sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

May 24, 2016

Gary Johnson, The New Voldemort

Filed under: election2016, Gary Johnson, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 4:46 pm
I caught on Stefanie Miller that (or some kind of generic female libtalker, anyway) that the”Libertarian presidential candidate” was in hot water for comparing the Holocaust to mass deportations.  A little research yielded this:
Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld — who is expected to be picked alongside [Gary] Johnson to run on the Libertarian Party ticket at a nominating convention this weekend — told The New York Times on Thursday that Trump’s plan to remove the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants from the U.S. reminded him of “Kristallnacht,” or the “Night of Broken Glass.”
“I can hear the glass crunching on Kristallnacht in the ghettos of Warsaw and Vienna when I hear (Trump’s plan), honest,” Weld told the Times.
The 1938 pogrom against European Jewry occurred when anti-semitic mobs burned synagogues, destroyed Jewish-owned stores and killed scores of Jews, but not in Warsaw, as stated by Weld.
On Saturday, Johnson told CNN’s Victor Blackwell on “CNN Newsroom” that he wouldn’t have made the Holocaust reference but defended the sentiments behind the remark.
I’m glad liberals are outraged because they should be.  To compare the extermination of European Jewry to sending home the non-citizens residing in the US illegally is simply repulsive.
I’m not a liberal, of course, and I am on record being pro-deportations, which, I trust, would be conducted humanely, so long as we keep the most eager Trumpkins out of the process.  We can agree or disagree about it, but I think it’s reassuring that we both find Weld’s histrionics questionable.
In a normal election year Weld’s statement would be a deal-breaker to me, but with both Hillary and “Mr.” Trump being so vile and so corrupt and so authoritarian, I’m willing to give the Libertarian duo a pass.
One can argue that a veep candidate making such a rookie mistake is not ready for prime time, but neither is Trump.  Besides, both Johnson and Weld have gubernatorial experience, which is more than both Hillary and “Mr.” can boast.
I think it’s interesting that the libtalker didn’t refer to the “Libertarian candidate” by name.  She clearly wanted to highlight the controversy, and, again, I’m glad we are on the same side here, sort of, but was she afraid of being devoured by a death eater?
Nuh.  She knows how weak Hillary is, and suspects that Johnson has a real chance to appeal to both the right and the left.  Perhaps he can even win.


In related news, another poll shows Johnson is in double digits in a three-way race.

May 19, 2016

Clearly We Need A Dictator

Filed under: politics — Tags: , , , , — edge of the sandbox @ 6:20 pm

Robert Kagan frets about fascism coming to America:

The Republican Party’s attempt to treat Donald Trump as a normal political candidate would be laughable were it not so perilous to the republic. If only he would mouth the party’s “conservative” principles, all would be well.

But of course the entire Trump phenomenon has nothing to do with policy or ideology. It has nothing to do with the Republican Party, either, except in its historic role as incubator of this singular threat to our democracy. Trump has transcended the party that produced him. His growing army of supporters no longer cares about the party. Because it did not immediately and fully embrace Trump, because a dwindling number of its political and intellectual leaders still resist him, the party is regarded with suspicion and even hostility by his followers. Their allegiance is to him and him alone.

I don’t know about the “historic role” bit, but the cult of personality is definitely there.  As is always the case with the strongman types, what the fans find charismatic is highly subjective.  Was Hitler not a bloviating idiot with a funny mustache?  Is Putin’s bare chest something to laugh about?  Is our short-fingered vulgarian too bloated and pasty?


Are Americans too bloated?  Yes.  Good news, there is always time to slim down.  Take the example of North Korea, the world’s number one thinnest nation:

Don’t mention it to the exalted leader Kim Jong-un, but his people are literally starving. They’re poor (earning an average of only $2-30 per month), their every move is monitored and controlled, and the government constantly mismanages the economy by buying weapons for a hypothetical war it is obsessed with, but would never win. North Korean food, to its credit, is relatively healthy (and includes dishes like rice, noodles, corn porridge, kimchi, soybean sausage, and bulgogi), so that deserves part of the credit for the population’s shockingly-low 4.4 percent overweight/obesity rate. Yet an even bigger factor is the ongoing famine, which caused the deaths of as many as 3.5 million citizens in the last 20 years.

I suspect the bulk of the 4.4% overweight/obesity population of the Hermit Kingdom hails from the nomenklatura class:

While malnutrition is widespread in North Korea, the restaurant scene in Pyongyang is thriving. It is never a problem to find a really good meal if you can afford it – and you know where to look. The newer, semi-private eateries tend to keep a low-profile, and often have their windows covered with heavy curtains. The signboards are also small, if not absent, so outsiders would have few clues of the luxury inside.[…]

All these pleasures might appear cheap for a visiting foreigner, but for the average North Korean restaurants are prohibitively expensive. A dinner in a regular upmarket restaurant would cost about $7-10 (excluding alcohol), but the most expensive places charge around $30-40. To appreciate how out of reach this is, remember that the average monthly salary of a university professor in North Korea is about 80 cents. In most cases, the consumers pay in foreign currency, usually Chinese yuan, which has long been a currency of choice in the up-market North Korean shops.

While Mr. Dpumpf lacks the trim physique, so does Baby Kim, and Putin’s been getting bloated lately.  Yet They are not us, and as a country we can stand to lose some weight.  It’s good for us.  Michelle Obama said so.

May 9, 2016

Programming Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — edge of the sandbox @ 9:54 pm

As some of my readers know, I had a five week long adventure in living room painting which included chapters on stomach flu and my husband stepping through the ceiling while trying to install an electrical box. 

I was looking forward to some peace and quiet, and to posting my heart away, but alas! — now comes Harry Potter birthday party and one cannot take such event lightly. So, anyhow, hopefully next week I will be back. 

Happy belated Mother’s Day, VE Day, Victory Day — or whichever applies to you. 

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