Chas' Compilation

A compilation of information and links regarding assorted subjects: politics, religion, science, computers, health, movies, music... essentially whatever I'm reading about, working on or experiencing in life.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Kamala Harris: an interesting choice

From the Guardian:

What to make of the Kamala Harris VP pick? Our panel's verdict
[...] Harris, like Biden, is a remarkably malleable candidate. She is not an ideologue; she’s a political animal, someone who will move with the changing tides – a representative, one might say. That makes her untrustworthy to people who want a true believer in office. But it also means that the most dynamic movements, such as Black Lives Matter, and the laudable efforts of disappointed Bernie Sanders fans to get more progressives into office, create an environment into which Harris will fit herself. As the Democratic base goes, so go both Harris and Biden. This is good news for the progressives who are winning the hearts and minds of Democratic voters. [...]
[...] In this election, it’s clear that Donald Trump is going to run as a bulwark of law and order who stands between Americans and roving anarchists and antifa. He regularly paints Democrat-run cities as “totally out of control” on crime. In a sit-down interview with Fox anchor Chris Wallace last month, Trump claimed that Biden wants to “defund the police,” which Wallace pointed out was inaccurate on-air.

That line of attack is going to be difficult when your opponents are the author of the 1994 crime bill and a hard-nosed prosecutor who laughed about cracking down on truancy.

In much the same way that partisan discipline put the kibosh on the Tara Reade accusations against Joe Biden, Democrats and the liberal media that support them will put daylight between Democrats and the disorder in the street.

Turns out all the opposition research that progressive activists used against Biden and Harris in the primary is suddenly a strength in the race against Trump. [...]

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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Covid-19: it's not your grandfather's Influenza. In fact, it's not Influenza.

The Covid 19 Pandemic is frequently compared to the Influenza pandemic of 1918-1920. But is the comparison correct? Corona viruses are not the same as Influenza viruses.

What Does Disappearing Immunity To Covid-19 Mean For A Vaccine?
[...] SARS-CoV-2 is broadly similar to the four coronaviruses that cause about one third of all common colds. Each year, the same four viruses infect us the world over, sweeping the Northern Hemisphere from December to February; south of the Equator from May to July; and in the tropics, year-round. These waves of infection, which with rare exceptions cause minor symptoms only, have repeated year in and year out since the discovery of the virus in the 1960s. The ability of this coronavirus quartet to persist absent alteration is highly unusual. Influenza infections occur annually, too, but the dominant strains differ each time to evade the population’s protective and persistent immune responses.

In the 1970s two independent teams of medical researchers conducted experiments to determine whether or not the same coronavirus strain might reinfect and give a cold to the same person. Volunteers who were deliberately exposed to the virus contracted colds and recovered. A year later, they were again exposed to the same virus—and again were infected and developed cold symptoms. These experiments established that protective immunity to the cold-causing coronavirus is short-lived.

I call this phenomenon "get it and forget it,” and it describes the interaction between these viruses and our immune systems that is so unique. Confronted with a cold-causing coronavirus, our bodies evidently forget that we were infected at all. For us, this leaves us susceptible to annual colds, which are generally harmless but a nuisance besides. For the viruses, this is a winning strategy, as it rids them of the need to change to survive. At present, we don’t understand coronaviruses in sufficient detail to know why our immunity to them so short-lived.* What we do know is that if SARS-CoV-2 behaves as its coronavirus cousins do, Covid-19 is sure to become a seasonally recurring pandemic. [...]

Studies Report Rapid Loss of COVID-19 Antibodies
The results, while preliminary, suggest that survivors of SARS-CoV-2 infection may be susceptible to reinfection within weeks or months.
This is not Influenza. Is this going to keep circulating around, like the common cold corona viruses? God I hope not.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Windows 7 support ends. So where to now?

Microsoft suggests upgrading to windows 10. That would be fine... if it worked. They offered free windows 10 upgrades. I tried that, and it was disastrous. It seemed to work well at first, but as time went on, updates would cause different parts or functions of the the computer (like SOUND) to stop working. Turns out, that unless your computer hardware -all of it- has been "Windows 10 certified", Microsoft does not guarantee that it will work on YOUR computer. Wish I knew that before I installed it. By the time I discovered this, it was too late to roll it back from Windows 10 to Windows 7.

So if you want to "upgrade" to Windows 10, you are probably better off getting a computer with it already installed and certified for that hardware. Then, the Windows 10 fun can begin. It has some good features. Yet, some things never change:

But... what should you then DO with your old Windows 7 machine? You can keep using it for a while longer of course, but as time goes on, without security updates, it will become riskier and riskier to use.

Personally, I found a solution with my aborted Windows 10 computer, that couldn't be rolled back to Windows 7. I'm using it with all my Windows 7 machines now. The solution is a Linux operating system called Linux Mint. It's a complete, free opensource operating system that you can download and install, free of charge.

There are several versions you can choose from. I prefer the Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE), because it's a "rolling" distribution; you only have to install it once, then it updates itself continuously after that. Other versions use Ubuntu as a base, and major upgrades require a complete reinstall every three to five years.

It's probably the easiest Linux system for a novice to download and use, and easy to learn and use too. A perfect way to extend the life and usefulness of older computers that cannot be successfully upgraded to Windows 10. Highly recommended.

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Friday, January 03, 2020

Richard Bandler (How to keep your New Years Resolutions)

Richard Bandler is one of the founders of NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming). I've been reading his book, "Guide to TRANCE-formation". In this video, he's talking about how your mindset, what you tell yourself, about what you are doing, determines wether you will follow through with it and be successful. Also, to think it through first, so when the inevitable happens, you aren't taken by surprise, and have a plan to deal with it. It's good stuff:


Sunday, December 01, 2019

"Democrats cannot capture the presidency or either branch of Congress by lurching leftward"

Here is some well considered advice for the Democrat party. It explains how Donald Trump got elected, and why, if the Democrats don't change course, Trump stands a good chance of being re-elected for another term:

Commentary: The perils of mythmaking
[...] Democrats cannot capture the presidency or either branch of Congress by lurching leftward. A candidate in the AOC/BS mold would be a hero in New York, California and Massachusetts — and a disaster in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which handed Trump the presidency in 2016 and will be critical again next year.

Ed Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania, stressed this point to The New York Times: “The more we have presidential candidates or newly elected congresspeople talking about the Green New Deal, talking about ‘Medicare-for-all,’ talking about socialism, the more that plays into the Trump campaign’s hands.”

Christopher Borick, a political scientist at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania, added: “If you want to lock up Pennsylvania for a Democrat, the more moderate Democrats are the key.”

The numbers support them. A Gallup poll in January reported that 35 percent of Americans call themselves conservatives, the same number that identify as moderates. Only 26 percent are self-described liberals, the same portion who chose that label in 2016 exit polls.

It’s true that within the Democrats’ ranks, the percentage of liberals is rising, hitting 51 percent this year according to Gallup. But pragmatists still dominate the party. Fifty-four percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents want the party to “move closer to the center” while 41 percent “would rather it shift further left.”

The same tension between purists and pragmatists is playing out in the House, where the AOC types are calling for the rapid impeachment of the president. But Democratic leaders are taking a much slower approach, with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, insisting that impeachment must meet a “very high bar.”

“If you’re serious about removing a president from office, what you’re really doing is overturning the result of the last election,” Nadler told Roll Call in November. “You don’t want to have a situation where you tear this country apart, and for the next 30 years half the country’s saying, ‘We won the election; you stole it.’”

That’s why Democrats should be focusing on the next election, not impeachment. No president has ever been removed through impeachment (although Richard Nixon probably would have been the first, had he not resigned). The bar is and should be “very high.” [...]

Read the whole thing. It explains so much. Good advice, and like much good advice, will probably be ignored. Elections are about demographics, and numbers. If Democrats insist on letting the most leftist and shrill among them lead their party, they will lose again.

Also see:

How can Republicans defend Trump? Because of the Clintons

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Monday, May 13, 2019

A Star Dies

Obituary: Doris Day, America's archetypal girl next door

Big fan here, of her movies and her music. This day was inevitable, but...

Below is a link to the last post I did about her. At the end of it, are links to other posts I made about her.

Doris, we won't forget...

Doris Day's New Album: "My Heart"

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Monday, April 01, 2019

Duolingo Mascot Get's Pushy

Duolingo PUSH

A nice April 1st video. ;)