(WordPress isn’t working properly this morning. Perfect…)
1. Not being biased helps you be non-stupid…Yesterday, chatting with lawyer attendees at my ethics seminar, a former government attorney told me that he had several ex-FBI colleagues who were horrified at many aspects of the Peter Strzok hearings, as was he. Among their concerns:
- The news media was failing its duty to explain to the public the duties of professionals, and why Strzok’s conduct was unacceptable, unethical, and undermined the credibility of the investigations he was involved in.
- Democrats were defending the indefensible, and also breaching their duty to the public. They ought to be exactly as outraged as Republicans at a figure as demonstrably biased as Strzok polluting important law enforcement inquiries, and also should have rebuked him for his defiant attitude.
- The Strzok scandal was immensely damaging to the public image of the FBI, and should be. It demonstrates an agency that has been seriously mismanages, and that has a damaged culture.
- The simple fact that Strzok would use FBI equipment to send his texts demonstrated outrageous incompetence and lack of judgement. Even setting aside the bias issue, for a key figure in an investigation to behave so recklessly proves that the current FBI is untrustworthy.
Naturally this is gratifying, since the positions are all consistent with those I have expressed here, and also because they are correct.
2. When miscreants emulate “Animal House” and Democrats applaud...We also discussed Strzok’s ridiculous “Otter defense”in the hearing, as he emulated the cynical (but in that case, funny) argument offered by the “Animal House” character played by Tim Mathieson (“Take it easy! I’m pre-law!” “I thought you were pre-med!” “What’s the difference?”) in a student council hearing over his fraternity members’ outrageous conduct, especially his own:
” Ladies and gentlemen, I’ll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests – we did. But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!”
This, of course, is exactly the disingenuous tactic employed by Strzok when he pronounced himself grievously offended that his accusers would dare to impugn the integrity of the FBI, knowing well that the harm done to his agency was entirely due to his own actions.
3. Articles I don’t finish reading department. In today’s Sunday Review section, regularly a source of Trump derangement porn since November 2016, Michiko Kakutani, ironically the author of the forthcoming book “The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump,” begins an essay this way:
They were described as vermin who were infesting America. They were deemed a national security threat to the United States, rounded up and sent to internment camps, where they were housed in military-style barracks behind barbed wire and watched over by armed officers in guard towers. There was no due process, no risk assessment, no effort to assess who might actually pose a threat and who just happened to look like “the enemy.” Instead, tens of thousands of men, women and children were subject to “removal” because, as one government report put it, “an exact separation of the ‘sheep from the goats’ was unfeasible.”
My mother’s family was among the 120,000 people of Japanese descent on the West Coast who were dispatched to internment camps during World War II. The faded photo of my mother, my aunt and my grandparents, standing in front of the Topaz Relocation Center barracks, where they were incarcerated in the Utah desert in 1942, used to feel like an artifact from a thankfully distant era — an illustration from a history lesson about what a former first lady, Laura Bush, last month called “one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history.
And yet today in America under President Trump, the news is filled with pictures and stories of families and children being held in detention centers, and reports that the Pentagon is preparing to house as many as 20,000 “unaccompanied alien children” on American military bases.
History is repeating itself.
Speaking of “the death of truth.” No, history is not repeating itself, unless we are talking about the use of shameless propaganda and false analogies to divide the nation and mislead ignorant and gullible members of the public. The Japanese-Americans interned during World War II were citizens The illegal immigrants using their children as human shields to try to break our laws without consequence are not. The internees had violated no laws. The detained South American and Central American families have. There is no valid comparison, historically, legally or ethically.
And I’m not linking to such crap. Let the New York Times reel in its own suckers to deceive.
4. [UPDATE] Not our Queen. This isn’t worth a full post, and will be stale by tomorrow. Among the cheap shots and not-so-cheap shots being taken at our President while he is Europe is the complaint that he did not properly bow to QE2 (not the ship, the monarch) and wasn’t properly deferential when he walked with her. Then U.S. media Trump-haters picked up the refrain, because they are shameless hacks.
The President of the United States ought to bow to no one, nor treat any foreign leader as anything but an equal, and that goes for the Pope, too. This applies especially to kings and queens of England. We fought a long war not to have to bow down to those people. President Obama’s compulsive bowing to various world leaders was part of his One World Government charm offensive, and it was offensive. Americans shouldn’t bow to anyone. When people say that Obama wasn’t the product of the mainstream American culture, this is the kind of thing they were talking about. And they are correct.