Monday, November 23, 2020

Hope Springs Eternal: Enduring 2020- Day-By-Day

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 244

Dear Diary,

In a year where some days feel like a week, Americans are exhausted with 38 days left in an what's been a constant stream of major challenges.

The two biggest challenges have been the pandemic, and a corrupt president unwilling to concede he lost the election.

In the waning days both will be front and center.

The fact that we're faced with a sociopath whose probably going to have to be put in a straight jacket and wheeled out of the Oval Office on a handcart on Jan. 20th, 2021, is discouraging to say the least.

Thanks to Trump our highly valued smooth transition of power was violated and continues to be a dicey subject. Welcome to our banana republic. It only took one con man to pull it off.

So how do we handle the twin challenges facing us all this fall and winter?

As for the pandemic all we can do is to slow down the deadly surge. That requires wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, and good hygiene. Vaccines are on the way next year.

The problem is too many Americans are not following CDC guidelines because they see it as a challenge to their personal liberty, or they're Trump followers who universally scorn science. 

The other challenge, the one threatening our democracy, is a demented Donny. He's going to continue with a scorched earth policy designed to hurt the Biden presidency.

I expect the stupidity to last until January. Meanwhile, taking it day-by-day is the answer. In addition, don't spend more than an hour on the news of the day.

I'd go further than that and exclude talking heads on biased news channels. Personally, I watch the nightly news on NBC with Lester Holt and our local news. Total one hour. 

That leaves you the rest of the day to divert from the madness around you. Despite having to avoid public situations, there's numerous alternatives to making your confinement more bearable.

--Try reading a book. It's a lost art getting rediscovered in the Age of COVID-19. 

--Don't forget Zoom, phone calls, texts, emails and snail mail to stay in touch with friends and family.

--Hobbies. Whatever tickles your fantasy. You might even come up with a way to make money and soften your financial burdens.

--Use humor like a shield against the negativity your exposed too. Jokes, comedies and comedians can take you to a happy place.

Enduring 2020 hasn't been easy. Over a quarter of a million Americans have died from the coronavirus thus far with little end in sight.

Our republic has been rocked by a lunatic on the loose in The White House for four years.

But, there's hope. There's always hope. Americans have been through many hard times in the last 240 years, and we're still the United States of America... despite Trump.

Quote for the Day; "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present." --Bill Keane 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

America Will Never Be The Same After Trump and the Pandemic

 Pandemic Diary - Day 243

Dear Diary,

Between the pandemic that's killing 2,000 Americans daily, and a treasonous president who won't except the results of a fair election, America will never be the same.

Age old traditions have been trampled on by Trump and his enablers. Laws have been lynched by his crooked lawyers and cronies in key government positions.

Morality is mocked. Science is scorned. Civility is a casualty. Compromises have been crushed by Trump's authoritarian regime. 

Democracy has never been this close to collapse. If Trump would have won, there was a distinct chance that future generations would be living in a fascist state.  

But Biden won, and Trump melted down trying to reverse the will of the voters with lies that appeal to his QAnon, and extreme right-wing followers.

The country has to endure 59 more days of Trump's terrible tantrums and purging of people disloyal to him, and the lighting of foreign fires to hamper the incoming Biden administrations foreign affairs.

Somehow we'll get through this assault on democracy and Trump will have to go back to being a civilian facing numerous crimes in the year(s) ahead.

It's the pandemic that will have longer lasting effects on America as a whole. Surviving this dark winter is going to be a bigger challenge than anyone alive in the country today has ever faced.

Despite COVID-19 vaccines that are predicted to be available next spring for the majority of Americans, many won't take it for myriad reasons.

Unfortunately, the virus will be around for the foreseeable future. There's hope for mitigating the virus with the arrival of Biden's Health Advisory Team whose decisions will be based in science, not politics like Trump's Coronavirus Task Farce.

Everything we once took for granted, from sports to entertainment, is going to be different. The days of football stadiums with 60,000 cheering fans are gone.

Americans are going to have to accept new norms, like wearing masks, social distancing, and avoiding large indoor gatherings. Holiday traditions are going to have to evolve to accommodate our new reality.

While the challenges are many, I'm confident Americans will meet them and our republic will stand as a beacon of freedom in the world.

Quote for the Day; "Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change." -Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Open Treason: Trump is Trying to Unravel Democracy and Doesn't Care Whose Watching

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 142

Dear Diary,

Reality is dawning on some Republicans, but it's been a long haul. Democrats are losing their patience waiting for Trump to wake up and admit he lost the election. 

Yesterday the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Trump's efforts to persuade Republican officials to reverse election results in key battleground states "borders on Treason.

What we have here is an open season for treason as Trump misuses his office to try and steal an election he lost fair and square.

He believes he's above the law and has demonstrated that throughout the four years of his disastrous reign.

Sure he was impeached, but the Senate let him off the hook in a treasonous display of Trump over country.

Trump and his court clown Rudy Giuliani are busy spreading lies like manure about the election results in swing states.

Their no evidence-based accusations have fallen flatter than pancakes in the courts (over 30 kicked out and counting).

How much longer is Congress going to stand by and watch Trump set fires abroad and at home before taking some action to defend the country?

What's the breaking point where someone finally admits our wannabe emperor has no clothes (or sense)?

It's getting worse by the day.

Republican Mitt Romney tweeted this yesterday;

"Having failed to make even a plausible case of widespread fraud or conspiracy before any court of law, Trump is now openly putting overt pressure on state and local officials to subvert the will of the people and the rule of law."

The consensus among the GOP is that Trump is getting revenge because he doesn't think the Democrats ever thought he was a real president.

In layman's terms, Donny is butt hurt and intends to throw tantrums until he's kicked out of the White House on Jan.20th, 2021. 

Quote for the Day; "Your treason shall be your poison." - Noha Alaa El-Din 

Friday, November 20, 2020

A 2020 Photo Collection: Chaos Characters in America

 Pandemic Diary - Day 141

Dear Diary,

As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," so let's go:

Rudy Giuliani looks skyward with a smile after lying about election results at a press conference held at a landscaping business situated next to a crematorium and an adult book store. 


Trump was last seen crying and throwing a temper tantrum 12 days ago at the White House where he's bunkered up.

He's still tweeting, however.

Trump appointed minion, Chris Miller, was appointed the Acting Defense Secretary when Trump arbitrarily fired Mark Esper for standing up to him. Miller has been tasked with making life hell for Joe Biden abroad. 

Watching Mitch McConnell sell out the country to appease Trump is sickening, but it's his indifference to the millions of Americans who need a stimulus relief bill that will earn him a permanent spot in the Hall of Shame.

General Services Administration chief Emily Murphy has refused to authorize the transition process for president-elect Joe Biden because Trump won't let her, and she doesn't have enough moral rectitude to do her job legally.

One of the biggest hypocrites on Capitol Hill is Lindsey Graham. He's been calling secretary of states in Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona, to get them to throw out legal votes for Biden. When confronted, he lied about the conversations claiming he did nothing wrong. 

Trump's chief ass wipe, Mark Meadows, got out of quarantine and holed up in the White House bunker with Trump. His job has boiled down to keeping Donny from hurting himself as he rages through the near-empty White House ranting he won the election.

                               Fleeting Images









Quote for the Day; "A photograph is a moral decision taken in one eighth of a second." -Salman Rushdie 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Loser Trump Checks Out On COVID-19 Surge

 
Pandemic Diary - Day 340

Dear Diary,

Thanks to Bob Woodward's book, Rage, we know that Trump checked out on the coronavirus in January when he thought it was going to hurt the economy.

For a while he pretended to be concerned about the pandemic and set up a Coronavirus Task Force to combat it.

He even appeared daily with health briefings (thinly disguised bullshit sessions) on the progress HE was making to save the country.

The briefings faded away when his advisors convinced him he needed to move on after recommending bleach injections to cure the virus.

When it became apparent that healthcare officials wouldn't pass on the false information Trump wanted he attacked them. Then shut them up. Then he hired a quack off of Fox News to head up the new farce force.

With the country consumed with a growing healthcare crisis spiraling out of control Trump turned ALL of his attention towards getting re-elected.

After losing the election he claimed it was rigged. He's still playing out his fantasies that would overturn the results of one of the safest elections ever held.

What bothers me is that it seems like no one can stop from him from purging the Pentagon and other government agencies of people he thinks are disloyal to him.

Worse, he's looking abroad to start trouble. Ordering troops to summarily come home from Afghanistan and Iraq was a reckless move that no one in the military, and the intelligence community, wanted to see happen.

Republicans in Congress are holding their breath waiting for reality to sink into Trump's tiny brain. They're afraid to acknowledge Joe Biden won because they fear Trump and his base.

The result was predictable. The nation's on hold while Trump bounces around in the White House bunker in a childish rage against reality.

Until January 20th rolls around the chaos will continue.

Quote for the Day; "I don't like losers." -Donald Trump 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

From Russia With Love: Putin Puppet Trump Praised for Election Interference

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 339

Dear Diary,

I've obtained a copy of a secret letter from a source that shall remain unnamed (dated 11-7-20) from V. Putin to D. Trump, that I'm sharing with you today. Don't tell anyone okay?

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

Greetings from Moscow (future home of Trump Tower) to our favorite wannabee dictator Donald J. Trump

From the Desk of President Putin;

Dear Donnie  -may I continue to call you that in the years to come? - you have earned my highest praise for your efforts in the last four years of your presidency for chipping away at the laws and other foundations of freedom in America.

Your constant attacks against the Constitution and the judiciary systems, have instilled confusion in many people's minds... to my absolute delight!

Your ability to divide the nation has resulted in chaos at home, and abroad with America's allies. The world is laughing (but fearful) at what's been happening in the so-called "Land of the Free."

I have to say I'm particularly thrilled to see your scorched earth policies and actions during your last days in power. Backing US troops out of Afghanistan is a masterstroke of treachery that gives me goose bumps!

You have been such a loyal lackey I have commissioned a special medal for you featuring two lovely women pissing on you.

You know I never forgot that moment (my heart still skips a beat!) when my secret police informed me we had some serious leverage against a presidential candidate. 

My agents told me you readily agreed to sell your country out when they showed you the film of your little escapade with a couple of prostitutes' in Moscow when you brought the Miss Universe Beauty Contest to our fair city. 

Like I promised back then, you were elected, and the rest is history. Again, Congratulations for a job well done comrade! See you soon. Unless you go to prison first.

Still your master, Vladimir Putin

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

Quote for the Day: "A traitor leader is the outcome of a fool nation." -M.F.Moonzajer

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Where will Trumplicans Go After Administration Purge on Jan. 21st?

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 338

Dear Diary,

The cleansing is coming.

After thoroughly disinfecting and fumigating the White House in January when Trump's gone, there's going to be a lot of unemployed Trump supporters.

It's true that there's still Trump parasites in Congress and others who are burrowed into some key positions in government agencies... like The Pentagon.

While it'll take voters to cleanse Congress, the rest of the Trump trolls submerged in the system will eventually be rooted out.

So where will Donny and his ragtag cult members go after being purged from the government?

My first guess is some will find fame (notoriety) on right-wing TV and websites continuing to serve orange Kool aid to all who'll listen.

I think it's safe to say some will end up in jail.

As a matter of fact, Trump's fat ass could end up behind bars if the two criminal AG cases against him in New York are successfully prosecuted.

I have to pause here. It feels so good to think about that very real possibility.

More likely, Trump will continue to rip off his gullible supporters by having them send money to his most recent PAC, giving him and the family a piggybank to ruthlessly raid (remember the Trump Foundation charity rip off?).

Moving on, I suspect there will also be Trumplicans who won't find safe harbor anywhere in the big business world again.

They'll have to settle for minimum wage jobs like cleaning toilets' in Trump-owned hotels.

But there's one more thing...

Those GOP members of the House and the Senate who got booted out (or retired) after the election will have to face their legacies.

History will not be kind to them for enabling corruption while slavishly following a sociopath who did everything he could to undermine our democracy.

I wouldn't bet on it, but there might be a few Trumplicans who repent for their crimes against America and go on to do some good in society.

Quote for the Day; "Guilt and fear are a kind of rot. It spreads unless it's cleaned. And there's only one way to do that." -Lee Goldberg 

Monday, November 16, 2020

Who Could Have Predicted? People Who Don't Believe in Science in the 21st Century

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 337

Dear Diary,

I remember when The Jetson's (Sept.1962-March 1963) were one of the hottest cartoons on TV.

Characters traveled in flying cars and lived in floating homes. The futuristic inventions in each episode were part of the fun for children and adults alike.

I was five years-old when I first went to Disneyland in 1955. "Tomorrowland" was the last land to be finished in the park and was only partly open. It represented the future in the year 1986.

Tomorrowland's showpiece was The Moonliner, the tallest structure in the park at the time. I was starry-eyed with wonder at the thought of flying to the moon.

Space and science were cool when I was in high school. The movies of that era reflect that:

Last Man On Earth (1964). Night Caller from Outer Space (1965). Cyborg 2087 (1966). The Andromeda Nebula (1967). 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). 

Science fiction has always fed off of real science which has made it all the more popular. People loved science back then. Scientists were respected in the society.

The important thing was people knew the difference between science and fiction

In an unimaginably ironic twist millions of Americans today - in the 21st century - question the validity of science when we are at the very peak of technology and scientific breakthroughs on multiple fronts.

The president of our country doesn't believe in science and famously stated "...the experts don't know what their talking about" in reference to climate change.

Growing up and in the ensuing decades, I've always given science its due. To see a generation of conspiracy theories supplanting science seems like a scary movie in progress.

I'll be glad when the curtains come down on the science-deniers, and the lights come back on.

Quote for the Day: "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. I'm not sure about the universe." -Albert Einstein

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Nothing Is Ever Going To Be The Same - We're Just Going To Have To Move On

 

Pandemic Diary - Day 336

Dear Diary,

No home for the holidays this season. 

The pandemic that's surging through the country has no respect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Hanukkah.

Family gatherings have become COVID-19 spreader events from coast-to-coast. Healthcare officials are pleading with families to scale down on their gatherings this fall.

Until there's a vaccine for the virus it's going to regulate how we live, like it, or not. Wearing face masks is not some passing fad, it's become the new normal in America in an effort to contain the virus.

Healthcare professionals are suggesting a vaccine won't be available to the majority of Americans until next fall. If then. When it does become available only half of Americans say they will get it.

The bottom line is everyone is going to have to adjust to a brave new world with restrictions on our most beloved activities. From live entertainment to sports stadiums with 40,000 fans (or more), human interaction on a large scale is a thing of the past.

Hugging and shaking hands with strangers in public is no longer proper etiquette - if you believe in science and the reality of what's happening around you.

There will always be people who will resist wearing face masks and not go along with public safety measures. I suspect their numbers will dwindle in the coming years.

As for the rest of us, we need to learn how to make the best of our new reality. There's always hope for better days if we're united in our efforts to survive.

Our traditions and celebrations will have to conform to these uncomfortable realities and make them more palatable. Adapting to our environment is also necessary if we want to be happy. That's one thing all Americans can do to improve their lives. 

We're a social species that will find workarounds to stay in touch with one another and to thrive once again some day.

Quote for the Day: "Adapt to your surrounding but remain flexible for growing." --Ashley Porter

Friday, November 13, 2020

You Know It's 2020 When Charles Koch Congratulates Biden and Says He Looks Forward to 'Working With Him"

 Pandemic Diary - Day 335

Dear Diary,

Historians will someday agree that 2020 was a unique year full of challenges without comparison.

The year started off with the whole West Coast on fire, and a deadly pandemic that swept through the country taking lives in record numbers.

In an effort to stop the spread the nation had to shut down causing economic hardships not seen since the Great Depression.

Despite knowing how deadly the coronavirus was in early January, Trump downplayed the "Kung Fu Virus" and mocked masks when healthcare professionals cautioned they were vital (along with other advise) in stopping the spread.   

Trump was impeached in February. Farmers were getting massive government bailouts because of Trump's war with China.

The centerpiece of this year was the presidential election.

Democracy was shaken to the core as an out-of-control Trump tried to steal the election by whatever means were available to him.

Trump appointed a minion to slow down the USPS as part of his effort to discredit mail-in voting. He hired a legion of lawyers to file frivolous lawsuits in every swing state he was losing in. All were rejected.

When Biden was declared the winner on November 7th, Trump locked himself in the White House bunker and refused to concede to reality.

As Trump was going through the first of five stages of grief - denial - GOP leaders put their blinders on and pretended he didn't lose. Some are still pretending. Some have chosen to recognize reality.

Amidst all the tribalism I've seen this year something stunned me yesterday. 

Charles Koch (and democratic boogeyman) not only congratulated Biden on his victory, but he said he looked forward to working with him (!) to restore protection for "Dreamers," enacting policing reform that addresses systemic racism, and rolling back Trump's tariffs.

I know, I shouldn't be surprised by anything. It's 2020 after all.

Quote for the Day: "No one is exempt from the surprises of life." -Mehmet Murat ildan