OPINION: Anti-“Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

Editor: This is a reminder to get vaxxed.  It’s importance for us as a nation to increase our vaccination level. We’re doing good, but we can and need to do just a bit better. So, here again, for those who missed the message, Anna and Wes Hessel’s take on COVID anti-vaxxers.

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

To Vaxx or Not to Vaxx, That Shouldn’t Be A Question

I admit I had qualms about the COVID-19 vaccine when it first came out.  I am an anaphylactic, and side effects concerned me, but shortly after the vaccines became available, I talked to trusted friends and medical professionals, did some research, and then did the right thing by getting vaccinated.  My spouse and myself are fully Pfizer vaccinated. We’ve had our first booster, and are planning on having the second booster because we are both over 50.  We are both happily vaxxed and proud to show our vaccine cards as proof that we took a stand against this deadly virus.  Some of the worst excuses for refusing to get vaccinated follow:

Unsafe “Shortcuts”

  1. “I would rather take a horse de-wormer,” a product not intended for humans – this speaks for itself.
  2. “I would rather drink bleach” – this is toxic and has never been proven to prevent COVID. When President Biden was campaigning, he made a comment that he couldn’t believe he had to say it but, “Don’t drink bleach”.

But It Will…No, It Won’t

  1. “The vaccine will make me infertile.” Then why are fully vaccinated women getting pregnant?
  2. “There are side effects.” I will admit, I was very afraid of side effects when the vaccine first came out. I, however, did the right thing and got my two shot Pfizer vaccine along with my spouse, and got my booster, too.  My side effects were minimal, even having more than one autoimmune disease, and I not only protected myself with the shots but am helping to protect others from getting COVID-19.  Some minor symptoms are much better than in a hospital on a ventilator, having a tracheotomy, or worse.  Getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.
  3. “There will be sudden serious side effects years down the road.” There is no proof of this, and it is paranoid to think this.  If there were horrific side effects, they would have shown up by now.  The COVID vaccines have been repeatedly tested for safety.  Those of us who are vaccinated have not grown a tail or get radio frequency in our arms.

Misleading “Faith”

  1. “God is protecting me; I choose faith over fear.” As a devout Christian with Jewish heritage, this attitude appalls me.  God protects those that protect themselves and do what is right to help themselves and others.  This misuse of the “faith over fear”-type statement smacks of the misleading rhetoric of cult-like groups such as “Christian Scientists”, or the also not-Biblical tenets of the so-called “health and wealth gospel” adherents.  I listen to actual science; God gives aptitude and wisdom to medical professionals.  If you need surgery, or have other illnesses, do you go to a doctor?  Most Christians will say yes, so there is no difference between this and a vaccine.  If you don’t have polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), TB (tuberculosis), pneumonia, chicken pox, or shingles, it is because of vaccines.  Vaccines are effective.
  2. “It is a sin to get vaccinated.” Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication of this.  A popular gospel singer had COVID, and she spoke out in favor of vaccines, posting a photo of her getting the shot on social media.  Many of her fans were outraged, spewing hateful comments on her page.  Again hypocrisy, because the Word of God teaches us that we should not judge, lest we be judged and to love one another unconditionally, as we love ourselves.  And it is certainly not sinful behavior to listen to science.  Listening to science is listening to the God who created it and gave the knowledge of it to people He chose.
  3. “It’s ‘the mark of the beast’.” Well, I do agree Donald Trump is an anti-Christ, but check the Book of Revelation in the Bible, the war of Armageddon had not yet even begun, this prophecy has not yet come to pass, so the mark of the beast has not begun.  The Bible indicates this mark to be on the forehead, not in the arm.  The idea of any chip being inserted with a very thin fine needle and a clear liquid vaccine is ludicrous.  Technology may exist to do this, but it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to do so, and there is no way that the government would spend this money on so very many people, when they have your cell phone number.

Big Brother or Big Business

  1. “The vaccines contain magnetic government implantation and/or “mark of the beast” inserts.” I feel the way President Biden felt about warning against drinking bleach.  I don’t believe I need to say this, but the syringe is full of a clear, see-through liquid and the needle is far too thin to contain anything but the clear thin liquid.  The so-called metal that magnets supposedly cling to is either adhesion caused by sweat and body oils on the skin or, even less likely, the iron and other metals found naturally in the bloodstream.  No magnets or implants; it’s a vaccine to prevent COVID, nothing more.
  2. “The government has no right to tell me what to do with my body” – this comment is mostly made by the same individuals that claim denying a woman’s right to choose is not telling her what to do with her own body. I am not making a pro-choice or a pro-life statement here, but simply pointing out hypocrisy.  No, the government is not “trying to control me”, the government is trying to control COVID-19.
  3. “This vaccine is just a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money.” Just like any for profit company, drug companies do need to make money to stay in business and bring us medicines.  I agree that they often gouge prices, but the vaccines are free of cost, including the boosters, so consumers are not paying out of pocket for the vaccinations.  Democrats and our current administration are trying to get large corporations to pay their fair share in taxes also – this is in direct contradiction to the idea that liberals who agree with vaccines are simply trying to put money into the deep pockets of the drug manufacturers.  Yes, this vaccine took a shorter period to create than other vaccines but with the number of COVID-19 deaths, time was of the essence, an emergency situation and worldwide pandemic.  When Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine, he refused to patent it to make it as widely and swiftly available as possible.  Medical technology is far better today than it was when other vaccines were being created, allowing those working tirelessly to create a safe and effective vaccine much more quickly.  The competing cooperating research units of the pharmaceutical companies means the groups who develop safe, effective vaccines first make the most profit from the paid for vaccinations.  Conversely, a group creating a vaccine which has serious side effects or high risks would open that corporation to the vulnerability of liability and the associated lawsuits. In the end costing them hundreds of millions or more, so it behooves them to make a product that will help, and not harm.

Selective Science

  1. “Vaccines should not need a booster shot.” Flu shots are annual, and for the same reason as the need for coronavirus booster shots: COVID-19 is a virus, which means it mutates quickly, making it harder for the body to adapt to fighting variants.  I will gladly get additional jabs to avoid a ventilator and death.
  2. “The vaccines were created too quickly.” With millions of people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imperative to act fast.  We have medical technology that is far more sophisticated today, than yesteryear when the other vaccines were created. We have the ability to create safe vaccines much faster than scientists did back in the day.  When Jonas Salk and his team had created the polio vaccine, the testing was done over one year – 1954 to 1955.  Computer modeling and so many other medical research improvements have occurred in the 65 years since then.
  3. “Having COVID-19 will cause you to have better immunity against it.” Again, like many of the anti-vaxxers arguments, this is not proven and there is the little factor of if you don’t actually die from COVID involved here or suffer from long-term effects from the virus which are becoming apparent.
  4. “Getting the vaccine will change or destroy my DNA”- this again makes no sense. It’s a vaccine, to save lives just like the ones for polio, diphtheria, shingles, or chicken pox.  It is not DNA altering, it is just a weakened or “killed” virus which protects us from getting COVID or getting a worst case scenario bout of the virus.
  5. “COVID-19 is not really a pandemic of the unvaccinated’” – yes, it is. Even with some vaccinated individuals getting Omicron or other variants.  While “breakthrough” infections will occur, studies continue to show that vaccinations, especially boosted, significantly reduce death and hospitalizations.
  6. “COVID is just like the flu”, as many anti-vaxxer, anti-maskers want to believe – scientific fact proves otherwise. WHO estimates about 1 billion people get influenza every year, with around 290,000 to 650,000 flu-related deaths per year (presumably the fluctuation due to the flu variants prevalent at the time).  Per Johns Hopkins online COVID-19 statistics (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6), as of the morning of April 5th, 2022, there have been over 494 million identified cases of the coronavirus, and over 6.17 million related deaths worldwide.  In the United States alone, there have been almost 81.5 million cases of COVID, and approaching one million connected deaths.  Reasonable people with intelligence recognize this truth and get vaccinated.  Those refusing to believe this do often end up dying or hospitalized from the virus but anti-vaxxers choose not to see reason.  This frightening belief among those refusing to do their part to eradicate COVID is alarming.  People who insist that we should just enjoy one another and live life without regard to COVID-19, in my opinion, are lying to themselves.  I find their attitudes to be irresponsible and appalling, especially when it is done in the name of the Lord.  It is certainly not possible to simply enjoy life or one another if you are dead or on a ventilator.

But…

  1. “I don’t have time to get vaccinated” – the reality is, it takes a little waiting time, a few minutes for the actual shot, and 15 minutes for safety observation after. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will lose all time after your death, or the time eaten up in a hospital.
  2. “I hate needles” – so do I, very much. But presumably, you had other vaccinations when you were young, and you got through it.  Focus on the good it does for you, rather than the little pinch.  Also, my husband cued in the nurse who did our first injections, and she chatted me up while in the process.  The distraction of conversation or the like can also help.
  3. “I don’t want to.” Ultimately, this is what almost all the so-called “reasons” to not get the vaccination boil down to justifying – selfishness.  The idea in psychology of “the personal fable” strongly applies – that is the concept of denial which says, “it won’t happen to me”, and these days it seems, the “me” is all that matters.  This isn’t borne out in the number of COVID-19 infections, and the significantly stronger likelihood of serious complications if you are unvaccinated.  Not to mention in general, if everyone is only looking out for “me”, then all the other “me’s” are at risk, which sooner or later will lead back around to your “me”.  And as a Christian, I see the Bible via Jesus’ words to be clear: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Religious or true medical reasons aside, most human beings have no legitimate reason to not vaccinate.  So, let’s not continue to focus on the self in this or any other way, because to do so will eventually seriously threaten oneself.

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

Dr. MLK had powerful words for our society

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 

The Great Doctor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stands as the paramount leader of the civil rights movement.  There were many more alongside him, most notably the other members of the “Big Six”.  They were James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and John Lewis.  But Dr. King, or MLK, as many refer to him, was the most visible light and lightning rod.

He Still Speaks To Us

His words continue to speak volumes today, calling us to continue the fight for what is right. Most particularly right now is the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.  That is the legacy that should be made to honor both these men who worked staunchly for what they believed.  Dr. King’s own family is calling for a hold on celebrating his day until these voting rights bills are made law.  In the meantime, we hear the echoes of MLK’s quotable phrases and speeches.

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Celebrating The Life Of Betty White

Celebrating The Life Of Betty White

Editor: Betty White would have been 100 years old today, January 17, 2022. One of the most important aspects of her life was her commitment to Animal Rights. 

Celebrating The Life Of Betty White

By MAHINROOP PM

 

Animal Advocate

Betty White, the iconic American actress, comedienne, singer and legendary TV personality left us on December 31, 2021, just seventeen days before her one hundredth birthday. America’s ‘golden girl’ will be missed, like few other celebrities. Betty was not only a pioneer in show business, but she was a pioneer animal rights activist, too. She was a compassionate advocate for animal protection and animal rights, throughout her long life. For decades Betty White has been known for her generosity; giving to animal rights causes, zoos, and  foundations across the country. It was Betty White who stepped up and paid for the plane to relocate penguins and sea otters being evacuated from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. I believe Betty would want to be remembered for her work as conservationist and devoted animal lover, as much as she would want to be remembered for her celebrated 80 years in show business.

Expanding Activism

Betty White worked tirelessly for more than 50 years with the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. In a public statement, the GLAZA remembers “her service, her enduring friendship, her lifelong advocacy for animals, and her dedication to supporting our mission. ” The star deeply cared for all living creatures and her demise will leave a huge hole in animal protection endeavors.  As White’s fame grew she expanded her animal activism. One of her most beloved charities was The Seeing Eye in New Jersey, one of the country’s oldest guide dog schools.

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Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From AddictionIf you are experiencing side effects with your pharmaceuticals you might give cannabis a try

OPINION:

Cannabis: A Safe Exit From Addiction

Editor: Cannabis and its usage by humans dates back at least 8,000 years. For millennia, the plant has been valued as fiber and rope, as food and medicine, and also for its psychoactive properties for religious and recreational use. Some have gone so far to declare it a ‘miracle’ plant.

 

By D. S. Mitchell

 

The Controlled Substance Act

In 1969, Richard Nixon, announced that Attorney General, John Mitchell was  preparing a comprehensive new measure to more effectively meet the narcotic and dangerous drug problems challenging the country. At the federal level, Mitchell devised the Controlled Substance Act. The Act combined all existing federal laws and expanded their scope into a single new statute. More importantly, the CSA changed the nature of federal drug law policies and expanded federal law enforcement authority over controlled substances.

Fear Of Success

The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, established the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse. Raymond Shafer, one of the bill’s sponsor’s fearing it’s restrictive nature, made this statement to Congress, “The criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior.”

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After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

The 1/6 insurrection aftermath is heating up

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

Editor: One year ago thousands of Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol. January 6, 2021 was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history. There is increasing evidence of behind the scenes maneuvering by Trump and his inner circle to thwart the law and overturn the 2020 election. The work of the 1/6 Select Committee is plowing forward, closing in on the instigators of the insurrection. Donald Trump’s role in the plot to end democracy in the United States is becoming more clear as emails and texts are made public. In the light of the current division in the country Anna Hessel believes it is time to be honest with ourselves, face the truth of what happened on 1/6/2021, bring the culprits to justice, and then move toward healing.

By Anna Hessel

The Crush Of Charlottesville

Back in 2017, I took one of the DNA tests that are so very popular.  Since I was adopted as an infant, my curiosity about my heritage peaked with regularity – I was giddy with surprise to learn that I am multi-racial.  Thrilled that the Lord has chosen to bless me with an interesting rainbow of cultures in a world where racial tensions dolorously abound.  On August 12, I looked on in horror at a group who call themselves ‘nationalists,’ terrorize Charlottesville, VA. One of them drove through a crowd in his Dodge Challenger, injuring 19 individuals and killing Heather Heyer.  Heather was a beautiful young woman, who was a local paralegal.  Little did I know, at the time, this was a foreshadowing of worse things to come.  This hideous act prompted then-former Vice-President  Joe Biden to run for president in 2020. In my opinion, his election is the only good that has come out of this.

Worse Is Yet To Come

On January 6, 2021, a similar, yet even more heinous act of violence occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building.  I find only small comfort in the fact that James Alex Fields, the man responsible for the horrific Charlottesville attack, was sentenced in 2019 to life plus 419 years. The sentence though appropriate does not bring back Heather Heyer.  Nor does it heal the scars, both physical and emotional,  of those who were injured, or who witnessed her murder. This callous disregard for life, an act of cowardice and pure evil, a precursor to the insurrectionists actions one year ago.

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Looking At Elder Care

Looking At Elder Care

Caring for an elder family member requires strength, patience, and support.

Looking At Elder Care

The Build Back Better legislation stuck in the Senate would provide relief for many American family members struggling to keep a family member living at home vs being placed in a nursing home.

By D. S. Mitchell

Caregiver Risks

Most of the people called on to help an ill or disabled family member have no training in being a caregiver. Not only that, but many spouses, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters have their own health problems and physical limitations. The risks of being a family caregiver is premature aging, sickness, death, depression, anger, resentment and potential financial loss. Aside from that, it can be rewarding and more worthwhile than anything you will ever do.

Financial Resources Make the Difference

Receiving affordable or free home care may be what makes the difference between a family member being able to stay in their home or being moved into an assisted living or nursing home. One in five Americans provide unpaid care to family members so they can continue to live in their home, according to a recent AARP report.

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OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

Family gatherings often result in anger and hurt feelings.

Minding the Gap

OPINION: Sorting Out Generational Differences

The pain of family dysfunction is frequently on display over the holidays

By Megan Wallin

Farewell Patience

Despite the cries of “holiday cheer,” the truth is holidays can drain you of every ounce of patience and good humor you possess. The dark underbelly of family gatherings is that they often culminate in contentious  counter viewpoints. These instances can be quite grating for all parties, especially where generational gaps are involved. While it’s easy to dismiss such disagreements as being a result of an ageist culture, one that neither admires nor protects its most experienced members, I sense there’s more to it than that.

Times Change

Often, the mindset that genuinely worked for one time in history does not work when applied to another. During times of war, hardship and economic depression, children grew up fast. They often skipped the phase that allowed them to develop as individuals and instead adopted a more collectivist perspective, with an absolute respect for authority. Case in point: The idea that children are to obey all adults—absolutely and without question—is a concept that has actually led to insanely corrupt and egregious cover ups of child predators.

A Shift in Parenting Priorities

Now, armed with this knowledge, parents no longer tell their children to trust all adults or do as they’re told without a prior relationship established. Perhaps as a result, we have more self-aware young people and more challenging behaviors at times as today’s kids test boundaries with their parents, teachers, and older family members. Gone are the days of “Because I told you so,” as we usher in the new era of, “I understand that you’re upset, but you cannot do that because . . . .” We are demanding accountability from parents as well as children, and while it may be an exhausting way to parent, it’s by far the preferred method for newer generations.

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Thinking Tiny House?

Thinking Tiny House?

A lot of people are looking to tiny house living.

Thinking Tiny House?

Not everyone wants a mega mansion. In fact, there is a growing minimalist movement in the U.S.

D. S. Mitchell

‘Downsize Revolution’

If  you’ve  ever watched “Tiny House Nation” or “Tiny House” on television you are aware of a growing trend in the United States toward minimalist living. Many people are attracted to the prospect of financial freedom, a simpler lifestyle, and a smaller human environmental footprint.  Cities are encouraging ADUs (Accessory Living Units) in urban areas to increase housing options. The “downsize revolution” promotes living structures with sizes between 300 and 700 square feet. In general, the tiny home is 400 sq. ft or less. In some cases, the homes are even on wheels. Despite the stated positives, they are not for everyone.

Costs To Consider

Small does not necessarily equate with cheap. A tiny house can cost anywhere from $10,000 to $150,000. There is no land, so in some ways it is like a mobile home, the owner of a tiny home needs to find space to rent or buy to place the home. Holy Moly. The cost is dependent on a series of factors: location, building complexity, materials, and finally are you doing it yourself, or are you having it built. A contractor construction package will generally cost twice as much as a “do it yourself” house.

Reduced Appliance Size

Not always identified, but a serious matter, are the extra building costs for appliances, fixtures, water heaters and heating & cooling systems because of their reduced size. The rule it seems is that the smaller, the more expensive. It is important that you do some very careful figuring before you commit yourself to building a tiny home. One recommendation would be to get a minimum of three bids. Many builders  do sizeable markups on small projects.

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EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

The dark days of the Nazi control of Europe led to the death of millions.

EDITORIAL:

Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman is a tall slender man. His thinning white hair is brushed back, his jacket zipped against the winter wind, as he leans against his cane for support. There is a deep sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to share it. Martin Hartman is my neighbor.

Martin was born in Holland in 1924. Prior to the Depression of the 1930’s, his family had owned a prosperous construction business. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, the 97-year-old said, the economy “had begun to turn around,” things were looking up he confirmed. The future looked promising.

There had been rumblings of war, but few took them seriously, after all WWI was a mere twenty two years in the past. No one could imagine the world once again plunging into conflict. The next few days would change his life and those of his friends and family forever. “I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

After the German invasion, they began barricading city blocks and then sweeping the apartments for young men to fill the military ranks due to troop loss. Hartman describes it, “Gradually Nazism crawled into Holland. Good people were killed, or sent to prison . . . Jews and ministers.”

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OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.