The Opinant

"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." – William Shakespeare

The bleeding heart of the Absentee Ballot issue.

Posted on May 26, 2020

 

i voted sticker lot

Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

 

We should clear the air about Absentee Ballots. They are a safe, reliable, and a great way to vote without the hassle of waiting in long lines for hours on end.

There really is little wiggle room for absentee ballots to go wrong. It happens of course, life isn’t perfect, and many voices  have been compounding those glitches by fearmongering. Yet absentee ballots are a safe alternative for those who will be unable to go to the polling stations.

It’s rather easy actually, you request an absentee ballot from your local Election Committee (Board), they will send you a ballot (or you can pick it up) you cast your vote, and mail it back (or delivery it in person). Easy peasy.

Yes, there are time constraints (Deadlines), there are different regulations per each State, and those need to be followed. This ensures fairness and accuracy.

 

So, why are so many against it?

 

Well, some think fraud is easier with mail in absentee ballots. Others worry about accuracy in addresses, whether or not doubles will be mailed out, or if some nefarious group will ‘lose’ or ‘find’ ballots to shift the election.

It can happen, this is unlikely, but it can happen. Yet since you requested the ballot in the first place, all the safeguards are in place. They checked your voter registration, verified your address, and mailed off the ballot to you.

 

Let’s move the goalpost shall we?

 

Now comes Covid–19, the Pandemic of the century…we hope…and everyone suddenly has cooties. What to do? Well, California, Nevada and Michigan have a solution.  Absentee Ballots. Sounds logical right? I think so. We are in a pandemic, you want to minimize your contacts, avoid the cooties, and well, let’s vote from home!

But the Bad Orange Man is upset, twitter ranting away, threating non-existent legal action, just having a fit. Why?

It could be that these three States, with (okay, certainly) more to follow, took out one equation to the absentee ballot solution. A very critical one, these absentee were not requested, but just sent out. Sent out to everyone on their registration list.

And you have to wonder why they would do such a thing. Was this move out of generosity? A way to ease the minds of million of voters who may, shy away from polling places come November because of pandemic fears? And while the requesting of the absentee form is a tried and true method with little fraud, and verifiable accuracy. This mass mailing? Not so much. People move, people die, records are not always kept up to date, etc. This could lead to votes being missed, or being counted that shouldn’t be. This bothers Trump, but it really is unlikely these little hiccups with mass absentee ballots will sway a National Election. Very unlikely. Local? State? Even Congressional? Maybe. Presidential? Unlikely.

But what if you moved the goalposts? What if this mass absentee ballot voting was your only way to vote. And surprise, surprise, you don’t find this out until late October?

Because despite Trump’s blubber over the absentee voting system, and the concern from Democratically run States for your wellbeing, the real fraud might have to wait until this Fall.

Statistically, Democrats favor voting by mail by 22%. (electionupdates.caltech.edu) which means more Democrat votes will be cast by mail than Republican. Republicans tend to like the in-person voting method.

This November, with concerns of a second wave of Covid-19, those ‘mail-in’ ballot States may suspend in-person voting due to health concerns. That move, above all others, will skew the election. You just effectively, legally, disenfranchised a huge voting block.

Considering California has 55 Electoral votes, Nevada at 6 and Michigan at 10. And if more States follow, say, New York (29), Illinois (20) and Minnesota (10) the chances for Trump to win re-election are gone.

Whether these States purposely decided to pull a fast one come this Fall, or if it is in the back of their mind, either way, this is skewing the election. Legal Fraud.

This moving the goalposts path to victory on the Democratic party could lead to Real Constitutional Crisis, one that may plunge our Nation into a political nightmare that we will never wake from.

And of course, we’ll still have the cooties with us.

 

 

[The opinions expressed in this blog are strictly from the twisted mind of the author. No bees were harmed in the writing of this blog. Cooties are evil, and really annoying. Wear a mask, wash your hands, be safe.]

Mr. President, I have a couple of questions…

Posted on May 12, 2020

Donald_Trump_August_19_2015

President Donald J. Trump.

 

The best entertainment these days are White House briefings. Especially when the President is involved, and since he likes the spotlight, that has been often lately.

Yet what should be a time when important questions, ones that we all have should be asked, the press corps usually asks questions of the Gotcha nature. It makes for great drama, intrigue, and even comedy sometimes.

If the majority of the press corps can’t walk away from the briefings without making the President look bad? Well they’ve had a bad day. Usually the President wittingly or unwittingly plays along with them.

This really isn’t new, the press corps have always gone after Presidents with gotcha questions, or ask absurd questions to spark an angry response. The real fun is that Trump takes the bait more than his predecessors did. Honestly I think he enjoys it, like wrestling with a pig in the mud, the press hasn’t yet learned that the President enjoys it.

But what of us? Those who want serious answers to serious questions? Are we stuck watching this ‘poop-show’ and have to fend for ourselves afterwards? Finding crumbs of information on secondary media sites? Seems so, for the majority of the press corps, and media at large, they only want to put their spin on these briefings, ignoring any semblance of substance.

Wouldn’t it at least serve us better if they asked what was really on their minds? :

“Mr. President, two aides in the White House have tested positive for Covid-19. Wouldn’t it serve the country better if both you sir, and Vice President Pence resign and let Speaker Pelosi take over?”

“And a follow up sir, would you be willing to install a wet bar in the Oval Office for President Pelosi?”

 

“Mr. President, since your response to the Covid-19 pandemic has been abysmal, would you be willing to concede the election and just let Joe Biden win? Provided he can find his way out of his basement?”

“And a follow up sir, can Mr. Biden, provide he can’t find his way out of the basement, be allowed to make his basement the new Oval Office?” 

 

“Mr. President, can you just admit you are a racist? Trying to paint you as one is getting tiring.”

 

“Mr. President, why do you pronounce China as Chi-Na?”

“And a follow up sir, is it true you are jealous of China’s Big Beautiful wall?” 

 

“Mr. President, how exactly do you take orders from President Putin? Does he call you? Email? or do you communicate via Snapchat?”

 

And lastly…

 

“Mr. President, we know the Coronavirus originated in Hubei province of China, not far from the Wuhan Virology laboratory. With the Chinese government not being forthcoming in the matter, do you think they purposely let the virus spread?”

 

Oh, well yeah. That wasn’t a funny was it? But it was a serious question that needs to be answered. Not so much to let us know if that is the case, but if that is the way the President is thinking.

Because in these perilous times, that question needs to be known. That, and a host of other serious questions to let us really know how the President is addressing this pandemic. The Poop Show press briefings need to end, and the media needs to get on the ball. If not? Those secondary media sites will overtake them, and their relevancy in American Culture will vanish.

 

 

[The opinions in this Blog come from the warped mind of the author. The same place where stupid questions directed at the President come from. Proper precautions were taken in writing this jocular opinion piece. I wore a mask, gloves, and a ratty old Michigan State hat. My computer has not been practicing social distancing.]

 

 

 

 

It is still the Economy stupid.

Posted on April 3, 2020

 

My wife was particularly cruel to me last weekend. She pulled out about a half dozen old puzzles and wanted the family put them together. This little entertainment was originally for the kids, but soon I was roped into putting them together by myself.

The puzzles were old, and some of them were missing pieces. But they are fun, and a nice distraction during this time of social distancing. But the missing pieces got me thinking. When does a puzzle become useless? Putting them away, my wife marked on the boxes the missing pieces. -2, -4, and so on. The largest was a 100 pieces, and that one, was ironically, complete.

But when does a puzzle become useless? I’ve known people to toss them out if just one piece is missing. Those people? They didn’t have kids. People like me know that a puzzle missing a few pieces is still entertaining, if not a little frustrating.

Our Economy is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, with millions of pieces. Some of these pieces are vitally important to make it work, other’s are small pieces that come and go, yet still work to complete the picture. We are always missing pieces of the puzzle. And the amazing thing is someone is always making new ones to fit into the big picture. We have an amazing puzzle here folks. It can shrink, it can grow. That little piece you thought was unimportant? Well it might just surprise you one day.

There are rumblings that we need to get the economy going again. That this long drought is going to cause a depression. Those who oppose this have only one thing to say.

“How many lives are worth getting people back to work?” And you know, it is a seriously good point. And a snappy comeback to boot. Because if you answer the question? Well aren’t you just the cold hearted capitalist. So, the question is loaded, and on purpose, but it is wholly an honest and good question.

If we start things up too early, more people will get sick, and more will die. That? Is a fact. But what if we start too late? The government can’t pay everyone to stay home, no matter what your Socialist Utopian dreams are. And even if the government did pay people to stay home, someone is going to have to make the essential products. Simple things such as Bread, Milk and Eggs. People are going to have to work.

And, using Bread, Milk and Eggs as an example, think about all the little puzzle pieces that go along with getting those essentials to the masses. The machinery that is used to make and or process those three. The trucking to deliver those products to various stores, the shelving and refrigerated units used to keep them fresh. Hundreds, if not thousands of little puzzle pieces that go into those three essentials.

When the time comes during this social distancing and shutdown, that the machinery breaks down, or is worn out, and those companies that manufacture those parts are furloughed, if not closed permanently. How are we going to get the economy running again? Who is make the slicers for bread machines? Or the little screw that fell out? If no one is making refrigerant, and the refrigerators coolant leaks out, how are we going to refill it?

Like it or not, every day we stay idle, a piece of the puzzle is being taken away, chucked into fire and never to be seen again. New pieces to replace the lost ones aren’t allowed, so the piece is gone for good.

As time goes by, and more and more pieces of the puzzle are lost, we start to loose sight of the whole picture. It goes from a cute little kitten picture hanging onto a branch, to a rabid squirrel that has survived a nuclear war. We won’t be able to restart right away, because those small pieces that helped make up the whole picture are gone. And then the question will arise. How do we feed the masses, clothe the masses, move the masses, when we can’t make those items for the masses?

How many lives are worth the economy? I don’t have an answer, honestly, I don’t.

How many lives are going to be lost without an economy? I’m not sure of that either.

How many pieces of a puzzle lost make the puzzle worthless? Well now, that is a good question, isn’t it?

 

 

[Just an opinion piece, nothing to see here, move along, move along.]

Pandemic Conspiracies. My top four favorites.

Posted on April 1, 2020

 

If the internet has taught us anything, it is everyone has a Theory. Some of those theories quickly slip into the realm of Conspiracies. Here are some of my favorites.

 

1.) There really isn’t a Pandemic, this is just a bad flu, and it has been around since last Fall. 

KNOWN: Covid-19 is a pandemic. It is world wide, and has nearly topped 1 million cases. With some 45,000 deaths. The Flu, which is seasonal, and came in the Fall (October 1st 2019 as the start point) Has infected some 38-54 million worldwide. Causing some 24-62 thousand deaths worldwide according to the CDC website. [cdc.gov]

This year the B strain, made an early appearence, and this strain has gone after children. Many kids were out this Fall and early Winter due to the Flu. It was this strain of the Flu, not Covid-19 that caused many to be sick. Covid-19 wouldn’t make an appearance until December 1st, 2019, in China. If you remember, Covid-19 first went after the elderly (60-80+ age range), and has slightly impacted children, even though anyone can get it. And depending upon underling health issues. [ourworldindata.org]

2.) The media is hyping up the cases, and over exaggerating the shortages of PPE, ventilators, and ICU beds. Hospitals aren’t overrun.

KNOWN: Shortages of PPE and ventilators come from supply and demand. The Just In Time model and the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in. Many are surprized that we don’t have warehouses full of these things ready to go in case of a pandemic. Yet in reality, that wouldn’t would wise or prudent. As all things, PPE and ventilators age. Keeping ventilators in a storage room for 10 years and bringing them out in a crisis? You may find that  technology has moved on and the ventilators are basically useless. PPE would be the same. These are sterile items that can’t sit on a shelf forever.

ICU beds are not that plentiful. They are designed for short stays, and not for weeks on end. Many hospitals have rooms, not whole floors, dedicated for ICU. Consider that our Medical-Surgical Intensive Care beds only number 55,663. [aha.org] in the country. Some hospitals have none, because they don’t do Critical Care patients. You may run into a hospital with 30 such ICU beds, or one with only 5. This disproportionate availability cause some hospitals to be overwhelmed, others to see only a minor influx.

This is why some hospitals are being seen as ‘quiet’ and others are ‘frantic’. A Covid-19 patient may be directed to another hospital because doctors feel they would get better care there.

3.) This is a biological weapon, unleashed by the Chinese to destroy us. And the Government is using this crisis to take away our liberties.

KNOWN: As best as our virologist can tell, Covid-19 is a naturally evolving virus. None of the tale-tell markers of genetically splicing to create a biological weapon are present in the virus. This doesn’t mean that the virus wasn’t being studied at a lab and got out on accident. Finding hard facts on that scenario will be impossible. The Chinese government did certainly fumble on taking this virus serious, yet many government did too. Human error, and hubris, played a big part in the spread of Covid-19.

If this was a biological attack from the Chinese Government, and it was known fact, what do you think the logical conclusion would be to such an attack? War. Do you think the Chinese Government know this? Of course they do, and they know we would be forced to respond.

To break the spread of Covid-19, many governments have issued various styles of quarantines. Closing down everything from Schools to Small Businesses. And in the United States, yes, some Congress members are calling for Government control of various industries, and for the government to pay everyone to stay home, and all sorts of ‘Socialist’ ideas. Yet those who have called for these measures, Alexandria Ocasta-Cortez and Illan Omar, to name the most prominent, have been calling for these measures prior to the pandemic. There is no reason to think the pandemic was going to change their beliefs.

And yes, some governors have let their partisan views slip into the quarantine. Closing down Gun shops and Medical facilities that preform abortions. Pork was added to the stimulus bill, and finger pointing from both sides continue. Yet these issues alone, do not show the Federal Government is trying to overthrow the American People’s will. It shows that even in a Pandemic, politicians are still politicians.

4.) Something is just wrong with this whole situation, don’t you think so? Things aren’t adding up, and I think something, or someone, is behind it all. 

KNOWN: Exactly! Because right now, if you are like most of the nation, you are stuck mostly at home. Limited to how much you can go out and socialize. The daily pattern of our lives has been interrupted, and this is disconcerting.

Isolation does funny things to people. Humans are a gregarious lot, we like to congregate and interact. Doing that now puts ourselves and others at risk. Isolation also brings on anxiety, depression. Nothing in the current situation feels right, because it is outside our normal lives.

This paranoia comes from our feeling of being out of control of the situation. Humans like to be in control, to know what is going on and to feel they can do something about it all. Pandemics negate our control, and the feelings of something is wrong are exacerbated.

The conflicting information from the Administration, healthcare professionals, and the media do not help. This seemly disorganized response comes from several factors. The pandemic is ongoing, the virus is new, data is slow to come in and projection models change rapidly. Testing causes wild jump in numbers, and the unknown? It’s scary.

We feel this wrongness because we lack control of the situation, and unlike smaller events that happen to individuals, being a pandemic, the feeling is magnified.

 

 

[The Author is responsible for the content of this blog. This is an opinion piece, and in no way is to confer Medical advice, nor psychological advice, and is purely for entertainment purposes only. Where statitics and data are used, that information is noted in paragraph. Wash your Hands.]

 

 

I know the culprit of the lack of Personal Protect Equipment. Sam Walton.

Posted on April 1, 2020

Have you heard of Sam Walton? No, not John-boy Walton’s father, but the patriarch of the Wal-Mart Walton’s. An amazing man who took a small little retail store and turned it into a multi-million…now multi-billion dollar company. Most people hate Wal-Mart, or absolutely love it! Few are in-between. Yet you can’t deny Sam Walton wasn’t a genius.

 

The genius of Sam Walton was that he realized he had a problem. His backroom in his store? It was packed with inventor. Some of it was moving just fine, other inventor, not so well. Then there was inventor that try as he might, he couldn’t get reliable vendors, and was constantly out of stock.

This was the way of retail stores when Sam ran his. A mess of vendors, storage room, and trying to second guess what his customers will buy, and what they won’t.

 

So, Sam came up with a plan, a good one. He would reduce his overstocked inventor, demand his vendors supply just what he needed, keep track of what his shoppers wanted and keep them happy.

 

And he called it, Just In Time.

 

Just In Time took over the retail world like a stormfront moving in on a hot summer day (Sorry, that’s the pathetic writer in me). Others copied Sam Walton’s model, even his vendors. Just In Time would change the world, and possible, doom our future.

Having PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) was costly for hospitals back in the day. Likely they were overcharged, and keeping PPE in stock means having the room to store it. It was likely a nightmare. Then Just In Time came along and they didn’t have to the pay the high prices, or so they hoped, and they didn’t need those large storage rooms. Keeping months and months of PPE, some that stayed in closets for so long, it became useless, those days were gone.
Now, Hospitals can keep just what they need, get more when they need it from multiple vendors, and never have to worry about grabbing facemasks of a dusty shelf only to find out they expired three years ago. The rubber straps rotted, to add insult to injury.

It was a wonderful plan, and hospitals embraced it because it was cost saving, and logical.

Tragedies happen, tornados, mass shootings, fires and earthquakes. Those tragedies? Are all localized. Pandemics? Those are not anywhere near localized. Pandemics are everywhere.

We changed our shipping and receiving model, to better suit our norm. But the norm changed in a way we didn’t truly expect or hoped would never happen. History should have taught us otherwise, unfortunately, humans tend to ignore history.

If you were wondering why we have a PPE shortage, Sam’s the answer folks.

 

 

[Author’s Note: The Just In Time model innovated by Sam Walton was a game changer. It has done more to help retailers grow and bolster supply chain needs, than any other model before it. The adoption of the Just In Time model was good thing, and the unforeseen consequences can not be faulted upon Sam Walton, nor his heirs, nor the companies they operate. The Author is not implying the Walton’s are at fault for the current lack of PPE ]

Which Curve is being Flattened?

Posted on March 29, 2020

Today marks one week the State of Illinois has been Sheltering-in-place. Basically, a quarantine order. People are not allowed to gather in groups of  more than 10, businesses designated non-essential are shuttered, people told to stay home unless they need to run out for essentials. Social distancing is the new norm . We have another week to go, and as of today, the curve is still growing in Illinois,and doesn’t seem to be letting up.

Yet another curve has flattened, and even has turned downward. That is the economic sector in Illinois. With businesses shut down, from small mom and pop shops to corporations, millions are furloughed and patiently wait for all this to pass over and they can get back to work. As with the rest of the Nation, we are all stuck on that airplane over Lake Michigan in an enormous holding pattern, waiting for our turn to land.

Let’s take a look back shall we?

It’s amazing how we forget. When Covid-19 broke out in China late last year, thousands were sicken. And the death toll started to rise. And yes, you can die of Covid-19, yet fatality rates won’t be known till this is all over. That’s the science of it all, the data is lacking at this moment, even as the CDC struggles to get accurate numbers and pass them along to our Government leaders.

But the sickening was the scary part. Unlike the Common Cold or even Influenza, which typically have an incubation period of 1-2 days, Covid-19 has an incubation around 1-14 days (typically assumed to be 5 days). Which means more people can be infected without the carrier knowing they are passing it along.

This point, was the scariest part of Covid-19. Theoretically Covid-19 could infect our whole nation and we would be dealing with a workforce that was sickened for weeks if not months. This sustained lack of a workforce would seriously impede economic growth, resulting in lack of common supplies, and essential needs, and would lead to a recession if not a depression. Without adequate measures, the Pandemic would keep going, reducing productivity and then ramping up outbreaks in the Fall and Winter. The virus cycle would not be broken, and would continue to wreck havoc on all sectors of our economy. The worst hit would be the Healthcare sector, unable to recoup and keep up with demand, instead of having a painful few weeks, as we are enduring now, there would be months of overpacked hospitals and emergency rooms. Eventually, our Healthcare system would fail, supply chains would fail, and recovery would take decades. More could die, not just from the virus, but those unable to get life saving medicines, proper sanitation, and possibly even starvation. A nightmare scenario was looming.

Let’s Flatten the Curve.

This became the Mantra. If we take a break from social contact, we can stop the spread, and advert a looming disaster, humanitarian and financially. So far, this plan of ours has cost us $2.2 Trillion added to our national debt. Not a pretty thing to be sure, but considering the alternative, probably less than the cost of ignoring the outbreak.

As with any crisis, opportunist always seek a piece of the monetary pie. And with the norm out of Washington D.C., politics dictate that compromises must be made to achieve the goal. Each side will accuse the other side of Pork, each side has a valid point.

Overall, then end results are supposed to justify the means, even if that rarely happenes. If this works? We should have defeated a tiny little enemy, kept our economy from falling into the chasm of catastrophe and come out better on the other side. Yet we will lose people, as we have already, and each loss has a personal, painful, story. Let’s not forget that.

Hopefully we will have learned something after this is all over. We will remember those occupations in our society that fit into the overall society as tiny but necessary gears. That being a stocker at a local store is just as important to society as a nurse. That a Truck Driver puts in long hours to keep America fed . And those in our Healthcare system, put their lives on the line to help others, as with that simple store clerk, ringing up your toilet paper and hand sanitizer knowing you are the 20th person they’ve had contact with that morning. We shouldn’t forget them.

In the end, if done right, we will have flattened one curve and make another one rise, the economic one. For a health of a nation doesn’t rest solely on its physical wellbeing alone. If we do not have an economy to feed us, cloth us, provide ventilators and Personal Protection Equipment, then our physical wellbeing will suffer. More will die. And we can’t have that.

The balance of the curves is the tricky part. When to say one is flatten enough to allow the other one to rise. And not to get those two confused.

 

 

 

[The Opinions in this blog are the Author’s alone.]

 

After the Pandemic Ends.

Posted on March 20, 2020

 

Eventually this pandemic will pass. That is a certainty. And it should be obvious, there will be blame, finger pointing, revisionist history, and mourning. We can only hope that the mourning is kept to a minimum. Yet, we will have learned things, more than you might suspect right now. Here are a few I think that will top the list.

The Obvious ones.

1.) Bureaucracy is a major hindrance when fast action is needed. The Deep State, The Swamp, whatever you want to call it, bureaucracy is what it is. Bureaucrats may be Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, or even Socialist. Yet their loyalty is to the bureaucracy, not their Political Party , or even an Administration. When Covid-19 raised it’s ugly head, the current administration sidestepped the bureaucracy once again. How this plays out, may be a litmus test for our bureaucracy. But, don’t hold your breath for a slimmer government.

2.) We are going to find out how efficient our Healthcare system actually is. And if this pandemic takes a turn for the worst, how well they can handle it. If they do well, then calls for the ACA, or Universal Healthcare will just turn into murmurs. The private sector will get a much needed boost of confidence, and hopeful we will get our healthcare system in order. If it collapses? We will have Universal Healthcare, and quick.

3.) If, and yes this is a big if, the pandemic passes in a short time, the economy will come roaring back. Not only will businesses that survived do better, new opportunities for those that failed will crop up. We might see a fundamental shift in our economy, and way of life. If this pandemic drags on, till August, or later? The word Recession will be replaced with Depression. And no amount of stimulus will save it.

4.) With Covid-19, the Chinese Virus, or Wuhan Virus, or whatever you want to call it, the geopolitical fallout is going to hurt. Actually, it’s a little scary what is coming out of China. China is making claims that the virus originated in the United States, and not only that, they are hinting, if not insinuating, that this virus was some sort of biological weapon. As absurd as those charges are, it is doubtful China will find solace in future trade with the United States. Look for more companies coming back to the USA, and our dependency on Chinese trade to evaporate. While this may be prudent for us, the Chinese will not take this well, and this will spell trouble for years to come.

The Not So Obvious Ones.

5.) Global Warming! Oh come on! Don’t be surprised! For years we’ve been hearing about the coming catastrophe of Climate Change. During this pandemic, factories have been reducing CO2 output if not stopping it altogether. A map of China before and after the pandemic hit are very telling. Yet, what will this pandemic mean for overall CO2 levels? There might be a slight drop, or at least a status quo from last year. Yet if the numbers go up? That will raise questions. If they drop dramatically due to the pandemic? Raise even more questions. Either way? Watch the numbers for CO2 emissions.

6.) Remember in number 3 I said a fundamental shift in our economy? That could happen. With the pandemic, more companies have been forced to have their employees work from home. Many people may like the idea, companies even more. If the company can save money by having their employees work offsite, they may take more advantage of this. Then there are drive thru outlets. This was becoming a thing prior to the pandemic, but many chains, and even small businesses might find this to their advantage. Delivery services may surge. Not to mention those industries, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, may start being produced in the United States, spawning new companies. 3-D printers have been trying their hat at making ventilators, a much needed device for this pandemic, but usually not in high demand. Companies who can do quick turn arounds? They might find themselves in demand.

7.) We will need to invest in a better internet. With millions home, children who are bored and the weather not cooperating, many people have turned to streaming services for entertainment. Questions of how much the internet can take have been cropping up, and even after the pandemic, we all know that demand will always be increasing. The time to reorganize and restructure our internet services will be upon us.

8.) We won’t learn our lesson. Despite this pandemic, Ebola, Swine Flu, and countless others that have come before this one, we won’t be prepared for the next one. This really isn’t a failure of an one particular Administration or Government. Part of it is human nature, our hubris. And part is because we have no idea what the next pandemic will be. We may have better protocols in place, better response times, but still…we just don’t know. If Covid-19 had the same lethality of Ebola, the world would be in a lot of hurt by now. If you think back to the HIV epidemic, a disease that took a long time to kill people, and couple that with Covid-19 ability to pass along undetected, infecting hundreds, before it shows up? Such a pandemic would devastate humanity. We would be faced with a disease that could lay dormant in us for years before it exhibited lethal symptoms. In the world of virology, being vigilant is not just practical, it is a necessity.

 

I hope we beat the curve, flatten it like a skunk on some dusty backroad. And I hope the Malaria related drugs work. And that we develop a vaccine for this virus. That we learn more, and are able to take better steps to prevent a resurgence. In the mean time, we’ll stay at home, run out to the store and hope bread is on the shelves, and suck up the streaming services to the max. I wish everyone well, and hope to see you on the other side of this mess. While you hear the bad, there are more stories of good out there. And in the end, we realize that humans, messed up and neurotic as we are, really care for each other.

 

[The opinions expressed in this blog belong to the author alone. Tarot cards, crystal balls, and other magical attributes were not used in the writing of this blog. The author is not a medical professional, and doesn’t even play one on tv. Although I have been examined by my four children over the years with their childhood medical expertise and it has been determined that I suffered from a bad case of the cooties. Wash your hands, keep 6 feet away, and be kind. ]

What the Coronavirus has taught me about the Zombie Apocalypse.

Posted on March 16, 2020

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We’re basically screwed folks. I don’t think the Coronavirus will end humanity. Most likely it won’t even put a dent in humanity overall. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take it seriously, we should. But with 7 billion and counting, the End of the World is not nigh. Yet if you are worried about a virus taking out humanity, might want to look a little closer to home, a mirror would do fine.

You have to wonder what is it about this virus that is causing the run on toilet paper. Theories abound, articles have been written, politicians have opined, comedians are having fun, but it’s more telling than they know.

Yesterday I needed to run to the store. During this pandemic, we have been limiting our exposure, so I get to be the guinea pig. I go for the essentials, and then come back home to wash my hands and then put stuff away. Yet my wife was curious, what do the stores look like? Who is buying what and what are they out of?

Well, toilet paper of course. Paper towels, napkins, water…water bottles are scarce. Gatorade, and other drinks with electrolytes in them? Gone. BREAD, was wiped out! Who hordes bread? Milk was gone, eggs, fresh fruits and vegetables, and most foods that are premade and you just heated them up in the microwave or oven. Then of course there is a run on ibuprofen, but not facial tissues, odd.

Then, the strangest of them all, people had been asking for cash back so much that the store had to halt doing that. Makes you scratch your head in wonder.

My conclusion from my shopping? People are not worried about the coronavirus. Concerned? Yes. Worried? No. What they are worried about is the governments reaction to the virus. People are more afraid of being quarantined for a month than catching the virus. They feel they will be locked away in their houses, unable to get simple things, like toilet paper. People are worried that stores will no longer take cards, or worse, they won’t honor them. So, we’ll have to go back to cash.

Many have been buying perishables that they feel they won’t have access to, because the government will halt transportation. Fresh vegetables, bread, and even milk would be scarce if that happened, and people feel it will. Bottled water? A fear that tap water will not always flow.

These hoarders? They’re not so crazy. Okay, definitely overdoing the toilet paper. But as of today, in my state of Illinois, the governor is shutting down the state. Restaurants, Bars, State Parks, any place were people may congregate are being shuttered for the time being. The closings? Probably going to get worse before it gets better. The point of all this is to isolate the population, to prevent the spread. Yet the hoarders tell us they feel the government is the real virus here, and that they fear them, more than Covid-19. (Wuhan flu for you conservatives).

What does this pandemic tell me? That we are screwed if the Zombie Apocalypse happens. No, don’t worry, the dead are not coming back to life…yet. But the Zombie Apocalypse is more than that. Unlike the Coronavirus which will come and go, the Zombie Apocalypse is a sustained pandemic. One that would last months or even years. It is one of those off the charts scenarios that we use to gauge our response abilities. Even our Military have used a Zombie outbreak as a training exercise. Mostly tongue-in-cheek, yet also for the complete chaos aspect.

And it is that chaos, the complete breakdown of order, that people fear most. They fear the governments overreaction to a crisis, and their overreach. We don’t fear the crisis as much as we fear human stupidity.

While our government, and governments around the world are getting a handle on the Coronavirus outbreak, they are showing that we are not prepared for a pandemic on a Plague like scale. We just don’t have the resources, the preparedness, that it would take to ward off hoards of Zombies. We tend to knee jerk in our reactions, and not implement protocols to minimize damage on time, or have them in ready to implement in the first place.

And then their is the political aspects of pandemics. Crisis’s often bring out the worst in politicians. On occasion, the best, but usually the worst. As they vie to top each other with the mantra “I am doing more than the other guy”. They use times like this to grab power in the guise of handling the situation. Becoming overreacting parents, when you break your curfew, by just 30 seconds.

So, the Coronavirus? It will run it’s course, take its toll, and fade into the history books like so many before it. The Zombie Apocalypse? Well it’s coming, probably without the living dead part, but it’s around the corner. And will we have learned our lesson by then? The toilet paper hoarders think not.

 

 

[The opinions expressed in this blog come from the writers deranged imagination. No Toilet Paper was harmed in the making of this blog, although a couple of rolls were squeezed for good measure. WASH YOUR HANDS! And use common sense. We’ll get through this, it is just a bug folks, not a Zombie Apocalypse.]

Dear Twitterverse, that isn’t socialism.

Posted on February 12, 2020

 

 

I’ve noticed something about the new socialist on Twitter. They don’t know what socialism is. They think they do. But sadly, they don’t.

Socialism to them is this hip new idea that magically makes everyone equal. Don’t ask them what ‘Equal’ means because they don’t know what that means either.

But in the Socialist Utopia that is to come. The Wealthy 1% will pay for everyone’s dreams. Corporations will cease to exist in favor government run co-ops and Healthcare will fix everything from the Coronavirus to Shingles. You will have a house, you will have a starter job paying you $22 an hour. And oh, anything you want to learn? College for Free.

Honestly, it’s not a bad world. Sounds great. And of course, we already have socialist institutions in the United States, so there you go. The government hasn’t collapsed into anarchy because we have adopted these socialist programs. So, we can add more right? Expand upon our current socialist programs. Right?

Fine, but those programs? They aren’t socialist in nature. Sure they benefit people, but honestly? They benefit the Capitalist Merchants first and foremost. These programs were put in place to help everyone, they were put in place to protect, or add incentives, to open markets for Merchants. You know, Capitalist.

Police Departments, Fire Departments, Water Departments, Roads and Bridges, Railroads, airports and shipyards, all these exist because of Capitalism. They were created, in one way or the other, to enhance trade and commerce.

If you have a business? You don’t want riots in the streets that could damage your building. You don’t want it to burn down. You’ll need reliable water for the fire department and for your business. If you have a muddy road in front of your business, but your competitor had a brick road? You’ll lose business and probably move elsewhere. Rail access became important, faster to transport your goods. Same with Airports and shipyards. The Public Services? Weren’t built just because it was a ‘nice idea at the time’. They were built or came into being to serve Merchants. Towns and Cities saw the importance of these services for their merchants, and so they funded them.

If you want to say Social Security is a perfect example? Not really. A good example, yes. But FDR was as much as a socialist as Ronald Reagan was. Social Security gave retirement monies at a time when Ma & Pa were living at home and couldn’t provide for themselves. That money helped families and allowed families to buy more goods and services. Okay, yes, Social Security did pay people who didn’t work anymore. And the money came from taxation. Yet government giveaways to benefit the general public aren’t necessary socialism. If so, explain why Roman Emperor’s gave out bread and coins to the public. Not really the model of Socialism, those dastardly Romans.

When socialism does take hold of a government, it only brings about a short term prosperity. Like using one, 2 liter of pop, for a group of teenagers. Sure, they all get a good taste at first, but when it comes to round two, either some get more, others none. Or all get a little. Eventually, you run out of other peoples 2 liters.

Resources under socialism naturally grow tight. Free education is offered, but only on those subjects that the government approves of. What? Do you think Soviet College students were learning how to run a successful business? Or the value of entrepreneurship? Those classes weren’t offered. Or offered behind the college and against the bullet riddled wall.

Everyone had a job in the U.S.S.R., but that could mean 5 people working the same job, that was originally meant for 1 person to do. Either you would take turns, or one guy is working while the others goof off. Not sure where that rates on your idea of Equality, but I doubt it rates high.

The concept is that government programs, government housing and healthcare, will make life easier. Maybe. But when you ask others to take care of you? Well you have to accept what they offer. Your choices become limited, if non-existent. Remember the breadline stories of the old Soviet Union? The reason they exist is because only one manufacture was making the bread and only one place distributing the bread. If they were out of bread? You couldn’t go across the street to the other store. That store didn’t exist.

 

So, no Twitterverse. These programs and services are not the socialism you laud by saying ‘we have socialism already’, these programs were created by capitalists, to enable businesses to meet their needs. Nothing to do with socialism at all.

 

[The opinions expressed here are the authors and authors alone. Links were not provided because it really wouldn’t help. Socialist just think the internet is just another case of Capitalist Oppression. Also, it would do you some good to do your own research.]

Dear Chicken Little, you are wrong my friend.

Posted on November 13, 2019

A little note to the Climate Alarmist Movement. And why we didn’t shoot all the horses when the Model T rolled out.

 

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Due to Climate Change, Gingerbread men will mutate into Ginger Cthulhu’s. / Photo by The Opinant.

 

My Twitter discussion started with an NBC article. The article purported that Hurricane’s are more damaging now than they were 100 years ago. You know, back when satellites where powered by horses, and getting them into orbit involved ginormous sling shots.

I had to reply. My reply had to be snarky. Because the idiocy of the article demanded it. An apples to avocados comparison.

One major problem with the Climate Change Alarmist Culture is depending upon historical data and turning it into scientific data. It’s a wonderful idea, but it just doesn’t quite work out the way you like. Like Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe baking a soufflé, it’s a lovely thought, but the results just aren’t going to cut it. Scientist are notorious for doing this. That’s why scientific views change over time. Usually, for the better.

My snark didn’t sit well with one Tweeter. And we engaged in a robust back and forth. I thoroughly enjoyed it, because I am weird and like other points of view. Now, the Tweeter did not call themselves an Alarmist, yet they have empathy for them.

I do not. I think they make Climate Change look stupid, and fuel people into thinking it is a pseudoscience.

Here’s the deal. Anthropological Global Warming is real. Used to be called Global Warming, which is a misnomer. Now called Climate Change, which is a bigger misnomer.

The biggest mistake Climate Change Alarmist make is assuming that all the evils in the world revolve around Carbon Dioxide and the fossil fuels that create it. They have used historical data to show the errant rise of CO2 levels, correlated this with the rise of industry, and voilà! Demand we give up fossil fuels to save the planet.

 

Note to Alarmist. Earth was hit by a big f’ing space rock some 65,000,000 years ago and is still here. So is life. Chill.

 

The problem with their logic, and those scientific facts that are pushing their logic, is that it isn’t logical. Nor historically accurate. Humans have been altering the Earth for tens of thousands of years. Mostly, for our betterment.

Humans, like many species that exist (and used to exist) on this planet, manipulate their environment to better suit themselves. We just happen to be very good at it. And during this time, we have altered our planets atmospheric make up. Can’t say that is a good thing, but honestly? We really don’t know how bad it is either.

Yet you are told the temperatures are rising, the ice is melting, the sea levels will wash away cities, and well, we are going extinct, like in 12 years, maybe 50, tops. AOC and Greta concur, we are toast.

No we aren’t. Well…maybe, but certainly not by Climate Change. Anti-vaxxers have a better chance, than Climate Change, in wiping out humanity.

However, we might just go extinct due to stupidity, because ditching fossil fuels? That is just stupid. When the Model T rolled off of production lines, no one thought they should shoot all the horses. Sure, the horse was going to be replaced, but let’s not go crazy here.

Fossil fuels will not be the end of us. They will probably save us. For one, to build electric cars, put up solar panels, move wind turbines, you are going to have to use fossil fuels.

If we need to relocate people away from the coastlines, or build barriers to prevent coastal flooding, it will be much more easier with fossil fuels, rather than waiting for the sun to come up to drive our solar powered earthmovers.

 

Fossil fuels will also create the great Dome Cities we will live in when the air is toxic, and fossil fuels will also power the lasers to blast anyone over 30 years of age into smithereens. Okay, so maybe not, but that would be a great 70’s movie wouldn’t it? 

 

In truth, the biggest problem with Alarmist is they have Chicken Little Syndrome. They scream Fossil Fuel Bad and propose solutions that are scientifically and financially unattainable, all the while feeling good about telling you what a rotten person you are for flying in an airplane. Then they cheer a 16 girl who sails around the world in a boat that to build it? Probably produced enough CO2 in its manufacturing that it could feed a mini rainforest.

They believe we can use solar and wind to solve all of our energy ills, while shirking Nuclear power that real could solve all our energy ills.

Yet the biggest fault in all their logic? Fossil Fuels themselves. While touting the greedy oil companies for knowing years ago that fossil fuels would increase CO2 levels, they missed the point that back when the reports came out? Most in the industry were warning of the end of fossil fuels. That resources were drying up, and soon? The world would be without oil.

Why didn’t that happen? Because human ingenuity found other ways to extract oil. Exploration techniques became better, and we learned to conserve our usage by being more efficient in our use of fossil fuels.

We solved the shortage problem not by abandoning what had worked, but by improving upon ways that did work. Ending fossil fuels now? That is a sure path to extinction.

 

 

 

[The opinions expressed in this blog come from the mind of Cthulhu, who is channeling his dark thoughts into my mind right this very minute. Cthulhu has stock in Oil Companies, and wants to see fossil fuels used in abundance so that life on Earth will be choked out. This will finally give Cthulhu time to watch his favorite Netflix programs in peace. Without all that Climate Change yapping. – Or this could all be in my head. – jsk]