Homeward Bound Saturday Morning Ethics Catch-Up, 9/8/2018: Not Spartacus, Not Good Citizens, Not Trustworthy

Good Morning!

1 Good job, everybody. Lots of comments yesterday despite scant new content. Thanks. I am in the process of organizing a new D.C. law firm, Bergstein, DeCailly and Marshall, PLLC. I’m the ethics partner. It shouldn’t interfere with the activities of ProEthics or Ethics Alarms, except for the occasional conflict of interest that raises its hoary head, and time, like yesterday. I was in meetings down here in Ft. Lauderdale from early morning through dinner, meeting with a large group of some of the most fascinating and diverse professionals I’ve ever been involved with. I arrived back at the hotel too fried to even consider posting anything. I have responded to some comments while I’m waking up today.

The lack of participation by those of a more liberal orientation is disappointing, and rankles me daily. I hate being rankled. I guess I should be able to sympathize with why a omitted progressive or Democrat would want to have a bag over his or her head after the last few days of self-immolation by Senate Democrats, or would be paralyzed by embarrassment at hearing Barack Obama, of all people, complain that the Republicans are divisive. The most divisive occurrence in American politics is when the previous President actively works to undermine the current one. There is a reason that hasn’t happened since Teddy Roosevelt turned on President Taft, and the result was the election of one of the most disastrous Presidents of all time, Woodrow Wilson.

2. 16 places you can retire to if you’re a lousy American. The entire attitude underlying this article, 16 countries where you can retire ‘happier’ than in the US. is selfish and irresponsible. You are an American citizen and this is a participatory democracy. I don’t care if you’re retired; you still have a lifetime obligation to contribute to society, your community, and the nation. Happier nations for the retired, according to the article, are rated according to how the happiness of retirees is trending. Of course that method shows the U.S. in a bad light: retirees are justifiably pissed off watching one party set out to rip the country in two, open borders, and undermine the Bill of Rights, the election of Presidents, and our institutions, and the other being led by an irresponsible narcissist. That doesn’t mean that the patriotic and ethical response is to leave the country that got them this far to the antifa and “the resistance.”

3. The big question: Will Cory Booker be the most ridiculous Democrat who runs for President? My guess: no, but it will be close. We now know that Booker set a new Senate grandstanding  low by comparing himself to Spartacus for releasing confidential emails in violation of Senate rules, when he knew that the emails’ release had already been approved by the Republicans. What do you call it when an elected official dishonestly claims to be bravely violating a rule when he really isn’t, simultaneously endorsing “the ends justify the means” as a tactical philosophy and corrupting his followers by doing so, and faking his courage by not really engaging in the deficiency he’s claiming to be? I’m not sure, but it isn’t something admirable. Neither is referencing one of the great scenes in movie history to do it.

Here is a well-deserved, accurate, fair and well-crafted take-down of the silly New Jersey Senator by Jonah Goldberg.  A sample:

The whole point of the “I am Spartacus!” scene — which is great – is that Spartacus’s comrades showed existential solidarity with the real Spartacus. Crassus wanted to execute the leader of the slave rebellion, but Spartacus’s comrades were saying, in effect, “Take me!” It’s been suggested that the scene was inspired by the apocryphal story of the Danes donning yellow stars in solidarity with the Jews in Nazi-occupied Denmark.

How exactly, you might ask, is this remotely comparable to releasing publicly accessible emails exonerating Judge Kavanaugh of the insinuation that he supported racial profiling under the pretense that you’re breaking the rules? (No cheating off Marco, people.)

Take your time. I’ll go sculpt a model of Devils Tower out of mashed potatoes in order to figure out where the alien ship will land while you bust out the grease board to connect those dots . . .

Need help? Well, it’s a trick question. Because, on one level — the level Booker thinks he’s working on — it makes no sense whatsoever.

Now three members of the 202o Democratic field have legitimate, revealing, derogatory nicknames: Spartacus, Creepy Uncle Joe, and Fauxahontas.

4. Speaking of Elizabeth Warren...She really did say that the anonymous, self-damning op-ed from a Trump administration mole and Bob Woodward’s slightly less outrageous book justify using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. That’s an amendment about Presidential disability, Coup Plan E on the Ethics Alarms list.

Democrats are apparently going to pursue the dangerous and unethical strategy of trying to undo the 2016 election until it either results in a successful coup. a civil war, both, or the just destruction of the Democratic Party. Any American who votes for a Democrat this fall is endorsing that strategy

35 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Citizenship, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics

35 responses to “Homeward Bound Saturday Morning Ethics Catch-Up, 9/8/2018: Not Spartacus, Not Good Citizens, Not Trustworthy

  1. #1 Congratulations on the “new” professional adventure!

  2. #2 Thank you very much but me and mine will stay in the good ole USofA.

    At least we will stay until the Progressives extremists and social justice warriors turn the USA into some nonsense Communist, Democratic Socialist, Totalitarian, or Fascist country (I haven’t figured out where the hell they think they are going yet) then I’ll send my non-military oriented family out of the country but the rest will stay to become La Résistance.

  3. PennAgain

    It’s a sneaky way to get on the ladder to a SCOTUS nomination.

  4. Alex

    #1 Congratulations and good luck!

    Not mentioned, but related to the anonymous op-ed. Obviously there’s been digging to fing who that was. One of the “front runners” said that if he was the author, he was allowing the Times to release his name. This was a very strong denial to put it mildly.

    What would be the ethical response from the Times. Ignore it, at risk of everyone make the denial so the source is revealed? Sounds risky to their sources.

    In any case, I think this would make for a nice ethical and game theory puzzle. I have my thoughts, but gonna celebrate one of the kiddos birthdays today, so will be nosy offline.

  5. valkygrrl

    What would be the ethical response from the Times. Ignore it, at risk of everyone make the denial so the source is revealed? Sounds risky to their sources.

    The Times would have to keep quiet absent the person contacting them privately to give up anonymity. Otherwise, you would be able to find the person by process of elimination, just make everyone give the same public pronouncement. They can’t confirm or deny.

  6. Steve-O-in-NJ

    Congrats on your new professional endeavor.

    1. The fact is, Jack, that there were never that many serious-minded liberal folks here to begin with, at least not during my tenure here. I can think of three or four that you could really have a serious discussion with, one more who sometimes you could, and a few more who were just interested in fighting with the conservatives. In all fairness, some of us conservatives were as much up for a fight where sparks flew as for a serious discussion where you might learn something. I am one of those, and, as I said at the beginning of this year, I am downright ashamed of some of the stuff I’ve written when fighting. Those of a liberal mindset here have been at a disadvantage since November 2016 and the election of Trump.

    You aren’t Trump’s biggest fan, and I’m not his biggest fan, both of us spoke out against him in the primaries. However, you retain basic respect for the office of President, for the system which elected him, and for the election itself. I remain a basically loyal Republican and stand with my party and my party’s president since the alternative is, in my view, worse. What would have, could have, should have, or might have been is irrelevant now. Those of a liberal mindset can never agree with me, in fact some would see me as evil for standing with the president. They also can’t see your position and aren’t interested in trying to. As far as a lot of them are concerned, the system failed and thwarted the greatest historical change that was supposed to be, so it’s broken and not worthy of respect. I’m a villain and you’re a villain’s enabler. Why would they want to try to have a discussion with us, any more than they’d try to have a discussion with a rabid dog or a rogue elephant or a man-eating tiger?

    2. This list has been around for a while. I’m definitely not interested in leaving the nation where my family and friends are. However, if someone dislikes this nation’s way of doing things and would rather retire to Norway’s welfare state, or New Zealand’s isolation and irrelevance, or Costa Rica where the constitution has been found to guarantee a peaceful life, then I say let him go, leave your U.S. passport at the embassy. This nation needs committed citizens, retired or not, and does not benefit from the uncommitted remaining here. However, if you’re going to stay here, you have to accept the American way of doing things, and I am not interested in hearing that Norway has a better health care system (for a relatively homogenous population 5/8 the size of my home state), or that New Zealand minds its own business internationally (when the nearest other nation is more than 2000 miles away across a vast expanse of ocean), or that Costa Rica gets along just fine without armed forces (with a population of under 5 million, no valuable resources to speak of, and the US nearby to guarantee its safety). $10 says the folks speaking the praises of these “happy” places are the same who’d tell you if you don’t like the idea of open borders to high-tail it to Japan…if they’ll let you in, or if you don’t like gay marriage to feel free to hop a plane to Saudi Arabia, or if you’re so into guns to look into housing in Switzerland. They’re not interested in anything other than being surrounded by those who think like them and far away from those who think otherwise. They might not think it’s so great when they reach Norway and a rapefugee admitted through those wonderful open borders chases them down on the street, or when they settle down in NZ and realize just how isolated they are when an earthquake hits, or they get to Costa Rica and realize just how hot, sticky, smelly, and creepy-crawly the most peaceful place in the world is.

    3. There’s no one more in love with the sound of his own voice than Cory Booker. I personally witnessed him lecture to the 10 people in an elevator going 2 floors about the astronomic significance of that day just to prove how smart he was. His big mouth might have gotten him to the Senate when NJ hasn’t sent a Republican there in at least two decades, but he’s not fooling anyone. He couldn’t bully the municipal council here when they decided not to let him create a new municipal utilities authority so he could hand out more favors, and he looks like an idiot trying to bully a secretary of homeland security whose credentials are far superior to his or a judge who could (and did) run circles around him intellectually. He isn’t going to be able to yell and bully and rant his way to the top of the Senate and he isn’t going to be able to yell and bully and rant his way into the White House. He definitely isn’t going to be able to yell, bully, rant, and lie his way anywhere.

    4. We’ve been through this dance before and we know how it ends. Unfortunately, 80-90% of Democrats are committed and would eat shit if their party told them it was chocolate.

    • joed68

      ” They’re not interested in anything other than being surrounded by those who think like them and far away from those who think otherwise. ”

      Yes, but even if they were, the Age of the Socialist Utopia would not be ushered in, contrary to what their child-like minds tell them. They would just re-stratify themselves into the Good Guy and the Evil Other, in order to reconcile their hard-wired Worldview. They need victims and oppressors, and are thoroughly enamored with the idea of fitting multiple categories of victimhood.

    • joed68

      ” He isn’t going to be able to yell and bully and rant his way to the top of the Senate and he isn’t going to be able to yell and bully and rant his way into the White House. ”
      Neither him nor anyone else from that camp. I’m torn between longing for, and dreading, the next few years when the Blue Wave that they’ve convinced themselves is coming, fails to materialize. Having fully exposed their true nature since Trump was elected, and leaving the rest of us completely and utterly sick of their shit, their losses between now and 2020 are going to set new records, mark my words.

      • Please, God, let that be true.

        PS: without a hot civil war

        -Your kid, slickwilly

        • joed68

          I think it’s damn-near guaranteed. Essentially, they’re doubling and tripling-down on the very behavior that got Trump into the WH to begin with. Joe-six-pack and the rest of the commoners in flyover country are simmering with quiet, controlled rage, and waiting to express it at the ballot box..

  7. adimagejim

    Perhaps those claiming the 25th Amendment argument should be put through their own psychological testing first just to see who are truly less mentally fit.

    My guess, the 2020 field would be immediately narrowed by begging off or professional diagnoses.

  8. Other Bill

    You flew home on an Air National Guard KC-135?

  9. JutGory

    #2 is a bunch of racist Euro-Centric claptrap. All of the countries are white and, with the exceptions of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, they are all European countries. And, they did not even have the Southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, Greece, or Italy.

    Obviously written by a bunch of white supremacists.

    -Jut

  10. joed68

    I don’t want to leave the country to the left either, but I’ll admit being tempted to leave this freakshow behind.
    What if we burn the crops and salt the Earth on the way out?

  11. Michelle Klatt

    No matter how petty, I’m enjoying the “I am Sparticus” memes at Bookers expense. Sure, the trolling level is high, but some of them are marvellous. So far, the “I’m Notthatsmarticus” meme is my favorite.

  12. I was hoping for a comment from you about Kamala Harris as she’s trying to pole vault her way to becoming the next POTUS. She lied. Today’s WSJ explains it very well. Anything to get your name out there.

  13. Still Spartan

    I don’t understand why I can’t retire wherever I want to retire. There’s a 99% chance I will retire here — but only because I have children and will want to be wherever they are. But, before we had children, my husband and I had serious discussions about retiring in Europe. And not because we hate America, but because we love the culture and food in certain European countries. There’s no obligation to stay put due to the accident of birth — that’s idiotic.

    • joed68

      I’m going to Cyprus, if my poorly-laid plans come to fruition.

    • What you call “an accident of birth” I would call an unequivocal lifelong blessing, for which one should show gratitude.

      • Still Spartan

        But, under this theory, ALL immigration is unethical. Indeed, this country that you love so much would not even exist but for immigration.

        • One of the main reasons for the plight of black communities in the US is that the best, brightest and most productive abandon their neighborhoods to take advantage of more affluent, safer, less challenging environments/ Kant would say that kind o f immigration is unethical. If all of the most gifted citizens leave the country for greener pastures, the rest of the country suffers horribly. The kind of immigration you are talking about, though, is like the spouse who takes all the advantages of a loving husband or wife, has them support their career, and then leaves for hot-bodied trophy spouse after garnering all the benefits.

        • “…this country YOU love so much…”

          Damn skippy WE love this country this much… that WE are not willing to stand by while progressive liberals destroy it.

          The USA is exceptional. Always has been. This is what got Trump elected: this LOVE for America held by the common, ordinary Americans. You know, the deplorables.

          • I found that to be a peculiar wording as well. Decided to let it pass. Sparty has argued the privilege game here, but won’t accept that being born in the U.S. is the ultimate privilege.

          • Still Spartan

            Meh. The all caps is your emphasis, not mine. There’s nothing peculiar about my wording. Jack loves the United States of America (so do I — before you get your dander up). But the United States would not exist — as we know it — without people leaving their countries for something that they thought would be better. Human migration is natural and has existed since the dawn of time.

            Jack seems to be arguing that all prior immigration was fine, but now that the US is the way he wants it, all immigration and emigration should cease. It’s illogical.

            • No, Jack has already corrected your misinterpretation of his stance. You are advocating taking advantage of your country and leaving at a point you should be giving back: to your community, your state, and your nation.

              That is NOT what is arriving from other countries, and you know it.

              You just do not want facts to pop that bubble you are living in.

              • Still Spartan

                That is some revisionist BS right there. Lots of people come here because they are the best and the brightest in their home countries and are looking for new opportunities. We welcome those people with open arms.

                • …which is still not relevant to the point Jack was making.

                  (As an aside: Sure, the best and brightest come. They are just a miniscule minority compared to what the Democrats want to come here: mindless voters. The best and brightest will not vote Democrat, having critical thinking skills plus the gumption to make such a dramatic move.)

                  You still dodge the point of how this is like “the spouse who takes all the advantages of a loving husband or wife, has them support their career, and then leaves for hot-bodied trophy spouse after garnering all the benefits.

                  You are talking about those that come here and work to succeed, while retiring from the place you succeeded is what Jack was talking about.

                  It is your right to do so, of course (isn’t there a rationalization about that?)

                  • Still Spartan

                    I didn’t address Jack’s analogy because I didn’t agree with it. In any event, in that situation, that’s why the courts created spousal support.

  14. For some time I have had difficulty seeing on fb my left wing fb ‘friends’ and I presume that they are not seeing my posts. Fb, unless I am imagining this is going to further polarise us all.

    I am putting about an idea designed to stop Fake news. Make it law that every paper/magazine has to reproduce, say on page 5, all of the retractions/corrections that they have made over the previous 12 months. Electronic media will have to maintain such a page on their web site. What do you think?

  15. joed68

    Mighty Jack Marshall; still kicking ass and taking names!

  16. Greg

    Not responsive to any of your points today, but here’s the latest Michael Cohen news:

    https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2018/09/08/Former-Trump-lawyer-Cohen-agrees-to-rescind-Stormy-Daniels-agreement/3251536411719/?sl=4

    Cohen has agreed to rescind the Stormy Daniels agreement if she repays him the $130,000 of hush money that he paid her. You might remember that Donald Trump says he reimbursed $130,000 to Cohen and paid Cohen’s bill for his legal work, and that Cohen’s indictment says the National Enquirer reimbursed that $130,000 to Cohen, too, and paid him an additional $290,000 of “tax gross-ups” and legal and consulting fees. Apparently, neither of them thought to get an assignment of the agreement from Cohen, so this will be his third reimbursement of the $130,000. It sounds like he will get back his $130,000 from Stormy, plus $620,000 in profit, plus whatever legal fees Trump may have paid to him. He’s a dirtbag, but a sly one.

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