They say the pen's mightier than the sword. Does that mean paint's even more powerful?

Even if you observed a moment of silence on Monday for those who died in this tragedy – do it again today before the flags are raised at sunset.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: It's a grim milestone, 500,000 lives lost to COVID-19 – alone, scared, typically away from family and friends with their only comfort coming from healthcare workers covered by protective gear.

Yes, it's a staggering number, half a million, but it's made even more shocking when you realize it's more than the number of American soldiers who died in World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War -- combined. And, if that isn't enough, think about the fact this "war" has only been raging for about a year. It's almost incomprehensible – 500,000 lives lost in a single year. And at what point does the number start getting so big that we become numb?

Until you hear on the news tributes to individuals or you read heart-wrenching articles with images that capture the loss. Or, you personally mourn the loss of family members and friends. Because it's not just the 500,000 who died – it's the ripple effect of these lives lost. And it's important that we all remember,

It isn't about charts and graphs. It isn't about comparisons. It isn't even about what we should've done differently – or better. It's about losing loves ones. It's about lives lost. Full stop.
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Forget about being in the dark, it's like going back to the Dark Ages.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: In the midst of the unprecedented winter storm that hit Texas last week, it's coming to light (pun intended) that power outages leaving millions in the dark could have been much worse as the power grid had come dangerously close (as in minutes) to crashing.

Last week, when Red first heard that the Texas power grid had come very close to total collapse, she thought it might have been yet another guest making a dramatic claim, as what he described seemed more like a scene from a Hollywood movie than a nightly news show. Meanwhile, as Black read about the situation, she could only imagine the assorted lawsuits that would be filed – both legitimate and "creative".

But now that official investigations into the situation have begun, the reports are even scarier than a Hollywood blockbuster – millions went without electricity, heat, and water – not to mention thousands who went without medicine and food – all while enduring frigid temperatures. And, people, including children, died.

As the investigations continue, it's becoming more obvious what happened … and what happened is unforgivable. Especially as much of it was avoidable. We get no comfort in knowing it could have been even worse. But at this point, what would be even worse would be not to do everything possible to prevent this from ever happening again.
Design by Sawyer Pennington


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Looking back over the month of January, I'm having a hard time picking my favorite Banter Bites.


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You were a straight-A student, maybe you should just grade them.

It might have been a new year and, for many of us, a new beginning. But no matter how much I intend to look forward, I'm still the person who likes to look back at things that make me smile, whether it's memories that date back to when I was growing up or things that may have only happened in the last few years.

Curious about Black's favorites this month?