Off the Record (July 1, 2020)

FORT BRAGG'S BUDGET SCENARIOS — After hearing from the public far and wide about whether the town should change its name at its regular meeting last week, the Fort Bragg City Council met Monday night to talk turkey. City government's 2020-21 budgets were on the table — the general fund, redevelopment successor agency budget, and its water and wastewater funds. The General Fund is where all the city's discretionary spending lies — staff salaries, the police department and the like. It is funded largely through sales and bed tax revenues, and so was most vulnerable to the COVID-19 shutdown. According to City Hall documents, general fund revenues will likely fall 45% next fiscal year (starting July 1) and stay depressed at least through 2021. The $20 million-plus spending reduction that results from that will come largely from a drastically cut capital projects budget. Most city departments will take cuts as well and the staff and City Hall hour reductions made two months ago to address immediate financial issues look to remain in place for the foreseeable future. This year's budgeting process is very different from past years. Instead of a detailed and comprehensive “city budget,” the council is reviewing rough snapshots of city government's financial position, along with a spending plan, revisable as conditions merit. A big reason for the curtailed process is that city government still does not have hard financial data (tax receipts) for the months starting in March of this year. Tax deadline flexibility granted by the state means many business and property owners haven't been paying taxes or are paying late. In any case, how much will actually be there for cities and counties to spend is unclear. Given that, council members will approve a rough spending plan and wait to see if reality matches the best guesses of city staff. City Finance Director Victor Damiano resigned at the start of the month to take a similar job in Seaside, California. An item to name City Manager Tabatha Miller as City Treasurer is also on Monday's agenda.

(Chris Calder)

HERE IN AMNESIA COUNTY too many unsung heroes go unsung even when they leave, one of whom, a heroine of abandoned animals, is Sage Mountainfire, who is about to retire after years, and many, many unpaid hours at the County's under-funded Animal Shelter, all the while enduring much, much undeserved abuse from people who should have been her allies. For her devotion to the true welfare of abandoned animals, Sage was called a murderer and killer, and put on administrative leave for half a year for no reason anyone in the County's bumbling administration could explain. If it's any consolation to Ms. M, there are lots of us who know and appreciate your service.

FORT BRAGG'S leadership has deftly sidetracked the name change controversy by shuffling it off to a possible citizen committee where it will die a slow death by talking, and just as deftly the city council left the issue to the voters so long as some portion thereof gathers the required signatures to get it on the ballot. 

ALL this statue-trashing and name-changing is a reverse tribute to our schools, from which millions of people emerge with only fairy tale notions of American history, and when their fragged, infantilized attentions are drawn to the unhappier facts, they hit the streets. What's that Jim Harrison said about history? The sound is iron on bone, the smell is blood. 

AS WE KNOW, the political right has been busy conflating commie-left-liberal-socialist for years, and doing it out of their usual malice because even they know that Pelosi with her 25 thousand dollar refrigerator would join them at the barricades if her privilege were threatened. Anyway, one more time for the boys and girls in the back row —there is no left in this country. Hasn’t been one for years, and if there's ever an American left again, this is how it will happen: the abolition of college tenure. That happens, the left will be re-born.

NOW YER TALKING, DONNY. The dear leader said last week that we'll all be getting a second stimulus check which will be “very generous.” What a guy! House Democrats had passed a $3 trillion package back in May, modestly called the HEROES Act after themselves, which was instinctively opposed by the equivalently heroic Republicans. Asked if he supported another round of financial aid, Trump said, "Yeah, we are. We are." 

IT SEEMS from here that the oligarchy, aka the One Percent, better get a lot of money out there fast, before the mass desperation really takes hold, and before the neo-Jacobins come after them. The "uprisings" we've seen so far are just the warm-up act for the real deal when unemployment insurance runs out and real hunger begins because people have no money, the food banks have run dry, it’s hot outside, and power is out. It also seems from here that the prevalent delusion promulgated by television’s neon teeth, that there's going to be a major bounce-back “next year “and life will resume as it was prior to the shutdown, truly is delusional. 

I DON'T CARE. Call me soft, but I like Melania, The Martyred Slovak, and I agree with her that the "inappropriate and insensitive comments" about her son by some third string comedian — "I hope Barron gets to spend today with whoever his dad is" — were cruel and unfair. “Sadly," she said, "we continue to see inappropriate and insensitive comments about our son. As with every other administration, a minor child should be off-limits and allowed to grow up with no judgment or hate from strangers and the media."

A REVERSE Fort Bragg bigot called Ui Wesley posted this comment about the name change meeting of the Fort Bragg City Council: "There will be a loud, proud, confident racist majority speaking against the name change. Please help us push back. The full list of demands of the Mendocino BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) are after the details below." Purple fascism is on the march. In fact, no racists spoke, and an Indian from the Sherwood tribe who graduated from Fort Bragg High School said he opposed a name change. I especially enjoyed the comment by an elderly woman, a native of Fort Bragg, who said she hadn't even known who Bragg was "until all this started."

MATT TAIBBI NAILS IT: "Our president, Donald Trump, is a clown who makes a great reality-show villain but is uniquely toolless as the leader of a superpower nation. Watching him try to think through two society-imperiling crises is like waiting for a gerbil to solve Fermat’s theorem. Calls to ‘dominate’ and ad-libbed speculations about Floyd’s “great day” looking down from heaven at Trump’s crisis management and new unemployment numbers (“only 21 million out of work!) were pure gasoline at a tinderbox moment. The man seems determined to talk us into civil war. But police violence, and Trump’s daily assaults on the presidential competence standard, are only part of the disaster. On the other side of the political aisle, among self-described liberals, we’re watching an intellectual revolution. It feels liberating to say after years of tiptoeing around the fact, but the American left has lost its mind. It’s become a cowardly mob of upper-class social media addicts, Twitter Robespierres who move from discipline to discipline torching reputations and jobs with breathtaking casualness. The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation. They are counting on the guilt-ridden, self-flagellating nature of traditional American progressives, who will not stand up for themselves, and will walk to the Razor voluntarily."

MENDOCINOSPORTSPLUS, aka the indispensable Paul McCarthy, heard a scanner complaint about a Willits "Message Parlor" where the complainant said the people getting messaged and the staff getting messaged were “not wearing masks, were not social distancing and were providing sexual favors for money.”

ENSUING COMMENT included several gents asking for the address and a price list. Another person wondered how this “Karen” knew what was going on inside. Another, calling itself “Walitina Peephole,” said the sin center "is the Ocean Blue Massage across from the Willits Charter School” and suggested “They should move across from JD Redhouse to the old brothel next to the antique bookstore. Ocean Blue walls."

GIVEN THE GIVENS of the shrinking economy, crime of all sorts, including prostitution — not that there's any evidence that Ocean Blue is selling extras — but sexual commerce is certain to increase, even here in the boondocks where prostitution flourished until World War Two. Anybody who's been here a while has seen that plaque in Ukiah commemorating Madge's, a popular brothel.

HAWK NEWSOME is described as the president of Greater New York Black Lives Matter. He said that if "meaningful change" doesn't result from the national protests over George Floyd’s killing by Minneapolis police officers, the movement will “burn down this system. If this country doesn’t give us what we want, then we will burn down this system and replace it. All right? And I could be speaking figuratively. I could be speaking literally. It’s a matter of interpretation. Let’s be very real,” the Hawk told Fox News, “Let’s observe the history of the 1960s, when black people were rioting. We had the highest growth in wealth, in property ownership. Think about the last few weeks since we started protesting. There have been eight cops fired across the country. What is this country rewarding? What behavior is it listening to? Obviously not marching. But when people get aggressive and they escalate their protests, cops get fired, Republican politicians talk about police reform. I don’t condone nor do I condemn rioting,” Newsome said. “But I’m just telling you what I observed.... this country is built upon violence. What was the American Revolution? What’s our diplomacy across the globe. We go in and we blow up countries and we replace their leaders with leaders who we like. So for any American to accuse us of being violent is extremely hypocritical."

THE DEMOCRATS being incapable of fundamental change, and the Republicans crazy and incompetent, and the economy falling down on the heads of the poor, Newsome is undoubtedly expressing the consensus opinion of a heckuva lotta people.

ADDITIONAL CONFIRMATION that revolution is in the air comes from the IMF, which announced Wednesday that this "crisis is like no other," and will wipe out $12 trillion in national wealth over two years. And 1.4 million more people have filed for unemployment insurance.

FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS: “Mendocino County departments could all use financial audits. Before I can support the Sheriff's budget proposal including $570k for 10 new vehicles (6 patrol, 2 K9, 1 command and 1 truck) next year at a cost of cuts to other departments, I want assurance that the timing is absolutely necessary. Our budgeting process makes ranking needs across departments difficult to gauge. These vehicles might in fact be necessary due to condition of existing fleet, but from the available reports and discussions, there is no way for me to be certain. We've talked about strategic planning. I'm now of the mind that audits are the first step. An audit sounds accusatory, but this is not the intent at all. The intent is to determine if we can structure contracts and purchases to facilitate a more robust local government, including public safety. Raw transparency: there isn't enough information on the table to make responsible decisions. All departments need audit.”

IZZY WRITES: “Attempts to tweak the [pot cultivation ordinance] system from within have been going on for decades at all levels of government, with the most notable result being reams of new convoluted regulations and supporting bureaucracy. But events are not holding still, and structural pressures in many areas are at the breaking point. Supervisor Brown’s remark encapsulates the larger situation – “I’m totally conflicted on where we need to go, but we need to do something.”

MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Supervisor Brown’s response is noteworthy mostly for its sheer ignorance. Here’s a person who as a Supervisor has been involved with and supportive of the well documented failure of the pot cultivation ordinance for years, an “ag” person who reacts peevishly when pot growers have asked simply to be treated like other ag (i.e., grape) growers, a person who benefits from the relative lack of rules and enforcement for grapes compared to the ridiculous rule and enforcement overkill for pot growers, a person who is paid handsomely to attend to these kinds of controversial matters yet has no opinion about what the problem is, a person who conspicuously appeared in court with the wine mob to defend the wine mob’s god-given right to make as much noise as they want to make to save a small percentage of their grapes… And where does she end up? ‘I ain’t got a clue, but I’ll support whatever anybody else wants to do sight unseen (unless, of course, it infringes in any way on grape growing).’ The wine mob has nothing to fear from her likely replacement, Glenn McGourty, either, who, like Brown will make sure that the County remains subservient to grape growers in every way imaginable and who hasn’t taken a public position on the pot cultivation ordinance, as obviously broken as it is. At least Supervisor McCowen has somehow come to realize the error of his ways — albeit too late for himself or Supervisor Brown to have anything to do with fixing it. By the time they’re gone next year, the “new” board will probably have to start from scratch without even the benefit of McCowen’s experience with how wrong he’s been.

Hastings

AS THE FORCES of righteousness work at re-naming Fort Bragg, they seem unaware of Judge Hastings, a county pioneer and prime mover of the genocidal assault on Mendocino County's native peoples. As one of the state's first supreme court justices, Hastings had already appropriated Eden Valley (southwest of Covelo) for himself, hiring pioneer thugs to clear the valley of its native inhabitants. When Hastings died at the dawn of the twentieth century, he left a million dollars to the University of California, whose trustees named the famous law school after him. One would think that the Hastings School of Law would be a top state candidate for a name change. Junipero Serra wasn't even in it with Hastings. The Jesuits at least recognized native peoples as human beings whose souls need saving, but Hastings simply arranged for state-paid killers to have them murdered. (I'm sure some of our Mendo legal eagles are Hastings grads, and bet you they are unaware of their patriarch's history.)

WISHFUL THINKING from the WSJ "…Now, under these strange coronavirus conditions, we’re watching a different sort of insurgency challenge or change liberalism that never came naturally to Bernie Sanders. Rather than 'Medicare for All' and taxing plutocrats, the rallying cry is racial justice and defunding the police. Instead of finding its nemeses in corporate suites, the intersectional revolution finds them on antique pedestals and atop the cultural establishment…"

FOR NOW. But the under-current is drifting toward sweeping economic change as the thinking sectors of the current demonstrations steer the movement towards much more than name changes and race-shaming. But maybe not, who knows? It's a fluid situation, and the mainstream media seldom allows us to hear from left intellectuals. But it's a dim BLM soldier indeed who doesn't understand power relationships in this country.

WITH TRUMP agitating for a civil war, which would depend on thousands of black and brown troops to fight on his side, and good luck, Orange Man, with that assumption, but for now it looks more and more like months of mere chaos out of which will come history's traditional movement-killers, the Democrats, and then we'll see how much momentum remains for real change.

EXCITING HEADLINE over the ICO's lead story this week: "GMAC seeks Gualala entity to install subsidized EV charging station." 

PAUL ANDERSEN WRITES: There’s a $1000 fine for littering on Highway 1. Why not a $1000 fine for people refusing to wear masks? It’s absolutely the right thing to do and could be very lucrative for the County this summer with so many out-of-towners flouting the rules. Is there a member of the Board of Supervisors who has the stones to propose that? How to enforce? Take some money out of your pathetic cannabis program and devote it to hiring more code enforcement officers for this specific purpose.

THE MILK MONITORS are kinda like frankly getting outta hand. Saturday morning, 6:30am, I'm deep in the golden hills above Fairfax, trucking right along, a song in my heart, thinking good thoughts, when I suddenly hear a screeched, "Mask!" And here comes a lycra-babe, a woman of fifty or so. I never got within 25 yards of this person, but jolted out of my purplish reveries all I could come up with in the way of a response was the first line of that Lawrence poem, "I wish I knew a woman…" Then it occurred to me that given the communication's dysfunction plaguing the land that even a lame attempt at irony might be construed as… "Yes, officer. I was on my morning walk when I noticed an unmasked older man with this weird, uh, erotic-like smile on his face, and when I told him to put his mask on he just kind of leered at me and said he wanted to get to know me. There I was, alone in the hills with this pervert! I know men, officer, believe me, and I certainly know carnality when I see it!" 

YES, it's objectively crazy to mask up when you're out for a walk at the crack of dawn in a human-free place, but in every public venue where there are others the mask ought to be mandatory. I agree with Paul Andersen's suggestion to supervisors Williams and Silent Dan Gjerde that the unmasked, wherever distancing is impossible, be fined. A thousand bucks, as Andersen suggests, is unreasonable, but fifty isn't. This plague thing is no joke. No man is an island etc.

TALK about hyper-inflated reputations, the description of John Bolton as "brilliant, courageous, a great statesman" and so on is not only slam-dunk untrue, it's disgusting. But there it is for days now in lock-step, from Wolf Blitzer through the rest of the neon-toothed punditocracy. A draft dodger himself, Bolton has held out for more war as the solution for every foreign policy dilemma. These snakes are full-on for Trump until they aren’t. Then they rake in a few quick mil writing about the experience, painting themselves as the only reasonable persons in the room.

HOW COME one of these tech geniuses we're always hearing about can't come up with a non-lethal means of subduing the berserkers? The cops have tried bean bags, nets, rubber bullets (crazy dangerous and seemingly ineffective as crowd control), various kinds of disabling gases, and who knows what all? There's gotta be a better way, right Elon? 

UNLESS my ancient ears deceive me, is there only one song anymore? "Baby, baby, baby, uh baby, oh baby...." Where have all the great lyricists gone? 

THE GREAT IRONY of the BLM uprising is that race relations are better than they've ever been, that there are now literal millions of loyal inter-ethnic relationships where, 60 years ago there were few-to-none. The multi-racial demonstrations are living proof that we've come a very long way in a very short time in the race department. Apply the noble principles of democratic socialism to our Hobbesian economy, and a lot of the remaining tensions would be outta here. Won't happen, though. The Great Slide is too far slid, and a Biden administration won't do anything to arrest it. Trump has only made the obvious, obvious.

THE CONTESTED Lincoln statue, for a certainty, would have been opposed by Honest Abe himself, a modest fellow who would cringe at his latter-day canonization. A genius writer, does anybody think the author of the Gettysburg Address would want to see himself depicted as a God-like figure posed above a grateful freed slave at his feet? This sculpture manages to insult both parties.

(1) MARIJUANA GROWS, an on-line comment: “Why is this a waste of resources? These grows are terrible for our community and even for the cause of all things marijuana (which I don’t really care about, but I think you do). I’m an old school outlaw but as I settle down and want to have a normal life here, I have begun to appreciate law enforcement getting the scummy growers out of here. They don’t help anyone but their bosses, and the money doesn’t circulate in the community. Have you noticed the degrading of our towns? If we could all look back 20 years, what has the marijuana industry done but brought money to a few, while the downtowns are filled with empty stores and homeless zombies. Sorry for the rant.”

(2) MARIJUANA GROWS, an on-line response: “I don’t agree with you that marijuana growing is bad. I have seen it done well by actual caring and humble people who used the profit to build and maintain simple and loving homes. However I do agree with your “The marijuana industry has brought legions of these very types into our communities. And it’s not getting any better despite govt. efforts to legitimize…” I have seen the “legalization” reverse the goodness by rewarding baller mega-growers, government parasites and corporate investors while hurting the same people I referred to in my opening statements… The money and the sensationalism of weed growing pulled many bad people into this area. We became a magnet for sociopaths and greedy posers- many who now have permits and hype their dubious credentials!”

HOW ABOUT THIS as the opening para for a novel about the apocalypse: "It was the morning after, the fifth of July 2020. Always an early riser, John was up at dawn, still shaken by the events of Independence Day. Groups of young men had been shooting bottle rockets and other high velocity fireworks at each other — horizontally! And doing it in the middle of State Street less than half a mile from John's fortified home on the Westside! Open-mouthed in amazement, John had watched the shirtless young men, their upper torsos covered in tattoos of obscene Chinese characters whose meaning they did not know or care to know, as they fired these spectacular explosives point blank at their foes, crowds of drunks cheered them on. The young warriors were reinforced by some very fat but quite agile young women, one of whom he recognized from a Ukiah demonstration on behalf of non-binary liberation. These 4th of July events had been downright startling. ‘Jayzus,’ John mused, ‘nothing like this, this, this....anarchy had ever happened here.’ Heck, in John's scruffy, fast food-festooned town, perpetual road construction was usually the only visible outdoor activity. Now this! And John had falsely assumed young people had been so thoroughly love-bombed into numb acquiescence by the local schools — thirty minutes of mandatory student-faculty group hugs now began and ended every school day — that full-tilt street fights were events from some forgotten, barbarous time. These fireworks battles had been the last act of a frightening day, which had begun with a smoky red sunrise from fires raging uncontrolled east of I-5 all the way to Boise, and the Sahara dust storms, which now covered the globe combined with the fires to create a permanent twilight from morning to night. Millions were unemployed, the homeless were shuffling up and down every street like lost battalions of a terrible war. Wolf Blitzer, John's favorite CNN personality — John loved the way 'Wolfie,' as he called him, spun hither-thither from catastrophe to catastrophe in the Situation Room's big chair — had only added to John's dread, his sense that the world was spinning out of control! John winced as Wolfie recited the latest plague stats — five million dead in Los Angeles alone. And then a clip of mobs dressed in purple uniforms pulling down statues. ‘What's with this purple stuff?’" John wondered. Why even in nearby Santa Rosa, Wolfie informed the terrified Westie, The Neo-Legion of Decency, as they call themselves, had attacked the Snoopy statues that the Rose City, at great public expense, had installed around town as the mob chanted, 'Hey hey, ho ho, sexist Charlie Brown has got to go!' What the heck is happening? Can it be true as his supervisor John McCowen had said with a resigned sigh, ‘Stick a fork in US. We're done’?" 

AS THE GREAT RE-WRITE of American history writes on, John Wayne, as an airport, is about to go. Woodrow Wilson, a truly vicious bastard who insisted that White House guests watch Birth of a Nation with him, has had it coming for years . And Jesus as a white man? Well, Jews are white people and JC was a Jew, right? At least until his friends kicked off their own religion, although the record is hazy. John Wayne can also go, so far as I'm concerned. There were two figures of great contempt among my drill instructors at Marine Corps boot camp — Elvis Presley, perceived, apparently, as effeminate, and John Wayne, a phony tough guy who eluded World War Two but cashed in on it big time.

A RACIST episode involving yours truly as a wide-eyed college student occurred when a history professor I worked for as a "reader" (aka flunky occasionally trusted to grade papers) spotted a black dorm mate and friend of mine named General Owens walking past the professor's open office door as the prof and I were talking. The professor, whom I admired, spotting Owens, suddenly said, "Typical, huh?" I pretended not to have heard him, being too gutless (and young) to call the learned eminence on it, but I slip-slid away from my job with him and, in a way, that comment woke (sic) me to a belated awareness that even real smart people can succumb. Wasn't surprised at all when I learned that the famous professor of classics at the University of Oregon (and a Harvard grad) occupied his time outside the classroom as the head of the Eugene Ku Klux Klan.

IN THE CONTEXT of "liberal" Mendocino County, the purple mob's attempts to get Tommy Wayne Kramer banned from the Ukiah Daily Journal really, really, really distresses me because there's so little deviation, so little dissent anywhere in the county from the pious ones' blandly correct, oppressively predictable catechism. It’s candy-ass-ism’s full-court press, but so fragile the slightest departure from correct thinking gets its thinker non-personed. For instance and off hand, I can't think of a single audio argument on tax-supported Mendo Public Radio, especially over purely local matters. Ever. And the only debate in any real sense on self-certified "free speech radio" on any subject was years ago when Kary Mullis, Navarro's wild man Nobel Prize winner, debated the origins of AIDS with another knowledgeable person, Mike Alcalay. I could care less that the Mendolib Echo Chamber excludes views they find unacceptable among themselves, but when they demand to tell me and everyone else what I can and cannot hear or read or see… Well, and not to put too fine a point on it, I get visions of those delighted Nazis throwing thousands of books on those big 1934 bonfires. (The only colleague of TWK's on the Ukiah paper's Sunday opinion page to come to Kramer's defense is Jim Shields, also of the Mendocino County Observer. History note: Shields was also one of only two local publications in the Redwood Summer period to refuse the FBI access to his files. The Press Democrat, for instance, not only allowed access, but just this year "lost" the key dna evidence that was the key to solving the Bari bombing. Like the NYT, the PD functions as an extension of government.)

ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK

 [1] Let me clear this up for those who have never grown anything in their lives…

1. Cannabis is an annual crop, as opposed to a perennial crop.

2. It’s almost July which means it’s too late to cultivate this crop for the year effectively. Farmers pay the same cultivation tax for the entire year regardless of what time of year they plant and if it’s the County’s fault it has taken years to get a permit.

3. We are in the middle of a pandemic and economic collapse- “what does that mean??” It means people are REALLY struggling, just like they were in the Great Depression-ever hear of the Great Depression? Before Prop 64 and the abatement program backyard gardeners were not struggling because they had 20 plants and food in their backyards to sustain themselves with (yes along with their “real jobs” your teachers your firefighters, your babysitters, etc. many of whom have no “real jobs” to go to right now). No stimulus or unemployment was needed once upon a time, just humbly growing one’s own organic food and medicine and living simply.

Relying on these failing systems is a death sentence, and many of us rural folks know better. Why is this confusing?

 [2] I am not an American. But I have worked with Americans for decades. I like them. They really have a lot of that “can-do” spirit.

So it’s a mystery why their political system is so dysfunctional. Last time around, it was Hillary-Trump. And this time it is Biden-Trump! How can a country with so many capable people end up with having to choose between them?

I am not an American and yet I have a dog in that fight. American socio-politics is now driving the debates in all western countries. Academia and the media everywhere take their marching orders from American campuses and accordingly our media is all BLM and slavery, all the time (shocker: everyone is against slavery and racism!)

Trump really is an incoherent clown, an egomaniac, unfit for the presidency. And yet Biden is a senile doddering fool, and the Democrats are riding a dangerous Cultural Revolution mob. There is no good choice, but Democrats truly scare me. I’ll root for Trump to win, for lack of a better option, but where are all the grown-ups? How come there are no sane candidates?

 [3] Over the weekend we heard of the necessity to rename Yale University owing to Elihu’s unfortunate business enterprises. The rest of the Ivy league is sweating bullets.

“Jesus as white European” images are now in the crosshairs.

Will the Mayor of DC protect the National Gallery, Hirschhorn, National Portrait Gallery? Translation: “Tax-supported images of oppression.”

Will the Mayor of Chicago protect the Art Institute?

Is that smoke rising from the left bank the former contents of the Louvre?

Can Da Vinci, Michelangelo, be far behind?

Someone in Boston please save for me Sargent’s Mrs. Fiske Warren and her daughter Rachel. The absolute embodiment of white privilege.

 [4] The mask has been politicized.

Only by the far-right lunatic nut-fudge, knuckle-dragging red-hat-wearing, cave-dwelling troglodytes at the very shallow end of the Republican Party, Trump-cult, gene pool.

Sensible people – including Democrats and moderate Republicans – know that a mask is a huge factor in stopping the spread, and saving lives.

Yes, the curves will continue to rise until the entire world population has herd immunity.

Completely and utterly untrue – many countries in the world, often without the financial or technical resources of America, have kept their numbers extremely low.

Just because America is an abject and total public-health failure under the Trump-Republican regime, doesn’t mean we all are!

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