CSotD: Profits and losses

The war has — appropriately — taken up a lot of interest, but it’s not the only thing happening in the world, and Ann Telnaes expresses her opinion of an attorney general who not only kept his eyes shut but helped hide and deflect what illicit behavior he couldn’t ignore.

Until it was time to cash in on a publishing contract, which apparently takes precedence over serving the country or, as she notes in her own subtitle, doing your damn job.

It is often said of Watergate that it wasn’t the crime but the coverup, but these days it’s hard to get nabbed for either. The latest news from the Jan 6 Committee is encouraging but hardly a guarantee that anyone will be held accountable.

I haven’t read the book, and won’t unless there were some way to avoid giving him money, which is a reminder that New York passed a “Son of Sam Law” intended to keep criminals from profiting from books and movies about their crimes.

However, the Supreme Court shot it down at the behest of Simon & Schuster and Henry Hill, the mobster featured in his own memoir and in the movie “Goodfellas.”

I guess that, if you can kill people, rob airlines, sell drugs and make money from your story, it makes sense that you can turn your back on your country and do the same.

I wouldn’t mind Barr writing the book if he were doing it to explain his choices. After all, Benedict Arnold published an extensive letter after his defection, laying out his position and trying to attract Americans to his cause.

But Arnold did it out of ardor, not for money.

I kind of wonder if Bill Barr ever did anything out of ardor.


Keep reading, even if – especially if – you hate sports

As long as we’re comparing ardor and money, Jeff Danziger (WPWG) joins a chorus bemoaning the lockout that is keeping Major League Baseball from starting its new season.

It’s been awhile since I cared about baseball, though I followed it avidly as a kid, but what I like about Danziger’s take is that he lays out the issue — money — without a lot of self-pitying fooferall about the poor fans.

Here’s what it’s about: Money. Money for the team owners vs. money for the players, and I get particularly tired of people complaining about how much professional athletes get for “playing a game.”

Hey, when 20,000 people gather to watch you clean the fryer hoods at the burger joint, and TV networks dangle money for the rights to broadcast it, and you turn out to be one of the 100 best fryer-hood-cleaners in the world, we’ll talk.

I do think fast food workers deserve a fair share of owner profits. But I feel that way about athletes, too.


And actors.

Mila Kunis is joining her husband Ashton Kutcher in offering to match $3 million in aid to Ukraine, the country of her birth, and part of me is happy they’re doing it and part of me is wondering how in the world they can peel off that kind of money in any cause.

But then I think about how much money they have brought to TV and movie producers and it seems fair.

Not everybody stands on that level, either: The great majority of athletes wind up coaching high school sports or selling life insurance and most actors wind up in community productions of “I Do, I Do” for which they get a nice write-up in the local paper.

All the complaining brings to mind Lady Bracknell’s advice: “Do not speak ill of society, Algie. Only people who can’t get in do that.”

Which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(John Auchter)


(Brian McFadden)

Auchter brings up the old WWII squelch for complaining, “Don’t you know there’s a war on?”

For all the calls to stop importing Russian oil — which are bearing fruit as we speak — one of the reasons not to choke off that small percent of our energy dependence was that prices would go up, damaging morale.

Auchter’s cartoon asks how on Earth you can bitch about the cost of gassing up your $70,000 truck that gets 15 mpg, given what’s happening on the other side of the globe.

Which McFadden answers by pointing out all the other things that have shot up in price without attracting nearly as many complaints, at least from the people who publicize and expand on such things.

Right now, there’s about a 10 cent difference in gas prices between NH and Vermont, which I note because I cross the state line several times a day, and, as I look at the signs, I think that 10 cents is a lot.

Which it is. To refill my car in NH would save me a whopping 80 cents!


A Personal Note, and Warning

In discussing the racial aspects of how we view the war last week, I thought of my friend Esther Garvi, whose family has a foundation in Niger where they help local people escape the cycle of poverty by returning to native plants rather than relying on European cash-crops such as millet.


The planting and harvesting of crops like hanza allows families to feed themselves when European crops fail.


But I learned even more from our friendship, one of which was that not all camel-riding nomads are of Arab-looking North African appearance: There was an annual festival in Zinder, and the gaily festooned celebrants were definitely of Black African heritage.

I think I enjoyed her pictures and descriptions each year nearly as much as she enjoyed the party.


I also supported her efforts to build a school and library for the local kids, which required trips back to her native Europe to buy French-language curricula and children’s books.

Returning from one of those trips in 2015, Esther was killed in an automobile accident. She was 34.

This past week, I’ve discovered how many memories of her were on my Facebook page, which was shuttered over an error on their part, ignoring my proofs and appeals.

Fortunately, Esther left her own footprint, and we’d emailed a fair amount. I plan to download what I can, before she disappears entirely.

But much is already lost.

I suggest you examine your own situation, and soon.



2 thoughts on “CSotD: Profits and losses

  1. Thanks for the mention, Mike. And for sharing your friend’s story. It’s affirming to be reminded that such genuinely good people exist. It’s a tragedy she wasn’t with us longer.

  2. Thanks for the tribute to your friend. It reminds us how many good people do good things that the rest of us never hear about.

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