So depressing to observe the reactions of the Facebook Borg to my post about Elizabeth Warren’s self-outing as a lying demagogue. They couldn’t process it; they put their metaphorical fingers in their ears and hummed; they attacked the messenger (me); they channeled the generally-derided Politifact whitewashing of the “Mike Brown was murdered” lie. One lawyer friend apparent deep-dived Ethics Alarms to try to find a post that would contradict my position regarding Warren (and Kamala Harris). She couldn’t, but pretended she had by metaphorically waving an essay in which I applauded a man acquitted of murder by reason of insanity who later admitted to others that he had killed someone when he was younger and insane. (I can’t find the damn thing myself.) She then called me a liar and a hypocrite, because I had described the man as a murderer when he was innocent in the eyes of the law. A lawyer made this argument, mind you. I explained, not too nicely, that her analogy was idiotic, since there was no murder and no crime in the Brown case, so law prof Warren’s calling it either was dishonest and indefensible, while in the case of the recovered madman, there was a murder, a crime, and a murder victim. Though the acknowledged killer he was fortunate enough to have committed his crime in a state that holds the insane unaccountable, that fact didn’t change the act or the crime.
I don’t know why I bothered. Warren fans, like Bernie Bros, appear to be completely immune to facts and reality.
1. Why is there such a compulsion to corrupt the innocent, even the fictional innocent? I was hardly an admirer of those late 60s and 70s Sid and Marty Kroft Saturday Morning TV shows with people dressed in huge, garish thing-costumes and being relentlessly cheery. You know the ones: “H.R. Puffnstuff,” “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour,” “Lidsville”—those. In addition to being assaultive and unfunny, they also inspired Barney, for which the Krofts should never be forgiven.
Still, lots of kids loved the shows and characters, and they should be able to cherish those memories. Hollywood, however, seems determined to debase everything it can, especially fond memories, either by sexualizing them or making them dark, or both. (The re-boot of “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” and “Riverdale,” the series based on the “Archie” comics, are cases in point.) Now we have the new in which are re-imagined as murderous psychopaths.
2. Here’s more stuff my Facebook friends can deny. A study published last week in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine examined firearm ownership state-by-state from 1990 to 2016, and found that while gun ownership was associated with higher rates of homicide involving intimate partners and other family members, there was no significant association between gun ownership rates and the rates of other kinds of gun homicide, such as those involving friends, acquaintances and strangers. This was an anti-gun study that didn’t find the smoking gun it sought, though the results seem logical and what I would have expected. The researcher, Aaron Kivisto, an associate professor of clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis and the lead author of the study, managed to come up with a woke, anti-gun conclusion anyway, though. “It is women, in particular, who are bearing the burden of this increased gun ownership,” he said.
Absent evidence that domestic partners killed by guns would not have been killed by other methods had guns not been available, that statement is an unsubstantiated opinion, triggered by bias.
3. When did guilt by association become acceptable again? I thought it went out with Joe McCarthy.
Joi Ito, a New York Times board member and the director of MIT’s prestigious Media Lab, issued an abject public apology for associating with billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and through him, attracting a $50,000 gift to MIT.
“I take full responsibility for my error in judgment. I am deeply sorry to the survivors, to the Media Lab, and to the MIT community for bringing such a person into our network,” Ito’s statement, titled “My apology regarding Jeffrey Epstein,” said. “In all of my interactions with Epstein, I was never involved in, never heard him talk about, and never saw any evidence of the horrific acts that he was accused of,” the apology continues.
Then you have nothing to apologize for. Stop groveling and virtue-signaling to your Times and MIT progressive colleagues, and stop validating the false ethical principle that we must share the disgrace arising from the conduct of our family, friends and associates when we had no involvement in their misdeeds.
And that $50,000 is perfectly good, as is the money that Epstein invested in Ito’s tech start-ups. Ito has pledged to return Epstein’s tech investments, which is just silly. Epstein didn’t make his money selling girls. after all.
4. On an Epstein-related note: the news media seems hell-bent on killing any speculation that his suicide has any sinister implications. Why is that? Most reports say that the autopsy’s conclusion that he killed himself should end suspicion of foul play. That does not compute. The man was suicidal and on a suicide watch for good reason. He didn’t have to be murdered. All anyone who wanted him dead had to do would be to make sure his watchers stopped watching long enough for Epstein to do the job himself. His watchers did, in fact, stop watching. If it involved anything other than incompetence, and their neglect was induced, that’s foul play.
5. Trying to eliminate anti-white racism and discrimination on campuses is like playing Whack-A-Mole, but not as much fun. From Campus Reform:
A diversity orientation presentation for law students at the University of South Dakota encourages non “minitorized” voices to consider whether or not they are “taking up space” when they contribute to a discussion….Students are encouraged to first ask themselves if their comments will “be representing a relevant minoritized identity.” As they make their way through the chart, it continually encourages them to defer to “minoritized” voices in cases where such voices are present in the conversation, and ask themselves questions such as whether their involvement in the conversation works to “prevent the exploitation of relevant identities.”
Near its conclusion, the chart asks “is there something you’re uniquely capable of offering that will help the goals of the space?” but even students who can safely answer “yes” to that question are then told to make sure that their contribution is “being sought out by minoritized voices.” If it isn’t, students are told that they are “probably taking up space.”
Here’s the chart. It’s a little foggy, but then so is the logic that concludes that discouraging class participation based on race is anything more than unlawful discrimination: