Ugh. It’s hard, not to mention nauseating and repetitious, to simultaneously cover two Ethics Trainwrecks moving at alarming speed and generating unethical conduct and words in all directions. My backlog of other, non-campus, non-terrorism stories grows longer my the minute, but Ethics Alarms has a mission, damn it.
First the Stupid, represented by one of OccupyDemocrats many memes. I am torn, though: is this meme even worse?
Somebody at OccupyDemocrats.org makes these constantly, and I’d be fascinated to know if whoever it is really thinks these are valid arguments, or are just appealing to, you know, reliably stupid people who aren’t thinking very hard, and who say, “Duhhh, yup! That’ll put those Republicans in their place! I’ll post this to Facebook!” How many Americans really are this deficient in critical thinking?
Maybe I don’t want to think too much about this.
Next, the Good: The Obama Administration has at least one official with integrity. FBI Director James Comey told a House committee that checking refugees against a database won’t do anything if the U.S. doesn’t have any data on them, and in most cases, that will be true. “And so if someone has never made a ripple in the pond in Syria in a way that would get their identity or their interest reflected in our database, we can query our database until the cows come home, but there will be nothing showing up because we have no record of them,” Comey said. Now that people are paying attention and Obama’s refugee plan is receiving responsible scrutiny as he calls critics cowards nad racists, Comey’s completely honest and reasonable statement is being spun or denied by others. An esteemed participant on Ethics Alarms re-defined “effective screening” sufficient to admit Syrian refugees as ‘the best we can do,’ no matter what its holes or inadequacies. Another denies that screening is necessary at all, which would make Comey’s revelation moot. Now comes Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who insisted before Congress this week that the U.S. will be able to process refugees safely. “There is a screening process that has data from several different agencies, the FBI participates, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, National Counterterrorism Center and much information is vetted and queried,” she said, irrelevantly, since most of the terrorists wouldn’t be there. Lynch has taken on Eric Holder’s role as Official Obama Administration Denial Agent. Earlier this week, she insisted that “no data” supports the conclusion that the spike in murders and violence in Baltimore, Washington, New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles and other major cities is a direct result of “the Ferguson effect,” which holds that police are reluctant to be pro-active for fear of being demonized as racists if a situation escalates to violence. No, there’s no data, just the fact that the increase in violence started immediately after Baltimore capitulated to rioters and abandoned defense of its police officers in the Freddie Gray incident, and police chiefs and officers have stated that laws enforcement officials have been intimidated. How would you gather such “data”? As with Lynch’s denials of the obvious as admitted by Coney the Good, this is deceit, not transparency.
The Bad? The news media has this one wrapped up, being smug and biased as usual while failing to communicate or explore any of the complex competing ethical issues and trade-offs involved. CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott tweeted about the House vote on a bill that would make it harder for Syrian refugees to enter the United States on her official CNN account thusly…
CNN suspended her for two weeks, a source at CNN confirmed to POLITICO. Good. She is supposed to tweet news, not opinion, and especially not opinion backed by irrelevancies: Emma Lazerus’s famous poem has no wisdom to convey regarding screening for terrorists. (But is CNN suspending her for being biased, or for letting the cat out of the bad regarding the whole network’s bias?)
The Ugly (also qualified for The Bad and The Stupid, but those slots are taken) is, of course, Donald Trump. Faced with a reporter who ran down a series of unconstitutional measures that a totalitarian regime night want to consider—a special data base just for Muslims in the U.S., special surveillance of them, based on their religious beliefs, IDs and warrantless searches of mosques—Trump didn’t have the integrity, sense or wit to say, “Don’t be ridiculous,” and, talking off the cuff, was sufficiently non-committal and vague (as he always is about policy matters) to justify the media’s conclusion that he “doesn’t rule out” any of these discriminatory practices.
“We’re going to have to do thing that we never did before,” he said “Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule…Certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy…“We’re going to have to do things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.” Well but what? Having let reporters put damning words in his mouth and nor unequivocally spitting them out, The Donald allowed his Rorschach blot campaign to be used to slime the Republican Party and every other principled critic of the Obama Administration’s “don’t worry, be happy” ISIS policy.
There has been talk among Republicans of mandatory identification cards and database registration for Muslims, Carol Costello told Americans this morning, raising an eyebrow. Not really. Trump, who is not the spokesperson for the Republican Party in any way, and is apparently ignorant of the law and civil rights , never even “talked” about such measures; he just didn’t reject those ideas, as any decent, competent, responsible person would. This was enough, however, for Carol to drag on two guests to talk about how horrible Trump is, and you know he speaks for all those Republicans supporting him.
Costello epitomizes journalism’s bias and incompetence in providing balanced reporting on any issue with a left-right divide. Donald Trump, like Ben Carson, makes her job all too easy. Proper caution involving a group of Muslims that is likely to contain deadly terrorists is not the equivalent of religious persecution, as much as making it appear so has been the tactic of choice of the Obama Administration. Trump’s ugly carelessness and insensitivity plays right into the hands of the Bad and the Stupid…and Carol, of course.