Mandates

I am targeting an August 31 move date. There will obviously be disruptions at that time, especially as, of course, other things need to be dealt with on that day and the following.


Pandemic

National

Assuming the plans described[1] actually go into effect, I’ll be eligible for a booster shot on November 26, which would be in plenty of time for a February trip to visit my mother.

It appears that while the vaccines continue to offer significant protection even against the delta variant, there is a problem in that even if you are fully vaccinated, if you do get sick with it, all bets are off; you then face many of the same risks as if you had not been vaccinated at all.[2]

Paige Williams, “Mississippi’s Hospital System Is Rapidly Approaching Statewide Failure,” New Yorker, August 17, 2021, https://www.newyorker.com/news/us-journal/mississippis-hospital-system-is-rapidly-approaching-statewide-failure

Timothy Bella, “An Alabama doctor watched patients reject the coronavirus vaccine. Now he’s refusing to treat them,” Washington Post, August 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/08/18/alabama-doctor-unvaccinated-patients-valentine/

Andrew Nikiforuk, “How Wildfire Smoke Supercharges the COVID Virus,” Tyee, August 18, 2021, https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2021/08/18/Wildfire-Smoke-Supercharges-COVID/

Sabrina Siddiqui and Anna Wilde Mathews, “Biden Tells Nursing Homes to Vaccinate Staffs to Keep Medicare, Medicaid Funds,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/biden-to-tell-nursing-homes-to-require-staff-to-be-vaccinated-to-keep-federal-funding-11629313862

Del Quentin Wilber, “Biden administration plans to offer COVID booster shots after 8 months,” Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-08-18/biden-administration-urges-booster-shots-8-months-after-being-inoculated

Rhys Blakely, “Double Covid vaccine doesn’t stop symptoms for half of Delta cases,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/double-covid-vaccine-symptoms-delta-variant-cases-8jfxkzp03

Pennsylvania

Erin McCarthy and Laura McCrystal, “U.S. has a plan for coronavirus booster shots. Pa. and Philly say they’re ready,” Philadelphia Inquirer, August 18, 2021, https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/third-covid-vaccine-dose-booster-shots-20210818.html


Afghanistan

I can’t say I understand authoritarian regimes trying to prevent people leaving. People who are desperate to leave are unlikely ever to be loyal subjects and the criticism they may offer from abroad pales before the image of a Berlin Wall or an Iron Curtain. Prevented from leaving, they will only become subversive and if the regime imprisons them, it must provide guards, shelter, and food. But here it is again with Afghanistan.[3]

Certainly it must be embarrassing for the Taliban to be seen not as ‘liberators’ but rather as imposing a rule that tens of thousands (at least) are desperate to escape.[4] But this is a short term pain, entirely to be expected, one that any authoritarian regime must accept. The Taliban now inflict upon themselves a long term injury.


Fig. 1. Cartoon by Brian Adcock, August 17, 2021, for the Guardian, fair use.

Naomi Conrad, Masood Saifullah, and Birgitta Schülke-Gill, “In Kabul, terrified Afghans wait for the call to safety,” Deutschewelle, August 18, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/in-kabul-terrified-afghans-wait-for-the-call-to-safety/a-58894365

Ben Doherty, Warren Murray, and agencies, “Afghanistan: reports emerge of Taliban beating Afghans seeking to flee Kabul,” Guardian, August 18, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/18/afghanistan-reports-emerge-of-taliban-beating-afghans-seeking-to-flee-kabul

Joyce Sohyun Lee et al., “With the Taliban now in control, here’s what Afghans are seeing in Kabul,” Washington Post, August 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/interactive/2021/videos-afghanistan-kabul-taliban-arrival/

Larisa Brown et al., “Planes leaving half empty after Taliban set up ring of steel,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/planes-leaving-half-empty-after-taliban-set-up-ring-of-steel-6rdvp2wdb

Monique Rivalland and Georgina Roberts, “How Afghanistan’s ambitious young women feel now,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/how-afghanistans-ambitious-young-women-feel-now-k7t6swgtk


Brown shirts

So there was a bomb threat near government buildings in Washington, D.C., this morning. When I first saw the story I suspected there might be more to it, so I made a note to check it again later, and sure enough, it was a Trump supporter. There was apparently no bomb but there was a video and supposedly, the suspect, one Floyd Ray Roseberry of Grover, North Carolina, possessed bomb-making materials. He was apparently acting alone.[5]

All that said, I don’t know how you classify a significant number of Trump supporters as anything other than extremely dangerous with a high potential for violence:

Officials have been sounding the alarm over online extremist rhetoric that is strikingly similar to the buildup to the January 6 Capitol insurrection, with increasing calls for violence linked to conspiracy theories and false narratives.[6]

Whitney Wild et al., “Police identify suspect who surrendered after claiming to have a bomb near US Capitol,” CNN, August 19, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/politics/us-capitol-suspected-explosives/index.html


Donald Trump

Associated Press, “GOP senator’s plan to issue Pennsylvania election subpoenas ‘stopped,’” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, August 19, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gop-senators-plan-to-issue-pennsylvania-election-subpoenas-stopped/


  1. [1]Del Quentin Wilber, “Biden administration plans to offer COVID booster shots after 8 months,” Los Angeles Times, August 18, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2021-08-18/biden-administration-urges-booster-shots-8-months-after-being-inoculated
  2. [2]Rhys Blakely, “Double Covid vaccine doesn’t stop symptoms for half of Delta cases,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/double-covid-vaccine-symptoms-delta-variant-cases-8jfxkzp03
  3. [3]Larisa Brown et al., “Planes leaving half empty after Taliban set up ring of steel,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/planes-leaving-half-empty-after-taliban-set-up-ring-of-steel-6rdvp2wdb; Naomi Conrad, Masood Saifullah, and Birgitta Schülke-Gill, “In Kabul, terrified Afghans wait for the call to safety,” Deutschewelle, August 18, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/in-kabul-terrified-afghans-wait-for-the-call-to-safety/a-58894365; Ben Doherty, Warren Murray, and agencies, “Afghanistan: reports emerge of Taliban beating Afghans seeking to flee Kabul,” Guardian, August 18, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/18/afghanistan-reports-emerge-of-taliban-beating-afghans-seeking-to-flee-kabul; Charlie Faulkner and Ben Farmer, “Desperate Afghans plunge to deaths from departing US planes as Kabul airport overrun,” Telegraph, August 16, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/16/kabul-airport-chaos-thousands-overrun-tarmac-desperate-bid-escape/; Yaroslav Trofimov, Dion Nissenbaum, and Margherita Stancati, “‘Saigon on Steroids’: The Desperate Rush to Flee Afghanistan,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/saigon-on-steroids-the-desperate-rush-to-flee-afghanistan-11629071999
  4. [4]Larisa Brown et al., “Planes leaving half empty after Taliban set up ring of steel,” Times, August 19, 2021, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/planes-leaving-half-empty-after-taliban-set-up-ring-of-steel-6rdvp2wdb; Naomi Conrad, Masood Saifullah, and Birgitta Schülke-Gill, “In Kabul, terrified Afghans wait for the call to safety,” Deutschewelle, August 18, 2021, https://www.dw.com/en/in-kabul-terrified-afghans-wait-for-the-call-to-safety/a-58894365; Ben Doherty, Warren Murray, and agencies, “Afghanistan: reports emerge of Taliban beating Afghans seeking to flee Kabul,” Guardian, August 18, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/18/afghanistan-reports-emerge-of-taliban-beating-afghans-seeking-to-flee-kabul; Charlie Faulkner and Ben Farmer, “Desperate Afghans plunge to deaths from departing US planes as Kabul airport overrun,” Telegraph, August 16, 2021, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/world-news/2021/08/16/kabul-airport-chaos-thousands-overrun-tarmac-desperate-bid-escape/; Yaroslav Trofimov, Dion Nissenbaum, and Margherita Stancati, “‘Saigon on Steroids’: The Desperate Rush to Flee Afghanistan,” Wall Street Journal, August 15, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/saigon-on-steroids-the-desperate-rush-to-flee-afghanistan-11629071999
  5. [5]Whitney Wild et al., “Police identify suspect who surrendered after claiming to have a bomb near US Capitol,” CNN, August 19, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/politics/us-capitol-suspected-explosives/index.html
  6. [6]Whitney Wild et al., “Police identify suspect who surrendered after claiming to have a bomb near US Capitol,” CNN, August 19, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/19/politics/us-capitol-suspected-explosives/index.html

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