1. “And I would have gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for those meddling courts!” Here’s another one of those damn courts requiring the government to follow the law. In the opinion here, Superior Court Judge Anne-Christine Massullo overturned the San Francisco Unified School District’s decision to remove the 1936 mural by Victor Arnautoff, titled “Life of Washington” from a local high school. (There were slaves pictured. Can’t have that!)
The board was required by law to conduct an environmental and historical review for removing the mural, but just chose to follow the demands of indignant students, despite a process being required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
“The Board and SFUSD failed in their primary duty to follow the requirements of the law,” Massullo wrote in her decision. “California, as a matter of long-standing public policy, places enormous value on its environmental and historical resources and the People are entitled to expect public officials to give more than lip-service to the laws designed to protect those resources.”
This reminded me of the recent irresponsible Times op-ed by Jamelle Bouie, who has a long rap sheet at Ethics Alarms. Bouie thinks the U.S. Supreme Court needs to be minimized and restrained, because of its nasty habit of interfering with democracy and the will of the public by making the government follow the law, like, say, the U.S. Constitution.
2. Wait, isn’t this systemic racism? And ageism? Classism? Ludditeism? QR codes, those bar codes you can have scanned off a cell phone, have emerged as a nearly unavoidable tech fixture thanks to the pandemic hysteria. Restaurants have adopted them, retailers like CVS and Foot Locker have added them to checkout registers, and they are turning up in retail packaging, direct mail, billboards, sporting events and TV advertisements. They also are a threat to privacy and online security. QR codes can store digital information like when, where and how often a scan occurs, and might open an app or a website that then tracks people’s personal information. But that’s an issue for another day.
I was prevented twice from being able to get a ticket to a baseball game because the Washington Nationals, forced by the D.C. government in its Wuhan panic mode, were required to only have non-paper, contact-less tickets. That meant I had to use my cell phone. I choose not to use cell phones when I’m not traveling. Moreover, how can the same people who decry the requirement of a photo ID as racist mandate systems that require smart phones, which are a whole lot more expensive that any ID? How about poor people? Seniors on a fixed budget? Seniors who can’t get the hang of apps and frankly resent having to do so?
3. Nah, there’s no public school indoctrination! In the Sunday Times, the monthly kids section had several kids’ reviews of children’s books. One, written by a 12-year-old, said that she liked the book because the story was “inclusive.” What does being “inclusive” have to do with a good story? This is smoking gun evidence of brain-washing.
4. As if picking a lousy new name wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Indians, they picked another team’s lousy name. The organization took over a year to announce what would replace its harmless, traditional, only offensive to non-Native Americans who wanted to be jerks nickname of “the Indians” which was originally used to honor a Native American player. Pathetically, they settled on the punt name of “Guardians,” inspired by—I’m not kidding—some cement figures on a bridge. But there is already a Cleveland Guardians in town: a roller derby team. How inept does a legal department have to be not to check that out? This is a multi-lateral embarrassment for the team and its fans, and imagine: the Indians might have kept their name if only the accidental death of a black man in Minnesota hadn’t made changing from “Indians” to anything else mandatory.
No, it doesn’t make sense, but this is The Great Stupid, after all.
5. Not provocative, idiotic and confounding. Over at Althouse, a blog that lost much of its appeal to me when its host banned comments for an insulting and narcissistic reason, she quotes this sentence from “Can Affirmative Action Survive?/The policy has made diversity possible. Now, after decades of debate, the Supreme Court is poised to decide its fate” by Nicholas Lemann in The New Yorker:
‘If ability has any relation to success in life parents in upper socioeconomic groups should have more ability than those in lower socioeconomic groups.’”
Althouse writes, “I put that last sentence in boldface because it’s so provocative. Take a few seconds to understand exactly what he is saying. It’s an idea you do not see expressed too often, because it’s experienced as offensive and depressing. The words “any relation” and “more ability” make it a fairly modest assertion, but even in that weakened form, you don’t hear it said these days.”
No, Ann, you don’t hear it said because it is transparently ridiculous on its face. The claim that success in life has nothing to do with ability, merit, or effort and that only luck, privilege and oppression distinguishes between life’s winners and losers is a necessary myth for Marxist dictatorships to take hold, but it flies in the face of common sense, experience, history and science, and always has.