Etc. and &c.

  1. Fabiola Valentín (Miss Puerto Rico 2020) and Mariana Varela (Miss Argentina 2020) – CNN Photo

    According to CNN, “A former Miss Argentina and former Miss Puerto Rico shocked and delighted fans by announcing their surprise marriage on Instagram.” I don’t claim to understand it, but I do like imagining the horror of some who hear the news. In fact, some people will be so ticked off, they’ll probably whine on Facebook that they weren’t consulted. They did check with me and I said it was all right.

  2. Just in case it matters, I’m drinking Scotch while writing this post. I’m usually drinking red wine, but I got so excited about the news from Fabiola and Marianna, I broke out the good stuff.
  3. Our HRV finally starts up now that the dealership sheepishly admitted that they had sent the car out the door without checking the battery–which turned out to be crap.
  4. Yahoo “news” reports that we can “Save on JLo’s Booty Balm and other celeb faves at Sephora’s Beauty Insider sale.” I lived my whole life without knowing there was a product out there called Booty Balm and wish I were still innocent. Seriously, do people need to hydrate their butts? This stuff is supposed to fade imperfections for a “smoother-looking booty.” And, it’s clinically tested, so we know this product is based on science rather than magical thinking. I notice, however, that when I was looking at the Booty Balm ad, I didn’t see any before and after photographs of treated Booty.
  5. Fox News reported that “Biden blasted for new warning about ‘threats to democracy in midterms: ‘Their rhetoric is all a sham'” “During Wednesday night’s address, Biden focused his rhetoric on Republicans, asking Americans to vote for Democrats to protect democracy.” I like the old days when both major parties were trying to protect democracy. My feeling is that both parties have gone over the edge. And so have the news organizations that worship them.
  6. According to the Associated Press, “Musk: People banned from Twitter won’t be restored for weeks.” The story says that “Elon Musk said Wednesday that Twitter will not allow anyone who has been kicked off the site to return until it sets up procedures on how to do that, a process that will take at least a few weeks.” For me, this info is filed under the I don’t care category. I don’t need Twitter to survive.
  7. The New York Times reports that “The New Covid Boosters Are Incredible, and Everyone Should Get One.” I can’t say any more about it because the dreaded paywall showed up before I could read the editorial column. I have no idea whether the author works for Pfizer or Moderna or the CDC. I’m not rushing out for a shot (other than Scotch).
  8. According to a roundtable on The Onion, “As the oldest commander-in-chief in the history of our republic, the current president’s age demands a vigorous discussion to settle the question: Should President Joseph R. Biden run again?” This seems to be the consensus: “So go ahead and spit on me. Strangle me. Strip me naked and dog-walk me across the cement floor on a metal leash. Threaten my wife and children. Hell, murder my entire family. Nothing—nothing—will break my resolve. I will never reveal whether I believe Biden will have the mental and physical ability at 81 years of age to retain the most powerful office in the world.”

Well, there it is, the state of the nation at 4:57 EDT on 11/3/22.

–Malcolm

Time to put the caricatures back in the box

“The new president will also need to redeem his promise that he will be the president not only of those who voted for him but of all Americans. Contrary to what some Democrats seem to believe, there are tens of millions of Trump voters who are not cultists, conspiracy theorists or racists.” – The Los Angeles Times

We’re not the bumbling fools the opposition says we are.

The politics of late have killed many friendships because good, everyday people from multiple positions on the political spectrum accepted as gospel the worst slanders and caricatures extremists on both sides of the aisle disseminated about the opposition.

Whether those friendships died during a discussion about an issue that exploded into a giant disagreement that could not be healed or simply because one friend or the other could not stomach a supporter of the opposite party, the deaths weakened the country and made the survivors more susceptible to the next words of hatred and contempt from the Republican and Democrat parties, their officials, and their supporters.

We have a chance, I hope, to stop accepting the worst libels flung at or by the opposition.

As the Los Angeles Times said, all Trump voters and other Republicans are not idiots trying to re-establish the ways and means and attitudes of the 1840s into the American of the 2020s, nor are they all advocating the patrol of city streets by unregulated and militant militias of unwashed thugs.

Likewise, all Biden supporters are not “commies in the making” who want to allow the entire population of Mexico into the United States with the same healthcare, employment rights, and voting rights as citizens while trying to kowtow to so many groups they advocate the repression of freedom of speech whenever a discouraging word is said about anyone they support.

Everyone who is somewhat politically aware (or better) can make a list of the caricatures of their opponents they’ve engraved in stone. Some are true. Most aren’t. In the 1960s, some of the antiwar protesters thought that if the U.S. and the Vietcong sat down and sang “Kumbaya” together, the war would end. People who thought so were mocked by everyone. Today, those who want all political parties to step back from the extremists in their midst and work together will be mocked by everyone. Why? Working together sounds too much like childish naïveté.

That’s too bad. The country faces multiple issues that will take multiple ideas and approaches from multiple belief systems to solve. We’ve seen that the slander/caricature approach didn’t work. So let’s try something new: honestly working together. Working together will take work rather like estranged marriage partners trying to reconcile their differences.

But what’s the alternative? Another civil war? Climate change, immigration, and racial conflicts out of control? Loss of our Bill of Rights due to one expediency or another? None of these are acceptable outcomes.

We can do better because if we can’t we will keep doing worse.

–Malcolm