Evening Ethics Encounter, 9/26/18: And The Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck Just Keeps On Rolling…

Good evening!

Well, it wasn’t so good: the Red Sox lost the second game in a double-header to the hapless Orioles….

1. Tempted. I am considering posting the “Bad Guy” essay on Facebook. It is certain to upset people, a lot of them, some good long time friends. I don’t generally try to upset people, friends or not. The echo chamber on social media, however, has become unbearable, with the most extreme, unsupported, unsupportable, declarations from the dregs of the progressive talking points attracting likes and cheers, and no glimmer of perspective, objectivity, and certainly not ethics peeking through the muck. I guess I want to upset them, like you want to slap a hysteric, or throw ice water on two brawling drunks. Nothing I write will accomplish anything positive with people this infected with hate and bias.

I guess posting it would be unethical.

Right?

2. This shouldn’t even qualify as an “allegation.” The Times:  reports that Julie Swetnick  “said she witnessed Judge Kavanaugh… lining up outside a bedroom where ‘numerous boys’ were ‘waiting for their “turn” with a girl inside the room….Ms. Swetnick said she was raped at one of the parties, and she believed she had been drugged. None of Ms. Swetnick’s claims could be independently corroborated by The New York Times, and her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, declined to make her available for an interview…. Unlike two other women who have accused Judge Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, one who went to college with him and another who went to a sister high school, Ms. Swetnick offered no explanation in her statement of how she came to attend the same parties, nor did she identify other people who could verify her account…. In her statement, Ms. Swetnick said that she met Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge in 1980 or 1981 when she was introduced to them at a house party in the Washington are… She said she attended at least 10 house parties in the Washington area from 1981 to 1983 where the two were present. She said the parties were common, taking place almost every weekend during the school year. She said she observed Judge Kavanaugh drinking ‘excessively’ at many of the parties and engaging in ‘abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, “grinding” against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts. I also witnessed Brett Kavanaugh behave as a “mean drunk” on many occasions at these parties.'”

Althouse asks,

If the allegations are true, there must be many, many other witnesses. Where have they been all these weeks? And why would she go to “at least 10 house parties” if they were as she described? The NYT suggests there’s a gap in the account because Swetnick doesn’t say how she got to go to the same parties as Kavanaugh. We’re told Swetnick grew up in Montgomery County, Md., and graduated from Gaithersburg High School — a public school — in 1980 and attended the University of Maryland. That puts her in a less elite crowd. She’s also 2 years older than Kavanaugh and graduated from high school 3 years before he did, so it makes it a little hard to picture them at the same parties. Did older, state-college women go to parties with prep school boys years younger than them? If they did and the boys raped them, repeatedly and systematically, how could the boys get away with it, and why are there not many more women coming forward with the same allegations? And why are we getting this through Michael Avenatti?

Picky, picky! All that matters is to continue the narrative, and undermine public trust in Kavanaugh. This woman’s account makes no sense. I have had eager believers say, “But it’s a sworn statement!”  Yeah, and any lawyer would tell her that the chances of her lying her head off in a matter like this  leading to actual charges are the same as winning the lottery. I’ve been researching how often clear perjury is prosecuted. Almost never, even for statements under oath in court. All Swetnick has to say is “Oops. I must have been confused. I was so sure when I signed that statement.”

3.   And now this: Here’s the latest one. Note that each succeeding “allegation” is less credible. In an interview transcript released by the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday night, we learn that Senator. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) received a call from a man who claimed his “close acquaintance” had been sexually assaulted by Kavanaugh and pal Mark Judge on a docked boat in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1985. The anonymous constituent said his friend was assaulted “by two heavily inebriated men she referred to at the time as Brett and Mark.” After the anonymous women  told the caller, he and another man, also un-named, confronted “Brett” and “Mark” and beat them up.

“I was not in Newport, haven’t been on a boat in Newport, not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined,” Kavanaugh responded. “This is just completely made up, or at least not me. I don’t know what they’re referring to.”  Yet this anonymous sourced story was the lead on tonight’s local news in Northern Virginia. If this story doesn’t delay the vote, then I guarantee someone will come up with another one

Kavanaugh denied the allegations“I was not in Newport, haven’t been on a boat in Newport, not with Mark Judge on a boat, nor all those three things combined,” he said during the interview. “This is just completely made up, or at least not me. I don’t know what they’re referring to.”

4. Tales of the Bad Guys, Cont. In Austen,  Planned Parenthood convinced the Hyatt to cancel a screening of a new movie about convicted abortionist Kermit Gosnell. The producers of “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer,” which opens in theaters Oct. 12, had arranged a sneak preview to be screened this weekend at the same time Planned Parenthood hosts a $400 a plate gala dinner. The Hyatt, which had accepted a deposit and agreed to reserve the space, told the movie-makers that the screening was canceled for “security reasons.” Meaning that Planned Parenthood told the hotel that it couldn’t guarantee that its members wouldn’t take action against the film, and Hyatt, cowardly as most corporations are even when some backbone is essential to preserving freedom of expression, allowed the same strategy used on college campuses to silence conservatives  work here. It’s the old “You’re inciting violence by making me attack you” trick.

5. One more clue as to why transparent political strategies work with the American public. Diane Tirado, an eighth grade history teacher at West Gate in Port St. Lucie, defied the school’s “no zero” policy, and was fired for it. As stated  in the student and parent handbook, the lowest score any student can receive for an assignment is 50, even if that student doesn’t turn in the assignment at all. Got that? Do a half-assed job, you get 50. Don’t do the work at all, still get 50. What a deal!

When several students didn’t turn in a project, Tirado gave them zeroes anyway. The school fired her.

Local TV station WPTV talked with a parent of a student at the school who agrees with the policy.

“You don’t know what’s going on at home, and what you see is front level, because if my son blatantly chooses not to do it, he knows he’s got an issue. Ain’t that right?” the parent said.

Uh, yeah, sure, okay!

Yikes. Based on that trenchant argument, apparently a no-zero policy has been the norm in Port St. Lucie for a long, long time.

 

40 Comments

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40 responses to “Evening Ethics Encounter, 9/26/18: And The Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck Just Keeps On Rolling…

  1. Notice he didn’t deny ever visiting Newport…

    • I’ve been to Newport many times. Oh, all right: it was me,

      (The Newport guy has already recanted and apologized.)

      • Aaron paschall

        That’s nice. It still isn’t going to stop people from bringing it up. It’s a shame, too, because at least it offered some quantifiable evidence – if he beat “Brett and Mike” up, then there should be bruising, hospital reports, police reports, eyewitness testimony… anything at all that could actually be investigated, unlike all the rest of the smears.

    • Rusty Rebar

      I am Brett,
      We have not met.

      Hello Brett, my name is Ford,
      What I am about to say may sound untoward
      Things about you, Mark Judge, and a teenaged hoard.

      Ms. Ford, you I’m sure you must be mistaken
      surely everyone will know you’re fakin’.
      You can’t just make a claim like that
      Everyone will know your claim is whack.

      You tried to rape me Brett, you know its true
      But it did not work and now your balls are blue.
      You raped me here, you raped her there
      You been raping chicks most everywhere

      First was this one in a room,
      then was that one with a broom.
      You tried to rape one in a bar,
      and I heard about another, near a car.
      it seems you have taken great pain,
      to even set up a gang-bang train.

      Gang-bang train? This sounds insane.
      Are you sure you will not refrain?
      Must we really go down this road,
      you’ll come out looking like a toad.

      I did not rape you in a van,
      I did not rape you with a man.
      Not on a boat, not with a goat.
      Nor in a bar, or near a car

      I did not rape you over here,
      I did not rape her over there.
      I did not rape anybody anywhere.

      I did not start a gang-bang club
      who would want all this hubbub?

      I was a virgin, pure as snow
      and of this I am sure you know.
      Dorky high school kid maybe,
      but a virgin rapist? Come on baby.

      My name is Brett, and this is my retort,
      Hopefully I will now be on the Supreme Court.

  2. adimagejim

    #4 is how free speech is being squelched anytime and anywhere the woke disagree. Raise a fuss. Post some threats on social media. Presto! Security concerns requiring cancellation. It is a known technique being repeated all over the country.

    • A.M. Golden

      And throughout history. This is why those confined in concentration camps in Nazi Germany were said to be in “protective custody”. It was for their own safety.

      • adimagejim

        Good point. And the gulag “residents” were often sent there for psychological evaluation for their and the public’s protection,

  3. adimagejim

    #5 is the participation trophy equivalent. You were there. You must have learned half of it by osmosis. (Sure.)

  4. #1 Posting the entire thing on Facebook would be considered trolling by some of your friends. Why not just post a link to the blog?

  5. Glenn Logan

    Re: 1

    I guess posting it would be unethical.

    Right?

    Probably, based on your reasoning. Posting something just to upset others is a black-and-white Golden Rule violation.

    But is that your only reason? Consider also that your point of view needs to be seen, not just because it lies in opposition to the masses, but also because it embraces reason and eschews the flagrant dishonesty infecting social media on this issue.

    What you have here is an ethics dilemma.

    Re: 2

    Two words — Michael Avenetti. Usually one must go to a New York or Chicago mob, or to an MS-13 gang, to find a more corrupt and subterranean form of human life. He should be disbarred based on this stunt.

    Re: 3

    I think we are in agreement that these crackpot stories will just keep coming in, and keep getting reported, until doomsday. If he is confirmed, we’ll still be seeing them over and over again, no matter how many times they are proven to be specious and even defamatory. Because #Resist.

    Re: 4

    This is the next logical step for the right, you know — threatening left-leaning soirees with disruption and violence. When you see that happen, you’ll know we’re near the end.

    Re: 5

    “You don’t know what’s going on at home, and what you see is front level, because if my son blatantly chooses not to do it, he knows he’s got an issue. Ain’t that right?” the parent said.

    Looks like Authentic Frontier Gibberish to me.

    • Chris Marschner

      Glen. I completely agree that it NEEDS TO BE SEEN. That is why I shared it on my Facebook page.

      There is a huge difference between posting something that is intended to humiliate and cause discomfort, and posting somthing that you truly believe is correct and true.

      What is unethical is for one side to attempt to silence its opposition by feigning hurt feelings when on returns rhetorical fire.

      • Glenn Logan

        What is unethical is for one side to attempt to silence its opposition by feigning hurt feelings when on returns rhetorical fire.

        Truth, forsooth.

  6. #2 I think Ms. Swetnick is openly lying, her story about Kavanaugh is a black hole sucking truth from world. I think she is being trotted out because no one can prove her wrong is she sticks to her hole laden story, so of course that means that all the anti-Trump and anti-Kavanaugh bias makes you a blithering idiots will believe it to be absolute fact.

    There’s a unmistakable stench of death coming from these accusations and the anti-Trump/anti-Kavanaugh/anti-Republican political left in DC, that stench is directly attributable to the dead ethics and dead morals of the political left. The ethics and morals of these people that are consumed by their Political Antiology are dead absolutely, I think they are all irretrievably broken with reality and there is no returning.

  7. #5 That’s a great example of The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.

  8. Kamala Harris, passenger on many train wrecks, including this one, just upgraded her ticket to first class.

  9. ”Did older, state-college women go to parties with prep school boys years younger than them?”

    Not in my world, but I was a late bloomer…

    “If they did and the boys raped them, repeatedly and systematically, how could the boys get away with it, and why are there not many more women coming forward with the same allegations?”

    Anything’s possible with a clueless abandonment of logic and reason and an
    absolutely airtight suspension of disbelief.

    ”And why are we getting this through Michael Avenatti?”

    A great line (by one of my all time faves, the late, great James Garner as F. Ross Johnson) from a sleeper of a quasi-bio-pic flick (Barbarians At The Gate) describes Avenatti to a T!

    All I want from bankers is a new calendar every year and all I care about lawyers is they’re back in their coffins before the sun comes up.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbarians_at_the_Gate:_The_Fall_of_RJR_Nabisco

  10. #4 This is exactly what happens when the SJWC* is enabled, unchecked, and constantly allowed to intimidate their targets into submission. SJWC is permeating fear throughout the United States and if it is allowed to continue, “Paranoia, ♫ ♫ they ♩ destroy ♪♪♪ ya.”

    *SJWC: an acronym meaning Social Justice Warrior Cult (SJWC).

    The SJWC (Social Justice Warrior Cult) is the weaponized cult of pawns that Progressives use to crush any perceived opposition into absolute submission using propaganda based rhetorical fear tactics. The “warriors” in the SJWC are pawns in a movement towards Progressive totalitarianism.

  11. #3 These people really don’t understand what hearsay is do they?

  12. Let the senate hearing head explosions begin…

  13. JP

    1. Perhaps an Op-ed?
    3. It get’s even weirder. Two men admit to the assault of Dr. Ford. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6213037/Two-men-claim-sexually-assaulted-Christine-Ford-not-Kavanaugh.html

    5. The CIO released the following statement: “Diane Tirado was employed as a teacher for St. Lucie Public Schools (SLPS) from July 30, 2018 to September 14, 2018. She was contracted as a teacher on probationary status, and was terminated shortly after one month of classroom instruction.

    SLPS values the importance of maintaining a high-quality teaching staff who support students’ individualized learning needs; who understand the value of forming appropriate and positive relationships with students, colleagues, and parents; and who provide accurate and productive feedback to students on assignments. Wavering on the expectations of quality is not an option.

    There is no District or individual school policy prohibiting teachers from recording a grade of zero for work not turned in. The District’s Uniform Grading System utilizes letter grades A-F, numerical grades 100-0 and grade point averages from 4-0.”

    Note the last paragraph. I have to wonder if this policy is really in the handbook. Either way, someone screwed up.

    • Beckie

      USA Today and NY Post ran that story too about the two men coming forward saying they were responsible for the assault to Ford. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/09/26/brett-kavanaugh-two-men-say-they-had-disputed-sexual-encounter-christine-ford/1439569002/ . Of course, they mention in the USA article that it’s uncertain if they’re being taken seriously though one has been interviewed twice and signed two written statements with supposedly (since it’s not released) a detailed account of the night.

      To anyone, this should give a lot (more?) reasonable doubt to Ford’s accusations. But I’m assuming reason and logic on the side of the #resist. Too much expectation?

      • JP

        “To anyone, this should give a lot (more?) reasonable doubt to Ford’s accusations. But I’m assuming reason and logic on the side of the #resist. Too much expectation?”

        Only if you want to believe it isn’t true. Frankly, I think it should be treated with the same suspicion as the Ford story. In the Metoo movement, I can’t imagine anyone admitting to this, but since we don’t know who they are, it does not help there claim. They could be lying to get Kavenaugh off the hook. The same questions we are asking Dr. Ford we should also be asking these guys. Where, when, how, why. etc. Plus we need to know their relationship to Dr. Ford.

        • Glenn Logan

          I agree. I am as suspicious of last-minute exculpatory witnesses as last-minute accusers without sworn testimony.

        • Beckie

          It is spotty since we’re getting only what was released Wednesday night to late night news. From what I can gather the first man went to the Senate judiciary committee with his confession (no secret letter to a sitting senator sat on for two months) and was interviewed once Monday and again Wednesday, plus two “detailed” written statements. The other was talked to over the phone. If it was a court case, that would give some reasonable doubt by giving another “suspect”, especially if said person confessed to the crime. That was my point.

          I have to agree with you, why would any man voluntarily come forward and admit to this in the era of #metoo? I don’t see much for them to win here. I’ve been keeping an open mind for both sides, but the more of the “can’t recall, don’t know who was there, etc, etc” accusers that come out and so-called witnesses that (in Ford’s case) state that it never happened makes me leary to believe them. Or, in the last one from Newport, recanted. The fourth accuser has a questionable past of her own and her ex is consulting an attorney about giving statements against her and her character.

          This whole thing has turned into a circus, but I have a feeling no matter who the nomination was it would be the same.

          • JP

            Dr. Ford’s testimony from what I’m watching and have read seems spotty on its own. Perhaps she was assaulted, but her own testimony isn’t helping her case.

            Since this isn’t really a court of law, I don’t know if those issues should be a play here.

          • JP

            Senator Graham says they have been interviewed. He calls one crazy and says he does not believe the other.

  14. 1. Jack, I believe you have a genuine ethics zugzwang situation. No matter what you do, there is no ethical answer. Showing the post will cause harm, or at least strife. Not sharing the truth is another kind of harm, even if it is that your silence indicates acquiescence.

    Therefore, post or do not based on how it affects YOU: how do you live with yourself in each instance? Are you willing to take the consequences, even if only internal, of either path?

    2. Note that this is an adult (19 and older) at a party for 15 to 17 year olds. Where alcohol was present. And rape, which she did not report.

    Bullshit, start to finish.

    3. The dude found out that you must be female to be believed.

    Is it just me, of did Kavanaugh’s rebuttal sound reminiscent of Dr. Seuss?

    “Not in Newport, not on a boat, not with a Judge…”

    4. Austin, Texas is a progressive dump, as are most state capitals. Hyatt could not afford a protest where there are plenty of looney hacks to participate. Still makes them wrong, though.

    And we are going to defund Planned Parenthood, as they have plenty of money without making me complicit in their murderous racist enterprise. $400 a plate dinners?!?

    5. This is more common than you think, as school funding is tied to butts in seats. You cannot flunk a student when they might stop coming to school. Even in Texas.

  15. 4) It only makes good business sense for proprietors to give in to the Leftist mobs and not serve Republicans.

    Since 99% of this misbehavior is Lefties perpetrating against Righties, since people on the right seem to almost never (if ever) engage in this kind of community destroying incivility, business owners will practically never have to deal with a loss of business or bad experiences from the Right.

    By giving in to the Left on this, they don’t have to worry about any bad market interactions. They don’t have to give into Right wing mobs bent on ruining people’s experiences, because those mobs don’t exist.

    Thanks Left! Your efforts in breaking the Republic are noted!

    • Well… giving in means the Right quits going to your establishment.

      • Except it doesn’t.

        Despite ALL the claims of Right wing “boycotts”, right wingers still apparently, don’t take their spite out on business owners.

        Sure some individually do, but for the most part…they don’t.

        • Ummm… arguing facts not in evidence, Mike. 🙂

          Never said they take any spite out on business owners.

          The right usually does not boycott, true. Nothing so formal as that. But we vote with our dollars and our feet all the time. And I know a LOT of folks who quit using, say, Dick’s Sporting Goods or Target, when they bowed to the leftists. This was my point. The Right simply quits shopping there.

          There a LOTS of options of where to eat, buy clothes, or toothpaste. More and more the past decade, the Right has been paying attention.

        • (And I’ll even say that for the most part, individual left wingers, probably, en masse don’t take their spite out on business owners as part of the leftwing “boycotts”…)

          Which leaves us with simply analyzing the Left wing mobs that assault Right wingers at businesses and the non-existent Right wing mobs that don’t assault Left wingers at businesses. Then business establishments that know it’s bad for business to host people that might become a source of unpunished mobs ruining the experience their business sells…

          It only makes sense for businesses to be less likely to host right wingers.

          Case in point: the Hyatt cancelling a conservative client in favor of a leftist client.

  16. Isaac

    In regards to the “no zero” policy…I was a bonafide slacker in high school and was failing Algebra 2 HARD due to missed homework assignments. My teacher, on the day before the last day of class, gave me the entire stack of undone worksheets and offered me a chance to turn them in and be graded on them late. I stayed up late and banged them all out, handing in the next morning what turned out to mostly be a collection of 40s, 50s, and 60s. It was enough to lift my grade average up to “barely passing.”

    SO…if the “no zero” policy had been in place, I’d get automatic 50s in that scenario. For a bright but lazy student who does well on tests, that’s basically a vacation from half your homework assignments.

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