As I Was Saying…Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/11/2019 Continued: Dinosaur Ethics, Bakery Wars, Poor Kamala, and Crazy California

I’m baaack…

Sorry to do this, but there were too many items that I couldn’t post on in the time I had this morning, and if I don’t get them up now, they might get lost…

4. Poll update. I’m amazed that the Bouie op-ed suggesting that we dump Marbury vs Madison and just let Congress pass any unconstitutional law it wants is leading the “worst op-ed” race 3-1 over the “we owe it to all those countries we helped to get out of the Stone Age and to avoid having their citizens  being made into slaves or soap by Hitler toflood the U.S. by the world’s poor, criminal and uneducated” screed. I think Bouie’s fantasy is trivial in the end because it’s impossible, though characteristic of the new Left response to defeat, which is “If you’re losing the game, change the rules.”

The illegal immigration rationalizations are far worse, I think, because they make sense to the ignorant, the addled, and the Californians.

Governor Gavin Newsom released an outline of the state’s 2020 budget  that includes $98 million in new annual spending to make 90,000 previously uninsured illegal immigrants eligible for the state’s Medicaid program Who will pay for  it? Why, citizens who are fined—I mean TAXED…sorry. Chief Justice Roberts!—through an “individual mandate” for not buying health insurance as the law requires. This is pure madness.  California is promising benefits to law-breakers, incentives to breach our borders. What kind of pernicious brain virus would make a sentient human being think this is a good idea, or responsible governance?

[I just deleted an ugly, irresponsible, violent statement expressing how bad I think this is, how perverted the policy makers are who support it, and the fate I posited that the state deserves for moving in this direction. I am abashed that I think such thoughts. Close call.]

5. The Equality Act, and a vendetta. I  support the objectives of the Equality Act, which amends the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include invidious discrimination against anyone base on sexual orientation or identity. I wish I could support the Act itself, but it appears to be so broadly drafted that it would, for example,  force women’s sports to allow males identifying as women, males on the way to being women, and women who reached puberty as males to compete against the old-fashioned variety of female athletes, thus making women’s sports a farce.

I also worry that the LGBTQ Mafia is as interested in punishing holdouts against the emerging cultural norms and bending others to their will as they are in equal treatment under the law.

For example, it is time to leave Jack Phillips alone. He is the adamant  owner of Masterpiece Bakery, who has already been sued twice based on his position that he should not have to make a custom same-sex wedding cake when his religion does not recognize gay marriages alone.  A third lawsuit has been filed against him in Denver District Court on behalf of Autumn Scardina , who had  filed a previous lawsuit against Phillips following her request for a gender transition cake. She placed that order the day of the SCOTUS ruling for Philips, who had challenged an Oregon commission’s ruling that he had violated the law.

There are plenty of bakeries that would make such a cake. Scardina, and the LGBTQ community, aren’t interested in cakes; they are bent on intimidation. I have written here earlier that Phillips is being a needlessly stubborn jerk, that baking a commissioned cake for a gay wedding isn’t participating in a wedding or endorsing it, and that he would have been kind, and ethical, to just make the damn cake.

I have also written that a kind, Golden Rule-following gay couple would decide, in the face of the baker’s sincere resistance, “Oh, fine. This isn’t worth destroying a business over. Let’s go someplace else.”

At this point, however, Baker is being ostracized. The community is behaving so unethically in its pursuit of a valid principle that they are debasing their cause.

6. I hate to pick on Kamala Harris, but let’s pick on Kamala Harris, since she deserves it. Ann Althouse flagged this response by Harris to the question of whether she would use, Trump-style, tarriffs as a negotiating tool when she <cough> becomes President:

“I would consider as President reading a briefing book. I would consider surrounding myself with experts. I would consider listening to the voices of the people who are going to be most at risk…”

This blog is about leadership as much as ethics, and that is pretty close to a disqualifying statement for an aspiring President. It’s something I could imagine President Warren G. Harding saying, for he was completely in thrall to his handlers, advisers, and “experts,” a nice guy and serviceable Senator who was clueless in the White House. The statement is devoid of leadership instincts, or even an understanding of what leadership entails, but Harris manages to shoehorn in the obligatory nod to the “woke”—never mind serving  the national interest, it’s the “vulnerable” who wag the dog.

Her answer is an admission of incompetence, the motto of a follower. Ann has been fascinated by how wishy-washy Harris is; it’s as if Harris thinks being a woman “of color” gives her a right to the nomination without showing any Presidential traits at all.

(Prediction: Elizabeth Warren will eat her alive in the debates.)

7. Dinosaur ethics This is not a parody: Richard T. Pallardy writes at ArcDigital…and by the way,

SUE, a 40 foot long Tyrannosaurus Rex whose fossil remains presided over the the magnificent Stanley Field Hall at Chicago’s Field Museum from 2000 to 2018, has attained social justice enlightenment. Never mind that she died millennia ago in what is now South Dakota, then an area of balmy flood plains abutting an inland sea. Taking a page out of the Creation Museum’s playbook, the Field’s administrators have decided to distort scientific understanding in pursuit of a political goal. In recent years, through her social media persona, SUE has asserted her gender identity. It all started on Twitter in March 2017. Reacting to a comment, SUE tweeted that her sex was unknown and that, like human gender non-binary people, she uses “they/them” pronouns.

While it is true that her sex is indeterminate, this move conflates the exclusively human concept of gender and the incontrovertible reality of binary sex. SUE was either male or female. We just don’t know which. This purposeful misunderstanding has now made its way into her new exhibit, opened on the museum’s upper level in December 2018. In a world where even some scientists claim – erroneously – that there is no such thing as biological sex, this sets a dangerous precedent.

In addition to misinforming visitors, the museum’s patronizing move in deeming SUE non-binary disrespects and misunderstands the very non-binary individuals it purports to help. The legitimacy of their identity need not rest on inaccurate interpretations of science, and it’s degrading to imagine that it should. The very concept of gender identity as distinct from sex was created to assert that human male, female, and other identity expressions were facts which were mental and social, not genital.

With apologies to SUE and her reptilian cousins, they simply don’t have enough going on in their minds to express gender non-binary identity. Not to mention, we do not know anything about the mind of an animal whose brain rotted away maybe a million years before the Chicxulub asteroid event wiped out the rest of the T. Rex species anyway.

Everything is seemingly spinning out of control!



26 thoughts on “As I Was Saying…Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/11/2019 Continued: Dinosaur Ethics, Bakery Wars, Poor Kamala, and Crazy California

  1. “[I just deleted an ugly, irresponsible, violente statement expressing how bad I think this is, how perverted the policy makers are who support it, and the fate I posited that the state deserves for moving in this direction. I am abashed that I think such thoughts. Close call.]”

    If it helps, whenever something like this comes up, I remember a couple of lines by Mike Royko who wrote about another California inanity back in the ’80s. I’m paraphrasing here, “Like all crazy ideas, this one is from California. Oh, why, didn’t Superman mind his own business and let Lex Luthor drop the whole state into the ocean?”

    Maybe that’s more diplomatic?

    6. Warren Harding and Ulysses Grant, nice guys; trusted the wrong people. Learn from history, Kamala.

    7. Saw Sue at the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis years ago and then caught her again at the Field Museum. It’s a great skeleton to see in person, regardless of her gender identity.

    • Harding and Grant used to be paired at the bottom of President rankings because 1) they both had huge scandals under their watches and 2) the bother were Republicans, and historians are overwhelmingly Democrats. But Grant had his moments (as did Harding, but nowhere near as many) and as a leader, there’s no comparison. Grant knew how to make a decision without “experts”—he was just too nice a guy.

      We now know Wilson makes both Harding and Grant look good by comparison. I’d put the bottom 6 as Pierce, Buchanan, Wilson, A. Johnson, Harding, and either Carter or Obama.

      • Well, I’ll grant leadership skills to U.S. Grant over Harding who was only president because his wife wanted it and ended up getting lucky at the convention. But he had a message Americans wanted after WWI .

        Grant certainly showed great leadership in handling Reconstruction and in releasing more gold into the market during that speculation incident. But he trusted too easily.

        I’m sure you’ve read Grant’s memoirs. Something that jumped out at me while reading them was how often he excused failures and missteps in others with lines like, “It wasn’t his fault; that’s just how he was” (again a paraphrase, but generally his message). I can readily believe this guy would be taken by errant partners before the war and by scam artists afterwards.

  2. I find it interesting that the founders never addressed the situation that led to Mayberry v Madison. Did they not know what to do? Did they not think of the possibility?

    Let’s not forget that this is a power grab by one branch of the government. Fortunately it’s been right more than wrong, but it is a huge power grab. Nothing becomes law unless 218 representatives, 50 senators plus VP or 51 senators and the president signs, or 290 representatives and 67 senators agree. On the other side, all of those democratically elected people can be overruled by 5 unelected people.

    For most of the history of the country, this wasn’t an issue. But now we’ve got the left deciding to use judicial activism to gain ground that the representative process isn’t working for them.

    Given that this is a constitutional issue where one branch has taken power not granted them, I do not think it is unreasonable to proscribe additional rules. We could do something like making it 7 of 9 before congress can be overruled. Or give congress the ability to nullify (or preempt), just like they can when the president vetoes – 2/3 of congress can’t be overturned.

    • Gotta love Mayberry v. Madison. Typo of the year, although as I recall, Justice Knotts was very eloquent for the dissent.

    • I don’t think it’s a power grab. The SCOTUS power in the system is a remarkable commitment to the Rule of Law. Trump is a perfect example of why it’s needed; so is the current Congress. Marshall saw a danger the Founders missed, and fixed it.

      Of course, I may be biased…

      • I think Justice Scalia has eloquently expressed the danger in the power SCOTUS has post Marbury v Madison. He’s made several speeches on the topic expressing his basis for being a strong originalist. So long as the Justices are well behaved, it is fine. When Judges become super legislators, there is no check on their power. Roe v. Wade is a perfect example, it is an affront to a representative government. Half of America is happy with it, because they “won”, ignoring that the same undemocratic method could be turned around on them in the future.

        Fortunately at the Supreme Court level things are fairly restrained. The antics of the federal circuit court judges, mainly appointed by Obama, who feel that it is their duty to be another branch of the resistance is not acceptable. A check on this conduct needs to be made.

    • I cannot see any other solution to the problem of dealing with a law Congress passes that is in conflict with the provisions of the Constitution. With no way to strike down an unconstitutional law, there would be no need for the provision to amend the Constitution; all that would be needed is a majority in both houses and a presidential signature. (Or a veto override.)

      I refer you to California (my home state) for endless examples of the mischief that a one-party state can get into.

  3. I wonder how many people actually thought the gender/sex distinction wasn’t just a gentle, part-wise, temporary step toward denying the reality of biological sex. The pattern’s so obvious. Maybe we were all muted because calling that next step before it happens is always, as part of that same pattern, ridiculed as a “”slippery slope”” up to the very second the other shoe drops. There is no shame about the accusation of fallacy after-the-fact; it seems the term for such people is ‘fick’.

    If you perform a perfect plastic surgery on a squirrel such that it looks and functions like a trout at the end, do you have a trout or a mutilated squirrel?

    I had the misfortune of visiting my old college a couple of years ago. There were posters everywhere with the motto “perception is reality” blazoned across them. Such a motto undermines the purpose of all education and scientific inquiry, so that institution is a corpse marionette to the extent the universally hung posters are representative. If someone truly believes there’s no objective beyond the subjective, he denies that principle by even attempting to sway my opinion. Some things simply can’t be doubted if our doubt is itself to make sense. But that’s the thing about empowered sophist liars: they aren’t satisfied so long as there’s even one person not in on the lie – not unlike your common drug addict.

    That petty determination to feel innocent even to the point of tipping one’s hand to the fact, which they’ll deny, that they don’t even believe themselves (what’s one more open, shameless lie?) will lead them necessarily to attempt to criminalize any dissent. For this reason, if it’s not to be repealed altogether for making the “”privilege”” of earning a wage incompatible with freedom of association, the Civil Rights Act should certainly never be expanded to include behaviors or ideas.

    Box: soaped

    • There were posters everywhere with the motto “perception is reality” blazoned across them.

      Just wow! I wonder, has there been other similar wide spread sentiments like this on college campuses or other places like this before? Seems like a totalitarian notion to me.

      • It’s certainly the root of all totalitarianism, the notion that truth is what we choose to call it (unless you say otherwise). It’s been the general thrust of what’s called philosophy for the last few hundred years, breaking off ideas that lead to obligations we’d prefer to avoid. It seems to get just a little more mainstream by the day. It’s usually a veiled major premise, though. I’d never seen it advertised so openly. Can you imagine if someone outrightly started an argument with “There’s no objective truth, and…”? The discussion begins and ends with the first clause!

  4. It was a tough call but I did vote for Bouie’s claim that Marbury v Madison should be vacated. The other seemed way too crazy to believe as a possibility.

    I should point out that all civilizations were built by people moving into heretofore primitive areas. As for the U.S. being responsible for colonialism that claim should be addressed by England, France and Spain not us. Except for a few protectorates like Guam and Puerto Rico we have nothing even approaching a colony.

    The notion that the U.S. does not recognize borders is unsupportable. If we didn’t recognize other borders Maduro, Castro and others would be long gone.

  5. Re: No. 4; Kamala’s Deflection:

    So, she said this:

    “I would consider as President reading a briefing book. I would consider surrounding myself with experts. I would consider listening to the voices of the people who are going to be most at risk…”

    I don’t know why this is a surprise to anyone. Pres. Obama, when not telling me I could keep my doctor and health care coverage, used this kind of answer all of the time. The media swooned over the nuances, the eloquence, the depth. Pres. Clinton was a master at it. Pres. Trump, well . . . not so much. George Bush the Younger tried but, to his credit, fumbled too much for it to make any kind of sense.


    • Good catch, Burgermeister. She may be attempting to run an Obama-style campaign where, as did Obama, she won’t really say a thing and turn herself into a Rorsach test that allows people to see in herself whatever it is they want to see. She may even have hired David Axelrod or whomever came up with that effective but insidious strategy (or tactic, not sure which it is). But I just don’t see her radiating that savior aura the way Obama could do and she hasn’t come up with a vapid “Hope and Change” like slogan. And she doesn’t have a Marxist poster in production either.

  6. I read worse in the poll to mean “more dangerous”. So, I voted with Marbury.

    The other might have been a worse argument, though.

    They are both hideously bad-so it’s hard to pick the true loser.

  7. I think Warren would objectively obliterate Harris in a debate…but get ready to hear “As a woman of color…” 10,000 times until white liberals just won’t be able to resist voting for her (or at least saying they did.) If Warren hadn’t lied about being a person of color herself, it would be less of a toss-up.

    • Are we all not people of color? If Negroid races can ally with oriental races and hispanics why are they bigoted against races whose color ranges from pinkish to olive hues? Or, is all the talk about being a person of color to drive persons of European descent into the political minority? If so, don’t talk to me about being marginalized.

  8. but it appears to be so broadly drafted that it would, for example, force women’s sports to allow males identifying as women, males on the way to being women, and women who reached puberty as males to compete against the old-fashioned variety of female athletes, thus making women’s sports a farce.

    So the women’s events in the Olympics have been a farce for over 20 years? Or how long does this process of enfarcement take?

    I don’t want to engage in the intellectually dishonest practice of raising a straw man, but “women who reach puberty as males” have been permitted to compete in Olympic events since 1996. As long as they have completed transition, defined as being on HRT for 2 years after surgery.

    • Looking forward, not backward. But women’s sports have often been a farce, and for longer than 20 years. In most sports, the idea is a farce. Let all the genders compete in the same competitions. Then the problem goes away. Why would this be unfair? We don’t have “short, weak men” sports.

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