May 21, 2022

Small town manners and values? What a laugh: they don't exist

At one time in MeriKKKa, supposedly, good old law-abiding, god-fearing White folks, the menfolk half, took their hats off when inside.

Not any more.

At a graduation ceremony at a rural outpost of such an alleged world last night, by my eyeballs' guesstimate, 20 percent of the White menfolk kept on their cowboy hats or baseball hats.

It's not the first time I've observed that such values don't exist. Paying for things on the honor system in these parts doesn't always happen, either.

May 20, 2022

Coronavirus Week 109A: Really? "Cases don't matter"?

At The Nation, Gregg Gonsalves demolishes this claim.

Unfortunately, he doesn't look at the politics behind this, especially the politics behind the CDC's officially backing the "cases don't matter."

It's StatusQuoJoe and Democrat Congresscritters worried about the midterms, just like Trump was about the 2020 election. I've said this more than once. And, because they're also worried about the inflation they caused, in part (through poking the Russian bear with the NATO sharp stick too much), they won't adopt most of Gonsalves' push, like new money to get people boostered, get more masks, support school masking etc.

I've talked about this before, and again. Already in February, I said politics were likely behind St. Anthony de Bureaucrats Fauci's talk about the "timeline" for COVID becoming endemic. Before that, in December, I noted Status Quo Joe's fails on not having a multipronged COVID strategy. Then in March, I first blogged about a possible new surge, which Gonsalves references.

The biggie? In April, I said Biden's CDC basically went Shrub Bush and said "Mission Accomplished" in the face of Judge Mazelle's ruling on federal mask mandates.

Meanwhile, Ed Yong also weighs in on the "cases / hospitalizations don't count," and makes clear the CDC is saying BOTH. And, it's Biden's CDC, in case Ed doesn't emphasize that enough. As part of that, he notes the health care system remains in crisis, even if COVID deaths themselves are not (yet) at crisis levels.


Is the bottom line.

Much of the system is still intolerably stressed, even in moments of apparent reprieve.

Well, the line below that is that Biden doesn't care. 

Yong notes how PTSD is ripping through the system. And, again, white wingnuts who think you're safer? Just as deaths are higher per capita in your rural areas, so are the health care effects.

Smartphone addiction in church

And not from a parishioner.

With a private as well as public high school in my current newspaper bailiwick, I occasionally, as in once a year, have to stick my head inside the local Catholic church. As in, for the Catholic private school's graduation ceremony, which includes a full Mass.

Well, cellphones do go off occasionally in church. Hell, in "real church," 15 years ago, I heard one go off during a Dallas Symphony Orchestra concert. It was about 2 minutes into the first piece on the program. Andrew Litton stopped. Full stop. Then turned around. Then, he made a decorous, but forceful, "suggestion" that everybody check their phone and turn it OFF. ("Vibrate" as an option was rare that long ago.) Then, he restarted.

Anyway, the local priest must have had his brick on "vibrate." And, must be addicted.

And, being Catholic, not a Baptist brother preacher, further illustrates.

No more than 2 minutes before the start of the processional, he reaches under his cassock, whips out his brick and checks it.


Short of one of your parents facing near death (remember, he's Catholic, no home life family), why are you needing to check your phone at that time?

You're not.

Sidebar: The Mass bell again reminds me of a Pavlov's dog experiment.

May 19, 2022

Ukraine, week 9: Mayday on VE-Day in Moscow

Per a presumably accurate translation, Putin's May 9 Victory Day speech went kind of flat. Rehashing of old tropes. No actual declaration of war nor deeper incitement to patriotism. Kind of laughable at the end to appeal to living in a multiethnic country.

NATO's secretary general Jens Stoltenberg joining the Team Biden warmongering ante-upping? He claims "Ukraine can win this war," .... if it gets extra help, natch. No talk of NATO trying to facilitate peace talk. No talk of cutting off Russian oil imports, which would be the real sauce actual extra help but that NATO/EU can't afford. 

Turkey is making noises about blocking NATO membership for Sweden and Finland — unless sufficiently bought off by the US in the Middle East. One human rights sellout coming up? 

Could Finland have a "caveated" or "opt-out based" NATO membership? Discussed here, but color me skeptical on NATO membership wanting that, especially when it's coming from a British touter of Finland joining.

Are there still hopes for a compromise peace? A Medium blogger discusses the possibilities while also passing along rumors that Putin has blood cancer.

Taylor Lorenz may have been right in her piece a few weeks ago on right-wing outrage, but she's simplistic at best in her piece about Biden's Orwellian Board of Disinformation. Plenty of leftists questioned it as being a likely nat-sec nutsack PR front to push, and push hard, the Biden / NATO / bipartisan foreign policy establishment party line on the war. We looked at Nina Jancowitz's past history and that was easy to call.

May 18, 2022

Coronavirus, week 109: We're STAT, hear us roar like snowflakes

A good overall piece by STAT, with snooty marketing behind it, caught my eye last week and I didn't get it in last week's roundup of COVID news.

First, the good takeaways, good in terms of information summary, not good morally, of course.

1. COVID was the second-leading cause of death in 2021 in the age 25-44 cohort in the US. It was No. 1 already in the age 45-54 cohort. So, while it primarily killed old people, people younger than 55 have no "safety."

2. Rural people had a higher per-capita death rate than people in metro areas. Probably a mix of factors were involved. On the socio-political side, antimasking and antivaxxing stances were bigger out there. Vaccines arrived later to rural areas, as well. Rural health care is sparse, and what's available is limited.

3. Being "boosted" isn't that much of a benefit. No, really. During the Omicron peak, people who were boosted did have some benefit from being boosted, but not huge, per a graph on site. Plus, there's no indication that the benefit was due to a booster shot itself, or entirely due to a booster shot, versus the idea that people who got booster shots were more conscientious about masking, more likely to have an N95 or KN95 than a plain mask, etc. And, the piece doesn't claim that (to the degree you could control for this in advance, or investigate it as part of the big picture) that this was allowed for.

Now, the snooty marketing.

Author J. Emory Parker's Twitter name? (Not his @.) 

"J Emory Parker [LGBTQ flag icon] Subscribe to STAT+."

I saw his first paragraph, and the start of his second, which said:

Officially, the U.S. will almost certainly reach an awful milestone in the next two weeks: its one millionth recorded Covid-19 death. In reality, this milestone was likely unofficially crossed days or weeks ago, and we’ll never know the exact toll or the identity of the pandemic’s actual millionth victim.

About which I Tweeted to him:

And he said, on Twitter, in essence:

Would you literally read my second paragraph?

To which I Tweeted back:

I can't embed his tweet because? He blocked me. No, really.

So, I screengrabbed that, as shown above, and, because I hadn't blocked him yet, cc-ed him and STAT's Twitter accounts with it.

As for the COVID death reality? I blogged about the 1 million mark nearly two months ago.

AND, Stat, don't expect me to cite you in the future. Certainly, I'll cite nothing by this snowflake.

May 17, 2022

Court rulings and more on the law, and medical ethics, on transgenderism/sexualism

The slash in the header is because this blogger distinguishes between transgender and transsexual, as does the National Institutes of Health. Several state rulings related to that in the past week. 

First, a mixed bag ruling from the Supreme Court of Texas. It said the Department of Family Services was NOT answerable to Kenny Boy Paxton or Strangeabbott, but did NOT order it to stop all investigations of parents of gender dysphoric kids, who may, or may not, wind up as either transsexual or transgender adults. Instead, it said only that DFS could not investigate a family suing them, which is an invite to more lawsuits.

Second, a Dallas County court-at-law judge told GENECIS it could reopen, pending a full ruling on May 26, and forbade Children's Medical Center from blocking that. I'm curious as to what Judge Bellan will eventually rule. I stand with the Mayo Clinic on use (and possible overuse or misuse) of puberty blockers. I also note that MDs within the trans activist world (and yes, I don't have a problem with that phrase) have raised the same cautions.

In short, I'm not a two-sider on this issue, and you shouldn't be either. And, that's why I'm waiting for the full ruling. Maybe Children's Medical Center/UT Southwestern has legitimate concerns that GENECIS is pushing puberty blockers too much? GENCIS says it offers counseling with the blockers, so it does meet that stipulation of Mayo — something that puberty blocker pill peddlers (they exist) don't. And, let us remember that what's called "gender affirming care" in the eyes of one person — and one MD — could be "sex disaffirming care" in the eyes of another.