What Would You Do? Covid-19 Edition

June 26, 2020

What Would You Do? Covid-19 Edition

covid-19

Mark Rubin

On Facebook the other day, I engaged in a conversation about masks. I know, I know, I seem bright enough. But, sometimes I’m not!

Anyway, after a discussion with some moderately reasonable But Freedom types, one said: Well, what would you do? Stay tuned, I wrote, thinking I could never express myself adequately in a FB post.

I suspect my inquisitor wanted something simple, which he could knock down quickly. (A few days ago, intemperately, I called out a new business group for kvelling about a kickoff event sans masks or distancing. “You are pathetic,” said one fellow. Blocked.)

So, what would I do? To answer, I must discuss what I would

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The Supreme Court: This Week (6/14 – 6/21/2020)

June 20, 2020

The Supreme Court: This Week (6/14 – 6/21/2020)

Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Building

A doozy, this week, with plenty to observe! The week began on Monday with the decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, etc. and two related cases (Nos. 17-1618 and 23, and 18-107) aka the Title VII same sex / transgender cases. On Thursday, the Court issued its opinion in Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California, No. 18-587, the DACA case. Earlier, the Court rejected certiorari writs in 10 Second Amendment cases.

For those who thought they bought the Court when they elected Donald J. Trump, this was a very bad week. But, a good week it was for the rule of

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We Didn’t Start the Fire: 5th Edition

May 18, 2020

We Didn’t Start the Fire

we didn't start the fire

Billy Joel

Here’s the fifth iteration of We Didn’t Start the Fire (Annotated), first published on July 13, 2014 and last posted on February 10, 2018. For whatever it’s worth, no post at Mark Rubin Writes gets more views.

we didn't start the fire

Christie Brinkley

we didn't start the fire

Elle Macpherson

William M. Joel writes and sings songs. On March 23, 1985 he married tall and very classy Christie Brinkley. (They divorced on August 25, 1994.) Was Ms. Brinkley the Uptown Girl in Uptown Girl, Mr. Joel’s big 1983 hit song? Only maybe, for while Mr. Joel—the short, Downtown Guy—knew and was friendly with Ms. Brinkley when he wrote the song, at the time he was dating taller very Uptown babe

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More Random Thoughts

May 17, 2020

More Random Thoughts

random thoughts

Mark Rubin

Random thoughts. The Internet says random thoughts mean something, and that science agrees. Who knew?

My first random thought involves recycling. I keep two old-fashioned galvanized steel trash cans outside, near my kitchen door. The city picks up recycling every other Monday, so I carried that bin out to the alley. Lo, when I went to my city-owned recycle bin, someone had tossed in an Apple computer box. Very shapely. Stylish even, but it filled my container.

I solved the problem, but here is my question: Can you dump recycling in any blue bin? Or, just the one by your house? An inquiring mind needs a good answer.

Next up: living my life. I

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Trump, the Court, and Subpoenas

May 12, 2020

Trump, the Court, and Subpoenas

trump court subpoenas

Mark Rubin

The U.S. Supreme Court heard three cases during two oral arguments today. Here’s the C-Span link.

Two cases involved subpoenas directed to Mazars (an accounting firm which provided services to Donald Trump and his entities) and Deutche Bank (purportedly, the only money center bank which still deals with the Trumps and their entities). The other case involves state law claims which a New York County (Manhattan) grand jury intends to investigate.

I have thoughts. Really, you say? A top 40% law student – TBT, 57th percentile, ranked just behind my law school roommate, with a practice which mostly involves elder law and real estate – intends to spout off on Con

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Personal and Business: Isolation News

May 10, 2020

Personal and Business: Isolation News

person and business

Mark Rubin

My house has a more than 60’ long walking length, passing from kitchen to dining room to hall to my bedroom. I walk that distance, back and forth, every day. Hundreds of times. (During the past week I averaged 24K steps per day.) Max thinks I’m nutso, I’m sure, and Leigh removes all doubt. But … I feel wonderful, and the early morning steps – the real workout – and the walking breaks all day refresh me.

Veganism had crept into my life. Beef went away almost totally a few years ago, for Leigh worries greatly about prions. Who knows, but for the environment and everything else, we ought to stop raising

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Michael Flynn: The Dismissal and What Might Happen    

May 7, 2020

Flynn: The Dismissal and What Might Happen

Michael Flynn

Mark Rubin

 

Today, the Justice Department announced its intent to dismiss its case against Michael Flynn. Recall that the United States of America charged Mr. Flynn with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (False Statements). Mr. Flynn’s sin: lying to the FBI about contacts with Russian governmental officials before January 20, 2017.

Mr. Flynn pled guilty, cooperated with the government for a while for the purpose of lessening his sentence and, on January 14, 2020, filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea. Now, the government says never mind and more – the Justice Department has trashed the FBI and President Trump accuses the Obama Administration of treason, even though

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Elmore Leonard and Sam Sifton

April 28, 2020

Elmore Leonard and Sam Sifton

elmore leonard

Mark Rubin

Elmore Leonard was a great writer, with an extraordinary way with dialogue. Sam Sifton writes pretty well, too. Presently, he’s the Food Editor for the New York Times, where he has worked for almost 20 years. (Mr. Sifton’s grandfather was Reinhold Neibuhr, who wrote the Serenity Prayer. It comes to mind often, but only after I have failed to appreciate the difference between what I can and cannot change.)

Every week Mr. Sifton sends What to Cook … emails. They bring me great pleasure, always, but I really enjoyed Cook Anyway, which I received on April 27. Mr. Sifton starts out thusly:

Good morning. One of the greatest first lines of a novel,

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More Thoughts from the Self-Isolation Front

April 21, 2020

More Thoughts from the Self-Isolation Front

self-isolation

Mark Rubin

I’m here! Apologies – as always – for not blogging often enough.

Candidly, spare time involves more activities than “stuck” might suggest, and I’m spending writing time working on my personal memoir. I expect to be around for a long time, but I’d be a G.D. Fool if I didn’t note my age (62), my four pneumonias, and the absence of a solid, functioning health care system. Those who deliver health services deserve every bit of love we can offer them, but if we don’t take away from this crisis a recognition that we don’t have a functioning public health system, We. Are. Blind.

The memoir enlivens my time. I’m blessed, and

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Numbers Illiteracy

April 6, 2020

Numbers Illiteracy

numbers illiteracy

Mark Rubin

John Allen Paulos teaches math at Temple University. He writes books, too. Good books. Books for lay people about math. One of which he titled Innumeracy … which is why this post got titled Numbers Illiteracy, as opposed to … Innumeracy.

Stupid numbers drive me nutso. They abound now, in an era when stupid, vapid creatures rule.

I hear lots of people talking about how the United States has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in the world. These comments come, mostly, from those whose fury focuses first on our Fearless Leader.

Well, duh! More people live in the United States than in any other country, save China and India. Among large nations we have, by

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