Saturday, June 6, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 82: Trump Finally Gets His Wall... Around the White House

Dear Diary,

Take a good look around the White House today.

It resembles a heavily guarded palace, or government compound, in a third world country. Ten-foot tall black fences are stretched around the immediate perimeter, and more fencing surrounds an outer perimeter that covers nearby Lafayette Park.

Hungered down inside is an unhinged president sending out mass tweets to divide the country.

What we know. Trump didn't get his southern border wall completed, and Mexico didn't pay for it. The only wall the tangerine tyrant put up was around the people's house.

The idea of a wall has always appealed to the real estate/ reality star, who likes to build things. However, the desire to rebuild America's infrastructure has never been a priority for a punk like Trump.

A massive crowd of protestors have showed up outside of the White House today, ahead of George Floyd's funeral next week.

On Friday, D.C. police Chief Peter Newsham told reporters, "We have a lot of public, open-source information to suggest that the event on this upcoming Saturday may be one of the largest that we've had in this city."

I think it bears repeating, "...the LARGEST that we've had in this city." Without official numbers, it's hard to tell just how huge the protest is. There'll be plenty of statistics to look at later tonight, and tomorrow.

The police chief also said he expected it to be a peaceful protest. It looks like he was right.

What a contrast. There's 4,500 police, national guard, and active duty Army units, surrounding the nation's capitol as Americans call out for an end to police brutality against unarmed African-Americans.

It's a signature moment. 

Trump trembling in the Oval Office while America voices it's displeasure over his ruinous reign. The protestors today want justice for George Floyd. They're also fed up with Trump's lack of leadership during a pandemic, and throughout his chaotic time in office.

The symbolism of a wall in Trump's rhetoric, and his reality, is appropriate today.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Medford Police Department - Chief Scott Clauson
Local Law Enforcement  Rogue Valley (includes Medford) cops have presented a united front against the actions of the police officers charged with murder after suffocating George Floyd.
What impresses me is that our cops get a lot of training when it comes to dealing with restraining suspects. 

One of the things they're taught (both in the academy and local departments) is keeping a suspect stomach-down on the ground while handcuffed, or being physically held down, can cause death by positional asphyxia.

I don't think this kind of training is particularly new to police departments across the country. However, there's no national program guiding police departments in the use of safe take-down tactics. Some do. Others don't. That's one of the reasons why we're seeing protests in all of our major cities.

My wife and I have lived in Medford for nearly seven years, and have not seen cases of police brutality against people of color (admittedly there's a small black population here), or any particular race. 

My contacts with the local cops have been positive ones. I see them out in community events all the time, mingling with the people they serve. It's sad that people in all cities can't count on their local police departments to treat them fairly.

Quote for the day; "Choose a leader who will invest in building bridges, not walls. Books, not weapons. Morality, not corruption. Intellectualism and wisdom, not ignorance." -Suzy Kassem

Friday, June 5, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 81: Welcome to America's National Nightmare

Dear Diary,

If I wasn't a wordsmith, I'd be speechless and unable to describe what's happening in America today.

The feeling of being involved in our national nightmare reality show is like sinking in quicksand. You struggle to get free from the chaos, but it's everywhere around you and sucking you into the maelstrom.

People don't know which to fear the most - COVID-19 - or Trump taking down our democracy and becoming a dictator for life?

The country is ablaze with riots and protests. 

Eleven straight days of protests, and there's no sign they're going to let up. A huge protest is planned in Washington DC tomorrow. I suspect there's going to be more people showing up for this protest than there were at Trump's inauguration.

It's disconcerting hearing what former CIA and military officials are saying right now about the situation the country is in. There's no doubt... were in a crisis. Our society is teetering on the edge of a profound change. 

If Trump steals this election - like he did in the last one - our republic will collapse under his autocratic rule. We'll no longer be a free society. 

Keeping the country divided into warring camps is part of Trump's re-election strategy. He's the chaos candidate the alt-right has always dreamed of.

There's never been bigger or more prolonged protests in American history. Historians will look at this explosion of societal unrest as a teaching tool on what could happen if another president is elected without proper vetting.

Trump wouldn't be turning the military against American citizens today if his taxes were exposed before he got in office. If the Supreme Court forces him to turn over his taxes at the end of this month, it'll almost be too late to matter if he had committed financial crimes.

With cronies like AG Barr and Mitch McConnell, Trump will probably tie up the courts and continue to campaign for another term.

A Constitutional crisis. A pandemic. A wannabe dictator. And a national cry for equality in our democracy. There's never been a time like this before... not just in America, but in the world.
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
The morning gathering -
My beautiful wife Shirley is seen here with four of our five animals. 
The missing cat was asleep in another room, and I didn't want to wake him up and piss him off. 
Enjoying our morning coffee with the "kids" is our favorite time of the day.

**For the record - There's been seven straight days of protests in Oregon. Mostly in Portland. 

**The governor ordered our state flag to be put at half-staff yesterday in mourning for George Floyd whose memorial services were held yesterday.

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

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 80: Clinging To Democracy Amidst Race Riots and a Pandemic

Dear Diary,

In my mind's eye, I see Lady Liberty and all she stands for clinging to the edge of a cliff as the nation tries to survive the worst president in American history.

Trump's ignorance and ego slowed down the response to the coronavirus, and his continuing assault against scientists and the healthcare experts will bear more grim results.

Because safety measures to mitigate the spread have been scorned by Trump who refuses to wear a mask in public and plays down social-distancing, I expect another wave of COVID-19... before the fall.

Coupled with Trump's despicable handling of the George Floyd protesters in DC and nationwide, Americans are going to have to navigate the biggest threat to our country in history... Donald Trump.

He's already used active duty combat Troops (82nd Airborne and the 101st Airborne) to threaten peaceful protestors in DC. The wannabe dictator also threatened state governors if they didn't follow his orders to call out the national guard in every state.

I haven't seen a time of unrest like this since I was an 17-year-old student in 1968, during the riots about the country's involvement in Vietnam and race discrimination. 

Even so, 2020 is worse.

We have a sociopath running the country now. Nixon was bad, but even he saw the writing on the wall and resigned when his party advised him to.

There's no way in hell this Republican Party will ever stand up to Trump. Most fear him so much they're prepared to go down with the ship in November.

Yesterday was the first time the Pentagon showed any sign of independence when Defense Secretary Mark Esper gave a short press conference. He said he wouldn't go along with Trump's threat to enact a seldom-used law to send out active military troops nationwide in a move to stop any more protests.

Trump, like a cornered rat, is scared. He sees his chances for being re-elected slipping away more every day. I expect he will continue to take a hard stand and to flout laws while doing it.

The question is, how far will Trump go in his maniac quest to rule for four more years? Will this world class con man, and wannabe dictator, be the death of democracy?

Only time will tell.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

Portland protestors form a line at a fence in front of the police and raise their hands before the police use tear gas and stun grenades on them.
(Photo by Brooke Herbert/Oregonian)
Protests went on for a sixth night in a row.

**Even as cases of the coronavirus continue to show a slow upward trend, Gov. Kate Brown announced the framework for Phase 2 of Oregon's reopening.

I can't help being skeptical. It's getting harder every day to believe any politician. Are we putting the economy ahead of safety here? I guess the weeks ahead will tell that story.

Quote for the Day; "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them real facts, and beer." -Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 79: Trump's Tweets Are Not 'Fireside Chats'

Dear Diary,

My focus today... 

there's 156 days before the general election.

Based upon the last three-and-a-half years, these remaining days are going to be excruciating long. 

After being impeached in February, Trump has been on a rampage and his rage has crippled nearly every scientific response to the pandemic, and now his militant rhetoric is stoking riots.

Being a seriously flawed individual, Trump has no empathy, sensitivity, civility, morality, honesty, or shame. 

His ego needs daily strokes. His now infamous photo op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church holding someone else's bible while tear gas cannisters burst in the background is a snapshot of a sociopath.

It's sickening watching Trump's minions stand up for him and disregard truth, dignity, and reality. 

Loyal lap dog and former Wisconsin governor, Scott Walker, praised Trump's waddle over to the church as something Rambo-like, "Hard to imagine any other POTUS having the guts to walk out of the White House like this," he cooed with slavish adoration on Twitter.

Try as I might, I can't recall any other American president who hid in the White House bunker from his own people. Historians may correct me here, but I doubt it.

What's horrifying is that Trump is fueling the fires of unrest in this country during a pandemic. People are afraid of an invisible killer, and the police after watching officers murder a helpless man on live TV.

Trump's tweets are not "fireside chats" comforting a worried nation. They're more like Molotov cocktails tossed from the Rose Garden or the Oval Office. They're expressions of hate and racism coming from a megalomaniac who only cares about being re-elected. 

I hope to see Joe Biden use Trump's lack of leadership like a cudgel in the days and months ahead. The contrast couldn't be more complete. Biden has empathy. Trump doesn't even know what the word means. 

On the Homefront- Medford, Oregon
**COVID Stats - The slow climb upward continues as three news deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 last night, bringing the total to 157 people who've died from the deadly virus. Latest count on confirmed coronavirus cases is 4,335.

**Morons in Medford - After yesterday's pathetic display of bored youths (all white) blocking traffic downtown in supposed support for George Floyd, it's quiet today.

For the record, Oregon is still nearly all white. The state's reputation for racism has been well earned, as a casual perusal of history shows.

Quote for the Day; "The minute you start compromising for the sake of massaging someone's ego, that's it, game over." -Gordon Ramsay

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 78: Crouching Coward, Hidden Bunker: Trump Lashes Out

Dear Diary,

It was two days of infamy for Cadet Bonespurs.

Here's exclusive after-action reports by the Secret Service after protestors showed up outside The White House.

Top Secret Report by Bob, the Agent-in-Charge

"We knew something was wrong when Trump shit his diaper hours ahead of his scheduled potty time. Looking out the window, the Commander-in-Chief was babbling at a gathering crowd of protestors outside on Pennsylvania avenue.

Agent Orville reported the president's eyes looked like two fried eggs and his tiny mouth was gaping open in primordial fear. I signaled Agent Lonny that it was time to take Trump down to the hidden bunker below the Oval office.

Agent Lonny and Orville escorted him to the presidential bunker - which had been recently remodeled with gold trimmings and a wall full of TV screens.

I witnessed the leader of the free world slowly regain his swag until he was walking around the plush bunker like the cock of the walk.

Then he got on Twitter and the threats started. From there, Trump called the nation's governors and called them a bunch of pussies for not using the National Guard to slaughter protestors.

An hour later, the president left the bunker on a carriage pulled by two Republican senators, Mitch McConnell and Mike Pence." 

End of shift. -Bob
Top Secret Report by Bob The Next Day
"I watched as thousands of protestors gathered outside the White House as POTUS was foaming at the mouth and tweeting Fox News hosts for advise on how to handle the tense situation.

Making a command decision, Trump ordered 250 active military personnel from a military police battalion to squat outside the White House between him and the angry protestors.

I tried not to pay too much attention to his hard-working minions Matt Gaetz and Lindsey Graham, who were having to change his diapers every half hour. The two-man chore wasn't pretty to watch. I had to skip lunch. That usually only happens when I have to watch him eat lunch.

The job got a little harder after Trump decided he wanted to go for a short walk to get a photo op at an old church near the White House. I stayed in contact with other teams as Trump turned the military against peaceful protestors in a show of power that was more like a presidential pout.

At last. It was night night time for Trump, and with the help of Lonny and Orville, we three carried his sleeping fat ass to his room. I couldn't help noticing he was still clutching his cell phone in one tiny hand. It was almost enduring. Almost.

End of shift.- Bob
On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon 
Name the rioters -
Authorities are asking for help identifying people who broke into the Multnomah Country Justice System and rioters from Portland.

If you recognize one of these clowns on the right, call 503-823-INFO
**An accounting - Gov. Kate Brown fired the director of the Oregon Employment Department over delays in delivering jobless benefits. Good to see someone shake the ancient system up.

**COVID stats - No new deaths reported. There's been 4,243 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state thus far.

**Here in Medford we had a few dozen morons trying to block cars downtown for no good reason. It was obvious they were bored students because most have never seen a black person in southern Oregon.

Quote for the Day; "The simplest way to make a coward courageous is to convince them that you admire their courage." -Mokokoma Mokhonoana

Monday, June 1, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 77: American Apocalypse Now

Dear Diary,

I've got the movie Apocalypse Now going through my head this morning.


Marlon Brando played Col. Kurtz, a renegade Army Special Forces officer during the Vietnam War, who had an outpost in Cambodia where he commanded American and Montagnard troops against the NVA. His followers believed he was a demigod.

Martin Sheen played Captain Benjamin L. Willard. His secret mission was to assassinate Col. Kurtz who'd become an embarrassment to American field force headquarters in Nha Trang.

Long story, short. Cap. Willard accomplishes his mission.

Francis Ford Coppola produced and co-wrote the Academy Award winning movie that went on to be considered one of the greatest films ever made.

American Apocalypse
The chaos in America today seems surreal to me at times.

I feel like Cap. Willard wandering through bizarre landscapes of destruction and death. Trying to break through the reality of what's unfolding before me.

A pandemic. Over 100,000 Americans dead and counting. Political polarization. An economy struggling to stay afloat amid massive layoffs nationwide. Over 40 million unemployed. Desperate people unable to work, and standing in food lines reminiscent of the Great Depression.

Race riots in over 70 major American cities. Agitators from the Right and Left capitalizing on the chaos. Protestors inspired by Trump's followers defying state orders for safety and demanding all services, jobs, etc., open immediately. 

Despite CDC and other healthcare experts warnings about another outbreak of COVID-19, right-wing groups continue to press the boundaries between science and politics.

An unhinged president who could start a race war, or conventional war if he thought it would help get him re-elected.

Unlike Cap. Willard, my mission isn't to kill someone.

My mission is to come out of this surreal stage in our history enlightened, and empowered enough to write about it for future readers seeking knowledge about what happened in 2020...
when America teetered on an apocalypse that threatened our republic.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

**Crowds return to Cannon Beach (not far from where we live) as the coast town begins to open.

**COVID Count - No new deaths and confirmed cases top 4,200. 

**Martial law again last night in Portland. Mayor Ted Wheeler declared a state of emergency and imposed curfew after destructive protests.

**Authorities say the key to keeping Oregon open is going to be contact tracing. The question is, will enough people participate?

Quote for the Day; "Don't wake me for the end of the world unless it has very good special effects." -Roger Zelazny

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 76: Protests Create a 'Perfect Storm' in America

Dear Diary,

The storm clouds gathered in January.

Dark ominous cumulus clouds bearing the deadly coronavirus silently settled over the entire planet. Governments were slow to recognize the foreboding signs of a growing pandemic.

In February, Trump was impeached for bullying the Ukraine, but acquitted by a corrupt senate majority led by Mitch McConnell. An unhinged Trump went on a revenge tour and fired inspector generals and other government officials he felt were responsible for trying to stop his crimes.

The dark clouds already hovering over Washington and across America, got darker and more sinister as the country became even more politically polarized.

When Americans started dying in March from the deadly COVID-19 spread, things suddenly got real. Too real. The country had to be shut down.

Businesses were suddenly, shockingly shuttered. Americans were told to stay-at-home to avoid spreading the silent killer. The country ground to a halt - catching the majority of Americans off guard.

By April and May millions had filled for unemployment and businesses, big and small, were crying out for government assistance to stay afloat in the gathering storm.

By mid-May Americans were tired of being shut in. They wanted a return to normalcy, many unaware that the world changed overnight and there would be no return to "normal." That there would be a new reality.

Frustration overcame fear as many Americans shrugged off scientific advise and turned methods of protection against COVID-19 to a political battle. The wearing of masks to protect others degenerated into a Trump/Republican thing versus Democrats who believe in science.

And the clouds hovering over our deeply conflicted nation, caused by frustration, fear, and uncertainty of what the future holds for economic recovery... burst!

Horrified Americans watched four white cops murder a black man on TV. Along with a couple of other recent prominent cases of white cops killing blacks, it was just too much.

Now we are faced with a perfect storm of challenges that will eventually reshape our country - for better or worse.

These riots across the nation (40 cities at last count) are a reflection of the many grievances people have - and not just about the murder of George Floyd.

The country is not ready to re-open to mass crowds, but they're here... we have no choice. I fear what the repercussions of these mass gatherings will be beyond the immediate impact.

The coronavirus knows no limits. Young and old are dying from it. Over 100,000 have died thus far. Most rioters were not wearing masks or practicing social-distancing. I believe a new outbreak will happen in the next couple of weeks. It's inevitable. 

That outside agitators, like white supremacists' and anarchists, are taking advantage of the civil unrest to further their own agendas, there can be no doubt. I also note that the Russians are taking advantage of these terrible times with online influencing causing more chaos.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

**A State of Emergency was declared by Portland's mayor. The shit hit the fan in Portland Friday night, as it joined 39 other cities in violent protests spurred on by George Floyd's murder in real time.

**Gathering of idiots - Hermiston, was the setting for the convergence of right-wing activists and militia leaders from across the state yesterday. 

The event was held to protest Oregon's continued shutdown of some sectors of the state's economy and schools, and to encourage people to be politically active, according to organizers. The latter is the real reason the trolls got together.

Some of the clown groups that attended: Patriot Prayer, Oregon 111percent Militia, and the Oath Keepers. A roundup of anti-government zealots always looking for trouble.

Their purpose? The same purpose outside agitators in cities across the country have - to create chaos in a society they hate. 

Quote for the Day; "Then the storm broke, and the dragons danced." -George R.R. Martin

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 75: Wasted Weekends and Days of Rage

Dear Diary,

Looking forward to weekends was a pre-pandemic routine that celebrated the end of a work week.

Most working Americans use to look forward to a couple of days off spent with friends and family. Weekends were special for a whole host of reasons.

Weekends are wasted now during the coronavirus. For stay-at-home Americans they have blended into the week in one long nightmare where their health and finances are at risk daily.

Instead weekends are lost in these days of rage.

No one knows how many more people will die from COVID-19 in the coming months - or even years ahead. There's talk of having a vaccine by the end of the year, but if history is any guide I doubt it.

Black Americans are dying in disproportionate numbers from the deadly virus that's still spreading from coast-to-coast.

Forty million Americans are unemployed. Thousands of small businesses have been destroyed.

Riots have broken out in cities after a black man was murdered by a policeman. The crime was videotaped from all angles. When days passed without any action protestors burned down a police precinct, and the national guard was called out.

When authorities finally arrested the officer who killed George Floyd after the videos left no doubt about his guilt, he was charged with murder. 

I look around and see a president so unhinged that I fear he may start a war any day, in a terrible "Wag the dog moment" to divert Americans from his ongoing corruption, and how he's mishandling the pandemic response.

Insert into this chaos that's choking our country, a presidential election where democracy, decency, and truth are at stake if Trump gets re-elected.

America is at a crossroad. I expect more days of rage as political battles become more intense leading up to election day. 

I'm hoping that enough days of rage from those fed up with Trump and his minions will be reflected in the ballot box this November, when Joe Biden is elected.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Oregon State Parks
announced first list of campgrounds to reopen this spring.
(Photo - Cape Lookout State Park. Photo by Jamie Hale/The Oregonian)
There's a total of 33 campgrounds that will reopen to a first-come, first-served basis.

**Latest COVID-19 stats - There's been 4,086 cases of confirmed novel coronavirus statewide and 151 deaths. 

**Oregon state health officials haven't been disclosing all virus outbreak numbers. The scoundrels' admitted (after getting caught) large coronavirus outbreaks at workplaces were not being acknowledged. 

They claim they're going to stop concealing outbreaks after the latest case - Townsend Farms - became public and 53 workers were infected.

Being somewhat dubious about local governments (actually any government) I suspect there's nasty little reasons for fudging the numbers.

Quote for the Day; "Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in the cage." - Billy Corgan

Friday, May 29, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 74: Societal Carnage Amidst the Coronavirus

Dear Diary,

If I were a black man, especially a young one, I'd be more afraid of cops than COVID-19. 

The coronavirus is a new challenge for minority communities who find it nearly impossible to social-distance because of poverty and tight living conditions.

But cops killing young black men goes back for decades. The killings have increased in the last five years where there's been over 1,000 cases (according to FBI records) of unarmed black men being killed while being taken into custody.

In a moment yesterday when Americans were reminded that 100,000 lives have been lost to the coronavirus, they were also confronted with watching a cop murder a non-violent black man on TV. It was an execution.

With onlookers begging the cop to take his knee off of George Floyd's neck - while he gasped for air and pleaded he couldn't breath - three other cops stood by and looked uninterested at what was unfolding before their eyes.

I felt a cold chill watching how indifferent the cops were as their partner crushed Floyd's neck while taunting him to "get up." Floyd later died from his injuries.

The outrage was immediate and culminated two days ago with riots in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a Target store was burned down and looted. Tension in the city is still high today as officials promise investigations and justice.

The four officers were fired, and are facing an investigation into their actions that could lead to criminal sentences - and possibly death for the officer with his knee on Floyd's neck (although I don't think it would go that far).

What really horrifies me is seeing people murdered because of the color of their skin. There's no nice way of getting around the fact that racism in America is getting worse - not better.

I'm taking note of an insightful article from PBS called Racism in the Era of Trump: An Oral History, because it greatly expounds upon my observations.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Twitter talk 
 As Trump was busy attacking social media outlets because they put a disclaimer in a couple of his tweets, an Oregon group that claimed voters' party affiliations were being changed without consent had it's account suspended by Twitter.

To my surprise, Facebook also labeled the group's lying propaganda "partly false" citing information about Oregon's elections system and directing readers to go to fact checking sites like nonprofit Politifact.

My surprise was that Zuckerberg actually took some action. He totally punks out when it comes to fact-checking Trump.

The group - "My party was changed Oregon" - and the Oregon Republican Party launched an effort to gather first-hand accounts from voters who say their party affiliation was changed without their consent.

I wasn't surprised to see that the information they were gathering went straight to Trump's re-election campaign. It was obviously designed to help promote Trump's attacks against voting by mail.

The website Gateway Pundit which Facebook says, "is known for publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes" was the original source of the false claim and was picked up by the group.

Quote for the Day; "Racism is a grown-ups disease, and we should stop using our kids to spread it." -Ruby Bridges

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 73: 'Off With Their Heads!' Trump's Social Media War

Dear Diary,

Since America has had to go down the rabbit hole with Trump, it's been anything but a wonderland.

His wanton destruction of norms, laws, ethics, and common civility, has demeaned the office of president.

Taking a look at Trump's latest assault against the First Amendment, we see another example of how far he'll go to suppress free speech he doesn't like.

Because Twitter finally ran a fact check below two of Trump's tweets, the tangerine tyrant lost it and screamed (in essence) "Off with their heads!"

In fact he threatened to "strongly regulate" or even "shut down social media platforms." They're both baseless threats that one would expect from a coward.

This form of bullying, which may have worked when he was a civilian, has met with stiff resistance from the courts who don't think he's above the law.

Nevertheless, Trump's attacks against the mainstream media have effectively inserted a "fake news" element that threatens truth-tellers who speak ill of him. 

Trump is a prolific liar and is devoid of shame. He repeats falsehoods about mail-in voting fraud, and conspiracies' about ex-Republican senator, and now TV host, Joe Scarborough, for news cycles as a diversion to his lack of leadership during the pandemic.

I expect Trump's war on all media platforms will get more intense as the months pass by during what is shaping up to be the ugliest presidential campaign in American history.

All Americans Deserve the Truth

Trump's daily Twitter rants distort facts, and have to be fact-checked constantly. 

The fact that Twitter even decided to take a stand (and fact- check him) surprised the hell out of me! It should be interesting to see how this battle between Trump and social media platforms escalates between now and November.

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

**Signs of summer - It was 91 degrees in Medford yesterday. Today is nearly as hot, and tomorrow looks to be the same. But... cool weather is on the way again as spring tries to cling on before fully surrendering to the heat of the summer.

**By the end of spring Oregon cities are going to look a bit more like Paris, Athens and Barcelona's Euro-style street seating to help restaurants reopen during the coronavirus.

Business owners from Portland to Medford have teamed up to craft plans that will allow restaurants and bars to take their tables and chairs out to the sidewalk, into nearby parking lots or even place them directly in the street.

I can't wait to see how this all works out. There might even come a time when I feel safe enough to dine out - outside that is.

**COVID-19 stats: The good news is no new deaths were recorded. The number is still at 148. There are now 4,038 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state.

Quote for the Day; "Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable." -Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 72: SpaceX Launch Signals New Phase for American Astronauts

Dear Diary,

No more catching rides with the Russians if today's manned SpaceX launch works out.

There's no guarantee it will however. The launch has to be in a split-second window (4:33 EST), or it's going to be called off. 

(Breaking news! The launch was called off due to the weather)

Instead of the usual cargo for SpaceX - a private company owned by Elon Musk who has been doing business with the US government/NASA since 2012 - today's payload is two astronauts!

Going from cargo capsules to astronauts marks the return of a space program that ended in 2011 with NASA's final space shuttle flight. It only seems fitting that the pilot of that mission is also going to be returning to space today.

Back in the saddle again. Veteran NASA astronaut Doug Hurley is set to make history again, this time with Bob Behnken. They'll be riding SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule to the International Space Station on a test flight.

If things don't turn out today, the next try would be Saturday. Liftoff slated for 4:33 EDT.

Trump/aka Cadet Bonespurs, and his puppet Pence will be at Kennedy Space Center with no face masks on to witness the historical moment.

I'm betting that Trump mentions his new Space Farce Force regardless of what happens today. 

The flag that his minions came up with is classical Trumpian - meaning they ripped the triangle logo off from Star Trek and put it on a blue field. 

On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
**Updated COVID stats - 4,018 confirmed novel coronavirus cases and 148 deaths from the virus.

Stormy Daniels: 
a fictional comic book
and a new comic series

Remember Stormy Daniels?

She had an affair with Trump while Melania was pregnant, and he paid her hush money. The cat got out of the bag however. The case is still waiting to resume after Trump gets his ass kicked out of office.

What's she got to do with Oregon?

TidalWave Productions, a Portland publisher recently announced the arrival of a new biography comic book featuring Stormy Daniels.

"Female Force: Stormy Daniels" was created in conjunction with Daniels, who wrote the foreword to the book and edited the story herself.

In addition:

The Portland publisher is also releasing a comic book series called, "Infamous: Tiger King" another spinoff from Netflix's "Tiger King" series.

As an underground comic aficionado. I'm going to have to purchase these offerings. Maybe someday they'll be worth a lot of money. I've got Fabulous Furry Freak Brother comics from 1967, that start at $100 each.

Quote for the day; "Interstellar travel is like a flight to Australia on acid." -Stewart Stafford

Lady Gaga's Dogs Stolen in Broad Daylight: Nationwide Dog Walkers Are At Risk

The pantheon of dangerous jobs in America has just expanded to include dog walkers. Lady Gaga's dog walker was shot four times in the ...