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Member since: Thu Oct 10, 2019, 03:48 PM
Number of posts: 16,444

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Please help me locate these flags for a Battle of the Flags

I admit that until recently I have paid little attention to the Flags of various countries. I knew only our own flag, of course, and the flags of Canada and the UK.

All of us now know the Ukrainian flag.

A neighbor who moved in across the hall from me about a year ago has had two identical criss-crossed flags on her door since moving in. I wondered what they were but since they are red, white, and blue, I thought they were meant to reflect the US colors.

I just discovered that they are the flag of effing Russia! A band of white on top, followed by a band of blue and then a band of red.

So I am looking for a US and a Ukranian flag of the same size to criss-cross on my door. The size is small, like a little child would carry.

EDIT UPDATE: I found that Wal-Mart carries both the US and Ukranian flags in the size I want.

Where can I get those flags in that size?

Ukraine no fly zone for nuclear plants?

I understand the reason for not having no fly zones in Ukraine. They would involve the US or NATO in direct war with Russia because enforcement would mean bringing down Russian planes and escalating the war beyond Ukraine. But, we can provide humanitarian aid in getting sick and wounded Ukranians out of the country for treatment to lessen the death toll. And private individuals can volunteer to fight in Ukraine.

But, after the Russian attack on a nuclear plant that nearly became a nuclear disaster that for rest of Europe, are we justified in providing air cover for Ukraine's nuclear power plants?

One objection is possible "mission drift" to other areas of Ukraine. But can we, or should we take the risk of another nuclear power plant disaster since either the Russian military is inept at best, or, at worst, they are instructed to do nuclear damage?

Trucker caravan planned for DC.

Dates for starting the convoy vary from late February to early March. They are putting on an image of simply opposing authoritarianism in government, which they say means mandates regarding masks and vaccinations.

But we know they are RW extremist Trump supporters who hope to disrupt the nation's business in DC and to challenge Biden on coping with it. After Ottawa and Jan 6, can we trust these people to act as peaceful protesters, or should we be wary of them arriving armed as they did in Canada?

I believe that they should never be allowed inside DC to wreak havoc and paralyze the city with trucks and threats to businesses, citizens, lawmakers, and government employees, both elected and non elected.

So how should they be stopped?


Success! Sometimes you just have to speak up.

I live in a senior complex that consists of 3 multi-storied apartment buildings. For insurance and safety reasons, our fire alarm system in the halls and inside each apartment have to be inspected and tested once a year.

Last year it was done in May. On Monday, we were notified that the annual inspection would be done on Wednesday. Huh? It had not been a year. They were here just 8 months ago.

The infection rate in this area is 20%. Hospitalizations and deaths are going up. Breakthrough infections with omicron are common. Some people in these buildings are not vaccinated. These inspections, going from one apartment to the next sounded like a spreader event to me.

Sure, omicron is supposed to be not as severe as previous variants - if you are young and healthy. But we are all over 65 and there are many who have the range of health issues you can expect among seniors - diabetes, asthma, COPD, cancer. Breakthrough infections among us could be very serious.

I fumed about it and then called the management office. They didn't know anything about it, said that the maintenance manager handles the inspections. I read off the local infection statistics and reminded them of vulnerability problems among us. The complex manager agreed that January was early since they were here in May. He said I could refuse to let them in IF I signed a statement that it was due to covid concerns.

I expected a communications SNAFU with inspectors demanding to be let in. I was prepared to stand my ground. I am tired of avoiding bare-faced people and naked noses in public. I am tired of people who violate my space in public instead of distancing. I am tired of people who say that omicron is mild as I watch death and hospitalization statistics rise among seniors. I am tired of my doctor's receptionist on Monday whose oversized, loose mask kept slipping off her face while I checked in. I am tired of the doctor and her PA who wore their surgical masks at the tip of their noses without fitting the nose clip for a seal.

I need ONE SPACE in this world where I can feel safe - my home. I do not want strangers coming into it who might or might not be vaccinated, who might or might not wear a mask or wear it correctly, who might have picked up omicron and carried it from one apartment to the next. I do not want to risk that some stranger might carry the virus and leave it behind in the air of my home for me to inhale when I take my mask off after they leave.

But, my phone call worked beyond my expectations. After speaking to me, the complex's manager told the maintenance manager to reschedule the inspections for May, like last year, in the hope that things will look better then. Whew. I am relieved. The magats who live here won't care that I got a postponement, but I didn't do it for them. I did it for the rest of us.

Pandemics bring out the crazies.

In 14th century Europe, the Black Plague brought out some crazy behavior that is reminiscent of the craziness we see today.

Flagellants believed that they knew a cure. Self-flagellation would show God that they were repentant and God would have pity on them and remove the plague. They marched through the streets of towns whipping themselves with sticks and straps, drawing blood.
Locals got caught up in the frenzy and joined them in the streets. As they went from town to town, they spread the plague with them.

The Church initially saw them as pious and encouraged them. But when people of the towns, and the flagellants themselves, began to see them as holy, they gained followers who thought that the Pope and Church no longer had God's favor, and they began charging into churches and throwing out priests to take over the mass themselves. The pope withdrew his support of them and ordered towns to close their gates and refuse admission to the flagellants. This was 200 years before the Reformation.

Today's covid miracle cures are Ivermectin, bleach, ultraviolet light inserted into the body, etc.

Some places decided that isolation of the sick would protect the healthy and boarded whole families inside their homes when a member got sick. They could not leave for food or water, and died of starvation.

Today's "solution" takes the opposite direction. Expose everyone and spread natural immunity, along with death.

Most malicious was the rumor that Jews had caused the plague by poisoning well water. Thousands of Jews were slaughtered. The pope issued orders for kings and princes to stop their people from committing these slaughters, pointing out that Jews were getting sick and dying, too. But some did nothing to stop the destruction of Jewish communities. People would not give up their fear and desire to blame someone.

Today, people beat up Asian Americans because covid originated in China and a former president called it the China virus.

After the plague subsided, surviving serfs and peasants refused to remain on the land of their overlords, as the law required them to. Why should they when they had faced the plague with their neighbors in unsanitary conditions while the lords fled to unaffected areas or stayed inside their walls, guarding their possessions while the common people died. Serfs and peasants left their assigned lands, took over empty businesses and tools, and set themselves up in business, charging what they could get due to the shortage of goods and services after so many had died. Or, they remained as tenant farmers, but went to work for whoever was willing to give them the best conditions, with some pay.

Today's front line workers are leaving low wage jobs for better ones, or are forming unions to demand better wages, conditions, and benefits.

Some things about human behavior just don't change, even centuries later.

How is the weather where you are?

With a large part of the country under weather warnings right now I am sure that many DUers are currently experiencing some bad weather or have very recently experienced it. Ice storms, snow, and power outages in the South, snowstorms in the Midwest and Northeast.

I am in western NY where we have a lake effect snow warning. We expect a foot and a half by Monday night and more snow on Tuesday. Right now, when I look out my window, all I can see is a white blur. Several inches on the ground and coming down so steadily that I can barely see across the street. The temperature is dropping and the wind is steady, putting the chill factor in single digits now and below zero F overnight.

What's happening where you are?

EDIT TO ADD: The battle of the snowflakes has begun at my place. I am on the 5th floor of my building. Updrafts, downdrafts, shifting winds send snowflakes swirling everywhere. My cat, Ember, feels called upon to take action. When they hit the window, she takes it personally and hits back. Back and forth on the windowsill, up on hind legs, then down again. Both paws in action. Faster than a speeding bullet, Supercat strikes in all directions.

New Year - Remember when 2020 was so bad?

We looked forward to 2021. Had to be better. Couldn't get worse. We had elected a Dem president. We had vaccines.

But then - an insurrection attack on Congress right off the bat in January. Vaccines were distributed after a slow start. Masks were discarded. Everything opened up again.

But then - the delta variant. By mid summer it was taking over as the dominant strain. A least twice as infectious as the previous variant. We needed masks again but state governors made vaccine and mask mandates illegal. Magats refused both vaccinations and masks. Vaccine efficacy was wearing off after 6 months. Boosters were approved. For sure the boosters would help those who wanted help.

But then, omicron. It breaks through vaccines. Even more infectious than delta. Maybe not as severe. And that's where we're at.

Should we look forward to 2022? I'm almost afraid to.

Brownie for breakfast? Why not?

They looked so tempting to me this morning. Already made. No need to scramble eggs, mix up pancake or waffle batter and cook. No need to even fill a bowl with cereal and milk. Just grab a brownie and eat. Mmm.

Full of nutitrious ingredients, too. Eggs for protein and biotin. Mono and poly unsaturated oil. Walnuts for omega 3. Chocolate for BP. Add a dollop of Greek vanilla yogurt and it's a healthy breakfast, right?

Ember the cat watched my town's Christmas super spreader event tonight. She did not approve.

The Christmas parade route goes past my apartment building. So, instead of joining the unmasked, shoulder to shoulder hordes on the sidewalk, I watched from a window, with Ember on the windowsill in front of me. She spends a lot of time looking out that window, so she knows the difference between a real car and colorful sparkly light monsters. Real cars have small white lights in front and little red ones in back. Sparkly monsters have many lights all over them in multiple colors, especially red and green. She was not fooled. She growled feline warnings at them.

They made musical sounds, but again, Ember was not fooled. She knows that real music comes from radios, telephones, and movies. She growled. "Back off! I am a guard cat."

Ember knows that people walk the sidewalks by themselves or in small groups. She stretched her neck back and forth to see the big crowds swarming the sidewalks. Oh no! What were they doing out there with sparkly light monsters rolling down the streets? She growled. "Look out you silly fools. The monsters will get you."

Ember loves children. She watched them run up to the sparkly monsters who threw little wrapped up things at the kids. She growled fiercely. "Hurt those little kiddies and you'll have me to answer to!"

She did her best to protect the neighborhood and our home. Eventually, it worked. The monsters moved down the street and no more of them came along. The crowds dispersed. Mission accomplished. Ember jumped to the floor and groomed herself with great pride.

Erie County mask mandate for everyone began on Monday.

The Erie County infection rate is among the highest in the state at 9.5 currently, but fluctuates between 9 and 10.

Hospitals are at full capacity or nearly full - before the holidays even begin.

All people in any indoor place must wear a mask to try to bring down the infection rate. If it does not work, then curfews and shutdowns might be next.

Buffalo is a blue city, but there are red suburbs and rural areas around it. Contributing to the rising infection rate is the fact that, after the vaccines came out and the CDC lifted its mask guidelines, people abandoned masks and social distancing completely. At the same time, theaters, concerts, football games, restaurants, spas, and beauty parlors all opened up.

Within weeks, the delta variant arrived, but almost nobody returned to masks and social distancing. So now it is mandatory.
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