Fight The Power

I Do What I Want

Restaurants are “Just Saying No” to shutting down. Restaurants insists they can serve customers safely indoors. The owner of Village Tavern and Grill in Illinois said, “You pay my bills, you pay my taxes, you pay my employees, and I’ll close. I’m not going to be the guy with a boarded-up building because I follow someone else’s science.” So, he has his own science now? 

The owner’s comments were directed at Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker who had the nerve to reference science at a press conference. The CDC concluded that adults who tested positive for Covid-19 were twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant. 

This restaurant is not unique, there are many owners who are vowing stay open. There are even lawsuits arguing that restaurants have been made the scapegoats for the Covid-19’s spread. Stanford University researchers found restaurants and cafes have been among the super-spreader sites. The National Restaurant Association said the Stanford and CDC studies relied on small samples, lack contact-tracing data, and didn’t take into account whether the restaurants followed social-distancing and safety measures. Let’s be honest, there are only so many safety measures you can observe when EATING in an enclosed space. 

I give up! But, if everyone feels like they are the scapegoats: schools, churches, restaurants, then maybe these restrictions aren’t personal? 

When I Drink Tequila

Image from Tesla

Leave it to Elon Musk to turn an April Fool’s tweet into a legitimate product, Tesla Tequila. He originally wanted to call it “Teslaquila” but the Tequila Regulatory Council (CRT), (who knew that was a thing) said no.  The word “tequila” is a designation of origin; meaning rights of using this word belong only to the tequila agribusiness.

In May 2018, Tesla attempted to register the brand Teslaquila in Mexico. The CRT filed its objection. In March 2019, the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property said “Teslaquila” can’t be registered because it is too close to tequila. 

Tesla Tequila’s next task was the difficult-to-mass-produce bottle design, a lightning bolt-shaped glass bottle. The design was inspired by the icon of Tesla’s GPS maps. On November 5th, the lightning-shaped bottle was launched at $250; it sold out the same day.

Gotta say, I kinda want a bottle. The packaging is excellent. 

Everybody Hates Neera

Biden’s latest cabinet pick, Neera Tanden for Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has causes a visceral reaction complete with tantrums on both sides of the aisle. Tanden, the CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP) think tank, if confirmed, would be the first woman of color to lead the OMB.

The Right has called her partisan based on Twitter comments and her often vocal disapproval of some Republicans, including some whose vote she may need for confirmation. But it’s not just Republicans, some Democrats and Progressives also have issues with her. Some think CAP is too corporate friendly. Then she supported Clinton over Sanders in 2016 ,which upset some progressives. Also, at one point, nearly 10 years ago, she suggested cuts to Social Security to balance the budget.

Recently, however, she has said that now is not the time to worry about deficits. Also, not all Republicans dislike her, Strategist Bill Kristol, said she would be more careful with federal funding than other Dems. Most importantly, there are many more Democrats who believe she is a good pick.

But, honestly, her chances of being confirmed depend on the outcome of the Georgia Senate elections. So, everyone can just slow down and stop all the tuff talk. 

Open Sesame!

With COVID-19 spikes across the globe, some tourist countries are going the route of American restaurants and bars and saying: screw this, we’re open. Some countries are saying they can’t stay closed indefinitely because it’s not financially sustainable.

According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the tourism industry accounted for 330 million jobs in 2019. They also estimate that approximately 121 million of those jobs could be lost. In tourism-dependent countries this industry is often a large part of their GDP and continued shut downs will have devastating effects on the entire country. 

Some countries, however, like Mexico, never shut down. Mexico, essentially, has no entry restrictions for Americans. Visitors might get a temperature check, but that’s it. Likewise, Tanzania has remained open. But it took things one step further. In June, Tanzania’s President John Magufuli falsely declared the country free of the coronavirus and the government stopped reporting cases entirely.  

Kenya and Costa Rica are also open for travel. Caribbean islands have been cautiously reopening to U.S. tourists. The U.S. Virgin Islands, was one of the first to reopen, in June, and has been followed by St. Lucia, Turks and Caicos, the Dominican Republic, and Grenada.

So, travel at your own risk. The countries know that they cannot prevent COVID, so they are preparing for inevitable outbreaks with contract tracers and beefing up their public health systems. Good luck out there all you, travelers. 

Americans Are So Weird

Why is the disappearance of a monolith in the Utah Desert national news? Apparently, a “mysterious” silver monolith was spotted by wildlife biologists performing a helicopter survey.

The 11 feet tall, stainless steel structure was spotted Nov. 18 and this apparently garnered international attention. I am still wondering why. At any rate, people used GPS to find and hike to it. 

Spencer Owen, of Salt Lake City, saw the monolith Friday afternoon, camped overnight, and was disappointed when it was gone Saturday morning. He said, “I was really bummed, it was so pretty and shiny. I wanted to go see it again.”  Is recreational marjuaiana legal in Utah? 

I wish you could see me rolling my eyes as I write this. Pretty and Shiny!