Just busy wrapping up the year at work; other stuff going on. I’ll be back in the thick of things in the next couple of days, and in full force after the new year weekend.
Month: December 2020
Over the Top Wokeness
This is so utterly ridiculous, it hurts the brain. From the SF Chronicle’s Jill Tucker:
Abraham Lincoln, an iconic American hero, could soon be an outcast in San Francisco, his legacy called into question and his name ripped off a high school.
Lincoln is one of dozens of historical figures who, according to a school district renaming committee, lived a life so stained with racism, oppression or human rights violations, they do not deserve to have their name on a school building.
Abraham Lincoln – author of the Emancipation Proclamation, creator of the 13th amendment to the Constitution, commander-in-chief during the Civil War – a racist and oppressor, they say. What the high holy fuck are they talking about?!?
It seems his name is being sullied because, “Lincoln, whose grandfather was killed by a Native American, oversaw the hanging of 38 Indigenous warriors after a Santee Sioux uprising in Minnesota, but only after he personally reviewed the legal cases against the 303 men sentenced to death. He saved the lives of 265 Indigenous men.“
This reeks of over-the-top wokeness on steroids; and the move to take Lincoln’s name from the high school is a prime example of the type of move that hurts a noble cause rather than help it.
As an historian in the Chronicle piece says, we should not be applying 21st century morals to the great men of the 18th and 19th centuries. Not one person from that era will live up. Not. One.
Great men of Lincoln’s stature did tremendously progressive things back in the day. But, they weren’t perfect; no one was then, no one is now, no human on Earth will ever be. How about we measure President Lincoln for all he did to save our country and for all he did to free the slaves and for all he did to make their lives better?
And before you convict the man in the court of woke opinion, how about reading up on a bit of history.
According to Harold Holzer, a Lincoln scholar at Hunter College, the 16th President of the United States, during the darkest days of the Civil War, said, “If we get through the war and I live, this Indian system will be reformed.”
As history tells us, Lincoln was unable to keep that promise.
So, excuse my French…but cut the shit.
New Music Tuesday
This is the title track to the debut album from a Seattle-based duo that call themselves Beach Vacation. It’s a rather enjoyable piece of sweet guitar-driven pop-rock. Press play and enjoy.
The Official Presidential Election is Today
The 538 members of the Electoral College will meet in the 50 state capitals and in D.C. today to cast their ballots in the 2020 presidential election. It is this election that officially chooses the President of the United States, as stated in Article Two, Section One, of the U.S. Constitution:
Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot...
The national vote that took place on 03 November is technically non-binding (remember, in 2016 Donald Trump lost that vote by 3 million); but the popular votes cast in each of the 50 states and in D.C. are how their respective legislatures, as per their responsibility in Article Two, appoint their electors: More or less, the winner of each state’s popular vote is allotted the entire slate of presidential electors (the two slight exceptions are Maine and Nebraska, which choose their electors based on the popular vote in each congressional district).
If electors cast their ballots as per the dictate of their state’s voters, today’s result should be:
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Democratic): 306
Donald Trump and Mike Pence (Republican): 232
Thirty-three states have laws that forbid electors from casting their ballots for anyone except the candidate chosen by the voters in that state (laws that were, earlier in the year, upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States). Many of those state laws, however, do not provide for any penalty or any mechanism to prevent the deviant vote from being cast and counted. While there were seven “faithless electors” in the 2016 election (a rather high number), such shenanigans aren’t expected during today’s votes.
Final National Popular Vote
The last of the states finalized and certified their votes this past Friday. The final, official (yet, non-binding) national numbers are:
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris (Democratic):
Donald Trump and Mike Pence (Republican):
Smaller party and independent candidates received the remaining 1.9%.
The Democratic ticket has won this vote by an extremely comfortable margin of over 7 million ballots; and their 74 vote margin in the Electoral College is quite respectable as well.
Trump’s claims that he “won Pennsylvania and Wisconsin and Michigan” are the result of an Adderall-addled mind. He needs to shut his Big Mac hole and go away.
Full disclosure: I will refrain from any significant posts on FDA or clinical study related matters due to the fact that I work on that side of the healthcare business. While my employer forbids such posts generally, I also feel that a conflict of interest exists. (Other posts on non-study health issues, like the Affordable Care Act or other general healthcare legislation are fair game.) Therefore, no posts here at WayneMartinAllen.com on the various vaccines that have been approved or are about to be approved by the FDA.
Throwback Thursday: “I Am the Fox, Like It or Not…”
Last month, Elton John released a very ambitious 148 song project called “Jewel Box.” Personally curated by John, himself, the compilation includes deep cuts (personal favorites from his various albums that aren’t necessarily singles or hits), rarities, B-sides, and songs specifically mentioned in his 2018 autobiography, “Me.”
This particular song is not on “Jewel Box.” A couple of other tracks from the album of the same name are, but if it were me doing the choosing, this track would most definitely be included.
The 1981 album, John’s first for the then newly minted Geffen label, was a complete flop, and that is a complete shame. The set is excellent, from beginning to end, and at the time was called his best record since the mid-70s by Record World Magazine.
This, the title track, could just as easily be included on more recent albums like “Songs From the West Coast” or “The Captain and the Kid.” In my opinion, this is one of John’s finest…
“The Fox” by Elton John (1981)
SF Bay Area on Complete Lockdown
Here we go again. In an effort to keep its citizens as safe as possible, and to help keep area hospitals from overflowing more than they already are, the counties of the San Francisco Bay area are instituting complete lockdowns beginning on Sunday – ahead of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s planned lockdown of the entire state. The lockdowns are in effect until 04 January 2021, and include bans on gatherings outside of your own household (not even a walk around the block with your neighbor).
This means absolutely no “cross-pollinating” during the Christmas and New Year holidays. Even if you agree to self-quarantine for two weeks prior, the order is strict on this matter.
The state really has no choice here. Family gatherings are one of the super-spreader breeding grounds for this virus, and the prohibition on gathering outside your own home must be followed if you have any desire to get through this winter without getting yourself or your loved ones sick. I, for one, have no desire to pass this on to my elderly mother-in-law – even if that possibility is relatively remote; and as someone with asthma and a history of hypertension, I most definitely do not want to expose myself to this willingly.
On her newscast last night, Rachel Maddow reported on how the current record-breaking daily COVID cases are impacting hospitals in Utah, Indiana, Missouri, and North Dakota. The firsthand reports, as told by the frontline workers at these facilities, should put a shitload of fear into everyone who watches. What is happening out there right now beggars belief: The intubated COVID patients who must be turned over every few hours, the two or three COVID patients who die at a single hospital during every 12 hour shift, the frontline medical workers whose care for these patients require heartbreaking changes at home.
Conservative media can say what they will about Rachel Maddow, but she gives it to you straight – the truth of the matter at hand, frankly and boldly. And as we head into the heart of the holiday season, this superb report should be required viewing for every American this week…
Deborah and Helen and Stacey and Felicia
Click here to meet the absolutely awesome women who are turning Georgia blue.