The Medieval Friendzone

A young Elizabeth I found herself on the throne of England immediately “besieged by suitors” to whom she made “no firm promises” but sent very nice-sounding letters. One such suitor was a young Eric XIV of Sweden. He was so thirsty, he offered to come to England to visit her. That’s when she fired off this missive on the 25th of February, 1559.

Translation:

Most Serene Prince, our very dear Cousin,

A letter truly yours both in the writing and sentiment, was given us on 30 December by your very dear brother, the Duke of Finland. And while we perceive therefrom that the zeal and love of your mind towards us is not diminished, yet in part we are grieved that we cannot gratify your Serene Highness with the same kind of affection. And that indeed does not happen because we doubt in any way of your love and honour, but, as often we have testified both in words and in writing, that we have never yet conceived a feeling of that kind of affection towards any one. We therefore beg your Serene Highness again and again that you be pleased to set a limit to your love, that it advance not beyond the laws of friendship for the present nor disregard them in future… I have always given both to your brother, who is certainly a most excellent Prince and deservedly very dear to us, and also to your ambassador likewise, the same answer with scarcely any variation of the words, that we do not conceive in our heart to take a husband but highly commend the single life, and hope that your Serene Highness will not longer spend time in waiting for us.

Source

Memorial Day Meat Fibers

I was rather dismayed to find out that there were no more episodes of “Grill Talk” with the leader of one of the worst companies on the planet1. I wonder if the PR team that thought it was a good idea to show the ‘casual and human’ side of their ethically bankrupt CEO are still with the company.

Here’s a condensed version by umami. It is one of my favorite creepy things on the internet ♥️

  1. Disclaimer: I’m on Instagram, have an Oculus, and cannot get my family off WhatsApp. I console myself by noting that I’m never on Facebook itself and that all these companies were acquisitions whose souls haven’t been polluted by Facebook (yet… and as if that matters because it doesn’t.) ↩︎

AppleTalk

“For all that we’ve been able to achieve while many of us have been separated, the truth is that there has been something essential missing from this past year: each other,” [Tim Cook] said. “Video conference calling has narrowed the distance between us, to be sure, but there are things it simply cannot replicate.”

[…] “For now, let me simply say that I look forward to seeing your faces,” he said in closing. “I know I’m not alone in missing the hum of activity, the energy, creativity and collaboration of our in-person meetings and the sense of community we’ve all built.”

Apple asks staff to return to office three days a week starting in early September”, The Verge

“Come back or get fired. We didn’t build this giant spaceship for nothing. And how’s our overpaid middle-management supposed to micro-manage you?”

Buy Good Shit

Neil Panchal on substituting shitty, ineffective, and expensive consumer-grade items with their industrial and military grade equivalents. Emphases mine:

The average consumer is an idiot, so the bean counters keep milking them. Let’s stick RGB lights in what used to be the BMW, you know the ultimate driving machine. The entire consumer market is rotten. TV? It’s going to come with smart apps. Get one from NEC that’s meant for commercial use.

The average consumer wants this stuff. It sells. They want pizzaz over functionality and durability. They want shiny stuff in a bigger box.

The Onion is reality. I don’t think corporations/businesses are to blame. We’re not voting with our wallets and instead regressing into buying more fricking touch screens. The average consumer is extremely ill-informed, sometimes that’s due to the lack of time, but more often than not, it’s due diligence.

The industrial, military and commercial market doesn’t mess around. They want to purchase equipment that works reliably and performs to a specification. It’s professional and their livelihood depends on it. It sort of self filters the entire market. Shitty things drop off the radar due to poor sales.

“Overkill Objects for Everyday Life”

While I don’t think I’d serve guests beer in “ASTM Specification E960, Type II”-compliant beakers1, I will certainly try out things like this cleaner, for example.

  1. For I wouldn’t have any friends left if I did that. ↩︎

American Polarization

One of the most disheartening charts I’ve seen about the current hyperpartisan political climate. We fear each other so much more.

Source

I suppose all’s fine and dandy if you’re in news or social media and are spiritually obligated to deliver Value™ to stakeholders via those almighty engagement metrics that do nothing more than sow rancor among people who have a lot more in common than they’re led to believe. All Facebook does is hold a mirror up to society. All the news media does is report. Ethics and responsibility are for the Value™-illiterate. The only thing that matters, as the society and country you and your children live in devours itself, is making gobs of cash.

Chamunda from Odisha

This is one of the most seriously badass representations of Shakti I’ve seen in a while.

The goddess is shown seated on obsessed boy (Corpse or Preta). The corpse is placed on a pedestal. The deity has a skeletal body, veins can be seen clearly. Its face is ferocious and wrathful; eyes are popping out with open mouth and frown on face. This may be influenced by the concept of Yogeshvari as third eye shown prominently over the forehead. The hair stands are erected (urdhvakesha) which look like fire flames (jvalakesha) (Rao 1989). The hairs are tied firmly with a snake and skull. On the right side of headgear a small hand in abhayamudra is depicted; same feature can be seen on left but it is an eroded condition. The goddess is wearing a skull garland, mundamala consist of 44 skulls and sarpakundalas in ears. A snake encircling around the neck. The deity is shown wearing a bajubandh made by the design of snake, Same ornaments are replicated at wrist and ankle. It is an artistic excellence where snake is shown holding its own tail in mouth which has formed a beautiful circle. The deity is shown wearing ornate mekhala. The parikara of the image is ornate depicting the elephant skin in low relief. The representations of pair of owls carrying garland is shown on portion of elephant’s ear on a left side. The depiction of peacock, bell and conch shell can be observed on a right side. The depiction of devotee is seen beside the right foot of the deity. The devotee is shown sitting in vajrasana has a prominent headgear with circular karnakundalas. It is holding a sword in its right arm shown wearing an ornate bajubandha and keyur. The devotee is in namaskarmudra, head is shown slightly raised upwards watching a divine appearance of the goddess. The five jackals are shown fetching flesh from corpse which is beneath of the deity. The small female attendant (11.5 cm) of the goddess is shown on a left side of the pedestal below the left foot of the corpse. This female attendance replicates the main goddess shown in skeletal form holding dagger and kapala in right and left hand respectively.

Unkule R, Joge G, Mushrif V, “Early Medieval Representation of Human Anatomy: A Case Study of Chamunda Stone Image from Dharamsala, Odisha”, Heritage: Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies in Archaeology 5 (2017): 191‐200

The Great Republican Bamboo Fiber Hunt

You know, the one where Evil Liberals partnered with Soros and Hillary and flew in 40,000 ballots (and not more) from China (or thereabouts) to Maricopa County in Arizona (and nowhere else.) So the only way to make sure the ballots are authentic is to stick them under a microscope and look for bamboo fibers because… you know… Kung-Fu Panda? Asians? Bamboo?

From an article in The Guardian:

[…] “I do think it’s somewhat of a waste of time, but it will help unhinge people,” Brakey said on Wednesday. “They’re not gonna find bamboo … If they do, I think we need to know, don’t you?”

I don’t think anyone’s getting unhinged in that party anymore, Mr. Brakey.

One of the people who spread the lie about China dumping ballots, according to Slate, was Javon Pulitzer, a treasure hunter and inventor, who is reportedly assisting with the Maricopa county audit. Though it’s not clear in what capacity Pulitzer is assisting, Brakey told reporters on Tuesday that the machines capturing the microscopic images of the ballots were linked to Pulitzer. “This guy is nuts,” he said. “He’s a fraudster … It’s ridiculous that we’re doing some of this.”

Then why do you keep doing it?

The county has hired a firm called “Cyber Ninjas” to perform the audit. Because it’s the late 90’s and we just allow teenagers to give ‘cool’ names to companies. Like most entities in the World of Orange, they’re exceedingly good at their job, just like all the top-notch attorneys on the Elite Strike-Force Team 💯

[Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug] Logan’s “Stop the Steal” antics extend beyond social media. He is listed as an expert witness in a lawsuit alleging voter fraud in Michigan. Logan was also the author of a document called “Election Fraud Facts & Details” that Sidney Powell, the conservative attorney who is now embroiled in a defamation lawsuit concerning her election conspiracy theories, shared on her website. In the document, he props up the Venezuela narrative and a similarly absurd and debunked theory regarding Chinese investment in the voting machine manufacturer Dominion.

[…] Election experts noted that the company has already made rookie mistakes. For instance, Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield spotted auditors using blue pens, which is not best practice since there is a risk of altering the vote on a ballot. The state’s own election process manual prohibits anything but red pens from being used. When Fifield brought the issue up with Logan, she says he was unaware that the blue ink could be a problem and seemed unsure overall about the correct procedure. A judge later ordered the removal of all black and blue pens from the facility where the recount is taking place. The Brennan Center for Justice, a legal think tank associated with New York University, also sent a letter to the Department of Justice last week alleging that Cyber Ninjas has not been following basic security practices like locking doors to the facility holding the ballots and preventing unauthorized individuals from entering.

Arizona Is Holding Yet Another 2020 Recount. The Company Running It Makes It Even Worse., Slate

For more ineptitude, here’s an account from Jennifer Morrell at The Washington Post (cached)

I was stunned to see spinning conveyor wheels, whizzing hundreds of ballots past “counters,” who struggled to mark, on a tally sheet, each voter’s selection for the presidential and Senate races. They had only a few seconds to record what they saw. Occasionally, I saw a counter look up, realize they missed a ballot and then grab the wheel to stop it. This process sets them up to make so many mistakes, I kept thinking. Humans are terrible at tedious, repetitive tasks; we’re especially bad at counting. That’s why, in all the other audits I’ve seen, bipartisan teams follow a tallying method that allows for careful review and inspection of each ballot, followed by a verification process. I’d never seen an audit use contraptions to speed up the process.

Speed doesn’t necessarily pose a problem if the audit has a process for catching and correcting mistakes. But it didn’t. Each table had three volunteers tallying the ballots, and their tally sheets were considered “done” as long as two of the three tallies matched, and the third was off by no more than two ballots. The volunteers only recounted if their tally sheets had three or more errors — a threshold they stuck to, no matter how many ballots a stack contained, whether it was 50 or 100. This allowed for a shocking amount of error. Some table managers told the counters to go back and recount when there were too many errors; other table managers just instructed the counters to fix their “math mistakes.” At no point did anyone track how many ballots they were processing at their station, to ensure that none got added or lost during handling.

I also observed other auditors working on a “forensic paper audit,” flagging ballots as “suspicious” for a variety of reasons. One was presidential selection: If someone thought the voter’s choice looked as though it was marked by a machine, they flagged it as “anomalous.” Another was “missing security markers.” (It’s virtually impossible for a ballot to be missing its security markers, since voting equipment is designed to reject ballots without them.) The third was paper weight — the forensics tables had scales for weighing ballots, though I never saw anyone use them — and texture. Volunteers scrutinized ballots for, of all things, bamboo fibers. Only later, after the shift, did I learn that this was connected to a conspiracy theory that fake ballots had been flown in from South Korea.

The fourth reason was folding. The auditors reasoned that only absentee voters would fold their ballots; an in-person, Election Day voter would take a flat ballot, mark it in the booth and submit it, perfectly pristine. I almost had to laugh: In my experience, voters will fold ballots every which way, no matter where they vote or what the ballot instructs them to do. Chalk it up to privacy concerns or individual quirks — but no experienced elections official would call that suspicious.

[…] Their equipment worried me more than their wild theorizing. At the forensics tables, auditors took a photo of each ballot using a camera suspended by a frame, then passed the ballot to someone operating a lightbox with four microscope cameras attached. This was a huge deviation from the norm. Usually, all equipment that election officials use to handle a ballot — from creating to scanning to tallying it — has been federally tested and certified; often, states will conduct further tests before their jurisdictions accept the machines. It jarred me to see volunteers using this untested, uncertified equipment on ballots, claiming that the images would be used at some point in the future for an electronic re-tally.

[…] What I saw in Arizona shook me. If the process wraps up and Cyber Ninjas puts together some kind of report, that report will almost certainly claim that there were issues with Maricopa County’s ballots. After all, Cyber Ninjas chief executive Doug Logan has publicly voiced his wild conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. But the real problem is the so-called audit itself.

The Best People, folks ♥️

Chomsky on Russell

[…] I think late 50’s he was asked once “Why are you wasting your time with CND demonstrations when you could be working on logic and philosophy and doing something of lasting significance?” And his answer wasn’t bad. He said “If I’m not out there demonstrating, there won’t be anyone around to read the logic and philosophy.” And that’s a pretty good response.

Source

We Are Mark Wood

Reddit user and evident Mark Wood fan @kanyay-west put together this list of England’s All-Time Cricketing Best when asked “What’s your country’s all time ODI XI?” I’ve reproduced it here and formatted it for clarity. I laughed a lot to this and am a rather silly person 🙏♥️


  1. Mark Wood
  2. Mark Wood
  3. Mark Wood
  4. Mark Wood (Captain)
  5. Mark Wood
  6. Mark Wood
  7. Mark Wood (Wicket-Keeper)
  8. Mark Wood
  9. Mark Wood
  10. Mark Wood
  11. Mark Wood

Role Assignee
12th Man Mark Wood
On field umpires Mark Wood and Mark Wood
3rd umpire Mark Wood
Pitch Curator Mark Wood
Team Sponsor Mark Wood
Director of ECB Mark Wood
Head Coach of Men’s ODI team Mark Wood
Fielding Coach Mark Wood
Bowling Coach Mark Wood
Batting Coach Mark Wood
Spin bowling Coach Mark Wood
Physio Mark Wood
Team Analyst Mark Wood
Team Fitness Coach Mark Wood
Team Massuse Mark Wood
Team Bus Driver Mark Wood
Team Manager Mark Wood
Team Babysitter Mark Wood
Team Bat Crafter Mark Wood
Stadium Supporters Mark Wood x100,000
Stumps and Nails Material Marked Wood
Team Mark Wood Mark Wood

On Never Giving Up

Whenever I get discouraged and want to quit something, I remember the words of my then 3 year-old after she puked carrots all over the living room floor: “I’m gonna need more carrots.”

Jessica Valenti

Now write down “You’re gonna need more carrots” on a sticky and look at it from time to time ♥️

“Vertical Hanging Indent” is the One True Indentation Style

With the trailing comma and sorted properties/imports/whatever! It looks like this in Python:

from constants import (
    EXIT_CODE_ARTICLE_ROOT_NOT_FOUND,
    EXIT_CODE_NOT_A_GIT_REPOSITORY,
    EXIT_CODE_NOT_AN_ABSOLUTE_PATH,
    MARKDOWN_EXTENSION_CONFIG,
    MARKDOWN_EXTENSIONS,
    MARKDOWN_FILE_EXTENSION,
    MAX_NUMBER_OF_WORKERS,
    PATHS_TO_REMOVE,
)

In which universe are these shittier alternatives considered readable or maintainable?

from constants import (MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS,
                       MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT,
                       MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS, MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM,
                       SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)

or

from constants import (MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS,
                       MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT,
                       MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS,
                       MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM,
                       SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)

or

from constants import (
    MAX_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_RESULTS, MAX_CHARS_SURROUNDING_SEARCH_HIGHLIGHT,
    MAX_SEARCH_RESULTS, MIN_CHARS_IN_SEARCH_TERM, SEARCH_INDEX_PATH)

That’s for Python and the modes are from the excellent isort’s docs. I am glad that Prettier does VHI by default (although you have to specify the trailing-comma and object properties are not sorted.)

Shitkraken: A Quarterly Report

I didn’t want to post anything more about this seemingly interminable saga of ineptitude and batshittery. But I am a collector of various things. And collectors value completeness. So here we go.

An Ex-Member of the “Elite Strike-Force Team” says “reasonable people” wouldn’t really believe her bullshit so please don’t sue her for a billion and change:

Pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell asked a federal court to dismiss a roughly $1.3 billion defamation suit filed against her by Dominion Voting Systems, arguing that her claims the company’s voting machines rigged the election for Joe Biden represented her opinion, not statements of fact.

[…] In its Monday motion, Ms. Powell’s legal team argued that “reasonable people would not accept such statements as fact but view them only as claims that await testing by the courts through the adversary process."

Pro-Trump Lawyer Sidney Powell Seeks to Dismiss Defamation Suit Over Election Claims”, The Wall Street Journal (cached)

The Fearless Leader of the verysame “Elite Strike-Force Team” is in some trouble:

Federal agents executed search warrants Wednesday at the Manhattan apartment and office of Rudy Giuliani, his attorney said, advancing a criminal investigation by federal prosecutors that has been underway for more than two years.

Giuliani […] has been the focus of an investigation concerning his activities in Ukraine, including whether he conducted illegal lobbying for Ukrainian officials while he pursued an investigation linked to Trump’s primary political rival, President Joe Biden, CNN has reported.

[…] Giuliani is also facing other legal exposure for his role in the 2020 election. The election technology company Dominon sued Giuliani in January for defamation after he spread baseless conspiracy theories about election fraud on his podcast and during TV appearances.

[…] Guiliani is also likely to face scrutiny from Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who is investigating Trump’s efforts to influence Georgia’s election results. […] One area Willis is exploring: whether Giuliani may have violated the law by making false statements about voting in Georgia in front of the state legislature, according to a person familiar with the investigation.

Federal agents execute search warrants on Rudy Giuliani’s Manhattan home and office”, CNN

As this article notes: The man hadn’t practised law since 1992, “basically he’s a novice” at state election law, and is considered a “gift to legal ethics professors that just keeps on giving” because “Charging astronomical rates for work–especially work for which the attorney does not have deep expertise or ability—is an ethics violation.” Probably a good thing, then, that he most likely hasn’t been paid for his expertise.

The Best People ♥️

Update

Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at Four Seasons Total Landscaping, between a dildo store and a crematorium, is still appropriate because Rudy is somewhere between fucked and dead.

@Sundae_Gurl

The Sand Octopus

Octopus kaurna lacks chromatophores like other octopuses. So it just burrows instead 😍🐙. It’s the only known octopus to bury itself completely like this.

The process begins with the octopus using its siphon to inject water into the sand, creating quicksand-like conditions which enable burrowing. Then, it uses its arms to burrow into the sand. Two arms will be extended to the surface, creating a ventilation shaft. At the same time, O. kaurna will use mucus to stabilize the shape of the burrow. Finally, the octopus will retract its two arms and push out loose sand with its siphon, creating a mucus-lined, ventilated burrow to rest in.

Octopus kaurna, Wikipedia

On Doing Things Right and Doing the Right Thing

There’s a difference between doing things right and doing the right thing. Doing the right thing is wisdom, and effectiveness. Doing things right is efficiency. The curious thing is the righter you do the wrong thing the wronger you become. If you’re doing the wrong thing and you make a mistake and correct it you become wronger. So it’s better to do the right thing wrong than the wrong thing right. Almost every major social problem that confronts us today is a consequence of trying to do the wrong things righter.

Peter Drucker

On Privatizing Gain and Socializing Loss

Though capitalism has had a longer lease of life than some of us would’ve predicted or that many of our ancestors of the socialist movement did predict or allow, it still produces the fax machine and the microchip and still able to lower its costs and still able to flatten its distribution curve very well. It’s central contradiction remains the same; It produces publicly, it produces socially, it conscripts and it mobilizes and educates whole new work forces of people, it has an enormous transforming liberating effect in that respect but it appropriates privately. The resources and the natural abilities are held in common, the earth belongs to us all. You can’t buy your child a place at a school with better ozone. You can’t pretend that the world is other than what it is which is one and human and natural and in common. Though capitalism must do that because it must make us all work until the point when the social product is to be shared. When suddenly the appropriation is private and suddenly Donald Trump outvotes any congressman you can name and anyone with a vote because of the ownership of capital and its that effect, that annexation of what we all do and must do — the influence of labor and intelligence and creativity on nature; the same air, the same water that we must breathe and drink. That means that we may not have long in which to make this critique of the system sing again and relevant again and incisive again.

Christopher Hitchens, Is Socialism Obsolete? (Recorded in Washington DC on October 11, 1989)

“Hypocrisy is the Vaseline of Political Intercourse”

Somoza called himself “president”. The Sandinistas called him a “dictator”. They called themselves “freedom fighters”. He called them “Commie terrorists”. So they kicked him out then they were in charge. Ronald Reagan called them “Commie oppressors” and he sent in the Contras, whom he called “freedom fighters” and they called “mercenary terrorists.”

So basically, what you’re called depends largely on who’s doing the talking because hypocrisy is the vaseline of political intercourse. They didn’t like what they saw, so they changed it to make it sound better. Just like in these personal ads. It sounds great; but it’s all lies.

Billy Connolly

Pages Full of Links to Cool Things

Terra, Gossip’s Web, and Marijn’s Linkroll remind my (oldass) self of a more innocent time when one would ‘surf the internet’, come by a list of links another human being liked, and discover all sorts of strange and wacky handmade things. I think I’m saying I really miss how fun something like Geocities was.

God this is really happening

Update

Blogsurf.io is another blog aggregator managed by a human being.

The Diabetic Racist

Matt Rowan is a family man, a Christian, and a former youth pastor (so we’re off to a fantastic start.) At a high school basketball game, this pillar of the community called children “f****** n******s” for that grave sin of actually kneeling during the national anthem.

On the video, Rowan is heard to refer to the players as “f****** n******.” He added, "I hope Norman gets their ass kicked,” and then "I hope they lose. C’mon Midwest City. They’re gonna kneel like that? Hell no.”

Brian D. King, “Local man apologizes for racist remarks caught on hot mic at basketball game”, Tahlequah Daily Press

Now in what has to be the most shameless excuse for reprehensible behaviour I’ve read to date, he blames his MAGA1 outburst on his blood sugar!

I will state that I suffer Type 1 Diabetes, and during the game, my sugar was spiking. While not excusing my remarks, it is not unusual when my sugar spikes that I become disoriented and often say things that are not appropriate, as well as hurtful. I do not believe that I would have made such horrible statements absent my sugar spiking.

He helpfully adds:

While the comments I made would certainly seem to indicate that I am racist, I am not, I have never considered myself to be racist, and in short cannot explain why I made these comments.

I think most reasonable people would have a simple one-word explanation. And to quote Conservative Hannibal Lecter: “While the body parts in the fridge would certainly seem to indicate that I am a psychopathic murderer, I have never considered myself to be one.”

No word has been issued as far as repercussions for the Hulbert employee.

In Rowan’s statement, he said he believed the microphone to be off, but “that is no excuse; such comments should have never been uttered.”

Like almost all this-is-really-not-who-I-am people, he’s only sorry he got caught.

  1. One guess as to who Mr. Rowan voted for. ↩︎

On a Program’s Scope

“Every program attempts to expand until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.” Coined by Jamie Zawinski (who called it the “Law of Software Envelopment”) to express his belief that all truly useful programs experience pressure to evolve into toolkits and application platforms (the mailer thing, he says, is just a side effect of that). It is commonly cited, though with widely varying degrees of accuracy.

Zawinski’s Law

The Chrome Dino

Here’s a fairly recent (Dec 2018) interview with the creators of chrome://dino. It was called Project Bolan (which I had to look up), had 270M games played every month1, with most users coming “from markets with unreliable or expensive mobile data, like India, Brazil, Mexico, or Indonesia” and took quite a bit of development to work on all platforms.

We built it to max out at approximately 17 million years, the same amount of time that the T-rex was alive on Earth… but we feel like your spacebar may not be the same afterwards.

  1. I suppose they know this thanks to the “I agree to everything” button one clicks while installing Chrome… ↩︎

“The Water’s So Great That It Won Awards”

Was discussing water quality in Des Moines with DL. Told her that our city couldn’t hold a candle to Ames, that their water was the “cleanest around.” Wanted to prove this but couldn’t find the 2014 viral hit “Hooray for Ames” video anywhere on the internet. GN, blessed datahoarder that he is, luckily had a copy ❤️🚰

Whatever. 🤘 Go Hawks 🤘

Good Old Iowan Common Sense

As of the 4th of February 2021, and under its Governor’s wise, prescient, expert and data-driven leadership, Iowa ranks 47th in the nation for the number of vaccines administered 💯

Iowa has received 446,825 doses of vaccine and has administered 266,777 doses, or just under 60% of vaccines received, the CDC reported Thursday. The state has the sixth-lowest rate of administered vaccine per capita in the nation.

“We’re averaging about 60% in getting the vaccines administered and that’s not where we need to be,” Reynolds said. “We want to do better. We know we can do better.”

AP, “Iowa’s vaccination rate is 47th in the US

We certainly can. The number of COVID-related deaths in Iowa stood at 5,033 as of this date. The very next day, our fearless Governor signed a Public Health Disaster proclamation that, compared to its predecessor, ended mask mandates and removed all limits on public gatherings.

In time for the Super Bowl, of course.

All of these relaxations at this stage of the pandemic make about as much sense as wearing underwear constructed out of nails and thumbtacks. If anything, Iowa should be enhancing precautions during the next several weeks, as long as the colder temperatures and drier air may be driving greater transmission of the virus. What is the scientific justification for what Reynolds has declared in the emergency declaration? It’s unclear. Seems like someone may owe Iowa an explanation.

Bruce Y. Lee, “#CovidKim Trends After Iowa Governor Reynolds Lifts Covid-19 Coronavirus Precautions

Other the the usual bullshit conservative pabulum about freedom and small businesses and bootstraps and moochers and handouts, I don’t expect any explanation that makes sense.