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Move Over, Lincoln
Everyone agrees. Joe Biden is having one helluva summer.

Let’s review, shall we? Killed the leader of Al Qaeda. Saved the planet. Made life-saving drugs cheaper. Brought unemployment to a 50-year low. Surged U.S. tech competitiveness. Saved vets’ medical benefits. Gave students a break on their loans when they needed it most. Put the brakes on inflation. Beat the Covid.

All that, and now he’s ripping the MAGA Republicans a new one. And pointing out that not one Republican of any kind helped him along the way. He didn’t do it all by himself, but they did everything they could to stop him.

With any luck, the trend will continue into the election, and Joe will also end up saving our country and democracy worldwide. 79, and firing on all cylinders!

So…time to retire, right? Wait until after the election, and leave the stage on his own terms. To cheers and the promise of heroic immortality. At the very top of his game. Let someone else carry the torch from here on. Right?

Please?
Head First at Last
Okay, it’s done. Head First,my pull-out-the-stops graphic novel set in the parallel universe of Subconscious Comics, has finally arrived from my printer in London.

They surpassed my fondest hopes. It is gorgeous. Two years of hard work under a pandemic lockdown and forty years of cohabitation with my characters have produced — dare I say it? — a work of art.

It’s a limited run. I suppose there could be a second edition someday, but it won’t be like this one. Not of this size, not on such heavy paper, not with a hard cover, not nearly so nice. Nor will there sales on Amazon or any attempt at broad distribution.

This is it. 325 copies, half of which are already spoken for by my peerless backers on Kickstarter. The rest, I know, will find good homes.

Feels good.
Today Only
You see this file?
It’s Top
Secret

I shouldn’t even
Let you
See it

But I’m still Prez
So it’s
Okay

'Cause it’s declass’d
As of
Today

And if you ask
Why it’s
Not hid

Here is a hint:
What am
I bid?
Don't Be Cruel
We all think bad thoughts. Sometimes, anyway. And though I hate to say this, we all have a mean streak. Even your little old granny. And yes, Dudley Do-Right, Jimmy Carter, and Jesus. Somewhere inside us, we are at least a little bit cruel. We are a little bit kind, too, but we’ll go into that some other time (with your generous permission).

If you think I am cruel for even suggesting that everyone is cruel, let me direct your attention to the natural human capacity for schadenfreude. That’s the pleasure you felt when Infowars screamer Alex Jones was humiliated in court recently. Whether we like it or not, that rush of schadenfreude springs comes from a kernel of cruelty inside us. All of us.

The fact that Jones himself is a paragon of cruelty does not really let us off the hook, either. While thinking that someone needs to “be taken down a peg” is not cruel, finding pleasure in seeing it happen is.

Mother Teresa, if she were still around, would no doubt suppress the feeling. So would Barney the dinosaur, Pollyanna, and Buddha. They’d have the impulse because they’re flesh-and-blood humans just like the rest of us (except for Barney, who is mostly foam rubber). The difference is that they would not dwell on the feeling, much less wallow in it. And, even though suppressing feelings is risky, giving in to cruelty is even worse.

Not all us could pull that off, though, especially with someone like Alex Jones. But let me repeat: cruelty is bad. Maybe a little schadenfreude is forgivable, but the levels of cruelty that Jones and his followers revel in are harder to explain away. And those levels are on the rise in our society. With the encouragement of our leaders in politics and the media, we have all gotten more cruel.

Let’s be clear. It’s much, much worse on the right. If you really think left-wing extremists are just as bad, please let me know the next time Bernie or AOC calls for revenge against the FBI for enforcing the law. But don’t look so smug, lefties. You have a potential for cruelty just like the most rabid MAGAs. So just make sure you’re suppressing that impulse to unleash some kind of savage, bloody revenge.

I’m looking at you, Barney.
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Yes, voting matters. Polls do not.
~ H, Santa Cruz