For those brave reformers who have struggled to introduce the semblance of a true judiciary and the rule of law in China, the recent interview of Chief Justice Zhou Qiang must have been devastating. Zhou told lawyers and judges that they needed to avoid the temptation of the West in wanting an independent judiciary that follows the rule of law. With that, Zhou placed himself in history as a voice for injustice — a lawyer who committed his life to fighting against the law.
There is a bizarre case out of Indianapolis where fired IT employee Triano Williams took the password for a school account that controlled access for emails and course material for over 2000 students. Williams accused the American College of Education of firing him for racial reasons and allegedly refused to hand over the password. The for-profit college accused Williams of effective extortion in offering to hand over the password in exchange for a clear letter of reference and $200,000.
Athina Munoz, 28, seemed intent on covering the entire criminal code for reckless driving in Colorado.
The Trump Administration has a rocky kick off this week due to both things outside of its control and things of its own making. First there was the planned protests against the new President — demonstrations both on Inaugural Day and the next day that I criticized. Those were outside the control of the Administration. However, then there was a remarkably disappointing and lackluster Inaugural speech followed by a truly dreadful press conference. This was the first press conference for the Administration – a key moment for any new Administration. Instead of emphasizing the positive and taking control of the news cycle with strategic announcements, White House Press secretary Sean Spicer largely criticized the press and then made a series a highly dubious factual assertions about the size of Trump’s audience. It was a performance that even stalwart supporters like Charles Krauthammer on Fox called “weird.” Most of us who have previously watched or covered Inaugurations thought that the crowd seemed smaller. So what? Tens of millions of people voted for Trump. That is the measure that counts. Yet, Spicer went on the attack with some shaky assertions and guaranteed that this tempest in a teapot would be the focus of the next news cycle — and gave critics an opening to lambast the new president. I have said this before that friends of this President need to call him out when his Administration goofs if they want this Administration to succeed. This is one such moment and shows an early lack of discipline and message.
As I have previously discussed, my house is hosting over a dozen family and friends who have come from around the country to join the protests today as part of the “Women’s March” in Washington. We know at least a dozen more local friends attending. I will not be one of them as I explained earlier. I respected those marching today for values that mean so much to them . . . and to many of us. There is obviously going to a sizable crowd — one that may dwarf the Inauguration attendance. I did note that, when I dropped off my brother Chris and his family this morning, the metro in McLean seemed much more crowded than it did yesterday for the Inauguration. Having spent a few days with protesters and celebrants at the Inauguration, I am struck by how hardened both sides are toward each other . . . and dismissive of the operative facts underlying this election. Both sides seem unwilling to recognize the flaws in their past positions while grotesquely distorting their view of the other side. It reminds me of Richard III and the advice of the Queen Mother, Margaret, on how to learn to hate as she sought to “teach thee how to curse.” It is simple, she explains, just “Think that thy babes were sweeter than they were, And he that slew them fouler than he is.”
After toasting President Trump and his Administration the best for a successful term of office, it did not take long to find my first criticism (about the same time as his predecessor). I was appalled to hear after the Inauguration that the Trump team wanted to have tanks and missile launchers added to the Inaugural parade like some homage to the North Korean “Dear One.” As someone who is an admitted die-hard traditionalist, I was truly shocked by the effort. I was in utter disbelief that the Trump team would want such an image — and a departure from our long-standing tradition. I still hope that this report is false because it would show a stunning lack of perspective and judgment. However, I have not been able to determine if the story is true. It appears based on one source and one site has pulled back from the initial story which appeared on Huffington Post and MSNBC. If this is a fake news story, I would like to see that confirmed and the culprits revealed. Either it is a shocking lack of judgment on the part of the Trump team in proposing the military display or the media in spreading this story. It is news either way. If false, I would have to hear soon from the Trump Administration. One learns in Washington that you have to stomp out false stories within the first 48 hour news cycle. We are past the cycle without a clear response from the Administration.
As I discussed in my column yesterday, I stayed at home today to watch the inauguration with my kids and to celebrate America’s 71st time that a democratically elected president has taken the oath of office (and our 58th formal inauguration). While my brother and family from Chicago went to the Mall to protest, we raised a toast to the country and the new president for the future. On this day, we celebrate a constitutional system that has weathered wars, depression, social unrest and every type of national crisis. Yet, it (and we) remain. There are many constitutions that are more poetic in language or detailed in powers, but none has the record of this amazing document. It is the common article of faith of a free people and today’s ceremony represented our commitment to a nation governed by a free people.