Permit me, gentle readers, to recommend a book: “Starship Troopers”. If you’re looking for a gift for that stubborn conservative in your life, it should do fine.
But, recognizing that you probably won’t have time today, and you may not actually have a copy on your shelf at present, I’ll paraphrase a bit and apply that to the vaccine debate. After, you can go buy the book at the link provided above. (Independent booksellers will benefit, not Bezos.)
Someone I respect took the position that mask mandates by governors are government overreach.
Trouble is, he’s not wrong. Technically.
The role of an executive is to make on-the-spot decisions within certain boundaries. If there’s an immediate emergency, the president can send the Marines; he’s got thirty days before Congress has to step in. If a governor needs to activate the Guard, it’s the same thing. And mask mandates are only justifiable under emergency conditions, same as a “police action”; the legislature needs to get involved if it’s going to be broadly enforced long-term. That’s their job.
(Short version: The CDC isn’t lying to you — at least, not about this. But the headline is not the whole truth.)
The age of the newspaper is, alas, over. Long gone are the days when, over our morning soft-boiled egg and toast, we could read the entire daily paper from front to back, taking a few moments to complete the crossword or perhaps pencil a short letter to the editor. Today, we simply don’t have the time.
And so it’s only natural for people to attempt to inform themselves by scanning the headlines.
Unfortunately, we sometimes forget something that should be obvious: Headlines don’t tell the whole story.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m going to be frank with you, and I want you to know why.
The thing is, we spend so much time pussy-footing around dangerous thoughts and ideas these days because we feel we can’t discuss them openly. Cancel Culture has taken its toll; the list of former celebrities only ever grows. Attrition is less among politicians, but pundits and journalists vanish almost daily, because they say something that society refuses to accept — there’s invisible lines, and they cross them, and that’s just something that cannot be borne.
Without judging this phenomenon, I want to acknowledge it and explain in terms accessible even to the meanest understanding why it does not dissuade me from being brutally open and honest about this topic.
Congress has been fighting for months over the size of the next stimulus package. Now that the election has been more or less decided, there remains a chance that the lame-duck session might pass something in time for Christmas. But should they, and if so how much?