Ilhan Omar: No Foreign Affairs Committee Seat

In the wake of the Republican Party gaining a majority in the US House of Representatives, committee assignments became subject to the will of the Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy.

Some members of the Democrat Party who are especially frowned upon by Republicans have, for various reasons, been stripped of certain committee assignments. These notably include Eric Swalwell, who was removed from the Intelligence Committee due to his past intimate association with a suspected Chinese spy. Since the Intelligence Committee has special access to classified information, it appears that Mr. Swalwell might not be eligible for a security classification. Thus is seems reasonable to keep him away from sensitive information. Naturally, the Democrats disagree.

But the Democrats have taken a special level of umbrage towards the exclusion of Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee. The exclusion was upheld in a largely party line vote, and so she is off that committee. One of the reasons for her exclusion was past anti-Semitic and anti-Israel remarks. “But wait!” the Democrats cry, “she isn’t all that bad!” Apparently they believe that her remarks didn’t cross a line — although I’d like to know where they set that line.

While not, strictly speaking, a Democrat Party shill, the news organization called The Intercept, agrees that Omar hasn’t been egregious enough. In a recent email broadcast to subscribers they wrote:

“For years, Republicans made spurious allegations of antisemitism against Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticisms of Israel — and Democrats joined in.”


“[S]purious allegations”? Hmmm. I don’t know what playbook The Intercept is working from, but it sure seemed to me that Omar definitely holds prejudicial views against both Jews and Israel.

The Intercept characterizes Omar’s remarks that resulted in her removal from the committee as insufficient, and intimates that she was doing us all a favor for pointing out that Israel doesn’t treat some Palenstinians nicely (you know, those folks who carry out deadly terror attacks on Israel?), and who maintain lobbying organizations in the US — like every other special-interest group in the world?

Well, anyway, in case you haven’t noticed, Israel is the only country in the Middle East which has a pluralistic society, where both Muslim and Jewish citizens have equal rights, and women are likewise treated equally. But who cares about that, right?

There should be questions raised about Omar’s suitability for the Foreign Affairs committee when for one thing the nation of Israel won’t let her visit because of her support for anti-Israel actions. Since Israel is an important US ally and Foreign Affairs committee members should be able to visit foreign countries the US has a relationship with, it makes sense to exclude her from that committee.

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The New Hitler? No, the New Stalin.

Vladimir Putin

Who is this man? He’s the President of Russia, and he has blood on his hands. How much blood? And whose?

Whatever he was before his rise to political ascendancy in Russia, over the past month or so he has added yet more blood to his scorecard. Nobody can say how much blood, exactly, since the disorder caused by his actions in Ukraine is still too great, and the different sides have different estimates. But so far, at least 10,000 Russian, 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers, and 7,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed in battle. In addition to this, 4 million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine, and 6.5 million have abandoned their homes in Ukraine. Russian forces have devastated the countryside and the cities, with many cities looking like they had been pulverized by the kind of mass bombardment that occurred in World War II. So the blood of nearly 20,000 people is on his hands.

And why has he done this? Like Hitler, Putin has basically manufactured largely fictional justifications for the invasion. Like Hitler, he has justified his actions because of supposed persecution of the Russian-speaking minority in Ukraine by the Ukrainians. And then there is the supposed Nazis in Ukraine. Led by that stinking Jewish Nazi Ukrainian president Zelenskiy… Wait, what? Yep, you heard correctly. Jews are now Nazis!

But whatever other fictional justifications Putin might have, the real reason for the invasion is the recently-discovered oil under Ukraine.

So, this war appears to have more in common with Hitler’s invasion of Russia in 1941. Hitler’s invasion was sparked by the need the Nazis had for the oil in the Caucasus mountains. Putin is even using the same kind of justifications that Hitler gave for invading Poland: thesupposed mistreatment of ethnic Germans in Poland.

But you couldn’t call him Hitler. I think he’s more like Stalin. He might even like that comparison.

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A Southern Man Don’t Need Him Around…

Neil Young demands to be removed from Spotify

…and Spotify has obliged him!

In the realm of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face, Neil Young has succeeded in having his music removed from the online streaming platform Spotify. It wasn’t hard to do, and Spotify did it right away, saying he’s welcome back anytime.

If you’re not familiar with the singer Neil Young, this won’t matter much to you. I know about him, and would recognize much of his music, but it doesn’t matter much to me, since I don’t listen to Young preferentially. His back catalog has some good songs in it, but if he stopped producing music I wouldn’t care.

Why did Young make this odd demand? Because the podcaster Joe Rogan, also on Spotify, has had a number of persons on his program that the Left doesn’t like, who say things that the Left hates, and how dare Joe Rogan permit actual, real, honest free speech! That, like many other things, is intolerable to the Left. And Young gave Spotify an ultimatum: Joe Rogen goes, or I do. Spotify told him don’t let the screen door hit you on the way out. In a kind way, of course.

I hope Neil Young stays off Spotify and never returns. And not that I was buying any of his music anyway, but I will be sure to continue to not do so in the future. Not because he is a Lefty, nor because I don’t care for his music, but because he is an intolerant buffoon.

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Trump Fans and Foes : Mirror Images

I have no illusions about Donald Trump as now former President of the United States. I pretty much liked his policies while cringing nearly every time he spoke in public. I wanted some other Republican to be President. I really liked Marco Rubio, but sigh, it wasn’t to be.

I definitely recognize that Trump has a coterie of followers who are “true believers”. Nothing he does or says elicits disapproval from them. They are fan-boys. But I also recognize there he has a coterie of “implacable foes”. Nothing he does or says elicits approval from them. Both groups are very catholic in their viewpoints. And neither side recognizes the other side as their mirror twins.

There is a news organization calling itself “The Intercept”. I’m not sure what they are intercepting, but it is very clear that they are solidly left-leaning. In the interest of hearing all sides of issues, I subscribe to their email reports. Today there was a particular report in the periodic newsletter, and it dealt with the Trump fans. The headline went like this:

I Tried to Make Claims About Election Fraud So Preposterous Trump Fans Wouldn’t Believe Me. It Was Impossible.

I’m not going to reproduce the article here, you can go look at it yourself, if you’re interested. Just click on the headline above.

The point I have to make is that The Intercept may not recognize that there is an inverse community of people for whom the statement:

I Tried to Make Absurd Claims About Trump’s Perfidy So Preposterous Trump Foes Wouldn’t Believe Me. It Was Impossible.

would be equally true.

I’ll let someone else try that experiment, but I’ve seen them. I’m personally acquainted with some of them. One man, whom I have known online for many years on a particular discussion forum not dealing with politics (I’ve never actually met him), seems to believe literally everything and anything negative that has ever been said about Trump. Whenever the topic comes up, he simply cannot converse normally about Trump. Trump is evil incarnate. Trump has never ever done anything good. Besides his unreasoning hatred of Trump, this man is good and thoughtful.

And he’s not the only one. Another man whom I am similarly acquainted with online, once excoriated me as a racist because in an online communal rant he started about Trump being a racist (this was on Facebook), I dared to post something that had nothing to do with Trump’s racism. One of this gent’s sycophants wrote something that was factually incorrect (again, nothing to do with Trump, particularly), and I simply called out the incorrect information.

That made me a racist. Because I failed to call Trump a racist. After I gave up trying to defend myself on his timeline, this man followed me to my own timeline to accuse me of racism!

It actually reminded me of the annual “Hate Week” in the classic novel 1984. Except that Trump Hatred is year-round. As is Trump Love, clearly.

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Blackridge Capital Associates: a Scam

A couple of weeks ago I got a mysterious phone call. The caller was asking for Roger, my wife’s late husband, so I told the guy that he was deceased. I told him that I was married to his widow. He then started telling me about some shares that he owned that they wanted to buy. Knowing nothing about any such thing, I told him to send an offer through the post, and we’d consider it after talking with our attorney. We don’t have an attorney, but it seemed like a good thing to say. Frankly, it sounded a bit “off” in the first place. Why would they continue talking with someone about a business matter who had just denied being the person they wanted to talk with? I hung up figured that if it meant anything we’d eventually hear more. I told my wife about it, but she wasn’t sure about shares in any company. So, never mind.

And then late last week we got another call, and my wife talked with the caller (while I listened in). The caller claimed to be with some investment services firm called “Blackridge Capital Associates” that was working with another firm that was working on a hostile takeover of Arriva plc, a UK transportation company (“plc” is a UK business entity type and stands for “public limited company” and is kind of like “LLC”, but not quite). This company was trying to buy as many shares of Arriva’s stock as they could, said some shares were owned by Roger, and this was the purpose of the call. Before proceeding further, they wanted Wendy to sign a non-disclosure agreement. They sent an NDA form to Wendy via email and requested her to sign and return it before they would discuss the offer further.

My wife didn’t remember if Roger had owned stock in Arriva, so called her sister,as she had been the estate executor, to see what she knew. It turns out that he did own stock in Arriva plc. As his estate executor, Sally had Roger’s stock certificates which he had bought back in 1998, and he had purchased about 800 shares. The potential offer for the shares was between 30 to 40 pounds, which would yield at least £24,000. Nice! The caller had, however, briefly mentioned the need to purchase an insurance bond. It was “Refundable,” the caller said. That was a caution flag. We were suspicious, but hopeful. Her sister and I wanted her to hold off for a bit while we checked this out further, but she decided to sign the NDA and send it back immediately, as they requested. Just in case this was legitimate — she didn’t want to miss a chance at selling the shares.

I then did a little research on Arriva. It turns out that Arriva had been bought out by Deutsche Bahn (DB), the German national railway, in 2010. Its until then publicly-traded stock was at that time delisted from the European stock exchanges. DB had in fact been trying to sell its ownership in Arriva, and had almost done so in 2019 — but doubts surrounding Brexit had caused that to be suspended. The question that immediately occured to me was “How can someone do a hostile takeover of a wholly-owned subsidiary?” The definition of being a wholly-owned subsidiary is that the majority of one’s shares are owned by the company one is subsidiary to! So how could someone find enough loose shares to overcome this?

I decided to research this “Blackridge Capital Associates” outfit. Their web URL could be deduced from the email address they were using, and their website looked kind of legit. The verbiage was well-worded, it seemed to describe what they seemed to be on about, but it was a bit too generic. A check of their code-behind indicated that they were using a generic contact management system, the kind that might be offered by one of those web hosters that you can sign up with for just a few bucks a month.

There were also suspicious omissions. Nothing about who ran the company, the kind of business entity it was, or any kind of business associations it might be part of (e.g. BBB). I then checked for NY state business entity registration in the Secretary of State’s database. There were a couple of similarly named outfits, but their own name was absent. They said they were a globally recognized firm, but a Bing search of their name yielded one and only one hit — and that was to their own website! And how long had the domain name existed? A WhoIs search revealed that the domain name had been registered on 29 May 2021. Finally, a check of the Wayback Machine (the Internet Archive) showed that their website was first archived on 2 June 2021.

What are they trying to scam us out of? The advance payment was revealed to be 15% of the value of the shares they allegedly want to buy. 15% of £56,000 is £8,400. That is what they are after from us.

An additional check I was able to make was due to them giving us a “share verification” document supposedly originating from Euroclear, a Belgium-based financial services company that specializes in the settlement of securities transactions. I contacted Euroclear’s fraud department and I received this response:

Euroclear UK & Ireland Limited can confirm this letter is not authentic, has not been sent by us, or with our knowledge or approval. To this end, as you suspected, our logo has been used fraudulently. … This ‘Share Verification scam’ is a repeat instance of a potential fraud event we have seen before which has been reported to Action Fraud UK.

The purported source of the letter Blackridge Capital Associates does not appear on the Financial Conduct Authorities list of recognised firms.  The website does provide additional advice on how to protect yourself and a link to report any unauthorised firms.

In order to help others who may be being scammed by Blackridge Capital Associates, I have registered a domain name,, and set up a website to tell those who do a web search that they are being scammed. The scam company’s own website may not last long on the internet, so my own “shadow page” will not last much longer than theirs does. But for the moment, it will hopefully be of some help to some people.

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The Battle of Kassel from German Eyes

Recently I was reading a random article on Wikipedia about the World War II battle in which American troops captured the city of Kassel in Germany. The Battle of Kassel occurred just a few weeks before the end of the war, and was fought between the American 80th Infantry division under the command of Major General Horace McBride, and a cobbled together force of second-line German troops led by Major General Johannes Erxleben.

In the infinite wisdom of the Nazi high command, the city of Kassel was declared a “fortress” city. As such, it was to be defended to the last, and its commander was forbidden to surrender. What the German commander had left to defend the city with was pathetically inadequate, but to his men’s credit they fought admirably and bravely for three days before their commander bowed to the futility of further resistance and surrendered.

The story of this battle rather intrigued me and I decided to dig into the web in order to find more about what happened. I managed to hit paydirt in the form of an account by the officer that General Erxleben sent to negotiate the surrender with General McBride. Apparently, the officer, Dirk Uhse, who was Erxleben’s adjutant and probably a captain, was to negotiate either a ceasefire to allow civilians to flee, or permission for the German force to withdraw from the city. This was to be an attempt to save either the city or at least the city’s people, from destruction.

I found this on a website devoted to celebrate Kassel’s 1,100 years of history. This account can be found on this page: Die Kapitulation der “Festung Kassel” am 4. April 1945 vor dem Weinbergbunker.

Here follows my translation of Captain Uhse’s German-language account:

The surrender of “Kassel Fortress” on April 4, 1945 in front of the Weinberg bunker
by Dirk Uhse

In mid-March 1945, through a series of coincidences that were so common in military life, I was assigned to the staff of the commandant of Kassel. As an intelligence, legal and orderly officer, I was a kind of “man Friday”. The commandant was Major General Johannes Erzleben, an active-duty officer in the intelligence troops. His being assigned to his home country was due to a war injury that obviously and severely handicapped him. Regardless, as far as I could tell, he tried to the best of his ability to fulfill his difficult and most thankless position as well as possible. Particularly noteworthy is his endeavor to spare the heavily afflicted civilian population all avoidable inconveniences. Unfortunately, his reputation in Kassel was tarnished by the fact that immediately before the surrender he accidentally shot a man whom he thought was a looter. But this act, too, was ultimately due to his constant concern that the civilian population could be endangered or harmed by riots.

His staff consisted largely of older officers who had been relieved from active service for various reasons I cannot go into here.The majority of these officers, however, had always done their often difficult duty. I consider it my duty to expressly acknowledge this. The main task of the commandant was to defend the “Kassel Fortress”. This fortress existed in the largely bombed-out Kassel. I had not seen any defensive structures, unless one would regard some very questionable barricades on the arterial roads as such. The members of the Kassel replacement troops formed the core of the crew. The attitude of these soldiers, some of them very young, some of them aged and often wounded, was highly commendable. They were supported by convalescents, refugees, local air defense, police, labor service and Croatian militia. I don’t know the strength of this garrison. In no case would they have been able to hold the vast city against even an infantry attack. In addition there was the completely inadequate armament. The fortress artillery was, as the saying goes, “represented by flags”, but some non-movable anti-aircraft guns may have been present. Incidentally, one saw infantry weapons that would have been better suited to display in an army museum than in the hands of a combat force.

The more time went by, the more hectic the perseverance slogans became. The terms “final victory” and “miracle weapons” were greatly thrown about. As part of a withdrawal movement (in good German: retreat), a higher command staff came through Kassel, and its commanding officer left us in no doubt as to what would happen to those who would not “hold out to the last”. Then he moved further east. At the beginning of April two representatives of the Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, appeared in Kassel in uniforms I was unfamiliar with. They looked and acted like gangsters. They too called for defense “down to the last bullet”, otherwise court martials would stimulate the will to resist a little. Then these two resisters disappeared as suddenly as they had appeared. The commandant of Kassel was put under pressure from all sides and in every conceivable way to hold his “fortress” down to the last man.

As March turned into April 1945 the Americans advanced into the areas south of Kassel. The fighting in the “apron of the fortress” flared up. On April 3, 1945, I had been on a motorcycle for most of the day. Late in the evening I returned to the Weinberg bunker, the command post of the town or combat commander. Dead tired, I went to sleep in a corner. In the middle of the night I was woken up and taken to see the general. A younger officer told me beforehand that a negotiator should be sent to the Americans, but the general couldn’t find one. As I entered the command room, I saw General Erxleben sitting at a table, with several older officers around him. There was thick silence. In one corner I noticed the general’s pale and overtired wife, who had accompanied her ailing and needy husband to the bunker and looked after him there. At that time, more than 4,000 civilians are said to have found refuge in the Weinberg. Erxleben asked me if I wanted to go to the American commander on his behalf to parlay. Drowsy, I brought out the obligatory “by your command”. Now the commandant became lively. He told me emphatically that it was by no means an order. Rather, he was asking me to do him this favor and wasn’t going to hide from me that the task would be extremely risky in more ways than one. Now I’m perking up too. But I saw no reason not to comply with my boss’s request. Any child could see that the defense of this so-called “fortress” was madness. The general now instructed me to visit the American commander and negotiate with him either free withdrawal for the remainder of the troops or at least for the civilian population.

Now there was a touching scene. When I took off my pistol belt – I had once heard that negotiators are not allowed to carry weapons – the general’s wife suddenly stepped up to me and hugged me in silence. Then I went on my way, with an interpreter and a sergeant to accompany me. The interpreter, as far as I can remember was a Kassel physician, Dr. Sommerfeld, who volunteered. Accompanied by the good wishes of the guards and bystanders, we climbed over the large barricade in Frankfurter Strasse, across from the former Bleil & Wögerer store, at the foot of the Weinberg. Then we marched slowly and solemnly out of town under the brilliant, bright moonlight. I had asked both of my companions to stay as far back as possible so that we would not be dealt with all at once in the “worst case” scenario. While I tried not to get my feet entangled in the wires of the blown overhead line of the tram, there were occasional shots right and left in the side streets of the Auviertel quarter, individual shadows flitted around the corners, flares went up and splinters and debris hit the plastered walls.

Immediately in front of the gate of the Jäger Barracks I came across the foremost American battle post. He was obviously very tired and dozed while standing. When I suddenly stood in front of him, he was so shocked that he almost stumbled over the machine-gun standing next to him. With the help of our interpreter, I tried to make the very suspicious Americans understand my intention. We were then brought into the anteroom of the former Hussar Casino (the later Paradise Club) under an escort armed to the teeth. Here we were searched for weapons, and everything that could endanger the safety of the US Army was taken from us. Surprisingly, our watches were also part of it. When we voiced concerns about this, they pointed their weapons at us. Then we were led, again under heavy cover, into the courtyard of a property on the left-hand side of Frankfurter Strasse, shortly before the railway overpass. Here the three of us – it was pretty cold – had to sit flat on the floor. Our guards positioned themselves in a semicircle in front of or around us. They passed the time for themselves and us by doing targeting exercises on us. Since they didn’t seem completely sober, this pastime was a bit unsettling, at least for us.

By dawn on April 4th I was getting bored, but we were eventually driven by jeep to a side street between Oberzwehrener and Rengershauser Strasse. An American captain received us in a small family house. He spoke fluent German with no accent. From the phone calls he made in my presence, I deduced that he was some kind of intelligence officer handling prisoner-of-war matters. I was finally able to explain the purpose of my coming to him. After a while, a jeep arrived carrying an American general and his adjutant. The general looked splendid but didn’t speak German. He was polite, but not interested in conceding anything. He had the interpreting captain ask me to convey his appreciation of the brave demeanor of our soldiers to my commander. But he could not approve a ceasefire to withdraw either the troops or the civilians: either there would be capitulation or the battle would resume to its conclusion. Under the circumstances, I believe that my decision to go with the first option was in accordance with my instructions. Those who did not experience bombed-out Kassel and its frightened population back then may condemn me if they dare.

Now that an agreement was reached, I thought it appropriate to mention how we had been plundered of our possessions. I was pleased that an officer was immediately dispatched with me to clarify the matter. Although I understood just as little English as the very personable film star who accompanied me understood German, he managed to conjure up my watch in a very short time. Those of my companions, on the other hand, had disappeared.

On the way back to our lines, the officer led us – apparently not without intent – past the American artillery that was deployed. My eyes overflowed when I saw large numbers of guns in heavy, medium and light calibers in the open space of what was later the warehouse yard. If these ever opened fire there would probably have been nothing left of Kassel – though there wasn’t much left, anyway. In Crede’s Villa (I think it was) we found a large number of American officers. The relatively simple arrangements for our repatriation were established. Then we were driven near the battle lines again. Two company commanders, whose infantrymen had advanced between Landaustrasse and Karlsaue towards Frankfurter Strasse and were skirmishing with our riflemen on and around the Weinberg, took care of me. We crawled and climbed through cellars and laundry rooms, over courtyards and bleaching areas. We “requisitioned” a walking stick and a terry towel from an abandoned apartment, with which we improvised a white flag. Then we sneaked around the corner of Frankfurter Strasse and An der Karlsaue. The two Americans patted me vigorously on the shoulder and had their troops cease fire. Once it had gone quiet for a short time, I dashed towards our barricade with a waving white flag. Despite my German uniform, the perplexed guards greeted us with shots, which, to my pleasant surprise, went wrong.

Then I reported the result of my mission and an hour later I was on the back of a truck that was carrying me into captivity.

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The Drama Continues (sunset again)

Yesterday’s sunset was plenty of fun. This is the last sunset of the season that I can video from the steps out the door of the conservatory. At least it’s the last one I can video the full track of the sunset — the rotation of the earth combined with the Earth’s axial tilt will put the closing moments of the sunset behind the house two doors down from us. That’s the house that mounts that TV antenna you see in the video I’ve linked to above. To get the full sunset tonight, for example, I’d actually have to walk up the hill — or maybe go out the front door and video from the neighbor’s across the street? Not sure. Or I could do it from my drone if one of my drones had a decent enough camera with zoom function, which neither one has.

The rest of the world worries about coronavirus and being able to buy food. I’m crying about sunset visibility. So sad.

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North Korea is a Shelter Against Coronavirus!

Kim Jong Un has let us know that his country (“his” country in the same sense as “his” hair — because he owns it personally) is free of coronavirus!

MSN says:

North Korea remains totally free of the coronavirus, a senior health official in Pyongyang has insisted, despite mounting scepticism overseas as known cases of infection topped one million worldwide.

The already isolated, nuclear-armed North quickly shut down its borders after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China in January, and imposed strict containment measures.

Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, insisted that the efforts had been completely successful.

I can kind of believe it, actually. This is far and away the most closed country in the world. So, I wonder when they’ll start receiving immigration applications from people outside North Korea who are scared?  One way Kim could start bringing in extra income would be to offer luxury accommodations in gated communities for rich people who want to come hide — for a fee, of course!

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I’ve been unfriended on Facebook!

This may have happened before, but to the best of my knowledge this is the first Unfriend I’ve experienced!

I posted something which one of my (now former) friends found controversial and offensive, and there ensued an argument over the subject. All OK so far, but then she said that I had posted something not credible and offensive. So I told her that she had no idea how many times I had had to beat my head against a wall trying to keep myself from responding from things she had posted that were offensive and not credible.

All OK, right?  Well, she didn’t like that, and suddenly all the little name attributions FB puts on people’s posts turned from linkable to just plain text.  I checked, and yes, she was gone from my friend list.

I am heartbroken!

Not really. But I do regret hurting her feelings.

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Should we really be panicking over Coronavirus?

In my 68 years on this planet I’ve never experienced anything like this clear panic over a virus.  I’m here in the UK, and the country is basically shut down, as it is also in the US.

But why?

I know, I know, people are dying from it, but back in 1968-1972 we had the Hong Kong Flu pandemic. Its death toll makes the worldwide Covid-19 death toll so far look rather anemic. I’m not making this up.  The CDC currently estimates that, in total, that virus killed 1 million people worldwide and around 100,000 people in the U.S. See HERE.

100,000 people died in the US from the Hong Kong Flu?  I was in the US for at least a portion of that time, and nobody was quarantining, nobody was telling people to stay home, they didn’t close the schools — as far as I remember, anyway.  And the vast majority of victims during that time were the elderly, especially those with other medical problems. Just like what is happening now.

Well, I’m elderly now (shocking to realize!), and I guess I am in the virus’s crosshairs. But fortunately I don’t have any chronic conditions afflicting me — other than being way too overweight. So I’m not too worried.

I’m not saying there is absolutely no reason for concern.  And the pandemic isn’t over, so things may change and get far worse than what we’re seeing so far.  But I am hopeful that it won’t be worse than it was back in 1970.

Have a watch of this video. It might give further context to the problem.

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