March 4, 2021, was my day of liberation. I got my second Covid vaccination that day. While it would still be two weeks for the inoculation to reach full effect, I could finally see the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. At least for me.
Not for most of us, however. Weekly rates of vaccinations in the US peaked just before April 15 (Statista). They fell off at a faster pace after that week than they had climbed before the peak. What was going on?
“Defund the police” has become a divisive term hurled from right to left and left to right. As a rallying cry for partisans, it’s having its season. Its meaning, however, is often determined by the hurler, usually as an invective rather than part of a discussion. Perhaps we need to look at its opposite: Invest.
Anyone who is an investor, whether a venture capitalist, 401k holder, or member of municipal government, has the right to put their money where it will help achieve their goals. The first two of these examples are primarily looking for monetary return, while the third…
Sheila Pennington watched as dawn sunlight struck the far edge of the clearing about 400 feet away. She was drinking the last of her morning coffee as she sat in a wildlife blind on the edge of the Sanctuary’s compound. She often greeted the dawn from the blind, from where she could watch the area and still be apart from it. Her two-seater ultralight aircraft perched in the center of the open field, faintly glowing in the early morning light. From where Sheila sat, she could see across the entire four-acre compound to the chain-link fencing on…
Here is the message that I sent to both of my senators, Richard Burr and Thom Tillis, who represent North Carolina:
I write to urge you to vote to convict Donald J. Trump in the impeachment trial.
I recognize that you voted against proceeding because of a motion to declare the process unconstitutional for a former office holder. Yet, both houses of Congress settled the issue of constitutionality by majority vote. Since we cannot pick and choose the laws we obey, you are now legally bound to render an impartial judgment on the charges brought forth.
President Trump spent…
Sheila stared at Evel for a few seconds. Then she laughed. “Okay, you got me for a second,” she said. “I know all about hazing rituals and I’m flattered that you want to bring me into the fold.”
“What do you mean?” Evel said. “I’m not kidding.”
“Okay, I’ll play along,” Sheila said, as she leaned back into her chair. “What’s your evidence? And why tell me?”
“Look, I’m guessing you don’t care about impressing those guys.”
“You’re right there. I gave up trying to impress people during the last millennium. …
“Mommy, look,” she said, pointing to the roadside ahead. “Why are all those people there?”
The mother turned down the car’s radio just as the announcer was saying, “The White House acknowledged for the first time tonight that Dr. Kissinger had secretly met in Paris with North Vietnam’s.. ”
“I’ve never seen so many people at the quarry,” said the mother. “There must be a couple hundred of them.” She glanced at her nine-year- old daughter and said, “Let’s stop and find out.”
They pulled to the side of the two-lane highway and slid out on the…
The Numbers Don’t Lie
124,686 — Reported on 12–30–2020
670,000+ — Cumulative
19,232,843 — Cumulative Total in US
334,029— Cumulative Total In US
331,979,663 — Current population of the US
248,984,747 — 75% of current population (to reach herd immunity)
— 2,127,143 — First vaccine doses administered
246,857,604 — People still needing to be immunized
1 in 58 — Whites over 60 and not incarcerated or in nursing homes
1 in 19 — Blacks over 60 and not incarcerated or in nursing homes
When you can, get vaccinated. It’s not just for you. It’s for everyone you meet.
Disclaimer — I am not a physician. I make no representation of expertise beyond being an educated American adult.
The figures cited are reported or derived from public sources:
There’s a great essay on the topic of presidential pardons in the current issue of The Atlantic. Written by historian Tim Naftali, it explores the range of potential pardons that Richard Nixon explored. Happily, in a constitutional sense, Nixon did not abuse that power for his own benefit. (From the perspective of the Trump years, Ford’s pardon of Nixon now looks like a quaint courtesy from one president to his predecessor.)
As Trump winds down his time in office, he is ramping up his pardons of cronies and fellow conspirators. He looks to be on a trajectory to give pardons…
As we watch the ballot counting wind its way to completion, there are some tentative lessons to draw. With the growing inevitability of a Biden win for the White House, all is not dark for the GOP — especially for the current Senate Majority Leader.
Mitch McConnell has to be happy. He looks to hold on to a majority or — worst case for him — an evenly split Senate. He will be able to revert to obstructing a Democratic president and stymie a Democratic House. Because he has no real policy proposals on health care and prefers to obstruct…
Paul Krugman stepped into international relations this week with a column about the destruction of America’s good name with our allies. I don’t disagree with his analysis, but it is not complete. He laid the blame on Donald Trump who has scrambled alliances by pulling back from a full-throated commitment to help allies if attacked — despite the legal, economic, and social ties that bind us. He blamed Trump for cozying up to authoritarian regimes around the world who routinely imprison and even execute transgressors from and opponents to the ruling group. …
Historian, informatician, novelist, and grandfather.