Have yourself a Merry Little Four Days Before Christmas!
1. Miss America Ethics. Wait…the winning Miss America’s “talent” was performing a chemistry experiment? I read that, but Ann Althouse picked up on the absurdity:
Now, I think pouring those chemicals into flasks could be done by just about anyone. It’s not like playing the piano, singing, and dancing — all of which take at least some talent and a lot of practice, but the woman in question, Camille Schrier “has two undergraduate science degrees and is studying a doctorate in pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University.” She made a stage show out of real achievements that just happened not to be in the performing arts.
That wasn’t the main ethics problem with the whateveritis, though. The problem is that this thing is an archaic beauty contest pretending to be something else, just like the winner’s “talent” wasn’t a talent. Did you see (if you were foolish enough to watch it) any plain, overweight or unattractive women up on the stage? I didn’t. Does that mean there aren’t any smart, talented women who don’t look like they belong in a Victoria’s Secret special in feathers and wings? Gee, I guess so.
2. There has been a lot of comment here and elsewhere about this weird story…the man who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for stealing an LGBTQ flag hanging at the United Church of Christ in Ames near Des Moines, and set it on fire outside a strip club. Much of the commentary involves finding it inconsistent that burning an American flag is considered free speech, but this guy burned an LGBTQ flag, so he was sent to jail.
Weeelll, that’s not quite accurate. Flag-burners bring their own flags; this guy stole one. Flag burners do their conflagration in demonstrations; you can’t just burn stuff in public. Prosecuting this as a hate crime, however, nicely shows what’s wrong with hate crime laws. And 15 years is indefensible. I assume that sentence won’t stand. This isn’t a freedom of speech case, though.
3. “TBS has movies out the app.” Nice. How clever and appropriate to evoke a vulgar phrase to promote Christmas movies. Who busts a gut at these cheap slogans? Does the culture really need more gratuitous coarsening?
4. Totalitarianism watch. Jane Fonda was speaking at the Nationals Press Club when she concluded a hysterical rant over climate change (Short version: “We’re DOOMED ! DOOMED!”) with this:
“Now, because of the fossil fuel industry, it’s too late for moderation. And given the emergency, it’s those who believe in moderation, in pre-Trump business as usual, who are truly delusional. And those who lie and continue to lie about what they’re doing to the environment should be put on trial, not awarded tax cuts and made secretaries of state.”
Gee, I remember when Barry Goldwater was tarred by Democrats and the press as an unstable madman when he said that “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. Moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.” I also recommend you consider Jane’s words when all the Democratic Presidential hopeful means when he or she says that there will be a “national emergency” declared over climate change when Democrats reign.
5. Even older than Fonda, and slightly more lucid.. Justice Ginsburg, 86, was asked during a BBC interview about Republican senators who have already said they will vote to acquit Trump, before the trial has even started.
“The House indicts, and the Senate tries. Should a trier be impartial? Of course, that’s the job of an impartial judge,” Ginsburg said.
BBC News’ Razia said that it’s “problematic” that senators have already made up their minds.
“Well, if a judge said that, a judge would be disqualified from sitting on the case,” Ginsburg said.
Dumb exchange. The interviewer should have mentioned that all evidence suggests that the Senators on both sides of the aisle are biased. Juries and judges can’t participate in trials where the result has direct impact on their own interests, but that doesn’t apply to impeachments, and never has. Moreover, while the Senate part of impeachment is called a trial, it is also a political process. This kind of gratuitous pontificating is improper and irresponsible by a SCOTUS justice, and many have pointed it out over the years. Ginsburg keeps doing it, because she knows she is immune from consequences.
It’s still unethical, though.