No social distancing at Woodstock

Woodstock Occurred in the Middle of a Pandemic

I turned one year old in August 1969, so I didn’t attend Woodstock. (It wouldn’t have been my scene, anyway.)

But according to a contemporaneous news clipping from the era (see the link) Woodstock was held at the height of a flu pandemic that originated in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968 to 1969 ultimately killed 100,000 Americans and a million people worldwide.

I know: That was half a century ago. The Hong Kong flu was not COVID-19. Got it.

Fair enough. But the similarities of the two pandemics, and the difference in how we reacted to them, is nevertheless worth noting.

One important point: Obesity rates in 1968 were much less than what they are now.

Another important point: There was no Internet, no CNN spreading panic and outrage 24/7.

Imagine life before CNN and Twitter. To crib a line from a John Lennon song, “I wonder if you can.”

Being Gretchen Whitmer: not the new black

Michigan’s Whitmer says armed protesters displayed ‘worst racism and awful parts’ of US history

There she goes again:

“There were swastikas and Confederate flags and nooses and people with assault rifles,” Whitmer said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

As this blog stated last week, some of the Michigan protestors have gotten a little out of hand. Carrying weapons into a public building in a threatening manner is always a bad idea. By all means, let’s call them out on that—maybe a few dozen people from Michigan’s population of 10 million.

But still. Uncalled for. Agreed.

But what is it about Democrats and charges of racism? This is always their go-to complaint, even when most everyone involved is white—as has been the case in the Lansing protests. Continue reading “Being Gretchen Whitmer: not the new black”

Tara Reade is not going to go away

Biden accuser Tara Reade says Anita Hill saga influenced her to stay silent in 1990s

As I remember, the Anita Hill hearings made sexual harassment in the workplace a topical issue. I started my corporate career in 1991, just as the whole thing was unfolding.

In the 1980s, no one talked about sexual harassment. The concept really didn’t exist, per se. Sexual assault and rape were crimes that were prosecuted every day, of course. But there was really no formal term for behavior that fell into more of a gray area, like unwanted sexual comments, or the guy who just wouldn’t take no for an answer. Continue reading “Tara Reade is not going to go away”