end of august angst

So here I am, the last Sunday in August, and wondering where the bulk of 2021 has gone to. I started out this year getting my two Moderna vaccinations, and then watched with hope as the original coronavirus pandemic began to wane a bit. And then, the sickness of Trumpism began to manifest again as white Republican evangelicals who get all their news from Fox and Facebook refused to get vaccinated. Then the coronavirus mutated into the delta variant and began to run through all the unvaccinated, helping to spread it far and wide, even through the vaccinated.

The epicenter of all this madness and sickness is still Florida, where our beloved governor Ron DeathSantis continues to try to block the mandating of masks, as if this was some sort of horrible burden imposed on his freedom-loving base, as apposed to being a sensible and easy enough act (wearing a mask) to control the spread of the deadly delta variant among his poorly vaccinated base. DeathSantis was stopped in his tracks by Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper (see https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/569726-judge-blocks-desantis-from-banning-school-mask-mandates ); school districts will now be allowed to impose a mask mandate as needed. God knows we need it.

In the mean time I read as people like me were chastised for not waiting eight months before getting our boosters; I got mine at six months along with my wife, who is immune compromised. Now it would appear the feds are recommending six months, so thank you for coming around to my way of thinking. I will sleep easier at night.

I note the complete US clusterfuck withdrawal out of Afghanistan, with the additional ISIS-K terror attack at the Kabul airport. This only goes to reaffirm the critics who’ve been saying all along that this would precisely happen if and when we withdrew. And, of course, the Republican lying sons-of-bitches are now gleefully rubbing their hands together over the political fallout they feel will help them to regain the House and Senate come the 2022 midterms. Let’s unwind that a bit.

We all knew that withdrawing from Afghanistan was going to be a complete and utter clusterfuck. Afghanistan has been a political clusterfuck for foreign intervention going back to the Greeks and Alexander. But nobody learns from history, and of course, we are doomed to repeat it, up to the present day.

And it was Trump and Co. that were negotiating with the Taliban, who promised to pull out of Afghanistan, and who betrayed the Kurds (see ‘Trump Betrayed the Kurds. He Couldn’t Help Himself.’ https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/10/trump-betrayed-kurds-whos-next/600004/ ) by withdrawing US troops from the Syrian/Turkish border in 2019. Which of course gave the Russians a free hand to perform military operations in support of the Syrian government as icing on the Kurdish betrayal cake. This of course would require the Republicans to know the definition of hypocrisy and of having a conscience that would feel some shame in that, but then we know that today’s Republicans don’t know what hypocrisy means and of course they have no conscience. Just look at the “southern border” debacle and Trump’s disintegrating wall…

But to get back to Florida… I’m watching Ida make landfall in New Orleans on the anniversary of Katrina’s landfall on 29 August 2005. The only difference, if you want to make that call, is that Katrina was a Cat 5 hurricane, while Ida is ‘only’ Cat 4. But this is a difference between a large bomb and a slightly smaller bomb; the explosion is still devastating.

To my few friends still living in that area, get out if you can, and hunker down if you can’t.

the climate strike

I love to visit Kottke. I find the subjects the site author writes about fascinating, and the writing to be consistently excellent to top notch. Today he decided to go on strike over global warming (I refuse to use the less threatening phrase “climate change” because global warming is the root of all our climate woes, and it’s a phrase foisted upon us by the right, when they’re not busy trying to deny it’s happening). That’s nice.

I can appreciate the power of a strike action, but only if you’re physically in the strike and manning the picket lines and doing whatever else is necessary to make the strike meaningful and successful. Putting up a special page and only serving that page over a 24 hour period is nice, but in the end, it will achieve very little. As Bill Gates said about fossil fuel divestment, these “strikes” are a ‘false solution.’

I keep reading one article after another documenting the whole-sale slaughter of life on earth, from birds to salmon and beyond. What we need are real solutions, and I don’t mean more tech piled on tech. I do mean making a serious effort finding solutions to save out planet and how we do it. We’re lazy; we want a solution to fix all our problems without any consequences, so we can keep on doing what we’ve been doing, business as usual. We can’t do that anymore. We never could.