What the utter fuck: Jail doctor prescribes livestock drug ivermectin to detainees with covid-19 despite FDA warnings. So, experimenting on your prisoners, basically.
This is intended to be our system for checking in on imaginary friends, so that we know whether or not to be concerned if you go offline for a while. There is no way it could function as that sentence implies, but it's still nice to have a thread.
This is happening in Alachua county, where Gainesville is located, as a small blue island in a red part of Florida. Basically a black member of the school board was found to not live in the district she represents. While the judge was waiting to make an injunction, DeSantis personally ousted her and replaced her with a rightwing flunky. The lack of proportionality of a governor swooping in and overriding the election process of a local school board is shocking to me.
LW writes: As a group reading possibility, pick something light and not contemporary, choosing mostly for style or as a window into past attitudes. I was thinking maybe Linda Goodman's Sun Signs. Alternately, How to Win Friends and Influence People. I recently read (OK did not finish) The Stepford Wives, by Ira Levin who also wrote The Boys from Brazil, Rosemary's Baby, and more more more. I liked a few intervals of seventies displacement as well as the plus ca change exurban lifestyle takedown, thought that something similar but better might be a fun thing to kick around with eclectic online magazine participants. I could be wrong, the suggestion might be the pointless equivalent of watching old game shows or old TV ads. I look forward to learning whether anyone else is into it or some variant.
Heebie's take: I am 100% in. It's like browsing old magazines but with a storyline. Bonus points for choosing something where the author describes everyone's outfits.
NickS writes: SF writer John Scalzi has a long-running and popular blog. For the past year his daughter Athena has been guest posting (as a paid intern) while her college plans have been put on hold because of Covid, and has been very good.
This is coming to an end as she prepares to head back to college and both she and John posted general thoughts, which were offered a surprisingly emotional story. I'm impressed with Athena's willingness to write about it on a large public platform.
There have been several times I have wanted to talk about my time at Miami University on here, but I have such complicated feelings towards the whole thing that I always shy away from it. I don't just avoid talking about it on here, though, I avoid conversating about it in person, too.
Long story short: I totally failed out of Miami.
Long story long: My freshman year at Miami, I started out with six classes. And for the first couple weeks, I went to every class, and did all the assignments. And then after those first few weeks, I thought to myself, what if I just didn't? And so began my long, long period of never going to class and never doing any schoolwork. Semester after semester.
Obviously, not a great situation, so I had the genius idea to blame everything on my disability. Poor narcoleptic girl, falling asleep in every class, falling asleep every time she cracked open a textbook to do any studying, falling asleep every time she opened her laptop to write a paper. Truly tragic.
I have struggled with my narcolepsy for years, in many ways, but college made me realize how debilitating it truly is. I am still trying to figure out "did my disability actually disable me, or am I being overdramatic? Am I falsely blaming my disability when the true problem is me, and my disability is just an easy cover-up?" You know, I don't really know. It's a mix of a lot of things.
I genuinely did fall asleep in every class, which in turn made me not want to go because that shit is fucking embarrassing. But I also didn't go because I didn't feel like it. And I really couldn't make it through a paragraph in a textbook without nodding off. But I also didn't really open my textbooks very often to begin with. It was truly a co-morbidity.
Clearly I knew Athena would be taking a break from the site to focus on going back to school, and inasmuch as we have weekly staff meetings to plot out what's going up on the site, I knew she would be writing a "farewell" piece as her last regularly scheduled post. I didn't know what the specific content of it would be prior to her submitting it, or that she would talk about her time at Miami University and her thoughts about it.
[Her internship on the site was] not the year she or frankly any of us were expecting, but it did not go idly by. And the result was her honing a life skill that will be useful to her out in the world. I'm proud of that, and, obviously, very proud of her.
Which is a thing I feel I should say publicly: I'm proud of my kid. Life is a complicated and messy thing, and rare is the person whose life goes exactly to plan (and to whose plan? Theirs? Or someone else's?), if they even have a plan at all. Some things are in our control and some things aren't. I finished college in four years, right after I finished high school. Krissy got her college degree at 35, after years of fitting in classes where she could. Athena will do her thing, and it will take the time it takes. I'm not too worried about that. In the meantime Athena is a good and decent person, one of my favorite people to talk to and snark with, someone whose presence in the world makes me happy every day. And also, a hell of a good writer, and getting better as she goes along.
Heebie's take: She really is a great writer (and it feels like a breath of fresh air to sympathize with the problems of an individual rather than the problems of society and the world).
This is what it looks like to grapple with life from a position of security. I don't have any solutions for her, besides maybe talking to a therapist and/or psychiatrist about looking more holistically at the patterns that keep sabotaging her.
1. Remember pre-Covid, how we used to say that vaccines were a victim of their own success? And the only reason anti-vaxxers had room to materialize is that nobody had witnessed the toll of childhood diseases in 50 years? I guess we have egg on our faces.
2. Not surprising, but striking. On the maps (like this one at the NYT and probably others) that let you toggle back and forth between hospitalization rates and vaccination rates, you can see how they're the complement of each other. At a fairly granular level, if not precisely at the county level.
Fafblog had it all planned out back in 2004, allowing for the necessary modifications between Iraq and Afghanistan:
In the middle of the night while everybody in Iraq is sleepin we pack up all our stuff, tanks, bombs, guns, tents, extra buildings and everything, and stuff it into our planes and helicopters so we can get out real fast at the drop of a hat - a fast hat. Then we will have specially trained troops sent out to each Iraqi home with cords attached to their backs and wait until sunrise and when all the Iraqi families start to wake up yawning and stretching and so on our troops jump out waving wiggly fingers and goin "It was allllll a dream... it was alllllll a dream!"
The wiggly fingers here are very crtical here and if not done correctly could spoil everything.
Then our troops will jump back an get pulled up into the sky by the cords on their backs (remember them?) and all our guys will fly out quickly into the Persian Gulf and onto our carriers which will have been cleverly disguised as a group of banana boats from the Carribbean blown off course by prevailing winds. We will have hand-painted* signs that say "Sorry no bananas Iraqis" in case Iraqis try to buy bananas from our aircraft carriers.
When the Iraqis wake up to see the wiggly fingers and the disappeared Americans they will be confused, and then they will all go "Huh! That must have been a weird dream" an then they talk to their next-door Itaqis who say "did you have that weird dream" and they say "you mean the one where the Americans come and overthrow Saddam Hussein and first we are all happy and then we get sad and then angry and blowing things and people up?" and then they say again "Yes, that dream! I had it for the last year or so it must have been a recurring one." And they will say "Whoa weird" and "What happened to Saddam Hussein" and "He seems to be gone now! I guess we had better go build our own sovereign democratic state here, perhaps aided by the United Nations" and "Wow that sounds like a great idea!"
To put it another way, I'm really not sure how how anyone expected the end of The was in Afghanistan to be fundamentally neater and tidier than it has been. We should have been better about getting people out, but it was always going to be a mess.