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.

 

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

Thinking about the impeachment trial in the Senate took me to thoughts of denial and stonewall. This process sucked a line of lyrics into the stream of thought:

But this wall of denial was just built on fear.

Bottom line in my mind, turbocharged business as usual as Republican Senators screamed, “Nothing to see here,” and closed ranks to ensure there wasn’t anything introduced to be seen. Orwell would’ve been impressed.

Meanwhile, today’s theme music continues with the rest of that song, “Wall of Denial”, by Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble (1989). He died the next year, thirty-five years old, killed in a helicopter accident that took four others, as well.

I selected this cover from Late Night. Hope it works for you, too. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Time for a little Neil Young. Call out to him for being naturalized as a U.S. We used to live in the same neighborhood, broadly speaking, on the California coast. A friend was his primary supplier, so the story goes. A little club wasn’t far where he liked to play for small crowds with no announcement, so the story goes.

1989 saw him bring out “Rockin’ in the Free World”. The song provides so many mocking lines drawing attention to our cultural hypocrisy:

We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
We got department stores
and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes
for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Yeah, that’s rocking in the free world. That Trump used the song during his POTUS campaign without irony nauseates, but then the Trumplicans bastardize the meaning and intention of everything that they touch, subverting without sparing, heavy of hand and cruel of ideas.

I’m part of the hypocrisy in my comfy white land, something the feeds my perpetual self-damnation. Too weak to walk away from the cushiness, I’ll just do some marchin’, protesting, donating, and votin’, hoping to change things, even though that’s not been working for lo’, these many years since Bush I.

Guess I’ll just keep rockin’. Pour a little CBD into my coffee, please. My joints are hurtin’. “I try to forget it, any way I can.”

 

 

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

Just out of speaking with friends, reading the news, remembering the past, and pondering the future…

Into the stream came a song from The Falcon and the Snowman based on the book with the same title, with more words in it. A friend received it in a slush pile, read it through the evening one Friday, looked up the author and discovered they were in the same area code. The book excited him. A phone call was made against all standard protocols. Arrangements were made to connect the following Monday to talk about going forward.

Alas, by then, the author had contacted an agent, and everything changed. The book went to another publishing house, to my buddy’s dismay.

Meanwhile, the song — also with the same name — by Pat Metheny with David Bowie on vocas, reflects the disbelief and denial that I feel while reading the news. It isn’t particular to this era. I always think we should learn and move forward, but my idea of moving forward doesn’t align with what others think and want. To me, it’s like they’re moving backward and repeating history as they insist that we’re going forward.

Anyone, this 1985 ditty expresses my point of view. Cheers

The Waves Dream

Dreams last night were like energetic kittens wrestling and playing: lot of action and motion, and not too linear. 

But one sequence’s sharp focus overpowered memories of the rest. I’d gone upstairs in a house to shave. We lived by the ocean on a bluff. Wanting to look out at the day (and the sea), I raised a white blind. When I did, I saw a huge blue wave breaking. The wave was the windows height, and splashed against the glass. Startled by its height, I lowered the blind and left the room.

Rushing downstairs, I told my wife about the huge wave. It impressed because our house was set back from the bluff’s edge by over twenty feet. For the wave to travel across that distance and still break on the second story window was amazing.

I ran back up the stairs to the bathroom. Raising the blind again gave me time to see another enormous bright blue wave racing toward me. Taller than the last, I realized it was going to break over the house.

Before I could close the sash, the wave broke. The house shuddered with the impact. I expected the window to break, but it didn’t. Halfway through shaving, I went to check on the property. Everything seemed fine, except my car, a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro, was gone. The wave took it, I thought. Other than those enormous waves, it wasn’t storming, but calm.

That dream sequence ended.

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