Tag Archives: socialism

Observations On The New Hampshire Democratic Candidates Debate

NH debate

I’m sure that there are loyalists who just love watching Clinton or Sanders no matter what they are doing and saying, just as I will watch even a lousy Danny Kaye movie just to see Danny Kaye. But wow, I’d really like to see the results of a post-mortem on the brain of anyone who said last night’s debacle was anything but excruciating and depressing. If I were a Democrat, I’d be on a three-day drunk after last night. I’m not, and I’m still considering it. This was easily the worst presidential candidates debate I’ve ever seen, read about or analyzed.

Why? Well, how many other debates had two candidates, their faces contorted in anger, shouting at each other (Bernie is always shouting, really) when they hardly disagree about anything of substance? How often is it so obvious that one candidate isn’t trying to win, and avoids every opening and opportunity to take down his opponent? As I have said before, if I had contributed to Sanders, I’d demand my money back. I thought losing the pathetic Martin O’Malley would be a plus, but it wasn’t. Focusing only on the irredeemably absurd Sanders and the unquestionably corrupt Clinton just made the question more vivid: after two and a half centuries as a major party, how could the Democratic Party have so little respect for the American public and so little devotion to its role in selection of the Presidency to leave us with this?

Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, here are specific observations. The transcript is here.

1 More than any debate in 2016, this was performed as if  only hard-left loyalists were watching, and the moderators behaved that way as well. Agenda items like the minimum wage and “equal pay for jobs” were tossed off as shorthand and givens, without any fear that anyone would say, “Hey, wait a minute..” Yesterday, for example, data was revealed showing that in six major cities that enacted large minimum wage hikes last year, employment has suffered—as predicted by anyone without “progressive” blinders on. That would have been a good question to raise, but nobody was there to raise it. Rachel Maddow? Right.

2. The debate was deja vu, and little else. How many times do we need to hear Sanders’ generalized rap about the economy being rigged, Wall Street being a den of thieves, and single-payer health care being obviously the way to go because “everybody does it”? How many times do we have to hear that Hillary is going to “improve [Obamacare]… build on it, get the costs down, get prescription drug costs down” without being given a clue how, and without anyone even asking the question? How is she going to do all this without having the country “plunge back into a contentious national debate that has very little chance of succeeding.” What does that mean, Hillary? Funny, I thought debate was how policies get made in a democracy. Please explain: what is your substitute for democracy? Don’t “progressives'” have a totalitarian ethics alarm any more?

3. Clinton’s responses to the Sanders accusation that she’s not progressive enough—the Democratic doppleganger of the annoying and equally silly Republican accusation that a candidate isn’t a “true conservative,” were something to behold:

  • “I am a progressive who gets things done.” A bumper sticker slogan, and by the way, what things? Honestly, I can’t name any at all: she was a Senator, didn’t create any major legislation, and wasn’t a successful Secretary of State. What things does she get done? Again, Bernie won’t ask a real question….but then, he hasn’t accomplished anything either. Later, to prove her credentials in getting things done, Hillary talked, as she always does, about “fighting” for this or that, even going back to her days with the Children’s Defense fund and the DOA Hillarycare bill that crashed and burned in her husband’s first term. A 69-year-old candidate for President who  actually “gets things done” wouldn’t have to dig this deep—and a candidate trying to defeat her wouldn’t hesitate to say so.
  • She actually compared Sanders’ criticism of her progressive bona fides with not regarding a liberal Democratic Senator as progressive enough when that Senator, Paul Wellstone, has been dead since 2002, and Sanders has never mentioned him during the campaign at all! This was a straw man for the ages.

4. Having finished that pointless “debate,” they moved on to whether Hillary was the “establishment.” This sounded like a an acid-flashback from 1968, but never mind: here was Hillary’s rebuttal:

“Senator Sanders is the only person who I think would characterize me, a woman running to be the first woman president, as exemplifying the establishment.”

Sexist, insulting, tribal and dumb. Merely having two X chromosomes means that you are by definition not part of the existing power structure even when you have been part of that power structure for decades? This is just a dog-whistle to vagina-voters, who themselves are a disgrace to democracy, fairness and civic responsibility. What is it about Hillary Clinton’s career since hooking up with Bill that has shown her to be a power-seeker and broker distinguishable in conduct and motives from a man? Oh, that’s right: when her husband serially abused women as well as betraying their marriage, she sided with..him, against them.

5. Ethics alarm: “The reality is that we have one of lowest voter turnouts of any major country on earth because so many people have given up on the political process,” says Sanders. Sanders really does believe that when the United States is different from all those other less successful countries, it must be wrong. This “reality” just cynical poison that Sanders likes to say, even though it contradicts his own rhetoric. If Obama is such a great President, wasn’t he elected over Romney and McCain? Doesn’t Bernie think that makes a difference, and that the difference was votes? The GOP Congress he and Hillary are complaining about was elected when Democrats stayed home and Republicans came out in force, was it not?  If the impression that their participation makes no difference is wrong, as it is, why does Sanders keep citing it as if he agrees? What does “so many people have given up on the political process”  mean? Is he really attacking democracy itself Continue reading

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Ethics Observations On The Second Democratic Candidates Debate, Part 2 of 2

Dems three

The transcript is here.

Part I is here.

6. Sooner or later, a Democrat is going to have to answer a question about the “safe places,” microaggressions,” college campus meltdown that is, I think, just gathering momentum, and choose between alienating the young black base that elected Barack Obama, or horrifying people who believe in free speech and thought, presumably a few iconoclast Democrats and a lot of independents. Significantly, CBS didn’t ask Sen. Sanders that question.

Well, it’s significant if you  believe that CBS is protecting the Democrats. As we saw in Bernie’s coddling of Black Lives Matter, and know from the fact that he’s a Marxist at heart, he doesn’t really expect to be nominated and has no spine (see Part I), Sanders was a good bet to fully endorse the anti-free speech position taken by the students at Yale, Amherst and Mizzou. That would have put the whole Party, which right now is Hillary, on the spot. Surely CBS would never do that. The alternative is to believe that last night’s journalists were inept.

Only Hillary was asked the question, and she ducked it with something akin to what Olson Johnson called “authentic frontier gibberish”:

DICKERSON: Secretary Clinton, you told some Black Lives Matter activists recently that there’s a difference between rhetoric in activism and what you were trying to do, was — get laws passed that would help what they were pushing for. But recently, at the University of Missouri, that activism was very, very effective. So would you suggest that kind of activism take place at other universities across the country?

CLINTON: Well, John, I come from the ’60s, a long time ago. There was a lot of activism on campus — Civil Rights activism, antiwar activism, women’s rights activism — and I do appreciate the way young people are standing up and speaking out. Obviously, I believe that on a college campus, there should be enough respect so people hear each other. But what happened at the university there, what’s happening at other universities, I think reflects the deep sense of, you know, concern, even despair that so many young people, particularly of color, have…You know, I recently met with a group of mothers who lost their children to either killings by police or random killings in their neighborhoods, and hearing their stories was so incredibly, profoundly heartbreaking. Each one of them, you know, described their child, had a picture. You know, the mother of the young man with his friends in the car who was playing loud music and, you know, some older white man pulled out a gun and shot him because they wouldn’t turn the radio down.Or a young woman who had been performing at President Obama’s second inauguration coming home, absolutely stellar young woman, hanging out with her friends in a park getting shot by a gang member.And, of course, I met the mothers of Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin and so many of them who have lost their children.So, your original question is the right question. And it’s not just a question for parents and grandparents to answer. It’s really a question for all of us to answer, every single one of our children deserves the chance to live up to his or her god-given potential. And that’s what we need to be doing to the best of our ability in our country.

DICKERSON: All right, over to Kevin Cooney.

Hilarious.

Continue reading

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Ethics Observations On The Second Democratic Candidates Debate, Part I

Debate

[The transcript is here]

1. Before the debate even started, Mediaite posted an article (here)  about how the Democratic National Committee appears to be intentionally scheduling what few debates it is allowing to guarantee as low a viewership as possible. The logic. of course, is to minimize the opportunities for Hillary Clinton to make a gaffe or have to answer an uncomfortable question with too many people watching.

It is impossible to prove this short of an intercepted e-mail with the smoking gun words, but it’s a compelling theory. Why else, Joe Concha asks, would the DNC schedule all debates on weekends, especially when Saturday is the least watched TV night—by far—of the week? Why would last night’s debate, the last before the Iowa Caucus, be scheduled against the TV broadcast of the undefeated University of Iowa football team as they take on Big-10 rival Minnesota? (For those few Democrats in Iowa who don’t root for the local college, there’s the Oklahoma-Baylor game on ABC, one of the premier games of the college football season.)

[Personally, I don’t watch young college men in the process of giving themselves concussions and brain damage, or cheer for schools that warp their budgets by spending and making obscene amount of money on sports played by  students in name only while positioning them to extort administrators when campus activist pull their strings, like in the University of Missouri. But that’s just me.]

The next debate takes place on Sunday, January 17th on PBS in Charleston, S.C. Aside from the fact that choosing the little-watched PBS already guarantees a reduced audience, that debate will compete with the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

2. John Dickerson, the new host of Face The Nation and the moderator last night, was also criticized in advance of the debate for being a hand-picked Democratic partisan. Of course, the odds are that any broadcast journalist would be ( a study released last week showed that 93% of journalists are Democrat/progressive, leaving Independents and Republicans to split the remaining 7%) but only Dickerson authored a red-meat anti-Republican screed for Slate earlier in the Obama Administration  with the memorable lines,

Go for the Throat! [I] f he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party…

Fears that Dickerson would lob nothing but softballs at his fellow Democrats proved to be unfounded, however, to his credit.  In fact, a high percentage of his questions were CNBC-style accusations or “when did you stop beating your wife?” queries  (NOT to his credit) like this one to Martin O’Malley:

“Is the world too dangerous a place for a Governor who has no foreign policy experience?”

What’s the answer? “No, it’s not too dangerous a place…” or “Yes, it’s too dangerous for an amateur like me…”? That’s an unprofessional, unfair question, and everything Ethics Alarms said about the CNBC moderators applies to Dickerson. O’Malley just ducked the question and talked about something else, which is the only alternative to a Ted Cruz, “You know, you guys are shameless hacks” response. I much prefer the latter. Continue reading

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Wanting Jobs Is Not Enough

Free-Resume-Templates-You have to also be worthy of a job. Just being a human being is not enough. You must be a trustworthy human being.

The socialists  and gullible among us always speak about the unemployed as diligent, honest, earnest people who just want to support their families once they are given a chance. Many of them fit this description, but it is neither fair nor just nor ethical to eliminate incentives for those who do not to change their ways, eliminate toxic life style choices, learn ethical values, become responsible, and to stop expecting to be given what they haven’t earned. Bernie Sanders-like rhetoric about how there is a “right” to a job is either pandering (dishonest) or deluded (incompetent and irresponsible.). There is no right to a job. There is a right to exercise one’s rights in such a way as to make one unworthy of a job, and to suffer the consequences.

Careerbuilder currently features  an article called “Avoid These Resume Mistakes.”  Most of the advice is standard fare, but it includes these “résumé mistakes” reported by employers. These are not really mistakes, but graphic proof of corruption, laziness and idiocy: Continue reading

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Bernie Sanders Flunks His Leadership Test…Too

Bernie3

When the racist group “Black Lives Matter” hijacked Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ rally in Seattle,  shoved him aside and took over the microphone, Sanders slipped into passive, pander-to-black-racist mode and let his supporters be turned into a captive audience. As Sanders stepped back as ordered, the the group ranted about Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown ( “Facts Don’t Matter” ) and held a four minute moment of silence. Then the crowd demanded that the activists to allow Sanders to speak, since that’s what they were there for, so one activist called the crowd “white supremacist liberals.”

Racists.

Another Black Lives Matter activist confronted Sanders, stating he needed “to be held accountable.” Bernie remained silently cowering.

Now there’s a leader for you. Sanders talks a good game, though his policy recommendations come straight from Socialist Fantasyland: free college, free health care, a crippling minimum wage nationwide, and other nonsense guaranteed to turn the U.S. into Greece.  Senators are usually good at talking. The Presidency, however, requires standing up for law, fairness, order and the rights of everyone. Is Sanders going to be able to stand up to ISIS, Putin, or urban rioters when he allows his own rally to be stolen by “I can’t breathe!” chanting bigots?

After the activists remained on stage and forced the event to end, without Bernie doing anything to assert his authority, he waved goodbye, and actually left the stage with a raised fist salute, which may set a record for pandering gall.

Having flopped as a leader—don’t tell me he’s an old man; if he’s too old to insist that some protesters get off his stage, he’s too old to lead anything but senior’s shuffleboard league—he then showed that he’s going to loyally follow the current progressive playbook by attributing legitimate criticism of Democrats to racism, sexism…anything to distort public opinion and avoid accountability for corruption, dishonesty and incompetence. Continue reading

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Further Thoughts And Questions On “The Lottery Winner’s Sister-in-Law” (Part 1)

lottery win

The last ethics quiz posed the questions of whether a financially struggling (that is, like most people) brother [NOTE: In the earlier version, I incorrectly said they were twins. Why, I don’t know, except that it makes the set up more perfect. I apologize for the error. It didn’t change the issues any, or the commentary.]  in his Sixties should suggest to his lottery-winning brother, now 50 million dollars richer, that he could use some of that excess cash…and whether the brother would be unethical to refuse.

The more I think about it, the more I am sure that Slate advice columnist Emily Yoffe was answering a fictional hypothetical carefully devised to coax out the answer it did. I write these things for a living, and the brothers element is suspicious. The idea was to emphasize the perception of unfairness: here we have two genetically similar human beings raised with the same advantages and disadvantages, not just metaphorically “created equal” but equal in fact. How cruel and unfair that, in “Dear Prudence’s” words,  “your brother-in-law, through no effort of his own—save the purchase of a quick pick—was smiled on by fate and now enjoys luxuriant leisure. Especially since the two brothers suffered from a start in life that would have crushed many, it’s disturbing that the lottery winner hasn’t been moved to share a small percentage of his good fortune so that his brother doesn’t spend his last years scrambling to meet his basic needs.”

I didn’t exactly give my preferred answer to the quiz, but I did suggest that Yoff’e’s answer and the orientation of the questioner were redolent of the prevailing ethos of the political left. This was met with some complaining in the comments, but come on: “it’s disturbing that the lottery winner hasn’t been moved to share a small percentage of his good fortune so that his brother doesn’t spend his last years scrambling to meet his basic needs” would be a great Occupy Wall Street poster if it wasn’t so long, and it perfectly states the ethically dubious mantra we can expect from Bernie, Hillary or Elizabeth and probably any other Democrat who is selected to be called “a lightweight” and “a loser” by Republican nominee Trump.  In fact, I think this hypothetical would be a great debate question….and better yet if we explore some of the  variables.

For example: Continue reading

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The Dishonest And Irresponsible Minimum Wage Issue.

Good bye. I know when I'm licked...

Good bye. I know when I’m licked…

I heard Bernie Sanders make another one of his economically-deranged statements as the crowd cheered, this one about how no American should work 40 hours a week and not have enough to live on. Then I went to the local Baskin-Robbins.

I ordered a single scoop of Chocolate Mousse Royale in a waffle cone. The cost was…$4.68.

For a single-scoop ice cream cone.

I will not go back to Baskin-Robbins again, which means I may have had my last ice cream cone. I also cannot believe that the company can continue selling ice cream cones at such absurd prices. When I worked for Baskin-Robbins as a summer job, a single-scoop cone cost $.29, and no, dinosaurs were not roaming the earth. I was paid the minimum wage, because a moron can do that job and you get to eat all the ice cream you want (within limits, which I thoroughly explored.)

Like most minimum wage jobs, scooping ice cream is overwhelmingly one filled by the young, who do not need a living wage, or those who have no skills or experience whatsoever and need to develop some. When the minimum wage goes up, companies eliminate jobs, and when it goes  up too much too fast, whole occupations and companies disappear. This isn’t capitalist propaganda: it’s true. Most of the jobs that disappear are those that make life a little more pleasant for those not doing them, like pumping gas, ushering in movie theaters, operating elevators, waiting on tables, and scooping ice cream, jobs that can be learned in about an hour or less by anyone with an IQ hovering around 90. Continue reading

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