It is beginning to appear that the goal of Republicans in Congress is to present a health care bill for a vote without giving anyone time to even pretend to read it beforehand. As usual, I am in awe of their sense of blind commitment to blind principle. I wish I had that kind of commitment. I would walk everywhere backward with a bag over my head, and never trip.
Just to try it out, I’m going to write this column without having any clue where I’m going.
Just kidding, that’s my usual practice. [Editors note: No argument here.]
I did note this week that IBM was coming out with a “bot yourself with Watson” application. It looks like the idea is that you can teach the computer app all about yourself and set it loose on Facebook messenger answering all your messages on your behalf. Freeing you to do all those things that you were going to do with your life until Facebook Messenger took up all your time.
But it could work for you in many other ways. Let’s say you’re president. Your Watson bot of you could do your presidenting! Well, maybe not all your presidenting, but it could do your 2 a.m. tweets. Maybe that’s been happening already.
I woke up this morning to news that Putin is offering asylum to former FBI Director James Comey, saying that he is just like Edward Snowden. Putin was joking. Putin is a very funny man. I can’t write jokes so good. Is Putin using a sarcasm bot?
I guess the idea is that because Comey didn’t come up with anything in testimony that really proved that Russia interfered with the presidential election, he is a good guy now as far as Russia is concerned, so he deserves asylum and a nice apodment of his own overlooking Moscow river.
If things keep going the way they have been, I’ll expect smart Vlad to offer asylum to Trump, Pence and Sessions. They could all hang out together and keep Snowden company.
Meanwhile we learned this week that the Special Counsel Robert Mueller — who is not actually special in that he could be fired at any minute — is now investigating whether obstruction of justice has happened. He must not like his job all that much. He’s asking to be fired. Maybe Mueller wants to retire in Moscow.
Obstruction of justice is my favorite criminal charge against powerful politicians. The reason lies with the fact that it is the moral equivalent of the poor person’s take down and arrest for “resisting arrest.” Day in and day out people without power get arrested for resisting an arrest that never happened (only the arrest for resisting one happens) and they get convicted even, and powerful politicians see this happen all the time and never do anything to change the system to stop it.
So when they get taken down for obstructing justice, with no other charges, it all seems so fair. In fact, arrest them all for obstructing justice, because they’ve all done such a fine job of seeing that no one else gets any.
No one gets any justice because our government proceeds as if justice is already being accomplished, and nothing extraordinary is needed to ensure justice. But obviously when this country has extreme rates of incarceration and extreme degrees of disparity of incarceration, and when people are killed routinely without need by police, justice requires active work. There are huge injustices to repair.
If in the face of that need the government as a whole sits on its hands and does nothing, then that amounts to obstruction of justice on a colossal scale.
Maybe we should be fair and give them another year. But then, if it isn’t fixed, send them all to jail.
We could replace them all with IBM bots. IBM bots could do nothing about injustice just as easily as our judges and elected officials have been doing. IBM bots could also write laws and pass them by themselves just as well as our legislators have been doing, with the same amount of care and the same degree of transparency.
For that matter, forget IBM bots. Pet Rock could do the job as well as we’ve been used to seeing it done.
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time a math professor and three times homeless. He has been involved with Real Change since he supplied the art for the first cover in November of 1994. This is his regular humor column, Adventures in Irony.
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