Curiouser and curiouser becomes the landscape as we descend though February.
How does one remain neutral? Merely reporting facts looks like a condemnation of a position as so much troubling news floods in daily and seemingly all from one direction.
Many must be staggering around searching for a RESET button for 2021, with about as much chance of success as someone under 75 years identifying a COVID vaccination opportunity.
The hypocrisy and alarming news just keep on coming.
So, let me lighten the load with some heartening observations…
The Winter storms have begun in California; always an opportunity for experiencing the natural world.
Rolling wave crests have been licking the undersides of the Capitola wharf and beaches have dispersed into the Pacific, staining the shallower waters for a mile out.
Sandy berms built early by bulldozing County workers have now mostly washed away and bark-stripped trees and branches roll up to the local seawall in Capitola and pile on the beaches down towards Santa Cruz Harbor. The deeply recessed coastal bay down on 17th Avenue floods on each major daily tide.
Hummingbirds still dash between the feeders no matter how heavy the wind or rain.
A break in the storm left a rare and seemingly unharmed immature Sharp-Shinned Hawk dead in the garden without a mark upon his untroubled plumage. A sad find. An unusual event.
Local East Cliff Drive stood flooded to 1.5’ in the hollow down by Dog Beach some 400yds away. High seated pickup trucks ran through the water and declared the road open for themselves. The following night tides and winds carved low winding channels to the water table and the saltwater snaked back through the beach into the waves.
Driving rains upon the cliffs overlooking Pleasure Point emptied the road of walkers; nothing to see here anyway, as the large, unusable mixed-wave ocean had finally lost the interest of surfers. All that remained were a fleet of a few dozen pelicans almost frozen in position and formation, sitting on the powerful updraft pushing up the cliffs from the onshore wind.
In late January I caught a break in weather and drift-fished for trout in the Lower Sacramento River up North at Red Bluff. The day was productive and yielded a good catch of trout from 12-14’ deep holes.
Later I delivered a boat for repairs and maintenance in Richmond, far up the San Francisco Bay, passed the shallow waters behind and East of Angel island. The only vessel I saw was a 60’ Coast Guard Frigate sat up, waiting to escort a large dredging scow emerging from the East Treasure Island docks, just North of the Bay Bridge.
The 12mph winds with possible rain forecasted for the trip showed up as a 28mph blow with heavy showers. Such is the nature of the forecasts, hereabouts. I arrived in a glass-like calm after a 2 ½ hr. passage.
After these positive, distracting experiences let me now return to the realities of everyday news and events…
The spike in COVID-19 cases has largely continued throughout the Western world. The US long-since surpassed 400k deaths and the UK has announced their national lockdown will continue into March.
New strains of the Covid-19 virus have been found domestically and across the globe. An initial mutation discovered plaguing the Southeast of the UK is referred to being much more contagious, but unfortunately is now rated as perhaps 30% more deadly, too.
It is implied that the current array of vaccines should hold good against Coronavirus mutations.
The much-publicized invasion of the Capitol building in DC sparked endless accusations, threats and has centered National politics around retribution, retaliation and inflamed rhetoric.
We have a new President sworn in who pledged himself to Unity and Healing. His Inauguration was largely virtual and chaperoned with 25,000 National Guard troops and riot fencing circling the Capitol. There seemed very few attendees other than those somewhat delicately spaced and placed around the ceremonial platform. The viewership on major National broadcasting channels was high.
Weeks later these large numbers of troops remain in DC, largely billeted in cold parking garages with few and primitive amenities. They apparently declined to “set up machine gun nests” requested by politicians for the Inauguration, as really few physically showed up for the planned virtual event and “troops do not fire on citizens.”
Even now nobody speaks to why these troops are still in place, but they are directed to stay on and are a dramatic show of force remaining within Washington.
On the local front, a week after the Inauguration and as a sudden surprise, Governor Newsome of CA declared to his heavily shuttered State that “we beat it” and can open-up outdoor dining, again. This was a shocking turn of events when COVID infection numbers and deaths did not support the statement. LA County and surrounding Counties remained under a very dark, worsening cloud.
Most people however recognize that at the time of his action there were 1.2 Million signatures in place of the 1.5 million required for his Recall, with still 6 weeks left for collection. Being Governor of the State with the acclaimed most compromised vaccination program might also have entered his calculations (for personal survival). He has raised the ire of the populace on both sides of the aisle.
Additionally, California recently announced it will be developing software to aid with on-line vaccine distribution and tracking. For a supposed high-tech enclave, this recent announcement is staggering. The vaccine roll-out visibility is many months old. And the need for infrastructure to support the complexities of transportation, distribution, storage and deployment have been obvious for over half a year. Why wouldn’t this development have been begun six months ago or even NINE months earlier? This shows truly staggering negligence and incompetence.
The financial deterioration of more densely populated, heavily locked-down suburban areas (such as in New York, Michigan and California, etc.) is profound. I assume that current and on-going plans for stimulus packages will now drive $billions into their coffers to heal both the ravages of COVID-related closures and decades of prior fiscal mismanagement, entirely at the expense of all US Taxpayers.
Interestingly, statistical data tells us that areas with punitive COVID lock-down requirements during this Winter period have fared similarly (and often worse) than those without such restrictions.
Correspondingly, more lightly populated North Dakota State was recently recognized as the TOP distributor of the vaccines they have available.
On the Political front, apparently the ONLY thing that the Left and Right largely agree upon is that Washington DC is a corrupt swamp. The problem is that we have the inmates running the asylum and why would these same persons WANT to facilitate change?
Most people I meet accept this congenital corruption as inevitable. Yet why would you tolerate self-serving actions and rampant hypocrisy? With the inmates in charge, what options ultimately remain to materially change this degenerate situation?
Still, nobody should feel they live within a storm of corruption and lies.
On the lighter side, we have a Superbowl bearing down upon us. This year there will be notable absences from several traditional major advertisers; folks such as Budweiser are paring down their participation.
Around the US there continue major riots in cities such as Portland, Seattle, Washington and Tacoma. These are self-identified as Antifa-organized and operated, but since they started on Inauguration night, they have basically fallen unreported by MSM. They are also self-proclaimed anti-Biden riots.
Biden himself famously reported Antifa as being an idea or concept rather than a real organization. This outfit is nonetheless placing personnel advertisements for paid jobs on Facebook. The first such (I read) is for a coordinator to drive school programs, promoting Antifa awareness and teachings; the job pays around $60k per annum.
As for BLM, they are up for a Nobel prize. It appears the year-long riots in most major cities across the entire Nation were good for business; certainly, it helped haul in an estimated $2Billion in elusively placed funds.
Crime on the other hand is running unchecked. Pick your city and see the results. LA has rolled out initial Police reforms and funding cutbacks to a backdrop of unchecked growth in major crime. It seems people will increasingly venture out during a COVID lock-down for MAJOR criminal action but them generally staying home a little more helps the incident rates on a few minor criminal activities.
Vaccination distribution outlook is grim. If you are not a Healthcare worker, Caregiver, in a Home, a prisoner or over 75 years old then you are a LONG way from being vaccinated; you CAN get on a list for WANTING to be notified when vaccines become available.
There remain a high percentage of people who do NOT want to be vaccinated; this was running as high as 40% of the Healthcare workers in the early weeks. Why is that, truly? ☹
I am now hearing that Dr. Fauci and the Administration are moving towards the use of DOUBLE masks. I know both Fauci and Kamala Harris have oft been seen sporting double setups. Since mandating masking on all Federal Property was a Day1 priority for the New Administration, perhaps they will move on the double-up situation, shortly?
The on-again, likely-to-fail impeachment of Trump lies ahead of us. This begs the question: perhaps trials of many past Presidents should be considered once one party holds a controlling interest? And as there seems to be no statute of limitations post Presidency, is Obama next on the table? Bush? Maybe SJW’s want the heads of the now sullied Lincoln and Washington?
During his Presidential campaign, Biden wisely made the point, “You can’t legislate by Executive Order (EO) unless you’re a dictator. We’re a Democracy. We need consensus.” Commendable words.
Unfortunately, during his first week in Office Biden signed over forty (40) EO’s, breaking records.
The Day1 cancellation of the Keystone pipeline immediately cost 11,000 direct US jobs with another 60,000 that will fall out from support infrastructure. Added to that all drilling is banned on Federal land, which will cost >1,000,000 more jobs by 2022.
Strangely, the US Government owns a LOT of land. Through 5 agencies they look after and own some 30% of the entire 3.8Million square miles. This is NOT predominantly comprised of Military Bases, Government Buildings and National Parks, which are a minor part of the total.
Most US Government land acquisition occurred out West as the Nation grew. Percentages owned include: 80% of Nevada, 63% Utah, 61% Alaska, 53% Oregon, 46% California, 36% Colorado, 29% Montana, 29% Washington and so on. Only the 20% owned of Hawaii is dominated by a National Park. There is at best poor government administration and funding of these vast lands; witness the fires and floods in badly managed areas.
Now, think water, mineral, resource and property rights. The Government owns much and this is controlled by very few of the populace; those very few with power, influence and some Government positions hold the reins. There is big money in Land Ownership. Forget the, “ …Government for the people, by the people…” anecdote; the Constitution holds little sway, here.
Returning to the issue of oil industry subjugation. This is reportedly targeted to suppress Global Warming. But the US absence from an industry only elevates others to take their place in world supply. 90% of the Carbon emissions occur outside of US territories.
Global warming has been with us (and well-measured) for MANY decades. International actions to address the problem are the most important, but they are centered more within the scope of China, highly industrialized areas and emerging Nations like India.
During the last 4 years the US EXCEEDED the emission reduction requirements of the abandoned 2015 Paris Agreement; they are the ONLY nation to do so. And I doubt ANY nation paid their obligations for failing to meet their goals within the Agreement.
Personally, I would be much more comfortable (read, impressed) if I could find a single climatologist that understood and addressed the issue of Precession, Earths (currently high) 23.5 deg axial tilt and Orbital Position in their pontifications, theoretical models and predictions of climate variation.
On the (2020) election front, only a lunatic would think there was no substantial voter fraud. There was nothing that would have prevented or changed this (traditional) historical US behavior and activity. The only question is: How MUCH fraud was there? The answer will be long forthcoming.
I see it is now seemingly illegal and punishable to question the integrity of the last election. Very alarming.
Yet I wonder, what happened to those >1,000 Signed Affidavits alleging separate incidents of Voter Fraud? Claims made were of issues with 1,000’s to 100, 000’s of votes being involved. Surely the complainants should be punished for making libelous false claims, OR people would be tried for their alleged actions?
But there is nothing of note, no real activity either way. How can this be? This null event is the single outcome that cannot occur in a Nation of Laws.
Then there continues the issue of Integrity in Politics. We seem to wave away the compromised trading activities of Pelosi (yet again), this time with Tesla stock. And the (returned, beloved by both Right and Left) new Secretary of the Treasury, Yellen is immediately raising eyebrows. Janet has failed to recuse herself in the GameStop trading controversy despite receiving $810k from a major protagonist in the scandal. Sadly, these are hardly rare unaddressed occurrences.
Finally, the Emmy-winning bubble has inevitably burst, highlighting Cuomo’s Nursing Home and general mismanagement scandals. This has emerged almost nine months after his ill-fated actions drove the worst per Capita COVID-19 rates in the industrialized world, while nursing home deaths were being undercounted by over 50%. In all honestly who did not know what was being done and hidden in plain sight? Yet the intentional deceit went on well beyond all credibility.
Generally, the more egregious the sin, the less publicized by MSM, depending on the side being chosen. Recent polls tell us most people do not trust the media and blame them for much.
To quote Mark Twain,” Suppose you were a journalist and suppose you were a liar. But I repeat myself.”
Well, all these events, hypocrisies and anomalies have weighed on me much as I am sure they do on others. So, with little but mostly disheartening news I look for small pleasures and distractions elsewhere…
Just the other day I wandered into a Best Buy, because, well, “they are future.” I found myself in the camcorder section and absent-mindedly watched a film featuring me on TV for 20 mins. until a large person in blue uniform asked me what I was doing and shooed me away.
Such is life. 😊
I see many others seeking their relief in on-line community newsletters, sharing platforms, exercise and outings. If ever there was a time for distraction.
Are you finding diversions from these Winter Storms? Do you feel the need? Is there anything in your life that eases the burden of National and Local News?
Make the time to find experiences that lighten up living for yourself, friends and family.