Indivisible Upper Yellowstone – Weekly Journal
The Week of Saturday, January 1 through Friday, January 7, 2022 [Vol.3 No.25]
January 6 Remembered
The Week’s Most Notable
Consider the Trump-Republican Party as a juggler with three balls in the air: Ball one – the election was stolen from Trump; Ball two – the event at the Capitol on January 6 was a peaceful expression of patriotism and beyond criticism; Ball three – the coronavirus, and all the fuss about it, such as vaccines and masks, is exaggerated and threatens our freedoms. This is not an easy set of balls to juggle, the principal problem being a persistent gravity known as truth. For example, the coronavirus pandemic has been around for more than two years, has killed nearly 900,000 Americans, and at this very moment is sickening up to a million people a day. It’s the rare person who doesn’t know somebody that has been infected or even died from COVID. As for mitigation – vaccines, masks, and such – more than 200 million Americans have been vaccinated but so far less than 10 deaths are directly attributable to a vaccine. Even if that number were 10,000, that would be five thousandths of a percent (0.005%). Of course, misinformation is rampant.
It’s becoming harder and harder to deny the reality of the coronavirus pandemic, something in the range of defending the flat Earth theory. Similarly, the assertion that Biden stole the election – a.k.a. the Big Lie – has been put through the ringer of the courts (60 losses), independent audits, state government reports, and Republican officials’ testimony. It always comes out the same: Biden won by a large popular vote majority, and won by electoral votes even in closely contested states. That makes the attack on the Capitol a set of violent illegal acts based on a flagrant lie. Those illegal acts are being exposed by the 750 arrests and subsequent convictions still in process, and what promises to be months of testimony and reports by the House Jan. 6 select committee that will play out in the media.
None of this will be accepted, or possibly even believed, by GOP politicians, most Republicans, and of course all the MAGA faithful. But it’s still a juggling act, if remarkably gravity defying. Gravity wins in the end; but the question here is whether it will win by November 8. It could be hoped that no matter where they turn, the precarious juggling act is questioned and subjected to fact. The non-right-wing media is finally catching on to the dogged principle of adherence to the facts. Maybe over the next months it can gradually bleed away the antigravity spin provided by Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media.
1,082,549 new U.S. coronavirus cases on Monday. Needless to say, a world record. Where were the headlines? Probably because the official media line is that Omicron is “milder” and that raw numbers of infections aren’t important any more, the number was quietly . . . diffused. Still, the U.S. numbers pushed toward half a million or more a day all week. Since many people now use at-home testing but don’t necessarily report positive results, the number is probably much higher. Many of them – millions of people – didn’t go to work or to school. The hit on the economy has already got economists wondering how big the negative impact will be in the first half of 2022. By the end of the week, reports of stressed hospitals and medical services appeared all over the country. What many fear is that although the magnitude of this wave may be handled, the weakening of the U.S. medical structure – doctors and nurses quitting for example – will have long-lasting repercussions.
Saturday, January 1
[Coronavirus] U.S. Coronavirus Totals: Cases: 56,984,697; Deaths: 847,921
[Coronavirus] Coronavirus, Winter Storms Create Flight Schedule Chaos – In the best of times New Year’s Day is not a good day to fly; this year, with the onrush of Omicron cases and the series of winter storms, particularly in the East, airlines have found it challenging to keep crews and planes in the air. Over 4,000 flights were canceled on New Year’s Day, often stranding passengers.
[Nuclear Power] Germany Decommissions Three of Its Last Six Nuclear Power Plants – The German government committed to denuclearizing its energy system following the 2011 Fukushima reactor disaster in Japan. Its last three plants will be closed later this year. Germany, the fourth largest economy in the world, will rely on alternative energy sources and (Russian) natural gas.