The Stock Market

There was a 2,000 point dip in the stock market (yeah, that’s a fun dip, innit) earlier this week. President Trump was quick to step forward with his insights.

“I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage, making fools out of themselves, and they say, ‘If we ever have a president like this,’” Trump said, referring to the most recent Democratic presidential debate held in South Carolina. “When they look at the statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, I think that has a huge effect.”

h/t to Vox.com

Trump made those comments on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020. The Democratic debate was the previous night. As others pointed out, the stock market posted their losses and closed on Monday and Tuesday before the debate.

Let’s ignore that the debate happened after the losses. Trump seems to have a poor view of people trading on the stock exchange. He’s essentially suggesting that they’re so ignorant and weak-willed that a debate between the Democratic candidates to be POTUS would worry those traders and send stocks plunging.

The second aspect of it is that he’s discounting his own ability to affect the stock market. He’s in charge, but he thinks this debate between candidates to be the nominee has greater influence than him.

Wow. Talk about a lack of confidence, and high levels of desperation.

What most analysts (and non-analysts) believe is that the spreading coronavirus is affecting supply chains, travel, and productivity. They worry that a spreading virus (here’s a nifty site where you can track it) and the threat of greater quarantines and less travel will affect companies’ profitability. They base this on companies like Apple and Pepsico already warning that the coronavirus is negatively affecting their earnings, that they’re playing soccer games in empty stadiums in Italy, that the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo is in danger of being cancelled, and that Delta Airline slashed flights to and from South Korea this week. With travel down, tourism will drop. So will consumer spending. It’s all connected.

President Trump doesn’t believe any of that, of course. He’d rather escape responsibility for anything bad that happens while he’s POTUS. So much easier to blame others.

It doesn’t bode well for the future, does it?

 

 

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

Looked out the window and saw a sun-drenched landscape showing evidence of spring  under a powerful blue sky. “I Gotta Feeling” (Black Eyed Peas, 2009) roared into the stream.

Yeah, I gotta feeling that today’s gonna be a good day. Sure, more folks are worrying about the coronavirus and the U.S. response to it. Of course the DOW doesn’t like what the virus is doing to supply chains and profits. That’s sinking stocks and pension plans.

Naturally, many are worrying about the upcoming elections in the U.S. Or they’re fuming about Trump attacking a juror or his attacks on Supreme Court justices.

Others are worried about climate change, rising sea waters, stripped environmental protections, and safe drinking water. Ongoing hostilities in other countries will sober you up with a sigh, too, as you peruse the news of death, destruction, and displacement.

More locally, racism and sexism flare up in numbers as disturbing as the coronavirus spread.

Yes, I worry about these things. But strip it all down to the bare metal of my existence, and the tiny piece of me that I can do much about, and my life, and I gotta feeling, today’s gonna be a good day, despite news to the contrary.

 

The Smells

Once again, we’re faced with some lies being spread. This time, it’s being claimed that Bernie Sanders said that he thinks black people smell.

First, WTF is off with our society that we carry the whole smell thing so far? We’re so aghast at gas from a fart, appalled by BO, etc.

Bad smells coming from somebody can be signs of things gone wrong, like emotional problems, economic strife, and health issues. Besides, as others have noted, everybody farts; everyone has odors. Eating black beans (which I love, damn it) (and pinto beans) will guarantee that I’ll fart. So will grapes (which I also love).

One lowpoint in my military career came about because of another’s body odor. A large white man working in another section and suffered from excessive sweating, which carried a pungent odor.

He came to me one day asking for advice, explaining his problem and breaking down in tears as he did. He’d been dealing with this, and with the taunting and bullying and looks that came with it, since he was a child. While talking with him about the multiple possible causes, I referred him to medical assistance. He’d already been there, of course.

The young officer who supervised him visited me a few weeks later, asking about the same problem. I pointed out at that time that the issue wasn’t really that the man had a sweating and odor problem, but that we had a problem dealing with it. I wasn’t forceful enough, though, looking back.

(Of course, our whole thing about smell is probably a defense mechanism carried to an extreme; smelling foulness off of another probably harkens back to diseases and are encoded in us.) (That’s just my speculation.)

Second, no one group smells more or less than another.

I’ve been with a number of races. None seems to smell better or worse than another to me. Nor can I declare that one sex or one political group or religion smells better or worse than another, as a group. It’s an individual thing. I, a white man who sweats often (and farts after eating certain foods) and walks several miles a day, can be the odor in the room, despite regular showers, clean clothes (well, they were clean when I put them on),  decent health, and deodorant. Deal with it.

Third, Bernie Sanders never said that he thought black people smell. The race card is being played, once again, and it’s a lie, once again.

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Preparing to depart the coffee shop yesterday, I bused my table. Looking into the roasting room, I saw one of the Noble employees back there. My jaw dropped.

He’s a spitting image of Chuck Negron of Three Dog Night back in the late 1960s.

640px-Three_Dog_Night_1969

Negron, Wells and Hutton of Three Dog Night in 1969

Thinking about that as I walked the town, I went through a few TDN songs – “Eli’s Coming”, “One”, “Joy to the World”, “Mama Told Me Not To come”, and “Liar”. The song that arrived to stay in the stream was one where Negron was the featured lead vocalist. That would be TDG’s cover of “Easy to Be Hard” from Hair.

Not only was it fittin’ to have Negron, the secret coffee roaster (maybe he cloned himself) singin’ a song, but the song whose lyrics fit these times of rollbacks in how we treat one another to the point of open hostility and cruelty.

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold

How can people have no feelings
How can they ignore their friends
Easy to be proud
Easy to say no

Especially people who care about strangers
Who care about evil and social injustice
Do you only care about the bleeding crowd
How about a needy friend
I need a friend

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Cheers

Love the bumper stickers in the video.

Friday’s Theme Music

Yeah, another song that seems like a remnant from the dreamscape that’s slipped through the filters between the worlds and ended up in the stream of my consciousness.

“Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin'” by Journey has an entertaining hard-rock bluesiness to it, delivered by the beat and that piano playing. The lyrics are based on a true story experienced by Steve Perry, according to memory, which claims it heard that factoid on American Top 40 whilst stationed at Randolph AFB, Texas in 1979. Drove a lovely Pontiac Firebird then, which we’d just purchased new. I was back in the military after a year’s break. Owned a restaurant and attended college during that break, but that’s another story.  Big news of that year is that the Shah of Iran, the end of the Iranian Monarchy, and the Iranian hostage crises. Jimmy Carter was POTUS. Remember any of that? Seems like a million years ago.

As for the dream? Ah, that’s another tale. It needs thought about more to be writ about.

Like Steve Perry’s leather pants?

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Walkin’ yesterday, post writing session (which wasn’t an overly great session), my stream introduced a Traveling Wilburys song to my mind.

The writing session had been a lethargic affair, brief spurts of reading bridged by long periods of pensive thinking. Two thirds of the way through it, I noticed that the folks on either side of me had low energy as they pursued their ‘puter biziness, yawning, sighing, stretching. So I think it was a low-key energy tide affecting me and others.

Dream speculations occupied me afterward as I thought about a new recent trend in my dreams. Then came the song, “Heading for the Light” (1988) by The Traveling Wilburys.

I enjoyed the Wilburys album. It was released while I was still stationed and living in Germany. This was before the wall fell. Five talented individuals – Harrison, Petty, Dylan, Lynne, and Orbison — with well-established careers came together to record a song. One song led to an album. One album led to two, but death — Orbison’s — curtailed further activity. Harrison and Petty have since followed him. Only two Wilburys remain.

This song, unlike most Wilburys songs, has a hugely distinctive Harrison/Lynne sound to it. Not surprising, as they were the producers. But the lyrics, a look back at where a person has been, how they changed it around, and where they’re going now, was perfect for the moment, then and now.

The song hung around in the stream, and is there today, where there’s little light permeating the soft rain clouds. That makes it a nominee for today’s theme music.

Floofcists

Floofcists (floofinition) – An advocate or follower of the floofcism political philosophy or system.

In use: “Gaining more popularity, floofcists often protest that they’re misunderstood, insisting that their beliefs that animals deserve a seat at the same table of deliberations as humans isn’t just about what’s being eaten.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Just from the line, “Don’t look back in anger, I heard you say, at least no today,” I began streaming Oasis and “Don’t Look Back in Anger” (1996). I like the song but some of the rhymes don’t make sense. It’s like several different stories and perspectives are being shared, and none are finished.

But to not look back in anger is my takeaway for today.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I’ve always liked this song. While a powerful declaration, it features a strong beat, and the special voice and style of Aretha Franklin. Annie Lennox’s voice is good as well, and Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and the guitarist on “Boys of Summer”) sits in.

Why “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” (1986), The Eurythmics with Aretha Franklin,  is running the stream today is beyond me. Dream material? Suppose so; it was a busy dream night (too much to write down today).

It’s a good sentiment, though, for any sex or race, orientation or gender; do it for yourself. Don’t let yourself be labeled and stuck in a silo of expectations and stereotypes. Stand on your own two feet and do it for yourself.

 

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