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Open protests - a bad idea done poorly

First, an admission: I'm a Walmart cashier, so I'm considered "essential", have a job, go out daily, am making money. So I am not experiencing the financial stress os many others are. Of course, I'm also worried that I'll get sick from being essential.

That said, I think the idiots saying "back to normal now" are insane. This is still a deadly disease, very contagious, and we have no natural immunity nor no vaccine.  It kills people, it puts far more in the hospital and causes lifelong issues. Yes, we're going to have to start loosening the lockdowns when it's clear the spread has slowed down a lot, but that's loosening.

I see those people protesting to "open up now", and they might as well be advertisements about why we need lockdowns. They gather tightly without protection, they're going to be spreading the virus among their groups, they carry signs that make it partisan, and they look like a mob.

If I was on their side, here's how I'd organize the protests:

  1. Everyone wears masks. Properly, over mouth and nose. If you can't wear a mask, you don't participate.
  2. Everyone dresses up as if they were going to an office or church. We're sending the message that we're serious people with serious concerns.
  3. All signs must be non-partisan and about the economic distress being caused. If you bring a pro-Trump sign or an anti-Democrat sign, it will be taken and you'll be asked to leave. Here's a list of messages you can adapt.
  4. There will be taped marks on the street, six feet separated. You go to a mark and stay there, unless you're called upon to speak. We're showing that we can be smart without being locked down.


Posted on May 3, 2020, 10:02 am

Donald Brown

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Changes in my life - my legs and feet hurt

Some of my friends know this already, but here's some updates.

I've discovered that nobody wants to hire a 60 year old programmer (and I am out of touch with some newer web technologies), so for the past four months I've been a cashier for Walmart. I'm finding I enjoy the job more than I expected, particularly bantering with the customers. My favorite new bit - when someone talks about how little they got away with spending, I declare that Walmart has instituted a (x) dollar minimum - would you like to buy a candy bar to bring you into compliance? Most get the joke and laugh, a few looks shocked and I have to quickly say I'm joking. There's the occassional customer from hell (not just nasty - but if you plan to buy $30 worth of goods with quarters, your cashier will not be happy), but those are rare, most are nice.

My legs and feet, though, are not fond of this new system and want me to find a desk job, any desk job. Usually I've got a pad that helps the feet, but after three hours of standing, it's really hard to reach down and pick up something.

I'm living in a room in a duplex in Cathedral City with T.C., currently my only furry companion. T.C. was a stray at the mobile home park I used to live at (don't laugh, mobile homes are actually very nice these days). He got upset when the landlord moved in with his three cats, so he's happy to be the only cat of the household. We do have a disagreement on whether he's an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.

Not exactly what I expected at 60, but it's not a bad life.

Posted on October 9, 2019, 10:23 am

Donald Brown

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A deal to be made, @realDonaldTrump

OK, here's a deal that could happen.

First, government would have to be reopened while details worked out. When that happens, one bill that does the following:

$5B for fencing on public lands that are not ecologically sensitive.

$20B for non-barrier border security, with at least $10B to be spent on staffing for border patrol and immigration courts

Dream Act passed. Ideally with path to citizenship, but one gets what one can get.


Posted on January 13, 2019, 10:44 am

Donald Brown

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Mr. Trump, Put up or shut up

It's common during political campaigns, and Trump did a lot of it. "I will solve this problem and it will be GREAT!" It's not totally useless, it at least is recognizing where there is a problem in need of a solution. Some general details would help, but no concept survives completely intact as it becomes law. So, during a campaign, you can forgive some vagueness on details.

But the campain is over, Mr. Trump. It was over more than two years ago. You can't just promise a "great solution" without saying what that solution will be. So Trump's morning tweet about "We need the Supreme Court to kill the ACA so we can replace it with something better" is particularly enraging to those like me who depend on the ACA's protections for those with pre-existing condition. You've HAD two years to come up with something better, and everything you proposed would make things WORSE. Fewer people getting coverage. Much weaker protections.

It's the same thing with immigration. "We need to kill the diversity lottery and family reunification visas in order to replace it with a merit based system" - WHAT is the merit based system? Is it really about merit, or is it "people who look like me have merit".

You are the President, Mr. Trump. Time for details.

Posted on December 17, 2018, 7:40 am

Donald Brown

A pro-life bill

I am pro life. Here is what I think needs to be law.

Support for mothers and children

  • Full prenatal care provided for mothers who cannot afford it.
  • 6 months paid maternal leave with guaranteed access to job afterwards
  • Child care for those who need help.
  • Fully fund five star public education for every child
  • If needed, full funding of nutrious food for kids growing up and health care.

Other forms of supporting life

  • Mandatory blood donation unless doctor certification that they cannot donate.
  • Mandatory bone marrow donation if needed.
  • Mandatory organ donation upon death.
  • Universal registry and mandatory live kidney donation when needed.

Everyone will support that right? Because they believe in supporting life. They aren't really punishing women for getting pregnant, are they?

Posted on January 27, 2018, 6:55 pm

Donald Brown

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