We have long discussed the sweetheart deal given General David Petraeus, who violated core professional and national security rules only only to avoid any jail time. It is part of what I have called our Animal Farm system where some people are more equal than others. Now Petraeus is under consideration for the positions of Secretary of State. It is an ironic twist since his predecessor in such a position was accused of recklessly compromising national security — the very allegations raised with regard to Petraeus.
George Washington (where I teach at the law school) has become the focus of national attention due to a letter sent out by a collection of student groups that declared the security supplied by campus police to be an “act of violence” because police are viewed as supporting President-elect Donald Trump. It is an absurd and insulting position — part of a tirade by the groups calling for everything from providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants to breaking down patriarchy, Islamophobia, and a myriad of other social ills. The deep sense of community and societal concerns reflected in the letter is a good thing and something that this university has always fostered. However, the gratuitous slap at our campus police is neither productive nor warranted.
We have previously discussed outrageous acts by people passing around dolphins or other sea creatures for selfies — only to kill the animals (here and here and here). The latest alleged moron is Granger Ray Wooten, 21, who is accused of beaching a hammerhead shark, repeatedly punching it, and then taking photos of it.
The beating of women in Islamic countries remains a serious concern, particularly after Islamic clerics advised men how to beat their spouses in Islamically correct ways (here and here and here). With the rise of Islamic parties in Morocco, women are particularly concerned. This concern was magnified recently with the airing of a state television program on how women can use makeup to cover bruises left by domestic violence.
Helen Jackson, 52, spent her Thanksgiving in jail for what may be a unique alleged crime: assault by Turkey. The Baton Rouge mother was accused of using her turkey as a weapon as well as holding a knife to the throat of the victim.
Longtime Cuban leader Fidel Castro is dead at age 90. While many around the world spoke highly of Castro’s success in greatly reducing illiteracy and proving basic services like health care, I have long been critical of his reign and his enablers in the West. Whatever success he achieved, he did so through a brutal dictatorship that denied freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and other basic civil liberties. For those of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s, he was a defining character of our generation. The menace across the border. When we were being taught to shelter under our desks in any nuclear attack, it was his image with that of the Soviet premier that would be flashed across the screen. It was a time of utter madness and mania — on both sides of the Iron Curtain.