#FJB

Due to certain idiotic policies that kick in when someone dies, I'm unable to pay off certain debts the easy way -- online -- and so I have to write paper checks and send them via the U.S. Snail.

This requires the purchasing of postage stamps, which requires entering the lobby of a post office. Which I did today.

And was confronted with a sign on the door that said face coverings were required to enter the building.

There was one other person there and I couldn't tell whether he was masked or not, and he didn't say anything to me when I walked in bare-faced.

Still, if a future post-office visit takes place not on a Saturday, I've decided I need to be prepared. The navy blue version displays by default at that link, but I ordered the red one. Because MAGA.

By the way, did you know that it costs financial institutions more money to cash paper checks than to process online payments? And did you know that when you borrow based on a 48-month interest-free deal, 48 times the minimum payment actually works out to equal the full amount you borrowed?

This means that the financial institution to which I mailed a check today is going to lose more processing this payment than I spent on gas or a stamp.

The mask will probably put me over the finish line first though. I don't care.

REMEMBER

Twenty years ago this morning, several kooks from Middle Eastern countries flew four commercial passenger jets to their dooms with innocent people aboard, in an attempt to bring the United States of America to its knees.

If Osama bin Laden were still alive today -- as he would be if then-Vice President Joe Biden had had his druthers back in 2011 -- he would be kicking himself for believing the way to do that was with terrorism. Rather, he should simply have funneled money to his would-be protector's political campaigns like so many other corruptocrats and enemies of Western civilization have done over the course of his career.

It would have taken decades, and the results would have been less spectacular than the collapse of the World Trade Center's twin towers, but it would have had the advantage of succeeding -- as it appears to have done without Osama's money.

Instead, it appears poor Osama served only as a distraction, a sacrificial target for Western wrath and preparation while civilization's true enemies made good their ambition by other means.

And we fell for it.

Fool me once...

It’s Kind of a Drag

If Joe Biden had run for Governor of Georgia instead of for President, and if he had won that contest, his actions since the election leave me convinced that, by now, this would once again be our state flag:

enter image description here

For those who don’t remember that fustercluck, Wikipedantry has the rundown here. When Republican Sonny Perdue defeated Democrat Roy Barnes for re-election as governor in 2002, Perdue pushed to replace Barnes’ “placemat” flag with the banner we fly today.

Biden’s handlers are so obsessed with undoing the legacy of his Republican predecessor that, if he were merely our governor instead of the president, he would have rolled back everything in Georgia to the way it was the last time one of his fellow Democrats was in charge.

Wouldn’t have been surprised to see him push for that anyway, while he was calling our modest new election reform law “Jim Crow on steroids.”

Cheney Fool

As the news has reported, Rep. Liz Cheney (S-Wyo) has been voted out of her position as House Republican Conference Chair, publicly because her ongoing, escalating war of words with former President Trump has been deemed divisive and contrary to her responsibility as a member of the House’s GOP leadership.

It’s interesting that those ranking above her in the leadership have had a change of heart since the first time House Republicans voted on whether to remove her as Conference Chair. Other than her continued rancorous exchanges with Trump, what could have been happening behind the scenes to cause this turnaround?

One possible contributor is the continuing dissatisfaction with her Trump feud at home in Wyoming. Perhaps Leader McCarthy and Whip Scalise have become sufficiently unsure of Cheney’s chances of winning re-nomination in Wyoming’s Republican primary in 2022. Or perhaps pro-Trump campaign donors have made more intimidating noises than their anti-Trump counterparts, after Cheney’s pro-impeachment vote failed to produce consequences the first time around.

Whatever the reason, this vote undermines one of Cheney’s stronger arguments for re-nomination: Clout. Many a gone-swamper member of Congress has parlayed a lifelong career out of the Clout card, especially lifers elected from small-population states. Alaska’s late Senator Ted Stevens was one such, who completely redefined his role from representing the views of his fellow Alaskans in Washington, to serving as Washington’s spokesman to those backward Alaskans. It was agony watching him get re-elected time and again, despite his complete loss of touch with his constituents, because defeating him would mean losing Clout.

You can be sure Liz Cheney would have used that same argument against those who want her recalled from Washington in favor of some other Wyomingite more in step with their way of thinking. Being a third-termer already elevated to a prime leadership post should have made her untouchable. Maybe she simply misjudged how untouchable it could really make her in a changing party.

Interest in next year’s congressional campaign in Wyoming was already on the rise. This vote will do nothing to tamp it down.

’Bye, Liz.

(Title reference explained here.)

Police Encounter Survival 101

Aside from silly movies or bad TV shows where corrupt cops go out murdering just for fun, police officers do not want to have to fire their weapons. They do not want to kill anyone, and they sure don’t want to have to deal with all the paperwork required even when they don’t kill someone.

That even goes for “warning shots” fired into the air, because what goes up must come down, and can kill. That’s why firing a gun into the air is illegal pretty much anywhere (and abjectly stupid literally everywhere). Any cop who did it would be cashiered and, in the current climate if anyone got hurt, would likely face a felony charge.

So it doesn’t matter how justified you may think you were before the cop ordered you to drop your weapon: if you don’t comply, you are no longer in the right.

“Customer Retention”

In times like these, one is confronted with the realization that there are more stupid things under the sun than are dreamt of in Horatio’s philosophy — and that which of them is actually the stupidest may never be known to man. But corporate “customer retention” practices must be damned good contenders.

If you’ve ever become dissatisfied with a service provider such as a phone company or cable TV company, and wanted to end your relationship with it, you’ve probably encountered customer retention. You find yourself talking to someone whose job is to make promises he can’t keep and won’t try to, like an abusive husband who suddenly realizes his poor, battered wife is the most important thing in his life and he’ll she’ll just diiiiiiiiie if she leaves him.

We see enough pop culture references to the battered-wife phenomenon to believe it must work for the abusive husbands. The sad thing is, these tactics must work for corporations too because no matter how much they piss off people who complain about them, they still do it.

Nor is it limited, it seems, to industries like those. I’ve just encountered it with regard to medical services, and while I’d had no particular complaints about the service I'd received (Mrs. McG had one, but only one), the change was in order to reap the full advantages of a change of doctors we had decided needed to happen. The medical practice we were quitting barely shrugged as we left, but someone from the service provider favored us with a customer retention call yesterday that makes me fear for that man’s wife, if he has one.

And now a company whose front-line personnel have always treated me pleasantly, carries the stink of the ninth circle of Hell. If circumstances ever lead me to consider returning to that provider, I will first have to find out if that man is still employed there. If he is, no dice.

Truth Matters

...but not to Liz Cheney.

You could be tested for COVID-19, and have the result come back negative. You could be tested again, with the same result. And again, and again, and again. The Democrats in Washington would still consider you impeachable for having COVID-19.

And so would Liz Cheney, the ostensibly Republican at-large congresswoman from Wyoming.

Donald Trump’s speech before the Capitol demonstration did not incite violence, did not call for a coup, did not inspire insurrection. You can read it yourself.

A creature of the D.C. swamp can easily disregard the truth for politics. That’s what Liz Cheney has done.

This is what you call a moment of clarity.

Update, January 18: Wyoming Republicans agree.