The Parallel Universe Where We Beat Covid

I’ve been watching Loki on Disney+ lately. The first season is all about time travel into parallel universes. It’s nerdy stuff. So I’m going to get my nerd on with this post, and we’re going to have some fun with a little thought experiment:

As it stands today, we seem to be “done” with Covid-19 in our collective consciousness. The problem with that is epidemiology. About half of Americans, for whatever reason or rationalization, have decided not to “Get the Damn Shot,” and they’re stubborn about it. The more the government pushes the hold-outs, the more they push back. You aren’t changing many minds this late in the game. As a result, the number of shots going into arms in America has flat-lined.

Because of this stubbornness (call it stupidity if you want), after a predicted summer reprieve, we’re now going into the Fall with doubling Covid rates:

AVG. CASES ON JUL. 1414-DAY CHANGEAdults Fully Vaccinated
26,513+111%59%
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html

Doubling rates indicate you’ve got a growing problem, but Republicans in power don’t seem to mind. In fact, they’ve decided that the appropriate political play is to thumb their noses at the virus this time around.

All of this depresses me to no end. If there was ever a time for us to come together as a nation, a pandemic was it, but we can’t do that right now. The other side might get the credit.

I discussed my thoughts on vaccine hesitancy a few weeks ago on Nat Robertson’s podcast:

https://crosscreekdivide.com/2021/05/28/the-carolina-cabinet-with-nat-robertson/

I talked about how sad it was that many people are refusing to get vaccinated for political reasons, especially since Trump had the “foresight” to invest heavily in the vaccination ramp-up. Robertson joked that a Democrat shouldn’t say something like that in a recorded interview and assured me that it was just the Republican “fringe” that was against vaccines. I stand by what I said, but it’s not just the fringe. Vaccination rates in Red states have lagged Blue states since the beginning of the roll-out. It’s all politics. Always. This isn’t any different.


So with all that being said, here’s a strange alternative universe to consider:

NASA parallel universe bombshell: Why scientists claim millions of divided  worlds DO exist | Science | News | Express.co.uk

If Donald Trump had won the election, I imagine he would have encouraged everyone to get vaccinated. He would have taken credit for the vaccine because he takes credit for everything, and in this case, you’d have to give credit where it’s due.

At least half of his supporters would have proudly received the “Donald J. Trump” Covid vaccine. The more he bragged about it, the more of his supporters would have gone in for the shots.

We’d have vaccination rates of 70-80%. Covid cases would not be doubling. The pandemic would have been effectively eliminated in America. But we’d still have Trump.

Would you take the trade? I might could endure four more years of that man if my kids had a normal school year without masks, not to mention all the lives that would have been saved.


Back in our current universe, we get this garbage from Trump’s heir apparent:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-3.36.51-PM.png

If DeSantis was any kind of leader, he’d be calling it the “Donald Trump” vaccine and getting shots in the arms of Floridians. The entire tourism industry in his state depends upon beating the virus. Instead, he’s raising money selling trash-talking coozies. Absurdly, the coozie costs more than a vaccine shot.

I’m not trying to pick on DeSantis here. He’s not really the point. The same goes for every other Republican leader in the country. Your guy got this whole vaccine project started! Billions were spent! We did it in record time! Get the shot, encourage others to do the same, and take a well-deserved bow.

As much as we’d love for Covid to “just go away,” the laws of this universe demand a little work from a lot of stubborn people before we’re rid of it. The problem is they have no real leadership right now.

Trump-Lite doesn’t taste the same.

The Carolina Cabinet with Nat Robertson

Former Mayor, Nat Robertson has started a podcast and radio show called The Carolina Cabinet to discuss political issues in Fayetteville.

The show is unabashedly conservative. Former guests include Pat McCrory and John Hood. However, Nat likes to mix things up, and he invited me on the show.

We talked about downtown development, our local pandemic response, and the lack of political media coverage in Fayetteville.

I started this website to bridge some divides in this community. When someone offers you a bridge, you have to practice what you preach and cross it:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCarolinaCabinet

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-carolina-cabinet/id1281245233

Audits, Lawsuits, and Areas of Concern

On July 20th, 2020, the Fayetteville City Council went into a closed session. When they came out, they spent a lot of tax money. The minutes from the closed session were made public, this week:

A few things happened in that meeting that don’t add up:

  • The City Council decided to buy basement-level retail space in the unfinished parking deck downtown for $550,000.
  • The City Council asked the City Manager to conduct a forensic audit of “areas of concern” in the parking deck project.

Do you see what I’m getting at here? Apparently, we need a forensic audit because we’re not sure where our money’s going. In the meantime, we’re going to spend more money on the same project!?

And why is the City of Fayetteville going into the retail real estate business? That’s not really the purview of city government. Instead, our expert developer partners (Jordan Jones, Mike Lemanski, et al.) are supposed to be doing the developing. That’s their job. That was the point of the entire project.

It doesn’t make sense on its face, and because it’s all done in secret, you’re left guessing why the City of Fayetteville would buy a portion of a parking deck it already paid to build.

Here’s a theory:

A lawsuit was filed a few weeks after the closed meeting. Hay Street Development Pad, LLC (our development “partner”) was sued for $482,518.89, plus interest, by the contractor it hired to build the deck. The lawsuit was quickly and quietly resolved. You didn’t read about it in the Fayetteville Observer.

It’s quite possible that your tax dollars were used to pay off the Plaintiff in this lawsuit. Think about it. The City of Fayetteville can’t pay it because it’s not a party to the suit. And the city can’t just give Hay Street Development Pad cash. That’s probably illegal, actually. Instead, we bought the undesirable basement space in the back of the deck to get Hay Street Development Pad a quick $550,000.

Bada Bing, Bada Boom.

In the meantime, our Mayor and City Council act “concerned” and mention a “forensic audit” because they’re trying to cover their tails.


Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s a coincidence. You can decide for yourself. The point is we may never know. This deal started behind closed doors and it didn’t stop. Every important decision along the way, millions spent, happened in a closed room under the guise of “economic development” or “attorney client privilege.”

It’s not the way a government of the people is supposed to operate. Just ask this guy:

You reckon that audit will ever happen?

Downtown Parking Deck Poll

Your city leadership in Fayetteville spent 18 Million Tax Dollars to finance a parking deck in downtown Fayetteville. The city’s private development “partners” were supposed to build high-rise offices and a hotel on top of the deck. So far, that hasn’t happened.

From the Fayetteville Observer, yesterday:

“Construction for the facilities on top of the deck is anticipated to start back up again in late summer or early fall, (Jordan) Jones said, though developers are still trying to determine the pandemic’s impact on the project long-term.”

With that said, when do you think we’ll get a return on our investment?


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Time doesn’t stop in a pandemic, although it may feel that way at times.

Closed Sessions and Hidden Agendas (Downtown Development)

The City of Fayetteville has an online registry of city council meetings with accompanying agendas and minutes.

https://cityoffayetteville.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx

You can search the meetings by calendar year. If you search the year 2020, there is only one meeting that is missing its agenda and minutes: July 20, 2020.

That’s odd, right?

Well, someone sent me a copy of the minutes from the “missing” meeting. You still can’t get them off the City’s website, but you can download them with this link:

There’s a video of the meeting online. By comparing the video with the minutes, you can figure out what legislation was passed. It takes some work, too much work in fact.

At 1:25:00, the very end of the meeting, the council goes into closed session for something that is “attorney-client privileged.” The video goes out. Earlier, the mayor had mentioned there were “very expensive lawyers” present.

FAST FORWARD TO 1:25:00

The closed session with these “very expensive” lawyers lasts well over an hour.

When they get back from their closed session, they vote to approve a motion about what they discussed in the back room. They don’t even read the whole motion. The audio goes in and out. No one talks about the matter in any detail. Several people start packing up their purses and they just vote on it.

In case you’re wondering, they voted to give Prince Charles Holdings $550,000 of your tax dollars in exchange for “retail” space which you now own. This space is located in the basement of an unfinished parking deck that we already paid 18 Million to build. By the way, we don’t own the deck, we just own the parking spaces in the deck. Despite owning the spaces, we can’t use them. We are leasing them back to the owners of the deck, cheap.

Our $550,000 “retail” investment looked like this a few days ago:

Unsurprisingly, no one in the press picked this up, and it’s pretty clear that was the intended outcome.

Now you know.