Indy Digest: July 4, 2022
I love my country—but it’s deeply, horrendously broken. That’s why I am not feeling the flag-waving, fireworks vibe this Independence Day.
This is a country where six people died, and more than two dozen others were wounded, at a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Ill. this morning. Some lunatic opened fire from a rooftop using a high-powered rifle. He remains at large as of this writing. It’s also a country where five people were shot, one fatally, outside of a Sacramento nightclub early this morning.
Yet we won’t do much about it. One of the two major parties, backed by the U.S. Supreme Court, believes the Second Amendment allows pretty much anyone to do anything they want with any firearm.
This is a country where the former president—one of the front-runners to receive his party’s nomination again in two years—has pushed the Big Lie, claiming the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him, even though it was not. As part of that Big Lie, that former president helped foment a deadly insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021. Yet the vast majority of his party establishment still supports him.
This is a country where the Supreme Court—again, backed by that major party—seems hellbent on rolling back rights Americans have had for decades. A national right to abortion is gone. At least one Supreme Court justice has signaled that gay marriage, contraceptive rights and the right for consenting adults to engage in private sex acts should be overturned next.
The United States of America is supposed to be the land of the free. But it’s not. Instead, it’s a land where freedoms are being held hostage by Christian religious extremism and weirdly twisted interpretations of our centuries-old Constitution. And as a result, this is a land where it doesn’t seem safe to go to a nightclub or a Fourth of July parade anymore.
From the Independent
By Matt King
July 1st, 2022
Stay safe; stay hydrated; and enjoy what the valley has to offer in July.
A Satisfying Conclusion: The Final Episodes of ‘Stranger Things 4’ Are Excellent Examples of Big-Event TV
By Bob Grimm
July 4th, 2022
The final two episodes of Stranger Things 4 could’ve been a tedious mess, but the Duffers present it all in a way that makes sense—and, more importantly, in a way that is very entertaining, especially for horror fans.
Persevering to Perform: Meatbodies Survive Pandemic Angst and Health Troubles to Bring Fuzzy Garage Music to The Alibi
By Matt King
July 3rd, 2022
Frontman Chad Ubovich has left his mark all over the garage-rock music scene—and his band Meatbodies is slated to perform at The Alibi on July 22.
By Jimmy Boegle
July 1st, 2022
The prime rib was tender, juicy and well-seasoned—exactly as proper steakhouse prime rib should be.
By Bob Grimm
July 4th, 2022
The first half of Crimes of the Future is just dull, while the second half gets goofy beyond forgiveness.
• Last week’s test results of Palm Springs wastewater for SARS-CoV-2 levels were not posted today due to the holiday; we’ll have that info in the Thursday Indy Digest. However, this Los Angeles Times story has us guessing the number will sadly be on the rise: “In a sign of how the new coronavirus wave continues to spread across California, two-thirds of the state’s counties are now in the high COVID-19 community level, in which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends universal masking in indoor public spaces. This comes as health officials are warning of concerning weeks ahead as two new ultra-contagious Omicron subvariants—BA.4 and BA.5—spread. Experts believe the subvariants, which are not only especially contagious but also capable of reinfecting those who have survived earlier Omicron infection, are a major factor behind the continued persistence of coronavirus transmission across California. … Though experts are concerned, there is still uncertainty about how serious a summer wave will get.” (For the record, Riverside County is not one of those counties; we’re at medium risk as of now … but trending in the wrong direction.)
• Related: The New York Times poses the question: “Updated Covid Shots Are Coming. Will They Be Too Late?” Key quote: “The question is whether those modified boosters will arrive in time. In a bid to match the latest forms of the virus, the FDA asked vaccine manufacturers to tailor their new shots to the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants, rather than to the original version of Omicron from last winter. Virologists said that a subvariant vaccine would generate not only the strongest immune defenses against current versions of the virus, but also the type of broad antibody response that will help protect against whatever form of the virus emerges in the months ahead. But building a fall booster campaign around vaccines at the forefront of the virus’s evolution could also come at a cost. Pfizer and Moderna said that they could deliver subvariant vaccine doses no earlier than October. Some FDA advisers warned in a public meeting last week that the timeline could be slowed even further by any number of routine delays.”
• Our partners at CalMatters look at the changes made to California’s concealed carry permit laws as a result of one of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court decisions: “Over the last decade, Orange County issued 65,171 permits to carry a concealed handgun and both Fresno and Sacramento counties issued more than 45,000. San Francisco issued 11. That’s according to data published online Monday by the California Department of Justice, but which has since been removed after reporters discovered that the open database included the names, home addresses and other personal information of more than 200,000 concealed carry permit holders in the state. The wide variation across counties was at the heart of last week’s U.S. Supreme Court opinion, which struck down New York state’s concealed carry permitting scheme, which is very similar to California’s and which gave local law enforcement sweeping discretion to determine who should be allowed to tote a hidden handgun in public. … The court’s June 23 ruling is forcing San Francisco’s sheriff’s department to behave more like Orange County’s—at least until state lawmakers pass new legislation.”
• We know climate change is bad … but is it responsible for an increase in food-borne illnesses, too? Yep, so says an epidemiologist, writing for The Conversation: “The link between foodborne illness and climate change is quite straightforward: The pathogens that cause many foodborne infections are sensitive to temperature. That’s because warm, wet weather conditions stimulate bacterial growth. Three main factors govern the spread of foodborne illness: 1) the abundance, growth, range and survival of pathogens in crops, livestock and the environment; 2) the transfer of these pathogens to food; and 3) human exposure to the pathogens. … One growing problem is that heat waves, wildfires and severe storms are increasingly triggering power outages, which in turn affect food storage and food handling practices in stores, production and distribution sites and homes. A review of federal data in 2022 found that major U.S. power outages linked to severe weather had doubled over the previous two decades. California often experiences smaller-scale outages during heat waves and periods of high wildfire risk. This can happen on the hottest and, in some areas, most humid days, creating ideal conditions for bacteria to grow.”
• Related and yucky, comes this piece from CBS News: “Nearly 1.4 million Americans are infected with salmonella each year, including 26,500 hospitalizations and 420 deaths, with food the major source of the illnesses, according to federal health officials. … The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) last month said it is rethinking its approach to salmonella in poultry in light of newly released research. The research found that standards implemented in 2016 significantly reduced salmonella in chicken, but not salmonella-related illnesses related to eating poultry. An increase in antimicrobial resistant strains is part of the problem, according to the findings published by the International Journal of Food Microbiology and released last week by FSIS. The agency is now reviewing whether it needs to change its strategy, and plans to hold a public hearing on the issue later in the year, it stated. The agency’s review comes amid new findings about poultry from Consumer Reports, which on Friday said it detected salmonella in a third, or 23, of the 75 samples of ground chicken tested.”
• And finally … this was a dark and depressing Indy Digest, and for that, I apologize. Let’s end, however, on a bright note, about a great show for a good cause. From the news release: “Bill Marx and his jazz trio return on Sunday, July 10, to benefit local charity ACT for Multiple Sclerosis (ACT for MS). Celebrate the summer with relaxing entertainment and camaraderie while helping us improve ACT for MS’ clients’ quality of life. Doors open at 4 pm for hosted cocktails and appetizers, music throughout, and a dinner buffet. Event takes place at Bellatrix at the Classic Club, 75200 Classic Club Blvd., Palm Desert, CA 92211. … Tickets are $150 per person (open seating) or $1,500 for a VIP table of 8. Price includes a tax-deductible donation for the Palm Desert based charity that provides free services for local clients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Silent auction items will also be available.” Get more info or tickets at www.actforms.org.
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