Posted by: coastcontact | November 30, 2020

The Sad Case of Denial

Donald Trump is in denial.

A simple and clear refutation of the president came Friday from a Trump appointee, when Judge Stephanos Bibas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit wrote a unanimous opinion rejecting the president’s request for an emergency injunction to overturn the certification of Pennsylvania’s election results.

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy,” Bibas wrote. “Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Donald Trump says the courts don’t understand what is going on. Sequestered in the White House and brooding out of public view after his election defeat, rageful and at times delirious in a torrent of private conversations, Trump was, in the telling of one close adviser, like “Mad King George, muttering, ‘I won. I won. I won.’ ”

Trump Claims FBI And Justice Department May Have Helped Rig Election. “This is total fraud,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo during the interview on Fox Business’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” adding: “And how the FBI and Department of Justice—I don’t know—maybe they’re involved, but how people are getting away with this stuff—it’s unbelievable.”

Wait there is at least one other possibility. The U.S. election was manipulated by scheming from a dead Venezuelan strongman, by a computer system capable of flipping Trump votes to Joe Biden ones across the country, and by something weird happening in Germany. If that’s not enough, the communists are coming as reported in the Chicago Tribune.

Donald Trump is president until January 20, 2021. He has already damaged our democracy by claiming elections are fraudulent. What more can he do? This really is a frightening time for the United States.

Twenty-fifth Amendment here we come or will there be a Coup?

Posted by: coastcontact | November 29, 2020

Recognizing Commercial Art

This piece of art caught my eye on the Washington Post web site.

Jiaqi (Jackie) Wang is an illustrator and animator originally from China, currently based in Los Angeles. Jiaqi graduated with a MA Animation At London College Of Art. She specializes in 2D moving images and motion graphics. Her work revolves imagination about daily life, full of colors, visual design, and character design.

This link will enable you to admire her talent.  It is worth your time. jiaqiwang

Posted by: coastcontact | November 28, 2020

Effective Drugs

Efficacy is the ability to perform a task to a satisfactory or expected degree. The word comes from the same roots as effectiveness, and it has often been used synonymously, although in pharmacology a distinction is now often made between efficacy and effectiveness. Efficacy can be defined as the performance of an intervention under ideal and controlled circumstances, whereas effectiveness refers to its performance under ‘real-world’ conditions.

Adequate testing of any new drug is mandatory.  What are the side effects and how likely are they to occur?

Pulled from the market in 1961, thalidomide caused approximately 10,000 children to be born with deformed limbs, brain defects, or other developmental deformities.  In July of 1962, president John F. Kennedy and the American press began praising their heroine, FDA inspector Frances Kelsey, who prevented the drug’s approval within the United States despite pressure from the pharmaceutical company and FDA supervisors. Kelsey felt the application for thalidomide contained incomplete and insufficient data on its safety and effectiveness. Among her concerns was the lack of data indicating whether the drug could cross the placenta, which provides nourishment to a developing fetus. While thalidomide is not a vaccine the message seems obvious to me.

My own wife started taking Tumeric on advise from her doctor to ease her arthritis pain. The non-prescription drug is advertised as a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and may also help improve symptoms of depression and arthritis.  The doctor did not warn her about any side effects.  But there are some: stomach upsetnauseadizziness, or diarrhea. She suffered from diarrhea even after she stopped taking the medication for four months.  That led to her having a colonoscopy that found nothing but an irritation to her colon.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, confirmed to Bloomberg on Thursday the British pharmaceutical giant was likely to run an additional global trial to evaluate the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine.

In our rush to obtain a vaccine for Covid-19 (Warp Speed) will side effects be known?   Side effects may not be known for many months. We may want the vaccination but I will be standing at the back of the line.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 27, 2020

“I’m the President of the United States”

President Trump condemned a reporter after being asked if he would concede the election if the Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.

How many judges must tell you that without proof you cannot claim the election was fraudulent? Today, Friday November 27. Federal appeals court denies Trump campaign effort to revive Pennsylvania lawsuit saying ‘claims have no merit.

Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, who oversaw the case, began the scathing ruling stating: “Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here.”

Posted by: coastcontact | November 26, 2020

Exiting the White House

President Donald Trump says he’ll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College. “Certainly I will. And you know that,” said Trump when asked if he would leave the White House if the Electoral College voted for Biden.

Trump claims the voting structure in the United States is “like a third world country.”  There has never been another candidate for president in the history of this country that made that claim.  The United States has always prided itself in the honesty of the elections.  Trump has offered no verifiable proof of  fraud.

Then comes the issue of Trump physically refusing to leave the White House.  This is what Newsweek posted on November 6, 2020. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to this.

“As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election,” Biden’s team said in a statement on November 6. “And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House.”

The 20th Amendment has it that Trump, or any other lame-duck leader, loses his presidential mandate January 20 at noon, and, if he tries to stick around after that, the very guard once tasked with protecting the nation’s top officeholder now has to evict him.

“The Secret Service would escort him off, they would treat him like any old man who’d wandered on the property,” one former official involved in the transition process between former President Barack Obama and Trump told Newsweek.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving

This will be one Thanksgiving that will be remembered because family and friends could not gather. On the plus side our decision to keep our gathering limited to household members means that next year we will all be alive and well for many more happy years.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 24, 2020

A Political Party in Disarray

On stage with his appointees 11-24-20 is the man with a halo

‘America First’ may be gone but what will replace it?

The Democratic Party is in disarray. Worse than the loss of seats in the House of Representatives their lack of unity translates into a two year, perhaps four years, of grid lock in the congress. The Republicans are dancing with joy.

There is a reason for the lack of unity in the Democratic Party. The moderates and the “progressives” have totally different goals for moving the country forward.

The Green New Deal is a list of the liberal agenda items as listed in the Washington Post on February 19, 2019. It is after all a 21st century version of FDR’s New Deal.

All great ideas but are they realistic? Listed below are four of them.

“Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.”

“Overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in – (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.”

“Spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible.”

“Working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

Moderates see a public option over Medicare for All, keeping illegal entry into the U.S. a criminal offense, reform the police rather than defunding the police as more reasonable solutions that more Americans are likely to support. Those are the ideas that Joe Biden’s primary advisers are likely to support because they reflect his views.

Joe Biden needs the support of those liberals/progressives to push his agenda through the congress. He also needs the support of moderate Republicans in the Senate.

Remember it was President Barack Obama who said there are not red states and blue states. There is the United States. As great an orator as he was his adversaries wanted to make him a failed one term president.

Given the Democratic Party divide and the GOP determined to make Biden’s presidency a failure, it is difficult to see a success path for the Biden presidency.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 22, 2020

Unknown Los Angeles

Los Angeles has many places of historic significance that many Angelenos are not familiar with.  Historic Bunker Hill was a community of wealthy people with very large sumptuous homes overlooking the downtown that was abandoned as the wealthy moved west to Hancock Park and Beverly Hills. The Bunker Hill homes were ultimately torn down and the area became an area of high rise office buildings.

Forgotten but still there is a group of mansions in what became known as Angelino Heights. Carroll Ave Victorian Era Residents were built in the 1880s and 1890s. Many were destroyed when the Hollywood Freeway was built. There are no signs directing sightseers to the street. The house that sits at 1345 Carroll Ave in Angelino Heights is known as the Sanders House and is most famous for being featured as the spooky setting for Michael Jackson’s Thriller music video. The 3,532-square-foot Queen Anne style house was originally built for a local warehouse operator named Michael Sanders in 1887. Many are occupied and none are open for tours. The two block street is lined with the mansions. The street is not gated and anyone can park there.

I learned of the street when we signed up for a city tour.  This was not the tour offered in the front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood.  The tour gave us only a drive-by. Later on my own I drove around the neighborhood for about a half hour before finding the street.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 22, 2020

A Step toward Fascism in America

Editorial, The Hartford Courant, November 21, 2020

Trump’s effort to steal the election is a step toward fascism in America. If you call yourself a patriot, you can’t support it.

A vain, angry man who is refusing to accept reality has his finger on the button.

A sulking, bitter man who is refusing to accept the will of the people leads the world’s most powerful democracy.

A man who dwells in the world of lies and deceit is firing those who will not blindly do his bidding.

It’s been long clear to many that Donald Trump, in sowing division, discrediting uncomfortable truths and fomenting a cult of personality was walking the same path dictators have in the past. Just look up Matyas Rakosi (Hungary), Francois Duvalier (Haiti) or Benito Mussolini (Italy), since the past holds important lessons that too many seem willing to ignore.

And now, facing defeat — the moment when character is revealed — Trump is showing his true colors in a way that even those who for four years have looked past his flaws cannot ignore. The alternate reality Trump is working hard to create — that the election was tainted, that it was stolen from him by Joe Biden — is a dangerous narrative that threatens the core of our Democracy. There is no evidence of any widespread or systemic fraud. When Trump’s own head of election cybersecurity sad that, he was fired.

That false narrative is Trump’s justification to pave a path toward fascism in America, a path that calls for upending the will of the people. And those who are going along — repeating the lies, looking for ways to undo the vote or even standing silent in acquiescence — risk supporting fascism over freedom. The problem in Nazi Germany wasn’t only that there were German people who thought exterminating Jews was acceptable. It’s that there were many who knew it wasn’t but stood by quietly and let it happen.

We’re not suggesting that there aren’t valid remedies to challenge potential issues connected to the administration of any election. But this has gone way beyond that. As the legal challenges filed by the Trump campaign have fallen one by one, the paranoid rhetoric has ramped up.

And so have efforts to replace Democracy with dictatorship.

The initial unwillingness of elections officials to certify results in Wayne County, Michigan, the alleged interference of Sen. Lindsay Graham in the certification process of the results in Georgia and now suggestions that Republican legislators in key states could simply ignore the election results and nominate pro-Trump electors are unparalleled threats to democracy.

This isn’t about Republicans or Democrats anymore. It’s about those who believe in democracy versus those willing to risk living under a fascist regime.

If you’re among those who voted for Trump — and there were many — you may have had good reasons. In a recent Courant story, reporter Mike Hamad chronicled the rise of Trumpism among disaffected middle-class voters. But supporting Trump’s efforts to unravel a clear and unequivocal result must be resisted by anyone who calls themselves an American or a patriot.

There may be a lot we as Americans disagree on these days. But if the will of the people to choose who leads is no longer a shared value, we are in deeper trouble than we imagined.

It’s time to stand up and be counted. That goes for people in Trump-leaning towns. That goes for local talk show hosts who parrot lies and conspiracy theories. And that goes for anyone who posts falsehoods on Facebook or Instagram. You are aiding and abetting fascism. Time to stop.

It’s also time for majority Democrats to listen harder to the voices of those who have drifted to the right. There is a growing perception that the Democrats are beholden to wealthy elitists on the one hand and progressives on the other. Those in the middle are clearly looking for someone who can speak to the hopes and fears of every working American.

Over the next two months we will write a new chapter in American history. We’ll either put partisan interests aside and reinvest in democracy or we will allow a bully to continue down a dangerous path. It’s time to appreciate what the flag really means. It’s time to be a real patriot.

Posted by: coastcontact | November 19, 2020

Can the American Democracy Survive?

The next two months are a test of the American democracy. The question will be can the democracy withstand the pressure of a president who wants to destroy the system?

Adolph Hitler attained power in March 1933, after the Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act of 1933 in that month, giving expanded authority to president President Paul von Hindenburg who had already appointed Hitler as Chancellor on 30 January 1933 after a series of parliamentary elections and associated backroom intrigues.

In 1933 with the death of Hindenburg, Chancellor Adolf Hitler became absolute dictator of Germany under the title of Fuhrer, or “Leader.” The German army took an oath of allegiance to its new commander-in-chief, and the last remnants of Germany’s democratic government were dismantled to make way for Hitler’s Third Reich.

Donald Trump is not known to do a lot of reading but he knows how Hitler destroyed the German democracy and obtained absolute power. Trump has already insisted that all secretaries and all department heads must swear allegiance to him. That is the reason Mark Esper is no longer the Secretary of Defense, Chris Krebs is no longer Director of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, and Doctors Birx and Fauci have been sidelined in the Corona Virus Task force.

Trump has not obtained the needed electoral college votes to obtain his second term as president. So now he is using every arm twisting and threatening way he can conger up to induce Republican controlled legislatures to send delegates to the electoral college meeting to vote for him even though he did not win the popular vote. And it might work.

If this election is fraudulent then all elections in the future might also be fraudulent. That would mean that the American democracy is dead. Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Kim Jong-un are among the dictators who are smiling and saying “We told you democracy doesn’t work. The United States government collapse proves it.”

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