Comfort, Indeed

open borders

As we leave for vacation, the Aardvarks are comforted to know that Republican Senators Alexander, Blunt, Collins, Lee, Moran, Murkowski, Paul, Portman, Romney, Rubio, Toomey, and Wicker voted “for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats.”

Trump did not specify whether Senators Alexander et al. were voting for crime in general, or were expressing their admiration for particular crimes, such as money laundering or obstruction of justice.

So, Let Me See If I Understand This

Yesterday, the Mother of Parliaments voted to reject the only Brexit deal they could get.

Today, they voted not to leave the European Union without a deal.

Putting those things together, that must mean they don’t want to leave the European Union at all.


The College Admissions Scandal du Jour: My Two Cents

The college admissions indictments are shocking on many grounds, and many useful insights have been offered. One pundit, for example, views the matter as a conflict between what he terms “the rich and the fuck-you rich.” The former can afford to give $350 million for a building, while the latter must settle for bribing a coach for half a million or so.

All very interesting, but here is my main takeaway:

What a terrible way to treat your kid! Put him into a university where he cannot thrive—or benefit from education appropriate to his talents. And, on top of that, put the hapless kid into a situation where he’s constantly in danger of being exposed as a fraud.

They may not be the fuck-you rich. But they surely are the fuck-you parents.

A Potpourri of Profound Psychological Pessimism


The morning’s downer is from Thomas Edsall: No Hate Left Behind: Legal partisanship is taking us into dangerous territory.

Edsall introduces us to wide variety of social psychologists and other assorted experts, whose general consensus is that the modern world is a terrible place, and is generally going to hell in a handbasket.

For example, one of theseis Dr. John Tooby—a “Distinguished Professor” of “Integrative anthropological sciences,” a discipline made of up “evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, economics, hominid-behavioral evolution, [and] evolutionary genetics.”

One might suppose, then, that Professor Tooby is one possessed of—in Edsall’s words—”high cognitive resources.” And, therefore, one might reasonably expect to find great insights flowing from the pen of such a sage. And that, I am overjoyed to report, is indeed the case. For Professor Tooby has employed his training in evolutionary psychology, evolutionary biology, cognitive psychology, social psychology, economics, and hominid-behavioral evolution—not forgetting evolutionary genetics—to conclude that, and I quote, “Honest reasoning about issues is inconsistent with group loyalty.”

Indeed, it is.

And “honest reasoning” is hard, too.

And anybody who tries it, does it imperfectly.

But people had bloody well keep trying to do “honest reasoning,” lest, like hapless passengers on a Boeing 737 jet, we all head straight for the ground at 500 miles an hour.

Hey, Suckers! You wuz Robbed!


Trump Lauded Farmers, Medicare and AIDS Programs. Then He Unsheathed the Budget Knife.

Medicare-for-all v. Medicare-for-less: Trump’s proposed cuts put health care at center of 2020 race

So, here’s a message for all the I-hate-brown-people and all the fetus-people who think you have to cling to the low-tax people and the deregulation-people to keep from going down.

The message is, you may be right, but there is a price to pay for your brown people hatred and your love of fetuses.

Because the low-tax people and the deregulation people won’t just stop with low taxes and lots of deregulation.

They’re coming for your health care, too.

They really don’t care if you die.