Quote of the day—Mike

Ironic that the Chinese curse of “may you live in interesting times” has been kicked off by the Chinese government itself.

Mike
March 21, 2020
[Via email.

Excellent observation!

The rest of the email is of potential interest:

Hey Joe,

Up here in Canada, the Chief Firearms Officer for Ontario (the province I live in) has just suspended the required Firearms Safety Courses one needs to take to be able to APPLY for a firearms license. Just like that, if you didn’t have a gun license at this point, you’ll have to ride out the coming storm with whatever is at hand, it would seem.

Considering someone pulled a gun on another person who was apparently looking at them funny, in the liberal stronghold of Toronto, no less, things should get mighty interesting over the next few weeks (days?).

Ironic that the Chinese curse of “may you live in interesting times” has been kicked off by the Chinese government itself.

Thanks for your time,

Mike

It’s interesting the response some of the political jurisdictions in the U.S. have taken. Two movies on one screen.

According to SAF (emphasis added):

SAF: ILLINOIS GOV. SETS EXAMPLE FOR OTHERS ON GUN, AMMUNITION STORES

BELLEVUE, WA — The Second Amendment Foundation today applauded Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for including firearm and ammunition suppliers on the list of “essential businesses and operations” that will remain open during the Prairie State’s “Shelter-In-Place” emergency due to the ongoing COVID-19 Coronavirus emergency.

“When an anti-gun Democrat governor declares that essential businesses include firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for the purposes of safety and security, that is a really big deal,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Every governor should copy the Illinois example when issuing ‘shelter-in-place’ and business closure orders in the face of the Coronavirus.”

Three other states are already under sweeping emergency orders as the nation copes with the Coronavirus pandemic. They are New York, Pennsylvania and California.

“Depending upon how long this emergency continues,” Gottlieb observed, “many Americans may find themselves facing situations where they will need to be their own first responders. Gov. Pritzker obviously understands this, and we encourage the governors of all other states to recognize this isn’t an issue of party politics but of personal and community safety.”

Executive Order 2020-10 directs all individuals living within the state of Illinois to stay at home, except for “Essential Activities, Essential Government Functions, or to operate Essential Businesses and Operations.” These include information technology equipment manufacturers and suppliers, hardware, food, cleaning supplies, and “firearm and ammunition suppliers and retailers for purposes of safety and security,” the order says.

“We are all in this together,” Gottlieb stated, “and we will make it through, together, as well. Stay safe, stay well and stay ready.”

And in the San Francisco Bay Area, of course, gun stores are not considered essential. Nevermind, as pointed out by author David Codrea, in the article:

What about gun stores?  If we’re talking that which is essential, what is it the Founders deemed “necessary to the security of a free State”?

The politicians responsible for issuing such an order should be prosecuted.—Joe]

News you can use

I had some allergy symptoms that woke me up the other night. But I’m familiar enough with my pollen allergies that I wasn’t too worried about it being COVID-19. The symptoms were gone in a few hours and everything is good. But had I not been so sure this would have been useful:

Clara, a coronavirus Self-Checker – The CDC has developed a new online bot nicknamed Clara designed to help people check whether they may have symptoms.  The bot is not intended to diagnose diseases but help users make decisions about whether they need to seek appropriate medical care by asking a series of questions to establish the level of illness being experienced.  Clara can be found at:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/index.html.

Quote of the day—Bruce S. Ticker

Who could have predicted that gun control could not be more crucial? Of course, Republicans will likely deny that the coronavirus spread makes gun control compulsory, but it sure does.

Bruce S. Ticker
March 21, 2020
Are there enough hospital beds for Covid-19 and gun victims?
[I have an observation to share. I have noticed smart, but ignorant, people are incredibly resourceful in maintaining their ignorant, prejudiced beliefs. I have sometimes been absolutely jaw dropping flabbergasted at the things people come up with.

This is one of those times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—William Booth

The Imperial College group reported that if nothing was done by governments and individuals and the pandemic remained uncontrolled, then 510,000 would die in Britain and 2.2 million in the United States over the course of the outbreak.

These kinds of numbers are deeply concerning for countries with top-drawer health-care systems. They are terrifying for less-developed countries, global health experts say.

If Britain and the United States pursued much more ambitious measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, to slow but not necessarily stop epidemic over the coming few months, they could reduce mortality by half, to 260,000 people in the United Kingdom and 1.1 million in the United States.

Finally, if the British government quickly went all-out to suppress viral spread — aiming to reverse epidemic growth and reduce the case load to a low level — then the number of dead in the country could drop to below 20,000. To do this, the researchers said, Britain would have to enforce social distancing for the entire population, isolate all cases, demand household quarantines of households where anyone is sick, and close all schools and universities — and do this not for weeks but for 12 to 18 months, until a vaccine is available.

William Booth
March 17, 2020
A chilling scientific paper helped upend U.S. and U.K. coronavirus strategies
[Welcome to the new normal.

This could permanently change all industrialized societies. High population densities, mass transit, and high density offices will be far less attractive to the population at large. The effect could last for a generation or more. How does this affect the political climate?

Live entertainment, restaurants, and the travel industry are going to take a tremendous hit which will ripple throughout society.

We live in interesting times.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Lires

I think the one satisfying thing about this pandemic is watching all the anti-gunners in my area now freak out and scramble to buy guns and ammunition then complaining how it’s not as easy as they thought to obtain shit.

Lires
March 23, 2019
Posted on the IGN boards thread Lets have a thread about gun control for old times sake.
[There is that. And it is my belief that becoming a gun owner contributes to a change in mindset. You become more inclined to think in terms of self-reliance and individuality rather than government providing for your needs and identifying as part of the collective.

So, there is a least one “silver lining” in the cloud hanging over our heads.—Joe]

Quote of the day—Alan Gottlieb

We sued New Orleans then, and we’ll do it again. The presence of a nasty disease does not suspend any part of the Bill of Rights, no matter what some municipal, state or even federal politician may think.

While we certainly recognize the seriousness of this virus and its ability to spread rapidly. Treating Covid-19 and taking steps to prevent it from infecting more people has nothing at all to do with the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

Alan Gottlieb
March 16, 2020
SAF TO N.O. MAYOR CANTRELL: ‘WE SUED CITY ONCE, WE’LL DO IT AGAIN’
[There probably some minor points that could be quibbled about (freedom of assembly and travel comes to mind) but the bottom line remains untouched. Politicians have no business infringing upon the specific enumerated right to keep and bear arms any emergency circumstances that I can think of.—Joe]

Boomershoot 2020 and COVID-19

Too long, didn’t read, version: I’m going to wait and see until the end of the month before making the decision to cancel or not. The refund policy is here: https://entry.boomershoot.com/Refunds.aspx


As I live just a few minutes from ground zero in the U.S. I’m just as, or more concerned, than the typical Boomershoot participant regarding COVID-19.

I’ve talked to many people about what we should do in regards to Boomershoot 2020.

There are several components to Boomershoot. If the Federal guidelines remain in place and we adhere to them, then the Boomershoot dinner will be canceled.

One could make the case that the rest of the event is not at all that serious of a risk. People are outside with good air flow and, except for the portable toilets, not sharing door knobs or other transfer surfaces. With a big stash of disinfecting wipe the portable toilet point of risk could be managed.

There is another component that is of more concern and not as easily mitigated. Our target production facility has very tight quarters. I have dramatically improved the air filtration since last year but still it’s not nearly as good as I think it should be to be safe if someone were contagious. To top that concern off is the fact that two essential staff members are in the group considered “high risk”.

This leads me to conclude that unless things get remarkably better we should cancel the event.

My day job is working on a Cyber Threat Intelligence team. I get access to other types of threat intel as well. Last week I listened in on a call with DHS regarding COVID-19. There wasn’t any information that wasn’t already public but it was packaged a little bit better. I have also talked to a couple sources that have information that hasn’t been widely circulated. While still technically public information this information leads me to some conclusions.

  1. My expectation is that the seriousness of the situation will continue to get worse for some undetermined amount of time. It may be that summer weather will slow or even stop the spread of the virus. The threat, however, will continue to be significant for months, not just a few weeks.
  2. While things will get worse it’s not going to be life threatening to most people outside of the high risk groups.
  3. Avoiding contact with contagious people is extremely important for people at high risk. Some hospitals in the Seattle area are already at nearly full capacity and are sending injured emergency patients, sometimes, hundreds of miles away to hospitals without a COVID-19 burden.

What this means to me is that if we get some hot summer like weather for the next two weeks and things look summer like at Boomershoot things may be good enough that I will not cancel Boomershoot. I don’t think this will be the case but there is no harm in waiting. We are continuing to get the last of the supplies and will be able to put on a stellar event should we decide to continue.

The refund details are here. Basically, if the event is canceled you will get the option of full credit for next year or a refund of 95% of your credit card payment (details differ for a few people, read the policy). Your choice.

If you have questions or concerns I have not addressed here please send me an email or give me a call.

Joe Huffman
Boomershoot Event Director
Cell: 208-301-4254

COVID-19 exemption to the Bill of Rights

Via email from Jason.

Apparently there is a COVID-19 exemption to the Bill of Rights. At least a judge found one. I just looked at my copy of the BoR and didn’t find it. But I guess Federal Judges just have better eyesight than I do. Here is what he said:

Given the significant number of identified and projected cases of COVID-19 in this
District and the severity of risk posed to the public, and given the above public health
recommendations from local public health authorities, it is hereby ORDERED that, effective
Monday, March 9, 2020:

1) All civil and criminal matters scheduled for an in-Court appearance before any district or magistrate judge in the Seattle or Tacoma Courthouses, including any associated
deadlines, are CONTINUED pending further Order of the Court;

2) All grand jury proceedings in this District are CONTINUED pending further Order of the Court;

3) With regard to criminal matters, due to the Court’s reduced ability to obtain an adequate spectrum of jurors and the effect of the above public health
recommendations on the availability of counsel and Court staff to be present in the
courtroom, the time period of the continuances implemented by this General Order
will be excluded under the Speedy Trial Act, as the Court specifically finds that the
ends of justice served by ordering the continuances outweigh the best interests of the public and any defendant’s right to a speedy trial, pursuant to 18 U.S.C.
§3161(h)(7)(A);

4) Case-by-case exceptions to the continuances provided herein may be ordered for nonjury matters at the discretion of the Court after consultation with counsel;

5) This Order does not affect the Court’s consideration of civil or criminal motions that can be resolved without oral argument.

Here is the clause in Federal Law he refers to:

A) Any period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by any judge on his own motion or at the request of the defendant or his counsel or at the request of the attorney for the Government, if the judge granted such continuance on the basis of his findings that the ends of justice served by taking such action outweigh the best interest of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial. No such period of delay resulting from a continuance granted by the court in accordance with this paragraph shall be excludable under this subsection unless the court sets forth, in the record of the case, either orally or in writing, its reasons for finding that the ends of justice served by the granting of such continuance outweigh the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.

I understand the practical matters involved. And I’m not sure I disagree with the action taken. But it does worry me that such precedence will be misused in the future.

How many times have we heard about “The Gun Violence Epidemic”?

Fill in the dots as appropriate.

Mandatory “social distancing”?

Hmmm…

Gov. Inslee says ‘mandatory measures’ under consideration to combat coronavirus in Washington

Since the novel coronavirus emerged as a threat in Washington, officials have sought to keep people here from infecting each other by offering advice, health care and other assistance. What they haven’t yet done to slow the spread of the virus is tell residents what they can and can’t do.

That could change at some point, however.

Officials are considering mandatory measures for social distancing as part of the state’s effort to combat the outbreak, Gov. Jay Inslee said Sunday.

Barb, my oldest daughter, her spouse, and I, all in Bellevue, have been doing our part for the last week. We have been working from home and minimizing contact outside our homes. We are also prepared for several more weeks as needed.

We live in interesting times.

Working from home

Health officials in King County (Seattle area) are recommending, among other things:

Workplaces should enact measures that allow people who can work from home to do so.

About 5:00 PM on Wednesday a blog reader told me::

Microsoft just told all employees who can WFH to do so until March 25

My employer said something similar yesterday. My team started WFH the day before that.

I can work from home for almost everything except meetings where someone is likely to be using a real whiteboard (we have virtual whiteboards in some conference rooms).

My first thought was, “Will the VPNs fall over?” So far both my MS contact and I have had not had any problems with our Internet connections to work. I suspect they have self-scaling VPNs.

Barb has been working from home exclusively for years now. It’s a little odd for both of us to be working from home every day. It’s nice but it just feels a little odd to only see each other for such extended periods. I wonder how it will feel after three weeks.

Yesterday I asked Barb if we are going to get “cabin fever” and get irritable or something. She thinks she will be okay as long as she doesn’t feel physically trapped as in being snowed in or something.

We’ll probably will go for walks occasionally. That should help and it should be safe as long as we don’t have contact with other people.

Quote of the day—Caren Park

admit it, joe, it’s funny.

image

Caren Park
March 4, 2020
Comment to my Facebook post about someone intending to deliberately infect people with COVID-19
[The Facebook post links to this blog post.

About three hours later Caren’s comment, my response to her, and Kathy Jackson’s response are all inaccessible to me.

My response to Caren:

I don’t see someone saying they will deliberately attempt to infect others, of any demographic, with any deadly disease as funny.

Would it be funny if they said they were going to attend every LGBT rally they could? How about someone with HIV deliberately having sexual contact with people for the purposes of infecting them?

Sure, there are going to be people at any event that don’t know they are carrying a contagious disease. But that is a much different thing than doing it with the intention of harming others.

I’ve known Caren for over 35 years. We’ve always had differences in political leanings. But never, that I recall, difference of substance regarding basic human decency.

The politics of this country have skewed peoples thinking several standard deviations away from what I have perceived the norm to be.—Joe]

A little close to home

Almost all of the COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths in Washington state (and US) are at EvergreenHealth (formerly Evergreen Hospital in Kirkland).

All of my children were born there (30+ years ago). My ex-wife and I lived about a 10 minute walk from the hospital.

The hospital is still less than a 20 minute drive of where I live and about half of that for to my oldest daughter.

COVID19 in Iran

From a reliable source, we have some plausibly good data and some speculation:

A coworker is an Iranian immigrant. She says her siblings are in the medical field back home in Iran, and the situation there is vastly worse than is being officially reported. The leaders didn’t want to disrupt the anniversary of the revolution, so they pretended there was no problem, causing it to be spread rapidly across the nation during the mass gatherings and official celebrations, where close (face-proximity-to-face) greetings are common, and it spread like wildfire. Her sibling’s estimate is over a million are infected just in Iran. (Considering the viral video of the imam “blessing” water bottles by spitting in them, and other personal hygiene practices that are epidemic-friendly, it’s not an impossible number).

Assuming the fatality rate of~2% is correct, that’s 20k dead just in Iran…. so far. Considering it hits the elderly and infirm the hardest, it might be the “magic bullet” that takes out the entire leadership group so they can be replaced, which would likely be a good thing. But on a human tragedy scale of things, if it hits a nation with a failing healthcare system harder than two percent, it’s a major tragic event.

We live in interesting times.

Taking orders for lentils and wheat

I’ll probably be going to the farm in the next two or three weeks. If anyone in the Seattle area would like some lentils or soft white wheat I’ll bring it back with me. Quantities are limited.

Let me know how many pounds you would like. I get them in 50 pound bags but frequently break them out into three to five pound Ziploc bags. You would pick them up in the Bellevue area.

Wheat is $0.20/pound and lentils are $0.30/pound.

Send me an email if you are interested: blog@joehuffman.org.

Update: All the wheat has been asked for. There are still some lentils left. There will be more wheat available in November or perhaps October.

I also have a few pea and lentil cookbooks I purchased from the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council in bulk. List price is $24.95. I sell them for $10.00. You can sometimes get them used from Amazon for less.

King County conronavirus death confirmed

Via KOMO News:

KING COUNTY, Wash. — A man in King County has died from the coronavirus, the Washington state Department of Health said Saturday in a media advisory.

No other details were given about the death as of Saturday morning.

Officials plan to hold a press conference at 1 p.m. with more details. KOMO will livestream the press conference.

Just as my source told me last night.

First Covid19 death tonight, in King County

Via email:

I work in the fire department as a medic and our medical service officer just informed us of that info.

And that’s literally all we know.

Choose safe, be ready.

King County is the county surrounding Seattle and east to basically to the top of the Cascades.

I don’t recognize the email alias and have no basis upon which to judge the accuracy of the information.