Ah! I also feel wefweshed!
1. On torturing the homeless with earworms. The city of West Palm Beach, Florida has been blaring the horrible kids song “Baby Shark,” as well as another annoying song in the genre, “Raining Tacos,” outside an event center to drive homeless people away. Listen…
The homeless and their advocates object to the tactic as cruel and counter-productive. The city says it only wants to make them go to homeless shelters.
This is a case of “ick” rather than unethical conduct. Music is used to keep subjects of torture awake in some cases, and auditory assault by kids’ songs is only different in kind from high-pitched beeps and other more direct methods used around the country, such as recordings of chain saws . Some cities have even outfitted parks and public spaces with devices that blast a high-frequency sound that only teenagers and young people can hear.
The use of annoying songs passes the utilitarian test, I think. In this case, the desired end justifies the means. I will change that assessment of there is evidence that one or both of the two songs are literally driving the homeless insane.
That is a distinct possibility. Here’s “Raining Tacos”:
2. Let’s try to think of the least qualified, most objectionable candidates who would still be better than this trio...It’s official! Mark Sanford, who had to resign as South Carolina governor to avoid being impeached after going AWOL and conspiring to cover it up as he secretly visited his soul mate, a South American seductress, or, as such were called in less politically correct times, “firecracker,” has now declared that he will accept the GOP nomination for President. He now joins failed semi-Republican Senate candidate and Gary Johnson running mate William Weld, who is 74 and hasn’t held office in 22 years; he distinguished himself as a nominee of the Independent Party by announcing that he would vote for Hillary Clinton. Then there’s Joe Walsh, who spent all of one term in the House, and was reduced to being a radio talk show host after it was revealed that he was a deadbeat dad.
The news media is faking fainting spells because the Republican National Committee is not going to hold debates among this ridiculous crew, and is cancelling primaries as well. The RNC’s position isn’t unethical, it is responsible. I held in 2015 that the GOP had no obligation to allow Trump to run for the GOP nomination, and he was a more acceptable and serious candidate than any of these fools—which is not to say that he was serious or acceptable. These are three dead in the water political failures trying to use NeverTrump hate to breath life into the corpses of their careers.
Here’s how bad they are: I’d vote for Newt Gingrich (ugh) or Mitch McConnell (ugh X infinity) over any of them.
3. And this is why our rights are in real and immediate danger. From the Washington Post:
“Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks for gun buyers and allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, as President Trump and Republicans face fresh pressure to act.”
“Allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals,” aka the “red flag” laws, is a violation of due process, the Second Amendment, and also a “pre-crime” measure. The public support sit because a) unscrupulous politicians demagogue the issue of gun control, b)the average American, thanks to our incompetent public school system, can’t distinguish a constitutional right from prickly pear, and c) limiting the rights of hypothetical “bad people” is so easy, compared to when one’s own rights are being infringed.
This is a useful poll, because it shows how vulnerable the ignorant are to politicians who want to take over their autonomy and weaken our democracy under the impetus of “do something.” Who is going to explain to these millions of inattentive people with weak critical thinking skills why “red flag” laws are the totalitarian camel;s nose in the tent? President Trump, with his junior high school level rhetoric? Me, with my essays that violate Facebook standards? The news medi-ack! Ack! Gag! Cough! I couldn’t even that ridiculous possibility out. Who?
And who gets to define a “troubled individual”? Anyone with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress? That describes 90% of the people I know. Those with irrational anger and obsessions? That’s the entire Trump-hating Facebook Borg, based on my reading this week. People with rocky marriages, conflicts at work with supervisors and co-workers; ranting bloggers? Charles M. Blow? Kurt Schlicter? Stephen Colbert? Alec Baldwin?
We have a dumb, ignorant, lazy, badly educated, civically incompetent electorate that the news media and politicians want to make worse on all counts, and work constantly to accomplish that goal.