Beware: Corona Clouds Everywhere!

On the Air News: Variants In the Air!

`

While chowing down on my oatmeal this early a.m., my local, NPR affiliate’s on the air newsman served up a most unpalatable second course; told his listeners that, thanks to the tireless efforts of contact tracers, we now know the far more contagious B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, had been in the air two Sundays ago; at the very store where I’ve been doing my grocery shopping for nearly three decades.

Small consolation, according to my bulletin board calendar / log, on that ill-fated day, I had been home, all day.

Even so, what still makes this story especially disconcerting is:

How close to home this has hit. The only way I can remain philosophical / not freak out is that I’m 100% mask compliant when in public and fully realize that, publicity or not, wherever we roll our shopping carts, we’ve all been plowing thru Corona Clouds for the past twelve months.

While this chain store’s employees and customers are normally fully mask compliant, there is the occasional ill-informed and/or absentminded customer whose mask has drooped beneath nose and/or mouth.

My best guess is that improper masking up is what caused the spread of the B.1.1.7 variant two Sundays ago.

So, now, more than ever, let’s remember to always heed the common sense, science based pandemic protocols. Letting down one’s guard, even once, can spread COVID-19. And the more often that happens the more time coronavirus will have to mutate; perhaps, someday, into a SuperBug that present-day vaccines will no longer be able to recognize / protect against.

If you’ve yet to do so, check out my homepage’s topper blog which features the sobering, worldwide coronavirus stats. To help avoid adding your own name to that sick list and/or death toll, also watch the companion, life saving video, “So What Can You Do To Protect Yourself?”

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

A long, drawn out sigh…

`

Owing to YouTube / corporate greed (their opting to over-monetize / oversell ad time), my boycott of this website now stands at Day #24 and still counting.

Granted, their poorly vetted, anything goes / anything for a buck commercials don’t usually playback when posted in my blogs and they can also be skipped when viewed over at that platform, BUT, as a man of principle, I knew the time had come for YouTube and me to part company.

To dredge out the swamp further, their ad content can range anywhere from annoying to offensive to subversive AND the wildly disproportional Ad to Clip run time ratio sucks. They actually see nothing wrong with long-winded sponsors’ insufferable 70 minute sales pitches prior to and DURING 10 minute videos!

It’s that DURING aspect, where things can get downright, hardcore; e.g., a liberal commentator is just about to really nail some insurrectionist, Fascist effer’s ass to the wall when a Trumper’s (intentionally counter programmed?) ad will (just happen to?) interrupt.

Folks, spewing freakin’ Fascist rhetoric is NOT a free speech issue. My gawd, no one, REPEAT NO ONE should ever have the freedom to overthrow America or any other Democracy / Liberty based society.

Look, I’m not saying, “SCRAM!” to anyone. But, if it takes a sadistic stranglehold to get you off, there are plenty of Fascist states throughout our mucked up world, that would welcome you with open arms and choking hands.

That duly noted, let’s return, now, to YouTube’s mucked up world.

I do get it! There’s no such thing as a “free lunch”. But why should their ad run times ever exceed conventional TV’s 30 – 60 second time limits?

Turning now to the content particulars / turn offs:

  • Medical Professionals: While I have little doubt that many of these kindly doctors are dedicated to curing all that ails us, I must point out that not everyone suffers from the same maladies / is always in need of their books, products, devices, etc. And, sorry to say, a medical degree does not necessarily bestow Interwebs savviness onto them. To e.g. that, why can’t their ads thumbnail their lectures and then encourage prospective patients to click onto a link to watch their full presentations?
  • Shirtless Fitness Freak: Forgive me for singling this dude out, but it’s his condescending, cocky attitude and even his very facial features which remind me of a bygone, lazy ass, Boss From Hell. To put it mildly, I was glad the day he got transferred to another district. Even if you’re fortunate enough not to have your own similar horror story to tell, why would anyone want to watch, let alone ever do business with him?
  • Mail Order Bride Brokers: Right from the get-go, this type of “businessman” demeans womankind; attempts to reduce all who harbor two X chromosomes to a commodity. While that, in itself, is already degrading enough, we might even be talking about pimps prospering off of human trafficking.
  • Investment Advisors: These greedy bastards pitch their get rich quick schemes, never once mentioning that, truth be told (and they’re hardly ever truthful) they actually owe their own accumulation of obscene wealth to their government bestowed, Too Big To Fail Status; a ranking that’s not typically available to poor commoners, such as you and me. Beyond that, never forget that making a “killing” in the Stock Market can, and oft does involve the human suffering of those who actually dwell / slave away at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
  • Family Tree “Surgeons”: Actually, in the abstract, submitting a DNA sample to explore ones’ family roots does sound a bit intriguing and fun. But, what about unscrupulous bastards who WILL also supply your genetic profile to inordinately interested third parties? That could mean that, someday, your boss will say to you, “Sorry, you won’t be getting that promotion you were hoping for. You have this nasty little gene that suggests you’ll be dropping dead soon. And oh, btw, we’ve forwarded this same poop to your Health Insurance provider which means the only way they’ll ever cover you is if you pay an arm and a leg premiums.
  • Immortality Merchants: If you fork over your hard earned bread, they promise to tell you how to live to be 120 years old. Folks, take it from this old geezer, typical corporations and politicians flat out hate people who are sixty-something and older. And, if we start living to be twice that age, they WILL start to hate us twice as much!
  • End of the World Merchants: The food they’re selling is supposed have a 25 year shelf life? REALLY? Hmm, how the hell would they ever know that, for sure, when they’ve only been in business for what? Six months? As for their solar gadgets which can charge up our devices? Wake up everybody. If the world, as we know it, will soon be in crash and burn mode, do you really expect the cell phone towers and Internet to be up and running Business As Usual?

YouTube’s Business As Usual over-saturation of offensive ads has not only rendered their videos unwatchable, but this practice has also committed some even deadlier sins. They are silencing the learned YouTubers, who educate humanity, pro bono. They’re also stifling art; the very spark of human creativity, which is amply demonstrated by the mega-talented YouTube videographers.

A long, drawn out sigh…

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

Regurgitating An Apt Analogy

`

In the wee hours of 01/21/21, NBC-TV’s Late Night host, Seth Meyers, via his always-tell-it-like-it-is exposé, A Closer Look, successfully articulated the mixed emotions that most critical thinkers have been experiencing while attempting to assess the nascent, post Trump tableau.

Said Seth…

“Even amid this moment of collective relief, the nation is still in the midst of several unprecedented calamities; none of which will magically disappear anytime soon. It’s a little like getting rid of the last guy at a party; you’ve spent four years yawning and stretching and hinting that he should get out, and, when he finally leaves, it IS a relief; until you remember you still have to clean up all his puke; and he, like, puked everywhere!”

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

Gratitude

5 Year Anniversary Achievement
My WordPress 5 Year Anniversary

Five years ago, the WordPress welcome mat beckoned; invited this fleeing MySpace and Xanga, homeless blogger to migrate into this global community, afforded me the unique opportunity to, free of charge, present my commentary re life and politics (far too often vice versa) and the rest is history.

More importantly, I’ve also had the good fortune to meet many of you, my well-versed, multi-talented neighbors. Right from the outset, our virtual encounters have frequently enriched my life; even more so, now that the pandemic and accompanying socioeconomic instability and governmental upheaval have so radically redefined our lives.

Just knowing that, together, we’ll persevere, helps to alleviate my ofttimes overwhelming feelings of loneliness and despair.

On this auspicious occasion I’d like to thank WordPress and all of you, both the kindhearted residents and visitors, who’ve found / continue to find my content worthy of your precious time and attention!

Most assuredly, without you, my blogs would be little more than word documents gathering virtual dust!

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

America Is Back!

`

Two scant weeks ago, after the 45th President of the United States of America had ordered his attack against the United States of America; had deployed his private army of insurrectionists to storm, invade and violate our homeland’s Capitol building; expected them to do their damnedest to illegally install him; to complete his Fascist overthrow of America, Democracy, Liberty, etc., We, who feel genuine love for our homeland, began to wonder if there were any limits to what that bastard would attempt.

Quite understandably, We the People began to ask ourselves…

  • After their failed coup d’état, what would happen next?
  • Would his duly elected opponent ever manage to fight his way to the top of that very Capitol building’s steps to participate in our Constitution’s mandated orderly, peaceable transfer of power?

Well, I’m pleased to report that all is well; indeed, America is back!

On this Inauguration Day, at 11:48 a.m., twelve minutes early, Joseph R. Biden Jr. took his Oath of Office to become the 46th President of the United States of America. And, mere moments earlier, Kamala Harris took her Oath, too, to become America’s very first female of color Vice President!

I, too, participated; stood for Lady Gaga’s passionate rendition of the Star Spangled Banner; added my voice to firefighter Andrea Hall’s moving recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance; sang along with Jennifer Lopez’s stirring, This Land is Your Land and Garth Brook’s heartfelt, most appropriate, for these pandemic days, interpretation of Amazing Grace; took to heart poet Amanda Gorman’s message of unity.

I even unfurled, dusted off and displayed my flag’s “broad stripes and bright stars” on my humble home’s front door.

I suspect that, at some point, today, the welled up tears of joy will ebb a bit; the shudder down my spine will ease up, too. I mean, all things considered, We the People had come too damned close to losing, perhaps forever, our beloved homeland; the America our Founding Fathers had so thoughtfully secured for themselves and posterity.

`

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

Self-Evident Truths

`

Stateside, today is a federal holiday to honor the life and times of a national treasure; a spiritual, visionary, nonviolent, activist leader of limitless courage, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Had this man not been shot to death by an assassin, he might’ve even still been alive and well, today, at the age of 92.

Most assuredly, we could use more voices of reason, such as his.

Speaking of voices (of the 4th Estate variety)…

It was in the course of human events, especially throughout 2020, that honest, genuine article journalists had constantly reminded us that African-Americans and people of color have yet to achieve the equality that is… correction… MUST BE everyone’s birthright.

Their reportage of last year’s top two stories (namely, police brutality and the pandemic) repeatedly exposed the stark reality that the above mentioned minorities were (still are) disproportionately susceptible to the rampaging (unchecked), merciless racist cops and the pitiless, nihilist coronavirus. Be the essays’ villain the thug or bug, we became witness to the resultant, heartbreaking human suffering and death.

Alas, it had been the Oval Office Ogre (2017 – 21) who’d been (and still is) blameworthy for the eruption of both macroscopic and microscopic evil. I’ll reserve further discussion of Old O³ for another blog / another day.

As for this very day, MLK Day, let’s make damned sure that we’re all in accord with the following passage, which I’ve slightly revised to better establish racial and gender inclusiveness.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men… correction… ALL HUMANS are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

America’s Declaration of Independence • July 4, 1776 [Read More Here]

It should be effortless for every soul to embrace such forthright sentiments. Normally, they originate between our ears and gain strength beneath our sternums; that is, for all who still possess a sound head, steadfast heart and have resisted the temptation to sell their soul to the Devil / Old O³.

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

Numbing Numbers

`

01/14/2021 19:30* = 2 Million Fatalities (Worldwide)
01/15/2021 16:30* = 400K Fatalities (United States)

*Military Time / Eastern U.S. Time Zone

The already grim stats, above, fail to reflect the total number of COVID-19 cases. That’s mainly due to inadequate testing, misdiagnoses, death certificate errors and (saving the worst for last), the feckless, in CYA mode leaders whose MO is to always bury the truth. Additionally, with each passing second, the death toll continues to skyrocket at an alarming rate.

Beyond that, no cold, clinical statistical report could ever tally the countless, accompanying teardrops; of the isolated patients taking their final gasp of oxygen, the medical professionals whose best efforts cannot save them, and last but not least, all of their mourning loved ones.

Let’s be sure to set aside a few moments, today, every day, to contemplate the two million, plus, members of our human family who are no longer with us; to also remember to…

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

We All Know Who HE Is

`

HE hit the links; binge watched TV; took dumps on the can
And defiled / defied all laws of both God and man

HE alienated each ally; hugged each autocrat freak
And shred treaties to ensure, world tensions would peak

HE secured for patricians; their wildest fantasies’ wealth
And screwed over plebeians; our fiscal / physical health

HE saw to it, the working stiffs’ wages would drop
And morphed each workplace, into a wretched sweatshop

HE deep-sixed émigrés’ trudge towards the American dream
And caged families’ tykes, till they’d cry, wail and scream

HE offset boudoir shortcomings; his in the sack stall
And groused till grunts toiled; would erect his daft wall

HE embraced all Nazis and Klansmen; prone to deep psychosis
And they became voter base; his base, simp symbiosis

HE being full of himself, minus praise, HE’d feel dread
And so, yes-men lent him succor; gave him verbal head

HE rarely sat in church pews, beneath pointed steeple
And miscast naysayers / news hawks; “Enemies of the people!”

HE kicked over / cancelled out, time honored science
And showed climatologists / virologists, his flat-out defiance

HE downplayed the plague’s march, spanning our feverish globe
And got promptly outwitted, by a Mindless Microbe

HE obsessed re his ratings; more than COVID’s death toll
And wondered why grieving souls, called him an asshole

HE deemed himself undefeatable, that folks judged him God
And that his ballot box ouster, meant “widespread voter fraud”

HE ranted, demanded to keep his gold throne and fame
And never, once, re his loss: accepted HE was to blame

HE became royally pissed, tried to quash the election,
And rabble roused till HE stirred up mayhem / insurrection

HE’s been impeached, twice; his words / deeds, have earned our revulsion
Yet, it’s highly unlikely HE’ll ever face down expulsion

`

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

Multidimensional Message (Acrostic)

`

Fascist flattery junkie, craves his lunatic fringe
Undue praise, from fans, fills up that addict’s syringe
Craven butt kissers, smooch his rear region’s dinge
Kudos from his TV toadies; on them, too, he’ll binge

Tyrant torches Democracy; won’t settle for singe
Rouses rabble & rebels; makes the virtuous cringe
Unruly ruler’s brain cells, both unravel; unhinge
Moneyed, yet bankrupt, sums up his selfish stinge
Pain in everyone’s ass, far exceeds the slight twinge

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

Drawing Parallels?

Shortly after Sunday’s sunset, I took down my Christmas tree. Considering 2020’s nearly year long, uh, let’s refer to them as disappointments, I’d have probably left it up until the vernal equinox; well, were it not for the string of lights suddenly, unexpectedly, giving up the ghost.

How such a malfunction could’ve happened still confounds my understanding of basic electricity; specifically speaking, wired in parallel circuitry. I mean, even had a few of the bulbs burnt out, recently, the rest should’ve still lit up.

Anyway, seeing how I had inherited this lighting from my folks; how it had brightened up my family’s Christmastimes for over half a century, the likely cause of death was (what else?) old age; a phrase that’s somewhat applicable in describing the condition of yours truly, too.

Yet, there’s still the loitering kid, within, who saddens me at the end of each December / January holiday season. When I was an actual kid, my shrewd Mom had always chosen the perfect time to take down our tree; typically, soon after my sister and I had returned to our public school classrooms. I mean, the tree was up in the morning and by the time us kiddies got home in the afternoon; well, you get the picture.

Joni Mitchell once lyrically summed up this old year out / new year in cycle as (what else?) the Circle Game. As for my drawing additional parallels to all things electrical, indeed, the circle / circuit has now been broken. Hmm, that must also account for what has just triggered my sudden, lengthy sigh.

All sighs aside, it was while boxing up my dismantled artificial tree and the ornaments, that my mind began to wander; to loosely, free associate my 2021 short story with O. Henry’s 1907 short story, The Last Leaf; set in Greenwich Village amidst a fall / winter pneumonia epidemic. Via his cleverly crafted protagonists’ interaction we get to witness the completion of the seasoned painter’s pièce de résistance; how his labor of love serves as a morale booster for his ailing artist friend. Yet, by story’s end, not all things wind up happily ever after.

By the by, my intentionally vague rehashing of the narrative is to benefit any of you, who’ve yet to read this heartwarming / heartbreaking tale.

For those of you who’ve chosen not to savor O. Henry’s literary masterpiece, I’m linking you to a synopsis, which, as a final warning, I’m deliberately keying in as SPOILER ALERT!

As for how my project, last night, relates to O. Henry’s last leaf (well, at least in my own head)? Well, you see, with each passing year that these lights had managed to survive, I sensed that I, too, could survive to behold, at the very least, one more Christmas future. But now? Especially now?

With the still raging pandemic; with my own homeland’s in-title-only leader still pissed off enough to (literally) go ballistic, how can this doubting Thomas not have doubts?

`

Stay Publicly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`