New Year’s Day Ethics Warm-Up, 2019: Outrageous Virtue Signaling And Other Misdemeanors

Yes, happy 2019.

Thanks to all the readers, many commenting for the first time, who send reassuring and kind words in response to my musings last night. I wasn’t fishing for them, I swear.

1. Maybe this is why I’m in a bad mood…Here is the beginning of the 70 page (!) appellate brief I’m having to waste today answering, the work of the angry Ethics Alarms commenter whom I banned more than a year ago, and who apparently has nothing better to do than to file frivolous lawsuits:

Jack Marshall, the Defendant, is a craven, venal LIAR. What he did to Plaintiff …in this case was intentional/focused/targeted/defamatory lying, through-and-through. “Toxic mendacity” is a fair/appropriate characterization (“Orwellian psychosis” may possibly overstate the case). There was nothing legitimately/honestly “opinionated” about any of Marshall’s cynical noxious LIES, in any sensible sense (despite what the Judge pretended), as (re-)proven herein. Amongst the 575 defamatory acts pled/ alleged in our Comp (and supported in Opp, and at Oral Argument, and now repeated/proved yet again here in tabular
format in TblDefam), Marshall outright factually LIED ~29 times; while another ~32 times he uttered/wrote “materially false” pseudo-“opinions” based upon (hence implying) his earlier lies. Yet, the lower Judge’s grant of Rule 12(b)(6) Motion-to-Dismiss (“failure to state a claim”) falsely/blindly pretended Marshall’s publications were “pure opinions, innocent as the driven snow, grounded solely upon true facts.”6 That was a blatantly false/wrongful breach of good-faith judging….

2.  The nauseating virtue-signaling championship goes to…Barack Obama. How gullible and starry-eyed does someone have to be not to find this transparent and manipulative? The ex-President published his favorite movies, novels and songs of the year on Instagram. To my surprise, they reveal him to be woke! Intellectual! Devoted to the right social causes! Cool! And Black!

And if, say, one of his actual favorite movies this year was porn, or a slasher flick, do you really think he would include it? How about a Mickey Spillane novel, or a book by Bill Cosby? Call me cynical, but I assume that the list was devised by his PR staff, with his input. The list essentially tells us that Obama thinks most Americans are stupid saps, and the news media’s reaction to it—Isn’t he wonderful???—-shows that he’s probably right.

3.  Tales of the double standard…Actress/billionaire Ellen Barkin—OK, she’s really only worth about 60 million, which resulted from divorcing a billionaire—posted this on Twitter:

So far, Twitter hasn’t seen fit to suspend Barkin’s account for sentiments that offend its “community.” Ellen was angry at C.K. because in his most recent comedy set he mocked the Parkland kids, who richly deserve to have their immunity from satire lifted. Oh-oh…saying that, I guess Barkin wants me shot and raped too. I especially like her last tweet. C.K. should be raped and shot because of what she assumes he’s thinking!

And what does she mean “again”? C.K. masturbated in front of women, but that’s not “assault” by any definition I know. The crime is called “indecent exposure.” Ah, well, if you can call Brett Kavanugh a “serial rapist,” I suppose you can call C.K. a serial sexual assailant.

Or an eggplant.

Now tell me what would happen to C.K. if he tweeted that he hopes Ellen Barkin gets raped.

4. I don’t want this to start sounding like Festivus and “the airing of grievances,” BUT

The previous post about the slowly unspooling, ugly truth regarding how there came to be an aggressive and hostile investigation that has been used to undermine the Trump Presidency and increase public distrust is the topic that led a previously honorable Ethics Alarms commenter, one whom I had treated with conspicuous respect and even met with privately, to puff himself up like a blowfish, announce that I had “drunk the Kool-Aid,” and condemn the blog as no longer worthy of his wisdom and participation. Turley’s clear exposition of exactly how calculated and corrupt the post-election attacks on President Trump were made me angry about this all over again.

The self-exiled commenter works in my field. He had represented himself as fair, unbiased, informed and reasonable. Yet when facts began surfacing that did not fit his favored construct regarding the identities of good, the bad and the ugly in his world, he resorted to denial, the comfort of ideologically compatible allies, and an “attack the messenger” strategy, impugning my character in the process.

I don’t expect everyone or even most people to be better than that, but I had been led to believe that he was better than that. While I had decided that a simple apology would be sufficient should the gentleman have the guts and integrity to offer one, that resolve is fading.

Before the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck stops rolling, I fear I will have lost respect for a lot of people.


14 thoughts on “New Year’s Day Ethics Warm-Up, 2019: Outrageous Virtue Signaling And Other Misdemeanors

  1. 3. From wiki:

    According to New York magazine, [Barkin’s second marriage, to Ron Perelman] ended in a messy divorce in 2006 with Barkin receiving “not one penny more” than $20 million, according to a friend of hers. In October 2006, “Magnificent Jewels from the Collection of Ellen Barkin” realised $20,369,200 at Christie’s, New York. In 2007, Barkin sued Perelman for $3.4 million in investment funds he allegedly promised to invest in their film production company. He was ordered to pay her $4.3 million.

    Is this a great country or what? And there’s a gender pay gap?

  2. Re #1: Wait…this is aBRIEF?

    Re #2: This guy hasn’t read a book in his entire life.

    Re #3: Ellen Barkin…hummm…yeah, she was an actress, yes? Used to be kind of pretty, sort of sexy? Now, just old. Why would anybody care what she thinks?

  3. Re: #1

    The supreme irony is that the statements you quoted would almost certainly be considered defamatory by the Plaintiff, but are most likely protect rd as privileged communications (judicial privilege?).


  4. Re: #1

    I believe the pro-se lunacy scale goes something like this:

    1. Mr. So-and-so, pro se
    2. Mr. So-and-so, PhD, pro se
    3. Mr. So-and-so, Queen of the Lizard People, pro se

  5. #1 It’s sounding more and more to me like the plaintiff is trying to use the legal system to literally defame you. It sounds a little like the Judge in the lower court will be the plaintiff’s new target. I think it’s time for a Judge to slap the plaintiff with contempt.

  6. #2 As difficult as it is to think about, “nauseating virtue-signaling championship might actually be an understatement. Who the hell gives a damn what Obama’s favorite books and movies are? Seriously folks, is he running for the office of King or maybe God now – what a freaking narcissist.

  7. I wish there were a way (short of duelling) where Jack could persuade this fool to stand down. Sue the britches off this character as a way to make him STOP?

    Yeah, if it were a good idea, Jack would have done it already.

  8. Louis C.K. has an excellent point.

    The way these Parkland activists were going, they made it seem as if the place was a gang-infested hellhole where kids were getting shot to death in drive-by shootings every day by super-predator gangbangers like Nikolas Cruz. Even then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed to confront the problem of gangs.

    But this article shows how safe Parkland really is.

    What’s more, Parkland was just named Florida’s safest city in 2017, according to an analysis by the Washington-based National Council for Home Safety and Security.

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