April Fools Roundup [DOT 2/4/23]

Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Fool and his money
The fool and his money / Louis Dalrymple / 1899 / Source: https://www.loc.gov/item/2012647417

Or Maybe April-ish Fools

I’m filling in for RIP so don’t be surprised by the format change. At least I think I am. If I’m doubling up, well, deal with it. I’M NOT WRONG, YOU ARE!

I also admit to being too lazy to come up with April First Only content for yesterday’s fish and chips paper, and I’m extending the window into March. So sue me!

Anyway, I thought it would be funny to compare some past HAWT TAKES with current events. And also past events with current ones. Or something. ANYWAY.

Thomas Friedman, 2014: Self driving cars are the future!

2023 – April Fools! Ford withdraws a self-driving-car petition, following skepticism over near-term prospects

Thomas Friedman, 1996: Countries with McDonalds reach a level of economic development that stops them from going to war with each other

2023- April Fools! Russian invasion of Ukraine grinds on despite Putin admitting the Russian economy suffering because of sanctions, projections for economic contraction range from 3.3% to 5.6%. Meanwhile, the Russian replacement for McDonalds after the company quit Russia stays in business despite losing roughly $150 million.

Thomas Friedman, 2003: “What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house from Basra to Baghdad and basically saying, which part of this sentence don’t you understand? You don’t think we care about our open society? Well, suck on this, okay? That, Charlie, was what this war was about. We could have hit Saudi Arabia. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth.”

2023: April Fools! Senate votes to repeal authorization for Iraq invasion. “This effort has been years in the making,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. “The American people are tired of endless wars in the Middle East.”

2023: Hundreds of Thousands Take to the Streets, Vow Netanyahu’s ‘Pause’ Won’t Quell Anti-judicial Coup Protests

OK, let’s see what that toady Thomas Friedman has to say. Probably something about decentralized technology bridging gaps between Netanyahu and….

Netanyahu Cannot Be Trusted

“For the first time, the leader of Israel is an irrational actor, a danger not only to Israelis but also to important American interests and values…. one thing is clear already: Netanyahu has become the definition of an irrational actor in international relations — someone whose behavior we can no longer predict and whose words President Biden should not trust…. That Netanyahu and his son would turn on America with the same pathetic cynicism as Iran is shameful — and crazy. Neither man should be allowed into America until they apologize….”

OK, Friedman, I’ll give you a pass. No April Fool for this. But I’m watching you. You’d better not be talking about that transformative power of AI blockchain Moore’s law mumbo jumbo tomorrow!

2021: New York Times management lets union contract expire, proposes new wages that fall far behind inflation

2023: April Fools! New York Times recently disclosed CEO compensation up 73% from 2020 to 2022, to $7.6 million

2023: Right wing starts wringing hands over Biden’s decision not to attend coronation of King Charles. (No links. I respect you all too much to link to that stuff)

Every year from 1789-2023: April Fools! (George VI was coronated not long after Lindbergh’s flight, QE2 was the only other coronation in the jet age in 1956. Of course there’s no precedent.)

2022: Nestor Cortes proposes to his girlfriend right after appearing in the All Star game in Dodger Stadium

2023: April Fools! Marriage Proposal by Dodgers Fan Ends With Tackle in the Outfield

2022: NY Times: How to Shop For a Hot Tub

2023: April Fools! What to know about Colorado mountain lion safety after weekend attack on man in hot tub

1977: Steely Dan sings They call Alabama the Crimson Tide, call me Deacon Blues

2023: April Fools! San Diego State follows up massive upset of Alabama Crimson Tide to defeat FAU at the buzzer and advance to NCAA men’s basketball final

Enjoy your day of rest. Things are going to be weird.



    • I agree. I disliked him and his pollyanna bullshit propaganda before Iraq soured me more on him.

      Still touts a lot of stupid ideas (one party rule is amazing!) and financial deregulation despite the fact that his father in-law’s real estate holding company went belly up in 2008 after the great implosion and went from being married to a billionaire to mere (hundred) millionaire.

    • He’s a stooge. It’s interesting to me that events have put him essentially on the same page as Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib as far as Israel, at least temporarily. But I doubt he’ll ever move away from ridiculous hair splitting like this column where he felt the need to join in the Bret Stephens chorus at the Times condemning Omar.


      I’ll give him some credit for being in touch with reality as far as Netanyahu and the extremists. I suspect what makes him different from the usual US pundit is that he has some connection to real people there, and not just US based PR types. But he needs to go further and admit the reality that people like Omar and Tlaib are legitimate and responsible voices who aren’t all that far from where he is. Will he ever get there?….

  1. If I ever proposed I would never do it at a ballpark. A ballpark proposal should end in a beat down.

    I got booed at a Jays game because I didn’t kiss my female friend on the kiss cam (we were just friends).  We looked at each other and went “nah” while the few thousand or so folks booed momentarily.

    • And as the famous quote shows, he could be a great writer. He obviously was wrong about a lot, but he was wrong in interesting ways, as opposed to so many modern political thinkers, who are wrong for the dumbest reasons.

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