Some Republicans really don’t care if millions of Americans die

Republican Senator Ron Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.”

He added that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less…”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 329 million Americans. If, to use the senator’s phrasing, the coronavirus were to kill “maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population,” that would mean the death of over 9 million Americans. If the 3.4 percent figure is high, and it turns out that the virus is fatal to 1 percent of the population, that’s still over 3 million American deaths.

Just in case you were missing out on the essential Republican concern over national disasters.

London Fox = Mammal Photograph of the Year


Click to enlarge

The Mammal Society has announced the winners of the (oddly-specific) Mammal Photographer of the Year competition, awarding the top prize to an amateur photographer from East London who captured a local fox staring him down through a car’s windscreen, looking for food…

The overall winner and 2020 Mammal Photographer of the Year is amateur photographer Roger Cox…

Br’er Fox ain’t afraid of any human peering back at him through the windscreen.

11-year-old with a loaded AR-15 visits Idaho Legislature — OK with Idaho!


11-tear-old Bailey Nielsen, her AR-15 and her Grandad
Keith Ridler/AP

An 11-year-old girl appeared Monday at a legislative hearing in Idaho, toting a loaded AR-15 assault weapon. Bailey Nielsen was with her grandfather, who is supporting a proposal that would allow visitors to Idaho who can legally possess firearms to carry a concealed handgun within city limits.

“Bailey is carrying a loaded AR-15,” Charles Nielsen told lawmakers. “People live in fear, terrified of that which they do not understand. She’s been shooting since she was 5 years old. She got her first deer with this weapon at 9. She carries it responsibly. She knows how not to put her finger on the trigger. We live in fear in a society that is fed fear on a daily basis.”

He said Bailey was an example of someone who could responsibly handle a gun, and lawmakers should extend that to non-residents.

On one level, this is a civics lesson for idiots. The fools who believe all this crap. If you know how to use a firearm, kill animals without hitting any human beings – that’s all that should be required for gun ownership and carrying them around loaded. At hand, I guess, to deal with the next emissary of Satan who magically appears in downtown Boise, threatening to hand political power over to some insufficiently-white furriner.

On the other, it is considered reasonable in many jurisdictions that by the time someone reaches the age and understanding required, say, to vote, then, you are likely to have the maturity and good sense not to use basic motor skills to slaughter another citizen who just happens to piss you off, that moment.

Many nations have stronger requirements and haven’t collapsed in Liberal/Conservative anarchy. I would be more strict than that and I also am a gun-owner. Have been for more years than Bailey’s grandad has been alive.

There is this black cloud wandering over our planet…


Currently, drifting over the Pacific Ocean

The scientific name is cumulonimbus flammagenitus, but the more common nickname is ‘fire cloud.’ NASA calls them the “fire-breathing dragon of clouds,” according to their website.

One of the largest fire clouds ever recorded has been drifting around the Southern Hemisphere for over a month. Heat and freak thunderstorms generated by Australia’s massive wildfires sent ash and toxic materials high into the atmosphere, where they formed a massive dark cloud of debris. It’s been measured at 15 miles high at some points, and at one point it covered more than 1 million square miles — about half the size of Canada.

NASA has been tracking the massive cloud from space as it slowly drifted over to South America and then looped back toward Oceania where it hovered over New Zealand, turning glaciers brown, and perhaps hastening their melting.

As Australian firefighters get their blazes under control, the cloud has been dissipating. Health experts say toxic chemicals and debris eventually drop back to Earth, through the air or within raindrops, where they can be inhaled or ingested by humans and animals…

And that ain’t all. Click the link above and RTFA.