‘Thank God It’s Friday’ Ethics Dump, 10/4/2019: SCOTUS, Impeachment And Cannibalism…

Hi!

Usually, October might be my favorite month…New England foliage, the best of baseball, my sister’s birthday, the Monster Mash…

1. I hate this stuff. A woman  confronted Rep. Ocasio-Cortez during a town hall in Corona, Queens this week and ranted that  the Green New Deal wasn’t enough to save the world. She declared instead that “we must eat the babies” to stop climate change. “We got to start eating babies! We don’t have enough time! … We have to get rid of the babies! … We need to eat the babies!,” she exclaimed. Then she took off her coat to reveal a T-shirt bearing the phrase: “Save the planet, eat the children.”

The Representative  calmly responded that we have “more than a few months” to solve the climate crisis (“though we do need to hit net-zero in a few years”) and that “we all need to understand that there are a lot of solutions that we have.” Naturally, Tucker Carlson criticized her for not emphatically rejecting the woman’s cannibalism proposal.

The woman was a plant, and the disruption was a hoax. A right-wing PAC started by the late Lyndon LaRouche confessed, saying, “It was us. Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathan Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.”

Works at what? Interfering with legitimate civic discourse?

2. No, the latest SCOTUS abortion cases don’t pose a threat to abortion rights. The hysteria you may be hearing is more anti-Kavanaugh hype. The cases involve Louisiana’s law requiring abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.  The Supreme Court granted certiorari to June Medical Services v. Gee, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Gee v. June Medical Services the U.S. after the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Louisiana law was permissible. However, in 2016 the Supreme Court struck down a nearly identical Texas law by a vote of 5-3. The theory in Louisiana is that the law there will not have the same restrictive impact as in Texas.

Even if the Fifth Circuit’s ruling stands, the cases are only tangentially related to Roe v. Wade.

3. These cases, however, may be more important...Next week, the Supreme Court will hear a case involving whether businesses can require employees to dress in traditional gender-specific garb. The Justice Department told the U.S. Supreme Court in its brief that businesses can discriminate against transgender workers without violating federal civil rights law, the stance the government will take in upcoming oral arguments. Solicitor General Noel Francisco and other Justice Department attorneys argue that Congress didn’t intend to include transgender status when it passed Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and that the law’s ban on discrimination because of “sex” referred to unequal treatment of men and women in the workplace. The brief to the justices also argues that Congress hasn’t passed prior bills attempting to add gender identity to the statute.

“Under this Court’s precedent, proving discrimination because of sex under Title VII requires showing that an employer treated members of one sex less favorably than similarly situated members of the other sex,” the Justice Department said in its brief.

There are  three cases before SCOTUS regarding whether Title VII includes protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender workers. In  R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Justice Department is arguing  against the position of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the firing of  former funeral home director Aimee Stephens, after she informed her employer that she would transition from male to female, violated Federal law.

The Justice Department is backing the funeral home’s argument that it terminated Stephens because she didn’t comply with its “sex-specific dress code.” It said the decision in her favor “would invalidate all sex-specific policies, from restrooms to dress codes.” The EEOC argues that Title VII’s sex discrimination protections should cover LGBT workers.

Arguing for  Stephens will be the  American Civil Liberties Union.  The funeral home, represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, told the Supreme Court that allowing sex discrimination to include “transgender status” would usurp Congress’ authority. The group’s attorneys claim that redefining sex discrimination will cause problems in employment law, reduce privacy, and erode equal opportunities for women and girls. The courts, they argued, aren’t the ones to balance these considerations.

It seems clear that giving LGBTQ Americans the same protection against discrimination as other minorities is the ethical course. This seems to be a technical dispute over whether the Courts or Congress should  fix the problem. That argument is worth having, and I would not be shocked in a SCOTUS majority said that the omission in the law was unjust, but it was not the Court’s job to fix it.

In the long run, it will be illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ citizens in the workplace, as it should be. The only question is how drawn out, angry and divisive the process will be to get there.

4. Which impeachment-related story to use? How about this one: House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy released a letter publicly asking Speaker Pelosi ten questions, which, he wrote, should all be answered in the affirmative:

These are the ten questions:

McCarthy is properly showing the ethical and fair way to go about the impeachment process. It should be obvious to all be now that being ethical and fair are among the furthest things from the Democratic Party’s mind.

23 thoughts on “‘Thank God It’s Friday’ Ethics Dump, 10/4/2019: SCOTUS, Impeachment And Cannibalism…

  1. It seems clear that giving LGBTQ Americans the same protection against discrimination as other minorities is the ethical course.

    They certainly deserve the same protection against discrimination as straights.

    Colorado has a constitutional provision that prohibited laws that protected homosexuals from sexual orientation discrimination,. But no provision of the state constitution had prohibited laws that protected heterosexuals from sexual orientation discrimination. This meant that, under this provision, several municipal ordinances that prohibited sexual orientation discrimination could only be enforced if the victim was a heterosexual.

    I also notice that many claims of discrimination of transgender involve allegations that the transgendered individual was treated as their real sex. But of transgendered and normal are both treated as their real sex, there is no discrimination on this axis.

    I also wonder why Aimme Stephens wanted to transition while on the job? Was she not aware that men get paid more than women?

    • “But of [sic] transgendered and normal are both treated as their real sex, there is no discrimination on this axis.”

      Isn’t that the same dead-ended argument as “Well, gays and normals can both marry someone of the opposite sex legally, so banning gay marriage isn’t discriminatory?” It’s a cute rhetorical argument but not one that anyone should expect to be taken seriously.

  2. 1. How much applause did the hoaxer receive before it was noticed to be a hoax?

    4. Just left my father and his constant MSNBC watching. These people make the most frivolous and unhinged things sound so reasonable. Not one single opposing comment was made in the 45 minutes I was there. They have brainwashed so many of the intellectually weak.

    These are very dark days.

  3. Jack,

    I noticed you used just LGBTQ. I thought there were more distnctions which I cannot recall. Was there a reason to exclude those others?

    Call me stupid but why so many distinctions? Is there a difference between L&G or G&Q. I can understand why T but B seems superfluous.

    Why any employer would have an interest in anyone’s sexual preference is beyond me. The only thing that should be considered is capabilities and ability to perform the job.

    I could see a potential employer who becomes aware of a potentially disruptive planned medical procedure might feel the need to select an alternate candidate.

    I know that employers will often ask the question “is there anything that would prevent you from fulfilling the requirements of the job”. If a candidate stated they just been diagnosed with cancer and they could not start for 6 months would that be any different than a person stating they were planning to undergo transitional surgery with the same delay? Should one be treated differently or protected?

    • I noticed you used just LGBTQ. I thought there were more distnctions which I cannot recall. Was there a reason to exclude those others?

      Yes. That’s the most I can remember on a good day. On a bad one, I can never remember whether G or B comes first.

  4. On point 1.

    I am still laughing. We can all start singing

    I want my baby back, baby back, I want my baby back ribs……. hmmmmm. Get in my belly!

    I would not call Larouche’s right wing. Lyndon Larouche was a preaching marxist theory until 1977 when they supposedly shifted rightward by attacking left wing “protofascists”.

    LaRouche’s are hard to pigeon hole into left or right. I always saw them as kooks.

    • I encountered a representative of the “LaRouche Student Movement” in college. I had never heard of LaRouche, and the displays seemed off (kooky, if you will), but I humored him because I thought he was a student, and I was mildly impressed that he was so articulate about the issues.

      Then I learned he wasn’t a student, but LaRouche staff, at which point I left. Had I known he wasn’t a student at my school, I wouldn’t have given him the time of day.

  5. 1. When I saw the video I thought of Swift, but also Jean-Jacques Rousseau. LaRouche group use to show up during the Obama years out front of the local post office with the Obama picture with a Hitler mustache. They were well ahead of the resistance curve on that tactic.

    2. I usually get stuck with the 6:30 ABC News. Amazing (or not) just how selective the reporting can me. The entire 30 minutes is pharmaceutical ads and their weather disaster du jour.

  6. Would “the workplace” include the military? It seems like that matter has already been settled which does not allow transgenders to use women’s bathroom and showers or to wear uniforms that do not conform with their biological sex. Don’t be so sure that the ACLU and their transgender clients will ultimately prevail.

    • Ah, Wayne, don’t you see? It’s unfair that a man in a skirt can throw javelins farther than a woman, but it’s a violation of someone’s rights to object when a man in a cocktail dress is given the task of escorting your family into the parlor for your grandmother’s funeral.

      It seems to me that the tenets of Liberalism are unconcerned with lies so long as they have some debatable degree of consistency and cause somebody somewhere to feel accepted. That degree, of course, grows smaller by the day right under everyone’s noses. My interest in feigning respect for the Enlightenment, as a result, wanes at pace far greater than that. There were more good monarchs than bad ones, and we’re getting to the point that Democracies are dictating our language in our personal lives. It was a good run, but obviously the experiment fails in the end. We’ve discovered how to give control of our governance over to the governed and produce a government more tyrannical (and absurd!) than anything achieved by any monarch in history. Granted, Plato mapped the logical progression long before Christian Western Civilization. It even makes rational sense! Would we put engineering to popular vote? Or chemistry? Physics? Biology? Wait, no, we’ve started doing that haven’t we? They should’ve known better. Maybe they did and got exactly what they wanted.

      Don’t be so sure that the ACLU and their transgender clients will ultimately prevail.

      No doubt, a massive contrivance will be rigged together to keep the artificial peace between the liars and the lied-to. A thing is what it is, or it’s whatever you choose to call it. We’ll run out of excuses to put off that conflict soon, and Liberalism was designed to avoid that very question. The system can only break or be abandoned; it can provide no answers.

  7. Re: No. 1; Babies on Sourdough Bread, with Hush Puppies and a Side Salad.

    OK, so this girl wasn’t a raving lunatic promoting eating babies. So, she was a Lyndon LaRoucheite. So, she tried to hijack Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign event. So . . . . I will grant that it was awful, stupid, and idiotic.

    But, answer me this: Why did Ocasio-Cortez let it happen? She let someone (not known to be a plant but sounded like a lunatic) disrupt her event. She did not declare that proposing to eat babies was abhorrent and immoral. She stood there, looking shell-shocked and allowed this person to carry on for what seemed like an eternity. What kind of leadership is that? Ocasio-Cortez’s follow up comments/tweets expressed sympathy for the woman because she appeared to be having issues. When she learned the woman was a plant, she didn’t express outrage that an agent provocateur disrupted her event. Additionally, her staff didn’t do anything either. Sounds to me like a failure of leadership, maturity, professionalism, and seriousness all around.

    jvb

    • JB

      If I run across anyone saying we need to eat the babies I bet I would be shell shocked as well. At least until I started rolling on the floor laughing my butt off.

      I know the whole incident was wrong but sometimes a disruption like this brings a bit of levity to the unwashed masses like myself.

      • Now if LaRouse had put her up to ranting about eating dogs because they fart too much thus causing climate change, I bet AOC and PETA would have thrown a fit.

  8. 1. Anyone who didn’t immediately think of “A Modest Proposal” when that woman said “eat babies” and revealed a shirt saying the same thing has a terminal case of one of Jack’s cultural literacy deficiencies. The crowd should have burst into laughter. Instead, the idiots in the media reported it as newsworthy without irony and AOC went off about mental health! Brilliant! If no one gets the similarities between Swift’s lampoon of a solution to Parliament starving the Irish to death and the inanity of lefty proposals like no more cows and the need to control the population so CO2 (.04 percent of the atmosphere) is minimized to their satisfaction, we are past a tipping point and the world will indeed end in the next twelve years.

  9. 1. The question is, is AOC et. al.’s “Green New Deal” legitimately “civic discourse?” I’m not sure it is. In fact, I would argue it is illegitimate on the basis that it is scientifically, ethically, and logically flawed to the point of being satire itself.

    So I consider this whole affair an ethical nullity — both positions are virtually equal in their insanity, and public discourse would be better served if both were heckled out of existence.

    3. SCOTUS and transgenderism

    It seems clear that giving LGBTQ Americans the same protection against discrimination as other minorities is the ethical course. This seems to be a technical dispute over whether the Courts or Congress should fix the problem. That argument is worth having, and I would not be shocked in a SCOTUS majority said that the omission in the law was unjust, but it was not the Court’s job to fix it.

    This seems right to me.

    4. McCarthy and impeachment

    McCarthy is properly showing the ethical and fair way to go about the impeachment process. It should be obvious to all be now that being ethical and fair are among the furthest things from the Democratic Party’s mind.

    Absolutely right. This “impeachment inquiry” is a charade, pure political Kabuki theater. It makes the Republican impeachment of Clinton look like a model of congressional decorum by comparison.

    It is to this subterranean level that politics in the United States has sunk. Trump surely deserves some of the blame, but it seems to me the Democrats are rushing to surpass him as if it was a laudatory goal to do so, and by as much as possible.

    When people claim that a civil war is becoming more and more likely, it is exactly this sort of thing that gives their claims whatever ring of prophecy they have.

    • When people claim that a civil war is becoming more and more likely, it is exactly this sort of thing that gives their claims whatever ring of prophecy they have.

      Yup.

      I mean, this is why we can’t have nice things.

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