That's the longest gap in posting I've had in a long time. A confluence of events last week created a Perfect Storm of obligations that left me with no time. I'll explain shortly.

Part of the problem was two writing deadlines that resulted in a piece in Rolling Stone about the flawed idea underlying charity from the super-rich followed by a Washington Post piece about the "gun control paradox" in public opinion. I think you'll enjoy them both, although I suspect the latter more than the former since I am being less of a dick in it.

Additionally I'm working feverishly to bring you Episode 2 of Mass for Shut-ins on time and under the gun at the end of the month. More to follow – don't go away yet.

24 thoughts on “CATCH-UP”

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    "I think you'll enjoy them both, although I suspect the latter more than the former since I am being less of a dick in it."

    Surely you know your base better than that. Thanks for your enviable productivity.

  • Amazon actually does voluntarily pay local taxes on web sales even when not required by law. They do not, however, force third-party vendors to do so. Either way, though, expecting massive corporations to engage in philanthropy by paying unnecessary taxes is crazy-talk. Even if you did want to give to the community/country/whatever, that's the least sexy channel possible. No one ever said, "I'd like to make a bigger impact" and followed it up by overpaying their tax bill.

    Of course, I very much agree that Bezos's DACA donation is paltry, and that a lot of the contract-based Amazon work is questionable.

    It turns out that the government so small you can down it in the tub is a poor provider of opportunity to the average citizen.

  • I'm with Ernest– we old schoolers here prefer the "more of a dick" Ed to less. The times (if not the Post) demand it. And I think Bezos should buy Time Warner so he can change his name to Lex Luthor. Seriously, fuck that guy, though honestly I'd be worried that you might be endangering the chances of having your work appear in the Post by criticizing Big Jeff even elsewhere. (Bezos has owned the Post since 2013.)


  • Whether here or under better-known banners, if Ed is Ed it's a boon for us all.

    In the Rolling Stone article I liked Carnegie's "parting gifts." Good phrase. Also the great one-liner at WaPo: "Emma Gonzalez’s “We call B.S.” must begin to upend Charlton Heston’s “from my cold dead hands.”"

    I've been thinking recently about the schizophrenia wherein (1) Bill Gates blackmailed small tech companies into taking microsoft software or suffering the consequences of violent death, then (2) became the compassionate Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation spreading anti-malaria nets across Africa. There is a brutal gamesmanship in American business that has to be almost inhuman in its take-no-prisioners viciousness. Only when victory is deemed irreversible do the CEOs come from behind the curtain to show some humanity. Is this an especially American syndrome? Was Ikea as ruthless with its employees? Anyway, great takedown of Bezos; he richly deserves it.

  • Everytime I get frustrated, I get a link to a killer article. My only complaint is that there isn't as much swearing in those articles.

  • I like Ed as a dick and I like Gentle Ed for the masses because his message gets disseminated to an ever widening crowd. Don't forget those of us at the bottom of the ladder, though, Ed.

  • Some of the comments are…priceless. There are Trumpalos still foaming at the mouth about Obama and socialism. Eye opening.

  • “Ed Burmila is…the host of the Gin and Tacos podcast.”

    That’s pretty funny. You’ve been writing the blog for how many years and have released exactly one podcast episode. But the column demonstrates why you have options. You’re a damned good writer. And you’re getting published regularly in RD and now the WaPo.

    Keep it up.

  • The WaPo? Wow! I'm impressed. Great article. And I second the kudos for the line "Emma Gonzalez’s “We call B.S.” must begin to upend Charlton Heston’s “from my cold dead hands."

    This is exactly what I was discussing with a marketing guru friend the other day. We need a gunsense monolith to take on the ammosexual/NRA monolith. Because so far, it's been like taking a butter knife to a … well, a literal gun fight.

  • Great Rolling Stone article, and nothing dickish about it, other than your failure to polish Bezos' knob sufficiently.

    Loved this: "Is a person donating 0.03% of his net worth an act deserving of the amount of press and praise it receives? The equivalent is a person worth $1 million donating $300." I'm sure such shrillness will send the usual suspects to their fainting couches, but numbers don't lie, kids.

    One quibble, I'm very glad Bezos didn't do this anonymously, because a FU to Donald and ICE from someone with his kind of juice is always welcome.

  • Congratulations, Ed. I'll be proud to say I was reading you long before you made it to the Big Time. Good job, and continued success.

  • Way better dick in the later, rightfully so.

    Re. the former, I've met some of these guys. Ain't none of 'em anything special. Well. Musk maybe, but I haven't met him. Those I have: right place right time, played a good hand. Technical genius, paradigm of wisdom, meh, not so much.

  • The reason it's OK that you're a dick in the first piece is that 1) you're a dick to the right people and 2) you realize you're being a dick. Some bloggers adequately fulfill (1) but are completely oblivious about (2) (*coughLawyersGuns&Moneycough*).

    As for Amazon, two somewhat OT thoughts:

    1) However badly Bezos treats his Amazon employees, at least he's sunk a lot of money into the Washington Post and established it as a font of good reporting about the Trump disaster.

    2) Amazon has rarely if ever turned a conventional profit. They make virtually all their money through membership fees. I have a hard time seeing how that's a sustainable business model; eventually they're going to run out of people to sell memberships to. Something tells me they might be the Enron of the 21st century.

  • Hey, Ed! The Wash Post won't let me read your article unless I start paying them money, so I did a Google of you, and there are reference to your work in other newspapers!

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    Katydid: Incognito window is your friend.

    But I wonder how many more assignments Ed will pick up from WaPo once they're aware how he bashed their owner.

  • @Bitter Scribe; I used to get the Post delivered to my house, then they switched from "neighborhood kid" to "creepy guy in van" delivery. Around that time we went through a rainy spell and *every* *single* *time* it rained, the newspaper was flung not into my driveway or anywhere on my lawn, but into the ditch full of water, where the paper would promptly disintegrate. Multiple calls always landed me in some Phillippine call center where the workers had barely a passing ability with English and made it very clear they couldn't care less what was happening with delivery, so I cancelled delivery. Everytime they contact me, I tell them why I cancelled. Nobody cares.

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    Katydid: That's too bad. When I subscribed to the Chicago Tribune, on the rare occasions the paper wasn't delivered or was delivered in unreadable condition, one call brought the delivery guy out with a replacement. (I always made sure to tip the guy every Xmas, so that probably helped.)

    Too bad WaPo doesn't seem to care about its dead-tree subscribers. Those may be in decline, but they're still needed.

  • Great article. I've felt exactly the same way for decades, but it isn't a popular point. Most people worship at the altar of the very rich and presume any criticism of the angels of capitalism must be motivated by jealously.

    Hope to live long enough to see that church fall apart..

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