(I’m Atlanta bound on business and pleasure, but I’ll have significant downtime. With some luck and if my laptop doesn’t explode, it should seem like I never left.)
1. Not unethical, just stupid. I would have warned everyone in advance that I was going to be experimenting with the layout, but I didn’t know it myself. There was a surprise upgrade offer from WordPress that was too good to pass up, but I assumed (Felix Unger: “When you assume, you make an ass of u and me!” that the blog wouldn’t change until I changed it. Nope: the second I clicked on the payment button, the design blew up and was unreadable. Again, my apologies. And also again, this may not be the final design. I’ll be experimenting while I’m in Georgia.
2. But would they let Will Smith play Bill Jenkins? Bill Jenkins died last month, and naturally the news media paid little attention. He was an African-American scientist who was working as a statistician at the United States Public Health Service in the Sixties when learned of the horrific Tuskegee study, one of the worst ethical breaches in the history of U.S. medicine. The federal government deceived hundreds of black men in Macon County, Alabama into thinking that their cases of syphilis wer being treated when they were not. The researchers were investigating what unchecked syphilis would do to the human body. The black men were being used as human guinea pigs, without their informed consent.
Appalled by the study’s unethical and cruel design, Jenkins spoke to his supervisor, who told him, “Don’t worry about it.” The supervisor was, in fact, monitoring the study. Jenkins defied him and wrote an article about the study that he shared with doctors and journalists. Nobody appeared to care. The study, which began in 1932 , continued through 1972, when another health service scientist exposed it and got it shut down.
Jenkins was haunted by the research and his inability to end it. He went back to school to train as an epidemiologist. The Times reveals the rest of the story:
“He would go on to devote himself to trying to reduce disease and illness among African Americans and other people of color, in part by recruiting more such people into the public health professions.
He was one of the first researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recognize how dramatically AIDS was affecting black men. He helped organize the first conference on AIDS in underserved neighborhoods and became the C.D.C.’s director of AIDS prevention for minorities.
And for 10 years he oversaw the government’s Participants Health Benefits Program, which provides free lifetime medical care to the men of the Tuskegee study and their eligible family members.”
3. Dog show ethics. (This is late, and I apologize to everyone, dogs included.) Lesson: even dogs have conflicts of interest. Just minutes before the Westminster Dog Show show started at New York’s Madison Square Garden last month, it was announced that one of the dogs in contention for best in show would no longer be eligible to compete. You see, Colton, a Schipperke from Howell, Michigan who won the non-sporting group at was ruled ineligible for Best in Show because his owner had some unrevealed relationship with the judge, Peter Green, who would decide which dog would be the 2019 Westminster champion. Colton’s owner took it well (Colton had no comment), tweeting that “Honor, Integrity and Sportsmanship are the cornerstones of our sport and we hold them with the highest esteem.”
How ironic it was, then, that when Green, who was described as a terrier aficionado with a special affection for the wire-haired fox terrier breed, chose King the Wire-haired Fox Terrier as Best in Show, when the crowd, the commentators, and most TV viewers (like the Marshalls) thought it was obvious that Burns the Longhaired Dachshund was the class of the competition.
Colton was seen chuckling over that one.
4. Democrats flunk an Integrity test, an Honesty test, a Courage test, oh, all sorts of tests. The question is, are they fooling enough of the people enough of the time? After the various factions of the Democratic House blocked a resolution condemning anti-Semitism, the House voted on a ridiculously generic condemnation of hate generally that condemned, “anti-Semitism as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values and aspirations that define the people of the United States and…anti-Muslim discrimination and bigotry against minorities as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contrary to the values and aspirations of the United States.”
Speaker Pelosi disingenuously said the resolution doesn’t name Rep. Omar “because it’s not about her,” despite the obvious fact that the resolution was made necessary by the repeated anti-Semitic comments by the Muslim Congresswoman.
Elephant? What elephant?
Naturally, sadly, and pathetically, most liberal pundits are ignoring this development, and the fact that their favorite party is increasingly accepting anti-Semism. Those who have sworn off Kool-Aid were a bit more objective.
In the Wall Street Journal, Kimberley Strassel wrote:
“…Then there was the crackup between House party elders who wanted Democrats to condemn the anti-Semitism of Rep. Ilhan Omar, and woke freshmen who wanted to turn smears against Jews into a fuzzy discussion of hurt feelings. Members battled for days, only for Mrs. Pelosi on Thursday to roll over to the progressive left’s demand that any resolution condemn “hate” in general and not anti-Semitism specifically. Even CNN described all this as “chaos.”
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi… told reporters she didn’t believe the congresswoman’s comments were “intentionally anti-Semitic.” No educated human believes Omar inadvertently accused “Benjamin”-grubbing Rootless Cosmopolitans of hypnotizing the world for their evil. These are long-standing, conspiratorial attacks on the Jewish people, used by anti-Semites on right and left, and popular throughout the Islamic world.
Even the Democratic Party activist groups that typically cover for the Israel-haters, like the Anti- Defamation League, have condemned Omar. Yet it was the lie that coursed through the Democratic Party’s defense of Omar.
Presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren claimed that “branding criticism of Israel as automatically anti-Semitic has had a chilling effect on our public discourse and makes it harder to achieve a peaceful solution between Israelis and Palestinians.” Either Warren believes that accusing Jews and their supporters of dual loyalty and sedition is a legitimate criticism of Israel, or she is deliberately mischaracterizing Omar’s comments to gain favor with the growing faction of anti-Semites in her party.
Power Line’s John Hinderaker writes, “I think we have crossed a Rubicon of sorts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and the Congressional Black Caucus–which supported Omar unanimously, as best one can tell from news reports–are in the driver’s seat. Anti-Semitism is now accepted by the Democratic Party.”
The fiasco was even enough to drive Times columnist Bret Stephen’s temporarily back into objectivity (like the Times other token conservatives, he usual toes the progressive line when it matters), as he wrote,
“It says something about the progressive movement today that it has no trouble denouncing Republican racism, real and alleged, every day of the week but has so much trouble calling out naked anti-Semite in its own ranks. This is how progressivism… finds its own path toward legitimizing hate. It’s how self-declared anti-fascists develop their own forms of fascism.”