Covid, It May Be As I Feared

https://www.upmc.com/media/news/020321-mccarthy-duprex-deletions

Evolution is a MF’er!

Covid appears to be evolving, to become resistant to antibodies. My guess has been, and still is, this will turn out much like the flu. We will have to make adjustments to vaccines on a yearly basis, and get vaccinations at least once, if not twice a year to have some sort of protection from our new friend.

The key takeaway from the article:

“Although this paper shows how SARS-CoV-2 is likely to escape the existing vaccines and therapeutics, it’s impossible to know at this point exactly when that might happen. Will the COVID-19 vaccines on the market today continue to offer a high level of protection for another six months? A year? Five years? “How far these deletions erode protection is yet to be determined,” McCarthy said. “At some point, we’re going to have to start reformulating vaccines, or at least entertain that idea.”

As is usually the case in things I fear may come to be, I hope I am wrong.

Y’all stay safe out there.

Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Our new president wasn’t even inaugurated yet, and the R party was winnowing about their desire, that the D’s should just ignore the last four years, as if it had been full of bunny rabbits, rainbows, and butterflies. As if it wasn’t dominated by a wanna be dictator, fully endorsed by the R House and Senate. The entire four years was one ignominious fiasco after another. Ignoring the constitution, defying court ordered decrees and subpoenas, the silencing of accomplices either through firing them or pardoning them, perfect phone calls one of which resulted in the first impeachment. Let’s not forget kids in cages. Parents deported. Environmental standards tossed by the wayside. Hundreds of thousands dead by incompetence. I could go on and on, but I don’t have the time. Just a never ending shit show by a shit for brains orange idiot, and as I said, whose actions were fully endorsed by the R party.

Nastiness and lies the new rule of the day. Conspiracy theories touted as fact. Acted upon even, as if factual. At the very least, uncontested by any R in office, save for one or two quiet, near meaningless objections by a couple of R’s searching for their long lost, barely recognizable, concsciences.

Oh! I almost forgot the mob invited to DC. Thoroughly agitated, pointed in the right direction, and let loose to do the will of a pathetic orange bastard incapable of admitting he lost fair and square. That mob assaulted an in session Senate, resulting in the deaths of a handful of good people. This act initiated a historical second impeachment of a sitting president. And now, we are all supposed to just play nice?

No! We the people, as well as our elected D’s in office, had better not forget the hell we just went through. The precedents unheard of, now apparently normal policy. Norms shattered into oblivion. The worst possible anyone could imagine a president capable of, exceeded daily. This, was the abysmal presidency we just survived, and just barely at that! We weren’t all that far from losing our Democracy. No we will not forget! We will not pretend it didn’t happen. We will not. We had better not.

I do not disagree with trying to get along, but no way, no how, should the D party bend over backwards to appease the party responsible for the last four years. In fact as far as I’m concerned each and every R that participated in the lie that brought about the attack on the Capitol should be dismissed from office and never allowed to hold office again. I believe this fate should suit the orange one as well. An orange jumpsuit would suit the orange idiot even better.

Can’t we all just get along? Hell no! Not until at least one redeemable act is followed through with by the R party. Just one you say? Snowballs chance in hell of that happening, I say. Irredeemable, incorrigible, unfit for office, they should all be tarred, feathered and run of town! If there was an ounce of shame or honor among them, any and all of them, who enabled the orange one the entire way, because of lack-of-backbone-itis, they’d have resigned by now. Have you seen any resignations from the House or the Senate?

Me either.

Can’t we all just get along? No. And Fuck You for even suggesting it.

If… the Senate, manages to find their long lost spines, and is able to convict our orange idiot on this most recent impeachment, I might be inclined to rethink my postion. But, I know the leopard does not so easily change it’s spots. I rest assured they are incapable of doing the right thing. I sincerely hope the R party goes down in flames, as a result of their own insidious inactions.

They had best, as far as I’m concerned, find within themselves something, hell anything, that could be construed as an action showing themselves considerate, of any desire to get along.

Yet, they have the unmitigated gall to just ask for it freely, as if they were so worthy. My disgust, my outrage, at the abhorrent actions of the R party this last four years, runneth deep. I will not play nice so easily.

Change my mind Republicans. I do not believe you are capable.

Is It Really Over?

Is the orange idiot done? Can we take a breath now? Can some sense of normalcy replace the unending scandal and controversy we have come to expect from the orange idiot criminal in chief?

Please Jeebus let this be a history lesson for the future and no longer a nightmare for the now!

Cue the right wing mob of liars and manipulators of truth! The right wing nut machine for… well, nuts! We will all soon be commies! Socialism! X-ian baby BBQ’s in basements across America!* Biden is a Lizard People overlord! Martial Law any day now! They are coming for your guns! They are taking away “our” country! True patriot Billy Bobs, and other fuckers of their sisters unite!

You didn’t think all that was going to magically disappear did you? We may be down one orange idiot, but the mob of morons is still out there, sopping up every little lie, with that last little bit of biscuit, cleaning up the last smidge the damn lie gravy in the plate. Mmm good! They love that stuff!

I’ll sleep better when that nonsense is regulated back to the National Enquirer, instead of mainstream news for dumbasses. Let’s not forget that they vote. Every single election from here, through the foreseeable future, is a fight for truth, and integrity. Every single election is a fight against what we just endured as a country. Every single election is a must vote scenario. We cannot rest because this battle, appears to be won. The misinformation war rages on. There is no room for complacency! The lies, the spin, the bullshit, will not rest. Nor can we.

Jeff, if you have recipes to share, please do 🙂

A Few Thoughts

Well, happy impeachement month everyone! I can’t think of an orange asshole who deserved it more.

I have to wonder though, after seeing much of the R spectacle in the House, just where we are as a country divided? Even after an all out assault on the Capitol by right wing trumpanzee nutjobs, many of the R representatives are still in full blown deny/obfuscate/distract/misrepresent/falsely equivocate/play the victim/scream radical left!/projection!/stop the steal!/oh my the slippery slope!/ mode. Every time I see screaming R’s who are just screaming to make noise, and not attempt to reconcile anything, I personally get another step away from these idiotic ideologies. We are more then D’s and R’s in this country, we have to be. I subscribe to neither party really, I consider myself an independent.* With that thought, I think no one should wholly subscribe to either tribe, but judge each on their merits and their deeds. If we all would do that, there would be no more political extremism. If we judged on merit and deeds, instead of merely identifying as a R or a D, just cuz yer daddy was one, and yer grandaddy was one, and we listened to both sides, as well as researched what we are hearing, to dig up the facts, we would be a people who no longer vote trumpanzee types to our governmental positions. Because something like that, is what has put us in the fix we are in now. At least as far as our elected representatives.

Alternative facts… This is the sort of horse shit that helps fuel an insurrection. Conspiracy theories spouted as fact. Right wing ideologies spouted as the only way to beat them damn libtards! Right wing propaganda outlets posing as news (Faux News, Newsmax, Talk Radio asshats, as well as social media shit warehouses, you know who they are) constantly pouring fuel on the fire. Why would we be a country so divided? Gee I wonder. I get the whole free speech thing, but a media that leads it’s cultish followers down the lane of “we hate everything they tell us to!” really needs a good looking at. Your right to free speech ends the minute your speech incites hate at any level, or at least it should, IMO. Just like your right to see well on the highway should end when your headlights are so bright they blind everyone you meet. There has to be a point somewhere, a line in the fucking sand, where things that are said and done, do not infringe on our basic wish to exist, unassaulted, by a reckless indifference, to our desire to live a life free of such infringements.

How the hell do we get there? I don’t know. How do we educate 70 million dumbasses who think our government of the last four years has been just fine and dandy? How do we root out and destroy centuries of steeping racism amongst us? How do we convince people who have been brainwashed by alternative fact tactics that they have been lied to? How do we tell them to hold on a minute, and do not just listen to one side of the story, for the truth does often lie in between? How do you take the flour from the cake after it has been baked in? Again, I don’t know.

Another aspect of alternative fact tactics is this, many of the people who exist within its clutches, love subscribing to that crap! They absolutely love what they are hearing! They love being pissed off at unknown faceless libtards that don’t even exist. They don’t need to know who they are, they are fine hating the assumption that they exist. They WANT to be fucking lied to, and manipulated. How do you fix that? Fuck if I know.

All I truly know is I want a better country, a better world, for my kids and grankids, than this. The only way I can think of, that might help us climb out of the hole we are in, is to teach your children well. Teach them to think for themselves. They need to be wiser that the generations among us. This hole we are in will take a great deal of time to climb out of, the future generations are our only hope I think. Our cake in the here and now, has been baked. We can change, if we are of a mind to. But it will take time.

The thing that truly stands in the way though, too many neither know nor care, that they are the predictable result of right wing propaganda, masquerading as legitmate news, as well as social media outlets, manipulated by influences both foreign and domestic.

Y’all stay safe out there.

*While I subscribe to neither party D or R, I will never, as long as I live, vote R again. Not after what has happened during the last few years they have had control. NEVER. Unless by some fate of circumstance, that the current ideologies of both parties, do a complete 180. I am comfortable believing it won’t happen in my lifetime.

We All Knew, Didnt We?

I knew. My wife knew. I’m sure you did too. We all knew something was going to happen. We all probably shared at least a couple of fears, what our orange idiot would do with his days left, especially today. We knew something was going to happen. He would not let go, he could not let go, the fact that he lost. Desperation was as thick in the air as the charge you sometimes feel before the summer bolt. Palpable. Real. You can sense it. You can feel it. Then, Boom!

My wife went yesterday and bought nearly $200 in groceries. I told you she knew. She didn’t know what, neither did we, right? But we knew it was coming. Now we know what. Probably at this point, it could have been much worse. I’m glad it wasn’t.

But, we also don’t know, what may happen next.

I’m afraid to find out what next might be. So, I sit here. Wondering. I don’t feel it yet. It will take a few days for the charge to build. But he needs to be removed, or procedurally incapcitated, or locked up in a nice padded cell, before next.

The inauguration can’t get here soon enough.

How ’bout that Georgia!!? Flipped the freaking Senate! I did not know that was going to happen. That was a pleasant surprise. May Democracy work for a future we can appreciate.

May time heal our wounds.

Elson Readers

It seems a lifetime ago, I was dropped off at my great uncles farm. He lived on the farm with his mother, my great grandmother. They lived in a rural Iowa local. We would visit them at least a couple times a year, I remember them with great fondness. My great uncle was a World War II vet. He had been one of the first group of men captured near Kassarine Pass, and subsequently spent most of the war in a concentration camp. My great grandmother was a retired school marm, she had long flowing gray hair, was sharp of wit, strong, with an honest, sometimes biting tongue, yet feeble from old age. She had taught many a child, in a one room schoolhouse in her younger days, and wasn’t the sort of lady to take any crap from anyone. One lash from her tongue, I don’t care who you are, you were toast! A great woman, they don’t make many like her.

It was here on the farm I spent some time, and I got to know and love them very well. As a young lad I did what I could do around the old farm to help. But the old farm was just that, my uncle no longer tended the fields, but he had some cows and I would help him with things that needed doing. But there wasn’t a lot to do, so I had a great deal of spare time on my hands. After a time it became boring for a young teenager. It didn’t take long for me to wade through the Readers Digest, and National Geographics that were in obvious abundance around the house. Which left me longing for something more…

One day in the old farmhouse, I was upstairs, and saw some faded dusty boxes. I snooped and discovered they were full of old books. Well I asked my great grandma if I could go through them, and she told me with a bit of glee in her voice, that yes, I could do with them as I wished.

It was then I discovered Elson Readers. These are very old reading books for schools, full of stories, fables, poems, and tales. And I devoured them. There were a great many of them ranging from kindergarten to eighth grade, so I sorted them out and started at the beginning. I spent a great deal of time with these books and came to know them well.

Fast forward to now, I have been and done a great many things in this world, have raised two families, and managed to become self dependent as we all should. I am approaching my sixties and I’m content with my place in life. But my mind often wanders back to that old farm, where I was bored out of my mind, but I remember that time with a deep longing in my heart. I am old and wise enough now, to more greatly appreciate my time there. My great uncle and grandma are long since passed, I miss them with a great hole in my soul, and have shed a tear or two writing this.

So, I decided to do a search a couple days ago, and see if I could find some of those ancient Elson Readers. They are out there on Ebay, but can be expensive. I would love to own them, I have a couple on a shelf, but I am nowhere close to having them all. Then I found a link, and I clicked it. There they are! For Free! Holy crapoli!

Now not in book form, but scanned and accessible to read online. A far cry from holding a dusty old hardback book in your hands, but it will damn well do!

I have been reading them again. They still have a touch of magic in them that is indescribable. The old fables are predictably, inherent with a moral to the story. Many of the stories are about instilling honor, truth, integrity, and in some cases love of country. Others meant to teach a bit of wisdom to still naive school children. These stories and fables are from all over the world, from many cultures, and the poems, many are from names you will recognize as literary greats.

These books aren’t arranged in order, and they aren’t all there, I recall different volumes in my great grandmothers many boxes of books. But by gosh I wish to give you a little bit of me. For some of me lives in these old Elson Readers. As my great grandmother once said to me, “do with them as you wish.”

P.S. Some of the pages were poorly scanned, and difficult, but not impossible to make out. Just FYI. Also you will have to sort through them to differentiate between the readers and the teachers version.

P.P.S. Anyone who might have use for a bedtime story for the kids or grandkids, could do much worse than the text in these old readers.

EDIT: Oh! I found modern reproductions here, ~15 bucks per would add up:

https://www.rainbowresource.com/category/951/Elson-Readers.html

Which Begs the Question…

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/12/201211083113.htm

If you want to save time by not reading the link, the short story is, researchers have concluded that mass extinctions occur every 27 million years or so. Which, begs the question:

How long ago was the last mass extinction?

The graph plots percent extinction occurrences versus time in millions of years before present time, starting 550 million years ago. Extinction occurrences increase and decrease in a cyclical manner. At the lowest points on the cycle, extinction occurrences were between 2% and 5% percent. Spikes in the number of extinctions occurred at the end of geological periods: end-Ordovician, 450 million years ago; end-Devonian, 374 million years ago; end-Permian, 252 million years ago; end-Triassic, 200 million years ago; and end-Cretaceous, 65 million years ago. During these spikes, extinction occurrences approximately ranged from 22% to 50%.

If you will study this chart for a moment, indeed it appears every 25 million years, roughly, there is a definate uptick in extinctions. We can also extrapolate (if we ignore the slight uptick approximately 12 MYA, read the chart from right to left, zero is where we are now) that we are overdue.

Right now, given the state of the world, and the U.S. specifically. I’m not so sure it would be a bad thing. Let’s just have a do over!

Y’all stay safe out there. Thank science the covid vaccine will soon be available. Just in time for our extinction event 😉

It’s a Disease

As often happens while I am scrolling through my reader, I will catch one of those WP recommended posts that piques my interest enough to click on it. As usual, I live to regret doing so. This fine morning I found a rightwing nutter proclaiming that a Biden presidency will cause the collapse of the US. even faster than our orange idiot is running it into the ground.

The post is heavy on scaremongering, the lifeblood of the R party. But the best part is… the s.o.b. accepts donations to his Paypal account!

I suppose the best indication of flattery is imitation. This blogger is grifting just like the orange idiot he/she worships.

I left a comment that will never see the light of day:

“Where do you get your bullshit pills? In any event I think you have had enough. Oh, lol! And you are running a grift to boot? Fucking priceless!”

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/32975569/posts/6596

Inflation?

My mundane life. I got up yesterday morning to a note on the microwave. It explained that the microwave gave up the ghost at some point in the night while I was sleeping. No biggie, last time I bought a microwave it was right around fifty bucks including tax.

Imagine my surprise when I got to the microwave isle and saw that a similar microwave was going to cost seventy bucks, plus tax. Making it damn near an eighty dollar purchase. (10% sales tax in Tn.) Jebus fricking christ!

Then yesterday as I took my wife to work, (note I said my wife and not “the” wife*) I saw the price of gas was holding steady at $1.72 a gallon that morning. By three- o- clock in the afternoon gas had jumped to $1.99 a gallon. A twenty seven cent increase in less than ten hours! WTF?

Now I suppose the orange idiot tariffs could have something to do with microwave prices. I dunno.

I also understand if you are looking for a freezer these days, good damn luck! It seems they are in high demand and slow to stock. Just FYI…

Will an assassination in Iran cause a darn near thirty cent jump in gas? I guess. I can’t think of a good reason besides that. But whatever. It is what it is, we have little say in the fluctuations of the consumer goods department. We as consumers are just along for the ride. I can say for sure though, the cost of the needs, sure puts a dent in the wants.

I hope this post finds you all in good health and maintaining covid protocalls. Y’all stay safe out there.

* I made a post on Pharyngula several days back, and described a situation in which I typed the words “the wife.” Someone made a comment thusly: “The wife, ugh!”

Now I’m not exactly sure what I did wrong there. I am getting to be an old fart and might be out of touch with all of the wokeness, and feminist leanings of the day, but as far as I know “the wife” isn’t a derogatory statement. Though I can see, if I squint, and try really hard, how it possibly could be interpreted that way. But I can assure you, and anyone else, that I’d never ever mean it in a derogatory fashion. It is an term I grew up with and never saw it used in a negative way. But I am mentioning this here, instead of there, as I wasn’t going to touch it with a ten foot pole on the Pharyngula blog. That place is a piranah tank for the unwary. I am not the unwary. 🙂

If anyone can help me sort this out, without depriving me of a few appendages, I’d appreciate it.

Please Tell Me I’m Wrong…

Our recently, legally, and effectively defeated, orange idiot, fired the defense secretary yesterday. From what I’m hearing he has installed several loyalists (a dozen or so) within the Pentagon over the last 24 hours.

Is this sorry sack of shit about to attempt a military coup? Is he about to declare we are no longer a democracy? Like the title says…

Please tell me I’m wrong.

If it comes to that, there will be a rebellion at some level. Either the military will rebell by not going through with it. Or the people will rebell if and when they do.

I really, hope I’m wrong. I don’t mind being wrong.

Best I can hope for right now, is that his boot licking comrades are being installed to pilfer military secrets, or just to sow chaos. Neither of those scenarios are good either.

Let me just be wrong… But something is afoot. We just don’t know what yet. Why make these moves now? What good explanation is there for these actions? The hell of it is, we really just don’t know what that asshole is capable of. He has 70 more days to make his move if he is going to. As it stands right now he is no longer president come Jan. 20. Unless of course he is a dictator by then…

I’ll also mention the actions of the R party right now are questionable too. It would be more reassuring if at least a few of them would stand up and show some backbone. But hell will likely freeze over before that happens. It sure looks to me like they would back any move our orange idiot might make. After all they would be in power, we have seen they will go to any length to stay in power.

Again, I hope I’m wrong. But would it surprise me if that is what he tries to pull? No, no it would not. Just so ya know, I’m no tin foil hatter, it’s just what I see, concerns me. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions. Maybe it isn’t as nefarious as it looks. Maybe I’m just wrong. I’m ok with that.

Let me be wrong. Because if I’m right, the revolution will have come to me. I won’t need them to call.