January 23, 2021

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 12, 2020

Rick McKee. Copyright 2020 Cagle Cartoons

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The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 12, 2020

Welcome. We’re smack in the middle of the holiday season (sorry for you Advent lovers, I’m also a realist), so we’ll have plenty of cheer and tinsel today as we enjoy our Saturday Brunch together. Thanks for joining us. Pass me a cinnamon roll, please.

Here are some Christmas gift and decorating ideas for you:

Ornament of the Year 2020

2020 Dumpster Fire ornament

RBG Menorah

Pet Advent Calendar

Cheese Lover Hand Towels

Custom Renaissance Pet Portrait

Jesus Soap Dispenser

Frankenstein Nativity Set

Another 2020 Ornament for Your Tree

Hey, you might want to wait before buying this. The year’s not over.

Sloping ski glasses

2020 Commemorative Jigsaw Puzzle

The BEST thing you’ll read this week…

Erick-Woods Erickson, conservative evangelical American blogger and radio host. has impeccable conservative political credentials. He stood in front of the state capitol in South Carolina with Sarah Palin to introduce Nikki Haley for the Palin endorsement, for heaven’s sake.

However, after Erickson and his wife had serious, life-threatening health scares, his perspectives and priorities changed.

I used to be a super political animal and now I am less so and find I am surrounded by people who have become more political. The 24/7 news cycle, social media, the atrophication of in-person social networks, the political demands resulting from a small base of persuadable voters turning America into an “us v them” society, the realization that much of the media really does hate conservatives and Christians — it has all turned into a perfect storm of polarization, politicization, and theological supplementation. As I was disentangling from a lot of it, a lot of people were getting tangled up in it.

I stepped back and realized so little of it does matter and so little of it does change and a lot of people stepped forward for change they could believe in or change from that. But the reality is neither side is really changing much in Washington anymore.

Erickson wrote a recent article in light of President Trump’s incessant claims of election fraud and his followers’ loud insistence that the election was stolen. Its title, How the F– Am I the Sane One, says it all. I encourage you to follow the link and read the whole article.

I have a lot of people yelling at me for refusing to accept the election was stolen. Frankly, I don’t even think the Trump team really believes it. His lawyers sure as hell don’t or they wouldn’t have screwed up so may cases with late filings, missing paperwork, missing fees, and erroneous affidavits. I know of a call wherein they told some folks I am very familiar with that they really were just going to scream and holler and refuse to concede. It is all payback for 2016. They’ve lost about 50 lawsuits and in their latest, in state court in Georgia, they forgot to pay the court filing fees and fill out the right paperwork. That got their lawsuit thrown out.

That’s not even considering the batshit crazy lawsuit from Sidney Powell and her insane claims. I’m sorry some people take that stuff seriously. I’m sorry some people really believe Ware County, Georgia had machines seized. I’m sorry there are up and coming grifters on the right who don’t really believe it but get clicks, followers, and money by convincing you that they do. I’m sorry some people will take at face value the claims of some without thinking through or seeking rebuttal.

I’m really concerned with the crazy on my side, or at least what should be my side. I’m not even sure I have a side anymore. I just tell people I’m a conservative who thinks the GOP has failed on the debt and a bunch of issues and the Democrats are going full bore socialist secularists who’ll eventually get their own Mao and deny it while trying to silence people like me. I’m a Christian who thinks a lot of Christians have turned politics into religion. I’m a husband who wants to take care of my wife. I’m a dad who just wants to raise my kids to love Jesus and improve their community.

It’d be far easier for me, as a conservative talk radio show host to just get on the crazy train and tell you all exactly what you want to hear even though it is not true even though you are epistemically convinced it is true. It’d be far easier and less stressful and more financially lucrative for me to sound like everyone else on the right, right now.

But I think it would be wrong. And I may be wrong here, but I think most of my audience could now be described as reality-based conservatives who are people of faith who just want to really know what is going on and just understand the world from their faith perspective. They aren’t really down with full contact team sport politics. They’ve already got their favorite teams on a field somewhere and just want someone with their worldview to just tell them honestly what is going on.

Et tu, William!

William Shakespeare gets the second injection of coronavirus given in Britain.

The media had a field day when William Shakespeare showed up to be one of the first people to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in Britain this week.

He is one of the first to contribute to the “Taming of the Flu.”

“Is this a needle I see before me?” saith VacBeth.

Well, he wasn’t the first but the second, one wrote, so his fame is much ado about nothing.

All’s well that ends well, said another, a plague on neither of their houses.

And so the question remains for us, to vax or not to vax?

And, while we’re on the subject, here are some…

Appropriate Shakespeare pandemic insults to pass along…

Come on Congress, millions are waiting for you to do your job…

This is just the year for drive-thru Nativities…

From RNS:

Live Nativities, in which visitors drive — and sometimes, especially in warmer climes, walk — through a number of scenes retelling the biblical story of Jesus’ birth, have been popular around the U.S. for years. Actors from churches’ congregations and, often, live animals are accompanied by narration of the story on a provided CD, accessed on smartphones via QR code or broadcast on a low-frequency transmitter.

All have found their moment in a year when mask wearing, social distancing and avoiding indoor gatherings have become the norm.

“People still need the message of Christmas, the true meaning, the hope and the love. And so how can we provide that for them in a safe way?” said the Rev. Jonathan Andersen, pastor of Harvest Point United Methodist Church in Locust Grove, Georgia, which is adapting its annual live Nativity, Return to Bethlehem, to share that story as safely as possible.

The church is shrinking the number of scenes and the length of the walking tour, in which guides lead small groups past a petting zoo and the city of Bethlehem, a semipermanent structure on the church’s campus. The number of masked guests in each group will be limited and the total event will be held on two days, Dec. 12 and 13, not three. Prayer will move outside afterward, around campfires “in a distanced way,” instead of ending inside the church.

This year, Andersen said, “The gift of it is everything’s different and people are open to change.”

On Roger Ebert’s last words…

Did you know these were Roger Ebert’s dying words?

It’s all an elaborate hoax
It’s all an elaborate hoax

There is a vastness that can’t be contained
Or described as a thought in the flesh of our brain
It’s everything, everywhere, future and past
Dissolving forever in an eternal flash.

More recommended reading here: Roger Ebert’s Dying Words, by R. Lucas Stamps at Mere Orthodoxy. A profound and beautiful meditation on the substantiality of the world to come.

…thankfully, the fraud of death has been exposed and on the other side: a vastness you can’t even imagine.

Seasonal shots of the week…

Santa chats with a child on Dec. 6 in Seattle.
Known as the Seattle Santa, he is usually booked for private events but is set up this year in a socially-distanced snow globe. (David Ryder/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 01: Guests enjoy the atmosphere during the Christmas at Kew Gardens press evening at Kew Gardens on December 01, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 02: A life size NY taxi Christmas ornament is seen on Fifth Avenue on December 2, 2020 in New York City. Many holiday events have been canceled or adjusted with additional safety measures due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

An assistant helps Pal Pillmayer, dressed as Santa Claus, as he prepares to interact with children by video chat, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Budapest, Hungary, November 30, 2020. Picture taken November 30, 2020. REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo

The library at Biltmore is decorated for the holidays. Borchers channeled the Vanderbilt family’s first Christmas at the Biltmore in Asheville, N.C., with classic elements in red, deep burgundy and gold. (Biltmore Company)

A car drives between snow-covered trees near Frankfurt, Germany on Dec. 8. (Michael Probst/AP)

A view of the Nativity in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, following the Christmas tree and nativity scene lighting ceremony, at the Vatican, Friday, Dec. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

It’s the most wonderful ad of the year…

Comments

  1. Susan Dumbrell says

    I think the razzle dazzle of Christmas is more evident in colder climes. No chance of snow where I live.
    Summer is slow in coming and the nights where I live are chilly. Howling gale here today and my sun bake was cancelled by me.
    Having not attempted Christmas shopping due to my ill health and surgery I have found time for contemplation and quiet phone calls and some emails to those I care for. Online shopping for my grandchildren,
    My visit to John on Christmas Day will be just to feed him. He wont know it is a special day. This is the man who lived to make our Church community work each Sunday and at feasts and festivals. They have long forgotten him.
    I live daily through the opportunity for prayer and contemplation. Possibly the quietest Christmas I have ever had.
    The celebrations when I was a child were very much around all the family sharing time at church, laughter, food and fellowship.
    I guess I live in those sweet memories.

    Susan

    • Susan, I’m glad they will let you visit John on Christmas Day, though the circumstances are difficult. My brother is forbidden to visit his wife in hospital with covid during this time. She is very ill. My sister in law served intensely and became ill about ten days ago. It’s bad.

      I hope Australia did a better job protecting its people than happened here. Soon, with the vaccine, things may be better. Sending hug.

      this time next year may we all be with the ones we love at this season again, God willing. . . . .

  2. Dan from Georgia says

    I like the 1:1 scale Taxi Christmas Ornament. Cool.

    Christmastime in Georgia. Many houses decorated with Christmas lights…sans snow…

    Meh.

    Christmas lights on homes with fresh snow on the ground…

    Now that’s more like it!

    (observation by a former Minnesotan)

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Dec.12 here in western Michigan: 40s, light rain, grass is still green, a few plants in the flower boxes still standing. Haven’t seen a White Christmas in a few years and this one does not look promising.

      I don’t mind. I own a large corner not – and that is a whole lot of sidewalk to shovel.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      We have had a foot of snow on the ground since the first week of November. And while it hasn’t been that cold (barely under freezing) till now, normal winter temperatures are in store as of this coming week. For reference that is night time often or even mostly below -20°C (-4 Fahrenheit) and daytime below -10 (14 Fahrenheit).

      Here being central Saskatchewan of course.

    • I believe our last white Christmas in the DC area was in 2009, when snow remained on the ground from a major storm a few days earlier. On the other hand, there are two possibilities for snow next week. I hope not, especially considering one of them is on Wednesday. I’m scheduled for an outpatient medical procedure on Wednesday morning at a facility about 10 miles from where I live. I live in an area where plenty of folks don’t know how to drive under optimal road conditions, much less in winter weather.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Larry, trust me, even in areas where it snows every winter, a large portion of people forget how to drive for the first 2 or 3 weeks of winter weather. Truly, it remains one of the great mysteries of human behaviour.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Yep, this is true. First snow every year I rejoice that I don’t drive anymore as all the hills up into the ‘hood will be blocked by cars spinning thier tires until they end up parked sideways.

          • Dan from Georgia says

            Ha! Same in Minnesota…that first few inches of snow in the Twin Cities results in over 1000 fender-benders.

    • Grew up in Minnesota/North Dakota and now live in South Carolina, so I understand the sentiment. I don’t miss the 4-5 months of those winters but I wouldn’t mind a couple of weeks around Christmastime.

      • Dan from Georgia says

        I do miss snow around Christmas, but I tell ya…mid January unitl April is not pretty in Minnesota…I’ve seen snow a few times in early May. Snow is not common here around ATL…when my wife and I moved down here in 2009-2010, we had snow on Christmas either 2010 or 2011…first time in over 100 years or so there was snow on the ground in Atlanta on Christmas.

        And for bragging rights for up Upper Midwesterners….coldest temps I have experience are around -30F (-34C) for low temp and about -15F (-26C) for high temp…Feb 2 1996. Yes I am a weather geek.

        Still, seeing Christmas lights glimmer on fresh snow is sooooo nostalgic and pretty.

  3. senecagriggs says

    Time Magazine has named Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as Person of the Year. Really?

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      More shocking: Time Magazine still exists? How on earth?

    • Demand a recount! Take it to the Supreme Court!

      • Texas GOP Chair is calling for secession as a result of SCOTUS decision. Should we call it treason? No? Why not?

        • Hey, at least this time Texas isn’t seceding so they can keep owning slaves. That’s a step up from the last two times they did it.

          • You know if the suit had won in SCOTUS, the votes of four states had been thrown out, and the Democratic Party Chair of a Blue state had called for secession as a result, this same TX GOP Chair would have called it treason.

            • I don’t know of anyone on the liberal side who is questioning the numbers and validity of Trump’s votes. They’re dismayed at the number, but you don’t hear them talking about how to disenfranchise them. That talk is all on the Republican side.

              • That’s because the Democrats won. They spent the last four years trying to delegitimize the Trump presidency with a bogus Russia investigation and a ridiculous impeachment. What Trump is doing now is pathetic, he needs to stop, those supporting him in this need to stop. But this is just a continuation of the crazy the Democrats started the moment Trump won in 2016. Now that they have won they want to pretend like they actually care about civility and not abandoning the historic norms our of politics. It’s a load of BS. If Trump had actually won there would still be cities burning in the protests.

                • Klasie Kraalogies says

                  “bogus Russia investigation”

                  Well as of February this year, Mueller’s team has charged eight Americans once affiliated with Trump’s campaign or administration, 13 Russian nationals, 12 Russian intelligence officers, three Russian companies, and two other people with federal crimes.

                  In addition, remember Flynn being pardoned by Trump a few weeks back? He had to be pardoned from doing something.

                  But I guess crimes are only crimes when “the other side” do it.

                  • He had to be pardoned from a partisan judge who refused to let the case go even after it was dropped. Flynn’s crime was supposedly lying to the FBI, even though the officials who actually interviewed him didn’t think he was lying, but rather misspoke.
                    And what were the federals crimes they were charged with? Did it have to do with Trump’s campaign itself, was there any evidence that Trump actually colluded with Russia? What was even the basis for the investigation? A fake and debunked intelligence report.

                    There is a lot of crazy in the Trump camp and he’s certainly not above doing whatever he can get away with for his advantage. But that doesn’t mean every allegation is true.

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      Cohen was sentenced because of Campaign finance violations.

                      The Russians and Russian companies were indicted because of targeted misinformation campaigns directed towards the presidential campaign.

                      Now we also know that the entire report is not available to the public. But it is clear that at the very minimum there was enough smoke to warrant an investigation. So to call it bogus is completely disingenuous. But investigations against the opposition is part of American political life. And not unique to Democrats. I seem to remember 10 investigations (6 of which were GOP Congressional ones) against the same person for the same reason that yielded the same result every time. A bit of overkill, right? I’m sure you are equally distressed at that….

                    • So no, there was no collusion, and really no warrant for the investigation, no warrant to spy on an opposing presidential campaign, no warrant to put the country through this mess. And saying “Well the GOP does it too.” Well yeah that’s the problem isn’t it? Neither side is doing what it ought for the good of the nation and the people who elected them.

                    • Uh, Jon. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee, headed by a Republican, confirmed Russian interference in the 2016 election in favor of DT and also confirmed that DT and his people welcomed that interference.

                      https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/04/21/senate-intel-report-confirms-russia-aimed-to-help-trump-in-2016-198171

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      Jon, you labour under misapprehension. Launching an investigation does not mean a guilty verdict is guaranteed. It means there is a possibility of guilt. Innocent until proven guilty, remember? What the investigations did find was a lot of evidence of corruption, but nothing that clearly indicated that collusion took place. So, it was a good investigation – it showed that there was a lot of smoke, but this was from a different fire.

                      Same with the Benghazi investigations. An investigation was warranted, but showed that while things could certainly have been done better, no guilt could be established. However, in that case, it was followed by another, and another, and another, and another… all trying to do the same thing with a different outcome.

                      To equivocate the 2 is simply profoundly dishonest. What I was showing was not both-sideism, but that what you accuse the one side of, the others had been doing clearly over and over and over again.

                      Not, btw, that I am particularly fond of the Democrats either. In a sense it is the Devil and the Deep Blue see, but we do have a boat….

                    • Klasie,
                      I just disagree, I am under no misapprehension. There was no legitimate reason for the investigation. Obviously an investigation is necessary to determine guilt, but even the launching of an investigation should require good evidence that the investigation is necessary. The only evidence they had was a dossier that the intelligence community already knew was full of false information. Personally I think their real goal was to use the Russian investigation to hopefully find some legitimate dirt they could use against him.
                      The Hillary investigation at least involved something that actually happened. And quite frankly if she was just an ordinary citizen and not the former first lady and secretary of state, she probably would be in jail. But once it became clear that nothing would come of it, the Republicans should have just dropped it, but it was too convenient of a weapon to use campaigning against her.

                    • Mike,
                      What they basically amounts to is the Russians put out some fake stories, and Donald Trump’s people were happy about it as long as it helped them. No surprise there. Still not collusion. Still not the basis of the investigation. And quite frankly fake news from Russia is not nearly as concerning as our own people in the media happily suppressing stories that might hurt their preferred candidate?

                    • Jon, in addition the Muller investigation came up with a number of credible instances of obstruction of justice. So, what we have is: a general agreement among our intelligence agencies and investigators that the Russians indeed interfered in our election (more than just a few fake FB posts, by the way), that the Trump team was open to them (I didn’t say collusion, I don’t think that’s been proven), and that Trump actively tried to obstruct justice in several instances. Add to that all of his associates that did get convicted of crimes and corrupt actions.

                      That to me is no witch hunt. Those were the findings of investigators doing their job in the service of overseeing a president and his administration. The fact that he escaped losing his job is more the result of the Democrats being in a minority position when it came to actual power to do anything.

                      Trump has simply been the most corrupt and divisive POTUS ever. End of story. Any impartial look at his life and his resume would find that he conducted himself as POTUS in the same way he lived his entire life and career. As a self-absorbed, corrupt, and, indeed, criminal con man and mob boss. He saved himself by somehow using this partisan moment to brainwash almost an entire political party and a substantial number of Americans to make tribal loyalty to his persona more important than the good of our country.

                • What Trump is dong now is not just pathetic, it is the express route to destroying any coherence this country still has. I don’t remember the Democrats or Trump adversaries filing fifty + frivolous losing lawsuits after the 2016 election to discard tens of millions of votes, nor do I remember them calling members of their own party — Democratic leaders— traitors and agents of foreign countries in an attempt to force loyalty to Clinton’s baseless claims that there was systemic fraud enabled by Democratic state leaders. None of this do I remember. Do you?

                  • Robert, no they didn’t take that route. They just took the route of doing everything thing they could, legitimate or not, to kick Trump out of office and make his election seem illegitimate.

                    • 106 Congressional Republicans, that is more than half of House Republicans, supported the TX AG’s attempt via that suit before the Supreme Court, to have my vote as a Pennsylvanian, along with the votes of tens of millions of other Americans in four states, discarded to overturn this election. When they say the political is personal, well it doesn’t get anymore personal than this.

                    • “to kick Trump out of office and make his election seem illegitimate.

                      Again, that is not the reality, though I understand that T-rumpers like to say that in response to what may be an inferiority complex.

                      No one said after the 2016 election that the election was not legitimate. Rather, about half the nation has constantly said that Trump is not FIT for the office–which he continuously proves of himself.

                    • Thank you, Tom. The idea that Trump’s opponents “didn’t accept the results of the election” is one of those oft repeated canards in conservative politspeak. What if Hillary Clinton had acted like DT in 2016 — when the election was closer and the results so much more surprising? She would have been flayed alive as the most un-American person ever.

                    • And what he’s doing now proves we were right about his not being fit. And a majority of the Republican members of the House are not fit either, as evidenced by their signing on to an attempt to get the SCOTUS to throw out tens of millions of votes.

                  • Trump’s presidency was an incredibly divisive one. But it is not like the Democrats have been working hard to repair that division, to set an example of true statesmanship and unity, over these last four years, or even in the years before that. And until people wake up to the fact that the fault really does lie on both sides, and start calling out the corruption and erosion of political norms from both sides, it won’t get any better.

                    • How does one repair a division with people who reject the rule of law and the rights of those whom they disagree with?

                      https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/12/voter-fraud/617354/

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      I think both Bush and Obama really tried to make it work, but Bush got blindsided by 9-11 and Obama worked against a headwind even from the beginning.

                      There’s no money in unity these days.

                      Nothing compares to what we’re currently going through.

                    • Burro, I think you are wrong on both. The country was probably more united after 9-11 than any other time in my life. It was with the Iraq war debacle, that really had nothing to with 9-11 but used 9-11 as a pretext, that Bush became truly divisive. And Obama was divisive from the start, which I’m sure many on here will attribute to racism, but that wasn’t really the problem. It was the condescension with which he treated people who disagreed with him, the “clinger” comment and “You didn’t build that” that got things rolling and it only got worse from there.

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      “The country was more united….” For how long? Do you even remember the anti-war protests in February 2003. Estimates of between 300,000 and 400,000 in NYC alone. San Francisco’s estimate for Sunday 16 Feb was about 200,000.

                      And in retrospect the protestors were shown to be right.

                    • No I don’t, honestly. Were they over invading Iraq or going after the Taliban? If it was about Iraq, then yes they were right.

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      You ought to give more attention Jon. I was living in South Africa at the time and we were well aware – as was most of the world.

                      It was over Iraq. The US got involved well before that in Afghanistan.

                      Seriously, what do they teach them in these schools… ? 😉

                    • I know America was involved in Afghanistan before that, I didn’t know what the particular protests you mentioned were over. I was still in college and protests in New York and San Francisco didn’t really concern me, so even if I heard about it, I just don’t remember it.

                    • Burro (Mule) says

                      It was Bush’s response to 9-11 that caused the divisions. The attack on the Taliban was popular at the time, even though I knew no one had pacified Afghanistan since, what, Genghis Khan?

                      If we had doubled down on internal security and a full court press on Israel to establish a single secular state solution, I think we would have been much better off, and the world would be far more stable.

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      Those were just the biggest. While protests were held across the US and the world, here are some other US cities that had major protests:

                      LA, Austin, Seattle, Palm Beach, Colorado Springs, Philadelphia, Chicago, Palm Beach, Gainesville, Juneau, etc. etc. etc.

                    • Again, just not important enough to me at the time to etch in my memory that in February of 2003 there were protests against the war in Iraqi. But if you actually read what I wrote, I said it was with the Iraq war that Bush truly became divisive after 9-11

                    • What I don’t get is how tRump can break so many established constitutional bounds and remain in office for his full term.

                      Jon, you’re blaming the divisiveness on people who didn’t vote for Tweetster, when the real problem is that Republicans for decades and now in conjunction with the berserk cheeto head kid in the Oval Office are speeding full throttle in the direction of total victory or burned earth.

                • “They spent the last four years trying to delegitimize the Trump presidency…”

                  Not true.

                  They, and I, have said all along that tRump is NOT FIT for the office–and he continues to prove that point. I never nor did Dems challenge the legitimacy of his election.

              • Well you can certainly read twitter comments about how these voters should be locked up, and, in one tweet, ‘sent to the gulag’.

                • Twitter comments by randos, sure. How about party leadership?

                  • Adam Tauno Williams says

                    +1

                    Twitter is not a source.

                    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                      It is when Donald Trump or Q-Anon is tweeting.
                      Then it’s more than a source — Inerrant SCRIPTURE!

                    • The president’s tweets are all source documents for future historians. Not that they’re factual, but as the written words of a president trying to influence politics and the public.

                      And if we’re reading the president’s tweets daily, whenever he decries ‘FAKE NEWS!” we can remind him that our primary source is his Twitter account.

                  • well I wasn’t claiming that. I decided that, for once, I would contribute to this particular ‘conversation’ that often seems to lack good faith and generous interpretation of other comments.

                    • perhaps ‘Jon’ is communicating from St. Petersburg? I shouldn’t be surprised at all.
                      Russian security forces are promoting great divisiveness in our country and they are promoting also hatred of China as our ‘enemy’.

                      Russia will not suceed. It feeds its oligarchs on the strength of its own people’s earnings and drains the people of what is theirs. . . . .

                      Sounds a lot like trumpo of the ‘transactional loyalty’ aimed at himself or else he threatens those who do not play ball.

                      Good riddance to Russian influence. Biden knows Russia for what it is, an oligarchy run by a dictator, and Biden is free from Putin’s grasp.

        • I keep telling you guys – the two sides are so far apart and so polarized that they can no longer live together in peace. I fear it’s going to happen – the only question being how violent the process will be.

          • This guy doesn’t mean it. He doesn’t want to secede. He’s just pandering to the Trump base for political reasons. But he’s playing with fire, because he underestimates how much the Trump base does mean it, and thinks secession would be a solution.

            • Exactly.

            • I’m already hearing this kinda “overthrow” crap on FB feeds. Trump has deluded his base so much that they’re ready to go nuts. And his “off with the heads of anyone who I don’t like, even those once loyal who’ve turned against me” nonsense puts EVERYONE in jeopardy from crazed Trump believers, except for those who continue down the path of the crazed, nutty narrative he’s placed in their heads.

              • This is what Klasie meant when he once said that fascism is not just a threat to those it targets for oppression, but also for those whose interests it claims to support and represent.

                • What I’m seeing right now is less Hitler-ish and more Stalin-esque. Hitler rarely had loyalists go against him, or at least he rarely got paranoid about them. Stalin… man o man… if he felt someone had gone against him… PURGE! Even his most loyal folks got taken down by his paranoia and feelings of being slighted.

                  If I were a Trump loyalist, I’d be a bit worried. “Toe the party line or else, Komrade!”

    • Trump was person of the year in 2016. Quit whining. 😛

      • He’s even been nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes, three of them, if I’m not mistaken!!!

        Let’s see if Biden/Harris can accomplish that feat! Let’s see if Seneca goes crazy if they do!

    • Seneca, if it makes you feel better, Time’s Person of the Year award has also gone to Hitler, Stalin, Khrushchev, Nixon, and the Ayatollah Khomeini.

      And Greta, last year.

      Also Giuliani, after 9/11, but he’s not nearly as hard to spell as Khrushchev, it turns out.

      They’re saving next year for you.

    • Steve Newell says

      I would have prefer to see American Health Workers are “Heroes of the Year”.

    • I think it should have been Anthony Fauci.

    • How did you feel about Time’s selection for 1980?

    • I did have a chuckle at the Biden/Harris “Person of the Year” Time thing myself. I mean, talk about an unsurprising, yawn-inducing announcement…

  4. Cis Straight White Man says he is not political, and in the same statement says that one party in the USA will end up with a genocidal leader because of reasons. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t terrifying.

    • The reasons seem pretty self evident at this juncture…

    • Was thinking the same thing.

    • He says America has been turned into an us vs. them society in recent times, but he’s wrong. It has always been an us vs. them society. He mistakenly thinks that the relative quiet of earlier times — which weren’t really as quiet as he thinks they were — was due to greater unanimity, when, to the extent that it actually existed, it was really due to oppression and suppression of other voices. This is the conservative error.

      • Yes, the difference is that “they” are speaking up and being heard.

        • And the conservatives don’t like it – oh, how they don’t like it.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Indeed. Statements like this

          “and the Democrats are going full bore socialist secularists who’ll eventually get their own Mao and deny it while trying to silence people like me.”

          indicate that he doesn’t actually listen to what the opposition is saying, trivializes the horrors of Mao and the deaths of millions, and frankly speaking, makes just another privileged idiot.

          As the rest of the world keeps on pointing out – you don’t even have a major left wing party in the US. A few Democrats are left of centre, but the party as a whole is centrist to right of centre. And the GOP under trump is on the far right (they used to be a mix of far right and centre right, but the centre right wing has been decimated). So any use of the words communist or Mao or Stalin or whatnot shows profound ignorance, if not clownish idiocy.

          • Exactly. Profound ignorance is in great supple.

          • Burro (Mule) says

            Erik Erikson is an Atlanta radio personality who came under the tutelage of the odious Neal Boortz. These guys are everywhere on the radio down here. Boortz was a Randian libertarian who was always pushing the flat tax and tried to convince everyone that it was to our best interests to let the rich keep all their swag. After all, don’t you want to keep yours when you get it?

            . Erikson kinda came up behind him as a kindler, gentler, corporate shill who positioned himself as a ‘muh Constitution’ kinda guy. The degree to which Donald Trump was willing to disregard the Constitution to get what he wanted shook him up a bit. I think it shook a lot of people up, including me. But Erikson’s taking baby steps. To expect him to say anything nice about Democrats when you’ve built your career telling people they are mostly homosexuals and their Black enablers is asking a lot.

            I think the AM radio “talk” show industry carries a lot of blame for the polarization of our country, and it didn’t start forty-five minutes ago

            But yeah, comparing even the most liberal Democrats to Chairman Mao is still irresponsible and a ‘dog returning to his vomit’ as it were. I have to say I have been impressed by Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossof, Stacy Abrams, Brian Kemp, and Brad Raffensberger, but the point is, they were just doing their jobs. I shouldn’t be so impressed with people who are just playing by the rules the way political candidates, activists, and public servants are supposed to.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              > they were just doing their jobs.

              But these days…

              • “They were just doing their jobs. . . ”

                Wasn’t that Eichmann’s defense?

                • Burro (Mule) says

                  You didn’t read me very closely.

                  Kemp and Raffensberger , despite being GOP officials and Trump supporters, stood up to Trump’s bluster and certified the election. They did the right thing by doing their jobs.

            • Klasie Kraalogies says

              Stacey Abrahams in particular is an exceptional individual. I listened to a podcast where David Tenant had a conversation with her. You can find it on Spotify under “David Tenant does a podcast with…” . Highly recommended.

            • Talk radio: I first became aware of Rush Limbaugh around 1990. I was in my car, surfing the radio, and stumbled across him. My initial reaction was that he was hilarious: a pitch perfect parody of the right wing radio blowhard. Only gradually did my mistake dawn on me.

              • Don’t forget that Rush Limbaugh is an entertainer first and a political commentator second. He worked in radio for years before getting into politics and eventually starting his nationally syndicated show. Yes, he can be a blowhard at times, but his show would have never taken off had he not found some way to keep his audience engaged. In a day and age when radio stations typically employ personalities for only a few years at most, the fact that Limbaugh’s show has remained essentially unchanged for 32 years and counting is quite remarkable.

                In addition, Rush Limbaugh been credited with saving the AM radio band from extinction, something which delights this old DX listener with childhood memories of picking up out-of-town stations on his small transistor radio.

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  Rush Limbaugh was also Donald Trump’s John the Baptist/Elijah figure, as prophesied here by Internet Monk some 11 years ago:
                  https://internetmonk.com/archive/the-limbaughization-of-evangelicals

                  Take a Limbaughized American Evangelical Church, let ferment for a decade or two with a diet of even more late-period Limbaugh, introduce a New Christ/Messiah figure come in the flesh in Donald J Trump, and why shouldn’t you get what’s happening now?.

                  Rush Limbaugh was Elijah/John the Baptist, Preparing Ye the Way of The LORD.
                  (Or the Silver Surfer, Herald of Galactus. Take your pick.)

                  • Trump as ‘a new Messiah figure’????

                    no way can I understand this, no

                    and yet the evidence comes proudly from the mouths of evangelicals in their comments, and all I could ever think of was ‘Boy Howdy, what kind of SOURCES of information have they been feeding on?’

                    I blamed the sources, the mis-information, but I did not skip straight to blaming the evangelicals that I saw as VICTIMS of that misinformation.

                    I’m going to hold on and wait and hope for some ‘epiphany’ to come to them that reveals the evil of trumpism, but how many have to die of covid before they will even BEGIN to understand all the lies and manipulation of trumpism? How many?

                    My family has two ill now (nurses). One physician in the family tests ‘positive’, has moved out of his family’s home to a temporary hotel-apartment to shelter for a time, as his wife also a doctor is pregnant now and they have a small child also. So for me now the cries of ‘it’s a hoax’ from Christians who are evangelicals has so much more meaning personally, as I see my own family struggle because so many in trumpland cannot find their way to some common sense behavior around a dangerous novel virus.

                    It’s hard. I love my evangelical friends. I won’t abandon them. It’s not a choice I have that I can make in good conscience. I hope for somethings to change soon for the better, for healing, for the Sun to come out again, for ‘winter’ to be over in evangelical Narnia. . . . . The evangelicals need their Aslan now. More than ever. some thoughts

            • thatotherjean says

              People just doing their jobs stand out from the political crowd, because so many of their fellows (Do Trumpists count as politicians, or just cult members?) do not.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            > you don’t even have a major left wing party in the US. … And the GOP under trump is on the far right

            Yep.

            It is hard not to snort out loud when someone talks about AOC’s extremism.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              AOC is also young and inexperienced, with the Angry Young Activist Syndrome. I expect her to mellow out with experience.

              • Oh, I wouldn’t be so sure about that. We here in the Seattle area have a left-wing nutcase on the City Council who is the flipside of the Trump coin… anyone who doesn’t see things through her leftwing lenses gets her ridicule and the ridicule of her semi-nutty fan base. And I don’t see HER changing/mellowing any time soon.

                Idealists… hard-core idealists… rarely change. Especially when they already have a core fan base to propel them.

              • thatotherjean says

                I hope so. Her heart is in the right place, but she needs to grow up a bit as a politician and learn to work with people who don’t agree with every word she says. If she can, I expect her to be a political. force for a long time to come.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            So any use of the words communist or Mao or Stalin or whatnot shows profound ignorance, if not clownish idiocy.

            It reminds me of the John Birch Society during the Cold War — “THE COMMUNISTS! THE COMMUNISTS! THE COMMUNISTS!”

            What do you think the Court Evangelical Code Words “Cultural Marxism” mean?

            And there’s always been an overlap between Birchers and Born-Again Christians.

            When BIrcher John Schmitz inherited the American Independent Party after George Wallace got shot in ’72, I remember his political ad flyers that looked and read like Jack Chick tracts, complete with “WHAT SHOULD WE DO?” at the end including PRAY! and several chapter-and-verse Bible quotes.

            Radio preacher named Billy James Hargis opening his half-hour sermon shows with “Billy James Hargis — For Christ AND AGAINST COMMUNISM!”

    • Ben Cribbin says

      Does it matter that he is cis, straight, and a man etc?

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        It does. It places him in 3 privileged classes right there. And obviously he is not in the poorer class (happy to be corrected), nor is he an immigrant. And he is also in the religious majority. So, unless he is disabled, he basically, in terms of intersectionality, holds the royal flush so to speak.

        • “So, unless he is disabled, he basically, in terms of intersectionality, holds the royal flush so to speak”

          You seem to forget he may be ugly, short, burly, big-headed and whatnot. My point is that the intersectionality thing is apparently contributing close to zero in any serious efforts to address the (many) issues of our society, and of all the West in general. The thinking that “the higher on the intersectional oppression pyramid (i.e. the more oppressed), the more morally superior you are” is pitting groups against each other in a race to the bottom: striving to show which group is the most oppressed one. I don’t see much help in embracing these ideas that clearly echo Marx, Nietzsche, and especially Foucault. Would it perhaps be better to stay with the traditional Christian morality and make adjustments to it, rather than hit uncharted waters with those three? Just a thought.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Unchartered waters? Really?

            Also, being oppressed does not make you morally superior. I have yet to see that argument made by people that are actually experiencing suppression (I am not talking about those that make a life of imagining oppression).

            “Traditional Christian morality”. Define tradition, or better still, pick which tradition you want – and from how long ago. Also define Christian, and who is included and who not. And finally, define morality.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            Also, this “intersectionality thing” is not what you say deem it to be. Here is a good intro:

            “There may not be a word in American conservatism more hated right now than “intersectionality.” On the right, intersectionality is seen as “the new caste system” placing nonwhite, non-heterosexual people on top.

            To many conservatives, intersectionality means “because you’re a minority, you get special standards, special treatment in the eyes of some.” It “promotes solipsism at the personal level and division at the social level.” It represents a form of feminism that “puts a label on you. It tells you how oppressed you are. It tells you what you’re allowed to say, what you’re allowed to think.” Intersectionality is thus “really dangerous” or a “conspiracy theory of victimization.”

            This is a highly unusual level of disdain for a word that until several years ago was a legal term in relative obscurity outside academic circles. It was coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw to describe how race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics “intersect” with one another and overlap. “Intersectionality” has, in a sense, gone viral over the past half-decade, resulting in a backlash from the right.

            In my conversations with right-wing critics of intersectionality, I’ve found that what upsets them isn’t the theory itself. Indeed, they largely agree that it accurately describes the way people from different backgrounds encounter the world. The lived experiences — and experiences of discrimination — of a black woman will be different from those of a white woman, or a black man, for example. They object to its implications, uses, and, most importantly, its consequences, what some conservatives view as the upending of racial and cultural hierarchies to create a new one.

            But Crenshaw isn’t seeking to build a racial hierarchy with black women at the top. Through her work, she’s attempting to demolish racial hierarchies altogether.”

            From here: https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/5/20/18542843/intersectionality-conservatism-law-race-gender-discrimination

            • Klasie, reply refers to both this post and your previous one.

              “Unchartered waters? Really?” Well, yes, because Marx has never been tried in the West, even as we already know the utter failure in the East. I would say he and he other two gonzos, plus Sartre maybe, make for the quasi-deadly mix we see within leftism today, ask J.K. Rowling, Bari Weiss, Bret Weinstein et al for more info (and please note I’m not talking “socialism” in the ridiculous meaning that most Trumpians/Repubs/Conservatives talk in this country).

              “I have yet to see that argument made by people that are actually experiencing suppression (I am not talking about those that make a life of imagining oppression).”
              That’s because it’s a tough & fallen world in general, but I would say the latter are those who shape public opinion in a much greater extent than the former, see especially the fragile DiAngelo still milking with a not-so-fragile success the fragile cow of white fragility.

              As to defining “traditional Christian morality” I abstain, because it’s not a subject for a blog post. But reading the history of the Western civilization may be a good start.

              “To many conservatives, intersectionality means…” Not sure why you are placing me among conservatives, but anyway.

              “coined in 1989 by professor Kimberlé Crenshaw…” I just demurred placing her among the other blokes, whom for some reason you totally ignore in your otherwise detailed replies.

              “it accurately describes the way people from different backgrounds encounter the world.” No contention here, but you seem to have missed my point, which was that there’s no reason to stop at sex & race…why not keep adding oppressed categories ad infinitum?

              “..Crenshaw…is attempting to demolish racial hierarchies altogether.” I think BLM, DiAngelo, Kendi etc would seem to disagree.

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                To many conservatives etc is all part of the quote. I have never managed blockquotes. Everything after “intro:” is part of the quote.

                JK Rowling is an ass, but if nasty comments on Twitter is persecution, the word has lost its meaning. Weiss and Weinstein I had to look up.

                I really invite you to think about the difference between these examples, and being constantly afraid because your skin colour make it so much likelier to get shot, or being constantly afraid of not being able to afford rent or food, or constantly on the look-out because someone might sexually assault you, or having to hide your sexuality because it endangers you all the time. Or being followed in shops as per Mule’s example elswhere here.

                So excuse me for being unimpressed by the conservative idiocy and bile.

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                Violence against sexual minorities (ie non hetero or cis people) in Canada is more than double that of the rest of the population, according to StatCan. From that report:

                “Significant differences were also observed between sexual minority and heterosexual Canadians with regard to the prevalence of sexual assault in the past 12 months. More than triple the proportion of sexual minority Canadians (7%) reported that they had been sexually assaulted than did heterosexual Canadians (2%)—a difference consistent with what was seen for lifetime prevalence”

                (see the rest here: https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/85-002-x/2020001/article/00009-eng.htm).

                We can look at the same statistics for people of colour, minority religions etc etc. This is what it is about. While it is not impossible (as I previously mentioned) that some people will react in ridiculous ways, that does not invalidate the concerns of intersectionality, nor of social justice, nor of human rights. And it certainly does not justify hate campaigns by people of power.

                • “it so much likelier to get shot”

                  With all due respect, this is not backed up by data, in respect to colour, at least in the USA. Not sure about Canada but as far as I know there have been no particular issues of “police hunting minorities” there. But if you insist that Canada is more racist & more violent than the USA, I digress. As for the same in respect to sexual orientation, I agree.
                  However, your data about Canada (or from this country, or from any other Western society) don’t say anything at all as to why the traditional Christian morality, or the traditional liberalism, should be incapable of addressing the issues in question.

                  “that does not invalidate the concerns of intersectionality, nor of social justice, nor of human rights”

                  Nope, what invalidates them big time is seeing the whole society, absolutely everything, through the lens of “oppressor & oppressed”, adding the lens of race for good measure, if you don’t agree I refer you to his Anti-Racist Excellency Ibram Kendi

                  “excuse me for being unimpressed by the conservative idiocy and bile.”

                  You are excused because I feel the same about the conservative idiocy and bile, I simply dare add some woke & SJW idiocy (see: attack on statues) and bile into the mix.

                  But what I noticed is that in all these exchanges you have not addressed what I posted on my first comment, you have chosen to bring up tangential issues. And that does say a lot!

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            The thinking that “the higher on the intersectional oppression pyramid (i.e. the more oppressed), the more morally superior you are”

            It’s just more Virtue Signalling, the generic version of “Holier Than Thou”.
            With the same attitudes, actions, and side effects.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              P.S. And when you factor in “the more oppressed”, you get PERSECUTION PORN!

              Don’t tell me you haven’t seen this all before, in a God-talk context.

            • “generic version of “Holier Than Thou””
              Yes, basically leading to the same divisions of society in “four legs good” and “two legs bad” which have not shown any glorious results wherever practiced so far.

              • Klasie Kraalogies says

                Other than social media types, can you provide me with any evidence that this actually occurs (nevermind if it is widespread)?

                • “can you provide me with any evidence that this actually occurs…?

                  See Rick Ro.’s comment not far above.

                  • Klasie Kraalogies says

                    That is not an example of intersectionality used as a clobber (unless you can point to specific examples). Intersectionality is not a synonym for left wing either.

                    So try again

                    • “That is not an example of intersectionality…”

                      Nope, it was for the “good” v “bad” division,….I never said IS is exclusivity of the left, but that’s where is more prominent now…it always takes two to tango! Like for the division thing!

                    • Klasie Kraalogies says

                      Takes 2 to tango is also a standard response when their is marital discord because one party is an abuser.

                      Idiotic aphorisms are not arguments.

                    • “Idiotic aphorisms are not arguments.”

                      The force of your argument, i.e. calling common aphorisms or sayings “idiotic” is tremendously impressive!

              • Two-Headed Hydra
                R. Rosenkranz (2008)

                When did our democracy
                morph into a monster,
                become a hideous two-headed hydra.

                One head pulls left
                toward the bottomless abyss
                of Big Government,
                a free-fall into entitlements for all,
                believing everyone deserves something,
                never mind the cost.

                The other head pulls right
                toward the dark pit
                of Big Business,
                a plunge toward unbridled greed,
                believing people deserve whatever they can get,
                never mind the cost.

                Meanwhile the masses,
                who just want to move forward
                along the path of life and liberty,
                are left to wonder why there aren’t other heads,
                ones more interested in what’s best for the body.

                But there are just those two heads,
                pulling in opposite directions,
                tearing the whole in half.

        • John Scalzi compare this to playing a video game on the easy setting. You still have to play the game, but you have an easier time of it than someone playing on a harder setting.

          • Burro (Mule) says

            So, help me out here. Like you were talking to a fifth grader.

            My life on easy is that no one suspects me when I walk into the Apple store. When I go in with Hiram, who is black, some of the people there go on alert, even though he’s in his seventies and I’m the one who knows better how to disable the security and actually could steal something.

            What should be done?

            • Klasie Kraalogies says

              To be honest, what should be done is not an easy question. Diversity training for employees can help (a fair amount of people are simply not aware of the biases, and honestly will try and be better). Legislation against discrimination in general can only go so far.

              Basically, cultural evolution takes time. But think of the difference in society from only 30 years ago – we have come along way. But change takes one person at a time. And speaking up against arseholery in person, and leading by example, are the best.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              What should be done?

              Use Hiram as the decoy if you actually DO rip off the Apple Store?

              • Back in an earlier life I was an hourly grunt in a Walmart. I don’t know if they still do this, but they would sometimes test store security by sending in employees from a different store to shoplift. I desperately wanted to do with, teaming up with my black buddy from the electronics department as the decoy. Sadly, we never got to try this.

        • It would seem he is a very privileged individual. A statement of fact, not a moral indictment.

          Of the list, the only category that I think would almost universally denote privilege is ‘able-bodied’.

          The others may, they may not. It’s not so obvious that being a man necessarily conveys privilege, when set against other more obvious categories: class (in the UK), and wealth for example. Then there’s the question of personality, and how one fits in a competitive environment.

          As I said, he would seem to possess many advantages. And that might matter if the intent is to comment (kindly and fairly) on his blind spots. Kindly and fairly being the optimum words.

      • Yes. It absolutely does. It is easy to pretend to not be political when you are in the privileged classes. The status quo and upholding the status quo is often considered apolitical, whereas any change is considered political. So, a person who is doing OK in general can afford to ignore “politics” because they don’t see that the world needs to change. But if you are being oppressed, you can’t ignore politics or be apolitical.

        • Burro (Mule) says

          And if he openly engages in politics to retain his privileges?

          • By becoming “non political”, that is what he is doing. Choosing not to act is still a choice. He is upholding the status quo, which is a political act.

            And of course, this is ignoring the fact that in a statement about how he isn’t political he states that Democrats will end up with Mao.

            • Maintaining the status quo as a political act: My go-to example is from baseball history. In 1867 a “colored” club tried to join the Pennsylvania state association. This was soon enough after the Civil War that northerners felt awkward about rejecting them, but reject them they did. Later that year there was a rumor that they might try to join the national association. The association preempted this by passing a motion excluding any club with any “colored” members. This motion was praised in the straight, cis, male, middle class, white press, for keeping politics out of baseball. There was no hint of irony.

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            This is the thing:. Evey one is political.

            The person who says “I don’t do politics” is most definitely making a political statement:. I’m fine with the status-qou..

            Pretending you can opt-out is arrogant and obnoxious. There is the option to not say anything.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              “Everything Ees POLITICAL Matter” was also the shtick of the Soviet Union (and its Third World imitators).

              And they’re not the only ones who turned Politics into a Fundamentalist Religion. When you get followed up the stairs and even into the bathrooom to get Lectured about Politics, there’s something seriously wrong. All that’s missing are the POLITICAL versions of the Romans Road and/or Four Spiritual Laws tracts.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      “””Cis Straight White Man says he is not political, and in the same statement says that one party in the USA will end up with a genocidal leader because of reasons. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t terrifying.”””

      +1,000,000,000,000,000,000

      When society has so normalized your politics you cannot recognize it as politics.

    • He didn’t say he wasn’t political, he said he was less political and described his lack of faith that things will actually change.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Next step:
        Make the Rapture Bet.
        “This world is not my Home… I’m Just Passin’ Thru…”

        “Twinkle Twinkle coming Christ —
        BEAM ME UP TO PARADISE!”

  5. I can say from personal experience that the Christmas lights at Kew Gardens are just as spectacular in person…

  6. it’s December —
    every day is waiting
    for serious snow

  7. HUMBUG!

    Sorry, couldn’t help it…

  8. “I’m a Christian who thinks a lot of Christians have turned politics into religion. I’m a husband who wants to take care of my wife. I’m a dad who just wants to raise my kids to love Jesus and improve their community.” People will probably focus on everything else he said, but that’s the money quote right there.

    Good Brunch today.

    • Burro (Mule) says

      I think he might have started out that way, and nostalgically wants to get back to it.
      I hope he can find his way back.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Isn’t that Rabbi from Nazareth supposed to meet us where we are, not in Grand Visions of Political Turnover to Perfection but in our daily life of “raising my kids and improving my community”?

      Isn’t Judaism the faith that emphasizes “Live your Life!” instead of always preparing for Heavenly Utopia?

      A Heavenly Utopia like Screwtape coaching Wormwood to keep his patient/prey constantly “Living in the Future” for much the same reasons?

  9. senecagriggs says

    PFIZER VACCINATION; ONE MAN’S STORY.
    ______

    I think I mentioned a couple of months back that I had volunteered and been accepted into the Pfizer Covid Protocol
    ___

    My experience with the two shots
    First shot, I didn’t feel particularly good the next day, I had gone out and played 9 holes of golf. I didn’t know if I had gotten the placebo shot or the real vaccine.. Though I didn’t feel real good [ or real bad ] I determined I couldn’t really judge what I had got. Another friend of mind, also in his 70s, had gone thru the protocol and experienced chills and other other mild symptoms after the first shot.

    With my booster shot, 10 hrs later I was very achy when I went to bed; popped a couple of Tylenol twice in the next 24 hrs. The next day I was pretty exhausted. Didn’t got anywhere, just layed around. When I woke up the next day, I was “good to go.” I did NOT experience any nausea but I didn’t feel like eating either. So that’s my personal experience with the Pfizer Vaccine. Physically and psychologically I tend to take things in stride. If you’re quite sensitive physically, you might have more discomfort. Everybody is different.

    • Klasie Kraalogies says

      So do you know if actually got the vaccine or the placebo? Other than your own experience.

      • senecagriggs says

        No, I doubted I had the real deal after the first shot but after the booster I checked other sources and was as sure as i could possibly be that I had the actual vaccine.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Ah. I do envy you. Here in SK the rollout will be elderly, high risk and health workers vaccinated by April, then the rest of us thereafter. It will be awhile before moi gets it…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Same priorities here in CA.
            First health workers, then nursing home high-risks; that’s all they have announced right now.

            After which the fight begins as to who’s next in line. “First Responders” is the expected, then “essential workers” where the real “ME, not Thee!” Game of Thrones will kick off. Still better than the “Kiss My Ring or You Get Nothing!” I’d be putting big money on if Trump was still “Absolute Authority” after Jan 20.

            And Pfizer’s not the only vaccine in town. Moderna (similar but can be stored at normal freezer temperatures instead of heavy-duty cryogenic temps) is expected to be approved next, then Oxford (which stores at refrigerator temperatures and costs less than half per dose) in a few weeks. I’m still wondering about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine which needs only ONE shot instead of two a month apart.

            And yes, the vaccines cause “flu-like symptoms” for a day or two after injection. This is actually very common for anti-viral vaccines in general. Which is why in the Stage 3 trials the placebo was usually a meningitis vaccine to produce similar side effects.

            P.S. I understand the Oxfoed vaccine (AKA AstraZenica) was developed with global distribution in mind — including to Third World countries without the high-tech storage needed for the Pfizer/Moderna vaccines and/or too poor to afford the more expensive ones. This leads to the possiblility of Pfizer/Moderna being used in the First World countries and Oxford in the Third World.

            Russia and China also have vaccines in Stage 2 or 3, but these would most likely be for internal domestic use — Nobody outside of Russia trusts their Sputnik 5 vaccine, China’s population (and required number of doses) is so Huge, and both countries have a de facto “RUSSIA/CHINA FIRST” protocol.

    • My wife had a shingles vaccination a couple of weeks ago. That night she started feeling achy. For the next 2 days she couldn’t hardly get out of bed and took Tylenol and Advil like candy, and had 100 deg fever. After the 3rd day she started to feel better. She had the shingles years ago and her body was fighting off what it thought was another bout. That’s why the second COVID shot causes more side-effects – it means the first one worked!

      • senecagriggs says

        My goodness, your wife had a strong reaction. I would consider mine a lot intense.

        • My wife had a bad reaction to the first shot of the new shingles vaccine. Her PCP told her she should not get the second shot, even though she’s had shingles outbreaks twice in the last few years — it would be too risky that her reaction to another shot would be even worse. She also won’t be able to take the Pfizer vaccine, since it is not safe for people like her with a history of severe allergic reactions, as the rollout in the UK has shown, even though she is at high risk for a serious case of COVID due to comorbidity. We hope the Moderna vaccine will be okay for her.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        That WAS a strong reaction.

        As for the Pfizer COVID vaccine, I heard (radio news source) that the first shot alone confers about 50% effectiveness within one week after injection and the second booster ups that to over 90%. MedCram’s reportage of the vaccines as they come available states that for both Pfizer and Moderna, if infected after vaccination (the 10% where it didn’t prevent infection) the case is much less severe — no fatalities, next to no hospitalizations. Sounds like even if you catch COVID after being vaccinated, it gets cut down to something like an average bout of the flu. No word yet on whether you can still be infectious (i.e. a carrier/spreader) after vaccination, or how long the vaccine immunity lasts. Dr Fauci on the latter estimates “more than one year and less than 20”, because this can only be known over time.

        And like the Sabin Vaccine superseded the Salk Polio Vaccine, there will probably be more advanced second-generation COVID vaccines coming out over the next few years; the ones talked about target a different “N-Protein” on the virus which would mutate much less than the current-target spike proteins and could confer permanent immunity.

      • A couple months back I got a flu vaccine, TDap, and first does of shingles vaccine all at the same time. That night, I thought I was gonna die: feverish (but no fever), difficulty breathing, the world went spinning, I thought I was gonna need my wife to drive me to the ER.

        I’m still of the belief it was the shingles shot that did me in. I’m due for my second/final dose, but kind of afraid to take it!

        • Getting all those at the same time probably caused a good bit of it. I’m surprised this was allowed. Usually when I get flu shots etc. one of the screening questions is whether I’ve had other vaccinations in the last couple of months. They don’t usually like to give different ones close together.

    • Iain Lovejoy says

      Beats getting Covid.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And/or “EVERYONE STAY LOCKED DOWN! FOREVER!!!”

        After eight months, Cabin Fever is hitting Critical Mass and (outside the ever-booming stock market) the economy is also reaching Collapse Critical Mass. And the “NO I WON’T! AND YOU! CAN’T! MAKE! ME! FREEDOM!!!” anti-mask attitude sure doesn’t help.

    • Clay Crouch says

      The symptoms you describe sound very similar to the ones my wife and had earlier this fall from the Shingrix vaccine. Mine were milder than my wife’s. The day after the first shot, she was in the bed the 2nd day and back to normal the 3rd.

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says

      I applaud you for volunteering for this. Thank you to everyone who is working to create and test these vaccines.

    • I didn’t know if I had gotten the placebo shot or the real vaccine

  10. Thanks, Sen.

    Su, I’m so glad you’re feeling better. I wish people in your church remembered John; he sounds like a dear man.

    Nothing else I want to say. We need rain where IAM, and are always relieved when there’s good snow pack in the Sierras.

    Dana

  11. senecagriggs says

    Florida is supposed to receive 180,000 doses this week; that’s out of a population of 20,000,000. It’s gonna take time.

  12. Thatotherjean says

    Ha! That RBG figure stands as the genius loci of my computer desk. She’s not in such appropriate surroundings as the one in the photo, though. I may have to redecorate for Christmas. I wonder if FCTRY makes an Anthony Caucus action figure?

  13. We as a nation are at a dangerous moment. Our president is like a cornered animal, but with all the powers of commander-in-chief, and a quasi-religious cult following in the millions that he has metastasized for the last four years +.

  14. no light in the sky,
    no moon in the creek

  15. senecagriggs says

    We will, with the vaccinations, reach “herd immunity.” I’m pretty sure the percentage needed to reach “herd immunity is relatively low; i.e. everybody DOES NOT HAVE TO BE VACINATED for the pandemic to end.

  16. Andrew Zook says

    I’m a few days late, but this is one of the best Sat. Brunches ever. Thanks!

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