(Dreary, gloomy day outside; working on having a brilliant day inside.)
1. Feeling guilty about the Red Sox. I haven’t watched or listened to a game in over two weeks. The reason is that it’s just not fun, it’s too stressful, and I am already stressed to the max with non-baseball matters. I’m fairly sure this is the longest voluntary sabbatical I have ever taken from my team, and it is my team, throughout 80% of my life, a constant presence, inspiration and source of enlightenment. I have never relied on the team winning to justify my interest and loyalty. I just love the game, the suspense, the players and the endless supply of unpredictable stories and surprises.
BUT…this season has been uniquely frustrating. The Red Sox won 108 games last season on the way to the World Championship, and it was, especially by historical Red Sox standards, an insanely enjoyable ride. Virtually everything went perfectly, over the season, in the play-offs, in individual games.Whatever was needed to win, somebody always came through: it was like a movie. Baseball isn’t usually like that (well, except for the Yankees for about 50 years). I even said at the time, as my wife reminds me, “The Sox are going to pay big time for this one.”
Boston was confident coming into 2019 with virtually the exact same sqaud that had been unbeatable in 2018. Regression to the mean, however, is a force of nature, and especially with this team, for some reason. Since 1918, every single time the Sox have won the American League pennant, the next season was a bust, and often a horrible bust. Devastating injuries, unexpected bad years, clubhouse dissension, astoundingly bad luck: I’ve seen it all, and before, I’ve endured it all as a fair price to pay for the joys of the past and to come. This season, for some reason, I can’t take it, and I feel like an ungrateful wretch.
2. Got it: slavery is the cause of everything bad in the United States, and all whites want black people to get sick and die. Does anyone who can think clearly think this latest bit of dishonest guilt-tripping propaganda is going to help Democrats prevail, rather than just harden racial and partisan divisions?
CBS This Morning yesterday was promoting the New York Times outed attempt to make slavery and racism the centerpiece of its effort to defeat President Trump, the Russian collusion narrative having crashed and burned. slavery. Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones was feted by co-host Gayle King, who gushed,“The thing that’s so amazing about this that makes me so proud, you can look at just about anything happening in the world today and tie it to slavery.”
Or sexism. Or imperialism. Or sun spots. Or the pollution of our bodily fluids.
King continued, “You look at the naming of Wall Street. You look at sugar that we eat. But the thing that stuck out to me was health care, you can tie health care to slavery.” Then the Times journalist jumped in…
We’re the only western industrialized country that doesn’t have universal health care. It starts with opposition to universal health care that occurs right after slavery when the Freedsmen’s Bureau was trying to offer free health care to the formerly enslaved and there was opposition to that. And so even today, you see with polling white Americans will reject social programs if they think large numbers of black people will benefit from them. So, the harms from slavery have not been contained because there are millions of white Americans, there are millions of Latinos and Asians and black Americans who don’t have health care, who can’t get insurance because of slavery.
There’s journalism in 2019 for you: “white Americans will reject social programs if they think large numbers of black people will benefit from them.” That actually IS a racist statement, as opposed to virtually every statement or tweet that Times reporters and pundits call racist when the President issues them.
3. How did I miss “Moral Mondays”? (Thanks to Pennagain for the tip.) Here, the use of “moral” is apt, unlike in many cases. Those so grandstanding are appealing to higher authorities rather than reason and logic: if a moral code says something is right or wrong, it just is, that’s all, and no further argument is necessary. This is what makes morality so helpful for dummies; it relieves them of the trouble of having to think. It’s a useful tell: when someone says that a position or opinion is immoral, that means they don’t really have the facts, evidence or ability to argue against it.
4. Remember, as Joe Biden reminded us, it’s the truth that matters, not facts. Let’s take guns, for example. Hayley Peterson of Business Insider set out to buy a gun from Walmart to see how easy it would be. After all, a high school expert said it was easy:
Right. She went to Walmart’s website and found out that over 4,000 Walmart locations sell guns, but the only guns being displayed on Walmart’s website were airsoft guns, which shoot plastic pellets. She then called multiple stores, and still couldn’t find out how to purchase a gun at the chain. Customer service representative told her they weren’t allowed to discuss gun purchases for some undisclosed reason. oThen she found a Walmart Supercenter in Chesterfield, Virginia, where a woman confirmed that she could buy a gun in the sporting goods department.
Peterson traveled to the store, where she found a small firearms inventory displayed in a locked glass case. Peterson saw no advertisements for guns in the store, and was warned by signs that she was on camera. When she asked how to purchase a gun, the manager was called and told Peterson that she would have to come back in a couple of days because no licensed firearm seller was scheduled to work until then. Walmart employees have to be legally qualified to sell firearms, passing their own background checks and receiving special training. Once a gun is purchased, the trained employee has to walk the customer, with the gun to the customer’s vehicle.
When she returned on a day when the trained employee was in the store, the employee asked her for a $2 background check fee, and helped her begin filling out the paperwork. Peterson’s address didn’t match up the one displayed on her driver’s license, so the process was halted: she was told she needed to have a government-issued document with the correct address, such as a bill from a state-owned utility or a car registration. Peterson was again told that she had to come back another time to finish the purchase.
At that point, Peterson decided not to buy a gun from Walmart.
It’s unbelievable how hard it is to buy cold medication in this country…