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.”
- 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: