Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/9/2017

Good Morning!

1. On the matter of whether James Demore’s Google memo was unethical in its distribution, which some commenters here dispute, apparently he took the precaution of hiring an employment lawyer before he sent the memo. This strongly suggests that he was not merely opening up an internal discussion, but intentionally provoking a confrontation. If he just wanted to alert management to a problem, the ethical approach was to speak directly to management, not put out an e-mail that he had to know someone would leak to the internet.

Meanwhile, Google’s firing Demore for politely raising legitimate culture issues belies its “Don’t Be Evil” motto. It also may be illegal: Federal labor law bars union AND non-union employers alike from punishing an employee for communicating with fellow employees about improving working conditions. California also has a very strong anti-political discrimination law which “prohibits employers from threatening to fire employees to get them to adopt or refrain from adopting a particular political course of action.”

2. I noted this in yesterday’s post, but it’s worse than I thought: the left-wing news media, which is to say the news-media, has displayed neither discipline, common sense (you can’t keep signalling how biased you are, guys—eventually people will notice) nor ethical journalism by outrageously misrepresenting the message and the tone of the memo. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin, for example, described the memo as saying  “I don’t really like women anywhere near a computer.” That’s false reporting. Do these people understand that anyone can read the memo and see that either they are lying, or haven’t read the memo?

3. The memo’s allegedly “controversial” statement that men and women have some innate physiological, emotional and psychological differences that make their genders (in general, not in specific cases) better or less-well-suited for certain jobs, tasks or fields takes me back to my multiple battles with feminists who insisted that I cast female actors in “Twelve Angry Men.” They simply put their fingers in their ears and hummed when I pointed out that the play was about the group dynamics when twelve disparate male strangers are locked in a room. Do women in such a situation keep threatening each other physically? I think not. Actually, the play is an advertisement for diversity: having women in that largely dysfunctional fictional jury would have probably solved many of its problems, but because women are different from men, not because they are exactly the same, as the Georgetown feminists insisted. Women really need to decide what their stand is: are they different in ways that can be advantageous, or not different at all? They can’t have it both ways. On Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds recalled “The Althouse Rule of Gender Research”, which is, : “Scientists: remember to portray whatever you find to be true of women as superior.”

This goes for commentators, pundits, journalists, educators and, of course, Presidential candidates. ‘We need a woman in the White House (because men screw things up)’ is wise and true, and not sexist at all.

4. In 1993, North Korea was saber-rattling and threatening to develop and use nuclear weapons. President Bill Clinton warned that if that happened, “we would quickly and overwhelmingly retaliate…It would mean the end of their country as they know it.” There was nary a peep of criticism from Republicans or the news media. Yesterday, North Korea suggested than it might launch a nuclear attack on Guam, a U.S. territory and the site of a military base. President Trump responded by saying, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

This is, in substance, exactly what Clinton said. It’s also true, I hope, as it would surely not have been under President Obama. North Korea’s game has been to fight sanctions by threatening chaos, and relying on the world to relent by relieving the penalties the rogue nation deserves. There is nothing mad or irresponsible about saying in the clearest terms possible, “This isn’t going to work any more.” What is mad and irresponsible leadership is allowing such extortion to persist.

5. The New York Times hit a new marker for unprofessional and petty coverage of President Trump with its snotty, condescending feature in today’s Arts section, Vacation Selections For President Trump, allowing its theater critics, who have the approximate political objectivity and acumen of the typical theater artist—that is, none—to get their shots in by picking movies, TV programs and stage shows the President might <snort!>enjoy. The translation of the whole exercise is: “See what a lowbrow this jerk is?” The fact that many Americans have similar tastes doesn’t temper the piece’s obvious contempt at all. The feature takes up the bulk of the section. Its intended wit is lame, and the sole purpose is to insult the President of the United States on general principles, because, after all, they hate him. We already know you all hate him, Times. This was self-indulgent crap; it isn’t news, it isn’t commentary, it isn’t analysis.

127 Comments

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127 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up: 8/9/2017

  1. charlesgreen

    Well, yes, but…

    Agree with nearly everything, especially the Google stuff, but have to take exception with your equivalence between the Clinton and Trump statements.

    As I’ve said elsewhere on the subject of racist statements, it matters who says things. Clinton and Trump may mouth precisely the same words, but we would wisely take into account the context of who’s saying them. Clinton had many faults, but gratuitous insulting and empty threats were not chief among them; neither was massive ignorance, nor insecurity. (Narcissism, maybe they share, but even there, they vary in degree).

    The net is I get a lot more worried when I hear Trump say this stuff. He sounds like Baghdad Bob, but he’s sitting in Harry Truman’s chair.

    • “The who says it” standard is mighty close to prejudice, isn’t it? And a double standard by definition? What matters is that the “who” is President of the United States, no? It is also essential that he is taken seriously, or the statement is empty bluffing. I didn’t think Clinton was bluffing. If Ol’ Red Line Obama said it, I wouldn’t believe it, and neither would North Korea. Is there any doubt that Trump means it? Is there any doubt that N. Korea believes him?

      That’s what you want.

      • charlesgreen

        “Is there any doubt that Trump means it?”
        Yes, huge considerable doubt. Consider: Mexican wall just for starters.
        “Is there any doubt that N. Korea believes him?”
        Yes, considerable doubt. Why should N. Korea believe him when nobody else does?

        Just because he’s the President doesn’t mean he can’t say stupid shit; being president may make it important and legal and such, but it doesn’t transform batshit improvised comments into wisdom.

        • Nobody else believes Trump? That’s a bit hyperbolic.

          • Matthew B

            If N. Korea lobbed a nuke onto US soil, I’m quite confident that there would be an extreme response by the US. I don’t know if it would be either a nuclear response or an all out conventional war, but one of the two would happen. Trump would issue one of those two orders, and the US military would follow them through, no doubt.

            • fattymoon

              That’s fine by me, Matthew. I’m asking Jack, and everyone here, if he favors a first strike. If there is a first strike I assume it would utilize conventional arms.

              • Trump didn’t threaten a first strike. It’s an irrelevant question.

                In general, I do not support any first strike. But I also wrote a defense brief for a man who was repeatedly threatened and bullied by a neighborhood thug who had the rep of hurting people. One day, after being threatened by this guy, credibly, he went to his room, got a gun, and shot his tormenter in the face. The law says it’s still self-defense: you don’t have to wait to be killed before acting with deadly force to protect yourself.

                • fattymoon

                  Never said he threatened a first strike, although his administration has said it remains on the table. I imagine there’s a lot of heated discussion within the administration about whether to go with option A or option B. As stated, I’m against first strike.

                  • A first strike has to be on the table. The point is deterrence.

                    • fattymoon

                      That doesn’t make sense to me.
                      Deterrence theory gained increased prominence as a military strategy during the Cold War with regard to the use of nuclear weapons. It took on a unique connotation during this time as an inferior nuclear force, by virtue of its extreme destructive power, could deter a more powerful adversary, provided that this force could be protected against destruction by a surprise attack. Deterrence is a strategy intended to dissuade an adversary from taking an action not yet started, or to prevent them from doing something that another state desires. A credible nuclear deterrent, Bernard Brodie wrote in 1959, must be always at the ready, yet never used.[1][a] Full discussion here… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deterrence_theory

                • Can you post a copy of the defense brief?

        • Rich in CT

          Um, this is the guy that bombed Syria, in direct retaliation for gassing Syrian citizens.

          Why do you suspect that Mr. America First’s response to bombing American citizens on American territory would be any different?

          • fattymoon

            Not sure who you’re replying to, Rich. As above, I’s support military retaliation we or an Allie is hit first. I’m asking you and everyone here if you support a first strike?

            • Rich in CT

              I am responding to Charle’s statement:
              “ ‘Is there any doubt that Trump means it?’
              — Yes, huge considerable doubt.”

          • charlesgreen

            Because this is the SAME guy who also said a lot of other things: He’ll build a wall, he’ll sue all those women who accused him, he’ll pass health care, he got a call from the Boy Scouts and the Mexican President, his crowds were bigger, etc etc etc.

            It’s a factually true statement that he lies more prolifically than any other President. People who lie risk having their truth-telling appear suspect – even when they are telling the truth. What’s so controversial about that?

        • Jeff

          Before the election: “Trump is a dangerous madman! He’ll start a war with Germany just because Angela Merkel hurt his feelings! He can’t be trusted to be the commander-in-chief of the military!”

          Now: “He’s just bluffing, and nobody believes Trump would retaliate if the U.S. were attacked. North Korea isn’t afraid of him, because they know he doesn’t have the balls to stand up to them.”

          I wish you folks on the left would pick a lane and stay in it.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        The “who says it” standard is grade-school mentality, where you look the other way on or cover for your friends, but tattle on and bully those you don’t like. It fits actually, because 8 years of being allowed to go completely unchallenged has reduced the left to the mentality of 8 year olds, where it’s all about who they like and who likes them, and the rest of the world can go screw itself.

      • charlesgreen

        “If Ol’ Red Line Obama said it, I wouldn’t believe it, and neither would North Korea. Is there any doubt that Trump means it?”

        Is that not an object example of “it matters who says it?”

        • charlesgreen wrote, “Is that not an object example of “it matters who says it?”

          No Charles it’s not; it a object example that some people have shown a pattern that “red lines are just words and don’t mean shit” (Obama) and others have shown that crossing “red lines” require ACTION.

          Again; Historical track record of an individual in related things is VERY important to judging how a person might react in a current situation!

          Obama’s historical track record proved that he was a weenie in regards to red lines, Trump has proven otherwise. You continue to ignore this fact like so many other blatant partisans.

    • Yes, we know you hate Trump.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Of course we know they hate Trump. That was well established over a year ago. Unfortunately, though Trump won the White House, he didn’t win the media and he hasn’t won a single heart or mind on the other side, which is why political discussions, the media, and the arts generally, are all going to suck until he is out of office.

        • Unfortunately, though Trump won the White House, he didn’t win the media and he hasn’t won a single heart or mind on the other side, which is why political discussions, the media, and the arts generally, are all going to suck until he is out of office.

          Actually, Trump is winning support in my little niche of the world. Technically, it is the progressives losing support that is causing this, so we have that going for us.

          People are disgusted with the way the media and Establishment are acting, and it is throwing support to the only other game in town: Trump.

    • “As I’ve said elsewhere on the subject of racist statements, it matters who says things.”

      I understand what you’re saying, and understand why you’re saying it, but I simply cannot get on board with this, even if I know I know I practice it, in the sense that I can call my brother a dummy, but you can’t. It’s purely an emotional argument. Its only ok because my brother has condoned my ability to insult him, but not yours. But, he could easily be in a bad mood one day, and retract my insult privilege. It’s entirely subjective to what he wants to allow, on a particular day…the privilege is based on nothing but his whim. A lot of what is allowed to be said vs whats not is based on the whim of the receiver. That’s too subjective to have a hard and fast rule, that group A simply cannot say certain things.

      Furthermore, If my white best friend says something factual vs whispering the statement to me to say aloud, neither increases or decreases the truthfulness of the comment,…the only thing that changes is your willingness to hear it. Additionally, this “white people cannot say the same racist terms that black people are allowed to”, is predicated on the idea that blacks will be wildly more offended by the white person making the comment. But what of black people like me (and there are many others) who are equally offended when people of either race make the same racists comment? Our opinions don’t matter?

      • charlesgreen

        Chris, I think part of the issue is that I’m making an empirical point, and you’re making a normative point.

        If Person A says something and Person B punches them in the face, your point is that Person B shouldn’t have done so; my point is that Person A is still face-punched. We can both be right about that.

        You ask “But what of black people like me (and there are many others) who are equally offended when people of either race make the same racists comment? Our opinions don’t matter?” I’d say, sure, your opinion matters; it matters to you, and to whomever is speaking to you. It matters also to people who hear you and reflect on the moral desirability of your point of view. And all that’s very valid.

        Yet when you say “this “white people cannot say the same racist terms that black people are allowed to”, is predicated on the idea that blacks will be wildly more offended by the white person making the comment,” I’d say damn right it is! It’s an empirical statement, and one I’m pretty sure you agree with. If your concern is not to get face-punched, that is a relevant point of view.

        Again, we can both be right about that.

        And, not to be too cute about it, there is a moral perspective in my point of view also: it is the moral perspective that says take into account the feelings of the person you’re talking to, and not just the abstract moral perspective that you think they “should” have.

        • “If Person A says something and Person B punches them in the face, your point is that Person B shouldn’t have done so; my point is that Person A is still face-punched. ”

          This is interesting, and not a point I normally hear people left-of-center often make. Usually, because it ends up being appropriated and inserted in the discussion of women’s personal safety & precautions taken, in the argument of “I shouldn’t have to take precautions to avoid being sexually assaulted” vs “do I want increase my chances of coming home safe or not?”

          And I wont deny, I would be/am *more* offended when a white person makes a racial slur, but I think the current culture (whites are absolutely NOT allowed to do that; blacks are; neither is *right*) plays into that. But does level of offense matter, if both are high, but not equal? If you’re offended to a level 10 when a white person makes a racial comment, and a 6 when a black person does it, it’s cool for black people to do it?

          • charlesgreen

            Chris, I take your points, and find them interesting, but note that they are all STILL in the realm of “should” and “ought.” I’m just talking descriptively. It DOES make a difference who says things, quite irrespective of what you or I or anyone else thinks SHOULD be the case. You kindly offered up yourself as a case example. Does a world in which that is the case suck? Yes. Can we work to change it? Yes, I hope so. Meanwhile, denying what is doesn’t seem helpful.

    • Charles,
      Historical track record of an individual in related things is VERY important to judging how a person might react in a current situation! What is the historical track record of Trump that causes you so much concern regarding his language with North Korea when North Korea has been and is directly verbally threatening the United States and has the means to follow through with those threats. You must consider the fact that North Korea’s threats really don’t only include large cities, it includes absolutely anything within their range because their ability to specifically target a single place may fail miserably and their missile could land anywhere including on your head or mine.

      P.S. Please don’t go off on a Trump’s demeanor tangent like I’ve heard elsewhere, I’m interested in historical words vs actions.

      • charlesgreen

        Zoltar, the “historical track record of Trump” is a separate issue, independent of North Korea’s rhetoric. It’s the “boy who cried ‘wolf'” problem. If you’re always using extreme rhetoric, then how’s everyone to tell you mean it when a real wolf shows up?

        • charlesgreen wrote, “Zoltar, the “historical track record of Trump” is a separate issue, independent of North Korea’s rhetoric.”

          Poppycock!

          You’re choosing to ignore that which is highly relevant; why engage in such obvious obtuseness?

          charlesgreen wrote, “It’s the “boy who cried ‘wolf’” problem. If you’re always using extreme rhetoric, then how’s everyone to tell you mean it when a real wolf shows up?”

          I understand your position and to a point I agree with it.

          However; this is worlds apart.

          Like I wrote above, you’re choosing to ignore that which is highly relevant. I think you may be intentionally trying to diminishing the fact that Trump already has a history of following through using military power against those who cross a predefined red line, he’s not a faux red line guy like Obama in such things, Trump has proven it to the entire world that a military action red line crossed will result in a military action response – well he’s proven it to “everyone” but you. Why the hell would an intelligent person like yourself choose to completely ignore relevant facts?

          Above you wrote, “Why should N. Korea believe him when nobody else does?”
          1. Your statement that “nobody else” believes him is extreme hyperbole and complete nonsense.

          2. Your statement/question is not logical. North Korea has an entire country to protect, why the hell should the leader of North Korea allow his opinion be swayed by partisan opinions like yours when he has the possibility of the full force of the United States military bearing down on his country?

          3. North Korea should believe Trump because:
          (A) He has proven his resolve when it comes to military “red lines”.
          (B) He has the physical means to make North Korea a wasteland whether using conventional or nuclear weapons.

          4. North Korea making a choice not to believe Trump would be complete STUPIDITY and utterly self destructive.

          This path you chosen to take in regards to this topic is not logical.

  2. fattymoon

    #4 This is a dicey game of nuclear chess. The video of the N. Korean music reminds me of some video games I’ve made played. Very dystopian visuals coupled with the music. I postulated in a comment I made on Medium Aug. 6 that Trump’s 17-day absence from the White House could portend some very bad events initiated by some very bad people people in other countries and/or here in the U.S.

    Jack, I hope you’re not advocating first strike.

  3. If his piercings could make it through the metal detector, might there be any chance of sending that little toad’s pal Dennis “The Worm” Rodman for an intervention?

    How to get to Kim Jong Un though? Hey, howse about apologizing for CBS cancelling MASH 34 1/2 years ago?

  4. Point three kind of crystallized a thought in my head…. Part of the progressive argument for diversity is to say that because different groups of people people bring different things to the table, diversity is a strength. There’s even been studies that show that the closer a group gets to gender parity, the more efficient that group operates, generally.

    But doesn’t that fly in the face of the “we’re all the same” rhetoric? If there isn’t any difference between men and women, or between gay people and straight people, or between black people and white people, then how can you argue that diversity is in fact a strength? If biological determinism is a complete fabrication, if all the differences between men and women are physical and below the neck… then what’s the pitch for diversity over competency (as demonstrated in the Australian government’s policy on blind recruiting, and then their immediate suspension of blind recruiting when it started to favor men… As an example.)?

    • Other Bill

      Brilliant, HT.

    • I think that what they’re arguing is that while people’s abilities are the same, their experiences are different, which make for the kind of diversity that they’re looking for…unless those experiences are conservative experiences.

      • I mean…. Having people with different experiences in a group probably would help it function, and so I agree, that’s probably the most charitable and reasonable way to take what they’re saying….. But I’m not sure that the people making the diversity assertions are actually making that point.

        If the point is to increase the strength of groups by diversifying the experiences inside that group, and progressives feel that the way to do that is by injecting women and minorities into male and majority spaces… Then they seem to have tied certain experiences to certain physical markers. They go so far as to actually verbalize this when they say things like: “You can’t possibly understand, you’re (white/male/straight/cis/a Nazi).”

        If they’ve tied certain experiences to certain states of being… race, colour, orientation, and if they say that a diversity of those experiences make groups stronger, that groups NEED the diversity of race, color, orientation to get that diversity… Then aren’t they actively dismissing the idea of all people being equal?

        • Yes, multiculturalism has the effect of a type of ossification of life experience… if you are born black, you are stuck with the “black” culture… etc.

          It’s an odd worldview.

        • Mrs. Q

          HT you nailed it. Sometimes I contemplate wearing a tee shirt that says “I’m not here to fulfill your diversity quota” because of the wild assumptions about me based on my skin tone & who I married.

          From people assuming I speak Spanish to asking why my wife isn’t interested in “trans-ing” herself – it gets super old trying to negate assumptions from well meaning “supporters.”

          I don’t care about how someone has a gay cousin or had a dad march with MLK Jr. But these types of things are often the first thing I hear from my so-called allies. They assume I care about their commitment to social justice & get all super excited to tell an actual mythical POC/minority how down they are with _______ cause.

          The irony is that my POV is rarely listened to or poo pooed or directly challenged without caring to know why I think what I do. When I said “I like that Trump is dealing with ______” I’ve literally gotten “what.. YOU like Trump! How is that possible he hates gays.” I have to explain first that, no I never said I like him, just a particular policy. Then I have to explain (as a magical representative for gays) that Trump doesn’t hate them & I don’t vote always vote the way LGBTQ*&!# super-pacs want me to. So for one assumption, I have to explain in triplicate. How this is supposed to make my life as a poor downtrodden minority easier is unknown at this time.

          I think a number of my dear allies have traded their dream catchers for smug bumper stickers. Yet either way, the message is: “I’m down & though I don’t really understand or even care that much about your experiences/cultures that are not based on being a minority, I have this nice virtue signal that I hope will impress you, you poor poor thing.”

          This is why I’m grateful I have my own business & don’t have to have a company shove their diversity gods – I mean quotas- down my throat.

          • ““I’m down & though I don’t really understand or even care that much about your experiences/cultures that are not based on being a minority, I have this nice virtue signal that I hope will impress you, you poor poor thing.””

            Well put. I often feel like my thoughts are valued by the left solely as a black representative, while at the same time, discounted because I am a male, all the while ignoring that neither of those 2 things define who I am, but rather are traits that I happen to have.

          • “…I have this nice virtue signal that I hope will impress you, you poor poor thing.”

            While I can see that, I think at times there’s more to it.

            Some (not all) Lefties view their interactions with minorities as not so much impressing them as validating/ramping up their own “Gosh I’m Nice” feel-good endorphins.

            My entire extended family, and that of my lovely and long-suffering wife, are career Lefties. My late Dear FIL, who passed this last April, was the only one with whom I was ideologically simpatico.

            Anywho, we often host Holiday Hoisting on Christmas Eve with my best female friend, who happens to be Black.

            A few years ago, my well-heeled in-laws (former Bay Area Lefties) were there as well. Within 20 minutes of meeting my pal, my SIL was insisting she visit them in Milwaukee.

            Could be my shortcoming, but I reckon I’m just not the sort to invite folks I barely know (unless their name is Aaron Rodgers or Charlize Theron) to pop in to my Inner Sanctum a time of their choosing.

            Don’t get me wrong, my pal is a gregarious hoot and a delight in any setting; heck, she’ll be at our family picnic on Saturday

            But my takeaway, if a tad cynical, was: “c’mon BV, head on down to tony Shorewood (mere blocks from Lake Michigan!) and gape slack-jawed at our posh, well-appointed, tastefully decorated, hardwood floors throughout, three story, 8000 + sf brick colonial, the likes of which you have no hopes of ever owning.

            “Do try to make it late afternoon. That way our neighbors, returning from the Country Club/Day Spa/Charity Soiree in their late model Range Rover/Benz/Porsche/Jag SUVs, will be able to see how open-minded/diverse/accepting/hip/tolerant (down if you prefer) we are.”

          • In the early days of GamerGate there was a movement of women and minorities that generally fell more on the side of the Gamers, and less on the side of the Games Journalists, that were tired of their identities being used as cannon fodder for the journalists for use to attempt to paint gamers, which, again, they identified as, as white, male, sexist, racist, homophobic, Islamophobic, xenophobic…. wait… where have we heard that before?

            (Best watched at .25X speed)

            Ahem.

            Anyway, as with most of how GamerGate went down: A hashtag was born! #NotYourShield was a direct response by people sick of being used as a pawn, and trended for weeks. It’s not exactly the kind of thing the mainstream would have picked up on for a myriad of reasons, but it’s the kind of thing that people who live, works and eat by social media should have taken note of… Had they had even a smattering of self awareness.

    • charlesgreen

      Zoltar, the “historical track record of Trump” is a separate issue, independent of North Korea’s rhetoric. It’s the “boy who cried ‘wolf'” problem. If you’re always using extreme rhetoric, then how’s everyone to tell you mean it when a real wolf shows up?

    • charlesgreen

      You’ve put your finger on a key contradiction in the gender diversity argument: the simultaneous claims that gender diversity is desirable, and that the genders are not significantly different from each other. Both cannot be true.

      The correct resolution to that particular problem is that gender diversity does exist and does matter; men and women are not the same.

      But there’s another issue here that you and others, particularly of the left but also the right, fall into. It is the assumed equivalence between race and gender.

      Not every diversity argument flows simply from race to gender or vice versa. If you believe that there are differences between men and women, and that those differences are sometimes relevant, it doesn’t follow that those same differences show up in racial comparisons. For example, 91% of murders are committed by men; most of us find that unsurprising. But if you try a stat that shows disproportionate murder rates by race, you’ll find a lot of people, myself included, who will argue vociferously that proclivity to murder is a social artifact, not a biological one.

      Another example: nursing is 89% female. Unless you believe that, in a ‘perfect’ society 50% of nurses would be male, you likely think “well that makes some sense.” But if you look at a profession and see that it’s 90% white, you’ll find a lot of people who suspect some form of discrimination. Whereas I don’t think you’ll find a lot of people claiming reverse discrimination about men in nursing.

      • Point taken… I realize that racial differences are much more discrete and irrelevant than gender differences, and I could have done a better job putting that forward.

        My point was more that the people pushing “diversity as a strength” cannot have their cake and eat it too. If diversity is a strength, then we aren’t all the same, and if we are all the same, then diversity is not a strength. Following that logic, there might be a strength in gender diversity, but there might not be a strength in racial diversity, although I feel like saying that would make certain heads explode.

        The best logical place I see that argument going for a progressive is something along the lines of “racial realities in America mean that (insert racial group here) people have had a different set of experiences from (insert other racial group here) people, and their diverse experiences brings more utility to a group.” And I get hung up there.

        Yes, diverse experiences brings more utility to groups… But this logic seems to attribute certain experiences to certain races, regardless of whether the individuals in those races have actually had those experiences. From that logic… By the treatment of race by progressives… Even if the difference is social, as opposed to biological, these groups are not treated the same.

        Which drives me back to the original point I made, which is that the progressive argument seems to be: “There groups are all the same, and should be treated like they are, even though I don’t believe that and will not.”

        • But then it’s no longer a racial argument but a cultural one. That some cultures correlate to ethnicities *in general* doesn’t mean we have to continue treating it as causation, which is what leftist characterizations compel.

      • “But if you look at a profession and see that it’s 90% white, you’ll find a lot of people who suspect some form of discrimination. ”

        Professional hockey. Boom. 😉

        (yeah, and just because youth hockey is expensive, doesn’t mean that it’s discriminatory. Equipment and ice time just aint’ free, y’know?)

  5. Jack wrote, “If he just wanted to alert management to a problem, the ethical approach was to speak directly to management”

    Unless I’ve missed something, we simply don’t know that he didn’t try this approach prior to sending the email to coworkers. We can squabble about it but it seems to me that this particular fact is crucial to arguments about the ethics regarding his email.

  6. Here is Ron Paul’s take on North Korea.

    • fattymoon

      Ron Paul makes some good sense here.

      • Does he really though?

        Whether sane or insane, Kim Jong Un has threatened to nuke Guam. Whether legitimate or illegitimate, America’s actions in the Korean Penninsula has caused North Korean leadership to be at odds with America. And we have to deal with the reality we live in, not some time travelling 80’s movie where we can go back and change history.

        I don’t like the comparisons to Hussein or Assad, Hussein and Assad were and are (respectively) threats to their own people, but the isolationist argument could be made: “We don’t have to worry about that, those are other people, why should we interfere?” The problem is that Assad and Hussein recognized that they were part of the world, and acted somewhat accordingly, where Un has told his people that he is a God and does not poop. Bush had bad WMD intelligence, Un is blasting off rockets every other week.

        I don’t know what the right answer is… But Ron Paul seems disconnected from reality on foreign policy… Yeah he said we shouldn’t go into Iraq, but he basically says we should never go anywhere, and a stopped clock is right twice a day. Korea is… dangerous… In a way that might define this generation, and effect society more seriously than 9-11 did. When those planes hit those towers, American lost their collective minds, and I’m not entirely sure they completely recovered…. Could you imagine what would happen if Un actually nuked Guam? At the very least, preemptively taking military action off the table seems inappropriate.

        • fattymoon

          Preemptive military action/first strike. Hmmm… Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Gen. Powell presenting false intelligence to the UN.

          America has a history of bullying smaller nations if it’s for our material benefit.

          I don’t believe NK will ever bomb anyone. That is, bomb anyone FIRST. They sure as hell will bomb, or attempt to bomb, us or our allies should we launch a preemptive strike. (You think such a strike would take out all of their hidden missile silos?)

          • Do I think that we could take out all their hidden missile silos? I don’t know. I’m neither an expert, nor particularly well informed from an espionage perspective… But my extremely unqualified opinion is that I doubt very much that despite spending an amazing amount of their military per capita, that Korea has been able to actually accrue a whole lot of firepower. You have to remember, despite spending 22 percent of their GDP on military spending, they’re an extremely financially depressed Nation… They actually spend about 10 billion a year, and to put that into perspective… That’s about 70% of what Canada spends… And are you afraid of Canada’s military might? It seems like their entire focus for years has been to procure a nuke, and they seem to be at the cusp of it, or at least they say they are, and whether Chicago is in range or not, Guam probably is. In a lot of ways, this reminds me more of the Cuban missile crisis than it does Iraq.

            But more than that… There is a spectrum of things between “Nuke them to hell” and “Wait until Guam is a crater before taking action”. And I think we’re approaching the point where sanctioning toilet paper imports is losing effectiveness, especially because dear leader has no need of them.

            • fattymoon

              I read somewhere that military intelligence believes NK has 20 nukes at present. Possibly more.

              • I think… And correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that your point is that North Korea is paying a “Don’t fuck with me, I’m crazy and I have guns” angle? I mean, there’s a point where that is effective, but what does it gain in antagonizing America? If you think that Un is playing some kind of 3D chess with this crisis… What’s the end game?

                • Humble Talent wrote, “I think that your point is that North Korea is paying a “Don’t fuck with me, I’m crazy and I have guns” angle?”

                  That’s the game that Saddam Hussein played and lost, the difference is that Saddam was bluffing; it’s proven fact that North Korea has nukes and ICBM’s and they didn’t have to make the claims for the world to know about them.

                • fattymoon

                  Yes, I do think they’re playing that game. Of course, their leader is a wild card. I believe our leader is also a wild card. Two wild cards make for an unpredictable ending, so I’m darned if I can figure out the end game. Right now it’s a waiting game. And, let me tell you… this NK business is so high profile that the teachers at my wife’s school are taklking about it, and they NEVER talk about current affairs. I think we’re all on a bit of an edge here.

              • I’ve heard that it’s possible that the number could be as high as 80. I think there is a LOT of extrapolating of relative knowns in these counts, it’s propaganda.

      • Ron Paul didn’t think we should have entered WWII. He NEVER makes sense in foreign policy, and it never makes sense to pay attention to him.

        • fattymoon

          Don’t get personal, Jack. 🤓

        • Still Spartan

          Is that true about WWII? I thought Paul’s position is (and I agree that it is too extreme) is that we can’t attack anyone unless we have been attacked or there is a declaration of war. We had both after Pearl Harbor.

          • I’ll have to do the research, but my gut says, that the hyper-libertaro-isolationist position is that any maneuverings on the world-stage that may prompt another actor to attack us first is still our fault because of the maneuverings.

            Which, taking to it’s logical conclusion, mere existence as a nation, bordering other nations, is a kind of ‘maneuver’, in so much as it positions us with relative advantages and disadvantages to our neighbors…and any aggressive nation that wants to occupy us for our advantages or capitalize on our disadvantages is cool to do so and it’s our fault.

            It’s stupid. I certainly agree that if we’re going to maneuver on the world stage to a degree that it begins to isolate other actors, we’d better be certain those actors are worthy of the isolation. Otherwise, as the policemen of the world’s ocean’s, our obligation is to secure the world 1st for our own security (which allows us to continue this service to the world) and 2nd to ensure maximal free commerce, which benefits EVERYONE.

          • His position was and presumably is that given the opportunity, we should have sat out WWII, Holocaust and all, and let the world burn around us. Once we were attacked, he agreed that we had no choice but to fight.

            I should have been clearer.

    • One reason I could never support Ron Paul, despite libertarian leanings of my own, is that I think his foreign policy views are about 98% opposite of what I believe (stopped clock and all that……).

      But now, actually listening to this report, he doesn’t seem to live in the same world as I do.

      Oh, and regardless of what he thinks of South Korea, and regardless of any differences we may have with them, I think that they have built quite an admirable country over the past 65 years.

      Our troops and those of all the other countries who fought in the Korean War, and our support since then, bought them the breathing space and security that made that possible. Don’t forget that North Korea has already started one war that lasted three years and cost several million lives.

      I don’t know what the solution is, and there may be none without a lot of bloodshed, but is the answer to just twiddle our thumbs and hope the North Koreans don’t nuke some city or island somewhere? Japan — and not just Guam — looks awfully vulnerable to me, and the Koreans have had a historical enmity to the Japanese that dates back a century or more.

      • The problem with throwing missiles over Japan (to get to Guam, which might then tip over 🙂 ) is that a failure could dump the missile ON Japan. Nuke or not, this has the potential for mass casualties and would be an act of war on Japan.

        Then we have a pissed ally (who does not have nukes.. wink wink) to deal with. This spins out of control quickly from there.

  7. 5. It’s amazing how the misreporting slips into even the tiniest cracks:

    New York Times: “Mr. Trump has already reviewed this juggernaut Broadway musical, on Twitter last November, as “highly overrated.” But he has yet to see it.”

    What the President said: “The cast and producers of Hamilton, WHICH I HEAR is highly overrated, should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behavior.” (caps added for emphasis)

  8. ‘We need a woman in the White House (because men screw things up)’ is wise and true, and not sexist at all.”

    I am sincerely surprised that a newly redefined version of the word “sexist”, implying that sexism can only go 1 direction (from male to female), hasn’t spread like wildfire as of yet.

    Come on liberals, it’s 2017, what’s the holdup?? These definitions aren’t going to change themselves, y’know!

  9. Kyjo

    Jack, my understanding is that Mr. Damore hired a lawyer before he was fired but after his document had caught the negative attention of executive management.

  10. #4 At this point in time since North Korea is directly threatening the United States, anything short of very strong language towards North Korea is unacceptable. People may not “like” the specific words that the non-diplomatic Trump used but it was definitely strong language and for that everyone needs to give the man credit for standing up for the United States of America – standing up for you!

    Observation about North Korea:
    Despite all the efforts of the international community to prevent it; North Korea has been an ongoing and ever growing threat to the region for quite some time and now they are a potential threat to the entire world plus they are directly threatening, although it’s just verbally for now, others with nuclear weapons. These kinds of direct preemptive threats are not acceptable in the international world. This is not just a regional threat from a local dictator saber rattling with their neighbors any longer, this is a real threat of releasing the dogs of nuclear war upon the earth and the consequences would be catastrophic whether it is “localized” or it spreads. Nothing any previous President or country had done has worked to stop North Korea from obtaining nuclear weapons nor has anything stopped their aspirations to develop ICBM’s or stopped their ability to tip missiles with nuclear weapons. The problems as they currently stand are that North Korea has a known history of threatening others in an effort to bully them to achieve some goal but the bigger current problem is that we truly do not know if we can trust that Kim will not launch these WMD’s at others.

  11. All this talk about first strike is out there. I think we learned our lesson with the Iraq invasion; I don’t believe that anyone in the United States will allow a first strike on North Korea without a clear and definable present danger that North Korea is actively in the process of launching a military attack, including missiles, of some kind.

    Nothing has worked with North Korea. If the same failed policies are pressed forward expecting different results then there are “stupid” people leading the international community. I think it’s time for the international community to put up or shut up in regards to North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ICBM programs. This needs to be a massive coalition of countries.

    As a consequence of North Korea’s direct international threats; I think all international borders with North Korea should be immediately closed and a shipping blockade set in place by the international community. This should remain in place until North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ICBM programs have been completely dismantled and verified by a multinational force of inspectors; if North Korea begins dismantling their programs and allows inspectors to do their jobs, the borders could be opened for food and medical supplies.

    There should also be a UN Resolution that states that any missile launch of any kind that has a trajectory that falls anywhere outside North Korea’s international borders will be immediately considered an armed missile and act of war and immediate military action to prevent further aggression from North Korea is approved.

    • If the UN was worth a damn, it should have joined the US in enforcing the sanctions. That was NOT a first strike. The US was still at war with Iraq, and Iraq had violated the ceasefire conditions.

      The Korean War never officially ended either.

      • Jack Marshall wrote, “If the UN was worth a damn, it should have joined the US in enforcing the sanctions.”

        I couldn’t agree more.

        Jack Marshall wrote, “That was NOT a first strike. The US was still at war with Iraq, and Iraq had violated the ceasefire conditions.”

        With all due respect; you got the wrong impression from what I wrote.

        I’m fully aware of the fact that Iraq was in violation of both UN Resolutions 687 and 1441 and have stated as much on this website before; the lesson learned with the Iraq invasion was not about first strike, it was about positively knowing about the WMD’s prior to going in, the mission was the right thing to do because of the continuing UN Resolution violations but it was a huge political mess because the amount of WMD related things that were found didn’t come close to matching the hyped rhetoric. They won’t make the same kind of mistake with North Korea if it comes down to that.

        Jack Marshall wrote, “The Korean War never officially ended either.”

        I’m aware of that too.

  12. I agree with your first graph.

    Blockade equals acts of war. In fact, I believe sanctions may be considered an act of war.

    • fattymoon wrote, “Blockade equals acts of war. In fact, I believe sanctions may be considered an act of war.”

      I completely disagree.

      It would only be considered acts of war to an insane dictator, like North Korea has, trying to hype up his position.

      • No, but I think a blockade is certainly a diplomatic tool on the continuum best described as “escalation of force”, on the road to *war*.

        So I think it’s fully fair for fattymoon to consider it an act of war. The idea being, to tell the blockaded nation: “time to ask yourself, what do you believe in– your current course of action or standing down? if you believe in your current course of action…up the ante or live with the blockade”.

  13. fattymoon

    I’m throwing this out for everybody. Read it or don’t. I agree with most of it.

    Only Morons Believe What The US Government Says About North Korea/b> https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/only-morons-believe-what-the-us-government-says-about-north-korea-3d5a5157cea2

    • If you believe that, then you really need help, because THAT is utter nonsense. Talk about morons: Iraq denied that they had nukes or WNDs, but refused to be inspected. North Korea is threatening to USE nukes, and has tested several missiles. There is no similarity, analogy, or basis for comparison. Is the author 12?

      This is the phenomenon of a historically ignorant writer using the only events his minimal experience includes as the template for analysis. Pathetic.

    • John Billingsley

      “If, just to put a wild example out there, Guam is flattened by a nuclear explosion next week, I will be the first person to call it a false flag. There is every reason to believe that the pervasively evil US war machine would do such a thing in order to manufacture support for its securing geopolitical dominance on China’s border, and there is no reason to believe that Kim Jong Un would spontaneously do such a thing.

      It is impossible to take seriously a person who believes the Unites States would drop a nuclear weapon on its own territory in order to justify a strike on North Korea. On the other hand, I do take seriously a man who has ordered multiple international acts of terror and tells me he has the intent of carrying out another.

    • fattymoon,
      Caitlin Johnstone is an inept moron for completely ignoring the elephant in the room; North Korea is the one that is directly threatening others. It doesn’t take the government to translate North Korean television rhetoric to prove the point. I have a friend that is fluent in the North Korean dialect, the threats are real.

      • fattymoon

        I agree that NK is threatening other nations/allies along with the U.S. I don’t agree that a first strike is appropriate because it will, possibly lead, to a much larger conflagration than if NK struck first… and then we obliterate them. Just trying to keep the casualty count as low as possible.

        • fattymoon wrote, “I don’t agree that a first strike is appropriate..”

          I haven’t said that a first strike is “appropriate”. I did state that “I don’t believe that anyone in the United States will allow a first strike on North Korea without a clear and definable present danger that North Korea is actively in the process of launching a military attack, including missiles, of some kind” and even that’s not saying it’s “appropriate”.

        • I’m sure the people of Guam agree with you….

        • Thought you wanted the world to burn, fatty? Why should YOU care about casualty count?

          • fattymoon

            The world is already burning, but Trump’s fire and fury, I believe, is going to be the lead up to a horrible conflagration. I am torn between what I believe I know to be the future, and what I think might be done to forestall that future.

            In the last hour I tried to express my internal state and have asked others to do the same. (I’m feeling like Carl Jung right about now.) https://medium.com/@FarkleUp/the-hand-of-the-lord-will-smite-thee-upside-the-head-f600064dc73d

            • It is absolutely fine to be emotional about such matters, fm, but emotion also means that objective analysis has been abandoned.

              The United States cannot allow any power or group supported by a foreign power attack the United States or appear prepared to do so without making it crystal clear to all forever that this cannot and will not be tolerated, and that the retaliation will make the original offense look like a tick bite. This is one area in which weak Presidents are infinitely more dangerous than strong ones [See: Obama secret Iran deal; the red line, et al.] and where a leader others believe capable of ordering massive strike on such a power is essential.

              • fattymoon

                And I do understand such reasoning, Jack. But, I continue to hope (believe) that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is baiting Trump. Look at how North Korea has responded to Trump… https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/08/north-korea-answers-trumps-vague-threats-with-specific-ones/536433/ Is this response enough to prompt the U.S. to stage a first strike? I hope not, because, if you look at Kim Jong Un’s response to Trump, well, he’s laying out his attack plans, which is totally nonsensical. Which leads me to believe he’s trolling (is that the correct word I’m looking for?) Trump.

                I readily admit I’m on pins and needles. I was told to get out during my NDE and I declined. I don’t regret my decision to stay here. I’m just very cranked up at what appears to be the events forecast to me about to become reality.

  14. Joe Fowler

    RE: #1, James Demore may have opened an internal discussion at Google with management prior to posting his memo. Indeed, the reaction of management may have prompted him to both post the memo AND hire an attorney. He may well have been provoking a confrontation. I’m betting that following this story will be a challenge after the immediate PC outrage fades…sometime later this afternoon.

  15. Chris

    “I think not. Actually, the play is an advertisement for diversity: having women in that largely dysfunctional fictional jury would have probably solved many of its problems, but because women are different from men, not because they are exactly the same, as the Georgetown feminists insisted.”

    Hm…I agree with this, but how does it correspond with your statement yesterday that diversity, in and of itself, is not intrinsically valuable?

    • Vagueness of the language. “Diversity” is where there’s a difference, as there are several types of “diversity’.

      • Erg. “Diversity” where there’s a difference of experiences and points of view is good. Mere diversity in terms of non-moral considerations like color of skin is meaningless. If we want to accept that there are different angles of approach that could be classified as “masculine” and “feminine”, then *that* diversity may be valuable. But do we want to make those divisions?

        If Person A & Person B, both have proven track records of building great community parks, and both of them come from wealthy backgrounds, raised in New York City, and enjoy all the same cultural past times as each other, we can rest assured, that the next community park they collaborate on will be great.

        If Person A & Person B, both have proven track records of building great community parks, one of them comes from a wealthy background, raised in NYC, enjoys baseball games and competitive shooting, Person B comes from a poor background, raised in Wyoming, enjoys broadway and dance recitals, we can rest assured, that the next community park they collaborate on will be great…but, it may be greater than the other scenario.

        (BUT ONLY IF, within that realm of diverse backgrounds, they are humble enough to recognize when their own background is hampering an ability to see a better solution being offered by someone from another background.)

        If, in the 1st scenario, person A & person B were white & black respectively, and in the 2nd scenario both person A & B were white…I think the 2nd scenario is better, though it doesn’t jive with Leftist definitions of diversity.

        And the key thing about BOTH scenarios, is diversity of backgrounds is considered AFTER we’ve established they are both EXCELLENT in their skills.

        • Chris

          I think the assumption is that white people and PoC usually do have different experiences and points of view.

          If, in the 1st scenario, person A & person B were white & black respectively, and in the 2nd scenario both person A & B were white…I think the 2nd scenario is better, though it doesn’t jive with Leftist definitions of diversity.

          As a leftist, I’d certainly consider class differences a mark of diversity.

          • Class differences are a mark of diversity whether one is a leftist or not.

          • “the assumption is that white people and PoC usually do have different experiences and points of view.”

            What would call the assumed attribution of external or non-genetic characteristics to an individual based on the inherent characteristic of “race”?

  16. Sue Dunim

    Women really need to decide what their stand is: are they different in ways that can be advantageous, or not different at all?

    False dillemma fallacy (though that’s anything but obvious, on the face of it, these are mutually exclusive positions)

    To see why, we need to take a trip up Wittgenstein’s ladder.

    Let’s start with the idea that there are male and female brains. They differ anatomically, and these differences correspond to different stereotyped behaviours, regardless of upbringing. This is most obvious in girls who have CAH, masculinised brains, and a male preference in play patterns, even though they have a normal female upbringing.

    Now that we’ve established that idea, that it’s objectively observable.. we have to tear it down. It’s just the first step in Wittgenstein’s ladder.

    The brain is a complex structure, not a simple one. Any particular individual can have a more masculine anatomy in one area, a more feminine anatomy in others. The sexually dimorphic features have considerable overlap. Within any one area, few are unambiguously male or unambiguously female. The difference is statistical. Moreover, in the higher brain, hormonal balance plays a role in changing the brain’s physical anatomy. Treat a male with female hormones, some of his brain structures will feminise. The brain is plastic in many areas, experiences and social environment causes physical changes, and much of what we call “gendered behaviour” is as the result of arbitrary socially constructed factors.

    OK, understood that? Now discard it, it’s the second step on the ladder.

    The brain is not homogenous; different parts have different effects, and while some parts are plastic, others are not. While much “gendered behaviour” is a social construct, some is not, and is remarkably resistant to change.

    What this means is that a binary model of sex and gender is merely a rough approximation. A better one is a trinary one, with male, female, and bigendered (approximately 1/3 in each category). But that still doesn’t capture the multi-variance and fuzziness of the situation adequately. A small percentage won’t fit either model, or indeed, any such gross over-simplification.

    Bottom line: women statistically tend to have differences that may be advantageous – or disadvantageous – but differences are often insignificant or absent altogether, and may or may not be subject to change.

    • I don’t see how that argument validates your claim. Women cannot argue that identifying gender tendency differences as disadvantageous, or existing at all, is sexist, if they identify gender tendency differences as advantageous.

    • That’s indecipherable. Wittgenstein’s ladder is a process used to explain truths to people using simplified models that are in fact false. An example would be most models of the solar system… Because of the distances involved and the relative size of the bodies we’re talking about, a classroom ready scale approximation is basically impossible, but the models we have get the basic knowledge across.

      But there’s a difference between errors in the scale of celestial bodies and saying that there are a different number of celestial bodies in the universe than there are, or arranging them in the incorrect order.

      You aren’t using false examples to provide steps on a ladder to understanding, you’re saying that things are, and then they aren’t, which puts you more on the level of an Old Spice commercial than Wittgenstein’s ladder.

      I’m on a horse.

  17. I am in catch up mode again, so have not read the comments. This is my raw first take:

    1. I smell an rat. Demore may have been on the way out (perhaps for having such opinions?) and decided to troll Google to do exactly what they did: fire him in such a way that he gets a big payout (lawsuit) and enough notoriety that he can write his ticket in most red states where conservatives rule. Note this is still unethical.

    2. Who still trusts the news media? Besides Chris. They are a constant joke where I live.

    3. Red states find the progressive meltdown over made up genders, and how males and females are exactly the same… cute. Same as a child insisting that life be fair, or that students should pick their grades. Ain’t how it works in the real world.

    4. Trump said it while being Republican. That makes all the difference to the unhinged Democrats and their patsies in the media.

    5. “The fact that many Americans have similar tastes doesn’t temper the piece’s obvious contempt at all.

    And their condescending attitude is part of what got Trump elected, and will keep him there.

  18. Pennagain

    Do these people understand that anyone can read the memo and see that either they are lying, or haven’t read the memo?

    No. These people understand that no one is going to read the memo because they’re going to be told, in concise bites, exactly what and how to think about it, and that’s the end of it.

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