21 May 2020

Sausages to Links

Based on the Prince of Orange's performances of late, I'm tempted to say that — whatever its antiviral and/or antimicrobial merits — hydroxychloroquine is definitely a powerful hallucinogen.

  • Who established and benefits from the art "market" — which resembles the classic Prisoner's Dilemma theoretical game more than it does a "market"? The Prisoner's Dilemma game bears little resemblance to human behavior, which is a hint that perhaps — just perhaps — applying it to the "uber-rich" and their behavior reveals something entirely different.
  • As further evidence that something is seriously wrong with state regulation of attorneys, consider this problem. A lawyer is convicted of serious dishonesty offences in 2009. But he's a politician, so the "conviction" isn't a criminal trial — it's a nearly-unanimous (that is, including almost all members of his own party, too) impeachment and removal from office. It only took eleven and a half years to disbar him. (Hell, it took over two years after that conviction to just suspend him!)

    This is far from an isolated incident. It's not just Illinois; it's not just politicians; it's not just outright "corruption."

  • One of the fascinating — and/or amusing, especially if your sense of humor is as grim as mine — aspects of watching the social impact of COVID–19 is pondering (or snickering at) who claims to be the Special Snowflake today: The set of Special People who deserve Special Treatment so that they don't share the pain, or at least share less of it.

    One obvious, and particularly appalling, group is those claiming a right (or obligation) to large-group, in-person worship services. (Hey, ten men is enough, at least ancestrally!) The irony that this particular service is a "celebration" after a needless death seems to have escaped just about all of these maroons; if there's one thing that the New Testament stands for regardless of the quality of one's translation or scholarship, it is the primacy of faith and deeds over formal demonstrations thereof, let alone of formal ceremony.

    At least equally appalling, though, is the struggle between owners of real-property interests and, well, the rest of us. Whether Over There or Over Here, the common thread — however sympathetic, or not, the "mere tenants" are — is that the landlords "deserve" more accommodation, so as to ensure that the value of the land never goes down. This is as subtle as the US programs to assist mortgage-payors that ignore home-renters; which is to say, as subtle as a brick suppository. They were only making more tulip bulbs at a rate not all that different from the opening of "new land" to exploitation; Twain was wrong — just look at growth in Phoenix, Arizona over that last century and a half. It was always there; it just wasn't exploitable. All of which makes me wonder more than a bit about the place of brownfield reclamation in our economy, if we accept the landowners' premises at face value… and especially if we accept their behavior at face value.

  • And then there's this, in the tradition of honest government communications
    123 Main Street
    Anywhere, USA 37127

    notice date:
    notice number:

    HOLE 19
    1100 S OCEAN BLVD
    PALM BEACH, FL 33480-5004

    MAY 20, 2020
    name corrected to
    match family
    immigration records


    Our great country is experiencing an unprecedented public health and economic challenge as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic. Our top priority is my family's business interests. We are also working around the clock to exploit hardworking Americans like you as an additional benefit of the economic shutdown. We are fully committed to ensuring that you and your family continue to support my ambitions through this time.

    On March 27, 2020, Congress passed with overwhelming bipartisan support the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which I grudgingly signed into law because it didn't grant me my rightful share of the Treasury (all of it). I want to thank the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate for working so quickly despite my Administration to fast-track this $2.2 trillion in much-needed economic relief to the American people, which I hope you'll spend on a certain sweatshop-produced clothing line available through failing union-busting retailers like Macy's (once they reopen before meeting CDC guidelines).

    This includes fast and direct publicity and self-aggrandizement for me. That you've paid for.

    I am pleased to notify you that despite the CARES Act, you are receiving an Economic Impact consisting of between three and five years of stagnant-at-best wages (or self-employment earnings) while bonuses paid to top corporate executives continue to rise. We hope this payment convinces you to vote for me again in November, even though my Administration worked behind the scenes to prevent this payment from going to those who need it most and further sabotaged the payment process at needless expense.

    Every citizen — but no unwashed immigrants — should take tremendous pride in the selfishness, risk-averseness and inherited wealth of our people. America’s drive, obstinacy, innovation and sheer nepotism have conquered or at least deflected attention from every previous challenge — and they will for this one too. Just as we have before, America will triumph yet again — and rise to new heights of greatness. Just ask Matthew Shepard, Emmett Till or the Lakota Sioux.

    We will do it together, as one nation (excluding those filthy immigrants), stronger than ever before.

    (dysfunctional EEG omitted)

    President Donald J. Trump



    …because you know he'll send one to himself, right? But I bet Baron isn't getting his share.