Friday Homestead Dispatch
Sententious Subrident Santa
“I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.” ― Joan Didion, RIP
This morning’s post seemed a bit rushed but, more importantly, Connie and I checked in on her 91 year-old living-at-home mother in Prescott this week. No Wi-Fi there. But, as there was still ample snow on the ground from the previous week’s mild blizzette, I decided a foot tall snowman was in order.
Everybody seems to have the Omicron blues. The bad news it that it spreads quite quickly, even amongst the thrice vaxxed. The good news is that, in South Africa (where it was first detected) and in the United Kingdom, early indications suggest that deaths could be lower than they have been for previous waves. Thus, both countries are experiencing a relatively brief wave of milder infections. Health officials have also reported that people appear to recover more quickly from Omicron compared with Delta, whether they were in hospital or not.
More good news is that the FDA has authorized Merck’s COVID pill for home use. It’s available by prescription only, and treatment should begin as soon as possible after a COVID-19 diagnosis and within five days of the onset of symptoms in order to treat mild-to-moderate disease. And, there is also an antiviral pill from Pfizer that, while not a replacement for vaccinations, adds an easily administered treatment to help keep people at high risk of severe illness out of the hospital.
Now the trick is get the vaccines to the more than fifty countries that have less than a twenty-five percent vaccination rate. Vox reports that “Yet even in the best of circumstances, getting people vaccinated is a huge logistical challenge. The US, one of the world’s largest Covid-19 vaccine producers, has struggled with spoiled doses, confusing vaccination guidance, and misinformation. The US is still trying to convince holdouts to get their shots, despite the fact that most Covid-19 hospitalizations and deaths in the US are occurring among the unvaccinated.”
Mask up, folks, and respect others.
Kirk, a conservative activist and radio talk show host, is the executive director of Turning Point USA. The organization’s mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote the principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. Along with this organization, he is the CEO of Students for Trump.
Both groups are money making machines for the people in charge–in 2020, ProPublica reported that Kirk's salary from TPUSA had increased from $27,000 to nearly $300,000 and that he had bought an $855,000 condo in Longboat Key, Florida.
Along the way he has called for Texas to create a "citizen force" and have them deport Haitians, began the "Exposing Critical Racism Tour" of a number of campuses and off-campus venues to "fight racist theories on America's college campuses,” has spread falsehoods about voter fraud and the COVID-19 pandemic, and said on his podcast that Democrats wanted Americans to live where "there is no cultural identity, where you live in sexual anarchy, where private property is a thing of the past, and the ruling class controls everything."
Now, if all of this weren’t enough, murderer Kyle Rittenhouse was the guest of honor at AmericaFest 2021, a charade for Christian living put on by Kirk’s Turning Point USA, in Phoenix last Monday. Kirk, in an interview, said that Rittenhouse’s acquittal was "a win for Biblical values. Plenty of people were wrongfully accused all throughout the Bible, especially the Old Testament, including Jesus Christ himself.” Rittenhouse, at the ripe old age of eighteen and buffed up by the cheering throngs, said “I think my trial was an example of them trying to come after our second amendment rights, a right to defend ourselves, in trying to take weapons. It's helped me grow a lot, it’s helped me mature, and I believe God's been with me every day of the trial, every day since August 25…” So young, so wise.
And not to be left out, Turning Point shuffled out the carcass of Sarah Palin who huffed about vaccines, “It’ll be over my dead body that I’ll have to get a shot. I will not do that. I won’t do it, and they better not touch my kids either.” All good news in my book.
And as a continuance on a theme, we seem to be living in two different nations right now: Reality land vs Bizarro World. I just don’t go to right wing web sites so cruising around the URLs mentioned above was quite disturbing. And the mainstream media is not helping. By reporting mostly on the negative side of current events, Biden’s approval rating is dismal and it doesn’t help matters when you have lunatics like Representative Lauren Boebert bleating “I am tired of having Godless people who hate America run this country! You and I are going to take this country back!”
But on Wednesday, Heather Cox Richardson posted Matthew A. Winkler’s reporting in Bloomberg stating that “The U.S. is outperforming the world by the biggest margin in the 21st century and with good reason: America’s economy improved more in Joe Biden’s first 12 months than any president during the past 50 years” She went on to say “The American Rescue Plan, passed by Democrats in March without a single Republican vote, cut child poverty in half by putting $66 billion into 36 million households. More than 4.6 million Americans who were not previously insured have gotten healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, bringing the total covered to a record 13.6 million. When Biden took office, about 46% of schools were open; currently the rate is 99%. In November, Congress passed a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill that will repair bridges and roads and get broadband to places that still don’t have it. How people think about the country depends on the stories they hear about it.”
A Roman Catholic priest from Austria named Fr. Johannes Maria Schwarz bought an abandoned hut on several acres of land, high on a mountain (altitude 3900 feet/1200 meters) overlooking Torre Pellice, Piedmont, Italy, and has spent the last three years fixing up the property and planting “micro-climate” gardens, as well as building and decorating a chapel in his tiny home. He calls the restored farmhouse “Eremo San Onofrio.” Hmmmm…the monk life is looking pretty good these days.
While you’re thinking about the escapist life, take a listen to (Gimme Some of That) Ol' Atonal Music…thanks to brother Greg for this gem. Don’t stop watching ‘cuz it starts to get quite interesting at 1:37.
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And also…have a Merry Whatever-You-Celebrate Holiday Thingie this weekend!