COVID

Sign Of The Beast?

As always when discussing religious beliefs, I want to start with a caveat: I am not God, nor do I think I have any special message from Heaven that only I can hear. If God is speaking to me (and I wouldn’t ever dare to tell God what He can and can’t do), He’s being quiet about it. My authority is only that which comes from a lifetime of study, checking with experts, a decent knowledge of history, and the original text (as best as I can determine).

What I have to say may well be of interest to Christians and mystics; it might also very well be of service to those who have only a passing knowledge of the Bible but are well up on current politics.

Across social media, we’ve all doubtless seen memes about the Sign or Number or Mark of the Beast and how it relates to the Coronavirus. Perhaps you’re one of those whose only other encounter with it was during a Supernatural episode, or perhaps watching the movie Constantine. So let me tell you a bit about where it comes from.

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Tucker Carlson And The Truth

One of my newer acquaintances recently asked why it is that Tucker Carlson is considered unreliable by even his allies and in turn hated, despised, and reviled by those who oppose him politically. And it struck me that, while I’ve long stated his unreliability as fact, I’ve never taken the trouble to detail my reasons.

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Strange State

It’s highly unusual for a new president to address Congress within his first year, much less his first hundred days. With a near-deserted hall (thanks to COVID) in a fortified building surrounded by heavily armed riot police and not a few National Guardsmen, tonight’s address made history in several ways.

What wasn’t unusual was the content. Although it was delivered in an almost informal, folksy style, we heard exactly what we expected to. The tone was optimistic, and the message was clear: Biden laid out his agenda for the coming months, and he expects to make it happen. How, exactly, is another question entirely.

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What’s Actually In The Relief Bill?

With a nearly $2 trillion price tag, what is hopefully the last COVID-19 relief bill is up for debate in the Senate today — and, probably, tomorrow and the next and…

Due to the curious process under which it’s being considered — the Reconciliation rules — there’s no chance of a filibuster on the table; on the other hand, both the complexity of the proposed legislation and certain parliamentary tricks will create some fairly significant delays. These are normal (if petty) maneuvers; more to the point is considering the complexity of the bill proper.

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Happy New Year. Now What?

We’ve survived 2020.

Hooray for us. So now what? What’s the new normal going to be?

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Why We Do This

I was posed a question over Christmas. It was respectful and well-meaning, but the gist of it was, “Why do you bother to do this? You’re no expert, and sometimes you’re wrong.”

And that’s perfectly true: I have no degree in political science, nor even one in journalism. From time to time I’ll make a mistake — sometimes an egregious one. It’s even possible that the entire premise of an article might be completely off-base. These are all quite valid points, and it’s worth remembering them when you read: I might be wrong.

On the other hand, it’s occasionally possible everyone else is wrong.

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Winter 2020: The Great Fire

In early July, we released an exhaustive article on COVID-19 trends. It was meticulously researched, with dozens of subordinate links to data sources. In it, we cited our earlier prediction that, unless Americans were to act with unprecedented foresight and responsibility, we were looking at between one and six million deaths by the end of autumn. Our tracking gave us cause for cautious optimism.

Winter officially begins in one week, and the official COVID-19 death count just passed 300,000. Given the standard two to six week lag time in reports combined with a 3000+ person daily increase, the final numbers will be closer to 400,000 by that point. Advances in hospital treatment protocols combined with local lockdowns and responsible behavior in much of the country have prevented, at great cost, the loss of millions of American lives. Our optimism has proven justified.

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Why We Don’t Have COVID Relief

The Senate has adjourned for their pre-election break following marathon sessions to confirm a new Supreme Court justice. This makes it highly unlikely that we’ll see more stimulus checks before Election Day.

But for once the blame doesn’t actually belong to the Senate, despite how bad this looks. They don’t have anything to vote on.

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F&L 2020: Death Of A Candidate

President Trump has been tested positive for COVID-19. Since we’re presently engaged in an election, it’s important to consider what happens if he — or another candidate — should die.

Fortunately, we have a process to determine this for us. So, in order to reduce uncertainty, let’s consider the possibilities and project, as best we may, what will happen under each of them.

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Hallowe’en in the Age of COVID

October 31st, 2020 falls on a Saturday. It’s far too soon to know the weather, but the fact that there’s a full moon is pretty unlikely to change. In other years, this would be a Hallowe’en-lover’s dream. And I, as you know, am a Hallowe’en lover.

This, alas, is not other years.

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