You do not matter

You know something, when I woke up on the morning afternoon of January 1st, 2020, I was filled with so much optimism and enthusiasm as I looked forward to November. Things were on track, watching the Democratic primaries, the rallies… counting the days until the President finally reaps what he has sown.

And then this coronavirus hits.

You think we would’ve learned something after watching other countries (China, Italy) slowly unravel and fall into chaos. We saw the extreme measures these countries were taking in order to combat the spread. We had ample time (or we could have) and evidence to understand how dangerous this virus is and what precautions were necessary but we didn’t do anything for the longest time.

I put the blame squarely on this country’s leadership for downplaying the threat and basically ignoring warnings, being incompetent, or hiding all the red flags and adopting this ‘business-as-usual’ stance while the President hopes he still gets re-elected. That is the message that was conveyed early on and that’s what the majority of Americans did: followed the lead of our President and stuck their heads in the sand thinking America would not be affected by this virus simply because the virus is half a world away… well like other lessons this administration has had to learn: the world is one community and you cannot pretend to be able to cut yourself off economically, ecologically, or socially.

Well, we stayed the course and now look where we are. We are on track to see numbers skyrocket much like they have in Italy of both infections as well as deaths.

Why We’re Not Overreacting to the Coronavirus Pandemic, in One Chart

Only recently has the President finally expressed a sense of urgency about the situation (finally) and spoke recently about plans to shore up the production of medical equipment, but he’s going about it based on the interests of his for-profit friends from whom he’s more than willing to take direction from.

Big Business Lobbied Trump Not to Order Coronavirus Supplies

I don’t fault these people for believing the President. You should be able to trust your leaders and believe that they have your best interests in mind. I hope this has shown you otherwise. The President and the people he’s appointed throughout the U.S. Government do not care about you. They only care about appeasing their rich friends and corporations.

In my last post I tried to express the idea that this President doesn’t care about you and now we have this perfect storm of events that provides the evidence I hope will finally sway you away from reelecting this individual.

The President only cares about helping the economy because it’ll help the companies. He doesn’t care what kind of consequences his decisions and actions will have on the average American. This has always been his position. Up until a few days ago he’s never once called for ALL U.S. states to lockdown, asked people to self-isolate for the good of their communities, or even promoted social distancing. His line has been to let the states decide for themselves. He has not had the backbone or interest to put the health of the public above all, and before you say, ‘well even the President can’t enforce that kind of thing on every state,’ sure maybe not, but he can sure as hell make it a federal mandate at the very least. Even if individual states don’t go along with it, at least the people in his voter base might have listened to that and done the right thing.

In a live briefing earlier this week we caught a rare glimpse of a President seemingly doing ‘the right thing,’ or possibly pressured by reality to take this COVID-19 crisis seriously for once. We were introduced to the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines (not the White House’ guidelines, the President’s because I’m sure he wrote it all by himself) and he was talking about all the positive things that would be happening [goodness knows when] but more importantly we got to hear from individuals on his Coronavirus Task Force who actually knew what they were talking about like Dr. Fauci and FEMA Administrator Peter Gaynor.

Things were looking up! And then…

Trump Fires Off Tweets as US Tackles Coronavirus, Including Messages Supporting Rollback of Guidelines to Mitigate Spread

This happened a day after the live briefing. ONE DAY. But this is typical, right? He seems to follow the script when he’s in front of people and surrounded by more responsible individuals but when he’s on Twitter–oh, that’s when you hear what he’s really thinking.

The WHO warns that the U.S. may become the next pandemic epicenter unless drastic steps are taken but instead we’re going to be asked to risk our lives for the sake of trying to save an economy that quite frankly may not be recoverable in the short term, but of course the President lacks thought, critical thinking and foresight so he believes the economy can be saved fast and now. Hopefully before November’s election, right?

In the meantime we’re seeing unemployment climb, people struggling to meet the financial demands of their life while trying to stay alive because of the lack of empathy demonstrated by our elected officials even on the state level [video here]… but it’s nice to see our hired employees on the Hill capitalizing on our misery.

Senators Accused of Insider Trading, Dumping Stocks After Coronavirus Briefing

If current events have taught you anything it should be that we should have universal basic income so people can feel free NOT to endanger their lives or the lives of others by going out during a pandemic to earn enough money to support themselves and their families and we should have universal healthcare so no one needs to worry about NOT going to the hospital if they’re ill so they can receive the treatment they need.

You shouldn’t need to be wealthy to be able to get tested for the coronavirus! But healthcare is an industry in this country… it’s a business, so of course it helps.

How One Elite New York Medical Provider Got Its Patients Coronavirus Tests

And if you haven’t learned anything, that’s fine, too. Continue listening to the President… maybe even take him up on some medical advice even though he’s not a doctor. What’s the worst that can happen?

Edit #1: On March 13th the President actually signed charts of the Dow Jones Industrial Average showing a massive gain. He was so proud that he signed these things like he expected people to put it up on their refrigerators next to their toddler’s macaroni craft project. It seems to escape him that he shouldn’t have to be congratulated for simply doing his job. To be sure, the reason for the jump is because he declared a national emergency, but that’s probably not the best reason to celebrate.

RIP Net Neutrality

The FCC voted to repeal the Net Neutrality protections conceived during the Bush administration and implemented during the Obama administration. What does this mean? This means good-bye to having access to an open Internet where all information and media is treated equally and giving preference to one service or website over another would bring fines and litigation to the parties responsible.

Your ISP might suddenly slow down your connection to your favorite sites and services and give priority to their own sites and services because now they legally can. ISP have turned into monopolistic monstrosities that do more than just connect you to the Internet. They own news outlets, media companies, entertainment businesses and they will push their goods in your face at the expense of your own preference.

For example, Verizon owns Yahoo. Verizon can now legally block Google and just serve up Yahoo every time you wanted to do a search. AT&T owns DirecTV. AT&T might want to slow down or outright block Netflix and Hulu just to push you to buy DirecTV (yes, it’s a streaming service now).

This will also stifle innovation. New services and small online business will find it much harder to get a foothold in the online marketplace. They don’t stand a chance.

Of course this is a symptom of a much larger disease.

It baffles me that a certain segment of the population continues to vote for the GOP in the face of punch-you-in-the-stomach evidence that simply proves: they don’t care about you. They are not the party of the good, honest working citizen. As much as they claim to want to deregulate your life, they want to do so specifically to make it easier for them to get away with their shit and to take away your power to do anything about it.

Believe it or not REGULATIONS is part of the glue that makes modern civilization possible.  Do you like clean drinking water? Do you like FDIC insured bank accounts? Do you like having health care? Do you enjoy clean air? Mr. Regulations says you’re welcome.

Now along comes the GOP and they see all these protections and believes the country could be better without it (mainly because they’re in the pocket of big businesses who make more money without these regulations). So these people do their corporate puppet master’s bidding and ruin the our country for short-term financial gain.

It blows me away that these people make such decisions despite common sense: “no, better not vote for that or people’s drinking water will get contaminated with petroleum,” “no, better not allow that or the middle class will get further pushed to near-poverty, “no, better not do that or we won’t be able to balance the debt.”

How can you support officials who continually trample on your rights, individuals who denounce things like science, gender equality, racial equality and who are only driven by money and their ignorant, myopic attitude??

It truly baffles me!!

If you want me to put it even more simply: the top 1% of the country hold over a third of the wealth while the bottom 90% need to deal with over 70% of the debt, and these people only help the top 1%. Honestly, unless you’re a millionaire these people do not care about you. If you have an hourly job they wouldn’t be caught dead with you.

So keep on voting with blinders on. I’m sure they’ll be more than happy to steal your money and destroy your rights all the while.

 

PS: Don’t get me started on the truly despicable people the current administration has put at the head of the Dept of Education and the EPA.

Way to drain the swamp…

It’s Friday!

Hey, Party People!

How are all of you fine, good-looking individuals doing?? Did you have a great week? No? Then have a three-day weekend! On me-because I’m such a great guy, ya know?

First off let me address the few people who got in touch with me to make sure I didn’t waste my Valentine’s Day wallowing in a mess of my own self misery: no.

Rest assured that I haven’t succumbed to depression or neurosis and I thoroughly enjoyed Valentine’s Day. Thanks for caring!

In other news, I’ve recently started singing to myself in public.

It’s completely unintentional, but this habit of quietly vocalizing to myself has started drawing the attention of people around me. I can’t tell when it happens because when it does I’m off pondering something in my brain and I’m otherwise oblivious to what the rest of my body is doing.

Come to think of it, my mind does drift off quite often. I guess it just gets bored with reality and goes off to  do something else leaving the rest of me in autopilot.

I wonder if I talk in my sleep, too. I should record myself tonight and see if I don’t start speaking in tongues or something.

Beating the Odds, Five Days of Valentines

Hey Party People!

Yes, I live. Despite the forces of the cosmos conspiring against me I defied all odds and remain on the Earthly plain. That’s not to suggest I’ve had all that many reminders of my own mortality in recent months, but I believe we all carry on with our lives blissfully oblivious to how close we get to buying the farm from time to time.

Life is a gamble and so far we’re all winning!

Speaking of gambles, and this is very timely considering Valentine’s Day is coming up, love is a huge gamble. The decisions you make based on your emotions, love especially, can have a profound effect on you. Whether positive or negative, these events define who you are and can change the course of your life. What’s more: psychology tells us that our memories of negative events are more readily recalled than those of positive events, and they generally leave a larger mark on our personalities.

But if you’ve ever been in love once or twice you already know this. Trust me, I became acutely aware of all this after about the third relationship I was in, but I appreciate the things it taught me and I have tried to use every bad experience as an opportunity to learn more about myself and to improve myself. It may take some time, but if you keep an open mind and drop your defenses you will be able to reap the greatest benefits.

For instance, it took me far too long to learn how to own up to and fix my mistakes, but now that I’m able to check my ego at the door my life has seen a dramatic improvement.

To celebrate this I’m starting what I call the 5 Days of Valentines. Starting today and ending on Valentine’s Day I will post a music video that describes one of my previous relationships. These are not going to be happy lovey-dovey songs, they will focus on the more somber feelings but you have to realize that those are the times you learn the most about yourself and other people.

If you’ve been in a relationship that ever ended badly or have had a string of bad relationships I hope you’re able to see a little bit of yourself from an outside perspective so you can judge your experience little more objectively and learn about yourself and even about your girlfriend or boyfriend at the time.

Tune in tomorrow around this time for more thoughtful introspection.

90% Function: Restored

Good day, party people! As you may have guessed I had quite the rough morning today, however things appear to be on an upward curve so I will not have to spend the afternoon in the local emergency department (knock on wood).

Despite my penchant for intoxication, I am thankful that I turn into a very nice person when I’m tipsy. That’s not to say that I’m a complete misanthrope when I’m sober, but I’m usually very selective and cautious when it comes to making friends much less acquaintances.

I’ve known other types of personalities in the form of my friends when the alcoholic beverages begin to flow. There are the angry drinkers who repress so much angst and stress during the day that their valve blows and let it all out in an excessive diatribe woven together with very creative swearing.

Then there are the quiet drinkers. These guys are a little creepy as they will withdraw from social interaction and do not engage in conversation whatsoever. I knew a quiet drunk and frankly he just turned into a statue when he drank. I’m sure they’re fine, they’re just maintaining, but you try having fun with a statue when you’re between your fourth and fifth shot.

Few and far in between are the cool drinkers who simply become more chill with a few drinks. They’re not aloof and far more chattier than the quiet drinker, but they’re not loud or obnoxious. You want to hang out with these guys when you want to wind things down but still enjoy another drink or three.

The happy drinkers. I guess I would fall into this category as I’m sure many, many others do as well. As I’ve been told, I become amiable and nice albeit a little chatty when I drink and I haven’t made so much of an ass of myself that it has ever cost me friends (either that or they’re all really, really understanding), but I do try to put forth some effort to be civil and respectful.

In any case we are who we are, right? I’m only grateful that I have the kind of friends who will tolerate me if I start in on some bullshit (but will still let me drink).