11 Week Quarantine Check In

I actually had to count it out at this point. We went into quarantine after coming back from the JoCo Cruise, and that was on Sunday, March 15. That was eleven weeks ago, which feels both a long time ago and also not that long ago now, because time is funny that way. I also entertain the idea I may have miscounted weeks somewhere in there, honestly, it’s a lot of weeks.

I think also at this point the quarantine era, or at least this first one, is over. States have largely opened back up despite the virus still being out there and spreading, and people are out and about — rather dramatically in the last few days, as it happens. I don’t think they’re going to go back in after this, at least not in the way they were before.

Which brings me to the subject of the protests that have been going on this week. On Twitter a couple of days ago I wrote this, which still holds true:

With that said, I can safely say the following:

1. All that had to happen not to have (these) protests go down was for Derek Chauvin not to have put his knee into George Floyd’s neck.

2. If I’m ever caught passing a bad check, or a counterfeit $20, or whatever, you know what’s not going to happen? Me dead because I had a cop’s knee in my neck for close to ten minutes.

3. I know for certain even these two utterly non-controversial statements above will have some dude show up in my comments suggesting that no, that’s not true, and trying to imagine a scenario where a Chauvin choking out Floyd was somehow justified. Dude, yes the fuck it is true, and no the fuck it wasn’t. (Also, don’t, I’ll just Mallet your tiresome ass).

The bifurcation of my eleventh week of quarantine is that I’m at home and it’s been lovely here, and in the rest of the country, people are out in the streets and cities are literally on fire.

On a personal level, this eleventh week hasn’t been that great for me; I’ve been short-tempered and irritable this entire week. Part of that was due to news from the outside world — it’s not been a great week for the whole country, folks — but part of that was just, well, sometimes I’m cranky and people just plain set me off. I don’t think I can chalk up my crankiness this week to quarantine life. I think it’s just me. It was actually a very good week for me not to see people, in point of fact. Or for other people to see me! I’ve been doing all y’all a favor by being mostly absent the last week, and posting pictures of cats and flowers. I hope you appreciate my restraint.

This next week I will actually leave the house; I have a dentist appointment on Wednesday, at which I suspect I will be told I need a crown (this will not be news to me, we’ve been watching this particular tooth for a while). While I’m not necessarily looking forward to the dentist appointment, I’m looking forward to a drive there and back. It’s the little things, these days.

57 Comments on “11 Week Quarantine Check In”

  1. Also, with reference to:

    “All that had to happen not to have (these) protests go down was for Derek Chauvin not to have put his knee into George Floyd’s neck”

    Please note that “these” in parentheses. Policing in this country is done in a racist manner. The issue fundamentally isn’t that Derek Chauvin was a bad cop (although, clearly, he was). The issue is that sooner or later a white cop was going to kill a black man for something that a) the black man did not need to die over, b) a white person in the same situation wouldn’t have died over, because that’s how we do policing in the United States.

    It was George Floyd’s death that sparked this protest. But it was going to be some black man’s death at the hands of a police officer sooner or later. This is a real thing, and our shame.

  2. I think we have been waiting for something like this to happen. If it didn’t happen last week, it would happen this week. We’ve been pointing to people to blame more and more and people on both sides see things getting worse. The protests have been as much against Trump as they have been against the Minneapolis police. And the right wants this conflict.

    Do we believe in a better future?

  3. All that had to happen not to have (these) protests go down was for Derek Chauvin not to have put his knee into George Floyd’s neck.

    It also would have considerably helped matters if Derek Chauvin and his accomplices had been promptly arrested and charged — which is exactly what would have happened if the positions had been reversed. Instead, we saw the entirely predictable result when folks were done with the response to another dead unarmed black man being the absolute minimum done with extreme reluctance.

  4. Good on you for managing to hide the Black Cloud long enough to DJ. Sometimes being able to escape the real world helps. Sometimes the Black Cloud poisons our attempts to escape it.

  5. All of that yes, with the additional comment that passing off a bad $20 in no way means he knew it was a bad $20. The store owner said most people bolt after being told the cops were called & he stuck around apparently to let the cops know where he got the $20 from.

    So not only is passing a bad $20 not in any way a capitol crime, passing a $20 someone didn’t even know was bad for sure isn’t a capitol crime. (And even if they were, a judge & jury ought to be involved in the process somewhere)

  6. Not all of the news is bad, John. The SpaceX launch was a great success and I just turned off the TV when the Big Cheeto started blaring…

  7. Nice picture, John, that’s a large and lovely front yard. Must take some time to mow!

    I’ve been at home just a week longer than you, and I have a nice house and garden and plenty of book and am perfectly content. My wife does a once-weekly grocery/errand run, masks and gloves and fully safe, and other than that she’s also home and content.

    Very happy about the success of Space X launch and dock, which I wish were the top headline.

  8. You can give the same cranky excuse I sometimes give. Cause I’m getting old. I am 58 so I can be slightly crankier. Time to practice. Go outside and yell at kids to get off your lawn. You have a very big lawn so yell loudly.

  9. Check your wallet and emergency cash stash.
    =======================================
    Be especially suspicious of older bills (those bearing old pre-1996 designs) and bills of larger denominations.
    Simply refuse to accept older bills. Nearly all the pre-1996 money that is actually legitimate has been taken out of circulation and destroyed already.
    == https://money.howstuffworks.com/counterfeit7.htm

  10. I’d definitely say my wife has been crankier this week too (but don’t tell her I said that, OK?).

    ;)

    It is very likely that Betsy DeVos’s brother Erik Prince and co. (and other rich right wing families) have been behind financing and at least partly directing the nightly escalations of peaceful protests into violence, to Trump’s approval (notice how he immediately jumped on it to denounce “antifa and far left” groups). Add that to the anarchists who always turn up to add chaos and you have the current sh!tstorm. I will be interested when they reveal the antecedents of 27 year old Samantha Shader from Catskill, NY who lit and threw a Molotov cocktail into an occupied police vehicle in Brooklyn on Friday night.

    That said, NYC is still not open and not opening for at least a couple more weeks. We have knocked down the daily death total from 780 at one point to 56 yesterday, so that is a huge drop. My wife and I were just out for a 45 minute walk and I’d say at least 90% of our neighbors out there were wearing masks. If only the “we’re millenials, we’re healthy” morons like Melissa Shapiro, 26, interviewed at Lake of the Ozarks yesterday only infected themselves and each other, but sadly we know that isn’t the way it happens. 35% with the virus are asymptomatic but can still spread it to you or your grandma, Melissa, so just stop it.

    /end rant

  11. I’ve accidentally passed a bad $20 that I’d gotten in change, and it was a REALLY bad one. Cashier just gave it back to me, I got out a real $20 and got my burrito and change. (And unfortunately forgot about it and spent it later, successfully.) But if the cops had been involved at all, we’d have just ended up joking about how bad it was.

  12. The deliberate killing of Floyd was especially egregious. The cop was taunting Floyd as he killed him. This wasn’t policing, it was the modern equivalent of a lynching. That is why it set off such a strong reaction. It also showed that the police department was deeply corrupt.

    A lot of the arson and looting was instigated by young white men from out of state (arrests). My guess is they are right wing groups hoping to start a race war. Also one person doing arson looked like a cop but it could have been a white man wearing cop-like clothes and high end protective gear. The violence may be to discredit the legitimate and peaceful protests over the Floyd murder.

  13. I understand your joy at the drive to the dentist’s office, if not the visit itself. I brought myself joy this week by driving from my home near Seattle all the way to Olympia for a pedicure. That county was allowed to open for various businesses, including nail salons. King county is not. My hip arthritis prevents my hip from bending enough to allow me to cut my own toenails. So after to close to three months without a pedicure my nails were a tad on the raggedy side. There’s only so much one can take! It was so totally worth it to make the drive down, and fun to be on the road again. So enjoy your road trip.

  14. America’s original sin of race-based chattel slavery, and the 150+ years of systemic oppression and exploitation that followed the Civil War, are destroying the country before our very eyes.

    If T* is re-elected, we’re done and that’s the end of it: the nation will have decided that’s the way we want to be. If T* is defeated, the work in correcting what is wrong will have just gotten started (it’s infuriating to think how much progress was made by 1980, and how much has been lost since the Reagan Counter-Reformation) with no guarantees the job will get beyond a promising start before voters decide it’s not happening fast enough, or exactly as they would like, and sit out the mid-terms like they did in 2010 (when the GOP took the House and Senate and a bunch of Governorships).

    I, too, got out of town this weekend: spent an enjoyable day in a couple of small over on towns on the Olympia Peninsula and Coast, looking at houses. I left there to come back home just in time to be warned by friends to avoid downtown Seattle and the interstate going through downtown Seattle. I took an alternate route home with no trouble.

  15. NYC isn’t supposed to be reopened but everyone behaves as though it is; all the bars, restaurants, cafés, yogurt and coffee shops are building now into the sidewalks into the streets. There is nowhere for pedestrians to walk and maintain distance. Nor are any of them maintaining distance neither wearing masks.

    We’re officially reopening on June 8th, despite not having fulfilled at least three of the criteria by which an area is judged able to reopen.

    Watch for the big spike in 3 weeks, starting from last weekend. It will be blamed on the protestors, of course, not these people determined they are invulnerable, and those who aren’t invulnerable, they have told the vulnerable to just stay home. And if one MUST travel and don’t dare do mass transit, well, be flexible and work it out yourself.

    And people still wonder why these, who have been in every way on the front lines, who have suffered the largest number of deaths, shoved into body bags — and sometimes not even that — and left to rot stacked in the back of facilities by the garbage dumpsters — who have had the least protection, and received the least financial assistance — while expected to keep working in the most dangerous of positions — how can anyone wonder about the protests? Shyte, what do people of color have to lose at this point? POC have been told in every possible way for decades, for centuries — “DIE! DIE FOR OUR BENEFIT!” and denied any justice, any dignity, any hope.

  16. I’m very concerned about being a racist—especially possible because I’m concerned about looking like one—but I’ve got in trouble before when people seem to think that I think the world were at all just, and so causal responsibility were at all the same as moral responsibility.

    With that proviso, I’ll just say that I’m in a terrible mood because I believe that Trump has just been re-elected. When white people not particularly committed to equality are given an excuse to believe that The Blacks Are A Problem, they turn to the specialists. When this level of abuse has been maintained and now thrown-in-the-face manifest, of course there will be riots. There may even be people who think they can benefit from riots making sure they’re as violent as they can be made, and especially as limned. But regardless of moral responsibility, as a simple,causal, ‘A makes B much more likely’ statement the riots have all but guarantied Trump’s re-election and the furtherance of conditions that guaranty more riots and more domination by the people Trump likes best. That won’t stop my giving as much as I can to stopping all that, but that’s how I see the odds, and (child of Holocaust escapees) I’ve never believed for one moment that not wanting for something to happen does anything to the odds against it, which is how I interpret the word ‘hope’ I hear people using but seem to be incapable of feeling.

  17. CaseyL: Democrats captured both the House and Senate in 2006. Although Republicans regained control of the House in 2010, they didn’t get the Senate back until 2014; it just seems longer ago.

  18. Nazis commit murder in Charlottesville because they’re bigots. Trump quickly points out there are many fine people on both sides.

    People riot because yet another white cop murders another black man. Trump immediately calls them THUGS, says looting will lead to shooting, and threatens to unleash dogs on them.

    Compassion for Nazi murderers. Animosity and malice towards actual victims.

  19. Gottacook – 2016 seems like forever ago – a different world, a different universe. 2006 might as well be pre-diluvian.

  20. Because I am nearing the breaking point of my arguably fragile sanity from the Covid vacation, unrelenting cycle of bad news, bad politics and just plain being old and cranky (B-day # 67 approaching), I will simply thank you for the pic and admire your Beautiful lawn. I hope you are also able to enjoy the positive benefits of a well manicured landscape.

  21. Your three points are exactly right. I know with complete confidence that if a store called the cops on me (for *anything*) I would be, at worst, arrested without significant violence. Because I’m white. Dylann Roof was taken safely into custody after shooting up a church.

    And to the people who say “what about all the good cops” – I might believe that if Derek Chauvin’s fellow officers had pulled him off George Floyd’s, arrested him, provided immediate medical care to Floyd, etc. But nope, if they’re going to stand by, I think that makes it very clear what kind of cops they are.

  22. Wow, patmcculloch’s point above: four out of four cops were not good. I judge people by their character at their worst.

    Part of the problem, as I understand it from the radio, is the government’s lack of transparency as to why the cop was not arrested until after four long days: Turns out there is a double standard for the delay in arresting cops compared to others, but the government wouldn’t admit it.

    As for virus still spreading, today’s BBC site has a story on Singapore scientists finding that people do not show symptoms until after they have been spreading it. How sad.

  23. @ Mel Travers
    And this kind of thinking is how injustice and horror continues and continues — don’t do anything, don’t say anything because that will make the people committing the atrocities feel justified. THEY HAVE ALL ALONG BELIEVED THEY ARE JUSTIFIED IN DOING ANYTHING THEY WANT TO BLACK BODIES. ALWAYS.

    Helicopters, cop sirens, relentless here RIGHT NOW. Manhattan Bridge closed.

    While the WH is surrounded yet again. Surrounded by Black Protestors protesting how black bodies are being treated. Where have all the white bodies been all these years since 2016? We all should have been out there since day one. But we weren’t. Because, you know, we’re white, and we’re not desperate, left to starve and die, without any hope, in this disease, and then attacked and killed by cops. We felt we weren’t that at risk. But People of Color no longer have anything to lose, so we are allowing them, by and large, to go up against this nazi, fasicist, psychopathic plutocracy all by themselves — and then whining that this is endangering US.

  24. The quarantine era is not remotely over – and the decision to go for weak forms of mitigation rather than control has ensured that this will be the case for a very long time. But this is a quibble. Broadly speaking, we’ve chosen to go for reignition.

    My daughter broke her quarantine to join a protest in downtown LA last night. In my day, we only had to worry about the tear gas and the police batons. /geezer

  25. Foxessa:
    A simple question: is a universe in which this is happening a more likely antecedent to a universe in which Mr Trump were re-elected than one in which it were not? That’s all I care about for the moment—and I’m likely to be immediately o.k. regardless, insofar as it were possible in the even-more-rotten country it would be, so it’s not a simple matter of trying to make it better for me. Other people in the country and in the world will suffer much more because Mr Trump were in office longer than otherwise. Not rioting might well be wrong, as wrong as (e.g.) voting for Biden iwhen you prefer Jill Stein, which is to say a necessary wrong thing.

    If C is severely undesirable and A makes C more likely than does B, I prefer B to A.

    Yes, it’s wrong, and it shouldn’t be this way,but at this point if the protesters were 99% white it wouldn’t matter.

  26. Poor George was a tipping point for too many who have seen too much happen too often. Urban gentrification has taken away affordable housing in too many places, 2007 murdered too many good jobs and people have to work two or three shirty jobs to make do.

    Now COVID has sucked the life out of the world. George tipped the balance, as did Amy Cooper, and the pot has boiled over.

    It is way past being a protest, pack protocol has taken over and is has become a mob. A strip mall down the street from me was smashed, looted, and torched last night. The problem about that is that all of the business owners there were minority people. Whatever point might have been made fell apart because of that.

  27. Personally, I’m not getting the 3rd degree and manslaughter charge. It should be at least a 2nd degree murder change. Here in CT we’ve had thus usually shutting down of highway traffic and the local collegiate sports powerhouse (UCONN women’s team) profess their undying support of BLM, but other than that, the protests have been relatively peaceful.

  28. I had a dentist appointment two weeks ago here in Chicagoland. They sent me a long list of instructions ahead of time. I had to wait in my car until they called me in, wear a mask, let them take my temperature, etc. The hygienist wore a surgical gown, two masks (a disposable one over a N95 one) and a plastic face shield. It was the most exciting thing that happened in months.

  29. I suspect I will be told I need a crown

    That’s because you’re a prince among men, Scalzi.

  30. Mel: “A simple question: is a universe in which this is happening a more likely antecedent to a universe in which Mr Trump were re-elected than one in which it were not? That’s all I care about for the moment”

    This question was answered decades ago. Go read “letters from birmingham jail” by MLK. The bit about white moderates explains exactly how this pans out.

    White moderates look at blacks protesting 150 years of jim crow still happening now, 150 years of whites murdering blacks while hiding behind the protection of a police badge, and white moderates ask:

    “but how does this affect ME? This is all I care about”.

    That is what gives us gives us the world we have today.

  31. Now, in other news, what is the condition of the apple tree with the leaf curl problem, a photo of which was posted here some time ago, in the murky past of this spring?
    I do get tired of the relentless pounding on one story. Apparently others do not tire as quickly.

  32. This morning a young fellow in his mid-thirties, Mark Manson, with relevance to the protests, pointed out that in his life he has seen no good news. It occurred to me that in his lifetime he had only known “reagonomics.”

    Obviously this is no time to think about economics,
    but some day,
    when we can take a breath,
    we might want to examine the contrast of the 40 years between the war and Ronald Reagan’s changes, and then the 40 years until now.

    Today people in their thirties take it for granted that only stockholders are important to a business or (mostly) to the government, but how do we know that this “new improved” Reaganomics attitude is the best model? I mean, back in my youth no one thought so.

  33. I HATE that people are rioting, but the historical record seems to show that people don’t get justice, don’t get freedom, by asking politely.

  34. My “watched” molar with the chip got a big gaping hole in it yesterday, so I also need a crown. My deepest sympathies to you.

    For white people unsure what to do, if you’re in a state with bail bond, one recommendation is to look for your closest bail out bond fund to donate to. (The Minnesota Freedom Fund collected 20 million and is recommending people direct their dollars elsewhere.) Act Blue has also set up a fund that they will distribute across several different groups in support of organizations fighting against racism and police brutality. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/ab_mn .

    If you have time but not money and are in a state that will still have in-person voting, my local indivisible group is recommending that people who are at lower risk for Covid sign up to be poll workers.

    If you have time and some money, postcards to voters is working hard to get Democrats in Florida to vote by mail and is mailing out in support of special elections.

  35. The last week hurt so much. As a white woman, I always resented the term “Karen” to describe women who occupy my social status and expect the privileges they (we) are used to. After watching Amy Cooper, in the context of Derek Chauvin and his accomplices, I understand and feel the justice in it. I may not like it, but live with the privileges of a Karen. If I don’t want the label, it’s up to me to not be one.
    I agree with Sean’s analysis of our current state as the outcome of what Reagonomics has wrought – together with the legacy of slavery. The people who fill the current role of the KKK, which is the ultra-right “racial holy warriors” and 3 percenters, are fueling the fire while hiding behind people’s justified anger. They are firing mortars while hiding in houses of ordinary people.
    The only joy last week came on Saturday, with the successful SpaceX mission. It’s a reminder of what America once was. Perhaps it can be again some day.
    Thank you, John, for creating a space where I can read thoughtful and reflective observations, share sadness, and find good ideas about ways to make a difference.

  36. “I suspect I will be told I need a crown”
    Corona is Latin for Crown. Just sayin’.

  37. I’ve also really been struggling this last week. I have a new novella coming out next week that I’m really, really proud of and excited about… and right now, in light of everything, it all feels pointless and irrelevant.

  38. Mel:

    You appear to be arguing that Trump will somehow benefit from the protests because he’ll be seen as the Law and Order president. But it’s much harder for the incumbent to argue that when cities are on fire on his watch and he’s literally just hiding in a bunker and doing nothing about it. You’re also completely discounting the continuing effects of the coronavirus and economic turmoil.

    It’s possible people will look at all this in November and say yeah let’s have 4 more years of this because racism is awesome but if the American people are that messed up it’ll be hard to say that the protests were the ultimate cause.

    Also, the idea that we shouldn’t raise a fuss because it’ll just make the lunatics mad leads to the conclusion that we should stop pushing for progress at all. After all, that might anger Daddy.

    And even if you were absolutely correct that the protests will cause a massive backlash we are where we are. It’s not like there was a committee meeting before cities across the US rose up.

    So instead of hand wringing about how this will only help Trump people should be doing their best to ensure that these protests are not in vain by at the very least getting the message out of why this is happening and why many people are fed up.

  39. “But it’s much harder for the incumbent to argue that when cities are on fire on his watch and he’s literally just hiding in a bunker and doing nothing about it.”

    What do you expect him to do? Roll tanks through Portland? Recite Ta-Nehisi Coates during prime time?

    Trump’s strategy is as simple as it is obvious: Most of the trouble is centered in metropolitan areas that have long been dominated by the Democratic Party. The Democrats and their racist, Antifa-coddling police forces created this mess. Let them clean it up.*

    Trump is deliberately positioning Blue State governors and Blue City mayors to take the blame for any prolonged chaos. Either they cooperate in the crack down on white radicals. And alienate the base. Or they do not. And give Trump a good shot at four more years.

    *With help from 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces, of course.

  40. Pedro: “their racist, Antifa-coddling police forces”

    So…. the racist/fascist cops are coddling the antifa/antifascists???

    If anyone needs me, i’ll be on a ship heading due east/west until i reach the north/south pole. Because thats how words work nowadays.

  41. @ G.B. Miller: According to the Minnesota state website, “Whoever, without intent to effect the death of any person, causes the death of another by perpetrating an act eminently dangerous to others and evincing a depraved mind, without regard for human life, is guilty of murder in the third degree”.

    Second-degree murder is more involved, but covers these cases:
    1) intentional killing without premeditation
    2) death caused by a drive-by shooting
    3) unintended death as the result of intentional bodily harm IF the victim had a protection order against the perpetrator
    4) unintended death as the result of perpetrator committing a felony offense other than first- or second-degree sexual assault.

    Numbers 2 and 3 simply don’t apply in this case. 1 and 4 might (I assume Minnesota defines police brutality as a felony offense), but are going to be much harder to prove in court — if Chauvin and/or his lawyer keep insisting he wasn’t deliberately trying to kill Floyd, there goes number 1, and I’ve seen claims that Minnesota police are taught the knee-to-neck restraint, which would make establishing it as felonious hard.

    I’d be delighted to see Chauvin get the strongest sentence possible, but it’s simply going to be easier to prove third-degree than second.

  42. “If anyone needs me, i’ll be on a ship heading due east/west until i reach the north/south pole.”

    Bon Voyage.

  43. Pedro: you are a great big silly-pants trying to sound tough. Embarrassing yourself seems to be a habit with you.

  44. A point. The riots are not the same as the protests. The riots are white people STEALING the righteous voice of black men and women, raging at injustice, to prop up their own desires. Just like white people have been doing for centuries.

  45. As a resident of the suburb on Minneapolis’ west edge, I’d like to point out that a huge proportion of the arrests of civilians for the horrible damage done to the city, are people from elsewhere. People from out-of-state. Evidence of this was known as early as the second night of protests.

    We had 1) the murder, 2) delays in arrest and charging, 3) protests that did not attack *the community*. These three stages took an unfortunate few days. Time enough for literal insurgents to come in from out of state and start destroying our city. Of course these are largely right-wing white supremacists. Of course they’re targeting many minority-owned businesses. Also bookstores, libraries, grocery stores, pharmacies, post offices, gas stations (as another person here cited, sorry, I’m not immediately finding your post), the stores of basic resources for people’s lives. It’s been an appallingly organized assault on our city. I wonder if anyone will ever get to the source of that. I cynically expect not.

    I’m not going to go into the matter of the Minneapolis police. I don’t actually live *in* the city. I haven’t experienced relationships with the MPD. I am getting the news from my friends who do live there, and have put up with the MPD for years, if not decades.

  46. “Time enough for literal insurgents to come in from out of state”

    Someone with some serious investigative chops should look at everyone arrested at these protests and figure out how many are agent provocateurs, how many are trying to run false flag operations, and how many are actual leftists.

    And then correlate with violence committed in their crime.

    And protest organizers need to figure out a way to distance themselves from these people in some way. If false flags are coming in and wreaking havoc, protests must find some way to counter them.

  47. @ChurchillsBlackDog: Forgive my ignorance, but could you explain how the actions of agent provocateurs would differ from that of a false flag operation? And who are the “leftists” in this story?

  48. I’m pretty sure that when this all shakes out a little, we’ll find that the main organized perpetrators of violence during these demonstrations have been (1) the police (no doubt about this one), and (2) white supremacist gangs (who are often suspiciously cozy with the police).

  49. @ChurchillsBlackDog: Re “their racist, Antifa-coddling police forces,” I don’t think those words represent Pedro’s opinion, but how Trump will spin this to his base. The words don’t have to make sense as long as they attack the right people.

    @Pedro: “What do you expect him to do?” Pretty much what he’s doing. A real President would step forward, show leadership, calm things down, and try to bridge divisions. Like G. W. Bush did immediately after 9/11 (too bad it didn’t last). Trump is a divider so I don’t expect anything like that. I expect him to do what he did: use Twitter to pour gasoline on the flames while he hunkers in his bunker (I feel a Jethro Tull parody coming on). Everything he does plays to his base and to driving a wedge between them and those nasty Others. If his base stays large enough and remains uncritically accepting, then yes, the strategy you outline could be a path to four more years. The question is how many people will see through the BS and how soon.

    @mel: I hope you’re wrong, but for the reasons I give in the previous para I fear you could be right. November is a long way away though. Water starts swirling faster the closer it gets to the drain.

    @carriev: If you’re really proud of your novella, I look forward to it. Your best writing is pretty awesome, and yes it does matter.

    One of the many things that bothers me about the state of political discourse in this country is the way that Obama was (and is still) called racially divisive because he acknowledged pre-existing problems. To some people, admitting that there is a problem is equivalent to creating it. This does not bode well for fixing problems.

  50. One of the many things that bothers me about the state of political discourse in this country is the way that Obama was (and is still) called racially divisive because he acknowledged pre-existing problems.

    Because the black man can NEVER be the one pointing out problems; it needs a white man to point it out to be acceptable.

  51. Dear Pedro,

    It appears our dearly beloved leader is, in fact, going for Option 1.

    ~~~~

    Everyone,

    You should read (and watch) this:

    https://petapixel.com/2020/06/01/capturing-kindness-and-raw-humanity-inside-the-minneapolis-protests/

    This is overdue. It should’ve happened when Philando Castile was murdered four years ago (within walking distance of where I live when I’m in the Twin Cities).

    Cities burned as a consequence of institutional racism half a century ago. It drove some long-overdue changes — though not close to enough, nowhere near. Compton, Stonewall, and White Night — more changes.

    I’m a pacifist and personally committed to nonviolence… but sometimes, in this real world, that just isn’t enough to get the m-f-ers off their asses.

    pax / Ctein

  52. Laurie: “how the actions of agent provocateurs would differ from that of a false flag operation?”

    Both involve someone pretending to be their enemy-

    A False Flag: while doing heinous things.
    Agent Provacoteur: while encouraging their enemy to do heinous things.

  53. ChurchillsBlackDog: Okay, I understand now. Thank you for the clarification.