525.00


If you get the tax taken out from the enhanced unemployment, that is what you get. This program has been one of the few good ideas to come out of the government during the Covid 19 pandemic.

While some senators would already have way too much vacation voiced that “it’s a disincentive to get people to work,” as you might expect I don’t share that opinion. I’ve been the recipient of two confidence shaking furloughs and am not quite out of the woods a third. That extra bit has kept me in my home, paid bills, bought groceries and gone BACK INTO THE FLIPPING ECONOMY!!!

The senators (let’s call them McConnell and Graham) think in stupidly general terms instead of doing what is right and just for the people they supposedly represent. It’s money I’ve been paying into since I started working at age 15.

Regular unemployment benefits don’t do it. These chuckleheads seem to think it is coming out of their pockets. What good is propping up cruiselines (THAT PAY NO TAXES!!!) when nobody can afford to partake.

I’m not saying we should be cruising but when government forces a shutdown, this is what you run budgets up for, not for when tax  rolls don’t favor your friends enough. There has been complaints that this had underminded folks desire to work. I don’t agree. I was on the program for a few weeks and I paid the rent, car and pushed it all back into that economy that will suddenly be without a lot of spending if this deadline goes by the way side, which should be a concern for those wanting the economy to move again. This has larger ramifications that morons saying get a job on facebook posts. To those morons, yeah, everybody should be working indeed and I’m sorry you didn’t get rewarded as your job didn’t end, but have you tried to apply for something when you are over age say, 35, it gets tougher. A manufacturing union rep looking for workers says the benefits are over a $1000 a week and he can’t compete with that. That has the benefit of not being true.

Sure, a few played the system like every government program ever, but can you imagine if you are a restaurant worker and your place has reduced capacity, so you are making minimum and because that reduced capacity, you aren’t going to clear as many tips, and you have to take on sanitizing and mask policing, I’m not going to lie, that does slow your roll a bit.

But unemployment does want you to be looking. My time down? That’s all I was doing. These are unprecedented times and we do need to not be so selfish when folks are squirming because of circumstances forced upon them.

As has been often said, “nobody wins, unless everybody wins.”

 

In the News


I need to vent. It’s all getting to me. Since nobody ever gets their mind changed by anything ever posted on Facebook, I thought I’d bring my gripes over here where I can at least get them out of my head without hopping on all these various threads on all these current issues. Telling many folks how wrong they are is a lot of work.

“I worked throughout the entire pandemic, share if you can” – Well, congratulations there, Skippy. I and many others would have liked to as well but some of us were subject (through no fault of our own) to furloughs, layoffs, flat out job losses. I would like my work to be uninterrupted, to not be diminished or suffer that stigma, but here we are. Getting furloughed is humiliating, humbling and to see people who are basically bragging that their salary went interrupted is maddening.

“We’re making it too easy for them to stay on unemployment” – This is just really dumb. I hate swiping generalizations like this. I want to contribute, I’m eager to get back at it, I thought the economy would favor me, but that is taking time. The $600 a week that apparently grinds your gears? I’ve been paying into that too and it is making it a little easier to keep my home, pay my car and keep me alive. And none of it, I mean none it is hurting you. Maybe you can’t attract a minimum wage worker for your bubble tea boutique because maybe you aren’t a worthy employer. Maybe it’s you.

“Are you getting excited to be in a restaurant again?” – In a word, no. Covid hasn’t gone anyplace. The icus and emergency rooms just have space now. Nobody knows nothing else with any certainty. Not crazy about masking wearing, especially on a bike ride, but I’m going to continue. If your faith needs to you be in a building to worship, that would be a faith I’d worry about.

“Social Media is dividing us” – Oh, good lord shut up. It is a inanimate object. If you foresake personal responsibilty and just toss stuff out there for the sake of audience reaction (like I’m doing now), own it.

“George Floyd was…” – Again, really flipping dumb. I don’t care if he was a Security guard or securities trader. It doesn’t matter. To invest time searching for disparaging memes, just reveals the amount of how small a person you are. Mr. Floyd’s death was inhumane and I hope the movement spurred continues to affect change.

“All Lives Matter” – If you have ever let this pass your lips, that is just foolish and you are missing the point. All lives should matter but the whole point of the Black Lives Matter movement is that all lives haven’t mattered, that is what needs to be changed. We all need to matter equally and we haven’t.

“Defund the Police” – Of course not! It’s a crappy slogan, but I mean nobody wants to do that despite what the President and certain candidates for congress would have you believe. Instead of spending money on ratcheting up it’s militarization, lighten their load a bit to concentrate on laws, reallocate some of the dollars on other areas to improve the complete picture a little bit. One congressional candidate in the New York 27 has already taken up pandering to that point. I hope that the people who live there ignore him.

“He was scanning their equipment” – There is no way that 75 year old Martin Gugino was “scanning” police frequencies with his consumer cellular smart phone. As a 75 year old, he might have stepped forward a bit to hear what he was being instructed by the Buffalo police. Yes there was a curfew, but no, there was no excuse for the shove or the callous strutting away after said shove.

The police who shot Breona Taylor need to face the music however. I hope the Attorney General can make the charges against Mr. Floyd’s killers stick and  the changes and calls for changes are genuine. This isn’t okay.

I worry of some of the political bluster means something. I am feeling that the mayor of Buffalo came out with a press conference to announce some reforms to mostly say he announced some reforms, much like the parade of companies who through either posters, ads or other collateral mean it, not just doing so with an eye to showing that “some of our best friends are black.”

Confederate symbols – There is one that I would especially like to see come down. McConnell.

Breathe


Take a breath, be grateful you have that option

The names change, but the color does not. That is a elegantly tragic sentiment that came from Governor Cuomo. I’ve been trying to process everything about what happened to George Floyd and I’m not even close.

This has been a horrifying period of time to watch over and over as a thankfully now former Minneapolis policeman burrow his knee into Mr. Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes. Paramedics were quote that Mr. Floyd was dead at the scene. The officer was so casual about making Mr. Floyd a victim that he had a one hand in a pants pocket while he snuffed the last breathe from Mr. Floyd.The cell phone camera has offered more protection to Black Americans than any law enforcement agency, court, prosecutor, elected official, or news organization.

The horrifying video has been a tipping point. Yes to protests and continued silence does nothing but add to body counts. While I am not a fan of the violent destruction of property, I get it. When you haven’t been heard, when you, time and time again, get ignored, shown that not all lives matter, I defy you dear reader to not want to lash out in some form.

While that form isn’t great, Target will be fine. Yes, there are some people taking advantage (of all colors) and some of the destruction was at the hands of folks paler than me, but consider that it took 4 days for that officer to be charged, 4 more for the other three officers there to be charged for killing him.

It seems like we are two countries, one that fights for equality and another who fights for brunch. Here I sit, as a middle aged white guy, who raised that we are all people, and I am seeking the council of Ben & Jerry’s, but for once not of their ice cream.

I am fortunate. I married into a proud African American family that welcomed me like my seat at the table was waiting for me to sit right at it. I was raised by two supportive parents who continually showed that while the world is a fundamentally a good place, it wasn’t such for everybody and that needed to change. It still does. My children are the three smartest people I know and I’m sorry that their African American side still faces that struggle that our elders know all too well. I know firsthand of some of the hurdles they have faced because of the ignorance of others and my imagination doesn’t want to envision what else they may have encountered when their mother or I wasn’t around. That they have love in the hearts shows me the incredible people they are in spite of what the world continues to want to serve up. My daughters have both married upstanding tremendous men. I want to appropriate what my one son-in-law posted earlier:

“Check in on your friends and family of color. Everyone needs support right now. Making this post to let everyone in my life know that if you don’t support people of color and #blacklivesmatter , we have no reason to be in contact. This is not a political agenda, it’s a human right violation. I love my black family and I support you.”

Spot on and goes for me too. Before you respond at all with “well, all lives matter,” just don’t. Yes, they should, but they haven’t. There is white folk then everybody else. I know I can drive through a suburb nearby without so much as raising an eye, given my impervious shield of white privilege while my black brother-in-law might raise some eyebrows for doing the exact same thing.

In race riots in Buffalo, NY in the late sixties, my dad was directed to hide out for safety in an office supply shop. I like believing my future father-in-law gave him that direction. Easy to imagine in that both my dad and my pop sought a better world.

Pale breathren, don’t ask your black friends how you can help all the sudden. This shit has been going on for a long damn time, not just since last week. and they’d be right to ask where’ve you been. We have a president who seems to hate everybody who isn’t in the donor database he keeps. He has looted his own foundation, the 9/11 relief fund, casino bond holders, people who trusted his only charity, military families for a wall he said Mexico would fund and the U.S. Treasury directly into his for-profit golf resorts. He is bigoted, documented liar and racist, who demanded yes man like subservience and you are lesser if you have spine. He apparently has no trouble tear gassing his own citizens, but when called on it denies it, despite evidence to the contrary. What the little bunker bitch needs to realize is that what will make this country great is realizing that we all need to be in this together. The marginalization of every culture nonwhite has been destructive and hasn’t really improved the white folks either. We haven’t been one, but in those rare times, those few instances where the matters immediately at hand trumped (there’s that word), like Hurricane Harvey, people have the capacity to pull together as one. It should stop being the exception and be the rule.Let’s keep talking, listening, remembering honoring and actually heeding the thought that

#BLACKLIVESMATTER

This I found on Facebook and am going to reshare as we need to remember people and how this situation needs to improve, that the riots are the voices of the unheard, but beyond the demonstrations…

In America – because I am a human who happens to have white skin, I can do all of these things without thinking twice:
I can go birding (#ChristianCooper)
I can go jogging (#AmaudArbery)
I can relax in the comfort of my own home (#BothemSean and #AtatianaJefferson)
I can ask for help after being in a car crash (#JonathanFerrell and #RenishaMcBride)
I can have a cellphone (#StephonClark)
I can leave a party to get to safety (#JordanEdwards)
I can play loud music (#JordanDavis)
I can sell CDs (#AltonSterling)
I can sleep (#AiyanaJones)
I can walk from the corner store (#MikeBrown)
I can play cops and robbers (#TamirRice)
I can go to church (#Charleston9)
I can walk home with Skittles (#TrayvonMartin)
I can hold a hair brush while leaving my own bachelor party (#SeanBell)
I can party on New Years (#OscarGrant)
I can get a normal traffic ticket (#SandraBland)
I can lawfully carry a weapon (#PhilandoCastile)
I can break down on a public road with car problems (#CoreyJones)
I can shop at Walmart (#JohnCrawford)
I can have a disabled vehicle (#TerrenceCrutcher)
I can read a book in my own car (#KeithScott)
I can be a 10 yr old walking with our grandfather (#CliffordGlover)
I can decorate for a party (#ClaudeReese)
I can ask a cop a question (#RandyEvans)
I can cash a check in peace (#YvonneSmallwood)
I can take out my wallet (#AmadouDiallo)
I can run (#WalterScott)
I can breathe (#EricGarner)
I can live (#FreddieGray)
I CAN BE ARRESTED WITHOUT THE FEAR OF BEING MURDERED (#GeorgeFloyd)

White privilege is real. Take a minute to consider a Black person’s experience today.

Living in your American skin shouldn’t get you killed no matter what color.

In the end, nobody wins, unless everybody wins.

#BlackLivesMatter

Hockey Night in Buffalo


A lot of sports networks are broadcasting classic games with no live events to cover and MSG is no different showing Buffalo Sabres games from mostly within the past twenty years or so. I’ve looked in a little bit, but haven’t been hanging on every word. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always fun to see the Maple Leafs blow a lead and the good guys win, but beyond a brief look I haven’t been loitering until the latest game debuted.

Programmers dusted off the second game of the 1975 series between the Sabres and Montreal Canadiens.

Maybe it was the lineups, maybe the low camera angles, the advertisement free ice and boards, the Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, but it was a different game in 1975 and played by those teams very well.

I was transfixed. My favorite Sabre ever is Gil Perreault and to look back and see him at his peak was a real treat. The shifts seemed longer then so you got a good look at your heroes. It was also fun to see Rick Martin and the complete game that he had as well as the way Don Luce, Craig Ramsay and Danny Care could frustrate the opposing big line.

The Canadiens were rock stars too. The following season they would go on a string of Stanley Cup wins, but I don’t think I had seen footage of Henri Richard playing since this game was played.

A season or two later, these two teams would put on the most exciting 0-0 tie ever played, no penalties, just people like Perreault, Rick Martin, Guy LaFleur, Yvonne Cournoyer showing off skills at such a high level it should be hockey fan recruiting film.

For the unitiated, you couldn’t buy a ticket to a Sabres game in the 70s. Happenstance took my dad and i to a couple of games then. When the Sabres made their first visit to the playoffs, my grandmother was visiting from football crazy Akron, Ohio and given that no major league played hockey there couldn’t understand what the fuss was about.

She learned that Ken Dryden was okay, because his older brother Dave was the backup goalie for Buffalo in 1973, but that if your name was Mahovolich, we weren’t crazy about you.

It was a real trip to watch this the other night to see those things. It might have been Henri Richard’s last series. The Sabres later won the series, but from the look of the Aud and the nature of the game, longer shifts, wooden sticks, silver skate blades, the brown goalie pads sported by both Ken Dryden and Roger Crozier, I was fascinated, despite knowing the ending.

For this lifelong hockey fan, must see tv. For all the recent mediorce seasons, it was nice to be 11 once again and getting to stay up late to see the good guys win.

 

Questions


It didn’t occur to anybody to dub the murder hornets….Buzzkill?

In other news, why, for the love of god, why do such horses patoots like Marco Rubio and Lindsey Graham keeps their seats in Washington? Both stupidly bitched on twitter about enhanced unemployment has taken aware incentive to work. Apparently it is okay in their eyes to hand billions to airlines, cruise ships and Trump properties but hand $525 to ensure somebody stays in his home and puts that money BACK out into the economy unlike those organizations is an egregious sin. Both used to have spines, backbones, but apparently they only represent the people who blindly obey them.

Why isn’t the Trump administration working like the Trudeau one and investing in people first? I mean banks, cruise lines, airlines all need customers. It’s not that the Congress and the administration can’t help more, they just choose not to. In a world where multimillion dollar steak houses and pro basketball teams somehow qualify for small business protection loans, government should be one of the places where people should come together and no one should be left behind, but that apparently isn’t so.

The president is quoted as saying too much testing for corona virus looks weak. How can that be? Are the optics of 80,000 dead and rising better? How about just doing the right thing just one time? People shouldn’t be regarded as expendable. This has been a tortuous period for my parents  My mom’s health has declined that nursing home care is needed and the weeks of no visitors has only exacerbated her dementia struggles, which in turn eats at my dad because he can’t see her or fix it. I didn’t realize that when the president says wanting to make America great again that actual Americans weren’t part of that equation. But by all means, it’s important to get Starbucks open (hopefully sarcasm translates).

Why does Michael Flynn get a pass after twice pleading guilty? Nothing like selective rule of law.

Why does it take a national outcry and a viral video to be released to get justice for a man who was guilty of nothing aside from exercising while black? And I’m pretty sure you can’t yell self defense when the gun you brought does the work.

Why is it okay to run up the federal deficit to give folks who don’t need tax cuts said tax cuts but when it comes to helping actual people who have to put their money back “out there” a little additional assistance, suddenly congress folk of the republican persuasion get conservative?

Lest this be totally a governmental whine, did the release of the National Football League’s planned 2020 schedule really need a 3 hour show? Are we that sports starved?

Given that absolutely nothing has been released, can every producer who decides on a “What Football will look like segment” stop running those segments until we actually know what football will look like? Segments devoid of anything but guess work don’t really help anything but fill air time.

Are we really in this together? A random internet jamoke lectured an actual reporter on covid statistics with the sentiment of “Let this sink In.” Pretty sure news personnel who are proactively trying to cover the covid story don’t need to be told to let things sink in, but thanks random jamoke.

What is it about putting a mask on for safety that caused that dude at Costco to have such a nutty? Sir, Costco wasn’t violating your constitutional rights. Because we are tired of all this doesn’t mean health risks are over and that dipshidiot made me sorry for Costco.

What is it about taking a few steps for safety sake? Some folks were privileged jerks pre pandemic I guess.

Why would Congressman Tom Reed, who thankfully isn’t mine, suggest a stimulus package for essential workers only? He didn’t define essential workers and I don’t think gets the point of stimulus packages. You don’t dole them out as thank yous, you put them in place to get people to spend it on goods and services which get business going. Most folks who’ve their work due to shutdowns (Including myself) lost because of virus shutdowns and as a result living paycheck to paycheck got even dicier. Yes, everybody from the incredible nurses to the admission clerks are on the front lines and making money to be sure, so Congressman, push for the wages that never stopped to be increased, realize that hospitals finally got some coverage in the last package.

So how come Trump and the rest of the folks at the White House aren’t just letting herd immunization run its course? That’s what they want us to do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Only A River…


It seems every commercial these days seems to start out with “In these challenging times” and each restaurant and car dealer wants me to know the steps they are taking to stay clean along with every news outlet tells me I’m getting the facts (when you think about it, it isnt the best disclaimer.).

While staying home is something my introverted side has trained for forever, occasionally, you need to sooth your soul while avoiding anyplace too “peoplely.” To paraphrase 80s favorites Simple Minds or one of my favorite singers, Billie Holiday, I like to cover the waterfront. The sounds and sites are soothing. You can be out and breathe without having to circle City Hall.

Richard Avedon has nothing to fear from me. I think I have an eye, maybe not talent but an eye. The Unity Island is a great spot to watch the sun check out, international waters rip by, trains overhead and traveling canadians on the horizons, but mostly a good spot to stop and be.

I have come three straight days and got this one. I was thinking about on the first visit and seized the moment this eve.

Happy places are where you make em in this socially distant world. A little further down river and mother nature shows off against the industrial background. Wander but stay 6 feet away.

Tell the patient to be patient


You are all concerning me a bit.

I mean, I’d like our existence to be a little more open. I don’t want to say normal as I’m not sure what we were doing was normal, but I’d like to see my kids, my granddaughter, my mom and dad, my significant other and be able to touch, hug and generally be.

But as the nursing home next to my building afforded a grave reminder, Covid is everywhere, taking four people who shouldn’t have had to wage that particular fight.

As I watched the parade of morons block up Niagara Square in Buffalo with their pleas of haircuts, work, etc, while heavily armed (curiously, everything is a second amendment issue), it angered me that these jamokes think everybody is expendable. There are government officials who think people are expendable. Clearly the president just wants to move on from covid. I half expect him to next recommend windex for everything like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

The leaders in Georgia, Tennessee and Las Vegas are anxious to get people out. Everybody wants out, but for the mayor of Las Vegas to recommend her city as a “Control Group” was beyond stupid.

For the mayor in Jacksonville to want his beaches open so badly with no regard for consequence, I can’t help but wonder how these buffoons get elected.

I think we need to chill on our quest for normal, but I’m pretty sure that we aren’t on the downward slope. Because the federal response has lagged and because testing is so fractional of the bigger picture, I don’t think hitting a plateau is anything to get to excited about. When the death tally is a maybe a dozen less than the day before, that isn’t a good thing. It’s a less horrible thing.

I don’t know when bowling got to be at the head of the class in terms of things to open first. I mean everybody, me included, wants to open up. I want to share the experience of a Rolling Stones concert with my son, but I’d rather him healthy and well and me too. Jumping the gun is so unbelieveabily risky.

Nobody is expendable or a casualty of the price you pay for “fighting a war.”

Nor should this be the case for profiteering. I was gobsmacked that Rose’ Chris steakhouse got funding, that Harvard got funding, but I guess I shouldn’t be shocked.

https://www.nbcnews.com/business/economy/firms-trump-links-or-worth-100-million-got-small-business-n1190741?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

50,000 people have died and people are protesting to get a haircut. Work has been cutback everywhere and Lindsey Graham (a guy who should be out of work) thinks we are enabled to sitting at home. Mitch McConnell (I wish somebody would tear him down and put up a human being) doesn’t want to help you at all if you live in the wrong state, despite his never delivering for his own.

(from WBFO’s web page)

Yes, it is an inconvenience, but we don’t know where we accurately are currently. What the yahoos in the picture above don’t know is that in their quest to resume life as it was in February is that they don’t know where the Covid is hiding (Psst, short answer, everywhere).

I don’t want anymore presidential sarcasm, denying of science, musings at to what might cure when it could fool around and come right back to us.

We all want to resume our lives, nobody disagrees with that all, I just want to be around to enjoy it.

Proceed with caution

 

Mad World


To say that we are living in strange times at the moment thanks to Covid-19 would be dramatically understating the current state of affairs in daily life. New terms of entered the daily lexicon and I’m pretty sure I hate all of them.

“The New Normal” crops up in pretty much every newscast and it bothers me as none of this is normal. There isn’t normal in being able to ride down two of the main streets of the city like I did the other night on my bike during the dinner hour unencumbered by actual traffic. There isn’t anything normal being able to drive the outline of the island of Manhattan in 45 minutes like a good friend of mine did this past weekend. The twisted shopping patterns employed by some when launching an offensive on their grocery store is not normal. When I was a kid, my dad worked a job that paid him once a month. With four kids at home, the folks didn’t have as much stuff as I’ve seen people loading up on in recent weeks. Let’s call it what it is. It’s now, nothing more, the bleak, depressing now that we all have to power through. There is nothing new or normal about it. It’s just now.

Fluid situation and practicing social distancing aren’t too far behind. The language behind it is to blame. With the sake of just being alone, are you practicing for a time when it is real? Nope, you are just doing it.

But semantics aside, it needs to be done. In an era, where everybody on social media is an instant constitutional scholar, infectious disease expert, master strategist, shut it and hide

91521841_10219413766148446_8832519013507530752_n

I worry. We haven’t been able to see my mom for almost a month as her assisted living facility closed the doors under state order. While that is understandable, she is less than adept with a cellphone so keeping the ties that bind bound are a challenge. My brother is an intellectually challenged guy who resides in a group home and I believe he is understanding the virus outbreak and the means needed to get it under control.

As the U.S. “leadership” was finally detecting a problem, I happily became a grandpa. My daughter and son-in-law have smartly limited the people coming into the home, so It means I haven’t seen much of them either in the past three weeks.

It’s tough. I watched the panic buying of Toilet Paper and other commodities that solved nothing but an unneeded, unwarranted strain on things. If you truly needed that much TP, Covid-19 might be the least of your problems.

Now, is it the President’s fault that the virus got here? Of course not, viruses can’t be slowed by walls. But you want more from your leaders, you want to believe they are leading in stead of concerned with ego and profiteering. Andrew Cuomo doesn’t need to move at this point for to get my vote again. Anybody who rolls up their figurative sleeves and literally says he doesn’t care about reelection (I saw him say it) has a proper grasp of the issue and sees the whole catastrophic board.

I appreciate the Governor’s forthrightness, his honesty, his willingness to say I don’t know and to call out the hypocrisy in getting things done. He understands his is a public service job first and foremost. He’s trying to solve a problem.

That is laudable. Being close the Canadian border, I’ve been reading a lot about the monthly stipend that the Trudeau government has put Canadian citizens on. I’m fortunate that my job has stayed in tact, despite me working from home, but I know many who aren’t so lucky. I’m not thoroughly versed in Justin Trudeau’s regular policies and I suspect that there are things I might disagree with, but in this instance, he is making Canada great again by putting stock and investing in Canadians.

He sees the whole board. Now I’m not an acolyte for either man, but I admire how they are responding to the matter at hand.

Every economic blowhard booked to talk about jobs always says we should have three months of salary stashed in cash of job loss. It’s pretty lousy advice in this paycheck to paycheck world and I guess it doesn’t apply to airlines or cruise lines. Let’s help the workers of an american hospital prior to the cruise line that pays no taxes. Let’s help the people who have to spend their money after spending time with that hospital before helping the cruise that isn’t registered here.

Any leader, especially a President, has to make untenable, undesireable decisions, that if we were privy to them, we might rethink support. A voice I admire a lot once cautioned that “Blind Faith, in your leaders, in anything, can get you killed.”

As I write this, almost 8000 residents of New York State have died from Covid 19. I don’t have across the nation statistics in front of me, but there is no way to be at peace with that number.

Is it the President’s fault that Covid 19 got to America’s shores? Like I said earlier, of course not, but the disorganized, meandering, bellligent, ambien-popping, reporter-berating, all about me response most definitely is.

From ignoring intelligence, slashing CDC budgets, closing many offices including one in China, to dismissing the virus as a democratic hoax, to generally insuring we could not be worse preparared, that sit at his strangely empty desk. For nightly briefings that began with every speaker professing his or her adoration to Dear Leader to swatting away guestions when he given the softest of softball questions, to the pot shot taking at governors trying to help and the pats on the pack for those who put their citizens at risk, it has been a flop, a failure, a compounding of disaster spoken in mostly pronoun terms.

“Let’s see what happens” (you have no idea, do you sir)

“Everybody is waiting to…” (who, exactly?)

He says we can’t lose the airlines in defending bailing them out. You know what would help, is making it easier for customers to afford to fly, i.e. put the money in the hands of the people who will spend it, instead of dumping the people charged with overseeing stimulus funding. If a cruise line that doesn’t pay taxes here want aid, make registration here a condition of that age.

Instead of touting an unproven medicine as a cure because of an investment, instead of complaining about the nation’s governors looking to Washington for some assistance instead of shunning 1 million tests from the World Health Organization, instead of complaining about the questions asked at press briefings, it would be great if he saw the whole board, but time and time again, he does not, he’s too busy looking in the mirror.

Government should be a place where everybody comes together, and nobody gets left behind

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dementia Blues


Multi-infarct dementia – A term that will never ever leave my functioning cerebral cortex. It took residence there for good on my birthday last year when it officially took up residence in my mom, inflicting a soul crushing, dignity beating afflication on my mom from which she is never going to recover. I didn’t know about ischemia related concerns and TIA related episodes or even the concept of ministrokes. All of which are now permanently fixed in my lexicon.

There are regular episodes where something temporarily goes cataclysmically wrong, and then, most comes back. What gets lost in the translation is never immediately obvious. It’s a harsh reminder of the vicious cruelty of the disease as for my birthday this year, mom experienced another episode that temporarily stole her ability to do any body control.

I mean, I’m grateful to the gods that my dad is still around and healthy, largely and that I’m into my mid 50s, so I’ve had my mom there a lot longer than many folks I care about so I’m not getting cheated, but the way she is getting taken is flat out cruel. For somebody who never put herself first, that is just a horrible abomination.

I believe I’ve heard her laugh 3 times in the past 18 months. The disease is cruel that way taking dynamic souls rendering them into near mannequinness. Thorough the experience of the past 18 months, I was able to keep a cool head when it became obvious that she didn’t have the ability to participate at all in getting bundled up in coat and scarf to return across the street to her long term care facility where thankfully the right nurse was working.

It’s a far cry from days of yore. My parents sold their house after 51 years at the start of this odyssey. A year or two prior, I remember going out to visit and my mom and I were having coffee. The night before they had journeyed to a party for the Flow Cyctrometry lab at Roswell Park and she was telling me a little bit about the experience.

“Michael, one by one, these little nerds kept coming up to me and telling me that your father is a “fucking genius.” Hearing her f-bomb made us both laugh a little. It’s not really news to hear that my dad was the smartest kid in class, but I hope my mom wasn’t and isn’t selling herself short.

As an exercise, character building or not, she dispatched me to sell some raffle tickets for the Clarence, New York Democratic Party. The very likelihood that the area Democratic population was the contents of our house was a secondary concern. My best Friend’s dad bought a punch with the proviso that his name did NOT go on the tickets. My little brother never knew how close he came in his first 50/50.

In the MC Esher building block that was the family house. My room was on the upper level of the second floor and my mom’s sewing machine and desk area was in the adjoining room. The reason this matters was I discovered my music about the time the red and blue Beatles greatest hits records came out and dutifully got copies. A few years later, two more collections came out, Love Songs and Rock and Roll music. I dutifully wanted a copy of Rock and Roll Music. As girls were just starting to be a concern that I was just starting to do badly with, I was more concerned at the time with Rock and Roll. When Christmas rolled around, a copy of Love Songs was waiting. Mom was counter programming me. I learned to love em, even the mushy numbers,

That, there is a flipping genius.

A disease that attacks in such a way doesn’t play. Mom managed the family she was born into, built a home for the one she married into, and spent her life keep us all safe. Health care Karma doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter the thousands of nights she kept us all safe, the wrongs she tried to right, the world she dared to be better. She’s getting punished. I’m not exactly sure for what. When the ministrokes come, they subside, but you can’t help but wonder what won’t come back, as if to say, just in case the trauma wasn’t enough, here’s something you can’t do anymore, or a phrase that won’t come easy.

That’s what is unfair. I don’t know if the instrument exists that can accurately measure my levels of emotional exhaustion and depression, but those things take a back seat, when you are literally holding your parent up. When the nights they’ve protected you are in the thousands, you keep fighting

BAD


While Biden, Buttegeig and Sanders verbally slap each other around on policy in New Hampshire, Elizabeth Warren remains the adult in the room, focusing on replacing the orange elephant in the room. It gave me pause as to our latest round of presidential nonsense.

And if you are of the type who is upset that the speaker ripped up her copy of the State of the Union, think back to when various speakers wouldn’t even stand up to greet President Obama and members of the gallery had no compunction about yelling “You lie!” So, people like Matt Gaetz should shut up with their hallow outrage about the current speaker’s behavior. She ripped up her copy (we think, the Vice President isn’t done taping it back together). I mean it’s not like she started a fraud university or ripped off her own children’s charity.

So it turns out that a racist, bully, slightly to the right of Attila the Hun blowhard can spend decades browbeating, harassing, obfuscating for anything that isn’t conservative, xenophobic white male and he can get the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Probably drops the value for previous award winners who generally got them for not being unlanced boils on the buttocks of humanity.

It’s bad enough that we are numb enough that everybody kept a straight face as Susan Collins says she thinks he learned his lesson from impeachment. I mean nobody guffawed or sniggered “Bullshit? (well, except maybe the President, and he even admitted that was not the case.) Senator, just go cash the check from his reelection campaign and enjoy the safety from any real opposition.

I’m not surprised that acquittal was the result of the hearings in the Senate as the game was rigged from the get go with no witnesses, no evidence, and an allegiance to party over people. The oaths they signed was largely a moot point with many too cowardly to vote anything along what they heard out of fear of retribution or lack of financial contribution. I mean Lindsey Graham was a house manager in Clinton’s impeachment that was over an extramarital fling. As far as flip flops go, that’s downright impressive.

Kudos to Mitt Romney for following his own lead. I don’t know how much he was actually risking but I appreciate him going his own way, an actual republican as opposed to whatever the current GOP pretends to be now. Don Jr decided to deride Romney for having a conscience with some “manly” name calling on Twitter, keeping it classy. I’m a little upset that I actually know who Jr. is when there clearly is no reason to as it is up there with actual media reports of the “master showman” at work. Journalism shouldn’t be about stagecraft when such critical substance is getting swept under the rug.

It’s interesting that the President had to deride Romney’s faith at a Prayer Breakfast, which he promptly turned into a pep rally (since he just can’t give a speech). I’m a firm believer in whatever works for you, whatever gets you through the day, just keep it to yourself. Mitt actually did that, only alluding to his faith as part of his decision making process and the pettiness of the President and his crime family decided to pick on that first.

I guess my central issue what kind of aphrodisiac is power? That you are willing to subsume your beliefs to stay close to it? That you are willing to contradict yourself to keep it? That you turn your back on the people who voted for you to spite those who didn’t, that you are fine with one branch of government stripped of all checks and balances, the american people (remember us, the folks you are supposed to represent) lose, none of us are represented from dirty water to nexus cards for New Yorkers to our social security being taken, the school lunch programs to actual fair legitimate elections and the list is pretty lengthy. What is it?

The people who have it don’t know better. And they don’t care. It’s a big club and we ain’t in it.

It’s bad.