Why ‘Supreme Court Ethics’ Is an Oxymoron

The 14-page Supreme Court ethics code is a toothless watchdog with no bark, much less bite.

Let me be blunt: The problem with today’s Supreme Court is that it consists of too many 5-watt bulbs sitting in 100-watt sockets.

While most of the nine members are assumed to be brilliant, “smart” is as smart does, and this court’s right-wing majority wallows in stupid, consistently pushing plutocracy, autocracy and theocracy over the democratic will of the people. Compounding this stupidity, many of the judges have flagrantly accepted “gifts” of cash, luxury vacations and other freebies from the corporate and right-wing interests that have benefited from the court’s rulings. Yet, caught red-handed, the narcissistic jurists assert that We the People should just trust their integrity.

These nine legal power brokers, who pose as America’s arbiters of justice, have even exempted themselves from having an ethics code, allowing each one to make up their own, unwritten ethical rules. Thus, corruption flourishes; so, the public, Congress and the media have finally demanded that, at the very least, the eminences be subjected to basic ethics. “OK, OK,” the nine finally grumped. “We’ll sign onto a code.”

BUT… their acquiescence included a killer gotcha: They would write their own rules of behavior! Sure enough, their 14-page Supreme Court ethics code is a toothless watchdog with no bark, much less bite. It starts by snarling that the great unwashed simply fail to understand that the entire court is, as the chief justice had earlier proclaimed, made up of “jurists of exceptional integrity.” So, the new “code” promises boilerplate ethical behavior, but provides no enforcement mechanism beyond claiming the judges will police each other.

When and Where Was the First Thanksgiving Feast?

Let’s talk Turkey!

No, not the Butterballs in Congress. I’m talking about the real thing, the big gobbler — 46 million of which we Americans will devour this Thanksgiving.

It was the Aztecs who first domesticated the gallopavo, but the invading Spanish conquerors “fowled up” the bird’s origins. They declared it to be related to the peacock — Wrong! They also thought the peacock originated in Turkey — Wrong! And they thought Turkey was located in Africa — well, you can see the Spanish were pretty confused.

Actually, even the origin of Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. is confused. The popular assumption is that it was first celebrated by the Mayflower immigrants and the Wampanoag natives at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1621. They feasted on venison, furkees (Wampanoag for gobblers), eels, mussels, corn and beer. But wait, say Virginians, the first Thanksgiving Food-a-Palooza was not in Massachusetts — the feast originated down here in Jamestown colony, back in 1608.

Whoa there, pilgrims! Folks in El Paso, Texas, say it all began way out there in 1598, when Spanish settlers sat down with people of the Piro and Manso tribes to give thanks, feasting on roasted duck, geese and fish.

“Ha!” says a Florida group, asserting the very, very first Thanksgiving happened in 1565 when the Spanish settlers of St. Augustine and friends from the Timucuan tribe chowed down on “cocido” — a stew of salt pork, garbanzo beans and garlic — washing it all down with red wine.

Wherever it began, and whatever the purists claim is “official,” Thanksgiving today is as multicultural as America. So, let’s enjoy! Kick back, give thanks we’re in a country with such ethnic richness, and dive into your turkey rellenos, moo-shu turkey, turkey falafel, barbecued turkey… and so on.

Jim Hightower