The Wisconsinite’s real chances of dying from the coronavirus

The MacIver Institute supplies these coronavirus numbers:

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I (who have already been tested and found negative) meet two of these qualifications. The one thing MacIver doesn’t include (because the state Department of Health Services apparently isn’t measuring the percentage of diagnosed or hospitalized people who test positive, or those who die after diagnoses, who have preexisting health conditions.


Presty the DJ for July 12

Today is the anniversary of the Rolling Stones’ first public performance, at the Marquee Club in London in 1962. They were known then as the “Rollin’ Stones,” and they had not recorded a song yet.

If you’re going to record just one song that gets on the charts, ending at number one would be preferable, whether in 1969, or in the year 2525:

Today in 1979 was one of the most bizarre moments in baseball history and/or radio station history:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for July 12”

Presty the DJ for July 11

The number one single today in 1960 was the first, but not only, example of the caveman music genre:

Today in 1962, Joe Meek wrote “Telstar,” the first song about a satellite:

Today in 1964, the Beatles appeared live on (British) ABC-TV’s “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” The appearance was supposed to be taped, but a strike by studio technicians made that impossible. The band had just appeared at the northern England premiere of their movie “A Hard Day’s Night,” requiring them to get to London via plane and boat.

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for July 11”

An opinion from Margaritaville Harbor

Kyle Smith:

They say jazz is America’s musical signature: As Ken Burns wrote, “the genius of America is improvisation, our unique experiment a profound intersection of freedom and creativity. . . . Nowhere is this more apparent than in jazz — the only art form created by Americans, an enduring and indelible expression of our genius and promise.”

Stirring words. Jazz is inventive, vibrant, and complex. Everything about it is great, except the way it sounds. Listening to jazz is like trying to chase down a housefly. There’s a reason why only French tourists pretend to like it. To quote a more honest writer, John O’Farrell: “Music is a journey. Jazz is getting lost.”

America’s truly sublime musical innovation is Yacht Rock. Savor the wit of that oxymoron: How hard can you rock if you’re on a yacht? The boat itself rocks like a baby, not like Led Zeppelin. So Yacht Rock is gentle, but it can’t be sad. There is no moping on a yacht. If you want to be glum and wear black, get off the boat and go find a jazz club. Not that anyone would ever invite you on their yacht in the first place.

The essence of a Yacht Rock song (my Spotify playlist is here) is that you can picture it being blasted on the deck of a yar and saucy watercraft circa 1981. Girls in cut-off shorts and bikini tops toss their arms in the air and say, “Whoo!” while the owner and host — a guy named Brad or Chad or Gary, who struck it rich with, say, a string of Camaro dealerships and is himself a sort of Camaro in human form — high-fives the guests, bites his lower lip, and moves a little off the beat, occasionally interjecting, “Awesome, man!” Brad or Chad or Gary drinks only the classy beers such as Lowenbrau or Michelob and has a cooler stocked with colorful wine coolers for the girls. Only his one very special lady will be present later when he opens up a perfectly chilled bottle of Aste Spumante. His captain’s chair is made of rich Corinthian leather.

Yacht Rock isn’t what you’d call “real” rock, angry rock, rock with a point or an attitude or a message or even a smirk, because Brad or Chad or Gary is just here to have a good time (and here is “on earth”). There is no edge to Yacht Rock any more than there is an edge to the round, rolling sea. However, Yacht Rock is not Loser Rock or Wimp Rock. It may be smooth, but it isn’t limp. When the Yacht Rock is blasting out of the JVC boom box, the sun is shining, the girls are swaying, the waves are rolling, and all is well. Any song about lost love or thwarted longing or the girl that got away is inadmissible unless it reminds Brad or Chad or Gary about that time he almost met Cheryl Tiegs in Puerto Vallarta, and he’ll tell you about this incident at length.

Yacht Rock has to have a pulse; it’s got to make you feel like you’re scything through the waves while you’re enjoying a classy snack like cottage cheese on melba toast. It’s got soul, but not real soul, just the blue-eyed kind. You can’t play Marvin Gaye on a yacht because Marvin Gaye was a genius. The Eagles are not Yacht Rock: They’re too great. Same for The Police and The Rolling Stones. (Most Europeans are automatically disqualified anyway; a European on a yacht conjures up an image of a 200-foot monster docking in Nice and skippered by a man named Baron von Ruprecht of Wienerwald. Who can party down in a white dinner jacket while holding a snifter of brandy?)

Yacht Rock is the unchallenging, mood-brightening background music of the ordinary Chad who struck it rich enough to get a starter yacht, albeit not rich enough to compete with Baron von Ruprecht, who had a 200-year head start. America is the land where anyone might get rich enough to own a yacht, and so Yacht Rock is a celebration of America. It makes you lift your foam beer-can insulator to the cerulean skies and bawl out, “Meet you all the way” or “Yah mo B there.”

Yacht rock has its own Lennon and McCartney, except they are named Loggins and McDonald. I know what you’re going to say, but I’ve done the research and it turns out that Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald are not the same guy. McDonald offered a foretaste of the smooth-it-down Eighties on the Doobie Brothers’ “Takin’ It to the Streets” (1976). This was the first hit single ever sung by McDonald, and was there ever a more adorable track about urban unrest? If you blasted that over loudspeakers in the midst of an actual riot, the looting and smashing would stop immediately, and everyone would beg you to stop ruining the mood. As McDonald’s profile was rising, Loggins came by like the guy in the Mr. Microphone commercial: “Hey good lookin’, I’ll be back to pick you up later!” Soon the pair were collaborating on “What a Fool Believes,” (1979), which despite being about a loser is just bouncy enough to qualify as Yacht Rock rather than loser rock. Loggins and McDonald combined again for “This Is It” (1979), a spectacularly non-specific paean to get-er-done Americanism on the cover of which Loggins is depicted holding what appears to be a magical glowing orb — obviously the mystical power cell of Yacht Rock. With “I’m Alright,” the following year, Loggins crafted a tune that was not only the perfect Yacht-Rock track, complete with misspelled title, but inspired the perfect Yacht-Rock conversation: “Did anyone see Caddyshack ?”

The summer of Caddyshack — 1980 — was Yacht Rock’s annus mirabilis. Along came a third natural master of styrofoam wave-coasting: Christopher Cross. Released at the tail end of 1979, his eponymous rookie album became the lodestar of Yacht Rock, containing both of the quintessential examples of the form. Not only did Cross come up with “Ride Like the Wind,” which actually sounds like the internal soundtrack playing in Brad/Chad/Gary’s mind as he rips across the water (and features McDonald’s epic backup vocal), but at the same time gave us “Sailing,” a song without which no one ever would have thought up the term Yacht Rock. Sadly, Cross would later become a casualty of Wimp Rock with “Arthur’s Theme (The Best That You Can Do”) and “Think of Laura.”

Yacht Rock’s subtle distinctions sometimes elude even dedicated students of the form. For instance, Fleetwood Mac’s “You Make Lovin’ Fun” (Fun! Lovin!’) is Yacht Rock. Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” (cutting, bitter) is not. “Rock’n Me” (Steve Miller Band) is Yacht Rock. “Rock the Casbah” (The Clash) is not; it’s too good.

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‘Gone with the Wind,’ And ‘Cops’ Removed From TV

References to actually being on a boat definitely add Yacht-Rock cachet, because no one will ever accuse you of being too obvious on a boat; if anything, use of irony on the water will earn you nasty looks and maybe an order to clean out the bottom of the cooler. But “Rock the Boat” (Hues Corporation) is not Yacht Rock, it’s disco. It’s a dance song. On a yacht, you don’t dance, you dance around. Big difference. Dancing requires skill, or at least rhythm. Dancing around you can manage even if you’re a Camaro in human form. “Cool Change,” with its serene lyrics about “sailing on the cool and bright clear water,” is Yacht-Rock splendor despite being an import, from Australia’s Little River Band. Australia, though, is the most American of all overseas countries — big, confident, friendly, and party-minded. Australia is America’s honorary little brother. “Love Will Find A Way” is pure yachty bliss, not only because of the gentle, undemanding optimism of the song, not only because of the not-too-fast-buddy tempo, but because the band that performed it was Pablo Cruise. Pablo Cruise! They might as well have called themselves Boaty McBoatface.

Yacht Rock lyrics are not allowed to be profound, equivocal, or thoughtful. Paul Simon and Carole King are not Yacht Rock. Acceptable Yacht-Rock sentiments include:

“While you see a chance, take it.”

“Ride into the danger zone.”

“We’re still havin’ fun, and you’re still the one.”

“Believe it or not, I’m walkin’ on air!”

“You make-a-my dreams come true.”

And if your yacht hasn’t come in yet? Not to worry; all of these songs make the ideal soundtrack for backyard barbecuing, which is basically yacht-rocking on land. The ideal accessories are a badminton set, a Weber grill, a Coleman cooler. Get out the Bluetooth speaker, bring it into the yard, and revel in America’s glorious Yacht-Rock inheritance.

What is a conservative?

Patrick J. Deneen:

By the telling of the intellectual classes, conservatism is the ideology of the elite, aligned with those who seek to preserve the wealth, status, and power of the upper classes against the egalitarian longings of the people.

Conservatism, it is alleged, was born in reaction against the efforts of ordinary people to gain some degree of political influence, economic justice, and social dignity against the brutal and inhumane oppression of the aristocratic classes. By the telling of one of these chroniclers of this nefarious ideology—Corey Robin, in his book The Reactionary Mind—“conservatism is the theoretical voice of this animus against the agency of the subordinate classes. It provides the most consistent and profound argument as to why the lower orders should not be allowed to exercise their independent will, why they should not be allowed to govern themselves or the polity. Submission is their first duty, and agency the prerogative of the elite.” Per Robin, conservatism is the default ideology of those who seek to conserve the status and privileges of the elite. No other feature or quality that might pertain to conservatism—preference for the past, caution, prudence—is pertinent except inasmuch as those, or their opposites, preserve elite status.

If Robin’s definition is correct, then today’s “conservatives” are that ruling class we typically call “progressive.”

It is instructive to consider what group in today’s America is driven “by animus against the agency of the subordinate classes.” Those most invested in maintaining the current form of class division—notably through control of elite colleges and universities which relentlessly sift and distill today’s economic winners from losers, along with support from almost all the main cultural institutions such as media, foundations, NGOs, government bureaucracy, public service unions, and corporate board rooms—are wholly controlled by “progressive” elites, people who have little hesitation condemning the backwardness and deplorableness of the lower classes. For a generation, it is progressives who have relentlessly turned to unelected judges and bureaucrats—often with the assistance of corporations—to overturn duly-enacted democratic legislation. Today’s liberal elites studiously avoid considerations of class, having replaced their historic claims to defend the underclass with obsessions over identity politics that, properly implemented through “diversity” initiatives at every university and workplace, are thinly veiled efforts to keep in place the educational and “meritocratic” structures that maintain the privilege of those same elites. By Robin’s definition, today’s so-called “progressives” are “conservatives”—if that word simply means, per Robin’s narrow definition, those who attempt to maintain their status and position especially by shoring up class structures to the advantage of liberal elites.

What both older and recent history actually discloses is that conservatism as a political stance is and ought to be truly informed by and aligned with the concerns and commitments of the lower and working classes. Conservatism is the natural disposition and political home of the working classes, invested in stability, protections for families, and supportive of the formative institutions of civil society, especially religious institutions. Conservatism supports these goods by its natural disposition toward preserving the inheritances of the past, mining tradition for wisdom rather than wishing for unproven promises yet in the future, and by being attuned to the likelihood of baleful unintended consequences. It seeks to preserve the past into the present, valuing continuity over disruption, steady and unfolding development of longstanding tendencies over radical breaks, temporal continuity and stability over revolution. Conservatism seeks to conserve, to arrest decay and forestall unbridled innovation that always most heavily burdens the lower classes.

Historically, there have been two groups mainly dedicated to this substantively conservative worldview: the old aristocracy (the ancien regime described by Tocqueville) and ordinary people. What is a historical accident of a hostility between those classes is mistaken by Robin as its essence. The best and most natural arrangement for political conservatism is a coalition between a properly constituted elite aligned with the needs of ordinary people against the disruptions of, and hostility toward, the commitments of family, home, and place that have always animated the party of “Progress.”

The Left came into being by claiming the political support of the people against the old aristocracy, but conservatism came into being almost simultaneously, recognizing that this revolutionary class was actually more hostile to the basic commitments and inclinations of the working class. The Left rose to power by loudly opposing the existing aristocracy while actually undermining the conditions supportive of the working class, all the while installing their own leadership as the new elite that shrouded its status by trumpeting its commitments to equality (the basic script of the Soviet Union has been endlessly repeated, and is on full display in today’s America). Conservatism’s first and most fundamental source and allegiance derives from ordinary people as the natural constituency and beneficiaries of policies that shore up stability, attack concentration of both political and economic power, and support families, communities, and churches.

Today’s most vibrant and intellectually exciting critiques of capitalism, monopolies, globalism, cosmopolitanism, the financialization of the economy, and structural class inequality are not found on the Left (given their effectual commitment to all of the above), but among a new generation of conservatives who not only reject progressivism, but have split with individualistic libertarians and war-mongering “neo-conservatives.” Revealingly, those former “conservative” coalition partners have now found a political home with the progressives.

The allegiance of the working classes is increasingly aligned with conservative parties around the world, fully recognizing the deep hostility of both “progressives” and “neoliberal conservatives” to their way of life. The abandonment of working classes from progressive parties is the deepest underlying source of their panic over populism—the mask has been lifted. The loss of residual working class support reveals the emperor has been wearing the finest clothes, bought with assets strip-mined from ordinary people. Conservatism wandered in the wilderness in its alignment with classical liberalism, but as that ideology has been discredited and its influence over conservative parties has diminished, there is—arguably for the first time—a genuine possibility of a conservative moment in America. Conservatism rightly seeks to protect the main aims of a well-lived life for ordinary people—family, home, honest work, production over consumption, decent places, stability, and a nation that protects these goods.

Today, conservatism increasingly enjoys the support of the working classes. The next thing most needful is to replace the current corrupt elite of faux egalitarians with a genuinely conservative leadership who will actively protect, support, and promote the goods of life that should and can be widely enjoyed, regardless of one’s wealth, social status, or ranking of one’s alma mater.


Wisconsin’s next big legal battle

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about our fascist governor’s latest idiot idea:

Gov. Tony Evers signaled Tuesday he might try to require Wisconsin residents to wear face masks to address a new surge of coronavirus cases — after previously taking the position he didn’t have the authority to do so.

Evers, who wore a face mask during a briefing with reporters, said he’s considering a mask mandate but said it’s unclear whether it would stick after a state Supreme Court ruling in May that tossed out much of his stay-at-home order and put his authority to issue statewide orders in question.

The Democratic governor made his comments after Dane County officials issued an order Tuesday requiring face coverings in all indoor settings except at home and in restaurants, and as a Milwaukee alderwoman proposed a city mask ordinance that would be one of the strictest in the nation if enacted.

Evers has taken the position until now that the ruling stripped him of the authority to issue such statewide orders, but some legal experts don’t agree. On Tuesday, he said an unnamed business owner told him to try even if Republicans sue.

“We really don’t know if I have the authority to do that,” Evers told reporters, noting such a mandate could be “unlikely” after the Supreme Court ruling made the task of responding to the virus outbreak more complicated.

Later in the briefing, Evers also said he was “looking at all options” and said a “business leader” called him recently asking him to mandate masks to ensure outbreaks don’t get out of hand and force more business closures.

“I talked to him about the possibilities of it being challenged in court by the Republicans, which is probably 100%, and our chances of losing in the Supreme Court which are probably very close to 100%, and he said ‘Do it anyway,’ ” Evers said.

Republican legislative leaders sued Evers earlier this year over his stay-at-home order which closed schools, businesses, bars and restaurants for two months.

The conservative-controlled state Supreme Court in May issued a ruling in the case, tossing out the order with the exception of its limits on schools.

But the court’s conservative majority tightens to 4-3 in August with the addition of liberal justice Jill Karfosky. Conservative justice Brian Hagedorn sided with the liberal minority in the May ruling tossing out the governor’s order.

That means a potential lawsuit over similar statewide orders may be unsuccessful once Karofsky joins the court.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said last month he does not support mask mandates, but a spokesman did not answer whether he would support a lawsuit challenging an order requiring them.

A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Robin Vos also did not respond.

Until Dane County implemented its mask requirements on Tuesday, Wisconsin was in a minority of states that did not have any orders requiring face coverings.

In June, California Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered residents there to wear masks indoors and in settings that put people at a higher risk of contracting the virus, like health care facilities and using public transportation.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have issued face mask mandates and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz requires employees in certain positions wear masks. …

The spread of the virus among Wisconsin’s younger residents pushed Dane County officials to pull back their plans to gradually reopen businesses and allow larger gatherings since shutting down most of the county in March.

On Tuesday, the county’s health officials went a step further and required everyone over the age of 5 to wear a mask when indoors except at home or at a restaurant, which are only allowed to cater to 25% of their capacity.

Milwaukee city leaders are working on an ordinance to require face coverings after Ald. Marina Dimitrijevic introduced a proposal that would require city residents to wear masks when they are in public — including when they are indoors and outside if they are in a public place and within 30 feet of another person who is not living with them.

The mandate would apply to anyone who is 2 years old or older.

The 30-foot requirement is modeled after San Francisco, Dimitrijevic said. That city’s face mask requirement includes, “walking or running outside and you see someone within 30 feet (about the length of a Muni bus).”

The plan would require Milwaukee businesses to enforce the mask requirement or risk being shut down by the Health Department.

If implemented, it would be among the stricter mask ordinances in the country.

But Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and city Health Commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said they were working with Dimitrijevic and others to update the proposal.

“We want to make sure it withstands a legal challenge if there is one,” he said. “It’s a work in progress. It’s not done yet.”

Dimitrijevic said the proposal aims to help stop the recent surge of coronavirus cases.

“I don’t think anyone can ignore that data show we’re heading in the wrong direction,” she told the Journal Sentinel.

Dimitrijevic added that enforcement is focused on indoor public places, while rules for outdoor areas allow for “self-enforcement” in an effort to keep people from passing too close to each other.

“You’re being the judge of it,” she said.

Most of the mask mandates around the country require wearing masks while indoors in public places or when outdoors in public places and unable to maintain a 6-foot distance.

While some mask ordinances provide detailed guidelines about when a mask should be worn, others are much more vague.

Some places are willing to enforce their mandates with fines, including Texas and Phoenix, while other places like New York state, Illinois, Los Angeles and San Jose are not imposing fines for violating their mandates.

None of the 10 largest cities had a rule requiring people to wear face coverings outdoors whenever they are within 30 feet of someone who is not a member of your family or household.

The go-away-or-shut-up question

Back in 2008 the Freakonomics webpage created a contest for a six-word motto for the U.S. The winner: “Our worst critics prefer to stay.”

But that is not a unanimous opinion. Matt Walsh:

If you feel like cringing uncontrollably, watch this video of two girls at a swimming pool over the weekend singing about how they are “ashamed to be American” because “not all folks are free” and “this ain’t our land.” Similar sentiments were expressed by a group of protesters in DC who burned an American flag on July 4th while chanting that the flag represents “slavery, genocide, and war” and that “America was never great.”

The flag-burners are fortunate that they live in this terrible place. If they’d pulled that stunt in many other countries across the globe, they’d have been dead or in handcuffs before they finished their chant. In India, for example, you can be arrested just for wearing the flag on your clothing, much less burning it in the middle of the street. Flag desecration laws in Saudi Arabia are so strict that even lowering it to half mast is illegal and subject to severe punishment. These protesters need not worry about any of that because they live here, where they have, in fact, much more freedom than they should — freedom that now includes the implicit permission to loot, riot, and vandalize, virtually without consequence.

The fact that they live here, and not somewhere over there, is in itself quite interesting. I am obviously not the first person to ask this question, but it has yet to be sufficiently answered, so I’ll ask it again: If you believe that America is a racist dystopia that was built on stolen land, and that we have no right to be here — “this ain’t our land,” as the smarmy white girls at the pool sang — and that there is almost nothing praiseworthy or good about it, then why are you still here? Why don’t you leave? There are 195 countries in the world. Two-thirds of them are largely non-white and non-western. Why don’t you move to one of them?

Now, the most obvious response is that they stay here, despite feeling this way about America, because they want to fight for change and progress. But that excuse is a non-starter. The things they hate about the US are mostly things that cannot possibly be changed. And even the things that seem like they could be changed, apparently cannot be. If this country was built on stolen land and we have no right to be here, there is no social progress that will ever alter the fact or make it better. If this “ain’t our land,” even after 250 years, then it never will be. Why would you stay on land that you believe doesn’t belong to you?

The supposed systemic racism in our country would seem like something that could be fixed, if it existed, but by the Left’s telling even the election of a black president didn’t improve the problem. It’s still as much an issue now as it’s ever been, they say. America is apparently sick to its very core. Given all of this, isn’t it a matter of moral necessity that you donate your assets to an Indian reservation and move to a country that is not a haven of white supremacy?

But nobody is doing this. The option is not entertained. As they sit around burning the flag and lamenting America’s myriad sins, never once does it occur to them to lead by example and finally flee from this empire of bigotry and genocide. They have been boycotting a fast food chicken restaurant for seven years because the owner disagreed with gay marriage. Yet the United States has been embarked on a ceaseless campaign of oppression, racism, and theft (they allege) for centuries and they do not even consider boycotting it. Why?

There are only two possible explanations: either they believe everything they say about this country and choose to stay on this stolen land because they feel it may benefit them in some way, or they do not believe what they say. The first option makes them amoral opportunists, and the second makes them frauds and hypocrites. If there is a third option, it’s some kind of mix of the first two. Whatever the answer — and I suspect it may be option three — these America-hating protesters are saying more about themselves than the country they live in.

So all the celebrities that swear they’re leaving if Donald Trump is reelected are lying?