There are general arguments with respect to whether the United States ought to be supplying Ukraine with weapons of war during their present conflict with Russia. Moral purists will even argue, and not without justification, that a proverbially free democracy like the U.S.A. should not be in the business of weapons supply at all, even with close allies. Libertarians say that it’s unreasonable to engage in any overseas warfare whatsoever for any reason but self defense. Finally, there are specific objections to permitting the Abrams to be deployed on any modern battlefield where the vital interests of the United States are not at issue.
Much of this can be simplified to the single question: Does the United States have any reason at all for involvement with the Ukraine war?
Not long ago, I read a piece in Forbes advising white people to stop using the word “woke”, since to do so is an act of cultural appropriation. I could hardly have been more amazed. To think that a concept espoused by Diogenes and Socrates, the Golden Dawn, and the whole school of the Stoics could become the sole property of members of the unwilling African diaspora beggars belief. And yet, the writer, evidently well-educated, seemed completely sincere.
And so the question naturally arises: What is it to be “Woke”?
Today’s major headlines include a new Miss Universe (no, she’s not trans), a Russian missile strike against a Dnipro apartment complex, and Prince Harry’s new royal tell-all book. Since you can learn all about that elsewhere — and, frankly, since there’s not much more of interest to any of these items once you’ve seen the headline — we’ll move on to other things.
Just in time for every domestic air flight to get canceled or delayed, we now have gas prices dropping below $3.50. You may think this is a good thing. I do not.
A while ago, I wrote about the glories of $10 gas, and a lot of you didn’t take me seriously. Well, you asked, and I’m answering: $10 a gallon is an idea whose time has come. Here’s some facts to back me up:
“I can’t believe that!” said Alice. “Can’t you?” the Queen said in a pitying tone. “Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.” Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.” “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!”
(from “Through the Looking Glass”, by Lewis Carroll)
There are those among us who aren’t quite old enough to learn every little thing, and there are others who will, sadly, never be old enough. If you know someone like that, there’s no need to tell them. Why spoil their innocence?
From time to time, I like to take a break from politics and world events to sit and think about the important things in life. For instance: Have you ever noticed how they make socks inside-out? Those seams ought to be on the outside, where they won’t catch on your toenails or etch lines into your skin. And another thing: Is it crazy how saying sentences backwards creates backwards sentences saying how crazy it is?
While you’re thinking about that last one, let me tell you about something a new friend of mine from Down South asked me. She’s snowed in for the first time in her life and is suffering from cabin fever after only a few hours. “How do you Yankees handle it?”
Hello and welcome to a special Solstice edition of the Update!
That’s right: Today’s the winter solstice (in the northern hemisphere; happy midsummer to everyone else). To celebrate it, and at the same time to honor ancient tradition, we’re serving up a lovely new batch of news items for you today. Cleverly hidden within one of them is a twice-baked small hard bean; if you find it, you’re the Bean King for the next year.
But enough about the weather; let’s get on with the news!
“Those who want power are the ones who least deserve it”.
Elon Musk, paraphrasing Plato
Even his worst detractors, if they’re being honest, are forced to grant that Elon Musk has a certain genius for problem-solving. In truth, he has a brilliant mind, enormous energy, and is possessed of grand visions for the future. Along with this come a host of flaws; who among us is not human?
His statement on power is subtly incorrect. I fully understand he’ll never read it; my signal here is buried in the noise. Who has the time to read 50,000+ replies anyway? But it’s important that the truth about power isn’t misrepresented without explanation.