Quarantine Chronicles Vol. 10: Doctor Quacks, Fight The Power, UFC Early Days, No Clowning Around & Senna

Some semi-regular musings on racing and life in a COVID-19 Pandemic Quarantine World 

It’s stunning to me how many people have anointed celebrity quacks Dr. Phil, Dr. Oz and Dr. Drew as top level epidemiologists and apparently experts on just about everything involved in the world of medical practice. 

Thursday TV host Laura Ingraham had Dr. Anthony Fauci on to speak about newly announced government guidelines on states reopening. 

Ingraham followed up Fauci’s appearance by having “Dr. Phil” (Phil McGraw, NOT an MD) on to offer counterpoint argument to what Fauci said.

Wait what? 

Fauci is one of the nation’s leading experts on infectious disease. Dr. Phil is an unlicensed psychologist who has no degree in medicine or professional experience as a medical doctor. 

Yes, having Dr. Anthony Fauci as a guest on your TV show, then getting counterpoint argument from Dr. Phil is like having a world renowned chef on to talk about food preparation and then getting counterpoint from the 17-year old kid who works second shift at Taco Bell making Crunchwrap Supremes and squirting sour cream from a caulk gun. Yeah, they both make food, but seriously? 

And then there’s Dr. Drew (Dr. Drew Pinsky), who’s biggest claim to fame is hosting a sex education show with a standup comedian on MTV about 25 years ago. After spending over a month telling any TV host that would listen to him that the COVID-19 virus was essentially a hoax, he apologized earlier this month saying: “I wish I had gotten it right, but I got it wrong,”

And then we have Dr. Oz (Dr. Mehmet Oz) who told TV host Sean Hannity Tuesday that reopening schools was: “A very appetizing opportunity.”

A very appetizing opportunity? Who is he, Hannibal Lecter?

Citing a British medical journal study, Dr. Oz said: “The opening of schools may only cost us two percent to three percent, in terms of total mortality.” 

Oz went on to say: “Any life is a life lost. But to get every child back into a school where they are safely being educated, being fed and making the most out of their lives – with the theoretical risks on the backside – that might be a trade-off some folks would consider.”

Thursday Dr. Oz walked back his statement saying: “My comments on risks around opening schools have confused and upset people, which was never my intention. I misspoke.”

Dr. Oz proved he really needs to stick to telling people which bean juice helps alleviate bloating. 

We have entirely too many “TV Famous” doctors, and unfortunately way too many people in the general public that don’t seem to understand these guys go on TV and make outlandish statements just to get attention and keep their TV fame as marketable as possible. 

Telling Them Off 

And in the world of motorsports news … 

Summit Motorsports Park owner Bill Bader Jr. is getting all sorts of attention this week after posting a video on Facebook explaining that his drag racing facility in Norwalk, Ohio will open, no matter if public authorities allow it or not.

“We are opening. Summit Sports Park is not gonna wait for permission,” Bader said. “Summit Sports Park is not gonna wait for Dr. Fauci and wait for [Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton] and wait for [Ohio Governor Mike DeWine] because none of them even know I exist and none of them really care.”

So motorsports facilities everywhere are constantly fighting off state and local authorities trying to create or enforce more and more restrictions on them doing business, and that’s when there’s not a global pandemic happening. Can’t imagine that flipping those authorities a big old middle finger today is going to help getting their cooperation in the long run. 

Binge Watching 

If you’re a motorsports fan of any type and you haven’t watched the documentary Senna yet, are you really a fan of motorsports?

So in my Netflix queue I have that list of go-to standby’s when you just can’t find anything to watch at the moment or need a break from a new binge. For me that list includes things like Goodfellas, Kingpins, Team Foxcatcher and any Ralphie May or Bill Burr standup special. And also high on that list is Senna. 

And though the documentary is 10 years old, it’s timeless, and seemingly more gripping with each viewing. 

To this day it amazes me just how much archival footage there is of Formula One material that isn’t actually action on the track. It’s like every driver for the last 40 years has had a camera crew following them around every second they’re at a track. 

The documentary amazingly illustrates the depth of controversy that continually haunted Ayrton Senna’s years as a Formula One world champion racer literally right up to the moments before his death in 1994 at the San Marino Gran Prix. 

Senna earns five out of five snacks on our Quarantine Snacks Rankings.


Digging Through The Archives 

As quarantine life has gone on I’ve spent some time digging through archives of stories I’ve written over the years, whether for the Hartford Courant or RaceDayCT.

Over 19 years at the Hartford Courant I got the chance to do some fun and interesting features delving into topics away from the mainstream of popular sports. 

In 2002 I had the opportunity to do a pair of somewhat offbeat features thanks to the opening of then new arena at Mohegun Sun Casino.

The first of those was from January 2002, examined the rebirth of UFC. Long before the meteoric rise of UFC in this country, there was a long road of redemption. Mohegan Sun Casino was one of a few places willing to give a rebirthed UFC a chance. 

Intent On Taking Blood Out Of Sport – By Shawn Courchesne – Jan. 11, 2002 – The Hartford Courant

Lorenzo Fertitta understands well the opinions of detractors of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He was once one of them.

In 1998, representatives of UFC approached the Nevada State Athletic Commission seeking approval to promote shows in Las Vegas.

The first impression of Fertitta, then a commission member, was simple: No way.

“I had this perception, as did everybody else,” Fertitta said, “[that] this was just a bunch of barroom brawlers going in a cage to try and hurt each other, nothing more.”

Fertitta decided it was his duty to closely examine the sport. What he discovered was an organization struggling to repair years of self-inflicted reputation damage. A sport once described by Sen. John McCain as “human cockfighting.” But at the core of it all, Fertitta found not barroom brawlers but world class athletes branded as purveyors of a blood sport.

Today, Fertitta, as co-owner of the organization, leads the way as UFC tries to build a sport based on a clear set of rules and regulations aimed at ensuring the safety of competitors.

Fertitta, who purchased the organization in January 2001 with his brother Frank, says the UFC will take another step in repairing that injured reputation tonight when it makes its Connecticut debut at the Mohegan Sun Casino.

“This is the most misunderstood sport in America,” Fertitta said. “There was a lot of public relations damage that was done by the previous owners when they started this concept. The way that they marketed it to the general public and to the press was as a blood sport. And back then, there were no rules. I guess it was about as close as you could get to being a blood sport.”

The words Ultimate Fighting Championship is a brand name that Fertitta owns, but these are three words that bear a heavy burden.

“What we’re fighting is very much an uphill battle to try to re-educate people to show that what has evolved from what was once no-rules fighting is today a full-fledged legitimate sport,” Fertitta said.

But not everybody is ready to buy into that concept.

State boxing commissioner John Burns will be there tonight to judge for himself how far UFC has come in shedding the image of a blood sport. UFC events are not approved by the state’s athletic commission, but the state does not have jurisdiction on tribal lands. Tonight’s event falls under the regulations of the Mohegan Tribal Athletic Commission.

“We haven’t banned it,” Burns said. “But we’ve never approved it. In the past, in the mid and late 90s, they had inquired [about putting on a show in the state] and they were asked to send in some rules. We never saw any rules, and they never took any further steps.”

Instant Success

In 1993 the Sephamore Entertainment Group created UFC. It was planned as a single pay-per-view event designed to bring together combatants for a tournament with virtually no rules and open to fighters of any discipline.

The wildly successful debut led SEG to plan a second event, which also drew huge pay-per-view numbers. Suddenly, the one-time event was a franchise with a devoted audience sucking up the gruesome violence of the virtually unregulated exhibitions.

And shocking brutality was exactly what SEG advertised.

There were no rounds, no weight classes and the only actions fighters were restricted from were eye gouging or biting.

SEG eventually did enact some rules and created rounds and weight classifications, but the image continually portrayed began to take its toll. McCain’s lobbying against the events in 1996 led to most state athletic commissions banning UFC. But the biggest blow came in 1997, when three cable TV giants, Time Warner, TCI and Cablevision banned the pay-per-view events from their systems.

“When it first started, it was a blood sport,” UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz said. “But as the evolution has gone on, I think, as athletes, we’ve done in the last 10 years what boxing took 100 years to do. Unfortunately it seemed like [SEG was] driving the company into the ground because they didn’t want to open their minds, improve the rules and work with a lot of athletic commissions.”

Ortiz, like most UFC fighters, is college educated and a martial arts expert. Light heavyweight Kevin Randleman, who meets Ranato Sobral in one of the eight fights on the card at Mohegan Sun, was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at Ohio State.

“These guys are athletes who have participated in the Olympics or world competitions whether it be in wrestling or judo or jujitsu,” Fertitta said. “This myth I had that they were just barroom brawlers, that went away very quick after I met them.”

A Closer Look

When Fertitta began examining the sport as a member of the Nevada Athletic Commission, he was introduced to Las Vegas-based fighter John Lewis.

“He said to me, ‘If you really want to learn, take the time to understand what we do,”‘ Fertitta said. “We met, got down on the mat, and he started showing me the different submission techniques and fighting techniques. I was intrigued. Before I knew it, I was taking private lessons in Brazilian jujitsu.”

Fertitta, 33, who is the president of Station Casinos Inc., left the commission in 2000.

“Both me and my brother felt that if we purchased UFC and made some changes in the rules, that we could develop it into a world-class sport,” Fertitta said. “We made those changes to the rules. We addressed all of the health and safety issues that were out there.”

UFC matches are no longer labeled as “no-holds barred” but rather mixed martial arts.

“We’ve developed the rules so that the things that you can do in this sport are only things that are already allowed in other recognized sports,” Fertitta said. “Similar to boxing or kickboxing, you can stand up and strike someone with your fists or kick them. In addition, you have all the same rules and techniques that are allowed in Olympic wrestling, takedowns, whatever. The third leg is submissions, which are essentially the same submissions that are allowed in Olympic judo.”

Fights are regulated by a referee who has the ability to stop a match at any time. Unlike in the early years, where fights would go until one fighter gave up, there are now 5-minute rounds with three- and five-round fights. Judges score matches on a 10-point must system, much like boxing. Gloves, mouthpieces and groin protectors are mandatory. Among the numerous things banned are head-butting, groin attacks, throat strikes or kicking an opponent in the head while they are down.

Since taking control of UFC, Fertitta has gotten events back on all cable systems and has received approval from the Nevada State Athletic Commission and the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, in addition to the Mohegan Commission. Fighters are subjected to the same medical testing by each commission that boxers must pass. UFC now has nine weight classifications.

“In my view, right now it is safer than boxing,” New Jersey State Athletic Control Board commissioner Larry Hazzard told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “In an overall sense, it is safer than boxing because there are fewer punches landing to the head.”

In 34 UFC events since 1993, no fighter has been killed or has suffered a permanent injury. During that span, nine professional and nine amateur boxers have died in the United States during fights or sparring sessions. There is no overall figure of how many fights and sparring sessions have taken place since 1993, but obviously that figure is much higher than the 34 UCF events.

“Look at boxing,” Ortiz said.

But Ortiz knows he is the one being looked at.

“Of course,” Ortiz said, “people still ask me if I fight in death matches.”

And our second digging through the archives choice today involves a feature on rodeo bullfighters that I got the chance to write when a Professional Bull Riding made its debut at Mohegan Sun in November 2002. 

Rob Smets (Photo: Courtesy Pro Rodeo Hall Of Fame)

He Has To Endure A Lot Of Bull – By Shawn Courchesne – Nov. 17, 2002 – The Hartford Courant

After 26 years in the rodeo business, Rob Smets has become accustomed to the misconceptions about his chosen line of work.

Those not familiar with the intricacies of bull riding label Smets a rodeo clown.

It’s a mistake that’s easy to make, considering Smets bounces around the ring in baggy, garish clothing with his face colorfully painted.

The unusual appearance remains for the sake of rodeo tradition. But fans on hand today for the championship round of the Professional Bull Riders, Built Ford Tough Series Mohegan Invitational shouldn’t expect to see Smets twisting elongated balloons into happy little doggies or funny hats.

Smets makes it very clear: He’s no funny man. In fact, his job is deadly serious. There’s little clowning around when staring down the snorting snout and hardened horns of a 2,000-pound bull intent on running over the first person it can get at.

Although labeled a rodeo clown by many, Smets’ real PBR title is professional bullfighter. A five-time bullfighting world champion, Smets’ job is truly unenviable. He’s a human shield, in the ring to protect cowboys from the raging Brahman beasts they make their living trying to ride.

“I always thought it was funny, people thought I was crazy for what I did,” said Tuff Hedeman, a retired Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame bull rider. “Most times, I had to compete on one or two bulls a night. Guys like Rob, they have to face 45-60 bulls in a night and their job is to put themselves in between those bulls and the riders. That’s crazy.”

Safety First, Style Second

Smets’ job is twofold. Protecting cowboys is the more important aspect, but making their rides look better is another part.

A full go for a rider is 8 seconds. If the rider lasts the full time without being bucked, the ride is judged on a 100-point scale. Half that is based on the cowboy’s style, the other half on the bull’s aggressiveness, how hard he tries to buck the rider.

This is where Smets and his bullfighting counterparts come into play. There are two bullfighters in the ring during the ride, each trying to antagonize an already angry beast into becoming more intent on spinning and tossing its rider.

Once the rider is off the bull, either from being bucked or completing a full ride, it’s Smets’ duty to ensure the rider isn’t mauled.

“Basically, I’m there to make sure to get the rider safely away by providing myself as a better target to the animal than the bull rider,” Smets said. “The key to being a good bullfighter is being a good anticipator and beating the bull to the fallen rider and putting myself in the middle.”

Bull riders depend on bullfighters for safety, but bullfighters have little to rely on other than their own agility.

“I wear a chest protector and a hockey girdle pad and a set of pads over my knees and lightweight elbow pads,” Smets said. “You can’t put too much on because pretty soon you can’t move. And it always seemed to me … they never ended up hitting you in the pads anyway.”

After nearly every ride, it’s common to see the rider shaking the hands of the bullfighters.

“These guys are the most underappreciated that you could ever imagine,” 1997 PBR champion rider Michael Gaffney said. “When I walk into a coliseum and I’m fixing to get on a ride, it doesn’t matter if it’s the meanest SOB in the building that I’m climbing on top of, to know that Rob Smets and guys like him are out there, that’s a real comfort.”

And PBR riders can be confident they have the best bullfighters in the world protecting them. The riders vote on who works PBR events. According to the top 45 bull riders in the world, Smets, Greg Crabtree and Dennis Johnson are the best.

But Smets says it’s still a shaky existence at best.

“The tough thing about being a bullfighter as opposed to a bull rider is that a world champion bull rider can go on a cold spell and get bucked off 10 bulls in a row and people would say he’s in a slump,” Smets said. “As a bullfighter, I can’t afford a slump. If I let 10 guys in a row get run over, I’m looking for a job. And I don’t mean a job fighting bulls, I’m looking for a job job. You’re out.”

Getting Hooked

Smets’ first exposure to bullfighting came thanks to a dare. He dabbled in bull riding as a high school student in California. One day he poked fun at some bullfighters in the ring.

“I was sitting there on the fence yelling at a couple guys, ‘Get up there, hit him on the head, get close to him.’ And they said ‘If you think it’s so easy, why don’t you get out here and show us how?’ I got out there and that adrenaline from a couple near-misses … I was hooked right then and there.”

The stereotype of the “rodeo clown” was ingrained well before Smets came along. In the early days of rodeo, the clowns were just that, part of the entertainment. Eventually, with the rise of bull riding, the clowns added cowboy protection to the job. Smets said it was in the 1950s that dedicated bullfighters became a part of the rodeo scene. But the battle to shake the rodeo clown stereotype has never ceased.

“You see the portrayal in the old movies,” Smets said. “‘He became a clown because he got washed up at the other events and became a drunk and this is what he had to do if he wanted to stay around the rodeo.’ I chose being a bullfighter because that’s what I love to do.”

From 1981 to 2000, Wrangler sponsored a bullfighters world championship as part of the annual National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. Fighters had 70 seconds in the ring with an unridden bull.

“We were judged on how well we maneuvered around him, basically playing a game of tag with him,” Smets said. “They judged how well I could maintain control of the animal, and not allow the animal to control me. “

The last of Smets’ five world titles came in 1994. In 19 appearances, Smets finished in the top six 17 times.

Smets, 43, who is married with four daughters, does not deny there is always fear involved.

“Bullfighting is a lot like boxing,” he said. “You have to use that fear in the same way a boxer does, knowing at all times that your opponent has the ability to take you out. But our sport, like every other sport, has a basic set of fundamentals, and if I do my fundamentals right, I should win more than I lose. But like boxing, no matter how good you are, you’re going to get hit. In our sport, it’s not if it happens, it’s when and how bad.”

And at times the answer has been “pretty bad” for Smets, who is 5 feet 9 and 175 pounds.

“I’ve broken my neck twice, in 1992 and again in 1996, and I had a bull run a horn 4 1/2 inches into the base of my spine in 1985,” Smets said. “Three major injuries in 26 years, not too bad. The goring, and both broken necks, thank God, I never received any numbness or any paralysis.

“I’d be a liar to say that I didn’t rethink returning at times, but I always went back. If God meant for me not to be fighting bulls anymore, then I would have been in a wheelchair. My destiny at this time is that God has got me there to keep protecting these cowboys.

“My wife, she knows it’s dangerous. She says that she says her prayers every night and makes sure my life insurance is always paid up.”

Stay safe everyone. Keep positive. Help your neighbors if you can. And wash your damn hands.

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  1. Thanks for that piece about Dr Phil, Dr Oz and Dr Drew Shawn. After a couple of really sad and emotionally draining days, that was just what I needed. Laughed so hard almost peed.
    I don’t agree with opening Summit Motorsports Park, until this is under control. Why take the risk. Anyway, thanks again Shawn, that helped allot.
    Everybody stay safe, strong and sane. Keep doing the right thing. Shout out to Fast Eddie, Earl and your families. Hope things are getting better, praying for you guys, stay strong.

  2. Shawn, loved the Dr portion sad part some will chose to believe Dr Phil rather than DR Fauci

  3. People are protesting the social distancing and public safety measures, and in a response, Trump is Tweeting out in support of the protesters and that their 2nd Amendment gun rights are being threatened.

    Anybody know why or how 2nd Amendment gun rights are connected to the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Or is Trump just whistleblowing?

  4. Dareal… Pretty sure the occupant of the White House was referring to this week’s protests in Michigan against COVID-19 restrictions. Some felt they needed to make their point by bringing their guns to the Capitol. Democratic governor… swing state… protest organized and promoted by far-Right groups… one of which has ties to Cabinet member Betsy DeVos. Welcome to 2020.

  5. Oh, I thought they were forming a posse to go hunting the 🦠 with those AR-15s.

    Silly me. 🤣🤣🤣🤪🤪🤪😜😜😜

  6. Yeah, very presidential, instigating riots. What the F is he thinking? There are some pretty dangerous people out there who hang on his every word. Now they’re protesting in Lansing complete with automatic weapons. Weapons that are made for 1 purpose, and 1 purpose only…to kill people. God forbid, one of those crackpots decides to pop off a few rounds. This situation can get to be very bad, very fast. This guy is not who we need leading the Free world. Although the last few years have shown he’s far from a leader. What an A_______. Liberate Michigan, NO, LIBERATE AMERICA, remove Donald Trump from the White House, before it’s too late.

  7. Morning Joe on MSNBC did a segment on the comments of TV doctors starting with Glastonbury Ct’s own Laura Ingraham’s mention of HIV aids and SARS in comparison feeding the counderpoint in the interview with Fauci.. She’s not that stupid. She knows darned well it’s not the same but it was a bit and she did it anyway to create the controversy. The conclusion by Scarborough was the TV doctors perform to the audience. In Dr. Phils case he was on Fox News and provided content the audience would accept. My view it wasn’t exceptional or outrageous at all it was typical as was Morning Joe’s outrage demonstrated in response. Guests on Morning Joe perform to the audience as well. Morning Joe is my one cable news guilty pleasure but I fully recognize all cable news makes it’s audiences more ignorant.

  8. Cable news just makes it’s audience dumber but broadcast news has it’s limitations as well in these specific circumstances. Specifically the half hour evening news. Packed in the first segment are condensed, very brief reports on a series of events that are historically grim from the pandemic to the economy. Complete with comments from people that have been the victims of circumstance and their heart wrenching stories edited to a sentence or two. Then a bit on the economy crashing, protests in Michigan and the world death count. It’s so brief and grim you end up in the corner quivering in fear.
    Never a consumer I’ve turned to PBS New Hour every evening. Not as condensed, much the same content but not rat-a-tat-tat with the flourishes of broadcast news. The part that was considered slow paced and a little boring before now a perfect match given the gravity of the topics. All presented by a calmly reassuring and unspectacular Judy Woodruff who has seen a thing or two in her day and doesn’t seem the think she has to exit a segment with some reflection how devastating the story was.

  9. Quarantine Chronicle…

    The new case rate has sort of capped out at just under 30,000 per day since April 1. The death rate has capped out at about 2,000 per day since April 7.

    This would suggest that social distancing is working. The caps occurred shortly after the social distancing was imposed. Clearly if there were no social distancing and people lived as if nothing was wrong, no COVID-19 in the environment, the new case and death rates would be far greater.

    How long will this last? Good question. What could possibly stop or attenuate this?

    Trump is talking like this is all over, done. He’s Tweeting out support to armed protesters. Looks like his emergency program funds are not getting out to the people.

    Losing 2,000 people per day is 60,000 people per month. How many more months will this go on? This pathogen is still just started working its way through the population. Emergency hospitals are being built all over the country.

    May, June July, August, September, October… that’s 360,000 people.

    It has been said that a vaccine might be available in 18 months. Over 18 months, that will add up to 1,080,000 deaths. That assumes strict social distancing. If social distancing gets relaxed, that number goes up quickly.

    Yet Trump is bragging that the deaths are so very low. This ain’t over yet. I don’t see 2,000 people per day dying as a low rate of death.

    Folks, this is not over. It will not be over any time soon. Just like back in December and January, there were reports of the outbreak in China that were not heeded, there have been some reports in the news that this pandemic will go on until long after a vaccine is available. It has taken months to test only 1% of the population, it will take years to get the entire population of 330,000,000 vaccinated.

    Watch NYS Gov. Cuomo press briefings and then the White House Coronavirus Task Force daily press briefings. The NYS briefings are full of up-to-date COVID-19 DATA. New cases, infection rates, hospitalizations, intubations, deaths, recoveries. None of that gets presented in the Trump press briefings. Trump uses the COVID-19 press briefing as campaign opportunities.

    You are responsible for your life. And those you are around.

  10. Did you get yours? The stimulus money. No not a check but for those that file electronically with a bank on file $1200 bucks silently deposited to your accounts almost exactly as Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin promised several weeks ago. There have been complications with money going to dead people and delays for folks requiring checks but that was anticipated. Otherwise it was executed almost exactly as promised.
    Mnuchin has worked with Democrats in the past regarding legislation that was passed and is working with them now on further actions. He’s been kind of a bright spot in an administration that has been sending out so many mixed and confusing signals. Yet none of the Trump haters dare even mention the guy other then his ill considered quotes.
    Trying to get 325 million people give or take of disparate geographical, economic and culturally unique characteristics on the same page is like trying to turn an ocean line on a dime. At the very best, if the president and everyone working on his or her team is on the same page and promotes the same messaging relentlessly every day with consistent rapidity then there is a chance for the public to get universally on board. What we have now is messaging anarchy.
    The track owner is not completely at fault at all. The messaging anarchy starts with the administration and gets down to the track owner having been filtered by whatever news he chooses to consume. I suspect it is probably libertarian based, supportive of the notion the pandemic is overblown and restrictions an infringement on his and his patrons rights. He’s a symptom of the messaging anarchy as are the Michigan protests. Messaging anarchy is the cause of the divided reactions to what is necessary now to get the virus under control.
    Unification wise this is as good as it gets. Regionally and locally a little better but not even here so much as it should be. This track owners protest, the protests in Michigan as well as the withering attacks on virtually everything Trump does that filter down to this forum the result of the presidents own inability to stay on message.
    Mnuchin is a very capable guy that is working tirelessly, producing good results and I appreciate his competence in these very difficult times. Recognizing him should have nothing to do with support or opposition to the president but it does. The left ignores his positive actions and focuses on his ill considered past quotes. The right pretty much ticked off he is working with Democrats so effectively.
    Trumps support and approval should be over 60% based on historical president approval ratings in a crises. It isn’t because he can’t even sell what he’s doing right properly by staying focused and on message. He could be undermining his critics and he’s feeding them valid kernels for objection frequently blown into distorted outrage.
    It’s messaging anarchy fed by libertarian dogma that ignores economic necessity. It’s not going to get better and it’s not going to be in our best interest in the long run. Ultimately it won’t be in Trumps best interest either.

  11. Rob, those people with the weapons are Trump’s base.

    It is virtually impossible to get rid of the 2nd Amendment, especially after the recent SCOTUS case that affirmed that the 2nd Amendment does indeed apply to and allow ordinary citizens to own guns. But, ordinary citizens are not allowed to legally own artillery, bombs, fighter aircraft, nukes, and other heavy duty weapons. Regular, ordinary citizens are only allowed to own small guns, and that is not spelled out in the Constitution. That was something expounded by Scalia in that there are indeed limits. We argue about where the limits are. If I can own a pistol, why not a gun like that on a battleship? If I can’t own nukes, why should I be allowed to own a pistol?

    So those Neanderthals and troglodytes that are protesting certainly will never inform themselves as to what it would take to change Constitution to repeal or modify the 2nd Amendment to prohibit ordinary citizens from possessing guns. And Trump knows this, and he gets them all riled up over their own ignorance.

  12. See this is one of the few good things coming out out of this ordeal. Shawn unchained. Unchained by all the endless details of reporting on racing and the minutia of who finished where and getting quotes. A chance to revisit stuff that I’m sorry to the racing community but shows greater range.
    Bull riding, are you kidding me? Love the PBR on Sunday. No clowns I can see but pros wearing Dickies garb and doing their jobs well. The bulls are a thing now ya know. They’re more professional and have their own championship with points. I love the bulls.
    If you ask you never get it but I’d still like to see the article about the Arute clan that had the interviews with all the Arute offspring including those out of favor with the big guy. The big guy being Jack.
    Are we done here? I hate to blow my own horn but I do believe I showed some pretty good range in this thread.
    Wearing masks is not to help those that wear them. The don’t work for that. It’s to protect others if the person wearing it has the virus and is asymptomatic. You’re a big fat old douche bag if you don’t get on board with the mask.

  13. What is a small gun? When a firearm is purchased the dealer checks off a box on the CT State form DPS-3-C for either a hand gun (pistol), long gun (shot gun or rifle) or other (firearm component).

    The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protects the individual right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the right belongs to individuals, for self-defense in the home, while also including, as dicta, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the existence of certain long-standing prohibitions such as those forbidding “the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill” or restrictions on “the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.” State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing upon this right.

    Every time you purchase a firearm you fill out and execute a State and Federal form. If you sell or transfer a firearm you fill out a State form. Stop the criminals and mentally ill who illegally purchase and possess firearms and gun violence will decease.

    Interesting comment from Lamont this past week on the special evening channel 3 news at 7PM. And I am paraphrasing the conversation here, he was asked if he was prepared to deal with a potential increase in crimes if he instituted the face mask requirement for all citizens since individuals faces would be covered? His answer was there has been a decrease in crime ever since the stay at home order and limited social interaction was instituted. Interesting, we are fighting COVID-19 and instituting something to fight the virus has resulted in a decrease in crime including gun violence. WOW, I wonder what other States are experiencing.

    Law abiding firearm owners should not be penalized for the acts of those who do not abide by the law. As long as there are individuals out there who have the ability to illegally purchase and possess firearms, there are those who would appreciate the right to legally purchase and possess firearms to protect themselves, family and home from people who have no regard for life or property.

  14. Earl, are you aware that effectively 95% of the population of the country are under some form of “stay at home” restrictions, and almost all retail stores are ordered closed? It’s a ghost town out there. Crime is way down. Only essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations, and auto repair stations are allowed too be open, and they must follow the social distancing requirements.

    As long as idiots, mentally ill, violent offenders, felons, etc. are not prevented to possess a firearm, and the gun lobby fights to prevent restrictions on ownership such as I mentioned, all healthy, law abiding gun owners will continue to be penalized.

    Just like people can lose their drivers license, there needs to be limits on who can possess fire arms.

  15. I get the whole 2nd amendment thing. But do you really need to bring your AR-15 to a protest about stay at home orders? The 2nd amendment was written long before these automatic weapons existed, and maybe it’s time to revise it to van these types of weapons. But that’s a whole other argument. These protests will go on, and soon more states will join in, and shortly after we’ll see spikes in those states.
    Right now, the best thing to do if you can, us to stay home. Let the virus receed. The more we rush to reopen, the greater the chance of a resurgence of this, and the longer we’ll be shut down. We’ve come this far, let’s not screw it up now.
    I hope everyone is safe strong and sane. Thoughts and prayers for Fast Eddie’s wife, and Earl’s daughter, hope they’re ok. And Thanks to all who venture out to work every day, putting themselves at risk for us. Also thoughts and prayers for Rob Summers and the Summers family after the loss of Bob

  16. Mike Pence: by the end of April we will have conducted 5 million tests Nationwide, which is sufficient to reopen the country. 5 million tests is less than 2% of the documented population. How can we safely reopen with less than 2% tested what about the other 98%.
    We are being led by the sad clown posse people.

  17. There were allot of people with UAW shirts and signs at the Lansing Michigan protests. Got news for you people… Dead people don’t buy cars!

  18. The dumb, led by the even dumber, now think that 2nd Amendment rights are related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    I wonder if those protesters brought their AR-15’s and pistols to shoot the virus? 🦠 Those are the dumb, threatening MF’s that need to be prevented from owning firearms.

    Chelsea, MA is another hotspot. To see what’s going on, 200 people were tested, people that were non-symptomatic. The results were surprising, even shocking… 32% of these apparently healthy people tested positive.

    The mortality rate is climbing.

    Watch Cuomo, he opens with the data and the facts.

    Trump never goes near the COVID-19 data and facts.

  19. I can’t believe the Trump Clown Show Administration is trying to sell 5% testing level as the criteria when there are 30,000 new cases per day and 2,000 Americans are dying per day.

    While they are trying to sell that, the rest of the world and scientific community are saying that testing, tracing and isolation are key, and the only way to go. The only way people can be traced and isolated is if they and the people around them are tested.

    Here’s what we do, Trump and Pence need to get out and walk among crowds, like on a bus, subway, crowded city street. If they are unwilling to do so, we stay on lockdown.

    As long as the new case and death rates are humming at 30,000 and 2,000 per day respectively, the only thing that will make it safe is a vaccine. It will take years and years to get the entire population exposed and achieve herd immunity, and millions of deaths.

    Keep in mind we are running at 2,000 deaths per day, which is 60,000 per month. The 2017-2018 flu season claimed 61,000 lives, the 2018-2019 season claimed 31,000 lives.

    Wash your hands, hunker down, and do not hoard.

    Trump is a sadist, he loves inflicting harm and watching others suffer.

  20. Interesting reading about Typhoid Mary:


  21. Unfortunately Dareal, we are powerless until November. Pence said that by the end of April 5 million tests will have been conducted. The 2010 census number was 338 million people, and that’s only those who bothered to fill it out. Given that number, only 1.47% of the population will have been tested. Given that some people have been tested more than once that number is even lower.
    How can you even think of reopening the country when only 1.47% of the population has been tested? Now Trump says he’s gonna start holding rallies again, a stupid move if he really cares about his base voters. It’ll be interesting to see if there are spikes in any of the states where protests were held, or in Florida, where the STUPID Republican governor opened the beaches back up.
    I truly think Trump and the Republicans want this virus to rage thru November, knowing that allot of Democrat voters (the smart people) will stay home rather than risk infection.
    For now all we can do, is what we’ve been doing (us smart people), stay home and practice good hygiene.
    I hope everyone is safe, strong and sane. Given current events, you may want to prepare for the Long haul.

  22. Today marks 3 months since the first confirmed case of Covid 19, you know the one Trump said that there’s only 1 case, and we’ve got everything under control.
    3 months later look where we are now. DUMP TRUMP!!!

  23. If so many tests are available, where are they?

  24. NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo is going to the White House tomorrow.

    That should be fun.

  25. Would love to be a fly on the wall for that meeting. It’ll be interesting to see what’s televised about it. I like governor Cuomo, he’s a straight shooter, and a very compassionate person. He takes his job very seriously.

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