Unethical Quote Of The Week: Fred Guttenberg…And An Integrity Test For Everyone Else

“Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad. He pulled his hand back, turned his back to me and walked away. I guess he did not want to deal with the reality of gun violence.”

—–Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the Parkland shooting victims, on Twitter, trying to execute a disgraceful and transparent “gotcha!” to impugn SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

Sorry, Fred, but I know my Presidential history, and if a stranger offers his hand to me, especially in a hostile environment, my mind flashes back to when Leon Czolgosz used the ploy to assassinate President McKinley. That would be my reflection on “the reality of gun violence.” Of course, I don’t know that Judge Kavanaugh is a student of Presidential shootings, but I also don’t see any reason why “I’m Jaime Guutenberg’s dad” should have meant anything to him at all. It wouldn’t to me. Supreme Court designates are  required to have memorized the names of every shooting victim now?

The entire hearing where this occurred looked like a particularly badly-directed scene from an amateur production of “The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade.” People were dressed up in costumes and screaming; Democratic Senators were grandstanding. Then a complete stranger comes up and offers his hand to the target of all of this hate and commotion.  The fact that Kavanaugh was wary well of his wisdom and judicial restraint.

Anyone who cites this obvious set-up as a relevant or substantive reflection on Kavanaugh’s character or fitness for teh Supreme Court has abandoned all shreds of fairness and integrity, and should be treated accordingly.

Let me be more specific: anyone who criticizes Kavanaugh for this is an asshole.

Take names.

68 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Fred Guttenberg…And An Integrity Test For Everyone Else

  1. I saw the video and I’m surprised by how restrained security was about the episode. I’ve seen private security teams protecting billionaires, and while they are equally professional, they were also a lot more firm on physically removing the perceived threat.

    Then again, I’m sure there were multiple layers of security and the possibility of anything happening inside the hearing chambers was already mitigated.

  2. What response would have been appropriate? “Hi Fred. Of course. A pleasure to meet you. Nice Bible. I’ve read it. How’s the printing press business these days? Not so good with lasers and all, huh?”

  3. So the thesis of Fred Guttenberg’s argument is what?

    That if Nikolas Cruz is convicted, let alone sentenced to death, the Supreme Court should not, under any circumstances, disturb that judgment?

    Would it be ethical for the Supreme Court to overturn a death sentence against Nikolas Cruz?

    would it be ethical for the Supreme Court to overturn a murder conviction against Nikolas Cruz?

  4. This happening and being reported as news notches “fake news” up to a new level. This is “manufactured news.” A staged event is reported by the news media as being significant.

    Meanwhile, back at impeachment central, a book by Bob Woodward is being used as grounds for impeachment this week. We need a name for the condition caused by exposure to Trump Derangement Syndrome. “Trump Derangement Syndrome Proximity Exhaustion?”

  5. Gutenberg tweeted something to the effect of
    – on my way to Washington to stop Kavanuagh.

    He was invited by Diane Feinstein. For what purpose other than to create a grandstanding event?

    • Sen Feinstein may be trying to capture some of the glory on the Great Guttenberg Snub, but this is posted on her Twitter page/feed:

      This is just more kabuki theater. What was Justice Kavanaugh supposed to do? He probably saw it as a political attack or opportunistic ploy to berate him for Guttenberg’s loss. He perceived it as the ploy it was and acted appropriately. Otherwise, he would still be shaking that guy’s hand.

      jvb

      • Looks to me as if Kavanaugh was completely mystified by a stranger coming up to him and extending his hand. Before he (Kavanaugh) could even make an attempt to figure out who this guy was and what he was doing, the security people pulled Guttenberg away and Kavanaugh was ushered away in the opposite direction. Kavanaugh had no time to comprehend what was going on, never mind respond. A pathetic set up. Pathetic.

        • That looks to be the case, both from the visuals and just from the assumption that even if Kavanaugh had any inkling who Guttenberg was (unlikely), he doesn’t seem to be the type to be gauche enough to snub the man rather than shake his hand (and give him a kind word if he did recognize him.)

    • We were in Buffalo this Summer. A historical reenactor at Forest Lawn cemetery (where we went to see the grave of Millard Fillmore) discussed the unfortunate assassination of McKinley during the Exposition and she pronounced the name “tzol-goltz”.

  6. The guy has no other accomplishments or purpose than to say he’s someone’s dad? My first instinct would be to say, ‘good for you.’ Dads wearing a tee that says “Jane’s dad” is just bragging and you humor them at the company picnic. Why would anyone think he could take someone down like a western gunslinger? Or should? Character assassination is not cool and won’t attract a lot of votes.

  7. I have been at professional events and saw speakers being tugged this way and that by hosts and handlers as they work to ensure maximum exposure while preventing attendees hogging the speaker.

    Many times, while at such events others have walked up and demanded the attention of someone with whom I was engaged in conversation. I find that behavior boorish but nothing is worse than the person to whom I was speaking turn their attention away and leave me standing there in midsentence.

    I suspect Kavanaugh was being ushered around and Guttenberg inappropriately inserted himself into the choreographed entry into the chamber.

  8. A propos of absolutely nothing related to this post, I thought i would share a bit of my good fortune from today:

    I just met George Will,the columnist and commentator, in a Houston Whataburger* of all places. What a gentleman. He took a few minutes to chat with your lowly correspondent. He was gracious, charming, and (apparently) very hungry because he was eating in a Whataburger.

    jvb

    *To the uninitiated, Whataburger is kind of Texas tradition (why, I have no idea), a fast food joint along the lines of McDonald’s or Burger King, but more regional. Not great food, but in a pinch, it is a passable alternative to the others, unless you are passing it by, which would mean you just passed it. Ed.

        • Hah. Well, years ago, a buddy of mine was pitched seven Whataburger franchises in Phoenix and he was very intrigued. (You know how lawyers always think they will make great business people.) The price per store was a fraction of what a McDonald’s franchise costs. Ultimately, he found this to be the case not because the price was a good deal, it was because a Whatburger store makes only a fraction of what a McDonald’s makes.

    • As a loyal Texican, I must call you on on casting aspersions upon that Texas icon, Whataburger.

      Where were you, when Hurricane Harvey laid low our fellow citizens? Whataburger was giving away food.

      Where were YOU, foul correspondent, when Mel Tillis needed a job? Whataburger let him be spokesman, despite (and because of) a prominent stutter.

      Where were you, oh arbiter of beef, when the brave heroes defended the Alamo from those who would remove the Centopath from its hallowed place before the gates? Whataburger stood resolute against the heresy.

      Where were you, snob of burgers, when Santa Anna besieged that sacred citadel? Whataburger would have been there… they just had not been invented yet.

      /snark

      Whataburgers must be a learned taste: I think they injected liquified grilled beef into us Texans as children, snuck (sneaked?) in with other vaccinations, so that it tastes good to natives.

      We also like the shakes: right now, they have a limited edition Salted Caramel that is to die for…

      McDonalds is the pits…

  9. “Put out my hand to introduce myself as Jaime Guttenberg’s dad.”

    The slippery wording used here suggests that he did not, in fact, even do this. Only that he put out his hand, intending to introduce himself as such, but didn’t.

    Regardless, Kavanaugh is a Supreme Court justice, not a lawmaker. He doesn’t, and shouldn’t, influence gun-control laws one way or another. Activist-dad is being used as a prop at, I mean, protesting at, the wrong venue.

  10. In my humble opinion…

    I think the extremes of the political left want to actively destroy anything that as the possibility to stand in their way of achieving their political goals of absolute political domination in the United States. If you want to call what the left and social justice warriors are doing an active conspiracy to destroy the ability to enforce the rule of law and the Constitution and therefore destroy the republic, I will no longer disagree with you. I think the extreme left and social justice warriors want to essentially demonize, attack, and virtually criminalize anything that can be considered “Conservative” and anything that opposes or has the potential to oppose them in the eyes of the public.

    Since the Supreme Court has the ultimate final say in all things related to the law and the Constitution anyone on the Supreme Court that might be considered to be in opposition to the extreme left ideology and social justice warriors is going to be psychological, ethical, and moral targets. They are going to pull out all the stops to entrap Supreme Court Justices and judges in lower courts that they don’t like. Any Supreme Court Justice or judge that is perceived as being pro constitution in general and therefore pro 2nd Amendment, or not actively pro-abortion should be looking over their shoulder for entrapment setups from the extreme political left and social justice warriors. They should watch very carefully for anything that could possibly be twisted into a social justice warrior smears or anything that could possibly be used as a future conflict of interest and that includes innocently shaking the hand of any person on the planet. I believe their families should be very wary. The goal is to disable the ability of any opposition to publicly oppose them.

    Their goals and tactics are becoming less and less subtle but it’s quite clear to me that it’s Game On!

    If this comment makes me appear paranoid, so-be-it.

    • Zoltar finally cracks: I think the extremes of the political left want to actively destroy anything that as the possibility to stand in their way of achieving their political goals of absolute political domination in the United States. If you want to call what the left and social justice warriors are doing an active conspiracy to destroy the ability to enforce the rule of law and the Constitution and therefore destroy the republic, I will no longer disagree with you.

      Well that didn’t take long! You’re one of us now!

      ::: Russian kiss on the cheek :::

      Now, the question is What is The Republic?

      • (sigh)

        Name ONE country that does more good in the world than America. Name ONE country that tries to live up to their founding documents, if they have any.

        America has faults. But we are the best thing going ON THIS PLANET.

          • My response to progressive propaganda is BITE ME. A so called ranking by socialists (Norway IS a socialist country) holds no water.

            My response to YOU, my dear Alizia, was based upon your long standing criticism of America. Yes, I try to read most of your posts. You have some good points. However, the constant focus on how bad we are gets old.

            We admit to failures. We also are better than anyone else, full stop. Objectively so.

            • But I have never, not once, used that sort of general description as you just have. And you are mis-interpreting my criticism. What I have written against is the improper and deeply unethical (immoral) use of war-powers and the destructive effect this has on the social body of America. I am also deeply critical of government and corporate actors, and that is totally different from a criticism of individual, or even collective, Americans.

              I use as a primary example the post-9/11 invasion of Iraq which has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths and tremendous misery. The misery suffered there is 100,000 times greater than that of 9/11. Why, I ask, do you devote no energy and time to looking into this? Within the context of ‘Constitutional values’ these actions are unconscionable, and destructive, and you and everyone els should be able to make a clear statement about them.

              One can speak a great deal about America’s own (that is, the American government or power structure’s own) undermining of Constitutional guarantees and values with the post-9/11 legislation.

              Also, I do not speak of ‘America’ as a singularity. It was not ever intended to be such. It was supposed to be a confederation of sovereign states. I turn back to the notion of the individual, and the individual in his or her region or state. Advertising and propaganda have created this false term of a singular America that does this, thinks this, desires this, feels this: false!

              My interest is in redefining a critical Conservative platform and to challenge (what I term) so-called Conservatives. My conservatism does not exclude alignment with *the people* in the sense of the populous, and neither does it exclude social programs if they are sound and rebound to the benefit of the nation (such as education and other things).

              I do not accept the strict separations between so-termed Left and so-termed Right. I think that is a false division.

              I did a 5 second search to find a page where the superiority of *America* is questioned. If you wish to understand how the Alternative or New Right sees *America*, I do suggest Pierre Krebs. That is, if you want to keep up on philosophical-political thinking.

              • What I have written against is the improper and deeply unethical (immoral) use of war-powers and the destructive effect this has on the social body of America. I am also deeply critical of government and corporate actors, and that is totally different from a criticism of individual, or even collective, Americans.

                When did I assert that you were critical of individual Americans? Yes, the entire terrorism phase of our history is problematic, at least. What would you have done instead? We chose to fight them in their own countries.

                Irony: I agree about the destructive effect on the social body of America.

                Why, I ask, do you devote no energy and time to looking into this?

                Why would you assume I have not? Again, America makes mistakes. Iraq was interested in creating misery on our soil. So was the Taliban. We visited it upon them instead. Poke the sleeping bear, and the results might not be pretty. Ask Japan what happens when you awaken common Americans to their peril.

                The entire Middle East situation has been an unmitigated mess stretching back to pre-World War 1 times. The Occident is responsible for that mess. As usual, America is called in to clean up what European powers have screwed up, decades (or a century) later.

                One can speak a great deal about America’s own (that is, the American government or power structure’s own) undermining of Constitutional guarantees and values with the post-9/11 legislation.

                We agree. The Patriot Act was and is an abomination before the Constitution. The Establishment Elite made a mostly successful power grab.

                Also, I do not speak of ‘America’ as a singularity.

                Could have fooled me. Therefore, I stipulate your point, taken on your statement in good faith.

                Advertising and propaganda have created this false term of a singular America that does this, thinks this, desires this, feels this: false!”

                Agreed. However, we are not so far apart as all that. Sure, there are very vocal committed progressives who want to see the USA fall, but the core, the body of common Americans, still hold to many common values. If it were not so, progressives would win many more elections.

                My interest is in redefining a critical Conservative platform and to challenge (what I term) so-called Conservatives. My conservatism does not exclude alignment with *the people* in the sense of the populous, and neither does it exclude social programs if they are sound and rebound to the benefit of the nation (such as education and other things).

                We are… not so far apart here as you think. Conservatives have been watered down, excluded, and vilified my entire life. *My* conservatism stems from the principles that founded our nation, and the document that gave it birth. We can nitpick about social programs like education, but taxes are a necessary evil, when used at a local level. Having standards and decisions imposed upon the local level from those who do not live there is tyranny (Department of Education: I am looking at you!) The Fed? Protect our borders, and regulate interstate commerce, if you please!

                I do not accept the strict separations between so-termed Left and so-termed Right. I think that is a false division.

                Again, agreed. The narrative has been shaped by those ‘moneyed interests’ you speak about. We also know them as the Elite Establishment, their sycophants, and The Swamp. My take? The real division is between those who support our common ideals, who believe in traditional Christian morals (as they work well when truly followed as a moral and ethical code) and those who believe in totalitarianism (progressives, among others.)

                If you wish to understand how the Alternative or New Right sees *America*

                I am quite well aware of the New Right. I have formerly conservative friends who have taken that road. At best, it advocates defeating progressives by their own rules. As a practical matter, those who bear the One Ring thinking they can put it aside once ‘justice’ is done are corrupted by it, becoming what they despised.

                I also feel the pain of losing unfairly all my life, as they say. How can one have principles when progressives use them against you?

                • Well, the core of my response would be in the following:

                  I am of the opinion, or of the hunch — and I can see no way to get to a truth on this matter — that 9/11 was, as they say, an *inside job*. I have come to speculate — and as such it is a shadow-idea — that sophisticated operatives arranged 9/11 in its overall aspect. Shadow-ideas are very very problematic. A shadow-idea does not help you to gain clarity about the world. The events of 9/11 are shrouded in clouds and it cannot be *seen*.

                  [Note: I use the term ‘inside job’ only as an allusion to a para-military operation. I am uncertain who the real actors were].

                  Nothing about the ‘official narrative’ of events of 9/11 stands up to scrutiny. Nothing. And tens of thousands of very serious and accomplished people are of the same opinion. Their speculations can be researched. Graeme MacQueen is the best place to start, in my humble opinion.

                  When we speculate about the shadow-actors, we delve into areas that are deeply troubling to everyone. By their nature they are in the shadows. And shadows confuse, by their nature. That is their purpose. Some deny any part of this flatly and stick to the *official narrative*. Their choice makes a certain amount of sense given what must occur in their worldview if other scenarios are considered.

                  The meaning of the existence of shadow-actors and directed events points in rather terrifying directions.

                  The wars in the Middle East, and the intentionality behind them, have little to do with *correcting errors*. I will say, straight out, that I tend to see these wars (this cycle of wars) as being not in America’s interest at all. But what *America* do I mean? And I think that America’s association with Israel needs to be profoundly examined. And the post-9/11 policies, and the activities of American Neo-Conservatives, needs to be studied without prejudice.

                  You obviously see where this is going. You could not but catch my drift, as it were. And you also know that, for obvious reasons, these things cannot be spoken of (except in fringe sites).

                  I am quite well aware of the New Right. I have formerly conservative friends who have taken that road. At best, it advocates defeating progressives by their own rules. As a practical matter, those who bear the One Ring thinking they can put it aside once ‘justice’ is done are corrupted by it, becoming what they despised.

                  The New Right that I am aware of has nothing to say about defeating progressives per se. They speak about what will be required to *recover Europe*. (They include America in this as it is, in fact, a European project: a project of European peoples). They have to do with gaining a fuller meta-political perspective and examining *power and how power functions*. That is, in relation to the *construction of the present*.

                  The base of my position, the views I now develop, compared to how I used to think and see, surprises even me.

                  The future? Of all that is going on? It is radically strange and I think will be — will necessarily be — radically strange.

  11. About the handshake that didn’t happen.

    After watching the video of the non-handshake from multiple angles it’s very clear to me that this was planned well in advance right down to where Mr. Guttenberg was physically standing prior to him advancing so he could gain rapid access to Kavanaugh in front of the cameras. The man in the red tie, appears to be some kind of security and I think he was directly involved in this confrontation photo op “plot”. Sen. Dianne Feinstein was likely directly involved in planning this; I’d really like to see video of her face from about three minutes before it took place thru to after it was over.

    Ask yourself, where was Guttenberg actually sitting in the gallery and how did Guttenberg get to exactly where he was physically standing, which just happens to be the front corner at the end of the bench where members of Congress sit, at such an opportune moment if he was just another member of the “public” gallery? People in the gallery don’t just get up in these rooms and randomly walk towards the bench where members of Congress are sitting during hearings, they are confronted by security when they get too close and this guy was already to move out from is position when the gavel fell. The answer is quite clear, he was allowed by security to advance to that position or maybe even escorted to that position – see the security man in the red tie with the open jacket. This should never have happened if someone in security wasn’t directly or indirectly involved. Based on what I saw in the following video, I think he played his part very well but I think the security guy with the red tie should be investigated for be an active part in this.

    Watch the following video starting at :20 seconds.

    Feel free to disagree.

      • After watching it several times, I share your suspicion about the “security” man in the red tie.

        For the zoom-out, I give a benefit of doubt to the camera operator. I base that on my experience in theater, operating a spotlight. Imagining myself with a spotlight at the same spot as the camera, I would want to point as quickly as possible to Kavanaugh after the senator finished speaking – keeping him in the center of the “spot’s” ultimate width-of-field.

        If I was operating a camera instead, I would do the same pointing, but with an eye for anticipating Kavanaugh to stand up, along with the others seated behind him. So I would zoom to create a field that would likely depict Kavanaugh head-to-toe when he initially stood up. That field of view just incidentally (in my opinion) showed enough of the background to show Guttenberg walking toward Kavanaugh.

    • Your analysis is spot-on, Zoltar. I also noticed that Guttenberg is wearing what appears to be security-approved clearance name tag or badge of some sort (similar to the one hanging on the Red-Tie Wearing Security Man), and is waiting in the wings to “shake” Kavanaugh’s hand. Mr. Red Tie does not try to stop him, either, though Mr Red Tie does usher the judge along.

      Kavanaugh clearly does not recognize him and quickly turns and leaves the room, though shaking other peoples’ hands as he walks briskly out of the chamber. There is no snub, just an uncomfortable encounter with someone the judge did not know.

      Sen. Feinstein clearly invited Guttenberg to the hearing and Guttenberg praise Sen. Feinstein for allowing him to be present. The whole thing was preordained and set up to put Kavanaugh in an awkward and unflattering position.

      jvb

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