Where is their level of outrage they seem to conjure up over LGBTQ or abortion rights?
This will be one of my shortest blogs since I don’t believe that there needs to be very much substantiation for this point. It is completely self-evident as we have experienced over and over again. As The Onion headlines put it after almost every mass shooting, “‘No Way To Prevent This’ Says The Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens”. This is about all we need to know since we are truly the only country where mass shootings are more frequent than Congress passing a bill or a Trump telling the truth.
The fact of the matter is our government is owned by corporate lobbies; lock, stock and smoking barrel. And there is no more powerful lobby than the gun manufacturers and the NRA. In fact there are entire departments of the government that are actually run by the very same corporations and industries they are supposed to be regulating. If that makes any sense to you then you’re probably a Repugnantcan or a “conservative” and also find gun violence unsolvable, climate change to be a liberal conspiracy, and Donald Trump to be an honorable, good man removed from office by rampant voter fraud. If you are anything like the upwards of 80% of Americans that find it the absolute nonsense that it truly is, then you can help do something about it.
Paradoxically perhaps, the only portion of the electorate that we most certainly can’t rely on for any help at all is the phony baloney snake oil salesmen and holy roller crowd of evangelicals and Christian Repugnantcans. For some strange reason all they seem to be able to conjure up (no pun intended) are their “thoughts and prayers”; a gesture of such specious uselessness it has become a joke among the general public. This is the same crowd that would lobby to remove the constitutional rights from entire subsets of the population given the opportunity but couldn’t conjure up the righteous indignation to rally around 20 murdered 1st graders and 6 grammar school teachers. Unfortunately most of their geographic areas of influence are specifically the places where the most fervent gun-crazy, “Second Amendment” fanatics reside and this must be one of the primary reasons for their complicit silence. As I have said before there is no one more full of shit than an evangelical Christian.
Well, except maybe an evangelical Christian politician, that is.
Will the voters of DeSantis, Abbott, Kemp, et al hold them accountable for the deaths of their constituents?
In their rush to follow their “Dear Leader’s” request to reopen their states in order to try and save his election, it is abundantly clear that the science-denying Red State Governors Coalition unleashed the deadly virus in an even more devastating manner, greatly spiking both the rates of cases as well as deaths in their states. And all just to try and get their economies going in order to turn around Pseudo-President Trump’s disastrous campaign. Again; lives lost, deaths of men, women, and children, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, all to prop up the campaign of the most incompetent and narcissistic – and dangerous – Pseudo-President Russia ever elected. Never mind the fact that Trump’s campaign is in the very state in which it finds itself solely as a result of his own, inept and incompetent management of the worst pandemic the U.S. has seen since the Spanish Flu of 1918, culminating in the deaths of upwards of 150,000 Americans.
The question is: will the voters of these mean-spirited and heartless sycophant remember to repay their incompetence at the polls? Anyone?
It’s been called treasonous by a U.S. Congressman and veteran of Iraq. A former Navy Seal and now a emergency room doctor lables Trump either a coward or Putin’s puppet in an ad by the Lincoln Project, a political action committee started by prominent Republicans including George Conway, the husband of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway. Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul calls Trump’s anemic response to any of Putin’s emboldened moves against US interests “a sign of worsening things to come.” Former National Security Advisor for President Barack Obama Susan Rice is equally suspicious of and puzzled by Trump’s obsequious behavior towards Vladimir Putin. I’m sure the rest of the world is puzzled as well, especially our Nato allies. Puzzled and concerned.
The question puzzling all these people & entities is: why is it that the Pseudo-President, Donald J. Drumpf (I like to use his real name before his grandfather changed it; it seems so much more fitting somehow) always seems to defer to Vladimir Putin and Russian interests? Drumpf contradicted U.S. intelligence reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election in front of the world in Helsinki when he declared that Putin told him Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. election and so, there it is, no interference. Everyone in the entire world already knew that the Russians did, in fact, interfere in the election and to Drumph’s advantage. In fact, I would go so far as to surmise that the blitzkrieg-style hacking campaign conducted by the GRU out of St. Petersburg was a total and complete success for Putin; he actually succeeded in getting Drumpf elected. Granted, this is speculation however I have no doubts that repeatedly putting 15,000 or so false or misleading messages in front of 150,000,000 Americans on FaceBook more than likely did actually have an effect on people’s voting. Keep in mind that Drumpf won the election on the smallest of margins with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan going to Drumpf with a total of about 106,000 votes between the three states giving him all 46 Electoral College votes and putting him over the top. In fact, he actually won Michigan with a margin of just around 11,000 votes or 3/10 of one percent! And Drumpf actually lost the popular vote by margin of approximately 2,000,000 votes, not exactly a mandate from the people. Is it really so outlandish to conceive that the Russians could have changed or influenced the votes of just 106,000 people across three states out of a vote tally of 123,724,157 total votes? We’re talking an infinitesimal difference approaching one-millionth of one percentage point in a country where approximately 28% of the people – over a quarter of the population – believe the Bible as literal truth? I think not. In my opinion, Drumpf is in office entirely through the efforts of both Russia and FaceBook. We would do well to remember this as we approach the next election.
Now we learn that the Pseudo-President was told perhaps as long as a year ago that Russia was paying a bounty to Taliban forces to kill American and American Allied soldiers! Or perhaps, and I’m not sure which is worse, he doesn’t bother to read his Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) so he wouldn’t have known about it! Even worse, his advisors seem completely unwilling or unable to bring it up to him or make sure he is aware of this most egregious violation of international law. What do you call a president that doesn’t even bother to read the PDB, the single most important daily document in the country while he sits in the residence watching cable news and Tweeting to his followers? For me incompetent comes to mind fairly quickly, and dereliction of duty, sure, that passed through the grey matter as well. But why, many are asking, would the so-called President of the United States of America, the most powerful country ever to grace the Earth, fold like a cheap suit to a country that President Barack Obama labled a “regional power” and one that has the total gross domestic product of Texas? When asked these questions the administration chooses to kill the messenger and has started a vitriolic campaign against both the New York Times for reporting it and the unidentified leakers that gave the information to the Times. And what, you ask, was the Pseudo-President’s response? Do you really need to ask? Fake news. A hoax. All started by the “disgraced” NewYork Times, as Drumpf commonly characterizes the paper of record for the last 150 years. My reaction? Anytime Drumpf characterizes anything as a hoax or fake news I immediately know it’s probably true and this time is no exception. My “Spidey-senses” are off the charts on this one; I just know it’s true somehow just like I know in my heart that the Mueller Report didn’t exonerate him and found complicity between his campaign and Russia and that, somewhere, out in the ether, there’s a pee-pee tape. But it gets worse, much worse.
During this same period of time, while either in full understanding that Russia was putting a bounty on the heads of American soldiers or in ignorance of it because he was derelict in his duties and didn’t bother to read the PDB – and his advisors were too incompetent or too afraid to point it out – Drumpf has repeatedly tried to get Russia back into the Group of 7 over the objections of the other members. Putin is desperately trying to get Russia back onto the world stage after losing miserably in Afghanistan and after the complete decaying of the Soviet Union, and Drumpf seems to be doing everything he can to assist him. Furthermore, he has pulled U.S. troops out of Syria against the advice of “his generals” as he refers to them, leaving a void that was, of course, filled by Russia. He has also recently announced his intention to draw down U.S. Troop levels in Germany as well, again much to the chagrin of his military advisors, Germany, much of Eastern Europe, and Nato. And who is simply delighted at this prospect? Survey says: Vladimir Putin!
We have never had a president that defers to Russia the way Drumpf does, never. And the most enigmatic question is: why? As as a former KGB agent, Putin is well aware of and certainly an absolute expert in the use compromat, the use of compromising information against an adversary. Knowing Drumpf’s less-than-stellar career in business (he bankrupted casino(s), for goodness sakes. I’ve coached Cub Scouts that can run a casino profitably), his credit record with the major banks (not too pretty good. Not a single U.S. bank will lend him money), and his record of womanizing and divorce is it really beyond the pale to conceive that Putin has information about him that Drumpf would definitely want to keep from the public that he has so completely and totally bamboozled? If he is the business Svengali that he professes to be why does he so desperately want to keep his financial records from the public? Why is he so averse to releasing his education records to the public? He says he went to Wharton but refuses to allow any disclosure of his records there. Even though he knows “all the good words” and has “a really good brain?” Doesn’t add up. Doesn’t seem to make sense.
One thing I can tell you this: if the Dumocrats think they’re going to bury this after Drumpf is out of office, they’d better think again. One of my greatest complaints about Obama is that he dropped any further investigations about the start of the Iraq war even though anyone with a brain knows that Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, et al., lied us into the war and it should have been investigated and, more than likely, prosecuted. Unfortunately, Obama had his “let’s look forward to the future and not backward” hands-off approach and so no investigation and there are a lot of progressives that were – and still are – incensed about it. Their frustration was made even worse – maddeningly so – by the way the Dems blew the entire impeachment hearings and the Mueller Report. There is a huge resurgence of progressiveness in the country right now and they are not in the mood for letting a potential political criminal walk, and I am at the top of that list. If the Dumos think we’re going to just move on, they are gravely mistaken. Drumpf must be investigated just as any other American would expect to be. If he is the first president to be incriminated and convicted, then let the chis fall where they may.
I had a little birdie, his name was Enza; I opened up my bedroom window, and in flew Enza
Children’s play song from the 1918 Spanish Influenza Pandemic
One of the great mysteries of history is why we continue to wipe it from our memories, both individual and collective. In no instance is this more apparent than during the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic which killed more Americans than all the wars of the 20th century combined and upwards of 100 million people world wide. And, almost as quickly as it sprang itself onto the world’s population, the world – and America in particular – seems to have forgotten all about it. I don’t recall much if any publicity during 2018, the 100th anniversary of the event though I was diligent in keeping an eye out for it. It never came. I wondered, why?
The actual or exact source of the virus is not really known to researchers or epidemiologists, although it is widely thought to have had its synthesis among Kansas military personnel. On the morning of March 11th, after an initial soldier reported to sick bay with a temperature, aches, and respiratory symptoms, within minutes another reported to sick bay with the same symptoms. By that same evening there were over 100 patients in the ward and within one week the entire ward was filled with over 500 patients all having the same symptoms. Sending soldiers over to Europe – on a military transport barge no less, literally packed with soldiers (see photo above) – only served to accelerate the rate of infection further and spread it out geographically. It is estimated that some 650-675,000 Americas alone died during the pandemic and to make matters worse, this strain of flu was killing young men in the prime of their lives, aged 21 – 29. Unlike many other strains of influenza, this one was killing the most fit and seemingly strongest among us.
The pandemic made a its deadly run from March of 1918 to December of that same year and it was around that time that it began to run its course. After a dip in diagnoses in late spring, early summer, it came back with a terrible vengeance in September and October; especially October. While people all over the country began to mill about again, Philadelphia a standout at this time, they weren’t prepared for what was about to hit them.
The virus had mutated over the summer and became much more successful at penetrating the respiratory membranes; the trachea, lungs, and alveoli, and turning them into blue masses of mush, as one doctor described it. Their bodies were so oxygen deficient their lungs literally scrub the entire body for O2. Their skin turned blue, cyanotic actually, as the system tries to extrude some oxygen, any oxygen, from the facial skin while their lungs are incapacitated, completely incapable of respiring, literally drowning in their own body fluids. And, even more frightening, it might all happen in just one day, 12 hours or even less in some cases. Before a doctor even began to think about what was ailing his patient, they would be dead. It had become a much more competent killer.
The virus began its resurgence in September, the first wave of the newly mutated Spanish Influenza, when 12,000 Americans died that month alone. But it would get even more deadly the following month, October. October would prove to be more deadly than any singular month with 195-200,000 Americans dying in that month alone. The country would literally run out of caskets; funeral homes had to hire armed guards to provide security for their casket inventory. Pine boxes were provided to households with sick relatives in their homes. They were to put the boxes out on their porches after the person finally gave up the ghost and, reminiscent of the “bring out yer dead” episodes of the Black Death of the 1340’s and 50’s, a flatbed truck would come and pick them up each day. Young boys would call on their friends to find out they “weren’t home” and they should go home and ask their parents where Johnny or Frankie were.
So with all this tragedy and calamity happening all over the country and the world, why are we as a society so quick to drive it from our memories? Listening to the news and hearing the actions being taken by mayors, governors, businesses, etc. and listening to the reports of new cases and new deaths caused by this new Covid-19 virus is very reminiscent of the 1918 Pandemic. One would think that we would know at least some of the steps society should be taking in order to stave off the worst of the epidemic. Moreover, one might think that we should have been much better prepared for such an event; adequate emergency medical supplies, medicines, equipment, doctors, nurses, etc. Instead we seem to much less prepared for even a “routine” epidemic of seasonal influenza. It is said that Trump disbanded the Infectious Disease & Global Health personnel from his National Security Team, writing it off as unnecessary. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told House lawmakers, “It would be nice if the office was still there.” In fact, Trump was not even aware that the flu kills people in the US at all; he commented on this during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA last week. “Who would believe it? Trump was quoted as saying. Still even more puzzling was the fact that his own paternal grandfather died from the influenza in Nov 1918 and Trump seemed completely unaware of it. This is not a suitable characteristic of a successful society.
With scientists, biologists, epidemiologists, and many other professions focused on a “not if, but when” scenario in search of a cure for viral infections for decades now we should be able to expect our leaders to be much better prepared for an outbreak. The recent scrambling and hand-wringing in Washington was a tragic example of the limited vision and reactive nature of our government and their inability to foresee and prepare for such a national and global crisis. In fact, they knew months ago that there was a great possibility of a new strain of virus coming from China and they completely failed to act, at least in the interest of the nation. Some US senators such as Sen Richard Burr did find the time to sell off their stocks and investment instruments that might be negatively affected by such a crises. However, there were no systems in place to bring to bear against a new healthcare crises; no military-style deployment of emergency health services, equipment or medicine anywhere in the country. This can only be seen as a complete failure of leadership, from the top down.
If we couldn’t remember to learn from similar pandemics of the past, we should at least try and learn something from this one. America needs new leaders with new ideas about her needs and logical, rational plans to meet those needs. No where is that more evident than this new Covid-19 crisis.