Bring On the Riddies

Time to ridicule the ridiculous.

This edition of this column's is brought to you by THE RIDDIES, that hard-won award that goes to the absolute most ridiculous things that are used inappropriately by the most inappropriate of government agencies, or private enterprise, or really, just anybody.

And, the first ever Riddie goes to the Pinellas Park Police Department for its selection of the most inappropriate police transportation.

As far as class is concerned, this year's entry puts all the others to shame: bearing the stripes, logos and all the other accouterments of the police cruiser of the municipality, this  vehicle wins hands down.All it needs is one of those dorky bubbles with a light spinning in it sitting on top.

Knowing that a day  looming before me would be spent enveloped in such a contraption, the option of calling in sick would get more and more appealing as my time to report for work drew near. At least the Meter Maid golf cart of previous incarnations was an actual golf cart. This abomination is a misappropriation (pun intended) of a ridiculous idea, and precisely fits the mal-intent of the category - a perfect use of the term epitome (most often used by people when they really mean apex.)

Taking a Smart Car – another ludicrous name for a ludicrous vehicle – applying custom decals of the local law enforcement agency, and setting it loose on the streets of a West Florida municipality just  north of Tampa  makes for a spectacle that no-one can take seriously. Pinellas Park is not even a retirement community, with a median age of 40, so it doesn't have that for an excuse, either.

It was in research for this article that the awful truth about Smart cars was revealed: they are made by a division of Mercedes-Benz. Well, so much for the thought that Mercedes-Benz only makes fine cars and trucks! They ought to be ashamed.

On the good side, the apprehension rate of serious criminals like bank robbers and armed felons will surely increase, since the ability to run plummets while laughing. With one glance, a fleeing perp conjures images of floppy shoes, a red bulbous nose, and a squirt flower.

The Envelope Please!

The next Riddie goes to whatever overwrought individual created the Pussy Hat. This awful artifact hit the news in early 2017, and has not yet receded into the ash heap of history where it rightfully belongs. The thing has even mutated into even more blatantly offensive versions.

To my everlasting gratitude, I have never personally seen anyone wearing one of these creations, but there are photographs aplenty. They almost makes the original knitted ones look cute and quaint.

One of the knocks against Donald Trump is the loss of  civility that has come about since he began his run for the presidency.  How can anyone who hasn't spent the millennium thus far living on Mars, possibly think that?  Civility died long before Trump descended his golden escalator.

The "civil disobedience" warriors of the 1960s and 70s were outrageous on purpose, just to watch the reactions that they gleaned from the innocent but offended public. Mr. Milquetoast and his homely wife were the targets of the outrage – screaming taboo epithets, parading nude on city streets, and conjuring up other offensive actions.

It was all for shock - and it worked. We normals were suitably alarmed; even my hard-shell, hard to offend self was traumatized from time to time. Some of the antics of the people who were out to gross us out did exactly that, leaving an indelible impression behind. That is the way I got to know the Left for what it is– grandstanding, yelling "LOOK AT ME!", sometimes even when not high.

This situation has only worsened in the intervening decades. Respectable people in respectable professions who would once never have thought of participating in such antics, now do so, gleefully - and largely without consequence. People who would never have thought of  mob violence have found themselves beating innocents senseless, breaking into buildings, toppling statues, and, in a couple of instances, even committing murder.

Trump Derangement Syndrome

All is blamed on the Donald. But if Trump weren't president, it would be called - and blamed on - something else, so long as they were a Republican or a conservative, just as George W. Bush was the Worst President Ever only until the next Republican president arrived.

But it's unfair to blame the Left entirely for our decline, as even the most leftist of polls admit that the Left is still not a majority of the country despite their best efforts for a century.  So the final Riddy goes to all those Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and others who are inhabitants of the Swamp.

Because Russians have been meddling in our affairs since the FDR administration of the 1930s. It's part of what they do. It's part of the Communist play-book that has been in use for three quarters of a century.

Yet for all this time, regardless of party, the Powers That Be have not been bothered either by our decline or by foreign interference of diverse sorts.  Trying to blame Trump for their own failures, and creating a new surge of Russo-phobia, is nothing more than a cover for their decades-long incompetence and self-aggrandizement.

Are the Russians trying to disrupt our elections? Of course they are, as we do theirs. Are the Russians trying to cause troubles in European countries? Of course they are, as they have done for a thousand years if not longer. Are the Russians trying to use the Chinese for their own nefarious purposes? Of course they are, as the Chinese do in return.  It's called "international geopolitics" and it's how the game has always been played, and always will be.

These things and more are part of a strategy of foreign relations that the Russians put together long long ago, based on the wisdom of thinkers from Sun Tzu to Machiavelli. This is what amoral national leaders do. Russian leaders, and their Secret Service, and their Politburo or whatever it's called today, right down to their Ministry of Agriculture, are steeped in the methodology by which they use every resource to disrupt other nations. The Russian people may starve, but the Russian government remains fat on prestigious terror.

During the early 90s, after the fall of the Soviet Union, a short period of confusion reigned over Russia. Sub rosa, with Vladimir Putin in full control, the deep Russian state remained, though it threw out decoy failures of Soviet era agencies like the KGB.  The Russian Deep State is back, just as if no change had ever occurred, and Putin is large and in charge.

On this side of the pond, the New York Times, CNN, Time magazine, and all the others who slavishly document the  MSM mythology are all aghast at the audacity of the Russians. They act as if the confrontations of the 1950s, and later, the Space Race, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Berlin Wall, the imprisonment of Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the fake trawler that sailed around Shemya Island where I spent 1969, and other atrocities never happened, or were a momentary aberration.

They probably hope that no one remembers those things, and that Russia is now regarded as a new threat magically brought about by the election of Donald Trump. I hate to tell them this, not that they'd listen, but there are far too many of us who remember, vividly, how the jubilation raged when Ronald Reagan said "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"

So, there is nothing new about a meddlesome Russia. There is nothing new about an evil Putin. There is nothing new about Russia's intent to rule the world.

The only thing new is the out-and-out anti-American treason of the MSM, and its determination to treat the US citizenry as if they are idiot children.  Well, they're half right - but only half.  And soon enough, the whole will see how ridiculous our establishment not only is, but has been for years.

Thomas Anderson is a multi-state registered architect and an ex-Air Force electronic technician, who is a keen observer of the human condition.  Read other articles by Thomas Anderson or other articles on Society.
Reader Comments

The Asia Times published an article about the Korean war based on recently-available soviet archives.

The main takeaway is:

Whether Kim Il-sung and Mao Zedong ever realized the degree to which Joseph Stalin was using them for his goals remains unknown

Research shows that the three major communist powers involved – China, North Korea, and the Soviet Union – were not of one mind. Russian historian Alexander V. Pantsov uses the wealth of material in the Central Party Archives of the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party – now the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History – in his 2012 book Mao: The Real Story. He especially delves into why the war dragged on for two years after it was clear the communists could not win.

Competing motivations

The war “officially” began with North Korea’s invasion on June 25, 1950, but fighting had started long before. Bloodily suppressed insurgencies had roiled the South, and according to the US military, “hundreds of small-scale assaults occurred across the [38th] parallel during the first half of 1950.” These skirmishes were as often initiated by Seoul as by Pyongyang.

South Korean President Syngman Rhee frequently petitioned Washington for permission to invade the North and unite the country. However, after World War II, the US had pulled most soldiers and weaponry from the South. Claiming that Seoul was not equipped for the task was correct – and self-serving.

Over the border, however, war was definitely the intent of Kim Il-sung, the leader of North Korea hand-picked by the USSR. From 1948, Kim began sending telegrams – 48 over the next two years – to Joseph Stalin, the premier of the Soviet Union, seeking permission and support for a takeover of the South.


August 3, 2018 9:16 PM

It seems like Putin has a weak hand but is playing it like a pro. He heads a country that has a shrinking population due mainly to alcoholism. Their economy is totally based on oil prices ( that our frackers can manipulate at will) and he pumps too much of it just to balance today's accounts. Their equivalent of Daimler is ?, Their equivalent of Boeing is ? Their equivalent of Trillion $ Apple is ? and so on.
Yes they have nukes. And they have history....bringing down Napoleon, Hitler , and the Czar. But seriously...why should we really care about Russia ? We should be figuring out how to productively work with the two countries that have a billion people...China and India. And work to keep engaged with Japan and the EU ( OK Germany and the rest) as they fritter away their working capital on Free Stuff and grain and circuses on a declining population.
Since Russia can't compete against anybody save Venezuela on an economic basis, all they have is political. I seriously doubt they had anything to do with Hillary's defeat. Unless they hyptomized her and convinced her to use the word " Deplorables" while in a drunken rage on a national stage. She epitomized the arrogance of the Swamp and the folks in PA, MI, NC etc got it. Trump offered the dignity of meaningful work...the Dems just had welfare/food stamps/medicaid opioids instead of work. Dignity won...this time.

August 7, 2018 6:49 PM
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