Are we having holiday fun yet?
1. ” Madness! Madness!” (Culturally literate readers will be able to name the movie.)
An 11-year-old boy named Joshua Trump has been forced to go by a different name at his Delaware middle school because he has been relentlessly bullied and punched on the a school bus because of his last name. School officials said that as soon as they learned of the bullying they took action, including disciplining students involved. The school should be investigating teachers, who may be signalling their biases against the President, and we should be looking at the bullies’ parents and the toxic influence of the media.
This story is just a tiny tip of a very large, very deep, very dangerous cultural iceberg.
President Trump should write the boy and his family, or better yet, call him.
2. “My Bloody Valentine” ethics. I am compiling a list of the very best horror movies for a relative who professed ignorance of the genre. I have done the same for Westerns (this became a Smithsonian program) and movie musicals. It is really annoying to hear people say that they don’t like movie musicals when they have never watched “Singin’ in the Rain” or Fred and Ginger at their best, or that they don’t like Westerns when they have never seen “Shane.” What they are really saying is “I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I have strong opinions on it anyway.”
But I digress. I had remembered that the 2008 remake of “My Bloody Valentine” had impressed me with its original and gory special effects, like the maniac mine murderer jamming a shovel into a victim’s face between her nose and mouth, causing the top half of her head to sliiiide down the shovel blade, or the killer yanking another victim’s lower jaw off with a pick- axe. What fun! But when I selected the film on Netflix to see if it was list-worthy, I discovered that those moments and many others had been edited out. This effectively renders the film pointless and scare-free, but it is also a bait-and-switch. If the film isn’t really the film the director made, a notice to that effect is mandatory. I assumed that Netflix only showed the movie, the whole movie, and nothing but the movie. Guess not.
3. Tucker Carlson, boycotts, and virtue signaling. On his Fox New show, Tucker Carlson was discussing the attitude exhibited by some politicians toward illegal immigration and the economic impact it has on the United States:
“Our leaders demand that you shut up and accept this. We have a moral obligation to admit the world’s poor, they tell us, even if it makes our own country poorer, and dirtier, and more divided. Immigration is a form of atonement. Previous leaders of our country committed sins; we must pay for those sins by welcoming an endless chain of migrant caravans. That’s the argument they make. Somehow the immigration-as atonement idea has become the official position of virtually every guilty liberal in the United States. Our tech overlords, the ones always lecturing you, corporate America, Nancy Pelosi and Paul Ryan—they all believe this, and anyone who disagrees with them is denounced as a bigot and fired.”
But how do you really feel, Tucker? I think Tucker would like to take back “dirtier”—how do illegal immigrants make the country dirtier?—but then he’s speaking extemporaneously. His overall point, while a bit inflammatory in the rhetoric used to express it, is valid. However, Pacific Life, which ran an ad on Fox right after Carlson’s rant proclaiming that the company had been “protecting generations of families for 150 years,” decided it was time to grandstand. (Carlson has also been a target of Media Matters efforts to get sponsors to abandon his show, because the best way to win arguments is to muzzle opposition, especially when your own position makes no sense.)
“Pacific Life’s national advertising campaign runs on numerous networks and cable stations on a variety of news, business and sports programs. One of our ads appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night following a segment where Mr. Carlson made a number of statements regarding immigration. As a company, we strongly disagree with Mr. Carlson’s statements. Our customer base and our workforce reflect the diversity of our great nation, something we take great pride in. We will not be advertising on Mr. Carlson’s show in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our relationship with his program.”
Carlson made it clear that he was talking about illegal immigration, though he gave those who want to misconstrue him sufficient rope for them to do so. If it is going to say it disagrees with Carlson, Pacific Life is obligated to say how. (I ding comments on posts here that just say “You are wrong,” “I disagree,” or “You’re an idiot.”) They don’t, because they can’t, and don’t have the guts to take a clear position. Do they believe that the U.S. has an obligation to take in all of the world’s poor? Do they not agree that unregulated and unrestrained immigration will make the country poorer and less united? Do they disagree that liberal guilt and race-baiting are primary tools of those pushing for open boarders? They probably haven’t thought about any of these things beyond the thought a puppy gives a biscuit. They just want to signal “Immigrants good!” and, to use Ann Althouse’s phrase, “Orange man bad!”
Are there corporations with integrity? Right now I can’t think of any.
4. This describes my experience exactly. From Althouse:
For many years, I’ve DVR’d “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “State of the Union,” “Fox News Sunday,” and “This Week with George Stephanopoulos,” and I used to watch nearly all of all of them and carefully select things to blog. I’d jot down key words so I could find things in the transcript, and I’d talk about them at length here. In the Trump years, however, I’ve gotten to the point where I won’t watch at all, and I will leave the room if someone else even starts to watch.
5. HAHAHAHAHAHA! I LOVE this story! It has everything: justice, lessons in obvious consequences, “Get woke, go broke” and so much more! Remember how Starbucks responded to being race-shamed when a Philadelphia store manager told two black men to either buy something or leave the store? It decreed that anyone could hang out at stores without having to be customers, and use the bathrooms too. Any fool could predict that this policy would be disastrous….progressive! Compassionate! But disastrous. Now we learn:
A New York Post team investigated several Manhattan bathrooms and found that there wasn’t an open stall.
…A half-dozen toilets were locked or barricaded for no clear reason. Others were closed for prolonged “cleaning,” which an insider said was needed after extreme soiling caused by drug-using, incontinent vagrants.
“Letting everybody in has resulted in nobody getting in,” an employee at one branch fumed.
“Rest Room closed,” declared signs at 399 Seventh Ave. (entrance on West 32nd Street) and at a branch at Pearl Street and Maiden Lane. At 252 W. 31st St., the road to relief was blocked by garbage cans. Furniture and boxes formed a barrier at 61 W. 56th St.
A rope and traffic cones barred the way at 38 Park Row. When a desperate visitor asked if the loo would reopen any time soon, a barista directed him to a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby.
Why would the bathrooms need “prolonged cleaning”? Perhaps the experience of the Seattle shops provides an explanation:
Several Starbucks workers in Seattle say that they’re encountering hypodermic needles on the job nearly every day and that they’ve had to take antiviral medications to protect themselves from HIV and hepatitis.
Three employees at the coffee giant in northern Seattle told the local news station KIRO 7 that visitors would dispose of the needles in store restrooms, often in tampon-disposal boxes, and that workers would then come in contact with them while cleaning and were sometimes accidentally poked.
KIRO 7 said the three employees provided hospital, pharmacy, and insurance receipts showing that they took antiviral medications to protect against HIV and hepatitis after being poked by needles at work.
Providing extra safety training and prophylactic care for employees can be expensive. The extra costs could have been a contributing factor in a spate of recent layoffs.
Starbucks will lay off 350 corporate employees amid a broader effort to revamp its global operations even as the coffeehouse chain’s former top executive gears up for a 2020 presidential bid.
Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson announced the 5 percent reduction of Starbucks’ global workforce in a staff email on Tuesday, writing that the layoffs are “a result of work that has been eliminated, de-prioritized or shifting ways of working within the company.”
Concludes Leslie Eastman at Legal Insurrection, “The best lesson to be had here may be not to let anything other than profit and customer satisfaction drive your business decisions.”
And ignore the Tragedy of the Commons at your peril.