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Thursday, April 30, 2020

The party of death

Rachel Maddow discusses the toll being taken on health care workers and citizens in the Midwest, the latest epicenter of the viral outbreak. This is an area where Republican politicians are making the situation even worse, relaxing what few stay-at-home orders existed and forcing people to go back to work in unsafe conditions. What that means is that there will be even more infections and deaths of citizens, and more heartbreaking work (and danger) for health care workers too. Meanwhile Trump eggs these Republican governors on, suggesting a quick openning-up that contradicts the advice of his own administration.

Republicans call the Democratic party the "party of death" because it is pro-choice. But it has always been the Republican party which is the party of death. It is Republicans who have worked to take away people's health care, have worked to take away food from needy children, have worked to diminish senior's safety nets, have worked to cut benefits to the disabled, etc, etc, etc.

Never has it been more clear than in the grip of this pandemic that the Republican party holds life to be cheap. Republicans are willingly sacrificing American lives to both make a buck and to re-elect Trump, believing that a thriving economy is what can buy him a second term. Jared has just opined on Fox News that Trump's handling of the virus has been "a success story". The relatives and friends of the 60,000+ victims of the virus would disagree, and I bet they will vote against the true "party of death".


Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Trump meat

Although meat packing plants have infected thousands of their workers with coronavirus due to unsafe conditions, Trump has signed an executive order forcing the plants that have been closed to open and the ones already open but infected to stay open.

He wouldn't use the Defense Production Act to make ventilators for patients, or PPE for health care workers, or the ingredients for virus testing, but he has now used it for something even more essential ... meat.

Because it's better that American workers die than that Trump's corporate executive friends lose a buck or that he go without his daily cheeseburgers.

Heavens, how will life go on without meat? This must truly be the apocalypse! Oh wait ... I've somehow managed to survive as a vegetarian for more than 40 years. Never mind.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Yoda & a 'room

A couple of photos. Here's one of Yoda, out of focus as all my Yoda photos seem to be. In the background you can see her pile of tissue paper that she loves to play with, and her latest toy, a sort of cat version of a hamster tube ;) ....

And here's the mushroom, which has grown up through a crack in a dead tree ...

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Nino :)

Kate McKinnon's cat Nino appeared with her on the latest SNL ...

Here she is from the past talking about how she found Nino ...

Saturday, April 25, 2020


Brad Pitt as Dr. Fauci ...

I Can't Explain

Watching the news is so depressing. Health care workers are still overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, while at the same time not having adequate PPE and getting sick and dying themselves. People in nursing homes, prisons, veterans homes, and weirdly, meat packing plants, are dying like flies. The federal government is worse than useless in the fight against the pandemic, and red states are planning to relax stay-at-home orders, because we can't expect those old Republican guys to go without their "massages".

One thing that distracts me during this awful time is my "for you" news at Google. It has the strangest idea of what I need to know. Today it wanted me to be aware that famous Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page actually was a session player on a lot of songs by other musicians before he joined Led Zeppelin. One of the songs he worked on (but didn't make the record?) was I Can't Explain by the Who ...

Friday, April 24, 2020

Snake oil

At yesterday's virus press briefing, Trump suggested that injecting disinfectant into the body could be a cure for the coronavirus ...

Then, after everyone's horrified response (everyone = those who aren't working for him and thus not paid sycophants), he lied and said he was only being sarcastic ...

It's beyond belief that Republicans continue to support this dangerous nut.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The Girl From Ipanema

Another song to cheer us up during the pandemic. The bossa nova tune The Girl from Ipanema, sung by Astrud Gilberto with music by Stan Getz, from the 1964 movie Get Yourself a College Girl.

Without us

How are things going without the constant presence of people? In a lot of ways, better - cleaner air and water, birds and animals unmolested, even the planet's crust has calmed down. With tomorrow being Earth Day, it's hard not to think the world would be a better place without us.

Monday, April 20, 2020

The dead-heads

Who are the people protesting against stay-at-home orders? A lovely combination of the willfully ignorant and the terminally stupid. I'd say "yes, please infect each other and depart this Earth" but unfortunately, they will take a lot of normal people with them through their dangerous behavior.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Pets & pandemic

Pets are making a big difference in people's lives now during the pandemic. I know that taking care of Yoda and the cats outside gives my life structure and meaning and love :)

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Powell's Bookstore

Tonight on the PBS NewsHour they had a segment about Powell's Books in Portland Oregon and how it's being affected by the virus.

I lived in Portland for three years after I got divorced and spent many a weekend hanging out at Powell's. It is a huge store with a wide variety of books, including a lot of used books, and it has a nice coffee shop within the store too ... bagel with cream cheese ... mmm :) Here's a photo of me (on the L in flannel) and my sister while in Portland ...

I was really lonely in Portland. The only person I knew was my sister and after she moved away to Japan, I was alone there. What kept me going in that depressing rainy place was my job at the Oregon Health & Sciences University Hospital, Mexican takeout food + video rentals, and Powell's.

Friday, April 17, 2020

"Kindness matters"

My grocery store ...

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Another song

Another song to give us a momentary break from the pandemic. The Rap by the Irish-Norwegian band Secret Garden ....

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Enriching Trump

We've seen in the news that Mitch McConnell and the Republican Senate has been trying to pass a further financial stimulus bill but that Democrats have been against that. What hasn't been clear to me until now is why Democrats were against it, but Dana Milbank explains in The Washington Post ...

Trump and Kushner could reap a pandemic windfall

[...] As the dust settles on the $2.2 trillion legislation, it has become clear that one of its largest provisions, a $170 billion tax giveaway, appears to be tailor-made for the benefit of wealthy real estate investors such as President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who is running one of Trump’s coronavirus task forces.

The giveaway, primarily to real estate investors and hedge funds, is larger than the total amount in the legislation for hospitals ($100 billion) and for relief for all state and local governments ($150 billion). Worse, the bonanza for these millionaires and billionaires has little to do with the coronavirus: It lets them offset losses not just from 2020 but from 2018 and 2019, before the pandemic ...

Scumbags :(

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Songs of comfort

On the PBS NewsHour they have a segment about songs of comfort being posted on social media by people to help everyone get through the pandemic. I offer this song by James Taylor (BBC 1971) about a socially isolated person with only his horse and cattle as companions - reminds me of myself and my cats :) ...

Total power

Trump's campaign rally/virus briefing yesterday was a new level of bat-sh*t crazy. He played a propaganda video of himself and then proclaimed that he has total power. Uh huh.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Nursing homes

The virus is ravaging the patient populations in nursing homes throughout the country, but we've heard little about this on the news. Of course, the Trump administration doesn't care and will do nothing to help. This must not just be swept under the rug. More from Rachel Maddow ...

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Happy Easter

Henry Ian Cusick is Jesus in The Gospel of John

Friday, April 10, 2020

Women deacons again

- the risen Jesus greets Mary M

I see that the pope has created another second commission to study the idea of women as deacons (the first one created in 2016). In case you haven't noticed, commissions are where topics the pope doesn't like go to die (think of his sex abuse commission).

The members of this new commission seem mostly set against women as deacons and I don't doubt they will decide against it. After all, if you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to want a glass of milk, and if you let women be deacons, they will want to be priests too.

This is one of the reasons I've given up on the Catholic church - the way women are treated. It's not just church leaders who are to blame. They couldn't get away with this if Catholics themselves didn't accept the inequality. I've known Catholics who expect fairness and equality for everyone in all other realms of life, but who just shrug about the church's discrimination, saying "Oh, it will happen someday, probably in our lifetimes". Justice delayed is justice denied.

Thought experiment. Would you be so sanguine if the church wouldn't let people of different races be priests? Jesus didn't pick any Asians to be his apostles, so that must mean God doesn't want Asians to be priests in the contemporary church. No kidding - that's the official argument against women priests (the actual reason appears to be sexism). And then there's the condescension. Pope Francis has made a ton of objectionable remarks about women (Pope Francis' woman problem). Would it be ok with you if he spouted racial tropes instead of gender ones?

As we near Easter, I recall that the first person the risen Jesus revealed himself to was a woman, and the first person he deputized to spread the good word of his resurrection was a woman. The church has utterly failed to exemplify his faith in women.


Scottish sportscaster out of work during the pandemic gives commentary on the competition between older dog Olive (the black one), and younger dog Mabel ...

Thursday, April 09, 2020


Snowy is watching me talk to my sister in the driveway. I think she is what is known of as a flame point or cream point Siamese. She first appeared as a kitten with her siblings and mama cat a couple of years ago. I eventually managed to catch her mom, Marie, and all the kittens and get them spayed and neutered. But they've always been more wild than the other cats. Marie has since disappeared and Snowy's twin brother, Goldy, just appeared dead one day, maybe hit by a car. The life of a stray cay is very hard.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

It's about money

Well, that didn't take long - yesterday I opined that the reason Trump was promoting an old malaria drug for the coronavirus had to be financial, and today in Forbes: Trump Has ‘Small,’‘Distant Link’ To Sanofi, French Drugmaker Of Hydroxychloroquine

And from The New York Yimes - Trump’s Aggressive Advocacy of Malaria Drug for Treating Coronavirus Divides Medical Community

[...] Some associates of Mr. Trump’s have financial interests in the issue. Sanofi’s largest shareholders include Fisher Asset Management, the investment company run by Ken Fisher, a major donor to Republicans, including Mr. Trump. A spokesman for Mr. Fisher declined to comment.

Another investor in both Sanofi and Mylan, another pharmaceutical firm, is Invesco, the fund previously run by Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary. Mr. Ross said in a statement Monday that he “was not aware that Invesco has any investments in companies producing” the drug, “nor do I have any involvement in the decision to explore this as a treatment.”

As of last year, Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi.

Ashleigh Koss, a Sanofi spokeswoman, said the company no longer sells or distributes Plaquenil in the United States, although it does sell it internationally.

Several generic drugmakers are gearing up to produce hydroxychloroquine pills, including Amneal Pharmaceuticals, whose co-founder Chirag Patel is a member of Trump National Golf Course Bedminster in New Jersey and has golfed with Mr. Trump at least twice since he became president, according to a person who saw them ...

And then there's Jared: Jared Kushner Once Controlled a Firm Now Running a Coronavirus Testing Website

Trust Trump and the Republicans to figure out how to make a buck from the suffering of others.

Forever Autumn

Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues sings Forever Autumn (BBC 1978), a song for The War of the Worlds. Maybe it fits for a pandemic too ...

Monday, April 06, 2020


Trump and his minions keep pushing the drug hydroxychloroquine as treatment for the virus, despite that there is no evidence it helps, some evidence it can cause harm, and despite his medical expert, Dr. Fauci, being against recommending it before it has been tested (Trump keeps promoting an unproven coronavirus treatment — despite his experts’ advice).

Why is he pushing it? Do Trump or Jared plan to benefit financially from the use of the drug?

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Is there a plan?

Jake Tapper asked Trump the most important question today on State of the Union ....

The short answer, of course, is 'no'.

Friday, April 03, 2020


OK, we need something more cheerful. I wish I could post this song but it can't be embedded - you will have to follow the link. Listening to this made me feel better for a bit :) ...

- I Gotta Wash My Hands!

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Lest we forget

We shouldn't forget all that Trump has done and has refused to do during this pandemic that has made things so much worse than it has to be. And we shouldn't forget that instead of taking responsibility for his mistakes, he has continually blame shifted. Why dwell on the past? Because those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it, and the last thing we need is another 4 years of Trump.

Wednesday, April 01, 2020


So, are we civilians (non-medical workers) supposed to be wearing surgical masks (not N95 respirators) or are we not? Earlier they told us not to because: 1) they would be useless at preventing contamination, and 2) we would be depriving hospital workers of needed masks. Now they are changing their tune ...

Should We All Be Wearing Masks In Public? Health Experts Revisit The Question

Have you tried to buy surgical masks on Amazon? Most are out of stock. There are videos, though, on how to make your own ...