James's blog

Day 16

One measure of decency I most admire is a person's willingness to apologize. Not with excuses or finger-pointing, but with a sincere desire to seek forgiveness. I apologize often for my transgressions and resolve to do better. That resolve doesn't always pan out, but I know I'll have more chances to improve. Rinse and repeat.

Day 15

I got an email from an Annapolis classmate who's living in France. It was sobering.

Just to reinforce how serious this pandemic is (as if anyone really needs it), I just received an update from a friend in Germany. He is healthy, walks every day but is over 80. He just told me: "There are other problems, people over 80 will not be treated for the virus, and it seems that quite some people are dying,” I hear on the US news that there are shortages of equipment and that doctors may be faced with decisions on who to save and who not. Looks like the German authorities are taking some of those decisions on themselves.

Day 14

This morning brought with it a fresh realization about Trump Republicans. They're not just petulant assholes, they're dangerous. And they don't mind taking the rest of us down with them.

Day 13

We're in the midst of a Lie Pandemic that is hitting Trump Republicans hard. Growing exponentially and mutating, it'll bring certain death to many of Trump's most loyal supporters. It seems they're ready to die for him.

Every day Trump makes stuff up, things that could literally end the lives of a million people. The shortage of tests, masks, and ventilators isn't some imagined Democratic hoax, it's a real and fatal failure of leadership at every level. But hey. There's nothing to worry about. God will protect and defend, screw you and your la-tee-dah social distancing.

Day 12

For a thing that human beings invented, time sure seems to have a life of its own. One day we're rushing to get it all done, the next day the bottom falls out. Urgency dissipates, and things that once seemed critically important aren't even on our lists anymore.

I'm a naturally anxious person for whom time has always been troublesome. For most of life, I've been in an irrational hurry, eager to finish one thing so I can move on to the next. Out on a hike? Get me back so I can sweep the porch. Reading a book? Wrap it up so I can start the next one. Out to dinner? No dessert, it takes too long.

As I read what I just wrote, I know it sounds kind of sick. But it's hard to fight. Anxiety for me is hard-wired, beyond any sense of control.

Day 11

Today marked a turning point of sorts for Jane and me, a simple acceptance that we're in this for the long haul ... and that there's nothing we can do to change things.

For me, life looks a lot like it usually does. I am an extreme introvert and am accustomed to spending weeks at home without going anywhere in a car. I've learned over many years how to be with myself comfortably and quietly. I don't get bored, I clean house instead. I don't get lonely, I make art instead. I don't need to see people in real life, I meet them online, just like I have for the past 15 or so years.

Day 10

Warning: This could turn into an ugly rant.

I woke this morning ashamed. Ashamed of myself, ashamed of our country, ashamed of our species. Through a toxic combination of reckless ignorance and unbridled greed, we have brought civilization to the brink of disaster. To my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, I am as sorry as I can be. I promise to do better in the few years I have left on earth.

Day 9

In our house, the quarantine began on the Ides of March. Since then we've been feeling our way along, and writing a lot. I hope you won't mind me using BlueNC to track my thoughts. Feel free to do the same.

This was written to on a Dan Forest Facebook thread, to one of his supporters.

Day 9

I'm afraid we're on different sides of the same coin. We both think the other side is ruining the country. Neither of us likes what we see happening, but we're powerless to do much about it.

Damned if you don't

Resign, Mr. Burr

Richard Burr's latest transgression has me thinking about the two ways to remove a senator: (1) resignation, and (2) expulsion by the Senate. Either or neither could happen.

Is it a good thing to try to oust Burr now? From a political perspective, I'm not sure. The replacement process would be wicked, with the deck stacked in favor of Republicans.

From a moral perspective? Absolutely.

This is about America, not just North Carolina. As a country and as a state, we cannot tolerate this kind of craven behavior.

Be careful what you wish for: Should Burr resign?

Lots of people are calling for Burr to resign, and god knows we'd all be better off if he did. But there's danger. Specifically this: If he were to resign, the executive committee of the NCGOP gets to nominate his replacement ... with Cooper having to choose among their three submissions.

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