Ethics Lunch, 9/24/2019: Big Hairy Men! Teen Rants! Legalized Theft! Insulting The Poor With Kindness!



Or rather, “yecchhh!”

1.  Ben Carson doesn’t think women’s shelters should admit men identifying as women. Obviously, he must be destroyed. Has there ever been a tiny minority that has triggered so many gotchas and excessive controversies like trans citizens?

Let me stipulate that Ben Carson has no business being Secretary of HUD, as he is completely unqualified and possessed of narrow brilliance in an unrelated area and crippling dufus-ness in all others, so this goes in the “Stop Making Me Defend Ben Carson” files.

Nonetheless, the current outrage over remarks he made in a closed-door meeting with roughly 50 HUD staffers at the agency’s San Francisco office are contrived, and blatant virtue-signaling to the hyper-sensitive Democratic base.

Let me also stipulate that Carson is an idiot for not being able to figure out that in any group of San Francisco residents there would be several just looking for a “Ben Carson is an anti-trans bigot” smoking gun.

Carson wrote in an all-staff email that he

“…made reference to the fact that I had heard from many women’s groups about the difficulty they were having with women’s shelters because sometimes men would claim to be women, and that HUD’s policy required the shelter to accept—without question—the word of whoever came in, regardless of what their manifested physical characteristics appeared to be.This made many of the women feel unsafe, and one of the groups described a situation to me in which ‘big hairy men’ would come in and have to be accepted into the women’s shelter even though it made the women in the facility very uncomfortable,. My point was that we have to permit policies that take into consideration the rights of everybody, including those women.”

This was relayed to the media by a few enraged staffers as Carson referring to trans individuals as “big hairy men,” as well as representing insufficiently supportive sentiments towards the transgender community. “The sentiment conveyed was these were not women, and they should not be housed in single-sex shelters — like we shouldn’t force people to accept transgender people in this context because it makes other people uncomfortable,” one staffer told the Washington Post.

To the contrary, what Carson was referencing  is a legitimate concern. Having recently been served at McDonalds by someone who certainly appeared to be a big hairy man wearing a beard, a woman’s wig and a bra, I understand the problem, and it is a problem—not at McDonalds, but surely in a women’s shelter.  Because Carson acknowledged reality,  Julián Castro, a former HUD secretary and a 2020 Democratic candidate for President, said Carson’s comments “normalize violence” against transgender people. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats piled on.

2. Immunity again, bad judges again, KABOOM! again. Where do these judges come from?

The Fresno Police Department carried out a raid on Micah Jessop and Brittan Ashjian, who were suspected of operating illegal gambling machines, though no charges were ever brought. After the search, officers provided both men with a ledger stating that the police had seized $50,000. Jessop and Ashjian allege that the officers really took $151,380 in cash and $125,000 in rare coins, pocketing $226,380 in what was outright robbery.

Are you ready?

The famously liberal U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals  ruled that the Fresno police are protected by qualified immunity and  cannot be sued for recovery of the funds. The unanimous panel—you can’t blame this one on Trump’s judicial appointments— said  that “the City Officers ought to have recognized that the alleged theft was morally wrong,” but the officers lacked “clear notice that it violated the Fourth Amendment’—that is, police officers don’t have enough information to understand that robbing people is a violation of their constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. Reason has more details. [Pointer: Red Pill Ethics]

3. This is signature significance for something terrible; I just don’t have the words yet. In August, conservative activist Scott Presler led a group  to pitiful West Baltimore for a volunteer clean-up operation. Then he did the same in the depths of Newark and Virginia Beach, Virginia. This weekend, Presler and some 200 volunteers  removed an estimated 50 tons of garbage from inner city Los Angeles. So far, there has been no coverage of the clean-up efforts from the local media, but at least it hasn’t produced anything like The Baltimore Sun did in response to Presler’s efforts in its home town. The Charm City paper condemned the clean-up  for”reinforc[ing] the tired image that the poor people in this city can’t take care of their own neighborhoods.”

What IS that?

4. Update: It looks as if, as I had hoped, the provocative and profound Mrs. Q. will soon be joining Ethics Alarms as regular correspondent, columnist, or something in that realm. More to come…

5. Why do  the UN members permit a 16 year-old girl to appear before them and insult everyone in the room…and then applaud the insults? Here’s what climate change Apocalypse mouthpiece Greta Thunberg  said to the delegates yesterday,

“This is all wrong.I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you come to us young people for hope. How dare you. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are at the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! ”You say you hear us and understand the urgency, but no matter how sad and angry I am, I do not want to believe that,” she added. “Because if you really understood the situation and still kept on failing to act, then you would be evil. And that I refuse to believe.”

Well, she was right that she shouldn’t be up there. The fatuous members applauded as if they had heard a teen recite “Paul Revere’s Ride,” which would have been a more applause-worthy achievement than a rant about how “people are dying” and “mass extinction.”

Instapundit has been full of fair and accurate assessments of this ongoing stunt lately. Here are some highlights:

  • Glenn Reynolds:  “…when an emotionally disturbed sixteen-year-old is the spokesperson for your movement, maybe it’s not really about science. Poor kid — she’s just a younger, more vulnerable Cindy Sheehan, and like Sheehan will be discarded as soon as she’s no longer of use. In the meantime, her moral theatrics have grown tedious.
  • Scott Adams: the whole thing)
  • Victory Girls: “Malena Ernman and Svante Thunberg – you have failed your daughter in almost every way imaginable. My pity for her is laced with my contempt for you. You allowed an impressionable young girl with autism and depression to work herself into an obsessive state over something she cannot control.”

All true, all true.

33 thoughts on “Ethics Lunch, 9/24/2019: Big Hairy Men! Teen Rants! Legalized Theft! Insulting The Poor With Kindness!

  1. RE: Greta Thunberg

    I sent the following to our paper today. If kids want someone to “Do Something” on climate change let us start with non essential energy expenditures.

    Dear Editor:
    Yesterday many joined the climate strike blocking traffic in D.C. and in cities around the country. A young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg addressed the U.N. in which she chastised adults for not bowing to the demands of environmentalists who are pushing for a new system of resource allocation and reward.

    “How dare you” was her cry as she lamented the loss of her childhood. Several times she condemned adults for their sins against her future; “how dare you”, she cried. Many young people will see her as the Joan of Arc of environmentalism yet she offers nothing but condemnation.

    Ok, kids you want change be proactive. Public schools should eliminate air conditioning which constitutes one of the largest uses of electrical energy in institutional buildings. Let’s reduce the heating load by reducing the winter set temperature to 65 degrees thus reducing the use of natural gas. There really is no need for students driving themselves to school when we can increase the use of buses reducing passenger mile emissions. We can also eliminate all non-essential student activities that increase energy use in public school buildings and sports fields. We can eliminate all after dark activities that require unnecessary lighting. These actions reduce costs and emissions. It is a win-win for those paying the bills.

    Going beyond simple governmental solutions we should ban all recreational activities that are heavy electrical users such as Disney, Six Flags, Kings Dominion, as well as gambling venues. We should limit shopping to six days per week to reduce energy consumption. By raising the minimum driving age to 18 as it is in Sweden we can reduce both CO2 and NOX emissions.

    We cannot eliminate fossil fuels overnight as little Greta Thunberg believes, but we can limit the amount of energy that people have access to. The question is, when the impact of radical environmentalism hits those demanding immediate radical action will they still want action. Step up kids. Lead by demanding these ideas be implemented or come up with your own ideas that require you make tough choices that affect you.

    • Nice work, Chris. Thanks for making the effort. Maybe all the kids should turn in their Iphones and Ipads as well. And their trans Pacific Nikes.

      • OB
        I wanted to include restricting use of petrochemical based products to those demonstrating a real need for such products. Given that some have decided that people do not “need” certain goods so it would not be a stretch to devise a list of items teens do not need. Through collective action we have created communal bibliotechs for research called libraries. It is inefficient for every teen to have a personal computer or smart phone when communal telecomunications services were once ubiquitous in the form of pay phones.

        I would have included this but the paper limits the number of words.

      • Will she take a vow never to own a car, never use a plastic drinking straw, never to eat red meat, never to use anything that requires petroleum products, never to use air conditioning, never to use oil or gas heat, never to dispose of garbage in a landfill or incinerator, or never to have kids herself? Quit your whining and accusing, Greta, and actually DO something to make this world the environmentalist utopia you so want it to be.

        I’ve got news for you, you big-mouthed, empty-headed Pippi Longstocking who, like most Aspergians, can talk like a little professor but is just repeating what you’ve heard and memorized, you pawn of power-seeking adults who can’t grasp or don’t want to grasp that you’re being used. About a decade back a few kids not much older than you decided the system was all wrong, and they’d occupy everything until they got their way. A few generations back other kids not much older than you decided their parents and grandparents had it all wrong too. They marched, they disrupted, and they did a lot worse, thinking they were going to take over and build a new system from scratch, where everything would be perfect. Everyone would contribute what he could and receive what he needed, no one would be judged on color or gender, there would be no more conflict, and everyone would practice sustainable living.

        Well, guess what? Occupy Wall Street and all the other occupations it spawned lasted 3-6 months and achieved not a damn thing other than finally pissing off the authorities to the point where they used force. Wall Street is still there. It’s not going anywhere. The banks aren’t going anywhere. The Vietnam generation grew up and moved on, realizing eventually you have to make a living. The government isn’t going anyplace. The military isn’t going anyplace. And, I’m sorry to say, the problems that arise from different people trying to get along in one world aren’t going anyplace.

        Occupy Wall Street isn’t happening again, nor is anything like it. The anti-Vietnam movement isn’t happening again, nor is anything like it. Every movement that’s tried to be like it has failed. Oh, and no teenage girl has ever changed the world. Joan of Arc was nothing more than a mascot, who served as a rallying point for a French king, army, and nation in need of a morale boost. The real causes of French victory were demographics (a united France was twice as many people and more as England), artillery (the French quickly became the best there was at the use of this devastating new weapon), a dynastic collapse in England (the Wars of the Roses), and realpolitik maneuvering by Charles VII and Louis XI culminating in Louis paying Edward IV off to renounce his claim to the French throne. Malala’s long forgotten, and her chief achievement was getting shot. You will be too.

    • I want them to turn off all the coal-fired powered plants. Right. Now. I found an indignant 16-year old who demands it. Just as a test. We will go without coal-fired electricity for 2 weeks just to show that we can do it.

      • We will go without coal-fired electricity for 2 weeks just to show that we can do it.

        Cities will burn.

        There is only enough food on grocery shelves for a couple of days, at best. Just in Time ordering has killed storerooms.

        What stops the resupply trucks from rolling? Power for the fuel pumps.

        If the food arrives, how will the public pay for it? Got cash? ATMs will not work, nor will WIC, debit, or credit cards.

        Water will run out quite quickly, as pumps need power (even gravity feed water systems have the new filters that require electricity, at least until they are routed around in violation of federal mandates.)

        Riots will result, as hungry, thirsty urbanites demand someone fix this. Cities that rely on coal are in for a rough ride if those plants are all shut down at once.

  2. Re 4: Can’t wait to see what comes off that. 🙂

    Re 5: I stopped reading Scott Adams regularly when he became too repetitive about Trump and a bit too cynical for my tastes, but on that letter he nails it.

  3. 2. In the example you gave, because charges were not filed, the business in question was at least presumptively operating legally. So the upshot is that the police pillaged a legal business in the manner of a protectionist racket, at minimum. La Cosa Nostra would be proud.

    This cannot end well. The population will not allow the so-called defenders of the law to rob them, then keep the money to serve their own interests. If the Fourth Amendment doesn’t protect the citizens here, then it is effectively a dead letter.

    3. What is that? Criminal incompetence, bias, and identity politicking from “journalists,” something I see every single day. It’s why we can’t have nice things anymore.

    5. They weren’t applauding the insults. They were applauding the girl, and the fact that she was clearly not referring to them, but to the unwashed ignorant masses like us who are unwilling to accept the junk science behind anthropogenic global warming (or “climate change,” if you must).

    As representatives of “us,” our betters in the UN understand that only our insane, uneducated resistance to their ivory tower pronouncements prevents global communist utopia and rule by our moral, intellectual, and spiritual superiors — that is to say, them. The science is settled, just like a 13.7 billion year-old universe in the 1990’s, or the “fact” that Pluto was a planet, or geocentricty back in the pre-16th century.

    As to the wisdom of children, this is an oxymoron. Wisdom requires the one thing children lack — experience. Education is also important, but to some degree, optional.

  4. I thought Adams’ argument about nuclear waste was poorly made. He briefly touched on new reactor designs capable of consuming existing nuclear waste, but he rushes past it as a secondary consideration. It is, in my opinion, the number one greatest argument in favor of new nuclear power.

    To simplify the science, conventional fission reactors produce two main kinds of waste: a small amount of short half-life transuranics that will decay away in a few hundred years, and a whole lot of lower radioactivity fissionable material that will remain toxic for ten thousand years or more. Modern fast-neutron breeder reactors, together with fuel reprocessing technology, have the potential to eat up basically ALL the long half-life fissionable material, leaving us only the short-lived transuranics. This is important because, as a species, we have never built anything that’s lasted ten thousand years and remained intact. Our nation is a little over 200 years old. Nuclear physics itself goes back less than 100 years. The pyramids at Giza are about 4,500 years old, and even they were broken into and plundered shortly after their construction.

    This waste is here now. If we abolished all nuclear power tomorrow, it would still be here. Whether it would all fit into a football field, or ten football fields, or a kitchen sink, we ought to have a plan for dealing with it that falls within a timeframe the human mind can comprehend. That requires new nuclear power.

    • I have long thought the irrational opposition to nuclear power is less about the environment and more about the power the elites have accumulated through the control of resources. Cheap, clean power threatens elitist control. It grants freedom in several ways, not the least of which if allowing more discretionary income for the middle class.

      Freedom must be snuffed out, so we can return to a society where our betters decide everything for we deplorables.

  5. Re. #2. Was it ever established that the claimed loss ever existed? Something must have happened for the case to make it to the 9th circus. It is not uncommon for such claims to fail because proof that the loss ever existed was lacking. I freely admit to not chasing the link to the full decision. My bad.

    I take minor issue with Glenn Logan (above) in that charges not being filed in a CA gaming case is often discretionary on the prosecutor’s part due to court time consumed and possibility of actual conviction is low. That “no crime occurred” is somewhat a rare occurrence in these cases.

    • I did not check the link either, but I kind of know how these cases work.

      You sue the police for a violation of your rights.

      They have official immunity and qualified immunity (one’s for the State laws, the other is for the feds, at least in my state).

      The Courts may find a violation of your rights, but they are hesitant to impose liability on police officers unless there was clear notice that such activity violated the person’s rights. My case involved a K-9 officer that attacked someone sleeping in a park. It went up to the 8th Circuit and the full panel said that, while there are other cases around the country that have found this is a violation, they had not decided the issue. They decided in our favor (as I recall), but that is only good for future victims because NOW the police in this circuit are on notice.

      But, if I remember the case law, there was a bar that all officers were expected to know. In other words, some things, like stealing $100,000.00 from a suspect, were so obvious that you would not need to have a prior court decision to put you on notice.

      But, here we are.

      So, not having read the decision, that is my educated inference as to what might have been going on.


      • I reviewed the case and, sadly, I was correct. The analysis basically followed the lines I suggested. The unfortunate takeaway from this is it would be hard to imagine a case where police would be expected to follow the law without some judge having first told them they had to.

        This area of the law seems so … not sure what to say…I am having a hard time deciding whether “masturbatory” or “navel-gazing” is a more apt descriptor. The police need judges to tell them what to do because, until they are told, they can’t be expected to know.



      • Your example shows that the event actually occurred, the attack. In the posted case, there is no showing that a theft occurred, or even that the alleged loss ever was present when the “raid” occurred. How can an act violate someone’s rights when — thus far — there no showing that the act occurred, or if it was even possible.

        By “raid” I am going with the idea that officers serving a warrant is a raid, as is done frequently by the press, especially if the intent is to discredit the authorities to some degree. If there was a warrant then someone convinced a judge of the existence and illegality of the “gaming machines”. If the police got that warrant using false information, that is the violation to be dealt with. I think I got it right in my assessment of why no charges were filed.

        I think you are just trying to goad me into reading the decision. 🙂

  6. No virtue signaling leftie likes a conservative black man like Ben Carson saying the obvious like homeless men to not belong in women’s shelters. After all as the left reminds us repeatedly gender is just a social construct. Ready to sing “I feel like a natural women?”

  7. 5.The hysterical girl.

    Quite exemplary, it seems to me, of social hysteria in motion. Both infantile (a thing of children) and female. I am beginning to wonder if this is not, in some bizarre way, a psychological manifestation of a Dionysus Cult? If it is true that if you subtract from a people their religious foundations, their grounding in metaphysics, in shared community, that in one way or another a religious obsessiveness will still manifest but in infectious psychological ways. Definitely this child is possessed by anxiety.

    So, there are may different manifestations of this. The girl who was ‘raped’ by Brock Turner who then turned on him with a similar, condemning speech designed to kill. Or the ‘shrieking girl’ on the elite University commons. Christine Blasey Ford showed it, but a version better under control at least for the public performance. Trump Derangement Syndrome definitely has participants and devotees who seem to have a bad case of it.

    But the climate change hysteria sort of encapsulates it all. The entire supporting platform of the world convulses and one’s existence is threatened. The atmosphere rages around you but you cannot, like Lear, say:

    Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!

    Which is in its way a surrender to something inevitable, but instead you are consumed by fear, contempt and resentment, and strike out against misfortunes, real or imagined, that you do not understand and cannot control.

    “I want to feel safe. How can I feel safe when I know we are in the greatest crisis in human history?”

    Well, I guess it depends on which school of psychology you subscribe to. There has never been a time that has not seemed, so someone, as on the verge of catastrophe. But what would a ‘properly balanced’ mother and father recommend for their child in this instance?

    If Libido Dominandi refers to the manipulation of lust by political power with an interest in manipulating and controlling people, one wonders what the connection is in this aspect of female hysteria?

    • Thank you for the King Lear reference. It was the last amateur production I ever directed before officially turning pro, to prove I could usher a community theater (a big, wealthy one with resources that many small professional companies would kill for) through the most challenging drama ever written. And I did, although, to be fair, about half the cast and all of the designers had been professionals previously or went pro shortly thereafter. I had lots of help.

      While working on Lear, I became convinced that Shakespeare was an alien, and that the human being didn’t exist who was smart enough to glean all of the wisdom from the text.

      • Yes, I really agree with you. The Study of Shakespeare rewards one a thousand times.

        Speaking of that, what productions of his plays available on DVD would you recommend?

        Hamlet “2000” is one of my favorites (with Ethan Hawke).

        Include as many as you can think. If we don’t have them I’ll get.

      • I also came across this Times article on child anxiety [More and More Children Are Feeling Anxious. This Graphic Novelist Is Trying to Help].

        Here, she has omitted what could be a large contributor: the hysteria around ‘climate change’.

        “Children are struggling. Over the last decade, cases of anxiety disorder in young people have increased by 20 percent or more. Rates of suicide and suicidal thinking have risen sharply among young people of all ages — including, horrifyingly, children under 11. Scholars debate why this is happening — plausible culprits include social media, video gaming, helicopter parenting, school shootings and lockdown drills, overweening college pressure, and both the over- and under-prescribing of medication, among other things — but the fact of steadily rising numbers of children with anxiety and depression is hard to dispute.

        “Telgemeier is not, in a book aimed at third to eighth graders, out to solve the mystery of this rise or limn its sociological roots. What she does do, in keeping with the mode of her previous books, is provide a remarkably well-rendered and accessible first-person account of what it’s like to experience clinical anxiety as a 10-year-old girl — which, I can say with authority, is also pretty much what it’s like to experience clinical anxiety as a 10-year-old boy.”

  8. Working theory: If she wasn’t saying something that they very strongly agreed with, most of Greta Thurnburg’s biggest fans would be tripping over themselves to bring the “cancelled” hammer down HARD on a wealthy, white, privileged teenager screaming insults in public.

  9. 1.

    3. No good deed (by the “wrong” people) goes unpunished (or un-remarked)?

    4. Yay!

    5 When a child is raised by or around the sort of people who scream at the sky, break down in tears over elections, and express fear of others’ words as “violence”, is it any wonder that the child becomes irrationally confused and fearful?…especially if she is less than optimally equipped to analyze and deal with such input? Employing the thoroughly repulsive attention-seeker, David Hogg, as a useful idiot was bad enough, though he seemed a willing enough participant, and aware of what he was doing. Misusing this poor girl as a pawn is just child abuse.

  10. At the end of the day, always mention nuclear. The vast majority of “environmentalists” will immediately scream primally that nuke isn’t an option.

    And then you’ll always be reminded that it isn’t actually about the environment, it’s about stifling capitalism and ushering in government control of the economy.

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