Quick Takes: A Sexless Baby, CNN, NPR and Illinois junk bonds

After a short vacation, Thinking Man is back with quick takes on several and widely-varied topics.  Most just make you want to shake your head in disbelief.

What?!

In what is likely a world’s first, a baby has been born in Canada that is listed officially in Canadian government records with an ‘undetermined’ or ‘unassigned’ sex.

Searyl Alti’s gender is marked with a “U” on her Canadian health card.  The baby’s parent, Kori Doty, describes himself as “a non-binary genderqueer trans person” who lives in “occupied British Columbia” and makes a living by selling subscriptions to monthly coaching sessions on sexual health and identification issues and urges his followers to become ‘part of the revolution’.

Doty does not ‘identify’ as male or female and wants to raise Searyl ‘genderless’ until the baby has a ‘sense of self and command of vocabulary to tell me who they are’>

You know, it’s sad enough that we have people in society that have these types of significant mental health issues.  It’s more sad, and even appalling, when the government recognizes and encourages it.

CNN

CNN, once the bastion of news across the globe has endured a number of challenges in recent years.  Increasingly, those include ignoring some basic tenets of journalism and then shooting itself in the foot.

The network and President Trump have had a long-standing battle over who can accuse the other of lying more (among other things).  Trump on Sunday tweeted a cartoon of him wrestling a body with “CNN” superimposed on the head.

In a story criticizing the tweet, CNN said it had found the person who had originally made the cartoon that Trump had re-tweeted.  CNN reporter Andrew Kaczynski had contacted the Reddit user behind the original cartoon on Tuesday. Kaczynski said the user later called CNN to further apologize for his posts after posting his lengthy apology online.

Kaczynski wrote in his story that CNN was not publishing the user’s name “because he is a private citizen who has issued an extensive statement of apology, showed his remorse by saying he has taken down all his offending posts, and because he said he is not going to repeat this ugly behavior on social media again.

“In addition, he said his statement could serve as an example to others not to do the same,” he continued. “CNN reserves the right to publish his identity should any of that change.”

Clearly, CNN was using its global news network to blackmail the user and to silence jokes at its expense.

After the story appeared on its network by its reporter, and people began to express outrage over the blackmail CNN denied it all.

“CNN decided not to publish the name of the Reddit user out of concern for his safety,” a statement from CNN said.  “Any assertion that the network blackmailed him or coerced him is false. The user, who is an adult male, not a 15-year-old boy, apologized and deleted his account before ever speaking with our reporter.

“CNN never made any deal, of any kind, with the user,” the statement continued. “In fact, CNN included its decision to withhold the user’s identity in an effort to be completely transparent that there was no deal.”

SO…CNN is saying 1) that its reporter lied and 2) that an editor who ran the story either lied, as well, or published a corporate public statement without checking with CNN executives.  Oh, this ought to be interesting—what a dilemma.  Will CNN then fire the reporter that they now have said lied and will they discipline the editor who let it pass?  And, if not, is that simply an indication that CNN is lying?

And this comes a little over a week of the network firing a reporter and two individuals with editorial responsibilities after CNN published an article that it later retracted because it was false, regarding a Russian investment fund’s ties to Trump Administration officials.

Clearly, CNN didn’t learn the lesson from a week ago.

Illinois State Budget Crisis

Budget miseries continue to plague the state of Illinois.  The state has failed to pass a budget for two years but politicians seem unfazed.  The state has been unable to pay its bills, even with a liberally applied except for ‘emergencies’, and owes billions of dollars in IOUs to vendors and contractors.

The state recently cancelled sales of lottery tickets because of the inability to agree on a budget, of which the lottery funding was included this year.  And credit agencies have said that the state will have its bonds downgraded to ‘junk bond’ status if a budget isn’t passed this year.   Yet, the deadline passed for the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1 with no agreement.

The Illinois legislature passed a budget with a 32% increase of $5 billion in taxes but the Governor vetoed it because it does little to control spending.

Even with the highest income tax rate in the country, Illinois legislators think it isn’t enough.  An example of the fact that politicians will spend everything they can get their hands on, and then want more.

Crime

New York has seen 17 murders in the last year and a half attributed to the notorious MS 13 gang.  In the last month, 39 members of the MS 13 gang in NY have been arrested.  Among the arrested, 12 or roughly a third originally came to the country as unaccompanied minors.

When considering a compassionate immigration policy, it’s also important to remember there is another side even when talking about children who we want to assume are young and innocent.

 

 NPR and Revolution?

NPR, in an annual tradition it has followed for decades and one encouraged by Benjamin Franklin among others, used July 4 to celebrate independence and used its Twitter account to publish the Declaration of Independence on the anniversary of its signing.

There were a number of intellectually challenged members of the populace who assumed that NPR’s words were a call to revolution against the Presidency of Donald Trump and responded angrily in various social media forums.

You know, sometimes you can’t help but wonder if there ought to be some basic competence requirement to do certain things.   Maybe not, but it sure makes you wonder…

Illinois State Budget Crisis

Budget miseries continue to plague the state of Illinois.  The state has failed to pass a budget for two years but politicians seem unfazed.  The state has been unable to pay its bills, even with a liberally applied except for ‘emergencies’, and owes billions of dollars in IOUs to vendors and contractors.

The state recently cancelled sales of lottery tickets because of the inability to agree on a budget, of which the lottery funding was included this year.  And credit agencies have said that the state will have its bonds downgraded to ‘junk bond’ status if a budget isn’t passed this year.   Yet, the deadline passed for the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1 with no agreement.

The Illinois legislature passed a budget with a 32% increase of $5 billion in taxes but the Governor vetoed it because it does little to control spending.

Even with the highest income tax rate in the country, Illinois legislators think it isn’t enough.  An example of the fact that politicians will spend everything they can get their hands on, and then want more.

 

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