Thursday, April 30, 2020

This is Good News

The USS comfort is leaving. It was pulled by tug backwards out of its berth this far, but then left under its own power towards Virginia (south), so this was the best shot I could get. But still, it's leaving which means our cases in New York are significantly coming down. It was over 750/day for 3 a week at the peak. Now it is down to less than half of that.


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Everyone Loves Penguins...

.. even the flamingos they let take a walk around the Denver Zoo.

Speaking of Lying Sacks of Shit

See!!!!  I tell you, I cannot believe that this country is okay with this bullshit.


Yesterday, YESTERDAY, they asked President Trump about his earlier prediction when he said there would be close to zero cases overall, when they asked him in February.  His answer, let's remember was "When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."" LINK

Deaths on Feb 28    0
Deaths on Mar 28    2,043
Deaths on Apr 28    58,356

So if you asked an honest person or someone with a modicum of empathy, the answer yesterday would be, "We all severely underestimated this, and we are working as a county to fix it."

Remember 40% of Americans approve of the job he is doing!

It would not be, as he answered, "It will go down to zero, ultimately," Trump responded.

And then this....

Please Go Joe

I suppose my wanting Joe Biden to exit - stage left, means very little. 



I mean, this accusation is arriving suspiciously late.

AND, it is surprising that after two previous runs for President, 8 years as the Vice president AND running for Vice President with an African-American that this hasn't come up before. It seems like something that would have.

AND, this one act, if it occurred, is dwarfed by President Grabby Hands, rape accusations, and adultery pay-offs.

AND they (in this case Republican operatives) did actual plant sex stories stories about Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg, that were false, trying to discredit them.

STILL There are better candidates that are younger and don't have the "touchy" problem. Why not get one of them. (No, not the gay one, black people HATE fags - but there are plenty of non-Bernie others.)

I Am Better Thanks

I am better today. Don't know why - got to love fucking brain chemistry. 

But here is just an example of things that I don't understand and that infuriate me.



The President has not invoked the war powers act, which he brags he can do - all the time, with relations to Covid19 testing, test kits, swabs, ventilators, hospital equipment, gowns, masks or anything. Since he has given contracts for many of these things to his friends in industry, he would rather pay them exorbitantly to their company.

But then, he did just order Tyson foods to open a meat processing plant in Iowa, using the war powers act.Why?

Well, in doing so he exempted Tyson foods from any employee liability or lawsuits. And, since Iowa doesn't have a stay-home order, the employees cannot get unemployment insurance if they don't go back to work. So they only time he has used this act is to force people, in a plant where scores have fallen ill and people have died from Covid19, back to work or starve. If you get sick, the plant doesn't have to help you, or pay your family - national emergency.

Now, I would LOVE to not care. I would LOVE to say, my 401K is fine, fuck everyone else. I would LOVE to say, as long as my country club has bacon at breakfast, fuck those thousands of workers in South Dakota and Iowa. I would LOVE to say, people who work for per hour jobs aren't worth living. Then I could live happy as the 40% of Americans who think all that is dreamy.

I would LOVE to be that happy and stupid. Because that is the America that it seems Republicans and President Trump loves. And they seem happy.

---

So in reading this I realize it doesn't infuriate me. It breaks my heart. Every day my heart breaks a little more. i don't know how much more I am capable of taking. But, today is a good day.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Control What You Can, Accept What You Can't

That is great advice. I wish I could take it.

There is so much I cannot control.
  • I can't leave the city
  • I am invisible to 98% of the world
  • My belief system (honesty) is no longer applicable in this country
  • My dog is dead.
I am sad. (No, this isn't a plea, and no, I won't be answering my phone for a while.)


Time to Stop with the Old Straight White Men

Just pause. Just pause on straight old white men being presidential candidates. I going to have to support Biden because it's only 1 versus 60 women. And Trump brags about grabbing women by the pussy.

You could have went with 
- Kamala Harris
- Elizabeth Warren
- Pete Buttigieg

And not had this problem.

Lesser of two evils. Damn.

You Are All In My World Now

If you feel like I usually feel, imagine how I am feeling now on top of it. Eddie is unsung hero.


Monday, April 27, 2020

Sign of the times

It was a great Saturday this week, so Eddie and I went out a bit. This is what we saw....
Mainly us, with no one really about at Times square.



Police on horseback, with masks. Very few cars.

Tom Cotton: The Next Trump

Tom Cotton, for those that have luckily never heard of him, is an Arkansas Senator. Arkansas is a beautiful state, that is hampered by not being near much commerce, not having a great education system and proudly reveling in confederate nincompoopery.

And Tom Cotton has fully embraced Donald Trump's nastiness, propensity to disparage others and traffic in simple lies. But, as opposed to Donald Trump, Ton Cotton is smart as hell. This is a Harvard educated man who chooses to play to the populists, while taking huge funds from lobbyists.

His latest taking point, which plays wonderfully on Fox news, is to be a China basher. I think China is a cheater on the world stage and I am not making the claim they are good government. But, Tom's ideas are not based on reality, but on some fantasy where China is the villain in a giant black fu-man-chu mustache. His latest is that he is proposing that Chinese students no longer be allowed to be educated in the United States.

This is silly on a few levels. First, opening up our universities to Chinese (and all people) gives anyone who comes here a better view of the United States. We have educate people from nearly every country and it has helped relations with all of them (except Saudis - those guys hate us, kill people and fly planes into buildings!). Furthermore, a huge percentage of the foreign students stay int he United States, succeed and employ tons of people in the states. Finally, they are helping to pay for universities. Out of states students at public schools (like UCLA, Wisconsin, etc) pay very expensive tuition that keeps the prices down for in-state students.

Why pick the one area where things are working to complain?

Friday, April 24, 2020

"He said what, Scott?"

File this under things the Very Stable Genius in Charge probably got wrong. 

Much as you have to do when a toddler decides to taste everything, someone as to smack The Donald's hand and say, "NO! Do not ingest bleach! It's very bad for you!" Note to self, get White House baby-proofed ASAP. 

Well, when Trump's 100% fool-proof elixir of hydroxchloridine failed to save people, and actually killed more than it helped, he put that big beauitful brain of his to work and came up with this. Inject or ingest bleach or disinfectant, then go out in the sun or stand under a very bright UV light and, tada, cured! Note to self, do not leave lysol near President's tanning bed.



Thursday, April 23, 2020

A Worry For Me

One worry I have is that we will see a reduction in the virus this summer, and it screaming back in the winter. 

It worries me because if we end social distancing right now, and we luck out with the summer - the protesters might think they are totally right and when it roars back our reaction will be to ignore it again.

But science isn't pulling any weight with these protesters.



My Get The Fuck Out Of Dodge Words

When Trump was first elected, I had a bit of a freak-out. And then I watched a show with some woman that fled Communism or a Dictatorship or something and she helped me.  She said, write down - and share with your loved one - what warning signs would actual fear for the Country and yoru place in it. Then, if it happens, you have a not-too-emitional reason for being serious.

So I did this with Ed and we were okay.  Looking at it now, it is cute. I didn't have "destroy the Constitution" on it! But that election one still is in the running.

-----------------------------------

Scott Mitchell 

Jan 20, 2017, 10:55 AM
to Ed
So, in reality, these are the triggers I see that would make me want to get the fuck out of Dodge.

1. Right to Marriage is overturned via Supreme Court
2. Serious talk of "postponing the next election" occurs and / or legislation is introduced (my guess is this would occur - IF it occurs - due to a terrorist attack and we should "all come together).

These are general warning signs and hitting a majority of these would tend to have me thinking of leaving:

1. Right to discriminate laws are passed and upheld by the Supreme Court
2. Any registry of Muslims is started up and advertised as a positive
3. Newspapers are successfully shut down for negative press coverage

There you go. That is my list of triggers per last night's discussion.

I feel better for getting these down.

Scooter

Q: Why do Americans' foreheads hurt all the time?

A: From slapping them in disbelief.

 Makes "Good Job, Brownie" look Presidential.


The Labradoodle dad in question. and the LINK to the story in Business Insider.


But they are deadly cute labradoodles.....

Ex-Angeleno to Ex-Angeleno

Fun!  (I mean - bad of course, but FUN!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

If my Mother was a New Yorker

It's not red or blue or Republican or Democrat. It's just Americans, freaked the fuck out.

Brain Surgeons



Look, I get that we are all tried of staying at home. But this is not going to help.  These are people demonstrating against stay at home orders in Arizona. What I find sad and very very odd is that these people have been inspired by and egged on by Donald Trump. Against governors who are following Trumps own directions.

Fox News and Trump's outrage machine has turned them into this. 

And they could have just as easily turned them pro-stay at home with the idea Democrats wanted them to work and kill them. They are mean, armed sheep. One of the funny signs is the one in back: Hydroxychloroquine is the cure. Because this is a few days old. Turns out, the drug - which the US has purchased 29 Million tablets of - from Trump's donors' companies - is less than worthless against this virus.

It has killed more people in VA tests (or guinea pigs as Trump calls vets) than it has helped. AND, it pushed th price up so that people that need it, lupus sufferers, can't afford it.

World War II gave us people working against the Nazis, giving up on foods and goods to fight the good fight. These cray fucks can't spend a month inside. And they call the orders, again directed by the President, Communism. 

People do not understand that word, I fear.

If You've Never Seen John Oliver

John Oliver was, many moons ago, a correspondent on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. He is funny and well spoken. He was British, but is now a naturalized US Citizen. When Jon was filming a documentary in the middle east, John Oliver filled in and was great. So great in fact, that HBO gave him a show. Since not everyone has HBO, not everyone has seen it. But they have this episode available for free from youtube.  Here is the LINK: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRFbwjwQ4VE.
I say this because John Oliver made news here by stating the obvious. I will just pull directly from CNN for the explanation (LINK).

...
But there was one thing -- actually one sentence of 11 words -- that really stood out to me in the Oliver segment. And it was this, when he was talking about Fox News' coronavirus coverage:
"They only pretend to believe these things on television for money."
    The point Oliver was making was that even as many Fox News anchors were pushing the idea that coronavirus was less virulent than the flu and that it was the product of a hyper-partisan media trying to "get" Trump, the company was warning its employees to stay at home and "reducing the staff footprint at our headquarters in New York."
    Why the contrast between what their anchors were pushing and the internal guidance being given to staff? Because, as Oliver rightly notes, Fox News is in the business of selling a certain kind of news to its largely conservative (and very large) viewer base. And that "news" is generally speaking, centered around the idea that the mainstream media is in cahoots with Democrats to screw, frighten and otherwise mistreat the average Joe and Jane out there.
    Or, as Oliver put it: "Many in conservative media have found it easy to fold this virus into narratives that they have been carefully building up for decades."
    So when coronavirus deaths began to mount across the world, and it became clear that the hopes of limiting community spread in the United States were in vain, it was simply too tempting for Fox News. They played the coronavirus story as they play virtually every other story -- as an indictment of the media and its biases. See, the real story here -- that the mainstream media isn't telling you -- is that this is all overhyped! This is like a cold virus! Hydroxychloroquine will knock it all out anyway. And on and on and on.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2020

    Some people are luckier in the Shelter In Place

    There is a wildlife photographer sheltering in place in Zimbabwe. Take a look at his pictures.

    I think he is evil, but maybe he's just has Dementia

    In a Press Conference yesterday President Trump commented he hasn't left the White House in Months.

    It might not be a lie. He might be seriously delusional.


    But, he had rallies in February and March (9 of them). He doesn't remember them. Seriously, he looked confused as he asked, "Really?" Then he asked why he wouldn't have them, there were no "cases" of Covid 19 in January.

    I know his brain is very random, but it I wonder how mentally ill he is. Or does snorting Adderall impair your memory?


    Monday, April 20, 2020

    Death of Peter Beard - Wildlife Photographer

    Peter Beard has been found dead. He was a wild-life photographer with a passion for Africa. He was from money and purchases a large parcel in Kenya - he called the Hog Farm. He was a wild-life photographer and artist, but also worked with fashion. In fact he married Cheryl Tiggs for two years.

    His images are beautiful, many with animals, some in fashion with animals. Many animal pictures, then manipulated into a new medium.
    So many elephants






    You Know What the Lock-Down is Like: The Holocaust (sayeth Republicans)

    Can't fix stupid.
    LINK (including video of her)

    Scott: What the Hell with the Protests Against Governors?

    In case you’re wondering what the hell is happening in America – I’ll give you a bit of detail here. I will try to do this without becoming too alarmist, but with actual facts. It will be very negative towards our President Trump because of reality.

    So, we are seeing a small, but widespread revolt against the current plans to keep indoors and maintain social distancing to reduce the deaths from Covid19. These small protests are huge news because; a) they are loud and noisy and there is nothing else for the news to show on TV and b) the are endorsed by the President against Governors who are following his directions.

     

    First let us look at the protests themselves. They have been organized in large part by right wing gun activists (LINK). As I said, the protests are not large, but they are very newsworthy images (a bunch of crazy nazi/racists protesting with automatic weapons on state property). They are financed by various groups, including finance my members of Trump’s own cabinet (LINK).

    They are not interested in this problem, per say, but more interesting in making news and fermenting discontent. It is the same artificial grass roots organizations paid for by Republicans that started the “tea party” purportedly to protest out of control spending. This same tea party groups have been supportive of this administration more than doubling the highest deficits in history. But back to the issue at hand.



    This may seem an odd fit to pick. It is obvious that these Governors are making the right decisions for the right reasons. But there is method in Donald Trump’s madness. I do not believe President Trump is a “Very Stable Genius”, as he has described himself. However, he is brilliant at projecting and using Nativist Populism and creating enemies.

    An election is coming up. And Trump is looking venerable IF everyone votes.

    Note, without a vote, President Trump is unstoppable. He has effectively packed the courts with the help of Senate Republicans - the Republicans “legally-ish” held back Judge appointments that Obama made and didn’t act on them. They waited until Trump was elected and let him nominate much more conservative appointments to those same positions.

    And Trump has successfully stonewalled any oversight by Congress. By ignoring and refusing to work the legislature he has marginalized them. This could ot have happened without the support of Republicans in both Houses of Congress.

    So, President Trump runs the Administrative Branch of Congress. His appointments run the Judicial Branch of Congress (and you can see their handprint over almost all their decisions). And President Trump has neutered the Legislative Branch with the help of the Judicial Branch.



    The president effectively controls the Federal Government with few brakes on his actions. There are some in place governmental officials that are still working for the good of America. Trump and his backers call them the “deep state” as if the Doctors and professionals were actively working for some nefarious plot, not just making sure the mechanics of government work.

    So, in Trump’s first presidential run, he ran against the government itself. Saying it was working for the rich, not the regular people. And, once he got in, Trump said he would change it all. When it didn’t all change, his minions blamed the “deep state”. This was all going okay until the Coronavirus and his horrible response. And it was horrible and everyone knows it.



    So he looked for someone to blame. His team has tried to blame China with limited success. Republicans in the legislative branch did their sycophantic acts and have introduced legislation that allows American individuals to sue China for Covid 19.  Yes, you read that right (LINK).

    And the President himself is trying to blame the World Health Organization (WHO) for, I don’t know, being foreign? (LINK).

    But these enemies are foreign and not very fulfilling for a cult that wants red meat of Democrats. So Trump is encouraging attacking the only governments he doesn’t control, the state Governors. It gives his cult an enemy.



    Not only that, it is an enemy that is usually Democratic.

    And it is an enemy that will let his cult play as “the big dog” with their automatic weapons and lame-ass lies. Imagine the scenes if these over-compensating boy-men took their guns and lies to a foreign power, or Washington DC. No, they only get to play out their little fantasies in states with the power of the federal government protecting their rights.

    So, this isn’t a case of real protests at all. It is a case of Trump flexing power in a new venue. And it only works if the Republicans, the same ones that have abdicated their moral compass, stay quiet. Except in the case of Susan Collins, who’s trademark is “deep concern” expressed whenever laws are broken.

    Saturday, April 18, 2020

    Want to be entertained AND fuck up your day... Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan

    Harrison Ford was Jack Ryan in Clear and Present Danger today on TV. Eddie and I watched.



    It's a fine movie, but at the end, Jack confronts the President of the United States. He tries t get Jack to go with the lie and cover their asses. Jack says no. He is going to testify in front of Congress, which will he will expose the truth and bring down this government plot.

    The movie ends with swelling music and him being sworn in to "Tell the Truth, so help me God."

    It's all very sweet, until you realize that it is a fabricated fairy tale. Republicans don't believe in the truth, or honest or doing the right thing. Probably most Democrats would do the same thing if roles were reversed, but they aren't. Want proof that Republicans don't give a shit about honor, truth or American Values...


    And if that doesn't make you sad, you're not paying attention.

    How The Guardian Looks At Us

    Today's Splash Page

    I occasionally read the Guardian online. It is a British site and I read it out of habit. Today I was gently reminded to help fund them, which is not unusual. But their request was blunt and how I feel.  So I will reproduce it here. No need for you to pay at all, just information for you..


    America faces an epic choice...

    ... in the coming year, and the results will define the country for a generation. These are perilous times. Over the last three years, much of what the Guardian holds dear has been threatened – democracy, civility, truth. This US administration is establishing new norms of behaviour. Anger and cruelty disfigure public discourse and lying is commonplace. Truth is being chased away. But with your help we can continue to put it center stage.

    Rampant disinformation, partisan news sources and social media's tsunami of fake news are no bases on which to inform the American public in 2020. The need for a robust, independent press has never been greater, and with your support we can continue to provide fact-based reporting that offers public scrutiny and oversight. Our journalism is free and open for all, but it's made possible thanks to the support we receive from readers like you across America in all 50 states.

    Friday, April 17, 2020

    Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of the United States or Child in Tantrum

    Three hours of Adderall snorting and a twitter thumb: A Presidential meltdown that occurs all the fucking time!

    These are the latest. He is attacking Cuomo (Gov of New York) for being more effective than he has been.

    He is asking states to do more testing (after he fucked up by not getting tests from World Health Organization) because he wants to start commerce. Starting commerce isn't a bad idea, but you can't get there by screaming at people after you fucked up.

    He is talking about China because he wants to blame them and if we have more deaths than them, he can't see this.


    Here, the "LIBERATE <STATE>" refers to states that have Democratic Governors and have implemented social distancing. Scary Republicans have screaming and threatening legislators. I will include a couple of images from Michigan and Ohio.

    Regarding "Crazy Nancy Pelosi" (Speaker of the House) and "Cryin' Chuck Schumer" (Democratic leader of the Senate) are not agreeing to new money for Trump's buddies. The last $1Trillion stimulus including an independent oversight which Trump fired 9along with 7 other independent Inspector Generals.


    Again here, he is attacking the World Health Organization because he needs a scapegoat.

    This has been 4 hours!!

    Here are people protesting that they cannot get their hair done or buy lawn seed (seriously).
    Michigan (actual picture)




    Ohio Protesters



    About sums it up