What Annoys Jeff This Week?

1. Tucker Carlson. Tucker staked out a patently absurd position on his Fox evening entertainment program last week. I know, I know. I should be more specific because most of his positions come across somewhere on the absurdity spectrum. I know it was absurd because some of the most serious thinkers in DoD responded more or less instantly to rebut Tucker’s asshattery. They’re not generally people who feel compelled to stake out public positions, except in this case, ol’ Tuck decided to opine about things that are, by definition, these particular leader’s area of expertise. No one “attacked” Tucker. They simply had the audacity to tell him that he’s a moron and explain why that’s the case. No one violated the damned Hatch Act. Having a professional opinion doesn’t undermine civilian control of the military. Differing opinions are only dangerous when you’re so thin skinned or your position is so badly placed that you can’t defend it rationally. In this case, it seems Tuck and his supporters fall into both categories. As usual, the “leading lights” of right wing kook media have left me embarrassed to be an actual, practicing conservative.

2. Higher taxes. They say Joe is working on a new tax bill and it’s likely to be the largest tax increase since 1993. I see lots of people saying they don’t mind paying more taxes. Good on them. With or without a higher tax rate imposed by the government, they’re free to send as big a check as they want over to the treasury. They can do that. No one would stop them. But it seems what people mean when they say they don’t mind paying more tax is they don’t mind so you should pay more too. “But,” they’ll argue, “it only applies to people who make more than $400,000 a year – the ‘absurdly rich.’” Right, I think, because every tax that ever was started out as a tax on “just the wealthy” until our political machine needed a few more dollars over time and the “absurdly wealthy” became most every working sucker in the country. So, please, write as big a check to Uncle as you’d like. Feel free to give of your own income until it hurts. That’s your right and privilege. I’ll be over here fighting tooth and nail to keep every penny I’ve earned and distribute it how I see fit.

3. I spent today doing exactly the same things that I did yesterday. I answered emails, entered information in a fancy database, and generally moved electrons around from Point A to Point B as needed. The only difference between today and yesterday was where I was physically sitting when I did those things. Yesterday I was parked in the sun room with two dogs snoring in the background and today I was in my designated cube with seven or eight conversations humming in the background. Plus, today added an extra 80 minutes to the day since I had to drive to my cube and back to do exactly the same things I did yesterday from the comfort of my home office. “But we need to have a presence in the building,” is the most patently farcical reason I can think of to justify the construction, maintenance, and daily running cost associated with a modern office building. The argument against remote working forever is effectively that we need to have people in a special geographic spot because we happen to have a special geographic spot. As far as I can tell it has absolutely nothing to do with productivity or whether the work in any way depends on unique geographic positioning.


As if anyone who’s paying even a modest amount of attention to the world doesn’t already know, the media are a sensational bunch. And I don’t mean that they’re really terrific and should be applauded for their hard hitting journalistic ethics.

CNNCase in point, I give you the banner headline from CNN.com, proclaiming “Historic, crippling, catastrophic ice” for Atlanta.

I don’t mean to minimize the grave trauma the American south is surely about to face, but it seems to me that description might be a bit of a stretch. Sherman burning Atlanta, that’s historic. An asteroid slamming into Stone Mountain, that’s probably catastrophic. And staying home for a day or two until it warms up enough to melt the mess, doesn’t quite equate to “crippling” at least in my lexicon. Wintry precipitation falling from the sky just doesn’t seem to rise to that level of noteworthiness – especially since it’s happening in the middle of the actual winter. If it were happening in August, well, there you’ve got some news for yourself.

So there you have it. Hide your kids. Hide your wife. Buy up ever loaf of bread and roll of toilet paper in the state. Fasten all seat belts. Seal all entrances and exits. Close all shops in the mall. Cancel the three ring circus. Secure all animals in the zoo… because what we’re most likely to see here is nothing more than a classic American shitshow and a corresponding media overreaction. At least that’s what we’ll see until the power goes out and we’re all plunged into the inky mid-winter’s darkness.

May God have mercy on our souls.