Let Us Fish Protests and Their Ilk

The other day, I saw a large procession of pleasure craft float beneath my drawbridge. I took this picture. From the radio chatter I was able to determine that this was a Let Us Fish protest.

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It seems that the State of Washington, as part of its Stay Home, Stay Healthy initiative, has put restrictions on recreational fishing. These protesters feel that they should have the right to fish. After all, how does it hurt anyone?

Well, as with all of those who are wanting to get back to normal too soon, you’re overlooking how your actions impact others, and I find that extremely selfish.

You will have to gas up your car and your vessel, which means you’re touching gas pumps. You’re probably stopping to get food and snacks along the way. You’re interacting with others at the docks. If you behave recklessly, you’re forcing the harbor patrol and/or the Coastguard to get involved, thus exposing themselves to you. If you get hurt in any way, you’re causing health care workers to interact with you. After all is said and done, you then bring those potential COVID-19 exposures home to loved ones, risking their exposure, and they in turn risk exposing anyone they interact with, many of whom aren’t throwing tantrums because they can’t go fishing.

It’s the same situation with people who are outraged they can’t go to the hairdresser or the tattoo parlor. Get over it. These things can wait. They are not worth anyone’s life.

In addition, by insisting that people go back to work, you’re overlooking some major points. When you get a governor to insist that restaurants reopen, as an example, those who still feel it’s not safe to reopen will not have a choice, because they’ll no longer be able to file for business interruption insurance. If restaurant workers don’t feel it’s safe but the state government does, then landlords will stop allowing people to defer rent and there will be no more subsidies, which means people who are fearing for their grandparents and/or have underlying health conditions will have to work whether they like it or not. If your employer is forced to reopen, but you’ve got increased risk of contracting COVID-19, you’ll either have to quit the job and not be eligible for unemployment insurance or you’ll get fired and those small businesses will be required to foot the bill for your unemployment, which puts a further strain on small business.

I’d have a lot more sympathy for these protests if they weren’t making them so inexplicably political. Many of those boats had signs that claimed that keeping them from fishing is the fault of our “communist” governor. They also had pro-Trump signs. So this was less of a complaint about wanting to fish than it was a rant against the fact that they don’t like decisions being made by a Democrat in their state capitol. Believe me, he’s not enjoying these restrictions either. But he’s trying to save lives.

Encouraging these people to participate in get back to work protests is not about helping the people. It’s about the one percent not wanting to foot the bill, pushing the financial burden further down the food chain, and trying to force you back to work even if it means more people will die.

Yes, I understand that people are hurting financially at this time. But I’d rather take a government subsidy which came from my taxes, or rely on public assistance, or go to food banks rather than put the elderly, the people with underlying health issues, or our frontline workers at further risk. COVID-19 doesn’t care who holds political power.

If the Greatest Generation had resisted food rationing the way we’re resisting doing our part, there’d probably be a swastika flying over the White House right now. We’ve become spoiled. We need to make sacrifices. I know it hurts. But we have to do the right thing, for everyone’s sake. Now is not the time to slack off. We’re all in this together.

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Trump’s Criminal Negligence

It’s 6:30 in the morning and I’m eating a big slice of Watergate Cake. I tend to eat my anger. I wish I had a second slice.

On the commute to work, I heard that Donald Trump is suggesting that injecting oneself with disinfectant might be a way to cure a case of COVID-19. The actual quote, from the video you can see in this Newsweek article is:

“Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside or almost a cleaning. It will be interesting to check that, so you’re going to have to use medical doctors, but it sounds interesting to me.”

First of all:

  NEVER inject yourself with disinfectant!!!!! 

I can’t believe I even have to say that, but the leader of the free world just suggested it, so it bears repeating.

  NEVER inject yourself with disinfectant!!!!! 

Even Lysol, the maker of such products, agrees with me. Doing that kind of thing could very well kill you. People have done exactly this to commit suicide. It would definitely be the most stupid thing you’ve ever done in your life, as well as, possibly, the last thing. Don’t do it.

The sad thing is, if Trump says it, there are a certain percentage of his followers, way out there on the lunatic fringe, who have no sense of critical thinking (and probably no health insurance), who will give this a try. I’m sure we’ll hear about this in coming days.

Trump’s words are irresponsible at best, and criminally negligent at worst. Don’t believe me? Here’s the definition of criminal negligence:

“Criminal negligence refers to conduct in which a person ignores a known or obvious risk, or disregards the life and safety of others. Federal and state courts describe this behavior as a form of recklessness, where the person acts significantly different than an ordinary person under similar circumstances. An example is a parent leaving a loaded firearm within reach of a small child.”

Having the world’s most prominent public leader suggesting that we should try injecting disinfectant into our bodies is tantamount to a parent leaving a loaded firearm within reach of a small child, don’t you think?

He’s supposed to be an authority. He’s supposed to be the hub of our pandemic information. And yet he spouts this idiocy. If someone in a major corporation said something like that, he’d be fired.

So, Mr. Trump, if you want to be our leader, and you truly find what you just said to be interesting, do us all a favor and try it out for yourself. Please. I’m begging you. Do it before you say anything else that endangers our lives.

Once again, for those who didn’t hear me the first two times:

  NEVER inject yourself with disinfectant!!!!! 

Jesus, take the wheel…

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Lockdown Protests? Seriously?

I understand. People are scared. People are suffering from loss of income. More people are on unemployment and are accessing food banks than have in living memory. We are struggling to survive. I get it. I’ve lived it. But that’s the thing. Even this economic nightmare that is raining down upon us right now is better than the alternative, which is death.

I’d be willing to lose everything, sleep in the woods, forage for berries, as long as me and mine are alive. This is a life or death situation that we are in right now. This is real. Nothing else matters.

So, when I see people gathering in groups to protest this lockdown, encouraged by Trump, I’m absolutely horrified. Did you hear me? They’re gathering in groups. That’s the last thing on earth anyone should be doing right now.

If you want to be a fool and risk getting this virus, that’s your prerogative. The world could use fewer fools. But unfortunately, after you go to these protests, you are then coming home to your innocent grandparents and children and spouses, and they in turn will spread it to others, and so on. That’s the whole point. That’s how a virus works.

So your stupidity impacts us all, and will, in fact, increase the length of time that we all have to be locked down. Your protest will have the exact opposite result than you want it to have. Brilliant.

Of course Trump wants you back to work again. He wants you to be a cog in the corporate wheel, always. He wants you to think the world is a shining, happy place before the elections roll around. To hell with you if you die in the process. He could care less about that. How is that not blatantly obvious? He will tweet you into oblivion.

Are you so busy trying to “liberate” Michigan and Virginia, are you so hellbent on contracting and spreading this virus and making this situation so much worse, that you can’t see that you’re expendable to Trump? Don’t you know that this virus cares nothing about your moral imperative? You’re being used as a human, political shield.

For God’s sake, at least wash your freakin’ hands.

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COVIDiocy

It’s amazing to me how much this pandemic is bringing out the very best and the very worst in people. Today I’m going to talk about the very worst. Warning: this is not going to be a tactful, unifying post.

As this stressful pot gets stirred, it seems that more and more of the idiots in this world are rising up to the surface to make their stupidity known. There has been a marked spike in aggression and violence towards Asian Americans. It’s appalling to witness.

There is nothing that will reveal your ignorance more than seeking out some random person and blaming a virus on them. There’s no better indicator of your overall douchebaggery than spitting or coughing on some old man just because you’re scared and you can’t figure out where else to direct your rage. And statistics are showing that Asian American females are being targeted three times as much as the males. What’s the matter? Afraid to pick on someone your own size? Cowards.

If you think that it’s acceptable to shove or shout at a person, if you think that will solve this problem or improve the situation in any way, then you are an imbecile. Do you think that by spewing your hate at people who are in the exact same contagious boat that you are, you’re living your best life? What would Jesus do? Such class. Your mother would be so proud.

And while we’re on the subject of twits, dimwits, morons, and fools, can you please explain what possible good it does for the leader of the free world (may heaven help us) to call COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus”? What goal could he have other than to spread hate, chaos, and division? How is that helpful? Is that what a leader should be doing at a time when we all need to come together? Where are the comforting and reassuring words? Where’s the compassion? I guess there’s no need for that, since everything is going to be back to normal by Easter.

I’m just so frustrated right now. This should not be who we are. End of rant.

Happy freakin’ Easter, by the way.

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One of These Things Is Not Like the Other

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor you can receive from this country. According to Wikipedia, it’s supposed to be given to people who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

In the past it has been given to an auspicious list of people, including Mother Teresa, Georgia o’Keeffe, Norman Rockwell, Martha Graham, Sidney Poitier, James Stewart, John Steinbeck, Elie Wiesel, Aaron Copland, Aretha Franklin, David McCullough, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Jonas Salk, Bill Gates, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., Harvey Milk, Gloria Steinem, Lech Walesa, Nelson Mandela, Pope John Paul II, Desmond Tutu, Margaret Mead, Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Sally Ride, Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, and Billie Jean King.

Yes, there have been controversial awards. No one will ever agree completely upon whom such honors should be bestowed. But I’m still nauseous after the most recent one was given at Trump’s State of the Union Address.

Rush Limbaugh? Seriously? The man who compared Presedent Obama to a monkey and coined the term Feminazis? This divisive, hateful, racist purveyor of misinformation? Here are some of the lies he has spread:

  • The existence of gorillas disproves the theory of evolution.

  • A recent decrease in hurricanes disproves climate change.

  • He claimed President Obama wanted to mandate circumcision.

  • He called Sandra Fluke a slut for wanting insurance coverage for contraception.

  • He said soldiers who opposed the Iraq War were phonies.

  • He claimed that the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster was created by environmentalists.

  • He stated the Adam Lanza did the mass shooting at Sandy Hook due to the Mayan calendar.

Entire books have been written about the lies this man has told and the problems he has caused. To have this unrepentant racist wear the Presidential Medal of Honor around his neck spits in the eye of every former recipient. Especially during African American History Month.

But then, having someone as president who talks about grabbing pussies and who strong-arms allies at war in order to get them to sway American elections spits in the eye of everyone who has been president, too, and he’s the one who decides who gets the award, so what do I expect?

Next, he’ll give one posthumously to Charles Manson, for getting all of us to put dead bolts on our doors.

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Congressional Hearings Then and Now

Even as I write this, I’m listening to the impeachment hearings. I’ve borne witness to live testimony at every opportunity. I’m finding it riveting.

I’m really impressed with some of the dedicated public servants I’ve had the opportunity to hear. There really are bureaucrats out there who are well-meaning and full of integrity. That makes me feel as though our country may be able to recover from all this divisiveness and corruption. Someday.

Unfortunately, these testimonies have also shined a light on some of the cockroaches in our government. Those who are choosing not to testify are not participating in the process of revealing truth and clarifying the situation. Justice is not the end goal for these people. Their integrity will forever be in question, as far as I’m concerned. Clearly, they have something to hide.

Other cockroaches include those who are trying to stir up drama by using inflammatory phrases in the hopes that they’ll make good sound bites. Comparing this situation to a “drug deal” or an “inquisition” is not helpful, nor is it even remotely accurate. Implying that the closed-door depositions are somehow out of order is absurd. In all types of hearings, depositions are behind closed doors. The only time one sees a deposition is in the movies. Also, attempting to out the whistleblower is an effort to find a scapegoat to deflect attention from the subject of the impeachment.

But worst of all, without a doubt, are the tweets and the bullies who are attempting to intimidate witnesses. It makes this country look like a banana republic. It makes us look like thugs. And it makes me ashamed.

But even as I listen to these hearings, I remember the 8 year old me during the Watergate scandal. Little me threw more than one tantrum because the hearings pre-empted all her children’s programming. And it seemed to go on for an eternity. She was sooooooooo bored! She was furious at her mother for not being able to tell “someone” to restore decent television to the land.

What a difference maturity and life experience make. How radically one’s priorities shift over time. And thank goodness for Netflix.

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The Whistleblower

People seem shocked that the Republicans are calling for the exposure of whistleblower that started the current impeachment investigation. I’m not. People hate those who blow the whistle on their team. I know this because I’ve blown a whistle or two in my lifetime. It never went well for me.

The idea that this whistleblower is some sort of a rat, or a troublemaker, or a liar, is outrageous. I think this person is a hero. Anyone who sees something that’s morally, ethically or legally suspect, and speaks up about it despite all possible repercussions, is admirable. It takes courage.

And make no mistake, this person is not dictating what happens with the information he or she put forward. That person simply identified a situation that seemed wrong, brought it to the proper authorities, and those authorities are now in charge of investigating those allegations. It’s that simple.

That the Republicans are trying to imply that keeping this person’s identity a secret is some nefarious conspiracy by the Democrats is absurd. It’s. The. LAW. And for good reason. If you start exposing whistleblowers, then no one will have the courage to speak up when they see things that they feel are wrong.

And, lest we forget, just about every allegation that the whistleblower has made has been corroborated by other witnesses. So what’s the point in exposing the whistleblower?

I’ll tell you the point. The Republicans are anxious to have a scapegoat to deflect attention from the questionable behavior of Trump. They can’t afford to have us look at Trump too closely at the moment. We might notice that the emperor has no clothes.

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Maturity

There are certain things that one is supposed to leave behind in childhood. Cruelty. Humiliating others. Petty revenge. Foolish pranks. Bullying. Laughing at others’ misfortune. Selfishness. Name calling.

I have a hard time relating to adults who engage in such behavior. I don’t find it funny. In truth, I find it horrifying. Such blatant lack of compassion kind of scares me, because you never know when it will be aimed in your direction. Be very careful who you consider to be friends.

I am particularly worried about those of us who are just entering adulthood right now, at a time when the leader of our country demonstrates most of this conduct on a daily basis and may very well be reelected. What kind of signal are we sending to our young adults when this is countenanced?

Now, more than ever, we need to model kindness and love and generosity. We need to be the lessons that our leaders are not. And we need to ask ourselves why we have such leaders in the first place.

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I Want to Buy Greenland, Too

Do you ever feel like you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole? Well, then we can be roommates. Nice to meet you.

Here’s what’s going on. Trump wants to buy Greenland, a semi-autonomous country, so he has approached Denmark about it.

Um… what part of “semi-autonomous” don’t you understand? Denmark can’t dump Greenland and all its nearly 56,000 residents, just on a whim, any more than we can lose the state of Texas to Mexico in a poker game. Prime Minister Frederiksen said that the idea was absurd, and rightly so.

Because of that, Trump cancelled a trip to Denmark, as he deemed her comments “nasty.” Notice how he never calls men nasty? And have you ever heard the way he talks about other leaders? Absurd is putting it mildly. Nasty is, too. He’s out of control.

This man has no concept of diplomacy. Denmark is an ally. You don’t throw a tantrum and wipe your sticky lollipop hands all over your diaper simply because an ally has pointed out the obvious.

This isn’t the 1800’s. Imperialism is dying a slow, embarrassing death. Land grabs, with no regard to the people living thereon or the taxpayers who would be footing the bill, are a thing of the distant past. The man has lost what few marbles he had left.

And this comment of his reinforces that belief. He says that people shouldn’t talk to America like that, and then made a comment about how Obama let people treat him like that, but Trump wouldn’t do so. He referenced the “fact” that the Philippines wouldn’t allow Obama to land Air Force One. He trotted that little bit of fiction out back in 2017, and it was debunked then, and it’s easily debunked now. If Trump had any grip on reality, he’d have given up on that absurd story when it didn’t work in 2017. But I guess some members of his base will believe anything, and his staff has probably despaired of setting him straight.

Oh. Did you see what I did there? I said “absurd.” I guess that means I’m nasty.

Having said that, I’d like to throw my nasty hat into the ring and say that I wouldn’t mind having a chunk of Greenland myself. Right now it’s mostly one big iceball, but what with climate change, and thanks to Trumps disdain for its inevitability, it may just be that Greenland will become one of the few habitable places on earth, provided you figure out a way to live without food and water.

So yeah, since we’re dreaming, what the heck, sign me up! I’ll bring a bunch of canned goods once the place thaws. I’ll live right next door to one of Trump’s golf courses in Greater Trumplandia. Ooh, and can I please buy the Eiffel Tower, too? It would look wonderful in my back yard, next to my garden gnome and my plastic flamingo…

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Let’s Do Away with Political Parties

“Impeach the president!” everyone shouts. Well, heaven knows there are plenty of reasons to do so. But it seems as though many Americans have no idea what impeachment truly means.

Here’s what it does not mean: bye-bye Trump. Nope. Impeachment is what the House of Representatives does to bring charges against a federal employee. It’s like being indicted by a grand jury. Bill Clinton was impeached. But he remained president. Nixon, on the other hand, was never actually impeached. He resigned before the house voted.

Once impeached, the person remains in office. The next step is the trial. That’s conducted by the Senate. The Senate at the time did not find Clinton guilty, and the majority republican Senate today would not find Trump guilty. I guarantee it.

Because, you see, elected officials rarely vote on the facts or their conscience. They vote along party lines. It’s really rather disgusting when you think about it. The truth has nothing to do with it. Morality has nothing to do with it. For example, I’d like to assume that every human being would be against pedophilia. But political pedophiles are given a pass all the time.

The crux of the problem with our political system is that we allow political parties. They’re like gangs. You have to pick a side. You are either with us or against us. There’s no compromise.

There’s more strength in numbers. There’s more money in numbers. It’s easier to intimidate your fellow gang members to do what you want them to do in numbers. It’s easier to label someone as a friend or an enemy.

But what if everyone had to be an independent? What if all political funding came from the people, and there was a cap on the amount a politician could raise from an individual, and also in total? What if that cap were 10 percent of what is spent now? What kinds of people would then run for office? Not these rich fools who have absolutely no idea how most Americans live or what they care about. And once elected, they could actually focus on the task at hand, rather than desperately fundraising.

What if you had to judge a person not by their party but by their actions and the content of their character? What if it were a little less obvious who you should not work with, politically? What if you had to work on bills only with people who agree with you on that particular cause? What if there were no aisles to cross? What if there were no minority or majority leaders who were bullying you to vote a certain way?

Something to think about.

By the way, I also long for unicorns to roam our forests. Wouldn’t that be nice?

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