CSotD: Decisions, indecisions, non-decisions

Ted Rall (Counterpoint)’s cartoon sent me scurrying to find whatever blog/podcast/column went with it, because it made no sense to blame Millennials. Turns out he saw a Millennial tell a homeless person “I don’t carry cash” and he feels the cashless society is a government plot.

Well, possibly, but I don’t carry cash and I’m too old to be a Millennial. I don’t know if my kids or grandkids are government dupes, but they’re a mix of X’s and Millennials and Z’s. I doubt that whether or not you carry cash is a function of age, though I see a lot of old folks clinging to the stuff.

The other day, I mentioned giving money to a homeless guy, but I was on the road and I usually carry a little cash when I leave town. And I usually return with nearly all of it, except what I leave as tips for housekeepers and an occasional cabby.

I also question whether failure to reward panhandlers is equal to killing them, though it has crossed my mind that it must suck to depend on cash in a cashless society. But it’s also crossed my mind that it must suck to be drug-dependent or to be so mentally ill that you can’t hold down a job.

Fortunately, our community has a relatively robust food bank and homeless shelters, though we’re always scrambling to keep up with the issue. The grocery stores all have collection bins, our coop’s round-up program has collected $1.3 million for local charities and we’ve got an active gleaning program that captures overflow from groceries and from local farmers.

So, okay, I’m not handing out dollar bills on the street, but this feels like one more example of “If you’re not doing it my way, it doesn’t count.”

Juxtaposition of the Day

Baby Blues — AMS

Joel Pett — Tribune

As long as I’m bragging on the place, we’ve also got a solid waste setup that includes aggressive recycling, including of plastics, by which I mean plastic things go off somewhere and we get money and they don’t end up in our landfill. Ditto with glass, paper and cardboard, as well as clothing and one-use grocery bags.

Unfortunately, I don’t think we’re typical and I know we’re not perfect. Aside from the fact that the Plastic People make the stuff faster than anyone can collect and recycle it, there’s also an informational disconnect, for instance, in that many people don’t recognize the importance of keeping cardboard clean and dry.

I’d like to see more glass bottles and less plastic packaging, but in the meantime, the perfect is the enemy of the good and doing something is better than doing nothing.

So if kids like Zoe are going to nag their parents into being compliant, good for them. I’d suggest this is a place where young people who carry no cash can be effective lobbyists for more effective practices, even before they’re old enough to vote. Your city will listen.

I’m not as concerned with microplastics in my bloodstream because, to adapt an old limerick, if they found their way in, I say with a grin, they can find their way out of it, too.

Juxtaposition of the Day #2

Ben Jennings

Pat Hudson

Steve Breen

To be clear, those top two cartoons, mocking the uproar over the Princess of Wales’ disappearance, ran before she finally popped up with the bad news that Steve Breen marks.

All the speculation was absurd, as I said before, but what is really absurd now is the flood of columns in which wise people of decent upbringing lecture the peasantry on how horrible we were to wonder aloud and to turn the whole thing into “Qanon for Housewives.”

I was going to provide links, but there were five such stories in the NYTimes and three or four in Washpo and (A) I didn’t want to use up my freebies on this, because (B) they all said the same thing anyway.

Which makes me wonder where the hell they were at the time. I hadn’t heard of any brawls in the newsrooms of decent people demanding their indecent colleagues knock it off.

It’s sure easy to be righteous now that the Big C has reared its ugly head.

But as both a journalist and a cancer survivor, let me say that it’s about time we quit tiptoeing around it as if it were an STD.

It’s not all that long ago that people didn’t put cancer in obituaries, as if it were something to be ashamed of, and I guess it’s not surprising if the monarchy — an odd anachronism in a modern world — remains old fashioned. Apparently, the Queen Mum had cancer twice, the Duke of Windsor died of it and George VI, Elizabeth’s father, had lung cancer.

Buckingham Palace could have been a focal point for educating people about cancer, rather than a prissy place where such nasty things aren’t mentioned. But they’re still holding back on which cancers Charles and Catherine each have.

The point being that these people are paid to be public. As the catchphrase goes, “They’ve got one job.”

One of the things I like about Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce is that they are both extremely famous and so each of them is used to the scrutiny they’ve had to endure. But, besides the fact that they earned, not inherited, their fame, they had no preparation beyond the steady growth of the spotlight.

The Windsors have had generations to prepare for fame. The speculation, rumors and conspiracy theories are their fault for hiding the facts.

For $109 million a year, I’ll not only tell you what the doctors said, I’ll let you watch.

For $110 million, I’ll let everybody watch!

The People’s Juxtaposition

I promised yesterday that I’d address NBC’s hiring of former RNC head Ronna McDaniel once the cartoonists had weighed in, but they must have overslept and missed the bus, because pushback from NBC staffers and a flood of memes already caused the network to back off and explain that she won’t be on MSNBC after all, but only on NBC sometimes.

Thus addressing a vast controversy with a half-vast solution.

At least we got some good memes out of it:

Sorry, cartoonists: You snoozed, you losed.

13 thoughts on “CSotD: Decisions, indecisions, non-decisions

  1. When I carried cash, I couldn’t afford to give it away (and I was only asked for money when walking around in Chicago, which, as the comic conventions left the downtown area for the suburbs, was back in the ’70s). Now that I could afford it, I never carry cash EXCEPT on trips to Chicago (and panhandlers don’t hang around in Rosemont).

    That’s terrific news about Ronna McDaniel getting anywhere close to MSNBC since I watch that channel and never watch news on NBC, where I doubt her tenure will be long. Now if they could dump the pencil-necked guy with the close-cropped hair who began appearing this month whenever they discuss primary results who is listed as an MSNBC political consultant who has nothing positive to say about any Democrats (I’ve forgotten his name but his first and last names are one syllable each), whom I already hit the mute button for whenever he airs his jaundiced views. Not since CNN hired Rick Santorum after he washed out of the senate and as a presidential hopeful (then was fired just as quickly for disparaging Native Americans) has someone been so obviously on the wrong channel–and if they think it’s helpful to have someone parroting right-wing talking points on a left-wing channel (where the hosts either need to ignore or argue with everything he says whenever he opens his mouth), they’re wrong. I stopped watching CNN around the time Santorum was hired because I never enjoyed “Point/Counterpoint.” MSNBC already has Nicolle Wallace, Michael Steele, Charlie Sykes and Tim Miller representing the ex- and recovering Republican side just fine; they don’t need any further election deniers added to the mix to get a “balanced” narrative.

  2. I think I’m going to go back to using cash. I’m tired of being hit up for tips in places where tips were never expected before. There is now a sense of guilt for hitting the “no tip” button. There is a small bakery near us where the counter person simply picks my order from the items in front of me, puts it into a bag, and hands it to the cashier who rings up the sale. Is their 15 seconds of work really deserving of a tip? With a card, you get the ubiquitous 15%, 18%, 20%, 25% screen. Sometimes I just buy a chocolate chip cookie for $2.35. The the tip screen says $1, or $2. Geeze, come on !At least with cash, I never felt guilty if I didn’t throw my change into the tip jar.

    1. The bigger problem is that many businesses are using the “add tip” as an excuse to not give their employees decent pay, shifting the burden onto the consumer.

  3. Rall looks at a homeless person: “The young folks who don’t carry cash are an outrage!”

    Any decent human being: “Maybe the real outrage is that people are homeless in the first place.”

  4. Where I live (Toronto) the city has removed two of four lanes on a main arterial road to put in bicycle lanes. San Francisco destroyed its downtown commerce by putting bike lanes in the centre. Our Council has them on the right side(s) with no allowance for parking, let alone turns onto side streets, and nowhere for the Wheel-Trans vehicles to stop for passengers on or off. Businesses are hurting badly, an no one is using the bike lanes. All of this is done to “save the environment”. Is anyone counting the fuel lost to idling, waiting for traffic to move, or for a line of cars stuck behind anyone making a left turn ? Is anyone counting the increased side street (residential) traffic as impatient drivers desperately try to get from A to B unencumbered? How about fire truck, ambulance and police car access?

    Yet we continue to order from Amazon for immediate delivery, and DoorDash, Skip The Dishes et al, for food. All of which require vast amounts of fuel to power trucks on highways and residential streets, because we are too impatient to wait, for anything.

    Our recycling program (as, I suspect, most of them) is an unaccountable extra cost “to save the environment”. Yet we never get any statistics on tonnage, profit to the city, etc. Why is that?

    Last time I checked, we still need steel, aluminum, copper, glass, and plastic/vinyl to create EVs, which now come with thousands of pounds of batteries, which require rare earth to produce and cannot be recycled. When damaged, they burn and produce an exothermic reaction, which renders that battery an explosive device. At least we know how to put out gasoline fires – but water, C02, and all other known methods don’t work on Lithium Ion batteries, – and even when no longer burning, can restart spontaneously . But we’re “saving the environment”, and “going green”.

    I haven’t carried cash or coin for at least a decade (I’m 67 years of age), and have nothing to give to a beggar on the street.

  5. I always have some cash on hand. Power goes out, networks go down–card readers are not infallible.
    I live in an earthquake zone and am surprised how rarely emergency-preparedness information includes “stash a bit of cash”

  6. Ted Rall’s entire philosophy is “If you’re not doing it my way, it doesn’t count.”

    That and getting his rubles for his work for Sputnik.

  7. Years ago, I used to read T. Rall’s comics, but I find that usually he misses most of the important points in his topic and often misses the true target entirely.

    I don’t carry much cash. I’m not paranoid; many financial experts agree with our caution. I wouldn’t want the credit card companies or banksters tracking and charging me for every purchase.

    Mike wrote: ‘I’d like to see more glass bottles and less plastic packaging,’ I agree. Glass is very recyclable. Most plastics are not. Crushed glass works great in many building materials like cement and concrete, etc. thereby using no additional fuel to melt it.

    It is a positive that the princess has added to the public awareness of the importance of cancer diagnosis and treatment. However, I will never understand why people here in america make the british royal family a fetish. They are just incredibly wealthy pop-culture figureheads.

    Ronna Romney McDaniel on NBC is just another clown in the clown car. And, Mike got it right: ‘Thus addressing a vast controversy with a half-vast solution.’ So much in society is half-vast!

    Tara Gallagher mentions emergency preparation should include “stash a bit of cash”. Didn’t Fani Willis’ father mention the prudent habit of many Black people having cash on hand?

    1. “However, I will never understand why people here in america make the british royal family a fetish. They are just incredibly wealthy pop-culture figureheads.”

      So, like the Kardashians then. I think you answered your own question.

  8. My town and county doesn’t recycle glass as it costs too much to send a truck 600 miles round trip. Yes, no local glass recycling. At one time a civic group paid for this trip, but when they folded, so did our glass recycling. At one time, in certain areas in the eastern USA, cardboard recycling would pay for recycling of other items, I suspect corrugated cardboard is still king (but not pasteboard). I won’t even mention the problems of recycling plastics …

  9. Rich Furman wrote: ‘So, like the Kardashians then. I think you answered your own question.’
    I reply: You’re right, like the Kardashians. But, I guess that in this country wealthy pop-culture figureheads are almost worship figures. Are most people so shallow that is the most important thing in their lives? (should that be a rhetorical question?) I can’t relate to that.

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