Enemies: The Art of Wordfare & Cannon Fodder

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Yes, the title is correct: wordfare instead of warfare. It is intended to describe a commander’s art of non-warfare against a lethal, attacking enemy while diverting your country’s cannon-fodder by way of lies and deception to preserve your own self-interests and life. This was the true objective revealed by February 2020.

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The magnitude of Tzu’s wisdom regarding war cannot be overestimated. Nor should it be underestimated. Prior knowledge of your enemy is so advantageous, so monumental for survival, and so utterly imperative really if one can better prepare for a war you could lose, and yet cannot avoid. As a Commander, being acutely naïve, unprepared, and refusing private counsel while acting in or portraying arrogance to your people, the timeless Sun Tzu says “you will succumb in every battle.” You will cost your country dearly in lives, resources, and hasten your defeat, or at least leave your nation dangerously exposed or irreparably weak.

Imagine for a moment you are the Supreme Commander of your nation’s advanced forces. They are formidable and at your disposal. They include not only traditional, highly-trained army, naval, and aerial units equipped with the most sophisticated weaponry available, but are also supported by an equally formidable intelligence, counter-intelligence and communication groups. All of these forces are made possible by your very advanced, domestic manufacturers in science technology, materials, research and development, and their various expert staffs. A cumulative force to be reckoned with, no doubt.

Would these exceptional resources offer you a level of security, confidence, and a fighting chance? They should, especially if you already know war is coming.

“It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence, it is a subject of inquiry [and preparation] which can on no account be neglected.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Throughout history there have been many well-known, successful strategies and proven concepts for waging war. Though Sun Tzu’s work, known as The Art of War, is over 2,500 years old, it is referenced and often utilized in today’s conflicts by the shrewdest military leaders and their cunning foreign diplomats alike. One might say The Art of War, or The Art of Avoiding War, is common knowledge within the halls of command centers and their governments.

The causes and events leading up to war can and usually do present a defendant a critical window of time to prepare. In this initial window one can mobilize domestic resources and inventories as well as organize a preliminary defense, provided no surprise attack(s) wipes out all means of your opposition. A few widely known examples of emergency readiness strategies include:

  • DIME(FIL) – The elements of national power diplomacy, information, military, and economics, often included are financial, intelligence, and law enforcement (see MIDLIF).
  • OODA loop – Decision-making occurs in a recurring cycle of observe-orient-decide-act. An entity (whether an individual or an organization) that can process this cycle quickly, observing and reacting to unfolding events more rapidly than an opponent, can thereby “get inside” the opponent’s decision cycle and gain the advantage.
  • Nine Principles of war, as listed on Wikipedia and deduced in part from Sun Tzu’s work.
  • Weinberger-Powell Doctrine – eight questions that must be answered affirmatively before military action can be taken by the U.S., that is if not surprise attacked. This doctrine will be referenced later.

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“If ignorant both of your enemy and yourself, you are certain to be in peril.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

With the above few models, concepts, and strategies for waging war introduced, I want you to return to imagining yourself as a Supreme Commander. You have just received a High-Priority Intelligence wire about an impending attack on your nation and civilians. The communique reads:

28 OCTOBER, 2019, 8:17AM EST
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENCE: INDO-PACIFIC COMMAND

By combining disparate lines of evidence, our intelligence committee and agents were able to put a time-stamp of an imminent threat of mid-October 2019 circulating and organized in the Hubei province of China and Wuhan. By December 2019 this threat will escalate into a scaled attack on the United States' Ports of Entry by mid-January 2020, progressing into a full-scale offensive of lethal, unacceptable proportions by April 2020 or earlier.

URGENT! MAKE ALL PREPARATIONS POSSIBLE IMMEDIATELY!

As Supreme Commander of your nation and the avowed sworn protector of your people, what would you do? What would Sun Tzu do or any other of history’s greatest commanders? Act or remain lethargic? Alarm or panic your people by publicly speaking without first confirming the facts? What are the forecasted consequences of immediate action or idle inaction?

WAR WITHOUT CASUALTIES?

Let’s flip roles. Now, imagine for a moment you are the aggressor, the attacking enemy upon the United States. Become your enemy so that you can anticipate their maneuvers and objectives. Find your enemy’s worst weakness, exploit it and without being discovered in so doing. What does the 2,500+ year old treatise by Sun Tzu recommend doing to expedite victory with minimal losses to your people and forces?

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Would it be possible to defeat your enemy without fighting or while fighting, sustaining no casualties from your ranks? How might a feat that remarkable be pulled off?

Quick Disclaimer: Before I continue I want to make clear that I am in no way promoting any sort of conspiracy theory from this blog-post. I am merely proposing What If’s in the historical context of warring nations while examining and inquiring how best to wage war on your enemy. But precisely what I am denouncing in real-time from actual real events, I will soon reveal below.

The history of warfare is replete with victorious tactics and methods of the most sinister kind. From the 14th-century BCE Hittites to the 4th-century BCE Scythians, the 1st-century BCE Carthaginians and the Romans, the 14th-century CE Mongols and the 18th-century CE Russians, to the 19th-century Germans in World War I, biological warfare has been employed by combatants. A host of these diabolical tactics, many known and some unknown and unconfirmed, have been used with devastating effectiveness. And they were used with minimal-to-no casualties for the attacker. For the most inhumane, immoral, and bloodthirsty tyrant, that is a blueprint for victory indeed; victory at any cost by any means.

“Attack is the secret of defense; defense is the planning of an attack. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

Attack your enemy where he is most unprepared, appear where he least expects, and where he is most vulnerable. In early 1941 when Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy designed the attack on Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii, Yamamoto followed Sun Tzu’s three principles above.

By accomplishing all three objectives in a surprise attack 11-months later, Yamamoto and Imperial Japan crippled America’s ability to stop or significantly oppose Japan’s South Asian and Pacific expansions until mid-1942. The loss of military and civilian lives on Dec. 7, 1941 were heavily lopsided: 64 Japanese personnel to 2,335 U.S. personnel and 68 American civilians lost. Over 1,100 Americans were seriously wounded.

When World War II officially ended, the total number of fatalities for the United States topped out at approximately 420,000 dead. The amount of lives lost from all involved warring nations and the civilian bystanders caught in the cross-hairs was astronomical by any standards. But I want to reiterate American losses: 420,000 killed. All of them premature, obviously. Think about that for a minute. Thousands upon many thousands killed were only teenagers, multitudes signed up without their mom’s or dad’s permission, with 60-70 more years ahead to live a life.

“When one treats people with benevolence, justice, and righteousness, and reposes confidence in them, the army will be united in mind and all will be happy to serve their leaders’.”

Sun Tzu

Imagine what Congress and President Franklin D. Roosevelt considered and knew too well would be the cost in American lives? The untold damage for families was felt for the next two or three generations to come. Children raised by one parent and perhaps the eldest sister; brothers old enough to fight were gone, many never to return.

The U.S. economy in wartime was fragile at best. There was no guarantee our Federal Reserve would hold out to the end, especially in the first two or three years of fighting, much less our civilian population. My family still has my father’s boyhood wartime rations card and stamps for all 1942 American civilians when they went to grocery, supply stores and other merchants. My Mom told me one day that Dad spoke modestly about how difficult the rationing was and on occasion he and his family of seven simply went without, sometimes for several months. But in order to win the war they had to and did it gladly.

Today, generations removed from a world war, we take for granted these American luxuries and abundance without any thought or gratitude as if we’re entitled royalty. In truth we don’t need so much lavishness to survive. In fact, when we do not or cannot get this opulent overabundance, I’d say we’ve demonstrated too often self-absorbed ugliness coming out in childish tantrums. We revolt, spit foul-mouthed insults, even become barbaric to our fellow Americans and leaders with little, if at all, civility, understanding, respect, or dignifying collaboration during national crises.

[There] “is a third strategy that States might employ to increase their relative power. This strategy involves causing two rivals to engage into a protracted [fight or] war, so that they bleed each other white, while the Baiter remains on the sideline, its military strength intact.”

John J. Mearsheimer – The tragedy of great power politics

In November and December 2019, however, America was not in a world war per se. It was to be a different type of war, and a “war” we had already waged numerous times before. The most costly of them was from February 1918 to April 1920. Much more, our enemy today warned us they were coming and would assault us by January 2020. Even more staggering, our enemy told us how they were going to attack!

To the severe detriment and death of ordinary, hardworking Americans this early announcement of war, biological war, came during the 2020 election year. As a result, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans’ safety and health were ignored, jeopardized, sacrificed, dead bodies of all ages turned into a number, then tossed aside—too many unable to be with dying loved ones in ICU—merely for political, ideological gains and one Party’s election campaign.

INCOMPETENCE REDEFINED

Now for the denouncements (D-x).

(D-1) Of all the forty-six United States Presidents, there stands only one who by most standards of foreign and domestic statesmanship, failed miserably to uphold not just the Constitution, but the Executive office’s sworn duties and responsibilities (oath) to the American people: Donald J. Trump. And there is one crucial measuring stick to be first applied: How many Americans were killed by the biological enemy’s relentless attack during Trump’s Administration?

From an initial broadstroke perspective, let’s examine the numbers. As of January 20, 2021, the date Trump officially left/lost the White House Oval Office, the cumulative COVID-19 deaths were 424,401 per the CDC, typically lower, delayed numbers than reported by other health organizations like Worldometer.info and others. However, when President Joe Biden took office, after 15-months of finally fighting back against enormous odds—in several cases not able to fight back offensively as one unified nation—America was still woefully unprepared, disorganized, and dragging its feet to counter-attack the biological enemy that had invaded our ports of entry as early as Jan. 13th in Chicago, IL. Later, the enemy was confirmed in nation Jan. 21, 2020 in Snohomish, WA, then Chicago, IL, Orange Co. LA and Santa Clara Co., CA, and Maricopa County, AZ all before February 1st. Therefore, how many American deaths should be fairly attributed to Biden’s charge at the helm?

Making the preposterous claim that more Americans have been killed by COVID during Biden’s Presidency than during Trump’s is not only wrong, but does not take into account all variables and factors involved during a campaign election year. This was followed by an uncooperative, belligerent transition from the old to a wholly new Administration. In fact, suggesting this claim would be like saying President Harry Truman single-handedly lead us to victory over Japan and Nazi Germany in 1945. It’s absurd. Only incompetent fools would count Truman as our heroic WWII president or Biden the killer of 337,480+ Americans. Read the facts-checked here.

[War, or being prepared for war] is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected. […]

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

(D-2) Earlier in the post I bulleted the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine. Within this doctrine are eight Sun Tzu “deliberation questions,” if you will, that must be answered affirmatively before military action can be taken by the U.S. This doctrine of deliberations outlines how to respond to a national security threat, in this case COVID-19. It’s considerations should have taken place at the nation’s highest levels preferably by mid-November 2019 and reasonably no later than December 2019. With answers following the eight deliberations are:

  1. Was a vital national security interest threatened? YES.
  2. Did we have a clear attainable objective? YES, it was self-evident. a) To at least slow the death-rate of Americans as significantly as possible by b) preliminary and necessary pandemic mandates, while c) researching then determining a medically safe vaccine(s), d) expediting its speedy distribution to all Americans, and e) disseminating singular, factual information about #a–d in order to stop, repel, and eradicate this biological enemy.
  3. Were the risks and costs fully and frankly analyzed? NO. As of Jan. 31, 2020, when President Trump took his first (inadequate) action by only denying foreign nationals entry into the U.S. who had traveled to China 2-weeks prior, the risks and full costs of a prolonged biological war were in full swing and devastating, hence, not frankly or realistically analyzed.
  4. Were all other non-violent policy means [e.g. in this case PPE’s for frontline health & emergency workers, at the very least] fully exhausted? NO. Manufacturing capacities of PPE’s would’ve easily met demand.
  5. Was there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement? NO. By early 2021 the CDC and DHHS determined at least one follow-up booster shot would be required, possibly 2-3 more if the COVID virus was allowed to perpetuate and mutate into variants.
  6. Were the consequences of our action fully considered? NO. See Trump disinformation slideshow below.
  7. Is the action supported by the American people? MIXED. Due to inconsistent federal to individual state leadership & statesmanship regarding #2a, b, d, and e above, as well as highly polarized political rhetoric, about 163-million Americans chose indifference and/or passivity to the enemy’s invasion.
  8. Did we have genuine broad international support? YES, OVERWHELMINGLY. However, because of #2 thru #7 it did not matter until February 2021, much too late.

The final Weinberger-Powell Doctrine scorecard for Jan. 20, 2021 and the outgoing Administration reads “An Unmitigated Disaster,” obviously. To confirm simply talk to any of the 424,400+ surviving American family-members of their premature loss(es) of loved one(s) or pandemic ER/ICU nurses to affirm this final score. The stories are gut-wrenching. One example from November 25, 2020:

COVID Crisis Nurse Shares Chilling Experience – PBS Amanpour & Co.

Furthermore, in relation to #2-e above, these were the reports Trump was disseminating to Americans on how the biological invasion and war was progressing. From my Nov. 2020 blog-post Delusional Incompetence; notice the dates of egregious disinformation:

(D-3) This all could have been made less devastating, so less deadly had immediate action by a declaration of war been made and all available resources mobilized. Instead, the total death-toll to date of American cannon-fodder, insolent indifference, and initial inaction and continued inadequate half-measures (or less) by the former President and his Administration is in context of American lives, prematurely (to put mildly) and unnecessarily lost, unthinkable and glaring:

The unnecessary reality of inaction, incompetence, and human loss.

(D-4) Since 1884 all U.S. Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Senators, H-Representatives, and other federal employees serving Americans take this sworn oath and promise We the People to abide by and fulfill them. Most all Presidents of Crises have served Americans with honor, distinction, and statesmanship (see the C-SPAN network 2021 Lincoln Forum’s Wartime Leadership – Lincoln & FDR and Abraham Lincoln’s Statesmanship for exact definition) in accordance to this Presidential Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Then around 12-noon, the president-elect recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution as follows:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Inauguration of the President of the United Stateshttps://www.usa.gov/inauguration

That Constitution is for the People, all Americans, is the law of the land for all U.S. citizens and its employees, and therefore by implication denotes the same protection and defense for every U.S. citizen, all ages, all ethnicities, all creeds, all socioeconomic classes without exception. By this measuring stick former President Trump also failed miserably. He was unequivocally derelict in his duties he vowed to uphold on Jan. 20, 2017 at his inauguration.

“Rouse him, and learn the principle of his activity or inactivity. Force him to reveal himself, so as to find out his vulnerable spots. […]

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

BAIT & BLEED REVISITED

(D-5) Returning finally to the military concept of what Mearsheimer coined as baiting, bleeding out, or bloodletting, imagine once again you were the enemy aggressor on the United States. According to Sun Tzu and Mearsheimer, one subtle method of collapsing or weakening your enemy with minimal losses to your forces would be to pit, to radicalize and polarize your enemy’s inner factions against each other. For a prime example, divide (extremist) Republicans and (progressive) Democrats so fiercely that the U.S. as a whole cannot be of one mind, one objective to win the war. As the popular cliché goes, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

By pitting Americans against Americans, as the enemy aggressor you win over half the battles or better, and win the war. This tactic of Americans killing Americans (via biological virology) would make Sun Tzu and any prolific general, past or present, foaming at the mouth green with envy!

For all the arrogant incompetence we’ve endured, the wordfare vs. warfare, and indifferent inaction, we the American people, who put the historically worst leader into the White House from Jan. 2017 to Jan. 2021, beyond any doubt are suffering and have suffered the worst calamity, the worst socioeconomic impacts dominoed into every sector of our lives. Thus, it is the worst ongoing defeat in our nation’s two centuries of history. We were baited and blead by our own leader. And as if it could not be any worse, today that incompetent leader still cares less about our rising death-toll and might, just might weasel back into office because some 74-million Americans cannot distinguish between or recognize the manifestations and deceit of a megalomaniac versus exceptional statesmanship.

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What Invisible Killer?

Not since the July 4th, 2020 holiday weekend have I posted about COVID-19, unless we count my Oct. 8 blog-post Totally Under Control. But that post was more about Presidential lies and diversions while the same man, coronavirus’ biggest fan and ally was himself infected with COVID-19 that was supposedly “totally under control.” Two words: poetic justice.

Despite our White House occupant 1) pronouncing wild promises he could never keep, or 2) even in January and February was blatantly oblivious to the risks and dangers to all Americans this pandemic would devastate, and 3) the United States leads all countries in the world with the highest cases of COVID-19 despite being the wealthiest, spending more by comparison on healthcare, and one of the most advanced industrialized nations on the planet, this pandemic could’ve had a significantly reduced impact. Remarkably, none of that matters. And after two major resurges of new infections nationwide, and a third clearly on its way, it still doesn’t seem to matter. Why has the USA become the poster-child for the world of “What Not To Do in a Global Pandemic”?

How the country and the Electoral College have voted over recent decades

Yes, the obvious and simple answer is NO INTELLIGENT FEDERAL LEADERSHIP. That’s a no brainer. But the ignorance and apathy trickles down to the state levels as well, particularly those states aligned with the White House’s politics. Considering more than just population-sizes, the highest number of cases and new cases are in the states with the most relaxed restrictions employed or they relax them very prematurely. Hence, those U.S. states have higher COVID-19 cases which over the last few decades have typically been dominated by Republican officials (see illustration above). Don’t believe me? Examine closely the coronavirus data and numbers since Jan. 21, 2020.

In July this year health agencies and organizations began tracking and using the metric “daily new cases per 100K population,” also referred to by epidemiologists as “incidence.” Incidence corresponds to a person’s actual chances of being infected and suggests how many people will likely be infected in the near future. This metric is a more accurate indicator of probable infection rates independent of a state’s land-size or that have multiple metropolitan areas with high population densities. In other words, it’s a good indicator of how a state’s protocols and restrictions are performing and have performed. With this fifth metric added (slideshow below) this is how more accurate COVID-19 rates can be tracked and managed:

Therefore, based on these current data-tables, twenty-three (23) Republican states have case rates greater than 2,000 per 100k people. There are only ten (10) Democrat states with case rates greater than 2,000 per 100k people and all but 3 or 4 of those states are at the bottom of the table of Incidence rates. Republican states dominate the highest COVID-19 incidence rates in the nation right now, no debate whatsoever. These are simply the viral facts and trends: Republican governing fuels this pandemic more than any other political party in the U.S.

Moreover, in the bigger scheme of things and aside from U.S. politics it is not just Republican ideology that is causing the “Most Infected Nation in the World” to begin its third (3rd) major COVID-19 spike and increased deaths. The problem is bigger and worse. This is why I am compelled to blog about COVID-19 yet again. 😡

Florida State University football fans Sept. 12, 2020. Students and fans were required to wear masks and maintain social-distancing according to the SEC

American sports fans, sports leagues, commissioners, owners, city and state officials for public events, stadium directors, and anyone else associated with America’s biggest sports—primarily pro, collegiate, and high school football and MLB baseball—apparently do not get it. They do not seem to comprehend the various modes the deadly COVID-19 virus travels and how far aerosol particles of the invisible killer can float then infect. Sadly, this is not only a rising sports problem causing our third nationwide surge of new infections and cases. One huge problem is Americans are not recognizing or understanding that this deadly pandemic is novel, i.e. unknown and little-known other than it’s part of the family of acute respiratory syndromes like SARS and MERS. The global medical community is learning more every day, every hour.

As of today, however, there is no cure or vaccine against the virus. After 11-months of the pandemic worldwide, doctors and scientist have also learned two disheartening facts: 1) age nor “underlying health-risks” necessarily increase infection chances or death, and 2) patients previously infected can be infected again. It begs the question Why take multiple unnecessary risks of infection or reinfection, for yourself, family, or dear friends?

The idea that the virus is spread by either droplets or aerosols is an oversimplification, said Dr. Shruti Gohil, associate medical director of epidemiology and infection prevention at the University of California-Irvine School of Medicine. Gohil said it’s more of a spectrum, with the virus being transmitted by some droplets and some large aerosol particles as well.

One metric people in the hospital infection-control field focus on, though, is how many people one sick person infects. For COVID-19, research has shown that the number is about two—similar to a cold or the flu. For an unequivocally airborne disease like measles, the number is closer to 12 to 18.

Measles is “what airborne [transmission] looks like,” Gohil said. “If this was truly a primary aerosol-transmissible disease, we’d be in a world of hurt.”

Dr. Shruti Gohil,A new debate: Does COVID-19 spread via tiny particles or larger droplets?” Tampa Bay Times, Sept. 23, 2020

With well over 1.15-million deaths worldwide by COVID-19, 229,500 plus in the U.S. and rising (quicker), I think it is safe and sad to say “we are in a world of hurt.” There is no vaccine, no cure. The only effective steps today are 100% unity to prevent spreading, to quarantine, or to follow strict precautions while infrequently in public and not gathering in confined large numbers of generally 10 or more people! This has always been the warning and message from the real experts for the last 11+ months.

Having said this and known this since March 2020, many trigger-happy state Governors and city Mayors have opened up bars, restaurants, casino/gaming establishments, theme parks, and other leisure sectors and have had 3-6 weeks or more of increasingly relaxed COVID-19 restrictions. To add insult to injury, lax indifferent (non-existent?) enforcement of critical restrictions (let alone business owners abiding by required and suggested protocols) makes for over-worked hospital staffs, and higher increased death-rates. Then finally, add all that ignorance and disregard a big dose of America’s sports venues/leagues itching to return to normalcy too soon, football in particular. When it is all said and done the trend is going in the wrong direction and gaining momentum, once again. This isn’t more true than in the nation’s biggest college conferences and high school footballing towns.

From Sports Illustrated NCAAF, Sept. 11, 2020

According to data from the CDC, seven of the top eight states in the highest infection rates are home to at least one SEC team, and nine of the league’s 14 college towns are producing enough cases daily to be deemed sites with “uncontrollable spread,” according to the Harvard Global Health Institute. Harvard’s metric uses a seven-day rolling average of daily new virus cases per 100,000 people. Anything over 25 cases is considered uncontrollable.

If the SEC is bad, the Big 12 is worse. Four of the 10 Big 12 college towns are generating a daily infection rate of at least 50 cases. In data collected from Sept. 1-8, Big 12 college towns have a combined average of 35.8 new cases a day to the SEC’s 35.6, dwarfing all other leagues.

What are the two conferences planning to allow the most fans for home games this fall? The SEC and the Big 12.

“It’s really dangerous,” says Thomas Huard, chief clinical laboratory advisor at the Texas-based Campus Health Project. “It’s going to create spread. People don’t social distance even though the seats are spread apart. You go to the bathrooms, hot dog stand, beer stand. I think it is a disaster.”

Sports Illustrated NCAAF, Inside the Correlation Between College-Town Infection Rates and Football Fan Attendance,” by Ross Dellenger, Sept. 11, 2020

High school football districts across the same 23 Republican states and college towns in the SEC and Big 12 are seeing the same uncontrollable spreading rates due to near non-existent enforcement of COVID-19 preventions at high school football games. Widespread confusion, contradictions, state-wide disunity of procedures, and very relaxed suggestions for crowds have further exacerbated the spread-rates. Examine the social-distancing and number of worn masks in the following slide-show:

I wonder, are there some correlations between major sports, sports leagues, and rabid fans… to political party affiliations? As a matter of fact, that leads my curious brain to another question: How many athletes, coaches, staff, sports owners, and rabid fans freely beseech and praise (or decry?) their God, Lord, or Allah before, during, or post-game, or post-season? Is there a correlation there as well?

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Update: CNN Health – 1:27pm, Oct. 20, 2020:

Daily Coronavirus Case Numbers in the US Are At Levels Not Seen Since the Summer, and 14 States Recently Have Set Hospitalization Records

It is just not safe to take that kind of chance with people coming from different parts of the country of uncertain status,” Dr. Francis Collins told National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Tuesday. “The problem with this disease is it is so easy for people to be infected and not know it, and then spread it to the ones next to them without realizing it.

All of this, I’m afraid, happens because we have not succeeded in this country in introducing really effective public health measures,” Collins said.

Simple things that we all could be doing: Wear your mask, keep that six foot distance, and don’t congregate indoors, whatever you do, and wash your hands. And yet people are tired of it and yet the virus is not tired of us,” Collins said.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/20/health/us-coronavirus-tuesday/index.html


Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

From Rope to Threads

Well, as much as I’d rather post something more comical, scientific, or spell-bounding intriguing… this quick post will be simply a matter-of-fact report (rant) on current goings-on with me, those around me, and stuff in the U.S. If you were wanting/needing a lift-me-up blog-post, best you go somewhere else this time. I’m a realist as well as a hopeful optimistic realist. 😉

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Dallas, TX has very recently experienced over one week of triple-digit temperatures. Today’s expected high (yesterday’s) was a cool frigid 93º Fahrenheit. A happy respite from the 103-106 temps the other week. Most of those days we were also under National Weather Service “Excessive Heat Warnings” and “Air Quality Alerts.” The latter is basically a warning of high levels of ozone air pollution from man-made machines, factories, and refineries to go along with methane and CO² up there. This also includes dust/dirt in lower strata from heavy construction equipment, state-sanctioned (roads & highways) and/or private-sector contractors everywhere in the DFW Metroplex. That pollution is distinctly worse during windy days.

I watched this afternoon, about 1 or 2pm, out my front window three (3) Dallas Police Officers (all white), in two squad-cars, and one of the onsite property managers remove two different residents from my building who were apparently delinquent on their (daily?) monthly rent. One resident, a male perhaps in his late 30’s, packed up everything he could into his massive backpack and rolling suitcase, more things in bags under one arm, and walk out to the street. He then walked down the street until he was out of sight. He may have continued on to the busy 6-lane intersection a half-mile away, under a state highway bridge, with some 6-8 other homeless people (6-8 on a daily basis that is) holding cardboard signs walking out into and around stopped vehicles.

The other residents, a couple perhaps in their late 20’s, began packing up their little beat up used compact car—which was already quite full with tons of other belongings—eventually evacuated the property under watchful eyes of police and property management. As they left, their vehicle’s exhaust was visibly blue smoke; oil leak(s). I doubt their car would pass the state inspection laws in order to obtain liability insurance, required by law to own and operate a vehicle, assuming of course they owned it and possessed current, valid liability insurance minimums. The last 6-8 months I’ve witnessed these sorts of evictions take place. What is glaringly obvious are the vast numbers of homeless people everywhere on our busy street corners and intersections the last 12-24 months. It’s impossible to not notice.

This past week I’ve tried to help this neighbor three doors down. About 2-weeks ago his compact vehicle had a major breakdown. Jumper cables didn’t help. A tow-truck came to haul it off to some repair shop. His only source of income is his job as a Lift/Uber driver. He pays his rent week to week, for obvious reasons. Yesterday I drove him 8-miles to the shop his car was being worked on. It’s in a “sketchy” part of town at a very rundown business building of many old used vehicles scattered everywhere outside. They fill-up the make-shift parking lot.

When he returns to my car where I’m waiting—to make sure his car REALLY IS fixed/ready—with an obvious down-trodden face he tells me There’s a snag, a hangup. Can you wait a bit longer? I tell him of course. Ten minutes later he returns with all of his belongings to go straight to work, and tells me the part that was sent to them had stripped threads. He soon told me with an upset tone that he’s sure THEY (the shop) fucked-up the refurbished replacement part. I must take him back home… without his vehicle (for income). This foul-up has now cost him another full-day of income, making it the 5th day without making money. Today, to help him out at least a tiny bit, I go to the management office and pay for one night on his room/place. That’s all I could afford given my own strapped situation.

I literally just received the THIRD Amber Alert in as much as 7-9 days! This doesn’t count the significant increase in Amber Alerts we’ve had in Texas so far just these last 7.5 months! They’ve been going off noticeably more ever since COVID-19 quarantines and businesses and schools shutdown. By the way, that also includes most daycares for working Moms or Dads.

As many of you know, I am a sports fan, particularly a soccer/football fanatic. If any of you in the U.S. are sports fans as well, you know painfully that ALL of our professional and collegiate sports seasons have either been cancelled, postponed, or undetermined. As a result and for the first time in my entire life, I have become a semi-fan of the South Korean Baseball Organization (KBO), watching a few games at 4:35am… because most of this spring and summer there has not really been any other sports viewing-choices right now or there hasn’t been in the U.S. for several months! And I’ve NEVER liked baseball until my son got into it seriously at age 10 over nine years ago. Pfffft, KBO? Seriously!?

If any of you have followed the current American MLB shortened season going on, its season and teams are an organized mess because of COVID-19 infections popping up in at least 4-5 different team’s club houses at different times. The New York Yankees just had 1-2 games postponed because of positive CV-19 tests. More postponements or cancellations might be happening. The entire league’s 60-game season it is said will have a HUGE asterisk attached to it and its October World Series (if it happens?) because of this unprecedented time America and Americans are going through.

I watched two interviews over the past 2-3 weeks that I thought were poignantly revealing summaries of what our country has been put through. Sadly, it did not need to be this bad, not even close! Had our federal leadership heeded all the warnings coming from all the domestic and global experts back in Dec. 2019 thru mid-February 2020, this continuing crisis could have been shortened SIGNIFICANTLY and with much less economic tragedy. But then it happened again this past May over Memorial Day weekend and in another spike July… over 4th of July celebrations and holidays. Here’s what wealthy mogul and former Microsoft owner Bill Gates said about the handling of this pandemic by our federal government and leadership:  Bill Gates on GPS: “Testing insanity” is unique to U.S.

The other interview was by Christiane Amanpour of PBS with former Republican Governor of Ohio, John Kasich. It is well worth the 3-minute watch, I promise.

Personally, I have been COVID-tested twice now because both times I was experiencing 6 of the 11 symptoms for the lethal virus. Fortunately, both results were negative. But my last CV-19 test, inside Dallas County (one of the worst hot spots in Texas) took almost 5-weeks to return a result. The only reason my two results have been negative is because #1) I stay at home alone as much as possible. #2) because since early March I have social-distanced like an OCD MoFo, I wear a mask anytime I go out in public, I wear rubber gloves when I go into any places of business doing my BASIC shopping for essential items and/or grocery store items. And #3), if I don’t get out of my vehicle, that’s because I’ve shopped online for curbside delivery done by only ONE worker to my car… that is, a car parked over 8-10 feet away from any other vehicle!

And yet, after near 7-months of this consistent distancing, preparation, and wise, considered caution anywhere I go… this has become a change from “doing well enough” in April 2020, to making things tighter and stretching out longer in July 2020—going from a stabilized ship in a horrible storm at sea—to grasping for ropes to cling to as the HMS Titanic goes down, and to now desperately seeking THREADS that might hold me above the surface of a self-created (by my nation & its leaders) Level-5 hurricane I and everyone around me are getting sucked into. And yet there’s more.

Day before yesterday I ran out of one of my two high blood-pressure meds. When I requested the pharmacy to contact my primary care physician’s office for the refill, the next day they called back stating his office denied my request. I know why. I haven’t gone to have my blood lab-work done yet. It costs me $135 (no insurance) to have it all done, plus the tele-visit or video-visit with the doctor to initiate it. Plus on top of that the cost of the generic prescriptions. It’s money I do not currently have because of several other pressing priorities due to COVID-19 affects and consequences on businesses.

Oh well, hopefully life gets better for everyone and reduces hypertension and high blood-pressure—that if chronic, inevitably leads to heart disease and other medical problems. HAH! 😆 That’s a subject Dr. Sanjay Gupta covered in his extensive 1-hour documentary on HBO called One Nation Under StressIn the documentary Dr. Gupta uncovers the root causes of why American life expectancy, that is primarily Caucasian’s life expectancy, is falling and is now shorter than all other major developed countries. It is a disturbing revelation of our nation’s true health. Here’s the trailer:

So what’s the rub? Can we Americans make it until November 4-5? Can we survive with minimal casualties in this raging, unforgiving storm/hurricane of a crisis that could’ve been lessened significantly, probably avoided in many ways? Because this pandemic virus has affected and infected so many socioeconomic and healthcare sectors and lives, that not even I could’ve anticipated, it could get much worse and last much longer! And I am a HUGE nerdy science guy who tries his utmost to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. But this shit is going to outlast even my own predictions back in February. I told everyone then this pandemic and its ripple-effects would last till late-August or early-September before a downward trend and gradual respite occurs. It appears my prediction is coming up wrong and well short. 😔😷

I wonder… how in THA HELL did our Greatest Generation (of America) do it for well over 5-6 years during World War II  on top of coming out of the Great Depression!? Holy crap they must of been truly “E plurabus unum” (like superhero MoFos)… like we stamp on all of our coinage. HAH! Is it really a United States of America rather than a DISunited States of America, “One nation, under stress, and very divided!” as our new revised Pledge of Allegiance the last 4-years might be uttered today? Other nations around the world handled and managed the pandemic SO MUCH BETTER than the U.S.! That’s undeniably true.

Ugh, my rant is done. Tired I am. Everyone keep being safe, being well, and safely distanced. Try to keep going and hang in there! I hope I can too. 🙄

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P.S. One last thing. Have I ever expressed my rising annoyance with most everything electronic, internet, streaming, or WiFi-based over the last decade or more? And with that near boiling-point annoyance of said electronics I am quickly approaching the brink of ‘going postal.’ Have I expressed that? And how many times all my electronic devices I have ever owned (especially the last 10-12 years!) get overly spammed, hacked, and breakdown into some cyber-neurotic psychotic tantrums after ONLY 24-months from their purchase? Then I am forced to purchase a new cutting-edge “newer” device. Imagine that!

Does anyone else experience this incredibly frustrating, cyclical consumer entrapment on a society addicted to an electronic-everything world? Just a passing thought.

I really miss those days (in the 80’s and 90’s) when items, machines purchased would last a good 10-15 years, easily. Now, most mega-corporate business models are structured to generate what they call “perpetual revenue” and repeat consumers that appease, gratify share-holders for many quarterly P&L reports. Ugh, I so love hyper-capitalism.

That last sentence was extreme satirical sarcasm by the way. 😠

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Live Well — Love Much — Laugh Often — Learn Always

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