25 June 2024

Get Off My Lawn!

Two days from now, we'll have a lying contest in which one of the contestants has multiple felony convictions for not lying well enough…

  • It's not entirely my generation's fault that Thursday night will epitomize Hobson's Choice. Just mostly. Bluntly, it's my generation that is now (and has been this century) controlling the smoke-filled back rooms, at least to the extent that within each party no candidate viewed as actually dangerous or transformative has a chance of getting approved. And won't give up that control, or even effectively train successors. That's right: The party leaderships are selfish old sheep with all of the foresight of, well, sheep.

    The civil rights era became electorally possible due to an awful outside influence: The forced exposure to, and often demise in, the rest of the world of Establishment figures (or at least family members) in the Second Thirty Years' War. That forced the Establishment of the 50s and early 60s to share actual responsibility and power with the kids… who have refused to do so themselves. Combine that with medical advances enabling a greater proportion of us old farts to maintain visible activity levels, and the consequences are pretty dire and pretty obvious.

    My contempt for my "betters" in my generation (and the one preceding) comes from knowing too many of them… and hearing them express themselves in unguarded moments while thoroughly camouflaged. Sometimes not so camouflaged, either.

  • Criminal sentencing is hard. The offense is what gets the conviction in the first place; the sentence, however, is upon an individual. Since I wasn't in the courtroom, didn't hear the evidence, etc., etc., etc., I can't go too far in substituting my judgment for Judge Kendall's regarding business as usual in Chicago politics. (When the Trib implicitly criticizes seeming leniency regarding Illinois party Establishment — either party — you know things are really chaotic.) The fundamental problem is that the sentencing options available did not/do not include anything likely to be truly effective… which in the end would probably be worse. Although I really do think they should now (and should have a decade ago when the recordings became public) take away his law license.
  • Speaking of things that essentially reduce to "personal self-aggrandizement as an excuse for bad faith," consider the related problems of bad faith in trademark applications and enforcement and large-language-model shenanigans. Both concern disrespect for others' rights — sometimes through intentional ignorance, sometimes through intentional devaluation — implemented through bullying and exploitation of unequal original positions, through forgetting the word that comes before "self-interest" (and completely forgetting the context and intent of Adam Smith's works of moral philosophy that have been appropriated by those who largely haven't read them). Like bankers.
  • All of which pales compared to foolishness in the world's largest "democracy" that makes America First look benign. Over Here — despite the best efforts of various entitled bigots, such as the most-virulent antiimmigration activists (virtually none of whom have any native ancestry) — we've largely grown out of imprisoning those who question basic assumptions, at least in the last century, since rejecting sedition as a criminal offense. Oh, that pesky First Amendment hiding an anti-science agenda put forth by/in support of nonscientists
  • …leading directly into failure in the arts, like finding selling one's paintings truly challenging. Of course, the definition of "fail" matters an awful lot!