“BULLY!” Is The New “WITCH!”



The Texas father of a high school football player would have been right at home in Salem, in the British New World colony of Massachusetts, around 1692. Then, thanks to hysteria about witchcraft, a vengeful citizen could permanently set the populace against a neighbor who had offended him, say, by winning a lawsuit, stealing a recipe or looking lustfully at his or her significant other, by accusing that neighbor of being a witch. This would inevitably spark an investigation, suspicion, infamy, maybe even a trial…and if the accusation stuck, a sadistic execution, perhaps by piling rocks on the neighbor’s witchy chest until everyone heard the sounds of squishing and cracking.

The cry of “Witch!” doesn’t work so well any more, but accusing someone of being a bully works almost as well. It can cause schools to impose punishment for words and activities that have nothing to do with school, and give law enforcement officials the power to pile rocks on the First Amendment. Now a vengeful father who watched his son’s hapless football team get the just desserts of all hapless teams—losing badly—has successfully punished the victors for being stronger, faster, and better coached, by accusing the superior team—it beat his son’s squad by a score of 91-0—of “bullying.” This mandates an investigation, so the winning team’s coach is now under a cloud, and in peril of seeing his career and reputation squished and cracked.

Mission accomplished! Continue reading

Ethics Dunces: 53% of the American Public

If only Herman Cain could have been tried by the same standards of fairness as the Salem Witch Trials...

I am as sick of the Herman Cain sexual harassment issue as you are, I swear. But still..

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted over the weekend among 1057 respondents revealed that 53 percent now believe that allegations of sexual harassment against Cain are true. This, despite the fact that none of the 53% know what it is he is supposed to have done that constitutes sexual harassment, and, I am quite confident, almost none of them sufficiently understand what the definition of sexual harassment is. But they are still sure he did it, whatever it is, to at least one of these women, whoever they are.

I cannot image imagine a more unfair, irresponsible and indefensible opinion. Two women who have not revealed their identities and who have not had their allegations tested, examined or confronted, and whose accusations have no descriptions or facts connected to them whatsoever, have convinced 53% of the public of a political candidate’s wrongdoing despite his denials, and despite the fact that they know of no instance where he has engaged in conduct that could fall under the category of sexual harassment. It is one thing to pronounce someone guilty of a specific act of misconduct in the absence of evidence and without the accused having a chance to challenge it. That is wrong. But to pronounce an individual guilty of  an unknown act that has only been characterized but not described, in the absence of evidence and a named accuser?

The judges in the Salem Witch trials were more reasonable and just.

Congratulations to the news media for a successful smear campaign.