The Passing Parade: Cheap Shots from a Drive By Mind

"...difficile est saturam non scribere. Nam quis iniquae tam patiens urbis, tam ferreus, ut teneat se..." "...it is hard not to write Satire. For who is so tolerant of the unjust City, so steeled, that he can restrain himself... Juvenal, The Satires (1.30-32) akakyakakyevich@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

The January 6th Commission meets...

 ....or you could watch a Harlem Globetrotters game. They both amount to the same thing and the Globetrotters are a lot more fun to watch.

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Monday, June 14, 2021

Wuhan and Billy Ockham's Razor: a tale of two burgs, or why you shouldn't smoke with Kit Kat bars

  

Now, for the past year and a half it has been the contention of a lot of very smart people that the Covid pandemic absolutely, positively could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  This contention could not be true, these very smart people said, and anyone who said it was true was a fool, a dolt, and a poltroon all at the same time, something that it is usually extremely hard to do on any day that isn’t New Year’s Eve, Mardi Gras, or St. Patrick’s Day.  What’s more, some of these very smart people can and will keep you from saying such things on the Internet because they don’t want you confusing people and it is important in these serious times to keep from confusing people.  Confused people may do stupid things like criticize men for wearing brown shoes with blue pants, eat hot dogs with ketchup, or start selling life insurance for fun and profit, and the very smart people understand that they must prevent that sort of thing for the good of the country.  There is no telling what can happen when the confused people start asking questions that are not good for them and so it is better for everyone involved that no one ask anything.

 

And now for a slight diversion.  Industry here in our happy little burg has always been near the creek that flows through town.  That’s understandable, of course; our happy little burg is basically a 19th century factory town and 19th century factory towns are almost always located near creeks or rivers; in a time without electricity the water’s flow powered the machinery in the factories.  So, the creek was where the money was back in the day; machinery doesn’t do you any good if it just sits on the factory floor doing nothing because you have no way to make the stuff work.  There were three major exceptions to this rule: the brickyards, which were next to the railroad tracks next to the river, the lumberyard, which is still next to the railroad tracks next to the river, and the fireworks factory, which was not next to the railroad tracks next to the river, but rather two miles away next to the public cemetery near the foot of the mountain (yes, we have a mountain, thank you for asking). 

Fifty years ago, and yes, I find it intensely annoying that I can remember things from fifty years ago, there was an explosion here in our happy little burg.  It was a huge explosion, the kind that breaks windows several miles away and comes with its own mushroom cloud and makes deaf old women wonder what that sound was, and spry old men to think that the Russians were attacking the Air Force base across the river and maybe they should get the doughboy uniform out of mothballs just in case they once again had to defend this our Great Republic from its enemies.  Yes siree, son, the boys of the AEF will show them Commies what was what, just like we showed the Heinies in the Argonne back in ’18.  But the old uniform stayed in mothballs; it didn’t take too long for everyone to figure out what had happened; someone at the fireworks plant was not as careful as they should have been and now the fireworks plant was not there anymore.  Three people died in the blast, including the plant owner, whose head, or most of it, anyway, the firemen found about a half mile away from the site.  His family chose not to rebuild; the insurance paid off the claims of the people whose houses the explosion damaged; and eventually the family sold the site to a real estate developer who built split level houses for people who wanted to live in the country but needed to be a commutable distance to their jobs in the city.

For years afterwards folks in this neck of the woods speculated about what caused the explosion.  There were lots of theories, of course; someone was smoking where they should not have been, there might have been an electrical short circuit somewhere, theories abounded about the how and why of it.  But the one thing no one ever said was that it could not have happened at the fireworks plant. There was a lot of gunpowder at that plant and all it would take for a disaster to happen is someone being careless with a match for just a moment, which is my theory of what happened.  Just thought I’d let you know.

Which is why the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology theory seems a bit odd to me.  The Wuhan Institute of Virology experimented on bats and bat viruses and had a known history of being casual with safety precautions.  The first people to catch the virus were people who worked at the institute and the Chinese government sealed off the city of Wuhan to keep the disease from spreading to the rest of China.  And now it turns out that the United States government was paying the Wuhan Institute of Virology to figure out ways to make Chinese bat diseases more deadly and more transmissible to people, which the very smart people who tell me that the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology think is an incredibly good thing, for reasons I am not sure I fathom, but then again, I am not a virologist.

But I am a fan of William of Ockham and his very sharp razor, and a good swipe of that trusty instrument tells me that the people who say that the virus could not have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology have a future in selling fertilizer, which is nice, because when the cow flop hits the fan, as it appears to be doing now, they’ll need a way to make a living. I do not think anyone in their right mind will let them play with germs anymore, but then again, Joe Biden is the President of the United States, or so he claims, so anything is possible.

 

 

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Stating the obvious

 I should write more often. This prolonged lack of effort on my part is only succeeding in making me look lazy in comparison to the three toed sloth, which does not need an excuse to be slothful; a creature that empties its bowels once a month can be forgiven, I think, for not wanting to move around more than is absolutely necessary. So I must get back to the writing desk, although I really should start paying off that pile of bills I have stacked on the desk right now.  I'm not sure that writing checks counts, though.

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Friday, April 02, 2021

Sight unseen

 "Democrats have demonized the Georgia law, insisting that there was nothing wrong with the 2020 election, despite the last-minute election rules changes due to COVID-19 and the Time expose about a “conspiracy” to “save” the election for Biden. While the Trump campaign was unable to prove in court that the former president truly won the election, that does not erase the serious concerns regarding election integrity that the Georgia law and other reform efforts address."  Tyler O'Neil, Townhall

And I weigh 185 pounds and look like George Clooney, just as long as I stay off the scale and away from mirror in the bathroom. Cases are hard to prove if no one looks at the evidence, or, in this case, wants to look at the evidence.

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Monday, January 18, 2021

Covid Blues, or life in our modern age

 

So, here’s the thing: I spent the last month or so dealing with the pestilence of our time, the Wuhan wet-market wonder virus, and so I have little or no time to write anything, even though the faux election of this nation’s first walking dead president provides, and will provide, I think, a never-ending supply of anecdotes to comment on over the next four years.  As to the virus, I am well now, or so the local board of health says so, but my doctor is not sure he agrees with them. Therefore, in an effort to ease his distrust of the board of health, I went to another doctor's office and have a nice Jamaican lady shove a cotton swab up both my nostrils.  I trust that the results will be negative, if for no other reason that I intensely dislike the sensation of having things shoved up my nostrils.  It is most disagreeable, as I am sure you will agree when this happens to you.  And it will.

As to the disease itself, for me it was little worse than a not too bad head cold or maybe a very weak flu.  Temperatures went from normal to weak fever to normal again within the span of a few hours, as did my desire to do hurtful things to Chinese people for unleashing this plague upon us, although calling it a plague do little else except give the virus a swelled head and make it feel much more important than it really is, in much the same way as a D-list television actor might feel if he / she / it /they / xhe / whatever landed a big role in a major feature film. Whatever the Wuhan flu is, it is not septicemic plague or the Ebola virus.  Here in this our Great Republic, we have shut down the most powerful economic engine in the world over a disease with a 99.98% survival rate.  I know that different people react to the disease in diverse ways, but I would think that protecting the most vulnerable populations, i.e., the ill and the elderly, first would be a promising idea, and then just let everyone else get on with their lives.  This makes sense to me, but I live in the Vampire State, where the reigning blue monarch will brook no dissent from his decrees about what it is good for the peasantry and will not tolerate sense if said sense does not conform with his whims. So, such is life.

I should also point out that my 91-year-old mother has the virus, and yes, she blames me for her having it, thank you very much for asking, as does my brother, whom she infected when he brought her into the doctor’s office for the test, and I must say that the decibel level denouncing the former is much higher than the decibel level denouncing the latter, mostly because that is apparently my fault as well.  My mother is doing quite well; she is not happy with not being able to do yard work, but we must all make sacrifices at this unhappy time in our country’s history; and I expect that her next test will be negative, given that her oxygen levels are in the high nineties and her appetite is slowly returning.  My brother is also doing well.  He hunkered down in his house with a year’s supply of Doritos and enough Bud Lite to float a team of Clydesdales on and watched football for the whole of his quarantine.  I suspect that his viruses were probably the happiest viruses in the state, and that his bloodstream these past few weeks was a veritable Mardi Gras of drunken viruses traveling from one of his ends to the other while wearing Saints gear and screaming hoo dat at the passersby .  After shocking the locals with their behavior—I am not sure how that is possible either in my brother's bloodstream or in New Orleans, but I suppose that there is a first time for everything—our celebrants then started puking in the street and on themselves, before sidling up to a cute T-cell in a black leather bikini and pumps on my brother's equivalent of Bourbon Street and saying, hey baby, wanna replicate?  In any case, my brother tested negative a few days ago and is already back to work.  I’m not sure how things worked out with the T-cell.

 

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Friday, November 13, 2020

When we dead awaken, in this case, not a play by Henrik Ibsen

 

Blarney, the late Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, is flattery laid on so thin that you couldn’t help but love it, whereas baloney was flattery laid on so thick that you hated it.  And so it is with elections.  A little Chicago-style chicanery here and there livens up the dinner conversation and makes the teller seem dashing and worldly, especially if you don’t live in Chicago and have to live with the consequences of electing and re-electing hordes of grifting and grafting politicians, and causes the Europeans at the dinner table wonder how such an advanced society could tolerate such shenanigans. For example, one can hardly imagine Maximilian Robespierre casting his ballot for Monsieur Macron, Louis XIV seriously contemplating the political ramifications of voting for Marine LePen, or Joan of Arc publicly supporting France staying in the European Union.  And yet here in this our Great Republic, veterans of the Civil War voted for the Democratic Party’s nominee less than two short weeks ago.  I found this bit of news a bit perplexing, given that the last undisputed Civil War veteran, Albert Henry Woolson of the 1st Minnesota Heavy Artillery Regiment, died in Duluth, Minnesota on August 2nd, 1956 at the age of 106.  While I think that we must all honor the sacrifices made by the men of the Civil War generation, I do not believe that this homage extends to permitting those same veterans to vote in the 2020 presidential election or even the 1956 presidential election. The question arises, however, if any Confederate veterans voted for the Democratic nominee in Georgia, and if they did, does this make that nominee a racist, an important question in our iconoclastic age.

Here in our happy little burg nothing like this would ever happen.  We live in a safely Democratic state in which nothing untoward ever happens to the Democratic nominee for almost any office you choose to name and therefore no feels the need to stuff the ballot box, except, of course, in municipal elections.  In municipal elections the population of our town awaits with bated breath to find out who Mr. Martin Meehan voted for in this election cycle.  Mr. Meehan was the scion of a lace curtain Irish family—his father was a respectable publican and one of his brothers was a priest and his youngest sister became a nun—but young Martin himself fell in with evil company and became a wastrel, a lout, and an altogether unpleasant young fellow. After his father cut off his allowance, Martin decided to make some money of his own so he could continue his debauched habits.  Not being the sort of person who would ever stoop to or even contemplate actually working for a living, and not being especially bright to begin with, Martin decided to rob a grocery store in the slough of urban despond that lies directly across the river from our happy little burg.

To that end, Martin procured a pistol and a box of bullets.  He fired two bullets for practice and did not hit the empty beer bottle he was aiming at.  Later that day, he crossed the river on the ferry and proceeded to the grocery store, which he then robbed of $12.83.  The owner of the grocery store objected vigorously to Martin robbing him, a trait common to many small tradesmen, whereupon Martin fired two shots at him.  The shots struck the owner of the grocery store in the chest, the man being somewhat larger than an empty beer bottle, and he fell dead to the floor.  Martin, according to the testimony of the eyewitnesses, seemed more than a little nonplussed by this turn of events; apparently he had not given any thought to the possibility of being a murderer as well as a thief; and so dashed out of the grocery store and into the arms of a local constable, who had heard the gunshots and came running. After a brief scuffle, in which the constable broke Martin’s nose and blackened his eye, our heroic flatfoot dragged Martin the two blocks down Broadway to the police station.

Events moved swiftly after that, the judicial system of the time being less constrained than it is nowadays.  Young Martin was found guilty of murder by a jury of his peers and sent up the river, or in Martin’s case, down the river, to a cell in the state’s death house, where he waited a month for the courts and the governor to reject his appeal. Two days after the warden got the bad news from the governor’s office, Martin received the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church from his brother the priest.  The brand-new state electrician and his equally brand-new electric chair then swiftly dispatched Martin onwards into that country from whose bourn no traveler returns, except, it seems, in election years.  Martin was only the third person the state electrician had executed with the device and he was the first person the state electrician had gotten the voltages right with, the two previous occupants of the chair having been more roasted than electrocuted. 

Afterwards, Martin’s parents buried him in St. Thomas’ Cemetery, in the family plot near his great-grandfather, where Martin has remained active in local politics ever since.  To my certain knowledge, Martin Meehan is the most loyal Democrat in the county, having voted in every local, state, and national election since the state shuffled him off this mortal coil in 1912.  I think that it is a good thing for Martin to be so involved in politics, a much more remunerative and altogether safer form of crime for everyone involved than robbing grocery stores.  After all, the present Democratic nominee for president has spent most of his life drawing a government salary and is worth $9 million that we know of.  Martin, I think we can all agree, missed his calling in life.  He would have made a fortune if only he had run for the state assembly, a fortune, I’m telling you!

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Saturday, November 07, 2020

NOT. MY .PRESIDENT.

 What the title says, not now, not ever. Resist.

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