Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/21/18: Road Trip Edition

Good Morning!

We’re just about to hit the road and return home, with a 6 hour drive ahead and a car that periodically flashed “TRANS FAIL PROG.” at  us before the engine stops. Gotta get that checked! Thanks for bearing with me during the past few days. Now that I have my little laptop charged, I have less than a n hour of access to the hotel internet. I hate road trips…

1. What exactly are the #MeToo rules? Obviously they are too complicated for me. I’m going to devote a whole post to this soon, but I wouldn’t mind some advance feedback. Pretty clearly, whatever the rules are, they are ripe with double standards. How can the Democrats and feminists justify standing behind DNC co-chair Keith Ellison, for example, who has been credibly accused of domestic violence? How can feminists and scholars still support Avitell Ronell, whose situation I wrote about here? 

It seems pretty clear, does it not, that race, gender, and political orientation change the rules, right? Of course, the King’s Pass is also in play, as it usually is. I wonder how Al Franken feels right now. Will Bill Clinton be “in” again? Is the new standard that women should be believed when they accuse men of sexual assault as long as their alleged abuser is white, Christian or Jewish, or a Republican? It is particularly peculiar that Ellison’s denials are being taken seriously, since his record of candor is shaky at best. Senator Gillibrand, who led the charge to run Franken out of office, hasn’t exhibited any similar indignation regarding Ellison. Why is that?

2. Wait, I thought President Trump was a Nazi…Jakiw Palij, who claimed he was working on a farm and in a factory during World War II when he applied for U.S. citizenship, had that citizenship revoked in 2003 by a federal judge, and he was ordered to be deported a year later. His appeal was denied in 2005. But he stayed..and stayed…. in the United States until now, because, as we know, the Obama Administration didn’t think deporting people who have no business being here should be a major priority, and the Bush administration, as was often the case, wasn’t paying attention. The  problem was, we are told, that no nation would take Palij, even Germany, which has the ethical obligation to be accountable for all Nazis, living and dead. It appears that Germany relented because this President was willing to go to the mat on the principle.

Trump deserves credit for pushing to do what the previous administrations didn’t care enough about to do. He’ won’t get it, except on Fox News, the hacks.

3. Nice. Black comic Kevin Hart doesn’t need a special racial privilege to use vulgar language on national TV to insult the President. After all, Robert De Niro got away with the same kind of thing,  Thus, despite the fact that Hart once argued that he would stay away from divisive politics (“When you jump into that political realm you’re alienating some of your audience,” he said in 2017), he decided to join the club and denigrate the President on the MTV Awards, and quite moronically too, telling the assembled celebrities as he compared the show to the NFL,

“But at this game, you guys can kneel. You can do whatever the hell you want. There’s no old white man that can stop you. You never know what’s going to happen at the VMAs. I mean beefs pop off, bad language, people sending out crazy tweets. It’s basically like your typical day at the White House. In your face, Trump—suck it!”

Wild applause. You’re so clever, Kevin! “Suck it!” How deft and witty, worthy of Oscar Wilde, Gore Vidal, Will Rogers, Dorothy Parker, Mark Twain or Oscar Levant! Where DO you come up with these bon mots?

My diagnosis: Hart was virtue-signaling. Yes, today telling the President to “suck it” is a demonstration of virtue to some Americans. It’s also virtue-signaling to use anti-white, ageist rhetoric, and to demonstrate that you have the ethical instincts of 10-year-old. You see, Kevin, it isn’t about what you can get away with, but rather what is the correct, fair, and civilized way to act.

The MTV awards have long served as a useful gauge of how crude the culture is becoming, and how tasteless and values-addled our celebrity culture has become.

Noted. Hope the pandering works for you, Kevin.

55 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/21/18: Road Trip Edition

  1. 1. The rule is simply “does it advance the progressive cause or doesn’t it?”

    2. Nope, he won’t get the credit, any more than any GOP official will get credit for anything, as I pointed out right after the inauguration. If the economy improves it was already on its way up, they just rode the wave, if ISIS is defeated they were a house of cards that was ready to come down anyway, and if the borders are secured raaaacist!

    3. (shrug) Popular culture is a lost cause. MTV has been a lost cause since the era of Beavis and Butt-head (hehe, hehe, huh-huh, huh-huh).

    • SS
      I read the article that was filled with inflammatory anti-Trump rhetoric. Because this is an opinion piece and not journalism it is not fake news. It is just a partisan perspective.

      Did you miss the part about the rise of sanctuary cities has effectively “blunted” ICE efforts to remove criminal illegal aliens. Would that not skew the stats. Perhaps fewer non criminal illegal aliens would not have been picked up had some localities chosen to hold people on detainers.

      It seems to me that the statistics might be completely different had certain localities assisted rather than obstruct the the removal of criminal illegal aliens.

      • Francis Wilkinson doesn’t even pretend to be a journalist – he’s a political consultant who now writes opinion pieces, in other words, a hack. Come on, Sparty, you can do better than this.

    • I think it’s important to put on your Pepperidge Farm glasses and remember back to the Obama years, I know it feels like decades ago, but I think you can do it…. Obama is facing criticism that he is too soft on illegal immigrants.

      This is slightly before the left lost it’s mind, so there were still people who thought illegal immigrants were bad, even among the more extreme of the left (Tell me again how the left hasn’t moved further left, I need a laugh.). So… Obama needs to show that he’s tough on illegal immigration, because that’ll make more people happy than not… But he’z lazy, incompetent and has the learning curve of a ruler…. So he can’t ACTUALLY get tougher on illegal immigrants.

      What he opts to do instead is to start counting people detained at the border and turned away as “deportations”. I mean… Why take action when you can make clerical changes? That had never been done before, but it inflated Obama’s number to almost triple digit year over year percentage growth in deportations…. At least when you compared to the history where they didn’t count turn-aways as deportations. When you actually compare apples to apples, Obama’s actual deportation numbers were basically in line or even less than prior administrations.

      Well… He really pulled the wool over our eyes, right? No… Most of the critics of illegal immigration weren’t fooled, almost immediately you saw increased calls for deportations again, which were seen as wholly unreasonable by the increasingly extreme left. On that note… Republicans generally weren’t fooled, perhaps because of a healthy skepticism of anything Obama said that sounded good to them… But a whole lot of Democrats were. People still to this day call Obama the “Deporter in Chief” because they were too stupid to realise that Obama wasn’t in any material way worse than his predecessors, and they still think those inflated numbers were actually real.

      • Not bad, HT, except the last part. Those on the left who still call Obama the Deporter in Chief were not stupid. They were the far left types who don’t even trust their own and wanted to “hold Obama’s feet to the fire” to make sure he followed them to a T.

      • I don’t follow your Pepperidge Farm glasses joke? In any event, there are dozens of sources and statistics that Obama was the Deporter-In-Chief.

        I’m not saying this to support Obama or to defame Trump — just to point out the fact that Obama deported more illegals than anybody else. Indeed, this is something I criticize Obama for, as I am pretty far to the left when it comes to immigration issues.

        • You’re just wrong.


          “WHAT’S TRUE
          Statistically, more people were deported from the U.S. during the administration of President Barack Obama than during that of any other president.

          WHAT’S FALSE
          That statistic was due in large part to a change in how “deportations” are defined rather than to an increase in the number of persons deported.”

          Scroll a little bit down and you’ll see this:

          “Data provided by ICE dating back to 1892 records that annual deportations jumped into the hundred-thousands in 1997, when the U.S. deported 114,432 people. Just one year earlier, the U.S. had deported only 69,680 people.”

          If you follow that link, you’ll find yourself here:


          Well… That looks bad for me, right? The Removal numbers are WAAAY up. Maybe I’m wrong…. Except… No. See that column right beside Removals? Returns? Let’s get their definitions of those:

          “Removals are the compulsory and confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States based on an order of removal. An alien who is removed has administrative or criminal consequences placed on subsequent reentry owing to the fact of the removal.

          Returns are the confirmed movement of an inadmissible or deportable alien out of the United States not based on an order of removal.”

          Got that? Up until the Obama Administration, when someone was sent away at the border, they called it a “Return”, then in Obama’s very first year, he changed the way the process worked in order to count a whole lot of those returns as “Removals”. What you really need to do is add the two numbers together.

          2000: 188,467 + 1,675,876 = 1,864,343
          2001: 189,026 + 1,349,371 = 1,538,397
          2002: 165,168 + 1,012,116 = 1,177,284
          2003: 211,098 + 945,294 = 1,156,392
          2004: 240,665 + 1,166,576 = 1,407,241
          2005: 246,431 + 1,096,920 = 1,343,351
          2006:280,974 + 1,043,381 = 1,324,355
          2007: 319,382 + 891,390 = 1,210,772
          2008: 359,795 + 811,263 = 1,171,058
          2009: 391,438 +582,609 = 974,047
          2010: 281,962 + 474,212 = 856,174
          2011: 286,423 + 322,106 = 708,529
          2012: 417,268 + 230,373 = 647,641
          2013: 435,498 + 178,706 = 614,204
          2014: 414,481 + 162,814 = 577,295

          What does that mean? Prior to Obama, Removals and Returns hovered around 1.3 million people annually, during his 8 years, that number dropped by about 100,000 annually. It didn’t increase. It decreased. Period, full stop, end of sentence, you are wrong.

          Unfortunately, that’s where that sheet’s numbers stop, but Politifact found more current ones. Trying to find a complete history was miserable. Most sources would only go back to 2008, probably because of the methodology change and the inherent mendacity of displaying the two sets of numbers together without context. These numbers are much smaller than the DHS history… I assume that they’re missing returns and removals from departments other than ICE. Regardless, they showcase a trend:

          Total Number of Illegal Immigrants Removed (Interior Deportations and Turn Aways):

          2015: 235,000
          2016: 240,000
          2017: 227,000

          Total Number of Illegal Immigrants Removed (Interior Deportations only):

          2015: 69,000
          2016: 65,000
          2017: 81,000

          Got that? Border returns are down, interior deportations are up. How does that happen? Well, could be a couple of things. Perhaps the pictures of screaming kids in cages made potential border hoppers leery. Perhaps the relative financial opportunities are no longer worth the risk of rape, murder, incarceration, family separation and scorn, perhaps the non-enforcement of sanctuary cities mean that fewer border crossers are caught. Regardless, INTERIOR deportations are actually up almost 25% Trump’s first year.

          Don’t worry Spart, you can go on loving Obama and hating Trump!

            • Be fair, even my Pepperidge Farm memory is fading fast. I can barely remember what progressives were outraged about this morning while I’m trying to wrap my head around what the lunch-time outrage is…

              I half suspect that’s part of the strategy of this parade of anger and tantrums.

          • Well, I actually HATE Obama’s deportation numbers, but keep on ignoring what I write and simply respond to what you think I mean — it’s one of the reasons I don’t visit here as much anymore.

            • Speaking of ignoring what someone has written… I’m saying his deportation numbers aren’t as bad as you think they are, so you don’t have to hate his policy. I mean….. Hate away, if you really want to, but Obama’s administration took the total Removals and Returns from 1.2 million in 2018 to a little under 600k in 2014. You are the posterchild for someone who was thoroughly suckered by his rhetoric, even as it backfired spectacularly in his face.

              • I admit I was suckered by that rhetoric during Obama’s administration. Even went to a protest over it.

                It’s nice to no longer be a knee jerk liberal. However I do wish the anti-war Left would make a comeback. They’ve been missing since 2008.

                • It would take about 15-20 minutes of listening to get to his *thesis*, but there is an answer (according to E Michael Jones) as to why and how the Left has surrendered the core of its values in exchange for ‘sexual liberation’. Jones’ ’emblem’ of this he locates in Michel Foucault.

                  (I think Jones has many good points but I am not presenting him because he is my guru… He does represent a level of conversation though that simply cannot be had in any mainstream venue.)

                  [ ]

            • passive aggressive muchly?

              You did not bother to read AND comprehend what HT wrote, yet somehow it is his fault that you cannot defend what progressives have and are doing, so write here less often.

              Perfect. (also a totally unethical response, so maybe you should NOT be writing here as often…? Good luck with the TDS)

            • I’m late to this thread, having only just now returned after a 9.5 hour drive back from Pennsylvania, much of it through a monsoon. but allow me to clarify what I mean by not taking illegal immigration or the enforcement thereof seriously.

              I was not referring to numbers, which, as the exchange here shows, are misleading. I was referring to Obama’s position that he would not deport illegal residents as long as they committed no other serious crimes, and his support of DACA, which rewards parents who illegally bring their children here.

              Would a policy that said, “We won’t prosecute you for grand theft if you get away with it and don’t commit any more felonies” demonstrate a serious approach to law enforcement? No.

            • You wrote that Obama indeed WAS a big deporter.

              Humble demonstrated how Obama indeed was NOT a big deporter but only appeared so by redefining “deport” to include actions that in reality were NOT deportations.

              Humble’s response was perfectly directed at what you wrote.

        • Still Spartan wrote: “I’m not saying this to support Obama or to defame Trump — just to point out the fact that Obama deported more illegals than anybody else. Indeed, this is something I criticize Obama for, as I am pretty far to the left when it comes to immigration issues.”

          Here, on this Blog, the ethical argument, if you accept it as ethical, is that the laws of the nation must decide how an immigrant enters the country. As far as I have been able to discern there is not one person who presently writes on this Blog who has ever stated that the real issue is what sort of person is allowed in, and of what nationality and ethnicity.

          However, in actual fact and in truth, the entire America-and-immigration issue, historically, has only had to do with that issue. Reading ‘The Persistent Prejudice: Anti-Catholicism in America’ (Michael Schwartz, 1984) the history of American cultural and religious prejudice, as well as racial and ethnic fears and prejudice, are presented as the bedrock of Americanism. Before any major prejudice had been formed there was the anti-Catholic prejudice. (Anti-Catholicism is thoroughly American and is foundational to America). This was quite nicely expressed in a clip Jack shared from the movie Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri)

          [ ]

          (It is a very complex trope really, and that scene (as well as the entire movie!) requires a classical ‘deconstruction’ to get to the *meaning* of it. It is nonetheless a definite *artefact* and a *text* with many many layers of meaning.)

          Therefor, ‘Americanism’ is not in fact a tolerant, open, thoughtful, understanding national attitude, but quite precisely the opposite. Intolerant, judgmental, condemnatory, and extremely prone to cobbling together any group of lies and calumnies so to create a ‘narrative’ that can rouse the Masses to concentrate what can only be called *blind hatred*.

          Interestingly, the issue could be seen as being on one side ‘rural’ and on the other side ‘urban’. Schwartz refers to the Scopes Trial to make a point: in that ‘trial’ the low-brow evangelical Protestant, representing the mindless country-bumkin, was totally defeated in the nation’s and the world’s view. Defeated by what? A more *sophisticated* and thus urban and ‘university educated’ segment. The same dichotomy, then, plays out in many different areas. And the typical, the endemic, American intolerance was confronted and in a somewhat sense defeated (or driven back) by a new sort of social conscience.

          It seems obvious to me that the *real issue* here — and it runs through every aspect of all that we now observe in American politics, social upheaval and the on-going Cultural Wars, is the issue of Who Defines America? I am far less inclined to inflict, as it were, a judgment on Spartan for her view about how lax immigration should be (I gather that her view is that borders should be *quite open* if not completely so, or something to that effect). Yet that attitude fits into one trend within American social attitude and policy. It is just as valid as any other. And if Americanism is defined as what it has come to be now, yet never really was (if one were truthful), then I suppose it will become ascendent. That is, the classic SJW-position will win the day and therefor determine the nation’s course.

          What I notice *in our present* is that those who oppose Radical American Liberalism must, at one point or another, in one way or another, latch onto some *narrative* derived from actual history, and there hang their ideology and their social and cultural will, which is a reversal of the current American narrative, one supported by government and business and the urban-intellectual centers. For example, I admire Red Ice Radio and also Counter-Currents, but you could not separate the animus and the social will that one encounters there … from the historical, and perhaps endemic, intolerant Americanism which, in the 20th century, has become the object of a reverse-prejudice, and a transvaluation of (real, honest) American Values of an intolerant variety.

          Therefor, and in a real sense, when the NY Intellectual Establishment seeks to frame nativism, intolerant ideologies — most everything that the SPLC frames as ‘socially evil’ — they are not, not really, off the mark. The SPLC and the NY Intellectual Establishment, in open collusion with government and the State, with intelligence, with business, have directed a long-standing social engineering project on the population of the United States, and out of this a New Americanism (of a Brave New Americanism!) have been formed.

          Finally, we only need to get rid of the Irish, you see, and everything will settle down! Trust me on this… 😉

      • ‘Pepperidge Farm glasses ‘ cracked me up!

        I’ve been looking into Obama’s deportation numbers lately and have never seen that they’d counted turn-aways as deportations to boost his numbers. I guess I wouldn’t, as now deportation is a no-no because Trump’s doing it.

    • There is that, of course. So ‘Deporter in Chief’ is BS progressive propaganda in two ways.

      Change the definitions of deported, thus cooking the books, and looking the other way once they get past the border.

  2. I think the only way to reconcile the differing treatment being given to women who sexually harass men/children is to view the situation through intersectional lenses. Intersectionalism, at least as I understand it, asserts that social justice can only flow in the direction of the powerless, i.e., women, people of color, non-heterosexuals, etc. Accordingly, applying Title IX/#MeToo analyses-which routinely violate basic due process rights of the accused (almost always men)-to women is improper because their lack of power means they should not be subject to sanctions designed to afflict those in power, i.e., men. This analysis also applies to racial biases, as well. People of color, because of their powerlessness, cannot engage in racial discrimination or racism. Otherwise, I cannot rationalize apparently intelligent people embracing such an obvious double standard.

  3. Is the new standard that women should be believed when they accuse men of sexual assault as long as their alleged abuser is white, Christian or Jewish, or a Republican?

    You left out male and cisgender, but the answer to your question with that addition is “Yes, of course.” How could it be otherwise?

    The Left has shown by its effort to redefine racism that there is an escape route for any member of the Left. They just have to become “woke,” apologize for their existence (if they are white and cisgendered), and sit out of the public eye for a few months. Easy peasy.

    For “others,” particularly white male cisgendered non-leftists, it’s a life sentence. I suspect this would apply mostly to non-leftist women also, although maybe their gender would allow them to be forgiven if they embrace the Left and bow down to the new gods of morality.

    • It’s not a life sentence, it’s a social and civic death sentence. Frankly I’m surprised Eliot Spitzer hasn’t found his way back into the political limelight, but then again, he fell from grace before the rise of Trump, so maybe he’s been out of the fight long enough to be a necessary foot soldier.

  4. 1. I don’t know if it is a double standard. I think their standard is fairly consistent. If your privilege is higher than the one who you are sexually assaulting then it isn’t ok. If your privilege is lower then it is ok.

    Take Professor Avital Ronell example. White female homosexual verses white male homosexual.

  5. You need a very large and tangled flowchart to understand #MeToo. Here’s the best I can do quick and dirty:

    -The purpose of all “social justice” is to make people vote Democrat, not to actually help anyone. Nothing we do makes sense apart from this very important principle.

    -Has any accusation whatsoever been leveled against a conservative? Salt the Earth in loud and prolonged fashion. If said conservative is not at all famous or influential, describe him as such anyway. Destroy anyone remotely associated with him, and make his name, however obscure, emblematic of all harassment and evil. Use all such cases as proof that the political Right is the root cause of the abuse of women, as only by voting for approved Democrats can the evil be purged.

    -Was yet another Leftist accused of something? Ignore it for as long as possible, perhaps dismissing the charges as the work of “right-wing trolls.” If the charges multiply and become undeniable, you can always walk this back later. No one will remember. Make no mention of the accused’s politics and continue to insist that still more Progressivism is the solution.

    -Was the accused a famous political hero of the Left whose political leanings are impossible to ignore, and whose actions are so over-the-top evil that he told a woman of color to be his “brown slave?” We’ll, nuts. You can’t really NOT talk about that. Just make it the shortest news cycle imaginable, preferably over before the weekend’s up. Then act like the man never existed. Hey look, it’s Stormy Daniels!

    -Was the accused a liberal Hollywood star? Ignore his politics and write think-pieces about “toxic masculinity,” even if the man in question is extremely effeminate, as is very likely.

    -Was he a conservative Hollywood star? Hahahahaha

    -Always continue to talk about how brave women are finally coming forward in Washington and Hollywood, etc. etc., but don’t actually dig for new stories or try to actually uncover how bad things are. You don’t really want to know.

  6. 3. Kevin Hart saying Trump can “Suck it [my dick].” Whew, isn’t that just a teeny-weeny itsey bit homophobic? Isn’t he demeaning Trump by implying he’s a homosexual? Isn’t that a bad thing? A dog whistle? But if you’re a black guy and a lefty that’s okay? Kind of like Alec Baldwin calling a paparazzo a faggot is okay because, I don’t know, Alec Baldwin is a lefty and looks good in a suit? It’s a little hard to follow who’s on first and who’s on second. Kind of like with Kieth Ellison and Bill Clinton as discussed in 1. above.

    By the way, the few snippets of Kevin Hart’s ride along movies I’ve seen show him to be able to create a really, really funny bumbling character in the tradition of Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau or Jim Backus as Mister Magoo, only on speed and steroids.

  7. “The problem was, we are told, that no nation would take Palij, even Germany, which has the ethical obligation to be accountable for all Nazis, living and dead.”

    It’s my understanding (and this could be error) that part of Germany’s stalling is based on not figuring out whose jurisdiction Jakiw falls under – Germany’s or Poland’s.

    Though, my gut also tells me that as follow on generations are increasingly ignorant to the horrors of WW2, that the youth, though granting asensus to the horrors of holocaust, do not grok the holocaust and will more or less see this as the disproportionate mistreatment of an old man whose crimes were long ago.

    • My mom used to say that the French shouldn’t have jailed Marshal Petain after WWII because it just meant “an old man died in prison.” In fact, a completely senile, delusional, and incontinent old man died in prison, and he only died there because he was too ill to be moved. Well, arguing with my mom was useless, once she set her mind on something God himself couldn’t change it (thick Irish combined with faux-important WASP) but I don’t give a damn that Petain died in prison. He was a hero turned traitor and tyrant, with whose active assistance 200,000 of his own people disappeared east, into the clutches of the most villainous regime this world has ever known, never to be seen again. Frankly I’d have been ok with his execution.

      The passage of time should not dull the truth of the past nor make the present look worse than it really is.

      • I completely left off a final sentence where I meant to conclude that because of my theory of the follow on generation’s misplaced interpretation of this, Germany may be calculating on the optics of this being an “old man”.

  8. Jack, I am sorry for you that you are on a road trip to Pennsylvania, but do not seem to have time to go to Williamsport for a few firsthand looks at the Little League World Series. It’s fun to watch the action of a league that doesn’t have clouds of salary arbitration and trade deadlines hanging over it. Maybe you will do a post on the ethics of all-volunteer umpiring in a tournament that draws such attention (and sponsors!) from around the world.

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