CSotD: Grand Patriotic Round-up

A happy ending for this Stephen Collins cartoon: Liz Truss did indeed come up with a title, and, though her book hasn’t been published yet, she did get to speak to a half-empty room at CPAC, which seems like an unnecessary effort, since she could have stayed home in Britain and spoken before a group of people with no idea who she was.

The title she eventually came up with is “Ten Years to Save the West,” which reflects her experience in attempting to do it in 50 days, a magnificent reign that you may recall ended with a 1-nil loss to a head of lettuce.

It should not be confused with “Ten Days That Shook the World” which was John Reed’s account of the Russian Revolution in Petrograd, which also ended with the death of a monarch which also was not Liz Truss’s fault.

The Guardian has an account of her CPAC appearance, which is scathingly funny.

Her book is being published in this country by Regnery, which explains how she got invited to CPAC, given what else is on their list.

Juxtaposition of the Asked and Answered

Gary Markstein

Garth German

This should actually be “answered and asked” because German’s piece ran five years ago, and Markstein’s is brand new, but, then again, the problem isn’t.

Anti-vax people were around well before Trump began recommending bleach. The central studies their beliefs were built on were uncovered as completely fraudulent, with no apparent impact on their faith.

And here we are again.

As Ann Telnaes points out, Florida is in the midst of a totally unnecessary measles outbreak, due not simply to the number of anti-vaxers but also to the fact that Florida allows them to keep their children vulnerable, even having their state’s surgeon general tell parents of unvaccinated kids that they may continue to go to class despite federal advice against it.

At which point it’s important to point out that vaccines do a great job of preventing you from catching a disease, but they don’t make it impossible, so that a vaccinated child spending six hours a day in a petri dish full of fresh viruses may pick one up.

Which is a hard sell to people who think a bulletproof backpack will save anyone’s life if it’s hanging on a peg in the cubbies while the guy with the AK-15 is standing at the head of the class.

Risk assessment requires the use of logic, while fearmongering relies on its absence.

I have no answer, but if Florida starts talking about secession, let’s not try to talk them out of it.

Speaking of people who wouldn’t be missed if Florida seceded, Dear Leader continues his Freudian fixation on Mother Russia.

I often feature Clay Bennett (CTFP) here, but I’m not going to praise this one, because Trump isn’t the “burning his draft card” type. It’s an oddity of the 60s that some people defied the law by publicly refusing to be inducted while others exploited the law by finding ways around it.

One of the era’s puzzles is that everyone laughed over Arlo Guthrie’s anarchic tale of messing with the system in Alice’s Restaurant, but didn’t catch the contempt for apolitical cowards in Phil Ochs’ Draft Dodger Rag.

There were a lot of bizarre ideas for avoiding acceptance: I knew one fellow who tried to tattoo “F*** You, Sir” on the edge of his saluting hand.

Meanwhile, I don’t think many people objected when someone close to minimum weight fasted before his physical, unless he bragged about it.

You faced four choices once you got The Greeting: You could go, you could run, you could cheat or you could stand defiant. I knew guys in all four categories, but however much you think you know what you’re going to do, until you have that letter in your hand, you don’t know which group you’re gonna fall into.

Still, Phil Ochs was politically correct: The person who made up phony excuses was contemptible.

At least, the draft dodger used to be. Now he gets elected president by the sort of people who put on uniforms and parade down the street every November 11 and fly flags on their vehicles the other days of the year.

Benjamin Kikkert (Cartoon Movement) is Dutch, but this cartoon works whether you live in a state-controlled media world or not, because “state control” can be privatized, as we’re certainly seen in this nation.

We can start our adaptation by swapping out Putin for Trump, and then make the three media categories “Fox,” “Independent” and “Corporate,” that last being intent on providing both sides of every story in order to appear fair, and, as seen in the cartoon, seemingly concerned mostly with examining each other’s navels.

But, going back to Bennett, Trump isn’t defiantly burning his NATO card and standing up to the consequences. He’s weaseling out, letting others risk their lives instead, only instead of a phony letter from a doctor, he’s presenting a phony excuse from an accountant.

He is at best, Daniel Boris suggests, a squealer, letting his pals in Moscow know who he plans to defend and who they have permission to invade.

Like a lot of facts that come from Trump, the idea that NATO has “dues” is nonsense. However, there is an agreement to spend 2% of gross domestic product on defense, and not every member has reached that target.

As that article points out, several nations which border Russia have increased their defense spending because of the invasion, not because Trump had complained about it as president.

Credit either goes to Putin or to Biden, but not to the fellow who cheerfully turned over critical intelligence to Russia in the Oval Office, and stole boxes of the stuff for himself.

We don’t need to wait for a second invasion to test Trump’s loyalties. As Nicola Jennings points out, his transformation of the Republican Party into Grand Old Collaborators has already begun handing victories to the Russian army.

Nick Anderson provides a template for future Russian invasions, assuming Trump maintains his grip on the Republicans. Individual members claim to support Ukraine but the party, as a group, supports maintaining its power by feeding the Cult of Personality they’ve built.

Yeah, well, ambivalence is a bitch.

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