Tuesday, January 19, 2021

USA TO TRUMP: You're fired! (And good riddance.)


 

There will be no further comment from me on Inauguration Day.

Friday, January 15, 2021

In New York City we’re being urged to get an inoculation against COVID-19. What inoculation?

Another body gets loaded onto a refrigerator truck used as a morgue outside a New York City hospital. They say they're giving out COVID-19 inoculations now. Lotsa luck getting one.
 

I’ve been trying for three days to get an appointment for a COVID-19 inoculation. I’m beginning to think I have a better chance of buying a winning Mega-Millions lottery ticket.

 

My own doctors are at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, part of New York Presbyterian hospital. Weill-Cornell has a vast campus of hospital skyscrapers on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. New York Presbyterian has hospitals and sites in Washington Heights in upper Manhattan, and in lower Manhattan, and in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. 


So where do they have their inoculation sites to help their patients from three of the city’s five boroughs?

 

One cheesy, out-of-the-way

inoculation site for 

a vast hospital system


Inoculation sitesThe plural? Hah! There’s only one site. They’ve stuck in in an armory in the distant reaches of Upper Manhattan, an inconvenience to anyone who doesn’t live in the neighborhood, or along a couple of West Side subway lines. I live near Midtown on the East Side of Manhattan. I’d need to take a cross town bus, and then a long, long subway ride, and then a bit of a hike to get to the armory.

 

But okay. I need that shot. I’m in a double high-risk category. In the first place I’m over 65 — way over 65. I’m 81 years old. And second, I’m immuno-compromised. I’m suffering from chronic lymphatic leukemia. So you’d think it would be easy.

 

Sorry. You can’t get an appointment at the armory. None available. Period. Never mind that it could be a two hour trip on public transportation (most New Yorkers don’t own cars) to get to the one out-of-the-way site the hospital is offering. There’s no way to get the shot without an appointment, and after three days of trying, I’ve concluded there’s no way to get an appointment.

 

How about at the city’s Bellevue Hospital, which is only a few blocks from where I live? Same bad news. No appointments available. And ditto a couple of other sites I’ve tried.

 

Fill out some forms.

Then fill out some forms. And then

fill out some forms.


Incidentally, each time I go to a site I have to fill out a questionnaire before I can ask for an appointment. My name. My date of birth. My address. Certain questions about my medical history. Questions about my ethnicity. (No, I don’t know why they need to know my ethnicity before they can give me a shot either.) Then, the site tells me there are no appointments. It does so either by saying so, or by leaving me staring at an image of a beating heart for an hour until I give up, or by crashing.


How long can you watch this stupid beating heart before you realize you're never getting a response?

 

Want to try another site? You go through the same infuriating rigamarole again. You want to go back to Columbia-Presbyterian to try again? Or to make a second, third, or seventeenth try at any other site? You have to fill out the forms all over again.

 

So a few questions: 

 

Why do the hospitals of Columbia-Presbyterian, that were permitted to merge into a vast, conglomerated hospital system, feel that a single, out-of-the-way armory in the outer reaches of upper Manhattan is sufficient for administering shots that could be a matter of life and death for many of its patients around the city? 

 

Have they grown so big that they’ve become too unwieldy to function with any efficiency in a pandemic?

 

What’s that, Columbia-Presbyterian? You feel you don’t have the space elsewhere? How about that vast lobby in the multi-gazillion dollar skyscraper building at 1305 York Avenue, donated by one of New York’s least-loved billionaires, David H. Koch? What’s that? Koch’s humongous lobby can’t be sullied by the hoi-polloi standing around in line for their shots? 

 

Okay, I understand. So how about emptying out one of the huge underground parking garages you have in your Weill-Cornell Medical Center? Oh, I know it’ll inconvenience the doctors. But what you’re saying by not making some of that garage space available is that it’s more important to make sure the doctors can drive to work instead of taking public transportation than it is to save lives.

 

A callback system? Hah!


And why, New York Presbyterian, can’t a poor desperate patient leave his or her name and contact information with you and have you get back to them with an appointment, in the order the request was made? Especially when the alternative is to spend futile hours, day after day, trying to somehow, somewhere, land an appointment for a COVID-19 shot.

 

Ditto you, Bellevue Hospital. And you, New York City Department of Health on Worth Street in Lower Manhattan, where it’s also impossible to get an appointment as of this writing. And you, the Ryan Center on 10th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. And on and on.

 

Cuomo and DeBlasio—

take a bow for incompetence


The fault for this ongoing SNAFU needs to be shared by New York’s Govenor Cuomo, and the city’s Mayor DeBlasio, and the administrators of all the public and private not-for-profit hospitals in the city. There appears to be no strategic planning. No attempt to take appointments more two or three weeks in advance. No attempt to make a record of who attempts to apply and then get back to them. 

 

In short Cuomo, and DeBlasio, and the hospitals are as incompetent and as screwed up as the Trump Administration’s famously failed vaccine team and the Trump PPE team. Maybe Jared Kushner has a future as a New York hospital administrator. Or on Governor Cuomo's staff. It seems to me he’d fit right in.

 

Sadly, the consequence of this incompetence is going to be vulnerable people who not only can’t get a shot, but who may contract COVID and die of it before they can even get an appointment for an innoculation.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A partial guide to peripheral stupidity in the waning times of Trump

                Use any of these words to colorfully describe our 

                villainous Imbecile in Chief

 As I write this, there are only eight days remaining before Donald Trump is officially out of the White House (presumably) and the place can get quickly fumigated and sterilized before Joe and Jill Biden sleep there. 

 

If I were the Bidens, I would also get rid of the mattress in the Presidential bedroom. I’ve heard rumors that Trump can be a bed wetter even when he’s wide awake. Or maybe especially when he’s wide awake.

 

Pre-inaguration, the TV and cable news channels, and the newspapers, and the Internet are all but exploding with Trump-related controversies. 


To impeach or not to impeach, that is the question. Unless the question is whether Mike Pence and what’s left of Trump’s corrupt cabinet sufficiently stiffen their spines to declare him incompetent and remove him from office. Unless it’s about intercepts of the Crazy Right’s plans to not only disrupt Washington on Inauguration Day, but also to invade the capitol buildings of all 50 states. (Given how poorly their takeover of Congress did, how do they expect a nationwide, multi-front invasion to work out?) Unless it’s…

 

O bother! Insanity doesn’t have to be political. It can also be fun. Which is why I now offer for your delectation a taste of the kinds of miscellaneous stupidities that will likely confront you a bit more prominently in the news once Trump is out of our faces….

 

A tempest in a Rebok. Well, actually, it’s a pair of Reboks. Unless they’re Keds. Yes, they look suspiciously like the canvas Keds I wore when I was a kid. And that was a long, long time ago. So long ago that Harry S. Truman was President.

 

See, the sneakers in question were on Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris’s feet, and she was posing for a photograph, and the photograph got used on the cover of Vogue. The resulting fallout might have come from a nuclear explosion. 


How dare they use a photograph like that, critics fumed. It was precisely the kind of fuming that gushed from the Republican outrage machine when Barak Obama had the temerity — the temerity mind you! — to be seen wearing a a tan suit while President. 

 

I’d blame the huff over Harris on the Covid-19 plague, which has caused some people to be locked up inside four walls for way too long, with far too little to do. I would blame the plague, that is, were it not for the Great Tan Suit Kerfluffle of 2014. 


Are you as convinced as I am that some people wake up each morning and the first thing they reach for is their electrical Outrage Stimulator, which should be use to gently massage the…okay, enough I’m going to stop going there before I get into trouble. Instead, let’s go to Paris for the latest contretemps over…

 

Bug Brother! That’s what the Parisian press is calling it. Turns out that, according to the respectable French journal Le Monde, everybody’s bugging Paris with high tech equipment installed on Parisian rooftops. Les Americans? Mais bien sûr we’re doing it. And right from our embassy roof. But rival journal Le Figaro seems to be implying, everybody else is doing it, too — sometimes even from deluxe hotel rooms. A perfect case of whataboutism gone wild.

 

So what’s a poor Parisian to do when everybody’s guilty?

 

One guy in Paris began hammering a subway wall with his head. I mean, I know this falls into the category of “You can’t make this stuff up,” but that’s precisely why I’m telling you about it here. Sometimes authentic crazy is absolutely the best crazy.

 

Seems this all started during a contretemps over la liberté, and more specifically, over what the head-banger perceived as his freedom not to wear a mask on the Paris metro, despite local regs that in effect say, no mask, no entry and no ride. Remember, this guy isn’t some American MAGA. He's a genuine French fou-fou.

 

It happened at the St. Lazare subway station. When the cops approached this guy to enforce the rules, he not only began hammering the wall with his head, but also shouted out some insults and threats so clear and specific that you don’t need a handbook of obscure French slang to translate them. 

 

Specifically, he calls the cops “dirty bastards” and a “bunch of fascists.” He also threatened, “I’m going to cut your throats. You and your children.” And according to the Parisian cops, the head banging was a deliberate attempt to injure himself so that he could accuse the cops of violence.

 

He was sentenced to six months in prison. Think you’ll miss him? Don’t worry. There’s a new self-defeating nincompoop born every minute.

 

How to lose a fortune as a high tech idiot. It’s simple. Believe in and buy Bitcoin, the new craze for the kind of fools who used to buy and hide gold so that, come The Ultimate Catastrophe when their bucks and bank accounts would be useless, they’d be able to shop for…who knows? And furthermore, the tax man can't find out that they have the a gazillion bucks worth of bitcoin.

 

Bitcoin isn’t entirely stupid. The technology behind it makes possession and trade in the stuff hard to hack. Which is precisely the problem. Or at least one of the problems. (The other is that because Bitcoin can fluctuate substantially, you never can be sure whether tomorrow your bitcoins will make you a millionaire, a billionaire, or a pathetic loser.)

 

Anyway, it seems that one numnuts received 7002 Bitcoins for making an animated video. That’s not chickenfeed. As I write this, one Bitcoin sells for 33,868 dollars and 30 cents. Which makes the jerk in question worth, at least on paper, over $237,000,000. By the time you read this, it might be wya more. Or way less.

 

Problem is, about ten years ago the guy lost his “key,” — which functions essentially like a very difficult password. Now he can’t touch his money. And there’s no Bitcoin Central that he can dial up, or key up on the Internet and say, “Hey I forgot my password. If I answer two secret questions about my grandmother’s favorite sex toy and my pet’s maiden name, will you e-mail me a new one?”

 

Instead, you get ten opportunities to try to guess your password. If you don’t get it by the tenth try, you are screwed for life. I don’t know who gets your Bitcoin, but you don’t, and you can never get it again. The poor guy has tried eight times. Should he try again? Or leave it alone so that on paper he’s 237 times a millionaire even if he can’t afford a Coke? 

 

See, if Trump were gone, we could all spend our time gossiping about stupid stuff like this. Wouldn’t it be heaven?

Thursday, January 07, 2021

It’s time to move Donald Trump from the White House to some other house. But what about some of his enablers? Is it also time to disbar Giuliani?

          Move Trump and his enablers from the White House to the....

Rudolph Giuliani, Donald Trump Jr., Lara Trump and Eric Trump were among the rabble rousers who joined Donald Trump in inciting the treasonous insurrection that on Wednesday made headlines around the world. 


A mob invaded the Capitol, smashed windows, broke down doors, and trashed office, threatening legislators while interrupting the business of Congress.

 

“We’re coming for you,” Trump Junior said, reportedly referring to Republican members of Congress who don’t back pro-Trump efforts. Later, Junior told his supporters to call off the violence. That’s a bit like a mad bomber changing his mind several seconds after he’s lighted the fuse.

 

They all deserve to face a jury. But meanwhile, the New York Bar Association may be able to do something very quickly about Giuliani.

 

It was Giuliani who, prior to the mob’s terrorist attack on Congress, called for “trial by combat.” What could that possibly have been, if not a call to violence and sedition?

 

Disbar him.

 

It doesn’t take an act of Congress. It doesn’t take a presidential order. It doesn’t take any government action. All it takes is the members of the New York Bar Association.

 

Lawyers of New York? Where do you stand?


 UPDATE (January 11)— Turns out there's more to disbarring Giuliani than I thought, but somebody at the New York Bar Association either reads this blog or arrived at the same conclusion anyway.

Saturday, January 02, 2021

14 newspaper headlines I’d like to see in 2021 but most probably won’t

Guaranteed authentic charicature

Trump Forcefully Escorted 

From White House in Strait Jacket


Vengeful Elephant Herd

Tramples Don and Eric

During African Safari


Lindsay Graham Resigns Senate Seat

To Join Remote Tibetan Monastery

Meanwhile Mitch McConnell sends for monastery brochure


Trump Rests Peacefully 

In Hospital After

Eighteen Massive 

Thorazine Injections 


Doctors Remove Kimberly Guilfoyle’s

Vocal Chords In Emergency Surgery


“Covfefe” Was Code Signal To

Trump’s Russian Handlers

Classified CIA Report Reveals


Self-Pardon Tossed by Court

After Trump Misspells “Pardon”

“The U.S. Constitution says nothing about “paradonnes,” Judge declares


1,000 Vials of Spoiled Vaccine Discovered 

In Trump’s Fridge, Next to Expired Hamburgers


Ivanka Reveals She Leaked

White House Secrets to The Press

"I didn’t think they’d print it," she says


Assay of Trump Tower Gold Toilet 

Reveals It’s Actually Iron Pyrites


Former Wharton Classmate Reveals He Got

Paid to Take Final Exams for Donald Trump

"I feel lucky I wasn't stiffed," he says.


National Arts Commission Declares Border Wall 

An “Eyesore” And Orders It Torn Down


Javanka Splitsville?

Friends Refuse to Say Until They

Get Their Covid Vaccinations


Melania: “As Best I Can Remember

Donald Was Terrible in Bed”



Monday, December 28, 2020

So long 2020, it's been lousy to know ya. And good riddance!


 And please, 2020, take Donald Trump and his entire administration with you on your way down.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

A Christmas carol for the time of Trump and plague

Unfortunately, there aren't nearly enough days of Christmas to cover the phenomenon that is Trump. But I've squeezed in all I could.
 

On the first day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

A phony Trump College degree.

 

On the second day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Two failed casinos 

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the third day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Three pandemics spreading

Two failed casinos

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the fourth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Four dissembling lawyers

Three pandemics spreading

Two failed casinos 

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the fifth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos failed

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the sixth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos failed

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the seventh day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos failed

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the eighth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Eight caged children crying

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos failed

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Nine Ivankas vamping

Eight caged children crying

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos bust

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the tenth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Ten Kushners complaining

Nine Ivankas vamping

Eight caged children crying

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos bust

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the eleventh day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Eleven Rudys ranting 

Ten Kushners complaining

Nine Ivankas vamping

Eight caged children crying

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos bust

And a phony Trump College degree.

 

On the twelveth day of Christmas

The Donald gave to me

Twelve pardons absolving

Eleven Rudys ranting 

Ten Kushners complaining

Nine Ivankas vamping

Eight caged children crying

Seven speeches lying

Six walls a-building

Me-lan-i-a

Lawyers with forked tongues

Pandemics

Two casinos bust

And a phony Trump College degree

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Execution of the Week. Is it coming soon to a TV station near you?

          Donald Trump first publicly advertised his sociopathic blood lust

          with this full page ad in 1989

 Over at the Rectification of Names, the blogger Yastreblyansky suggests that Donald Trump’s next act may be another television reality show.


But instead of being “Apprentice”-like, this show will be “effectively the ongoing Trump presidency as he makes incredible deals for the American people, drains the swamp, and makes America great again.”

 

How will he do that? 

 

“…the apprentice will be working for a government rather than a corporation, on a different project each season; for example creating healthcare for the American people that is much better and cheaper than Obamacare, eating China’s lunch, or building a wall and making Mexico pay for it.”


But where is Trump

really going?

 

I won’t spoil the rest for you. It’s a hoot! Get yourself over to Yastreblyansky when you’re done here and read the piece in its hilarious entirety. However, I don’t think that’s where Trump is really going. And no, I’m not saying he doesn’t want a reality show. I’m saying that his mind has taken a turn too dark and too ominous for light entertainment about launching a government program.

 

Trump’s blood lust was merely incipient when he took out a full page ad in the New York Times years ago to advocate the execution of five teen-agers who turned out to be innocent of assault and rape. Besides, New York State was no longer executing anybody for anything by then. 


But his urge to kill human beings has now bloomed into a tangible thing. After 17 years with no Federal executions, and despite the fact that support for capital punishment is dribbling away, the U.S. government has carried out more executions in one year that all the state governments combined. 

 

Nor is that enough for Donald Trump. He and his outgoing Attorney General, Bill Barr, have arranged for five more human beings to get snuffed before Inauguration Day, including the only woman on death row. She will be the first woman to be executed by the Federal Government in 70 years.

 

President-Elect Biden has vowed that there will be no Federal executions on his watch — so what’s a poor bloodthirsty sociopath like Donald Trump to do? Here’s what I think. I think he’s going to launch a TV series called “The Execution of the Week.” 

 

Beheadings, stonings, 

and so bloody much more!


Each week Donald Trump will go to a different country and witness a different execution by a different and more barbarous method. 


One week it’ll be a public beheading ordered by Jared Kushner's pal in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed bin Salman. 


Another week, a trembling political dissident in China gets shot in the back of the head with a bullet that his family was forced to pay for. 


Yet another week, Trump will go to Moscow where we’ll witness the FSB kill a journalist by squirting novichok in her eyes. And so on. Did I mention stoning an adulteress and a homosexual to death in Brunei? We could have two brutal executions in one night!

 

The shows will be an hour long. During each, we’ll hear from an advocate for the accused, from proponents of the death penalty, as well as interpretations of the law in the nation Trump is visiting. Legal commentary will come from some of the last remaining Fox News commentators who Trump still likes, like Judge Jeanine Pirro. 


Outside “experts” will also get called in to comment on the guilt of the condemned person or the incontrovertible appropriateness of the sentence — learned deep thinkers like Rudy Giuliani and Tucker Carlson. 

 

Kiss my hard and 

glistening ring


Finally, the accused themselves will be given an opportunity to plead their own cases, and grovel on their hands and knees before Trump, begging for their lives. Trump will be wearing a special gold ring, which the condemned prisoners will be required to kiss. But Trump’s answer will always be the same: 

 

“Forget it," he'll sneer, "you’re executed!” 

 

At that point, America’s formerly MAGA audiences will get to watch an actual life getting snuffed out, while Trump stands and applauds approvingly. When it's over he'll grab Melania's hand as the two board his own private aircraft. They'l fly to a palatial house called Far é Gargle at an undisclosed location in an undisclosed state.

 

No doubt Trump expects that the ratings will go through the roof. 

 

Given this nation’s recent pathological history, he’s probably right.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Merde in France! Les restaurants! Les bars! Un désastre énorme!

This is where I was tutored on the fundamental importance of French bistros. (I lived in the tower on the left-hand side.)

So listen up,  plague victims. Here in New York, vaccine or no vaccine, infection and death rates are so high that the mayor has finally bitten the bullet, swallowed the bitter pill, and closed restaurants to all but outdoor dining. (Lotsa luck on that, with temperatures often hovering close to freezing, particularly when it’s raining, snowing, or the wind is blowing.)

 

The cries of pain among New York’s restaurateurs and barkeeps are legion. But the problem isn’t just local. Or even just American. In France, the great, les formidables, and the merely modest-but-superb neighborhood restaurants are also feeling the pain of COVID-19. 


Restaurants and cafés there have been ordered closed until January 20th, and then only if the pandemic subsides sufficiently, in the judgment of the authorities, to allow reopenings. Meanwhile, bars and nightclubs in France have been shuttered since October 30th, reports the publication Connexion France.

 

The United States, with slightly more than five times the population of France, has roughly eight times as many COVID-19 cases — but the government of France seems a bit more determined than a certain crowd at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to tamp down its nation’s infection rate even before everybody can get inoculated.

 

Glock? What Glock? I have

my 50-caliber Hyperbole

 

When Americans are told to mask up and stop eating out, they tend to reach for semi-automatic weapons and plot to kidnap the governor of their state. In France, they instead lunge for their hyperbole.

 

Once the piddling trickle of government loans to stressed restaurants has stopped, said an executive of a food service research company, “a massacre will happen very suddenly.” Presumably he was thinking about a massacre of the restaurant business, not of government officials. But even so.


Meanwhile, French representatives of the sous chefs in hotel kitchens also had some wild hyperbole simmering on the front burner. 


"We hope to make this crazy government understand that the sector is on the verge of collapse, and that we are closer to having one foot in the grave than being able to reopen," said a vice-president of a French hotel union.

 

Perhaps it's worth noting here that restaurants, cafés and bars have a place in French culture that lacks a real equivalent in the United States.

 

Dumpy apartments and 

magnificent bistros

 

If you’ve been to France and noticed all the cafés, restaurants, and bars that all but clutter the grand boulevards and narrow back streets of French cities, there’s a reason for it. And that reason goes back to — I’ll tell you how I know this stuff a bit further on — that reason goes back to French income taxes. Specifically, income taxes in the 19th and early 20thCenturies.

 

See, France, like all advanced nations, needed an income tax to thrive. But French manners — la politesse — made it a big no-no to ask people what they earned. Or for their employers to snitch on them. So instead, more than a  century ago, the French equivalent of the IRS would send an inspector to your home to look around. He’d finger the damask drapes, sink his shoes into the plush carpeting, ogle the Dégas painting on your living room wall and think “These people are clearly loaded.” And then you'd get socked with a tax bill that might you wish you had both feet in the grave. 

 

Disgust the inspector

 

To counter taxes and trick the inspectors, French citizens began turning their homes into dumps. The stuffing isn’t coming out of the couch? Quick, adopt a cat! The paint is peeling off the walls?Merveilleux! One has accidently spilled a pleasantly insoucient glass of Margaux on la carpette? Don’t try to blot it up. Leave the stain there to disgust the inspector.

 

Unsurprisingly, personal living quarters during that era became so yucky that the French didn’t much like entertaining at home. They tended to invite friends to dinner, or just for drinks, out of the house. And before you could say Ooh la la, restaurants and cafés were ubiquitous in France.

 

The tax laws have since changed and some French folks do entertain at home — usually a very nice home — these days. But the restaurants, the cafés, and the bars are all still there, although they're closed for the moment. Or for more than a moment if they get snuffed by the fallout from COVID-19

 

From fox hunts, to culture courses,

to very chi chi weddings

 

I learned all this stuff about eating in restaurants and its  place in the lives of French citizens as a young college student, attending a way-off-campus seminar on French culture at a then-decrepit castle about 30 miles south of Paris. It was, and still is called Chateau Meridon. The educators who once ran the place, which was originally built as a French baron’s country hunting castle, have long since departed. These days, new owners have spiffed the joint up, and made it a venue primarily for elegant weddings, offsite business conferences — and who knows, maybe even a stray bar mitzvah. Although these days, Covid-19 may be inflicting pain on the chateau, too.

 

But I hope you'll remember that until recently, and with any luck soon again, one of the best reasons to go to France is to go to restaurants, from the Five Star Michelin gastronomic palaces, to the little neighborhood bistros.

 

Is there a moral to this story? Yeah, sort of. Chuck the diet. Eat while you can, for tomorrow you — or perhaps your favorite restaurant — may be dead.

 


Friday, December 11, 2020

Nuclear bombs, dead bodies, capital punishment, and Donald Trump


 The Nagasaki blast. It killed fewer people than all the Americans who have died of COVID-19 to date. (Photo, Wikimedia Commons.)

As of December 11th, the date I’m posting this, America has lost 293,000 of its citizens to COVID-19. Commentators have taken to comparing the huge number of COVID-19 deaths to the loss of American soldiers in WWII. 

 

I prefer another comparison.

 

A nuclear bomb. 

 

In fact, two nuclear bombs.

 

The A-bombs that the U.S. used to flatten Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, according to estimates that are sometimes described as “over conservative,” killed or wounded a combined 225,000 people. That’s 68,000 fewer than the 293,000 Americans dead of COVID-19.

 

An atomic blast aimed at taking out a city of 293,000 or fewer persons could completely wipe out, the entire population and then some of,  municipalities like: Savannah, Georgia; Paterson, New Jersey; Sunnyvale, California; Jackson, Mississippi; Springfield Missouri; Salem, Oregon; Providence, Rhode Island; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Vancouver, Washington; Tallahassee, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; Montgomery, Alabama; Salt Lake City, Utah; Birmingham, Alabama; Des Moines, Iowa; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Buffalo, New York; Lincoln, Nebraska; and…but why go on? 

 

America, we’ve been nuked

 

There are 251 significant American cities have smaller populations than the American population lost to COVID-19 thus far. America, we’ve been nuked. Yes, nuked by a virus, not an atom bomb. But the end result is the same — dead American bodies, unimaginable human suffering, and a line of coffins stretching into the distant horizon, and growing longer every day.

 

And who, through his policy of neglect, denial, and downright lies, not to mention inattention when there was a golf game to be joined, is responsible for likely half those deaths? Yes, Donald Trump.

 

He has, whether through benign neglect or, more likely cold indifference, killed off enough Americans to fill a good-sized city, with more deaths coming every day, more than 3,000 a day at latest count. 

 

Is there no accountability for this? 

 

Trump also likes to poison,

shoot, and electrocute prisoners

 

Remember, we are talking about a president who has no qualms about putting people to death. His Justice Department this week executed a man named Brandon Bernard for murder who was just 18 years old at the time the crime was committed. The case had been appealed up to the Supreme Court. The New York Times reports:

In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor argued that if the prosecution had not withheld the evidence and knowingly elicited false testimony as Mr. Bernard claimed, there is reasonable probability that he would not have been sentenced to death. She also contended that an appeals court that denied Mr. Bernard’s motion in a case related to the testimony “got it wrong,” and required too strict a standard that “perversely rewards the government for keeping exculpatory information secret.” 

Speaking of perversity, in Donald Trump’s haste to execute as many prisoners as possible before he leaves office, Bernard was one of six federal prisoners scheduled to be executed between election day and Trump's last day as President. And Trump, evidently in the thrall of his own depraved personality, has urged that instead of lethal injection, his condemned victims ought to be electrocuted or face a firing squad. In the face of declining support for the death penalty, even some parts of the religious Christian community that usually backs him seem shocked. 


A twisted inner lust?


It’s hard to imagine why Donald Trump wants this, other than to satisfy some twisted inner lust for cruelty. 

 

But if the murder of two people, or murder committed by a mentally-ill woman are worthy of the death penalty by electrocution, a hail of bullets, or even an injection of poison in the view and practice of the Trump Administration, what kind of punishment is Donald Trump worthy of for an atomic bomb’s worth of dead Americans?

 

And will he ever be held to account?