Ethics Outburst, 7/15/2020: An Execution, An Exoneration, A “Never Mind!” And More Freakouts…

1. Least surprising ethics revelation of the day: Kanye West is an asshole.  After posting this,

..sending the news media into a frenzy, setting off speculation about how much of the crucial black vote his candidacy might siphon off from Joe Biden, exciting all of those who inexplicably take the man seriously after ample evidence over the years that he is emotionally unstable, West has decided a mere eleven days later that he doesn’t want to run after all. His organization had hired 180 people who trusted him.

If there is a more irresponsible celebrity alive, I don’t want to know about him.

2. He’s suffered enough, I guess. Juan Rodriguez, whose infant twins died in the Bronx last summer after he left them in an overheated car while he went to work avoided  punsihment after pleading guilty  to two misdemeanor charges last month. He was initially charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after being arrested in the deaths of the 1-year-old twins, Luna and Phoenix. Rodriguez had pleaded guilty to two counts of reckless endangerment in the case.

“These babies suffered horribly and we owed them a thorough investigation,” the DA  said in a statement.  “This was a tragic, unfortunate incident.”

Yeah, I’ve always thought that cooking your babies to death is unfortunate.

 Rodriguez was sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge. His lawyer, Joey Jackson,  said that the plea deal was a “just and appropriate resolution” to the case and that his client had agreed to it “so that he can move on with his life and get this behind him.” If he can really get this behind him, he should have been sent to prison.

My position on these cases is laid out here. 

I also wrote about the related topic of police arresting parents who have left their children in locked and hot cars, here.

How can a parent be charged when they lock their children in a hot car and the children are rescued before they die, when parents who kill their children that way are told that they have “suffered enough”?

3. Good. The federal government finally carried out an execution after a 17-year moratorium, executing Daniel Lewis Lee  by lethal injection. He and an accomplice had murdered  an Arkansas family as part of a plot to build a whites-only nation in the Pacific Northwest. Don’t ask me to explain.

In 1996, Lee and his pal overpowered and incapacitated gun dealer William Mueller, his wife, Nancy, and their 8-year-old daughter, Sarah. After finding $50,000 in cash , guns, and ammunition in the house,  they shot each of the three  with a stun gun, placed plastic bags over their heads, sealed the bags with duct tape, and let them suffocate. Then they took the victims to the Illinois Bayou, where they taped rocks to them and threw each family member into the swamp.

Lee’s execution had been opposed and delayed  by the victims’ relatives, who should have had no input into the decision whatsoever.  Criminal justice is to protect society and the rule of law, not a service to family members. As always, the just execution prompted the usual blather from lawyers and death penalty opponents. For example, one of Lee’s lawyers, Ruth Friedman, said it was “beyond shameful that the government, in the end, carried out this execution in haste.”

Lee was sentenced more than 20 years ago. You know—haste.

4. Tales of the Freakout. Am I wrong, or is it the progressives who appear to be losing their minds? Why is that?

  • Idiotic tweet of the week:

  • After Republican Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn described (correctly) the Black Lives Matter as an organization run by “trained Marxists,” Democratic strategist and former National Field Director for the Democratic National Committee Adam Parkhomenko  tweeted back: “You are inbred racist trash. Please fuck off.”  Inbred! That’s racist talk if I ever heard it. Meanwhile, ESPN suspends employees who tweet “fuck” at senators, but if the Senator is Republican, the Democratic Party is just fine with it.

Today’s challenge #1: find me a story about a Republican or conservative staffer who has tweeted “Fuck off!” or “Fuck you!” at a Senator.

  • Jeremiah Cota, director of strategic initiatives for AZ Trump Victory, tweeted that he was walking by a store wearing a Trump face mask, and the manager screamed ‘Fuck Donald Trump” at him. He asked if he misheard her and she said no, because ” that’s how I feel.” Cota tagged the store, Bath & Body Works, saying the company was guilty of “poor customer service,” and specified the location. Bath & Body Works sent Cota its “deepest apologies,” adding that  “We absolutely do not condone these actions as all customers should be treated with respect.”

The manager was fired. My question: what kind of derangement leads someone to think that kind of conduct would ever be considered appropriate?

Today’s challenge #2: Find me a story about a store manager or other employee  who has shouted “Fuck Biden/Pelosi/Obama/Schumer at a passerby wearing Democratic Party-promoting items.

29 thoughts on “Ethics Outburst, 7/15/2020: An Execution, An Exoneration, A “Never Mind!” And More Freakouts…

  1. I have tried to share several of your blogs on Facebook. The ones I tried to share didn’t have the language quoted here, but Facebook didn’t let me post them. They just said something like “this post has some language that some members may find offensive”. It was just because they were conservative and critical of some Democrats, BLM, etc. I don’t know if they are totally blocking you. I have shared links to some of your blogs so hopefully, I have at least connected some people to your on target blogs. Keep them coming so we can hear about some of the outrageous things that are being said and done.
    Thanks.

    • Yeah, this is a known issue. I think Jack has a work-around. Perhaps he will share it.

      Facebook apparently considers Jack’s commentary somehow subversive or not in accordance with its guidelines, which appear to change without notice or explanation.

  2. Re Brian Dixon’s idiotitic tweet

    It was just a matter of time before someone tried to justify pedophilia.

    We classify pedophilia as a physiological disorder ( the person is wired that way at birth) instead of a behavioral one (one of voluntary choice). This is why recidivism is so high among these persons without the use of chemical castration.

    Not so long ago we came to the conclusion that homosexuality results from physiological differences to which the person has no control and thus cannot be subject to legislative prohibitions let alone moral judgements.

    The problem arises when we allow one “wiring” difference, striking all criminal sanctions for engaging in acts for which they are wired that once existed but then keep in place sanctions for a different sexual wiring diagram for the brain. The easy answer is that they are children and cannot make consensual decisions yet we have no problem finding ways to make it easy for children to embrace all types of personal sexuality and gender identities so the argument that merely being a child and cannot make an informed choice is substantially weakened if not obliterated.

    We better come up with a consistent approach toward children and their personal choices regarding sexuality or the same arguments that moved us to greater social acceptance of the LGBT community will be used to mitigate the abomination of pedophilia.

    • That’s an excellently nuanced take on the issue. However, I’m not sure I follow the part where allowing children to make certain decisions about their own sexual and gender identities supposedly undermines the idea that they cannot consent to sexual activity with another person (or at least with an adult).

      I suspect that all but the puritanically repressed would consider it important for adolescent humans to explore the shapes their new feelings take. However, I think sexual relationships with adults is sufficiently different that we can draw a line for the following reason.

      I haven’t done any research into when or why humans stopped marrying their children off at puberty, but I suspect the reason that an overwhelming majority currently considers it harmful for minors to have sexual relationships with adults, regardless of willingness, is that minors are relatively naive. Regardless of their highly variable intellectual skills, most if not all juvenile humans lack sufficient self-discipline, self-awareness, self-confidence, emotional maturity, or simply the calibration of boundaries to resist forming an unhealthy attachment to an adult under conditions of intense emotion. Essentially, they’d be brainwashed, with no volition to consider walking away. An adult human is (on average) more shrewd than a child, which enables emotional manipulation and abuse, the potential for which only increases the earlier the relationship started in the child’s life.

      Humans are supposed to develop emotional independence first, and then they can choose to bond with someone.

      Not only do I concur with this reasoning, but I suspect that many humans may still be prone to unhealthy attachment well into what is considered adulthood.

      Is there a situation outside of active sexual relationships where a child’s choices regarding their sexual or gender identity could cause a problem of similar severity to failing to develop emotional independence? Otherwise, I think we’re safe drawing the line there.

      People whose sexual feelings lead them to pursue activities with consenting adults shouldn’t pose any significant problems, but people whose sexual feelings lead them to pursue activities with people who aren’t consenting adults are responsible for seeking psychological help, and deserve that help.
      In either case I judge people based on their actions rather than their instincts.

      • When you put it that way, legalized pedophilia just sounds more inevitable. After all, the second black president didn’t see why we couldn’t draw the line at calling a relationship between two consenting adults of the same sex a marriage until he did.

        A decided-upon arbitrary line is arbitrary. So long as we have a moral/ethical schema which is rooted in nothing at all, not even a shared sense of the good, I expect the concessions to evil to continue and the pace to increase. If the lines that seemed so reasonable before are gone now, I don’t see why I should expect that the ones which remain now and seem reasonable though clearly already eroded won’t follow suit in conformity with the same mechanism.

        Our present is a ludicrous dystopia, moving at ludicrous speed toward ever-more-ludicrous dystopia, and we’re even now, a few, just starting to look out the windows and wonder if our trajectory is the problem. We’ll be well past gulags when the notion to begin braking in preparation for a reverse course even crosses someone’s mind, and even then there’ll have to be a tedious “discussion” about the bleeding obvious. And how to discuss our corrupted premises when there’s nothing beneath them but precedent? Furthermore, each one peeled away will cause a special victim party to collectively howl in redemptive pain, and we’ve all accepted that pain is the worst evil – worse even than grotesque webs of mandatory public lying.

        And by now, I find this all funny. Evil is simply ridiculous. There’s no way out. We’re all going to die horribly barring a miracle.

        • I’m confused by your response. If you reread my comment, you’ll see I very clearly spelled out the harm that befalls minors who are drawn into sexual relationships with adults, and it’s on that basis that I draw the line between relationships involving consenting adults and relationships involving pedophilia. It’s not arbitrary, at least no more than you could call any other ethical principle arbitrary. My ethical schema may not be based on legends of an incomprehensible supervising entity, but it’s based on sustaining and empowering conscious beings, which I’d argue is far less arbitrary and less open to (mis)interpretation.

      • The woke crowd has a huge paradox when it comes to adolescents and maturity.

        Overall the left is opposed to harsh criminal sanctions. One place they’ve been quite successful is when it comes to rolling back the “tried as an adult” cases against older adolescents. Their premise is that young minds are not fully developed so it is unfair to continue to punish them as an adult for something they did as a youth.

        The flip side is the left’s view on transgender youths. When the left calls a 17 year old too young to be held accountable for conduct due to immaturity, they are all for a 9 year old to start a transition that will affect them for the rest of their lives.

        This isn’t new though, the left has argued for 13 year olds having abortion access without guardian knowledge.

        PS – I see a similar issue with the left’s push for hate crimes. The paradox is that usually the punishment the propose is less than what conservatives would argue for the underlying crime without hate crime legislation.

        • Re: Your Post Script.

          I think I get where you are coming from in your analysis. I disagree, though. A “hate crime” is a punishment enhancement for crimes against protected classes based on ill will or bad thoughts against that minority community. The punishment is harsher than it would be for a standard issue crime. The idea behind hate crimes is that targeting a member of a protected class specifically because that person is a member of that class is tantamount to terrorizing the entire community. Witness the rage in the media lately against transgender black women, where everyone is bemoaning an increase in crimes against that community, with advocates demanding federal investigations and heightened punishment against the perpetrators.* The Left is the biggest proponent of hate crimes because it punishes thought more severely rather than the same category of crimes not involving thought.** That is completely inline with there philosophy and thought controlling desires.

          Conservatives, on the other hand, question the underlying rationales of hate-crime legislation on the basis that the victim’s membership in a protected class should be irrelevant to the punishment. According to conservative thinking, hate-crime enhancements in the punishment phase of a trial are inherently unethical because they elevate protected class crime victims above non-protected class crime victims for the same criminal activity. Furthermore, motivation for commission of the crime is already an element of a criminal offense so hate-crime punishment enhancements are unnecessary and would constitute a violation of double jeopardy.

          jvb

          *Ed. Note: Ignore the fact that the majority of the perpetrators are members of that community. It will only muddy the water and dilute a good crisis.

          **Ed. Note: Awful sentence structure but the stupid author of this Reply is too incompetent to write a coherent sentence.

          • I get where you are coming from and I understand why they want the hate crime designation. But they paradox is that the underlying crime and the enhancement sentences enacted in left leaning places is usually less severe than the punishment of the underlying crime in conservative cases.

            The perfect example of this is the murder of James Byrd Jr.
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Byrd_Jr.

            This specific case is cited as an example of the need for hate crimes laws. Where the paradox enters is that the state of Texas had no hate crime laws at the time. Yet the minor participant turned state’s evidence against the two principle actors and got life in prison. The other two were executed by the state of Texas. Pretty much the only way you could increase the sentence would be to make it death by torture and given that the eighth amendment is in force, that’s not happening in the US. So here without any special laws, the maximum punishment possible in the United States is applied.
            .
            What does the left want? No death penalty and harsher punishment for hate crime perpetrators. So how, exactly do those work together?

            • Correct. When Bush the Younger was running for president (fie his first term against Gore) he and Al had a “roundtable debate.” He was specifically asked about the Byrd case and hate crime laws. He responded that two were senctenced to death and the third is in jail for life. He asked, “What more do you want?” The proctor didn’t have an answer.

              An interesting twist in the Byrd case related to the anti-death-penalty crowd was silent when the two monsters were executed. No protests. No last minute appeals on unfair or biased trials or newly discovered evidence or worthless counsel. No last minute attacks on the legitimacy of the death penalty and the drugs used or the pharmacies supplying the drug cocktails. No vigils on the evenings they were executed. The rationale related to limited resources prevented the activist groups from pursuing their issues to end execution and these cases were not proper to promote their cause. They did not believe that arguing on behalf of these monsters showed the consistency of their cause.

              jvb

    • This is right on the mark. The Left uses the hammer of sexual deviancy with children against conservative organizations all the time, sometimes rightfully so, but its own history both in and out of Hollywood of being unable or unwilling to protect children from deviants is evident for all to see. The Left is also the side that has relentlessly and consistently pushed the boundaries of sexual activity to its current state.

      I have no problem believing that the notion that young children are mature enough to make decisions about their own gender identities will be eventually transitioned into children being able to consent to sex either with or without the cooperation of the parents.

      The concepts that the Left uses to batter conservatives are tools to gain power. Once in power, you’ll find that they can be just as racist, just as sexist, just as totalitarian and just as sexually depraved as the ones they claimed were enemies of democracy.

  3. 1. At least most pundits on both side recognized Kanye’s run as exactly what it was and that, if serious, he would siphon votes from one of the candidates rather than winning himself…exactly as most third-party candidates have done since the beginning.

    2. I truly do believe that some parents, who are tired, rushed and maybe doing something outside their routine (like taking the baby to daycare instead of the spouse) may forget about a child in the backseat, especially if the child is sleeping). As a result, yes, the suffering must be immense if the child dies.

    Unfortunately, we are entering the phase of this phenomenon where it appears that some parents are finding leaving the child in the car to be a convenient way of getting rid of the kid without consequences. That case in Georgia a few years ago springs to mind where the father even went out to his car at lunchtime and still didn’t see his child only for the baby to die while Dad was inside sexting some teenager.

    We cannot send the message that leaving a child to die in a hot car is a Get Out of Jail Free Card.

    3. Society has to come up with a punishment appropriate for the worst of crimes. Stunning three people, including a child, allowing them to slowly suffocate and then dumping them in the water is certainly worthy of the death penalty to me.

    4. People with an attraction to children who struggle against this compulsion certainly do deserve compassion. I recall a letter to an advice columnist a few years ago in which a man admitted he struggled with this attraction and was having trouble explaining to his sister why he cannot babysit her child. She thinks he’s being selfish; he can’t risk revealing to her why he tries to avoid children.

    4.5. Nah, they just have double-standards. If a Republican staffer used the F-bomb against a Democrat, there’d be news broadcasts out the nose complaining about how the Republicans are crude and introduce foul language into the public where children are, yadda, yadda. Remember Trump’s alleged remark about countries from where illegal immigrants tend to flee?

    Their position on this subject is laughable. It’s self-evident that Democrats are perfectly fine with filthy language permeating the public sphere

    • It occurred to me post-submission that my observation on #4 may not clearly point out that there should be no debate about intimacy between adults and children. People who struggle with an attraction to children do not have the right to act on that attraction and it should not be up for discussion.

      • ” People who struggle with an attraction to children do not have the right to act on that attraction….”

        That’s right, and it’s not very terribly different from how I, as a non-pedophile heterosexual male, do not have the right to act on my attraction to any and every woman I might encounter in my life (ESPECIALLY in the workplace.

        We ALL have to learn to keep it in our pants–not just the pedophiles.

        –Dwayne

  4. I’m afraid the effort required to answer either of your challenges would take a long time. Perhaps some Leftist or other who wants to smack you down will work the problem, but I’m just going to conclude that neither will be located anywhere.

    Although I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some Republican somewhere didn’t meet both criteria, human nature being what it is. But at minimum, they are far less bold and unabashed about it, and other conservatives are likely to strongly disapprove of such acts, rather than applaud them.

    • I wonder if media bias explains why they would be less bold about it.

      Think about it.

      the mainstream media keeps challenging their beliefs. The narratives the media tries to set contradicts their points of view.

      Having their views challenged regularly builds some kind of inoculation,. and they do not tend to go on a rant when presented with a view not their own.

      This is also why we do not hear or read such rants from Alan M. Dershowitz, Cass Sunstein, and Jonathan Turley. They are practicing lawyers and are used to having their arguments challenged; they could not cry, “It makes me feel unsafe” when faced with opposing counsel’s argument.

  5. 4. Tales of the Freakout.

    The following comes from some considerations of #4 . . .

    Certain things, in my (apparently) ultra-conservative view, must be considered ‘absolute facts’, facts or truths which cannot be contested. I have long suggested — it only seems more true to me as time goes by — that when sexual activity is separated from procreative activity within a real marriage, and of course a marriage that is understood to be a sacrament (metaphysical bond), sexual activity is turned into a sport.

    It appears to me that in our own culture, that was once similarly conservative in basic values, we can rather easily trace out the destructive, undermining influence of *traditional marriage* by critically viewing and studying film portrayals. It is just one area where the destructive undermining is visible yet it is one where it is clear. I noticed this when I watched the film An Unmarried Woman (1978). Her husband’s infidelity pushes her to strive for and achieve independence. And in the course of that one observes how a new ideology is inserted into the male-female dynamic. In the end, after therapy, she ‘finds herself’ and her ‘power’ and validity as an unattached person — a unit divided-off from the core bond on which society is built.

    It seemed to me that once the core bond was dis-invalidated as necessary and one to which a given person should and must have commitment, that with that deviation any sort of relationship and any sort of relatedness becomes probable and in a sense necessary. Because when you can’t live in and depend on a normal relationship, and when you cannot trust it, then you will be cast out to find relatedness (“love and love’s substitutes”) in various deviant forms.

    One film that also came much later (1997) but was situated in 1973 and seemed a critical review and revisitation of the beginning of deviation (as I am defining it) was the film <Ice Storm. A commentary as it were on certain social sicknesses that entered culture in the post-Sixties. Though the origin of the break-down anteceded the Sixties. The fixation on children and their sexuality has a specific origin in literature, film and also advertising.

    What are the forces that propel this deviancy forward? How has this come about? One of the things that seems so very clear, to me in any case, is just how a whole range of effects is coming to fruition in our present due to *causes* that people have a difficult time seeing and naming. Some are more or less completely blind to ‘causal chains’, other dimly aware, and then others who believe they are definitely aware, and yet their *explanatory narrative* is often incomplete or tendentious in some direction or other.

    But this is my assertion: once you have separated sexuality and sex-expression from the primary and sacramental relationship, and once you have empowered people to attempt fulfilment through ‘other means’, you will have to accept responsibility for both going to the furthest points of that deviancy and that this will occur and be done around you. At this point, if the truth is told, the level of deviancy is almost unreal. If once a movie allowed for a very slight ‘raciness’ and that helped the film to sell and be appreciated, at this point with a browser and a click you can will be taken into absolute abysms of unreally destructive deviation. And this is what, also if you really take all this seriously, you allow your children to be exposed to. It is really rather simple *cause & effect*.

    “You are a sick, sick people.” Such a statement as this — it is a Jeremiah-like statement and I do it intentionally — is a necessary critique and a warning. One does not merely *suggest* in a kindly way that the consequences might be extreme and unwished for, one must say it with full force. Your culture has spun out of control. It is going on in front of you. You are *watching it on TeeVee*. But you are almost totally incapable of understanding why. I mean this as sincerely as I can. I do not mean it personally. I have spent years now on this blog and I observe an endless parade of *examples of effect* with very little and often no illustration of ‘causation’.

    And you are Conservatives? And by acting ‘aggressively’ and directly to point these questions at you I arouse hatred and contempt?

    It has become common now to refer to the influence of ‘Marxism’ and ‘Marxists’. What Marxism is in its most essential sense is an overturning of Hegelian idealism and Hegelian metaphysics. In its pure sense Marxism is ‘pure materialism’. That is to say that it is a denial of metaphysics. And I denial of metaphysical order and also — importantly — of ideal order: the imposition and influence of ideas and ideals in the shaping of the human world. This seems perhaps reductionist, yet I think it is essentially true, that within our culture the destruction of our religious conceptual order, the break away from the obligations it insists on, is the beginning-point of entire ranges of destruction. Until that is addressed there is no alternative but that of *descent*.

    There cannot be a genuine Conservatism without a solid metaphysical grounding. And when a culture becomes so fused with essentially material categories, and can only define life through materialism that is by definition anti-metaphysical, I suggest to you that Marxianism (living in this reality without metaphysical concept and influence, that is living idealistically) is what results. You do not have to adopt or to study Marxian philosophy to have absorbed it, to have come under its influence: to *see* the world through terms that are anti-metaphysical.

    *You* will either come to the necessary understanding . . . or you will be a part and remain a part of what undermines and destroys. That is a statement made in the widest sense possible and to the broadest group. It is not a personal statement.

  6. Democratic strategist and former National Field Director for the Democratic National Committee Adam Parkhomenko tweeted back: “You are inbred racist trash. Please fuck off.” Inbred! That’s racist talk if I ever heard it. Meanwhile, ESPN suspends employees who tweet “fuck” at senators, but if the Senator is Republican, the Democratic Party is just fine with it.

    This begs the question of why he is a former “National Field Director for the Democratic National Committee”.

  7. 4. [W]hat kind of derangement leads someone to think that kind of conduct would ever be considered appropriate?

    You jest. Surely that’s a rhetorical question? That sort of behavior has been ubiquitous and constant ever since the early morning of November 9, 2016. It’s the foundational bedrock of “The Resistance.” Whatever it takes. By many means necessary. These are not ordinary times. To name just a few.

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