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Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again. – Ronald Reagan



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Funny Stuff Sent To Me

You are warned that there is a bit of coarse language in the following ...





















Have We Been Duped About Covid Testing?

What if widespread covid testing is producing a high percentage of incorrect positive results? 

The third richest man in the world decided to do a bit of comparison testing on himself.  During multiple tests, taken on the same day and using the same test (and nurse), his results came back a tie: 50% positive and 50% negative. 

What might this mean?  How many of the supposed "cases" (with no symptoms) are really just bogus results?  How many millions of "cases" are just wrong?

Have you ever read anywhere about how accurate the test results are claimed to be?   99% ? 95%?  50%?  I have never seen this number published.  Yet the media leads with "cases" on a daily basis.  Why are they telling us this when the number could be entirely unreliable and a total exaggeration? 

Why didn't the apparent unreliability of the testing results come out before the election?  Why do the mostly unreported death rates continue to plunge?

In the words of my departed brother, Jerry, I find this "curious".

See what Elon has to say about it HERE.

Last Week's Political Survey Results

After the last presidential debate I posted a survey that asked you what you thought about the candidates.  

 I also asked about some possibly "under-covered" news items that may be important to voters.

There are surprises in your answers.  I had no idea that you would "vote" unanimously for one of the candidates.   I was also pleasantly surprised that you were, in general, aware of news items that many networks and papers are not mentioning.  In fact, it appears that their silence has actually drawn more attention to the issues they do not want you to know about!

What happens if the "laptop from hell" turns out to be both completely authentic and entirely damaging to Joe Biden and his family?  What happens if he then gets elected, anyway?

Anyway, here are the results of our survey.  You can still participate.  The only poll that counts is on November 3.

We think.


Election Survey #2

Please take a few seconds to answer the following questions.  

Come back and see how everybody else responded.  

All responses are anonymous.

You must be logged in to submit this survey. Please use the login box in the upper right corner.

1)   Did you watch the presidential debate last night (Thursday)?

2)   In your opinion, who won the debate?

3)   Who do you think will win the upcoming election?

4)   Who do WANT to win the election?

5)   Trump brought up the “laptop from hell” in the debate. Were you aware of this controversial object before he mentioned it?

6)   Have you heard of Tony Bobulinski?

7)   Do you think that Joe Biden, through his son Hunter, accepted money from foreign governments and/or companies?

8)   Are you aware that CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and all left-leaning news outlets have not mentioned the “abandoned laptop” issue, nor have they mentioned Bobulinski, who worked with the Bidens on the alleged China deal?


The Great Barrington Declaration

[Jim's notes: From time to time I receive input from you, the SHS Class of 1968. This comes in the form of cartoons, stories, remembrances, political essays, photos, strong opinions and just about anything else.  If I think it is of general interest to the class, I'll publish it here.  Since I have been talking about issues around Lockdowns in the US, the following may be of interest to you.  Obviously, there are some people who are fed up with the entire lockdown strategy of some of our states and cities and think the idea is dead wrong.  The damage this is causing is obvious and on a massive scale.  Read what several doctors have to say about it in the recent declaration below.  I've added emphasis for you speed readers.]  

The Great Barrington Declaration – As infectious disease epidemiologists and public health scientists we have grave concerns about the damaging physical and mental health impacts of the prevailing COVID-19 policies, and recommend an approach we call Focused Protection

Coming from both the left and right, and around the world, we have devoted our careers to protecting people. Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health. The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health – leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. 

Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.

Fortunately, our understanding of the virus is growing. We know that vulnerability to death from COVID-19 is more than a thousand-fold higher in the old and infirm than the young. Indeed, for children, COVID-19 is less dangerous than many other harms, including influenza. 

As immunity builds in the population, the risk of infection to all – including the vulnerable – falls. We know that all populations will eventually reach herd immunity – i.e.  the point at which the rate of new infections is stable – and that this can be assisted by (but is not dependent upon) a vaccine. Our goal should therefore be to minimize mortality and social harm until we reach herd immunity. 

The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection

Adopting measures to protect the vulnerable should be the central aim of public health responses to COVID-19. By way of example, nursing homes should use staff with acquired immunity and perform frequent PCR testing of other staff and all visitors. Staff rotation should be minimized. Retired people living at home should have groceries and other essentials delivered to their home. When possible, they should meet family members outside rather than inside. A comprehensive and detailed list of measures, including approaches to multi-generational households, can be implemented, and is well within the scope and capability of public health professionals. 

Those who are not vulnerable should immediately be allowed to resume life as normal. Simple hygiene measures, such as hand washing and staying home when sick should be practiced by everyone to reduce the herd immunity threshold. Schools and universities should be open for in-person teaching. Extracurricular activities, such as sports, should be resumed. Young low-risk adults should work normally, rather than from home. Restaurants and other businesses should open. Arts, music, sport and other cultural activities should resume. People who are more at risk may participate if they wish, while society as a whole enjoys the protection conferred upon the vulnerable by those who have built up herd immunity.

On October 4, 2020, this declaration was authored and signed in Great Barrington, United States, by:

Dr. Martin Kulldorff, professor of medicine at Harvard University, a biostatistician, and epidemiologist with expertise in detecting and monitoring infectious disease outbreaks and vaccine safety evaluations.

Dr. Sunetra Gupta, professor at Oxford University, an epidemiologist with expertise in immunology, vaccine development, and mathematical modeling of infectious diseases. 

Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, professor at Stanford University Medical School, a physician, epidemiologist, health economist, and public health policy expert focusing on infectious diseases and vulnerable populations.

Link:  https://gbdeclaration.org/


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1)   Comments?


World Health Organization: No Lockdowns

This was a surprise.  WHO is now saying that governments should NOT use lockdowns as a primary way to control the spread of covid.

Their stated reason?  Lockdowns disproportionately punish the poor of the world.

If interested, please read the following story HERE.

As a bonus, you may want to read the following story from The National Review:

Proof: Lockdowns Don't Work

So why are California, New York, Michigan and many other blue states still locked down?  Could it all be political?  Is it a coincidence that democrats are using the pandemic as the primary weapon against the incumbent as they continue to lock down their economies unnecessarily?

Just wondering.  I am sure that our governors and mayors would not harm the residents of their states and cities just to help win an election.  It must be a coincidence that they are all democrats.  That must be it.


A Rebel Yell from February, 1966

We were sophomores in 1966.

You will see a few of the luminaries from our school in this paper: Bruce Willison, Aaron Spain, Chris Van Pelt, Mr Robert Gabitas, Annette DeWitt (Rebelettes), Dick Edwards (photog), and an up and coming young wrestler named Eugene.

I was trying to figure out why this paper was saved...  then I turned to the last page and discovered why.

I'll let you figure it out.

Stories on The Spoon River Anthology (a play), knitting, student government, and sports.  

Also, the honor roll is announced.  There were 52 sophs on the list.  I counted 18 that attended the 50th reunion.  Check it out.

While you are here, throw in your 2 cents about what you thought of the VP debates (below).  You will find some interesting comments.

Go HERE to see the old, yellowed paper.


Survey: Who Won the VP Debate?

About 60 million people watched the vice presidential debate a couple days ago.

So who won?  Here is your chance to voice your opinion.

Did you notice that Kamala Harris brought up the Fine People Hoax?

Unlike Trump, Pence jumped right on it and "set the record straight", at least as far as he was concerned.

The episode was noted and debunked by several news services but was not even mentioned by CNN or MSNBC.  There are apparently alternative realities at play here.

I don't think that we are done with the Fine People Hoax.  It may prove to be a decisive factor in the election.  We'll see.  Many feel that it is an obvious, blatant lie.

After voting below, you may want to read what the Western Journal had to say about it HERE.  If you are left-of-center, it will likely make your head explode.  So don't bother.

You must be logged in to submit this survey. Please use the login box in the upper right corner.

1)   Who won the vice presidential debate?

2)   Did you notice it when Harris brought up the Fine People Hoax?

3)   What did you think of Pence’s response to the Fine People Hoax?

4)   Why do you think that CNN and MSNBC do not acknowledge the Fine People Hoax, even when the transcript is clearly in evidence?


What Goes Into An Electric Car?

A local writer tells us all about it in the Bakersfield Californian.

Go HERE to read about it.


David Joseph Strauser. September 4, 1950 - September 4, 2020


Please visit David's In Memory page HERE.


The Most Important Clarifier In Our Lifetime


WARNING!!  If you are left-of-center, politically, or a Harris-Biden supporter, you probably DO NOT want to read the following announcement.  It will likely make you angry or very confused.  If you read it anyway, then don't blame me for your bad feelings.  You have been warned.


There are clarifiers and then there are clarifiers.

Recall the last story I wrote about the Class of 1968 and the 1968 South High football team that won the Valley Championship.  If you didn't read it, you can find it in the previous announcement.  You may find it entertaining.  Others did.

But here's the condensed version of the initial story:

We were all part of the South High School Class of 1968.  In 1968, the South High Rebel football team won the Valley Championship.

Here's the additional condensed clarifier:

During our senior year, the football season was played entirely in the fall of 1967.  None of us were going to South High when our school won the championship in the fall of 1968.

Without the clarifying statements a reader would be completely misled by the initial statements, especially if the reader had not been present during our senior year.  Clarifiers can completely change the meaning of a story. 

Some think that dishonest news organizations omit clarifying statements on purpose, just so they can tell the story the way they want their readers to understand it.  

Most news organizations want you to believe that President Trump called neo-Nazis and white nationalists "fine people" at a briefing related to the Charlottesville incidents in 2017.

Here's what the "Dilbert Guy" had to say about the hectic news conference where Trump was repeatedly interrupted by clearly biased reporters: 

"This is debunked by showing the full transcript or the full video in which he clearly, and without prompting, says the exact opposite, that the neo-Nazis and white nationalists should be condemned totally. See for yourself."


The first red box above is the "initial statement".  It is the part that includes the words "fine people".

The second red box is the clarifier.  This is where Trump says, "I'm not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally."

What part of the clarifying statement did the press not get?  Why did they consistently avoid reporting this to their readers and viewers?  Are they being honest?  If they are not being honest, why should you ever again believe anything they say?  Were they just looking for a "gotcha!" statement?  Were they just trying to manufacture a lie to feed to their rabidly anti-Trump viewers and readers?

What do you think?  Was it an honest mistake of omission made by CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYT, WaPo, The Guardian, and others?

The "Fine People Hoax" is one of the most debunked political stories in history.  Yet Joe Biden is basing his campaign on it.  He made the Fine People Hoax a centerpiece of his acceptance speech.  He, apparently, is basing his entire campaign on a proven and obvious lie.  Does Biden even understand that he is doing this?

How else can we interpret Joe Biden's actions?  Does he just think that we don't care if he is lying to us?  Does he think that we are too dumb to notice?

Here is why this is such a big deal.  It is not just any lie or stretching of the truth.  This is the basis of the entire Left calling Trump a racist.  You've been reading it in the papers and seeing it on TV for years.  We have never had the press consistently call a sitting president a racist.  Are they basing this accusation on this flawed hoax?

Being called a racist is different than being called just about anything else.  The person who calls you a racist thinks you are despicable.  The person who calls you a racist is saying that you are hateful of other races and nationalities, and that you are, essentially, a subhuman person.  If you are de-humanized in this manner then it makes it easier for people to dismiss you, swear at you, go after you in public places, harm you, or worse.

If you are a Trump supporter then you may also be considered a racist in the eyes of the Left.

Do you now see why the Fine People Hoax is such a big deal?  This lie is incredibly devisive and dangerous to all of us.  And yet it is perpetuated by most news organizations in our country.  

It is not my intention to change any minds.  If you have a strongly held position, it is unlikely that anybody or any "proof" will change you.  That's not how we are wired.  Hoax-believers will continue believing.

I just wanted to get this out there.  If you are a Joe Biden supporter then I would be surprised if you made it until the end of this discussion.

Here is Scott Adams' lengthy explanation of the "Hoax Funnel".  He shows how to watch another person temporarily lose their mind.  I've tried this technique and it works exactly as he states. 


This is an entertaining and informative Charlottesville (as it is sometimes called) video by Steve Cortes.  Some people learn better through movies. 


Adams explains his "One screen, two different movies" perspective in Why Democrats Hear a Secret Racist Dog Whistle and Republicans Don't (Scott Adams): 


And, finally, the full transcript from WhiteHouse.gov.  Read it and make your own decisions.  We are all smart enough to do that.  I suggest you trust your "lyin' eyes" over the opinions of paid pundits with a political agenda.



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1)   Had you heard of the “Fine People Hoax” before reading this story?

2)   Based on what you now know about the “Fine People Hoax”, would you call Trump a racist?

3)   Was this story fair?

4)   Please give the story a quality and interest rating.


But Jim, I Saw It With My Own Eyes!  I Heard It With My Own Ears!

Today, I am going to show you something that will amaze you.  I learned this one from Scott Adams, the Dilbert comic guy.

I am going to convince you about something that may have occurred a long time ago. In fact, what I am about to reveal to you DID happen in 1968!

After this, you may never look at "news" the same way again.

But first, let me make a number of true statements that we can all agree on.  I'll keep it simple, straight-forward and clear.  This is a good place to start.

Here we go:


We all went to high school in Bakersfield in the 1960s.  All of us are part of the South High School Class of 1968.  That does not mean that we all graduated in 1968, nor does it mean that we necessarily graduated from South High.  Some did not graduate that year and some (like Tony Cornett and Sam Louie) graduated from West High.  But we are all technically part of the Class of 1968.  And what a class it was!  I thought that our cheer and song leaders that year were particularly good, even though I rarely had the opportunity to see them in action since I was on the football field or basketball court most of the time.  But they produced tremendously spirited rallies during the school day!  You may recall some of the senior guys (Class of 1968) that played on the offensive team that year.  They include Mike (fullback), Walt (fullback), Dirk (flanker),  Eugene (halfback), and on the line - Wallace (right tackle), Jack  (end).  I was the first team quarterback that year.  The two fullbacks rotated in every set of downs because they would relay the desired play to me from Don Ward, backfield coach.  We all enjoyed playing football our senior year.   Now here is the part you may have forgotten: South High won the Valley Championship in 1968!  It was the only time that a football team from our school has ever won this prestigious trophy!  Go Rebels!


Take a minute to let that all soak in.  

Every sentence is true.  You could say to me, "Jim, I read it with my own eyes!"  If you read it out loud you could say, "I heard it with my own ears!"

But is it all true?  Of course it is.  We had a great cheer/song squad that year and all those guys from our class played on our senior year football team.

But is there something missing?  Is there something that doesn't feel exactly right?

The thing that is missing is the most important part.  It is the part that changes everything!  It goes by various names:  The Clarifier.  The Clarifying Statement.  Clarifying Comments.  The Clarifier has an important role in any news story or historical account.  The purpose of the Clarifier is to "clear up" any ambiguity that may arise from the various facts of the story.  The Clarifier sets the story "straight" by giving it context that allows the reader to understand the true nature of the "facts" in the story.  The purpose of the Clarifier is to make sure that you are getting the truth.  The "truth", in this case, is what actually happened.  Not "your truth" or "my truth", but the objective truth.

Let's try that story again, but this time we will include a few clarifying comments at the end.  You will see that this changes everything.


We all went to high school in Bakersfield in the 1960s.  All of us are part of the South High School Class of 1968.  That does not mean that we all graduated in 1968, nor does it mean that we necessarily graduated from South High.  Some did not graduate that year and some (like Tony Cornett and Sam Louie) graduated from West High.  But we are all technically part of the Class of 1968.  And what a class it was!  I thought that our cheer and song leaders that year were particularly good, even though I rarely had the opportunity to see them in action since I was on the football field or basketball court most of the time.  But they produced tremendously spirited rallies during the school day!  You may recall some of the senior guys (Class of 1968) that played on the offensive team that year.  They include Mike (fullback), Walt (fullback), Dirk (flanker),  Eugene (halfback), and on the line - Wallace (right tackle), Jack  (end).  I was the first team quarterback that year.  The two fullbacks rotated in every set of downs because they would relay the desired play to me from Don Ward, backfield coach.  We all enjoyed playing football our senior year.   Now here is the part you may have forgotten: South High won the Valley Championship in 1968!  It was the only time that a football team from our school has ever won this prestigious trophy!  Go Rebels!

Though it is true that the South High Rebel football team won the Valley Championship in 1968, none of the people mentioned above were on that team.  How could that be?  Here is how: the entire football season that we played during our senior year occurred in the year 1967!  That's right.  September-November of 1967.  Therefore, though we were a part of the Class of 1968, we were not part of the 1968 football team that won the championship!   Our team was actually a "building year" team (as explained to me by Don Ward) that gave important playing time to younger, smaller players to get them prepared for the next year.  The strategy worked.  The team after ours was, indeed, Valley Champions!  Seniors on that 1968 team were part of the Class of 1969.


This is a favorite tactic of the news media.  They tell you several things that you know to be true, then fail to give you the most important part: the clarifying statements.  In this case you may say, "I read it with my own eyes.  I heard it with my own ears!"  And you would be 100% wrong in your understanding of the real story.

The missing clarifier is a favorite tactic because it is so effective.  When the media discovers something that works, they will employ the same tactic over and over.  Most people don't even realize that they are being manipulated by the news.  They just go along with it.

Notice how the clarifier can often change the complete nature of a story.  The clarifier often tells you the opposite of what you may initially have thought.  It changes the "truth" right in front of your eyes!

In the coming days I'll show you some real life news "stories" that have been manipulated by the press to make you believe in lies.  The news media even admits that their real purpose is to tell you the "narrative" that they want you to believe.  "Narrative" is a fancy word for "story".  They are telling you stories.

You will likely never look at the News in the same way again.  You will ask yourself: "Now what are they NOT telling me?  Where's the clarifying statements?  Where is the context?  What are they trying to make me believe by leaving important things out?" 

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1)   Was that little story entertaining?

2)   Rate the story on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best.

3)   Comments?


Our Forest Fire Situation

It turns out that we are not the only ones experiencing threats from forest fires.  As of today, Oregon is also in trouble.

Read about what we are facing in the California Sierra Nevada mountains.

You will also get my opinions on a few other topics, whether you want them or not.  Read at your own risk.

Make sure you provide your own comments, as well.

Check it out HERE.


Want a Quick Guacamole Dip That Even Steve Tinsley Can Make?

Check it out HERE.


I Am Back

Decided to take August off, as most people do during normal times.

However, we have been very busy.  Finally got down to Orange County (Vicki's old home in Lake Forest) and were able to visit relatives and friends.  Attempted to make the best of a dismal situation, with all the government mandated shutdowns.  Eateries are doing just fine.

In tragedy you are sometimes able to see truly heroic efforts as regular, hard-working people are doing their absolute best to survive.  Lots of meals outdoors - in parking lots, streets, in your car, on sidewalks, whatever it takes to make it happen.  I don't think our government leaders ever envisioned this amount of resourcefulness and tenacity from our patiotic and humble private sector citizens. They are my heroes and we help in any way that we can..

The establishment has done their best to kill the American spirit and it simply is not turning out too well for the government overlords.

The American spirit is indomitable.  I have never seen a spirit so strong in our nation.  It will not be defeated.  It will not succumb to rioting, intimidation, violence and political ideologies that are not representative of the American public, no matter how much the Left tries to indoctrinate our offspring.

Enough of the pep talk, though we can all use that once in awhile.

The other big focus for Vicki and I is that we are building a separate garage for our various vehicles and toys.  We have three fairly new trucks (Jeep JK, Toyota 4Runner, Ford F-250) that need shelter.  The trusty Ford Exploder Sport (1999) will finally be sold soon -- I need to put new door handles on it first.  We also need to make room for three Polaris ATVs and a few motorcyles.  Probably a few saws, jacks, big tools and other "garage" type items.

The garage will be 30x60 feet, so it is not a small proposition.

I'm my own contractor so will be making decisions regarding the excavation crew (no flat land up here), the concrete pad guys, the steel building fabrication guys, the assemblers, the electrical people, the plumbers and the asphalt paving crew.  It takes a lot of effort but the process is envigorating.

Get ready for the wildest ride of your life over the next two months.  The opposition parties will be pulling out all the stops to make this election season like no other.  If the republicans win then get ready for another 20 years of conservative rule.  If the democrats win then get ready for a total change in our federal government, whether you want it or not.  If the conservatives lose, then get ready to have a bull's eye target on your back.  You will be hunted, as we have seen on the TV.

By the way, since I am a keyboard player, you should know how "pulling out all the stops" became a thing. If you play an organ (pipe organ or electronic) you can control the quality of the sound by pulling out various levers that control the "timbre" and volume of the instrument.  These are called "stops".  If you pull out all the "stops", you get the biggest sound possible.  There is your explanation.

Expect all the stops to be pulled in this election cycle.  If the dems lose, they may completely disintegrate as an American political party.

And oh, by the way, the 10-10-2020 party will not happen this year.  I got the deposit back yesterday.  They (Crest) can't guarantee a mask-free environment so we are done with that for 2020.  Gives me more time to build a garage, write a few songs and possibly contribute to this fine website.  Plus ride the offroad vehicles everywhere possible.  I spoke with Gary, Vicki May and Vickie Shallock before making the big decision.  They all agreed.

Did you happen to notice that, according to the CDC,  the covid-19 deaths in America are less than 10,000 -- NOT 180,000.  Only 6 percent of covid-19 deaths are due to ONLY covid-19.  The other 170,000 all had on average, 2-3 co-morbidities.  Younger people (under 65) simply do not die unless they are overly obese, have high blood pressure, diabetes, liver disease, lung disease or similar ailment, including extreme old age.  We knew that when they changed the "rules" for defining covid deaths back in mid-April, that the deaths attributed to the Chinese Virus would spike, which they did.

Ok, that last statement will piss off about 20% of you.  That's ok.  If you have a CONCISE REBUTTAL YOU ARE WELCOME TO EXPRESS IT.  Unstructured and overly emotional opinions will only hurt your cause.  Mimicking CNN and the Guardian will only result in dismissal by most of the readers on this site.

I know that summer is not officially over, but I always considered the summer months to be June, July, and August.  After that, we all just went back to school.  I did this as a student and as a teacher, so I know the rhythm well.

Tonight I just sat out on the back deck, enjoying the full moon and thinking about what I would say in this note.  It was about 68 degrees (there is that number again), so it was perfect for a T-shirt and jeans.  Same guy, same uniform, 52 years later.       


Melvin Leroy Huser: 1937-2020

We lost another one of our teachers recently.


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1)   Please tell us about your memories of Mr Huser.


Does Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Work?

This could be the most important question in your life.

While covid-19 has little effect on younger people without pre-existing health issues, it can kill you if you are older and have comorbidities (obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, lung disease, diabetes, etc).  So if you get it you need to understand what medications may help you survive.

Getting useful information about HCQ has become highly politicized.   Dishonest reports and bad information is everywhere.

Of course, being an election year, ALL NEWS IS POLITICAL NEWS, even healthcare news.

Some say that one of our political parties does not want to ease the covid-19 situation before the election.  In other words, they may be willing to sacrifice more lives and drag down the economy just to increase their odds of winning in November.  Do you think that is possible?   If true, that is truly sick and disgraceful

All the mainstream media outlets are following this path as well, it appears.

Have you seen the "hit pieces" that the MSM has published on HCQ?  Have you noticed the bogus studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet that were immediately retracted due to incomplete, missing or fake data?  Why is that happening at our (previously) most prestigious medical journals?   

Is there a financial element to this pattern?  

Who do you think might profit financially by scaring the public into a frenzy regarding the virus?  Could it be the big drug companies that are trying to sell expensive therapeutics (Remdesivir, etc) to the healthcare industry?  Would an effective, cheap, well-known and safe drug be a hindrance to huge profits by Big Pharma?  Who advertises on CNN?  Do you think the people who pay for the content on the news channels (all of them) have a stake in how the narrative is told?  Could that possibly be the case? 

And how about all this talk of a possible future vaccine?  If we had a good therapeutic drug now, wouldn't that tamp down our need and interest for a vaccine in the future? 

If you hadn't noticed, I tend to act independently, especially when I sniff out a possible scam.  After reviewing all the obvious motivations by the various parties, it is not difficult to understand the big picture that is happening all around us.  Some of us have already procured a supply of possibly life saving medications.  You had to get there early because this avenue has been completely shut down, the last time I looked.

The amount of information about HCQ, good and bad, is mind-numbing and confusing.  You must consider the source and all possible motivations, as mentioned above.

If you are curious about what one organization, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, has to say about the effectiveness of HCQ, please go HERE.  It could save somebody's life. 

Drop "Rebel" as the Mascot of South High?

South High has been the Rebels for 63 years.  That's a significant part of Bakersfield history in itself.

Our freshman year was exactly 100 years after the end of the Civil War.

Doing the math, that means over 20,000 SHS graduates have called themselves Rebels.

That's a lot of Rebels!  That's enough to start a rebellion!

Should 20,000 Rebels have a say in what happens to our old mascot?

Please answer this simple Yes/No question: 

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1)   Should South High throw the Rebel mascot onto the trash heap of 2020 political correctness? Don’t like the way I phrased that? How about: Get rid of Johnny Rebel?


Eliminate the Rebel Mascot at South High?

[I was contacted by Robert Price, former editor of the Bakersfield Californian, because he wanted to know what I thought about removing the Rebel mascot from SHS.  I ended up being part of today's front page story.]

This is a big current issue in Bakersfield.  As former Rebels, we all saw this coming.

My guess is that the current school administration will give in to the demands of the mob.

What about all the streets around South High with Civil War themed names?  There are a number of them.  Do we change all those names?  What about Plantation elementary school?

Will SHS, after dumping the Rebel mascot, then adopt different school colors?  No more Merrimac?  No more Rebel Yell?

Where does it stop?  That's the question I ask.  Apparently, I am the only non-woke person that was interviewed for this story and an accompanying article.

And unlike the others, I was never ignorant or uninformed about the Civil War.  I had read several books about the conflict during high school because it interested me.  Do they not teach our students about this anymore?

I think that almost all of us understood what the Civil War was about.  We were not ignorant.  We also knew that we were living in 1968, not 1863.  Somehow, we were able to keep the two centuries separate in our minds and live in the modern world, together.  Fifty years later, that appears to be impossible.  Why is that?

I still don't recall any racial animosity during our senior year.  However, most of us know that the following year all hell broke loose at South High.

They will likely change the name of the school, as well.  Any ideas?

We will all become high school orphans.

Here's the story.



ROBERT PRICE: The pageantry was nice when South High students were innocent and ignorant

BY ROBERT PRICE For The Californian 22 hrs ago 

Like virtually all societies throughout human history, we Americans have always romanticized our wars. The more significant the war, the more vivid the romance. We build legends and traditions around the wars and paint the combatants in boldly contrasting colors of good and evil.

If the enemies least like our own culture have been the easiest to paint, the participants of our Civil War are the hardest; the cultures of North and South, particularly in the mid-Atlantic region, were as alike as might have been possible. Armies didn't cross oceans to invade and then retreat back across those oceans when the fighting ended. Cousins fought cousins who spoke the same language and might have lived just a day’s ride apart.

Resentments lingered at that close proximity for generations afterward. So did legends that helped justify the grievances that led to the conflict.

If the Civil War were simply about the South’s quest for states’ rights and freedom from an oppressive federal government, surely we could at least all understand, if not agree. And Johnny Rebel would be the symbol of a reasonable point of view — dismissed by the blunt finality of war, perhaps, but otherwise worthy of legitimacy and respect.

Worthy, even, of emulation.

That must have been a primary justification for the Kern High School District’s decision in 1957 to name the mascot of its fourth Bakersfield high school, South High, the Rebels.

They went all in, too.

Members of the girls’ drill team, the Rebelettes, incorporated the Stars and Bars into their routines. The student yell leaders were Jody and Johnny Rebel. Sports teams wore gray, powder blue and red. Touchdowns were punctuated with a cannon blast of bluish smoke — all the more dramatic if that touchdown were scored against North High School, South’s primary rival, which had opened four years before.

The fight song was “Dixie." In 1957, south Bakersfield would have indeed been, as the song references, “the land of cotton.”

Local builders apparently bought into the enthusiasm because even some of the street names in a new, adjacent housing tract evoked Civil War imagery. They’re still there: Sumter Drive, named for the Union fort off the South Carolina coast whose shelling ignited the war. A few blocks east, directly behind the south end zone, the corner of Monitor and Merrimac, named for the two combatants in the famous Civil War naval battle that foretold submarine warfare. Streets named Fambrough, Shenandoah and Plantation — also the name of a feeder elementary school — are nearby.

All quaintly romantic if Johnny Reb did indeed simply represent freedom from oppression and subjugation, as had been the case with another, more successful rebellion 90 years before. But the fact is, the South’s slavery-driven economy was at the center of the war. Southern industry and commerce rode on the backs of enslaved African-Americans, and often cruelly so. If the war was about states’ rights, it was the rights of states to perpetuate an economic model that the nations of Western Europe had long since outlawed.

It’s easy to understand how South High students must have failed to grasp this at the time. They were teenagers and their school’s Confederate-lite campus culture revealed itself without the racial context of the real thing.

In 1966, a year after the Watts riots, Johnny Rebel was portrayed by James Ratcliff, “a very funny and outgoing young man,” according to South alum Jim Reynolds, who quarterbacked the 1968 football team. “He was elected by the student body (and) he did a great job, if I am any judge of mascots.”

Ratcliff was Black and not the only minority to serve in that enviable role over the years.

“I do not recall any racially motivated animosity surrounding any of this,” Reynolds maintained.

Perhaps not surrounding the mascot or team name, but South did experience student riots around that time, and by 1969 the Confederate flag and “Dixie” were gone from campus. The rest of South’s Confederate imagery remained.

And why shouldn’t it, Reynolds said.

“At some point, we've got to stop,” he said. “I was just looking at, for instance, the West High Vikings. These people are (named after) rapers, pillagers. We all know that — we've seen this (2019 ‘Who Were the Vikings’ documentary) series on TV. What are they doing with that (mascot) name? What about the (East) Blades? Come on, a knife?”

Theresa Souers, who graduated in 1972, said it was easy to get swept up in all the period-piece pageantry.

“At the time when we were singing ‘Dixie’ and waving the flag, it was fun,” she said. “I loved the tradition and the costumes and the whole thing about the South. But I was totally ignorant about slavery. Ignorant innocence, I guess you’d call it. To me it was South against the North. I wondered in hindsight why the adults hadn't done anything about it, but you can't change what’s been done.”

Souers, who's lived near Lake Tahoe for decades, said she assumed all of the Rebel imagery had been done away with.

But no: Six U.S. schools, including the University of Mississippi, still have the Rebel mascot, and, other than the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (the Runnin’ Rebels), South High is the only one west of the Mississippi.

Innocent ignorance only works as an excuse for as long as you’re truly innocent and ignorant. Those days are over.

Reynolds and his fellow South alumni might be well-served listening to another quarterback of that era: Jim Plunkett, who starred at Stanford at about the same time Reynolds was leading the Rebels, saw his alma mater switch from the Indians to the Cardinal in 1972, after Native American students approached the university administration about the issue.

“None of us ever thought the name was demeaning,” Plunkett said years later. “But why offend somebody if you don’t have to offend them?”


Robert Price is a journalist for KGET-TV. His column appears here on Sundays; the views expressed are his own. Reach him at robertprice@kget.com or via Twitter: @stubblebuzz

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1)   Comments? Just say it. Where do we draw the line and stop renaming everything? What’s your plan?


Should We Open Schools in September?

Please view the video by Dr Scott Atlas, Stanford University, Hoover Institution.  You will find a link to the video at the bottom of this announcement.

Here is a quick summary:

It is not how MANY that are infected, but WHO is infected.

There is virtually no risk to school age children from covid-19.

99.97% of deaths are in people over the age of 15.

99.9% of deaths in people over the age of 24.

These stats hold up all over the world.

Children rarely get sick and rarely transmit the disease.  In that regard, covid-19 presents a much lower threat than seasonal influenza.

In the video Atlas refutes the opinion of another doctor.  He accuses the other doctor of "...superficial, sloppy thinking.  He must not know the data."

The data is clear: children don't get the illness to any serious degree.  

82% of US teachers are under 55, which means they have little risk.  50% of teachers are under the age of 41.  

If there are some teachers who are more at risk then they should practice distancing or teach online.  Why are we locking up schools for such a small number of at risk teachers?  Aren't the schools for the students, not the teachers?

However, distance learning has not proven to be effective.

And much more...

Every country in Europe is opening the schools with no masks and no distancing.  Locking up our schools is an absurd idea.  Canada is also opening its schools in the fall.

We know that the flu hits schools every season and a lot of children get sick.  Should we close the schools every year, from November through April because a few teachers are put at risk?  That is a ridiculous conclusion.

Finally, aren't schools an essential business?  Why are we not treating schools as essential?

Why aren't teachers part of the "essential" work force?

Please check out the video HERE.

Covid-19 and Government from a Religious Point of View

Read about it HERE.


I Finally Decide to Wear a Mask

As you know, I have been a holdout when it comes to wearing a mask.

The main reason is that I follow the science.  The science says that this "pandemic" will not truly end until we have had a sufficient portion of our population exposed and infected.  Every viral outbreak in every country in every century in the world follows this pattern.

But, for some reason, we are handling this situation differently than any other.  Why is that?

But, enough of that.

Here is my mask ensemble:

The ear protection and goggles should give you a hint of what I may be up to.

Ok, now you know.  I am running a Stihl 2-cycle leaf blower and it gets quite dusty.

Here's the deal: I have built about 2 miles of walking trails on our property -- all with just hand tools.  A shovel, pick and my old friend, the Macleod (a rake-like tool used in firefighting).  Every spring (or summer) I have to go up the hill and blow all the leaves off the trail.  Otherwise, it is quite slippery and dangerous.  I've done this with a leaf rake in the past, but that is just too much work.  Thus, the gas powered leaf blower.

Here's a fake action shot.


And, finally, the product shot.  It works great and is not too heavy.  Best to wear ear protection if you are a musician.

Full disclosure: These photos are a bit fake because I had already done all the work in the days before.  But Vicki was not available to take the pictures then.  I would have been extremely dirty, sweaty and tired after coming down from the hill.

I know the question you are asking: Jim, are you wearing a mask when you go out in the public?

What do you think?

Just don't call me a grandma killer because I may not wear a mask.  

I'm older than most grandmas.


This Is What I’d Really Like To See

I have a very busy life and keeping this site up and interesting is but a small part of it.  However, to do it right, it takes time.

As I have said before, this website is no different than any other entertainment destination that you choose to visit.  That is, if I can't make it interesting then you will not return.  I'm competing for your eyeballs with everybody else in the world.  I have a staff of one and I'm not selling anything.  

However, there are some differences versus other sites:

  1. This is just about the only place you can go that has no advertising blaring at you ALL THE TIME.  Personally, the ads on the internet drive me nuts.
  2. I say things differently than how the paid news sources depict things.  I try to find the parts of the news that are otherwise hidden from you.  There's lots of that.  They are trying to fool you.
  3. I include personal parts of my life that a network news source would never think of doing.
  4. The stories are sometimes very specific to our class -- like Life Stories.  
  5. I include photos that I take because I think you might appreciate them.
  6. Occasionally, I'll talk about high school.  However, that is more difficult when there is so much going on around us.  Sometimes those stories are refreshing and other times they seem trivial.  For most of us, high school was NOT the high point of our lives.  For some, it was the LOW point.
  7. You must have figured this out by now: I write about controversial topics to keep your attention.  Most of you like this but a minority of you don't.  Sorry about that.
  8. Of course, I'll write about classmates who have passed away. That's important.
  9. Sometimes I will just sit down and start writing.  Some of you think these "thought pieces" are my best stuff.  Others dismiss this activity as "Jim Reynolds Blog".  
  10. And then I'll go into an "emotional" rant from time to time.  Believe it or not, these get the biggest reaction of all.  Some good, some bad, of course.  It's showbiz -- you get that, right?

You may not know this, but many of my conversations spill over into multiple email exchanges or texting dialogs.  These can go on for days.  That's when I really find out what's happening with you and discover who I really am.

But here is what I'd REALLY like.

I'd like to have 5-10 people volunteer to write one article every month.  It could be about anything you want to talk about.  You could send it to me and I'll edit it if you like.  This is your chance to have an audience of like-minded people available at any time.  We get 40-100 visits a day from this class.   You could do it anonymously or have a byline.   I don't care what the topic is, nor does anybody else.  High school memories, something that happened to you later in life, an interesting trip, a religious experience, your love for cars or motorcycles or horses, whatever.  You could even throw in your two cents about current events.  Heck, I do that all the time.  Why shouldn't I?  Afterall, it's the Jim Reynolds Blog!

Let me know what you think of this idea.  Better yet, volunteer to write something!  Just one little article a month.  What a deal.  Include photos and movies, too.

By the way, due to the closed nature of this site, only SHS68 classmates can comment here.  So no trolls are allowed. 


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1)   Comments? Any volunteers? Or are you going to make me do the whole thing myself? What have you learned in life? Want to pass it along? What do you like? What are you good at? Disappointments? Triumphs? Scary moments? Things you wish that you would have done (like contribute to this website)? Children? Grand children? That time you colored your hair purple and green? Illness? Advice?


Results: Should We Defund the Police?

I asked the following:

Should we defund the Bakersfield Police Department?

Should we defund the Kern County Sheriff Department?

Should we defund the California Highway Patrol?

Should we defund the National Guard?

Should we defund the United States Military?

The results of the survey were unanimous:  all participants voted NO for every question.

Here is a sampling of your comments:

This is a silly movement. Apparently, nothing has been well thought out. However, if they want to try it in Minneapolis, then that would be ok. We’ll see how that works for them.
If you can’t call a cop when you need one they will have to re-write the statutes on justifiable homocide, cause those are gonna go up!
We do need to make some changes that would stop unnecessary force and profiling. I have had too many friends stopped because of their nationality.
Without any of the above agencies what do you have? The criminal element of our society producing a willful force to abuse the average citizen. Just remember I wouldn't attempt to harm a law enforcement officer, would you? Right now those individuals are all that stands between total chaos and civility. Anyone who would ambush a law enforcement officer would certainly not think twice about abusing you or me. Criminals or convicted individuals are not suppose to possess weapons at all, do you think this stops them from obtaining them?
Defund private security for elected officials at home and in Washington no guns for elected officials.
Why would we penalize those who risk their lives daily for a few bad apples? Where would we be without law & order- it's just ridiculous!!!!!
Big mistake!
It's a shame people really desire anarchy in their homeland
Abusive law enforcement and unlawful rioters and occupiers must be opposed with both love and justice.
They should all have a speedy efficient way to get rid of dangerous and/or the bottom of the barrel cops.

Since tv and video games glorify violence I do NOT watch or play either one. I do think it started with cartoons I did not watch those either. I never thought it was funny to watch someone be abused or tormented or hurt. TV shows that disrespect adults is also on my Do Not Subscribe list. The younger generation seems like the me me me is the way to get ahead. Degrade someone to bolster ones self is disgraceful. ... I have been a victim of this cruelty. That constant voice affects me constantly. What has happened to honesty, respect, manners and civility ?


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1)   Comments? This is your last chance to let us know what you think about this issue.


I Am Losing My Memory

Check it out HERE before it is completely gone!


The Reynolds Autonomous Zone (RAZ)

Vicki and I decided to create our own autonomous zone within America and the world.

We are part of America, but also not part of America.  Apparently, all you have to do is declare an autonomous zone and you have created a special place just for you.  Taking my cues from Seattle, it is as easy as that!

We have not worked out all the details yet, but the brainiacs in Seattle will surely post their sage guidance shortly.  We'll be watching for their "best practices" videos. From what I've seen on TV, I am expecting nothing less than sensational advice from these gifted orators, scholars and leaders of men, women and all those other people.

However, there are a few key aspects about our autonomous zone that differ from the one established on Capitol Hill in Seattle.

Number one: we actually own the land that we are declaring to be an autonomous zone. There is no mortgage.  It's completely paid off.  So we are saying that land that we actually own is an autonomous zone.

That's a far cry from rioters taking over other peoples' property and calling it an autonomous zone.  That sounds more like theft than liberation.

The good people of the independent state of CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) in Seattle don't own anything.  They just took it.  I'm sure they had the best intentions (for the PEOPLE) but when it comes down to it, they just took it from other US citizens.  So much for private property rights in America.  What a tired tradition THAT is.

The Reynolds Autonomous Zone (RAZ) has a police force of two people.  That's the entire staff.  We've watched many episodes of Blue Bloods so have figured out how we can cover multiple roles with our admittedly skinny staff.    That would be me and Vicki.  We, like all of our neighbors around us, are gun owners and know how to use them in a safe and convincing manner.  So that takes care of our policing activities.  As we say up here, we don't call 911. So, RAZ or not, not much has changed in that regard.  

If we need backup then we have a nonverbal, long standing arrangement with the county sheriff.  I have never seen a sheriff's car up here in ten years.  Probably due to lack of crimes.

RAZ is an independent organization, as opposed to the CHAZ state in Seattle.  We don't rely on sewer services.  We don't rely on water services.  Though we allow PG&E to power our independent state, we also are quite accustomed to PGE shutdowns for no apparent reason.  In that case we just run our autonomous state on generator power.  We have two generators and sufficient gas for the long term. 

We allow UPS and Fedex to deposit their packages at the border of our independent state: the front gate.  

We take care of our own garbage and other waste.  

So, as you can see, though we at RAZ are totally independent, CHAZ up in Seattle is just a stupid sham run by nitwits.

Police force?  We are established and prepared -- and have a backup plan.  CHAZ has nothing but thugs.  We also have neighboring friendly forces.

Governing Council?  We have that covered.  I'm second in command and know my role. CHAZ does not have a clue.

Waste management?  We have it covered.  CHAZ depends on the city of Seattle, apparently.  So they are fake. We are not.  By the way, the Seattle mayor is even weaker than the Minneapolis mayor.  Is that even possible?

Electrical power?  RAZ has that covered.  If Seattle turns out the lights then CHAZ is deader than a door nail.  Given the absurd weakness of the mayor, that probably won't happen.  "Good citizens" will fund the jerks in CHAZ.

Food and provisions? We just drive into town and buy stuff.  What is CHAZ' plan?  Do they have a plan?  Who is the budget director?  

Medical expertise?  Out neighboring autonomous zones are more than willing to pitch in with relevant and qualified personnel. What is CHAZ' medical plan?

Education?  We in RAZ are experienced internet learners and have multiple college degrees. What is the CHAZ educational plan for their woke populace?

Welfare?  We don't need any welfare payments of any sort.  Can CHAZ say that?  Does anybody in CHAZ have a real job?  Have they ever worked?

Jails? Nope. No criminals out here.

 RAZ is a wonderful place.  If you like living in the Sierras, exploring the gold country, visiting beautiful and authentic historic towns, taking a breath of fresh mountain air, and seeing the millions of stars above you -- then you will want to visit RAZ.  You will fall in love with the people, history and magic of this unique and captivating area. 

The comparison of CHAZ and RAZ is stark.  CHAZ will be gone in a month: RAZ will continue on, at least in our minds, forever.




Survey: Should We Defund the Police?

The Black Lives Matter movement thinks that a rational reaction to the disturbing events in Minneapolis is to defund their local police department.

One of the vocal BLM reps was shown on TV shouting out, "We don't want no police!", as the mob publicly shamed the decidedly weak mayor of that city.  Prominent democrat members of congress are also behind this effort.  CNN is 100% in support of the "defund" movement.

In fact, BLM is advocating the defunding of all police departments.  The polls don't show that the public has much appetite for this, however.  Only about 15 % of the public (including dems, republicans and independents) are supportive of defunding the police.

However, on some channels this movement remains very popular.   Much of Hollywood, for instance, thinks that defunding the police is a great way to go.  Mitt Romney and Nancy Pelosi are for it.

So it appears that the dems have given up on getting any voter support from our law enforcement establishment.

It is unclear how BLM would go about replacing the many responsibilities and functions of modern policing organizations.  Therefore I have no details to provide to you about what a proposed solution might look like.

Here is your chance to voice your own opinion.  We still have free speech here on www.SouthHigh68.com.

Just a few Yes/No questions, followed by an optional comment box.   Anonymous, as usual.

How do you feel about this?



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1)   Should we defund the Bakersfield Police Department?

2)   Should we defund the Kern County Sheriff Department ?

3)   Should we defund the California Highway Patrol ?

4)   Should we defund the National Guard ?

5)   Should we defund the United States Military ?

6)   Comments? (Remember the dot-dot-dot trick.)


Here Is What a Local Survivor of COVID-19 Has To Say

I believe that Alfred Jones is in our age bracket -- perhaps more in the 75 year old range.

He apparently attends the church where I sing on a regular basis.  My brother knows him pretty well.

He was traveling in NewYork City when the virus hit that area two months ago.

He caught it and almost died.  In fact, he was the first person, anywhere, to survive after being on a ventilator.

Please read his story and his advice, which was published in our local newspaper in the "Other Voices" section.

By the way, I don't know how it is going in your area but the lockdown is almost over up here in northern California.  Car traffic is back to normal -- if not more than normal.  Two weeks ago we had to line up outside of Home Depot: many were wearing masks.  Yesterday we went to the Auburn, CA, HD and you just walked in.  Once inside, about 10% of the workers wore masks.  Almost none of the customers were wearing masks. The mask wearers were either very old (I don't blame them) or, apparently, very woke. I asked our salesperson about masks (we had to buy a new refrigerator) and she told us it was an individual choice for each worker and customer.  She said she could not do her job with a mask on because it "suffocated" her.    

As for my part, I have never worn a mask for one minute.  I believe in herd immunity and protecting the weak.  That is the science we should follow.  Anything else you hear is clearly BS.

If you are mask-shamed by a woke person, just remind them of this:

1. Initially, the CDC said that wearing a mask is unnecessary and not effective.

2. Initially, Tony Fauci and Dr Birx told us not to wear masks.

3. The Surgeon General of the Unitied States told us not to wear masks.

4. Currently, the guidance from the World Health Organization is to not wear a mask unless you are already infected.

5. Thousands of rioters don't wear masks, don't practice proper social distancing, and they seem to be doing ok -- at least so far.  I also note that the police are not giving anybody a citation for not wearing masks.  But surfing in the ocean by yourself is still considered a crime?

Why should we doubt the sincerity and overall medical knowledge of these respected healthcare luminaries?  My woke mask monitors (similar to hall monitors back in grade school) go silent when I bring up these bits of sage advice.

You have missed my attempts at humor, haven't you!

Please read Alfred's story HERE.  It's a good one and it is true.

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1)   Comments? Just say it! Please, no name-calling. If you disagree, this is your chance to show us your persuasive abilities.


Your Political Thoughts in 1968

I ran across this survey taken in the spring of 1968.  The participants were from our senior "government" classes.

In the survey, you answered the following questions:

What is your political party preference?

Who is your pick for president of the United States?

What military action should the US pursue in Vietnam?

What do you think about bombing North Vietnam?

What should receive the highest priority in government spending?

You will need to log in to see the answers to these questions, since this is specific information for our class, 52 years ago.

It is almost certain that you will be surprised by your collective results from this long ago survey.

Go HERE to read all about it.

Coronavius Deaths By the State We Live In

I built this little table last week so the numbers are just slightly out of date.  But they are close to current tallies.

I was curious about how covid deaths compare to deaths by automobile accident in each state that we live in.

That way we have something to compare with that we can easily understand.  Plus, it is personalized by our actual state of residency.

How does it work?  Let's take Arizona, the first row in the table.

The AZ row tells us that there are four (4) people in our class that live in Arizona; its population is 7.3 million; there are about 1,010 deaths by vehicular accident per year; for every 100,000 residents, there are 13.8 fatal vehicle accidents; there are currently 536 covid deaths in AZ; this means 7.3 covid deaths per 100,000 residents in AZ; the difference between covid deaths and car accident deaths is 6.5.  This means there are 6.5 fewer deaths by covid in AZ (per 100,000 people) than there are for car accident deaths.

Another way of describing Arizona's numbers is that there is almost twice the chance of death on the road versus death by the coronavirus.

Yet ask yourself this: How many people choose not to drive (or ride) in cars due to the risk of a fatal accident?   

If you are not in a nursing home and are reasonably healthy then your chances of surviving covid are almost 100%.  If you are a younger person then the odds of dying are infinitesimal.  I have not used that word for awhile.

I'll let you check out the table now.  Afterwards I'll point out a few interesting stats.


The red numbers on the right tell us that in those states more people have died from covid than car accidents.  In each of them there have been significant breakouts in nursing homes.  Massachusetts is the worst, by far.  

California has even odds for covid versus car accidents.  In Arkansas you have five times the chance of dying in an accident than by covid.  Pretty much the same in Tennessee.

Georgia has been open now for almost a month.  The governor was strongly criticized by the press for making this move. All types of doomsday predictions were made.  Politicians and the MSM may have told him he would "have blood on his hands".  Are we getting tired of that one yet?

Guess what?  None of that bad stuff happened.  There was no spike in deaths in Georgia.  Yes, probably more infections but that has been handled well by the healthcare professionals.  Building herd immunity takes time and sick/old people will die.  Some day it will be our turn.  But not now.

Why isn't California following the successful lead of Georgia?  Is it just because we have a democrat for a governor?  Or is it something else?  Is there something special about California that prevents us from opening up now?  

It appears that sunlight (UV rays) helps to kill the coronavirus.  We have a lot of that in CA.  Why aren't we out there soaking up the sun and producing vitamin D?

Gov Newsom, tear down this wall!  Or rather, unlock our shackles and let business thrive and freedom ring!   And get those kids back into our schools!  

Plus, I may want to go surfing when I'm down in San Clemente.


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1)   Comments? I actually read every one of these and find them extremely interesting. If you leave a comment you can read them too. Just say it!


Things Have Changed Over Time in America


(Note that there is a misspelling in the graphic.)

Current Betting Odds for the Presidential Election

We have a long way to go before the election.

But as of May 16, 2020, here is what the betting establishment thinks about the coming election.

The thing I like about betting odds is that the participants don't "have a dog in this fight".  They just want to make money.  They can only do that if they bet on the winner.  With making money as their motivation, I think that odds makers are more honest than polls.  Do you get that?

Many polls are saying just the opposite of what the table indicates below.  As you all know by now, I believe the purpose of most polls is to influence rather than to inform.  Remember the last presidential election?  All the polls were wrong.  The polls are no different than the stories that the various "news" sources publish.  They tend to be fundamentally biased and dishonest.

By the way, I never know exactly WHAT you will find interesting until I post it on the website.  I determine your interest by number of website visits, logins, your responses, and how many of you actually read the email that I send out ahead of these features.  Just when I thought that I was getting "too political", you surprised me by having a unanimous response to the email for the OC Doctor's story.  159 sent, 159 were read by you.

According to the betting establishment, Trump will win the election easily in November.  As we all know, much can change in the next few months.  I am quite certain that Schiff will attempt to impeach the president a couple more times between now and then!   How's that three-year Russia Collusion Hoax doing?

If you are wondering, no I am not a Republican.  I have been an Independent for quite some time.  I even voted for Ross Perot back in 1992 -- he turned out to be correct about the "giant sucking sound".  When I see BS and constant lies, I tend to call it what it is.  You can disagree at your own peril.  Just kidding. Say what you want but keep it clean.

If you want to get stories from both sides, Real Clear Politics is a good place to go.  You won't find that on CNN or Fox.

Here's the current betting odds:


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1)   Comments?


Orange County Doctor Breaks His Silence on COVID-19

You may want to see this before YouTube removes it.  Click HERE now.

Doctor Jeff Barke, an Orange County MD, speaks out about his views on the coronavirus.

It is one of the most reasonable explanations that I have found.  It was posted yesterday, May 13.

He discusses the following:

  • Any time a point of view does not go along with the mainstream narrative, it is either not shown, banned or blocked.  Then it is viciously attacked.
  • He, not his ideas, is "attacked" in a very personal way for having a different position.  His family is attacked as well -- just for Expressing a viewpoint that is different than the mainstream narrative.
  • He is told on social media that he should get the coronavirus and die for expressing himself.
  • He is against the California lockdown strategy.  It is not based on current experiences in our state. It is not based on known science.
  • Current policies are killing people for reasons other than covid19.
  • Surgeries and other treatments are being delayed unnecessarily.
  • Hospitals around the country are not backed up, but instead are underutilized.
  • Drug abuse, domestic violence, child abuse are all up due to the lockdown.
  • 911 system in OC is being overwhelmed with domestic violence calls.
  • We are creating government dependency like we have never done before.
  • Government is saying, "We know what is best for you. Your individual risk assessment is not important."  
  • Some of the decisions by government are quite arbitrary and capricious.
  • It almost appears that the Left is rooting for the coronavirus to upset the presidential election process. He chooses to not believe that is possible. (What do you think?)
  • Voting booths versus waiting in line to go to Costco.  What's the difference?
  • Hydroxychloroquine is obviously effective and in wide use but is relentlessly challenged and disparaged by the mainstream press.  Is this just because the President thinks it may be a good idea?
  • Keep the highest risk people safe while opening up the economy and institutions for everybody else. 
  • "Flattening the curve" -- what it means.   We've already done that.
  • Are doctors motivated to report as many covid19 deaths as possible?  (Interesting answer)
  • We need to put as much decision-making power as possible into the hands of local politicians and institutions.  Tremendous situational variability within the state.
  • Governor is threatening local authorities with cutting off state funds if they don't go along with his directives.
  • He tells us what he thinks about masks.  Interesting analysis and recommendations.
  • Most ridiculous? Watching someone drive down the street in their car, alone, and having a mask and protective gloves on.

Again, you will want to check out this most informative video before they take it down.  You may need to click through an opening advertisement.



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1)   Did you find the video informative?


California: Covid Numbers By County

I found this table in the Orange County Register.  They keep this updated on a daily basis.

There are a few interesting results here.

Not shown are the number of deaths occurring in nursing homes, which is a high percentage of the total.  Those deaths are included here, just not singled out.  That is a huge part of this story.

Note that there are several counties that have reported zero deaths.

Those counties include: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Modoc, Plumas, Sierra, Siskyou, Trinity, and Tuolomne.  Twenty other counties have reported fewer than 10 deaths, including my county (Nevada), which has had one fatality -- apparently an elderly visitor from elsewhere.

Of the total 2,715 deaths, 1,530 occurred in Los Angeles County.  That's 56% of the state's total. 

Given the highly liberalized Covid death reporting standards (it can be reported as Covid even if you only suspect that it may be Covid -- no test required), it is quite striking that there are so many counties that have not been negatively impacted by the pandemic.  However, we have ALL been greatly effected by government-imposed social and commerce restrictions.  For instance, small business is getting killed everywhere and that is a tragedy.

They calculate the "death rate" by dividing the total infections by the number of deaths.  I don't find that to be a very useful number.

A more important number is this: what are my chances of dying from Covid19 in California, right now?

Population of California?    About 39,500,000.  Number of Covid deaths? 2,715.  Divide and express as a percentage.

2,715 divided by 39.5M = 0.007%.  Your chances of dying from Covid19 in CA is seven thousandths of one percent. If you are reasonably healthy your chances are almost zero of dying from this "pandemic".

Another way of saying this?  About 68 people out of every million have died from the coronavirus in California.  Almost all had serious underlying illnesses and/or were over 75 years old.  That's too bad, but remember that 8,000 people die every day in the US, covid or not.

Do you ever get this kind of explanation from the TV "news" or the newspapers?  I don't think so.  

Most of the TV news seems like they are trying to frighten us as much as possible.

Check out the numbers:



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1)   Comments? Should we wait a few more months before we completely open up California (or whatever state you are in)? Should we wait for Bill Gates’ vaccine? Or should we stop this foolishness and get back to work? Should we just be quiet and do what our government tells us to do? Is there any reason to think that the global warming models are any better than the terribly inaccurate Covid models?


Bakersfield Doctors Disagree With Shelter-In-Place Strategy

Many of you have already seen this video.  It wouldn't hurt to view it again, after a week of it being out there.

Perhaps this will generate some discussion.  It's a pretty big deal, especially if they turn out to be correct in their analysis and predictions.  We won't know about the doctors' accuracy until we give this a couple months. 

Sweden appears to be doing ok after having no business or school lockdowns during the pandemic.

Please answer a quick yes/no survey at the end of this announcement. 


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1)   Do you generally agree with the Bakersfield doctors?

2)   Would you like to add your comments here? (extra credit)


Opinions from the Right and the Left

Your version of reality is formed by who you watch, read or listen to.

In the spirit of fairness, I decided to try something new on these pages.  Oh, no... not again!  (you are probably saying)

These are remarkable times for our country.  There really has not been anything quite like this coronavirus era.

From conversations with many of you online, texting, emails and seeing your comments, I realize that our opinions are quite diverse and polarized.  One of these days we will run a poll to see how we stand as a class.  

There are those of you who think we should just shut down the country for a few more months.  

Others think we should never have shut down and that we should get back to normal, immediately.

And then there are a lot of people in between.

So I decided to give you two opposite points of view.  One is written by a CNN opinion writer and the other is a portion of a news letter by a well known conservative personality.  One of my relatives sent it to me today.

You should read them both and then come back here and voice your thoughts below.  Remember the dot-dot-dot response can be your friend.  You could always dot-dot and then decide if you want to wade in.

If you don't care about any of this then your task is already completed.

Here's the note from the RIGHT.

Here's the note from the LEFT.

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1)   Do you have any comments about either of these opinions?


Cartoons: 4-27-2020

Subjects include:

Note: Updated with six new ones on 4-28-2020

Biden, his past comments and current (not mentioned by CNN) allegations

Governor Kemp opening his state for business

Public schools vs home schools

Flattening the curve -- which curve?

Open versus Close everything

Fauci and the family pet

Public opinion against China (90%)

Outbreaks around America of what?

Bill Gates (my old boss) and W.H.O.

Gas and oil prices

Biden, CNN and China

Venice Beach and skate boarders versus the tractor (similar to something that happened in China a few years ago)

The propaganda outlet for the Chinese Communist Party

Check out the comics HERE.



What Do All the Coronavirus Numbers Tell Us?

Don't worry, I'm not going to talk about ventilators, masks, gloves and PPE.

I'll take you on a deep dive into how to interpret all the Covid19 death numbers in the US.  It doesn't sound very uplifting but you may be surprised.  There is a strange twist at the end.

Just remember: Nothing But Net.

I'll do my best to separate fact from fiction.

If you are the curious type, you may be fascinated by the analysis.

If not so curious then save some time by not checking it out!

I'll talk about:

  • US death rates and normal causes. (doesn't that sound like fun !)
  • Comorbidities and you (another light hearted subject)
  • Where we are in the pandemic in America
  • How the Centers for Disease Control have changed the rules in the middle of the game
  • How New York reported 6,000 deaths in one day while only having a third that many in real life/death
  • Did coronavirus already hit Los Angeles in January and we didn't even know it?
  • Why my prediction of 25K was wrong and how that may not be as bad as you think
  • If we wanted to have zero car accidents and related deaths we should ban all cars, trucks and motorcycles

Check it out HERE.

How Do I Know If You Care?

There are various ways of determining your level of interest in this website.

I'll break them down in this detailed note.

Plus, you will get to view the popularity of every email I have ever sent out to this class!  Some were duds but most were fairly successful.

So check it out and analyze to your heart's content!  You get to crawl inside my head and try to figure out why I do what I do.  That sounds a bit invasive but I'm game.

Email stats and explanations can be found HERE

Turley Hopkins: 1950-2004

Many of you knew Turley as you grew up in Bakersfield.

We have a few photos of him that go all the way back to 1957 and 1958!

Turley was absent from our 1968 yearbook so it is not certain if he dropped out to join the Army or what.  His obit mentions that he served in the Army from 1968-71.  Does anybody know what happened to him during his senior year?  Was he with us for awhile and then left To join up?

I actually knew him as far back as 1963 -- we were teammates on the celebrated Golden Lions Jack Frost football team.  In fact, he outweighed me by 5 pounds, coming in at a hefty 120.  At the time, Ronnie Hudson had not yet broken into triple digits.

Check out his info HERE.


Football Stadiums and Coronavirus

What do you think the connection is?

You do remember what a football stadium is, don't you?  We use to cheer our team on while sitting in them.  Remember?

So, am I going to tell you not to go to crowded stadiums?  No.  You will make your own decisions about that.

What this is about is visualization.  That's right.  How you see things in your mind.

It's hard to imagine how many people make up a million, for instance.

But it's an important point to consider.  Many of the statistics we get from the news has to do with how many deaths per million residents, for example.

In California, where many of us live, the stats tell us that 24 people out of one million have caught covid19 and died.  But CA has 40M people, so multiply 24 times 40 and you will get our total deaths = 960 total deaths.  For some mysterious reason, California has done amazingly well in keeping the covid deaths down.  I give some credit to the governor for that.

Expressed as a percentage, the number is 0.0024%.  Yes, that is about two and a half thousandths of one percent.  That's your chances of dying from covid19 in CA right now.

But what does 24 out of 1,000,000 look like?

Here is a football stadium that holds about 100,000 people.  This happens to be the LA Coliseum, which was built for the olympics.

Imagine that there were 24 people in this crowd, spread out throughout the Coliseum.  If each were wearing a white cowboy hat, could you even pick them out of this crowd of 100,000?

The sharp ones out there have already noticed that I just made a big mistake in my calculations!  The LA Coliseum only represents one tenth of a million.  Let's add a few more big football stadiums so we have ten total.

Here's what that looks like.  All these stadiums hold about 100,000, though the Rose Bowl only handles about 92,000.






So what does 24 out of a million look like?  Imagine 24 people in white cowboy hats sitting randomly across all the stadiums pictured above. 

Could you pick them out?  That's what 0.0024% looks like.

That's what 24 out of 1,000,000 looks like.

Are you ready to take a chance now?

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1)   Was that useful? Should we open our country up now? Do you have any other random thoughts?


Shelter In Place: What Are You Seeing In Your Town?

Just a quick survey during this most interesting moment in our nation's history.

In California, we are supposed to be practicing "shelter in place".

However, that is NOT what I am seeing.  Not even close.  Sure, Vic and I spend most of our time around our property up here.  But today we had to get out and see what was going on.

We drove around our area today for the purpose of purchasing needed supplies.  Living out in the sticks, you need to do this once in awhile.  It's a nice change of pace.

We first went to our local small towns, Nevada City and Grass Valley.  Plenty of people at the grocery stores, drug stores, hardware stores, Tractor Supply, drive-thru burger places, gas stations. The parking lots were almost full in some areas.

Then we went "down the hill" to the larger towns of Auburn and Roseville.  More of the same at Home Depot (though they made them line up and only let a few go in at a time), BevMo, Costco (huge line -- strung out), Lowes (just walk in), In n Out Burgers (drive thru), Chick fil A (big line), Walmart.  Bass Pro Shops was closed along with other "non-essential" businesses.   

Is this happening where you are, as well?  Are we on the road to ruin? Are we experiencing a "soft revolution" against the people who try to scare us with incredibly bad predictions -- every time!  Is this all just part of a Fake News assault on our country?  It does make you wonder.

What does it look like in your neck of the woods?  Tell us where you live and what you are seeing. This could be interesting for everybody.    

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1)   What are you seeing in the area where you live? Lots of people on the road? Are parking lots full at Costco and Walmart? How about the grocery stores? Are people wearing face masks? What about gloves and other “PPE”? Are we generally practicing good “6 foot” distancing? Just what is going on out there, outside of New York City and Washington, DC? You know, the places where We live.


Jim's Historic Predictions Are All Coming True

One week ago, on April 2, 2020, I made some rather bold predictions regarding our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

At that time, everybody in the press was focused on the mounting number of US deaths predicted for the coming week (the last 7 days).  There was, in fact, an uptick in US deaths attributable to cov19.  No surprises, there.

In the midst of all this gloom and doom, I told you (and the world) that we would see signs of a remarkable recovery this week, as well.

Nobody was saying this a week ago.  Just me.  I also showed you specifically why I thought I was right, which I was.   I pointed to two WSJ articles that talked about existing therapies that appear to work quite well.  These are the same meds that have been repeatedly slammed and dismissed by most of the US press since Trump started talking about them weeks ago.

So let's look at the world a week ago, in terms of predictions by various "experts", who some of you hold in such high esteem.  I think most of them are complete frauds who publish juiced up numbers to support their various "programs".  

 The first predictions were by a once respected scientest in Great Britain from the Imperial College, whatever that is.  These predictions set off most of the world's government alarmists (similar to chickens with their heads cut off) to warn everybody of our impending and almost certain doom.  Many really terrible estimates for hospital beds, ICU equipment and similar were made due to reliance on these initial lousy estimates.  Remember, "Where's my 40,000 ventilators???"  It turns out that nobody needed anything near 40K ventilators.  Idiots and charlatans.

Here is a summary of those "expert" (crappy) Imperial College estimates for the US.


The 2.2M number appears to be what most Chicken Littles focused on.  We will never know if there is any truth in it because we obviously did not do "Nothing".  It would appear that, according to this table, we ended up taking the third option: "A lot more (serious mitigation)", which should have resulted in 1.1M deaths in the US.  Even the last option, "A massive amount for a long time" is supposed to result in 200,000 US deaths.  This number is obviously way off, possibly off by a factor of 10 (which I will get to later).  The professor who posted these estimates should be relieved of his duties. His models are worse than worthless: the models harm people and wreck economies.

Then, around the end of March, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci were pinned down by the press to give the White House reporters some projected "death numbers".  To their credit, they finally quoted an estimate of "between 100,000 and 200,00" deaths in the US.  Did that seem a bit high to anybody but me?  

By the way, what good are estimates when they are so broadly stated.  Imagine asking a baseball player what his batting average will be next year.  He tells you "between .200 and .400".  That kind of information is useless.  

How much are we paying these people to give us absolutely useless information?  Is this ALL they do?

The next day, after the now famous Fauci-Birx estimates, the president made a statement about "possibly 240,000" US citizens dying from the virus.  Why did he do that?  Here's my hunch:  Trump does not leave "free money" on the table.  When he heard Birx and Fauci's estimate, he decided to take the upper estimate and run with it.  In the meantime, he knew of the various medications that are coming online to fight the pandemic -- meds that will likely blow all the stupid models out of the water.  When the final numbers come in at far below 50,000, he will look lke a genius.  This is how he likely thinks, though I can't read his mind, of course.     

Trump was given a "can't lose" position so he took it.

So, we have the following estimates: 2.2M, 1.5M, 1.1M, 240K, and 100-200K.

This brings us to the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).  I study this site everyday to see what the heck is going on after withstanding the torrent of pure garbage coming from network and cable TV idiots.   You know them all, I am sure.

This all happened in the week since I posted my positive predictions.  On April 2 (prediction day) the IHME claimed that 93,000 US people would die.  A couple days later they revised this number down to 82K.  Three days later they revised down to 60K deaths.  All in a week that was supposed to be full of gloom and doom.

Let me rephrase that: the IHME revised their predicted deaths downward by 35% in the week after my announcement was posted on this website.

Now you might say, "But Jim, the deaths went down because we all practiced 'shelter in place'".  You are wrong if you think that.  The IHME estimates were made with the assumption that WE WOULD PRACTICE EFFECTIVE SHELTER IN PLACE strategies!  You can look that up.

Let's look at the IHME's latest prediction for deaths in the US.  Here's the graph:

The dotted line is the total predicted number of deaths.  Note how it flatlines during June, 2020.  In fact, the whole second half of May is also a virtual flat line.  That means nobody is dying from cov19 after mid-May.  Their model flatlines at 60K, which you will discover is wrong, again.

And now for the mind-blower:  How many people do I think will die in the US due to the coronavirus bug?

Less than 25,000 people will die.  Possibly, many less. Let's make the cutoff date June 1, since their model claims flatline behavior at that point.

Watch in the next few days and you will likely see the IHME predictions approach the number 25,000.

According to the CDC, the 2012-13 influenza season killed 56,000 people in the US.

According to the CDC, the 2017-18 flu killed over 80,000 Americans.

This "pandemic" may kill less than 25,000 US people, according to ... me.

But that is only half the story.  I'll save that for another time.  This is when I will tell you all about "net deaths" in the US. 

Here's the teaser: Did you know that, due to shelter in place and all the bars being closed, there are significantly fewer deaths across the US during the past few weeks?  This, despite all the hubbub and concern about coronavirus deaths.

But, here's the biggest question: Why was I right at this important time in our nation's history, and ALL OF THE EXPERTS IN THE WORLD WERE DEAD WRONG?

If I could see it plainly, why couldn't anybody else see it and speak up?  Why was I first?  Lucky or just one of the most logical people you have ever met?

I rest my case.  If my predictions go wrong I will report them right here and own up to everything I got wrong.  That is something the press NEVER does.  The press is not honest.  Look into the numbers yourself and make your own decisions.  It doesn't take a genius.

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1)   What do you think? How am I not telling the truth? Why were all the “experts” wrong? I know it sounds like I am bragging, but sometimes you just need to say it. Nobody else will. When are we going to get back to work? Have we all lost our collective minds? Are we in a mass hysteria? You realize that when you are in a mass hysteria, you never know you are in one. Now you know.


Lurkers Rejoice: The Dot-Dot-Dot Response is Your Ticket to Enlightenment and Fun! 

Did you know that in order to see survey results you need to participate in the survey?

If you don't submit a response you don't get to see what others are saying.  You are missing out.

But there is a way around this that I've been waiting for you to exploit.

Yes, you can "lurk" around and see what others are saying without committing your own opinion.  Many people are not comfortable expressing their opinions in written form.  Now you don't need to if you don't want to.

Just use the Willie Stubblefield Dot-Dot-Dot Response.

Willie is a regular contributor to the site -- I wish that more people felt comfortable participating more often.   He was the first to implement the Dot-Dot-Dot Response. So give him credit!

By the way, the only time I consider stepping away from this site is when I can't get any responses from you.  And you know I try just about everything to keep you interested.

Here is an example of a Dot-Dot-Dot Response:


If you look closely you will see three periods (dots) in the text box.  Look real closely.  This is a valid response.  Just hit the Update My Survey button and your official answer is "...".   Then you can see what others are saying who already responded.  Once you see other responses you can edit your "dots" and add a real response.  Or not.  We accept lurkers as well as full up participants.  Being a Dot-Dot-Dot Responder keeps you out of the line of fire, so to speak.  Who is going to argue with three dots?  Maybe me on a bad day.  Who knows?

By the way, if you ever respond with something that you later regret, you can always just update your survey with a completely blank note (or three dots).  That will erase anything else you may have written.  I have had to do that a few times.

So if you are a website lurker, or just a little shy, try the Dot-Dot-Dot Response.

You will dig it the most!

You can practice the Dot-Dot-Dot Response on any of the surveys on the Home Page.  There are several out there and the answers are interesting, to say the least.



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1)   Want to practice the Dot-Dot-Dot Response? Please answer this survey with “...” and see who else is practicing! By the way, you could use 2 or even 4 dots, but then it would not be an official Dot-Dot-Dot Response.

To Dot-Dot-Dot, or not to Dot-Dot-Dot.

What Are You Wearing These Days?

Most of us are apparently sequestered in our own homes.  Isolated from the outside world.

So if you really aren't going anywhere or meeting anybody, what do you wear all day?  Did you forget that step today? 

For me and Vicki, it's pretty easy to answer:  When we spend almost all day inside we revert to sweat pants, a couple layers of T shirts, and maybe a hoodie or similar to finish things off.

If we are doing work outside we'll just step into our outside work clothes: jeans, snow pants, or similar work attire on the bottom, and extra strength work shirts and/or vests on top.  If it is raining or snowing then proper snow/rain gear is the ticket, including appropriate work gloves.  Water proof boots are high on the list if there is much vehicle retrieval required. 

Here are some possible answers, just to get you started:

1. Sweats, upper and lower, with house slippers.

2. Jeans, T shirt and a layer or two of something else on top.

3. Flannel shirt with warmy bottoms (wool or sweats).

4. Well pressed slacks and button down office shirt.

5. Coat and tie, ready for the office or teleconferencing

6. I am a priest: I wear priest garb. 

7. Bathing suit.

8. Tan shoes and pink shoe laces, a polka-dot vest and man oh man.  This would be an unlikely response.

9. Baseball cap and any of the above.  Or none of the above.

10. Shoulder pads and high school football helmet.  Cleats are optional.

11. Whatever I wore yesterday.  And the day before. 

16. Whatever Dr Fauci is wearing, but three sizes bigger.  Maybe four.

17. Jeans and a white T shirt, just like back at South High.  Throw in the Converse All-Stars, as well.

18. A specially-fitted bubble outfit, complete with intercom and social media capable user interface.

20.  I never get out of bed these days so I don't need to get dressed.

21.   Work clothes that are appropriate for my job, which I go to every day.

22. I can't exactly remember the last time I got dressed up for anything.  

23. Basketball uniform and large, stinky foam hand with pointy finger.  Still waiting for March Madness to start.   

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1)   Just one simple question. What are you wearing every day during our government mandated lockdown. Say what you want but keep it lively and truthful. No answer is too boring. So do it!



The title for this announcement makes a bold statement.  I stand behind it 100%.  We will see if I am right or wrong.  But I am putting my money and my reputation on the line right here and now.  

We will see a huge improvement in stopping the spread of the virus as well as substantially lowering the mortality rate.  In addition, we will experience much shorter recovery times and quite possibly far fewer infections.

I haven't said much on this site lately because I've been researching our current pandemic situation. When people do this sort of research they often are only looking for evidence that will support their currently held opinion.  People who do this are agents of confirmation bias.  The only evidence they want to consider is that which supports their current point of view.  Conflicting evidence is often ignored or twisted to fit their preferred narrative.  We get this every day from just about every news source. 

I'll admit that I was hopeful of finding good news, but I did not bend the information I found to fit my preferred future outcome.  It is what it is, as my brother used to say.

The truth is, it can be difficult to know which "news" sources to believe when the "trusted" outlets contradict one another on a daily basis.  They can't all be right, obviously.

So you need to learn how to read between the lines and understand what motivates various news organizations and government agencies to present their "news" from a chosen point of view.  Often the events of the day, as reported, are clearly not meant to be informational.  The real purpose is to persuade you to think one way or the other.  I think you all know that by now.

For instance, why did virtually all the polls get the last presidential election wrong -- really wrong?   Could it be that most of them were more interested in influencing your vote rather than reporting an unbiased survey?  Isn't that what most news is trying to do every day?  That is, influence you rather than inform you.

Both "sides" do this on a regular basis.  The language used in almost all reporting has bias built in to it.

Have you had this experience yet:  You watch one of the daily pandemic briefings and think you have a good idea of what you have just heard and seen with your own eyes and ears.  Then you see the news reports about that same meeting and it has no similarity to what you THINK you just experienced on TV!  Often, really great sounding results and other potential news items from the daily briefings are not even mentioned.  It is as if these positive (or negative) points never happened.

Now that I've made my overall "rosey" predictions, it is my job to convince you of why I feel this way.  I will make you login if you want to see the rest and follow my logic as we go.

Tomorrow (or at least soon) I'll give you my prediction on how many net fatalities we will likely have in America due to the novel coronavirus.  My numbers will shock you. 

By the way, my flu symptoms have completely disappeared.  Whatever virus I had, it lasted only about three days.  The worst inconvenience for me was night sweats, which I've covered already. 

Want to see what I am basing my optimism on?  Go HERE.  

I Think I Have the Flu -- Update #2

Last night around 3 in the morning I woke up with body aches, creepy crawlies on my skin, and a headache.  I even had a slight, dry cough.

I got up and took a couple Advils and finally got to sleep.  No chills, but light sweating.

I slept in as long as possible (9AM) but still had aches and pains.

I'm taking it easy today and drinking lots of fluids.   Also, taking my temperature regularly.

After consulting the informational link below,  I decided that I do not have Covid-19.

Why?  Because the number one indicator is a high temperature.  I don't have that, registering between 98.1 and 98.5 all day.

I just don't feel too great.  But it is getting better.  Some lack of energy, but nothing I can't work through.

Interestingly, I had a flu experience about 4 years ago where my temp went from normal to 103 in less than 2 hours!  I thought I was going to die.  I couldn't think straight.   It hung around for about a week before I was back to normal.  I think many people died from that fairly recent flu episode.  We did not shut the economy down for that bug. 

Unless my condition suddenly goes in the wrong direction I should be ok by tomorow.

But even if it were covid-19, I likely would be just fine.  My risk factors are fairly minimal.  Sometimes I think it may be best to get it sooner rather than later, since I am not getting any younger. 

** Update #1 **

Yesterday I sat around the house and read magazines, which is highly unusual for me.  I'm outside working most of the time during norlmacy.  That's how I stay in shape.

Mild-to-average flu symptoms for most of the day.  At around 7PM my temperature got up to 99.3 and I felt worse.  I took two hour-long naps, one in the afternoon and one in the evening.  

By the time I went to bed in the downstairs bedroom (isolated) I felt mostly comfortable.  However, I woke around 2AM drenched in sweat, so we know I am not normal.  I changed clothes and went back to sleep on the other side of the bed, waking up at 9AM again.

Took my temp a few minutes ago and it is at 98.3, which is average for me.

At this point it appears that I have the "common" flu, which kills tens of thousands in America every year.  But how do I know, for certain, that I don't have covid19?  Many people have mild symptoms from covid19, just like me.  

But the guidance is to NOT go in and get tested if you have mild symptoms.  So I likely will not get tested.  Besides, why would I want to be around a bunch of sick people?   Therefore, we will never know if I have covid or not, will we?  If that is the case, then I will never contribute to the "denominator" in the "percent died" equation.  Which means our rate of death in this country will be over-reported, guaranteed.  Thousands, possibly millions, are in the same situation that I am in.  By the way, you don't want to be part of the numerator in this equation!

Pretty interesting, yes?  I took statistics in college and used this knowledge in various technical jobs, so I know how easy it is to make stats tell you whatever you want.    

Notice how I lay my position out in a step-by-step process.  It is all about "but, if, then, therefore, one must conclude", etc.  This is how logical people see the world and how we solve problems.  We are not swayed by over-emotional herd followers with a hidden agenda. 

** Update #2 **

Well, I'm still here!  

Had to go into town yesterday but kept my distance from others.  I did not feel particularly marginalized by my condition nor did I feel weak or sick.

In my teaching years I recall going into work many times when I did not feel top notch, often choosing work over staying at home for a couple more days to beat the flu into the ground.  Can you imagine entrusting a large choral group (60-70 kids) or a band of similar size to a substitute teacher?  The result would be mayhem in the classroom and unproductive classes.  It was better to go back a bit early in my case.

As you know, I am working off the assumption that I have a seasonal flu.  However, we also know that mild reaction to covid19 is almost identical to my current reaction.  On the other hand, I have no intention of getting tested and being around those that may have covid.  That introduces more risk than I would lke to have.  

I thought that I'd get through a night with no additional sweats.  My body thought differently.  Woke up around 4:30AM drenched in perspiration -- the only sign all day that I was not completely well.  It feels so good to put multiple layers of blankets on the bed when you go to sleep.  Maybe it is just too much warmth.

As you all know, I am a researcher.  I was curious about "night sweats".

Not all agree, but here is my summary.  Our body raises its temperature to create an environment that is more hostile to whatever is foreign in your system, in this case, influenza viruses.  Higher temps tend to kill the flu "bugs" off.  When you shiver (I am not doing that) it is to help raise your body temperature.  The side effects (chills, achy joints, headaches, pain in the neck, etc) are all due to your body raising your temperature.  When the body feels that it has done enough for now you break into a sweat to lower your temp through the evaporative process - like a swamp cooler for you Bakersfield types.   

Evidentally, I still have bad things running through my system.  Therefore, the body does its thing and will continue until the flu is gone.  So when you hear of people having really high temps (103 degrees and higher), it indicates that your body is trying as hard as possible to defeat the "germs" in your system.   The fever is not the disease -- it is the body's defense mechanism going into high gear.  Sometimes that is not enough and then you die.  Very high fevers can also cause long term damage to your body and/or mind.  One of my uncles, though he survived, was changed forever by the Spanish Flu in 1918.

And yes, fevers and subsequent sweating is common at night time.  Much of this happens as you sleep, as in my case.  You wake up drenched with no particular memory of the discomfort as your temperature kept going up.  My theory is that you are strongest while asleep.  There are no distractions, you are at rest, and probably snug and covered up.  What better time for your body to fight off the harmful invaders in your bloodstream?  This all makes perfect sense to me.  

When I go through a 24 hour time span with no fever and no sweats I'll know that the flu is completely gone from my system.  Or is it Covid19?  We will probably never know, unless I take an antibody test in the future.

Temperature was 98.5 when I woke up at 10AM today.

And thanks for all the responses.  I've had many, some in the survey below and many others through personal emails.  I appreciate all of them.  This is how we learn things that may help all of us.  That's what this thread is all about.   

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1)   Have you had the flu or similar in the past couple of months? Do you know anybody, personally, who has contracted covid-19? Are you ready to go back to work?


The Center for Coronavirus Information Page

This page addresses the following:

What is the coronavirus?

What does it look like?

How do you get infected?


How can I protect myself?

How do I know if I am infected?

Ok, I think I am infected - now what?

Is there a vaccine or a cure?

[Note that they do not mention hydroxycloroquine, though it has shown good anecdotal results]

Here's the LINK.


Coronavirus Live Update Page

Here is a website built by a high school student in Washington state.  Yes, he built it himself with help from others.

It will tell you everything you need to know about how we are doing in our fight against the pandemic.


Up and Running and Back On the Air

What an odd last few days it has been for all of us.

There is so much going on:

1. The Chinese Wuhan Coronavirus has spread across the entire world (except Africa).  Does anybody doubt that it started in the province of Wuhan, China? There are conflicting reports on how it started, but the epicenter appears to be in this area of China.  

2. Endless on-air government briefings about how we are attempting to combat the virus and mitigate its impact.

3. Several "news" sources showing, day after day, that they are primarily consumed with criticizing everything that the government is proposing or doing.  There does not appear to be a general sense that we are "all in this together", at least from some highly predictable quarters.

4. A stock market that has lost more than a third of its value, and is still plunging.

5. We've been told to essentially self quarantine ourselves.  This kind of self inflicted isolation is definitely a new thing.

6. Big-time sports has joined the Cancel Culture along with most other group events.

7. Unprecedented buying and hoarding behavior at local stores. 

8. And why are there coronavirus hotspots in Italy, Iran and other "random" areas?

9. While all this is going on, Vicki and I have endured five straight days of snowfall, at times very heavy.  Up here we call this "Donner Party" snow.  It is that severe.  Not "crying uncle" yet, but getting close. 

Now I am going to make you log in so you can read what else I have to say about all that is going on.  Some of it may surprise you.   

Go HERE to read all about it.

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1)   Can you believe how much has been going on lately? When do you think that we will “turn the corner” with the coronavirus situation? Will the markets ever come back? Why is Italy hit so hard by the pandemic? How’s the self quarantine going? Missing March Madness? Is the MSM helping or hindering our progress in defeating Covid-19? Speak up and embarrass yourself. I do it all the time!


My Weather Forecast

As you may know, Vicki and I live in the Sierra Nevada mountains at the 3,500 foot level.

By the way, "Sierra Nevada" means "Snowy Mountains" en espanol.

Here is the info:

In 1776, Pedro Font's map applied the name to the range currently known as the Sierra Nevada. The literal translation is "snowy mountains", from sierra "a range of hills", 1610s, from Spanish sierra "jagged mountain range", lit. "saw", from Latin serra "a saw"; and from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy".

Ok, did you get that?

We love the snow up here.  We started out with a bang (foot and a half of snow) back in November and haven't seen any since.  It looks like that will change tomorrow.

Here's our forecast:


Looks like at least 5 straight days of snow.  We'll be ready.  The birds are hungrier than usual today.  They know what is coming our way!

Good opportunity to get the 4x4s out in the white stuff, including Jeeps and ATVs.

I'll post photos if this all really happens.


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1)   Comments? How is your snow forecast looking? If you are in Bakersfield I can already tell you!


Coronavirus: What You Need To Know

This article appears to be as comprehensive as anything I have seen out there.



Hope for the Best, Prepare for the Worst

This is a non-political statement.


MSNBC’s Brian Williams Fails 4th Grade Arithmetic

Brian Williams, and his guest from the editorial board of the New York Times, made an inexplicably stupid on-air calculation last week.


As a former math teacher, I must say that I was completely befuddled by Brian Williams' inability to grasp the basics of 4th Grade arithmetic. 

So this is not a Right/Left rant.  This is about the sorry state of the overall intelligence of our "trusted" TV "straight news" personalities.

The two TV people made the confident claim that the money Bloomberg spent on political advertisements could have instead been used to give every American over a million dollars

Bloomberg spent $500,000,000 on his ads.  That's five hundred million dollars.

There are 327,000,000 people in the US.  That's three hundred twenty-seven million people.

So this is a simple long division problem, isn't it?

We all learned long division in 4th Grade, or thereabouts.  Remember?  You had to know how to count, add, do subtraction, and, most importantly, you needed to memorize your times tables.  That was all mastered in 4th Grade.  Where was Brian when this was all going on?  Was he in the make-up room?  On a fake helicopter ride dodging incoming?

Knowing that adding a "zero" to the end of a number made it ten times bigger was a handy little bit of info, also. Remember that one?


So let's see if the long division works out to over one million dollars for each entitled American, like college educated Brian Williams claims.

We start with: 500,000,000 divided by 327,000,000 = ?

But that's way too many zeros.  Let's divide both numbers by one million to make it easier.

Now we have:  500 divided by 327 = ?

To make it easier still, let's turn it into a simple spare change calculation by dividing both numbers by 100.

Now we have $5.00 divided by $3.27 = ?

How many $3.27's are there in $5.00?  I'd say about one and a half.  On your calculator you will see that the answer is 1.53.

Is one dollar and 53 cents pretty close to over a million dollars that Brian Williams and his esteemed NYT guest claimed?  By the way, she being on the Editorial Board of the esteemed NYT should indicate that she is on the lookout for inaccuracies in published material.  Fail.

Brian blew it by about $1,530,000 per person in the US.  Missing a calculation by 20% or 30% would be pretty bad.  But he missed this by thousands of percentage points.  Maybe millions.

But there is more to this story that is below the surface.  These types of egregious miscalculations always go in the same direction -- in this case, promoting the idea that if we redistribute all the rich people's money, all will be well.  That's a Bernie line, of course.

So let's take all of Bloomberg's money and give it to us deserving and entitled Americans. After all, I'm sure every one of us has been wronged (and emotionally scarred) by some type of social injustice along the way.  It comes with the territory.

Ok, Mike.  We want all your money!  Without capital your businesses will fail, people would lose jobs, and all your charitable organizations would go belly up.  The government obviously knows better how to spend your money, anyway.

Let's revisit our 4th Grade math problem (long division) once again.  The guy is currently worth $60 Billion.

60,000,000,000 divided by 327,000,000 = ?

We divide both numbers by a million (lop off 6 zeros) and we get: 60,000 divided by 327 = ?

Let's divide by 100 to get it down to something we can understand: $600 divided by $3.27 = $183

So there you have it.  If we took ALL of Bloomberg's money (he is one of the richest guys in America) then each person in the US would get a check for about $183.

Is that life changing money to you?

Ok, I'll say it.  Brian Williams should be fired. Again. You can't come back from this kind of bonehead statement. 


Apparently he is incapable of comprehending the basics of 4th Grade arithmetic.

Here's a good recap of Brian Williams' complete fail.  


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1)   Comments? Just say it. I might even respond. Any former math teachers out there? Am I the only one? Have calculators made us all really bad at math done the old fashioned way? Let me know that you are out there.


This Week in the 1968 Bakersfield Californian

We are including the papers from Feb 21 - Feb 29 (1968 a leap year).

So take your time and check out what happened.

The Vietnam war situation is not encouraging.  Things are getting worse by the day.

Also, lots of local sports news, some good, some bad.

What was going on:

Read the papers and find out for yourself!

There is more going on in the front page besides Vietnam, but the war continues to dominate our attention -- for good reason.

Wrestling, high school basketball playoffs, pro sports, early baseball, and Renegade basketball.

And Mark Trail.

Go HERE to read the newspapers from February, 1968.  The scans are pretty clear.


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1)   Comments? Did you find this walk into the past interesting? Any surprises? Did you even read the paper back in 1968?


"We're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat"

You all remember that famous quote from the film "Jaws".  Don't you?

In this case, we are not in need of a larger ocean going vessel.

So what's the point?

Go HERE to find out.  Plus, get a quick refresher on an important financial moment in our lifetimes.


How Often Do You Become Outraged?

As a noun, here is what the word outrage means: an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.

As a verb it means this: arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone).

If you spend much time on the internet, you will find many people who claim they are outraged by just about everything.

Here's what it might look like:


But here is the thing:  I don't think that people really get outraged by much.  I think 99% of the outrage you see is FAKE.

We seem to see a lot more outrage these days.  Much of it is directed at our sitting President.  It comes with the territory, I suppose.  He certainly understands how to "poke the bear" to get a strong reaction.

In fact, reactions from the press are so predictable that you can almost write the headlines for the next day yourself.  That makes the expected stories boring.

But after awhile, fake outrage stops having any real effect on anything.  You know it is coming -- it is just a matter of how it will be packaged.  As the press runs out of new "angles" they just start recycling old material.

I can't remember the last time that I was truly outraged about anything.  How about you?  Are you one of those people who claims outrage on a  daily basis?  I hope not.

I think that most of the "outrage" you see in the news is just not real.  These are not true emotions on display.  "Outrage" is just being used as a persuasion tool to get you to change your mind.  Just another technique to influence your thinking.   One more stab at manipulating your thoughts through an emotional channel.

"Outrage" is made up, for the most part.  

When a gifted actor displays outrage on the screen, you may find it believable, at least in the context of the movie you are watching.  That's what superior acting can do.

But pundits on TV and most politicians are not good actors.  They are terrible actors, for the most part.  Complete hacks.  They suck at acting.

So when these people display "outrage" it simply is not believable.  In fact, it would be laughable if it were not so dishonest.

Displaying fake "outrage" is just a dramatic way of complaining.  Personally, I find most people who complain a lot to be rather weak in terms of character.  Also, not very happy, in general.  Do you know anybody who complains all the time and displays "outrage" at the drop of a hat?  

My advice is to avoid these people.  Life is too short to be consumed by never ending complaints and frequent fits of "outrage".      

Better to spend your energy trying to fix things rather than complaining about everything.

Complainers are losers.  Merchants of "outrage" are hopeless losers who want to pull you into their whirlpool of destructive thoughts and chronic unhappiness.

Hey, check out the Quote of the Day widget just above this announcement.

But don't complain about it! 

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1)   Do you think that most of the “outrage” we see these days is fake? Is showing constant outrage a strength or a weakness? Can you think of a strong person in your life who appears to be outraged half the time? Are you a complainer?


A Conversation With Don Ward

Last summer we sat down and talked for a couple hours in Bakersfield.

It was an interesting experience for me and I think he enjoyed the conversation as well.

Topics included his childhood, attending North High School (first graduating class), people he knew growing up (surprises here), Stanford University, the US Marines, the 1959 champion Renegade football team, football at Nevada Reno (abbreviated career), his first coaching/teaching job (it was not at South), how he returned to Bakersfield, coaching at SHS (three decades), and his school career after coaching.  Probably a few other things, as well.   As usual, I offer my own opinions and recollections along the way.  Can't help it.

After I had written the story I researched and found several photos that he probably has not seen in a very long time, if ever.

Don Ward is associated with South High School more than any other teacher/coach in the school's 63 year history.

Please read all about it HERE.

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1)   What did you think of that? Do you remember Don Ward? Were you ever in any of his math classes? Which teachers do you remember the most? Were there any that you wish you could have talked to after you became an adult?


How To Build a Software App That Won’t Crash


The UI is the User Interface.  The Back End is the database server, which is the central repository of all the data generated by the UI.  The Communication lines are telephone lines, cell phone towers, cable networks, satellites or whatever.

The UI consists of buttons, text boxes, and whatever it takes to gather information from the user.  If you are on a PC you will probably navigate around the app with a mouse.  On an iPad or cell phone, you move around with the touch of your finger.

To build an effective UI you must work with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).  SMEs are people who completely understand  what the app is supposed to accomplish in the real world.  It is the responsibility of the app developer to create an app that fits the needs of the SMEs.  As the app is being developed, the developers engage with the SMEs to make sure they are meeting those basic requirements.  

But before any code is written, and to ensure that the design of the software meets the user requirements, a document called a Functional Specification is written by the development team.  This is a paper version of what the developers think the SMEs want.  This spec includes written requirements as well as “pictures” of what the app will likely look like to the user.  The basic idea is that it is cheaper and more productive to make changes on paper rather than in software code.   When both sides have “signed off” on the functional spec,  a detailed software design can be created so that the development team has an overall plan to follow.   The detailed plan will also include a timeline for the project which will have important “milestones” along the way.              

Though I have written many hundreds of thousands of lines of code,  it was as a Program Manager (PM) that I did most of my significant work for big software companies.  The PM “owns” the functional spec. He is responsible for communicating with both users and developers and making sure that all are in agreement.  He needs to understand software development and also be able to communicate with average users in order to comprehend what they want and need to get their jobs done.

But there is much more.  Good software doesn’t just randomly happen all by itself.  

What about testing?   If you are developing a small app (say, less than 10,000 lines of code), you may be able to get by with being very careful and testing your software by yourself  — if you are a smart developer and the stakes are not too high for failure.  But if the program (app) is more complex and involves a team of developers, then you must have a separate testing team.

The purpose of the testers is to try to “break the app”.  Their mission is to find everything that can possibly go wrong with your app.  They test every combination of buttons and other controls on your User Interface (UI).  They break communication lines to see how the app behaves under stress.  They slam the backend server with as much traffic as they can to find the limits of the system.  They make sure that the database system is storing the data correctly and that accurate reports can be generated.

It is obvious that the Iowa caucus development team did not do this.   Or is it?

This is all “known” science.  We in the software industry know and understand how to build well-behaved, bullet proof, and useful software systems.

So how did the democrat dev team manage to screw up the Iowa caucuses?  Especially when the whole world is watching?  For that matter (we may as well ask), how did the democrats screw up the Obamacare website rollout a few years ago?  How is that even possible, given all that we know about software development?    

Here are a few possibilities:

  1. The developers never really had a good discussion with the subject matter experts.  Therefore, the system they developed did not meet the real-life needs of the caucus workers.  With the crazy “caucus rules” it is easy to see how this could have happened.  But it is no excuse.
  2. One software team worked on the “backend” (where all the data was stored) and another team worked on the “frontend” (the phone app).  The two teams never talked to one another until showtime.
  3. They had incomplete or otherwise inadequate testing.  For instance, they never tested how many simultaneous users they could accommodate.  When showtime came, it simply crashed the system.
  4. There was no Functional Specification.  With no overall plan, you are simply doomed to defeat, unless the anticipated software system is very small and simple. 
  5. Changing and/or growing requirements.  We, in the software field, call this “feature creep”.  This kills most government software projects.  Every time a new boss comes in the requirements for the overall project change, often significantly.  A Functional Spec is supposed to ”freeze” these requirements, but the government does not understand this simple concept.  Though this was not a “government” project, it may have been run by people accustomed to this type of environment.  Some say that Democrats prefer lots of government.
  6. The development team was selected based on criteria other than competence and a clear record of success.  Doing somebody a “favor” by awarding a software development contract to a “friend” is often fatal.  In fact, almost always.     

What actually happened?  Who knows? They will never tell us.  It could be any combination of flaws listed above.  Or it could have been 2 or 3 lines of code that screwed everything up.  We will never know.

Then there is the leading conspiracy theory.  What if the results were not going in the direction the developers (or “insiders”)  wanted, so they made it impossible to provide actual results in a timely manner?  This would rob the winner(s) of an opportunity to announce their “big victory” in Iowa and thus deny them the “big bounce” going into New Hampshire!

Does this sound far-fetched?  Have you been watching the impeachment proceedings for the last several weeks?

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1)   What do you think happened? Do you understand a little more about how software is built now?


Who Will Be the Democratic Nominee?

Whether you are a republican, democrat, or independent, we want to know who you think the democratic nominee will be after all the voting is done.

That's right.  You get to tell us who you think will win the nomination at the convention this year.

Note that we are not asking who you will vote for.  This is just your opinion on who you think the final winner will be.

Our group of 70 year olds here at www.SouthHigh68.com is just as valid as any other in the US.  Place your bets!  Let's see how accurate we are!

Results are anonymous, of course.

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1)   Who will win the democratic nomination at the convention?

2)   Do any of these candidates have a chance against Trump?


Continue With the 1968 Bakersfield Californian?

For the last 20 days or so I've included a daily feature that let you read what was in the paper on this day, 52 years ago (1968).

Most of the work, which included going to the library and scanning microfilm pages, had already been done in 2018.

However, it takes me about 20 minutes to make the daily pages available on the website.  An announcement needs to be made, the link to the page needs to be inserted, and possibly an email is composed and sent out.

As I have stated, the daily internet traffic on the site doubles or triples when these old newspaper stories are made available to you.

My question to you is simple: is it worth my extra effort to do this on a daily basis?  I really don't like doing things that are of limited value.  We are all running a bit short of time at this point.

Please take the survey to help guide me in this process.


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1)   Should I continue posting the old Californian newspaper headlines and sports section?

2)   If you answered Yes above, then should I do this on a daily or weekly basis?

3)   Add any general comments you may have here.


Allow Others to Join www.SouthHigh68.com?

I get requests from those outside of our class every once in awhile.

In fact, I've already included several in the past.

But we need a "policy".  A consistent rule that we can follow. 

First of all, they would not be part of the actual class roster.  They would be officially known as "Guest Members".  

Note that we have a number of these types of users -- you can view them at the bottom of our class list.

What could they do as a Guest Member?  They get to see all the "privileged" content, you know, the stuff that you need to login to see.  They could see your public profile (but NOT your private personal information).  They could take part in surveys and participate in the What's New area.  They would likely be people from other South High classes. 

In short, Guest Members can do anything you can do.

Just thinking ahead, my guess is that the guests could also participate in 10-10-2020, but that has yet to be discussed.  We don't know if that event will consist of me, Gary, Vicki, Jerry, Hud, and Ruben in a big room all by ourselves or if there will be 180 showing up!  Maybe we will get Wal Topic to blow into town from Florida, too.  I think that we have already established a precedent: Pam Bailey was a participant in 2018.

But there is the potential downside, too.  Should we water down our "exclusivity" that we enjoy now?  Keep it "special"?  Or is "more the merrier" the proper way to look at it?

Here's a typical request:

Hi Jim - although I'm not technically part of your graduating class (I was a 'XX graduate) I've been keeping up with your website because there were many folks I was friends with in your class. I don't know if you allow non-'68's to join your website but I would love the opportunity if it exists. You have done an excellent job here and I so wish I could see all the pages allowed. Our class had our XXth reunion in October and it was miserable. Very poor planning, execution and follow through so I'm quite jealous of you and your planning committee. Please let me know your guidelines regarding allowing non-members access to the full site. Thanks and blessings on your day, [name withheld]

So there you are.

And by the way: Did you notice that we just passed 34,000 visitors to our little website?  The "rate of acquisition", as we call it in the business, is actually increasing.  

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1)   Simple yes/no question that you can answer in 15 seconds: Should we, as a policy going forward, allow non-classmates to join our website and grant them the same privileges that we all share? You can always come back and change your vote at a later time.

2)   And now you get to spout off about what you think of this idea. Be persuasive in your argument.


Who’s Been Online? (December 24, 2019)

If you go to this PAGE you will find out.

It turns out that quite a few people are checking in on a semi-regular basis. 



10-10-2020 Birthday Party Survey Results

We did this survey a few weeks ago.

I told you about the results but never showed you the actual responses.

Here they are, all 40 of them!  That's a big number for participation in a survey.

Some of you are steadfastly avoiding answering all surveys.  Not sure why that is, but probably has to do with all of us being constantly bombarded with input requests.  I can understand that.

But this is different.  We aren't trying to sell you anything, really.

Every response tells us what is working and what is not working.  We prefer things that receive a positive response.

As you can see, your responses are anonymous to the class.

Go HERE to see what the class thinks about 10-10-2020.


Show Me the Money

Go HERE to see the rest. 


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1)   Comments?


Birds of a Feather....

.... flock together.

Learn a bit more about this powerful cross-species characteristic.

Also, some great photos.

And a couple surprises at the end.  We have proof!

Go HERE to see a different kind of tweet.

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1)   Comments? Say whatever you like but keep it clean.


Sorry, You Paid Too Much for the 50th Reunion

Did I get your attention with that headline?

I previewed this message with a few of you and received feedback on it.

Some thought the headline was a bit over-the top and abrasive.

So how about this one?

We Have Surplus Funds Due to Great Turnout for Our Events

What should we do with the money?  Who gets to decide?

The purpose of collecting money for group events, like our 50th reunion, is simply to cover the costs of the planned activities and to make sure that the organizers don’t have to cough up their own funds to make it all happen.

That’s it.  End of story.

If not enough money is collected then it is up to the organizers to cover the difference.  That is, unless they can convince others to help out.

Well, we have an entirely different kind of situation.

We made too much money! 

How can that be?  We know that the 50th Reunion, at $55 each, is one of the most reasonable (cheap) reunion dinners ever organized!  Heck, the class of 1969 is charging $100 a plate the last we heard!

And the Meet & Greet?  We charged you the grand sum ot $25 per person to attend and scarf up on a myriad of appetizers (which you chose, by the way).

Even with prizes, extra furniture, payng for teachers and others, big time photography, entertainment, great decorations, cupcakes, and other extras, we STILL ended up making almost $1,500 on the reunion after all the bills were paid!

The surplus funds were generated by this website strictly through your ticket  purchases.  We didn't even try to sell cool memorabilia.  Just "tickets" to events.

Should you, the Class of 1968, have some say in how these surplus funds are spent?

Do you want to save it for a possible 55th reunion?  Would you attend such an event?

Should we let a locally based, unelected “new committee” decide what to do with the extra money that you contributed? 

Would you choose to put it towards another upcoming event to lower costs and produce a substantially lower break-even point?

Should we just refund a small portion to each person who “overpaid” for the 50th?

Give it to a local charity?  Which one?

How about using it as a way to avoid out-of-pocket expenses for event organizers?  When it is over, restore the $1,500 to help get the next event off the ground. 

A couple people suggested that we keep the $1,500 for the last person standing in our class to help with their funeral expenses!  

Getting to the point, you are all part of the new "governing" group, all 165 of you who are online with us.  You can vote, answer questions, participate in surveys, ask about things, make announcements, wish happy birthday, contribute to stories, make voluntary donations, and actively be a part of the class in a number of other ways.  

And the best part?  You don't have to be a local person to help guide this ship called the South High Class of 1968!  You can live anywhere in the world and still be a contributing member of the group.  Anywhere -- Florida. Oregon.  Arizona. Texas. Africa. Arkansas. Oklahoma. Idaho. Washington.  Anywhere up and down the Central Valley of California. (I know, I missed a lot of places, like the Sierra Nevada mountains where I live!)

How do I know that you are out there?  Here is an example: An interesting story, photo feature or "funny bit" will generate 60-80 direct responses (logins) to the website over 2-3 days.   You are out there and you are waiting for something interesting to happen.

The simple fact is, this is 2019, not 1968.  This is our current reality, like it or not.  This is our exclusive form of social media!!  For communicating our thoughts and ideas, inspiring others, making people laugh, sharing our losses, or expressing views, it is a 1000 times better than any form of communication that we have had in the past.

When is the last time you sent a letter to a friend?

50 years ago nobody could have predicted that this type of electronic experience would become commonplace.

But here we are.  Congratulations.  Welcome to our unique and direct form of democracy.  Your vote counts.  You are not dependent on unelected officials making choices for you.

Let's make some decisions! 


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1)   Comments?


My Reunion Story, Part One

It's the beginning of October and time to take a brief look back.

I hold nothing back in my candid recounting of my experience with the 50th Reunion.

Well, not exactly.  But you may get a chuckle or two from reading it.

On the other hand, did you know that there are about 33% of us who have no sense of humor?  It's a fact!

I'll just assume that those humorless 33% never read these pages, anyway!

But if you have no sense of humor just consider it similar to not being able to carry a tune.  Or having an inability to read a map.  Or being color blind. It happens.

Check out Part One HERE.


My Reunion Story, Part 2

I told you that there was another part to my story.

It is a bit more difficult to talk and write about.  

Much of it was extremely unpleasant for Vicki and I.  Just plain uncomfortable.

Do you really want me to tell you what happened, from my point of view?

Or is it best just to say, "Everybody had a good time and let's just leave it at that." ?

I'll go either way.  But I am the only person that knows most of the details.

And as you all know by now, I know how to tell a story.

It is your call.

By the way, I could not be happier with the 4 volunteers we have had for "life stories".  Each of the narratives is absolutely spectacular.  I am so grateful for their willingness to share their life experiences with us.  That is not easy to do.  Each is special and each so different!  Face it, we are all unique.

I'm looking for our next subject.  Everybody has a story to tell.  This is your chance.  You will not regret it.  Together, we will make this happen.

So let's vote.

But first, let me be clear about what "anonymous" means in terms of these surveys.  It means that I will not divulge who voted for what.  You will have to take my word for that.  As an administrator of the website (there are three of us), I can see this information.  Sometimes I even respond to you in a personal message.  But we will not publish to the world anything that we say is "anonymous".  And I trust the other two admins with my life.  I'm married to one of them.  If we had 20 admins I could not promise you anything in terms of secrecy.  That's not how people work.  Just look at our leaking nation's capital.  So now you know.  I think the only survey results that we published with names was your evaluation of the reunion.  But they were 100% positive, so that did not seem to be a problem.   

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1)   Should I tell you about everything that happened after our successful reunion was over? Or should we just say: “It was a good reunion. Let it go”. I’ll go either way on this one. You get to decide. If you vote, you get to see the results. Otherwise you are in the dark.


10-10-2020 is One Year Away!

That's 365 days and counting.

Much needs to be discussed and decided on.

In the meantime, you need to stay healthy and ready to go. 

Make it a goal to be there.  It's only going to happen once.

Read all about it HERE.

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1)   Any comments? We will keep it anonymous.



It is going to happen, whether we get 10 people or 200.

The party is on!

The birthday party, that is.

Let’s just call it the South High Class of 1968 70th Birthday Party.


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1)   So what do you think of that? Give an answer and see what others have to say.

2)   We realize that it is early and a lot could happen between now and 10-10-2020. But we’ll ask anyway! Are you going to attend the South High Class of 1968 70th Birthday Party?


Were the Photos Worth It?

During the early meetings with the former committee, back in March of 2018,  I made a couple of “demands”.  After all, I was getting ready to dedicate several months of my life to this effort and I wanted assurances that my time was going to be well spent.  

Here is what I asked for:

1. This would not be an event where we just invited our friends and that would be “good enough”.  If we, as a group, were not prepared to make a committment to locate and invite every former classmate then I simply was not interested in being part of it.  I wanted to avoid the “cliquish” behavior others had seen and complained about in the past.  Many classmates had never even heard about the other reunions.  

2. We would commemorate this “historic” one-of-a-kind event by hiring a professional photographer.  I told them that the candid shots of the other reunions were just not very good.  In truth, they aren’t.  I simply wasn’t going to let that happen this time.

I made some enemies by speaking the truth, as I saw it.  Comes with the territory, as all of you independent thinkers surely understand.  But I also finally prevailed and, after a rigorous evaluation and interview process, hired a competent photo team.

I received the original quote from the photographer and presented it to the committee.  They insisted that we cut it back by at least a third, though they gave no justification for doing so.  I told the committee that, according to my break-even analysis, we could easily afford the full price.

So I went back to the photog and we worked out a deal where she shot fewer hours by cutting out early from both events and showing up later at the start.  I wasn’t happy but my hands were tied.  

The issue of hiring a pro photographer simmered for a few months.  

So let’s do the math.  Yes, I taught math once. A long time ago.

The photography team cost us $1,200.  The final product would be digital images, available free to everybody in the class.  Just download what you want.  $1,200, by the way, is less than 10% of the total cost of the reunion.

When you count the participants for the two big events it adds up to 318 paid people.  Many (most) paid for both events.

$1,200 divided by 318 = $3.77 each.  That’s what each of you paid for all of the photos.

How many photos did they take?

They took 954 digital photos with professional cameras and related equipment.

How much did each professional digital photo cost you?

$3.77 divided by 954 = about a third of a penny each.

And now you get to answer one simple Yes/No question.  Please jump in here.  The answer will be anonymous.

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1)   Was it worth it to pay $3.77 for 954 digital photos of the South High Class of 1968 50th Reunion?


Hello South High Class of 1968! 


South High Class of 1968

7850 White Lane STE E #386

Bakersfield, CA 93309




No registered users are online right now.


•   Dave Bell  10/15
•   Peggy E Pilling (Limi)  10/14
•   William B Hanna  10/13
•   Stephanie A Tufts (Fraker)  9/19
•   Sheree Hale (Cade)  7/23
•   Rodney T Scott  6/21
•   Jeffrey Leong  5/10
•   Ronald A Hudson  4/18
•   Glenda Rogers (Drake)  4/12
•   Dennis Brothers  3/18
Show More



Who lives where - click links below to find out.

4 live in Arizona
1 lives in Arkansas
100 live in California
2 live in Colorado
6 live in Florida
1 lives in Idaho
1 lives in Indiana
1 lives in Kentucky
1 lives in Massachusetts
1 lives in Missouri
1 lives in New Mexico
3 live in Oklahoma
12 live in Oregon
1 lives in South Dakota
1 lives in Tennessee
4 live in Texas
2 live in Utah
2 live in Washington
1 lives in South Africa
135 location unknown


Know the email address of a missing Classmate? Click here to contact them!


Percentage of Joined Classmates: 54.3%

A:   170   Joined
B:   143   Not Joined