by John Walters

In The Line Of Ire*

*The judges will also accept “Sunday Drive”

Say this much for the Donald Trump presidency: it is never boring.

Yesterday a 74 year-old Covid-19 patient was put in close proximity, in an enclosed space that is particularly well-sealed, with healthy Secret Service agents, in order that his ego be massaged. Wow.

Almost all of us know someone who either has been infected or is in a nursing home and here’s the ironclad rule: no physical contact or proximity to healthy people outside of health-care workers. The president flouted that on Sunday.

The last weeks of Trump’s presidency are a sad circus and it will only become more bizarre. Just pray that you are not one of those who become collateral damage.

Meanwhile, the president has made a video each of the past three days to assure his MAGAdopes that he’s fine, never once noting that 210,000 Americans who were also infected are not. Because they’re dead.

Super Spread Offense

Ironic that the Amy Covid Barrett announcement at the Rose Garden may turn out to be the super spreader event that puts the final nail into the coffin of the shameful Trump presidency. Well done, RBG. Well done.

Meanwhile, Notre Dame president Rev. John Jenkins should resign. Or at least take a leave of absence. First, he attends the ceremony as a way of showing support for ACB. Fine. But the very man who leads the university that has suspended students for not wearing masks or congregating in large groups attends this event mask-less and assembles in a large group. What is that old gospel passage about how a servant cannot serve two masters?

Worse, after Jenkins tested positive for Covid-19, he crafted a lawyerly admission of “regret,” which is not the same as an apology. So he even got that wrong. There are two ways to apologize. “I’m sorry.” Full stop. Or, “I apologize.” Full stop.

Nothing else is acceptable. It’s that simple.

Jenkins couldn’t even get his apology right. And he purports to be the titular head of the nation’s foremost Catholic university, priding itself on ethics and morality. Sad!

Before Stephen Root, There Was Lionel Barrymore

(You can skip right to the 1:00 mark)

We were watching, for the very first time, You Can’t Take It With You on the TCM last week. It won Best Picture in 1938 and stars the impeccable Lionel Barrymore and Jimmy Stewart (you know them both from It’s A Wonderful Life, where Barrymore was the unscrupulous Trump of Bedford Falls, ol’ man Potter).

Watching the first few scenes, it struck us that in facial appearance and mannerisms Barrymore reminded us of someone. And then it hit us: he’s Stephen Root. Wow.

By the way, Barrymore fractured his hip twice and was actually confined mostly to a wheelchair or crutches, as were his characters and these two films and in the great Key Largo.

By the way, how hot was Jimmy Stewart in the late 1930s? After The Thin Man, You Can’t Take It With You, Destry Rides Again (the template for Blazing Saddles, minus the racial component), Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, The Shop Around The Corner and The Philadelphia Story. All within four years. Stewart’s career was interrupted by WW2, where he flew numerous missions across the English Channel, but had he not survived, he already had an audacious film catalog.

We Bought A Zoom

Six weeks ago, I was a Zoom neophyte and, as I am with most technology, deathly fearful (I’m somehwere between “learned to text” and “didn’t learn to Skype”). But then, via the patient tutelage of my good friend Tim Crothers and my niece, Kayleigh, and with the realization that there was no way of getting around using Zoom to teach class, I began to pick it up.

I’m a believer. As I was with Google and Twitter, I believe in Zoom. It’s not going away. It will basically eradicate the business trip. And it makes teaching so much easier, as I can invite a guest speaker from anywhere in the country or use the “Share Screen” option to teach via Google Slides. Love it!

I’m a believer, but am I an investor? For those old-fashioned folks who care about P/E ratios, here are the P/E’s of some well-known tech giants (remember, the lower the ratio, the better the value: Google (32:1), Apple (34:1), Netflix (89:1) and Amazon (120:1).

Then there’s Zoom: 685:1.

Not great, Bob. And yet Tesla’s P/E is an insane 1,067:1. Then again, Tesla is up nearly 800% in the past year. So if you went all in on Tesla a year ago on the hype and ignored the fundamentals, you’re pretty happy with you decision.

I have no doubt Zoom will continue to grow (I honestly don’t understand how Zoom makes money, as it’s a free app). I’m not sure the stock price will grow along with it, but look what happened with Tesla.

By the way, is there a company that will buy Zoom? Apple? Amazon? Microsoft? Facebook?

In North Dakota, A Rolling Stones Song?

Wild horses actually do exist in the United States. Here, at Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, herds of feral equines (as well as antelope and bison) roam free. No one ever talks about visiting this national park, but we may need to put it on our list. Now, if only there were an American national park that had hippos. We’d be all over that.

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Teddy Roosevelt NP – a long time ago I helped chaperone a group of inner city high school kids in an alternative ed program on a mountain biking trip to TRNP. Most had never been outside of MN, had never been camping, and had only done a few warm up rides. Amazing trip – great single track rides through stunning scenery, no people. Remote, but worth the trek. Could make a loop including Badlands, Rushmore/Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Devil’s Tower and TRNP.

  2. Zoom makes money from business who use the platform for their colleagues to connect and all be on the same license plus share with clients.

    The payment service allows unlimited minutes on calls as well as attendees.

    Microsoft bought Skype and converted that into it’s Teams platform.

    Facebook thought it could use it Rooms thing as the alternative to Zoom and it never caught on.

    Zoom in a sense got lucky that it became a verb rather quickly during this pandemic and beat out the other newcomers to the market.

  3. Always proud to call myself a Notre Dame alum however this last 2 weeks have not been a bright spot. Father Jenkins needs to fade away. Like so many he is a tone deaf leader. I wear an ND mask sent to alums. I’ve joked to friends my very small yearly donation earned a mask but with more thought they want me to live so the tiny sum will continue. The only way he leaves is when the Trustees hold up their money.

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