CSotD: On Further Review …

A day for catching up on various things, and we’ll start with today’s Zits (KFS), in which it turns out Jeremy’s podcast was everything I thought it would be and less.

I have no idea how much pain is yet to come, because some threads become part of the strip and others drop and disappear, but this story arc helps confirm my earlier hopes that senior year is going to be a palate cleanser and worth following.


Juxtaposition of the Day #1

(Joe Heller)


(Steve Breen — Creators)

The rollout of electric vehicles is a continuing story, and Heller’s cartoon appeared before, as Breen notes, California announced the end of sales of gas-powered cars in 13 years.

Not to nitpick Heller, but he did bring up the topic of the development of cars. I already knew you didn’t always need a license to drive, and that, in Prohibition days, the lack of VINs meant rum runners being pursued could just ditch their cars — which were sometimes stolen — and the cops couldn’t prove who owned what. So I looked it up and it turns out car keys are a whole lot more recent than seen here.

The relevance of this is in Breen’s cartoon, because, while a changeover at this point would be impractical to the point of chaos, a lot can happen in 13 years, in terms of the automobile’s capabilities, the emergence of charging stations and PG&E getting its act together. Having a major market like California applying pressure can only accelerate the process.

My grandfather, who was born in 1893, told me about the first automobile in Ironwood, Michigan, which belonged to the rich folks on the hill. They’d drive down into town on Sunday, tool around for awhile, then hire a horse to pull it back up that hill, since it couldn’t get up there on its own. (This, by the way, is a clue to the term “Sunday driver,” which was the equivalent of “newbies” in computer world: Those who understood the emerging technology had little patience with those who did not.)

But automakers began promoting cross-country trips and races like the Indianapolis 500 (1911) to convince people that cars were practical, and, by 1925, my mother’s family could move from Chicago to California by car. It was still an adventure, but the technology had advanced to the point where you didn’t need to be a mechanic to pull it off.

We’ll still need gas stations for some time, but only for po’ folk like me, if I’m still around and the kids still let me drive at 85.

(The age, not the speed. God forbid probably either.)


Juxtaposition of the Day #2

(Jimmy Margulies — KFS)


(Kirk Walters — KFS)

(Frank Mariani)

The Class Warfare take on student loan forgiveness continues, and I’d be inclined to argue more if I didn’t choose, instead, to see it as a confession that only working stiffs pay taxes and so of course the cost of anything the government does falls upon their shoulders.

I’m pretty sure that’s not the intention, but it fits the Leona Helmsley Conservative School of Economics: “We don’t pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes.”

She was in good company. Helmsley was convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to 16 years, but only had to serve 21 months, since jail is also only for the little people.

The attorney who got her sentenced reduced was Alan Dershowitz, whose legal fees aren’t for little people, either.

In any case, Mariani is closer to reality than Margulies, because dropping 10 or even 20 grand from the cost of four years at a filet-mignon-champagne college is a drop in the bucket, and, as Mariani suggests, even being freed entirely from your college loan isn’t going to put you on high street, unless you’re already there.

For instance, Laura Ingraham makes more that $125,000 a year, so she’s not eligible for the program, but that’s okay because she let her mother wait tables until the 73-year-old lady — one of those little people, I guess — had paid back Dartmouth and UVA Law School.

Kirk Walters, meanwhile, ignores both the fact that the government, and occasionally the courts, had already eliminated student loans from a lot of fraudulent schools, and the fact that the current forgiveness does not apply to new students.

All this fat-cattery reminds me of an absentee landlord who stole our damage deposit, claiming he’d spent it all on the clean-up crew. We’d left the place better than we found it, but he said, “Do you know what help costs these days?” to which I responded, “I’ve been the help. I know what you sons of bitches pay” and hung up.

Which was satisfying but didn’t get my money back. Soon thereafter, new laws required landlords to itemize and document deductions, and, while it didn’t help me, I don’t resent the fact that it helped others.


I mention that because Clay Jones’ take on it made me laugh, and I’m entitled to: About seven years ago, I was given six months without treatment, so I had one round of chemo that permanently trashed my kidneys, and then, chemo having failed, I underwent 12 hours of surgery instead.

If they could prevent cancer with a pill or a shot, I’d be not only okay with that but happy for others, because I’m not an @*******.

But, hey, you be you.


Juxtaposition of the Day #3

(Bob Gorrell — Creators)


(John Darkow)

(Ann Telnaes)

To be fair, Gorrell and Darkow dropped their variations as predictions, while Telnaes waited to weave the released affidavit into her commentary.

Gorrell was acting in his established role of Trump Defender, which necessitates attacking the FBI and DOJ as traitors because obviously somebody is, while Darkow mirrors my expectations entirely, and I’d say he and I scored well on the outcome, though it wasn’t much worse than I expected.


Prior to the release, Lisa Benson (Counterpoint) railed against leaks, but I didn’t see leaks so much as good analysis of the previously released warrant and of the material returned before the search.

As a result, I found little new in the affidavit, which, IMHO, makes Telnaes’ analysis more of a wish than a prediction.

Not a bad wish, mind you.


And Leona Helmsley’s lawyer won’t help him.

Here’s how it works for the little people:


6 thoughts on “CSotD: On Further Review …

  1. I think Frank Mariani emphasizes the vast opportunities Joe Biden has produced for America.
    Now vast numbers of educated Americans can stop designing their lives around loan repayment rather than career improvement.

  2. What good students need are good careers to pay their bills. And better financial advisers.

  3. Back in the early 80s, I was a reporter for a radio station in Duluth, Minnesota.
    A friend in the federal courts told me of a sudden burst of bankruptcy court filings related to student loans.
    I found filings from several prominent lawyers and medical people.
    We did

  4. Sorry.
    We did a couple stories about graduate school debt, but there was no outrage about wealthy people getting their school debts extinguished through bankruptcy (or the negotiating process where the lender took what they could get rather than run up their own legal bills).
    I wonder how many of those applicants are now complaining about Biden’s action.

  5. About PG&E getting its act together.

    “The utility believes it will find ways to keep the final bill at the lower end of those estimates.”

    I have no doubt whatsoever that the final COST to PG&E will be at the lower end.

    I also have no doubt that the final BILL will be above the higher end.

    PG&E needs to be executed by being dismembered. Maybe an electric saw…

  6. Doug, do you remember what the NYS Regents Scholarship paid in our day? My recollection was that it was tuition, but not books or room and board, but it was why so many of our classmates stayed home. Those days, alas, are well gone.

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