Sunday Ethics Notes of Note, 7/24/2022: More Transgender Games, The SCOTUS Leak, Cannibalism, Dispatches From The Great Stupid And More…

While watching Eddie Izzard’s most recent movie on Netflix, 2020’s “Six Minutes to Midnight,” I decided to check out the details of the stand-up comic/ actor’s career. Imagine my surprise to find that the Wikipedia biography of Izzard refers to Eddie as “she” and “her.” This, despite the fact that the performer is and has always been biologically male. By the au currant definition of “transgender,” Izzard would now qualify for the UPenn women’s swim team (if he or she could swim, that is.)

Wikipedia calls Eddie by female pronouns because at various times the versatile performer has said that he wanted to be referred to as “she,” that “he and she” were his preferred pronouns, that he is “genderfluid,” and that he is a heterosexual and transvestite. Izzard is prone to describing himself in such varying terms as “somewhat boy-ish and somewhat girl-ish,””a lesbian trapped in a man’s body,” “a complete boy plus half girl,” and says “she” uses “transgender” as an umbrella term, whatever that means. Izzard has “explained,” “If I am in boy mode, then ‘he’, or girl mode, ‘she'”. In 2020, when “she” played the serious role of a male British spy in “Six Minutes to Midnight,” which “she” wrote, Izzard said announced being “based in girl mode from now on”.

Either Eddie Izzard doesn’t know what he wants or is, or the whole thing is an extended put-on. Either way, this behavior does nothing for the transgender cause except make it appear silly and confused.

1. Is it unethical for a publication to pretend that something is in doubt when it obviously isn’t? Here’s a feature headline from the Boston Globe Magazine: “Can poetry possibly matter in a time like this?” The writer consults a former U.S. poet laureate, whose response is as predictable as it is useless. Of course the answer is “no” regardless of what you think “like this” means,  and the answer has been no for at least 80 years. Poetry has negligible influence of the culture.

Quick: what’s the most recent poem that you can quote a substantial part of from memory? (Lyrics don’t count.)2. Stop making me defend the New York Times! Glenn Beck’s “The Blaze,” Instapundit and other conservative websites are attacking the Times for an  article titled “A Taste for Cannibalism?” “The New York Times – the so-called “newspaper of record” – advocated that “cannibalism has a time and a place,” and that current media suggests that now is the time to eat your fellow human,” wrote “The Blaze.” Various conservative Twitter users were similarly outraged, such as…

  • Writer Emmanuel Rincón: “The New York Times, the progressive media in general and the left, are promoters of all aberrant causes of humanity. Pedophilia, child indoctrination and now cannibalism. Sick.”
  • CEO Zack Kanter: “A zero sum worldview, irrational fear of overpopulation, and hatred of success will inevitably lead NYT journos to the literal conclusion of ‘eat the rich.’”
  • Author Sankrant Sanu: “Western ‘Liberalism’ on its next logical step.”
  • Journalist Tom Fitton, “NY Times, taking a break from promoting the mass killing of the unborn through abortion, promotes cannibalism.”
  • Conservative activist Ned Ryun: “Ummm wat?!! The NY Times has become a monumental joke.”
  • CEO Sridhar Vembu: “The NY Times: ‘Cannibalism has a time and a place.’ The Left is a tragedy that keeps on giving. What would they attempt to normalize next?”
  • “Federalist” editor Mollie Hemingway: “New York Times leaning into that already well-earned ‘enemy of the people’ moniker way too much and way too literally.”
  • Conservative journalist Sameera Khan: “THIS IS SATANISM.”

And more. But the complaint is completely fabricated. Nothing in the article advocates, excuses or promotes cannibalism. The supposed smoking-gun line “cannibalism has a time and a place” was taken entirely out of context: in the article, it referred only to the use of cannibalism as a plot device in fiction.

3. Dispatch from the Great Stupid! Disney is rapidly pandering to woke sensibilities so hysterically  that it deserves to be shunned: the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Disney World  gives makeovers to children, ages 3 to 12, to transform them into princesses or knights. But the role-playing staff have been called “Fairy Godmothers”—you know, after the character in “Cinderella” who waves a wand and makes the poor skullery servant look like a princess? Now the roles will be called “apprentices.” Gee, that’s magical. “This way cast members that might not identify as female can still be part of the process to dress up & style the children without having to refer to themselves as a female Disney character,” third-party Disney blog Streaming The Magic said.

It’s a role. It’s pretend. If someone is “uncomfortable” pretending to be what they don’t “identify as” in a fantasy theme park, they should go work at Burger King.

4. Poor Al Gore. I can’t be angry at Al; the way he lost the Presidency would have driven others to suicide or madness. Still, Gore’s claim on NBC’s Meet the Press today that “climate deniers” are comparable to the “almost 400 law enforcement officers in Uvalde, Texas who were waiting outside an unlocked door while the children were being massacred” was deranged, unethical and despicable even for Al since he morphed into a full time climate change huckster.  Host Chuck Todd, who has brought the once great news commentary show down to MSNBC level since taking over, had neither the guts nor the integrity to tell Al that such a comparison is as offensive as it is stupid.

5. How does Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Mayorkas get away with this? The last quarter’s figures showed that 200,000 illegal immigrants have breached the southern border every month for the last three months, a record rate. Yet at a forum in Aspen, Mayorkas actually said,  “Look, the border is secure,” adding that the administration is still “working to make the border more secure.” He also insisted that there is a difference between the words “safe” and “secure.”

It all depends what the meaning of “secure” is, and he did NOT have sex with that woman! The news media and Democrats went bonkers for years over Kellyanne Conway’s ill-advised effort to spin President Trump’s obviously false assertion that his Inauguration crowd was larger that it was, but this outright obfuscation about a condition that actually matters was hardly noticed by our Democratic Party propagandists who masquerade as journalists.

When a public official forfeits all public trust with weasel words like that, he should resign or be fired….

6….but the problem is that the the DHS Secretary’s boss is even worse. Last week, President Biden was bloviating again about about climate change and attacking the oil industry, describing emissions from oil refineries near his childhood home in Claymont, Delaware. “That’s why I and so damn many other people I grew up with have cancer,” he said.

Wait…THE PRESIDENT HAS CANCER????

Well, no, not really. See, Joe didn’t mean that, just as he didn’t mean to read the cues on his teleprompter. White House spokesman Andrew Bates explained that Joe had “non-melanoma skin cancers” removed before he took office.

Oh. Wait, oil refineries cause skin cancer? And “have cancer” can mean “once had cancer”? These all go right into the massive Ethics Alarms file labeled IIPTDXTTNMIAFB for “Imagine if President Trump did X that the news media is accepting from Biden.” That statement by Biden would be tallied as two more “lies” if President Trump uttered it.

7. So far, nothing has come of the Supreme Court investigation to determine who leaked the draft Dobbs opinion. That is unacceptable and dangerous. Whoever did it, if it was a lawyer, needs to be exposed and disbarred. The AP update says, considering the likelihood that the culprit was a Supreme Court clerk, that they “often go on to prominent legal jobs. Six of the nine justices once served as law clerks.” Right. And the leaker is untrustworthy and should never hold another professional job of trust again.

Meanwhile, the SCOTUS transparency group Fix the Court proved to my satisfaction that it should not be taken seriously when its leader, Gabe Roth, told the AP that the investigation announced by Chief Justice Roberts should be shut down. “There’s just so many other things the marshal’s office needs to worry about right now that’s far more important than the leak. The justices’ safety is under threat probably more now than in years past,” Roth said.

There is nothing more important than the integrity of the Court’s deliberation process. What an irresponsible statement.

It also makes me wonder if Roth’s organization was involved in the leak.

33 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Notes of Note, 7/24/2022: More Transgender Games, The SCOTUS Leak, Cannibalism, Dispatches From The Great Stupid And More…

  1. (1) I have always felt that history became outdated when books were invented. The rhyme and meter were very useful as parity checks for oral history, to make sure errors didn’t creep in. Once written history was invented, poetry no longer had a practical use and was merely for art’s sake. I look at it like ice cream, I am not going to say I don’t enjoy it, but I can live without it.

    • That’s about right. And once free verse and blank verse forced out the rest, it wasn’t even fun any more. Ah for the days when they wrote poems like…

      Slowly England’s sun was setting o’er the hilltops far away,
      Filling all the land with beauty at the close of one sad day;
      And its last rays kissed the forehead of a man and maiden fair —
      He with steps so slow and weary; she with sunny, floating hair;
      He with bowed head, sad and thoughtful, she, with lips all cold and white,
      Struggling to keep back the murmur, “Curfew must not ring tonight!”

      “Sexton,” Bessie’s white lips faltered, pointing to the prison old,
      With its walls tall and gloomy, moss-grown walls dark, damp and cold —
      “I’ve a lover in the prison, doomed this very night to die
      At the ringing of the curfew, and no earthly help is nigh.
      Cromwell will not come till sunset;” and her lips grew strangely white,
      As she spoke in husky whispers, “Curfew must not ring tonight!”

      “Bessie,” calmly spoke the sexton (every word pierced her young heart
      Like a gleaming death-winged arrow, like a deadly poisoned dart),
      “Long, long years I’ve rung the curfew from that gloomy, shadowed tower;
      Every evening, just at sunset, it has tolled the twilight hour.
      I have done my duty ever, tried to do it just and right:
      Now I’m old, I will not miss it. Curfew bell must ring tonight!”

      Wild her eyes and pale her features, stern and white her thoughtful brow,
      As within her secret bosom, Bessie made a solemn vow.
      She had listened while the judges read, without a tear or sigh,
      “At the ringing of the curfew, Basil Underwood must die.”
      And her breath came fast and faster, and her eyes grew large and bright;
      One low murmur, faintly spoken. “Curfew must not ring tonight!”

      She with quick step bounded forward, sprang within the old church-door,
      Left the old man coming slowly, paths he’d trod so oft before.
      Not one moment paused the maiden, But with eye and cheek aglow,
      Staggered up the gloomy tower, where the bell swung to and fro;
      As she climbed the slimy ladder, on which fell no ray of light,
      Upward still, her pale lips saying, “Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

      She has reached the topmost ladder, o’er her hangs the great dark bell;
      Awful is the gloom beneath her, like the pathway down to hell.
      See! the ponderous tongue is swinging; ’tis the hour of curfew now,
      And the sight has chilled her bosom, stopped her breath, and paled her brow.
      Shall she let it ring? No, never! Her eyes flash with sudden light,
      As she springs, and grasps it firmly: “Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

      Out she swung — far out. The city seemed a speck of light below —
      There twixt heaven and earth suspended, as the bell swung to and fro.
      And the sexton at the bell-rope, old and deaf, heard not the bell,
      Sadly thought that twilight curfew rang young Basil’s funeral knell.
      Still the maiden, clinging firmly, quivering lip and fair face white,
      Stilled her frightened heart’s wild throbbing: “Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

      It was o’er, the bell ceased swaying; and the maiden stepped once more
      Firmly on the damp old ladder, where, for hundred years before,
      Human foot had not been planted. The brave deed that she had done
      Should be told long ages after. As the rays of setting sun
      Light the sky with golden beauty, aged sires, with heads of white,
      Tell the children why the curfew did not ring that one sad night.

      O’er the distant hills comes Cromwell. Bessie sees him; and her brow,
      Lately white with sickening horror, has no anxious traces now.
      At his feet she tells her story, shows her hands, all bruised and torn;
      And her sweet young face, still haggard, with the anguish it had worn,
      Touched his heart with sudden pity, lit his eyes with misty light.
      “Go! your lover lives,” said Cromwell. “Curfew shall not ring tonight!”

      Wide they flung the massive portals, led the prisoner forth to die,
      All his bright young life before him. Neath the darkening English sky,
      Bessie came, with flying footsteps, eyes aglow with lovelight sweet;
      Kneeling on the turf beside him, laid his pardon at his feet.
      In his brave, strong arms he clasped her, kissed the face upturned and white,
      Whispered, “Darling, you have saved me, curfew will not ring tonight.”

        • “Curfew Shall Not Ring Tonight”?

          The most RECENT poem I can remember of the top of my head (there are a couple of others in my noggin that I think are older):

          Did you ever think as the hearse goes by
          That you may be the next to die?
          They wrap you up in a big white sheet
          From Your head down to your feet.
          The worms crawl in the worms crawl out
          They play pinochle with your snout.
          And your eyes fall out and your teeth decay
          And that is the end of a perfect day.

        • Of course — It’s “Hang on the bell, Nellie” performed by The Chad Mitchell Trio in the early 1960s. 🙂

    • I still enjoy it, when there’s time for it, but when last did you hear anything like:

      The splendor falls on castle walls
      And snowy summits old in story;
      The long light shakes across the lakes,
      And the wild cataract leaps in glory.
      Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
      Blow, bugle; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O, hark, O, hear! how thin and clear,
      And thinner, clearer, farther going!
      O, sweet and far from cliff and scar
      The horns of Elfland faintly blowing!
      Blow, let us hear the purple glens replying,
      Blow, bugles; answer, echoes, dying, dying, dying.

      O love, they die in yon rich sky,
      They faint on hill or field or river;
      Our echoes roll from soul to soul,
      And grow forever and forever.
      Blow, bugle, blow, set the wild echoes flying,
      And answer, echoes, answer, dying, dying, dying.

      Alfred Tennyson.

      • Or how about:

        Forward the Light Brigade!
        Was there a man dismayed?
        Not though the soldier knew
        Someone had blundered.
        Theirs not to make reply,
        Theirs not to reason why,
        Theirs but to do or die.
        Into the Valley of Death
        Rode the Six Hundred.

        V2 of The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

        I also enjoy G.K. Chesterton’s “Ballad of Lepanto”, which I did make the effort to memorize at one point.

        Don John pounding from the slaughter-painted poop,
        Purpling all the ocean like a bloody pirate’s sloop.
        Scarlets running over on the silvers and the golds,
        Breaking of the hatchets up and bursting of the holds,
        Thronging up of thousands that labored under sea
        White for bliss and blind for sun and stunned for liberty.
        Vivat Hispania!
        Domino Gloria!
        Don John of Austria
        Has set his people free!

        But I think there are certain poignant Shel Silverstein poems that are worthwhile:

        Listen to the Mustn’ts, child,
        Listen to the Don’ts.
        Listen to the shouldn’ts, the impossibles, the won’ts
        Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me
        Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.

        • For many years in grade school I made a virtual career out of reciting “The Highwayman,” and it’s still mu favorite, ending with a ghost story, as the two dead lovers meet…

          And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
          When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
          When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
          A highwayman comes riding—
          Riding—riding—
          A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

          Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
          He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
          He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
          But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
          Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
          Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

          • Wow. I hadn’t heard of The Highwayman before, but now I’ve read it in full! I had to admit that I thought it a story from the American Revolution, but apparently it is a tale from England itself.

            And another poem that struck me, and is almost cliche now to reference:

            Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary
            over many a quaint and curiously volume of forgotten lore,
            While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping
            As of someone gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
            “Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door.
            Only this, and nothing more.”

            • I’m thrilled that I could introduce you to the marvels of “The Highwayman.”
              Charles Addams had a couple of cartoons that used “The Raven.” In one, Poe is musing abut what should utter “Nevermore.” In thought balloons we see a pig and a moose, among other beasts. In another carton, a pensive Poe looks up to see a raven who mutters, “Occasionally.”

            • I seem to remember that the Megan Follows version of “Anne of Green Gables” recited “The Highwayman” at some kind of community program.

              How about this one, by Robert Service:

              There are strange things done in the midnight sun
              By the men who moil for gold;
              The Arctic trails have their secret tales
              That would make your blood run cold;
              The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
              But the queerest they ever did see
              Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
              I cremated Sam McGee.

              Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
              Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
              He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
              Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

              On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
              Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
              If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
              It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

              And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
              And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
              He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
              And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”

              Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
              “It’s the cursèd cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
              Yet ’tain’t being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
              So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”

              (that’s about half of “The Cremation of Sam McGee”)

              At one point I also tried to memorize “Elegy Written In A Country Churchyard,” by Thomas Gray, but I didn’t get very far. It did, however, serve as a basis for a poem I later wrote about the passing of the WW2 generation.

              Shel Silverstein I can’t really take seriously though, Who could take the author of such doggerel as “Hug o’ War” seriously?

  2. #4 Al Gore & “Climate Deniers”

    Jack’s analysis of both Al Gore & Chuck Todd today on MTP is exactly on point.

    In addition, PJ Media posted not long ago a most excellent column on line by Chris Queen on “heat waves” & weather v “climate change.”

    I think it’s worth a look if you can get it up on your browser.

    MB

    • (4) I think the global warming proponents should be blamed for the damage they have caused. Look at the starving people in Sri Lanka, caused by the policies of the global warming proponents. Look at Europe’s disastrous energy policies that have the German government seriously planning for people to go into the forest to cut firewood to heat their apartments this winter. They have shut down the fertilizer plants to rely on fertilizer from countries like Russia (because the hydrogen comes from coal or natural gas), risking starvation for hundreds of millions of people. There are food riots in Sri Lanka, Argentina, Iraq, Lebanon, and other countries.

      The worst thing is that the leaders of this don’t really believe in global warming. Otherwise, they wouldn’t push for nuclear power to be shut down in favor of Russian natural gas or even coal. They wouldn’t have put in place policies that punish Europe and the US for extracting petroleum and natural gas, but allow unlimited amount of those fuels from Russia and China. On paper, they claim that natural gas and petroleum from Russia and China don’t warm the planet.

      As for the heat wave, the last time we had heat like this was 2011. Now, the output of the sun is linked to the sunspot cycle which is…wait for it…an 11 year cycle (on average). Hopefully this is the hot year and not next year, but at worst, 2 years from now will be cooler. Since we have known about this cycle for hundreds of years, you would think climate ‘scientists’ would plan for the hot years that we know will occur.

      • Agreed, MR.

        But never forget that the Green Party is fairly strong, politically, across Germany, which may also explain some of the seeming incongruity.

        As a side note, when I lived in a small W German village in the Rhine-Pfalz, my family and I learned about the Forstmeister (he’s the guy who’s in charge of the village’s forest land). I was surprised to learn that the Federal Government was pushing for people to cut trees down for firewood. Once each year, before Christmas, every family in the village was escorted into the forest land to cut down a Christmas Tree, but only after the Forstmeister approved each family’s selection.

        I mention it because I learned over 3 Christmas seasons that the people there truly value their forests. I can’t imagine that they’d sign on to cutting forests for firewood willingly, save in the most dire circumstances.

        You are, of course, correct about the solar cycle influencing the weather at our ground level. There are other cycles at play, too, like the interglacial periods, among others.

        Real science never seems to get in the way of the socialists pushing a “climate change” narrative.

        MB

        • “Is this not circumstantial evidence that global warming is a hoax?”

          Much more than a hoax, quite purposeful and deadly destructive as Michael R explains above.
          Globalist proressives, aka communist authoritarians are truly sinister beings and a huge swath of humanity seems to be hypnotized by them or sleep walking into the abyss with fear as their guide.
          Fear of being labeled a racist or transphobe or xenophobe (if you express the importance of secure borders) etc., etc.

          I keep waiting for the stupefied masses to wake up. Am I waiting for Godot?

  3. “what’s the most recent poem that you can quote a substantial part of from memory? (Lyrics don’t count.)”

    With no mention of limericks:

    There Once Was A Man From…an island reportedly near the Boston Globe Magazine HQ…

    4-Phat “The interior of the earth is extremely hot – several million degrees.“ Albert surfaces every now-n-again to remind the known Universe of the bullet it dodged!

    • CBP,

      Are he and Karinne Jean-Pierre in some sort of “Baghdad Bob” contest? I’d be hard pressed to say which is ahead, but then there’s so many from whom to choose in the Biden Administration Baghdad Bob Sweepstakes.

      MB

  4. 1. But doesn’t a country’s culture include art and isn’t poetry art? I think art matters. I do think the argument of the article is unethical. Because we have so many problems, this little cultural and artistic endeavor isn’t important? Such minimalism. It’s because we have so many problems that we need to have unifying and uplifting poetry.

    But I do understand your argument on the relevance of poetry today (which some would argue manifests itself in music, predominately rap). The most recent poem I know large snippets of is Frost’s “The Road Less Traveled”. Before that, “Paul Revere’s Ride”.

  5. This wicked administration’s doublespeak is like opium to roughly 30% of dems, and according to the hardworking MSM propaganda machine one would think everything is puppies and rainbows.

  6. 7. “Nothing to see here. Move on.” “All is well.” What a bunch of creeps.

    If the leaker can’t be found and sent into professional hell, SCOTUS is only minute away from becoming the next NYT newsroom run by the Kiddie Corps.

    • Clerks will be insisting the Court be a “save space” and they’ll be objecting to having to encounter anything upsetting while reading briefs and case law.

  7. The leak will probably never be discovered. I wonder if they’re even really investigating it. In 2 months the law clerks will switch over, and soon thereafter the new term will start. At that point, it will become more important to work on the existing caseload than to pursue a leaker who will probably never be found.

    Why do I say the leaker will never be found? Because it has now been 3 months since the leak and even the fact that there was a leak has been buried. The point, after all, at least as far as the woke community sees it, is not that anyone violated the trust of the highest court in the land, but that the court violated the trust of the people by overturning the most important precedent of the last 150 years. AOC is wasting her time talking about impeaching justices, however. That’s not happening.

    • So, the presumed adults who run the Court are already under the thumb of the woke clerks and staff? That’s depressing. The Court is as out of whack as every college and university? That’s depressing. Roberts is no better than your standard issue weak kneed university president? That’s depressing.

  8. Wasn’t the New York Times asking for it, to a large extent? Both the title of the article, “A Taste for Cannibalism?” and the newspaper’s tweet linking to the article are deliberately misleading, scandalous clickbait. Neither the title nor the tweet are acceptable for a major legacy newspaper that presents itself as serious journalism. These articles about the article are irresponsible, but the public SHOULD be able to take a NYT article’s title at face value.

    Here’s the tweet:
    @nytimes · Jul 23
    Cannibalism has a time and a place. Some recent books, films and shows suggest that the time is now. Can you stomach it?

    The newspaper’s own tweet adds very little context to the time-and-place comment.

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