WHAT JUST HAPPENED

President Obama expressed his personal thoughts about the United States’ response to the covid-19 pandemic. It was tastefully presented, unemotional and not personal. It was about leadership. I’m sure that Mr. Obama would enjoy a personal engagement with nearly any of the individuals comprising leadership, but as a group, taken together, they’re neither good company nor good host.

Now the actual point. President Obama expressed his thoughts on the US response to the pandemic. Media repeats the most provocative interpretation possible every 12 minutes in an attempt to whip up some energy, eyeballs and clicks. It’s not news beyond the fact that it happened. Do not keep frothing it to try and make more than it is.

Have we just created a new socio-economic class

I watch a good amount of futuristic scifi kinda stuff and it’s common to have a class of people who mine, labor, toil and generally do stuff that I would choose to not do. I have a choice, but they don’t.

Apparently a lot of people feel that they no longer have a choice and they must put their health and that of their family at risk…in order to live their life.

Pandemic – The great equalizer (almost)

At least two days last week, what has to be thousands of people, each representing part or all of a family, waited in line for donated food.
On one day this week, I waited in a line that wrapped around a good part of the Costco parking lot so that I can go in and BUY food.

I never thought I’d share the same experience as the “invisible, but essential” when it comes to obtaining food until Covid-19 – the great equalizer – opened my eyes.
While in line I thought about the experience … woke people call that being mindful. Anyway the notion that the top 2% struggle to get food just like the bottom 2% makes me think about the system that allows this to happen.

I kept on thinking and imagine the super, uber, ultra rich feel no impact at all. Perhaps their house help needed to take a little more time shopping (waiting in line with me) or send friends and family out to do the shopping so the “house” keeps running. Now THAT made me think even more about the system that allows this to happen.

Good for you Scotland (update)

The Chief Medical Officer was busted traveling to her vacation home after telling everybody else (who don’t have vacation homes) to stay in their own homes. DO NOT TRAVEL is her order. So what happened? She got in her car with hubby and charged out of town. She got caught and apologized profusely with genuine sincerity. I believe she is sorry and I believe she will not do it again. Of course there were calls for her resignation, but what happened is that she was publicly removed from any media events and directed to continue providing her talent, skill and experience toward the medical emergency punishing the world right now.
Her poor judgment regarding personal behavior (risk to herself and others) is worth knowing and her response is worth knowing too. Beyond that, it’s not news, unless another shoe emerges and drops. Until that other shoe drops, it’s no longer news. Let us focus on what’s important – our response to this pandemic.
Way to go Scotland. The world needs more model behavior like this.

Here’s an update. I just saw that she resigned. Ok, that’s the other shoe and that’s news and now it’s not. Let’s move on.

An interesting thing happened

For the first time that I can recall, I had a positive response to the idea of living longer than what is considered normal. This is not about immortality or the belief that I have something so important and meaningful to give to the world that it shouldn’t go on without me. No…this is ALL about curiosity. I really, REALLY would like to know how we are in 100 years. I’ve certainly asked myself what life would be like in 5000 years and we all know that any response to that is MCU kind of stuff…fantasy…entertaining, but no more useful than that. To wonder about 100 years from now is a more meaningful exercise. It’s meaningful because we can actually influence the answer. It matters what we say and show to our children and our grand children. It’s their children who will be living with many of our decisions now. They will also be making decisions themselves. I wonder how my great, great, great grand child will live?

Strap in and get ready for the ride

Remember when you watched the Jetsons and then in the year 2000 when you shook your head in disappointment that you don’t have a flying car? Well you’re not alone and given where we are today, I think the field is wide open for new implementations of old ideas to run wild and – if you hop on – a wild ride it will be.

I’ll make it official. On the record. I believe that within the next 15 years, odds are better than 50/50 that the non-autonomously driven vehicle will be a rare sight on I95.
I’m happy to be wrong on this! It could be that inner-city autonomous mobility is 1st the pop. If the inner-city pops 1st I’ll increase the odds to 80/20 within 15 years.

Dyson making ventilators? Why not? … as long as they exceed requirements placed on medical devices and whatever other appropriate regulatory oversight matters.

Cleaning and re-using masks? It’s probably been done before. Does it make sense to do it now? Dunno, but someone does.

Point is: There is a crazy batch of BIG ideas being discussed RIGHT NOW. Some of those big ideas (often referred to as those things “that will never happen”) will happen. The least we can do is think about which things might happen and not pretend to be surprised when they happen. The best we can do is decide which ones we want to happen and work to make those happen and discourage the ones we do not want to happen.

A nod to Bernie?

Is the administration’s over-the-top reaction to the economic situation a nod to Bernie? The situation is characterized by:
1. The crash in the equities markets,
2. The drastic reduction of commercial activity, travel, retail, recreation, hospitality, services,
3. The significantly increased risk of sickness and death from previously low risk activities.

Of course these are all related and indeed warrant real action. The point is that many of our political operators are behaving and promoting actions that were previously counter to their values. Specifically the idea of giving all Americans cash in order to keep them afloat. Welfare for all? Basic income? The idea of giving businesses cash to pay employees while they can’t work. Sound like another corporate bailout?

In closing, all this could look like re-distribution of wealth without actually making the structural changes that would result in re-distribution as Bernie and others would have it.

I know some might say “too soon” and that’s fine, but let’s not forget what actually happened after it happens.

Drill Baby Drill!

Remember that cry? I’m not suggesting that the stock market decline is only because of an over-abundance of oil, but … When supply exceeds demand we know what happens.

Hate is no substitute for critical thinking

I asked the question “Why does this president drive people to hate ‘dems’? I despise the shortening of “Democrat” to ‘dem’, BTW.

Anyway, it is clear to me that this president asks his followers to hate rather than think, because hate is the one emotion that washes out every other thing, including rational thought.

What’s priced in already (stock market)

I’m sure someone has already spent a lot of resources gaming these scenarios.

1. Current president leaves office before next election.
2. Current president remains in office and does not win the next election.
3. Current president remains in office and wins re-election.
4. Current president leaves office before next election and the administration changes party.

Here we need a decision tree to follow the various possibilities.

Senate
House
Supreme Court
Governors!  What about the states?
Federal judges