Archive for February, 2021

Side by Side
02 27th, 2021

Hey, it’s Saturday morning – the sun will come out, the temperature should climb to near 60, and it’s dry….I am HAPPY!
Now, coffee, and then a quick start on The Ramblings.

Excited about Zoom – Actually two differing Zoom sessions. First is the ‘Brothers Zoom’ (NOT to be confused with ‘Brothers Grim’), where under the expert guidance of athlete sis-in-law Jolene we’re doing 45-minutes or so of demanding stretching and exercises. I am emphasizing the ‘stressful’ portion since we’re using floor exercises, stretch-belts, and a pair of 10Lb weights. Sweat is part of this twice a week event.

Then, this coming Tuesday I’ll Zoom to connect for a class with Empower U. That evening it’ll be National Security Affairs Professor Stephen Knott, who holds this post at the United States Naval War College. He will present material from his book Alexander Hamilton and the Persistence of Myth; Secret and Sanctioned. We’ll examine the impact of Alexander Hamilton on the founding of the United States. I do know that Hamilton fighting alongside Washington became appalled by the inefficiency of the government under the Articles of Confederation and by the reluctance of the states to contribute to the war effort; now I look forward to Knott’s insights. Should be one fine session!

On the subject of learning. During an earlier session I shared a question which must have prompted something. A week ago, totally unexpected, I received from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University a book; 50 Core American Documents. It’s almost a study guide and I love it. Actually, I love learning!   

If you want your very own copy text me and I’ll organize

Title IX – On occasion I receive differing historical input from a Brazilian lady, Marina Amaral. She shared a photo of this mosaic of Roman women playing sports and exercising. It’s an amazing floor mosaic from a Villa Romana del Casale in Sicili from early in the 4th century.

Now that women are losing the ability to have their own venue to excel (as we believed was guaranteed in Title IX), I thought it appropriate to show just how it’s taken 1600 years to come to the conclusion that women must be subservient to men. Hence, on day one of our newly installed ‘progressive’ administration it was not Covid that took center stage. Covid can now only be considered a faux pandemic since it was immediately put on hold; No, the most critical piece of business that first day was an Executive Order granting males full access to women’s private spaces and sports.

Side by Side The other day picking up Vili after school I took special note of the marble bench placed under the flag pole. It honors Lieutenants John Leahr and Herb Heilbrun. Both grew up in our neighborhood, in 1928 both attended this school and were in the same 3rd grade class, both became pilots in WWII, (one flying bombers, the other covered the bombers flying a Tuskegee Red Tail P51 – they flew Side by Side); one was White the other Black. [as an aside, I’ve had the privilege meeting and talking with both of these men, these two fast friends were out-and-out heroes]

We live in a multi-racial part of the city and the Block parties and socials fun events have always had everyone interacting. Fast forward, our kids and then the Cincinnati grand-kids attended this same (now) Montessori focused Public School. During the time that our kids went there our kids mixed, studied, played, and hung together. They made friends, black and white, as kids do. Color played no part. Finally, and similarly throughout our nation, it seemed to be that the end of any vestiges of the Jim Crow era had finally come.

What I am seeing now is a change that started a few decades ago, and it’s frightening. We’re watching ‘silos’ of isolation and thereby segregation being formed – Black Americans wanting separate dorms and their own graduations as example. Our neighborhood views itself as absolutely “Progressive”, yet what I see is property upon property Virtue Signaling as they form one little separatist island after another complete with yard placards filled with glowing platitudes. I suspect that the idea is that without these signs one cannot move about or feel safe.

Now it’s the raising of the ugly head of ‘Identity Politics’ which has similarly emerged. Whatever spin is put on, this it’s racism, pure and simple. As a ‘lifelong liberal’ Smith College staff member Jody Shaw, a Whistleblower said; “This is the essence of critical race theory. In order to make “progress” in “combating racism,” everyone is reduced to a stick figure.” All of this dark bigotry and racism has crept into Schools, government, and corporate America all under the guise of preventing racism – such malarkey.

Taking it even a step further, Thursday the ‘Equality Act’ passed the House, and the detail in it is frightening – you should read sections of it.

” You can be sure anything that comes out of D.C. does the opposite of its name.” Christopher Bedford, The Federalist, February 25, 2021

Someone smarter than me has noted that; “slowly we inch to the abyss”.

Fini – Wednesday Dinah is celebrating her Birthday. It would appear that later today we’ll be at a proper outdoors venue to celebrate as a family.

This month 20 years ago, February 2001, Al Gore made an amazing prediction. He stated flat out that by 2021 we would all be dead due to Global Warming. Whoops, sorry Al, still here.

Once we pass and burden future generations with another $1.9-trillion debt, ostensibly required to fight the hardships and needs of Covid-19, remember that merely 9% is focused on dealing with Covid-19. Really think that this bill, the COVID-19 relief bill, is all about Covid-19 assistance? It might be a good time to give your Representative some serious input. Here is a portion of the Bill’s text.

This morning it is the 348th day since the 15-day shutdown to “Flatten the curve” began. To celebrate this ‘near’ anniversary, last evening Marcia and I went out for some craft beer and Lenten-based Fish & Chips. It was our “Friday-F-the-Mask night” at the local pub; seems like a few others had the same idea.

   

Now that another birthday came and went I am treading new turf; ‘entering a new era’ so to say. To some I am now a “wise elder sage”, while to others I am now merely a “tottering old fool”. Personally I think it is a little of both.

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

Dirk



I hope that this Saturday morning finds you well. Other than a cold morning, I slept well enough to get a late start on this week’s ‘Ramblings’ – it’s not quite 6:30. Having said that, Mr. Coffee just ‘beeped’ so the day has begun.

“ Talent returned to God.” ~ Mark Steyn who adjusted Rush Limbaugh’s popular tag line, “Talent on loan from God, in his memorial post on the passing of Limbaugh

The Title – The title of this morning’s post, “What If We Ignore the Government?” is a direct copy the title of an article written by Judge Andrew P. Napolitano, a former judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey and the senior judicial analyst at Fox News Channel.

The article is a series of ‘What ifs’. “What if when government fails to protect inalienable rights, we simply ignore it?”
“What if we have other inalienable rights such as the freedom of speech, the right to assemble peacefully, the right to worship, the right to travel and to self-defense, the right to fairness from the government, the right to take chances, the right to own and enjoy property, and the right to be left alone?”
“What if government workers join in a massive civil disobedience of local and state rules governing personal behavior on private property? What if the governors who have been controlling us realize that they have no real support and thus have become toothless?”
“What if we ignore the government at our peril? What if when government tramples our rights, we alter or abolish it? What if the time to do that is coming? What if that time is here? What if — as Jefferson wrote — when the people fear the government there is tyranny? What if when the government fears the people, there is liberty?”

Yesterday was the first day back at school for Vili, and I was asked to pick him up. Let me also say that for the past year I’ve only worn a mask occasionally to gain entry to a store and such – hence I lack any muscle memory grabbing the thing. So, yesterday I skipped the few blocks to the school, and joined a throng (mostly grandparents) trying to spot what’s theirs. That’s when I realized I seemed to be the only one not wearing a mask. That’s when the wise musings of Judge Napolitano flashed by as a pang of ‘guilt’ struck home; Lord Fauci and our very own Governor, ‘Whiney de Wine’, had done their jobs well. And, you know what? No one said a thing. It was exactly what I remember from past years, a smile of recognition and a skip home with a happy kid.

Surgery 2021 – Brother George had surgery on his spine mid-week; a procedure which a decade ago would have had him hospitalized for most of a week (or more). But, times have changed.

The procedure took a couple of hours. Recovery took a couple of hours. And, he walked out of the hospital. Part of the recovery process is that he was to walk about the house at least once an hour. The photo shows his progress yesterday, the second day after surgery. George had not seen numbers such as those for the past three years. He’s thrilled. Sandy is thrilled. I am thrilled; as is the rest of the family. Amazing!

When the weather has you locked in – then I’ve discovered ways to find things that please. I had been listening to Canadian radio and my favorite music show hosted by guitarist Randy Bachman. The show had a number of pieces performed as duet by people who had gotten together when normally you wouldn’t think of them as a pair; think Willie Nelson singing with Ray Charles as an example.

After the show, Marcia sound asleep, I stayed up and explored by taking it a step further. Remember Freddie Mercury of Queen? Mercury, singing songs such as, ‘Radio Ga Ga’, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls‘, and ‘We are the Champions‘, while prancing about the stage in a sleeveless undershirt and skin-tight jeans, that’s who. That’s when I came across a duet of Mercury with opera singer Montserrat Caballé singing his ‘Barcelona’. The duet is amazing and the piece a triumph. Enjoy!

Fini – Thought with the people of Texas and their weather difficulties. Kirstin had frozen pipes and through a number of phone conversations and a series of texts complete with photos she came through unscathed. Also, there is a Hospital less than a block away and her home is on that ‘grid’, hence, she never lost power.

The ‘Nati’ has never been competent in snow removal and road clearing. In fact, it sucks! On a walk when I got to the place in the street where the Cincinnati boundary ends and St. Bernard starts up. Guess which place starts and which stops.

The few times I’ve been through Bristol it’s seemed like many small Appalachian towns. These days it’s seen as being a bit different; a more compact version of Cincinnati, OH ~ Covington, KY. See, rather than a river separating each, one side of Main Street Bristol is in Virginia and the other in Tennessee. And in Virginia bars and restaurants have to close by ten O’clock. On the Tennessee side they can stay open till 2:00AM. The whole business is, as some wag has said, a perfect metaphor of covid absurdity.

Here is another reason not to send your kids to an Ivy League school. Many tens of thousands of dollars dumped into some black hole to achieve what? This kind of absolute nonsense is what: Harvard researchers claim COVID-19 wouldn’t have been so bad if US paid reparations.

Last long weekend part of our local gang went into the hill country of South-East Ohio for a few days away; a few days to get out of town for some restoration. Well done, mission accomplished.

Careful wording is critical. This signage on a dumpster is motivating.

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

Dirk



After an enjoyable week, I’ll wish you much contentment this Saturday morning. Here our week had Mother Nature give us a blast of winter; like nothing seen for over a decade. Currently she’s taking a breath, then to return for most of next week – with a vengeance. Or so they say.

Monday into Tuesday predictions are for 12” of more snow. But then, last week’s 10” snowfall was supposed to be a 2” to 3” event. So here we are, our supercharged weather teams making note of some “pressure system” off of the far corner of Australia. Then, weaponized with cameras on satellites, the ‘tracking’ and ‘analysis’ begins; multi colored charts emerge on TV screens, complete with a myriad of lines. At that juncture, the whole thing proves to be dead wrong.

I’ll continue to trust St. Bernie as my predictor. Snow at his feet; then it’s cold. Grass at his feet; then it’s tolerable. His shadow also plays a part, I just haven’t figured out that part. Coffee anyone?

Last week I did mention forthcoming birthdays. Well, they’re still forthcoming, but I’m starting to take note, especially since I’ll be involved. In the meantime I thought I’d share this truism:

“After turning 35, men must make a decision; to either get really into World War 2 history, or really into smoking various meats.” ~ Anonymous

I opt for both!

The focus on aging (a pun that is related to smoking meats and therefore is intended) dictates that I share this short video, especially since the ‘aging’ thing played such a part in last weekend’s Super Bowl. Enjoy!

Political Theater (of the Absurd) – is so rampant all around us that it’s actually becoming difficult to see what’s ‘up’ and what’s ‘down’, what’s ’white and what’s ‘black’.

To illustrate:
• Lord Fauci praised Cuomo as he lied to the Feds about his nursing home victims. Cuomo gets a literary prize.
• House Managers were caught using fake ‘evidence’ at the impeachment trial.
• Biden halted Deportation flight of African Criminals because it’s Black History month.
• Trump accomplished a breakthrough Peace accord in the Middle East – the Abraham Accords – BLM gets nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Changes in Masking; Biden’s “100 days of Masking” has now it’s become indefinite. Add to that, wearing masks inside, wearing multiple masks.
• At Davis, Russia’s Putin spoke; the “future course for the western economies is obvious – one only has to observe the return of (former Fed head) Janet Yellen to the U.S. Treasury; of (former IMF head) Christine Lagarde to the ECB and (former ECB head) Mario Draghi as PM in Italy, to understand that a full blown ‘reflation trade’ is underway”.
• Lockdowns continue even though a study in Frontiers in Public Health on the data delivered by 160 countries has found no correlation between death rate and stringency of lockdown measures. These continue even though horrible damage occurs with the separation/isolation of human beings through the application of masks, distance maintenance between people, stay-at-home orders and business closures. Yet, slowly we march on down that path – worldwide.
Women’s sports took it on the chin when our new administration thought it important enough to, on their first day, allow males to compete wherever they wanted.
• Originally touted as the new “Town Square” public debate has been silenced by our wave of big Tech overlords; Facebook, Google, Twitter. Competitors have been silenced, even a President silenced. Disney pushed aside one of their biggest stars, pushed aside for ‘daring’ to present her heartfelt viewpoint.
• April of last year that CNN claimed that a year and a half timeframe of producing a vaccine would raise safety concerns: “Eighteen months might sound like a long time, but in vaccine years, it’s a blink”. Glossed over is the fact that these vaccines have been released as ‘Experimental’ and any problems have been glossed over. Now, with coronavirus variants emerging the problems are mounting:

  • the Chinese vaccine Sinovac has been found to be only fifty percent effective in Brazil.
  • South Africa suspended use of the coronavirus vaccine being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca after researchers found that it provided ‘minimal protection’ against mild to moderate coronavirus infections caused by the new variant – 10% effective.
  • A number of countries hundreds of elderly people died after having received their shots. This side effect became so troublesome that some governments – Norway, for instance – has issued new advisories and guidelines concerning vaccinations for older individuals.

• Try crossing the border into Canada (and it’s been suggested by the Feds to do the same for passage into Florida) and we get quarantined for two weeks in a hotel – at our own expense. Yet, do the same by crossing illegally at the southern border and with virtually no questions asked get put up in a hotel at taxpayer expense, then released.

Much of what we’re experiencing has not been seen since the time of the Spanish Inquisition when, then expressing a differing viewpoint or failure to comply would see you burned on a stake.

Fini – Today in 1936 the very first Social Security check was put into the mail. This was not very long after when it was still possible to place a stamp on your kid and mail him off to Grandma’s home.

Earlier, on this date in 1633 Italian Philosopher, astronomer, and mathematician Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face charges of heresy for advocating the Copernican theory, which holds that the Earth revolves around the Sun.

This past week, Good News! The World Health Organization (WHO) conducted an internal investigation and they’ve cleared the CCP of any blame in the coronavirus outbreak. As Professor Saad added; “Also the ‘Himmler Appreciation Society’ has cleared the Nazis of links to the Holocaust”.

One more piece of insight, this by Mike Cassiop; “I am old enough to remember when closing schools for one school day was considered a difficult decision due to loss of a day of education and students missing lunch/parents having to miss work. But I guess missing 1.5 years is OK when fear and hysteria rule the heart and mind.

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

Dirk


Tuba Skinny
02 6th, 2021


Happy Saturday on this week after the full ‘Wolf’ moon. February in these parts is the coldest and darkest time of the year. The news reported that for the first time this 2021, in every State people woke up to frost. This truly is the month of the ‘blahs’, of feeling funky. Hence these very special morning Ramblings.

“Music is a means of communication, of connection” ~ Simon Gronowski

This morning it’s not just to erase the ‘blahs’, but much, much, more. Later in the month it’s grandson Derek, our “Mr. Tuba”, who’s celebrating a ‘breakthrough’ birthday – this special Ramblings is for him. Follow that by a day and it will be mine, mine will be the year prior to one of those ‘blowout’ birthdays. Because of that, I want to introduce you to a gentleman who teaches us all how to age with grace and joy – this special Ramblings is for me.

If you’ve ever heard of Simon Gronowski it’s probably because of a New York Times article. The article talks about the fact that Gronowski, during the height of the Covid lockdown in Brussels (his home country is Belgium) Gronowski would throw open his front window and play his favorite music into the neighborhood –shortly this became a thing. Did I mention that he is a pianist and absolutely loves New Orleans style Jazz? 

Gronowski, a Holocaust survivor, mentioned in the NYT interview that it’s been his wish to someday sit in with the band Tuba Skinny. And quoting Shaye Cohn, the de facto leader of the band; “with a little help from some friends, including our technical advisor, Russell Welch, we were able to collaborate from afar”.

So, this morning’s Ramblings are written to give you a bunch of pleasure, happiness, and especially lots of Joy!

This special Ramblings is for you all.

Now, ease back, grab a hot mug of coffee, put your feet up and listen to this concert by Tuba Skinny, If you can, port it onto a Big Screen and possibly a sound bar – in any case pump up the sound. Also, do read the footnotes underneath.

A) Shaye Cohn, Cornet, and as the nominal lead she counts off the tunes and cues. Watch how cleverly she cues the solos for the remote musicians.

B) Erika Lewis, has been the outstanding vocals (and percussion) for the band. She moved to Nashville to prepare a solo album and there required Thyroid surgery (success!). She managed to link in. Since her songs from yesteryear are right in Gronowki’s ‘wheelhouse’ her rejoining the band was Huge!

C) Simon Gronowski was a youngster when he and his older sister Ita and mother, Chana Gronowski, were rounded up by the Nazis and herded aboard convoy train #20 for Auschwitz-Birkenhau. This train was special in that it halted shortly after departure by some resistance fighters. During the chaos a large number of deportees aboard managed to escape. In an act of love, as the train began to move again his mother urged young Simon to jump out and run. He escaped deportation that fateful day, April 19, 1944. His mother and sister stayed and didn’t make it. Gronowski became a Dr. of Law and a Jazz pianist. He taught himself to play piano to honor his sister who played piano.

D) Stay to the end of the concert and listen to the interview of Gronowski and his translator — his grandson.

E) Do yourself a favor and read the New York Times article mentioned earlier.

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

Dirk