Blow It Up to Save It

I had the chance to visit Charleston, South Carolina this summer. I went fishing and drug Mrs. Richardson along. On a Sunday morning, we left the shipping channel and rounded Fort Sumter on a high tide to chase redfish behind James Island. The waves lapped against the old brick walls in the grey dawn. These walls survived artillery fire and hurricanes and the waves of a thousand flood tides. They’ll be there when we’re gone.

I also visited a Revolutionary War prison that housed the Patriots of Charleston during the British occupation. I saw a certain flag in the museum, designed by a South Carolinian in 1775:

Museum Around the Corner: Don't tread on me | Community | postandcourier.com

As Americans, we don’t like being told what to do by a powerful executive. If we did, we’d still be British citizens.

2021

Speaking of waves, we can’t agree on how to deal with them:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced results from a study Friday that found unvaccinated individuals were 11 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than fully vaccinated people. 

The research, spanning more than 600,000 people in 13 jurisdictions, also determined that unvaccinated populations were over 10 times more likely to be hospitalized — figures that underscore COVID-19 vaccines protect recipients from deaths and hospitalizations. The study also showed that unvaccinated people were 4 1/2 times more likely to contract COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated. 

Despite the data, Republican Governors in the South think making people get a shot is government overreach. Here’s Alabama’s Kay Ivey:

Today, the RNC announced it would sue the Biden Administration over the new mandates.

You shouldn’t be surprised. I’m not. If our history has taught us anything, it’s that freedom comes with a price, and that price is paid in blood.

Fort Sumter 150 Years Ago

Unfortunately, in America, the pain is often self-inflicted.

Get the Shot, Fayetteville (Part 3)

This is the final post of the “Get the Shot, Fayetteville” Trilogy.

Watch this video:

The Parallel Universe Where We Beat Covid

I’ve been watching Loki on Disney+ lately. The first season is all about time travel into parallel universes. It’s nerdy stuff. So I’m going to get my nerd on with this post, and we’re going to have some fun with a little thought experiment:

As it stands today, we seem to be “done” with Covid-19 in our collective consciousness. The problem with that is epidemiology. About half of Americans, for whatever reason or rationalization, have decided not to “Get the Damn Shot,” and they’re stubborn about it. The more the government pushes the hold-outs, the more they push back. You aren’t changing many minds this late in the game. As a result, the number of shots going into arms in America has flat-lined.

Because of this stubbornness (call it stupidity if you want), after a predicted summer reprieve, we’re now going into the Fall with doubling Covid rates:

AVG. CASES ON JUL. 1414-DAY CHANGEAdults Fully Vaccinated
26,513+111%59%
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/covid-cases.html

Doubling rates indicate you’ve got a growing problem, but Republicans in power don’t seem to mind. In fact, they’ve decided that the appropriate political play is to thumb their noses at the virus this time around.

All of this depresses me to no end. If there was ever a time for us to come together as a nation, a pandemic was it, but we can’t do that right now. The other side might get the credit.

I discussed my thoughts on vaccine hesitancy a few weeks ago on Nat Robertson’s podcast:

https://crosscreekdivide.com/2021/05/28/the-carolina-cabinet-with-nat-robertson/

I talked about how sad it was that many people are refusing to get vaccinated for political reasons, especially since Trump had the “foresight” to invest heavily in the vaccination ramp-up. Robertson joked that a Democrat shouldn’t say something like that in a recorded interview and assured me that it was just the Republican “fringe” that was against vaccines. I stand by what I said, but it’s not just the fringe. Vaccination rates in Red states have lagged Blue states since the beginning of the roll-out. It’s all politics. Always. This isn’t any different.


So with all that being said, here’s a strange alternative universe to consider:

NASA parallel universe bombshell: Why scientists claim millions of divided  worlds DO exist | Science | News | Express.co.uk

If Donald Trump had won the election, I imagine he would have encouraged everyone to get vaccinated. He would have taken credit for the vaccine because he takes credit for everything, and in this case, you’d have to give credit where it’s due.

At least half of his supporters would have proudly received the “Donald J. Trump” Covid vaccine. The more he bragged about it, the more of his supporters would have gone in for the shots.

We’d have vaccination rates of 70-80%. Covid cases would not be doubling. The pandemic would have been effectively eliminated in America. But we’d still have Trump.

Would you take the trade? I might could endure four more years of that man if my kids had a normal school year without masks, not to mention all the lives that would have been saved.


Back in our current universe, we get this garbage from Trump’s heir apparent:

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2021-07-13-at-3.36.51-PM.png

If DeSantis was any kind of leader, he’d be calling it the “Donald Trump” vaccine and getting shots in the arms of Floridians. The entire tourism industry in his state depends upon beating the virus. Instead, he’s raising money selling trash-talking coozies. Absurdly, the coozie costs more than a vaccine shot.

I’m not trying to pick on DeSantis here. He’s not really the point. The same goes for every other Republican leader in the country. Your guy got this whole vaccine project started! Billions were spent! We did it in record time! Get the shot, encourage others to do the same, and take a well-deserved bow.

As much as we’d love for Covid to “just go away,” the laws of this universe demand a little work from a lot of stubborn people before we’re rid of it. The problem is they have no real leadership right now.

Trump-Lite doesn’t taste the same.

Executive Power Shrinks with Covid Cases

Our constitutional framework gives a great deal of power to the executive branches of our state and federal governments in times of emergency. We gladly handed over control to our fearless leaders when we were afraid last Spring. They’ve kept it since then. Now, a year later, some across the country want to take it back.

When an emergency ends, it’s only reasonable that governors should relinquish some control, or at least give it to the people’s representatives in the legislative branch.

Power, however, is not easily relinquished.

Image result for emperor palpatine

Watch any Star Wars movie for a quick lesson on the dangers of emergency executive control.

In the meantime, here’s what’s happening in 2021:

In N.Y., Cuomo is Being Neutered by His Own Party

Democrats in New York are upset with Governor Cuomo. They are attempting to limit his emergency powers, as we speak.

On Wednesday, State Senator Gustavo Rivera, a Democrat and chairman of the health committee, said it was now time for action. “We need to remind them that state government is not one big branch: There’s three of them,” he said.

Cuomo literally wrote a book on his covid performance.

Image result for cuomo covid book

Apparently, the people of New York don’t want anymore “leadership lessons.”

In N.C., Cooper Wants More Time

This week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a bill to force open public schools. Governor Cooper said he supported reopening, but he didn’t do anything to actually open schools, leaving the decision to local schoolboards. This guaranteed gridlock, status quo, and frustration for parents and students.

Cooper came out against the new bill, wanting to hold onto the emergency power he was afraid to “execute” himself.

Local Democrats Billy Richardson, Kirk deViere, and Ben Clark voted for the bill, against Cooper’s wishes.

The only remaining question is whether Cooper will veto. As of today, he hasn’t decided what he’ll do. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

“Before taking action on the bill I have on my desk…”

That’s a ridiculous statement considering the crisis we’re in. Our kids deserve some action, Governor Cooper, one way or another.

If Cooper does veto the bill, he will likely be overridden. Unless something drastic happens, N.C. schools should all be open in March. It’s about damn time.

What it Means

These two Democratic Governors have higher office in mind, and they have been angling through the crisis to be a future V.P. or Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party.

Cooper didn’t write a book about it, but he would often brag about how N.C. was “doing better” than other states in the region. Now, we’re not doing better. It’s all about the same, wherever you go, regardless of restrictions and regardless of whether schools are open.

In the end, we’re left with two governors who tried to turn their covid performance into a political springboard.

Image result for diving board break gif

Tough break for them.

Good break for freedom.