Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/21/18: Good Bye Billy Graham, Wise Words From Mike Rowe, And Learning To Say No To Children…


1 Billy Graham has died. Graham is one of those towering figures who outlived his fame, and now most Americans neither remember nor understand what he was and what he did. I will be doing a thorough post on Graham and his cultural impact, I hope. (Note that I haven’t even finished the 2017 Ethics Alarms Awards posts.) Like most of you, I bet, I had forgotten that Billy Graham was still alive until an episode of “The Crown” on Netflix prompted me to check recently. In that episode, based on a real event, a troubled Queen Elizabeth was inspired by hearing Graham in one of his speaking tours in Great Britain, and invited him to Buckingham Palace to advise her.

It was not Graham’s fault that his remarkable and broad popularity sparked the deplorable TV evangelist fad that created mega-churches, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart, Pat Robertson, The Moral Majority, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jessica Hahn, and other frauds and swine that made much of America cynical about all religion.  On Google, Graham’s photo is lumped in with many of these if you search for “evangelist.” He deserves better.  In the high-profile evangelical world, Billy Graham was, as one article put it today,“an exception – a leader who valued integrity over ego, a husband who lived in a full and thriving marriage, a man who offered not only words to learn by, but a life to admire.”

2. Updates:

  • By almost a 2-1 margin, readers voted that accusing Wes Anderson’s animated comedy “Isle of Dogs” of cultural appropriation was even stupider than Joan Walsh’s repeated use of the politically correct  and hilarious “strawpersons” on CNN. I thought it would be a lot closer.
  • Michael West gets his name on a Comment of the Day the very first time it appeared on an Ethics Alarms comment, with such a thorough examination of the rationalizations and logical fallacies exhibited in the Times op-ed defending the Nashville mayor’s unethical conduct that I won’t have to write one. I thank him, and Billy Graham thanks him. The Comment will be posted later today, but you can also read it here.
  • However,  if you haven’t gone through the exercise of reading Margaret Renkl unforgivable Times op-ed with the Ethics Alarms handy-dandy list of rationalizations by your side, you really should. Stupidly, I forgot that the Times is behind a paywall, frustrating many of you. I posted half the op-ed on the post last night. Posting the whole thing would have been unethical, but half, with a link, is fair use.

3. “Children’s Crusade” news and commentary

  • I almost made the Florida legislature an Ethics Hero for voting down an “assault weapons ban” with a throng of students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who had lobbied for te measure, in the chamber. I don’t have strong feelings about the measure one way or the other, but it is crucial that all lawmakers resist this organized effort at emotional blackmail. I don’t care what the kids are advocating. Parents spend years explaining to their children that they can’t go through life believing that demanding what they want is going to magically succeed, and now adults and the news media are telling adults that if these students shout, curse and cry enough, they should capitulate. Naturally, the news media tugged at our heartstrings by showing high school girls weeping after the vote. There’s no crying in politics, kids, and the most emotional advocates don’t always win, because, as Abe said, you can’t fool all the people all of the time.

Get serious, or get out.

If I were a legislator, I would announce that I would automatically vote against any measure where children are used as lobbyists, spokespersons, advocates, or props.

  • There are also a lot of school walkouts going on today. Every student who walks out of school should be disciplined. Every one. They are in school to be educated, not to play politics.

I got blocked from classes I had paid to attend by too many draft-dodging picketers wanting to shut down ROTC  to have any tolerance for this.

  • Oprah and George Clooney donated a million each to support the cynical kiddie-corps ant-gun effort. The Spielbergs and Katzenbergs gave half a million each. This is naked “the ends justify the means” cynicism, and means, “If we can’t find the facts and logic to get the Second Amendment repealed,  we’ll use kids as props to do it.

This shows, yet again, the ethical bankruptcy of celebrities, and the absence of integrity and decency among the anti-gun crowd. I’m sure my Facebook friends are cheering.

  • The New Children’s Crusade slogan, “Never Again!” is a) offensive b) inflammatory c) dishonest and d) idiotic. The only way a mass shooting, or even a school shooting, will happen “never again” is magically make all guns disappear. An honest slogan would be “Abracadabra!”

4. This isn’t a new Ethics Train Wreck, just a continuation of this one. For example, in Elk Grove, California, the Historical Society’s planned  Revolutionary War reenactment had to be cancelled because of the local gun laws said that no individual could “use, maintain, possess, fire, or discharge any firearm” in a public park. Though similar events had been allowed in the past, the society was told to substitute wooden sticks for muskets.

Apparently anti-gun Democrats are going to keep making the unconstitutional argument that the no-fly list should be used to restrict gun ownership. On a episode of Carol Costello’s HLM show—you will recall that Carol was flagrantly unprofessional, partisan and biased on CNN before it was cool—guest Bill Press pushed this fraudulent argument just as Joan Walsh and CNN’s Don Lemmon had in the Worst TV Debate Ever. This was also the justification for the House Democrats’ sit-in in 2016, and Hillary endorsed it. Said left-wing radio host Press:

“Carol, I think the NRA has lost its credibility. That’s the problem. I mean, we have an organization that tries to appear as fair and objective and they even oppose taking people who are on the no-fly list..”

That’s right, the NRA even opposes an effort to take away a Constitutional right without Due Process of law, a four way Constitutional violation, since the core due process principle is in the main body of the Constitution as well as the 5th and 14th Amendments. (Ask a 17 year-old about this: I’m sure they can explain it to you.) As happens far too often, the gun-defending side in the debate, Newsbusters’ Jim Geraghty, didn’t have the wit, presence of mind, or maybe the knowledge to point out Press’s ignorance. Why not ban gun ownership using the no-fly list?

“Because Ted Kennedy was on the no-fly list. Because there’s a hundred thousand people on the no-fly list and…it’s an insane way to check. There is no appeals process to the no-fly list.”

Focus, Jim!. Due Process. Fifth Amendment. Fourteenth Amendment.  Educate the viewers.

5. Not that anyone cares about moderate and thoughtful in times like these, but…Thoughtful Discovery Channel reality show star Mike Rowe posted  these thoughts about the high school shooting on Facebook:






23 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/21/18: Good Bye Billy Graham, Wise Words From Mike Rowe, And Learning To Say No To Children…

  1. I was never one for Evangelical Crusades and altar calls so I didn’t pay much attention to Billy Graham’s Crusades. I did occasionally go to Reverend Schuller’s mega church mostly for the fine talent he promoted and interesting speakers like Norman Vincent Peale. He was a man with some character flaws but all and all he had vision and the courage to start his church in a former drive in with meager economic assets and only his belief that the church would be successful.

  2. “along with my heartfelt wish that the man who killed their loved ones is removed from the planet with all due speed”

    I’d actually forgotten that Florida was a death penalty state. This is going to be a gongshow.

    • Rank your progressive causes. Victims famillies clamoring for the death penalty will be brushed aside because there will be enough victim’s families that won’t clamor for it. The Left can still have it’s cake and eat it too on this.

  3. The Florida House should be awarded that distinction.

    The fact is, the last two major mass shootings (Sutherland Springs and Parkland) have both seen utter incompetence by those who are supposed to protect us.

    A tip wasn’t followed up. A domestic violence conviction wasn’t entered into the NICS database. 43 lives lost.

    Yet the NRA is to blame? The title of Penn and Teller’s Showtime reality show seems to be an appropriate response.

    I am not going to meekly surrender my constitutional rights because those who were supposed to protect us are incompetent or derelict in their duties.

  4. For a glimpse at more evil, tune in to CNN’s “conversation” tonight.
    Watch how CNN and its chosen audience handles the NRA.

    • What sucks, is with all the banter floating around the various circles of this nation about the greater likelihood of a civil war in a few years or a decade than before due to polarization is that the very children being whipped into a frenzy by irresponsible adults with an agenda will be the very same young adults who would bear the bloody burden of any such civil war if it happened. Certainly a very very remote possibility, but the rhetoric and tactics being promoted by those who will be least affected by one still, with no doubt, push us *closer*, not further, to one that would inevitably be fought by those who are mere children today.

      I don’t think it’s wise to amp up people’s emotions for a release. There will always be a release, and damnably unethical are those responsible for unjustifiably amping up emotions.

  5. There are also a lot of school walkouts going on today. Every student who walks out of school should be disciplined. Every one. They are in school to be educated, not to play politics.

    Does anyone remember when children from inner city schools staged a walkout to protest gang violence?

    Of course, it would not surprise me if children from those schools would know that an assault weapons ban would make it as difficult for gangbangers to get assault weapons as it is for gangbangers to get crack, heroin, and meth. They are also aware of just how peacefully gangs settle disputes in the drug trade.

    Focus, Jim!. Due Process. Fifth Amendment. Fourteenth Amendment. Educate the viewers.

    Why not make people on the no-fly list wear a distinctive armband when out in public?

  6. Yep: Today’s cut-classes-for-the-Gun-State-Monopoly rallies are on.
    The crowds are already chanting against the NRA – what a surprise.

    Anybody still thinking that CNN will treat the NRA fairly tonight?
    Tune in at 9 pm Eastern for more of the left’s DooDoo Process!

      • Look, they just want a society where police officers always know with perfect accuracy who’s a threat, and only target those people. Then the police can go up to those people and politely ask them to turn over their guns, and they will eagerly comply, without need for shootings, due process, or prisons.

        Come on you guys, even a high school student could tell you this is how it should work!


    Sessions’s assistant Steven Cook told the Washington Post, “Drug trafficking is inherently violent. Drug traffickers are dealing in a heavy cash business. They can’t resolve disputes in court. They resolve the disputes on the street and they resolve them through violence.”

    Mr. Sessions made remarks to the same effect.

    And they’re right: Drug trafficking is inherently violent. Because of drug prohibition.

    Nicotine is a legal drug — you don’t see the tobacco companies slugging it out on the street. Alcohol is a legal drug, and you don’t see gangs killing each other for the right to sell beer and whiskey (as they did in Prohibition days).

    There is, of course, another major difference between drug dealers and people who sell nicotine and alcohol products – the latter two are mostly white. Sell drugs, you’re a guest in the Big House; sell enough booze or cigarettes, you’re a guest in the White House.

    The racial disparities are indisputable. African-American males are thirteen times as likely to be sent to prison for drug offenses than white males, whose drug usage is proportionally much higher. Sentences for African-American males are over 13% longer than those for whites. The War on Drugs has largely been a war on people of color.

    Imagine the catastrophe that would result if those kids get the War on Guns®™ that they want.

    • Soooo, just legalize? Do they really think the drug cartels will just go quietly into the night? Throw in the race card and it sounds like a winning argument. Except one thing – every year tobacco and alcohol also do a ton of damage to society. If we add all other drugs, what kind of damage will they do? Look, I don’t care if you want to drink yourself into oblivion or get as high as a kite, but don’t you crowd me in the process. I’m going to really wonder if I can trust anyone if all drugs are legal.

  8. The Florida Legislature has taken strong action to prevent school shootings.

    All Florida public schools will now have to display ‘in GOD we trust’ in prominent places.

    As for Billy Graham – not wholly evil. Just sometimes, and probably got better with age. I would like to think others could say the same about me.

    “I think that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, but the Bible also teaches that pride is a sin, jealousy is a sin, and hate is a sin, evil thoughts are a sin. So I don’t think that homosexuality should be chosen as the overwhelming sin that we are doing today.”

    Billy Graham. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2018, from Web site:

    ” All homosexuals should be castrated.”

    Billy Graham. (n.d.). Retrieved February 22, 2018, from Web site:

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