The bifurcation of our society continues, with the law-abiding segment of the citizenry caught in a vise between a micro-regulatory state and the lawless reality of the streets. In New York, the pantechnicon state is so omnipotent that, like the Taliban, it can forbid singing, dancing and jokes. Truly, when it comes to the slow-slow-quick-quick-slow of his subjects, Andrew Cuomo is the non-dancing queen.
On the other hand, when a man gallantly offers to accompany his wife and hold the umbrella while she walks to buy toothpaste in a "gentrified" part of Flatbush in broad daylight, the all-powerful pantechnicon state is nowhere to be found. And so he gets randomly shot in the spine and is now paralyzed. That's Sam Metcalfe, 33, at right, dancing with his wife back when it was still legal.
New York... Portland... Denver... Kenosha..: The veneer of civilization (to quote a character in The Prisoner of Windsor) frays across the map, and "gentrification" is insufficient. Indeed, de-gentrification appears to be the order of the day.
~The departure of the great Kellyanne Conway, longest-serving senior member of the Trump team, saddens me - and also, as the summer ends and the final stretch of Campaign 2020 begins, unnerves me a little. For well over a year, Kellyanne has endured the personal embarrassment of a husband who is one of the most prominent members of "the Resistance". As I wrote last November:
No one other than the two principals can know the reality of a marriage, but...
You can read the post-but stuff here. However, I think it fair to say that most observers assumed Mr and Mrs Conway were in Splitsville to stay. Then came a complicating factor: a fifteen-year-old daughter who very publicly despises both her parents - and announced on Saturday night that she was formally suing for emancipation from them.
"Emancipation" is nothing to do with Lincoln statues or Juneteenth, but is de jure a minor's divorce from her mom and dad. I have met young Miss Conway, but that was long before she declared that "my mother's job ruined my life", took to calling her "Smelly Kelly" online, and asked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to adopt her. All of which, in the last month, has gained Claudia Conway an extra quarter-million Twitter followers from fellow Resisters. I make no judgment on the foregoing: anyone with any public profile and teenage children will concede that there but for the grace of God...
What to do about it? Late on Sunday night Claudia's parents evidently reached a deal - for her to leave the White House, and he to leave the "Lincoln Project" and Twitter: in George Conway's words, to "devote more time to family matters"; in Kellyanne's, "less drama, more mama".
It is a huge loss for Trump. Almost exactly four years ago - August 17th 2016 - the unlikeliest candidate made Steve Bannon his campaign's "chief executive" and (the formerly pro-Cruz) Kellyanne campaign manager. At the time Trump was behind in the polls, his campaign floundering under its brief Manafort stewardship, and everyone assumed Hillary was cruising to victory against the Mexican-rapist/Muslim-ban nutter ...but I remember Mickey Kaus saying both Bannon and Kellyanne were smart and serious people and they wouldn't be doing this if they thought he was such a surefire loser. And so it proved.
And here we are at precisely the same point one presidential term later: within forty-eight hours, a handcuffed Steve Bannon learns he's looking at a decade in the slammer unless he starts singing all three acts of La Trumpiata ...and Kellyanne Conway finds out on Twitter that her kid's divorcing her. Even if you are not actually driven to suicide, the price of right-leaning politics in a lockstep left-wing culture is very high.
~Andrew Jones, a First Week Founding Member of The Mark Steyn Club from the beautiful coast of Queensland, writes:
Steyn old chap. Any update on the Mann case?
Well, unlike her woeful predecessors, the new judge seems interested in getting this thing off her docket before retirement. So things are (by the sclerotic standards of American courthouses) actually progressing a little bit - with depositions being scheduled, and the other rituals of pre-trial flimflam under way. For those unfamiliar with the case, in 2012 Michael E Mann, creator of what was at one point the most famous scientific graph in the world, sued me for calling his climate-change hockey stick "fraudulent". And eight years later here we're now kinda sorta inching toward trial.
Anyway, as part of all the pre-trial manoeuvring, each side gets to serve the other with "Requests for Admission" - which, for readers elsewhere in the Common Law world, do not exist in quite so formalized a sense in Her Majesty's Dominions. Mann responded to mine with a big up yours, which you can judge for yourself here. I can respect the Big Up Yours as a litigation tactic, but you have to do it less laughably and a little more judicially grounded than Doctor Deadbeat did. So yours truly was obliged to file a Motion to Compel, in which we noted that this lame-ass joke obfuscation is all this pathetic vanity plaintiff knows how to do (page 11):
This is not the first time Mann has delayed, obfuscated, or refused to comply in the ordinary course of his discovery obligations in litigation he has filed. We see a pattern. Only a few months ago, in its May 5th ruling in this case, the Court had to compel Mann to supply basic information about his claimed damages, and then ordered Mann to reimburse CEI for the legal fees incurred in moving to compel.
Similarly, less than a year ago, the Supreme Court of British Columbia dismissed Mann's libel suit against Canadian scientist Tim Ball because of Mann's 'inordinate,' 'inexcusable,' and 'unreasonable delay...' The Canadian court also ruled that Mann would have to reimburse Ball for the 'costs of the action' (that is, the legal fees Ball incurred)... So far as we are aware, Mann has not yet paid any of those 'costs.'
That's correct. Despite being ordered to cough up by His Lordship in Vancouver, Mann a year later has not paid Dr Ball a penny. Michael E Mann is a bum, a deadbeat, and a scofflaw who refuses to abide by the verdicts of courts he chose to petition. That's his standard operating procedure, and he's not going to get away with it with me. Regardless of one's position on climate change, no scientist with integrity or a basic moral compass should be supporting a man who refuses to abide by a judgment he sought. Aside from anything else, Mann is a fraud as a plaintiff.
At any rate, our motion apparently concentrated Doctor Deadbeat's mind, because, after the usual jousting and bluffing, Mann decided to disgorge rather hastily some additional responses before Her Honor could rule on our motion. I don't believe I'm at liberty to disclose those responses, so I'll just leave it at that for now. In the event that the District of Columbia's courthouses ever re-open so that justice can be seen to be done, we will let readers know. I don't relish trial by Zoom.
~It was a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with a Decoupling/De-Kipling edition of The Mark Steyn Show. Kathy Shaidle's Saturday movie date set her beady eye to The Ear, and our Sunday song selection celebrated hits ripped from today's headlines (with special guest Ted Nugent). Our summer Tale for Our Time - my inversion of Anthony Hope's Ruritanian caper, The Prisoner of Windsor - came to its thrilling conclusion. If you've yet to hear it, you can go all the way back to Episode One and have a good old binge listen starting here. If you were too busy divorcing your parents this weekend, I hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.