11 October 2023

Link Sausage Platter of Utter Despair

I have sympathy for all of the victims in the last few days in the Levant.1 Regardless of age, gender, faith, or any other tribalist bullshit.

  • A pox on the houses of all of the theocrats in Southwest Asia. Regardless of what "side" they're on, which religion they're espousing, which more-powerful nation-states they think they have in their corner. OK, maybe not a pox; from all appearances, they've already been self-medicating with mercury salts for decades, with all of the expected side effects. None of which is an excuse for targeting noncombatants — especially children — as a instrument of "statecraft."

    Neither a one-state or semi-two-state solution has worked, so maybe we need to go the opposite direction. I propose a zero-state solution: Theocracies are, almost paradigmatically, failed states in any event — and every "state" in the Levant is either an overt or covert theocracy.

  • Of course, mercury salts weren't cheap during their primary period of use (in Europe, from the early fifteenth century up through the mid-twentieth century). At least there wasn't any effect on credit scores, though. (We'll leave aside the racism in the history of credit scoring and that remains inherent in the choices of data streams and analyses. Yes, I am accusing American Big Finance of benefiting from and perpetuating racism and other bigotry.)
  • Of course, the Levant isn't the only place with horrible politicized violence of late.2 In a few minutes, it'll be day 596 of the Muscovite Soviet Russian invasion of Ukraine.
  • We don't even need to go overseas. We can just watch the Heffalumps "unify" (ha!) behind a candidate for Speaker. It's really appalling when the lesser of the evils is Steve "David-Duke-Without-the-Baggage" Scalise (one wonders if he now regrets saying that… foreshadowing of the next sausage). Things are no better in the Senate, where Tommy Teletubbyville (R-FundyCSA) has, through his oathbreaking (he doesn't understand that Art. VI cl. 3 applies to him — and that he's obligated to follow it regarding nominees) has ensured that by my count thirteen, and maybe more, critical offices related to US preparedness in the Levant, Niger, and Ukraine remain unfilled because he would impose his personal religious beliefs as a qualification for office.
  • And there's related cancel-culture news. Some CEOs demand that Harvard name students who were members of organizations that made ill-advised statements "in opposition to Israel" in the last few days. (Interesting how they waited until this was already in the news, isn't it?) Mr Ackman doesn't want students to "be able to hide behind a corporate shield when issuing statements" that he characterizes as supporting terrorism. <SARCASM> No, only CEOs have that privilege. One wonders whether any of Mr Ackman's investments — or the investments, and even direct activities, of other CEOs who agree with him — will have their value enhanced by continued and even increased armed conflict in the Levant. And, of course, none of those CEOs ever made statements while they were callow college kids that might be embarassing today, that involved approval of bullying. I suppose they'd prefer complete student apathy — which they'd then complain about and threaten the job prospects of students who refused to take any stand at all. </SARCASM>

    I want a list of all of those CEOs, and their companies and churches (and their little dogs too) who want to cancel the job prospects of those kids — so I never again buy their products/services, or the products/services of companies in which their hedge funds hold major positions. Guess I'm not going to dine/graze at Sweetgreen any time soon… bloody bigots.

  1. "Levant"? Why not "Israel" or "Palestine"? Because those are inaccurate labels imposed by bigoted upper-class twits in European foreign ministries over a century ago. They mislead, both as to those particular spots on the map and by blinding one to regional issues that cannot be ignored; the road to Damascus is well over 200km… "Levant" is the least-inflammatory label for the current focal point of the conflict that I can come up with that doesn't exclude other parties from their own roles in creating a 300km-diameter pool of petroleum byproducts just waiting for some asshole to show up with a match.

    "Next Year in Jerusalem" never contemplated either excluding others or statecraft. As it is, we've got a century and half of "statecraft" on display that's less competent than any aspect of Watergate.

  2. I'm no expert on West Africa and Niger, but I do have past professional connections. I'm… a bit apprehensive.