The Current Situation

John Oliver’s fantastic piece on COVID-19 vaccines

If you watch only one YouTube video today, make it Last Week Tonight’s piece on COVID-19 vaccines, or at the very least, follow the advice that John Oliver gives at the end:

In researching this pieces, experts repeatedly told us that the vaccine-hesitant generally don’t respond well to hearing from politicians, celebrities, or athletes telling them to get the vaccine.

I’m not going to be able to convince the people in your life who are hesitant. The person with the best chance of doing that is…you.

So if you know someone who is worried for whatever reason and you want to convince them otherwise, don’t show them this video. But maybe do show them some of the information inside it to tell them yourself.

And when you are trying to do that, don’t dismiss or judge them for having doubts.

I think we should also popularize Oliver’s very apt description of Tucker Carlson:

Here’s the video:

The Current Situation

Happy “Hitler Dead” Day!

Front page of the U.S. Armed Forces newspaper, Stars and Stripes, on May 2, 1945. Photo by Jeff Nyveen. Click here to see the source.

On this day in 1945, Hitler did the best thing he ever did. He killed Hitler. In his basement.

It’s a pity I have to point this out to some people, but here goes: “Hitler Dead” is a good thing.

funny The Current Situation

How the “Trolley Problem” actually works in the real world

Thanks to Ramon Grajo for the find!

The moral of the story remains the same: BE RICH.

It Happened to Me The Current Situation

I’m getting my second vaccine this afternoon

Scene from the film version of “West Side Story” featuring the Jets leaning against a chain link fence, snapping their fingers. Headline reads “When the Pfizer gang see the Moderna boys in the streets” and the caption reads “Finger snapping intensifies”
Thanks to Derek Wong for the find!

It doesn’t matter what gang you belong to — just join one, and work on your finger-snapping, dancing, and singing.

Tampa Bay The Current Situation

Where to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Tampa this week

Pop-up sites all over Tampa

Here’s a list of this week’s COVID-19 pop-up vaccine sites in Tampa:

Poster showing COVID-19 vaccine pop-up sites for Tuesday, April 6, 2021 through Sunday, April 11, 2021
Tap to see this list at full size.

You don’t need to pre-register or schedule an appointment; just bring your ID and wear a mask.

Raymond James Stadium

The football field at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa
Creative Commons photo by Bernard Gagnon. Tap to see the source.

You can also get the COVID-19 vaccine at Raymond James Stadium, located at 4201 N Himes Ave.

You don’t need to pre-register or schedule an appointment; just bring your ID and wear a mask.

The old greyhound track

There’s also the FEMA-run site at Tampa Greyhound Track (which now goes by the name TGT Poker), located at 755 East Waters Ave.

You don’t need to pre-register or schedule an appointment; just bring your ID and wear a mask.

There’s a bonus for going to this site — there’s a chance you’ll be greeted by Maggie:

The Children’s Board of Hillsborough County

You can also go to the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County, located at 1002 E Palm.

You don’t need to pre-register or schedule an appointment; just bring your ID and wear a mask.

America The Current Situation

Deliver us from Karen, Amen.

Here’s an unsurprising response to the image above, which shows a more-accurate depiction of Jesus on the left, and the barista who works the evening shift at the Starbucks in Swede Hollow, Minnesota on the right:

When you see God as white, and people as being made in God’s image, it’s no surprise that non-whites are seen as a little less human, and it’s how you get ministers like Mike Huckabee.

America The Current Situation

America *is* great, Mike Huckabee. Just not *your* vision of it.

Tweet from former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on April 3, 2021: “I’ve decided to ‘identify’ as Chinese. Coke will like me, Delta will agree with my ‘values’ and I’ll probably get shoes from Nike and tickets to @MLB games. Ain’t America great?”
Tap to see the original, terrible, bigoted tweet.

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, political commentator on his own show, and combination Fox News contributor and Southern Baptist minister (which should not come as a surprise), posted the tweet above yesterday.

As the Arkansas Times noted, he chose Christianity’s most important holiday to post a racist gibe. Attacks against Asians are on the rise, and Huckabee’s greatest concern is that people he thinks of as lesser and not American are getting treated like equals and Americans.

Thankfully, a number of people have called him out, including Representative Ted Lieu of California’s 33rd congressional district in this tweet that captures my sentiments perfectly:

Tweet from California representative Ted Lieu on April 3, 2021 in response to Mike Huckabee: “Hey Mike Huckabee, I asked around and Coke likes me, Delta agrees with my values, I wear Nikes and my hometown Dodgers won the World Series. But it’s not because of my ethnicity. It’s because I’m not a sh*thead like you who is adding fuel to anti-Asian hate. #StopAAPIHate”
Tap to see the original, righteous tweet.

The odds that Huckabee will listen to Ted Lieu are pretty low. He did get called out by someone he does listen to — author and evangelist Beth Moore:

Tweet from Beth Moore on April 3, 2021 in response to Mike Huckabee: “Mike, I’ve shared a meal with you at your beautiful table. I’ve heard you profess Christ as Lord. This is entirely antithetical to the gospel.”
Tap to see the original tweet.

His response was to deny he did anything bad, which is the first step of the DARVO tactic — Deny. I expect to see the remaining phases, Attack and Reverse Victim and Offender soon enough:

Tweet from Mike Huckabee on April 3, 2021 in response to Beth Moore: “Hi @BethMooreLPM I love you & appreciate your ministry. I don’t take Twitter or myself that seriously but I do take gospel seriously. I truly wish you only joy & continued blessings. May the power of the resurrection lift you to high places this Easter weekend my dear sister!”
Tap to see the original tweet.

More context on Huckabee’s tweet:

At a time when anti-Asian attacks are on the rise…

Graph: “Media reports of harassment against people of Asian descent”, which shows physical, verbal, and vandalism attacks against Asians in America from March 2020 to March 2021, with a big spike in March 2021.
Graph from Swelling Anti-Asian Violence: Who Is Being Attacked Where, which appeared in the New York Times on April 3, 2021.

…Huckabee’s statement shows his annoyance at a group of non-whites getting special attention because violence is being directed at them.

Some more context if you need it:

Postcard: “Greeting from Georgia - The voter suppression state”
Creative Commons image by Mike Licht. Tap to see the source.

Huckabee’s complaints about Coke, Delta, and Major League Baseball are about their opposition to Georgia’s voting law, which appears to be designed to suppress voter participation, especially among minorities. Even the act of giving water to voters in line is now illegal in that state.

All of this was in response to results from the recent election, when Georgia, for the first time in a very long time, voted Democratic in both the presidential and senate elections. The new law is an attempt to make sure that such a thing never happens again, and thus preserve minority rule — a oligarchy of upper-class white people.

Joey deVilla looks on a valley in an American flag shirt.
Yours Truly, on my move from Toronto to Tampa, 2014.

Back in 2015, a couple of weeks before marrying an American, I wrote:

In less than a fortnight, I’m marrying an American. As the husband of a U.S. citizen, I would be eligible for a green card, and eventually, citizenship. I’m also the direct descendant of a U.S. citizen, but I’m told it’s easier to get it via my wife rather than my great-grandfather, James O’Hara. One option is to stay here in the subtropical climes of Accordion Bay, which may mean that someday, I might apply for citizenship.

I come here bearing goodwill, skills in the areas of technology, writing, and rock and roll accordion, cultural and language skills that surpass those of many of the locals (it’s Florida, man!), and a jacket (pictured) that cannot possible be any more American than it already is. I have what it takes to be American. But the question lingers in my mind: will Americans ever consider me to be one of them?

It would appear that the answer is: “Not yet.”