The big boat, infrastructure, the filibuster, & more.

A quick look at the morning news, including stuff about the Suez Canal boat, the filibuster, Biden’s infrastructure plan, and more.

Pexels - A woman, in bed, reading a newspaper, with the paper held up in front of her face.

I see WordPress.com is forcing people to use the new Gutenberg editor now. At least, I can’t find a way to get to the classic editor.

Y’know, I liked Gutenberg when it debuted, but after using it for a few weeks I realized it was mostly just in my way.

I think the problem is, at least partially, that I learned to use the Internet before WYSIWYG editors were a thing, so I learned to work in text editors where you add HTML code yourself where you needed it. I’ve been doing it that way for so long that it’s just second nature now.

Then along comes these visual editors and it just feels like someone welded training wheels to my bike and now I’m stuck with them. And they’re in my damn way.

I’ve hunted around for a good alternative to WordPress, but I haven’t found anything I liked, yet. It may be time to start looking harder.

At any rate, the news:

The boat jamming up the Suez Canal is finally floating free again. The Internet is sad about it because they were having a great time making fun of the situation.

Rutgers University is making COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see other colleges and universities doing the same thing. I wouldn’t expect to see the same thing with grade schools until the vaccine is proven safe for kids under 16 years old, though.

The big union vote for the Amazon warehouse in Alabama starts this week. Amazon has pushed hard against the union, obviously. After all, it’s mildly more expensive to treat your workers like human beings, and the union might require that, and Amazon doesn’t want it. I mean, that money could be going towards buying Jeff Bezos another solid gold yacht or something.

Republicans have been all in a tizzy about voting since the 2020 election, so they’re pushing hard to restrict voting as much as they can. Common wisdom says that Republicans can’t get elected in places where voting is wide open, which I think is not exactly true? I seem to recall a study floating around late last year that indicated that mail-in ballots and expanded voting access didn’t actually effect who wins elections all that much, but I can’t find it now. At any rate, Republicans are pretty convinced that more people voting more easily is super bad for them, so they’re working like mad to disenfranchise as many voters as possible, particularly voters of color.

The Biden administration’s next big push is gonna be a huge infrastructure plan, but Democrats and voters are a little pissy about that because after the two most recent mass shootings, they’d like to see a push for gun control. I’m 100% pro-gun control, but I’m not actually sure we can do that right now with a 50/50 Senate and the Democrats weighed down by diet Republicans like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. I don’t think we can win that fight. So, y’know. If you want gun control, get your butt out and vote blue in two years. We need a bigger margin in the Senate if you want to make that happen, I think.

Meanwhile, the filibuster. I’m #TeamKillTheFilibuster, but the Republicans are all “if you do that, we’ll start a nuclear war in the Senate,” and I’m all “Like you assholes aren’t going to do that anyway,” but the main problem with killing the filibuster is, again, diet Republicans like Manchin and Sinema. I think it’s probably going to happen, especially with the Biden administration starting to line up behind the idea, but it’s going to be a snarly little fight to get there.

In vaccine news, a new study indicates that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 infections under real-world conditions. That’s awesome news. A lot of the studies and information I’ve heard recently have been talking in terms of the vaccines preventing severe COVID-19 and death, and I haven’t heard a lot about preventing infections altogether, so it’s pretty spiffy to see this.

Y’all might remember about the SolarWinds hack a few months back. Turns out the hackers got right into the Department of Homeland Security, apparently breaking into Trump toady and acting Secretary of the DHS Chad Wolf’s email account.

And finally, the pandemic is not over. Stop acting like it is. Wear your mask. Social distance. Stay home. Wash your stupid hands. If you knuckleheads don’t shape up, we’re gonna have a fourth wave.

Tweets & Whatnot

This is the section where I was going to put junk I social media’d about the last week, but it turns out I haven’t been tweeting, facebooking, or tumblring much of anything lately. Here’s a couple things, though.

Author: JavaElemental ☕

Writer, news junky, geek, social media nerd. "Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can." - Arthur Ashe. She/Her.