A beautiful, naked Frasier Fir is standing in my living room like an unpaid debt.
1. Speaking of Christmas...The first installment on the Ethics Alarms ethics guide to “Miracle on 34th Street” went up late yesterday, and was immediately blocked on Facebook for violating community standards. Nice. It appears my Facebook “friends” took revenge for my chiding their juvenile and unending “Orange Man Bad” posts.
2. Speaking of being ticked off… Professor Turley:
In a surprising admission, the author if the controversial dossier used to secure the secret surveillance on Trump officials admitted that it was paid for by Clinton campaign as a type of insurance to challenge the election. At the same time, the reporter who helped break the story, Michael Isikoff now says that many of the specific allegations remain unproven and are likely false.
The Washington Times reported that Steele stated in a declaration in a defamation case that the law firm Perkins Coie wanted to be able to challenge the results of the election based on the dossier. In an answer to interrogatories, Mr. Steele wrote: “Fusion’s immediate client was law firm Perkins Coie. It engaged Fusion to obtain information necessary for Perkins Coie LLP to provide legal advice on the potential impact of Russian involvement on the legal validity of the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential election. Based on that advice, parties such as the Democratic National Committee and HFACC Inc. (also known as ‘Hillary for America’) could consider steps they would be legally entitled to take to challenge the validity of the outcome of that election.”
In his typical fashion when he is in mealy-mouth mood, Turley says this is “concerning,” since this document was used to get judicial leave to spy on the Trump campaign. The news is only surprising if you had your fingers in your ears and were shouting “Nanananana” for the past year. This issue, you will recall, is what led a previously well-regarded commenter from the Left here to noisily withdraw as a participant because I was, he said, obviously in the throes of irrational Right Wing conspiracy mania because I posted this.
Certain exiles, if they have any integrity at all, owe me a large, effusive, groveling apology—and I still might not accept it.
Concludes the Professor: “The Steele admission only magnifies the concerns over the purpose and the use of this dossier, but has received little media attention.”
Gee, I wonder why THAT is!
3. “And now for something completely stupid” Department. I guess former “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” star Alfonso Ribeiro’s career isn’t going so well. He is suing the makers of the video game Fortnite for allegedly stealing his “Carlton dance.” You know, this…
It was a big deal at the time because Ribeiro’s character was a geek, and ignorant viewers didn’t know that the actor was professional dancer who had starred in “The Tap-Dance Kid” on Broadway as a child. The fact that a video character does similar moves…
…is no basis for a lawsuit. Choreography copyrighting is a murky intellectual property area, and suing because of an animated figure’s moves is pathetic, as well as an abuse of the civil justice system. The has-been star is angling for a nuisance suit settlement. He should try “GoFundMe” instead.
4. Wait, What? Children’s speech pathologist Bahia Amawi is suing Texas and the school district that fired her because she refused to sign a contract than prevented her from participated in any boycotts of Israel or its products. “Texas’s ban on contracting with any boycotter of Israel constitutes viewpoint discrimination that chills constitutionally-protected political advocacy in support of Palestine,” her lawsuit says. Ya think? The Pflugerville Independent School District included new language in their contracts this year requiring that employees “will not boycott Israel during the term of the contract,” and will refrain from any action “that is intended to penalize, inflict economic harm on, or limit commercial relations with Israel, or with a person or entity doing business in Israeli or in an Israel-controlled territory.” (Pointer: Becky)
A. That provision is per se unconstitutional, and
B. There’s really a place in Texas called “Pflugerville”?
5. When “Think of the children!” is justified. On June 7, 2017, Amanda Hawkins, then 19, drove her one- and two-year-old daughters, both unconscious, to the hospital. Hawkins claimed they’d collapsed after smelling flowers at a nearby lake. Sure.
In truth, the girls were dying because their mother intentionally left them in her car overnight while she partied with friends, trapping them in the car for 15 to 18 hours as temperatures reached 90 degrees. When someone heard the girls crying in the car and asked Hawkins to bring them inside. “She said: ‘No, it’s fine. They’ll cry themselves to sleep.” She’s been sentenced to 40 years in prison, and it’s too lenient by far. I would not oppose the death penalty for this kind of egregious child abuse. I suspect that executing Hawkins might save some lives.
6. This is also a horrible woman, but it’s a fake horrible woman. Parody intersectional radical “Titania McGrath,” whom I wrote about here, has claimed more victims. A recent rant by the talented satirist has now been cited by several conservative sources as real. “The is not a parody,” writes one. Sorry, that’s exactly what it is. Again, the Ethics Alarms position is that web hoaxes are unethical, but this is brilliant satire:
My name is Titania McGrath. I am a radical intersectionalist poet committed to feminism, social justice, and armed peaceful protest. In April of this year, I decided to become more industrious on social media. I was inspired by other activists who had made use of their online platforms in order to spread their message and explain to people why they are wrong about everything.
This week the powers-that-be at Twitter hit my account with a “permanent suspension” (a semantic contradiction, but then I suppose bigots aren’t known for their grammatical prowess). This was the latest in a series of suspensions, all of which were imposed because I had been too woke. The final straw appeared to be a tweet in which I informed my followers that I would be attending a pro-Brexit march so that I could punch a few UKIP supporters in the name of tolerance.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always supported censorship. Major social media platforms have a responsibility to ensure that we are expressing the correct sort of free speech. Twitter’s decision to suspend Alex Jones, host of American website InfoWars, set the right kind of precedent. I fully supported this action because Jones is known for disseminating fake news and wild conspiracy theories. But the fact that I was also banned makes me think that Twitter were being secretly controlled by InfoWars from the very start….Do not pity me. As a woman in a heteronormative patriarchal world I am accustomed to males like Jack Dorsey attempting to keep me silent. In my absence from Twitter, I took the opportunity to spend some time at a resort in Val d’Isère, where I could relax and contemplate my oppression. I even managed to write a book which I have entitled Woke: A Guide to Social Justice. I did want to call it My Struggle, but that title was already taken apparently.
The book is real, and also a gag. What does it say about a movement that something this wacked-out is close enough to the real thing that people can’t tell it’s a joke?