CSotD: Here We Are, Here’s Who We Are

Steve Sack lays it out in unmistakable, inarguable terms. The excuses simply don’t stand up to any even half-serious inspection.

You can quibble a little over the video game panel, which I’d expand to our vulgar, violent media culture generally. There are some countries that don’t let it in, though a list of those cautious nations won’t buttress any desire to blame Muslims for everything.

I was happier in a world where everyone knew Muhammad Ali than one in which everyone knows Khloe Kardashian, but that’s a matter of national pride, not of personal safety.

Our culture is worldwide, except, as Sack points out, for the part where somebody goes nuts and shoots up the place.

And his note in the corner explains that: We’re the only country with the NRA at the controls.

The difference is guns, and the selling of guns by the whipping up of fear and paranoia, and it goes back to Cincinnati, 1976, when crazy people took over what had been a moderate organization devoted to gun safety.

Which brings us to an odd and interesting


Juxtaposition of Himself

Clay Bennett posted both these cartoons yesterday and, while I don’t agree with either, they’re a good jumping-off point. (Update: The first is a repeat from the Parkland shootings. Still a good jumping-off point.)

When I say I don’t agree with either, I’ll admit I had exactly the same thought as in that first cartoon, when I heard Trump go on about the woes of mental illness, though I dismissed it as wiseassery.

But I also don’t feel the second cartoon is accurate, because I don’t think Dear Leader has that level of awareness.

Which is to say, I don’t think the President’s mental health is the topic for a wiseass remark so much as it is a very real thing that we have to consider.

People joked about Reagan’s mental acuity, including a joke in which he and Nancy are out to dinner.

Nancy: I’ll have the ribeye, medium rare, with a baked potato.
Waiter: And the vegetable?
Nancy: He’ll have the same.

It was a lot funnier before we learned that Reagan really had been slipping into Alzheimers.

Meanwhile, on a slightly related topic, when Dick Cheney went into the hospital for a stent, wise guys asked who would be president if the operation failed?

Which was a lot funnier before he got Little Georgie to invade Iraq and overturn the entire Middle East.

Point is, we knew Reagan was slipping.

And we knew Cheney and his cabal were running the administration.

Now we know that we have a president whose emotional and psychological shortcomings are beyond scandalous.

But here’s the thing: We can bitch and moan about the Electoral College, but the plain fact is, if he didn’t get over half of the popular vote, he did get 46.1% to his opponent’s 48.2%.

It’s a damn shame that he won on a technicality, but the fact remains that nearly half of American voters wanted a mentally ill, racist, misogynist narcissist to be in charge.

So who’s this “we” you speak of?

Thus our next


Juxtaposition of the Day

(Bill Day)

(Ed Hall)

(Jeff Stahler)

(Bill Bramhall)

It’s not like he ran a sane, normal campaign and then revealed his true nature after the votes were counted.

Voters knew he bragged about sexual assault, they heard his hateful, racist screeds against minorities, they heard him brag about cheating on his taxes.

They knew who they were voting for. This was who they wanted.

Which takes me back to this quote from an interview I did with Frank Zappa, 30 years before that election, which I have cited so often that I turned it into a meme.

Later in the conversation, he expressed his concern for

… all the kids who are in the poverty bracket right now, who, with all the cutbacks in education and everything else, will have a harder time climbing out of that hole. What have we invested in?

While we’re watching the Dow wander its way towards 2000, you’ve got some problems for the future boiling all around you that are not being addressed. Everybody’s having too much fun here.

I think that, secretly, they must have a theory in the back of their minds that, “I’ll make my money and then, when everything falls to pieces in the United States, I’ll move to Switzerland.” … You’d better start looking around to what you can do to make this a better place to live in, and it goes beyond the instant buck of today.

Well, Frank’s gone and the Dow is well past 2,000, but we’re right where he said we’d be and we haven’t done a damn thing to make this a better place to live in.

It’s good that Dear Leader wants more mental health available, but the cuts were already happening back when I spoke with Frank, and I don’t expect him to bring them back.

Which means that, once again, the NRA Company Line about mental health is a cruel hoax.

We can even concede that mentally ill people pull the triggers on those innocent tools, but people with actual experience in firearms feel it’s a great deal more complex.

As this fellow says, we have a gun problem and a bullshit problem. Which he then explains in knowing, plain language.


People want background checks. Moscow Mitch refuses to bring those bills to the floor.


Moscow Mitch, whose followers think it’s funny to joke about murdering his opposition, while Dear Leader’s bumbling “trade talks” further destroy their economic interests.

We shouldn’t blame the gun, no. Blame the crazy person who pulled the trigger.

We shouldn’t blame the president, either.

Blame the crazy people who pulled the levers.

In vain I have looked for a single man capable of seeing his own faults
and bringing the charge home. — Master K’ung fu tze (Confucius)

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