Well! Here we go. We’re boycotting the Chinese Winter Olympics by not letting any of our diplomats or other government twits go. Ooo, take that, China! I love how China is playing along. “Oh my, heavens to Betsy,” they are saying (only in the Chinese equivalent). “You are bad people; you insult us so meanly. We will not sit down for this.”
No U.S. diplomats will see the sights in Beijing, spending U.S. taxpayer money. The Chinese economy won’t get any of that business. Their stock markets will crumble at the loss, for a second. Not even long enough to form one tear.
It’s serious. I’ve seen what government bigwigs do in China when they get there. The hotel room is settled upon; the wife is fitted in a tight, embroidered Chinese dress and then the entire entourage gets together for a banquet in the hotel dining room. Everyone gets duck and bird’s nest soup.
On another diplomatic front, something similar may be going on in Eastern Europe. First, Russia gears up for a ground invasion of Ukraine. Biden arranges a two-hour Zoom meeting with Putin. Afterward, Biden tells reporters he doesn’t envision any likelihood of U.S. troops getting involved. Then, a little later, Putin talks about the placement of NATO troops near the border being serious to Russia in the same sort of terms that JFK described the Cuban Missile Crisis.
What? What the heck did Biden really say to Putin? Something like, “I’m sure we can come to an agreement here not leading to military involvement by the U.S. Of course, nothing is completely off the table, if you get my drift, buddy boy.”
Then there’s a flurry of important-looking news stories just as inconclusive as those two. A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court said Trump’s White House documents related to the Jan. 6 insurrection have to be turned over to Congress. But no, wait! Trump gets to appeal that to the Supreme Court, so don’t put on your boots and saddle up just yet. Only the kiddie trail is open.
The British High Court says they think it’s OK to extradite Julian Assange on the grounds that they don’t believe he’s that likely to kill himself in a U.S. prison, which is probably true. He’s more likely to be murdered, given recent history of this sort of thing. But wait, no, there’s no hurry; he can appeal again. That could take months. So put a paper bag on your head and hyperventilate until you calm down. And get down from that horse. It’s too high.
A Texas judge has ruled that the enforcement method of the recent Texas anti-abortion law — allowing and even encouraging private citizens with no legitimate standing to sue people facilitating abortions — is unconstitutional. If you agree that it is unconstitutional, that sounds great, until you find out the judge neglected to issue a blanket injunction against the enforcement activity he just declared unconstitutional. So it’s still going on. Hey, fella, your horse is asleep.
The biggest news this week is that an apparently homeless guy with “mental problems” torched the “Christmas tree” at Fox News in Manhattan.
When I first heard about this and saw the commentators on Fox equate this act with all previous battles in the War on Christmas, I pictured the torched tree as a traditional Christmas tree. Surely only a traditional tree would be acceptable for the heroic protectors of the American Christmas tradition. Then I found out the tree was hollow! The tree consisted of a narrow conical metal frame — AKA armature — with branches of different trees to which ornaments were affixed (at least they weren’t fake plastic branches) stuck in the frame and around it. The whole thing would have been an inviting shelter. But it was outdoors, and therefore cold. So what do you do when it’s cold? You start a fire to get warm, that’s what.
Fox News at last count has spent over 36 hours wailing about what a dirty left-wing attack this was on the heart, soul and spirit of Christmas. And you know what they say — “Jesus is the reason for the season!” — so the arson was attacking the baby Jesus, in principle.
Of all the Jesuses from birth onward, I think Fox likes the baby Jesus best because he hasn’t learned English and doesn’t scold rich Americans in red letters yet.
Read more of the Dec. 15-21, 2021 issue.