The Lockdown

The “lockdown” that started in March was intended to “flatten the curve” so hospitals didn’t get overwhelmed. This would “buy time” for the federal government to get containment measures in place – testing, tracing and isolation – so we could reopen the economy. The “stimulus” was to help businesses and people get through that time.

But the federal government didn’t get containment measures in place. The terrible history of what happened instead will be remembered.

And now the virus is spreading out of control, the stimulus is running out and tens of thousands of us are dying.

No one knows where this will go. It is just a horrifying situation.

Elections have consequences.

You’re Dead

Hear the unloved weeping like rain
Guard your sleep from the sound of their pain

1966, Norma Tanega – You’re Dead

Don’t sing if you want to live long
They have no use for your song
You’re dead, you’re dead, you’re dead
You’re dead and outta this world

You’ll never get a second chance
Plan all your moves in advance
Stay dead, stay dead, stay dead
Stay dead and outta this world

Run fast don’t stand in the sun
There’s too much work to be done
You’re down, you’re down, you’re down
Youre down and outta this world

Don’t ever talk with your eyes
Be sure that you compromise
You’re dead, you’re dead, you’re dead
You’re dead and outta this world

Hear the unloved weeping like rain
Guard your sleep from the sound of their pain
Long gone, long gone, long gone
Long gone and outta this…

Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore

RIP John Prine

While digesting Reader’s Digest in the back of a dirty book store
A plastic flag, with gum on the back fell out on the floor
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside, slapped it on my window shield
And if I could see old Betsy Ross I’d tell her how good I feel

But your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore
They’re already overcrowded from your dirty little war
Now Jesus don’t like killin’, no matter what the reason’s for
And your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore

Well, I went to the bank this morning and the cashier he said to me
“If you join the Christmas club we’ll give you ten of them flags for free”
Well, I didn’t mess around a bit, I took him up on what he said
And I stuck them stickers all over my car and one on my wife’s forehead

But your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore
They’re already overcrowded from your dirty little war
Now Jesus don’t like killin’, no matter what the reason’s for
And your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore

Well, I got my window shield so filled with flags I couldn’t see
So, I ran the car upside a curb and right into a tree
By the time they got a doctor down I was already dead
And I’ll never understand why the man standing in the pearly gates said

“But your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore
We’re already overcrowded from your dirty little war”
“Now Jesus don’t like killin’, no matter what the reason’s for
And your flag decal won’t get you into Heaven anymore”

Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios

RIP John Prine

Sam Stone came home,
To the wife and family
After serving in the conflict overseas.
And the time that he served,
Had shattered all his nerves,
And left a little shrapnel in his knees.
But the morhpine eased the pain,
And the grass grew round his brain,
And gave him all the confidence he lacked,
With a purple heart and a monkey on his back.

There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don’t stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone’s welcome home
Didn’t last too long.
He went to work when he’d spent his last dime
And soon he took to stealing
When he got that empty feeling
For a hundred dollar habit without overtime.
And the gold roared through his veins
Like a thousand railroad trains,
And eased his mind in the hours that he chose,
While the kids ran around wearin’ other peoples’ clothes…

There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don’t stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

Sam Stone was alone
When he popped his last balloon,
Climbing walls while sitting in a chair.
Well, he played his last request,
While the room smelled just like death,
With an overdose hovering in the air.
But life had lost it’s fun,
There was nothing to be done,
But trade his house that he bought on the GI bill,
For a flag-draped casket on a local hero’s hill.

There’s a hole in daddy’s arm where all the money goes,
Jesus Christ died for nothin I suppose.
Little pitchers have big ears,
Don’t stop to count the years,
Sweet songs never last too long on broken radios.

I’m Locked Down – Local Businesses Will Be Gone

I’m in one of those “shelter-in-place” counties in the Bay Area. I suspect a lot of people don’t get it until they’re actually in it. Every business is closed except certain essential services like groceries. You need to see it to believe it (risking being puled over if you drive to see it, though.)

The first thing to say about it is, we’re in lockdown and most of the country is not. That means the virus will continue to spread and until everyone is locked down it can circle back to us, so we’ll be staying in lockdown. (I’m sure China feels this way right now.)

The second thing I see that I think people not in lockdown don’t see, a significant number of local businesses are going to run out of money very soon. They’re closed. Lots of smaller businesses are notoriously undercapitalized, just like how lots of people can’t come up with $500 for an emergency. So this means sending cash to people is NOT going to help these businesses because “more people with money coming through the door” doesn’t work if the door is closed in a lockdown. Again: A significant number of local businesses will not be coming back.

Remember how financiers bought up foreclosed houses after the 2008 crash? And now we have a rent crisis? That is what will happen to local/regional businesses if we don’t have a plan ready to put the local owners back in business. The giant companies will be getting bailouts. Wall Street is itching to use their bailout money to buy up these businesses. We need a plan.

Fascists Eat Donuts

From 2003, Make these donuts with extra grease. This batch is for the chief of police.

Does anyone remember a tune from the early 80’s that was a lot of guitars strumming a monotonous tonal thing for a long time, and then, just once, lyrics, shouted, “Make these donuts with extra grease. This batch is for the chief of police!” and then guitars again for a long time?

Found it:

This seems relevant today.

It’s Intimidation, Not “Moderation”

The Nation has a great piece by By Guy T. Saperstein and Joe Cirincione, titled, Americans Want Jobs, Not War. It describes how to talk about war spending in ways that move the public toward progressive positions. Please read it.

Dems “Afraid” of how they will “Appear”.

One early line stood out to me, “Democrats are afraid of appearing weak on defense.”

This line says so much about our national discourse. We are so used to hearing it. Democrats do things because they are afraid of how things they do and say will “appear.” They don’t want to “be seen as” holding certain positions that trigger a certain response.

Just how does that “appearance” reach the public? Through our nation’s information channels. Think about this. In a supposed democracy members of the country’s majority party are “afraid” of how they will be “made to appear” if they do not conform to certain positions.

It’s Intimidation

Let’s call this what it is: it is intimidation. They are intimidated.

Instead of providing the public with objective information to help citizens govern themselves in a democracy, our nation’s information channels are structured to enforce a system of allowable do’s and don’ts. The dominance of the right-wing/lobbyist intimidation machine is so pervasive that we no longer understand it could be different.

“Imagine If A Democrat Did That”

Every time a Democrat says, “I don’t want to be seen as” not being supportive of our troops we are acknowledging that we are living in an environment of intimidation. Every time Republicans do something and we all say, “Imagine if a Democrat had said/done this,” we are acknowledging an intimidation machine. But we are not saying the words

“If a Democrat did this” really means our information sources are intimidated into making a big bru-ha about anything a Democrat does and ignoring when a Republican does it because careers and reputations are destroyed. And therefore the targets of this are intimidated as well.

A “moderate” Democrat is simply a Democrat who gives an appropriate nod to being intimidated and therefore controlled by the corporate/right intimidation machine.