I am tired and I have two bushels of peaches to deal with tomorrow so this is all I got:
John Cole started Balloon Juice early in 2002. Those who have followed along know that this has been quite the journey.
My parents have a koi pond that my dad is very fond of, and it is as meticulously maintained as one would expect one owned by an 80 year old OCD German who was potty trained at gunpoint would be. At any rate, we have a frog in residence, who my equally
senile doting mother has cleverly named “Mr. Frog.” Every day now this summer, she has sent a picture of the pond and Mr. Frog, and we play a sort of Where’s Waldo with it to find Mr. Frog.
It occurred to me that you all
are as big a set of losers share the same interests as my parents, and would like to play along, so I am going to start posting them here. Here is today’s installment, and don’t ruin for other by pointing out his location in the comments, you bastards.
When the invisible hand gets sick of the spreadneck’s bullshit, this is what happens:
United Airlines Holdings Inc. will require its 67,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated this fall, the first major airline to take this step as the Delta variant drives a nationwide increase in Covid-19 infections.
Airlines including United have so far tried to encourage workers to be vaccinated voluntarily, with incentives such as bonus pay or extra vacation.
In a letter to employees Friday, Chief Executive Scott Kirby and President Brett Hart said they expected that some would disagree with the decision but said the move was necessary to keep workers safe.
“The facts are crystal clear: everyone is safer when everyone is vaccinated,” the executives wrote. “Over the last 16 months, Scott has sent dozens of condolences letters to the family members of United employees who have died from COVID-19. We’re determined to do everything we can to try to keep another United family from receiving that letter.”
Mr. Kirby has been vocal about wanting his entire workforce to be vaccinated but had said earlier this year that such a requirement would be hard to implement if other companies weren’t also requiring vaccines. United has since June required that only newly hired employees be vaccinated, a policy that Delta Air Lines Inc. also implemented.
As with most everything, deniers and imbeciles may not believe the numbers, but the accountants and actuaries do, and it won’t be long before most major American corporations go all “fuck your feelings” and mandate vaccines. Honestly, I’m a little bit surprised the health insurance companies aren’t already there, because spending 5 million dollars to keep some imbecile alive because they wouldn’t get a thirty cent shot is the kind of thing that motivates them.
There was a piece in the NY Times by Elizabeth Spiers yesterday about how Cuomo got away with it so long, and it was depressing that it needed to be explained again. He got away with it the same way they all do.
He harassed vulnerable women low in the organizational hierarchy.
He did it privately so that meant the onus was on them to come forward.
In public, he did it in ways that people could say “Oh he’s like that with everyone.”
He instilled a culture of fear.
He surrounded himself with people who would look the other way.
He did it in America, where women are STILL not believed most of the time.
It’s the same shit everywhere. There’s a big scandal rocking Activision/Blizzard where some horrific shit has apparently been going on for some time. It’s basically everywhere in every industry.
And it’s damned sure still happening every hour of every day in stockrooms of diners and restaurants, in the office at small businesses, and so on.
As you all know, I live in the town I grew up in, which includes the college I attended before dropping out and heading to the army for a couple years because, to put it as one of the Deans told me, “Maybe you just aren’t ready for college right now.” At any rate, every year at homecoming, because I live here, my house is the go to crash pad for my fraternity brothers and friends. Last year no one came, this year I was having three people, all of whom are responsible and vaccinated, and stated there would be no gatherings here. Last night, one of them cancelled because of this:
The Delta variant of the coronavirus overwhelmingly remains the dominant strain in the United States, but the Lambda variant has started getting attention in recent days.
Like the Delta variant, Lambda is highly infectious and thought to be more resistant to vaccines than the original version of the virus. Though much remains unknown about the strain, there have been some alarming characteristics detected by researchers.
At the moment, the Lambda variant has been mainly spreading through South America after first being identified in Peru in August 2020, but cases have been seen in Texas and South Carolina. Fewer than 700 cases of the Lambda variant have been sequenced in the U.S. out of more than 34 million coronavirus reported cases, according to one estimate. However, the U.S. has only sequenced a small amount of its cases, so the actual number of cases associated with the strain may be much higher.
Awesome. I may be cancelling altogether.
As many of you know, Cheryl left us the other day for the always outstanding LGM, and I would be remiss if I did not thank her for all the wonderful and informative posts. And while she is not really going anywhere, it’s still sad to see her go.
Next year, this site will have been around for twenty years, and it’s just been a weird journey. My own political changes, my lifestyle changes, my interests changing, all mapped out for several decades with a bunch of people following along is weird, but more surprising to me is all the relationships we have formed along the way. There are so many people from earlier years who I still am in touch with via facebook and twitter who newer members of the current community wouldn’t know if the names were mentioned- Redkitten, Justsomefuckhead, ABL, Minna, etc. And not to give you a lethal dose of egocentrism, I’m just talking about my personal experiences. All of you have formed your own relationships and like any community, some of you like some of you more than others, etc.
Reading the LGM thread, I saw a lot of old names of I had not seen in a while- Aimai, Linnaeus, and many more, and so on. A lot of complaints about the commenting system. And it makes me wonder, do people hate the comment section design that much? Or is that just what they are saying now? Maybe they left because they no longer felt the website compelling and the blaming the comment features is just an easier way to put things. I dunno.
It’s hard keeping communities together, because people change and interests change and the community itself changes. I see it in my online gaming communities- people lose interest in a game and before you know it, a core member of your team is but a distant memory. Do we focus too much on pets and gardening and cooking? I don’t know. I can only write about what interests me. Every day there are tons of things that hit the news and I just don’t have the energy to fucking deal with the same idiots again- right now I am thinking about the execrable David Brooks who wrote another tedious piece on the Bobos, managing to blame everyone in his elite caste except… himself. I sat down to react, typed out a few sentences, and just stopped and all I could think was “THIS FUCKING GUY AGAIN.”
That has happened a lot the last couple of years for me, not just on the blog, but in real life. My youngest sister, who never paid attention to politics until a couple years ago, started posting shit on facebook. And she was always unintentionally posting right wing memes thinking they were reasonable, and I would just unload on her. She’d get hurt, and ask me why I was so mad when she was just asking a question. And I finally had to explain to her that she was not asking a question, she was advancing right wing frames, and the reason I didn’t want to argue with her about it is because I HAVE BEEN HAVING THE SAME FUCKING ARGUMENTS WITH BAD ACTORS FOR TWO DECADES.
At any rate, this got rambly, as my posts often do. Go read the LGM thread. Read the comments. Are we as a community failing others? How can we grow? Are we too insular? Are the commenting features in need of a complete overhaul? I want this site to be around for another 20 years. I want it to keep going after I am dead.
And back to the point of the post in the first place- thanks, Cheryl, and best of luck to you and LGM!
A high school band camp is back in town, and it’s actually quite nice. As long as I have lived here, there have always been tons of band camps here in the summer. It’s a great place for them- lots of athletic fields and college dorms for them to stay in, a cafeteria, and in the middle of nowhere so there is not much trouble for them to get into other than typical shit they could and do do anywhere.
They weren’t here last year for obvious reasons, and this year, there is only one, but it is nice. I have the windows open listening to them playing out of tune. I didn’t know I missed it.