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CSotD: Better Late Than Never

Michael Ramirez points out that the US is carrying most of the burden of NATO, a prominent argument of the New America First crowd.

Of course, it’s not that simple, but we’re not invested in complex arguments that require study.

It does seem, however, that there is an ongoing bit of confusion over what we spend on NATO and what we spend on international defense overall.

Those two articles offer a lot of detail but one thing that emerges without too much intense focus is that we spend a lot of money on, for instance, military preparedness in the Pacific, while most European countries focus on Europe, such that their spending may be less but is more centered on NATO goals.

Also that they agreed to increase their goals in 2014 and most have, or are working towards the agreed-upon levels.

A couple of comments at GoComics also suggest that December 7 is an unfortunate day to promote isolationism, though perhaps it is perfectly fitting, since the Old School America First crowd kept us on the sidelines until we were attacked ourselves.

 

“Oh well, what the hell,” to quote McWatt. Michael DeAdder points out that our international standing has perhaps slipped a bit anyway.

Fortunately, the damage hasn’t become a domestic issue.

 

Whoops. Well, not such that you’d notice, anyway.

 

Jimmy Margulies provides a sardonic laugh, because another complex thing that has been ignored is that thing Dear Leader swore to uphold and defend, but, in all fairness, never swore to read.

The cries for “due process” are also coming from people who have law degrees but are pretending not to understand the process either, like the gracious hostess who, noticing that her guest was eating the paper doily under his cake, began to cut and eat her own.

They also remind me of people who would call complaining that we wouldn’t run their too-long, no-context, potentially libelous letters to the editor, saying we were depriving them of their Freedom of the Press.

It’s so much easier to find reasons to complain when you don’t know how things work.

 

Never mind. As Pros & Cons points out, it’s the season to be kind and generous. Though perhaps Stan is right in suggesting that our holidays seem to overlap.

Not that we’d truly spoil the Christmas spirit quite to the extent he suggests we have.

Would we?

Jeff Danziger isn’t the only cartoonist to reference Charles Dickens in his commentary on the Food Stamp cuts.

 

 

 

Matt Davies doesn’t reference Dickens, but his more direct criticism of the heartless bureaucracy does suggest the difference between Ebenezer Scrooge and the current crowd of misers.

 

The idea of people on welfare as shirkers has been disproven enough times that there’s no excuse for anyone in a position of authority to not know it.

These are old numbers, but you’re a fool if you think the factor has changed and that the “working poor” are not still both working and poor.

Or else you simply don’t give a damn.

Both Dickens, with his novelette, and, a half century later, Jacob Riis, with his expose of “How the Other Half Lives,” relied on the belief that, if people could see the impact of not caring for others, they would shift course.

Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

 

And, after all, Marley & Company could shift directions simply by having one man empathize with his one employee. Today’s Non Sequitur suggests that, even in middleclass circles, the rot goes much deeper, and when the only product is profit, nobody cares how you get the numbers.

I remember, well before Trump though in the early years of Newt Gingrich, the Contract With America and all that, when our company announced that they were ending our pension program in favor of 401k’s.

It wasn’t that they were abandoning us entirely, however. They wouldn’t be paying into pensions for us, but they would match our contributions 2-for-1 up to a certain percentage of our pay.

Not a bad deal, only it wasn’t long before they changed it to a 1-to-1 contribution and not so long after that that they abandoned any contributions on their end.

Which means they had killed the pension program in favor of setting up the equivalent of an IRA which we could have done on our own.

Which is where we were: On our own.

Some years later, those of us who had been there in the days of the pension were offered a lump sum buyout, which I took because I lived in South Bend after Studebaker went bankrupt and dropped their pensions entirely.

Leading to 75-year-old widows working the grill and the cash registers in our campus snack bar.

College was educational.

 

Juxtaposition of the Day

Pajama Diaries

The Lockhorns

It is the holiday season and that’s a season of parties and fun, and I feel like a very slow learner for having turned 50 before I realized that I don’t like parties.

I already knew I don’t like crowds, but parties are crowds of people you know, so I didn’t think that counted.

By the time I figured out that it did, I was in middle management so I could do that thing of going to the Corporate Prom, having one drink, greeting the people who worked for me and making sure the people I worked for saw that I was there and then bugging the hell out before all the people who also hate parties solved their anxiety by getting drunk and saying things they probably should not.

Though I did tell a young assistant that the holiday party was where you found out who was sleeping with whom and she came back the day after and burst into laughter telling me how right I was.

 

Update

Linus was always more of a goody-goody than I was.

I’m still in the hospital but expect to get out Sunday morning, once I prove to Physical Therapy that I can walk without screaming. The current theory is that drugs will help.

The good news is that I was upgraded and rather that a hip replacement, I had a hep replacement.

 

Community Comments

#1 Kathleen Donnelly
December/7/2019
@ 12:37 pm

Glad to hear your sense of humor is still intact. Maybe you’ll get more relief from Calloway’s Kicking the Gong Around. :-) Continue healing.

#2 D. D. Degg
December/7/2019
@ 2:26 pm

Welcome back! Is an opioid column in the future?

#3 Paul Berge
December/7/2019
@ 3:45 pm

Good to see that if you aren’t exactly up and about, you are, at least, about!

#4 Kip Williams
December/7/2019
@ 5:23 pm

Gong or no, with or without Minnie, I expect you’ll be kicking again in no time. (And you’d have been even sooner if I hadn’t fixed the dropped C in ‘kicking’.)

I was in the hospital overnight once for a minor surgery, and was somewhat pathetic during the initial recovery stage, but the other fella in the room was in way more pain than me. Though he had an on-demand Morphinator, he was pretty restrained about using it. I suspect if I’d felt as bad, I’d sound like the telegraph operator on the Titanic.

Glad you’re back. Keep ’em coming. Don’t overdo it.

#5 Mary McNeil
December/7/2019
@ 6:44 pm

Glad you’re back.

#6 Bob Crittenden
December/7/2019
@ 6:44 pm

Thanks for the unexpected column, Mike. Keep healing and getting stronger.

#7 Maggie Zakem
December/8/2019
@ 8:03 am

I was glad to read your column today, welcome back and good healing. After my husband’s hip surgery, he started quoting the motto of a local collision place: “Limp in, leap out.” May you be leaping soon.

#8 Hank Gillette
December/9/2019
@ 2:08 am

Mike,

You are very dedicated to do your column from the hospital. Thanks. Hope your recovery goes well.

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