Like most mornings I woke up and watched the first half-hour of Morning Joe. Before the thirty minutes had passed, however, I had to witch channels and watch a rerun of Texas Iron. The two lead stories dealt with the insanity and incompetence that currently resides in the White House.
First was a recap of yesterday’s press conference in which Trump defended some quack doctor and her claims about alien DNA being the enemy of religion in America. This woman made the most outlandish claims and Trump supported her on grounds akin to, well she must be correct, she has all her own teeth. Now, put that together with his already telling us to stick light bulbs in our orifices and bleach in our veins and tell me the inmates aren’t in charge of the asylum.
Upon waking this morning the news seemed focused on Bubba Wallace, Confederate flags, and Bubba’s need to apologize to his fellow NASCAR drivers. The truth is, until a noose was discovered in his garage I wouldn’t have known Bubba Wallace from Bubba Gump or some guy who runs a gasper goo catch, clean, and cook show on YouTube (now you have something to Google). But, it got me thinking about hangman’s nooses and how I came to become proficient in tying them.
I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s when the main recreation for young boys was listening to Tom Mix on the radio and going to double feature Saturday matinees at the Lyric or Rand theaters. Most cowboy shows had plots that focused on some crooked rancher or banker who had a gang of thugs doing his evil deeds and at its worse, a hero always rode into town and saved the citizenry from these evildoers.
Rachel Maddow did a segment about a twenty-two-year-old woman who thought the definition of racism should be broadened to include references to the concept of systemic. The woman approached Merriman-Webster about altering its definition and to her amazement the publisher agreed and will be revising the definition of racism as well as that of several other words germane to the subject of race.
I haven’t been living in a cave so I’m very aware of what’s been going on in the world of defunding the police. I also know that what it means has not been clearly defined yet but, in general, it doesn’t mean a world without badges, nightsticks, and Glocks.
Nevertheless, whatever it ultimately means will be controversial and will require lots of discussions and serious thought, along with some people finding themselves without a career.
One thing needed is to finally reach an agreement to the reality that racism is both a systemic and institutional part of America’s police forces.
You know it’s been charged that Donald Trump took to refuge in a secret bunker deep beneath the WH when the protestors in Franklin Park got too close. While we don’t really know if that happened we do now that it took a sizable miliartyesque force and a serious threat to unleash the 82nd Airborne onto we the people to clear the
The first time I saw the White House was probably in the late 1950s or early 60s and I would have been in the Navy. I don’t remember if the White House grounds were enclosed by a fence but if so, it would have been relatively weak and low. In the 1970s we took some kids to DC for a field trip and I remember being able to drive within a couple of hundred feet of the WH front door on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. There was a fence around the ground but it was only one layer deep and visitors could get right up to it. Over the years I have been to DC a number of times and each time the security around all government buildings becomes more reinforced.
When I retired in 1996 I spent a couple of days in the city with a cousin of mine who has lived there for decades. While she conducted some business downtown I got a cup of coffee and sat in Lafayette Park, across from the WH, and watched the world go by. By that time the street had been closed to traffic and large concrete barriers were erected at each end of the block. At noon workers from various offices came out, put on their blade skates, and played a lunchtime game of hockey.
It’s been difficult for me to watch very much of the protest video because it is both disturbing and it reminds me of how little we’ve improved since the days of Bull Connor in the early 1960s. My friend and colleague, Susan Long recently remarked how she thought we’d moved further away from those days.
I sat here for about an hour trying to put my thoughts about Minneapolis together into a blog. Then I took a break and checked my YouTube feed where I found a new video from Trae Crowder that says it so much better, and with far more dirty words than I could say.
On May 1st I wrote a blogclaiming it was time to reset the COVID-19 clocks. Trump was claiming that America would experience 50-60 thousand virus deaths by August (and he would consider that a win) and on May 1st we’d already reached 63,000 deaths. So, it made sense that we pay close attention to what the number does between May 1st and August 1st, just to see how wrong he turns out being.
Today is the first of May and the Coronavirus death count just went north of 62,000, more than the number of US troops who died in Vietnam. The total number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in the nation is nearing 1.1 million. It is also the date that many states plan to begin relaxing their COVID-19 restrictions while not meeting the most minimal of federal guidelines.
As the states begin turning to business as usual, nobody knows what will happen. Almost the entire scientific and medical community tells us it is too soon and we can expect to see the number of confirmed virus cases and deaths explode. Approximately 85% of the population thinks it’s too soon to open the gates. At the same time, Orange of the White House and his tribe of anti-science Mad Maxers argue that making money and checking out asses at the beach is more important than grandparents dying.