Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/9/2018: Searching For Something Positive In The Ethics News, Failing

Good morning.

1. Is it unethical to never be satisfied, or just human? Or just American? The Boston Red Sox are winning too much, and I don’t recognize my team.  Over the weekend, literally for the first time in my life, I found myself feeling sorry for an opposing team and its fans. The poor Kansas City Royals (who are, I know, in the process of tanking) looked hopeless as the Red Sox swept a three game series. KC, not long ago a World Series champion, looks like it will lose 105 games or more. My team has always been the underdog. I don’t want to root for crypto-Yankees.

2. Yeah, I wish the President would just announce his SCOTUS pick and not make it into a circus.

3. Another Ethics Alarms Lost Post…A Carolyn Hax advice column from March missed  getting the post I intended at the time, and I just stumbled across the old file. A woman who had planned a huge wedding was jilted by her fiance shortly before the big date, as he ran off with an old flame. She asked Carolyn if she was wrong to be angry at invited friends and relatives who wanted her to reimburse them for non-refundable airline tickets, and to never want to have any contact with them again. Hax said that such people don’t deserve anything better, and ought to be written off in perpetuity.

That was an easy call for the relationship columnist, but I found  myself reflecting on other matters, like whether I have any friends and relatives who could be expected to behave that atrociously, venally and compassionlessly (relatives yes, friends, no, I think). Another question: what’s the matter with people, and how do they get this way? Someone you care about is slammed with a life catastrophe, and your first reaction is to demand that she pay for your inconvenience?

4. Yes, “enemy of the people” is accurate…From Glenn Greenwald (via Althouse):

During the 2016 primary and general election campaigns, various MSNBC hosts were openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton. One of the network’s programs featured Malcolm Nance (pictured, above), whose background is quite sketchy but who is presented by the cable network (and now by NBC News) as an “intelligence expert” and former intelligence officer for the U.S. Navy.

On August 20, 2016, weekend host Joy Reid asked Nance about the supposed “affinity” for Russia harbored by Jill Stein supporters. In response, Nance told MSNBC viewers: “Jill Stein has a show on Russia Today.”…

Jill Stein did not have a show on RT, nor did she ever host a show on RT. What Nance said was made up out of whole cloth – fabricated – in order to encourage MSNBC viewers to believe that Stein, one of the candidates running against Clinton, was a paid agent of the Kremlin and was an employee of RT….

To date – almost two years later – neither NBC News nor MSNBC, nor a single journalist who works for either one of those media outlets – has corrected this significant falsehood, despite obviously knowing that it was broadcast to their viewers….

Worse, not only was Nance never sanctioned in any way for the lie he told, but he was rewarded: he has since gone from “MSNBC Contributor” to “MSNBC intelligence analyst,” is far more pervasive on that network, and its hosts have spent the month aggressively promoting his new book on how Putin is destroying U.S. democracy.

Once again: this undermines a competent democracy, misleads the public, manipulates elections, and breaches the basic professional ethics of journalism to the detriment of the United States of America, while making trust in all journalism impossible or irrational.  Those who rail against the description of the mainstream news media as “enemies of the people” have to explain to me persuasively and clearly why Greenwald’s account (It is not an anomaly) isn’t proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the indictment is fair and accurate.

5. By all means, let’s talk about “democratic norms”…From Bill Maher’s latest HBO Comedy special:

“Although honestly, doesn’t everything about this man just scream microdick? You know, the bragging, and the buildings with my name on it! ‘There’s no problem, I guarantee there’s no problem.’ I think there’s a problem. I think there’s a very big problem. I think that’s the whole problem. I think this is a man who has never once brought a woman to orgasm—if he even believes such a thing exists. ‘It’s rigged! It’s rigged! The vagina has been very unfair to me! Very unfair!’

The problem is that no other President in history, even those who were gang-mugged by comedians, like Nixon and Clinton, have ever been subjected to this kind of dehumanizing, vulgar disrespect of themselves and their office. Nor would such personal degradation have been tolerated in the past, much less cheered. The conduct is corrosive, divisive, hateful and dangerous. “The resistance” and their allies should pay a high price for engaging in and encouraging these tactics, and I will do what little I can to ensure they do, as I would regardless of what President was the target.

6. Horror Show. I admire Stephen King as a writer, and he has provided me with quite a bit of enjoyment through the years. And he’s a big Red Sox fan. He’s still a big jerk, but them lots of great artists were, are, and will be.

On July 4, Maine’s King of Horror tweeted,

Progressives, go find a Trump supporting friend–the one you haven’t spoken to since November of 2016–and give him or her a hug. Trumpies, find a “liberal snowflake” friend and do the same. Just for today, let’s all be Americans.

Can you be snottier than this? Let’s see:

  • King implicitly endorses progressives shunning anyone who disagrees with them, even friends. How repulsive.
  • His supposedly olive branch-spirited tweet immediately denigrates supporters of the President (“Trumpies”), mocks them, and stereotypes them. These are the tools of bigotry. What do progressives stand for today?
  • “Just for today” we should all be Americans? Talk about signature significance for a pompous, intolerant, insincere jackass…

However, the hateful, angry progressives that King proudly embraces  found even that nasty and insincere sentiment insufficiently antagonistic to half the country, and the author was subjected to withering disapproval on social media. So the jerk responded,

“Responses to my 4th of July tweet suggest that politically-minded Americans aren’t willing to drop their grudges and talking points for even a single day. If Russia isn’t paying Trump, they should start, because he’s doing a helluva job of dividing us.”

I have reached my limit of tolerance for the “He made us behave like assholes” argument. I suspect that more citizens have feel this way than the Democrats realize, or they wouldn’t keep talking and behaving as they have for 18 months.

24 Comments

Filed under Etiquette and manners, Family, Government & Politics, Humor and Satire, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Quotes, U.S. Society

24 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/9/2018: Searching For Something Positive In The Ethics News, Failing

  1. Other Bill

    Break up the Red Sox! At least send J.D. Martinez back to the Diamondbacks? That might assuage your guilt?

  2. Aleksei

    #5 Boy, won’t it be funny when some time in the future, when we will have a Democratic president, it will happen at one point, and the right side of the aisle will unleash on him/her great vengeance and furious anger, good ole’ Bill will talk about how racist, misogynistic, jingoistic, whatever-istic the other side is, and how this is unprecedented and we need to go back the civility of Obama, and respect women, like during Clinton, that will be so rich. I’d like to think even his barking seal audience might balk at the notion, but that is highly unlikely. It would be hard to imagine, but maybe in the future there will be some candidate even more goofy than Trump, and the media will whitewash the Trump era and say, boy we wish we can go back to the peaceful times. Sure we said a lot of silly things, but he wasn’t as bad as the current guy!

    • Other Bill

      Aleksei, I for one, really think the right is better behaved than the left. It may be wishful thinking and I may be wrong, but I doubt it. For one thing, righties tend to be older than lefties.

      • Aleksei

        I’d like to think so to, but it’s a prisoner’s dilemma situation. At this point in time, there is more punishment for being polite (or in the original dilemma, being silent to the prosecutors) than there is to lash out. The argument would be, why do I have to be polite, I will be dragged in mud anyways no matter what I do, so I invoke “It’s my right”, “Tit for tat”, “Everybody does it”, “I don’t care”, “I’m all right with it”, and so on and so forth. I wish it won’t be this way, but I feel the right is like and abused child, and it’s going to lash out, and it won’t be pretty. Also, young people will replace the older folks at some point, and they perhaps will not care for dinner table etiquette of the old guard.

        • The new right is certainly adopting the methodology of the left. The younger set have an excuse: they don’t know better, or times when this was not our environment.

          The older ones make me depressed. They will cross a line they can never regain, having known how to act but choosing otherwise.

    • valkygrrl

      Did you sleep through the Obama years? The Clinton years? The 2016 campaign? The 2008 campaign? Do you live in a world without Steve King? Anne Marie Messiano on the bus? Michael Selyem using the C-world? Darla Shine? 92-year-old Rodolfo Rodriguez being beaten in the face with a brick by MAGAts. The Charlottesville nazis?

      Civility!

      And you think comments from a second-rate comedian about an epically insecure man having a small penis is going to make things worse? Those are great blinders you’re wearing.

      What you really mean is that you can’t wait to use a dick-joke as justification for what you’ve always wanted to say, just like those people who said Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Hillary used the word deplorable now I have no choice but to say misogamist shit, she maaaaaaaade me.

      • Aleksei

        You’ll have to pardon my memory, as I am a young person, so I only started paying attention to things in the late Obama era. Out of the list of things you mentioned, I can immediately recall Charlottesville and the overall 2016 campaign. I’ll look into those other things to get an idea of what you mean.

        Is my understanding correct, that you are saying that the right side has always been the worse side, or that there is a parity of misbehavior, or it’s just same old – same old?

  3. 1- I call that the I’m Becoming My Father syndrome. My Dear 93 year-old Father never fails to feel sympathy for the arch-rivals of our (GO BADGERS!!) sports teams after we’ve pasted them.

    Unless it’s the Hawkeyes, Illini, or Marquette in BB or the MN Golden Gophers in FB; for them, no shellacking is too much.

    4- Had a couple of Lefty in-laws (I have no other kind since my Dear FIL passed at nearly 95 last year) visit for a few days last week.

    He’s a BIG Global Warming Gloom-n-Doom chronicler and irredeemable career Lefty.

    He started talking about how, for him, the 1st 5 minutes of Rachel Maddow are tantamount to transcendence. I explained that might be because it was telling him what he wanted to hear, and that a Pew Research Study concluded that FoxNews (which I DON’T watch) has about 55 % opinion where MSNBC has a whopping 85 %.

    They: “well, Pew is a conservative pollster.”

    I: “well that conservative pollster’s poll results were reprinted in HuffPo.”

    Silence.

    They were also slobbering effusively about how evil White men commit all the crimes and it’s O.K. to profile…sometimes…so long as it’s done to the right</b< group. This segued into how women earn whatever pittance is the figure du jour compared to men.

    I submitted that when the adjusted wage-gap (corrected for relevant variables) is shown, the gap is virtually nonexistent; this was greeted with haughty, all-knowing, what a dumb fuck sneers.

    Determined not to let a teachable moment pass by, I forwarded two links, one from Feminist Anti-Christ Christina Hoff-Sommers, that show the wage gap disappearing when accurately depicted, both articles in HuffPo.

    Wage Gap Myth Exposed — By Feminists (the AAUW or American Association of University Women)

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-hoff-sommers/wage-gap_b_2073804.html

    Never heard back, but I can imagine them feeling like they did when they found out that their parents, after admonishing them not to do so, actually lie themselves, and thinking: “Et tu HuffPo?”

    • JP

      CHS is by her own admission a second wave feminist and not one the most recent 3rd wave/fainting couch feminist. She is often ridiculed by those on the left despite being a leftist herself. She has a very well done youtube series called the factual feminist which you could also use in your toolbox.

      • “CHS is by her own admission a second wave feminist and not one the most recent 3rd wave/fainting couch feminist.”

        Equity Feminist is what she claims, and her mere existence drives Gender Feminists to unhinged distraction.

        “She is often ridiculed by those on the left despite being a leftist herself.”

        That’s because she’s not All In, secular blasphemy of Scarlet Letter proportions to career Lefties.

        “She has a very well done youtube series called the factual feminist which you could also use in your toolbox.”

        My gosh darn toolbox is currently in “deck load” (sailor slang for a FV’s hold being so full it’s spilling out onto the deck) mode, but I’ll give it a listen.

        You read Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women

        • JP

          “That’s because she’s not All In, secular blasphemy of Scarlet Letter proportions to career Lefties.”

          One of the many reasons I am not a leftist.

          “My gosh darn toolbox is currently in “deck load” (sailor slang for a FV’s hold being so full it’s spilling out onto the deck) mode, but I’ll give it a listen.”
          The videos are about 5 minutes each. Watch them at your leisure.

          “You read Who Stole Feminism: How Women Have Betrayed Women”

          I have wanted to read that book for a while now. Some time I’m going to pick it up.

  4. La Sylphide

    #3: Stupid, selfish, petty people. They’re already in for the airline ticket. Fly out there anyway! Support a friend, eat the food, dance to the d.j., toast the good things in life, and leave karma to deal with the loser who walked away.

  5. 1. The Sox are winning right now. Enjoy the ride, Jack. If they are like many of my teams, the bottom will fall out soon enough!

    2. Trump is feeding progressives rope with which they will hang themselves. Playing them like a fiddle. This is where that IQ versus cunning thing comes into play.

    3. The appropriate answer to these former friends and ugly relatives is an engraved invitation to ‘BITE ME!’

    4. There will come a time of reckoning, Jack. Common Americans are paying attention, something that rarely happens without nations falling. November hangs on it.

    5. This will get Trump re-elected.

    6. And another reason the new right will adopt the left’s tactics: the left will not dialog and condescends constantly, even while virtue signalling.

  6. Rip

    1) boo hoo Jack, I will just wait for a year my Mets are be a good like my Mets and rub it in then.
    2) I appreciate he is looking for advice, but was dispointted that the nice lady judge, is now out. This is just the revery ( for non circus folk that’s the clown show before the main show) the circus starts as soon as congress gets fully involved.
    3) simple people have no class anymore, and etiquette who tell those that did you treat this like an act of God, a natural disaster, and offer your support nothing more. My dad use to say the military officers.
    4) the standards of journalism being impartial has become an anomaly as Newspapers and the media on both sides has taken on ruling the news like it was the editorial page. We all ( well at least those of us with a semblance of integrity and intelligence ) know that,all media has a bias. But it use to be responsible respectable outlets, covered just the facts in the news, and those facts were interpreted in editorials. Now we are bombarded with the editorials(which are opinions) before. We have all the facts, this is irresponsible and does not allow for the proletariat to form their own opinions, it is the same technique used by propaganda departments all over the world for years, and is a treat to freedom, weather your opinion falls to the right or the left. The only way to fight it is to read more of both sides of the aurgment and dig though to get all the facts, unfortunately get your propaganda with it! The only hope till opinions are labeled as editorials and the people knows what that means, and news is free of opinions we are stuck while raking through the muck.
    5) ok this president is more attacked then most ( though I remember the disrespectful things said about Carter on the military bases I grew up on, but to give you an idea of how republican my family is. My body sister was named Patricia and if she had been a boy it would have been Richard. Of all the presidents my dad met Nixon was his favorite and as a kid I was an envirmentalist, my dad put up with it because I would remind him Nixon started the EPA.) now the difference. Is this president does not have the restraint to stay out of commenting on everything which gives the media and liberals more to rally on. Hell Reagan the great commutator, never mentioned aids or any other item he did not want to deal with. So he brings more attention then is warranted due to the damned tweets.

    6) it is Stephen King he is a jerk a brilliant jerk but a jerk none the less.

  7. Rip

    First line Should end met are being good then I will rub it in. Do not know how typo happened.

  8. Isaac

    It’s long been past hyperbole to be truly concerned with the mental state of one’s liberal friends. They’re going to go all the way to the pearly gates screaming, “It’s Trump, HE made me this way!”

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