News Nuts for this week

easy to digest news in a nutshell

milt thomas

Covid confusion. The latest CDC guidance on COVID-19 created more confusion than relief. Basically, if you received both vaccinations you don’t have to wear a mask inside or outside. That applies to less than 40% of Americans, so what about the other 60%? Many of them never wore masks and/or did not receive vaccinations, so how do you tell them apart from those who were vaccinated? Good question, no answer so far.

Ransomware everywhere? The recent ransomware attack against Colonial Pipeline caused a gasoline crisis and high prices at the pump. The official position has always been do not give in to the demands because doing so will only increase the number of ransom demands. But now we have sophisticated hackers installing software that prevents people from accessing their own computer files. Ransomware prevented Colonial from delivering petroleum products to a wide swath of the US populations resulting in major disruption. But before the public was even aware of this devastating computer hack, Colonial went ahead and paid the $5 million ransom. From their standpoint, $5 million is chump change against their annual revenue of $1.3 billion and the surge in gasoline prices more than paid them back. But what does that tell the thousands of other hackers around the world? Good move, Colonial – since then, four branches of worldwide insurance company, AXA, and Ireland’s health IT systems have been hit with ransomware demands.

Stagflation redux? The post-pandemic boom has resulted in sticker shock on prices for everything from houses to groceries. This gives pause to those who lived through the high inflation-high interest-low growth years of the Carter presidency. Is history repeating itself?

Stormwater firestorm In Vero, the stormwater utility tax (or fee) is close to becoming a reality. The overriding concern though is dealing with long term pollution in the Indian River Lagoon. The cost to our economy and quality of life if nothing is done is far greater than the cost of restoring the Lagoon’s health.

The trial of Damien Gilliams and Pamela Parris in Sebastian started this week. In a nutshell, they held an illegal City Council meeting out of the sunshine (without the public) to fire City officials they didn’t like, then lied about it. See story here.

Will we ever reach herd immunity? We are fast reaching the end of the “vaccination rush” as close to 60% of Americans have received at least one jab and as a result, the rate of coronavirus infections has dropped dramatically. That’s the good news. The bad news is that millions more have not been vaccinated. Incredibly, the anti-vaxxer hysteria has grown almost entirely from social media, not science, and 65% of the social media misinformation comes from 12 people known as the “Disinformation Dozen.”  See this article

Israel vs Palestinians– An old parable here is appropriate: A desert scorpion wanted to cross the Jordan River and tried to convince a duck to carry him there. The duck said, “But if I carry you across the river, you could sting me and I would die.” The scorpion then said, “But if I sting you, we will both drown.” Convinced it was safe, the duck allowed the scorpion to climb on his back then proceeded to swim across the river. Once in the water, the scorpion stung the duck and they both started to sink. The duck turned to the scorpion and in his last breath, said, “But why?” The scorpion answered, “Because this is the Middle East.”

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