Dutch

Edit. There is now this racist recording involving Reagan that has come to light. Which… seems somehow typical. As soon as I like someone they’re revealed to have all these massive character flaws. Why can’t my paragons just be perfect. WHY?!?!

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I like the Ricky Gervais method for quoting racists.  ‘Hey, that guy you quoted is a racist’ to which Ricky replies, ‘Not in that quote he’s not’ 

 

The last Republican president of the United States that I kinda liked. How great was this speech.

To be fair… I think I like him (at least partly) because the presidents that followed were all so completely and utterly shit and so I attribute a glow to him that likely is a bit of… psychological voodoo on my part. Also… while being alive during his tenure I was WAAAAAY too young to actually ‘live’ through his tenure…. and so I’ve romanticized it all in my brain.

However… in the devils… Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6)… defense he put in the work! And he put A LOT of thought into all his decisions and wrote his thought process down in his journal. Which I found to be a fascinating read.

And yes, I rate him over Obama. I feel the need to add an obligatory defense of my opinion now. I mean I liked Obama… as a person. He was just… *sigh* yeah, he turned out to be more of a political hack than the great steward of liberty that I’d built him out to be… I also kinda blame him for the Trump phenomenon. And yes, I realize he is a lighting rod for my annoyance… and that I’m likely being a bit petulant about his failure to live up to my incredibly high expectations… but you know… petulance is kinda my thing… even if those seeking the highest political office in the world should (in my opinion) be held to superhumanly high standards.

Also, as Stranger Things has illustrated. The 80’s were amazing! Absolutely the BEST time to have grown up in… mostly because it meant hitting adolescence in the early nineties meant you took the Alt rock phenomenon directly to the face. All music since has been lame. Not to say there wasn’t some decent stuff in 00’s. But really, the foundations were laid in the late eightees early ninetees. My ancillary paragraph about how great my life was now done I can likely move on.

All hail ‘The New Colossus’

JULY IV MDCCLXXVI

 

Let there be love (experts)

Like most people (I imagine) I occasionally glance at the Democratic nominees before slumping back into my glazed perma-fatigue malaise and picking my nose (and then examining it).

Every so often I am tempted go on a verbal rampage about Joe Biden, who, for some insane reason that I cannot fathom, is still leading the polls and how infuriating this is. Admittedly if Bernie was leading in the polls I’d likely be just as apoplectic and foamy.

In the spirit of full disclosure I kinda liked Yang for a while. But, because I am fickle and open to switching allegiance at extremely short notice my new favorite is Marianne Williamson.

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I think this picture only makes sense if you have a threenage daughter and have therefore watched Frozen more times now than the original Star Wars trilogy.

In all honesty I had no idea Marianne Williamson was even a nominee until recently, there are after all, soooooooooooooo many of them… and they all kinda blur together into this lumpy e pluribus unum creature. Not unlike the beastie from stranger things.

I suppose first off I have to acknowledge the massive internal conflict that exists in my mind between the Ayn Rand objectivist (for lack of a better term*) and the part of me that is incredibly enamored by Marianne Williamson’s rhetoric. These two facets of my personality often don’t play well together, this morning though, the internal libertarian was letting me have my moment in the sun while I listened to Marianne wax on lyrically about her ideology on Dave Rubin’s podcast.

*despite the fact that I don’t really like this particular pigeon hole… and that I think Atlas shrugged (basically the libertarian bible) is one of the most boring books ever written. I know… heresy! 

I wasn’t actually going to listen to this podcast. It didn’t look very interesting AND as much as I have democratic nominee fatigue… I have lost almost all enthusiasm for the IDW. I don’t know exactly why this is, I’m just… over it. Maybe we can still be friends, after we’ve broken up I mean… and while I don’t necessarily want to see other people… listen, its not you… its me. Also I’m sorry. But we had some good times. Even though I wasted money on Jordan Petersons book (which I couldn’t finish)… that still kinda bugs me. But other than that, it was mostly fun.

In any event I’m really glad I did, because it was great. Despite not necessarily agreeing with Marianne, I think she’s a good person. (as much as these things can be surmised over the wireless). I mean we’d likely spar over the economics of her plans. But broadly, I mostly found myself quite receptive to her notions. I mean the libertarian in me prickles at the idea that we aren’t all completely responsible for ourselves… BUT… I appreciate that maybe I could compromise on this… and likely a couple of other things as well. Besides, I am aware, at least on some level, that having NEVER been discriminated against in any way shape or form makes it a difficult concept for me to grasp… so maybe I should just take let slide and be less intractable about the whole thing.

I feel like I’m better off today. Which is a good thing. So thanks for that.

Maybe I should fire someone… just to bring some balance back to the force. Where is my list of vexatious employees? Jesus… is everyone on this list?

 

 

A bridge too far

Donald Trump and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are hanging off a bridge by their fingertips. Which one would you save?

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I’m going to avoid trite and glib answers. As you might imagine I don’t really like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Nor Donald Trump. Neither of them though look like they have the upper body strength to haul themselves back over the side of the bridge though. And I assume if you save the one the other would fall, in the classic sense of this trolley-esque conundrum where you have to make these sort of life and death decisions. No, I’m not going to get a sandwich, I’m not a psychopath. Even if I am a little peckish. Just to be clear… what kinda sandwich is it?

After a brief moment of consideration I’m going to have to try and save Alexandria. I am more confident in my ability to haul her carcass back over the side and onto the asphalt. Sorry DT, but your girth has doomed you to… I was going to say terminal velocity… but I suppose the bridge would have to be pretty darn high for someone reach that before coming to an abrupt stop.

I mean if I think about it. There are some things me and AOC would likely agree on.

  1. Immigration is broadly a good thing. (although we would likely quibble on the mechanics of allowing people to meander wherever they desire)
  2.  The Department of Homeland Security is a grim and somewhat superfluous entity that should be disbanded.
  3. The War on Drugs has been a complete and utter failure.
  4. Mushrooms and psychedelics should be decriminalized.
  5. The police are NOT supposed to look and act like the military.
  6. Government should give not be giving tax credits to corporations. If you can’t make your business work without a handout… you probably shouldn’t be doing it.

I suppose there are some things me and DT would also agree on. (and some things I that I don’t actually mind giving him props for)

  1. Obama was a fiscal lunatic who doubled the US debt from 10 trillion to 20 trillion. (admittedly you’re not doing a great job on this either guy)
  2. Medicare etc (although I would add social security in its current form) is not sustainable and may eventually lead to the collapse of the free world.
  3. He destroyed… severely crippled ISIS.
  4. Hasn’t gone to war with Iran… eh… yet.
  5. China is going to be very scary (although fighting this opening battle with tariffs is, imo is the incorrect tactic)
  6. Tax cuts are good. (Unless you borrow money to make up the shortfall)

Damn. This actually makes it looks like I agree more with Alexandria. To be fair I wouldn’t let AOC near the cash box for a (licensed) lemonade stand never-mind the coffers of the Federation.

Also, I should probably add that I expect adulation from the masses for this self-less act. I will obviously try and be modest about my roll in this… outcome. Just know… that on the inside… I am dancing.

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They’re just Jawa’s…

This made me laugh.

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To be fair it was sardonic laughter.

I did however learn something new recently. To some, the price of an unmanned drone is worth approximately 150 Iranian lives. Of course some of those Iranians might have had kids, wives, husbands, grandparents and siblings. So broader impact… conservatively, 2000 Iranians affected? This feels like quite a lot of blood to spill, people to widow, children to orphan.

In the Star Wars movies it doesn’t really work out well for those Jawa’s either…

 

The Ying and Yang

I’m sure that title probably gets bandied about quite often… in any event…

I imagine like most people I tend to look askance at the field of democratic nominees… what are we up to now, 24? And up until now I’ve really been loathed to unpack this particular clown-car… because… well… I think the majority of the world is feeling quite fatigued about politics (and probably about our fellow humans as well) at the moment. Certainly my tolerance feels like its at an all time low. And being quite a hardcore centrist I tend to treat those that shun the light that emanates from the warm, gooey center of the universe with a bit of… contempt is likely too strong a word… whatever the milder form of that is… I mean I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

Having said that… and the Realpolitik being what it is, someone has to step into the ring with the incumbent leviathan (of whom I am not a fan) and bring balance back to the force. So is there anyone I could, in this stew of weirdos, potentially support… I mean they can’t all be incredibly shit…

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So the first thing I have to admit is that… I’ve been a little unkind lumping them all together and coloring them all (not always between the lines) with the same blue brush. Still, the ones that I find the most loathsome seem to (according to the polls) be the most popular. The career politicians (that have never had a real job or ever created anything) are right near the top of that list. The only action these people could take that would endear them to me would be ritualistic suicide. I jest. Also once you’ve attained a certain level in politics, you likely struggle under the weight of your own hubris, falling on ones sword for the greater good would never even occur to you.

Enter stage… eh… left. Andrew Yang. Who I actually kinda like.

My libertarian tendencies tend to make me very suspicious of Universal Basic Income. Let me start there, because… well… we have to start somewhere. Andrew has obviously given this a lot of thought, and his rationale is actually very considered and logical. On the face of it, as much as I’ve considered UBI… I’m inclined to believe its a solid theory. But… I also believe that the human condition and gutter-politics would weaponize UBI in a heartbeat. It would quickly become a wicked instrument that would be wielded like a scythe by any politician, and that the candidate promising to give the proletariat the most money in their bank account every month, wins. And that… freaks me out, because once you open that Pandora’s box you can’t just snap the lid closed again. On the flip side, the machines are coming… and Andrew seems to be one of the few on the left that can empathize with a middle class that is under very real threat of being made redundant. UBI… I mean I get that it works in Alaska… *exhales through pursed lips* I actually don’t know. I’m not willing to dismiss it outright anymore as pure socialism though and I think it needs to be discussed.

Moving along from there,  Andrew is also a smart as fuck. Well spoken. And surprisingly likable. (trust me when I say I’m quite difficult to please) Which I can’t say for many of the other nominees. Also he was also a D&D nerd at school, which makes me quite cheerful (if only because I can see him rolling a d20 for foreign policy drone strikes on the Resolute desk). He was also an entrepreneur and on the face of it seems to have a solid work ethic. He is also not afraid to be interviewed by peeps and organisations that aren’t necessarily on his side of the political spectrum. So big props there!

Is he a good match-up for President Trump in the Octagon though? My gut feeling is no. I mean I’d like him to be. (to be fair there is value in being the complete antithesis of Donald Trump) Wait… maybe I’m jumping the gun here, first he has to defeat everyone in his own Democratic field. That in itself already feels like long odds. But he could potentially draw the moderates…  ergh. I dunno, the democrats feel so fractured and factionalized at the moment, seeing them being able to rally round a single candidate (that isn’t mad) is a difficult thing to visualize.

Anyways, I guess I just wanted to try do something small to market him a little bit and maybe underscore that there is at least some light in all that darkness. God, that sounds dramatic… let me rather go back to being apathetic. That way I can be grumpy and hate on anyone that wins. That feels like a better realm with in which to dwell…