Also getting me down, Karen Carpenter songs. As with great movies with O.J. Simpson or Gig Young in them, these are hard to enjoy now, at least for me. One of the most lovely natural voices in pop music history was silenced by the pernicious disease of anorexia, exacerbated by, among others, her brother, her family, and music industry executives, who made Carpenter so self-conscious about her weight and appearance that she slowly starved herself to death before her 33rd birthday. I wish I could hear her sing—and I will do that a lot in the days approaching Christmas—without thinking about that, but I can’t.
1. Proposition: any nation’s historical figures who had the impact on those nations that Margaret Thatcher did in Great Britain over a significant period of time deserve to be memorialized with statues, absent some cataclysmic disqualifying act, like Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal. Even in Nixon’s case, I would support a public memorial to such a historically influential figure.
In the English town of Grantham, where Thatcher grew up, an 11-foot pedestal awaits the arrival next year of a large statue of “the Iron Lady.” Apparently many in Britain, and a large proportion of Gratham’s working class residents, disapprove of Thatcher’s conservative politics and policies, and thus oppose the statue, which will be in immediate danger of toppling the minute it is erected.
Morons. One doesn’t have to personally agree with a historical figure’s position or even admire her to appreciate the impact that figure had. The criteria for memorializing prominent citizens should center on whether future generations need to know who they were and what they did, not whether their achievements and conduct are approved of according to often fleeting political, social and cultural values. Charles Moore, who wrote an authorized biography of Mrs. Thatcher, says, “It’s obvious there should be statues to Britain’s first woman prime minister. But…but…George Floyd! The New York Times’ article on the controversy says that statue toppling has become a world-wide phenomenon since the death of George Floyd. Now that makes sense: one of Great Britain’s most successful and important leaders should be robbed of her legitimate honors because a rogue cop accidentally contributed to the death of a black criminal in Minnesota.
2. Joe and his dogs. My rescue dog Spuds, a Biden supporter, wants to point out that the informal President-elect will be, presuming that efforts to expose the corrupt manner of his election fail, the first President to have a rescue dog (like Spuds) in the White House. Good for Joe. On the not so good side, Biden’s spokespeople are blaming one of his dogs (Major, a German Shepherd) for Biden’s foot injury, which will cause him to wear a walking boot. I didn’t doubt the story at all, having almost suffered several injuries while walking my own large, enthusiastic canine pal. Yet here is Trump-whisperer and “Dilbert” cartoonist Scott Adams on Twitter:
- This kind of presumption of misconduct and bad faith is typical of what President Trump has been subjected to almost daily by the AUC. The least I can do for any President is to take him at his word when he says he was hurt playing with his dog.
- The response does, however, suggest that conservatives and Republicans will not be dissuaded from treating Biden just as badly and unfairly as the AUC treated Trump, no matter how much goody-two shoes like me argue that revenge of this sort is not in the nations’ best interests.
- Trump, it should be noted, doesn’t especially like dogs, unlike Hitler, who liked dogs more than he liked people. Adolf also had German Shepherds…
Do you disbelieve the story of how Joe hurt his foot?
3. The lesson: Any organization using PolitiFact as a fact-checker has no interest in objectivity, bias, or facts. Ridiculously, conservative commentator Candace Owens had her Facebook post rated “false” when she noted the undeniable fact that Joe Biden was not yet the “president-elect.” The culprit was the infamously partisan, biased and incompetent factchecking organization Politifact, which has made Ethics Alarms news numerous times with its phony factchecking. Owens sued, and Politifact, caught red-handed, had to retract its lie.
Ironically, it was Facebook’s third-party factchecker that was spreading disinformation, which means one of its other third-party factcheckers (one of them is Snopes) should have flagged that.
They should all be fired. Facebook should fire itself.
4. Ah, those wonderful Scandinavian countries that the U.S. should model its society after! From Reuters (the emphasis is mine):
Norway’s parliament outlawed hate speech against transgender people on Tuesday, expanding its penal code which has protected gay and lesbian people since 1981. People found guilty of hate speech face a fine or up to a year in jail for private remarks, and a maximum of three years in jail for public comments, according to the penal code.
[Pointer: Steve Witherspoon]
Here’s a likely fact: a majority of those who voted for Joe Biden would support a similar law in the US, if not regarding “hate speech” against transsexuals, definitely regarding “racist” speech.
The most chilling fact is that European-style speech controls have become a core value in the Democratic Party. Once a party that fought for free speech, it has become the party demanding Internet censorship and hate speech laws. President-Elect Joe Biden has called for speech controls and recently appointed a transition head for agency media issues that is one of the most pronounced anti-free speech figures in the United States. It is a trend that seems now to be find support in the media, which celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.
For free speech advocates, we need to educate the public on where this road leads in places like Norway. What is at stake is the very right that has long defined us as a nation. Once we cross the Rubicon into speech criminalization and controls, Europe has shown that it is rarely possible to work back to liberties lost. We are moving into potentially the most anti-free speech period of American history — and possibly the most anti-free speech Administration. Many politicians are already arguing for citizens to give up their free speech rights in forums like the Internet. With the media echoing many of these anti-free speech sentiments, it will require a greater effort of those who value the First Amendment and its core place in our constitutional system.
Remind your totalitarian values-supporting, Biden-voting friends of this when they say there was no justification for anyone voting for President Trump.