Is this intentional? Is there someone at the top (no, not The Darnold, someone who actually runs things) who is a Democratic Party plant? A double agent whose mission is to put the Dems back in power permanently?
It’s a legitimate question, and I can’t come up with a lot of answers for “why are they so intent in killing their own voters?”
Do they think they can pin this on President Biden somehow, when we have to start piling their bodies in refrigerated trucks again?
You know, for a nice Canadian gal she sure has a habit of picking titles that are potty mouthed
My new favorite TV show is called Kevin Can F*%K Himself. If you don’t know, the premise of the show is that that main character, Allison, lives in two different television realities. In the brightly lit multi-camera sitcom world she is the perpetually put upon wife of the titular man child character. Think Leah Remini in The King Of Queens. In the other darker single camera world she is a woman on the edge of a nervous, potentially homicidal, breakdown ready to do anything to escape the hell that her husband has made of her life. Think Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad. The combination of the two is a phenomenal deconstruction of both styles. I’m particularly drawn to the point it makes about how situations perceived as benign one way are tragic in another.
Which brings me to vaccines. In particular, the COVID 19 vaccine.
Let me just begin by saying that if you are a Kevin or a Karen who still hasn’t gotten the vaccine, you can go f*#k yourself. I don’t want to hear your excuses. I don’t want to hear about how the FDA hasn’t fully approved it (this is an emergency dickwad and it was approved for emergency use so f**k you use it). I don’t want to hear about how you HEARD it might mess with your DNA (no more than that six pack of Coors before dinner every night does and probably a lot less). I don’t want to hear about how you’re just being cautious and once the science comes in you’ll decide from there (like you care about science or could even read a scientific report let alone understand it). And if you say but people who have been vaccinated have still tested positive for COVID I swear I will punch your lights out. Learn what that really means. If you want this pandemic to be over there is only one way for that to happen and it’s for everyone to get the vaccine.
So f*^k you if you haven’t gotten it.
We had it beat. We were starting to reopen, to get back to normal, to come out on the other side. All you had to do was get the jab, once for J&J, twice for the others. The first day I was eligible I made an appointment to get it. More importantly the wife (Cruella) made an appointment to get it as well. Put a pin in that point, we’ll come back to it after the jump.
On June 15 California declared that anyone who was vaccinated could go without a mask, not have to observe social distancing, and in general get back to life as we knew it. Last week many counties in California were forced to reintroduce those precautions because the Delta variant, which it has been shown the vaccine protects against, has spiked here and across the country. Who’s getting sick? Not those of us vaccinated. Only those who are not. In other words, those of us who did what we were asked to do, what we were pleaded with to do, now have to go back to Pandemic Days because little Karen Kouldn’t Kare with her degree in epidemiology from the University of Fox News has to be kept alive and well.
I’ll do it, cause I’m just that kind of community minded person, but Karen can go f##k herself.
New Orleans has never been an easy place to live. That’s why I long ago dubbed it #TFC: This Fucking City. We have great local food and culture, but city government is from hunger. Our problems never seem to go away but instead morph into something else.
You’ve all heard about Katrina and the Federal Flood but in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, it was hard to live here because of crack cocaine fueled crime and blatant police corruption. The two elements collided tragically in the Len Davis case. Davis was an NOPD officer whose side hustle was as a drug kingpin. Nice work if you can get it. Davis was brought down after orchestrating a hit on an informant, Kim Groves.
1995 was the year New Orleans experienced an epic flood the likes of which used to only accompany tropical systems. At the time, we viewed it as a once-in-a-lifetime freak event. I’m nostalgic for those innocent days.
The summer of 2021 has been free of tropical systems thus far in New Orleans. It’s been, however, among the wettest on record. I’m not just talking about our classic weather summer pattern of rain every afternoon. I’m talking about torrential rain that floods the streets and seeps into houses and businesses. It happens far too often for comfort.
It’s gotten to the point that we don’t go anywhere without checking the weather. We lost a car in a flood a few years back and would prefer to avoid a repeat performance. Being this weather-aware is a grind, the daily grind referred to in the post title. #TFC
It’s obvious that climate change is the culprit in the rise of flood-level rainfall. It’s a global, not a local phenomenon. It’s happening in places you don’t think of as flood prone such as Germany.
Hopefully, federal funds are on the way to help us with our water-based infrastructure problems. Then we’ll have to worry about the city government’s propensity to piss money away and do sloppy construction work. A good example is what happened to FEMA money earmarked to renovate the Municipal Auditorium. See my last Bayou Brief column.
Some public works programs have backfired in #TFC. The French Quarter is high ground and rarely experienced street flooding until some street work was done in the 2010’s; at least I think that’s why it floods nowadays. It’s hard to get a straight answer out of City Hall. #TFC
We’re experiencing a new wave of COVID cases. The Delta variant is striking hard. The local vaccination rate is a bit north of 60% but the statewide rate is dismal. Plus we have drive-in tourists from hot spots such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. I did a meme thing about that earlier this year:
I’m expecting that that the city will go back to the future with some sensible mitigation measures such as mask requirements. The Cantrell administration has been surprisingly competent on COVID related issues. That’s gotten them into trouble with those who value money over human life. We have those too in #TFC.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not an Apocalypse NO post. I love New Orleans and more likely than not will die here. I prefer that that happen later rather than sooner. Get jabbed, mask up and stop spiking the ball, y’all. This is some serious shit.
Knowing that there’s no perfect place to live, I have a healthy love-hate relationship with #TFC. I appreciate its plusses and cope with its minuses. I even think the daily grind will eventually be less onerous; at least I hope so.
The last word goes to honorary New Orleanians Little Feat:
The MSM are experiencing Trump withdrawal. Cable news ratings and internet clicks are down. They’re flailing, searching for drama where none exists. This week has been a prime example. Here are three things that are getting play that I don’t care about.
Billionaires In Space: Who cares about Jeff Bezos’ and Richard Branson’s brief and expensive foray into space tourism? Neither flight lasted as long as Alan Shepard’s 15-minute Mercury 7 flight. All they proved is that if you have enough money, you can spend your way into space. Yawn.
“He’s laughing at every person in America who actually paid taxes,” Warren said. “Jeff Bezos’ trip to outer space is being financed by all the rest of the US taxpayers who paid their taxes so that Jeff Bezos didn’t have to.”
She added: “Jeff Bezos kept all of his money and uses it on a space ticket. Uh-uh.”
The only tantalizing question is whether Jeff Bezos has billionaire hair envy. Richard Branson has a full head of hair, Bezos does not. All he has is a cowboy hat that doesn’t fit. I guess he thinks he’s one of these guys:
Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and James Garner had the right stuff. Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos merely have the green stuff.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Drama: The MSM remains so addicted to the GOP narrative that they’ve forgotten who is driving the train in the Senate. Democrats show signs of breaking up with the Rob Portmans of the world and folding traditional infrastructure spending into the larger bill and passing it via reconciliation. That’s always been plan B, a point that’s lost on the media. Backup plans are boring.
Wingnuts Get Jabbed: Suddenly, the folks at Fox News are urging people to get jabbed like they all are. The MSM is in a tizzy wondering why this happened. Here’s why: the stock market cratered on Monday because of fears that the Delta variant is out of control. It’s a sign of greed, not enlightenment.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise hews to the Fox News line. The Metry mediocrity announced that he got vaccinated after resisting it like other wingnut dummies in the Gret Stet of Louisiana. Thanks, Steve?
Ryne is frustrated with people who will not get vaccinated. His ire is targeted at Louisiana but it applies to the rest of the South. There’s a resurgence of COVID and there’s a simple solution. Get jabbed.
The Tool Is There by Ryne Hancock
“The ones that cry most are usually the reason for the tears.”
That was something my friend Dee said to me on Twitter on Friday when I said the same people that were mad about no tailgates and parades in Louisiana are now angry about Coronavirus cases going up in the state, something that, as opposed to last year, is preventable with the availability of the vaccine.
If you took away Orleans and Jefferson parishes, only one other parish out of the 64 in this state has over 50% of its residents fully vaccinated, which would be West Feliciana, which I believe is the first rural-like parish to crack that threshold.
And while that’s good news, attached to the fact half of the adult population in the state has at least one dose of that sweet vaccine, it doesn’t change the fact that this state, despite everything our governor and health officials, are being jackasses about not getting the vaccine.
That’s right, I used the term “jackass”, because as opposed to January where everyone was wary about getting the vaccine, myself included, there should be no excuse whatsoever for anyone to get the vaccine now.
If you’re not getting the vaccine now, you’re not only putting your own health in jeopardy, but your family and your friends. You’re going to be the main one angry that you can’t go to football games and tailgates. You’re going to be the main one calling John Bel a snowflake because he decided to bring back restrictions (which I’m not a fan of, but whatever works) because to you he trampled on your personal freedoms.
“No one’s going to make me get a vaccine,” you say.
When in actuality, when you had to go to school you had to get your mumps, measles, and rubella shots.
That’s why you don’t hear about mumps, rubella, and measles, or even polio, which hasn’t been relevant or in the conversation since DePaul basketball was nationally relevant.
Because we have tools that eradicated those diseases, a tool that is available to everyone, my generation doesn’t have to worry about polio or being in an iron lung.
But those same people that had to get those types of shots when they were kids are now skeptic of a vaccine that has been peer reviewed, researched, and gone through trial runs. They’re quicker to listen to the person at the barbershop who believes that the vaccine is another Tuskegee Experiment than a person with actual medical qualifications.
If you ask me, their listening to the jackasses at the barbershops tells me one thing and one thing only.
Some things never change. Republicans have long identified enemies, then raised money by attacking them. For many years, Ted Kennedy was the GOP’s main boogieman even after his presidential hopes ended. They raised hell and buckets of bucks off the Clintons, Barack Obama, and Nancy Pelosi. Now the Trumpiest Trumper of them all, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is continuing this odious tradition with an unlikely target: Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Say What? You heard that right. Team DeSantis is selling tacky anti-Fauci: merch.
NEW TODAY: Our team just dropped EXCLUSIVE merchandise on our brand-new @WINRED storefront.
Freedom, man. A friend has suggested I slap that on a t-shirt or koozie and sell it on Etsy or Red Bubble, but too many people would take it literally instead of ironically. (The first time I heard about Etsy, the name made me chortle. Etsi-ketsi is Greek for so-so. So-so it goes.)
The Impeached Insult Comedian was the one who started the hate campaign against one of the world’s most eminent scientists. What Trump does, Ron DeSantis immediately imitates.
DeSantis avoided statewide mask requirements even as leaders across the political spectrum embraced them amid growing evidence of their effectiveness. This spring, he suspended all virus-based local rules for businesses and individuals.
The governor has encouraged people to get vaccinated but also banned businesses from requiring proof of vaccination, arguing that such measures are a form of discrimination against people who refuse vaccines for medical or religious reasons. He also successfully sued the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep it from enforcing its coronavirus rules on cruise ships in Florida, a major part of the state’s tourism industry.
DeSantis is bragging about Florida’s “freedom based” economy while ignoring the latest explosion of COVID in his state. Freedom, man.
In recent days I spoke with a half dozen GOP insiders about the recent flare-ups between DeSantis’s and Trump’s camps. The sources agreed that DeSantis and Trump are on an inevitable collision course as the 2024 GOP field takes shape. “There’s going to be a blowup,” a prominent Republican said. “Trump fucking hates DeSantis. He just resents his popularity,” a Trump confidant told me. Asked for comment, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington said: “Governor DeSantis has shown great respect.”
Part of Trump’s irritation with DeSantis is that Trump famously claims credit for anyone in his orbit who gains attention. “Trump tells people, ‘I made Ron,’” the prominent Republican said. “Trump says that about a lot of people. But in this case it’s actually true.” According to sources, then congressman DeSantis cultivated Trump’s support during the 2018 gubernatorial primary by hanging out at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel. “Ron basically ran his primary campaign out of the hotel. He buttonholed Trump supporters and his friends,” the prominent Republican said.
I look forward to a collision between Dr. Evil and his Mini-Me. It will be entertaining as well as destructive to the Republican party. Game Of Thrones ended badly, hopefully Trump-DeSantis will too. Stay tuned.
Back to Tony Fauci. He’s a tough old bird who can take a punch. He’s from Brooklyn before it became Hipster Central. In Fauci’s day, it was a tough working class enclave. Dr. Fauci has been vilified before; by AIDS activists in the 1980’s. He was able to win them over with a combination of charm and substance, but they were good people who wanted to stop a deadly disease. Ron DeSantis is a bad person who has allowed a deadly disease to spread to further his political ambition.
I’ve been referring to the GOP as a death cult for years now, but over the last few weeks it truly has completed its metamorphosis.
Back in the early days of the madness that has now taken full control of the party, it only venerated the death of people it considered to be bad or evil, and this manifested itself in strong Republican positions favoring the death penalty and wars that killed people of color. But during Ronald Regan’s second presidential campaign, the conservative political movement decided to marry a conservative religious movement: fundamentalist Christianity.
The GOP promised this bigoted, racist (fundamentalist Christianity was the guiding force of Jim Crow) voting bloc the Moon: to outlaw abortion, to only appoint anti-abortion judges, and to fight against civil rights for people of color, women, and LBGTQ people. And fundamentalist Christianity sowed the seeds of its deep hatred for post-civil rights era America into the fabric of the Republican Party, seeds that would mean the death of the post-60s culture.
This unholy alliance was in turn led by politicians, exclusively white males. who had no interest in or use for fundamentalist Christianity: the Bushes were/are Episcopalians, Bob Dole is a Methodist, John McCain identified as an Episcopalian until it was more convenient for him to identify as a Baptist (i.e., he moved from identifying with a mainline denomination to identifying as a fundamentalist because he was the GOP nominee), and Mitt Romney is a Mormon.
Donald Trump is not religious at all, which is eminently fitting as he is the apotheosis of the Reagan campaign’s cynical embrace of fundamentalist Christianity: he embraced a group of people he has zero actual interest in and in turn they embraced someone who transgressed all of their taboos because they believed he could help them impose their worldview on the rest of us.
This approach is highly problematic, and not just from a moral and ethical stance. When you promise revenge to people who feel disenfranchised and cut off from their society, you also have to justify hurting other people, which is pretty anathema to Christianity. The language of dehumanization and hatred led to a terrible series of race-, faith-, and gender-based mass shootings which the GOP absorbed without an ounce of compassion for the victims or sorrow for so much death wrought by their words.
The GOP gleefully took away abortion access for women, even if that procedure was needed to save women’s lives. It allowed medical professionals to refuse to care for LBTGQ people. Republican governors refused Medicaid expansions–that they would not have to pay for–because the lives that would be improved and/or saved would be poor people who were unlikely to make large financial donations to their never-ending campaign war chests.
When Covid-19 paralyzed the country, the GOP fully embraced its calling and gloried in the pandemic’s sorrow and pain, refusing to take any precautions, spreading lies about the disease, and culminating when the cult’s leader told people to inject bleach into themselves—AND PEOPLE DID. Even after the cult’s leader fell critically ill, the party kept pushing its agenda of death. No one’s life was valuable enough to save from Covid-19.
Not being an organization that sleeps on its laurels, and not content with 600,000+ Americans dead from Covid-19, the GOP broke new ground this week. The state of Tennessee is stopping all vaccine outreach to children and teens. It may even do away entirely with the state health department.
In his official bio on the state government website, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, is described this way:
The governor and first lady are people of strong faith.
I don’t know what to say. I am a person of strong faith and I know it’s wrong on every level to neglect and abandon vulnerable people, and especially children. The idea that professing Christians could be so indifferent to the sickness and death of children, or so cynical that they would be willing to sacrifice their health and lives for a Pyrrhic victory, is unthinkable.
I’ll let the psalmist have the last word, writing about the Israelites wandering the desert with Moses and falling in with other religions when times got tough instead of sticking to their own teachings:
We’ll skip the “borrowed and “blue” parts, and start off with the “something new” stuff, if you don’t mind :
You’re probably aware, if you follow this series, that the $88,000 / quarter Freepathon beg-a-thon is a prominent part of Freeperville, and how Jim Rob and his son manage to live on a measly $160,000/ year each beggars (see what I did there?) the imagination.
It’s also no secret that the end of each one and the beginning of the next one have been slowly creeping together. Lately, though……
Woo hoo!! OVER THE TOP!! Congratulations and thank you all very much!! God bless. [FReepathon Thread]
Posted on 6/24/2021, 9:41:39 AM by Jim Robinson
Please note the date.
And now –
Woo hoo!! And our 3rd quarter 2021 FReepathon is now underway!!
Posted on 7/1/2021, 8:52:00 AM by Jim Robinson
Woo hoo indeed.
Six days between the end of one freepathon and the beginning of the next.
They might as well just leave the progress indicator pasted at the top of the page.
I used to think (and kinda still do) that Jim Rob always fudged the “end of the Freepathon” by claiming a touchdown from the 30-yard line, but now I’m not so sure. Freepers would occasionally complain about the beginning of the next bleg coming so much closer to the previous one (in olden times, they raised the money for the quarter in less than a month), only to be chastised by all and sundry for being a ungrateful commie.
We, by which I mean I, spend an inordinate amount of time here at First Draft excoriating national or wannabe national politicians for their various grandstanding moves and Sunday Morning talk show blather. We, by which I mean I, never seem to talk about politicians doing the job they were elected to do.
Now yes politicians are elected for the most part to vote on enacting laws or to be our “leaders”, whatever that word might mean to you. But we are also supposed to elect politicians to help with more mundane everyday problems. The issue is that too often we forget about that last reason. Try and get a politician to help ME? They only want to help the big money donors. They only want me to remember them come election day, they’re not going to help ME with any personal problem.
But I’m here to tell you that political leaders can help you in your everyday life. One just did that for me.
Since the first days of shelter in place I’ve been on unemployment. All of my rather substantial work bookings for 2020 disappeared pretty much over night in late March and early April. Even though I got a job as an enumerator for the Census just as the bookings were drying up, that job ended up not beginning until mid August and ended in mid October. Thus I was four months without a paycheck.
I am fortunate to have other sources of income so the wife (Cruella) and I didn’t go hungry and we didn’t lose our house, but those bi-weekly checks from the Employment Development Department (EDD) went a long way to keeping us from the middle class’s greatest bête noir, dipping into savings. Even when we both started work with the Census and our wages were greater than what we were getting via unemployment we kept the accounts going because we knew the Census job was ultimately a temp gig. Sure enough when it ended it was easy to get back to getting checks from the state.
I wanna stop at this point to say something about Unemployment Insurance. It IS an insurance policy. Workers pay into it on a paycheck by paycheck basis. In my case I not only paid into it for forty plus years, but for many of those years I paid into it twice per paycheck, once as the employee and once as the employer (yes, in case you didn’t know, your employer matches your contribution on a dollar for dollar basis). What it is NOT is an entitlement as some in the political sphere would have you believe. Whenever I hear things like that I want to respond “so when the house you’ve made insurance payments on for years burns down you’d be okay with the insurance company saying they’re not going to pay you because that would be an entitlement”? It’s the rainy day fund and in 2020 it was pouring.
By the way, it’s the same story for social security and disability. Insurance policies, not entitlements. Both.
Some say the best part of going away is the coming home.
Well it’s certainly nice to be home. At least I know where everything is supposed to be and generally is unless of course I moved it before we left because “It’ll be so much easier to find it when we get home”.
When we left California there was still a pandemic going. When we got home…not so much. I mean it’s still going on everywhere else, but here in the Golden State it’s become as clothing optional as Baker Beach. And by clothing I mean masks. Masked up I walked out of our favorite coffee house with hot Joe to go on our way out of town, came back to find Safeway has only a few people wearing masks working there, no customers wearing them, and all social distancing signs, posters, stickers, and/or any related chazerai gone.
And I mean gone. Zero, nada, nilch, the big bagel.
Pandemic? What pandemic? Never heard of such a thing. Go on with your silly self.
The only Delta variant we know about is if DL345 JFK to SFO gets diverted to DFW and we need to XPD OTO ASAP.
Acronyms — just like words only more confusing.
I was expecting that there would be a gradual slide back to normal once the state fully “reopened”. All the coverage I was able to read or watch on TV from afar seemed to indicate that was what was going on. Masks were still on faces, distances were still observed, and at least in the beginning things would slowly return to normal. It was going as expected so I stopped following reopening stories.
What a difference a week makes. And a state.
On our way back through Oregon it was still mass pandemic mode. Limited is still the working theme in the Beaver State, as in “we have limited seating for our limited menu and only during our limited operating hours”. But hey, Trump flags are still flying and nobody seems to be working so tell me again how this is working out for ya? It’s so bad the wife (Cruella), who had been yelling “HE LOST” at any Trump sign still up or flag still waving, had to stop it or risk losing her voice. And this in a state where Biden won with almost 60% of the vote.
But then again it’s a state whose travel industry is based on getting tourists to come up and become live bait to catch Bigfoot. Of course that might help explain their fascination with the Big Orange Julius Caesar Salad. Is it that much of a stretch to go from believing in Bigfoot to believing in The Big Lie? Both are conspiracy land creations designed to explain what to a simple mind is unexplainable. Both are promogulated by so called experts with little to no actual expertise. And both are perpetrated by and for the enrichment of a select group of individuals. Kinda sounds like they go hand in hand.
Besides, have you ever seen a picture of Trump and Bigfoot together? As the QAnonuts say “do the research”.
Meanwhile here in California it looks like we’ve weathered germ warfare…er…I mean a once in a century naturally occurring viral explosion. Just in time to put bricks in our toilet tanks, low flow shower heads on in our showers, and watch as our lawns wither and die in the water parched summer heat. One natural disaster at a time is how we roll here in the best of all possible worlds.
“Well this living off the road is getting pretty old” Yeah Levon you got that right.
As a child, I was obsessed with the 1940 Disney movie Pinocchio. I was haunted by Pinocchio’s trip to Pleasure Island. He was conned into going by Honest John the fox seen above. Instead of paradise, it was hell as wayward boys were transformed into donkeys. Holy Cautionary tail, Batman.
I thought of Pleasure Island when I heard about Nightmare Scenario. It’s a new book by two WaPo reporters about Team Trump’s handling of the pandemic. It has a passage that reminded me of the time then President* Pennywise suggested that people ingest bleach to deal with COVID. This is just as stupid:
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, as White House officials debated whether to bring infected Americans home for care, President Donald Trump suggested his own plan for where to send them, eager to suppress the numbers on U.S. soil.
“Don’t we have an island that we own?” the president reportedly asked those assembled in the Situation Room in February 2020, before the U.S. outbreak would explode. “What about Guantánamo?”
“We import goods,” Trump specified, lecturing his staff. “We are not going to import a virus.”
Aides were stunned, and when Trump brought it up a second time, they quickly scuttled the idea,worried about a backlash over quarantining American tourists on the same Caribbean base where the United States holds terrorism suspects.
It’s Pleasure Island all over again with then President* Pennywise in the role of Honest John and Slumlord Jared as his smarmy sidekick, Gideon the cat. Like everything else about the Trump regime, the idea was a con, a variation on the cup and ball trick. Instead of hiding the ball, Trump hoped to hide the virus. The stupid burns like bleach. Oy just oy.
We all knew that the Impeached Insult Comedian was an ignorant idiot, but this is stupid even by his standards. Guantánamo is a naval base, not an island. It’s a piece of Cuba that the second Bush Administration transformed into a prison for terrorists in 2002. It’s a relic of the age of gunboat diplomacy: the US Navy “leased” it in 1903.
Since the Kaiser of Chaos knows nothing about history, he was oblivious to the other image this would have evoked to the sentient public: Leper Colonies. Leprosy is now called Hansen’s Disease to reduce the stigma associated with the original term. It was once believed to be highly contagious and was a huge problem during the Dark Ages. That resulted in a primitive and cruel form of social distancing: Leper Colonies, which were often islands. Hence the original post title: Welcome To The Trumptanamo Leper Colony.
Just imagine if then President* Pennywise had been shipped off to the Trumptanamo instead of Walter Reed Medical Center when he was stricken with COVID. It’s a good thing that some of his aides had sense enough not to drink that version of the Trumper Kool-Aide. The stupid burns like bleach. Oy just oy.
The last word goes to The Who with a song in which Tommy serenades his cult members:
You know how in JAWS they wanted to kill the shark to save the summer holiday season for Amity Island? Well they blow the shark up (“Smile you son of a …”) and swim back to shore and…fade to black. We never find out if they saved the summer holiday season.
That’s kind of where we are right now with COVID, vaccinations, and the summer season. Some places have opened up fully for business, some partially, and some, well, it’s hard to say what they are doing. So in California the shark blows up and everyone comes flooding in. While on this trip I have booked four separate tour hosting gigs for groups coming from all over the country. Meanwhile in Washington the shark is blown up and people from Washington itself and neighboring states who are vaccinated are taking the opportunity to get out and enjoy some of what they’ve been missing for the past year and a half. Oregon? Best I can say is some people think the shark either wasn’t blown up or was never there at all. Others think everything’s fine. Totally depends on where you are and even from one town to another the rules change.
Asked the waiter at the restaurant last night if their business has been impacted by the ferry service closing between Victoria and Port Angeles. He hemmed and hawed, finally admitting that he doesn’t pay much attention to Canada since he can’t go there (hmm, that little scrap over the illegal substance conviction must have put a damper on his pro snowboarding career). But the town has definitely suffered since there is no ferry service from Victoria to Port Angeles because of Canada’s COVID border closure. That ferry normally carries hundreds of cars a day back and forth and suddenly it’s up and gone. What few waterfront bars and restaurants are still in business (lots of empty store fronts) were busy on a Father’s Day Sunday night, but only BECAUSE there were so relatively few left. On the other hand the hotels were jammed with Olympic National Park enthusiasts eager to get out in the fresh cool air and hike, bike, backpack, and otherwise take advantage of the beauty of nature.
Washington does have a more lenient attitude toward COVID precautions. Signs dot pretty much every retail and eating location that say in effect “All employees have been vaccinated so if you don’t want to wear a mask, we’re okay with that”. And almost as a thank you for their efforts, most people will wear a mask into the building and remove it at a designated point (at a table in a restaurant, once fully inside a retail establishment, etc.). And no one barks or demands compliance with government mandates.
In general it’s the small towns that seem to be doing better than the large cities we visited. I suppose if you don’t have a lot of businesses in the first place you have less businesses to lose. Seattle in particular has a horrible problem with drug addicts on the streets downtown because they have moved into the abandoned buildings large retailers (Macy’s, Ross) and small have abandoned. At one point we walked back from Pike Place Market to our hotel along Pike Street and watched no less than a dozen junkies lighting up crack and meth and shooting up heroin, all sitting in the doorways of these abandoned retail locations. With no one caring to push them away from their front doors, Superfly’s cliental are beginning to act like they own the street. That’s not good for what retail establishments still ply their trade down there and even worse for the city as a whole. Vibrant downtowns bring not just locals and tourists but a sense of a city moving forward. Frankly it made even me, urbanite from day one, feel uncomfortable and on edge. The response from the police and city officials? A shrug and the excuse “why arrest them, they’ll just be out and back in the same space in a matter of a few hours”. I understand this has been going on pre-COVID, but the pandemic has worsened the situation.
The weather here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia has finally warmed up and I have been spending time on our back deck, tending to my flower boxes and my vegetable and herb container garden, and serenaded by the distant cicada spaceship chorus, and the ever-increasing sound of the close-in singers who have synched up in their search for mates.
I wrote earlier about my anticipation of the Brood X emergence and I am happy to say that after feeling a bit anxious that we wouldn’t see or hear them, they have been putting on an incredible sound show. When they first emerged en masse, Magicicada septendecim began chorusing, making this spooky spaceship sound all around:
Two days later, the Magicicada cassini chorus, the dominant species in this area (although the septendecim are more numerous), got their act together. I measured a peak sound of 98 decibels that hot, sunny afternoon:
I knew they had a 100+ decibel reading in them, and a few days later they proved me right:
We had 5”+ of rain over the last few days, and they were noticeably quieter. But when the sun returned they were back on point, singing at 95 decibels. And yes, you can hear them inside, with the windows closed.
The cats are interested in the cicadas. Our male cat Finn knocked one down, and put it into his mouth and brought it inside. He is a weird cat because he does not bite his prey. Then again he’s big and strong enough to kill stuff with his paws alone. The cicada began buzzing and Finn was very annoyed because he hates noise. Then the cicada began walking toward Finn’s throat and Finn had had enough with this noisy sharp-edged toy, and he spit it out. That hasn’t cured him of trying to catch another one, of course. Rey doesn’t find their clumsiness to be much of a challenge and she has largely ignored them after her initial bout of excitement.
I’ve really enjoyed this twice in a lifetime (for me) event. God willing, we’ll be settled in a sunny spot in the Keys the next time Brood X starts singing. I am also very aware of how this event dovetails with the end of a once in a century event as the pandemic begins to wind down here in the United States.
My county has ticked back and forth on the Harvard Covid map from “orange” to “yellow” to “orange” and back again because the difference between “vaccinated” and “unvaccinated” is confusing to people who want to take their oh-so-oppressive masks off. I thought about going without one at the grocery store the other day but decided against it, and someone sailed past me coughing the croupiest cough I have heard in a very long time, and I remembered that the law of unintended consequences is a double-edged sword.
The online community I am active in has several ongoing Covid conversations, and they are almost entirely driven by conspiracy nuts and deniers. You would think they’d be happy about states lifting all restrictions, right?
Of course they’re not. They’re obsessed with people who are still wearing masks. Every day 1 of them has to wonder anew about why people are still wearing masks, despite being repeatedly given the reasons: small children at home, compromised immune system, their doctor wants them to have additional protection because of an underlying medical issue, they live with or care for someone in one of the previous categories, or they have been traumatized by the illness or death of someone close to them, or their own close call with death and Covid. Or they could just be still adjusting to post-Covid life and mourning the death of 600,000 Americans.
I asked one of them why he cared that someone he didn’t know did something which had zero effect on his life, and he didn’t answer. It’s not about “trusting the science” for these people. It’s about bullying other people because they themselves were frightened for those dark months and they want all traces of that fright erased. Well, too bad for them, because not only am I going to continue to wear a mask in places where I will be exposed to a lot of people and thus to the common cold and other communicable diseases, I like to be a thorn in the side sometimes, and wearing a mask seems to be a super easy way to do that. (Those of you who know me in real life can attest to that.)
Masked or not, like the cicadas, I have emerged from isolation. I am back to in-store shopping, and seeing friends. My parish has resumed in-person worship, and our bishop okayed the return of my beloved choir (provided we are all masked and vaccinated), and that weekly outing has brought a lot of normalcy back to my life.
My husband is dealing with an injured knee so we’re not back to eating out just yet, but that will change soon enough, and I CANNOT WAIT to eat a hot meal I didn’t have to cook myself. My sense of humor is slowly returning and I actually can stop worrying for part of every day.
I’m back to visiting my town’s wonderful farmers market and having that community time again, reaffirming old friendships made there, and getting to know new people and finding common ground with them after not walking through the market for a year.
All of these little things add up to what Serbian people call “merak”, or contentment bolstered and fueled by small pleasures that make you feel connected to the universe. It’s a good place to be in June 2021. Joy be with you all.
Good morning, everyone! Get your ISO suits on, because not only are we doing a deep dive into stupidity, we’re going into a highly infectious COVID-19 zone.
If you weren’t already aware of it, there’s been a frequent series of threads entitled “Flubros and flubras” aimed at COVID-19 deniers, even as the pandemic has slain Americans by the hundreds of thousands It follows the former guy’s dictum of :
Finally, after deciding that he’s beating a dead horse (another Freeper started a mocking series of posts entitled “The Butcher’s Bill(it’s just the flu, bro)“, the “Flubros and flubras” originator, “impimp” (insert your own joke here) is giving up, but is still a disbeliever.
There are a few TBD items with the Coronavirus: 1.Will they resume the lockdown in the fall/winter when flu season picks up? 2.Will there be a vaccine passport in any way? 3.When will laggards like churches, schools and hardcore blue states finally see the light?
I will post a Flubro thread if anything related to these items, or something else interesting pops up. But the daily thread is over now that the CDC has relaxed somewhat. It’s been great fun and I have enjoyed discussing Coronavirus items with Flubros and Flubras over the past 15 months. I like to think that we influenced many Freepers, who are, of course, more influential politically than the Illuminati. I also like to think that in some small way we made things better and freer here in America. Well done FRiends!
Then, the author of the “Butcher’s Bill” posts just has to ruin “impimp”s fun :
+39,095 NEW CASES
***599,314** TOTAL DEAD
31 posted on 5/15/2021, 10:20:11 AM by Kozak (The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. TV)
Fortunately, it’s just the flu.
TED NUGENT ON COVID-19 FIGHT: ‘I DIDN’T THINK I WAS GONNA MAKE IT’ UltimateClassicRock ^ | April 28, 2021
Posted on 4/29/2021, 1:56:38 PM by nickcarrawayTed Nugent has revealed that he feared for his life during his recent battle with COVID-19.”Five or six days ago, it was really bad. I didn’t think I was gonna make it,” the guitarist declared during a live webcast tonight. “I literally couldn’t function for about 20 hours… I’ve never been so scared in all my life.”He described his symptoms as a “six-foot-two, 225-pound headache, like nothing I have ever experienced. I mean, from the tip of my toes to the top of my hair I literally was dizzy and weak and struggled to get up to go to the bathroom.”Nugent then explained that a group of doctors came to his aid, with one even paying for a private plane to take him to a hospital. “They came from around the world, they go, ‘Uncle Ted we got the stuff, Uncle Ted don’t worry we got you covered, Uncle Ted we’re sending a plane and we’re taking you to the UT medical center and we got ya, man!’ I could literally cry, it was so powerful.”
Naomi Wolf is a living, breathing fact-free zone. Her books have been all over the place, but they all boil down to a central point: me, me, me. Any time I contemplate her, I think of two classic books from the late 1970’s: Christopher Lasch’s The Culture Of Narcissism and Tom Wolfe’s The Me Decade. Every decade is the Me Decade for Naomi Wolf.
In recent years, Wolf has become a rabid anti-vaxxer. An odd place for a one-time adviser to Al Gore to land but RFK Junior is one too. The malakatude it burns.
Wolf’s Twitter account was recently suspended for spreading COVID and anti-vax disinformation as well as general cluelessness. I made that last bit up, but it fits.
Her prize-winning tweet is of the clueless variety:
The last words I’d use to describe Belfast in the 1970’s are calm, still, peaceful. Haven’t you ever heard of The Troubles? Try watching Derry Girls for a comedic take on the pre-Good Friday Agreement days in Ulster. They were anything but restful and natural.
That’s right, it didn’t personally impact Naomi Wolf, so it didn’t happen.
In case you’re wondering if she’s too young to know about The Troubles, Wolf is 58 years old.
Repeat after me: Every decade is the Me Decade for Naomi Wolf.
The last word goes to U2 with a song about those “calm, still, peaceful, restful, natural” days in Northern Ireland.
There’s been a lot of talk in the past months about how Americans don’t want to go back to work.
I say bunk.
Americans want to work. They need to work. Not just for the paycheck, but for the pride of accomplishment and the upward mobility it provides. It’s ingrained in our DNA, all those descendants of seekers who came from all over the world to this egalitarian utopia.
OK it’s not egalitarian, it’s not utopia, and there are just as many current immigrants these days as descendants but go with me on this.
Companies are complaining they can’t get people to work for them. Imagine that. For years companies molted workers every time the economy went the least bit south, disregarding years of service and the effect on not just the workers but their families and their communities, all so the company could show a healthy bottom line to the stock market.
And I say that as someone whose main source of income these days comes from the healthy bottom line those companies show the stock market.
It’s my main source of income since like so many others I am on that unemployment line, right behind the waitress from my favorite restaurant and the guy who used to work at the gas station. OK it’s no longer a physical line, it’s the cyber-line of the California Employment Development Department website. The line stretches over a million people long at the moment. The EDD is so overwhelmed that getting a straight answer has turned into many people’s full time employment. And not just those trying to get their accounts straightened out. A new industry has popped up to take advantage of the state’s fumbling response to an unprecedented need and a massive amount of fraud. For a fee someone will robo-call EDD for you till they get through then stay on hold till an actual human answers the call. Then they patch you in.
American ingenuity at it’s finest. Find a need and fill it as dentists and cement contractors say.
Meantime there is an enormous surge in post COVID hiring needs. The most ubiquitous sign in the state at the moment is “Help Wanted”. Conservatives are blaming the state government for this shortage of workers, saying the combination of unemployment insurance and extra money being doled out to keep people afloat is causing workers to not want to go back to work.
First of all let’s get this out of the way. No one is getting money just handed to them by the state. They are getting the benefit of the money they have invested in unemployment INSURANCE, money they had no say in it being taken. For me that is over 40 years of paycheck dings every week to pay for something that up until a year ago I never put a claim in on. I’ll also add that for over half of those 40 years I was an employer so I personally got dinged twice every week. This is the rainy day fund you were taught to have “just in case”.
Well for the past year the rain has been a deluge.
Albino Sword Swallower At A Carnival by Diane Arbus.
The featured image is a photograph by Diane Arbus who was an extremely interesting and deeply weird photographer. Her motto was: “Take pictures of what you fear.” Words to live by.
I’d amend that to say: Deal with what you fear. I’m trying to do that in my own life. I’ve long had a fear of heights and a bridge phobia, which has intensified as I’ve aged. The bridge phobia is particularly unfortunate as I’ve always lived in places where bridges are a fact of life. I just white-knuckle it and muddle through. What else can I do?
My phobias also explain why I’m taking it slow in regard to the COVID after times. I may be fully vaccinated but many are nor. It’s why I’m proceeding with caution. I did, however, eat in a restaurant on our anniversary. A small triumph for trying times. Oh well, what the hell.
Before moving on to our theme song, some Diane Arbus trivia. She was married to actor Allan Arbus who is best known as army shrink Sidney Freedman on MASH. Allan was also a close friend of Montgomery Clift. The late Patricia Bosworth wrote excellent biographies of both Monty Clift and Diane Arbus. If you like tragic tales of talented people who died too young, they should be up your alley.
Stephen Stills wrote this week’s theme song for CSNY’s 1970 album Deja Vu. As the opening track, it gets things off to a rousing start and remains a staple of his set lists. I’d say CSN’s set lists but Crosby’s malakatude has made a reunion impossible. Imagine pissing off the most mild-mannered of rock stars, Graham Nash.
We have two versions of Carry On for your listening pleasure: the studio original and a raucous live version featuring shouty, off-key vocals and sensational guitar playing by Stills and Young.
Ready to visit Disambiguation City? JJ Cale wrote and recorded *his* Carry On in 1981:
Now that we’ve had deja vu and worn shades, let’s jump to the break.
Once upon a time there was a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle (that was a newspaper) named Herb Caen. His column ran in the paper six days a week, but his Friday column was called the Friday Fishwrap. A convenient reminder that that morning’s paper would be used in the evening to wrap up and dispose of the remains of the no meat on Fridays throw aways. Thus he filled the column with throw away items, thoughts, flotsam and jetsam.
In his honor I’m going to try that today.
The Democrats missed an opportunity last week with the 1/6 investigation vote in the Senate. They should have let the Repugnicants filibuster, really filibuster, the Jimmy Stewart in MR SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON type filibuster, where all work in government comes to a stop. The public would have gotten a look at what the filibuster really is. Then the Dems could have gone on a media blitz tearing up the Repugnicants for bringing the federal government to that halt. It could have built a groundswell of support into a tsunami of criticism, the kind of criticism that would prevent the Repugs from trying to filibuster the For The People Act or the Infrastructure Plan.
On HBO Max right now is a film of the play OSLO. It’s about the back channel negotiations that led to the Oslo Peace Accords in 1993 between Israel and the PLO. The key takeaway from the film is that the Norwegians who acted as facilitators between the two parties insisted that each day when the meeting ended all the participants would then sit down and have dinner and drinks together and talk only of their families and friends. In other words humanizing each side to the other. If the Israelis and the Palestinians can do that, surely those of us on the left can have a meal with those on the right.
The San Jose rail system is still down, a week after the proverbial disgruntled worker killed nine. The reason? He had planted bombs at his house and bomb making materials were found in his locker at the yard. The VTA is taking no chances and methodically going through everything looking for explosive material. Maybe if they had combed his employment record as keenly as this, nine of his fellow workers would be alive today. Just saying.
The Army won’t investigate Herr Obermeister Flynn’s comments on the appropriateness of a “Myanmar style coup” here in the country all members of the armed forces swear an allegiance to protect. They say it’s because they never investigate retired officers. OK then, call him back to duty and court martial his ass for insubordination, treason, and any other crime you can think of that he’s committed.
There’s an old saying in politics: If you’ve got the votes, call the roll. Gavin Newsom has the votes to overcome this insipid recall vote so it looks like we will have the election in early September. Once that is finished, can we please talk about making it more difficult to qualify a recall vote? Ten percent of the electorate should not have the power to force a wasteful and unnecessary recall election.
For much too long the history of what took place here was told in silence, cloaked in darkness. But just because history is silent, it doesn’t mean that it did not take place. And while darkness can hide much, it erases nothing, it erases nothing. Some injustices are so heinous, so horrific, so grievous they can’t be buried no matter how hard people try. And so it is here, and so it is here only, only with truth can come healing, and justice, and repair, only with truth, facing it. But that isn’t enough.
There was a decades long cover-up of the extent of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre. I was aware of it through my reading, but the extent of the carnage remains shocking. A mob attempted to erase a vibrant Black community, wipe out a culture out of hatred, spite, and envy. Hatred, spite, and envy are powerful emotions.
The context of the 1921 Tulsa Massacre feels ripped from the headlines. It took place after a pandemic when demagogues were stirring up hatred against minorities and immigrants. People were angry and looking for scapegoats.
Biden understands the parallels between now and then:
And finally, we must address what remains the stain on the soul of America. What happened in Greenwood was an act of hate and domestic terrorism with a through line that exists today still. Just close your eyes, remember what you saw in Charlottesville four years ago on television. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, the KKK coming out of those fields at night with lighted torches, the veins bulging as they were screaming. Remember? Just close your eyes and picture what it was. Well, Mother Fletcher said, when she saw the insurrection at the capital on January 9th, it broke her heart. A mob of violent white extremists, thugs, said reminded her of what happened in Greenwood 100 years ago. Look around at the various hate crimes against Asian Americans and Jewish Americans. Hate that never goes away. Hate only hides.
Hate as personified by the Kaiser of Chaos is in hiding at Mar-a-Dorn. He’s about to emerge from his cocoon like an evil moth and resume spewing hate at MAGA rallies. Hatred, spite, and envy are his jam.
The anti-democratic conspiracy theory [that Trump will be “reinstated” as president] has been bubbling up in fringe conservative media for several months. It has no basis under the Constitution or any legitimate legal framework. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has been a prominent proponent of the theory. The former Trump attorney Sidney Powell also floated the idea at a QAnon conference over the weekend.
The anticipation of a Trump reinstatement on a certain date could spread further among the most dedicated Trump supporters. The calls to help overturn the 2020 election on January 6, for example, gained steam through a pro-Trump bus tour by a fringe group and led to the insurrection at the Capitol. Lindell has said August is when he would go to the Supreme Court to present evidence he’s acquired that would be so convincing that the justices would be forced to reject the 2020 election result.
The My Pillow Guy to the rescue? Oy just oy.
Disgraced General and 22-day National Security adviser Mike Flynn has been showing gratitude for his pardon by muttering about coups then claiming he said no such thing. It’s a classic reality show trope: lie then deny.
Trump and his trolls are driven by hatred, spite, and envy. They had their way with the federal government and left a mess behind. Once again, a Democratic president is cleaning a Republican’s mess. This is by far the worst: the defeated president* remains a threat to democracy itself.
It’s easy to laugh at the ridiculous counter-factual narrative being woven by the Trumpers. There is no such thing as “reinstatement.” It’s another lie spun by the Trump/QAnon wing of the GOP to depict Trump as a Christ-like figure who will be resurrected in August. We have no choice but to take this nonsense seriously. There are some seriously delusional people out there many of whom are dangerous, especially those driven by hatred, spite, and envy.
Hatred, spite, and envy are infecting our body politic much like COVID infected our bodies. Brain fog is a common symptom of COVID survivors. The Republican party is suffering from Trump induced brain fog driven by hatred, spite, and envy.
After a series of electoral defeats, Republicans have concluded that the only way they can retake Congress and the White House is by suppressing the votes of the “wrong people.” The whole “stop the steal” movement is a smokescreen to justify their actions, which are driven by-you guessed it-hatred, spite, and envy.
It won’t be easy for the Senate to pass the For The People voting rights act, but it is imperative. The only realistic path forward is filibuster reform. The vote on the Dipshit Insurrection Commission filibuster proved that there are at best only a handful of “good patriots” among senate GOPers. It’s time to bring majority rule to the senate.
I nearly used the title of a Neville Brothers song as the post title: “Fear, hate, envy, and jealousy is [sic] like a fire all over the world.”