Just what IS the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

If you answered "what do you mean, an African or a European swallow," your education came by way of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Remember also, that when Arthur asserts the fact that he’s king because he's been given Excalibur by the Lady of the Lake, he is rebuffed with this:

Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Funny stuff still, but now that America has its own despot, the joke is wearing thin, thinner still in that we did win the mandate of the masses (by three million votes!) and still wound up with a farcical ceremony: remember the three trillion people at the inauguration? At least in Arthur’s England the peasants could complain about the government without having to look in the mirror.


Of course Monty Python’s Arthur was a bit of a dullard, so we have that similarity going for us; moreover, our king's behavior over the past few weeks is more Pythonesque than a Python's.


This week, for instance, his nutty majesty was in San Francisco, assailing the Democratic leadership of that city for its homelessness, mainly because the sewers are carrying needles to the ocean. (Whether he learned this from Stephen Miller or Tucker Carlson, I’m not sure.) At any rate, the king will be issuing a notice of environmental violation because, as he said, “They have to clean it up. We can’t have our cities going to hell.” (A short stroll from the White House would show him further proof.) And who will be issuing this notice? Why the Environmental Protection Agency of course.


Yes that E.P.A. which, with Trump leading it by its collective nose, has (1) illustrated utter disdain for scientific facts, (2) specifically increased the amount of coal-produced pollutants in the atmosphere, (3) relaxed the rules on methane gas release, (4) made it easier for farmers to pollute rivers and streams, (5) placed carcinogenic pesticides back on the good-for-you list, (6) scoffed at renewable energy, (7) denied and dismissed global warming, (8) suggested nuking hurricanes, and (9) insisted...INSISTED...that automobile manufacturers LOWER gas mileage standards. And by the way, because most of the E.P.A. edicts will pollute our environment—both air and water, and make us more susceptible to illness, the king himself wants to eliminate health care. Ah, symbiosis.


Read that last paragraph again, Trump supporters, and tell me what’s wrong with you.


I mean really, wouldn’t you rather live in Monty Python’s "anarcho-syndicalist commune where we take turns to act as sort of executive officer for the week" than under the misfeasance of a leader who bemoans homelessness but blithely seeks $4 billion for a wall—money that, better spent, could build low-income housing in cities like San Francisco and Washington, D.C.? And if you don’t care about yourself, can’t you look beyond the MAGA myopia and support a world where your kids and grandkids can breathe better air and drink cleaner water? Twenty, thirty years ago, people tried to do that for you.


Listen, you had your fun. You hated Hillary and made sure she lost. Now it's time to think about what kind of world you leave behind when you die, sooner than expected, from the coal dust clogging the alveoli in your lungs and the chlorpyrifos killing the bees so that you don't have any food.


The crises are growing incrementally...and you bought a hat. Was it worth it?

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