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March 16, 2020

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My granddaughter made a very succinct comment about the TP hoarding just a few minutes ago:

Grandpa, the virus impacts the other end of the body.

From the mouths of babes.

Thanks Rogue

Life as we know it has changed, for now and sometime into the immediate future. It's almost laughable how the orange one went from totally under control to full blown panic. Guess he realized this may well get his lard ass booted from office.

If i have to read one more comment from the moron's telling me this is all the "media's" fault for exaggerating it i swear i just might go buy a gun for the first time in my life.

At some point it will go away. The pain from all of the fallout will last for years. Let's just hope trump has moved on and this will be his legacy.

The partisan aspects to this seems pretty tiny to me. Stay home and stay safe, everyone.

The good news is that this is the Black Swan event that could conceivably rid America of its presidential fraud, or at least delay our final descent into chaos and fragmentation. Given the walk-on-the-wild-side vibe that is post-modern conservatism, voters have earned a well-deserved respite from its civic vandalism. A sharp recession could turn that impulse into an imperative.

When Ronald Reagan intoned that "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem", he set into motion every oversimplifying tic that Real Americans are prone to. The Reagan revolution really reached its stride during the Clinton years with Newt Gingrich and Fox News dumbing down the citizenry to the point where a memory-care facility could pass for the Sorbonne. Trump, in this vein, is not an accident but a culmination of the Republican Party's ongoing degradation of American public life into a Palinesque spectacle of guns, flag-humping, and white skin.

The bad news is that Americans will either not learn or quickly forget once the right's propaganda apparatus tackles the horror of Democrats governing illegitimately. The Bernie Bros will offer the GOP yeoman assistance in this effort since their cult cannot fail, only be failed. "See, if you only hadn't sabotaged the revolution, none of this would have happened!" I almost believe the zealots are getting money from Moscow given their useful idiocy.

America will not improve as a society as long as its antimodern demographics and antimodern geographic regions continue to be allowed to force the productive demographics and productive geographic regions to beg for permission to use the resources they need to survive and thrive.

This cannot be fixed within the structures of the American constitution as it stands.

If the Republican party and its red states will not consent to a reduction in their power in accordance with the principle of one person one vote, then the American experiment has ended and it is is time for the blue states to leave.

It's always darkest just before dawn.

You mention Seattle and front page editor. Does that mean you are back working for The Seattle Times? I hope so. Your voice is needed here.

Jon: You are right. But your first few words say it all. You have added “nothing” to the on-going conversation of how to move forward through this. We need more from you than a RANT.

Linda, I meant the Front Page editor of Rogue. Haven't been recalled to the ST yet.

Are we there yet? Just 20 more minutes.
Are we there yet? Just 20 more minutes.

Are the tests ready? At the end of this week.
Are the tests ready? At the end of this week.

(there is something fishy going on with the delay in tests)

Rogue, If you would allow me to ask ArizonaEagletarian a question:

Mr. Eagletarian,

Why do we bother electing state legislators and governor if our legislative process is 100% controlled by the Center for Arizona Policy?

Ruben same reason we dont need a drivers license, speed limits and HOV lanes.
Posse Comitatus legislature.

Regardless of the death toll, the world body politic is changed.
The challenge is here, Rebuild the government structures and safety nets destroyed by Reagan and Clinton in their effort to rid the US of Big Government. As did Thatcher and Blair in England. And who was standing next to Trump when he announced the emergency. Corporations! “Left to the Market.” My observations of Trump tell me he as usual,is lying. He is angry that he was forced to make the announcement. It’s never about human life with him. It’s about building ego towers and eating at McDonalds. And bad mouthing and firing anyone that disagrees with him.
Trump only execrated a situation that has been long in the making. We all share the blame.
The corporations that run the world have the controls. Big Pharmacy will now make a killing that they didn’t move on until now as the prior profit margin was unacceptable. Corporations got Cuba in check again and staged a Lithium Coup in Bolivia. The disaster in China in my opinion strengths Trumps candidacy. But the ancient Dragon will survive this as how the Inhabitants of Afghanistan have defeated all that came. Why India Prime minister Modi made love with Trump? India will be the hot spot as Afghanistan and Pakistan pull together.

Currently the US Airforce wants funding to replace its bomber fleet that we haven’t needed since September 2, 1945. But for the next Hot Spot! Sailing the Universe with a Reality TV Star.

Eight (8) billion folks and counting. What could go wrong?


Bernie Sanders isn't destroying the Democratic Party. He and Warren are forcing a reshaping of a monster gone berserk. Biden will get the nod. But will he nod off as Trump attacks him? Will his winning the presidential election guarantee us a female PRESIDENT?

IF the 2020 presidential election is held? Regardless of whose elected the civil war will go on. White vs Brown.

Jon has suggested/proposed in the past that the United States (otherwise known as sane and Democratic) allow the South and hardcore Red states to leave the union. I think it is time we seriously consider this. I won't post arguments for and against this here; if you don't know the reasons why, then I can't change your mind. Suffice it to say, the United States would be a happier, better-governed nation without the drain on society that the South and Midwest are. Let them go back to their CFA -- they never learned their lesson the first time around.

In today's briefing, the point person in charge of testing answered my concerns in a very clear way , so I retract my comment about something being fishy. Glad that was cleared up.

Chris, the CFA needs to be eliminated not resurrected as is occuring under Trump. Division means BORDERS. And in my humble opinion, Borders are killing zones.

Coronavirus and the Muslim world.

Mohamed said that if plague “is in a land, do not approach it; but if it occurs in a land while you are there, do not leave to escape it.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/coronavirus-covid19-iran-middle-east-virus-hajj-black-death-a9362731.html

Wow. I still say you are needed at the national level. Not kidding.

In these extraordinary times, I will be returning to the Seattle Times as Economics Columnist. You'll see my first column since January this Sunday.

Of course, I will continue to write Rogue.

An interesting phenomena is occurring. When Trump is surrounded by actual smart professionals he moves up on an intelligence scale from 3 to about a 3.1 (on a 1 to 10 scale). The only ass kisser in his vicinity is Pence.

Remember, when Trump says "who knew people died from the flu", what he is saying is HE didn't know. Now he has people around him who can clue him in.

It proves a point I've always held, you can elect a mule to be president. It's the surrounding cast of characters who drive the politics and agendas that impact our lives.

"Extraordinary times" indeed Rogue. Congrats on being drafted back, there is little question the economy will be impacted in ways never before imagined.

The race to throw money at anyone and everyone will result in utter chaos. Trump will see it as his pathway to re-election. The democrats understand the importance of targeting their voting block with as much money as humanly possible.

No one will be looking at a long term analysis of what it will do to a country already on the verge of bankruptcy. Scary times and in your "new" position you'll be there to document, critique and share your thoughts with all of us. Awesome.

JT, I'm glad to learn that your voice will be more widely heard.

Speaking of economics, a question for anyone who can answer it. The economy could certainly use stimulus. Cash payments to all of us could provide it, but only if we spend the money in ways that stimulate economic activity. I wonder if that would happen under current circumstances. Most people I know are lying low, as they should be. They're not going out to buy things except when they must and then they're buying little more than food and medication. Me, I'd save the money. If enough people did that, the cash payments wouldn't stimulate anything, but they would diminish the funds available for more targeted stimulus efforts. I don't understand economics and I'm probably missing something. What?

Mr. Kabong,

Based on the current state of American's savings and checking accounts, most will need to spend it as soon as they get the checks.

Mr. Rogue,
I know unsolicited advice is seldom welcome, however, I beg you and the Seattle Times turn off the comments portion of your column. Before you retired, the comments were for the most part nasty, similar to comments you used to get when you were at the Republic. Impart your observations and wisdom. At this stage of your life, you don't need the grief. The mob is way more angry and upset. I know you have very thick skin, just let them vent elsewhere so that it doesn't dilute your message.

The angry mob: I'm sure Trump, the evangelists and the ignorant will blame the Atheist Chinese and Wicked Liberals for Coronavirus whatever the outcome.
Its gotta be an intentional conspiracy.
God Did it! More likely planet earth striking back at 8 billion human beings practicing conspicuous over consumption.
A natural thinning. Nothing like pestilence and war.

Has the planet's immune system been activated? Think of how much greenhouse gas emissions are going to go down and the effect many millions fewer humans will have on the environment. As the old !EarthFirst! ers used to say, "nature bats last."

AzRebel, that's not the picture I've been seeing but maybe you're right. I may have underestimated how quickly the economic side effects of all this are kicking in.

"nature bats last."
one of my favorite quotes!

guailo!
https://consortiumnews.com/2020/03/18/china-locked-in-hybrid-war-with-us/

Cuba rises as a bio tech power.

Under harsh sanctions and demonized since forever, Cuba is still able to perform breakthroughs – even on biotechnology. The anti-viral Heberon – or Interferon Alpha 2b – a therapeutic, not a vaccine, has been used with great success in the treatment of coronavirus. A joint venture in China is producing an inhalable version, and at least 15 nations are already interested in importing the therapeutic.    

This would be a good time to remind everybody that Trump and a Republican Congress attempted to eliminate the ACA (Obamacare) with nothing to back fill it and leave thousands of people with no healthcare.

And don't underestimate Trumps ability to survive this, or the ignorance of the public.

Now would be a good time to remind everyone that Obamacare continues to drain my family's checking account of $1,000 per month for coverage that covers NOTHING.

AZReb, I am skeptical of comments in general. I prefer Letters to the Editor, where the person must give his real name and verify it by address and phone number.

Rogue Columnist has been distinguished by its civil comments which add value to the conversation. I hope we can keep that.

ChrisInDenver -- the problem with "allow[ing] the South and hardcore Red states to leave the union" is that these states contain liberal minorities. I have a first cousin in Tennessee, who, in spite of his nickname of Boomer, is both a native-born son and a lifelong lefty. He's not the only one. Simple excision of the red states would strand a lot of people. Despite our differences, our fortunes and futures remain deeply entangled.

Plague advantage:
https://slate.com/culture/2020/03/shakespeare-plague-influence-hot-hand-ben-cohen.html

Cal. Love “nature bats last” also. Although it is new to me, I have been reading about Gaia for years and boy does this ring true.

The Gaia hypothesis (/ˈɡaɪ.ə/, /ˈɡeɪ.ə/, /ˈɡaɪˈʌ/), also known as the Gaia theory or the Gaia principle, proposes that living organisms interact with their inorganic surroundings on Earth to form a synergistic and self-regulating, complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life on the planet.

Reporter: Mr. CA governor, what is the current case count in CA?

Governor: 948

Reporter: What do you expect the count to be in the coming weeks?

Governor: 25,000,000 will be infected

Reporter: Thank you for that very responsible answer. (NOT)

Will the survivors finally take Greta Seriously?

Manifest Destiny and its diseases has murdered millions but keeps on plaguing the indigenous.
https://theintercept.com/2020/02/23/wetsuweten-protest-coastal-gaslink-pipeline/

While we sleep with eyes wide shut.
Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner and
The Dreamt Land by Mark Arax.
And
The Thinning by Gaia.

Seriously Rogue, you've got to be drooling on yourself. Much like i used to get when walking into an Old Country Buffet (gone but not forgotten), every passing day offers up scrumptious servings of potential columns. The options appear endless.

The biggest challenge for you going back is simply; where to start? The impact on workers? The bailout? The potential housing market collapse? Insider stock trading by Congress? Trump using the bailouts to save the coming election? The devastation to small businesses?

Coming late to the party as i have, i hope whatever columns you write will be linked on the site. Love the once a week RC, but as we sit locked away and going insane, reading more is a given.

Such an amazing, scary and unusual time and so much to try and get our heads around.

Try Solitary Desert walking.
The desert is in bloom.

Seriously the planet has to have Freedom of Scribbling and reading. I've been rattling on about Fiefdoms and Barons and Sheriff Johns for 62 years. Without REPORTERS, journalists, whistle blowers and the freedom to listen, read and speech humans are destined to be Hunger Game Slaves.
Jon is the kind of reporter we need. In your face with the facts.

And seriously polticians that downplayed this and took financial advantages need to go straight to jail. And Trump, Pence and Kushner need to be moved into seclusion and let the health experts be in charge.

So are there positives?

Tough question Cal and here's an answer from an expert (Larry Brilliant) in an article in Wired (which i will post the link to at the end of this post):

Is there in any way a brighter side to this?
Well, I'm a scientist, but I'm also a person of faith. And I can't ever look at something without asking the question of isn't there a higher power that in some way will help us to be the best version of ourselves that we could be? I thought we would see the equivalent of empty streets in the civic arena, but the amount of civic engagement is greater than I've ever seen. But I'm seeing young kids, millennial's, who are volunteering to go take groceries to people who are home bound, elderly. I'm seeing an incredible influx of nurses, heroic nurses, who are coming and working many more hours than they worked before, doctors who fearlessly go into the hospital to work. I've never seen the kind of volunteerism I'm seeing.

You can read the article here: https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-interview-larry-brilliant-smallpox-epidemiologist/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

In hindsight, my question as to whether cash payments would have much stimulative effect looks dumb. The economic side effects of this mess are kicking in faster than I expected. A lot of people will need cash.

In a perfect world reporters from the fraudulent news organizations, CNN, FOX, MSNBC would not be allowed to bait the president with gotcha questions. That he takes the bait does not make their idiotic questions OK.

The positive outlook from Silicon Valley is that about 400 of them will survive.
And i am betting on at least 25000 Afghan cave dwelling herders will too.

Regarding Larry Brillant and his higher power, in the absence of a God I'll take that to be the communal effort's of caring humans. I have heard that the poor contribute more.

Ruben, you don't "bait" a con artist with "idiotic questions". Rather, you knock him up against the wall and watch him squirm when he tries to lie and deflect his way free. Real journalists do this if they have any kind of moxie. They are infinitely better guardians of democracy than the American right in that way. Given how your tribe denies science and expertise, their questions are long overdue. Remember how in 2016 pyromaniacs like you wanted to burn it all down? Well, the fire department is finally answering that call.

Soleri, old pal - there are no REAL JOURNALISTS anymore. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that's a fact.

Terry, for your post-truth party that is definitely true. But there's a reason the intellectually curious actually know what is real (say, viruses, climate change, Trump's epic mendacity) while others are just hysteria to jazz the right's low-information demographic (say, the Deep State, welfare queens, and white victimhood).

I'd suggest rereading Orwell to understand the ideological cul de sac your tribe is trapped in. Calling everything that reputable newspapers reveal "fake news" is just a bit too clever when the organ Republicans do trust is skeezy propaganda (Fox News). You certainly wouldn't vote for Trump unless your standards of veracity and evidence were virtually non-existent to begin with.

As an Independent, I don't have a tribe. I wish I did, but I don't. The two tribes, including yours, won't let me play in your primaries or any of their activities. They don't share or play well with others.

I have to go to Virus Valley Monday for a medical procedure. I hope the medicine men down there are better than the ones I had in my prior life facing small pox from you invading Europeans. Oh, wait, it was the invading half of my family that infected the native half of my family. Damn! This is just like the two viruses the DNC and the RNC.

False equivalences are the the refuge of choice for a cynic. Both sides are exactly the same! But in this discussion we have a president who cannot tell the truth if his ego is even a little bit threatened while it's the reporters who are bad people for even pressing him on details he compulsively lies about.

On the other hand, a party that enthusiastically backstops this pathological liar is the same as the party that still lives in the real world of empiricism, science, and what is sometimes called consensus reality. Part of being a citizen is that you make choices here about who you trust to better reflect both your values and actual social reality. Granted, Democrats are not perfect because they're still human beings. But if at this late date you can't tell the difference when one party breezily asserts a private e-mail server is worse than lying about private dealings with a foreign adversary, or that denying straight-up evidence about a pandemic is probably a gross miscarriage of a president's responsibilities, then you yourself are a symptom of a broader breakdown in the ability to merely assess reality. We are now losing our democracy because ordinary citizens couldn't tell the difference between a lifelong con artist and, say, a lifelong pubic servant afflicted with cankles.

If a commenter can't even consistently tell others what his name is (or even plays the scamp by pretending to be someone he is not), it's a good bet he is probably not the person you want making judgment calls in this arena.

Couldn't agree more soleri. Simple truth is an amazing aspect of leadership that is critical in trying times. There's little worse than when the most prevalent skill set by the man in charge of the free world's best asset is blowing smoke.

And lest i be accused of partisan politics, watch this video form The Bulwark. It is a video time line on the most basic question; "Where Are the Tests?"

Here is the link: https://thebulwark.com/

I re read the Larry Brillant piece again.
Very good! Passed it along.

Brilliant's interview is the perfect fit with the Bulwark video. There's one common thread; testing is key. Still trying to sort out how those who love the president can abide by his never-ending lies.

As far as the comments regarding "true journalists" and "fraudulent news organizations" i struggle with the assessment. Clearly biases have become more a reality. It's why i pick and chose the shows i watch and the articles i read.

The whole journalists critique ignores the fact they are trapped in a struggling industry where fewer folks are asked to do more work in less time.

Seems only fair to ask the one among us returning to the trenches. So JT, this one is for you: Are you all just useful scoundrels sucking off the teats of largess or do some of you and your colleagues still care about what you write?

Bill you know the answer to your question. There are a large amount of good and honest Journalists and REPORTERS. However instead insert the word politicians.
Free Assange and Snowden.

Rogue's post is a week old now and events move quickly. His blatant partisanship at this time comes across to me as a bit ridiculous. The anonymous quote,"I think it's okay to be a little resentful at Trump voters for ultimately murdering us." was thrown in for what? As an example of breathless absurdity, it fits, but I don't think that's what he had in mind.

I have a hard time finding too much fault in the administration's response. They were perhaps a bit slow to fully engage, hoping it might not be so bad and by trying to minimize panic it would be possible to preserve the strong economy. However, the administration changed it's attitude pretty quickly as events evolved. They shut down travel from China fairly early (1/31), which was good. It seemed to me that they were too slow to shut down travel, or at least aggressively screen, from Europe and other countries. (You know what? It certainly would be nice to have the southern border controlled at a time like this!) Overall, though, I think it would be hard to argue that for the last few weeks the President and his team haven't been engaged, active and doing everything any reasonable administration could be expected to do in this situation.

I saw Dr. Anthony Fauci being interviewed today. He's the NIH infectious disease expert heading the response who you've seen all over TV if you have watched much coverage. One of the doctors I work for was in residency with him and says he's a brilliant physician and totally straight shooter from what he remembers. At any rate, Dr. Fauci said that in the team's meetings, the President asks lots of questions and that he and the administration have not said no to anything the scientists said they should do and haven't done anything the scientists recommended against.

I am a bit worried about the size of the stimulus being contemplated. One of my complaints about this President is his indifference to our giant and ever-rising deficit and debt. We were already in a dangerous fiscal position and I'm not sure what effect this massive boost to the debt will have.

I heard a good point recently. With the nature of this disease, the oldest and feeblest are most at risk but not really so much the vast healthy majority. We are making huge sacrifices, individually and societally, to protect that vulnerable minority. That really says a lot of good things about the character of our society.

Two things struck me. It seemed Trump was being told by his wife, that this was serious shit and he needed to take action. Standing next to her on a couple of occasions he appeared almost humble.
And he realized his re election was in jeopardy if he didnt start speaking to the people more like FDR did in time of crisis than a salesman for Trump industries.

Jon7190. For another view point Google
"A lesson Coronavirus is about to teach the world" by Jonathon Cook.

Exceptional article Cal. Struggled with his ending. Pushing Sanders after everything he wrote may have been the ultimate summation in his mind. The problem is Bernie's ideas are DOA.

There is no end game where whatever he believes in passes. The senate nor the house, no matter who controls them, will ever support his proposals.

Worse yet; by the time this bailout is done, the country will be flat broke. Hell we were just inches away from that before the 2, 3 or 4 trillion dollar give away was ever discussed.

Like i have said too many times: Thank God i am old.

Bill. Ok ole guy read "City" by Clifford Simak. The edition of 1980 or after that has the 10th story.
Then,
Thank
Dog

PS. walking in Parks has become a problem as they are crowded. So yesterday my companion and i walked the Veterans Memorial Cemetery near Cavecreek road.
We virtually had the place to ourselves.
As we walked we both encountered Vetrans that we once knew. Totalling my companions age with mine we have 164 years of living. Not too bad.

Note: Jon's back. See Article in Front Pages

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/coronavirus-is-making-the-economy-very-sick/

Lots of book talk, but this is a blog about cities and urban issues. Must reads:

1. "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," by Jane Jacobs.

2. "The City in History," by Lewis Mumford.

3. "The Geography of Nowhere," by James Howard Kunstler.

Great start on the first column rogue. Not too dire, yet with a touch of the potential to get so much worse. Time will tell eh?

You guys are killing me with the book recommendations. Just got my 15 book series by Louise Penny in the mail. Slowly working my way through Desert Solitaire and am reading A Brief History of Phoenix by Jon. Good deal cause i am reading that while on the elliptical and makes the time fly. Thank you God.

I guess it's a good thing given what we are looking at. Unless of course trump says to hell with it all and sends everyone back to work. Now that's a scary prospect. You have to know how serious he is given the all CAPS (said with a smirk).

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