CSotD: Season’s Gleanings

We’ll start out with some good news, via Steve Brodner: Not only did the Kellogg’s workers ratify a new contract, but it seems like they got pretty much what they wanted and that management — who had threatened to replace them with scabs — got pretty much not a whole lot except several months of bad publicity.

Given all the kerfuffle over the Great Resignation, and the number of “Help Wanted” and “Now Hiring” signs you see everywhere, you wouldn’t think a strike was necessary, and that management would be actively trying to make working for them more attractive.

You’d be wrong, of course, largely because the farther management is from workers, the less they know, or care, about them.

I used to gas up and buy bread at a convenience store where the owner was the son of a neighbor and had one of his nieces working for him. He only had about four employees, but he got them health insurance and the premiums on a group that size must have been massive.

He also had a policy that, while the store stayed open on major holidays, he worked those days himself and sent his employees home to celebrate with their families.

Which is why, until I moved away, I always gassed up and bought my bread there.


But the distance between management and workers doesn’t just mean that those on the top are unaware of those lower down. It also means that decency is interpreted as weakness, or is, at least, seen as suspicious.

Maybe Ward Sutton is right and Biden’s insistence on decency will be the end of democracy.

Or maybe he’s like Kwai Chang Caine in the old Kung Fu TV show, and he’s going to be decent and moral and peaceful and let himself be pushed around for the first 50 minutes, and then, at the end, suddenly explode and resolve things by beating the living shit out of the bad guys.

Well, we all have our Christmas wishes.


Meanwhile, the bad guys — the liars and spinmeisters — will continue to repeat how low Biden’s approval ratings are, without mentioning that they’re still higher than Trump’s were at this point in his administration.

This is part of that whole shooting people on Fifth Avenue strategy, aka “The Big Lie,” which means if you keep repeating it, it will become accepted truth.

So far, so good, but, again, Kellogg’s had to knuckle under and perhaps this, too, shall pass.


Meanwhile, Randy Bish gets a laugh out of how the tables have turned, now that we’re parsing the texts from January 6 instead of emails from Herself.

But the bottom line is that we’d all do better to read “Animal Farm” rather than “1984,” because it’s not about heavy-handed compulsion but, rather, clever manipulation: We’re deep into “Four legs good, two legs better” territory, and there is no doubt that it was sabotage by Snowball, not gross incompetence by our leaders, that made the windmill collapse.


As Tom Tomorrow puts it, there is no proof so clear and certain that it couldn’t be spun by those invested in the Big Lie.

As Upton Sinclair explained, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

It was true in 1934, it is true in 2021 and it will likely be true in 2022 as well.

CNN reports it clearly: Those who want power are willing to lie in our faces to get it.

Five Republican candidates for governor of Minnesota were asked at a forum last Wednesday whether they thought President Joe Biden won a “constitutional majority in the Electoral College.” None of them was willing to utter a plain “yes.”


Even Rick McKee (Counterpoint), a dependable conservative, depicts what Republicans are required to do in order to retain their standing in the GOP.

It’s also a necessary formula for success in a deeply Red state like, oh, say, West Virginia, bringing us to this amusing

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Jimmy Margulies – KFS)


(Randy Bish)

I don’t suppose it matters whether you are a Democrat behaving like a Republican or a Republican pretending to be a Democrat, as long as you have the nerve to shoot people on Fifth Avenue if that’s what it takes.

And, just as the gunfighter in those old Westerns tells the kid, the first one is the hardest, so, too, the first time you lie, it may tear your guts out, but you’ll get used to it, particularly when you see how much you can benefit from a pattern of saying and doing things that advance your career and help you avoid being punished.

Clay Bennett (CTFP) sees Biden’s promise of free, open supplies of self-tests as a welcome Christmas present, and I have to agree.

My granddaughter and her daughter were down with some kind of nasty head cold last week, but her mother-in-law brought some self-tests over so that they were able to eliminate Covid as a possibility.

As FDR said, our biggest enemy is fear itself, “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

I’m grateful she lives near her in-laws, and that they are in a position to purchase needed medical supplies, but not everyone is so well positioned, and, like Bennett, I see Biden’s announcement as good news.


By contrast, Kirk Walters (KFS) sees Biden’s warning to the nation as shameful fear-mongering.

Personally, I don’t see it as FDR’s “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror,” but rather a call for caution, coupled with an attempt to save young lives.

But maybe it really is no worse than the flu and there’s no risk.

As Jeff Boyer says, we should simply make suggestions. People are smart enough to make up their own minds about such things.


While, as Steve Sack points out, there’s no real harm in ignoring the danger, because that’s why we have hospitals.

Though when I had a sinus infection last week, my doctor was booked for the next four weeks. His nurse suggested I go to the local walk-in.

I’m just glad he isn’t among the medical workers who have joined the Great Resignation.