#COVID19 Threat Assessment For March 11th: ‘It’s Not A Toomha’

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

I am feeling pretty good right now. Now that understand what’s going on happen — there’s going to be a sharp, brief spike in cases across the country before the situation stabilize — I’m not feeling as nervous. At this point, the only reason why I’m really concerned at all is what’s going on in Italy and Iran. China and South Korea have proven that with the proper measures, you can have a suddenly severe spike in cases that subsides to a manageable level rather abruptly. We’re probably going to get the shit scared out of us on an unprecedented level nationally, but we will live to fight another day.

At least, that’s what should happen.

The biggest threat to American security right now is not COVID19, but our own president’s reaction to it. He’s probably going to switch gears tonight and go full paranoid racist demagogue on the situation. He will see this pandemic as an opportunity to further consolidation power, not to bring the nation together.

Trump never loses on a political level because of his nature as an avatar for the MAGA base’s hatred of liberals, the browning of America and feminists. So, for the time being, Trump, is as always, his own worst enemy. In a sense, Trump may become a “War President” and, as such, he will have far more power than he might otherwise. If he really was the “very stable genius” that he and Maggie Haberman would have us believe, he would be in a very good position to dominate Joe Biden. Trump’s dream of losing the popular vote and winning the Electoral College in the fall would be a foregone conclusion.


This is Trump we’re talking about, so he’s going to self-own. I’m not prepared to say his self-own will be existential. He’s just too lucky for that to be an issue. But the context of his ultimate, inevitable victory in the fall may be a bit more different than he would like. He’s such a malignant force in American politics that 60% of the electorate is going to be seething about House Trump’s surreal control of America going into his second term. How that might manifest itself is anyone’s guess.

My best guess is he gets impeached again at some point in his second term, but by that point, Don Jr. or Steve King will be his veep so, lulz.

Another option is Trump implodes or explodes on a mental level just as the crisis reaches its denouement and there’s a momentary pause in the rise of the Fourth Reich and the Thousand Year Trump. I don’t want that to happen. I really don’t. That would be among the absolute worst case scenarios out there — I mean, do we really want all 328 million of us to see a picture of Trump’s cock on our phones via the Presidential Alert System?

Or, to put it another way, the only way House Trump doesn’t endup on top because of this crisis is Trump himself. That’s it. Otherwise, no matter what, they will be far more powerful, far quicker than they might have been otherwise in two years.

But, sadly, there are some other things that could make what might otherwise be a short, scary event in our nation’s history turn into not The Little One, but, THE BIG ONE. Besides Trump’s generally fuckery, there is The Gray Plague and the WuFlop to worry about.

If the Gray Plague begins to strike in any big fashion, then that would be a preventable tragedy of such proportions that I don’t want to think about it all that much. It definitely would give one pause for thought. The WuFlop, too, would likely cause so much panic in the United States if a recorded instance of it showed up on TV that the nation might buckle for a few days in abject terror.

Or, put another way, there are simply too many wild card known unknowns for me to properly gauge what is going to happen in the next, say, 60 days. In general, we’re going to get the shit scared out of us a few times, but House Trump will simply grow stronger and more hateful in the end. But if history decides to wake up in a big way, we all –even me — may be shocked by how surreal, how weird things get in a rather abrupt, unpredictable fashion.

Is Nancy Pelosi *Trying* To Drive Trump Bonkers?

The Trump Zone.
Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelt Garner

I am not one for personality cults, regardless of ideology. Just not my scene. And I continue to believe that Nancy Pelosi had no plan when it came to Trump’s creeping tyranny — she was just lucky when his natural tendency to self-own finally happened to get bad enough that he was impeached. She had no idea when this would inevitably happen. We could be in the middle of his second term and still be waiting. Pelosi probably knew he would do it, but she had no “plan.” It was all just dumb luck. I, for one, would rather NOT have the fate of the Republic hinge on dumb luck. She could have been a LOT more aggressive on the Mueller front in January 2019, but did nothing.

Anyway, here we are.

It definitely seems as though Pelosi not giving something Trump assumed was his — easy “vindication” in the Senate — is beginning to eat away at him. So, it’s at least possible that Pelosi had a hunch this would happen. It’s at least possible that this IS a part of a “plan.” Now, again, we simply don’t know when — if ever — Trump is going to snap because of this Tell-Tale Heart situation. It may never happen. Trump runs on “vindication” no matter what, cruises into his second term, get a Constitutional Convention convened to “pass a balanced budget amendment” and away we go.

But there’s also a chance that Trump’s feeling of powerless may get the best of him in a pretty astonishing fashion. He may just lose his shit so bad that it’s THAT that leads to his conviction in the Senate. He finally becomes such a ranting insane person that Pelosi strikes — she sends the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate and Trump’s removed from office not for any political reasons but because the 25th Amendment is a dead letter.

There is the risk, of course, that given how fucked up MAGA is, they could very well simply use this theory of mine as their “stab in the back.” In other words, they will whip themselves up into an apoplectic trance at the idea that if ONLY Nancy Pelosi hadn’t driven the Dear Leader bonkers, there could have been a Golden Age of American Nazism or some such bullshit. Fuck those guys. Fucking Nazis.

Anyway, here’s some other relevant writing I’ve done on this matter.

I hate to break it to you, folks, but if impeachment really does reach a tipping point we’ve entered the darkest timeline. It won’t be impeachment, it will be Trump’s reaction to it that we’ll be talking about.

Trump has long had some sort of chronic mental problem. The stress of simply an impeachment investigation — which would likely take months — would, in it self, potentially cause him to decompensate. It’s would make a lot of sense if Trump found himself in something of a logic trap. He would absolutely feel as though he would survive an Senate vote. But he would also absolutely feel paranoid that he might not.

So he goes bonkers.

I therefore propose that in the end, it won’t even be impeachment that is Trump’s downfall — it will be his reaction to it. If Trump finally goes off the deep end, some astonishing surreal thing will happen. The first will be MAGA Stalwarts will find themselves defending ever-more demonstrably indefensible things on Trump’s part. First they will simply say he was “joking.” But there will come a point when they take the final plunge into their own destruction. Trump will tweet out a dick pic. Trump will begin to tweet out the N-word to Obama. And they will defend it, thinking that Trump, like always, will stay in control of the narrative.

And so, in the end, Trump’s tendency to self-own will get so absolutely bad that there might be an intervention, of sorts. They might propose to Trump that he gets to choose Pence’s replacement as veep. And maybe a promise of a full pardon after Pence wins re-election in 2020. Trump accepting such an offer would be the best case scenario for Republicans.

The worse case scenario is he won’t accept it. And in the end, Trump so far gone mentally that the Senate finally does, in fact, convict him not so much because of any particular crime, but for the complete failure of the 25th Amendment to work.

And then, I’m afraid, we have a once-in-generation event. Young people won’t reference 9/11, they’ll reference Trump’s downfall. It will probably play out a lot like the OJ’s slow motion police chase in a white Bronco. It will last days, even weeks. The entire country will grind to a halt as we attempt to lure Trump out of The White House.

It will be a dark day in our history.

Here is how it may play out. I wrote this some time ago, but the premise is the same.

a story fragment of a possible near future
by Shelton Bumgarner

April, 2019

The eyes of the world were on the White House.

Just moments before, President Donald J. Trump, 45th president of the United States, had been convicted by 67 members of the Senate for a whole list of high crimes and misdemeanors. Trump had for weeks now been ranting on Gab about his case in the Senate, bouncing back and forth between threats to start a war with Iran or the DPRK and not-so-subtle hints that he might take his own life should he be convicted by the Senate.

And, now, at last, the moment of truth had arrived.

Trump legally, at least, was no longer president, but he had been oddly silent since the verdict had been announced with great fanfare from the well of the Senate. Trump’s conviction had come after months of investigations on the part of the now Democratic Congress. The length and breath of Trump’s malfeasance discovered by these hearings had rocked the nation to its very core. On more than one occasion, MAGA talking heads on cable news had been interrupted by astonishing breaking news that left them, for once, unable or unwilling to defend the president.

The hearings had ground on for months to such an extent that Trump’s approval had slowly drifted to the 20s and stayed there consistently. Trump’s support was now made up of the very rich and the very poor. Oddly, despite Trump’s near constant demands on Twitter for violence on the part of his supporters, little, if any was reported. Trump had grown so frustrated that he had all but abandoned Twitter at one point for the more receptive Gab social media platform. Though on more than one occasion Rudy Giuliani had made it very clear it was within the rights of the president to declare martial law if he deemed it in the best interests of the nation. More than one delegation of Senate Republicans had gone to the White House to explain to Trump that he was going to be convicted, no avail. Trump made it clear to them, in not so many words that his simply living in the White House made him president, a sentiment best expressed by the legal saw that, “Possession is 9/10ths of the law.”

Finally, a post to Gab came out: “My so-called ‘conviction’ is the work of the Deep State and as such illegitimate. I remain president.”

This set off a chain of events, the likes of which Americans had never seen. Suddenly, everyone on Twitter became a Constitutional scholar as everyone studied the exact wording of the Constitution as to what happens if the president is removed from office by the Senate. The wording is quite clear: he or she is no longer president and that’s it.

Nowhere in the Constitution did it explain what to do if the president simply decided to ignore the Senate. What’s more, nowhere in the Constitution did it state what to do with the nuclear launch codes should a president be removed from office and he refuse to accept the decision of the Senate.

The next few hours were chilling as they were surreal for millions of people not just in the United States but around the globe. The issue of Trump’s physical access to America’s nuclear launch codes was suddenly at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Though it was finally announced that while the nuclear football remained in Trump’s possession, Sec. of Defense Mattis had ordered the American armed forces to stand down for the duration of the crisis.

Trump, on Twitter, was as defiant and unhinged as usual.He threatened to kill himself. He threatened to start a nuclear war. He vowed to declare martial law.

The usual suspects on cable news did their best to spin all of this for Trump. As an anxious nation waited for the now former president to leave the White House, a cavalcade of former Republican Senators and Trump White House staffers attempted to make the former president’s case. Their final argument was that for the good of the country, Trump should be allowed to remain president, despite his lawful conviction by the Senate.

Things began to move rapidly at this point.

Vice President Pence was sworn in but Chief Justice Roberts in a dark, somber event in the Old Executive Building. Meanwhile, it was learned Trump had quietly replaced his Secret Service detail with a private security force that made it clear it was prepared to defend Trump until the bloody end.

At this point, two things happened. A final bipartisan delegation of Congressional leaders came to the White House grounds under the flag of truce. During the course of an hour-long meeting, Trump screamed at them that they had never supported him and the world would be better off if it just ended instead of allowed the forces of the Deep State to ruin America. He made it absolutely clear that he would never leave the Oval Office willingly.

With that, they left.

Next, a surreal, bizarre event, the FBI slowly began to surround the White House. There was much debate online and on TV about how long the nation should wait for Trump to leave the White House. CNN went so far as to do a deep dive into the exact amount of food the White House grounds might have available at any one moment.

Finally, shots rang out from the White House as the battle was joined. It took several hours but in the end, the FBI was finally able to secure the facility. Nearly a dozen personnel on both sides died during the course of the Battle of The White House.

In what would become ionic footage, Trump was quietly escorted from the White House grounds. He spent the remainder of his days ranting on Twitter and Gab that he was the rightful president.

The Lessons Of #BretBug

Shelton Bumgarner

by Shelton Bumgarner

Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens became the laughingstock of Twitter recently. Let’s go through the reasons why this happened.

He Is Well Known
One reason why #BretBug took off was he was well known to both thinkers and the common folks of Twitter. So they had a common frame of reference. Add to that they everyone knew his policy views — mostly bad — and that added fuel to the flames.

He Came Off As A Hypocrite
Apparently Stephens is well know for bitching and moaning about the lack of free speech for conservatives on college campuses. For him to turn around and attack someone for a minor slight online is something of a hoot.

He Overreacted.
The person who got in trouble did not come after Stephens directly. He simply made a throw away joke. Stephens had to go way out of his way to find what was said about him. It was a situation that most Twitter users find themselves in and for someone with power to come after a lowly, random Twitter user is a little too much.

There Was Proof
We were able to actually see the letter about the matter from the professor involved. The gave everyone a common document to look at and comment on. Later, to reference when making jokes.

It’s The Lull Of The Year
This is the slowest news week of the year. Add to this that people needed to blow off some steam because of Trump or the Amazon being on fire, or whatever, and this drew people’s attention in a way it might not otherwise.

V-Log: Mulling Making The Novel As Action Packed As Possible

by Shelton Bumgarner

Some thoughts.

Sick Sad World — Watch Me Be Even Sadder As I Make A Gentle Observation About AOC

by Shelton Bumgarner

Let me get some things out of the way. Apparently simply even having the question of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s romantic status enter your mind is some sort of taboo because it devalues her ability and leadership as a young, strong Latina.

So, I guess me simply make a gentle suggestion makes me even sadder and pathetic — she needs to get ahead of this issue. Men have been oppressing women since the Earth Mother was replaced by Yahweh so, like, I don’t think me simply observing that it’s odd that the general public doesn’t know her romantic status should be THAT big a deal.

Anyway, as I’ve said before, obviously this is an unstated taboo of some sort right now and as such I’m either ahead of the curve a little bit or just a pathetic looser.

Why does it even matter? It matters because the world sucks. And of all the shitty aspects of modern public life, being an attractive, smart and controversial woman pol in Trump’s America has got to suck the fucking worst.

Anyway, thankfully most people think I’m a crank, so it’s not like anyone is going to notice I did this follow up post unless I draw attention to it.

Some Observations About The Plot Structure Of The ‘Girl With…’ Series Of Books

by Shelton Bumgarner

The thing about The Girl With…series of books is the two main characters aren’t really all that romantically involved. They kinda are, but that’s kind of besides the point.

So I find myself thinking about that as I structure the novel I’m writing. Yes, I’m being rather vague, but meh. This is more about writing out an internal monologue more than anything else.

I find myself really leaning into what I remember of the structure of The Girl With books because the firsts one was done as a first novel and as such gives me a framing device for my own efforts.

The thing about the novel I’m developing now is it’s just a character driven story.  The concept isn’t really that “high.” It’s just an interesting story involving interesting people put in an interesting situation.  I’m really leaning into what I “know” as I write and that helps speed the process up a great deal.

Hence, I think I’ve come up with a decent story. I’m pleased. Really, as I keep saying, at this point it’s more about simply putting in the hard work of actually developing and writing the novel than anything else. 

The Curious State Of Affairs In Ukraine

by Shelton Bumgarner

I have no idea what is going to happen. But above are some thoughts.

A Subtle Shift In The Trump Era

by Shelton Bumgarner

It seems to me that as of Dec. 7th, we have shifted subtly into a new era under Trump. It seems as though we’ve silently shifted from the “shut up, Trump didn’t do anything wrong and if he did, everyone else did it” line of argument from MAGA, to something closer to this series of arguments “just tune out –> well, convict him, then if you think you can — > The Pence Pivot.”

What I’m saying is for those MAGA who are willing to engage The Resistance in the first place, if they’re not completely loony and gone QAnon on you, they try a sort of jury nullification. 

The first stage is:

Just Tune Out

In this stage, they say that we should just tune out and stop being outrage. Nothing Trump has done has harmed you personally, so why are you still talking about it. Why are you “obsessed” with it. This, to me, indicates that you’re actually making some concrete points and they’re tired of being reminded that, well, they’re wrong.  They’re tired of being reminded that you were right all along and they were sold a bill of goods by the Trump Campaign in the first place. They’re content with Trump’s policies and they just would prefer you be quiet so they can raise their kids, enjoy their tax cut and take pictures of their lunch.

Well, Convict Him Then, If You Can

The next stage, should things get this far, is in exasperation MAGA people (at least the smarter ones) will throw up their hands and say, “Well, he’s been impeached, but you’ll never convict him in the Senate. This is all a waste of time and you should just shut up.” 

This is there way of, again, saying the basic thing they should say, that their support of Trump was a mistake because it was based on fraud and a long con (not to mention racism and misogyny) they simply are not prepared to do. So, they avoid the entire issue altogether and say, “Well, if you can’t convict him, shut up.”

The Pence Pivot

This is the final and least likely to happen stage of this epic clusterfuck. At the very moment it becomes obvious that Trump isn’t going to survive in the Senate and Pence is likely to become president (or something), MAGA people will do The Pence Pivot.

They will suddenly talk about how they “really voted for Pence anyway” and how Godly Pence is and yadda, yadda, yadda, blah blah blah. In other words, if we actually get this far in the process, which is iffy at best right now, they would simply end the discussion by saying they “really” voted for Pence and Pence is the perfect person to MAGA, which what they voted for in the first place.

V-Log: The State Of The #Scifi #Novel I’m #Writing As Of Sept. 12, 2018

by Shelton Bumgarner

I am starting from the beginning of my novel yet again, but I’m going to be re purposing a lot of material I’ve already written. I’m slowly getting a sense of what this story is about, even though I still need to do a lot of backend hard work that I just haven’t managed to do yet.

But we’ll see. I have one really strong chapter written and it’s just a matter of sitting down and doing the work.

Here’s a sample of the one chapter I’ve managed to write that’s pretty good.

Tagger looked up as he drove and watched as the thousands of small pods he’d just seen fall from the sky along what he assumed was the Virginia – North Carolina border slowly bury themselves into the ground.  He went just across the affected area that was now rumbling, parked his car and stood in amazement as an enormous wall-like structure began to slow ascend from ground nearby. He snapped out of his rever long enough to notice that Nuk had also driven across the border and was standing next to him.

The wall was what looked like 30 feet deep and was quickly reaching at least 30 feet in height. It was slow and steady in its growth and they watched a few cars attempted a last ditch effort to cross the ever-growing wall. Titanic sounds could be heard to their left and right as the the wall destroyed everything it its path towards the sky.

In the middle of all of this, he hear the sound of a strange push notification on his phone. He looked down and saw a new app with a strange icon of three interlocking stars on his smartphone.

He hit the app’s icon and it quickly began to sink in the significance of all of this. According to the App, the wall was the handy work of a galactic spanning civilization which called itself the Galactic Collective. As he watched the wall in front of him grow taller and more imposing by the moment, he struggled to comprehend it all.

It was First Contact. Humanity wasn’t alone in the universe, after all.

A small, curious crowd began to assemble and walk towards the gigantic black wall. After about 10 minutes of constant growth, there appeared to be some stabilization in the height of the wall. It registered that Nuk was live streaming all of this with her phone and without thinking about it, he slowly walked up to the towering wall and placed his hand flat on its surface. This scene became quite historic in the coming days, with nearly a billion views on YouTube  in a week. For his part, Tagger’s mind was having difficulting processing the sheer enormity of what he was seeing.

The first notification on the app also noted that the area surrounded by the wall would be immediately evacuated. How this was going to happen, was unclear. Tagger and Nuk looked in shocked as the realized they were now walled off from the rest of the world. From his initial inspection of the First Contact App, there were some basic things immediately apparent — the Galactic Collective not only was well-versed in human civilization, but they had particular interest in English speakers. The First Contact App was only available in American English, required at least a limited knowledge of some basic Western concepts and seemed directed specifically at what traditionally would be referred to as the Western World.

Tagger then noticed Nuk frantically making phone calls as all of this was happening. It sounded like she was on the phone with her editor in New York City. Once the call was over, she looked at Tagger, her eyes enormous.

“Tagger,” she said. “You’re a star now. Like, a huge star. You’re the first person ever recording touching proof of alien life.”

The shock was beginning to wear off and Tagger looked at Nuk. She was a striking brunette with long black hair that reached past her shoulders

They heard a slow humming sound from the interior of the wall and they looked on in amazement as large holes could clearly be seen forming in the wall in front of them. In a moment something clicked in Tagger’s mind and he started racing to his car. “Get in if you want to live!” he screamed at Nuk.

Within seconds of them closing their car doors, there was a loud “whoosh!” sound as millions of microscopic black objects zoomed past their car. After a moment, the thick black cloud produced by these snowflake-sized probes could be seen dispersing into the cityscape ahead of them. Without thinking, Tagger gunned the gas and made his way through the city.

Whatever the mission of the black cloud, it was sufficiently distracted at the moment that they could make their way safely through the now abandoned streets of the city at high speed.  A small backwater of about 40,000 souls, this was the most excitement the city of Danville had seen since it was the last capital of the Confederate States of America in 1865. The city had seen far better days and up until a few minutes ago appeared doomed to quietly shrink into oblivion.

Driving towards Tagger’s house, they looked intently around them in constant fear they would see the black cloud again .

V-Log: Blue Check Dreams

by Shelton Bumgarner

Dreaming is free.