Politics and the Vaccine

I was going to avoid this topic, but since it is mostly what is in my head this morning, here we go. I will begin by saying that I am on the very bottom of the list of who will get the vaccine. It makes sense. I don’t have to leave the house to work. I’m 52 years old and relatively healthy. Even when I did go to work, I didn’t work with the public. I worked in a building with a small group of people with masks and distancing with an administration who has no plans to open to the public until the virus is gone. None of this is about me wanting to jump the line(though I would get the shot today if someone offered it to me). I’m not mad at the people who are getting the vaccine. You should definitely get it when it is offered.

I am tired of all of the politics involved in all of this. Constant fighting over who should be first in line. People in certain professions declaring that they should be considered essential. Pushing and shoving and shouting about being more important than others so you can get the shot first. Local jurisdictions complaining that the state won’t give them enough vaccines while the state complains that the feds are giving them enough vaccines while the feds are justifying a very low vaccination goal that is basically status quo. If we are depending on politicians to save us we are all doomed.

If we base vaccinations on what jobs are declared essential we are saying industries with the most powerful lobby get to jump the line. My former industry very loudly say they are essential during funding, then very loudly said they weren’t essential when it came to opening during the pandemic and now are very loudly proclaiming they are essential again now that they want the vaccine. Can we have a rule that if you closed to the public in March and never even considered reopening regardless of the numbers that you have sacrificed your claim to essential? Especially when you even refused to consider curbside pick up of printing or any expansion of services past online programs and curbside pickup of books? Now, this might all be bitterness about how all of the issues I dealt with while there were ignored and swept under the rug. It might be me being mad that I would leave a job because of the issues and thus sacrificed a chance at a vaccination. I think most people would agree, though, that if you don’t actually work with the public and have no plan to work with the public any time soon you should not be jumping the line for the vaccine. This issue is also highlighted by the situation in Fairfax County, VA where the teachers all signed up to be first for the vaccine but then saif they still wouldn’t go back to work until kids can be vaccinated. Despicable.

If we depend on politics some of us are doomed by having a governor who is positioning himself to run for president and a county executive who is positioning himself to run for governor. The day our governor scheduled a press conference to say he was opening the vaccinations to 75 and up my county executive made a big pronouncement ahead of time that he wasn’t waiting for the state and that he was opening up vaccinations to 75 up in our county. It is obvious he knew what was coming and wanted to look like the savior. Now, today, the governor has scheduled a 2pm press conference to talk about vaccinations and my county executive has scheduled one for 11am. Probably more of the same. Our vaccination pace sucks and everyone is playing political games instead of working together to speed up the process.

The vaccine schedule should have been health care workers and first responders and then all age based. Moving down the age scale as supply allows. If you don’t have enough 75 ups one day to fill the appointments, don’t old he doses waiting for them. Call 65 ups until the slots are filled. Doses should not be on the shelf while you wait for the “right people” to sign up to get the shots. Move the vaccinations away from health departments and hospitals and into places in neighborhoods where people go to get the flu shot. It shouldn’t take people hours to figure out where to go to sign up for a vaccination. Government run vaccinations should be at mass vaccination sites run by FEMA and the military and open long hours 7 days a week. Covid doesn’t take weekends off, neither should we.

We need to stop playing politics and start worrying about saving lives.

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Inauguration Day

Four years ago I wrote about inauguration day. I wrote about looking for hope even if you didn’t like the person being inaugurated. I think the last four years have been even more disastrous than I expected. The news has been worse and worse as the yeas have gone by, ending in the midst of a pandemic.

Looking back at my post from four years ago I see I had too much faith in other politicians. I should have known better. No one stepped up, No one in the president’s party spoke up against him until it was basically over. Politicians did what politicians always do – care more about power and reelection than the people they represent. It also seems hard to think about finding hope in each other. Try to remember that there is much more good than bad out there. The bad gets all the press, but the good is out there. Continue to find hope in the thought that our children can make the world a better place than we have left it. We can still work to become the hope in the world. Spend more time working to make the world better for others instead of arguing with each other on Facebook. Volunteer. March when necessary. Be a light in the darkness.

Today is a day of hope for the future.

We have a new president who is much more stable than what we have had for the past four years.

We have the possibility of leaders from both parties finding common ground.

We have hope that the vaccinations will ramp up and we will finally emerge from the darkness of the pandemic.

We have hope that we will go back to working with the rest of the world instead of distancing ourselves.

There will still be bad out there. Things won’t magically get better at noon today. We won’t magically live in utopia because of a change in leadership. The hope doesn’t fall completely on one man. The hope falls on all of us. Turn off the news. Stop arguing on social media. Start becoming the good you want to see.

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Watching the Attack on the Capitol

I’m glad I decided early on yesterday that I was going to get nothing done. I expected to read my book while keeping an eye on the certification vote. As is standard thee days, instead of reading my book I was scrolling through Twitter. As CNN was still on the speeches Twitter was reporting that a couple of buildings in DC had been evacuated. Then I saw a reporter tweet that people had breached the Capitol grounds and were trying to get in the building. It took a few minutes for CNN to switch coverage from the speeches to the events outside. Soon after it was reported that the hearing was paused. I watched stunned as the rioters broke into the Capitol building. I was seeing pictures from inside of guns drawn. I saw the woman who was shot being taken out on a stretcher. I couldn’t believe this was happening, but in some ways I guess I wasn’t shocked at all. We’ve had four years of a president who encouraged the worst behavior from his supporters. They threatened violence on the streets if he lost. I expect this is not the end. I expect more riots and violence in the days to come. I expect disruptions at the inauguration. I will not be shocked if someone attempts to assassinate Biden. Thats where we are as a country.

On Facebook I called it what it was – an attack on our country. I said the military needed to be called in to drag the rioters out in shackles. It is appalling that these people were allowed to wander around the Capitol doing what they wanted. It is appalling that there is video of them walking calmly out while a police officer holds the door open for them. No one should have let the building not in cuffs. Every single person who entered the building should be in jail and they should be in jail for a long time. An attack on our country should not be met with politeness. The president who incited this should be removed from office and indicted for treason. Allowing something like this to happen with no repercussions is damaging to our country and our elections.

This was not a protest. This was a riot. This was an attack on democracy. It should be treated as such.

I noticed today that a friend from high school unfriended me on Facebook after my post. I’m actually surprised it was only one. I saw before I was unfriended that she was going to unfriend anyone who called out this but was too silent on the Black Lives Matters protests. I’m not sad at all that she is gone the same as I’m not sad at people who unfriended me because I’m not “religious enough” for them.

I am who I am. Take it or leave it.

The Day After

I gave up on watching the results at 11 last night. I knew nothing would be decided so I might as well get some sleep. I was hoping for a little more clarity when I woke up this morning. It looks like it might be a few days before we know who is the next president. I knew it was coming, but the stress and anxiety of the election added to my normal stress and anxiety, likely heightened by phone calls today that will stress me out even more is not good. I need non-work distraction. Some random thoughts:

We should all want every vote to be counted even if they are votes for the candidate we don’t like.

Counting votes after the polls close is a normal and legal thing.

Mail in votes are valid votes.

No matter what is happening now, our laws have a process in place for someone to become president in January.

Our country is still divided and will continue to be divided no matter the results. We need to work on figuring out how to fix this.

A History of Election Posts

Instead of a new election post, I’ve put together a list of past posts regarding elections. The last one goes all the way back to the first time Obama was elected. So, if you want to read old Tater thoughts on elections, here you go. I’m so ready to be done with political ads this year. Here’s hoping this is not a long, drawn out process and we get an answer soon. And while voting – click here to vote buying Tater a coffee

In Defense of Independent Candidates

A History of Dumb Posts on Election Day

Another Message to America

We Are the Problem

A Message to America

Election Thoughts

Tater’s Take on the Fight for Justice

This is what I wrote after the death of Justice Scalia. I stand by the first paragraph. I have not seen any posts celebrating the death of RBG, but if I do I will feel the same.

My feelings on the second paragraph now – the same people who said it would be wrong to vote on Garland have now said they will vote on a Trump nominee. This is wrong. This is situational ethics. If it was wrong to vote on Garland it is wrong to vote on a Trump nominee this close to an election.

Unless you have been living under a rock for several days, you know that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died on Saturday. This leaves an opening on the Supreme Court during an election year with less than a year remaining on President Obama’s time in office. This lead to much discussion about Scalia and his possible replacement. I have a couple of thoughts on this. I will start with the people who are rejoicing in his death. Antonin Scalia was a human being with family and friends who loved him. His death is not a happy occasion to be celebrated. It doesn’t matter how you feel about his politics, rejoicing in his death is bad form. Filling social media with negative posts about him does no one any good. It just shows that the poster lacks basic human decency.  I’m sure there are plenty of people who don’t like your politics and opinions, shall we have a party when you die?

Secondly, the people who say the Republicans should delay any vote to confirm an Obama nominated justice because “we should let the American people decide who gets to make the pick” – the American people already decided who they wanted to make this decision when we held an election in 2012. The American people voted to President Obama to remain in office until January of 2017. Until January of 2017 it is President Obama’s job to nominate someone to the Supreme Court. President Obama plans to do his job. We elected people to Congress who’s job it is to confirm this nominee. I would hope they will be grown ups and do their job as well. If we wait and leave it to President Trump we might end up with Judge Judy on the court.

Tater Talks Current Events

Before I write anything about current events I want to make sure there is no doubt on two things: 1. I believe Covid is real. I wear a mask in public and the only people I have seen in person are my family and people at work. 2. I am not a fan of Donald Trump. If the Democrats ran a potato against him I would vote for the potato. Tater for president! Now on to the random thoughts I’ve had recently

I stumbled on this article recently After severe illness, NBC’s Dr. Joseph Fair tests negative for COVID-19 antibodies and I remember when he was on air talking about his battle with coronavirus. He was ill. He was in the hospital and on oxygen. He talked about how he had been so careful and all he could come up with on how he got the virus was through his eyes on a plane. It was big news on the Today Show. Only problem? He tested negative for the virus four times and then his antibody test came back negative He was sick, but with something else. This didn’t stop him from going on TV to talk about his recovery from an illness he never had. I get that he had al the symptoms and thought it was safe to assure he had it, but I also think that someone in his position needs to be a lot more careful with his reporting. It is things like this that make it easier for people to come to the conclusion that much of this is fake. You can read this article and think that if he reported he had it when he didn’t, how many more of the reports are fake.

Another big thing in the news is the discussion about opening schools in the fall. I’m not going to give an opinion. I’m glad I don’t have to make the decision. I’m glad I don’t have any K-12 students. It’s bad enough stressing about what college will look like for my daughter. One thing I do know – Trump deciding he is going to push states to open schools does not help the matter. We are in a very divisive state right now. People have taken sides and they will dig in and refuse to agree with the other side on anything. Especially when Trump is involved. All Trump has done is guarantee that even people on the left who might have been leaning toward wanting schools to open will now dig in against him and fight against any openings. That’s just where we are now. If he had announced that schools should stay closed I would bet some of those same people would have become the loudest proponents of doing whatever it takes to open schools and the people on the right would immediately become lockdown proponents.

Masks are now a political fight. It shouldn’t be this way. We can’t recover as a country if we fight about everything. We’ve reached a point where it seems like some people are rooting for the virus and against the country. I’ve seen people comment that they hope cases go up where they live so they could never consider opening schools. They are actively rooting for more people to get sick so they get what they want. It’s insane. When the virus was ravaging New York there were people who were OK with that. It’s only hitting a city full of liberals, so it’s no big deal to them. Now that it is hitting the south  I’ve seen posts from people happy that the “red states” are doing poorly. We should not be happy that anyone is getting sick and dying. Everyone has lost their minds.

We need to take a pause and remember that we are humans first not living embodiments of our political party.

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A Small List of the Pandemic People Who Are Making Me Dislike People Even More

I should probably avoid social media, but when I have trouble reading books and I’m watching more TV when not working I also find myself scrolling through it more often. Even worse, I’ve started reading the comments. I’ve unfollowed many people on Facebook and Twitter, but I still read way too many opinions and I really don’t like anyone right now. Here are the people I can think of who lead me here.

The people who think it is all a hoax and will disappear after the election.

The people who think we should stay locked down forever.

The people who refuse to wear masks.

The people who refuse to admit that some people are pushing for reopening because they are desperate not to lose their business and instead call them “people protesting to get a haircut”

The people who say we should just all shut up and listen to the government(as long as the government they are talking about shares their political party)

The people who only read headlines on Facebook and yell at others for their opinions when they have no real knowledge besides what the headline reported.

The people who highlight whatever number makes their argument sound better while ignoring numbers that might say otherwise – this is on both sides of the reopening argument.

The people who seem to be hoping for more people to get sick and die so they will be right.

The shamers and scolders who live to report people they think aren’t isolating properly.

People who write blog posts about the people they dislike.

There are more, but I need to get back to work.

This Post Might Lose Me Some Friends

I thought of this one when there was yet another police shooting. We are nearing the time of year when we are supposed to feel sorry for people who feel persecuted because someone used the wrong holiday greeting while they still seem to think that some people don’t deserve basic human rights.

The World's Common Tater

But the topic of this post is something that really bothers me and I decided not to keep quiet. I am appalled that the same people who are all over the internet loudly proclaiming that they are being persecuted because people are saying Happy Holidays are the same people who don’t understand why people are so worked up over police killing unarmed men and the US torturing people. I will loudly proclaim my Christianity and show how Christian I am by demanding that everyone recognize my personal religion by greeting me only with my personal preference during the holiday season. Human life and dignity? Meh. What’s the big deal? They probably deserved it and even if they didn’t, doesn’t mean anything to me personally. Why do I care if some criminal is dead? Someone wished me a Happy Hanukah! That’s what matters! Why do I care if some mooslim from…

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Guns and Life: A Tater Rant

So, apparently, Trump called the NRA today to tell them there would be no movement on background checks.  This should be no surprise to anyone.  The Republican party sold their souls to the gun lobby years ago. All we will ever get from them are “thoughts and prayers.” I don’t doubt they gave cursory thought to the tragedies of gun violence. I don’t doubt that they uttered a prayer. Thoughts and prayers without action mean nothing. I’m done with “thoughts and prayers.” I’m done with people claiming to be pro-life but then showing they care more about their guns than actual lives. As I wrote before, pro-life for them seems to end at birth. If someone is really pro-life they won’t care more about guns than people. If someone is really pro-life they won’t refuse to even consider reasonable gun control. If someone was really pro-life they would see no reason a reasonable human being needs to own weapons of war. I have no problem with hunting. I have no problem owning a gun for security. You don’t need the weapons used in the mass shootings for hunting and home security unless you are really bad at it. In that case, you probably shouldn’t own a gun anyway.  I’m tired of people posting about how life is precious and then posting “DON’T TAKE MY GUNS!” when we propose sensible measures to save lives. You aren’t pro-life. You are pro-birth.

I’m also tired of the same old “Something else is the problem” game.

It’s mental illness!

It’s video games!

It’s violent movies!

 

It’s anything but guns!

Other countries have mental illness. Other countries have video games. Other countries have violent movies. You know they don’t have? THEY DON’T FUCKING HAVE MASS SHOOTINGS!

So, spare me you holier than thou, pro-life, Jesus posts until you show me you care about humans once they are born.