Thoughts on Events the Week of November 25

Posted in Uncategorized by EloiSVM42 on December 5, 2019

Our president befriends more war criminals: Trump pardoned three war criminals within our own military. This shouldn’t surprise us, though it should disgust us more than it seems to be doing. Trump pardons, or at least excuses, war criminals all the time: Putin, Erdogan, Duterte, Kim, and so on. Nevertheless, to pardon a member of the U.S. military who had his picture taken standing over the corpse of a prisoner, whom he likely killed, and who was found guilty of this in a military court, is a particularly odious low.

This all started with President George W. Bush (still our worst president, though Trump is closing the gap), when his regime endorsed torture of prisoners. Trump’s pardoning of our own war criminals was the inevitable next step down that rabbit hole, and I suspect it is only going to get worse.

Complicity: I’ve never understood why Trump’s base adheres to him so tightly, though I have some theories. I can understand on one level why Republican politicians cling to Trump. They’re afraid of that base. But the job of legislators is not just to follow but to lead, and no Republicans save Trump are leading, only following. Not a single Republican legislator anywhere near an election has expressed any reservation about where Trump is leading them. On the contrary.

To be so blatantly and willfully blasé in the face of such obvious criminal behavior is to be complicit in it. We can’t throw the entire Republican Party in jail, but we can throw Republican legislators out of office. I predict this will happen more and more for a while. Republicans are going to pay a heavy price for what is going on now, and for a long time, I think.

Facts: Senator Moynihan famously said that everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts. But that has proven not to be quite true. Many people seem to be willing to accept “alternative facts,” which aren’t facts at all, and pretend they are. A brazen example occurred when Trump urged Republicans to provide their own transcript of his phone call with Zelensky of Ukraine. There is no such thing as an alternate transcript. A transcript is a transcript, not an interpretation. There can be only one of them. What Trump is doing is urging his supporters to muddy the waters by making stuff up. This is merely more obstruction.

MBA candidates learn early on in graduate school that there is a strong correlation between objective information and quality of decisions. Without agreement to facts, it is almost impossible to get anything done in Congress. Oh, wait! Congress isn’t getting a damn thing done.

California’s War on Pot Churches: California is cracking down on churches who are trying to evade the recreational pot laws by forming a church and calling pot a “sacrament.” I’m impatient with religion in any form. Fortunately for religions, freedom of religion is prescribed in the Constitution and I am sympathetic to the Constitution, so overall, I support people in their religious practices almost absolutely.

But no right is absolute. There are exceptions, the clearest example being Justice Holmes’ regarding freedom of speech that it does not permit someone to yell “Fire!” in a crowded theater. Some things simply violate common sense and public safety.

Pot churches defy common sense, but that’s not the main issue. The issue is license. I am in favor of regulating marijuana distribution through licensed dispensaries because it helps ensure quality control and tax revenue. So, I support marijuana churches (if anyone is stupid enough to believe such nonsense), but I would insist the church to get its “sacrament” materials from a licensed dispensary.

That said, there must be a dispensary available where it may be obtained. I’m surprised that there are communities that ban pot, which authority I assume was written into the state law. That’s a pity, because it only encourages unlicensed pot, which evades taxes and may not be safe. There will always be a black market; it’s human nature. But I would damn sure make marijuana churches buy licensed pot, even if they must drive a little farther to get it. It may be inconvenient, but not compared to being nailed to a cross.

Worst State:  No state can hold a candle to Kansas so long as Mike Pompeo is on stage, pimping for Trump, lying to Congress, and generally being a pathetic pig part.

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