1 In the middle of yesterday’s continuing legal education seminar on technology and legal ethics, I was telling the attendees about the dangers of all things Google. As I was explaining why lawyers should never, never do legal business on a gmail account, I added that they also have an obligation to tell their clients that there is not a sufficient expectation of privacy when they use gmail to communicate with their attorney. Then I literally froze and stared into space.
“I just realized that one of my recent consulting clients, a lawyer, has been sending all of his communications and documents to me using gmail,” I said. I had noticed it, but it still didn’t trigger the response that I have been teaching to others for at least three years.
As a wise man once said, “D’oh!”
2. In the “I can keep it up as long as they can” category: There is now a viral photo of some idiot taking a kneel during Taps at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
President Trump was incompetent and irresponsible in so many ways to inject himself into this idiocy by the NFL and its athletes, but as has happened so many times for him, he blundered into roses and sapphires. He’s on the right side and cannot fail to benefit politically by standing up for the nation, the flag, the Anthem, and everything patriotic citizens associate with the anthem. This would not be true if the protest itself wasn’t so incoherent and self-contradictory. “We’re not protesting the National Anthem! We’re just refusing to stand during the National Anthem!” “We love our country, we’re just protesting how racist it is!” “We aren’t protesting against the country! We’re just protesting against the President who is the leader of the country!” “We’re not protesting against what Colin Kaepernick was protesting against, we’re just protesting in exactly the same way in exactly the same place at exactly the same time as Colin Kaepernick ( Colin: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”)
“It’s about racism!”
“No, it’s about Trump!”
“No, it’s to support the team!”
“No, it’s about police brutality!”
“No, it’s because the National Anthem has an arguably racist but we really can’t tell third verse!”
“No, it’s because it’s free speech!”
“No, it’s because even stupid protests are patriotic!”
Certs is a breath mint!
Certs is a candy mint!
Less filling !
NFL tickets sales are down 17%; ratings are down almost 10%. Direct TV is allowing subscribers to its NFL package to dump it without a penalty. The Cognitive Dissonance Scale, which progressives appear to be incapable of grasping (not that conservatives are any better at it) is working its magic. Now the Left is perceived—again— as being aligned against the flag, the anthem, police, the justice system, due process, the Great (if deadly) American Game, the President, the military, veterans, and the Unknown Soldier.
Once again, the divisions in the nation have been needlessly exacerbated, and all because the cowardly, incompetent management of the NFL football team in San Francisco was afraid of its cultural outlier community’s radicals, and didn’t immediately react to Kaepernick last year by telling him, “We play football, we don’t do politics on the field. Stop it, or we’ll make you stop it.”
Good job, everybody.
3. Melania Trump sent a package of books to one school in every state for “National Read A Book” Day earlier in September. Included were ten books by Dr. Seuss such as “Oh! the Places You’ll Go!,” “The Cat in the Hat,” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian for a public elementary school in Cambridge,Mass. seized on the opportunity to make an obnoxious, virtue-signalling, partisan gesture (showing disrespect to the President and his family is a good thing, you know) and scolded first lady Melania Trump in a long letter that, for its grand finale, declared that Dr. Seuss books are racist. I’m sure I can google to find some scholarly paper explaining this theory; I don’t care to. The books aren’t racist; it you say they are, you are intentionally misrepresenting the material, or need a psychiatric intervention.
This is a feature of my “A Nation of Assholes” forecast (Now two years old, and I not only stand by every word, I have never been more right in my life) that I didn’t foresee: previously polite and reasonable professionals suddenly deciding that it was appropriate to discard basic manners and traditions of civilized behavior because a President flagrantly ignores established standards of behavior and rhetoric himself. In literally every previous administration, no exceptions, a school employee whot sent a public letter like this would be disciplined by the school. (As far as I can see, Liz did not identify her school, but we will know soon enough.) Melania Trump doesn’t make policy. Melania Trump is not someone who deserves to be lectured about Betsy DeVos’s policies. Using her as a public punching bag and proxy for her husband is the height of unfairness and cowardice.
The attack on Dr. Seuss as racist, however, is a gift: this is exactly why the public school system is a wreck, and why DeVos has the support she does.
Soeiro’s letter began,
“Thank you for the ten Dr. Seuss titles that you sent my school library in recognition of this year’s National Read a Book Day. (Sent second-day air, no less! That must have been expensive.) I’m proud that you recognized my school as something special.”
If it had ended there (and eliminated the snarky jab about how the books were mailed, a hint of the letter’s true agenda), the letter would have been appropriate, and would have taught students the right way to respond to generosity, even if they don’t really like the gift.