Tomorrow the dreaded tree lights hanging begins….
I’m not a big Sinatra fan, but I’ve always thought it a shame that the two Christmas songs he “owns” are both mediocre: “The Christmas Waltz” and “Mistletoe and Holly (which he co-wrote.) Frank sang the whole canon, of course, and well, but still, Judy Garland owns “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Nat King Cole owns “The Christmas Song” (even though Mel Torme wrote it), Bing has “White Christmas” (and others,), Gene Autry has “Rudolph…” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” even after Bruce Springstein stole “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” away from him, but Ol’ Blue Eyes is second or third best to lesser singers on the really great songs, leaving him with those two wan ditties to call his own. It’s unfair.
1. The social media mobs are after J.K Rowling. Her offense? British Researcher Maya Forstater was fired last year by a London think tank for her “gender critical” views, including the position that “it is impossible to change sex.” Forstater filed a lawsuit earlier this year alleging discrimination, but an employment tribunal in London ruled against her this week, holding that her views were “not a philosophical belief protected” by British law but were instead “incompatible with human dignity and fundamental rights of others. It is also a slight of hand to suggest that the claimant merely does not hold the belief that trans women are women. She positively believes that they are men and will say so whenever she wishes.” The court added that Forsater held beliefs that are “not worthy of respect in a democratic society.”
No, they don’t believe in freedom of speech or thought in the UK. Remind people of this when they make one of those fatuous “the U.S. is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t do X” arguments. We are special.
Harry Potter’s mom criticized that ruling and said she supported Forstater: “Dress however you please,” Rowling tweeted to her more than 14 million followers (this makes me want to hurl myself into a shredder, as I desperately try to recover the lost Ethic Alarms followers since 2016). “Call yourself whatever you like. Sleep with any consenting adult who’ll have you. Live your best life in peace and security. But force women out of their jobs for stating that sex is real? #IStandWithMaya.”
Oh, sex, gender, whatever. I know that to trans individuals the distinctions are a matter of honor, identity and self-esteem, and as far as I’m concerned, if an XY individual has changed everything but her chromosomes and wants to be regarded as, treated as and referred to as a woman, I will accommodate her in the interests of comity, kindness, and the Golden Rule. However, if someone as a matter of linguistic or biological rigor (or pedantry) wants to insist that such an individual is still technically female, that’s a legitimate, if unpopular, position. This is a dispute about manners and definitions, not facts.
The researcher should not have been fired, and Rowling’s tweet was not “transphobic.”
2. A couple of Democratic debate notes before I post on the whole annoying mess…The PBS and Politico moderators were unusually tough, rigorous, and professional, a model for all future debates. I’m basing this on the transcript, as I was in no shape to watch live last night.
The second note is this, which can’t wait til tomorrow or it will grow into a fatal aneurysm and kill me like. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who is being widely praised for a strong debate performance, followed up a self-righteous speech about how “the experience that I will bring to the White House, with protecting the First Amendment, is worth more than any talking points” with a talking point about the need to pass a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
This is hypocrisy squared, and like so much Democratic smoke and mirrors, depends upon public ignorance of the Constitution. Such an amendment would become the first to reduce the protection offered by the Bill of Rights, and not just any right, but the most important of them all, the Freedom of Speech. Thus Klobuchar professes to revere the First Amendment, but only to the extent that it allows the news media to continue to abuse its democratic function of informing the public by acting as a partisan ally of her party. As for the rest of that Amendment she claims to love, she wants to restrict it.
Don’t trust Amy.
3. A cheap shot at Buttigieg. This also came up during the debate, but I was going to write about it one way of the other.
Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg was the beneficiary of a campaign fundraiser for wealthy Bay Area donors this week. He wined and dined with the rich and woke at the Napa Valley enclave of Hall Wines in St. Helena, courtesy of Craig and Kathryn Hall, the winery’s billionaire owners who have given millions to the Democratic Party. The venue was an underground grand hall lit by a chandelier featuring 1,500 Swarovski crystals. (The wine served was falsely reported to be $900 a bottle.)
Press access to the event was restricted to Buttigieg’s prepared remarks online.
The South Bend mayor was immediately attacked for using glitter to suck up to glitterati. As a professional fundraiser for many years, I can attest that you don’t get big donors to donate big without making them feel pampered and loved, and lavish settings are a time tested method of doing that. Fundraising for Georgetown Law Center, I once helped arrange a gourmet dinner (on golden chargers) in the grand hall of a San Francisco museum, followed by a private tour of the King Tut treasures, then on tour in the U.S. That’s how you raise money.
4. A Naked Ex-Miss Kentucky Teacher Who’s Also An Idiot Principle? Ramsey BethAnn Bearse, 29, was crowned Miss Kentucky in 2014. She was working as a teacher in West Virginia when she started chatting with a student using a social media app. She meant to send some nude photographs to her husband ( she says) but sent them to the teen by mistake. The teen asked for more photos, not surprisingly, and she complied, she told investigators, because she “was afraid to not to .”
Then the teen’s parents found the photos on his phone and contacted the authorities.
At least, as Bearse pleaded guilty, she took full responsibility for her actions. “Since I am the adult, and he was just a teenager, it is my fault, and I accept full blame for the situation,” Bearse said. “So that’s how I’m guilty of this crime. I messed up big-time.”
Why yes, she did. She may get up to two years in prison will be required to register as a sex offender.