Saturday, July 18, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 124: Abuse of Power: Trump's Political Theatre in Portland

Dear Diary,                              
According to Oregon Public Broadcasting and the Washington Post, federal law enforcement officials responding to protests in Portland, have in recent days been unlawfully detaining people in unmarked cars. 

These "officials" - which turned out to be goons working for the Department of Homeland Security's Custom's and Border Protection - are wearing camo outfits with no identifying patches on them and are armed with assault rifles. They've been driving around in unmarked rented minivans and arresting people indiscriminately for several days.

Trump wanted a diversion from his sinking polls by playing Mr. Law and Order by ostensibly protecting federal property (a courthouse). Numerous media and first-hand reports have documented the goons grabbing people off the street who were no where near the courthouse and were not engaged in criminal activity.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Gov. Kate Brown, and Oregon's congressional delegation were pretty clear they did not want Trump's "Help" in dealing with the protestors. In particular they said the feds were not welcome.

Wheeler said that the federal officers had brought only violence and "life-threatening tactics" to Portland streets, and "we do not need or want their help."

Gov. Brown told Trump and his minions that they should remove "all federal officers from our streets" and criticized Trump's "political theatre" and "blatant abuse of power" in Portland.

State Sen. Ron Wyden echoed that critique in a Twitter post yesterday:

"A peaceful protestor in Portland was shot in the head by one of Trump's secret police. Now Trump and HHS Director Chad Wolf are weaponizing the DHS as their own occupying army to provoke violence on the streets of my hometown because they think it plays well with right-wing media."
This is all scary stuff
It's another Trump diversion utilizing federal forces to crack down on lawful protests. We've seen Trump's secret police before in Washington DC when he wanted a photo op. Armed men in camos with no patches.

How terrifying for American citizens who are watching Trump turn federal agencies against them in a blatant assault on their civil liberties.

Trump has turned our republic into a Theatre of the Absurd by catering to authoritarians and alt-right supporters. He doesn't want his reality show presidency to end... ever.

Quote for the Day; "The highest mode of corruption is the abuse of power." - Auliq Ice

Friday, July 17, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 123: Trumpism is an Infection That's Not Going Away Soon

Dear Diary,

The dark day Trump slithered into the White House the infection began spreading. 

Conservativism collapsed and was replaced with Trumpism. Military brass that were once patriots became pawns, as Trump went through "his generals" in search of perfect cronies in the Pentagon.

Trumpism has been a spreader of toxic division and racism among Americans. I find it disturbing that Trump got away with appointing two "Conservative" judges to the Supreme Court, and installing 200 Federalist Society lackeys' to federal court judgeships in districts across the nation.

Those Trumpian infections are going to be around for a long time. The other sores scarring our leadership positions in government can be rooted out and dispensed with. From the entire Trumpian cabinet to the Department of Justice, the need to sanitize all traces of Trump's corrupt minions will be immediate when Biden takes office.

There's no way to tell how long Trumpism will continue to stain our society after he returns to civilian life. Infections like this, when cult followers are willing to give up their safety and lives by not wearing masks to please The Donald, take time to wither away in the trash heap of history.

There's two infections challenging all Americans today;
**A global pandemic with America doing worse than any other country on earth in containing it, and
**Trumpism.
                  On the Homefront, Medford, Oregon
UNMASKED IDIOTS
About 50 of the stupidest residents in Medford gathered to protest the state mandate to wear face masks Wednesday.

Because you can't change stupid, either you are or you're not - the coronavirus will continue to spread throughout the country.

STATE BUDGET
Oregon lawmakers propose closing a prison, and cutting mental health offerings, to balance the state budget amid the coronavirus. 

The idea that these lawmakers want to cut any funding for mental health absolutely blows my mind! Mental health offerings are already far and few between, and now the need has grown exponentially with the pandemic.

I suggest the lawmakers take a cut in their own salary to help balance the budget.

Quote for the Day; "After all, evil was a kind of poison, an infection of the soul." -John Connolly

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 122: Don the Con Picked a Losing Game to Play This Time

Dear Diary,

All con men have signature schemes and Trump is no exception.

Trump thrived in reality world TV by turning facts into fables and controlling the narrative around him about being a great businessman.

With a boost from his "Apprentice" fans, white supremacists, the KKK, militia groups, and alt right conservatives, Trump conned enough people to get elected. It was the biggest con in American history.

With four months to go until the presidential election, Trump is finding that his 2016 campaign tactics no longer work. The game has changed. People know who Trump is now. They see how incompetent his leadership has been during this terrible pandemic.

His desperate "Now you see it, now you don't" attempt at warping people's perception by denying reality is not working anymore. As of this writing, the nation is in coronavirus free fall with record infections and deaths. It's spreading faster right now than when it first appeared in February.

Despite Trump and his minions attempts to stop healthcare experts from telling the truth about the situation, there's no denying reality. From attacking Dr. Fauci to not ordering a national mandate on face masks, team Trump has picked a losing con this time.

                 On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
There's a relatively small portion of Southern Oregon residents that want to bring all but 14 of Oregon's counties into a breakaway pact to merge with Idaho.

The Greater Idaho project is more a dream than a real possibility. Dissatisfied rural Republicans have been chaffing under a state with a Democratic governor and Democratic majority in the State Legislature.

Getting the necessary signatures to get on a statewide ballot initiative hasn't gone well and the sponsoring group People Not Politicians who are asking for another deadline extension after already having been granted one. 

Even if county voters like the idea of being part of Idaho, both of the states' legislatures, and the U.S. Congress would need to approve the change. I guess it just gives those maroons something to bitch about.

NOT THIS TIME!
Portland protestors attempted to form what they call the Chinook Land Autonomous Territory in downtown Portland parks on Tuesday.

What started out as a normal protest for racial equality and law enforcement reform ended up with a small group of squatters across the street from the Federal Courthouse declaring it occupied.

That small group put up barricades on two streets which the police quickly took down.

After seeing what happening in Seattle Washington, when protestors took over part of the city, the last thing I want to see is some morons trying to pull the same stunt here. 

Protest parades are fine. It's the people's right to stage public protests. Just go home at night.... okay?

Quote for the Day; "The code of the con is to know just enough about everything so you can lie about anything." 
-E. Tancarville

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 121: The Biggest Threat to Public Schools: Betsy DeVos

Dear Diary,

Education Secretary and Trump puppet, Betsy DeVos, doesn't give a damn about children.

Or public schools.

She sees them as an income source for her depraved private for profit religious schools. If she gave a damn about children she wouldn't be pushing for a grand nationwide opening of schools in the height of this pandemic.


What we know about DeVos:
1) NPR reported that the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, formerly the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, has been a top contributor to the Federalist Society, prompting the nation's largest teacher's union to criticize her for spending time on political events rather than planning for a safe reopening of schools shuttered by the pandemic.

She's currently holding three virtual meetings a week with members of the Federalist Society.

2) Betsy and her family are major Trump donors, which got her the job - despite being unqualified - in the first place.

3) Her father-in-law is a co-founder of Amway (basically a pyramid scheme) and part of a small circle of conservative billionaires who have long funded the Republican Party.

4) She's a major financial backer of legal efforts to overturn campaign-spending limits.

5) She's done everything she can to limit funding for public schools, and to promote private religious schools for profit.

The woman is evil.

She's also the current biggest threat to America's public school system. 

                   On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Recent virus transmission models agree with earlier evaluation - we could see anywhere from 1,100 to 7,300 cases per day by the end of this month.

We hit a daily record high of new cases Saturday with 409 reported.

Thus far, the state has reported 12,800 total cases of confirmed coronavirus, and 234 deaths.

Quote for the Day; "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 120: Trump's Staggering Corruption Continues Unabated

Dear Diary,

When the Republican goons in the Senate decided to give Trump a Get Out of Jail card by acquitting him instead of convicting him of the high crimes he was impeached for, they turned a sociopath loose.

Feeling exonerated (although he wasn't according to Mueller) Trump set out on a revenge tour throughout every government agency.

With seemingly no restraints on him, Trump has been tromping on laws like a wild jackass. He feels invincible because he's still continuing to drag justice down into the swamp with him despite efforts to hold him to account. 

It seems like no one can stop the orange maroon's depredations against our democracy. His latest insult to the rule of law was commuting the sentence of his long time buddy Roger Stone.

Stone was righteously convicted of seven felonies, but it didn't matter. The fact that Stone didn't "flip" on Trump like Michael Cohen did, was vital. 

From the moment Stone was arrested until last week, he knew all along he'd never do time. Trump told him as much in coded messages. 

Some sources claim even AG Barr tried to talk him out of freeing Stone. I'm not sure I believe that after considering what Barr's done for Trump since he slunk into the AG position.

House democrats don't have the political will to try and impeach Trump again. Especially in the middle of a pandemic. 

The result; our unhinged president continues to degrade justice even as he seeks re-election under the motto The Law and Order President. 

                   On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
ROLLING BACK
Gov. Kate Brown announced a ban on indoor social gatherings of more than 10 people and an outdoor mask mandate.

Shit's getting serious once again in Oregon. However, it looks worse now than ever before. Coronavirus cases are climbing daily with dire predictions about how many daily cases there will be by the end of this month.

ENDLESS PROTESTS
I can't believe demonstrators are still taking to the streets after 47 straight days. That's crazy. They're protesting a lot more than George Floyd's death and systemic racism.

Apparently there's an ever growing menu of complaints to pick from daily. I don't see endless protests going on in any other city in America.

What is it about Portland? More malcontents? Anarchists? Is this all just street theatre, and the joke is on society?

Quote for the Day; "The whole point about corruption in politics is that it can't be done properly, without a bipartisan consensus." -Christopher Hitchens 

Monday, July 13, 2020

Pandemic Diary, Day 119: Whining About the Coronavirus? Get in Line!

Dear Diary,

It's Monday, and I'm tired of seeing the coronavirus get worse every time I wake up. 

If there was a place to get off this ride, I would. Unfortunately there's no choice but to sit during this roller coaster approach to fighting a deadly global pandemic.

I wish Trump was right when he said the coronavirus would magically go away. I'll take magic if it works. I'm getting discouraged waiting for reality to bail us out. 

With no leadership to guide the country, we're experiencing a circus of horrors that has already killed over 135,000 Americans and infected another 3.2 million.

Plainly put, America is doing the worst job of coping with the virus than any other country in the world! That's a fact. We're a leader in all the wrong measures taken to combat COVID-19.

With no end in sight, my whining about the invisible killer among us is nothing more than a coyote howling at the full moon. I'm fully aware there are a lot of other unhappy coyotes like me wailing out there across the country.

Until this country gets it shit together, the whining, howling, and wailing will go on amidst endless funeral processions. 

                 On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon 

NEW PROGRAM
There's good news for local high school students who'll now have the chance to gain private pilot licenses without charge through a collaboration with a local air education nonprofit and two charter schools.

Students at Crater Lake Charter Academy and REACH Charter School will participate in the program with funding support from Southern Oregon Air Academy.

This is the first year students in both Jackson and Josephine Counties, have access to this two-year-old project. 

Quote for the Day; "You know you're winning when You are not whining. You're simply shining!" - Ana Claudia Antunes

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 118: America is on Edge of a Precipice

Dear Diary,

It's pretty damn hard to witness what's happening to the country right now. 

Watching the coronavirus creep from coast-to-coast like a conquering army of invisible warriors is unsettling to say the least.

I don't need experts to see this pandemic, coupled with the most corrupt and divisive president in American history, is a challenge unlike anything our nation has ever faced. 

Our founders would be shocked to see how corrupt the administration and the commander-in-chief are. They never anticipated a lawless authoritarian rule that would trample on the Constitution they had so proudly forged.

No sugar-coating it... these are real bad times in America and across the world. It's never felt so apocalyptical in my 70 years on this earth.

Every other country on the planet has been able to get some control over the coronavirus because they understood simple things - like how wearing masks save lives and the importance of social-distancing.

It's embarrassing to know the United States is doing the worst job of fighting COVID-19 in the world. It doesn't get any worse than that. Everyone knows why we're in the bad place.

The Trump regime doesn't believe in science, and have been straying further and further away from our best scientists advise in favor of re-opening everything because it would make Trump look good to his base.

That's where we all stand. On the edge of a cliff. A precipice so deep we can't see the bottom right now. We're a country without a true leader in the biggest crisis to ever challenge our republic.

I know how we got here. I also know how we can change course. Register to vote if you're not already registered. By voting for Joe Biden in November the country can still turn from the disastrous course Trump has set us on. 

                 On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Grim COVID
Outlook
The cases of coronavirus are growing exponentially and Oregon is not testing anywhere near where they should be.

It's getting personal...
One of the many reasons I know the state is in need of testing, is that the supplies associated with testing are running low.

I have a son in the hospital in isolation at a local hospital, and they haven't been able to get COVID results back yet on him because the labs are out of "re-agenting" materials. 

I can tell you, as a parent, waiting is scary as hell! Frankly, I'm mad as hell that the state is already becoming overwhelmed when the worst to come is happening at the end of this month, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Quote for the Day; "I don't know if we're on the edge of the precipice, but we're in a very, very, very difficult situation." -Luis de Guindos