EDITORIAL: What’s your plan?

WHAT’S YOUR PLAN for voting? Nope, not “who” you’re voting for. The question is “what,” as in: What vehicle will you take at what time of day to travel directly to what address to hand over what kind of ballot to what type of official in what is the most important election in our lifetime?

Please don’t say you’ll think about it. You won’t. It’s an invitation to procrastinate: Oh, gee, I feel terrible but I just… I mean couldn’t… actually, I didn’t … well, y’know ….

Already have a plan? Good. Tell somebody about it. Maybe you can be voter buddies. Promise yourself something really good once you’ve voted. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Not so happy returns

WHAT SOMEBODY SHOULD have said was: “This is a good idea but we’re not gonna get away with it and we don’t need trouble.” Too bad that’s not the way these stories unfold, because what they did say was: “Yeah, let’s do it!”

So the county Democratic Committee went ahead and sent filled-out application forms for absentee ballots for the November 3 General Election, That was “good idea” part. On the envelope, where it should have had the return address of the Democratic Committee, the committee intentionally put the county Board of Elections. That’s the “what-were-you-thinking” part.

In fairness, the Democrats say they did check the envelope address with the U.S. Postal Service. Good move, except that the Postal Service has no authority over the Board of Elections. And the Dems didn’t bother to check it with either the Democratic or the Republican county election commissioners. Read more…

EDITORIAL: Hit me with your best shot

THERE’S A VACCINE that’s safe, works pretty well and there’s enough of it to go around. It’s the flu vaccine and the CDC recommends almost everyone who’s older than six months should get one.

There’s no evidence it will have any effect on Covid-19, except that it’s possible some unfortunate people could come down with both flu and Covid-19 at the same time. Those two viral illnesses together could make someone very sick. But flu alone is bad enough to convince reasonable people that a flu shot is a good idea. The 1918 flu pandemic killed millions worldwide.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, usually referred to as CDC, has surveillance networks that track how widespread the flu is each year and how effective vaccines are at preventing or moderating the impact of flu around the country. The effectiveness varies from year to year; flu vaccines don’t provide 100% immunity and often are far from it. But vaccines do improve the odds. Get a shot and you might avoid the flu completely. Or you might get a milder case. And when enough people get vaccinated, it means that if the flu makes you so sick you need hospitalization, there will be a bed available. That’s because other people are staying healthy. Read more…

EDITORIAL: A lawn time coming

WHO LISTENS TO SPEECHES ANYMORE? Does anybody read bulk mail cards for (or against) candidates? Seen any Russian social media disinformation lately?

We’re too sophisticated to fall for that. We want hard evidence of how democracy is working here. And what better measurement of the enlightened, thoughtful, committed and neighborly exercise of our rights than the theft of lawn signs for political candidates?

How people react to such lawn signs is determined deep in the recesses of the human genome… at least some humans’ genome. For folks with the gene that leads them to steal the signs of others, its a seasonal thing, like the horns of deer. Read more…

EDITORIAL: He thinks what?

THE COLOR MATCHED EXACTLY. The blood orange tint in photos of the California sky this week was the same as the color of the sun as it set here in Ghent. In California there have been days as dark as night. Here the sky was a cloudless gray.

The tints of sun and sky come from ash released by the fires on the West Coast, 3,000 miles away. The weather report says the particles from burning forests, homes, businesses and schools are so high in the atmosphere that they won’t affect our lungs. The forecaster didn’t predict whose lungs the particles would affect. Maybe it’s birds’ and fishes’.

Distance doesn’t insulate us from bad things that happen far away. In this case, the smoke from California echoes across a continent, so it’s not a big leap to imagine the same thing happening globally. Read more…