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History Reprints from others. Uncategorized

11 Facts About the Astor Family

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Reprint from Mental Floss.

From a German immigrant who arrived in America with nothing to a cousin of Queen Elizabeth II, the Astor family’s story is one of hard work, ruthless business tactics, snobbery, and savvy investment in real estate. For more than a century, they were the richest family in America, and their shrewd marriages linked them to some of the most politically powerful families. Here are 11 facts about this fascinating family.

1. The Astor fortune was partly founded on drug smuggling.

Portrait of John Jacob Astor by J.H. Lazarus
John Jacob Astor I. / Oscar White/GettyImages

The wealth of the Astor family originated in fur trading, guided by the intelligent but ruthless business tactics of their American founder, John Jacob Astor I. Having tried his hand at being a butcher like his father and an instrument maker like his brother, John I emigrated to America in 1783. He used the voyage to learn about the fur trade.

Always on the look out for a new opportunity, he began trading with China in around 1800, but the Chinese were resistant to Western goods—so in 1816, Astor became involved in the lucrative opium smuggling trade.

Opium was first banned in China in 1729 in an attempt to halt a growing epidemic of users, but 115 metric tons were still being imported into the country in 1798. With the Indian supply of the drug monopolized by the British, Astor made deals to buy huge quantities from Turkish suppliers, which he smuggled in via small vessels and large bribes. During his involvement between 1816 and 1825, the amount of opium being smuggled into China continued to rise­; by 1839, 2500 metric tons entered the country from India alone.

Astor made millions from a trade the future U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt described as “fair, honorable, and legitimate.” He used the money to buy tea, porcelain, and silks, which he imported into America at a huge profit. Astor used that fortune to invest in New York real estate, and by the time of his death in 1848, he was America’s first ever millionaire.

2. John Jacob Astor I’s wife was so good at the business, she reportedly charged her husband $500 an hour.

John married Sarah Cox Todd in 1785. She was the daughter of his landlady—and had a $300 dowry, plus connections to sea captains, merchants, shop owners, and ship owners. Her dowry allowed them to open their first shop selling musical instruments, which gradually gave them the opportunity to invest in furs.

Astor called his wife “the best business partner any man ever had.” He would always credit Sarah’s part in his success, not just in the connections that she brought or the financial independence that her dowry allowed him, but also in her business acumen. Sarah’s knowledge of furs grew until she had turned herself into a leading expert in quality pelts; when John was away, she ran their New York business.

She was shrewd, thrifty, and intelligent, involved in both day-to-day decisions and plans for how they would expand their enterprises. Sarah encouraged John to invest in real estate, the foundation of their multi-million dollar fortune.

By the end of her life they were so successful that John reputedly paid her $500 an hour for her work, which she invested in religious causes.

3. Caroline Schermerhorn Astor ran America’s social hierarchy, known as the “four hundred.”

Caroline Schermerhorn Astor
Caroline Schermerhorn Astor. / Print Collector/GettyImages

In the New York of the 1880s and 1890s, if you wanted to be accepted into society, it was not enough just to be wealthy. Anyone could have money in the fast moving and socially mobile America of the Gilded Age—what was important was to have the right sort of money.

Although America did not have a class system in the same way as much of Europe, the families who were descended from New York’s original settlers and had inherited their money considered themselves the aristocracy of American society. Those making their fortunes from new industries like the railroad were upstarts who, although sometimes even richer than the old money crowd, would never quite fit in.

At the forefront of these old families were the Astors. Now 100 years on from the self-made John Jacob Astor I, they believed that as old money, they had a superior role in New York society. Caroline Schermerhorn was descended from the Dutch immigrants who had settled Manhattan in the 17th century—and she had even considered the Astors beneath her own pedigree when she married John I’s grandson, William Backhouse Astor II, in 1853.

Caroline put herself at the forefront of fashionable society, establishing a hierarchy of people who met her standards of etiquette, behavior, and breeding that became known as The Four Hundred. Legend has it that the number was arrived at simply because it was the capacity of the Astor’s ballroom, but, whatever the reason, membership was essential for anyone who wanted to be someone in New York. Budding social climbers would engineer ways to get Mrs. Astor’s approval. But, as the Vanderbilts and others discovered, her approval was not easy to get—and her word was always final.

4. The family was torn apart by a feud about who would be called Mrs Astor.

John Jacob Astor I’s second son, William Backhouse Astor Sr., inherited his fortune; he in turn passed it to his two sons, John III and William Backhouse Jr. But if he thought the two sides of the family would live in harmony, his plan was thwarted by a disagreement over who would be known as Mrs. Astor.

John III and William Jr.’s wives were known by their husband’s names—Mrs. John Charlotte Astor and Mrs. William Caroline “Lina” Astor. When Charlotte died in 1877, Lina let it be known that she was now to be addressed as simply Mrs. Astor.

The Astors believed in elder sons taking precedence, and Charlotte’s son, William Waldorf Astor, took enormous exception to the fact that this seemingly innocuous act threatened the superiority of his line. It was also an insult to his own wife, Mary, who he considered the senior woman of the family.

John III died three years later, and William Waldorf became the head of the family. Using his new position, he tried to persuade his Aunt Lina to relinquish the use of the title, but with her position in society to maintain, she refused. She continued to be known as the Mrs. Astor.

Although William Waldorf was forced to concede, he had his revenge and the incident created a feud between the two branches of the family that would last years: The brothers, John III and William II, had lived in neighboring houses on 5th Avenue, but after John’s death, his son demolished their house in 1893 and built the 13-story Waldorf Hotel on the site, right next to Aunt Lina.

She spent the next three years living next to a building site. The humiliation of her prestigious residential area becoming a bustling tourist destination was more than she could bear, and she was finally persuaded to move. But her humiliation wasn’t quite over—her new home was farther up 5th Avenue, surrounded by the new money families.

In true Astor fashion, her son, John Jacob Astor IV, used the episode to make more money. Following his cousin’s example, he demolished the family house and built a 16-story hotel called the Astoria in 1897. That same year, the family merged the two hotels in a new business venture: The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The original structure was demolished in 1929 and replaced by the Empire State Building.

5. William Waldorf Astor moved the senior branch of the family to Britain.

William Waldorf Astor
William Waldorf Astor. / Hulton Archive/GettyImages

The difficulties with his aunt would have an unexpected outcome for William Waldorf Astor. Not only did it lead him into the hotel business, but it also resulted in his emigration to Britain.

Although he was born in New York, William Waldorf was raised in Italy and Germany, where he developed a passion for the European lifestyle. He returned to America and studied law, but after a short period involved in politics—where he unsuccessfully ran for Congress—he returned to Europe in 1882 for three years as the U.S. Minister to Italy.

On his father’s death in February 1890, he reportedly inherited $100 million, and, disillusioned with his failure in politics, upset by the war with his aunt and her son, and ridiculed by the U.S. press, William Waldorf declared that America was “no longer a fit place for a gentleman to live” and moved his family and business operations to Britain.

He retained his interest in politics, giving generously to the Conservative Party. Despite his hatred of the American press, he bought several UK publications, including The Observer newspaper. In 1899 he became a British citizen, and in 1917 he was raised to the British peerage when George V created him the 1st Viscount Astor of Hever.

6. The Astors once owned Hever Castle, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn.

Hever Castle in Kent was built in 1270, but its most famous residents were the Boleyn family, who had owned it between 1462 and 1540. It was Anne Boleyn’s childhood home and, after returning from France in 1522, she frequently stayed at the castle with her parents, enticing Henry VIII to visit on several occasions during their courtship. Later, Henry’s fourth—and unwanted— wife, Anne of Cleves, lived there, leasing the manor for an annual rent of £9, 13 shillings, and 3.5 pence.

By the time William Waldorf purchased Hever in July 1903, the house had passed through several families and was almost derelict, with all traces of its Tudor gardens gone. But, as a history buff—who had written several historical novels—with a passion for art and architecture derived from his time spent in Italy, he immediately recognized its potential.

The series of renovations William undertook were sensitively done, preserving the original structure while installing modern luxury. Part of his vision included building a new wing in the style of a Tudor village, and he redesigned the 125-acre gardens to incorporate a 38-acre lake, an Italian loggia, a rose garden, a Tudor garden, and a woodland. Under Astor ownership, Hever Castle was saved. People can still visit the historic site today.

7. Nancy Astor was the first woman to take a seat as a Member of Parliament.

Nancy Astor
Nancy Astor. / Keystone Features/GettyImages

Nancy Witcher Langhorne was born into an impoverished Virginian family in 1879, but by the time she was 18 her father had made his fortune and she was sent to New York, where she met her first husband, Robert Gould Shaw II. The marriage ended in divorce in 1903, and, at the persuasion of her father, she sailed to Britain at the end of 1904 with her son and sister, Phyllis. Her arrival in London put her in the company of several American-born women who had become the wives of British peers, including Pauline Astor, whose brother, Waldorf Astor, Nancy married on April 19, 1906.

Waldorf was the eldest son of William Waldorf, Viscount Astor. The Viscount gifted them the family home, Cliveden Estate, which they turned into the center of political and literary thought. Like his father before him, Waldorf had an inclination for a career in politics and, with Nancy’s support, he was elected as the Member of Parliament for Plymouth Sutton in 1910. On his father’s death in 1919, he inherited the title of 2nd Viscount Astor and was promoted to the House of Lords, leaving his seat in the House of Commons vacant.

Nancy seized the opportunity the 1918 Parliament (Qualification of Women) Act gave her and ran as the Unionist Party (now Conservative Party) candidate to replace her husband as Plymouth Sutton’s MP. Her victory on November 15, 1919, meant that the first ever female MP to take her seat in the House of Commons was a member of the Astor family. She remained an MP until 1945.

8. John Jacob Astor IV died on RMS Titanic while returning from his honeymoon.

John Jacob Astor IV was the son of the Mrs. Astor, Caroline, and cousin of the 1st Viscount Astor. For much of his early life, he tinkered as an inventor and wrote novels—while still managing to increase the family fortune through real estate, particularly the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.

In 1910, the 47-year-old millionaire caused a scandal when, five months after his divorce, he began courting the 18-year-old debutant Madeleine Force. The two married on September 10, 1911. The couple then set off on honeymoon, traveling from New York to Bermuda to Egypt and then on to Europe. When Madeline became pregnant during the trip, the couple decided to go home. They boarded the RMS Titanic at Cherbourg, France, on April 10, 1912.

No amount of wealth could save them from the horrific events that unfolded on the night of April 12, 1912, when the liner struck an iceberg and began to sink. Madeline, her maid, and her nurse were all given a place on lifeboat 4, but John was told that he and his valet would have to wait until all the ladies were off the ship before they could be evacuated. Reports claimed that John then helped two women—Ida Hippach and her 17-year-old daughter Jean—into the boat before telling his wife, “You are in good hands and I will meet you in the morning.”

John’s corpse was one of only 333 bodies recovered from the sea. He was brought back to New York and buried in Manhattan, and the gold watch he was found with was given to his oldest son and heir, Vincent, who wore it for the rest of his life. Madeleine gave birth to a healthy son on August 14, 1912, christened John Jacob Astor VI (although he is sometimes incorrectly called John V), who immediately inherited a $3 million trust. Madeleine received his house and a $5 million trust fund, though she lost both after remarrying, as John’s will stipulated that she must forfeit the fortune unless she remained single.

9. John Jacob Astor V won an Olympic gold medal for Great Britain.

After his father, William Waldorf, moved to Britain with his family, John V was raised as an English gentleman. He attended Eton College and Oxford University and excelled at sports, including racquets, a game said to have originated in prisons before becoming popular in the alleys of London. By the early 20th century it had become a game for gentlemen, played in some of the most exclusive schools and clubs where specially built courts could be found.

The 1908 Olympics in London featured a number of sports that are no longer found in the modern games, including running deer shooting, tug-of-war, and Jeu de Paume. Racquets was also included, though only Britain fielded a team; Astor was a member in both singles and doubles. He and his partner, Vane Pennell, played only twice—on April 30 and then May 1—to beat their fellow Brits and win the doubles gold medal. Astor then won a bronze in the singles tournament despite only playing one match.

Astor continued his love of the game and that of its sister-sport, Squash Racquets. In 1922, he followed his sister-in-law, Nancy, into politics as MP for Dover, and, despite losing a leg during World War I, he competed in and won the parliamentary squash racquets championship in 1926 and 1927.

10. The Astors count presidents and monarchs as their relatives.

Marriage in 19th-century New York became a slightly socially incestuous affair. Wealthy and politically ambitious families intermarried to the point that by the end of the 19th century, it was possible to claim kinship with almost everyone else. In 1981, Brooke Astor recalled, “My husband, Vincent, used to say that one of the reasons for the various Astors success was that they always married above themselves! It became a family tradition he said, as later on they married with the Schermerhorns and Willings and Beekmans.”

In politics, the Astors had close ties with the Roosevelt family. In 1844, William Backhouse I’s daughter, Laura, married Franklin Delano, the great-uncle of future President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The family connection continued when, in 1878, Helen Schermerhorn Astor, daughter of The Mrs. Astor, married James Roosevelt, becoming Franklin D. Roosevelt’s sister-in-law. And lastly, Helen’s daughter (also Helen), married Theodore Robinson, the nephew of Theodore Roosevelt.

The English branch of the Astor family, meanwhile, found itself mixing with the aristocracy to the extent that they can count members of the British royal family as their relatives. In 1929, Rachel Spender-Clay, granddaughter of William Waldorf, 1st Viscount Astor, married David Bowes-Lyon, the brother of Elizabeth, Duchess of York and the future Queen Consort of George VI.  The Astor family could now claim kinship with monarchy­—not only was Rachel the sister-in-law of George VI, but her son, Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon, is Elizabeth II’s first cousin.

11. A party given by the Astors helped bring down the UK Conservative government.

William Waldorf Astor, 3rd Viscount Astor
William Waldorf Astor II, 3rd Viscount Astor / J. Wilds/GettyImages

Nancy Astor’s son, William Waldorf Astor II, continued the family’s interest in politics by becoming an MP himself. Although he was forced to quit the role in 1952 when he became the 3rd Viscount, he continued to mix in political and social circles at his home on the Cliveden Estate.

In July 1961, William was hosting a party that included John Profumo, the Secretary of State for War, at the same time his friend and osteopath, Steven Ward, was throwing a party elsewhere on the estate. When the two groups mingled at the swimming pool, Profumo met Christine Keeler, a model and friend of Ward’s. The affair that ensued was brief and over by the end of 1961. But unfortunately for Profumo, Keeler was also the girlfriend of another of Ward’s guests, a Soviet Union naval attaché named Yevgeny Ivanov.

By 1963, the affair was becoming public, and whispers were circulating that the three were involved in a spying ring. Profumo made a statement to the House of Commons claiming that “there was no impropriety whatsoever in my acquaintanceship with Miss Keeler,” but by June he was forced to admit the affair and that he had lied to Parliament. While no evidence was ever found that he had passed secrets to Ivanov via Keeler, he resigned his ministerial position.

The Conservative government, under the Prime Minister Harold McMillian, was seriously damaged by the scandal and, unable to recover, they lost the subsequent general election. William was accused of having an affair with one of the other models, Mandy Rice-Davies, and although there was no evidence that he orchestrated the meeting between Profumo and Keeler, he was investigated by the police. His standing was irreversibly damaged and he became a social pariah. When he died of a heart attack in 1966, the Astor family left Cliveden, never to return.

COVID Medicine Science Uncategorized

How can this be? The New England Journal of Medicine is telling us that the un vaccinated are staying contagious for a shorter period than the vaccinated?

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You know there’s this lurker who follows me and never fails to comment on this obscure website that has about 25 maybe 30 followers about articles I write. This person never fails to attack my medical sources. Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins, Tufts Research University, New England Journal of Medicine, and even The Mayo Clinic. This loons credentials? A part time secretary. The person who makes the coffee and files reports.

Now we see that a group of dozens of doctors and scientists signed off on a small research study of a startling result to many. Folks vaccinated against COVID-19 remained contagious with the virus for a longer period of time than their unvaccinated counterparts. This was printed in the New England Journal of Medicine.

We have this also from the study.

Researchers compiled a variety of graphs tracking how long people remained contagious with the virus, using both PCR tests and viral cultures as indicators.

When the data was separated into the categories “unvaccinated,” “vaccinated,” and “boosted,” individuals who did not receive a COVID-19 vaccine were contagious for a shorter period of time.

Regarding positive PCR tests, within the first 10 days of contracting the virus 68.75 percent of unvaccinated subjects were no longer contagious. In contrast, just 29.72 percent of vaccinated and 38.46 percent of boosted people were no longer contagious.

Fifteen days into the study, 93.75 percent and 92.31 percent of unvaccinated and boosted people, respectively, were no longer contagious; however, just 78.38 percent of vaccinated people weren’t contagious.

Study Data.
So please do the research and trust Science. Not some part time secretary.

Open Season on Republican candidates in New York?

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Lee Zeldin’s Attacker Already Released Without Bail

          Attack with what should be an illegal weapon, like brass knuckles are.

The man accused of attacking Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) with a sharp weapon has already been released back into society.

Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor, was campaigning in Perinton, New York, Thursday night when the suspect, identified as 43-year-old David G. Jakubonis, walked across the stage, stopped in front of Zeldin, and tried to thrust a weapon towards Zeldin’s neck.

Zeldin blocked the first thrust. Then the suspect was tackled.

The man who tackled the attacker, AMVETS National Director Joe Chenelly, described what happened to Fox News Digital.

“His fingers were like two finger holes in the blade and lunged at the congressman. And Congressman Zeldin blocked the first lunge. And then as he tried to lunge again, I grabbed him from behind and tackled him down to the ground and held him on the ground.”

Once the suspect was in custody and everything settled down, Zeldin finished his speech. Later, in a tweet, Zeldin said the attacker told him “you’re done.” The Republican also predicted that due to New York’s insane bail laws, the suspect would be immediately released. “The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws,” he tweeted.


According to a statement later released by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department, Jakubonis was charged with “Attempted Assault in the Second Degree (E-Felony)” and , just as Zeldin predicted, “released on his own recognizance.”

That means there was no bail involved.


This man  attempts to stab another man in the throat and is “released on his own recognizance.”

Worse still, this man attempted to stab a gubernatorial candidate in the throat, a man chosen by the people of New York to represent them.


If you enjoy irony, at the time of the attack, Zeldin was giving a speech about New York’s insane bail reform laws, which are undoubtedly responsible for the increase in New York’s violent crime rate.

From Zeldin’s campaign website:

From New York City to Buffalo, New Yorkers have witnessed firsthand the deadly consequences of cashless bail, but Governor Kathy Hochul and those controlling the State Legislature continue to put criminals over the safety of everyday citizens. In the midst of skyrocketing crime across our state, we must ensure that our brave men and women in law enforcement have the resources they need to keep our communities safe, and the ability to keep dangerous criminals behind bars is paramount. New York’s cashless bail law handcuffs justice, and It’s repeal is long overdue.

Another issue worthy of note is that Zeldin’s opponent, sitting Democrat Gov. Kathy Hochul, directed her supporters to attend Zeldin’s Thursday night event. With the claim the event would spread “dangerous lies, misinformation, and his far-right agenda at these campaign events,” Hochul urged people to RSVP the event.

So new York had a suspect in custody accused of wielding a sharp weapon at a gubernatorial candidate, what could very well have been an assassination attempt. You also have the whole thing on video. And New York sets the  attacker loose with no bail. None. Zip. Nada.

In this photo provided by Ian Winner, police officers work the scene after U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, was assaulted by a man who apparently tried to stab him Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Fairport, N.Y. Zeldin escaped serious injury. (Ian Winner via AP)

In this photo provided by Ian Winner, police officers work the scene after U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for New York governor, was assaulted by a man who apparently tried to stab him Thursday, July 21, 2022, in Fairport, N.Y. Zeldin escaped serious injury. (Ian Winner via AP)

Welcome to life where Democrats rule.

Democrats like Hochul want to disarm you as they release violent felons into your neighborhood.

Now ask yourself, why?

Note: The original stories continually use the word “alleged” referring to the assailant. As an editorial decision I have deleted that word since photographic/video evidence clearly shows: A.) an attack took place, and B.) who the attacker was. –TPR

How funny is this? Reprints from others. Uncategorized

How funny is this? Thank You Gateway Pundit.

Hits: 31

Thank You GP.

In June, Biden fell off his bike at a complete stop while surrounded by reporters.


Secret Service swooped in and ensured Biden was not injured after he toppled onto the aspha



The bike fall escalated concerns about Biden’s frailty after he has been seen tripping on the stairs leading to Air Force One on several occasions.

Biden’s handlers allowed him to ride in public again last week. He was heckled while riding on a path by his home.

Heckler: “Hey, where your f***ing training wheels at?”

Now the #BidenBikeChallenge is becoming a trend in Delaware.

People are taking photos of themselves lying down in the same spot where Biden toppled onto the asphalt.








Every Picture tells a Story. Part 2.

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Every Picture tells a Story. Part 2.
The Courts Uncategorized

Winning in the courts

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Let’s face it. The best we can hope for is containment of voter fraud. Not going to stop it completely. I know that one of the loons who stalks this web site has in the past claimed that there was only one case of voter fraud ever and it was a Republican. So sad.

So far this year Republicans have had some nice wins when it comes to stopping voter fraud. No ballot harvesting in Arizona, No mass spreading of drop boxes in Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania court strikes down no excuse absentee voting. Let’s keep it up.

Reprints from others. The Courts Uncategorized

Federal Judge: Biden Admin Must Cooperate With Social Media Collusion Lawsuit.

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Reprint from Pagegoo

Missouri and Louisiana filed a lawsuit against members of the Biden administration alleging collusion with Big Tech companies to censor speech.

The lawsuit alleges that “the Biden Administration colluded with and pressured social media giants Meta, Twitter, and Youtube to suppress and censor free speech on topics like the Hunter Biden laptop story, the Lab Leak Theory, and more.”

Attorney General Eric Schmitt provided examples of censorship in a Twitter thread.

A federal judge just ruled that the Biden administration must comply with the lawsuit and provide information.

Epoch Times reported:

A federal judge ordered the Biden administration on July 12 to comply with information requests in a lawsuit brought by Missouri and Louisiana officials about alleged federal government collusion with social media companies to suppress important news stories in the name of fighting so-called misinformation.

The lawsuit could help bring to light the Biden administration’s behind-the-scenes efforts to discourage the dissemination of information related to the advent of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus that causes the disease COVID-19 and the ongoing Hunter Biden laptop scandal, according to Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s Republican attorney general.

According to court documents, the states allege that the administration “colluded with and/or coerced social media companies to suppress disfavored speakers, viewpoints, and content on social media platforms by labeling the content ‘disinformation,’ ‘misinformation,’ and ‘malinformation.’”

Missouri Attorney General celebrated the ruling.

“A federal court granted our request for discovery & documents from top ranking Biden officials & social media companies to get to the bottom of their collusion to suppress & censor free speech.

No one has had the chance to look under the hood before – now we do.”


Life Reprints from others. Uncategorized

Vestiges of Americana fading before our eyes.

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Article first published by Salena Zito, National Political Reporter

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pennsylvania — In truth, the last Howard Johnson’s restaurant closed long before the one in Lake George, New York, did last week. The only thing that particular location had in common with the fried clams and 28 flavors of ice cream the restaurant was famous for was maintaining the iconic orange roof that signaled to families for generations you were pulling up to a place you could trust for known comfort food at reasonable prices.

What began as Howard Deering Johnson taking over his father’s struggling medicine store and soda fountain in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1925 grew because of his keen understanding of what people were looking for. The 27-year-old had vision and understood people. He improved the quality of the ice cream, added well-prepared food for customers to eat, and soon, he went from deeply in debt to flourishing.

Four years later, Johnson opened a second restaurant and was selling his popular ice cream at stands along the beach.

Unofficial official Howard Johnson’s restaurant historian Walter Mann details on his HoJoLand website that Johnson was a bit of a visionary who saw the love Americans had for the open roads and their cars and understood that as the U.S. road system expanded, families would be packing up their vehicles.

And he was eager to expand. “He conceived a new idea: franchising. Johnson talked another businessman into using the ‘Howard Johnson’s’ name on a Cape Cod restaurant, in return for a fee and an agreement to buy food and supplies from Johnson. The idea worked well for both men, and Johnson made similar agreements with others. That was the beginning of restaurant franchising, a system that has since been replicated by countless others,” Mann wrote.

Food rationing dragged the business down during World War II, but Johnson kept the company alive by providing food for military installations, defense plants, and schools.

By the 1950s, there were more than 400 Howard Johnson’s operating across the country and at the end of that decade, and Howard D. Johnson passed the business on to his son Howard B. Johnson. By the mid-60s, its sales exceeded those of McDonald’s, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried Chicken, making it the second-largest food provider in the U.S., second only to the U.S. Army.

So, what went wrong? Why are we not getting ready to celebrate HoJo’s 100 years of existence in 2025? Howard D. had done everything right despite inheriting a deeply-in-debt business, a stock market crash, a Great Depression, food shortages, and a war throwing land mines in his direction every few years. And he had developed a brand that was trustworthy, visually recognizable from a mile away, and located on just about every road in America, along with all the turnpikes and highways.

Sort of reminds you of another American company — Sears and Roebucks — which by all accounts should have been the Amazon of today and is instead languishing in bankruptcy and a shell of what it once was.

Sears was the quintessential American company the catalogs of which defined what we wore, what appliances and tools we used, and what we wanted for Christmas. It also fixed our cars, sold us tires, and would send us plans and all the supplies needed to build our homes.

It knew everyone’s address because of the Wish Book, and its stores, large and small, were located on everyone’s Main Street business district or in suburban malls.

There is no reason at all why Sears could not be the Amazon of today. It had the footprint in the public’s hearts and in their backyards to make that happen, beginning with customer trust, information, and access.

In the same thinking, there is no reason why Howard Johnson’s could not still be delighting parents with crispy fried oysters while their children decided which of the over two dozen ice cream flavors they would soon be devouring. It didn’t have to be this way, and yet here we are.

What made Sears great were the innovators who created it. Sears began as a mail-order watch company, then morphed into a mail-order operation that sold a variety of household essentials at a discounted price to rural areas — think farmers, small towns, and villages — who had little access to retail stores.

Richard W. Sears understood customers’ needs because he understood and experienced their challenges, which is easy when you come from Stewartville, Minnesota, the population at the turn of the 20th century which was under 800. You are in touch with the customer when you are the customer. In short, he was able to put himself in their shoes.

Howard D. Johnson, a World War I veteran who inherited his father’s soda shop in Quincy, Massachusetts, knew people. Despite failing a lot more times than succeeding in his early days, he never stopped trying, innovating, and learning what his customers wanted.

The beginning of the end for both companies began as they kept getting sold and resold and sold again to venture capital groups the operators of which never once ate at a HoJo’s or bought Sears auto parts to fix their car or had their children circle what they wanted for Christmas in the Wish Book. When you share little in common with your customers, then how do you innovate to keep them and their children?

The public loves nostalgia. It would have loved to bring its children or grandchildren to the same place their parents took them on their way to the shore. They also love consistency. You knew what you got and where to go to get it every time you walked into a Sears.

Last week was more than just the end of Howard Johnson’s. It marked one more place in our culture that lost touch with its customers because the owners had little in common with them. In short, they lived in the super ZIP codes of this country and ate and shopped in a universe far different than their customers. They still made money whether anyone came to shop or eat.

And unlike many of us did not mourn when someone turned the lights off for the last time in Lake George. 24

Biden Pandemic COVID Politics Reprints from others. Science Uncategorized

Pfizer quietly admits it will never manufacture original FDA approved COVID vaccines Company claims it is manufacturing Comirnaty product with new formula.

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This article is from The Dossier.

The August 23, 2021 FDA approval of Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine was a cause for celebration. Marked as a turning point in the battle against COVID19, the announcement was highly publicized by the Biden Administration with the clear intention to extinguish “vaccine hesitancy” and boost uptake.

It was celebrated as a cause for national relief, and many Americans arrived at their local pharmacies under the impression, via government and pharmaceutical propaganda, that they were receiving an FDA-approved COVID vaccine. Yet that legally distinct product, as we know it, never existed. And now we know, via Pfizer, that it will never exist.


For the uninitiated:

Comirnaty is a legally distinct product from the emergency use authorization (EUA) shots, and It has never made its way to market. For months on end, no such vaccine has ever become available. Those who received the “Pfizer shot(s)” have been injected with the emergency use authorization (EUA) version of the shots. See my piece in The Dossier for more info:

Shell Game? There remains no FDA approved COVID vaccine in the United States
I fact checked the fact checkers and couldn’t believe what I found. Despite the corporate press, Big Pharma, and the federal government telling us otherwise, it is absolutely true that there is no FDA approved COVID-19 vaccine available in the United States today. And there are no plans to make one available any time soon…

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The information operation succeeded. There was indeed an FDA approved vaccine, at least on paper, but you couldn’t get it.

When originally confronted with this ordeal, Pfizer labeled this issue an inventory question that had nothing to do with the legal distinction between an experimental EUA product and an FDA-approved vaccine. Up until just weeks ago, this was the statement up on the CDC website via Pfizer:

“Pfizer received FDA BLA license on 8/23/2021 for its COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 16 and older (COMIRNATY).  At that time, the FDA published a BLA package insert that included the approved new COVID-19 vaccine tradename COMIRNATY and listed 2 new NDCs (0069-1000-03, 0069-1000-02) and images of labels with the new tradename.

At present, Pfizer does not plan to produce any product with these new NDCs and labels over the next few months while EUA authorized product is still available and being made available for U.S. distribution.  As such, the CDC, AMA, and drug compendia may not publish these new codes until Pfizer has determined when the product will be produced with the BLA labels.”

In May, Pfizer updated its statement to mention a December 2021 licensed Comirnaty product, which was granted a license four months after the highly-publicized August FDA press release.

And just last week, Pfizer finally acknowledged that its original licensed product will never be distributed. In an unreported update on the CDC website, Pfizer told the agency:

“Pfizer received initial FDA BLA license on 8/23/2021 for its COVID-19 vaccine for use in individuals 16 and older (COMIRNATY). At that time, the FDA published a BLA package insert that included the approved new COVID-19 vaccine tradename COMIRNATY and listed 2 new NDCs (0069-1000-03, 0069-1000-02) and images of labels with the new tradename. These NDCs will not be manufactured. Only NDCs for the subsequently BLA approved tris-sucrose formulation will be produced.”

The key distinction between the originally approved formulation and the tris-sucrose formulation is that — according to manufacturers — the latter can be held for a much longer period of time outside of an ultra cold freezer. These freezers cost over $10,000 a piece and each unit uses as much energy per day as an average American household. Improper storage can render the mRNA unstable.

Notably, the clinical trials for the Pfizer shot were conducted without the modified tris-sucrose ingredient. Given the partisan nature of Pfizer, the corporate media, government health bureaucracies, and your correspondent’s lack of expertise in this area, it is unclear whether this is significant.

Another notable thing to look out for in the coming days and weeks is the possibility that the subsequently FDA approved product finally becomes available in the United States. In recent days, the CDC removed the language of “not orderable at this time” above the description of both Comirnaty and Moderna’s Spikevax.

Additionally, as reported by Uncover DC, the Defense Department appears to be in the early stages of ordering what it has interpreted as a legally required minimum of Comirnaty in order to continue its mRNA mandate of American service members.


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Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

Hits: 37

Article is from the Dispatch.

  • In a New York Times op-ed published Tuesday night, President Joe Biden announced the United States will provide Ukraine with “more advanced rocket systems and munitions” so it can “fight on the battlefield and be in the strongest possible position at the negotiating table.” Biden had said Monday his administration would not send Ukraine any rocket systems that could strike across the border into Russia and wrote yesterday his administration is “not encouraging or enabling” Ukraine to do so. Biden also claimed in his op-ed the United States “will not try to bring about” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s ouster, despite him saying a few weeks ago Putin “cannot remain in power.”
  • The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday Iran has almost enough near-weapons-grade enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb and hasn’t provided credible answers to the agency’s questions about the material’s existence. Negotiations between Iran, the Biden administration, and a handful of other nations have largely stalled over the United States’ refusal to remove the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
  • Taiwan’s defense ministry reported Monday that China sent 30 warplanes through its air defense identification zone in an incursion that coincided with a previously unannounced visit to Taipei by U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth. A Taiwanese military pilot died during a training exercise this week—the third such military plane crash since January—underscoring concerns the island’s military isn’t prepared for a potential Chinese invasion.
  • The Supreme Court sided with social media platforms on Tuesday, blocking a Texas law that prohibits companies with more than 50 million monthly active users from moderating content based on “viewpoint.” The 5-4 decision—with Justices John Roberts, Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor in the majority—will prohibit enforcement of the law while tech companies’ challenges work through the lower courts.
  • U.S. home prices were a record 20.6 percent higher in March 2022 than March 2021, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index. The measure represents a slight increase from February’s 20 percent year-over-year growth, but operates on a two-month lag. Home prices have begun to level off or fall in recent months as heightened mortgage interest rates put a damper on consumer demand.
  • Eurozone inflation reached 8.1 percent year-over-year in May, up from a 7.4 percent annual rate in April and March. In a move likely to drive energy prices even higher, European Union lawmakers have agreed to cut oil purchases from Russia in phases, embargoing about 90 percent of Russian oil imports by the end of the year. They’ll meet to officially pass the plan—which includes an exemption for oil sent via pipeline to overcome Hungary’s veto threat—on Wednesday.
  • Canadian lawmakers introduced legislation on Monday that, if passed, would prohibit Canadians from buying, selling, importing, or transferring handguns. The sweeping changes—which are expected to become law—would also require owners of “military-style assault weapons” to participate in a mandatory government buyback program and implement red-flag laws allowing judges to temporarily take firearms from a person deemed to be a danger to himself or others. “As a government, as a society, we have a responsibility to act to prevent more tragedies,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. “We need only look south of the border to know that if we do not take action, firmly and rapidly, it gets worse and worse and more difficult to counter.”
  • A federal jury on Tuesday acquitted Michael Sussmann—an attorney with ties to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign—on a charge of lying to the FBI about whether he was working on the campaign’s behalf when he passed information to the Bureau alleging ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and a Russian bank. The jury deliberated for a few hours Friday afternoon and Tuesday morning before reaching its verdict in the case, which was brought by Special Counsel John Durham.
  • Sihle Zikalala—premier of South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal province—said over the weekend that the death toll attributed to recent flooding in the eastern and coastal parts of the country has risen to at least 459 people. The region has had several severe storms in recent weeks.

John Durham Swings and Misses in Sussmann Investigation

Michael Sussmann (Screenshot via C-SPAN)

It’s bizarre now—like looking back into another life—to remember the days of the investigation into possible connections between the campaign of then-President Donald Trump and Russia, during which a remarkable number of liberals in both media and pop culture convinced themselves that the day was coming when Special Counsel Robert Mueller would reveal his shocking findings, indict everyone within a mile of the Trump campaign, and rid America for good of this turbulent president.

They never ascended to the heights of Muellermania, but for the last couple of years, Trump’s allies have carried a torch for a special counsel of their own: John Durham, who was appointed in 2019 to examine the origins of the Russia probe and, specifically, the question, long belabored by those sympathetic to Trump’s assertion that the whole thing was a “witch hunt,” of whether it was launched as part of a partisan effort to hobble his presidency before it could begin.

As we’ve written in the past, Durham’s investigation has allegedly uncovered some embarrassing and unethical behavior on the part of some of Trump’s adversaries—particularly the Clinton campaign’s role in planting an early (and highly dubious) Trump-Russia story in the press about a week before the 2016 election. But the probe has so far made few moves as far as actual criminal prosecutions are concerned—extracting a guilty plea from former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith (who got probation and community service) and indicting a Democratic lawyer, Michael Sussmann, both on charges of felony false statements.

Yesterday, in federal court, a jury found Sussmann not guilty.

Durham’s case had been relatively straightforward. In late 2016, Sussmann was an attorney at Perkins Coie, a firm known for its work with prominent national Democrats; he himself was performing billable work for the Clinton campaign. In September of that year, Sussmann had sought a meeting with his friend James Baker, general counsel at the FBI, to bring to his attention information that supposedly showed a concerning connection between the Trump organization and a server registered to a Russian company, Alfa Bank.

The information, it turned out, was bad. When the Clinton campaign planted it in the press, it fell apart within a day. But Durham’s indictment was less interested in the bad intelligence than in the fact that Sussmann, in bringing the information to Baker, hid his own relationship with the campaign and its bearing on the matter.

“During the meeting,” Durham wrote in the indictment, “Sussmann stated falsely that he was not doing his work on the aforementioned allegations ‘for any client,’ which led the FBI General Counsel to understand that Sussmann was acting as a good citizen merely passing along information, not as a paid advocate or political operative.”

That Sussmann in fact lied about this is in little doubt. Initially, Durham’s case was more or less solely reliant on the testimony of Baker himself, who testified that Sussmann had made these statements. After charges were filed, a text message from Sussmann to Baker came to light that bolstered that testimony: “Jim—it’s Michael Sussmann. I have something time-sensitive (and sensitive) I need to discuss. Do you have availability for a short meeting tomorrow? I’m coming on my own—not on behalf of a client or company—want to help the Bureau. Thanks.”

Nevertheless, Sussmann was found not guilty. There are a couple of possible reasons for this.

Worth Your Time

  • In response to a Vox article making the case for renaming “natural gas,” Ben Dreyfuss devoted his latest Good Faith newsletter to many progressives’ obsession with wording and branding over substance. “Let me start by explaining what’s going to happen to you if you decide in your actual life to call natural gas ‘fossil gas,’” he writes. “‘Blah blah blah fossil gas.’ ‘What is fossil gas?’ ‘Natural gas but let me tell you why I call it fossil gas.’ And that person is then going to leave and never come back. They aren’t your friend anymore. They hate you. You used a term you hoped they didn’t know just so they would have to ask you to explain it so you could have an opportunity to give them a speech. It’s like when people use Latin terms and then immediately explain what it means in English. Why are you using this term you expect me not to know? Is this a Latin class? Language is supposed to be a way that people communicate meaning from one party to another. If someone asks you to bring them some fruit and you bring them a tomato and they say ‘I asked for fruit’ and you say ‘well technically tomato is a fruit,’ you’re an a——.”
  • With rumors floating that the Biden administration is now, finally, for real this time on the precipice of forgiving a chunk of student debt via executive action, Sen. Ben Sasse proposes the U.S. do something more lasting about the cost and value of American higher education. “The biggest problem facing most young Americans isn’t student debt; it’s that our society has lost sight of the shared goal of offering them a meaningful, opportunity-filled future with or without college,” Sasse writes in The Atlantic. “We’ve lost the confidence that a nation this big and broad can offer different kinds of institutional arrangements, suited to different needs. What we say we want for Americans entering adulthood and what we actually offer them are disastrously mismatched. Debt forgiveness would not just be regressive; it would be recalcitrant. A massive bailout would increase the cost of education and stifle the kind of renaissance higher ed desperately needs.”
  • Iranian protesters are in the streets decrying skyrocketing food prices, and Shay Khatiri argues at The Bulwark that the Biden administration should support them. “Failing to engage this enormously popular protest movement in Iran is a major unforced error for the Biden administration,” Khatiri writes. “It is also not a harmless mistake. Political violence is following these protests, and attacks against clergy, security forces, and regime-affiliated institutions are increasing. There is every reason to expect the regime to defend itself by whatever means appear necessary, especially as it loses the support of its ‘starving and shoeless’ base. But it is not too late for the Biden administration to change course. Instead of passively worrying what supporting the protests might mean for its diplomatic aims regarding arms control, the administration can proactively strengthen its negotiating position by providing meaningful support to the Iranians taking to the streets to bring freedom to their country.”

Something Fun

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Toeing the Company Line

  • David’s latest French Press (🔒) offers a grim update on the war in Ukraine, particularly in the eastern Donbas region. “Russia is now fighting the war its way, and Russia’s early setbacks do not herald its ultimate loss,” he writes. “Unless Ukraine and the West can confront and overcome the Russian meat grinder, I’ll repeat the warning I issued all the way back on March 1—the first flare of hope is likely to be forgotten amid the ashes of defeat.”
  • Miss the live taping of The Remnant’s 500th episode? Try the next best thing: This week’s Dispatch Live is a video of the event complete with discussions on America’s future and institutions, rank punditry from A.B. Stoddard and Chris Stirewalt, and Sen. Ben Sasse in an extremely shiny gold jacket.
  • On the site today, Jonah argues that voters—not gun lobbyists—hold more power over Republican lawmakers’ positions on guns, and Samuel J. Abrams writes that colleges and universities shouldn’t forsake the value of some online instruction in their haste to move past pandemic education policies.


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