Law vs. Ethics, The Cynical “War on Women,” And Stacking The Deck for Hillary

Let me begin by reprinting, in its entirety, a post from the earliest days of Ethics Alarms, one then titled, The Difference Between Law and Ethics:

In the instructive category of “Lawsuits that demonstrate the distinction between law and ethics,” we have the Massachusetts case of Conley v. Romeri.

Ms. Conley met Mr. Romeri when they were both in their 40s and divorced. As romance beckoned, Ms. Conley told her swain that she was childless, and wanted to begin a family before her biological clock struck midnight. The defendant, who had sired four children already, told her “not to worry.” He had seen a fortune-teller who had predicted that he would increase his number of children from four to six.

That held Ms. Conley for seven months. Then he told her that he had been vasectomized years ago.

Ms. Conley sued the bastard, claiming that her now ex-boyfriend had fraudulently misled her into believing he could father little Conleys in order to prolong the relationship, and that his actions had thrown her into emotional distress and depression.

Let us pause here and say that Mr. Romeri is a cur. Knowing that Ms. Conley was desperate for children and running out of time, he nonetheless deceived her for his own purposes, costing her perhaps her only chance to have the family she desired. For the fans of Bill Clinton out there, he was also clearly adept at Clintonesque deceit: he said “don’t worry” about having children, not that he was capable of creating them; he said a fortune- teller has assured him that he would have more kids, but never said her prediction was plausible. Mr. Romeri, like millions of deceitful people before him, probably doesn’t think he really lied. But of course he did.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court, however, found that while Mr. Romeri may have behaved abominably, it was not the place of the law to punish him.

Such claims, the judges said,

“…arise from conduct so intensely private that the courts should not be asked to resolve them….It does not lie within the power of any judicial system to remedy all human wrongs. Many wrongs which in themselves are flagrant–ingratitude, avarice, broken faith, brutal words and heartless disregard–are beyond any effective remedy.”

Our hearts go out to Ms. Conley. But the law will never succeed in making people be honest, caring, and fair. Only we can do that by creating a society in which boys grow to manhood knowing that behavior like Mr. Romeri’s is wrong, and at the same time, a society where women take responsibility for their own welfare, without seeking government remedies for every challenge.


Reading this post again, and watching the (I think) overtly cynical and political effort by Democrats and the Obama Administration to increase the weight of the already heavy hand of the law in matters involving problems that are unique to or that disproportionately affect women, I think the importance of Conley v. Romeri extends beyond the original reason I posted it. Among other things, the case stands for the proposition that the government need not and should not treat women as if they are helpless against adversity, and must be accorded special privileges and protection

The self-anointed pro-women advocates seek to spark a Pavlovian response from small government advocates and conservatives, as various measures, entitlements and enforcement provisions are proposed to lock up women as a Democratic voting block. Any legitimate objections, no matter how reasonable or based in sound social philosophy, are condemned and mocked as proof of misogyny. It’s a deviously clever definition of misogyny for political warfare, I must admit: Policy A or Entitlement B benefits women, thus anyone who argues against A or B by definition opposes the welfare of women, thus such critics are anti-women, and thus misogynists. This logic will prevail even when the government decrees (well, President Obama will have to do it using Executive Orders, since he is incapable of the democratic way of getting laws passed, as required by the Constitution) that women all get a $20,000 tax free stipend upon attaining majority, and that any woman crying “Sexual assault!” must be regarded as unimpeachable in a court of law. Is this far fetched? Those laws might be, but not the underlying, effective and unethical trick.

For example, Texas gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis essentially fabricated her life story to fit the mold of a feminist icon. She was caught, exposed, and is defending herself now by accusing anyone who criticizes her for lying to the public as “anti-woman.” She’s a woman, you see, and criticism, especially fair criticism, is harmful to her. Thus critics of Wendy Davis are willing and eager to harm a woman, hence any woman, thus all women. “We’re not surprised by Greg Abbott’s campaign attacks on the personal story of my life as a single mother who worked hard to get ahead,” Davis declaimed.But they won’t work, because my story is the story of millions of Texas women who know the strength it takes when you’re young, alone and a mother.”

You see? Davis was under fire because her repeated life story was intentionally misleading and deceptive, leaving out details like the fact that her rise was funded by a reasonably wealthy second husband whom she promptly dumped as soon as she got her Harvard Law degree. She was not being attacked “as a single mother who worked hard to get ahead” (which she was only part of the time: this is deceit); she was being attacked as a lying politician who wasn’t whom she said she was, in exactly the same way that, for example, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) was attacked during his campaign for representing himself as a combat military veteran when he was not. He, however, liar that he was, never had the gall to say, ““We’re not surprised by my opponent’s campaign attacks on the personal story of my life as the son of Jewish immigrants who worked hard to get ahead.”

Davis, however, is a template for Hillary Clinton’s anticipated Presidential run, just as the whole “war on women” charade is designed to make her not merely a Teflon candidate, but one whose defenders will always be able to cry “Bigot!” and “Oppressor!” whenever the many flaws in her experience, record and character are raised. She’s a woman, you see. Attack her, and you attack all women.

The dishonesty of this strategy —I already noted that it was cynical and effective—is staggering. I still hold hopes that the majority of women will be as repelled by it as I am, but who knows: after all, this is the same game plan that has worked for Democrats for the last eight years. Choose a historically subjugated or marginalized minority group, and point out that the failure of a member of that group to attain the White House is proof of that historic injustice. Choose an attractive and savvy representative of that group, and keep asserting that the group she represents is oppressed still, with the failure to achieve the Presidency as irrefutable evidence.

Make certain that journalists—good liberals and progressives and registered Democrats that 88% of them are— recoil in fear from the kind of hard analysis that they would apply to a white Anglo-Saxon male candidate, and will apply to whoever is running against the anointed trail-blazer. Once the anointed minority candidate (women are still “minorties,” we are told, though they are in fact the majority) is  elected, after absurdly fawning media coverage, supporters will continue to accuse all critics, partisan or not, of whichever bias fits the template. By my calculations, the next six Democratic candidates for President will be a woman, a black woman, a Hispanic, a gay man, an Asian, and a mixed race handicapped lesbian transexual. Experience and actual demonstrated governing skills and leadership ability will be incidental, but all must be able to deliver an inspiring speech. This strategy is gold.

The biggest obstacle, really, is the first. Women are doing very well, and better every month and year. More are going to college than their species’ male counterparts, and the fields they are not well-represented in are primarily fields that interest fewer women than men. To plow the ground for Hillary, whose primary qualification is her gender—she has managed nothing except the State Department, with dubious results, was an indifferent U.S. Senator and her feminist credentials are marred by her decades-long enabling of a serial sexual predator, You-Know-Who—the various institutions and groups that line up to support left-leaning causes must help nurture the illusion that women are powerless and oppressed.

This was clarified to me when I read a strange story in the Washington Post. It began…

“Forty-four Washington theater companies announced Thursday that each will produce a world-premiere play by a female dramatist in the fall of 2015, one of the more audacious and ambitious responses by an American city to the gender gap in high-profile jobs in the arts. The Women’s Voices Theatre Festival, encompassing virtually every large, midsize and fledgling theater company in and around the city, is being billed as a landmark event in the effort to put new plays by female playwrights onstage. Its organizers acknowledge that it won’t permanently rewrite the statistics showing that in this country, about four plays by men get produced professionally for every one by a woman. But the festival does throw down a gauntlet, in the cause of striking a more equitable gender balance — especially given that surveys show that women make up as much as two-thirds of the theater going audience across the nation. “There are a lot of conversations around the country about how women are not as represented as they need to be,” said Molly Smith, artistic director of Arena Stage and festival co-organizer with Eric Schaeffer, Signature Theatre’s artistic director. “This really is an opportunity to showcase a variety of female voices.”

I was initially drawn to the post because I help run (along with a substantially female board and staff) one of the area’s midsize theaters, and nobody ever asked us to participate in this project. One reason may have been that we typically don’t stage new works (though we did commission and produce a play about the great, under-produced female playwright Sophie Treadwell, an early feminist); another may be that they guessed my reaction, which would have been this:

How does presenting works by female playwrights because of their gender rather than the quality of the works in comparison to the whole pool of new plays serve the needs of audiences, theater, or “the gender gap in high-profile jobs in the arts”? Applying affirmative action to artistic merit is both unethical and the way to very bad art. If there are not as many women as men in the professional theater world, why is the assumption that this arises from some kind of systemic discrimination? There are also a disproportionate number of gay men in high-profile jobs in the arts. So? Is this a problem too? Why?

Rather than decree that the theater-going public—and since it’s disproportionately female, wouldn’t it make more sense to attract more men to the theater?—has to endure plays chosen according to chromosome rather than quality to highlight “women’s voices,” why doesn’t the theater community develop recruitment and training programs aimed at drawing women into the field of theater management, especially direction, where the gender gap really is suspicious. Choosing plays authored by women (which necessarily means not producing more deserving plays authored by men) is non-responsive to the alleged problem it supposed to address. But ah, it does further the narrative that women in America are “voiceless.” (I watch a lot of cable news, more than most of my theatrical colleagues, I’m pretty certain. Voiceless is one word I would not use to describe the female presence there.) Maybe not all of the theaters embracing this affirmative action exercise see it as a political and partisan project, but that’s what it primarily is. (Yes, it’s a marketing gimmick too. Nothing at all wrong with that.) Do you believe that the timing of this project is a coincidence? I do not.

I guarantee that more of the progressive/liberal creative communities will follow the D.C. lead, and similar gender-skewed projects will be launched, cheered by the news media, supported by grants from liberal-leaning foundations and more grants bullied out of not-so-left leaning corporations. This will be part of a culture-wide “remedial effort” to fix atrocious status of the horribly oppressed fairer sex in America, and to pound home the false message that America has stifled women’s voices for centuries, and is stifling them still….that all statistics and indications that women are advancing rapidly are male-promulgated propaganda, and that women are powerless, despite making up more than half of the electorate—you know, kind of like how the interests and tastes of D.C. theater-going women aren’t being served by the plays being produced, even though women choose to attend performances in twice the numbers of men. The mantra of “powerless” and “voiceless” will be pounded into the skulls and consciousness of Americans like “Tara!” echoes in Scarlet’s fevered brain, until early 2016, when they will be replaced by “Hillary! Hillary! Hillary! HILLARY!”

Mission accomplished.

What a lousy way to run a democracy.

40 thoughts on “Law vs. Ethics, The Cynical “War on Women,” And Stacking The Deck for Hillary

  1. Much as you may not be a religious guy, Jack, (which is fine, my big problem is with anti-theist bigots) you are increasingly sounding like the Biblical “voice crying out in the wilderness” imploring the people to return to the path of right while the ethical underpinnings of society crumble around them. The fact is that most folks think that it’s a given that they are decent people and their opinions can’t be wrong, and then identify themselves as members of some group that must also be decent and not wrong by nature, and those assumptions are simply fed farther if there has been some historic wrong perpetrated against that group and farther still if there is some characteristic of that group that is not easily hidden i.e. if one is a woman or person of color. It’s therefore easy for such folks to be fed the line that they are decent people of a decent group that would get farther if the white males weren’t keeping them down, and no further discussion or thinking is needed.

    Further, I wonder if there is simple laziness on the part of the press here, who have had essentially an eight-year coffee break under Obama and stand to have eight more years with Hilary, with no hard analysis or tough questioning needed, just a puff piece here and there. I submit that is the case, and that that laziness has spilled over into the general population. As such, it may indeed be a lousy way to run a republican democracy (small r, small d), but hey, how many times when popular votes have gone the wrong way has one side or the other trotted out the trope that “democracy is a sheep and two wolves voting on what’s for dinner?” On top of that, as you probably just watched, the current leadership is more than willing to bypass procedure and the rule of law in order to get its agenda done. with underwhelming outrage at this lawlessness.

    Democracy and liberty are gifts we only keep as long as we are willing to hold onto them and defend them. If we are simply willing to let ourselves be deceived, baited and bullied into a very narrow set of values with no tolerance for others, then I submit we have given up those gifts, and without much of a fight.

    • No one will be more surprised at the demise of democracy and liberty than the people who passively let it happen. No one will be less willing to suck it up and work at restoring the things that made democracy and liberty possible than those who passively let it happen.
      The only thing worse is being actively engaged in enabling the demise. Not just lazily taking the easy path, but actively working to promote lies to cover the damage. Partisan journalists are not simply lazy. They are too good at what they do for it to be mere laziness. If they were lazy they would be easier to defeat.
      Crying in the wilderness is a thankless job, but those who see what’s happening had better start crying louder and more convincingly. We may not be able to convince many people, but we can be influential in small ways and we need to be fearless. When we can see how it’s done then we can see how to counter it. Knowledge is power.

      • Agreed, but from their point of view if they don’t cheat and lie to the maximum the lying cheating enemy will outdo their decency and win. Victory has become more important than democracy. Until victory is less sweet or democracy less sour it will remain so. And both sides lose out.

    • I don’t think its a wilderness, I’m far from a lone voice (or the most forceful, eloquent, bold or influential) and I do think most people will stop being apathetic and apply critical thought if prompted enough. I also think that the market will eventually generate a thoughtful, critical, objective media presence—or at least something better than we have today. The low quality of journalism is a lynchpin for all of this.

      • You are much more optimistic than I am. I keep thinking the point has come when it can’t be ignored any longer, but it keeps getting worse and it keeps getting ignored. People keep getting fooled by tactics that are increasingly transparent and yet politicians continue to behave deplorably and the press keeps cranking up the cover up and obfuscate machine even while we can see it happen.
        I’m not sure there has ever been a thoughtful, critical, objective media presence, but it certainly is at an all time low. Partisan media has been around since the country was founded, but at least they once admitted it openly. Market forces don’t seem to work with media, although the internet might change that if it’s left alone to do what it does best.

      • I do. If you’ve dared to read the comments on yahoo and Huffington Post (something I wouldn’t recommend doing frequently lest you drive yourself wacky), it’s obvious that the readers are nothing but an echo chamber for the liberals who write there, and anyone who dares voice an objection gets mocked or shouted down. Increasingly the more conservative voices like Fox News (frequently simply dismissed as “Faux Noise”) are ignored, marginalized, and attacked. Andrew Cuomo’s comment about conservatives not being welcome in NY is simply the latest and most naked outbreak of a problem that’s been building up for the last four years. It used to be that most intolerance on the left at least draped itself in the language of diversity, inclusion, etc., and that ideological streaking was confined to partisan journalists who everyone knew had an agenda and what it was, but when those in the highest office reject the other side out of hand, we’ve moved way past the tipping point. I submit there is no way out save through the ballot box, those who talk of a second civil war or insurrection sound like gun nut survivalists, barricaded in Montana ready to shoot anything that comes near, and anyone who DOES do something that stupid will simply end up lying in a pool of his own blood. Unfortunately, between single women, people of color, gay people, and other perceived or manufactured victims, the Democratic party has created a coalition that can’t be beaten at the ballot box and whom you feel guilty for trying to beat at the ballot box, after all, we’re all at least reasonably compassionate and enlightened, right? The way is clear for Hilary in 2016, and if you’re planning a trip to the Big Apple, you better bring your voter registration card with you and be prepared to be turned away if it’s marked with an R.

        • ” . . . between single women, people of color, gay people, and other perceived or manufactured victims, the Democratic party has created a coalition that can’t be beaten at the ballot box”

          … if you say so

  2. I think the problem is, is that single women appear in general too deficit in their ability to detect a scoundrel. Whether the scoundrel is male or female is irrelevant.

    • Scoundrels are only interested in what they can get away with. They take decisions unburdened by ethical doubts. This makes them appear confident. Confidence attracts – both sexes to either sex.

    • I know and often endorse this theory of yours. Ive used it, too: break the system to expose its flaws and force major reforms. But I think it is ill-suited to jumbo jet passenger planes and nations.

      • And yet the people still put into power idiots and buffoons with more than 80% re-election rates. The number who benefit from a confiscatory system has long since reached critical mass, and those who don’t are largely to uninformed to know it.

        Only by bankrupting the system, and forcing an end to the largess can there be any hope of repairing the system.

        Not that I want the current system repaired. I long came to see a nation this divided as ungovernable from a large central seat.

        Easily within my lifetime, some state will tell the government to go pound sand, and we’ll be off to the races. I’ll end up wherever they set up a system closest to libertarianism.

        It won’t be the coasts or the North East. Or even the Midwest. Thankfully, I like Wyoming.

        • I like it too, and us Wyomingites aren’t easily pushed around. If you come and want to be free (and cold and probably hungry if you depend on food you can grow here) feel welcome.

          • If you come and want to be free (and cold and probably hungry if you depend on food you can grow here) feel welcome.
            I’d be there now if I didn’t hate the cold so much.

      • How about bullying back? I’ve found it very effective in court to shout over those who try to shout over or interrupt me rather than try to be well-mannered and just be quiet until they finish a rant. I see no reason for those of us opposed to the status quo not to go wild man and publish ugly cartoons or editorials full of profane language calling the current ass-in-chief out for what he is and his supporters out for what they are: moochers.

        • Civilisation is attacked by barbarism and must use supervaiing force to overcome it. So frequently stated here, that it passes without comment. It is false. Civilisation is maintained by agreement, if one side breaks the agreement the solution is to reforge the agreement not go to war.. The agreement is so much more valuable than any loss you may suffer that it is worth surrendering in order to get back to an agreed status. That can only work if the agreement is mutually beneficial and the only way that can happen is if all citizens protect, care for and work for every citizen – including specifically the losers. Libertarianism cannot work in any society. In widely separated populations who share very litttle of their lives, possibly. But not in any city we know of.. Isolated individuals are highly unproductive, learn little and slowly and are weak and cannot support a civilisation. Cities are strong, intelligent and rich – and can.

          I won’t say that often as it’s a distraction. Just so you know who I am. Plato, Hobbes, Marx and Kropotkin in, mish mashed together but with very heavy scepitism and modification – not any nation state I know of comes close. Rand and Stirner out, variants unacceptable. But anyone who threatens my Libertarian buddies or seeks in any way to limit their lunacy is an enemy. They are a civilisation’s crowning glory. As capable citizens they are in denial of duty, who tear up the agreement, produce little, cause endless trouble and convince each other that it is noble – and have a message that is popular and hard to counter. If we can carry them we can carry anyone. Go Screeching Randites! Just a personal position.

  3. This argument is also frequently heard from toddlers, when they are told they can’t stay up late to watch a TV show or go out for ice cream before dinner- “I can’t have what I want? Why do you hate me?”

    • Believe me, if we took some of these victim groups to the woodshed the way parents take whining toddlers to the woodshed and gave them the flogging they need we’d be in far better shape. Most politicians are too craven to do so.

      • First hero of fighting back hard – Michael Grimm (R-NY), who told a reporter who tried to ambush him that he would pitch him off a balcony or break him in half like a boy if he tried it again. He should have pulled a Dr. D. and just clouted him.

        • Steve, once again I don’t know how to get to square 1. A reporter is supposed to ask questions. Politiciians have many ways to avoid them. And many ways to penalise reporters who break agreements to be docile leeches (including banning them from press events). Going to violence in any degree only shows up the innate tyranny in that system.

  4. Jack
    You have articulated a concept that I have been trying to do for many years. What has stymied me has been the dismissive reactions among men and women when I have examined the issue of gender equity. In my mind, equity can only be measured when both genders make identical choices in life and everyone values the choices made equally.

    Feminists and politicians remind us incessantly of the differential in earnings statistics where women earn only a fraction of what a male makes. Such statistics never normalize the variable of choice. The SBA’s statistics show that more women than men are starting enterprises yet we continue to hear that few women are leading multi-national corporations. This too will come but it is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. There are few men that become CEO’s of multinational corporations either without them dedicating their lives to that achievement. To achieve such a rank women will have to do the same things that males do, and some are. Does it matter the size of the organization that a person leads or the fact that the individual has the power to make business decisions and lead the firm to prosperity. It seems to me that many of these female run start-ups may one day be multi-national corporations. That outcome is based 100% on the leader’s ability to execute a planned choice.

    We also reinforce the notion of female superiority in raising children when courts usually confer custody of children to the mother and the father is disproportionately relegated to the role of resource supplier. More often than not, fathers must prove that the mother is unfit to gain primary custody. Irrespective of the reason, if the father fails to meet his obligations he is subject to criminal prosecution yet the mother has a social safety net available to protect the interests of the child; a safety net she herself derives financial benefits. It is a rare occurrence that a mother is incarcerated for her failure to provide 50% of the needs of the child. Such practices often condemn the child to a life in poverty. For gender equity to occur both parents must be held financially responsible for the children.

    I do not see feminists rallying to be included in the selective service process. Even though there is no draft now, selective service registration is required for males who seek post-secondary education, educational grants and public employment – Soloman and Thurmond amendments. Recently, there have been efforts by women to be included in forward fighting units but the rationale is that without that such experience they cannot rise promotionally in the officer ranks. This is substantially different than wanting to be equal in terms of being cannon fodder. Why does this not fall under the category of disproportionate impact?

    I am struck by the need for a “Violence Against Women Act”. FBI statistics clearly show that males are far more likely to be seriously injured or killed by criminal activity. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “What difference does it make”. Such laws promote the idea that women are helpless creatures dominated by males. This is nonsense. Violence is violence no matter the gender, race or age of the victim or the perpetrator.

    Women’s rights advocates seem to take a Hobbesian view of males in our society. We are too often caricatured as bumbling buffoons or violent in the media always needing the sensible female to make us understand the error of our ways.

    I can only conclude that every demographic segment seeks to achieve greater economic and political power for their own ends. If equity in these areas is sought then it stands to reason that group seeking positive benefits must be willing to seek redress for others when social policies provide them greater economic and political power. I would hope that males will not adopt equivalent tactics and call out such policies as misandristic to force policy makers to choose between the gender stereotypes. But if taking the high road requires males be silent on these issues and just acquiesce to demands then calling out these policies and attitudes might be the only recourse.

    • Chris, to say I disagree would stretch the definition of the word. I can only conclude that you are honest but as oblivious to the massive scale of misogyny as a fish is of the ocean it swims in. Expecting anything but a twisted result from such a misshapen and diseased source as modern society is immoderate. Including use of dollar rate coparisons and CEO sex statistics. You are using a microscope when you need a macroscope. Again my comment is weightless criticism – exercise your axe muscles on it by all means but you need not pay any attention unless you want to. i’m fairly well known to be an idiot so not in the audience you aimed at.

  5. Regarding Wendy Davis: She divorced her second husband right after they finished paying off the loans for her law degree, which was roughly a decade after she became a practicing lawyer. The timing was probably coincidental. However, it’s monumentally stupid to lie about your history on the campaign trail, especially when the underlying truth is impressive enough on it’s own.

      • I wasn’t intentionally spinning. I was intending to correct “…promptly dumped as soon as she got her Harvard Law degree”. The fact that she rose from poverty to a law career followed by entering politics is good for her, even if she had help from her now ex husband.

          • As I understand it, the following is not disputed. Her mother was a poor single mother with multiple kids. At one point she herself was a poor single mother. She got educated and became a lawyer. That’s a rise.

            Working as a lawyer, she contributed to the family income. I think ‘had help’ is a fair rough description of it. Really, I just wanted to note that moving up out of poverty is generally a good thing to have on your record as a politician, even with the appropriate caveats. There was no need for her to juice up the story. I was not trying to minimize the level of assistance she received.

            The marriage lasted 16 years (plus 2 years between filing for divorce and finalizing, but I don’t think those should count). The loans lasted 10. The husband said it was ironic, but that they had been having problems prior. I’ll gladly drop “probably” in favor of “plausibly”, but since the husband has NOT claimed that she was just waiting until they were paid off in order to move on I don’t think it’s fair to harp on the timing without other proof that she was just using him for the schooling.

            I’m not a fan of the woman, since she abandoned her kids, and I have issues with that. However, it’s entirely plausible to me that the kids were better off without her in the family (which may reveal how little I think of her). Jack’s description made her sound even worse than she really is though.

            • The bottom line is that she was deceitful, ungrateful, and manipulative. The fact that they were having problems strongly suggests that she delayed doing anything to remove her meal ticket-sugar daddy until the debts were paid. (All married couples can say they were having problems.) The fact that the husband cares enough about her and their kids not to air dirty laundry in public now only shows that he’s an ethical man, and knows how to behave. She owes him, and displayed her gratitude by making his crucial contribution invisible, because it detracted from her false “narrative.” The fact that she was “at one point” a single mother just highlights the deceit—she intentionally implied that this was her steady status. In fact, she could not have done what she did as a single mother. She did what she did as a married mother, with a supportive husband, who was NOT poor, whom she now buries and refuses to give due credit to, because she wants to misrepresent her achievement.

              How much worse can it be?

                  • Hmm… leaving as soon as it’s paid for means she spent 10 years contributing to the finances of the family. Without knowing their respective incomes, it’s impossible to say how much. I can’t say whether she was a net contributor or a net drain, but it’s still better than leaving as soon as you no longer need the other person just to get by.

                  • Meant to include this above: It’s also probably better for your kids to leave them when they are an adult and a teenager than when they are 5 and 11. I could see that going either way though.

  6. I’m sorry Jack, but at some point, one has to admit that if the policy and ideology of a group cannot stand on its own two feet, but must rely on vitriol, slander, and bullying to gain adherents, then there’s probably something grossly wrong and unfair about the policies/ideology. I don’t know when we will be honest about this, but Leftism has jumped the shark.

    There was a day in age, where fair and visionary advocates fought for political equality for women, for minorities, etc. This was good. But once that political equality was gained (and it has been), there was still a subset that was too impatient to allow the market to adapt. This subset which has grown into the virulent Left, is appalling in it’s lack of logic and desire to go overboard.

    Their premise is that, if there are not EXACTLY equal outcomes, then political equality has not been achieved, this is utter fallacy. The market is slow moving (which is healthy), that women and blacks are not statistically reaching the same outcomes right now, does not mean they don’t have equality. It just means, that given the free market, some are successful, some are not. You’ve alluded to it above.

    So now, the mantra is: if you don’t believe in arbitrarily imposing on the system, equal outcomes, then you must not believe in equality. There can be, roughly put, 3 attitudes describing this:

    the 1st road, one in which minorities and women are second-class citizens and white males wield all political power and can impose that power unfairly on the free market to their own advantage.

    the 2nd road, one in which minorities and women are 1st class citizens and we have advanced to the point of acknowledging they should not be held out of the political system, nor should political power impose on the market unfairly to advantage any one subset of the greater community, and therefore the results of the free market ARE NOT UNFAIR but indicative of INDIVIDUAL CHOICES AND ACCEPTANCE OF ASSOCIATED CONSEQUENCES.

    the 3rd road, one which imposes political force on the free market to confer advantage on women and minorities, thusly creating the opposite scenario from the first road.

    Now, I would contend that our society HAS achieved that 2nd Road. AND GOOD FOR US. But the modern debate is now, between conservatives, who would maintain us on that 2nd road, and make reforms ONLY to keep us on course and leftists who would have us careen down the 3rd road. Yet, as the Leftists have the treacherous media on their side, the debate will ALWAYS be framed as though Leftist policies will keep us on the 2nd road (which they won’t) and Conservative ideas would put us back on the road of regression to the 1st option.

    It is perfidious and despicable. I’m sick of it. Inherently, AMERICANS know the policies they push are unfair and against the free market and violation of individual rights. The Leftists KNOW this, and that’s why they have to engage in the tactics they engage in. And its crap.

    • There seems to be enough evidence to conclude that it is counterproductive to attempt to coerce parity, whichever one of the “roads” (as Texagg so deftly defined) we are driving on. I may be looking at this from the bottom up but I have to distrust all rhetoric that divides people into arbitrary groups, labels them (from inside positively; from outside, not), invents needs and goals for each, and then pits them against one another.
      I protest! I did not join this game, this war; I will not fight in it. No one I respect will stand for it. The excuse is that grouping is convenient — for lawmaking, elections, hiring, popularity polls, marketing, brass rings ….. The truth is that it is convenient. Also lazy, mean and wrong.

      Or did Jack voice my thoughts rather more succinctly:
      “equity can only be measured when both genders make identical choices in life”
      in other words, it is unmeasurable, no?

      On the original subject: Doesn’t the ruling of the Appeals Court “the courts should not be asked to resolve” the matter say that this was a frivolous lawsuit to begin with?

      • Not frivolous. To be frivolous, it would have to fail to have a “good faith argument for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.” (Rule 3.1) They were trying to make new law here, which is fine. Just because the Court says, “Uh-uh, nice try, but we’re not willing to get into the cads breaking hearts biz” doesn’t mean the lawsuit was frivolous.

    • False logiic I think Tex? Unbiased system, slow acting market forces, equal participants, non-equal outcomes:as yet: This is only one sufficient description.. Bias against the female takes brutal and subtle forms from birth onwards. You call attention to some brutal ones that have been treated. You are right, that is good. But it doesn’t make the rest go away. Your ‘unbiased system’; is as a interim conclusion, insecure as it is not logically inescapable. While one porn publication or one disrespectful image appears in the press you cannot be certain of it being true. Given just the weight of that one subtle bias as it is (massive sexualised imagery of women) the premise is insecure. Rapid decay of misogynistic and abusive imagery and minor brutalities are not apparent to me. In fact I’d say they are growing. So how you know that market forces that work so quickly in other matters work slowly here I don’t know. How you argue that the minor brutalities like street harassment disappear once women can vote I don’t know, what’s the link to a market? The remainder of your argument relies on the wobbly interiim conclusions that there is no current bias and that historic bias has left only a legacy which will diminish in effect rapidly.

      I don’t disagree wiith your conclusion, because justice must be seen to be done. Not because there is no injustice.

      The more likely true argument is more like Biased system, quick acting markets, equal particpants and non-equal outcomes. Therefore fix the system bias not rebias it internally. That your interim conclusion (that there is no bias against women) and final conclusion (that there should be no positive discrimination) are correct (I think) is accidental.

  7. As for Hillary. I have not yet heard a Democrat yet say why Hillary will be a good national leader. When pressed, they have nothing. The only argument they fall back on is “well, the Republicans don’t have any real contender”.

    So the argument is “Hillary is going to win because Hillary is going to win”. Which is crap. Our media which won’t give decent republicans the time of day (because they would be real threats to their agenda) stacks the deck incessantly. Any number of Governors (even given their occasional flaws) have exactly the leadership experience, managerial experience, and UNIFYING attitudes that Presidents are supposed to have. But no, they say one thing that can be pounced on and that’s all the media needs to flay them alive and destroy them on the national scene.

    But Hillary? No. All the shit she’s been involved in and her only tie to any executive experience is being married to a former President… come on. Yet she’s the darling of the King Makers. When it boils down to it, the Lefties don’t run for anything (other than their own power) but that, being unpopular, they build their stances based on running against stuff and vilification of those they run against.

    Hell, Barack Obama wasn’t elected because he was Barack Obama… he was elected because he wasn’t Bush. As far as I can tell, the 2016 race will boil down again to running against “Bush” and building energy based on pure hatred and division of this nation.

    Fuck it. Have Democrats ever run on unifying ideas? or has division of the country been their mantra since Secessionism?

  8. Once more I feel impelled to make some protest against a tide of error but barely know where to begin. The Presidency of the United States is the most powerful politiical and influential position in the world and the idea that lies, deceit, misrepresentation and chicanery by any side is hard even for a foreigner, like me, to bear. But I would like to point out two things.

    Because of your wonderful system of government it may not matter as much who is president but how did they get there. As I’ve understood it from commentators over the years it’s the people that matter. Critical commentators I think this blog population would approve of, I can’t remember the names but there have been several popularised in the UK, say IIRC the important factors are the chicanery and lies and calculated manipulations that render the people partially cynical and apathetic and stupefied and satiated with crud. With the people wide awake and committed no great harm can befall in your lovely system. But with a tyrant placed into office by powers unseen and unknown because the votes of cynics and defeatists can be bought with campaign money and press power and pork funding sourced from stolen money from the tax take which is itself differentially stolen from others… the danger becomes rather real perhaps? Not so much the risk of overt tyranny, but the risk that the system is hollowed out and no longer works. “Government by the moneyed interest blocks, of everything, for the interest blocks” if I may ring the alarm bell rather rudely. Regular swaps between Corporate interest blocks and minority interest blocks would not satisfy the Founders if I’ve not been deluded for some years? I’m sure I’ve read similar statements many times from the US recently, quite possibly on this blog. But, I don’t see anyone in comments above making any reference to the notion directly, as in democracy issues knocking the women vs whoever issues out of the park. So I worry. I also worry that my comment is out of line. For this paragraph I’m judging largely from former comments on this blog and what I read and see, so I’m not attempting weighty comment just IMAO with a question mark, or twenty.

    Secondly, the election of a woman to POUS or any other top political world position should not satisfy any true women’s movement in the democratic West by a ‘filler to gap’ ratio of about 1 to 10,000. That is a female president does not even register on the monitor of freedom vs tyranny on this subject. The horrendous weight of misogyny should have women up in arms. It’s not so much a case of let it burn as Arise Sisters – and go on sex strike, for about 400 years at current rate of progress until the saps wake up or the population goes to zeo. Of course as a bloke it’s not my battle. But I do wonder at the ‘strange behaviour of the dog in the night’ – as Sherlock Holmes said. By which I mean, sisters, why the deafening silence? That is. relative silence compared to the size of the problem. I do try to be an ally, despite all the differences between the women and me – and there are many. Some of the comments here make me flinch physically. i’ll try to address them one by one but, man….!

    Naturally I’m a even more loner lone voice than Jack of nil political compatibility and lower than zero intellectual status here and, to boot, a citizen of a clearly inferior nation (i positively claim that this is the case) and I don’t expect attention or any response, but I hope dialling in a random number from time to time keeps the blog on it’s toes, mildly. Especially when I feel like it. And I do. I may well offend, so knock my statement to smithereens if you care to waste the time, it may make you feel better. Your friendly and smiling opponent, yours truly. B

  9. On your main thesis again, I am sorry to disagree, and how.

    I agree entirely with your conclusion, for loss-lead semi-professional companies and community theatre goers, and theatre makers, they have more than enough material working from inspired artists of both sexes to last any company for a hundred years. I hope you agree that art like science, history and much else is sexless. I’m not a supporter of ‘herstory’ as opposed to history or herscience opposed to science. Two of the items I fall out with the sisters about. And since play-writers at that level are cheap and hungry for success, its a wide open door to women writers. Performing commercially viable plays is about the audience not the writer. Major commercial money spinners are about the money..

    Advances are being made – hooray. That you sound, just a tad, hen-pecked is a very good sign. People should hate power. When you hate them as much as they hate you – that’s equality. Enjoy.

    But no misogyny? In the theatre (in my knowledge in UK) or in the country? There we differ. A bit. Quite a lot actually, You might say direct opposites in fact.

    I blame the audiences, and the money. And the spotlights.

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