CSotD: Lessons for our children, and our leaders

Norm is a realistic good father, since he can summon his childlike alter ego at will and sometimes not at will, yet he can also, as here, be a bit of a curmudgeon. Thank goodness Reine doesn’t take that latter part too seriously.

I never went to a pediatrician, even my first few years when we lived down in the city where I suppose such things existed. Once we were up in the woods, we were lucky to have two doctors right there in town; other people drove the better part of an hour for such service. We even had a dentist — the closing of the mine and the paper mill have since ended that — but I don’t think there were many pediatric dentists back in the ’50s, even in the cities.

My kids got treated like kids, though it wasn’t Disneyland quite yet. But I had no problem with dentists and doctors making appointments fun instead of scary then, and none now.

And why shouldn’t it be Disneyland? We’ve always had ridiculously over-protective parents — they were a source of humor as far back as the Little Rascals shorts — but there’s no reason why kids shouldn’t enjoy being kids while they prepare for becoming adults.

If you go back to the “It takes a village” days, kids were free to wander into other people’s lodges and, if they wanted something to eat, they’d get something to eat, or if they wanted to watch someone make arrows, they were welcome to sit and watch. What harm did that ever do?

I was writing a fictional piece set during the War of 1812 that involved an abused kid in which a Mohawk trapper played a minor role. I contacted a historian at Akwesasne and asked her if it was true that the Iroquois never used corporal punishment on kids, such that the trapper would be appalled at what he saw.

Her reply:

By 1813, we had over two hundred years of contact with Europeans, so they were not an unknown to us, even when we did not agree with them. Some would choose to speak up, others wouldn’t. We also have the traditional viewpoint that kids shouldn’t be hit indiscriminately, but were also heavily impacted by non-native views by this time, so spanking would have been practiced by Mohawks also.

Ah, the blessings of civilization! Glad we could help!


Terribly Civilized Juxtaposition of the Day

(Matt Davies)



As Lemont suggests, the “So What?” factor in our current crisis is pretty damned scary.

Comparisons to Watergate pale. In those days, the response of Nixon loyalists included the notion that it was “a third-rate burglary” and that “everyone does it,” but those weak defenses were buttressed by the certainty that Nixon didn’t know about it, that it was the work of over-eager underlings.

We’ve shot right past the OJ defense of “Prove it!” and, as Davies puts it, are into a full, shameless “So What?”

The sort of up-yours attitude you’d slap right off the face of a sullen 14-year-old, or at least want to.

And, by the way, it is a goddam crime, despite Dear Leader’s ridiculous claim that he’s fighting corruption, the answer to which is to ask for a list of times he has ever asked for help fighting corruption other than when he could use it in a partisan political effort, at which point it becomes very valuable indeed:

Meanwhile, there were passionate Nixon loyalists, even after the evidence was on the table, but I don’t recall ever hearing anything as off-the-wall get-the-tranq-darts insane as the lunatic explosion Senator Ron Johnson unleashed on Meet the Press yesterday.

Gotta give Chuck Todd credit for letting the rant play out; I’d have cut his mike and sent in the security guards, but, hey, let America see what we’ve come to.

Though some will, no doubt, praise Johnson for speaking truth to the lying media, that Enemy of the People who whip up falsehoods about Dear Leader, and for calling out the FBI and CIA, who are equally dishonest. (I’m not even exaggerating — play the video and see for yourself.)


And not all the “So What?” is coming from the rightwing fringe. Here’s a piece of whataboutism from Ted Rall that appears unanchored to either left or right.

This particular whataboutism seems to come down to this: People have robbed banks before. Why should we stop them from robbing banks now?

Issues of why the US pressured Ukraine to get rid of a particular prosecutor deserve examination, but the real issue here is that this is precisely why young people should not trade on family influence nor dally in places where it might appear they had done so.

(By the way, most “board of director” gigs are, by design “no show jobs” that involve quarterly meetings in which you are expected to nod a lot and say little. That’s Business 101.)

I’ve no idea how Donnie Jr, Eric and Ivanka explain their jobs, but much of this is unconscious.

When “That Girl” was a new show, Marlo Thomas explained that her father hadn’t gotten her the job; he just got her the interview. Even at 16, I knew that getting the interview was the hard part.

And yet I believe she was serious: As Jim Hightower said of Bush Sr., “He is a man who was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.”

Nepotism is a sign of poor judgment: Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion, and even if only jackals and vultures will dishonestly exploit an innocent situation, why make their work easy?

Common decency and common sense are strong allies.


And speaking of conflicts of interest

(Bruce Plante)


(Michael Ramirez)

So where is the John Birch Society, now that we need them?

Conservatives accepted Nixon’s opening of relations with China as good for business, but they still kept things at arm’s length.

At least, for a time.


Maybe they’re just afraid to buck the tide. This meme becomes less funny each time I repost it.

7 thoughts on “CSotD: Lessons for our children, and our leaders

  1. RoJo, who has never seen the Republican reaction to the Obama presidency, is a constant embarrassment to half of Wisconsin. And the pride of the rest.

  2. When I find myself getting upset at all the “so what?” responses to issues of national importance, I find it ironically calming to listen to Miles Davis’ famous song by the same name. Give it a listen!

  3. I always thought was political liability to his father. While is deceased brother was golden boy destined for the national stage, Hunter seemed content living the high life and not caring about appearances.

    In a backhanded way, DJT has actually done Joe Biden a favor- bringing up Hunter this early will mean by this time next year it will be old news and forgotten by the public, thus removing a potentially devastating issue leading up to the November election.

  4. “I can’t understand why so many are giving Hunter Biden a pass. It’s like they never heard of Caesar’s wife.”

    “You mean he’s also fooling around with a married woman? And a Mexican at that?”

  5. Well,
    Donald should know that singling out an opponents kid is about as “glass house” as you can get. If the Biden’s did something wrong then by all means they should suffer the consequences, but it absolves Trump of nothing.

  6. This is why I can’t Ted Rall seriously. The Obama administration, as well as the IMF, the World Back, and the EU wanted the prosecutor gone because he was NOT investigating corruption. Biden’s pressure made it MORE likely that his son would get in trouble if he did something illegal, not less likely. Yeah, Hunter should not have taken the job. Legal or not, it stinks of currying favor. But to claim Biden was protecting his son by pressuring the prosecutor is just plain dishonest. Oh wait, that’s the default for the republicans now

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