”We boil at different degrees.”— Clint Eastwood
“Clusterf*ck you and the horse you rode in on!” comes one of the more creative responses to yesterday’s missive.
We inadvertently suffered a minor slew of unsubscribes yesterday. Thank you, if you decided to stick around. Contribute your thoughts, here.
Some of the dearly departed were simply offended by the uncivilized language we used. Some were even more incensed because our guest essay from Mr. James Howard Kunstler was, well, one-sided in his point of view.
“Addison,” wrote the long-suffering reader David W for example, “what on earth possessed you to repost this insanely partisan and basically fact-free screed?” Mr. W continues:
Are you going to post some sort of far-left hogwash tomorrow to try to ‘balance’ things? Better off you did neither. You’re certainly not doing your readership any favors with this stuff, though I suppose the MAGA crowd ate it up.
We’re not sure of another reader, Richard S’, political persuasion but he did take the time to consider the idea we intended to highlight. “It would be nice to see the facts brought to the public front and center,” Richard writes, “regarding President Biden and his son Hunter.”
Richard was a lone wolf in thanking us for Kunstler’s screed.
“The problem exists that the Republicans,” he continues, “like the Democrats, are more worried about getting elected than doing the job they swore to do when they took office, which is supposed to be representing the best interests of the American people. We have become a welfare state of useless politicians, pursuing their own best interests. Very sad.”
A third reader curiously suggested financial writers should stay in their lane. “If you want to be a political writer, then be one, and then we might listen.”
The lines are blurry these days, aren’t they…
It is, indeed, amusing to me.
When we first met Jim Kunstler he was considered a firebrand on the left. His writing pedigree goes back to a stint at Rolling Stone and a lengthy rap sheet of collegiate speeches on climate change and the creation of the suburbs—what he calls “the greatest misallocation of capital in human history.”
Jim had already started the blog Clusterf*ck Nation when we invited him to speak at our annual conference in Vancouver maybe 15 years or so ago. The crowd assembled there was shocked to have such “liberal” views expressed at our conference.
What has happened since reminds me of a tweet Elon Musk sent out last year not long after he acquired Twitter:
Musk claims his views have remained the same over time, but the center has shifted. And the left has sprinted further outward.
Democrats used to be the party of peace and “free speech”. Now they’re advocating war and censorship. Republicans used to care about limited government and fiscal responsibility. Those ideals flew the coop as soon as Dick Cheney said “Deficits don’t matter. Reagan proved that.”
In their effort to spend the Soviet Union into the dustbin of history, the Reagan Republicans grew the size of government faster than at any time since FDR and the New Deal. Deficit spending became the norm of both parties hithertofore.
We’ve always wondered if the irony was as obvious then as it is now.
We als wonder if it really matters. Politics are an affliction that has stood the test of time.
“Men have differed in opinion, and been divided into parties by these opinions from the first origin of societies,” Thomas Jefferson wrote a half century after the founding of the United States. “And in all governments where they have been permitted freely to think and to speak.” He continues:
The same political parties which now agitate the US. have existed thro’ all time. Whether the power of the people, or that of the ἄριςτοι [ancient greek for “aristocracy” or “nobility”] should prevail, were questions which kept the states of Greece and Rome in eternal convulsions; as they now schismatize every people whose minds and mouths are not shut up by the gag of a despot.
“Ignore politics at your peril” is the refrain we repeated at the outset of yesterday’s missive. It’s tedious and fraught with booby traps. But today, we stick to our guns. Politics manipulate opinions; opinions move markets.
Es lo que es,
The Daily Missive
P.S. We learned yesterday the State of California under Gavin Newsome’s watch is suing Exxon, among other multinational fossil fuel companies, because they are experiencing more frequent bouts with severe weather.
It looks like they plan to use the same tactic lawyers used to take down Big Tobacco.
The government is accusing Exxon of knowingly poisoning the atmosphere with fossil fuels. And conducting a multi-year campaign to discredit climate science. The lawyers say they are seeking restitution for damage caused by wildfires, mudslides, flooding and above average snowfall.
Exxon’s public pretrial response is that while they may have had the science in hand, the matter should be settled in the legislature not the courts.
What a curious idea. Provided the suit doesn’t get summarily dismissed, the California government will have to prove in court that fossil fuels are the primary cause of climate change.
But what if you don’t?