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american society and the stretched rubber band

friday, may 22nd, 2020

Despite America's ingenious system of government that allows for all viewpoints to have a voice and seek representation, people's tolerances of one another and of government today are being stretched to the limit – just like a rubber band about to snap.

If we imagine the entire population of America contained in a giant rubber band resting on a table of ideas, this analogy begins to make sense. A rubber band, in its natural state, is unstretched, with zero stored energy. We can view this state as the status quo in American society. In this scenario, those who have the most political and ideological influence congregate in the middle of the rubber band.

Many groups have found their home here. In terms of political orientation, these are the people in the center-right and center-left; in terms of class, these are white-collar workers, including those on Wall Street, corporate lobbyists, and most politicians; and, in terms of our institutions, these are the news media, union organizations, and the two major political parties. Flying under the radar of the masses, these groups wield enormous political power in a cozy system, in which one side receives political favoritism and the other reaps the cash.

Even in its unstretched state, the rubber band still moves gradually over time, largely unnoticeable in the present moment. This happens when frontiersmen, a minority of the population that settles not in the middle, but rather on the rubber band's boundaries, make small, incremental changes that influence policy and usher a society into its future generations.

Throughout American history, these people have been rebellious American colonists, abolitionists, communists, civil rights activists, hippies, feminists, etc. – all of whom, at some point in time, were considered extremists. These are the people responsible for change – change that spans the length of many generations and shifts the Overton Window of acceptable ideas.

When the rubber band moves, those on the opposite boundary of the rubber band can see and feel the wall pushing back on them, as their views fall outside the Overton Window. They may accept the movement or attempt to resist it but can only halt it completely with the numbers and strength to match their opposing ideologues. Either way, counter movements have an important effect on the rubber band as a whole – that is, by giving it tension.

This tension can be healthy insofar as it spurs rational debate and leads to positive changes. However, the tension that brewed during the Obama years and fermented with the rise of Trump has now risen to a fever pitch, stretching the rubber band to its limit.

As a result, the societal fabric is eroding in a manner surpassed only by the outsnap of the Civil War and the onset of the Great Depression. The actual snapping of the rubber band would symbolize such events.

The question remains: what exactly is driving this tension?

Many of the frontiersmen of change throughout history are the groups that have contributed most to the rubber band's current position on the table. These groups all fall under the umbrella of the Progressive movement – a movement that blossomed under President Theodore Roosevelt and has persisted for over a century.

Throughout history, the character of the Progressive movement has been about fighting for the rights and the welfare of the underprivileged, mistreated, and unequally represented members of society, which it has done up until recently. However, the intensity of tension in America today is a result of the Progressive movement's transition into a functionally Regressive movement (a term coined by Maajid Nawaz) that's tangential and even counter to the principles that the Progressive movement once held.

The Regressive movement represents a shift in emphasis from economic justice to social justice. Its leaders and followers devalue some of our most basic freedoms – mainly freedom of speech – in an effort to eradicate bigotry in all shapes and colors. It virtue-signals to those in society who Regressives think are helpless pawns of a broken system, blaming native-born white Americans for creating and maintaining institutions that are inherently racist and sexist.

Regressives have been successful in fostering a censored, politically correct environment in politics and entertainment. They've accomplished this by resorting to character assassinations, engaging in identity politics on the basis of one's external traits, deplatforming media and entertainment personalities, and rioting in the streets in order to enforce their new code of ethics and engrain their postmodern ideology into the fabric of American culture.

Naturally, this oppressive behavior has led to a counterculture that rejects what Regressives laud and embraces what they hate. This includes distrust of the media elite, which is intentionally dishonest, self-censoring, and heavily biased; a desire to promote patriotism and protect national heritage; and, most importantly, a yearning for politicians to fire from the hip and not worry about the laws of political correctness that devalue freedom of speech.

This brings us to President Trump, who may appear like a buffoon whose presidency is a fluke. However, his ascendency is no accident – Trump correctly identified this counterculture as a sleeping giant waiting to be riled up. He not only voiced the opinions of many Americans who feared retribution upon speaking their minds, but also gave these Americans a unifying voice on the political scene, allowing them to push back on the rubber band with an equal counter force and gain representation in the Oval Office.

As such, the fate of America's culture is the tug of war that's stretching the rubber band to its limit. Moreover, the nature of this stretching is particularly toxic, because Americans are divided over more than just ideas. They're divided over their own identities: white vs. black, men vs. women, native-born vs. immigrants, etc.

Therefore, it's nearly impossible to reach across the rubber band and engage the opposition in a civil, rational debate that could change hearts and minds. In other words, it's nearly impossible to return people closer to the middle of the rubber band and thereby ease its overall tension.

Unfortunately, at this rate, the rubber band may just need to snap. Such an event doesn't imply Armageddon. America was resilient enough to endure the Civil War, which is a time in American history when we can say the rubber band actually broke. Although many Americans on both sides died, the end result was something we cherish today: the abolishment of slavery.

Although there's no way to predict the aftermath of a snapped rubber band in today's climate, it could again lead to the creation of a new rubber band – one that is stronger and able to continue moving across the table of ideas in a way that improves America and facilitates the progress and happiness of its people.

© 12.27.2019 by Robert Dimuro, "American Thinker".

A Day In The Life.

I slept-in until 8:30a on Friday, I didn't touch the heat – a rainy and very warm 66° outside – had a couple smokes in the garage while the coffee brewed, did my DR (Type 1 Diabetic Routine - Blood Sugar Level Test and Sliding-Scale Insulin Shot), shower, applied the CBD Hemp Ointment to my neck and shoulder, had a Poached Egg on Toasted Rye Bread for breakfast, and checked the weather and news.

I posted the daily 9a-12p "CP Show" thread tp the already-running weekly forum, opened-up the condo, and noticed that it was already a very warm and climbing 73°, so I figured by noon or so, I'd need some AC, since the humidity was also very high. I had the overhead ceiling fan running, so that helped. I tuned-in "Rush" after the "CP Show" and temps had already hit 78°, and I fired-up the 2-ton Amana AC unit, did my midday DR and had Crab Cake Benedict for lunch.

I spent the afternoon paying utility bills online, getting some mounting paperwork done, and giving a neighbor a ride to p/u his truck at the Toyota dealership where he works, after squirrels nested under the hood, and ate the engine fuel lines. Back home, I puttered around the gardens, installing the garden hoses, front and back, and installing the Drip Irrigation Timer, checking settings and switching to "AUTO".

Rat with a bushy tail.

After the evening DR, I had dinner, watched some "Best Of" episodes of Discovery's "Gold Rush" recap of the past 10 seasons. Hard to believe it's been that long. I think "American Pickers" on History has 21 seasons, and that's even harder to believe. By 10p, I'd done the nightly DR, and finished "GR" by 11. I plan on sleeping-in tomorrow, so I unplugged for the night.

So much for sleeping-in; I was up at 7a on Saturday, and couldn't get back to sleep. I went thru the by-now usual morning routines, had some things to drop-off at Becky's, and go back to Sherry's to get some better pics of her home's front, so I can design a formal garden for her. She's a great hugger. It was 64° outside, but I had the Jeep's huge panoramic sunroof and windows open, and some Peter Cetera and Amy Grant songs playing from my thumb drive. That done, I was home by 1p, the midday DR and some lunch.

I caught a couple hours sleep on the LR couch, took a wake-up walk around the condo complex with a two neighbors walking their little "yapper dogs", and got a call from Rite Aid that 4 of 5 Rxs were ready. After getting back home, I did the evening DR, had a light dinner, and spent some time reading on the back patio. I watched "Expedition Unknown" on Discovery until 11p, did the nightly DR, the pill regimen and unplugged for the night.

I slept-in until 9a on Sunday, and I easily could have slept thru until 12noon, but I had things to do. After the usual morning routines – smokes, coffee, DR, shower, pills – I started a load of laundry, and changed the 6yr-old Lithium-ion battery in my ancient 2014 Samsung Rugby 4 (AT&T) Flip Phone (CEL11032 Battery), and put it on-charge for a few hours. T-storms moved up to the York area, but we only got some light rain.

After my midday DR, I had a salmon, cream cheese and onion sandwich on rye, and watched some "American Pickers" reruns until the 3:30p NASCAR "The Real Heroes 400" Darlington Race came on FOX Sports. All the other motorsports venues I truly enjoy – F1, IndyCars, IMSA – are watching to see how this early opening goes for teams and NO FANS in the stands. Totally empty and silent racetrack, without spectators. Weird.

While the race was on for 4hrs, I did my evening DR and had a Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup for dinner, sending my BSL (Blood Sugar Level up 150pts! No more of that. I had to take a huge extra Lantus Insulin dose for my nightly DR, watched "Gold Rush: Dave Turin's Lost Mine" until 11:30p, and called it a day.

Up at 7:30a on Monday, I did the usual routines, had a short trip to Weis Market to p/u a few things. I had paperwork to do, after getting back, did the midday DR and lunch, and grabbed a 3hr nap. I always feel groggy for an hour or so, after waking-up in the afternoon, so I put the bill paying and paperwork aside, and watched "Expedition Unknown" on Discovery. By 6p, I'd done the evening DR and had dinner. Rite Aid pharmacy called and new insulin pens were finally in, so I'll get the tomorrow. I continued watching "EU" on TV until 11p, did the nightly DR and pill regimen, and called it quits.

Up at 8a on Tuesday, I went thru the usual DR and pill regimens, had coffee and breakfast, and checked the news and weather. After posting the "Chris Plante Show" (he's on vacation this week and we had another lousy sub host, I drove to Rite Aid after the noon DR and lunch, to p/u 2 expensive co-pay Rxs: Novolog® Insulin and Entresto® 87/103mg. After driving around for a while, enjoying the fresh air, I was back home by 2p, and had a 2hr snooze on the couch, while listening to the middling sub-host for the "Rush Show".

I had condo chores to do, and wanted to get to Sherry's Landscape Plan & Plant List, but am still thinking about it. Around 6:30p, I did the evening DR and had Waffles, Peas, Turkey & Gravy for dinner. I watched History's new series, "Lost Gold of World War II" and "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch" until ii, did the nightly DR, pill regimen and unplugged. I have a 10;30a dr's app't tomorrow.

RIP, Curtis.

Up at 6a on Wednesday, I tried going back to sleep until 7 or 8, but couldn't. After the usual morning routines and breakfast, I left for the nearby DIY Car Wash to clean the Jeep's exterior; I'll vacuum the inside after the Dyson Vac recharges and I get back from the Dr's app't. All that done, time for my midday DR and some lunch. I posted the "Rush Show" graphics for the weekly thread, grabbed a 3hr snooze on the couch (sub host on his show, too), and sat outside on my back patio, enjoying the upper-60s warm weather and gardens.

I got the evening DR and dinner over around 5p, because I was darned hungry, and watched 3-4hrs of Discovery's "Expedition Unknown", and an hour's worth of "Smalltown Throwdown" (weird) until 11p, and unplugged for the night.

Sleeping-in until 8:30a on Thursday, I had to hurry to get coffee going, have a smoke do my morning DR, and post the daily "Chris Plante Show" weekly thread, on FR. I had a few errands to run, work on Sherry's landscape plan, clean-out the garage and work in the garden for a while. After the midday DR and lunch, I had a nice snooze on the LR couch, but woke-up with some chest pain, so I took 3 nitroglycerine pills, and rested.

The pain disappeared, but I took it easy the rest of the day, did my evening DR and dinner, and watched Iron Resurrection, one of my favorite shows, until 10p, closed down the condo and unplugged for the night. Tomorrow starts another week here in the "Journal".

In My Opinion.


Answer me all of that guy's questions, and I'll be satisfied, instead of angry as hell!

If someone provided truthful answers, we'd have to round-up all the leftists, liberals, commies, fascists, socialists and anarchists, and KILL THEM ALL. I'd volunteer for that army.

The US Nuke Subs are on their way to China. I just wish it was PAYBACK for the bio-warfare they unleashed on US and the world.

A Pandemic "Crisis"? Compared To What?

I talked with a man today, an 80+ year old man.

I asked him if there was anything I can get him while this Coronavirus scare was gripping America. He simply smiled, looked away and said: “Let me tell you what I need:

I need to believe, at some point, this country my generation fought for, is worth it,
I need to believe this nation we handed safely to our children and their children,
I need to know this generation will quit being a bunch of sissies, that they respect what they’ve been given, that they’ve earned what others sacrificed for.”

I wasn’t sure where the conversation was going or if it was going anywhere at all. So, I sat there, quietly observing.

“You know, I was a little boy during WWII. Those were scary days. We didn’t know if we were going to be speaking English, German or Japanese at the end of the war. There was no certainty, no guarantees like Americans enjoy today. And no home went without sacrifice or loss.

Every house, up and down every street, had someone in harm’s way. Maybe their Daddy was a soldier, maybe their son was a sailor, maybe it was an uncle. Sometimes it was the whole damn family...fathers, sons, uncles... Having someone, you love, sent off to war...it wasn’t less frightening than it is today. It was scary as Hell. If anything, it was more frightening.

We didn’t have battle front news.
We didn’t have email or cellphones.
You sent them away and you hoped, you prayed. You may not hear from them for months, if ever. Sometimes a mother was getting her son’s letters the same day Dad was comforting her over their child’s death. And we sacrificed.

You couldn’t buy things. Everything was rationed. You were only allowed so much milk per month, only so much bread, toilet paper. EVERYTHING was restricted for the war effort. And what you weren’t using, what you didn’t need, things you threw away, they were saved and sorted for the war effort.

My generation was the original recycling movement in America.

And we had viruses back then, serious viruses. Things like polio, measles, and such. It was nothing to walk to school and pass a house or two that was quarantined.

We didn’t shut down our schools. We didn’t shut down our cities. We carried on, without masks, without hand sanitizer. And do you know what? We persevered. We overcame. We didn’t attack our President, we came together. We rallied around the flag for the war. Thick or thin, we were in it to win. And we would lose more boys in an hour of combat than we lose in entire wars today.”

He slowly looked away again. Maybe I saw a small tear in the corner of his eye.

Then he continued: “Today’s kids don’t know sacrifice. They think a sacrifice is not having coverage on their phone while they freely drive across the country.

Today’s kids are selfish and spoiled. In my generation, we looked out for our elders. We helped out with single moms who’s husbands were either at war or dead from war.

Today’s kids rush the store, buying everything they can, no concern for anyone but themselves. It’s shameful the way Americans behave these days. None of them deserve the sacrifices their granddads made.

So, no I don’t need anything. I appreciate your offer but, I know I’ve been through worse things than this virus. But maybe I should be asking you, what can I do to help you?

Do you have enough pop to get through this, enough steak? Will you be able to survive with 113 channels on your tv?”

I smiled, fighting back a tear of my own, now humbled by a man in his 80’s. All I could do was thank him for the history lesson, leave my number for emergency and leave with my ego firmly tucked in my rear.

I talked to a man today. A real man. An American man from an era long gone and forgotten. We will never understand the sacrifices. We will never fully earn their sacrifices. But we should work harder to learn about them, learn from them, to respect them.

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Hunan Flu Virus Realities.

Feeling confused as to why Coronavirus is a bigger deal than Seasonal flu? Here it is in a nutshell. I hope this helps. Feel free to share this to others who don’t understand.

It has to do with RNA sequencing, ie, genetics.

Seasonal flu is an “all human virus”. The DNA/RNA chains that make up the virus are recognized by the human immune system. This means that your body has some immunity to it before it comes around each year... you get immunity two ways, through exposure to a virus, or by getting a flu shot.

Novel viruses, come from animals, the WHO tracks novel viruses in animals, (sometimes for years watching for mutations). Usually these viruses only transfer from animal to animal (pigs in the case of H1N1) (birds in the case of the Spanish flu). But once, one of these animal viruses mutates, and starts to transfer from animals to humans, then it’s a problem, Why? Because we have no natural or acquired immunity.. the RNA sequencing of the genes inside the virus isn’t human, and the human immune system doesn’t recognize it so, we can’t fight it off.

The truth is that this virus originated in China. Worse, decisions by the Chinese communist regime after the virus appeared accelerated the problem. Like the malignant American media, the Chinese communists can’t help it either. Communism is a system built on lies. Keeping the shiny polish on the regime is more important than the truth. That’s why the Chinese communists downplayed the threat of the coronavirus for months. This is how communists behave.

Now, sometimes, the mutation only allows transfer from animal to human, for years it’s only transmission is from an infected animal to a human before it finally mutates so that it can now transfer human to human, once that happens, we have a new contagion phase. And depending on the fashion of this new mutation, thats what decides how contagious, or how deadly it’s gonna be.

H1N1 was deadly, but it did not mutate in a way that was as deadly as the Spanish flu. It’s RNA was slower to mutate and it attacked its host differently, too.

Fast forward.

Now, here comes this Coronavirus, it existed in animals only, for nobody knows how long, but one day, at an animal market, in Wuhan China, in December 2019, it mutated and made the jump from animal to people. At first, only animals could give it to a person. But here is the scary part: in just TWO WEEKS it mutated again and gained the ability to jump from human to human. Scientists call this quick ability, “slippery”.

This Coronavirus, not being in any form a “human” virus (whereas we would all have some natural or acquired immunity). Took off like a rocket. And this was because, Humans have no known immunity... doctors have no known medicines for it.

And it just so happens that this particular mutated animal virus, changed itself in such a way the way that it causes great damage to human lungs.

That’s why Coronavirus is different from seasonal flu, or H1N1 or any other type of influenza, this one is slippery AF. And it’s a lung eater. And, it’s already mutated AGAIN, so that we now have two strains to deal with, strain s, and strain L, which makes it twice as hard to develop a vaccine.

We really have no tools in our shed, with this. History has shown that fast and immediate closings of public places has helped in the past pandemics. Philadelphia and Baltimore were reluctant to close events in 1918 and they were the hardest hit in the US during the Spanish Flu.

Factoid: Henry VIII stayed in his room and allowed no one near him, till the Black Plague passed (honestly, I understand him so much better now). Just like us, he had no tools in his shed, except social isolation.

And let me end by saying, right now it’s hitting older folks harder, but this genome is so slippery, if it mutates again (and it will). Who is to say what it will do next.

Be smart, acting like you’re unafraid is so not sexy right now.

Stay home friends, and share this to those that just are not catching on.

The Official Human Chinese Flu Virus Numbers Are Total Bullshit.

Because the U.S. data on coronavirus infections are so deeply-flawed, the quantification of the outbreak obscures more than it illuminates.

We know, irrefutably, one thing about the coronavirus in the United States: The number of cases reported in every chart and table is far too low.

The data are untrustworthy because the processes we used to get them were flawed. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention’s testing procedures missed the bulk of the cases. They focused exclusively on travelers, rather than testing more broadly, because that seemed like the best way to catch cases entering the country.

Just days ago, it was not clear that the virus had spread solely from domestic contact at all. But then cases began popping up with no known international connection. What public-health experts call “community spread” had arrived in the United States. The virus would not be stopped by tight borders, because it was already propagating domestically. Trevor Bedford’s lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which studies viral evolution, concluded there is “firm evidence” that, at least in Washington State, the coronavirus had been spreading undetected for weeks. Now different projections estimate that 20 to 1,500 people have already been infected in the greater Seattle area. In California, too, the disease appears to be spreading, although the limited testing means that no one is quite sure how far.

In total, fewer than 500 people have been tested across the country (although the CDC has stopped reporting that number in its summary of the outbreak). As a result, the current “official” case count inside the United States stood at 43 as of this morning (excluding cruise-ship cases). This number is wrong, yet it’s still constantly printed and quoted. In other contexts, we’d call this what it is: a subtle form of misinformation.

This artificially low number means that for the past few weeks, we’ve seen massive state action abroad and only simmering unease domestically. While Chinese officials were enacting a world-historic containment effort—putting more than 700 million people under some kind of movement restriction, quarantining tens of millions of people, and placing others under new kinds of surveillance—and American public-health officials were staring at the writing on the wall that the disease was extremely likely to spread in the U.S., the public-health response was stuck in neutral. The case count in the U.S. was not increasing at all. Preparing for a sizable outbreak seemed absurd when there were fewer than 20 cases on American soil. Now we know that the disease was already spreading and that it was the U.S. response that was stalled.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials have been testing more than 10,000 people a day, driving up the country’s reported-case count. Same goes for Italy: high test rate, high number of cases. (Now some Italian politicians want to restrict testing.) In China, the official data say the country has more than 80,000 cases, but the real number might be far, far higher because of all the people who had mild(er) cases and were turned away from medical care, or never sought it in the first place. That may be cause for reassurance (though not everyone agrees), because the total number of cases is the denominator in the simple equation that yields a fatality rate: deaths divided by cases. More cases with the same number of deaths means that the disease is likely less deadly than the data show.

The point is that every country’s numbers are the result of a specific set of testing and accounting regimes. Everyone is cooking the data, one way or another. And yet, even though these inconsistencies are public and plain, people continue to rely on charts showing different numbers, with no indication that they are not all produced with the same rigor or vigor. This is bad. It encourages dangerous behavior such as cutting back testing to bring a country’s numbers down or slow-walking testing to keep a country’s numbers low.

The other problem is, now that the U.S. appears to be ramping up testing, the number of cases will grow quickly. Public-health officials are currently cautioning people not to worry as that happens, but it will be hard to disambiguate what proportion of the ballooning number of cases is the result of more testing and what proportion is from the actual spread of the virus.

People trust data. Numbers seem real. Charts have charismatic power. People believe what can be quantified. But data do not always accurately reflect the state of the world. Or as one scholar put it in a book title: “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron.

The reality gap between American numbers and American cases is wide. Regular citizens and decision makers cannot rely on only the numbers to make decisions. Sometimes quantification actually obscures as much as it reveals.

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