5 Things: Fascism, vaccinations, Jan. 6 committee, rude customers, & Jif peanut butter recalls

So, got some good news about vaccines for kids under five down there, which is awesome. But, uh, has anyone else noticed that the story about vaccines has really changed a lot?

Like, they’ve kind of just completely stopped talking about whether or not they have any effectiveness at preventing you from getting COVID-19 entirely, haven’t they? They still do a great job at preventing death, serious illness and hospitalization – so far – but nobody’s talking about not catching COVID at all anymore.

Shouldn’t we be hearing about updated vaccines by now? Or maybe entirely new 2.0 version vaccines? Or even more boosters for everyone?

Speaking of, Omicron BA.1, BA.1.1 and BA.2 seems to have burned through fairly quickly, but we’re obviously in the midst of yet another surge (ours so far seems to be made up of BA.2 and variations thereof) and I haven’t heard a single peep about, y’know, mitigation efforts. Not to mention we’ve got some nasty new Omicron variations on deck (BA.4, BA.5), and no one’s really talking about those.

Guys, I know we’re tired. I’m so exhausted with this, I can’t even tell you. But we don’t get to just ignore it.


🐘 CBS News: Hungary’s Orban opens CPAC by telling conservatives “we need to coordinate the movement” of allies – CPAC, the major conservative convention that happens every year, just held an event in Hungary, which is run by a fascist government. I’m sure it’s technically possible that there are conservatives/Republicans who aren’t fascist or fascist-curious, but if there are any left, they sure are deep in hiding.

💉 New York Times: Pfizer says three doses of its vaccine produce a strong response in the youngest children. – This is great news, unequivocally. Three shots are 80% effective in preventing symptomatic infection in kids 6 months to 5 years old.

🤷‍♀️ The Guardian: Capitol attack panel to hold six public hearings as it aims to show how Trump broke law – I’m not sure I see a point to this. Anyone who would watch this probably already knows or has guessed anything they have to say. Anyone who needs to hear this won’t watch, and wouldn’t believe any of it if they did. No one who should seems to be going to jail because of these hearings, as far as I can tell. Do they think it’s going to affect mid-terms? Prevent Trump from running in 2024?

🤬 Slate: A Rude Awakening – Alison Green, who writes the extremely popular work-advice blog, Ask A Manager, has a little article here about the horror show customer-facing people are dealing with.

🥜 Lifehacker: Throw Out These Recalled Jif Peanut Butters ‘Immediately,’ FDA Says – There’s a bunch of Jif peanut butter products with salmonella. Check your PB now and make sure you don’t have any of the contaminated products. You can see the full list here.

Quick Linkdump

Busy day ahead, so here’s a few links I saved up.

5 Things: Pandemic trauma, weird Secret Service conspiracy, LGBTQ+ rights, Ketanji Brown Jackson, & Russia

Absolutely gorgeous day today, practically summer weather out there. Here’s a quick peek at the news.

  1. NPR: People are developing trauma-like symptoms as the pandemic wears on – This is not even a little surprising. I dunno if it qualifies as PTSD, but the pandemic is definitely fucking everyone up.
  2. AP: US: 2 posed as agents, gave gifts to Secret Service officers – The more we learn about this story, the weirder it gets.
  3. NBC News: A Texas teacher faces losing her job after fighting for gay pride symbols in school – Just another example of the evil shit the GOP is doing to the LGBTQ+ community.
  4. Washington Post: Senate confirms Jackson as first Black woman on Supreme Court – Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed for the SCotUS.
  5. Pew Research Center: Seven-in-Ten Americans Now See Russia as an Enemy – Great. Now if we could just get 70% of Congress to see Russia as an enemy…

5 Things: The Post Office, vaccines, COVID-19, Ivanka Trump, & Fox News

It’s a beautiful, warm sunny spring day out there, and my brain has absolutely refused to produce anything useful today. Too nice out, can’t brain.

  1. The Hill: Biden signs Postal Service reform bill into law – This bill removes the requirement that the Post Office pre-fund its retirees’ benefits, which was what was causing the vast majority of the financial stress, so this is a big win. It would be better if someone would boot DeJoy’s ass out of the top seat, but I’ll take what I can get.
  2. NPR: Another booster? A vaccine for omicron? Here’s what could be next for COVID vaccines – Quick peak at what might be coming down the pipe for future COVID vaccinations.
  3. NBC: U.K. reaches record Covid levels, with nearly 5 million cases – We lag behind the UK by several weeks, so brace yourselves. I see Oregon’s cases are creeping up a smidge lately.
  4. CNBC: Ivanka Trump testified for 8 hours before House panel investigating Jan. 6 riot – I am forced to assume that this was just eight solid hours of Ivanka repeating “I don’t know” and “I don’t remember.” Either that or she had a fit of the smarts and sold her dad up the river to keep herself out of trouble.
  5. Rolling Stone: Fox News Doctored Clips of Obama’s Visit to the White House to Make It Seem Like Biden Was Lost – Because of course they did. 🙄

5 Things: Book banning, the next pandemic, moral panics & red scares, the climate crisis, and Fox News

Twitter announced this morning that they’re putting Elon Musk, who just bought about 9% of Twitter, becoming the largest share owner of Twitter, on the Twitter board of directors. That doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out well for anyone.

Facebook is a toxic cesspit and Twitter’s worse. Tumblr’s got it’s own problems. Instagram’s a hive of Photoshopped weirdos… I’m pretty sure this whole “social media” thing has turned out to be a nightmare and we should all just go back to blogs and email.

I’m not saying blogs and email were better – it was just a lot harder to completely brainwash tons and tons of people at once with nothing but a LiveJournal and your Hotmail account.

Anyway, the news…

  1. NPR: Efforts to ban books jumped an ‘unprecedented’ four-fold in 2021, ALA report says – The American Library Association says they usually get about 500 challenges a year – about 500 tries at banning some book or another. In 2021 they got 1,597 book challenges. Many of those books were on LGBTQ+ topics or written by Black authors or LGBTQ+ authors.
  2. Vox: Pandemic-Proof – This is basically a landing page for Vox’s week-long push on how to prevent the next pandemic. Bookmark this and check back.
  3. Washington Post: The new red scare: The right leans into pedophilia accusations – If you’re hearing a lot of accusations of pedophilia and grooming levied against liberals and LBGTQ+ people, here’s why. The MAGA Cultists are ginning up the next moral panic.
  4. NPR: It’s not too late to stave off the climate crisis, U.N. report finds. Here’s how – Love that hopeful headline, there. We’ve got about eight years left to drastically change our ways to save the climate. I hold exactly zero hope that we will do what’s needed.
  5. Bloomberg: What If Fox News Viewers Watched CNN Instead? – This is from the Opinion section, and it’s “analysis,” but it’s talking about a study where they paid FOX News viewers to switch to CNN for awhile and charted the change in their opinions. Pretty interesting stuff.