Very few would take exception to the assertion that so far 2020 has been an awful year, an “annus horribilis,” as the Royal Family once dubbed an unhappy time for the crown. With myriad woes – including months of race protests that turned violent and a pandemic that destroyed countless lives directly and indirectly and decimated economies around the world – 2020 will be happily in the rear-view mirror when it’s finally over.
Much of the roiling fever dream can be laid squarely at the feet of a few folks who have caused us endless angst, agony, agita, and aggravation. Here’s a list of personas non grata for the Year of Our Lord 2020.
Adam Schiff: For better than two years, the Burbank, CA, prevaricator said into every microphone that he had “more than circumstantial evidence” of a Trump-Putin conspiracy and proof of Russian collusion. Except he didn’t. Even James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence whose grasp on telling the truth has proved slippery, and his Trump-hating firm, stated:
“I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election.”
Even though the Mueller report found no evidence of said collusion, Schiff persevered, like a joyless Boy Scout master insisting his young charges learn their seven knots perfectly. And then Schiff threw himself into impeachment over the Ukraine call, a drama that sputtered, fizzled, and was finally extinguished in the first month of this year.
Neil Ferguson: And then the pandemic hit. At the Imperial College of London, epidemiologist Ferguson was ready for his international close-up. He computer-modeled the mortality of COVID-19 and came up with a projected 2.2 million deaths in the United States and half a million in England. But his “maths” were just a bit off with regard to America – by about 2 million obituaries.
Recently, the CDC quietly asserted that only 6% of total deaths in the United States were from COVID alone – so our mortality is even lower than the media report it. But Ferguson’s wildly inaccurate model was the impetus for countries the world over to impose quarantines – the first time healthy people have ever been locked down to protect the vulnerable. The ancillary cost in lives from suicide, drug overdose, alcohol, and domestic abuse are numbers still being calculated, but, at this point, the COVID infection fatality rate is 0.26%. The vast majority survive – which is more than can be said for Ferguson’s career. He resigned when he was caught violating the quarantines he insisted on to conduct an affair.
Kate Brown & Ted Wheeler: In an abdication of leadership becoming the bad kind of legendary, the governor of Oregon and the mayor of Portland have presided passively over more than 100 nights of rioting, looting, arson, murder, mayhem, intimidation, and peaceful protests in the city that defines the state. Fireworks, bombs, mortars, rocks, Molotov cocktails, and bricks are routinely hurled at the police, buildings have been destroyed or burned to the ground, and two men have been shot and killed – one a Patriot Prayer Trump supporter and the other “100% ANTIFA.” Wheeler has been all but tarred and feathered by his constituents, some of whom occupied his apartment lobby to force his resignation. And Brown compelled federal agents to leave Portland, which remains in utter chaos, while blaming Trump for having “encouraged division” and for “stoking violence.”
LeBron James: King James is the monarch of hypocritical virtue signaling. Last year, when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong protesters, James bent over backward to minimize the fallout with his communist benefactors in the CCP, stating that Morey “wasn’t educated on the situation at hand.” Then James alarmingly undercut the First Amendment when he said “we do have freedom of speech but there are a lot of negatives that come with that too,” which was music to China’s ears. Returning the favor, China asserted that anyone who criticized James is “racist.” This from the country that detains an estimated 1 million Muslims in approximately 260 concentration camps.
But that word “racist” got LeBron thinking in 2020. For the last few months he has been saying that he is “terrified” of the police, as he insists every black American is. When the basketball player was called out by Jason Whitlock and Candace Owens for his hypocrisy, James admitted that he grew up not trusting whites and recently recounted his mindset as a young man attending a Catholic school, stating:
“I don’t want nothing to do with white people. I don’t believe they want anything to do with me. I don’t want no (white) friends.”
Even though it was a reminiscence, imagine if a white athlete said that about his teammates of color. Perhaps James should seriously consider devoting his energies to winning that elusive fourth NBA championship rather than to social justice activism.
Netflix: After an impressive showing at the Sundance Film Festival, the French film Cuties was snapped up by Netflix – which very quickly courted controversy when the film’s promotional posters were loudly denounced as sexually exploitive of pre-teenage girls. Netflix issued an apology but released the movie anyway, which, as radio host Tammy Bruce avers, is more troubling than the advance word. It’s difficult to watch hyper-sexualized dance numbers featuring 11-year-old girls and square that with Netflix apologists’ claims that the film works as a critique of the sexual exploitation of girls it depicts. While many condemned the corporation, and a Twitter campaign to cancel subscriptions trended on Twitter, Netflix producers Barack and Michelle Obama had no comment.
Let’s hope woeful 2020 doesn’t have too many more poison pills to slip into our cup of plenty. One thing seems certain: New Year’s Eve will likely be the most ecstatic on record.
Read more from Pennel Bird.