Category Archives: Citizenship

“Who Are You Calling A Nut?” And Other Ethics Issues In The Community College Shooting Aftermath (Continued)

I apologize for the length of this two-part entry, but the preponderance of fact- and reasoning-free anti-gun hysteria in the wake of the Oregon shooting has even exceeded Sandy Hook levels, a development I didn’t think was possible. An emotional national reaction to such a tragedy is fine, and natural, as long as it doesn’t stampede policy-makers and make the public dumber and more ignorant than they already are regarding basic rights, the reasons for them, and the limits of law and government. This post and its earlier installment are offered to catalogue, in part, the ethics carnage, and perhaps to save some readers time when they are confronted with a usually sane friend or family member who begins ranting about how “ridiculous” it is that this “problem” hasn’t been “solved” and how it’s all the fault of the NRA and bribed politicians, because if Australia can do it, why can’t we? In my experience, however, the angry anti-gun zealots—yes, you can still be a zealot and talk about “common sense solutions” if they are either not sensible or not solutions—don’t want to hear facts or reason. People have died, guns are bad, and why can’t we stop it? The same people also tend to think we can stop prejudice, poverty, risk, inequality, war, and the effects of mankind living on the planet. They also rank “Imagine” among the most profound songs ever written.


Here are the rest of the points:

V. Another Facebook friend published this chart…


…and said that it showed that “states with fewer gun regulations had frequent gun related murders than those with more regulations. It doesn’t show that. It shows, for example, that Vermont, Maine and North Dakota have few regulations and low gun murder rates. I know him well–he’s an honest man. But he saw what he wanted to see, not what was actually on the chart. Meanwhile, everyone “liked” his post.

VI. I know I’ve made this observation before, but it still drives me crazy. I just had another argument over it with my sister, and she hung up on me. Obama and the hoard leaps on this shooting to once again lobby for “common sense” gun controls that most agree wouldn’t have stopped this shooting. There is , I would say, an obvious, ethical and logical disconnect there. If the measures being sought would not have stopped this shooting, why all the angry, “blood on your hands,” “how long will this go on” rhetoric? The clear and misleading message is that the shooting would have or might have been stopped if only, if only, but when the substantive recommendations are listed they have little or nothing to do with the incident itself. Why do smart people tolerate this? The shooter’s father–who, by the way, shares at least as much culpability for the Oregon shooting as anyone, and a lot more than the NRA, gave an interview in which he blamed the shooting on the fact that the law allowed his son to acquire 13 guns: Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Facebook, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Popular Culture, Rights, U.S. Society

Stupid Ethics Or Unethical Stupidity, Will Someone Please Explain To Alabama Why Appearances Matter?

Alabama-county-mapThis opens a fascinating inquiry. Is it unethical for a state to appear stupid? Is appearing to be unethical inherently stupid? If something looks incredibly unethical but is really just stupid, then is it unethical anyway?

Welcome to Alabama.

Alabama is in a dire budget crisis and must cut state services. So this week it announced that 31 satellite state Motor Vehicle Division offices would no longer have access to driver’s license examiners as a result of the cuts. Alabama added a controversial voter photo-ID law last year, and opponents who argue, like the Obama Dept. of Justice, that the idea of making sure that voters are who they say they are is part of a plot to deny the vote to African Americans could not have asked for a smokier gun. Of the ten Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters—Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office—Alabama is closing driver license bureaus in eight of them. Every county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see satellite DMVs closed.

If  Alabama was looking for a way to validate the “disparate impact” principle where a state can be found to be racist by  the impact of its actions whether or not there was racist intent, it could not have done better. If it was trying to give ammunition to those who have argued that the Supreme Court “gutted” the Civil Rights Act when it ruled that the 1965 criteria that allowed the Justice Department to assume racism when an old Confederacy state was involved was out of date, and either new data had to be used or states with Stephen Foster songs as their State anthems were going to have to be treated like all the other states and allowed to govern themselves, it could not have been more effective.

“Make IDs essential to vote, then make it harder for blacks to get drivers licenses! What an ingenious plan! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Nobody’s going to see through that!

Or was it:

“Well, gotta cut somewhere—hey, lets; close the DMVs in these counties I just hit with those darts. What? Oh, who cares what the demographics are…we aren’t trying to target anyone…everyone knows that Alabama has a history of being fair and just! Want to go out back and juggle chain saws with me?”

What a conundrum. Stupid? Unethical? Stupid and unethical? So obviously unethical that it’s self-destructively stupid? So stupid that it is unethical for anyone that handicapped to be placed in a position of influence? Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Rights

Further Notes On “Stuff Happens,” “DO SOMETHING!!!” And The Dishonest, Hysterical And/Or Delusional Anti-Gun “Position”

1) In the clip above, the National Review’s Charles C. W. Cooke asks MSNBC analyst Mark Halperin and “Morning Joe” house progressive Mika Brzezinski to explain what kind of measures would satisfy the hysterical calls of a Morning Joe panel to “DO SOMETHING!!!” about gun violence. Cooke referenced the President’s angry (irresponsible, partisan, useless) attack on Congress’s failure almost immediately after the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, and accused ant-gun forces of acting as if they had solutions to gun violence (that don’t involve trashing the Bill of Rights) when they don’t. [I pointed out in yesterday’s post that they don’t because there aren’t any.] He said to Halperin:

“Joe Biden doesn’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t know how to fix this problem. I think it’s fair to say you don’t know how to fix this problem. It’s a very complex question in a country with 300 to 350 million guns on the street. The way they talk is as if they have the answer and there are these recalcitrant forces in the country that say ‘no, no, no,’ even though deep down they know their legislation will work. That’s simply not the case. It’s far more complicated than that.”

As you will see, Halperin had no actual proposals, ducking the issue by saying that he’s “not an expert in the field.” But he said that he wanted leaders to “have a thirst and hunger and passion to try to come up with solutions.”

I will accept this as a legitimate argument as soon as I hear any plausible solution that does not involve banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes. The proposals I have heard are incremental and will not accomplish the goal, ergo more obtrusive measures will be proposed and pushed by identical arguments and hysteria, until…we end up banning guns, making it excessively difficult for law abiding citizens from arming themselves, or engaging in pre-crime measures against citizens who have had episodes of mental illness or who are suspected of having such episodes.

Either anti-gun “DO SOMETHING!” advocates like the President, Mika and Halperin know this, intend it and are not being honest about it, or they are naive.

2) Jeb Bush responsibly addressed the impulse to stampede support for ill-considered solutions in the wake of tragedy…

The text:

“Yeah it’s a — we’re in a difficult time in our country, and I don’t think more government is necessarily the answer to this. I think we need to reconnect ourselves with everybody else. It’s just, it’s very sad to see. But I resist the notion, I had this challenge as governor, because, look, stuff happens, there’s always a crisis. And the impulse is always to do something, and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”

You will note that Bush did not shrug off the Oregon shooting by saying “stuff happens.” Nonetheless, the completely principle-free Debbie Wasserman Schultz mischaracterized what Bush said with a fatuous tweet:

“A message for Jeb Bush: 380 Americans have been killed in 294 mass shootings in 2015 alone. “Stuff” doesn’t just “happen.” Inaction happens.”

Inaction regarding what, you shameless hack? What action are you proposing that would actually prevent a shooting like this week’s? Or the Norfolk shooting of the TV reporter? Bush is absolutely correct: bad stuff happens, and that does not mean that the government can or should rush to “DO SOMETHING!” Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Regarding Gun Violence, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Can’t Handle The Truth…and She’s Not The Only One.

This morning on New Day, CNN’s Alisyn Camerota this morning hectored and badgered a GOP Congressman—as soon as I find the video, I’ll add his name–on the issue of gun regulations in the aftermath of the most recent mass shooting. Her fevered attitude and rhetoric, combined with the Congressman’s measured responses, should serve as a template for the commentary on future shootings.

It was an infuriating conversation, and like all recent conversations and speeches about guns, including the President’s irresponsible statement following yesterday’s shooting, it springs from an unwillingness to face facts, accept the nature of rights, and to be straightforward about what gun control proposals really mean.

The following are facts. Alisyn Camerota, like the President, and like her partner Chris Cuomo, who opined that anyone opposing gun control was “delusional,” either can’t accept them, or is unwilling to be honest and candid about their implications.

1)  Rights, if they exist and are upheld by the government, will always be abused by some people.

2) The only way to stop people from abusing rights is to end the rights. Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, U.S. Society

Yes, The Pope Is A Hypocrite


The absurdity of the U.S. media doing backflips over the Pope while the largely godless progressive movement momentarily treats a religious leader as if he is the authority on all things was magnified by the Pope’s remarks to Congress yesterday, which you can read, if you have time on your hands, here.  One example will suffice, or at least one is all I have time and stomach for.

The Pope called for open borders, specifically in the U.S:

“On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’ This rule points us in a clear direction. Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated. Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves. Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.”

To begin with, this is ethically and politically simple-minded: no serious ethicist believes that reciprocity works as an ethical system in all circumstances, and one  of those circumstances  in which serious people recognize it does not is governing nations. Sounds nice, though, doesn’t it? But never mind. Never mind also that a nation built on ideals, traditions, cultural norms, and an acceptance of common values cannot take in unlimited people unfamiliar with and unsympathetic to these core cultural elements and survive. The issue, for now, is hypocrisy.

The Pope’s own domain, Vatican City, a sovereign political entity, has millions of visitors a year but allows only those who meet strict criteria to be residents or citizens. According to a 2012 study by the Library of Congress, about 450 of its approximately 800 residents have achieved citizenship . Citizenship is limited to church cardinals who reside in the Vatican, the Holy See’s diplomats, and those who have to reside in the city because of their jobs, such as the Swiss Guard. Spouses and children who live in the city because of their relationship with citizens,  including the Swiss Guard, are also granted citizenship. Very few of the Vatican’s citizens are women. Continue reading


Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Religion and Philosophy

Unethical Quote of the Week: Donald Trump’s 2nd Amendment Position Paper


“The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period.”

—The first sentence of “Protecting Our Second Amendment Rights Will Make America Great Again ...Donald J. Trump on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms,” released today.

You can debate the various policy ideas in this typically simplistic approach to a complicated problem; that’s not my purpose. My purpose is to point out that a position paper on the Second Amendment that begins by misstating that amendment while saying the amendment is “clear” cannot and should not be taken seriously. Nor should its author.

Is he stupid, and not know that it is ludicrous to state what is not the text of the amendment with the emphatic “Period” ? Is he ignorant, and unaware of the wording of actual amendment that he proceeds to say “is America’s first freedom”? Or is he lying, using a false version of the Second Amendment to mislead his many followers who either haven’t read the Constitution’s Bill of Rights, or can’t read at all?

The Second Amendment may be many things, but clear is one thing nobody with any knowledge of the subject believes it is. It is not clear. It is, by far, the least clear of all the amendments, and that is why it is still controversial after centuries. The fake Second Amendment that Trump’s position paper uses is clear; too bad that’s not the real one. If the Second Amendment read “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon,” it would be clear, and opponents of gun ownership wouldn’t have any argument except to insist that we repeal  it.  The real Amendment, however, reads,

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

That could mean the same thing, or it might not. It would seem it was intended to mean something else, otherwise why wasn’t it worded as in the Trump version? The seas of ink that have been spilled over the interpretation of that strangely constructed sentence could flood Texas, and educated, thoughtful people who are honest, erudite and not simpleminded (unlike Trump) have written provocatively on the subject, often disagreeing, as in.. Continue reading


Filed under Character, Citizenship, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Quotes, Government & Politics, History, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

Donald Trump Is Despicable, But Gavin Newsome Is About The Last Guy I Care To Hear Say So

Full disclosure: I don't trust anyone who poses for photos like this. No, it's NOT the hair! Well, not just the hair...

Full disclosure: I don’t trust anyone who poses for photos like this. No, it’s NOT the hair! Well, not just the hair…

Gavin Newsom, California’s current Lt. Governor and formerly the rogue mayor of San Francisco, should license his image to be placed by the definition of “hypocrite” in the dictionary. A vocal critic of Kim Davis and others who use their conscience to justify defying the law on gay marriage, he initially gained fame by defying California law and authorizing same sex marriages in his city.

He is shameless.

I just watched Newsom on CNN while trying to keep my gorge down, as he was piously condemning Donald Trump for (correctly) opposing illegal immigration. Then he said—and this takes pathological gall— that this is what makes California “so great”: it not only embraces diversity,  but benefits from it.

Thus we have the willfully Orwellian progressive definition of “great.” California is out of water thanks to decades of mismanagement. It is a fiscal disaster. Businesses are fleeing the state; a huge tax increase looms. It protects illegals from law enforcement, and some of those illegals are exactly the ones Trump was talking about. They kill people. Ask Kate Steinle about how great California is. Meanwhile,the state is at war with itself; some would like to break it up entirely.

The state’s definition of diversity is also straight out of Bizarro World, as is its skewed version of tolerance. The University of California Board of Regents, for example, is considering a policy to make the university system “free from acts and expressions of intolerance.” Translation: You must adopt the prevailing progressive cant in speech and attitude on campus, or you will be crushed. Continue reading


Filed under Character, Citizenship, Education, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Rights, U.S. Society