Friday, July 3, 2020

Ain't That Ironical



This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
                                       - 
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels -
  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                    About 

                                                  Glossary 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I want to see Brian Williams with no irony wearing a mustache." -Adam McKay


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Irony, according to whatever dictionary it is that provides definitions when one goes a-googlin', is, among other things, "A state of affairs or an event that seems deliberately contrary to what one expects and is often amusing as a result."

I've looked at a lot of definitions from various sources and I've come to the conclusion that accurately defining irony is difficult, something is lost in the translations, so to speak.

Ain't that ironical?

[Wait-wait-wait. Is ironical actually a word?]

Yeah, Dana, it is, you can look it up. 

[Well, in that case, you should link to some proof.] 

Would you click on the link?

[Probably not, to be honest.]

And if you went a-googlin', would you be surprised if you came across a site that featured a 5,039-word essay that passionately argued that ironical is not a word, included elaborate footnotes, and that was chock full of links to other sites?

[No.]

Exactly. 

Here we are living in the dawn of the oft-mentioned information revolution and just about anything we go a-googlin’ for in the Information Ocean can and will be subject to contradiction, misinformation, and even weaponized misinformation. 

And so, writers attempt to make a case for _______ by inserting links into their work to frequently ignored sources that might be utter bonkercockie and that probably contain links to sources with links that many/most readers will not follow and...

[You’re giving me a headache.]

Sorry, I'm just being ironical, I’m all about ironicalities. 

[Ironicalities is definitely not a word.]

Are you sure? Maybe you should look it up.


As it says in the bible, "Irony of ironies, all is irony."

[Nuh-uh, it says...]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are roughly 75,000,000 Boomers in the Republic.

[A few less every day I should think.]

As it has ever been and always will be, geezers and geezerettes spend a great deal of time wailing and teeth-gnashing because kids these days do all the same things they did when they were kids.

In their (and my) defense they have faulty memories. After all:

a. They're H. sapiens and faulty memories are a documented design flaw.
b. They're geezers and geezerettes (G&Gs). 

That's ironical, but it gets worse.


Xrs, Millies, and Zoomers are getting grumpy because...

[Okay, Boomer.

Because, among other reasons, they're tired of waiting for the Boomers to get out of the way.

And no, I don't mean die, at least in most cases but... well, nevermind. I refer to the fact that there's no shortage of Boomers who could afford to retire comfortably but won't.

One of the reasons kids these days continue to act like kids these days longer than in the past is because many Boomers either don't retire or if they do, take on another job.

I'm not talking about people that are just trying to maintain a middle-class lifestyle — or have to skip their meds to be able to eat regularly — and would just as soon be fishing.

I am talking about folks that hang on, and on, because they just can't imagine what they'd do with themselves otherwise.

"I'd have to quit the company bowling team!"

Surely they could find something interesting to do that doesn't deny a job to a younger person who would love to get a job, or a better job, so they can afford to make grandbabies (and pay lots and lots of FICA taxes).

[FICA taxes?]

The source of the money for the Ponzi scheme that provides me with a modest amount of cash and heavily discounted healthcare (Social Security and Medicare). 

Like many G&Gs, I like grandbabies. Like most G&Gs I have a health problem or two or 10. Like all G&Gs, I like money.    

If you can afford it, walk away. All together now... all we are saying is give the kids a chance.  


Gentlereaders, I give you, career shaming. Let's "call out" Boomers who should quit while they're, financially speaking, at the top of their game.

This is a chance for the well-fed politicians, lobbyists, consultants, university presidents, and CEOs of ginormous NPOs, banks, multinational corporations, etceterations of a certain age (and net worth) to set an example for the little people.

[But some people just love working.]

Absolutely. They should go start new firms and create new jobs. Failing that, join the gig economy and get to know the occupationally disrupted.

Did I mention politicians? Do you realize that in November our choices are Daffy Donald (74) or Uncle Joe (78 on 11/20)?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet.






   











Saturday, June 27, 2020

The Bonfire of the Statuaries


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
                                                     - Image by? -

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                    About 

                                                  Glossary 

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I'm not going to waste my time worrying about Confederate statues. That's wasted energy." -Charles Barkley 

"We have destroyed 80% of the statues. There is only a small amount left and we will destroy that soon." -Mullah Omar, Taliban Supreme Leader (deceased) 


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Some Random Randomnesses...

- The Bonfire of the Statuaries (HT: WSJ Potomac Watch Podcast) continues and the IUPPP&PVTTTOT stands firm. There will be no peace until there is justice.

[What's the IUPPP...]

The International Union of Perpetually Protesting Protestors and Perpetual Victims of This, That, and The Other Thing.

Unfortunately, as to what sort of justice, actually implementable, that will restore peace remains ill-defined. I confess that I sometimes wonder if this is tactical, a never-ending jobs program for members of the IUPPP...etc.

However, virtue flags are flying, politicians are pandering, businesses not destroyed (by brick, fire, or plague) are donating — and Congress has threatened to pass yet another law.

Unfortunately or fortunately (one never knows...), Congress being Congress, and this being an election year, it's not going well.


In other news...


The following Random Randomness should be read aloud with your best Columbia School of Broadcasting voice.

In other news that you should have heard about but likely didn't, Antonio Gwynn, an 18-year-old African-American gentleperson from Buffalo, New York, spent ten hours cleaning up the trash and broken glass on (George?) Baily Avenue in Buffalo left behind by people protesting police brutality.

Mr. Gwynn's 15 minutes, the result of a local TV news feature, landed him a car, a year's worth of car insurance, and a free ride at a local college courtesy of some other gentlepersons.

Clarence, could you please send Frank Capra down long enough to make one more movie?


- If you're killed by a heavy, rotted out tree branch that lands on your head while you're communing with nature via a stroll in a sylvan setting is that "death by natural causes"?

 "_______ departed this life for the rest and comfort of the next one on... "

Once the plague began ravaging the realm I became one of those people I used to sneer at, a compulsive obituary reader. I was surprised to find that most people die from natural causes or apparently just drop dead. 

For the record, being of more or less sound mind I declare and affirm that even if I die peacefully in my sleep it is my wish that my obituary states that the cause of my death is under investigation. If my loved ones love me when asked they will reply, "I'm not at liberty to say," look troubled, and change the subject. 


- As I've recently written, much to my surprise I, who thrived as a hippie with a job for 13 years, seem to be turning into some sort of conservative. In my ongoing attempt to define exactly what sort of conservative I am I discovered that I'm a fusionist.

[Say what?]

Well, Dana, according to Wikipedia, "...fusionism is the philosophical and political combination...of traditionalist and social conservatism with political and economic right-libertarianism."

[What's up with all the italicizing?]

In the Wikipedia entry, those words are all links to other entries. As you know it's my editorial policy to use as few links as possible, with an emphasis on self-serving links.

[Self-serving?]

Yup. Links that bring up something from my website.

[Geesh.]

Anyways, the bad news is that according to the entry, the fusion has faltered and the formerly fraternal factions are now fighting fractious factions.

[Thus, the Donald. But why are you...]

Well, as you know, I'm running for king via a write-in campaign and it's occurred to me I need a name for my party. Branding and marketing, I'm told, are everything these days. So, I give you (insert fanfare, here):

The Live and Let Live party!   

BYOI (bring your own ideology) but let's start acting like adults trying to find a way to make their marriage work for the sake of everyone in the family.


- I hate my cable company.

Over the years I've shelled out a significant amount of money to  Roadrunner/Time Warner Cable/Charter Spectrum/Spectrum or whatever their name is this week.

If I owned a company that had a gummit granted monopoly on cable services in a given area where people paid to watch content that was one-third commercials,

and I charged extra for content that didn't,
and I could force people to pay for content they never watched,
and if I claimed my content was available on-demand, when it often wasn't,

AND,

If I were running a popular "premium" (costs extra) series and knew people had been waiting a week to see the latest episode and for some reason it wasn't available this week,

I'd post a simple e-note of explanation. I might even say sorry about that. I'd whistle all the way to the bank knowing I was rich and a nice guy/girl/they.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Saturday, June 20, 2020

The Supremes Poor Performance


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                       -Image by 272447 from Pixabay-
                                                  

                                                   Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I never want to be in the business of predicting what the U.S.Supreme Court will do." -Neal Katyal 


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Please Note: I wrote the original version of this column prior to the tragic death of George Floyd. It fell behind the shelf I stack my columns on and I just found it while doing some late Spring cleaning.

While "columns shelf" is just a charming metaphor, I did write it over a month ago and promptly forgot about it. I've decided to tweak it and publish it now because it's about something conservatives, liberals, and progressives should be able to agree on.   

Having come across the word cert in the course of my relentless pursuit of current events and having only a vague notion as to its meaning, I went a-googlin'. Cert is an abbreviation for the word certiorari, a Latin legal term that means to be made certain in English.  

[What are you...]

One of the reasons I'm a current events junkie is because Sister Mary McGillicuddy taught me that paying attention to what's going on in a complicated world enables you to function optimally.

[Cool, however...] 

WARNING! Fading Boomer Cultural Reference Ahead

For example, I accidentally discovered that Certs:

"It's a breath mint!" 

"No, dumb bum, It's a candy mint!" 

[The second quote is wildly inaccurate, you added...]

I discovered that Certs, a 62-year-old product was quietly deleted last year, most likely (I was unable to confirm) because they contained partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, a health hazard, which is now banned by the FDA.

The bad news is that Crisco, from 1911 to 2004, was made primarily of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Therefore, if your childhood, like mine, included no shortage of Crisco, well, good luck buddy.

[For the love of God! What has any of this to do with the Supremes?]  

Well, nothing really, Dana. In fact, the title of this missive is clever clickbait (or at least one hopes). This column is about the other Supremes, as in Supreme Court judges.

The point of the preceding was to illustrate that Sister Mary was doubly correct. Not only does paying attention enable you to function optimally it can lead to additional and useful information.  

[Certs and Crisco ain't...]

Facts about Certs and Crisco are useful and interesting to me (and anyone wondering if their arteries are lined with Crisco). The fact that the Supreme Court recently passed on a chance to reconsider a previous decision that promotes injustice is useful and interesting to everyone

[More clickbait?]

Sadly, no.   


Now, while the Purple Press and the Orange One were busy proving that so-called real life is high school with money — in the midst of a global pandemic — your friendly neighborhood crank was busy trying to get occasional peaks behind the curtain. 

While you were (hopefully) social distancing America's sweetheart, and possibly the anti-Christ, Alyssia Milano was showing off her crocheted face mask which triggered a frothing flock of twitterers. She then revealed it cleverly concealed a charcoal filter, which triggered a secondary Twitter triggering... 

The Supreme Court of the United States of America turned down the legal equivalent of a whole roll of certs asking them to reconsider what something called Sovereign Immunity is doing to the republic.


Long story short (I'm in the middle of a Charmed binge): 

The certs that I'm referring to are the certs pilled up in the Supreme Court asking that they reconsider a 1984 ruling that gives "qualified immunity" to gummit officials. You can't sue cops, for example, in civil courts for taking a shyte on your life unless they violate "clearly established law." 

[You're making up words again, and, it sounds like the Supremes got this one right so why...]

Actually, its an alt-spelled version of a real Irish word that's the Irish version of a crude English word. In my semi-humble opinion, it almost renders it poetical.  

The problem is with a legal phrase, clearly established law. Lower courts, I know not why, have interpreted this to mean that unless there's a specific law against, say a couple of cops turning a police dog loose on a suspect kneeling on the ground with his/her/their hands up you can't sue him/her/them.

[That would never happen.]

It happened. The cops were granted qualified immunity because there's no specific law against what they did. This and 12 other cert petitions asked the Supremes to take up the problem. They said no.

[Why?]

They don't have to say why they accept some cases and refuse others.   

[Somebody needs...]

Congress could fix it, today, with legislation. 

[Nevermind.]

Update, 6/14/20: From CBS News: "Senator Tim Scott, a Republican from South Carolina, said Sunday that limiting qualified immunity for police officers in future legislation that aims to address officer misconduct would be a 'poison pill' for GOP lawmakers and effectively sink the measure."

Poppa loves you,

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Saturday, June 13, 2020

Good Grief! I'm a Conservative?


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.
                  
                                       -Photo by Amber Kipp on Unsplash-

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"Conservatives are people who love something actual and want to retain it."
                                                                                      -Roger Scruton 


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Until recently, if anyone at a cocktail party had asked me about my political and/or philosophical leanings I would have described myself as a wild-eyed libertarian and free marketeer with a bleeding heart and conservative impulses. 

[You've never been to a cocktail party.]

Well, the game's not over yet, Dana. I wonder if people even still have cocktail parties? I'll be right back...

Clearly, I need to get out more. Cocktail parties are indeed still a thing. 

I even found a posting on a website, The Trend Spotter, titled "COCKTAIL ATTIRE FOR WOMEN (THE DRESS CODE DEFINED)" with a picture of five women in need of a bacon cheeseburger (or two). 

They look like five variations on a theme: tall, heavily made-up, long-haired, Adderall addled 10-year-old boys with a suggestion of breasts posing on a rooftop in NYC. 

"Don't jump! I've got cheeseburgers and CDC approved N95 face masks!"


Sir Roger Scruton, little known outside of certain small circles, is a recently deceased polymath, gentleperson, and one of my intellectual heroes.

[Dana performs a wildly exaggerated yawn.]

I know, I know... what can I say? 

In his (and my) defense, he was born into a working-class family and his key to the ivory tower was confiscated early on for the crime of being a true, old school intellectual conservative more interested in conserving hard-learned truths than tenure or trust funds. 

Dr. Scrtton wrote more than 50 books, including four novels, lots of magazine and newspaper articles, and a couple of operas in his free time. He also qualified to be a barrister (lawyer) but didn't practice. 

[Dana performs another wildly exaggerated yawn.]

And during the 70s and 80s, he helped set up underground universities, gave lectures and smuggled banned texts in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia which at the time, my younger and/or lesser informed gentlereaders, were enslaved by the Russians. 

[Oh. Cool. Well, I didn't see that coming but...]

And, for the record, my younger and/or lesser informed gentlereaders, the current dick-tater of Russia, the Pooteen, spent the 70s and 80s working for the KGB. The KGB was to the U.S.S.R. as the Gestapo was to Adolf Hitler's Germany.

[And, for the record, what does any of this have to do with you becoming a conservative?]

Excellent question. 


If I should ever actually attend a cocktail party and if anyone asks me about my philosophical/spiritual/political leanings... 

And if I'm drunk enough to answer given that the wrong leanings in the midst of the Intersectional Inquisition might get ya canceled or killed... 

I would reply that I'm a sorta/kinda conservative with a bleeding heart and a free marketeer with libertarian impulses.

[Sorta/kinda conservative huh? I'll bet the ladies find you irresistible you bad boy you.]   

Sadly, no. But I'm still in the process of figuring out how to explain myself so perhaps there's hope. The definitions of what a conservative is by many on the left and the right don't apply to me 

But the only thing I'd like to discuss at the moment is how I got here...

[Bless you.]

Which is the same way Roger Scruton did.


In May of 1968, I was 14 years old and trying to figure out how to join the sexual revolution. 

Roger Scruton, 24, an apolitical chap at the time, was living and studying in Paris. A bunch of college students, under the spell of many of the same postmodern thinkers now revered by the woker than thou, tried to start a political revolution.

According to Wikipedia, it was to protest traditional institutions, capitalism, consumerism, American imperialism, and etecterism. They began by shutting down their schools and then took to the streets and began breaking things and setting things on fire.

Before it was over, the zany French being the zany French, everybody went on strike but then began turning on each other. Once this particular national Spring break ended everyone felt better and things returned to normal  

The young Mr. Scruton, a student living among students at the time, decided on the spot that whatever these well-fed, pampered children of the middle class were for he was for the opposite, and a conservative was born. 


In May of 2020, as best I can tell, a thug was murdered by another thug wearing a police uniform. Protestors, exercising one of their fundamental American rights, took to the streets.

However, some of them began breaking things and setting things on fire... and trampling on the rights of their fellow citizens. The hard work and dreams of many entrepreneurs of all races were damaged or destroyed along with a lot of jobs.  

I'm for conserving the opposite of whatever the hell that is.

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Cranky don't tweet.     


  


   
  


   

  

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Fundamentally Speaking



This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

                                 -Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash-

Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals." -Jim Rohn


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Fundamentally speaking, these letters are primarily addressed to the Stickie's (my 4.5 grandkids) future selves and the Stickies that aren't here yet. That is to say, I hope to live long enough to meet a great-grandsticky or two.

For the record, I sorta/kinda have three great-grandstickies already, four really. It's very complicated, time will tell, and as the immortal Forest Gump might say, that's all I have to say about that (for now).

Now...

[Wait-wait-wait. Hold up there a second, Sparky. It's complicated? Time will tell? How do you expect to become a beloved American cultural commentator and humorist if you cavalierly cough up clichés?]

According to the terms and conditions of my poetic license, Dana, inserting an italicized very into — it's complicated — mitigates the clichédness of the phrase in question. 

Time will tell is more of a tried and true verbal shortcut than a cliché so put that in your pipe and smoke it. 

[I see what you did there.]


Anyways, although I often write about current events, and although I've been criticized for disguising cultural commentary as letters to my progeny, things are more complicated than that. And after all, my salutation includes my gentlereaders. 

You see, I keep trying (and failing) to write a sorta/kinda (it's very complicated) memoir for the Stickies and my daughter and son-in-law. But I have generated better than 250 (and counting) mercifully brief essays that reflect who I am (or was, if I wake up dead tomorrow). 

This is a... fundamental thing. This is why I keep writing this column in spite of the facts that my 15 minutes/underserved riches/white privilege/etceterege seem to be lost at sea. 

"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." -Samuel Johnson 

"No man/woman/non-binary should ever write unless they distribute their profits equitably among the 99%." -Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

"No man, not even broads, should ever write anything. Hire a ghostwriter. Most of 'em don't got any money and won't cost you nothin'. It's a very, very beautiful thing." -Donald J. Trump 


[Fundamental thing?]

Yep. Another fundamental thing is that periodically one should stop and consider fundamental things. Why do you do what you do? What would you like to do? What would you be doing if you had achieved (deliberately, dumb luckily, or both) Woo-Hoo! level wealth? 

What, if anything, are you doing about what you're doing/would like to do/would do? What do you think constitutes the good, the true, and the beautiful? Why are...

[Could we move on, please?] 

Certainly. 

What follows are some Fundamental Facts and Things...

[Ain't that the name of the new store in downtown Hooterville?]

It was. Someone smashed out the windows and then set it on fire. 

I'd like to list some fundamental things in case I wake up dead tomorrow. You never know, you know?...do you smell smoke? 

In the interest of brevity, and due to the fact "lived experience" is, fortunately, replacing the patriarchal constructs and tools of oppression — logic, reason, and proof — there are neither links nor supporting arguments. My lived experience has taught me the following fundamental things. 


- Anybody in their right mind thinks that kneeling on even a criminal/druggies neck after they've been placed under control is murder. 

- If ya use certain substances — fentanyl with a meth chaser to try and keep the fentanyl from killing you for example — things may not go well for you for all sorts of reasons.   

- If you'd like to be a successful, happy, and civilized man/woman/_______:

"Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime." -Amy Waxman

- The preceding paragraph is a list of virtuous behaviors proven to be worth striving for. No sane person expects you, or themselves, to do more than try their best and be open to course correction.   

- There's a big difference between substance abuse and the careful use of certain substances.     

 - Carbs make you fat; refined sugar may be as addictive as cocaine.

- Caffeine, in moderation, is good for the body and the mind. Some refined sugar, in moderation, is good for the soul. Two words, ice cream.

 - Sensible fasting and moderate exercise is the key to good mental and physical health.

- "Police brutality against African-Americans is a huge problem in every way except statistically." -Scott Adams 

So-called real life is high school with money. 

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me some cheap coffee.  

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet. 






Saturday, May 30, 2020

A Conspiracy Theory


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandkids (who exist), and my great-grandkids (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

                                -Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay- 
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"The growth in ethanol and biodiesel is something that I have worked on since I was secretary of agriculture in Kansas. I would like to see a lot more progress, because I think there is a real score to be made on this." -Sam Brownback 


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

Since I'm running for king via a write-in campaign, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I should run the country if elected. After all, look at how effective the never-ending conspiracies of the Deep State have been at messing with the Donald.

As you can no doubt well imagine, this is a daunting task requiring much in-depth pondering.

[Almost too much for one mere mortal I would think.]

Too true, Dana, too true.

But since no one with a clue would want to be the king, or even president, of a republic that's in the middle of a cold civil war (so far anyways, fingers crossed...) and facing a future of financial and epidemiological uncertainty, who's more qualified than me?

[Exactly!... No, wait a second, are you saying that...]

I'm saying this would be the perfect time to insert an Uncle Joe/Daffy Donald joke but I'm above that sort of thing so I won't.


The Original Persons (OPs), aka the Founding Fathers, having read the classics, set up a republic because they knew that the fly in the democracy ointment was that democracies tended to devolve into rival factions competing for power and goodies (sound familiar?) and tyrannies (fingers on the other hand crossed).

This would be the perfect time to insert a joke about all those folks who are still waiting for the Donald to declare himself Lord High Muckety-Muck and start locking people up in all those FEMA built concentration camps. It's almost as if most of them never really believed what they were saying in the first place.

I believe that conscious conspiracies, that is to say, secret evil plots designed and implemented by an evil genius/family/organization/etceteration, are, at best, mostly crap.

[Mostly?]

Wiggle room, Dana, wiggle room. Anything's possible, although many things are unlikely.

However, I'm a firm believer in conspiracies of convenience.

[And what exactly are...]

Read on, my imaginary friend.


A conspiracy of convenience is one that doesn't require a Dr. Evil or even a Simon Bar Sinister to concoct and control.

A group of people who just so happen to benefit from particular policies or Rules&Regs can find themselves involved in the same conspiracy without ever having met most, if any, of their fellow conspirators.

The pursuit of riches and/or power creates conspiracies out of thin air.

[This would be a great time for an example.]

For example, ethanol.


Let the game begin!

In 2005, The Fedrl Gummit gifted the republic with the Energy Policy Act. Like all big honkin' laws created by the Leviathan, dissecting which senator, congressperson, lawyer, or lobbyist is responsible for what provision is virtually impossible.

Not a conspiracy, just a whole lot of people chasing money, power, and reelection. This is how a nationwide game of You Scratch My Back and I'll Scratch Yours gets started spontaneously.

The act, among many other provisions that provide subsidies from Uncle Sugar, mandated blending ethanol with gasoline via the Renewable Fuel Standard.

The Renewable Fuel Standard is a sprawling mess that's been a very effective jobs program. As for cleaning up the environment, not so much.

I found an excellent article in Reason from 2014 that tells the whole awful story. The following paragraph from the article sums things up nicely.

"America's ethanol requirement destroys the environment, damages car engines, increases gas prices, and contributes to the starvation of the global poor. It's an unmitigated disaster on nearly every level." 

[What?...why?...I mean...] 

Simple, so many people are feeding at the corn trough that ethanol is now an industry.


Meet the Renewable Fuels Association. "We are the leading trade association for America's ethanol industry, working to expand demand for American-made renewable fuels and bio-products worldwide." 

Check out their website: They are literal flag wavers. 

Mission statement translation: We're the leading cabal (there's so much money to be made it takes more than one) in a conspiracy of convenience. Unleash the lobbyists!  


Jim Doti and Laurence Iannaccone conveniently published an article in the Wall Street Journal just as I was trying to figure out how to end this column. Thanks, guys. You can access it via my Facebook page without having a WSJ subscription. 

Bottom line? We're swimming in ethanol because so much is being produced, but "...fuel producers can’t use it, since adding any more to gasoline will damage car engines."

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet. 




We are the leading trade association for America’s ethanol industry, working to drive expanded demand for American-made renewable fuels and bio-products worldwide.







 


 


 



Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Day Late and a Dollar Short


This is a weekly column consisting of letters to my perspicacious progeny. I write letters to my grandchildren (who exist), and my great-grandchildren (who don't) — the Stickies — to haunt them after they become grups or I'm deleted.

                                -Image from dracomania.org-
                  
Warning: This column is rated SSC — Sexy Seasoned Citizens — Perusal by kids, callowyutes, and/or grups may result in a debilitating intersectional triggering

                                                  Glossary  

                                                    About

Erratically Appearing Hallucinatory Guest Star: Dana — A Gentlerreader

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." -Thomas Edison


Dear (eventual) Grandstickies & Great-Grandstickies (& Gentlereaders),

I've been thinking about karma lately and it's occurred to me that perhaps bad karma explains the fact that the phrase a day late and a dollar short neatly encapsulates a recurring theme in my life. 

I've also been thinking about the fact that a pair of large corporate entities, at whose hands I suffered, have gone out of business.

Are these two phenomena related?

Nah... Right?


Once upon a time, In Youngstown, Ohio, a man named Harry Burt, who owned a candy shop, invented what is now the world-famous Good Humor bar. Mr. Burt was a little known business genius who died when he was only 51 years old leaving his widow to fight his (patent) battles.

In the spring of 1981, a hippie with a job quit and became a Good Humor man on a whim. Like almost everyone who ever drove an ice cream truck of some sort, I stumbled into the business. I needed the cash.

The bad news is the business had already peaked and a long, slow slide had begun.

I loved the work, the money was good, and I was in and out of the business over the course of the next several years. However, I was involved in a business of slowly diminishing returns.

I was a day late and had accidentally entered the field when I was a dollar short.


Not long after my first foray into popsicle peddling, I found myself working for Kmart as an overworked, underpaid stockroom boss and then, briefly, a store manager trainee.

This was all about "getting straight" (which didn't mean then what it does now) to qualify for getting married to a blond girl next door type and making a baby, maybe two.

Neither I nor the Kmart corporation knew that they had peaked and were about to be destroyed by WallyWorld.

First, Kmart broke my heart, and then she did. I was training to become a computer programmer (the getting married thing again) when she started using my testicles as a trapeze.

This was just the first time Kmart would break my heart (more on that anon), it was the second time a woman did — there had been this hippie chick with a job...


Fast forward to our hero attempting to heal his broken heart via a geographic cure. When I came to I was managing a fleet of ice cream trucks in Austin, Texas.

As my dear Stickies know, I hired the woman who would shortly be my wife. She came pre-equipped with a ten-year-old who grew up to be their mom. Lured to Ohio by my late wife to meet her family, I got stuck and took up temporary residence.

We were supposed to return to Texas but 35 years later I'm still living here
temporarily. But the mountains of North Carolina are calling out to me in my dreams...

[Are they yodeling?]


Anyways, being an allegedly full-fledged grown up with a wife and daughter, I became an assistant warehouse manager for Toys Were Us. They eventually discovered that they had also peaked and would, in short order, also be destroyed by WallyWorld.

Toys etc. treated me even worse than Kmart had.

BIG BUT
There was a management buyout eventually and I had gone to a great deal of trouble (I had been tipped off) to be one of the folks invited to leave while not getting fired while waiting for the ax to fall.

This enabled me to buy an ice cream truck — almost an exact copy of the one pictured above — and start dreaming about becoming a goody bar mini-mogul.

ANOTHER BIG BUT
Life happened to me while I was making other plans and when I came to this time I found myself a widower managing a crew of 18 for a commercial cleaning contractor. We cleaned a hooge warehouse.

It was a distribution center owned by a much diminished Kmart.

Once again, I (and 18 other victims) were screwed over by Kmart Inc. and I found myself a fifty-something white, cisgender male without privilege at the height of the Great (so far, stay tuned...) Recession.

Hilarity ensued.

I limped — literally, I had what turned out to be a busted hip — to early retirement and was appropriately punished for my crime by the Social Security Administration.

I derive no joy from the fact Kmart and We Were Toys (effectively) are history. All those lost jobs... Nothing to do with me, right?

Poppa loves you,
Have an OK day

Please scroll down to react, comment, or share. If my work pleases you I wouldn't be offended if you offered to buy me some cheap coffee.  

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Your friendly neighborhood crank is not crazy about social media (I am a crank after all) but if you must, you can like me/follow me on Facebook. 

Cranky don't tweet.