Don’t worry, lots of people live in fascist, authoritarian regimes. Quality of life for regular people inevitably drops, but that takes time. (Time that lets the authoritarians cement their power as they take from poor and middle class and give it to those who will help them stay in power. No one really cares about those losers anyway.)
I am tired. My heart is sad and my nerves are frayed. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks, even more than usual.
I find myself just over it, in terms of antipathy. I’m ready for a sane president who respects the constitution and the citizens of the USA, and that is sounding like that might not happen, through cheating and collusion. I’m not angry about it. I’m depressed.
It’s those pesky ballots, you see…the ones people use to vote. “If you get rid of the ballots…” Donald Trump said at one of his rallies last week. Let’s be clear: If you do that you get an autocracy, in this case a fascist autocracy.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8, King James Version of the Bible
I know I should have sought a Jewish passage for Justice Bader-Ginsberg, but that one jumped to mind.
Consider taking a small action
Don’t let this great woman become just another campaign rally event for someone who has no respect what-so-ever for the constitution and laws of our land.
In addition to voting in the election there are other ways to make your opinion known.
The current incumbent of the White House is again pushing against all that is even marginally decent. By announcing his proposed replacement for Justice Ginsberg before the dirt has had time to settle on her grave.
Please do not watch his obscene news conference. Instead spend the time honoring the truly great person Justice Ginsberg was. There are numerous movies and programs available to stream during that time. Please, don’t let her passing become just another campaign event for a petty dictator. Let the ratings reflect your priorities: honor and decency over a three-ring-circus.
My Pinterest feed has been popping up a lot of “prepping” articles lately, leading me to believe that a lot of people are very pessimistic right now. I understand that. But I think the “preppers” have the wrong end of the stick.
With the passing of RBG, the T-party has embarked on yet another power grab. It’s getting boring.
The US Constitution isn’t worth the paper it’s written on anymore.
Give up protesting, kids, the first amendment** is toast at this point. Also, protesting just gives the T-Party a target, and attention, for reprehensible behavior. But, also…
The real risks right now are fiscal. But don’t panic, prepare.
Vote…and prepare for a depression
Medical expenses are no joke, and medical insurance is not cheap.
The Affordable Car Act is gone, give it up. There is no way to save it. If the Senate flips and Joe Biden is elected president, there might be a new plan, maybe even a better one, but don’t hold your breath. If the senate doesn’t flip, forget it. The Republicans haven’t ever done anything meaningful on health care and they won’t start now.
We all need to take stock of our finances and figure out how to manage without health insurance if you get COVID (or anything else) and cannot work. COBRA insurance costs an arm and a leg, and paying for it may mean some serious sacrifices if you have not accrued some savings before hand.
Remember that POTUS has already signed an executive order that de-funds Medicare and Social Security until the end of the year. The promise to make that permanent means that NOW is the time to get your finances in order, before the payments stop.
Figure out how you will manage without Medicare and Social Security. If you rely on the Affordable Care Act, figure out how you will either manage without health insurance or pay the increased costs.
Spending money stocking up on beans and ammo* may not be the best use for it. A better idea is to make sure to have money on hand. A massive pile of bullets or beans won’t help you pay medical bills…And if you don’t pay those you may wind up on the streets. And those streets are already full of people who went that way before you. The best shopping carts are gone. (That is a reference to an old Dilbert cartoon.)
It also means not borrowing more and paying down any debt you have, maybe giving up on a few luxuries like high price cable, Disney or Netflix.
We went down to one, paid-off, older car a couple of years ago. Savings on insurance alone were big. Maybe you could live in a more modest house…that could save a bundle. I’m putting off things like new carpets (my current one is about 40 years old) and my rummage sale wardrobe is holding up quite well. My husband likely never will finish replacing our fence, but we saved $20 grand over having it done by a contractor, and the dogs aren’t really inclined to roam…
Think through your medical choices and get your will in order
Like the teachers who responsibly made out their wills as they were being forced back to work, we all need to think about how we will manage.
While I plan to keep hiding away in the basement, wearing a mask when I do go out, and generally avoiding people to prevent getting sick (or making others sick), I have already decided that I do not plan to seek any treatment if I do get very sick, from COVID or cancer, or what-ever, in hopes that there will be something left for my son to inherit.
The younger generation is at a tremendous disadvantage: the plethora of jobs created recently are pretty much crap, like serving beer, delivering Amazon packages, and driving Ubers, with low pay and no benefits.
I do sometimes wonder
Will The Economy (as measured by stock indices) eventually reflect what’s going on in our homes?
*Most of the articles on “prepping” are very thinly veiled marketing to get you to spend (waste) a bunch of money so the authors will get rich.
**Second amendment folks shouldn’t get too cocky: they will be next.
I’ve been following the news lately and pondering about “The Economy”. These days The Economy is being treated as a living entity. We are being bullied to do unsafe things for its sake.
The Economy has more respect and right to life than human beings. The USA recently passed 190,000 COVID-19 deaths with no fanfare from the press, or any acknowledgement of that grim milestone of pain from our dear leaders, but plenty of assurances from those same “leaders” that The Economy is healthy.
I have been in deep depression this weekend. I was already down after the ridiculosity of the TNC* and violence of last week. But I have a college age niece who lives in Portland… The images of Trump supporting, crassly immature, wanna-be real men driving their phallic symbol pickup trucks as they acted out some kind of video-game fantasy by shooting randomly at people (paint balls can hurt people and mace is a weapon) raised my ire.
This clip by John Oliver contains some foul language**, but it puts into words a lot of what I’ve been groping to express.
I also watched a different video today, about how the Democratic Party’s stance on gun control is driving away “moderate Republicans”. Those who believe in human rights, but really believe that being able to own guns of any and all types is critical.
If you aren’t caring about the political situation in the USA this post isn’t for you. I am working on a post of late summer in the garden that should be done soon.
I’m following the Democratic National Convention this week. This is the first time I will have seen it in full. I figured out how to stream it from PBS.
I have also been following the news a bit. I have a major peeve. I am really getting sick of people speaking as if Ms. Obama attacked the current resident of the White House. She spoke calmly, lucidly, eloquently and sincerely. Yet the news describes her speech using the same words that are used to describe tirades by the likes of Tucker Carlson, Laura Ingraham and Janine Pirro. There is simply no comparison. They are not calm, lucid, eloquent or sincere.
I would also point out that if people truly believed that the current incumbent had done a good job then they would not judge her use of his own words to describe his presidency as “it is what it is” as an insult. The real insult was his insult to the citizens of this nation when he chose to use that phrase to speak of what was then over 150,000, and is now over 170,000, deaths due to Covid 19.
While I am at it, because I feel it is a related complaint, I would like to point out that after reading that the current incumbent had gone on about how “mean” Senator Harris was to Brett Kavanaugh and others. I reviewed the videos and she said things like “would you please answer the question?” she was never rude, simply polite but not letting them get away without answering the questions. When one compares this to the rudeness to which Congressman Jordan subjected Dr. Fauci, there is no comparison.
I am getting sick of this miss-characterization of people who are being courteous, calm and reasoned in testimony and debate as comparable to the frothing-at-the-mouth, bat-crap-crazy “conservatives”.
I feel like the headline is misleading. What they actually mean is that fewer than 200 are eligible to be helped by the class action lawsuit.
There are an additional 220 children who are deemed no longer a part of the class-action lawsuit. If you add that to the 182 who are deemed part of the class action that is a total of 402 still in government custody. to my mind that isn’t brilliant progress, the article on September 4 said that 416 remained in custody. Although it feels like they are not necessarily comparing apples to apples from week to week.
I have not been able to find out what happens to those 220 kids.
It wasn’t a real break for me, I just had a bunch of closer to home events going on. I don’t rise to these occasions like I used to.
Grandma was sick, noro-virus, her nursing home was quarantined. It is good that they are so careful, but a pain in the hindquarters for me: Friday was her 95th birthday and I had plans that involved a party in one of their rooms.
Dad came home from Arizona and when he called his cell phone was dead and his cable TV was being weird. This matter for me only in that he won’t make phone calls so I have to go over and do the calls. It turned out that these problems resolved themselves over night (his phone charged and the cable company finished whatever work they were doing nearby, but we were there before we realized that. The island isn’t far, I live less than 10 miles away as the crow flies, but with ferries a quick trip is both difficult and a bit spendy, besides we hadn’t seen him since the beginning of January, so we hung out for a while.
It gave me a chance to make phone calls. I received the call from the social worker that same morning (Thursday, remember Friday was the birthday). I was on the phone trying to rent a wheel chair van and find a restaurant that I thought I could get her into (“accessible” means dramatically different things to different people). It took a quite a while and a slew of phone calls but I did get it arranged.
We did it! Everything went off well. I can’t say there were no hitches, but in the end that doesn’t really matter.
Back to the real world
Under the big top in the “other Washington”
My first taste of the news was reading A Lot from Lydia’s post: This Week of Trump’s. It made me glad I wasn’t paying attention to national news during the week. My stress level would have been even higher, and watching the crap unfold is a lot like watching a train wreck with a bunch of cars stuck on the track at uneven distances. Bang, bang bang. Pause. Bang. Pause. Bang, bang, bang, bang. Or hearing the firecrackers go off in China on auspicious days for weddings. You never know when you are going to get hit with the “hot noise”, or how far away it’s going to be. It draws attention from other issues.
The paper also had an article, “Why is it so hard to get the airline seat you want?” You should read it. But, spoiler alert, it doesn’t point to an industry that deserves to be trusted to police itself, or have the extremely minimal consumer protections in existence revoked.
The thing that bugs me most is that, while the article mentions that the US Department of Transportation has to hold hearings about changes, there is no mention of how one can make a comment for one’s self. Since many people fly that seems like a pretty big gap in information. It is also interesting that the story isn’t listed on the front page briefs of their web site under business. Although Florida’s foray into Atlantic Salmon farming made the cut.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation temporarily froze all pending airline-industry regulations as part of an administration push to cut the burden of red tape on American businesses. And it asked the public and airlines for comments on existing regulations that could be halted, revised or repealed.
There is a DC Industry trade group (lobby) called “Airlines for America”, as well as individual airlines, who, apparently, know how to get their requests in.
Airlines for America, a Washington, D.C.-based industry trade group, called the Transportation Department’s initiative “a much-welcomed shift from a decade’s-long Washington practice of regulatory interference in the market.”
On the “A4A” website:
A4A advocates on behalf of our members to shape crucial policies and measures that promote safety, security and a healthy airline industry.We work collaboratively with airlines, labor, Congress and the Administration to improve air travel for everyone.
Notice that they don’t engage passengers (aka, sardines) in their collaboration? The logic is that passengers should be represented by the government. Does anyone else feel uneasy?
I have been studying Chinese first thing in the morning, before I get up for a while now, before my head is full of other things. This morning’s challenge was trying to make heads and tails of the difference between buy (买, mai–pronounced “my”– with a third tone) and sell (卖, mai with a fourth tone) as an almost tone deaf person. I had a bit of a headache when I arose and started reading the paper. It seemed full of Trumpery, which is often fairly bizarre. Today it seemed weirder than usual, and I don’t think it was due to my headache.
The article itself was, frankly, neither news nor of particular interest: The First Family, as is traditional, borrows art from museums. Most first families make modest choices based on their individual tastes. The current one wanted a Van Gogh. In this case the requested art was old and frail and scheduled to be shown elsewhere, so the answer was “no”. Simple enough. The offer in the headline was a museum curator’s idea of making a point, perhaps inspired by Saturday Night Live. It’s funny…or at least it makes you laugh as a first response.
She was exercising her limited power. The offer was within her rights; it was also a bit tacky.
More importantly, it takes people’s attention away from the more serious actions of the day. Why talk about this today when it happened a while ago?
Other news today was things like: People on DACA are being used as hostages for the passage of ill conceived immigration and security measures. More examples of a president who has repeatedly tried to obstruct justice, both by abuse of power and by creating stories. Trade wars and devaluing the dollar.
Mention of all these were also in the paper, but the front page spread was about how Amazon’s workplace is a fancy green house. I understand this being on the first page of the local section. A more appropriate use of the column space on both the front page and this “Golden Toilet” article would have been to provide detailed information about the long term effects of the immigration and trade policies. We still haven’t seen a good description of everything that was in the tax bill passed last month.
I like to laugh as well as the next person, but it is not a good idea to let articles like this take our eyes away from the serious news of the day. Let Saturday Night Live take this one. We need to start asking newspapers to cover news.
Chinese for business is 买卖, (the second mai in this case takes the neutral, a.k.a. fifth, tone). They won’t stop giving us the 买卖 until we stop responding favorably to it.