Last Minute Sunday Ethics Smorgasbord, 9/23/18

Good night.

1. Hotel ethics. My hotel in Boston happily offered a bargain rate, but didn’t explain why they had a bargain rate: it is under remodeling and construction. No restaurant. “Hinky” cell phone service (translation; cell phone calls cut off mid call. Also, the remodeled rooms have some bugs to work out. I thought I was going crazy because I couldn’t find an outlet for my computer by the desk. Oops! It’s across the room, in a dark corner. The desk clerk had to hunt for it. “I guess we have to fix that,” he said, abashed. I guess.

Hotels under construction never tell you they are under construction, but they have nice “pardon our dust!’ signs, and others that say, “We are making a better hotel experience!”  Maybe for the guests next month, but I’m here now.

2. “Just when I thought I was out… they pull me back in!”  [ Is this the most famous and useful quote from a really bad movie?] I really thought, stupid me, that the conduct of Democrats and “the resistance” in the Brett Kavanaugh Ethics Train Wreck couldn’t get any more unethical or revolting after my long update post this morning. After all, it’s a Sunday! Don’t the Unethical rest? Obviously not:

  • Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Ha) wrapped up an Incompetent Elected Official of the Month award on Sunday by telling a stunned Jake Tapper that she didn’t believe conservatives deserved a presumption of innocence, or, apparently, due process. But these are the un-American totalitarian values that progressives are promoting today. Does the public understand what this will mean for the country?

Asked by Tapper if she would concede that Kavanaugh deserves to be proven guilty before he is presumed guilty, Hirono said that a conservative judicial philosophy reduces his credibility. “I put his denial in the context of everything that I know about him in terms of how he approaches his cases,” Hirono said.”His credibility is already very questionable in my mind. …  When I say that he’s very outcome-driven, he has an ideological agenda, and I can sit here and talk to you about some of the cases that exemplify his, in my view, inability to be fair.”

Would that Jake, who is one of the fairer broadcast journalists, had the guts and integrity to ask, “Wait—your party ran Hillary Clinton, who helped get her husband elected by intimidating his sexual assault victims, your party lionized Senator Kennedy, who left a young woman to drown rather than deal with questions regarding why he was with her late at night on a remote road, your party’s deputy chairman has been credibly accused of domestic abuse, Harvey Weinstein was one of Hillary’s major contributors in 2016, and you’re saying that Judge Kavanaugh’s credibility is questionable? And you’re arguing that a judge with no blemishes on his record should be presumed guilty because he’s not fair? Do you not see the irony in that?” [Pointer: Zoltar Speaks!]

  • Then I made the mistake of reading the Sunday Times Review section, and saw that Ross Douhat had continued his unconscionable argument from earlier in the week that even if Blasey Ford’s accusation is unsubstantiated and unproven, Kavanaugh should resign or be rejected. “This argument was not well-received among many of my conservative friends,” he writes. Wait—just many? And there aren’t any liberals or progressives who have an ethical, fair or just bone in their bodies? Douhat is arguing that mere accusations are sufficient to substantively disqualify someone for high office. No facts—Ford has no facts, just disputed memories—just accusations. From anyone. Even if it involves alleged misconduct as a drunken teen.

Douhat’s concept undermines basic constructs of justice—he’s a fool—and progressives are apparently willing to reject the basic values of fairness and process to keep one conservative off the Supreme Court.

3. “Have you no decency?” When I arrived in Boston, I learned that #MeToo King  Ronan Farrow had a new scoop in The New Yorker:

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh…. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh…. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections….

“We were sitting in a circle,” she said. “People would pick who drank.” Ramirez was chosen repeatedly, she said, and quickly became inebriated. At one point, she said, a male student pointed a gag plastic penis in her direction. Later, she said, she was on the floor, foggy and slurring her words, as that male student and another stood nearby…

A third male student then exposed himself to her. “I remember a penis being in front of my face,” she said. “I knew that’s not what I wanted, even in that state of mind.” She recalled remarking, “That’s not a real penis,” and the other students laughing at her confusion and taunting her, one encouraging her to “kiss it.”… She remembers Kavanaugh standing to her right and laughing, pulling up his pants. “Brett was laughing,” she said. “I can still see his face, and his hips coming forward, like when you pull up your pants.” She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’ And I remember hearing and being mortified that this was out there.”…

[A]fter several days of considering the matter carefully, she said, “I’m confident about the pants coming up, and I’m confident about Brett being there.” Ramirez said that what has stayed with her most forcefully is the memory of laughter at her expense from Kavanaugh and the other students. “It was kind of a joke,” she recalled. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”

I think the appearance of this contrived and obviously nurtured story—at least we’re up to college now—makes it clear what’s going on: Calculated, retroactive #MeToo narratives by politically committed partisans willing to resolve real doubts and foggy memories in order to active a political agenda. I”n her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections….”—could that he any more damning to her credibility and motives? “How about, “It was kind of a joke,” she recalled. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.” 

For 30 years, she thought it was a joke, but now the episode is politically useful if she decides it wasn’t a joke, so it’s not.

A couple of comments in the threat after Althouse’s post about this gives me hope…not about elections, but about how some of the public might be seeing through this. Like…

Unfortunately this BS accusation may doom Kavanaugh. That’s the sad reality. And I won’t trust The New Yorker or Ronan Farrow ever again. I also won’t ever vote for the Democrats.

This shit is so rotten. The way it’s been handled is so transparently political and intended to delay in hopes a Democratic majority in 2019 can save abortion. I’m actually pro-choice and this has me heated.

I sat out 2016 because I hated both Hillary and Trump. Now I want to vote.


My girlfriend, who is a lifelong liberal, adamant pro-choicer and two-time Obama voter, is thoroughly disgusted by the Dems over this. I hope she’s one of millions.


19 thoughts on “Last Minute Sunday Ethics Smorgasbord, 9/23/18

    • Any conservative justice will be damaged good, Wayne. Justice Thomas and now Cavanaugh. Might as well get used to it. I hope Kavanaugh gets confirmed.

  1. I don’t know about you, but in the college drinking parties of my youth, we always used each others’ full names and the medically correct terms for human anatomy.

  2. “Frankly, I have such concerns about this person getting to the Supreme Court,” she said. “But, on the other hand, we know that — I know that Maryland has eliminated the statute of limitations for kidnapping and for sexual assault of a minor. And I think that is still out there. And so there may be an investigation along those lines. So, I think that this is a situation that is not going to go away.”

    This is what senator Maize Hirono said the other day to CNN. [linky

    Here’s what’s amazing about that. When the alleged Kavanaugh-Ford event took place, this type of sexual misbehavior was a misdemeanor for adults in Maryland and virtually never prosecuted for minors. The statute of limitations was, I believe, five years for the adult crime.

    So Hirono apparently thinks that because Maryland changed the statute of limitations for this type of conduct, it is now fair game for investigation by the authorities.

    I suppose the term, “ex post facto” has never impinged upon her apparently limited consciousness. Judging from her statements, neither has the entirety of the United States Constitution.

  3. #2 I think Senator Mazie Hirono is more, much, much more than just an incompetent elected official, even though that’s a very reasonable label to permanently brand her with. The problem is that what we perceive as incompetence is actually intentional sedition and subversion on the side of the extreme left. I think Senator Hirono and many people consumed by the ideology of the far left (oh wait they no longer have an ideology they are consumed by their Political Antiology) are actively subverting the United States of America, and I mean that in a very literal way. They are singularly focusing their efforts to undermine everything this elected President of the United States does and attack people within his administration, attacking those he appoints or nominates. I now firmly believe that the far left literally doesn’t give a damn if they completely destroy the United States of America in the process of undermining this President. What the extreme left is doing is all transparently the ends justify the means, it’s morally bankrupt, and it’s damned dangerous. Their actions and words show that they are literally anti-USA and they are actively rationalizing their intentional sedition and subversion. As long as we the people continue to brand these people as being incompetent their agenda to destroy the United States of America will continue; call it what it is sedition and subversion!

    At this point any Supreme Court Justice, judge or any prominent person that is perceived as being pro constitution in general and therefore pro 2nd Amendment, not actively pro-abortion, and not actively supporting social justice warriors should be looking over their shoulder for entrapment setups from the extreme political left and social justice warriors. They should carefully watch for anything that could possibly be twisted into a social justice warrior smear 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 immediate families should also be very wary, destabilizing the family unit destabilizes the individual within that family unit and makes them easier to intimidate/control.

    The goal of the political left and social justice warriors is to destabilize the United States of America and they don’t care who they destroy or how they destroy them, who needs the justice system and innocent until proven guilty when you have an army of ignorant social justice warriors ready and willing to sacrifice others for the cause; all’s fair in war. Look out main street, these “warriors” really aren’t lurking in the shadows anymore, they are in full view and following the path blazed by Nazi’s and intimidation is their current Nazi tool of choice. It’s become quite clear that many on the far left think the Constitution and its Amendments are meaningless relics and shouldn’t apply to anyone that even appears to oppose them. Allow these people to gain a majority power in the United States federal, state, and local governments along with intimidating judges they oppose off the bench and intimidating/controlling the police and I think we’ll see the Constitution and its amendments suspended for Conservatives just like the Nazi’s stripped Jews of their rights. If you oppose these people you better get your big letter C ready to sew on your clothing – it’s coming.

    What the hell are you talking about Zoltar, are you insane, that could never happen here, this is the United States of America! For the record; thinking that very think is what will allow we the people to be blinded to the fact that it’s already starting.

    It’s time to heed Martin Niemöller’s words once again.
    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Open your eyes folks, the patterns are there.

  4. 1. Not trying to one-up your bad hotel experience, but back in the 90s a professional association of which I was a member had its annual training conference in the Midwest at a hotel where we had several previous good experiences. This particular year, the hotel had neglected to inform us that the entire area was being demolished for an airport expansion. The hotel / convention center was the last property to go, but obviously maintenance had been neglected since the decision to demolish, the restaurant had already been closed, air conditioning (in July) was either marginal or in deep-freeze mode, electrical and phone service were occasionally interrupted (internet was still dial-up), traffic was a mess and the entire neighborhood was like a big construction (destruction?) zone. The hotel management declined to make any concessions for our inconvenience. In sum, the week was awful and we never again booked with that hotel chain during my long affiliation with the group. I feel your pain.
    2 & 3. As far as the Kavanaugh debacle is concerned, the quicker the Republicans call shenanigans on this mess and move ahead, the quicker the news cycle will find some other “Trump horror” to focus on. Anyone who can’t see through this charade is an idiot. No one’s mind -among the universe of those with normally functioning minds- will be changed by these contrived allegations.
    A retired American History teacher suggested to me yesterday, in all seriousness, that we “common folks” need to be mobilizing our state governments to assemble a new group of Founding Fathers, to task a new Jefferson with writing our own Declaration to separate us from the “brave new” America the Left is working toward, in hopes of a peaceful separation. I’m beginning to wonder about this myself. He conceded, of course, that didn’t work out too well for the South the last time around!

    • Re 1: I, on the other hand had, an awesome experience with the Pacific Inn near Vancouver BC, right next to the US border, during a recent remodel.

      They up front let us know that rates were low because they were about to start a remodel, that the exercise room would not be available during our stay, and there was a chance the pool might close for a couple of days. Maintenance was quick to fix any issues in the rooms, and the restaurant took over one of the conference rooms to keep people away from the construction dust and noise.

      Haven’t been there since then to see how thing went, but based on that experience I can tell hotels can do the right thing if they care about it.

  5. Obviously, I was not there (or was I?…), but this is the part I don’t like:

    She recalled another male student shouting about the incident. “Somebody yelled down the hall, ‘Brett Kavanaugh just put his penis in Debbie’s face,’ ” she said. “It was his full name. I don’t think it was just ‘Brett.’

    The fact that it was his full name (but not hers) just does not ring true. This allegation sounds more credible, in general, than Ford’s, but this identification sounds forced. Most people don’t talk like that. It would have been just “Brett” if these people knew him.

    Maybe this is not made up, but, if it is, they were wise not to recount: Somebody yelled down the hall, “future Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, just put his penis in Debbie’s face” That sounds a little too made up, but it would rule out all of those other Brett Kavanaughs out as suspects.


  6. “After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections…”

    That’s nothing. There’s people who can make her confidently remember her past life as a barbarian warlord in less time.

    Seriously, though, people need to be more self-aware of how fallible they are. It helps to practice phrasing things in terms of “what you remember” rather than “what happened”. It also helps to check for physical evidence of what you think happened. I do this all the time because I have experience with misremembering important things.

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