What I Learned Today – July 8

I’ve stayed away from the news since last week so forgive me if some of this is old news. A lot happens in a day now!

Kanye West is running for president. At least in his mind. (He hasn’t actually done any of the necessary legal steps to be on a ballot, and in some states it is already too late anyway)  The Forbes article has a list of bullet points to catch you up to speed on his totally non-insane presidential run.

  • That he’s running for president in 2020 under a new banner—the Birthday Party—with guidance from Elon Musk and an obscure vice presidential candidate he’s already chosen. “Like anything I’ve ever done in my life,” says West, “I’m doing to win.”
  • That he no longer supports President Trump. “I am taking the red hat off, with this interview.”
  • That he’s ok with siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee, thus helping Trump. “I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”
  • That he’s never voted in his life.
  • That he was sick with Covid-19 in February.
  • That he’s suspicious of a coronavirus vaccine, terming vaccines “the mark of the beast.”
  • That he believes “Planned Parenthoods have been placed inside cities by white supremacists to do the Devil’s work.”
  • That he envisions a White House organizational model based on the secret country of Wakanda in Black Panther.

Trump’s niece’s book is being released early and there are already excerpts around the web. Spoiler alert.  Trump cheats on everything.  Taxes, SATs, wives, golf.  I think the title of the book is Shit That Every Sane Person Already Knows. I won’t be reading that just like I didn’t read the Bolton book. It’s not like I need any more evidence that I’m not going to vote for the guy at this point.

In other terrible Trump news (redundant!) his Health Secretary claims that healthcare workers don’t get covid. This is news to the 760 healthcare workers who so far have died from the disease, and the nearly 100K who have tested positive.  And the Trump administration is planning on kicking out international students from the country if their classes are online-only for the upcoming semester.  Which means some people see a pandemic and see death and tragedy, while others see it as an opportunity to push your racist and xenophobic values.

And Trump is now threatening to cut federal funds to schools that don’t physically reopen.
To force students, teachers, custodial staff, bus drivers, administrative staff, etc., back into the middle of a raging pandemic is nothing short of attempted murder at this point. That the GOP has done nothing to curb Trump’s denial is criminal. They are all complicit.

Record numbers in Covid again yesterday in TX and CA. And most likely FL because they are working their best at hiding the numbers. But their ICU’s are filling up at a scary rate. It didn’t have to be like this.

And opossums enjoy their potassium.

Books I Read in June

I know, I know.  I’m late.  As you can see by the amount of posting I have been doing lately, I haven’t been online as much. Still social distancing although I did have to venture out for an inspection sticker for my car and Mrs. C had a training session where she had to fly. So now we’re back huddled in for a bit, getting more angry by the day at these fools who can’t put a mask over their face.  But let’s get to this round of books.

The Life of Greece by Will Durant Volume 2 of Will Durant’s mindblowing A Story of Civilization. I’ve had this volume in my library for several years and just wasn’t ready to tackle it.  It probably is a bit outdated (it was written in the 30s) but Durant’s prose is engaging and addictive. I bought several other volumes from Amazon before I even finished reading this.  “No great nation is ever conquered until it has destroyed itself.” – Will Durant

Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield This is definitely inspired by Durant’s book when I wasn’t ready to leave Greece and looked for historical fiction and came up with this.  A retelling of Sparta’s Battle of Thermopylae which is wonderfully told through the eyes of a slave of the Spartans who is captured. If you loved 300 and wanted a more in depth look, this is for you.

Caesar and Christ by Will Durant Volume 3 of Durant’s book (I told you I was blowing through them.) This picks up in the early days of Rome and takes you to when the empire begins to crumble. And yes, I have started reading Volume 4 which is even more immense and deals with the Middle Ages.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix The Key Lime recommended this in last month’s book post and it’s a fun quick read. I’m making a mental note here to see what else Grady Hendrix has written but I have a feeling I’m going to forget if I don’t write it down.  So many books, so little time.  Even with lockdown.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes So lockdown has me missing travel. I watched this movie a few weeks ago and it seemed like perfect escapism for the current climate.  The book doesn’t have too much in common with the movie and unless you are really into renovating an old house in Tuscany, you probably will do what I did; speed reading mode activated.

If It Bleeds by Stephen King Just finished this last night so technically it should be on next month’s list.  Well, reading Stephen King is always comforting. Even if you don’t like the plot, he has a way with characters. This has 4 short stories (or three short stories and one novella). I loved the first one about an old man, and iphone, and a grave, and kind of got into the one about the rat.  The other two just didn’t grab me.  So a perfect short story collection in my eyes.

What have you been reading?

FL Education Commissioner requires all Florida school districts to reopen campuses in August

So, they are actively trying to kill people now.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Florida Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran has issued an executive order requiring all of Florida’s public K-12 schools to reopen in August.

As part of the executive order issued Monday, school districts and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students in August.

“Upon reopening in August, all school boards and charter school governing boards must open brick and mortar schools at least five days per week for all students, subject to advice and orders of the Florida Department of Health, local departments of health, Executive Order 20-149 and subsequent executive orders,” the order reads.

School districts must also provide “the full array of services that are required by law so that families who wish to educate their children in a brick and mortar school have the opportunity to do so.”

That includes in-person instruction, specialized instruction, and services for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), English-language learners as well as live synchronous or asynchronous instruction.

Life Comes At You Pretty Fast

Coronavirus: Florida reports 10,109 new cases of COVID-19, breaking record again

This is going well:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida reported 10,109 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, breaking the state’s one-day record yet again as leaders work to prevent further spread over the July 4 holiday weekend.

The previous record for a single day was 9,585 cases reported Saturday. Just two weeks ago, the state’s single-day record was 3,207 cases.

The state is now up to 169,106 confirmed cases and 3,617 resident deaths associated with COVID-19, according to the latest data released by the health department.

There were 67 new coronavirus-related deaths reported Thursday morning across the state, including 18 in Miami-Dade County, nine in Broward, 11 in Palm Beach County and one in Monroe.

Dr. Fauci: Coronavirus Was ‘Allowed’ to Perpetuate in the U.S. Because ‘Only About 50 Percent of the Country Locked Down’

Fauci is being pretty generous here. Even a lot of the country that did lockdown, people were doing a half-assed job of social distancing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said the United States is facing a resurgence of the coronavirus because the country didn’t take lockdowns far enough during the first wave of the pandemic.

In remarks to BBC Radio’s “Today” on Thursday, Fauci compared the U.S. and Europe’s attempts to halt the spread of Covid-19. He noted that the U.S. has seen a number of “disturbing spikes” recently, which he connected to efforts throughout the country to start reopening.

Gov. Ducey orders Arizona bars, gyms and theaters closed again; large gatherings restricted

Good job morons. This was so easily predictable. The numbers on Monday are usually lagging a bit so I’ll be curious to see the numbers from FL and TX today.

On April 29, as his statewide stay-at-home order approached its expiration date, Gov. Doug Ducey touted the state’s “hard-fought gains” during the pandemic and promised a careful, gradual reopening.

“It would be irresponsible for me to make decisions to reopen with a chance that I would have to come back because we didn’t have the proper guidance or data and ask people to do this again,” the Republican leader said.

On Monday, he found himself asking just that — at least for bars, gyms, theaters, water parks and inner-tubing. Facing mounting pressure to respond to the ballooning COVID-19 numbers that followed his revised, accelerated reopening plan, he issued an executive order giving those entities until 8 p.m. to shut down.