Friday, May 8, 2020


Next newspaper column:
Question: If those long-gun-toting, body-armor-wearing, priapic protesters storming the gallery of the Michigan legislature had been African-American, Latino, Muslim, or Native American, would their deaths be considered Covid-19 related? When Trump called them “very good people,” was he distinguishing them from the “very fine people” marching for white supremacy in Charlottesville? 
Or was it random, simply reinforcing his impeachable calls for insurrection and his insecurity around powerful women, like Michigan’s Governor Whitmer? 
What if they’d taken a knee? 
Actual good people are raising thoughtful questions about how to calibrate reopening. Among them, the CDC has produced detailed guidelines, which Trump immediately spiked. But those Michigander embarrassments to the male gender weren’t there to be thoughtful. They were there to intimidate, implicitly threatening violence, cheered on by their “president.” (Swastikas and Confederate flags, evidently indispensable to the movement, remained outside.)  
They were terrorists. That our “president” suggested making “a deal” with such people underscores the obvious: Donald “I’m-treated-worse-than-Lincoln” Trump has neither interest in nor understanding of democracy. Those gunmen have even less. In this democratic republic, they should be heroes to none, no matter one’s views on reopening. But here we are, and there they are. Our “president” celebrates them, and democracy is on a ventilator.  
By contrast, George Bush, with whom I rarely agreed but never considered an empathy-free, self-aggrandizing, full-time liar (only part-time), just produced this.  
President Barack Obama already had.  
How sad that former presidents are needed to fill our current moral leadership vacuum. How sadder that protesting poseurs can’t see what’s behind premature reopening: states can cancel unemployment from workers who refuse to return before it’s safe. Federal aid can be withheld from small businesses who, out of concern for employee and customer health, don’t yet open. 
And if Moscow Mitch’s suggested state bankruptcies were to happen, there goes their employees’ retirement benefits. Meanwhile, troll-bots are flooding social media, fanning the protests. From where, do you suppose, and for what purpose?  
Intended by Trump and his homegrown and trans-oceanic enablers to fracture us, it’s working. In Oklahoma City, McDonald’s workers enforcing rules were shot. A Michigan security guard was murdered over it. We know there’ll be more, and it’s on Trump, urging Americans to rise against each other, if that’s what it takes to crank up the economy. For him, reopening isn’t about you; it’s about reelection.  
Speaking of elections, it’s time to address the Joe Biden sexual harassment claims. That he injudiciously massaged Ms. Reade’s shoulders and/or neck is believable. He’s admitted to being inappropriately “touchy-feely,” and has reined it in. One finds her much-belated accusation of forced digital penetration harder to believe, though, for reasons enumerated by an experienced prosecutor of sexual assault cases, here 
In a he-said/she-said situation, judgments will be influenced by preexisting suppositions and, yes, by political leanings. For the above-linked reasons, this columnist finds Ms. Reade less credible than the accusers of Brett Kavanaugh and Trump. Unwanted digital penetration is wholly inconsistent with one’s perception of Vice-President Biden, whereas Trump has bragged about sexual assault that differs from Ms. Reade’s accusation only by depth.  
Let’s assume Ms. Reade is truthful. Perhaps she is. Our electoral choice then turns on policy, because we’d be choosing between a man whom we’ve heard gloating about sexual assault, accused of it by at least twenty-five women; and one who admits to overly-familiar touching (think George and Angela) but denies intentional assault. 
If those who voted for Trump, overlooking his lifelong amorality, are above criticism but those who’d vote for Vice-President Biden are hypocrites, who can be surprised? We’re living, after all, in Trumpworld, where inconvenient truth is “fake news” and under-reaction to Covid-19 for months, continuing even now, is considered “a great success.”  
It could be argued, if Vice-President Biden did it, that his and Trump’s behavior offset each other, even though, by multiples, they don’t; so the election becomes, as it should, about issues: What they’ll do about accelerating climate change; about pollution, healthcare, renewable energy, science and research, programs that help the needy become productive. Women’s rights, minority rights, voting rights, early childhood education, Social Security, Medicare. 
Who’ll preserve capitalism by reducing unsustainable wealth disparity; what they’d cut and whom they’d tax to abate skyrocketing national debt; who’ll respect separation of powers; who’ll seek expert advice and who’ll ignore it; who’ll convene truth-tellers and who’ll fire them. And pretty much everything else on which the future of all generations hangs.  



  1. Well, in a way, I don't want to be first, but, since no one yet...
    Love the cartoon, would like to think I helped with that. I can reliably report that not a single Christian believes that's God. In that, "we" agree with you! :-)
    The cartoonist, Kim Warp, is Christian herself! She's quite good!
    btw, good column for tomorrow! Would love to see TH open comments back up. Can't help but feel a little bitterness at the big guy's plea$ for "help" from the community. I didn't notice anyone saying they're sending him $10 along with what they were sending good causes a few weeks ago. I guess I'm cynical this morning.
    Remember, He's the consequence of actions, not an action figure of our making. And, boy, do we have a lineup for this election! Either we get more of the same=>worse by a factor, or, we get the new-which-is-the-same-old we've had before, with a touch of expectation and deliverance. I'm betting on the latter, as I've mentioned, with gusto.
    And, I'm calculating the odds for the how-long-the-geezer-lives competition to the finish line of our first feemale Pre$ident. (feemale not misspelled). You know, won't gender equality be grand!? (many grand$!) And now Kamala is $pon$oring the $2K per month group!
    Note: I agree, but think it should be $3K per month, means tested well below $120K, and the ones who pay for it should start with the Forbes 400 and work their way down through the top 1% of our Great Society. And, for that people call me a socialist! At least those who have no comprehension of what a socialist is, that is.
    For the dreaded socialism, what I think is that our government should identify certain industries and build those factories ourselves, with the first ones being recycle-to-end-product plastics plants, starting with single-use water bottles, and having our military pick them up in the impoverished asian countries and take them to the plants. For that matter, we have enough military bases around the world with empty space for the location of those plants, and provide jobs for some of the impoverished.
    But that's just one of 10,000 things we could do FOR the world instead of AGAINST it, as we currently are doing in non-partisan fashion. More Democrats than Republicans throw those bottles into "recycle". It's a simple, statistical fact. (i.e. there are more Democrats than Republicans, and, boy, that will be apparent in November!)
    And, again, good column! I'm looking forward to November, and hoping to be done with the current silliness by then.
    But, just as I don't think Economists should determine virus-policy, I don't think virologists(?) should determine economic policy. And, I studied Economics for nearly the amount of time you studied blood'n'guts (at school that is). My Economic-VietNam has been our economy beginning with Reagan. If ever there were surgeons sewing people's arms to their ears, it's what's been going on economically since Nixon "opened up" China, and Reagan started the competition for destroying our country in favor of others. Forty years and still ticking, like the heartbeat ending to "Looking for Mr. Goodbar".

  2. Fear not. You're weren't technically first. I trashed one from Frank.

  3. Apologies for the lame Economics to Doctor length of study comparison. Even Milt Friedman didn't study as much as you did. I know because along with much blood'n'guts a dentist friend of mine studied more Business than I did (but I'm better at Economics than s(he)) and is a much better business(wo)man than I could ever have been. But I'm a better economist, you know, the science of predicting things after they happen. No one ever praises an Economist before the prediction.
    And, every economist likes to think they're a scientist! S(he)'s rich, I'm not poor, but, hey, at least I'm good with numbers and stuff... OK, both of us are, (sigh)

  4. > You're weren't technically first. I trashed one from Frank.

    Formulaic Rant Again, No Knowledge?

  5. Now we learn that Mike Pence's press secretary, Katie Miller, who is Stephen Miller's wife, has tested positive for COVID-19.

    Mysterious ways...?

  6. Yup! At least it's something positive for a change.
    And now, there's a bomb cyclone coming!!
    Don't people ever get tired of that junk?

  7. Katie Miller is a 3 time loser.
    1. Works for Pence.
    2. Sleeps with Stephen Miller. Will their babies be cyborgs too?
    3. Contracted coronavirus.

    I might feel sorry for her but, nah. She picked the first two and their ignorance picked the third for her.

    P.S. Excellent commentary from KS, aka, Anonymous.

  8. Sorry, Frankie. Ain't gonna happen. You can do better.

  9. seeker of wisdom and truthMay 9, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    Is anyone else concerned about the "current occupier's" appeal to and acceptance of the network of internal terrorist groups? He covets their friendship and welcomes their armed militant support.
    And, is anyone else critical of his self-professed religious identity as an advocate of the true values that are universally proclaimed by credible faith communities?
    Is it possible that his motivations conflict with the responsibilities required to lead a democracy?
    Is our democracy worth preserving for our future generations?

  10. I'm more concerned about his affinity for home-grown terrorists, which runs in both directions.

    His religious identity is as phony as any of his thousands of lies and other forms of fakery. Which doesn't seem to keep the faithful from digging it.

  11. Here's what disturbs me as of late...

    The alt right is fully prepared to strangle the poor financially. To quote Drumpf and Lumpy "We're in no hurry" to give any more money to the bottom 99% of the economy. Namely unemployment bennies. But medical as well. SAlso, we need to cut safety nets again with the elderly being the exception. IE: Drumpf/Alt right voter block is the exception. Everyone else will see medical, cash and food benefits slashed or eliminated because times are tough and we gave out all the money so there is no money unless we change liability laws. The poor can't eat in the meantime. Food banks can't replace the federal govt. Seeing as how the alt right once again got a trillion more dollars on the promise they'd talk about a 3 trillion dollar bill by the Democrats. Lucy pulled the football again. What a surprise.

    How stupid are we? Do we really think Pelosi and Schumer are this stupid? They are pleasing their donors as well.

    Play chicken with everyone's health. Over more money for corporations and complete wholesale changes to the laws that protect every American. Why? To force people into the workplace. Are we ready for mass unionisation yet? The elderly don't care at all. They are above it all apparently? There's going to be nothing left for the kids. Drumpfs voters should be so proud.

  12. Keep trying, Frankie. I'm sure you can come up with something useful.

  13. Doc SL, I think you posted a link to the George Packer article in The Atlantic, "We Are Living in a Failed State"? In this video from a couple of days ago, David Pakman unpacks the idea a bit further:

    The gist of his verdict is that we're not a failed state, but we're a lot closer than we used to be.

  14. Thanks, Mythigator, for his perspective. I think that we aren't living in a failed state yet largely because of Trump's ignorance and incompetence, but give him and his enablers (those who are knowledgeable and competent) another four years and we'd likely find ourselves so close as to be indistinguishable from the asymptote. Given enough time (a third term?!!) there'd be no breadcrumbs to find our way back.

    Just for fun and because it's great writing, here's a piece that I enjoyed:

    "Trump Has a New Word Lump"
    The president is topping even the greatest geniuses in the world, if he does say so himself.

  15. Drumpf stole "lump" from these Presidents of the United States of America.

  16. Sid said ...
    > His religious identity is as phony as any of his thousands of lies and other forms of fakery. Which doesn't seem to keep the faithful from digging it.

    I've been pondering this thought more than a little bit over the last couple of days. I have accused the Evangelical leadership of being undiscerning suckers and fools for swallowing Trump's "I'm one of you" con. But another, and more disturbing, possibility has occurred to me (and it should have done so a lot sooner than now). Namely, that they know Trump is a fake Christian but they don't give a damn. And in their "don't give a damn" stance toward Trump's fakery, they encourage the rank and file to give him their unquestioning support. That places the leadership in the position of having set themselves up for a whole heap o' trouble, James 3:1 style. And Matthew 18:6-7 as well, come to think of it.

  17. > "Trump Has a New Word Lump"
    > The president is topping even the greatest geniuses in the world, if he does say so himself.

    You're just trying to get me to subscribe, aren't you? :-D

    I am mulling it over. $49.99 a year ... there have certainly been occasions when I've spent more than that online for content of less significance.

  18. @Mythigator...

    The alt right/Drumpf voters know he lies. Sexually assaults women and on down the line.

    One thing the right has is the "By any means necessary" issue in lock step. Thus, you get dozens toting/brandishing weapons and ammo designed to kill efficiently. For what? A couple SCOTUS judges that's what. They will kill to save babies from abortion. That's their Bible babble talkin'.

    These people you can't reason with because they can't be shamed. They all blame everything on everyone else. They are never at fault. Apologize to nobody. Taking up arms is ALWAYS on the table. Under ANY circumstances. Weapons are the ultimate answer from people that can't think of a better plan. It's lazy thinking. When you don't use your brain. You let your gun think for you. The brain muscle gets weak. Then multiply it by generations in places like Appalachia and you get alt right voters. Everything ends with a win cause I got my weapons locked and loaded. They all feel under threat from something that doesn't exist. They are fed fear via the net, FOX 'news' and right wing radio. The little AM stations in hillbilly hollow. The kind of people who will hold a gun to you for simply ending up on their property. Shoot you if you don't leave. They threaten news media personnel at every rally. They beat up people at their rallies because Drumpf orders them to. They get off on it. They'll shoot you for simply being black.

    They know exactly what they are doing. The reason? "By any means necessary".

  19. > You're just trying to get me to subscribe, aren't you? :-D

    Made me smile, Mythigator. I think that more people should!

    When I was in college, my focus was physics and related science and engineering courses. In my senior year, in a required English course, "Advanced Exposition and Philosophy", the professor arranged for all of us to receive subscriptions to the 'Atlantic Monthly' magazine. Improbably, I fell in love with it and have subscribed nearly my entire adult life.

    It would be good for you. ;-)

  20. I am beneficially nourished by reading the informed and logical comments that are allowed to appear in Dr. Schwab's blog. My search for wisdom and truth is not fogged-up by the FOXified babble that steamed-up my windshield with greasy foul air. By editing the comments for rationality and logical content, fuzzy nonsense from the fringes of reason are reduced to boring and repetitive drivel.

  21. Damn straight Jackson! I totally agree the moderating of comments is a must and it must be done in real time. You don't get published until someone reads it and decides if it's a proper part of the discourse.

    In this article...

    Here's the snippet...

    "Even by the standards of contemporary D.C., the process surrounding the next round of economic aid is a mess. As the unemployment rate soars, Democrats are largely unified around an ambitious plan that would provide lifelines to struggling Americans and aid to states to prevent even more public-sector layoffs. Republicans, however, appear lost without a map."

    "On Friday afternoon, for example, after McEnany urged the House to return to session and pass an economic aid bill, Donald Trump said largely the opposite. "We're in no rush," the president said, adding, "I can't say that we're in a rush."

    Their playbook is to create chaos to achieve a goal. The goal in this case is to force people back to work by by means necessary. It's about the wealthy. Not about the people that make them wealthy. Those are expendable peasants. Who will work and die before the qualify for benefits. Corporations are about profit. That's it. The corporations got their money. They are sitting on hundreds of billions in money yet to be dispersed. The poor have "your checks in the mail" directed to websites that don't work and phone centers that are tied up and nobody can get through. If you don't file a tax return then you are out in some special space where nobody can hear you scream. You are also the poorest, most vulnerable in our population of Americans. I am an "other". 20% unemployment is no reason to hurry. Wait and see is the Drumpf plan. Rake in the free money, as you sit and wait for the "others" to be forced back to work or homelessness and starvation. That's the plan and they do not give a rats tail whether you live or die. The alt right is insisting legal immunity to employers who force their workers to work during a pandemic. The employer profits and if the workers die as a result? Well that's on them and their Obamacare was cut and eliminated by the alt right as well. Yunno, to balance the budget. MAGA 2020! Is what we are going to get. Seizing total control of power is the goal. People are going to die in order to achieve that goal. The faster the better as far as the alt right is concerned.

  22. Anyone else wondering why our state doesn't show anyone as "recovered", even though there are plenty of news articles about those people?
    For which states are and aren't showing "recovered", scroll to the bottom of the graphs at this link:
    (it doesn't appear to be a "red-state" phenomenon)

  23. > If those long-gun-toting
    > priapic protesters

    Interesting conjunction of characteristics applied to the crimson-capped conical crania crowd. The implication being that they're compensating for something? ;-)

  24. When demonstrators brandish firearms to make their point, the threat of violence IS their point.

    WFIW I grew up hunting and fishing and have owned firearms all my adult life.

  25. I like Thursdays, because Sid starts the new thread soon.
    If The Herald doesn't survive the pandemic, where will we find Sid? (here, or course)
    I have a number of friends who own guns, most are Democrats! I don't, and won't, and the world is better off if I continue that. When I traveled Texas, I was afraid of those who carried at first, but you get used to it pretty quick. In Nevada I was pleased there were those in the casinos who carried, but was wary of them. And, in our state, since few open carry, it's scary I'll admit. But, the number who carry that you'll never know of, well, I'm not afraid of them at all! One time I asked one of my friends who I knew had a concealed permit if he was carrying that day, and he replied, "you'll never know!"
    True stories.
    In the cities it's a good idea to watch yourself as if everyone is carrying. In the country I never concerned myself with it at all.

  26. seeker of wisdom and truthMay 14, 2020 at 11:34 AM

    Who are the target group that "packers" choose to justify their motive for carrying? Unlawful police, domestic terrorists,foreign ethnic groups, traffic rage drivers, robbery suspects, crazy homeless people, bullies, or anyone who they adjudge to be worthy of being shot.

  27. Anyone who'd look, I'd say. Like flashers at a public park.


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