Foul Ball

I disagree with a recent editorial that suggested that, while the baseball season was suspended, the country itself had suffered a blow to its… what? Esteem? Identity? Is it really that serious, that big an issue? And should it be?

Yes, baseball is our “national pastime”, whatever that means. But its absence shouldn’t cause such an emotional roller coaster ride, should it? How empty are our lives if that’s all it takes to go off the rails?

I suppose I shouldn’t be so critical. The assaults on what’s familiar and enjoyable are piling up in the midst of this miserable pandemic. And just because I haven’t missed baseball doesn’t mean no one else has.

Affliction

Donald Trump is way worse than a bad joke.

He’s the antithesis of virtue. He’s created a climate in which we question every intention, doubt our goodness and ability to rise above anything, including this damned virus, which he said would just go away. He’s a drag on us all.

In general, he has defiled every institution, everything he’s touched. How can people even consider the possibility of voting for him again? How and why did he happen? What is he doing here?! How can he live with himself?

Maybe we’ll all get to watch him disintegrate. It won’t be pretty, but maybe the nightmare will soon end.

Way Above and Beyond

When it comes to teachers returning to the classroom, there’s no sense of duty to which to appeal here. Returning has more of a feel of foolhardiness and suicide than it does bravery and responsibility.

It’s a false narrative to claim teachers have an obligation to get back in the classroom. They most certainly do not. This is a nightmare scenario precipitated by serious and catastrophic inaction and outright deception on the part of Donald Trump and his stellar inner circle, among others. These are circumstances the likes of which no one has ever seen. No one signed on for holding in-person classes in the middle of a raging pandemic.

Teachers returning to schools is desired largely as a means of covering Trump’s huge ass. Leave it to him and Ms. DeVos and others to expect people to do things they’d never do themselves.

I hope teachers don’t acquiesce. It’d be dangerous for them and the ones they teach.

Brazen, With a Strong Hint of Desperation

How much more evidence will it take?

What the hell has to happen before members of the Republican party wake up and grow an actual spine? Is there anything left that will convince our elected representatives in Congress to step in and tell Donald Trump that it’s time for him to stop talking? Or, better yet, leave?

There’s this: Trump is now floating the idea of postponing the election in November, because he’s concerned about mail-in ballot fraud. His concern is unfounded, beyond his authority to act on, yet still part of his strategy. And this of course doesn’t keep him from pedaling the lie and planting the seed. Who knows? He might have adapted the idea from his “good pal” and father figure in the Kremlin. Or it might be just another gem from the mind of Stephen Miller.

I can’t even shake my head anymore.

Head Scratcher

Not surprisingly, teachers want assurances, like everyone else. They want an answer to the question, “How do we reopen safely”? Currently, I don’t see this answer being available. The best we seem able to do is take a shot at it, hoping it’ll work out.

Taking a step further back, the reason it seems to be working in other countries is because Donald Trump isn’t in charge, and other countries didn’t have their heads up their asses and act like hubris-infused ignoramuses. There was top down policy, a path and a plan, and most people abided by it. Such conformity makes the average red-blooded American shudder. Still, this governmental guidance was largely followed and looks like it is working!

We, of course, are Americans and we don’t do what works for other people. We do what seems patriotic according to Fox News and OANN, and also what preserves this crippling notion of personal freedom at all costs and in all circumstances.  Well, when I say “we,” I mean enough people to keep from making any consistent progress in checking the spread of the virus.

Why is it difficult to shake the feeling that the attempts at reopening schools, by and large, are destined for failure?

Random Thoughts II

Forget about normal! That ship has sailed. There is no normal to return to. This mindless insistence that we get back there is hurting us and greatly inhibiting any potential progress. We need to fight with every fiber of our being this tug toward all things familiar.

Just because you or someone you know hasn’t been affected or infected by covid doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. How would you explain being infected by a hoax?

The sign at the Presbyterian church proudly proclaims that it has never closed since Covid emerged. Wow, I guess a medal is in order?

The earth is gonna win, one way or another. I guess there’s still time for a win-win scenario, but we’d have to get our act together.

Schooled

The plans, such as they are, for a return to school are getting plenty of attention right now. As usual, it is difficult to separate the Trump administration’s insistence on returning to “normal” from this head-long tumble into a situation that has “disaster” written all over it.

What are the motivations here? Is it truly about the kids who will benefit from being back in the classroom and not stuck at home? Or is it more about appearances and economics and the optics in the run-up to the election, like most everything else in Trumpland? Is there some expectation that this is a sacrifice teachers and other staff just have to make- putting themselves at risk of infection? Or is it yet another mandate and act of desperation from an administration that couldn’t care less about other peoples’ worries?

What are the motivations?

There is no doubt about the difficulty of finding a solution to this. The infuriating reality is that we could be having less fretful conversations at this point if EVERYTHING had been handled differently from the start, if people had masks to wear, sucked it up and just wore them and kept their distance. If everyone, or most everyone, had taken this seriously from the get-go, we could probably be talking about opening our schools safely.

As it is, it’s a herding of cats. A crap shoot. There again is no plan that is going to work in every (any?) situation, there are no guarantees of safety. There are a million moving parts and variables. There are some teachers retiring instead of having to go back to a dangerous environment. There are many others who are having trouble viewing this as a duty, as a hill worth potentially dying on. And most are at least yearning for money for cleaning supplies and PPE, and assurance that there is a workable way through this.

A failure to communicate, disastrous wishful thinking, willful ignorance, a nation in disarray, a pathetic, appalling disregard for the warnings from scientists along the way– it’s all coming home to roost now, and it’s rendering a wise decision about our schools next to impossible. Futility looms, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone.

And let’s not forget about the virus itself. Sooner or later, it may get the respect it deserves.

Lemonade

Sports stories don’t really seem like important news to me at the moment, except for the one about the coronavirus running rampant through the Miami Marlins. Wow, no one could see that coming.

“Futility” seems to be a word made for these efforts at finding “normal,” though MLS and European soccer seem to be handling it pretty well so far, minus actual crowds.

Bob Costas made the distinction I was glad to hear last night when he said we want sports, we don’t need sports. Yes. Exactly! Enough of the crying and whining about needing sports. If you need sports, then it’s probably time you expanded your horizons or made peace with watching rebroadcasts.

What is going to happen if the NFL doesn’t hold its season? Cue the vapors. It’ll be the end of the world.

It’s past time to take “normal” out of the lexicon. Just do it. Put it on a shelf until at least the second quarter of 2021. And even then, there will be something unrecognizable about post-Covid-19 life, if there’s a chance there will be such a time. Sounds like we might have to add it to the list of things we deal with every year.

Just Plain Awful

Beware the one who doesn’t drink and has no sense of humor.

The fears are real. Based on past and current performance. If Trump gets re-elected, we can kiss our collective ass goodbye. There’s so much to dread with another four years of this monster. So, it can’t happen.

This nation has been hijacked and taken hostage. There’s literally nothing to smile about when it comes to Trump. He’s a repository for all that is dark and ugly. I’ve never seen anything like it- someone who’s so willing to create chaos if it serves his ends. He truly appears to be an authoritarian wannabe. We should have seen this coming when he descended that damned escalator.

Descent, alright. It was writing on the wall, metaphor for much of what has happened since.

A Tough Nut To Crack

Nancy Pelosi is 80 years old. How can her heart still be in what she’s doing? She seems feisty and engaged, and I’m glad she seems unafraid to square off against the Donald. But still. She’s 80. I know this sounds awful, but she’s 80.

Our country is run by career politicians who keep getting re-elected and staying until they die. While she’s not under appointment like a SC justice, it ends up being like that. She and Mitch McConnell and others serve either until they expire or they decide they can’t do it anymore. Or they get defeated in an election, eventually, maybe. Are their hearts still in their work, or are they just in love with the lifestyle and benefits? Are “stability” or “continuity” or “familiarity with the workings of Congress” good enough arguments for someone to stick around for 30 years or more?

How about no more than two consecutive terms, 8 years max for Senators and Representatives? That should be enough time to effect positive change, or take up space without doing irreparable damage to one institution or another.