Felt [just a bit] like spring, today

I love when it gets warm enough that I don’t need a big knit hat to keep my noggin warm. That’s what kind of a day it was, today, here in northern New Mexico.

Yes, I know a bunch of the GOUSA and Canada were dealing with piles of snow falling from the sky. Here in La Cieneguilla, it was 50 degrees F, barely a southern breeze. I hauled out my headphones and did all my exercise walking with nothing more on my head than my Mister Robot cap and, as usual – to start the walking musical season off – Aerosmith.

Feds unraveling conspiracy details on the DC riot


Melina Mara/Washington Post

FBI agents around the country are working to unravel the various motives, relationships, goals and actions of the hundreds of Trump supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Some inside the bureau have described the Capitol riot investigation as their biggest case since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and a top priority of the agents’ work is to determine the extent to which that violence and chaos was preplanned and coordinated

An indictment Friday night charged a member of the Proud Boys, Dominic Pezzola, 43, of Rochester, N.Y., with conspiracy, saying his actions showed “planning, determination, and coordination.” Another alleged member of the Proud Boys, William Pepe, 31, of Beacon, N.Y., also was charged with conspiracy.

One of the comments cited in the FBI memo declared Trump supporters should go to Washington and get “violent. Stop calling this a march, or rally, or a protest. Go there ready for war. We get our President or we die.”

RTFA. Classic coordination for demonstrations is always fertile ground for folks who prefer violence over public support for whatever political position. Poisonally, I think they need to have their heads examined if they believe they can rollout a Banana Republic coup in a nation with inertia and ennui designed into the genetics of political processes.

Preferably, the exams should be conducted by a prison doctor.

Will the (electric) future be made in America?

President Joe Biden said Monday the U.S. government would replace the entire federal fleet of cars, trucks and SUVs with electric vehicles manufactured in the United States, a commitment tied to a broader campaign promise to create 1 million new jobs in the American auto industry and supply chains…

Biden made the comments prior to signing the Made in America executive order, which places stricter rules on the federal government’s procurement practices. The government has existing “buy American” rules, which states that a certain amount of a product must be made in the U.S. for a purchase to qualify for a federal contract.

The opportunity is a large one. The U.S. government had more than 645,000 vehicles in its fleet in 2019, the most recent data available from the General Services Agency. Of those, about 224,000 are passenger vehicles and more than 412,000 are trucks.

Of course, the conversion to a carbon neutral economy will take steps like this to achieve qualitative change. What to watch, now, is to see who steps up to help…or hinder the change.

Cemetery apologizes for refusing burial of Black deputy sheriff


Brian Tarnowski/Guardian

The family of a Black sheriff’s deputy in Louisiana said a local cemetery declined to bury his body after he died last week due to a “whites only” policy…

Oaklin Springs cemetery confirmed to local station KPLC on Wednesday that a contract from the 1950s mentions “the right of burial of the remains of white human beings”…

The cemetery is located in Allen Parish, Louisiana – where nearly a quarter of residents are Black.

RTFA. It comes out mostly OK. Yup, I wouldn’t want to be found dead in that cemetery, either.

Bye-bye, Republican Party


Lyle Darrah outside his home in Mead, Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021

Lyle Darrah was on a conference call at work when the riot at the U.S. Capitol started on Jan. 6. When his boss mentioned what was happening, he turned on news coverage — and immediately felt his last allegiance to the Republican Party slipping away…

Later, Darrah, age 49, sat in his living room and pulled up the state’s voter registration website. And then, like thousands of other Coloradans in the wake of the insurrection, he left the Republican Party…

In the week from Jan. 6 through Jan. 12, about 4,600 Republicans changed their party status in Colorado…There was no comparable effect with any other party…

The number of people changing parties spiked immediately after the Capitol breach, though their motivations varied widely. About 200 made the same dramatic leap as Darrah, choosing to join the Democratic Party. Hundreds more went to conservative third parties…

RTFA…

…Interviews and data analysis show how the tumultuous post-election period, driven by the former president’s false claims of a stolen election and culminating in the Capitol riot and the current impeachment effort, has created a new split within the Republican Party.

1st non-human primate in the GOUSA infected with COVID-19

A gorilla at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park in California has recovered from Covid-19 after receiving monoclonal antibody therapy and other treatments.

Winston, an elderly silverback gorilla, and eight other gorilla troop members tested positive for the virus earlier this month after showing symptoms of “mild coughing, congestion, nasal discharge and intermittent lethargy,” the zoo said. The gorillas were suspected to have been infected by an asymptomatic staff member…

From a supply not permitted for human use, Winston received monoclonal antibody therapy, heart medications and antibiotics…”Treatment with these synthetic versions of the body’s natural defenses is thought to be effective in diminishing effects from the virus,” the zoo said in its news release. “The veterinary team who treated Winston believe the antibodies may have contributed to his ability to overcome the virus.”

Monoclonal antibody treatments that are used to treat humans have been shown to reduce viral load and lower a person’s risk of hospitalization and even death. Unlike a vaccine that takes a few weeks to work, antibody treatments work right away.