83 thoughts on “Paying the Piper”

  1. our scripture for the day:

    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    [KJV matt 7:20]




    A family from Kent England who shared a video of their living room performance of a lockdown-themed adaptation of a Les Misérables song have become a sensation online. Ben and Danielle Marsh and their four children changed the lyrics of One Day More to reflect common complaints during the covid-19 lockdown.


  3. I’m following Google and am not participating in April Fools jokes or pranks this year – which is the same as last year, and the year before, and … If I find the need for a dose of AF I can always watch the SFB coronavirus update this afternoon. 

  4. Jamie, that was impressive. Goes to show what talented people can do to avoid getting quite so stir crazy. 

  5. Jamie, wonderful discovery of the marshes.  here’s a little bit about them from kentonline:

    Dad Dr Ben Marsh, a history lecturer at the University of Kent in Canterbury, told KentOnline his family have been overwhelmed with the more than 400,000 views it has already received on Facebook.
    “It has been a bit of a strange day,” the 43-year-old said. “We obviously hit a nerve.
    “We always get together and do singalongs anyway and the kids play instruments.
    Dr Marsh said his children – Alfie, 13; Thomas, 12; Ella, 10; and Tess, eight – have been in a few school productions but have otherwise had no musical theatre training.
    He and wife Danielle Marsh, 42, also have no background in music.
    “We have received some really lovely comments and we have been working to respond to the comments because we think it is really important – but it may get impossible,” he added.
    “There have been messages from people who are self-isolating, or even people with cancer on hospital wards, saying it has made them smile or cry.
    “We really weren’t expecting it and we are really touched by the way it has resonated with people.
    “Hopefully it will give parents an idea of how to keep the kids occupied – besides from doing Joe Wicks or watching Netflix.”
    The family also posted a video last weekend of an adaptation of a song from Tangled, which also includes lyrics based on the virus crisis.

  6. Well, RCP betting odds now have Bernie in 4th place at 4.6% behind Biden (84.9), Clinton(6.3) and Cuomo(5.8). Being behind 2 folks not running among people willing to bet on you or another candidate or potential candidate, no matter how remote, has to seem like the proverbial handwriting on the wall.  And no, this is not an April Fools joke – it’s people putting their money where their mouth is. 

  7. more on the Marshes from HITC:

    Les Mis isn’t the only re-enactment they’ve done! 
    They started off with a show of Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s ‘Shallow’ from the 2019 film A Star is Born. Then they moved onto a song from Avenue Q, a musical comedy featuring puppets and human actors. 
    By day six of the lockdown, they sang a song specially dedicated to the NHS, teachers and community heroes. It was the song ‘When will my life begin’ from Disney’s Tangled, aptly praising workers for all the chores they are doing. 
    Then came Les Mis, dedicated to cheering up some family and friends who have had birthdays on their own in lockdown. 

  8. another day, another poll the hill reports:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden has a 6-point edge over President Trump in a hypothetical general election match-up, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. 
    Forty-six percent of registered voters said they would back Biden in November, while 40 percent said they would support Trump. The 6-point margin is an increase from the same poll earlier this month that showed a 1-point gap.

  9. The Onion captures the Trumpian approach to ventilator shortages.


    Trump Tackles Medical Supply Shortage By Awarding ExxonMobil Contract To Drill For Ventilators In Arctic
    WASHINGTON—Saying there was no way the coronavirus could win with such amazing corporations on their side, President Donald Trump kicked off his plan to tackle the medical supply shortage Tuesday by awarding ExxonMobil an exclusive contract to drill for ventilators in the arctic. “Today, the heroic crews at ExxonMobil will travel to Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where they will drill 6,000 feet below the earth in search of new, undiscovered mechanical breathing devices,” said Trump, signing the $86 billion deal that gave the oil company sole access to survey, drill, and extract from over 30,000 square miles of “vast, untapped reservoirs of respiratory ventilators.” “While this crisis is a challenge, I want to assure the American people that there are millions of medical devices lying just below the arctic surface, and all we need is ExxonMobil’s vast network of drilling rigs to find them. That’s why we’re also announcing the construction of a long-distance ventilator pipeline, as well as an exclusive, multi-billion-dollar contract with Shell to begin extracting ventilators on Native American reservations throughout South Dakota.” At press time, President Trump had reportedly once again downplayed the need for medical supplies after one of ExxonMobil’s largest offshore tankers exploded.


  10. The voices of the Marsh children are impressive.  I was surprised that they weren’t at least in choirs to have that level of harmony.


  11. British sage Robert Plant when asked by Dan Rather whether he perceived America as in decline dodged the question a bit, saying that he sees so many different Americans he’s not sure he could generalize about America. He then said that things here seem a bit awkward but he thinks sanity will ultimately prevail. I hope he’s right, and will be proved right in November. 

  12. Pogo…  thanks for that bit by the Onion.  SFB is such a moron that one could almost believe the article is true.
    My sister…  who lives in Queens…  was sick for a few days and had me very worried.  Turns out it was a sinus infection.  I’m breathing a bit easier (pun intended) this morning.

  13. Renee, glad you and your sister are breathing easier. One of the clearest indications of a lack of tests is that without access to testing when people have symptoms consistent with coronavirus they can’t be tested and are left to freak out assuming that they have the virus.

  14. cnn:

    Washington (CNN)Former President Barack Obama issued a rare criticism of the Trump administration Tuesday after it announced it’s rolling back his signature fuel standards aimed at combating the climate crisis, saying Americans “have to demand better” of their elected leaders.
    “We’ve seen all too terribly the consequences of those who denied warnings of a pandemic. We can’t afford any more consequences of climate denial. All of us, especially young people, have to demand better of our government at every level and vote this fall,” Obama wrote in a tweet.
    The comment is notable as the former President seldom publicly criticizes his successor, who has focused on undoing his legacy — particularly his environmental and climate policies. 
    The former President wasn’t alone in his criticism of the change on Tuesday.
    Gina McCarthy, his former EPA administrator who now heads the Natural Resources Defense Council, argued that “gutting the clean car standards makes no sense.”
    “It will harm the air we breathe, stall progress in fighting the climate crisis and increase the cost of driving. The only winner from this action is the oil industry, which wants us stuck driving dirty gas guzzlers as long as possible,” McCarthy said in a statement Tuesday. 

  15. if possible 100,000-200,00 deaths aren’t bad enough, now an earthquake (6.5) in Idaho.  what’s gonna happen when the hurricane season hits us?

    here’s what Orlando sentinel says today about that:

    With just two months before the start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season meteorologists are expecting some overlap with the coronavirus pandemic.
    However, meteorologists at AccuWeather predict low activity in the Atlantic during the early part of the summer, but they’re also expecting the peak of hurricane season to experience an above-normal rate of activity, said Dan Kottlowski, lead AccuWeather meteorologist, during a Tuesday webinar.
    An average hurricane season has 12 named storms, according to data by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    The 2020 season begins June 1 and stretches to Nov. 30. During that time AccuWeather predicts to see seven to nine hurricanes, with about two to four of them becoming major hurricanes – a storm with maximum sustained wind speeds greater than 130 mph.

  16. We may be killed by smog to avoid being killed by corona virus. This is the new ‘pro-life’.

  17. I spent time on Guam more than half a century ago. It is an absolutely beautiful tropical paradise. I think it’s bullshit leaving those sailors aboard their vessel. Guam is part of America. Guamanians are Americans. They will make medical space for the affected sailors. Offload them now! That’s an order.

  18. Flatus, I agree. Not only for those that are sick but for those still on the ship.
    Test everybody on the ship then separate and quarantine. It is the best way to stop the plague. 
    Now if someone else would figure this out. If we had testing we wouldn’t have to hide in isolation. Which for those of us who live alone is almost as damaging as the virus.

  19. I just sold my last rental house.  The  young man who bought my other one is wanting to move here from California. So I broke out of isolation to talk to the family and show them the house.  I took the paper work over for them to approve and discuss payment options. (i’m carrying the note)  It was fun, chatting BSing eating a plate piled high with tacos, beans, and rice that Mama insisted that I eat. lol now I know why her boys are so big.  She was polite enough to serve me food so I was polite enough to eat it.  Was it a risk?  Yeah some, but life is a risk and we can’t live it all the time in fear.  After all it is not the length of the journey but the quality that counts.  At the end of the journey we all end up in the same place.

  20. Ha, Mr Jack ! 
    Congratulations on the sale. You and tv may be the biggest industries left in America.

  21. 29 nursing homes in Oregon have at least one resident who is infected with Covid-19.

  22. Infectious disease and the social order.
    During the late middle ages, the “Black Death” killed 1/3 of the population of Europe and fundamentally changed the social order.  Because there were now fewer workers, wages rose and this completely disrupted the system of “feudalism” that had formed after the fall of the Roman Empire, and had persisted unchanged for 900 years.  The power of the aristocracy was permanently weakened and this paved the way to to the profound social changes of modern era, various revolutionary political movements, and democratic forms of government.  
    I think it is reasonable to expect that Covid-19 may have a similar disruptive impact to the political status quo in  the USA, and in many other nations.   Anti-elitist critiques of the weak government response to the crisis and the lack of adequately funded social welfare systems are now everywhere. 
    The “low-taxes/small government” philosophy embraced by both Republicans and “establishment” Democrats for the last 40 years is now being seen by a much larger group of voters as a corrupt and evil system that benefits only the elite.  In Europe, there is now much more criticism of “Austerity” which is the European name for conservative economic policies. 
    Bernie Sanders and “Medicare for All” will now be MUCH more appealing to Democratic primary voters and Biden’s weak promise of “stability” (maintaining the status quo) will have much less appeal.
    The ultimate impact of Covid-19 may be a much large mass movement in support of “Democratic Socialism” 
    For example:  Wal-Mart and Amazon workers may unionize.  And that’s just the beginning.

  23. Well, i don’t believe universal healthcare is a “right”, but it’s sure starting to become a public-safety and societal-security issue.

  24. bbronc, I wondered if it would trigger the Cascadia to the west as well as the Caldera to the east.  mother nature might want to play a game of dominoes. 

  25. the hill:

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday called Chris Cuomo‘s decision to do his CNN show just hours after announcing he had tested positive for coronavirus “a gutsy, courageous thing to do.”
    “He did his show last night from his basement. What a gutsy, courageous thing to do,” Andrew Cuomo said during his daily briefing on New York’s response to the pandemic, adding that his younger brother can show “the country what it means to have coronavirus.”
    “Pop would be proud … I love you little brother,” the governor said, referring to their father, the late Mario Cuomo, a former Democratic governor of New York, before joking about a photo of his brother speaking mid-sentence while broadcasting from his basement.
    “And even though this isn’t a flattering picture — I did not pick this picture with your mouth open — but it is suitable in some ways,” he mused.

  26. I, of course, wouldn’t trust anything Russian much less medical supplies.  Don’t they need the stuff for their own people? 

  27. Jack you could wear something over your nose and mouth.  Even one of your wife’s scarfs. 

  28. While Scandinavia takes care if its citizen to stop the spread, the USA does more for the 1% than workers.   
    I did wear a face mask on my last, two trips to the grocery store.  I bought a box a couple of years ago when they were doing some work in the office that ignited my asthma.  I got a couple of dirty looks, like how dare I have a face mask.   Foolishly, I did not wear a mask to the pharmacy last week.  
    And, yes, we should all wear them because asymptotic carriers should keep their water droplets to themselves as much as cough-ers.     Outside, however, I saw many covering their mouths with bandanas and scarves today.   I was outside breathing in the fresh air and pollen & letting my hair dry in the wind because the power went out. 
    You know, I bought all his food, but I haven’t had much of an appetite.  

  29. Nash, very interesting take on things. Are  you the lawyer from WV?  I never kept an Excel spreadsheet on everyone. 

  30. A Russian once told me to never trust Russians.   Keep your tainted, lo-jacked crap, Vlad.

  31. Oh, Bernie was on The View this morning and he’s not caving. Somehow, he thinks he still has a path to the WH.   

  32. BiD, you are on the wrong side of town.  When I creep out everyone has a white face mask on. After I went to the post office, I left mine on while I scrapped the green, allergens off my car because of ALLERGIES!

  33. patd, I saw Cuomo say that about his brother. I thought he should have stressed that there’s a spectrum of how sick people get. While that was positive about Chris, on the other hand thousands are dying from it. 

  34. Oh man today’s coronavirus briefing is on the drug trade coming across the southern  border.  Wtf

  35. Just got a recorded call from our DC mayor Muriel Bowser. Five times she said “Stay Home!“ We are but looking out window astonishing how many people still out wandering around and congregating.

  36. “Never trust Russians”
    Yeah, but……that would mean that you’d have to trust the Russian who told you that….

  37. Texas is under a stay at home order except essential services. Here’s 3 of the essential services. Gun Stores, hunting, and churches. Yes that’s right = we’ve been told to go pray the virus away. 

  38. …looking out window astonishing how many people selfish assholes still out wandering around and congregating.” -CC
    …fixed that for you.

  39. Book of The Plague Month:
    TRAVELS WITH CHARLIE,  by John Steinbeck, wherein at one point in the narrative he throws out a bit of words to the wise and some prophecy. To paraphrase from memory it went something like: If one really wanted to survive [the coming years] one would immediately go to live someplace where no one else wanted to live.  The desert, or the frozen North, etc

  40. Tiptoe, that lawyer from WV is me. Nash supports Bernie, I support Joe. 

    I see SFB is surrounded by FFAG, a political appointee (one of his better ones) and a bunch of Sr. officers with lots of medals. Who needs scientists? Another stupid update. 

    And he’s blaming his foreign policy failure with Iran on John Kerry. Stupid Pfuchk.

  41. They’ve taken down basketball goals here because kids are out of school & bored.  Their parents probably aren’t paying attention to home schooling them & just let them go wherever.      People are hanging out in parks, too.   They don’t get it.  Take a walk, get some sun, keep your distance.  

  42. Jeez, Bink, that’s some hearty virus.  I guess we sit in our cars with the windows rolled up at high noon?  56c is 132 American degrees.
    SFB taking on Venezuela. He really thinks he can distract from Covid? 

  43. Sturg- Saw quite a few fellas with bandanas over their faces.  Don’t think they were trying to hold up a train. 

  44. My dad is still running around town, but he’s told me that my brother told him needs him to stay away, as he comes into contact with different folks at his clinic, too.   This 10-person limit is so arbitrary.  It takes one!   You shouldn’t be around anyone but those you live with unless you can help it.

  45. “Yeah, ok…..I’ll wear a bandanna but I ain’t wearin’ one o’ them white things.”

  46. I do not understand why my company isn’t considered a small business.   I think we may have had 2 dozen employees, tops.   Did the stimulus package do anything for medium-sized businesses?  We sure aren’t a big business.  

  47. LP and I had to take a ride in my car to do an errand during the daily lie-fest and came up with a new drinking game. Here are the rules: 
    1. Listen to vice president Mike (Number 2 dumb fuck) Pense (Now there’s an ironic name for someone who doesn’t have two functioning brain cells to rub together) and his comments after number one dumb fuck, SFB (you can figure this out), makes his daily lies. 
    2. Take a shot every time Mike Pense says “the president“. 
    3.!Try to stand up at the end of the daily life fest.

  48. Sturg, hat?  Handkerchief? Tighty …?  

    bINd, groups of 10 limits the 1st Infected person to infecting 10 people at a time. A factor of 10 potentially goes from 1 to 10 to 100 to 1000 to 10000 etc. in each successive generation of contacts. You think that’s too large an infection algorithm?  

  49. If I played drinking games I’d still be a drunk.
    I take that shit seriously, captain.

  50. If you played this one you wouldn’t have to worry about being a drunk. You’d need to worry about breathing. 

  51. Nash

    At the time of the Black Death, 1/3 of the population meant something.  Up until the discovery of various vaccines, war and pestilence kept the population at reasonable levels to encourage a stable middle class.  Now with medical advancements even with the decrease in family size, human beings are still on a major Ponzi scheme skyrocket.  1/3 of the population now would be about 3 billion people.   A few million is barely a drop in the bucket and replaceable in just a few months. 


  52. I talked with my son the doc in NYC ICU. They usually have 50 patients.  Now they have 200 on vents who won’t be getting off of them anytime soon. It’s bad, very bad. Being prone (face down) overnight for Severe Acute Respiratory Distress is recommended especially with the hips elevated by pillows. It promotes oxygenation. It’s the French Method.

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