I'll Take "Things That Make Zero Sense" for $1000, Mayim

[Amazon Link]
(paid link)
David Harsanyi points out that the emperor has no clothes, and also that The Democrats' Debt Ceiling Position Makes Zero Sense.

“If you buy a car,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre explained the other day, “you are expected to pay the monthly payment. … It’s that simple.”

Is it? Now, obviously, those who argue that the president can cancel millions of student loans by decree aren’t in a position to offer lessons on personal responsibility. The deeper problem with Jean-Pierre’s analogy, though, is that there isn’t a bank on Earth that’s going to keep lines of credit open when a person is compounding unsustainable debt year after year.

Speaking of which, the federal government has already hit the debt limit. The Treasury Department is now relying on “extraordinary measures” that will sputter out by June, at which time we will all be forced to forage for food and barter for medicine. The only thing that can save us from this dystopian hellscape, Jean-Pierre explains, is for Congress to do its “job” and return to regular order.

Note to readers: If I notice that an article uses "dystopian hellscape" somewhere, I'm probably gonna link to it.

Also of note:

  • Also taking David Byrne's advice too literally… Jeff Maurer notes The "Rules" About Which Actors Can Play Who Never Made Sense. (Subhed: "There were never even actually rules")

    Netflix is embroiled in a controversy over its new Jada Pinkett Smith-produced show, Queen Cleopatra. In the “documentary series” (their words), Cleopatra is played by Adele James, who is Black. I wouldn’t normally note an actor’s race, but the people who made Queen Cleopatra made it clear that James’ race is a key part of the show: Queen Cleopatra is part of a series called “African Queens”; Pinkett Smith explained “We don’t often get to see or hear stories about Black queens, and that was really important for me.”

    This casting choice has caused a firestorm on social media, but hey: What doesn’t cause a firestorm on social media? More notable is the fact that many Egyptians are unhappy. Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities declared the show a “falsification of Egyptian history”, and an Egyptian lawyer filed a suit seeking to shut down Netflix in Egypt. Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef — seen here being lauded by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show in 2012 — accused Netflix of trying to “take over our Egyptian culture.” In short, Netflix is being accused of “Blackwashing”, an inversion of the “whitewashing” accusation frequently levied against Hollywood.

    On its face, Queen Cleopatra would appear to be an egregious violation of Hollywood’s norms about which actors can play which roles. The subject is a historical figure whose lineage is largely know (detailed discussion of Cleopatra’s ancestry to follow) played by an actor whose lineage is decidedly different. The people who claim that figure as part of their history are loudly objecting to the portrayal. We might expect Netflix to be in full damage-control mode; we might expect a groveling statement in which they vow to “do better”, paired with a sizable donation to…I don’t know. Somebody.

    That hasn’t happened. And that’s largely because the rules about which actors can play who are an incoherent bunch of nonsense. They’re not even really “rules”; they’re a disjointed series of notions enforced by internet mobs. If we want to address the real problem of insensitive racial portrayals in media, then we should try to tease out some principles about which actors can play which roles.

    Related: Paul Tassi at Forbes claims Netflix’s ‘Queen Cleopatra’ Appears To Have The Worst Audience Score In TV History.

    Heckuva job, Jada!

  • Also not making sense. Ahmed Rehan Nasir at Game Rant: Naruto: Why the Substitution Jutsu Makes No Sense.

    No, I have no idea what that means. But certainly the lead paragraph will clear things up…

    The Naruto series features an extensive lineup of distinct jutsu and techniques, with most varying in strength and power. However, not all techniques align with the concept of ninjutsu set within the series, thereby pushing the boundaries of preexisting narratives. The Substitution Jutsu is one such technique, which, despite being relatively simple, breaks the preset notion of chakra and ninjutsu.

    Nope. Just made things worse.

  • Also not making sense, especially in the "Live Free or Die" state: Drew Cline reports that NH Zoning Atlas offers groundbreaking insight into local building restrictions. It's published by the Center for Ethics in Society at Saint Anselm College, and you can read it here. But here's the eyebrow-raising bit:

    The atlas shows that single-family homes are allowed by right on 90% of New Hampshire’s buildable land, and by public hearing on another 6%. Sounds good, right?

    A closer look, though reveals that single family homes on lots of less than one acre are illegal—yes, literally illegal—on most of that property. It is legal to build a home on less than one acre in only 16% of the state’s buildable land.

    You might think of zoning as “allowing” certain types of property uses. In reality, zoning is a prohibition. It carves communities into areas in which most uses of private property are outlawed. Large minimum lot size requirements are the perfect example of a regulation that outlaws a once common housing preference. The result is a nearly statewide prohibition on the construction of affordable starter homes.

    Back in the day, I was assured that zoning was the only barrier to having someone construct an oil refinery next door.

  • Happy (Belated) Birthday to Israel. Oy! You don't look a day over 74!

    But someone pointed out this two-year-old Babylon Bee article, and as usual the entire "joke" is in the headline: Tensions Rise In Middle East As One Side Wants To Kill Jews And The Other Side Are Jews Who Don't Want To Die And Neither Will Compromise. But I'll excerpt anyway:

    JERUSALEM - Israel has tried to get along with Palestine and other neighboring countries, but a core disagreement between the two groups has increased tensions and made peace seem impossible. For many in the Middle East, what they want most of all is to kill Jews -- which they see as a reasonable request. But a majority of Israel is made up of Jews who, first and foremost, do not want to be killed. And neither side is willing to compromise on these desires.

    I called this a "joke" above, but…

Last Modified 2024-01-13 10:57 AM EDT