[I have been pondering doing this for some time now. Literally every day there are issues and stories that arise that are either too minor for a full post, or crowded out by other issues. Often I never get to them. Also my various issue scouts (especially Fred) have been burying me with excellent candidates for discussion and analysis, and I never get to most of them, frustrating all of us. So I am going to see if I can begin every day with a set of short notes about these topics, reserving the right to expand some of them into full posts later.]
1. Stacy Lockett, a teacher at Anthony Aguirre Junior High, has been fired after she gave out facetious awards to students such as “Most likely to become a terrorist” and “Most likely to blend in with white people.” Good, I think. These are too sensitive issues to expect middle-schoolers to laugh at, and the ‘awards” show terrible judgment. Still, I am thinking back to comments made in class by some of my favorite 7th and 8th grade teachers, some targeting me. I thought they were funny, and the teachers knew I would think so. All of them would have been fired today, according to the Lockett Standard (Pointer from Fred)
2. By not disciplining Reza Aslan, the host of its “Believer” program who called President Trump a “piece of shit,” “an embarrassment to humankind” and a “man-baby” CNN has made it clear that it has abandoned any vestiges of professionalism or regard for journalism ethics. Well, perhaps “even more clear” is more accurate. CNN allowed Carol Costello to gleefully mock Bristol Palin for getting emotional over being battered; it has allowed Don Lemon to get smashed on the air two New Year’s Eves in a row, and shrugged off Anderson Cooper speculating about the President taking “a dump on his desk,” to give just three examples. Its excuse for Aslan was especially weird, claiming in a statement that he was a host but not an employee. Aslan apologized, but it was a dishonest apology, claiming that the tweets were impulsive and “not like me,” but in another tweet on May 9, he wrote,
“Oh the joy when this lying conniving scumbag narcissistic sociopath piece of shit fake president finally gets what’s coming to him.”
It’s sad to see what CNN has become since Trump’s election. I am embarrassed for the network. but more than that, I am in sorrow for the public. It is not being served by this kind of amateurish, biased and unprofessional journalism.
3. I finally decided that this law suit was too stupid to write about: a ridiculous woman named Holly O’Reilly has found some lawyers—not just any lawyers, either, but the First Amendment Institute at Columbia University—-willing to file a lawsuit claiming that President Trump cannot block her on his Twitter account because doing so is a First Amendment violation of her rights of free speech. The institute’s executive director, Jameel Jaffer, said in a statement that Mr. Trump did not have a right to exclude his critics from engaging with his posts. Does anyone think this is anything but nonsense? Anyone but the New York Times, that is, which wrote, ” The request raises novel legal issues stemming from Mr. Trump’s use of his Twitter account, @realDonaldTrump, to make statements about public policy,” and the Washington Post, which published the woman’s silly op-ed .
When did “novel” come to mean “absurd”? The President blocking a Twitter user on the social media platform isn’t “government action” any more than not taking her phone calls or not reading her letters. She can still say anything she wants on Twitter. Next she’ll sue because she isn’t allowed to ask question at White House press briefings. Columbia University should be embarrassed, but when the anti-Trump hate virus melts your brain, embarrassment is often the first casualty.
4. Senator Al Franken finally issued his position on Kathy Griffin, saying
“That was unbelievably wrong and out-of-bounds, what Kathy did,. Kathy has done USO shows and Kathy is a funny comedian and a generous person in all kinds of ways, and she just made this monumental, monumental mistake, and that was an incredibly inappropriate image and that should not be in our national discourse. I called her and told her it was a terrible mistake. She apologized for it and she begged for forgiveness and she’s devastated by it. I think her strong suit, any good comedian’s strong suit, which she is, is your sense of humor.And she just lost it and I think she needs to take some time off and come back with an ‘I effed up tour.’”
Observations: a) “Effed up” means “fucked up,” and thus is just as vulgar. Are there any Democrats who don’t say “fuck” and “shit” in public any more? and b) No, she did not apologize, since she never apologized to the man whose severed head she was folding or his family. Apparently this detail never occurs to Trump-haters: an apology that doesn’t include the primary individual harmed by the conduct being apologized for isn’t a complete or credible apology.
5. This is essentially the same story as the transgender wrestler, and my conclusion is the same: the only way out of this mess is to eliminate gender divisions in sport. A transgender high school freshman sprinter, born a male, identifying as female, won two 100-meter and 200-meter dash state championships in all-female fields.
“Kate Hall — who last year won the girls 100-meter dash Class M state title as a sophomore — came in second to Yearwood at this year’s 100-meter race and was tearful in the aftermath, the Hartford Courant reported. “It’s frustrating,” Hall of Stonington High School told the Courant. “But that’s just the way it is now.”After finishing third in the 200 — and watching Yearwood cross the finish line first in that race as well — Hall told the Courant, “I can’t really say what I want to say, but there’s not much I can do about it.”
What she wants to say is “This is unfair,” but she doesn’t want to be attacked as transphobic. Nonetheless, it is still unfair. Yearwood is expected to slow down some when she starts taking female hormones, so there is hope.
6. Finally, the conservative Washington Times came up with this unethical headline:
Eric Trump — rightly — slams vicious left as ‘not even people’
Incredibly, the article is about the liberal news media distorting quotes to make conservatives sound hateful. “Sigh. It’s such a cycle of hatred we live in right now in America,” writes. [Pointer: Fred]