Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.48, Week of June 11 -17, 2022 (Jan. 6 Committee Public Hearings Continued)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, June 11 through Friday, June 17, 2022 [Vol.3 No.48]

Jan. 6 Committee Public Hearings Continued

The Week’s Most Notable

The week continued televised hearings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. There were two hearings this week, both aimed at filling in aspects of Trump’s overall attempts to nullify the 2020 presidential election in key states. As it was with the opening hearing, the first order of business for the second hearing was the Big Lie; in this case to specify in some detail the Trump-Republican lie that Biden did not win the election and that the Democrats had stolen it. The committee relied almost exclusively on Republican testimony, typically campaign officials, White House and campaign lawyers, and most notably former AG William Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka. Trump, Republicans, and the right-wing media have used the Big Lie to justify almost every other related activity, including the attack on the Capitol (undo an illegitimate election). Fidelity to the Big Lie has become the litmus test for Republican candidates, and almost an article of faith among the Trump base. It’s been the keystone of their propaganda and will be difficult to shake.

The third hearing focused on Trump and lawyer John Eastman’s bogus scheme asserting that Vice President Pence could “nullify the illegitimate votes from key states” and either declare Trump the winner or demand that the states involved use their legislatures to determine who won the votes in the electoral college. For much of the hearing, the pressure on VP Pence and what happened to him during the violent insurrection in the capital, culminated with evidence that Trump had deliberately fingered Pence for disloyalty and made him a target of the rioters. “Hang Mike Pence.”

So far, there has been a wealth of details, but the consistent impression is that Trump tried many ways to subvert the constitutional transition of power (stage a coup) and was repeatedly told by his aides, legal advisors, and prominent Republicans that he could not legally do this. It did not matter, because Trump had his own strategy. (A strategy, that the committee is now warning, is a blueprint for future elections and especially 2024.)

Because they have been effective as media events, reaction to the hearings (Who’s listening?) has gradually become a key issue. So far, the reactions are predictable:

Dems and others: So that’s how it went down.

Republicans: Theater.

The hearings and their accompanying bombshell revelations have made it difficult to ignore. Disaffected Democrats and nihilist Republicans alike have been scrambling to justify their positions – and the hearings aren’t finished.

This week Fox News joined the other networks in covering the hearings live. Scuttlebutt has it that high ratings and very unfavorable commentary by other media forced their hand. Perhaps, but every effort is being made by the right-wing media to make sure their viewers do not hear or see anything of impact without it being simultaneously accompanied by on-air commentary disparaging the coverage. Nevertheless, there is some evidence that the information presented in the hearings is leaking through – for example, right wing outlets are already debating whether they should acknowledge Barr’s or Ivanka’s testimony.

It’s not easy to get an accurate schedule of the committee hearings. There have been rearrangements and time changes due to adjustments for new information, not to mention blockbuster stories in the media. Officially, there will be six hearings, including a summary session in September, but additional hearings seem possible. Keep in mind that sometime in the next two weeks, the Supreme Court will dump a truckload of very disturbing decisions, which are guaranteed to create media chaos.

Thursday, June 9, 10 AM – I. Overview, Trump’s coup, video of the violent attack on the Capitol

Monday, June 13, 10 AM – II. The Big Lie, $250 million dollar fundraising fraud

Thursday, June 16, 1 PM – III. Pence in the crosshairs

Tuesday, June 21, 1 PM – IV. Trump tries to suborn DOJ (rescheduled from Wednesday, June 15)

Thursday, June 23, 1 PM – V. Trump vote counting schemes in the states

[TBA, Trump collaboration with various organizations.]

[TBA, Trump dereliction of duty and failure to stop the insurrection.]

Summary of Report, September – VI. The committee is scheduled to deliver its final report and has said it will present the report in a live event.

Inflation. The state of the American economy is dominated by one issue: consumers are afraid and economists are baffled by inflation. This is not new. American history is punctuated by periods of more or less dramatic inflation, usually with vague causes, spurious political accountability, and very little in the way of actual leverage to do anything about it. This week, the Fed did what it could and raised interest rates by three quarters of a point, a huge increase. This will make mortgages and other loans more difficult to get, which means that price cutting in housing and other markets will begin. But it will take time, and nobody is predicting a significant improvement in the months before the midterm elections. In fact, attempts to fix inflation might well lead to recession, and that will not be popular. It also means that inflation will continue to be the number one issue.

Floods, fires, and hurricanes – the season is upon us. The massive flooding in Yellowstone National Park might seem a regional problem, but Yellowstone is different. More than 100 million people have visited the park over the years and, as was proven during the fires of 1988, it has an international following. So when it suffered a true once in the millennium natural disaster, it woke up a lot of people, and made a lot of people think about the connections to climate change, and about the extreme heat in the U.S., and about California fires, and the coming hurricane season.

Saturday, June 11

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 87,414,160; Deaths: 1,036,702

[Gun Control] March for Our Lives 2022 – A similar march was held in 2018, which is worth mentioning because another march was necessary four years later. If anything, the situation is worse with the recent shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde on everybody’s mind. Even more than before this was a young people’s event taking place in more than 400 locations in all 50 states. It coincides with a concerted push in Congress, namely negotiations in the Senate, to find some kind of gun control bill that could actually be passed.

[Climate Change] 70 Million People under Extreme Heat Warning – From California to Tennessee record temperatures, such as 123° in Death Valley and 113° in Phoenix, are occurring before it’s even officially summer. [Update: Early in the week an additional 108 million Americans were told to brace for extreme heat.]

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Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.47, Week of June 4 – 10, 2022 (Jan. 6 Committee Public Hearing #1)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, June 4 through Friday, June 10, 2022 [Vol.3 No.47]

Jan. 6 Committee Public Hearing #1

The Week’s Most Notable

In a sense it was another week with the possibility of being historic. It featured the first prime-time public session of the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack. There are so many ways this could have gone badly, but it didn’t. The committee seemed to have gauged this one just right; they even hired a former TV executive to oversee the production. The opening statements were concise, remindful of the historical importance, and remarkably well focused. The 20-minute composite video, most of it new, successfully reminded everybody how violent and extraordinary the event actually was.

For witness testimony, many were struck by the effectiveness of the personal account by Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards, which included the now viral segment of “slipping in blood.” Edwards suffered traumatic brain injury in the event. Before the committee, she was authentic cop and more than a touch charismatic. It’s interesting that female commentators reacted remarkably sympathetically to her, while most male commentators didn’t comment. In fact, true to right-wing smear-tactics, the Newsmax host Greg Kelly opined that Edwards was “self-aggrandizing” and “an attractive blonde.”

It’s about Trump. From the opening remarks to the concluding statement the committee made it absolutely clear that it was talking about criminal behavior, starting with Trump and extending through a long list of enablers. In fact, vice chair Liz Cheney’s 38-minute presentation was a model prosecutor’s opening for a jury. It had three effects: it provided the structure for the two-hour as well as the following weeks’ presentations; it gave the proceeding a sense of gravitas; and it publicly set a framework for legal action by the Department of Justice.

The new takeaway from this session: The event at the Capitol was not a rally gone sideways, but a calculated assault, one element of a coup. First, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers arrived early, even while Trump was still speaking, and led the planned break-in to the Capitol building. The massive crowd spun-up and sent to the Capitol by Trump provided the bulk numbers to flood the building. The resulting chaos was meant to cover searches for congresspeople and Mike Pence. The minimum objective was to stop the certification of the election and force vote counting back to (some) states – in other words reverse the election, a coup.

Impact. Between 20 and 30 million people watched this first hearing. For some perspective, over 20 million watched the first Kavanaugh hearing, 60 to 70 million watched the Biden-Trump debates, 112 million watched the last Superbowl. Fox News covered but did not broadcast the session, and their first hour was subsumed – without commercial break – by a Tucker Carlson rant against the committee. Current surveys seem to indicate that most Republicans have no idea what the committee is doing (except it must be fake) and in fact are seldom exposed to any enduring non-partisan coverage of Trump or Republican activity. On the other hand, because the committee presentation was unusually well done, segments of it immediately went viral and provoked several days of media coverage. Keep in mind the committee sessions are a multipart media narration, sort of a true-crime series in six parts, the first of its kind for Congress. Its impact may require a change in the way such events are evaluated.

The Trump-Republican response was predictable: Absolute denial of anything presented by the committee, especially concerning the Big Lie and the Capitol event. In fact, reports are that the Republican National Committee and some big donors pumped several million into counter programming and propaganda. As expected, the focus of the attack was on the Jan. 6 committee itself, not the evidence it presented.


Fear vs. Gun Control. A recent Quinnipiac poll showed that 70% of Republicans favor protecting gun rights over public safety. In other words, occasional random sacrifice of children and others is acceptable to retain the rights to have weapons that enable armed insurrection, defense of liberty, and safety in the home. That’s why there’s no gun control compromise in Congress. It doesn’t help that the Department of Homeland Security is forecasting six months of extremism and potential violence as a result of Supreme Court decisions (mainly abortion), gun control issues, Trump indictment, Jan. 6 investigation, inflation pressures, and general political upheaval.

Saturday, June 4

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 86,644,311; Deaths: 1,034,230

[Ukraine] Sievierodonetsk Remains Focal Point of Ukrainian Battles – In some of the bitterest – house to house – fighting of the war, Russian and Ukrainian forces traded city blocks as the massed Russian forces seem to be slowly but inexorably pushing the Ukrainian soldiers out of the city. The cost in casualties on both sides is known to be very high – perhaps as many as 300 a day. Military observers are not optimistic about Ukraine’s ability to wage this kind of war.

[Mass Shooting] Melee in Philadelphia Kills Three, Injures Dozens – “Hundreds of individuals just enjoying South Street, as they do every single weekend, when the shooting broke out.” Recreational shooting on a Saturday night? Only in America? [Update: There were mass shootings in Chattanooga, South Carolina, Saginaw, and Mesa with a total of 12 dead, 38 wounded.]

[Baby Formula] Baby Formula Back into Production at Michigan Plant – The formulas shortage in the U.S. continues to worsen, but Abbott Nutrition announced that it was going back into production at the plant where a fatal contamination occurred in February.

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Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.46, Week of May 28 – June 3, 2022 (Gun Control Redux)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, May 28 through Friday, June 3, 2022 [Vol.3 No.46]

Gun Control Redux

The Week’s Most Notable

All week there were strenuous efforts to heave the issue of gun control into the eye of the public. If ever there was a moment in the awfulness of ongoing events – mass murder in Buffalo, California, Texas, Oklahoma, to name a few – this is the time to make the narrative. As Biden said, “There are too many schools, too many other everyday places that have become killing fields, battlefields, here in America. . .. This is not about taking away anyone’s guns, it’s not about vilifying gun owners; let’s meet the moment, let us finally do something.” All signs are that this message has been received. According to the polls most Americans (70% – 90%) agree that something should be done.

Legislatively, in states as well as at the federal level, bills have been drafted. Even the House, which already has a gun control bill before the Senate, crafted a revised version. Notably, however, it contains nothing about limiting military style assault weapons (or specifically the AR-15, which has been used in recent weeks for a dozen mass murders). The old pattern appears to be reappearing: Republicans express thoughts and prayers, offer a few shreds of gun control, and for the most part refuse to pass anything pertaining to assault weapons. It is their bottom line; the Trump-Republican base knows military-level guns are necessary for any kind of “defense of freedom,” and right now the politicians follow the base. As ever, it appears Republicans are counting on this issue to weaken over time. But perhaps not this time, because one: midterm elections are coming and Americans are genuinely sick of the massacres, and two: the massacres are not going to stop between now and November.

(BTW: The Supreme Court is about to unload a decision on open-carry of firearms that is not going to calm the waters.)

Saturday, May 28

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 85,885,539; Deaths: 1,032,071

[Ukraine] Battle for Sievierodonetsk – The big shift in Russian strategy – ceding Kyiv and Kharkiv to the Ukrainians and concentrating forces in the eastern provinces, Luhansk and Donetsk – for the time being seems to be coming down to a struggle over a smallish rail hub town with the stumble-easy name of Sievierodonetsk (see-ev-ay’-ro- do-netzk). Compared to the previous grand strategies, this battle epitomizes the limited scale but desperate intensity as block by block, house by house, Russian and Ukrainian forces surge one way or another. Essentially, it’s a stalemate, which many see as representative of the war itself for at least the next several months.

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Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.45, Week of May 21 – 27, 2022 (Uvalde, Texas Massacre of Children)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, May 21 through Friday, May 27, 2022 [Vol.3 No.45]

Uvalde, Texas Massacre of Children

The Week’s Most Notable

In the beginning, aside from the utter depravity and scale, the massacre of 19 children and 2 teachers kicked loose a familiar dismay – here we go again. It was the old feeling that no matter how terrible the event, despite all the handwringing, all the thoughts and prayers, nothing effective would be done to prevent the same sort of thing from happening again. After all, there was a somewhat similar massacre of 10 people in a Buffalo, New York store less than two weeks ago. Sure enough, the Republican apologists for the murderous status quo immediately pronounced their solution straight from the NRA catechism: More Guns. Let the police, the SWAT teams, the state and local officials do what they think best: create fortress schools, locked like prisons, guarded by cops and armed teachers. More Guns.

Then something happened that made Uvalde different: the official and police handling of the incident was a disaster. From the time of the first 911 call to the time when the shooter was killed, one hour and twenty-two minutes elapsed. Fifty-six of those minutes had police in the building. In fact, there were eventually nineteen law enforcement officers, including local officers (and members of the SWAT team), federal border patrol agents, and the school’s own safety officer. At the start, where local officers were involved, the shooter had more high-power weaponry (an AR-15 against handguns). It’s important to understand that because of Texas law the shooter had just turned 18 and had been able to buy two AR-15’s and 375 rounds of ammunition without qualification or restriction. (Ironically, he wasn’t old enough to legally buy a beer.)

The full story will take months if not years to piece together, but human error played a role. Uvalde had done more than its share of preparation, had its own school police, had its own access protocols. None of it kept the shooter out of the building. While the shooting was in progress, the police were paralyzed by a lack of coordination and an inability to breach barriers (a door, a key). In situations as tactically perilous and complicated as kids in an elementary school classroom and an assailant as well armed as a soldier at war, very little goes to plan. Days of prevarication and misinformation by official spokespeople didn’t help. Stranding panicky parents outside the school, and not dealing correctly with 911 calls from the kids inside didn’t help. Almost everything the Republicans are saying about how to handle school shootings didn’t work – won’t work, this incident has ruined the trust of most Americans in this approach.

What the Republicans don’t talk about is how to take assault weapons out of the situation. In this case, as in so many, the easy availability of military grade assault weapons is what turns a bad incident into a massacre. How can this happen again, and again, and again? Is it the gun manufacturers pushing these meat-grinder guns and bullets, or NRA election cash and lobbying? Is it the American gun culture? Yes, all of that, but there’s more, a focal point that may help explain how it has not been possible for the U.S. to enact any significant federal gun legislation.

Two keys: There is a rock in the shallow waters of the Senate on which gun control legislation repeatedly founders; the breaker is submerged (almost never mentioned in the media): it is a large, mostly red state constituency of very active voters who want to keep military grade assault weapons available for insurrection – for resisting or overthrowing the government. This is a very old, deeply held trope in America. It is not exclusive to the right-wing, although historically predominant among conservative voters in southern, midwest, and western states where continuous election of one or more senators guarantees Republican control of the filibuster and thus the Senate. The AR-15 has become the pivotal weapon and symbol from which this core constituency and their block of senators will not budge, compromise, or even discuss any type of gun control. Assault weapons must be available for insurrection – at all costs.  

RELATED: The coming Supreme Court decision on gun control in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen will probably loosen restrictions, perhaps dramatically, on open-carry of guns. The laws against open-carry on the books in most states have been around for more than 100 years, but this overwhelmingly conservative court has indicated that it is seeking ways for the general citizenry to defend themselves with guns more easily in public. Opposition to this potential ruling is based on the accumulated experience – especially in crowded urban areas – that the proliferation of guns means only a proliferation of violent incidents. The expected Supreme Court ruling, coming as it will about a month after the nationally traumatic massacre of children, is guaranteed to kick another storm of protest.

Covid comeback (actually, it never went away) and now there’s monkeypox. Depending on the source, COVID-19 infections are up 35%, hospitalizations 20%, and deaths 15% across the U.S. The total number of deaths attributable to COVID are now well beyond 1 million and still reaches 1,000 a day on occasion. New variants of the virus continue to reach our shores, the latest being Omicron BA.2.12.2 – all far more infectious than the original virus, so much so that the average daily infection rate in the U.S. is more than 100,000 (actually more than 200,000 as fewer cases are tested). These kind of numbers in 2020 would’ve caused panic; today it’s not even part of most people’s awareness. Right-wing media staunchly take the position that the pandemic is over. By the way, the most catching thing about monkeypox is probably the name, but there are 20 reported cases in the U.S. Epidemiologists are far more worried about the current mini-wave of COVID-19 and what will happen in the fall and winter.

Saturday, May 21

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 85,101,698; Deaths: 1,029,570

[Ukraine] Biden Signs the $40 Billion Aid Package for Ukraine – It required congressional arm-twisting, especially in the Senate where some Republicans reflexively question everything requested by the Biden administration – even where Republicans will ultimately support the bill. Nevertheless, this is a substantial aid package, mostly military but some of it earmarked for international shipment of grain from Ukraine.

[Ukraine] Zelensky Talks about Negotiated End to the War – “We want everything back. Russia does not want to give anything away. Victory will be bloody in battle. But the end will be in diplomacy.” In general political terms, Ukraine cannot bargain for the Donbas region or the Crimea; it would be far cleaner to win some of that territory back. But Zelensky knows that, unfortunately, those supporting Ukraine do not have infinite patience. Questions arise: can anybody win on the battlefield? Can one side outlast the other? The war is only three months old and yet grumblings – on both sides – are already audible.

[Australia] Australian Voters Make Labor Leader Anthony Albanese Prime Minister– After a nine-year run by the center-right Liberal Party, the key issue in the election was climate change

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Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.44, Week of May 14 – 20, 2022 (Buffalo Racist Massacre)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, May 14 through Friday, May 20, 2022 [Vol.3 No.44]

Buffalo Racist Massacre

The Week’s Most Notable

Would it not be the best thing to say about a tragedy is that it became a turning point? This week one person stepped into a grocery store in Buffalo, New York carrying an AR-15 automatic rifle and gunned down 13 people, killing 10 of them. In this case it was not difficult to determine motivation: racial hatred. The gunman left a long trail of Internet history, including a manifesto, and connections to other similar-minded individuals. The trail had a dominant thread, “replacement theory,” the belief that the sole purpose of immigration is to replace “true Americans” with pliant foreign voters. The commonly discussed remedy online: killing foreigners, which meant anybody of a skin color different than white, in this case black. The replacement theory thread was quickly traced to right-wing media, including Fox News pundits Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, inviting increasing public inspection of right-wing propaganda and its impact. In an appalling way it makes this event stand out.

Will the Buffalo massacre be a turning point? Unfortunately, an argument can be made that Americans accept some types of mass death more than any other contemporary culture. Cases in point: No other country kills so many people every year by gunfire, not even countries at war. Also, we seem to have accepted more than one million deaths due to a virus; more dead by COVID-19 than any other country in the world. Acceptance in these cases means a kind of complacency, we don’t do what is necessary to reduce the deaths. The key seems to be not in the numbers of dead, or the suffering of people affected by the deaths, but by the intensity and density of excuses – the rationales – by which it becomes impossible to do anything about the fatalities. For example, we are at legislative loggerheads over the availability of military-grade weapons. For decades, the issue has been mired in expensive lobbying campaigns and increasingly all-or-nothing partisanship. The result: we do not reach compromises; we don’t take steps to make the situation better; we do nothing.

Saturday, May 14

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 84,413,559; Deaths: 1,027,159

[Mass Shooting] Gunman Kills 10 in Buffalo Supermarket – As described in his 180-page online manifesto, the specific location in Buffalo was targeted because of its largely black population. Self-described as a white nationalist, the shooter proclaimed his belief in the “replacement theory” that immigrants were being brought into the U.S. to deliberately give Democrats an advantage in elections. The blatant racism quickly established this as one of the more symbolic and motivational events, with its impact going deep into gun control and racial violence issues – and correspondingly into defensive maneuvers by right-wing media. Since the shooter was taken alive, there will be a lengthy trial and this event is likely to stay media-active throughout the summer. It may provide a sorrowful memory for the people of Buffalo, a rallying point for some voters, and little or no legislative action.

[Abortion] “Summer of Rage” Abortion Rights Protests Begin Nationwide – More than 300 marches marked the day as the first of the mass demonstrations against the pending (and eventually actual) Supreme Court ruling that dismembers Roe v. Wade. This is not an issue that will fade, as every relevant thing that happens between now and the midterm elections will kick off further demonstrations.

[Ukraine] Ukraine Wins the Battle of Kharkiv – Such “wins” will rarely be official on the part of both sides, but in this case it’s clear the Russian high command has ordered troops out of the Kharkiv region and the Ukrainian forces have regained control of their second largest city, and from there eastward to the Russian border.

[Supreme Court] Justice Thomas Complains of Shattered Trust in the Supreme Court – Two notable points: Thomas is noted as the silent man of the court but recently he’s taken on the mantle of court defender, just when the court is ramping up to make a number of unpleasant and illiberal decisions; and, secondly, the enormous irony of his complaint about the leak of the abortion draft decision while his wife is openly engaged in lobbying about issues before the Supreme Court and Justice Thomas refuses to recuse himself. The blatant hypocrisy at such a high level is stunning.

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Indivisible Upper Yellowstone: Weekly Journal, Vol.3 No.43, Week of May 7 – 13, 2022 (Ripples)

Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal

The Week of Saturday, May 7 through Friday, May 13, 2022 [Vol.3 No.43]


The Week’s Most Notable

It was a week of ripples, not riptide, for a variety of issues. For example, abortion. The initial shock of the leaked draft Supreme Court decision is giving way to a predictable focus on mobilizing for the release of the final decision toward the end of June. The Democrats have been given two extra months to make people aware of the decision and what it means. It’s also, apparently, giving the Republicans additional time to formulate repugnant and extreme implementations of the abortion ban for example, most antiabortion states are opting for few or no exemptions, even for incest, rape, or the health of the mother. The Republicans also seem to be coalescing around the idea that if they should win control of the government (House, Senate, Presidency), they will legislate a nationwide abortion prohibition. If this trend continues, the ‘22 and ’24 elections will provide voters with crystal-clear choices.

The House Jan. 6 Investigation made a pretty big splash with finally issuing subpoenas to congressional poohbahs such as Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks, Andy Biggs, Scott Perry, and Kevin McCarthy — all of whom were deeply involved in planning and/or participating in the insurrection. It appears they will reject the subpoenas and will force the committee to take stronger action. It’s possible that issuing subpoenas is a signal that the House Committee may be aware the DOJ is preparing to deal with Contempt of Congress charges for those who defy the subpoena. (Otherwise, the subpoenas are an empty and emasculating gesture.)

From the outside world looking in, the war in Ukraine – namely in the Donbas region – looks like a slog, something of a standoff. In truth, no one under a barrage of artillery shells, at the focus of a sniper’s rifle, or in the range of missiles fails to translate slog into protracted fear. More to the point, the Ukrainians are actually making headway in their northeast offensive to liberate Ukraine’s second city, Kharkiv, and attack Russian supply lines. There is enough Ukrainian success to stimulate even more talk of what happens if Putin perceives Russia is losing the war.

Many ripples create unintended consequences, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine is intentionally shutting down agricultural ports and destroying agricultural infrastructure – the upshot is almost certain to be famine in parts of Africa and the Mideast that rely on Ukrainian grain. Voices are already being raised to force opening of ports, or shipping grain via Poland or Romania. By winter, when famine reaches crisis level and food prices soar, this issue may seem a lot more urgent.

Economists talk about inflation like it was an enigma, but Republicans poke the wounds in family budgets caused by inflation and claim it is Biden putting salt in all those wounds. For Republicans, it looks like they are wagering everything on inflation to win the midterms. Yet, unemployment is down, way down, wages are up, though so is the price of everyday living. Economists are wary of speculating about what will happen, because inflation really is enigmatic, complicated, and worldwide. Politicians are happy to make things up (lie about it) but there is reality to inflation. Come the end of October, or thereabouts, how will voters feel about the economy?

Contrary to contemporary wishful thinking, COVID-19 has not gone away. In fact, in the U.S. it’s still gaining ground, even as we go into summer. Many people are noticing that they have a lot of friends and people they know who are or have recently been sick with coronavirus. We passed the 1 million dead milestone, and we still have days in which more than a thousand Americans die. Meanwhile, vaccinations and booster shots are dropping, people are running out of the effective immunization timeline, and Republican politicians are busy selling the idea that the pandemic is over and we don’t need to spend any money or do any mitigation. Meanwhile, epidemiologists are saying that we can expect a new and possibly major wave this fall and winter; maybe as many as 100 million infections. Sometimes it’s a tsunami, sometimes a few ripples, but the coronavirus waves keep coming.

Saturday, May 7

[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 83,732,189; Deaths: 1,025,126

[Ukraine] Ukrainian School Bombed, 60 Feared Dead – The school was located in battle-scarred eastern Luhansk. Approximately ninety people were taking refuge in the school.

[Northern Ireland] Sinn Fein Wins Historic Vote – For the first time, the Northern Ireland Sinn Fein party (Nationalist) has won a plurality of seats in Northern Ireland’s legislative assembly. This does not mean that Ireland and Northern Ireland will be reunited any time soon, but it’s both a symbolic and practical step in that direction.

[Afghanistan] Taliban Orders Women to Cover Head to Toe – This is indicative of what was expected after the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan – in this case women must either wear a burqa, or a veil-headscarf combination with a long robe (an abaya). Only the eyes are permitted to be visible. Violations are levied against the female’s ubiquitous male guardian/overseer.

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IUY Contacts – Submissions report…

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IUY Contacts – Submissions report…

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Contact from the website…

The following contact message has been sent:

first: Will

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city: Aalten

state: GE

request: Will Vial


comment: Morning,

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Contact from the website…

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first: Misi

last: Ballard


state: MT


Phone: 303-884-7640


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