Unethical Quote Of The Week: Tweeter @perpetualTJ

“I am going to unfollow and block anyone that spouts the “age” shit. Ageism is NO different from sexism – or racism, or homophobia. A person is either competent – or they fucking aren’t. It has NOTHING to do with their fucking age. Go ask Pelosi – and RBG”

—-Joe Biden fan and defender @perpetualTJ on Twitter, piling up bad logic, faulty reasoning and political correctness like there’s no tomorrow.

Well, I don’t know who this idiot is, and it doesn’t matter. You usually don’t see such emphatic, self-righteous, and veriegated nonsense in a single tweet. It is truly a treasure trove:

  • As  is increasingly common on the left side of the political spectrum, perpetualTJ’s response to an opinion or position that he/she/it disagrees with is to stifle it, and punish the cur who dared utter such blasphemy.

This reinforces a closed mind, and guarantees perpetual ignorance.

  • As Ethics Alarms has written here before, denial and delusion are increasingly  indispensable  means whereby many advocates can continue to hold opinions and argue for policies that are factually indefensible. You can make your own list; I’m tired. Of course, age is materially different from gender or race, because age, unlike either of those states, has measurable deleterious effects that, while they vary in onset and intensity, are nonetheless real, unavoidable, and factors that must be taken seriously.

Generally denigrating someone’s words or actions for their age alone is bigotry and a form of ad hominem attack. Acknowledging that increasing age eventually makes diminished performance, illness and mortality more likely is simple biology. 

  • As with high performance athletes, outstanding intellectual performers may be “competent” at advanced ages, but their abilities usually diminish significantly with age. This isn’t a theory, it is fact. Aging is real. The more demanding the job, the more risks advancing age poses. Few artists create their best work after 60, much less 80. Why is that? It’s not a coincidence.

There are individual examples of remarkably endurance and continued ability in extreme old age. That does not mean that age doesn’t matter. The fact that individual A manages to perform competently in her 80’s does not mean that it can be safely assumed that all 80-year-olds will be similarly resilient.

  • The two example chosen by the tweeter could hardly have been worse. Nancy Pelosi has shown alarming signs of age-related deterioration—listen to any of her press conferences.  Ruth Bader Ginsberg has fallen asleep during oral arguments and at official functions. She increasingly makes public statements that she would have realized were inappropriate, indeed unethical, when she was in her prime. We have ample evidence of public figures continuing in high-performance jobs after age has reduced their energy, adaptability and judgement. Nobody can honestly watch video of Ronald Reagan when he was Governor of California and in his last years as President and claim that age doesn’t make a tremendous difference in performance.

McCain. Strom Thurmond. Diane Feinstein. It’s a long, sad list.

  • And it has to be said: Biden wasn’t all that sharp in his forties.


Pointer: Althouse

23 thoughts on “Unethical Quote Of The Week: Tweeter @perpetualTJ

  1. We have ample evidence of pubic [emphasis added] figures continuing in high-performance jobs after age has reduced their energy, adaptability and judgement [emphasis added].

    Res ipsa loquitur.

      • The second corrected word is a variant spelling, more British than American in legal use, but still acceptable except in spelling bees where arguments have been known to proceed to fatalities. Probably safer to drop the “e.”

        In its appropriate place, the use of the first is a matter of (informed) opinion.

        And that is the judg{e)ment of one who, approaching the eighth decade of life, has gained in knowledge, perception and the ability to wriggle out of tight corners after having learned to fill in memory holes with the help of search engines, and stay awake by dint of clothespins on the eyelids. <>

        • stay awake by dint of clothespins on the eyelids

          Liquid nicotine. What they use for vaping. On a large-ish band aid, placed on my wrist.

          I have never used tobacco, but this trick works without all the addicting side effects. At least the once per week (or less) I have used it.

        • I am sorry that I was unclear. I didn’t mean to suggest that the second italicised word was being flagged for correction – I mistakenly thought it was clear that it was correct, at least as a variant. Rather, I was going for highlighting the judgement/judgment involved in letting through the first italicised word.

  2. Anyone who does not understand the universal reality of age-related mental and physical decline borders on the “you can’t fix stupid” category. Anyone who has ever had an aging parent, or has attained his sixth decade on the planet, and still argues that age is “just a number” when it comes to high-pressure or demanding jobs is similarly lacking in either honesty or cognitive ability.

    No, not everyone is as dramatically affected as others. There are some people in advanced years with remarkable clarity of thought and energy. There are others just reaching retirement age who struggle just to get out of bed every day, and put two coherent thoughts together. It is very much an individual matter how rapidly and dramatically advanced years forces a decline of faculties, but it always happens and it is always significant after the sixth decade, and occasionally be

    People may feel young, but this is simply a case of being to close to the problem and too emotionally invested to see their decline. Self-honest people who don’t try to delude themselves with platitudes and ad hominem assurances of age-defying ability.

    It seems to me the person you quoted is just a partisan who is engaging in wishful thinking, and is performing the twitter equivalent of “hear no evil.” Pointing out the possibility of inevitable age-related cognitive decline is living in the real world versus a fantasy world we all wish were true — a place where such things as declining faculties, mild cognitive impairment, age-related dementia and Alzheimer’s disease do not exist.

    Sadly, in my version of real, they all do, and I have first-hand experience with everything but the very last on the list (praise God) in my family and friends. As do virtually all the rest of us, whether we want to admit it or not.

  3. I understand the rationale for Supreme Court judges to be appointed for life. But one would think that these nine would take care of each other and the Court itself, by encouraging members who are really losing the ability to deal with the stresses of the appointment to retire.

    (Fortunately, they can’t do a ‘Jeremy Bentham,’ founder and endower of the University of London, who stipulated in his will that he be mummified and be present at all Board meetings in perpetuity. The Brits, in their whimsical way, have indeed done this, and Bentham is wheeled into meetings (and goes on tours!) in a wheeled box with his mummy residing inside. I suppose if a full left-wing Court is ever achieved again, there will be a move for the same thing to happen in that august institution..).

    • Liberal curmudgeon and from-the-hip writer William O. Douglas was 75 (in 1975), disabled by a stroke, and confined to a wheelchair, but he insisted on continuing to participate fully in the SCOTUS until Abe Fortas, a personal friend as well as a colleague, went to see him and said “Bill, it’s time to hang It up.” Harry Blackmun stayed on the SCOTUS until he was 84, and probably would have stuck it out another 4 years if Bush the elder had been reelected, so afraid was he of seeing Roe come undone. Towering conservative Antonin Scalia stayed on the court, over 75, suffering from hypertension, diabetes, and a few other problems that come with being old and not taking care of yourself, refusing to let Obama replace him with a liberal. Does it come as a surprise that RBG and Stephen Breyer are trying to stick it out until a Democratic president is elected? If either of them were to die or be medically forced into retirement in the next 2 years, the court would be bent in a decisively conservative direction for a generation.

      • the court would be bent in a decisively conservative direction for a generation.

        You say this like it would be a bad thing. Notice how a conservative court decision actually helped a liberal stance (Planned Parenthood funding) by adhering to the law recently? Even bad law is upheld when the courts do their job.

      • Scalia was a month short of 80 when he died. When he and I briefly chatted after an event decades earlier, he had scoffed at the idea that he would stay on the Court so long. They all do. Then they can’t bear to give up the status, power and perks.

        This is why Ted Williams homering in his final at bat is one of the great metaphors in sports and life. It says, “I can still do it, but I have the integrity to quit before I can’t.” Almost nobody homers in their final at bat.

  4. You forgot, biology is bigotry and patriarchy. Also, history is bigotry and patriarchy. No one is allowed to forget that physics is climate change denial.

  5. “Nancy Pelosi has shown alarming signs of age-related deterioration”

    Do tell!

    SanFranNan: “I wish, I wish, that the press would spend a lot more time on what we need to do here to meet the needs of the American people, instead of – morning, noon and night – allegations against the president,” (bolds mine)

  6. This kind of crap started with Dan Savage, who can’t finish a sentence without insulting someone, dropping an f-bomb, or both, continued with Cenk Uygur, who spent a whole column that would have been five pages typed bashing religion and calling everyone who believes an idiot, went further with Matt Walsh, who’s Savage’s opposite number on the right with less profanity but still just as insulting, and reached its full flower with hordes of imitators of all three on social media.

    Frankly I think all three of these men are basically cowards for spewing bile and venom from behind a keyboard, far away from any possibility of real consequences. If anyone talked like that in ordinary conversation he’d quickly find himself alone in the room and persona non grata, leaving aside the possibility of threats or violence (dumb and dumber, but still a danger). I also have to say to all three and to their imitators my dad’s rejoinder to anyone who gets overly angry or resentful – you’re not that important.

    I know I’ve spewed my share of chaff as well as wheat here, and even when I might have produced a few gems they were often hidden in dross. It sometimes makes you feel momentarily good to insult someone’s intelligence, their decency, or their appearance, but eh, a month later you read it and it just makes you sound like a jerk. It might make you feel powerful to threaten or say that this or that person should be beaten, branded, mutilated, or murdered, but go back later, after the rage has passed, and you just sound unhinged. Do you want to know someone who’s unhinged?

    I might add that no group condemnation should be issued without the black Jew test, which has nothing to do with the small community of Ethiopians who believe themselves to be descended from Solomon and the Queen of Sheba and practice Judaism their own way, but means sub both those groups in for whoever you’re condemning and see if it sounds like the KKK or Hitler respectively.

    Bad ideas remain bad ideas even when delivered with the strongest conviction. Sticking to bad ideas or refusing to tolerate any discussion just means you have bad ideas and you are stubborn. Cursing as well just means you have bad ideas, stubbornness, and a limited vocabulary. Obviously this guy, who worships Nancy (yes, I know I called her Nancy Bug Eyes), who’s probably five years past the time she should have retired, and RBG, who’s a good ten years past her pull date, is all of those things, and should be paid no mind.

  7. I look at my two grandmothers and grandfathers my granddad Claassen made it 8 days shy of his hundredth birthday smoked like a chimney and was active till about six month before his end. My grandpa Wawryk who was a brilliant man had a stroke in his early eighties and lingered for two years. Unable to talk or write due to stroke, it broke my heart as his mind was still their trapped in that broken body. The grandfathers were 30 years apart in age. My dad was youngest of five, my mom oldest of five. My grandmother Claassen, was acting the invalid from the time I of my earliest memories, but we all think it was because she liked to be waited on. She had been born to wealth and the family lost almost everything in 1929 they still had their rental properties, which made her a slum lord, when she was 29. She was one of the most unpleasant people you would have ever met. Disinherited me for being gay! But it was easy to tell that unlike her husband she hung around a little over a decade after he died but she was twenty four years younger and acted years older! The last two years she really started having problems. My Nana Wawryk was 15 years younger and was vital for years raising, hundreds of thousand dollars for the church running three businesses, one she started in depression, two she inherited, poppy kept the books the two of them were brilliant. She had a stroke right after Poppy they did everything together. And she rallied and was coming back in stength, then Poppy died. Then she gave up her health deteriorated, all she wanted was for it to end, it did took her two years to follow Poppy, but from the day he died, she avoided going anywhere refused to do her therapy, got my sister to smuggle her Candy to ignore her diabetes! Four aged relatives four different ways to age it varies from person to person, my mother has been a mix of both grand mothers, she can not wait to join my dad, her health is not going fast enough for her. I have not given up trying to get her to fight. The point I say is nobody ages the same way! I want to beat my grandfather and hit 100, I want to die after eating a gourmet meal, while smoking a cigar and drinking good whiskey!

    • One of my favorite sayings: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intent to arrive with an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand and Scotch in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming “WOO-HOO…WHAT A RIDE”.

      That’s what I’m trying for.

  8. I retired from the (private) practice of law at fifty because my nerves were shot. Too stressful. I guess I took it way too seriously. A guy once explained to me the difference between practicing law and being a surgeon: They are similar in terms of stress but different in that in the case of a surgeon, there’s not another doctor in the operating room trying his damnedest to kill the patient.

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