Posts Tagged ‘The Atlantic’

From here to eternity

September 4, 2020

Green now, sure, but the gold is just around the corner.

Don’t let the green leaves fool you. It’s September out there. Sixty degrees at 8 a.m. in Albuquerque, and Old Man Gloom goes up in smoke at 9 p.m. tonight in Fanta Se.

Speaking of burns, approximately nobody, save the Volk wearing their MAGA hats a couple-three sizes too small, was surprised by Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece in The Atlantic describing Adolf Twitler’s thoughts on the “losers” and “suckers” who died for their country instead of blackjacking it in some dark alley and going through its pockets.

Charlie Pierce has some thoughts of his own regarding the Good Soldiers who continued to work for the craven sonofabitch, knowing full well that this is how he sees them and theirs.

They took an oath to defend the Constitution, not to hold their tongues until they could get a book deal as a reckless vandal takes the Republic down, brick by brick. Of all the people whom history will account as being complicit in the attempted demolition of constitutional government, I rank them ahead even of the invertebrate Republicans in the United States Senate.

Sixty days until we get a chance to start rebuilding the Republic. It seems like an eternity.

Glide path, v2.0

June 30, 2020

“We’re coming in hot. …”

James Fallows, himself a pilot, wonders what the National Transportation Safety Board might make of Adolf Twitler’s response to the pandemic.

In the previous two decades of international public-health experience, starting with SARS and on through the rest of the acronym-heavy list, a standard procedure had emerged, and it had proved effective again and again. The U.S, with its combination of scientific and military-logistics might, would coordinate and support efforts by other countries. Subsequent stages would depend on the nature of the disease, but the fact that the U.S. would take the primary role was expected. When the new coronavirus threat suddenly materialized, American engagement was the signal all other participants were waiting for. But this time it did not come. It was as if air traffic controllers walked away from their stations and said, “The rest of you just work it out for yourselves.”

“We’re approaching our final destination. Please return your tray tables and seat backs to their fully upright positions, place your heads between your legs, and kiss your asses goodbye. And thank you for flying Trump Air.”

The Omega Cat

March 21, 2020

Miss Mia Sopaipilla mans (cats?) the battlements.

Miss Mia Sopaipilla, The Last Cat Standing, checks the southeast perimeter for any sign of Spike the Terrorist Deer.

Things are greening up and budding out, and staff seems preoccupied with other matters, so Mia stands the watch.

In addition to the wine delivery we had a couple of packages to drop off at USPS, so I strapped a Wald basket on the rear rack of the Soma Double Cross.

One never knows. The sneaky sonofabitch might like cat food.

Meanwhile, staff kitted up for another wine run yesterday afternoon. We chatted briefly with Herself the Elder via phone, next to her closed bedroom window, and then scurried back to El Rancho Pendejo as a light sprinkle began.

We saw quite a few cyclists on the Tramway bike path, in some cases moms herding mobs of children.  I think of being on lockdown with a herd of bored and restless rug monkeys, and I wish I’d been kinder to me sainted ma, who was sentenced to life without parole as a housewife and mother.

Elsewhere, I see our “leaders” have been up to the usual, which is to say not much barring high crimes and misdemeanors.

It really is long past time for the press to quit covering what Chazbo Pierce calls “the daily briefings from the Coronavirus Superfriends,” which have devolved into miniature campaign rallies for Il Douche, free telemarketing for his only product, bullshit.

There is no breaking news to be had at this surgical theater of the absurd, and responsible journalists should take the time to suck it up, watch the comedy, pluck the rare diamond from the dung, and pass the stone, with an addendum tallying the ratio of facts to lies. No diamonds? No distribution. See James Fallows at The Atlantic for more. I like James so much that I ponied up for a subscription.

In other news, United Airlines is cordially invited to go fuck itself. Jesus. These people are completely without shame. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I would rather pay to push my Subaru uphill into the wind, wearing roller skates and this goddamn ankle brace, than fly United for free.

‘What boots it,’ indeed

July 17, 2019

These boots are made for earning.

In the August 2019 issue of The Atlantic, Michael LaPointe muses at some length on “The Unbearable Smugness of Walking,” as performed by the literati.

Following his examination of two recent books arguing for “walking’s invigorating literary power” and capacity for resistance to “the desire of those in power that we should participate in growing the GDP … as well as the corporate desire that we should consume as much as possible and rest whenever we aren’t doing so,” LaPointe wonders whether, for the writer, walking to work is really nothing more than another day at the office, albeit a larger, airier one.

And he poses the question: “What would it mean, for once, simply to walk and say nothing about it?”

What it would mean, Michael old sock, is that you would not get paid.

“Ah, fill the Cup:—what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet. …

Wake-up call

May 11, 2019

Hey! Who shit on my radio?

Ho, ho. Robinson Meyer at The Atlantic examines NPR’s new “Morning Edition” theme and finds it wanting.

He’s not the only one. Composer Timo Andres and jazz singer Theo Bleckmann had thoughts as well.

“For me, it was so reminiscent of childhood, of car rides to school,” Andres told me later of the old theme. “Even though, objectively, it sounds like an artifact from a universe where Steely Dan was co-opted into writing state-propaganda music.”

The new theme, meanwhile, was summarized more pithily by Bleckmann. “Yeah, it sucks,” he said.

Ouch.

But what do you expect when you commission a committee to compose your theme song?

Robert A. Heinlein was wrong about a lot of things, but he was right on target when he noted that a committee was “a life form with six or more legs and no brain.”

And yeah, the new theme: It sucks.

Superb Owl Sunday

February 3, 2019

The druid Malachy, played by Ciaron Davies, interacts with “Cracker,” a European eagle owl, as the re-enactment of Saint Patrick’s first landing in Ireland takes place at Inch Abbey on March 11, 2018, in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. Photo: Charles McQuillan | Getty Images)

For more Superb Owls, see The Atlantic.

Just. One. Senator.

August 27, 2018

One senator could make a difference? What a Capitol idea.

That’s all it would take, given the present composition of the Senate, for that august body to do its fucking job for a change.

As James Fallows notes:

Every one of them swore an oath to defend the U.S. Constitution, not simply their own careerist comfort. And not a one of them, yet, has been willing to risk comfort, career, or fund-raising to defend the constitutional check-and-balance prerogatives of their legislative branch. …

In any circumstances, the Senate’s arcane procedures mean that lone senators, determined to make a stand, can hold up business or block nominees to get their way. When the ruling party holds only 51 seats, or for the moment 50, the power of any one or two members goes up astronomically. With great power comes great responsibility—a responsibility that 50 men and women are choosing to shirk.

Rollin’, rollin’, rollin’

May 8, 2014
Hal and his burro Spike from back in the day. A real man would ski from Crusty County to Pueblo. With a burro. In the summertime.

Hal and his burro Spike from back in the day. A real man would ski from Crusty County to Pueblo. With a burro. In the summertime.

And now, the good news: More Americans are cycling to work.

A lot more of them, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — up from about 488,000 in 2000 to about 786,000 in 2008-12. And no, they don’t all live in Portlandia.

The bad news, according to The Atlantic? More than eight in 10 of us still drive to work (and mostly alone).

My favorite commuting tale remains the one told by my burro-racing buddy Hal “Mr. Awesome” Walter of Crusty County, Colo., who once skied to work at The Pueblo Chieftain.

“I skied from West Park to the Chieftain, tucking for the glide over the 4th Street Bridge in subzero cold,” Hal recalls via email. “I was pulled over by a policeman and feared I might get a ticket for speeding but found there was actually an ordinance against skiing on the city streets.”

Hal has also run a burro from Wetmore to Pueblo, and without interference from the authorities, as the place was once a stronghold of Donk politics. Plus pretty much everyone in Pueblo likes to see some new ass in town, even the Republicans.

 

One war ends, another continues

December 15, 2011

The war in Iraq officially “ended” today, for those of you who believe in beginnings and endings.

But the war on civil liberties continues. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act contains provisions that the American Civil Liberties Union says could authorize the U.S. military to pick up and imprison, indefinitely and without charge, civilians — including U.S. citizens — anywhere on the planet, including right here in the good old US of A.

Glenn Greenwald views this development with alarm over at Salon, charging President Obama with being more concerned with executive power than civil liberties.

At The Nation, Patricia J. Williams argues that under this law, “if the Defense Department thinks you’re a terrorist, there would be no presumption of innocence; you would be presumed a detainee of the military unless the executive decides otherwise.”

Her colleague Robert Scheer declared that this “assault on the Constitution’s requirement of due process represents a direct threat to the freedom of the American people every bit as menacing as any we face from foreign enemies.”

Andrew Cohen is less alarmist at The Atlantic, saying we’re still “much closer to the beginning than to the end of this dirty business.”

I don’t know whether to be reassured or terrified by that.