Ryan: Buddy Holly, Kobe Bryant, and the rest of us

Photo by Sean Ryan

Buddy Holly played his last show at Surf Ballroom, site of the Democratic Wing Ding. Right there in Clear Lake, Iowa, as part of the disastrous and possibly illegal "Winter Dance Party" tour. Tickets cost $1.25.

The show didn't sell out, partly because it was an unplanned gig. And partly because the tour itself was a nightmare, a series of disasters which would go on to haunt the teenage heart of America for years and years.

These were the first wild days of Rock N' Roll. The girls hurled their waists with some new primal dance, luminous in their bright poodle skirts and their delicate hair bundled.

And the boys in blue jeans pretended not to notice, brittle underneath it all, chewing at the inside of their cheeks or rubbing their sweaty palm on their thigh.

About a thousand kids. Mostly high school, teenagers, who had to smuggle in their booze, who only wanted to know love and had to borrow a car and drive there from anywhere, on a school night no less.

And where was Buddy Holly?

Was he really right there in Clear Lake like the posters and disc jockeys had promised?

The teenagers shook as they stood, waiting.

Most of them had seen Buddy Holly on the Ed Sullivan Show, jittery in black and white. They had heard him on the their favorite radio station. Had played his single in high fidelity.

They just knew he was going to be bigger than Elvis. Everyone did. He was going to be the musical king of the nation.

*

The musicians, with a clear look at the audience, played along. But under all the stagelit excitement there were hiccups and obstacles that they hated.

This tour was rickety.

A few days earlier, drummer Carl Bunch had to be hospitalized for frostbite, on account of the horrible travel conditions and the near-arctic weather, so the band had an onstage rotation.

That night, at the Surf Ballroom, Buddy Holly started behind the drumkit, with a hat down over his face.

"Well who's the drummer?" one of the performers hollered, grinning so wide and phony with a wink.

"We call him … Buddy Holly!"

And the crowd catapulted into a frenzy. Screech screech screech. There he was! Buddy Holly!

The teenagers loved the world all around them. Isn't the world so sweet to us, and youthful? Pressing into the stage, and dancing and dancing. How wild, how freeing, how perfect that must have felt.

*

I started writing this story last August, while visiting Clear Lake, Iowa. Worked on it for two months. I have run stories about Iowa leading up to the Iowa caucuses.

For this story, I wanted to know, How does the loss of a cultural idol affect us?

With news of Kobe Bryant's death, the Buddy Holly story seemed inappropriate. I asked around. Mentors and editors and my wife, who is a counselor, and my father. Should I pull the story? Was it exploitative? My work is usually guided by optimism and comedy, a striving for humanity. If I bungled the story, I'd be violating that.

All last week in Los Angeles, clouds. Beneath any sunshine, the breeze was especially nervous. A dense fog had covered the city.
"You depressed me with that cold, and very sad story," my father told me. "I've read many Buddy Holly stories and I saw the movie, but that one was straight-to-the-heart good. I went to sleep thinking of cold Iowa cornfields in January, and I could almost picture the scene in the ballroom before they flew."

*

The band was exhausted from the tour, but they hung out with the kids in the audience every time there was a break.

The hidden drama of the night was Holly's struggle to make the flight happen. He couldn't handle another grueling bus trek. He ran the scenario over. Then before anyone arrived at an answer it was back to the stage or "Will you sign my record?"

If they flew to Fargo, North Dakota, they could arrive ahead of everyone else for the next show in Moorhead, Minnesota, giving them time to do laundry. And it cannot be stressed how severely they all needed clean clothes. Holly also wanted a chance to rest. He was tired. He was alone. Far from his wife, his wife who was pregnant with their first child, and here he was freezing in the winter far from Texas.

Everyone was bloody sick of the cold tour bus.

Their clothes were filthy. And cold. Everything, brittle. Teeth like mallets on a xylophone. Cold.

They went through five buses in those 11 days, school buses mostly, broken and wonky and unfit for any sort of travel.

As the "Winter Dance Party" tour snaked the Midwest in January, temperatures dove 30 degrees below freezing. Several of the musicians caught the flu.

A cold. Whatever else.

Who ever knows.

*

And they'd just traveled 350 miles on the bus. It would be another 365 miles to the gig in Moorhead. The day after that, another 325 miles back in the direction they'd just come from.

And it was cold in that dressing room as they mulled it all over. They had cash in their pockets, plenty. They could afford the $36 each.

So Holly said, "Let's take a plane."

*

To this day, the Surf Ballroom has the phone Holly used to call his wife. He told her that he'd be flying next gig. Done with that bus.

They'd only been married for six months. He was 22 years old. She was supposed to have gone on tour with him, but something held her back. Pregnancy maybe. But for the rest of her life she blamed herself, always wondering how things would have played out had she been there that night.

*

There were only four seats in the 1947 single-engined, V-tailed Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, so three bandmembers and a pilot.

Their pilot was himself exhausted after a 17-hour day. A 21-year-old local with only 700 flying hours — 1,500 is the standard. He was ill-equipped for disastrous weather. He relied on the flight instruments, didn't know how to land a mechanically-damaged plane.

It was like handing your car keys to a 13-year-old with decent coordination and saying, "take me through the mountains" right as it starts snowing.

It could go well. Or the slightest impediment could be needlessly fatal and who should ever have to deal with that?

*

Guitarist Tommy Allsup had reserved a seat on the plane, but Richie Valens kept pleading with him to give it to him.

At some point, Allsup shuffled out of the theater, went to a nearby gas station, and came back, left and came back, and Valens was still there in the green room pleading.

Which was odd because Valens had a tremendous fear of planes, had constant nightmares about hurtling down out of the sky.

And for good reason. Two years earlier, the day he stayed home from school to attend his grandfather's funeral, he heard an explosion and looked outside just as a plane was collapsing downward like a comet, a flaming mess.

He and his family rushed to the crash site. Turns out, the plane collided into the playground of Valen's school. Three students died, 90 were injured. One of the dead was Valens' best friend. Had Valens been there that day, he would have died beside him.

After that, he receded into himself and focused on music, and when he looked up, he had become a cultural renegade.

Pretty much an alternate ending to "Donnie Darko."

*

But Valens, the man who turned "La Bamba" into a massive hit, wouldn't let it go. He wanted on the seat. He wanted on that plane. So Allsup and Valens decided that they would flip for it.

Someone produced a half-dollar coin.

Valens called heads.

Tink!

Hear the whirl of air as the coin spirals up into the unknown. Wobble wobble spin and smack, flat and smooth like a tiny silver dinner plate.

As it lands like a timpani flare.

Feel the weight of the moment right before there's an answer.

The moment without a heads or a tails.

It's a moment that lasts centuries.

If it's your life, you build empires of doubt in that moment.

Because any outcome will help determine the unknowable shape of your future. Although you don't realize it because you're just trying to get a private plane ride.

Heads.

Allsup lost.

Years later he said, "That's the first time I've won anything in my life."

Waylon Jennings was meant to be on the flight, but he gave his seat to J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, who had the flu. Jennings took the bus instead, and Buddy Holly jokingly told Jennings that he hoped he would freeze on the bus.

"I hope your ol' plane crashes," Jennings joked.

He felt guilty about that remark for the rest of his life. Blamed himself for what happened.

*

At 12:40 a.m., Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson arrived at Mason City Airport. Richardson had $272.53 and and a guitar pick and a pair of dice in his pockets. His gold wedding ring sparked like a mirror on his finger.

At the airport the weather was fine, some light snow was all. But a vicious cold front was looming just out of view. The pilot never got an accurate weather report. The plane took off at 12:55 a.m.

Five minutes later, silence on the radio. The operator couldn't get a response. Then the blizzard plummeted down and nobody could see a thing in any place or direction. There would be no rescue flight, no immediate rescue.

The blizzard was so bad that nobody could reach the crash site until the morning, 10 hours later.

The plane hadn't made it far. Six miles northwest of the airport. Most likely, the pilot experienced what's called spatial disorientation, coupled with a rush of vertigo. That — with the low clouds and the snow and the violent wind and no visibility — he lost sense of what was up and what was down, then chose the wrong direction.

Down.

Tails.

Because the plane smashed into the frozen ground at about 170 mph.

For years, the scene haunted the Iowans who found Holly and the others. Like the man who had to identify the bodies, he never outlived those memories. Even the crime scene photographer and the mortician got squirmy. They had faced the cruelty of immediate loss played out in the most violent possible way.

Holly's wife was at home when a friend called and told her not to turn on the TV. She hung up and turned on the TV.

"We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin," said the announcer. "Three young singers who soared to the heights of show business of the current Rock N' Roll craze were killed today in the crash of a light plane in an Iowa snow flurry…." Blink. Collapse. Blink. Collapse. And her vision surged and her body sank. That's how she found out? After the rest of the world? Here she is, carrying the man's child, and this is how she finds out?

*

Did you know that all the major eulogies in newspapers or shows or news websites are pre-written? Periodically updated, like a resume, so that, when that person dies, there's a story ready.

It's morbid, really.

Why can't journalists just keep the admiration for these cultural icons alive in each moment, like a normal person? Money. And prestige. But also compassion. Get the story out first. But make it the best.

If you have to give a speech at a funeral, how will you handle it? Will you break open, sobbing, and rush off the stage. Or will you remain composed, harnessing the deep, complicated sadness and beauty alive, and bring everyone in the room to tears? How much of what you do is for yourself? And how much is for others?

*

Earlier that morning, some farmer outside Clear Lake looked out at his field as he chomped his Quaker Oats and said to himself, "Now what in the hell.

Three music legends, heaped around into a frozen terrain. On one frosted landscape. A big ugly cornfield plashed white with ice and snow, almost metallic, certainly gross, but beautiful in its repose, in a rusty dumpster of bright-black morning light.

Meanwhile the earth did not care. Nature had no opinion. It only shook and offered more chaos.

A formidable wind.

A treacherous breeze.

A spindrift hate of ice and snow and blood and subtraction.

All four men died immediately. Thank God for that, is what I say.

When the sheriffs found Buddy Holly, not far from the fuselage, slumped into the ground, he had $193 cash in his pocket. The coroner's fee was $11.65, so they deducted that, making the total amount of physical money that Buddy Holly died with $181.35. At the time, he was worth $1 million.
In all the ice and snow, the sheriffs could see his yellow leather jacket. He was no longer innocent. He had traveled and lived and dreamt and loved. He had gotten married.
He was to have become a father.
He had traversed life best as any of us can.
He sang in an enchanting way. He grunted into microphones. He was supposed to be bigger than Elvis. He was so damn young.
*
A decade after Holly's death, folk singer Don McLean wrote "American Pie," a tribute to Holly as a symbol of our country. McLean declared Holly's death-date, February 3, 1959 "the day that music died."

Did you write the book of love
And do you have faith in God aboveIf the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock and roll?
Can music save your mortal soul?

Innocence determines a lot of things, but most of all it will make a disaster so much uglier and more devastating.
If your hero dies, you ache in a newly cumbersome way. The after-light seems dimmer.

It's not our fault that we, as Americans, are innocent. How do you think we keep going? If we were cynics, we would never have formed a nation, let alone made it through a Civil War, two world wars, everything else, too much to even fathom, because it continues, as recently as this Sunday, with Kobe Bryant.

Optimism and laughter are the two greatest coping mechanisms for the condition of life, and they do well with innocence.

In America, optimism is a natural reaction. Dream and dream, we're taught. So we dream. And it is awful when you're yanked from a dream and wake up to a disaster.

But, behind it all, there's a spirit that is ready for the next great adventure, along the sacred frontier.

Once a year, we celebrate our independence from Britain, with explosions of gun-powdered color that decorate the heat, and tiptoe each river, and allude to the heavens.

*

Now imagine that it's 1959.

Rock 'N' Roll just burst to life. But you live in Iowa, in the winter, so there's not a lot happening.

And you see a flier that says Buddy Holly is playing in Clear Lake. Tonight. A Monday. You are 17, with all the love and rebellion of the nation in your eyes.

You are enamored of the sounds of pop music. In the car, you hear it and you smile, a bright wind through your hair. You love America's unique features. The limitless sunsets, and daunting mountain ranges, and glinting skyscrapers, and you have gawked up at them while holding a cheeseburger and a Coca-Cola.

You love Hollywood with all those starlit celebrities who draw you nearer and nearer, as close to the screen as possible. You have a father who fought the Nazis and a grandpa who fought the Nazis' fathers.

So you do the American thing, and borrow your mother's Pontiac Catalina, and you and your friends just drive, 80 miles of farmlands heaping with snow, to Surf Ballroom.

Imagine that car ride. Smoking cigarettes, blaring the radio, taking rips of whiskey from a flask, as you slide along the road. You enjoy the moments when the pale sunlight drapes over you, even though it's still winter, when the cornfields bend at the will of the Canadian draft.

Entire 15-minute-spans pass without your seeing another car. You sing and laugh and smile. You tell all the jokes you know, you even tell some of your secrets.

You are ready to find love. You ramble about the girl or boy you will meet at the concert, as the band plays "Peggy Sue." Maybe you'll even cozy up to one another in a booth. Maybe you'll get married. You are ready to witness magic. You are magical. Adulthood does not scare you, but it definitely scares you.

You wiggle in your seat the closer you get to Clear Lake. You are ready to see Buddy Holly with your own eyes.
Maybe you unwittingly drive past the field where his plane will crash later that night.

But you could not in your most depraved thoughts imagine something so awful. It doesn't even occur to you as a possibility.
You are 20 minutes from the ballroom, wondering what is Buddy doing right this instant?

You are in the middle of the American commotion. And every time you look out at the landscape, you think, "All of this represents something much bigger, doesn't it?"

The human world doesn't ever change so much. When someone important dies, we all suffer. A cultural legend is unique. Artist, politician, musician, master chef, comedian. An athlete — an NBA legend. They shape our lives and fill us with answers. Or they at least fill us with enough comfort to get through any given moment.

Because we are not Buddy Holly. We are those teenagers heading to that ballroom, in that car ride, passing those icy cornfields, looking out at snow-dappled farmlands, on that February evening in 1959. We have the multiplying light to our star-pointed eyes.

New installments come Mondays and Thursdays. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com

Bill O'Reilly joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Friday to talk about how he thinks President Donald Trump will fair in the 2020 election given the current struggling economy due to the coronavirus crisis.

O'Reilly said he believes President Trump will win in November if the coronavirus pandemic is under control by this summer, but if schools and businesses are still closed by September, it may be trouble for Trump -- even with former vice president Joe Biden's seemingly declining health.

"What I've said from the very beginning of this whole ordeal, is that if Donald Trump can get the pandemic under control this summer, he wins. If by September, it's not under control, the kids cannot go back to school in many places, people are not opening up businesses again, he loses," O'Reilly said.

However, the Democrats have a major problem because Joe Biden ... is tottering. His mental acute is not what it used to be and everyone around him knows that. That's why Andrew Cuomo is warming up in the bullpen," he added. "But Trump knows that his whole future in politics depends on getting this pandemic to subside."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

BILL O'REILLY: Trump 2020 Election Based on Controlling Coronavirus Pandemic by Summer youtu.be


In response to the COVID-19 quarantine, BlazeTV is offering our BIGGEST discount ever! Get $30 off your subscription when you use promo code GLENN. Claim your special offer at https://get.blazetv.com/glenn/.

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Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 1,030,324 (up from 950,638 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 54,226 (up from 48,289 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 219,896 (up from 202,631 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization and lower than Spain, where 18% of patients require hospitalization.
  • US has 245,380 Confirmed Cases and 6,095 Deaths, up from 215,344 cases and 5,112 deaths yesterday
  • The US currently has 228,874 Active Cases of COVID-19, with about 1% of the US Population tested
  • 15% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
White House to Recommend All Americans Wear Face Masks in Public https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-facemasks-policyreversal/
  • The White House is poised to urge Americans to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of earlier advice.
  • President Trump said Thursday at a coronavirus task force briefing that "a recommendation is coming out," but "I don't think it will be mandatory. If people want to wear them, they can."
  • Later, however, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate internal discussions, said that the guidance being considered is "narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission" and that the matter remains under discussion.
  • A new Memo from the CDC states: "In light of new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them."
  • The recommendations represent a major change in CDC guidance that healthy people don't need masks or face coverings.
  • The news comes as Laredo, TX joins more than a dozen American cities or Counties that have mandated the use of face masks for all persons in public spaces such as grocery stores or shopping centers. Violaters without a facemask risk up to a $1000 fine. https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-city-fine-people-who-dont-cover-faces-outside-coronavirus
  • Similar provisions are being considered for the entire State of California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom's office.
Anti-body Tests Getting Accelerated Availability https://news.yahoo.com/antibody-tests-key-ending-covid-19-lockdowns-162305617.html
  • Unlike Vaccine testing and production which could take months or years, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody tests could be available in the US in a few weeks.
  • Such tests could be key in enabling the partial lifting of lockdown and shelter-in-place orders, as authorities could determine who might already have immunity to the virus and could return to work.
  • "If we can determine someone's already had the virus and now has immunity and is no longer contagious to others, that's what we're looking for here," said Anthony Fauci in Thursday's White House COVID-19 Task Force update.
  • However, it should be noted that researchers have yet to determine if anti-body production renders people permanently or only temporarily immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
  • While some Virus immunities, such as Chicken Pox, are generally permanent immunities, others, such as SARS-1 and Rhinovirus (the common cold) grant only short-term, multi-month immunity...which is why people can get a cold each year.
  • Most known Coronavirus immunities in humans are not permanent, researchers have noted. Influenza, for example, grants only seasonal immunity and can be caught again only a few months later.
Lord Have Mercy...Hospital Ships Sit Empty https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html
  • The much-touted Navy Hospital Ships in New York and Los Angeles sit 95% empty as of Thursday evening.
  • In New York, The USNS Comfort's 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle. "We're waiting for patients," one nurse was quoted by the New York Times.
  • Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus.
  • Another Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
  • "If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke," said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system. "Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield."
  • What's the issue? In classic government style: Red Tape.
  • On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
  • Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. With 911 call centers already massively over-capacity, ambulances aren't available to take non-infected persons to each ship.
  • Meanwhile, across New York hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear, again and again, are getting sick.
  • "So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags," Dowling said. "The Coroner's office told our administrator to start double-wrapping bodies in sheets for the time being."
In Hopeful Sign, University of Pittsburgh Researchers May Have Found COVID-19 Vaccine https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/scientists-believe-they-found-potential-coronavirus-vaccine/
  • Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they've found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
  • The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to "significantly impact the spread of disease," according to their study published in EBioMedicine.
  • The vaccine would be delivered on a small, fingertip-sized patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.
  • The scientists say they were able to act fast because they had already done research on the similar coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
  • The Trump Administration ordered the FDA to fast-track the next phase of Animal trials for the experimental vaccine.
  • Officials did warn that even if successful, human trials and ultimate production could still be as many as 12-18 months away.
  • "It's early, but this is a very positive result," the lead scientist said in an interview. "We're well on our way."
Vermont, Maryland Make Buying Seeds to Grow Food Illegal https://www.eagletimes.com/covid_19/large-retailers-stop-in-person-sales-of-nonessential-items-in-vermont/article_c1d0e43c-7432-11ea-8ca9-a30ed891d9fd.htmlimage.png Canada's Farmers Warn of Food Supply Impact Due to Non-Essential Designation https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/02/the-sprout-canadian-farmers-worry-for-food-supply/, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/agriculture/agriculture-sector-scrambling-to-offset-consequences-of-covid-19-crisis
  • Canada's government issues a list of industries and jobs it deemed essential, including food delivery, shipping & logistics, medical care, energy production & delivery.
  • One industry that was glaringly absent: agricultural production.
  • Like the US, Canada's agricultural industry relies on migrant and seasonal workers to plant and harvest foods, especially key fruits and vegetables that must be picked by hand.
  • Industry representatives have begun to petition the government to include Ag production an essential service so travel restrictions can be relaxed to allow workers to travel into Canada and use of public transportation systems to get to where planting activities must occur soon to allow for Fall food harvests.
  • Canada's Federation of Independent Grocers also extended a warning to the Government that it projects food costs in Canada could rise by as much as 90% in the coming months due to COVID-19 related disruptions. https://nationvalleynews.com/2020/04/01/grocers-group-warns-rising-food-costs-come/
Industry Expert Warns Illness Among Agricultural Workers Could Threaten US Food Supplies https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/an-outbreak-among-farm-workers-would-be-catastrophic/ar-BB1257dl
  • Much of the US food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.
  • The Pew Research Center has estimated that about one-quarter of U.S. farmworkers are undocumented.
  • A 2019 U.S. Department of Labor survey estimated that the share of field workers who are undocumented is closer to half of all farmworkers.
  • The food processing industry also has high numbers of undocumented workers, as do many of the nation's smaller grocers and fast-food restaurants.
  • Immigrant farming communities are often close-knit, with laborers living and working in close proximity, with workers sharing hotel rooms and even make-shift Tents with cots, to save on costs.
  • As the California-based Western Growers Association states, "Social distancing is difficult or perhaps impossible in certain settings such as harvesting, transport (of workers) and housing."
  • One California grower told National Public Radio that if the coronavirus penetrates the agricultural community, "it will spread like wildfire."
  • The news comes as Mexico only recently restricted movements and travel, issuing shelter-in-place orders for 90% of the country.
  • The Trump Administration recently eased restrictions on H-2a Ag Worker visas, but industry experts warned many workers planned to stay in Mexico or other Central American countries due to travel restrictions now in effect in those countries. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-27/state-department-eases-requirements-for-h2a-visa
  • The Western Growers Association currently estimates a 30% reduction in labor force this year, which may be further impacted if COVID-19 spreads among workers who live and work in tight close quarters.
LA Mayor: "Snitches Get Rewards" https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/03/31/coronavirus-los-angeles-eric-garcetti-snitches-get-rewards/
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new guidelines for construction sites that continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging the community to report businesses that violate the Safer at Home order.
  • Garcetti said that since the stay at home order was put in place, the city has been told about construction sites that have not been following the guidelines set out in that order.
  • "You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards," Garcetti said. "We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe."
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, Garcetti said "business ambassadors" from the city had visited 540 businesses that had not complied with the Safer at Home order. Of those, 144 were visited by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure compliance with the order.
  • So far, Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney's office for misdemeanor filings.
  • The story comes as business owners across the US have been cited and even arrested for violating House Arrest orders, many turned in by way of anonymous calls to police departments. https://apnews.com/343ed4a8e95dfc8f8dda87b9e450ca57
In Germany, Hundreds of Citations Handed Out Based on Anonymous Reports and Emails to Police Departments https://news.trust.org/item/20200402160625-8y12u
  • (Headline Bloomberg News) Germans snitch on neighbors flouting virus rules, in an echo of the Stasi past
  • Law-abiding Germans are zealously helping police crackdown on people flouting new social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus by reporting on strangers, neighbors and friends.
  • In a country where denunciation was commonplace under the Communists in East Germany and Hitler's Nazis, police forces across the country are getting tip-offs on anything from "corona parties" to people driving to weekend cottages.
  • Rules introduced in March forcing restaurants, pubs and sports facilities to shut and banning gatherings of people have given police plenty of work. With the number of corona cases and deaths climbing fast, there is no sign of easing enforcement.
  • Since March 14, police in the German capital have ordered 830 pubs, shisha bars and other establishments to shut and recorded 898 crimes.
  • "We are getting tip-offs from the public about open restaurants or large gatherings of people in parks," said a spokeswoman, adding officers were, as always, ready to deal with information from the public.
  • Forces around Germany are in a similar situation. Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules, according to Spiegel Online.

For weeks now, our political leaders and the media have been repeating the World Health Organization's claim that non-medical-grade face masks don't work when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. So, why are infectious disease experts now reconsidering their guidelines?

According to the New York Times, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said the guidance on wearing non-medical masks is "being critically re-reviewed, to see if there's potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected."

In actuality, they didn't trust the American people to do the right thing and prioritize healthcare workers to receive masks first, opined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday. But they do work, and "if we're going to open the country up, we are going to all have to wear face masks," he said.

Listen to the clip to hear more details:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Face Masks DO Work, US Cases Per Capita, and WHO Lies for Communist China youtu.be

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William "Bill" Kelly is 95-year-old World War II veteran from Oregon. He lived through the Great Depression.
He served in the South Pacific during World War II. And now he has just fought the coronavirus -- and won.

Bill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to share his experience and a hopeful message about why the younger generations can overcome this crisis.

"I want to tell the people, it wasn't pleasant, but on the other hand, you know, if you do what you're supposed to do, and you have some loved ones around you, and do a lot of praying, why, you'll come through okay. We [American's] have been through a lot. We've been through Pearl Harbor. We've been through the Great Depression, and who knows what else. We're tough. We'll get through it. Hang in there," Bill said.

"You know, it's just -- it's in our American blood," he added. "We're that type of people. We take care of each other, and we are not going to break down. We're going to make it through, every time. Every time."

"There are people that don't think we are those people anymore. That it was the greatest generation -- your generation -- that did it, but now we're not the same people. Do you agree with that? Glenn asked.

"No," asserted Bill. "And the reason I say that is because I remember when I was a young kid, you know, and people, the older people, said 'all those young kids are soft' ... but when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor -- sneak attack, you know -- it's surprising how those so-called goofy kids turned into mighty fine fighting people. And they're very loyal. I have lots of faith in them ... no, I don't have any problems with this new generation. They'll take care of us. We're Americans."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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