Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hannity

I just turned on Sean Hannity tonight for literally less than a minute. He had three "guests" on asking what Trump's chances were in November. They all thought Trump would win. Two thought Trump would win easily (one predicted 400+ Electoral Votes) and Geraldo Rivera said he could only lose if there's no vaccine by October.

What world are these people living in? It's amazing what has happened to my country. We're a bunch of idiots. There's almost 3.5 million confirmed Coronavirus cases (and probably 6-10 times that in reality) and almost 140,000 deaths in this country. WTF? We're the "shithole" country. Even in my county of San Luis Obispo cases there were 72 cases! That's the equivalent of 81k for the country.

I still haven't gotten the virus but it's only a matter of time. If it's this bad in mid-July just imagine November to February during the traditional flu season.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Exceptionalism

Day after day, it seems, things get WORSE in America. Demonstrations, protests, riots, looting, violence in response to another black man being murdered by police. And then there's the Coronavirus pandemic we're all living through too. I almost don't know what to say anymore.

In regards to the civil unrest, it's terrible, on so many levels. Obviously the death of George Floyd was murder, plain and simple. Do I think that officer set out to murder a black man that day? No. But I do think he had blatant disregard for Floyd's life. He used his power to keep his neck down and it resulted in death. And those few minutes of terrible police action had now resulted in several days of protests and rioting. And more loss of life. And billions of dollars in property loss and damage. Our country is fucked up. Don't know what else to say.

As for the Pandemic, that ain't going much better either. We're at about 105,000 deaths in this country and nearing 2,000,000 confirmed cases. The real number is probably at least 8x that with all the asymptomatic people out there. Yes, the spread has slowed a bit. And now businesses are starting to "re-open". It may not lead to massive outbreaks because I believe in the Summer that will slow the spread a bit also. But it's pretty clear this virus isn't going away on it's own. The characteristics of it lead me to believe it's going to be around for a LONG TIME. We may never get below 10,000 daily cases again. And I highly doubt we'll get below 1,000. Maybe late Summer if we're lucky. But I'm telling you come November things are going to get BAD. I just know it.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

The "Re-Opening" of America

It seems every blog post I make my mindset about the future gets more dire. It's mid May and almost every state is in some sort of "re-opening" phase. Yet average daily cases accross the country haven't really trended downward if you exclude New York (and have BARELY trended downward if you don't). So... what's going on here? It's quite obvious. People are suffering. Many small business owners want to open up shop and get some revenue flowing. But, it's way bigger than that. Loud voices on the Right are clamering to open up the economy. Like we can "go back to normal" if only Democratic governors would give people their "freedom". To be fair, there are many arguements for re-starting the economy. But not a lot of folks are saying what's obvious. If there's upward momentum this Fall then Trump has a better chance of winning election. Of course the problem with all this is that an extra few hundred thousand Americans will die. Right now we're sitting at about 90,000. I'd be SHOCKED if by the end of the year that number isn't norther of 300,000. And I'm revising my long term prediction to 500,000-1,000,000 by the end of next year. And these are only Americans mind you. Worldwide maybe 5 million? Hard to say what the "official" numbers could be because so many nations aren't reporting deaths accurately (including my own).

So, where does all this leave us? I think as a society we're going down the path of so many other societal issues. Basically, as long as it happens to SOMEONE ELSE than I'm fine with it. But if it effects MY FAMILY, then "Why didn't someone do something!" Thousands of elderly people will die. Thousands of minority people will die. Thousands of essential workers will die. Yes, some of those people would have died of other things this year. But most not. But that's the price we're going to pay as a society so we can go to the beach I guess. And when this virus comes "back" (it still hasn't left) with a vengeous later this year the economy will suffer even more.

What I have to do is somehow focus on living my best/healthiest life. I'm not doing too well at that. Despite the fact that my life on the surface seems pretty well equiped to deal with something like this, I'm still struggling a bit. I just too the paid leave from my work because all the folks on the bus were stressing me out. I need to do what I did almost four years ago when Trump first got elected. Soon after that I started running and doing races. And I got in the best shape of my life. But in the last couple years I've put on about 60lbs and hardly run anymore. I'm literally shaking my head as I type this. We'll see what tomorrow brings I suppose.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Government

It's May 2, 2020. There's now over 66,000 dead Americans due to COVID-19. And that's probably an under count because of all the people who died in their homes at the beginning of this Pandemic.

States have started "opening up". No, not because the virus is going away. It's because white people are getting restless at home and their "way of life" is threatened. They want to go to the beach, or hang out with friends, go to the salon. And some, want to actually work. (Although I think this is a small minority because I think most don't actually have jobs to go back to, nor do they really like working. Many of these "protesters" are just privileged a-holes that are using the moment to promote their Trumpian beliefs.) Anyway, I digress. We are really screwing this up. Do I have all the answers? Obviously not. There are so many factors to take into account in every action we take. That goes for government and individuals. But overall, the United States government (especially the Federal gov't) has been screwing this up day after day. The number of Corona Virus cases has stayed relatively steady the past month yet several states are trying to "get back to normal". They're only going to make things worse. I think if we had a national stay at home policy that had went into around mid-May or so we could have really slowed the spread down. And the "opening up" could have been more robust. The way we're doing it now is going to lead to a lot of going in and out of lockdown.

And I'm not even talking about what's likely coming in the Fall. This virus is not going away this Summer. Best case scenario is that it dies down to relatively low numbers and it takes a while to ramp up again in the Fall. But honestly, it looks like it's going to stay steady for a while so when the weather turns again it's going to come back with a vengeance. Meat plants and factories. Nursing homes, schools, large gatherings. They are all going to be prime targets for this thing. Americans aren't good at planning for the unexpected. Hell, we're not good at planning for the EXPECTED, which is what this is. I'm sticking to my prediction that this thing will kill over 200,000 Americans by the time this is all said and done.

And guess who might still be President when that happens? Right now I'd say Joe Biden is a slight favorite to win but who really knows what's going to happen in six months. Will we even have an election? One thing is for sure, Donald Trump will not go quietly. Even if he loses he'll be bitching and moaning the whole time that people are trying to convince him to leave. He'll make up shit about a "rigged" election or "inconsistencies" in voting. He's already laid out the playbook. I wouldn't be surprised if there is an armed rebellion and many Americans are killed because of him. He will be judged by history as the worst President of all time. I guess that's my saving grace?

Friday, April 17, 2020

My Country

I'm really worried about the good 'ole U.S. of A. The amount of disinformation, lies, falsehoods etc that's spreading is astonishing. It really shouldn't be though right? I think we've always had an anti-intellectualism faction in this country. Not only that, there's a lot of tribalism going on, especially with folks on the right. And to be fair, there's a lot of liberals that are taking things to the other extreme.

What I would give to have George W Bush as President right now. I'm confident he would be a calming voice and do his best to look out for the health and safety of the American people. He probably wouldn't make all the right decisions but he would be working with the states to accomplish goals. And he would calm the fears about government that so many on the right have. I bet his approval rating would be 80%. Obviously, any President other than the blustering idiot we have now would be better. He's so terrible in so many ways. And I see this whole situation getting worse. The comparisons to the "flu" and other things that kill Americans each year are starting to be talked about. And to be honest, a few months ago you may have seen me talk about the virus in that way.

They're now saying Covid-19 will "only" kill around 60,000 Americans. I guess that "good"? I still think the death toll is going to be much higher when it's all said and done hopefully a year or so from now. Conservatives are throwing out all these numbers about how the flu, or pool drownings, or car accidents all cause comparable amounts of death. Well, sort of. The problem with all those other things is that they can pretty much be avoided with reasonable precautions (yes, I'm aware they ALL can't be avoided). But with Covid-19 unless we're all in this together it really can't be avoided. If we hadn't done any mitigation deaths would be in the MILLIONS. And even if you don't die, many people get really sick. And even if you don't get sick, you can spread it to innocent people that are more vulnerable than you that might die. If you had a bad flu, would you visit your Grandma? Probably not. If you were drunk, would you take your Grandma for a drive? Probably not. If you had kids, would you let them swim by themselves? Probably not. But without mitigation this is the more realistic comparison.

Now there are "protests" spouting up in many states. And they are being fomented by Trump. This is beyond disgusting. Chances are no one is going to get hurt, but it's a pretty ugly sight when you see all these small dicked (an assumption) white dudes with they're guns walking around "protesting" that they want to work. I'm sure some of them actually do work, and work hard. But imagine if thousands of black men and guns were doing the same thing to a female Republican Governor? I think a lot of them would be dead.

What's going to happen over the coming weeks and months? Who knows. The drumbeat on the right is getting louder though. I don't think they even know what they want. We're not going back to "normal" that's for sure. Even if we tried there's plenty of cautious people out there that just aren't going to go to large public gatherings anytime soon. That world we lived in is gone.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

"Opening Up" the Economy

We're screwed. This CoronaVirus is one thing Trump can't lie his way out of. He'll try, but the terrible actions he has taken and will continue to take will cost many thousands of lives. Not to mention set this country back several years. This isn't a 9/11 where we just have to get back out there and spend. There is a DEADLY VIRUS in our mist. Several industries, including travel (airlines, hotels, trains, international, etc), restaurants, sporting events, concerts, etc are going to take YEARS to bounce back. That's a huge chunk of the economy.

The only way I see this economy bouncing back quickly is if Conservatives do a Jedi mind trick on a majority of the population and somehow convinces people (including the media) that this virus really isn't that bad. They'll take a number of tactics to do this I'm sure. Trump will play the race card and blame Democrats/minorities for not wanting to get out and work. (Meanwhile white collar whites will be able to work from home). And he'll throw out stats about how a lot of the people who died would have died from flu or something else this year anyway. A change in the collective conscious of how we view the threat will have to take place. I can see anchors on Fox News going back into studio and not "social distancing" so they can tell their viewers that it's OK to do the same.

I've been thinking about my beloved sports too. Baseball wants to come back next month and play all their games (at least in the beginning) in Arizona. Supposedly they'd test everyone involved before each game. That's still a few hundred people. And what happens when just ONE contracts the virus? Are you going to quarantine the whole league then? How can you possibly schedule hundreds of games when just one case throws everything into chaos? I think as far as baseball is concerned they need to shoot for June 1 at the earliest. If everything goes PERFECT and cases fall dramatically by then maybe they can have games. And honestly, I think NBA and NHL are toast. It's hard to imagine scenarios where they can safely play hundreds of games (even without fans) and not have a real possibility of someone getting infected. Because let's say a no name camera man gets the virus from regular contact outside of the games. What do you do then? Keep it hush hush? What if that guy dies? What about lawsuits?

We're in unprecedented times and who knows how all this is going to play out. I'm just trying to stay alive myself to be honest.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Pandemic

So... today is April 9, 2020. I wanted to get my thoughts down on the goings on in this world so I can look back and see how I viewed things. Anyone reading this obviously knows there's a Pandemic going on right now. And the effects of it will shape how humans live FOREVER. Hopefully we can all learn a few things to avoid the missteps... but I doubt it.

With the prevalence of media and virtually EVERYONE being on the internet there will be plenty of content for historians to peruse to get a feel for what this time was actually like. From a personal perspective I consider myself VERY lucky. So far (as far as I know) I have not contacted COVID-19. We seem to be in a "peak" time so there's still a good chance I'll get it. I give it a greater than 50% chance of that happening. But... at least I have a secure job. There were nearly 17 million unemployment insurance applicants in the past three weeks. That is a TON. This economy is going into a Depression. And we have a buffoon as a President that doesn't know basic math, much less human decency. I'm worried about my fellow Americans and this country. I also know that there's enough good people in America that we'll survive. But it's going to be a bumpy ride for the next several years.

As of this moment there are nearly 1.6 million cases worldwide and 465,000 in the United States. FiveThirtyEight.com estimates that testing is only "catching" around 12 percent of actual cases in the U.S. If that's the case there is closer to 4 million Americans that have been/are infected. Right now almost 17,000 deaths in this country. If the 4 million number is accurate that means the death rate is less than 0.5% in reality. And if you do the math with regards to elderly and people with underlying conditions that means the likelihood of someone under 60 in relatively good health of getting COVID-19 AND actually dying is probably less than 1/1000. Now, what does that REALLY MEAN? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure the Trump administration has at least a couple of math people that are going to roll out these statistics in the coming weeks. Throw in the fact that African-Americans are WAY MORE likely to die that European-Americans and Trump's "base" will be feeling pretty "safe" that they won't die (at least the youngish ones and those who don't have chronic disease). None of this is to say that we shouldn't take this SERIOUSLY. We ALL should. This virus is a KILLER. I'm worried about my Mom. But knowing her, she'd probably get it and then beat it. She's a tough lady.

This whole time in history is crazy. It's hard to believe a month ago I was in Las Vegas watching my Aztecs in the Mountain West Tournament. And now we're on "stay home" orders from the governor. I'm trying to limit my time out as much as possible. But seeing that I'm a bus driver that's kind of hard.

I try not to think too much about our "President" but it's hard not to. He sucks. This is PRECISELY the reason why we shouldn't have elected him. He's going to cost this country tens of thousands of extra lives lost and will take NONE of the blame (he's never taken responsibility of anything, so he's definitely not going to start now). He's also going to try and "open up" the country soon. This is going to get really ugly. Because Trump thinks that his re-election hinges on the economy. I don't know how he thinks he's going to get progressive states like California and New York to "open up". How does that even work? Force people to go to restaurants? Even IF somehow the "curve" was flattened enough to where most people felt safe going out again life has CHANGED. A good chunk of people are not (and maybe never) going to go to a concert of sporting event again. And many people will be hesitant to even go out to eat until we have herd immunity or a vaccine. And that's not coming for at least a year.

I see Trump totally turning racist on this whole thing. He'll frame his argument with his usual dog whistles of "lazy" blacks not wanting to work. Or blame progressive states for not "opening up" when he wants them to. And even if he loses in November will he leave? If it's close then no way. Just like Bill Maher says he'll blame "irregularities" and claim he's "seeing things". And Moscow Mitch and the GOP will go along with him. It's all going to be a shit show. And what if he actually loses and leaves? Say hello to MAGA part Two in 2024!

Anyway, who knows how this all plays out? I know it's exhausting. And scary. I think that this virus isn't going to magically go away. I do think in the coming weeks there will be a lot of conservative voices downplaying it's terribledness (is that a word?) And that will lead to more and more of our most vulnerable to their death. Social distancing will go by the way side and we'll see spikes in communities when it does. And then I see in the Fall it coming back strong again. The Trump administration is now predicting around 60,000 deaths. It will be more. But he'll LIE in a way to make it sound like he was accurate. He'll say that was for June 1 or August 1 only. Or he'll go back to their earlier estimates of 100,000-240,000 deaths and say that a "WIN" because it wasn't 2.2 million. I think by the end of the year the death count will be in the 100-200k range and by the time this thing is all OVER (sometime in mid 2021, God willing) the American death toll will be well over 200,000 and maybe even half a million. I'm just going on gut feel here based on models I've seen and how the media is framing things. And how the politicians are slowing trying to get people out there again. Obviously, I'm hoping as few people get this thing and die as possible. It would be nice to get back to "normal" one day. Fingers crossed...

Hannity

I just turned on Sean Hannity tonight for literally less than a minute. He had three "guests" on asking what Trump's chances w...