Yesterday, we discussed the insanely partisan — or perhaps partisanly insane — letter from eight GOP Senators who oppose compiling a no-fly list of passengers who have disrupted commercial flights, on the grounds that people should be able to become violent on airplanes as long as they’ve lost their minds over having to wear masks and don’t shout “Allahu Akbar.”
But Jack Ohman’s commentary on the topic is funny enough that I’m sharing it here, and, besides, it’s not like those deranged anarchists have backed down and tried to make their objection sound rational.
Hateful lunacy is coming so hard and fast these days that it threatens to become normal if we simply criticize it once and then let it slide.
Can’t say it often enough: If you’ve ever wondered what you’d have done in Germany in the 1930s, you’re doing it now.
Another follow-up, this one from Paul Fell on the matter of the Catholic priest in Arizona who said “We baptize you” instead of “I baptize you,” causing the Vatican to invalidate thousands of his sacraments.
As Fell points out, most American Catholics defy the Vatican anyway, and particularly in one critical area: They’ve been rejecting papal teachings on contraception since the days of Paul VI, Christ’s vicar on Earth from 1963 to 1978, which pretty much covered the sexual revolution.
I’m not a big fan of Cafeteria Catholics, since obedience to the Pope is nearly all that separates Roman Catholics from their Episcopalian and Lutheran neighbors, but the fact remains that, according to the Guttmacher Institute, most Catholic women use some form of birth control — “25% use sterilization, 15% use long-acting reversible contraceptives (like IUDs) and 25% use hormonal methods (like birth control pills)” — and they make up about a quarter of women having abortions.
I don’t believe that Catholic women who defy the Pope are consigned to Hell, though the ones who most faithfully obey him sometimes find themselves on the Supreme Court.
Which is both a clever and an appropriate segue to this Mike Luckovich commentary on the resistance to adding a bit of fairness and balance to that august chamber.
I like it in particular because, contrary to the false story of the “tired seamstress,” Rosa Parks was an officer in her local NAACP who knew that (A) the group was looking to challenge Jim Crow laws and (B) the particular bus driver she encountered that day was likely to make that happen.
This time around, the challenge is that Biden’s announced plan is being condemned by people who feel comfortable hiding behind the theory that there are no Black women judges as qualified as Brett Kavanaugh or Amy Coney Barrett, which, if taken literally, makes no sense at all, but, if aligned with the theory that white folks deserve the good seats, is completely consistent with their actions, or lack thereof.
Rosa is not the only tired person in this ongoing farce.
And speaking of unwelcome vestiges of the past, John Branch (KFS) notes the return of a system of voter suppression that should have ended with the Voters Rights Act, but, instead, is reborn, now that the Supreme Court has gelded and gutted that legislation.
Texas still allows mail-in voting, but has rejected more than a third of ballots over what critics claim are ticky-tacky little discrepancies. To understand this, you should know the history of “literacy tests” and other voter-suppression methods under Jim Crow, though, to be perfectly fair, there’s no proof that the rejections are based on addresses or guessing race by names.
Still, we know who votes by mail: Those Other People.
And the troublemakers who love them.
Juxtaposition of the Day
Deb Milbrath leads with a cartoon that was drawn and posted before Russian skater Kamila Valieva let us all off the hook by failing to win anyway, making this an even better comment, since there are any number of other reasons to declare the Beijing Olympics a failure.
Celebrating a genocidal, repressive regime with fanfare and even a brief cameo by their disappeared tennis star seems like hearkening back to the 1936 Olympics in which Hitler was gifted with a stage for promoting his rising nation.
Jimmy Carter had the cojones to call for a full boycott of the Soviet Olympics in 1980, but, this time around, we offered only a weak-kneed diplomatic boycott, which basically robbed our bigwigs of a few good meals but made no greater difference to anybody.
“But what about the athletes?” people say, and we can start by pointing out that, for all the failings of Avery Brundage, it was a different question when they truly were amateurs. They’re not.
And it would be nice if everyone showed such concern for the hopes and dreams of young Americans we’ve sent to compete in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the ones we’ve allowed to drink leaded water and go to under-funded schools.
The value of competition comes up in Telnaes’ and Kelley’s cartoons, on substantially different levels but still asking the question, “Is it worth it?”
Telnaes riffs on reports that Russia’s skating coach is abusive and has done real damage to her young charges, and it’s true, nor should it be dismissed with whataboutism.
Still, when you look into what it takes to become a prima ballerina, you’ll find abundant skeletal damage and eating disorders as well, which is before we discuss the team doctor who sexually abused our Olympic gymnasts.
And then there are the young men who play football and wind up with damaged brains, and ditto the poor kids who try to make a living as boxers.
Meanwhile, Kelley seems to be complaining, not about a mother who pushes her child to exceed rather than to love the competition, but about the danger that her chance to become a winner (The mom’s or the kid’s? Excellent question!) will fall victim to transgendered athletes.
Because silver medals are for losers, and nobody loves losers.
How’s that for long-lasting damage, eh?
Best thing I’ve seen in sports is that rec league refs now warn parents to shut up and enjoy the game.
Worst thing I’ve seen is that we still save our praise for the “winners.”