For me, anyway: I woke up feeling healthy for the first time in 17 days. Now the day’s ethics stories will make both of us feel sick. I’m sorry.
1. The Sliming. The news media is determined, in the absence of any verified or verifiable evidence, to continue sliming Brett Kavanaugh. The Washington Post placed the story about his return to coaching girls’ basketball in its “Public Safety” section. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias!
This below-the-belt innuendo that the Supreme Court Justice is a threat to the young women on his team was caught, criticized, and the Post claimed it was an accident. You know, if journalists played it straight, and had any credibility as objective, fair commentators, such an explanation would be credible. But they don’t, and it’s not.
Then there was the Huffington Post and AOL, which ran this story, headlined “Ford Is Still Receiving Death Threats, Kavanaugh Is Back To Coaching Basketball.”
The innuendo here is that there is some kind of injustice that the accused gets to resume his life while the accuser’s life is still disrupted. No, one who is accused should always be able to return to his life if the accusation is unproven and unconvincing, though that’s often not the case, and not the case with Kavanaugh as his continued sliming by the Left-wing media demonstrates. As for Blasey-Ford, no one should endure death threats. This is, however, a false dichotomy. There is no evidence that Kavanaugh did anything wrong, much less that he is a sex offender. My view is that Blasey-Ford, for political reasons, raising a high school episode that she could not confirm and didn’t recall herself for 30 years in order to discredit an adult judge of sterling reputation and credentials was unethical, irresponsible, and unfair.
2. The Sliming, cont.: Mark Twain Prize Division. Julia Louis-Dreyfus, inexplicably awarded the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize as the individuals who has “had an impact on American society in ways similar to” Twain—Julia Louis-Dreyfus? Seriously?—-used her acceptance speech to display her Twain-like rapier wit and take cheap shots at Justice Kavanaugh. (They are too idiotic and unfunny to warrant repeating.) It takes a lot of gall for someone to be accusing a public figure of sexual assault at any event sponsored by the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Center, or with Kennedy anywhere in the name. Indeed, it took some gall for Dreyfus to even accept the award. I searched her resume to find any evidence that she ever wrote a funny line or witticism of her own, which should be the criterion and usually has been, even with wan selections like Tina Fey, a minor wit if there ever was one. The precedent for Louis-Dreyfus would be Carol Burnett, who also is just a comic actress whose wit comes from other artists, though she bestrides the like of Fey and Louis-Dreyfus like a Colossus. Sad and politically incorrect to admit, but comedy just isn’t a field where women seem to excel, so once again, the quest for diversity involves a compromise in values.
Male actors who have been improperly honored when they couldn’t create a witty riposte if there was a gun to their heads include Will Ferrell—he perfected a mean impression of George W. Bush, you see—and Bill Murray. All of the rest before Dreyfus were genuine social commentators and wits, even, indeed especially Bill Cosby, whom the craven Prize Committee striped of his 2009 award this year, though his sexual misconduct does not reduce his cultural and comic contributions one whit. The real question is, if non-comedy-related issues cancel out a comic’s contributions to the culture, why does the late Richard Pryor, a drug addict, sexual harasser, abuser of his wives and girl friends, father of multiple illegitimate children, arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, still have his honor. The answers are 1) he’s a hero of the counter-culture Left, and Cosby was deemed a conservative, 2) the Prize Committee was just virtue-signaling, and 3) the Mark Twain Prize has no integrity or credibility. If it had any of these, it would not be honoring Fey and Louis-Dreyfus while Christopher Guest, Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Jon Stewart, Chuck Lorre, Lewis Black, Mel Brooks, Chris Rock, John Landis, the Wayons brothers and many more have been ignored.
3. And the 2018 John Lennon Award for imaginary national policy advice goes to..the Pope. Referring to the problem of migrants trying to force their way into countries because they “want a better life,” He Who Presides Over A Culture of Child Molesters lectured world leaders, calling for “broader options for migrants and refugees to enter destination countries safely and legally.” He also said that the human rights and dignity of all migrants had to be respected regardless of their legal status, whatever that means. I respect them, as long as they don’t break our laws and claim that its their right. “The principle of the centrality of the human person … obliges us to always prioritize personal safety over national security,” the Pope said. I don’t know what that means either, but then, John hadn’t really worked out the practical problems of having “no countries” either. That’s the beauty part of making irresponsible generalizations about problems requiring tough trade-offs. You don’t have to live with the results, or even make specific recommendations. Francis declared “alternative solutions to detention” for illegal immigrants and said “collective and arbitrary expulsions of migrants and refugees are not suitable solutions.” What are suitable solutions? He has no idea.
4. Goodbye to Civil Forfeiture? Let’s hope. All those justices who aren’t Trump or Obama judges (According to Chief Justice Roberts) heard oral argument in the case of Timbs v. Indiana, which involves the constitutionality of state laws permitting he seizing of property allegedly associated with criminal activity. Such laws are notoriously abused by police departments. At issue is whether the state of Indiana was justified in seizing plaintiff Tyson Timbs’s 2012 Land Rover, or whether the forfeiture violated the Eighth Amendment, which prohibits “excessive fines.” The state claims that the Supreme Court “has never held that the States are subject to the Excessive Fines Clause.”
Prior to the passage of the 14th Amendment, it was broadly understood that only the federal government was bound by the rights language of the Constitution. What section one of the 14th Amendment means has been the subject of some contention, but it created the legal grounds by which rights enumerated in the Constitution—free speech, keeping and bearing arms, a jury trial, etc.—had to be respected by the states. The technical term for this is “incorporation” of rights against the states. The Supreme Court has found itself in the position of having to incorporate rights piece-by-piece. The Second Amendment was only incorporated in 2010, in McDonald v. Chicago…
…During oral arguments, Non-Trump Judge Justice Neil Gorsuch berated Indiana’s Solicitor General when the latter argued that the Eighth Amendment wasn’t incorporated. Gorsuch was joined by Non Obama Judge Justice Sonia Sotomayor, with the two arguing that Indiana was defending a “star chamber.”
5. Trump Tweets. I initially didn’t believe that the President actually retweeted this meme. I don’t even have words to describe what’s wrong with this, and since a picture is worth a thousand words, I shouldn’t need them. Ugh.