More From The “When Ethics Alarms Are Devoured By Hysteria And Partisan Hate” Files: KABOOM!

Thank you and Merry Christmas, Carl Palladino.

Thank you and Merry Christmas, Carl Palladino.

How somebody in the public eye can utter opinions like this for publication is absolutely beyond comprehension.  Hence the inside of my head is now outside my head. The red on the walls and ceiling looks kind of Christmassy, I must say.

A Buffalo weekly called Artvoice asked several prominent local figures what they wanted for 2017, asking several questions.

Carl Paladino, a local developer Republican member of the Erie County school board who was Donald Trump’s campaign’s co-chair in New York answered the first two questions this way:

1. What would you most like to happen in 2017?

Paladino: “Obama catches mad cow disease after being caught having relations with a Herford. He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to Valerie Jarret, who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihady cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.”

2. What would you like to see go away in 2017?

Paladino: “Michelle Obama. I’d like her to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.”

What is this? A breakdown? The equivalent of civic suicide? As I would assume the most mentally handicapped of socially-inept morons would expect, these vile comments, which Paladino knew would be published, immediately caused him to be condemned far and wide. Donald Trump’s transition team  called his remarks “absolutely reprehensible.”  Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz called on Paladino to resign immediately. Assemblyman Sean Ryan D-Buffalo said Paladino’s comments were “outrageous, dangerous and disturbing.” New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo described the remarks as “racist, ugly and reprehensible.”  Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown called the comments “terrible.”

By late yesterday, over a thousand people had signed an online petition calling for Paladino’s removal from the school board. Paladino’s response to the uproar?

“Yeah, I’m not politically correct,” he said. “They asked what I want, and I told them.”

Will someone explain to this idiot the difference between political incorrectness and pure, unadulterated racist hate? Political correctness is the effort to make political opinions, criticism, candor, humor and satire  regarding certain topics difficult or impossible to express, by associating legitimate  ideas with flawed values and character. Societal objections to publicly calling for violence and death to be inflicted on anyone have to do with long-standing, bi-partisan social norms regarding civility, decency, fairness, respect and the Golden Rule. Revulsion at pronouncing any human being subhuman,  impugning a woman’s femininity and comparing an African American woman to a gorilla is based on the rejection of denigration and racism. Expressing such a level of hatred and disrespect for the President, his wife and his top advisor shatters all boundaries for acceptable civilized discourse.

Of course it does. The reason my skull interior feels a draft is that it is astounding to me that anyone could reach adulthood, live in this society, and not know where these boundaries lie, at least better than that. I don’t understand how Paladino has done business with such battery acid in his brain and thrived. I don’t understand how someone capable not merely of thinking such thoughts, but openly stating them for public consumption could be elected rat catcher, much less to the school board in a system with mostly African American children. I don’t understand. I don’t understand.  How does someone get this way? How does someone who does get this way live in a community?

Paladino issued what he appears to think is an explanation for his public vomit. Get this:

paladinos-response-page-001

Ah. That explains it. It was a joke.

It’s not worth anyone’s time spending much effort discussing what’s the matter with Palladino’s venom, since if it isn’t obvious to you,  you are beyond hope. It is worth our consideration of what forces are at work causing someone to think that wishing death on the President and calling the First Lady an ape is acceptable for any reason, ever, any place, and that such vicious rhetoric accomplishes anything but exacerbating division and distrust in our nation.

I  also suggest that the anti-Trump forces compare Carl’s rhetoric with their own toward the newly elected President, his family and his supporters.

 

28 Comments

Filed under Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Kaboom!, Race, U.S. Society

28 responses to “More From The “When Ethics Alarms Are Devoured By Hysteria And Partisan Hate” Files: KABOOM!

  1. zoebrain

    Political incorrectness is the effort to make political opinions, criticism, candor, humor and satire regarding certain topics difficult or impossible to express, by associating legitimate ideas with flawed values and character.

    Did you mean political correctness not incorrectness? Because that’s a pretty accurate description of PC in its most perjorative sense.

    Political incorrectness in its most benign sense is opposing such powerplay bullying.

    These days though, in the Age of Trump, Political incorrectness means abandoning “long-standing, bi-partisan social norms regarding civility, decency, fairness, respect and the Golden Rule. “.

    Should it? No! Resoundingly! Does it have to mean this? No! To most people, regardless of what political tribe or team they belong to, is such abandonment the new norm?…. Um… well, to many it’s not. Those who didn’t bother to vote, mainly.

    The issue here is not that some anal sphincter published these words. It’s that they are from a senior member of the Trump camp, the wave of the future. Read the comments, there are millions who agree with him, and those who don’t are merely tut-tutting and won’t actually take any action apart from conspicuous pearl-clutching and striking political postures, the old way of doing things that is no longer relevant. Crocodile tears from the Trump campaign, genuine disgust and loathing from the walking dead old guard GOP. The Mensheviks.

    The vitriol is increasing, not decreasing. On both sides.

    • Patrice

      Thank you for stating what I have been unable to verbalize about this. This isn’t a hate crime, but it certainly displays monstrous hate. And what some of us see is that people like this slug feel emboldened by the election (note, I did not say that it was because of the PE but because of this hateful election) to spew the hatred they’ve been holding, awaiting the day they could say such things and know that they are not alone in their opinions.

    • Yes, you’re right: the “in” was in error.

    • valkygrrl

      The issue here is not that some anal sphincter published these words. It’s that they are from a senior member of the Trump camp, the wave of the future. Read the comments, there are millions who agree with him

      I like to call them the basket of deplorables.

    • “These days though, in the Age of Trump, Political incorrectness means abandoning “long-standing, bi-partisan social norms regarding civility, decency, fairness, respect and the Golden Rule. “.”

      You keep embarrassing yourself pushing this line. You’ve been called on it multiple times before and yet you persist? Why? It borders on an imbalanced irrationality.

      Civility, decency etc in the political realm aren’t like they are because of Trump…

      You may want to look to the Democrats of Bush 43’s era and the Obama era to really understand how we got where we are now.

      But you didn’t care then. You never were concerned about the issue then.

      I wonder why?

    • Why guilt by association is suddenly in vogue after fair people spent decades discrediting it is a mystery. When an associate has been described a a mentor (say, Rev. Wright), that’s one thing. But blaming the asshole conduct of someone on anyone who worked or associated with him, or someone the asshole supports, is just lazy and below the belt, like blaming Obama for Bill Ayers.

  2. Mark

    “Will someone explain to this idiot the difference between political incorrectness and pure, unadulterated racist hate?”

    What would be the point? The lines that were generally respected in civil and political discourse have been blurred, if not completely erased. That was happening long before Trump came along and gave the idea more legitimacy with his anti-political correctness stances. For the moment, the loudest voices in our culture belong to the extreme edges of political and social thought, amplified and encouraged as never before by social media.

    The only solution I see is that those of us who don’t live or think on the edges continue to discourse civilly with as much intellectual rigor and kindness as we are able to muster. I will even go so far as to say that initial attention to the latter quality can greatly influence the former, especially in moments of disagreement.

    Merry Christmas to you, Jack, and to all your readers! We need your even voice now more than ever.

  3. Zoe writes: “The issue here is not that some anal sphincter published these words. It’s that they are from a senior member of the Trump camp, the wave of the future. Read the comments, there are millions who agree with him, and those who don’t are merely tut-tutting and won’t actually take any action apart from conspicuous pearl-clutching and striking political postures, the old way of doing things that is no longer relevant. Crocodile tears from the Trump campaign, genuine disgust and loathing from the walking dead old guard GOP. The Mensheviks.”

    I think your comment is interesting. In one sense, of course, people who are voicing ideas and opinions are ‘the wave of the future’ (and heaven only knows what Trump is up to and what he is planning), but you’d have to also focus on the reversal of the mouth for the anus when it comes to the broad Left. If you watch videos of confrontations by Lefties at the rallies where they oppose some fascist you will hear them expressing incredible opinions, characterizations and ideas to their enemies. What these people ‘really think’ is pretty intense!

    Sometime back I came across this idea, perhaps a postmodern idea, that you can find a great deal of interesting material, and material that reveals a great deal, in what people discard. In all the stuff that people toss away, do not value, or regard as garbage and dirty, and then possibly also what this might represent on a psychological level: as in repressed material that is driven out of the *conscious attitude* and placed down in the dungeon of the unconscious mind.

    I think it was you, Zoe, who mentioned ‘the dark web’ for the first time to my hearing and I got interested in the idea, not having even thought about it. At the same time I began to think about something Camille Paglia had said about the comments sections of periodicals and YouTube videos and all the places that people post (anonymously) ‘what they really think’. What people really think is indeed very different from what they allow themselves to say. But to apply the Freudian understanding, which I suppose must be considered to be true, our true sense of things, what we really think, will slip out. Either in an off-hand comment, or a revealing joke, or then unconsciously when we are not aware.

    Because I look around in a certain amount of *forbidden material* I think I have a fairly good sense of ‘what people really think’. Especially it is fruitful and revealing to poke around, and to get underneath, in those areas where The Politically Correct has dictated that no one shall deviate from the thoughts that are provided to think. So, the Politically Correct is a conscious imposition of certain ideas and thoughts that must be thought, and I suggest that this directly creates, relationally, correspondingly, the ‘dark undercurrent’ of repressed material.

    My question to you is: Do you agree with this analysis? And then the next question: How should one deal with the ‘repressed material’? How do you recommend dealing with 1) the actual feelings of race dislike that many different people feel, and certainly not only whites, but if you wish specifically white people? 2) the actual feelings and understandings that pertain to how people really feel about homosexuality. 3) the actual thoughts and feelings that people really have about Jews and the power-dynamic in the world.

    I think one could easily produce a list of ‘unthinkable topics’ that just by listing them you incur guilt-by-association! How shall what is unconscious, repressed and held-down be allowed to become conscious and expressible? Or, do you you think it best just to repress stuff?

    • zoebrain

      How shall what is unconscious, repressed and held-down be allowed to become conscious and expressible? Or, do you you think it best just to repress stuff?

      Repress speech? Absolutely not. Although my faith that falsity should be answered by truth, not suppression, has been shaken recently – see the recent nuclear alert in Pakistan as the result of deliberately falsified clickbait reports of a threat of nuclear attack – the alternate is worse. And i do mean factual falsity, not mere opinion or difference of interpretation, which should always be answered by rational counterargument, rather than a heckler’s veto. As both of us are trying to do here, about the only thing we have in common, yet a very important one in my ideology. Yours I am not so sure of, you may be using it purely because it’s so effective, rather than an integral part of ideology that won’t be abandoned even if inconvenient.

      For one thing, about the only thing I can be absolutely certain of is that my own views are imperfect. If I don’t listen to opposing views, how am I to improve?

      Repress action? Sometimes, yes. One can advocate for the return of slavery, or a new Holocaust, and indeed, I would encourage those holding such views to express them, so I can more effectively plan in advance on who to neutralise should they attempt to match thoughts with deeds.

      Foetid views that are repugnant to the conscience shouldn’t be suppressed, but if they result in social ostracism and shunning, that’s not suppression.

    • zoebrain

      How do you recommend dealing with 1) the actual feelings of race dislike that many different people feel, and certainly not only whites, but if you wish specifically white people? 2) the actual feelings and understandings that pertain to how people really feel about homosexuality. 3) the actual thoughts and feelings that people really have about Jews

      I thought your analysis to be self-evidently true, and an example of something obvious, yet a truth that no-one dare speak. As for racism, it’s a toss up whether the Han Chinese or Japanese take the prize there, though various white groups deserve to get a dishonourable mention.

      You may forget – I am Intersex. My mere existence makes many otherwise rational and reasonable people extremely uncomfortable in a purely visceral way, something not susceptible to rational argument. It is instinctive, and there are plausible arguments that evolutionary pressure has hardwired both xenophobia and xenophilia in us. We feel what we feel. We cannot control our attractions, merely our actions. I can live with that though, for while we are animals, we’re not *just* animals, and do not have to act purely by instinct. We can decide to obey instead the angels of our better nature, in deed if not in thought.

      Desensitisation and education has had limited success at modifying these feelings in the past, but limited is often good enough, and besides which, it’s the only game in town. Conversely, deliberate miseducation and sensitisation also has limited success. Teach a child that all left handed blondes are evil incarnate, and that carefully nurtured belief may be very difficult or impossible to eradicate. Or it may dissolve the first time the child as an adult mixes with blondes and finds one who’s left handed, yet obviously not evil.

      • I forget nothing . . . 😉

        As I have been writing to Chris recently, what I find interesting is how radically, and strangely, different are people’s views and ideas as expressed on this blog. One could spend weeks and months looking at the surface (the specific opinions that people have) and in the end get nowhere significant. The opinions have been produced and have been extruded from a mind and spirit. So, it seems to me more fruitful to examine the more elemental and foundational structures within ourselves.

        What I notice is that, basically described, all the conversations and confrontations stem out of the tension and conflict between ‘convervative’ and ‘liberal’ modes of being in and dealing with reality. Having written that it sound sort of ‘duh’. But when it is better explained it makes more sense. The tension is between Being and Becoming. Between holding to a fixed and conceived value (it all hinges in value I think) and patterning things on that or in relation to that; or taking the role of worshipper of Becoming.

        Being of course is used in the Greek philosophical sense. It requires a specific sort of mind to be able to conceive of it. But I mean it as a set of ideas about what is, what should be, what is desirable, what is productive, what is good, etc. The Platonic sort of mind is in this sense one that seeks to mentally define Being. A pre-existant determiner of forms. Something like that. I understand this sort of mind to be essentially ‘conservative’.

        How to define the ‘liberal’ mind, or the mind and spirit that is a devotee of Becoming I am less certain. Becoming is what the world is doing all the time. Modifying, shifting, mutating, preserving or deteriorating. We are subject to modification, we are victims of it. We all get turned under by it eventually. But within becoming there arises the conceiving mind, and it conceives of eternal structures, eternal verities. And within the ever-shifting circumstances of ceaseless modification and mutation, it seeks to impose what is eternal and ever-existant: the Word in essence. Logos.

        One book that influenced me a great deal, and which I never ever would have read some years back, was Robert H. Bork’s ‘Slouching Towards Gomorrah’. What is it about the man, what is it in the man, that determines the ‘structure of view’ that he puts forth? It is the link with Being: conceived order. A rational, determined position that is imposed on the chaos of things by a mind that is capable of conceiving of value.

        Bork notices what is operating against this. In his case, given his historical situation, it is Sixties Radicalism: the falcon that has flown too far from the falconer. Essentially, what is it he is talking about? It is a maddening problem it seems to me. What I want to say is child’s will. It’s simple really: a child cannot conceive of these *higer structures* and a child’s will is focussed on the immediate, the sensate, the pleasurable, in short in ‘becoming’. That child’s will resists the constraining influence of institutions and the stability which it determines is stultifying to its child’s projects. Those children take full advantage of their energetic position and very much too easily either destroy or allow to be destroyed the ‘repositories’ where their father’s generations have stored up knowledge, which is another way of conceiving of Being.

        It is a simple, reductive picture but it seems to me accurate. The ‘mere anarchy’ let loose on the world takes many many different forms, from free-form dance which inevitably becomes erotic and then pornographic (because there is nothing to constrain it and a child’s will will not be constrained!); open musical forms; unrestrained market forms. But I think the most insidious event within this childish rebellion is that because the mind itself has become unmoored from the traditional structuring, it is no longer the Platonic or Aristotelian mind. It is a mind contaminated by sensation and emotion, by sentiment, by appetite and desire. Thus: the seduction of the mind begins. Eventually and by and by what happens is that the paideia which formally structured minds no longer does so. And education systems produce a goopy much-mind. A shallow, appetite-driven, emotionalized Giant Child that marketeers fight to control and direct. Big Baby just wants Big Satisfactions and Big Business comes to serve him Bigly (with ‘a gaze blank and pitiless as the sun’).

        Robert Bork pushed me toward the understanding, which was certainly followed up with other readings (and which eventually led me to the group of people I am now associated with who are European New Right philosophers), that in order to define conservatism (Bork actually speaks of this as Liberalism in its true form) you have to do the work of defining an entire platform. In fact it is spiritual work. I mean, philosophical work is spiritual work. But even the idea of the ‘spiritual’ requires a specific mind that can think in such terms. My idea is that the modern mind cannot be a spiritual mind because spiritual thinking can only come about in a mind that resists ‘becoming’ and seduction and slavery and immediacy and sensation and pleasure and unending shifts of focus. It requires a discipline (sadhana) to focus the mind to be able to think spiritually.

        I think people misunderstand my orientation. That is because I speak about ‘hierarchies’ and ‘differences’ which, of course, have to do with racial and cultural factors. They misunderstand when I speak of the essential difference between a fruitful male-female relationship and a homosexual relationship which cannot ever be fruitful in that way. It is because the force of idea, the adherance to the Form, rubs them the wrong way. Whatever metaphysical tune is being intoned is not one that ‘resonates’ in them.

        To go back over a Borkian philosophy is, in my view, and specifically today in our present, to perform a mental and intellectual feat or project which will get you branded almost immediately as a neo-fascist. And once you have done that, and once you have been branded, ridiculed, ‘hated’ or hated, what happens is that you suddenly realize that you might as well embrace the label. This is what many in the Alt-Right have done, and this is why many of them, and myself to some degree, still show ourselves as sort of converted social justice warriors. Many of us were pretty Lefty. But we sobered up. And with a similar intensity, a similar idealism I suppose, we turn back into hard conservatism and, yes, neo-fascism. This neo-fascism is of course similar to that of the interwar period, and that is why we use the term ‘Weimerica’.

        Those who are terrified even to look into *us* and what we do and say and think, cannot really understand the degree that we have become researchers and investigators. All the people I know are READERS and are reading, thinking about, and discussing material which is definitely not being talked about in traditional conservative circles.

  4. joed68

    “The red on the walls and ceiling looks kind of Christmassy, I must say.”
    I call bullshit. There’s no way that you can see the red on the walls if your head exploded and your eyes are on the wall , unless maybe someone else told you, but then your ears are on the wall too, I’n confused.

  5. Sleepy Jean

    Two words: Pixie Palladino. Can’t find a relationship between the two. Given your mad skills as evidenced by the Wenceslas post, perhaps you can.

  6. This is despicable from anyone. Sadly, I have seen posts just as hateful from liberals. When our state suffered a destructive wildfire that destroyed a large portion of one of our most special tourist attractions and forests in the Smoky Mountains not to mention loss of human and animal life, there were posts coming from liberals stating the whole state should burn and everyone die for voting Trump. That also is wrong. The hate exists on both sides and people make these shameful comments then claim they were joking. No they are not and it needs to stop. I hate no one but I do hate hate.

  7. Chase Davidson

    Is this the same Palladino who, a few years ago, was caught sending virulently racist ‘jokes’ and bestiality pornography to co-workers?

      • brian

        Jack, one of my biggest take away’s from your blog is the concept of signature significance. Thanks for giving me the concept and explaining it often. Here is as clear a case as you will find, so I am not surprised he has past inappropriate behavior, and I am sure he will have more in the future.

  8. Recumbent Driver

    You should have made your last sentence the first.

  9. Al Veerhoff

    Why is Palladino still overseeing Erie County Public Schools? If you were teaching there, would you tell pupils this guy is one of the people in charge of their education?

  10. zoebrain

    You misinterpret me. My fault, obviously I could not have communicated clearly enough. I should have made the distinction between The Age of Trump, and what can be laid at the feet of Donald Trump alone more clear.

    There have been many just as uncivilised before, though few perhaps as boorish. In public anyway, and not after 1900.

    None have been granted the right to use nuclear weapons.

    That the Trump campaign saw fit to appoint such a colourful individual, a transmitter of bestial pornography in the past, of course reflects the values the campaign espouses. How could it not? Guilt by association doesn’t come into it, the appointment does. Should an axe murderer be revealed as a Trump supporter is one thing, and the “guilt by association” charge would be valid. But if an axe murderer was appointed to head the NY Trump campaign, that would be another, and would reflect the values of the campaign. If Hannibal Lector said kind words about your ethics classes, Jack, that would be one thing. If you appointed him as an adjunct lecturer to give the courses, it would be another.

    The election of a boor who by all evidence, thinks the word “ethics” means a county in the UK next to “thuthex” ( and probably a good place for a golf course) has been associated with a radical decline in civility across the board, has it not? I very carefully did not assign causation, mainly because it’s arguable whether the incivility inherent In the Trump campaign is causal or symptomatic. Or a bit of both.

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