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

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 117: The Last Days of the Trump Regime

Dear Diary,

The clock is ticking. Americans will be voting in four months. 

I think we're seeing the last days of the Trump regime. 

His followers are slowly peeling away - either because they've died from COVID-19 after following Trump's lead to not wear a mask - or their vulnerable GOP down ballot candidates seeking separation from his losing tactics.

Trump bragged that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and he'd get away with it while campaigning during the 2016 presidential election. 

He better not try that line again during this election. For starters, 5th Avenue has a giant mural - Black Lives Matter - painted bright yellow down the center of the street right in front of Trump Tower.

Of course, Trump bitterly complained to the police and called on them not to let "this symbol of hate be affixed to New York's greatest street."

It didn't make a difference, as Mayor Bill de Blasio picked up a paint roller with civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton and helped complete the project.

It's just one of many signs how different 2016 is from 2020.

Trump is polling worse this year than in 2016 in the same time period. The Republican party is starting to blink, as they realize how toxic Trump has become during the pandemic.

The mainstream media fact-checks Trump in real time - often minutes after he was caught lying in public. After awhile the public has come to understand he's a serial liar.

Republicans already know he is, but have chosen to drink his Kool aide hoping his base will get them all re-elected. It should be interesting watching the rats slowly slink off the Trump train as we get closer to November.

There's nothing Trump won't do right now to hang onto the presidency. He's like a cornered rat. And like a cornered rat, he's dangerous. When his niece Mary said he was the most dangerous man in the world in her new book... she wasn't kidding.

These final days of the Trump regime will be dark with unnecessary coronavirus deaths that can only be attributed to Trump's attack against healthcare officials during a surging pandemic.
                On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
I hope this forecast is wrong...
Oregon Health Authority officials are warning hospitalizations in Oregon could spike by the end of this month. 

They're predicting that the state could see anywhere from 1,100 to 7,300 new cases per day, depending on infection rates.

While making this dire warning healthcare officials suggested that only 20 percent to 30 percent of cases are being formally diagnosed through testing.

We're averaging 389 new cases per day right now. That suggests that the actual number of infections in Oregon could be currently as many as 1,400 a day.

What worries me more than anything is most of the people my wife and I've seen in public aren't wearing masks, despite the current state mandate to do so. We have neighbors who don't wear face masks and who think the whole coronavirus thing is being overblown! 

The doubters are in for a rude surprise. I hope they survivor their own ignorance.

Quote for the Day; "Trump's defense is in his tweets. Insanity." -A.K. Kuykendall

Friday, July 10, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 116: Unable to Bully COVID-19, Trump Turns On Healthcare Officials

Dear Diary,

If there's one thing Trump hates, it's news reports calling out his lies.

He hates it even more when judges rule against him like in the Supreme Court decision yesterday granting Manhattan district attorneys the right to subpoena all of his financial information, including his income tax returns dating back to 2011. 

The message was clear to everyone... "No one is above the law," ...but Trump. 

Licking his wounds from bad polling and supreme court decisions going against his administration, Trump has pivoted to attacking healthcare experts to divert attention.

Dr. Fauci is a good example. Trump is dismissing his advise and suggesting Dr. Fauci doesn't know what he's talking about, despite the fact he's the most trusted member of Trump's Task Farce.

A recent poll reinforces that claim: A Pew Poll conducted during the first week of July showed a majority of Americans - ranging from 89 percent to 94 percent - trust Dr. Fauci's advise over Trump's.

That fact hasn't deterred Trump however. His ploy is one that only a sociopath would employ.

He's actually trying to get people to ignore the pandemic which is raging in 47 states, and to pretend America's re-opened under his leadership.

He threatens the CDC like a petulant child, complaining that he doesn't like their guidelines for re-opening the nation's schools in the fall, demanding changes because the recommendations were "too hard."

The CDC pushed back the next day (a very rare event) and said there weren't going to be changes made to their guidelines, but they were going to add some more suggestions for re-opening.

In Trump's fevered brain healthcare officials have gone from being heroes to hinderances. Most healthcare officials are fighting to save lives by every means possible. Some political appointees are sending mixed messages because they're afraid of Trump.

Try as he might, Trump hasn't been able to bully the coronavirus. He's only had mixed results with healthcare officials. 

In a struggle for facts on safety measures to take against the virus, Trump has emerged as the chief denier of science by refusing to wear a mask and not demanding all Americans to comply with one of the most important of the three safety measures proven to save lives: 
(1) wear a face mask,
(2) social distance, and
(3) wash hands frequently.

Without strong leadership from the White House, I can't see an end to this pandemic pulverizing Americans. I know two things for sure: 
(1) If Americans can't be made to wear masks, that are not an issue anywhere else on the planet, we're screwed.
(2) The whole country has to work together to get this virus under control. We're needlessly losing lives because of politics and lack of leadership.

That's a damn shame!

                 On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Face Mask Defiance
More and more local businesses aren't following face mask guidelines and customers (and employees) need help getting them to obey the governor's state face mask mandate.

For the record, the Oregon Health Authority said that a lot of anti-maskers are trying to get away from wearing them citing so-called "medical conditions." Medical experts are saying bullshit, "The number of cases that would require not wearing a mask, are slim and far between," a spokesman explained.

**COVID Update: There were 389 new cases reported yesterday, including here in Jackson County where 7 cases were documented making it the most cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began.

The death toll has climbed to 230 after six more Oregonians died yesterday. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases stand at 11,188.

Quote for the Day; "Bullying builds character like nuclear waste creates superheroes. It's a rare occurrence and often does much more damage than endowment. -Zack W. Van

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 115: Supremes Rule: Split Decision on Trump's Taxes

Dear Diary,

There's a lot of people who have been waiting for three and a half years to see Trump's financial records and tax returns revealed.
The decisions are in!

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Manhattan district attorney and Grand Jury can rule on Trump's taxes and financial informationThe case was remanded back to New York. Bad news for Trump because all of the lower courts ruled against him.

In another 7-2 decision the Supreme Court said Congress had to narrow down charges - essentially saying they were going on a fishing expedition. The case goes back to Congress who has to tighten up their requests in order to get approval.

It's not clear how much material will become public, since records would go to a confidential grand-jury investigation in New York.


America will finally see just what a crook and a liar Trump is.

His stonewalling will be explained; he's a cheater, and always has been according to his niece Mary who wrote a book - Too Much and Never Enough: How my Family Created the World's Most Dangerous Manabout how badly flawed Trump is.

I ordered an advance copy three days ago and will get delivery on July 28th. Looking forward to some interesting reading. It's supposed to hit the book stores next week on July 14th.

                On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon
Jackson County Public health reports
no new cases, staying put at 152.

Five more Oregonians died from COVID-19, bringing the total to 220, and 218 new cases were reported yesterday.

The state has now recorded 10, 605 cases of the disease. Right now the demand for testing is surging. We've done very little, which is troubling.

**Scratching my head
Home sales in the Rogue Valley and throughout the state are surging during this pandemic. I just don't get it.

**Some good news
Oregon gas prices will continue to stay low because of the lower demand. Hey! Every penny counts in a pandemic.

Quote for the Day: "...But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes." -Benjamin Franklin

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Pandemic Diary Day 114: 2020s Leader of the Lost Cause: Trump

Dear Diary,

The sociopath (according to his niece Mary) squatting in the Oval Office has chosen to be the leader of a second civil war, because he thinks it'll get him re-elected.

Early on, Cadet Bonespurs was inspired by wearing a gray uniform while at a military school that his parents sent him too. It helped that he was raised a racist (his dad was a KKK supporter), allowing him to side with the south's so-called "Lost Cause," when it was convenient to do so.

Trump went from denouncing the southern battle flag in 2015, to embracing it in 2020. His latest clash with the only black race car driver on the circuit, Bubba Wallace, was a senseless attack designed to please the sons of the latter day Lost Cause.

It was a call to all loyal Klansmen to boycott professional racing until the Confederate flag was restored and prominently displayed.

Trump has chosen to throw his lot in with confederate sympathizers, and other losers like white supremacists, militia maroons, Q-Anon conspiracists, and alt right groups that deny reality, and science.

I find it ironic that Trump's Lost Cause coalition all eagerly embrace his every word; increasing their odds of getting COVID-19 during this pandemic because they don't believe in wearing face masks. 

While Trump should be trying to add to his base, he's actually losing some of the most loyal. Polls show the majority of Americans are sick and tired of his divisiveness, corruption, and lack of leadership.

Even his advisers in the White House, and Fox News, are concerned about Trump's choice to lead a lost cause during the current social climate and growing awareness of inequality in America.

It doesn't matter. In Trump's mind he see's himself as another Andrew Jackson, or Robert E. Lee. In the end of the day it looks like Lee's gray uniform won out!

              On the Homefront - Medford, Oregon

Oregon Country Fair
Because of the coronavirus this year's Oregon Country Fair will take place in an interactive, 3D virtual world on July 10,11 and 12.

Executive Director Wally Bomgaars said it was important to provide a place for the artisans and crafters who have been struggling during the coronavirus to sell their goods.

There's three different ways visitors can use the oregoncountryfair.org site during the fair dates. It sounds really cool. Visitors select an avatar and walk through a virtual recreation of the fair.

Quote for the Day; "Always retain the ability to walk away, without sentimentality, from a situation that feels unmanageable. That was a basic rule of survival. Don't lift a finger for a lost cause." -Steig Larsson

Are You Extremely Proud to be an American? Then You're in the Minority

Just 36% of Americans   recently told Gallup pollsters they were extremely proud to be an American.  That's the lowest percentage   sinc...