Post 80: #Coronavirus and a perspective.

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 80.


Liberty and military power

Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia

I have an ache in my heart and a burn in my stomach. I am angry. I am seething. My president is a narcissistic racist.

The American president’s response to the Black solidarity movement happening in America today is instigating hate. The president has called the protestors “thugs” and “lowlife scum” when he is one of the biggest thugs in office. He wants to unleash the military to quell the [protestors] “violence.”

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for this great leadership! It’s like the frustrated parent yelling at their kid to “stop crying or else I will smack you so hard you’ll really have something to cry about!”

America needs to get to the heart of the issues and address the core values that have led us to this point. Our president is a racist! Our police forces have not been held accountable for their unnecessary use of force toward African-Americans.

We are not serving anyone by sending out the military to fight their own people. Let’s face it, the military presence will escalate the deaths of innocent people.

All my life, I have been watching activists speak up against anarchy, corruption, inequality, and racism – only to be silenced by the military powers of dictatorship and fascism.

America is waking up! Let’s hope this a start of a new understanding for the downtrodden and not a backward slide into a third-world dictatorship.

Dave Granlund cartoon retrieved via Internet search.
No copyright infringement intended.

The banana republic

Wayne Wallace, McLean, #Virginia

Yesterday morning, I woke up in a free country. For all its faults, it was at least free.

Last night, I went to sleep in a military dictatorship on the brink of civil war.

I recently heard Carl Bernstein use the term, “Cold Civil War,” to describe the state of affairs in this country. He was talking about the chasm between the alt-right and the rest of us. The uneducated White Trump supporters against the rest of us. I thought it was a very appropriate term to capture the state of affairs in the U.S.

I fear it will not be a cold civil war for long. The statements and actions of the @realDonaldTrump yesterday were not only announcing the end of democracy and the rule of law in our country; they were heralding the ascension of a despotic dictator. It was a big step that is sure to widen the divisions between the different factions in America. The steps announced from the Rose Garden yesterday will make the gap between Right and Left even wider. It will make the distrust between Black and White deeper.

@realDonaldTrump seems willing to tear the country apart to ensure his own reelection. Yesterday he took yet another giant step – not for mankind, but toward outright civil war – when he used federal troops to attack a crowd of peaceful protestors. That he did it solely to enable a photo op of him holding a Bible in front of a Church because he was embarrassed about being exposed as a coward hiding in his bunker makes it even worse. This is not what the country needs. This is the national-level equivalent to the White kids driving around the protests trying to hand bricks to Black protestors. Scaring White suburbia into reelecting a despotic thug just might work. I fear for this country if it does.

Retrieved from The DCist.com

Mein Trumpf

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

Yep, ladies and gentlemen, we have a Hitler in our midst and the 21st century version is living up to its name.

What in God’s name was Trumpf thinking of yesterday? Seriously, a photo op for campaigning purposes? Really? After tear gassing protestors to get there? Really?

To think of the message that Trumpf was conveying at a time like this…using a Bible to reach his base…being a hypocrite to show up at a Church he has ignored for 3 years…to spew the venom…to actually pave his way there with tear gas from taxes we pay for…is this really the time for egotistical behavior??? Is it????

And now St. Paul’s II National Shrine? Seriously?

I don’t want to lose my focus today; we have a big Thawra day coming up on June 6 in Beirut. There are also #GeorgeFloyd protestors in every city around the world, and the #Coronavirus isn’t done – but the gall. The bloody gall.

And Ivanka in the background, sporting a designer white bag? Really? At a time of pure crisis…And Jared lurking as usual? I am ranting again.

Focus. Stay focused.

My brains can’t. I have too much anger and grief. I am outraged. I must stop here because I won’t be responsible for what else I might say.


The death of democracy

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

In 2011, Syrian-American activists and supporters starting holding demonstrations – against the Syrian dictatorship – in front of the White House. I remember being so impressed with the Secret Service officers, who told us they were there to protect us. As long as we kept things peaceful, there would be no trouble.

Those were the days when one of our chants was, “This is what democracy looks like!” We were all so impressed – the freedom to speak! The respect the authorities gave us!

Of course, those were different times. We were protesting the Assad regime, under whose brutal dictatorship in Syria, holding up a sign would get you arrested. Soldiers would fire teargas and bullets. True: your arms might be cut off in the torture chamber to teach you a lesson about holding up a sign.

But in DC, far away from Damascus, in front of President Obama’s White House, we were safe.

Yesterday I watched as peaceful American protesters assembled in front of the White House. They were People of All Colors demanding an end to racism. They were peaceful: Hands up, don’t shoot!

At first I thought, this is what democracy looks like. Tensions would surely be defused. POTUS – as infantile and sophomoric as he is – would realize that his legacy could be different if he would just put country before ego. I was sure the Secret Service or National Guard would never fire on American citizens exercising their Constitutional rights – because this is what democracy looks like. Until it didn’t.

I didn’t think they would teargas their own people, or fire at unarmed, peaceful civilians. Until they did.

This is not what democracy looks like.

We’re not in a democracy anymore. Just as surely and intentionally as Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, the President of the United States killed democracy yesterday when he declared war on We the People.

Rise up, America. MAKE NOISE. #BlackLivesMatter #Protests2020

Retrieved from Newswars.com.
No copyright infringement intended.

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Post 56: #Coronavirus and a global perspective.

Today we’re free-form writing!

We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 56. 


RANT ALERT


Rest in Peace

RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain

To Ahmaud Maubry, I hope you rest in peace. You are not the first, and sadly, you will not be the last. But you are the one who made me break down.

To the other countless #African-American men and boys who were killed out of hatred last year, and the year before that, and for generations upon generations before that, I hope you rest in peace. Let’s hope that one day, the efforts of many millions of people who protest injustice and defend human rights will bear fruit and #justice will be served.

For the million+ #Syrians who were killed by Assad’s barrel bombs and chemicals, Iran’s starvation sieges, and Russia’s Air Force, I hope you rest in peace. Please know there are millions of other Syrians who are still fighting the good fight to ensure #freedom, #dignity, #equality, and #democracy for future generations.

To the millions of #Palestinians whose occupiers wiped them off the face of the earth, I hope you rest in peace. As with Syrians, millions of Palestinians continue to seek #freedom and their rightful homeland. May #justice be served.

To all victims of #genocide, I hope you rest in peace. Maybe one day the world will replace hate with #love. Or at least acceptance.

Millions of people have spent their lifetimes defending democracy and human rights, seeking justice, and searching for freedom. To no avail.

Rest in peace.

For now, I have no other words.


De plane…de plane

RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon

In the opening scene of an old TV series, Fantasy Island, Tattoo rings the tower bell and yells “de plane, de plane” as an airplane begins its descent on the island.

Now that we are living on an island called #Lebanon (Syrian border is supposedly closed, southern border is not an option, that leaves us with the sea to the west, so we are essentially an island!), where the airport has been closed for over two months, seeing a plane makes me feel Tattoo’s excitement!

Planes arrive every other day – with repatriated Lebanese citizens from all over the world. With them, also, comes #COVID-19 cases. And with them, too, comes a lot of political favors. Nothing like the joy of Tattoo.

A week ago, a friend of mine and I saw a boat coming to dock full of containers and we got so excited! Did our imported food supplies finally arrive? Quaker Oats? Bob’s Red Mill?

Two days ago, a plane was descending on the old runway course and flew over our heads. It was a military plane. No questions asked, keep in mind that we don’t really have military planes or a real Air Force!

Yesterday, the notorious #London plane arrived. On it were passengers from London (who had to have had a PCR test done 3 days prior to boarding) and a contingent of students returning home from the US and Canada (who didn’t have PCR tests done). The plane was packed. The passengers went haywire not only because of the number of people on board, but also because they were made to pay exorbitant fares due to social distancing. There was no social distancing.

But pardon me for asking: how is that fair in the fight of COVID-19 in Lebanon (that has more or less contained the spread under very extenuating economic and political circumstances)?

And lastly but repetitively, who is responsible for this mess? Foreign ministry? Health ministry? The airline? As is the case in Lebanon, most likely it will be buried in the blaming game that everyone plays (government blaming banks and banks blaming politicians and politicians blaming one another…here we go ’round the Mulberry Bush).

Our Fantasy Island is sad but true.

Video taken anonymously on the London-Beirut flight yesterday

Ranting

Charlie, Metro #Washington, DC

I seem to be doing nothing but ranting these days. I can’t bear the lack of common sense or the unwillingness of people to do their jobs right. Especially at a time when there are lots of folks who do have more than two synapses in their brains together and are looking for work. Why do we have to endure the unbearable heaviness of people’s laziness?

First, I would like to see a new definition of the politically incorrect word “moron” in Oxford’s esteemed dictionary. It should read: MORON—someone God gave a hefty IQ to who refuses to use it, especially when it comes to acting with a modicum of common sense.

There are a lot of morons in charge of stuff during this pandemic, and their incompetence is furled in full display in the state where I live in Metro Washington, DC.

  1. Wearing of masks: A few goings on that seemed to have been missed by the morons in charge.
  2. In our esteemed state you must wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet from another person. Fair enough. Then explain to me why not a half a block from my home, construction workers are working a mere 3 inches apart and no one’s wearing a mask. And then, at the end of the workday, those folks run amongst the general population like potentially infected free-range chickens.
  3. Let’s move on to the state’s road construction crews. Same scenario as above. Can’t tell you how many of these state road workers, still in full construction regalia, are ambling through Costco after working all day with no mask on and snuggling up close and personal with their cohorts.
  4. Homemade, reusable masks: My state demanded ten cents to use a plastic bag for your groceries. They wanted everyone to use their soiled, never-washed reusable bags from home. I asked a local supermarket chain manager about the health risks involved with this. I believe my question went like this, “What are you guys gonna do when some pandemic rolls through our area and everyone’s trotting in their virus infected bags from home?” He, of course, accused me of rolling off my nut with that comment. Well, now my state’s banned these reusable bags from all stores. BUT HAVE THEY BANNED SOILED HOMEMADE RESUABLE MASKS? NO. So all those homemade masks and scarves people are sporting that they never likely wash are probably spreading more of the virus that preventing it.
  5. CARES/PUA: My state is flush with affluence., and we pay taxes out of every orifice in our bodies. As it happens, my little sole proprietor/LLC requires I meet with people face-to-face. No teleworking possible. So, I apply for the $600 CARES stipend I’m eligible for. My state has yet to able to figure out how to implement such payments to its eligible citizenry. Apparently, it has the worst record in the nation for getting these mandated payments to people. There are my tax dollars at work.

My first boss in television said to me on my first day, “If you make a mistake, don’t make me have to fire you. Gather up your things, leave the building, and I’ll have HR send you your final check.”

Guess what, I never screwed up. I think my old boss’s policy should be put into action in my state. The Secretary of Labor should gather up her things, leave the building, wait for her check (which she’d likely get before I ever get mine), and give her job someone who isn’t a moron.


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