Weekend Open Thread

“Opinion has caused more trouble on this little earth than plagues or earthquakes.”

–Voltaire

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  1. kwtreekwtree says:

    “”They’re honking to support me”. No, Mr. President. No, they’re not.

    CNN’s Facts First

    All three of Trump's claims were false. The truckers who have lined streets near the White House since May 1 are indeed protesters, not people holding any kind of celebration — and they are protesting a variety of issues affecting their jobs, not protesting in favor of Trump. In fact, one of their complaints is about what they say is lax federal enforcement of a regulation requiring more transparency from freight brokers.

    Paging Powerful Pear- in real life, you run a trucking and “logistics” business. What do you honestly think about the trucker’s grievances, or the President lying about them on national TV?

  2. davebarnesdavebarnes says:

    Trump's Mother's Day message: 'We've totally rebuilt our military'
     
    It's never been better. Fighter jets, now we have the best in the world. The F-35 and the F-18. 

    And, no mention of the ‘super duper missle’?
    What was he hiding on May 8th?

  3. kickshot says:

    Amash is out.

    • davebarnesdavebarnes says:

      Did The Dumpster® strike him with a super-duper missile?

    • JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

      So, Libertarians plan now for an online meeting May 22 to select candidates for President and Vice President.  As best I can tell, they will be selecting among candidates who haven't held a national or statewide office. According to their website, a month ago they were on ballots for 36 states and DC. 

      Greens are selecting in July, last I knew.  Again, I don't think any of their potential candidates held national or statewide office. Jesse Ventura is out, but I have not heard anything of someone prominent still trying to be the Green Party's nominee.

  4. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Sad news – tonight is when they would have held the Eurovision final crying

  5. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

     

    This from Salon:

    Top Colorado Republican orders official to report false election results in leaked audio

    A "damning" recording allegedly shows a GOP congressman trying to pressure a local official into committing a crime

     

    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/08/top-colorado-republican-orders-official-to-report-false-election-results-in-leaked-audio/

    He's bad…he's nationwide…!

  6. Duke CoxDuke Cox says:

    Is Donald Trump a tyrant? Yes and no — Aristotle and Euripides would disagree

     

    When somebody's the president of the United States, the authority is total" was Donald Trump's edict on April 13. 

    "Donald Trump acts like he's a king," said the ad Republicans for the Rule of Law ran on Fox News on May 11. He has been called "president-king" by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a "dictator" by Rep. Jerry Nadler. He has been crowned a king on the cover of Time magazine, and played as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in Central Park.

    Is Donald Trump a tyrant — based on historical definitions of that term?

     

    https://www.salon.com/2020/05/17/is-donald-trump-a-tyrant-yes-and-no–aristotle-and-euripides-would-disagree/

    an interesting read….

  7. JohnInDenverJohnInDenver says:

    Republicans in Revolt.

    WAPO: "Never Trumpers will host their own ‘Republican convention’ during the RNC"

    “The Trump administration has failed, and that’s provided us with an opportunity to offer an alternative vision,” said Evan McMullin, who ran against Trump as an independent in 2016 and has been part of multiple anti-Trump efforts since then. “We’ll be ready in the wake of what we see as a coming Trump defeat.”

  8. kwtreekwtree says:

    Kos made a 50 state voter guide- the comprehensive downloadable document details which states have no-excuse-needed mail in balloting, and which ones have hoops to jump through. I was discouraged to see that 30 states won’t mail anything to the voters- no ballot, no application for mail ballot, nada. unsurprisingly, these states are mostly red states, southern states, or both. Prime targets for voter suppression.
     

    The guide is intended for use in the primary elections, but clearly will impact the general election.

     

     

  9. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Not wearing a mask is like drunk driving

    Choosing to not wear a mask, congregate in groups, etc. is like choosing to drive drunk. It's stupid & dangerous and it risks the lives of others.

    For a situation like this you need to weight the trade-offs. Having a gun at home or a swimming pool in your backyard also increases the odds that someone will die. There are tons of activities where we accept the increased risk for the benefit it brings.

    And for many of these trade-offs, we decide what to do through our government. The government says if you have a pool, there must be a fence around it. The government in many countries says you cannot own guns designed primarily to kill lots of people.

    The laws, rules, & regulations from the government are how we decide what we'll require of all of us so we can minimize the impact we have on each other while each living the life we want to live.

    And if you disagree with some of these laws (we all can find some we disagree with), then you can lobby against them, you can write about why they are bad. You can even perform acts of civil disobedience. 

    (And by definition, civil disobedience means you will get arrested & fined. If that doesn't happen it's not civil disobedience, it's anarchy.)

    Which brings us to the present requirement to wear masks and practice social distancing. This is not Fascism, Communism, imminent Dictatorship, or bureaucracy run amok. It's requiring a small effort that has a big impact that will help us get back to the new normal sooner with fewer deaths.

    Trade-offs like this are something the majority in this country wants. Just as the people strongly support strong penalties for drunk driving and other actions that endanger others, they support reasonable actions that will reduce the number of people sickened and killed by the COVID-19.

    And there will be some who scream that the government should not be doing this. A very loud minority. And through their loud angry actions, they hope to have an impact much larger than their numbers or support. It's incumbent upon the rest of us to keep in mind that the vast majority of people do not support the obnoxious jerks.

    As to the concern that going forward this will mean the government is going to track us all a lot more closely. Yes that is going to happen. I wish it wasn't necessary as I strongly support the right of each person to their own private life. But we're never going back to the old normal and the only way to get to a reasonable new normal will require instantaneous contact tracing.

    After all, this isn't the last pandemic we'll face. And some future ones will be a lot worse.

    • kwtreekwtree says:

      David, what would”instantaneous contact tracing” look like? What kind of testing and communications infrastructure would it require?

      Good blog post.

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        Thank you. 

        I'm guessing they'll set it up that they track everyone's location second by second and if someone tests positive, they then alert everyone that was within range of them.

        And range will depend on the location as 3' away for 5 seconds walking outside, no worry. But 10' away in a restaurant for 30 minutes – you're in trouble.

        Because it can take 2 weeks to get the symptoms, the only way to handle all this is immense amounts of data with automatic decisions on who to notify and then notifying them.

        And that means the government will know everywhere you go and who you're communicating with in person. Very scary when (and it's not if) misused. But also critical to having a life outside until (if?) we get a vaccine.

         

  10. kwtreekwtree says:

    A little something to get your toes tapping. Rick Estrin and the Nightcats performing Dump That Trump.

    Sorry, can’t embed the video from my iPad. Someone else may be able to. 

  11. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    The PPP program is working

    FDR used to give programs where he didn't want any waste or fraud to Harold Ickes. And when he wanted them implemented quickly, he put Harry Hopkins in charge. The PPP was run as Hopkins would have done, and that's a good thing.

    Will we find there was fraud and abuse in it? Yes. That's the price for pushing out the money so fast. But doing it slowly wouldn't have worked. Companies could not have retained employees or continued as before if the decision would take 6 months, or if it was done super carefully (as (itlduso would prefer), 6 years.

    With the PPP plan a coffee shop my wife frequents has now hired back a couple of employees. They could get by without them, but with the PPP they hired them back. A local pizza place we love now sees a road to survival and has hired most of their people back.

    And at my company I not only can keep everyone on, but we hired an additional support person, who had just been laid off elsewhere. (Why sales are not great, existing customer support queries have shot up – our customers are using us to further automate as they navigate the crisis).

    So it's people keeping their jobs, and it's companies finding a way to continue going forward, as we all face reduced income & greater uncertainty.

    I think when history writes about this particular program, it will be held up as the equal of the WPA in it's impact. So kudos to Senator Rubio & the others (who else???) that came up with this and got it included. It was different, it helped those without significant political clout, and it was brilliant.

  12. kwtreekwtree says:

    Some CBD strains show promise as Covid19 treatments, say Canadian and Israeli researchers. 

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