American Elephants

There Are Limits! You Can Just Go So Far!! by The Elephant's Child
August 4, 2021, 10:11 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

We live in a contentious world, as we are reminded as we read or listen to the news each day. Things just do not always go smoothly. Right now it is mostly Covid Vaccinations and Covid Masks, with a little border thrown in. But there are Limits to what the public will stand for, and that limit is being approached.

Many people did not notice when President Joe Biden was speaking Green New Deal a while back, but he was suggesting that it would be necessary to make the holes in showerheads smaller to save water. What?

I had not heard that we are short on water, and had to conserve! Rivers and streams seem full, and we just had some major floods. Why on earth would anyone assume that to save water we had to turn our showers into a fine mist? That was so silly that I put it directly out of my mind. But then inflation (and pipeline destruction) started elevating the cost of gas at the pump significantly. And the press at least was talking about electric cars (which for someone who grew up rural, where it was a long drive between gas stations with plugs to plug in your electric car, sounded both ridiculous and nutty).

Then, the bacon scare began. Apparently California has passed some strange laws to make pigs more comfortable, which are expected to make a lot of farmers give up raising pigs, and result in a scarcity of bacon in the marketplace and raise the price of bacon significantly. That is just going too damn far. There are limits. I am fond of my current showerhead and have no intention of changing it, and have been considering getting a bigger hot water tank. But do not mess with my bacon! You have long since lost any possibility of my vote, but do not underestimate the fury of a woman deprived of bacon. I suspect that I am not alone.

How do we return to normal, and just what is normal? by The Elephant's Child
August 4, 2021, 1:56 pm
Filed under: Politics | Tags: , ,

The CDC is struggling to make up its mind about whether or not children need vaccinations to return to school, and whether they need to wear masks. Online classes did not work well, and clearly public school in ordinary session cannot come quickly enough, but what the guidelines will be and what they should be and how effective school will be remains a question. Different locations, different states, different experiences from different governors. At first, I thought they told us that children were essentially immune.

The current population of the United States is tallied at 331,095,619 and 20,639,911 brand new citizens were born today and 1,144 people died, (changing as I type this). Also measured by religions, ethnic grouping, age group and sex ratio. But a little attention to the big statistics makes one realize how vague and “iffy” are the pronouncements that come down from the federal government.

I just put away the groceries that were delivered (because of Covid) so I could avoid going to the grocery store. I’m fully vaccinated, 2 Shots, after weeks and weeks of trying to find someplace to get the vaccination. Our Eastside hospitals had a big event with a cast of thousands at Microsoft. Before that it was combing through grocery store pharmacies to try to find one that had appointments available. Your experience was undoubtedly very different.

So it is still early. We don’t know enough. We can only try hard to be well informed. Apparently a new variant has popped up in South Korea. Not yet expanded to the rest of the world. Does that raise the question of continual variations and a continual virus? We need better communicators at the federal level.

Here are the first few lines from Jason Riley writing at the Wall Street Journal about “Critical Race Theory” — “A majority of American fourth and eighth-graders can’t read or do math at grade level, according to the education Department. And that assessment is from 2019, before the learning losses from pandemic school closures.” So we have lost a lot over these months of Covid, and how to make it up, and how permanent the loss remains a question.

We are having a pandemic. President Trump jumped on it promptly, halted all traffic from China, and began “Operation Warp Speed” to get vaccines developed. Great outcry, racial prejudice, etc. etc, but it worked and he saved a lot of lives. Effective vaccines were developed. Different nations had different experience, but it could have been a lot worse.

The influenza pandemic in 1918 killed twenty-five million people. Life expectancy dropped by 18 years. Today, many countries have had very different experiences, as different governments have handled it very differently. Eventually, we will be able to assess what worked and what has not. We know where this one originated, but not how nor why. When the next one comes along, perhaps we will be better prepared.

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