Saturday, May 23, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 68 & 69: Virtual, or In Person: How Americans are Honoring Memorial Day

Dear Diary,

Before I allow politics to creep into my documentation of this pandemic Memorial Day, I want the focus to be on honoring and mourning the Americans who gave their lives defending our freedom.

Today, I'm mourning the loss of my comrades in Vietnam who fought an unpopular war. Their violent deaths will never leave me, as I deal with PTSD.


Memorial Day Controversy

Because everything is controversial in this country right now, the very act of honoring our military dead has taken on partisan tones this weekend.

Friday Trump held a short press conference and issued a demand; all churches will be open Sunday.

It was an attempt to court his evangelical backers, while also looking good to other churches who've been eager to open. The downside to his stance is its going to go against COVID-19 safety regulations for churches in every state.

In his unusually short announcement, Trump threatened any governors or state politicians that didn't like his demand to open up all churches - regardless of local restrictions - they could call him and he'd set them straight. 

After waddling off without taking questions from reporters, Dr. Birx gave a presentation on where the country currently stands with the coronavirus spread. As she pointed out virus hot spots, I thought about churches in Maryland, which was one of those hot spots.

Science vs reality? That's the problem under the Trump administration. Trump doesn't give a damn about how many worshippers come down with the virus after this weekend. 

His rhetorical demand was nothing more than a naked attempt to get votes in November. It's not even clear if he has the power to intercede with state restrictions. But he wanted his Moses moment.

What is clear is Trump is becoming increasingly unhinged and is now totally defying healthcare experts, the CDC, and doctor's recommendations on taking hydroxycholorquine. 

All Americans will be able to honor our military dead, whether its virtual services, or in some cases services held outside (depending on local restrictions). 

As for churches, it'll be up to each one to hold safe services for their senior members. I wish I could say they all will, but recent history has shown some ignore advise... and that ignorance will be deadly, on a day honoring war dead.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
With Oregon's ban on large gatherings through September, no large Memorial Day events have been scheduled this weekend.

National cemeteries will be open for graveside memorials, and the placing of flags or flowers by individuals or small groups only.

Some ways to celebrate Memorial Day online include a virtual service recorded by Oregon City. In honor of veterans and other public servants the city's virtual event will be narrated by David Bone.

There will be a 21-gun salute by the VFW and Taps on bugle by Randy Leisure. A link to the video will be posted on the city's homepage WWW.orcity.org for viewing at 9 a.m. on Monday.

**Goodwill opened 7 Oregon stores today in a sign that the slow state rollout is going beyond "essential" businesses.

Quote for the Day; "Honor from death, I snap, is  myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life." -Rae Carson 

Friday, May 22, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 67: It's Friday, Who Will Trump Fire Today?

Dear Diary,

Friday night firings are just one of the ways Trump gets rid of his critics.

I've noticed he's firing government officials a lot on Friday nights lately (four inspector generals in six weeks) because they were disloyal to him by telling the truth and backing whistleblowers claims, or revealing damning information about Stump, or one of his puppets.

Why Friday night? Basically it's considered a slow news day for most organizations and stories easily get buried over the weekend.

When Trump was on reality TV he came across like a tough guy who'd fire you in person. The show was known for his silly assed "You're fired!" followed by finger pointing, and his tiny hands waving to his Apprentice fans.

As president of the United States, Trump's firing approach is much more cowardly. He likes to make a game of it, like when he abruptly fired FBI James Comey - not in person, but via the media.

Frankly, I've lost count of how many people Trump has fired in the last three-and-a-half years. It's been like watching political versions of "Chairs," or "Twister," with each firing more cowardly than the last.

Between now and November, I'm sure there will be more firings as Trump becomes more unhinged by the day.

His defiance of laws is fueled by cowardly Republicans who refuse to admit that he's a threat to this nation... even right now in the middle of a pandemic where he's defying science and endangering thousands of Americans lives. 

It's pathetic and scary.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Memorial Day - I have a list of what's open, and what's closed, and what's canceled. Shirley and I have no plans on going anywhere. We'll honor the holiday at home during this pandemic.


**QAnon nut - Republican Jo Rae Perkins (pictured) was picked in the recent primary to run against the Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley for Congress.
(Photo by Emily Jan/The Oregonian)

In a video she posted on her Twitter account Perkins expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory which claims that there's a shadowy cabal of elites - often liberals - operating a global human trafficking ring, and they engage in ritualistic abuse and sacrifice of children.

But wait! It gets better.
These QAnon supporters believe Trump is carrying out a secret mission to break up the "deep state," a term used to refer to the governmental portion of the "cabal" and end the supposed trafficking ring.

After her statements brought national attention, Perkins deleted the video from her twitter account. A quick search of Perkin's twitter account however shows she been a follower since 2018.

**COVID Stats - We have 3,817 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus and a total of 145 deaths.

Quote for the day; "A coward talks to everyone but YOU." -Shannon L. Alder

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 66: Everyone Knows What A Cornered Rat Will Do-The Same Holds True for Trump

Dear Diary,

The orange troglodyte camped out in the White House is really worried.

November cometh soon. Election Day looms like a club over Trump's toupee. The polls show Biden is getting more popular every day.

His 2016 conspiracies' aren't playing to as many drooling audiences in 2020... because they've been disproved by facts repeatedly during the last three years, and the coronavirus stay-at-home orders prohibiting crowds.

Like a cornered rat, Trump is looking for an escape from the growing reality surrounding him. That means danger for those who he doesn't consider loyal.

Historical note: Rats have been carriers of disease since ancient times. 

With over 92,000 deaths (and climbing) Trump's lack of leadership and candor has resulted in chaos during a pandemic that should have united the country to fight it.

Trump's tiny rodent-brain is unable to fully comprehend what experts warn him about. Whether it's national security or drinking Lysol to fight COVID-19, his ego rebels against expertise.

With his Republican minions riding on his fat back like fleas, Trump thinks he can get away with snarling, denying, lying, and bullying truth-talkers (inspector generals) into submission. He sees the tactic as one more path to getting re-elected.

One last observation:

Trump often refers to the coronavirus as "the plague." I like that analogy because - like a rat - he's been a big reason why the country is so heavily infected with the virus.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**State COVID stats - 3,800 confirmed novel coronavirus cases and 140 deaths.

**More than 1.2 million Oregon voters had their say Tuesday. No surprise, Joe Biden won (68 percent to Sanders' 19 percent.) If you'd like to see the rest of the results click here.

**Duck in hot water!
Luke Hill, Oregon Ducks 4-star cornerback signee, arrested, charged with attempted murder in first degree.

His preliminary hearing date is set for June19th.

**School opening - The University of Portland is planning to reopen for the fall term with coronavirus measures. It should be interesting to see how that works out.

Quote for the day; 















Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 65: Breaking News! Numerous Shiny Objects Seen Over The White House!


Dear Diary,

There's been reports of UFOs flying over Washington DC since the 1950s.

In fact, UFO fever spread across America in July 1952 when the grandfather of all saucer sightings took place in the skies above the nation's capitol.

Jaws dropped across the country as Americans tried to process the possibility of alien beings buzzing the White House.

Up to a dozen unexplained objects streaked across the skies for several weeks over Washington D.C. The sightings came from radar operators, professional pilots and other highly credible witnesses.

At one point the Air Force scrambled fighter jets, but the 'saucers' outran them. A wily Harry Truman quietly put together an investigation team headed up by the Air Force that became... wait for it...
Project Blue Book.  

   
Why am I writing about shiny objects flying over the White House?

One. For the first time our government has openly admitted alien space craft were confirmed by Air Force pilots and ground crews. 

Two. The latest Trumpian reports of bright and shiny objects (other than UFOs) over the White House haven't been about aliens... they're diversions concocted by his warped mind and launched by his cronies under his orders.

Trump is in full campaign mode doing his best to divert away from his abysmal handling of the pandemic and other scandals that are stacking up lately.

Ready? here we go... watch the shiny objects!

News of the Day - Trump fires IG investigating his puppet Pompeo for secret Saudi deal. Brags there'll be more watchdogs to take out. The score is four in the last month. 

Trump tells press he's been taking hydroxychloroquine to fight COVID-19 for nearly two weeks causing the medical community (CDC and more) to issue warnings to the public NOT to do what Trump claims he's doing (it's still a matter of speculation if he really is taking the controversial malaria drug).

It's Obamagate time! Trump loves pulling Obama out of his bag of tricks and lies, and throwing him out to a base that still need racist attacks to stay engaged.

Some of the shiny objects streaking over the White House are smaller than others.
Examples:
Trump pissed at Fox News host Neil Cavuto.
Trump to freeze U.S. funding for WHO

His daily dose of distractions are like flak over Washington DC., fending off facts that struggle to emerge about his administration.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**A Baker County judge ruled that Gov. Kate Brown's restrictions on religious gatherings were "null and void" yesterday because her emergency order amid the coronavirus pandemic had exceeded its 28-day limit.

But, the ruling was put on hold by the Oregon Supreme Court late last night. I'll be interesting to see what the court decides in this controversial issue that's played across the country in recent weeks.

**Here comes the judge...again - Yesterday, a federal judge denied an emergency injunction for a coalition of nine businesses and one non-profit that last week sued Gov. Brown, alleging her emergency stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic violated their constitutional rights and were politically motivated.

It's nice to see not all the nuts are getting their way about ignoring the health risks in our country.

**COVID stats - There's 3,787 confirmed coronavirus cases and the death toll remains at 138.

COVID side notes: Of the state's confirmed coronavirus cases, 1,964, or 53 percent, are under age 50. That surprises me. Only 15 percent of the cases are 70, and older.

Quote for the day; "It's very tough for me to focus. I'm like 'Look something shiny!' No focus. Oh look! there goes a butterfly." -Gabby Douglas 

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 64: Everyone Seems to Disagree With Reality

Dear Diary,

During these chaotic days of the pandemic the line between reality and an alternate realities has been worn thin... and is barely recognizable now.

What should Americans believe? Who should we believe? Why is there so much suspicion over a simple safety rule requiring face masks in various settings even as the coronavirus roars throughout the country like a runaway train?

Will a vaccine for COVID-19 be ready this fall? Experts who rely on science admit that it's highly unlikely, but Trump and his minions are telling people not to worry about the virus this fall, that it'll just go away this summer. 

Trump revealed he's been taking hydroxychloroquine for a week-and-a-half to protect him from the coronavirus. Scientists and healthcare officials had to immediately get the word out to the public (after that revelation) - DO NOT TAKE Hydroxychloroquine without consulting your doctor.

For the record, the drug is not an FDA approved treatment to ward off COVID-19. It's a malaria drug. It's not a miracle treatment... despite what Don the Con says.

Mirrors and smoke. Is it any wonder why people are disagreeing with reality? With no sane leadership, the country is a ship barely weathering a 100-year storm.

I'm not sure how we're going to right the ship, but it's going to take years. With Trump gone, reality will come back to the White House (which will need sanitizing) over time. 

It bothers me to see so many Americans ready to drink Trump's orange aid. Those same lost souls will be the ones that are going to be popping hydroxychloroquine tablets to fight off the Democratic/Chinese coronavirus. More unnecessary causalities of the war against reality.

I realize that some people hate the reality the pandemic has forced upon us all. It makes us mad. And sad. We just want the world to return to normal. 

Nevertheless, the only way to overcome the virulent virus is by using science and real methods like more testing, tracing, and personal protections like wearing masks and social-distancing.

Denying reality is a death sentence.


On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

**Pets - My two dogs like to hang out with me. Especially when I'm eating.

If I make the mistake of eating in the living room this is the kind of scrutiny I get from my two best furry friends. 

They both constantly assure me that variety is the spice of life, and I'm a shithead if I don't share!

**State COVID-19 stats - There's 3,723 known cases and the death toll has increased by one case, bringing the current total to 138.

It's Election Day! - Oregonians have until 8 p.m. to return their ballots for the May primary to have their votes count. Here's the dropbox locations listed at the secretary of state's website.

I really like it that Oregon has mail-in voting. I truly believe this years national elections will be safer if all of the states offer mail-in voting.

Quote for the day; "I learned a long time ago that reality was much weirder than anyone's imagination." -Hunter S. Thompson 

Monday, May 18, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 63: 'How To Watch Everything, or When Did We Stop Thinking For Ourselves?'

Dear Diary,

It's both amusing and disgusting.

"It" being the media's (both mainstream and social) use of the phrase, "How to watch..." and then fill in the blanks.

People are now being told how to watch something. Anything. Everything. It strikes me as one of the obvious signs of our dumbed-down country that we need an explanation for what use to come naturally.

How to watch...
**The Republican election strategy meeting on Thursday night somewhere beneath the bowels of the White House 

**The Simpsons

**The Kardashian's throwing a surprise birthday party for Trump in the Oval Office during the pandemic

**The March of the Starving Penguins in the North Pole

**Trump give a speech about vaccines without vomiting

**A four-year old boy play the piano while singing verses from La Boheme

**A special report on Fox News about, "The Deep State." (Hint: make sure to wear tinfoil hat before viewing) 

**The daily weather report 

**Two horney Aardvarks mating in the Berlin Zoo's 24-Hour Nature Watch broadcast

**A cluster of invasive Murder Hornets mistakenly released at wedding ceremony instead of  butterflies!

I feel it's my sacred duty to document the decline of knowledge in our nation today. Using satire is one way of getting my message across for future readers of this blog.

America went astray a generation ago when the emphasis on public education was reduced to the bottom of every list of programs that needed funding.

We're paying the price now. Just look at our president.
On the Homestead - Medford, Oregon
Comic relief 
 I got a good laugh at the small crowd (15 to 25 people) who gathered in Seaside to protest with signs that read "Reopen the Coast" the other day.

Apparently someone informed the angry group of patriots who just wanted their personal freedom, that the governor was opening up the Coast the next day! The group quietly left an hour before the scheduled protest was supposed to end.

**Thus far there has been 3,710 cases of the novel coronavirus, with no new deaths reported.

**What I've gleaned from the national news is that Oregon has done a good job of containment, and is one of only nine states considered to be safely re-opening according to CDC guidelines.

Regardless, Shirley and I have no plans to go anywhere (other than necessary shopping) to test how well our fellow Oregonians practice safety - like wearing face masks and social-distancing.

There's no need to get all happy and stupid. Caution is the better part of valor.

Quote for the day; "By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, journalism keeps us in touch with the community." -Oscar Wilde 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 62: Trump's Mission: Fire IG's Exposing His Corruption


Dear Diary,

Another barrier to stop Trump's runaway corruption is gone. 

The victim of another Friday night news dump, the inspector general for the State Department, Steve Linick, was unceremoniously fired without explanation.

This follows a pattern (since the senate foolishly acquitted Trump of his crimes) of firing inspector generals to conceal his corruption. It's a blatant display of power coming from a scared sociopath that fears the truth more than anything.

The timing of every one of the IG's firings reinforces the fact Trump is undermining independent oversight of his crooked administration.

This latest firing of Linick has infuriated Democrats who have called for an investigation over the obvious retaliation against Linick who was investigating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

According to House Foreign Affairs chairman Eliot L. Engel, Linick had been looking into Pompeo's misuse of a political appointee at the department to perform personal tasks for himself and Mrs. Pompeo.

With the clock ticking closer to November every day, Trump's all out assault against any perceived enemy or obstacle, is on Warp Speed (the latest laughable name for a Trump miracle vaccine drive) to disseminate as much disinformation as possible before election day.

To be clear; Trump is bored with the pandemic and wants to hold his rallies and tour the country with his medicine show, spewing lies and conspiracies' with wild abandon.

Meanwhile, he' staying busy attacking anyone in government who dares to stand up before him and call bullshit on his lies.

Historians will look back at Trump's regime and will use it for a cautionary warning to all Americans, that if a presidential candidate is not properly vetted (one look at his taxes would have eliminated him right away), we'll end up with another Trump... and that time we may not be so lucky in getting rid of a Trump clone.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**The White House claimed Oregon ranked in the bottom four for coronavirus testing. Not true. Read this.

Wet days - I don't really mind getting rain right now. 

Today, and next week, will be wet days and moderate temps in the 60s and the 70s.

I may break out the hot coco and have a marijuana cookie every now and then...and then...and then, until the sun comes out!

Quote for the day; "Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad." -Henry Kissinger