I have some major ethics issues to explore in other areas, and oh how I wish this one would go away...
1. As predicted, conservative gadfly Ed Whelan woke up, slapped his forehead, and, perhaps after talking to his lawyer (though he is one), decided that he needed to apologize, and quick. Thus he tweeted,
“I made an appalling and inexcusable mistake of judgment in posting the tweet thread in a way that identified Kavanaugh’s Georgetown Prep classmate. I take full responsibility for that mistake, and I deeply apologize for it. I realize that does not undo the mistake.”
As apologies go, this is an excellent one. Unfortunately, it does not undo the mistake, and the mistake was so egregious and obvious that, as Whelan knows, the fact the he would make it undermines his authority and credibility. People have come back from worse, but not often, and it isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be easy. Then there is the fact that his victim has a very strong case for a defamation law suit.
2. The question now is whether any currently recognized standards of fairness or justice excuses rejecting Judge Kavanaugh on the basis of the evidence. A left-tilting professor, Christine Blasey Ford, has stated that she and four other people attended a small party over thirty years ago, during which which she was allegedly assaulted by a 17-year-old Brett Kavanaugh. Three of those people, PJ Smyth, Mark Judge, and Kavanaugh, have no w said that they have no recollection of attending such a party or of such an incident. Last night the fourth “witness,” a classmate of Ford’s at Holton-Arms named Leland Ingham Keyser issued a statement denying any recollection of attending a party with Brett Kavanaugh.
“Simply put, Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, or without, Dr. Ford,” lawyer Howard J. Walsh said in a statement sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Keyser is not, like Mark Judge, a likely Kavanaugh ally. In fact, she is is reportedly a lifelong friend of Ford’s.
Thus this is no longer a “she said/he said,” but a she said/ he said, and he said, and she said, and she said. Those who say “We believe Christine Blasey Ford” have no ethical or logical basis for doing so, just gender bias, a partisan agenda, and political animosity toward Kavanaugh. If it were a legal case, this one would be dropped as potentially embarrassing and a travesty of justice.
3. Garrett Ventry, a Senate Judiciary Committee spokesperson hired to help shepherd Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, resigned when it was revealed that there had been a past allegation of sexual harassment against him.
“Garrett was one of several temporary staff brought on to assist in the committee’s consideration of the Supreme Court nomination, a team that has done outstanding work,” a Judiciary Committee spokesperson said in a statement. “While he strongly denies allegations of wrongdoing, he decided to resign to avoid causing any distraction from the work of the committee.”
I see no reason not to expect that in due time, every male politician, commentator, lawyer, judge, journalist, business executive and crossword puzzle champion will have one or more past allegations of sexual harassment or other sex or gender-related misconduct in their past, present or future, and since all women must be believed on this particular topic, the males will be permanently handicapped in any career or life objective they pursue. I have been scrupulously respectful of women in my personal and professional life since before I could vote, but I have been forced to try to imagine any incident as far back as high school that could be re-interpreted as nouveau sexual misconduct by a long-forgotten acquaintance or object of lust who wants to harm me. So far, I can’t think of any, nor of anyone in my past so full of hate and ideological mania that she would do such a thing. But today people are trying to ruin baseball players using tweets they authored in their teens. Actors have been suspended or lost jobs based on unsubstantiated accusations, and other performers have seen themselves turned into unemployable pariahs for expressing views about #MeToo a lot milder than some of my ethics posts. The idea is to make people afraid to talk, write, or think.
I’m sure my accuser is out there somewhere.
4. During a debate with his opponent for his Congressional district, Representative Ralph Norman (R-SC) quipped,
“Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news from the Kavanaugh hearings? Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out that she was groped by Abraham Lincoln!”
He was immediately excoriated for making light of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford’s conveniently-tiled sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh. “Above the Law,” which I almost never read now since they continue to employ the unethical, race-baiting crack-pot Ellie Mystal, called this “an off-color joke.” It is not an “off-color” joke. It may not be a wise joke for a politician to make in public in the era of “That’s not funny”—only jokes denigrating the President of the United States are acceptable—but anyone who gets upset over it or seeks retribution on Norman should seek counseling. As a joke, the line is well constructed: as a director, I would bet on it getting laughs in a stage performance. In addition to correctly points out that old allegations are inherently suspect and unfair, and they are, much as the news media accounts would suggest otherwise, the jibe pokes fun at Justice Ginsberg’s longevity and feminist tilt, and includes an inherently ridiculous image for good measure.
5. This is how another female professor at a prestigious liberal college approaches this issue: Campus Reform documented the recent tweets and exclamations of Dr. Carol Christine Fair, a Georgetown University professor at Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. She proclaimed via Twitter, “GOP doesn’t care about women. We knew this. Fuck them.”
Of course, she believes Christine Blasey Ford.
In another exchange, Professor Fair referenced a tweet from liberal North Carolina Pastor John Pavlovitz, who criticized Sen. Lindsey Graham for urging the Senate to confirm Kavanaugh. Pavlovitz said Graham’s support is “what it looks like when you’ve lost your soul.” “Nope. The ratfucker never had one,” Fair tweeted in response to Pavlovitz. “He got two assholes instead. The second one acts like a mouth…except it spews shit en lieu of verbiage.” Fair sent a tweet in which she referred to Mark Judge, who has refused to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee because he says he knows nothing about the alleges assault that Ford claims he witnessed. “His rapey ass needs to be subpoenaed. I hope the Vichy @GOP realizes how completely not normal this looks for a non-rapey person to refuse to testify about a rape attempt that was never attempted. #NotFuckingNormal #WhatIsHeHiding,”
Fair’s Twitter page has a banner that reads, “DON’T GRAB MY PUSSY.” Her personal website contains a “ShitMenSayToMe.” I wonder: would anything be different if she had been the professor to suddenly claim that Kavanaugh had assaulted her. Would the same people believe her who now believe Ford?
Sure they would.
6. Now get ready: as a special bonus, here is the response Prof. Fair sent to the Campus Reform reporter. Remember she is teaching students who are paying large amounts of money for the privilege. It is excruciatingly long, but do read it. It explains a lot.
Dear Mr. Petrizzo:
Are you, in the service of your “concern trolling tabloid,” emailing all private citizens about their full exercise of their First Amendment freedoms to combat the wave of misogynist, bigotry, mendacity and indifference to rule-of-law on display by the occupant of the White House and the complicit members of the Vichy GOP who are more wedded to the interests of their hate-mongering party than their country?
Are you concern trolling conservative tweeters who make non-conservatives uncomfortable? For example, you could consider emailing those tweeters who defend the recent policy of stealing children from asylum seekers (and then losing them) with the intention of deterring people from seeking asylum. There is evidence that the current hateful (mal)administration intended this separation of children from their families was intended to be permanent.
Surely, since conservatives are “pro-children” and “pro-family,” this must have outraged conservatives such as yourself and your readers, particularly since we know that this policy will inflict irreparable harm upon these children who have been traumatized by this heinous policy.
Did you concern troll those who retweeted or otherwise applauded Attorney General Sessions who, while speaking in my hometown of Ft. Wayne IN, defended this repugnant policy using –wait for it–Romans 13 from the Bible that many conservatives think should be the basis of US law? Did you concern troll aficionados of conservative muckraker and all around terrible person, Laura Ingraham, who called these horrific and expensive (but very profitable for the organizations running them) detention centers for stolen children a “summer camp“?
Or have you singled me out for some particular reason? Please do explain your motive.
Just kidding. I know your intentions and that of your tabloid. You seek to intimidate me into silence. You seek to equate my moral rejection of the x-phobic, racist, misogynist, science-rejecting, white supremacy-embracing, autocracy defending offenses of the conservative movement with the actual x-phobia, racism, misogyny, science-rejection, white supremacy-embrace and autocracy embrace of the contemporary conservative movement.
In other words, Mr. Petrizzo, my rejection of bigotry is not the moral equivalent of the bigotry of today’s conservatives.
FWIW: I have been harassed by Pakistani intelligence, American Nazis, and the hordes of vulgarians who goose-step and harass agentive women like myself to the kazoo tunes of Fox News and its equivalent print “media.” I have skin as thick as a velociraptor. I will not be intimidated by you, your minions or fellow purveyors of your agenda. In short, I will not be the cooperative target you want me to be.
But, I will address your questions forthrightly and robustly. Note that this will be a blog post by the time you receive this response. This post will enable your more empirically-inclined “readership” to see my arguments in full rather than those items which you will likely curate perhaps for reasons of brevity or less benign reasons.
Rushing to Judgement: Me or Senator Grassley?
You asked with all ostensible sincerity whether my tweets about “Judge Kavanaugh” are premature? Your question is amusing (and offensive) because you don’t have enough self-awareness to understand its implicit bias.
Your question implies that Judge Kavanaugh, who has a long history of seeking to deprive women of the right the choose, is innocent of attempted sexual assault. Also implied in your question is the assertion that Professor Christine Blasey Ford is guilty of lying.
You probably cannot understand why a woman like myself is beyond exhausted by the tendency of men to presume that (especially white) men are innocent of these crimes while women are guilty of making them up. Out of morbid curiosity, did you concern troll anyone who rushes to assert that people of color murdered by the police are guilty–even when they were innocent and unarmed and eventual exculpatory evidence proved this? Have you ever concern trolled anyone who called a Muslim shooter a terrorist before we have full information? In contrast, white, conservative mass-murderers who kill with a political agenda are also described as mentally-ill, non-terrorists even though they fit the FBI definition of a terrorist. (I forgot! The FBI is the enemy of the people! A cancer even!)
You also seem ignorant of or indifferent to Type 1 versus Type II errors. If one assumes that Kavanaugh is innocent when he is not, we confirm a rapist to the highest court of this land with a lifetime appointment. If one assumes he is guilty and he is innocent, he still has a job. Of course. if you’re a conservative, white man who believes in white (elite) male privilege, having a preference for a Type II error will practically give you an aneurysm. (If you feel symptoms coming on, run–don’t walk–to the hospital. I hope your employer provides your insurance or you have some watered-down, more expensive version of Obamacare dubbed risibly “TrumpCare.”) Do note that a preference for a Type II error is actually “conservative.”
Of course, it is not actually me who is rushing to judgment in any way that matters. After all, I am a private citizen. But the Republicans in charge of this process are rushing to judgment. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley disingenuously opined “It would be a disservice to Dr. Ford, Judge Kavanaugh, this Committee, and the American people to delay this hearing any further.” This is truly olid.
After all, Mitch McConnel–in the most undemocratic display of partisan chicanery and abuse of power–denied Merrick Garland a hearing and, as you surely know, also shut down numerous lawful Obama appointments. Why were those “delays” not a grotesque disservice to the American people? You and I know the answer: the “conservative party” has an agenda that relies upon stuffing the supreme court with well-spoken and bespoken troglodytes who wish to vitiate the civil rights of women, people of color, LGBTQI among other groups. And, let me be clear: that agenda offends me.
Moreover, Mr. Grassley seems to think it’s completely okay to dictate the time and manner in which a victim testifies in close proximity to her perpetrator. Have you ever been sexually assaulted? If you were (and I have been), you’d understand the problems with this. To use a term of art: it’s “revictimizing.”
Moreover, Professor Ford has requested an investigation by the FBI (that agency that the occupant of the White House maligns on a quotidian basis). She has also requested other witnesses to testify. These are reasonable requests which strengthen her credibility. (An FBI investigation did occur in the Anita Hill fiasco, which I am old enough to remember and to be sickened by.) No woman stands up publicly and identifies a high profile attacker without full consequences of the conservative rage this will induce. We’ve witnessed this before with the conservatives’ favorite child molester: Ray Moore. His accusers were subject to all sorts of threats and harassment. In short, I believe her. And should I be proven correct, I will be the first to hoist myself upon my own petard or that of any other.
The only party that is germane to this issue that is rushing literally to judgment is the Republicans who have demonstrated repeatedly to have no regard for women, our lives or our issues.
What is the harm in delaying this vote such that more evidence can be sought? After all, Mr. Kavanugh will have a lifetime appointment during which time he can deprive women, LGBTQI, people of color and anyone else all of the rights he can! You and I again know the answer to my obviously rhetoric question: the Grab our Pussy Party wants to stuff the court with their woman-hating, x-phobic, business-loving political judges before the mid-term elections.
Even if we had incontrovertible evidence that the assault took place, many of your conservatives would not even care. Notably, Orin Hatch (one of your fine conservative stalwarts) even said that it wouldn’t matter “If that was true, I think it would be hard for senators to not consider who the judge is today…That’s the issue. Is this judge a really good man? And he is. And by any measure he is.”
Let that sink in: even if he did sexually assault Dr. Ford, Mr. Hatch still thinks he is a “good man…by any measure.” Do you know how insulting this is to women? Let me tell you in a picture because pictures best explain my rage:
You have some hubris emailing a woman about this.
Then who can forget this photo from the current woman-hating government? This has nothing to do directly with your question, but it’s a good reminder of the villainous rubes running and ruining our country.
You know what you’ll never see? A room full of man-hating female (cis or trans) legislators sitting around a table discussing coverage for your Viagra, your Cialis, your prostate preventative care, your prostate cancer, your gynecomastia (moobs if you will) if it becomes cancerous, etc.
So I think your absurd question is best posed to Senators Grassley and Hatch: why are they literally rushing to judgment unless they truly do not give a rat’s turd about this potential crime. And it’s clear from Senator Hatch’s comments that he does not give a said piece of rat fecal matter about the guilt or innocence of a potential rapist becaue even if he is a rapist, he’s still a “good man.”
Conservative Snowflakes and Their Feelings?
You also asked me if “these tweets could make conservatives feel uncomfortable?”
It’s a curious question because it implies that the comfort of conservatives enjoys a privileged over my own comfort and that of liberals. After all, who is making anyone read my tweets. Were you strapped down and forced to read them? That mere fact that I tweeted things that offended you compelled you to write? Have I ever even bothered refuting any of the nonsense your tabloid publishes or similar tabloids? Not really. Why? I understand that freedom of speech works for us all. I also am a grownup and I understand that I have no right not to be offended. I also understand that arguing with data-resistant conservatives is akin to micturating in the ocean and then expecting the water level to rise.
So let me ask you: Why are conservatives more entitled to feeling comfortable than I am or those who think as I do? What gives conservatives a special access to a comfort zone? Weren’t conservatives the ones who were hollering about and mocking liberals and their purported demands–voiced in screechy tones with tears in their eyes–for “trigger warnings,” “safe spaces,” their stammering for “political correctness”? After all, the below picture summarizes one of the conservative positions on this very subject. I guess that the sentiment was “fuck MY feelings,” not YOUR feelings, right? Guess what: I’m not a snowflake. I’m not politically correct. And I am not shutting up.
Perhaps you’ll say that my language is naughty and it’s my language that melts the conservative snowflakes?
My response to this grouse? Bollocks.
I learned from 60 Minutes that the current occupant of the White House raw-dogged a porn star, sent a goon to shut her up with actual hush-money. (He also lied about raw-dogging her and then paying hush money to said porn star..like he lies about everything else. But he eventually conceded to all and conservatives were like “cool. Jesus loves the sinner!”) Need I remind you that he raw-dogged said porn star while his wife (a visa, violating immigrant who facilitated chain migration) was nursing her anchor-baby Baron. (You’ll recognize that vocabulary from your current conservative party. I thought it was best to use the vernacular of your constituents for maximal clarity.)
But does a serial womanizing, multiple wife-having, porn-star-payoff making immoral wretch like the current occupant upset conservatives and their “family values”? Oh hell no. Many believe that god put this obscene disgrace of a human in the white house for the sole purpose of advancing their hitty agenda. (Yes. I do believe that misogyny, racism, white supremacy, x-phobic bigotry and associated pathologies are the sine qua non of a shitty agenda.) We know god has an off-color sense of humor, don’t we? This is in addition to literally hearing this man boast of grabbing women’s genitalia and other acts of sexual assault and mocking women for being fat (that’s crazy, because he’s morbidly obese), ridicule women’s menstrual cycles. I can go on about this individual’s repugnant language. And then I’d have to get to all of the racist and other offensive verbiages and conduct espoused by him and other GOP candidates across the country at different levels of government. If you have a problem with my language…you should have a problem with the current GOP party’s language and–more importantly–its actions.
Quite frankly I hope conservatives do feel uncomfortable by my tweets. Because I intend to highlight and call attention to the full range of their hypocrisy and to dilate upon the policies that they embrace which are antithetical to the values of this country –all of which make me feel comfortable in my country. Let me enumerate the reasons for my discomfort with so-called “conservatives.”
- The conservatives, whose feelings are purportedly so fragile, oppose fundamental equality of opportunity and outcome among persons who differ by, inter alia, gender, caste, creed, race, ethnicity, or who they love. The current conservative party opposes regulation that saves lives.
- For example, who foresaw Trump trying to facilitate an asbestos comeback? Your conservatives apparently believe that Americans have an unfettered right to drink poisoned water, eat dangerous food, and breath air laden with pollutants and carcinogens which have been tied to specific illnesses and adverse health outcomes. They are undoing any sensible regulation and legislation intended to retard climate change which not only threatens Americans but most–if not all–species on the plant.
- These snowflake conservatives want to deprive all Americans the right to marry the people of their choices.
- They engage in an effort to deny every person their right to vote, especially if they are people of color.
- They seek to deprive women access to birth control or other means of choosing when we have children. Control of our fecundity is central to our access to economic justice. (But oddly they do not holler about Viagra. If god intended those men to have erections, they would not need Viagra, right! And jeez. If life is truly sacred, sperm are very much alive for the short lives they enjoy. Every instance of ejaculation not into a vagina with a ready egg is a sperm genocide. See this helpful post of the life and lifetime of a sperm: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319669.php. Where is the conservative outrage over the sperm genocide? And what will happen to those conservative politicians when their knocked-up mistresses can’t be forced to have abortions?!
- Despite being “pro-life,” the fetus fetishists have no interest in providing women health care or ensuring comprehensive health care for all children. Essentially, for conservatives, once you’re no longer a fetus, you’re on your own. This belies the fact that fetus fetishists are not truly concerned about children; rather, controlling women. I may also point out that conservatives don’t seem concerned about the death penalty, warmongering or other things that take lives away from people.
- In December 2017, Paul Ryan actually said that American women should be cranking out more babies. Well if the current conservative party wants us to crank out more offspring, they should consider paying us. In fact, forced labor is actual slavery.
- In the service of reproducing humanity, literally, women are subjected to a vagina tax. Our costs of maintaining what conservatives believe is a “public good,” run into the tens of thousands of dollars over our lifetimes, excluding the opportunity costs of investing those expenditures more productively.
- This is in addition to the well-known “woman” tax in the labor market. White women fare best. Women of color fare the worst. And once you get married and pregnant, the penalties in the labor market are even direr. Conversely, when men get married their productivity and wages increases. Why? Because women subsidize their productivity. (Let me know if you need some sources. Again, these studies are done by economists who do that math sorcery.)
- The current Republican Party is not conservative. In fact, it is radical. It has not pursued fiscal conservatism during my adult lifetime. Rather, it has pursued expansive tax cuts which disproportionately benefit business and wealthy persons. This is not “conservatism.” At the same time, it has deepened our deficits. The Republican Party, which risibly calls itself a party of compassion seeks to consistently undermine any modicum of a social welfare net. So while it is perfectly happy making private jets a tax write off, it vilifies the poor who require various forms of public assistance. I’m pretty sure Jesus would be disgusted this.
- Not only is the current Republican party a party of, for and by the wealthy, but it is also a party that openly espouses white supremacy. Not only is this apparent but the things they say, scientists have also found this to be largely the case. Political Scientist, Dana Mutz, found that Trump voters were motivated by “Both growing domestic racial diversity and globalization contributed to a sense that white Americans are under siege by these engines of change.” According to another study by Brian F. Schaffner ,
“The 2016 campaign witnessed a dramatic polarization in the vote choices of whites based on (their level of) education…Very little of this gap can be explained by the economic difficulties faced by less-educated whites. Rather, most of the divide appears to be associated with sexism, and denialism of racism.”Very little of this gap can be explained by the economic difficulties faced by less-educated whites. Rather, most of the divide appears to be associated with sexism, and denialism of racism.”
- The current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania cannot bring himself to denounce white extremist groups that propound this noxious ideology. The current occupant of said address has a long history: of mocking women, boasting about assaulting women, has a long line of women claiming they were assaulted by him, vilifying minorities, jeering at the disabled, disparaging our FBI and intelligence agencies, denigrating those elements of the free press which holds him to account for lying on matters big and small on a daily basis, subverting a special counsel investigation into criminal conduct by him and his party, calling for a hostile country to hack into the email servers of his political foe, approbating dictators who murder and abuse their opposition.
- The current “conservative party,” rejects climate science. In fact, it has done so since the late 1970s when scientists understood the link between anthropogenic activities and climate change. This is not conservative. This a radical death cult that opposes any policies of sensible earth stewardship. The conservative party says it cares about life. If that were true, it should care about the deadly consequences of anthropogenic climate change which is real. (Of course, this same group of persons rejects evolution. For the record, I can’t even entertain that view. It is as sensible as a belief in sorcery.)
- We are not a democracy today and are becoming less democratic. The current Senate majority is elected by a minority of Americans. Unlike other parliamentary democracies in which the federating units have equal representation in the upper house but are essentially powerless, our Senate has the most significant powers with respect to cabinet appointments and stacking the judiciary. As this country undergoes demographic shifts towards the coastal and urban areas, which are also the most economically productive, this misrepresentation of the Senate will become extreme. By 2040, academic experts who engage in this voodoo science called math predict that “30 percent of the population of the country will control 68 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate. Or, more starkly, half the population of the country will control 84 percent of those seats.” The fairness of elections to the House of Representatives and state assemblies is undermined by, inter alia, gerrymandering, racist efforts to deter persons of color from voting as well as assertive patterns in where people choose to live. The party that benefits from this is the Republican party which has an agenda which is deeply discomforting to me.
- I can go on. But I have work to do.
The noxious politics of conservatives seek to deprive me of my rights and others who do not share their sky tyrant beliefs make me uncomfortable. In short, if I make conservatives feel uncomfortable, they should feel welcome in the club.