Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

America’s Most Odious


Donald J. Trump is not on this list only because he is much so more than odious.

  1. Grover Norquist* Because; in any list there has to be a number one. Though it was tough choosing a number one, no one is more deserving. Using one’s intelligence to bully, to manipulate others, is the most odious of things any human can do. Bastard even had them sign an oath not to raise taxes lest he primary them.His tax scam wasn’t even his idea. He got it from Howard Jarvis who got it fishing around for something to replace yelling communism when he found that no longer worked, which was something he, Jarvis, learned from watching Richard Nixon, who, if he were still alive would have been high on this listing. So, too, Howard, if he were still alive. Lineage and legacy.Norquist has done great harm the Nation, while doing quite well indeed for himself. Under Jarvis’s Prop 13, California schools went from top to the bottom in a few years. Norquist helped do the same to schools across the Nation. Using those oaths, he coerced legislators to act in a manner that caused hunger and suffering, increased the National debt, whilst, all the while, making the wealthy wealthier. Quid pro qou, Norquist was benefactor to the rich, and they to him. Grover turned his, Jarvis’s, crap into gold.
  1. Newt Gingrich Trump wasn’t the first, won’t be the last, politician who was both a pathological liar and a sociopath, and who knew how to manipulate the media. Newt Gingrich rode into Washington on the New Southern Republican, nee, Dixiecrat, ticket in 1978 without a scrap of scruple on, in, or about him. In a trait common to too many southern politicians, there was nothing beneath the man. Gingrich made people like Senator McCarthy look like paragons of virtue. He is, rightfully so, credited with playing a key role in undermining democratic norms in the United States, and hastening political polarization and partisan prejudice, And, no Judy, it wasn’t the Democrats doing it, too. There was never a stoop too low for Newt to take. He has kept at it for more than forty years now.
  1. Mitch McConnell* When history is full writ, Mitch McConnell will probably be dead. Which is too bad, since what good is hell if he can’t feel the pain and we don’t get to watch? It would be well worth the price of admission to see Mitch, Mitch alone, burn. Leaving aside the question of misuse of personal intelligence, this man has pandered to his poor and ignorant constituents with one hand, and taken money from the rich with the other. Nothing is beneath him. To Mitch, it was most important to thwart Obama, lest he, Obama, did something that was for the good of the nation. It was completely OK for Putin to interfere if it meant Mitch got to stuff the Courts for his The Federalist Society, nee, The KKK. Mitch blamed Trump’s impeachment on the Democrats; refused to let witnesses to be called for the trial in the Senate. This is a man who didn’t want to provide enough pandemic relief lest it endanger economic servitude as practiced in southern states. So what if people of the working class died from the virus while working for nothing so that some rich bastard could benefit? That’s the way it’s supposed to be, eh, Mitch? Loved stealing the Yankee’s dollar, he did; bragged about doing so in his debate with Amy McGrath. Still re-fighting the Civil War, Colonel McConnell is ‘rising again’.
  1. Rush Limbaugh The grifter’s grifter. For more than forty years now, daily, Rush has been working the hinterland’s AM ‘Lame Brain Circuit’ up into a frenzy, and, making himself a personal fortune doing it. Rush was Trump before Trump was Trump. While Trump was chasing porno stars, Rush went to the Caribbean to diddle underage prostitutes. He was Mr. Right-Wing propagandist about the time Roger Ailes was hawking the idea to Nixon. Denigration of Democrats was Rush’s Spécialité de la maison; his raison d’être. Chelsea, Hillary, Michelle, Malia, Sasha, …; he especially loved to denigrate the wives and daughters. Rush Limbaugh is a misogynistic, racists, bastard who has done everything he could to polarize the Nation.  One to whom Donald J. Trump awarded The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Limbaugh, like Grover Norquist, has held tremendous political sway without ever being elected to anything.
  1. Charles Koch Charles Koch is a Libertarian; got it, and his wealth, from his father. In brief, Libertarians believe that it’s whatever you can get by with is OK, i.e., as long as you don’t get caught; and they believe in benevolent dictatorships. In democracy, if, and only if, they get to control it. Toward these goals, Charles and CO have funded the likes of the CATO Institute, along with a long list of other libertarian institutes. Through contributions, he has co-opted numerous universities and the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Last week it was announced that Charles had experienced a come to Jesus Moment and regretted some of the things he had done to affect national politics. Too late, Charlie, Dante recently confirmed your irrefusable reservation for that special place.
  1. Dick Cheney Cheney is the only person ever to have selected himself as vice president; he knew the Bush family well. A serial draft dodger, Cheney loved war as long as someone else was doing the fighting. Got his first taste of War as Secretary of Defense for Bush I; loved it. A real Chicken Hawk, he was. Early in Bush II’s Administration, as Vice President in charge, Cheney lied, lied as few had ever done before, the Nation into the Iraq Invasion. Afterwards, made lots of trips to the war zones in Iraq; he loved to visit the troops on the battlefield. Cheney was then, still is, really big on torture. Why, Lord, did you let this miserable man live this long?

  1. Doug Collins Why Doug Collins instead of fellow extremists Darrell Issa, Jim Jordan, or Trey Gowdy? All of these fellows are given to expressing indignance known only to scoundrels; all are professional practitioners of character assassination; all are mendacious, nee, born liars, to their very cores. In all cases, their constituents knew what they were getting when they voted for them; share the blame for the harm they have done. So, what sets Doug Collins apart from, makes him the stand-in for, the rest? Because, on top of all else that he and they are, he alone is a Baptist Preacher.

  1. Lindsey Graham Lindsey Graham or Ted Cruz? Both are certainly deserving of the odious distinction. Smarm and sleaze ooze from their very pores. They can’t even stand one another. Both need be kept in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, else they ooze all over everything and everybody. Cruz, because of the ambition curse; Graham, because he was born that way and can’t help himself. Given their absence of character, neither can be held responsible for their actions; so, it is clearly the fault of the folks that sent them. Texas, South Carolina, what hath we, the Nation, done to you that deserves your sending us these two sorry critters to foul the chambers of the US Senate? Though loathsome, the both; Lindsey get the slot because he’s been around the longest.
  1. Bill Barr Hark! From what, from whose, cellar cometh this fat toad? Certainly was not from the princess’s kissing of the prince. ‘Twas from childhood, or, so we’re told. Consigliere to Bush I, saved both Bush’s and Reagan’s arses. Barr was fetched forth from the cellar by Trump to replace Jeff Sessions in the co-opting of the Justice Department. Sessions wasn’t toad enough for the job; chickened out when it came to the overtly criminal part. Not Bill Barr; he stepped right up. First off, by sabotaging his best friend, Robert Mueller’s Report; from that moment, Trump knew that he had his Attorney General. Barr intervened in the Stone and Flynn cases; and removed Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney in order to protect a Turkish Bank as a favor to Erdogan from Trump. Now, Trump need only say, there, pee on that one my loyal lackey, and Bill peed. No New York City mafioso ever had a better consigliere. The nation has never had a more amoral Attorney General. Eric Garner’s death, George Floyd’s death, … unworthy of his time, or of the law; Lafayette Square, …; there is nothing beneath this cellar dweller.
  2. Sarah, nee Huckabee, Sanders Why not Kellyanne Conway, instead? Lying does come as natural as breathing to the both. Kellyanne’s been at it longer, been around the longest. At this point, it is not clear that she even knows that she’s lying anymore. There are indications that Sarah may on occasion know that she is lying. She admitted as much to the Mueller team, while under oath.

*Leadership Institute Alumni. Other alumni include: Ralph Reed, Jeff Gannon (James Dale Guckert), Karl Rove, Steve Stockman, Mike Pence, James O’Keefe, new members of the 113th Congress, and elected officials in all 50 states.

Lord, the Pain of it

The good mayor of El Paso is at wit’s end. He is worrying himself into the grave. The City’s hospitals and morgues are overflowing. Seems that the people have to work to eat, and, if they work, they get the virus and get sick, and, too many die. Damned capitalism is as deadly as the virus; together they are a catastrophe. Maybe, if he would just step across the border into New Mexico, better yet, hop on a plane to San Francisco, better to get as far away from Texas as possible, we could explain the problem to him without being drowned out by the ignorant Texas dogma coming out of Austin; crapola he’s heard his whole life.

In a functioning state, there are dozens of examples, the government would have handed out masks and hand sanitizer, and free food as the need arose. It would have worked out a deal on the rents. The government would have mandated the changes needed to make the workplaces safe. If the government had done these things, had functioned, instead of blithering on about capitalism and the American way, the people could have kept on working without getting sick and dying by the droves; and, the economy could have kept on working. What our government didn’t do is killing us by the hundreds of thousands; destroying the nation.

Electoral Map

In ‘Dearly Beloved,’ and in ‘Are Capitalism and Democracy Compatible?‘, I spoke to the inequities of the Electoral College and of the very unrepresentative Senate. In the both, I spoke of how, in 2016, Trump lost the popular vote by 3 million votes yet won the Electoral College, and the presidency, by 80,000 votes in three states. In 2020, Trump lost the popular vote by more than 5 million votes; but this time he lost the Electoral College by only 45,000 votes. So, as soon as they figure this out, will republicans start demanding the Nation get rid of the Electoral College?

How in the hell could 73 million Americans vote for Trump? How many of those 73 million Americans supported Trump because of his Birtherism, Racism, vulgarism, anti-science attitude, self-centeredness, sexism, misogyny, narcissism, habitual lying, …? Did that many Americans always harbor such beliefs, but were to embarrassed to express them? Did the good union man, the good family man, always harbor these thoughts about women, blacks, …? Evidently, many of them did. Is it that they would have been embarrassed in the past for others to know of these thoughts, but felt that they were given license by Trump to express them publicly? Whatever, a very large percentage of Americans are really screwed up. How can we deduce otherwise? The question becomes, how does the Nation address this reality?

Is Hawley Right?

Josh Hawley is running for president; has been since he was big enough to walk. On the night of the November 2020 election, Josh Hawley, Junior Senator from Missouri, tweeted that henceforth the republican party was the party of the working class; and the democratic party was the party of the elites. Is Senator Hawley right?

Josh Hawley will be forty-one on December 31, 2020. The only Republican Presidents he’s known were Reagan, Bush, Bush and Trump. The Democratic Presidents he’s known were Clinton, and Obama. Both Clinton and Obama made their way up from poverty and broken homes by dint of intelligence and hard work. Reagan matriculated from Hollywood and the G.E. Theater Graduate School; both Bushes, worked their way up from the Brahman Elite via one of the Ivies; Trump worked his way up from Corrupted NYC Elite; holds an advanced degree in The Con. Other than having been born and raised in an intact upper middle class family, Hawley has more in common with Clinton and Obama than he does with the republican presidents of his lifetime; he is obviously very bright.

His biography of Theodore Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt: Preacher of Righteousness, evidently speaks to the inter workings of Roosevelt’s mind in 336 pages; we can expect the obligatory book about himself within the next couple of years. Theodore Roosevelt came from, was of, the wealthy elite. Had a strong sense of noblesse oblige. Went from being an imperialist to being a populist? What with the trust busting, progressiveness and all, he was certainly president during a transitional period in US History.

Noblesse oblige: the obligation of honorable, generous, and responsible behavior associated with high rank or birth.

Ambition: : an ardent desire for rank, fame, or power; desire to achieve a particular end.

A distinction with a difference; seems Josh Hawley is a boll weevil looking for a home. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Is he foreseeing a sea change like that following the Civil Rights, Voting Rights Acts, that saw the Democratic/Dixiecrat south become Republican? The one of the 20th century that saw the industrial north, Republican during the Civil War, become a New Deal Democratic stronghold?

Getting back to who represents who in America: The Republican Party has been looking for a constituency for awhile. The Chamber of Commerce, and Business; lots of money, not enough votes. The adjuncts of racism, evangelicalism, gerrymandering, and the electoral college have been working pretty well for some 50 yrs now. But, some people are starting to get their backs up about these tactics; even saying they are undemocratic.

If the Republican party is really serious about representing the working class, maybe, for starters, they should stop opposing increases in the minimum wage, access to health care, … Many, perhaps, a majority, of the working class are Black, Hispanic, or other Minority, the very same that the aforementioned party has, for years and years, worked hard to deny the vote. People in construction say, suspect the data will soon show, that a lot of union workers voted for Trump. Lot of union workers voted for Reagan, too. In both cases, it certainly wasn’t because their candidate of choice was pro union, or pro working class. Didn’t work out well the first time; didn’t this time.

Someone as intelligent, and young, as Josh Hawley could be the perfect candidate for this time of great change. One intelligent enough to correctly assess the changes in America and the world. One not bound by the old dogmas that are no longer relevant. The problem is, that Josh, in his ascendancy, has toadied up to: Trump, the NRA, and the Evangelicals. That’s hardly Noblesse oblige, more naked ambition, Josh. More like a Ted Cruz, or a Marco Rubio.



Imagine a world where 70% of the 7.4 billion population lives in its developing countries. Imagine a world where more than 70% of the population is considered to be of low income. Imagine a world where, in one continent alone, most of that continent’s 1.2 billion population live in its underdeveloped nations. Now imagine raising the living standard of all these people to first world standards. Imagine how much energy it would take to provide them just the basics, like sufficient food, housing, healthcare, clean running water, indoor plumbing, sewage disposal, … Imagine how much more burning of fossil fuels would be required to provide enough energy for these basics. Twice as much as now? More than twice?

Imagine, too, that the planet where all these 7.4 billion people live is in the midst of a global warming crisis that is raising temperatures to the point that more and more people needed air conditioning in order to cope with the increased temperatures, and that the 30% more energy needed for the additional cooling came from burning fossil fuels; the single greatest cause of global warming. Any additional burning of fossil fuels will increase the rate of global warming, which will further reduce crop production; will further reduce the availability of fresh water; will further increase temperatures — making more and more places uninhabitable; will further increase suffering and deaths worldwide. Burning more fossil fuels to compensate for the damage done from burning fossil fuels isn’t a viable option. Wouldn’t it be far better to spend our a major portion of our wealth on efforts to develop alternative energies?

Over the past 150 years, the first world nations, and of late China, produced most of the greenhouse gases now causing global warming. Do these nations have a special responsibility to house, feed, and clothe those displaced by global warming? A responsibility to find enough sources of alternative energy (renewable energy sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gasses that contribute to anthropogenic climate change) to raise the living standard of 5 billion?


These days, the nation, the world, is faced with the problem of how to distribute wealth, wealth that is being created using less and less labor input? How to distribute the profits from highly capitalized, highly automated, production? Unions, that had been much a part of the solution to the distribution problem in the early 20th century, are becoming more and more irrelevant. A new economic model is desperately needed.

Since the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, wealth has been created by the production of manufactured goods. To date, the sharing/distribution of this wealth has been by way of exchanging labor for wages. Except for the brief period from around 1940 to 1970 when union jobs commanded good wages, this method never really work all that well; much of the time, the god awful of Zola, Dickens, and Sinclair Lewis. In this, the age of technology, for a price, many task can be, have been, partially or completely automated using a combination of computers, servo motors, sensors, and programming. Now, many tasks, once performed by well paid union workers, are being performed by ‘robots’. Today’s work force tends to be either professional, highly technical, or service, with the professionals and technicians being well paid and the service workers often being paid less than a living wage. Good paying blue collar union jobs have become rare. In the heydays from around 1940 to 1970, the wealth created from the production of manufactured goods was distributed via the good union salaries to the economy as a whole. As a consequence, merchants thrived, towns thrived, schools thrived, farmers thrived, contractors thrived, … Much of society, including municipal governments, was premised on this model.

We now need an economic model that will somehow directly distribute the profits from production to the population in a somewhat equitable manner that doesn’t rely on the exchange of labor for wages. If, somehow, sufficient numbers of the population shared in the profits from automated manufacturing, and distributed their share into the community at large by consuming goods and services, thus giving others the means of consuming, such a model wouldn’t look a great deal different than the one existent from 1940 to 1970. If, for example, in exchange for the federal monies granted corporations during the COVID pandemic, the government had demanded corporate shares in return, in a sense, the public, via the government, would now be part owners in these corporations. The federal government could then distribute any future returns from this ownership to the public. In another example, a government, federal, state, or local, could exact a share of a corporations profits by way of taxes, then distribute those revenues to the populace. Governments can nationalize corporations. And, no doubt, there are, will be proposed, other ways of accomplishing distribution going forward.

There has to be another way. Not changing isn’t an option. It makes no sense to continue doing something that does not, cannot, work.


Warning! First person ahead. I don’t usually talk about myself, don’t even like to talk about people, but this a story that I want to tell and don’t know how to otherwise do so. So, your forbearance, please. Those of you who have been around as long as I, have probably witnessed personnel changes that follow a change in political Administrations. I happened to be on campus when Reagan became governor in 1967 and saw people with no qualifications whatsoever, other than their political connections, take over high level administrative positions. As a child, I saw rural Postmasters come and go with changes in Presidential Administrations, and thought, wow, now that’s connected. Richard Nixon handed out contracts to build ships, and a whole sundry of other things. Gerald Ford was into skiing. In the 1980s, we saw Reagan’s Candy Store, operated by Ed Meese, handout Post Offices, funds for streets and roadways, etc. Bush I handed out an International Airport. Bush II, through his loyal sidekick, Little Beaver, pretended to hand out Hurricane Katrina relief, but in reality outsourced it to Halliburton, who outsourced it to connecteds in Texas, who outsourced it to hard-ups in New Orleans, who they never paid. Trump outsourced everything, or almost everything. Didn’t want to take responsibility.

On 9/11, in 2001, I was a gun for hire, a consultant for control systems. At that time, I was working mostly for the Bio-techs such as Bayer and Genentech. In 2002, when it came time to renew my professional liability, I was told that it would be $15,000 for six months; ten times a much as before; that I might not be able to get coverage at all; that it was just the market. I had never had a claim. Made a couple calls, same answer. So, I called my fellow consultants, to ask about perhaps subbing under them. They had ran into the same numbers. The younger ones took jobs with Bayer, Genentech, … Us older guys were simply out of luck.

Someone had decided to shutdown small contractors, to ensure all those contracts at firms like Genentech, Bayer, went to larger, well connected firms; firms that hired H1Bs almost exclusively. Doubt that Genentech, Bayer, … ever knew; though they were the losers, or would have been if bio-tech wasn’t basically cost plus. It had nothing to do with competence. I had spent many an hour explaining to these guys, how systems and components worked, and why something had smoked when they turned it on.

I really truly doubt that Bush II or Cheney I knew anything about any of this.  Though the agent mumbled that it did, it certainly didn’t have anything to do with 9/11. But in their Administration, there were those who were tasked with this sort of thing. Someone who had been given the list of, taken the calls from, those someones who had contributed lots of money to the campaign; tasked with responding when those contributors called in their chits.  9/11 was used as an excuse for a lot of things.

Without going into the weeds about patents, up until 2003, if one thought they had a infringement, they could make two or three phones calls and within hours they could get a lawyer to take to case on contingency. High risk for the lawyer, but these guys were willing to put up $millions of their own in return for the possibility of winning many times as much in settlement. Many fortunes had been made. By 2007, they all demurred, just couldn’t do it anymore. Cost too much, and the odds were stacked against them. Maybe Bush I and Cheney did or didn’t know about this; but someone did. Someone did it for them. Doubt that the call even has to come from the White House, but everyone involved knows what it’s about. Today, patents are only for the really big guys; infringement suits are now pissing contests amongst $Billoinaires. There must be a 9/11 in there somewhere. Let the record show, though history will not record, this is how politics work.

Dearly Beloved

Our beloved Constitution has flaws. Only a very few, but these few have cost the Nation dearly, and, unless corrected, will continue to do so. It is very possible that unless corrected, they will lead to the Nation’s demise. These flaws have been and are being taken advantage of by the worst among us, and used against the rest of us. The electoral college, that most undemocratic of bodies, has, in just sixteen years, seated two of our most incompetent presidents, both of whom have greatly damaged the nation. The Senators from states with less than one-million population have as much say in our nation’s affairs as do those from states with forty-million population. The structuring of the Senate has from our early days allowed abhorrents like Mitch McConnell to extort the nation and stuff the courts with right wing ideologues. Presently, we have a supreme Court majority that would use the Constitution to deny some of our citizens the right to vote. A Court that has recently interpreted the Constitution as allowing for gerrymandering and other forms of voter suppression. In the face of such flaws, the ratifying of amendments is nigh on to impossible. Amendments have not, can not correct these flaws. Not some but all native born and naturalized citizens must have equal rights in every way, and know full and equal representation.  We know well of the difficulty of the bargaining, fault not those who bargained; but it is time to save all the good and great parts of our constitution and rid it of those few that paid paeanage to colonial governments, wealth, and slave holders in the barter for votes of ratification. Amendments can not adequately append modern concepts of personage and rights to the Constitution’s august body. There can be no full solution for these structural problems other than direct addressment of their cause. It is time to appoint a constitutional commission to list and correct these known flaws.

Redux et Redux

Slavery, never gone, had been given new life in Europe with slaves from Africa; first by Portuguese Traders in the 15th Century, then by the Spanish in the 16th. The bubonic plague of the 14th Century had wiped out one-third of Europe’s population; Europe needed laborers. Slavery was widely practiced on the continent and in the colonies until the 19th Century. Sharecropping, but another form of Western European feudalism dug up after having been buried for some 400 years, was brought over and resurrected in the postbellum south. It all seems somehow lacking in imagination, doesn’t it? More greedy-grubby than creative. Even the Peonage of the postbellum south was borrowed from the Spanish who borrowed it from Eastern Europe. Though outlawed in 1867, Peonage is still practiced in the American south today.

The rationalization for these heinous acts? Something along the lines that it was OK to enslave or indenture someone as long that someone was somehow different from yourself. After all, god made us in his image and they were different from us so that made them different from god, too. Lo god! Could we get your thoughts on multiracial share-cropping?

They’re doing it again. That’s they’re, as in it’s the same 17th Century mindset cast of characters; instead of fading away with progress, they’ve grown with regression. And, it as in feudalism as in enslavement, indenturing. This time, they are not calling themselves Lords, or Planters/plantation owners; at least not in public. This time they don’t manor. don’t plant, don’t own the plants; … don’t hire the workers. Don’t really do anything. They do have almost all of the wealth. They do employ (endow) syphilitic sycophant* fronts groups such as Conservatives, Libertarians, and The Federalists Society. They are the very We of Entitle. After all, more than four centuries have passed. It was time to change something; even if it was only names and titles. It is still much the same menu. They not only didn’t move forward with the times; they have managed to take the Nation backward in time.


Le dénialité est trop cher.

Denial isn’t specific to Americans, though we do seem to be better at it than most. We are now at least 30 years into severe climate change, yet 30-40% of Americans are in denial; assumedly, still looking for, waiting for, a return to normal. Not only are we not going back to the way it was 30 years ago; under the best of scenarios, no one of the next 5 generations will see the weather and climate of 1990 again. Under less than best of scenarios, neither the current generation nor the following 3 generations, will see weather and climate return to those of today. Still we see these professional deniers push and shove their way into any public discussion to argue that we can’t afford to take the necessary steps to halt Climate Change because the changes would be too costly. This lot deliberately tries to lead us to believe that their employers’ sunken costs are somehow our own.

The real cost of our not doing enough 30 years ago is the cost of the damage done during those 30 years plus the cost of doing today what still needs to be done. Putting it off just makes it ever more expensive. Still and yet,we hear politicians, economists and the self-anointed say that we can’t afford to do what we need to be doing about Climate Change. If we don’t, in another 30 years, we will have borne all the added damage that will have been done and be facing a situation where no amount of money will be enough. The cost of Climate Change will always be increasing until Climate Change is reversed. We’re well into shorter periods of doubling for temperature change, the number of wildfires and the acres burned, extended periods of drought, displaced people, … i.e., the price of not doing whatever it takes is doubling; so the price of doing whatever it takes. It is the not doing something about Climate Change that we can’t afford. We simply must stop burning fossil fuels.


Trump, although perhaps better known for his lying, is also a known Climate Change denier. Most of his supporters are in deep denial about Climate Change; many of them support him because of his denial. The Trump presidency itself is a consequence of our collective denial of Climate Change (that and a few or more other things). Since taking office, Trump has taken several actions that increase greenhouse gas emissions; thereby increasing the rate of Climate Change, increasing the damage.

The COVID-19 pandemic itself is an indirect consequence of this denial. Climate Change has severely diminished viable habitats for many species, putting pressure of these species, putting different species in closer proximity. President Trump denied the pandemic; told America that it would go away. It didn’t; it won’t. His is one of the biggest denials by an American president of all times. As a consequence of the pandemic, of Trump’s lying about and public denial of it, and also because of a large segment of the American public’s denial of it; more than 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 to date. Most of these deaths could have been avoided. Yet, Trump lies to us about aerosol transmission, susceptibility of children to COVID-19, availability of a vaccine, … These lies themselves are a form of denial; a denial of reality. So, too, the believing of those lies by some thirty-plus percent of Americans. If we had provided masks and imposed obligatory wearing, tested, and did contact tracing, the death toll would have been <30k. The damage to our economy would have been ~ -3% GDP. We know this because of South Korea, Taiwan, Germany, … America’s denial of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted a very high price. It will keep doing so until: we make the wearing of mask obligatory for close proximity, have rapid result accurate testing, and do effective contact tracing; or, until almost everyone is vaccinated with a highly effective vaccine.

Is our denial inherited? Probably. In our past: The Capitalists lied about capitalism and the people believed them, died early for capitalism by the tens of thousands. Slave owners lied to themselves. Slave owners lied to poor white southerners and those poor white southerners believed them, fought and died for them. More lately, many Americans let Fox News lie to them and tell them what to believe. What are they thinking letting someone tell them what to believe? How could someone let tell them what to think?

America has been in decline for 50 years now, yet a majority of us wait for things to get back to normal. Oh, and by the bye, that was Normal we just passed, the town just before that was called Normal, and, that town straight ahead is called — Normal. Sorry, guess you can’t get to normal from here.