Birth(day), Death, and Taxes

“Nothing in life is certain except death and taxes,” the old saying goes.  But we are also born, those of us fortunate enough not to fall prey to the abortion industry.  Today marks my thirty-fifth birthday.  I celebrated by paying $162.57 in vehicle property taxes to Darlington County, South Carolina.

Yesterday, I purchased a new vehicle, my first new car in thirteen-and-a-half years, and only the third I’ve ever owned.  It’s a 2017 Nissan Versa Note SV.  The other two were a 1988 Buick Park Avenue Electra, which I bought from my older brother for $800, after my grandparents gave it to him one year, and a 2006 Dodge Caravan, which those same grandparents gave to me as a college graduation gift (after the Buick was totaled when a lady ran a yield sign and smashed into me).

The Buick is long gone, but I kept the Dodge.  I figure it’s worth more to me as stuff-hauler than I would have gotten in trade-in value.  Of course, that means maintaining insurance on both vehicles, and paying taxes on each.

Well, I awoke today to the news that our military assassinated Iranian General Qassem Soleiman last night.  When I first read that Soleiman was “assassinated,” I was picturing a fate similar to the death of the “austere religious scholar,” the ISIS guy, al-Baghdadi: covert operatives swooping in under cover of darkness, swiftly and surely relieving the general of his life.

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More Trolling

It’s fun to see some trolling coming from the Right. President Trump has elevated it to an art form—somewhat literally.

During a recent cabinet meeting, a prominent poster of the president reading “Sanctions Are Coming” sat in front of him (see it here: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/01/02/donald-trump-prints-poster-size-game-of-thrones-meme-warning-iran/).

Throughout American history, presidents and presidential hopefuls have leveraged new communications technologies to reach the American people. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously used the radio to calm and inspire a trouble nation during the Great Depression with his “fireside chats.”

Senator John F. Kennedy bested his opponent, Vice President Richard M. Nixon, in the ultra-tight 1960 presidential election in part because of his performance in a televised debate (and probably some undead Democratic voters, but who can say). Americans listening on the radio believed Nixon had won; viewers, seeing a radiant, tanned Kennedy, believed the young dynamo walked away with debate victory.

President Ronald Reagan’s acting career prepared him to use television effectively to reunite and course-correct a nation recovering from the social, cultural, and economic malaise of the 1970s. President Obama famously promised to give “fireside chats” and Internet town halls on YouTube (before cloaking his scandal-plagued administration in media obscurity). I think Senator Robert “Bob” Dole was the first presidential candidate to have a website.

Now, President Trump has effectively leveraged Twitter and Internet trolling to reach his base. Even his detractors have to appreciate his cheeky humor. Buzzkills will no-doubt argue he shouldn’t be trolling a radical, apocalyptic, Islamist regime that actively seeks to enrich uranium, but, hey, it worked with North Korea. Whatever happened to the Second Korean War everyone was talking about last year?

Keep on a-trollin’, President Trump! Decorum and taking the high road clearly haven’t worked out for conservatives—even Lindsay Graham learned that during the Kavanaugh witch hunt. Leave that to Senator Mitt Romney and the neocons.