18 February 2020

Hair Today, Commuted Tomorrow

Today's link sausages are guaranteed to have hair counts exceeding USDA standards. Which sort of makes one wish that "shaved ham" at the deli counter had instead had a Brazilian wax job.

  • In news that should shock absolutely no one, the thing on Drumpf's head has commuted the sentence of the thing on Blago's head (and, incidentally, Blago himself) for attempting to sell a seat in the US Senate to the highest bidder. Bugger off to all four of them: The things on the respective heads, and the owners of the heads. That it was Obama's US Senate seat just made it inevitable, given Drumpf's continued attempts to smear anything connected to Obama… and Obama's refusal to completely submerge himself to the then-Party leadership, which included Blago. It's "f*cking gold" indeed.

    Other exercises of the Presidential clemency and pardon power are equally disturbing. The thing to remember about many of these miscreants is that they pleaded guilty while still retaining high-powered, expensive private defense counsel. That's ordinarily a sign of one, or perhaps both, of two things: That they really are substantively guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and know it; and/or that a few years at Club Fed is likely to be less harmful than what is expected to happen when they turn on others who are part of their social circle/scheme. That goes especially for Milken (who continues to think he did nothing wrong, distinguishing that from unlawful… without a law degree, or even an undergraduate education that would have supported that fine degree of distinction in highly technical matters), Blago, and deBartolo.

  • Which leads to a very disturbing potential for nine months from now:

    • On one line of the ballot, we could have a socialist democrat, who is actually somewhat, but not excessively, to the right of how that term is understood in Europe by those who actually developed the term, and who is not actually a member of the Democratic Party (being formally an "independent" who caususes with the Democrats);
    • And on another line of the ballot, we will have a sociopath Republican — which, on the evidence of elected officials' voting patterns, is their default — who spent much of his adult life as anything but a member in good standing of the Republican Party.
  • Both of the preceding link sausages are less disturbing than Mark I of Facebookia functionally declaring that he has sovereign immunity from EU regulation. It's not much of a surprise after revelations concerning FAANG and his prior attempt to develop the ultimate mark of sovereignty — his own currency.
  • Decades too late, the AmerikanischerhitlerjugendBoy Scouts of America declares bankruptcy. Or maybe I should just call them Всесою́зная пионе́рская организа́ция и́мени Дж. Бёрч, because that's exactly the role that misbegotten antisemitic-and-variously-else-bigoted organization played during the depths of the Cold War… and has barely moved away from since. Needless to say, the organization's (literally) holier-than-thou leadership is virtually all voting for the second ballot option described a couple links earlier on this platter. Good riddance. (We'll leave aside for the nonce the defective, and sometimes downright dangerous, "wilderness survival" skills purportedly taught there — which curiously omitted desert environments despite the deserts of the American West, and for that matter of Alaska.)
  • More good riddance to the parasitism of American real estate agents, who continue to be the largest unconscious element reinforcing old-school redlining. (Insurers do it consciously; that's a screed for another time and a few hundred footnotes.) This will be a while coming… and there will certainly be problems and issues with the replacements, such as estimated rentals that are almost always between 25% and 35% over both the actual neighborhood market for noncommercial rentals, and their own forms of discrimination. But there might be less of a problem with Renting-or-Buying-While-Black/Asian/Hispanic/Nonchristian… which I've observed many times over the years, including less than two years ago with an oligopolist in a college town.

    Which matches up all too well with a cultural variant on "location, location, location" as essential. It isn't really even a nice place to visit… at least, not unless you know someone there who can steer you away from certain mistakes (like believing that MOMA is actually a representative collection of great works).

  • But at least some men know their place behind women in the meritocracy of sport. The last time that the U.S. Men's National Team made the semifinals at the World Cup or Olympic Games was before any member of the first U.S. Women's World Cup champions had been born… and almost certainly before any of the parents of the current U.S. Women's World Cup champions had been born. That says just a little bit about the order of merit, since pay is supposed to be equal for equal work, doesn't it?