Hello, I must be going…
Desperately trying to get this post out before the walls close in. I’m doing a program for an always receptive BigLaw firm in Atlanta, and its a program I know well, and I’m still anxious about it. It doesn’t help that I have some kind of cold, but the show must go on…
1. Super Tuesday musings…
- Last night, I stumbled on a Fox News panel discussing the Julie Principle at length regarding Joe Biden’s brain farts and Trump’s Tweets! They didn’t use that term, of course, but it would have helped explicate what they were trying to say, which was that once you’ve decided to accept the flaws of a candidate, more evidence of those flaws won’t change your support.
- Speaking of… Joe Biden got his sister and his wife mixed up during his victory speech. If there was ever a question of how much the country doesn’t want socialism, the fact that so many Democrats preferred to vote for this sad husk than capitulate to Bernie should answer it.
- How proud I am of my home state, which told the world that even voters who know best, and presumably support to some extent, Elizabeth Warren don’t think she should be President. Thus they validated Abe Lincoln’s rule: you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Warren was the 2020 field’s worst demagogue and biggest hypocrite, as well as one of the most shameless liars. As I write this, she hasn’t dropped out yet, perhaps because she doesn’t want to help Sanders, whom she still resents for saying that a women couldn’t be elected President. Well, he was right as far as she is concerned. Good.
Warren was easily my least favorite of the Democratic contenders from an ethics standpoint. After I posted on Facebook about one of her many deceptions, a friend, apparently seriously, commented that I seemed to have a real bias against her. It reminded me of one of Martin Short’s brilliant improvs as idiot celebrity interviewer “Jiminy Glick,” when he cracked up Mel Brooks by asking, “Now what is it that you have against Hitler?”
2. Wait, he did WHAT??? Cedric Sunray, a college recruiter from Oklahoma Christian University, visited Harding Charter Preparatory High School in Oklahoma City last month and met with 110 juniors and four teachers in the gymnasium to talk about opportunities at the college. He then asked the students to line up from darkest to lightest skin complexion, and then line up from “nappiest” to straightest hair. As the students lined up, some of the teachers left to report the request to school administrators, who intervened. Sunray was quickly fired.
Sunray later wrote that the exercise was meant to be an “icebreaker” and that he has made the same presentation dozens of times at other institutions. Really? And nobody complained?
The president of Oklahoma Christian University, John deSteiguer, visited the prep school to apologize to students and staff members. Too late, I’d say. Any school that would let someone like Sunray represent it is too inept to be trusted.
3. I would normally devote a free-standing post to this jerk, but since I’m rushed… The first coronavirus patient in New Hampshire, who is an employee of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, defied instructions from public health officials to stay away from other people. Instead, he attended “an invitation-only private event” last week after being directed to quarantine himself.
What should society do to someone like this? At very least the medical center should fire him, but that’s not enough. I’d have to check the law to know if his name could be made public, and perhaps it shouldn’t be. Should his conduct be a crime? Obviously voluntary self-isolation won’t work, because too many people have busted ethics alarms.
4. This is a really bad sign…In Portland, Oregon, we have more evidence of a breakdown in the rule of law, and an example of jury nullification at its most dangerous. Five climate change activists were arrested for sabotaging train tracks used by Zenith Energy to transport crude oil. They belong to the group “Extinction Rebellion,” and put a “garden” on top of train tracks in Portland last April to stop Zenith Energy trains from reaching their destinations. Evidence presented at trial suggested that the “garden” was put on top of the tracks to cause a derailment.
Five of the six jurors voted not guilty, accepting the defendant’s lawyer’s “climate necessity defense,” which is a kind of environmental self-defense claim. You can break the law if you’re saving the planet. The hung jury resulted in a mistrial.
5. Sorry, Ronin—you’re wrong. Journalist Ronan Farrow, recently celebrated for his investigative reporting on Harvey Weinstein and his best-seller, “Catch and Kill,” announced that he was splitting from his publisher, Hachette Book Group, after it announced that one of its divisions was publishing Farrow’s father Woody Allen’s autobiography next month.
Fallow’s adopted sister, Dylan Farrow, has accused the actor/director of molesting her when she was a child. Ronin Farrow called the publisher’s decision to publish Mr. Allen’s memoir a betrayal. “Your policy of editorial independence among your imprints does not relieve you of your moral and professional obligations as the publisher of ‘Catch and Kill,’ and as the leader of a company being asked to assist in efforts by abusive men to whitewash their crimes,” Farrow wrote in an email to Michael Pietsch, the chief executive of Hachette, whose Little, Brown imprint published “Catch and Kill.” “As you and I worked on ‘Catch and Kill’— in part about the damage Woody Allen did to my family—you were secretly planning to publish a book by the person who committed those acts of sexual abuse. Obviously I can’t in good conscience work with you any more—Imagine [if ]this were your sister.”
I yield to no one in my contempt for Woody Allen as a human being, but he is a major figure in film and cultural history, and his memoirs are of obvious value and interest. Farrow’s publisher’s obligation is to readers and stockholders, not the sensibilities of one author. The last sally in the Farrow’s email flags it as an emotional argument rather than a rational one. If this were Pietsch’s sister, then he’d have an ethical obligation to remove himself from the decision on whether to handle Allen’s book, because of a conflict of interest.