Oh, Those Stupid Scientists

(Before the coronavirus crisis) people used to look to the United States with a degree of reverence. For democracy. For our moral leadership in the world. Supporting science and using technology to travel to the moon. Instead, what’s really been exposed is how anti-science we’ve become.
-Dr. Cedric Dark, emergency physician, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas


When I was in school, one of my least favorite subjects was science. I just wasn’t into it that much.

Apparently, a great many Americans, including our president, are still not.

Leading scientific experts on climate change and the coronavirus have been ignored, mocked, silenced or contradicted by donald and his minions. Their steadfast refusal to face the reality of either crisis has been, to put it mildly, appalling.

If you guys really have no use for science, then don’t bother seeing a doctor when you’re sick, because it’s science that leads to a diagnosis and a remedy.

Don’t bother watching your big screen TV at home, because it’s science that produces the audio and video.

Don’t bother driving your pickup anywhere, because it’s science that makes it go.

You see where I’m going here, MAGA men? Science is part of our everyday life. You can’t just ignore or reject the parts you don’t agree with. The facts are what they are. And there are plenty of qualified people who study those facts, and who know what to deduce from them. And it’s their expert advice you’re rejecting, putting as all at greater risk.

And I’m telling you to cut it out.

We’re looking right in the face of two serious threats to our health. We’d best pay attention to the people who know how we must deal with them, if not for ourselves, then for the generations to follow.

Like it Was Yesterday

(Four years ago, I submitted this post in remembrance of the events of 9/11. Today, I offer it again, updated, on the 19th anniversary of the day that changed us forever. Never forget…)

Nineteen years ago…
The brilliant cerulean skies over Manhattan
Suddenly, shockingly were interrupted
By the smoke from a misguided burnt offering,
Offered by impassioned false prophets
To a Prophet they never really knew.

Nineteen years ago…
A throng of innocent, ordinary faces
Stared in utter horror and disbelief
At the face of death, approaching them swiftly
In the guise of a great, winged demon,
Its once perfectly resplendent skin
Now engulfed in the flames of Hell,
The air redolent of burning flesh and jet fuel.

And then – this time, before a captive audience – it happened again.

Nineteen years ago…
Desperate, hopeless, sorrowful voices
Left tearful, heartfelt goodbyes
On cold and sterile answering machines
For the ones they would leave behind
To play back again, and again, and again,
Frozen in their grief, their loneliness, their rage,
With merely a voice to hold through the long, sleepless night.

Nineteen years ago…
Knights in shining armor ascended,
Disappearing into the smoky blackness,
Staring down fear, resolute in their mission
To rescue those who were helpless,
Only to become helpless, themselves
As the once proud and mighty towers
Crumbled spectacularly to the ground,
And we witnessed the Baptism of Dust.

Nineteen years ago…
Another winged demon crashed into a Pentagon,
And still another into a pastoral Pennsylvanian field,
And we all shook our heads in shock and bewilderment and terror,
As we helplessly watched what we believed
To surely be the beginning of The End.

Nineteen years ago…
I saw grown men weeping openly:
Television news anchors, stoic and detached,
Now utterly flattened by the sheer relentlessness
Of report after stupefying report
And image upon horrible, graphic image;
Police and firefighters, hearts irreparably shattered
By the overwhelming number of fallen comrades
Who sacrificed everything in upholding
Their sworn, sacred duty;
Business executives who lost scores of dedicated employees,
Just ordinary people, going about their ordinary work,
Gone, all gone;
Office workers, pained with guilt
Over deciding not to go to work that day,
And resolved to earn every subsequent day of life given to them.

Nineteen years ago…
I heard “The Star-Spangled Banner”
Played, of all places,
In front of England’s Buckingham Palace
At the ceremonial Changing of the Guard,
In a remarkably touching display of sympathy and solidarity.
I heard Congressmen, gathered on the Capitol steps
Performing an impromptu, earnest and defiant rendition
Of “God Bless America”…

And I felt the embrace of the world.

Nineteen years ago…
So many other things happened that September day;
So many acts of courage, of strength,
Of sacrifice, of compassion.
Of Love.

And nineteen years later, I remember it all,
Just like…

The Mail Option

This post from https://politicalcharge.org/2020/09/09/vote-by-mail-the-latest-news-you-can-use/ is chock full of useful information about voting by mail in this year’s election. If you are even considering this option, I recommend reading the post, and clicking on the links contained in it, to be as informed as possible.

Do NOT let anything stand in the way of you casting your vote this year. It’s much too important.

Later, y’all.

Goodbye, Old Friend


This could be an interesting week.

We’re getting rid of an old sofa at our house, and replacing it with two new rocker-recliner chairs.

The interesting part will be how my sofa-loving cat, Izzy, reacts to this change of scenery.


Believe me when I say, Izzy loves our sofa. For the entire 12 years we’ve had her and her sister, Lizzy, it’s been here, and she has enjoyed it.


Usually, she’s up top, behind my head, purring in my ear. She used to pace back and forth on it, demanding to be petted.

I think it’ll be hard for her to let go, after all these years. My wife and I feel kinda guilty about it. 🙁 Hopefully, she’ll adapt to the new furniture before long, and get up behind my head again.

I’ll be there waiting. Silly kitty.

Live For Today (Because Tomorrow Will Suck)


It’s probably the depression talking, but I tell you, the future looks just so bleak to me anymore. To wit:

No matter who gets elected in November (please, Joe!), this country is so deeply, bitterly, hopelessly divided, I see no chance for reconciliation. In fact, I think sometimes it might come to war.

The coronavirus keeps on infecting, and killing, lots of people, especially here in the States, in no small part to the selfishness and ignorance of so many people who simply can’t be bothered with it.

Climate change is happening all around us, and time is running out to do something about it, and I’m not optimistic about us Americans doing our part. Again, selfishness and ignorance; also, arrogance.

(And I feel so sorry for the children who will inherit all this $#!t.)

On a more personal level, I’m at the age where more of the people I’ve known and loved all my life will be passing on, and I can’t bear to think of saying goodbye. To say nothing of whatever ailments await me the older I get.

You see why I don’t write so often these days? I’m just Mister Sunshine, right?

I know I shouldn’t be this way. I just have a hard time finding anything to look forward to these days. So I just figure I need to take each day as it comes, and see if I can extract anything good from it.

Sorry to bring you down, folks. Maybe next time, more cheerful. Like I said, the depression probably has a little too much of my mind lately.

One More

Jacob Blake. A Black man.

Shot eight times by police.

At close range.

In the back.

In full view of three horrified children.

Incredibly, he’s still alive, though paralyzed from the waist down, perhaps permanently.

And the streets of Kenosha, Wisconsin, are filled with the now familiar sights and sounds of anger and frustration, manifested in protests, rioting and destruction of property.

I don’t, by any means, condone the violence that has occurred since Blake’s shooting.

But I can’t condemn it, either.

 

Because there’s no way I could say I would react any differently if I was a Black man in America.

Jacob Blake is yet another name to add to the ever-growing roster of Blacks being shot, and usually killed, by the police. Add the strangulation of George Floyd to the list, and it’s hard not to understand why the outcry for justice is so passionate as to spill over into acts of violence.

And all our government is interested in is maintaining law and order, i.e., shutting down the protests. Why not address why they’re protesting in the first place? Why not act to prevent all this excessive force used by police? Why not acknowledge the undercurrent of racism in the history of law enforcement?

No, we’ve got to crack down on these protesters, instead. Great, that’ll solve the problem.

I can’t possibly understand the fear Black people live in every day in this country. Knowing that one wrong move, even a perceived one, can get them killed.

That’s why I can’t just judge them for their reaction whenever one more of them gets added to the list of victims.

Even when the only attention it gets is riot squads and tear gas.

Blake family, I’m sorry for what happened. I’m sorry those three boys were eyewitnesses to it, and forever will be in their memory.

I’m not sorry somebody got video of it on his cellphone. Would America have ever known what happened otherwise?

Justice, and peace, require effort from all of us. Now is the perfect time.

“With Liberty and Justice for all,” it says in our Pledge of Allegiance. It’s long past time for that to be a reality.