Saturday, July 18, 2020

Who controls the mask controls the future

Orwell's 1984 basically divides the world into three super-nations called Oceania, Eurasia, and Eastasia.  The one of those that forms the setting for the novel, Oceania, is perpetually at war with one and allied with the other.  Nobody really knows why.  Then, from time-to-time the nations that Oceania is allied with and at war with flip--suddenly, and for equally unknown reasons.  

This isn't such a big deal since war is peace, of course.  Still, having people actually think about these wars and alliances and the reasons (if any) for them might not be in the bests interests of the supreme leader.  So to prevent such "thoughtcrime," the past is carefully controlled.  At the outset, when Oceania is at war with Eastasia and allied with Eurasia, all of Oceania is directed to chant the mantra "We have always been at war with Eastasia!"  This is shouted eagerly and passionately--even though a few years earlier Oceania was at war with Eurasia and allied with Eastasia.  

This isn't a problem either, because ignorance is strength.  Big Brother makes sure all accounts of the preceding war with Eurasia and alliance with Eastasia are declared false and obsolete.  They are culled from libraries and records repositories, eventually to be eliminated altogether.  Meanwhile the inescapable, widespread claims that "we have always been at war with Eastasia" lead those courageous enough to risk an independent thought to doubt their own memories.  I think this is might what people now call "gaslighting."  I have to guess because I don't know.  But hold that thoughtcrime.

* * * * *

In recent weeks, some rather encouraging medical science has emerged around the manner of Covid-19 community transmission.  The first big piece was a popular WSJ article that described a growing consensus of experts around the belief that "[s]urface contamination and fleeting encounters are less of a worry than close-up, person-to-person interactions for extended periods."  Then a Texas Medical Association chart made the rounds; it ranked the transmission risk of 37 common activities from low-to-high, reflecting the same basic concepts as the WSJ consensus: avoid prolonged exposure to other people, especially in closed-in spaces, worry less about touching tables and doorhandles, brief inter-personal encounters, or activities outdoors or in other wide open spaces.  Then the NY Times reported on a blockbuster study involving the case of two Missouri hair stylists.  Both tested positive for Covid-19 after cutting hair for an alarming 139 clients while contagious--a super-spreading opportunity if ever there was one.  Yet both stylists wore masks, and not a single one of those 139 was infected.  Ningún.

I'm no scientist, but that's enough for me.  Seems that if we can avoid doing stupid things, like holding indoor church services or sending children to in-person schools, and if we can just get everyone to wear masks in public places, then we should be able to bring the Covid-19 infection rate down to a manageable level.  Then we can contain it through contact tracing and start resuming pre-Covid activities for reals.  In fact, that's also what the actual director of the Centers for Disease Control said this week:
"[I]f the American public all embraced masking now and we really did it, you know, rigorously ... I think if we can get everybody to wear a mask right now, I really do think over the next four to six, eight weeks, we can bring this epidemic under control."
I mean, yes please! Mask up!

Covid-19 has already taken out over 142,000 of us here in the U.S.A., with nearly 2 million others presently infected.  Hospitals are in danger of being overwhelmed (in fact, many probably are already--but the WH seizure of Covid-19 data from the CDC has denied the public access to information on ICU beds and ventilators).  Daily new infections are occurring at breakneck speed; whereas public health officials once feared a daily infection rate over 50,000 as a worst-case scenario back in spring, this week the U.S. experienced over 70,000 new infections per day.  And we could turn this thing around just by strapping on the same simple masks those of us with any shred of social responsibility have already been doing for some time now?  Are we seriously not doing that?

Check that thoughtcrime.

If you've already seen the O.C. video, I don't need to tell you why.  If you haven't, picture a couple SoCals from central casting walking around Huntington Beach handing out free masks.  For this they are repeatedly insulted, threatened, ignored, and otherwise disrespected.  Granted a fair portion of that could be good ole' homophobia.  But mostly it's a reminder there's just too damned many of the rightward DT cultists roaming around mask-free making bullshit claims about amorphous rights, issuing aggressive "no thank yous," or popping off baseless theories on herd-immunity (news flash: that's impossible until we have a vaccine because Covid is too contagious and the anti-bodies don't last long enough, plus it would take multiple millions of deaths even if it was possible.  Which it isn't.).  Yeah, and just watch the video.  

That video provides just some anecdotal evidence, of course.  Yet there is plenty of quantitative proof if you just look at the states where Covid-19 is spreading.  Florida and Georgia, with their DT fanboy governors, now have the #1 and #6 highest totals of confirmed active cases in the U.S. despite middle-of-the-pack testing rates.  Texas and Arizona are #4 and #5 for active cases--indeed ten of the eleven states where S.E.C. member institutions are located rank in the top-25 of active cases.  Who needs pigskins when you'e got Covid-19?  I probably don't need to tell you how those states normally vote--and no, I don't mean in the AP polls.

Active case counts in the DT states are rapidly shooting up, while the states with some semblance of sanity are largely treading water or gliding back down.  New York, once the epicenter of domestic Covid-19, now has fewer than 178,000 active cases--far fewer than Florida's 287,000+.  Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, states hit hard in the early stages of the pandemic, each sustained over 100,000 confirmed cases--but now are down to about 8,400 (Mass.) and 7,000 (Penn.) active.  By comparison, over 110,000 of Georgia's 135,000 confirmed cases are active, as are 121,000 of Arizona's 141,000 cases, or 26,000 of Missouri's 34,000.  Eleven of the twelve states with the highest numbers of new confirmed cases yesterday were from Trump country:

This should not be surprising because the rightwards are the people least likely to wear masks.  

Granted, there's the one big exception.  California remains at #2 among active cases and 'Rona continues to wreck havoc apace in the Golden State.  But you saw the O.C. video, right?  Only takes a handful of rightward jerks to wreck your stats--and along with it, your health.  Because that's the thing about masks: they don't really protect the wearer so much as they protect everybody else.  Surely you've seen at least one of these graphics by now:

Wearing a mask mostly prevents an infected person from transmitting Covid-19--it doesn't much help an uninfected person avoid contracting it.  So not wearing your mask is a doubleplusgood way of saying you couldn't care less about your neighbors.  Almost as plusgood as your MAGA hat.  

But even the MAGAs do want to resume widespread economic activity, right?  Isn't that why they are out campaigning to re-open schools?  And they can't genuinely believe the virus will simply disappear?  (Alright, maybe they can do that.  Sigh.).  But seriously, there's an easy answer here.  Everybody else is already wearing their masks--even some of the non-Trump GOPs.  Controlling Covid-19 now just means getting DT's branch covidian death cult on board.  F****

He could do it with a word.  One f*king word.  If 45 said a face mask makes an effective parachute, would anyone seriously doubt we'd see a gaggle of Trumps jumping out of airplanes with Stars & Bars masks for parafoils?  Of course they would.  Right into SPLAT.  A couple of them already drank pool cleaning chemicals because of something 45 said earlier.  So if 45 tells his genius klan mob to wear masks, they'll strap all kinds of things over their damn faces.  No doubt they own plenty of cloth.  For some reason, though he says he won't tell them.  

So what's the hold up?  Why won't DT do it?  Evidently because he's already said a bunch of stupid things about masks, including mocking reporters and criticizing political opponents for wearing them and publicly refusing to wear them until making an exception for a recent appearance at a military hospital.  DT basically declared himself an expert on Covid-19 at the outset of the crisis and now says he disagrees with Fauci and other public health experts on the value of masks, as if 45's supposed expertise in the matter is on par with that of the nation's preeminent epidemiologists.  

It's one thing to correct course after new information proves you wrong--no shame in that.  (And it's a good thing too, as less than a week ago this space was calling for a second round of full-on shutdowns, which now appear to be unnecessary).  But that's for humble people who try and make evidence-based decisions.  When you disregard the experts and repeatedly double down against masks based on nothing but your mental pair of deuces, yeah, that when you risk actually losing face when you're forced to admit your were wrong and that tens of thousands of people have already died or are about to die because of it.  A supreme leader does not lose face.

But could that really happen?  Didn't 45 already say to wear masks?  Hasn't he always said to wear masks?  Hasn't 45 consistently stated from the very beginning that every single person should wear a mask in public at all times?  Wasn't it actually the misguided whitecoats at the CDC who said we didn't need mask and 45 knew they were wrong and insisted we do so anyway?  Hasn't 45 always worn a mask himself, being sure to set the best example for the country to follow?  Al those stories about DT supposedly deriding masks or the people wearing them are just fake news--irresponsible journalism bound to soon be purged from the archives.  Where's your mask?  We're watching you, you know.  Be a shame if you wound up in the back of a van.

Sure.  Who controls the mask controls the future.  Who controls the present controls the mask.  Give the damn order already, and we'll worry about fixing the historical record later.  Will be more pleasant than counting bodies.  Your recollection is outdated.  We have always worn masks in public.   

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Try Again

The harrowing news from Italy in early 2000 read like something out of the Camus novel (yes that one): a population stunned by an unknown killer they didn't take seriously until it was too late, disregarding warnings and wasting critical preparation time, forced into a near-total lockdown, with streets patrolled by police and hovering drones to ensure compliance.   Ditto Spain.  Ditto France.  

With the benefit of extensive warning, however, the USA should never have suffered what Italy, Spain, or France did--let alone the far worse outcome now unfolding.  Countries like Germany and Canada capitalized on the advance notice and took precautions that have effectively minimized the impact of Covid-19; the USA could have done the same, but nah. With dreadful leadership and a surpassingly ignorant population, Covid-19 has already killed nearly 140,000 in the USA and there is no end to the carnage in sight.  Did I mention Disneyworld just re-opened? 

Some people tried, of course.  The short-lived "flatten the curve" meme, made popular in no small measure by viral social media infographics, urged folks to work from home, avoid nonessential trips, and eventually wear masks in public.  But that genius population again.  They understood this meaning about as well as "Born in the U.S.A." 

The point of "flattening the curve" was always to keep the number of active Covid-19 cases at a manageable level so as to avoid the Italy situation--overrun hospitals forcing medical staff to do battlefield triage and leaving sicker and older patients to die in hallways and empty homes.  This meant the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the USA would ideally be a long, mostly horizonatal line (hence "flatten the curve") rather than the tall spikes Western Europe experienced.  And yet somehow the magical thinking American thinkie confused this concept with the notion of containing the disease--i.e., falsely concluding that once the curve had been flattened, conditions would be safe to resume economic activity forthwith.

This all proved catastrophic error.  The U.S. curve flattened around May 1, 2020--a time when the U.S. had almost 900,000 hospitalized Covid-19 patients and was still adding roughly 30,000 new ones per day.  But new infections were at least inching down, and projections at that time showed the U.S. bringing the virus fully under control by mid-summer.  That's right--we could have been done by now.  But those projections were based on schools, businesses, and offices remaining closed and quarantining continuing.  Change the assumptions, disregard the results. 

Instead, already by early May the mood in the U.S. media had largely shifted to a "time to reopen" narrative, driven largely by politicians and industry figures celebrating the flattened curve and counting on the virus to somehow melt away in summer sun.  They won, rolling out responsible-sounding plans for phased reopening that were actually products of business lobbying, not sound public health advice.  If only they would teach "controlling the narrative" in public health school.  WTF Hopkins?

And so, predictably, the U.S. is now mired in a Covid-19 death spiral, adding new confirmed cases at twice its highest pre-shutdown rates and facing ICU bed shortages in hospitals throughout several southern states.  And California, because all that's gold does not glitter.

So what was flattened is now vertical.  (Have you started to notice how much the individual lines come to look like a series of middle fingers?).  Good job, chambers of commerce, ALEC, whoever T.F. else.  Hopefully your mom doesn't come to the award ceremony.  Unless she's as much of an asshole as you are.

Now the U.S. is in an even deeper hole, one so deep indeed some people are suggesting we don't even try to climb back out.  One blogger suggests we are now in an irrecoverable "plague state" he describes as a sort of microbiological Matrix.  At the very least, a domestic Covid-19 holocaust is now unavoidable and the horrendous mismanagement has basically meant the meager steps we've taken--and the massive federal funds we've spent--to combat the pandemic so far have largely been in vain.  

In light of all this, you might think everyday people in the U.S. could agree the government needs to get its act together.  Just figure out a plan to get Covid-19 under control someday.  Pretty much every other country has managed to do it--those that have at least been trying, anyway.  Instead we're doing about the same as those other striking examples from similarly dysfunctional rightward regimes such as Brazil, India, and Russia.  Check that--worse, except maaaaaybe for Brazil.  Call us the Axis of Covid, I guess.  We already got the concentration camps.  

The Medium guy could be right, say Covid-19 really is a viral Skynet that can't be defeated short of time-travel technology, or at least a vaccine.  So what?  Still need to fight back.  Same thing might have been said about the virus in Italy or Spain when it was rampaging through their streets and hospital wards too--and they still managed to beat it down despite their own internal political issues.  Like Spain doesn't having a f*king right and left.  We at least need to try, and not just because I don't want Sarah Conner kicking all our asses.  Here's what it would take:
  • The entire U.S. needs to go into full-on, Italy/Spain style lockdown with a nationwide mask mandate for essential errands and travel.  The U.S. never did that but that's what Italy and Spain had to do and that's what we're going to need to do as well.  Side note: tucking the mask under your nose doesn't work and makes you look like the hostage nobody cares they took.
  • Then the U.S. would also need to further ramp up testing (to about 900,000 tests per day), so that fewer asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic carriers would spread the virus.  
  • Okay, then that lockdown's gonna need to endure until new case numbers drop to a level at which the U.S. can effectively use contact tracing to control the virus.  
It's not clear how low the daily case count would need to be for contract tracing to have a chance.  The U.S. is posting daily case numbers north of 60,000 these days-- doubling up runners-up India and Brazil (in the high 20's and 30's).  One public health official has said those India/Brazil type numbers (note the U.S. pre-re-opening low-point was around 20,000 per day) would still be too many given then-current resources, but maybe not; some states have assembled "armies of contract tracers" thousands strong to potentially handle significant numbers.  South Africa is around 15K new cases a day, and then there's a cluster in the 5,000-8,000 new-cases-per-day range. Let's go for that.  Getting to < 8,000 cases per day hardly looks like a moonshot, and then you're basically talking 160 new cases per state per day.  I'm no epidemiologist but that feels doable.  If only an, um, effort could be undertaken.  

It took Italy two months and Spain three months of intense quarantine to get Covid-19 under control; it might take the U.S. longer but even four or six or eight more months of quarantine is preferable to being a permanent plague state.  So what holds us back?  Economics.

Attributing the disastrous U.S. re-opening simply to error would of course be indefensibly charitable, as there are certainly those who sought to re-open prematurely for reasons of greed or other ulterior considerations--perhaps the most famous being the Lieutenant Governor of Texas and his brilliant declaration that "[t]here are more important things than living."  

And yeah, perhaps there are more important things than living.  But then you're talking about things like various romantic concepts and Mr. Spock genesis shit and rah-rah patriotism and so forth--not haircuts and waiting tables.  You know what's worth dying for?  Ending fascism.  Now there's something that might be more important than living.  Not storming the beaches for dollar pitchers and access to an elliptical machine.  Never mind what the people saying that shit actually think about ending fascism.  

Sill, opposition to quarantine restrictions and braving the dangers of infection to resume economic activity is hardly limited to the modern day Marie Antoinettes of the federal government or their well-heeled patrons whose stock portfolios require letting us eat coronavirus.  You can't live for free in the U.S. these days, people need money.  And that's been a bit of a problem too.

Since Covid-19 arrived in the USA, over 40 million people have filed unemployment benefits claims, with nearly 33 million people receiving benefits in June--record numbers several times higher than seen in past economic recessions.  The U.S. Census bureau recently reported that over 9 million renters had no confidence in being able to make their next rent payments, with another 13 million having only "slight" confidence.  As state and federal eviction moratoriums expire, this means over 20 million renter households (upwards of 60 million people) could soon face homelessness.  Food banks have experienced stunning increases in the demands for food, including lines of cars stretching to unbelievable distances.  About 36% of U.S. households are now believed to be behind on utility bills, though shut-offs are temporarily suspended in much of the country. 

It's understandable that many people facing homelessness or food insecurity find the risk of getting sick with Covid-19 (or even passing it on to a family member) worth taking.  But the alternative to re-opening does not, and should not, be homelessness, missed meals., or the deprivation of other basic necessities.  Popular support for carrying on with re-openings and "learning to live with" Covid-19 would likely plummet if those whose incomes have been disrupted could be assured of housing, utility service, health care, adequate nutrition, and a modest allowance to cover their basic needs for as long as needed during the lockdown period necessary to control Covid-19.  Sort of like what Canada has done.

Indeed, even the U.S. has actually already done some of these things for some people.  It will need to do those things again--but better, and for everybody.  

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Facebook Slumming in July 2020

Serious U.S. politics these raise some difficult questions these days, as always.  How does one strike the right balance between protecting public safety through social distancing and restrictions on economic activity during the pandemic, versus enabling workers to earn income and provide for themselves and their families?  What is the right message on property damage associated with civil rights protests?  How do progressives steer the best path between supporting Biden against Trump, while remaining ready to press a Biden administration for worker-friendly reforms and serious progress on the environment?  These and other pressing matters have no clear answers, and the high stakes invite intense and searching debate.  For that, it's a good thing we have Twitter (which I hope someday to get the hang of 😊).

While Twitter might not alway demand your A-game, you'll regret showing up there without at least your B+.  Otherwise you might want to stick to Facebook, where the level of play tends to be substantially lower.  By now, of course, many have departed the platform altogether--whether frustrated with the relentless advertising, tiresome connections, esoteric privacy configurations, whatever arrogant thing Zuckerberg said recently, or Facebook's uncanny ability to draw out the worst in friends, relatives, and the odd acquaintance you'd rather not offend.  Yet for some, especially those who made numerous long-distance moves, abandoning the Facebook is not so easily accomplished.

Take my case, for example.  I grew up and graduated from high school in the medium-sized Midwestern city of Saginaw, Michigan, before heading to college in Ann Arbor.  Then I lived in Louisville, Kentucky, for three years to attend law school.  Upon graduation, I returned to Southeast Michigan and lived there for four more years, then moved to Seattle for nearly 13 years, before pulling up stakes and resettling in Richmond, Virginia--where I now work remotely for an organization headquartered in San Francisco.  My friends list on Facebook, modest as it is compared with some, is littered with names from each of those stops: hometown schoolmates and relatives, college friends, professional connections all over the place.  They're on Facebook and that makes it easy to remain in touch with so many of them--and that's what I'd be walking away from if I closed my account.  

So, I take the good with the bad--remain on Facebook, and quietly hope for something better to come along.  And I'll be honest--from time-to-time I play a part my own part in some of the rancor and vitriol that turns some users off.  I should know better--I do know better.  It's just....

Yeah, okay so this morning I went on a particularly bad Facebook slumming excursion, encountering one of those soul-crushing, depression-inducing convos that has you thinking this country is irretrievably fucked and will always be so.  And I did this to myself, of course.

So the headline here sets the context: some MSM pundit offering up the perfectly predictable opinion that 45 should not have been okay with Russia paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops:


I'll admit I didn't even read the article.  And that's frankly a tad hypocritical of me because normally I am one to frown upon people who comment on stuff without reading it.  But in this case, seriously--what could be in the article that the headline wouldn't convey?  Still, two demerits for the EGD.  But let's continue, shall we.  

First comment:

Okay, so this is nothing to get exercised about, right?  It's your standard MAGA "fake news" defense, couple with a throwaway line about how DT supports the troops.  Ideally, this could best be ignored, or disposed of if one of the "like" options Facebook provided was "raging jackass."  But I was slumming, and with no jackass button had to resort to dismissive sarcasm:

I'm not sure what possessed me to throw in "pitiful" at the end there.  Probably didn't need to do that.  I'm up to three demerits now.  

I have to imagine it was that unnecessary barb which triggered Mr. Cherwinski's ensuing response.  I mean, maybe he could have left it at 942 scandals, maybe not.  But no self-respecting MAGA tough guy is going to be called "pitiful" and let it go.  (Query: is self-respecting MAGA an oxymoron?).  So there it goes, behold the wall of ignorance:

Alright then, Mr. Cherwiener.  Let's have a closer look at this.
"And your OK with Biden, his close ties and payments from China, his son Hunter on the board of Burisma, at 50,000 to 80,000 a month depending on who reports it."
I am not going to beat up the Cher-dog for his improper use of the possessive "your" in place of the "you are" contraction "you're."  Instead, let's get right to the substance.  First you will see that Cherwin has automatically assumed, based only on a comment that mocks his pitiful suggestion that the latest Trump scandal over bounties on U.S. troops was fake news and calls it pitiful, that I am "okay with Biden" and various insinuations of wrongdoing by Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.  

This form of extreme bilateralism seems to be a common malady among the Trump population.  There is a presidential election coming up and it's between Trump and Biden, so either you are on Team Trump or you are on Team Biden.  And if you are on Team Biden then that means you support everything and anything that Joe Biden says or does or stands for, and there are no other teams--only these two.  So because I said something critical of Trump, this rationale enables the Cheramisu to deduce that I must be on Team Biden and fully rocking the colors.  

As a brief perusal of this very blog would undoubtedly reveal, of course, I supported Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic primary and was never on board with Joe Biden for POTUS.  I have always found him to be a disingenuous politician who pretends to support workers and families, but sides with Wall Street when the chips are down.  I don't believe he adequately appreciates the gravity of the environmental crisis and is insufficiently committed to a meaningful redistribution of wealth and opportunity.  I am also not convinced he's willing to expand the Supreme Court or otherwise tinker with the various structural mechanisms the right has used to maintain and consolidate its power over decades despite being severely outnumbered in the electorate.  So no, I am hardly on Team Biden and in the bag for whatever he does.

But all the Cherm-o actually said is that I am "OK" with Biden, and I suppose I can at least cop to that.  I don't know a damn thing about his son Hunter or the supposed ties to China or what a Burisma is, but whatever.  All my gripes about Biden basically come down to "he does not adequately support the policies I think are necessary to avoid ecological destruction and build a more just and equitable society."  And really that's small potatoes in comparison with the menu 45 has on offer.  So, point Cheerio.  Well, maybe half a point.
Your happy with Bidens accomplishments in Government over the last 46 years, 
Oof, the grammar again--nope, not going to talk about that.  But yeah, uh no--as noted above, I'm not really satisfied with Biden's "accomplishments" over 46 years, whatever those were.  Letting Clarence Thomas get confirmed, I guess?  But still, 46 years is nothing to shake a stick at.  Maybe not as impressive as DT's 0 years, but hey.
your happy that if elected, he will take your tax cuts away, 
Oh, come on, Chermie--did you even have English class at school?  STOP IT EGD.  Okay, somehow he's gone from Russian bounties all the way to tax cuts.  Is Biden even talking about undoing DT's tax cuts?  I have no idea, though I kind of hope he is-the vast majority of the money just goes to the uber-wealthy anyway.  Does benign indifference count as being "happy" about it?  Another half-point to the Chermster.
and drive companies over seas again
Nice work here by the Chermbaba.  First, he implies that DT has somehow either brought companies that had left the US back, or at least stopped companies from leaving.  This is false, of course; DT has talked about keeping jobs in the U.S. or bringing them back from overseas--he just hasn't accomplished it and anyone paying attention can see that he isn't really serious about doing it.  While DT has threatened "consequences" for companies that offshore their workforces or incorporate overseas to avoid U.S. taxes, he hasn't actually imposed those consequences when the time has come.  Most recently, for instance, when firms that incorporated offshore to avoid U.S. taxes received federal Covid-19 relief funds, 45 publicly fired any inspector general who dared ask questions.  But DT knows that his supporters don't actually pay attention.  They believe what he says, and whenever someone suggests DT isn't being truthful, all he has to do is label it "fake news" and it will be ignored.
You do know the Corporations he complains about are owned by Americans. If you have a pension or 401 K it is invested in Corporations.  
Okay, not sure what the Chermeiser is getting at here.  Let's hold on a second and see if he more context will clear this up...
Your happy that no one in the Democrat Party has even condemned the radical Leftest that are destroying America.
Nah, so much for that.  Not sure who these "radical leftists" are in the Democratic Party.  Most radical leftists I know do not identify as Democrats.  I don't identify as a Democrat and I am not even all that radical compared to a lot of people I know.  Nonetheless these mysterious radical leftist Democrats are "destroying America."  Really?  Perhaps the Cheromio will explain how.
the intelligent {sic} services who you on the left critisize Trump of not taking information from seriously and I agree with you at times on that one, but they say it was FAKE leaking to make Trump look bad.
So, here we have a classic example of why Fox News is basically the journalistic equivalent of paint chips ice cream.  Well, see, now I'm the one making assumptions--I guess he could have gotten this from Breitbart or Rush Limbaugh or various other sources within the echo chamber.  That's another demerit; what am I up to, four?  Okay, wherever Chermski got this from, here's the thing: he's factually wrong, but it's probably not his fault.

The thing about intelligence is that its truth or accuracy can very seldom be known with certainty.  I mean, if you get intelligence about troop movements or the location of Bin Laden's hideout or something like that, then maybe you can fly a spy plane over or aim a satellite at it or something and know for sure.  But something like whether Russia is paying bounties to the Taliban for killing U.S. troops, you can't really take a picture of that.  So intelligence agencies gather this information and they report it with varying degrees of confidence.  The Russian bounty thing was evidently corroborated well enough that the intelligence services had enough confidence to include it in a presidential daily briefing.  Yet the agencies didn't know for sure that it had happened, so the administration can accurately refer to the intelligence has having been "unverified."  

While "verified" might not be the standard that a reasonable president or diplomatic official would use to act on intelligence, that's good enough for the 45 crowd, and the likes of Fox News and other RW media that panders to them, to declare the story "fake news" and reaffirm their faith in the supreme leader.  So ChermCherm likely thinks he's responsibly investigated this story and informed himself, when in fact he is a victim of his own cognitive bias and the malignant media entities that prey upon it.
He supports all people in Uniform.
Oh my.  So this is another loaded statement.  Obviously this is not true if DT really did ignore the Russian bounties on U.S. troops.  Even then, of course, DT's basic defenses are either that (i) he didn't bother to actually read his briefing, or (ii) the report might have been false.  Not bothering to read the intelligence that spies are out risking their lives to gather would not seem to be "supporting" them--but I guess technically spies don't wear uniforms.  And if the report was false, that would just be fortuitous--it's not as though Trump considered the report and rejected it because he didn't believe it.  

Then there are other examples of Trump putting his own political interests ahead of the military, such as his firing of U.S. Navy Captain Brett Crozier over his concerns about Covid-19 among the sailors on his aircraft carrier, or his pardoning of war criminals over the objections of fellow soldiers.  So no, he doesn't support "all people in uniform," even putting the Russian bounty thing aside.  

And then the third meaning here is basically saying that DT supports U.S. police in the face of their much-deserved criticism for brutality and the systematic oppression of Black communities.  So finally the Chermulian says something that's actually true--and the problem is that it reveals his problematic values.  Then he doubles down on that:
What is the left offering, police defunding, radical reform and summers of love that just didnt work out, causing several wounded in Seattle and two dead, Chicago, and New York setting new crime records including murder up by 75%.
So now Cherrasco is really just shooting from the hip.  But once again you can see the extreme bilateralization process at work: either you support "all people in uniform" (even though it's really all people in uniform who agree with DT), or else you are a hippy whose only plan is "summers of love."  

Finally, Chipper changes his tack and goes for an unintentionally hilarious attempt at conciliation:
Common, Trump ain't perfect but I don't know any President that was. They do the best they can. Some decisions do not agree with everybody, some may not make any sense but he loves America and has this economy going stronger than any on the world
Really, you are serious Chomper?  He's just a humble guy trying his best?  Jesus fuck.  He's just a humble guy who demonizes immigrants and locks children in cages.  He's just a humble guy who urges local officials to "do retribution" on people protesting police abuse.  He's just a humble guy who insists Covid-19 is a hoax that will magically disappear.  He's just a humble guy who grabs them by the pussy.  He's just a humble guy who pardons war criminals and fires inspector generals.  He's just a humble guy who plans his race-baiting MAGA rallies to coincide with Juneteenth in Tulsa and plays Garryowen at sacred Sioux lands.  He's just a humble guy who uses the oval office to line his pockets.

He's not just a fucking humble guy!  God dammit Chermax!

But I only have myself to blame.  Should really know better than to go slumming on Facebook. 

Letter to University of Michigan President Santa Ono on Pro-Palestine Protests of March 24, 2024

 Dear President Santa Ono: Although I was generally in agreement with the content of your letter regarding the disruption at the honors conv...