Michigan’s Militia-Like Morons Can’t Math [UPDATE]

[Check the byline, thanks. /~Rayne]

They didn’t look very smart, the armed motley mess which staged a protest last Thursday on Michigan’s capitol steps culminating in a tantrum in the rotunda.

The protest reminded me of GOP representatives storming of a closed-door House hearing on the Ukraine quid pro quo — a staged protest meant to interfere and interrupt official governmental proceedings while providing a photo op for media and distracting the public from the underlying problem.

But last week’s armed protesters looked bad even if they were merely a distracting photo op. How does this serve their interests? They’ve undermined any credibility their right-wing ‘Blue Lives Matter’ brethren pushed since Ferguson protests in 2014.

Photo: Jeff Kowalsky, AFP-Getty Images. Shared here under Fair Use.
They’re an embarrassment to this state just as their whiny predecessors were during their Gridlock protest on April 15, violating the executive Stay Home order to rally on the capitol building’s steps, waving their Confederate flags and talking smack about the governor while puling about their lawns not getting cut and their roots not getting colored. Both protests two weeks apart violated the state’s laws related to the governor’s executive powers under a state of emergency.

But the embarrassment doesn’t end at the sight of the right-wing monkey horde barking like mad dogs at public servants who are only doing what they’re paid to do. It’s the horde’s inability to do basic math which makes them look deeply stupid.

The math:


Pink: 21 days from exposure at Easter to likely recovery.

Blue: 21 days from exposure at Gridlock protest to likely recovery.

Yellow: 21 days from exposure at Armed protest to likely recovery.

Lavender: 21 days from latest likely secondary exposure via Armed protest to likely recovery.

The period from exposure to COVID-19 carriers to average date clear of virus is about 21 days. The two protest rallies are marked off, Easter included since at least one church planned to hold service in spite of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home order.

(Note a boo-boo on my part, should have marked April 30 as the first of 21 days ending on June 10.)

If Michiganders hadn’t had their little Gridlock tantrum on April 15, we’d have been done with Stay Home and more Michiganders would be alive today.

If all Michiganders stayed home uniformly as ordered and scrupulously obeyed the Stay Home order instead of a few hundred protesters having an armed conniption fit last Thursday, had they rigorously used masks whenever venturing into public spaces for essential business only, we’d have been done with the Stay Home order on the very day these rabid cretins protested in Lansing.

But no.

It’s bad enough that Easter observations in violation of the Stay Home order may have caused a spike in deaths 9-10 days later. But a protest which was supposed to be confined to cars?

Deaths were trending downward until the idiots’ Gridlock protest. It would be nice to know how many of the spike in deaths were people who attended the protest, or who broke the Stay Home order because they were inspired by Gridlock to do so. We may never know how many deaths were because of asymptomatic carriers exposed on that date unless researchers conduct a forensic genetic examination some time in the future.

To ignore this calculus and show up in the capitol without masks, ranting and exhaling in a confined space where law enforcement and lawmakers work is just plain moronic, risking personal health and life in a manner which also threatened others.

Or it’s something far worse — a deliberate attempt not only to interfere with the deliberative process in which all Michiganders have a stake and are represented by their democratically elected officials, but a terror attack intended to hurt and possibly kill the targets of protesters’ ire.

How many of the Michigan State Police, capitol police, lawmakers and staff will come down with COVID-19 as a direct result of this protest?

How many will represent minority majority regions of the state, disproportionately affected by COVID-19?

And how long will the rest of Michigan put up with the death cultists who threaten others, waving guns around inside our representatives’ workplace while blowing contagious viral material at others?

At this rate we’ll be under some form of quarantine all damned summer because these spoiled, stupid wretches can’t make the connection between their bad behavior and Michiganders’ deaths.

This is an open thread.

UPDATE — 05-MAY-2020 2:45 PM EST —

It doesn’t seem obvious to some people why Stay Home/shelter-in-place/lockdown is necessary in the absence of either proven pharmaceutical interventions to treat COVID-19 or a proven safe and effective vaccine targeting the underlying virus SARS-CoV-2. This tweet sums up the primary reason why Stay Home orders are necessary:

Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals in the Detroit area experienced a month ago what happens to our health care system when people aren’t restricted from their former normal behavior. ICU beds are swamped, overflow capacity is likewise exceeded, ventilators and other respiratory aids are in short supply, painkiller and other drug inventory is decimated. Health care workers are overwhelmed and more likely to become sick themselves from a combination of stress, too many hours exposed to massive viral loads especially after personal protective gear has been depleted.

Lockdown to slow down the rate of contagion buys time for the health care system to handle the additional demand COVID-19 places on it — not to mention easing the pressure on other peripheral systems like refrigerated trucking and mortuary services.

It’s as if these armed cretins have already forgotten bodies piled up in hallways in at least on Michigan hospital.

But one additional benefit from a firm, well-enforced, and rigorously-observed lockdown: a change in citizens’ perspective. A societal reset, a reboot of our expectations.

There will be no return to what we once called normal. It’s done, gone, like poodle skirts and Brylcreem, rotary-dial phones and Betamax video, along with home parties hawking baby shit gold Tupperware.

These assholes spraying saliva as they scream at police — some of them out-of-state provocateurs — aren’t saving anything with their assault weapon intimidation. They are hanging onto a past by their fingernails while the virus has its mindless and predictable way with our population.

As contributor Peterr wrote, a virus doesn’t care. Those of us staying at home do. We don’t want to excessively burden our health care workers and system, we don’t want to hurt our friends and families by infecting them or causing them sorrow.

We want our state to get through this protracted period of discomfort and come out on the other side healthy and alive.

We’ll observe the lockdown orders long enough to break the growth of contagion. We’ll learn how to make and wear masks, and our lawmakers will learn how to ensure our law enforcement have the framework they need to maintain the break in contagion. If confirmed cases and deaths increase again, we’ll go back into another lockdown until we break it again.

This will be our new normal, our new social compact, until drug therapy and/or vaccines are ready in a year or two if we are lucky.

Lastly, we’ll observe the lockdowns because this isn’t the end of it. COVID-19 is only our here and now. Something else is out there waiting for us in the future once our new normal has been built.

These saliva-speckled jackasses screaming about their freedom while interfering with our democracy demonstrate our society isn’t ready if another pathogen like SARS-CoV-2 emerged as the climate crisis worsens.

Stay home. Wear a mask when you can’t. Keep your distance. Wash your hands.

151 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    They’re all over the country, screaming about their rights and their freedom, and ignoring that everyone else has the same rights and freedom and understands, to some degree, why we’re being asked to stay home and to wear masks when we have to go out. (They also seem to think we can’t see and understand the flags and signs they carry that are about denying rights to everyone who isn’t like them.)
    I doubt they’re going to be self-quarantining.

  2. Rayne says:

    Just sick of these selfish dirtbags. I think a lot of people have forgotten Michigan has its share of racists and anarchists, like Michigan Militia’s link to the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.

  3. dadidoc1 says:

    It would be nice if we could just chalk this up to a consequence of lead in the Flint, Michigan water supply, but I think it runs deeper than that. I’m surprised they weren’t arrested for packing long rifles on government property.

      • posaune says:

        Rayne — those people are from just north of Detroit?
        are they children of former auto workers? what’s with the resentment they have?

        • BobCon says:

          This article about L Brooks Patterson, former politician from suburban Detroit, will give some insight:


          There’s more to the story, though, since suburban Detroit is different from rural Michigan in some of the same ways that conservative Long Islanders are different from conservatives in upstate NY, or suburban Dallas conservatives differ from conservative ranchers.

        • Rayne says:

          Hard to pinpoint since I don’t have background on any one or several participants. Some, like the Proud Boys, may not even be from Michigan but have simply stirred up shit with racists+2A folks. They could be a mix of people whose families were rural whites, others the progeny of white flight from Detroit. All of this has been deliberately encouraged here as it has across the country, unleashed by +8 years racial hatred against a black president on top of more local resentment caused by corporate vampires sucking lifeblood from the I-75 corridor without paying appropriate level of taxes.

      • ernesto1581 says:

        Howell, home of Robert Miles, well-known local landowner who generously hosted regular BBQ’s for his friends and neighbors.

        Sorry, were those crosses?

          • ernesto1581 says:

            Amazing thing, communal memory.
            Wife & I spent 25 years at Univ Stony Brook. 20th century Long Island history is very colorful and includes: Father Divine and his small harem fetching up in Sayville, on the south shore, 1919-31, at the same time a large KKK 2nd gen. outbreak took place, in 1924, 15 miles away in Yaphank. (Which outbreak was never quite disinfected — in 2016, Gary Monker, KKK “Exalted Cyclops,” claimed the town as a key center of the white Christian restoration project.)
            The same Yaphank was home during the mid-thirties to summer Camp Siegfried: little children and their mommies & daddies all dressed in brownshirt, German spoken only, doing Nacktkultur, marching in formation with wooden rifles up and down “Adolf Hitler Strasse” and singing the Horst Wessel Song, with a swastika handsomely done in topiary in front of the camp office, evening anti-Semitic, anti-communist and anti-labor union “lectures” given by local Brookhaven town board member, Gustave Neuss.

            You can be sure that realtors shilling $500K Levitt-style split-levels omit colorful items like these from their spiel to prospective buyers.

      • vvv says:

        So, 1976, Superbowl of Rock at Soldier Field and the Nuge is the headliner after Skynyrd, REO, Journey, .38 Special.
        All day in the sun, at that time they allowed 1 gal. milk jugs to brought in. Most had water, some had booze, and there were a lot of drugs being washed down …
        Anyway, the Nuge comes on in the evening and when he does “Stormtroopin'” a bunch of flags and banners go up from about 30-40 bikers dead-center and maybe 10 yards back from the stage. It was all Nat’l Soc. and other right-wing and gun-nut garbage.
        I was about 30 yards away from them.
        Beautiful hot, clear dusk and the sky filled – I mean *filled* – with 1 gal. milk jugs flying through the air, some starting at the back of the stadium and relayed as the crowd pelted the idiots. It must have gone on 5-10 minutes, and the Nuge made an announcement we took as disparaging the bikers as he walked off stage, leaving his Byrdland feeding back.
        Maybe we misunderstood what he said …

  4. Wm. Boyce says:

    The overwhelming majority of Americans of both parties support their governor’s efforts to slow the virus’s onslaught. These demonstrators are a lunatic fringe, whipped up by der fuehrer in da White Haus. The real scary tragedy is Trump’s total inability not only to show empathy, but to coordinate a national response to the pandemic. That the states have been left to fend for themselves is going to kill a lot of people.
    The Post had an analysis of the chaos in the WH about the “response” to the crisis, with “economic advisers” being given more exposure in the days ahead in the interest of “selling” the economy and minimizing the medical experts and their dire predictions.

    I’m not a religious person, but this prospect is even more scary – Fortune help us in November to vote out this scourge upon the country.

    • Troutwaxer says:

      >>> The real scary tragedy is Trump’s total inability not only to show empathy, but to coordinate a national response to the pandemic.

      Agreed completely. And he not only didn’t coordinate a national response, he tweeted “Liberate Michigan!”

      • P J Evans says:

        I wonder how many of the unmasked used to talk about proudly voting for law’n’order candidates. I also wonder how many new cases will be showing up by Memorial Day.

    • Vicks says:

      “Good people” are out looking for action.
      Pretty fragile folk, if, to them a face mask is worth talking a life and spending the rest of yours locked up.
      Not my idea of freedom.
      But then I’m not an idiot.

      • puzzled scottish person says:

        According to the ‘President’, the ‘good people’ are the heavily-armed insurrectionists who threaten the law & order that he supposedly took an oath to uphold and protect.

        This, among many other things, is why I will probably never understand America.

        They sound a bit like the ‘Freemen of the soil’ nutters I discovered when I started reading up on Kent Hovind.

        Of course, we have Boris, Farage, Cummings and David Icke so we’re not doing much better even if Boris’s brush with death has possibly humanised him a bit.

    • e.a.f. says:

      that is just so American. omg. its why some countries have gun laws.

      It is very difficult to understand why some one would just shoot and kill another human over something so silly. Was the shooter mentally ill or high on drugs or drunk? It is beyond me why people do such stupid stupid things, like murder some one over being denied entry to a store. The shooter will now most likely spend the rest of their lives in jail. what did the shooter accomplish?

      • egon says:

        it’s slightly out of vogue to broadly assume a correlation between ‘mental illness’ & acts of violent crimes.



        some folks who study this stuff, in a general sense, use a dichotomy for categorizing violent crimes. the crime could either be ‘impulsive’ or ‘premeditated aggression.’

        leaving asides the premeditated side, there is a dense amount of literature & research using the biopsychosocial approach to explore the mechanisms of behavior for impulsive acts.

        I am always cognitive of the suffering survivors undergo long after a crime occurs. also I believe in accountability for one’s actions.

        a book called “The Dark Side of Man” by Michael Ghiglieri could provide a window into the programming still lingering within.

        A more popular book, one in fact I read before my first deployment to the Helmand Providence in 2009, is “On Killing” by Dave Grossman. however, now I’m slightly dubious of the assertion in the book that we humans ‘have to be taught to kill.’ this theory faces major obstacles in light of significant academic research.

        if one didn’t want to read, Stanford University has a fascinating lecture series on YouTube called ‘Human Behavioral Biology’ taught by Robert Sapolsky.

        • Vicks says:

          You are correct and the reason that mobs like this are so menacing is the lack of self regulation and impulse control is on full display. You can feel the energy feeding on the anger.
          It’s tragically unfair that the stupid things stupid people do like getting all jacked up with hate for sport can also bring people that are in a fragile mental state to an edge that they don’t have the skills or the support to navigate.
          They say that anger is the easiest emotion to access, and I firmly believe we are a country full of hurting people that have no clue what else to do to help release some of the pain.
          THIS IS NOT THE SAME as those suffering with some form of mental illness.
          It may be worth considering that one reason most mentally ill people aren’t violent they simply don’t have the energy to spare (or care enough about anything) to do what it takes to keep fueling the anger

  5. Pajaro says:

    Haircuts?Where are these gun-totters getting haircuts? I’ve not had one for well over a month and the the barber shops are all closed. Its looking like the early ’70’s here. I tried a self-cut, not bad, but can only see half of it. No worries, most people don’t have to see me and if they do the mask bands muss the hair anyway.

    These people are dangerous, fueled by years of propaganda by NRA and others as to ‘rights.’ It’s likely to get worse as time goes on.

    • MB says:

      I spied my next-door neighbor self-haircutting with a battery-powered barber clippers in his backyard this morning. As for me, I’m afraid I’ll be looking like I did in the ’70s before too long…

      As to “those people”, they will undoubtedly be the same ones Trump calls upon after he loses the election and claims it was rigged. “2nd amendment” people. They await their cult leader’s command…

      • e.a.f. says:

        on the upside you’re not bald!

        so you can’t get a hair cut or get your hair coloured. Even some of the anchors doing the news in Canada are doing their own hair. One in B.C. did his own hair. Looked pretty good. One anchor has grey hair now. never saw that before. of course I’m confined to the house with a broken leg. One benefit, no one is seeing all my bad hair days. Would any one I know go to a barber of hair stylist? Not so much. We’d rather live a tad longer than be a stylish corpse.

        Have a bad hair day, wear a hat. done.

        Some of these people must think they are invinsible.

        • P J Evans says:

          I’ve done my own – scissors – for years. Anyone who complains gets told “Hair grows. Deal with it.” My sis uses clippers – it’s very short, what I call a “clean room” cut. (She worked in clean rooms for years.) My mother did my father’s hair.
          It’s not impossible to get a haircut.

          • puzzled scottish person says:

            I used to have hair down to my waist. Eventually I got fed up with it. Since 2001 I do my own with clippers on the closest setting. Head, beard, and eyebrows (I’m old enough that they are getting annoying if I let them grow).

            Works for me.

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            It’s just hair! I cut my own, inspired by Raquel Welch in her first yoga video proclaiming that we could all achieve a body like hers, “But not my hair. I cut it myself.” Spoken with finality, but utterly without hauteur, as if cutting one’s own hair represented the ultimate plane of self-realization. It’s a fun hobby for me, and I would say it saves a lot of money except that I spend all of it and more on earrings. Scissors. You can get a perfectly good pair of haircutting scissors at any drugstore for ten bucks or less.

            • ducktree says:

              I’m using my late dogs’ trimming scissors for my mustache and brows . . . but they just wouldn’t work for the Lois Lane/Bozo the Clown flip effect that I develop over the ears. I’ll have to wait until it’s all pageboy length, then trim the ends. That 70’s Show again . . .

              • vvv says:

                Sorry for the loss of your dog, but I gotta ask, didn’t he or she own a pair of electric clippers and a hand (or paw) mirror? ;-D

    • Bobster33 says:

      People like to think that CA is a liberal bastion. For the most part, the big cities are liberal and the countryside is quite conservative. OC (Orange County) is in its last conservative dying breath. OC used to be as conservative/crazy as the south. But immigration of latinos, asians and modern technology have made all of the congressional districts turn blue. However, there are still a ton of lower class right wing trash throughout the OC.

      Victorville is one of those cities in the eastern part of CA, which is still highly Republican. Add in stupidity multiplied by moneyed interests, and here we are.

      • P J Evans says:

        The Victorville/Hesperia area is one of the places people moved to, because housing was cheaper and there were fewer of “those people”, like the Lancaster/Palmdale area.

      • Justlp says:

        But OC is where my favorite new (as of 2018) US Congressperson is from. Have you seen Katie Porter question someone in a hearing? She is the best I’ve ever seen at asking pointed questions and not accepting non-answers. But the county still has an airport named after John Wayne and lots of right-wing nutjobs.

        And I’ve always loved long hair on guys. Still do – even if it’s grey!

  6. Thomasa says:

    I’ve discovered that there is no way my hair will look like 1974 (I was in denial) so I’ve let my beard grow; quite successfully I might add. It now covers my chicken neck. It does fuzz out of my mask when I venture out to the hardware store.

    The crazies did show up at the state capitol and arrests were made. So now the head crazies are suing the governor and the atty. gen. over 2nd amendment issues despite the quarantine restrictions having nicely flattened the curve.

    Notably, few of the hardware store staff and about half of the customers are masked, though the owners did put up a plexiglass screen by the registers. We are geographically the largest county in the state and have 1 covid related death and 25 or so confirmed cases, though that’s undoubtedly low as there is little testing. We still have a local weekly paper and the one full-time reporter wrote that the doubling rate is about a week. Most cases are on the Indian reservation.

    There is no hospital in the county capable of treating a very ill person. They mostly treat trauma among agriculture workers. Please try not to fall into the hay bailer. If they admit you to the hospital, they’ll test you, then set the bones and sew you up. Otherwise call us if you get worse. either way the treatment is the same. If you are sick enough to need intensive care it’s two hours away. One of the two county hospitals is in precarious finances. A friend who is on the board doesn’t expect it to survive the pandemic.

    There are lots more cattle than people but so far no reports of sick cows. We don’t have a meat packing house to create a hot spot and I suspect some of our meat will get cut locally if the big-time outfits four hours south are disrupted. But we have many fruit packers so come harvest time I suspect we’ll see some virus on the heat map.

    Our town looks like an old-west ghost town, day or night and I fear it will become a real one. The state stopped plowing out the mountain pass that closes for the winter as the locals feared an influx of diseased white folks from the coast suburbs. But after a few weeks they resumed, saying that we all need an escape route to the coast in case of forest fire. That is a very real possibility, as the weather has been very dry this spring and with a shortage of N95 masks makes the smoke a nasty complication to the virus. But I suspect the need to move dairy hay over the pass was an equal influence. It will take them at least three more weeks to clear the road if the weather cooperates but it snowed hard on the pass the last two days, raising the danger of avalanche.

    Well, That’s is the news from my corner of the countryside. And the story is about the same as I read about other rural areas, except maybe for the avalanche danger. They may trade that for river flooding. I’ll take the avalanches thankyouverymuch.

  7. joejim says:

    What’s hard to measure is how much each of these infected-brain events erode the clarity and resolve of less violently selfish people. The president gives his smarmy “what me worry” thumbs up, and the state of massive confusion that benefits the Trump family, Devos, Kusher, becomes more manifest.

    One of the unfortunate things that the “liberate” protests create, beyond death and prolonging the crisis, is that they obscure the more simple, solemn, news. Today there was news from Austin of 22 arrests from among protesters who formed a small car caravan as part of a rent strike, which slowed down traffic on an interstate to 5 miles an hour. Photos I saw showed reasonable looking people wearing masks, who were safely within their cars, and the only apparently unsafe aspect of the event appeared to be the human proximity created by the police in arresting them.

    But much of the context given to the reporting I saw, even if sympathetic, focused on how hypocritical it was that they were arrested, unlike the boldly unsafe, human health and safety hazards, who, among other things, seem perfectly poised to create carnage when some wad-of-doofus accidentally misfires his weapon.

    Perfectly true that there’s massive hypocrisy, but that’s distracting from the more critical information, which is that people are desperately terrified about evictions, mounting debt to landlords, and foreclosed mortgages. The “liberate” demonstrations seem to be animated by Trump & co. to take away focus from all the real horrors going on in hospitals, nursing homes, meat packing plants, prisons, homeless shelters, and a myriad of other situations that need remedy. Like every WH press conference, they serve to confuse, antagonize, and exhaust people. They aren’t just feeding his base, but are supposed to be distractions at a time when we so badly need, clarity, simplicity and resolve.

  8. e.a.f. says:

    Arresting tenants makes sense. If it catches on there are going to be a lot of land lords and corporate developers out of money. That simply can’t be permitted. the capitalist system must persist. Now as to the gun totters, the worst can happen is they kill some innocent human being,but what the hell, they’re not billionaires or part of the mar a lago crowd so the politicians don’t care.

        • vvv says:

          Well, since Chuck Toddler so seldom hits what he aims at … they are arguably about equal?

          Actually, while I love guns as technology, I hate the politics of the “guns rights” crowd – this from a guy whose former father-in-law former-police officer bought him a couple years subscription to Guns & Ammo, altho’ I did enjoy going target-shooting with him …

          • bmaz says:

            The engineering, production tolerances and physical function of guns is a marvel. Going back a loooong time. But they do not need to be ubiquitous in open society. Those people are idiots and assholes.

  9. harpie says:


    https://www. [ ] youtube.com/ [ ] watch?v=l1PrUU2S_iw
    Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/crosbystillsnashyoung/ohio.html


    […] Gotta get down to it
    Soldiers are cutting us down
    Should have been done long ago
    What if you knew her
    And found her dead on the ground
    How can you run when you know?

    Tin soldiers and Nixon coming
    We’re finally on our own
    This summer I hear the drumming
    Four dead in Ohio
    Four dead in Ohio
    Four dead in Ohio

    • harpie says:

      On the 50th anniversary, America’s still not fully recovered from the wounds of Kent State
      Will Bunch April 30, 2020

      […] Everything that had happened in the years leading to up this — the escalating youth protests over civil rights and Vietnam, the growing radical calls for revolution — pivoted in those 13 seconds, as the acrid smell of gunpowder drifted across the campus green. […]

      • harpie says:

        [numbers added] But in many ways, the gunshots still echo in 2020. It’s no accident that in the months immediately after Kent State,
        1] business leaders and other conservatives began looking for ways to quash liberal thinking on campus and counteract it with the conservative web of noise that became talk radio and Fox News.
        2] Right-wing pols cut funding for public universities like Kent State, helping to send tuition skyrocketing and making college more about careerism and less about such dangerous ideas.
        3] And a dog-eat-dog economy forced young America to comply with that. But the greatest impact was largely psychic —
        4] the shock and cynicism that the government was capable of gunning down its own youth. And that no one — not the Guardsman or their higher-ups — would ever be held to account for the massacre. […]

        • AndTheSlithyToves says:

          Interesting that Nixon won two years later, defeating George McGovern who was stabbed in the back by organized labor.

    • harpie says:

      The Wildness Beneath American Politics Is Close to the Surface Once Again
      The armed figures at the Michigan statehouse remind me we’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of the massacre at Kent State.
      CHARLES P. PIERCE MAY 1, 2020

      […] Their names should be said every year—
      Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Jeffrey Miller, and Sandra Scheuer—
      in their memory, and that should remind us all of the wildness that still stalks our politics. Now, of course, we have a president* that owes his election—and, it should be said, his re-election—to his predator’s gift for unleashing that wildness. A pandemic has made the country claustrophobic, and the wildness is awfully close to the surface these days. Our institutions are tottering.

      There’s something coiling behind events, and it’s not far from striking again.

      • harpie says:

        “There’s something coiling behind events, and it’s not far from striking again.” – Charles Pierce

        The Second Coming
        W. B. Yeats

        Turning and turning in the widening gyre
        The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
        Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
        Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
        The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
        The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

        The best lack all conviction, while the worst
        Are full of passionate intensity. […]

    • Jim White says:

      I need some help here. I’ve always puzzled over the “should have been done long ago” portion of the lyric. What does this mean? Surely it doesn’t mean the students should have been shot long ago. Does it mean the protests and confrontation of Nixon and state authorities should have started long ago?

      • harpie says:

        I think so…
        should’ve been done long ago refers to gotta get down to it
        … maybe [because] soldiers are cutting us down, but that would be too many syllables.

        • harpie says:

          gotta get down to it = finally have to admit? …come to terms with the knowledge that [from the Will Bunch essay:

          4] the shock and cynicism that the government was capable of gunning down its own youth […]

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            harpie, your analysis makes sense. If I’d first encountered this lyric in text form, I would go there too. Hearing this song as a kid in the pre-MTV era, I saw a movie in my head, comprised of images from Life magazine and NBC News and album covers. Mostly the song played through/over but that line was different. “Shoulda been done long ago,” in my mind, came out of Nixon’s mouth; it was a line of dialogue spoken by the enemy.

      • bokeh9 says:

        I was freshly released from service that spring, and I always took Young’s line to mean we should have been more *Masters of War* and less *Sergeant Pepper* and Summer of Love.

        • Thomasa says:

          In May of 1971 I was explaining to a university class my perspective on the dilemma the National Guard troops had faced at Kent Sate University the previous May.

          Lt. William Calley had recently been convicted in the massacre at My Lai, Viet Nam, which raised much controversy. The group was one in which I felt reasonably comfortable if not totally accepted. After all, it was a university political science class, a venue for the free discussion of ideas. I’d only been back from The Nam a little over a year and had yet to prove my cred once again as a member of civilized society.

          This was my attempt to show the impossible choices we faced. The impossible choices that the civilians in our government had forced upon us throughout the war. At the end of my story the room fell silent and it was as though an ice curtain had fallen around me. There was no further discussion. Class was dismissed.

          As I put on my coat to leave someone said, “Just because you didn’t pull the trigger doesn’t absolve you. What you did enabled someone else to pull the trigger.” That was the last time I spoke of it for nearly fifty years until at the urging of the local librarian I went public again. The reaction to my author reading at the library 50 years on was once again stunned silence, absent any insults.

          In brief, the story I told was this:

          I was an instructor at the Army Signal School and by virtue of combat experience had the misfortune to be assigned to the Ft Monmouth riot control squad; actually more like a company. One cold, blustery Saturday in early April 1970, the squad, numbering around a hundred men, marched up to the Post Field House and were ordered to stack arms and file into the auditorium.

          We weren’t infantrymen. We were teachers, instructors at the signal school whose day-to-day concerns were how to get our students to understand the mysteries of radio wave propagation, antenna theory and how radar waveguides worked. Most of us were educated, some with graduate degrees in math or engineering; yet here we were assigned to guard the post with fixed bayonets against the specter of hippies protesting the war and passing out leaflets at the front gate. Much ado about nothing, we thought.

          We sat uneasily in the field house. This event was entirely out of character. Any change in routine generated the silent question, “What new thing has the Army come up with to fuck us over? This was a big change.

          After a review of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), the colonel from the Judge Advocate General’s office brought it down to specifics as it related to Calley, whose story Seymour Hirsch had broken the previous fall. I.E. Soldiers are obligated to obey lawful orders of their superiors. And they are subject to discipline under the UCMJ for following unlawful orders. The legal precedent, he said, was the conviction of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg. Nobody wanted to hear this.

          A gruff old master sergeant, whom we knew had served in WWII; and had been a first Sergeant in Viet Nam; and was due to retire within months, stood and said, “Sir, Do you mean to tell us that in the chaos of battle, like a fire fight in a village, with VC popping out of tunnels, with choppers in the air firing rockets at everything in sight, it’s up to the individual soldier to decide what’s a lawful order and what’s not?”

          For what seemed like a full minute the sergeant stood at attention. There was not a sound in the room. Not a breath was drawn.

          Finally, the colonel said, “Sit down sergeant, you’re out of order.” The sergeant sat down. The colonel stepped aside as our commanding officer assumed the podium and said, “That’ll be all for today men. Fall out on your gear.”

          Of course, some things are clearly not lawful orders as Nuremberg had demonstrated. Calley’s case had yet to got to trial but most of us knew that story only too well. That we were on a riot control squad and being briefed in such a manner was unsettling to say the least.

          A month later, May 2 1970, at our regular Saturday drill, we were given alerts to be ready to move out at a moment’s notice. We were confined to the post until further notice. No explanation was given. The grapevine quickly leaked the news that there was a riot in progress. We were to be the regular army stand-in unit for the Ohio National Guard. However, the governor called out the guard under his command to Kent State University late that afternoon. The rest is history.

          We were not called up. Had we been, perhaps events would have been different. Perhaps we were better trained than the Ohio guard. Perhaps we were better educated. Perhaps because we all had combat experience, and been under fire, unit discipline would have prevailed. Perhaps we would have disobeyed an unlawful order. Perhaps no order would have been given.* Perhaps. Thankfully, I did not have to make that decision.

          *This is not to imply that an order was given that day. To my knowledge, it has not been proven one way or the other.

          The above is an excerpt from a chapter in a book I’m working on titled “In the Belly of the Beast.”

          • vvv says:

            Thank you for sharing that. My daughter, a psych major, had an instructor who previously instructed a recently-convicted police officer who notoriously shot a drug-addled, mentally-challenged knife-wielding but no-immediate threat thief, and multiple times.
            She says that the instructor explained the police officer (a combat veteran) doing what he did as a result of, “tunnel vision”, described, as I understand it, as a sort of over-focus on the goal of stopping the target.
            I’ve long thought about, but feared learning, the effects of that Ohio day on the shooters …

          • Troutwaxer says:

            That’s a really telling story. I’ll look forward to the book. (Maybe the management can give you guest post when you publish…)

      • Rayne says:

        It was Young, a Canadian, who wrote the lyrics. He wasn’t a radical revolutionary. I wonder whether his outside-in perspective shaped that line, that perhaps American youth should have confronted reality long before guns were raised and reality had its way with them.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      I posted a few thoughts on this yesterday on an earlier thread, so I’ll join this one:

      More than a few readers on this site know what happened on May 4, 1970, at northeast Ohio’s Kent State University. A detachment of Ohio National Guardsmen fired into crowds of students a hundred or more feet away. In thirteen seconds, they killed four and wounded nine.

      Claims that the guardsmen were in fear of their lives were never credible. It was more a case of political fear and compensating machismo on the parts of Nixon, Ohio’s governor, Jim Rhodes, and the Guard’s and detachment’s leadership. Pour encourager les autres. None of them paid any obvious price. That was not true of America’s students, their families, and liberal thinking on campus and in America.

      Nixon was re-elected. The Vietnam draft, the war it fed, and the politicians who fed on it continued. The Powell memo came out the following year, and business leaders and legislators lined up to defund state colleges and universities, substituting private debt in place of legislative funding. That and Reagan’s neoliberalism turned average American students and their families into debt slaves, cash cows, and compliant “cubicle farmers.”

      Will Bunch at the Philadelphia Inquirer has a good summary. James O’Connor, on campus that day, writes about it at the Akron Beacon Journal (one of the great regional newspapers). Bunch embeds a video of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s, Ohio, which commemorates the shooting. And he cites Thomas Grace’s excellent, Kent State: Death and Dissent in the Long Sixties. Nineteen sixty-eight saw the murders of MLK and RFK, and the election of Richard Nixon; and Kent State was not the only deadly student protest that year. But May 4th is called the day the Sixties died.


      • ducktree says:

        The Democratic Convention held in Chicago was traumatic for me at the time following those two assassinations . . . I was coming up on 14 y/o and it seems like 1968 was just yesterday.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I spent a lot of time in the late 60’s thru 70’s traveling and competing in agricultural areas of the US. I was vilified for coming from the San Francisco Bay Area.

      I have seen the 2nd Amendment fanatics and the Don’t Tread on Me crowd and the Trump supporters as the reactionary outgrowth of what happened in the late 60’s and 70’s. It is an unbroken line handed down thru the generations.

      The current ones have just taken the First Amendment right of protest to a violently reactionary extreme. It isn’t very different from earlier times, but like any distillation it is more concentrated.

      Social media has enabled people with limited education and limited world experience the opportunity to easily spread their bile and organize across larger geographic areas, when in previous times they were relegated to mimeographed or faxed screeds with limited distribution. There is now a network of the loud few who previously would hardly have known the others existed.

      I just don’t see how we push the Proud Boys and the rest of the cretins back under the rocks and out of the light of day. Because they will never be enlightened, it is not in their DNA.

  10. rwdjung says:

    I offer some interesting—and possibly surprising—excerpts from a letter Martin Luther wrote in 1527 during the height of the bubonic plague to Johann Hess who had asked him for advice on “Whether One May Flee From a Deadly Plague.” Luther himself remained in Wittenberg against the wishes of his protector, Elector John, of Saxony—but allowed that different people have different circumstances.

    “Others sin on the right hand. They are much too rash and reckless, tempting God and disregarding everything that might counteract death and the plague. They disdain the use of medicines; they do not avoid places and persons infected by the plague, but lightheartedly make sport of it and wish to prove how independent they are. They say that it is God’s punishment; if he wants to protect them he can do so without medicines or our carefulness. This is not trusting God but tempting him. God has created medicines and provided us with intelligence to guard and take good care of the body so that we can live in good health.

    “If one makes no use of intelligence or medicine when he could do so without detriment to his neighbor, such a person injures his body and must beware lest he become a suicide in God’s eyes. . . . It is even more shameful for a person to pay no heed to his own body and to fail to protect it against the plague the best he is able, and then to infect and poison others who might have remained alive if he had taken care of his body as he should have. He is thus responsible before God for his neighbor’s death and is a murderer many times over. Indeed, such people behave as though a house were burning in the city and nobody were trying to put the fire out. Instead they give leeway to the flames so that the whole city is consumed, saying that if God so willed, he could save the city without water to quench the fire.

    “No, my dear friends, that is no good. Use medicine; take potions which can help you; fumigate house, yard, and street; shun persons and places wherever your neighbor does not need your presence or has recovered, and act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. . . . You ought to think this way: Very well, by God’s decree the enemy has sent us poison and deadly offal. Therefore I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine, and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence.” .
    Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Vol. 43: Devotional Writings II, ed. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 43 (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999), 131–134.

  11. Ed Walker says:

    Why no names for these Brownshirts?
    Blaming the stupid shits for stupid shit behavior is fun. But the criminals are the rich shitheads who fund them and egg them on.

  12. Savage Librarian says:

    Because I was there then, the Kent State tragedy had a profound impact on me…for decades. With the parallels to current events and my own encounter in Florida with white supremacists, a militia and subsequent ineptness and racist behavior of local officials in the late 1990s (at least one of whom actually has played a small role in the 2016 shady events), I found the article below quite moving. I’ve included an excerpt from it.

    But, one truth I have learned over the years is that there is a gigantic gap between what we think we might do in any potential circumstance and what we actually do. Our sympathetic nervous systems (fight vs flight) are not as predictable as we might like to think.

    And free will may be more dependent on the mechanics and interactions of ancient viruses that still inhabit our bodies and have an impact on how memory works. In fact, if there is the potential for anything positive to come out of the current virus tragedy, we might hope that this virus might somehow enable us to evolve, if only incrementally, into a more civil society.

    “From Kent State to Trump: 50 years later, the same divides plague America” – Raw Story, Ted Morgan – May 4, 2020
    “Other Americans echoed the rhetoric of politicians like Agnew and Governor Rhodes, nowhere more than in Kent, Ohio. For weeks, the local paper printed a full page of letters revealing sentiments like “Live ammunition!  Well, really, what did they expect, spitballs?”  “Hooray!  I shout for God and Country … America, support it, or leave it.” 

    “A prominent local attorney noted that if he were faced with the situation and had a submachine gun, “there probably would have been 140 of them dead, and that’s what they need.” 

    “One non-protesting student returned home to hear her mother pronounce “It would have been better for America if every student on that hill had been killed.” “Mother!” she replied, “I was there. Only a miracle of some kind saved me.  What about that?” To which her mother responded, “You would have deserved it.”


    • John Lehman says:

      I was in Ohio attending Bluffton University when Kent State happened and we had our small riot in reaction. Sadly there are still ignorant people in all levels of society clinging to false anachronistic idiocies. Their beliefs are vestiges, like racism is a vestige of slavery.

      But we have progressed. Martin Luther King’s dream of white and black children playing together is much more of a reality then when he gave his speech. Tenant farmers, Jim Crow, sundowner laws and most horribly lynchings, are, thankfully and hopefully a shameful history fading with each generation into the past. Yes, there’s still lots of work to do. But from the most justified war in American history, words from “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”still ring true …”His truth is marching on”.

  13. Bobster33 says:

    FWIW, chaserblue, a frequent poster on Rawstory.com has listed the identity of the gentlemen pictured as Rob Cantrell from Los Angeles.

      • Bobster33 says:

        I am not claiming any reliability. However, weeks ago Spocko indicated that he was involved in identifying people at these rallies in the event that law enforcement would like to take action. I do not know if chaserblue is affiliated with Spocko or is doing her own thing. I am applauding people for identifying those who are actively trying to increase our pandemic death totals.

  14. harpie says:

    Marcy, the answer is YES:
    7:11 AM · May 5, 2020

    Is THIS why he did the thing in the Lincoln Memorial the other day? Because some Republicans who pointed out how badly Trump has shat the country invoked the noble [heh] legacy of the Party of Lincoln? [screenshot of Trump tweet]

    Here’s the AD:
    12:37 PM · May 4, 2020

    Mourning In America [VIDEO]

    • harpie says:

      When Daniel Dale live tweeted Trump’s campaign event at the Lincoln Memorial [for which he had to get special dispensation from his Interior Department], he began like this:

      7:15 PM · May 3, 2020

      Trump’s Fox News “virtual town hall” at the Lincoln Memorial has begun. He tweeted about Lincoln yesterday. [screenshot]

      That screenshot was of #2 and 3 below, comparing himself to HONEST [LOL] Abe, but did NOT show #1.

      1] [Trump tweet] status/1256702883199881216
      5:51 PM · May 2, 2020

      She [Nicole Wallace] was thrown off The View like a dog, Zero T.V. Personas. Now Wallace is a 3rd rate lapdog for Fake News MSDNC (Concast). Doesn’t have what it takes!

      2] [twitter dot com] DavidKyaloM/status/1256703036388454403
      [Kenyan Youth! A Patriot! I Love Kenya]
      5:52 PM · May 2, 2020

      Replying to @realDonaldTrump
      Trump has done more for Blacks than all the other Presidents combined! Are we together?

      3] https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1256711660787695616
      6:26 PM · May 2, 2020

      So true, although Honest Abe wasn’t bad. Thank you!

    • harpie says:

      Here’s what Marcy was referring to:

      12:46 AM · May 5, 2020

      A group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America”, doing everything possible to….
      ….get even for all of their many failures. You see, these loser types don’t care about 252 new Federal Judges, 2 great Supreme Court Justices, a rebuilt military, a protected 2nd Amendment, biggest EVER Tax & Regulation cuts, and much more. I didn’t use any of them….
      ….because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad. John Weaver lost big for Kasich (to me). Crazed Rick Wilson….
      ….lost for Evan “McMuffin” McMullin (to me). Steve Schmidt & Reed Galvin lost for John McCain, Romney’s campaign manager (?) lost big to “O”, & Jennifer Horn got thrown out of the New Hampshire Republican Party. They’re all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles!

      In that last sentence, he again compares himself to Lincoln.

  15. harpie says:

    A mutant coronavirus has emerged, even more contagious than the original, study says
    MAY 5, 2020

    Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

    The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

    In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned. […]

    Here’s the report:
    Spike mutation pipeline reveals the emergence of a more transmissible form of SARS-CoV-2
    4/29/20 [I think]

    • harpie says:

      Someone will probably tell me soon that ya’ll discussed the problems with this at length on a previous post and I totally MISSED it because I am ALWAYS underwater with what I’m trying to keep up with….
      If so, my apologies in advance. :-(

    • harpie says:

      Here is a thread from May 1, questioning the REPORT:

      11:18 PM · May 1, 2020

      This preprint has been getting attention. It claims that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is mutating into a more transmissible form as the pandemic wears on. I think those claims are suspect, to say the least […]

      Essentially the virus has been mutating, as @XuetingQ and I said it would in February. That don’t mean that much. Mutations are what happens when genomes replicate. Comes with the territory like showers with the springtime. [link] 10/n

      The increase in the ‘blue’ variant may well reflect a population bottleneck, in which it happens to be the one that gets into the (relatively inattentive) European population and then spreads like wildfire. That’s what I *think* happened (<- note opinion not 'science') 11/n

      Finally, I could be wrong, I often am. But here is why I think I am not. Look at the data in the preprint for Washington state 12/n […]

      • skua says:

        For those of you familiar with Ed Hooper, “The River”, and the pushback against the OPV-AIDS hypothesis, that Korber and this bioRxiv Korber appear to be the same person.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Harpie, I was just going to post the same thing, and for once I looked upstream to see if someone had already.

      Where are you seeing the push back against this report ? I don’t tend to think of the Los Alamos National Lab as typically shooting from the hip.

  16. skua says:

    Here in an isolated capital city we’ve been very lucky. Another fortnight of unrestricted travel and many Chinese students would have arrived and spread out into accommodations and jobs across the city.

    One acquaintance thinks that the whole COVID19 thing is fake.
    The lizard-man receives credit for being the direct inspiration of this cognition, however years of seeing political and business leaders lie and dissemble may have corroded a hole through my acquaintance’s discernment.

    Earlier-on others were more, even overly, self-protective.
    As I heard it the personal entertainer had been allowed into the hotel.
    But then security had prevented that person leaving.
    And so, indomitablity, the entertainer climbed into the air conditioning ducts.
    And fell into the car park.
    LEOs were called but didn’t want to touch the entertainer.
    It was agreed by all that the entertainer would be taken by the police to hospital to be checked on.
    However no-one at the hospital was keen to touch the entertainer either, perhaps convinced by the entertainer’s eloquence and appearance.
    The entertainer was left to make their way home to a distant suburb under their own steam, contacting those fated to cross their path. The apparent very low levels of community transmission that are evident here suggest that the entertainer was, fortuitously, not infectious.

    We’ve been lucky. Not prepared, not smart, not rigorous, lucky.

        • skua says:

          If they stop counting the deaths then death toll will not be an official govenment count.
          Bush/Cheney took this approach in Iraq.
          Trump, I think, will be gauging the likely response of his base to this method of trivializing deaths.

          • P J Evans says:

            There will be a minimum count, based on death certificates. The excess deaths (deaths exceeding the average of the last several years) will also be used by epidemiologists.

    • harpie says:

      From the linked article:

      A senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations, said the task force will be winding down as the White House moves toward Phase One of Mr. Trump’s plan to “open up” the country. The focus now will be on therapeutics, vaccine development and testing, the official said.

      A White House spokeswoman declined to comment.

      A group led by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has been functioning as something of a shadow task force. That group is likely to continue working; among other issues, Mr. Kushner is said to be discussing a new role for someone to oversee development of therapeutic treatments. […]

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        This makes me ill. Jesus fucking Christ on water skis. I’m hoping the political blowback will reverse this.

        Of course, Kushner is in charge. Why settle for competency when you can have loyalty? If there is one picture of the Trump administration that sticks with me, it’s that incompetent dipshit meeting with troops in his preppy outfit wearing a bullet proof vest. Unfortunately, it will likely be replaced with pictures of body bags.

        • P J Evans says:

          I don’t trust people who can get past 30 or 35 without seeming to have used more of their face than mouth and eyes. No folds, no lines, nothing but smooth skin, like a mannequin.

      • Eureka says:

        LOLOL @ last sentence:

        Mr. Kushner is said to be discussing a new role for someone to oversee development of therapeutic treatments. […]

        you mean like the fucking FDA? Which we have (and which has its own problems, but is at least staffed with appropriately-experienced/-degreed professionals)?

        Gawsh Jared is so … insightful.

        Or the reporter(s) is so …credulous: what would be the chief reasons for an *unqualified grifter to find “someone” to “oversee” regulated scientific-medical activity?

        *On his competence with prior picks, one of his own volunteers dimed him out last month to House Oversight (RIP Chairman Cummings), WaPo via Inquirer today:

        Kushner coronavirus effort said to be hampered by inexperienced volunteers

  17. harpie says:

    Remember how the Wisconsin GOP and SCOTUS forced voters to stand in long lines in the middle of a pandemic to exercise their right to vote for, among others, a Wisconsin Supreme Court seat? A lot of people contracted the virus on that day.

    Well, today the justice that was overwhelming removed from the Wisconsin Supreme Court on that day was part of a Republican judge attack on the Democratic Governor’s stay at home orders.

    The WI Chief Justice said only meat packers are affected by the recent surge in Corona virus cases, and they are NOT “regular folks” in Wisconsin.

    12:26 PM · May 5, 2020

    And Wisconsin’s Republican chief justice just dismissed a coronavirus flare up because it only impacted people who work in meat packing plants and not “the regular folks.”

    • harpie says:

      The oral arguments and conference were conducted on ZOOM.

      For more, see this thread by Michael Joseph Stern:
      11:50 AM · May 5, 2020

      Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley, a Republican, just described the governor’s stay-at-home order as “the very definition of tyranny.” [read the rest…oy!…]

      Assistant Attorney General Colin Roth is trying to remain patient and polite, but the Republican justices are being so horrible that he’s getting a little frustrated.

      It occurs to me that this is what it’s going to be like litigating before Trump judges for the next 50 years. […]

  18. posaune says:

    OT, sorry Rayne, can’t help but post this after spewing my coffee:

    Watching the Met Opera’s streaming of Nozze this afternoon (Marriage of Figaro);
    second act: the Count assaults (molests) Suzanna, the young servant. She pushes him off, then he says, “WHY ARE YOU BEING MEAN TO ME?”

    All I can say is that Lorenzo da Ponte knew the type, didn’t he?

    • Rayne says:

      Some things never change even after +230 years. ~sigh~

      It’s the entire system. I’m just sickened by this death — another Suzanna-Susan — a decades-long institutionalized murder of a woman who was abused by her spouse.

      She’ll become yet another librettist’s muse.

      • posaune says:

        Heartbreaking. Absolutely heartbreaking. Such enormous suffering. The number of days Susan Farrell suffered in her life. It feels so overwhelming to me.

    • harpie says:

      Marcy retweeted this thread:

      3:41 PM · May 5, 2020

      THREAD: A few really shocking exhibits included in Rick Bright’s whistleblower complaint, which are telling about Trump admin’s coronavirus response.

      Bright protested repeatedly over email over the Trump administration’s alleged unwillingness to get access to virus samples. [screenshotes] […]

      • harpie says:

        Yes, that title says “NEPOTISM”

        The explosive 89-page complaint also contains a number of highly detailed accusations of nepotism surrounding Bob Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at HHS. The complaint alleges Kadlec repeatedly pressured Bright over the course of a number of years to fund scientifically dubious projects connected to personal friends.

        The complaint alleges that a small circle of biotech companies, including Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, Alvogen, Partner Therapeutics, and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics got special access to Kadlec through an industry consultant at Tiber Creek Partners.

        The complaint also alleges that Bright was made aware that Aeolus, in particular, has connections to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law. […]

    • Eureka says:

      I had this AP story re Trump admin history in mind when commenting upthread about Jared’s new potential COVID-19 drug overlord. From AP:

      “I witnessed government leadership rushing blindly into a potentially dangerous situation by bringing in a non-FDA approved chloroquine from Pakistan and India, from facilities that had never been approved by the FDA,” Bright said Tuesday on a call with reporters.

      […] The officials also “demanded that New York and New Jersey be ‘flooded’ with these drugs, which were imported from factories in Pakistan and India that had not been inspected by the FDA,” the complaint says.

      I had commented on Rayne’s prior open post about something missing in the hydroxychloroquine grift and forgot to mention these purchases: i.e. this all gives the appearance of some kind of quid pro quo arrangement with Modi (as but one of the variables).

      They had that lovely visit in late February…

      • Eureka says:

        To finish this (mere) kakistocracy +/- kleptocracy aside: at this search, one can glimpse article snippets with an approximate timeline:

        trump chloroquine india

        Roughly (different time zones and article dates):
        [Feb 24 end of Trump visit; didn’t get into rehashing the talk re Trump properties etc. that came out of that trip]

        March 21 Trump starts talking about hydroxycloroquine
        March 23 unapproved Indian lab gets some approval to ship it
        March 25 Modi bans exports
        April 7 Modi agrees to export to US after phone call with Trump [sidenote: where’s that readout?] (also talk in media that labs there may be able to fulfill such orders, with stock prices increased by all the chatter)

        April 28 / 29-ish tweeters and press in India take note that Trump has unfollowed Modi other Indian official accounts, frame it like it’s about hydroxychloroquine, and that POTUS followed Modi+ ca. April 10 for two weeks and quit once he got it. Asked about it, White House (unnamed official) says it was just routine, they had followed Modi due to the state visit then just unfollowed later.

        Rupa Subramanya: “The @WhiteHouse seems to have unfollowed @narendramodi @pmoindia among other official India handles. Fascinating.… ”

        Additional links to follow.

    • Eureka says:

      The kakistocracy —- kleptocracy continuum has too many interleaves. A+C (your thread above to which I added WaPo on Team Jared), and B+C (your Bright thread here to which I will add more) = Countless Dead and Suffering Americans. So many are sick or have died — or will be — for so much bumblefuckery; when is it going to end, when will competence reign? WHO IS GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS IN AN URGENT AND SYSTEMATIC FASHION? (Yes, yelling.)

      Compare AP:

      In late January, Bright said he was contacted by an official of a leading mask manufacturer about ramping up production. It was estimated that as many as 3.5 billion would be needed, while the national stockpile had about 300 million.

      The complaint said that when Bright tried to press the issue about masks with superiors at HHS, he was ignored or rebuffed. “HHS publicly represented not only that COVID-19 was not an imminent threat, but also that HHS already had all the masks it would need,” the complaint said.

      With WaPo (via Inquirer)*:

      The document [complaint to House Oversight by a Team Jared volunteer] alleges that the team responsible for PPE had little success in helping the government secure such equipment, in part because none of the team’s members had significant experience in health care, procurement or supply-chain operations. In addition, none of the volunteers had existing relationships with manufacturers or a clear understanding of customs requirements or Food and Drug Administration rules, according to the complaint and two senior administration officials.

      Hmm. So we might not be in such a mess if remaining experts were heeded?

      Can’t someone explain to Trump (adjacents) that actual success will give him even more sunlight within which to bask than the fake, chicanery-laden version?

      *linked here, up the page:

      • harpie says:

        Thanks for adding all of this, Eureka!
        Great description:

        The kakistocracy —- kleptocracy continuum has too many interleaves.

        It’s an absolute labyrinth,
        filled with sludge and shadow-creatures.


        So many are sick or have died — or will be — for so muchbumblefuckery [LOL!];

        when is it going to end, when will competence reign?


        …me, too, Eureka. :-(

      • Rayne says:

        Can’t someone explain to Trump (adjacents) that actual success will give him even more sunlight within which to bask than the fake, chicanery-laden version?

        The problem is that these guys are criminals. They’re not business people who understand and rely on marketing. They are only looking at the grift and how to ensure nobody weasels in on their turf. Don’t give them any help with ideas on how to sell their grift.

      • Eureka says:

        May the road rise up to meet us…

        Thanks, harpie, for adding the rich visuals to our 4-D hellscape. The [sewer-ly] sludge is an especially nice touch.

        May the wind always be at our backs…


        May the sun shine warm upon our faces…

        LOL Rayne, all true. But they are killing so many more people this time…

        ..the rains fall soft upon our fields.

  19. Tom says:

    So Trump the wartime President has shown the white flag and surrendered to the Invisible Enemy. He has turned Quisling and signaled his willingness to do a deal and collaborate with the COVID-19 virus. Let me present a facade of normalcy to the country, he is saying to the virus, let me stage my rallies and spend weekends playing golf at my Vichy capital of Mar-a-Lago, let me re-open the economy, let me continue with my re-election campaign, and here’s the favour I will do for you. I’ll allow–no, I’ll actively encourage and even coerce–my fellow citizens to go back to work and expose themselves to illness and death for your sake. I will disband my coronavirus task force, refuse to wear a mask in public, and blatantly violate the terms of my own public health guidelines as part of my continuing efforts to minimize the dangers of the pandemic. Furthermore, I will expel from the government any medical staff or other experts who dare to communicate the real threat posed by the COVID-19 virus. Let me pretend that the crisis is over and that the economy is ready to bounce back, let me delude the country that we are back to normal and I will willingly sacrifice the lives of thousands of my fellow Americans every day while doing my best to ensure that the daily death count receives no more attention than the pollen count does during allergy season.

      • Tom says:

        Thanks, harpie. I think back to some of the news panel discussions that I saw right after Trump was elected in 2016. There was a lot of speculation about how bad a Trump Presidency might be, but I don’t think anyone expected anything as disastrous and deadly as what we’re living through right now. And it doesn’t just concern the USA. The richest, most powerful country in the world, the country that should be leading the planet out of this global catastrophe, is on the brink of becoming a festering, simmering stew-pot for the coronavirus and a lingering threat to the rest of the world.

  20. harpie says:

    Marcy with the alpha and omega of TRUMP:

    7:17 AM · May 6, 2020

    It’s likely that a factor in Trump winding down COVID task force is Meadows convinced him that being physically & morally overshadowed by Lincoln or doing photo op in a face mask factory while Live and Let Die plays makes him look less unpresidential than advising to drink Lysol.

    It is always only about the reality show and the self-dealing.

    That’s all there ever was, that’s all there ever will be.

    [I feel compelled to add this phrase I heard a lot in childhood]:
    …world without end, amen…

  21. Blueride27 says:

    I wouldnt be surprised if this had russian money involved. This has the fingerprints of Putin all over it.
    Here in PA they are having parades in front of Harrisburg.

  22. Lydian says:

    Greetings after a long absence (I hope I used the same name as I did in previous posts). I’ve been a bit fixated on the research cited – Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in Different Environmental Conditions – particularly the 5 min incubation period after hand washing with soap. I’ve emailed one of the authors (in Hong Kong) about this but don’t know if he’ll reply. My question is – does the 5 min lapse mean we should wait 5 min after washing with soap to ensure our hands are clean? Or does the 5 min period mean something else? I hope there is someone on this forum who can help. I am grateful for any insight someone can give me. Thank you!

    • Rayne says:

      IIRC, the virus was active up to 5 min in one of three samples of 1-to-49 soap-to-water ratio.

      What this means is scrub and rinse well after soaping up your hands. If there’s no soap left on your hands, you should be fine because you’ve rinsed away any viral material with the soap.

      Still no research to date showing direct physical transmission between people who have thoroughly washed their hands with soap-and-water.

  23. harpie says:



    11:06 PM · May 6, 2020

    holy shit… Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) tried to bully a local GOP official into committing a crime by submitting false election result. [Denver Post link]
    AUDIO: [YouTube embedded] U.S. Rep. Ken BUCK audio recording with Sen. Dist. 10 Chair Eli Bremer

    REP. BUCK: “Do you understand the order?”
    LOCAL GOP OFFICIAL: “[It] requires me to sign a false affidavit”
    REP. BUCK: “And will you do so?”
    OFFICIAL: “I will seek legal counsel”

    #RIP GOP

    • harpie says:

      MORE via Marcy:

      10:23 PM · May 6, 2020

      !! Stunning reporting from Denver Post: U.S. Rep. Ken Buck (GOP) pressured a local party official to report false election results. [link]

      Buck is heard insisting that this is an “order of the central committee.” Local official resisted committing misdemeanor. [screenshots]

      • harpie says:

        11:10 PM · May 6, 2020

        Ken Buck, the GOP congressman who was just caught on audio by the @denverpost pressuring a local party official to report false election results (“it’s an order from the central committee”), has repeatedly denounced proposals to expand voting rights for “promoting voter fraud.” [Screenshots of two tweets from 1/29/19]


        Ken Buck called the federal bill that contains stuff like automatic voter registration an attempt to “steal our elections and skew those rules” JUST LAST YEAR. [5/7/19] [screenshot]

        and Ken Buck (who’d like you to know he is a former DA, tho that didn’t stop him from pressuring someone to report false election results) wrote an entire oped last year Bernie’s call to abolish felony disenfranchisement.

  24. harpie says:

    The following is connected to my comment above about Trump “winding down” the task force, and preferring to live in the shadows:

    Via Aaron Rupar:
    6:48 AM · May 7, 2020

    AP: The 17-page CDC guide to reopening the country “has been shelved by the Trump administration .. It was supposed to be published last Friday, but agency scientists were told the guidance ‘would never see the light of day,’ according to a CDC official.” [link to AP]

    • harpie says:

      AP Exclusive: Admin shelves CDC guide to reopening country

      […] The official was not authorized to talk to reporters and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

      The AP obtained a copy from a second federal official who was not authorized to release it. The guidance was described in AP stories last week, prior to the White House decision to shelve it.

      The Trump administration has been closely controlling the release of guidance and information during the pandemic […]

      The rejected reopening guidance was described by one of the federal officials as a touchstone document that was to be used as a blueprint for other groups inside the CDC who are creating the same type of instructional materials for other facilities.

      The guidance contained detailed advice for making site-specific decisions related to reopening schools, restaurants, summer camps, churches, day care centers and other institutions. It had been widely shared within CDC, and included detailed “decision trees,” flow charts to be used by local officials to think through different scenarios. […]

    • harpie says:

      I know bmaz has tweeted about a similar move by Arizona’s Governor.

      State health department tells university COVID-19 modeling team to stop work, limits data access
      Published 6:46 p.m. MT May 5, 2020 | Updated 1:48 p.m. MT May 6, 2020

      […] The state is instead relying on a model from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This model has not been released to the public. [See AP article above for CDC/FEMA info]

      The universities’ model had shown that reopening at the end of May was the only scenario that didn’t dramatically increase cases. […]

      [DHS bureau chief of public health statistics S. Robert] Bailey wrote that health department leadership asked the team to
      1] “pause” all work on projections and modeling.


      2] The department would also be ending access to special data sets the modeling team had been using for their efforts [numbers added] […]

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