All posts by Greg Laden

Republcian Rep Matthew Grossell: Be prepared to defend the Republic!

Representative Matthew Grossell, of the Minnesota Legislature, tells us to “be prepared to defend this republic” from protesters calling for racial equity and criminal justice reform.

Ex cop Grossell calls for citizens to take up arms against anti-racism protests.
Grossell is a rep from District 2A, which is one of the most famous districts in Minnesota because it is where we find International Falls, often cited in national weather reports as having the lowest temperature in the connected 48 states.

Grossell has deemed the George Floyd Protests Are “Evil” & “Not About Race,” “a coordinated attack on our God given freedoms”, “a springboard for an alter agenda to destroy this republic and any other free nation around the world”, “not about race”, “an attempt to divide us as Americans”, and “the lies and deceit of evil.”

Grossell’s gross sell is being criticized by the Minnesota DFL (Democratic) party, who call this an “unhinged social media tirade … in which Grossell attacks the protests calling for justice and reform that erupted in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and appears to call for violence to be used against protesters.

We know Grossell is a typical Republican, and he proves it with his remarks. My question is, does his expressed point of view reflect the thinking of the good people of his district? I know several people who live in 2B, and no, it does not as far as I can tell. Grossell is out of step and needs to be replaced.

Just so you know I’m not cherry picking, here is the full text of Grossell’s Facebook post:

What’s on my mind is this folks, as I look at what is going on across the state, across the nation and across the world. One thing stays in my heart and mind, this is a coordinated attack on our God given freedoms as written in the Constitution of these United States. The tragic death of one man has been used as a springboard for an alter agenda to destroy this republic and any other free nation around the world. This is not about race though it is being used in an attempt to divide us as Americans. We must not let the lies and deceit of evil divide us and we must stand ready to defend this nation, this republic, the land of the free the home of the brave. I took an oath as a soldier, a law enforcement officer and now as a state representative to uphold the Constitution and I have never been relieved of that oath nor will I ever give it up. I call upon my brothers and sisters across this state, this nation and around the world to stand ready to face this evil, which will never be appeased by compromise nor will it ever stop taking until it has taken every freedom we hold dear, and stop it dead in its tracks. It was said somewhere by a wise individual ‘all evil needs to get a foothold is for good men to do nothing’. So I call upon my brothers and sisters to first and foremost pray and secondly to be prepared to defend this republic, the land of the free the home of the brave! We are one nation under God and it’s time for us to stand ready to defend this nation this republic which God has so graciously given us. Please share this as far and wide as you possibly can. Thank you, God’s blessings and protection cover us all.

This is a state representative calling for his fellow citizens to take up arms against those who want change. I think he should be censured.

Charles Dickens’ Stories in Kid Friendly Form (New Book)

It is an interesting idea, taking a classic work and rewriting it for a modern audience, with adjustments. I took on the task of doing this with a Lovecraft tale a few years ago. I’m still working on it. I wanted to eliminate the racism and the misogyny, and I did. But that helped reveal the fact that the story itself was more of an interesting treatment than a fully formed story, so my work has expanded considerably.

Award winning author Angela McAllister did the opposite with Charles Dickens. Instead of expanding, the stories in A World Full of Dickens Stories by re-written by McAllister and illustrated by Jannicke Hansen distills, or in literary terms, digessts, Dicken’s classics, including Oliver Twist, The Old Curiosity Shop, David Copperfield, Great Expectations, Hard Times, A Christmas Carol, Nicholas Nickleby and A Tale of Two Cities.

How does it come out? Pretty good, given that giant novels summarized tend to try up or lose power. The stories are still good stories, and the writing is good, so the short stories convey the sense Dickens was going for, and the reader learns what these classics are about. The reading level is rated at 9-11. I agree with the low end of the range just because littler kids tend to like sillier stories. I would not put the upper end at 11; older kids and adults can enjoy these stories as well. But the combination of writing and illustrations are designed to be read to 8 year olds and read back (like David Copperfield reading to Peggotty at older ages.

The book itself is large format and very well designed and printed.

To give you an idea of what the book looks like, here’s a typical page layout:

A World Full of Dickens Stories is a good book to get, an would make a very presentable gift to a ready kid or a family with children in that age range, or any adult who happens to be a major Dickens fan.

American Racism, Confederate Trappings, And this, too, shall melt away

A pottery cone is a cone-shaped object made of a pyro-sensitive material (in the early days, some kind of clay) so when a pottery kiln reaches a certain temperature, the cone droops. Pottery kilns are made with a tiny window one can look through and if your eye doesn’t melt (don’t worry, there are provisions for this) you can see which of a series of different cones have melted, and thus estimate the temperature of the kiln. You then add fuel if necessary, and keep a record and an eye on the clock, and over time your pottery fires just right.

The pottery cone, reaching a certain level of heat and then falling over, is a metaphor for Confederate monuments in America. The perennial racism-fueled conflict between white supremacists and everyone else flows and moves, waxes and wanes, and always generates heat. Every now and then enough heat is generated, and some sort of civil meltdown occurs in relation to one of these statues. This has happened since the very first months after the Civil War. It has happened more frequently, it has been more widespread, and it has been accompanied by much greater heat, in recent years. So, the statues are drooping, in their own way, like the pottery cones.

The falling statues are the direct result of activism, but they are also metaphors in their own right. They are metaphors of a changing demographic. The racist and classist cancer that infects society in the United States is perpetuated mainly by less educated white men, and although it appears in other societal tissues to some degree, that is currently the main source of the disease. Progressive minded people have been engaged in an open conspiracy for decades now, consisting of two parts: 1) Educate more, and 2) make sure “education” remains education and does not become indoctrination (or it wont’ work). This conspiracy has been only modestly successful, so the number of metastasizing cells, as it were, has not diminished much via liberal education.

But racism is becoming unfashionable, and that is probably the best thing that could happen to it. What was once de riguer, or at least, not something one complains about, in all areas of white or white-ish society, is now widely recognized as bad. Active racists know this, and they revel in its badness, with the new war cry of “make the liberals cry.” The key difference between now and 50 years ago is this: Out of fashion, racism is not recruiting from the young as much as it could, and is withdrawing rapidly from many areas it once held sway. This means the source, less educated white men, are aging as a demographic.

Racism in America will ultimately be addressed by the death of most of the racists.

Most people will react to this idea with the following, or something like it: “But racism will always be there, because of the basic nature of human beings.” This is one of the great lies of racism, that racism is natural, inevitable, and therefore, possibly, normal and even good. This is the Naturalistic Fallacy being used to excuse or underwrite nefarious behavior. Don’t be fooled by that fallacy. Also, despite the fact that we find racism of one sort or another in many societies, you need to know that American racism is it’s own thing. Racism in modern America grows out of American history. American slavery, American immigration, American isolationism, the American frontier, and many other things American are either unique, or at least, very different in America than any other place or time, and the combination is utterly unique. It is not some sort of demented American exceptionalism to claim that running a physically large country (or set of closely interactive colonies) for centuries on the back of widespread slavery, so that most of the people in the slave regions were the slaves themselves, is unique. (The Caribbean of course is part of this story, but lets not give this discussion over to the professional historians until we hit the comment section below.)

To understand this better, consider just one aspect of racism against East Asian people in America. In the 19th century, Chinese people, usually imported workers, were viewed, literally and unabashedly, by most white Americans, as subhuman. There wasn’t even a little apology there. They were a form of monkey that could talk in a lot of white people’s minds. The legislation to keep them out, the norms and regulations that gave Chinese workers less protection than the mules that died along with them building railroads across the mountains, clearly document this, as do the depictions and writings of the time.

Today, a different belief about East Asians pervades American culture. While many of the White Supremacists may view East Asian people as subhuman (I don’t put much past them), today East Asians are more often viewed as superior (like how well the kids do in school), of a more effective or demanding culture (how the parents of those school kids keep things under control) of greater physical prowess (East Asian marshal arts have redefined American fighting) and more gentile and artistic (see all the Asian influence in all the arts) all at the same time. Now also consider the plight of the Irish, considered sub human (again, monkeys that can sort of talk), or the Italians (monkeys that can talk very loudly) or the Polish or other Eastern European groups, and so on and so forth. All of these groups went through a period of intense denigration, were the subject of attack and murder, and economic disenfranchisement. Until the weren’t. That all went away. We see almost no remnant in day to day life of any of that.

American Racism is centered on, and consists mainly of, disdain for African Americans, the descendants of kidnapped Africans bred as a slave population on which our economy was based, and from which our country grew strong. This core of American racism is different from the other, just mentioned, racist historical trends, let alone racism among humans in general.

Yes, American Racism is big, bad, ugly, utterly unique, and most importantly, American racism exists because of its own specific history. Anything that arises from context and history can be put down with new context and future, if that future is unfriendly to it. White supremacy reproduced itself generation after generation in America not because it is innate, but because it is very large and very strong, very convenient, money-making, and desired even by those not directly engaged in the most obvious forms of it.

But now, the cones are melting. The reasons racism is good are melting away. Racism against African Americans is no longer economically neutral or convenient for an increasingly large part of the white dominated business world. In fact it can be downright damaging. It is hard to find a city or state where a wink and a nod in favor of racism increases your vote count. Individuals with histories tied to the American racist model are politically doomed these days, but not in the old days, where the “old days” were five years ago or so. Prosecutors who rode the law-and-order wave of recent decades are increasingly inviable as candidates for executive office, because that “law and order” movement is what made Americans the most incarcerated population in the world, with a strong racial bias. An up and coming mover and shaker who wore blackface to his frat party is no longer seen as a mere doofus. The societal and cultural feedback loops have been breaking for some time, but in recent years, they are being systematically identified and ripped asunder. This is one of the key roles of the phrase “Black Lives Matter.” It is an ironic statement designed to pop the racist mole so it can be solidly, and with finality, whacked.

I am not suggesting that racism in America is suddenly over, or that it is going to become unimportant any time soon. Rather, I’m saying these three things. 1) Racism of the kind we see in America is not a mere reflection of human nature, and to see it as such is not only factually wrong, but defeatist; 2) while American racism is big and complex and should not be underestimated, if it was a disease, it would be best cured by cutting out that one element of society that keeps it going, less educated white men; and 3) we need to keep up the pressure, to stop them from recruiting or spreading their culture, over the next 30 years while most of them die off. Under current conditions, with Covid-19, the tendency of these very men to also disdain science may speed the process. We can talk about that after a 30 day period following the upcoming in-person Republican National Convention sans mask.

Of course, we speak here in statistical generalities. Lots of less educated white men are not contributing to this problem. But the demographic of less educated white men has a lot of ‘splainin to do.


“It is said an Eastern monarch once charged his wise men to invent him a sentence to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations. They presented him the words, “And this too, shall pass away.” How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!”

  • Abraham Lincoln

Kids, Screen Time, and Covid

I’m pointing you to a useful article on kids and screen time. The essential points direct us to recognize that not all screen time is the same, that we should exploit the screen time world to maintain some social skill building, and that we need to develop in-home constancy in how we manage this.

We’re totally great at the first two in our hose. We know there is a different between watching stupid teenager youtubers being stupid teenagers, and all the kids in the extended family getting together on Zoom for a book reading by Grandpa, for example. We are also doing some community ed zoom classes.

As for that third item … still working on it.

Anyway, go see: Here’s What Experts Are Saying About Schoolagers and Screens Right Now

Hut Hut Hut and Police Unions

I’ve identified the next retail item shortage. I’ll let you know what it is when I’m done hording. Any guesses?

Governor Walz was great in his press conference today the vis-a-vis police union. (Well, he seemed to be channeling me, so of course I agreed with him.)

Two things the national guardsman turned history teacher turned congressperson turned governor said: 1) if the police union was doing its job, it would have had provisions in place that would have protected Mr. Floyd; and 2) nobody is more upset about a bad teacher than the good teacher down the hall. (Walz is making the comparison at two points between a good teachers union, which protects students and quality education, and a cop union.)

Another thing that was discussed is the “sanctity of life” rule that most Americans, frankly, can’t imagine but that is followed in other countries.

Actual example given by our public safety head in the news conference: A man (in Camden, NJ) runs into a restaurant and slashes three people. In normal US police procedure, the first cop on the scene would blow him away with a firearm. Everybody would go, “Uh he deserved it uh.”

In “sanctity of life” procedure, in force in Camden, which “defunded” already, the cops surrounded him and when safe zapped him with ray guns or something and took him alive.

As per previous conversations here about the TV show Cops: We Americans do learn how to think about many things by watching fiction on TV. Go watch a few episodes of Flashpoint. It is a fictional TV series about a super trained elite urban (but sometimes suburban or even rural) S.W.A.T. team.

But since they are in Canada, instead of running around going “hut hut hut” and shooting at everything, they do it totally differently. The pilot is about a SWAT sniper who kills a person (because he has to) but then spends the rest of his career feeling really bad about it.

It is on Hulu, I think.

Now it is time to make fun of the cops. Hut hut hut, you’all.

What are those spiky strange lights I keep seeing?

Sometimes it is because my glasses are dirty. Sometimes it is a sundog, or a light pillar, or, if I happen to be near an exploding volcano….

Nature’s Light Spectacular: 12 stunning scenes of Earth’s greatest shows, written by Katy Flint and illustrated by Cornelia Li is a top notch earth and science book across a very wide age range, but classed as a 4-8 year old book. This book sits across that divide of read to vs. read by, and I think it is a great read-by (the kid) book for up to 10 or 11 years old.*

There is a story that pulls it all together, about two young explorers who improbably encounter several different light phenomena in nature, some common like sun dogs, some much less common, like the waterfall of fire at Yosemite National Park. Each two page layout demonstrates the phenomenon, with additional graphics and well written text to explain the science behind it. The format is large and guess what: The book glows in the dark.

Good science, good teaching, good book. The glowing in the dark part is not the reason you want this book, but you do want this book if you have a kid in elementary school.

My Best Friend: New Toddler-age Kid Book

Mouse is a small rodent with a cigarette shaped, elongated nose that actually kind of looks like a kitchen match. Mouse is either very clever, and knows how to gaslight a predacious bird, or is the most clueless rodent in the forest. Either way, this dark tale in a picture book is ideal to help 3-6 year olds understand some of the key realities of life … and near death.

My Best Friend,* a new, fresh, amusingly and skillfully illustrated book by Rob Hodgson, author of The Cave, could be your toddler’s first relationship book, or first nature book, depending on what the child takes from it. Let me know how it goes. The three kids I tried it out on loved it.

The Cave is pretty good too.

The argument for a police officer killing a citizen

Among the many arguments for a cop to kill a citizen, my favorite is the argument of reasonable fear. This is an actual legal doctrine, and it may even make sense. A cop is really really scared so he kills some dude. Gee, sorry.

The problem, of course, is that racists cops are automatically, by definition, mostly afraid of people of color, especially men, so that allows cops to kill black men and only rarely get in trouble.

My question is, does the reverse apply? Right now every person I know is more afraid of the police than ever before. I am afraid of what any particular random cop would do to a member of my family, especially family members that currently live or work right in the middle of the hot zone for protests and police brutality.

Is there an argument that citizens should start killing cops, to keep them in line?

That sounds like an ironic, or sarcastic, statement. A month ago maybe it was. But today? I’m not so sure.

Anyway, on this and related issues, The Daily has an interesting podcast in which Shaila Dewan of the New York Times outlines the reasons that the police usually don’t get in trouble when they murder or mutilate citizens. She covers the fear excuse, but many other aspects as well. Click here to hear.

Racism and Related Books for Kids

New Kid by Jerry Craft.

Class Act by Jerry Craft.

I Am Not a Number by Dupuis, Kacer, and Newland.

Let’s Talk About Race by Julius Lester.

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story About Racial Injustice by Celano, Green, Collins, and Hazzard.

That’s Not Fair! / ¡No Es Justo!: Emma Tenayuca’s Struggle for Justice/La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia (Spanish and English Edition) by Tafolla, Tenyuca, and Ybanez.

Sulwe by Nyong’o and Harrison.

Where Are You From? by Mendez.

Hat Tip: Sam Fredrickson, Birchview.

The Amy Klobuchar Lie and George Floyd’s killer

Derek Chauvin has four known incidents of note in his history as a cop or cop-like person. In the first one, he was one of several officers involved in an incident involving both citizen and police officer violence, but when this was looked into, no action was taken because the actions of the cops were seen as justified. Chauvin was only marginally involved in that one. The next three may have involved much less justified police behavior, and Chauvin was directly involved.

One of the latest, persistent, and pernicious Internet memes is that Amy Klobuchar can no longer be considered a vice presidential candidate because she was the prosecutor who failed to investigate or charge Chauvin for those first three. The fourth incident is, of course, Chauvin’s cold blooded and very public murder of George Floyd just a few days ago.

The theory that Kloubchar should have prosecuted Chauvin is deeply and, even, absurdly flawed, however. As noted, the first incident was not of interest in this regard. The second incident happened in a different county than the one in which then prosecutor Amy Klobuchar worked. For her to have prosecuted someone in a different county would have been extraordinary. (And no, Chauvin was not working at the time as a cop in Klobuchar’s county, Hennepin.) The third incident occurred when Klobuchar was a United States Senator, not the Hennpin County prosecutor.

When I pointed out these difficulties with the theory on a friend’s very long Facebook comment thread on this topic, my comments were deleted. In another instance on Facebook, a person, faced with the truth, stated that there are many, many police incidents that are not known to anyone because they are kept secret, and that is where we see the evidence against Kloubchar. (Added: More recently, I’m now getting threats of violence because I’m perceived as supporting Klobuchar for VP. Which as I’ve made clear, I’m not. But seriously? Threatening my family because you are illiterate? But I digress…)

Let us pause for a moment of silence, during which time you can click on this link to the Conspiracy Handbook.

Are we back? Ok.

ADDED: Because there is already some conspiratorial pushback on this post, I want to be very clear. The people complaining about Klobuchar vis-a-vis Chauvin cite three incidents.

1) 2006, as one of six Minneapolis third precinct cops who responded to a stabbing. The suspect fled, then got out of his vechile wielding a shotgun. He was shot by several of the cops in pursuit. The cops were cleared in that shooting.

2) Soon after, there was a complaint against him in Lino Lakes That case involved a law suit, which is not the purview of the district attorney, and it was dismissed. Lino Lakes is in Anoka County, Klobuchar was CA in Hennepin County.

… Klobuchar was elected to the Senate in 2006 and started to serve in January 2007 …

3) In 2008 … well, who really cares what happened vis-a-vis Chauvin and Klobuchar in 2008, she was in the Senate.

Sources: CNN, NBC, Wikipedia.

ALSO ADDED: It turns out that Chauvin and George Floyd knew each other They both worked as bouncers or security over a 17 year period at the same club. This is not the point of this post, but it seems important to note, though I’m not sure yet why it is important. I’ll quickly add that the neighborhood where this all happened, where I lived for several years, is pretty tight. Lots of people know lots of other people, and it is part of the culture of that part of town to be friendly and to know your neighbors, attend common events, etc. So this may mean nothing. Or it could mean a lot, we’ll see.

This attack on Klobuchar appears to be systematic, wide spread, and very successful. I am not sure if I can say yet if it is her political rivals within the Democratic Party, the Republicans, or some outside influence like the Putin/Trump gang. It feels like rivals from within the party, though, because their method is usually to make up things that may be totally unbelievable, then repeat them a few times, then duck and cover. I don’t know why that is their method, but it is.

Some people have gotten really mad at me for “defending” Klobuchar. It does not matter to them that I am not actually defending Klobuchar, and that I’m not even supporting her to be Biden’s Vice Presidential running mate (see below). What I am defending is the truth, and I’m questioning what looks to me like an inappropriate political hit job.

But let us talk about Klobuchar as a VP or Presidential candidate for just a second. Well, not really “let us talk,” more like “I’m going to talk for a second, you can listen if you want.”

Klobuchar was a successful prosecutor during a period in our recent history when we (the people, in majority, not necessarily you or me) demanded tough prosecutors. This was the latter part of the era in which we, Americans the ultimate Asshats, incarcerated more people, and generally people of color, than anyone had been incarcerating across the world. Prosecutors were doing the jobs we hired them to do. Now, some of those prosecutors are in other lines of work. It may well be possible that people like Amy Klobuchar and Kamala Harris can never really run for President or be a Vice President for this reason. So be it.

That does not happen to be why I’m not a supporter of Klobuchar for president, though. My consideration of this issue doesn’t even get that far. We actually have significant policy differences, but I regard that as less important than some might because policy is set by Congress in those particular areas. I mostly don’t want Klobuchar in the presidential race because I want her as Senator. “As senator?!!?” you might think. “But, but, but…” you might think. But hear me out.

I am something of a student of Minnesota politics these days. If you are as well, I’m sure you’ll agree with me on this, because I’m mainly referring to basic facts. Minnesotans tend to send more Republicans than you might think to Congress. Minnesota is one of only two places that went against the Blue Wave two years ago in our Congressional delegation, net. In the past, we sent the man regarded as the Worst Senator in Washington DC, Norm Coleman to the Senate. Twice. And the first time it was because we got mad at the Wellstone family for articulating progressive Democratic values at a funeral. That is the reason Norm Coleman was Senator for two terms.

I’ve spent a lot more time than ,many of my Twin Cities associates and friends communicating with Rural Minnesotans. I’ve had this conversation:

“You can’t possibly tell you would vote for Trump.”

“I voted for him last time, I’ll vote for him again.”

“But he’s bad for farmers, and the environment, and everything you have here in this county is farming and environmental tourism.”

“Oh, no, that’s just his game. He’s on our side, believe me. He’s great.”

“Do you usually vote for Republicans?”

“Oh, yes, all the time, they are on my side.”

“So, Klobuchar, what about…”

“Amy’s great! I love Amy!”

So, there you go. Keep Senator Klobuchar in the Senate, maybe we get to keep sending two Democrats to Washington. Same with Al Franken, by the way. The Klobucahr-Franken team was effective at keeping Minnesota blue in the Senate. These days, even with a strong Trump Backlash, we are on tenuous ground here.

Behave, by Sapolsky

Why do we do the things we do?

Over a decade in the making, this game-changing book is Robert Sapolsky’s genre-shattering attempt to answer that question as fully as perhaps only he could, looking at it from every angle. Sapolsky’s storytelling concept is delightful but it also has a powerful intrinsic logic: he starts by looking at the factors that bear on a person’s reaction in the precise moment a behavior occurs, and then hops back in time from there, in stages, ultimately ending up at the deep history of our species and its genetic inheritance.

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert Sapolsky cheap now on Kindle

How The Pandemic Ends

The gold standard, the ones to beat, the top dog, brain trust magnate, 800 pound gorilla, paragon, cream of the crop, and the one head and shoulders above all others, in the matter of a Covid-19 vaccine, is Oxford.

The group at Oxford already made a Coronavirus vaccine, for MERS, but it never underwent final testing and deployment. Not enough people were getting sick from MERS, and it was under control.

This group is optimistic about having a vaccine in September of this year. Give them a month leeway, a few months for emergency intensified field testing, and some extra time to ramp up production and negotiate liability issues, and we could have a world wide vaccination program well under way by the end of January.

Between now and, say, August 15th, the medicos will have developed and deployed a half dozen nursing, ER, and IC procedures that drop the death rate of the most severely ill well below its near 90% level, to maybe half, and various treatments, therapies, and all will drop the number who go from diagnosed to severe down by a double digit percent.

Although natural herd immunity would take multiple waves and years, a certain reduction of infection rate happens at any percentage. New normal practices will have adapted to slow the disease. By mid September there will be parts of the US, and various smaller sized countries, where COVID-19 will become rare or nearly non existent, even as new hotspots emerge. But even those hotspots will be dealt with better than the US addressed this disaster in the early week.

But the flareups will be severe, and in most cases, caused by politically driven Republican strategies cheered on by Trump and sullenly overseen by Pence. The carnage will continue to be so bad, and the response to it by Trump and his gang of Republicans so inept and inextricably linked to nefarious side bets and deals, that there is a non-zero chance his administration will not still be in place on election day, November 3rd. Either way, Trump will be voted out of office on November 3rd, and probably dragged from the White House and impaled with a broom stick well before inauguration day by angry tourists and DC residents after he attempts to annul the election results. There is a non-zero chance that the 46th President of the United States will be Speaker Pelozi, for the several days between Trump and Pence’s awkward and painful departure (captured on hundreds of cell phones) and the inauguration of President Joe Biden.

There will be no Biden Inaugural Ball and his Inauguration speech will be on Zoom, But his first act will be to sign the 2021 Rapid Immunization Order, speeding up the delivery of the vaccine already developed by Oxford and manufactured everywhere but the United States even as Jared Kushner tries to get his vaccine (which is fatal to 1 in 200 who are injected with it, and does not actually protect against COVID-19) to be the legally required stick.

But I digress.

Schools will not reopen in the Fall, but by Spring it will be possible to have limited activities, as vaccination spreads faster than COVID-19 itself ever did. Kids who come from anti-Vax families will be shunned, and hate their parents forever, because they won’t be allowed to go to the 2021 proms and graduation ceremonies, which will be endlessly televised and smeared across social media until we are giddily sick of them.

By the end of 2021, the virus will be history (except in the Congo, where all diseases go to retire securely), social distancing will be a fond memory (for everyone with sensory processing disorder), and our new society, led by science and reason, will begin the process of building windmills instead of tilting at them.