Category Archives: politics

Coronavirus Response Defies Logic

What has happened since the Coronavirus (COVID-19) reached the United States has been nothing short of bizarre and unbelievable. As far as I can tell, this virus is no worse than H1N1, SARS, Ebolola, and others, but the response has been a thousand times greater. It feels like the beginning of the Apocalypse.

I think the craziness in the United States started a little over a week ago when I read that people were hording toilet paper. That surprised me and still does because what is it about this virus that makes people think that toilet paper will suddenly stop being produced. After toilet paper, paper towels disappeared from store shelves. Again, I don’t get the logic. Will a virus prevent the manufacture or delivery of paper towels?

I can understand the disappearance of things like hand sanitizer, disinfectants and even isopropyl alcohol, but when the potato chip isle is ransacked it means we have all gone crazy. I guess nobody can survive an apocalypse without their chips.

I think it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. People think there will be a shortage of certain items so they stock up and create that shortage. The shortage then scares everyone else into stocking up.

The funny thing is, the produce section is pretty much untouched. I would think boosting your immune system with healthy, whole foods would be a top priority, but not so. Instead, people are buying up meats and canned soup, neither of which will help fight off a virus. I guess I could understand soup but not in a can.

The closing of businesses are what really bother me because it will be a huge burden on our economy and will increase our national debt beyond belief. Or should I say even more beyond belief? Some of the closings I agree with. Places where large groups of people crowd together should be closed, such as movie theaters, sporting events and the like, but closing retail stores and restaurants seem like overkill. Yes, there is a risk, but grocery stores are open and how is shopping at Macy’s more of a risk than the supermarket? I think if the stores are proactive with cleaning and people are diligent about washing their hands then that risk is minimal.

Restaurants are another place that should stay open. I think if each group of people are separated from other groups by six feet or more, and the staff practice good cleaning techniques, than it would probably be safer to eat out than to go to the grocery store.

So far, this is the worst mass panic that I have seen in my lifetime. As of now, I worry more about the response to the virus than I do about the virus. I will admit, though, that the possibility that this panic is justified has crossed my mind. Hopefully, the worst case scenario won’t come to pass and this will all go away soon. In the meantime, we should all try not to worry too much but also try not to take this too lightly. A little caution and some soap never hurt anyone.

Discovering My Ancestry: Part 5 – King Henry I

My last post talked about Mary Boleyn and her daughter Catherine who may have been the product of an affair with King Henry VIII. She may also have been the daughter of Mary’s husband, Sir William Carey. Because of the uncertainty, I will focus on the ancestors of Mary Boleyn.

Sixteen generations before Mary came Henry Beauclerc. Henry, the fourth son of William the Conqueror (1028-1087), was born around the year 1028. When William died in 1087, William’s eldest son, Robert inherited Normandy and William’s third son, William, inherited England. The second eldest son, Richard, Died in 1075. Henry was left without land but he did receive £5000, which I am sure was a lot of money back then.

King Henry I

William died in a hunting accident in 1100. Henry was with him at the time and some suspect it may not have been an accident. Henry moved quickly to seize the English throne while Robert was away on a Crusade. He tried to gain favor by promising at his coronation to correct many of William’s less popular policies. He also married Matilda, the daughter of Malcolm III, King of the Scotts, three months after his inauguration. This, no doubt, bolstered his support from the north.

Henry had as many as 24 illegitimate children in his lifetime, 9 boys and 15 girls, many born before his marriage with Matilda. His firstborn son, Robert FitzRoy, my direct ancestor, was born about 1090. Henry and Mitilda had two children, Matilda, born in 1102, and William Adelin, born the following year.

By July of 1101, Robert had formed an army and was ready to take England from Henry by force. Robert landed at Portsmouth on July 20 with a few hundred men that were quickly joined by many of the English barons. Their armies met at Alton where peace negotiations produced the Treaty of Alton. Under the treaty, Robert recognized Henry as king while Henry renounced his claims on most of western Normandy and agreed to pay Robert £2,000 a year for life.

During the next couple of years Henry gained influence with many of the Norman barons and eventually invaded Normandy in 1105. By late 1106, Henry had conquered Normandy and taken Robert prisoner. He remained Henry’s prisoner for 28 years until his death in 1134.

The king’s only legitimate male heir, William Adelin, died when the ship he was on, The White Ship, struck a rock in the English Channel and sunk in 1120. The accident happened because William supplied the crew with plenty of wine and they were probably drunk at the time.

Henry wanted his daughter, Matilda, to succeed him but after his death in 1135 there was great resistance to her rule. Stephen of Blois, a grandson of William The Conqueror, took the crown. Henry’s oldest son, Robert FitzRoy, was not eligible because of his illegitimacy.

Matilda contested the crown going to Stephen and years of civil war, known as “the Anarchy,” followed. A compromise was reached in 1153 called the Treaty of Wallingford. Its terms stated that Stephen was to retain the crown for the remainder of his lifetime. It would then revert to Matilda’s son, Henry, who would become King Henry II, the first of the Plantagenet’s dynasty.

While double checking the accuracy of my connection with Henry Beauclerc, I followed his line down a different path and was surprised at what I found. It turns out that Sir William Carey is a direct descendent of King Henry I

My Least Favorite Season

My Least Favorite Season is here and it is not winter. No, it is much, much worse. It is election season.

bs on tvThe main problem is that our Congressman, Bill Young, had to up and die so now we have to have a “special” election. There are two main candidates going after his seat, Republican David Jolly and Democrat Alex Sink. The only reason I know their names is because I can’t turn on the television, watch a Youtube video, or listen to Pandora without hearing about how one or the other is the lovechild of Satan and if elected will destroy the Earth.

This happens every time there is a major election. Character assassination is a big part of politics and this election is no different. What amazes me is why this still works. Are people that stupid and gullible and believe what one candidate says about another?

Okay, don’t answer that. I know some people can be pretty stupid. Some people can be amazingly stupid, and it seems like these people are everywhere, but I think the reality is most people have, at least, some common sense.  You just hear about the stupid ones because what they do is so noteworthy. This is why I am amazed that there are enough people who fall for these negative ad campaigns to make them financially viable. They also seem to target seniors like they think they are the most gullible people on earth. They don’t seem to realize that most seniors are pretty sharp and the ones with dementia are probably not going to remember where the polling place is.

I think out of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of commercials I saw about David Jolly and Alex Sink, only one was not negative, but that one gets very little air time. To be fair, some do not come from the candidates but other organizations like the Republican and Democrat Parties. This just means that entire committees got together and decided that it would be better to drag the opponent through the mud that point out any good qualities of their candidate.

How is it even legal to lie about people on television. If I were to even write a post and claim that  a non-politician like Bill Gates was having a secret love affair with Kim Jong-Il I would be sued (by the way Bill, I just made that up). That means that this practice is either legal or nobody wants to sue for fear of losing a system that has worked so well for centuries.

Personally, I am tired of it. I cannot turn on my television, computer, or radio without being exposed to so much negativity. I can’t wait until this election is over when I can get all the negativity I need just by watching the news in the morning.

As far as the election goes, I don’t plan on voting, and if I do, it won’t be for David Jolly or Alex Sink. I think promoting smear campaigns against others is a sign of bad character. If I do vote it will be for someone who hasn’t forced a negative agenda on me. Good luck Lucas Overby. You have my vote (in spirit) as long as I don’t have to listen to any of your commercials.