Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/4/17

Good Morning!

1. An update to the Michelle Carter fiasco from Taunton, Mass., where the judge in the case discussed here sentenced the young woman to 15 months in jail for her supposedly deadly words, which “made” her boyfriend commit suicide. This classic example of the axiom “hard cases make bad law” provides the censorious camel’s nose access to the tent for advocates of  the criminalization of “hate speech,” opposition to climate change propaganda, and the gradual castration of freedom of speech. Carter should have never been charged or tried; doing so was an abuse of process, prosecutorial ethics and judicial ethics. I strongly suspect that the judge knows the case will be reversed on appeal as unconstitutional, hence his decision to stay the sentence, allowing Carter to remain free while her case winds its way to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, her life will be stalled, and completely absorbed by the consequences of her texts urging teen Conrad Roy III to act on his expressed desire to kill himself, which he did. This is her real punishment, because the sentence will not and must not stand.

It is unethical to use the legal system this way. When the government takes it upon itself to punish citizens despite the absence of applicable laws, it is treading over the line dividing democracy from totalitarianism.

2. What is to be done about California? States have always maintained their own unique cultures, and that is a national strength. When a state’s culture becomes wholly estranged from and hostile to the values and principles of the nation it belongs to, however, it becomes a danger to that nation and perhaps to its citizens. What, if anything, is the responsibility of the federal government when this happens? What is the duty of the state’s elected officials?

Tucker Carlson’s creepy interview on Fox with a leader of the California secession movement,Shankar Singam, raised these questions and more. Among Singam’s jaw-dropping positions was that the documented exodus of middle class Californians and small businesses from the state was a good thing. “If everyone in the middle class is leaving, that’s actually a good thing. We need these spots opened up for the new wave of immigrants to come up. It’s what we do,” Singam told Carlson. He also told Carlson that “This is California. We’re not the United States.”

At least that settles the question of whether Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

An ethical, responsible, loyal American governor would recognize the danger inherent in allowing his state to see itself as separate from the rest of the country, and actively work to reverse that dangerous trend and attitude. That governor is not Jerry Brown.

3. Here is another update, this one on the weird and suspicious story of the Pakistani scamster who somehow was allowed access to sensitive Democratic officials’ communications, and who Debbie Wasserman Schultz inexplicably kept on her payroll after the rest of her colleagues fired him, right up until he was arrested trying to leave the country. (Until further developments, I’ll file this one under the mainstream media’s bias and double standards for Democrats categories. It has still been virtually ignored by the same sources that work over time to make every Republican burp a national scandal.)

Wasserman Schultz has been in hiding for more than a week since her tech guy was arrested, but finally came out yesterday, didn’t see her shadow, and gave an interview saying this:

“I believe that I did the right thing, and I would do it again. There are times when you can’t be afraid to stand alone, and you have to stand up for what’s right. It would have been easier for me to just fire him.”

No, it would have been responsible, logical, reasonable and normal to fire him.

Is she really going to claim that she was standing by a victim of Islamophobia? This is the same woman the party of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama thought was fit to represent it  for eight years. Writes the Wall Street Journal’s columnist Kimberly Strassel in part:

…Ms. Wasserman Schultz continued to shield Imran Awan to the end. Yes, the amounts of money, and the ties to Pakistan, are strange. Yes, it is alarming that emails show Imran Awan knew Ms. Wasserman Schultz’s iPad password, and that the family might have had wider access to the accounts of lawmakers on the House Intelligence and Foreign Affairs committees…The government, under the inattentive care of Democrats, may have been bilked for ages by a man the FBI has alleged to be a fraudster. That’s the same government Democrats say is qualified to run your health care, reform your children’s schools, and protect the environment.

4. Why do prominent Democrats and progressives believe fat-shaming, among other ad hominem attacks, are justifiable when used against Republicans, conservatives, the President, or anyone they disagree with? The same ideologues manufacture accusations of racial slurs and misogeny out of whole cloth when they don’t have real ones to point to, yet somehow feel that calling adversaries fat is acceptable, presumably because the ends justifies the means, and some people just don’t deserve ethical treatment in their eyes. Here is how left-wing hero economist and the second most disgusting Times writer Paul Krugman begins today’s attack: “I guess it ain’t over until the portly golfer sings, but it does look as if Obamacare will survive.”

Translation: Trump is fat.

I wonder how Krugman—he’s supposed to be a financial guru, remember—isn’t wearing a bag over his head these days, since the stock markets are soaring, and he declared on November 8 that in his Nobel Prize-winning assessment, the markets would sink and never recover while President Trump was in office. How wrong can someone be? Why would anyone care what Paul Krugman thinks, when he allows his biases to warp his judgment in the one area is which he can claim genuine expertise?

5. I have experienced enough efforts to make me feel guilty because I use ad blockers.

Thanks for visiting —–

We notice you have an ad blocker on.

Advertisements help us provide quality content.

Yeah, well, I’m happy to look at ads that you imbed in your site. I will not tolerate pop-up ads that interfere with my reading, and I don’t trust you or any site to exercise restraint regarding which products and how many you are going to force me to look at in order to read your content. If you are going to insist, then I’ll go somewhere else. There are ways to pay for your content that do not involve harassment.

 

49 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Leadership, Marketing and Advertising, Quotes, Workplace

49 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/4/17

  1. wyogranny

    #5
    Exactly. I leave the moment I see that announcement as well.

    #3
    Something is so rotten here. I hope it doesn’t take years of obfuscation to find out what, but if I had to guess I’d guess it will. And, maybe it never will be revealed, Democrats are masters of the smoke screen.

    #2
    I have many relatives and friends in California who are not able to leave because their financial lives and futures are there. The callousness toward the devastation of the lives of the citizens of California shown by its governor is monumental. But, maybe if he destroyed enough lives he can get his high speed train,

    #1
    I really think this girl is a horrible person, but she didn’t break the law and shouldn’t be criminalized. Good old fashioned shunning is underrated.

  2. Paul Krugman on Global Warming:

    http://instituteforenergyresearch.org/analysis/krugman-adopts-climate-alarmism-thats-juuuuust-right/

    Paul Krugman’s estate:

    Using the Gold Standard of monumental hypocrisy (Al Gore Jr’s 34 X the average energy use), I wonder what multiple of that average, established in “Flyover Country,” we may attribute to Krugman.

    • “I guess it ain’t over until the portly golfer sings, but it does look as if Obamacare will survive.”

      In addition to everything else for which the In-The-Tank-For-Lefty Krugman ought be admonished, might we add lifting material?

      The Trump-Portly-Golfer reference appeared 4 paragraphs into the 08/07/2017 issue Sports Illustrated Alan Shipnuck “First Golfer” article. I didn’t read until just now, but it arrived Wednesday.

      Deadline for Shipman’s piece had to be Sunday at the very latest; Krugman’s> late yesterday morning.

      Trump Lovers, Haters, and the unaffiliated (like me) will enjoy this piece, for different reasons.

      http://www.golf.com/tour-news/2017/08/01/president-donald-trump-relationship-golf-more-complicated-now

      The monumentally understated kill shot at the end:

      ”For all the questions and complications that come with the President’s golf empire, he still finds respite on the course and at his properties.”

  3. Chris

    2. I hardly see how one secessionist nut is representative of all of California. There have been secessionist movements in Texas for much longer–does that mean Texas is “wholly estranged from and hostile to the values and principles of the nation it belongs to?”

    4. Fat-shaming is wrong, and liberals who engage in it are incredibly hypocritical.

    • Chris wrote, “Fat-shaming is wrong, and liberals who engage in it are incredibly hypocritical.”

      I’m not sure why you said that; exactly how are Liberals that engage in fat-shaming being “incredibly hypocritical”?

      • Because the same people who are willing to call Trump or Christie fat are the same people who had embolisms over the” “Beach Body Ready?” bus campaigns?

        • Chris

          I’m not sure they really are the same people, but I think it’s fair to say that a general principle of the Left is that people should not be judged on factors outside their control, such as physical appearance.

          • …Except when the people they’re judging are republicans, or moderate liberals, or smell funny. Then there’s a segment of the left that throws their principles by the wayside because it’s fun to call Chris Christie “The Elephant In The Room”.

          • Chris wrote, “I think it’s fair to say that a general principle of the Left is that people should not be judged on factors outside their control, such as physical appearance.”

            You’ve got to be kidding me; there’s nothing blatantly partisan or pompously self-elevating in that statement at all.

            Chris, the left is just as petty and self pontificating as any other group of people, stop trying to place the left on a freaking pedestal perched well above the top shelf of society, it’s just pompous nonsense!

            • Chris

              there’s nothing blatantly partisan or pompously self-elevating in that statement at all.

              Thank you. You’re right, there isn’t.

              I was describing a *principle,* Zoltar. I would describe conservative principles in the same positive light. Example: a conservative principle is that individuals should work hard to ensure their own success. If a conservative said that was a conservative principle, would you call that “blatantly partisan” or “pompously self-elevating?” I wouldn’t; it’s just a fact.

              That liberals do not always live up to our principles does not mean the principle doesn’t exist. Hell, my entire point was that liberals too often do not live up to this particular principle. You’re really arguing over nothing here.

        • Humble Talent wrote, “Because the same people who are willing to call Trump or Christie fat are the same people who had embolisms over the” “Beach Body Ready?” bus campaigns?”

          So only the left had a problem with the “Beach Body Ready?” bus campaigns?

          Who knew.

          • I must have missed all the right wing outrage as it was going on, and then the right wing celebration when the campaign wasn’t renewed. I’d love for you to cite that.

            Regardless… This is one of the weirdest positions I’ve ever seen you take, it’s almost like you’re fighting Chris, who is saying that the left is hypocritical on body shaming, by saying that the right is hypocritical on the issue too.

            Maybe I’m wrong, the hell are you trying to say?

            • Chris

              The argument is that positive generalizations about the Left are bad but negative generalizations about the Left are good.

      • Matthew B

        Let’s count the hypocrisy on the left….

        Body shaming is bad unless you’re a fat republican, then it’s open season.

        Racism is bad unless the target is white. Then it’s OK, because of “white privilege.” Even if it’s a rich black person ripping apart a poor white person.

        Sexism is bad, unless the target is male.

        Drugs are OK. Except tobacco. Tobacco is bad.

    • “2. I hardly see how one secessionist nut is representative of all of California.”

      Well…. He’s part of an organisation that thinks it can get a little more than half a million signatures on the paperwork to introduce a ballet measure that would cause California to attempt to secede.

      I don’t disagree with you that he’s probably a rare breed of nut, and that his organisation probably won’t succeed… but on some level the attempt at least seems… possible… And the outcome is so serious that I think that it makes sense to treat it seriously.

      I mean… As far as I know, Texas, despite having secessionist movements, hasn’t ever actually had a ballot measure introduced on the topic.

      • Chris

        Texas has had secession ballot measures proposed, but they were rejected. California has also had a secession ballot measure proposed, and will probably be rejected. As of now they’re on pretty equal footing.

        • I get that… I also remember the Quebec referendums…. And maybe it’s just my history watching the ramp up to and fallout from a 49/51 outcome, but all it needs is to get traction once and you’re in for a hell of a mess.

          I think the proportion of Californians who are insane enough to try this is larger than the proportion of Texans insane enough to do the same, but I admit, that’s only an impression, I have no data to back that up.

  4. Re: #1-

    If a man calls his wife fat for years, and she develops an eating disorder, and eventually dies, is that free speech?

    • Chris

      Probably. Is emotional abuse a crime?

      • Chris asked, “Is emotional abuse a crime?”

        Is using the word “fat” to describe a very overweight person considered “emotional abuse”?

      • Furthermore Chris; is what Michelle Carter did to her boyfriend considered “emotional abuse” and should it be considered a crime?

        • Chris

          I would say consistently calling one’s spouse fat over a period of several years would absolutely constitute emotional abuse. Encouraging someone to commit suicide is absolutely emotional abuse, without question. I don’t believe the former should be criminalized, and am still chewing over whether the latter should. There are limits to speech; emotionally abusing someone to the point that you’re encouraging them to take their own life seems like a rational and fair limit.

          • Do we not already have harassment laws?

          • Chris wrote, “There are limits to speech…”

            Where is that written in the constitution?

            I’m not saying there shouldn’t be some consequences to what we say; however, when you get in the quagmire of defining that “emotional abuse” should be illegal how far are you willing to go to define what qualifies as emotional abuse and therefore illegal? Some people might choose to say that every word that comes out of my mouth (or finger tips) is emotional abuse. Do I get to define what I think is emotional abuse and define it in such a way as to frame every word you type as emotional abuse?

            The quagmire I’m talking about above is a bottomless pit of politically correct topic of the day that will just keep on growing until no one can speak or type a damn thing. Yes that’s hyperbole and it’s intentional.

            • Yeah, it’s an incredibly broad gray area between a white zone on one end and a black zone on the other (which I’m pretty sure we already have treated as ‘harassment’ and have sanctioned).

    • wyogranny

      Free speech means it’s not illegal to speak. So yes, it’s free speech. The consequences are not within the law to mitigate.

  5. Jack wrote, “This classic example of the axiom “hard cases make bad law” provides the censorious camel’s nose access to the tent for advocates of the criminalization of “hate speech,” opposition to climate change propaganda, and the gradual castration of freedom of speech.”

    “When the government takes it upon itself to punish citizens despite the absence of applicable laws, it is treading over the line dividing democracy from totalitarianism.”

    I completely agree!

    This IS where “illiberals”, as described in Kirsten Powers book The Silencing: How the left is killing free speech, are trying to take us. Generally speaking; it truly appears that to a true modern day Liberal/Progressive “free speech” should only applies to speech that fits their ideological mold; not only is all thinking that differs from Liberal/Progressive thinking wrong, it should be made illegal too.

    Although some “lefties” might disagree with me on this, it’s really becoming quite clear that Liberal/Progressive anti-free speech thinking is becoming much more prominent every day.

  6. Wayne

    California is on it’s way to becoming similar to a third world country where the majority of the people residing there are impoverished and uneducated. There will of course remain a wealthy leftist elite who will have to build walls around their compounds with razor wire on top of them.

    • Other Bill

      It’s a race to the bottom, Wayne. For some bizarre reason, various advocates want the U.S. to become more like the rest of the world. Have they ever been to Mexico or South Africa or India or China? They want the U.S. to be more diverse and like Mexico so we have iron bars and fences everywhere as is customary in Latin America? Give me a break.

  7. Alex

    Re: ad-blockers

    The main reason to use them is that most ad networks (including the ones used by major websites frequently serve malicious content and are just barely monitored for security flaws (see my comment yesterday on how crappy software development is). Visiting the New York Times or the Washington Post without a blocker these days is like hanging a big neon sign on your computer that reads “Hack Me!”.

    Another issue here. These ads tend to be written [started down a technical tangent here, irrelevant to the topic] in such ways that they will use up your battery and limited data, so you are actually paying for them with more than just your time due to webpage slowness. This is literally a negative sum game: what you end up paying for data and electricity is more than what the ad buyer pays the content publisher. I have only seen a few ad networks be properly curated and maintained, and they do have a very limited list of advertisers and content sites attached to them. They also happen to be used in very niche industries like computer security where that’s the only way to get ads to eyeballs. Not surprisingly, these ads are relevant, have a much higher click through rate and are more expensive to place.

    If big content publishers want to get serious about web advertising before the market dries up they will adopt a similar model. Otherwise ad-blockers will become the norm (some browsers even ship with them integrated) and what could be a legitimate revenue stream will disappear. The big newspaper publishers should be taking the lead on this solution. They already have an advertising department for their print editions; having it take over web advertising and removing third party ad brokers is not that much of a change.

  8. fattymoon

    #5 I do the same, I leave.

    • Matthew B

      Well it would be the ethical call to leave. There are options available to circumvent the ad blocking blockers.

      The only particularly difficult one to go around is forbes.com

  9. Steve-O-in-NJ

    #4. Because the ethics of the left are basically that anyone on the right is per se unethical, because if they were ethical, they wouldn’t be on the right. After all, ethical people don’t support presidents who lie to start wars that go nowhere, or challenge a woman’s right to choose, or oppose marriage equality, or send the police to exterminate young black men, or oppose open borders, or support the orangutan in the White House right now, right?

    If you do any of this you are by definition scum, and deserve nothing but abuse. If you’re overweight, you can be called fat, harshly and often. If you are skinny you will be called skeletal or zombie-like. If you have a bodybuilder physique, it will be implied that you use steroids. If you are model level, it will be implied that you had a lot of work done. If you are blonde, it will be implied that you bleach your hair. If you have less than a full head of hair that receding hairline will come up every. single. time. you are mentioned. If you shave your head to hide the receding hairline you will be called “cue ball,” “the Fordham baldy,” and a hundred other well-worn names. If you have a very full head of hair unflattering comparisons to Elvis will be made or it will be implied that you spend too much time on your coiffure. If you have a somewhat overstated or understated feature, ears that stick out a bit, a large nose, an overbite or underbite, thick eyebrows, or any one of a hundred other imperfections, you’re going to be called Dumbo, or Schnozz, or The Mouse, or some other insult that plays on that feature, so that feature is all anyone ever thinks about. If you’re short you will be called “shrimp” or worse.

    In other words, you’ll be treated like you’re back in 7th grade, with the left playing the part of the class idiots and bullies looking to poke at any damn thing they can to either break you down or get you to lose your temper. It’s not that they are so damn perfect, they just have set themselves up as the insulters and you as the insultee because they hate you, and they hate you because you are someone who needs an ass-kicking in their opinion. In other words they are assholes being assholes, and the left is mostly composed of assholes now.

    • Other Bill

      I agree, Steve. My only quibble is I think it’s more like sixth grade rather than seventh. Hah.

    • …the left is mostly composed of assholes now.

      While I pray that ‘mostly’ is an exaggeration, the non assholes sure are quiet. We seem to hear only from the assholes, in other words.

      Of course, this begs the question: if you know those in your party are unethical assholes and say nothing, does that make you an asshole of a different sort?

  10. Ash

    > I wonder how Krugman—he’s supposed to be a financial guru,

    Um, I don’t think so. Econ vs. Finance. May be a bit like asking an aerospace engineer what time the flight should get in.

    Regardless, “it’s not over till the fat lady sings” is a pretty old and well known reference. Attack Krugman for using it in reference to Trump and yes, you get to score a point on his fat shaming, but you lose two points yourself when you become a member of the hypersensitive speech police and begin outlawing common pop culture references you feel are insensitive.

    Re: ads, it’s not just pop ups, don’t forget malware. Block ads not only because they are annoying, but because your trust in some media site’s ability to cover a story doesn’t extend to their IT and advertising department’s ability to keep viruses out of their ad network’s servers.

    https://www.cnet.com/news/new-york-times-bbc-dangerous-ads-ransomware-malvertising/
    New York Times, BBC and others inadvertently serve up dangerous ads
    Major websites were hit by a “malvertising” attack that hijacked people’s computers and demanded ransom.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40737060
    Ransomware ‘here to stay’, warns Google study

    • Sophistry. Economists are supposed to be able to predict trends and consequences. When financial markets are involved, your distinction is irrelevant. He relies on his authority as an economist to be trusted and believed.

    • Other Bill

      More evidence editors of major newspapers are either undiscriminating idiots or need opinions they don’t have to pay anyone to write. Or both. Isn’t the LA Times owned by the Washington Post/Jeff Bezos?

  11. Sue Dunim

    Meanwhile, her life will be stalled, and completely absorbed by the consequences of her texts urging teen Conrad Roy III to act on his expressed desire to kill himself, which he did. This is her real punishment, because the sentence will not and must not stand.

    That, and the legal fees. Must be around $500,000 by now, with more to come with the appeal. These are de facto fines that the comfortable middle class pay to avoid jail time.

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