Sunday, September 20, 2020

Reality Check

 

“Alternative facts” are facts indeed — in alternative realities.  As you’ve probably noticed, the USofA is suffering a bad case of multiple reality disorder at the moment.  Even a Democratic sweep in the upcoming election won’t change that. 

Not much of what a human being “knows” is based on personal experience.  The bulk of our “knowledge” comes from trusted authority figures — parents, teachers, scientists, priests, talking heads on TV, celebrities, social media influencers, etc. etc.  The only thing we ask of them is reasonable consistency with our other authority figures.  Human beings have always lived in bubbles where received knowledge included large dollops of misconception — but in the past, the bubbles didn’t bump up against each other nearly so often.

The QAnon cult is pretty firmly entrenched in Evangelical Christianity these days. The Boogaloo crazies will remain well-armed, and the racists will be even more paranoid.  Fox News won’t lose any viewership.  I’d like to know how a Biden Administration will handle that.  “Bringing the nation together” sounds good, but it won’t happen in Joe Biden’s lifetime.

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The death of RBG was a gut punch to progressives.  If a Democratic President and Senate decide to go ahead and "pack the Court," they won't hear any complaints from me.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

The Real Story



With all the chatter going on about Tr*mp's "mini-strokes," I figure I ought to tell you what really was happening that day at Walter Reade.  I have absolutely no evidence, but hey, it's 2020 — and it sounds good!  What more could you want?

 Frankly, I was sure about what was going on the day the news broke about Tr*mp's surprise hospital visit.  News that Pence was put on-call "in case" Our President needed anesthesia has only confirmed what I thought then.  Anesthesia was planned: Tr*mp was scheduled for a colonoscopy.  Unless he chickened out, Pence actually got to be president for fifteen or twenty minutes.

Of course, a colonoscopy is pretty standard for a man in his seventies – so one might wonder why it was such a big secret.  The answer, of course, is Tr*mp's fragile ego and macho pretensions.  He just couldn't stand that anybody might envision him bare-ass with some guy probing between those enormous buttocks.  (I don't much like envisioning it myself.)

If you really need confirmation, you might want to check how much tweeting he did the night before.  He'd have spent quite a bit of time on the toilet.

 

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Catch-up for August



August was, to put it royally, a mensis horribilus.  So many upsetting things were happening, and so much was being said about them, that I didn't feel any particular need to toss my two cents in.  Just the same, there are a few points I haven't heard from the usual talking heads.

• Mohammed bin Zayed knew just as well as Bibi that the annexation plan was dead in the water – so what did MbZ get in return for formal UAE recognition of Israel?  My guess would be an assumption of military support if the Shi'a majority in the Emirates made any significant effort to overthrow the Sunni monarchy, threatening its monopoly aver all the power and wealth.  Israel would cite Iranian involvement – which is pretty much inevitable anyway.

• You've probably heard a lot of confusing explanations for why the market is soaring, but the real explanation is simple.  The Fed created a few trillion dollars of new money.  It was distributed quite broadly across the population – but, the American economy being what it is, all that money was slurped up to the top with the usual giant sucking sound.  That money had to go someplace, and bonds are paying bupkis.

• Both parties are running fear-based campaigns this election season, and it remains to be seen whether Americans are more afraid of racial minorities or fascism.

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Basic Economics


If you take $400 per week away from the 20 million people most likely to spend it, businesses lose well over $30 billion in sales every month.  If you're trying to revive a cratering economy, that's really a pretty dumb idea — but that's the Republican proposal for "helping" the unemployed.

Granted, many of the unemployed currently are collecting more in unemployment benefits than they earned while they were working, which might make them hesitant to return to their crappy jobs – mostly "heroic" ones like cashier, busboy, and pedicurist.  Sorry – no extra pay for your added risk.  Many more will stay unemployed because their jobs have disappeared, and aren't coming back any time soon.

While some Republicans in Congress must see their $200 proposal as a starting point in a negotiation, the hard right would like to end the benefit entirely.  They play on the politics of resentment, which may be the defining feature of the Tr*mpian base: "Why should somebody else get something if I'm not getting it — especially those people?"  Needless to say, opponents of enhanced unemployment benefits will masquerade as "fiscal hawks," but one can't help but notice how their hawkishness waxes and wanes depending on who gets the money being spent.

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Brief Briefs



Indecent Exposure
It is true that laws requiring us to wear face masks impinge on our personal liberty,  The same is true of laws requiring us to wear pants, and demonstrations against that restriction might be more entertaining than the anti-mask protests.

The Twitter Hack
Smart enough to hack the accounts of  lot of famous people, including some leading Democrats, the hackers were not smart enough to run a profitable con, pulling in less that $120,000 from some very gullible people.  They may have done better had they hacked leading Republicans; Our President's account could have brought in millions.

Positive Thinking
The Tr*mp family attended Marble Collegiate Church when it was led by Norman Vincent Peale, author of The Power of Positive Thinking and a forerunner of today's Christian conservatives.  I suspect his influence on young Donald may have been profound, but, sadly, positive thinking hasn't worked on the coronavirus.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Talking about senility...


Just in case you missed yesterday's presidential "press conference," here's a sample of what Our President had to say:

“We have great agreements where when Biden and Obama used to bring killers out, they would say don’t bring them back to our country, we don’t want them. Well, we have to, we don’t want them. They wouldn’t take them. Now with us, they take them. Someday, I’ll tell you why. Someday, I’ll tell you why. But they take them and they take them very gladly. They used to bring them out and they wouldn’t even let the airplanes land if they brought them back by airplanes. They wouldn’t let the buses into their country. They said we don’t want them. Said no, but they entered our country illegally and they’re murderers, they’re killers in some cases.”

Friday, July 10, 2020

Monuments


Now that the USofA finally has achieved some degree of consensus regarding just who won our Civil War, it certainly is time to remove all those monuments to the losers.  A big question, though, is just what to do with all that statuary that may be of some historical and/or artistic value.  Some want them relocated to private property, but all that would accomplish would be to create a network of private shrines to racism.  I have a better idea.

Let's create a new Losers National Monument on some suitably desolate expanse of desert land out West, where it will be possible to display them all together.  They would be removed from their pedestals and placed with each abutting the next, bearded cheek by mutton-chopped jowl and horse's ass by horse's ass – with just enough room for  intrepid visitors to squeeze between them for access to the statues that particularly pique their interests.   Better yet, the relocated statues could be arranged into a maze for added tourist appeal – a classic American roadside attraction.

Then, perhaps, we could turn our attention to that other monument to slavery, the United States Constitution — where concessions to slave states resulted in our profoundly non-representative Senate and Electoral College.  As that unrepentant racist Winston Churchhill once said, "democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…’

I'm not sure he got that right, but I don't have a better idea right now.