Trump’s using the NRA’s playbook to block mask laws & accept COVID deaths in schools

The reopening schools issue reminds me of how in many states school boards had to decide about arming teachers.

No national or state mask mandate means that decisions are pushed down to cities, counties and school boards.
When there is no law and no funding strings boards can be swayed by the powerful & organized people in their community.

In the past the “guns everywhere” people were better organized, had better lobbyists and catchier messaging. So they won.

Lately the Parkland activists, MDA and other groups fought back at the state and local level. But they didn’t always win.

I watched a LOT of those meetings. Allowing those boards to make life or death medical decisions is crazy.

Part of the blame goes to medical professionals and scientists who say, “Just look at the data!” Elected officials can be craven cowards. They don’t make decisions based on reason alone.

The data alone isn’t going to make elected officials act the way we want, so we must use other pressures.

In Florida I watched school boards decide about arming teachers. The Governor said, “You have to do something from the options we decided on.”

The choices were cops in schools, armed security guards, or teachers/admin with guns. The school districts wanted to comply with the state law so they went with those options–even though cops in schools were proved ineffective at stopping mass shootings.

The state also used funding to get their way.

This is the same kind of pressure that cities (and by extension school boards) are getting now on opening schools in states with no mask laws.

1000’s of people die every month from gun violence and the national elected officials said “We won’t pass laws stopping guns. State officials said, “We won’t pass state laws banning guns AND we won’t allow cities to ban guns.”

In this environment school districts had to figure out how to save student lives while their city and state were swimming in guns.

The state said “We will give you resources for School Resource Officers. We did this because they have a great slogan, “Only good guys with guns can stop bad guys with guns!”  The data shows that they don’t stop students from being killed 99.99 percent of the time they are deployed, but the gun lobby had the best slogan and their views influenced our elected officials better than the views of the groups against it.

The attitude in America up to Parkland was, “We can’t stop the proliferation on guns outside the schools, it’s too hard. We voted to let the numbers grow and grow and now we all just need to live with a certain level of gun deaths every month.” That attitude on guns still prevails, while some of us are working on mitigation gun deaths others are still pushing for more guns.

Masks for all would help prevent COVID-19 infections inside the schools, but even better would be NO COVID-19 outside of schools. Sadly we have to deal with higher Covid rates OUTSIDE of schools because we weren’t willing to learn from other countries. Now some states aren’t willing to learn from other states!  We also have an incompetent corrupt leaders at the national and state level.

But just like the way the elected didn’t pass national and state gun laws–meaning there’s a high percent of guns floating around in the state–the elected won’t pass mask laws, meaning more COVID-19 is floating around the state.

More guns in cities and states increases the odds of more school shootings and deaths. More COVID-19 in cities and states increases the odds of more school infections & deaths.

The lobbyists who want guns everywhere do it so they can make money. Yes, they will talk about “freedom” but it’s about making more money. Until recently they were a more powerful lobby than the people who didn’t want guns everywhere.

Why won’t states pass mandated mask laws? Because the lobby that says, “The economy!” and “Trump’s reelection!” is powerful now.

Parents will have to go to cities, counties and school boards to fight and explain that the lives of teachers and children are more important than “The Economy!”

The parents will be up against people who will will use lies, bribes, threats and slogans to win. They will talk about “Freedom” from mask wearing but it’s really people making money in “The 1% economy” and supporting what Trump decides.

The Trump admin have given up preventing the proliferation of COVID-19 just like many Americans have given up on gun proliferation saying “it’s too hard to stop.” Guns are  everywhere because of people’s previous actions. Actions can be taken to change that.

Elected officials saw that we would accept a certain level of deaths from gun violence every month even thought they could be preventing by passing certain laws at the national and state level.

Now some elected officials are preventing certain laws at the national and state level from being passed that could prevent deaths from COVID-19. They expect us to accept a certain level of COVID-19 deaths every month just like we accepted the gun deaths.  We have the data to show how mandated  mask laws will save lives, but the data alone isn’t going to make elected officials do the right thing to protect lives.

When our national and state leaders fail us we need to use all our skills, and pressures to keep our students & teachers alive.

Supervisors rescinded public health orders. People died. Who’s responsible?

Barbara Feder Ostrov, contributing writer Cal Matters

Hi Barbara: I just read your great CALmed article from June 16th about how Public Health Officers were being threatened and quitting. You also linked to the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ meeting on May 26th. I watched most of that video. (especially the comments starting at 2:09)

I saw the Sheriff say he wouldn’t enforce mask laws. I saw people stand up and threaten Orange County Chief Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick. They rejected the order to wear masks with factually incorrect or misleading information.

In this March 2020 photo, Orange County, Calif., Chief Health Officer Dr. Nichole Quick listens during a coronavirus press conference in Santa Ana, Calif. D.r. Quick resigned Monday, June 8, 2020, after receiving threats over her order for residents wear to face coverings when near others in public to protect against the coronavirus. Quick is the seventh senior health official to resign in California since the pandemic began and the officials suddenly faced unprecedented pressure, criticism and threats, said Kat DeBurgh, executive director of the Health Officers Association of California. (Jeff Gritchen/The Orange County Register via AP)

It’s July 5th and cases are rising . . . → Read More: Supervisors rescinded public health orders. People died. Who’s responsible?

How will Trump block contact tracing after rallies?

From COVID-19 Contact Tracing Course.

How long is the incubation period for the disease? Two to 14 days, but typically five days. When does someone become contagious? Two days before showing symptoms. Course offered by Johns Hopkins University (link) 6,000 at Trump’s Tulsa Rally, June 20 Dozens of Secret Service officers and agents told to self-quarantine after Trump’s Tulsa rally, June 24 (link) Reporter at Trump’s Tulsa rally tests positive for COVID-19, June 26 (link) 3,000 at Trump’s Phoenix Rally, June 23

I’ve been writing about the need for contact tracing for a long time. I started by suggesting we should trace the people protesting in Lansing. Michigan, Link. Then I attended a conference that pointed out the need to ensure contact tracing was kept in the world of science and public health. It shouldn’t be politicized. I kept that in mind for future stories on enforcement of violations of people wearing masks.

May 26th following George Floyd’s murder 100’s and 1,000’s of people gathered outside to march and protest. Most wore masks. This continued for weeks.

Protest stemming from the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor, in Brookside neighborhood near 34th Street . . . → Read More: How will Trump block contact tracing after rallies?

No masks? We will mock you. Recommend on Facebook Tweet about it Email this!

COVID-19 Infected Man Attends Tulsa Trump Rally. What happens next?

What happens if someone with COVID-19 attends the Tulsa Trump rally? Will the campaign turn over the attendee data to the Oklahoma Health Department for contact tracing?

The Trump Campaign should have mandated masks and held it outside with social distancing. But they didn’t, so now the correct procedure after news of an infection should be to alert everyone who attended.

Attendee data should be turned over to Col. Lance T. Frye, M.D. the commissioner for Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) to start contact tracing. But will it be?

1) The Trump campaign admits they have all attendee data. (Especially inside, no entry without registered ticket. ) 2) It’s legal to turn over the data — June 3, OK Attorney General Mike Hunter today advised the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) thats does not violate state or federal law, as long as individuals are not identifiable. (Link)

3)The Trump Campaign doesn’t care about the health of their followers. We know that. They care about being sued and are doing the minimum to avoid charges of gross negligence. As shown by this tweet.

BTW, I’ve identified another source that has the legal right to attendee data. If . . . → Read More: COVID-19 Infected Man Attends Tulsa Trump Rally. What happens next?

Let’s use police brutality civil lawsuits to fund police reform

I just found out there is a spreadsheet of the hundreds of videos of police brutality across the country. Activists Create Public Online Spreadsheet of Police Violence Video It’s horrific. It made me sad and angry. After my outrage I thought “What can we do with this resource to drive change?”

People are already using the videos to change laws and public opinion. That’s a great, but in our country you also need money to fund change and to fight the powerful, well-funded groups who don’t want change.

When I saw the videos I knew they could also be used to get money from civil lawsuits and that money could be used to drive police reform actions.

When I mentioned this idea to people they quickly pointed out that the money doesn’t come out of the police department budget. It’s all covered by the cities’ insurance polices. That’s when I fell into Helpless Defeatist mode. What yanked me out of HD mode was something I learned from listening to Sam Seder talk to trial lawyers like Mike Papantonio on Ring of Fire:

Here is Ring of Fire episode 543: We Know the Police Can do Better;

When trial lawyers . . . → Read More: Let’s use police brutality civil lawsuits to fund police reform

If it wasn’t tear gas, what was it? I look into Kayleigh’s teargaslighting.

I coined a new term. Teargaslighting.

A version of gaslighting designed to sow seeds of doubt in the media on their definition of the chemical agents used to disrupt protesters.

“Trump Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany used teargaslighting on CNN’s Jim Acosta when he asked about how Trump cleared out the peaceful protesters outside St. John’s Church for his photo op.”

Here’s the clip of McEnany teargaslighting.

Keep watching past the 30 second mark. I know what she was doing with her “teargaslighitng’ but I wondered, if it’s not her specific definition of tear gas, what was it? What I found was educational and disturbing.

The cops, military and the bureau of prison’s riot squads probably used something from a company called PepperBall. I watched their training videos and then combined them in this editorial video of what happened outside St. John’s Church.

On their website the company showed scenarios of the product use in housing projects, hospitals and prisons. Note the use of drones to disperse chemical agents. Is that next?

This product can cause real problems, especially with people who have compromised respiratory systems, here’s the product safety sheet.

INHALATION: If breathing is difficult, . . . → Read More: If it wasn’t tear gas, what was it? I look into Kayleigh’s teargaslighting.


Teargaslighting by Spocko is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at

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GOP Response to Trump’s Tear Gassing Photo Op, “I’m late for lunch.”

Every wonder what Republicans say when asked about Trump’s horrible actions? This thread has multiple examples. From Kasie Hunt @NBCNews Capitol Hill Correspondent.

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., on the president’s photo op at St. John’s last night: “Didn’t really see it.”

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) June 2, 2020

Elected politicians know how to dodge questions from reporters. There are trained in multiple techniques. Constituents who challenge them sometimes can get a different response, but most politician know how to give non-answers. And the press accept it without digging.

Some politicians will try to look like they care while supporting Trump. Others are all in on Trump’s “dominance.” We know who those Republicans are and they are expected to give a quote to support Trump.

But we often read about Republicans that say bad things about Trump in private but the press won’t identify them. This gives the politician the best of both worlds, they get to look concerned to the press, but still look like a public lackey to Trump.

It’s time to blow the cover on some of these people. But access journalists aren’t going to do it. My recommendation?

Regular citizens should . . . → Read More: GOP Response to Trump’s Tear Gassing Photo Op, “I’m late for lunch.”

Who Wore It Better?

Original art by Pia Guerra @PiaGuerra. First posted March 13, 2017

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