The Sunday Six
What I read this week and why
How is everyone’s weekend going? Thanks for spending a portion of it with the Six.
In the span of one week, two of our country’s most blue of Democratic politicians were diagnosed with COVID-19. They are President Biden and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker.
Neither is in any health danger as they will receive the best medical care and as we know by now, COVID isn’t that harmful.
But the irony of this can’t be glossed over.
We are talking about two politicians who are as establishment as it gets. Neither has much of a worldview other than following the agenda of The Party. Both criticized Americans for not accepting the soda-straw indoctrination that masks and vaccines are the way out of the ‘pandemic.’
And now that they are infected with the benign virus, they keep pushing the same disinformation narrative. Earlier this week, Pritzker copy and pasted a Covid press release, substituting “monkey pox” for “Covid” and using such fear-laden phrases as “stop the outbreak” and “confronting outbreaks.”
I got into a Twitter back-and-forth this week with someone who called Biden a liar after his Covid diagnosis.
I don’t think he’s a liar. I don’t think Pritzker is either (at least about this).
Here’s what they are – master propagandists. They honestly believe that government is the answer to everything. They appear imperial and strong when most reason-minded Americans are just fine with no response rather than “swift response” from our politicians.
As much as they want to sell us on “preventing the spread,” just like the rest of us, they can’t stop from getting Covid.
And we can all sleep better knowing they are going to be just fine.
(Get the shot!)
Let’s proceed with the Six.
Because we are three-and-a-half months from the midterm elections, we are inundated daily with polling numbers. There are some that say congressional races will be tighter than anticipated, others that say the GOP will seize back control of the House and Senate. This article from Axios suggests a “gaping disconnect between the priorities of Republican and Democratic voters” and how the number of registered voters from each party that get out and vote in November will likely decide battleground seats.
Partisanship is not a new concept in this country. But lately, the term ‘extremism’ – formerly on the margins of society – has creeped into our every day cultural consciousness. This essay from French Press takes a look at how extremists “engineer destructive ideologies that serve mainly to confuse and divide American parents and American kids” namely, boys. Recent mass shootings – all at the hands of young men – has heightened the urgency and importance of the conversation of how we are raising boys and how “men account for 70 percent of the decline in enrollment in American colleges and universities.”
The current inflationary environment has stirred more conversations around food and where it comes from. For those living in the Arctic, eating well is all about planning ahead. This piece from Eater explains how residents in remote Alaskan communities feed themselves. Other than in the dead of winter, when it is possible to drive on the frozen river, all food must be grown at home or imported by air. The freezer is everything – generally filled with precious moose meat. And yes, in extreme conditions, Amazon Prime will still deliver items like coconut milk with –alas! – free shipping.
The pool of recruits available to the U.S. military is low, and the Pentagon is facing serious problems signing recruits not seen since the early 1970s. Right now, only 23 percent of Americans aged 17 to 24 would be considered qualified to serve without a waiver regarding disqualifications due to obesity, drug use and criminal records. An internal Pentagon document reported that only 9 percent of young Americans eligible to serve in the military “had any inclination to do so,” which is the lowest level observed since 2007. This year the Army is at 40 percent of its recruiting target for a fiscal year that ends in September. NBC News has the unpromising details.
Probably like most readers of the Six, the closest I’ve come to being on a yacht is a Navy Pier boat ride. I’m not entirely sure what parameters accelerate a boat to yacht status other than more ostentatious size and fixings – i.e., deck, guest rooms, DJ scratch table. But there is another level of yacht-dom: the superyacht. That business is positively booming right now, as widening wealth disparities fuel a spike in the number of global billionaires and those billionaires subsequently indulge in their natural yearning for the open sea. In 2021, the yacht industry sold 887 superyachts — we have data, a yacht that is more than 98 feet in length — which was about double the amount sold in 2020. Over a thousand superyachts are on order, and there are waiting lists chock-full of people who really, really hate to be told they have to wait for anything. The New Yorker has the story, and makes reference to yet another level of yacht-dom, the gigayacht. Who knew?
Here’s the premise: a Philadelphia man thought he could impress his Tik-Tok followers by filming and proving commentary on a group of baby raccoons trying to scale a fence in an alley. What happened? One of the raccoons escaped, charged the man and bit him. Of course, he kept the camera rolling during the attack and later, while in the hospital receiving his tetanus shot (the hospital let him film). The need for social media affirmation feeds almost all of these angry animal videos. In this case it worked, as the video has racked up 1.7 million views as of this writing. I find that part as fascinating as the man vs. nature battleground.
Thanks for reading everybody and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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