The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being:  USA! USA! USA! Edition

I was really interested in the Canadian trucker protest, so when I read that there were American truckers who wanted to imitate it, I was initially worried because of how much Americans love their guns. There was talk of driving into Washington, DC on the day of the State of the Union speech and of driving by the White House to tell President Biden how they felt about mask and vaccine mandates. Washington, DC is shut down pretty securely for the SOTU speech, so the big rally on The Mall turned out about 2 dozen people, most of them there … Continue reading The Unbearable Whiteness Of Being:  USA! USA! USA! Edition

Chinese Checkers

Beijing Winter Olympics 2002 Logo

In two weeks the Winter Olympic Games ™ will begin in China.

I won’t be watching.

I will be boycotting these games. My physical attendance was never going to happen, so my boycott will be of the television kind. And I strongly urge you to join with me on this boycott journey.

First of all let’s face it, nobody really cares about winter sports unless they or a family member are playing them. Strapping boards on your feet and sliding down a mountain trying to be one tenth of a second faster than the other guy is not compelling sports viewing. Really, it is like auto racing, we’re just waiting for the crash. Don’t get me started on ice skating, a “sport” tailored to be a cesspool of corruption. Ice hockey? I have the NHL for that, if I really need it. Luge, bobsled, cross country skiing? Fine things to do, but a bore to watch. Now curling, that’s something I could get into, but until they let the curlers (don’t call them athletes) play it in their natural habitats, ie, with a beer can in their hands, I’ll pass.

But all that’s just my distaste for winter sports. That’s not the real reason I’ll be boycotting.

Did I mention these games are taking place in China? You remember China. The land that censorship loves so much it bought a timeshare there. The land of suppression and repression. Where surveilling leads to jailing. Where human rights are thrown into the back seat of a police car never to be heard from again. Yeah, that China.

China, or to be more correct the city of Beijing, was selected to host these Olympics through some pretty dubious means. Back in 2014 when the selection election was held, Oslo Norway was the leading candidate. That made perfect sense since, well, Oslo is well known for it’s winters, i.e., they have plenty of naturally occurring snow and ice. But at the last minute the International Olympic Committee (IOC) threw in demands such as:

“Diva-like demands for luxury treatment” for the IOC members themselves, such as special lanes on all roads only to be used by IOC members and cocktail reception at the Royal Palace with drinks paid for by the royal family. IOC also “demanded control over all advertising space throughout Oslo” to be used exclusively by IOC’s sponsors, something that is not possible in Norway because Norway is a liberal democracy where the government doesn’t own or control “all advertising space throughout Oslo” much of which is privately owned and has no authority to give a foreign private organization exclusive use of an entire city and private property within it.

Now the IOC is pretty well known for being a little footloose and fancy free when it comes to demanding things from potential host cities, but that was ridiculous. It actually sounds to me like the IOC made these requirements with the idea of gaming the election so that ONLY Beijing would be able to win. As it stands the only competitor for these games after Oslo pulled out was Almaty Kazakhstan, another Asian country with dubious credentials when it comes to human rights (but notably better than the Chinese).

So Beijing becomes the first city to ever host both a summer and a winter Olympics and they will have done both in the span of 14 years, far quicker than any other two time host city ever has. Then again, while once upon a time cities fought tooth and nail to get an Olympics now they mostly have an ambivalence about them, especially the winter games. Let’s face it, as a ski destination you only have a few months to make money and if those months have to be given over to preparing for and then hosting an event you don’t make money on, well thanks but no thanks.

But having the IOC game the system for them is the least of my problems with China hosting these games. Let’s talk about what they are requiring of those attending the games, both participants and partisans.

Continue reading “Chinese Checkers”

Two Years and Counting of Magical Thinking

Back in February I wrote about the US passing the 500,000 mark in people who died from Covid. Today we crossed the 800,000 mark, and there is no end in sight to the unnecessary death. I tweeted this a few days ago:  “Everyone wants to report back who died, but far fewer people want to talk about grief.” I was actually talking about the Sex and the City reboot “And Just Like That”, but it fits the real world, too. Even if you have not lost a loved one to Covid, the grief is palpable everywhere. In this moment as … Continue reading Two Years and Counting of Magical Thinking

Would My Home State Really Elect Dr. Oz?

I love my home state (or actually, commonwealth). Pennsylvania is a good place to live. We have two wonderful cities; if you have jokes about Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as dumps, all you’re telling me is you are basing that on old information. There are beautiful natural areas, and many of the denizens are friendly. However, we are of course not immune from making bad decisions. Trump won our state, for example. We had Rick Santorum as our senator. And now we have an opportunity to make another awful decision – Hearthrob Snakeoil Salesman Dr. Oz has thrown his hat in … Continue reading Would My Home State Really Elect Dr. Oz?

Perception Is Reality

Fox News $7.59/gal Gas

There is a bit of a kerfuffle going on right now over inflation.

Some say it is the only issue the country should be grappling with. Others say that the fear of inflation is overblown and not nearly as important as say climate change or voting rights. As prices rise and wages do not the public is becoming fearful of being able to make ends meet.  When the public is fearful, the political party in power tends to be blamed for it.

Especially when the other party’s propaganda wing harps on it to the exclusion of pretty much all other news.

My personal favorite of the Faux News Factless Fatuousness is the $7.59 a gallon California gas station. Let’s take a look at that story. Don’t worry, that link doesn’t take you to Faux News, I have a greater respect for my readership than to pull a stunt like that. At any rate it turns out the $7.59 per gallon gas at exactly ONE gas station in the remote coastal town of Gorda comes from the fact that the station only receives one shipment every couple of  weeks and pays the highest cost per gallon for gas delivery in the country and because, yeah, if you are nearing empty in that remote coastal town and the next gas station is at least two or three gallons away you’ll pay whatever you have to in order to buy a couple of gallons. The proprietor also reports that he rarely sells a full tankful which also forces him to have a higher price.

Economics 101. It’s called supply and demand.

Now yes we do have the highest cost of gas in the country as I have discussed before, but guess what? We here in liberal, blue, Democratic California have the highest wages in the country. You know those ads for Amazon where they tout how they pay a minimum of $15 per hour and then cut to a shot of cheering warehouse employees? That’s our minimum wage. I don’t see FedEx running ads showing their warehouse employees cheering their $7.25 per hour Tennessee minimum wage.

But let’s get back to inflation. Repugnicants want to harp on it because they see it as the issue that will get white, no college, women to flock to them in 2022.

Here’s the thing. They’re right.

Repugnicants have always been the winning party when they can get two things: their base to vote, and the undecideds to swing their way. Undecideds may be too bored to have an opinion, but they vote based on the one issue that people SHOULD be basing their vote on, their pocketbook. If a gallon of gas is double what it was four years ago, somebody has to pay for that rapid escalation. Especially when it’s somebody who is negotiating climate deals that will save the planet, but make gas even more expensive.

Leaving a habitable planet for your kids and grandkids is a nice concept, but putting food on the table right now is much more important to those folks.

So Democrats, if you want to keep your majority in Congress and maybe even make that majority solid enough to tell Senators Manchinnychinchin and Semolina to go fold it five ways and stick it where the sun don’t shine you might want to listen to the concerns of those white non college educated females.

And then you might want to weaponize what they tell you.

Play the Repugnicants’ game. They are always taking issues and surrounding them in a fog of unrepentant propaganda, how about you do the same? But here’s the thing, you can use the truth as a weapon.

Wow, what a concept.

The truth is that inflation is keyed by one product and one product alone. It’s the only product that all other products have to use in one way or another. When it’s price rises, all other prices rise to ameliorate that increase. And what product is that?

I’ll give you three guesses, but I think you’ll only need one.

Click Click Click the link below to find out what it is

Continue reading “Perception Is Reality”

Dear White Conservatives: Stop It With The MLK Lying

  Americans continue to their mind over critical race theory, led by the Reasoned Very Serious Middle, a nest of punditry that seems to believe that being a centrist means occasionally Tweeting “tsk-tsk” about something Trump did while mostly demonstrating a deep hatred of liberals and progressives. Plus, for being the Bastions of Reason, they often demonstrate a tenuous grasp of history. A fine recent example of this is a piece over the weekend by Reasoned Conservative Marc Thiessen of the Washington Post, who raged about critical race theory, again, and did a very common thing that so many white … Continue reading Dear White Conservatives: Stop It With The MLK Lying

It’s the Racism, Stupid

As I write this it looks like Glenn Youngkin is going to be the next governor of Virginia. The Democratic Party’s recriminations are of course in full swing. Let’s end all the nonsense:  it’s the racism, stupid. Don’t get me wrong:  Terry McAuliffe was a terrible candidate but nothing in this campaign season was about policy. Our broadcast TV stations are from the Washington, DC market, so I saw ALL of Youngkin’s campaign ads. His only issue was racism and he was helped by a ginned-up astroturf protest movement against the fictional teaching of critical race theory in public schools. … Continue reading It’s the Racism, Stupid

The War on Reality

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an active, longtime member in a politics forum that draws a mixture of liberals and conservatives. The community has moved with its parent forum to different hosts, and then spun off as a stand-alone forum after TFG was elected. It was a lively place which died because of staff indifference to updating the software, a glitch that meant no one could sign up for 4 years, and the wholesale retreat of every right winger over the summer of 2020 as the signs of TFG’s impending loss because visible. The community has migrated back to a … Continue reading The War on Reality