Ls&Cs: Interesting Times

The latest on strategies to avoid long-term calamities, knowing of calamities and lying about them, the US compared to South America and Europe, and Americans’ grasp of reality.

Washington Post, Max Boot (a former Republican), 22 Sep 21: The new GOP philosophy: An ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention

Recalling Benjamin Franklin’s “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Today’s Republicans turn that wise aphorism on its head. They seem to think an ounce of cure is worth a pound of prevention. When it comes to three of the most urgent crises we face — covid-19, global warming and gun violence — they disdain prevention in favor of amelioration. In practice that means allowing these calamities to rage out of control — and then hoping for the best.

Republicans have consistently, perversely sabotaged attempts to stop the spread of the coronavirus. They have been hostile to lockdowns, social distancing, and mask and vaccine mandates. Instead, many Republicans have embraced either fatalism (“There are more important things than living,” the Republican lieutenant governor of Texas said last year) or quack cures such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. Another GOP favorite — monoclonal antibody therapy — is more effective in treating covid patients, but monoclonal antibodies are in short supply, forcing the Biden administration to ration the drugs.

The piece ends with:

Why won’t the GOP do more to avert so many foreseeable tragedies? Because it is afraid to take on anti-vaxxers and covid deniers, oil and gas interests, and the gun lobby. Due to a combination of extremism and expedience, Republicans are allowing problems to fester at great cost rather than dealing with them at the source.

My comments:

Doesn’t this beg the question? Why is there such a base of people who dismiss long-term threats? Presumably there have always been. Perhaps the answer is just that the world has become more complex, and so the problems that emerge have greater consequences, and can’t be dismissed as things that happen to other people we don’t know.


We are not surprised:

Vice, 23 Sep 21: Rupert Murdoch Has Known We’ve Been in a Climate Emergency Since 2006, Documents Show.

Subtitled, “Murdoch’s News Corp has spent the past 15 years mitigating its own climate risk while giving media outlets like Fox News carte blanche to deny climate change altogether.”


NYT, 21 Sep 21: Trump Campaign Knew Lawyers’ Voting Machine Claims Were Baseless, Memo Shows

Subtitled, “Days before lawyers allied with Donald Trump gave a news conference promoting election conspiracy theories, his campaign had determined that many of those claims were false, court filings reveal.”



Washington Post, 21 Sep 21: Conservatives are dying to own the libs. Can anyone use that logic to get them vaccinated?

(Answer: no. It’s all a plot by the libs to *trick* the patriots…)

The Week, 22 Sep 21: The U.S. has more in common with South America than Europe

Subtitled: “The U.S. isn’t exceptional. It’s American.”


The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf, 24 Sep 21: The Conservatives Who’d Rather Die Than Not Own the Libs

Subtitled: “Rarely has so significant a faction in American politics behaved in a way that so directly claims the life of its own supporters.”


Salon, Chauncey DeVega, 24 Sep: Fascism is a mind-killer — and Trump’s version is destroying Americans’ grasp of reality

Subtitled: “Trumpism goes full Orwell: ‘Democracy’ is when Republicans win, and reality is replaced by fascist fantasy”


We live in interesting times.

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