Sacrifices Have to be Made

I hate to be the guy who said I told you so, but I fucking told you so. This was inevitable. There was no way that…

Posted by Jim Wright on Tuesday, March 31, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

As the sailors aboard American military vessels at sea all start catching the coronavirus, and a predictable number of them start dying for lack of medical facilities, everyone should try to remember that we could have had a different president to handle this crisis if nine other Senate Republicans had the bravery that Mitt Romney had. Food for thought.

Twitter – Stonekettle
Twitter – Joe Garofoli
Twitter – Stonekettle

Daily Pandemic Deception, Foiled

If you're not watching Trump's nightly Coronavirus shitfest, here's the summary: He started out by accusing nurses of…

Posted by Jim Wright on Sunday, March 29, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

All news outlets should follow NPR’s lead. There is no other way to counter the harm the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) is doing to the country other than to shut him off at the source. Don’t air the coronavirus briefings live. Edit out his misleading bullshit, then air the medical people talking about real stuff later. Save the parsing of Trump’s bullshit for people who want to explain what he says to the people who actually listen to and believe the OHM when he speaks. His Stormtrumpers.

Save the Stormtrumpers? Sometimes it is best to let nature take its course; and letting the stupid people who believe the OHM die might be the only way to save democracy in the United States. This is a problem that they created. It is fitting that they pay the price for their own stupidity. Pay the price for relying on a single news source and never bothering to fact-check anything they hear.

FOX news is the common denominator. It is no wonder that FOX news is now worried about being punished for misleading the public at the beginning of the pandemic. Ya think? Maybe they should have thought a little harder about it earlier. Like in January, when it would have made a difference.

Trump was watching FOX before he stumbled into the presidency, and he’s still watching FOX as a replacement for all his daily briefings before he goes out and repeats the same shit he heard on FOX, shit that they say because he wants them to say it, tells them to say it. The problem for both Republicans in general and their president in particular is that they get their information from a source that makes shit up. Once you realize this simple fact, it becomes plainly obvious that we cannot allow anything like FOX news to continue to exist.

Either your information service contains real, factual information, or it can’t be allowed to continue. If the creator’s intent is to mislead, then the content should be squelched somehow. At the very least it shouldn’t be piped into every American’s home through an infrastructure paid for and maintained by public funds. If they go out and make themselves victims on purpose, there is little we can do to protect them from themselves.

Facebook, Facebook, Twitter, Facebook


Here’s how to not be mislead. Let Stonekettle Station translate the OHM gibberish for you, then fact-check the parts you still aren’t clear on.

Did you watch tonight's Shitshow? No, of course you didn't. Because you're not a masochist. That's what you pay me…

Posted by Jim Wright on Monday, March 30, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

Here is the Stonekettle Station OHM pandemic digest from March 29th. The one where Trump accuses nurses of lying to make Trump look bad.

If you're not watching Trump's nightly Coronavirus shitfest, here's the summary: He started out by accusing nurses of…

Posted by Jim Wright on Sunday, March 29, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

Wednesday’s Trump dump.

Trump Shitshow SummaryI'm going to start here by saying: I honestly won't be surprised if this thing kills us all. I…

Posted by Jim Wright on Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle

#39 Quarantine Powers

Twitter

If you think #MAGA means anything other than Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans, you are the person these tweets were written for.

Stitcher

RAnt(hony)-ings

I’ve skipped several podcasts in this series. I’ve listened to them myself, but I haven’t felt the need to put them on the blog since the treas… …er, impeachment trial of Donald John Trump began and then ended. The whole thing has sort of felt meaningless in the face of the treason of the American people by the members of the Senate.

I expected the traitors to act they way they did, but that doesn’t change the shock of what they did in reality do. For once in my life the thing I expected to happen, did happen. No one was more shocked by this than I was.

However, the quarantine subject is something that is probably bothering everyone right now, so I thought it warranted advertisement.

The episodes I missed on the blog (and on Twitter) were:

  • 38 – Prosecutorial DiscretionProsecutors recommended that Roger Stone, an associate of Donald Trump, be given a heavy penalty after being convicted of seven felony counts, including lying to authorities. But after intervention from Attorney General Barr, and tweets from the President, those recommendations were rescinded. What can his case tell us about presidential interference and prosecutorial discretion?
  • 37 – War Powers and Impeachment UpdateAfter Donald Trump ordered the killing of Iranian general Qasem Soleimani, many wondered if the two countries were on the brink of a major conflict. This incident is only the latest in the long-standing fight between Congress and the President over who has the power to make war, and if an act of violence against another state can be legitimate without Congressional approval. This episode also includes an update on the Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump, which began earlier this week.
  • BriberyBribery is one of the three offenses listed in the Constitution as grounds for impeachment. Even though that is attempting to bribe Ukraine is the act that precipitated to Trump’s impeachment, it’s not explicitly listed in the articles of impeachment. Why is that?
  • Confrontation ClauseSince the beginning of the impeachment proceedings against the President, Donald Trump has insisted he has a right to confront “the whistleblower,” the anonymous member of the intelligence community who set the whole thing in motion. There is a Confrontation Clause in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which says a defendant in a criminal case has the right to face their accuser. But does this clause apply to the impeachment hearing against a president in Congress?
  • Foreign AffairsDonald Trump says he should not be impeached as President, since there was ‘no quid pro quo’ on a phone call where he asked the Ukrainian president to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. But does quid pro quo need to be explicitly stated to be a legal issue? And can private citizens like Rudy Giuliani represent America on foreign policy issues?

All of them contained information that I didn’t know about constitutional law, but none of them made me jump up and say this episode will change everything. Well, the bribery episode almost got me tweeting. Almost. The rest of them made me shrug and say I don’t see how spreading this around changes anything. So I didn’t bother. I’ll move the introduction post up to the front of the list again, eventually. Until then it will remain linked here.

Fascism in America

The only constitutional freedoms ultimately recognized may soon be limited to those useful to wealthy, Republican, White, straight, Christian, and armed males— and the corporations they control. This is wrong. Period. This is not America.

James Dannenberg

Like Mussolini, Trump can’t even make the trains run on time. He certainly can’t protect us from a virus.

Hat/tip to:

March 14, 2020 (Saturday)The reality of the novel coronavirus pandemic is sinking in as our infections continue to…

Posted by Heather Cox Richardson on Sunday, March 15, 2020
Facebook – Heather Cox Richardson

Representative Wisdom

Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

The Works of the Right Honorable Edmund Burke (1899), vol. 2, p. 95

….this quote was paraphrased by the newly elected representative from Georgia (Dr. Lyman Hall) in the play and the movie 1776 (1972)

I offer the above quote in response to this podcast from NPR’s Morning Edition,

Morning Edition – U.K.’s Labour Party Offers Lessons Learned To Democrats In U.S. March 4, 2020

I can’t speak to why the Liberal Democratic party allowed Jeremy Corbyn to run their party. I wouldn’t have, but then I’m not a Lib-Dem. They suggest that Bernie Sanders is too liberal and we should toss him out in favor of Joe Biden. I know why Joe Biden is winning, and I will vote for him in the general if he secures the nomination.

Since they had the temerity to offer suggestions to NPR as to what the US should do to fix our politics, I have some pointed observations to offer them in response. If the Lib-Dems wanted to stand a chance in the last election, they should have come out 100% against Brexit. They should have said “we aren’t leaving, and we aren’t holding another election. We are going to do what David Cameron should have done in the first place and are simply going to say NO. No Brexit because it is suicidal and probably racist to think that we should leave the European Union.” They should have said that, and left the subject at that.

The original Brexit vote was tainted by interference from outside of of the UK. Tainted by the interference of Vladimir Putin. The referendum results can just be set aside for this reason, and no other vote needs to be held on the subject.

I have some bad news for the Lib-Dems, the Tories and Biden supporters all three. There is no past to return to. Not for Britain and their Brexit dreams, and not for the Democratic party hoping to just bury the last four years in more Obama/Biden platitudes.

The United Kingdom is done for. I know this because it isn’t UKexit that Britain screams for, but Brexit. Northern Ireland and Scotland will likely leave the UK because of Britain’s folly. Ireland isn’t going to leave the European Union in any real sense, because it is a separate island, and one county on that island is part of the UK. Scotland will do their best to seperate themselves from the suicidal behavior of their brethren in Britain, hoping against hope that they will see what kind of hell leaving the EU will inflict on them. I think their hopes are in vain. I think Scotland will have to re-erect Hadrian’s wall to keep the Brits out, once they start to suffer.

Joe Biden represents a similar desire in Americans. He represents a return to normality in the minds of the people who are voting for him, in the same way that a renewed British empire attracts a questionable majority of Britain. Joe Biden represents a return to the days of Barack Obama, the days before we knew our friends and relatives were raging xenophobes willing to destroy our country to make themselves feel safe. Those days are over, and they aren’t coming back.

Elizabeth Warren was angling to put herself in the position where Joe Biden forced himself onto the stage. Elizabeth Warren had already moderated her healthcare plan so as to distinguish herself from the hardline stance that Bernie Sanders insists on, to his own political detriment. Elizabeth Warren represents the future. New ideas, new plans, a fresh approach to old problems. She would have made more moves toward moderation if Joe Biden not decided to take over the moderate wing of the Democratic party. Joe Biden, who pushed the woman out of the way so that he could appeal for a return to the good old days.

The Republicans have tried to recapture the days of Ronald Reagan with every single presidential candidate they have offered since Reagan left office, including the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) The OHM who stole one of Reagan’s soundbytes, make America great again. It isn’t a Trump tagline, it is a Reagan tagline, and Trump is a poor man’s idea of who and what Ronald Reagan was. They’re wrong, as stupid people are wrong about so many things, but that’s what they think Trump is.

The Democrats cannot erase Trump or the suicidal and openly criminal behavior of the Republican Party leadership. Not with Joe Biden, not with anybody. Trump will always be the forty-fifth president of the United States. As much as I would like to think we could pull an Akhenaten with him, even the ancient Egyptians couldn’t completely remove the pharaoh they wanted to forget. They didn’t have the internet to contend with, or half of the country bent on preserving the memory of the last four years in the hopes of continuing the trend of xenophobia and sociopathy that the OHM embodies.

Biden will fail to live up to the memory of what the Obama years were, because we can’t turn back the clock to 2008. We can’t unring the bell that the OHM rang, summoning the ghost of the Confederate South to his side. If we’re lucky the best he can do is delay the confrontation with them for another four to eight years. In the end, we will have to face down those demons and my kindly Uncle Joe isn’t going to have it in him to do that job.

Elizabeth Warren could do that job. She has attacked Trump in the past, and she has scored points on him that Joe Biden has not. After her losses on Super Tuesday, I don’t know if she can pull out a win now. But she deserves the right to take on Trump and prove that she can win against him. That women can win against the naked misogyny that is Donald John Trump. I hope she gets that chance.


Twitter h/t to Stonekettle

Coronavirus Panic

How the Trump administration is incapable of preventing a panic due to the very nature of what the Trump administration is. Also, how can you tell if you have COVID-19? What should I do to avoid getting sick?

It is the last day of February 2020. It’s a leap year this year so that means the date is the 29th and not the usual 28th. Every four years we add in another day so that the calendar that most of human society uses to mark annual time doesn’t slip off of the real cycles of the planet around the day-star, what we refer to as the sun.

We add that day into the calendars every four years (Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100, but these centurial years are leap years if they are exactly divisible by 400) because generations of measuring solar data had revealed that the previous most common calendar, the Julian calendar (created in 709 AUC, 45 BC) was off by some increment of days in the year, even though it too had an additional day every four years. For more than 2000 years we have been able to mark time uniformly through the use of science and observation.

This is an ironical fact. That the day that exists where it does in the calendar, exists because of science, is the day that marks the first US death of a COVID-19 coronavirus sufferer. He, and probably most of the people in his nursing home, has died and will die because of the Trump administrations denial of science and facts. This latest death that can be blamed on the Trump administration is just the tip of the iceberg. Just the bit of hell that we are about to collide with over the coming months when it comes to this sociopathic president, the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) and his unwillingness to accept reality as it exists around him.

…But I’m jumping ahead to the end of the story. For those who haven’t been keeping track of the subject of this latest adventure in epidemiology, I penned a quick piece on the blog the first time I heard a news story about the subject. At the time I wondered about its origins, and whether it stemmed from loosely regulated Chinese genomic explorations. I titled it:

RAnt(hony)-ings

…but the virus was rather quickly determined to stem from wet markets in the Wuhan province of China (Revenge of the Pangolin? -ed.) where the first cases of the viral infection surfaced. That was a month ago. Today, at the end of February, we have the OHM insisting that this coronavirus is a thing that is magically going to be going away while the stock markets crash around him, and his yesmen are running around declaring that the stock markets are crashing because Democrats want to get rid of president Trump.

All Things Considered – How The United States Failed To See The Coronavirus Crisis Coming – April 3, 2020

We also have the Russians cooking up conspiracy fantasies and spreading them all over the internet, some of which are being spread by Stormtrumpers. So it is only a matter of time before the OHM starts demanding to have Bill Gates prosecuted for creating the COVID-19 virus. For all you people who think this is a grand conspiracy playing out around us; just ask yourselves, what does it say about your belief in an all-powerful government/corporate structure that the coronavirus is so ineffective at killing people?

We’re going to give everyone in the world a bad cold! Mwah, hah, hah, hah!

Now, a worldwide pandemic caused by a virus that bears similarity to four other cold viruses, one that is novel or new and so hasn’t been encountered by your immune system before, is going to have a higher death toll than you would get from a virus that a good number of people’s systems are already partially resistant to. The best minds that I’ve heard speak on the subject compare what is about to happen to the world to what occurred during the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918-1919 (Wikipedia) We can postulate a 2% death rate from the virus based on statistics from the countries where the virus first emerged and spread, which means that 98% of people who catch it will be fine (80% will be fine without medical intervention. 18% of those who require medical intervention will survive. -ed.) Like this guy’s story.

As of my most recent test, on Thursday, I am still testing positive for the virus. But by now, I don’t require much medical care. The nurses check my temperature twice a day and draw my blood, because I’ve agreed to participate in a clinical study to try to find a treatment for coronavirus. If I test negative three days in a row, then I get to leave.

Washington Post

As Jeff Jarvis noted on Twitter today, that report represents N=1 which makes it largely pointless. COVID-19 is a lot like the spanish flu in spread rates and death rates, as I noted previously. That means that if at least a billion people catch it, 20+ million people could die from it (214 million Americans infected, 1.7 million dead worst case projections from the CDC -ed.) So you will probably survive the virus if you get proper treatment and you aren’t in the group that is showing susceptibility to the virus. Who is in that group? People who have diabetes. People who have hypertension. People who have compromised immune systems. People like me, dear reader. You will probably live. I will probably die without hospitalization, and I might even die then.

Lipsitch predicts that, within the coming year, some 40 to 70 percent of people around the world will be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. But, he clarifies emphatically, this does not mean that all will have severe illnesses. “It’s likely that many will have mild disease, or may be asymptomatic,” he said. As with influenza, which is often life-threatening to people with chronic health conditions and of older age, most cases pass without medical care. (Overall, around 14 percent of people with influenza have no symptoms.)

Lipsitch is far from alone in his belief that this virus will continue to spread widely. The emerging consensus among epidemiologists is that the most likely outcome of this outbreak is a new seasonal disease—a fifth “endemic” coronavirus. With the other four, people are not known to develop long-lasting immunity. If this one follows suit, and if the disease continues to be as severe as it is now, “cold and flu season” could become “cold and flu and COVID-19 season.”

The Atlantic

Them’s the breaks. One might dismiss all of the noise around the emergence of COVID-19 as fruforaw, much like the noise and smoke around the so many other looming epidemics that have not turned out to be civilization ending events, if the stock markets hadn’t crashed and if the United States was actually prepared and ready for the millions of cases of people needing to be hospitalized and requiring ventilators in order to continue breathing and living. But we aren’t prepared, and therefore the smoke and noise probably conceal a real fire that needs addressing.

That part of the story was the good news, the part where 98% of the infected people will live. Now for the part where people are already dying here in the United States, today. The first death to the COVID-19 coronavirus here has been attributed to be this poor nameless man in Washington state,

Health officials in Washington state said on Saturday a coronavirus patient has died, marking the first death in the U.S. from COVID-19, the illness associated with the virus.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it’s responding to “the first possible outbreak” of the respiratory illness in a long-term care center in Washington. The death was not associated with that facility.

Health officials in Washington said 27 patients and 25 staff members at the center have symptoms associated with COVID-19.

NBCAPNew York Times

…which means that not only is the virus spreading in the US undetected, but that it has been spreading undetected in the US for at least two weeks already. The virus is spreading undetected because we have a president who is more concerned about re-election and the stock market than he is about the possible death toll that his mismanagement of this crisis might yield.

Mismanagement? Definitely. His political appointees to Health and Human Services (HHS) have violated CDC guidelines at every turn. They did not observe quarantine procedures in Japan where the passengers of the cruise ship were flown by helicopter after being evacuated from the ship. They then ignored the advice of these same officials and flew the sick people back to the United States.

TwitterNew York Magazine: Intelligencer

These same HHS officials violated quarantine on the Air Force base where the returnees from Japan were being housed, and then promptly got on planes full of people to fly back to the regions of the country that they had come from originally. All of them possibly infected with the virus that they were supposed to be trying to stop from spreading.

The CDC guidelines for dealing with the spread of infectious diseases have been built up over time, like our calendars and our understanding of the solar system was built up over time. Since Ignaz Semmelweis first proposed handwashing as a preventative to spreading puerperal fever among patients at the hospitals that he supervised, the ignorant have insisted that they knew better what should or shouldn’t be done when it came to the treatment of illness. Always, in the end, science wins out and procedures change so as to encompass the way the world really works, as opposed to the way that the ignorant want it to work.

The OHM doesn’t understand science. The Stormtrumpers who support him don’t understand science. His HHS political appointees don’t understand science. The Republican party itself not only doesn’t understand science, but actively denies science in their bid to stubbornly keep doing exactly the same thing they’ve been doing for the last hundred years. They deny science and their wilful ignorance might well get us all killed in the end, if the worst predictions of climate scientists come to be reality.

We have slowly clawed ourselves up over the course of millennia in our pursuit of understanding who we are and what our place in the universe is. That is what science is. It started with accurate measurements of the world and then the solar system more than two thousand years ago, and now we are mapping the genome and altering the course of mindless natural processes for the first time in man’s history. And the OHM wants us to throw it all away because he might not get re-elected if we do what we should be doing right now.

The OHM has put his Vice President, Mike Pence, in charge of the political process that will govern how we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fact should scare you if nothing else will. Mike Pence tried to cure the AIDS epidemic with prayer, when he was governor of Indiana. He prayed before he finally agreed to allow needle exchanges, which is probably code for he asked his wife what to do, and she slapped him and told him to allow the exchanges to occur.

However, Mike Pence will now control all communications at the federal level as it pertains to the emerging pandemic. Which means we won’t hear anything about the subject, except that it is all under control. They will be able to say this because they currently aren’t testing anyone for the virus (Now they say they will test. -editor) They aren’t testing because the first test kits they made were faulty and so did not give reliable results, and they aren’t approving widespread use of any new kits they might make.

It has gotten so bad that New York is now creating its own test kit so as to be certain that they will have enough kits to meet the projected demand for them in their state. They are only the first state to do this. Every US state will have to commision the creation of their own kits, eventually, if they are serious about tracking the progress of this virus across their populations.

The OHM will never admit that his own HHS officials spread the disease because of their reckless behavior, their violations of quarantine procedures. But the most likely culprits for these non-travel related COVID-19 cases are those very same officials. The science-denying president and his science-denying supporters are now betrayed by their own wilful ignorance. If the death toll of twenty million people could somehow be limited to their numbers, I would count that as justice served. It won’t happen like that, unfortunately. So millions of innocent people will now die because political operatives in the United States can’t bear to be held responsible for their own actions.

I thought we were supposed to be the free people. Freedonia? So much for that idea. Now our leaders are no better than the ayatollahs in Iran, pretending that our people are not dying while glorying in their ability to retain political power behind the mask of religion. This is what happens when you let the wrong people run your government. This is what happens when you deny science. I hope our children live long enough to learn from our bad examples.

Life Kit – 5 Ways To Prevent And Prepare For The Coronavirus – February 28, 2020 (Shortwave podcast)


On March 4th we learned that patients aren’t being tested, even though they showed symptoms for the COVID-19 virus. One of them was not tested for five days. Five days.

Morning Edition – Delays In Coronavirus Testing Creates Confusion, Questions – March 4, 2020

What are those symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms can range from asymptomatic to severe pneumonia leading to organ failure and death. COVID-19 in most people is mild and resembles the common cold. According to the WHO, symptoms include fever (87.9%), dry cough (67.7%), fatigue (38.1%), sputum production (33.4%), shortness of breath (18.6%), sore throat (13.9%), headache (13.6%), muscle or joint aches (14.8%), chills (11.4%), nausea or vomiting (5.0%), nasal congestion (4.8%), diarrhea (3.7%), coughing up blood (0.9%), and conjunctival congestion (0.8%). Symptoms generally occur an average of 5-6 days after infection, but the range is from one to 14 days.

Sciencebasedmedicine.org

(graphic removed / text revised 3/17/20. I hated linking to a Medium article in the first place. Medium uses paywalls. -ed.)

Embedded – Covering Covid: Not Enough Tests – April 4, 2020

Our not testing people, canvassing cities looking for cases among the homeless, the park goers, the partiers, going door to door in residential areas, is how the spread of the virus continues unabated. Italy demonstrated this as reported today (March 17, 2020 – Financial Times) reducing transmission in the town where this has been tested to zero. You’d think we’d have figured this out given the excellent demonstration by South Korea (not to mention China and Singapore, but we don’t have to go as far as they did to have an impact) of the effectiveness of easy and thorough testing of the population, but apparently not.

The math is a known quantity. With an R0 (are-naught) over 2 the coronavirus spreads, and it spreads fast (the R0 in Wuhan might have been as high as 6 before China cracked down and forced quarantine. It could be as high as 6 to 9 if we were not trying to practice social distancing. What is R0? -ed) The fact that people can be (and frequently are) asymptomatic means that there are a lot of infected people out there who don’t even know that they are already infected. If you are in the groups that are at risk (elderly, immunocompromised, hypertension, lung disease, diabetes, etc) then you should not be in a group of people that you don’t already spend all your time around, and those people should not be near other people if they can help it. Those are the math facts that we have to deal with for at least the next month, and I say we because I am a member of the at-risk group just like a lot of other people.

Here are some tips from a virologist concerning how to avoid infections, viral or otherwise:

  1. NO HANDSHAKING! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
  2. Use ONLY your knuckle to touch light switches. elevator buttons, etc.. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
  3. Open doors with your closed fist or hip – do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door. Especially important on bathroom and post office/commercial doors.
  4. Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
  5. Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
  6. Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home’s entrances. AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
  7. If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow will contain infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!

From Snopes.com: Did a Noted Pathologist Write This Viral Coronavirus Advice Letter? (yes he did) I’m going to have to work on not shaking hands. I’ve trained myself not to touch my face over the course of the last fifteen years, ever since my immunologist informed me I was immune compromised. Realizing that having to take antibiotics was the least worst outcome (worst? Painful death) from casually infecting myself with pathogens that I willingly put on my face, in my eyes and nose.

I don’t use the sanitizers much because I have been a compulsive hand washer since I was pre-pubescent. I have to make myself not scrub the skin off my hands on a regular basis. He goes on to recommend zinc lozenges later in the quoted text. Taking zinc to prevent or limit infections borders on woo for me. But, if it makes you feel better to take it, knock yourself out. I won’t be doing that.

Short Wave – Coronavirus Can Live On Surfaces For Days – March 18, 2020

…and be ready to do all that you can (within reason) to avoid getting sick. The Trump administration will not be letting just anybody get the COVID-19 vaccine if one becomes available.

TwitterForbes

WikiTribune has a Sub-Wiki for the COVID-19 epidemic. If you are like me and want to be up to date on the subject of the now-occurring pandemic, feel free to join me over on WT.Social.

I don’t have an account for the site at this link Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE but here is a image of the site as it displayed on March the 5th. The timestamp will tell you what time in the morning I was still obsessively working on the blog.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE

That link may or may not give you the site. I have no idea. Modeling scenarios run along these lines,

Here’s the grimmest version of life a year from now: More than two million Americans have died from the new coronavirus, almost all mourned without funerals. Countless others have died because hospitals are too overwhelmed to deal adequately with heart attacks, asthma and diabetic crises. The economy has cratered into a depression, for fiscal and monetary policy are ineffective when people fear going out, businesses are closed and tens of millions of people are unemployed. A vaccine still seems far off, immunity among those who have recovered proves fleeting and the coronavirus has joined the seasonal flu as a recurring peril.

Yet here’s an alternative scenario for March 2021: Life largely returned to normal by the late summer of 2020, and the economy has rebounded strongly. The United States used a sharp, short shock in the spring of 2020 to break the cycle of transmission; warm weather then reduced new infections and provided a summer respite for the Northern Hemisphere. By the second wave in the fall, mutations had attenuated the coronavirus, many people were immune and drugs were shown effective in treating it and even in reducing infection. Thousands of Americans died, mostly octogenarians and nonagenarians and some with respiratory conditions, but by February 2021, vaccinations were introduced worldwide and the virus was conquered.

New York Times

To get to the better modeling scenario we need to flatten the curve,

Twitter – Dr. Siouxsie Wiles h/t to Sciencebasedmedicine.org

…and raise the line,

Twitter – Benjamin Kerr h/t to Liz Specht whose tweet I removed in favor of the NYT opinion article that offered an over/under analysis of the pandemic modeling. I also removed the tweet from drg1985 (Dr. David Robert Grimes) because, while his input was helpful at the time, it wasn’t really what I described it as when I first wrote this article. -ed.

There are no treatments for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (Covid-19) no matter what the OHM says or tweets about. If you haven’t figured that out already, then I’m amazed that you can tie your shoelaces by yourself in the morning.

sciencebasedmedicine.org

Quinine is an ingredient in a proper gin & tonic. It is not a real treatment for illness no matter what anyone tells you. Quinine was a treatment for Malaria more than a century ago. Malaria still exists because we’ve never developed a vaccine for it. Maybe now that malaria is appearing in Florida again we will get around to that.


On March 16th the national directive to practice social distancing was issued, but without any enforcement provisions at the local level. We are now eight days into the fifteen days that the OHM originally requested, and some cities (Austin) and states (Texas) are issuing directives based on their powers to quarantine as established in previous epidemics. If you think that social distancing and mandated quarantines are not effective, look at this comparison chart and see the difference a few days made.

We have yet to see if the state or federal governments have made any headway towards ending this crisis by mandating a ramping up of production of necessary goods or by authorizing the creation of necessary extra hospital beds. The OHM is busy trying to steal money from the American people by creating a 500 billion dollar slush fund that his treasury secretary can then hand straight over to him as compensation for all his golf courses and hotels being closed. Not happening.


Editor’s note. I pulled the last addendum from the Crake article I wrote in January (and linked previously) and I moved it here and expanded on it significantly. I’m freaking out about the virus as I sit here editing, and I know that freaking out is not helpful.

Voilà, I’ve written a sanity mantra that I can read to myself as many times as it takes to put myself to sleep until this pandemic has run its course. May we all be there to witness that. I am scrapping most attempts at further writing on this subject and burying myself in World of Warcraft for the next two weeks, two months, however long it takes. Maybe something non-virus-related will occur to me in the meantime. As I come across new information on the pandemic I may or may not edit it into this article. So if the article looks like it has changed, I have now told you that it would.

Everything we do before a pandemic will seem alarmist. Everything we do after a pandemic will seem inadequate.

Michael Levitt, former Secretary of Health and Human Services

Failure of Justice

Came home to find out The Penguin has escaped from from Gotham City Jail yet again.

Posted by Jim Wright on Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Facebook – Stonekettle Station

The Orange Hate-Monkey has interfered in an internal justice department matter. He has directed his fixer/AG Billy Barr to reduce the sentence that his henchman Roger Stone is facing for violating the law at his direction. He is violating ethical rules and regulations in an effort to let his friend off lightly.

So just impeach Trump again. Just do it. Tomorrow do it again for the next stupid thing he does. Then again the next day. Then again the next day. Continue to repeat as necessary until his Stormtrumpers begin to understand the landslide that is waiting to crush them.

Everything that Trump does is a violation of some ethical rule or some guideline that isn’t strictly law, and every other thing he does is a violation of law that he pretends isn’t a violation. So impeach him a hundred times. A thousand times. Does it really matter how many times he is impeached, if every single thing he does should be something he is removed from office for?

Impeach him again. Just do it.


02/13/2020 (next day) – The hand-waving by the friends of the OHM’s new fixer/A.G. has begun. The host of this segment on Morning Edition spells out the timeline for the guy, and he still insists that Barr was not taking direction from the president.

Morning Edition – How Much Is Politics Influencing The Justice Department? – February 13, 2020

Occam’s razor would suggest that the guest is lying for his buddy Billy Barr who got his direction from the President right before he got involved in the case. Was given direction by a president who is too stupid to not broadcast the illegal things he does every day.

02/14/2020 – We discover today that Billy Barr is also interfering in the prosecution of Mike Flynn.

Mr. Flynn’s case was first brought by the special counsel’s office, who agreed to a plea deal on a charge of lying to investigators in exchange for his cooperation, before the Washington office took over the case when the special counsel shut down after concluding its investigation into Russia’s election interference.

Mr. Flynn’s case has been bogged down in recent months by his lawyers’ unfounded claims of prosecutorial misconduct; a judge has already rejected those accusations. Mr. Flynn then asked to withdraw his guilty plea, which he first entered in December 2017. His case has become a cause célèbre for Mr. Trump’s supporters.

On Tuesday, Mr. Barr and Mr. Rosen overruled career prosecutors’ recommendation that a judge sentence Mr. Trump’s friend Roger Stone Jr. to seven to nine years in prison after a jury found him guilty of witness intimidation and several false statements charges, in accordance with standard sentencing guidelines, and insisted on a lower recommendation.

New York Times

…but, you know, he’s not coordinating with the president in his efforts to exonerate or mitigate the punishment of his cronies.

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.

Featured image is a screenshot of this New York Times story.

Respect for Mitt Romney?

The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the president committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a high crime and misdemeanor. Yes, he did.

New York Times
C-SPANSenator Mitt Romney votes to convict President Trump – Feb 5, 2020

…but even Mitt Romney thought it was okay for the president to stonewall the House of Representatives in their desire to investigate the president. Again I ask, who would have thought this way if Obama had stonewalled all eight (yes, eight) of the Benghazi hearings? Almost no one.

RAnt(hony)-ings

The State of the Union? It Sucks

Tomorrow will make only the third time in my adult life that I have consciously skipped the State of the Union (SOTU) address. I don’t listen to the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) talk. As in, I don’t ever allow myself to hear his voice if I can help it. I talk about how I evolved this maintenance strategy here,

RAnt(hony)-ings

I did contemplate watching the first SOTU that the OHM stank up the House of Representatives with, but I decided that my mental state simply couldn’t cope with that much hatred and disinformation so shortly after I had to come to grips with the fact that no-one was going to do their job and keep the unstable piece of shit out of the office of the president. So many people not willing to do their jobs before it became my quandary whether I should do my job as an informed citizen and tough out the bullshit, or simply admit that there was no benefit to be had in listening to the speech at all.

That decision is what lead to my ultimate decision to block all the things the OHM said, and limit myself to just noting all the things that he and his administration did. A much less daunting task than sorting the bullshit into (yuge) piles.

We have now come full circle as a country. What was so evident for me in 2015 when I tripped over the obvious hatred of elected Republicans,

RAnt(hony)-ings

Is now apparent to the vast majority of Americans. The Republicans? They only care about power. They only care about holding power, and they think that is all anyone around them cares about. They are, to paraphrase one of my favorite political commentators, despicable people or to quote Hillary Clinton, They are a basket of deplorables. They are so proud of being deplorable people that they wear that label on their clothing.

“Yes” they say “I’m in it for the power alone. I have no morals, I have no standards. I just want my party to be the party in power. That’s all you want, so why not?”

This attitude was on display as far back as Bill Clinton’s SOTU when Newt Gingrich orchestrated the Republican dismissal of Democratic legislative proposals because they came from Democrats, even if those proposals originated in conservative think tanks. It reached it transparent heights during the Obama administration when the Republicans pissed on the Affordable Care Act and called it Obamacare even though it was a direct copy of the Massachusetts system proposed and signed into law by Governor Mitt Romney, now Senator Mitt Romney.

So no. I won’t even be watching tonight. I will not be the hypocrite who boos ideas that he approves of just because they come out of the OHM’s mouth. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, and the OHM can mistakenly do right things or propose the right ideas for the wrong reasons. The problem is the man, not the office or the party, when it comes to the SOTU. The man is a charlatan, and I refuse to listen to his lies.

It’s been three years now. In order to get a sense of the history of what OHM means, I will link a few crucial posts. I wrote The Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) when it became clear that the Republicans were going to nominate Donald Trump.  I wrote The GOP Cuddles Up To the NSDAP when the GOP refused to ostracize the OHM for his dangerously xenophobic populism. I wrote Caveat Emptor on the day Trump lied with his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the US constitution. I wrote Bullshit is Bullshit on the day I stopped even trying to catalogue the blatant disregard of the truth by the OHM. It mystifies me why people still listen to him, and why the OHM still holds the office of the president. #MAGA means Misguided Appallingly Gullible Americans. Anyone who believes differently is a MAGA themselves, otherwise known as a Stormtrumper, h/t to Berkeley Breathed.


I have always hated the responses to the State of the Union address. I went so far as to write this article,

RAnt(hony)-ings

…after the Republicans in the legislature cluelessly continued to offer their unwanted #MeToos to Obama’s excellent speeches. But my loathing for them goes back to when the practice first caught my eye, back in the days of Newt Gingrich’s bad faith demonstrations against Bill Clinton. But even during the eight years of W.’s pathetic leadership I thought the Democratic responses were lukewarm at best. Mostly because the opposition never seems capable of capturing what it is that the the people opposed to the president really think about his speech and his policies.

This year was different. For the first time in my adult life, the response seems more like what the average citizen might be thinking right now. Not the official response which is still cringe-worthy. No. I mean the radio interview that she gave to NPR afterwards.

Morning Edition – Michigan Gov. Whitmer Gives Democrats’ Response To State Of The Union – February 5, 2020

Nancy Pelosi tearing up the Orange Hate-Monkey’s speech was the highlight of the evening. Why? Because it’s all the Stormtrumpers and the media want to talk about. They all look like fools. Did she do something illegal? Get a life, people.

The manifesto of mistruths presented in page after page of the address tonight should be a call to action for everyone who expects truth from the President and policies worthy of his office and the American people. The American people expect and deserve a President to have integrity and respect for the aspirations for their children.

Pelosi Statement on State of the Union Address

She gets it. She understands what Trump is. So does Veronica Escobar,

the greatest threat to our security is a president and a Republican-controlled Senate that act only in their own interest

NPR – KUT

I was raiding in World of Warcraft while all of this went on. I think I spent my hours more productively that way.

Questions & Closing

Both impeachment cases have been presented, both the prosecution and defense. Now we will find out what the mood of the senate is towards the Orange Hate-Monkey (OHM) and his bullshit.

C-SPANU.S. Senate: Impeachment Trial (Day 9) – January 29, 2020

Prayer starts at 12:00 minutes into the video. First question is read at 15:45. Two hours in (the point where I started watching live) there is little doubt what the Texas Senators think. All of the Republican questions have been rather ham-handed gotcha questions that they can’t possibly think will advance the debate on the question before the Senate. The question of whether or not the charges brought against the president deserved to be given a proper hearing.

3:30 pm. Javelins and president Trump’s support of Ukraine. If the characterization by the president’s defense is accurate, then Donald Trump can’t be said to be working in the interest of Vladimir Putin. Putin would not want the OHM to sell the Ukrainians lethal weapons. That means that OHM and his defense are either dumb enough to think there was a server that Crowdstrike sent to be hidden in Ukraine, and that this was done somehow in relation to Vice President Biden and his son hunter. They are either that dumb, or they think that their audience is dumb enough to believe that fantasy could be true, and so sell that as a diversion. The depth of idiocy/ delusion this reveals almost beggars the imagination.

The OHM either believes the Q-anon conspiracy fantasy, or he likes pretending he believes it in order to cover his desire to throw mud at Joe Biden. Wow. Just wow.

6:30 pm. What we learn from people who call in to the C-SPAN line, generally, is that the supporters of Donald Trump have very little understanding of the facts in this case. This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that the tuned away from FOX news long enough to listen to themselves talk on C-SPAN.

Clearly the talking point they’ve picked up is that the house failed to do a proper investigation. Anyone, ANYONE who is really paying attention knows that the OHM prevented a proper investigation. That is the truth about that specific point of inquiry. Every person who puts the blame on the House is either an idiot, is uninformed, or is lying. It has to be one of those three things. A minimal level of pushback by the talking head who listens and nods would reveal which one of the three mental states the callers are in. Too bad he doesn’t do that more often.


I didn’t even watch the second day of questions and answers. I meant to come back and catalog the first day of questions and answers, but by the time I had my phone working (that article is still in progress) and finished my World of Warcraft raids for the week (priorities) the Senate Republicans were too busy sucking Donald Trump’s cock (right there in public) to be able to do anything but pay attention to the job in front of them.

No witnesses. Nothing more on the subject of the most corrupt president in US history will be entertained by the Senate that is lead by his morally bankrupt Republican party. Closing arguments were heard this morning. I may or may not watch any of the continuing charade. Here, however, are the closing arguments of the House managers who have so valiantly lead the fight against the corruption embodied by the OHM.

C-SPANRep. Adam Schiff Closing Argument – Feb 3, 2020

So I moved this post up to Monday, February 3rd from Thursday, January 29th. The final vote will be on Wednesday. I’ve already started writing on that article. What has happened to this country since 2016 is unacceptable. It has to stop, and we have to stop it because no one else will.

It has been 3 years, 14 days, 7 hours and 35 minutes since Donald Trump should have been removed from office.

Trump isn’t Nixon and he’s not going to be held to account by Republicans. He’s going to weasel out, as he always does. As the rich and privileged and powerful always do. You knew it. You said so, right here, on my Facebook page, in my Twitter timeline. You knew. So did I. So did we all. Of course, we foolishly let ourselves hope it would be different, sure we did. We got excited there for a minute. Maybe this time Susan Collins and Mitt Romney and Lisa Murkowski would actually stand up and … well, yeah, like I said, foolish.

Stonekettle Station – Stalking Horse