An Appointment In Samarra

An old Arabian Fable adapted from a translation by W. Somerset Maugham in 1933.

There was a merchant in Bagdad who went to the Market to buy provisions and he was jostled. When he turned he saw it was Death and Death made a threatening gesture, Shaken he took his fastest horse and fled to Samarra confident Death would not find him.

Well of course he did. He’s Death, duh

His last question was this- “Why did you threaten me in the Market in Bagdad?”

“Threaten you? I was surprised to see you. I knew we had an appointment tonight in Samarra.”

I haven’t made it painfully obvious but I have come to North Lake which has the additional virtue of one of the Top Three non-Corona States in the Country. I’m not quite sure why, they play fast and loose with PPE and think Social Distancing is optional. I practice it religiously if only to piss off the MAGAs.

Since I have no pressing engagements and am able to write using my Laptop setup I was considering extending my stay. It’s pleasant and very, very quiet.

Well, until now.

New Hampshire locals concerned about ‘loud and boisterous’ Trump supporters bringing COVID-19 to town
By Travis Gettys, Raw Story
July 9, 2020

Trump supporters are descending on New Hampshire, one of only three states where coronavirus cases are currently waning, and locals are worried about another outbreak.

The mayor of Portsmouth is refusing to back down on the city’s mask mandate ahead of President Donald Trump’s rally Saturday at an airport, and the campaign will strongly encourage supporters to wear masks, but some area business owners are worried about sick people coming in from out of state, reported WMUR-TV.

“We made a decision for the safety of our employees and our customers to go ahead and shut down for a week, due to all the out-of-state people who would likely be coming into our restaurant,” said Sandra Makmann, owner of the Country View restaurant.

The city will help provide security with police and fire personnel, but Portland’s police commissioner Stefany Shaheen expressed concern about the costs after pandemic-related budget cuts.

“To be incurring unexpected expenses right now, not to mention what could likely happen relative to public health, it’s not tenable, it’s not fair, and these expenses should be reimbursed,” said Shaheen, the daughter of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

The city manager’s office was told by the campaign that invoices would be forwarded to the Secret Service, which is solely responsible for the president’s security.

Campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh could not promise that the city’s costs would be reimbursed, but he insisted the event would not lead to the spread of coronavirus, as Trump’s last rally inside a Tulsa arena appears to have done.

“It’s going to be in an open-air airplane hangar,” Murtaugh said. “Most of the crowd will be in bleachers outside the airplane hangar. It’s going to be a very, very safe, outdoor event.”

Supporters will have their temperatures taken before the event, and they’ll be given masks and encouraged to wear them — which few did at the indoor rally in Oklahoma.

“We expect a loud, boisterous crowd at the rally,” Murtaugh said. “I don’t want to make any predictions about it, but I know it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The RSVP page for the Portsmouth rally includes a waiver acknowledging the “inherent risk” from COVID-19 at a public event, just as Tulsa attendees were required to sign, and shields the campaign from pandemic-related lawsuits.

“In attending the event, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19, and waive, release, and discharge Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; Portsmouth International Airport at Pease; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers from any and all liability under any theory, whether in negligence or otherwise, for any illness or injury,” the waiver reads.

New Hampshire Republicans baffled by Trump rallying in state he probably can’t win
By Travis Gettys, Raw Story
July 9, 2020

Trump will appear at a rally Saturday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a state that started a series of surprising primary that propelled him to the GOP nomination.

“Why is he physically coming here?” said Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party. “I’m thinking that it is a little bit more about nostalgia. They have to feed his ego. He’s had this fixation about New Hampshire. He can’t accept that maybe he just plain lost.”

“He won the New Hampshire primary and that was his first political win,” Cullen added. “A man never forgets his first time.”

Trump lost New Hampshire by less than half a percentage point in the general election, but the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has likely wiped out his chances to gain a pickup there.

“Having lived 2016 up close, people wanted a disruptor, and I don’t blame them,” said a top GOP strategist. “But when it comes down to the economy tanking as well as corona, that kind of tips the balance. People are exhausted. There is a sense of ‘enough.’”

Fortunately we are promised a drenching Rain with Thunderstorms.