Why Is Dr. Fauci Such A Lightening Rod For The MAGA New Right?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

Any discussion of how the MAGA New Right has a craven hatred of the otherwise prosaic Dr. Fauci has to address a central issue: deep down inside, Trump craves the validation of liberal elites. It’s what drives him. It eats him away inside so much that he ran for president to force them to take him seriously.

Add to this that Dr. Fauci wouldn’t kotow to Mad King Trump and it was extremely difficult for Trump to fire Dr. Fauci and you have the makings of a battle royal.

Also, even more important to understanding all of this is every moment we’re fighting over Dr. Fauci is a moment we’re not talking about how Trump, personally, caused 600,000 excess COVID19 deaths through his rank incompetence.

As such, it’s a win-win for the MAGA New Right to turn Dr. Fauci into a boogie man. They don’t have much of a winning hand when it comes to COVID19, so they hate on him to such an extent that just the invocation of his name is so loaded as to cause a fight between a progressive and a MAGA New Right person.

If January 6th taught us anything, it’s that it’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. So, given how much I love dystopian scenarios, this particular tragedy writes itself.

Should, God forbid, anything happen to the poor man, Republicans will be quiet for about 24 hours with vague statements about “thoughts and prayers.” Then, once they have their talking points figured out, they’ll say this is an issue of mental health and OBVIOUSLY they can’t be held responsible for the tragedy.

Fucking cowards.

You Can’t Make This Shit Up: I Witnessed Facebook Anti-Vaxx Disinformation Dissemination IRL



By Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner


So, there I was, talking to a bartender who in April 2016 would have been equally split between Trump and Bernie, when a guy walked up to him and showed him on his phone what was obviously a Facebook post. The guy said with baited breath that somehow through some sort of nullification process that all the COVID19 vaccines we have were about to no longer have emergency approval.

The person who said this was so absolute in his conviction that this Facebook was factual that it got ME doubting things. So I looked on Twitter to see if this was some sort of breaking news I didn’t know about.

Surprise! Nope.

So, apparently, there is some serious bullshit bouncing around Facebook when it comes to the various COVID19 vaccines. I’ve talked to some of my conservative relatives and it’s an absolute struggle to get them to agree to what is simply a cold hard fact: vaccines safe lives. And when once we are on the same page, they act like they’ve made some sort of horrible concession that they’ll never forgive themselves for.

So, I don’t know what to tell you. It’s very possible that the fall and winter could be something of a crisis AGAIN when it comes to COVID19.

What Did Bob Iger Know About COVID19 & How Did He Know It?


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m just being silly witih this one. But it definitely seems as though former Disney CEO Bob Iger somehow, someway knew way, way in advance how badly COVID19 was going to hurt the company’s balance sheet.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock (9241938da) The Walt Disney Company CEO Robert Iger attends a special screening of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at Alice Tully Hall, in New York NY Special Screening of “Beauty and the Beast”, New York, USA – 13 Mar 2017

Months before anyone in the United States cared about COVI19 — even before it was called COVID19 — Iger just up and bounced while on top at Disney. Just out of the blue. The only reason why any of this matters to me is it gives one some of the metrics for the next time Something Big like COVID19 happens.

If another pandemic (or whatever) begins to brew in some remote part of the world, keep an eye on people like Iger. If they start acting really weird, then batten down the catches, the shit is about to hit the fan. If I was into conspiracy theories — which I’m not — I might suggest there was something spooky about Iger bouncing so abruptly.

I’m fascinated by how our reality is constructed. That’s why people like Trump or macro events like COVID19 lay bare that a lot of our “reality” is bullshit. It exists because The Powers That Be say it does.

Nothing’s right or wrong, but thinking makes it so, as The Bard would tell us.

COVID19 Scenario: August, 2021 — ‘The Omega Variant’


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

While it definitely looks like we’re out of the woods — least in most of the First World — when it comes to COVID19, it’s still out there bouncing around with opportunity after opportunity to mutate. It makes you wonder what the reaction would be if COVID19 mutated into something far, far nastier than it is now. Given that August is the shittiest month, I’m working on the assumption that if it happens, it will pop out around August, 2021.

A lot would depend on how this speculative “Omega Variant” popped up. If it was localized to one place at first, then nations are on edge enough right now that it would probably be fairly easily controlled. But my fear is if an Omega Variant appeared, it would appear all over the world at the same time and all we could do is simply attempt to do some triage to an End Of The World type situation.

If variant of COVID19 appeared that was far more deadly than anything out there now, at first, the whole thing — at least in the English-speaking Western World — would, again, be seen through the prism of politics. The Right would scoff, saying “Here we go again.” They would do everything in their power to obstruct the American government from doing anything to mitigate a looming disaster, just like they did the first time.

It would not be until the Right saw some potential political gain that they would switch gears and start to demand something be done. Then, of course, it would be too late. Instead of 600,000 dead, we may be looking at something closer to 10-30 million. If things started to get that bad, it’s very possible MAGA would start to angle for a way to seize power via a coup — or something. They’re already halfway there now, if the country was felled by a severe second wave of COVID19, they might attempt to step into the breach.

But I’m wrong all the time. I’m sure the monster won’t come back for one more round. We’re going to cruise into a new Roaring Twenties, at least until we have a civil war or turn into a MAGA autocracy.

The Fucking MAGA Fascists Are Coming For Dr. Fauci


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

One thing that does not give me a lot of confidence about the state of American politics is how the MAGA Right in the US is working itself up into a lather when it comes to Dr. Fauci.

This is all very surreal to me given that Trump’s dingdong incompetence directly caused about 500,000 excess COVID19 deaths. Now, it’s very clear what’s going on — Republicans know this and are using the age-old political technique of screaming at the top of their lungs about emails in an effort to deflect from their own weaknesses.

They know that every moment we’re yelling over Dr. Fauci’s emails is a moment we’re not thinking about what an utter disaster Trump’s handling of COVID19 was. They have a two fold goal. On one hand, they want to stir up the base with a 2 Minute of Fauci Hate every day so they will flood the polls to flip Congress to “hold him accountable.” Meanwhile, they want to control the media narrative so we’re all fighting over Dr. Fauci his emails and not Trump and his COVID19 mismanagement.

The thing none of us non-MAGA people are prepared for is how hysterical and ultimately bloodthirsty MAGA is going to become about Dr. Fauci. He’s a convenient lightening rod because he wasn’t cowed into submission by Trump and didn’t take any of his shit. Add to this the well-worn outrage machine that MAGA already has when it comes to emails and, well, look out.

The moment MAGA controls Congress, every moment they’re not cutting taxes for plutocrats or flooding the Federal bench with young hack MAGA judges or impeaching Biden and Harris for Not Being Trump, they’re going to be yelling at Dr. Fauci in committee meeting after committee meeting. It won’t matter what he says, it won’t matter what the facts are, they will strip mine his status as a political lightening rod until we reach Benghazi levels of stupidity.

In the end, all of this will fuse together so the usual suspects of MAGA will get involved. Ultimately, it will become MAGA orthodoxy that Dr. Fauci is a member of the Deep State and directly funded — and ordered — the release of COVID19 from the Wuhan lab because he wanted to bring down Trump. They’ll claim the emails prove this — somehow — and before you know it somehow Qanon, George Soros and Comet Pizza will be involved.

My fear is, of course, that someone is going to get hurt because of all of this. Then Republicans will be SHOCKED, SHOCKED I tell you that some “mentally unstable person” would do such a thing. They will mumble something about “thoughts and prayers” and then move on to whatever other batshit insane thing that can mentally stroke to make themselves feel better.

We Need To Talk About Dr. Fauci, COVID19 & The Wuhan Lab


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

If you want some indication of how unstable the United States is right now just under the surface, look no further that how hysterical the Right is now about Dr. Fauci. He’s because such a lightening rod, such subject of vitriol that is its growing rather startling.

The issue for me is, we need to not poo-poo as much the idea that the biological lab in Wuhan had something to do with the first COVID19 outbreak there. The Right literally wants to murder Dr. Facui in cold blood right now as it is. They are hell bent to figure out some way whereby Dr. Facui is responsible for, or has financially benefited from, COVID19.

As such, if evidence comes to light that does connect the Wuhan lab to COVID19, there could be severe political violence in the United States in more ways than one. The reason why that link is so important to the Right is then they have a ready talking point for any and all criticism of how Trump handled the outbreak. They will be able to piviot to blaming the Chinese, or Dr. Fauci for this or that connection he may have had to the facility.

Any proven link between COVID19 and the Wuhan lab would cause such a political firestorm in the United States that it’s kind of frightening. It is now Rightwing orthodoxy that the lab was connected to COVID19 and that Dr. Fauci is some sort of nefarious, diabolical mastermind who, I don’t know, thought an outbreak was some sort of cure-all to Trump? (The exact reasoning for why he would — contrary to all available evidence — want an outbreak is one of the many dubious logical conclusions the far Right has developed.)

But we have to take this bullshit seriously. There are any number of surreal and dangerous things that might occur if any link was proven. So, as such, we need to take the possibility of such a link seriously and begin to figure out ways to mitigate the rage such a link would cause in certain parts of the American electorate

My Hot Take On The Governor Cuomo Nursing Home Deaths Debacle


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I totally think that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo deserves all the hot water he is currently in. If that means he gets impeached for his current nursing home debacle, so be it. But I’ve been forced to consume Fox News hysterical coverage of this clusterfuck and here is my hot take.

  1. I Thought All This Was a “Media Hoax.”
    We’ve come a long way from Fox News being the amen choir to Trump’s bonkers ranting about how COVID-19 was just a “MEDIA hoax” meant to hurt him politically. Now, Fox News is pretty much lost it’s fucking mind going after Cuomo. Talk about media hoax!
  2. What Cuomo Did Was Wrong. But So Was What Trump Did
    We’re now at 500,00 deaths from COVID-19 because Trump was a lazy, incompetent doofus who didn’t care about the rising death toll. He did such a bad just that that, in itself, should be enough to drive him from public life, never to be seen again.

    So, fuck you, Fox News.

My Personal Experience With COVID19


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

In the end, it felt like a really bad Korean cold.

When I first went to South Korea, my body wasn’t prepared for the make up of colds there and every once in a while, I would be felled by a really horrible cold. It happened a few times and really, really knocked me out for maybe 24 to 48 hours.

Then I would slowly bounce back.

Well, when I got the Rona, it felt just like that. In fact, it was eerie how much I felt my body was telling me, “Don’t worry, we got this — we saw this shit before in South Korea.”

But, then, I do have an extremely over-active imagination.

Anyway, I got the Rona. I’m going to quarantine for about two weeks and then maybe get tested again. My elderly father is, well, elderly. For the moment, at least, I feel 100% again.

But, obviously, I’m still infectious so I can’t go anywhere or do anything other than read and write.

It’s a very surreal feeling.

‘Night Monster’ — A COVID-19 Themed Song Concept


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

As I grow more serious with this novel, I find it more and more a waste of time to write lyrics and post them on the Internet. Now that I have some sense that I can write a novel on a (potentially) professional level, if I’m going to write pop song lyrics I’m going to be just as serious with them too.

But anyway, someone needs to write a COVID-19 themed song called “Night Monster.” When (I think) I had COVID-19 a few days ago, it came out at night to make me miserable.

Here’s how I would produce it’s sound.

Start off of with song.

Then throw in this song:

Then, lastly, a little bit of this one.

No one listens to me. I need to learn how to play guitar so I start writing song lyrics seriously once I get through this novel project in its totality.

Seems like Billie Eilish would be the perfect vocalist.

I *May* Have Had Covid


by Shelt Garner
@sheltgarner

I’m feeling a whole lot better now, but for a solid 24 hours, I had a big chunk of the COVID19 symptoms. I’m going to get tested tomorrow, but for the time being I’m going to assume I had it and lay low.

One thing I wonder is if my exposure to the Korean cold virus a few years ago gave me added defense. Maybe? The only reason why I even suggest that is it literally felt the same way as that cold did and it was as if my body was telling me, “Don’t worry, we got this. We’ve seen this before.”

Either that, or I have a lot stronger immune system than you might think despite how much I drink and / or I didn’t have it in the first place. But we’ll see.

I’m looking forward the chance to have two weeks alone to work on the novel. It may not be King Lear, but I should be able to knock out a lot — A LOT of it — simply because I’m in lock down.