The other day I read an article about a woman who’d lost both her father and her aunt (with whom she lived) to COVID-19 in January. Her dad always enjoyed decorating their front yard with Christmas lights, which he did before he fell ill. It was more than a month later, and the daughter hadn’t gotten around to taking them down; partly because of her grief and also because the act of putting the lights up meant so much to her dad. One would think people would be understanding in these circumstances.
Then came “the letter” to her mailbox.
The anonymous letter excoriated her for leaving the lights up so long: “Take your Christmas lights down! Its Valentines Day!!!!!!”
She shared the letter on a Facebook mom’s group and asked that people show a little kindness and understanding because you never really know what other people are going through.
In response, her neighbors put their Christmas lights back up in solidarity with her.
This country is nearing 500,000 souls lost to the pandemic. Texas just had a near death experience with its power grid, which had the very real possibility of leaving all of us without power for months. I was one of the lucky ones who was without power for only 15 hours and didn’t have to boil water to be able to drink it. Many others weren’t so lucky. There are many tales of people helping their neighbors instead of berating them. Here is one, and here is another.
So, every year I’ve done a Snoopy gingerbread dog house at Christmas and usually leave it up until Valentine’s Day because it lends a bit of cheer to my home after all the other Christmas decorations are taken down. But just before that day, our snow storm hit so I had other more pressing concerns. But now, upon reflection, I’ve decided I’m going to keep it on display until this pandemic has been tamed and people stop dying by the thousands. And also in the hope I can eventually get vaccinated so I can be with my family here once again. Sometimes we just need a little Christmas.
From The Daily Kos:
From the Office of President of the United States.
We have received your petition to secede from the United States, and have forwarded it to Congress who will act on it with their usual speed.
Any Texas citizen holding a US passport is required to surrender it immediately. Entry into the US will require a valid Texas passport. Anyone staying longer than two weeks will have to obtain a visa. Any Texas citizen (those with birth certificates issued from Texas or currently holding a Texas driver’s license unless they can show a non-Texas birth certificate) in the United States have 72 hours to leave or be deported with a permanent ban on returning to the United States. This includes former Representatives and Senators from the former State of Texas.
Funding for highways, transportation, bridges, infrastructure, education and medical facilities will cease immediately. Your representatives to the US Congress are ordered to leave Washington DC immediately.
All US licenses to do business are revoked. All business interests headquartered in the Country of Texas are immediately severed from doing any business in the United States, until appropriate international business agreements are in place and appropriate international business licenses are negotiated. All power lines and pipelines that cross the border will be disconnected immediately, to be reconnected only when appropriate international contracts, treaties and agreements are in place.
The FAA will no longer operate at your airports, and all air traffic controllers are terminated. All air traffic management over the new independent Texas is your own responsibility, effective immediately. All Federal Civil Service employees in the country of Texas are terminated. All flights between Texas and America are canceled until appropriate international agreements are in place.
The FCC will no longer operate in Texas effective immediately, so you will be responsible for licensing your own telephone, radio, television and Internet providers. All telecommunications circuits between the two countries will be severed immediately, to be reconnected once appropriate international agreements are negotiated.
All US Federal services operating in Texas are terminated and their functions will be relocated to the territory of the United States immediately. Citizens of Texas who were formerly employed by the US Federal Government and wish to continue in their now-relocated jobs may apply for United States green cards through the usual channels.
All payments for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Disability to Texas citizens are halted with immediate effect. Recipients will have to reapply, and Congress will decide if foreigners are allowed to receive payments from the United States government. Any funds coming from the United States federal government will be halted immediately.
Effective immediately, the independent country of Texas will no longer receive protection from the United States military. All military bases in Texas will be closed, and personnel relocated to bases in the United States, except for a contingency left to guard the Texas-US border. Effective immediately, the United States Coast Guard and Immigration and Customs Enforcement will no longer operate in Texas waters, aside from actions specified by International Maritime law and custom. U.S. Customs officials will be removed from all border crossing stations immediately. We suggest you form your own navy and immigration department immediately to protect your borders against foreign invaders, drug smugglers, terrorists and illegal aliens.
Sincerely, Joseph Biden
President, United States of America
P.S. Attached is an invoice for your portion of the bill of the National Debt.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) admitted Friday that he reopened bars too soon in the state as cases continue to surge.
“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars now seeing the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spreads in the bar setting,” Abbott said in an evening interview with KVIA in El Paso.
The lesson Abbott said he learned is that “a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic.”
Fun story from Texas Monthly magazine:
With Salons Closed, an 89-Year-Old Houston Woman Washes Her Own Hair for the First Time in Decades
Satire from The New Yorker, by Andy Borowitz:
AUSTIN (The Borowitz Report)—Urging Texans to “keep things in perspective,” Texas’s lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, said on Wednesday that dying is “surely not as bad” as living in a state where he is lieutenant governor.
Patrick, whose vehement anti-living message has stirred controversy across the country, said that he was speaking out to remind Texans that there are “some things worse than dying.”
“It’s time for a reality check, folks,” Patrick said. “If you wake up every morning and remember that I am the second-highest-ranking elected official in your state, maybe dying doesn’t look so bad, after all.”
Arguing that “dying has got a bad rap,” he blasted the media for what he called its “flagrant anti-death bias.”
“All these media people who go on about how dying is the worst thing in the world have never spent any time with me,” he said.
Does this woman not have a grandmother who could die if infected? And good luck to your daughter in fighting off polio, measles, tetanus, diphtheria…..
This is a first.
Came across this when I was walking my little dog at the park here in town. They finally got people to pick up after their dogs by installing a dispenser of free pet waste bags.
Now if they would just dispose of their used medical face masks. Sheesh.
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
Back when the Affordable Care Act was new, and Republican governors were turning down the FREE MONEY! being offered to their states for the purposes of expanding Medicaid, I remember thinking that everything I’d learned about politics in the Massachusetts State House had been thrown in the hopper forever. One of the first things I learned was that, regardless of the source, you simply never turn down FREE MONEY! And, of course, FREE MONEY! from the Feds is extra-double-good because, relative to other sources, it’s fairly clean. But, as it turns out, times have changed and stretching poor people on the rack to entertain your base and to own the libs now take precedence over other, more traditional political incentives, god help us all.
We’re seeing the same kind of thing going on now that El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago is diverting $3.6 billion in military funding to pay for construction of his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall along the southern border. This diversion includes $48 million from Texas, where Republican Senator John Cornyn is standing for re-election next year, $80 million from North Carolina, where Republican Senator Thom Tillis is standing for re-election next year, and eight-million from Colorado, where Republican Senator Cory Gardner is standing for re-election. There was a time, and not so long ago, where senators would fight like rabid bats to keep their states from losing this kind of FREE MONEY!
Can you imagine trying to pry $48 million in military spending, money earmarked for child-care and new schools, away from Texas when Lyndon Johnson was the senator there? They’d need dental records to identify what was left of your presidency. But this is a new world and nothing is more important than indulging a batty president* and his big, stupid, and largely imaginary wall. And, of course, owning the libs.