I hope you had a nice day…
The reaction among the Facebook Borg after last night’s car wreck of a debate was interesting; very muted, subdued, remarkably few comments regarding the debate, some denial, and some epicly stupid comments. I use four classes of the Deranged on Facebook: there are four or five genuine friends who are in clinically dire condition but who also don’t take serious disagreements personally. There are the inexplicable Facebook Friends who I don’t care if I upset them or not, or, franfly, if I ever see r hear from them again. Then there are nice people who I like and respect when they aren’t reciting back resistance talking points drilled into their brains like in a Mengele experiment. I leave them alone, even when one of them writes something unbelievably stupid. Today’s example: the kind, funny, brilliant actress and teacher who wrote, “Bernie and Warren are not extremist left. Sorry. They demand systemic change to support the people.” I had to wrestle myself to the ground not to respond to that one. And she’s a teacher. Any more questions about why so many twenty-somethings are hypnotized by Sanders’ Bolshevik leftovers?
In the fourth class are strangers who are friends of friends. I randomly pick off a few of these every day for fun and practice.
1. Speaking of denial: here’s a Twitter exchange passed along by Arthur in Maine:
On the related topic of Bernie supporters’ often ugly rhetoric, it is amusing to read the same people who have used the actions of most extreme of President Trump’s supporters to characterize him protesting that Bernie bears no responsibility for his followers’ misconduct.
2. What’s going on here? When asked on Fox News’ “Your World With Neil Cavuto” if President Trump should be given credit his economy reducing black unemployment to its lowest level ever, Democratic South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, the House Whip, replied, “Come on, Neil, because it is not true … I’m saying that the African American unemployment is not the lowest it has ever been unless you count slavery. We were fully employed during slavery. It all depends on how you measure this up.” Then he went on to say that Barack Obama deserves the credit for the good economic numbers. Of course he did.
That first statement, however, is a puzzler. It isn’t helped any by the fact that he didn’t say what he evidently meant, which was, “African American unemployment is not the lowest it has ever been IF (not unless) you count slavery.” Was he joking? Clyburn is not typically a laugh riot. If a white Republican said that, his home would be surrounded by protesters with torches in a trice. My working theory is that Clyburn had no good answer, so he just uttered the first silly thing he could think of, like the defense attorney I have mentioned before who jumped up to disrupt a devastating cross examination by his adversary by shouting, “Objection, Your Honor! The word “test” is not an adverb!” (This is unethical, by the way.)
3. As my father twirls in his grave. The Boy Scouts, as was feared, have declared bankruptcy. The organization’s fatal flaw was not its failure to change with the times, but its over-eagerness to mollify critics. Once a God-centered organization for instilling traditional values in boys, it was pressured to become “inclusive,” and could never find a viable safe point between its religion-based objections to homosexuality and the group’s inevitable appeal to pederasts. Once BSA’s core mission had been compromised, the rationale for the group’s existence eroded.
I suspect that the organization was doomed because appreciation and prcatice of the skills and activities the Boy Scouts championed had become quaint and uninteresting to the cynical, cell phone addicted, computer game obsesses and pot inhaling kids of the 21st Century. Knot-tying, whittling, bird-watching, camping? Being a Boy Scout once was cool; now it is considered a proof of membership in the nerd/dork/geek continuum.
All I can say is that my father believed that the Boy Scouts saved his life, and instilled in him the values that his father, who had abandoned his family, did not.
4. Bloomberg height follow-up:
Warren is listed at 5’8″, which I suspect is exaggerated, Warren being Warren.
Res ipsa loquitur, though it wouldn’t help Bloomberg if he were 6’6″ if he can’t present himself any better than he did last night.
On a height-related ethics note, sharp-eyed Ann Althouse picked up that Senator Klobuchar was standing on a box behind her podium.
You know, like Alan Ladd in “Shane.” And Mike Dukakis. Is this unethical? It is a visual misrepresentation, and an intentional one. Women, however, often have the ingrained disadvantage in electoral politics that I wrote about in that post on Bloomberg’s height: human beings in this culture associate size with strength and leadership. What’s a short–indeed, an average size woman to do? Wear 6 inch heels? Hit the weighs and the PEDs?
If you can’t beat ’em, do you join ’em, or use a box to pretend you’ve joined them? i can’t blame the Senator for not wanting to appear like George Bailey when he’s stuck in Mr. Potter’s special guest chair…
5. Ah, that Virginia legislature! This week it was blocked from banning all “assault weapons,” but the state Senate voted unanimously for new legislation requiring licenses for art therapists. The proposed law doesn’t list the requirements for obtaining such a license, but decrees that a newly created board staffed primarily by practicing art therapists will decide what obstacles it wants thrown in the way of potential competitors
Protests Reason, which has a long-running objection to such laws,
That’s a common practice when it comes to licensing laws. It’s also one of the primary reasons why occupational licensing limits job opportunities. Boards that are controlled by members of the industry they are supposed to regulate frequently become anti-competitive cartels more interested in limiting who can do certain types of work. The most egregious example is probably Louisiana’s ridiculous florist licensing board. Art therapy is no more dangerous than arranging flowers. It’s a growing practice—one that is, sadly, already licensed in some form by 12 other states—that incorporates psychotherapy with artistic media, usually by having patients express themselves through art. Practitioners say it can help individuals cope with stress and keep mental disorders under control. Should that require a permission slip from the government?
The justification for such licensing is often, shall we say, contrived. The Virginia Board of Health Professions endorsed the new license, arguing in part that special skills were necessary for art therapists since “basic art tools, such as paint and glue, which contain toxic chemicals that could cause harm should they be inhaled or ingested, scissors which have sharp edges capable of causing cuts or punctures, and objects such as clay, if thrown, could be considered potentially dangers.”