Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2018: The All-Denial Edition

Good Morning!

On this day in ethics, 1918: Washington catcher Eddie Ainsmith claimed that he should be deferred from the draft because he was a major league baseball player. Uh, nice try, Eddie, but no,  Secretary of War Newton D Baker ruled, as he tried to suppress uncontrollable eye-rolling..

1. “California, here I come!…here I come!…here I come!…” Oh. Never mind. The California Supreme Court took a measure off the ballot that would have allowed Californians to vote on whether the state should be divided into three smaller states, like this:

In its opinion, the Court argued that the changes demanded by the ballot measure exceeded California voters’ broad authority to enact laws by initiative, established in 1911. If enacted, the measure would have in effect abolished the state Constitution and all existing laws, which would have to be replaced by lawmakers  in the three new states. The measure would also alter the laws that define California’s boundaries, amending the state Constitution. That cannot be done by initiative, but instead requires approval by two-thirds of both houses of the Legislature to be placed on the ballot.

I know that the splitting up of California was a transparent effort to hijack the Senate by adding four more guaranteed Democrats. It was also doomed, since this plot would need to pass Congress and not be vetoed by the President. Still, wouldn’t something as obvious as violating the state Constitution arise before the wacko measure was placed on the ballot? How incompetent can you get? How much more incompetent can California get?

2. THIS will end well… Facebook claims that it will be removing false information from its pages when it threatens to cause violence, before it will cause violence. Sure, we all trust Facebook as an objective, trustworthy arbiter of speech, don’t we? Don’t we? Especially since they use the ever-reliable Snopes to check. During an interview with ReCode’s Kara Swisher, Mark Zuckerberg cited Holocaust denials as the kind of misinformation Facebook would allow to remain on the platform.  “At the end of the day, I don’t believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong,” Zuckerberg told Swisher. “I don’t think that they’re intentionally getting it wrong.”

He doesn’t? I’m not sure Holocaust denial is automatically eligible for Hanlon’s Razor; on the other hand, there are good faith idiots. Speaking of idiots, Zuckerman was surprised when his ignorant shrug sparked angry attacks like that of Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, who said, “Holocaust denial is a willful, deliberate and longstanding deception tactic by anti-Semites that is incontrovertibly hateful, hurtful, and threatening to Jews.Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow its dissemination.” 

Hmmmm. How about ignorant claims that President Trump committed “treason”? How about “climate change denial,” which one of Bobby Kennedy’s kids or grandkids or cousins or something says should be a crime? ? What do you do about claims that gays have been excluded by God from the institution of marriage? Isn’t hate speech “violence”?

I don’t trust Facebook, with its ideologically slanted staff, and its idiot savant, politically naive CEO, using the likes of Snopes, to decide what is false, dangerously false, or properly censorable. Either everything is allowed, or the public, its knowledge, its speech and its political and social views will be subject to manipulation at the source.

3. A legitimate lawsuit, not unethical, just icky...No, there is nothing wrong with MGM Resorts International maintaining in court that the victims of the October 1 mass shooting in Vegas can’t sue it for negligence because of the post-9/11 law passed to protect institutional targets of terrorism from being hit with millions of dollars in damages when it was not at fault for the tragedy that occurred on its property

Citing a 2002 federal act that extends liability protection to any company that uses “anti-terrorism” technology or services that can “help prevent and respond to mass violence,” the lawsuit argues that the security vendor MGM hired was  certified by the Department of Homeland Security for “protecting against and responding to acts of mass injury and destruction.” It is asking that a judge decide if the 2002 act is applicable, and if so, to hold that future civil lawsuits against the company are not viable. We are told that the lawsuit has provoked a “backlash,” meaning that lawyer who stand to get millions in fees are unethically trying to discourage the strategy by using emotional blackmail. If MGM isn’t liable under the law, they have every right, and indeed the obligation to their stockholders, to file the suit to avoid having to pay huge damage awards.

4. Are these great lawyer weasel words, or what? Julie Ezell, the former general counsel for the Oklahoma State Department of Health, has been charged with sending threatening emails to herself and reporting them to state officials.  She is accused of posing as a medical marijuana advocate in the emails and sending them to herself once or twice a day for four days. She had resigned on Friday without giving a reason. This week, Ezell was charged  in Oklahoma County with using computers to violate state laws, falsely reporting a crime, and preparing false evidence, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

Here is the masterful statement that her lawyer, Ed Blau, released:

“Julie Ezell has worked as a loyal and dedicated public servant her entire career as a lawyer. These charges do not reflect who she is as a person, nor do they reflect the type of advocate she has been for the people of the State of Oklahoma. These allegations will be answered, and additional relevant information will be provided by us at the appropriate time.”

Isn’t that great? He never engages in outright misrepresentation of deceit, suggesting or saying that she is innocent or that she claims to be innocent. The first sentence is a non-sequitur, like saying his lawyer saying that Dennis Rader,  BTK Killer, was a good Cub Scout leader. Any lawyer could make the second statement, which is on the Rationalization list (21A. The Criminal’s Redemption, or “It’s just a small part of what I am!”) about any criminal. Of course the allegations will be answered, and from the looks of it, the answer will be “Guilty as charged.”

36 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Facebook, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, U.S. Society

36 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/19/2018: The All-Denial Edition

  1. Aleksei

    #3 Seems reasonable, it’s along the lines of you can’t sue the police for not protecting you, because they were late. They are only liable for your protection when you are in their custody, i.e. under arrest, being transported to jail, etc. Same idea how some liberals want to sue gun manufacturers, because their weapons are sometimes used in schools shootings, etc. With that logic, we should also sue Toyota, because terrorist groups in the Middle East like Toyota pick up trucks.
    I believe America is probably the freest society out there, but this litigiousness shines a negative light on us. But I know, if you have freedom, you can abuse, that is cost of having freedom. I guess this is where the lack of ethics in the general populace rears its ugly head.

    • ”terrorist groups in the Middle East like Toyota pick up trucks.”

      I KNEW it!

      The Let’s Go Places tagline? Some sort of dog-whistle/coded/subliminal rallying message.

      And “Toyota Jan,” you think that hairstyle resembling a burqa is mere coincidence?

  2. Re: No 3; MGM lawsuit.

    I agree that the lawsuit is not unethical and may even pass the smell test, especially if MGM is seeking a declaration that it is immune from liability under that law. I am not sure that the law was intended for this situation, though. There is a lone gunman in a hotel room shooting and killing as many people as possible. Heinous but probably not within the definition of terrorism.

    MGM’s statement is a lovely sentiment. i wish I could have written it:

    “The federal court is an appropriate venue for these cases and provides those affected with the opportunity for a timely resolution,” Debra DeShong, an MGM spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Years of drawn out litigation and hearings are not in the best interest of victims, the community and those still healing.”

    MGM is not worried about liability; no, it is worried about the emotional drain and strain the victims will endure as a result of years of litigation. MGM wants these poor victims to heal, to mend, to live fulfilling lives, unburdened by memorials of a raving lunatic raining death from a hotel room. That, my friends, is compassion. Yes, it is.

    jvb

    • I should have highlighted that with the other lawyer blather. It was wise, though, given the attempts to demonize a legitimate effort to defend itself. I agree that MGM is likely to lose, but its not a frivolous argument by any means.

      • Chris Marschner_

        Jack, Doesn’t negligence suggest that one did not perform the minimum level of expected diligence to protect others from harm?

        Even if JB’s legal analysis is correct such that a lone gunman is not a terrorist under the clinical definition of terrorism and therefore the law does not apply, how can one show that MGM failed to protect the persons at the concert especially in light of them meeting Homeland Security standards to protect against terrorists. Why should it matter what the reason the crazy bastard used as his rationale? This like saying….Well 9/11 terrorists used airplanes and he used a gun so one is terrorism and the other is not.

        • That’s logic, but logic and law sometimes don’t meet. MGM’s argument is that even though this may not have been terrorism, the exact same conditions apply regarding the unfairness of allowing negligence lawsuits. The judges may just say, and it would be a legally valid conclusion: so what? The law was designed for actual terrorism, not mass domestic shootings with no political objective.

  3. Other Bill

    4. I see some sort of impairment/temporary insanity defense/crisis management strategy/defense. Next step, she’ll be checked into some sort of residential treatment facility for something or other. It doesn’t matter what, exactly. Eventually, she’ll plead to a lesser offence and then try to salvage her license with the Oklahoma Bar.

  4. “Still, wouldn’t something as obvious as violating the state Constitution arise before the wacko measure was placed on the ballot? How incompetent can you get? How much more incompetent can California get?”

    You can get a measure on the ballot in California with signatures amounting to 5% of the votes cast in the previous election for governor. This amounts to about 1% of the whole population of the state. In other words, you can put anything on the ballot if you have the time and money.A measure to amend the constitution only takes 8% of the votes cast in the previous election, so these folks will be back.

    My rule of thumb is that between the pranksters, crazies, dumbbells, and just plain contrarians you can get 10-15% of people to endorse or reject nearly any notion.

  5. Rich in CT

    If enacted, the measure would have in effect abolished the state Constitution and all existing laws, which would have to be replaced by lawmakers in the three new states.

    A bit of relevant patriotic history from your home state:

    In 1685, when Andres suppressed the Massachusetts Bay Colony’s charter, the colony had, in anticipation, abolished nearly all tax laws so that the Dominion of New England could not raise any revenue! (The Dominion’s charter precluded establishing new taxes). Even though the colony was suppressed, it remained a political entity, and the general legislation within its boundaries remained in effect.

    My take away from this would be that each of the hypothetical two new California’s would inherit a duplicate copy of the parent remnant state’s body of legislation. Some would be obsolete, like laws in NorCal concerning Los Angeles (analogous to laws in Connecticut that concern parts of what are now northeast Pennsylvania and Ohio, the former Western Reserve territories). This is assuming the state and federal constitutional hurdles were otherwise cleared.

    • “…each of the hypothetical two new California’s would inherit a duplicate copy of the parent remnant state’s body of legislation.”

      This is pretty much what happens with case law when a federal circuit is divided into two parts.

  6. Matthew B.

    People presume California is one monolithic liberal block. It is not. Just like the rest of the country, rural areas are Republican strongholds.

    This incarnation of dividing California is probably net neutral for the Senate. I also see it as highly unfavorable to the real Northern California, who would still be stuck with the most liberal, most nanny state minded folks in the country.

    • Other Bill

      In other words, it would probably be best for most of California and the rest of the country if the Bay Area became its own city state. It could be called Andorra.

    • I disagree. From the analyses I’ve seen, the proposed three way split still leaves all three states comfortably Blue, though one would be Bluer than the deep blue sea, the other two would be “redder” but still “safely” blue, with one of those reddish enough that it might be purplish-blue in only races where the conditions *really really* favor a conservative.

      I have radical views about the Senate that would never in a million years, get off the ground (along with radical views about the House of Representatives). For one, every state should have a third Senator, so that *every election cycle* one incumbent senator is on the chopping block and there are no “safe states” every 4th year. For another, the States, at their earliest were very much culturally distinct from each other, while internally, though diverse, were much more culturally unified than the States we see now. I think the larger states need to be broken up. California into 4 or 5. Texas into 4 or 5. New York into 2 or 3. Some of the other semi-large states could afford to be broken up, with an eye to drawing boundaries around “cultural” units.

      • Matthew B

        I guess it depends on who does the analysis. As you note, the bay area is crazy blue so the new Northern California would be just as reliably democrat. California would be lean blue, but Southern California becomes a tossup state.

        • ”As you note, the bay area is crazy blue”

          Do tell!

          Seems a…um…different color scheme is emerging.

          New San Francisco Mayor: “There’s More Feces… Than I’ve Ever Seen”

          https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-07-15/new-san-francisco-mayor-theres-more-feces-ive-ever-seen.

          • PennAgain

            Sorry, Paul. Not the change we’re looking for. Harvey Milk already ran – and won – on a platform that resolved, and did, successfully clean up the dog shit. It was a do-able promise. Only Milk’s clean-up was based on rooting out much deeper problems and higher goals (which he got a good start on), like the growing encroachment of real estate developers, a virtual cartel today responsible for the excrescence of half-empty hi-rises that destroyed hundreds of neighborhood businesses and residences and that now throw those neighborhoods into shadow. They are largely responsible for the astronomical elevation of the cost-of-living in this once affordable city. This is the group that paid for Breed’s campaign (and Willie Brown’s and then-Mayor, now State Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s, the same mayors who also built and built and destroyed affordable housing, offices and stores …) a group of non-resident profiteers which now has her back – and her debt.

            London Breed is female, and she is black and – third stupid reason most women and a lot of gay men (who believe what “feminists” tell them) voted for her – she has the cutest name ever, and wasn’t there a song about her…? — and those were the three qualifications that elevated her undistinguished, relatively politically inexperienced self over the likes of former Supervisor, State Assemblyman and State Senator, Mark Leno. Oh, but he’s male, and worse, he’s white. A sample of where this is coming from: Russell Berman in The Atlantic Jun 12, 2018. . . [I]n a controversial move, Breed’s colleagues on the Board of Supervisors would not allow her to continue in the post while she ran for mayor, believing that would give her the unfair advantage of incumbency in a race that included another supervisor, Jane Kim. The Board in January installed Mark Farrell as interim mayor, angering Breed supporters who saw a racial motivation in the decision to replace an African American woman with a white man.

            I’m hoping, because she is sitting in a seat open only through the end of 2019 (left empty by the sudden death of former Mayor Ed Lee) she will not have enough time to clean up the “feces” much less anything else she can’t talk about in a straightforward manner: Not without the aid of a friendly (Kim is Asian but of course that didn’t count) “racist” Board of Supervisors. If that sounds as if I am all for leaving shit piles on the sidewalks, think again. I’ll translate: Mayor Breed is saying something no other mayoral candidate (or mayor) has ever said, that is, she doesn’t understand the connection between human beings and shit. In other words, she may be able to get the DPW out scouring the sidewalks and say she Did It!, but the “homeless problem” (an estimated eight thousand unusually visible mostly single male persons (out of 870,000 pop) — the one thing every mayor has been trying to deal with since this century began — isn’t in the cards. She doesn’t have the power of a Rudi Giuliani, nor the backing of the police to carry it out, even temporarily.

            And her interests lie elsewhere (I’m betting) in the more colorful realm of small, simple, cheap, news-grabbers, like “feces,” all discouragingly short-term, and disappearing as soon as the spotlight moves along.

            Come to think of it, though: after doing a Storyville job on the historical, vibrant, jazz magnet, and mostly black Fillmore District, Willie did build us a ballpark …..

  7. Sharon

    4. Anytime I see phrasing regarding a crime that looks like this:
    This is not the person I am
    This is not the type of thing I would do
    I am not the type of person
    These are not my values

    Example: I have been accused of murdering my wife but that is not the type of person I am.

    I immediately think the person probably did the dirty deed. To me, they might as well be saying “Yeah, I did it but I feel uncomfortable lying so I’m just going to say this is not the person I am because it’s not like murdering people is something I do ALL the time.

    I’m sure Julie Ezell doesn’t spend all her time sending fake emails to herself. She is interested in so many other things! Sending fake emails to herself is such a tiny part of what she does in life…it hardly matters at all. Plus, it’s not like she tells people about it so it truly does not represent the person she is. Just ask her friends!

  8. Rusty Rebar

    wouldn’t something as obvious as violating the state Constitution arise before the wacko measure was placed on the ballot?

    I have all these mixed feelings about California’s initiative process, but I am sure as a lawyer you understand why this is. Who can determine if something violates the California constitution? Seems to me the only answer is a court. I do not want the Sec of State to decide for themselves which initiative gets on the ballot, that should be subject to due process. California has historically put all kinds of crazy things on the ballot, they often get struck down after being approved by a majority.

    On the one hand, people should have ample say in how their government operates, and there should be some process for citizens to band together to create legislation — but on the other hand, people are incredibly stupid and will vote on blatantly illegal and rights infringing initiatives at uncomfortable levels.

  9. Rip

    1) this nightmare is because there are areas of state with different interests and needs, ( it would. Leave one of the areas with the worst schools and lowest income average in a real mess) and then the taxes From the wealthier communities would stay there! Tuff every state has these issues,
    I live on route one in Fairfax county. By the river there are multi million dollar mansions, behind the sams club are the trailer parks hidden from view. Most of the kids that live near the river do not go to the two local high schools, they go to more exclusive educational institutions. Yes there is also the hopes of garnering more power in Washington, but this is really about not taking care of there own first. It is unnecessary.
    2) holocaust deniers – he does remember he is Jewish ? – I understand protecting free speech – but denying truths – like science and documented history should not. Be allowed because it is fact. Many of you now my religious views, but I they get trumped by science And fact.
    3) Sorry But they did everything they could do reasonably, suing them makes no sense. Unfortunately this is not something people understand they want someone to pay. Sorry but the one who should pay is dead, sue his estate. But I believe his hires already offered it up.
    4) dishonesty from a lawyer in government, I am shocked!

    • Jeff

      “denying truths should not be allowed”

      That’s not really how free speech works, though. Once you decide that some ideas can’t be discussed, then you need to figure out who gets to decide which ideas go on the list. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how that can go really wrong, really fast. Let’s also not forget that at one time it was a “scientific fact” that everything was composed of just four elements – if Lavoisier and others hadn’t been permitted to deny that, we wouldn’t have chemistry today, and we’d still be thinking that fire released “phlogiston” from burning materials.

      The Holocaust is extensively documented, making denial of it a really stupid position to take. So, do we let the idiots who wish to deny this mountain of evidence make fools of themselves, or do we silence them? It’s basic human nature: if you silence them, then you make other people wonder what you’re trying to hide. The easiest way to make something enticing is to forbid it. If you want lots more Holocaust deniers, just make it forbidden to deny the Holocaust.

      The solution to “problematic” speech is not to ban it, but to provide more speech in opposition to the dumb ideas.

      • Jeff wrote: The Holocaust is extensively documented, making denial of it a really stupid position to take. So, do we let the idiots who wish to deny this mountain of evidence make fools of themselves, or do we silence them? It’s basic human nature: if you silence them, then you make other people wonder what you’re trying to hide. The easiest way to make something enticing is to forbid it. If you want lots more Holocaust deniers, just make it forbidden to deny the Holocaust.

        The solution to “problematic” speech is not to ban it, but to provide more speech in opposition to the dumb ideas.

        This is a tough and difficult area to think about and examine but in my view it simply has to be done. On one hand you wrote, clearly and efficiently, that there needs to be freedom to investigate the structures of things and you used the example of the former belief in the Four Elements. Intellectually then, you come out in pro of open horizons.

        But then you make a specific assertion, and assert that the Holocaust is ‘documented’ in such a way that no aspect of it can be, need be, or should be examined or reviewed in any way or at any level. (All the revisionists that I have examined to not *deny* the event but modify elements of it). But for the sake of an example (which I think nicely illustrates an important point), modify your statement to

        The American Civil War is extensively documented, making denial of it a really stupid position to take

        and see it in a different context. It is not that the war itself is denied by anyone, but certainly many different aspects of the motivations and actions of the two sides is very much open to conversation. Yet within that conversation there is nothing settled and agreed on (in any case huge and important differences exist). And there is an ideological faction which seeks to define the ACW in rigid and determined ways, and they morally shame those who are of a different view.

        What I notice in what you wrote is of intellectual concern to me, as one critical of the American Conservative position (as I understand it). Because what you have given with your right hand you have, in a way, taken away with your left. I do notice that at the end you say ‘The solution to “problematic” speech is not to ban it, but to provide more speech in opposition to the dumb ideas, and I would agree with your policy. I am very glad that you say such a thing because, it would appear, you would allow someone like me, with controversial (‘dumb’) ideas to be allowed to speak and also to exist. I spelled out more of what I observe and what concerns me in another thread, below.

      • Added note:

        If you want lots more Holocaust deniers, just make it forbidden to deny the Holocaust.

        This is a mistaken statement for a few different reasons. One is that those you might label (do label) as Holocaust deniers are not any such thing according to their own view and self-description. Yet this label is attached to them by people who desire to stifle their ideas or views.

        In my own research, these people (the ones I would say are responsible historians) do not undertake their historical projects, and their revisionism, out of maliciousness (or stupidity), but because they see the standard narratives as partial, tendentious and defective. It is a troubling position because by challenging the ‘standard narratives’ they challenge the use of those narratives and the way those narratives understructure and uphold certain established views. And by undertaking an examination and questioning of those established narratives they are seen as challenging or undermining established *systems of view*. These people, historically, always get into trouble.

        So, it is not because so-called Holocaust denial (this means in fact even light revision) is made illegal that, somehow, produces the one who desires to investigate and perhaps challenge the established narrative but rather because it is an intellectual position of greater integrity that prompts them to ‘turn against the common current’.

        Obviously, I am alluding to issues and problems now observable in our present: how ideas are silenced and people are vilified for having those ideas and sharing them. But really this all tends to a far more difficult problem: the undermining of the narratives that have allowed the Liberal Worldview to come into existence by questioning the pillars on which it is established.

        My experience is that if you do that, Good Lord, you really catch hell.

  10. Chris Marschner_

    On point 3.
    Why do we need a law to protect a private party from negligence lawsuits involving crimes committed on their premises when they had nothing to do with the crime or could have known that something like this could happen.
    It could happen anywhere. Sandy Hook or Parkland parents cannot suit the school system for negligence to my knowlege.

    The entire idea that a injured party can sue for negligence of the owners of the location resulting from an act of an unrelated third party is laughable on its face. If I hold a dinner party and 3 goons engage in a home invasion at the same time as the party I am as much a victim as anyone else. We live in a world in which bad things happen. Simply because someone has resources should not mean that they are the ones to be sued. Is anyone holding the LVPD negligent for not preventing the shooting? No, and they should not. Neither is MGM.

    • JutGory

      Not entirely laughable. Hotel has no smoking policy. Hotel also has a fire suppression system. Fire suppression system breaks down so the turn it off instead of fixing it, as they had a duty to do. Negligent smoker falls asleep in bed while smoking. Burns hotel down, killing millions. Hotel, and the estate are of smoker are both responsible.

      You have to look at what duty is owed. After 9/11, that duty got defined and MHM is claiming it did it’s duty, just as Fire Codes define the hotel’s duty.

      -Jut

      • Chris Marschner_

        Thats how I understand negligence. That must be one big hotel if millions are killed in the fire. 😉

      • Chris Marschner_

        Jut. You explained it better than I did. Failure to mitigate a foreseeable hazard is quite different than preventing acts of violence by patrons. The only way to ensure it never happens is for security to sweep every room every several hours and even then it is not fail safe.

  11. crella

    I’ve never understood Facebook’s policies. It took more than 10,000 people’s objections to get a page ridiculing those with Downs Syndrome, and a page that was comprised of sick attacks on those with cancer, to be taken down. On a personal level, repeated postings of veiled threats of harm to family members, and obvious slander and stalking ‘do not violate our community guidelines’ . So little actually violates their ‘guidelines’ that it makes the guidelines pointless. They seem to be unusually dense individuals. Facebook is run as if it were still a campus communication tool.

  12. 1)My recollection is that when I was growing up in Texas, we were taught that the Treaty of Annexation where the Republic of Texas joined the United States provided that Texas would have the right to divide into up to 7 states.

    I have no real idea how much truth there is to that or what the procedure might be.

    I believe I have also heard that the Treaty was nullified by secession, so that it no longer applies.

    I believe that ordinarily it would probably take assent from Congress for a state to divide itself — Congress had to admit the state in the first place, so alterations to that would seem appropriate to go through the same process.

    Let’s not discuss West Virginia……..

    • Jeff

      Texas would never choose to divide itself up. We like being a big dog way too much. No self-respecting Texan would give up a square inch of the Lone Star state… Heck, if anything, we’d be more likely to annex Oklahoma and Arkansas.

      • I’m a Texan and a Texas Revolution history nut. I love Texas and it’s culture. But, my believe in the philosophical foundation of Federalism and Representative Democracy is very strong too, that I have to…begrudgingly…come to terms with my romantic notions of Texas and accept that, in the interests of the Republic, more smaller is probably better for Federalism and Representation than bigger bolder.

        I’m fine with a break-up of Texas (you’d still have Texas culture). But I’m only fine with it if we break up about a half dozen other states as well.

      • >>>Texas would never choose to divide itself up

        Unless California did so first…..Texas might do it in self defense.

  13. No. 2 :

    Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League said: “Holocaust denial is a willful, deliberate and longstanding deception tactic by anti-Semites that is incontrovertibly hateful, hurtful, and threatening to Jews. Facebook has a moral and ethical obligation not to allow its dissemination.”

    There is a huge problem in this type of statement. It may be true that there are ‘Holocaust deniers’ and those who deny the crisis in Europe in the war years. But ‘Holocaust denial’ has become an open term for any historical investigation that proposes any revision to the established narratives.

    Also, there is a strong disinclination to look into the creation of the Holocaust Narrative and to see and understand how it functions in the post-war. It is really quite complex and very psychological. It is, in my view, a psychological tool of shame and it came into use as just such a tool. I think it is the base where ‘attack on whiteness’ arises.

    The Holocaust narrative, like the Holocaust industry, should be open to conversation and to study, yet for those who attempt this they receive fantastic condemnation. This is one reason that the New Right or the Alternative Right has brought up the entire question: the recognition that it shields a trend of both intellectual coercion and intellectual control.

    It seems to me that the basis of ‘politically correct thinking’ derives from just this sort of definitive and absolutist statement that Greenblatt has making. He establishes an area which is completely off-limits to revision of any sort, and establishes it as a moral crime to see or think differently about any part of a) the events themselves and b) the interpretation of the events (their use in the present).

    Politically correct thinking and all intellectual coercion need to be resisted completely. Thus, the *construct* that Greenblatt employs needs to be challenged and opposed. It is a very labyrinthian affair I have found.

    Hmmmm. How about ignorant claims that President Trump committed “treason”? How about “climate change denial,” which one of Bobby Kennedy’s kids or grandkids or cousins or something says should be a crime? ? What do you do about claims that gays have been excluded by God from the institution of marriage? Isn’t hate speech “violence”?

    And it seems to me that within these areas we can notice how such coerced thinking and ‘politically correct thinking’ operate in other areas. If we agree to this, we shut down the possibility of conversation before it can ever occur and it becomes immoral and illegal to think and see differently and, certainly, to communicate one’s views or ideas.

    I wonder therefor if the Holocaust Narrative and the use of the narrative in constructing a kind of general ideology or general stance in our present is not perhaps the ‘mother’ of politically correct thinking generally? And I wonder how this mode-of-thinking can be dismantled.

    The major issue of our day, and one that is brought out for discussion time and time again here in one form or another, is that there is a regime now that demands complete subservience to its established narratives. Should you not accept their moral power you will be made to seem a moral beast. Every day that goes by they get more and more shrill and they who say they are *protecting* something actually show themselves as harming intellectual processes at the most basic level, and harming the people who are working to dismantle ideological ‘control systems’.

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