No Foolin', It's a Miscellaneous Monday

We are not even close to a theme today. But we'll start off with our favorite musician:

I will (of course) point out that American commercial air travel is extremely safe. Safer than being a night-shift maintenance worker on a Baltimore bridge.

It’s hard to pick the scariest part: the phones and teddy bears dropping from the sky, the shirt getting ripped off a teenager’s body or the massive hole in the side of the plane.

The harrowing story of the Alaska Airlines flight that narrowly avoided disaster at 16,000 feet is petrifying enough to make you never set foot on a plane again.

But there’s another way to look at one of the most dangerous aviation events in recent American history: How did hurtling through the sky in a giant metal tube become this safe?

The biggest U.S. commercial airlines have now gone nearly 15 years without a fatal crash, which is something of a miracle itself, as there have been more than 100 million flights and 10 billion passengers since then.

It's still a funny video though. Get it together, Boeing!

Also of note:

  • And the result was a Weeping Woman. Kat Rosenfield may not be weeping, but she seems, at best, dismayed: America's censors have committed their Guernica.

    America’s cultural mood calls to mind a bunch of people tentatively peering out from their hiding places in the aftermath of a torrential hailstorm. Is it over? Can we come out now? Are we still cancelling each other to death, or has the vibe finally shifted?

    In recent months, people who lost their jobs amid this or that spasm of ideological intolerance have begun to reappear in places where they would have been previously blackballed, telling stories that sound like modern-day versions of The Crucible, except much stupider. The memoir of #MeToo hero Christine Blasey Ford was released last week to surprisingly little fanfare, while a NYMag exposé of womanising podcaster Andrew Huberman — which only a few years ago might have resulted in the boycotting and deplatforming of the man in question — made barely a dent in the discourse. Brands that went all in on social justice are now quietly — and in some cases, desperately — distancing themselves from the excesses of the era. Even the painfully hip young progressives who run Biden’s social-media channels have stopped using inane terms like Latinx, and resumed posting like normal people, or close enough.

    And yet, there is also a sense that we cannot pull back from the edge, particularly in the rarefied spaces where high culture is made. Consider this month’s imbroglio at the literary journal Guernica, which lost virtually all its volunteer staff in a wave of mass resignations following the publication of an essay by writer and translator Joanna Chen. Titled “From the Edges of a Broken World”, it described Chen’s complicated and conflicted relationship with her adopted country of Israel — to which she immigrated at the age of 16 after the death of her brother — in the wake of the October 7 attacks that left 1,400 people dead, and the retaliatory bombing by Israel which augmented that number by tens of thousands more. Within days of the essay’s publication, Guernica‘s co-publisher and nearly a dozen editors announced that they were resigning in objection, accusing Chen of trying to “soften the violence of colonialism and genocide”. The magazine unpublished the essay with apologies, although apologies for what remains unclear; a “more fulsome explanation” for the retraction was promised but has yet to appear, and the magazine’s website has not been updated in weeks.

    Guernica is well outside my normal reading range, and it looks as if it will remain there. Looking forward to Ms. Rosenfield's next book though.

  • Well, it wouldn't be the GOP if it didn't do something stupid every so often. Tom Knighton, writing at Bearing Arms claims: New Hampshire Republicans Make Massive Mistake on Guns. Quoting a New Hampshire Bulletin article ("Gun-rights Republicans split, pass bill adding mental health records to gun checks"):

    Gun rights advocates who are usually unified on gun legislation split Thursday on a bill that would add some mental health records to gun background checks. New Hampshire is one of several states that does not report that information to the federal background database, though federal law prohibits individuals who’ve been involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility from purchasing or possessing firearms.

    House Bill 1711, brought in response to the fatal shooting of state hospital security officer Bradley Haas by a former patient in November, passed 204 to 149, with 25 Republicans joining Democrats in supporting it.


    For me, the big thing is the fact that a lot of people may well avoid getting necessary treatment because they're concerned their mental health provider will put their records into the background check system, barring them from buying guns.

    It's hard enough to seek help. Far too many people are terrified to get it, afraid of what people might think or afraid of the stigma about getting treatment for their problems. How do these people benefit by giving them yet another concern about getting help? How is society benefited from something like that? How are people safer when mentally ill people don't seek help?

    They're not, and this shouldn't have happened.

    Live free [or] die ....unless you're depressed. In that case, screw you.

    We'll see if the bill gets by the Senate and Governor Sununu.

  • But how much brains do you need? The Washington Examiner quotes a former Trump insider giving us all less reason to worry come next year: John Bolton suggests Trump ‘hasn’t got the brains’ to be a dictator.

    Former national security adviser John Bolton attempted to pacify concerns about presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump becoming a dictator by attacking his lack of “brains.”

    Bolton discussed his former boss in an interview with the French outlet Le Figaro published Thursday. Trump’s 2024 opponent, President Joe Biden, is making a mistake, according to Bolton, by constantly referring to the former president as a threat to democracy.

    “People don’t believe [Biden],” Bolton explained. “Neither do I, because it’s not true! Firstly, regarding the possibility of overthrowing the [American)]republic, let’s be clear: Donald Trump is not Julius Caesar. The American Constitution and its institutions are strong. Trump attacked them by trying to call into question the result of the elections, and he failed. If he wasn’t able to steal the election when he was in the Oval Office, it’s not going to happen in November from Mar-a-Lago. The Constitution is very clear, there will be no third term.”

    The reporter pushed, asking Bolton if Trump had any dictatorial tendencies like Caesar. Trump has teased the idea of being a dictator only on “day one.”

    “He hasn’t got the brains,” Bolton said. “He’s a property developer, for God’s sake!”

    I'm not seeing a lot of zeal either, another sine qua non. He just wants to "be President" again.

  • Somebody should ask him about this. J.D. Tuccille points out: Biden Is Against Corporate Welfare Except When He’s for It.

    Not that many Americans expect politicians to be truthful, but for the sake of naïfs walking among us at this late date, let's point out that, when President Joe Biden rails against giveaways to big business, it means a lot of money is on its way to favored corporations. To the extent the president is serious about the anti-business animus in his speeches, it's directed only at private enterprises that go their own way; entities that follow government direction are recipients of all sorts of privileges and largesse.

    "I want to talk about the future of possibilities that we can build together — a future where the days of trickle-down economics are over and the wealthy and the biggest corporations no longer get the — all the tax breaks," President Biden huffed during this year's State of the Union address.

    Tuccille points out the recent $8.5 billion helicopter drop of cash onto that plucky little startup, Intel.

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