(I know that’s not a very holiday-cheery graphic, but it’s how this Jack feels—like Jack Nicholson playing Frozen Jack Torrance in “The Shining”—after walking Spuds this chilly morning…)
A few notes before we start in earnest…
- Relatively few lawyers in the D.C. area (that I have talked with on the topic)seem to think Rudy Giuliani either should be disbarred or will be for, in the over-heated words of the D.C. Bar’s ethics prosecutor, “weaponizing his bar license.” Those who do see doom for Rudy seem to be in the group of hyper-partisan lawyers (bias makes you stupid!) who want to make it impossible for Donald Trump to get effective legal representation, which allies the attack on old Rudy with the recent referral to the Justice Department for prosecution of the former President from a transparently partisan “Get Trump!” investigation in the House.
- Ed Larson, the Pulitzer-winning historian who collaborated with me on “The Essential Words and Writings of Clarence Darrow” (a great Christmas gift!) has just written a new book, “American Inheritance: Liberty and Slavery in the Birth of a Nation.” It promises to be excellent, and a scholarly as well as fascinating tonic for “1619 Project” nonsense.
- An unscientific survey: based on lawn decorations in Alexandria, Virginia, secular Christmas has now completely obliterated the religious holiday, and we have returned to the holiday’s pagan origins. I’ve been counting: inflatables of Will Farrell in “Elf” (8 to 1) and Chevy Chase being electrocuted in “Christmas Vacation” (4-1) outnumber any references to Jesus’s birth…indeed, a single, lonely creche is the only hint of that event among over a hundred homes in my neighborhood. Snowmen dominate the lawn genre completely here. Back in my Arlington, Massachusetts days, it was common to see multiple manger scenes on every street and road.
1. Diversity follies…The Washington Post completely beclowned itself by allowing academic race-hustler Erika Edwards to author an op-ed titled “Why doesn’t Argentina have more Black players in the World Cup?” Apart from the obvious and correct answer, “Because the players the team has are the best players, and you don’t choose athletic team squads via affirmative action,” there is also the fact that the percentage of African-Argentinians in the country is 0.37%. Never mind: the Post allowed Edwards to imply the country was racially biased against blacks anyway. Said critic Ignacio Manuel García Medina,
Why is Argentina’s national team any more racist for not having any black players than Japan’s national team for having only Asians? Why is not Cameroon’s team racist for not having any whites, Latinos or Asians? The answer seems obvious: because The Washington Post is only interested in bombarding us with the white supremacist narrative that the left loves and exploits so much.The Washington Post‘s ridiculous article would prove that those who boast most about respect and tolerance for other cultures are actually the ones who look down on others. The readers of The Washington Post deserve much more than articles that pretend to be well-documented but think that soccer teams and countries should be like a Netflix movie.
2. Speaking of discrimination, Harvard, currently before the Supreme Court defending its discriminatory race-based admissions policies, apparently has an anti-Semitism problem (again). The annual report for the year 2021 released by the AMCHA Initiative, a non-profit dedicated to combating antisemitism, ranked Harvard as the top school for “assaults on Jewish identity.” With 25 incidents reported, Harvard’s total nearly doubled the University of Chicago, which came in second with 13 incidents in 2021, with instances of antisemitism split into three categories: redefinition, denigration and suppression.
I know: small sample size. Meanwhile, Harvard’s percentage of Jewish admittees has sunk to its lowest level in many decades: 10%. That’s still an “over-representation,” since the actual proportion in the general U.S. population is less than 3%.
3. Not quite as unethical as the Post screed about soccer team diversity but worthless nonetheless is the recent New York Times op-ed telling us that we have to stop eating meat to save the planet: “No One Wants to Say ‘Put Down That Burger,’ but We Really Should.”
Whether the theory is sound or not, the reality is that people in the U.S. will eat what they want to, and fantasies about how, in the words of the screed,
…humanity needs to start shrinking our agricultural footprint and expanding our natural footprint, after thousands of years of doing the reverse. This will be an extraordinary challenge, because we’ll also need to produce more than 7.4 quadrillion additional calories every year to feed our growing population, in an era when climate-fueled droughts, heat waves, floods and blights could make it harder to grow food.
Yeah...stop wasting my time. Advocating policies and worldwide measures that can’t happen isn’t ethical, it’s incompetent. My favorite bit: “It’s at least possible that we could shrink agricultural footprints by shifting our diets toward meat made without livestock, like the plant-based substitutes offered by companies such as Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat or maybe someday cultured meat grown from animal cells.” No, it’s really not. My wife inadvertently bought a plant-based chicken pot pie, and I dutifully tried it, hoping for the best. Yecchh. I’d rather eat the package. Eating such crap is progressive virtue-signaling, like adults under the age of 60 wearing masks in their cars.
4.Apparently this is “Diversity Day”…The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in favor of two biological male athletes who competed in girls’ sports when it dismissed claims brought against the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference by four female track runners last week. This may end up in the U.S. Supreme Court; I hope it does. Failing judicial intervention, women are going to have to start boycotting unfair sports competitions while prominent female athletes speak out against this bonkers capitulation to woke madness. That will take some guts, because protesting trans incursions on women’s sports requires feminists who are typically allied with the progressive mainstream to take the same position as conservatives they are usually calling fascists.
Will enough women choose ideological purity over ethics and the integrity of women’s sports? I guess we’ll find out.
5. “Everybody knows that diversity is beneficial….” Harvard has a terrific alumni magazine even if the university itself is falling apart in chunks. In the December issue, an analysis of the current challenge to the school’s discrimination against Asians and whites in its admissions policies repeats the assertion over and over that a diverse student body, measured in racial and ethnic terms, guarantees a better education, beginning with Justice Powell’s dicta in the1978 SCOTUS case, Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Justice Lewis Powell wrote in his controlling opinion that “The ‘nation’s future depends upon leaders trained through wide exposure’ to the ideas and mores of students as diverse as this Nation of many peoples.” Nowhere does the article present any studies or data that suggest is true; there aren’t any. It is just conventional wisdom. Nor does the article address the obvious contradiction presented by the widespread support of the continuing vitality of “traditionally black colleges.” Are they less effective at education because they are not “diverse”?
Baseball analyst Bill James once wrote that whenever a proposition was supported by “everyone knows its true,” his bullshit alarms went off. So do mine.