Good Morning, All!
1 Derangement test! As I write this, Washington, D.C. is on high anxiety alert over whether there will be a government shutdown due to Senate Democrats staging a tantrum over DACA. Previous shutdowns, stupid all, and all ultimately a disaster for the party that triggered them, the Republicans, at least involved a dispute over the budget, which we call a “nexus.” In this one, however, the triggering party is the Democrats, who are grandstanding to their increasingly radical base, declaring the interests of about 800,000 illegal immigrants as a higher priority than the interests of the law-abiding citizens of this country who are not obsessed with “Think of the children!” and the imaginary right of foreigners to cross into the country illegally and stay here as long as they don’t rape someone and blow their “good illegal immigrant” status.
Essentially the Democratic leadership has decided to test the question of how many Americans have had their brains and values scrambled by the emotion-based pro-illegal immigration argument battered into their heads by the progressive/maintsteam news media coalition. Oh…there’s also their collateral justification of “We can’t make a deal with the President because he used a bad word in a private meeting, or so some say.”
Since both Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have their unequivocal condemnation of the very same tactic they are now engaging in on videotape, they must really be convinced that social justice warrior cant now infests the population. Well, maybe they are right. Maybe they aren’t as incompetent as I think they are, and their flip-flop won’t strike anyone else as cynical and proof of an integrity deficit.
If a party is successful, even once, using this extortion tactic to pass legislation, then the legislative process will have officially collapsed. Democrats—this shut-down is a unilateral offense, not another “everyone is to blame” fiasco—signaled their emergence as a protest organization rather than a responsible party in 2016 when they held a sit-down strike in the House to try to force the unconstitutional measure of banning gun ownership for citizens placed without due process on FBI no-fly lists. If Republicans allow such a tactic to succeed now, however, they will share the Ethics Dunce honors.
And, of course, will use the tactic themselves when the time is ripe.
Let’s see if sufficient numbers of Democrats have their brain cells and values in sufficient good health to tell their representative that those DACA kids have their sentimental support, but not THAT much support, you idiots, don’t be ridiculous!
It should be interesting.
2. Reality test! It really does appear that California has the worst poverty rate in the country. I assumed that story this week was right-wing media spin, but then left-wing media fact-checker Politifact pronounced it true.
Really? Poorer than Mississippi? Poorer than Maine, or Arkansas, or Maine, or D.C, none of whom have a fraction of California’s advantages and resources?
An Ethics Alarms maxim is that allegedly ethical values have to work, as in making society healthier more prosperous, more free, happier and more productive. If they don’t accomplish those goals,no matter how good they sound or appear on paper, they aren’t ethical after all. California is the laboratory for all the progressive principles that Democrats are trying to have adopted by the whole country. Legalized drugs. Open borders. No deportations. Entitlements galore. Rampant political correctness. Leftist schools. Restrictions on free speech. Green regulations. Anti-climate change measures. High minimum wages. California has developed a parallel, substantially counter-American culture, culminating in a landslide preference for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election that all by itself made her the popular vote winner.
And it doesn’t work. The Golden State, with its coastline and beaches and dominant industries in entertainment and high tech, its gleaming, iconic cities and its diverse national resources, and, of course, its one party government, is failing. Doesn’t this at least demand serious critical analysis, or a cogent explanation from the state’s politicians and activists?
2. Integrity test! Woody Allen’s adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, emboldened by #MeToo and the Harvey Weinstein Ethics Train Wreck, did a full interview on CBS accusing her father, once again, of sexually molesting her. Asked by Gayle King about Allen’s defense that Dylan was coached by her mother, Mia Farrow, because Farrow was furious over Allen’s sexual affair with another adopted daughter, Soon Yi, whom Allen eventually married, Dylan said.
FARROW: And what I don’t understand is how is this crazy story of me being brainwashed and coached more believable than what I’m saying about being sexually assaulted by my father?
KING: Because your mother was very angry, so that she would try to coach you, and try to get you to turn against your father.
FARROW: Except every step of the way, my mother has only encouraged me to tell the truth. She has never coached me.
While so many power figures in so many industries have found themselves shunned and shamed over the last few months after one or more women have accused them of sexual misconduct, how has Woody Allen escaped the same fate? Yes, it’s another “he said/ she said,” and the same due process and fairness arguments apply to Allen as to the other accused, not that the requirements of due process have stopped those men from being destroyed. On the other hand, this situation is materially different in ways that support the accuser. Farrow wasn’t an ambitious actress who stayed quiet about a sexual assault in order to advance her career, nor did she accept hush money. She was not a spurned fan or date who decided long after the fact to level a public attack on a celebrity. She was a child, he was her father, and she did try to blow the whistle in a timely fashion, only to be disbelieved.
Moreover, what she accuses Allen of doing is worse conduct than what was deemed sufficiently unacceptable to bring other Hollywood figures down. Her story also seems unusually believable, given Allen’s documented, creepy obsession with under-age sex objects in his films (Like “Manhattan”) , and the fact that he had an admitted sexual affair with his older adopted daughter, now wife. (Ick.) What Dylan Farrow claims is at least as credible as the accusations against Roy Moore, and, again, far worse, but that didn’t stop the Woody-worshiping Hollywood elite from pronouncing Republicans monsters for supporting Moore. But that Woody: what a genius!
When I wrote about this topic in 2014, I noted,
A culture is defined by what it tolerates and will not tolerate. Honoring a child molester and incestuous rapist says “This culture tolerates such conduct, and we won’t think less of anyone who indulges in it if they are talented, successful and lucrative.” In fact, I think this is a fairly accurate description of how Hollywood (and the music industry too, which has also lionized a lot of pedophile stars) thinks and feels. The community that honors child molesters in that community has made a statement that it doesn’t think child molesting is all that bad…
Over the past two weeks,, including actresses Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, and Reese Witherspoon. (Nothing yet from Meryl Streep..). Perhaps the culture is really changing, and all of the grandstanding and finger-pointing hasn’t been a cynical exercise in selective virtue-signalling by a lot of women who would have been perfectly happy to keep getting plum roles from the likes of Harvey and Woody if they thought they could get away with it.
I’ll be convinced when I hear that Woody is spending his days playing charades with Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louie C.K. and Matt Lauer.