In 2015, I was eating a hotel breakfast of powdered eggs and meatless sausage, and I felt seriously ill — and not from the breakfast. It was the realization that CNN had chosen their favorite from the too-wide field of Republican contenders, and it was Donald Trump. They handed him an open microphone and watched the ratings spike, little caring what damage might be done to the American political system in the process.
Well, all right; last time it was personal too — and political. It’s a pop culture reference, not an epitaph; it’s not graven in stone.
So — yes, Trump is getting impeached — again. And, even though the Senate won’t reconvene until the Inauguration is over, it’s actually meaningful. We all know that the first penalty that can be assessed is removal from office, but they could well pursue the second penalty, which would forbid him from ever again holding any office of trust. This process is thus unlikely to get dismissed as moot.
All Cops Are Bastards, until they’re beat up by a right-wing mob. When that happens, they’re heroic defenders of our proud democratic institutions, and the flag goes to half mast. They should be defunded — until you don’t have enough force to stop that angry mob. Which, by the way, was a tenth the size of any of the other angry mobs we’ve faced this year. We’re horrified to watch police violence on television, until the moment when the dumbass eating the nightstick is wearing the wrong color of hat — or the wrong color of skin, as some news outlets would leap in to mention, salivating over their ratings bump.
Oh, I get rooting for the home team. You’re a Democrat; you hate when Democrats get beat up. You’re a Republican; you’re embarrassed when Republicans riot and do dumb shit on a selfie cam. That’s perfectly normal. Last thing you want to do is identify with the loser, so naturally you justify the riot and blame someone else. All summer BLM has been blaming the right wing fringe for the fires and looting; now, Republicans are blaming antifa for busting down the doors. Yet it’s perfectly obvious to all and sundry that there’s plenty of room for copious and extravagant dumbassery on both sides of the political aisle.
There’s a slogan: A.C.A.B., or “All Cops Are Bastards”. The premise is, if you’re a good person you don’t join the side of the oppressor. You don’t don jackboots and riot gear. You don’t swing the club, and you don’t launch tear gas.
It’s a good slogan; effective, it’s viscerally appealing. It speaks to us where we live.
And yet it’s wrong. Not completely, as you’ll see, but fundamentally. (more…)
Fires are raging in downtowns across the country, and I don’t know what to write. I really don’t. You shouldn’t expect reasonable conclusions and easy answers from me, not tonight.
Ever since I was old enough to understand the concept, I’ve been opposed to violence. I try to never raise my voice in an argument because the moment tempers get out of control, people stop listening. Human beings don’t accept new concepts very well even at the best of times, and the middle of an argument is a far cry from that.
What’s so very striking here is the mindless destruction, though that can be (more…)
It’s been in the news by now, so you may fancy you already know all about it — and, given the quality of my readership, you may even be right.
However, I’m not writing this entirely for the present day, but rather as a running account of what will doubtless be known as the “COVID Primary” for future readers. Then too, there may be something in here of which you may as yet be unaware. In light of these factors, then, I beg your indulgence for the forthcoming account. (more…)