It’s Saturday morning, warmish & rainy in these parts. Yesterday I stood in line at Costco for a Black Friday buy. While there I tanked up at $1.569 per gallon. Drop it any further and they’ll pay in free fuel for me to shop there. Possibly I might prefer a payout in free coffee.

“If the freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter” ~ George Washington, 1783

“The First Amendment doesn’t exist to protect comfortable speech. It exists to protect uncomfortable speech.” ~ Matt Gaetz, lawyer & U.S. representative

Then, remember that the First Amendment isn’t only just a protection of personal and political freedoms, but it also protects Capitalism; the freedom to discover, build, manufacture, and market. Maybe the Congressional young’uns in ‘The Squad’ should learn that.

This week I was in a two-hour class (more on that in a bit), but was kept so busy with note-taking that I emptied my legal pad. With a 2CV it’s a never mind, “I’m covered.”

But first, here is your morning time-check. Of special interest to those who are familiar with the nearby town of Batavia. More frighteningly is the mention of Charleston, West Virginia; Marcia and my destination area in a little over a week. For now, just set your clock:

Trash Twitter, Fire Facebook, Gone Google! – was the title of my EmpowerU class mid-week. Two hours on Zoom. Fourteen speakers including 4 U.S. Representatives, a Judge, a TV Anchor, a Woman of the Year for Veteran Affairs, and a couple of professors, and others. All came together to discuss the aftermath of the Senate Hearing with the heads of the aforementioned Social Network companies.

Originally people jumped on board with these companies because all of this connectivity was ostensibly, FREE! Now we’re beginning to come to grips with the fact that, literally, keystroke by keystroke, they own everything about us. Now it’s gone even further as these companies silence and control ‘thought’ that’s not compatible with theirs; without any real pushback. I’ve had a couple of instances where, although perfectly accurate, my post had a “Fact Check” placed on it; nothing further, no debate, no discussion, just done by some faceless person or algorithm. It’s gotten so ridiculous that even communications by our President were pulled.

In my case, I am already in the process of porting away from Twitter (if interested two alternatives are MeWe and Parler). Facebook, is a bit more difficult, but I’m working on it and use it hardly at all; also, it owns Instagram. Google has its tentacles in almost everything. It’s a slow switch; my search engine is already DuckDuckGo and no longer Google.

Our City ‘Clowncil’ – consists of nine members. Early summer one member was arrested for conducting a ‘Pay-to-Play’ scheme and she’ll be sentenced this coming Tuesday. Two weeks ago, the FBI nabbed another one (his home is 1 ½ blocks from our place – now up for sale). Thursday a third was picked up by the FBI (it was widely assumed he’s be the next mayor). Now, rumor has it that the ‘shoe’ might drop again. The way it’s going we’ll be the first city in the nation with a city council having a quorum in Sing Sing. We should be very proud.

Blue Wave – Really didn’t materialize. Not getting into it, I just wanted to show you a photo of two new members of the 117th Congress; the youngest GOP woman and the youngest GOP man. There is a future.

Masks – like most of you I live in a state headed up by a Governor who acts as a unilateral tyrant. This is not a Dem vs. Rep thing, ours, DeWine is Republican, and as bad as a Mayor de Blasio, Governor Newsom or a Whitmer, and others with their ‘do as I say and not as I do’ edicts.

Their nonsensical fiats on how to celebrate Thanksgiving or a funeral service are bad enough. And, luckily the courts have gotten involved. However, what is even worse is what these “little Kings’ have done to our school kids by moving them to ‘on-line learning’.

In New York a study showed that testing over 140,000 students the case rate among children was 8 per 100,000, and among staff 12 per 100,000, still lower than the community rate of 13.

The Dutch government conducted a large study of 44,000 teachers after schools were reopened last May. They found those teachers had a cumulative infection rate of just 0.7%, much lower “than the total of 2.0% of the over 940,000 adults tested in the test lanes in the same period.”
When will these clowns follow “the Science?”

There are others who have it right. For example South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem who on the subject of masks said; “here in South Dakota we’re focusing on solutions that DO good, not on responses that FEEL good”.

Fini – Sadly, on one of my afternoon walks I spotted this scene curbside. It appears that ‘Billy-Bass’ from our lake up north missed us this summer and tied to visit us. He didn’t make it. Damn ‘Rona’.

On November 21, 1980, 350 million people tuned in to television’s popular primetime drama “Dallas” to find out who shot J.R. Ewing. I remember that I skipped it; on purpose. I was a cantankerous contrarian even way back then.

For my ‘vinylphobe’ brother; on this day way back in 1877 Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph, a method to record and play back sound. As an aside, it was an invention he stumbled on.

And, aren’t we all glad that the phonograph was invented so that we can still enjoy a glorious voice? For, this day in 1934, a very young gal by the name of Ella Fitzgerald stood on stage at the Harlem’s Apollo Theater on Amateur night. A scary proposition, especially since her name was drawn, per chance, out of a hat. She won!

Just yesterday I wanted to be out for some warm evening air. Then I panicked that should I misread my watch and not get back inside by 9:59PM before the 10:00PM curfew I’d catch ‘the bug’. So I stayed inside where I’d be SAFE.

The attorney who reached a multimillion dollar multimillion-dollar defamation lawsuit settlement with CNN for the Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann puts today’s happenings into perspective:

“Life on Earth is 1 grain of sand. Eternity is every grain of sand above and below the water of every ocean of the world
Focus on the long term.”
~ Lin Wood

Last. Here is what I stood in line for yesterday at Costco. Not included in the photo are the ‘impulse’ purchases Marcia waits for with trepidation.

Make it great week, keep the peace, stay safe, and be healthy!

Dirk

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