CSotD: Truth, or a reasonable facsimile thereof

Starting out with a point of personal privilege: As Rod Emmerson notes, Covid is becoming a greater problem in rural areas than in urban centers, and I’ve been concerned about the old home town.

This report from Kaiser Health News lays it on the line:

Rural Americans are dying of covid at more than twice the rate of their urban counterparts — a divide that health experts say is likely to widen as access to medical care shrinks for a population that tends to be older, sicker, heavier, poorer and less vaccinated.

They lay it out well, though it’s not an intentional situation. Rural employment has been an issue for years, and, while some kids head for the bright lights, others leave home simply because there’s no way to make a living where they are.

This becomes a cycle, and my hometown has shrunken to the point where the grocery store closed and, if you need more than a jug of milk and a loaf of bread, you’re in for a 30 mile drive.

We’re lucky to have a hospital, but it’s a constant fight to keep it open and the offerings are more “stabilize and transport” than any advanced treatment.

So I got a kick out of Rod Emmerson’s cartoon because, first of all, he’s in New Zealand, and misery loves company. It’s good to know we’re not the only people facing this problem, though the Kiwis managed to dodge it for an amazing length of time.

I also like the rough-looking character who turns away the virus. We may not lift our pinkies when we drink, but we’re not the morons city folks seem to think we are, despite perhaps a conservative bent to our politics.

I was at a Zoom gathering last night as part of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists virtual convention, and Rod said they have mobile vans traveling the rural roads with vaccines. It’s not a bad idea, since much of the problem in rural areas is finding the shots, not whether or not you want one.

Though scarcity isn’t the problem everywhere. My home county has a 62% adult vax rate, close to New York’s statewide average.

But, as that Kaiser report says:

At which point the “good news” is that some crank just got 15 months in jail for spreading false information.


Too bad it wasn’t the fellow seen in this Steve Brodner piece.

What’s worse is that spreading lies that build political power but harm people is hardly confined to Covid, as seen in this


Juxtaposition of the Day

(David Horsey)

(RJ Matson)

The GOP’s willingness to touch off a massive global recession that they can blame on Democrats seems, as Horsey suggests, like something a Bond villain would do, and Matson adds the fact that McConnell would be as damaged as anyone. He can’t possibly think his wife’s family’s shipping company would be insulated from the disaster by its Chinese ties.

Economists are saying the results of a default would be worse than the 2008 depression, which the GOP seems to have convinced its Kool-Aid drinkers was the fault of Obama rather than W.

It’s likely that, if they crater the economy again, they’ll find it even easier to blame Biden, since he’ll be sitting in the Oval Office when it happens.

And they’ve already softened up the suckers: In 2016, Hillary Clinton promised unemployed coal miners retraining and Trump countered by promising them their jobs back. They didn’t get their jobs, but he got their votes.

Now, in addition to lying about Covid, the debt limit is yet another con game they’re running on voters, as seen in


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Lisa Benson – WGWG)


(Pat Byrnes)

Lisa Benson isn’t lying. Raising the debt ceiling won’t eliminate the national debt. But it’s not intended to and nobody is promising that it will.

The need for a higher debt ceiling is largely based on debts already run up, most of which were encurred through “Spend But Don’t Tax” Republican economic policies. We need to raise the ceiling not to allow more spending but to allow us to pay our existing debts.

As Byrnes says, McConnell knows this. He doesn’t care.

I don’t know what Benson knows, though, as I’ve said in the past, editorial cartoonists should be journalists and have an obligation to look into issues and not simply illustrate partisan talking points.

But it’s hard to tell the liars from the quislings in a world in which journalists pass along nonsenical stories about somebody’s cousin’s friend’s testicles.


This onslaught of cockamamie bull roar doesn’t just happen.

Clay Jones points out that, while we were all (appropriately) freaking out over Facebook, another story dropped, revealing a more astonishing level of public manipulation.

Turns out — and this is Reuters, a legitimate source — that One America News, the Trump lapdog network that circulates partisan propaganda Fox and even Newsmax won’t touch, owes its existence to AT&T.

Not just because AT&T owns DirectTV whose carriage fees are OANN’s primary source of income, but because an AT&T executive inspired and backed the creation of the network:

This is what I guess you could call “corporate astroturfing,” in which a group of plutocrats start what appears to be an independent news organization with the express intent of partisan reporting.


It’s enough to make Rupert Murdoch blush.


The result, as Darrin Bell (KFS) reports, is a situation where it seems futile to report something as plain as the evidence that Donald Trump attempted a coup and is now refusing to cooperate with the legal system.

It will surely fall upon deaf ears.

Or, more accurately, upon ears that hear only the tune of their own piper, whom they will follow wherever he leads.

You’re unlikely to convert the True Believers. Better to spend that energy arousing the decent folk.

However, the Democrats seem dedicated to dithering over how to get things done without annoying anybody.

And the major sources of news continue to play “on the one side, but on the other,” in which fairness means that, if a rhinoceros rages through the middle of town, you have to find someone to say it was only a field mouse.

Where’s Sean Connery, now that we need him?


One thought on “CSotD: Truth, or a reasonable facsimile thereof

  1. I also like the jacket of the man in Rod Emmerson’s cartoon. Unfortunately, here in the United States (i.e. Earth 2) we have a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Madison Cawthorn, saying that going door-to-door to offer vaccines may lead to the government taking away people’s guns and bibles.

    In Dorothy L Sayers’ book The Nine Tailors, the vicar’s wife was musing on the benefits of the automobile–people could move around more and villages wouldn’t have unfortunates like Potty Peake. Could extreme gerrymandering have the same effect, electing the district idiot to Congress?

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