Sunday, July 19, 2020

Portlandia and Covid-19

Every day, every single day since the election I think it can't get any worse, and every single day it does.  So, after a few purty pictures, there will be even more rant dripping off my fingertips.

This is somewhat amusing.  Part of the morning loop is dirt.  It's easily ridden except when the wind has been blowing cholla pups onto the trail.  Then one must take evasive action.  I have learned that if you hit a pup with the front tire, it's possible to flip it into the air and into one's shin.  So, I was dodging the evil pups, but managed to brush a cholla arm on a tall cactus. Those would be spines in my handle bar grips, they were also in my hand.  It's amazing how much those things hurt.

More clouds yesterday, no rain.

Today, this is where all of the rain is going - New Mexico!  This is not fair, that's our rain.  Some of it is as far north as Colorado.

There were terrible developments yesterday, which I am going to gloss over to get to today's really terrible stuff.

A document was obtained by the Center for Public Integrity showing that eighteen states are now Covid-19 hot zones.  Do you think the administration was going to mention this?  No, the orange wombat is still maintaining it will all go away.

The new head of USPS has decreed that no overtime shall be worked.  Any mail that can't be delivered during the shift is to be left on the floor in the post office and delivered another day.  This is a deliberate attempt to slow down mail delivery.  This is critical because so much of the 2020 election will be voting by mail.  Vote early, get your ballots in as soon as possible.  Article is  here.

NYT did an excellent piece on how the orange man has moved on from the pandemic.  He's bored with it, he has civil rights to violate.  What was particularly interesting is Dr. Scarf's (Birx) role in down playing the badness and severity of Covid-19.  That woman has sold her soul for a ride on Air Force One.  Article is here.

Which brings us to Portland.  Portland is crawling with federal troops.  They're not really interested in quelling violence, or protecting federal buildings, they're interested in seeing how far they can push it.  NYT published a really good interview with Robert Evans of Bellingcat.  Bellingcat is the group that did the investigation that showed that Russia shot down the Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine.  60 Minutes did a piece on their work, it was impressive.  Mr. Evans has been covering Portland and what is happening there.  I'm excerpting part of the interview because it is so damn chilling.
The image of federal police in unmarked vans has captured attention because it feels so nakedly authoritarian. Is what we’re seeing just the purest example of American militarized policing or is it something different?
It’s something different. It’s two things. Law enforcement is extremely lucrative and so you have a huge class of people in a lucrative industry who feel threatened and like they need to do violence to those who want to take the job away. The other is you have Portland, which has put itself in opposition to this president who has made law and order a defining issue of his re-election.
Portland is being used as a bellwether to see what this administration can get away with. And also what works to quell protest. The police tactics don’t work. We’re on night 50. There’s this knowledge, I believe, in the more lucid chunks of the administration, that this problem will get worse in the next month. August is shaping up to be one of the hardest months in our nation’s modern history. September may be worse. And it will have to come to a head.
Acting Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli has previously stated that Portland is just the start.  They're planning on taking this show on the road to Chicago and New York.  He has also stated that governors do not have the authority to make them leave.

I try not to be a conspiracy wing nut.  However, think about it.  The orange wombat would not say on Chris Wallace's show if he will accept the results of the 2020 election.  If he decides to stay in the White House, he can declare martial law to control the people who will take to the streets.  He can invoke the Insurrection Act to call up the National Guard.  He'll already have federal boots on the ground.  This whole thing in Portland is giving me the willies.

Watch this video.  Watch the unprovoked savage attack on this man.  He's a US Naval Academy graduate, and the man can stand up.  The federal with the baton broke his hand, plates and screws will be required.  This was just a crap move.

Yesterday we marked the passing of Congressman John Lewis.  That man was a giant among men.  His actions caused LBJ to sign the voting rights act.  He personally hauled much of the US into the light and out of the darkness of racism.  We don't seem to have people like him anymore.  There are decent people, but no giants.  We will miss him.


  1. What’s happening in Portland is perhaps the most chilling action this president has taken to date, not counting stealing children from their parents at the border. It’s all stealing with him. Stealing our rights. Stealing people off the streets. Like you, day after day I’m sure it can’t get worse and it does. I wish it were November already.

  2. I agree with 37P -- the Portland stuff is scary. The idea that the federal government can move in against the wishes of local leaders and do violence, anonymously, ought to be anathema to conservatives who are usually so in favor of local control, less federal authority and "state's rights."

  3. first, it doesn't matter if Trump doesn't accept the results of the election. he will have lost and will no longer be commander in chief and will not have the authority to declare martial law. of course there is the two months in between election and transfer of power. so there is that. and I think this is going to backfire this sending in of federal troops to increase the violence. I think it may be a step too far. and if his secret police were there to protect federal building as they say, then they would be making a cordon around the building on the property and repulsing anyone who tries to get to it. that's not what they are doing, they are in the streets beating people with batons and gassing them and snatching unarmed people. all this for graffitti and a dumpster fire. at any rate it's just going to get worse and worse until November and then he will have 2 months to reinvent Sherman's march to the sea.

  4. It is all just terrifying. I think back to 2016 and people saying "How bad can he be? I hate Hillary, so let's give him a chance". Well, we're now seeing he is even worse than anyone ever dreamed possible. MUCH worse. The mind boggles.

  5. Hmmmm - cholla .. don't they call those jumping cactus? Unfortunately, things can always get worse. The months are speeding by so perhaps there are some (at least) positive things on the horizon.