I never thought much of President Joe. His virtues swelled to eclipse level only when compared to the alternative. Thus far, his administration has been off to a running-through-Jello start. He’s calmed allies and dealt with the pandemic crisis. Those were known tasks when he took the gig and he came equipped with thorough contingency plans for attacking each issue. And he is a long-time bloviator when it comes to getting out of Afghanistan. If there was a plan for that, that plan looks bad. I’m glad President Joe took the blame for utterly miscalculating how crappy this Afghanistan exit has become… sort of. An echo chamber of leftist media is now in full motion attempting to diffuse this stink bomb, with thought-leader The Atlantic offering this smoke cloud:
“In the meantime, American citizens will separate into their usual camps and identify all of the obvious causes and culprits except for one: themselves.”
To quote President Tricky Dick, allow me to make this perfectly clear: I had absolutely nothing to do with the disaster in Afghanistan. NOTHING, as in Not A Thing. Nor probably did you. Nor is it evidence of some societal sickness on our collective parts. Nor is it evidence of the illusion of our greatness. I would like to blame us, too—because changing our behavior is what we do best in the West. And it’s something we can control. President Joe’s take that the Afghanis are all pussy cowards is a 4th Grade Reading Level inevitable verdict of history. True, as far as it goes, but trite.
Nothing and nowhere deserves the extremes of platitudes nor invectives usually bestowed. Such terms are shorthand for relative comparison. That said, we are the shining city on a hill and Afghanistan (and its patron Pakistan) is a textbook shithole.
The only people in Afghanistan with gumption enough to aspire to anything are predisposed to making an industry out of terrorizing their neighbors. That’s pretty much the story of every ghetto place in the world. These people are the hillbillies, trailer trash, and red necks of Asia. I am not using those terms synonymously, but rather as a simplified analogy for the kaleidoscope of amazing cultures who have settled in this mountainous, parched mudhole for eons without advancing beyond the steam punk stage, sans literacy. WTF were we expecting from these people?
Answer: We were expecting them not to use their mudhole as a haven for terrorists. We got that. It cost something, but for 20 years we got what we came for. It would have been nice if there were a bit more permanence to it.
Remember, the Russians loved these people so much that they tried to KILL ALL OF THEM. We don’t do that. (1) I’m not sure what we were doing in Afghanistan but killing all of them-- or even most of them --was not our objective. For the money we blew, we could have made them all millionaires. They would still be illiterate and weird, like the Saudis, but at least they would have statues to paint hair on and pools to strain hair out of. As it stands, the near-term annihilation of the glorious bag of tribes inhabiting the region is inevitable. This time they get to do it to themselves. Please don’t hate the world for ignoring it.
As for President Joe, I’ve seen enough. No second term, old man. The old man’s leftist pals sent me this in the form of a fundraising email the other day:
Billionaires rocketing off to space isn't a sign of progress. It's a sign of grotesque inequality that allows a select few to leave Earth behind while the rest of humanity suffers.
No one needs billionaires to colonize outer space. We need them to pay their fair share of taxes so people can thrive here on Earth.
That's exactly what progressives are fighting for.
A movement has run out of steam when its rhetoric is based on envy and false dichotomies. (Not to have a Conservative relapse here.) I feel their pain, however. While neither Bezos nor Richard Branson were blown to smithereens in their self-funded rockets, there is still Elan Musk. We need to remember that dying doing useless and showy things is what rich men do. Musk still has ample opportunity to auto-darwinate in a variety of his own manufactured vehicles. If the rocket doesn’t get him, he can try driving one of his own cars. (2)
Beyond the problems with Tesla, news on the entire EV front has been dire. You may recall the EV Bigwig I mentioned last time, the one who was attempting to fund his mythical contraptions with a SPAC merger, having run out of Saudi-fueled mad money. As of this writing, he is still alive and still atop his red ink spewing venture. The same cannot be said for fellow EV PT Barnum Trevor Milton, CEO of Nikola, another Tesla tribute company. Post the fleecing of going public with his knock-off hairbrained scheme, Trevor has gotten himself indicted for making false statements to investors. Sadly, making false statements to investors appears to be the number one product of the EV industry. The number two product is squatting out deathtraps. Here Tesla is not alone.
Venerable taxpayer bailout baby GM has also EV stumbled. They are in the midst of recalling some 69,000 EV models, warning the buyers to not park these cars in their homes nor attempt to charge them. Just park the thing outside, far away from anything it might blow up when it blows up.
In short, it may be a while before you and I and anyone normal goes tooling around in our own electric car. Given the rally in Covid, we may have limited choice in where and when we can go tooling around anywhere. The death-inclined are free to roam several Confederate states as well as all of Brazil. New on the no go list is Fuck It.
Thailand’s resort island of Phuket will ban all domestic travelers and vehicles from entering the province from Aug. 3 to 16 as an outbreak worsens in the Southeast Asian nation.
It’s now the 18th, so my little phonetic obscenity has gone stale. Maybe it’s the effects of long term Covid lock down, but a certain staleness has swept the professional intellectual classes. I have four examples:
Goldman Sachs reports that stocks in China may be uninvestable. It did this in the form of reporting its client’s concerns—as opposed to flat out stating it. Equities are a funky capitalist innovation. The key to their value is in the ability to turn them back into money, like poker chips. China is a totalitarian communist kleptocracy with a court system governed by political whim. Any business founded within their sector of influence exists at this government’s sufferance and is in contrast to their ideology. Moreover, the Chinese government has a history of making such private entities vanish and persecuting their operators. (3) Why is Goldman Sachs parsing its words here?
Erring on the side of least drama. Perhaps this is what Goldman Sachs is doing? In that tense, the erring being done is motivated by avoiding statements which might impact one’s future. Capitalist crack whores like Goldman Sachs are particularly on their guards against pissing off the Chinese Communist government since doing so could foreclose any future access that might be granted to its billion-slave consumer market. Goldman is thus erring on the side of least drama by attributing its conclusion to faceless clients. Avoiding blowback or culpability is the essence of erring on the side of least drama. Although framed as a form of pragmatism, it is on the coward’s side of the spectrum. It’s also largely lying. (4)
A pandemic plagued and spectatorless event. This is a fine phrase and finely reflective of its time. It is, however, so reflective that it describes everything while illuminating no particular thing. Until the plague of the pandemic is over, all reality itself is something of a spectatorless event. As opposed to the cumbersome spectatorless, it is probably more accurate to label most of our events as virtual. Most mass social things in the past have been virtual also—things we have heard of but not physically experienced. Virtual migrates into spectatorless only due to the fact that most sane people fear physically being anywhere right now. Bleak though that may sound, it is not as onerous as our final example of thought malaise…
When we tell people to “move on” and “get past things,” it may be a kind of tyranny. People who hate people have their own special religion. They err on the side of least drama by letting others suffer or equating suffering to normalcy. This is something Vlad Putin is famous for—and it’s the calling card autocrats and free will deniers everywhere. At no time should mankind feel contented when the lives of so many are nasty, brutish and short. An impulse to help, the elevation of happiness as normal, is the light of our collective souls. While all human agencies of aid are imperfect, deliberate neglect and calculated denial are not equivalents. Letting someone wallow in misfortune is inhuman. Freaking period.
Next Up: Goodbye to the Dickmen. Future posts will update Sally the Sleuth and Women in Crime.
Note (1): Let’s remember how we got here. The Russians moved into Afghanistan to shore up a government they installed. This eventually mutated into using Hind helicopters to massacre the populace in general. We countered by arming the Afghanis with Stinger missiles and whatnot. The people we armed became (part of) the Taliban and partnered with the folks who blew up the World Trade Center. It went downhill from here. But it started as an attempt to save the Afghani people.
Note (2): I actually agree with Move On here, but not for the reason they seem to be giving. Money taken from Bezos is not money earned by me. You tax people like Bezos 99% as a retroactive corrective to the system. And this is nothing new. Wealth itself reaches the point of diminishing returns. History’s previous poster child for this was William Randolph Hearst. It was decided that no one should ever be Hearst wealthy again. And for forty plus years no one was. Starting with Reagan there’s been a claw back by the aristocratic set. I’m not saying that the government will make better use of the money or that it would ease the burden on the rest of us, but rather that the frequency of wealth controlled by Bezos and a few select others is inherently cumbersome and wasteful on its own.
Seeing as how I have already tarnished an entire country as being filled with morons, I will spare you my explanation on how self-driving systems were initially intended to as an aid to the joys of road head. It’s true, but I am skating on thin ice this post. Better to stop here.
Note (3): Did I mention that the Chinese Communist government is the largest mass murderer in the world? Or that access to their market is largely access to a pool of slaves and slave masters? Doesn’t phase you? Fine. Their money is illiquid, too.
Note (4): Full disclosure. Hil-Gle’s operator is invested in Goldman Sachs capitalist crack whore.