As Myanmar's military sentences former/actual Prime Minister Aung San Suu Kyi to four years in prison on bogus charges, we are reminded, I would hope, that this all started because Suu Kyi's party won parliamentary elections rather decisively in 2020, but the military didn't like it, so they cried fraud and overthrew the government, murdering peaceful protestors numerous times since then. Bunch of diaper-loaded brats with guns, these people! And, sadly, this is where we're heading, America -- maybe not in 2024, as Republicans hope to retake the Presidency through merely corrupt means, but eventually, if we fail to do our job.
Ho hum, our "liberal" media pretend that the two remaining candidates in Chile's Presidential elections -- a far-right pro-Pinochet asshole and a not-as-far-left protest leader -- are somehow "equally bad." This is similar to "liberal" media arguments that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were equally bad, a conclusion not justified by any evidence, but I also suspect that a lot of our media thought Mr. Pinochet was good for business! Another question raised by the article: if "moderates" are so great, why did the majority of Chilean voters reject them? (And we now learn that the far-right candidate's father was an actual Nazi, contrary to said candidate's statements; how will our "liberal" media deal with this one? One candidate's father was a Nazi, but the other wants to destabilize Chile by paying workers in more than dung pellets. Both sides!)
Today, in "Who's Not Paying Taxes?": real estate and oil tycoons, according to ProPublica's trove of leaked IRS tax returns. Doesn't matter that magically converting profits into losses is legal; after all, a lot of immoral things are also legal merely because rich folks buy more favorable laws from their Congressfolk, and everyone who actually pays taxes shouldn't aspire to be more like Stephen Ross, but should be furious with folks like Stephen Ross every time they bottom out over a pothole. And nobody should be fooled by the concept of depreciation wiping out a building's worth for tax purposes over a decade, as if buildings typically crumble to the ground that fast.
One of the January 6 seditionists, facing a mere 60 days in prison for her role in attempting to keep Donald Trump in office despite his being rejected by 81 million voters, says on TikTok that she's hoping "to be able to work out a lot and do a lot of yoga and detox" while in prison, and also hopes there'll be "some protein shakes and some protein bars." All I can say is that if she'd spent a lifetime being harassed by police because of her skin color, she wouldn't now be hoping she can "use" her prison term to shed a few pounds.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D?-WV) won't commit to supporting the Build Back Better Act, because word salad. Between this and not wanting to hold big corporations accountable with vaccine mandates even though he says it's their "responsibility," his tough-guy image sure is suffering. Also, if the "unknown" he fears is actually inflation -- and not just "the unknown," because refusing to raise taxes on the rich and lower them on working families and give workers four weeks of paid family medical leave and cut the cost of child care in half all because of "the unknown" is just abject cowardice -- then I'm old enough to remember when inflation was twice what it is now. We are truly led by the worst people.
Finally, David Brooks laments that "(w)hat passes for 'conservatism' now" "is nearly the opposite of the Burkean conservatism I encountered" as a young man, and though I've long been no great fan of Mr. Brooks, describing modern-day "conservatism" quite specifically as "a sort of mental brutalism" may be the best way anyone's described right-wingers screaming at the top of their lungs on TV -- make no mistake, they are absolutely trying to brutalize you. I also hadn't thought to locate the "brutish anti-intellectualism" of anti-vaxxers and anti-maskers in the "epistemological modest(y)" of conservatism, and I think he's pretty courageous to say that. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that Mr. Brooks has historically had too little to say about "big corporations suck(ing) the vitality out of local economies," but his entire argument is nonetheless very much worth your time. Personally I think liberals defend and maintain civilization at least as much as conservatives do, I conceive of the New Deal as a liberating force more than a planning project, and I put more faith in reason simply because I have so often witnessed it make sense of a complex world, but what a boon it would be to have these conversations again, rather than have to explain why you can't equate cancer and COVID to someone who's only trying to create drama in the first place.