Durst on the New Cold War

Will Durst
Will Durst
By Will Durst
Now that the mumps, measles and polio are on the comeback trail as well, the Teens are starting to look like the 50s all over again. The future will be televised in black and white; comforting we early Baby Boomers who always remained skeptical of that whole multi-hued thing. And like the Twilight Zone was scarier in black and white, so was Nikita Khrushchev. As was Speedy, the Alka-Seltzer mascot.

The return of this Arctic Animus means all sorts of retro activities accompanying it; saber rattling. Nuclear standoffs. Propaganda, espionage. One inch wide ties. Poisoned tipped umbrellas and exploding cigars – right around the corner. And Hula Hoops, only now they come with an app.

This won’t be your father’s ideological confrontation however. … No, this is more like that boxing movie Hollywood recently released with Stallone and DeNiro. Two aging Mediocre Powers trying to rekindle a dubiously remembered time gone by in an age where you can watch Indonesian soap operas on your eyeglasses while walking over the street in an air conditioned skyway. … Read More

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic based in San Francisco (“Comedy for people who read, or know someone who does”).

38 thoughts on “Durst on the New Cold War”

  1. Woo Hoo, the only thing missing is a communist under every bed and in every closet.
    Not to worry. Tail gunner Ted Cruz will probably be holding hearings before long.

  2. Hey… I’m all for another cold war as long as we get to reprise the spy vs spy tv shows… The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and Get Smart were 2 of my favorites.

    And 007 movies where the antagonist is a terrorist just isn’t the same.

  3. … the Cold War is back and it’s colder and warrier than ever

    The above is also from the Durst article. Are people here saying they just don’t care… that our government shouldn’t have had a good enough rapport with that part of the world to have seen this coming?

    Also from the article: … Like an old friend popping up on your doorstep after moving to South America or Akron a quarter century ago, it is with a mixture of exhilaration and dread to see him again. All the right words are mouthed: “No, YOU look exactly the same,” but inside you’re praying he’s just here for a quick visit and no extended stay. “So, what are your plans?”

    Since when is backsliding a good thing.

  4. Tony,
    I am so pleased to see you are back. And thanks for all the great links.

    (I was beginning to wonder if you’d taken that vacation away from your work… the one you’ve mentioned) :)

  5. Now that the mumps, measles and polio are on the comeback trail as well…

    … can’t help but think this is partly because people found reasons to think it wasn’t necessary (or at least too dangerous) for their children to get their shots.

    In the old days, they used to line them up at school and give shots, to make sure everyone had them. That’s how important they knew they were.

  6. jace, did you catch this moment in the court proceedings as noted by slate

    Sotomayor soon introduces the “it’s not a penalty” argument, as famously urged by professor Martin Lederman. “But isn’t there another choice nobody talks about, which is paying the tax, which is a lot less than a penalty and a lot less than the cost of health insurance at all?” she says, meaning that employers needn’t provide insurance at all so long as they pay an arguably reasonable penalty/tax to the government. “These employers could choose not to give health insurance and pay not that high a penalty.” In an appeal to Chief Justice John Robert’s Solomonic solution to the health care cases she insists: “It’s not called a penalty. It’s called a tax.”

    Roberts laughingly gives it to her: “She’s right about that …”

  7. …can’t help thinking that this all is a consequence of Clinton-era foreign policy and its support for that old ham Yeltsin. That’s where I find American interventionalist foriegn-policy lacking: the follow-through.

    Oh, well. Peace in tha Middle East.

  8. Will Durst’s comments about how the “Twilight Zone” was scarier in black and white, made me think about…

    Things I liked about the 1950s….

    -The cars were so solidly built, Patton could have used them to liberate Bastogne.

    – The Saturday matinee at the local movie theater cost only 35 cents.

    -Men wore hats…come to think of it, women did too.

    -In the summer, kids were told to “go play outside” and would roam in feral packs throughout the neighborhood all day long.

    -In northern states, labor unions had substantial political power.

  9. Patd,

    Yes I did.

    It was of interest to me because our school district is doing everything in it’s power to avoid paying that 2000 dollar penalty/tax.
    The result is that they are reducing hours for as many employees as possible so as not to have to offer insurance or pay the penalty. :sad:

  10. Nash,

    My folks used to take us to the drive in movies in one of those solidly built cars. 😉

  11. In the category of things that will never happen: the minimum wage should be on a sliding scale, the fewer hour worked, the higher the minimum wage. It would work this way, if you work thirty hours or less (75% of full time) you’re minimum wage would be 1.2 times the standard minimum wage. This would help to compensate for lack of benefits and would discourage employers from gaming the system. It also makes up for the fact that a person working thirty hours a week is hard-pressed to find supplemental employment to reach a living wage.

    In return, I’d be willing to consider a lower minimum wage for those under age 18.

    As I say, it’ll never happen.

  12. jace: As a kid in the 1950s, I loved drive-in movies, but I could never figure out what all the teenagers were doing, parked in the back row.

    You couldn’t see anything from back there.

  13. Nash,

    Go figure.

    By the time I was old enough to find out for myself, there were no drive in movies. 😉

  14. Joe,

    Good idea, I would also support a regularly timed adjustment to the minimum wage.

    As it is now it languishes for years, depending on the political climate, which makes the raises when they do come, seem rather large.

    Adjusting it annually would minimize the ‘sticker shock’ for employers, and end for once and for all the notion that raising the minimum wage results in more unemployment.

  15. from cbs news

    In a stunning ruling that has the potential to revolutionize college athletics, a federal agency said Wednesday that football players at Northwestern University can create the nation’s first college athlete’s union.

    The decision by a regional director of the National Labor Relations Board means it agrees football players at the Big Ten school qualify as employees under federal law and therefore can legally unionize.

  16. more from above cbs link

    CAPA’s specific goals include guaranteeing coverage of sports-related medical expenses for current and former players, ensuring better procedures to reduce head injuries and potentially letting players pursue commercial sponsorships.

    For now, the push is to unionize athletes at private schools, such as Northwestern, because the federal labor agency does not have jurisdiction over public universities.

  17. There was a suggestion yesterday on Morning Joe that the best compensation for the College players was health insurance and a free lifetime education. Whenever they wanted to return to their alma mater they were to be given a career in any discipline up to and including lawyer, doctor, and PhD absolutely free. That way even the schools who didn’t make tons of money off their players were still equal in benefits to the ones who rake in millions.

    The Insurance of course is necessary for any long term brain damage among other results of sports injuries.

  18. The next “REAL” excuse for why there has been so many so many Obamacare delays.

    Just to many people trying to sign up causing the system to stay in a state of constant overload…they only wish. lol.

    March 25: Final enrollment deadline extended. The March 31 deadline — the end of enrollment for 2014 — will be loosened for people with special sign-up circumstances.

    March 14: High-risk pools extended. The special, temporary coverage for people with serious pre-existing conditions — which was supposed to last only until the health insurance exchanges were in place — was extended a third time for another month.

    Feb. 10: Employer mandate delayed. This time, businesses with between 50 and 100 workers were given until 2016 to offer coverage, and the mandate will be phased in for employers with more than 100 workers.

    Jan. 14: High-risk pools extended. The high-risk insurance pools, which originally had been slated to close Jan. 1, had already been extended once.

    Dec. 24: Enrollment deadline extended. In a message on HealthCare.gov, customers were told they could get help finishing their Jan. 1 applications if they were already in line on Dec. 24.

    Dec. 12: Enrollment deadline extended. Customers on the federal enrollment website were given nearly two more weeks to sign up for coverage effective Jan. 1.

    Nov. 27: Small Business Health Options Program (known as SHOP) delayed. Online enrollment for the federal health insurance exchanges for small businesses was delayed.

    Nov. 21: Open enrollment delayed for 2015. The administration pushed back next year’s enrollment season by a month.

    July 2: Employer mandate delayed. The administration declared that it wouldn’t enforce the fines in 2014 for businesses with more than 50 full-time workers who don’t offer health coverage. The fines were pushed back to 2015.

    Nov. 15, 2012: Exchange deadline delayed. The Department of Health and Human Services gave states an extra month to decide whether they would set up their own health insurance exchanges — a decision it announced just one day before the original deadline.

  19. Ignex,

    I think that they wrote the bill without knowing what they were writing, signed the bill without knowing what they were signing and implemented the bill without knowing what they were implementing.

    I think that it has been tweak and twaddle as you go from day one.

    I think that medi-care for every one would have been far simpler and in the end far less costly for everyone.

  20. I think that medi-care for every one would have been far simpler and in the end far less costly for everyone.


    boy howdy ain’t that the truth

  21. Private schools can unionize ! Weeeeeell, that’s the end of Div 1 private schools (except for notre dame and usc, of course)

    I just love imagining notre dame as a unionized sports factory. Wow.

  22. Maybe the Ivy League, too. HAHAHAHAHA

    I want to see Harvard’s and Yale’s football workers work ball. (Formerly, it was play ball, but now it’s just a fx’n job.) HAHAHAHAHAHA

  23. jace,

    That is what happens with most legislation. There is the problem of quantity, too many pages, and lack of desire to read it. Most legislators at all levels do not have enough time to read a small percentage of what shows up to be voted on. I used to read and summarize bills and it was difficult to do.

  24. For most of the Republican party, especially the Cheney’s, Rummies, Kissingers of the permanent war party. Neo-cons are not gone, they keep showing up. Durst could have easily copied the neo-con/Republican bullet points and done a ta-dum.

    Is Putin an unreformed commie KGB officer? Yes. Can he be contained? Yes, but it will take something more than cutting off his Netflix account. What that “something” will be is in the future. Perhaps his generals will do something. Perhaps the old Soviet bloc will stand up. But, something will do it soon.

  25. the best compensation for the College players was health insurance and a free lifetime education.

    Jamie, great idea.

    altho wouldn’t hold my breath as this will be appealed all the way to the supremes. even tho’ it’ll probably pass muster in the first appeal at the nlrb: from chi trib

    William Gould IV, a former chairman of the NLRB, said Ohr’s decision offers a thorough, factual examination of the issues and he is confident the NLRB will uphold it.

    the nlrb recess appts is itself a question before the scotus so anything the board decides is dicey until the supremes say they’re legit.

  26. chloe,

    Hi, oh, he he, would love to be in Australia or several other places on my list.. I have been busy with my work. Enjoy reading here though.. Behind with my TV shows, good thing i have 3 TB of hard drive space 😛

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