Still believe in Santa Claus? Maybe you’ll believe in a “happy new year.”

It’s New Year’s Eve and, of course, I’ve been wishing people Happy New Year all fucking day.

But in truth, it feels particularly dishonest this year, really the propagation of a delusion far more insidious than anything we ever told children about Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the police white supremacist gangsters, or “liberty and justice for all.” First, of course, there is the pandemic that will likely never go away, raising questions about when, if ever, it will be safe for the rest of us to visit vulnerable people. Second, while I’ve always been a pessimist on this score, I am now especially pessimistic about the prospect of a Trumpist revival of the Civil War.[1]

We are in deep, deep trouble when we are concerned about Republican moves to ensure its permanence in power in what is anyway a constitutional oligarchy.[2] But 1) here we are, 2) here we are with Republicans having all the guns, 3) here we are with a U.S. Supreme Court that appears set to ensure they have guns readily at hand,[3] and 4) if the Democrats ever again win a national election, I am convinced there will be a violent uprising.[4]

I don’t know how I can emphasize strongly enough the extreme danger we are now in.


Ukraine

Julia Ioffe, “Putin’s Talk Therapy,” Puck News, December 31, 2021, https://puck.news/putins-talk-therapy/


Pandemic

Melody Schreiber, “America Quits the Fight Against Covid,” New Republic, December 31, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/164909/america-omicron-surge-quit-covid-fight


  1. [1]David Benfell, “A hot U.S. civil war turned cold, now lukewarm, may turn hot again,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/19/a-hot-u-s-civil-war-turned-cold-now-lukewarm-may-turn-hot-again/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “A constitutional oligarchy: Deconstructing Federalist No. 10,” Not Housebroken, July 3, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/04/22/a-constitutional-oligarchy-deconstructing-federalist-no-10/
  3. [3]Robert Barnes and Ann E. Marimow, “Majority of Supreme Court appears to think N.Y. gun law is too restrictive,” Washington Post, November 3, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/gun-rights-case-supreme-court/2021/11/03/6b9a75d8-3c13-11ec-a493-51b0252dea0c_story.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “The danger that still remains,” Not Housebroken, December 11, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/11/24/the-danger-that-still-remains/

Corruption in the pandemic

There are two new blog posts:


Pandemic

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/

Joel Achenbach and Yasmeen Abutaleb, “Coronavirus risk calculations get harder as a study suggests rapid tests may be less effective at detecting omicron,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/29/covid-test-accuracy/

Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234

Molly Osberg, “The CDC Says We’re All Essential Workers Now,” New Republic, December 29, 2021, https://newrepublic.com/article/164898/cdc-ads-essential-workers-isolation

Kathleen Foody, “New COVID-19 cases in US soar to highest levels on record,” Associated Press, December 30, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-c69d1521b6411b6b78aae85d95165f5c

Hannah Sampson, “CDC warns against cruise travel after 5,000 new coronavirus cases in 2 weeks,” Washington Post, December 30, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/travel/2021/12/30/cdc-cruise-warning-avoid-omicron/


Amerikkka

Gregory S. Schneider, “Robert E. Lee monument, other Confederate statues could go to Richmond’s Black History Museum under deal,” Washington Post, December 30, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2021/12/30/richmond-confederate-statues-black-history-museum/


White supremacist gangs, Ed Gainey

“We’ve seen lots of change, and even trying times together, and hopefully we were able to make a positive difference over these past six years,” Hissrich said Thursday in a statement. “It has been my privilege to serve the city and help work towards a safer Pittsburgh for everyone.”[1]

Just guessing that this level of cluelessness might have something to do with why Mayor-elect Ed Gainey will not be retaining Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.[2]

Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh public safety leader will not be part of new mayor’s administration,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 30, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-public-safety-leader-will-not-be-part-of-new-mayors-administration/


Century III Mall

Cara Sapida, “Century III Mall named to Pittsburgh’s ‘Top 10 Buildings to Save’ list,” WPXI, December 30, 2021, https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/century-iii-mall-named-top-10-buildings-save-list/TPI7BWWG7NCOTA5GMO2FDDRN6Q/


Student loans

I’ve long expected that student loans will eventually be forgiven. I don’t expect that Joe Biden will be the president who does it.

But I keep seeing stories of people who’ve actually been paying on the student loans (on income-based repayment, I’ve been paying little or nothing) for years, have in fact paid their entire principal, but still owe more than that principal. I’m not a finance guy; I don’t know how that happens. I simply see that it does and I don’t see how it works that people can do this and ever pay off their debts.

Which means that the loans themselves are scams. Being on income-based repayment, my debt will be forgiven in a little less than fifteen more years. Since the powers that be have decided that I will never be gainfully employed, they’re never going to see the money I owe, and frankly, they don’t deserve it. But when even the original loans are scams, they can’t really deserve that money either.

The question, really, is how long it takes for the powers that be to recognize that they’ve been fooling themselves and immiserating a lot of people along the way to a futile end.

Annie Nova, “Student loan payments keep getting delayed. Will the debt ever be forgiven?” CNBC, December 30, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/29/with-payments-paused-again-will-student-loan-debt-ever-be-forgiven.html


  1. [1]Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh public safety leader will not be part of new mayor’s administration,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 30, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-public-safety-leader-will-not-be-part-of-new-mayors-administration/
  2. [2]Megan Guza, “Pittsburgh public safety leader will not be part of new mayor’s administration,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 30, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-public-safety-leader-will-not-be-part-of-new-mayors-administration/

Essential Expendable Workers

White supremacist gangs

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh bans traffic stops for minor violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-bans-traffic-stops-for-minor-violations/

Paula Reed Ward, “Disciplinary action initiated against 9 Pittsburgh police officers in tasing, death of man in Bloomfield,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/disciplinary-action-initiated-against-9-pittsburgh-police-officers-in-tasing-death-of-man-in-bloomfield/


Urban bears

Pittsburgh[1] might take note. Chesapeake Animal Services managed to leave the bears the fuck alone.[2]

Associated Press, “Mama bear, 3 cubs climb tree, take nap in urban Virginia,” December 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/oddities-environment-and-nature-trees-virginia-animals-c1ce8d849f0936f8af177eb3efbcedf4


Pandemic

The story of the revised COVID-19 quarantine guidance for asymptomatic folks, in which, despite skyrocketing case and hospitalization rates,[3] and despite increased concerns about medical worker burnout,[4] the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “shortened the recommended time Americans infected with the coronavirus should isolate from 10 days to five,”[5] is that 1) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not believe people will comply with stricter rules;[6] and 2) so-called “essential” workers are, in fact, expendable.[7]

“We have seen relatively low rates of isolation for all of this pandemic. Some science has demonstrated less than a third of people are isolating when they need to,” [Rochelle] Walensky told CNN.[8]

The [Biden] administration’s top health officials met over Christmas weekend to discuss the trajectory of the U.S. outbreak, with several expressing fear about how high case levels might climb in the coming weeks, according to four senior officials briefed on the discussion. They worried the sheer volume of infections could mean that tens of thousands of police, firefighters, grocery workers and other essential employees would be out of work, making it challenging to keep society functioning, even though many of the infections would be mild or produce no symptoms, the officials said.[9]

If you are worried about spreading a highly contagious and deadly disease, you at least require workers to be tested before returning to work, which the new guidance doesn’t do.[10] If you are worried about the workers themselves, you pay them to stay home, whether through sick leave or unemployment benefits. If you aren’t worried about the workers themselves, but rather you are really worried about the economy, you make them go to work even if they’re infected, even if they might infect their co-workers, even if they might infect anyone else they may come into contact with.

“I absolutely don’t want to sit next to someone who turned Positive 5 days ago and hasn’t tested [negative],” tweeted epidemiologist Michael Mina, an assistant professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, calling the guidance “reckless.”[11]

A lot of what I’ve seen on my Twitter feed in opposition to the new advice amounted to name-calling. That’s not the way to persuade me. But it’s clear now my tweeps were right, that this latest guidance confirms that indeed, capitalism is a death cult.[12]

Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/

Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234


Work

Anneken Tappe, “America runs on bad jobs,” Cable News Network, December 29, 2021, https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/29/economy/us-economy-bad-jobs/index.html


  1. [1]Mary Ann Thomas, “260-pound black bear trapped near Downtown Pittsburgh,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 22, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/200-pound-black-bear-trapped-in-downtown-pittsburgh-wednesday-morning/
  2. [2]Associated Press, “Mama bear, 3 cubs climb tree, take nap in urban Virginia,” December 28, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/oddities-environment-and-nature-trees-virginia-animals-c1ce8d849f0936f8af177eb3efbcedf4
  3. [3]Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html; Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/; Ellen Francis and Meryl Kornfield, “New York coronavirus cases hit record high for second straight day as omicron upends holiday plans,” Washington Post, December 18, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/18/new-york-coronavirus-cases-record-rockettes/; Rong-Gong Lin, II, and Emily Alpert Reyes, “California braces for Omicron wave amid grim forecasts, concerns for hospitals,” Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-20/how-are-southern-california-hospitals-faring-with-covid-now; Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3; Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin, II, “California COVID-19 hospitalizations up 25% in last week,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-28/covid-19-hospitalizations-up-25-in-california-in-last-week; Travis Tritten, “Pentagon Advises Booster Shots as COVID Cases Surge over Holidays,” Military.com, December 28, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/28/pentagon-advises-booster-shots-covid-cases-surge-over-holidays.html; Paul Waldman, “The red covid wave is here,” Washington Post, December 17, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2021/12/17/red-covid-wave-is-here/; WBUR, “Mass. hospitals welcome National Guard members, cancel non-urgent procedures as cases rise,” December 27, 2021, https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/12/27/covid-hospital-staffing-challenges-baker-patients; Ed White, “Hits ‘keep coming’: Hospitals struggle as COVID beds fill,” Associated Press, December 18, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-detroit-nebraska-kansas-5e98f09c578a231be1411516e9dfff58
  4. [4]Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html; Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3; Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu
  5. [5]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  6. [6]Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234
  7. [7]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/
  8. [8]Quint Forgey, “‘This was the moment’: CDC defends altered guidance amid Omicron surge,” Politico, December 29, 2021, https://www.politico.com/news/2021/12/29/cdc-defends-new-covid-guidelines-526234
  9. [9]Yasmeen Abutaleb, Sean Sullivan, and Eli Rosenberg, “New CDC guidelines were spurred by worries omicron surge could lead to breakdown in essential services,” Washington Post, December 29, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/28/cdc-isolation-guidelines-rationale/
  10. [10]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  11. [11]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “The capitalist death cult,” Not Housebroken, May 17, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2020/03/27/the-capitalist-death-cult/

The same joke. Again and again and again.

Donald Trump

William Rivers Pitt, “Donald Trump Has Spent the Last Two Weeks Offending His Closest Allies,” Truthout, December 28, 2021, https://truthout.org/articles/donald-trump-has-spent-the-last-two-weeks-offending-his-closest-allies/


Pandemic

If you take out the tweets of animal pictures, probably something like 80 to 90 percent of my Twitter timeline is belly-aching or satire about the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cutting quarantine times.[1] It stops being funny about the time you’ve seen about 50 variants of the same fucking joke. Just sayin’.

Look, I don’t know if the CDC’s move is warranted or not. Certainly, that capitalists were pushing for it[2] makes the move look bad. But I’m waiting until I’ve heard from more sources I trust to form a judgment. And I think maybe a few other folks should too.

Angela Haupt, “Thousands who ‘followed the rules’ are about to get covid. They shouldn’t be ashamed,” Washington Post, December 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2021/12/22/dont-feel-ashamed-for-getting-covid/

Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html

Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying

Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/

Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu

Aila Slisco, “75 Percent of Unvaxxed Trump Voters Vow to Never Get Jab After Ex-President’s Urging: Poll,” Newsweek, December 24, 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/poll-unvaccinated-trump-voters-1663065

Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html

Brittny Mejia, “COVID stole the heart of my family. It also divided it,” Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-26/covid-stole-heart-of-family-get-vaccinated

Sarah Zhang, “Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown,” Atlantic, December 26, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/12/omicron-soft-lockdown/621121/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/

WBUR, “Mass. hospitals welcome National Guard members, cancel non-urgent procedures as cases rise,” December 27, 2021, https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/12/27/covid-hospital-staffing-challenges-baker-patients

Tia Goldenberg, “Hard-hit by first waves of COVID, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox slow to get vaccinated,” Times of Israel, December 28, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/hard-hit-by-first-waves-of-covid-israels-ultra-orthodox-slow-to-get-vaccinated/

Luke Money and Rong-Gong Lin, II, “California COVID-19 hospitalizations up 25% in last week,” Los Angeles Times, December 28, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-28/covid-19-hospitalizations-up-25-in-california-in-last-week

Amy Spiro, “Israel eases quarantine rules for vaccinated as daily cases hit 3-month high,” Times of Israel, December 28, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/daily-covid-cases-reach-3-month-high-as-omicron-gains-steam-in-israel/


White supremacist gangs

Julia Felton, “Pittsburgh bans traffic stops for minor violations,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 28, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-bans-traffic-stops-for-minor-violations/


Gig work

José Rodríguez, Jr., “Uber And Lyft Could Soon Have A Hard Time Denying Drivers Full Worker Status,” Jalopnik, December 28, 2021, https://jalopnik.com/uber-and-lyft-could-soon-have-a-hard-time-denying-drive-1848276541


  1. [1]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/

Risk tolerance and COVID-19

Pandemic

My Twitter bubble is deeply suspicious of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s reduction[1] of self-isolation time for asymptomatic COVID-19 infections, with many folks arguing it is a capitulation to capitalists.

Airline and other industry officials have been calling on the agency to shorten recommended quarantine and isolation times. They said the slew of flight cancellations were largely driven by employees who tested positive for the virus and were isolating for 10 days. Airline officials, as well as those from other industries, have expressed concern that omicron’s transmissibility would make it impossible to keep businesses running if they followed earlier guidelines.[2]

Some do not seem to have noticed that the new recommendation applies only to asymptomatic folks.[3] Nonetheless, my tweeps may have a point:

Business groups applauded the update, but some health experts were incensed that the agency would reduce the isolation period without first requiring people to get a negative coronavirus test result.

“I absolutely don’t want to sit next to someone who turned Positive 5 days ago and hasn’t tested [negative],” tweeted epidemiologist Michael Mina, an assistant professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, calling the guidance “reckless.”

Other health experts, however, argued the changes are essential to minimize the pandemic’s disruptions to daily life.

“The new guidance reflects a growing reality that we’re going to have to learn to live with covid as a persistent risk, and can’t let it shut down society,” said Scott Gottlieb, a Pfizer board member and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner.[4]

By contrast, in Israel, where preventative measures have seemingly been less controversial,

Under the new guidelines, anyone who is fully vaccinated and exposed to a positive COVID patient — no matter which strain — will have to remain in quarantine only until they test negative via PCR. Once released, they will not be allowed to enter mass events or places with high-risk populations, like nursing homes, for the following 10 days. Until now, fully vaccinated Israelis did not have to quarantine at all following an exposure to a COVID patient, unless it was suspected to be Omicron.

Those who are not vaccinated, meanwhile, will be required to complete seven days of quarantine with two negative tests if they are exposed to a positive COVID patient with any strain of the virus.[5]

That sounds to me like a toughening. So why, one might ask—and I’d really like an answer that doesn’t somehow rely on Trumpist ideology—can Israel “live with” tougher restrictions and the U.S. cannot? Why does Israel seemingly prize its citizens’ lives more than the U.S.?

We’re back, I think, to the question of what people will tolerate. I suspect most of my Uber passengers are only wearing masks because Uber requires it; when I walk into stores other than Whole Foods, I rarely see masks, even where signs request them. Nearly everyone says they’re vaccinated; whether or not they actually are, of course, is another question. Allegheny County reports that “[a]mong county residents at least 5 years of age, 63.7% are fully vaccinated and 7.8% are partially vaccinated,”[6] making it likely that some of those folks are simply seeking to avoid an argument.

A single test wouldn’t do for me. Case counts are high in Allegheny County[7] and I’m assuming I’ve already been exposed to the Omicron variant, will continue to be exposed, and am counting on my body’s immune system—in combination with full vaccination and a booster—to ward it off. My history remains that I simply do not come down with any of this shit, which of course could mean I’m simply asymptomatic. And if someone who’s willfully unvaccinated gets it, even from me, there’s absolutely no sympathy from me, even, as a friend learned last night, if they die.[8] Speaking of her husband’s cousin’s girlfriend, an anti-vaxxer who died from COVID-19, I pointed out that “the death she suffered is one she inflicted on countless others” and there can be absolutely no excusing that.

Angela Haupt, “Thousands who ‘followed the rules’ are about to get covid. They shouldn’t be ashamed,” Washington Post, December 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2021/12/22/dont-feel-ashamed-for-getting-covid/

Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html

Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying

Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/

Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu

Aila Slisco, “75 Percent of Unvaxxed Trump Voters Vow to Never Get Jab After Ex-President’s Urging: Poll,” Newsweek, December 24, 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/poll-unvaccinated-trump-voters-1663065

Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html

Brittny Mejia, “COVID stole the heart of my family. It also divided it,” Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-26/covid-stole-heart-of-family-get-vaccinated

Sarah Zhang, “Omicron Is Pushing America Into Soft Lockdown,” Atlantic, December 26, 2021, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/12/omicron-soft-lockdown/621121/

Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/

WBUR, “Mass. hospitals welcome National Guard members, cancel non-urgent procedures as cases rise,” December 27, 2021, https://www.wbur.org/news/2021/12/27/covid-hospital-staffing-challenges-baker-patients

Amy Spiro, “Israel eases quarantine rules for vaccinated as daily cases hit 3-month high,” Times of Israel, December 28, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/daily-covid-cases-reach-3-month-high-as-omicron-gains-steam-in-israel/


  1. [1]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  2. [2]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  3. [3]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  4. [4]Yasmeen Abutaleb, “CDC cuts isolation time recommended for people with asymptomatic coronavirus infections,” Washington Post, December 27, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/27/cdc-cuts-isolation-time-asymptomic-covid-infections/
  5. [5]Amy Spiro, “Israel eases quarantine rules for vaccinated as daily cases hit 3-month high,” Times of Israel, December 28, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/daily-covid-cases-reach-3-month-high-as-omicron-gains-steam-in-israel/
  6. [6]Allegheny County Health Department, “COVID-19 Vaccination Report,” December 13, 2021, https://www.alleghenycounty.us/uploadedFiles/Allegheny_Home/Health_Department/Resources/COVID-19/Docs/COVID-19%20Vaccination%20Report_December%2013,%202021.pdf
  7. [7]Megan Guza, “Pennsylvania, Allegheny County report record covid cases,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 24, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-allegheny-county-report-record-covid-cases/
  8. [8]David Benfell, “The COVID-19 anti-vaccination double standard,” Not Housebroken, December 19, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/19/the-covid-19-anti-vaccination-double-standard/

What I do to get a good night’s sleep

Yes, I really do wake up at ungodly hours of the morning and write new blog posts like this. And then I’m surprised when, if anyone reads them, they offer no reaction.

It’s too bad. This post is one of my foundational ones, indicating how I view our social world, based on my learning. It’s entitled, “No excuses: Power, responsibility, and accountability.”

And I slept soundly after writing it.


Abortion

I got my vasectomy when I was 24. That’d have probably been 1983, maybe early 1984. Ronald Reagan was president, which was scary then much in a similar way, though I don’t think quite as much so, to the way Donald Trump was later. But no, unlike some of today’s men, it wasn’t because I was afraid that Roe v. Wade would be overturned.[1]

I usually only need a couple reasons for making a decision. In this case, I had several.

I worried about nuclear holocaust. I worried about environmental devastation. Even then, I realized I was having trouble even taking care of myself and I worried I wouldn’t be able to afford to raise a child. I worried I would replicate my own upbringing and I felt that no child should endure what I endured. And the fear I’d gotten a woman pregnant took the steam out of one of the very few romances I’ve had in my life.

Most, if not all, of those reasons remain applicable. But today, I’d add the likelihood of violence, either to overturn a dangerously worthless elite[2] or as Trumpists impose Donald Trump on the rest of us.

Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Men across America are getting vasectomies ‘as an act of love.’” Washington Post, December 26, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/26/men-across-america-are-getting-vasectomies-an-act-love/


  1. [1]Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, “Men across America are getting vasectomies ‘as an act of love.’” Washington Post, December 26, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/26/men-across-america-are-getting-vasectomies-an-act-love/
  2. [2]David Benfell, “No excuses: Power, responsibility, and accountability,” Not Housebroken, December 27, 2021, https://disunitedstates.org/2021/12/27/no-excuses-power-responsibility-and-accountability/

I hope someone is screening a Los Angeles Times reporter’s calls and messages for her

Pandemic

My guess—I’m pretty sure this isn’t a long stretch—is that Brittny Mejia[1] really, really does not need to hear from anti-vaccination assholes and COVID-19 deniers about now.

Angela Haupt, “Thousands who ‘followed the rules’ are about to get covid. They shouldn’t be ashamed,” Washington Post, December 22, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/wellness/2021/12/22/dont-feel-ashamed-for-getting-covid/

Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html

Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying

Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/

Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu

Aila Slisco, “75 Percent of Unvaxxed Trump Voters Vow to Never Get Jab After Ex-President’s Urging: Poll,” Newsweek, December 24, 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/poll-unvaccinated-trump-voters-1663065

Sarah Bahr and Mike Baker, “Another Christmas of Death and Distress in America’s I.C.U.s,” New York Times, December 25, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/25/us/covid-hospitals.html

Brittny Mejia, “COVID stole the heart of my family. It also divided it,” Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-26/covid-stole-heart-of-family-get-vaccinated


Democrats

When [Joe] Biden came into office, he re-upped those precious stimulus checks and initially suspended loan repayments, but those relief efforts ended this year. Biden has yet to follow through on his campaign pledge to cancel up to $10,000 of federal student loans per borrower—an idea supported by huge majorities of Americans under 30. “I don’t actually think his low approval rating with young people is that complicated,” said Joe Mitchell, a 24-year old Republican state representative in Iowa. “He made these promises to forgive student loans. He hasn’t kept it. That’s a broken promise specifically to young people. Obviously I’m a Republican here, but leaders suffer when their rhetoric and promises don’t match their policies. [Donald] Trump was always going to be polarizing. But Biden came in promising to fix everything and bring us back together. He hasn’t. So it’s just really bad for Democrats.”[2]

Peter Hamby, “The Biden Youth Bomb,” Puck News, December 22, 2021, https://puck.news/the-biden-youth-bomb/


Fossil fuels

Audrey Carleton, “With billions in federal cash, will Pennsylvania finally cap its abandoned, polluting oil wells?” Pittsburgh City Paper, December 21, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/with-billions-in-federal-cash-will-pennsylvania-finally-cap-its-abandoned-polluting-oil-wells/Content?oid=20779716


  1. [1]Brittny Mejia, “COVID stole the heart of my family. It also divided it,” Los Angeles Times, December 26, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-26/covid-stole-heart-of-family-get-vaccinated
  2. [2]Peter Hamby, “The Biden Youth Bomb,” Puck News, December 22, 2021, https://puck.news/the-biden-youth-bomb/

Such a surprise: White supremacist gangsters are still . . . white supremacist gangsters

There is a new blog post entitled, “The Food and Drug Administration needs to get off its patriarchal ass on over-the-counter birth control.”


White supremacist gangs

Ryan Deto, “Pittsburgh Police officers disciplined in death of Jim Rogers; report says his calls for medical help were ignored,” Pittsburgh City Paper, December 21, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/pittsburgh-police-officers-disciplined-in-death-of-jim-rogers-report-says-his-calls-for-medical-help-were-ignored/Content?oid=20785257

Paula Reed Ward, “Man who died after being tased by Pittsburgh police pleaded for medical help but got none, report says,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 21, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/man-who-died-after-being-tased-by-pittsburgh-police-pleaded-for-medical-help-but-got-none-report-says/

Paula Reed Ward, “Experts say more must be done by Pittsburgh in response to Jim Rogers’ death,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 22, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/experts-say-more-must-be-done-by-pittsburgh-in-response-to-jim-rogers-death/

Jason Dearen, “He attended cross burnings, wore a wire, risked his life to expose who was in KKK,” Times of Israel, December 23, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/he-wore-a-wire-risked-his-life-to-expose-who-was-in-the-kkk/

Amy Forliti, “Kim Potter guilty of manslaughter in Daunte Wright’s death,” Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-23/jury-outcome-in-daunte-wright-trial

Tim Arango and Giulia Heyward, “Despite Uproar Over Floyd’s Death, the Number of Fatal Encounters With Police Hasn’t Changed,” New York Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/24/us/police-killings-accountability.html


Hospitals are swamped, kids are getting the Omicron variant, and case counts are breaking records, but vaccination is an ‘individual’ choice

Pandemic

Pennsylvania region

Christyn Allen, “Meadville Medical Center pleads for Community’s Help,” Erie News Now, December 23, 2021, https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/45529253/meadville-medical-center-pleads-for-communitys-help

WTAE, “City of Pittsburgh says 85.85% of city employees are vaccinated, 278 face discipline due to mandate,” December 23, 2021, https://www.wtae.com/article/city-of-pittsburgh-says-8585-of-city-employees-are-vaccinated-278-face-discipline-due-to-mandate/38605407

Megan Guza, “Pennsylvania, Allegheny County report record covid cases,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 24, 2021, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-allegheny-county-report-record-covid-cases/

(Inter)national

Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html

Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying

Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3

Ariana Eunjung Cha and Jacqueline Dupree, “Omicron and children: Pediatric hospitals in parts of U.S. filling fast,” Washington Post, December 24, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/12/24/omicron-children-hospitalizations-us/

Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu

Aila Slisco, “75 Percent of Unvaxxed Trump Voters Vow to Never Get Jab After Ex-President’s Urging: Poll,” Newsweek, December 24, 2021, https://www.newsweek.com/poll-unvaccinated-trump-voters-1663065


Pittsburgh

Ryan Deto, “Nebby post alert: Bobcat spotted in East Liberty,” Pittsburgh City Paper, December 23, 2021, https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/nebby-post-alert-bobcat-spotted-in-east-liberty/Content?oid=20791371


Donald Trump supports COVID-19 vaccines. Trumpists do not.


Fig. 1. Christmas in Pittsburgh won’t look anything like this, this year. The decorations are up, but the snow is nowhere in sight. Photograph by author, December 25, 2020.


Ukraine

Andrew Roth, “Why Putin is acting like a man who has run out of time,” Guardian, December 23, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/23/vladimir-putin-russian-president-ukraine-analysis


Pandemic

(Inter)national

I think perhaps Donald Trump has realized that his supporters can’t vote for him if they’re dead. Three times now, he has praised the COVID-19 vaccines. He’s been booed twice and he always immediately emphasizes that he opposes mandates, but he praises the vaccines. It’s a little different from when he was in office and promoting quack cures.[1] The prospect of his return to office raises the question of what he’ll do about the mandate for the military, said to be about readiness,[2] and therefore essential for the toxic masculinity that marks Trumpism.[3] If he’s true to his word, he should reverse the discharges.[4]

Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html

Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying

Philip Marcelo, Anne D’Innocenzio, and Bobby Caina Calvan, “Omicron is latest blow to pandemic-weary front-line workers,” Associated Press, December 24, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-business-pandemics-london-7004e1f1b1847b9831623e6adcedb5f3

Brittny Mejia, “ICU doctors, nurses demoralized over ‘needless’ COVID-19 misery. ‘Patients are still dying,’” Los Angeles Times, December 24, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-12-24/covid-icu

Pennsylvania region

Christyn Allen, “Meadville Medical Center pleads for Community’s Help,” Erie News Now, December 23, 2021, https://www.erienewsnow.com/story/45529253/meadville-medical-center-pleads-for-communitys-help


White supremacist gangs

Jason Dearen, “He attended cross burnings, wore a wire, risked his life to expose who was in KKK,” Times of Israel, December 23, 2021, https://www.timesofisrael.com/he-wore-a-wire-risked-his-life-to-expose-who-was-in-the-kkk/

Amy Forliti, “Kim Potter guilty of manslaughter in Daunte Wright’s death,” Los Angeles Times, December 23, 2021, https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-12-23/jury-outcome-in-daunte-wright-trial


Bill Peduto

Bill Peduto defends promoting his bodyguard “from sergeant to assistant chief [of police], leapfrogging the ranks of lieutenant and commander” by citing his bodyguard’s military career:[5]

The community has been voicing concerns about the militarization of police. We’re trying to get away from the mentality of soldiers on guard in the city and trying to move toward the guardian model. While soldiers are guardians, that doesn’t necessarily just in and of itself exclusively qualify you to be a law enforcement officer.[6]

At the very least, this is an eye-catching move; it casts further doubt on Peduto’s dubious legacy of white supremacist gang “reform.”[7]

Megan Guza, “Peduto promotes longtime bodyguard to assistant chief of Pittsburgh police,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/peduto-promotes-longtime-bodyguard-to-assistant-chief-of-pittsburgh-police/


Christopher Columbus

Paula Reed Ward, “Pittsburgh argues that Italian-American group has no right to challenge Columbus statue removal,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-argues-that-italian-american-group-has-no-right-to-challenge-columbus-statue-removal/


  1. [1]Associated Press, “FDA warns against using the drugs that Trump touts for coronavirus,” Los Angeles Times, April 24, 2020, https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-04-24/fda-warns-against-using-trump-touted-drugs-to-treat-coronavirus; Ariana Eunjung Cha and Laurie McGinley, “Antimalarial drug touted by President Trump is linked to increased risk of death in coronavirus patients, study says,” Washington Post, May 22, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/05/22/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-study/; Allyson Chiu, Katie Shepherd, and Brittany Shammas, “Trump comments prompt doctors, and Lysol, to warn against injecting disinfectants,” Washington Post, April 24, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/04/24/disinfectant-injection-coronavirus-trump/; Jill Colvin, “Trump reveals he got COVID-19 booster shot; crowd boos him,” Associated Press, December 20, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-donald-trump-coronavirus-vaccine-74abcd4e6833835f5df445fe2142e22b; Guardian, “Trump booed after telling supporters to get Covid vaccine,” August 22, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/22/donald-trump-rally-alabama-covid-vaccine; Marilynn Marchione, “Heart woes spur partial stop of malaria drug study for virus,” Associated Press, April 13, 2020, https://apnews.com/article/virus-outbreak-malaria-donald-trump-us-news-ap-top-news-f69fd1607a097d8a55bb1ad9fff78e7b; Laurie McGinley and Josh Dawsey, “Touting criticized study, White House presses FDA to authorize hydroxychloroquine — again,” Washington Post, July 10, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/07/10/peter-navarro-hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus/; Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying; Aaron Rupar, “Trump and Fox News want to send their hydroxychloroquine hype down the memory hole,” Vox, April 22, 2020, https://www.vox.com/2020/4/22/21230982/hydroxychloroquine-coronavirus-trump-fox-news-hype; Anna Sanders and Chris Sommerfeldt, “A spike in New Yorkers ingesting household cleaners following Trump’s controversial coronavirus comments,” New York Daily News, April 24, 2020, https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-coronavirus-new-yorkers-household-cleaners-trump-20200425-rnaqio5dyfeaxmthxx2vktqa5m-story.html; Michael D. Shear and Maggie Haberman, “Health Dept. Official Says Doubts on Hydroxychloroquine Led to His Ouster,” New York Times, April 22, 2020, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/22/us/politics/rick-bright-trump-hydroxychloroquine.html; Paul Waldman, “The real reason Trump is obsessed with hydroxychloroquine,” Washington Post, April 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/07/real-reason-trump-is-obsessed-with-hydroxychloroquine/
  2. [2]Associated Press, “US air force discharges 27 service members for refusing Covid vaccine,” Guardian, December 13, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/dec/13/us-air-force-discharges-27-service-members-for-refusing-covid-vaccine; Lolita C. Baldor, “Navy Commander Fired After Refusing to Get COVID Vaccine,” Military.com, December 11, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/11/navy-commander-fired-after-refusing-get-covid-vaccine.html; Lolita C. Baldor, “Across services, troops face discipline for refusing vaccine,” Sacramento Bee, December 16, 2021, https://www.sacbee.com/news/article256645827.html; Lolita C. Baldor, “More Marines Discharged Over Vaccine Refusal, Total at 169,” Military.com, December 23, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/23/more-marines-discharged-over-vaccine-refusal-total-169.html; Steve Beynon, “Soldiers Who Refuse Vaccination Can Still Serve, But Their Careers Are Over,” Military.com, November 22, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/11/22/soldiers-who-refuse-vaccination-can-still-serve-their-careers-are-over.html; Alex Horton, “Hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops have not yet complied with vaccine mandate as deadlines near,” Washington Post, October 10, 2021, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2021/10/10/military-vaccine-mandate/; Konstantin Toropin, “Oklahoma Guard Leader Tells Vaccine Refusers to Prepare for ‘Career Ending Federal Action,’” Military.com, December 10, 2021, https://www.military.com/daily-news/2021/12/10/oklahoma-guard-leader-tells-vaccine-refusers-prepare-career-ending-federal-action.html; Nancy A. Youssef, “Thousands in Air Force, Space Force Seek Exemption From Covid-19 Vaccines,” Wall Street Journal, November 3, 2021, https://www.wsj.com/articles/thousands-in-air-force-space-force-seek-exemption-from-covid-19-vaccines-11635968785
  3. [3]Priya Elan, “The data is in: men are too fragile to wear Covid-19 masks. Grow up, guys,” Guardian, July 3, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/03/covid-19-masks-men-masculinity; Nan Levinson, “The Far Right in Uniform,” TomDispatch, April 6, 2021, https://tomdispatch.com/the-far-right-in-uniform/; Angie Schmitt, “What Happened to Pickup Trucks?” CityLab, March 11, 2021, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-11/the-dangerous-rise-of-the-supersized-pickup-truck; Matthew S. Schwartz, “5 Boats Sink At Trump Boat Parade In Texas,” National Public Radio, September 6, 2020, https://www.npr.org/2020/09/06/910322916/5-boats-sink-at-trump-boat-parade-in-texas
  4. [4]Jill Colvin, “Trump reveals he got COVID-19 booster shot; crowd boos him,” Associated Press, December 20, 2021, https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-health-donald-trump-coronavirus-vaccine-74abcd4e6833835f5df445fe2142e22b; Guardian, “Trump booed after telling supporters to get Covid vaccine,” August 22, 2021, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/aug/22/donald-trump-rally-alabama-covid-vaccine; Olafimihan Oshin, “Trump pushes back on Candace Owens: ‘People aren’t dying when they take the vaccine,’” Hill, December 23, 2021, https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/public-global-health/587079-trump-pushes-back-on-candace-owens-people-arent-dying
  5. [5]Megan Guza, “Peduto promotes longtime bodyguard to assistant chief of Pittsburgh police,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/peduto-promotes-longtime-bodyguard-to-assistant-chief-of-pittsburgh-police/
  6. [6]Beth Pittinger, quoted in Megan Guza, “Peduto promotes longtime bodyguard to assistant chief of Pittsburgh police,” Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, December 23, 2021, https://triblive.com/local/peduto-promotes-longtime-bodyguard-to-assistant-chief-of-pittsburgh-police/
  7. [7]Charlie Wolfson, “After eight years, Peduto’s record is a mix of bold plans and frustrating endings,” Public Source, December 22, 2021, https://www.publicsource.org/peduto-pittsburgh-outgoing-mayor-equity-policing-gainey/