China for the damages done by the coronavirus, as China failed to alert the world the pathogen was loose.

Americans should think long and hard before defaulting on U.S. government debt and considerthe consequences if we open a door to claims against sovereign nations for past sins.

Iraq was invaded in 2003 to force it to give up illicit weapons of mass destruction it did not have. Baghdad could have a case in international court against America for the unprovoked war waged against that country.

While the U.S. appears determined to bring back manufacturing -- especially of products critical to the health, safety and defense of our nation -- there seems to be no stomach among the public for a war with China.

But again, with the democracy crusades now repudiated, what is America's cause, what is America's mission in the world?

Preventing climate change, say our liberal elites. Yet, even before the pandemic, global warming ranked near the bottom of national concerns.

The situation in which America will find herself after the virus passes and depression lifts will be almost unprecedented.

We will have the same treaty obligations to go to war on behalf of dozens of nations in Europe and Asia and at the same time, we will be running deficits on the order of $3 trillion a year with a shrunken economic base.

If Trump wins, borders will be tightened. The U.S. withdrawal from the Mideast will continue. U.S. manufacturing will begin to be repatriated. Transnational institutions will be downgraded, ignored and superseded.

The watchword will be what it has lately been: "America First."

In a second Trump presidency, there would likely be even less concern for how other nations rule themselves.

Does it matter to us if Russia is led by an autocrat not unlike a Romanov czar, that Hindu nationalism wields the whip hand in India or that Hungarians have rejected Earl Warren's ideas about liberal democracy?

In recent decades, the U.N. General Assembly has seemed to resemble the bar scene in "Star Wars." But is how other nations choose to rule themselves any business of ours, if those nations do not threaten us?

In the 19th century, when the Hungarians had risen up against the Hapsburg Empire and sought U.S. intervention, Henry Clay opposed it:

"Far better is it for ourselves ... and for the cause of liberty ... that we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this western shore, as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of falling or fallen republics in Europe."

Not only President Trump's preferences but also events seem to be driving us toward such a destiny.

To borrow from the title of historian Walter A. McDougall's classic work, America's future is as a promised land, not a crusader state.

 

patrick buchanan small

Patrick J. Buchanan

What Will Be the New American Cause?

                After the Great Pandemic has passed and we emerge from Great Depression II, what will be America's mission in the world?

                What will be America's cause?

                We have been at such a turning point before.

                After World War II, Americans wanted to come home. But we put aside our nation-building to face the challenge of a malevolent Stalinist empire dominant from the Elbe river to the Barents Sea.

                And after persevering for four decades, we prevailed.

                What, then, did we do with our epochal victory?

                We alienated Russia by moving our NATO military alliance into the Baltic and Black Seas. We launched bloody, costly crusades for democracy in the Middle East that, invariably, failed. We exported a huge slice of our manufacturing capacity and economic independence to a coddled China.

                Historically, blunders of such magnitude have undone great powers.

                Even before COVID-19, Americans had begun to realize the folly of decades of mindless interventionism over matters irrelevant to our vital interests. "Unsustainable" was the word commonly associated with our foreign policy.

                But if our foreign policy was unsustainable during President Trump's economic boom, with unemployment at record lows and a bull market to rival the Roaring '20s, can an interventionist foreign policy be sustained after the losses of this major depression we have induced to kill the pandemic?

                If the Democrats win in November, we know their priorities: national health insurance, carbon taxes, the Green New Deal, open borders, amnesty, reparations and wealth redistribution to reduce social and economic inequality -- an agenda costing trillions of dollars.

                And Democrats will be looking at the defense budget as a slush fund to finance this new progressive era.

                If the Republicans win, given the influence of hawks and neocons among the party elite, interventionism may get another run in the yard.

                Having been exposed as naive beyond belief for their indulgence of China from the Bush I days to 2016, some Republicans are looking to make amends by casting China in the Soviet role in Cold War II.

                There is talk on Capitol Hill of refusing to pay off U.S. bonds that Beijing holds and of suing China for the damages done by the coronavirus, as China failed to alert the world the pathogen was loose.

                Americans should think long and hard before defaulting on U.S. government debt and consider the consequences if we open a door to claims against sovereign nations for past sins.

                Iraq was invaded in 2003 to force it to give up illicit weapons of mass destruction it did not have. Baghdad could have a case in international court against America for the unprovoked war waged against that country.

                While the U.S. appears determined to bring back manufacturing -- especially of products critical to the health, safety and defense of our nation -- there seems to be no stomach among the public for a war with China.

                But again, with the democracy crusades now repudiated, what is America's cause, what is America's mission in the world?

                Preventing climate change, say our liberal elites. Yet, even before the pandemic, global warming ranked near the bottom of national concerns.

                The situation in which America will find herself after the virus passes and depression lifts will be almost unprecedented.

                We will have the same treaty obligations to go to war on behalf of dozens of nations in Europe and Asia and at the same time, we will be running deficits on the order of $3 trillion a year with a shrunken economic base.

                If Trump wins, borders will be tightened. The U.S. withdrawal from the Mideast will continue. U.S. manufacturing will begin to be repatriated. Transnational institutions will be downgraded, ignored and superseded.

                The watchword will be what it has lately been: "America First."

                In a second Trump presidency, there would likely be even less concern for how other nations rule themselves.

                Does it matter to us if Russia is led by an autocrat not unlike a Romanov czar, that Hindu nationalism wields the whip hand in India or that Hungarians have rejected Earl Warren's ideas about liberal democracy?

                In recent decades, the U.N. General Assembly has seemed to resemble the bar scene in "Star Wars." But is how other nations choose to rule themselves any business of ours, if those nations do not threaten us?

                In the 19th century, when the Hungarians had risen up against the Hapsburg Empire and sought U.S. intervention, Henry Clay opposed it:

                "Far better is it for ourselves ... and for the cause of liberty ... that we should keep our lamp burning brightly on this western shore, as a light to all nations, than to hazard its utter extinction amid the ruins of falling or fallen republics in Europe."

                Not only President Trump's preferences but also events seem to be driving us toward such a destiny.

                To borrow from the title of historian Walter A. McDougall's classic work, America's future is as a promised land, not a crusader state.

                Patrick J. Buchanan


The Obama administration gave the Wuhan laboratory $3.7 million for research in 2015 via the National Institutes of Health, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) revealed last week.

The money was meant for the studying of bats that carry the viruses that have triggered the present pandemic as well as the SARS outbreak nearly two decades ago, according to the Daily Mail.

Gaetz told Fox News host Tucker Carlson:

I'm against funding Chinese research in our country, but I'm sure against funding it in China. The NIH gives a $3.7 million grant to the Wuhan Institute of Virology [and] they then advertise that they need coronavirus researchers and following that, coronavirus erupts in Wuhan. What's really troubling to me is either conspicuously or miraculously the Wuhan Institute of Virology is able to sequence the virus on January 2 but China doesn't admit to the virus existing until January 9 and then the Wuhan Institute of Virology doesn't release this important scientific information to the world until January 12. So at best, Americans are funding people who are lying to us and at worst, we're funding people who we knew had problems handling pathogens, who then birthed a monster virus onto the world.

President Donald Trump vowed last week to stop giving taxpayer funds to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the place where American intelligence indicates the coronavirus outbreak may have originated. Any further funding will immediately end, Trump declared on Friday.

On Friday, a reporter asked the president, "U.S. intelligence is saying this week that the coronavirus likely came from a level 4 lab in Wuhan. There's also another report that the NIH, under the Obama administration, in 2015 gave that lab $3.7 million in a grant. Why would the U.S. give a grant like that to China?"

Trump responded, "The Obama administration gave them a grant of $3.7 million? I've been hearing about that. And we've instructed that if any grants are going to that area — we're looking at it, literally, about an hour ago, and also early in the morning. We will end that grant very quickly.

"But it was granted quite a while ago. They were granted a substantial amount of money," he continued. "We're going to look at it and take a look. But I understand it was a number of years ago, right?"

When Trump asked the reporter to again state when the Obama administration gave the Wuhan lab the taxpayer-funded grant, Trump quipped, "2015? Who was president then? I wonder."

 

 

for full story see: https://www.theblaze.com/

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.

               

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