Thanks Be to Trump

StTrumpThanks to Trump’s “very strict” approach to commercial aviation, no one died in a commercial plane crash in 2017. As is always the case with Trump’s boasts, it is unclear what he actually did to affect this particular outcome of a zero-death year in air travel – other than something “very strict.”

Nevertheless, for the miraculous results this past year we can all thank Lord Donald (and no one else, by the way, including those who worked for the several airlines that ply the unfriendly skies or the manufacturers who designed the vehicles that take flight thousands of times a day. And especially not someone who occupied a position of authority in the TSA, FAA, NTSB, FBI, ATF or CIA under Obama.)

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Some anti-Trump wags have excoriated the Orange Man for his juvenile braggadocio, taking credit for a positive result that he cluelessly stumbled upon like a meringue-coifed Forrest Gump. But consider these additional events that Trump positively affected but humbly decided to pass on taking credit for.

  • No asteroid struck the U.S. in 2017 thanks to Trump’s “very strict” approach to near-earth celestial bodies.
  • Russia didn’t annex Finland in 2017.
  • China went from a currency manipulator to a country that doesn’t manipulate its currency in 2017.
  • 2017 is a bigger and better prime number than 2011 when Obama was president.
  • No member of ISIS played on the PGA Tour in 2017.
  • NATO went from being obsolete to not being obsolete in 2017.
  • For the first time ever, America didn’t build a wall that Mexico didn’t pay for in 2017.
  • Other than Steven Paddock, no one gunned down 58 people to death in Las Vegas in 2017.

Marvin Shanks One

In a recent blog I cited the 25th anniversary of the publication of Cigar Aficianado magazine and remarked that “Editor’s Note” columns over the years tended to rant against perceived ill treatment of the rights of cigar smokers.

Sure enough in the latest January 2018 publication, editor Marvin Shanken has once again vented his sclerotic spleen against another cigar foe – this time it’s Apple. Apparently Cigar Aficiando staff developed an app called “Where to Smoke” that provides users info on the location of more than 2,600 shops and bars where one can enjoy a musty stogie without opprobrium. Alas, Apple refused to host the app on its platform because it violates their policy on apps that promote smoking.

Shanken argues that Apple is violating the first amendment, forgetting that Apple is not the government (yet), and that as a private communications platform – like Cigar Aficianado itself – is not obligated to publish anything that crosses its desk. Just like Shanken might refuse to publish a recruitment ad for NAMBLA in his magazine – maybe.

In any event, it’s pretty clear Shanken’s ire is driven chiefly by his wasted investment of a good chunk of money developing the app, only to have Apple ban it.

Note to Marvin: read Apple’s goddamn rules before you flush six figures down the shitter. Section 2.18 states “Apps that encourage excessive consumption of alcohol or illegal substances, or encourage minors to consume alcohol or smoke cigarettes, will be rejected.” You had to see it coming.

Lyrica Snake Oil

You can’t watch prime-time TV without being assaulted by ads for pharmaceutical products designed to cure or assuage ailments that no one ten years ago had ever heard of. One such drug is Lyrica which is supposed to help sufferers of fibromyalgia.

Quoting the ubiquitous ad, “fibromyalgia is thought to be the result of over-active nerves; Lyrica is believed to calm these nerves.”

Said another way, “We don’t know what the fuck is going on, we’re not sure if our drug does anything of value, but take it anyway – NOW!”

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