The Plan? No Plan | Opinion | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Plan? No Plan 

Smart Bomb: The completely unnecessary news analysis

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Wonder what the Trump administration's plan is for battling the COVID-19 pandemic? The plan is to have no plan, explained NYU journalism prof Jay Rosen. He spelled it out: Let daily deaths of 2,000 to 3,000 become a regular thing and then create confusion about who is responsible. Tell the governors they are in charge even though they can't do the necessary things that only the federal government can do. Blame the virus on the Chinese and overwhelm the system with disinformation, distraction and denial in what Steve Bannon calls, "flooding the zone with shit," aimed at preventing the public from understanding the consequences of inaction. As Dave Eggers explained satirically in The New York Times: "Plans are for commies and the Danish. Here we do it fast and loose and dumb and wrong, and occasionally we have a man who manufactures pillows come to the White House to show the president encouraging texts." And while everyone is preoccupied with COVID-19, Trump will continue his agenda of clamping down on immigration, enriching big business and himself, breaking down public institutions, consolidating power and whipping his base into a frenzy. Now, that's a plan.

BYU: Bigots & Buildings
The Black Student Union at BYU (we are not making this up) has called on the administration of the LDS flagship university to take the names of any racist church leaders from campus buildings. But the higher-ups are balking because if they did that many of the structures wouldn't have names. For example, the chemistry building is named for the late LDS President Ezra Taft Benson, who, according to Salt Lake Tribune ace Courtney Tanner, said civil rights for Blacks was a "communist deception." The campus fieldhouse is named to honor another LDS president, George A. Smith, who once said: "Negroes are not entitled to the full blessing of the gospel." The embarrassing list goes on. But here at Smart Bomb, we convened religious experts from Murray pool halls who found the perfect solution—name the buildings for people in The Book of Mormon. The fieldhouse could be named Nephi, the founder of the Nephite people. And the chemistry building could be named Lephi, who was Nephi's father. Other buildings could be named for Nephi's sons, Laman, Lemuel and Jacob. Doing so would enable BYU's football players to learn about Mormonism when they ask questions like: What is a Lemuel?

A Tale of Two Countries
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. No wait, check that. It was the worst of times, and no one knew how things got so screwed up. There was a Red America and there was a Blue America, and they had little in common although both sides liked chips and salsa. Red America loved guns. Blue America hated guns. Red America hated abortion. Blue American loved a woman's right to choose. Red America loved big, loud Harleys. Blue America liked cute, little scooters. Red America loved diesel pickups with rifle racks. Blue America liked hybrids with climate control. Red America loved Bud and Coors. Blue America would drink only craft beer in chilled schooners.

Blue America wore masks in public to be responsible. Red America spewed virus droplets and yelled something about the Constitution. Blue America carried hand sanitizer and did social distancing. Red America went to bars to pick up chicks or dudes. Red America loved Trump and the Confederate flag. Blue America wondered what in the hell was going on inside Red America's head. It was the worst-est of times.

Postscript—Well history buffs, you should be taking notes because it's not often that shock troops, like the S.S., swarm an American city. In Portland, Ore., protestors, along with Mayor Ted Wheeler and Gov. Kate Brown, were wondering who in the hell are the anonymous security forces in combat dress without insignias jumping out of unmarked vehicles to mug protestors and whisk them away to who-knows-where. But here at Smart Bomb we knew it was the Führer who had unleashed his secret police on those anarchists and commie thugs. The Führer had warned that if Portland didn't stop the vile revolutionaries from demonstrating, he would. (And remember, this has absolutely nothing to do with politics.) Surprise—the blitzkrieg isn't working—it's actually escalating the unrest. People once on the sidelines have joined protestors to push back on the gestapo invasion. Perhaps if Donald Trump showed up with a Bible, things would get better. And speaking of freedom fighters, our brethren and sisteren in Utah County made national headlines for rebuking the hoax of the coronavirus and freedom-stealing masks that liberals and medical types are foisting on them in a brazen attempt to steal the country from the righteous. Some people, like The Salt Lake Tribune's clairvoyant Robert Gehrke, say it made Utah the laughingstock of the nation. But according to our sources here at Smart Bomb, the Travel Council will use footage of the screaming lunatics to market Utah in other like-minded red states whose citizens yearn for freedom from tyranny with the slogan, "Life Elevated & Unmasked" and "Rock Your Face."

In honor of John Lewis, we've given Wilson and the band the day off and offer "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley, one of the civil-rights icon's favorite poems:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

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