Yeah, I know smorgasbord is Swedish and god ettermiddag is Norwegian. I just woke up feeling Scandinavian today. I even had a Danish for breakfast…
1. Trump Tweets. Our President’s petty and juvenile tweets insulting Maxine Waters’ IQ and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Native American fantasy are so obviously self-destructive, necessary and irresponsible. Why why why? These outbursts are literally like the President of the United States going on the roof of the White House and screaming, “You’re all poopy heads!”
Who needs to be told that Waters is an idiot? Res ipsa loquitur applies, and anyone who thinks she is the voice of wisdom and moderation is beyond helping. Trolling Warren by offering her a million dollars to get a DNA test is even more idiotic. Her fake claims of Cherokee heritage already have frozen her political ambitions, and she knows it. If the Senator is not eager to take the test for free (Does anyone smarter than Maxine Waters believe she hasn’t taken such a test?), why would she do it for money? And Warren doesn’t need a million dollars: like most socialists in power, she’s rich already. It’s this kind of thing that drove George Will, William Kristol and Jeff Flake nuts.
2. Proof that the New York Times has also lost it. Here’s an inflammatory quote from yesterday’s editorial from the New York Times editorial board, in a screed urging Democrats to use any means necessary to block the President from appointing whomever he wants for the Supreme Court—you know, like the Constitution says he can:
“This is all the more reason for Democrats and progressives to take a page from “The Godfather” and go to the mattresses on this issue.”
Nice. This is a direct call to violence and literal warfare. I assume the Times editors have seen “The Godfather.” Don Corleone’s Family went “to the mattresses” when it started a gang war.
I hope Americans realize the values it will be voting for when they decide to put the New York Times’ editors’ chosen party back in power. Hint: it’s not democracy.
Since November 2016, Democrats and their allies have been courting revolution because they didn’t like the way the election turned out. No matter how loathsome the Republican Party has shown itself to be, it has never done that.
3. Europe is in a crisis because of open borders. Hey, Let’s abolish ICE! I continue to believe that the Left’s advocacy of open borders is the most inexplicably batty position any political group has taken in my lifetime except for unilateral nuclear disarmament. Imagine: even as the European Union is unraveling because of the social and financial stresses placed on its member nations by unrestrained migration from Islamic states, U.S. pro-illegal immigration activists are intensifying their rhetoric. To evoke the final words in “The Bridge Over The River Kwai”: Madness! Madness!
Over at the maddening New York Times, Max Fisher sneers his way through an op-ed that somehow finds fault with those who woke up to what was wrong with the dream of banishing discrete nations having control over their cultures and populations, and on his blog, Steve Sailor does a deft job demonstrating how incompetent and irresponsible Fisher’s reasoning is. I am grateful, because I was ready to write an equivalent piece myself. Now I can watch the Red Sox game.
4. It’s not settled just because those in control say it is. In an important ruling for free speech and academic freedom, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled last week that Marquette University was wrong to fire Professor John McAdams for comments he made on his personal blog way back in 2014. This one was greatly assisted by The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which now does the pro-free speech work that the ACLU refuses to do when it might annoy its Democratic base contributors. FIRE filed a “friend of the court” brief last year urging the court to hear McAdams’ case.
The professor’s crime was criticizing online a graduate teaching instructor who had refused to allow a student to debate gay rights because, she said “everybody” agreed that same sex marriage was a right. (Translation: everybody that mattered to the instructor agreed.) Though the prof’s pointed attack was on his personal blog, Marquette Warrior, Marquette suspended him indefinitely without pay, de facto firing him.
McAdams had written in part,
[The instructor] of course, was just using a tactic typical among liberals now. Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed “offensive” and need to be shut up. As Charles Krauthammer explained:
The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced. The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage. Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage. To oppose it is nothing but bigotry, akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.
Of course, only certain groups have the privilege of shutting up debate. Things thought to be “offensive” to gays, blacks, women and so on must be stifled. Further, it’s not considered necessary to actually find out what the group really thinks. “Women” are supposed to feel warred upon when somebody opposes abortion, but in the real world men and women are equally likely to oppose abortion…But in the politically correct world of academia, one is supposed to assume that all victim groups think the same way as leftist professors….Groups not favored by leftist professors, of course, can be freely attacked, and their views (or supposed views) ridiculed. Christians and Muslims are not allowed to be “offended” by pro-gay comments.
The Court wrote,
“The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom. Therefore, we reverse the circuit court and remand this cause with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Dr. McAdams, conduct further proceedings to determine damages (which shall include back pay), and order the University to immediately reinstate Dr. McAdams with unimpaired rank, tenure, compensation, and benefits.”
As readers here know, or should, I strongly believe that the court decisions holding that LGTB citizens should have all the same rights and protections as anyone else are legally and ethically correct. But I will defend to the death the right of any citizen to argue otherwise…especially in a classroom.
5. That weird sexual harassment thing…Over at “Law and Liberty”, Susan Lucas does an excellent job pointing out the nuances and peculiarities of sexual harassment law. She writes:
Let’s talk about three sexual harassment cases.
A female coach and physical education teacher sued the school district because another employee, also female, made crude remarks about her breasts, touched her without permission, and said, “I will think of you next time I am f—ing.”
A female employee receives sexually explicit text messages from the man responsible for training her. While the trainer doesn’t have hire/fire authority over her, he certainly can influence her career. His wife eventually finds out and sends the female employee a profane message. The employee complains to her supervisor and is fired for violating a work rule.
A boss tells his employee to “date,” and send “nudie” pictures to, a potential client in order to help convince this client to move his business. The boss offers the employee a big bonus in exchange for this, but doesn’t end up giving her one.
…In each of these examples, the courts found that the bad behavior didn’t amount to actionable sexual harassment. In the first case, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that it wasn’t sexual harassment because the harasser was someone who habitually offended others. The judges determined that she didn’t harass “because of sex” but because she was a jerk. The law doesn’t prohibit jerk-like behavior.
In the second, the employee admitted that she wasn’t offended by the explicit text messages. Because the law requires the victim to be offended, it wasn’t sexual harassment.
In the third, the boss didn’t have power to grant a discretionary bonus, so the courts concluded that there was no actual quid pro quo element to what happened.
Now, of course, as most of the United States has at-will employment, the three employers in these cases would have been free to fire the offender, whether or not what the person did legally qualified as sexual harassment. In the state of Montana (where employment is not at-will), or in instances where there is a contract (such as in a unionized workplace), it could become stickier.
This is why focusing on only the law in sexual harassment trainings—which appears to be the approach of just about everyone but a certain Northern Virginia ethicist—is self-defeating. All of these examples may not be technical sexual harassment, but they are all horribly unethical and abusive.