July 20 should be permanently recognized as Conspiracy Theory Day. It’s the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon in 1969, and the event spawned one of the most hilarious of all conspiracy theories, that the whole thing was faked by NASA. Many believe it still. This one is an anti-government conspiracy theory, so perhaps the “Truthers” fantasy that George W. Bush bombed the Pentagon and Twin Towers on 9/11 has passed it. Or maybe the theory that a Kennedy assassination conspiracy involving President Johnson and the CIA is at the top of the list. My 8th grade history professor told our class that it was a fact that FDR conspired to let the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor so the U.S. would enter the war.
A friend from childhood, smart to the point of brilliance, who once commented here often, sincerely believes that Barack Obama’s natural born citizenship is a hoax.
These conspiracy theories that cause people to believe their own government is a malign force are very harmful. More harmful yet is the current environment, where both political parties are vigorously pursuing conspiracy theories against the other.
It does not help the situation that some conspiracy theories, like the one that long held that the government was withholding evidence of unidentified flying objects, turn out to be true.
1. Condign justice dept. “Condign justice” was a term I never heard or read before George Will started using it. Then I stopped reading George Will, whose NeverTrumpism revealed him to be a classist hypocrite, requiring me to use it. Today’s example is the mayors of New York City and Washington D.C. complaining bitterly about being inundated with illegal immigrants. New York is suffering in great part because of its proud position as a “sanctuary city,” thus encouraging illegals to violate our laws. NYC Mayor Eric Adams demanded yesterday that the federal government help pay for what he said was a wave of illegal immigrants pouring into the city, as he whined about the city’s “safety net” being strained by busloads of people coming from border states and elsewhere. (CBS News helpfully apes Adams in calling the border-breachers “asylum-seekers,” hoping to cover-up what they really are.) Awww. Well gee, Mayor, if you didn’t openly invite them and say they would be welcomed and protected from our mean old laws, maybe there wouldn’t be so darn many.
Some old saw about making beds seems to be appropriate here. Idiot.Meanwhile, down in D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser went on national TV to complain that her city’s homeless shelters were filling up because of buses of illegals being sent to the city from Texas and Arizona. It’s your party, Mayor, and the policies of your party’s President that are responsible. Waves of illegal immigrants pouring through the porous border controls are just fine with the leadership of Democrat-run cities as long as they stay in Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas. But not if Eastern mayors have to cope with the results of unenforced laws. After all, “they’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” except that good people don’t break the laws of countries they want to live in.
Hey! Maybe a wall would help….
2. Update…maybe it’s just that today’s Americans have the attention span of puppies. Following up on yesterday’s rueful post about the deterioration of baseball’s All-Star Game and the institution this year of a revolting “home run derby” tie-breaker, I find this dispiriting news. The ratings for last night’s game haven’t been released, but…
The Major League Baseball Home Run Derby averaged 6.88 million viewers across ESPN and ESPN2 Monday night… the Derby ranks as the most-watched All-Star event in sports this year — outdrawing the NFL Pro Bowl on ESPN, ABC and DisneyXD (6.69M) and the NBA All-Star Game on TNT and TBS (6.28M). The past five years the Derby has been held (2017-19 and 2021-22), it has outdrawn the NBA All-Star Game three times (2017, 2021 and 2022) and the Pro Bowl twice (2017 and 2022).
Great. All-Star Game fans like the simple-minded home-run derbies. Baseball is apparently just giving them what they want.
3. Back to condign justice for a moment…Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is complaining that Democratic mayors and city councils have “abdicated their responsibility” in fighting crime and addressing mental illness, which has forced his company to close stores due to fears over employee safety.
Oh no you don’t, Howard! You’ve been a leader of woke corporate virtue-signaling, grandstanding about race, making derelict-friendly policies that were bound to lead to disaster (and did), allowing customers to be harassed if they dared to be Trump supporters. This is your party, your ideology, and you are ethically estopped from blaming the party whose delusions you have enthusiastically supported.
4. More follow-up: AOC, who is shameless, is also claiming that she wasn’t pretending to be handcuffed as she was led into custody for breaking the law while joining a meaningless, toothless, grandstanding demonstration in front of the Supreme Court. “Putting your hands behind your back is a best practice while detained, handcuffed or not, to avoid escalating charges like resisting arrest,” she tweeted. Right. Who is so gullible as to swallow that? Well, anyone who is so dense that they support a clueless, dishonest demagogue like AOC, I suppose.
I answered my own question.
In related news, here are the unethical members of Congress who took part in the protest:
- New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
- Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar
- Missouri Rep. Cori Bush
- Massachusets Rep. Ayanna Pressley
- Massachusets Rep. Katherine Clark
- New York Rep. Nydia Velazquez
- California Rep. Barbara Lee
- California Rep. Jackie Speier
- California Rep. Sara Jacobs
- Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib
- North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams
- Pennsylvania Rep. Madeleine Dean
- New Jersey Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
- Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar
- Illinois Rep. Jan Schakowsky
- New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney
- Michigan Rep. Andy Levin
[I guess Andy identifies as a woman.]
Every one of them was abusing their position and undermining both the separation of powers and the Court itself. The three branches of government don’t protest each other. If a President doesn’t like a bill passed by Congress, he vetoes it. If he disagrees with Congress’s policies, he makes his view known in speeches (and, sadly, tweets). He doesn’t picket the Capitol. If Congress members don’t like a SCOTUS opinion, their option is to pass a law; that’s their role. Do the Justices demonstrate in front of the White House when the President signs an unconstitutional executive order? Of course not.
But members of Congress engaging in civil disobedience in front of the Supreme Court is worse than any of these. The Court determines what the law is; Congress must decide what the law should be. SCOTUS decisions are not and cannot be determined by what anyone, including members of Congress, wants.
Incidentally, did you know that Donald Trump was a threat to democracy because he violated “democratic norms”?
5. And since I mentioned magic gender flipping...Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary has again embraced the Orwellian tactic of changing the language to support an ideological argument. The dictionary publisher has added a secondary definition of “female” that defines the term as “having a gender identity that is the opposite of male.” The dictionary also changed the definition of “girl”: