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Bric-a-Brac Thursday

Today's TDE entry is, well, brick-a-brac: a selection of items of modest value. If I make you laugh and give you one interesting piece of information, my efforts on this post will be gratified.

The title reminds me of a Joseph Epstein anecdote. He went to a used store to get rid of a bunch of stuff. The woman at the counter was writing the items down individually and confirming:

Epstein: “Record Albums.”

Woman: “Record Albums.”

Epstein: “Overcoat.”

Woman: “Overcoat.”

Epstein: “Box of brick-a-brac.”

Woman: “Shit.”

One reason for this bric-a-brac post? I appear to have the flu.

For those keeping count, I came down with COVID on November 1st. It lifted about a week later, then I was afflicted with frequent (daily) migraines until last Saturday, at which point I began to feel normal.

Then yesterday morning, wham, I could barely move.

When a friend saw my office auto-email response (“I'm away from my desk dying and can't return messages”), he texted me to see if I was alright. I responded, “ I had COVID after-effects like migraines for weeks. I was beginning to get worried. But this morning, I woke up with the flu to take my mind off it.”

Rise of the Pangolin

This Wired story says we'll never know where COVID came from. At best, they think they can come up with a cause by the preponderance of the evidence (the lowest evidence threshold in court . . . basically, “more likely than not”).

Current efforts are, in part, being spearheaded by Mr. Wang (no offense).

The article almost entirely dismisses the theory that COVID was produced in a lab. That's good news, but even though I trust Wired more than its MSM cousins, it still toes the leftist line on all such matters and, like the sino-obsequious NBA, probably doesn't want to offend the Chinese.

The theory, however, that it was transmitted by the disgusting pangolin or bats still appears to be in the running. Presumably, it would have transmitted by humans eating them. To my knowledge, no one was keeping pangolins as pets.

John the Baptist: Messiah

Each week of Advent is centered on one of these four persons: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary, and Joseph.

We're coming up onthe week of John the Baptist, one of the most intriguing characters in the Bible.

He's so intriguing, in fact, that there is a religious sect that thinks he was the Messiah (or at least the greatest teacher). The Mandaeans. They still exist today, numbering about 60,000.

If you scroll down the right sidebar, you'll see an assortment of products that you can find at Amazon. I have personally used and hereby personally vouch for every item. Every item is good.

It's the TDE Safe Shopping Pledge. (Of course, if you sue me after it falters, I'll claim it was merely a case of “huffing” so you'd click the link . . . but in all honesty, I do own all those things and have had a good experience with them.)

Walter Williams died yesterday

I was really bummed to hear it. I've been reading and listening to Walter Williams for 30 years. He and his good friend Thomas Sowell were exquisite in their efforts to rescue their fellow blacks from the abject poverty imposed by leftist social policies like the Great Society.

I didn't realize it, but he was an early guest on Russ Roberts' Econtalk podcast. Click here to listen to the 2006 interview. I listened to it yesterday. It's very good.