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As we sit at home self-isolating and wallowing in self pity, it might be instructive to pick up and read a copy of the current non-fiction best seller "The Splendid and the Vile," which describes the devastation visited upon the civilian population of Britain by German bombers in 1940.
Particularly striking is Chapter 59, recounting the bombing of the city of Coventry.
You might agree that it places our current situation in better perspective.
Born after WWII (when our president did not personalize every win and loss, as did Der Fuhrer), I have long wondered how the ”self-phone”-preoccupied Americans of today would deal with even a small call for sacrifice. As does every crisis, this unprecedented 100-year pandemic has shown the best and worst of people.
Kudos to our military and first responders who have always risked their personal safety, even in the worst of times. And kudos to our “new heroes,” like healthcare workers operating with a lack of personal protection, grocery employees who keep us able to eat, and delivery people like our postal carriers who bring medications to our very doorsteps.
Compare that behavior with my neighbors (also both postal employees), who have conveniently stayed home for the past month, but who together still deliver and pick up their 2-year-old to day care daily so they can each (sans masks or gloves) run three or four errands in between (even with an 80-year-old granny in the house).
And the plumbing employee at Lowe’s who kept invading my space until he finally coughed on me. And the lady with the tiny non-service dog on a leash at Trader Joe’s who followed me across the parking lot and spit at me. And the woman at the grocery checkout line who ignored the 6-foot markers and insisted on loading her stuff onto the belt so close she knocked over some of my groceries and excused it by saying, “I’m not sick.”
In this time of too much at-home viewing time, may I recommend Mike Judge’s prescient 2006 comedy “Idiocracy.” It explains a lot about how we got to this place in time.
El Dorado Park South
Time For Thanks
Time to thank and acknowledge the unsung heroes of our quarantine. I’m talking retail workers, grocery clerks, restaurant staff and delivery pros.
Forced to closely interact with the public while the rest of us are staying away from each other, these modest earners suffer extended hours, crushing crowds and what can only be described as a painfully inordinate amount of time on their feet.
Still they remain polite, humble and professional. As a group they are often overlooked and taken for granted, yet seldom display self-congratulatory behavior. Now that’s refreshing!
With this pandemic, we can clearly see how valuable and necessary these people really are. True superheroes wear name tags and aprons and wield kitchen knives and handlebars with superhuman skill.
So please join me in giving them a hearty thank you and a nice tip. They deserve it! Remember that we couldn’t do this without them.
I really do not understand all this talk about how there are people dying all over the place, the hospitals are overrun, and in New York they are loading hundreds of dead bodies into freezer trucks.
I sprained my finger the other day, so decided to call St. Mary’s emergency room to ask what I should do since the COVOD-19 has all the hospitals overflowing. The first thing I found weird was the recording you get when you call never once mentioned anything about the COVOD-19 virus and just mentions things about their heart center, etc.
When I got through, the lady said “oh sure come on down, people are staying away from the hospitals and we're actually not busy.” I was shocked. So that got me thinking. I then called Memorial and that emergency room said sure no problem it's just business as usual here. I don't understand.
This is absurd. I know as a fact that at least 160 people die every day in Los Angeles County alone on a normal day. I have a feeling there's a lot going on that has absolutely nothing to do with this virus. I think we are at war and they’re really not telling us. Food for thought.
I agree bathrooms should be opened (Mailbox, April 9).
Come on Shore pharmacies, get real and trust your faithful patrons to properly wash after visiting your restrooms. This action to close restrooms is not only illogical (your doors are already open), but reprehensible.
My appeal also pertains to closure of toilets at Marine Stadium. Come on city of Long Beach, have a heart.
Beware Of Scammers
I got a call from a scammer today, one of the many I get from con artists. He was slick, almost as slick as the politicians who scam the naive citizens into voting for increased taxation with their shiny flyers we get in the mail.
He said I won $3,000,000. In order to get the winnings, He wanted me to give him $1,200 in cash to process it. He said he will deliver the check in person and even asked me if I wanted a TV crew to film my happy day.
Of course having an IQ above 60. I knew It was a scam. I played along for a while before I called him a few choice words and accused him of being a scammer. I then hung up.
There are a lot of scammers out there. Be careful.
Do Votes Count?
We often hear the catchphrase “every vote counts.” But is it true?
The word vote is typically defined as “a formal expression of opinion or choice.” The word finds its roots from the ancient Greek word meaning vow or solemn pledge.
Is how we vote today indicative of making a solemn pledge? When we count votes today, do we really treat each vote as a formal expression of an opinion? The way votes are made and counted are fundamental to answering these questions.
If we use our most recent election (March 3) and particularly Measure A as a case study, is the how we vote and how we count indicative of how we typically make and count solemn pledges?
I have no interest in requirements that would have the effect of suppressing votes. I believe every citizen has the right, (in fact, the civic duty) to vote. Each of us is responsible to ensure the votes we cast truly represent our formal expression and solemn pledge.
What I am interested in is guaranteeing the integrity of each vote, and that each vote is properly protected during the counting process so that the result of an election confidently and unquestionably represents the wishes of the electorate. To have complete confidence in the integrity of the process, the results must be timely.
Does every vote count? Well, (after trailing for 24 days) 16 votes counted determinately in favor of Measure A on March 27, when the registrar certified the March 3 election. Each of us must ask, does the result of the election confidently and unquestionably represent the wishes of the electorate?
If the answer to this question is no, then the answer to “does very vote count?” really doesn’t matter, does it? In a democracy, we cannot allow that to stand and must work to make changes to the process necessary to ensure a “yes” answer, validating that every solemn pledge does in fact count.