It's time to stop fooling ourselves
Raise your hand if you are done listening to climate-change deniers.
This week the remainder of Hurricane Ida broke a historic rainfall record. During just one hour late Wednesday, the National Weather Service logged a stunning 3.15 inches in Central Park. More remarkably, the last record, 1.94 inches in the park, was set on Aug. 21 in the wake of Tropical Storm Henri. And that hadn’t been achieved in 100-years-plus of measuring. Parts of Long Island were just as inundated.
Tornado Alley runs north-south from South Dakota to Texas, but the Northeast got a few dangerous twisters, too. And around Philadelphia, the Schuylkill River flooded to all-time highs.
For years, mindless radio buffoons with big ratings would say something clever like: "Droughts from global warming? Huh. Look at all this rain!" But in case you haven't heard, this is long past funny. The death toll in the Northeast, set at 45 Thursday evening, is still rising in Ida's miserable wake.
Raise your hand if you're done entertaining the "theories" of anti-vaxxers.
Mike Leick of Omaha, Nebraska, died Monday of COVID-19 complications at age 65. First he gave what he knew would be deathbed interviews expressing regret that he had not gotten vaccinated and that the virus had become politicized. "Ultimately … that cost me my life because I contracted COVID and didn’t have the protection that would have minimized the risk of the exposure," the Kansas City Star quoted Leick saying. "I feel bad for my kids for that because they’ll miss out the most."
Testimony like this is growing, sometimes from loved ones of the deceased.
Right-wing radio talkers Dick Farrel, Marc Bernier, and Phil Valentine mocked and cast doubt on the vaccine. All three got the virus and died within a month of each other.
Patience for anti-vaxxers seems to be shrinking amid the delta variant spread. Now a 1903 article from a long-defunct newspaper, the St. Paul Globe, is getting clicks and eyeballs online. The piece reports the death from smallpox of one Charles Stevens — the secretary of the Minneapolis Anti-Vaccination League.
Raise your hand if you rightly forgot 9/11 "truthers."
After multiple investigations, reviews and lawsuits, and critiques of the lack of readiness that preceded it and of the war that followed, nothing shakes what we saw with our own eyes against that clear blue sky.
Jihadis bent on grotesque martyrdom hijacked planes and used them as weapons of mass murder. Not a shred of evidence to the contrary has emerged.
Raise your hand if denials of Sirhan Sirhan's guilt make you queasy.
Sirhan, convicted in 1969 of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy the year before, was found suitable for parole last week by a two-person panel, sending the decision to California's governor.
Six of the slain New York senator's nine surviving children said in a statement they are "devastated that the man who murdered our father has been recommended for parole." Justice or forgiveness aside, lawyer Robert F. Kennedy Jr., one of two sons who support parole, has sought unconvincingly to raise doubts that Sirhan fired the fatal shot — although witnesses jumped on him and wrestled the gun away.
Raise your hand, too, if you've had it with silly GOP efforts to obscure the fact that a ragtag mob of pro-Trumpers tried to nullify a national election in a deadly riot Jan. 6 at the Capitol, rooted in the president's fake voter-fraud claims.
Looks like a lot of hands up there.
Columnist Dan Janison's opinions are his own.