Bonkers & Blather

People either acting foolishly or actually saying what appear to be foolish things.  This file grows ever thicker by the day. So much so, that we could do a salute to foolishness every day.  So, here’s a sampling of those who’ve made the B&B Honor Roll for this edition.

Ex-CIA Director John Brennan reportedly told an MSNBC host: “There are so few Republicans in Congress who value truth, honesty, and integrity.” Pretty sure he’s confused about which party’s leadership actually lacks those character qualities. Then, based on that errant assumption, here comes the kicker: “I’m increasingly embarrassed to be a white male these days, when I see what other white males are saying.” Wow, embarrassed by his whiteness.  Might suggest a regimen of white-suppressant pharmaceuticals, and eventually a trans-racial-ectomy to “whitewash” his exterior toward achieving his choice of skin tones, in order to replace his haunting embarrassment with refurbished ethnic pride.  Out of the mouths of babes (and sometimes old white guys).

After a summer (2020) of downtown riots, looting, and destruction, Portland’s Democrat Mayor Ted Wheeler finally decided he’d had about enough.  Said he, reportedly: “My good faith efforts at de-escalation have been met with ongoing violence and even scorn from radical Antifa and anarchists.  It’s time to push back harder against those who are set on destroying our community.”  He continued: “In response, it will be necessary to use additional tools and to push the limits of the tools we already have to being the criminal destruction and violence to an end.”  Way too little, way too late, Mr. Mayor. Portland authorities should have “pushed back harder” from the very start of the mayhem.  For the record, his “push back” comments came in early January.  Now, as of late March, nighttime riots in Portland are apparently continuing. Not pushing near hard enough yet!

During the recent Congressional discussions about elevating the federal minimum wage, Representative Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) felt like jacking it up to $15.00 per hour wasn’t nearly enough. “Any person who thinks that a $15 minimum wage is the ‘crazy socialist agenda’ is living in a dystopian (i.e., “a society within which conditions are dreadful”) capitalist nightmare.  And we should prop that up (minimum $7.25 currently). We should not continue that. Because when you take the minimum wage from several decades ago and you actually account for inflation and productivity gains to today, it should be $24 an hour.”  America’s small businesses are already gasping at the $15 figure.  The $24 level or anything close would very likely put thousands or perhaps even millions of small retailers out of business, given consumer resistance to what they would then have to charge for their products or services.  The way to increase one’s work compensation is to earn it, to deserve it, most often by increasing one’s skills (two-year or technical colleges) in order to add to one’s worth to the employer, or to another employer/business sector entirely.  Far more effective to earn and deserve the increase in wage or salary, than to have Santa Government simply decree it and hand it to you.  What the government gives, the government can take away (taxes).

As school districts around the nation begin to transition wholly or partially back to in-person classroom instruction, some are expressing resistance to returning, after the better part of a year of being shut down and limited to on-line learning only. State funding was proposed as an incentive to help re-open public schools in California.  A spokesperson for California’s largest teachers’ union, United Teachers of Los Angeles, claimed that not only would teachers be in danger of contacting Covid, but re-opening now would ‘perpetuate structural racism.’ Said the union: “If you condition funding on the re-opening of schools, that money will only go to white and wealthier and healthier school communities that do not have the transmission rates that low-income Black and Brown communities do.  This is a recipe for propagating structural racism and it is deeply unfair to the students we serve.”  The spokesperson continued: “We are being unfairly targeted by people who are not experiencing this disease in the same ways as students and families are in our communities.  If this was a rich person’s disease, we would’ve seen a very different response. We would not have the high rates of infections and deaths.  Now educators are asked instead to sacrifice ourselves, the safety of our student, and the safety of our schools.”

So then, “rich people” have not been infected or killed by Covid?  And how, exactly would the “response” have been different and far, far more effective?  Pinocchio call your office.  What is ‘deeply unfair to the students’ they serve is the continuation of isolated, at-home on-line learning, which is known to be far less effective, and healthy, for students, than live teacher in the classroom instruction.  If race issues are valid in some locations, and they may well be, then work around that and, for now, permit only the “safer” zone schools to re-start.  But work hard to get them all back in session, teachers, staff, and students for the well-being of all of our students and their families who’ve had to make major adjustments to accommodate the demands of at-home learning.

With ever- increasing inoculation rates against the virus, with masks and other safety protocols in place, and with the knowledge that younger students especially are apparently less likely to contract the virus, one must question the real reason for the resistance among unions for returning to in-person classroom instruction.  There was even a report from the Chicago area that union teachers were being told not to tell anyone once they had been vaccinated!  If true, that would seem to indicate that resistance to returning was perhaps about more than just teacher-student safety.

Sorry.  Got off onto an issue.  But it was a touch of some blather than dragged me there.  Back to bonkers. MSNBC’s Joy Reid reportedly tweeted: “I’ll say it again: people on the right would trade all the tax cuts in order to openly say the n-word like in the ‘good old days.’  To them, not being able to be openly racist and discriminatory without consequence is oppression.”  She nailed both bonkers and blather with this regal presentation of the race card.  And her statement could not be more false.  Normal, common sense, educated folks have no desire to use the n-word, period, and have every desire to get along effectively with others, whether business or personal, regardless.

Then, New York City recorded a 75% increase in shootings in February vs. last year.  Responded the Mayor, reportedly: “We are the safest big city in America.  We will continue to be.  A dual B&B two-pointer at the buzzer.

Mr. Biden is said to have recently referred to Russian President Putin as a “killer” (refers to supposedly trying to have an opponent poisoned), and that “he will pay a price” for allegedly trying to interfere with the Biden candidacy in the 2020 election.  Among other off-base remarks, that was definitely not a wise one.

And to wrap up this edition of B&B, in Fargo, North Dakota, a condo homeowner is being threatened with a $200 per day fine because the American flag he flies off his second story porch is causing complaints that it is too noisy on windy days!  “I don’t really take it down,” said the homeowner. “It’s been lit up every night and it’s an all-weather flag, so you follow the guidelines and it’s been up for two years straight, almost.”  That’s one we haven’t heard before: complaints about a noisy flag.  The flag’s perhaps a little bit larger, but by no means huge, mounted to his porch beam.  One possible problem and or source when it comes to “complaints:” The condo association president lives right above him!  Apparently their relationship was already not the best!

(Brennan’s embarrassment quote via, Sam Dorman, 3-2-21; Wheeler quotes via, Nick Arama, 1-2-21; and, Lorenz Duchamps, 1-2-21; Ocasio-Cortez quote via, Hannah Bleau, 3-1-21;  Los Angeles teachers union quotes via, Thomas Catenacci, 3-2-21; and, Emily Zanotti, 3-2-21;  Reid quote via, Adam Schrader and Hannah Parry, 3-4-21; NYC quote via, Stephanie Pagones, 3-5-21; Putin “killer” quote via, AFP, 3-18-21; Flag owner quote via, James Leggate, 3-18-21).