CSotD: Elsewhere in the news

It’s important not to downplay the significance of the Fox/Dominion dustup, because the responsible flow of trustworthy information matters to a democracy and, as discussed, we haven’t solved the problem here.

But there are other things going on in the world and Brandan Reynolds’ cartoon highlights something very major. Africa is in turmoil, and, as he notes, seeking a better, safer life is not so easy.

He simplifies things a little in that El Shabaab is not the only player in the bloody chaos of East Africa and I’m not sure that Boko Haram is particularly confined to the west. And he does well to downgrade his own South Africa and surrounding nations as inhospitable to outsiders.

But it’s that northern escape route that is most troubling in a global sense, because the idea that Europe offers the most promising shelter from the storm is only slightly the best of a dubious lot. Not only do the Europeans not want migrants but getting there involves deadly risks.

It makes our own migrant crisis seem mild by contrast, or, at least, it would if we bothered to understand what’s going on there and made an equal attempt to understand what’s going on here.

And if frogs had wings, they wouldn’t keep bumping their asses on the ground. The migrant crisis, there and here, is caused by a refusal to look beyond our own lives into the lives of other countries, other cultures and other people.

There’s little news in that.

Not only have Americans turned a blind eye to our neighbors to the south, but the past few days, as Gary Markstein (Creators) notes, have seen us become hostile to our actual neighbors, the people who genuinely, not metaphorically, live next door, or at least in our own neighborhood.

A young man knocking on the wrong door. A group of kids driving up the wrong driveway. A young girl accidentally starting to get into the wrong car.

We’ve always had grumpy, unfriendly neighbors. Every kid has known the yard you dared not let your ball go into, the house you didn’t bother to go to when you were selling candy to support your school project, the crank who would call the police if you were too loud playing in the street outside.

But Joe Heller’s dark take covers a genuinely disturbing trend: These isolated, hostile recluses were just that: Isolated. They didn’t live in a culture that encouraged them to feel that their dislike of others was part of a righteous victimhood and that legitimatized and amplified their sociopathic lack of social skills.

We sure as hell didn’t suggest they arm themselves and we didn’t pass “Stand Your Ground” laws that encouraged gunplay in our streets.

If you want to Make America Great Again, start by disarming the crazies and quit drumming up the hostile, divisive lunacy that motivates and enables them.

Speaking of making America great again, Jen Sorensen mourns the days when the economy was such that average people were able to live pleasant, productive lives, and, to start with, her asterisk is well placed, because the average person was a myth, the middle class being a closed society.

We didn’t have a migrant issue because the American Dream wasn’t even admitting the minorities who already lived here.

And there’s more to quibble over. I have known plenty of snowbirds who own a second home, but it’s not actually on the beach. If you can see the surf from your porch, you’re more than middle class.

And she’s right that voluntary poverty was an option for starving artists, but go back to that asterisk, because, for plenty of others — even white folks — poverty was mandatory.

Still, we once had companies owned by actual people rather than heavily leveraged holding companies, and today “Shop Local” is nearly meaningless: Nearly all our stores and restaurants are corporate entities, as are the manufacturing plants, banks and other businesses on Main Street.

Business owners are no longer individuals who want to build a company but, rather, corporations assembling a portfolio, and in the past half-century, the gap between the pay of average workers and the compensation of CEOs has lept from 20 times to 399 times.

And to the extent there was loyalty to employees then, it’s gone now, even at Disney, where layoffs are looming:

If that’s the Happiest Place In the World, imagine what everyone else is going through.

Maybe it’s better to be operating a ride at the parks, but that most likely requires a roommate and perhaps a second job.

Speaking of job security, Robert Ariail (AMS) suggests that Clarence Thomas has something in common with Abe Fortas, another Supreme Court Justice.

But Fortas resigned after taking a $20,000 retainer for unspecified advice, despite having returned it after being criticized for the ethical breach. Ariail shows Thomas with a troubled expression, but I have my doubts.

Shame is so last century, don’t you know?

Juxtaposition of the Day

And we’re still sorting through the intelligence leak, with what we should know too often trailing behind the commentary.

It’s important that Rogers is closer than Britt in this case, though at least Britt has broken out of the initial take in which small children were hacking the Pentagon’s system. He’s right that it’s teenagers and young adult gamers who were passing this stuff around.

However, it’s critical to be aware that they weren’t pulling it off secure government servers. The accused leaker, as Rogers depicts it, was sharing material he had obtained at his Air Force job through his own security clearance.

As noted the other day, there may be reasons that this particular airman should not have had that clearance, but the military reflects the general population, and, well, look around you.

Perhaps we need some digital equivalent of the clear plastic purses some women in retail are required to use, because he shouldn’t have been able to get the files out of the building. But start with the fact that he was in the system, not hacking it from outside.

Finally, a smile among the shattered ruins of our civilization, as seen in Clay Bennett (CTFP)’s analysis of the Bud Light (alleged) boycott.

I was telling someone about the destructive jerk hurling beer around a Wal-Mart apparently because Bud had marketed the beer to a trans star and it threatened his manly manhood.

The response was the puzzled observation that manly men don’t drink light beer.

Well, no. But manliness is one of those things where, if you need to proclaim it, you ain’t got it.

3 thoughts on “CSotD: Elsewhere in the news

  1. “If you can see the surf from your porch, you’re more than middle class.”
    Here in Florida, you’re in danger, too. IMHO, not real smart, either.

  2. In South Africa we also have a migration problem so the US and Europe is not unique. Perhaps 5m Zimbabweans here, many Nigerians involved in crime, though not universally. The one I know does money lending. You do not mess with him, North Arabs and Syrians (usually barbers or bakers), Pakistanis (cell phone shops), Malawians (hard workers, labourers, speak decent english),

Comments are closed.