Hot Air

Music & Chemicals

I’m feeling fairly lazy this AM so I’m only going to point out a couple of things:

● 1) Acc’d’g to the music/snark website Death and Taxes as well as Forbes online, 2014 will be the first year since the designation was first announced that no album will be named a platinum record. The Recording Industry Association of America first designated gold records in 1958, signifying one million dollars in sales. By 1976, the RIAA had come up with the platinum record, meaning an artist had sold one million units of a particular recording. Eventually (1999), the RIAA started passing out diamond records for recording sales of 10 million. And you may not believe this but the RIAA now gives out separate gold and platinum records for ringtones based on hit songs.

Gold Record

The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” Gold Record

Anyway, pop music geeks are split over the reasons for this phenomenon. One group says, See? Music today is so horrible that business is falling off. The other group says, You’re nuts. It’s just that people are buying their music as singles online now so naturally album sales have fallen off.

I’m not being a curmudgeonly old bastard when I say pop music in 2014 is desperately, depressingly sucky. I mean, sure, we had the likes of the Starland Vocal Band (don’t click unless you want to kill yourself) and Tony Orlando and Dawn (if you click this, you should kill yourself) back when I was a teenager with a transistor radio surgically attached to my ear. Even so, we could still also listen to the likes of Stevie Wonder, the Isley Brothers, Paul Simon, and even a youngish David Bowie just to take our minds off the horrible sounds the former acts spit out. Today, though, teens listen to Justin Beiber and Nicki Minaj with no hope at all of hearing anything to counterbalance those screechings.

Minaj

Minaj Got A Platinum Record, Then Ebola Happened — Coincidence?

It’s no wonder, therefore, that many young kids now more than ever hark back to their Daddy-os’ and Mammas’ heyday and listen to Bob Dylan or Neil Young.

So, yeah, I’m a curmudgeonly old bastard, but simply telling it like it is about the abominably bad music of 2014 isn’t why.

[BTW: Michael Jackson's 1982 release, Thriller, is the top-selling album of all time. Acc'd'g to the RIAA it has sold 42.5 million units. In other words, it's now platinum 42 times over.]

● 2) Live better through chemistry. When I was a propagandist for Whole Foods Market back in the ‘Aughts, we liked to tell our customers, casually, that our foods and body products were chemical-free. We lied.

[And it wasn't the only time we lied: we sold scads of homeopathic "remedies," too.]

A Universe that’s chemical-free would be…, well, nothing. It wouldn’t exist. Similarly, a soup that’s chemical-free would be a bowl-ful of emptiness.

Empty Bowl

Chemical-free Soup

Chemicals was the dirtiest word in the food fetishist industry as recently as 10 years ago. Now it’s GMOs. BTW: Martha Crouch has sent me some new material on GMOs to study up on. I’ll let you know what I’ve learned here in this space sooner rather than later.

In the meantime, IFLS provides a nice primer on “Five Myths About Chemicals You Breathe, Eat and Drink.”

Chemicals

Click Image For Full Story

Okay, kids, that’s it for today. I’m going to lie down and take a 12-hour or so nap, then make a huge pot of chili. Autumn, no?

Peace.

Hot Air

We’re all gonna die!

Like the headline sez, but it ain’t gonna be ebola that gets us.

This is not West Africa. We’re turning ourselves inside out over the fact that one guy has died (and he was recently arrived from West Africa.) Now two other people have it.

The populace of this holy land is having conniption fits over this non-epidemic, thanks mainly to a corporate media whose most precious talent is the ability to scare the poo out of us. They’re doing so.

Anyway, let’s turn to a little science. Have you caught this piece in the Washington Post?

From WaPo

Click Image For Full Story

Each of the grid charts illustrates how a specific disease spreads and kills (if at all). Ebola may be a killer but it ain’t a spreader. At least not a fast one. It simply does not jump from body to body easily.

An alert medical system and educated populace can stem the disease relatively quickly.

So, no, Centers for Disease Control head Dr. Thomas Frieden does not need to resign, despite the demands he do so by that noted epidemiologist Bill O’Reilly and the learned experts at breitbart.com. See, Frieden does not think ebola is gonna kill us all, nor does he want to seal our borders against the even more terrifying and dangerous natives of Africa.

Almost as perilous is what fear of ebola is turning us into. Andy Borowitz of The New Yorker states the case clearly and firmly (satire alert, natch):

From The New Yorker

You Know The Drill — Click For Full Story

And, of course, since we live in a nation awash in grievances, some among us consider themselves victims even though they haven’t got a fever. For instance, I know a nurse who is loudly proclaiming on the interwebs that nurses, as always, take the blame for everything. She’s referring to suggestions that the nurse who caught ebola from the Liberian man in Dallas may have employed faulty personal protection practices while caring for him.

The idea being, she might have touched her eyelid or mouth with a contaminated glove finger, a simple mistake that any human can make. But, naturally, chronically aggrieved parties interpret any criticism as the moral equivalent of slavery.

Post

Nah, Don’t Click The Image

This is the first time I’ve ever heard that nurses are being blamed for anything. They, like teachers, are the Virgin Marys of our society, above reproach, free of sin, spotless vessels. Now, suddenly, they’re the fall guys for everything?

We Americans are weird.

Big City Blues

The Herald Times reports this morning (paywall) that Monroe County is going full steam ahead with plans for a 220-spot parking garage next to the Zietlow Justice Center and jail. Only “The full cost of the project is not known.” and “A construction date has not been set.”

So scotch the full and the steam. The ahead while you’re at it, too.

All I know is the county and the city had better get cracking on throwing up some parking garages quickly, what with hotels springing up everywhere near the formerly quaint Courthouse Square. Hell, no fewer than three developments are in the planning stages for the intersection of Lincoln and Kirkwood avenues alone. And another is planned for the bank property at Washington and Kirkwood.

Hong Kong

Bloomington’s Future?

It’ll be easier to catch ebola in Bloomington than find a parking space once all these structures go up. To steal and mangle a line from Jerry Seinfeld, They’re gonna be building hotels inside of hotels soon.

Anyway, here’s my suggestion. Let’s build a nice round number of parking facilities spaced out to ring the downtown area. Say six of them. The existing parking facilities — on 4th Street, on Walnut and 7th, and behind the Buskirk Chumley Theater will give us a total of nine. (Let’s leave the Monroe County Municipal Library lot for library patrons, shall we?) Eliminate street parking for a two or three block radius around the Square, maybe more. Contract with a private company to run regular trolley service between all the lots, the Courthouse, the Zietlow facility, the hotels, the library, the Buskirk Chumley, the Sample Gates, City Hall, and whatever other attractions and municipal service centers there are in the vicinity.

Trolley

Catch The Trolley

How do we pay for it all? Slap a room tax on all the new hotels going up. Add a food and beverage tax to all appropriate places within the service area. Hell, a five-dollar surcharge on a hotel room isn’t going to kill anybody. And adding 50 cents to a dollar to everybody’s grub and booze tab isn’t going to stop people from stuffing their faces and getting sloshed.

If Bloomington wants to pretend it’s a big city, it’s going to have to act like one.

The Haircuts Of Kim Jong-Un

As a public service, I’m providing a photographic timeline of the North Korean Dear Leader’s coifs. Historians and researchers will benefit greatly from this.

KJU 1

A Very Young KJU With His Daddy-o, KJI

KJU 2

KJU Adopts The Adolph Look

KJU 3

KJU Opts For The Collegiate Crew Cut

KJU 4

KJU Shaves The Sides

KJU 5

KJU Ditches The Part

KJU 6

KGU Sprouts Speed Racer Villain Horns

KJU 7

KJU’s Pompadour/Fade Begins To Attain Towering Heights

You’re welcome

Hot Air

Another Reason To Go On Living

Happy National Red Wine Day! [h/t to Jan Takehara.]

Coppola Rosso

My Personal Fave

BTW: Here’s a list of 10 Red Wines for Life’s Biggest Problems. And you thought there was no hope left.

Dismal

Perhaps the biggest deal in book publishing this year was the release of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century.

Being a study of economics, it normally wouldn’t have been read by any more than, oh, seven or eight people on the planet — that is, until Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman raved about it. Next thing you know, every liberal worth her or his Prius was dashing down to the bookstore to cop a copy.

Me? I haven’t read the thing. It’s economics, right? I’d rather sear the jelly in my eyeballs with a red hot ice pick than read an economics tome. Loyal Pencillista David Paglis once insisted I read a book by the conservative economist Friedrich Hayek. I tried — I swear — I tried. If I say I got through 50 pages I’ll burn in hell for crossing the 9th Commandment. Economics is not known as the Dismal Science for nothing. Besides, Hayek is a darling of Randists and free marketeers who worship elegant theory and formula and rarely, if ever, concern themselves with trivial things like the needs of human beings.

In any case, Piketty argues that the world’s dough is being hoarded by a tiny fraction of its population. Not only that, uber-rich folk are passing their cash down to their kids, thereby insuring that it won’t find its way into the hands of starving kids in west Africa and other unfortunates in the foreseeable future. Piketty also throws in piles of mathematical equations like r > g, which means…, um, hell, I have no goddamned idea what it means.

More important: I don’t care.

Anyway, we could hardly keep Capital… in stock at the Book Corner, so eager were customers to get their hands on it. My educated guess is not five percent of purchasers actually read the book. Like Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, it’s the bestseller that nobody read and now serves only as an interior design accoutrement.

Capital

Obviously A Staged Photo

Of course, that was then. We now are stuck with four big copies of Piketty’s 700-page epic. They are collecting dust some seven months after it was published.

Piketty’s ponderings, natch, generated about as much criticism as love. In fact, richer-than-god Bill Gates penned a review on his blog the other day. He says he agrees with much of P.’s argument. But, acc’d’g to Bill, wealth inequality is not necessarily the worst thing in the world. It’s a nuanced argument and worth a read, even if Gates does make mention of the dreaded r > g equation. Ugh.

Once you’re finished with that, scoot over to Al Jazeera America for a rebuttal. It’s all a rollicking good time.

Fitting brain candy, I might say, for such a gray day. Just hide the razor blades and don’t turn the oven gas on.

Logical Leaps

Speaking of wealth, Jimmy John Liautaud seems to be the poster boy for the evil rich these days on the interwebs. Folks probably are getting bored with hating on the Koch Bros. — even if they are among the most odious life forms in this solar system. Liautaud’s the boss over at Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC system of sandwich joints. His mug has been all over laptop screens of late for his co.’s ridiculous employee non-compete agreement as well as his propensity to blow the brains out of magnificent critters.

Jimmy John Safari

 

Jimmy John

Jimmy John

Jimmy John

 

Jimmy John And Some Formerly Living Creatures

Little known is the fact that Liautaud has been a big contributor to scary Maricopa County (Arizona) Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Phoenix New Times a few years ago ran a story about a questionably-legal soft money organization that bankrolled a mean-spirited and disingenuous ad campaign against a challenger to the popular-but-lunatic sheriff. Liautaud gave $10,000 to the org.

Funny, isn’t it, how you can make certain assumptions about folks based on just one of their actions? Like it makes tons o’sense that a guy who digs posing proudly with the corpses of elephants, elk, and tigers might be a financial backer of a law enforcement official who makes Charles Bronson in the Death Wish series look milquetoast-y.

Or that he’d try to screw over his own employees (not that non-compete agreements are worth the paper they’re printed on, but still….)

Or even that his products are to submarine sandwiches as Domino’s is to pizza.

 

Hot Air

Today

When I’m angry, I don’t post.

Hot Air

The Bloom Is Off The Foods Store?

Here’s some alleged inside dope about the air that Bloomingfoods workers breathe. I caution you to take it with a grain of salt. It’s one person’s observation. I’ll continue canvassing other insiders at the five-store co-op, some of whose employees are making union noises these days.

Bloomingfoods/Union

Acc’d’g to this B-foods employee — let’s call him Joe Doe — morale at the stores has been sinking for a good long time. There are several reasons for this:

  • Newer employees must obey the rules and do the dirty work while older, entrenched employees tend to take these things a bit less seriously
  • B-foods is bruised and bloodied, thanks to competition from the likes of Kroger which is now selling many of the same natural and certified organic products at better prices
  • Management seems slow to respond to the competition — B-foods’ merchandising, inventory, and retail strategies are the same ones the co-op has depended on since its inception 38 years ago
  • Those sweet employee benefits linked to here yesterday? They’re available to full-timers but — here’s the rub — try getting F-T hours

Again, this is one Bloomingfoods worker’s testimony. If there’s any truth to it, though, it would indicate the co-op just might be suffering through a mid-life crisis. Most companies go through it. Brilliant, ambitious, visionary entrepreneurs start businesses that take off like rockets. For years these operations are model wealth generators, their set-ups sleek and enviable. After a couple of decades of robust growth, the ideas that put these cos. ahead of the pack have been co-opted by everybody else in the industry. Those one-time visionaries eventually find themselves incapable or unwilling to adopt newer ideas in their fields. They’ve become hidebound and cocksure.

Hell, even Apple kicked Steve Jobs out the door at one point. Every company needs a shake-out at the top at some point in time.

Is this Bloomingfoods’ time?

Maybe, maybe not. Stayed tuned here for more testimony from insiders who may or may not buy into this theory.

Ebola Causes Insanity

And now a new flood of crazy has begun. This time the topic is ebola.

You had to figure that would happen, no? First, batshit paranoia emanated from the cakehole of that deep thinker, Phyllis Schlafly (who, unaccountably, is still alive and being interviewed). Schlafly sez Prez Obama, natch, not only is responsible for ebola coming into this holy land, he wants it here. The reason? So’s we can become just like the rest of the planet’s cool kids.

He wants us to be just like everybody else, and if Africa is suffering from Ebola, we ought to join the group and be suffering from it, too.

Schlafly

Schlafly

So says the woman whose greatest accomplishment in life was to lead the battle against the passage of an amendment to the US Constitution that would guarantee civil rights for half its citizens. Thanks, Phyll.

Anyway, pop star, noted domestic abuser, and serial violent tantrum-thrower Chris Brown has now weighed in on the greatest threat to America since the last one. He tweeted yesterday:

I don’t know … But I think this Ebola epidemic is a form of population control. … getting crazy bruh.

Brown

Brown

Laugh if you want, but his tweet contains an unassailable truth: he doesn’t know.

Whee, Me!

Scads o’thanks to writer David Brent Johnson and publisher Malcolm Abrams for the neat profile of this scribe in the October/November edition of Bloom magazine.

Johnson/Abrams

Johnson (L) & Abrams

Somehow, Johnson succeeded in catching the gist of The Pencil and me in only 400 words. That’s writing, babies. And Abrams had the good sense to recognize that the founder of this communications colossus must be immortalized in his mag.

Honestly, boys, I appreciate it. Now, let’s see some good Bloom ink translate into a gazillion page views here!

Hot Air

Grocery Grumbling

Wood czarina Nancy R. Hiller gets itchy just thinking about the whole Bloomingfoods/union contretemps going on.

Natch, which of us aren’t torn in this little tug of war? The majority of the citizenry of the People’s Republic of Bloomington are union partisans — yet everybody who’s anybody is hot for Bloomingfoods, the five-store co-op’s founders, its management, and its boardfolk.

Bloomingfoods Union Rally

Rally For B’foods Union Last week

In any case, Hiller got her hands on a list of benefits B’foods offers its galley slaves. The bennies look good, I’ll have to say. Shoot, they even offer free professional counseling which employees are eligible for the minute they start working. Dang, mang, I’d have saved tens of thousands of dollars in shrink fees had I worked for B-foods in my late 20s through early 40s.

Anyway, as soon as I get some free time, I’m going to grill some insiders about their grievances. A very friendly inside source has provided me a list of names and phone numbers of people who just may offer some insight into why at least some B-foods workers are ready to man the barricades.

Until then, read about Bloomingfoods’ employee benefits here, courtesy of our town’s most adept juggler of hammer and saw, the fab Ms. Hiller.

Boo!

The two most effective political messages in American history were Lyndon B. Johnson’s fabled mushroom cloud TV ad in 1964 and George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton spots.

Mushroom Cloud Ad

Don’t Get Burned By Goldwater

I was too young to remember the mushroom cloud commercial, being eight at the time, but I remember Willie Horton well — I was 32 in 1988. Willie Horton was almost perfect in its simplicity and impact. Lee Atwater and company concocted the archetypical bogeyman: a scary, grotesque, really dark-skinned black man, a rapist/murderer sprung from prison by a lily-livered, pointy-headed Democratic governor. And you wanted that milquetoast Dem to be your president?

Horton

The Face Of Fear

As Atwater, Bush’s storied political strategist, said early on, “By the time we’re finished, they’re going to wonder whether Willie Horton is Dukakis’ running mate.”

His strategy was no less craven than that of adman Tony Schwartz, who created the mushroom cloud commercial (which, BTW, ran only once.) But craven in politics and other public pastimes works. Barry Goldwater was effectively painted forever as a nuke-slinging madman, Mike Dukakis a patsy for criminals, welfare queens, and — worst of all — black people.

The secret to success in public discourse is to scare the bejesus out of people.

Just as soon as GHWB trounced Dukakis in the ’88 beauty contest, it struck me that what separated the Democrats from the Republicans was the latters’ gleeful willingness to scare the populace and the formers’ hesitancy to do so (at least in the years post-1964.)

I immediately thought of the environment — you know, the air we breathe and the water we drink? All the environmental movement needed to do was start making the citizenry of this holy land wet its pants about pollution and, next thing you’d know, we’d start doing a thing or two about it. After all, the Reagan Administration had been as careful a steward of the environment as an eight-year-old husbanding his bag of Halloween candy.

Cut to almost two decades later: Al Gore et al came out with An Inconvenient Truth. Wouldn’t you know it, that Oscar®-winning doc got millions of us shuddering over the possibility that the likes of New York City and Miami Beach might soon be under water.

Gore/Truth

The Documentary Film Spawned A Book

We on the crunchy end of the political spectrum finally had our Willie Horton.

Don’t get me wrong, I dug An Inconv. Truth the most. Still, as I watched the picture, I had the feeling that certain suppositions in it were less than sure-fire bets. Nevertheless, the scare job was for a good cause, not for painting an entire race of American citizens as murderers and rapists.

Now comes a think piece by Charles C. Mann in September’s The Atlantic mag. He posits that the environmental gang is overreaching with its oft-times overblown rhetoric. Mann is a science writer who penned, among other works, the highly-lauded 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus.

Mann feels the scare tactics of environmentalists are working against their own aims. He cites for support, for instance, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner, who insists that many climate worriers are apocalyptic fanatics:

A best-selling, telegenic public intellectual (a species that hardly exists in this country), Bruckner is mainly going after what he calls “ecologism,” of which McKibbenites are exemplars. At base, he says, ecologism seeks not to save nature but to purify humankind through self-flaggelating asceticism.

To Bruckner, ecologism is both ethnocentric and counterproductive.

McKibbenites, of course, are fans of high-profile ecologist Bill McKibben.

Mann is right about some of the overblown rhetoric: One anti-Keystone Pipeline activist says if the thing is built “civilization would be at risk.” Mann’s conclusion is such operatic verbiage marginalizes environmentalists.

Mann is wrong, though, about the scare tactics. He may know a lot about science — and Bruckner may know a lot about philosophy — but neither knows the American people.

Priorities

You had to know this would happen: many parents in Middlesex County, New Jersey, are far more teed off about the cancellation of the remainder of the Sayreville War Memorial High School football season than they are about the digital/anal raping/hazing ritual that caused the cancellation in the first place.

Just to keep you up to date, seven Sayreville HS football players have been arrested for their alleged near-daily hazing of team freshmen. Acc’d’g to the cops, the seven would trap freshmen in the locker room, turn out the lights, and proceed to digitally penetrate the poor kids’ anuses for fun and laughs.

Eek.

Number One

The Foam Finger Takes On A Whole New Meaning

Anyway, some student victims told their parents about the ritual and the parents called the police. Seems open and shut, no?

No. Because of the scandal, the school’s principal cancelled the rest of its football season. And many parents are steamed about having to face life without high school football.

Anally raping an adolescent is one thing, I suppose, but canceling a football season? Now that’s an outrage.

Football. America’s game.

 

Hot Air

An Advertiser Is Getting Itchy

A woman named Karen Ogden, who describes herself as “a part-time writer who works within a variety of communities as part of domestic violence outreach programs,” read one of my screeches about domestic violence and the National Football League. She sends in this communique about Verizon Wireless, one of the NFL’s big ad partners:

Hi,

I was checking out this page on your site: http://electronpencil.com/2014/09/10/hot-air-144/

Amid all the recent horrific domestic violence reports from the NFL, Verizon Wireless, one of the league’s biggest partners, has stepped up to reaffirm its stance on domestic violence: We must all band together to end domestic violence.

The company’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, made it clear in a recent editorial that the real issue at hand is not the image of Verizon or the NFL, but “the scourge of domestic violence itself.” He noted that it’s highly likely that you know someone who have been abused, physically or emotionally, by someone close to them. 

According to the Avon Foundation for Women, 60 percent of Americans know someone who has been abused while 22 percent of people are victims themselves. Those staggering statistics only further drive home McAdam’s main point: We need to talk about domestic violence, because that is the only way we can eliminate the culture of denial surrounding the topic.

To help accomplish this goal, Verizon launched a new public awareness campaign this past June called Voices Have Power. You can see it here:

http://www.voiceshavepower.com/

It is an online, social media platform that allows users to send messages of hope to victims of domestic violence. And for every message sent through the service, Verizon will donate $3 to domestic violence prevention organizations throughout the U.S. 

If you would like to participate in Voices Have Power, you can do so via text at 94079 or through social media using the hashtag #VoicesHavePower.

Voice Have Power is run through HopeLine (http://www.verizonwireless.com/aboutus/hopeline/index.html), a program started in 1995 to provide domestic violence organizations and shelters with recycled wireless phones and accessories. Victims then receive the refurbished phones with free minutes and texting plans. Since 2001, they have donated more than $21 million in cash grants and 180,000 cell phones. 

In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, can you help spread the word about the #VoicesHavePower fund raising campaign? Every message shared provides hope for victims and is $3 raised for domestic violence prevention.

Thank you so much!

Sincerely,

Karen

Generally, I don’t pay attention to companies trying to burnish their images through supposed community awareness programs but, oh, I dunno, maybe I’m feeling generous this AM.

Again I’ll remind you, if you hear what sounds like a violent domestic disturbance, drop a dime. If you’re wrong, so what? Also, if you know of somebody who slugs a lover, a wife, a daughter, or anybody of any sex just so he can get his way, shun the hell out of him. And don’t bug me with bushwa about how there are men out there who get beaten by their female partners. That’s misdirection, folks. Domestic violence is a guy thing. Guys have muscles; women are taught to blame themselves for “misunderstandings.” It’s a lousy equation that harms and even enslaves far too many females.

The Right To Be Wrong

Now comes news that one of those weird fundamentalist theme parks wants the Commonwealth of Kentucky to foot a multimillion-dollar chunk of the bill to operate its fabrication machine.

Yeah, some joint under construction called Ark Encounter and run by the Answers in Genesis cult wants KY to give it an $18 million tax break so it can spread its bizarre mythology. AiG also runs the Creation Museum, across the Ohio River from Cincinnati and, in general, tells the world that scientists are wrong and the Bible, word-for-word, is right. The whole shebang is overseen by a zealot named Ken Ham, which is ironic because of the biblical injunction against eating pork.

Ham

Ken Ham

Anyway, AiG somehow snookered Kentucky officials to approve a hefty tax break for them which, a cursory understanding of the US Constitution indicates, violates the Establishment Clause. Ark Encounter is under construction in Williamstown, near the Petersburg home of the Creation Museum.

As you can imagine, the tax break raised a frightful din among church/state separationists and civil liberties fans. Next thing you know, Kentucky officials withdrew their break. Now AiG is claiming it has a First Amendment right to the tax break. See, the outfit is only trying to exercise its free speech rights and the Commonwealth, by denying the tax break is crushing its voice. Like the Nazis did. And Stalin. And what the hell do you expect in a nation now run by a Nazi/Stalinist/Kenyan phony president?

Me? I don’t care what these religious fanatics believe. They have every right in the world to have faith that the sun will rise in the west tomorrow morning. But if they’re looking for any federal, state, or municipal dough to spread their speciousness, they’ll hear from me and a lot of others like me.

Enemies?

How does the above entry fit in with yesterday’s sermon here about how we all — Right and Left, Democrat and Republican, believer and non-believer — should stop seeing each other as mortal enemies out to destroy our beloved nation as well as civilization itself?

Hitler

Nowadays, Everybody Is Hitler

Pretty well, I’d say, with a bit of explanation. Neither President Barack Obama nor Governor Mike Pence are fascists intent on crushing all our hopes and dreams. Now, I disagree with pretty much everything Mike Pence stands for, sure. I wouldn’t vote for him if he were running against Justin Bieber (I just wouldn’t show up on election day — and, BTW, how prescient will I seem if and when JB ever runs for public office? You think it couldn’t happen? Are you new to America?)

Anyway, guys like Pence have what I consider to be a misguided faith in free market capitalism. The Invisible Hand makes about as much sense to me as an invisible father in the sky. Pence wants, I’m sure, all the homeless to have homes, all the uninsured to get medical care, and all god’s children to be able to vote. But only after those who have get even more — so much more that letting a little bit trickle down to the have-nots isn’t going to affect them one way or the other.

Funny thing is, Barack Obama’s worldview isn’t all that terribly far off from Pence’s. Yet too many in the Pence crowd still see Obama as the bastard child of Angela Davis and Fidel Castro. No matter, my non-vote for Pence and others like him does not infer that I view him and his gang as the spiritual brothers of Heinrich Himmler.

I merely disagree with them.

Now then, what about my snarky, disrespectful, insulting take on people like Ken Ham? Why won’t I embrace him and tell him he’s my brother? For the same reason I don’t embrace the guy walking the streets who, interspersed with random obscenities, is shouting about people following him and how all woman are whores. I may wish him well; I may hope his derangement is ameliorated one day. But I’m not going to say to him, “I respect your opinion, my good man.”

His opinion deserves no respect. Nor does Ken Ham’s.

 

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