I just stumbled upon that video from “The Red Skelton Show,” vintage early Seventies. The ethical values being destroyed here are competence and respect (for the audience, for the culture, for the nation, for music and dance.) You can learn so much from the thing, and yet it raises so many questions…like, how did the culture devolve from “Good Morning!” in “Singing in the Rain” to this slop in 20 years? Is this what killed movie musicals—a sudden lack of taste? What caused it? Did the choreographer know he or she was presenting shit? How could he live with himself? They paid someone to create that! Did Simon and Garfunkel see this? Why didn’t they kill themselves? How do we explain Liberace to future generations? How can anyone claim that the US is a nest of white supremacy when whites publicly humiliated themselves like this? Seeing those dancers with their insipid expression and their ridiculous outfits made me want to rip my skin off.
If the United States could survive the Seventies, it can survive again. This video gives me hope and perspective, and I will regard it as beneficial on balance, provided that I can get it out of my brain before it drives me stark, raving mad.
1. Least surprising poll result of the year: A Pew Research Center poll determined that, among reporters who say their outlet’s audience leans left, 30% support “equal coverage for all sides,” and 69% said that “it is not always deserved.” I have problems with Pew’s framing of the issue—you know, polls. Presenting the facts fairly and objectively shouldn’t involve “sides” at all. The objective should be to explain events and issues without picking or having “sides.”
2. Some bi-partisanship on the gun policy issue is a good thing, ethically (and politically, though I won’t dwell on that here.) Republicans and conservatives are freaking out over the recent gun regulations law being passed with some Republican assistance and, most recently, Biden’s nominee to head Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steve Dettelbach. Yes, the new “gun safety” bill is a cynical example of the Left’s camel’s nose stragegy on chipping away at the Second Amendment, and the “red flag” provisions are a dangerous slippery slope. But it erodes faith and trust in the government for Congress to show itself to be so polarized that even legislation that the vast majority of the public says it wants and needs can’t get passed. It’s responsible not to allow the steam in the engine to build to the point that there’s an explosion. There is good reason to avoid a tipping point where “Do something!,” as emotional and irrational as it is, becomes a wave of resentment. Compromise is essential to democracy and a functioning system: if a society decides democracy doesn’t work, a disaster is in the making.
Concerning the confirmation of Dettelbach with two GOP Senators (Susan Collins of Maine and Rob Portman of Ohio breaking ranks, the objections to his nomination by Republicans seemed contrived and excessive. It shouldn’t matter than he never has owned a gun, and it shouldn’t matter that he favors Second Amendment restrictions. His job is to enforce the law. Agreeing with the laws one is pledged to enforce has never been a criteria for being regarded as a trustworthy administrator, nor should it be.
3. And I say this with love: “Shut the hell up.” The European Union’s parliament on last week overwhelmingly condemned the end of constitutional protections for abortion in the U.S. and called for abortion to be enshrined in the EU’s fundamental rights charter. It can do what it likes with its own country, but the EU is neither qualified nor entitled to grandstand regarding U.S. Constitutional law and our three branch system of checks and balances. If President Biden had the integrity a President should have, he ought to have firmly told the EU, many of the members of which have more restrictive abortion laws than most U.S. states, to butt out. Then we saw Pope Francis, from the other side of the issue, criticizing Biden’s professed fealty to his Catholic faith and his views on abortion as incoherent. Oh, they are, by any measure, but it is not the business of the Pope to attack a U.S. President. The Vatican never even criticized Hitler. “A month after conception, the DNA of the fetus is already there and the organs are aligned. There is human life,” the Pontiff said in the interview with Spanish-language outlet Univision. “Is it just to eliminate a human life?” Why yes, yes it is, but Pope’s are not supposed to stick their noses into secular politics.
“I leave it to [President Biden’s] conscience and that he speaks to his bishop, his pastor, his parish priest about that incoherence,” the Pope concluded. Obviously, Francis doesn’t know Joe Biden very well. For him, incoherence is a way of life.
4. So it turns out that the story wasn’t a hoax after all. Gerson Fuentes, 27, was arrested two days ago, according to Columbus police and court documents, and has been charged with felony rape of a minor under age 13. His victim was the 10-year-old girl that the news media credulously reported on before the story had been adequately confirmed, though it came from a highly dubious source with an interest in promoting abortion access.
- That the story turned out to be (mostly) true does not excuse the news media or, among others, Joe Biden publicizing it as fact before the story had met basic journalism standards of reliability. That there happened to be an Ohio ten-year-old who had been raped and traveled to Indiana for her abortion is pure moral luck: it doesn’t make the irresponsible reporting any more responsible.
- Nor is it a story that the Biden Administration, with its approval of illegal aliens, should seek to trumpet. Fuentes is a US law-defying illegal immigrant from Guatamala, exactly the kind of individual Donald Trump was talking about when he said, “…they’re not sending their best…They’re sending people that have lots of problems…They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
- The part of the narrative that the news media and Biden pushed was that the 10-year-old had to cross state lines in for an abortion because Ohio law would not permit it. Ohio’s heartbeat law has a provision that allows doctors to perform an abortion if he or she deems it a “medical emergency,” and no court appearance or judicial approval is required.The doctor has the authority to make that call on his own.
- The story still seems off. Why did the Columbus Police Department sit on the report of the rape of a child for three weeks?
- Columbus has declared itself a sanctuary city, and one of the illegal immigrants the city has been protected apparently raped a nine-year-old girl. Might this provoke a tiny bit of reconsideration?
- It was the much-maligned conservative news media, many through the efforts of reporter Megan Fox, that insisted on applying ethical journalism standards to the story as the mainstream media was unethically reporting it as fact.
5. Is Chris Murphy of Connecticut the most intellectually dishonest member of the U.S. Senate? The competition is too close to call, with contenders on both sides of the aisle, but boy, this Democrat is consistently awful, and his latest contention would be tough to top for pure sinister distortion. He tweeted this week,
The Uvalde video showed a cowardly and incompetent police force failing to perform its duties despite having the firepower and manpower to stop the school massacre well before its ultimate human toll. It’s proof of nothing. by the same logic, Murphy could argue that police departments are useless. Moreover, the “good guys with guns” argument never referred to police, but to private citizens. The Second Amendment doesn’t apply to police. If anything, the events in Uvalde support the “good guy with a gun” argument, because one reason citizens may need to be armed is if police fail to protect the public. In Uvalde, police actively prevented armed citizens from trying to rescue the schoolchildren when the police were hesitating.
Murphy was attempting, as he has before, to advance Democratic policy position by confusing the public.