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Texas is shutting back down

What about all the nude hippy sunbathers at Lake Austin? :wink:

I can’t figure out where Texas gets their governors — they’ve had some really weirdos! Where is Ann Richards now that you really need her? Or Molly Ivins?

I keep wondering why Texans put up with such yahoos running the place, but smart politicians like Lyndon Johnson or Barbara Jordan are quite rare in Texas politics.

Well, some Texans. This pandemic’s biggest upside might be a rout of all things GOP across the country. Maybe it will have the kind of effect on politics that the Depression and Pearl Harbor had on the US.

Most people forget how contentious most of FDR’s policies were prior to WWII. The polarization that exists now, largely along class lines, existed then as well. The coalitions have shifted (like blue collar unions becoming more right leaning as people of color got job opportunities previously reserved to whites), and the people on each side are shouting louder but much is still the same.

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Many Americans hold an ignorant view of anything which could be construed as “socialism.” They seem to be under the impression that it’s synonymous with communism or some other equally feared system of governance.
Both Canada and the UK, as well as most other first world countries have some form of socialized medicine- no one doesn’t get needed care because they can’t afford it. It works well and doesn’t threaten democracy, but try to convince the “no socialism” Americans of that.


I wouldn’t quite go as far as saying no-one in the UK goes without care because they can’t afford it @muddy and I say that as someone who works for our health service :slight_smile:

We do have a post code lottery when it comes to health care and individual health systems can decide how and what services they fund and provide so you may get elective care and treatments in one area not available in another. And mental health support is limited - a poor relation to physical health care

However I am still proud to work for a health service which many people is second to none in terms of public health care and that everyone in this country can access the same care dependent on need rather than their ability to pay. (Unless you pay privately)

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Yes, I get that. In Canada there can be long waits for non-essential care as well, and also months-long waits to get an appointment with a specialist. But an emergency situation is always dealt with, and Canadians don’t not go see their doctor about something that concerns them because they can’t afford the visit, a situation many Americans may find themselves in.

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Good for you. :slight_smile:

Having experienced both the UK and the USA medical systems (yes, I have insurance in the USA) I decided that I much prefer the UK in that respect.


Thanks Muddy; I was to a large extent unaware of the US problem with “socialism” until I read some of the stuff being thrown at Bernie Sanders. Even the word seems like a red rag to a bull! Weird. I wonder where in US history this sprang from?

In the early 1910s, the membership of the largest US union, the International Workers of the World, the IWW, had reached 150,000 with members in many trades and the ability to organize many more. Right after World War I, the big banks and trusts that controlled corporate America convinced the Attorney General that these union members called “Wobblies” were communists! They had a big “Red Scare”, arrested some Russian immigrant labor organizers and sent them back to Russia. About this time a young lawyer named J. Edgar Hoover proposed an investigative agency to monitor the “Reds” and other subversives called the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Until Hoover’s death in 1972, he, the FBI, and the American right would accuse anyone with ideas that might be the slight bit progressive to be “Communists”. That included equal rights.


many thanks - that’s interesting. I’ve since done some further research on the Wobblies and Joe Hill; I’d heard the quote “Don’t mourn - organise!” before but was unaware of its source. Thanks again.

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Austin City Limits Music Festival finally announced there is no fest this year. So that will result in a cascade of cancellations for Austin area hosts.

Not related to Texas but the Oregon Supreme Court just decided two days ago to grant diploma privilege to this year’s Oregon law school graduates. That means they can apply to be admitted to the bar without taking the exam. That means hundreds of test takers will not be taking the exam and will be cancelling their accommodation reservations. Other states are considering doing the same.

So a few hundred here, a few hundred there and the effects continue to ripple through the economy.

It’s not partisan, I agree. It’s been stupidity and mixed messages and half-assed measures across the board.

Then people became cranky.

The data is conflicting, but seems to suggest, here in FL, that the deaths are trending downwards while the number of cases are increasing. Whether that’s due to the spread of the virus or more testing or both is a statistical nightmare to figure out.

Frankly, I think many, many people have had it to varying degrees and we won’t know the truth (if there is such a thing anymore) until every single person in the US is tested for the virus and/or anitbodies.

Don’t despair. Here’s a socially distanced hug. :hugs: It’s frustrating as all get-out.

Obviously part of it is that deaths lag infections. I certainly hope the death rate will be relatively lower now that most cases are in younger, healthier folks.


Recently an acquaintance was voicing disapproval of Obamacare participants and how the government was subsidizing them.

I shared I had it for 6 months between jobs. Yes I was subsidized. You can only have insurance under the ACA for 3 years so it’s temporary. I’ve worked and paid taxes for 45 years (since age 15), I was in need, so why shouldn’t I get it?

Like so many she thought it was free healthcare for an unlimited time.

People who don’t understand see it as an unnecessary government handout.

I am grateful for the program.

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Doctors also have a better idea of how to treat it (ventilators are out and proning is in, blood clots can be a problem, radiation therapy may help the elderly), and we have identified some medicines that help. I’m optimistic that the death rate will not tick back up nearly as much as the uptick in cases for all those reasons.


The current projections show that experts are not expecting that. 120,000 dead in first 4 months and worst case projections I’ve seen for next 4 months would be an additional 60,000. So death rate cut in half. Still, 60,000 extra dead Americans in 4 months would have been unthinkable this time last year.

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I’ve heard what the experts say, and I am not an expert and don’t pretend to be one. I do believe, however, that the experts such as Fauci are deliberately telling us the pessimistic side of the story to try and get through some people’s thick heads that this is far from over.

Now, if only Governor Abbott here in Texas would just make masks mandatory. I realize masks aren’t perfect, but they probably go a lot further to reduce the spread than the focus on sanitizing surfaces.

My workplace here in Houston requires masks everywhere except when we are alone in our offices. The motto is “if you’re walking, you’re wearing”, and we haven’t had any cases where someone caught it from a coworker at the office.

Not all participants are subsidized. It’s a misconception that a lot of people have. We make too much for the subsidy or the tax credit, but don’t have access to insurance otherwise. My husband is a bartender and restaurants don’t have to offer healthcare in most places. And I usually work as a contractor. I did qualify for benefits a couple of years ago, but the plan offered by my employer was an awful plan and wasn’t any cheaper for me. I’ve been buying my own health insurance for most of my adult life and am grateful for the ACA because it’s much more affordable than buying an individual plan was before it.

What do you mean by this? I’m not aware of any limit on using the Marketplace. I’ve been using the whole time - 9 or 10 years at this point. I know others that have had it all along and also have had it subsidized the whole time.

The only thing I can think of is that if one was 62 when they got it, they would likely need to give it up at 65 if they qualified for free Medicare A.

I don’t follow Fauci super closely. This is the projection tool I look at:

The worst case scenario is the one we should be using because we haven’t had anything like a serious shutdown (similar to other nations). If things turn around and we get a national mask mandate with actual enforcement and quit acting like Disney is going to open, the NFL will have a regular season, and political conventions are going to meet in person with 20,000 people then maybe these “worst” cases won’t play out.

I’m still seeing too little, too late and too many exceptions.


It’s more that medical professionals don’t want to make predictions that turn out to be too optimistic. Like us, they underpromise and try to overdeliver.


Governor Abbott finally made face masks mandatory in much of Texas today. A step in the right direction, hopefully it isn’t too late.

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