THIS STORY SEEMS TO BE MISSING SOME DETAILS: Daughter, grandson of Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, RFK’s daughter, presumed dead in canoe accident.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “In just ten days, we discovered that neither the tampon issue, nor the participation of transsexuals in the Olympic Games, nor the climate emergency were real problems, nor emergencies, nor anything of the sort. They were just fictitious problems, the pastimes of a generation that hadn’t known tragedy.” — Itxu Diaz, National Review. 

Via Ricochet, which has further thoughts worth reading: “This crisis will be resolved by truckers running the long haul on deserted highways, doctors and nurse working double shifts in scavenged PPE, grocery store and gas station employees keeping services and food available, utility and telecom workers keeping a strained system functioning, grad students and other researchers poring over data and running countless tests in hopes of giving us an advantage, and ordinary people trying to follow often-contradictory guidance and do the right thing while facing a locked-down economy. At the top, we have leaders whose every move is scrutinized and fraught with potential peril – there might not be any good choices, just bad and not so bad. There is no room for our useless media and most of the commentariat. Activists can either pitch in or get lost. We no longer have time for indulging the delusion that they matter.”

OUT: WAR REQUIRES SACRIFICE. IN: Harvard Student op-ed: During this ‘state of war,’ Harvard should give all students a 4.0.

HIGHER EDUCATION BUBBLE UPDATE, BIG-TECH-COLLUSION EDITION: Twitter gives university access to student’s parody account. Then college deletes unflattering tweets.

THEY’RE AHEAD OF LESS CIVILIZED PLACES, LIKE CHINA: Gabon bans eating of pangolin and bats amid pandemic.

CNN SHOULD CHANGE ITS FORMAT BACK TO NEWS: “The country is deeply divided and wracked with anxiety. There is a market for straight reporting without the shouting. If CNN doesn’t want to change their format for the good of the public, they should do it for the profits. Because, at this point, their ratings can’t get much worse.”

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The debate over immigration is over: restriction wins.

The debate over borders is over: they are needed.

The debate over globalization is over: the era of autarky begins.

The debate over Europe is over: it is a geographic expression, not a polity.

The debate over global warming is over: it is irrelevant.

The debate over international institutions is over: only nations matter.

The debate over the People’s Republic of China is over: it is a menace to the community of nations, not a member in good standing.

Crisis is clarity.

This has been an era of clarification.

HE’S NOT WRONG: Sen. Rick Scott: China ‘killed American citizens,’ urges boycott over virus.

MICHAEL TOTTEN ON THE MIDDLE EAST IN 1979: The Year the Sky Fell.

ACTUALLY, THAT’S A PRETTY IMPRESSIVE ACCOMPLISHMENT FOR A DEMOCRAT: Biden Has Earned 11 Pinocchios From Fact-Checkers During Coronavirus Crisis.

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MARKOS “SCREW ‘EM” MOULITSAS STRIKES AGAIN:

And to think Markos was wondering where “decency” went, just last week:

THE LEFT’S GARBAGE POLITICS: Robert Kraft criticized for good deed – friendship with Trump cited.

1984’S TWO-WAY TELESCREENS HAVE ARRIVED: Google Will Hand Over Location Data to Health Officials to Supposedly Combat Wuhan Coronavirus.

SNOWFALLS ARE NOW JUST A THING OF THE PAST: NYT’s Thomas Friedman Spews Trump Climate Change Response Could Be ‘More Destructive’ than Virus Response.

Oddly, his only criticism of the Chinese government was that “China was reckless about importing and mixing ‘terrestrial wildlife’ — supposedly endowed with magical sexual and other powers — with regular meat and seafood in its wet markets.” [Emphasis added.]

Say, what?

Ironic that Bloomberg News just reported a day after Friedman’s op-ed that “China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says.

To be fair, Friedman has been part of America’s “Manchurian Media” for years; recall his infamous September 9th 2009 column which began:

Watching both the health care and climate/energy debates in Congress, it is hard not to draw the following conclusion: There is only one thing worse than one-party autocracy, and that is one-party democracy, which is what we have in America today.

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power. China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

Our one-party democracy is worse….

As Jonah Goldberg, who had published Liberal Fascism the previous year, wrote, “Thomas Friedman Is a Liberal Fascist:” “I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it’s the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn’t picky in this regard). This is the argument for an ‘economic dictatorship’ pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It’s the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives.”

QED: China Appointed to U.N. Human Rights Group Despite Routine Human Rights Violations.

(Classical reference in headline.)

ARE YOU TIRED OF WINNING YET? Trump Taps Kavanaugh Ally for Seat on Influential Appeals Court. “Justin Walker, 37, who has served as a federal district court judge in Kentucky since October, would replace Republican appointee Judge Thomas Griffith on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit if approved by the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate. Griffith, appointed by former President George W. Bush, had previously announced his plans to retire.”

YOU HAVE TO LAUGH, BECAUSE THERE’S SO MUCH TO CRY ABOUT:  The coronavirus laughs never stop illustrated edition.

WHEN YOU DECIDE WHAT OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD WANT OR NEED, YOU’RE IN SOVIET TERRITORY:  Essential Means Different Things To Different People.

If I were stuck at home with my kids, when they were under ten? And we had no ebooks? Bookstores would be essential. TRUST me on this.

NO. HE SHOULDN’T. HE SHOULD EXIT STAGE LEFT PURSUED BY BEARS. EXTRA POINTS IF THE BEARS ARE RABID: World Health Organization Director Should Resign Says Sen. Martha McSally.

START CUTTING DOWN ALL NON-ESSENTIAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES/SERVICES. WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD THEM, AFTER HITTING OUR ECONOMY WITH A HAMMER AND DANCING WITH LUNACY:  COVID-19: massive unemployment, except in government.

FAR AWAY FROM US?  China’s place in the post-COVID-19 new world order.

BUT THERE ARE STILL AMERICANS:  ‘This Is Not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia Where You Are Asked For Your Papers!’ Says Maine Sheriff.

SORRY, MAY I ASK PRECISELY WHY THE ENTIRE WORLD HAS GONE NUTS?  Former Supreme Court Justice Warns of a British ‘Police State’.

YEP. AND AS NOTED, AN INTERESTING THING, DESPITE SIMILAR NUMBERS OF CHINESE AND SIMILAR CULTURE, THE PORTUGUESE WHO HAVE A PARALLEL, PRIVATIZED HEALTHCARE SYSTEM ARE FARING MUCH BETTER THAN ITALIANS AND SPANIARDS:  It was inevitable that socialized medicine gave up on the elderly with COVID-19.

YES, I KNOW. IT RUINS THE NICE PANIC WE’VE GOT GOING:  Data & Numbers: COVID 19.

Chances increase daily that Winnie the Flu is a paper tiger.

DID I LINK THIS YESTERDAY? IF NOT, GO READ IT:  Monday Thoughts (yes, the d*mn virus).

WITH TRUMP DEFERRING TO EXPERTS AND DELAYING NORMALCY TO THE NEVER-NEVER? ALL OF THEM:  Businesses That Are Going To Fail.

THESE DAYS WHEN ANGER IS OFTEN CRIPPLING IN TERMS OF WHAT I CAN PRODUCE, IT’S ALWAYS GOOD TO HAVE SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT, AND THIS ONE IS A DOOZIE:  Sans sanction ni restrictions, le Portugal est (relativement) épargné par le #coronavirus.

For those who don’t feel like Google translate, that is roughly “Without sanctions or restrictions, Portugal is (relatively) spared by #coronavirus.  Fair. Portugal has far fewer fatalities than Spain or Italy, which is inexplicable.  Unless you assume that the Portuguese aren’t throwing grandma from the train, that is taking the opportunity to rid themselves of elders, while the other two nations almost certainly are.  Or take into account the fact that Portugal has a private medical system alongside state-provided health system. (Spain did too, but nationalized at the beginning of the crisis, because… I don’t know. What ARE they putting in the paella these days, anyway?)
BUT the truly hilarious thing in that article is that the Portuguese Prime Minister attributes this to the Portuguese being — I swear I have to pause and laugh before I type it — more organized than other Europeans.

I have no idea what he’s smoking, or where he found it, but that’s potent stuff.  Breaking rules and laws is by way of being a Portuguese pastime.  Portuguese don’t line up, they scrum.  There isn’t anything requiring order and careful deliberation that the Portuguese don’t do sideways, backwards and upside down.  And frankly that’s part of the reason I retain some fondness for the place!  Disciplined!  I told my husband and rendered him speechless for minutes!

April 3, 2020

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YOU PROBABLY SAW THAT MISLEADING MAP OF TRAVEL BASED ON CELLPHONE VIDEOS. IT WAS USED IN A CONDESCENDING AND ELITIST WAY.

Today, New York Times journalist and podcast host Michael Barbaro tweeted a map showing on the dates when people stopped traveling over two miles. Most of the South was lit up bright red, an indication that they hadn’t stopped until very recently, if at all. Other states had red counties, but it was hard to ignore the blaring siren of the South.

In the midst of a pandemic where folks are encouraged to stay home, this chart could seem damning, especially if you think the South is full of idiot rednecks.

Which Barbaro apparently does.

“In a word…. The South,” he tweeted. . . .

As Facing South reporter Olivia Paschal points out, the map makes more sense when viewed with the second map in the Times article in which it originally appeared, which showed that the Southern states in question had seen less travel than what was considered “normal.”

The Times story delves into this further: Southern municipalities and states have been slow to implement stay-at-home orders. But Southerners are traveling less. And the map doesn’t account for necessary travel, like to get groceries or seek medical care.

Barbaro didn’t mention that. “LOL rednecks” is an easier tweet.

There are nine states where more than 5 percent of the population has no car and no supermarket within a mile. North Carolina is one of them; the rest are also in the South.

Almost 28 million people in the South live in rural areas, almost half of the country’s rural population. Because of the spread, people in rural areas have the longest distances to travel to receive medical care. And the South, the sickest region in the United States, accounts for one in 10 COVID-19 deaths.

Some other facts Barbaro might have missed: The South has the lowest median household income of any region in the U.S; nine of the 10 states with the highest poverty levels are from the South.

The South also has the biggest minority population of any region.

A quick Google search reveals that Michael Barbaro grew up in Connecticut, attended one of the oldest country day schools in the country, and went to Yale University. He got a job at The Washington Post straight out of college and shifted to The New York Times shortly after that.

So let me offer a real-life example: My house growing up was in downtown Mount Airy, and the closest Food Lion was 1.3 miles away. If my family needed more than food, Walmart was 4.3 miles away. If we had to go to the ER, it was 2.2 miles. For folks who live farther out, the shortest distance you can travel is at least two miles.

I promise you, Michael Barbaro, they aren’t driving for the hell of it.

It’s as if Michael Barbaro is some sort of elitist twatwaffle. But yeah, those dumb southerners don’t know how to practice social distancing like these New Yorkers:

In a word . . . NYC.

UGH: Coronavirus News: NYC funeral homes and morgues overwhelmed.

OPEN THREAD: Throw back the little ones.

USA TODAY FACTCHECK RATES AS “TRUE” TRUMPS CHARGE THAT the Obama Administration depleted the national n95 mask stockpile.

DON’T WORRY, ANY MINOR WORLD THAT FALLS APART COMES TOGETHER AGAIN: Interstellar Comet Borisov is no longer in one piece. I mean, just ask any major dude.

Alternatively, this is the alien pod separating from the cometary nucleus it was using for cover. I mean, this is 2020, anything can happen.

HOSPITAL MANAGEMENT SUCKS: Doctors Say Hospitals Are Stopping Them From Wearing Masks. ‘I’m being yelled at. I’m being told to take it off. I’m being told that I’m scaring patients and that I’m scaring other people.’ We’ve had people who had their jobs threatened.”

MY FORMER STUDENT JORDAN MOLLENHOUR, ALONG WITH OTHERS, brought a planeload of masks into Knoxville for distribution to hospitals and first responders. Great work.

FLIP. FLOP. Biden campaign says he backs Trump’s China travel ban. “Biden first accused Trump of xenophobia in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic on January 31, at a campaign rally in Fort Madison, Iowa — in comments that came shortly after Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the travel ban.”

IT’S ILLUSTRATED WITH A BAT. I DON’T REALLY CARE WHERE THEY GO, SO LONG AS IT’S NOT A CHINESE SOUP MARKET: Wireless network helps scientists track small animals.

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#JOURNALISM: After mocking Trump for promoting hydroxychloroquine, journalists acknowledge it might treat coronavirus. “Journalists and top Democrats have beaten a similarly hasty retreat from their previous claims that Trump’s ban on travel from China was both xenophobic and ineffective. But media outlets’ misinformation on hydroxychloroquine was unique because it involved not simply policy disagreements but also suggestive medical advice and directives that could have dissuaded some from seeking certain treatments.”

The press lied, people died. But no responsibility, and no consequences.

GEORGE KORDA: Opportunistic Democrats may regret tampering with coronavirus relief bill.

PAST PERFORMANCE IS NO GUARANTEE OF FUTURE RESULTS: Biden campaign says he backs Trump’s China travel ban.

VITAMIN D UPDATE: Vitamin D may help seniors recover after hip fracture, study says.

EARTH DAY” FOUNDER AND NOTORIOUS “UNICORN KILLER” IRA EINHORN HAS DIED IN PRISON AT AGE 79.

On the eve of 2011’s “Earth Day,” NBC stumbled into this headline and subhead to describe Einhorn: Earth Day co-founder killed, composted girlfriend. Ira Einhorn preached against Vietnam War and violence, but had dark side.

EVERY AGE FACES ITS OWN UNIQUE CHALLENGE:

DO TELL: Coronavirus May Spread Through Normal Breathing: US Scientists.

TAKE A BREAK FROM THE SERIOUS NEWS FOR A FEW MINUTES: Florida Man Friday: Drone Delivery TP Is Just What the Doctor Ordered.

AND FOR OUR VIPs: Debt Takes a Holiday. “The weak spot of a credit-based economy is that when the economy stops moving, the whole credit structure can collapse.”

That one is just for our VIP members, and I hope you’ll use that VODKAPUNDIT discount code if you’ve been thinking of becoming a supporter.

PEOPLE PRAYING PANDEMIC PASSES: Pew pronouncement.

WHAT’S THIS, LIBERALS BUYING FIREARMS? Bearing Arms’ Cam Edwards reports those crowds at gun dealers aren’t made up entirely of heat-packing GOPers.

OBAMA WAS THE GREATEST GUN SALESMAN IN HISTORY, UNTIL HE WAS BEATEN BY A VIRUS: FBI Processes Record-Breaking Number of Background Checks.

“PERHAPS TRYING TO EMULATE A CORRUPT PUERTO RICAN OFFICIAL ISN’T THE RIGHT MOVE DURING A CRISIS:” Michigan’s Governor Beclowns Herself by Trying to Troll Trump With a T-Shirt.

“For some reason, these female Democrat politicians think it’s some kind of own to put what Trump calls them on t-shirts. Instead, it just makes them look petty and silly. Who has time to go get a custom t-shirt made while one’s community is in total disarray?”

NEWS FROM MY NECK OF THE WOODS: Knox County: 93 Cases, 50 Recovered, One Death So Far. Plus this confusing bit: “Fourteen of the 93 cases have resulted in hospitalization at any point during the illness. This figure does not reflect the number of patients currently hospitalized in the county.”

DEAR JOURNALISTS: IF YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO THINK OF YOU AS GARBAGE, STOP BEING GARBAGE. THANKS, BYE. WaPo’s Glenn Kessler Caught in Embarrassing Self-Own After RTing Dr. Critical of Trump’s Wuhan Virus Response. “As I’ve said before, when it comes to the so-called ‘fact checkers’ in the media, I find the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler hit or miss – but mostly miss. Over the last few weeks as the Trump administration has ramped up its efforts to combat the Wuhan coronavirus, Kessler has engaged in a series of missteps (to put it charitably) when it comes to analyzing their efforts. . . . It would be nice going forward if Kessler would actually dissect claims before sharing them with his followers, which is what an actual fact-checker would do.”

The origins of “fact check” journalism explain why it doesn’t actually check facts. When the GOP discovered that negative ads were a way to end-run the Democrat-favoring media, the media responded with “fact checks” intended to neutralize those ads. It’s always been a partisan messaging gig, not about finding the truth in which, as Kessler keeps demonstrating, they’re not especially interested.

LIFE: Bacteria in deep sea rock cracks offer hope for life on Mars.

CHINA SYNDROME: 60 Minutes Australia: Chinese President Xi Allowed 5 Million Out Of Wuhan.

DALLAS COUNTY EXTENDS STAY-AT-HOME ORDER UNTIL MAY 20. According to NBC’s Dallas affiliate, Dallas County currently has 856 diagnosed Coronavirus cases, 17 deaths, and two people listed as having recovered.

FASTER, PLEASE: Facing Trump’s wrath, 3M vows boosted mask production for US.

SHOCKER: Masks do reduce spread of flu and some coronaviruses, study finds.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Cleaning Products Can Kill The COVID-19 Virus. Here’s What to Use in Your House.

CHANGE: Corona beer suspends production due to coronavirus.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: How To Make Sure You Get The Largest Possible COVID-19 Stimulus Check.

ROGER SIMON: During the Pandemic, Don’t Be a Prisoner of the ‘Experts.’

TO BE HONEST, A LOT OF BRITAIN’S POPULATIONS HAVE CHANGED OVER THAT TIME PERIOD: Britain’s plankton population has changed dramatically over the last 60 years.

NUKE THE SITE FROM ORBIT — IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE: The 41 Worst People You Meet on Twitter.

DAVID HARSANYI: The FISA Scandal Is about Corruption, Not ‘Sloppiness.’ “You would think that this kind of potential abuse by the Justice Department would pique the interest of mainstream journalists. No such luck.”

CHOOSE THE FORM OF YOUR DESTRUCTOR: Trump: Schiff’s New Partisan Investigation Amid a Pandemic Will Just ‘Build Up My Poll Numbers.’

Related: Former Obama staffer David Plouffe: Trump’s going to win in November, you know.

Don’t get cocky (especially now that we’re in seriously uncharted waters), to coin an Instaphrase.

KURT LODER: These 10 Underappreciated Movies Make for the Perfect Quarantine Viewing Experience.

This is a really good list, although Tarsem’s “The Fall” left me cold. Stunning to look at, but not much there there.

SO DOES THIS MEAN THAT IMPERFECT MASKS STILL HELP BY REDUCING THE INITIAL VIRAL LOAD ON EXPOSURE? “Virus experts know that viral dose affects illness severity. In the lab, mice receiving a low dose of virus clear it and recover, while the same virus at a higher dose kills them. Dose sensitivity has been observed for every common acute viral infection that has been studied in lab animals, including coronaviruses. Humans also exhibit sensitivity to viral dose. Volunteers have allowed themselves to be exposed to low or high doses of relatively benign viruses causing colds or diarrhea. Those receiving the low doses have rarely developed visible signs of infection, while high doses have typically led to infections and more severe symptoms. . . . Low-dose infections can even engender immunity, protecting against high-dose exposures in the future.”

So even if everyone is ultimately going to be exposed, keeping the magnitude of the exposure down increases the likelihood that they’ll be asymptomatic, and later immune, without getting sick or dying. There’s your “herd immunity” strategy, of sorts.

REMEMBERING BILL WITHERS. A man who had it all, walked away, and was happy he did.

WELL, STARTING AT ZERO THERE’S NOWHERE TO GO BUT UP: Coronavirus Is ‘Opportunity of the Century’ for China to Build Trust, Economist Says. Um, What?!

NOT THE BABYLON BEE: Biden Switches to ‘Front Porch’ Campaign, Loses Porch.

PAULA BOLYARD: Should Churches Violate Shutdown Orders? The Answer Is More Complicated Than You Might Imagine.

Exit quote:

What happens when you cross the prosperity gospel with a global pandemic like the Chinese flu? This, courtesy of Howard-Browne:

This should be a time of supernatural sustenance, where what you have in your hand will multiply. And every day there will be multiplications. You look at your toilet paper and you think I’m going to run out of toilet paper, but you have another roll where that one was and you don’t know how did that even take place. Are the toilet paper rolls getting together and having families now? What is taking place? When you look again, there’s still enough. You think you’re going to run out but when you look again there’s still enough. That’s supernatural sustenance.

And, as noted above, Howard-Browne has flauted an order banning large assemblies, which is what landed him in the slammer.

Read the whole thing.

IT’S GOOD TO BE THE NOMENKLATURA: Nancy Pelosi’s Husband Bought Up Slack, Microsoft, and Alphabet Securities.

I ALWAYS THOUGHT HE WAS A GREAT, AND SOMEWHAT UNDERRATED, TALENT: ‘Lean On Me,’ ‘Lovely Day’ singer Bill Withers dies at 81.

WHY THE USS ROOSEVELT’S CAPTAIN HAD TO BE RELIEVED:

[Acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly] said that the captain’s ability to react professionally was overwhelmed by the challenge of the virus, “when acting professionally was what was needed most.” The Navy, he added, should “expect more from the commanding officers of our aircraft carriers.” The secretary didn’t suggest it was the captain who leaked the memo. Yet had Captain Crozier communicated only with his leadership, Mr. Modly said, he’d still have a job.

What struck us as particularly off in the captain’s letter was his statement: “We are not at war.” He added that “sailors do not need to die” and that “if we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset — our sailors.” The Navy, though, doesn’t need to be instructed on the value of its own sailors. Plus, too, under our system it’s not carrier captains who decide whether we’re at war.

The good news is that the Navy has, as it contends it would have absent a public letter, started moving crew off the Roosevelt and onto Guam. Better, by our lights, that were done with as much secrecy as possible. Even total secrecy. We may not be at war at the moment, but if our enemies find out that a weapon like the Roosevelt is lying at anchor with but a skeleton crew, as is now widely reported, who knows what could happen?

Related: China Is Preparing to Start a War with America.

NANCY PELOSI ON 2/24: PAY NO ATTENTION TO THESE CHINESE CORONAVIRUS FEARS. “WE THINK IT’S VERY SAFE.”

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