Commentary

What Fresh Hell is This?

Mooch.jpg

This is a very specific blog post, and it’s not directed at you.

It’s directed at the person who wrote this article and the editor, or editors, who allowed it to be published.

Who in the holy hell cares what Anthony Scaramucci has to say about anything? Who cares what he thinks about politics? About American foreign policy? About any goddamned thing imaginable?

What in the hell is wrong with you people? Scaramucci is not a credible source of information, opinion or expertise. He is a rolling sack of meat jammed into a suit. He’s less than informed about actual things happening in this world—he’s a discredited, unemployable jackass with no redeemable qualities.

You dutifully wrote down what he had to say, and you came up with this?

Former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci believes it would be "very smart" for Iran to de-escalate tensions with the United States, amid fears of another military confrontation in the Middle East.

President Donald Trump announced fresh sanctions on the Islamic Republic on Monday, following the downing of an unmanned American drone last week.

The U.S. president also warned an Iranian attack on Americans would be met with "great and overwhelming force" and "obliteration."

Oh, man. If the Mooch says it would be “very smart” for the Republic of Iran to do something, well, we’d all better get in line behind his wise and learned advice and follow it, huh? This is million dollar stuff here.

Jesus fucking Christ, you people. You’ve elevated a barely sentient pissant to the level of what, exactly? Why don’t you get Omarosa’s opinion on textile trade with South Asia? Why don’t you get Corey Lewandowski’s opinion on relations with the opposition running against the government of Malaysia? How about asking Tom Price what we should do about our treaty rights in relation to all things concerning the Laplanders?

These are the stupidest times of our lives, bar none.

Russia is After Sarah Jessica Parker

It's all good, innocent fun:

Actress Sarah Jessica Parker doesn't have to feel left out of the foreign policy social scene anymore -- the Russian Foreign Ministry tweeted that Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak would be happy to meet with Parker, too.

The invitation came Friday, from the Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in response to Parker's Instagram post on Thursday. The "Sex And The City" star channeled her character Carrie Bradshaw to joke about the controversy surrounding the meetings between Kislyak and US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as well as the subsequent revelations that more Trump administration advisers have met with the Russian ambassador. 

Parker's Instagram post features a scene from the HBO series showing Bradshaw typing on a laptop with a caption, resembling the television script, that reads: 

    "I couldn't help but wonder... has the Russian ambassador been meeting with everybody except me?"

    I am an expert on sawhorses, and the one on which Miss Parker has positioned herself is very sturdy and would be excellent for a flooring project or even stacking hardwood materials. Think of a dark oak floorboard, perhaps five or six inches wide with a pronounced groove to it. That is the limit of my knowledge on such things. I don't know what the Russians want with her, but it has to be related to her knowledge of America's television industry.

    Unlike the Trump people, if Parker were to meet with the Russians, I am certain that she would report her meeting to the authorities and provide the FBI with as much information as they would require. I doubt very much that she would lie about any bags of money handed to her by Russian agents.

    How Did Larry Flynt End Up Being the Voice of Reason?

    Larry Flynt survived 2016 in order to shame the American media:

    Larry Flynt, the Hustler publisher and First Amendment advocate, says the media needs to do a better job covering President-elect Donald Trump.

    “Hold him accountable at all times,” Flynt told us. “He makes the press look like amateurs in the way he tweets and tells half-truths and lies, and he gets away with it.”

    Flynt says that shows like “Meet the Press” are “the worst culprits,” and continued, “You can’t bury your head in the sand, you have to fight back . . . If Trump could, he would like to put restrictions on the First Amendment. That’s what happens any time you give absolute power to anyone. The first thing to go is the free press and then individual freedoms go. You have to fight for it.”

    Is there anything Flynt is wrong about?

    No! Of course not! He has a very simple take on the media and on the new division pundits that have not been held even remotely accountable for the disaster that was the 2016 presidential election. He's even reminding us that freedom of the press is about to become a distant memory very shortly because we don't appreciate what we have. A lot of people fought hard in 2016, but exactly the right number of people in a few states decided that freedom isn't as important as having a kleptocratic banana republic installed as the next American government.

    How many of them were fired because they got it wrong?

    None of them!

    And here we are, just a few days into 2017, and Larry Flynt is the voice of reason. Amazing.

    Combat Gum

    I found this old piece on the New Yorker website:

    Hale predicts that combat gum could save the military a hundred million dollars annually. Dental emergencies account for ten per cent of all injuries that cause soldiers to be evacuated from the battlefield (not counting battle itself, of course). There are forty-seven types of dental emergencies, ranging from the mildly uncomfortable (gingivitis, say), moderately painful (pericoronitis), and severe (totally avulsed tooth). When it gets that bad, a soldier might need to be helicoptered into a dental theatre on another continent. The cost of transportation, plus that of the treatment itself, on top of the unit’s lost manpower, adds up to tens of millions of dollars each year. According to Hale, forty per cent of recruits have at least three cavities. “They have developed a decay pattern,” he said. “We diagnose, pull their teeth, and fill them. This is a constant thing for us, because we have tremendous turnover.”

    This is the sort of thing that would have automatically prompted me to write a post, had I seen it back in March of 2014. I had occasion to see dentists in the Army, and I can't remember any bad experiences. I even had my wisdom teeth taken out while stationed in San Antonio, Texas. I was regular Army, and I was referred to the Air Force hospital for removal.

    It took a week for me to feel normal after that because I had waited until I was about 30 to do the wisdom tooth extractions. I had all four of them out at once. No fun.

    What is referenced in the article gets to the heart of a problem for deploying soldiers. We had categories for everyone, and I seem to recall that they ran from Cat I to Cat IV. If you were a one or a two, you could be deployed. That meant that you had seen a dentist and didn't have any issues. If you were a Cat III or IV, you couldn't deploy. Typically that meant that you hadn't been to the dentist in a while or that you had outstanding issues, like root canal work that needed to be done.

    I always went to the dentist. It was free and it wasn't that bad. If they can give you a gum that will keep your teeth in your head, sell it to the civilian world and make money. Precious few innovations come to soldiers nowadays. The last big innovation was the Camelback drinking system. Gum that kills bacteria and prevents tooth loss? We should give that to everyone.