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Thoughts on Events the Week of August 16

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on August 23, 2021

Global warming: The UN issued a massive report on global warming, dubbing it a “Red Flag for Humanity.” I didn’t bother to read it. It’s already too late and we would have to rethink our positions on economic growth and population control. We don’t have the will. Hell, we can’t even agree on wearing masks in a pandemic.

Afghanistan withdrawal: The Taliban took over the country in only a matter of days once they knew we were leaving.

The administration said it was surprised that the collapse happened so quickly, but I doubt Biden was. He’d seen enough of the cowardly, incompetent military and corrupt government to know neither would last long. If the Afghan government and military wanted a country, they should have fought for it.

Oddly, the rapid collapse is more evidence that Biden was right. The overthrow was inevitable and there was nothing we could have done about it. We needed to get out. Admittedly, the evacuation is going poorly.

The military creates contingency plans for everything, but there seems to have been little or no contingency planning for this. You would think they would have started planning when what’s his name, the disgraced former president, declared he intended to leave Afghanistan. At the very latest, when President said in the first campaign speech the same thing, that somebody would have said, “Hey, maybe we should start thinking about this. How do we get our people out? How do we get our citizens out? How do we get our helpers out?” 

But this didn’t happen. (It’s been reported that the previous administration did give it some thought, but in its typical incompetent, mean-spirited, xenophobic way.)

The cynic in me thinks it’s because the military was stalling, thinking they would be able to talk Biden out of leaving. They must have thought they were still dealing with what’s his name, the disgraced former president.

The Dumbs of August: We’re halfway through the month and still no reinstatement of what’s his name, the disgraced former president. Does any sentient being yet believe there will be one?

Worst state: As long as Governor Abbott keeps forbidding his residents from wearing masks, Texas will retain the worst state cup.

But wait! There’s more. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is now blaming the Covid-19 surge on blacks. It used to be immigrants; now it’s blacks. Patrick is an equal opportunity xenophobe and racist bigot. You are right, Walter, Patrick is worse than Abbott, but this doesn’t absolve the Governor in any way.

Thoughts on Events the Week of July 26

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on August 18, 2021

August: Well, we’re here. This is the (latest) month when what’s his name, the disgraced former president is supposed to be reinstated. Hasn’t happened yet, but the month is young.

Seriously, it’s not going to happen, just like it hasn’t happened on any of the other dates predicted. I wonder how many times Judy is going to pull the reinstatement football away from the Charlie Brown base before it catches on.

Covid-19 Stupidity Index: I’m sick and tired of all these vaccine resistant bozos – the anti-vaxxers, the religious wingnuts, the moronically partisan Republican base, and especially the mouth breathing politicians – who are encouraging this kind of nonsense.

Cases are spiking again, but the good news is that almost all of the new cases and all of the deaths are occurring among the unvaccinated. If I were certain the virus would only kill these guys, I could almost say let them be like that, but they’re endangering others. (Only 40% of the residents of those eligible in my country are vaccinated.)

The guy I feel sorry for is President Biden. He got the vaccines distributed, and he has been begging everyone to get vaccinated, but refusal and resistance is causing another spike. The guy I feel least sorry for is Ron DeSantis, the truly knuckle dragging Governor of Florida, whose state is leading the Covid-19 surge and is the heir-apparent to WHN. It figures.

The Supremes: The Court of desperately in need of reform. As I’ve written before, the Court has become just another partisan branch of government, but it’s even worse than that. Six of the nine justices would feel philosophically comfortable in 1787 when our Constitution was originally written to give the vote only to adult white males. Women were excluded and blacks weren’t even considered fully human. That’s 274 years behind the times.

Worst state: Not to be outdone by his fellow Florida Governor, Texas Governor Abbott, a truly odious human being (sorry, Walter), not only won’t require, or even suggest wearing a mask, he’s forbidding local authorities from mandating masks in their communities and school. Has this pig part earned the cup for Texas this week, or what?

Thoughts on Events the Week of July 19

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on July 28, 2021

Justice for January 6 criminals: In the first felony trial of those who stormed the Capitol to overturn the presidential election, the defendant received a sentence of eight months in prison and two years of probation.

At first blush, I thought the sentence was too light, but upon reading the judge’s reasoning, I think he made a reasonable call. This defendant didn’t destroy anything, he committed no violence, he pleaded guilty and expressed sincere remorse, which are reasons for some leniency. (Plus, he had the good sense to shave his beard and moustache for the trial.) So, his crime boils down to criminal stupidity, which is not a major crime or jails would be fuller than they are now.

What this sentence does do is give us a base upon which to measure what sentences may be for defendants who did destroy property and commit violence. I will expect them to be considerably harsher.

It’s a basic tenant of criminology that certainty and swiftness of being caught and punished are greater deterrents than length of sentence. This tenant will get a good real-life test with the January 6 trials. Most of these defendants were caught dead to rights by photos, videos, and their own braggadocio (read certainty). And most of them have been quickly caught and charged (read swiftness).

If the criminologists are right, and I think they are, these trials will have a very chilling effect on this type of wacko behavior in the future, as I have predicted.

Justice for Gitmo Prisoners:  One of the 40 prisoners remaining in this monument to injustice was released by the Biden administration this week, leaving 39 cases to be resolved. (Actually, this prisoner was scheduled to be released in 2016, but what’s his name, the disgraced former president, kept him there. So, in addition to the injustice already done to this prisoner, WHN had him held in captivity four more years just for spite.)

Of the remaining 39, twenty have never been charged with a crime and will never be tried for one. One of the main, awkward reasons they cannot be tried is that we tortured them while they were in our custody. Can’t have that coming out in an open court room.

Technically, some of these prisoners were not tortured by us per se, but by some other country with our knowledge and consent. But this is a distinction without a difference. We were complicit.)

I have always despised the very thought of the Gitmo prison. It is, in my view, as great an insult to our laws and values as what went on in the administration of what’s his name, the disgraced former president more recently.

I lay all of this at the feet of former president George W. Bush, which is why – in addition to the fact that he made the greatest international relations blunder in American history by invading Iraq – I considered Dubbya our worst president in history, until WHN came along.

Bush is at home painting pictures of himself from his mirror while these prisoners have been rotting away without hope or justice for 20 years and counting. Our moral standing, and my respect for my own country, have been frayed ever since.

January 6 hearings: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi rejected two of Kevin McCarthy’s nominees to the committee to investigate the insurrection – Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio. I knew that the Speaker had that authority, but I didn’t know that it had never been used before. I guess this is a result of the period of ultra-polarized politics we are in today.

I don’t know much about Banks, except that he is an ultra-conservative Republican, if that’s not redundant today, and that he voted to overturn the certified results of the presidential election, which is all I need to know about him.

I know more about Jordan. He is not a serious person, and should not be in Congress, let alone on this committee. These guys were Trojan horses, set as a trap to destroy the committee, pure and simple.

McCarthy is now saying he won’t let any Republicans serve on the committee, which is not actually his call, because there is already one – Liz Cheney from Wyoming – who is as conservative as you can get, but who still wants to get to the bottom of the insurrection.

I think the nation would be better served not to have any more Republicans on the committee. No matter who is on the committee and what it concludes, Republican leaders, and much of their base, are not going to believe or accept it. But if the committee does a credible job, which is much more likely sans disrupting bozos like Jordan on it, the facts will be there for all people of good faith and an open mind to see, and upon which to make changes going forward.

Fear of Facts: Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising again. But fortunately, vaccinations are starting to rise also. Some people must be seeing the statistics and putting two and two together. Others may be influenced by admonitions to get vaccinated by Fox News personalities, which are motivated by Fox’s fear of having its ass sued off.

So, you can’t fix stupid, but apparently you can scare the shit out of it.

The ‘Boys are Back in Town: Since they play in the very first game of the NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys came to camp a week before other teams, and they are all anybody can talk about. I hope the best for them, but I think we should remember that they are a lousy team and have been mediocre at best for years. And their weaknesses are the worst kind: poor coaching and underperforming players.

Worst state: As I am writing this, three states – Florida, Missouri, and Texas – account for 40% of new Covid-19 cases, and surging.

I can understand Florida. There are a number of older citizens there who are more vulnerable to the virus, and the state is led by a knuckle-dragging governor who is also dragging his state into the shitter as he tries to emulate what’s his name, the disgraced former president, in hopes of inheriting his base.

I don’t understand Missouri at all. When I was growing up there, it was a really sane state with both Democrat and Republican elected officials, and the Republican ones were reasonably responsible conservatives (My parents were responsible Republicans). But somewhere along the line, Missouri lost its mind.

Texas is easy to understand. It has been a reactionary, hidebound state for years, which selects its elected officials from the very dregs of the crazy barrel. So, Texas gets the cup this week.

Thoughts on Events the Week of July 12

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on July 19, 2021

A Normal Week: Is it just me, or did this week seem like a more conventional one in politics? Bills were put forward, debate was engaged in, some people at least seemed to be trying to move things along. Heads of state were welcomed and treated without insult or rancor. I was mildly encouraged.

Case in point: Washington seems engaged in a political give and take over an infrastructure package. Not my highest priority, but at least some people are trying to do something. What’s his name, the disgraced former president talked about infrastructure for four years and never even took the first baby step. It would have required effort, not his long suit.

Revisionism renewed: People from the previous administration are coming out from under the refrigerator with their self-serving memoirs, each author seeming to make him or herself the lone hero in WHN’s disastrous term in office, though everyone of these authors was silent, compliant, and even complicit when WHN was trying to take down the government. Most of these books belong in the fiction section, or in the trash.

Covid-19 redux: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths seem to be spiking again, and the reason is as clear as a button hook in the well water. Stupid people, of whom there is a strong coefficient of correlation with Republicans in the south, are resisting being vaccinated, and channeling H.L. Hughley, they’re fucking it up for everybody.

I don’t engage in social media; I dabbled in it, but I no longer have any accounts. But having heard about the misinformation about Covid-19 that’s out there, I looked into it and was astounded. Wall to wall crazy talk on a scale and scope I couldn’t have imagined. Right up there with a cabal of Jewish elites running a sex trafficking ring out of a pizza parlor in New Jersey, only crazier.

I would say no wonder people are resisting vaccinations, but who could possibly be stupid enough to believe this stuff? Don’t answer that; it’s a rhetorical question.

Global Warming Resolved: The record-breaking heat in the American west and the record-breaking flooding in Europe are strong evidence that I was absolutely right. There is no need to worry about global warming because it is already too late. We have abused the planet without the knowledge or will to do anything to meaningfully repair it. Nature will now decide what our punishment for this should be. Spoiler alert: it will be severe.

Haiti: Admittedly, I don’t pay much attention to this unfortunate failed state, one of many in which our government has a sorry history of propping up dictators in the interest of preserving the status quo. But the assassination of its president presents a vivid reminder of the difference between a peaceful transition of governmental authority with the other kind. I prefer the former.

Britney: I can’t believe I’m even writing about this. I have less than zero interest in pampered, privileged celebrities, and I haven’t paid any attention to this story until now, but it seems to me that Spears in being held in bondage by an abusive father and a system It’s right out of Kafka.

A friend who is familiar with some of these families assures me that these celebrities are so screwed up because their parents are even more screwed up than they are.

Name that bozo: a reader has suggested I solicit other possible names for what’s his name, the disgraced former president. I kind of like my moniker, though it is admittedly long, so if anyone has some ideas, I’d be happy to receive them. Only one rule; the names may not include the word Trump.

Meanwhile: Channeling Stephen Colbert, who is channeling Seth Meyers, what’s his name, the disgraced former president’s reputation and following continue to erode unabated.

Worst state: What was I thinking when I removed Arizona, my own personal residence, when I took it off the list of worst states some months ago? Since then, Arizona has demonstrated what a terrible state it still is. I had to put it back on the worst state list.

This week, the Republican Governor Ducey (rhymes with moron) and the Republican controlled legislature, did something despicable, even by the current standards of partisan politics and governmental misfeasance and malfeasance.

A couple of years ago, state voters approved an initiative (Proposition 208, I think it was called), requiring a certain amount of money to be invested in education. But instead of honoring this initiative and investing the mandated money on education, or on any of Arizona’s other pressing needs for that matter, Republicans instead voted in a tax cut, 70% of whose benefits go to the wealthiest citizens.

So, not only did we ignore a legal mandate, but Republicans also ripped our citizens off with a giveaway to the rich. Despicable, but predictable. Clearly, Republicans have no interest in education, fearing that an educated, informed electorate would throw them out on their ear.

Arizona gets the cup this week.

Coming Attractions: My summer of discontent is almost over. Football is almost here. No college or NFL teams are playing yet, but pundits, publications and sports talk shows are starting to talk about football, even though the NBA Finals (yawn) are still going on. And, most important, the Dallas Cowboys begin camp this week. I’ll be commenting more about football soon, probably in posts on that subject specifically.

Thoughts on Events the Week of July 5

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on July 14, 2021

War, oh war, oh endless war: President Biden is drawing flack for pulling our troops off the pile of rocks that is Afghanistan by those who never saw a war they didn’t like, even those they can’t win. As Lincoln said, man clings to nothing so tightly as a bad deal. I like the way Biden is hanging tough on this and I support him all the way.

But was this really our longest war? Was it really a war at all? Since we killed bin Laden and degraded Al Qaeda many years ago, we’ve just been standing around jerking off and listening to morons like Lindsay Graham telling us things could be worse if we left. No, they couldn’t.

C-PAC Redux: Conservatives held another of their conflabs, this time in Dallas. They used to hold them in D.C., but there they stuck out like a turd in a punchbowl, though not as welcome. In Texas, they fit right in.

You’ve heard of the Easter Parade? These events are crazy parades. All the crazies line up and speak nonsense to one another. What’s his name, the disgraced former president spoke, but he could have just sent a recording of any of his speeches since November 2020. They’re all identical.

I remember my first boss at the advertising agency I went to work for in Dallas telling me it’s impossible to reason with a crazy person. You have to act crazy too. This is a lesson for Democrats. There is no way to reason with these people. They are crazy. So, we have to go crazy on them, beginning with slapping around Joe Manchin and Kyrstien Sinema and doing away with the filibuster.

Joint Chief of staff Milley: What’s his name, the disgraced former president said Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley should resign for being intelligent, rational, and well read.

Someone should remind WHN that it’s the president who makes those decisions, not him. Also, someone should remind WHN that it was he who appointed Milley, so if he’s unhappy with the man, it’s his own fault for appointing him initially.

Jeff Bezos is soon to follow. Well, if that’s what it takes to get these obscenely rich billionaires off the planet, I’m down with it.

Worst state: We have a perfect trifecta of worst states this week, comprising: Arizona, because Paul Gosar; South Carolina, because Lindsay Graham; and Texas, because the whole damn state government.

Coming Attractions: I’ve run out of time this week, but when I return from surgery, I plan to do th0ought pieces on guns and the Supreme Court, which is about as far from supreme as you can get these days.

Thoughts on Events the Week of June 28

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on July 6, 2021

Bill Barr is still a pig part: I do not give a speck of credit to Barr for his claims to Jonathan Karl that he worked behind the scenes against what’s his name, the disgraced former president’s attempts to overturn the free and fair election of Joe Biden to be our next president.

Barr’s words are worthless now because they come after the election was won and certified. In other words, not until Barr’s Emperor was dethroned, did Barr say he had been on the right side of history all along.

Before the election, however, Barr was arguably the most complicit sycophant in supporting WHN’s lies and abuses. When it really counted, during his actual term in office, Barr disgraced his office, his oath and himself. Kick his sorry ass to the dustbin of ignominy.

J’Accuse! Indictments were brought against the Trump Organization and its CFO by state and federal courts, and it couldn’t have happened to more deserving targets, except the CEO, what’s his name, the disgraced former president.

These indictments doubtless will trigger a long, drawn out legal battle with resolution far in the future. But in the meantime, three things are going to happen. More indictments will be forthcoming. This is only the opening salvo, and there is a large covey of criminals in the Trump Organization. Second, WHN will be sweating bullets as large a caliber as any he has sweated before. And three, the gradual erosion of WHN’s popularity and following will continue unabated.

What’s his name’s rally: As if to help along his gradual erosion of support and other issues, what’s his name, the disgraced former president, held another of his rallies, where he accomplished a variety of things.

First, he gave the same old tired stump speech, circa 2016,17,18,19,20 and 21, full of grievances, bigotry, and xenophobia, that was wearing thin even before he lost the election. Next, he seemed to admit to the tax fraud allegations laid out in the indictment against the Trump Organization, and finally, I suspect he strengthened the resolve of other Republican leaders that WHN cannot be allowed to run for the presidency again, or even be allowed on campaign event stages.

Worst state: Arizona gets the cup again this week because Paul Gosar, my own personal representative, is going farther and farther down the rabbit hole, hobnobbing with white supremacists in ways that Peter King could only wish for. It won’t be surprising to me if the Select Committee investigating the January 6 insurrection discover that Gosar was a lot more involved with the rioters than we now know.

Thoughts on Events the Week of June 14

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 23, 2021

USA vis a vis Russia: President Biden met Vladimir Putin in Geneva. It was not a “Summit,” just a meeting. One wonders why Biden even bothered. But he needed to meet with the Russian president to set him straight.

By all accounts, it was a professional meeting. I don’t know all that was discussed, and I don’t need to know. I have confidence in this administration, but there are a couple of things I hope he said, and one thing I hope he will do thereafter.

First, I hope he said there would be meaningful, painful consequences from any further provocations. I think he did this, and I think he meant it.

Then, I hope Biden told Putin that he wouldn’t be seeing him anymore. The U.S. has wasted too much time on him already. He is leaving the relationship to his deputies so he can focus his time and energy on more important people and interests, in Asia and elsewhere. If Putin wants to talk, he can call the Russia desk at the State Department or the ambassador soon to be posted in Moscow.

And then, Biden needs to do it. Obama wanted to focus on Asia, but he got dragged into other areas. Biden has proven he can focus on a goal well.

To be clear: Russia is a second world country with nukes, trending toward a third world one. In this regard, it is on a par with Pakistan and North Korea. Not worth spending a lot of time on, and certainly not at Biden’s level.

Israel: A coalition of “anyone but Bibi” parties forced Netanyahu out as Israeli Prime Minister after 12 years in power. The coalition spans the entire spectrum of Israeli parties, held together only by their opposition to Netanyahu. Good luck with holding that coalition together for long.

In any case, the coalition has plenty of anti-democratic Palestinian oppressors, so I don’t expect Israel’s current oppressive policies to change under the new management.

Afghanistan: Apparently our removal of troops from this pile of rocks is ahead of schedule. Basically, most of them are on the other side of the border, operating from there.

But we learned this week that while the troops are leaving, we’re still sending money to support Afghanistan – $8 billion and counting, and this just pisses me off. Why? Why are we still spending money on what we know to be a lost cause? I want us all the way out, not pissing away our treasure on a pile of rocks, and that includes money as well as American lives.

UFOs: The government is about to issue a report on these phenomena. I don’t know what they are, though I have theories, and I don’t expect much from this report, especially if my theories are correct. Spoiler alert: they’re ours.

But I do know one thing for sure. They are not alien. I know this from basic physics. Just as we cannot leave Earth in any meaningful way because nothing moves faster than the speed of light, likewise, aliens can’t get here.

Worst state: Since I put Arizona back on the worst states list, Paul Gosar, my own personal representative, has been working hard to earn the cup for his state, and he has succeeded this week. Gosar is challenging Louis Gohmert for worst and dumbest congressperson, which is really saying something. On every pressing issue, he has said something stupid and/or wingnut right wing.

Gosar’s own family hates him and are embarrassed by his is sullying of their name. His brothers say he is a pathological liar. But at least they can be proud that Gosar has won the worst state cup for Arizona singlehandedly.

Thoughts on Events the Week of June 7

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 18, 2021

What, me worry? I asked my daughter if I was the only one who doesn’t worry about what’s his name, the disgraced former president, and she said yes, I am. So, I laid out for her the three main reasons why I don’t, which I have listed below:

First, the four years of the administration of what’s his name, the disgraced former president (I need an abbreviated moniker; let’s say WHN) was a lifetime in political years. But the same is true of the next four years, and in that political lifetime, I am confident that WHN’s influence will wane. Four years is an impossibly long time for things to remain stagnant, unless, of course, you are the U.S. Senate.

I am a firm believer in the corrosive effect of time on crackpots, despots, and assorted authoritarian wannabees. WHN’s aura will lose a lot of luster, faster than you might expect.

Second, there are a lot of ambitious Republicans who would like to be president themselves, and they are going to do in WHN, even as they pledge allegiance to him to placate their base.

Third, in the meantime, I don’t worry about WHN’s minions’ causing a lot of violence, because the stupidest among them stormed the Capitol, were identified and are being prosecuted. The smarter of them saw that if they stay out in the open the same thing will happen with them, so they are running back under the refrigerator, like the cockroaches they are. Oh, they may rant and snarl and engage in ludicrous fringe ideas, but they won’t dare do much about it.

Stoning the Dog: My friend and neighbor’s dog is being treated for cancer with chemotherapy. She’s a sweet old girl (both of them are, actually), and I hope the best for her. But even the most successful chemotherapy results in pain for some, loss of weight for all and nausea.

The other night my daughter and son-in-law were vaping, and the question was posited if pot would work as well for dogs as it often does for humans with those same symptoms. Sooo, the kids blew some pot in the dog’s face, which seemed like a good idea at the time and the condition we were in. The dog slept well, ate better, and didn’t barf (not to be confused with bark). We’ve been doing it on a regular basis ever since.

Cancer is a pernicious disease and who knows the fate of the dog, but for now at least we have found a way to alleviate some of her discomforts and give her some peace. Let’s hear it for pot!

Worst state: Texas wins hands down this week, because the governor signed a law outlawing “critical race theory,” whatever that is, which is determined ignorance if ever I saw it, and I often have in Texas. This willful ignorance, which is the very worst kind of ignorance, is now enshrined in the laws of Texas. It seems improbable, however, that a law outlawing the teaching of history will long survive judicial scrutiny. We’ll see.

Thoughts on Events the Week of May 31 and June 6

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on June 12, 2021

I’ve lumped two weeks into one weekly blog again, because only one item grabbed my attention, and two of my kids and only granddaughter is visiting after a long hiatus, so I haven’t spent much time thinking about blogging.

Senate fails, again: That said, the one item is a dilly. The Senate voted down the measure to set up an independent commission to study the insurrection on January 6. This vote brought into vivid relief three separate but related issues:

One of our two major political parties is no longer interested in our democratic form of government. In fact, it now obviously opposes it. I never expected to see this in my lifetime, in my country. It is terribly unfortunate, but it is fortunate that the undemocratic party is the smaller of the two and shrinking. I don’t worry about this as much as some others, but it bears watching.

Second, our Senate, which has not functioned properly for more than two decades since Moscow Mitch became Majority Leader is now officially a failed branch. It is useless, even detrimental until it is reformed, beginning with…

Third, the filibuster has got to go. Forget the politics. It is patently undemocratic on its face, and it is now used routinely for nefarious purposes. Republicans of both parties, about which more below, say it puts the brakes on an abusing majority, but in practice it allows the minority to hold the majority hostage, and that just ain’t right.

The bigger fool here is Joe Manchin, of course, but he’s not (quite) as stupid or disgusting as he appears. The fact is, Manchin represents the reddest of red states, as bad as those in the deep south. WV is as wedded to coal as the south is wedded to racism. Manchin has to appease those voters, so he votes democratic on minor things, but against important things. Like all other states, the voters get the representatives they deserve, and they deserve this sorry guy.

The biggest SOB here is Moscow Mitch, perhaps the biggest bigot in the history of the senate, which is really saying something. He will go down in history as the man who destroyed the senate and just maybe the man who destroyed our democracy.

These two are a menace, but so is Kyrsten Sinema, my own personal senator, and she has no excuse. She is a democrat in a trending blue state. Fortunately, I can share my opinion with her personally. I voted for her gladly because she is a democrat, but I expect her to vote like one.

The big lie from the big jerk: What’s his name, the disgraced former president, said, while descending from the sublime to the ridiculous, that he will be reinstated in August. He heard it from Sidney Powell, queen of the crazies. You can look it up on Yelp.

I’ll take the over on this one. I don’t think he will be reinstated until at least January 20, 2025, and I’ll be taking the over on that date too.

Worst state: Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and the Republican-controlled state legislature are trying to enact some of the most severe voter suppression legislation in the country, which entitles them to the cup in a walk.

Thoughts on Events the week of May 19

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on May 30, 2021

Israel v Palestinians: President Biden’s administration managed to negotiate a cease fire the old-fashioned way: through diplomacy. But this cease fire, like countless negotiated cease fires between these two adversaries, will not last. Both sides have incentives to continue their macabre dance of mutually assured self-destruction.

Pundits have opined that this negotiation had a new twist in that American attitudes toward Israel and Palestinians seem to have shifted since the last dust up, with public opinion becoming more sympathetic with the Palestinian cause. There is some evidence of this. We have even begun electing Muslim citizens to public office.

But I think the reason for this shift has less to do with us and more to do with Israel. Since Benjamin Netanyahu became Prime Minister in 2009, Israel has moved radically to the right. How radically? It has morphed from a liberal democracy to an illiberal, occupier nation and more aggressive oppressor of Palestinian rights. This shift has turned off many Americans, even Jewish Americans, as well it should.

From the founding of Israel in 1948 through the 20th Century, the U.S. was sympathetic to and supportive of the Jewish state, no one more so than me. This was particularly true of Jewish Americans, who supported Israel religiously (pun intended) because they saw Israel as a safe harbor for Jews in a hostile, anti-Semitic world.

But while Israel has shifted to the right, the younger generations of American Jews remain liberally democratic, and many are off put by Israel’s oppressive behavior, including myself, and I’m not even Jewish. What this means for Israel in the long term is uncertain, but I worry for them. It’s not a good sign.

It is Israel that must change its behavior. Let’s face it. Israel is infinitely more powerful and better armed than the Palestinians will ever be, and more than the entire Middle East Region combined for that matter. Their victimhood posture no longer washes. Netanyahu sounds like what’s his name, the disgraced former president, claiming how unfairly he’s being treated.  

I am glad to see us taking a more even-handed diplomatic approach to Israel, guided by our own national interests, and not held hostage to single constituency, not unlike the Cuban American population in Miami that has distorted our policies toward Cuba.

Worst state: Okay, it’s time to admit that I was wrong to take Arizona, my own personal residence, off the worst state list. Ever since I did, Arizona has been trying to get back on the list by its reprehensible governance, and they have finally convinced me that they still belong among the worst states and should get the cup this week.

In addition to the utterly meaningless “audit” of the 2020 presidential election results, Arizona Republicans held a rally to support the big lie and the audit, featuring four of the most loathsome of Republican Congresspersons – Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz, along with two locals, Paul Gosar, my own personal Representative, and Andrew Biggs. If Louis Gohmert had been here, it would have been the worst five Representatives in the 435 member House.

Not that there weren’t other worthy candidates this week. Take South Carolina. Please. South Carolina has added a new item to its death penalty menu: firing squad. This in addition to the good old electric chair. And worst of all, the condemned must choose his method of execution.

Not to be outdone in amount of crazy, Texas (everything is bigger in Texas) has just passed a law allowing everybody to carry a gun, concealed or open, with or without training, just about everywhere in the state.