Raz'r

Failure of leadership

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9 minutes ago, Dog said:

since the virus was already here

Damn straight. All 15 of them. 

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Just now, Sean said:

Damn straight. All 15 of them. 

We have no way of knowing how many.

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11 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

You've got me - he is constantly given briefings that describe CCPs activities and public statements.   The only thing that makes any sense to me is that he sees nothing in those briefings that he can capitalize for immediate gratification and confirmation of his own self-perception.   The response has been terrible, too many people have gotten sick, and the top level of our national government bears the majority of the responsibility for that.  

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

 

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23 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Sorry Clean - this WAS China's fault - and that was exacerbated by poor preparedness on the part of most infected countries,  compounded by a poor response.   As with most disasters - it resulted from a culmination of failures.  China doesn't get a pass on this - nor should our inadequate preparedness and intentional downplaying of the viral probabilities in light of focus on partisan politics.  We agree that this mess has been greatly exacerbated by US leadership failure.  I don't think China gets a pass, and wouldn't be at all surprised to find evidence of them playing this outbreak to their advantage in accelerating their expansionist objectives.   

So, while we need to focus on keeping as many people healthy as we can, we need to concurrently be planning to mitigate any future outbreaks, and to be cautiously observant of any new plays that the CCP might make during this period of turmoil.   I'm not on the conspiracy theory train, but, I greatly distrust the CCP - even more than I think most of you hate the Rs. 

So, if we can’t trust China, if we know we cannot rely on them to protect us then how can we blame our lackluster response on them?

WE pulled our epidemiological troops/spies out of China

WE disbanded our pandemic team

WE ignored the implications of data promulgated by the WHO which prompted Peter Navarro’s memo and Senators to sell their stock holdings 

WE ignored warning flags raised by our intelligence agencies using their technological wizardry

WE failed to make use of the limited breathing space created by the travel ban to get testing up and running and start social distancing to prevent our economy from crashing

NONE of our important mistakes which are under our control can be blamed on China. If we don’t take responsibility for our actions we can’t fix problems.

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7 minutes ago, Dog said:

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

You don't think the 1-2M estimates were doctored so Shitstain could claim he saved a shitload of lives.  Setting the bar low is as old as the human race.  And what was the major measure taken to limit the spread...social distancing.  And that was implemented at the state level.  

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6 minutes ago, Dog said:

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

So, Trumps major accomplishment was to impose travel bans, which only slowed the spread.

His endorsement of social distancing came only after weeks of dithering and governors demonstrating real leadership made him look bad because the numbers were proving the governors right.

He resents someone else’s ideas, tho, so immediately started to chafe against stay at home orders because this pandemic and the economy is all about him. He fires IGs who dare reveal disappointing numbers: Narcissistic fools are poor managers in the best of times. During pandemics they kill people.

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1 minute ago, Cal20sailor said:

You don't think the 1-2M estimates were doctored so Shitstain could claim he saved a shitload of lives.  Setting the bar low is as old as the human race.  

Don't diminish your own credibility by resorting to exaggeration.   In 1918?  There were over 100K dead in Philly alone w/the Spanish Flu.  Our population is much larger, much more dense now than it was then, so that # dead across the country isn't beyond the realm of reason.  

To Dog's assertion of "success" - wait 'til September comes, and then we'll see how much the disaster has been mitigated. 

Everyone's time would be better spent taking care of themselves and the people around them than in continuing to pound on our poor responses thus far.   

Take a minute and look around - I'm certain that the folks here, who I assume are smart enough to know how to read a map and navigate, should be able to recognize some need that they can do something to address.  I'd hazard a guess that doing that would make ya feel better than screamin' at me or Dog - and the recipient of your attention's likely to appreciate it more too. 

 

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21 minutes ago, Dog said:

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

So all those idiotic shutdowns are working and you are now praising things you said were stupid?

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53 minutes ago, Dog said:

Thanks but I'll just take it as a given that since the virus was already here the purpose of the ban was not to stop it. Stop additional seeding in the US, sure, but stop it from reaching us, not so much.

So don't listen to the person who implemented the non-ban when he describes why he implemented the non-ban.  Instead, listen to...what?

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32 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

You don't think the 1-2M estimates were doctored so Shitstain could claim he saved a shitload of lives.  Setting the bar low is as old as the human race.  And what was the major measure taken to limit the spread...social distancing.  And that was implemented at the state level.  

exactly.  It isn't like we haven't seen the bullshitters' playbook a few hundred times in the last few years.  

 

How are you doing? 

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54 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

 The response has been terrible, too many people have gotten sick, and the top level of our national government bears the majority of the responsibility for that.  

The 'top level of our national government' RAN ON AN ANTI-SCIENCE AND ANTI-KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM.  Of course the response to a medical problem has been terrible.

 

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1 minute ago, Sol Rosenberg said:

exactly.  It isn't like we haven't seen the bullshitters' playbook a few hundred times in the last few years.  

 

How are you doing? 

Three rough days and slightly better this morning.  Thanks for asking.  

As Birks and Fauci have described, their models improve as data is input to check it.  It appears that there are a combination of factors contributing to the reduced estimates including the actions that people are taking to protect themselves and the improved models based on having real data to refine its estimates.  

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45 minutes ago, Dog said:

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

 

The computer models indicate that the pandemic would result in 6000 deaths had Trump not fired listened to his professional epidemiologists.  If America's governors' actions (because clearly Trump has no power to compel them to do anything) can keep it to your estimate of 60,000 deaths, that's a difference of 54,000 lives lost.  That's FAILURE.

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32 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Don't diminish your own credibility by resorting to exaggeration.   In 1918?  There were over 100K dead in Philly alone w/the Spanish Flu.  Our population is much larger, much more dense now than it was then, so that # dead across the country isn't beyond the realm of reason.  

Again, science.  Comparing anything to 'zero mitigation' is tautological because it seems fairly clear that, left entirely alone, this thing has the same or worse mortality rate as Spanish Flu and quite possibly a higher R=0 number.  There is no way to have 'zero mitigation' when there are people lying dead in the street, because by that time everyone has already locked their door.

 

 

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37 minutes ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

...  In 1918? ...

Just so you know what you have to look forward to from your boy's enlightened leadership, the Spanish flu wasn't just in 1918. It lasted three years until 1920. And it got worse as it went along. It mutated.

image.png.9e6154f0052ea056a1ac9a98526e1635.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

 

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2 minutes ago, Olsonist said:

Just so you know what you have to look forward to from your boy's enlightened leadership, the Spanish flu wasn't just in 1918. It lasted three years until 1920. And it got worse as it went along. It mutated.

image.png.9e6154f0052ea056a1ac9a98526e1635.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu

 

Thanks for the chart Moriarty. 

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1 hour ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Don't diminish your own credibility by resorting to exaggeration.   In 1918?  There were over 100K dead in Philly alone w/the Spanish Flu.  Our population is much larger, much more dense now than it was then, so that # dead across the country isn't beyond the realm of reason.  

To Dog's assertion of "success" - wait 'til September comes, and then we'll see how much the disaster has been mitigated. 

Everyone's time would be better spent taking care of themselves and the people around them than in continuing to pound on our poor responses thus far.   

Take a minute and look around - I'm certain that the folks here, who I assume are smart enough to know how to read a map and navigate, should be able to recognize some need that they can do something to address.  I'd hazard a guess that doing that would make ya feel better than screamin' at me or Dog - and the recipient of your attention's likely to appreciate it more too. 

You know, if you were actually a rational logical self-aware human being you’d shut the fuck up, because you’d realize you are digging a deeper hole.

But like that sad sack of worthless canine shit, you aren’t, and you can’t. You exist here to babble platitudes and bullshit.

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1 hour ago, Cal20sailor said:

You don't think the 1-2M estimates were doctored so Shitstain could claim he saved a shitload of lives.  Setting the bar low is as old as the human race.  And what was the major measure taken to limit the spread...social distancing.  And that was implemented at the state level.  

Putin wanted agent Trump to win the election so he instructed him to have the virus dropped into the Wuhan market causing the pandemic in the first place....Diabolical.

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1 minute ago, Dog said:

Putin wanted agent Trump to win the election so he instructed him to have the virus dropped into the Wuhan market causing the pandemic in the first place....Diabolical.

Can’t help yourself can you? Gotta troll the libs, don’t you? Piss in our faces again, jerk yourself off, you aren’t a contemptible piece of shit, no, not at all.

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4 hours ago, Dog said:

The travel ban's success or failure should be measured against it intended purpose which was never to stop disease spread.

Right, it was to keep the dirty chinks out and appease the base.

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2 hours ago, A guy in the Chesapeake said:

Don't diminish your own credibility by resorting to exaggeration.   In 1918?  There were over 100K dead in Philly alone w/the Spanish Flu.  Our population is much larger, much more dense now than it was then, so that # dead across the country isn't beyond the realm of reason.  

To Dog's assertion of "success" - wait 'til September comes, and then we'll see how much the disaster has been mitigated. 

Everyone's time would be better spent taking care of themselves and the people around them than in continuing to pound on our poor responses thus far.   

Take a minute and look around - I'm certain that the folks here, who I assume are smart enough to know how to read a map and navigate, should be able to recognize some need that they can do something to address.  I'd hazard a guess that doing that would make ya feel better than screamin' at me or Dog - and the recipient of your attention's likely to appreciate it more too. 

 

I'm doing my part. You can to, just follow Sam's advice:

 

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17 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

I'm doing my part. You can to, just follow Sam's advice:

 

I'd love to man - I'm getting up at 03:30 to leave by 04:15 to get in to the office for our "density reduction shifts".  I wish they could SCIF my basement. 

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7 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

The computer models indicate that the pandemic would result in 6000 deaths had Trump not fired listened to his professional epidemiologists.  If America's governors' actions (because clearly Trump has no power to compel them to do anything) can keep it to your estimate of 60,000 deaths, that's a difference of 54,000 lives lost.  That's FAILURE.

Seems odd then that the worst cases are in the badass city where the mayor and health commissioner were telling people to go out to restaurants.

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10 hours ago, MR.CLEAN said:

That's not what yer boy said.  Is Trump dumb or are you lying?

Do we have to choose one?

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8 hours ago, phillysailor said:

NONE of our important mistakes which are under our control can be blamed on China. If we don’t take responsibility for our actions we can’t fix problems.

this

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3 hours ago, Saorsa said:

Seems odd then that the worst cases are in the badass city where the mayor and health commissioner were telling people to go out to restaurants.

yeah they done fucked up.  When Mer called me on the 28th and told me I wasn't allowed to flow home from the west coast and she rented me a prius, she was screaming on the phone at why no one was shutting down the schools.  

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WASHINGTON — When the federal government began rushing trillions of dollars of assistance to Americans crushed by the coronavirus pandemic, the hope was that some of the aid would allow businesses to keep workers on the payroll and cushion employees against job losses.

But so far, a staggering number of Americans — more than 16 million — have lost their jobs amid the outbreak. Businesses continue to fail as retailers, restaurants, nail salons and other companies across the country run out of cash and close up shop as their customers are forced to stay at home.

There is a growing agreement among many economists that the government’s efforts were too small and came too late in the fast-moving pandemic to prevent businesses from abandoning their workers. Federal agencies, working in a prescribed partnership with Wall Street, have proved ill equipped to move money quickly to the places it is needed most.

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Riots across the US, and Trump brags about being behind walls. 
 

How about it, bitch burners. Happy now?

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On 4/9/2020 at 8:23 AM, Dog said:

The computer models indicated that if no remedial measures were taken the pandemic would result in 1,000,000 to 2,000,000 deaths in this country. Now after the implementation of remedial measures including travel restrictions the models indicate 60,000 deaths. That's a difference of 940,000 to 1,940,000 lives saved. That's failure?

 

Ahh, remember when @Dog was saying 60,000 was good? Funny, I remember Fido saying people touting bad models shouldn’t be listened too.

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Trump’s got the trifecta:

cities on fire

great depression

deadly pandemic about to explode, again

all due to his shitty leadership.

thanks boys.

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President Trump once thought the nation needed a leader.

tweet.jpg

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5 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Trump’s got the trifecta:

cities on fire

great depression

deadly pandemic about to explode, again

all due to his shitty leadership.

thanks boys.

Don't forget, losing a war with Iran

- DSK

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1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Don't forget, losing a war with Iran

- DSK

No need to pile on.

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10 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Trump’s got the trifecta:

cities on fire

great depression

deadly pandemic about to explode, again

all due to his shitty leadership.

thanks boys.

Bhut her emails!

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Just now, Sol Rosenberg said:
10 hours ago, Raz'r said:

Trump’s got the trifecta:

cities on fire

great depression

deadly pandemic about to explode, again

all due to his shitty leadership.

thanks boys.

Bhut her emails!

Obama left him a crippled economy, what's a guy gonna do?

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4 minutes ago, Ishmael said:

Obama left him a crippled economy, what's a guy gonna do?

And if those mean nasty dems had't impeached me,  we wouldn't have the problems we have today amiright?

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10 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

And if those mean nasty dems had't impeached me,  we wouldn't have the problems we have today amiright?

Well, the impeachment distracted him in.  But, not as much as his frequent golf outings and political rallies did.

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1 hour ago, Bus Driver said:

Well, the impeachment distracted him in.  But, not as much as his frequent golf outings and political rallies did.

Those "golf outings" and the bribes at the Washington DC hotel are what is keeping Trump Org from going bankrupt.

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I continue to be AMAZED that there are that number of folks that continue to believe in this carnival barker president (and I intentionally did not capitalize the word president in this case) !!

I was so disturbed by the disruption of the Cheney/Bush era (invasion of Iraq for OIL was worst political blunder of last 100 years), ......but it may be nothing compared to this guy trying to destroy our democracy and become KING of America.

'LOCK HIM UP',  when he loses that Presidential exemption. I want to see him in jail with no twitter and no TV.....ha...ha

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compare the two 

Trump hiding in his bunker   or  Biden Visits George Floyd Protest Site, Urges Americans To Turn 'Anguish Into Purpose'

 
 

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The bone spurs, draft dodging bully who hides in an underground bunker has the temerity (he has no balls) to say this

'Most of you are weak': Trump rails at the nation's governors, urges crackdown on violence

https://www.yahoo.com/news/most-weak-trump-rails-nations-163237452.html

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30 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:

The bone spurs, draft dodging bully who hides in an underground bunker has the temerity (he has no balls) to say this

'Most of you are weak': Trump rails at the nation's governors, urges crackdown on violence

https://www.yahoo.com/news/most-weak-trump-rails-nations-163237452.html

Tell that to the people at the marina with the "Trump: Finally somebody with balls" bumper sticker on their cars.  I just don't understand.

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1 hour ago, bridhb said:

Tell that to the people at the marina with the "Trump: Finally somebody with balls" bumper sticker on their cars.  I just don't understand.

Please, please tell me that they are powerboaters

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2 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:

Please, please tell me that they are powerboaters

No idea, but in this area of the country, Trump is king. 

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1 hour ago, bridhb said:

Tell that to the people at the marina with the "Trump: Finally somebody with balls" bumper sticker on their cars.  I just don't understand.

The only balls Trump has are Putin's, and they're balanced on Trump's chin(s).

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23 minutes ago, bridhb said:

No idea, but in this area of the country, Trump is king. 

Shush.  Don’t use that word (king) anywhere too close to Trump.  He doesn’t need any more anti-democracy ideas.

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5 hours ago, jerseyguy said:

The bone spurs, draft dodging bully who hides in an underground bunker has the temerity (he has no balls) to say this

'Most of you are weak': Trump rails at the nation's governors, urges crackdown on violence

https://www.yahoo.com/news/most-weak-trump-rails-nations-163237452.html

Bunker Boy talks a tough game, doesn't he.  

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55 minutes ago, Left Shift said:

Bunker Boy talks a tough game, doesn't he.  

As Texans might say: all hat, no cattle
or if you are into cars: all show, no go.

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53 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:

or if you are into cars: all show, no go.

If Trump was a car.

image.thumb.png.c22bc29449fe0173204a3ec06e1d1dbc.png

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20 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

If Trump was a car.

image.thumb.png.c22bc29449fe0173204a3ec06e1d1dbc.png

Gives “ugly and tasteless” a whole new meaning

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20 minutes ago, jerseyguy said:
41 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

If Trump was a car.

image.thumb.png.c22bc29449fe0173204a3ec06e1d1dbc.png

Gives “ugly and tasteless” a whole new meaning

You have to have compromises when you have an entire bathroom, with standup shower, in the back behind the wet bar. 

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44 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

If Trump was a car.

image.thumb.png.c22bc29449fe0173204a3ec06e1d1dbc.png

Sorry, no.  

th.jpeg

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Good one from Vic -

 

 

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So, Trump just flash-banged and gassed Americans so he could have a photo op. Let’s not mention under cover of “bible.” I’m waiting for cries of denunciation from the Elk.i won’t hold my breath.

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32 minutes ago, Raz'r said:

So, Trump just flash-banged and gassed Americans so he could have a photo op. Let’s not mention under cover of “bible.” I’m waiting for cries of denunciation from the Elk.i won’t hold my breath.

A denunciation. Not from the Faithful. Will those who profess faith choose to follow a church leader or a false prophet?  We shall see. 

“The president used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without even asking us, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. It is appalling ...”

—Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

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7 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

A denunciation. Not from the Faithful. Will those who profess faith choose to follow a church leader or a false prophet?  We shall see. 

“The president used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese, without even asking us, as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our church stands for. It is appalling ...”

—Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington

Trump's response to Bishop Budde should be interesting.  Wonder if he even new it was an Episcopal church that allows female clergy?

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3 hours ago, bridhb said:

Trump's response to Bishop Budde should be interesting.  Wonder if he even new it was an Episcopal church that allows female clergy?

And the gays!  What about LGBT?  He needs to hire me to keep him away from these disreputable places.

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12 hours ago, Sean said:

Good one from Vic -

 

 

Too shouty.

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I think this is a better image of the trump car;

10 Of The Most Iconic Cars From The Simpsons (With images) | The ...

 

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8 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Too shouty.

But it was fun!

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12 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Too shouty.

That’s his shtick. Wouldn’t be Vic without the ranting. 

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14 minutes ago, Kirwan said:

I think this is a better image of the trump car;

10 Of The Most Iconic Cars From The Simpsons (With images) | The ...

 

Love it

Needs to be a little more bow-and-arrow-y and it'd be PERFECT

- DSK

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Biden is ripping Trump up right now.  It’s the best speech I’ve seen him give.and he speaks to the importance of leadership and a vision for a better America.  It’s a speech Trump could never give and it may just have won him the election.

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22 hours ago, brian eiland said:

When Fascism comes to America

image.png.22021b6eedeb366fc087eda1bf6dfe39.png

That pic of Hitler is Photoshopped.

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1 hour ago, Bus Driver said:

That pic of Hitler is Photoshopped.

And badly. Just like the picture of Trump makes him look like a rational human being.

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Rushdie -

Salman Rushdie: I’ve seen dictators rise and fall. Beware, America.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/06/03/salman-rushdie-ive-seen-dictators-rise-fall-beware-america/

Excerpt -

Extreme narcissism, detachment from reality, a fondness for sycophants and a distrust of truth-tellers, an obsession with how one is publicly portrayed, a hatred of journalists and the temperament of an out-of-control bulldozer: These are some of the characteristics.

President Trump is, temperamentally, a tinpot despot of this type. But he finds himself in charge of a country that has historically thought of itself — by no means always correctly — as being on the side of liberty. So far, with the collusion of the Republican Party, he has ruled more or less unchecked. Now an election looms, and he is unpopular, and flails about looking for a winning strategy. And if that means trampling over American freedoms, then so be it.

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21 hours ago, Ishmael said:
23 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

That pic of Hitler is Photoshopped.

And badly. Just like the picture of Trump makes him look like a rational human being.

You must be looking at a different pic than I am. The one I see just looks like Trump normally does, an expression of dim grumpiness and small hands.

- DSK

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3 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

You must be looking at a different pic than I am. The one I see just looks like Trump normally does, an expression of dim grumpiness and small hands.

- DSK

Looking at that picture again, I agree with you. Looks like he just stepped out of the outhouse saying they need a new book because all the pages are gone.

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A letter I recently received from some friends sailing around the world,....
 
May 31, 2020

Sickening. Heartbreaking. Surreal.

What is happening to America? Waking up on XXXX, sitting down to a peaceful breakfast, the sunshine of another beautiful Australian day slanting through the portholes, the celestial music of Beethoven emanating from radio, it is staggering to see and hear the news unfolding in the United States 9,000 miles away. It looks like an overblown disaster film playing out in some alternate universe. It feels like the end of the world.

I rarely include my politics in this blog; that’s not what it’s about. There are already plenty of voices reporting, analyzing and arguing every position on the spectrum. There are way too many slinging opinions like sledgehammers and flaunting fake news without the least concern for facts. I refuse to join the melee; I doubt could add anything new. But I can’t go unrecorded. I can’t let anyone reading my blog think that XX and I are unaware, unconcerned or dismissive of current events. We have family and friends in Chicago, Portland OR, and other US cities where rioting has occurred. In two months’ time our first grandchild will be born in Atlanta where vandalism and looting have brought out the National Guard.

In our three and a half years traveling abroad we have often been asked by people in the countries we have visited about various issues in the United States from politics to culture to everyday life. We are careful in responding to separate fact from rumor and to identify our personal opinions as such. We have asked for and received their impressions of America in return. In that time we have felt a shift in their attitudes. They still like Americans, overwhelmingly so, but they are finding the United States increasingly difficult to comprehend. Increasingly, we have shared their confusion and dismay. Now, hearing the latest news reports, we are torn between grief and utter disbelief at the hatred and violence that is swamping America. We feel like dazed foreigners regarding America from afar.

When we sailed from Florida in January 2017, Donald Trump was about to take office. I’m sure you know how we voted. Interestingly, even today, when that election is mentioned, people from other countries tell us how stunned they also were by the result. It was as if everything they thought they knew about the United States had taken a body blow. Nevertheless, they were willing to give it a chance. As one Englishwoman comfortingly told us, “Don’t worry. We’ve bad leaders before, too. You’ll get over it.” We agreed. Governments are bound to change, but with its strong tradition of democracy, its system of checks and balances, a free press, and leadership in so many fields of endeavor, the United States could survive one bumbling president.

Indeed, that general opinion held for the first year, and wherever we went, XXXX flying her American flag, we were welcomed. Overall, people seemed to regard President Trump as a joke and would tease us about his latest fumbled pronouncement or social gaffe. They didn’t bother to ask first whether we were Trump supporters. They assumed that even if you had voted for him, you would happily acknowledge he was a great source of amusement, like a laugh-a-day desk calendar. Then they went back to debating the actions of their own governments and politicians. No need to spend too much time on America’s politics when you have your own issues and cast of characters to praise or revile.

By the time we crossed the Pacific in March 2018, we were less sanguine, and we began to sense a change in other people’s feelings toward Washington as well. At this point, the United States had begun to withdraw from some international organizations and go its own way in both commercial and political spheres, leaving countries that were once strong allies to fend for themselves. The USA’s trade war with China was especially worrying to South Pacific nations, from small nations like Samoa and Fiji to their larger neighbors New Zealand and Australia. These countries live in China’s shadow, and every time the United States and China retaliated against each other, their economies got jerked this way and that.

By 2019 Donald Trump wasn’t funny anymore. Most of all, people seemed to feel a sense of loss that America, once their staunch friend, had abandoned them. Why? What had they done to deserve this? Didn’t we share the same values and aspirations? For me, this was a revelation. Having sometimes encountered ugly Americans in our overseas travels, I had thought even our allies would occasionally get fed up with our boasts of being the number one superpower and leader of the free world. No. Though they may find our boasting tiresome, though they certainly can and do forge their own political and economic deals, they still want and need us to take a leadership role. My first job out of college was at United Nations headquarters in New York, and to me, that the United States has willfully removed itself from the international stage is nothing less than a dereliction of duty. A telling comment came from a vet tech we worked with at the animal shelter in New Zealand. Originally from South Africa, she said, “It’s sad, because America used to be the country everyone looked up to.”

Now, many of the people we meet are no longer merely disappointed in the United States, they are aghast. A president who thinks Covid-19 will disappear like a miracle. Armed protestors besieging state capitols. Yet another black man murdered by police. Riots across the country. Normally very outgoing, some Aussies now enter discussions with us cautiously to determine where we stand politically before commenting on current affairs, and most sigh in relief to hear we are not supporters of this administration. Others charge right in and demand, no holds barred, “What’s the matter with your country? How could you let this happen?”

How could we? I don’t know, and with President Trump’s malicious campaign against mail-in voting, Eric and I are in danger of not having any say at all. This may seem a minor concern in the face of riots and murder, but Americans working and traveling around the world depend on mail-in voting to be heard. In the 2018 mid-term elections, we voted by mail from Fiji, and it is a right no citizen should ever forego. When you restrict or hinder voting by any means, you no longer have a democracy. That should chill everyone to the bone.

Will America survive? Are we headed for another civil war? I can’t imagine returning to a country reduced to shambles, but I don’t have a single solution to offer that makes sense in this chaos. We can only watch and hope from afar.

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You can tell how those folks voted. They listen to Beethoven, they use words like 'sanguine', and they are long distance cruisers. Trump's people are at home pissed off about no Confederate flags at NASCAR.

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