Being pro-life and anti-vaccine; being pro-defense and anti-deficit; the decline of American conservatism; and endpiece.
Washington Post, Michael Gerson, 6 Dec 2021: Opinion: How is the GOP’s coronavirus recklessness compatible with being pro-life?
This is the strangest political cause of my lifetime. In the midst of a public health emergency that has taken more than 1 of every 500 American lives and which has reduced average life expectancy by 1.67 years (reversing about 14 years of life expectancy gains), Republican officials are actively discouraging citizens from taking routine medical precautions for their own welfare. This is not just a disagreement about policy. It is a political movement organized around increasing the risk of death to your neighbors, particularly your ill and elderly ones. And while it is certainly selfish, is not ultimately self-interested. Fatalities have increased especially in Republican-leaning portions of the country. A death cult has adopted a death wish.
The priorities of social conservatives do not bear close examination, for consistency.
Washington Post, Paul Waldman, 8 Dec 2021: Opinion: Lawmakers who fret about spending quietly pass hundreds of billions for ‘defense’
I’ve noticed this my entire life: conservatives/Republicans can never spend too much on the military, or cut taxes for the wealthy too much. There is never an analysis of what the country’s needs are in terms of taxes, or whether the gargantuan military is actually needed. The point of this article is that Congress, all the Republicans and even some Democrats, just given the military whatever it wants. And there are other articles which compare the annual military budget to the 10-year-long budget for Biden’s various social programs.
David Brooks, The Atlantic, 8 Dec 2021: What Happened to American Conservatism?, subtitled, “The rich philosophical tradition I fell in love with has been reduced to Fox News and voter suppression.”
Brooks, like Max Boot and others, is a traditional conservative who has become repelled by the current Trumpist Republican party. Long essay, from which I will not try to quote. Brooks is an eloquent writer, even if I don’t always agree with his stances.
Quiet day. I caught up on updating my financial spreadsheet, paying off one credit card. (I never spend so much that I cannot pay off my credit cards every month.)
Last night there was a very cute 1/2 TV special features characters from Frozen, especially Olag.
Today I worked another nonfiction book summary and profile — Sagan’s DRAGONS OF EDEN — and again, it took most of the afternoon. I always think that having notes (in this case, about 2000 words), will make the summary straightforward. But it doesn’t. It made me reconsider the book and what Sagan was attempting, and how well he succeeded; I changed my mind about this. So the process is worthwhile. Though it’s still not a major book (his COSMOS and THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD are far more important), not one I would recommend anyone seek out.
Y went off to babysit his grandson Nicholas, leaving before lunch, on a day both the child’s parent had to go to work.
5:09 the sun has set.