Our PDR Posse member, Thomas Czarnik, submitted a few “Corona Notes.” It is well worth reading in its entirety.
Corona Notes Excerpts
5/15/2022: Ten dead, three wounded. Another mass murder. This time in Buffalo NY. And this time, though not surprisingly, by an 18-year-old rabid white supremacist who wanted to kill as many black people as possible because . . . well, just because he was another crazy white guy with a big gun who thought life is just a video game. Or was it also because this MAGA mad man had been brainwashed by people like Tucker Carlson of Faux News who promote both big guns and the Great Replacement Theory: a lethal combination of deadly force and white nationalism exploding into domestic terrorism? If only, as the NRA argues, “a good guy with a gun” had come to the rescue. Oh, yeah, there was – a “good guy” that is. But since the mass murderer was wearing body armor, the “good” security guard’s bullet was unable to stop the bad guy and so the good guy along with nine others was killed in the process. So much for the “good guy” theory. Oh, but wait. Now if everyone in the supermarket had a gun and was wearing body armor, then, hallelujah, a happy ending instead of a tragedy. Same goes for school shootings and theater massacres. Have everyone armed to the teeth and dressed up like medieval knights, then watch crime (poof!) just disappear. In your dreams. 5/18/2022: Wish I had a dime for every email I get from the Dems requesting cash for their campaigns. No matter how much Progressives spend, the GOP radical right spends more. It’s an arms race to the bottom with Dems losing. The problem as always is money in politics which amounts to bribery and/or extortion. US needs to eliminate all private funding from political campaigns along with voter suppression/subversion, gerrymandering, and media dis/misinformation. “Well-regulated” Western European-style limited elections would be best. In the meantime, the US is stuck with a laissez-faire money-take-all electoral system that rewards the richest and most dishonest with a lucrative legislative job. Case in point: the current primary elections. Flush with funds, falsehoods, and fear-mongering, Trump chumps appear to be winning most Republican nominations. All the Dems can do is wait for November, make progressive promises, and hope the economy improves while voters come to their senses and see which candidates really have their best interests at heart. Unfortunately, I’ve seen this movie many times before and it doesn’t end well for the “good guy without a gun.” 5/19/2022: Today Bing finally posted one million total US Covid deaths. Can’t believe hardly anyone has died from the “pandammit” in the past month, but if that’s the actual data then we must be doing something right. OTOH, new “reported” Covid cases are rising sharply across the country and Livingston County (where we live) is now rated as “high risk” for infection. Due to politics of course, no mask mandates are forthcoming, though Michigan health officials are “recommending” masks for indoor public spaces. Ain’t gonna happen. People around here are “so over Covid.” And how do you wear a mask inside a restaurant which of course will remain open (“Don’t tread on my freedumb!”) without adequate ventilation? So now it remains to be seen if hospitalizations and deaths increase in coming weeks. Not that I care as much anymore since there’s so much magical thinking and widespread denial everywhere. (“Dine and Die, Suckers!”) We seem to be on the verge of returning to the bad old days of 2020. But at least now we have a Covid vaccine (though how effective it still is after waning immunity and multiple variants is anyone’s guess.) Stay tuned to “Outbreak 2” (or is it “Son of Contagion”?). 5/21/2022: Hundreds of people jammed into Costco today and I was only one of three (no other men) wearing a mask. The only inflation I saw was in the bloated bellies and butts of Michigan shoppers who, in spite of what the media says, were spending like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe they know something I don’t. Couldn’t help thinking how human beings (myself included) are such pathetic creatures of appetite. We continuously chase after the next shiny thing that we hope will finally satisfy our hunger and thirst for happiness. Alas, whatever we buy that promises contentment will only reward us with ephemeral pleasure and not long-sought-for Nirvana. But maybe that’s the best we can do in this limited body-time. The trick is not to get tricked into expecting more than (or even as much as) what’s promised. Been reading/listening to “The Attention Merchants” by Tim Wu. Very interesting history of advertising and confirmation that we are all too easily manipulated by slick packaging and presentations. Best advice: “Eat, Drink, and Be Wary.” Same holds true for political BS merchants (especially right wing regressives) who will say anything to voters for money and power. But the latest most nefarious sales pitch promotes autocracy over democracy with the shiny feel good ad of “Make America Great Again.” Why buy a brand new top-of-the-line electric vehicle from Joe Biden when you can buy an old rusty gas-guzzling Model T from that used-up-car-wheeler-dealer Auto-Crap Donald Jalopy Trump? What the GOP ads don’t tell you is that the Orange Man only sells Lemons. Yet almost half of Americans still prefer the MAGA model to the futuristic DemoJo. The question now is: will enough US citizens look to government as a vehicle for change or will a shiftless minority run the rest of us off the road with a backfiring Magavan that only makes right turns. Check your rearview mirror. 5/25/2022: The backfire turned out to be gunfire. Yesterday at least 19 four-graders and 2 adults were murdered at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas. As usual, Republicans responded with thoughts and prayers in defense of the right to bear bloody arms, fingers, and hands. I wish these diehard gun nuts would shove a scroll of the second amendment far up their collective asses and pull the trigger. Far from being pro-life, the GOP is the party of pro-death, failing to see that giving an assault rifle to a deranged 18 year old is like giving a razor blade to a three-year old. (If ordered to do so I think the three-year-old would drop the razor blade before the brain-sick teen-ager dropped his gun.) So now 19 new angels soar in heaven while thousands of devils brandishing instruments of death continue to romp and ravage and reap havoc upon the earth. Dems are not innocent in this regard. Gun Control legislation could be passed in the heartbeat of a ten-year old if only the arcane and anachronistic filibuster were set aside by two recalcitrant Senators (Manchin and Sinema). Otherwise, 41 trigger-happy NRA sycophants will hold the USA hostage to Mass Murder Inc. indefinitely. So what are we to do in the meantime? Guns for teachers? Body armor for kids? Schools constructed like prisons? Remote learning for everybody all the time? Or just this: “Be sober, be watchful. For your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8-10 5/27/2022: So now it turns out that the so-called “good guys with guns” did basically nothing to stop the “bad guy with a gun” in Uvalde Texas. Perhaps they couldn’t, out-gunned as they were by a madman armed with a weapon of war. Compounding the catastrophe was a tragedy of errors including unlocked doors (both outside and inside the school building) as well as the absence of a security guard who could have stopped or at least slowed down the gunman’s assault and ultimate slaughter of young innocents. Aside from better security, the most effective solution for mass murder would be to ban the sale and possession of assault rifles in the US. But, unfortunately, there’s a better chance of banning money from politics than passing any kind of gun control legislation in Washington. In fact, money in politics is the primary reason Americans are still being held hostage by the gun lobby. The NRA campaign contributions are nothing less than bribes paid to legislators for support of unlimited access to weapons of war. A highly successful and lucrative strategy as the US is the only nation in the world where civilian guns outnumber people. There are 120 guns for every 100 Americans. As a result, the number of US deaths from gun violence is about 18 times the average rate in other developed countries. The US has 4% of the world’s population but accounted for 44% of global suicides by firearm in 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/26/world/us-gun-culture-world-comparison-intl-cmd/index.html As The Onion headline repeatedly says after every mass murder: ‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens. https://www.theonion.com/no-way-to-prevent-this-says-only-nation-where-this-r-1848971668