Friday, July 03, 2020

CoViD-19: No Testing Saturday | Beluga Whale Sighting In San Diego | Weekend Watching | The US Hasn't Failed- We're Not Even Trying |

Let's Hope This June Gloom Acts As Beach Control (Taken 6.29.2020)

We're heading out to take Nova to soccer, so we'll probably actually do two trips to La Jolla Cove, one without her and one with her. Unless it's crazy, then we'll find something else to do, I suppose. I thought this might be my last post for the weekend, but if I'm going to be sitting around the house all weekend, maybe it won't be. Lots of links and info and stuff after the jump. Hope everyone has a great Independence Day weekend. 

  • CoViD-19
    • As I mentioned last night, one thing that could prevent San Diego from hitting the statewide watchlist is a gap in holiday testing. Of course, if you close all test sites, nobody can test positive, right? I don't know what that will mean for Sunday or the "batching" delay they always talk about during the County media briefings. Seems to me this is even more reason to close beaches (or at least lots) this weekend, but it's not gonna happen. Any businesses that are gonna get shut down should do the kind thing and close this weekend so their staff doesn't miss out on  an entire week of CARES pay. 
  • I don't know how I missed this story but !!!! oh.em.gee. I actually had to look it up and see if it was true. I'm not entirely convinced...seems like great advertising for the whale tour company, and drone footage over water could literally be from anywhere in the world. But if it is authentic and there was a beluga whale in San Diego, the one thing this video doesn't address or ask is the possibility that this wayward beluga whale was affected by the fact that the Arctic reported 100 degree temperatures in June.

  • If you're staying home this weekend, some things I've been watching:
    • #blackAF on Netflix. I only mildly like this show, but the Juneteenth episode is worth the watch. (Episode 3)
    • Absurd Planet on Netflix. We watch A LOT of nature shows in our house, but this one is silly and has some pretty funny moments. Darren can't stand it, but Nova and I enjoy it. 
    • Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga on Netflix. This is a silly Will Ferrell movie. I've seen some rave reviews, people saying this is Ferrell's best movie. I wouldn't go that far, but it was pretty funny. I really, really hate fake accents in film and television, but once I got past that, it was humorous. 
  • Los Angeles County is done playing games. This is their official health order for beach closures. I mean, the only thing they don't say is 'drown at your own risk.'

    Beaches, Lifeguard Towers to Close for Holiday Weekend
    Closures result of public health order
    At the direction of the Department of Public Health, all Los Angeles County beaches will be closed this weekend, resulting in the closure of all lifeguard towers.
    The Public Health Officer’s order closes all beaches, bike paths and beach access points in LA County from 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3, through 5 a.m. Monday, July 6.
    A new SSW/S swell will begin to show late Friday, building through the weekend with top exposures seeing surf in the 3- to 4-foot range. This swell will increase the risk and strength of rip currents along our coastline. 
    Because of the hazardous ocean conditions and closure of lifeguard towers, please exercise good judgement: stay out of the water and off the sand.
  • I don't know how many readers know Cullen Hendrix, but he was the first person ever to write a profile about me as a blogger that appeared in San Diego Music Matters Magazine. He's also a sick-ass drummer for the band The North Atlantic. Anyway, he moved to Colorado several years ago and has made a good life for himself in academia where he's a professor and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies. He wrote this great op-ed that I've been meaning to share, and since I'll probably take the weekend off, I'll leave it here for your reading list:

    The United States set a single-day record for new COVID cases on Wednesday, surpassing what we had hoped would the highest point of the curve back on April 24. Instead of flattening, the US curve is starting to look more like Long’s Peak: a small uplift followed by a small dip that then gives way to a long and precipitous climb.

    This has many observers saying the United States is a failed state. It is not. It is something much more disturbing: it is a society that has decided not to try.

    Failed states lack the resources, equipment, and government capacity to provide public safety and public services. States like Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen fit this description. The governments of these countries can often barely project authority beyond the walls of their government buildings.

    This is not the case in the United States. By any objective measure, the United States is the wealthiest, most powerful country on Earth. It is home to more Nobel laureates than any country, and its universities are the envy the world. Its technology sector is the world’s most dynamic. Most public services work reasonably well. The demand for the H1B high skilled worker visas recently halted by President Trump vastly outstrips their supply. Failed states see mass out-migration. Even at our most xenophobic, the United States is still a preferred destination for migrants the world over. We have the talent and the resources.

    So no, the United States is not a failed state. Rather, the United States is a country that has lost the political will to do anything with that vast capacity. If we had the will, we could be implementing the same kinds of procedures that helped countries from New Zealand to South Korea and Japan, many of which lack the United States’ economic and military might, to flatten their curves.

    In this way, the United States is a creature without modern precedent. One has to go all the way back to the disastrous reigns of Nero in Rome (first century CE) or Czar Nicholas of Russia in the early 20th century to find such fecklessness in the face of huge threats. And while it’s tempting to say Trump is fiddling while the nation burns, this is not just about presidential leadership. It is about a society that has forgotten that our well-earned freedoms come with responsibilities, chief among which is the responsibility to make personal sacrifices for the good of the community. Our individualism has mutated into selfishness at a time when selflessness—the recognition that we are indeed all in this together—is necessary.

    We do not live in a failed state. We live in a capable state—we are just choosing to fail one another, and that is inexcusable.

    Cullen Hendrix is Professor and Director of the Sié Chéou-Kang Center for International Security and Diplomacy at the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.

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