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For some help figuring out what is going here…Read the About Page
Greetings and Salutations.
Today, February 10, 2021, the Senate Trial of #3×2 started with the House Impeachment Managers presenting some very damning evidence and spirited explanations as to why #3×2 should be convicted, and banned from ever holding office in the United States again. As part of this presentation, we are seeing much new video of the event, from in the middle of it. This is, perhaps, the third or fourth cycle of the information being opened up, and every time, it becomes even more horrifying. It shows how close the coup came to succeeding. The question now is “Will 17 Republicants be convinced to vote to convict after the presentation by the Impeachment Managers?” Time will tell, I suppose, but I am not confident that they will do the right thing.
There has, of course, been much discussion online about the impeachment, and its results. The Cultists are coming out in force, of course, heartened by the fact that, at least, so far, they have suffered no consequences of their support for, and taking part in, the attempted coup of Jan. 6th. I have had to block many, many folks on FaceBook because of this, or because they are apparently out of country trolls. I have posted many replies pointing out the lies, and presenting the truth. However, most of the time I have simply flagged them with the hashtag “#FoundTheCultist“, blocked them and moved on. Sadly enough, the Republicants seem to be so fearful of losing their cushy jobs and being the target of the anger of the Insurrectionists, that they are going to be reluctant to vote to convict.
I just had a short interchange with a person in one of the Liberal Groups, I am a part of That I thought I would add to the record. I had made the following comment about the results that are very likely to come about if the cowardly Republicants fail to do the right thing and vote for the Constitution and Country, instead of their own self-interests:
Dave Mundt: BP: Perhaps the next time, when they are not so good at hiding from the insurrectionists, the sight of one or two of them hanging in front of the Capitol will remind them of the reality that they could have stopped this.
This lead to the following, short, interchange. I stand by my comments, as I am pretty sure that this dark vision COULD happen. I HOPE it does not…but we cannot know the future, alas. To see how Easily it CAN happen, though, I refer the reader to “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lewis. This chilling map of how America could easily become a fascist state is available in other formats too. Although it was written in the 1930s, it is very relevant to the events of November, 2020 through January, 2021.
L. S-A: Dave Mundt: what are you saying?
Dave Mundt: L. S-A: To clarify. IF #3×2 is not subject to sanctions, it will increase the chances that either he, or another, smarter, fascist will work to inflame the emotions of the gullible masses, and cause yet another violent storming of the Capitol. As is coming out in the information presented by the Impeachment Managers, many of the Congressional Members were within feet of being captured by a violent crowd driven by blood lust. They likely would have been zip-cuffed, dragged out to the Gallows and hung by their neck until dead. The Republicants, if they believe they would be immune to this treatment, are lying to themselves. Look at the videos of the Insurrectionists chanting “Hang Mike Pence”. Does anyone believe the mob would have found him, dragged him out, then, cut the cuffs loose, slapped him on the back, and yelled “Just joking, Bro…”? Do the Republicants believe that the mob had a list of “Good Guys” that would not be touched? They are bigger fools for it then.
So…in conclusion. What I am saying is that if justice is not done now…This insurrection violence will happen again. When it happens again, the Congressional Members MAY not be so lucky, and so will hang. If that happens, I hope that every Republicant there, either as a last thought, or as they cower in fear again, realizes that they are the authors of their own fate…Brought on by their actions of this week.
Greetings and Salutations;
Today, #3×2’s remaining lawyers spoke at length on the Senate Floor, arguing that the Senate Trial should not happen at all. They supposedly had two major points to demonstrate why this action was illegal.
Well, The House Impeachment Managers stepped up to the podium, and presented such a powerful, well prepared explanation of exactly why the actions and words of #3×2 leading up to the attempted coup warranted this trial, the defense was shaken, and apparently was forced at the last moment, to change their strategy.
The reality that the defense has almost nothing valid to base its objections on, and, their presentation was so disorganized and convoluted that a first year law student would be failed if they presented it. All of the speeches I mention are available online, of course, as the Internet Never Forgets. There are clips and discussion of the presentations by Coster and Schoen on Youtube that are worth watching, if one has not followed the sequence of events. In short, though, what follows are some of the arguments their pitiful presentation included. By the by, my characterization is shared by even Republicants out there….
There were several other smallish points in the rambling presentations by Castor and Schoen in their attempt to get the Senate to vote NOT to allow the process to continue. However, there is not one true Premise in the list.
I do not know if it is significant, but, Castor has one major mark of infamy to his name. He is the Prosecutor who refused to indict O. J. Simpson for the murders he committed. He has also represented at least one other high-profile sexual abuse case, and, he, himself was subject to accusations (which he settled out of court).
Schoen, while in his earlier years, did do some good work in the area of Civil Rights and such, his recent history has been less than stellar. He, for example, has represented both Roger Stone, and was scheduled to represent Jeffery Epstein before his untimely death. Were I looking for a lawyer, these two cases alone would cause me to walk away from him. In addition, he is yet another person caught up in the personality Cult. He has pushed sketchy, conspiracy theories, apparently putting the success of his friends and clients above his responsibilities to the Court and the Constitution. For example, he cast doubt on the Mueller Report and its findings. Here is an article looking at the history of Castor and Shoen in the law, and in connection with #3×2
In closing, I want to add my opinion about why it is vital not only to hold this trial, but, if at all possible, pressure enough Republicant’s to vote for conviction that it will become a done deal. If we do not prosecute the Impeachment indictment, it will send an unmistakable message to any other president who is totally unable to behave in an ethical, empathetic manner that (as some commentators are calling it) they will have a “January exemption” where they can do anything they want to in the last month or so of their term without fear of consequences. This is, obviously, a direct attack on the rule of law, and the concept built into the Constitution that NO one is above the law, and malfeasance will be dealt with under the law. In addition, the lack of consequences will show any coming fascists that they can get away with ignoring the law, and overthrowing the Constitution to put them in power forever. We were lucky this time. #3×2 certainly had the desire, but he lacked the IQ or ability to implement this coup successfully. I can almost guarantee that the next fascist will not have ANY of these failings. They are likely to have the ability to inflame the masses by pandering to their hate and fear. They will also be smart enough to understand where they need to build power in order to overthrow the Constitution. No matter the outcome, we must do two things. First – Push through this Impeachment trial to the end. Secondly, every Citizen has GOT to remain vigilant, watching for the signs of such an attempt happening again. As a part of this, we must each understand what the Candidates stand for; what their record is; and then vote for the Candidate that is best for the WHOLE country…not just our little tribe.
God Help Us All (Bee safe…wear your mask, social distance…wash hands…minimize trips out)
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations.
A friend of mine posted the image to our right on Facebook today. It, upon first reading, seems nonsensical. Believers know that Christ says “Know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free”. People always talk about how important the Truth is, and how it will clarify things. Yet, this sign seems to contradict this. The conversation on Facebook explored this issue a bit, so, I thought I would quote some of it, and add my thoughts at the end.
My first comment on this image was, perhaps, too dismissive. I said “There are none so blind as those that will not see. A great sign, and most amusing…but, that is why I continually work to expand my knowledge. “TRUTH” always makes sense. If it does not make sense to me, than it is because I do not understand what I am seeing.”
My friend’s reply made some very valid points, and encouraged me to think more deeply about the meaning of the sign. If nothing else, it motivated me to the point of moving from a Short Reply on Facebook to this, somewhat lengthy examination. She said “When I see the truth in nature as a butterfly’s wings or the symmetry of a flowers petals… I am at wits end… or when I see the truth of humanity in its need to repeat itself in war and fascism I am confused…Hence in those truths I am baffled…It doesn’t make sense to me that in nature everything is so symmetrical…Why isn’t it just thrown together?And as for human nature we repeat ourselves in giving pain to ourselves and others. This truth also seems complicated.“
After reading these excellent and insightful observations I realized I was skimming the surface of the sign…and that it was worth a deeper dive. So, I thought I would, more or less, address the points she raised.
My mind is very Pattern oriented, so I noticed early on that Nature does rather like mathematical patterns…I point to the Fibonacci spiral pattern of the seeds and flowerlets of Dandelions, Sunflowers and other flowers. I point to the orbital mechanics of the planets, as they lumber along around their star…and, the fact that this same, local orbital patter which will scale up to the movement of the Galaxy around its core, and will continue on, as far as I know, to the Universe itself. In the Animal world (and I include insects here) there is the bilateral symmetry of the bodies of almost every living thing. All of these examples of non-random patterns are interpreted by different people in different ways.
For some people, this universal use of patterns is proof of Intelligent Design and a God-Creator. I have heard, so many times, the opinion expressed that the world is just too orderly for there NOT to be a God.
For other people, though, the patterns come about because there is either a physics based, or an evolutionary explanation that explains the patterns. In the world of the inanimate (mainly) the rules of physics state that any system will tend to seek the lowest energy state. This, for example is why we see a ball, thrown into the air, arc up and then down, landing on the ground, and not moving. The energy of our throw is converted to potential energy – as the ball rises up in the gravitational field of the planet, and, a small amount of heat from friction. At some point the kinetic energy of the ball is completely converted to potential energy. at that point, it stops rising, and falls to the ground. Amusingly enough, when it hits the ground the potential energy from the peak of the arc has been, again, converted to kinetic energy (and yet again, a little heat). When the ball hits the ground, let us say, on a chunk of a granite slab sticking out of the ground, essentially all the kinetic energy of the ball is transferred to the Earth…causing it to shake a bit…The ball, following the physics of Newton’s Laws, then, simply lays there. it had reached its lowest energy state. Without turning this into “The Gulag Archipelago”, this same process works on various levels of magnification, from the interaction of sub-atomic particles to, again, the Universe itself. And yes, if any of you physics majors are reading this and about to write a testy comment…I am fully aware of the fact that I am summarizing topics that fill entire libraries with a few, generalized lines… So let us move on.
Let us now, look at living creatures….for them, the Evolutionary Rules that have been developed boil down to the simple fact that Nature tends to try and use the minimal amount of energy needed to survive, and ensure survival. This leads to some pretty amazing, and apparently deliberate patterns.
In the examples of humans and other mobile creatures, the general details of symmetry are there because asymmetrical design causes much more effort to move, and can be fatal. Animals that are predators have sensory organs (Eyes, ears, heat sensors, etc) that are fairly close together on the skull, and pointed in the same direction. Binocular vision is very useful in determining distance and velocity. This also is vital for tree dwellers, as misjudging the distance to a branch can be fatal. Bats, using echo location, can tell to a fraction of an inch where their prey is located by processing the sound that bounces back from their chirps, and is collected by their ears. In humans, the same tools are available because of the location of eyes and ears on the head…although, we are nearly deaf and blind compared to other animals. IF, for example, it was vital for animals to locate prey and danger via smell, I am sure that we would see noses that are very different from what exists now. I postulate that they would be quite broad, and instead of two openings that allow airflow into a single sinus cavity, we would see two separated air channels, with many sensors in both channels.
To move on to Prey animals – They often have eyes that are widely separated, and may even be on opposite sides of the skull. They rarely work well for binocular vision. perhaps one of the most amusing examples of this evolution is the Flounder, and other flat-fish. They spend their lives laying on the floor of the ocean, watching for food. So, their eyes have ended up with both of them on ONE side of their skulls! They, and similar animals need a very broad view, because they have to find forage, but how far away it is is not that important.
Human beings are, in some ways very short-sighted. Almost all humans seem to work on the principle that reality has always been the way it has been during their lifetimes. This blinds them to the reality that the Earth has been around for billions of years – a number that is nearly impossible to grasp – and during that time the creatures on the Earth have undergone many changes…some, like reptiles, have seen relative small changes…others like warm blooded creatures have seen HUGE changes…changes so radical that were we to come face to face with an ancestor of, say, half a million years ago, we might not recognize them as “human” That, alas, gets into the concept of “The Other” which I have written about elsewhere, and is complicated enough that I am simply mentioning it in passing.
While I have avoided it so far, I am forced to examine the aspects of humanity mentioned in the above post. Alas, understanding on more than an intellectual level, of the minds of other humans is a terrible and nearly impossible task. The mind is so complex, and has so many twists and turns, that motivations, actions and attitudes can cause great puzzlement, to say the least. I have yet to truly understand much of it…although I am better at recognizing what is going on than I used to be. With the provision that anything I write here is going to only touch on the complicated workings of the human mind, I shall address some of the points brought up.
First off…I want to address the issue of inflicting pain – usually emotional – on ourselves and others. I have observed a number of factors here.
These lies erode away our self image causing many issues that make life far more difficult for us. While it varies from person to person, I have observed such things as Giving other people the ability to push our buttons and trigger an over the top emotional reaction; Laying in bed at night, staring up into the darkness, and beating ourselves up as we focus on the supposed “infinite failures” of the day; Making terrible choices in people to have relationships with; Clinging to those relationships far too long…This includes hooking up to manipulators, abusers, “Father/Mother Figures” so we can assume the role of the child we were denied in the past and the like; Putting our lives on hold in order to serve the needs and wants of others; Allowing others to make life decisions for us; Being plagued with unreasonable fears that limit our ability to truly live life to the fullest. As discussed above, though, with help, it is possible to root out the programming that causes these issues, and, that Truth will set us free from them. Realistically, it will not make their control of us vanish, nor will it wipe the programming away from our Mind’s Slate. However, this Understanding WILL allow us to control the amount this programming can control us. More often than not, when we can see we are reacting in a given way, we can decide whether those reactions are appropriate, or, divert and NOT let our actions be dictated by the programming.
The issue of war has generated libraries full of writings. Before I get too far into an examination of this ugly subject, I will say that my personal belief has two main facets. Firstly, War is a terrible idea, and should be the last, extreme measure that one is forced to engage in. I am a strong believer in diplomacy and negotiation. Secondly, I never support firing the first shot. If I am attacked, either on a personal or a national level, I will do my best to ensure that I do what is necessary to END that war. However, here, I will mainly address the issue of groups, not individuals, going to war. I am pretty sure, though, that many of the reasons conflict arises between groups will apply to individual conflicts as well!
Now then… Why DO people go to war? I have seen several excuses for taking up arms against another group.
Realistically, items 2 through 4 are little more than excuses for Colonial Overlords to take over a land. Look at the complex culture of the First Peoples in North America as a perfect example of this.
Items 1 and 5 are the genesis of so many of the hate crimes and racist actions and violence we see growing in America today. These are all very challenging issues to address, alas, and overcoming their influence will, I suspect NEVER be completely possible.
“Why do people turn to fascism?” I see several factors that contribute to this….
This is, alas, another essay were I find it difficult to suggest fixes for the problems. They are not insurmountable, but, dealing with them will be a complex and slow process. The first thing, though, that springs to mind is that we must do some serious work on the school system. I have written a couple of essays on this, here is one where I address in some detail the issues I see, and offer some changes that might help address those issues. By working to educate the students from day one, to use the tools of skeptical thinking, and research, we can in a generation or two, get a population that is far less likely to be mislead by smoke and mirrors. Secondly, as I touch on in the linked essay, we have got to start working to fight against the massive contempt that too many Americans have for intellect and education. That attitude breeds ignorance, both in adults and children. it also undercuts any efforts the educational system makes to improve the education of the youth. Thirdly, after the past four years of having insults, and denigrating phrases thrown at anyone who questions the “Dear Leader”, I strongly advocate for those people who act as domestic terrorists, like the insurrectionists who waged war against the Constitution and government on Jan 6, to be given appropriate sentences, and NOT let go, or minimized. Fourthly, there are a number of changes that I think really need to happen to the political system to help bring up the quality of life of most Americans, and, keep some of the extremist outlets of disinformation under control. There are more, of course, but these are the high-lights that would be a good start. I have talked about some of these changes in other blog essays, which should be relatively easy to find with the search engine built into the site.
To finish up, and to finally return to the sign that started all of this…It does have some truth to it…and as I mentioned early on, sometimes all we can do is look at the ideas and opinions of others with, at best, an intellectual understanding of where they are coming from. We have to be mindful, when doing this, that far too often, the attitudes and mindsets of others can be based on lies, and not factual data…the Truth. That may not make it easier to deal with them, but, at least we know what is driving them, when interacting with them.
God Help Us All! Be Safe…Wear your mask, socially distance, minimize trips and wash your hands properly.
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations;
The smoke has yet to clear over the events of the 6th of January. However, it is obscuring fewer truths. I want to address one issue that has been discussed in a number of venues over the past couple of days. That is the opinion that “The next time this happens, it will likely be a competent president doing it…and the resulting coup may well succeed. WHAT can we do to keep this from happening again?”
There are a number of changes that MUST be made to shore up our Democracy, and, I have addressed some of these in previous essays. Today, though, I want to take a moment to speak to the Democrats and Liberal/Progressives out there who sometimes are hangers-on.
The Democratic Party, which I am an outlier of, has, for decades been filled with good intentions. However, we have some MAJOR weaknesses, that the Republicans have taken advantage of through the years, to grab and maintain power. Let me take a moment to address some of these.
Be mindful of the world of politics. Do not believe anyone that tells you that your vote does not matter, or cannot create change. They are lying to you, probably because your voting is keeping their agenda from taking over. The attempted coup of last week is a Red Flag warning of what can, and likely WILL happen again if we do not remain active and work to keep America improving from year to year, and approaching that ideal of the Shining City on the Hill that has been invoked by previous Presidents. If we do NOT do this, the next coup will succeed, because the leader of it will not be the demented, incompetent fool that has been in office for the last four years.
God Help Us All. Stay safe…wear your mask, social distance, hand wash a lot!
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations;
It is 2021/01/11 as I write this essay. It has taken me a few days to begin to digest the amazing events of 2021/01/06. I am not fully there yet, but, I have some things I want to get noted down while still fresh.
As, I am sure, everyone reading this knows,. On Wednesday the 6th, the normally boring, pro-forma task assigned to Congress to read the results of the Electoral College vote, and make sure that the addition was correct was interrupted and delayed for a time. We saw an event that most Americans never thought they would see. A group of Insurgents, egged on by Republicant members of Congress, and the current Occupier of the Oval Office, packed the streets of Washington, D. C. around the Capitol, and, in short order attacked the building with evil intent. It is fairly clear, from their actions and the planning that is surfacing on Social Media, that their goals were to overthrow the current Government and Install #3 as Dictator For Life;
They also were looking for members of Congress with the intent of killing them. They not only stated this as a goal, calling anyone who stood against #3 a traitor, but they built a gallows outside the Capitol, reserved for the Vice President. HE had betrayed #3 by following the law, and refusing to throw the count of the Electoral College out and declare #3 president. Specifically, we have video of many Insurrectionists chanting “Hang Mike Pence” over and over again.
The investigation of the event is still ongoing, but, it seems to me that there were some deliberate attempts on the part of a few of the Capitol Police Force, and the administration to enable this coup. For example, the video of a Capitol Police officer calling the insurrectionists through the barriers, and apparently telling them to “go, go, go” to the building. There are images of these officers chatting with the attackers as if they were old friends. There are images of these officers taking selfies with the attackers. Perhaps the most damning fact is that, in spite of weeks of chatter on social media conspiring to plan the attack, and coordinating the insurrectionists, the security for the Capitol was woefully lacking. There were, at most, 2000 officers protecting the place…far too few to defend against 10s of thousands of attackers and supporters. The officers who did their job, and attempted to protect the legislators inside the building were overwhelmed, but did the best they could. Why, some are asking, was there not the police and national guard presence that met the BLM protests? Why did the authorities ignore the warnings from the FBI, who monitors these communications, about the high probability of violence in this attack? Why was it that the Maryland National Guard, which was assembled and ready to roll within a short time after the start of violence, was not called upon by the White House to aid in defending the Capitol? It took HOURS of trying to get through and get a request, before the Secretary of the Army finally called them in. Note that the Secretary of the Army is NOT one of the people who are supposed to take this action…but he was the only one with the good sense to do so.
In this attack, five people died. Four of them were Insurrectionists, who were shot, or died of other causes. One, was a Capitol Police Officer, who was beaten by the Seditionists with fists, and a fire extinguisher. This latter death, by the way, will ensure that every one of the Insurrectionists that face a trial will have murder added to the charges. it is the law that a death in the commission of a felony is the responsibility of everyone that is involved in that felony. However, did these Insurrectionists learn from this? No. There are videos of them saying “We will be back, and we will bring more guns next time”. This is the end result of four years of lies and conspiracy talk from #3. HE is the root of all this, and I hope will be held to account for it. He has blood on his hands.
There are so many imaged out there of events I never imagined I would ever see. Perhaps the most offensive to me is this one of the Confederate Flag carried through the Rotunda by a prideful Insurrectionist. It is a foul symbol of the Evil that was in the hearts of Americans that they would treat other humans as property, and less than equal. Even during the Civil War, that rag never made it into a Federal Building. Yet here we are, today… with this offensive cloth being paraded through the Capitol by a White Supremacist, and Insurrectionist. We must do what is necessary to ensure this never happens again.
There are a number of videos of these Insurrectionists saying that they will be back, and will bring more guns the next time. We must not think of this as an idle threat. For example, on Jan. 17th, there is a “Second Amendment Event” scheduled for D. C. To me, this sounds as if we are going to have a large number of gun nuts and extremists descending on the city. What, I wonder would keep them from repeating the events of the 6th, but with more firepower? I hope that from now on, the Washington Police meet such gatherings with at least as much firepower as they deployed for the very peaceful BLM protests in 2020. I also hope that the National Guard and Secret Service will be heavily armed and given the go for use of lethal force. Otherwise, we will see the same outcome as the 6th. I also call for a greatly increased military and police presence on the 20th, at the inauguration. I am perfectly OK with it going poorly for the Insurrectionists, leaving many dead in the streets.
I have had some folks defending their presence at this, claiming that they are innocent because they were “just there to protest”. I am trying to get my head around this…but it is difficult. EVERY #3 Cultist that was there had come to D.C. because they worship their Dear Leader, and accepted his lies that the election had been stolen from him without skepticism or fact checking. Does the fact that they did not actively engage in violence excuse them from this attempted coup? I submit that it does not. They made NO effort to leave the area and disassociate themselves from the violence when it began. Their words tell us that, had the coup succeeded, they would have celebrated their Dear Leader being installed as Dictator. While they might not be intelligent or thoughtful enough to understand what that would mean, that does not excuse them. Should they suffer the same penalties as those that smashed their way into the building, and actively engaged in destruction, theft, and searching for Congressmen and women to “arrest”? My inclination is to say no…but, I will leave this to the Judges who try their case.
In these Essays, when dealing with difficult issues, I try and end by offering some ways to help mitigate the problems, and bring America back to a path of Wisdom, and adult Leadership in the world. Right now, though, I cannot really do that. I am inclined to say that we should build a wall around Utah, or one of the other Red States in the West, collect all the rabid #3 supporters, and dump them all into the state. i realize this is difficult or impossible to do, though. A more approachable goal, I believe, would be for the FBI to continue to identify and arrest Insurrectionists who are a part of this attempted coup. They should then be charged with Sedition, and a variety of other charges, including, as I mentioned earlier, Murder. I include in this list the Senators anbd Representatives who actively engaged in Insurrection by attempting to derail the process of dealing with the electoral College Votes. As for #3, he is the instigator of these events and has spent years pouring gasoline on the fire that he lit himself. For this, he should go to prison and lose all assets for the rest of his life. I would suggest death by firing squad, but, I remain against the death penalty. Beyond this, ANY Insurrectionists arrested and proven to be part of the attempted coup, should be required to undergo deprogramming as part of their sentence. They have proven that they are part of a Cult, and as such are so brain-washed that without deprogramming, we will look forwards to years of attempts to overthrow the government.
This attempted coup was the culmination of 12 years of attacks on the foundations of American Society, by #3. His drumbeat of “Fake news” and racist birther conspiracy rants during pres. Obama’s administration and the escalating destruction of the basic structure of government, and society during his occupation of the Oval Office have watered the ground that grows white supremacy, racism, antisemitism, and violence against citizens and the government. His drumbeat of fraud in election, in spite of having NO valid evidence to support it, has fed the delusions of his Cultists. His continual rants about the media, and how they all lie constantly, and the only person that can be trusted is HIM, have resulted in a large number of Americans who are brain-washed and, as I have referred to earlier, nothing more that mindless, drone, Cult members.
It will likely take decades for the full damage done by #3 and his mad reign to be healed. However, over the next four years, along with all the other challenges of a crashed economy, and a pandemic that will not ease up, I hope that the new Administration can find time to mindfully consider changes to our legal structure to help ensure that this madness never again can take root in America again. My concern here is that the Politicians will, in a knee-jerk reaction to the events of this last week, swing the pendulum too far in the other direction…and create laws that are oppressive and draconian in and of themselves. I have discussed elsewhere changes I would like to see happen to our Election process and to the amount of time Elected officials can be in office, to bring it to a better state, so I shall not go over them again here. I am going to take up some other issues about the Government in a future post. The worst thing that we can do, though, is get distracted by the next shiny disaster, and forget the events of last week, and what caused them. If we do this, we will be doomed as a country. The reality is that the next fascist that wants to take over America will not be a blithering idiot and so will have a FAR greater chance of succeeding. Interestingly enough, Sinclair Lewis laid out the events of this political madness in a fine book he wrote in the 1930s. Titled, “It Can’t Happen Here”, it is a step by step demonstration of the reality that indeed, it CAN happen here. Its relevance to today’s political reality is chilling. If #3 and his Cultists were not so idiotic, mindlessly violent, and incompetent, we might well be seeing an ending such as Lewis showed in this book.
God Help Us All. Stay safe – Wear your mask, social distance, Wash your hands a lot.
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations.
This is the Second collection of musings on the political situation in America. My first (somewhat lengthy) discussion is located Here.
What would I like to see changed in the political landscape of America?
First off, I am going to look at the way Voters are treated, gain access to, and cast ballots in today’s system. As I noted in the previous commentary, there are some issues…
Now then, what about the elected officials and the process of lawmaking? Note that I am focusing on the Federal Government here…as many local governments already implemented these changes. However, the proposed changes could apply to state Legislators and Governors, too.
While it is a pipe dream…I would like to see all of the above Candidates for office subject to a “Three Strikes” rule. By this, I mean, IF in their campaign, they are found to have out and out lied, making statements that directly contradicted reality, three times. They would be banned from running for office for life.
Now, I want to look at the process of electing our Representatives and President..
I have come to the opinion, finally, that the Electoral College is a relic of a bygone age, and should be bypassed. part of my motivation here is the fact that the world has changed since it was written to the point that it would be unrecognizable to our Founding Fathers. The simple fact that today, almost anyone in America can communicate with a person on the other side of the world without delay or cost would be mind boggling to them. The days when it could take months for the results of individual elections to be gathered is gone for good. In addition, almost since its creation, the Electoral College has failed to live up to the standard set by Hamilton in Federalist Papers #68. Instead of being a deliberative body of objective, wise, elders, it has been a rubber stamp for the party in control of its Electors and of a few, very important states, almost since its creation. This is why Hillary Clinton and Al Gore, in spite of winning the Popular vote, were NOT installed in the Office of President.
The idea of a President, put into office simply by the popular vote is not without problems…. It would, in theory, allow a fast-talking con man to use smoke and mirrors to gull enough voters to allow them to take the office. However, I claim that the voting public is smarter than that these days. Take the 2016 election for example. In spite of several errors on the part of the Clinton Campaign, it was only through clever manipulation of the Electoral College by the #3 staff that wiped out the 3 million vote majority Clinton had, and installed the worst person to occupy the Oval Office in the history of the country.
I see three ways of dealing with this problem.
There is the option of either a Constitutional Convention, to remove the Electoral College from the process. This course is is fraught with danger right now, because it is very likely that the Republicants will fight to pack the Convention with their extremist views. Since it is not possible to limit what a Constitutional Convention can do to the Constitution…it is most likely that the resulting document would be far from what the Founding Fathers had in mind, and would likely support a lot of views that are anathema. For example, I can see the First Amendment being re-written to put extreme limits on freedom of speech. In addition I can see not only the Separation Clause that puts a wall between Religion and Government, not only demolished, but, a replacement that makes Fundamentalist Christianity the “Official” religion. I can see the Second Amendment being re-written to allow weapons ownership with out limits. I could see the twenty-second Amendment being wiped off the books, allowing the President to be returned to office for life.
The issue of an Amendment, though, is time. It can take decades for an Amendment to be ratified, depending on its support. The reality is that the Republicants would certainly fight any such amendment, as their taking power has depended on the insulation provided by the current Electoral College system. As an example, though of the issues with an amendment, I present the case of The Equal Rights Amendment. It was first put on the path of ratification in 1923, but did not receive the necessary 38th state vote for its acceptance until January of 2020. It still is not part of the Constitution, though, because of legal questions about whether states could rescind their vote, or force a date for a given vote to become null and void.
Another way to change the influence of the Electoral College is to remove the “Winner Take All” laws implemented by many states, and allocate the Electoral College Votes in proportion to the popular vote. I have written a discussion of this elsewhere.
Finally, there are several alternative ways of allocating the Electoral College votes. Here is an interactive tool to explore how the various ways of allocating the votes changes the results. Note, that this tool assumes the districts are as they are today, and would likely change if the above redistricting steps were taken.
As for electing members of Congress…redistricting to eliminate gerrymandering is a vital part of this change. Without this, as I have mentioned before, it will continue to be truth that the candidate will choose their voters, and not, as it should be, that the voters will choose their candidate.
One change I would like to see is a change in the number of representatives. We have grown to a point that we, as a country should increase the number of Representatives elected. In 1929, when the number was locked in at 439 House members, the population of America was just under 122 million people. As of the start of 2020 the population is 331 million people. This means that there is a wide range of voters represented by each House member. This range goes from about 530,000 people, to a high of 1.05 million people. this, in my opinion, dilutes the opinions of the voters represented by a given House member. This makes it easier for this House member to ignore his or her voters…neither of which is good for the country. The objection to this is that it would make the House more unwieldy. This may be true, but, I suspect that could be overcome. I would like to see the number represented by each Member back down to about 270,000. This would require the size of the house triple to 1317. Right off the bat I do not see a serious problem with this, although it might need more thought about the side effects.
There are some folks who believe that the basic method we use for voting is sketchy, and open to fraud. In spite of these claims, mostly pushed by #3, today, the reality is that after multiple audits, recounts and cross checks, NO significant fraud has been found. The system we use has multiple safety and validity checks built into it from day one…So, while the Republicants are screaming Fraud! The reality is that the current system works very well and very securely. So, other than a greater use of mail-in ballots, I see no reasons to change the basic system.
God Help us All
Stay Safe! Wear your Mask; Socially Distance all the time; wash your hands and use sanitizer.
Bee man Dave
Some of the writing here may be uncomfortable to read…fair warning! I am, for the first time, going to discuss my travails with Hep C, and where I have gotten to on that complicated path. If any of you reading this are newly diagnosed with Hep C, I hope it will clarify some of the issues. If any of you are reading this are struggling with new disability, I hope that it will be a positive example of how to come through a challenging period and end up on a positive path.
I was diagnosed with Hep C a bit over 10 years ago… At the time, I had no idea I had been carrying the virus for several decades. I have always had a very strong immune system, and apparently it did a great job of suppressing the virus and keeping it hidden. Alas, like termites, though, simply because it was hiding in the dark did not mean it was not eroding my body away. The Virus managed to gain an upper hand because of stress. I had sold the family property, and my wife and I were working on moving to a better location, out in the country a bit. Alas, this required building a house, and since neither I, nor my wife, Lisa, are average, this turned into quite an interesting journey. More on that elsewhere…. The stress of finding a design that we both could live with, and getting the construction started was fairly major. Added to that was the reality that it was 2009 when the greedy bastards in the financial industry finally had inflated the housing market enough in their attempts to suck as much money as possible into their pockets, that the bubble burst. It was, to put it mildly, shocking to find that over a weekend, the investments we were planning to use to pay for the construction of the house had dropped in value by about 75%! We were in the middle of construction, and I was doing a LOT of work, with the crew I had hired from a local contractor. So, not only was I kind of vital to keeping costs down, we were at a point where we were too deeply invested to quit. All these stressful aspects of life worked together and built on each other, to lower my immune system to the point that the Virus began to win.
Over the 2009/2010 period, I had begun to feel increasingly bad. I did not have the endurance I used to. I did not realize it at the time, but, I was looking increasingly jaundiced. I hit a point where I had occasional vomiting spells, where I was ejecting fairly large amounts of blood. The first time or two this happened, I did not realize that was blood I was losing. Shortly before this started, I had made up a big batch of a very good fruit treat, called “Rote Grute“…which is made of ALL Red fruit! I thought I had a stomach bug, and the treat is what I was vomiting up. Of course, this loss of blood left me anemic, and so, I was also having issues with dizziness and an inability to concentrate.
Finally, one evening, I had a vomiting spell in the kitchen of the house we were renting…and I was dizzy enough afterwards that, although I did manage to clean most of it up, Lisa ended up putting me in the car, and transporting me to the Emergency Room. That was an interesting time, I have to say. I learned, that night, that if one wants to ensure that one will NOT be left sitting for hours in the waiting room, all that has to happen is to for one’s driver to walk into the ER and say “my passenger is vomiting up a lot of blood!” I was in a wheelchair, and rolled through there so quickly the skin on my face was pulled back a bit by the wind! (ok…slight exaggeration, but it was certainly immediate and very quick) They took me back to radiology, and asked me to stand with my back to a wall-mounted x-ray machine so they could get a picture. I was kind of unsteady, so when the tech asked me “Can you stand there for me?” I said “I will give it a whirl!” The last thing I remember was starting to tilt forwards, as I went unconscious. I have no idea if the tech and nurse managed to catch me or not.
Of course, because I kept insisting I was NOT an alcoholic, in spite of looking rather like I lived under a bridge, they tested me for Hep C. When I woke up the next afternoon, I found out that my issues came from the Hep C, and that I had a pretty heavy viral load. most of the current issues stemmed from the serious cirrhosis of the Liver that the Virus had caused. This damage caused blood pressure issues that popped up little blood blisters in my esophagus. It was these, bursting, that had generated the leakage that was the source of many of my problems. Well, the G.I. doctor who worked on me (a fellow named Rollhauser), had a way to fix these issues. Basically, they have a tool that expands a strong, rubber band and allows them to slip it over the varices. This clamps the base of the Esophageal varices causing the bleed, and in a fairly short period of time, the varices die, and the remaining wound heals over. It, though, is a short-term solution that simply stops the bleeding. Interestingly enough, I was familiar with this technique, as it happens to be the same process that bulls are castrated these days. Of course the tools are a bit larger for the cattle…but it is the same process. Dr. Rollhauser seemed a bit puzzled and amused when I mentioned this, as if he was wondering how in the world I knew about that!
While Dr. Rollhauser was there, he explained about the Hep C, of course, and asked some questions to see if he could figure out where I had gotten it. The general opinion, at the time, was that it was passed through contaminated needles shared by IV drug users. I never did that scene, though, but did recall that my dentist had, one day, shown up on the front of the newspaper, as being heavily involved in the drug scene in Knoxville. Apparently he had been using his abilities to prescribe to get various drugs for folks, and doing it in large enough quantities that it caught the notice of the locals. Thinking back, I recall him being a bit twitchy at times, so I had to wonder if he had not been a user also, had used his dentistry needles for drug use, and not cleaned them properly afterwards. The only other option was that I had been in hospital once for wisdom teeth being removed. There was a small chance I had been infected then, as I believe I got some blood products and the operation was fairly complicated. Either one was quite possible, as this was back in the late 1970s, and Hep C was not even identified before the early 90s.
As a side note, it turned out, once I started researching the disease, that a fairly huge percentage of people born between 1949 and 1965 had been infected. It is such a slow moving disease that most folks, like me, might never have an idea that they had it until decades after they were infected. Also, because of the fact it was unknown for so long, it turns out that IV Drug use was NOT an important factor in spreading this disease.
Dr. Rollhauser had pictures of the varices he had banded off, and, I have to say, they were interesting. They looked like little, pink, grapes, stuck to the wall of my gut, with a little arc of bright, red, blood spraying out the top. While it was a bit of a challenge to get information out of him (I suspect he was used to patients that did not understand, or want to know what was going on) we had an interesting conversation. It was during this chat that he was up front, and explained how serious this issue was. The diagnostic term was “Long term Hep C with end stage liver disease) Dr. Rollhauser was clear in explaining that a person at my point of the disease cycle had rather less than a 50/50 chance of living more than four years. Well, being Old and German/Lutheran, I thought to myself “Screw you buddy”…and as time progressed made some lifestyle changes to improve my chances.
Thanks to some medication issues, and the advanced state of my disease, I did end up in hospital a couple more times. The second trip was a re-run of the first, although not as messy. Lisa drove me to the ER, and, once again, I hit the floor in x-ray. I had more varices blow out, alas. To keep this from happening again (at this point in time I had no insurance, so, they were not happy to see me again), the surgeons installed a bypass between the major artery and vein in my liver, so about 70% of the blood flowing through it was diverted away from the liver and simply goes back into circulation. In time, all my blood gets filtered, but it takes longer. The reason for this is that this drops the blood pressure on the major arteries running directly from the liver to the esophagus, and cuts back on the chances of blow outs. This, by the by, has worked great, as I have had no more bleeding issues. Nothing is free, though… The fact that only 30% of my blood is being filtered through the liver at any time means that toxins, including ammonia, can build up in it. The ammonia is the worst problem, as it causes serious neurological issues, including severe tremors, and, in some cases black outs and other mental issues. One fellow I made contact with when I was researching my condition said that he had been fine one day, and then had wakened in a completely different city, several weeks later, with no idea how he had gotten there, or what he had been doing. While I did have some similar issues, I have never gotten that bad. This time in hospital had added interest, too, as I ended up on a respirator, in a coma for around 5 days. Dr. Rollhauser and his crew had a great deal of difficulty tracking down the places I was bleeding out from on this trip, and felt it was better to keep me asleep. It was also a time when my wife and family had to face the reality that the doctors were going to do the best they could, but, there was a very high chance that I would not make it.
Lisa said that she knew I was going to be ok, though, when, several days into this period, the nurse brought me closer to the surface, to make sure I was still there, and said “now we are going to wipe your tushy now.” I raised a hand a bit, and rotated my index finger in the air, as if I was saying “YEA!!!!” While I have never feared death, I have to say that this brush with it certainly has calmed my mind even more. I was aware of what was going on around me for much of the time, except when the doctors were actually working on me…and I remember thinking ” I am at a crossroads here. Do I want to take the branch that leads to my wakening and living on? Or do I want to take the path of rest?” It was an interesting state of mind to be in, and I suppose it was a good sign that I took the road of diving back into the Veil of Tears.
There is a medication, called Lactulose, a synthetic sugar, that is specifically designed to absorb the ammonia as it goes through the gut, keeping the levels down to a manageable point. So, of course, I was prescribed this stuff, and sent home. It certainly worked, but it was some of the worst tasting stuff I had ever ingested. The suggestion was to drink a glass of orange juice after taking it to get the taste out of my mouth. That did help, but, not entirely. Fortunately, over the years, the pharmacist has found flavorings that, while not great, help a lot. In spite of the Lactulose, though, this episode of surgery and the new medication had an interesting side effect…that put me in hospital yet again. I did not have an ambulance ride on my bucket list, but at least I can add it, and mark it “done” now.
The prescribed dosage of Lactulose, as it turned out was far too small. So, about 3 weeks after the last trip, I started slipping into an altered mental state. Lisa had headed out a couple of days before to go see (and take pictures at) an ice skating event some distance away, so I was alone in the house. When she left, I was fine. However, because of the low dose of Lactulose, I crashed rather suddenly. I was in the chair in the living room, and was pretty non-responsive when my landlord, and neighbor checked on me. So after some complications, the cops, the fire department, and the ambulance showed up. My state of mind was very odd, in that it was as if I was looking at reality from a very great difference. I could not, for example, say my landlord’s name, although I knew it. I was not all that good at moving on my own, as I was very, very unsteady. I was just disconnected from reality, and found it difficult to take ANY action. I, for example, had realized the Lactulose I had taken was moving me to get to the bathroom ( it does have that effect), I made it in there, but, I had forgotten to pull down my pants. I am not at all sure how long I had been sitting there when the firemen popped a window, gained entry to the house, and walked me out to the front porch, where I was laid out on a gurney. Not only were the EMT’s not happy about my having soiled myself ( I got to listen to them grousing about having to wash down the bus after transporting me), but, I got stripped, scrubbed and sprayed with a hose of warm water when I got to the ER. It took two days of showers to get the smell off me. Well, the good news was that with a sufficiently increased dose of Lactulose I was fine, and only spent a couple of days in hospital.
After I got stabilized, though, I had to start looking for options to prolong my life (or not, as the case might be). It was a pretty low time for me, I am sorry to say. I have always struggled with Depression and suicidal thoughts, and this setback had really kicked up the volume on them. I did manage to make it through though, but it was a challenge for a while.
On the positive side, I was amazingly lucky in my timing of being diagnosed and having the disease rear its ugly head. While I was sick, I was far from being without hope as I was apparently a LOT healthier than most of the people that are found to have Hep C. There is an index, whose name I cannot bring to mind right now, that measures how close one is to dying. It runs from something like 45 to 5. The smaller the number the smaller one’s chances of living another month. At this point in time – around 2012 – my number was 35 or so. Not good, but WAY better than it could be.
One of the options I looked into was treatment with the classic, Interferon based medications. Dr. Rollhauser told me it would be a waste of time for several reasons.
Although I was rather disheartened about this, and had just about decided to live as long as I could with whatever drugs would improve the time, my wife and family talked me into exploring the option of getting a liver transplant. While that would not eliminate the virus, it would improve my quality of life for my remaining time, and, would, perhaps, lengthen that period a bit. We happen to have one of the premier transplant hospitals in America here in Tennessee, so, with the help of my younger sister, we arranged an evaluation. The major down side to this, up front, was that (upon the pressure from Lisa and my sister), I got my hair cut to a conservative length, and my beard shaved off. They made the fairly valid point that if I showed up looking like a street person, it would likely hurt my chances of being put on the transplant list as most of the doctors in the area are rather Conservative. It was kind of strange, though, to look in the mirror in the morning, and see my older brother looking out at me. We not only sound VERY much alike (which was always useful for jerking around his kids), but we look a LOT alike.
As it turned out, though, I could have saved my efforts. We made the trip to Vanderbilt one day and had an interesting and educational consult with one of the doctors on the transplant evaluation team there. The bottom line was that they were turning me down for a liver transplant. There were two, major reasons for this. On the positive side, the doctor explained that I was simply WAY too healthy to qualify. They do not even begin to consider a candidate until their index gets down to the low 20s. On the negative side, as the doctor put it “I had a sociological problem”. The total cost of the transplant and follow up care was in the vicinity of $500,000.00, and I had neither cash nor insurance to pay for it. This was ironical, since I have been an advocate for Universal health care, as every other industrialized country in the world has, for decades now. So, we thanked him for his honesty and the time and education he provided, and hit the road. I chose to focus on the “too healthy” part of the diagnosis, as that was something I might be able to control. The drive down, with my sister, Cathy and her husband Dave, was quite pleasant, as it was good to visit. Also, when we were in the waiting room at Vanderbilt, Cathy pulled out a great, little gift to commemorate the challenges. There is a company, called Giant Microbes, that makes plush replicas of a wide variety of micro-organisms. I already had the Streptococcus and Yeast cells that reminded me of Dad’s fields of research…so I was most amused when she handed over a “Hep C” plush. Alas, the doctor there did not seem that impressed, but he was trying to be very serious.
Dr. Rollhauser, in my first discussion with him in hospital had been blunt about the reality that I would not be able to work again. He recommended that I start the process of applying for Social Security Disability. Being a skeptic, I tried to push on for a bit, but, after several months of less than satisfactory results, admitted the truth of what he had told me. So, after shutting down the business, I moved on to struggle with Social Security. That journey turned out to be slow, complicated, and very frustrating at times. I, foolishly, thought that since “Long term Hep C, with end stage liver disease” was around the third thing on the list they had on the Social Security Website, that was an automatic qualification for Disability, that it would be a straight foreward process. It was not. It took me over two years of interactions with Social Security, and, Finally, getting one of my Senator’s staff involved to get the process moving in a positive direction. (Thanks, Keith Alexander…still appreciate your hard work and care). Finally, after getting yet another stack of forms asking me the same questions I had answered at least three times before, I called Keith up, and said that while I hated to do this, but, it seemed to me that it was time for me to get a lawyer involved… He did ask me to hold off for a little bit, so he could see what he could do. I am SURE it is a coincidence, but less than two weeks later, I got an approval letter from Social Security. I was just glad to have some support as the cost of medications was hurting, and I needed them to stay functional. I have to say that during that period of struggling with Social Security, I came to believe that they were trying to delay long enough for me to die, and stop being their problem.
Interestingly enough, not more than a month or so after I was approved for Disability, the news came out that Medicare (which I was still griping about because of the hoops I had to jump through get approved), lost a lawsuit to a guy in California, over covering the cost of the new, cutting edge anti-virals designed to treat Hep C. For me, this was important because it forced Medicare to cover the cost of treatment with the newly released, Sovosbur based anti-virals (Sovaldi/Harvoni are two of the brand names). They were WELL out of my reach, in America, as Gilead Labs charged $1000/pill for the treatment. This, by the by, was kind of obscene profiteering, as it cost them about $75 to make the pills. Also I had a great advocate at my doctor’s office, who managed to get me on the list of people in Tennessee to be treated with these drugs (Turns out that only 30% of the people applying were being approved in this state). So, after $200,000 worth of medications, and 6 months of daily pills, I ended up virus free. My total cost? a $300 co-pay!)
The Sovaldi treatment had done a great job of wiping out the virus in my body. So, at least, the continuing damage was halted. The down side though, was that I was still left with serious cirrhosis of the Liver, neurological issues, and a couple of other complications, all of which made it impossible for me to go back to working. Most employers are not interested in hiring a 55 year old guy, in the first place, and add to that the reality that at the time I was good for an hour or two a day, and some days, not at all…made my marketability fairly low. Luckily, between the Social Security Disability checks, and Lisa’s job, we had enough coming in to keep the wolf from the door.
I had mentioned, early on, that we had started building a house when all these challenges hit. Well, no surprise, I am sure, the plan of that house changed radically thanks to my illness and subsequent loss of income, combined with the financial shenanigans going on and the almost totally crashed economy that it produced. The original plan is memorialized in a set of architectural drawings I have tucked away. I had designed and built most of a large shop, though, before the Hep C knocked me out, so, we reworked the plan for that, and added a bit to it, leaving us with a good place that was interesting, but, certainly much more limited than we had planned.
Since my exciting times in hospital, I have seen some liver regeneration, but, the neurological issues (some holes in my memory, and permanent tremors) have remained. I still am taking the medications I needed for support, as without them, I DO deteriorate quite a bit. However, with many breaks to catch my breath, I can do a lot more than I could in the early days of my disease. The tremors are probably the most annoying aspect though, as I am a bit of an artist (here are some examples of my recent work) and the tremors make it a challenge to paint as I did before. There are days when the best thing I can do is put the brush down and walk away, as fine details are beyond me. The neurological issues tend to manifest themselves in difficulties typing (I do not always spell as well as I would like), and forgetfulness. As an example of the forgetfulness issue…up to this year, I had never failed to get all the groceries from the cart into the car. This year, twice, I have walked off and left a gallon of milk on the bottom shelf of the cart. SOME of this may have to do with the stress and chaos of the past four years, though, and the stress I am dealing with right now, wondering what shenanigans the current occupant of the Oval Office may pull in his attempts to trigger a coup and turn America into a fascist dictatorship.
If it had not been for the Hep C issues, I would have really enjoyed my time in hospital. I met a wide range of very interesting, caring people who, all treated me as a human, not a broken piece of machinery to be patched up. I had some great interactions with the nursing staff and doctors there. I am a bit different then most, so, I was focused on interacting with them as people, not just service providers. I also surprised them a bit. Every time I was in hospital, I bounced back from my difficulties with amazing speed. For example, a few hours after I woke from the coma and the nurses finished taking all the tubes out (NOT by the by, something I would recommend as an adventure), I had to hit the bathroom. So, since the nurses had threatened me with putting the tubes back in if I did not call them to help me do this, I pushed the call button and explained my situation. Shortly thereafter, a young man showed up. He was going to be hands on, but, I told him to hang loose, and pick me up if I hit the floor. I was a bit slow getting moving, it being the first trip out of bed on my own in five or six days, but, I made it vertical and got walking. About my third step, he looked at me, and said “you REALLY do not need help…but call me if you do” and left. They were really not used to having a guy come in looking like death warmed over, and within a day or two, be ready to roll again.
Why was I able to spring back so rapidly from being on the edge of death (or so it seemed) one day, to walking around on my own the next? At that point I had been doing Tai Chi for about 10 years. I know that this made a huge difference in my ability to focus mind, body, and energy, to walk a healing path. I am going to take a moment here to add a shout out to my multiple instructors who moved me, patiently, on the Path, and my good friend and Elder Brother from another mother, Jim Perdue, who is very encouraging and patient in keeping me focused. I strongly recommend taking up Taoist Tai Chi to everyone that holds still long enough, as it is a huge mental and physical benefit, and, can be done by anyone, no matter what their issues.
Another factor that I have to point out as improving my recovery has been the support from family, spouse and friends. I would be in a far worse place without that unrequested help. I am still not good at asking for help…but, I have come to accept that other people get the same positive feelings that I get when I help others…so, while I am not as good as I should be at accepting their help, I certainly appreciate it. Part of that help was being willing to sit down with me, and have some tough discussions about the future. I have always valued truth, and, Lord Knows, my support network is VERY willing to give it to me! EVEN if I may not want to hear it. So, y’all reading this…realize that accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It is honoring the gift that your friends and family are giving you.
Today, some 11 years later, I am much better than I was. I still have bad days, and those can be very, very bad. but even with the disability left from the ravages of the disease, my good days are far more common. There is hope, but, as I had to learn and accept…”normal” may be different from the way we remember it. It can be as good as we can make it, but, our abilities and limitations may change.
God Protect Us…be safe, wear your mask, practice social distancing and extra hand-washing…
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations!
As I was poking around on Facebook, one of the folks I follow posted this meme for consideration and discussion. I found it interesting enough to discuss here…at least a little bit.
This meme is, in my opinion, flawed. It is pushing the agenda that certain groups shun others for no reason other than that group’s words might make them uncomfortable. It is the writer’s opinion that, in some way, this damages Society.
The reality, though is very different. As this article shows, the people being shunned are having it happen for a very valid reason, as their words and actions are reprehensible at best. In spite of this s-called “shunning” though, few suffer economic damages from it. Now, as to the author’s claim that “cancel culture” affects art, and crushes creativity. I submit that this has no merit, as creativity will, in time, almost always succeed. For example, Stravinsky’s “The Rite Of Spring”, premiered in 1913 cause an uproar, and quite a bit of condemnation. However, now, 117 years later, it is looked upon as one of the great moments in Ballet! I am a painter, currently working mainly in watercolors. I do not create for others…I create because I have to…and if others find value in it, that is fine. (Here are some examples of my work…)There are artisans who do focus on what will be accepted by the public and will sell (Thomas Kinkade, I am looking at you), however is what they produce, most of the time, called “Creative?” I submit it is not. Bob Ross, whose shows I love watching, had a wonderful eye, and a great talent..but, he was a “one trick pony” when it came to painting. I do realize, in Bob’s case, that painting was the TOOL he used, not the goal he was reaching for…but that is a topic for a completely different essay!
It is true, alas, that in some cases, the actions have been uncalled for – I point to Al Franken as a perfect example of this. While the photograph that caused him to leave Congress was certainly unwise…his action was taken too quickly. Well after he left office, questions arose about the photograph, and the motives of the woman in it.
The idea that people are shunned for having valid, if uncomfortable ideas, though lacks merit. What does it say about us if we give homophobic/hate-filled/prejudiced speech equal value with that if civil discourse? I am reminded of the words of Edmund Burke – “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” It has been my observation that Liberals/Progressives/Democrats are far more likely to accept and consider alternative views than the Right-Wing conservatives. I have engaged in some very active debate on both sides of the spectrum. In the Right-Wing side, I am quickly shut down, with insults and ad hominem attacks being sprayed in my direction. On the Left-Wing side, I end up in a lengthy thread that includes opinions, and factual evidence. I have run into very few attempts in these arguments to insult me, and when I do, it is usually because it is the opinion of the writer that I am less than well educated about the subject.
So…is “cancel culture” a bad thing? I am not really that sure it is a real thing…other than being a cute label pumped out by the Right-Wing, for an action that has been a basic part of reality since Primordial times. However, allowing that it does exist, I argue it is not in general, a bad thing. Giving such twisted views as misogyny, white supremacy, prejudice and hate against particular social or ethnic groups, and the like validation by pretending they are no different than tolerance, empathy, ethics and the like, causes our society to become less open, and diminishes all of us.
God Help Us All – Stay safe, Wear your mask!
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations…
Now that the smoke is clearing a bit, and the dust settling from the 2020 Presidential Election, I decided to take a look at the event, and explore some of the problems and successes of the event. I saw events which horrified me, and made me question, again, if America as a democracy would survive. I saw events which helped me believe that the structure of the electoral process is flexible enough and strong enough to withstand even some mighty forces against it.
This election was (I hope) unique in the ongoing story of America. It was, in my view, not so much a contest between political beliefs – Conservative vs. Liberal – but, in a real sense a struggle between Good and Evil for the soul of the country. I have written another essay, looking at this in more detail, if one is interested in delving a bit deeper into this subject. At this point in time, though, it looks as if Good has taken the field. The results of the election were a clear victory for Joe Biden, in both the Electoral College, and the popular vote. #3 has spent every day since then filing lawsuits, attempting to get the election overturned, either by lower courts, or, by a case making it to the SCOTUS. This latter course is no surprise to a majority of Americans, though, as, in the past few years, while packing the Supreme Court with Justices that were of questionable qualifications for the seat, #3 made it clear he was doing this to ensure that the SCOTUS would give the presidency to him. However, as of today, only one of the 25+ suits filed has been a victory..and even that one was hardly significant. Every other suit has been nothing but a collection of lies, unsubstantiated rumors, and speculation…all without evidence to back them up. The end result is that Judges in lower courts (both Republican and Democratic) have dismissed the actions as being without merit. This makes it very very unlikely that the SCOTUS will be involved in the Electoral decisions, as they were in the Gore V. Bush case.
Another very positive aspect of this election was that the voter turnout was higher than it has been in 120 years or so. In spite of the Pandemic, threats of violence by the Right-Wing, and generally unsuccessful attempts to limit access to voting by mail, over 160 million citizens cast a vote in this election. I vaguely recall that this works out to about 66% of the eligible voters. That may suck in comparison to other countries, but, as noted it is in the top three or four elections America has held, at least as regards turnout.
A striking image of this election was the contrast between #3 and Joe Biden in the couple of “debates” held on National TV. In both of them, #3 acted more like a petulant child and Biden was very adult. Biden addressed the topics at hand, and generally remained calm throughout #3 kept interrupting him, talking over him, and even arguing with the moderator. He also lied so many times that it took the fact checking sites some time to get all them analyzed and posted. This was in striking contrast to Biden, who, while not without some sketchy statements, did not out and out lie. His dings from the fact checkers were almost entirely issues with the accuracy of numbers, and attributions of statements.
Perhaps, though, the most disturbing aspect of this election was the burst of extreme polarization, and the level of hate for the other side, fueled by the inflammatory statements over the past four years by #3 and, the bat-shit crazy spewings of QAnon. For much of #3’s administration, he has spent more time campaigning for re-election than actually governing. He has embraced the Nazi concept of “The Big Lie” – repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth. #3’s lie is that the only way he could lose the coming election was if there was massive voter fraud. This, by the way, is a delusional statement he is still clinging to, today. QAnon, which grew by leaps and bounds during the #3 administration has been claiming that the Democrats are pure Evil. That they drink the blood of babies to rejuvenate themselves, and are in control of a world wide, pedophile ring that swaps millions of children around. And that is just one of their more rational theories! And yet, a painfully large number of Americans take these spews as the Gospel Truth!
Leading up to the election day, there were threats of violence – to the extent that a number of Republicans and Cultists were calling for Democrats to be murdered. There were recorded incidents of the Right-Wing threatening voters who might have voted for Biden and other Democratic candidates. Several Red States took huge, blatant steps to disenfranchise as many voters as is possible. Texas, for example, knowing that the Democrats were far more likely to vote via mail than in person, installed ONE collection box in each county, even through in times past the number of boxes had been based on the population, leading to some counties having a dozen or more collection points. The Post Master General, Louis DeJoy, appointed by #3 because of the size of his contributions and his willingness to do what he was told without question, took actions to remove and destroy hundreds of high-speed sorting machines from large counties around the country. The Social Media platforms, such as Facebook, dropped the ball by allowing conspiracy theory pages and hate group pages unfettered access to the platform for far too long. This allowed them to spread wild lies, and hate speech for too long indeed. All of these actions inflamed the emotions of the fanatical Cultists, the hangers-on, and the like to come out in droves to vote for #3.
Fortunately, the number of Americans who looked at what has been going on, was rather larger than these others, and they came out to defeat #3 successfully.
Now, though, after the votes are mostly counted, and it is clear that Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States, we still have a divide in the country. I recently heard that 75% of the Republicans firmly believe that this election was some how “stolen” by the Democrats. This, in spite of election officials all over the country – both Republican and Democratic, telling them that there was no significant voter fraud and that this was one of the most secure elections held in modern times. The Right Wing is so brain-washed that they refuse to believe anything except what #3 says…a classic symptom of cult behavior.
All that having been said…I want to answer the question “What would I do to fix some of these problems?”
There are so many twisted aspects to the current administration that I am sure that there will be a library shelf, if not entire book case, filled with analysis of the successes and failures, and, the damage these did to America as a society and as a country.
God Help Us All Wear the mask…and be safe.
Greetings and Salutations;
We are reaching the end of a very long and chaotic time. The numbers are in, and without some shenanigans, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the President and Vice-President Elect. I will probably discuss the election a bit more else where, but right now, I want to address an issue that has been a point of contention from family out to the entire country.
I have seen a lot of people (mostly Republicans) claiming that the vote went against #3 because the Democrats hate the Republican platform. They are saying it is all politics.
I beg to differ.
This election was unique in the history of the country in that politics had very little to do with the results. Rather, it was a fairly clear choice between good and evil.
This administration has, from day one, engaged in what I call Evil acts. Granted, they were clothed in lies to look more attractive, but they were Evil. Let me touch on a few of the most egregious of them.
I could go on, as the list is almost endless, but, shall halt here.
On the other hand, we have have the President Elect, Joe Biden, and the Democratic Party. They are not angels, by any means, but rather fallible humans. However, look at what the platform they support includes.
Can anyone truly say that the examples I have given are wrong? or that they are invalid? I would say “no”. America is a very complicated place…one of the few countries where it IS possible for a person with difficult upbringing can achieve the highest offices in the land. This reality is confusing for many countries, where the system tends to ensure that if your grandfather and daddy were sheep herders, YOU will be a sheep herder too, as will your children. It is one of the great strengths of America that this is true. For that to happen, though, there have got to be programs in place to encourage and support that path. I say that any group that stands against this, and clings to the other beliefs I have laid out as regards the Republican Party, is, simply, clinging to Evil.
I chose to vote for hope; for programs that help all citizens, not just the few.
Here I stand, I can do no other.
God Help Us All
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations;
Last year, I wrote an essay on the issue of education in America. I covered many topics there, but, left off the difficult challenge of Charter Schools. Since it has been brought to my attention again, I am going to rectify that mistake.
Today, I want to examine the issue of Charter Schools in America. First off, what is a Charter School? The definition is “a publicly funded independent school established by teachers, parents, or community groups under the terms of a charter with a local or national authority.” This has evolved into Charter Schools going from small organizations, run by the people mentioned to being huge corporations. The situation is complicated, too, by the reality that not all Charter School actions are bad for students. Supposedly, not all Charter Schools are for-profit enterprises. However, a vast majority of them are (more on this later). The history of Charter Schools is online, and is an interesting read (some other time!) Now that they have been around for close to 30 years, though, my suspicions that their benefits are far outweighed by their costs has been proven to be true. let me lay out some issues I have with this educational model.
Now, what should we do to rectify this issue? While it is unlikely that any of these would happen, I would like to see the following changes made.
God Help Us All!
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations.
The events of these past few years have caused me to rethink some aspects of Government. I have, over the years, felt that the Court, and the Congress, while sometimes staggering around the path of wisdom like a drunk after hitting his fifth bar, tended to average out, and overall at least did not destroy the country or the progress we have made towards Civilization in the past couple hundred years. America is a babe-in-arms, when compared to most of the rest of the world, and growing pains can be difficult. However I had some optimism we were moving forwards.
Well, I am sorry to say the current administration has demonstrated the weaknesses in our Democratic system. Over the past 40 years, the Republicans have quietly moved to ensure that they were unbeatable, in spite of being a minority party in America. Their efforts at gerrymandering, and voter suppression/disenfranchising have been continual, and have eroded away the foundations of our society. In a properly functioning Democracy (and even the Democratic Republic, such as we live in), ALL Citizens must be able to vote, and pick the candidate they believe will represent them in Congress/the Presidency. However, the Republicans have worked to ensure that now, in most cases, the Candidate chooses the constituents. This has caused a terrible shift of attitude on the part of the Government. It has forgotten that it is the Servant of the People…and now believes it is the Ruler of the People. We fought a war over this that created this country, specifically to KEEP America from becoming a Dictatorship, Monarchy, or similar types of top-down power structures.
I have come to believe that, if America is to survive as a country, and a free society, the next administration must take on the task of making significant changes to both the structure of the Supreme Court, and the Congress. I shall deal with Congress first, as it is somewhat simpler.
I have, for decades gone back and forth on the idea of term limits for Congress. I have, for much of that time, been against them. However, having seen what that has brought us to, I have changed my stance. Right now, Congress is controlled by a few, old, white guys who are dinosaurs. They are doing their best to push America back into the past by at least 100 years. They have the power to do this because they have been in office for Decades. I believe that part of their motivation is an attitude that the Republican Party is more important than the country and Constitution. Part of their motivation is that they are feeling their mortality, and are deathly afraid of losing the power they hold. NONE of these are good reasons to allow them to hold their seats, especially since they have demonstrated that they are quite happy to hold no ethical standards, and will destroy the country in order to cling to power.
Because of this, I would like to see some specific laws applied to Congress.
Now, as for the Supreme Court. The Court has consisted of 9 Justices for over 100 years. Yet, the world today has changed radically from then. Because of this, I would like to see the Court changed in the following ways:
Of course, I would insist on these changes being implemented as Laws, with no Sunset rule attached.
While everyone has specific objects for these changes, the reality is that a HUGE part of the problems we are having today stem from these issues. We have to struggle through today, but, by making these changes, we may help keep America from, ever again, ending up on the self-destructive path it has been on thanks to the insanity of the current administration.
God Help Us All.
Be safe…wear your mask, wash hands well, and socially distance.
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations;
This last Friday, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg died, of metastatic pancreatic cancer. The fact that she held on so long is a testament to her strength of will, and her determination. The airwaves have been flooded with details on the amazing path she followed to becoming a Supreme Court Justice, and there are many video clips on Youtube remembering her many accomplishments. She may have been small in stature, but her impact on America was, indeed, Gigantic, and brought equal protection and rights to many groups that had been locked out by the “Establishment”.
Alas, her death leaves an open seat on the Supreme Court, and removes a strong, liberal voice from the court. The current administration wants to pack another American Taliban Right-Winger into the seat, as quickly as possible. Considering that #3 is planning to use the Supreme Court to give him the Presidency, if the vote does not go his way, it makes sense that he is so enthusiastic about getting another unqualified minion onto the court.
I though, have several objections to this, so am going to discuss them a bit.
For me, the bottom line is that pushing through a new Justice, in a rush to beat the Election is nothing more than a political hack, and will do a great disservice to the country. We are likely to get a nominee that is unqualified for the Bench, and is motivated more by partisan politics, than an active desire to find the best interpretation of the Law of the Land.
God Help Us All
Be Safe…Wear your mask, and practice good sanitation and social distancing.
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations;
Today is the 19th anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Towers by fanatics that had taken over airliners. Even today, the images I saw on television that morning are as sharp as they were on that day. It was a pivotal moment in American society, and woke a lot of people up to some important issues, including the reality that our actions around the world can have local consequences, and, the fact that we have a really big moat around the country and are bordered by quite friendly countries does not insulate us from the consequences of those actions.
Sadly, our reaction to the destruction of the the Towers was fear, not courage. Instead of standing strong, and working to improve our interactions with the world, we created such monstrosities as the Patriot Act; “Homeland Security”; and started a war in the Middle East that still is being waged…with damn little to show for it. We also started a trend towards a very Nationalist view of ourselves…discounting the rest of the world, starting to make everyone but us “The Other” that is dangerous and cannot be trusted.
This sad trend culminated almost four years ago when the current administration was put into power. #3 (The title I use for D. Trump, because he is only the third president in the history of America to be impeached) from the start of his campaign used division – an “Us against Them” attitude – to split the country and barely take the Oval Office. Since then, he has, every day, continued to play to the emotions of his followers, in order to drive them here and there, where ever he believes they will do the most good for him.
One of the major emotions that he appeals to, and, the emotion I believe was the strong one that caused many to vote for him, was fear. His supporters fear many things, it seems…
All of this fear has had many negative effects on our society today. It has caused a huge growth in hate for others, which has resulted in a large increase in hate crimes and terrorist acts. Most of these, by the by, have been perpetuated by Right Wing groups of fanatics….
There has been a huge increase in reporting of incidents between police and people of color, where the POC were injured or killed, in spite of being no danger to the police, and not armed. The reasons for this are, allegedly, because the policeman was “In fear for his life”. While this is not likely, the reality is that the cops have an image of people of color being monsters who are likely to strike out with deadly force at any moment. This generates a mindless fear that causes a LOT of needless deaths.
After 400 years of oppression, POC in America have said “ENOUGH!” which has generated the Black Lives Matter movement. the reaction of white folks to this is sad, indeed, because we see, time and time again, acts of violence against peaceful protestors. I ascribe this to a basic fear that, if people of color get power over them, they will treat the white folks the way the white folks have treated them. Now, while that is possible, if it happens it will likely be in very small blocks. Most people of color I have come in contact with simply want equal protection under the Constitution. One program that is very worth while, and examines the complicated reality of people of color in America is United Shades Of America, hosted by W. Kamau Bell. I strongly urge anyone reading this that has not watched it, to seek it out and watch the shows. They are worth the effort.
Now having wandered about a bit, I have to address what I think would be ways to fix this problem and get America back on the path it started on in the 1960s.
The effort to change the course of the country will likely take decades…but if we do not take a step to make it happen, it will never happen.
God Help us all.
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations;
I was going to get this post written in April of this year, as a meditation on the 45th anniversary of America’s exit from the conflict.
The raw history of the War is easily found online, as the Net is, perhaps, the most comprehensive source of information ever created…putting even the Great Library at Alexandria to shame. So, I am not going to spend a great deal of time walking the same path of history. Rather, my goal here is to touch on some seminal moments that truly changed American society in general, and impacted me, personally. However, for an excellent overview of the path America walked there is this source.
I was born in 1955, so America’s involvement in Vietnam was a well-established part of reality. How did this affect America? Well, one of the aspects that has never been taught in the history classes when I was working my way through the system was the effect that the War had on the Civil Rights movement that grew in the 1950s and 1960s. Here is an interesting article that examines the role of the Civil Rights movement on the people of color who were taken into the military. Not only was military service the way out of oppression and poverty for both whites and people of color, but, the goals the Civil Rights movement preached changed the attitudes of many of the people of color in the military. At that time, thanks to President Truman, the military was desegregated.
This was in a time when much of American society was still openly segregated with “Sundown towns” all over the place, “Whites only” signs on bathrooms, separate water fountains for whites and people of color, and lunch counters that would close rather than serve a person of color that had the audacity to try and get a bite to eat. This dichotomy, I think, helped fuel the push for Civil Rights in the country. After all, how would any of us feel if we worked on a campus, where everyone was equal, and yet when we went home to visit Mom and Dad, we could not get a hamburger at Woolworth’s, or ran the danger of getting a beating for daring to use the wrong bathroom? This social pressure was a significant fuel for the “This has to end” mindset, and the actions that grew from it.
The earliest thing I remember about the Vietnam War was having dinner, with the radio on top of the refrigerator turned on, and listening to the nightly body counts from the war. Even at the age of 10 years, I did not understand what was going on, and why it was so important that so many people were dying to get temporary control of a hill in a country on the other side of the world. My parents tried to explain the “Domino Theory” to me, I suppose, but, I never really felt that their hearts were in it. While we were a strongly Republican family, my parents were very much against war, so, they simply did not have the heart to try and push nonsense on me. Most of the time, after the age of about 5, though, they would say “Go look it up yourself”…which meant that the library was my second home for many years.
The Vietnam War also did a lot to erode what little respect I had for “Authority”. I recall, when I was 12 or so, I took some time, and looked at the body counts that had been reported for years from Vietnam. I noticed two things…first off, the number of dead and wounded Americans was minimized, and they were always pumped up as heroes, being disrespected and spat on my the Commie protestors against the war. Secondly, If the numbers reported were accurate, America had killed the entire population of Vietnam at least twice! I have always been uncomfortable with lying and faking statistics, so this really eroded my trust in the government.
While we did not have a television in the house for many years, when my grandfather moved in, he brought his along. So, between that, and the few folks I visited who did have a TV, I was able to see a lot of the video that came out of the War. What I was seeing horrified me. It did have the same effect on many Americans, too… Vietnam was the first War that had been televised, and so there were very few limits on what the news cameras were able to collect and display. The still photographers also captured some moments that chilled us…including this one of General Loan casually killing a suspected Vietcong soldier This image still sits in my head, and, caused me to both take part in the Anti-War protests it created, and, solidified my hatred of the waste of War.
The increasing gap between the reality of what was happening in Vietnam, and the propaganda put out by the government went a long way towards destroying what trust and respect the citizens had for it. Alas, this, I think, is one of the seeds that put us where we are today…as the grifter in chief was able to use that crack to drive a greater wedge between the government and the people…Ignoring the reality that the government IS the people…
Because of the essentially uncensored access the reporters had to the action there, we also learned that Americans and our Military were not the angels of virtue that we might have believed they were. Mai Lia and the whole, disgusting collection of murders and destruction by Lt. Calley, rubbed our nose in the reality that war is Hell, and too many times the soldiers being chewed up by it become demons. It is also the generation of the philosophy of “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”. This, to me, echoes the madness of the Salem Witch Trials and the Inquisition, and, has persisted in the minds of the Right-Wing as a valid plan of attack even today!
Finally, though, shortly after my birthday in 1975, Nixon announced that America’s involvement in the war was at an end. In yet another example of a reality distortion bubble, he declared victory and pulled out. Did this cause all of South East Asia to become Russian states, as the Domino Theory swore would happen? No, to the surprise of almost no one, that did not happen. What did happen was, perhaps, worse. The Khmer Rouge were unleashed and swept through South Vietnam, killing in terrible ways, anyone that was suspected of collaborating with the Americans. These, by the by included people who wore glasses, or, were highly educated. Many of the South Vietnamese that had, bravely, stepped up to work with the Americans…and had been promised asylum and protection in return, were left in the lurch…their last image of America was the accompanying image. HERE is an article from one of the last Marines off the tower. The bottom line, though is that America got its ass whipped because we were fighting the wrong war. This war was, in a way, like the Revolutionary war in America…but this time, WE were the Redcoats, and the Vietnamese were the insurgents.
While some Vietnamese were pulled out along with the Americans, many more, in desperation, took boats out to try and find asylum elsewhere.
America has continued to reap the poison fruit from the Vietnam War, even until today. When the troops returned to America, they were treated as bastard stepchildren not only by many citizens, but, the military. For decades, Vietnam Vets were not welcome at many VFW posts. They have (as the article I linked to above points out) had serious issues with PTSD, depression and more mental issues that have been ignored by the support system the military had. This, in spite of the fact that these were exactly the sort of issues the military should be focusing on, and helping these brave men and women work through these issues and heal. So many Vets I have met, even decades later, are so jumpy that sudden noises can cause a huge over-reaction. Quite a few of them have sleeping issues that keep them permanently fatigued, and often sitting up in a recliner through the wee hours of the morning, trying to push back the darkness in their minds with television.
I am a fixer, so I have to think..what could be done to help these folks finally get past the trauma. I would like to see a cut in the military budget, first off. Right now, we spend as much on the Military as the next 10 countries in the world. Does this make us safer? I argue that it does not. It does, though, keep the military-industrial complex living high on the hog. Say we cut the funding back to the point that we are only spending the sum of what the next FOUR countries are spending? Would that make us less safe? I would say, no it would not. Then, I would allocate that money to rebuilding the mental health care industry in America…with a focus on inexpensive, easily accessed care. This would allow anyone with mental health issues to get the help they need to heal.
I would like to see a change in attitude of the Government. We are obscenely war-like, and have been since the founding of America. This is, in my opinion, the mental state of a child…not an adult. I would like to see America grow up a bit, and stop interfering in situations all over the world. I ESPECIALLY want to see our covert activities to overthrow governments come to a halt. After a life-time of observation, I find that the end result of these actions never seem to turn out well, either for the country we are interfering in, or, for America. I point to the Shah of Iran as a classic example of this incompetence. Had we not overthrown the elected government of Iran, and installed the Shah, Iran would not only be a very different place, it would likely be far more of an ally for America. We screwed the pooch on that one though. Of course, Vietnam is another perfect example of our screwing up.
We are, with 90 days of a Presidential election…our choice in the coming election is fairly clear. The current administration has demonstrated that it desires to destroy the country we know, and turn it into a facist dictatorship. The passel of Republicans who have supported these actions over the past 3.5 years have demonstrated that the Party itself has been corrupted to a point that my parents would not recognize it. The Democrats are not angels by any means, but, the platform they support will return power to the citizens, and, hopefully, will address some of the issues I discussed above. Why is this important? The only way America can heal the festering would that Vietnam left in our hearts is to take actions to move to a healing mindset. The Democrats have that mindset…
God help us All
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations;
I had the following dialogue with a very young lady (who started reproducing very early in life) on a local FB Page. It demonstrates the level of mindfulness that we struggle with in Tennessee, mostly as a result of the fact that it is a very Red state. This means, of course that racism is rampant, and, the educational system puts us in the bottom half of the school ratings.
As a bit of background, there is a meme going around right now, with a tear-jerker about a young, white boy that was shot by a black kid only a bit older than him, and killed. The theme is “why is this not being reported, and why are there no riots about this event. My reply and the conversation it generated follows:
Dave Mundt: : Why no riots? Perhaps because this is one murder out of over 1500 a year that happens between citizens. the punk that did this is a nobody, and, I will be interested to see if we ever hear why he did this.
In the case of Mr. Floyd, he was pulled out of his car and murdered slowly by the people we give authority to, in order to keep the peace, serve and protect. he was murdered with no more care than one feels when squashing a bug.
Do YOU want the police to be judge, jury and executioner? I suggest not, because even white privilege will not protect any of us if we hit the wrong cop on the wrong day.
of course, there is the reality that people of color live in an America that we, white folks, cannot even imagine. Every day, every time they leave their house, they go with the fear that they will not return… How many of us white folks had our parents go over exactly how one needs to act when interacting with the police…calling them “sir”, no matter what; Not moving unless we make it clear what we are doing; and a variety of other techniques needed to increase the probability that we will not be killed because a cop “Feared for his life”
PS: Dave Mundt: dont break the law u have nothing to worry about but I find it a lot easier to believe that an officer half a guys size would be afraid for his life then that that pos who killed an innocent lil give yr old feared for his and u trying to justify it makes you an even bigger pos get over urself this isn’t a black vs white matter this is a grow man against an innocent child problem and u cant justify that
Dave Mundt: PS: Did you read my comment and understand what I said? I said NOTHING about race as regards the punk that killed the kid. However, I did forget to point out that perhaps it would be a good idea to address the problems in our society that make life so cheap that 1500 plus kids are killed each year by being shot.
As for your first comment, that is simply a kneejerk reaction. Mr. Floyd was not breaking any law. If you are ok with the cops murdering someone who broke the law in the past, perhaps you would be OK with DCS coming in and taking your kids away because 5 years ago, you got a traffic ticket for reckless driving? Mr Floyd made some bad decisions, and was put in jail for a period of time for it. He served his time…but does that not matter?
PS: Dave Mundt: if he had cooperated with police they would not have needed to use that force no I’m not ok with anyone killing anyone but I dont get to make that call he died and that is a tragedy but to say it is anywhere near the same thing is rediculous dcs has been involved with my kids and has determined I am a damn good mother so leave them out of ur pety argument it doesnt help u it angers me my point sir is not all black people are in danger just bc they r black so stop playing the race card with everything it makes u look desperate
Dave Mundt: Have you watched ANY of the body cam video? It is true, Mr. Floyd did attempt to keep from being stuffed in the back of the confined cruiser. However, NO cops were injured…and he was not that violent. The rest of the time he was very compliant. The video clearly shows that the cops were escalating the situation.
I see you have no answers to my questions…just defensive deflections. I would remove the beam from thine own eye before attempting to remove the mote from my eye. I said NOTHING about what kind of a mother you were. I asked if you would be OK for a misdemeanor you committed several years ago be a reason for DCS to come in and take your children. To make it as clear as I can, I do not think this is a good thing, and I would be upset even if it happened to you!
As for your claim about people of color…Your opinion is not supported by the actual, life experiences of them in today’s world. As for “Playing the race card” that is without merit. The reality is that people of color have at least a 4 times greater chance of an interaction between police and them going south. That is reality, and no deflection on your part can change that.
I can see that your world view is cast in stone though, so, I am done.
It is this sort of lack of mindfulness, and the prejudiced attitudes expressed by PS that causes me to wonder…should humanity continue?
God Help Us All!
Be safe…wear your mask…wash your hands.
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations…
The closer we get to November, the more insane the actions of the administration become. Over the past week or so, it has become obvious that #3 (or at least, one of his advisors) understands how allowing voting by mail is the worst possible action to allow. Because of this, the partisan hack that is in charge of the Postal Service has taken some seriously illegal actions to ensure that voting by mail will be a disaster. I suspect, too, that this is part of the long-time plan of the Republicans to destroy the Postal Service as a governmental agency, and privatize it, to turn it into a cash cow for the very rich. Well, today, I spent a few minutes writing a note to my two Senators. I have included it below, so will not bother to reiterate it here.
I know, though for a fact that my words will be noted by some intern in the offices, and then ignored. Lamar Alexander, who did do some good things for Tennessee when he was Governor is retiring this year, have sucked all the cash he could out of the office. So, if possible, he gives even less of a fuck than he has for most of his career as a Senator.
(Marsha, Marsha, Marsha) Blackburn is an embarrassment to Tennessee, or at least to those of us that are not part of the Cult Of Personality that #3 has created. She is sucked up to #3 tighter than a spandex swimsuit, and would no more do anything to help her Constituents than she would vote for ANYTHING proposed by a Democrat.
However, I still cling to the belief that “All Evil needs to succeed is for people of good will to do nothing”. So, I will continue to communicate my opinions to the Senators until either I am dead, or, a Republican who actually puts Country ahead of Party is elected. I have to say that I anticipate that the former will happen before the latter. Now…as for the missive I sent to the Senators…here it is:
“The actions taken by the current administration, to destroy the effective functioning of the Postal Service are a direct attack on the basic laws we live by. The Postal Service is mentioned in the Constitution as a vital part of government services. By removing funding for it, and, appointing a highly partisan supporter, who has blatant conflicts of interest with its mission, the administration is taking unlawful actions to destroy it.
Not only has funding been cut, larger numbers of the automated sorting machines have been taken out of service and removed from the buildings. This means that mail has to be sorted by hand, which takes far, far longer than using the specialized machines which have worked so well for decades. This is causing mail to pile up in Post Offices, undelivered.
Why is this bad, you may ask?
1) many Americans, including YOUR constituents, receive medications through the mail that are vital for their continued health. These changes are causing those medications to either not arrive, or arrive with great delays…causing serious health issues for many people.
2) The normal flow of bills and payments is interrupted. I am sure that this is going to cause many Americans to suffer economic damage because of the delay in getting bills, and the receiving of payments. This may be a shock, but many Americans do not use the Net or credit cards over the phone to pay bills. While these may be minor issues for the rich in America, most of us are counting pennies and sticking to a strict budge, because we have to in order to avoid disaster.
3) Perhaps worst of all…the timing of these actions appear to be a purely political ploy to ensure that voting by mail will be so difficult that many voters will be disenfranchised. This is not a normal year…the pandemic is a very real thing, and is sickening and killing Tennesseans by the dozens, and Americans in general by the hundreds of thousands and millions. By making voting by mail difficult or impossible, the administration is forcing many Americans to put themselves in harm’s way in order to perform their civic duty. On top of all this, the reasons given by the White House for this game-playing are based on lies… NO country or state that depends solely on voting by mail has found any significant malfeasance or fraud… The frightening reality of voting by mail is that it increases voter participation….and the current administration knows that the more people that vote, the larger the percentage he will lose by…and that is unacceptable.
4) One final point. The actions taken by the director of the Postal Service likely are illegal and would subject him, and the people controlling him to criminal penalties. You can look up the law dealing with obstruction of the Postal Service as well as anyone.
I STRONGLY urge you, if you have any desire to actually represent your constituents, to refuse to cut funding to the post office, and do what is necessary to force the damage done to it be repaired as quickly as possible.”
God Help Us All!
Stay Safe! (And Wear your mask!)
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations;
As I have touched on a number of times on this blog, mental health issues are a serious problem that Americans deal with about as well as they deal with nudity and death..Not well at all. I think that this is a situation that must change if we are to avoid falling into the pitfalls of society, such as the cesspool of madness we are trying to swim out of now. Just a warning…this is a complicated issue, so this is a fairly lengthy essay!
It seems to me that mental health is one of those subjects that is the Elephant in the living room, that no one wants to talk about. This has been true throughout most of my life, and, when I look back into American History, I see more avoidance, and misunderstanding about the topic, that almost always turns out poorly for the person with the issues. Look, for example, at how, for most of America’s history, the attitudes towards mental health issues punished those having challenges. My parents grew up in the early part of the 1900s, so, their life was a challenge… In no particular order, they had to deal with the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, which must have made them believe the entire world was crashing down, and there was no saving it. They had to deal with the Civil Rights Movement where the people of color really started actively pushing to gain the equality they started getting in the 1800s. Part of this Civil Rights movement was the growth of women being acknowledged as equal humans too, perhaps best marked by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920, that enshrined the woman’s right to vote. They had to deal with the technological changes of the world…going from Steam engines for trains, and horse-drawn buggies, to Atomic Energy, Computers, internal combustion engines, and the automobiles that used them. They were on the slide of American society going from a mainly agrarian society, to a more industrialized model that persists today. Their world was turned upside down by two World Wars that not only caused a huge jump in technological progress, but, brought more fear and uncertainty and a direct connection with death to every family in the country.
How did Americans, in general, react to this? They suppressed the fears, anxieties, nervousness and uncertainty that these radical changes brought, and pretended that everything was “OK!” I was born in 1955, and the lessons I was taught as an infant, were “big boys don’t cry”, “Suck it up and be a man”, “Never reveal your emotions. Emotions are a weakness, and weakness will be used against you”, “Buckle down and do what you need to do”, “Do NOT expect help from anyone else. Do it yourself!”. These, and similar rules for living were deeply ingrained in my mind, as they were very early programming. Even today, 65 years later, I have not fully managed to get away from them controlling my reactions to reality. That having been said, I am also moved to point out that these are not necessarily the worst rules to live by. Self-sufficiency is a good thing, for example. Being able to set aside an emotion reaction and deal with a bad situation is a good thing. After all, doctors and nurses do it EVERY day as they care for us when we are having the worst day of our lives. The problem I see, though, is that these rules must be applied in moderation, not taken as the absolute ONLY way to deal with reality. In my case, the self-sufficiency rule was continually repeated and emphasized to me by my father. This ended up with me being a tad extreme in my dealings with other folks. For years, I was never able to ask for help, and often would refuse it if offered. Yet, I would also go out of my way to help other folks with tasks they were having difficulties with. Today, I have improved, I think, at least a little. I still go out of my way to help others, but, I recognize, to some level, that I cannot do it all alone, and am less reluctant to ask for help. I also have gotten it through my head that other people derive the sort of pleasure I do when I can help ease another persons life by helping them deal with issues.
Well…now…back to the original topic…
Through out my life, I have been dismayed by the way that Americans in general put a stigma on “mental health”. Anyone with “mental health issues”, no matter what they are, is looked upon as a broken person, who should be viewed with suspicion and not trusted. Because of this, people fear to seek out help when they are having issues. This avoidance reaction ranges from a firmly held belief that they do not need therapy, because they are not “crazy”, to fear that someone will find out, and it will weaken them at work or in their community, to fear that if they seek out mental health help, the doctors will have them picked up at their office, and they will be swept away to an asylum somewhere, or put in a locked ward…a virtual prisoner. Even in those cases where (reluctantly) a person is convinced to seek out help, they will do things like travel to a nearby city, that is off the beaten track for them, so they will not run a chance of meeting someone they know on the street, and have to explain why they are coming out of a therapist’s office.
We have 200+ years of America ignoring the elephant in the living room, and stigmatizing folks for seeking mental health help, in spite of the reality that this course of action does NO good for anyone. Ignoring a problem is like leaving a package of chicken breasts out on the counter for a few weeks, and pretending one does not smell rotting meat. The only way to deal with the problem and help folks get their mojo back is to accept their reality, in a non-judgmental fashion, and, do what one can, when asked, to help them deal with it.
I do, of course, realize that “mental health issues” is such a broad collection of issues that there is no “one size fits all” answer. The solution that a person who is suffering from mild depression due to the immediate stresses of life is different from that needed by a person who has struggled with clinical depression their entire life which is different from the solution needed for a person with schizophrenia, and so on. As I touched on before, though, the stigma Americans place on these issues is almost the same…
Back in Reagan’s day, there was a real push by the Republicans to close mental health care facilities, and, he did a lot to defund and force the closings of these institutions. The attitude was pretty much the reactionary attitudes I have spoken of earlier, to “it is not the Government’s job to take care of these people…it is the church’s/private corporations that should be doing it”. This was, to put it mildly, misguided. Part of the design of our society by the Founding Fathers was that the government should be responsible for “the common good”. I, and many others, interpret this to mean that part of the government’s job is to take the responsibility of providing care and help for the least fortunate in our society. America was not set up to be an Oligarchy, or an Aristocracy. Its design goal was to be an egalitarian society, where all people have equal respect, and there IS no “Royal Class”. Hence, the idea of the government being responsible for helping the downtrodden and challenged. It is certainly an admirable goal to have churches shouldering that burden, as that IS sort of the message of Christ. However, from a realistic point of view, it is a pipe dream. The mega churches who might be able to do serious good there are so far away from being the good citizens that Christ calls them to be, it is like getting AT&T to drop money into the bucket. They have turned into “for profit” enterprises that benefit the leaders…and there is little taste to change that. The smaller churches sometimes can do a bit, but they are economically limited, so rarely can help more than one family at a time. Some of the mid-range churches can help more people, but, they too, have limits on funding, and the larger they get, the more focused on buildings and making more money come in they seem to get.
I have spent quite a few words pointing out the failures in the system today…so let me move on to discuss some changes I think would improve the situation a lot.
I know that there are objections to these changes, some of which are valid, and some of which, in my opinion, are not. For example let us look at funding, both for trained personnel and affordable access. I have heard people say “this will cost $Billions! We cannot afford it!”. I have a couple of things to point out here. The current administration gave the richest members of society a tax cut a few years ago that was a $TRILLION windfall for them…that, is $1000 BILLION. Were these folks on the verge of bankruptcy and nearly destitute? Far from it! The tax cut was supposed to be used to allow these “job makers” to increase benefits and salary for their workers. What happened in real life? Damn little for the workers. All but a pittance of the money was used to invest in the stock market, in order to make them richer. This leads to the obvious conclusion that rescinding that tax cut would provide much funding needed by the government to take care of all citizens, and would not materially hurt the ultra-rich that benefited from it. At least in my world, either not being able to buy a second yacht, or, having to buy one that is only 150 feet long, instead of 200 feet, is not exactly “hurt”.
I would like to see the Federal Government actually move to a single payer healthcare system. People object to this, because they say “my taxes will go up!” However, they ignore the reality that the taxes that go up will end up being much smaller than the healthcare premiums they are paying now (for a net gain in money in their pocket). This change would also eliminate or cut drastically, other expenses, such as co-pays, prescription costs and the like. The Republicans (mainly) scream bloody murder over this for a variety of reasons ranging from their delusions that they are fiscal conservatives, to wanting to cut the overreach of government, to their false belief that lower taxes are a huge benefit for all. I often ask people who are standing against this idea “Why, if it is so difficult to have a successful single payer healthcare system, have only 33 of the 34 heavily industrialized countries in the world managed to make a great success of it??” I NEVER get a civil answer to this.
In the long run, I would like to see serious reform of the tax codes in America. Right now, they are massively swayed to support the very rich. There are thousands if not millions, of loopholes that are inaccessible to most citizens, but ensure that the very rich pay NO taxes. For example, there is a provision in the tax code that allows Real Estate developers to use business losses to offset personal income. This allowed Real Estate Developers, such as #3, to avoid personal income taxes for decades while they raked in the cash. It allows landlords, making millions off rental properties, to use any rental losses to offset income… I am not a tax expert by any means, but, it seems to me that claiming the protections of a corporation, which these folks do, and then being able to deduct corporate losses from personal income is, to put it mildly, a bit sketchy.
I am not in any way, shape or form an advocate of a flat tax, or a VAT, specifically because such a scheme hurts the less well off far more than the very rich. I would like to see a progressive tax system that ensures that the very rich pay a fair share of the dues to be American. I sometimes get blow-back about those words “Fair share” I am reminded that the upper 10% or so pay 90% of the taxes collected (or some number like that). I argue that the persons making this claim are looking at the wrong numbers. I advocate that we ignore the amount paid, and focus on the percentage of income only. As I have said elsewhere, a 70% tax on a person making $5 million a year has far less impact than a 70% tax on a person making $40,000 a year.
I will not get into corporate taxes or hiding income over seas just now, but, that is part of the reforms that have to happen. Before Reagan, the maximum tax rate was 70%. In a couple of rounds, he cut the throat of America’s budget by reducing that maximum to 28%. The income tax was implemented in 1861, and over the years, gradually grew as the Federal Government, and the tasks it took on grew. Here is a good history of the path. During the 1920s, when the income tax really grew, the wealth disparity between the richest and poorest in America was fairly huge. Over the years, it did drop to a far more reasonable level, but, in the past few decades has started a precipitous rise again. Here is an excellent analysis of how the wealth disparity has changed since 1900, and where it is going. At one time, it was around 50 to 1. Now it is upwards of 500 to 1. Now, if the tax rates were returned to pre-Reagan levels, and some blatant loopholes removed, it would make a huge difference in the American economy. not only would it address the issue of the overwhelming deficit, but, it would provide funding for many projects that would restore the strength of the middle class. This, by the by, is important, because in the 1940s and 1950s, when the Middle Class was strongest, America saw the most growth and progressive steps taken in its history.
Another step that we, as a society must take is to elect representatives that promote these views, and will work to implement them. This eliminates the Republican party these days, and for some unknown time into the future. The Democratic party platform does push these ideals…but, as a part of this change, we, citizens, must be proactive. We have GOT to not only vote in every election, from local on up to Federal, but, keep an eye on what the people we elect are doing. We should take time to give them feedback, both positive or negative, depending on their actions. If we do not do this, they will trot along their merry way, doing whatever they want, with the unquestioned assumption that everyone agrees with them. There are many tools out there to find how to contact elected officials. I tend to use the “Contact Me” page that every member of Congress has. A Google search for “contact congressman <state name>” will pop up the link immediately. Use Email, write post cards, call them…just be polite, calm, deal with one issue at a time, and move on.
I also call, once again, for the money that lobbyists can pour into the pockets of Representatives to be either limited, or publicly visible and audited. There is way too much bribery going on in the Federal, State and Local governments to ensure that a majority of citizens, instead of the privileged few, will benefit.
I am sure there are folks out there who are far more qualified than I to discuss why it is that Americans deal so poorly with mental health issues. If any of y’all run across this essay and care to comment on it, I welcome your input!
God Help Us ALL
Bee Man Dave
Greetings and Salutations;
I wanted to take a minute here, to look at the path the Republican Party is on. It is, alas, a pretty self destructive one, it seems to me. Every day the powers in the Senate allow #3 to increase his fascist attitudes and actions is another day that they saw deeper into their own throats.
I look at today’s “Republican Party”, think back to what it was in the 1970s, and shake my head at how it has evolved. When I started voting, in that time frame, I was voting Republican myself, mainly because my parents were solidly Republican, and, I thought that if they supported the Party and its goals, how bad could it be? Well, Nixon answered that question for me, and, his election was the last time I voted as a Republican. In spite of disillusionment with the Party, though, I had some respect for many of the members in Congress, because they could, and would, horse-trade with the Democrats, and finally agree on a compromise that either helped a majority of the country, or, at least, did not screw people over too badly. John Duncan Sr, for example, was REAL Republican…but, he would talk with everyone with respect, and when a constituent came to him with a problem, he did not ask “Did you vote for me”. He asked “What do we need to do to fix this problem”. He had a lot of respect from both sides in the House, and for good reason.
Over the years, though, through the 90s and into the 2000s, the face of the Party changed, perhaps reflecting the rot that was permeating all of society. It become less tolerant of alternative views, and more hide-bound in its desire to take us back to the early 1900s when the White Man was King, and people of color knew their place. Up to about 2009, though, this trend was held back a bit by a number of brakes. Alas, in 2009, the Tea Party was created, and, in the next few years made huge inroads into the political power structure. They, alas, were an extremist group, quite intolerant of differing views, and pushing an extreme version of the fantasy of “small government, no taxes” that the Republicans have always paid lip service to. They, in spite of being only about 10% of the population, were loud enough and good enough at propaganda to take over far more seats in Congress than, perhaps, they should have controlled. Their “pie in the sky” message, combined with the prescious image of their tri-horn hats, with a tea bag hanging from the rim distracted enough people from their platform that, I believe, they got far more support than they should have.
The final straw, though, was the growth of the Cult of Personality that trump (who I refer to as #3 because he is only the third president to be impeached) is the Dear Leader of. When president Obama started his campaign in 2006, #3 began pushing his racist and hateful rhetoric…all based on questioning President Obama’s citizenship, and lies about his birth certificate. He continued to pound that dead horse for all eight years of President Obama’s administration, and, in the process started building a real, political base. Granted even in 2016, when he was elected to the Office, his base was a small minority of the voting public…but they were fanatically loyal to him. Why? That is not a simple question to answer, but, some factors were
This uneasy partnership has co-existed for a number of years now, but, I believe that the Republican Party is like a locked room full of rabid dogs. They are all on hair trigger and growling at each other, and the slightest provocation will set off a free-for-all that will end up being a blood bath for the Party.
I am also of the opinion that the recent actions taken by #3, in sending in violence minded, undisciplined, storm troopers to Portland Washington may be box falling off the shelf that ignites the melee. The fact that these heavily costumed agents are only being sent to Democratic Areas that are seeing Black Lives Matter protests, and, when they get there, they are the instigators of violence, not the protestors, is red meat for some of the Republicans, and, a sudden realization of how far the party has fallen for others. In addition, #3 is now starting to attack the Republicans who gave him support in the past, from the Governors who, foolishly, pushed re-opening their states, to members of Congress that dare imply they do not kiss his ass any longer.
The Red State Governors are beginning to panic, because they are seeing huge spikes in covid-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, so they are trying to find a way to pull back and shut things down again. This is proven to be taken by #3 as a personal attack, so he punishes them.
The Republicans in Congress are realizing that their sucking up to #3 may well have doomed their chances of being re-elected. All across the country there are Democratic candidates who are even with or ahead of Republican incumbents. Amy McGrath, for example, who opposes one of the true dinosaurs of the Senate – Mitch McConnell, is out-polling him across Kentucky, and, more importantly WAY ahead on contributions. So, in a last ditch effort to save their cushy jobs and power, some of the Republicans are pushing back against #3. He, of course, is chopping their heads off…
Now, what do I see for the future? Nothing is guaranteed, of course, which is why we still run horse-races. However, I see a real chance that in November, a LOT of Republicans in Congress will lose their seats, turning the entire Congress Blue. With the increasingly demented actions of #3, there is a very, very good chance that Joe Biden will take the Presidency. If this happens, I am pretty sure that we will see the Republican party break into three, separate and competing groups.
These three groups may have a power base that keeps them in the Government, but, the one positive thing here is that they are so fractured, it is likely that for years to come, they will be a minority group, with minimal power.
Will this come to pass? I look forwards to the November Elections to see how close I am to reality. I could be dead wrong, and the Republicans will come out of this stronger than ever. However, if that happens, and #3 is re-elected, America, which is already considered a Plague State, thanks to the incompetent handling of the covid-19 crisis, and banned from traveling to many countries, will likely become a third world, banana republic dictatorship. I will derive some amusement if this happens, though, because the greatest probability is that the fools that support the Party are the most likely to be “disappeared” by such a regime.
God Help Us All
Bee Man Dave.
Greetings and Salutations;
Time has progressed since the first bunch of cases of this pandemic showed up in America. As the news shows us, it is not improving. For example, as of today, Tennessee has over 61,000 confirmed cases, and several hundred deaths. The latter is an important number, and is the subject of this essay…
When this infection started to spread through the country, it appeared that it was mainly a respiratory issue. This is bad enough, but, was something that could be dealt with. Well, since then, more data has been gathered about covid-19 and its myriad effects on the body. It truly is a “novel” virus, as it has much broader effects than originally thought. It attacks not only the lungs, but all major organs in the body, including the brain, leaving long-term damage.
I still see people refusing to wear masks to cut back on spreading the infection, because they claim it is “nothing more than a bad flu”, or is a Democratic Hoax, or “They will not have their freedoms infringed by the government!” They also minimize the danger of the infections by saying “Well, on 1% of the people that get it, die”. I just found an excellent explanation of what that means, and how it really affects all of us. So, I am quoting it here:
“How can a disease with 1% mortality shut down the United States?
There are two problems with this question.
It neglects the law of large numbers; and
It assumes that one of two things happen: you die or you’re 100% fine.
The US has a population of 328,200,000. If one percent of the population dies, that’s 3,282,000 people dead.
Three million people dead would monkey wrench the economy no matter what. That more than doubles the number of annual deaths all at once.
The second bit is people keep talking about deaths. Deaths, deaths, deaths. Only one percent die! Just one percent! One is a small number! No big deal, right?
What about the people who survive?
For every one person who dies:
So now all of a sudden, that “but it’s only 1% fatal!” becomes:
That’s the thing that the folks who keep going on about “only 1% dead, what’s the big deal?” don’t get. The choice is not “ruin the economy to save 1%.” If we reopen the economy, it will be destroyed anyway. The US economy cannot survive everyone getting COVID-19.
The proceeding analysis is courtesy of Franklin Veaux
This pandemic does have the capabilities of destroying societies. While we should not panic, by any means…we should not blow it off either. Many governors, urged by #3 have re-opened their states…as if the virus is gone. It is not. So, the result has been that America is showing such a spike in infections that many countries in the world have banned travel from the worst hit states…and even then, in most cases, Americans are required to quarantine for 14+ days when arriving.
A big issue here is the response of the Federal Government. the “leadership” there has gone from denial, to mocking, to lies about it, to discounting it, to arbitrarily deciding it is over. They do not seem to understand that the virus does not care what they think. It will do what it is here to do…and unless serious changes are made than huge numbers of Americans will die, or be disabled by it. The reality is that American have reacted with such ignorance and pig-headedness to the issues of this virus, that, instead of a single mountain peak, and a tapering off, OUR infection curve looks like this:
Unless we change the path we are on very soon, this country will be no more. How do we do this? it is not really complicated.
These are not complicated, and, considering the alternative is increasing the chances that a person you love will suffer the effects of the virus listed above…is it really an infringement on your rights to ask you to follow these rules for a while? This situation will not last forever, unless we are stupid, and ensure that it can. While THIS ARTICLE is a worst case scenario, it is also NOT so off the wall that it cannot happen. Be Mindful and caring of our fellow citizens, and ourselves, and we can make it through this…
God Help Us All!
Bee Man Dave