The Post published this headline as if it was an obvious, res ipsa loquitur, outrage:
An Indiana school planned Black History Month lessons. A letter sent to parents allowed them to opt out.
“Those crazy, racist conservatives again!” was the unstated assumption of the Post’s article. After the consent form…
….was circulated on social media, such an uproar was raised by fans of anti-America indoctrination in the public schools that the school district Superintendent Emily Tracy felt that she had to send a letter to families and staff members, acknowledging the opt-out form and promising that the school district is “gathering more information on the matter” but “In the meantime, know that we support teaching about the facts in our history including historical injustices. Our District is and will continue to be committed to having compassion for all and supporting an education community that will allow all students, staff, families and community members the opportunity to feel welcome.” Continue reading →
Quarterback Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Bucs to victory yesterday in the Concussion Bowl over the Kansas City Chiefs black Quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Brady’s triumph sparked these and similar tweets:
If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you should. Frederick is the overly duty-conscious and somewhat dim-witted hero of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance,” one of the Savoy duo’s so called “Big Three,” the Victorian operettas that have been performed the most over the years. (The other two are “H.M.S Pinafore,” and the currently unfairly besieged—but arguably the best of them all—“The Mikado.”) They aren’t my three favorites, mind you, but like seven of the other G&S masterpieces, they are damned good, and have aged better than most American musicals, especially the Rogers and Hammerstein classics. Poor Frederick was apprenticed to a pirate until his 21st birthday, but due to a cruel twist of fate and legalistic nit-picking, his 21st birthday didn’t arrive until 1940, because he was born on leap year. Today is his 41st birthday, though he is 164 years old.
I apologize for the stupid subtitles in the clip from the movie. Unlike most G&S performers, the diction of Kevin Klein, Rex Smith and Angela Lansbury is excellent.
(I’m hurrying because I’ve learned from cruel experience that traffic on Saturday after 12:30 slows to crawl..)
1. Thus ends Black History Month. I do not favor tribal distinctions in our days and months. It is inherently divisive, and Black History Month smacks of honors affirmative action. The history of black Americans is American history, inextricably intertwined with the history of the rest of us. Our entire history ought to be taught and learned without bias and spin, and no race or ethnic groups should hesitate to take pride in the accomplishments of other Americans regardless of their color or ancestry.
NOTICE of CORRECTION! Item #2 below has now been shown to have been based on a hoax. More after…
2. Res ipsa loquitur:
Obviously the note in Chuck’s tickler file came up: “Today transition from saying Trump was doing too much in response to the Corona virus to saying that he isn’t doing enough.”
What awful, awful hacks these people are.
They are still awful hacks, but I hate being caught by these hoaxes. This one was especially sinister, because the fake tweet is completely consistent with what the Democrats and the news media had been saying about the President’s move to stop travel from China. However, insisting that a faked message is still “true enough” is what Dan Rather did in the scandal that ended his career as a respectable journalist.
We now know that the tweet is a hoax because ProPoblica, a nonprofit journalism organization, maintains a database of tweets deleted by politicians called Politwoops that uses Twitter’s Streaming API to find tweets from politicians that have been deleted. Schumer’s tweet is NOT in the database, thus we know it wasn’t posted.
[T]here are the Tilli Buchanans among us, who want to tear down social norms, not really knowing what the consequences will be over the long term, just for the hell of it. In addition to being irresponsible and disrespectful, they are also lousy citizens.
They are not, however, criminals. She should be able to walk around naked in front of her children, just as we allow parents to engage in all sorts of other dubious practices. That she can doesn’t mean she should, but this is part of a long, long list where we must rely on ethics rather than law.
Facing being placed on a sex offender registry for 10 years, Tilli agreed to a plea deal with her pleading guilty one class B misdemeanor lewdness charge and paying a $600 fine while serving probation. The charge will be dismissed if Buchanan can keep her shirt on for a year.
4. More “The rest of the story,” uber-jerk division. In 2018, Saturday Night Live performer Pete Davidson mocked GOP Congressional candidate Dan Crenshaw for his eyepatch, the result of a combat wound. Davidson said that he looked like “a hitman in a porno film” and dismissed the origin of his disfiguring injury as something he got in “war or whatever.” Veterans, their families and others who don’t usually pay attention to SNL anymore since it has become partisan, shrill, and lazy protested loudly, and Davidson apologized while Crenshaw appeared on a later show, where he was funny, gracious, and forgiving
It was obvious to me (and, I’m sure, Crenshaw) that Davidson was forced to apologize, but it takes a special breed of jerk to come back after he has left the scene of his insults and say so.
“So I made fun of this guy with an eyepatch and then, like, I kind of got forced to apologize. My roommate thought I should apologize so that I didn’t get shot in the face. People were like, ‘You hate America!’ And I’m like, ‘No, I just didn’t want to be incorrect about how he lost his fucking eye. Is that a crime?! The only thing I did do, which I am guilty of — and I apologize for — is I did make that guy famous and a household name for no reason, right? I did what, like, Ariana Grande did for me, right? I sucked his dick at ‘SNL.'”
This is what you lost your eye for, Dan.
5. You could show this to your Bernie Bros friends, but I doubt they could understand it. At the Foundation for Economic Education, J. Kyle de Vries does an excellent job of explaining the Social Security cheat, and why it has to be reformed. The system no longer makes sense, but the socialist enablers refuse to consider the problem. de Vries writes in part,
Millennials and Generation Z: Do you want to fund my Social Security benefits with higher payroll taxes than I paid in the past? Especially when the likelihood is high that your benefits are not going to be as lucrative as mine?
I am lucky. My Social Security benefits will be funded by you and other workers, and I plan on living to 140. If you are younger, that should concern you. Right now, you and your employer are forced to contribute 12.4 percent of your income into a fund that goes into a black hole, financing some other guy’s retirement. Wouldn’t you rather put that 12.4 percent into a fund you manage?
…Assume a self-employed 25-year-old makes $75,000 this year. Further assume she is required to set aside 12.4 percent of her income into a protected, tax-deferred trust, just as she must do for Social Security. But this is her account, managed by her, just like a 401k plan. If she realizes a 3 percent increase in income each year and can earn 6 percent on a conservative mix of stocks and bonds during her lifetime, her trust will accumulate to over $3,500,000 at age 70. At 8 percent growth, that number will be an astounding $6,142,000.
Would you rather have accumulated these much larger sums to augment your retirement income than get the average $1,500 per month Social Security check issued today? Lesser potential income is just one of the problems with the present system.
…Contrary to popular belief, payroll taxes are not invested in a fund to secure benefits like most other pension plans. Since the beginning, payroll taxes went first to make payments to current retirees with the balance “borrowed” by the feds for spending on things other than Social Security benefits. For most of the program’s history, the amount of payroll taxes the feds received was much higher than the Social Security payments, meaning the feds had a lot of money to spend on other things. Because of demographics, that situation has changed perilously, threatening the future of the Social Security system.
…What all this means is millennials and Gen Zers will see higher taxes for Social Security across the board, perhaps many times. They will also most likely see reductions in promised benefits, especially if they accumulate a lot of money over their working lifetimes.
…Wouldn’t you rather have your own retirement fund you manage yourself instead of the flimsy promise of government IOUs? Increasing payroll taxes today only delays the day of reckoning. The current unfunded liabilities for Social Security are over $34 trillion. Let’s not double down on a failed experiment that will bankrupt our country in the future and leave millions destitute in retirement.
Wouldn’t it be nice if Donald Trump was articulate enough and organized enough to explain this in a debate, or in a national address to the public? Wouldn’t it be nice if young voters would pay attention, and if the news media could report on the issue fairly?
Wouldn’t it be nice if I could fly to Disney World by flapping my arms really hard?
Yesterday was Abe Lincoln’s birthday, and I didn’t remember until late last night. This is the inevitable result of Presidents Day, the lazy combination of Lincoln and Washington’s birthdays into one floating holiday that lumps all our Presidents together as if they were equally laudable. (They are all laudable, but not equally.) Thus Franklin Pierce gets as much love from our calendar as Abe and George, which is ridiculous. ( President Pierce’s birthday I remember, because it’s the same date as my wedding anniversary, November 23.) In the old days before the blight of Presidents Day, school children would spend both February 12 and 22 learning about and doing projects related Lincoln or Washington. Without either of these great leaders, we probably don’t have a nation today, or if we do, it would be a vastly diminished one. Our first and Sixteenth Presidents tower over the rest in leadership ability, vision, and impact on our history and culture. Both deserve their own holiday, because every American should take at least a day out of every year to remember these two icons and honor their essential contributions, at great sacrifice, to the existence of the United States of America as well as the welfare of all of its citizens, past, present and future.
Today, most Americans couldn’t describe what Lincoln said at Gettysburg, and that’s not a recent phenomenon. In the classic movie “Ruggles of Red Gap,” a barroom full of Americans in a Western frontier town are unable to recall Lincoln’s message, but the very British butler, recently immigrated, can. Charles Laughton, who played the butler, continued to deliver Lincoln’s masterpiece throughout his career after that scene became the highlight of the movie. You can watch it here—I’d embed it, but there is no YouTube version.
2. Still more developments in the Houston Astros cheating scandal. Earlier this morning I watched a live press conference from the Astros Spring Training camp about the sign stealing scheme. From a public relations standpoint, the spectacle made the Astros problems worse.
Stars Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve spoke for a grand total of 90 seconds, sounding for all the world like American prisoners of war in North Korea. Owner Jim Crane did most of the talking, which was unfortunate for the Astros and baseball. He took no responsibility at all for what went on in 2017, though he was at the top of the organization chart: this is called the “Ken Lay excuse.” Worse, Crane repeatedly refused to acknowledge that using a secret camera to relay to the Astros dugout the opposing catchers’ signs telling pitchers what to throw, which were then relayed to Astros batters by players banging on trash cans, constituted cheating. All Crane would say was “We broke the rules. We can argue about what you want to call it.”
Worse still, Crane said that it was impossible to say whether the team’s full year of sign stealing, including the playoffs and the World Series (which the Astros won), gave his team a competitive advantage. “Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t” he said. “Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game. We had a good team. We won the World Series and we’ll leave it at that.”
In later interviews with the players after the press conference, it sounded like everyone had been prepped to keep saying “2017” over and over, because there are lingering suspicions that the Astros scam extended into 2018 and 2019. As commentator Matt Vasgersian mused afterward on the MLB cable channel, if the Astros had won a championship cheating all the way through 2017 and hadn’t been caught, why would they suddenly stop the next season?Continue reading →
Several NBA teams have played what is known as the “negro national anthem” at games during Black History Month thanks in part to the urging of a retired Howard University professor. Eugene Williams, a 76-year-old retiree in Clinton, Maryland, has made it his goal to get professional and collegiate teams to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during February. He has been calling and writing teams for the past six months.The Washington Wizards became the fourth NBA team to play the song at a game, doing so during a timeout midway through the first quarter against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night.
1 African Americans have a national anthem. It’s called “The Star Spangled Banner,” and is their national anthem because they are Americans.
2. The concept of a separate national anthem for blacks is divisive and offensive. When the song was written, in the midst of the Jim Crow era, that designation was meaningful and inspiring. Now it is destructive.
3. Or is the next step to have separate “national anthems” for all ethnic groups and races that are supposed to be part of a single, united nation and culture? Of course, we’ll also need a woman’s national anthem—“I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar”?—and a gay anthem—“I Am What I Am”? Someone had better write a trans anthem–“I Am What I Wasn’t”? The opening ceremonies before sporting events will take longer than the games themselves, but nobody will be left out, and that’s what matters, right?
4. Speaking of sports, all of Colin Kaepernick’s disciples swore that their “taking a knee” during—what is it, the white National Anthem?—“The Star Spangled Banner” weren’t protesting the anthem or intending disrespect. So we can assume that they would have also knelt during “the negro national anthem,” right? Sure they would.
5. I know, I know, it was “just” for Black History Month. The Ethics Alarms position is that segregated months are still a vestige of segregation, and an impediment to national unity and racial healing.
Putting the jester’s privilege to great use, Comedy Central comic Stephen Colbert not only defied his corporate masters, communications giant Viacom, but mocked them in the process. He was officially warned of the corporation’s “concern” about “Laser Klan,” his planned animated riff involving the Klu Klux Klan during Black History Month. Colbert aired it anyway.
I have to wonder if he would have done the same if Viacom had been concerned about offending Muslims, rather than, hmmmm, let’s see, being worried that some racial victim-mongers would decide that making fun of the Klan, sworn enemies of blacks, Jews, and, oh, so many others, was somehow disrespectful to blacks in February because only they could…oh, I don’t know what the complaint would be. I can’t blame the suits at Viacom…I bet someone at MSNBC and the NAACP are working up a political correctness offense theory right now, so Colbert will have to humble himself and beg for forgiveness.
Before that happens, though, let’s give Colbert his due. What he did takes principles and guts…and high ratings. Just be careful your numbers don’t fall off, Stephen.
We haven’t had an example of jaw-droppingly incompetent, outrageously irresponsible teacher behavior for a while, so this story from the Associated Press is timely, if not welcome.
Three Los Angeles elementary school teachers gave children portraits of O.J. Simpson, Dennis Rodman and RuPaul to carry in a Black History Month parade. Honest. The teachers have been removed from their classrooms, and investigation is pending. All the teachers were white men, and the classes involved were first, second and fourth grades. Continue reading →