Afternoon Ethics Pick-Me-Up, 8/14/2018: Fools, Knaves And Hypocrites

Good afternoon!

1. Unethical tweet of the week, right wing nut division: Jerry Falwell Jr, who heads Liberty University. The acorn that didn’t fall far from the tree tweeted:

Are there any grownups w/ integrity left in the DOJ? When I was a kid, I watched Repubs join Dems to force Nixon out. Now Dems won’t join Repubs to lock up Comey, Lynch, Ohr, Rosenstein, Strzok, , & maybe even despite damning evidence!

Here’s an ethics tip for college age students and their parents: if the leader of a school has this tenuous a grip on basic Constitutional law, pay tuition to some place, any place, else.

2. Then we have the left-wing Pro Publica, which is trying to fuel the desperate Democratic efforts to find dirt on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and thus issued this…

3.  Which political party is more deranged today? Well, an  Ipsos public opinion survey claims that 43 % of self-identified Republicans agreed that “the President should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.”  Only 36% of surveyed Republicans disagreed with giving a President the power to shut down news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post.

First of all, this primarily raises legitimate concerns regarding the educational level and intelligence quotient of Americans.  99% of those polled could advocate repealing the First Amendment, just as a majority could proclaim its belief that the national language ought to be Finnish. It’s not happening. Professor Turley’s take-away is that “Trump has truly and irrecoverably changed the party and much of the country . . . and, in this case, not for the better.” Baloney. The fact that journalists have exposed themselves as being partisan operatives uninterested in conveying facts to the public in a fair and unbiased manner has changed the public perception of the value of the news media, and not for the better. Whether the change is “irrecoverable” depends on whether American journalism sees the dangerous error of its path over the past several decades, and becomes trustworthy again.

4. More tales of the double standard. Just as anti-white racism is apparently acceptable to the New York Times, based on its stubborn defense of new editor Sarah Jeong,  so the #MeToo movement seems to have problems accepting the principle that sexual harassment is unacceptable when the harasser is a woman, and the victim is a man.

The New York Times, ironically, has this disturbing story: An 11-month Title IX investigation found Professor Avital Ronell, a world-renowned female professor of German and Comparative Literature at NYU, guilty of sexually harassing a male graduate student, Nimrod Reitman. The harassment was both physical and verbal, and  “sufficiently pervasive to alter the terms and conditions of Mr. Reitman’s learning environment.” NYU suspended Professor Ronell for the coming academic year.

Reitman says that the professor sexually harassed him for three years, and he shared dozens of emails with the Times in which she referred to him as “my most adored one,” “Sweet cuddly Baby,” “cock-er spaniel,” and “my astounding and beautiful Nimrod.”  His account of pervasive sexual assault and stalking would fit right into a typical Harvey Weinstein episode. From the Times story:

The problems began, according to Mr. Reitman, in the spring of 2012, before he officially started school. Professor Ronell invited him to stay with her in Paris for a few days. The day he arrived, she asked him to read poetry to her in her bedroom while she took an afternoon nap, he said.

“That was already a red flag to me,” said Mr. Reitman. “But I also thought, O.K., you’re here. Better not make a scene.

Then, he said, she pulled him into her bed.

“She put my hands onto her breasts, and was pressing herself — her buttocks — onto my crotch,” he said. “She was kissing me, kissing my hands, kissing my torso.” That evening, a similar scene played out again, he said.

He confronted her the next morning, he said.

“I said, look, what happened yesterday was not O.K. You’re my adviser,” he recalled in an interview.

…In the semesters that followed, Mr. Reitman said he was expected to work with Professor Ronell, often at her apartment, during lengthy work sessions nearly every weekend. Professor Ronell frequently detailed her affection and longing for him, according to emails from her that Mr. Reitman provided to The New York Times.

“I woke up with a slight fever and sore throat,” she wrote in an email on June 16, 2012, after the Paris trip. “I will try very hard not to kiss you — until the throat situation receives security clearance. This is not an easy deferral!” In July, she wrote a short email to him: “time for your midday kiss. my image during meditation: we’re on the sofa, your head on my lap, stroking you [sic] forehead, playing softly with yr hair, soothing you, headache gone. Yes?”

In her submission to the Title IX office, Professor Ronell said she had no idea Mr. Reitman was so uncomfortable until she read the investigators’ report. Well, tough. Louis C.K. said that he had no idea that masturbating in front of women made them uncomfortable. The conduct described in the Times article is blatant sexual harassment; it isn’t a close call.

And yet we read this:

Soon after the university made its final, confidential determination this spring, a group of scholars from around the world, including prominent feminists, sent a letter to N.Y.U. in defense of Professor Ronell. Judith Butler, the author of the book “Gender Trouble” and one of the most influential feminist scholars today, was first on the list.

“Although we have no access to the confidential dossier, we have all worked for many years in close proximity to Professor Ronell,” the professors wrote in a draft letter posted on a philosophy blog in June. “We have all seen her relationship with students, and some of us know the individual who has waged this malicious campaign against her…We testify to the grace, the keen wit, and the intellectual commitment of Professor Ronell and ask that she be accorded the dignity rightly deserved by someone of her international standing and reputation,” the professors wrote.

This is, you will note, a classic endorsement of the pernicious “King’s Pass,” the rationalization that holds that special people should be able to get away with conduct that lesser lights would be punished severely for.

In a recent post, I discussed how the concept of hypocrisy was frequently misunderstood. This is hypocrisy.

5. It’s the second and third accuser that get you. Deputy DNC Chairman and candidate for Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison  was recently accused of abuse by a former girlfriend. Then, last week, the son of Ellison’s ex-girlfriend Karen Monahan wrote a lengthy Facebook post saying that he saw a video of Ellison grabbing his mother and swearing at her in a bedroom. Another woman, Amy Alexander, spoke out in 2006, accusing Ellison of verbally abused her while they were having an affair. She also said he grabbed and pushed her during an argument. Now Jeff Kolb, a city councilman in a Minneapolis suburb, has revealed a 911 call that backs Alexander’s account.

The primary for the Attorney General nomination is today, and the timing of the accusations are certainly suspicious. It is also fair to say that the mainstream media interest in this development has been tepid at best. Former Bush press Secretary Ari Fleischer tweeted,

“It’s great to be the DNC. If Ellison were a Republican, the press would have knocked over the doors of the RNC demanding a statement. But the DNC’s co-chairman? No comment from the DNC. No feeding frenzy from the press.”

Conservative blogger John Hinderaker, referencing Ellison’s previous embrace of Nation of Islam demagogue Louis Farrakan, writes,

“Will Minnesota’s Democrats vote to make a far-left, bigoted, Jew-hating socialist who has abused multiple women, by their accounts, the Democrats’ nominee for Attorney General? In all probability, yes. That won’t tell us anything about Ellison, but it will tell us a great deal about today’s Democratic Party.”

What this episode tells me about the Democratic Party is that it won’t dare nominate a male candidate for President in 2020, because any man will be a sitting duck for a #MeToo hit job.

As for a female candidate..see #4 above.

30 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Social Media, Workplace

30 responses to “Afternoon Ethics Pick-Me-Up, 8/14/2018: Fools, Knaves And Hypocrites

  1. dragin_dragon

    This is almost a ‘gimme’. We have the new ‘face’ of the Democratic Party, a Socialist who out-Socialists Bernie Sanders or some one who outright LIES about her DNA makeup. Either or both. Oh, wait…one’s to young. Well, that’s that. Congratulations Elizabeth…unless Pelosi runs. Oh, God, we ARE doomed.

  2. Chris Marschner_

    I put zero faith in polls that do not allow me to evaluate the methodology. I bet I could easily find 43 out of 100 population specific Americans that will agree with any sort of nonsense. And, if I am careful and randomly select a different hundred persons from say a Constitutional scholars club then the outcome will probably be radically different.

    Most surveys are poorly constructed such that the prompt can be interpreted differently among respondents. Additionally, surveys often get gut reactions not necessarily a thoughtful one.

    Polls and surveys usually fail to accurately gauge public sentiment except in the broadest of terms. Ask those same R’s if Fox should be shutdown if they engage in bad behavior and then I bet they will start asking “what is meant by bad behavior” or what do you mean by news outlets.

    The fact is, shutting down news media outlets is exactly what FB, et al are doing with supposed “fake news”. Mueller obtained indictments against “News” outlets albeit they are of questionable Russian origin.

    The question did not say American News outlets. Hence the problem with that survey.

    • Chris Marschner_

      I looked into the metbodology and it is not entirely random sampling. All of the 1000+ respondents had opted into joining an online database (panel) from that they culled out x numbers of respondents to reflect demographics of the American Community Survey (which is an extrapolated sample) which has its own sampling errors. Then it establishes a “credibility” value for each political party and independent particpant. Every time one “calibrates” responses it creates the distinct possibility of confirmation bias affecting the calibration. Such calibrations have NO objective measurement tool.

      One question was do you believe the press has a liberal bias. Low and behold a plurality of R’s said yes while 88% of D’s said no. So who is right and who is wrong? Surveys evaluate emotional responses not thoughtful responses and are worthless.

  3. Chris Marschner_

    Regarding #4
    Not only is this hypocrisy it is smacks of misandry by attempting to smear the student.
    What is not mentioned is that in another discussion (WMAL Larry O Connor show) it was reported that the professor was a lesbian and the student was gay. This information, assuming true, suggests that we have ordinal rankings of sinners. Gay male complainants fall below gay females. One does not need a survey to assess that the signatories of the letter will be biased against men always. This may not necessarilly be a kings pass rationalization if all the signatories are female professors. I cannot assert that as fact because the info does not tell me the gender mix.

    • Other Bill

      That’s really interesting, Chris. Thanks for that tidbit. It makes a great deal of sense and explains the guy’s heightened angst. Her emails reminded me of reading “Death in Venice.” She seemed to be channeling Thomas Mann obsessing over a young, blond, Polish prince.

  4. Isaac

    “Soon after the university made its final, confidential determination this spring, a group of scholars from around the world, including prominent feminists…”

    Tribesmen closing ranks around one of their own.

    Oh, and just what wicked behavior does ProPublica expect Kavanaugh to be up to while out in public at a baseball game? Picking his nose?

  5. Glenn Logan

    Slightly off topic, but I have to leave it somewhere. At first, I was sure this was a parody.

    Sadly, no.

    • The authors of that little bit of propaganda can BITE ME.

      • Edward

        They can bite me too. I worked and earned everything I have and I have no guilt. I didn’t have the benefit of affirmative action when I was looking for a job. I’m not usually sensitive to anything said against white people; I just shrug it off, but, this white privilege narrative is BS. I can’t believe some of the crap concepts that have arisen over the past few years. For example: cultural appropriation, white privilege, etc.

      • Glenn Logan

        I can’t figure out how we are supposed to “cure” guilt. More importantly, however, I refuse to have guilt about something I didn’t do, didn’t create, and have never knowingly taken advantage of. The idea that we should feel guilt because the “system” is “stacked in favor” of white, cisgendered people is beyond bizarre.

        Just like an African-American or Latino-American didn’t get to choose his race, I didn’t get to choose mine. You’d think that would be a wash, but apparently in 2018 America, it’s something to be ashamed of, but only if you’re white, cisgendered non LGBTWQYIZEUIIZTTTY@$5^99.

        I refuse to be ashamed or guilty. Full stop. If that makes me racist, then I’m a happy one with zero guilt, zero shame, and zero interest in changing a single damned thing.

        But maybe BITE ME was all I needed to say, too. However, I am incapable of brevity, so…

        • You took the long way around to get to the exact (almost quoted) meaning of my BITE ME comment.

          Sometimes things need to be spelled out. Good explication.

        • (Please excuse the bold way I write and express myself).

          GL writes: I can’t figure out how we are supposed to “cure” guilt. More importantly, however, I refuse to have guilt about something I didn’t do, didn’t create, and have never knowingly taken advantage of. The idea that we should feel guilt because the “system” is “stacked in favor” of white, cisgendered people is beyond bizarre.

          Notice how confused you are. It’s normal. ‘You’ have been attacked for decades and you had no defense. The capacity to defend yourself was taken from you. It was a process.

          A definition of ‘white guilt’ is needed. What it means is psychological susceptibility to guilt, and guilt that is wielded by another. It is a tool and a weapon. Can they really tell you what it is wielded against? They say this and that. In fact they say anything. But they do not operate from idea, rather they operate from emotion and sentiment. Find the ideas to defeat this guilt-slinging.

          You did create *it*. You did indeed! What *you* created was your physical self and the culture of Europe. You either recognize that, or you surrender that recognition. But you did have a part in that. And that should be, and will be again a source of pride. Until that day comes, you will be asked to cower. And demanded to cower if you resist. It is a game, clearly, but one with real consequences.

          Just like an African-American or Latino-American didn’t get to choose his race, I didn’t get to choose mine. You’d think that would be a wash, but apparently in 2018 America, it’s something to be ashamed of, but only if you’re white, cisgendered non LGBTWQYIZEUIIZTTTY@$5^99.

          Latinos (I speak as one) did indeed create themselves. They are responsible for their creations. They must assume responsibility for them. We are also responsible, in the historical long-run, for what we are in a physical sense. Culture, ideas, religious values, our metaphysics: these function in time and through time and they contribute to the creation of the physical person, in time. Whites and Europeans have their *creations*, Blacks and Latinos have theirs. They are distinct. Not the same. Different. Very different.

          Jealousy and envy — ressentiment! — have to be understood here. As long as *you* are susceptible, they will exploit you. Once you end that, they will shrink away!

          I refuse to be ashamed or guilty. Full stop. If that makes me racist, then I’m a happy one with zero guilt, zero shame, and zero interest in changing a single damned thing.

          That is the first step. Then comes the restructuring of the intellectual foundations.

    • The Race-Realist responds to “Whitey” in ‘How Can I Cure My White Guilt?’

      Whitey writes: I’m riddled with shame. White shame. This isn’t helpful to me or to anyone, especially people of color. I feel like there is no “me” outside of my white/upper middle class/cisgender identity. I feel like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.

      Unriddle yourself, you dumb c*%t. The cure is simple and yet hard of attainment. Because it has to do with the recovery of white pride. You must understand how brutally white guilt is used as a psychological tool, and you must defeat it, internally. You will also have to learn to strike out against those who use this dark psychological tool against you. And you will have to see how it is being used to undermine European and European-derived civilization. What is now happening is mega-event in world history. This is an open attack and must be seen and understood as such. If you do not defeat it, you will be lost.

      I consider myself an ally. I research proper etiquette, read writers of color, vote in a way that will not harm P.O.C. (and other vulnerable people). I engage in conversations about privilege with other white people. I take courses that will further educate me. I donated to Black Lives Matter. Yet I fear that nothing is enough. Part of my fear comes from the fact that privilege is invisible to itself. What if I’m doing or saying insensitive things without realizing it?

      Stop considering yourself ‘an ally’. Ally yourself with your own people, not with other people who do not mean you well, nor with the structures of power that stand behind these social manipulations. Discover what you — really — should be allied with. It is not what government or business or the academy is telling you to ally with.

      Begin to realize within yourself at the most basic level that to recover America is to recover America from a rising demographic. Come to an understanding that *demography is destiny*. You either will assert yourself and live, or cower and die. It is that simple.

      Cancel the *courses* which are nothing more than training camps by Marxists to weaken you and eat away at your strength and your power. Learn to fight back, psychologically and intellectually, against them. Defeat them with ideas. And if you are bullied, emotionally, psychologically or physically, understand that power is really about power. You will either (re-) claim your power or you won’t.

      Donate to BLM!?! Are you nuts? Donate to the people and groups who are working to educate *our people*.

      Another part of it is that I’m currently immersed in the whitest environment I’ve ever been in. My family has lived in the same apartment in East Harlem for four generations. Every school I attended, elementary through high school, was minority white, but I’m now attending an elite private college that is 75 percent white. I know who I am, but I realize how people perceive me and this perception feels unfair.

      I guess that is part of your problem, eh? Instead of seeing it and feeling it as some sort of burden, see it as a blessing. Learn (relearn) to see segregation as a good thing. Good for you, good for them.

      I don’t talk about my feelings because it’s hard to justify doing so while people of color are dying due to systemic racism and making this conversation about me would be again centering whiteness. Yet bottling it up makes me feel an existential anger that I have a hard time channeling since I don’t know my place. Instead of harnessing my privilege for greater good, I’m curled up in a ball of shame. How can I be more than my heritage?

      Oh for the love of Heaven! They really did get their hooks in you, huh? Wow. Well, those hooks and barbs and spines and daggers can be removed and you can heal. It is an *internal decision* that you will have to make, but once made — everything falls into place.

      Smash Cultural Marxism!

    • Cannie

      Ugh!! What level of indoctrination does it take for a person to actually think this way? I can’t imagine. I have a coworker that lives in a semi-urban area express guilt because she does not have a BLM sign in her yard as many of her neighbors do…and I thought that was borderline insanity…

    • Cannie

      Ugh!! What level of indoctrination does it take for a person to actually think this way? I can’t imagine. I have a coworker that lives in a semi-urban area express guilt because she does not have a BLM sign in her yard as many of her neighbors do…and I thought that was borderline insanity…

  6. PennAgain

    #bite me! (?)

    • Oh, I think a hashtag trivializes the sentiment. Lets not, IMHO.

      🙂

      (Love the comments you have made recently, Penn. I have learned a lot about places and things I did not know)

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