Bag of Randomness for Saint Patrick’s Day 2020

A friend of mine spotted a transaction on his credit card which he didn’t make to “eBay HK”. He called his credit card company and was routed to an overseas call center. When he informed the agent of this suspicious activity, the agent asked, “Sir, are you sure you didn’t go into eBay HK in Honk Kong and make a purchase.” My friend kindly stated he’s never been to Asia and has never set foot inside a single eBay store. A few days later or so he receives notification the dispute was denied. He called the credit card company again and again was routed to a call center overseas. The agent told him that the eBay HK company submitted undisputable evidence that it was he who made the purchase at the eBay store in Honk Kong. My friend then had a rather colorful discussion questioning what this indisputable evidence was.

A lot of folks are feeling a real Contagion or The Walking Dead kinda vibe as of late. Of all movies, I’m feeling a Bird Box vibe. We certainly aren’t experiencing mass suicides by simply looking outside, but I’m just feeling that sort of vibe when I first watched that Sandra Bullock Netflix movie.  But I also felt this way when I watched the Ice Capades.

There’s a simulation in this article, I think it’s the fifth one down, which I thought was pretty impressive on how the COVID-19 virus affects a population in terms of healthy, recovered, and sick people. I wish I knew how to embed it in this post.

Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to “flatten the curve”

Amazon wants to hire 100,000 new workers to meet coronavirus demandIt will also increase all warehouse workers’ hourly pay by $2

Liar In Chief – Video emerges showing Trump talking about cutting pandemic team in 2018, despite saying last week ‘I didn’t know about it’

A video has emerged of Donald Trump talking about cutting the US pandemic response team in 2018 – days after claiming that he knew nothing about the disbanded White House unit.

Mr Trump said of the pandemic team that “some of the people we’ve cut they haven’t been used for many, many years and if we ever need them we can get them very quickly and rather then spending the money”.

“I’m a business person, I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them,” he added.

Of course, I don’t blame Trump for COVID-19, but I do hold him accountable for not having the country adequately prepared for a potential pandemic. This program was already in place for him, all he had to do was take the wheel. There’s nothing wrong with him modifying it to meet certain needs, but disposing of it doesn’t keep America great. I also hear folks complain that government is too big and full of waste, this is my argument against it. Can some government fat be trimmed? Of course, and it’s good to have thoughtful discourse about it. But it’s like having insurance, you pray you don’t have to use it, but it’s there if you need it. A pandemic team is like having the best military in the world. You hope you don’t need it, but it’s there just in case to protect the citizenry. Fake news? Bullshit. Shove it up your ass, Mr. President.

I’ve noticed a lot of men on television wearing button-up dress shirts without collars as of late. I fear this is a new fashion trend.

American Teenagers Are Declaring ‘Virginity Rocks’A clothing item inspired by a YouTube star has found its way into malls and schools, stumping adults along the way.

But whatever their motivation, teenagers across the country have been going wild for shirts that bear a chaste declaration: “Virginity Rocks.”

The clothing items became popular online thanks to a social media influencer and are now stocked by a major retail chain with a presence in malls across the United States. The trend has puzzled some school administrators, who have banned the shirts only to face criticism, and other adults, who have wondered if youth abstinence is on the rise.

It can be traced to Danny Duncan, a 27-year-old YouTube personality and prankster, who said he started wearing “Virginity Rocks” shirts in his videos as something of a joke in 2017. Mr. Duncan said that his use of the phrase was “tongue in cheek,” and that most people wore it humorously. But, he added, he is proud to have seen it catch on with young people who champion abstinence.

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14 Responses to Bag of Randomness for Saint Patrick’s Day 2020

    • Geeding says:

      Hello wordkyle. You’ve been a longtime reader of this blog and not only do I appreciate that but I appreciate you providing that Washinton Post op-ed without any finger-wagging or insult. That piece was written by Tim Morrison, who is well-credentialed since he’s the former senior director for counterproliferation and biodefense on the National Security Council. He led what was left of the pandemic response office, so I’m sure he’s proud and defensive of his work. He provides a counter-point to what I posted. I’m sure we both can agree that facts are facts and shouldn’t be disputed. Perhaps we may even agree there are different interpretations of facts. Morrison, as it’s stated in the link, now works for the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank that supports President Trump. His op-ed appears to be a direct response to another Washinton Post op-ed by Beth Cameron, the first director of the now disbanded NSC pandemic office.

      But what bothers me is that the president, after being asked why he disbanded the NSC pandemic office, stated he didn’t know anything about it being disbanded. Yet, as you can see in the video I provided in my post, he admitted that he gutted the office because as a business person he didn’t want people on the payroll when there wasn’t an active threat.

      Morrison and Cameron have both explained their interpretations of what the office became in two op-eds. But one of my major issues is that the president said he doesn’t take responsibility for what has transpired after the office was eliminated or reorganized, stating he didn’t know anything about, yet there’s contrary video evidence, even a transcript on the White House’s webpage.

      • Bizarro Big Tex says:

        Well played, Sir. Well Played!
        Score is 15-love for Geeding.
        DF Ilie Năstase

      • wordkyle says:

        I long ago quit trying to defend what Trump says. His mouth is a loose cannon. However, in your post you said, “There’s nothing wrong with him modifying it to meet certain needs, but disposing of it doesn’t keep America great.” The piece I linked to illustrated that nothing was “disposed of.” The position Morrison held still exists and is occupied. Divisions were combined into a “counterproliferation and biodefense directorate,” which doesn’t exactly scream “disposed of.” Something Morrison says, which can be checked: “The reduction of force…has left the biodefense staff unaffected.”
        This is all to dispute the tale which I understood you were promulgating, that Trump had done away with all the elements of the department which was in charge of just what we’re facing. Morrison may be conservative and a Trump supporter. That doesn’t make him a liar.

        • Geeding says:

          I don’t think I referred to Morrison as a liar. I certainly referred to the president as a liar, but with Morrison, I’m stating his interpretation or version of what became of the office is not one I agree with.

          You stated, “The piece I linked to illustrated that nothing was “disposed of.” In the piece I linked to, Beth Cameron, the first director of the NSC pandemic office, wrote, “One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19.” To me, “disposed” and dissolved” are interchangeable. To make sure this was a reasonable understanding on my part, I googled “dissolve”. The second definition and its example is “close down or dismiss (an assembly or official body). “the country’s president can dissolve parliament under certain circumstances”.” In her piece, she links to a Washington Post article from May 10, 2018 which states “…the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.” I didn’t look up “disbanded”, but feel like it can be interchanged with both “disposed” and “dissolved”. But you know what I had to look up, “promulgating”. I’m just a caveman. I fell on some ice and was later thawed by some of your scientists. That word is certainly not in my vernacular, but I wish it was. I hope you don’t mind my adding of some levity, here.

          I guess we can sum this up with you siding with Morrison’s interpretation of events and I’m siding with Cameron’s, both people with exceptionally strong credentials. I appreciate you giving me the chance to really examine my thoughts and do some research.

          • wordkyle says:

            Okay, the last salvo, I promise. One interpretation of events has the president eliminating the unit tasked with addressing the situation we now face. Another interpretation has the president eliminating a bloated bureaucracy created by his predecessor, much of which had nothing to do with the mission. Experts in global health and biodefense are still part of the NSC. The narrative that Trump’s actions left us defenseless is false.

            • Geeding says:

              I still disagree. I will agree that experts in global health and biodefense are still part of the NSC, but no longer staffed in adequate numbers or well-connected with other agencies and departments. What you are stating as bloated bureaucracy is what I consider adequate. The Trump administration reorganizing and cutting staff eliminated efficiencies that were built in to adequately respond to a pandemic using lessons learned from the Ebola scare. So, this is not only a disagreement on interpretation, but also strategy. You may prefer a 4-3 flex defense but I’ll say a 3-4 provides the best defense. Perhaps as a baseball GM you think a team should use the Oakland A’s Moneyball approach and I think it’s better to spend big like the Yankees. Maybe you prefer a low deductable and I prefer a high one. And I’ll be honest, I had to look up “salvo”. I wasn’t sure it if was Spanish slang, a derivative of “salvation”, or a Latin root. I’ve heard it before, but never really thought about its meaning.

  1. Harry Hood says:

    One of the funniest dynamics right now is watching the hardcore MAGA-ites reconcile their notion that this is all a left wing conspiracy to ruin the economy and get Biden elected with the counter of the actions of the president in acknowledging the severity of the situation. I want them to tell me….who’s full of shit now? I suspect the response will be that he is just bending to pressure (which may actually be true because he’s too dense to understand any of this).

    • Bryan B. says:

      I have a cousin that is an ardent Trump supporter and was screaming on social media for weeks about the seriousness of Covid-19 and the need to drastically prep for the coming pandemic. After Trump blew it off as something that would pass, he became eerily quiet.

  2. Bizarro Big Tex says:

    So sorry for the troubled times at your alma mater. I have always had great respect for Hardin-Simmons and its graduates through the decades. Bean counters as top higher ed administrators are frequently disastrous (how’s that for an over-the-top generalization?). They may have great business skills, but they usually lack the compassion, human connection, and Realpolitik genes in their genetic makeup.

    Real question before I go to the Google for the answer: Is Ice Capades still around? What about Ringling Brothers Circus?

    • Bryan B. says:

      Ice Capades no longer exists, but you could probably argue that it morphed into the still very popular Disney On Ice. Ringling Brothers shut down at some point in the last 2 years after pressure from animal rights advocates. Interestingly enough, Disney on Ice and the circus are both owned by Feld Entertainment, the owner of several other arena or theater based entertainment concepts like Monster Jam, Supercross, Sesame Street Live, and Marvel Live. The fact that they were willing to walk away from a tried and true concept like the circus shows how flush with cash they are.

  3. Bryan B. says:

    Am I losing my mind or did you do some kind of layout/look change with the blog? Not a bad thing, but I just realized it mid day yesterday.

  4. ALEC666 says:

    I think I may have typed Liberallylean by mistake

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