I’m so far behind. . .

I’ve been remiss in writing here. What has it been, two months? Spent my birthday a Marriott resort property in Orange County, near a place called Crystal Cove. We managed to ignore the election going on. It took about 3 days for enough county to be done to make clear that God King Trump had lost. Unfortunately, the GOP did well otherwise, which means Trumpian fascism is popular with the voters–just not Trump himself. So we’re going to get more fascism.

Not clear yet who will control the Senate next year. There’s a runoff in Georgia on Jan. 5.

Meanwhile, Trump and Guliani have been trying to get the courts, and certain states, to overturn the election. It hasn’t worked. There’s a devastating WaPo article on the effort.

But we’re not calling the effort an attempted coup. No siree. We don’t have those in Amerika.

In addition to organizing his failing coup attempt, Trump’s been tweeting and golfing. but the administration’s given up containing the pandemic. Cases, hospitalizations, etc., are exploding. Quadrupled in LA County since October. Lots of other places are worse. So this week “Stay Home orders” are back. I’m not expecting it to work. Another devastating LA Times article on the inconsistent rules and messaging is probably a good diagnosis why.

LA TImes, of course.

The new restrictions closed outdoor dining down, and also short term rentals. Essential travel only. But they left Mammoth Mountain open–just no food and no traveling to get there. Locals will be happy, I guess.

NY Times.

The Mate just wandered in and told me Chuck Yeager died.

At home I’ve been slowly moving offices, from the dark, dreary north-facing center room to Alexander’s old room. It’s much brighter. 🙂 He’s finally found a place in Mammoth and is clearing out of our condo up there. Thank heavens. I’m trying to get bookshelves built on the north wall. I’ve already built up a new sit/stand desk against the south wall and moved closets.

I completely forgot to write about the death of my old motherboard. Right around my birthday, the on-board power started failing. It wasn’t that old, and certainly not cheap–an ASUS ROG Maximus X WiFi. Shouldn’t have been failing so soon. I rebuilt with a Gigabyte Aorus instead. I’ve also replaced the 240mm CoolerMaster CPU cooler–it was super loud and annoying. After watching many review videos, I got an NZXT Kraken 360mm. SO MUCH QUIETER.

Arecibo collapsed. I should mention that. Have I mentioned that it’s been a shit year?

Mandalorian is back on and we’re enjoying it. We’ve also caught up on Star Trek: Discovery, which is all about trying to rebuild utopia. it’s a little preachy, even for me. Expanse I guess is back soon. . .I hope?

Shadowlands finally came out right before T-day. I meant to level my poor NE priest first but she wound up trapped in Boralus by a malfunctioning portal to Stormwind, so my Dranei Death Knight is leading the charge. The expansion seems ok so far–I’m increasingly unwilling to spend my evenings in front of this computer so I haven’t played all that much. The DK is level 54; the horde warlock, who also made it into Shadowlands, is still 50.

The Hoax Narrative

Waaaay back on March 27, I stuck in my file drawer of “Stuff to Be Blogged About” the Coronavirus Hoax narrative. The President started selling this campaign rallies back in long-ago February. In those rallies, he was pitching the coronavirus as the Democrats’ new hoax to replace the impeachment hoax. He wasn’t actually calling the virus fake–he was using it as a political attack. See this Snopes post for the legalistic parsing of his rally rhetoric.

But Trump’s very familiar with hoax narratives and is quite experienced at spreading them. Here’s one of his global-warming-is-a-hoax claims:

There’s many more. He was also a ringleader of the Obama-is-a-Kenyan-Muslim hoax. I often call him the Birther-in-Chief.

Anyone familiar with his hoaxer past would have to suspect that he launched this coroanvirus scam narrative in order to get this image on the Faux News Network and out to his millions of followers that way.

Ron Paul, always ready to help spread right-wing nuttery, weighed in too.

At the White House level, the hoax narrative didn’t last long. By March 16, the White House had started putting out its own guidelines–initially a “15 Days to Slow the Spread” campaign, and now extended to 30 days. It’ll be more like. . .June, I think. Anyway, everyone in the political press noticed the White House’s frantic attempts at a rewrite.

It’s worth noticing that the stock market had two huge drops between the launch of the hoax narrative and the White House change in tone: March 9th and March 12th. It crashed even further on the 16th.

But once you launch a hoax narrative out into the politicized ether, you can’t just turn it off. Some of your followers keep spouting it. Others use it as an excuse to justify inaction. Still others use it to attack science. Hoaxes have consequences. In this case,the consequences are delayed state-level responses to the virus spread, lives jeopardized and lost needlessly, and a prolonged economic catastrophe .