Saturday, September 26, 2020

Stay Calm: Don't Play Trump's Game and Give Up Now

Pandemic Diary

Day 195

Dear Diary,

Election experts and lawyers saw it coming for months.

Republicans were filing lawsuits disenfranchising voters and suppressing their vote in so-called swing states. 

But what really worried them was Trump's assault against the United States Postal Service.

With 30-days to go before election day, Trump has managed to create voter confusion throughout the nation. States are fighting off Trump's attempts to slow down the USPS. Striking back, two federal judges ordered state ballots to be prioritized in November.

This insidious game is going to greater links every day, reflecting Trump's desperation. 

When FBI Director Wray testified there was no evidence of mass mail fraud or cheating anywhere in America, Trump exploded. 

His chief of staff (and professional ass wipe) Mark Meadows mocked Wray saying he couldn't find emails in his own FBI, let alone figure out whether there's any kind of voter fraud. It amazes me how low this idiot will go.

His complete lack of respect is par for the course for Trump lackeys. Speaking of lackeys, Trump had Barr look into an alleged mail fraud case based upon a suspicious circumstance where nine military ballots were found discarded in a northeastern Pennsylvania county.

It was apparent he was hoping for a major scandal but was sorely disappointed to hear the ballots were actually "incorrectly" tossed by as temporary seasonal independent contractor who started work sorting mail at the Elections Bureau. He threw out a small number of military and overseas ballots.

The county elections director found out what happened two days later, and had all the trash from the three-day period "placed in a dumpster and secured."  For the record, the temp lost his job.

The distractions don't stop there. Trump has thrown out the best scientists in the country and is telling America to ignore their expert advise and to just go about their business while the pandemic kills more than 1,000 Americans daily. 

Meanwhile he's shoving through a confirmation for a new Supreme Court justice before election day despite the majority of Americans (71 percent) who think the winner of the election should make that important pick. 

There's more distractions on the way. But, we can't let them take our eyes off the prize... a massive blue wave drowning out Trump and his minions. 

It'll cleanse our government, restore civility, sanity, traditions, broken laws, and the rest of the damage Trump's toxic regime has wrought upon this nation.

Quote for the Day: "There's a difference between playing and playing games. The former is an act of joy, the latter-an act." -Vera Nazarian

Thursday, September 24, 2020

No More Pretense: Trump Intends To Destroy Democracy and Embrace Authoritarian Regime

Trump's most fervent dream is to be among the pantheon of former and current world dictators. He's counting on qualifying this November.

Pandemic Diary

Day 194

Dear Diary,

If you are living in America today, you're facing the biggest crisis to ever happen to the republic. America's fate will be decided on November 3rd... or not!

The founders of this country are turning over in their graves wondering how one con man can come so close to destroying everything they helped create - the United States of America. Equality for all. Justice for all. And, above all, making sure the nation never has a king (the equivalent of a dictator for life).

At this point in Trump's presidency, he feels empowered to violate laws and rules with impunity. No one has been able to stop him since he was impeached for seeking foreign help in an effort to discredit his political opponent Joe Biden. 

Trump didn't pull off this extraordinary coup against our democratic system alone. His enablers in the Republican-controlled Senate are complicit. Without those GOP senators help, we wouldn't be wondering if there's going to be a peaceful transition of power right now.

Because of a spineless senator majority, Americans are wondering if their mail-in votes will be counted. Republican propaganda and voter suppression efforts have caused confusion among voters in many states. With Trump mega donor Postmaster DeJoy in charge, the USPS (and Congress) has been fighting against efforts to slow down the system before election day.

This kind of blatant obstruction of the upcoming election tells me that Trump is confident he's going to get away with his power grab. As long as the jellyfish in the senate stick together he has a slim chance of doing just that.

It's not enough to just win this election. 

Democrats have to turn out at the polls, and the mail, in historic numbers. The landslide has to be so apparent in the first 48 hours it'll defuse the avalanche of lawsuits GOP operatives are going to launch. Trump has made it clear he's not going to accept Biden's win, possibly setting the stage for the ugliest court fights ever witnessed in our judicial systems.

Democracy is at stake. So are lives. American's are living during a pandemic without leadership. Instead, we have a corrupt president whose only goal is to get re-elected. His disbelief in science, and safety recommendations from the USAs most prestigious healthcare professionals, make him more dangerous.

Freedom in America faces its biggest challenge yet. Not from an outside enemy, but from within by a malicious narcissist and sociopath. 

The FBI and the Cyber and Infrastructure Security Agency are putting out public messages urging the public not to panic if they hear about election hacking. The larger goal is to explain why voters shouldn't believe disinformation about vote-stealing hacks if they see it. 

We've never encountered a president who wouldn't agree to a peaceful transition of power. We've never had a Congress with a bigger pack of ideological cowards who have repeatedly broken their oaths to defend Trump's predations on our Constitution.

The key to recovery is Americans turning out to vote in numbers never seen before. I'm talking such a powerful mandate that Trump's lies will shrivel in this winter of our discontent.

Quote for the Day: "Pretense cannot sustain blind power." -Dejan Stojanovic

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Why Johnson/Grassley's Bombshell Revelation Was a Dud

Pandemic Diary

Day 193

Dear Diary,

There's two traitors nestled in the Senate who have been doing everything they could to discredit Trump's opponent Joe Biden for over a year. 

These snakes-in-the-grass are Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Sen. Ron Johnson.

Johnson has been exciting Trump's base for months now, teasing that his committee is going to expose Joe Biden's corrupt dealings with the Ukraine. 

The report, titled "Hunter Biden, Burisma and Corruption," was nothing more than a reprisal of years-old claims that were disproved numerous times. If the report was released to change minds of voters in the 11th failed miserably.

There was no evidence against Joe Biden of abusing his power to help his son Hunter. This bogus report compiled by two traitors was fueled in part by foreign actors linked to the Kremlin and whom U.S. officials said were interfering in the 2020 election.   

This blatant attempt to influence the election didn't go unnoticed after Johnson released his flawed bombshell revelation. 

Sens. Gary Peterson of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon, accused Johnson of publicly hyping a damaging report on Joe Biden only to have to issue a report that included no such evidence.

What has emerged, at taxpayer expense, is Johnson's actions aided Putin's attack on American elections. What's more the two traitors were working with a Russian agent who was a pro-Russia Ukrainian lawmaker, Andriy Derkach. 

After the Treasury Department released evidence against Dekach the two slime bags pushed back and claimed ignorance. Personally, I agree...they were ignorant, but their actions were corrupt and meant to re-elect Trump.

After months of repeated lies designed to put heat on Biden, their feckless lies have been exposed to the public. Johnsons jaw-dropping claims that it wasn't a political investigation have dissolved under facts and evidence.

First and foremost Sen. Richard Burr - the former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committed - met privately with Johnson last year and warned him his probe could aid Russia's election-meddling efforts. As history shows, Johnson chose to ignore him. We now know why.

Quotes 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 can be revealed. We cannot be creators, only receptors." -James W. Sire

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Trump's Alternate Universe: Red States, Blue States, White States, Black States and Gray States Too!

Pandemic Diary

Day 192

Dear Diary,

Back in 2018 Stephen Colbert came up with a funny book about Trump that helped raise funds for disaster victims of Hurricane Florence.

The title was "Whose Boat is this boat?" It was comprised of Trump quotes and Colbert boasted it was "perfect for young readers and presidents."

The book's publisher, Simon and Schuster, put out a press release that really cracked me up; "Research suggests this will be the first children's book ever published that demonstrates what not to say after a natural disaster."

Flashback to the present.

Trump has upped the odds from being befuddled by a natural disaster. He's currently dividing up the country into blue states and red states. It's his version of the Civil War and his mindless minions are buying in.

In his alternate reality Trump has been carving up the US into sections that will vote for him. Race is a major factor in the process as he tries to scare white suburban women into voting for him by claiming "coloreds" will move into their neighborhoods and rape and pillage them. 

It gets even simpler. Trump's white states, that can also be Confederacy gray, can be counted on to follow him off a slippery ramp to hell. Black states are bad because minorities are plentiful and they don't like Trump. But Trump's dialogue about red and blue states is particularly menacing.

It transforms two political parties - Democrats and Republicans - into active combatants that are more concerned with their ideologies than the wealth or health of the American people. Transforming cities into battlegrounds where protestors on both side of the spectrum endlessly attack each other is crippling our nation's ability to survive these chaotic times, and cling to democracy in a united nation.

Somewhere in the Oval Office as I write this, Trump has wooden building blocks with states names and colors on them.

It gets hard for even his own staff to watch him play with those blocks...sometimes throwing them across the room in a tantrum, and at other times stacking them up as high as he can before they fall. Squeals of delight usually ensure when that happens. 

Trump's minions, one and all, are happy to see him build a wall. Building blocks in the Oval Office are fine, or a few miles of real wall somewhere along the southern doesn't matter. It's all about entertaining Donny...the man child.

Quote for the Day: "Some people's immaturity is intensified by their stupidity." -Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Monday, September 21, 2020

'California Dreaming' Has Turned Into a Nightmare

Pandemic Diary

Day 191

Dear Diary,

During my teenage years in the 1960s, Californians celebrated the great outdoors and beaches fostering a popular culture about the state that made it sound like a surfing paradise. 

"Apache" is still played regularly by nearly every surf band in the country. What's interesting about that is the song had nothing to do with surfing. It was that trebly, clear, bright Fender twang, suitably soaked in heavy reverb; that staccato picking of strings and driving bass and drums that made it pure surf.

Jan and Dean's "Surf City" in 1963 was the first surf song to hit #1 on the U.S. charts. 

The 1964 hit "California Sun" was pure surf - from the driving beat and its verby guitar, right through to its thoroughly sun-soaked lyrics. The Beach Boys rocked the nation with "California Dreaming."

Getting closer to the point...

Growing up in southern California was a kids dream. Easterners looked upon California with envy because of it's great weather and beaches. West was best. 

It offered the whole package, including exploring groves of the largest trees on the planet - California Redwoods. I even lived among those majestic giants in the 1970s in Humboldt Country. Tourists came from around the world to drive along the Avenue of Giants.

My point...

California Dreaming is a bygone story, poignant with happy memories and facing a sad fate. 

Those dreams have fled in this apocalyptic summer of record-breaking temperatures, raging fires that have forced thousands to flee their homes up and down the state, unprecedented lighting strikes, rolling blackouts that have left millions in the dark, and ghostly orange and Martian-red skies.

Californians have always been blasé about earthquakes despite the loss of lives and infrastructure they sometimes cause. It was an accepted flaw in the dream. But the massive wildfires and drought from climate warming have been catastrophic for the Golden State for six straight years. 

It's only going to get worse according to the National Climate Assessment, a major "state-of-science" review of climate change and it's projected impacts on California and the rest of the West Coast. 

This year may be the tipping point for Californian's. They're leaving in greater numbers than ever before. My wife and I left the state seven years ago, and moved to southern Oregon. 

Now we're experiencing too many wildfires in Oregon in the last couple of years. We even had to evacuate our home when a wildfire got too close. Fortunately, our house was still standing when we returned. We're not sure where we'll go if it continues here.

The sad truth is "California Dreaming" has turned into a nightmare. Oregon, and Washington, don't appear to be far behind California's fate.

Quote for the Day: "Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake?" -Justin Alcala

Trump and Supporters: Images Tell the Story

 Pandemic Diary

Day 190

Dear Diary,

Sometimes it's best to let photos tell a story. As the saying goes, a photo paints a thousand words. The following collection of photos tell the story of Trumpism in 2020.

 Celebrating white supremacists and racists are a common theme at Trump rallies.

Trumpsters think nothing of defacing the American Flag

Perhaps one of the most puzzling thing about Trump supporters is the fact that his policies pander to the wealthy but most are middle class and poor.

Trump has proved to be the biggest con man in American history, casting a spell over a large portion of Americans.

While the majority of women in America loath Trump there is a small contingent that do follow him... despite his well-documented poor treatment of them.

This segment of Trump minions surprises me the most. It's hard to believe any woman would follow the orange sex fiend who brags about grabbing pussies. 

After extensive research I simply couldn't find any intelligent people who supported Trump.

Trump's super powers only seem to affect the ignorant and racist elements who have elevated him to a divine status in a mockery of religion.

Trump supporters like to mock attributes like empathy because Trump rejects it in his hateful dialogue.

There is no sympathy for most Americans plight, just a plot line that promotes Trump as the supreme leader. 

Honesty is a casualty of Trump's regime.

This is a president with few human attributes and an ego the size of the Titanic. 

There's only one thing Trump cares about - himself. His followers suspend reality to ride the Trump train of stupidity.

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

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Trump/McConnell/Graham Power Play is a Naked Display of Hypocrisy and Corruption

Pandemic Diary

Day 189

Dear Diary,

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's body was barely cold before Trump was celebrating and tweeting orders to move "without delay" to replace her. 

No doubt it was the last-minute surprise that he's been hoping for. Something had to happen to gin up his failing campaign and RBG's death was a lifeline.

Picking another conservative Supreme Court judge is a big deal. Especially for conservatives who want to overturn Roe vs Wade. Trump sees this sudden opening as a way to win the day. With the help of shameless hypocrite Mitch McConnell, the mission is to confirm a nominee before Election Day - or if necessary, after the election regardless of the results.

McConnell, whose stance in 2016 on advancing supreme court picks during an election year was wait for the new administration to make that selection, did a complete about face two days ago. Now, suddenly it's okay to shove a pick through weeks before election day. Talk about gall.

Second only to McConnell for the master hypocrite award, Lindsey Graham's neck is swiveling 360 degrees like Linda Blaire's in the exorcist. He too is on record (and video) saying that it's wrong to pick a supreme court judge during an election year.

But surprise. As chairman for the Senate Judiciary committee lying Lindsey thinks it's a great idea, because his master Trump want's it done.

In the coming days there's going to be delays, legions of lawyers trying to prove their cases for one side or the other, and an all out brawl between Democrats and Republicans. 

Granted, it already seems like an all out brawl, but apparently we haven't seen anything yet. Just the thought of this new challenge is like listening to someone scratch a blackboard with their nails.

I've witnessed administrations coming and going since Truman, and I honestly can say I've never seen a more dangerous political power play than the one Trump and his minions are attempting right now. They're lust for power destroys the boundaries of ethics, morals, and equal justice. But the three stooges traitors don't care.

I'm heartened by what happening the morning after RBG died. News videos showed Virginians showing up hours before polling places opened.

The state started early voting last Friday. People formed a long line that went on for blocks. They stood there for hours, determined that their vote would count. 

So what encouraged me?

When I looked at the people in that long line, they were all wearing facemasks and social distancing. That suggested to me they were democrats because they believe in science. 

As if to confirm my suspicion news videos showed a group (maybe 25) Trump supporters - without masks and shoulder-to-shoulder - standing in front of the polling place waving Trump flags, shouting, blowing horns, and acting like asses dressed up for Halloween.

Some people in the line were intimidated by the groups actions and had to be escorted out of the polling place by officials. But they persevered in order to see Trump and his minions run out of Washington DC on November 3rd. 

The pathetic little group of Trump supporters looked lonely as they played out Trump's reality show amid thousands of democratic voters. It was another one of those surreal moments 2020 has become known for.

Quote for the Day: "One thing you can't hide - is when you're crippled inside." -John Lennon

Friday, September 18, 2020

The Game is Afoot! Four States Have Begun Early Voting

Pandemic Diary 

Day 188

Dear Diary,

I confess to feeling nervous as we close in on the presidential election, but because voting is now underway in four states - Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming - I'm feeling hopeful.


It appears my hope for an historic democratic voter turnout may not be a fool's dream. Long lines of people wearing masks and social distancing formed in all four states to cast their ballots. Political pundits are predicting that same scenario will happen throughout the nation as polls open early in the weeks ahead.

The thought that Trump voters would turn out in larger numbers at polling places has a basic flaw; fervent liberals will be turning out in massive numbers at the polls too. 

In addition, they're more likely to vote by mail if they have underlining conditions than Republicans who could skip mail-in voting because Trump told them the process was a fraud.

In an effort to sabotage mail-in voting Trump appointed a political donor to run down the USPS. That scoundrel, Louis DeJoy, is now being investigated for several reasons. A federal judge ruled yesterday that "The Trump Administration was involved in a politically-motivated attack on the efficiency of the postal service."

In the ruling DeJoy was ordered to restore the machinery that was dismantled to slow the system down. His toxic policies of no overtime, trucks leaving at certain times (whether full or not), and not fulfilling their mandate to get mail out in a timely manner because of artificial obstructions, were ordered to stop. Congress still needs to hold him to task for corruption in two different cases related to the USPS.

One of those four states that began voting yesterday had two visitors; Joe Biden and Trump. The game is truly afoot!

Quote for the Day: "Every election is determined by the people who show up." -Larry J. Sabato

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Lord of the Lies: Trump Unchained From Reality

Pandemic Diary

Day 187

Dear Diary,

In Trump's world a lie is very useful.

When someone fact checks his lies, they're repeating them. 

That's a win, in his twisted worldview. 

Lying about COVID-19's deadly impact and denying the science of face masks has caused hundreds of thousands of lives.

LORD of the LIES

Fact checking sites agree that Trump has told at least 20,000 lies since slithering into office on January 20th, 2017.


We learned from Bob Woodward's tapes that we need to pay less attention to Trump's shameless lies and far more attention to the things he's lying about.


A sign of how far we've sunk as a civil society is the reverence once attached to "Honest Abe" has dissolved. Peoples acceptance of the biggest liar ever to hold the office of the presidency is disintegrating the values and morals this nation was built on. 


 Trump's fusillades against his enemies, domestic and abroad, are rants against reality. By now, everyone in the world knows that. Trump's reputation as a world class liar has caused our allies to back away from our turbulent government.


Supposedly master of the Art of the Deal (a book of fiction written by a ghost writer who needed the money), Trump has proven to be the Master of the Steal. It's going to take years to total how many millions he's stolen off taxpayers.


The United States faces a daunting challenge having an insane president desperately trying to hold onto his power by whatever means possible. 

Trump's even sacrificing his own followers by holding increasingly large supper spreader rallies where attendees go without wearing masks and ignoring social distancing.

Trump wants his base to vote for him. He could care less about their safety. Loyal supporters that catch the coronavirus and die aren't going to make Trump cry. They're just easily manipulated pawns.

Promises Not Kept

**Manufacturing jobs have not returned from China.

**Trump's tax cuts went overwhelmingly to the wealthy.

**Student debt continues to cripple the prospects of the next generation.

**Trump was unable to overturn Obamacare and put in a new health system so he attempted to get rid of a pre-existing conditions clause in the Affordable Care Act.

**The Great Wall of Trump turned out to be about five miles of New Wall. A couple of hundred miles were repaired and Mexico didn't pay for it.

**He didn't Make America Great. He did turn the country into a battlefield of red-and-blue states. He flaunted his contempt for the rule of law, and installed corrupt cronies loyal only to him - and not the country.

Quote for the Day: "It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane." -Philip K. Dick

You Pick: Science, or Trump? Fact, or Fiction? Truth, or Lies?

Pandemic Diary
Day 186

Dear Diary,

The cards are down.

Trump has been shuffling facts and trying to cheat. But science wins with a Royal Flush (reality), and Trump is a Joker stuck with a losing hand.

In a classic Trumpian display of defiance against science Trump lost his shit yesterday.

The CDC chief had testified in a senate subcommittee hearing that the American public may be able to get a vaccine by mid-2021. It was a positive opinion. 

Trump however is claiming a vaccine is going to be available for all Americans, as early as October, or (conveniently) November 3rd. 

It's a lie. A bigly lie. And Trump knows it. 

Every healthcare expert in the world, the CDC, and HHS agree face masks are a vital tool in fighting the coronavirus, but Trump said they don't know what their talking about in a press conference (that was a poorly concealed campaign rant) yesterday.

Interesting enough, Trump went on his tirade right after the  hearing where CDC chief Robert Redfield also testified that wearing face masks was as important as a vaccine. Trump blatantly lied and claimed Redfield "didn't know what he was saying," and that the head of the CDC was "confused."

Then he turned on Redfield, trying to get him to walk back his comments, and when Redfield re-appeared he tried to thread the needle between fact-and-fiction. It didn't work.

It was another moment of truth versus Trump. Once again he doubled down on his lies - his own words in the Woodward Rage tapes - and discounted the most prestigious healthcare professionals in the nation.

Only an insane person would do that. Who else would defy reality so openly? Who else would put American lives at stake just to hold on to power?

The choice for our next president has never been clearer. Never been more important or vital to our republic. Democracy is on the ballot this year. 

Vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris if you want to live in a world where reality is respected, and where there's only one truth... and no amount of lies can change that.

Quote for the Day: "Never open the door to a lesser evil, for other and greater ones invariably slink in after it." -Baltasar Gracian

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Now Birds Are Dropping Dead from the Sky: Apocalyptical Enough?

Pandemic Diary
Day 185

Dear Diary,

Forget locusts.

Birds are dropping dead in alarming numbers in New Mexico completing the apocalyptical picture of what America looks like today.

Wildlife experts are reporting potentially hundreds of thousands of birds have already died. Some speculate that a recent cold front that hit the state last week may be the cause. 

Others are suggesting the deaths could be related to the West Coast wildfires causing damage to the bird's lungs.
In Other News

There's dueling natural disasters facing the nation. Out-of-control wildfires along the entire West Coast and a super soaker event unfolding along the Gulf Coast.

Hurricane Sally made landfall this morning. Catastrophic flooding is unfolding in Alabama and Florida.

What's making this super soaker event especially dangerous is that Hurricane Sally is a slow-mover that will hover over large swaths of land, potentially flooding cities and rural areas.

On the other side of the country the entire West Coast is on fire. In California alone over 3.2 million acres of land have been scorched. Smoke from the raging fires has reached Europe. 

Here in Oregon, we've experienced over a million burned acres, and in Washington more acres were burned in the state in a single day than were charred in the past 12 seasons.

Thirty-Six deaths have been attributed to the West Coast conflagration with dozens of missing people being sought by their families. Twenty-two missing people in rural Oregon are surrounded by fires, and it's too dangerous for searchers to help them.

In what could have been an inspiring moment of unity Trump went to California to see the destruction the fires have inflicted on the state. While there, he made it clear that he doesn't believe in climate warming and that the scientists don't know what they're talking about.

Quote for the Day: "I have heard the language of apocalypse, and now I shall embrace the silence." -Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

No...Doomsday Is Not Here: In Fact, Deliverance is Near

Pandemic Diary
Day 183

Dear Diary,

I'm tired of hearing Doomsday talk.

The real conversation should be that we're living in the Trump era which has been the most destructive presidency in our history, and we want it to end.

The need for Americans to cleanse the White House and restore sanity and science is at Defcon 1. But America is not doomed! 

On November 3rd, Americans are going to be voting in record numbers. We already know that from recent newly registered voter polls across the country. There's million of new voters since 2018, which was a record turnout for democrats.

At times it seems hopeless. Trump has been impeached, but he's more deadly now than ever before. He openly defies laws, ethics, and the truth without hesitation. The only thing standing in his way are the courts, and real patriots (whistleblowers) still working in government agencies.

I would also argue that Trump's campaign is a cluster fuck. He has no national platform, or even vision for the future to share with prospective voters. All his fumbling campaign (think Tulsa super spreader) has managed to do is dig deeper holes alienating undecided voters.

Trump's non-scientific stance on COVID-19 hasn't changed despite being exposed in Bob Woodward's new book Rage. He admitted knowing the virus was 5 times deadlier than the flu, and that it was an airborne virus.

Yet he's holding super spreader rallies again, against CDC and state regulations for COVID-19 safety. His open defiance is really a sign of desperation. That's why I know that deliverance from this complete asshole is at hand.

The majority of state and national polls have Biden leading. There are a lot of other factors that make me believe Trump will soon be a dark footnote in our history.

Most Americans think Trump has done a shitty job  managing the pandemic; they don't trust his advise because it goes opposite of what healthcare officials have been saying all along.

The time for climate warming denial is over. The flat-earthers and birthers time has come and gone. The out-of-control wildfires on the West Coast have been awful. I doubt that many Californians, Oregonians, or Washington state inhabitants will deny what's happening.

The fact that the economy is in free fall is going to be a big consideration by undecided voters who've been evicted from their homes or have lost their jobs. 

I can't imagine voters are going to think fondly of the orange anus who couldn't lead his way out of a wet paper bag. From the pandemic to his encouragement of racists/white supremacists, Trump has discouraged any efforts to solve the nation's challenges.

He's not a leader. He's a liar and a con man whose past is catching up to him, and he's panicking. That's why he using voter suppression in claiming mail-in votes are fraudulent, and actively slowing down the USPS's ability to quickly process mail.

America has finally had enough of Trump. I expect it'll be official this fall.

Quote for the Day: "The roots of our deliverance lies in the delight to seek right ways." -Lailah Gifty Akita

Monday, September 14, 2020

Have Americans Finally Gone Mad?

Pandemic Diary
Day 182

Dear Diary,

Public sanity is slipping away faster every day. 

Americans are breaking under the multiple challenges besieging the nation. Crazy talk and actions have thrust us into a dark Twilight Zone existence filled with fear and lies.

I was in disbelief yesterday when I saw that two football games were being played as out-of-control wildfires raged across the state of California.

Amid millions evacuating their homes, people dying in heartbreaking fiery deaths, and the worst air quality in the world ... and professional football had to play through the unfolding Armageddon... what the hell? What did the fans think watching it in the stands and on TV?

Was it that important for the league's owners and players to pretend the worst holocaust of wildfires in California's history weren't happening despite the bright orange skies overhead? 

I understand people are tired of living in this age of COVID-19 and having it disrupt their lives so dramatically. The economic blow to millions of Americans because of the virus is enormous. 

With the realities of climate change upon us there should be no ignoring the historic fires, floods, tornados, and other natural disaster events that are regularly happening from coast-to-coast.

But it's happening. Trump and the science deniers he's infected the government with, have confused millions by promoting conspiracies into the mainstream. Fake news for fools. It seems to be working. 

To show their loyalty, Trump's followers ignore CDC coronavirus safety regulations, and state regulations against crowds as they gather at his increasingly larger super spreader rallies. 

All of the fear, loathing, and stupidity described above is happening with a presidential election as a backdrop in seven weeks.

To be clear, Democracy is at stake. If Trump wins we will have a batshit crazy supreme leader. American as a republic cannot stand another four years of the orange anus in the Oval Office.

To add to the toxic chaos in the country, Trump and his minions are attacking the USPS (slowing it down) and claiming mail-in voting is fraudulent in a sinister effort to suppress votes. 

Any one of the above situations would be sufficient to drive someone crazy. Our country is so politically paralyzed that we can't even unit against common enemies like this pandemic, or the terrible effects climate change is having on us all.

As I look out at the bruised orange sky through my window there are no birds flying. The landscape is covered in ash and the air is barely breathable.

Will America survive? Stay tuned.

Quote for the Day: "I had noticed that both in the very poor and very rich extremes of society the mad were often allowed to mingle freely." -Charles Bukowski

Sunday, September 13, 2020

'We Have the Worst Air Quality in the World:' Most of Oregon is on Fire

Pandemic Diary
Day 181

Dear Diary,

Most of the state of Oregon is on fire. 

It's an unnerving experience and a wake-up call: Climate Change is no longer a future concern - it's our very real present.

We're at a Level 1 warning stage in Medford and the air quality is really hazardous. We're being told to stay indoors if possible. 

The same goes for most of the state (and up and down the West Coast) because we all have the dubious honor of the worst air quality in the world!

Just the thought makes my lungs ache and eyes water. 

Schools that struggled to open up for the Fall semester in the Rogue Valley during this age of COVID-19, are closed. 

Rumors of widespread looting amid the raging wildfires are carried with the same hot air as the QAnon lies about Antifi starting the fires throughout the state.

The firestorm that engulfed southern Oregon and Jackson County has been brutal. 

Fifty people remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the Almeda and South Obenchain wildfires. I pity those who have to discover them, and the victim's families.

As of yesterday afternoon officials reported that the 3,200-acre Almeda Fire is 50 percent contained, and the 25,000-acre South Obenchain blaze is 20 percent contained.

People are confused. Scared. And mad. Emergency shelters are opening - then having to suddenly close - as the wildfires are shifting dangerously with the erratic winds.

The Riverside Fire is raging uncontained in Clackamas County and is moving northward along the Clackamas River corridor toward Estacada. Most of Clackamas Country residents are under Level 3 evacuation orders.

The Oregon State Fire Marshal is warning that two major fires straddling Clackamas and Marion counties are expected to merge. They may have already merged as of this writing. Basically, the whole damn state is still on fire.

Quote for the Day: "Every time I am out of the woods, I am back in the fire." -Robert Black

Saturday, September 12, 2020

We're Fighting Fires and Rumors In Medford and the Rest of Oregon

The City of Phoenix has been wiped off the map by the firestorm that moved through the Rogue Valley in recent days.
Pandemic Diary
Day 180

Dear Diary,

As I write this, the sky is a smoky slate gray outside my window. I just heard our water supply is okay in Medford, but  nearby Talent and Phoenix residents aren't so lucky.

They have been warned by authorities to boil the water in their cities because of bacteria in the systems. Both cities are disaster zones that are closed to all but residents.

Nearby Ashland, where the fire started here in the valley is still only 50 percent contained. Thus far, I'm aware of three people who have perished in the firestorm from the Talent and Phoenix areas. Authorities expect to find more bodies as they go through the scorched land.

The air quality here in Medford (and the valley) is hazardous and M-95 masks should be worn - not just for COVID - but to filter the thick ash in the air. 

The thing that really pisses me off today... authorities are pleading with the public to only trust and share information verified by official sources because a bunch of right-wing and QAnon wackos are claiming all the fires have been set by "Antifi" members!

This incident highlights how online conspiracy theories, a sustained right-wing campaign to create increased fear of anti-fascist groups, and amplification of false claims by QAnon followers have real consequences.

The FBI responded to the false claims yesterday, saying they weren't true. State authorities also confirmed the rumors were bullshit. But the militia/Trump creeps are out there with their weapons looking for trouble.

It's hard to believe this is what our society has sunken to. Even natural disasters created by climate change are politized and weaponized. It's sickening.

The latest state count reveals over a half of million people have been evacuated from their homes. This is a fluid statistic as fires are still raging up and down the state.

North of us in Portland, the mayor has declared a state of emergency, closing city parks and activating evacuation sites for people in threatened areas.

There's thirty-seven active wildfires as of yesterday. For the last 10 years Oregon we've seen an average of 500,000 acres burned each year. So far, we've had 900,000 acres destroyed...and still counting.

My heart goes out to the millions of Americans fighting and fleeing from this horrible West Coast firestorm. It can't be over soon enough.

Quote for the Day: "Always remember...Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots."  -Ziad K. Abdelnour  

Friday, September 11, 2020

Oregonian's Observations About the West Coast Wildfires and the Challenges to Our Nation

Pandemic Diary
Day 179

Dear Diary,

A worried nation, and world, is watching the ominous orange skies stretching from Washington to California in a scene out of some dystopian future.

Raging wildfires are breaking records as the devastating toll on lives and homes is beginning to emerge. The smoke is literally blocking out the sun in parts of Oregon and California.

Here in Medford, we are having a reprieve from the fast-moving fires as the winds have died down and nearby fires are being suppressed as I write this.

I want to think that there will be no more fires nearby, or in the rest of the state, but facts tell me to expect more. We're just coming into fire season. The same for California and Washington.

California is being hit the hardest with the worst fires to ever be recorded there. Each one of just four of the outbreaks have already destroyed more acreage than ever before. The state is on fire.

Oregon is setting records for historic wildfires that have already burned over 900,000 square miles. 

The city of Phoenix, next to to Medford is no more. It's smoldering ashes. 

Authorities are saying one of the wildfires north of us is the largest ever recorded in the state. Marion County officials confirmed that two bodies have been discovered in a car along Oregon 22.

My middle son lost everything he owned when all three storage facilities he was renting in Phoenix were incinerated. A complete loss. 

His personal memories were burned up along with an outside restaurant - a hot dog stand with tables, chairs, all the cooking utensils, and supplies he'd just purchased for ten thousand dollars.

I could tell more stories locally that are even more heartbreaking just to think about. I won't. There's just too many. I wonder how long it will take for our community to recover from this disaster?

If there was ever a time to feel overwhelmed...this is it. Our country is facing the worst pandemic in 100 years. The main street economy is collapsing while Wall Street somehow thrives.

Wildfires are raging across the country, not just the West Coast. We have a president whose corruption is causing hundreds of thousands of deaths from COVID-19 with no end in sight.

If that's not enough, in eight weeks the fate of this nation will be decided at polling places and by more mail-in votes than anytime in history. 

Now add Trump discrediting mail-in voting and his minion Postmaster DeJoy's scheme to slow down the postal service to allow Trump to contest the results if they take too long coming in.

Fortunately, I'm not overwhelmed. I'm just too stubborn to be, and have been a survivor all of my life. There's always tomorrow.

Quote for the Day: "The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." -Moliere

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Our First Evacuation: The Rogue Valley Firestorm Came Like a Freight Train

The Rogue Valley firestorm, 2020
Pandemic diary
Day 178

Dear Diary,

Thus far in 2020, everything has been surreal - like something out of the apocalypse or the Bible describing the End Times. I'm know I'm being dramatic... but damn it, that's how I feel.

My wife for 46-years and our five animals - two dogs, and three cats - were forced to flee from our house in Medford, Oregon when strong winds carried wildfires through the Rogue Valley like a freight train.

A wildfire broke out in Ashland two days ago and within hours the powerful winds carried the flames down the I-5 corridor forcing the 82,000 inhabitants of Medford to flee for shelter in the state fairgrounds by Central Point.

Shirley and I are first-comers to experiencing the devastating effects of a natural disaster. We never thought something like that would happen to us. The shock is both sudden and surreal.

As we tried to calmly gather up our important papers and processions an orange glow lit up the sky. We went from level 2 warning to a level three within hours before being warned to evacuate our neighborhood.

The animals were a challenge. We'd loaned out our cat carriers and were forced to load up our three very scared felines with blankets wrapped around them. Not easy. The dogs were easier with their harnesses on.

As our packed little King Cab pickup made it's way to the shelter fires were breaking out and literally following us north. 

At times the embers were in front of our vehicle. The wind gusts were driving the flames along like devils running alongside us.

Traffic got heavier as we neared our destination. Long lines of pickups and sedans streaked in a steady stream toward the safety of the fairgrounds. Flashing lights and sirens filled the chaos with a sense of urgency and desperation. Our dogs whimpered in fright as they sensed the danger in the air.

The sky was a dirty bronze hue colored with blazing flashes of bright red and orange when we arrived at the shelter. Community volunteers were directing traffic and Red Cross volunteers handed out water and food. There were stockpiles of blankets and animal food.

When we finally parked we were fried. Adrenalin had carried us that far but we were feeling the effects when we slumped in our seats and waited. 

There was no thought of sleeping inside the shelter. Not in these days of COVID-19. 

We'd brought water and food for ourselves and the animals and were content to sit there all night.

Which we did, before going home the next day, haggard but happy when we learned our house didn't burn down! With the destruction all around our area we felt like it was a miracle our neighborhood still stood. 

The one big thing that stands out to me, in retrospect, was the lack of emergency communication in the entire Rogue Valley. 

There was none! We learned more from Facebook friends than any local authorities who were scrambling around trying to keep up with the firestorm engulfing the valley.

The lesson is clear here in Medford... the authorities better get their shit together, because this fire season isn't over yet!

Quote for the Day: "Some say the world in end in fire, some say in Ice." -Robert Frost