Porn and COVID-19?

Because…hey, somebody’s got to think about stuff like that, right?

How the coronavirus pandemic is changing the pornography industry

I would speculate that marketable porn with the actors wearing masks (and practicing social distancing) is about as realistic as expecting 5th graders to wear masks and social distance (the current game plan for Ohio schools).

Maybe journalists are overthinking the coronavirus pandemic just a bit(?)

Here are a few thoughts: Continue reading “Porn and COVID-19?”

Will the government kill public schools?

Every government action, no matter how seemingly high-minded, is burdened by the Law of Unintended Consequences. This is why Ronald Reagan once remarked that the nine scariest words in the English language are, “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

Between March and the end of May,  government fiats closed millions of businesses throughout the country. (Some businesses in some states remain closed at the time of this writing.)

That, of course, created millions of new unemployment claims, and destroyed the livelihoods of millions of small businesspeople. Thanks, government!

Government bureaucrats and progressives, however, are usually seen as the friends of public school teachers. But when the government screwed the pooch of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the government may have screwed the public schools as well.

Most public schools did not do a good job of implementing remote learning programs during the shutdown. To be fair, they had little time to prepare.

The result, though, is that millions of American parents have started homeschooling, and interest in homeschooling has surged since the beginning of the coronavirus shutdown. Continue reading “Will the government kill public schools?”

COVID-19 modeling wars

There seems to be no real consensus among experts regarding the COVID-19 models that were used to justify nationwide lockdowns in the United States and Britain:

Imperial College model Britain used to justify lockdown a ‘buggy mess’, ‘total unreliable’, experts claim

I repeat: This doesn’t make the coronavirus a “hoax”. COVID-19 is a very real virus that is harmless, moderately serious, or fatal, depending on the individual.  Continue reading “COVID-19 modeling wars”

Biden’s AOC blunder

Biden Taps Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Craft Climate-Change Policy

From David Harsanyi of National Review:

In an effort to repair the frayed relationship among Democratic Party factions, Joe Biden has created something of a Menshevik–Bolshevik “campaign unity task force” to explore policy initiatives on issues like climate change.

There went Biden’s claim to the moderate vote, the swing vote, and the “disaffected Republican” vote.

But then, Biden, a centrist Democrat for most of his career, has been steadily moving to the left since he tied up the nomination. Continue reading “Biden’s AOC blunder”

Audiobooks while you mow

Or podcasts, for that matter. Or music.

I’ve been writing recently in this space about audiobooks. The other day I described how I enjoyed re-experiencing Watership Down via audio

Here’s the problem, though: ordinary earbuds don’t provide sufficient hearing protection while you’re mowing the lawn. Nor are you likely to hear much of what you’re listening to, unless you only want to listen to KISS and AC/DC. Continue reading “Audiobooks while you mow”

Flynn and the “Russia” narrative: a dog that will no longer hunt

Gregg Jarrett: Ending Michael Flynn prosecution exposes and destroys Trump-Russia collusion hoax”

What the Michael Flynn case has shown us, first of all, is that there is an entrenched, politicized federal bureaucracy with its own agenda (otherwise known as a “Deep State”).

But another outcome is the collapse of a three-year-old narrative: That Donald Trump colluded with Russian agents and Facebook bots to steal the 2016 election, that Donald Trump is a Manchurian candidate puppet of the Kremlin, that ….[blah, blah, blah] Donald Trump and Russia [blah, blah, blah]. Continue reading “Flynn and the “Russia” narrative: a dog that will no longer hunt”

Texas salon owner Shelley Luther released from prison

Apparently the high crimes of haircutting and feeding one’s children will continue, undeterred, in the Lone Star State. 

Supreme Court Of Texas Orders Release Of Jailed Texas Stylist Shelly Luther

Here’s the problem: The national shutdown, implemented mostly at the state level, has prevented millions of Americans from earning a living (literally from feeding their children, in some cases.)

That might have gone uncontested had the shutdown been a short-term measure to “flatten the curve”—as it was originally sold. Continue reading “Texas salon owner Shelley Luther released from prison”

The imperiled indie bookstore business model

From The New Republic, an article on the fall, sort-of-rise, and subsequent fall of the independent bookseller in America:

Is This the End of the Indie Bookstore?

Needless to say, independent bookstores have been hurt by the coronavirus pandemic and the government-mandated shutdown of the national economy. Few state bureaucrats have deemed bookstores as “essential”. Most have therefore been shut down for about two months at the time of this writing.

As the New Republic article explains, independent bookstores were battered by the rise of B&N and Borders superstores in the 1990s. This was before the rise of Amazon and ebooks..not to mention COVID-19.

After several decades of decline, indie bookstores bounced back somewhat between 2009 and 2019.

“They fostered a sense of community between business and consumer; their wares were curated specifically for their clientele; and they were places where people could physically convene. These were not just stores selling widgets, they were local hubs.”

So what do I think about the future of the independent bookstore? Continue reading “The imperiled indie bookstore business model”

The new HarperCollins subscription service, and how romance fiction is “different”

Mills & Boon launching subscription service We Love Romance

This is a subscription service that will provide unlimited reading for about $9.99 per month. (The service will launch in the United Kingdom and Ireland.)

Interesting—and probably smart—that HarperCollins decided to focus on romance fiction. Continue reading “The new HarperCollins subscription service, and how romance fiction is “different””

Gold’s Gym files for bankruptcy

Gold’s Gym files for bankruptcy after blow from coronavirus pandemic

Based on the article, it appears that the company does plan to restructure and survive. It will do so, though, with fewer locations and a smaller footprint.

I love gyms and fitness centers. I’ve had gym memberships in multiple cities in Ohio; and I belonged to a gym in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, during my brief residence in the Chicago area in 1991. Continue reading “Gold’s Gym files for bankruptcy”

Trump on his squabbles with the press

I’ve long suspected that Trump knows exactly what he’s doing when he engages in those long back-and-forths with hostile reporters:

Trump on media ‘hostility’: ‘If I was kind to them, I’d be walked off the stage’

The President elaborated:

President Trump defended his growing list of contentious exchanges with reporters Sunday night during Fox News’ virtual Town Hall, telling moderators Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, “If I was kind to them, I’d be walked off the stage.”

The president argued, “I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen.”

I get it. But his daily exchanges with reporters over the coronavirus pandemic have become tortuous to watch and listen to. Continue reading “Trump on his squabbles with the press”

Coronavirus and real-world complexity

The Los Angeles Times sounds a familiar refrain on the now fully politicized matter of the coronavirus shutdown:

Even as states begin to reopen, experts say coronavirus outbreak is far from quelled

The Times later changed the headline to:

Trump acknowledges coronavirus death toll could reach 100,000

(In regard to the above number, that death toll—if it turns out to be true—would actually be less catastrophic than our flu death tolls in 1968~9 and 1957~8, especially when adjusted for population.) 

The Times goes on:

“Reopenings are beginning in many parts of the country even though, as of Sunday, no state had met federal guidelines calling on states to wait for a 14-day period of continually declining cases.”

The media (which, as I keep reminding you all, is not populated by our best and brightest) is presenting this as a binary, mostly political choice: a.) listen to the wise counsel of all-knowing doctors, and keep the economy shut down forever, or b.) listen to the gun-toting Trumpsters, and throw caution to the wind.

The real world, alas, is a little more complicated than that: Continue reading “Coronavirus and real-world complexity”

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”

Asian giant hornets in the USA

Just as we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of the coronavirus pandemic, another scourge has arrived from the Far East: the Asian giant hornet. 

This invader shouldn’t be as disruptive as the viral one. But this is bad news, however you slice it. I saw a few of these when I was in Japan. They’re nothing you’d want to find in your back yard in Ohio. 

California, the shutdown, and empty hospitals

Governor Gavin Newsom is facing protests over his lockdown measures in California. Meanwhile, hospitals in the Golden State have become ghost towns. They are laying off nurses, and—in some cases—going bankrupt because of low occupancy rates. 

Such ironies aren’t limited to California. The mass layoffs of medical staff have become a byproduct of the illy conceived shutdown throughout the country. Medical personnel, after all, cannot work from home in most cases. 

Nor are protests limited to liberal states like California. In my state of Ohio, Republican Governor Mike DeWine has once again backtracked on his strict shutdown orders, in the face of changing data, widespread layoffs and bankruptcies, and mounting protests. Continue reading “California, the shutdown, and empty hospitals”

Renters, landlords, and the shutdown

Democratic ‘Squad’ members join growing chorus of calls to ‘#CancelRent’ during coronavirus crisis

As if the government hasn’t spent enough money, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar are concocting a government bailout of renters and landlords throughout the country.

That would mean even more billions added to the national debt. Continue reading “Renters, landlords, and the shutdown”

Kim Yo-jong next in line?

I don’t mean to imply by the headline that she’d be a good leader mind you, I mean to imply that Kim Yo-jong might indeed be the next dictator of the benighted nation that is North Korea

Many people are dismissing the possibility. Why? Because Kim Yo-jong is young (32) and female.

I will admit to some skepticism myself on this count. Asian culture–Korean culture—is patriarchal, and venerates the aged. So Kim Yo-jong has two strikes against her. 

As one analyst said the other day, “The Me Too movement hasn’t come to North Korea yet.” Continue reading “Kim Yo-jong next in line?”

Book banning in Alaska

The book burners are back, but this time with a twist:

Alaska Borough School Board Yanks ‘Great Gatsby,’ Other Classics From Curriculum

The books banned from the classroom in an Alaska school distrct include, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.

***

WTF??? Continue reading “Book banning in Alaska”

Protests in Michigan

In Lansing, Michigan: 

Hundreds of protesters, some carrying guns in the state Capitol, demonstrate against Michigan’s emergency measures

For the record: Taking guns out in public is never a good idea. The only kind of civil disobedience this blog supports is the peaceful, business-opening kind. Continue reading “Protests in Michigan”

In Ohio, DeWine dithers: time for civil disobedience?

Sic semper tyrannis…

Governor Mike DeWine continues to blithely put entire sectors of the Ohio economy out of business:

Ohio restaurant owners deflated they can’t reopen under DeWine’s plan

Some business owners, however, aren’t waiting for the governor’s approval. They’re taking matters into their own hands.

They’re planning to practice something that we haven’t seen much of since the 1960s: civil disobedience: Continue reading “In Ohio, DeWine dithers: time for civil disobedience?”

Nitwittery at Rutgers

A professor at a once-great university says something irresponsible, or downright foolish, on social media more or less everyday. The spectacle has become so commonplace nowadays that it is barely worth commenting on. Kind of like snow in Minnesota during the month of January.

But every now and then, one of these pampered nabobs of higher education finds a unique angle of foolishness, or achieves a new level of stupidity. Continue reading “Nitwittery at Rutgers”