Just a sinking feeling I have …
…perhaps exacerbated by the fact that I am trying to keep all the plates spinning at home and office despite caring for my temporarily disabled wife and business partner, the urgent need to disassemble the driest Christmas tree in Alexandria (still looks spectacular with the lights on, though!), the sudden breakdown of two crucial appliances, and the fact that I’m incompetent at a lot of the small and crucial tasks that Grace does well.
By the by, the spinning plates act is my favorite metaphor for leadership, management and life…
1. Trump tweets…“Shifty Adam Schiff is a CORRUPT POLITICIAN, and probably a very sick man. He has not paid the price, yet, for what he has done to our Country!” tweeted our Chief Executive yesterday. What grade level does that one rise to? 6th? 7th? Surely reasonable people are inured to these embarrassing (for him, for us) outbursts after all these years and thousands of stupid tweets. And yet here are Schiff and the Democrats, bellowing that Trump “threatened” him. This, from a shameless demagogue who recently yalked about putting Republican Senators’ heads on pikes.
Essentially Trump’s “threat” consists of “he’ll be sorry!” That’s not even a veiled threat. It isn’t actionable, it isn’t clear. It may refer to karma, or a sudden attack of conscience. Stipulated: It’s wrong for a President to express such sentiments. The knee-jerk impulse of the “resistance” to react to everything the President does like it was proof of treason is self-indicting.
2. The alleged hypocrisy of jet-setting climate change activist celebrities is often overplayed by conservatives, but this is ridiculous. Not to be outdone by whatever she is these days semi-royal Megan Markle and her submissive hubby, Prince Charles polished his climate change alarmist creds by taking three flights on private jets and a helicopter to hang out with Joan of Arc wannabe Greta Thunberg. Then, after being blessed by the teenaged saint and making an impassioned speech, the Man Who Has Been Waiting To Be King took a fourth private jet from Switzerland to Israel, making his flight total over 16,000 miles in less than two weeks. His carbon footprint for this odyssey was estimates as being more than 18 times that of the average British citizen’s output for a calendar year.
Here’s a helpful chart, courtesy of the Daily Mail:
“Do as I say, not as I do,” known in the States as “The Bill Cosby Rule,” isn’t ethical.
3. Felicia Sonmez Update. Jim Lehrer’s rules for ethical journalists became immediately relevant yesterday when the Washington Post embraced his rule 14, Journalists who are reckless with facts and reputations should be disciplined by their employers” by suspending the reporter who decided that mere hours after NBA legend Kobe Bryant’s tragic death (along with his young daughter and seven others) in a helicopter crash was an appropriate time to use her Twitter account to point the public to Bryant’s 2003 scandal involving a rape allegation. Further demonstrating dead ethics alarms, Felicia Sonmez doubled down when the Twitter hoards descended on her, tweeting,
“Well, THAT was eye-opening. To the 10,000 people (literally) who have commented and emailed me with abuse and death threats, please take a moment and read the story – which was written 3+ years ago, and not by me. Any public figure is worth remembering in their totality even if that public figure is beloved and that totality unsettling…That folks are responding with rage and threats toward me (someone who didn’t even write the piece but found it well-reported) speaks volumes about the pressure people come under to stay silent in these cases.’
That may be right as a general proposition, but the day that a much-loved public figure and his teenage daughter die horribly is not the time to prompt that memory, and may I add, what the hell is wrong with you?
What appears to be wrong, other than complete callousness toward Bryant’s family, is that Sonmez wanted to be the first to ingratiate herself to #MeToo zealots by leading the mob to have Bryant “cancelled.”
The reporter finally deleted both tweets, but her supervisors at the Post still announced her suspension, writing, “National political reporter Felicia Sonmez was placed on administrative leave while The Post reviews whether tweets about the death of Kobe Bryant violated The Post newsroom’s social media policy.The tweets displayed poor judgment that undermined the work of her colleagues.”
I’d say that’s a fair assessment.
4. This academic freedom and First Amendment thingies appear to be too complicated for our higher institutions of learning to figure out. What does that tell us, class?
Babson College adjunct professor and administrator Asheen Phansey was fired after he posted an obviously satirical Facebook post suggesting that the leader of Iran “tweet a list of 52 sites of beloved American cultural heritage that he would bomb,” including a Kardashian home. His post was not the most deft satire—suggesting that the Mall of America in Minnesota be bombed is not very funny—but the post was clearly a parody of President Trump’s tweeted threat of retaliatory attacks on “52 Iranian cultural sites. ” As stated in a letter of protest signed by hundreds of academics from universities around the nation, “Phansey’s post contained no hint of harassment, incitement to imminent violence, nor any other category of speech outside the safeguards of the First Amendment. His comment had no nexus to his role as a professor or administrator and fell squarely in the category of political speech warranting the highest level of protection. Despite Phansey’s public affirmation that his post was a joke and his fulsome apology for it, Babson officials launched an investigation, also stating that they were cooperating with local, state, and federal authorities on the matter. Babson terminated his employment just one day after announcing the investigation, ostensibly on the grounds that he had made a threat. No reasonable, contextual reading of his remarks could lead to that conclusion. ”
The signatories are right.
5. As Jane Fonda once said about her idological opposite, John Wayne, “The man has guts.” President Trump became the first President of the United States to appear in person at a March for Life. Throwing the prestige of the President behind the anti-abortion movement does take guts: no previous President has been willing to take the political risk.
Naturally, the story was largely ignored by the liberal media.