Odds and Ends Rattling Around of Late

A Lot of Us are Snowed in Now – It’s a Good Time for Some Assorted Observations

Supreme Court on Vaccination Mandates

 The current Supreme Court looks increasingly less supreme with every ruling. I keep thinking it cannot get worse, but they continue to raise the ante. At least they kept the health care workers mandate in place (barely – by 1 vote).

Gutting the large employer mandate on the basis that OSHA is the wrong agency for such a mandate enforcement is ridiculous. This is what happens when you have a court anchored in rigid ideology rather than real life.

Even before the current variant of COVID arrived, estimates were that the large employer mandate would likely save 7-8,000 lives and 250,000 hospitalizations. Those numbers are surely higher now. This is a public health crisis of the first magnitude. It spreads by the shared air we all breath. Until the level of public inoculations gets past 85%, we will continue to lose 1,000-2,000 lives every day, continue the disruptions to life and the economy, and give the next variant a large pool of spreaders to infect.

The Court chose to ignore all that on the false alter of individual choice. Thousand more will die and this thing will drag on for months longer. A singularly bad, warped decision. A new low, even for this court.

Sedition Charges! Finally. Who’s Next?

At last, indictments worthy of the crimes committed leading up to and on JAN 6 of last year. The Oath Keepers leadership fully deserves this fate. The charges of sedition and conspiracy to commit sedition are just one notch below treason. I am pretty confident convictions will follow for most if not all of those so indicted. Hope there is more to come.

The burning question now is who is next for such serious indictments. If the Oath Keepers indictments are righteous, which they are, then surely those who collaborated directly with them before and on JAN 6 are guilty of at least conspiracy to commit sedition.  Any number of members of the US Congress and the former White House staff are surely implicated and should be so charged.

And what about all those folks who submitted false official documents from six states claiming to be duly elected electors? They and their national coordinators (the hunt is still on to see who the national players in this fare were) seem justified candidates for similar charges. To quote another movement’s favorite slogan, Lock ‘em up. And throw away the key.

Voting Rights and DINOs

 As of this writing it does not look good for voting rights legislation in the US Senate, even though it passed the House and has overwhelming national support across party lines. This would be a benchmark of national shame.

Lots of blame to go around but let us start with the two Democratic Senators who seem determined to sacrifice their fellow citizens for a host of terrible reasons. Others no doubt are quietly in agreement with Manchin and Sinema. The US does the right thing if these two do the right thing. Frustrating that these two wayward wanders have such power, but there we are. Mitch McConnell must be eternally grateful.

Let’s coin a term for these two. Trumpers always talk about RINOs – Republicans in Name Only – to deride anyone who disagrees with Trump on anything.  Guess we now have DINOs – Democrats in Name Only. It should be impossible to call oneself a Democrat and stand at this moment in our history against securing voter rights that are otherwise perishing.

The other bit of anger we should hold is for those so-called moderate Republicans who happily voted for similar voters’ rights legislation before – 16 of them – but are now cowering behind McConnell, Trump, et al. Their shame is perhaps the greatest. We should never forgive such a moral failing.

 Danger at the States- Trumpism is a Failure with Long-Term Infections

 Trump is a deeply flawed person, but he understands power and is surrounded by people who know how to secure the levers. Look closely at your state and local ballots. Who runs for Secretary of State, Election Commissioner, and similar roles at the state and local level is a hugely important matter.

Make no mistake about it. There is a movement afoot to put people in place who will steal elections and seem to do so legally. Every voter needs to know who these people are and call them out in every way possible during the campaigns.

No matter what outcome someone wants, stealing votes to get it should not be allowed by the rest of us. We saw how this works when the current governor of Georgia ran as a candidate while keeping power as Secretary of State. Hundreds of thousands of voters were disenfranchised and he won by the narrowest of margins. Theft at a grand scale. You going to let that happen in your state?

 Some Athletes Don’t Think the Rules Apply to Them. They Often are Right

In recent weeks big name athletes have made it known that they feel entitled to special treatment and expect to suffer no consequences for it. They often get their wish.

The Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers lied about his COVID vaccination status. He says there was a misunderstanding. I invite you to read his words and/or listen to his comments live. There was no misunderstanding. But hey, he is a big deal player, so after the feeblest wrist slap imaginable, he back on the field. Disappointing to say the least.

More recently, Novak Djokovic, the world’s #1 ranked tennis player and generally not nice human being, tried to get into the Australian Open without a COVID vaccination, claiming an earlier case of the virus gave him natural immunity. By the way, there are photos all over the place of him being unmasked among people at times he surely knew he was infectious.

After a lot of legal and publicity back and forth, it appears at this writing that he is out of the competition and out of the country. Excellent. Good riddance. This is an extra big deal for him, as he is chasing an almost impossible world record of wins. He is running out of time to do so.

Should have thought of that before, Novak. You decided being a vaccine denier was more important than being a professional athlete. You made your choice. Now you harvest the results.

If I miss anything in professional athletes today, it is the seemingly general rejection of the obligations of role model. These folks are exceptional in their fields for sure. But they also live privileged lives and make unbelievable amounts of money. Expecting them to set an example for others, especially for children does not seem too much to ask.


 That surely is enough grousing for one blog post. I am going back to my window to enjoy the snow – especially since someone else is shoveling it for me.

Stay safe and warm everyone, where ever you are.

   Bill Clontz (& Bonnie)

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