COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

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DerGolgo
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Location: Potato

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Sat May 23, 2020 2:40 am

Corocalypse Day 73.

I made this, to illustrate how my day began.


Woke up with another visit from the flu-like fairy. Bit of a temperature, extremities and joints hurt. Headache is a given, of course.

Besides that. The situation here in potato.

Radio reported that this year, most of the asparagus will remain unharvested. Despite special dispensation for harvest workers to come in from Eastern Europe, they ain't coming. Apparently, not just Poland reacted in a timely fashion, and they have had better numbers across the EU's cheap-labor-dispensery. So harvest workers are staying at home, for fear of catching the Covid here.
On the initiative of our minister for agriculture, volunteers for harvest work were signed up among university-students. Reports make it sound like unpaid volunteer work. Romanian harvest workers can, afaik, be paid Romanian minimum wage, while just hiring those students would have entailed the German minimum wage.
However, since the unis are spinning back up, these volunteers are no longer available. Those workers who aren't going back to their studies are needed desperately for the strawberry harvest.


Iirc, there have been notable outbreaks among meat-packing-plant workers, both here in potato, and in the US.
And I just realized a scary possibility there.
We all recall the news of domestic cats, dogs, and at least one bloody tiger at a zoo in NY tested positive for the COVID-19 pathogen. These animals were, apparently, all infected by their owners/handlers. Reverse zoonosis.
Among humans, something like 50% of the infected have no symptoms at all.
So. Even if neither cows nor pigs shed a single virus particle through their airways.
They could still have plenty virus particles in their bloodstream. I'm not sure anyone is taking blood samples from livestock. I am fairly sure that, in the meatpacking industry, workers are exposed to the blood and guts of the animals they butcher. The kind of safety to avoid that would make the PPE used in hospitals look like entry-level. After all, in hospitals, they generally try to keep all the tissues, and the blood in particular, inside the patient. While butchers don't.

UPDATE May 24: one of my Facebook friends actually seems involved in the meat-inspection/animal-health racket. Pigs and chickens have been blood-tested for the COVID-19 virus. All negative.
He couldn't, however, locate any such data for cows.


If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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DerGolgo
Zaphod's Zeitgeist
Location: Potato

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Sat May 23, 2020 3:01 pm

Something I had omitted earlier.

When I went to a doctor's appointment yesterday, I came by what is probably the city's biggest bicycle store. Big sidewalk-level showroom, the kind of place where RUBs (fun fact: RUB is also the initials of the university I attended) might lay down 5 grand on a super carbon-fiber and unobtanium bike, which they will never ride to fully exploit the anything. And at the same time, the place were junior gets his first grown-up analog cycle.
When I came by that store yesterday, I was a bit astounded. There were maybe 40 people waiting in line to get in, they had marked safe distances with tape on the ground, they had flipppin' crowd control.

Bicycles are BOOMING.
People are understandably wary of riding public transit. Perhaps they have no car, or they have nowhere to park it where they work. But whichever it is, the pandemic is getting butts on saddles.

Just for perspective. Thursday was a holiday, and yesterday was consequently a "bridge day", so commuter traffic would be a chunk less than normal. While fewer still would commute by public transit simply because their place of work hasn't reopened yet.
But you'd expect some people on a tram on a busy line.
When I was on my way home from a grocery walk (I don't fucking run for fucking anybody) yesterday, I boarded a tram. One of the busiest lines in the city, and I got on at a place where usually many people get on. And these aren't like small trams.
2020-05-23 23_52_40-Datenblatt_Stadler_Variobahn.pdf - Waterfox Classic.png
These trams have a nominal capacity of 184 passengers. 56 seats, including folding seats, and 128 places in standing room, assuming four people per square meter. That's 10.76 square feet, squeezing four people in there would need Japanese platform "assistants", with the gloves and the pushing people onto the train.
Still, I'm sure I've seen and ridden on these trams with at least 130 people aboard.

Yesterday, in rush hour, busiest line, busy stop.
Three.
Three people got on, including me.
Of course, the tram didn't just materialize out of thin air. It has been picking up passengers at earlier stops.
Yeah, sure.
Except it hadn't.
Half the street the tram follows was locked up with traffic jams. Not as bad as pre-pendemic bridge day, but bad enough. People where rushing that hour. Just not on public transit.

One measure that everyone in the biz seems excited about is "pop up cycle lanes". Multi-lane streets loos a lane, that becomes a cycle path as part of the COVID-19 measures. Or a street with only one lane per direction might loose the parking spaces between the lane's edge markings and sidewalk.
An older and a middle aged lady, the latter subsequently having a discussion with the driver, via interocm, which isn't supposed to be used while the tram is moving. She had no ticket, see, and she had planned to buy one from the driver, which hadn'r worked out.

People seem to be groking the idea, and the quick, unbureaucratic manner in which those paths are implemented.
Sure, some dildos who are proud of their performance airfilter and only buying 103 octane gas (yes, know, but that's what it says on the pumps.). They are already crying into their brillcreme, complaining about how they are being punished for driving a car. You know the drill. Yes, that drill.
I mean, FFS. If anybody should be all for more bike friendly cities, it should be that lot, shouldn't it.
You can never get rid of streets and roads. Even if you could get a hover conversion on your DeLorean done over the weekend. There must be a place for your flying car to land, you need streets to turn isolated houses into a neighborhood, and roads that connect that neighborhood to the nearest city.
So if, even before the hover technology becomes available. Every fella on a bike is just about one fewer car on the road. Fewer cars on the road, that's what most enthusiastic cagers want. Finally drive like the TV averts had ever promised. Have the open road (almost) all o themselves. There will be delivery trucks, etc. But those should be automatic, and very safe on the roads, avoiding confrontation as well as possible. Anyone who still drives their own cage is likely an enthusiast, someone worthy of sharing the road with.

I'm drifting in and out of consciousness as I type this. My meds have kicked in, a eaääy sküoädte Godfd nigh.
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If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Thu May 28, 2020 10:30 am

Turns out my recurring flu-like symptoms may be a side effect of one of the many medications I'm on.
And it took my GP three or four attempts to pronounce the potato for "hypersensitivization".

If it was an infection, it was gone yesterday, when the blood sample was taken.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Wed Jun 17, 2020 1:31 pm

Been a while since anything got added here.

Interesting news today.
See, in March, the parliament of Hungary passed a "state of emergency" and "emergency powers" act that's basically a full-on fascist-despot enabling-law. Letting Victor Orban rule Hungary by decree until he drops dead, and possibly beyond that.

Now, that emergency powers act was repealed.

I google around, at least one german source had reported that this vote to repeal the emergency powers act was taken at Orban's own request.
He, or his office, maintains a bunch of extra powers that will let him fuck with the press, and exert special powers of various sorts. But the rule-by-decree he got in March, that ends now. Parliament voted with no abstentions and no votes against that this shit is done. Orban's government still has to officially declare the state of emergency to be over.

Still. Despots giving up their enabling acts. Even just letting the legislature assemble to vote on that. Not the usual stuff.
Orban's party has a 2/3 majority. And they all voted to take back the special powers, so he pretty definitely didn't tell his party buddies to keep the despot-party going.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53062177
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Jaeger
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Jaeger » Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:07 am

Yeah, I noticed this thread went quiet.

Honestly, there are only so many ways to say "this sucks" until it's wearisome. I expect most (all?) of us recognize that the shit isn't over and won't be for quite some time.

I'm glad to see nobody's posted up "yeah, I got it." Closest I've had here is a friend down the road who appears to be past the worst of it but is still recovering from the Plague. It's been close to 3 months she's been dealing with it, I think. She still has chest pain, shortness of breath, headaches, brain fog... not fun.

We are trying to figure out how to deal with this longer term now. I can't keep my kids cooped up and isolated all goddamn summer. I think we're going to try to "quaran-team" with a couple of other local families we trust so the kids aren't completely stuck.

And yes, the political news seems to be overcoming the plague news -- for obvious reasons. That said, the plague hasn't gone away... the same way Flint, MI still doesn't have drinkable water.

--Jaeger
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red
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Thu Jun 18, 2020 7:07 pm

We're about to see another wave due to the reopenings and people becoming lazy with precautions. I still wear a mask, sanitize, and keep the kids home. We're gonna let our oldest sleepover at my mom's place. She's religious about mask wearing and my step father is the lead wrench turner for a Triumph shop so he has minimal contact with humans.

I'll be WFH until December at the earliest, probably spring to be realistic. Sprung for a standing desk to save my poor back.

Had a teammate get infected, was hospitalized for about a week. Plus a local FB motorcycle friend got it. He's an older dude but managed to make it through.

Really curious how they're going to handle school this coming year. Since our youngest is just in preschool, my wife may just keep her home. She's too little too follow precautions reliably.

Weird times man. Stay safe.
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xtian
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by xtian » Thu Jun 18, 2020 10:18 pm

I had an interesting social experience last month. As soon as it was allowed, I took the bike out with a couple of close friends, people I spend my holidays with every year since decades. it was saturday. I was then on medication for some guts problems that echoed something I had two years ago, but cured after a week of strong fevers and pain. We officially didn't have the right to meet, or stop, just ride, so we only stopped twice in discreet places and kept our distance, everything was still closed anyway.
That evening i began to do what I think was an allergic reaction to the medication, and the next morning, I had turned into a bloated purple pizza. mild fever again. I called my doctor on tuesday, he had no clue, so he ordered a covid test, just in case, there was just a test center opening down the street (and free, god damn north korean cubanese socialist oppression) . I told my friends, just to make sure they didn't have any symptoms, and warn them that I had to wait 2 days for my results but that it would surely be ok
That didn't went well. they fucking figuratively locked my outside the mall out there with the zombies. I was flooded with messages treating me like a traitor, a possible menace, like I had endangered them (she had to resume work at her school the next week) by not telling them I had covid, and I should have told them, and they felt betrayed. I told them it was just an extra safety measure, that I didn't have symptoms, there was 0.01% chance that i had it, and even then, another 0.01% chance that I passed it and they should be reasonable, to no avail.
The test turned out negative of course, it only took 8 or 10 days of 22 hours of sleep a day before I turned back to my human appearance, I met my friends for more rides,
but i'm sure the idea of false negative is still on their heads and in mine is how quickly that shit can destroy our social fabric.
I'm not really from around here.

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:59 pm

Things being as they are, my mother has no desire to spend 1½ hours on trains to go deep into the Rhineland, where my sister lives, and my nephew is celebrating his 19th birthday tomorrow. My mum is 80 in August, and apart from going to the cemetery to take care of my father's grave, she only leaves the house to take out the trash or putter about in the garden. She's got neighbors getting groceries for her, etc.

So the idea was that, if my mum felt up to it, she would drive, and I would provide moral support from the passenger seat. Along the Autobahn, which on a weekend is pretty easy going (trucks over 7.5 tons are prohibited on weekends), 45 minutes in the slow lane.
My mother decided she wasn't up for the drive, and I wasn't going to push her.

My problem: y'all have read about the flu-like fairy visiting me one day at a time. And after taking a break for some weeks, it came back at the top of this page (or the last, I don't know, top of page 7, 'bout three weeks ago).
Today, my neurologist and pain therapist suggested that stuff might indicate an immune deficiency. Because I don't have enough fucking problems.

I had to call my nephew. I haven't seen my sister or her family since February, I miss the lot of them, but the plague is the fucking plague, and when a dude with not one but two medical licenses (neurologist and psychiatrist, pain management on top of it all, damn overachiever) suggests I might not have a defense against the plague, that's that.

Because my neurologist/pain-therapist suggested that I should get tested for some things to rule in or out an immune deficiency, I went and hit up my rheumatologist's office, about three minutes on foot from my neurologist's office.

A different problem had been why that rheumatologist had tested me for the everything. Most of which twice in one week, 2nd time was about a week before the most recent occasion of the flu-like fairy farting in my face
Did you know that some people suffer from "cryo antibodies", which are exactly what that sounds like - antibodies to cold. Those things can fuck shit up if you have them and you get a chill. I don't have them, thank goodness.
Getting tested for them was creepy, though
Show
I had to go to a laboratory, no appointment needed. They had special stuff in the "breeder cabinet", and had to take two samples with a very specific interval. The creepy bit was that the lab technician had no idea what all that was about. Only that she had to hurry to get the samples back in the breeder cabinet.
The printout of the test results was one line for each thing that I had been tested for.
Two pages of A4. Narrow margins. 12 pt., single-spaced.
And the only abnormality found therein was a vitamin-D deficiency.
Show
I already take 9 medications spread over 17 pills and "as needed" numbers of liquid opioid drops every day, and now I have to take a vitamin D pill, too.
Once every two weeks, so that's maybe tricky because it's spaced out that far. "20,000 units" per pill, whatever a unit is, and the pill is actually just a tiny little ball, goes down easy. My neurologist suggests I should take it every week come winter. I'm not sure he appreciates how much sunlight I manage to avoid. Vitamin-D values get checked up on September 11.
I had to fill out a fucking Corona-questionnaire just for picking up a printout!

So gonna find out next week whether that remarkably detailed testing my rheumatologist had done included the stuff my neurologist wants tested.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:54 am

So, yesterday.
Started with my quarterly appointment with my pain therapist, then raiding my rheumathologist for my test results, and just handing them in.
Hygienic like crazy (yes, I do dispose the rubber gloves, that's why I'll rarely wear fewer then three on top of one another, so as to always have a clean glove to go to. And if you say that is weird, I must assume your physical form was replaced by a shapeshifter trying to be you, but who obviously doesn't know me.).

And then I spoke to my mother and, subsequently, to my nephew, see above.
And realized I had forgotten to pick up his gift (Netflix voucher, year after year, don't at me).
Nearest source for such: grocery store around the corner.
While there, kept all distances, etc., etc.
Then I as confronted with my smack.

I get home, I put it in a letter to my nephew, and went to the little post franchise across the street. Wearing fresh gloves.

So, you know where this is going, and what happened this morning. 38.2°C (and it really does feel like 311.35 K).




WHICH FUCKING ELDER GOD HAVE I OFFENDED??!!

Image
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

SECO
Magnum Jihad

Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by SECO » Tue Jun 23, 2020 2:04 am

Xtain, dergolgo, feeling for you guys. Hope your practitioners can figure out your ailments.

This covid has definitely screwed things up. In March, my wife and I went to Denver for an overnight, that was just before the Governor locked the State down. In April, the wife's preacher had stayed home sick from services. He then self quarantined, got tested and diagnosed with covid two weeks later, so he had to endure house arrest close to a month.

Once he got the diagnosis, he informed the congregation. By that time (late April), most of the city buildings were closed, my wife being a librarian, was forced to stay home (drove her nuts, she drove me nuts) because they were deemed non-essential. With the remote chance she had been exposed, my supervisor at the powerplant made me stay away from work for a week in early May. We were both asymptomatic.

The news droned on about staying indoors, while saying UV light kills it in less than a minute. I didn't stay in the house, spent a lot of time getting bikes running, working on building my welding truck, different projects out in the glorious sunshine.

Living in a rural area has perks, no Karens to scream at me for working out in my yard/drive.

Kinda nice now that we're able to dine in places now. I'm not a social person, but the not being able to see people from around town was starting to get to me.

My problem is now, I'm pretty sure most everyone around here has had it, and is asymptomatic or had a mild case. I don't want to get tested and have to undergo the 2 week self quarantine waiting for the results, then if positive (even tho my exposure may have been 2 months ago) have another 2 weeks of quarantine. Does that make any sense? I'm not even sure the test is for this particular strain, or for the broader spectrum of Corona viruses/sars.

I do snus, and they say that nicotine blocks the receptors.

Then there's the whole no mask, N95, ok bandanas and buffs are ok fiasco. It's my understanding that it's in micro particles exhaled from the lungs, that hang in the air. The simple act of breathing spreads it, then it hangs in the air. While suspended in the air, it can enter through the eyes and mucous membranes. If it's in micro particles, then simple cloth masks aren't going to cut it, and one needs to wear a low micron respirator (vapor mask), googles and ear muffs to keep it out of mucous/lungs.

IMO, locking the planet down instead of just the vulnerable, has prolonged the time it will be around.

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:05 am

So I spoke to my neurologist today, about the hundreds of test results I had conveyed from my rheumathologist, and about my idiosyncratic symptoms (fever, for one day, one day after shopping excursions).

My neurologist is an over-achiever (has two medical licenses, not counting his specialty qualifications), and was able to deduce from the pile of ostensibly unrelated test results that I may have a significant B12 deficiency.
Which might be so bad, it depresses my immune system, explaining why excursions for provisions are followed by a day of my body fighting something.
It might also be depressing my brain and nervous system, explaining feelings of lethargy. Quite frankly, all but two of the 17pills I'm taking every day (8 meds, spread over 17 pills) have lethargic side-effects, and one of those two is just to keep my stomach acid in check, so I'm skeptical on that front.

But hey. With any luck, this explains it, I get prescription-only B12 megadoses or some such, and will suddenly Hulk out with all that extra anti-lethargy (I will not call it "energy". My studies of engineering and of physics had been doomed to fail, quite frankly, but there is only so far I will debase fundamental concepts of physics. Chemistry, which I also failed out of, sure, debase away, plenty of acids to deal with, but not physics, no).

Before I can set up an appointment, I must be fever-free for three days, and today is day three. Wish me luck.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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red
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:16 am

So, DG, how are you doing?
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Sat Aug 01, 2020 12:43 pm

red wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:16 am
So, DG, how are you doing?
Better, thank you. Has been over a month since my last visit form the flu-like fairy.
Been getting weekly B-12 shots for a month, now I'm gonna get them monthly. Gonna see in ~6 months whether that worked. But so far, it's not looking bad.
Other than that, just the usual.

How's things on your end?
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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red
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Sat Aug 01, 2020 6:26 pm

As a nation, we're still circling the drain but it appears some Republicans are starting to jump ship but who knows what chaos tomorrow will bring.

On a local level, me and the family are doing fine. Not sending our kids back to school because we know that's gonna turn into a terrible shit storm.
Proud Survivor From Thread Hole 64 Campaign
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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:18 am

Went shopping today, as early as I could motivate myself out of my hovel, so as to avoid being outside when temps reach autoignition-temperature for human flesh, and went out into the world of virus spewing infectionmonkeys.

As I had completed my efforts at the grocery store and headed for the exit, I passed an entitled little shithead.
Well, little, he was as tall as I. Entitled tall shithead.
As I went past, he was explaining to a short woman in a dark cloak and hijab why what he was wearing was no less effective than her mask.

He had tied one of those to his face. Yes, crocheted. With the holes.
Image

Evidently, he had already been challenged about it by the aforementioned short woman in the hijab. I considered butting in and explaining to that fucking numbskull that, No, something with holes in does absolutely NOT perform as well as an uninterrupted piece of fabric!
But I'm not packed for jail right now, so I didn't.

Because of the heat, groceries what needed getting in the fridge, and my own noia* about assholes who still won't wear a mask on public transit, or can't comprehend that only mouthbreathers get to pull it down far enough to uncover the nose, I called a cab (Uber=illegal here).
While waiting, the asshole passed by while returning his shopping cart, his fucking tea-coaster or whatever you call that, pulled down under his chin. Obviously, he didn't even try to keep socially distant and casually went by at a quarter of the recommended safe distance.
Once more, I considered challenging him, but as red as the hawaii-shirt I was wearing is, getting blood out of polyester is a bitch.

I'm not even gonna ask what is wrong with entitled little, or entitled tall, shitheads like that.
I just wish someone distributes super-effective, easy-breathing masks, which also protect against CS spray.
And that using said spray on other people for no provocation was decriminalized, and perhaps even encouraged.

*I no longer associated with paranoid lifestyles, I have gone to legit noid, hence my experience of noia.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Pintgudge » Fri Aug 07, 2020 3:14 pm

Even if you explain that what they are doing is exactly the same as cutting the tip off of their condom, they still would not understand. The understanding for them is impossible.
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:25 am

So fucking over stupid Americans.

Selfish motherfuckers can't wear a mask for 5 fucking minutes. At this rate, this virus will NEVER go away.

If I could get a job in Australia right now, I'd be outta here. Fucking over these assholes...

/rant
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red
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 pm

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:25 am
So fucking over stupid Americans.

Selfish motherfuckers can't wear a mask for 5 fucking minutes. At this rate, this virus will NEVER go away.

If I could get a job in Australia right now, I'd be outta here. Fucking over these assholes...

/rant
We're a bunch of plague rats on a sinking ship. Can't fly anywhere, can't cross the border (legally). I'm waiting on the UN to build a wall around us and call it done. I mean for fucksake, what the hell happened? I know racism, white supremacists and all that shit have always been here, but have people always been this fucking stupid? Fuck.
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Jaeger
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Jaeger » Tue Aug 11, 2020 5:55 am

red wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 pm
...I mean for fucksake, what the hell happened? I know racism, white supremacists and all that shit have always been here, but have people always been this fucking stupid? Fuck.
I suppose the short answer is "yes."

I've been wondering the same thing too. I mean, I saw enough old-school bigots growing up in the '70s and '80s to understand what that was and that it existed, but since then it's seemed relatively civilized -- at least from my (White, middle-class, Mid-Atlantic I-95) perspective.

I'd thought we as a country had moved past the deep-seated virulent reflexive racism of my grandparents and their generation. Apparently not.

I tried for years to believe that the opposition to Obama was not racially driven... but at this point I can't help but believe that yes, a whole lot of folks collectively lost their shit because a Black guy was in the White House.

Now, with Jackass at the helm, all that pent-up rage is spilling out.

And yeah, nowhere else to go. :(

--Jaeger
Bigshankhank wrote:The world is a fucking wreck, but there is still sunshine in some places. Go outside and look for it.
<<NEUTIQUAM ERRO>>
2018 Indian Scout -- "Lilah"

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DerGolgo
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:04 am

red wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 pm
...but have people always been this fucking stupid? Fuck.
Well, when the "Spanish" Flu was going around, someone didn't want to cancel a parade to raise money for the war effort.

Stupid isn't anything new, not over there, nor over here. Stupid is a feature of Human™. Mistakes seem to be the only way we learn, but that learning effect fades away. I think the speed of this fading is possibly increasing, proportionally to how quickly we can access information, are exposed to new information, all the good stuff of modern communications.

Once, the speed at which any lesson society learned at great cost disappeared was probably measured in generations. Lacking other attention-consumers, or dedicated education to the degree we see today, people would learn from what their parents told them. Parents would pass along anything they had seen throughout their life, and possibly a bit of what their parents had told them.
Once, news spread from village to village and town to town by people roaming around, and singing about the latest events. No written material to deal with, people had a prodigious memory, and according to James Burke, could often repeat a song, word for word, after just hearing it once.
There just wasn't that much stuff, so anything that there was, it got relatively more prominent. Some really important stuff became "folk wisdom" or birthed traditions, the purpose/reason behind which might get lost to history. The specifics, meanwhile, a generation or two, I'm sure.

Then came enlightenment, and finally the Victorian era. When anything seemed possible. A message could be sent around the globe within hours, by telegraph, newspapers let a whole population learn about distant events within a day, and a lot of "old ideas" were disregarded just for being old ideas.
But the limitation to how much information a person might be confronted with remained the same for quite a while. A century ago, news traveled from one major city to another with the same speed it had for decades, "Marconi's" wireless only sped up how fast news from isolated places might get to the dissemination hubs. Broadcast radio, or newsreels I believe, none of those had been a thing yet.
So the lesson learned dearly in 1918, I'm sure it lasted at least until those who had been young at the time reached old age. That is, until the people making the decisions stopped doing that, and a new generation came in making the decisions.

These days, the volume of stuff that might distract us is no longer limited by the bottleneck of technology, but by the bottleneck of human perception and information processing. I hope that, until direct brain/machine interfaces are developed, the speed at which lessons learned fade from public memory plateaus (yeah, fat chance).

But ffs, it's not just that we forget lessons our parents and their parents etc. paid dearly to learn.
It's that people straight up invent shit, make up what they think the facts should be, and are sincerely convinced that reality should bend around that.
For decades, many sides in many disputes have presented what are today called "alternative facts" (that term is so fucking filthy, I feel dirty just typing it), or interpretations and priorities that anyone bothered about debate culture would call "motivated reasoning". The facts were made to fit what someone wanted to do, not the other way around.
This has trickled down to the point that I really mean it when I say people seem sincerely convinced that reality should fit their ideas.
So they are not just ignoring lessons learned by previous generations, they are not just ignoring lessons they themselves learned. They seem incapable of comprehending that a lesson really is something one learns from what happens, rather than something invented to fit their wishes.

Hannah Arendt, besides being a massive racist (not kidding, clicky) was shortsighted.
At least I was sure it was she who said said (paraphrasing): "In a democracy, ideology conforms to reality. Under tyranny, reality conforms to ideology."
I can't even put into words what I fear. But it's not just democracy, or freedom, vs. tyranny, and it's not just ideology that reality is forced to conform to.
The internet has not just opened access to basically the sum of human knowledge for everyone, it has also given everyone access to mass dissemination of information. Stuff that, in the past, some crank would just mutter to himself sitting in the corner of the bar, today, that shit goes viral with anyone who'd prefer to believe some convenient fiction. And it seems an uncomfortable number of people is no longer capable of even conceiving that that approach, believing entirely on personal preference, including peer pressure, does not give them an accurate picture of the world they really do live in.
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:22 am

DerGolgo wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:04 am
red wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 pm
...but have people always been this fucking stupid? Fuck.
The internet has not just opened access to basically the sum of human knowledge for everyone, it has also given everyone access to mass dissemination of information. Stuff that, in the past, some crank would just mutter to himself sitting in the corner of the bar, today, that shit goes viral with anyone who'd prefer to believe some convenient fiction. And it seems an uncomfortable number of people is no longer capable of even conceiving that that approach, believing entirely on personal preference, including peer pressure, does not give them an accurate picture of the world they really do live in.
This. This is it, along with the demonization of educators and educated people in general, and the rise in religious fundamentalists. We could be out colonizing space by now, but these fuckers are ruining it for everyone.
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:23 am

red wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:22 am
This. This is it, along with the demonization of educators and educated people in general, and the rise in religious fundamentalists. We could be out colonizing space by now, but these fuckers are ruining it for everyone.
Anti-intellectualism has ever been popular with tyrants.
It's easy to convince people that someone who is smarter than them "thinks he's smarter than" them. Someone with an education, even if they don't have any superior processing power in their brainbox, just has more tools to assess a situation and, in a conversation, will use them to justify their opinion, or why another's opinion is based on flawed or bad assumptions.

Fucking Hollywood has been feeding this for decades and decades. The smartypants with his fancy schooling is easily mocked or portrayed as the bad guy, who doesn't know real people.
That one is really dang popular, isn't it, knowing/being real people. Such an easy division to create. With decades of Hollywood showing us elitists telling real people how to live their lives. Populists love that one. Have ever done, and people have ever been falling for it.
Some jackass declaring that he is on the side of the working man, or some such bullshit, and that his opponents obviously aren't. What I find fascinating is that this seems particularly popular with politicians etc. trying to convince poor and exploited people that the guys proposing to implement social programs, labor protections, and better wages, are arrogant elitists, while the guy paid for by the businesses exploiting them and sucking money out of the taxpayer's kitty, and often the people running those businesses themselves, are somehow on their side. Because they know the concerns of real people.

When I made the misstep of informing a fat-shaming shitbird that he wasn't talking about caricatures, but real human beings suffering, I was myself told that I don't know real people and don't know suffering.
I have the impression that this is the flag under which people rally who feel that they are being ignored/disregarded by the powers that be. It let's them claim the high ground, without challenging any preconceptions or requiring self reflections, like most progressive ideologies do.
To the point that pointing to a medical degree as justification for why someone should make a prescriptions seems to be considered elitist and illegitimate.

And when it comes to making shit up that someone prefers to real facts, I have the impression it's not even just the cranks who used to be ignored in public. I fear that many people will (if subconsciously) compete to come up with the most satisfying fiction, the one that best feeds their personal preferences, and the preferences of their peer group.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:52 pm

red wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:20 pm
motorpsycho67 wrote:
Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:25 am
So fucking over stupid Americans.

Selfish motherfuckers can't wear a mask for 5 fucking minutes. At this rate, this virus will NEVER go away.

If I could get a job in Australia right now, I'd be outta here. Fucking over these assholes...

/rant
We're a bunch of plague rats on a sinking ship. Can't fly anywhere, can't cross the border (legally). I'm waiting on the UN to build a wall around us and call it done. I mean for fucksake, what the hell happened? I know racism, white supremacists and all that shit have always been here, but have people always been this fucking stupid? Fuck.

Yeah, they've always been here.... but Trump has let them know that it's okay to be openly racist and live out their racist fantasies.

Those racists are THAT stupid. Anti mask, anti brown skin, selfish motherfuckers.

And many of them are sworn to protect and serve.

I'm fucking sick of these racist fucks.

If he gets reelected, I'm moving to Australia.

This isn't the America I grew up in.
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:20 am

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:52 pm

If he gets reelected, I'm moving to Australia.

This isn't the America I grew up in.
I don't think it's an "if he gets reelected", probably more like when he gets reelected; or "if we have elections".
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by motorpsycho67 » Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:33 pm

red wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:20 am


I don't think it's an "if he gets reelected", probably more like when he gets reelected; or "if we have elections".

Based on?
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by red » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:24 am

motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:33 pm
red wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:20 am


I don't think it's an "if he gets reelected", probably more like when he gets reelected; or "if we have elections".

Based on?
My own paranoia but also comments around delaying the election (regardless of the legality), decrease in polling locations for some areas, difficulty finding poll workers, the push against mail in ballots.; as well as the chance for more "protest votes" because of the choices.

Don't take my worries for apathy. I want this place to get better and progress, not degrade into a failing dictatorship.
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:39 am

Threadjack re Trump and the next election
Show
red wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:24 am
motorpsycho67 wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 4:33 pm
red wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:24 am
I don't think it's an "if he gets reelected", probably more like when he gets reelected; or "if we have elections".
Based on?
My own paranoia but also comments around delaying the election (regardless of the legality), decrease in polling locations for some areas, difficulty finding poll workers, the push against mail in ballots.; as well as the chance for more "protest votes" because of the choices.

Don't take my worries for apathy. I want this place to get better and progress, not degrade into a failing dictatorship.
This here is a scary article on the subject matter.
https://theintercept.com/2020/08/11/tru ... 5dYemAj7L8
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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Jaeger » Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:51 am

I'm pretty puckered up about the election too. Personally, unless I'm down with the 'Vid myself, I'll be hauling my ass over to vote come hell or high water, even if I have to wear full fucking PPE.

The pundits/smart guys I've heard talking say the danger is less about the election itself than with the weeks between the election and the electoral college vote. Jackass doesn't have the authority to call off or postpone the election, and even The Turtle has said "we're going to have the election as planned."

Regardless, I'm worried about rat fuckery too. As others have said, Jackass is sewing the seeds of doubt already. No matter who wins the election, at least 20% of the overall population is going to blow a gasket shortly after the election.

As for Jackass refusing to leave... I've talked to some well-placed folks who've reassured me that increasingly the folks at the Pentagon and the guys in funny green uniforms are NOT HAPPY with Jackass. That whole thing with Jackass threatening to send in the military didn't go over well, especially with the officers. All the military swear to uphold the Constitution, not the president.

Notice that Jackass sent DHS to Portland, et al, not DOD. It's DHS and that wing of the armed government that makes me really worried. They're not subject to the same restrictions as DOD (i.e., can't work against civilians) and they have most if not all of DOD's hardware.

Nevertheless, I can see where things could get... awkward. Believe me, given my location right next to DC (and living in the middle of Spookville), I'm not anxious to have the excrement start to fly.

I didn't sign up for this shit, and I certainly didn't sign my kids up for it.

Ugly and interesting times, gents (& ladies).

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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by DerGolgo » Thu Aug 13, 2020 11:37 am

Jaeger wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:51 am
Notice that Jackass sent DHS to Portland, et al, not DOD. It's DHS and that wing of the armed government that makes me really worried. They're not subject to the same restrictions as DOD (i.e., can't work against civilians) and they have most if not all of DOD's hardware.
I remember the early 90s. The soviet bloc breaking up, revolutions, putsches, civil wars, even in non-aligned states.
One phrase that had stuck in my mind was "troops of the interior ministry". In most countries, the phrase interior ministry or ministry of the interior indicating the arm of government in charge of domestic law enforcement, often domestic spy agencies, secret police, the works.

I had not expected I would be seeing that shit in the US. You call it DOJ, but same thing.
When I hear that people at the Pentagon won't sit back and watch the orange menace ripping apart your democracy, on the one hand, that sounds reassuring.
On the other hand. Your law enforcement has spent the past few decades stocking up on military hardware. I doubt they have Predator drones, much air support in general. That is to say, I do think that your DOD, should the stool hit the spinning thing, will be able to defeat whatever paramilitary force the DOJ can mobilize, and any citizen militias that join in for the boogaloo.

But you would still be looking at a conflict with "brother against brother" stuff, and many people maimed or killed for basically showing up to work. Sure, one might question why the people at DHS don't quit their job with what is going on. But grunts aren't lawyers, and I'm sure most of them won't actually, personally, have gotten an obviously illegal order. Besides our tragic human instinct to stand at the side of whoever is our "brother in arms".

And there would be civilian casualties. Many civilian casualties. And not just assholes in plate carriers two sizes too small, or people who just get in the way.
This sort of shit is what a bad actor uses as a deterrent. Not at all if we fight I kill you.
But if we fight, the people you care about will die in the crossfire, and there is fuck all you can do about it.
People at the Pentagon might wish to put an end to whatever tyrannical shit the orange menace tries to pull.
But when they are confronted with threat of inevitable collateral damage. They might chose not to give the order. They might want to seek a peaceful solution.

Which, usually, is preferable.
But in this scenario, the peaceful solution would have to involve the orange menace, or someone from his cabal, maintaining an illegal hold on power. Or that write-in ballots must be disregarded. Or that the electoral college must be suspended. Some kind of crap that's dangerously close to the eternal sunshine of unelected rule that some people seem to be eager to get.

Meanwhile, if military conflict breaks out. Besides the assholes that are ruining Hawaiian shirts for the rest of us.
People who don't pay a lot of attention (read: most anyone ever) will only see troops in the streets on CNN, or worse, on Faux news. Even when those troops are the paramilitary forces of the DOJ, they will only see troops. They will start screaming about possum communists.
And they will blame the military. They will side with whoever is against troops in the streets.

Which, obviously, must be the civilian authorities. AKA DOJ.
Their troops are who they've seen on TV? But they are here to protect us from... I don't think anyone needs examples of the five hundred rationalizations that someone incapable of comprehending the importance of separation of powers, or of separation of church and state, can come up with between reading a tweet and angrily retweeting how whoever I disagree with is personally behind it all.

Unless there is extensive and very visible disobedience and desertion among the DOJ troops, unless many entities of state and federal executive, unless the media and the operators of social media stand up for what is right, rather than for the political right, that threat-scenario the aforementioned bad actors so enjoy seems dreadfully plausible.
Obviously, Faux News will refer to the Posse Comitatus Act at least thrice every ten minutes, and will suggest to their viewers that it's actually enshrined in the constitution and hence an inviolable sacrament (like the 2nd, but unlike all the others, none of which belong in there to begin with and should be ignored), rather than being a rather pedestrian law passed over a century after the constitution was ratified.
I could see a curious conflict, in that many US states maintain the legal provisions for law enforcement to raise posses.
Will those be on the side of the orange menace? With supporters wailing about state's rights?
Or will law enforcement officers in, say, Georgia raise posses specifically to protect the state/nation/citizens from the overreaching/putschist DOJ forces?

Regardless of how it plays out.
From what I see, the fashisti-adjacent are doing their best to make voting as difficult as possible for anyone who isn't firmly in the camp of orange menace, they seem to be succeeding in outright excluding voters from exercising their democratic rights, they are doing their best to de-legitimize the kind of write-in ballots that the orange menace himself apparently has used many times, they seem to be doing what they can de-legitimize the entire election, should it not go their way.
Even if there is an election in November. From over here, it already looks tainted.
If there were absolutely anything to be afraid of, don't you think I would have worn pants?

I said I have a big stick.

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Re: COVID-19 AND INTERESTING TIMES

Post by Bo_9 » Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:31 pm

I think what you all are saying is that the US is tipping over a pivot that once past level may be impossible to push back over.
That is what I see from here in middle 'mericuh. Don't like it, but under the guise of Covid related layoffs the place I work seems to have culled anyone openly not of the predominate mindset so I won't be vocal and risk losing my family's precious insurance. Seems that the US is just so very effed and it seems that the uneducated majority is just fine with that. We have a generation now that has never seen "real" poverty and strife. I know what it's like to know that "this is all the food we have to survive for the next two weeks", luckily we lived in an area where we could just go kill something to eat. I really don't want my kids to finish growing up in the US that this could be becoming. I am truly looking at relocating globally if the next election goes weird because at that point the masses have screamed that they approve of this idiocy. I'm really about to give up and bail if possible.
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