President Trump

20 June 2020

I get it now, Trump thinks he is the President of the Confederate States of America. That explains so much.

The Confederate Flag

13 June 2020

We are at, hopefully, a remarkable turning point in history where the Confederate flag is seen as what it is by a majority of the people. Those who still support the Confederate flag do so out of a reverence for a racist culture. They may think of themselves as not racist, but their mere support of the flag is proof otherwise.

Still, I remember watching episodes of The Dukes of Hazzard. On top of their car, The General Lee, was the Confederate flag. It meant nothing to me at the time. In retrospect, I’d prefer that it had not been there. It is an issue related to the nature of the depiction.

For example, no one would think of the Swastika in Hogan’s Heros to be one of reverence. The Nazis there are depicted as incompetent so the depiction is period comedic. Other instances of the Confederate flag portrayed in historical events, Gettysburg or Glory and so on, are trying for historically accuracy without prejudice.

Does that mean we should delete these inappropriate references to the Confederacy from popular culture or enshrined monuments? In most cases, yes. Why provide opportunities to revere these symbols of a racist past? Relegate them to their historical significance without prominent display. Is it revisionist history or ‘to the Victor go the spoils’? – no it is not. Removing these things does not change history nor should we ever forget slavery. Still, it is long past time for society as a whole to show that racism, in any form, is unacceptable.

Black Lives Matter

Stock Market Bulls

10 June 2020

Do you know why the stock market is doing so well when millions are out of work and many businesses are failing? It is because the stock market is a playground for the rich and the rich play by different rules. They don’t loose their jobs, they don’t Stay-at-home, they don’t run out of food, they don’t care how much gas costs. The rich are still going on vacation, traveling between their multiple homes, and generally living the same pampered lives they always have. They don’t see the effects of COVID19. They just see a bunch of undervalued stocks and they buy and the stock market goes up. Companies sugar-coat their earnings statements and the rich buy and the stock market goes up. The government and the Fed loan money like crazy and it inflates companies books and the rich buy and the stock market goes up.

It will all come crashing down like a toddler sugar rush and even then it will just hurt the average worker as companies will just declare bankruptcy, layoff a bunch of employees while the rich executives get big bonuses. Just look at Hertz.

Who Watches the Watchers

8 June 2020

Police unions are powerful organizations. In some ways, their power extends beyond that of a chief of police or a mayor. We fortunately have not heard of strike threats but that is a real possibility when you challenge a strong union. While the electorate or their elected officials might want change, the unions will see these changes as a threat. So, even though it may seem like we as the people they serve are the ones to define the role to which the police should perform, there won’t be any real change unless the police unions are also for those changes. We can see here, as in all the times before and current, the unions are backing the disgraced officers rather than being part of the discussion of police reform. Yes, some police chiefs have come out condemning certain actions but not the unions. It would be so much better a world if the unions would be behind reform for the good of society.

Justice

31 May 2020

It is insufficient to say the protests, and yes the riots, are for George Floyd. In the beginning, in Minneapolis, the first protest may have been. But the actions around the country point to a need for a justice well beyond Derek Chauvin. Beyond the other police officers in Minneapolis, who participated or witnessed without intervention. We need to recognize this goes beyond without minimizing the most recent event. We need broad social justice.

Social justice is inherently what these protests and riots are about. Something that can’t end with one person’s conviction or we will continue repeating this situation over and again. Sadly, so many would prefer the short term solution even though it causes more damage in the long term.

But what is social justice? What needs to change? We need to be at the point that not only do police not kill unarmed people in their custody but that no one is afraid that the police will kill them or their loved ones. That is a big change. A generational change. One that overcomes centuries of racism and institutional oppression.

Social justice starts with electing leaders that believe in that change rather than leaders who fuel bigotry and divisiveness. Social justice starts with teaching our children to care for everyone in their community. Social justice starts with peaceful protest to raise awareness of the issues. I believe this is something we can accomplish in our generation.

NYC

8 April 2020

COVID19 has already hospitalized three times as many people in NYC than the attack the World Trade Center. More people have died in NYC from COVID19 than the attack on the World Trade Center.

The average daily number of deaths NYC would see would be about 2000. Adding 800 more per day is a strain on the system. Not mass graves in Central Park level, but made more difficult with social distancing and infection controls.

Many of the COVID19 hospitalizations and deaths could have been prevented had there been more testing and more widespread social distancing. More testing early on or more widespread social distancing would have slowed the spread of the virus.

Now NYC is running out of PPE which means more people will get sick. Further, NYC is running out of ICU beds which means more that are sick will die. This won’t stop in NYC. It will keep spreading. But it can be slowed. It just takes some effort by everyone.

You want the people making your food to wash their hands and not sneeze on the ingredients. We call that sanitary. Now there is more risk so please do your part. Stay home. Wear masks. Tough it out and save lives.

Covid19 War Bonds?

22 March 2020

“Keep this horror from your home”

Don’t CDC What We Did

20 March 2020

Hypothetical. Someone in January realized there will be billions spent testing for COVID19. That someone had one important thing, a link to the Trump Administration. What that person didn’t have is experience and facilities to make millions of test kits right away. But that didn’t matter, as long as they delivered the kits eventually. And as long as the CDC said they had to be the arbiter of all testing, they would have a monopoly on those billions spent on testing. Of course, this is just a hypothetical – our government would never risks citizens lives in favor of profit for some well connected individual, right…

Curfew?

16 March 2020

Doesn’t a curfew send the wrong message? ‘Oh it will all be okay if you are home by 8…’ Don’t they understand what social distancing means, how it works?

No Bailouts for Airlines!

14 March 2020

I’m sorry but I really don’t want to be giving our tax dollars to make airline executives richer. They want to be Nationalized, that’s fine with me. They want to go into bankruptcy, I’m okay with that too. The US airline industry is a shit show totally unworthy of government handouts and never going to be profitable enough to repay their huge debts used to finance large executive bonuses. And don’t get me started on the cruise ship industry, those executives should have already been locked away for polluting the oceans.