05 November 2023

Ouruboros Link Sausage Platter

Because sometimes the link sausages turn around to bite their own… tails.

  • First up, a comment on judicial appointments, hiding inside sporting issues. Consider for the moment the not-only-possible-but-plausible-even-though-improbable possibility for this NFL season:

    • The San Francisco 49ers get back on track and win almost all of their remaining games, specifically including their remaining game against my hometown Seachickens. So do the Philadelphia Eagles… meaning that the 49ers are the second seed in the NFC playoff bracket.
    • Dah (Chicago) Bears scrape, bite, kick, and rely almost entirely on the ghost of their recently departed all-time great middle linebacker to a 9–8 record, winning the last game on a two-point conversion with no time remaining. Unfortunately, their high-draft-pick quarterback is injured on that last play… but it was enough to get Dah Bears the seventh seed in the NFC playoff bracket on the fifth tiebreaker with the Dallas Cowboys. (Yes, there are multiple, plausible-if-somewhat-improbable, sequences of results in the rest of the regular season leading to this.)

    So in this not-impossible scenario, the starting quarterbacks would be Mr Irrelevant 2022 — Brock Purdy of the 49ers, the very last player selected in the 2022 draft, from a university not known for producing "skill position" players — and Tyson Bagent, an undrafted free agent from a Division II school in West Virginia.

    What does this have to do with "judicial selection"? Ask yourself where we get our judges, particularly appellate judges… and analyze the analogy…

  • Or we could just worry about something else trivial. Like fixing the internet (which is not really about tech issues), rescuing it from decades of bad design choices — and bad attempted solutions. Most of which actually relate to "what's in it for me?" being the primary motivator for those actually making decisions… a substantial proportion of whom are entirely unknown to those either pointing out problems or charged with fixing things.
  • So, Governor InSantis, "liberal" soft-on-crime policies cause mass shootings? Well, liberal policies would have led to (a) better gun control and (b) better mental-health care for an individual whose behavior had raised questions about his mental state in those who knew him. Maybe what he really means — subconsciously, that is — is that conservative soft-on-white-collar-crime policies set the conditions that encourage the feelings of helplessness that trigger mass shootings, beginning with the refusal to teach that a smaller share of a much bigger pie is more pie per serving. Naaaah — that would require far too much self-awareness of the distinction between "sloganeering" (even before it becomes bigoted dog-whistling) and "real consequences to real policies and priorities."

    So, too, does the dissembling of retailers about retail theft, followed by locking up boxer shorts as "high-theft" items instead of, say, considering how many fell off the truck and how many were, well, shorted or spoiled from low-cost overseas manufacturers. Not to mention the effect on shareholder profits of excessive executive compensation just short of actual embezzlement… not just Over Here, either. Neither are we going to analyze the disproportionate gender, class, and race structure of the executive class (because that would, itself, turn around and take a nice chunk out of the first sausage on this platter — even more Over There than Over Here).

  • Which is slightly less disreputable — only slightly — than either a state governor personally attacking a journalist-immigrant who dares to engage in an actual, consistent-with-journalistic-principles inquiry regarding that governor's potential/actual conflicts of interest, right? At least InSantis (and retailer C-suites) aren't being overtly racist… On second thought, maybe resorting to dogwhistling and coded descriptors is really no less disreputable.

    Or it could just be reconsidering the status of the "Unification Church" in Japan (which won't happen over here, but should — and far from uniquely as to "commercial enterprises masquerading as religious organizations," even if one accepts that religious organizations should have tax-advantaged status because "free exercise" does not properly relate to cost-free… but "establishment" might).