See update for March 4, 2023, at end of post.
I’ve been thinking a lot about corruption lately.
I live in the Pittsburgh area, where the gap between what is and what should be is large. Innuendo, a malicious speculation not about what is known, but rather what is not known lives in that gap. “It is what it is,” I hear people say so often, really capitulating to all that is wrong rather than insisting it be made right. Read more
See update for February 6, 2022, at end of post.
I think the first thing that needs saying about the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent policy guidance, halving the recommended isolation time for infected but asymptomatic and “resolving” people, is that even if indeed the agency feels “exhausted from screaming into the wind,” that people won’t comply with stricter guidance anyway, the agency’s appropriate role is to capitulate neither to such sentiments nor to a capitalist desperation to return to “normal.” These are supposed to be medical doctors, dispensing advice at least principally based on medical science, answering the question of what we should be doing. Read more
Every once in a while, it is necessary to make plain what I think should be obvious.
By design, and in effect, there is a single powerful class in the United States, comprised principally of wealthy, white males who hold political, economic, military, and religious power over the rest of us, and who are not amenable to our interests, but rather only to their own. In critical terms, they are the colonizers and we are the colonized. Read more
It seems that two smaller pharmaceutical companies are leading a fight to make birth control pills available over the counter. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is slow-walking the application process, allegedly being “cautious,” but taking a truly exceptional length of time in doing so. It catches my eye that larger manufacturers of such drugs are apparently not involved in the effort to improve their availability, but lacking an explanation, I guess I’ll have to leave that for another day. Read more
See updates through January 5, 2022, at end of post.
If, indeed, we doubt that the U.S. Civil War of the 19th century resolved much or even really has ended, we might say rather that this once hot war has turned cold, or more recently, with increasing polarization, lukewarm. Dana Milbank does not draw this connection, but in a recent column, warns that a new civil war may occur. I think he understates the danger. Read more
Acknowledging the extreme frustration of those of us who are fed up with COVID-19 denial and vaccine refusal, Paul Waldman urges empathy for those he believes to be honestly misinformed:
So the next time you hear a story about another anti-vax right-wing radio host or televangelist who died from covid, rather than chuckling, think of those they put at risk, the gullible or distracted people more likely to become infected because of them, and the ripples of loss spreading from them.
To say I’m skeptical would attribute me entirely too much generosity and I believe that this is a generosity that, with overwhelmed hospitals and burned out medical staff, we cannot afford. COVID-19 and information around it do not exist in a theoretical ethical isolation. Read more
Now this is an obituary.
It is, of course, written for a character, a real life character, who from the description actually reminds me more than a little of my stepfather, whom I never got along with and who in fact contributed to difficulties my mother and I have had in the past, but who otherwise made my mother a very happy woman after a horrendous marriage to my abusive father. Read more
I don’t know to what extent Mike Evans, a former Donald Trump advisor, is right about evangelical Protestant support for Binyamin Netanyahu even above Trump. Any schism among Trump’s supporters has to be a tempting prospect for Democrats who, having spectacularly failed to deliver, will need all the help they can get in upcoming elections.
Trump, being the dangerously sore loser he is, recently expressed anger about the congratulations Netanyahu extended to Joe Biden over the latter’s election victory. Apparently Evans, who presumes to speak for evangelical Protestants, is a strong Netanyahu supporter and it’s worth remembering that many on the right face a similar predicament to that of many on the left: As a practical matter in a two-party system, it will be a Democrat or a Republican that gets elected and the question for them will be which of those two parties will get their votes, either by commission or by omission. My guess is that many would choose Trump in 2024 even if they’re holding their noses when they do it. Read more
See updates through January 28, 2022, at end of post.
Undoubtedly something like much of what Greg Sargent thinks happened, that Donald Trump cheered the January 6 coup attempt on rather than restraining it and that people in his orbit desperately sought ways to keep him in the presidency, did indeed happen. But 1) we really should be waiting for the investigating Congressional committee’s final report, that is, assuming the committee has time to produce it; and 2) I’m thinking the result, while disappointing to many, will show something actually more dangerous. Read more
See corrections and updates through December 13, 2021, at end of post.
As it happens, I was already awake, because I usually wake up at some gawd-awful hour of the morning, and I was seated at my computer, trying to catch up on the latest, when the blinds on my front room window lit up with a flash. A few seconds later, a loud thunderclap.
I assume this was the same supercell, or at least its remnants, that spawned at least one—whether it was one or several is not yet clear—exceptionally strong tornado along an exceptionally long and long-lasting track stretching from Arkansas to Ohio that has likely killed at least 100 people. Read more