I am no longer inclined to be charitable or passive about the facemask nonsense. Yesterday I accompanied my sister to a clinic and waited while she had a medical procedure, requiring me to sit a couple of hours. The waiting room had enforced “social distancing” (though we now know that’s arbitrary), and there was no one closer to me than ten feet anyway, because only four other people were in the room, all much younger than me, and all vaccinated (I asked). However, when I took off my mostly useless mask (which was paper—I was handed it when I entered) because I was reading a court document and my glasses were fogging up,the woman behind the counter gestured to me that I had to put my mask back on. That did it: I jumped out of my chair and asked why. “It’s our policy,” was her non-explanation.
“But why is it your policy? Nobody’s near me. I’m fully vaccinated. I’m not talking to anyone. I have to wait here, and I can’t read or breathe with this thing on,” I asked, not hiding my pique.
“We’re just trying to be careful,” she said. Now I had her! “Really?” I said. “Then why is the young woman three feet from you wearing the mask under her nose?” (I had noticed that when I checked in.) The cheater quickly pulled it into position and turned towards me in a silent “”Mask out of place? What mask out of place?” gesture. The first woman then repeated, “It’s policy. We don’t make policy.”
“You don’t make policy, you just enforce policy you can’t explain or justify even though you’re the sole representatives here for us to question. Okay. I’ll be sitting outside.” And I picked up a chair and left.
I didn’t even bother to mention that the two staffers I could see through the door to the room adjoining the space behind the counter weren’t wearing masks and were giggling about two feet from each other.
I did say “Morons!” audibly as I left.
1. The acorn doesn’t fall far from the unethical tree…The oldest Trump son, Donald Jr., is promoting the $27.99 T-shirt below on his official site.
Anyone wearing or endorsing such apparel is signaling to the part of the world that isn’t vicious, vindictive and full of hate for vocal progressives that such an individual doesn’t believe in the Golden Rule, civility, or basic decency. Yeah, it’s funny in an extremely nasty way, and I wouldn’t advocate censoring it or banning a Netflix routine in which the comedian said the same thing. But Donald Trump’s spawn isn’t Dave Chappelle, and as a political statement, which the slogan on the shirt is, that line is below the belt..much like much of the criticism that was aimed at Don Jr.’s father, and yes, by Baldwin among others. Still, that’s not how a society makes public discourse better or defuses division and hate. It just feels good.
Jake Tapper of CNN opined that Baldwin deserves “basic decency” from Republicans. No, he doesn’t deserve decency; he deserves to be treated with exactly the same callousness as the arrogant, wise-ass thug treated Donald Trump specifically and conservatives in general for decades. Society, however, not only deserves civil discourse but needs it. (Not that anyone who represents CNN, a prime offender, isn’t estopped from calling for fairness for the foreseeable future.)
2. Life incompetence personified: A hiker who became lost on Mount Elbert, Colorado’s highest mountain, would have been rescued much earlier had he not ignored repeated phone calls from rescue teams because he didn’t recognize the number. More than 32 hours were dedicated to the search by two rescue teams consisting of five members each. “One notable take-away is that the subject ignored repeated phone calls from us because they didn’t recognize the number,” Lake County Search and Rescue said in a statement.“If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a search and rescue team trying to confirm you’re safe!”
Charles Darwin just slapped his forehead. Here’s another tip: if you’re not any smarter than this guy, don’t go hiking alone.
3. John James Audubon gets cancelled by those who owe their existence to him. The Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) announced it will change its name, ditching that of the 19th-century ornithologist and artist because he was a slaveholder. Of course, his business practices and beliefs regarding the races have absolutely no relationship to his massive contributions to ornithology, in which he unquestionably earned his position of honor.
The decision is important because it further clears the route whereby the totalitarian Left will attempt to remove the Founders from their essential place in American history. Principled members of the society have an obligation to make this indefensible decision hurt. I recommend starting a new Audubon Society after the old one is named after some non-entity whose political view were sufficiently palatable to the bird-watching woke. I pledge to send a contribution if one is established, and I watch re-runs of “Three’s Company” more often than I watch birds.
4. Bias also makes you a lousy pundit. Times snark-mistress Maureen Dowd issued a column of almost historic incompetence over the weekend. It was essentially on the same topic as the Ethics Alarms post about Colin Powell, in which I pointed out that his refusal to run for President and his inability to halt the rush into war with Iraq were indelible stains on his character and legacy. But Dowd likes Powell, she really likes him. I liked him too, but the trick with biases is to recognize them and not allow them to make you ignore or rationalize away reality. In “Colin Powell and ‘Guernica'” shows how bad at this essential ethics skill she is, making her unqualified to be a pundit.
After making the same point I did, that a President Powell might have prevented the dangerous racial and ideological rift inflicted on the nation by the toxic sequence of Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump and Biden, she proceeded to make Powell’s abdication of duty seem admirable, while using it to take cheap shots at Republicans:
“He could have been president….But like another son of immigrants, Mario Cuomo, Powell shrank from a run at the last minute. It always struck me that Cuomo and Powell seemed to overanalyze whether they were worthy, while the WASPy sons of privilege, like George W. Bush and Dan Quayle, just assumed they were worthy, no matter how little they knew.”
Oh, I see: those good people chose not to run because of an excess of analysis and modesty, while privileged idiots like Bush and Quayle didn’t realize “how little they knew.” The “Mario was just too modest” excuse is a ridiculous trope Dowd lifted from this piece. The truth is, and it was recognized at the time (1992, when Cuomo publically dithered over whether to run or not), that Cuomo knew he would probably fail to win the nomination. He was a Northeast liberal, better equipped than Mike Dukakis but with the same handicap: all indications were the the public preferred a more moderate Democrat. The fact that Cuomo looked like a Mafia boss didn’t help either. (There is still substantial anti-Italian bias in the U.S.)
Meanwhile, what possibly justifies the cheap shot at Quayle? He never made a serious run at the Presidency; he just accepted a wild-hair selection to be Bush I’s VP. How does that prove “Wasp-y” privilege, especially after an even less-qualified Kamala Harris had the hubris to accept the same office after campaigning for the top spot?
As for Powell promoting the Iraq invasion to the U.N when he thought it was a terrible blunder, it’s all Dick Cheney’s fault, according to Dowd. See, she hates Cheney, like all good Democrats, and likes Powell, so it can’t be Powell’s fault even though he did it. She writes,
“The Shakespearean tragedy of Powell is that he knew it was a rotten decision. And, unlike the draft dodgers in the Bush White House, he knew the real cost of war. He knew they weren’t playing with toy soldiers. But Powell embodied the phrase “soldiering on.”…He let Dick Cheney goad him into making the phony case for war at the United Nations; Cheney mocked Powell, asking if he was afraid to jeopardize his soaring popularity ratings, treating him like a flower child. And somehow, Powell naïvely thought that he and his pal George Tenet could scrub his speech of all the deceptions shoehorned in by Cheney’s co-conspirators. The demonic Cheney and the war-loving neocons in his posse — the ones in the Pentagon were ridiculed by Powell as a “Gestapo office” — needed an unimpeachable frontman. Once they began leeching Powell’s integrity, there was no way that they weren’t going to drain him dry.
“The great man got played.”
Uh, Maureen? “Great men” don’t get played. If Powell could be “goaded” by people he didn’t even respect into helping to lead his nation into a war when he believed it was a terrible mistake, then he was at fault, not Cheney, Rumsfeld, or anyone else. It’s called accountability. And he certainly wasn’t “great.” He probably wouldn’t have been much of a President either.
Then Dowd goes on to attack Trump and Republicans. After a deceitful, contradictory introduction like that, I don’t know why anyone would pay attention to her.