Wednesday Night #2025

Written by  //  January 6, 2021  //  Wednesday Nights  //  No comments

January 6 – celebrated by Western Christians as “Little Christmas”, or the Feast of the Magi,  commemorates the three Wise Men bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. The only gift we hoped for was two Democrat senators from Georgia.
By 2 am one-half of that wish was granted:
Warnock Beats Loeffler in Georgia Senate Race – The victory is a landmark breakthrough for African-Americans in politics. Mr. Warnock becomes the first Black Democrat to be elected to the Senate from the South.

We were glued to Tuesday night’s cliff-hanger, with ballot tallies veering from one candidate to another in the Georgia Senate race, and discouraging news for those seeking an immediate definitive outcome as the NYT’s Maggie Astor reminded us (When Will We Know Who Won the Georgia Runoffs?):
“In an extremely tight race, results could be delayed several days while late-arriving ballots come in.”
But that did not happen.

By Wednesday morning, With Senate control at stake, Ossoff maintained lead as counting resumed and by late afternoon, networks and the Associated Press proclaimed him the victor.
MSM were gleefully announcing that President-elect Joe Biden has decided to nominate Judge Merrick Garland as attorney general. Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams is the heroine of the day (month, year?).

The euphoria ended abruptly. Congressional certification of Mr. Biden’s Electoral College win, normally a formality, has been anything but. Moments after the session began, Republicans loyal to Trump objected to the electoral votes from Arizona, halting the count. Although the exercise ultimately will not change the tally, it was expected to prompt hours of acrimonious debate, with Democrats accusing Trump of trying to stage a coup.
Then protestors stormed -and breached- the Capitol.  Hundreds of pro-Trump protesters pushed through barriers set up along the perimeter of the Capitol, where they tussled with officers in full riot gear, some calling the officers “traitors” for doing their jobs. About 90 minutes later, police said demonstrators got into the building and the doors to the House and Senate were being locked. Shortly after, the House floor was evacuated by police. By 5 pm the crowd was being dispersed, many individuals expressing their pride in having participated,  and it was reported that police had secured the Capitol, so that the Congressional session can resume. A 6pm curfew has been imposed by the mayor of D.C.  however, it seems many are ignoring it. In any event, it is widely expected that the next two weeks will be tumultuous. Questions are being raised about whether Trump should be allowed to serve these last 14 days. C/should Pence invoke the 25th Amendment? Paul Campos of New York Magazine says Pence Should Invoke 25th Amendment to Remove Trump From Office Immediately

Republicans plead[ed] with Trump to denounce violent mob that breached the Capitol
He instead released a video message legitimizing their conspiracy theories. Trump tells Capitol rioters to ‘go home’ but repeatedly pushes false claim that election was stolen. Later, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long,” he tweeted. “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”
Donald Trump’s role in fanning the flames is unquestionable and despicable. Is it treasonous?

As for Giuliani, who Demand[ed] ‘Trial by Combat’ to Settle the Election, or Donald Trump Jr. who told a crowd of several hundred gathered in Washington, D.C. that their presence at a rally in support of President Trump should serve as a warning to congressional Republicans that they have lost their power. What more can be said?

Are we witnessing the demise of the GOP as a single party? See more on The Republicans 2020 – 2021

If we can tear ourselves away from CNN’s comprehensive live reports and others from Washington, we need to look at Canada and coronavirus.
Late Wednesday afternoon, François Legault announced a tightening of lockdown measures aimed at bringing the second wave of the novel coronavirus in the province under control.
Under the new rules, an overnight curfew will be put in place from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. beginning on Saturday, Jan. 9. until Feb. 8.
Is this the right approach? Will banks, hardware stores and pet stores will be allowed to remain open? What about big box stores that have been allowed to open but restricted to selling essential goods, such as groceries and pharmacy products?
Presumably, SAQs and cannabis stores will also remain open?
And on Tuesday, it was confirmed that the Quebec government had issued a directive calling on health officials to withhold a second dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines until further notice, in order to vaccinate more people. (Quebec opts to delay 2nd dose of vaccine in order to immunize health-care workers faster)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday that the federal government has delivered almost 500,000 vaccine doses to provinces and territories and is on track to deliver more than one million doses from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna by the end of January.
While Canada already has received more than 424,050 doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, only 35 per cent of those doses have been administered by the provinces, with roughly 148,000 Canadians having received a shot so far.
Compare and contrast with Israel’s success story

Robert Sinclair forwarded the press release linked below with his message “I helped write the letter, I also signed it. If you are in agreement with the contents of the letter, please feel free to pass on.”
363 experts ask for stronger protection from airborne transmission of COVID-19
/CNW Telbec/ – 363 scientists, occupational health specialists, engineers, physicians and nurses from across Canada are calling today on the Premiers and on public health officials from the federal, provincial and territorial governments, to recognize airborne transmission of COVID-19 and to act accordingly.
For complete text of letter and to sign, see Masks4Canada
See also André Picard Where’s the urgency in Canada’s vaccine rollout? who measures Canada’s sluggish efforts against Israel’s brilliant success.
About the societal effect of our isolation and lockdowns:
Online communication is a lifeline, but lack of touch and non-verbal cues have taken their toll
Earlier this year, along with a colleague, behavioural scientist Julianna Schroeder an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley, wrote a paper on staying online in a healthy way and examined four significant ways in which online and real-life encounters differ.
The four factors they identified were fewer non-verbal cues, more anonymity, more opportunity to form new social ties and bolster weak ties, and wider dissemination of information.
And this for real state buffs:
The Future of Offices When Workers Have a Choice
Some work spaces in central employment districts may become housing, and some housing in residential areas may become work spaces.
Coronavirus will not kill the office. If anything, it figures to be more dynamic than ever. The ability to work remotely will not drive most people away from cities and offices, but it will enable many to live and work in new ways and places — while causing its fair share of disruption.

A lighter moment (which we all need)
Because of an Editing Error
Blunders, gaffes and terrible math skills, written in permanent ink.
There is a delicious story linked from this Is This The Greatest NY Times Correction Of All Time? particularly of interest to all Hobbit lovers.

John Buchanan also intends to surprise us with a highly entertaining Covid-related piece.

Thought-provoking and Long Reads
Irrationality: A History of the Dark Side of Reason.
Why too much logic leads to irrationality: Justin E. H. Smith
“There’s often but one small step from rejection of law to submission to authoritarianism.”
Are we doomed? An investigation
At the conclusion of a dystopian year, we look to historians, preppers, and even the heavens in search of answers: What exactly was 2020, and what happens now?
2020 is probably not the worst year, compared to all of human history. If your metric is, well, did a quarter of the global population die of plague? Then the answer is no. This is reassuring, I guess, if you’re a real glass-half-full kind of person, which I am not. How could I be? It’s 2020.
11 Lessons From The Fall Of The Roman Republic: It Is Disturbing How Relevant They Are For Today
Washington Post Outlook: 2021 Year in preview.
In The Alchemy of Us, scientist and science writer Ainissa Ramirez examines eight inventions—clocks, steel rails, copper communication cables, photographic film, light bulbs, hard disks, scientific labware, and silicon chips—and reveals how they shaped the human experience.
How to save the world in 6 books: top climate leaders share their 2020 reads

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