Lees and Orts

You may have noticed that we’re back.

Yes we posted a few items sooner, we admit, than our stated goal of holding out until after the Most Boring, Predictable & Corrupt College Bowl Game Ever Subsidized by America’s First Monopoly. 1 But in a winter cold enough we have avoided leaving the house except for necessities, a painfully cold winter, indeed a winter too cold for even Canadians, we need escape, if only in our head.

So here we are again.

Lees and Orts

Oprah for president?

No, just no – that’s merely replicating the same non-thinking populism that put Trump in office, though this time from the Left.

And it wouldn’t work any better.

Yes, even with Tom Hanks as her VP. 2

Lees and Orts

We work small and, for the most part, are read/ignored to the same degree.

Sure, now and again one of the Big Boys will highlight a post or two, but for the most part we obsess in obscurity.

But occasionally someone will link us for no earthly reason.

When this popped up in our dashboard this morning we were puzzled. It’s obviously a list of web sites, but whose? And for Thor’s sake why? What’s the common denominator? It looks like the internet equivalent of an iTunes Genius list on acid…

Lees and Orts

Oh, my – collusion?

A federal judge in Las Vegas dismissed charges against Cliven Bundy and his sons, Ammon and Ryan, on Monday.

Judge Gloria M. Navarro of Federal District Court, in a ruling from the bench, said that the government’s missteps in withholding evidence against the three Bundy family members and a supporter, Ryan W. Payne, were so grave that the indictment against them would be dismissed.

The decision could be appealed by prosecutors. But they would only be able to bring charges again if they won the appeal and the ruling was reversed — and they then got a new indictment from a new grand jury.

Judge Navarro declared a mistrial last month in the case, stemming from an armed standoff at the Bundy ranch in 2014 that had arisen over land-grazing fees. She said then that prosecutors had erred in failing to turn over important evidence to the defense, including video taken surreptitiously within the ranch during the standoff, and evidence that F.B.I. agents were involved in the incident.

Call us cynical, but… chances are someone on the inside was working to sabotage the prosecution from the git go.

Oh, I suppose it is possible the prosecutors were so incompetent as to be unable to lace up their highly burnished Oxfords. However that part of the country hates the Federal government (in their own way) as much as the Southern Neo Confederacy.

No, once again the fix was in

Lees and Orts

I ended up on a ‘party line’ 3 over the holidays with old friends still back in The City.

Yes, the president* did come up, though not directly. No one called him a fucking loon or even any more mildly disparaging terms. The conversation was more glancing; how the standard of living has slid downhill this past year, if indeed not for at least a decade.

Even in The City, my friends say, they take the aged, nearly broken down BART to their favorite barely surviving bookstore cafe  (where the other patrons have been at work since 6 or 7 AM, so they already look half-dead)  where they order fairly tasteless coffee and a limp croissant; sit and write/chat; pick up underwhelming & overpriced groceries;  head home  (while the working populace is STILL at work, though it’s 7 or 8 PM); and watch some  reality porn or police-state TV.  4  Looking back, they say, they note how they did not see a single genuine smile — only  grim faces, as though suddenly every meal in every diner and cafe in The City had substituted Boston baked beans for ALL their side dishes.

There’s no money. No money for infrastructure, no money for health care, no money for even basics. Worse, there’s no concern about this.

These people are not just well-to-do, world weary retirees with too much time on their hands 5, “git-off-my-lawn” types nearing their own personal Clint Eastwood ranting at an empty chair moments. They are also, one and all,  cosmopolitan; world travelers, accomplished business people/artists, adventurers with a hard earned appreciation of their own and other cultures.

And life in the States, we’re all agreed, is a second-hand abysmal thing.

This is not just in comparison to Europe, it’s also how life used to be.

And though it’s anecdotal, it’s not. Americans “enjoy” a sub-par standard of life in every measurable category: Life expectancy the US 78 years; in France and Spain it’s 83 years. Maternal mortality, stress, work and leisure, press freedom, quality of democracy — we are impoverished by not realizing our potential. The most amazing this about this is that most Americans aren’t aware of it.

Instead we re-brand previously failed ideas and politicians and refer to the process as America Exceptionalism.

When was the last time you saw an American leader say “Wow – that German pension system! We should do that! It works, c’mon, lets get started!” Instead we look ever inward, like a junkie searching fr his next quick fix., and see how hard we can cut pensions.

The fact is Americans live in a country unable to learn from itself, a nation determined to destroy itself rather than change for the betterment of its citizenry; we seem compelled to seek the myth of fascism, pulling everyone down so the Deplorables will “rise.” Specious nonsense, of course, but look at where we’re at.

Dollars to doughnuts, we won’t even learn from recent history; the biggest story from 2018 will not be DEMs sweeping into power, it will be why they didn’t pick the needed seats.

After that, it won’t matter at all…

So. We got that going for us.

Lees and Orts

From Rolling Stone: 2017: The Year Pot Policy Stood Still as Opioids Ravaged the Nation:

While many federal lawmakers have called for overhauling the criminal justice system and for rethinking the government’s relationship with substances like marijuana, 2017 saw little to no action on drug policy.

“Status quo year,” Democratic Representative Jared Polis tells Rolling Stone. “It was a year of stagnation.”

Lees and Orts

Show 5 footnotes

  1. For which, once again, the fix was in. What? You don’t think the whole system is rigged? More fool you…
  2. Though I have no problem with any future qualified presidential candidate selecting Hanks as his/her running mate. He’s as qualified as any we’ve ever had and would certainly charm more world dignitaries than even Biden.
  3. Actually, a call made from a party where everyone involved in the conversation picked up all the extensions in the house.
  4. That last bit is all on them; there are WONDERFUL shows available.
  5. Though, yes, they are.

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