CSotD: Reality Checks

Bizarro offers more politics than usual, but maybe this has been on Wayno’s mind as much as it’s been on mine.

This meme from Occupy Democrats has been popping up regularly on my feeds. I don’t trust the group — they rarely give sources for their frantic accusations and, as with most of the ones I’ve tracked back, this is a great deal more complex than they would have you believe.

But even that analysis — while not supporting Occupy Democrats’ simpleminded POV — makes the real point that our system of education is outrageously unfair: Whatever else Tanya McDowell had on her over-loaded plate, it should not have mattered which elementary school her son went to.

That linked article is worth reading, but here’s the quote you need, from a public defender:

“While there is a part of us that may feel some sense of vindication at the idea of these parents serving five years in prison because Tanya McDowell served five years in prison when she was so much more deserving, that’s not justice. Justice is for Tanya McDowell to have never been charged, convicted or sentenced to prison and to have the same educational opportunity for her son as these parents have for their children.”

And that wasn’t all that I had been thinking of, because “equal justice under the law” falls apart well before we get to this point.

When a poor person is stopped for speeding, they get points on their ticket that may keep them from getting to work at the job that doesn’t pay them enough to pay the fine that comes with that ticket.

If even a moderately middleclass person gets a speeding ticket, they go to an attorney, pay a fee probably in excess of what they’ve had paid in court, but they end up with a non-moving violation, no points on their ticket and no impact on their insurance premiums.

This is before we get into cash bail that may keep poor people in the lockup for months or years, costing them their jobs and putting them behind on rent, before their trial on a charge that Felicity Huffman’s attorney would have had quashed the day after the arrest.

It’s not right.

But it’s not a reason to hate the rich. It’s a reason to change the system.

Clipboards and shoe leather may not be the weapons of choice, but they’re the weapons that work. Or, they work if you don’t screw it up.

Which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Mike Lester)


(Pat Bagley)

The obvious disadvantage of the Clown Car Primary System is that candidates with no chance of winning the nomination will help tear apart the one who might have a shot at the White House.

And Beto O’Rourke offers another disadvantage: Some unelectable goofball may hand the opposition ammunition that relieves them of the need to lie about your intentions.

It’s one thing to promise buybacks. It’s nonsensical to threaten confiscation.

Lester has already spun things well beyond the truth with his accusation that O’Rourke’s declaration of intent reflects a plan the Democrats agreed to in that huddle, and his cartoon is a good example of how a foolish comment can touch off paranoia.

It raises the question of whether he actually believes the message of his cartoon or is purposely distorting things for propaganda purposes, but the answer to that question is “What the hell difference would it make?”

Besides, how much do Occupy Democrats believe the frantic nonsense they peddle? Goose/gander.

And, assuming Bagley is speaking metaphorically, he notes the impact: By making some absurd promise that touches their fears, you can readily prevent them from ever seeing the actual plans the party has.

If he’s not speaking metaphorically, there’s that, too. Elizabeth Heng may be an imbecile for thinking the Khmer Rouge are an example of socialism in action, or she may be a 21st Century Goebbels, but, either way, her hateful incitement could lead some deranged person into creating their own little version of the Killing Fields.

Still, it takes a substantial level of dishonesty to weave AOC’s vision of good schools, equal health coverage and clean air into piles of skeletons.

By contrast, Beto handed them a stick of dynamite and offered them a match.


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Matt Davies)


(Adam Zyglis)

Two examples of good choices:

Kudos to Matt Davies for getting the analogy right. There have been plenty of cartoons pointing out that vaping is harmful, but so are guns. True, but Davies does better by bringing in the concept of more longtime health risks.

And his cartoon would be good if it were only noting the lack of action in replacing old lead pipes in poor neighborhoods, but it’s completely brilliant in concert with Trump’s decision to allow industry to resume dumping chemicals into water sources in the same week he came out against allowing Melania’s son — whom he has met on a number of occasions — to use Fruit Loops flavored vape oil.

And then Zyglis foregoes the usual fatcat businessman in favor of someone whose greed and evil are firmly fixed in the public mind. We may not be able to name the justices of the Supreme Court or the three branches of government, but we sure do know the Simpsons.

The use of Mr. Burns — and the three-eyed fish in the river — does half the work for him.

Excellent, excellent.


Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?

Macanudo makes me think about books I’ve read more than once.

“War and Peace” tops the list precisely for the reason she gives: I read it whenever I move, because it allows me to surround myself with familiar friends for a couple of weeks, until I’ve met some in my new place.

And I’ve just finished re-reading “Catch-22” because current events make Yossarian a welcome commiserater.

However, reading “Great Expectations” and “The Sun Also Rises” are very different experiences at 20 and again at 45. It’s genuinely deflating, though a good barometer for how well you’ve learned over the years to identify self-centered assholes.

Which logically brings us to this:

(First Dog on the Moon)

10 thoughts on “CSotD: Reality Checks

  1. Tanya McDowell was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to 5 years..
    How do you know better than I what Dems say inside their huddle?
    You do know what a huddle is for, right?

  2. Sorry, Mike. Elizabeth Heng is not an imbecile. The Khmer Rouge were socialists. As are the Chavistas in Venezuela and a laundry list of other socialists demonstrating what socialism looks like.

    I don’t endorse Ms. Heng’s use of AOC’s photo in her ad. I do endorse her opposition to socialism. Everywhere it is tried, the result is greater poverty and limited human rights. The more enthusiastically it is tried, the greater the poverty and the degradation of human rights.

    TANSTAAFL/TINSTAAFL/TNSTAAFL – Truth no matter how you slice it.

  3. Isn’t Lester’s comic a copy from 2008?
    When they were all saying that Obama was going to take their guns away?
    And he didn’t.
    And the NRA and gun manufacturers made a fortune on new gun sales.
    And then Trump said that HE was going to take the guns away?

  4. Mike, I put a link in to an article that explained things, and said that it was more complex than the meme said. Then I said it was worth reading. And I quoted it. And I noted that she had more on her “crowded plate” than simply where her kid went to school. And I tested the link — it works!

    Meanwhile, if you think all 20 candidates also support confiscation, prove it.

    As for the Khmer Rouge being reasonable examples of socialism, Dann, that’s like saying Dutch Schulz was a reasonable example of a craft brewer or that John Wayne Gacy was a reasonable example of a clown.

  5. In all the furour over Huffman, why didnt anyone get just as excited about the overpaid football and basketball coaches working with the NCAA to put “star athletes” in paper courses just so the NCAA and the universities could rake in more TV and sponsorship money?

    Funny how we forgot about that one pretty quick, while Huffman becomes the poster girl for everything wrong with education.

  6. “Prove” my opinion???

    How’s that work exactly? Why does one opinion writer/cartoonist have to “prove” his opinion/cartoon and another one doesn’t?

    Answer: He doesn’t. You only want the opinion you disagree with proven. A pretty common reaction from laymen.

  7. Almost all of the hysteria in the US about AOC seems to boil down to the sad fact that a large swath of the public seem not to understand the difference between communism, socialism, and democratic socialism. How don’t you all learn this stuff in high school?

  8. Lisa : Well, that and that AOC is “a person of color” who won’t shut up when she “ought” to.

  9. If only it was a one-off, then I’d rethink my position, Mike.

    The Soviet Union, China, Cuba, East Germany, North Korea, Venezuela….and on and on and on….

    The more enthusiastic the embrace of socialism, the greater poverty and death that follows.

    Dutch Shultz and John Wayne Gacy were apt examples of something else. Conflating them with craft brewing or the average harlequin is a misleading deflection.

    In a room full of ducks, sometimes the one that woofs is needed to point out the quacks.

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