My best friend of long standing’s favorite singer is Nat King Cole. He really doesn’t sound like anyone else, does he? I wonder how many millennials have heard his amazing voice, or would have the perspective to appreciate it.
Speaking of listening, I was prompted this morning to reflect on what a vital life-competence skill listening is. It is really an acquired skill: various Facebook discussions make it clear that most of the Facebook Borg warriors are no longer listening (or otherwise paying attention) to any information that doesn’t bolster their confirmation bias.
What made me think about this today was happening upon an early morning showing of “Casablanca” on Turner Movie Classics. I must have seen the classic a hundred or more times since first watched the whole movie in college, and yet today was the first time I heard what “Rick” Blaine’s real first name was. All the other times I watched the movie, this passed by my consciousness without leaving a trace, but his real name is used three times. (Hint: it’s not Richard, though that’s what Ingrid Bergman calls him…)
1. A great President in many ways, but also a terrible human being. Watch the culture and the news media bury this. “The Jews Should Keep Quiet: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rabbi Stephen S. Wise and the Holocaust,” a new book (published in September) reveals new archival evidence that shows FDR’s callous and bigoted treatment of European Jews prior to and during the Holocaust. I know the author, Dr. Rafael Medoff of the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, as a result of his assisting The American Century Theater with several productions that involved the Jews and Israel.
The book’s revelations are not shocking to anyone who had looked at the evidence objectively even before this new material, but Roosevelt is a hallowed Democrat Party icon, and it has been, and I assume will continue to be, resistant to any effort to inform the public of this horrific moral and ethical failing, one of many FDR was guilty of inflicting. From a review:
The question of why Roosevelt dismissed Jews, can be found in FDR’s vision of America as white, Protestant and dismissive of immigrants. That view are evident in columns of FDR published in a Georgia newspaper in the early 1920’s opposing Japanese American immigration, intermarriage and inability to assimilate in the US. That view culminated in FDR’s Executive Order 9066 during WWII interning 120,000 American Japanese citizens. The new book finds parallelism in FDR views of Jews. FDR’s statement following the horrific Nazi Pogrom on November 9, 1938 simply called it “unbelievable”, without identifying the perpetrators and victims, Nazis and German Jews. Between 1933 and 1938, FDR maintained cordial relations with Germany not issuing one public statement critical of Hitler’s Nazi Regime. The book exposes the calumnies of the FDR Administration opposing and undermining the anti-Nazi boycott mounted by Jewish and other groups permitting evasion of labelling of German products to avoid country of origin.
2. A relevant note to the gun-confiscation issue: With less than two months to go before the New Zealand government’s mandatory deadline, fewer than 20% of the estimated number of banned firearms have been handed over.
This is being called “a moderate success” by the anti-gun crowd, when it is in fact a predictable failure. “What exactly has been accomplished, other than the compensated confiscation of a few thousand firearms and the criminalization of tens of thousands of otherwise law-abiding citizens?” asks the pro-Second Amendment website Bearing Arms. Yet the mainstream media and progressives applauded this reaction to the Christchurch massacre, and openly wish our government was capable of eliminating Second Amendment rights with an autocratic decree.
3. Now THIS is an excessive fee! New Jersey lawyer Richard Ledingham has been disbarred by the New Jersey Supreme Court for charging an 88-year-old widow about $120,000 ifor work an expert witness testified should have cost no more than $15,500. The court found that the fee was “utterly excessive” and the lawyer’s conduct was thoroughly dishonest.
Rule 1.5 of every jurisdiction’s legal ethics rules holds that lawyers may not charge fees that are “unreasonable.” That can be a debatable matter, but when a fee is more than nine times what other lawyers charge, and the victimized client is that elderly, it’s a pretty easy call.
Ledingham was retained in 2011 to represent an 88-year-old widow as executrix of her husband’s estate, according to Aug. 13 findings by the Supreme Court of New Jersey Disciplinary Review Board. The widow paid about $88,000 toward Ledingham’s initial bill of a little more than $120,000.
4. This is how crazy Progressive-World has become. One does not have to be an arch conservative or a Trump-ite to be reluctant to put such people in control of our laws, society and culture. Alice Markham-Cantor writes in the Left’s prominent mouthpiece “The Nation ” on “The Problem With Dressing Up as a Witch for Halloween.” This is not satire. Imagine how far one one has to be to read something like this without concluding that an ideology has gone seriously off the rails:
Why might it be complicated to dress up as a witch for Halloween?First, at its most basic, because it is a privilege to pretend to be a witch and not die. We live in a world where people are murdered on a regular basis because others in their communities believe that they are witches. They are killed by individuals, kangaroo courts, or mob violence, in a variety of torturous and horrific ways. In a world where “witch” is a label used to excuse the murder of marginalized women, children, and more than a few men across the world, it is a privilege to embody that label for a fun night out and suffer no consequences–and those of us in the United States who are considering dressing up as witches for Halloween are mostly not in danger of being killed for it.
“But Alice,” my friend might have texted back, “I’m dressing up as the character of the witch, the archetype. Nobody’s getting killed for dressing up as a Disney witch.”
It’s true that the people who are killed for witchcraft today are not killed for dressing up in a costume; they are killed because of intersecting economic, political, and social factors. Silvia Federici, a leading voice in witch hunt analysis, considers these factors to be largely connected to colonialism, gender hierarchy, economic inequality, and Christianity. But the Western archetype–embodied by the classic Disney witch–is still rooted in massacre. Our modern image of the witch was distilled during the great European witch hunts that took place from the late 15th to the 17th centuries, in which thousands of people, the vast majority of whom were women, were tortured and executed. (It’s quite possible that hundreds of thousands were killed; the numbers are debated.) The witch that you’ll be dressing up as–broomstick, big nose, pointy hat–was forged in the crucible of thousands of burnings.
I think I’m going to have to quote Jacques Brel again, and make the quote a tag going forward: “If you leave it up to them, they’ll crochet the world the color of goose shit.”
5. “Dancing With The Stars” ethics. This is one of those topics where I am grateful for the Warm-Up format, because otherwise I would be tempted to write a full post on this idiocy, and a) it doesn’t deserve it, and b) I already did. Here.
The Axis of Unethical Conduct is really and truly outraged that former Trump press secretary Sean Spicer has not yet been voted off “Dancing With The Stars.”
Andrew Stiles in the Washington Free Beacon observes that this is ironic, since the same people condemning the vox populi (a national poll of viewers determines who goes and who stays after every DWTS episode) extolled direct democracy when Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016. Nobody in their right mind and over the age of 16 truly cares who wins these silly competitions, yet pundits and others are expressing anger because they hate Spicer and everything connected with the Trump Administration, so it matters to them that Spicer is surviving the elimination process so far despite the fact that he can’t dance. Don’t they know why this is happening? It is happening because voters are deliberately sending a metaphorical thumb in the eye to the viscous, relentless news media and others who have set out to politicize everything,divide the nation, and denigrate anything connected to the President of the United States. Democrats should be paying attention to what this may portend, but they appear to be too far gone to listen.
Incredibly, the New York Times dance critic felt that Spicer’s approximation of dancing justified her professional assessment. Of course, nobody has any need of an expert opinion here: the man can’t dance. He knows it, anyone who watches knows it. Nonethless, the New York Times dance critic felt that it was necessary to signal her own politically correct hatred and write self-indicting statements like this:
“When, in Week 2, voters decided to kick off the former Supreme Mary Wilson — a black grandmother who possesses an undeniable theatrical presence (“the glamour!” Mr. Tonioli said) — instead of Mr. Spicer, it was heartbreaking. It also seemed sexist and ageist.”
It’s those damn Deplorables again!