Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 113: Trump: The 'Dog Whistler' Whisperer

Dear Diary,

A divisive re-tweet here, and racist rant there.

Trump has emerged as the ultimate Dog Whistler Whisperer in America. Even his white supremacist buddy/senior adviser, Stephen Miller, can't compete with Trump's constant conspiracies' and dog whistles to the fringe elements in our society.

His dogged devotion to the Confederacy conflates with reality: this is the 21st century - not the "good old days" when a outspoken racist, George Wallace, ran for president openly using the hate blacks platform.

This year, Americans are participating in a massive societal change geared towards equality for all. Not just for whites. It's a messy process in the middle of a pandemic, but it continues to move forward.

Trump thinks this is 2016. His greatest dog whistle (the one that made him infamous) was about President Obama's fake birth certificate. It was the fuel that vaulted him ahead of his GOP opponents, lighting the fires of racism throughout the country when we were most vulnerable. He's hoping it'll work again in 2020.

It's apparent that he can't make the transition from throwing fireballs in the Twittersphere to actually leading the country towards unification. The polls will prove that hypothesis in November. My confidence may reek of desperation, but I do have hope for this great nation.

                   On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

Portland is Paralyzed
(July 4th riot in downtown Portland. Photo by Beth Nakamura)
The shit storm in Portland has to stop at some point. 

After 40 continuous days of rioting and vandalism, it's no longer about George Floyd, social justice, or police reform. Anarchists and other trouble makers have been showing up when the sun goes down and causing havoc every night.

Those who used fireworks and rocks against the police are taking away from the main reasons of the protests. Like state senator Avel Gordly, a Portland resident who was the first Black woman elected to Oregon's Senate, said...

"Their (the rioters) destructive and chaotic behavior defines the meaning of white privilege; their total disregard for people, property, and the law embodies entitlement."

I'll expand on that. Most of the arrests for violence and vandalism were white guys. Not the black and white people who paraded during the day for justice. Just bitter and destructive assholes who don't fit in society.

Worse, there doesn't seem to be enough leadership in the right places to bring about a peaceful ending to this standoff. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler pleads with the people to "stop the violence," every day, but is afraid to actually do anything about it because of the heat his police department is already under with multiple investigations of police brutality.

That leaves the city of Portland paralyzed by politics and the pandemic.

Quote for the Day; "We have learned to see racism in the spittle-laced epithets of the angry bigot. We must also learn to see racism in the coded racial entreaties promoted by calculating demagogues." -Ian Haney Lopez

Monday, July 6, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 112: Surviving the Pandemic and Trump

Dear Diary,

It's obvious that the only way to properly deal with the coronavirus is through science.

Unfortunately, we have a president who doesn't give a shit about science, and who has declared (on July 4th) 99 percent of the virus is no longer lethal.   

Despite the recent surges of confirmed coronavirus cases in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona, and several other states, Trump is forging ahead with his deadly new directive, "Get over it. Just live with it."

My biggest concern is Americans are going to have to survive COVID-19 outbreaks for at least another year, because face masks have become political statements.

It's really embarrassing to see we're the only country in the world that can't handle wearing face masks to save it's citizen's lives. How stupid is that?

As long as Republicans continue to genuflect and kiss Trump's ass by not wearing face masks in a show of lemming loyalty, the virus is going to have it's way throughout the country. 

The only thing that encourages me a little bit, is lately top Republicans are advising people to WEAR face masks and listen to healthcare professionals warnings. This split from Trump's position on masks signals some of them realize they're not going to get re-elected with magical thinking like his.

I'm enjoying watching some Republican governors squirm like worms as their states are exploding with new virus cases after re-opening too early.

Florida Gov. DeSantis had to eat crow this last week while his state reached higher daily COVID-19 cases than New York experienced at the height of the virus there. It was just a few weeks ago when DeSantis was telling his critics how much better Florida handled the virus than New York, and that's why it was time to open up. Ouch!

Texas Gov. Abbott has been eating his fair share of crow as he's been forced to back up from his premature re-opening and close down bars and other businesses and ask people to stay home.

It must have been really galling for a Trump puppet like Abbott who was forced by reality to order people to wear face masks indoor and outside, after ignoring pleas from mayors throughout the state for months to do just that.

The virus doesn't give a damn about politics. Someone stupid enough to put ideology before their own safety deserves to be culled from the herd. It's similar to natural selection.

Those of us that believe in science have a greater chance of surviving this pandemic than Trump and his devoted minions. Thinking about that makes my day a little better.

                  On the Homefront-Medford, Oregon
Police arrested seven men on the central Oregon coast on July 4th after a racist incident during a celebration on the beach.
(Taft Beach where the incident happened. Photo by John M. Vincent/The Oregonian)
Lincoln City police said the men were part of a group of 10 white people from Clark County, Washington, who had been harassing a black family by yelling racial slurs and using NAZI salutes to intimidate them. 

When officers responded to the situation they had to form a barricade between the group and the family to get them away safely. The group - who police said were "highly intoxicated" - then began taunting the officers.

Members of the group were charged with; rioting, interfering with the police, disorderly conduct, harassment, offensive littering, and illegal fireworks procession.

Another 4th of July in Trump's Amerika with the most divisive president in American history.

Quote for the Day; 

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 111: GOP Message 'Just Live With It' is Insulting and Dangerous

Dear Diary,

The Republican party's final surrender to Trump and the coronavirus is complete. 

Proof: Trump and minions are now messaging a new approach to their losing battle against COVID-19...

"Just live with it."

A real catchy slogan if you ask me. This abdication of safety is the final glass of Kool aid for Trump's minions. Drink, or sink. It's a desperate time for Republican's running for office this November.

This new message, or tactic, is doomed no matter how you look at it. 

Trump is literally asking his supporters to ignore reality and act like the virus is a bug that will magically disappear one day. If they're devoted Trumplicans they won't mind risking their lives (and their loved ones and friends) to re-elect the worst president in American history.

The Trump re-election campaign and the Republican cowards in Congress are going to have a hard time convincing people everything is alright while the coronavirus death toll surpasses 130,000 and counting.

It's a tough sell when the whole country is fighting outbreaks from coast-to-coast and when over 50,000 Americans are testing positive for COVID-19 daily.

By having super spreader events like Tulsa and 4th of July at Mt. Rushmore, the Republicans are insuring the virus won't go away anytime soon.

The planned Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, Florida, promises to be another super spreader event where masks won't be required. 

I suppose that's why I'm puzzled. How can anyone with common sense follow our wannabe dictator to death's door just to get his orange ass re-elected?

It's scary. It's a cult. Trump followers deny science for the sake of racist ideology. He's a serial liar and world class narcissist intent on rolling back America's standing in the international community.

The good news? The moron is going to lose by a landslide in November according to a majority of political pundits (from both parties) and sociologists. It's what keeps me going through these dark days.

                 On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
(Local officers walking through a homeless campground near the Medford Railroad Park last week. Photo by Jamie Lusch/Mail Tribune)
Homeless in Medford
Despite objections from Cascade Christian School, Medford City Council voted to approve an urban camp ground for homeless people near Biddle Road.

It's going to be a temporary campground and will help improve some of the issues associated with people camping along the Bear Creek Greenway.

Both the Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Medford police will provide a strong presence there according to the plans.

Quote for the Day; "In the rough-and-tumble play of politics, dog-whistle messages are copiously dispatched over the heads of the grassroots people that cannot see the writing on the wall and have to remain in the cold, like dumb puppets on a string." -Erik Pevernagie 

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 110: AG Barr: The Second Most Dangerous Man in America

Dear Diary,

Without question, Trump is the most dangerous man in America (arguably the planet).

The second most dangerous man in America is AG Bill Barr, whose slavish devotion to Trump the Divider is demonstrated daily.

Much of what Trump has gotten away with can be traced to Barr's assistance in subverting laws and norms in Washington. The fact that Barr believes in an imperial presidency has forged their relationship in a sea of lies corruption.

In one of his most recent assaults on justice, Barr forced the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan to resign so he could put Trump's golfing buddy in charge.

It gets worse. Geoffrey Berman, the man Barr rooted out of his position as a U.S. Attorney was handling some sensitive cases involving Trump and two of his favorite puppets, Rudy Giuliani, and Roger Stone.

Just another clear case of Barr carrying Trump's water. He is the orange ape's fixer, and has been since getting confirmed on a partisan vote.

Update: Berman will be testifying next week (July 9th) before the House Judiciary Committee about why he was forced out. It's too bad that it's a closed-door interview. I would have liked to hear that exchange.

Further on down the road, on July 28th, Barr's fat ass is scheduled to appear before that same House Judiciary Committee. This hearing will come on the heels of two Justice Department prosecutors testifying about illegal interference in sensitive cases, including in the prosecution of Roger Stone.

My guess is Barr will stonewall Congress again. Just like last time, which was a total farce and a waste of everyone's time.

              On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

  Canceling 4th of July 
Health officials said that Oregonians should "absolutely" cancel 4th of July plans because of the surge of coronavirus cases.

There's been 375 new cases overnight, a record for the second day in a row. The state's positivity rate is 4.6 percent and climbing. We now have nearly 10,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 209 deaths. Like the rest of the country were going the wrong way... up!

Quote for the Day; "The most dangerous, poisonous and ferocious animals are humans." -Amit Abraham

Friday, July 3, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 109: Whose Going to Take the Blame? Trump Certainly Won't

Dear Diary,

Yesterday morning the so-called "Gang of Eight" in Congress met for a classified hearing on Russia putting bounties on American servicemen and women in Afghanistan.

No one walked out of that briefing smiling. Republicans and Democrats were concerned about what they heard. More information has come out today further verifying money transactions between the Taliban and Russian GRU goons. Money handlers who acted as middlemen have been identified.

The question is, what the hell is congress going to do about it?

As they debate taking action, Trump is probably spending his time on voter suppression tactics using Russian help!

If it's true that Trump wasn't briefed on such an incendiary subject then the rumors are true - his minions were afraid to tell him anything bad about Putin and Russia. Why?

Like Nancy Pelosi has said repeatedly, "With Trump, all roads point to Putin."  After three and a half years nothing has changed; Putin must have something on Trump. It's the only explanation for him taking Putin's word over his own intelligence community repeatedly.

I'm hoping that we find out who was behind shielding Trump from unpleasant news about his dictator buddies. I suspect more than one person was involved. News reports state the CIA agent that brought Trump his daily reports may be a sacrificial lamb in this drama. 

Somebody has to take some blame. I know Trump won't. I also wouldn't be surprised if the bastard has known about this hit list against our military since last year when intelligence reports were trickling in.
            On the Homefront - Medford Oregon

                             This is a screen shot by the store surveillance camera.
"Bad Boys! Bad boys! What cha going to do when they come get you?"

The photo above is one embarrassing moment for local cops.
Not one of the officers is wearing a face mask...despite the governor's mandate to wear them inside and out. Moments after this photo was taken, three more officer's walked in with no face masks on.

The interchange between the store's assistant manager and the first cop who walked in (shown above) without a face mask was stunning! He told the trooper that he needed to wear a mask. What came next really blew my mind...

"Governor Brown has no authority to take away our civil liberties. We aren't going to wear face masks," he shot back at the assistant manager. The idiot trooper then placed his order and said, "Fuck, Kate Brown!"

Sure glad this was recorded with good audio. This incident came the day the face mask mandate went out.

It's this kind of ignorance that is causing the current wave of COVID-19 spread across the nation. The asshole was worried about his civil liberties while taking others rights away to live safely by possibly infecting them.

How the fuck are we going to get through this pandemic with morons like this everywhere???

Quote for the Day; "The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions." Dwight Eisenhower

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 108: 'Lock Trump Up!' He's a Clear and Present Danger

Dear Diary,

On some days, I pretend that the chaos happening in this country and worldwide, is a movie.

That, whenever I want, I can fast- forward to reality and escape this current surreal phase featuring a killer pandemic.

Watching Trump meltdown daily is a damn scary situation knowing the increasing pressure is costing American lives. When Trump said the virus will just "go away like magic" again yesterday, I recalled that same magic thinking (and statement) that he made in March, I was convinced he's overwhelmed.

The con man is getting his ass kicked by COVID-19. He just can't make it go away. No more than he can make the sinking opinion polls suddenly spike up with a grand reopening of the country with surging coronavirus cases.  

His total disregard of American lives extends to the military. American veterans are furious and for good reason - Trump committed treason! 

He knew there was a bounty placed on the heads of Americans serving in Afghanistan, by Russia but chose to take no action.

Not even a "bad boy" call to Putin whose GRU was working with the Taliban on targeting American servicemen and women. 

I read the report that the Pentagon submitted to Congress yesterday. There's no doubt our intelligence agencies have been aware of the controversial bounties since May of 2019.

Trump was also notified, although he's claiming he didn't know anything until a few days ago! A blatant lie as we'll see as more evidence to the contrary unfolds. The "Gang of Eight" is holding a classified briefing today to get to the truth of the matter.

If Trump didn't know something of this magnitude, there must have been numerous breakdowns throughout the intelligence community for over a year. The fact that the bounty story was on a daily briefing report to him is evidence that either...

One - He didn't read his briefing that day - which would be a dereliction of duty. It would also confirm he never reads the vital briefs, and only a good dog and pony show held his limited attention.
Two - He was aware the Taliban were working with the Russians, but chose not to do anything about it. In other words, treason!

In this crazy world we live in, some people will make excuses for Cadet Bonespurs, and even say he's a great leader. History will document those jerks in his cabinet and appointed positions throughout his corrupt government as enablers of the worst president in American history.

I really wish this was all a movie, and Trump would be stopped before causing any more harm to American lives and to our democracy. Sadly, it's not.

The reality is Americans must all stand up to Trump and his minions on the down ballot when they vote in four months. Until then, he's a clear and present danger to Americans, and the world.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
                                 Ultimatum Given!
Gov. Kate Brown says "Wear masks or businesses may close and schools might not open."

**People planning on flying at Medford Airport have been warned that the main carrier - Alaska - is telling passengers to wear masks, or they'll be banned from flying.

**Coronavirus cases among Oregon children younger than 10 grew fivefold during the month of June, representing the fastest growth rate of new or presumed infections across any age range.

Healthcare experts suspect child daycare centers are a large part of the current spike. Bad news for parents who were just starting to return to work!

Quote for the Day; "The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger - but recognize the opportunity." -John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 107: Will Trump Get Away With Colluding with Putin...Again?

Dear Diary,

Where to start?

Trump or the pandemic? Both are imminent threats to Americans. 

The coronavirus never went anywhere despite Trump's crazy claims. That's pretty obvious with 40,000 new infections daily; a higher count that when the virus struck in March.

Trump is able to call the virus vile racist names like Kung Flu all day, but when it comes to protecting Americans he's surrendered to COVID-19. He currently spends his time avoiding any responsibility for the growing death count across the nation.

Then there's the threat Trump ignored. Russia offered bounties on American soldiers and he was briefed about that in February. That's how long the information has been available and he hasn't done a damn thing about it. Other than try to conceal it.

He initially said he didn't get a briefing on the threat to American men and woman serving in Afghanistan, and when facts destroyed that lie, his cronies defended him and said he didn't read the briefing the day it was submitted.

After listening to past intelligence officials and past cabinet members admit Trump does NOT read daily briefings, and precious little else, we know the only briefings he pays attention to are SHORT oral briefings accompanied with some graphics to keep him focused. 


that's no excuse!

If our intelligence agencies failed to orally brief Trump then there's a reason. Perhaps they were afraid to? Putin is Trump's buddy. That's common knowledge worldwide.

Then there's the very real possibility Trump was informed and clamped down ( like he's done in other similar situations) on the information; but the story still leaked out. Republicans and Democrats are outraged, but it remains to be seen what actions will be taken.

Democrats weren't even briefed until yesterday, days after the story broke and Republicans were already briefed.

Meanwhile our science denying idiot-in-charge continues to resist face masks and other measures that could save people's lives.

I wonder what will come of this damning Russian bounty story? Will Trump get away with colluding with Putin again? Or, will Congress take action? 

                 On the Homefront - Medford Oregon
Oregonians are in a dangerous position going into the 4th of July weekend as coronavirus cases continue to increase. 

Memorial Day caused what we're seeing now, and if Oregonians don't practice safe distancing and wear face masks...it will only get worse in the coming weeks.

Quote for the Day; "Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It's self-defense. It's patriotism." -Joe Biden

Monday, June 29, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 106: 'Houston...We Have a Problem and It's Not Just You, It's the Whole Country'

Dear Diary,

Houston, Texas, is well on it's way to being the new epicenter for the pandemic in the United States.

That message was conveyed by Republican Rep. Pete Olson. He warned the House Energy and Commerce committee that at the current trajectory in Houston the city was on pace to be one of the worst affected cities in the nation.

I remember when the pandemic was first recognized and people were panic-buying toilet paper and paper towels. In a sign of just how bad it is in Houston today; there's now a limit on how much toilet paper and paper towels can be purchased at one time.

Olson admitted, "It's damn scary."

What's also damn scary is the pandemic has ramped up - thanks to reopening too soon on Memorial Day - and 46 states are watching COVID-19 cases rise.

With no central leadership against the virus, America is losing the battle daily, with no end in sight. Trump refuses to take the pandemic seriously and goes against what his own CDC recommends. Like wearing face masks.

Republican governors that followed Trump's lead on opening practically everything, are now faced with slapping restrictions on their states and possibly closing down again. Science denier, and Trump puppet, Florida governor Ron DeSantis is having trouble concealing how badly infected the state is.

His only excuse is that young people went to bars and beaches without social distancing. What the hell did he think young people were going to do after been released from shut-down orders? The problem with the bars could have been lessened with enforcing proper safety precautions.

But no one wore masks and they crowded together like mice in cages. No state mandate added to the fuel that caused the fire that's spreading across Florida right now.

Healthcare experts know things will get worse because we're not responding correctly. Dr. Fauci made that clear yesterday during a CNN interview.

The only hope the country has is that individual governors - in particular Republicans who've been following Trump like sheep - will quit be intimated by him in favor of saving their constituents lives. 

That is to say if the governors start going by science instead of rhetoric, there's still hope.

                       On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
As an old hippie I find it amazing that the things they use to lock people up for - marijuana and now magic mushrooms, are being accepted in mainstream America.
(AP Photo by Peter Dejong)
There's an Oregon ballot measure to legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings. Organizers say they already have enough signed petitions and believe it will appear on the November ballot.

**Oregon hits 3rd consecutive day of more than 200 new coronavirus cases. The most recent health report says there's been a total of 8,423 confirmed novel coronavirus cases, and 202 deaths from the virus.   

Quote for the Day; "Every solution to every problem is simple. It's the distance between the two where the mystery lies." -Derek Landy

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 105: Denying the Truth is Not an Ideology - It's the Failure to Face Reality

Dear Diary,

For a moment I thought Texas was doing so good after listening to Gov. Abbot and Mike Pence at a press conference yesterday, I wanted to clap in appreciation.

Then reality kicked in. It was a dog and pony show that tried to overshadow what's really happening in Texas. The state has become the epicenter of COVID-19 outbreaks, with Arizona and Florida not far behind.

While Texas was setting a record for coronavirus-related hospitalizations for 17 days in a row, Pence and Gov. Abbot congratulated each other on what a great job they were doing to contain the pandemic. 

Even though the positivity rates of the infection went from 4 percent to 13 percent in three weeks, Pence praised everyone in the meeting for what a good job they were all doing. 

What Pence and Abbot were doing were denying the facts all around them and blowing smoke up the public's collective ass! Everyone attached to Trump's version of an ideology is simply failing to face reality.

There's no room for truth on Trump's crazy train. You have to believe he's the second coming of Jesus Christ who'll lead America to greater heights. You also have to believe it's okay for him to walk down 5th Avenue in New York and kill someone without any consequences.

Trumpism is an infection. Like COVID-19, or Cancer. Not an ideology. There's no political strategy involved when it comes to appealing to his hardcore base. He uses fear and racism, reaching out to the worst elements of our society to help contribute to the chaos.

The Republican Party has abdicated it's conservative values in favor of Trumpism. Trump's GOP enablers have shed any semblance of conservative ideology in their pursuit of power.

I would note here that Trump's inability to see that he's out-of-step with most of the country and reality will contribute to his defeat in November.

                  On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
      Taking Turns
Shirley often finds herself surrounded by our animals when it comes to sharing food.

I love the way the cats and dogs get along. Such manners. They're better than human beings in oh so many ways.

The black cat, Ollie, is blind but it doesn't seem to inhibit him at all. He holds his own in the chow line and when it comes to playing. 

**COVID stats - We're breaking the wrong kind of records in Oregon right now. For the third day in a row there's been 200 reported cases of the coronavirus. Not the kind of stat you want to brag about.

Last count, we have 8,541 cases of confirmed novel coronavirus cases with a total of 202 fatalities from the virus. Part of our problem is that contact tracers (we currently have 600) have not been able to identify the sources of an unsettling percentage of new cases: one-third statewide.

It's starting to feel like this pandemic will never go away.

Quote for the Day; "Truth cannot be constructed. To live in ideology is, as Havel so eloquently reminds us, inevitably to live in a lie. Truth cannot be revealed. We cannot be creators, only receptors." - James W. Sire

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Pandemic Diary- Day 104: Foiled Again! Trump Caught Playing Golf When Said He Wasn't Going To

 AP Photo by Alex Brandon -    Trump motorcade going through the gates of  Trump National Golf Club Saturday in Sterling, Virginia 

Dear Diary,

Only someone with utter contempt for reality would avoid it as much as Trump does. Documenting his lies have become a national pastime. 

Americans can see he's delusional about claiming victory over the pandemic. One thing that has not changed is Trump has to get his golf time in.

During a devastating surge of COVID-19 cases in the last week which has surpassed infection records set in April and May, Trump was seen waddling around in his little golfing outfit (white polo shirt and red MAGA hat)) on Saturday...the day after he said he would stay in Washington DC to "make sure law and order is enforced" amid ongoing anti-racism protests.

I can't help remembering when Trump campaigned on how much Obama golfed during his two terms. I looked it up and discovered President Barack Obama golfed 333 rounds during his entire presidency.

Trump has golfed 271 days in three-and-a-half years, or once every 5 days. Twice as much as Obama. Once again reality has a way of overtaking Trump's lying ass and slapping him in his orange mug.

The day of the visit to his private golf course came as the number of new coronavirus cases per day hit an all-time high of 40,000!

The only place Trump is comfortable is on the golf course - one of his of course - where he can totally control his environment. He cheats shamelessly, knowing most people won't call him on it. It's a magical piece of real estate where he makes hole-in-ones all the time. 

Which reminds me of a story about North Korea's dictator Kim who apparently also likes to golf. His state-controlled media once told a tale where Kim aced a perfect round! Nothing, but holes-in-ones! 

I'm not sure who is more corrupt, or a bigger liar; Trump, or Kim? It's a toss up.

                   On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
The number of coronavirus cases in Oregon hit their second highest daily mark since the COVID-19 pandemic began months ago: 250 infections.

The biggest outbreaks have been coming from churches. There was a church in Northeast Oregon's Union County last week that accounted for 278 confirmed coronavirus cases.

There's been 7,818 total confirmed coronavirus cases and the death count is up to 202. The most troubling news is the healthcare experts forecast showing "alarming" growth in future infections. "Exponential growth" is predicted by mid July.

It's a scary model that suggests Oregon could see anywhere from 910 new daily infections to an astounding 5,030 a day by July 16th, depending upon the level of spread.

Quote for the Day, "A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself." -Daniel Wallace