WHERE THE HELL WERE YOU?

Horrendous 2020 Hindsight: Painful Pandemic Truth

Like many Americans, I woke up to news coverage about last night’s CNN documentary with interviews of the pandemic doctors. The hundreds of thousands of citizens whose deaths from Covid-19 could have been avoided are owed national and political accountability, but the polarization of America that exacerbated the pandemic threatens to deprive them of their due.

Dr. Deborah Birx gave us a haunting admission that the death toll would have been substantially reduced if not for the negligent management of the pandemic by former President Donald Trump. His willingness to put economic and political goals above science and the public’s wellbeing added to the death toll.

I am sure Debra Birx is a nice person. She certainly has a wealth of knowledge on healthcare, medicine and viruses, but I’m not ready to name the wing of a hospital after her or erect a scarved statue in her honor. Pardon me, but I need to get some things off my chest here so I can move on from Monday morning quarterbacking.

First, let’s review this famous Donald Trump monologue, “I see disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it’d be interesting to check that. So, you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me. So, we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s pretty powerful.” The President continued, “And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? So, it’d be interesting to check that [out]. Then he pointed to his head and delivered the disclaimer, of sorts, “I’m not a doctor. But I’m, like, a person that has a good you-know-what.”

While this “riff,” which is how Trump translator Jason Miller described it, was underway, we saw Dr. Debra Birx sitting uncomfortably a few feet off to the side of Trump, looking as if she were holding in a large, gaseous explosion and saying nothing. Not one word. She could have jumped to her feet, walked to the microphone and warned people not to drink bleach or try to put a light down their throats, but she didn’t.

There are some who attempt to justify her inaction by saying, “Hey, if she would have done that, she would have been fired and things could have gotten worse.” Well, they did get worse. Trump hired a quack named Dr. Scott Atlas who convinced our feckless leader that things with the virus weren’t all that bad and herd immunity would just take the problem away. Atlas is more a murderer than a doctor and his license should be revoked. Atlas never explained to Trump that trying herd immunity before we had a vaccine would be a death sentence to hundreds of thousands of people with underlying health conditions, and that is exactly what happened. It wasn’t until Atlas received condemnation from the medical community that he “clarified” his position on herd immunity.

Why Was This Man Talking?

Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx and anyone with half a brain knew that Atlas was a destructive force on the Coronavirus Task Force, but no one had the guts to rebuke the President. The CNN program dramatically solidified the truth. Our country was seriously harmed by Trump’s actions and inactions, particularly his silencing of Dr. Fauci and pushing him away from the public messaging. Trump’s disjointed “riff” revealed he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about, but no one countered or silenced him.

It was never a joke, it was never just a “little flu” and it certainly would not “go away one day, like a miracle.” How could anyone continue to support this madman’s claims about anything? The “miracle” for America is that Trump finally went away.

Dr. Birx, people are weak and easily intimidated. I get that. When Trump turned against you, it wasn’t by a termination memo on a Friday afternoon and a security escort to your car in the parking lot. Be thankful that delirious Donald didn’t take to Twitter, saying you were “persona non grata,” and all the Trumpers, who have no idea what the term even means, would start the berating and death threats. If your role in life is to help people medically and do no harm, your silence on Trump’s outrageous statements demonstrate that you are not worthy of praise and perhaps your position.

This from CNN, “And while critics may fault her for not speaking out when she was in government, her comments come across as an attempt to precipitate a reckoning that can provide lessons on how the US can perform more effectively in a future pandemic. ‘In the post-mortem, we have to come out of this and learn how to do it better, the next time,’ Birx said.” Great, yeah, so that’s the big lesson? REALLY?

I’ll try to be fair right now as I slam into my keyboard the two large lessons I’ve learned. 1. Either do your job and speak up to power or get the hell out of the way and, 2. Stop this self-reputation saving tour and just go away. Harsh, yes, but I don’t even want to hear her name. When I do, I see this.

The Moment of Truth

I know now she was deeply torn and frustrated at that moment, but she could have called a press conference a few hours later to announce she was resigning because she believed the President was making things worse. She could have stated clearly that Donald Trump has no credibility giving advice on a global pandemic or any other medical matter. She could have gone out with a bang and perhaps saved some lives. Sorry, but death is not a fixable problem.

I guess it’s time to push this into the folder that also contains, “We knew the Japanese would attack, we just didn’t know where.” And this gem, “Had we only coordinated between the CIA and FBI we could have prevented 9-11.” Or this frightening truth, “We knew Lee Harvey Oswald was in Dallas, we just lost track of him.” I am not making any of that up.

We knew it was bad, Trump knew it was bad and admitted same to Bob Woodward. We heard him say it on a recoding, but too many people went along with his “Hydroxychloroquine” miracle cure bullshit when every major person involved in the science knew it was not a cure and would do little to help anyone. When I see that ten-foot flag on the pickup truck in Florida screaming FUCK BIDEN, I know that’s something Birx would never have said about Trump, but she should have. There’s one big lesson in all of this. The next time you have a global pandemic, make sure the person in charge isn’t an idiot.

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The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.


IT IS WHAT IT IS

Voices Inside Trump’s Head

There is a common human occurrence that surfaces when people are around a tribe or group for any length of time. They take on the lingo, phrases and accents of those in that group. When pop singer Madonna married a Scotsman and moved to the UK, she soon brandished a new and strange British accent — pretty far from Detroit.

Deer Hunter, one of the more disturbing “Vietnam inspired” movies, was released in 1978. One of my favorite actors, Robert De Niro, played Michael Vronsky and the fabulous character actor John Cazale played Stanley (Stosh). There is a scene that has always bothered me. De Niro’s character says to Stosh, “You see this? This is this. This ain’t something else. This is this. From now on, you’re on your own.”

When Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D. and Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was asked about the lost time in the Trump administration’s response to the spreading COVID-19 virus in America he said, “It’s a shame but it’s . . . it is what it is.” Dr. Fauci admitted that the Trump administration did a poor job by using the phrase “it is what it is.” He told the truth but softened it for Trump’s ears.

On February 23, 2020, @realDonaldTrump tweeted this, “Democrats talking point is that we are doing badly. If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job. Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let’s keep it that way!” NOTE: Today May 7, 2020 we have more than 75,000 DEATHS.

When people with limited mental and verbal acuity attempt to express complex feelings or psychological disruptions, they typically simplify things with short catch phrases, party lines or nebulous terms.  Reread the above Tweet and make your own conclusions.

Not to get too far into the woods here, but Liane Gabora Ph.D. wrote an article which was posted on the Psychology Today website in 2014. Here are her words, “The increased use of ‘it is what it is’ seemed to be a sign that people are increasingly comfortable with ‘states of potentiality,’ which are states that could ‘collapse’ to different actual states depending on the context.” I’ll take a layman’s whack at this. It seems to indicate that people use the phrase when they know in the back of their head that in the near term something might dramatically change, and they don’t want to look like an idiot. The good news is, should it get worse, they can simply repeat the phrase and move on.

I must now build a bridge back to Deer Hunter, focusing on the last part of what Michael said to Stanley and how it now applies to Donald Trump. Michael, like many Vietnam vets, needed to get a grip on reality as best he could. When he’s saying, “this is this,” he’s not arguing that someone else might not see it the same way he does; he’s just assuring himself. After he established his personal reality, he added, “From now on, you’re on your own,” to distance himself from another person’s problems or perceptions.

Donald Trump’s feeble attempt at informing the country during this coronavirus crisis was mainly through his daily Task Force briefings. During those press conferences we learned of a major conflict between the federal government and the states. I was dumbfounded hearing what came out of Trump’s little puckered mouth as he knocked the Governors, “From now on, you’re on your own when it comes to testing.”

When asked if he should be held accountable for the slow reactions and lack of game plan, he openly admitted, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” What an astounding reaction from the most powerful person in our government. Does he not remember that he took an oath to protect this nation and its Constitution?

While Trump was boasting about pushing financial relief to the cruise industry, he wasn’t thinking at all about the supply line of PPE, testing instruments and procedures hospital workers needed to keep American’s safe. I would be negligent if I didn’t mention that most cruise line companies are not chartered in America and don’t pay US taxes. Many of their employees are foreign nationals. It’s just more cronyism and political corruption pushed into the public domain.

When the President and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were hyper focused on bailing out the airline industry, there was no discussion about securing the food supply in America. We all may soon be enjoying eating food out of cans. While Trump was commenting on lower gas prices, we had no place to go. If you believe that Trump and his store-bought economists were telling the truth when they said they would take care of the small businesses and family farmers; you just swallowed another lie. Most farmers and small businesses aren’t getting relief and Trump knows it.

I could say, well, “It is what it is,” but you don’t need to be told that. You don’t need to hear, “this is this,” either. You’ve been quarantined for more than 49 days and you know exactly what it is. It’s a worldwide shitstorm and we desperately need to hear an intelligent, informed being describe in detail what will exist when we reach that light at the end of the tunnel. Stop continuously telling me that we are there. We aren’t, and we need information and guidance. Here’s a question, “Why didn’t the government tell us to wear masks from the beginning?” Would that have saved more lives?

They didn’t tell us that because Americans would have cleaned out the limited supplies of our PPE and caused more damage at the hospitals where professionals are fighting the curse. You saw what happened with toilet paper. I guess that means we care more about pooping than eating. Why didn’t the government analyze the public needs and try to manage them at the federal level? Well there’s a simple answer to that. It was all too complicated for the meager minds of Donald John Trump and Jared Kushner, a man who isn’t even qualified to be a doorman at 666 Fifth Avenue. This douchebag son-in-law has been a failure at everything he attempts, and when he talks, he embarrasses our nation.

Pompous VP Mike Pence is another sycophant who lives in his artificial world of self-importance. When asked why the White House was considering a phase out the Coronavirus Task Force, he said, “The anticipated wind down could happen after Memorial Day.” Then he added, “…because of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.” Great progress, Mikey! Thank you for helping us achieve 100,000 deaths. We couldn’t have done it without you. IRONY READERS! Yesterday Trump said the Task Force will remain on the job forever. These Junior Achievement “leaders” can’t even coordinate their messages.

The President hears people say things and then he repeats them without any filter or analysis. Someone suggested that disinfectants killed the virus, and he repeated the phrase and then embellished it into an embarrassingly stupid and dangerous suggestion.

The President is now openly admitting, as we have opined here, that HIS choice is between people dying or opening the economy. Trump has sided with death. Wow, how can a devout evangelical get behind such an initiative? Seriously, What Would Jesus Do? Better yet, what would God think?

Don’t ever expect to hear much more from Trump other than, “It is what it is.” During an interview with ABC’s David Muir, Trump was asked what he would say to the many families who live with the angst and sadness of death. Not once did he say he was sorry. In his mind, from the beginning and into the future, “You are on your own.” The simple truth is he doesn’t care about you.

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.

 


HYPE, LIES & LIVES

Trump Truncates His Own Orders

It’s mind boggling. The President of the United States is now promoting protests by urging people to break the very recommendations his own administration has released. His latest tweets about “liberating” several of our states go against the grain of everything the White House said they are promoting to keep Americans safe. Let’s review.

According to the Washington Post, “The Trump administration received its first formal notification of the outbreak of the coronavirus in China on Jan. 3. And yet, it took 70 days from that initial notification for President Trump to treat the coronavirus pandemic seriously. The president consistently played down the threat and became a fountain of misinformation and confusion. While visiting the CDC in Atlanta on March 6, Trump incorrectly stated: ‘Anybody that needs a test, gets a test.’ In fact, the nation is desperate for more testing, leading some states to conserve testing for only health-care workers.”

Austin Texas Protests

Have the members of the COVID-19 Task Force forgotten the massive failure of their first attempts at testing? As CNN posted, “Contamination in manufacturing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention test for the coronavirus caused weeks of delays that slowed the US response to the pandemic. This problem stemmed in part from the CDC not adhering to its own protocols, according to a Trump Administration US Food and Drug Administration spokesperson.” Why hasn’t anyone in the White House addressed this?

TESTING is the central problem. The administration pledged to get 27 million tests into the country by mid-March, but as of April 18 there were only 3.5 million tests completed. We get one great lie after another in the daily Task Force briefings, which have devolved into lengthy blathers of cloudy, complicated statistics, models, and predictions spattered amongst a heavy dose of pure Trumpian political bullshit. I am now seeing a problem with Dr. Deborah Brix, who is producing “data” that support the things Trump want us to believe. The Friday briefing was a giant smoke cloud to keep us from seeing the real problem, which is TESTING.

Trump’s answers to questions posed by our true journalists attempt to divert our attention from his malfeasance and ignorance. Two or three planted, far right media reporters then ask preplanned questions to cover Trump’s fumbled adlibs and misinformation. Why are they even allowed to be there? Oh yeah, because of the First Amendment. Trump sputters judgement of the questions, the reporters, and their outlets, rather than seriously using his time before the American people to help. What a thoughtless dolt!

A just released NBC/Wall Street Journal poll shows 65% of Americans say Trump did not take the coronavirus seriously, and 52% say they disapprove of the way this president is handling the crisis in which we live. Fortunately, America is hearing through the noise. Only 36% of our citizens believe the things Trump says about the COVID crisis.

Trump is taking major heat about quickly opening the country from both his sycophants and political operatives. Even while the experts, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Birx, placate Trump with their public statements, you can hear in their words and see in their body language that they are most certainly nervous about a virus rebound caused by reopening the country too early. Fauci talks about a return of the virus and infections in the fall. Oh boy, that would be bad for Trump and the election. Hey kids, KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN. TRUMP WILL PROBABLY TRY TO CANCEL THE ELECTION.

By promoting protests with his incendiary language, Trump is urging his lower-IQ base to march arm-in-arm, which will help the virus spread faster and more thoroughly. What intelligent human could possibly agree with this? It’s a move by a corrupt politician who is more interested in being reelected than doing what is best for the people. It reminds me of a scene in the 1975 blockbuster movie, JAWS, in which the Amity Island character, Mayor Larry Vaughn, decides to keep the beaches open for the July 4th weekend, leading to the death of five constituents. He’s still the mayor of the town in JAWS 2, so I guess those people didn’t get it. I can’t help wondering why they didn’t learn the lesson.

Half of our country doesn’t trust Trump. The other half cannot see the connection between DEATH and reopening beaches. Really? UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson got the message quickly after contracting the virus. He probably would have taken the matter much more seriously if the disease had hit him sooner. The COVID-19 death of Trump’s real estate buddy, Stanley Chera, has made Trump more frantic and angry about this virus he cannot control than empathy for the American healthcare and other workers doing all they can to  keep the rest of us alive. Is this president mentally ill? Sorry folks, but I must pose that question.

Our president says whatever he wants and many in Congress get onboard. Then, the next day, Trump reverses course and tramples his own words with tweets and rhetoric that are more destructive than helpful. Captain Bligh, in the Mutiny on the Bounty, suffered from a narcissistic personality disorder. Is Trump like him? We will probably never know for sure, but it’s abundantly clear that Fat Ass Golf Boy is totally unqualified and unfit to manage this crisis. He wants only to strike at enemies, both real and imagined, rather than calm and help the populous. What a fucking, inept human.

I wish I could ask Donald Trump this, “Do you know that the people around you are NOT TELLING THE TRUTH because they are afraid of you?” Next, I would ask him why he wears makeup. Yes, I know that seems like a silly question, but it’s a severe quirk we all can see. Like makeup, he’s involved in coverup every day. He’s insecure about the way he looks. I am not sure why he picked the color orange, but I guess that is better than black, which would have clashed with his fake, blonde-dyed hair.

Trump does many wrong things. His hype confuses people. A president recommending unproven medicines to the world is unethical. The lies he presents will hurt and kill people. I rarely agree with Piers Morgan, but his observation that this virus takes a different skill set than just running for office is right on the money. TV-pitchman Trump is incapable of managing a way out of this crisis. He’s a feeble man trying to exploit the COVID-19 crisis to get reelected. TOTAL LOSER!

If you read this book, you can see why all this happened to us.

The book that tells it like it is…

Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs shows how we’ve wasted our GOLD on bad wars and corruption. While GOD is there for many people as a spiritual enrichment and the provider of glowing feelings, the truth is just praying and believing will not change our major arc. We don’t determine who gets a GUN. We aren’t sure if we have paramilitary groups ready to storm the White House or a White Castle. There is no control of weapons. The GOOFBALLS with the power constantly try to manipulate us into spending more money on bombs and tanks and wars. When all of our institutions are infected with neglect and fall in disrepair, we will only have ourselves to blame. This book is not an antidote for the left or right, it’s an accelerant to move the middle off their collective asses to go do something positive for America.

Get the Kindle Version HERE. Or order your paperback edition HERE.