1. I’ll have more later on the leaked transcripts of the President’s private conversations with the presidents of Mexico and Australia. Whoever did it was betraying his or her superior and the nation, and needs to be identified and prosecuted. This is malicious sabotage, and nothing less, designed to make it more difficult for this President to function. Those attempting to justify it and rationalize it disqualify themselves as objective critics of the President and also as responsible citizens. The conduct cannot be justified, and no one should attempt to justify it.
The Washington Post publishing the transcripts is a hostile act. True, in today’s Wikileaks world they would have been put online somewhere, but absent some scandalous disclosure in one or both of them, this wasn’t news. The news is that embedded foes of ourelected government are willing to harm the nation in order to undermine the President.
Eventually, the question turned yesterday to why the contents of the transcripts did not prompt any further headlines or allegations of scandal. The answer is that the hoped-for smoking gun proof of the President’s incompetence did not surface in either conversation, so they were no longer of any interest. Ann Althouse, to her credit, waded through the entire exchange with Peña Nieto, and you can read her analysis. The liberal blogger’s conclusion:
“But what can his antagonists grab onto? They can’t very well oppose crushing the drug gangs or better trade deals. So it’s no wonder they went big with Oh! He insulted New Hampshire! And that’s it for the transcripts. Don’t encourage people to actually read them. They might think Trump did just fine.”
Can’t have that.
2. Rep. Maxine Waters responded to the leaked discussions by saying that she hoped such leaks continued. She is calling for and endorsing illegal and unethical conduct that is damaging to the United States, as a sitting member of Congress. I wonder if she could say anything, including calling for Trump’s assassination, that would attarct rebuke from her party? I doubt it. I remember the howls of horror from Democrats during the 2016 campaign when candidate Trump said,
“I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press”
There is no ethical difference between calling for Russia to hack a U.S. citizen’s e-mails and calling for government employees to break the law to reveal secret government communications. If there is a difference, it was that Trump was joking, and Waters is not.
3. With tattoos more popular and visible than ever, the Federalist is suggesting that there is something wrong with getting them—that is, wrong other than the fact that many people think they are unsightly; that the more people have them, the less effective the things are as statements of rebellion and individuality; that they trigger biases in many people (like me), including employers (Did you know that the Armed Services will to accept a volunteer with more than 25% of his or her body covered by tattoos, on the theory that this is res ipsa loquitur for someone with dubious judgment?); and that they are excessive expenditures for a permanent ink-blotch that the odds say you will regret sooner or later.
There is nothing wrong with tattoos other than those things, however. They are the exact equivalents of long hair and beards in the Sixties, and, in some ways, obnoxious T-shirts with simple-minded political statements on them, like “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” I suppose tattoos add an element of commitment that those trivial displays do not have.
4. The line that matters in this significant story is the last one: “USC is reportedly conducting its own investigation and Premjee could still be expelled.”
Premjee is a male student accused of rape by a female student who claimed she was so intoxicated that she couldn’t remember anything. Prosecutors argued that she could not have consented in the state she was in. Then investigators found security footage from a local nightclub and a college dormitory clearly showing the alleged victim being the aggressive party in the encounter, kissing Premjee, leading him out of the nightclub and making suggestive sexual gestures. After watching the videos, the Los Angeles Superior Court judge dismissed the case saying, “I believe there was consent. There is a very strong indication that the alleged victim in this case was the initiator.”
Why, then, is this falsely accused student still under investigation and facing possible expulsion?
It is because Barack Obama allowed his Education Department to threaten educational institutions to force them to install policies and procedures presuming that any female student accusing a male student of sexual assault was a victim and telling the truth. This was and is unethical, divisive and destructive, and if the administration of Donald Trump does nothing else beyond killing this metastasis of progressive cant gone mad, it will not have existed in vain.
5. Segue! And speaking of a metastasis of progressive cant gone mad, here’s an ugly and revealing tale involving Lena Dunham. I would normally explored this issue in a full post, but Lena, like Alec Baldwin, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity, is on my list of people who get a Julie Principle pass her unless they exceed their previously established norms of unethical words and deeds—which in Lena’s case is well nigh impossible short of a chainsaw massacre.
Dunham was waiting to board a delayed flight and walking through ane airport when she overheard two American Airlines employees having a private conversation about transgender children in which one of the uniformed attendants apparently said that she found the “trans” condition icky, or words to that effect. The actress/writer/ feminist then reported the allegedly bigoted conversation to their employer, American Airlines, on Twitter. (After an investigation, American said that it couldn’t confirm the accusation.)
I am tempted to leave the commentary here with the statement that if I have to explain what’s wrong with this, I don’t think we have any basis for future communication. How close will progressives get to the methods and values of the former Soviet Union before their ethics alarms start ringing, however faintly?
Do they—or you, as the case may be—really want to live in an American society that devolves into a paranoid state where citizens are afraid to express opinions that are disapproved by the social justice elite? Do they—or you—honestly see nothing wrong, undemocratic and dangerous about the Self-Righteous of the Left following clusters of Americans around with pencil and note pads, or recorders, or smart phones, hoping to catch proof in spontaneous conversations that strangers—or Mom and Dad?— have tabooed beliefs?
American Airlines flight attendants have every right to express whatever opinions they want to express in exchanges with friend and colleagues, over meals, over the phone and in e-mails or texts. Lena Dunham wanted to get these American employees fired for having opinions that she disagrees with—and that, increasingly, is the mindset of today’s progressives. Be afraid.
That Dunham’s reign of terror and forced compliance of thought would surely be the approved policy of the Clinton Administration was one reason so many people voted for Donald Trump, and on that basis, they cannot be criticized. Right now, to prove I am still in the United States, I am going to express the most bigoted, hateful, offensive, politically incorrect ideas, feelings and ideas I can imagine, to my wife and my dog, because I can, and because nobody in the world has any business trying to punish me for it. Ethics is about what we do, and not all of the mean, ignorant, foolish and impulsive things that go through our heads and sometimes come out of our mouths to people who we trust to say, “Oh, he’s just blowing off steam.”
Dunham, in telling American that their employees should be constrained from saying anything that breaches politically correctness while in uniform, asks, “What if a trans teen was walking behind them?” That’s the standard the censorious, threatening, bullying, totalitarian thought and speech police of the left want in their hellish utopia: Never say anything that might offend the absolute last person you would want to hear it….unless you are calling the President of the United States stupid and orange, or Chris Christie fat, or calling Republicans evil, or saying that white people are plagues on the Earth and deserve to die, because that’s all true, and besides, who cares about anyone whose offended by those statements?