Masking and All That Crap

“I think they’ve made the masking and the distancing and all that crap a political issue. They use it to depress the economy and put people out of work.”

This was a comment made at a local “Cruise for Trump” rally. According to the newspaper article, approximately 100 people attended. Only a few wore masks. MANY wore Trump hats.

It continues to amaze me that there are individuals who are convinced mask regulations and restricted employment are “political.” But then, this is the claim of their esteemed (and worshiped) leader so what else would they think?

Another person at the rally talked about how the “mental toll” of social distancing has made life hard for a lot of folks. He went on to say … All of us are concerned about keeping ourselves and our neighbors health and whatnot, but this has gone on too long(Emphasis mine.)

“This. Has. Gone. On. Too. Long.”

Again and again the prevailing opinion among Trump-supporters is that we should just return to normal living. Ignore the virus. Everyone go back to work. Party hardy. If people get sick and die … well, how sad, too bad.

I suppose I’ll never understand this kind of thinking. From my perspective, the appearance of this virus is not now and never has been a “political issue.”

Even though Trump has made it one.

And then there are those who continue to believe trained and experienced medical professionals are wrong. That it’s all blown out of proportion and, in actuality, the body simply has to produce the necessary antibodies to ward off the virus.

As one well-known (albeit unqualified) individual recently stated: “The key to beating COVID isn’t dining through glass or never going to a concert or a ball game again. It’s your immune system.”

So you see, folks … not to worry. Trump and friends are in control and it will all be over sooner than you think.

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Image by Asad Nazir from Pixabay

The Bane of Personal Freedom

In today’s local paper there was an article about a rally that took place earlier this week related to COVID-19. Attending the rally, along with county leaders, was a Republican State Senator who announced that the purpose of the rally was “to get common minds together that are invested in freedom and liberty, people that are tired of being pushed around, people that feel disenfranchised.” He went on to say that individuals (in the county) feel they are not being heard and want it to be known that they support the local commissioners for “standing up to” our state’s governor.

Sidenote: Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, has issued mandates related to wearing masks, business restrictions, and outdoor crowd sizes.

One of those “local commissioners” then underscored the Senator’s remarks by telling the gathering that they do not have plans to enforce the mandates of the governor because “personal freedom” was more important. He also pointed out that our county “has done a very good job of preventing the spread [so we] don’t feel like going out and enforcing this thing on people that are already doing a good job.”

He then pointed out that not a single person in the county had ever gotten the virus at a restaurant or bar. (I’m not sure how he knows this. Inside sources, I suppose.)

Sidenote: Our county population is approximately 112,000. The case count is currently at 172 with 2 deaths. Perhaps it’s just me, but it certainly seems those distasteful mandates put into place by our governor are playing a huge role in this comparatively low count. (Actually, the count was lower and holding steady before the restaurants and bars were allowed to open.)

I know there are many reading this who agree with the sentiments expressed by these individuals. However, being in the “high risk” group, my partner and I find it exceedingly difficult to put “personal freedom” ahead of our health … and perhaps our lives.

At the same time, we’re no different than many others. We don’t like all the restrictions either. In fact, we’ve had to discontinue many activities that we enjoy in our attempts to stay healthy. Nevertheless … there’s just something about staying alive that holds a strong appeal.

What so many fail to accept is that sacrifice is sometimes necessary for the good of all.

You Are Not Seeing Socialism

I came across the following in our local newspaper’s “Opinion” column. It had been submitted by a reader who felt it was “spot on” … and I agree.

Apparently it was originally written by a British journalist named Paul Field, who died earlier this year of an apparent heart attack at the age of 48.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but you need to know how silly you look if you post some variation of, “Welcome to Socialism…”

You are not seeing Socialism. What you are seeing is one of the wealthiest, geographically advantaged, productive capitalist societies in the world flounder and fail at its most basic test. Taking care of its people.

This crisis is not about the virus.

This crisis is about the massive failure of our, “Booming economy,” to survive even modest challenges. It is about the market dissonance of shortages in stores, even as farmers/producers destroy unused crops and products. This crisis is about huge corporations needing an emergency bailout within days of the longest Bull Market in our history ending and despite the ability to borrow with zero percent interest rates.

This crisis is about corporatized healthcare systems being unable and ill equipped to provide basic healthcare, at the same time they post record profits. It is about crisis response depending on antiquated systems nobody remembers how to operate.

But most of all, this crisis is a direct result of the politicization of every aspect of our society for the benefit of a privileged few. The vilification of education, science, media, natural rights, rural lifestyles, urban lifestyles, charity, compassion, and virtually everything else for brief political gain has gutted our society.

What you are seeing is a quarter century of technological brilliance being reduced to a narcissistic popularity contest. You’re seeing the folly of basing the health and welfare of an entire society on personal greed. You’re seeing all the necessary tools, for us to shrug off this crisis, go unused while people argue over who should get the credit and profit. Even worse, you’re seeing vital help withheld because recipients might not, “deserve it…”

You’re seeing a lot of things nobody thought they’d ever see, but you’re not seeing Socialism…

It seems the original was posted on Paul’s Facebook page, which I was able to access, but there is no personal information. He did write some interesting posts so if you’re on FB and want to take a look, you can find him here.

Common Sense Atheism (on Quora)

Steve Ruis on his Class Warfare Blog just added a post that included some awesome graphics from a Quora.com contributor. I commented on one of them and he directed me to the author’s page, “CommonSenseAtheismThe Ongoing Adventures of Maude and Eugene.”

Thank you, Steve!

The graphics are soooo SPOT-ON that I wanted to give them more exposure. Besides, some of you may want to use Maude’s responses as they are perfect retorts to common Christian statements.

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NOTE: I’m not sure if you have to be a Quora member to access the page, but if so, it’s no big deal to sign up. In fact, you might even enjoy taking part and/or reading some of the Quora conversations.