Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/22/2018: Blemishes

Goooood Morning!

1. What is so hard to understand about the concept of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly? The Daily Beast negligently covers a story about how some alt-right groups are planning some kind of anniversary/reunion event in Charlottesville. (Funny, I thought we celebrated anniversaries of good things) and how some activists are plotting to block them. I especially like this sentence:

“Activists warned Charlottesville last year that the Unite the Right rally could turn violent. Now they’re determined to keep neo-Nazis out of their city for the anniversary.”

The rally turned violent because the counter-demonstrators turned it violent with help from authorities, who couldn’t, couldn’t, or didn’t want to keep the alt-right and the antifa demonstrations away from each other. This is the Berkeley trick: “Your speech will incite violence from us, so its irresponsible for you to speak. This issue was supposedly settled when the ACLU fought to allow Nazis to march in Skokie, Illinois 40 years ago.  In the end, the Nazis didn’t march but the principle that they couldn’t be blocked because of their message was made clear. I wonder if the self-righteous, speech-restriction fans represented by Black Lives Matter activist Lisa Woolfork even know about that case, given such ignorant quotes as,

“[Charlottesville authorities] seem to have gotten the message that white supremacist ideology is dangerous, but they are not willing to take, I believe, the truly moral step to say Kessler’s rally is a white supremacist Nazi rally, and therefore is inimical to our values and that we can ban that.”

No Lisa, you can’t ban that. You can’t ban ideas, no matter how dangerous you think they are, or how dangerous they in fact may be. The theory that the government should ban speech based on morality is infinitely more dangerous than anything these alt-right jerks say, but you still have the guaranteed right to promote such democracy-rotting garbage. Another Lisa quote:

“We did not ignore the white supremacists and let them proceed to go about their business undisturbed without any censure. These ideas are harmful, and they lead to horrible consequences in the real world.”

And I repeat: What is so hard to understand about the concept of Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Assembly? It sure seems to be especially hard to understand for the Left recently.

2. Well THIS is ironicFrom Politico:

“President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications, according to two senior administration officials — a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance. The president, who relies on cellphones to reach his friends and millions of Twitter followers, has rebuffed staff efforts to strengthen security around his phone use, according to the administration officials.”

What is this but just another version of the Clinton private server episode, with the sinister undertones missing, leaving just the recklessness, incompetence and stupidity?

3. Fake News. Once again, this morning featured ridiculously biased and incompetent Supreme Court reporting from the news media, designed to mislead and bias the public.  Although she apparently knows no more about the law than my dog, HLN’s Jennifer Westhoven again was chosen to explain a Supreme Court decision, this time the 5-4 ruling in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis. Here is the thrust of the decision, as written by Justice Gorsuch:

“The policy may be debatable but the law is clear: Congress has instructed that arbitration agreements like those before us must be enforced as written. While Congress is of course always free to amend this judgment, we see nothing suggesting it did so in the NLRA — much less that it manifested a clear intention to displace the Arbitration Act. Because we can easily read Congress’s statutes to work in harmony, that is where our duty lies.”

This is core judicial conservative stuff: the laws may stink, the policy may be bad, Congress may want to fix the law, but the courts’ job is to interpret and enforce the law, not change it to their liking.  This is essentially the same message as the sports betting decision, which Westhoven massacred last week. This time, she told her audience that the decision struck down the right to join in class actions against big companies, “like the lawsuit celebrated in “Erin Brockavich.” No no no, you idiot. The SCOTUS decision involves employment contracts and labor disputes only. It has absolutely nothing to do with non-labor class actions like the environmental law case recounted in the film.

Then Westhoven crossed some more lines other than the journalism incompetence border that she had just obliterated. She gleefully noted that Justice Ginsberg had dissented vigorously and had read her dissent from the bench, then the HLN reporter segued into clips from the hagiographic documentary about Ginsberg now showing in some theaters. We never were told what Ginsberg’s dissent was: she’s one of the good guys, you see, since she’s a feminist and a progressive, so the mere fact that she disagreed with the majority is all we need to know to conclude that she’s right and they’re wrong. Here’s a novel idea: read the opinions. I guarantee Westhoven didn’t.

4. Nice. Ana Marie Cox has held various positions of influence with leftist news sources, like Mother Jones, and is currently writes for the Daily Beast (see above). Yesterday she wrote a non-apology apology on Twitter:

People are upset I RT’d that image of Trump’s make-up-caked-over pustule but I think we can all agree such an image is hardly the most upsetting thing to come out of the administration. His skin, presumably, can be fixed. That said, I am sorry & will post extra Exley today.

Here was the photo she retweeted, with the comment “I knew he was rotten but I thought it was on the inside”:

Cox has proved herself to be a vile, vicious, unprofessional hack for years, and any organization who pays her deserves to be shunned as ethically inert—talk about “rotten.” What would happen to any journalist in the past who did something like this to any other President? Could there possibly be a better example of Golden Rule defiance? What would have happened to a male journalist who did this to, say, Michelle Obama?

Wait: I thought that body shaming was culturally condemned by feminists and progressives, as well as by anyone with basic decency.  Oh, that’s right: Republicans, men, conservative men, President Trump and anyone else progressives dislike don’t count. That is the standard, right?

This is an ad hominem attack, a dirty and disgusting attack, astoundingly unfair, and pure, unvarnished hate….and the original tweet received over 3000 “likes.” Here’s my  verdict: these are disgusting, repulsive people, and they are the blemished face of “the resistance.”

Cox, being the unapologetic fick that she is, brushes off any complaints and couples it with Rationalization #22, a watermark of the ethically corrupt, “It’s not the worst thing.”

40 Comments

Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Business & Commercial, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Etiquette and manners, Gender and Sex, Government & Politics, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Rights, Social Media, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society, Unethical Tweet, Workplace

40 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/22/2018: Blemishes

  1. 1. There’s a Canadian platform called The Munk Debates, where the normal format is about an hour and a half of four people having a generally civil and sometimes headed actual debate on current issue topics, the most recent was: “Be it resolved, what you call political correctness, I call progress…” On the Pro Side Was Michael Dyson and Michelle Godberg and on the con side was Stephen Fry and Jordan Peterson. I understand that two hours is an investment in time, but I think that it’s not a bad watch.

    https://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/Political-Correctness

    It’s unfortunate that the pro side was so… unprepared. I remember thinking as I was watching the debate that the two pro voices constantly seemed more interested in attacking Peterson personally than defending the resolution… Which might be unavoidable, seeing as that’s the overarching theme of the Politically Correct. Regardless, Fry, I think, was by far the most on topic and pertinent of voices, and one moment that I think was particularly good came along around the 57 minute mark, Goldberg was making a point about category creep, she used the example of how the left sometimes seems incapable of differentiating a KKK Grand Wizard from Ben Shapiro and said that the “Politically Correct” label might suffer from a same kind of over-broad classification from the right (Full disclosure: She has a point, it made me think, and I think I have to be more specific with my derision going forward.) Fry rebutted with a version of: “This really doesn’t speak to the resolution though, you’re talking politics, when we get back to the resolution, we have to be empirical: How’s it working out for you in America? These Nativist movements in America and Britain aren’t the problem of the right, they represent the catastrophic failure of the left.”

    Fry, as opposed to saying that PC culture was damaging to progress on it’s merits, argued that PC culture was damaging to progress because it isn’t effective, and no one was able to rebut that. You can talk about layers of oppression and history and fairness and equity all you want, but if at the end of the day you aren’t effective, in fact if your speech is counterproductive, then regardless of how right, moral and well intentioned you were, you really need to change your approach, because otherwise you’re doing your opponent’s job for them. This ties in nicely, I think with this topic… Regardless of how wonderful the self-perceived intentions are here… If the goal is to de-escalate violence, start a conversation, or throttle hate (all worthy goals in and of themselves), I can’t think of a worse way to do it than to try to infringe on the rights to speak or assemble. There is no universe where this ends well for anyone, particularly, but the PC protesters in particular. They need to read a new book.

    2. As much as I can agree that this was cripplingly stupid, I don’t think we’ll hear much on this front. Part of the strategy on the left on the Hillary Server front was to remain ignorant on the topic of IT and to weaponize that ignorance, I think a combination of self-awareness as to the optics of suddenly learning how IT works, coupled with a general laziness that will prevent them from actually learning how IT works will keep this from getting traction.

    But who knows, I’ve been wrong before, and who doesn’t love a good dumpster fire?

    3. Have I mentioned that I thought Gorsuch was an excellent choice for SCOTUS? Regardless, I have to admit, I’ve only started actually reading the texts of SCOTUS opinions, but I’m making the effort. Can someone comment on the relative normalcy of a concurrence or dissent citing non-legal reference material?

    From Ginsberg’s dissent:
    “See Ruan, What’s Left To Remedy Wage Theft? How Arbitration Mandates That Bar Class Actions Impact Low-Wage Workers, 2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 1103, 1118–1119 (Ruan).”

    She actually referenced the book four times in her dissent, and it seemed… Really weird, although I accept that could be my limited understanding.

    4. It speaks for itself… I can’t get overly angry over THIS example of media hypocrisy, the Julie principle applies, but I think it’s important to at least point it out.

    • 1. I was going to feature the debate in this post, and decided to hold it, and maybe do a full post on it. I have two threshold problems: Dyson is a pompous lightweight and Goldberg isn’t even that. It wasn’t a fair fight. Plus arguing for political correctness is arguing for censorship.

      3. Not especially unusual for dissents especially to use non-legal commentary. It’s by definition dicta then—non-precedentiary opinion that has no legal force, but that may influence future opinions.

      • Phlinn

        I propose a meta-debate. Strong rational reasons to support political correctness do not exist, and therefore non-lightweight proponents can not be found.

      • JutGory

        One of my favorite legal quotes: “a dissent is what the law is not.”
        -Jut

        • It’s a GREAT quote, but I can’t find a source for it. Just a lot of references to it in relatively recent cases.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            A less favorite one: “today’s dissent is tomorrow’s majority opinion.” We came damn close to a court loaded with Ginsburgs.

          • JutGory

            It may be recent. I first encountered it while clerking at the trial court level. A lawyer made that point that it was a Wisconsin case (not my jurisdiction). I don’t know if it originated there, but a quick search of Wisconsin cases had 11 cites pop up.
            -Jut

    • Willem Reese

      Thanks for that, HT. I’ll have to block out some time to watch the debate, as I particularly like Fry, and he has also been vocally opposed to the current suppression of speech in the UK, that has jail sentences being handed out for people being “grossly offensive” in their comments. I’m a little worried by what you noted though, as it seems like he may be going dangerously close to saying he would approve of the means if they actually produced his desired ends.

      • I don’t know if he would, because you’re right…. He’s taken an otherwise principled stand against censoriousness. I actually read that take a little differently and think it’s brilliant:

        The left, generally, doesn’t have principles they stand by, the moment something becomes inconvenient, they will abandon it, raze it to the ground and salt the Earth it grew on. I think Fry was trying to paint censoriousness into inconvenience. The reason that might fail is that the alternative to censoriousness is engagement, engagement takes effort, and I’m not sure that the low energy slactivists preaching PC culture are willing to put in the time… Engagement needs to overcome the behavioral momentum of the chronically lazy, and I don’t know if it can.

        • Mrs. Q

          Really astute observations today HT. Thanks for the brain food. 🙂

          I’m contemplating your comments & may respond later.

  2. Willem Reese

    The best defense in Charlottesville, as it would have been for the original rally, would be to just completely ignore it, with the exception of keeping the two sides as far apart as possible, both physically and temporally. The neo-Nazis & their ilk had been increasingly marginalized for years until the SJWs started feeding them the oxygen of increased recognition, and giving them a cause of defending certain “unapproved” bits of history from being disappeared by the left’s strident predation.

    As a side note, I wonder if the driver of the car that struck and killed one counter-protester will ever be convicted of anything more than involuntary manslaughter (if that). Given what is known of his mental problems, and video of his car being attacked, f he has a good attorney, I would think it might be difficult to prove the incident more than just a panic-induced accident. They certainly don’t seem to be in a hurry to get the trial going…Maybe trying to get it as far out of the public memory as possible in fear of a possible acquittal or minor conviction?

    • They certainly don’t seem to be in a hurry to get the trial going…

      I don’t think they have evidence of mens rea and that will kill the overreaching charges. (There is video showing his car was attacked and the accident was a result of that initial assault. Second degree murder this is not.)

      Also, there is evidence that the police set up the confrontations that day. this coming out at trial will be an inconvenient truth for progressives.

      • But do you think they’ll let it go so long that the defendant will be able to invoke his sixth amendment rights were violated and quash the charges?

        • You think they will ALLOW him such an option, no matter how long they wait? He is an eeevvulll racist, after all, and not due his rights like anyone else, to the prosecutors.

          The videos show he did not do this on purpose, at least within reasonable doubt. He may have panicked in a highly stressful situation (meaning manslaughter) but the politics demanded murder charges from the progressive city. They overcharged and won’t back down now.

        • Willem Reese

          It looks like the defense agreed to the delay (trial now scheduled for this November). This might make one wonder if there isn’t an agreement between the parties that the original charges were a considerable overreach (considering the video evidence), and they’ll just try to get as far out of the spotlight as they can before they finish up with some lesser charge/punishment.

  3. A little bit off topic, but I wonder if anyone else had seen this:

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2018/05/muslim-woman-sued-for-declining-to-wax-mans-genitals.php

    “Earlier this month, a male-to-female transgender filed a $50,000 human rights complaint after a Muslim woman refused to perform a Brazilian wax on his genitals. …”

    “She never once asked for a leg wax [from] us,” Max Wax manager, president and CEO Jason Carruthers told PJ Media. “She said, ‘Women have penises and women have balls and if your staff is not comfortable they can look for another job.’”

    “Bake that cake!”
    “Wax those balls!”

    The sting of hair remov…. justice!

    • Saw that… Canada deserves their little version of hell if this even gets to trial.

    • HT; no one listens to me until it’s too damn late:

      Paul W. Schlecht May 19, 2018 at 10:13 am
      Off topic, but this situation quite simply has it ALL!

      If anyone has ever wondered what would happen when an immovable victim class collides with an unstoppable underprivileged group, wonder no more.

      Transgender woman files human rights complaint against Windsor spa

      http://windsorstar.com/news/local-news/transgender-woman-files-human-rights-complaint-against-windsor-spa

      I posted elsewhere;
      Ready the popped corn: Lefties (most, not all) will be doing existentially pained backflips trying to figure out for whom to feel more sorry.

      The spa owner claimed he didn’t have the proper…um…personnel to de-pube a pecker.

      The kicker? The only waxer on duty the day the transperson chose was a Muslim X-Chromosomal Unit, who’s religion doesn’t allow cock contact, much less any other part of a Y-Chromosomal Unit’s anatomy, unless they’re “family” and/or “husband.”

      My question to you’s Lefties; should the spa AND its employee (the latter citing EVIL religious beliefs) be forced to wax a wanker (shave a schvantz, if you’s prefer) and buff-n-burnish some balls, or be forced out of business?

      Wait a minute,

      She’s Muslim, (the Religion of Peace©™®) and a certified aggrieved victim class member; only EVIL Christians may be forced to ignore their beliefs in order to do whatever is asked of them.

      Never mind.

      • Mrs. Q

        I may be wrong but currently I believe it goes like this:

        Trans trumps Muslims. Muslims trump gays.

        The Ladder of Intersectionality certainly shifts from time to time, but I find the pattern in certain progressive circles is – whatever is most eye catching wins.

        Therefore Trans first, Muslim’s (especially women with covered heads) 2nd, gays holding hands last.

        • I’m going to write that down, but not in ink…

        • Lady Q,

          Where do I fit in, if I simply feel pretty one day and decide to use the X chromosome designated restroom in Target?

          Does my sudden (and certainly fickle) decision to become Trans take effect immediately? Is there some sort of body modification I must undergo, or wardrobe change, in order to claim such status?

          Or does looking like a white male mean I am still gutter scum on the Ladder of Intersectionality no matter what, in the progressive lexicon? What do you think, as you have insight I do not?

          I am not attacking here, but am half serious despite my tongue working a hole in my cheek. 🙂

      • You know what? I’d remembered seeing this story before, I just couldn’t remember where. It very well might have been your comment, which seeing eerily familiar.

        I wouldn’t have posted a comment on it except someone pointed out to me that this was actually Canadian content. If this were in America, I think that Islam would have beat out gender identity on the progressive stack, but because the story is Canadian, I’m not sure. I’m suddenly 67% more interested in the story.

  4. John Billingsley

    4. Not a dermatologist, but looks like that might be an actinic keratosis, a skin lesion caused by UV exposure. I’ve got quite a few I attribute to living in Florida and Texas.

  5. Re: No. 1 (Well . . . not really, but I thought it tangentially related . . .).

    I saw this tweet from the Southern Poverty Law Center yesterday and had to chuckle:

    The tweet states, “Michael Brown died three years ago in Ferguson, Missouri. He would have been 22 today. #RestinPower #TheMarchContinues #BlackLivesMatter.”

    I thought that, aside from getting the date wrong (he was born on May 20, 1996, and died on August 9, 2014), and the picture is a future philosopher king, the SPLC’s post was pretty good.

    jvb

    • That’s called the SPLC picking the wrong hill to die on…

      • I didn’t realize that the #restinpower thingy was a reference to Trayvon Martin’s book detailing Trayvon’s legacy. It is called, “Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin.” I also didn’t know that the Weinstein Company (yeah, that one with all the girl problems) had optioned the book for a television series (I wonder which actress will get to play Rachel Jeantelle) and soon-to-be-filmed big-screen blockbuster. Martins’ parents have filed a claim in Weinstein’s company’s bankruptcy for $150,000. Oh, what will happen next?

        jvb

  6. Re: No. 1 (well . . . again . . . really), but Don Lemon had a meltdown last night about Border Patrol questioning two Spanish-speaking women who were US citizens:

    https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2018/05/22/border-patrol-speaking-spanish-panel-lemon-ctn-sot.cnn/video/playlists/cnn-tonight-highlights/

    jvb

    • After his performance in that Parkland “debate,” watching Lemon can’t be logically justified any more. He revealed himself to be a juvenile, undisciplined silly person who has a platform because of his attractiveness, race, sexuality and political biases, and little else. At least Keith Olberman was clever. There are a lot of Lemon-types on CNN and MSNBC, but he, more than the rest, just seems like a well-meaning, badly educated child who is convinced that he is the smartest one in the room, and isn’t even close.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        That tweet by Keith Olbermann that was composed of almost nothing but the f-bomb gives the lie to the idea that he is “clever.” He might have been at one point, but his bag of cleverness is long empty.

        “…a well-meaning, badly educated child who is convinced that he is the smartest one in the room,” Hmmm, now who here fits, or should I say fit, those criteria?

      • Lemons’ tantrum was wonderful to watch, with full bouncing up and down in the chair, pounding on the table, repeatedly shouting “racial profiling”, and almost holding his breath, simply because the lady was giving the ICE position and ICE officials’ rights, duties, and abilities.

        jvb

  7. A.M. Golden

    The Federalist recently tackled the story of a teen who wrote to the US Communist Party asking if there would be no Freedom of Speech if the United States was a Communist country. The CPUSA’s response is eerily familiar.

    http://thefederalist.com/2018/05/22/dont-listen-communists-madeline-true-theyd-take-rights/

    • Good article. Thanks Golden!

      I like the breakdown of North Korea and their supposed ‘Bill of Rights.’ Experience of those who escaped that system shows it to be a lie, just like everything in socialism and communism.

  8. The theory that the government should ban speech based on morality is infinitely more dangerous than anything these alt-right jerks say, but you still have the guaranteed right to promote such democracy-rotting garbage.

    The authorities in Saudi Arabia seem to be fine with it.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ

      The Communists under Lenin and later Stalin were perfectly ok with it too, as was Mao, AFTER he supposedly liberalized things in the hopes that those opposed to him would come out in the open and “sing and fart” so they’d be easy to later recognize and eliminate. Scarier still, the thankfully-now-dead radical lawyer, convicted felon, and handmaiden to terrorism Lynn Stewart believed that it was perfectly all right for Mao or Fidel or the Vietnamese leaders to lock up those who disagreed with them, since otherwise the people’s revolution might come undone, and her thinking is not atypical of the left, although the names and faces might change.

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