New Years Eve–2020

Closing Thought–31Dec20

The last day of the year and as per my tradition I want to look back at the year this site has had…..

I know very little about mine, IST, other than the amount of likes and visitors…..it was never really that important to me to know my standing in the world…that is just another headache I can avoid.

I am not a blogger that spends more time checking my stats than actually trying to educate the reader on a wide array of topics.

I admit that I check my WP stats a couple of times a day….but that is as far as my search usually goes.

But recently I was searching and found this about my site, In Saner Thought……

Lobotero.com has a global Alexa ranking of 7,084,416 . The global rank improved 2,602 positions versus the previous 3 months. Lobotero.com estimated website worth is US$23,490 (based on the daily revenue potential of the website over a 12 month period). Lobotero.com possibly receives an estimated 145 unique visitors every day.

My site is worth about $23,500 and I rank 7 million in the world of blogging…..plus my security rating is Good….

Considering there are about 500 million blogs….”But How Many Blogs Are There In Total In 2020? To date, there are more than 500 million blogs“….I feel pretty good about the ranking considering I do very little increase my stats other than to continue to try and write quality stuff the both informs and educates on that wide array of topics….and visit other blogs and comments.

All in all I am pleased….for I refuse to pay for readers….they either want to know the topic on which I write or not…..they can either learn or remain ignorant…..it is all up to them not some algorithm to gain readers.

I like to look back at the progress of IST….I am not breaking any records with 4033 followers….but I can say that most followers once they follow continue to do so…I Lose very few over the year.

I would like each and everyone of them to know how much I appreciate their visits and their comments.

I have posted 16093 posts that is about 5.6  million words I have typed…… since I began I have received 79,525 comments over the years….

Thank you one and all for your continued readership….hopefully the coming New Year will be better for us all….I hope to see you all many times and vocally as well.

Be Well….Be Safe…..and Thank you from the bottom of my heart…..and party responsibly…..

“lego ergo scribo”

A Biden 2021 To Do List

AS 2020 comes to an end let us look ahead to issues that need addressing by the new president…..

Soon our new president Joe Biden, will be taking the oath of office and there are things that this country needs and he should focus on the greatest needs and leave the crap for the donors for later.

First, Biden needs to spend and spend big…

Expec­ta­tions are high for the incom­ing Joe Biden admin­is­tra­tion, not because the polit­i­cal cir­cum­stances are advan­ta­geous, nor because of Biden him­self, but because our trou­bles are so great. 

Tens of mil­lions of Amer­i­cans are unem­ployed. The death toll from Covid-19 in the Unit­ed States now tops 300,000. An avalanche of evic­tions and fore­clo­sures is on its way. And this is on top of our ongo­ing polit­i­cal cri­sis: A stub­born minor­i­ty of vot­ers refuse to rec­og­nize the results of the elec­tion, while many of Pres­i­dent Trump’s sup­port­ers remain unwill­ing to observe ele­men­tary safe­ty mea­sures to reduce the fur­ther spread of the virus. In Wash­ing­ton, D.C. last week, a ram­pag­ing mob of fas­cist goons assault­ed ran­dom passers-by and van­dal­ized black church­es — osten­si­bly as a way to show feal­ty to Trump. To put it mild­ly, Amer­i­ca is in bad shape.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/20/biden-needs-spend-big-and-fast-here-are-4-immediate-priorities

Next he should repair the voting rights in this country….

Manufactured claims of fraud to explain away Trump’s loss of the popular vote in the 2016 election led to the creation of a sham commission that eventually disbanded after failing to provide any factual evidence to support Trump’s preposterous statements that millions of people had voted illegally. And following his loss of the 2020 presidential election, Trump has led a rabid assault on American democracy, which has eroded the public’s faith in the outcome of the election and catapulted efforts to subvert the will of voters by overturning the results of the election.

Undeniably, there are problems with our democracy that must be fixed. But these issues do not arise from purported voter fraud. Rather, they are the legacy problems of our republic: systematic efforts by politicians to erect voting barriers and to discriminate against voters of color to tip the balance of power. These problems are enduring, persistent, and verifiable.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/12/20/president-elect-bidens-voting-rights-do-list

This should definitely be a priority because the GOP are looking for ways to limit voter participation….

Changes to the way millions of Americans voted this year contributed to record turnout, but that’s no guarantee the measures making it easier to cast ballots will stick around for future elections.

Republicans in key states that voted for President-elect Joe Biden already are pushing for new restrictions, especially to absentee voting. It’s an option many states expanded amid the coronavirus outbreak that proved hugely popular and helped ensure one of the smoothest election days in recent years.

President Donald Trump has been unrelenting in his attacks on mail voting as he continues to challenge the legitimacy of an election he lost. Despite a lack of evidence and dozens of losses in the courts, his claims of widespread voter fraud have gained traction with some Republican elected officials.

They are vowing to crack down on mail ballots and threatening to roll back other steps that have made it easier for people to vote.

Republicans Plotting New Ways To Make It Harder To Vote

What about the massive student debt?

Do not look to Biden for much help on this front.

A coalition of 236 mostly progressive groups, including close allies like the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, called on the president-elect on Wednesday to cancel student debt using his executive powers on the first day he takes office.

In a letter to Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, the groups did not specify how much debt they’re asking to be canceled. But they noted that Biden pledged during the campaign to cancel $10,000 of each borrowers’ debt “immediately” as part of his response to the coronavirus epidemic.

“Before the COVID-19 public health crisis began, student debt was already a drag on the national economy, weighing heaviest on Black and Latinx communities, as well as women. That weight is likely to be exponentially magnified given the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 is taking on both the health and economic security of people of color and women,” the groups wrote, saying “bold action is needed.”

https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/11/19/biden-urged-cancel-student-debt

More on this issue…..https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/12/24/unacceptable-and-immoral-say-progressives-after-biden-admits-he-will-be-unlikely

These are not all the situations that a Biden presidency will face but they are some of the most pressing and the ones that will help the people….again leave to donors until all else is done.

The big question….who Biden really be working for?  I have an answer and Biden supporters do not like it.  Something Biden said recently says it all for me….” Biden proclaimed that, as a president who wants to “avoid inflaming a closely divided Congress,” he plans to “tread lightly when it comes to using his executive power.” Biden seems very confident that his passivity won’t “inflame” any of the remaining progressives in a “closely divided Congress.” Biden’s been on or around Capitol Hill for 45 years and he hasn’t witnessed any uprising from the Congressional left yet. He must feel he’s on pretty safe ground.”

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

Watch This Blog!

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Any Good Health News For 2020?

Most of the health news in 2020 has been about the pandemic….and we all are aware how badly that is going…..but was there a possibility that there was some good news of the health front?

To answer that question….yes there was……

Ebola outbreak ends

The second biggest Ebola outbreak in history is officially over. Beginning in 2018, the virus surged in eastern Congo, infecting 3,470 people and killing about two-thirds of them (SN Online: 6/25/20). The outbreak was declared done in June thanks to an aggressive public health response involving testing, isolating sick people and contact tracing — the same measures that could slow COVID-19’s spread.

A vaccine, delivered to more than 300,000 people during the outbreak, and experimental drugs also helped. On October 14, one antibody-based treatment, Inmazeb, became the first Ebola drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (SN Online: 10/15/20). With that approval, U.S. supplies of the drug may become more readily available for Ebola patients. (The drug’s maker, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, is a major donor to the Society for Science & the Public, which publishes Science News.)

HIV’s elite controllers

Most people with HIV take antiretro­viral drugs to keep the virus in check. But in one rare person, the immune system seems to have wiped out the virus all on its own. Among over 1.5 billion blood cells taken from this once-infected person, not a single working copy of HIV turned up (SN: 9/26/20, p. 6). In another patient, researchers found only one functional copy of HIV in more than a billion blood cells. Learning how these people, part of a select group called elite controllers, fought off HIV may lead to better treatments for others.

Peanut allergy protection

In January, the FDA approved the first drug for curbing peanut allergies in children and teens (SN: 2/29/20, p. 16). Called Palforzia, the drug contains peanut proteins and is given in escalating amounts, so the body gradually learns that these proteins aren’t dangerous. The drug doesn’t go as far as eliminating peanut allergies, but it can help people tolerate an accidental peanut encounter.

(science newes)

With all the horrible news around the pandemic…..it is excellent to see that some good news is out there.

Finally, the worst idea of 2020 and it is pandemic related….

That idea was the  stupidity known as the “herd immunity”…….

It’s year-end-list season. Usually, the Vox science team has some fun and compiles a year-end list of bad ideas in health and science that ought to die with the end of the year. In the past, we’ve targeted homeopathic medicine, declared it was time to end the relevance of the fatally flawed Stanford Prison Experiment, and dispelled myths about climate change. This year, though, we have only one target for intellectual demolition.

With the end of 2020, let’s leave behind the idea of using herd immunity acquired through natural infections as a means of combating the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s a lot of words to describe a simple, terrible idea: that we could end the pandemic sooner if more people — particularly young, less-at-risk people — get infected with the coronavirus and develop immunity as a result.

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/22202758/herd-immunity-natural-infection-worst-idea-of-2020

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

R.I.P. In 2020

WE know of all the “famous” people that died in 2020 like country singer Charlie Pride and RBG and Eddie Van Halen among others but there were others that were equally important and this post is just my way of acknowledging their passing….

Elizabeth Wurtzel, 52. Her blunt and painful confessions of her struggles with addiction and depression in the bestselling Prozac Nation made her a voice and a target for an anxious generation. Jan. 7. Sultan Qaboos bin Said, 79. He was the Mideast’s longest-ruling monarch who seized power in Oman in a 1970 palace coup and pulled his Arabian sultanate into modernity while carefully balancing diplomatic ties between adversaries Iran and the US. Jan. 11. Thomas Railsback, 87. An Illinois Republican congressman who helped draw up articles of impeachment against President Nixon in 1974. Jan. 20. Bernard Ebbers, 78. The former chief of WorldCom who was convicted in one of the largest corporate accounting scandals in U.S. history. Feb. 2. Charles “Chuckie” O’Brien, 86. A longtime associate of Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa who became a leading suspect in the labor leader’s disappearance and later was portrayed in the Martin Scorsese film, The Irishman. Feb. 13. Sy Sperling, 78. The Hair Club for Men founder who was famous for the TV commercials where he proclaimed “I’m not only the Hair Club president but I’m also a client.” Feb. 19. Thich Quang Do, 91. A Buddhist monk who became the public face of religious dissent in Vietnam while the Communist government kept him in prison or under house arrest for more than 20 years. Feb. 22.

Max von Sydow, 90. The actor known to art house audiences through his work with Swedish director Ingmar Bergman and later to moviegoers everywhere when he played the priest in the horror classic The Exorcist. March 8. Rev. Darius L. Swann, 95. His challenge to the notion of segregated public schools helped spark the use of busing to integrate schools across the country. March 8. Tom Dempsey, 73. The NFL kicker born without toes on his kicking foot who made a then-record 63-yard field goal. April 4. Earl Graves Sr., 85. He championed Black businesses as the founder of the first African American-owned magazine focusing on Black entrepreneurs. April 6. Herbert Stempel, 93. A fall guy and whistleblower of early television whose confession to deliberately losing on a 1950s quiz show helped drive a national scandal and join his name in history to winning contestant Charles Van Doren. April 7. Linda Tripp, 70. Her secretly taped conversations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky provided evidence of an affair with President Bill Clinton that led to his impeachment. April 8. Phyllis Lyon, 95. A gay rights pioneer who, with her longtime partner, was among the first same-sex couples to marry in California when it became legal to do so in 2008. April 9.
Astrid Kirchherr, 81. She was the German photographer who shot some of the earliest and most striking images of the Beatles and helped shape their trend-setting visual style. May 12.

Ken Osmond, 76. On TV’s Leave It to Beaver, he played two-faced teenage scoundrel Eddie Haskell, a role so memorable it left him typecast and led to a second career as a police officer. May 18. Christo, 84. He was known for massive, ephemeral public arts projects that often involved wrapping large structures in fabric. May 31. Shigeru Yokota, 87. A Japanese campaigner for the return of his daughter and more than a dozen others who were abducted to North Korea in the 1970s. June 5. Bonnie Pointer, 69. She convinced three of her church-singing siblings to form the Pointer Sisters, which would become one of the biggest acts of the 1970s and ’80s. June 8. Charles Webb, 81. A lifelong nonconformist whose debut novel The Graduate was a deadpan satire of his college education and wealthy background adapted into the classic film of the same name. June 16. Milton Glaser, 91. The groundbreaking graphic designer who adorned Bob Dylan’s silhouette with psychedelic hair and summed up the feelings for his home state with “I (HEART) NY.” June 26. Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., 82. He was the last of three one-time Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in a 1963 Alabama church bombing that killed four Black girls and was the deadliest single attack of the civil rights movement. June 26.

Mary Kay Letourneau, 58. A teacher who married her former sixth-grade student after she was convicted of raping him in a case that drew international headlines. July 6. Joanna Cole, 75. The author whose Magic School Bus books transported millions of young people on extraordinary and educational adventures. July 12. Connie Culp, 57. She was the recipient of the first partial face transplant in the US. July 29. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, 83. A prolific Jewish scholar who spent 45 years compiling a monumental and ground-breaking translation of the Talmud. Aug. 7. Gail Sheehy, 83. A journalist, commentator and pop sociologist whose best-selling Passages helped millions navigate their lives from early adulthood to middle age and beyond. Aug. 24. Lady Yvonne Sursock Cochrane, 98. One of Lebanon’s most prominent philanthropists and a pioneer defender of the country’s heritage. Aug. 31. Injuries suffered from a massive explosion in Beirut.

Kaing Guek Eav, 77. Known as Duc, he was the Khmer Rouge’s chief jailer, who admitted overseeing the torture and killings of as many as 16,000 Cambodians while running the regime’s most notorious prison. Sept. 2. Winston Groom, 77. The writer whose novel Forrest Gump was made into a six-Oscar winning 1994 movie that became a soaring pop culture phenomenon. Sept. 17. Rev. Robert Graetz, 92. The only white minister to support the Montgomery bus boycott and who became the target of scorn and bombings for doing so. Sept. 20. Ang Rita, 72. A veteran Nepalese Sherpa guide who was the first person to climb Mount Everest 10 times. Sept. 21. Timothy Ray Brown, 54. He made history as “the Berlin patient,” the first person known to be cured of HIV infection. Sept. 29. Bernard S. Cohen, 86. He won a landmark case that led to the Supreme Court’s rejection of laws forbidding interracial marriage and later went on to a successful political career as a state legislator. Oct. 12. Christopher Pendergast, 71. A suburban New York teacher who turned a Lou Gehrig’s disease diagnosis into a decades-long campaign to raise awareness and fund research. Oct. 14. James Randi, 92. A magician who later challenged spoon benders, mind readers and faith healers with such voracity that he became regarded as the country’s foremost skeptic. Oct. 20.

Diane di Prima, 86. A poet, activist and teacher who was one of the last surviving members of the Beats and one of the few women writers in the Beat movement. Oct. 25. David Dinkins, 93. He broke barriers as New York City’s first African American mayor but was doomed to a single term by a soaring murder rate, stubborn unemployment and his mishandling of a riot in Brooklyn. Nov. 23. Dave Prowse, 85. The British weightlifter-turned-actor who was the body, though not the voice, of archvillain Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Nov. 28. Rafer Johnson, 86. He won the decathlon at the 1960 Rome Olympics and helped subdue Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin in 1968. Dec. 2. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, 97. The World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who in 1947 became the first person to fly faster than sound. Dec. 7.

So many…..

May their families and friends find the peace of mind that they need.

May they all Rest In Peace

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Economic News 2020

These are the final reports before we go screaming into a new year…..the news is not as rosy for some as it is for others……

For instance the jobs outlook for the end of the year…..

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 89,000 last week to a still-elevated 803,000, evidence that the job market remains under stress nine months after the coronavirus outbreak sent the US economy into recession and caused millions of layoffs. The latest figure, released Wednesday by the Labor Department, shows that many employers are still cutting jobs as the pandemic tightens business restrictions and leads many consumers to stay home. Before the virus struck, jobless claims typically numbered around 225,000 a week before shooting up to 6.9 million in early spring. The pace of layoffs has since declined but remains historically high in the face of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, reports the AP

“The fact that more than nine months into the crisis, initial claims are still running at such a high level is, in absolute terms, bad news,” Joshua Shapiro, chief US economist at the economic consulting firm Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc., wrote in a research note. “With the pandemic again worsening, it is likely that claims will remain quite elevated for some time to come.” According to the data firm Womply, closings are rising in some hard-hit businesses. For example, 42% of bars were closed as of Dec. 16, up from 33% at the start of November. Over the same period, closures rose from 25% to 29% at restaurants and from 27% to 35% at salons and other health and beauty shops. And the Wall Street Journal sees sobering news elsewhere, noting existing-home sales, “which had been a bright spot in recent months,” were down 2.5% in November over October.

The Trump Labor Department takes a parting shot at low wage workers….those that work for tips….

New changes to Labor Department rules are being called a “year-end victory” for the restaurant industry, per the National Restaurant Association—though servers who rely on tips to boost their sub-minimum-wage pay may not be giving it an enthusiastic thumbs-up. Fox Business reports on a revision made final Tuesday by the DOL that now gives employers the ability to mandate a “tip pool,” in which tipped workers, such as waiters and bartenders, must hand over a portion of their tips to nontipped workers, including dishwashers and cooks. Advocates of the rule change, which will go into effect in February and vary by state, say it will help even out the pay disparities that exist between those employees who work the floor for tips and those who don’t, putting an additional $109 million into back-of-house workers’ pockets, per DOL estimates.

Restaurant Business Online notes that due to this current wage gap, it can be difficult to find back-of-house help. Servers, however, may grumble at now having to split their tips, and another Labor Department shift won’t make them any happier: Per CBS News, a past limit on how much time tipped employees could spend doing nontipped work, such as helping to set up or clean up, has been nixed. Heidi Shierholz, policy director at the Economic Policy Institute nonprofit, says this could lead to big savings for restaurants, as servers are typically paid much less than workers who usually do those nontipped tasks—but tipped workers could lose out on up to $700 million a year due to this rule change, per EPI estimates last year. “You don’t solve the low wages of the lowest paid workers by taking it out of the wages of the second-lowest paid workers,” Shierholz tells CBS. “You pay them more.”

One of the first things Biden should do is repeal this POS….tip workers are the lowest paid of all and the pandemic has made it less likely to make their livelihood.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”