Seth nails the description

Marvelously descriptive opening:

“… threatening to make the same mistakes he made at the start of this crisis… when Donald Trump was elected in 2016 this was exactly the kind of nightmare scenario everyone was afraid of, what would happen in a global crisis if the most powerful man in the world was a racist game show host who’s failed at virtually everything in his life except for pretending to be a successful businessman on TV.   And he’s not even good at pretending, look at him pretending to be president — he just stares directly into the camera and can’t even be bothered to put some fake documents on his desk…”


 This British wit does  the full Monty Python job on America’s Greatest Winner, holy cow.  Bear in mind, though, only about 60% of Americans would agree with either of these “funny” guys.

On an IV of your favorite pleasure drug

I was thinking about the one percent again after hearing John Oliver cite experts for the proposition that 2% of vulnerable victims of Coronavirus, COVID19,  die of the disease.   A 2% death rate is not as bad as the 3.4% I heard just days ago, you have to like your odds of survival, but, still, you’re talking about millions of dead, potentially.   Even at a 1% death rate poor management of the crisis would, in ordinary times, be a death sentence to a political leader who grossly bungles the serious duty under the pressure of actual emergency events.   

Luckily for those in power, the vast majority of Americans, deadened by years of increasingly painful political malice and legislative deadlock, regard politics, even now, as a grim spectator sport they can keep track of on their phones.  They are desperate not to find themselves living in a dictatorship, they are merely realistic about their options for having any actual say in actually avoiding it.  They have no clue how to organize, how to militate, how to demand concessions from power by the sheer force of mass mobilization, power yielding nothing without a powerful demand [1].

The reasons authoritarians always rely on police power for social control is that when enough people are pushed to the point of desperation, anger builds. Dictators harness this anger and release it as police rage on fellow citizens.   Works for the ruling few, if not for the teeming masses.

The essential skill everyone of us needs to figure out is how to organize with fellow citizens, how to gather our forces and discuss the best way forward, speaking to the powerful in a clear, strong voice.    The only change worth fighting for is change worth fighting for, to state the obvious yet never stated.   Is it worth fighting for a legal end to involuntary servitude that will go into effect one hundred years in the future?   I think 1% would buy that idea.

Speaking of one percent, here’s a fun one.  Put one billion in your calculator. Assume the least sophisticated billionaire in history, on a full-time IV of his favorite pleasure drug, has his money in a series of FDIC insured bank accounts making 1% interest.  Tap those numbers in and you will see what even this drugged out idiot earns in simple interest in one year:  $10,000,000.   Almost a million a month, not bad for a complete dope!   Of course, at 5% the annual earning would be $50,000,000, a significant sum by any reckoning,  and at 10% a hefty and very livable $100,000,000 a year in interest, but, of course, those are just numbers.  No reason to get excited.


[1]  Frederick Douglass, genius and good twitter friend of @donaldjturnip



Mary and DonaldRump and DadTrump siblings

Funny man cracks a good one

This short clip comes with two small warnings.   The first is that it seems to come with an undefeatable 15 second ad, which I recommend you mute.   Then it cuts straight to the set up and the punchline.

The second warning is that this clip contains a few seconds of footage of our 45th president, preemptively (2015) arguing why he is still right and everybody else in the country is a loser.   In the clip the president awkwardly holds a young child up to the microphone for the kid to ask him what the wall will be made of.  

This use of a child as a living, uncomfortable prop will be upsetting to anyone horrified at the president’s policies at the border, particularly regarding children of asylum seekers, immediately separated from their parents and subjected to cruel conditions of detention.   Two young children of asylum seekers, a boy and a girl, have died lately in US custody (with no comment from the president).   Thousands more juvenile asylum seekers are kept in cold, mass facility compounds, behind chain link fences, in huge unheated facilities in the winter desert where they receive only survival blankets for sleeping.   So, you need to put these horrors out of mind as you watch.  

There will always be pictures of tyrannical types using children as props, as long as there are tyrannical types and children.   Josef Stalin had that huge smile when he sat next to a kid, they used to call him Uncle Joe.   His victims did not call him that.   This picture of Trump lifting the child awkwardly is no worse than any of those historical photo ops by infamous autocratic types.  

Still, some might find it upsetting.  There’s your darned trigger warning, snowflake.  Now, if you can put your squeamishness [1] aside, this fifteen second clip will give you a laugh.

Clickez ici, s’il vous plait


[1] my all time favorite dictionary definition — squeamish: exhibiting a prudish readiness to be nauseated