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Category: Politics

Vax Clamantis in Deserto
There is a new twist in the plot of the pandemic. Oh, we are still slogging through a swamp of endless recalculation as we confront new variants and the latest spike in infections, but one turn in the story is providing a ray of hope. It is time, apparently, to finally start villainizing the unvaccinated.

The first shot fired in this new chapter came from a Republican politician, of all people. Kay Ivey, the otherwise Trumpish governor of Alabama, admitted in a press conference last week that "Folks are supposed to have common sense. But it's time to start blaming the unvaccinated folks, not the regular folks. It's the unvaccinated folks that are letting us down.” Okay, good on you, Kay. Then, a few days later, another granny, this one from the opposite end of the political spectrum, got in on the action. Nancy Pelosi, the normally circumspect Speaker of the House, called Kevin McCarthy a “moron” for criticizing the House physician’s reinstatement of a mask mandate on the floor.

Game on. Since then, there has been a rising tide of castigation in the media for the anti-vaxxers, the disinformationers, and yes, the morons who are preventing us from escaping the clutches of COVID-19. News stories, opinion pieces, and cartoons have all gotten sharper and less forgiving of these people.

Good. Today, there was a story in the Times reporting that people would have to show proof of vaccination for indoor dining and fitness centers. It’s about time. No, you don’t have to get the shot, but stay the hell away from me and the rest of us non-morons. You are the problem; you should take the heat.


Okay, I got that off my chest. Now for another quick update about Head First, my soonish-to-be-completed comic novel.

Last week, I let on that I would be raising money for this project on the crowd-funding site Kickstarter. There is nothing there yet to be seen, but I got a very encouraging response to this news tidbit. Some of you want to send money right now. I certainly don’t want to discourage this worthy impulse, but I must ask that you hold off a bit longer with your investment. I promise to give you plenty of notice — including clickable links — when I’m ready to launch the campaign.

Until then, here’s another tidbit: those who support the effort at a certain level (I’m not sure exactly where that will be, but it won’t be high) will have their names in the book. More later.
The Missing Linc
When we consider the question of who our greatest president has been, a small number of names usually appear. Washington is on there, and Jefferson, and both of the Roosevelts, but before the conversation gets very far, one name rises to the top and stays there. Abraham Lincoln — because of his humanity, his intelligence, his place in history, and because of his sacrifice — must be honored as the best our political system has ever offered.

If only there were more like him today. Think of the difference such people would make in the governing of our country. Imagine an entire administration whose Cabinet members had the wisdom and moral courage of Honest Abe. Who knows what we could accomplish with such people at the helm?

Now, I agree that the idea of a legion of Lincolns walking the corridors of power sounds a bit silly. On the other hand, I couldn’t help but notice our new Secretary of State is the Honorable Antony John Blinken.

That’s right: A. Blinken.
It's Just a Theory
Just for fun, why don’t we try a little conspiracy theorizing? I know…it requires blindness to the truth, a complete rejection of common sense, and the nullification everything that the scientific method has ever revealed. But it must have something going for it if almost half of the country is doing it.

Let’s make one little change, however, from the usual m.o. of the hoax folks. Instead of trying to justify our deep feelings of grievance and supposed persecution, why don’t we mobilize our imaginations to conceive of conspiracies that are designed to make the world a better place?

We’ll start right in the middle of today’s headlines. If you are on the left of the political spectrum (why else would you be reading this blog?), then you are probably frustrated with the antics of Joe Manchin right now. He seems to be the only thing stopping the surprisingly liberal agenda of Joe Biden from getting through Congress. Well, not to worry. There is something secret and wonderful going on in the smoke-filled rooms of Washington, D.C.

This whole drama with the filibuster and HR-1 and the silly infrastructure soap opera are just part of an elaborate scheme to save American democracy and the economy in one political masterstroke. If you can just step back for a moment and take in the whole picture, it’s really the only explanation that makes sense. Believe me, everything is going to be just fine.

And then there’s the global warming hoax. No, not the one you’re thinking of. I’m talking about the hoax perpetrated by scientists all over the world and their co-conspirators in Big Media. Their aim is to make you believe that lots of people don’t believe in science. Again, let me stress that these plotters are not motivated by greed or revenge or hatred. Instead, they want to make sure that we are adequately concerned by the possibility of a hot Earth and the end of civilization.You know, so we don’t get complacent and begin to backslide in our recycling. It’s really kind of obvious when you think about it.

I mean, that’s got to be it, right? Why would any person who lives in this world of wonders made possible by science ever question that science works? I, for one, eagerly await the successful completion of this covert effort by the press and the scientific community to make all of our lives better.

Finally, one last example: taxing the rich. Very shortly, I believe, this decades-old secret planning that has been going on among public officials of all political stripes will finally bear fruit. The rich, the well-to-do, and anybody else with way too much money will begin to be taxed at a rate commensurate with the benefits they receive from living in a free society. The result (it almost goes without saying) would be better for everyone, including the rich. The wealth gap would shrink to practically nothing, the oppressed would be lifted up, the economy would take off like a rocket, and we would all be on our way to heaven on Earth.

I’m not sure exactly when all of this will roll out, but according to my sources on Chatface, WhatsApe, and Darkweebly, it could be as early as next week. Doesn’t that sound splendiferous?

So you see, this whole conspiracy thing doesn’t have to be the sole province of the cruel and mean-spirited. Pollyannas and Goodfairies like you and I can play, too! It’s gonna be great!
That Bad Smell
In case you haven’t noticed, we have a new president now. By any measure I can think of, that is a good thing. Even so, it will clearly be expensive and time-consuming to repair all the damage the former guy and his confederates have wreaked on our country. Indeed, the damage continues even now.

I have resolved, however, not to obsess about the previous occupant of the Oval Office. For my own mental health, I prefer to simply let him fade away like a bad smell. That mindset, unfortunately, has been difficult to maintain. The smell permeates everything, and I find my mind being drawn toward notions like justice, and righteousness, and the rule of law. And — I must admit — to punishment. For wrongs committed and for corruption of the good.

These are not bad thoughts per se, but left unchecked, they can lead back to the very obsession I am seeking to avoid. So I have adopted a new article of faith to guard against such temptations. It is simply this: 45 will avoid accountability for all of it — as he always has. There will be no jail time, no fines, no loss of influence other than by the passage of time and the world moving on. He will skate on all of it.

For some reason, I am finding that my acceptance of this as an outcome is oddly calming. It relieves me of the need to follow his every move or to keep track of the thorny legal jeopardies that entangle him. I don’t have to pay attention to his awful family or despicable defenders. Most of all, I am free of worrying whether he will ever get what he deserves. He won’t.

Let me be clear that I do not want to discourage those who are pursuing justice through investigation and the law. I cheer their efforts. But they will be fruitless. That is what I have chosen to believe.

This leap of faith has been a real time-saver and a cooling balm for my peace of mind. Better yet, should my article of faith ever prove to be ill-founded, if the Mar a Lago monster is made to take responsibility for his crimes, then I will be treated to a pleasant surprise and encouraged to believe that all is not lost and that better times lie ahead.

And if you were to ask me whether I care if he has a lamb chop duct taped to his butt and is towed through shark-infested waters or whether he is dipped in molten beryllium and dropped into the Marianas Trench or whether he is simply spayed, I will answer that I just don't care even a teeny, tiny bit.
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Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz