Stop with the needles
How many more thousand times must we watch on TV arms being pierced by needles? I've gotten my three covid shots plus my usual annual flu vaccine; none was particularly unpleasant, but I wouldn't want to get thousands of them, just as I don't wish to see others getting theirs on virtually every local newscast for the last year or more.
And whatever happened to hand-washing? For a while it was one of the essential virus-avoiding practices. It's been months since I've heard it even mentioned, much less recommended.
Recovering from my shock, I wished to give the Arkansas Supreme Court (and those attorneys pushing for local control and public health) kudos for making a common-sense ruling allowing schools to keep mask rules put in place for the safety of students and staff. Most students don't qualify for the vaccination.
I know several school districts have already experienced covid-19 deaths, and anything we can do to protect these groups should be allowed. However, common sense from the state supremes and legislative branch has been rare the last several years, so I wanted to express my thanks for this unexpected wise decision.
Let's keep our students and staff safe in Arkansas as much as possible during this global pandemic!
Land of make-believe
"All the world's a stage ..." is another way of saying we are all performers living lives of make-believe.
Shakespeare was more prescient ... more cynical ... more instructive than many, including me, realized.
Millions of Americans are living in an imaginary world defined by lies, hyperbole and downright alternative facts. Their entire belief system is built on a myth, wrapped in deception and marinated in hair spray.
I'd love to live a lie; detach myself from reality and fill my mind with bunk and fu-fu dust. My concocted world would be free of covid, the IRS and anchovies. Climate would never change, tires would never go flat, doctors, lawyers and other trusted advisers would see you at their appointed times, politicians would be statesmen, Facebook would be outlawed, election losers would graciously concede, Fox News would focus on the latest developments in omnivorous mammals, hamburgers would be considered a health food ...
I wish all of this was "Much Ado About Nothing," but it's not and I don't like it.
A blast from the past
Today, I found my first-grade report card from 1957-58. I must have been a pretty decent kid, receiving mostly "S" grades, with an occasional "N" for talking too much.
Most interesting was the "Health Achievement" grid on the back cover. The teacher had been required to check me on a number of things: posture, clean body and clothes, breathes through nose with mouth closed, proper dental care and teeth cleanliness, proper attention to eyes, safety standards, smallpox vaccination, typhoid immunization, diphtheria immunization and TB skin test.
Far cry from today's world, isn't it?
To be good ancestors
Concepts like the "Seventh Generation Principle" are articulated in a number of Indigenous American philosophies. In general, they encourage long-term thinking at the scale of entire communities, about how the choices we make today will influence the world of our descendants seven generations from now. Stable, compassionate communities will strive to live in ways that will remain sustainable for their grandchildren's grandchildren. The alternative is a community's slow death by shortsightedness.
Through the 1960s and '80s, Exxon commissioned secret climate studies for executives' eyes only. These revealed what scientific consensus today holds: extractive, petrochemical-powered economies are not seven-generations sustainable. The selfishness, greed, and resultant paranoia of the wealthiest, most politically potent people have consistently driven them to take the worst lesson from these revelations: Get what you can while the getting's good.
The bad news is such people have guaranteed our planet will become on average at least 2 degrees Celsius hotter worldwide by the time our grandchildren come of age; the century to come shall be one of destructive weather events of an intensity, frequency, and geographic scope unmatched in human history (to say nothing of the developing political strife accompanying the Crumbles). We must plan to meet these challenges now so that our children and grandchildren aren't fumbling in the dark. Militarizing police, building higher walls, and mono- crop agriculture are self-defeating strategies. Cultivating direct democracies, sharing knowledge, and planting ecologically-diverse gardens will save seven generations hence.
The good news is the 2-degree rise has been exacerbated by human actions, particularly the burning of carbon and methane; human actions may yet undo it, though not in our own lifetimes. Still, we can make plans and act now so our grandchildren's grandchildren may inherit a more stable global climate, not unlike the one our grandparents' grandparents knew. May we be such good ancestors.
Re new jobless benefits legislation: Senator Hammer, I find it incredible that you would risk the health of your constituents by undermining vaccination. I'm not okay with your position on the potential legislation that would jeopardize my well-being.
Do you not understand the importance of the public health initiative? How is this different from smallpox, polio and other kinds of required vaccination? Are you willing to increase the likelihood of more variants emerging?
Tell me, Senator Hammer, how do you justify use of my tax dollars for those unemployment benefits which would possibly jeopardize my health?