Sunday, March 29, 2020

The Truth about Trump

I think it’s important that we understand the truth, especially come November when it’s time to vote. Forgive the length. But, hey we all have time on our hands to read, right? 

In December 2013, an 18-month-old boy in Guinea was bitten by a bat. Then there were five more fatal cases. When Ebola spread out of the Guinea borders into neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone in July 2014, President Obama activated the Emergency Operations Center at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

The CDC immediately deployed CDC personnel to West Africa to coordinate a response that included vector tracing, testing, education, logistics and communication. Altogether, the CDC, under President Obama, trained 24,655 medical workers in West Africa, educating them on how to prevent and control the disease before a single case left Africa or reached the U.S. 

Working with the U.N. and the World Health Organization President Obama ordered the re-routing of travelers heading to the U.S. through certain specific airports equipped to handle mass testing. Back home in America, more than 6,500 people were trained through mock outbreaks and practice scenarios. That was done before a single case hit America. Three months after President Obama activated this unprecedented response, on September 30, 2014, we got our first case in the U.S.. That man had traveled from West Africa to Dallas, Texas and had somehow slipped through the testing protocol. He was immediately detected and isolated. He died a week later. Two nurses who tended to him contracted Ebola and later recovered. All the protocols had worked. It was contained. 

The Ebola epidemic could have easily become a pandemic. But thanks to the actions of our government under Obama, it never did. Those three cases were the ONLY cases of ebola in our country because Obama did what needed to be done three months before the first case. Ebola is even more contagious than Covid-19. If he Obama not done these things, millions of Americans would have died awful painful deaths like something out of a horror movie (if you’ve ever seen how Ebola kills, it’s horrific).

 It’s ironic that BECAUSE President Obama did these things - we forget that he did them, because the disease never reached our shores.

 Now the story of Covid 19 and Trump’s response that we know about so far: Before anyone even knew about the disease (even in China) Trump disbanded the pandemic response team that Obama had put in place. He cut funding to the CDC. And he cut our contribution to the World Health Organization (WHO). Trump fired Rear Admiral Timothy Ziemer, the person on the National Security Council in charge of stopping the spread of infectious diseases before they reach our country - a position created by the Obama administration.

 When the Outbreak started in China, Trump assumed it was China’s problem and sent no research, supplies or help of any kind. We were in a trade war, why should he help them?

 In January he received a briefing from our intelligence organizations that the outbreak was much worse than China was admitting and that it would definitely hit our country if something wasn’t done to prevent it. He ignored the report, not trusting our own intelligence. 

When the disease spread to Europe, the World Health Organization offered a boatload of tests to the United States. Trump turned them down, saying private companies here would make the tests “better” if we needed them. But he never ordered U.S. companies to make tests and they had no profit motive to do so on their own.

According to scientists at Yale and several public university medical schools, when they asked for permission to start working on our own testing protocol and potential treatments or vaccines, they were denied by Trump’s FDA. When Trump knew about the first case in the United States he did nothing.

It was just one case and the patient was isolated. When doctors and scientists started screaming in the media that this was a mistake, Trump claimed it was a “liberal hoax” conjured up to try to make him “look bad after impeachment failed.” The next time Trump spoke of Covid-19, we had 64 confirmed cases but Trump went before microphones and told the America public that we only had 15 cases “and pretty soon that number will be close to zero.” All while the disease was spreading. He took no action to get more tests. What Trump did do is stop flights from China from coming here. 

This was too late and accomplished nothing according to scientists and doctors. By then the disease was worldwide and was already spreading exponentially in the U.S. by Americans, not Chinese people as Trump would like you to believe.

 By the morning of March 22, 2020, we have 15,220 CONFIRMED CASES in the U.S. The actual number is undoubtedly much higher. But we don’t know because we don’t have enough tests. Why don’t we have enough tests?

Remember back when Trump turned down the tests from the W.H.O. and prevented our own universities from developing them? Remember back when Trump had cut the funding to the CDC? Every time Mr. Trump goes on camera and blames the previous administration for the mess we are now in, I scream at the reporters from FOX, CNN and MSNBC - “Why aren’t you reporting the actual historical facts?!” How dare Trump try to blame Covid-19 on Obama. He has no one to blame but himself.

 I hear Republican pundits try to put the blame on China. And they are correct - after all, the disease started there. And the Chinese government handled it poorly and dishonestly. So it’s fair to blame the government of China for the EXISTENCE of the Covid-19 virus. 


Obama didn’t blame Ebola on Guinea. He helped them stop it. Trump let the disease invade the U.S. And he is still not doing all he could to save lives.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

newspaper clippings about Allman Brothers

thought these were fun to read. no particular order.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

A drive in the country

Today I took a short drive out into the farm country. I live in the suburbs in Minneapolis, and in a mere 8 miles to the west, you will find yourself surrounded by farms houses and fields.

I grew up in a small town of about 800. I lived on the edge of town, near a small farm, and my father's  job was spent supporting farmers with their fuel and chemical needs. I not lived in a small town since 1980, so it is somewhat of a treat for me go go back into the country, park the car and just listen to the sound of the wind and the noises of a farm. I also notice the many smells that can overpower a person not used to it quickly. You got used to that, and it became just part of the landscape of your life.

This kind of place is where I started out with so many years ago. I did not want to stay - that was certain, and moved to the Twin Cities within a few years after leaving. What I miss about the small town is the fact that people know you. I am a faceless person in the suburbs. I rarely ever see someone I know at Target, or any other store. I hardly know most of the people who live in the neighborhood.

I did not realize how nice it was to grow up in a place where you knew many of the people around you. I never really appreciated it until recently, as I have gone back many times to meet relatives for research on the family tree, for reunions, and sadly, the funerals of my parents.

Here are a few picture of the country just to the west of us. It is not where I grew up, but it the same in spirit.

Monday, October 24, 2016

A beautiful fall day in the woods

Today was one of the most calm and beautiful fall days I have seen.  It was a perfect day for a walk in the woods.

I have been doing many walks in the woods with my camera the last month. I lost my job of over 14 years a month ago, and in those times when I need to get away from my computer, I take my Nikon and head out into nearby parks and woods. I am lucky to live near so many great places to go, including right behind our house.  

As I walk through the woods today, surrounded by the colorful leaves and chirping birds, I started to think about all that has happened in the last few years  My beloved cat passing, then my mom going through health problems and passing away last May, health scares to family close to me, and now my job loss.

Then I came upon this scene of the sun coming through the trees. My lens didn't work right so it is blurry, but here is the photo regardless. The camera can't capture how beautiful it was. It was a moment where I thought that I need to be thankful that my family is healthy and happy, and that I can't forget to look at all of the great things around me. While the stress of unemployment is not easy, it is not the end of the world, and I have skills that are needed. It just takes time.

I also use my walks in the woods to talk to my parents, who have both passed on.  I am not a spiritual person, but I like to think that maybe they are around me in some form. My mom loved nature, particularly butterflies, She was always picking things up and making crafts out of them. My dad liked to hunt, but I think he just liked being outside as he never really shot anything.

I know there are so many of us out there looking for the next chapter in our professional lives.  It will happen. I am looking forward to where my professional walk takes me.


Saturday, October 8, 2016

My passion for photography

This past year I have gotten back into nature photography in a big way. I used to do this many years ago when I used Kodachrome. With digital photography, I can take as many as I want, and in the process, hope that I get at least one or two that are good.

The past two years have been tough ones for me. The loss of my mother, health scares, and now the loss of my job a few weeks ago. Getting out with my camera is the one thing I can do to relieve the stress and feel like I am accomplishing something. It has woken up something inside of me that has long been dormant.

I don't have the best camera or lenses, but I make do with what I have.  It works for me. Sometimes I don't even get a good photo. I missed the shot, or it is blurry or not properly exposed.  But that is ok. It is just the thrill of getting outside and taking a long walk that is important. Along the way I have discovered the beauty of a bee closeup on a flower, a bird in a tree, or a wildflower off the beaten path.

Cameras are Nikon D5100 and D60, with Tamron zoom lens with marco and Nikon 50mm with close up filters.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Frida Kahlo

I was recently watching a video about the Blue House in Mexico City, where Frida Kahlo lived her life and where she died. I knew very little about her, mostly from the movie "Frida." Her paintings did not do much for me until I read about the pain she suffered from her injuries in an accident.  Now I understand why she painted the way she did.

On September 17, 1925, Kahlo was on her way home from school when the wooden bus she was riding collided with a streetcar. Several people were killed, and Kahlo suffered nearly fatal injuries--an iron handrail impaled her through her pelvis, fracturing the bone, and she also fractured several ribs, her legs, and a collarbone.

The accident ended Kahlo's dreams of becoming a doctor, and she experienced pain and illness for the rest of her life. To occupy herself during her recovery, she began to paint with the aid of a special easel that made it possible for her to paint in bed, and a mirror that was placed above her so that she could see herself.

Kahlo once said, "I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best." 

I am somewhat fascinated with her now.  She seemed way ahead of her time.

The artwork below was what made me look into Frida.  It is from Zen Pencils, and is about accepting who you are and being proud of what makes you different. Click here to view

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Allman Brothers Band newspapers from 1970s

Here are a few fun things from newspapers around the US when Duane Allman was still alive. and a few pictures I found that were new to me.

July 1971
May 1, 1970