Summer Solstice

Spring is over, and Summer is here. Here in Phoenix, it’s already been north of 115 for a while. In January, I predicted the Pandemic would fade by the end of spring, and life would be back to near normal. Given the Warp Speed vaccines in the pipeline and the number of people already naturally immune, this wasn’t bold; simple math applied to what is widely known made it a solid bet. Unfortunately, the Biden Administration and some Democratic Governors were the only ones caught with their pants down. Aiming for a hundred million vaccine doses in arms at the end of their first hundred days when we were already on a much higher pace shows how out of touch they were. As I pointed out, this is an administration that can’t be bothered with homework.

President Biden kindly allowed, if we were good, on the 4th of July maybe we could have a backyard B.B.Q. with a few vaccinated family or friends. On Father’s Day, the Phoenix Suns played before a sold-out crowd of over 16,000 with no mask or distance mandates. Joe seems quaint. 

I also forecast the exposure of Dr. Fauci as a bureaucrat who rose past his capabilities. Instead of the dedicated public servant and the embodiment of “science,” the fawning media portrayed, we now see a man associated in a coverup of N.I.H. involvement with the lab in Wuhan, China. He or his friends rounded up many “scientists” to condemn the Lab Leak Theory when it always made more sense the “Wet Market” idea Fauci and friends adopted. These actions have now undermined our faith in Fauci and science in general.  

As the Pandemic fades, we’ll have the inevitable after-action reports. After all, we don’t want to repeat a tragedy costing millions of lives. So where did Covid come from, why wasn’t the outbreak known sooner, why were we so unprepared, and did we have the correct responses? These are questions demanding answers. 

Focus on the Pandemic will be maintained by its lingering effects. School children by the millions of lost at least a year of in-person schooling. The less well-off suffered the most. People lost their businesses and dreams. What will this mean in suicides and drug addiction? What policies resulted in the least bad results?

“Science” and media looked at in a far different light. The media almost uniformly supported the “wet market theory” and lengthy lockdowns. School closures are hardly questioned even in the face of data showing they should be open. As information becomes known, how will news outlets justify their dereliction? Everyone will know who in the press failed even to try to get the story right. Lining up with Fauci and friends has its costs. The summer rolls on.

The heat may be making the cancel culture front even wackier. “In the Heights,” Lin-Manuel Miranda’s play, now a movie in theaters, has been attacked for not prominently featuring more Blacks. Set in the Washington Heights area of New York City, known as the Little Dominican Republic, the story revolves around a storekeeper contemplating returning to his island Republic. 

If the story is about a Dominican community, it’s fair to ask how Dominicans see themselves. Do they identify as black? 70% of Dominicans identify as multi-racial. 15% claim to be white. Only about 1 in 10 say they are black. The Heights mirror this racial breakdown. Not much of an argument for a large part of the cast being black. The mixed-race super-majority sounds like a thriving melting pot.

Yet Miranda was attacked online for the lack of prominent blacks in the movie. They then pounced on 89 years old Oscar winner Rita Moreno when she came to his defense. These demands are akin to insisting on whites cast in leading roles in “A Raisin in the Sun.”

Sadly both Miranda and Moreno asked for forgiveness. How crazy has this search for victims and oppressors become? Is it just easier to give in rather than stand up?

Abasement knows no bounds. My morning paper featured the headline “Kroger  drops brand over labor allegations.” Did Muslim Uighurs make the products in Chinese detention camps? It turns out the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is accusing Thai providers of Coconut Milk of using monkeys as forced labor. It’s hard to know the exact extent of monkey abuse as they cite no direct allegations from the monkeys. Are they not paid enough bananas? Somebody needs to interview the mistreated now.

Where will this end? Banning lamb chop sand wool over the long hours sheepdogs work? Next, prohibit those endless searches in the woods by truffle sniffing pigs. Of course, without the truffle gig, the pig’s future is probably pork chops. Have we thought this through?

Sounds silly until you realize Costco and Target joined Kroger in dropping the Chaokoh Products. Maybe this shows anti-Asian bias. Coconut milk is a vital ingredient in Thai cooking and Asian curries. Who is the victim here? Asians? We need to look into this. Where will the Monkeys find other employment? Will they ask the ultra pro-union Joe Biden for help in organizing?

I don’t expect any relief for my addled brain til fall. Maybe logic and common sense will return with the cooler weather, but I doubt it. At least stop picking on octogenarians such as Rita Moreno, you ageists. 

We have finally stabilized our Covid vaccination rates, after the Biden Administration missteps. In any case, with growing Herd Immunity the pandemic continues to fade away. Much as this is a surprise to the Biden administration and Fauci & friends, real scientists such as Dr. Marty Makary forecast it. He  predicted in the Wall Street Journal we would see Herd Immunity by the end of April. Roundly ridiculed, he has the last laugh. Thank goodness! I included these graphs so you could see the facts rather than absorbing media misinformation. You knew who was right and who was Fauci.

Groundhog Day

Maybe you felt the same way. You keep hearing about “Systemic Racism” but aren’t sure what it is. When in doubt, Google. The search pointed to Wikipedia, which uses the term interchangeably with “Institutional Racism,” defined “as a form of racism embedded through laws and regulations within society or an organization. It can lead to discrimination in criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power, and education, among other issues.” This got me thinking. 

In the 1950s and ’60s, we worked hard to change the nation’s laws and regulations to ensure everyone their constitutional rights. We have mainly been successful. Most of the present-day problems reside at a more local level. For instance, criminal justice, policing, and prosecution are State and local issues. Education is always a local affair. Even housing and healthcare problems originate at the local level.  

Political power at the local level is how we fix local problems. If there is racism in our local institutions, let’s get oppressed to the polls and throw the bums out. 

Never have people had greater access to the polls. Blacks in many states of the old south vote in more significant percentages than whites. Nothing is standing between Blacks joining like-minded people to form coalitions to achieve the law enforcement and education to improve lives.

In fact, blacks have formed ruling coalitions with others in almost all locales they live. Blacks are almost uniformly governed by the political party they overwhelmingly give their votes. These local governments also control the zoning that dictates the affordability of housing.

 The paradox is institutions some Black’s claim are racist are controlled by the very same people they voted into office. Walt Kelly’s Pogo would understand. He proclaimed, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” 

If you don’t like your local criminal justice system, prosecutors and police departments vote for candidates with a different approach. Maybe they belong to another party. Continuing to vote for Democrats means supporting other party pillars such as the public sector unions. Bad teachers and cops often remain employed due to the protections afforded by their unions. Achieving a workable balance is in large part stumbles over the bad cop problem. Poor areas need more policing, but not by repressive bad cops.

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