1. Less than two weeks after social justice bullies on social media chastised actor Mandy Patinkin for agreeing to take the place of a black actor in Broadway’s “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812,” causing the politically impeccable Mandy to withdraw with humble mea culpas, and the “woke” creator of the the Tony winning musical to humbly kowtow to the new show business principle that it is better for a show to close entirely, putting everyone out of work, than for a white actor to take over a role from a black actor who took over the role from a white actor in the first place, “The Great Comet’s” producers announced that the show will close in September.
Good job, everybody!
2. First Amendment incursions are creeping in from all sides and all angles so fast it’s hard to slap them down. Cowboy Joe West, the major leagues’ longest-serving umpire,was just suspended for three days for comments he made a in an interview with USA Today published on June 20, to mark the umpire’s 5,000th regular-season game. Asked which player beefed most frequently about his calls, West said “it’s got to be Adrian Beltre.” Beltre, who recently punched his own ticket into the Hall of Fame by getting his 3000th hit, is apparently something of a human Bermuda Triangle for ethics controversies.
“Every pitch you call that’s a strike, he says, ‘Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!,'” West was quoted as saying. “I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, ”That ball is outside.’ I told him, ‘You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink.'”
MLB suspended West for three days, telling the umpires union in a letter that the discipline was in response to an “appearance of lack of impartiality.” Beltre has said that he never assumed West was being anything but facetious. The umpires union is livid, and West is likely to file a grievance.
There are two theories about this strange episode in the Marshall household. I think it’s more evidence of slippage on the societal slope to speech suppression. My wife thinks baseball is laying the groundwork for replacing umpires on balls and strikes with robo-calls. After all, robots aren’t biased.
I hope she’s right, but I doubt it.
3. Why don’t Democrats want to clean up eligible voter rolls? Once again the party is crying “Voter suppression!” because the Justice Department filed a Supreme Court amicus brief supporting the state of Ohio as it fights to defend its law that purges names from voter rolls if those names aren’t attached to votes for a significant period. This reverses the Obama Administration’s position, which backed a lower court decision that it ran afoul of the 1993 National Voter Registration Act.
Why does Ohio want to de-register voters who don’t vote for two years, then are sent notices asking that they confirm their voter registration, don’t respond to the notices ,and continue to not vote for another four years? I assume it is because the state doesn’t want dead people on the voter rolls. Why do Democrats want the names of dead people listed as eligible voters?
I’ll leave that to your imagination…
4. Oh, good. I’m not the only one to fall for an unethical hoax news site’s story. I didn’t fall for this one, but Instapundit Glenn Reynolds did: Protests Break Out Over Proposed Blazing Saddles Showing. The site is something called “Nevada County Scooper,” and makes my list of unethical satire sites by 1) not announcing its fake news status on its home page 2) not being sufficiently clever or amusing to tip off Reynolds, who is pretty funny himself, that it is all lies, and 3) requiring a reader to make at least three clicks and read a spectacularly unfunny hoax history of “the Scooper” before actually encountering the words, “satirical website.”
A protest over a showing of “Blazing Saddles” is completely plausible after the damage done to the nation’s culture, freedom of expression and, sadly, sense of humor over the past eight years.
5. Yesterday, North Korea (Is the new descriptor “the Norks” racist? It sure echoes “gooks” to my ear…) followed its earlier warning that the regime was planning to strike Guam (a US territory) with details that the launch plan will be ready for Kim’s approval by mid-month. It will, North Korea’s Central News Agency said, involve four Hwasong-12 rockets crossing “the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Koichi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3,356.7 km (2,085.8 miles) for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.” The intermediate-range missiles would “interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam” and “signal a crucial warning to the U.S.”
The question being debated here yesterday was whether the U.S. would or should engage in a preemptive strike on the rogue nation. That is both an ethical and a practical question, but if a first strike is sufficiently practical, it is also sufficiently ethical.
Would the described attack on Guam be provocation for a retaliatory strike by the U.S. on North Korea?
Would such a strike have to be nuclear?
No. My guess is that it wouldn’t be.
Would it matter ethically if the attack on Guam were successful of not?
No! That’s moral luck. The fact that North Korea tried to attack Guam would justify a military response whether the missiles were shot down, were duds, or killed thousands.
The tougher question is whether an ethical country is required to wait for an attack that has been threatened and described in detail in an official communication before it takes deadly action to defend itself. I don’t think it’s that tough. If a country with the capability to do says “we are going to attack you on or about this date,” the U.S. is within all ethical and legal bounds to say, “Oh no you won’t!” and do what it feels is necessary to protect itself before such an attack with all the force at its command.