Voting at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center in downtown Houston

I try real hard not to be a jaded conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help but give a serious side-eye when there are voting machine issues, but mostly in predominately Black areas. That’s exactly what happened this past Election Day. In Fort Bend and Harris Counties, voters who were at the polls when they opened, found themselves being told to wait or turned away because the machines were down. Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum  said some of it has to do with the manner in which the machines were set up, some of it has to do with the printers not doing what they were supposed to do, and some of it was the clerks assigned to work at that location who decided not to work that day. Because Tatum is Black, I like to lean on the side of these all being an unfortunate series of events. But I have questions. Why does this type of thing mostly happen in communities of color? Who’s deciding which machines go where? Was the plan always to make this hard so it could go to the Texas Supreme Court, which is GOP-led even though they should really be non-partisan? Like I said, I’m not a conspiracy theorist, but these are things that make you go hmmmmm.

Whether anything was malicious or not, the bottom line is participating in democracy shouldn’t be this hard.

Knock, knock, it’s COVID.

I was so proud watching the tens of thousands of people who turned out to celebrate the Astros win. But I’m gonna be honest, I was looking at that crowd and I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Do these folks know COVID is still here?’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that life has to return to normal, and they were outside. But it’s something about seeing those kind of crowds that still gives me the heebie jeebies.

I’ll admit, I’m a little extreme, but this is your friendly reminder that just because we’re now (grudgingly) back to our morning commutes doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. As new Omicron sub-variants continue to swirl around the country alongside typically seasonal illnesses, like the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging Americans to take precautions ahead of this holiday season. Getting vaccinated and boosted remains one of the best ways to protect yourself against COVID-19 and serious illness. However, the uptake for the new COVID-19 booster is still really low. As of now, boosters are still free, so if you haven’t already, run to your local clinic to get one, now is the time. And oh, yeah, GO ‘STROS!

Freedom of speech, freedom of consequences

I’ve been loosely watching the case of Kyrie Irving and the ensuing fallout after the Brooklyn Nets guard tweeted a link to a film containing antisemitic material. Nike has suspended its relationship with the NBA player, canceled its plans to release his next signature shoe, the Brooklyn Nets suspended him and banned him without pay for at least five games. It’s a sad result from someone who says he was just voicing his opinion.

I hear the debate coming to the defense of Irving (who has since apologized), but I think folks have to understand that you’re free to say whatever you want in this country, but even forgiven sins have consequences. You can’t badmouth your boss, then act confused when they fire you.