scharrison's blog

The Coronavirus Infodemic: Conspiracy theories are a coping mechanism

Never underestimate our capacity for foolishness:

“People are drawn to conspiracies because they promise to satisfy certain psychological motives that are important to people,” Dr. Douglas said. Chief among them: command of the facts, autonomy over one’s well-being and a sense of control.

If the truth does not fill those needs, we humans have an incredible capacity to invent stories that will, even when some part of us knows they are false. A recent study found that people are significantly likelier to share false coronavirus information than they are to believe it.

You don't have to be a full-fledged, New World Order-fearing nut-job to fit into this category. We're all susceptible to this piper if we're not careful. It's tempting to create monsters where they don't (necessarily) exist, because monsters can be slain. But a natural world that is inherently dangerous and uncertain, that can create a virus so small it's invisible to the naked eye yet kills tens of thousands, is simply terrifying:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

As usual, YDNC is leading the way:

Now if we "not so young" Democrats can pull this virtual thing off without too many hitches, I'll be impressed.

Criminal or incompetent? Try all of the above

trumpfinger.jpg

Hat-tip to Thomas Mills for cutting through the chatter:

For those of you wondering whether you’re going to heaven or hell, you’re in hell. In the midst of the worst pandemic in a century, we’re being led by a family of incompetent grifters. While tens of thousands of Americans are about to die, they’re trying to figure out how to make a buck off the crisis.

If you had told me twenty years ago that we’d elect a shady real estate mogul turned reality star President of the United States, I might have laughed but I wouldn’t have believed it would happen. Today, not only is he president, he’s brought his whole family to the White House. It’s like the cast of Arrested Development is running the country but nobody’s playing the role of Michael.

Voters definitely jumped the shark when they elected him, but that damn fish has been circling our sinking rowboat ever since. If this isn't enough to get your blood boiling, you need to read it twice:

Not much Comfort: Navy hospital ship only has 20 patients

Symbolic of Donald Trump's entire Presidency:

On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.

Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship.

I must be getting slow in my old age. I had assumed the ship was going to New York to help with the overflow of COVID 19 cases, but that is apparently not the case. I'm trying to find a list of those other 49 medical conditions the ship is refusing to treat, but we may have to wait until somebody leaks it, because the Navy isn't releasing that info. It may (or may not) surprise you to find out the same damn thing happened when it "came to the rescue" of Puerto Rico:

Mark Walker wants to bill China for COVID 19 Stimulus

markwalkerthumb.jpg

Because that worked so well with Mexico paying for Trump's wall:

Walker voted last week for the unprecedented relief package, known as the CARES Act. The legislation’s scope includes direct one-time payments to Americans, financial assistance to struggling businesses, larger unemployment benefits and aid to health care providers.

Before the vote last week, Walker tweeted that he wants the U.S. government to pass along the costs to their Chinese counterparts. “China’s lack of transparency created this. Now we are asking American taxpayers to foot the bill?” wrote Walker in his tweet.

Even if we hadn't been in a complex and unnecessary trade war with China for the last year or more this would be a stupid idea. But with that in the picture, it's both moronic and delusional. Trump has pissed away any leverage we might have had to push such a policy, and we'd be lucky if China merely laughed at us for making such a demand. They actually hold over $1 Trillion in U.S. debt, and if they decided to sell those Treasury bonds off, it could cost us much more than just a Trillion:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Trump moves to deregulate bottom liners

trumpglare.jpg

Because what's the problem with a little leakage?

The EPA's proposal would ease regulations for the liners that coat the bottom of coal ash pits in order to stop the cancer-linked substance from leaking into groundwater. It would also in some cases allow the use of coal ash in closing landfills.

“These common-sense changes will provide the flexibilities owners and operators need to determine the most appropriate way to manage [coal ash] and the closure of units based on site-specific conditions,” EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler said in a statement. Environmentalists, however, said that the changes would weaken environmental protections.

I am getting really sick of these Orwellian statements coming out of Trump's Kakistocracy. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for coal giant Murray Energy, and this is not his first effort to undermine safety when it comes to coal ash:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Somewhere between a blessing and a curse:

Unfortunately, this just means he now has his hands on Cabinet agencies. If anybody could fuck up this administration more than Trump, it's Meadows...

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - scharrison's blog