January 13, 2022

More short takes


Editor’s note: Mr. Morley resumes his wildly popular column for those with short attention spans, though unlike President Biden, he actually knows what day it is and where he is ... more or less. The quasi-pun in the title is intentional.

1. Fantastic News! TLD is increasingly becoming a media voice to contend with. After TLD’s daring, provocative, but fair publication on January 10 of the first “Short Takes,” discussing India’s banning of foreign donations to Mother Teresa’s mission group, the Hindoo regime has backed off, according to a note in the Wall Street Journal, January 10, 2022. While instantly knuckling under to the scalding floodlight of exposure in TLD, “India’s Ministry of Home Affairs didn’t say what prompted the reversal” and didn’t respond to inquiries. Wonder why? Why does baloney avoid the meat grinder?

2. More news that could be news! The WSJ reported January 10, 2022: “Omicron Cases Reported Near Beijing Ahead of Olympics” in the neighboring village of Tianjin. Tianjin’s 14 million people will be routinely checked as part of China’s zero tolerance toward COVID-19, “hewing to a blueprint of lockdowns and mass testing to smother any potential outbreaks.” This is in keeping with China’s zero tolerance policies toward a whole bunch of other things including civil liberties, religious liberties, in fact liberties of any kind at all, which are dealt with through a blueprint of lockdowns, lockups, and smothering anyone who thoughtlessly or deliberately shows any interest in liberty. The successful Chinese COVID policies were last applied in Xi’an, a city of some 13 million which has been locked down (including confining residents to their “homes”) since December 23, 2021. “Since then, stories have emerged of residents running short of food, being denied access to medical care, and engaging in physical altercations with authorities.” (Physical altercations in Washington, D.C., are called insurrections or riots. Like the residents of Xi’an, the Washington revolutionaries were unarmed.)

3. Quick Quiz: what are the names of the two most widely used COVID-19 vaccines used in the U.S. of A.? Pfizer? Moderna? If you chose one of those, go to the back of the class. According to the WSJ, January 10, 2022, p. A1, the brand name of the Pfizer shot is “Comirnaty,” and of the Moderna shot “Spikevax.”

4. “New Law Allows Noncitizens to Vote,” the WSJ for January 10, 2022, tells us. But keep your shirt on: the 800,000 new votes in New York City that were enfranchised on January 9 when NYC’s “common sense” new Mayor Eric Adams allowed it to go into effect won’t get to vote in other than city elections. And who is to say that these non-citizens aren’t better-informed than citizen voters in NYC? How could they not be?

5. Orange Man seems to have been little damaged by his ouster from social media, according to a WSJ story of January 10, 2022: “Ban Hasn’t Hurt Trump, Social Media.” Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube) have been able to brag that they consigned Orange Man to perdition. At the same time, Facebook and Alphabet (Google) have sold his political action committees more than $2 million in ads during the past year. On the other hand, Orange Man’s gap between favorable and unfavorable has fallen to 9 points as compared to nearly 20 points a year ago. Hmmm. Maybe not being able to issue his daily tweets has helped him. Meanwhile, his own social media platform, TRUTH Social, is expected to launch on White Racist Politicians Day (formerly Presidents’ Day), February 21.

6. Remember when the ChiCom gummint’s anti-corruption watchdog accused Walmart of being stupid and shortsighted? Remember when your humble correspondent highlighted that in his last installment? Boy, did they prove prescient: “Walmart Cited over Cybersecurity,” the WSJ for January 7, 2022 tells us. By golly, Walmart is found to have violated China’s cybersecurity law no fewer than 19 times by the “State Administration for Market Regulation.” (Why don’t we have an outfit like that? Elizabeth Warren, call your office.) The SAMR also alleged that from 2017 to 2020, Walmart “violated laws related to food, health products, advertising, and customer’s rights multiple times” and had to be punished “in accordance with relevant laws.” Hah! Those of you who doubt that “rights” and “law” exist in the People’s Republic of China, take that!

7. Meanwhile in the People’s Republic of Oceania, Pepsi and Coke are going all out “in the booze business,” according to this WSJ story appearing January 7, 2022: “Coca-Cola Adds Fresca to Mix of Canned Cocktails.” Coke had already rolled out, last year, something called Topo Chico hard seltzer in cahoots with Molson-Coors. Based on the premise that “more than 50 percent of Fresca’s consumers already mix it with spirits,” Coke will soon start marketing Fresca Mixed in cooperation with the company that makes Modelo and Corona beer. (So that’s how one makes Fresca palatable.) Earlier, Pepsi announced an alcoholic variety of Mountain Dew in partnership with Boston Beer Co (apparently MD’s high caffeine content isn’t enough for today’s hip consumers). They face competition from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Bud Light hard soda, which appears on shelves this month in cola, cherry cola, orange, and lemon-lime versions. (What? No beer-flavored version? BTW, TLD TV viewers who are still sober will recall the incredibly inane ad campaign for hard Bud Light recently disgracing the airwaves.) The market for this stuff doubled in 2021 to $741 million. Apparently these guys think there’s a good deal more stimulus cash out there, and, of course, with the Biden economy humming along there are quite a few people who will want to drink their sorrows away.

8. Worried about being run over by a car driven by some hard-soda-soused idiot? Never fear! “Tesla Has ‘Full Self Driving’ Competitors,” blares the WSJ for January 7, 2022. GM, BMW, Mercedes, Honda, Audi, Volkswagen, Nissan, and China’s Geeley (whose EV brand is the riveting “Zeekr”) are all hot on Tesla’s trail. The Journal “suggests driverless cars for consumers could come around 2025” with taxis and commercial vehicles coming earlier. Now you only need to worry about being hit by some hands-free idiot. Better to follow Strakon’s lead and stay at home in your bunker. [Authentically genuine and genuinely authentic editor’s note: Truer words were never written! — N.S.]

9. ... Where (i.e., said bunker) you can keep in touch with the outside world using your new foldable smartphone. Yes, according to the WSJ’s story on January 7, 2022, “Samsung Bets That 2022 Will Finally Be the Year for Folding Phones,” the Korean giant thinks consumers will finally go for their $1,000 and $1,800 foldable phones. I know Strakon can hardly wait to get his hands on one ... if they deliver to the TLD bunker. The piece seems to have been written, however, just so the author could conclude with this: “Samsung will surely hope it is finally the year to flip the flop in foldables.” Ouch.

That’s a wrap! Ω

January 13, 2022

Published in 2022 by WTM Enterprises.

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