Gleanings and Observations

Two miniature bottles of tequila were found on one of Boeing’s new Air Force One planes under development in San Antonio. A Boeing spokesman said this incident is a personnel matter. For the company or the American electorate?


The American Civil Liberties Union, defenders of freedom of speech in days of yore, found itself unfree to use the word “woman”. It changed that unwoke word to “person” in a passage purporting to be a direct quotation from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Justice having been made unavailable for woking by her demise. Caught red-handed rewriting history, the ACLU said it “won’t be altering people’s quotes” in the future.

No need. Redefine the offensive word, eliminating any need to put words into the mouths of supporters who passed to a better place before being briefed on dangerous deviationism.

As the WSJ reports, other branches of the administration substitute for the forbidden word: “birthing people” (White House budget); “any individual who becomes pregnant” (Justice Department); the term “woman” reflects “the identity of the majority of the people” who might seek an abortion, “all people with the capacity for pregnancy – cisgender women transgender men, non-binary individuals, those who identify with a different gender, and others” (House).

In the movie “Casablanca”, when Victor Lazlo, hero of the underground, is ordered by Nazi major Strasser to report to the Vichy-ite police chief’s office, Lazlo turns to Captain Reynaud, points out that he is under Reynaud’s jurisdiction, and asks, “Is it your order?” Response, “Let us say it is my request. That is a much more pleasant word.”

Humpty Dumpty to Alice, “When I use a word … it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.”


The American left is not alone in Humpty-Dumptying the language. In Australia, authorities in Queensland and conservationists want to replace the phrase “shark attack” with a selection from this menu: “incident”, “interaction”, “encounter”. At worst, use “negative incident”. “‘Shark attack’ is a lie,” a University of Sydney language researcher tells the Sydney Morning Herald. What people call attacks are merely nips and minor injuries from smaller sharks. Sharks get an unwarranted reputation from politicians using “hyped-up … language.”

Shark defenders say there are mistaken-identity events in which the shark erroneously selects a human for dinner. “Sharks are curious animals. They tend to have exploratory bites,” Leonardo Guida, a shark biologist tells The Washington Post. What happens to a swimmer when a shiver of sharks seeks to satisfy its collective curiosity, to inflict a few exploratory bites, is not reported.

A spokesman for The Bite Club disagrees. He tells the paper’s reporter that as result of one such incident, the encounter led to an interaction that resulted in severe arm injuries. “It’s not like there’s a tap on the shoulder from a shark saying, ‘Do you mind if I eat you?’”

Some counter that the ocean is the sharks’ natural habitat, not humans’, and that those fish should be free to choose between welcoming visitors, nipping them, or having a rather larger chew.


The administration has issued new guidance to border patrol agents. Henceforth, “The fact that an individual is a removable noncitizen should not alone be the basis for an enforcement action against them.” Mitigating factors should include “advanced or tender age” – whether they are either too young or too old, in the words of the WWII song – and the effect that deportation would have on the person’s family.

Border agents see this, and the accompanying instruction to concentrate on immigrants with serious past offenses, as encouraging illegal border crossings.

Oh, yes. According to the NYT the number of undocumented immigrants implausibly remains at 11 million, the figure used since 2007, despite a Yale study showing the number to be twice that. Factual fastidiousness stops at the border.


Republicans refuse to go along with Democratic efforts to suspend or raise the ceiling on the national debt and avoid at least a partial bankruptcy.

Estimates vary, but by one count every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge, who cut the debt by about 24%, increased the national debt, with the last Republican administration under you-remember-who adding $6.7 trillion in red ink, topped only by Barack Obama’s $8.59 trillion, but a smaller percentage increase (33.1%) than any President since Lyndon Johnson (13%), with the exception of Bill Clinton (31.6%).

In short, both parties have red ink on their hands. Republicans’ assertion that the debt has nothing to do with us is beyond disingenuous. President Biden accuses Republicans opposing an increase in the debt ceiling of being “reckless and dangerous” – Senator Biden voted against such a move twice and says he would have done the same a third time had he been present. Voters are left with a choice between disingenuous Republicans and reckless Democrats poised to add to the debt with new spending.