For a new year, it seems like old news keep repeating itself.
Extreme weather everywhere, all the time. The south had a round of tornadoes this last weekend, and California is soaked, and expecting more heavy downpours (and the resulting mudslides, flash floods, and sinkholes.)
Already over 30 mass shootings in the US so far this year. Three of them in Texas in the last few days, (2 of those in Houston.) Evidently, we still need more guns for our own safety.
Russia repeatedly launches deadly missiles into civilian-occupied buildings in Ukraine. Both nations are now relying on their allies to supply them with weapons, supplies, and technology.
And George Santos keeps on lying. It was cute for a while, but he has now received a couple of committee assignments, even though his proclivity for total dishonesty is by now known to all. It makes him the ultimate modern Republican. Lie without restraint. Never back down, never apologize, never concede. There is only winning. There are no principles, only power. This would be a national scandal if it weren't already a national virus. And like other wreckless, deadly viruses that we're now familiar with, there is a large demographic that denies that there's a problem at all, and certainly is not one that needs to be vaccinated against.
It was almost adorable when we found out that he wasn't a champion volleyball player at Baruch College. It was dishonest but unsurprising to realize he had "embellished his résumé” when it was discovered that he had not worked for Goldman Sachs. It was distasteful to hear that his mother died in the 9/11 attack...and then again, several years later from cancer. But then it was discovered that his net worth had gone from almost nothing to several million dollars in only two years, with no verifiable explanation for how that happened. Just today, it was reported that Santos took $3,000 raised to get a homeless veteran's service dog some needed veterinary care. Santos allegedly absconded with the money. The dog died without the surgery. Paints a picture, don't it?? But McCarthy has given him a couple of committee assignments, so it all worked out in the end. We welcome, Mr. Santos, (if that's your name,) as the new brand ambassador to the Republican Party.
and speaking of repeating...
Roger talks about the climate. We know, he did that a few weeks ago, but a new report has gathered all the latest evidence, weighed the human factors and concluded "fugetaboutit!" Or if you prefer the scientific nomenclature... "we're screwed."
For Myra, and millions of others, climate change is getting personal. Been through a Gulf Coast hurricane lately? You won't have to wait long if you haven't, they seem to be lining up every summer.
Myra wonders if the pandemic tipped some kind of cosmic balance. Has everything gone sideways? Whether is precipitation or politics, it's all crazy now.
This week we find Outlaw Jim Moore calling a high school football game between the Brush, Colorado Beetdiggers and the Burlington, Colorado Cougars. But he finds that there's not a lot of room or tolerance for smartasses at a 1,000 Watt AM superstation. (I think my hairdryer pulls more power?) A station so small that they had to power down at sunset and hook up to the community's cable TV system so the good folks of Brush could listen to the game on their television sets... sans video, of course.
We can only imagine that in this story, Jim will be back on the road after his brief employment there with the Beetdiggers.
Isn't it time we put an end to the non-stop surveys in our lives? After every transaction. After each meal. When the service technician is done. After every business phone call.
You spend an hour on an automated phone tree, only to have the same auto-bot insist that you stay on the line and talk to another computer voice about your experience with the first bot. "How likely are you to recommend our soulless, dispiriting, mechanized cyborg to your friends and family?"
(BTW, while we have you here, how likely it is that you would recommend The Texas Outlaw Writers Newsletter to others? Very Likely? Most Likely? Hell yah, I'm On It Likely?)