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May 4, 2020 | A Deadly Virus Is Becoming More Political by the Day

Rick Ackerman

Rick Ackerman is the editor of Rick’s Picks, an online service geared to traders of stocks, options, index futures and commodities. His detailed trading strategies have appeared since the early 1990s in Black Box Forecasts, a newsletter he founded that originally was geared to professional option traders. Barron’s once labeled him an “intrepid trader” in a headline that alluded to his key role in solving a notorious pill-tampering case. He received a $200,000 reward when a conviction resulted, and the story was retold on TV’s FBI: The Untold Story. His professional background includes 12 years as a market maker in the pits of the Pacific Coast Exchange, three as an investigator with renowned San Francisco private eye Hal Lipset, seven as a reporter and newspaper editor, three as a columnist for the Sunday San Francisco Examiner, and two decades as a contributor to publications ranging from Barron’s to The Antiquarian Bookman to Fleet Street Letter and Utne Reader.

One might have imagined that fighting a deadly global pandemic would transcend political differences in America, but instead it has only sharpened them. A friend who plays in a weekly poker game that features high stakes and nine players says the ones who get their news from Fox want to re-open everything, while the CNN/MSNCB-watchers want to keep the quarantine tightly in place indefinitely. This comes as no surprise to me personally. Several weeks ago I emailed a brother who lives in San Francisco a YouTube video in which a notable epidemiologist explained the futility of trying to defeat the new coronavirus with lockdowns, however strict. My brother took the email as political affront and we haven’t spoken since. Although the civil rights dimension of the lockdown is the big story now, the ACLU unsurprisingly has sided not with you or me, but with state and local enforcers.

On the far left of the pandemic divide is the New York Times, which has buried its head in the sand on the matter of whether the virus originated in a Wuhan lab. Neither the Times nor anyone without top security clearance has seen a report that Trump and a couple of others say makes a compelling case for the lab theory.  Evidence aside, the Times is scoffing at the claim rather than saying we should wait for the facts. If they come, however voluminously, expect the Gray Lady to reject them as either inaccurate or poorly supported.

Racist Beekeepers?

Since I don’t read the Times, I have no idea whether it has picked up on reports of a ‘murder hornet’ with well-documented origins in Japan turning up in the U.S.  Mother nature’s heavily-pincered, two-inch version of an attack drone has been savaging the hives of honeybees, and its venom is known to cause liver, kidney and heart problems in humans. Beekeepers in the Pacific Northwest have been fighting this scourge as best they can. Let’s hope their efforts are not hobbled by Portland and Seattle newspapers when they sink to the defense of the Japanese murder hornet with editorials decrying racist beekeepers who seek the pests’ eradication.

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May 4th, 2020

Posted In: Rick's Picks

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