My brief post about “You Have No Enemies, the Charles Mackay poem that was a source of solace and inspiration for Margaret Thatcher, was the top Ethics Alarms article of 2020. It’s a good thing I learned about it, because Ethics Alarms Derangement Syndrome seems to be catching on. One self-banned commenter is now writing hate mail to my personal email spam account. Mark Draughn, who blogs at Windy Pundit and was once named an Ethics Alarms Commenter of the Year, now routinely posts “Jack Marshall is evil” screeds. There are others. Part of this, though not all, seems to stem from my adamant refusal to join the mob seeking to drive Donald Trump from office, and to insist that such ethical niceties like fairness, due process, objectivity, avoidance of bias and consistent standards should apply to him the way they had always applied to previous White House occupants.
For all I know, the would-be censors, vendetta-mongers and Trump Hate Posse is behind the otherwise inexplicable dive in traffic here since Christmas. Well, to quote my late, tragic college roommate Andy Kinkaid, a traumatized Viet Nam veteran whose response to problems great and small was always the same: “Fuck it, right?” One of the many invaluable lessons my father taught me early was never to back down when you believe you are right. He didn’t, and I don’t.
1. Feb. 4 is a major day for ethics, good and bad:
- In 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst,was kidnapped by a real domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and subsequently brainwashed into joining their cause, even to the extent of participating in an armed bank robbery. This was the first instance of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” being widely publicized, but the defense didn’t work. Good. “Tania,” as she called herself, was sentenced to seven years in prison and served 21 months before her sentence was commuted by President Carter. She later married her bodyguard, and ended up acting in John Waters films. She was pardoned by President Clinton in January 2001. Poor little, dumb little, rich girl…
- In 2004, Facebook launched—a day that will live in infamy.
- Rosa Parks was born on this date in 1913.
- In 1861, the slave-holding states met to form the Confederacy. Now THAT was an insurrection…
- In 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected (by 69 Presidential electors) as the first President of the United States. Washington was a natural leader, wary of executive power, and a ethical to his bones. A worse choice could have sunk the fledgling nation. That Washington was so able was largely moral luck, but until recently, the United States had been extraordinarily lucky.
- Feb. 4, 1945 saw the Yalta Conference, in which President Roosevelt and Churchill sold out Poland and laid the groundwork for the Iron Curtain in exchange for Stalin agreeing to join in the war against Japan.
- And in 1983, singer Karen Carpenter died, the victim of an eating disorder brought on by the cruelty of conventions regarding women’s appearances in both the entertainment business and American society. She was 32.
2. Today the House will vote on whether to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments because she is an unapologetic, conspiracy theory espousing embarrassment. Headline News this morning termed the vote a “struggle for the soul of the Republican Party.” That’s typical, and false. There are legitimate arguments for not punishing Greene. Most of the statements prompting her attempted censoring occurred before her election, and that’s a dangerous precedent to set. The Democrats’ motives are also suspect, since she has filed impeachment articles against President Biden, and is a vocal Trump supporter. The problem could have been mitigated if Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy handled Greene as a matter of party discipline. He is a weenie, however, and a coward, terrified of a backlash from pro-Trump fanatics. Thus he will permit the entire House to demote an elected representative based on conduct the voters had a chance to consider.
3. Speaking of members who are an embarrassment to the House and the nation…Here is House impeachment trial manager Maxine Waters today: “As a matter of fact, he absolutely should be charged with premeditated murder because of the lives that were lost with this invasion, with this insurrection.”
Absolutely! The fact that Waters, who is a ignorant as any House member in history, and who knows nothing of the law or the Constitution, was chosen to assist in presenting the House Democrats’ non-argument for impeachment shows how unserious the enterprise is, and the degree to which Speaker Pelosi feels that she has to submit to the fantasies of her party’s Trump-hating loonies.
4. Humina-humina of the Month. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, sounded like an evasive, wildly-spinning fool yesterday as he was questioned sharply by Senator Rand Paul about allowing transexuals and transitioning young men to compete against women in athletic competitions. This creates a rebuttable presumption that Cardona IS an evasive fool. However, he is Hispanic, and its some kind of first, so that’s all that matters, right, Joe?
Paul began his questioning of Cardona in the confirmation hearing by pointing out that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights “sent a letter to Connecticut saying that boys can’t compete with girls in sports.”
“If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?,” Paul asked.
Cardona’s reply: “It’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we’re following civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in in high school or in athletics.”
That’s a non-answer.
“What do you think in general about boys running in girls’ track meets like they have been doing in Connecticut?” Paul asked.
The nominee replied, “I think that it’s critically important to education systems and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities.”
Paul: “Does it bother you that the top 20 percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state and that it would, you know, completely destroy girls’ athletics? That girls are being pushed out? [If] they don’t make the finals in the state meet, they don’t get college scholarships? That’s it’s really detrimental to girls’ sports? Do you worry about having boys running girls’ track meets?”
Cardona blathered that he “appreciate[d] the concerns” and “the frustrations expressed.”
When young female athletes see women’s sports destroyed by this politically correct but logically indefensible policy, they can only blame feminists who betrayed them by supporting a party that they knew would take this position.
But at least the women who can’t compete in sports any more will be able to get abortions at will, and that’s all that matters. Right?