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.

my sorry state, part 1 — the re-emergence of covid-19

Jazz hands or ‘Wait, wait, what???’

I had hoped that we would be well past the coronavirus pandemic, but such was not to be. As of today, one in five, or 20%, of all new cases come out of Florida. Look at Florida county-by-county and the hottest spots are around Orange County/Orlando, Miami-Dade, Jacksonville, and Tallahassee.

The two hottest are also the two with the greatest tourism draws, Orange/Orlando with Disney and Universal Studios, and Miami because it’s Miami and that’s where all the money is. Florida now has no mask mandates. Florida has a boot-licking MAGA governor who is determined to kill the rules that would keep us healthy and safe, and in the process, kill as many of us as possible.

We also have tourists coming to Orlando from all over without masks with many carrying the virus, willing to spread it around in super-spreader events such as Orlando the theme parks. While not in a theme park, I was at a local store near Universal to pick up groceries on Saturday when I heard a group near me speaking Portuguese. The group appeared composed of parents, several children, and an older man who I assumed was a grand parent, none of them wearing masks. I had my mask on, but added some social distance between myself and that group. Orlando is a top destination spot for Brazilians, so you’ll forgive me if I give anyone from Brazil, one of the world’s COVID-19 major hot spots, a fair amount of social distance.

In other news, former Florda data scientist and bad Florida decision making whistleblower Rebekah Jones is running against sexual predator congress-bro Matt Gaetz in 2022. We need that idiot Gaetz out and someone in his place who is competent. I wish Rebekah all the best.