Wounded BearWounded Bear's Journal
So, not looking for sympathy here, just kind of venting/recounting...whatever.
The other day, the remote to my TV started acting up. Wasn't sure what it was, but was kind of intermittent and seemed to work a bit better or at least more often after I changed the batteries. Well, yesterday it crapped out altogether. None of the functions worked and the TV kept flashing "command not available" or some such. As a matter of fact, I didn't even have to push any buttons, it happened just when the remote was so much as pointed at the TV. Ugh. Had to take the batteries out altogether.
This sucks, because I don't much like commercials and other than news or The Weather Channel I don't watch a lot of commercial TV but rely on my rather extensive library of old TV series and movies stored on hard drive. Of course, my access to those was through my TV. It's a smart TV, not a new one, but new enough to cycle through my directory of stored media on a couple of external hard drives. Oops!
There is still a power switch I can use to physically turn it on and off with, at least. Kind of sucked that I couldn't control volume and such.
But, today I was able to sit down and program my cable remote so it would control the TV, and even access my library. The Tron God taketh, and the Tron God giveth. Technology throws a curve, and technology swings for the base hit.
First world problems, I know. I'm surprisingly techno-phobic for being a retired engineer who worked in electronics for my entire career until my late fifties. At least, given a little time I can usually figure out the simpler problems. I was an old hardware guy, always hated software. When doing code, I always felt like I was trying to teach quadratic equations to a 3rd grader.
Oh well, life sucks and then you die.
My daughter has not got vaxxed. I suspected as much, but it was confirmed last night in a text exchange that she hasn't. My two grandsons are under 12 now and going back to school, of course. She thinks she may have had covid from a 'cold' from Jan of 2020 that 'had covid symptoms' in her words.
She is afraid of side effects of the vax and asked me about my experience. I was honest while trying not to be alarmist. My after effects were mild and I said so. She has apparently heard some horror stories, from what she calls 'personal friends' that I suspect are internet 'friends.'
I told her that I recommended the shots, even if she had covid before and even threw in a 'for the kids' comment, because yeah that matters. It all started when she asked me about my booster shot and I assured her that I would get it as soon as I am eligible and the VA calls me with a schedule to do so.
I hope I pushed her (gently) in the direction of getting the shots, but I don't know. She lives in California and I'm in Washington, so I don't see her every day. If I deluge her with texts and FB posts she would probably just block me. Clock is ticking and the virus is out there...
the big divide, though it is manifest in red/blue, is really about urban/rural. It dates back to the earliest days of the founders and is codified in the Constitution.
The Constitution and the Senate rules are written to protect the minority. Not the minority defined by race, that's a different problem, the minority defined by wealth and class. We're not a true democracy and right now, minority rule by oligarchs is looming on the horizon, again, like it was in the post Civil War era through the 'Golden Age' up until FDR in the 1030's.
This is the urban/rural divide being played out in real time. Rubes in the hinterland know nothing about how cities operate and will be just fine with Trump "taking control" of them. Most of our problems with gun control is that what is being passed works fine in rural areas, while in places where people are more concentrated, unfettered gun ownership becomes more and more problematic.
Our hope lies in the suburbs, and whether or not they feel the threat Trump is putting out there with his "take over the cities" movement.
You can bet your sweet ass that the rubes would be up in arms (literally) if this (the Portland BS) was happening in small town America.
Keep up the fight. I want 35 blue states. I want 400 EC votes.
The thing is that the more cases of virus that are out there and the wider the spread, the more chances the virus has to mutate. That's basic evolution. The more individual organisms, the more chances there are to mutate.
We all know that viruses mutate. That's basic biology. If we had successfully blunted the spread of the virus, if there were fewer cases out there, there would have been fewer chances for the recent news of a new, more virulent strain to happen. Experts are saying that the newer strain doesn't appear to be more lethal, which is good news. But as we approach and pass 3 million cases, and the number of cases continues to increase past 20,000 per day, we also increase the potential for more lethal and damaging versions of the virus to emerge.
Sometimes we like to think we're better, as human beings, than the herds of wildebeasts on the savannah trying to breed faster offspring to outrun lions and hyenas, but often as not we aren't. We have evolved superior brains in order to circumvent these types of brute force 'herd immunity' solutions to our problems. It's a pity that our leaders, in too many cases, are choosing not to use them.
Science allows us the chance to not leave solutions to these problems up to "God." Generally speaking, God's solutions tend to be brutal and nasty, with lots and lots of casualties. I'll take science, thank you very much.
is that he can't live without his screaming WWE-like crowds. The thing is, the only places he can go that will allow the crowds he craves are in the middle of Covid hotspots. Maybe his true diehard syncophants will go, but will the 'softer' support he drew in 2016 really show up at one of his super-spreader rallies to cheer him on while he pats himself on the back and demonstrates the physical capabilities of a 3 year old being weaned from his sippy cup?
Tulsa kind of showed what Trump is up against. Even his own die hard fans don't want to take that kind of risk just to stroke Trump's ego. Plus, with the economy in the tank-sorry, Wall Street doesn't really matter any more-who has the money to travel. Even his groupies are probably feeling the crunch of 6-8 weeks off, watching Trump bungle the Covid response so badly. How many are really ready to spend next month's food budget on a road trip to suck up to Trump?
Unnecessary advice to Biden, just keep up the class act, focus on real issues and more photo-ops talking and listening to people in the streets, something Trump will not do. Sure, send off a harsh Tweet at Trump when warranted, but keep it low key otherwise. We got this.
While there was definitely a "leaning" left or right of the parties, there were once liberal R's and conservative D's in America.
Both parties also had moderates, who could actually vote across party lines based on a range of issues, both economic and social.
Since Nixon, and especially Reagan, the Repub party has been systematically radicalizing, purging their ranks of liberals and even moderates. We like to point at the Tea Party bullshit of the Obama Era as some kind of turning point, but in reality it was just an intensifying of an ongoing trend. Citing economic motives while spewing racist hatred is a conservative tradition nowadays. I mean, Reagan made his candidacy announcement in the Mississippi town where KKK assholes were lionized for killing civil rights workers.
Repubs have been trying for decades to decouple Wall Street from Main Street, and they have finally seemed to have succeeded. Trump's economy has favored the wealthy and the executive class, just like Repubs love to do, while job and wage growth have been stagnant for workers.
Unfortunately, while there are no moderate R's left, there are plenty of conservadems, at least economically. Some Repub pols like to talk a moderate game, but still tend to vote the party line.
Back in 2009, Dems enacted the ACA with no Repub help or support. Many of them paid by losing their seat. Now, I have always felt that they screwed themselves when they refused to really support what they did in the 2010 elections. But it is what is is. They did the right thing, regardless of personal risk.
This is another moment that requires courage. Yeah, they're afraid of losing their jobs, but we're seeing them line up to push the investigations and further an impeachment movement that might just bear fruit.
Repubs are in counterattack mode, and it will get brutal TBS, but we're seeing people lining up to do the right thing, again.
Some advantages we have/had over 1920s Germany:
We are older and have stronger and more well established institutions in place. The Weimar Republic was very new. Germany had a legislative body that had been in place since establishment in the 1870's. But the Kaiser still had significant real political power until the end of WWI. The Wermacht also had immense power and supported Hitler and the Nazis as RW power brokers. Germany also had the prototypical modern Military Industrial Complex.
Repubs have been eroding the institutions supporting our democracy for decades, as you have noticed. They deride it as the Deep State. The thing is, that deep state might be the only thing that can save us. How's that for irony?
I have no faith in Christianity. We do hear reports of more liberal minded Christians being on our side, but the more vocal ones are the authoritarians. With the exception of the Soviets, RW authoritarian regimes love their religions. The sheep look to the church for guidance and political leaders exploit that.
I personally know of no instance in history where a nation overcomes deep fascism from within and returns to real democracy. Fascist Spain survived until Franco died. His brand of fascism was perhaps slightly less brutal than Hitler, but not much. Generally, those countries have to be rescued from without. So we'd be looking at a Red Dawn scenario, I guess.
I still have hope, but it is fading.
That inflates their base. They can say that we're just a reflection of their hate for all things Dems. The could use the old "they're just like us" and discourage more of the both-siders out there from going out and voting.
People misunderstand the meaning of the "turn the other cheek" lesson of Bible fame. Certainly, Trump has never done that. But the bigger lesson is to not react the way they want us to react. It is not about ignoring transgressions, it is about controlling one's own actions. The important thing to do is to react smartly, to not just stoop to their level and respond with violence. That is what they want. It would justify their actions. Bullies always want their victims to react violently. They know that they will win more often than not if you engage them on their turf.
We need to "turn the other cheek" to Trump and overcome him with the full and righteous force of law and legislative power. That would be the biggest defeat of his sad, sick, bloated life, that he could not manipulate the legal system to his advantage.
Will we win? I certainly hope so, but I don't want to "win" by turning into a leftist version of the Trumplodytes. That would be a loss.
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