Monthly Archives: September 2020


When I heard RBG had passed, I had three reactions in this order:

1.) Sadness.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an icon well worthy of admiration for women everywhere.  I love that an elderly intellectual woman became such a popular hero.

2.) Worry over her replacement.  Democrats may win the battle to delay appointment of a new justice past the election.  Honestly, I think the travesty was the failure of Obama’s appointment of Merrick.  However, I think Trump has an excellent change of being reelected.

3.) Anger.  RBG was 87.  Why the hell didn’t she step down during Obama’s term?  She said that her greatest wish was to have the next administration appoint her replacement, but words are empty.  Actions are what count.  RBG absolutely had full authority to ensure a likeminded replacement.  RBG was an incredible woman.  But are there not other incredible women who could have filled her shoes?  Kagan and Sotomayor are doing a great job!

I honestly feel like RBG tarnished her legacy significantly by failing to step down sooner.

Yes, it will be hypocritical if the Republicans appoint someone now.  But RBG easily could have died any time in the last four years.  And Trump may be reelected.  To assure her succession, she needed to step down five years ago, at age 82.

I’m curious if others agree with me.  All I see in the news and social media are people talking about how great she was.  Am I the only one also angry with her?

However, I loved these two articles on hyprocrisy.  Genius.  One.  And two.

schools rant

I voted straight ticket Republican for the first time in my life in August’s primary.  Historically, I’ve voted without regard to part affiliation in local elections (which are often non-partisan anyway) and begrudgingly vote Democrat at the state level and higher.   But the forced closure of all schools locally, including private schools, pushed me over the edge.

My kids’ school spent the summer jumping through all the local DOH hoops to prepare for school.  Some of the guidelines made a ton of sense, like ensuring sufficient distance between desks and masking.  Others, like truly excessive handwashing and a disinfectant spraying machine, seemed performative.  But, whatever.

However, I knew –  I just KNEW – that the optics of public schools all closed while private schools opened would not be allowed to stand in this state.  I told my husband this, and he said it would never happen.  But, of course, I was right.  A couple weeks before schools were to open, it was announced that the local DOH strongly recommended all private schools close.  A couple have opened in defiance of the recommendation, but the vast, vast majority have fallen into line.

To put this into perspective, my own city just went nearly a month without a single Covid case.  In the county, our hospital Covid levels are at or below 2%.  Positive tests are between 2 and 3%.   “Re” was 0.6 at least report.

It. Is. Nuts.

The governor is the most important position.  Inslee got about 50% of the votes in the primary, but there were 30 candidates.  I really like the phsyician who I voted for, but sadly, he didn’t get the nomination.  Instead, this guy did.   I don’t love him.  Nevertheless, I plan to vote for him anyway.   Here’s what he has to say about Covid:

I believe that state government should be involved in encouraging and supporting public health. However, I believe that its proper role is to educate people as much as possible on the mechanics and risks posed by communicable diseases—and then trusting Washington citizens to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their local communities. After all, no one cares more about your health than you.

I believe Washington’s current Governor has drastically overstepped his proper and Constitutional role during the COVID outbreak thus far. He has twisted the emergency powers that Washington State law gives him. Rather than focusing on educating the people, the state agencies under his control have withheld good data and information! And he’s focused on making legally-dubious proclamations to create the illusion that he’s “doing something” or “acting decisively.” This is outrageous and demonstrates the type do-nothing government Washington citizens are tired of seeing from their elected public servants.

That is much more in-line with my views than the continuing Inslee dictatorship.  Unfortunately, we are a single party state and Inslee will almost certainly win again.  Maybe there are other people getting as mad as me.  We’ll see.  If it weren’t for Covid, I’d almost certainly vote for Inslee again.  I can’t be the only one deeply unhappy about ongoing closures.

The good news actually is that if Biden wins, Inslee will possibly / likely be off to Washington.

According to the New York Times, elementary and middle schools should be fully open here, and high schools partially open.  I’ll be shocked if any public schools in my county open this school year.  We shall see, I guess.


I’ve been following the situation in Melbourne, Australia with great interest.  If you haven’t been following along, Australia was initially shielded from an early Covid surge, presumably by its geographical remoteness and low population and population density.  (Australia has a population of only 25 million, less than California or Texas.)  Australia went on lockdown and effectively stamped out Covid.  A couple months ago, however, the state of Victoria, where Melbourne is, experienced a resurgence.  The government instituted another lockdown, comparable in severity to what’s been done in more conservative states like Washington and Pennsylvania.  When that lockdown failed to be effective, they instituted a second lockdown for six weeks that I can compare only to communist China.  This lockdown, not surprisingly, has been effective.

It’s worth noting that the second outbreak was seeded by Australians returning from the USA who were staying at quarantine hotels.  It’s a little unclear to me exactly what happened, but there were rules violations either by the hotel residents, workers, or both.  I think both.  Their quarantine hotel system is pretty severe, and it’s interesting / depressing how a limited number of violations touched off a major outbreak.  The US’s honor system quarantine rules don’t have a prayer, in my opinion.

In any case, here’s a graphic of Victoria (Melbourne) cases.  Victoria has a population of 7 million.  That’s about the same number of people as we have in Washington.

To put these numbers in perspective, in Washington state, numbers peaked at about twice these levels in June / July.  And Washington state has had maybe half the cases per capita at peak as compared to Texas or California.  So, Melbourne experienced a very real surge, but nothing like US hot spots.

For reference, you can see here that initially, they had very few cases (though I suppose we don’t know how effective testing was), and they were effective stamped out.

The draconian lockdown Victoria residents are currently under includes, as a sampling, restrictions like the following:

  • Very limited list of essential businesses which people can leave the house to work at.  (The US has a very broad list of “essential businesses.”)
  • One person may leave the household per day for groceries or essentials
  • No one may go more than 5 km from their house.  This is enforced with checkpoints.
  • Playgrounds are closed.
  • You may not leave the state without a permit from the government.  One person who had such a permit but failed to quarantine upon their return to their state has been sentenced to six months in prison.
  • No demonstrations or protests of any kind.  One woman was arrested for posting about a protest on social media.
  • Playgrounds closed.

As you can see from the chart above, the lockdown has been successful.  Some analysts are saying that if the lockdown is continued through the end of *October*, they could eliminate Covid completely from Victoria.

The government is supposed to announced a plan this Sunday for leaving lockdown.

Now, it’s hard to say whether this kind of management makes sense.  My personal opinion is, given the severity of Covid, absolutely not. However, maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe Australia will eliminate Covid.  Lockdown will end, and Australians will be able to go about their normal lives with kids in school, sports, parties, jobs, etc., all back to normal by the end of the year while we in the US are still home schooling (or at least those of us in Democrat-run states).  To achieve this, Victorians will have spent many months on lockdown, including six or more weeks as virtual prisoners in their homes.

If it doesn’t work, and they can’t stamp out Covid and have to either resort to more lockdowns, or give up, then this will have been a colossal disaster for Australia. If it does work and they can go back to their normal lives, maybe it will have been worth it.  It will be fascinating to see how things pan out.

I don’t think this approach was ever a possibility in the US due to culture, larger population and population density, much more extensive spread in CA and NY before we knew what was happening, lack of strong federal leadership, lack of enforceable state borders, and on and on. I am very glad I don’t live in Australia, but for a more severe illness, this is exactly the right sort of approach.  And I don’t think the US will have the will or ability to implement it, no matter who is president.