Weak Showers Just Waste Our Time
Toward the end of his otherwise tumultuous term, former President Donald Trump leaned into his role as Whiner In Chief to do something nice for all of us. Something minor and, in a sane world, completely non-controversial, but nice nonetheless.
"Showerheads—you take a shower, the water doesn't come out," he complained. "You just stand there longer or you take a shower longer? Because my hair—I don't know about you, but it has to be perfect."
The reason: U.S. Department of Energy "conservation rules" that limit how much water (2.5 gallons per minute) a shower head is allowed to pour over you.And by golly, Trump did something about it:He directed the Department of Energy to roll back its restrictions to the glory days of 1992, when showers could still rain down cleanliness on you such that it was possible to get wet, washed, dry and dressed during the last segment of Unsolved Mysteries and not miss the opening scene of Seinfeld.
The minor change, however lovely, was not yet implemented by shower head manufacturers when the Biden administration nixed it on July 16 for the purposes of "water conservation." The real reason, one has to assume, is "because it was a Trump thing, and all Trump things must be undone." The rule reversion probably won't save an ounce of water.
For one thing, if you have to spend twice as long in the shower to get clean, using half as much water per minute doesn't save any. It just wastes your time.
For another, weak showers drive many back to an old-fashioned and more water-wasteful alternative, the bath.
And, finally, a little secret: Anyone with a pair of needle-nose pliers and access to YouTube can quickly and easily pull the "flow restrictors" out of their shower heads, hopefully wagging their middle fingers in the direction of Washington, D.C., as they do so. Manufacturers are required to put those flow restrictors in the shower heads they sell, but you're not required to leave them there. Yet.
If the Biden administration is serious about water conversation, it should look into options like reducing water-wasteful methanol subsidies instead of dirty tricks like mandating inferior shower experiences.
William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
"They're Against It," July 21 Private Eye column
It's tempting to think "I've had the shots and tested negative—those stupid anti-vaxxers deserve whatever they get."
But actually, the longer they resist getting shots and are a reservoir for new infections, the more opportunity the virus has to mutate.
So right now, I may be safe against the delta variant—but what of the epsilon variant that is undoubtedly on its way? And by the time the experts have figured out a way to mass-vaccinate against that, there will have been time for the zeta variant to appear. And so on, ad infinitum.
A national public health crisis should not be prolonged, killing more people and leaving thousands with "long COVID," because of people being given bad information by (vaccinated) celebrities trying to boost their ratings.
Salt Lake City
Correction: A photo in the July 29 cover story "Every Last Drop" misidentified state Sen. David G. Buxton, R-Roy, as Sen. Stuart Adams. We regret the editing error.