Thursday, July 30, 2020

Herman Cain dead at 78

Former Presidential candidate and conservative icon Herman Cain has passed.

He died today after battling COVID-19 for the last month.

I'm not in any way gloating about this. It's tragic when anyone is laid low by this horrible disease. Anyone here in the US; anyone, anywhere.

But it's also true that Herman was in firmly, clearly in the denialist camp. When he attended Donald trump's Tulsa rally, he and his party sat proudly in the Bank of Oklahoma Center with no masks.

I certainly understand that it's possible that Mr Cain became infected in some other way. That's certainly true.

However, I seriously doubt whether he and his family did anything that would put him at greater risk than attending that rally back on June 20th.

There have been and continue to be large gatherings where attendees take few-to-no precautions to mitigate the risks associated with putting on such events.

Herman Cain--and many, many others--are paying a steep price for their stubborn and plain-to-see rejection of clear facts about this pandemic. About the pandemic and ways to lower your risk.

This is a sad, tragic thing. Having said that, it's not too late to put the politics around all of this aside, embrace the science and protect yourself.

Do it for your loved ones. Do it because you have something to live for.

Do it even if your family and everyone around you might think you're stupid. Or that you're a snowflake.

So many have died because of this accursed virus. Please take the precautions you can to make it less likely that you'll be one of them.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile 

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Follow this link to see guidance from the CDC on how to lower your risk.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Floridians are dying while DeSantis is channeling his inner trump

If you're like me and you live here in the Sunshine State, I'm quite sure you know that COVID-19 is absolutely exploding in our corner of the US.

I've been screaming about this for almost a month now. Our governor is a political hack, a completely sold out sycophant for trump, our Denialist-in-Chief. 

He's following Dear Leader's cynical and clueless strategy, putting political expediency and the keeping up of appearances over science. Over science and the health and well-being of Floridians.

If you've been wondering why the virus has exploded in Florida, I can help. Read this article and it will be abundantly clear.

Bulldog Ben

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Coronavirus relief bill, part 2

Our elected officials in Washington are negotiating right now, trying to put together legislation for a second Coronavirus relief bill.

But here's the funny thing: the White House is trying to strip the bill of the provisions to release more money to improve testing and contact tracing.

Let that sink in.

Yeah, it's Shitler. Again. Doing something so incredible, so over-the-top that it takes a moment to wrap your head around it.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Never in Siberia

Here in the US, most of us are very much focused on the upcoming election and all the unprecedented, insane drama coming from Washington.

It's hard to imagine it being any other way.

But while we're dealing with a never-ending stream of outrages and crises, all that other stuff that was going on in our world is still going on.

One of those things is the welfare of our  Earth. There are so many indicators that our planet is in a bad way. Well, that's putting it mildly.

One of those signs is that it's been unusually warm in Siberia this year. Scientists are now seeing temperatures that have never before been recorded north of the Arctic Circle.

It's just one more piece of evidence. As though more were needed.

Stay engaged. Don't let yourself slip into hopelessness and despair.

We've got to keep shining a bright light on the crises we're facing on the environmental front.

We've got to learn all we can, stay engaged and put our hands to the work. 

There are so many on the front lines--volunteers, laymen and professionals--engaged in this work, giving their all to make a difference.

We can support them by contributing our time, contributing financially and by refusing to let other priorities--as urgent as they are--keep us from addressing the singular problem that can render all of the others insignificant.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Friday, July 10, 2020

Florida takes the lead

As a long-time resident of the Sunshine State, the headline for this article featured below caught my attention.

Yeah, we are the new epicenter of this dreadful, mind-numbing coronavirus pandemic.

It pains me to say it, but this is what happens when you have a science-denying, do-nothing president and a sycophantic Governor following his lead down to the last detail.

Floridians are dying--in very large numbers--because Gov. Ron DeSantis is prioritizing the PR and political aspects of this epidemic over the health and well-being of our citizens.

It's to Florida's shame. And it's not going to change.

Well, I hasten to add that Ron could take his lips off trump's ass long enough to follow the advice of experts in the fields of epidemiology and public heath and actually take some hard actions that could help.

But don't bet that he will.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Rallies, riots and coronavirus

Two huge issues happening on the National scene in the last two months are the resumption of trump's political rallies -- the Tulsa rally late last month in particular -- and the protests over the killing of George Floyd.

In an internet forum, one subscriber asked why people were concerned about the possible spread of the coronavirus at trump's event, but seemed unconcerned about it spreading at the recent protests and riots.

Well, political rallies on the one hand and protests and riots on the other are very different things.

Let’s drill down a bit deeper.

The decision on whether to stage a rally is made in a purposeful, deliberate way. Someone — or some committee or whatever — decides the rally will happen, other folks have to plan, make arrangements, hire crews for catering, security or whatever the event may require.

A protest may be planned to some degree but there’s nothing like that same level of planning and arrangement-making. Protests often kick off spontaneously, catalyzed by an event over which no one has much control.

This round of protests are a great example of that. The killing of George Floyd was such an egregious and completely unjustifiable act of brutality that it's a surprise, honestly, that the protests and all that came after weren’t even more explosive.

So back to the subject of trump’s rallies: many people feel — and I’m certainly one of them — that it’s the height of irresponsibility to put on a rally right now while COVID-19 is ravaging our Country. 

There’s not the slightest shred of doubt that trump’s Tulsa rally back on June 20th crammed attendees together in a way that made transmitting Coronavirus a virtual certainty.

Here’s something that makes all of this even more insane, more deplorable: some of trump's campaign staffers went through the Bank of Oklahoma Center before the pumped-up crowd began to take their seats, removing the stickers placed on alternating seats by the Center’s staff to encourage social distancing.

The stickers were a last-gasp attempt to keep trump’s adoring fans from sitting on top of one another, thereby greatly increasing peoples’ chances of getting infected.

Can you imagine a better way to make sure the true believers would pass the virus all around the arena?

Especially in light of the fact that in an event like that, it’s customary to yell, holler and scream about how awesome Dear Leader is, or how badly those radical, socialist lefties suck, or how those lying, traitorous “enemies of the people” need to be put in their place, blah, blah, blah…

I’ve never seen a photo taken at a trump rally where a huge chunk of the attendees weren’t on their feet, faces all red, screaming at the tops of their lungs! That’s the whole purpose of going, right?

Honestly, how can anyone defend putting on a rally where everyone knew that the conditions to spread the virus were damn near perfect?

And now — to the shock and surprise of absolutely no one — the City of Tulsa is having a fresh outbreak of the coronavirus.

Having said all that, I have no doubt that the virus found many new hosts in the protests and riots that we’ve seen since George Floyd’s killing. That is almost certain to become a serious issue.

But those events weren’t conceived, planned and carried out by our leaders, by people who should know better, and who should be putting citizens’ well-being over their personal and political considerations.

It was all to further Donald trump’s political fortunes. And to stroke his insatiable ego.

Does anybody really think our poser prez is feeling even one shred of sadness or regret over a few hundred of his supporters getting sick?

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

PS: I forgot to mention that all those issues around the Tulsa rally matter to me as I spent nine years living in that fine city. And I was 100% positive that trump’s event would become a public health disaster.

You may have heard that several Secret Service agents are still in quarantine because of the rally.

The kicker to the story is that, although the main thing here is the disastrous effects for the people of Oklahoma, it’s also proven to be a disaster for trump politically.

Ain’t irony ironic?

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July to all

There's no way I would pass on an opportunity to observe a 4th of July. No way.

But it's also true that it feels different this year.

It's felt different for me and a whole lot of other patriots for the last three times the 4th has come around. And it certainly does now in 2020.

It's not the same joyful celebration while our poser prez is trying as hard as he can to strangle Lady Liberty.

And that's made worse by the fact that he's been engaged in this hateful and dark undertaking for almost four years now. And our democracy is hanging by a thread.

I am hopeful that our Republic will see better days. I'm cautiously optimistic that the pall that has been cast over our Country will be lifted by the next time we celebrate.

I'm praying and working and contributing to increase the chances that it will.

Happy 4th to everyone.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2020 Ben Lawrence Basile

Photo credit Benjamin Basile