Thoughts & Essays

Science misinformation, Arkansas’ new anti-transgender law, the ‘border crisis, more.

I’m pretty excited – we have a new bed showing up sometime today. I feel a little bad about getting a new bed so soon after buying a new mattress like two years ago, but I stumbled over an amazing deal on a good name brand mattress, and this one’s a queen as opposed to the double we’ve been sleeping on for years. I’m really looking forward to having more room for the dog to hog up in bed.

And now, some news.

Mike Pence seems to think he’s gonna run for president in 2024. This is one of those news items that makes you realize that all that “cancel culture” outrage is BS, because if the left’s cancel culture was really a thing and really that powerful, we’d cancel Mike Pence instead of Doctor Seuss and be done with him forever.

The Biden administration is putting together a task force to study science information manipulation under Trump, with an eye towards making sure it can’t happen under any other administration in the future.

Arkansas just banned healthcare for trans kids. The bill bans prescribing puberty blockers, which are drugs that halt the puberty process in kids. These drugs are safe, effective, have been in common use for years, and cause no harm or lasting effects on the people who use them. They give trans kids time to figure themselves out and make it easier for trans kids to physically transition in the future if they decide to do so. The bill also bans performing transition surgeries on kids under 18, which is not a thing that was actually happening in the first place. It bans prescribing hormone therapy for trans kids under 18, which, again, not a thing that happens. This bill is appalling.

Americans like how Biden’s handling COVID-19, but don’t like how he’s handling the “border crisis.” There, uh. There isn’t a border crisis, people. There’s the big, fat, heinous mess Trump made of immigration at the border, which the Biden administration is trying to sort out; there’s the expected and normal seasonal surge in folks trying to cross the border, which Trump’s rule changes have made both worse and harder to address; and there’s the problem with unattended kids arriving at the border and still being shuffled into camps with bad conditions for way too long that the Biden administration is not dealing with fast enough to suit me. But, importantly, there’s no unexpected, new border crisis. The media would like you to think there is, though, because that drums up outrage, which makes it easier for them to generate advertising dollars.

So far there’s no evidence of a national conspiracy to mount an insurrection on the Capital on Jan. 6. By which I mean there’s plenty of evidence that lots of little individual groups of white supremacists, nazis, and/or MAGA cultists planned to turn up at the Capital and do some violent stuff, but so far, it doesn’t look like everyone got together and made a plan to overthrow the government. That’s apparently just what happens when you get a bunch of racist, trigger-happy assholes together in one place.

Amazon’s official Twitter accounts were being so weird on Twitter last week that Amazon’s IT guys put in a support ticket warning that their accounts might be hacked when they saw the tweets. 😂🤣 😂🤣

One thing that the Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan did is soup up the Affordable Care Act – I.E., Obamacare. They reopened enrollment, extended enrollment, opened it up to more people, and are putting a buttload of marketing dollars behind their efforts to get folks signed up for the ACA.

Biden is co-signing the CDC’s warnings about a 4th wave of COVID-19 infections. So, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not, wear your masks, practice social distancing, stay home as much as possible, and wash your hands. The pandemic is still going strong, folks.

Researchers from Stanford have reverse-engineered the coding for Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine and posted it publicly on the Internet for everyone to use to make vaccines. This is kind of a big deal – vaccine supplies have been extremely limited in developing nations due to countries like England, America, Russia, China, etc., buying up the supply. And since the vaccines themselves are trademarked or copyrighted or whatever you do to protect a vaccine legally and thus keep the formula secret, countries can’t just start making their own supplies. Now it’s not secret anymore. Ta-da! I mean, you’re not going to be mixing up a batch of vaccine in your bathtub or anything, but if a country has the means, they can grab this and start manufacturing their own vaccines.

Tweets & Whatnot

  • The second half of season 5 of Lucifer will drop on Netflix on May 28. Finally.
  • Someone on Twitter asked what your “Mount Rushmore of superhero movies” is. That is, what you think the best four superhero movies are. I replied with Into the Spider-Verse, The Avengers, Superman (1978), and Black Panther.
  • Most workers would prefer to keep working from home, or maybe do a hybrid thing where they work from home a few days and go into the office a day or two, after the pandemic ends, according to a Harvard Study. To which I say, “Hell yes, please for the love of little puppies with heart-shaped spots let me continue to work quietly and productively from home in my jammies with no people to hassle me while I do my thing, it’s amazing.”
  • Apparently one of the Amazon bot accounts that pretend to be real Amazon workers tweeted this, “I’m beginning to worry that there’s a problem with UTIs across the country, given how frequently many of you need a bathroom break? You should really see doctors about that. Which you can do if you work full time at an Amazon FC, since we get comprehensive health benefits.” Which, what the actual fuck, Amazon, what is wrong with you. There’s apparently some suspicion that the account is a troll and not actually one of the horde of Amazon bots littering Twitter, but since no one can tell, I’m just gonna go ahead and consider it real.
  • I made this recipe for dinner last night. It came out pretty tasty, but not exactly Middle Eastern, as it claimed to be. This might be because we skipped the canned tomatoes in the recipe (we don’t like them) and subbed tomato paste and water, which I think made the tomato flavor overpower everything. Also, I had some bell peppers to use up, so I tossed those in, too. I hear you can sub mangos for tomatoes in Indian cooking, which is sort of similar, so I might try that next time instead of tomato paste.