Scenes From The Ethics Apocalypse

In this morning’s warm-up, I refereed to the anti-Kavanaugh tantrum.  I’m watching the extended tantrum on TV right now.Look! Here are furious CNN Democratic operatives (that is, CNN’s reporters) proclaiming the collapse of civilization because a completely standard issue judicial conservative with strong credentials was nominated by the elected President and confirmed as the Constitution directs is intolerable because the Democratic Party’s unconscionable tactics of personal destruction didn’t work, and because the new cultural standard that a man is guilty if accused of sexual assault by a woman though she has no supporting evidence whatsoever, and that high school misconduct is more important than adult rectitude. (That’s not how they describe it, of course, but the reality of what was “going on here”) And there are angry protesters who haven’t read a single Kavanaugh opinion, but who are equally convinced that he is unqualified to be Supreme Court Justice and a “sexual predator.”

Boy, am I sick of writing about this stuff, and boy, am I depressed that so many people have had their minds and ethics reduced to a vile, smelly, infectious goo. I can’t compose any more essays right now without snapping and running amuck in the streets wielding a deadly frozen pork roll  and clubbing people to death. (I can’t find my Hank Aaron baseball bat.) So with your leave, I’m going to note some more recent points in this nightmare Seurat painting, occasionally commenting, sometimes leaving it to my readers’ abundant intelligence to figure out what’s wrong on their own. Here we go…I’ll stop either when my head explodes, or the Red Sox start playing the Yankees:

  • A Huffington Post headline: Senate confirms Brett Kavanaugh to Supreme Court, rejects #Me Too movement

Is that what #MeToo is about: destroying honorable professionals with unsupported accusations of conduct when they were children? I did not know that! Well, if that’s what it is, then hooray for the Senate..

  • That CNN group devolved into pure appeal to authority. Polls say that a majority of the public doesn’t want Kavanaugh confirmed, one reporter said indignantly. (We don’t have government by poll.) How many responding to that poll know anything at all about law, the Court, what a Justice does, what constitutes a qualified one, or anything except the accounts of the mainstream media, which has been overwhelmingly negative since the nomination was announced?

Then we learned (as readers here knew already) that ancient retired Justice John Paul Stevens said that Kavanaugh wasn’t qualified because he gets angry when people falsely call him a sexual predator, thus breaking with tradition and protocol by abusing his position as a former Justice. Then we learned that the Washington Post broke with tradition to editorially oppose Kavanaugh’s confirmation, also breaking with tradition and Post policy. This is persuasive because Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias, of course.

  • Good losers that they are, various Democratic Congress members—I heard New York’s Jerry Nadler—promised that if Democrats too control of the House, they’d impeach Kavanaugh—you know, for not reciting the Urban Dictionary’s definition of “devil’s triangle,” and similarly weighty high crimes. Alan Dershowitz pointed out that this was almost certainly unconstitutional, and that it was irresponsible for the Democratic Party to devote itself to vengeance and payback.
  • Writer Jack Murphy tweets (at about 4 pm.):

I’m at the anti Kavanaugh rally. They keep telling everyone to chase down Trump supporters where they eat, work, and live. These aren’t idle threats. They are rallying a nationwide mob. Believe me. They mean it.

  • Women actually screamed in the gallery when Kavanaugh was confirmed, sounding like they were being physically attacked. (That reaction certainly enhances the image of female competence, stability, and rationality.) This judge, as I have written before, is less conservative than Alito, Gorsuch or Thomas; he’s also a better writer and thinker than Justice Kennedy. And they screamed, like he was Jack the Ripper.

Be proud, feminists!

  • I’m not making this up: as I write this, protesters are occupying the steps of the Supreme Court.They went up the steps of the Supreme Court holding signs and chanting, “we believe survivors” and “hey hey, ho ho, Kavanaugh has got to go.” Some of the demonstrators are hanging from the columns of the building.

    Says the Miami Herald, “Republicans have denounced the protests that have gripped the Capitol in recent days as “mob rule.” Why only Republicans? Do Democrats really think this kind of juvenile civil disobedience accomplishes anything, ever? Of course it’s mob rule; it’s a mob thinking that they have a right to use sheer force to overrule the operation of democratic institutions—you know, like the entire “resistance” has been behaving for two years.

But I’m getting nauseous: let’s end with a poll:

Which is more idiotic, saying that we must “believe survivors” or chanting “Hey hey, ho ho!”?

48 thoughts on “Scenes From The Ethics Apocalypse

  1. Since the first criteria on the poll was “idiotic”, I had to go with the chant.
    Does it make the chanters feel like they’re in the early sixties, protesting LBJ’s escalation of the Vietnam war? (You remember that war that evil republicans JFK and LBJ got us into.) Is it nostalgia? Do they have a lifelong penchant for childish doggerel? Do they know that it makes people like me immediately dismiss whatever the hell they’re saying? Why am I not allowed to douse them with scalding horse urine until they disperse, or at least change their chant?

  2. It was a hard vote, and I understand victims rights. But the burden of proof was not met, and how many stories have there been in recent years where the. Accused was later exonerated by DNA, there. Have been to many cases of mistaken identity, after the traumatic event. We must defend the rights of the accused, while simultaneously look into the accusers claims with respect for her perceptions, but in the end the burden of proof must be adhered too. And I am sorry you can not punish someone without proof. It has happened to often. Beyond a reasonable doubt is why we must have a jury completely agree! I have a lot of friends I am currently ambarrassed for as they seem to no longer understand this principle.

  3. Believing any accuser without any evidence = irresponsible

    Chanting he he ho ho. = idiotic

    Calling all accusers survivors = incompetent

  4. Your poll had an incomplete entry

    “Believing any accuser who is female, regardless of the evidence or lack of it.”

    I’d add “so long as the accusation is against a conservative.”

  5. Not to make your head explode before the game, Wapo is reporting there were 15 judicial complaints filed against Kavanaugh related to his testimony. All the complaints relate to veracity regarding his drinking, reciept of “stolen” documents and parts of his testimony that amounts to a rehash of all the other “issues” that have been raised by the opposition. Chris Mathews appeared to have a tingle running up his leg as a reported these “new” allegations of judicial impropriety.

  6. I am watching the senate vote. is it true they didn’t allow her to call the only witness she could have? it seems like they are saying the republicans did things to make sure she wasn’t believed. is that true? i never know what to believe when i hear this stuff.

      • ok because he listed a bunch of stuff the said the republicans did that were wrong to make her look bad, etc. so if what he said was true i can see why some people believe he’s bad. etc.

        thank you Jack.

  7. watching the protests now…

    I’m utterly embarrassed to be a woman. ugh. This is degrading, embarrassing, humiliating, and I can’t even believe that women would ACT LIKE THIS. Like a bunch of BAD cheerleaders. ugh. I have no clue what to say or how to comment on this. How can they not see how ridiculous they look. They are like sheep being used for something.

    This is like watching kids have a tantrum they rehearsed and whining. It’s so beneath the strong amazing women I know!

    Sorry everyone. Feel like i need to apologize for my “sisters” who have lost their mind in this environment of selling anger, and the victim mentality. it’s very, very sad.

    • I’d like to know who sold them the crap that this is a noble idea. I hate to say this about fools or the mentally challenged, but they have made themselves into puppets of horrible, power-hungry people. They should have to live with personal consequences for the havoc they have wrought as they don’t seem to have understood karma unless it stomps on them. It’s not that hard, don’t accuse someone of a crime three decades later unless you are sure there is no equivalent scandal in your background or your loved ones. And no one is that clean.

      • Preamble to a Trickster Story (as told by an angel dancing on the head of a pin):

        “The first story I have to tell is not exactly true, but it isn’t exactly false, either.”

        MD wrote: “I’d like to know who sold them the crap that this is a noble idea. I hate to say this about fools or the mentally challenged, but they have made themselves into puppets of horrible, power-hungry people.”

        I often take statements out of their context and examine them free-standing.

        I am inclined — I do recognize that it is a perspective that easily inclines itself to paranoia, and that paranoia of this sort is linked to *imagination* and *embellished story* — yet I am inclined to wonder if what is going on in our present is not, ultimately, directed by (not ‘controlled by’) “horrible, power-hungry interests”.

        It is I think the word is a ‘conundrum’: If a system is dominated by power-hungry people (interests), no matter what happens it is those people who will still be there, directing.

        If we notice that *over there* are people made into puppets, it implies that we do not see ourselves as such. But this would be what a real power-hungry person (interest) would want, would it not? It would want the puppet not to see his own self as a puppet, but as a self-directing actor.

        Looking at the surface what do we see? The surface reading is a self-interpreting story. ‘The democratic mob has taken over the country’. ‘They are bringing it to a crisis-point’, and ‘they must be stopped’.

        Meantime, all manner of other things are going on behind the scenes.

        If what I am alluding to is true, it only means that we have to be more crafty than the crafty fox. I admit that I am taking some part of this idea from Trickster Makes His World: Mischief, Myth and Art by Lewis Hyde.

        One part of that idea is evolutionary: the intelligence of the predator is always one step ahead of and superior to the prey. But the prey is forced by evolutionary pressure to become more aware, more intelligent, more circumspect (from Latin circumspectus, from circumspicere ‘look around’, from circum ‘around, about’ + specere ‘look’).

        In evolutionary theory, the tension between predator and prey is one of the greatest engines that has driven the creation of intelligence itself, each side successfully ceaselessly responding to the other.

      • I’d like to know who sold them the crap that this is a noble idea.

        Abe Lincoln? 🙂

        “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

        “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”

        “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

        “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side, for God is always right.”

    • Reading further…

      Protesters stood one by one in different sections of the gallery, most with their fists raised, and yelled “I will not consent.”

      “The sergeant-at-arms will restore order in the gallery,” the presiding officer, Vice President Mike Pence, said several times.

      Police forcibly removed the protesters, with one person dragged out by their arms and legs. They kept screaming as they were pulled into the hallway.

      Afterwards, they were loaded into military buses and transported to the desert of Arizona and the open-air prison that will be their new home while they await deportation proceedings.

      It is undecided yet where their new country of exile will be located, weather on the Earth or on the Moon, but two country-names have been suggested: Vociferacia and Ululatia, both derived from Latin and meaning screaming, hissing or creaking. Its government shall be termed Vulgianism (Latin: mob) and everyone with vocal chords and everyone with developed self-righteous sentiments shall be represented.

      Etc.

    • One irony is that President Obama could have filled Bork’s seat had Bork actually been confirmed.

      There was no way Senate Republicans could hold the seat open for more than a year- holding Scalia’s seat for nine months was pushing it.

  8. I don’t like polls, and that includes this one, when the question itself is not stated simply and clearly, and when the allowed choices are not mutually exclusive.
    Idotic and incompetent are related, but irresponsible is a whole different matter, and all three should not be conflated in the stem of a poll question.
    One could be intelligent and irresponsible. Take Schumer, for example. Not an idiot. Saying the Democrats would do everything they could to stop the confirmation of Kavanaugh is not idiotic, if it energizes the Democrats, which it did. But, doing ‘everything’ is and was irresponsible.
    Automatically believing any accuser, as in ‘All women must be believed’, is idiotic. But getting large numbers of people to adhere to that is not idiotic, while it is irresponsible. Maybe smart short term, as in elections next month, maybe idiotic long term.
    Chanting is not necessarily idiotic (for organizers), if the objective is to fire up a crowd. As an elder who was far too busy to protest anything in the 60s, it sounds especially stupid to me, but to the younger crowd, ???
    Calling every accuser a survivor is not idiotic for propagandists pushing a belief system, but, nodding agreement, yeah, idiotic.
    So, I went with ‘Believing any accuser’ as being most idiotic and irresponsible (since it’s ultimately counterproductive).
    Gotta go, now as there seems to be a post-game celebration underway. Sorry, Jack

    • Idiotic is always incompetent. Being irresponsible is also incompetent. You are correct that being incompetent and irresponsible are not necessarily idiotic, but all three behaviors are, in fact, idiotic…and incompetent. Chanting like it’s 1967 isn’t irresponsible. Just dumb and counter productive, because it makes the protesters seem silly, as in idiotic.

      Like it or not, the poll results get it right.

      • I don’t, but I’m betting you know the answer. You seem to have terrific recall in a number of areas whereas I have to rely heavily on my friend, Google.

            • Going into this season, Clayton Kershaw and Price had similar post-season records. There are no curses, and many trends are random. I expect that David will get that monkey off his back sooner or later.

  9. OTOH, I do like polls that promote reflection, research, analysis, else I get too wrapped up in a transient event like yet one more ass whooping administered by THE BRONX BOMBERS.

  10. I hope that the Democrats realize that if they do indeed retake the Senate in November, and they do impeach Kavanaugh like they are threatening to do, they are laying the groundwork and setting the precedent for their opposition to use the exact same tactics against them.

    Of course when Republicans do pull a ‘tit for tat’ move the Left will scream bloody murder and cry foul, whilst at the same time crafting a confusing and ethically bankrupt justification for when they engaged in the exact same behavior.

    • The next ‘tit for tat’ will surely be when the Democrats can do a Garland block and ‘steal’ a seat back. Hopefully at some stage both sides will realise they have to live and work together.

      • Hopefully….

        What really disturbs me is the steady escalation of mobs tracking down conservative politicians and harassing them in their private lives. This is not how well adjusted and civil people act, however it is a great example of Unethical Rationalization # 28: The Revolutionary’s Excuse.

      • That’s an appropriate response, however. The GOP set that precedent: no SCOTUS nominations in the 6/9/12 months before a Presidential election. Or, if the Democrats wanted to take the high road, they would kill the precedent, and vote on a GOP nominee in such circumstances anyway. In either case, its still within the realm of politics, though what the GOP did to Garland was wrong and stupid, since it easily could have backfired.

        Setting out to personally destroy a SCOTUS nominee personally and professionally using a presumption of guilt and witnesses who would never be allowed in any courtroom is outside that realm.

        • Forgive my ignorance-can’t believe I had blanked on that, and yes that was a blatant political attack of opportunity by the GOP.

          I do enjoy these moments that make me self-reflect and reexamine a situation.

          Though I have to say that as you pointed out, “Setting out to personally destroy a SCOTUS nominee personally and professionally” takes the cake, as opposed to trying outright block one through a refusal to consider. However both were equally underhanded moves.

  11. Look at the picture Jack used for this post. Someone or some group is supplying these people with the signs. Many people have duplicate signs held up and there are several different “identical” signs. You just don’t print these on your home printer.

    • Of course those people are organized and funded by various groups. I’d guess much of the organization and money comes from public employees unions.

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