Tag Archives: Fear-mongering

Mission Accomplished: Hillary Corrupts The Human Rights Campaign

corrupted2

Hillary Clinton’s dishonest spinning of her gay rights positions received an endorsement today, as the U.S.’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization chose her as its choice for President. The Human Rights Campaign’s  board of directors, made up of community leaders nationwide, voted to endorse Clinton, and said in a statement:

“All the progress we have made as a nation on LGBT equality — and all the progress we have yet to make — is at stake in November…Despite the fact that a majority of Republican and independent voters today support federal protections for LGBT Americans, the leading Republican candidates for president have threatened to halt progress as well as revoke, repeal, and overturn the gains made during President Obama’s two terms…”

This statement means, in essence, that the largest group of LGBT advocates have openly endorsed the Joy Behar approach to civic responsibility. Behar, on “The View,” you may recall, said brazenly (well, she says everything brazenly) that she’d vote for a proven rapist as long as he “voted” for issues that were important to her, a.k.a. abortion rights. Single issue voters of this low ethics threshold are irresponsible and breach their civic duties by making democracy itself incoherent and too easily manipulated—by cynical, ethics-free, power-mongers like Hillary Clinton. Are they even aware, I wonder, that openly associating a group with a candidate of proven ethical bankruptcy—even on the issue they think she embraces!–calls into question their own integrity, trustworthiness and values?

The disconnect between conservatives and LGBT Americans stems in part from a false belief that gays and other Americans of non-traditional sexuality aren’t as red, white and blue as they are. Being American means caring more about, say, the economy, unemployment, the debt, the collapse of schools, the miserable state of colleges, terrorism, racial distrust, the still burgeoning cost of health care and the welfare of your neighbors, children and fellow citizens than about narrow, single issues of special concern to you or your “tribe.”  I think this way; so do most of the LGBT people I know.  It is the ethical value of citizenship in action. Could I respect someone who found Donald Trump appropriately nauseating, knew he would be a human and cultural disaster for the nation, but supported him solely because he swore he would protect LGBT interests? No. Of course not.

This endorsement of Hillary Clinton is exactly as irresponsible. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Train Wrecks, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, U.S. Society

Eleven Ethics Observations On The Fox GOP Presidential Debate In South Carolina

The moderators...

The moderators…

1. Last night’s Fox News debate was the most ethical,  and generally the best of them all so far, in either party.

2. Rand Paul’s boycott of the so-called “undercard” debate reveals his arrogant nature. Chris Christie was demoted for one round, didn’t complain, participated, did well, and came back to the main event. Rand thinks he’s more qualified to be President  than Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Well, then, show us. Paul, in one complaint, proudly pointed to the fact that he’s the only GOP candidate who wants to legalize drugs and return the U.S. to isolationism as the world burns.  Yes, and this is why you’re not on the main stage, Senator. This is called “answering your own question.”

3. A group of Paul supporters started chanting his name at one point, causing Neil Cavuto to pause and look bemused. Oddly, Donald Trump did not command that their coats be confiscated.

4. Early on, both Bush and Marco Rubio pointed out—since the news media is still trying to soft-peddle it—that Hillary Clinton’s legal problems are serious, and that her lies about her e-mail and Benghazi should disqualify her for national leadership. Good. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Government & Politics, History, Journalism & Media, Leadership

The Washington Post Surrenders To Web Hoaxes

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The Washington Post’s two year old column dedicated to flagging web hoaxes is shutting down, because…well, you read the story and explain it to me, because I read the column twice, and I still don’t get it.

I think Caitlyn Dewey, whose beat this was, is complaining that there are too many hoaxes to track now, because there are now whole websites devoted to hoaxes (as Ethics Alarms has documented), that hoaxes are fed by confirmation bias (well, yes, everyone knew THAT in 2014) and partisan bloggers are sending out hoaxes as fear-mongering tactics. Dewey then mentions two terrorism-related hoaxes. In fact, every example she uses suggests that the increase in hoaxes comes from conservatives. It’s all because conservatives are so eager to believe untrue things, you see. She can’t keep up any more.

Which is funny, because it was Hillary Clinton who stated…

“We also need to make sure that the really discriminatory messages that Trump is sending around the world don’t fall on receptive ears. He is becoming ISIS’s best recruiter. They are going to people showing videos of Donald Trump insulting Islam and Muslims in order to recruit more radical jihadists.”

There is no evidence whatsoever that ISIS is using videos of Trump. If a fake news site had a headline, “ISIS USES VIDEOS OF TRUMP FOR RECRUITMENT,” that would be an internet hoax, and though Hillary Clinton would apparently fall for it, Dewey claims what has suddenly made internet hoaxes uncoverable is all those gullible people who no longer trust “institutions,” as in “government.” You know who those people are.

Then there are Dewey’s colleagues, journalists, like the ones at CNN who broadcast that “Ethan Couch’s attorney convinced the judge that the teen suffered from “‘Afflienza,” which is factually untrue. If that were a headline, I’d call it a hoax. Continue reading

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Filed under Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, The Internet

Comment of the Day: “Unethical Website of the Month: Dogsbite.Org”

staffordshire

Ethics Alarms is about ethics. It is about what is right, wrong and how to decide which. Here, we go where the facts, ethical systems, valuable and logic take us, as convoluted as the process may be. There is no other cause, here. occasionally I have pointed out a developing case of ethics perverted, and  by dint of timing or good fortune, it has had some tangible effect. The Sweet Brier College rescue was such an example, I am told. There have been others.

The cruel and ignorant persecution of dog breeds grouped under the category of “pit bulls’ and the “dangerous breed” litigation that has been passed by hysterics bullying craven legislators is another ethics issue that Ethics Alarms has tried to alert the public about for years. I am not an activist however; the idea of labeling something as wrong is meant as education. If it also engages activism, that is a bonus. Activism in pursuit of a more ethical society is an unequivocal good, much to be desired by us all. In addition to spur much needed activism, the dog breed bias story is also unusually relevant to other issues: racism, genocide, ignorance, government over-reach, gun control, profiling, fear-mongering, misinformation, cowardice among elected officials…it’s a long list. There will be more about this issue in coming months.

New commenter sadingo advances the issue with a discussion of pit bull banning in Great Britain. Here is his Comment of the Day on the post Unethical Website Of The Month: DogsBite.org.: Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Around the World, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Law & Law Enforcement

Unethical Website of the Month: Dogsbite.Org

group shot

This despicable website, created by phobics, liars, fools and bigots to promote dog breed prejudice and persecution of responsible dog owners, is discredited by the vast, vast  majority of dog experts, breeders, and people with any knowledge of dogs. It is useful in a way, in that its rhetoric mirrors that of the anti-Jewish, final solution advocates of the Nazi regime, and the most virulent American racists, like the KKK. (A dog breed is exactly like a human race.) It also apes the logical fallacies of those who want to ban guns or engage in racial profiling.

Although a mass of data and history proves that pit bull-related breeds are no more inherently dangerous than any powerful breed and arguably less, Dogsbite.Org is leading a vendetta against both the breeds and lawful, loving owners, reasoning that dogfighting uses pit bull-type breeds, and pit bulls used for fighting are more likely to be dangerous (as any dog so abused  may be), so to kill two birds with one stone, it makes sense to wipe out not just any individual dangerous dog of the type but any dog that is a hybrid of the a “pit bull breed” and any dog that looks like what people think is a “pit bull”, in part because there is no such breed as “pit bull.”

Thus because some “pit bulls” are abused, all should be exterminated.This is essentially the argument of the unethical people at PETA, which announced that it is supporting DogsBite.Org with the batty, but no more so than many of  their positions, argument that we need to destroy the dogs in order to save them.  Continue reading

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Filed under Animals, Character, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Race, U.S. Society, Unethical Websites

Obama’s Remarks On The Charleston Shooting Were Unethical, And Here’s Why:

Because every tragedy is a chance to sell policies on emotion alone...

Because every tragedy is a chance to sell policies on emotion alone…

President Obama’s comments this morning again emphasized his tendency to stoop to reckless, careless and divisive rhetoric when far better is called for.

He said in part:

We don’t have all the facts, but we do know that once again, innocent people were killed in part because someone who wanted to inflict harm had no trouble getting their hands on a gun.

Now is the time for mourning and for healing. But let’s be clear. At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency.

And it is in our power to do something about it. I say that recognizing the politics in this town foreclose a lot of those avenues right now. But it’d be wrong for us not to acknowledge it, and at some point, it’s going to important for the American to come to grips with it and for us to be able to shift how we think about the issue of gun violence collectively.

The fact that this took place in a black church obviously also raises questions about a dark part of our history. This is not the first time that black churches have been attacked, and we know the hatred across races and faiths pose a particular threat to our democracy and our ideals….

Observations:

1.  How does Obama know that the shooter had “no trouble getting their hand on a gun”? He doesn’t know that, and it is a misstatement  to say that this assumption of his is a fact. We know that the shooter had a gun when he used it, and that’s all. For all Obama knows, he had a very difficult time getting his hands on a gun. For all Obama knows, it took the killer months, accomplices, money, elaborate maneuvers. Or is he saying that having a gun at all is proof that it was too easy to get one? What does that suggest?

2. Obama waited barely a few hours before politicizing a tragedy, and using it to stump for his gun policies. This was inappropriate, disrespectful, crass and cynical.

3. Reasonable and enforced gun regulations are necessary and rational, but it is intellectually dishonest —and politically inept—to use this kind of an incident (or Newtown) to promote them. Nothing short of outright gun banning will stop people like the Charleston shooter from acquiring guns, and gun banning is not going to happen, ever, nor should it. The anti-gun zealots who would love to see guns banned just respond to the Pavlovian stimulus of this kind of rhetoric, and the pro-gun nuts will see this as an outright effort to repeal the Second Amendment. This kind of statement accomplishes nothing but to gin up “the base,” and, frankly, I think that’s all it’s intended to do. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership

“Negative Polarization,” Bigotry, And…Hillary

destroying America

Today in the Times, last week, and over the weekend, there were numerous essays (like this onethis and this) about a recent study that examined the growing phenomenon I have previously written about here and here. The paper’s authors, Alan Abramowitz and Steven Webster, use the term “negative polarization,” but what they are describing is really a kind of bigotry, citizens making important democratic decisions purely on the basis of conditioned hatred and dislike based on gross generalizations about political parties and their supporters rather than dispassionate analysis and independent consideration.

Their conclusion isn’t original; it’s not even surprising. It closely follows last year’s study out of Stanford reaching the same conclusion. Americans increasingly demonize one party or the other and all their representatives and members, thus automatically rejecting policy initiatives, arguments and positions not because of their content, but based on their origins and the identity of their supporters—pure, blind cognitive dissonance. As a result, they will choose candidates and policies irrespective of any rational analysis, based solely on the assumption that the opposing candidate and policy come from a vile and intolerable source.

These studies indicate that Americans now discriminate more on the basis of party than on race, gender or any of the other great divides— and that discrimination extends beyond politics into personal relationships and non-political associations. Americans increasingly live in neighborhoods with like-minded partisans, date and marry fellow partisans and disapprove of their children partying with members of the other party. They are, the data says, more likely to choose partners based on partisanship than physical beauty or personality.

The Stanford study concludes (the Emory study concludes similarly),

“Unlike race, gender and other social divides where group-related attitudes and behaviors are constrained by social norms, there are no corresponding pressures to temper disapproval of political opponents. If anything, the rhetoric and actions of political leaders demonstrate that hostility directed at the opposition is acceptable, even appropriate. Partisans therefore feel free to express animus and engage in discriminatory behavior toward opposing partisans.”

Naturally, this has set off the usual round of finger-pointing by pundits and the media, which itself shares much of the blame. I know who and what have seeded these dragon’s teeth, and the list is long, beginning with Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levine, Bill Press, the Clintons, Lanny Davis, Matt Lauer, Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, the idiots who made out Florida’s 2000 ballot, Al Gore, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Paul Begala, Jerry Falwell, Mary Matalin, James Carville, David Axelrod, Chris Matthews, Ted Cruz, the Congressional Black Caucus, Fox News, Donald Trump, Truthers, Birthers, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, MSNBC, Roger Ailes, Rupert Murdoch, Eric Holder, the New York Times editorial board, Charles Blow, the Daily Kos, David Brock and Media Matters, Move-On, Breitbart, Michael Moore, Al Sharpton, Pat Robertson, Harry Reid, Tom DeLay, Nancy Pelosi, the Tea Party, Michael Savage, Salon, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, Stephen Colbert, Jon Stewart, and many others, a majority of whom made a conscious decision to exacerbate the divisions in our nation for their own gains in power, influence and wealth. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Research and Scholarship, U.S. Society