Carnes: Are things getting better or worse?
TV8 is toast, Vail Resorts closes two-thirds of its ski resorts in Australia mid-season and Mexico is closing its border to the United States, leaving American passports on the same level as North Korea.
Think things are getting better?
For those locals a week or two away from total panic as unemployment benefits disappear, sleep well knowing the Catholic Church received $1.4 billion from the PPP forgivable loan program, presumably to help pay settlements for clergy abuse cover-ups, and a Baptist pastor and vocal ImPotus supporter in Dallas, Robert Jeffress, who just happens to be on the administration’s evangelical advisory board, received at least $2 million in tax dollars paid by you and me.
For the record, neither of them, along with dozens of other religious-based organizations receiving millions, even the complete bat-poop crazy ones like the Church of Scientology, pay taxes either.
Joining the list for your sleeplessness, Grover Norquist, of the Americans for Tax Reform Foundation, Jared Kushner, Kanye West, Khloe Kardashian, ImPotus donors and numerous billionaires all received millions in free money thanks to you and me and our tax paying ways.
And lest you think this is a partisan issue, the husband of Nancy Pelosi and a few Obama buds have done the same thing, all regulated by elected officials voted into office by you and me (and a few million others).
Still think things are getting better?
With all this, you would think locals already have more than enough to worry about, but if you have been paying attention to what has become the most entertaining aspect of the Vail Daily since a virus turned the world upside down — aka the comments section — you would know a handful of consistent commenters see themselves as the last torch of freedom to save the rest of us dolts from medical tyranny and flat-out communism.
These online pretend debates are easily the most entertaining local thing to read since Michael Cacioppo’s “Speakout” bit the dust.
Last week’s arrest at City Market helped to expose some of the nuttiest fear-mongering comments yet, where a few “freedom warriors” personally attack all who dare to wear a mask to protect themselves and others.
They boldly proclaim intent to walk down store aisles “any damn direction” they want without a mask in order to save the remaining remnants of our freedom.
They warn us simpleminded sheep of how quickly “it’s just a mask” can become “it’s just a vaccine,” thus leading to the cattle car headed directly for Auschwitz while constantly quoting an out of context statement by Dr. Fauci over four months ago.
However, back in the real world, both sides of the political aisle now finally agree science overrides conspiracy theories, and our economy can only begin returning once we have the spread under control.
And for the record, Cacioppo, who apparently discovered the VD comment section a few weeks ago (and has been a friend for decades in spite of his refusal to ever learn how to use a “tactful approach” towards controversial issues), now wears a mask and gloves when shopping to protect himself and others.
So hey, I suppose things are getting a little better.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at email@example.com.