Oh-oh! It’s a creepy morning…
1. If “there are no coincidences,” then what the hell does THIS mean? The ethics category, if there is one, would be “Nature Incompetence,” or perhaps “deity abuse of power.” Look at minor league baseball pitcher Brady Feigl:
Oh! I’m sorry! I meant “Look at these TWO minor league baseball pitchers who are both named Brady Feigl.” One is in the Texas Rangers system, and the other is in the Oakland A’s system.
A similar example of God fooling around for his own amusement and our confusion had historical significance.
This man is Will West, a convicted criminal who was sent to Leavenworth Prison in 1903…
…and this is William West, who was already being held there:
The fact that the two men were so facially similar helped convince American law enforcement to begin using fingerprints rather than facial measurements for identification.
2. Over-blown conservative news media controversy of the week: In “First Man,” Ryan Gosling plays Neil Armstrong. For some reason, director Damien Chazelle decided to omit the iconic moment when Armstrong planted the American flag on the Moon. The Horror. Fox News can’t stop talking about it. President Trump has declared that he’ll boycott the film. Morons.
Nobody now complaining has seen the movie. In a vacuum, I’d agree that the choice is a strange one (and Gosling’s explanation that Armstrong’s achievement “transcended countries and borders” doesn’t help, but he’s an actor, and this is why actors need scripts.) Still, there is no reason to presume that the choice is an anti-American one. The movie does not suggest, apparently, that Armstrong didn’t plant the flag. When John Wayne made “The Alamo,” some were upset that he didn’t show Travis drawing a line in the sand and asking those who wanted to stand with him and defend the fort to cross it. That moment is one of the most iconic in Alamo lore. I don’t know why the Duke made that choice: it’s true that the story is unproven, but it’s not as if there weren’t plenty of other inaccuracies in that movie. Still, the only question that matters is whether 1) the decision to portray or not portray a particular moment or event fulfills the director’s vision and 2) whether that vision results in a work of art that audiences appreciate. I felt that the the director’s decision in 2016’s “Dunkirk” to ignore the sheer scope of the rescue to focus on individual boats and characters was a terrible choice, but I saw the movie before I made my decision.
Some conservatives are also upset that Armstrong is being played by a Canadian actor, which is what Gosling is. Anyone who even thinks that cretinous complaint is ethically estopped from ever mocking progressive accusations of “cultural appropriation” again.
3. Ridiculous progressive conspiracy theory of the week: The depths of madness that Democrats and their hysterical allies descended to in the Brett Kavanaugh hearing yesterday defied belief. The low point? Social media detectives determined that the hand position of the woman sitting behind the nominee…
…was a white supremacy signal.“What fresh hell is this!!!??? Kavanaugh’s assistant Zina Bash giving the white power sign right behind him during the hearing? This alone should be disqualify!!!” Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of the female advocacy group New Agenda tweeted. “This neo-nazi is Zina Bash. She’s intentionally throwin up White Power signs at a Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearing. On national TV. She works for Kavanaugh & is also one of the writers for Trump’s immigration policy. This is their new Amerikkka,” tweeted actress Kelly Mantle. “Kavanaugh’s former law clerk Zina Bash is flashing a white power sign behind him during his Senate confirmation hearing. They literally want to bring white supremacy to the Supreme Court. What a national outrage and a disgrace to the rule of law,” wrote Dr. Eugene Gu, in a tweet retweeted 12 thousand times. Naturally, some of my Facebook friends took up the narrative, because they wanted it to be true.
Of course, the whole thing was hysterical nonsense. Bash no longer works for Judge Kavanaugh and is now employed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Her husband, U.S. Attorney John Bash, posted a series of tweets regarding the madness, saying..
“The attacks today on my wife are repulsive. Everyone tweeting this vicious conspiracy theory should be ashamed of themselves. We weren’t even familiar with the hateful symbol being attributed to her for the random way she rested her hand during a long hearing. Zina is Mexican on her mother’s side and Jewish on her father’s side. She was born in Mexico. Her grandparents were Holocaust survivors. We of course have nothing to do with hate groups, which aim to terrorize and demean other people — never have and never would. Some of the Twitter comments have even referred to our baby daughter. I know that there are good folks on both sides of the political divide. I hope that people will clearly condemn this idiotic and sickening accusation.”
But if the crazy smear could help defeat the Kavanaugh nomination, I am certain Democrats would be satisfied with that, because, as you know, the ends justify the means.
4. Thomas the Tank Engine Ethics. This is not an Onion parody, unfortunately:
…Mattel and the United Nations have been engaged in an 18-month collaboration that has the diplomatic body helping shape story lines and characters on the cable television series, now titled “Thomas & Friends: Big World! Big Adventures!” When the new-look show launches on Nick Jr. on Friday, on display will be not just a fresh direction for a toy brand but also a trial balloon of sorts for a new – and, to some, thorny – form of entertainment, one in which global activism and commercial Hollywood are entwined.
“We think this can be a whole new way of collaborating,” Richard Dickson, president and chief operating officer of Mattel, said in an interview. “We hope partnerships like this become an example for others.”
The arrangement began when Mattel executives in early 2017 approached the United Nations and said they would like to work together. Soon teams from Mattel and the United Nations were gathered in New York, where U.N. staffers pitched ideas to Thomas brand managers. The parties were trying to figure out which of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals – the 17 objectives in areas such as poverty, hunger and sanitation it aims to achieve by 2030 – would make sense for story lines.
They eventually settled on six. Five of them – education, sustainable communities, responsible consumption, gender equity and “life on land,” about healthy ecosystems – will be featured in a total of nine of the 26 episodes and related short-form content this season. (A sixth goal, related to clean water, was accepted but wound up on the cutting-room floor because it could not be worked in easily.)
To address gender equality, for instance, producers replaced several male characters with female ones, including an orange car named Rebecca, an African car named Nia and a Chinese engine named Hong-Mei, and worked messages about gender into the episodes….
You can read the rest, if your stomach is stronger than mine. The article is happily extolling blatant political propaganda being planted in a children’s show by an international organization to achieve its ideological agenda, for the explicit purpose of indoctrinating kids. The idea that trains—virtually all the characters are trains, you know—have to be racially diverse is so bats I can’t even process it. An American corporation is enthusiastically complicit, because they hope to make more profits off of the parents of freshly brain-washed kids.
The scheme reminds me of nothing so much as the pods we see possessed parents lovingly placing in the beds of their sleeping children in “Invasion of the Body-Snatchers,” so the kiddies will wake up thinking like everybody else. Here’s a little bit more from the article:
“For the global body, the hope is that putting the messages in an entertainment context will help them reach people in ways bureaucratic programs cannot.”We felt strongly that we’d have more impact working on content,” said Jeffrey Brez, the U.N. chief of nongovernmental-organization relations and advocacy, who helped spearhead the project. “Thomas is a global franchise in a larger number of countries and languages. They can do things we can’t. Our outreach capacity is very limited.”