Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 10/7/18, Part I: Signature Significance Meets The Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck

Good Morning!

That hymn always makes me feel better. I’m not sure whether that’s because Sir Arthur Sullivan wrote the music, or because it makes me think of “Mrs. Miniver”…anyway, there’s lots to cover today, so this is a two-part warm-up…

1. Is this signature significance, or was Jordan Peterson just having a bad day? The cultishly popular Canadian clinical psychologist  and the author of “12 Rules For Life: An Antidote To Chaos” raised eyebrows across the land when he tweeted that if Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed, the ethical thing for him to do was to step down. His comment came in response to a jaw-droppingly foolish thread of tweets by brothers Eric and  Professor Bret Weinstein. In the thread, Prof Weinstein said any outcome of the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation was “unacceptable,” arguing that Kavanaugh had a “limited point of view,”  was “the kind of adult that entitled punks grow into” and would undermine the Supreme Court’s legitimacy.

I’d love to see the research demonstrating that assertion about the kind of adults punks grow into. One such “punk” grew into James Garfield. Another grew into Barack Obama.

But I digress. After Kavanaugh’s suggestion of how to resolve Bret Weinstein’s problem, the other Weinstein tweeted, “This position is held in varying forms by nearly everyone thoughtful with whom I’m speaking.” Have you ever seen a better illustration of the left-wing bubble? Nearly everyone this guy knows thinks that it makes sense for Kavanaugh to resign! Who are these deluded, confused people?

But I digress again. The issue is Peterson, who is allegedly  brilliant. His suggestion stunned his admirers, producing responses like

I find this bafflingly incomprehensible. Appease disproven accusers?

and

Ugh, no. Giving in to the screaming hysterics and bullying tactics won’t suddenly, magically restore sanguinity to America and sanctity to the Court.

and

Why? He should just give up and quit because of false allegations? I am really disappointed in you Mr. Peterson. Don’t you teach that Men should not be cowards?

My reaction to Peterson’s theory is best illustrated by this film clip…

Later, Peterson issued a slightly less stupid refinement, tweeting that he wasn’t sure if Judge Kavanaugh quitting now was the “right move”, but it would allow a “less divisive” figure to gain the nomination:

“I’m not certain that is the right move. It’s very complex. But he would have his name cleared, and a figure who might be less divisive might be put forward.”

Huh? How would the new Justice resigning after false allegations “clear his name”? As for the naive “less divisive” theory, here was a great comment on the Althouse thread regarding Peterson’s gaffe:

Today they’d howl over Garland. There is no less divisive candidate. That was the point of BK, he was a certified moderate conservative mainstream judge. The only way a candidate could satisfy the Left is if he strangled Trump with Thomas’s intestines. Twice.

Bingo!

Which brings me back to the original question: is it fair to recalibrate one’s opinion of Peterson based on one really dumb opinion, on the theory that someone as smart as he’s alleged to be would never make such a ridiculous suggestion? That’s signature significance. Or is the ethical reaction to give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he was just foggy for a while, or put it off on the fact that Canadians just don’t get U.S. Politics?

2. Now THIS is signature significance! Following up on the unethical anti-Kavanaugh letter from “2400+” law professors,  the University of Vermont faculty beclowned itself with this letter. I’ll bold the best parts, and interject…

University of Vermont Faculty AGAINST Kavanaugh and FOR Survivors of Sexual Assault

This is what is called a “false dichotomy.” Students should be taught that, but teachers who can’t spot it are unable to do it.

We, the undersigned University of Vermont (UVM) faculty, write in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and all survivors of sexual assault.

All survivors of sexual assault are not involved in the Kavanaugh confirmation. Ignoring Ford’s actual accusations and credibility and instead turning her into a collective symbol of real, proven victims is one of the oldest advocacy tricks in the book (Clarence Darrow was a master at it), but it is essentially dishonest.

We also write against the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and against the toxic conditions of gender, sexual, and racial inequality and violence that have been fomented by the country’s highest office holders. These are the toxic conditions that gave rise to Kavanaugh’s nomination and that his elevation to the Supreme Court would reinforce, including at the University of Vermont and in our wider community.

A judge like Brett Kavanaugh could have been nominated by any U.S. President with conservative leanings going back to George Washington. Now it’s Kavanaugh who is being turned into a false abstraction.

This section IS signature significance. No college with a balanced, competent faculty that isn’y so politicized that an education there is guranteed to consist of four years of indoctrination could produce such malarkey.

Last week UVM Police released its crime statistics for 2017 including 20 reported cases of rape and “fondling,” 14 reported cases of domestic violence, and 25 reported cases of stalking. These are only the cases that were reported, just one indication of how a nationwide culture of sexual predation and violence pervades our own campus, dorms, classrooms, workplaces, and neighborhoods.

Objection! Relevance? If UVM is doing such a terrible job creating a culture on campus that respects women, I’d suggest that the faculty look in the mirror rather than blaming Brett Kavanaugh.

Of grave concern to us as well is the combined force of racism and misogyny that has been escalated and legitimated by the Trump White House and its appointees and nominees–its effects visible in racist messaging and threats on campus and cited by Vermont’s only female legislator of color as necessitating her resignation.

Oh! I get it now! The faculty is using the Kavanaugh nomination as an excuse to continue using standard issue “resistance” fear mongering and hate to undermine the elected government!

With this letter, we call on the U.S. Senate to commit to a thorough and independent investigation of the claims of Dr. Ford and of all other women against Kavanaugh.

Translation: we are trying to help the Democratic Party by stalling the vote, which has been the open strategy for the beginning.

We further call on members of the University of Vermont community to stand with Dr. Ford and with survivors of sexual assault, and we call on the UVM administration to increase prevention strategies to combat assault and improve the humane and sensitive treatment of victims who report sexual violence. With and beyond this letter, we commit our voices and our power to oppose the confirmation of Kavanaugh and to the multiple threats he represents, including to the integrity of the judicial process itself.

I’m entering the “survivor” con in my growing files of popular dishonesty I vow to flag every time I see it. The use of the word to describe women like Ford is designed to make them immune to challenge or criticism.

Meanwhile, note the lack of any acknowledgment of a parallel duty of fairness, respect, due process and presumption of innocence for those accused. To crypto-totalitarians like the signatories of this letter, only favored groups have rights.

It is parental malpractice for and family to send a child to attend this vile school. doing so is like the pod-people parents in “Invasion of the Bodysnatchers” laying the soul-sucking pods next to their sleeping kids.

http://fasorp.org/static/fasorp/pdf/HLRComplaint.pdf

24 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Professions, U.S. Society

24 responses to “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 10/7/18, Part I: Signature Significance Meets The Brett Kavanaugh Nomination Ethics Train Wreck

  1. Other Bill

    And who is the Senator from this tiny little State?

  2. Other Bill

    Jordan Peterson is great on sexual dynamics but terrible on U.S. politics. He’s Canadian, eh?

  3. Other Bill

    Lost in all the Kavanaugh Konvirmation noise is the fact that there very well could be a 6-3 majority on the Court in the next two or six years. The notorious RBG can’t last much longer. She’s barely able to hold her head up. If she stays for two or six more years, she’ll be nothing more than a sock puppet operated by Sotomayor and Kagan.

    • JutGory

      If she retires, I would very much like Trump to ask Democrats if he should replace her with Merrick Garland or one of the conservative women on his short list.
      -Jut

      • You know, THAT would be brilliant and fair…and the Democrats might STILL oppose him. Garland is well to the right of Ginsberg.
        I love it.

        • JutGory

          Trump could even put it out as a conciliatory act, but leftists would only be looking at whether they can oppose a woman.

          Or not. I would like to see what they would do, though, as I would expect it would gender would outweigh their love for Garland (as a talking point).

          -Jut

  4. dragin_dragon

    “Survive” is a binary word. You either did or you didn’t…the is no in-between. So, if you lived through the crime you survived. If you didn’t, “and murder” are added to the rape charge. It is my impression that most people live through rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment, thus making themselves “survivors”. The over-use of the word is pure theater.

  5. E2

    Let’s just say that the University of Vermont — whose professors do not know basic history or the Constitution, who cannot make a cogent argument, and do not know the basic rules of logic (“against Kavanaugh and for all survivors,” e.g.) — should lose its accreditation. A kindergarten could put together a better ‘resistance’ letter.

    Higher education has completely lost its mission. It is total agit/prop, and Stalin would be proud. (I won’t bother you again with that quote.)

    • Other Bill

      I can’t imagine the Hamilton College faculty circa 1973 being able to agree on what day of the week it was, never mind come to an absolute consensus about anything and agree on adoptive language. They were too smart and too contentious and too thoughtful. Running a college faculty used to be like trying to herd cats. Now it sounds as if it’s as easy as herding cattle. Depressing.

  6. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I have said little on this wreck until now, but here it is:

    So it’s over, as Judge Brett Kavanaugh crosses the finish line to become
    Justice Brett Kavanaugh, by the closest margin possible and after paying a terrible price professionally and personally. This will be a seismic change at the Supreme Court and for this nation, but not only because his confirmation will move the Court to the right for the foreseeable future. Most people, heck, most LAWYERS, couldn’t tell you thing one about any of the judge’s decisions and why they are significant off the top of their heads, and even lawyers would probably have to do some research. Most people couldn’t tell you anything even vaguely specific about his judicial philosophy, except for the fact that Trump nominated him, so he must be right-wing. Actually, Judge Kavanaugh served on panels with Obama nominee Merrick Garland and joined him in 93% of the opinions, dissenting from him only once. But most people, going forward, will tell you he was accused of attempting to rape a fifteen-year-old girl. They may even leave out the “accused of” or “attempted” part, or perhaps both. There are a lot of words most of us don’t want to see in the same paragraph with our own names even once. I think rape ranks up there in the top ten, maybe even the top four. Judge Kavanaugh is now going to see that probably a good 75%-80% of the time his name appears in print, because the mainstream media isn’t going to let this go, nor miss a chance as the years pass to imply he’s a pervert and a criminal who escaped justice and got a reward he didn’t deserve.
    The more important reasons this represents a seismic shift are the precedent that it has set for how any high-level appointee, but especially a high-level conservative appointee, and most especially a high-level conservative appointee to a position that is going to have a major impact, is going to be treated, and the level to which opposition to such an appointee is willing to go that has been exposed. There is very little history of any modern, qualified appointee being treated in this manner. Robert Bork made the mistake of not replying strongly to Ted Kennedy’s vile attack on him. Judge Bork was no dummy, and was in fact a seasoned litigator, so I can only say I believe he did not reply more strongly because he believed that no one would be swayed by such an outrageous statement. He was wrong. However, outrageous though Kennedy’s attack may have been, it was at least based on policy and the differing vision of where the country should go. Clarence Thomas received a despicable late hit from Anita Hill, accusing him of sexually harassing her (a co-worker who she followed into a different position at a different agency) who conveniently held back until the hearings were over, which he was able to deflect by deft testimony of his own which pronounced this attack (in his words) “…a high-tech lynching for uppity blacks who in any way deign to think for themselves, to do for themselves, to have different ideas, and it is a message that unless you kowtow to an old order, this is what will happen to you.”
    What happened here wasn’t akin to either Kennedy’s unanswered hate-spew against Bork, or Anita Hill’s coming forward and leveling accusations from an earlier time in Thomas’ legal career. I’m not even sure it’s akin to the Senate’s poor treatment of John Tower, who was rejected as Secretary of Defense amid anonymous allegations of drinking and womanizing, some of which weren’t even accurate. At the very least those allegations involved behavior as a Senator, not as a juvenile. There were also no allegations that he was going to set the country on the wrong path or that he was some form of dangerous, evil figure due to his politics. Finally, Tower did not suffer fools gladly, so during his tenure as a senator he had made some enemies who used his nomination as a chance to settle some old scores. I might add that once the decision of the Senate was known, then-President George H.W. Bush simply moved on and nominated Dick Cheney, and the Senate also moved on and confirmed Cheney with a minimum of fuss.
    In this case there were no allegations at all of misbehavior while Kavanaugh served on the bench or during his legal career prior. There is no evidence that the judge had anything other than a completely blameless personal life; no affairs, no questionable gifts, no using his office for access or privileges he wouldn’t otherwise get. Unlike Robert Bork, he did not remain silent, and successfully stood up to every challenge on his philosophy and career the Democratic senators on the Judiciary could throw at him, most of which were not easy, and a few of which, notably those by Cory Booker and Diane Feinstein, were unfair. Just on his career and scholarship, the man was clearly qualified to take Justice Kennedy’s place. That should have been the end of it, and there was no reason he should not have been confirmed at the close of the hearings.
    As we all know that wasn’t the end of it. It wasn’t the end of it for a number of reasons, a lot of which, I have to say, are invalid, and what followed has pushed this already nation, which was already divided further than is healthy (divided in part thanks to the tactics of the last president, but that’s a separate discussion) further apart, and set the stage for it to take a path that is very likely to end badly.
    The first reason is that the Supreme Court’s role, indeed the role of the Federal judiciary, has greatly expanded beyond what it was originally envisioned as, partly due to party politics, partly due to other historical factors. Fear of a judiciary that might go too far goes back at least to Thomas Jefferson who wrote “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”
    TJ’s fears became much closer to reality when FDR overstayed the traditional two terms and waited out deaths and retirements to fill the court with his own people rather than earlier justices who had slapped down his overreaching. They fully flowered when activist judges and justices of the late 1950s and 1960s decided that they knew how to run things better than those who actually ran them and still more activist judges and justices of later decades created new rights out of whole cloth that certain segments of the population grabbed onto like a dog thrown a tasty fresh-cut chop.
    The second reason is that these created rights in turn led to litigation becoming the preferred tactic of activists, determined to shove their own agendas ahead whatever democracy might say, and shove it ahead more quickly than the democratic process allowed. It also placed the Supreme Court in the position where it became a de facto Politburo, an unelected super-legislator that could override the elected branches of government.
    The third reason is that this enshrinement of the Supreme Court as an unelected super-legislature led to the Court becoming less and less about the law and increasingly about politics. Both politicians and the sections of the public which stood to gain or lose depending on the politics paid increasingly close attention to who was appointed to the Courts. This in turn led to the appointment and examination of candidates for the bench being less about whether they knew the law and more about what were their politics and whether they would disturb decisions that the politicians didn’t want disturbed.
    The fourth reason is that certain sectors of the population began to believe they were entitled to whatever rights the Supreme Court said they had, whether or not the decisions were legally correct. They didn’t want the decisions which gave them those rights examined too closely or reexamined at all.
    None of this is even close to the original vision of the Founding Fathers, nor to the Constitution, which envisioned the judiciary as the weakest branch of government precisely because its members were not elected. The Federal judiciary has life tenure precisely to insulate them from passing changes and politics of the moment, the idea being they need to concentrate on the law and the law only. Their job isn’t to override the other branches of government nor the electorate to give someone who makes a lot of noise what they want.
    The Supreme Court has been slowly coming back from this activist approach over the past three decades. Bill Clinton installed two judges who were reliable votes on the left, but both are now advanced in age. Obama installed two more liberal judges, but in both cases he installed liberal for liberal (Kagan for Stevens, Sotomayor for Souter) and changed nothing. Trump nominated conservative for conservative with Gorsuch and changed nothing. However, now the retirement of Justice Kennedy takes away the swing vote and creates a potential conservative majority for the first time probably since probably before FDR, since Reagan and Bush bungled their chance by appointing Kennedy and Souter alongside Scalia and Thomas.
    Frankly Obama’s arrogance is what prevented a setback with the sudden death of Scalia. Obama wasn’t interested in dealing with the Republicans in the Senate and they were able to simply brush him off. Bill Clinton would have had someone seated by Easter.
    So here we are, as Justice Kennedy, now 80 and not in the best of health, stepped down. It should come as no surprise that a conservative president nominated a conservative justice to replace him. The left, powerless without a majority in the Senate, turned to what I can only describe as the slimiest political hit job done by either party in the US since the opposition called Andrew Jackson a murderer. It wasn’t that Kavanaugh stole client money while in private practice. It wasn’t that he misused his connections to help friends. It wasn’t that he boasted of an honor he never won. It was that he got heavy-handed with a young girl when he was 17, 36 years ago. The hope was that the mere mention of the r-word (when no actual rape took place), no name, no particulars, would be enough to either send him fleeing with his reputation in tatters or spook the president into giving him the “sorry, but for the greater good…” speech. It didn’t. To their credit, and in a sterling example to everyone else confronted with a smear attack, they stuck to their guns. Judge Kavanaugh wasn’t going to withdraw “to spare my family the pain” and the president wasn’t going to pull his nomination and give the The Democratic Party and their pawn just were going to have to prove their case.
    They didn’t want to prove their case. They wanted Kavanaugh to tell his side of the story first, so the complainant could tailor her testimony. They didn’t want the complainant to fly, but they didn’t want the Senate’s people to come to her either. They wanted a whole list of ridiculous demands that amounted to extortion of the Senate, subversion of the process and delay, to bring them ever closer to the midterms. Then another woman emerged saying he’d flashed her in college, but she wouldn’t testify about it. Publicity whore Michael Avenatti claimed to have a third woman waiting in the wings who would testify credibly that Kavanaugh was essentially Bill Cosby in high school, drugging young women so he could rape them.
    When the judge still wouldn’t step aside, the Senate finally said no to all the ridiculous demands, and these outlandish “me too” attempts to grab a piece of the spotlight collapsed like the house of cards they were, the case didn’t turn out to be all that compelling. It consisted of one woman telling a story that was long on outrage, but short on details. No place, no time, no memory of whose house, almost no details but her surety it was Kavanaugh, told in a quavering whisper. More importantly, all the other individuals who were allegedly at the party denied anything happened.
    This was a case no prosecutor in his right mind would bring, and most civil plaintiff’s attorneys, even having to meet a much lower standard of proof, would think twice about filing. The only people who bought it were the Democratic politicians, the left’s outrage merchants, and the sheep on the left. None of those folks ever cared about anything but stopping this conservative judge at any cost and generating political capital.
    The right asked about due process. We were told it was just a job interview. Due process meant nothing and no one, least of all this white, cisgender son of privilege, was entitled to a presumption of innocence. The right asked about the passage of three decades without any action taken on these allegations and the suspicious timing. We were told 90% of sexual abuse accusers were truthful. How dare we question a woman crying attempted rape? The time that passed, the circumstances, none of that mattered, she was a woman who was violated, and she chose to speak up in her own time. The right pointed out the fact that the judge spoke up in his own defense, and did so pretty compellingly, as a man fighting for his reputation against an unfounded accusation might. We were told that just proved his temperament was all wrong for the Supreme Court. The judge was supposed to just give a milquetoast response, or maintain a dignified silence, no matter what anyone else said about him. The right pointed to all of this and said hey, doesn’t any of this mean anything? We were told to just “shut up and step up.” There it was. It was never about getting to the facts, certainly not about getting to the uncomfortable ones. It was never about hearing both sides out fairly and making a fair and reasoned decision. It was never about qualifications. It was never even about getting late justice for someone who claimed she was scared into silence decades ago. It was about bullying one side into doing things the way the other side wanted them done.
    So we endured weeks of glossy printed signs that no one made in their basements, scripted speeches with operatives planted to lead cheers, and oh-so-perfectly-timed outbursts from “invited guests.” We watched near-chaos engulf the Senate. I pity the Capitol Police for having to deal with this idiocy. We heard Lindsey Graham have his Joe Welch moment, and tell his colleagues this was the most unethical sham since he entered politics. We saw Orrin Hatch’s security detail warn ranting activists to let the damn elevator close or risk arrest. We watched Jeff Flake almost waver, wheel and deal, but in the end decide he was NOT John McCain and didn’t want to go out having stabbed his president and his party in the back. Finally we saw Susan Collins rise to give the one mature speech of the whole sorry affair (despite threats, despite fundraising, despite enough coat hangers for the entire US Army being mailed to her office), saying this was in the final analysis about due process and about qualifications, and, in the end, these uncorroborated and weak accusations weren’t enough to disqualify Judge Kavanaugh from becoming Justice Kavanaugh.
    The rest is history, or it should be. However, as Gene Roddenberry had James Kirk say in the Cold War parallel Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country, we haven’t run out of history just yet. Lines have been crossed and new ones drawn. The sides in this country pull further and further apart and refuse to see one another as anything more than horrible, disgusting enemies. Self-appointed race and gender hucksters pronounce those who think differently than them traitors to the race, gender or whatever, as though they somehow owned them. Senators and other officials are being threatened with violence and death, which can’t just be dismissed as crank actions with no credibility in light of attempts to physically detain them between hearings and last year’s attempted massacre of GOP congressmen. Trump’s next nominee, who I predict will be named within a year and be Judge Amy Comey Barrett, is going to have an even tougher time, as the other side attacks her childhood faith and calls her a traitor to her gender, like all women must be pink-hatted, foul-mouthed Trump-haters by definition. Meantime these mobs, there is no other word for them, that the activists have created are going to look for other targets, since this one was denied them. They aren’t going to stop with votes, the last two years should tell you that’s not the case.
    At a friend’s wedding some years ago a discussion of the movie Gettysburg, then new to cable, came up, and another friend said she hoped another civil war would never happen. I scoffed and said that wasn’t possible, the questions that led to the bloody conflict that accounts for about half of American battle deaths since the Revolution began at Lexington were all long settled. Those questions were threefold: slavery, secession, and the question of whether Federal authority was paramount. The first one is settled, at least here. After this new chapter of ugliness I am no longer sure the second two are, at least not on the left side of the aisle when the right side of the aisle in charge.
    I’m not saying we are on the cusp of a new Fort Sumter. However, the left in this country is facing a reckoning. Do our elected officials have the ability to exercise their enumerated powers, or only when those actions align with your views? Is everyone entitled to be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, or does that presumption and standard depend on who is being accused, who is making the accusation, and what the accusation is? Does everyone have the right to be safe at home, enjoy a meal out in peace, and practice for a sporting contest without being shot, or do those rights vanish the moment you cross the center aisle going from left to right? Most importantly, is there room in this nation for more than one vision of the future in fact, or in name only? You might want to think about that last one especially hard before you tell someone again to ‘shut up and step up,’ because there are more of us like Judge Kavanaugh, who won’t, than you think.

    • dragin_dragon

      VERY good! Your comments remain amazing.

    • Steve wrote: “The first reason is that the Supreme Court’s role, indeed the role of the Federal judiciary, has greatly expanded beyond what it was originally envisioned as, partly due to party politics, partly due to other historical factors. Fear of a judiciary that might go too far goes back at least to Thomas Jefferson who wrote “The germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the constitution of the federal Judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scare-crow) working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.”

      “The second reason is that these created rights in turn led to litigation becoming the preferred tactic of activists, determined to shove their own agendas ahead whatever democracy might say, and shove it ahead more quickly than the democratic process allowed. It also placed the Supreme Court in the position where it became a de facto Politburo, an unelected super-legislator that could override the elected branches of government.”

      The other historic factors interest me: I would assume that you mean, generally, social and cultural redefinitions? In times of change and transformation it becomes necessary to see the Constitution as a ‘living document’ which means to be able to project into it what one desires?

      I am interested, but don’t know much about, the jurisprudence that led to the creation of corporations as fictitious persons who exist in perpetuity. That seems to me an eventuality that Jefferson would have decried. It could be said to have led to the business-community and sector working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped.

      So, an ‘activist court’ can quicken social change in an otherwise stolid and naturally conservative social body? The Visionary Judges plot the course culture will take with their activist decisions, and then culture follows suit?

      Now, it would seem, in the present, there is a social will for even more activism and transformation. What can stop it? It sure seems like it is a majority clamoring for further accentuation of the changes already put in motion.

      I doubt that a reverse-activist court will be able to stem the social current.

      What happened to your paragraph key? 🙂

    • Chris Marschner

      Great essay Steve

  7. Mark Putnam

    Jack,
    Your wit and sarcasm in writing has affected my reading.
    You wrote “survivor” con.
    I read “survivor-con”.

  8. Rip

    I am so sick of this. I am not the person I was when I was 17. I use to say of several of my students ah to be 17 again and know everything, They did not … but they thought they did, Now, I could not be prouder, they are as a group. My kids from Ellington and my private and Homeschooled Students are. On network tv, Broadway, running a major political website, directing for Hulu. But I could tell tales of their mistakes when they were minors that would have made you doubt the brilliant model citizens the have become. This is why I am so disgusted on this whole episode the incident in question supposedly took place when he was a drunk minor. The brain does not even finish developing until 24. These attacks on the man base on. His uncollabraited teenage behavior. Has been a circus. The fact that we have people this riled up mystifies me. Is it me.. ? I know I am weird. But this behavior and these reactions based on what I watched. Makes no sense ? Is it a neurologicaly typical thing that I am missing? A have my right leaning moments and I have my left leaning moments. But this makes no sense, and I see both sides rationalizing thier views without acknowledging the flaws. On either side.

  9. Michael R.

    I think the problem is that Bret Weinstein and Jordan Peterson are longtime liberals. They are new to this independent thinking thing in terms of politics so when something likes Kavanaugh comes up, they revert to their programming. I don’t know why anyone even listens to Bret Weinstein. Weinstein cannot come to grips with the fact that he helped create the monster at Evergreen that led to the end of his career there. He still thinks the dream was good and someone somehow perverted it to form the monster he now sees. He is still too blind to see that the monster was the desired outcome all along. I think Peterson is, to a lesser extent, the same. He sees the current left as a perversion of what the left stood for in the ’50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. He doesn’t want to believe the current left was the goal that leftists have striven for since the beginning of the 20th century.

  10. Bob

    That clip from Murder By Death gladdened my heart. I’m amazed how this film has fallen off of the radar, especially considering its cast (Niven, Smith, Falk, Sellers, Coco, etc…).

    There was a great revival of Golden Age Detective Fiction in the Seventies, and all the great detectives from the Thirties were hot properties once again. (Ditto Sherlock Holmes, thanks to The Seven Percent Solution.) This Neal Simon satire is spot-on, but whenever I bring it up, I only get blank stares.

    Sellers’ “aphorisms” alone are worth the price of admission. If your readers can track down a physical or online copy, certainly give it a watch.

  11. Vermont has become totalitarian in nature. Good to know.

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