Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/13/18: The Mob, Bizarro World, Mid-Air Pedicures, And Robert E. Lee [UPDATED!]

1. Things fearmongers say...A Facebook friend, smart, a lawyer, good guy, wrote this: “The confirmation of Judge Kavanaugh will go down as one of the darkest days of the American experiment.” He really wrote that, and an astounding number of the Facebook leftist echo chamber “liked” the statement. Apparently Kavanaugh is going to resuscitate the Dred Scott decision, Korematsu v. United States, child labor and end women’s suffrage. He’s going to engineer from the Supreme Court chambers the equivalent of the American Civil War, or Pearl Harbor. Right. If Kavanaugh turned out to be a stealth combination of Jack the Ripper, the Marquis de Sade and Dr. Fu Manchu his confirmation couldn’t possibly rank in the top hundred “darkest days.”

That kind of rhetoric is hysterical and irresponsible, an abuse of free speech designed to make gullible and intellectually lazy people irrational and ignorant.

2. “Stop  making me defend Donald Trump…AND Robert E. Lee!”  Last night, as President Trump was speaking in front of a rally, NBC News tweeted out,

WATCH: President Trump says “Robert E. Lee was a great general” during Ohio rally, calling the Confederate leader “incredible.”

A few points to note on this: How is that observation and opinion news by any definition of the word? Lee was regarded as a “great general” well before the Civil War: that’s why Lincoln offered him the  command of the Union army when the war started. There are many, many books written by military experts that express and justify that assessment. Ghengis Khan was also a really great general, along with Julius Caesar and Curtis LeMay. This is a rare variety of fake news, joining more common varieties that have become routine of late like potential news, future news and psychic news,called past news, a new oxymoron. As for “incredible,” this, everyone conscious should know by know, is generic Trump-speak like “great,” “tremendous,” and “sad.” Who knows what it means here? It doesn’t mean Lee was an incredible human being, or at least there’s nothing in the context of NBC’s tweet that suggests that. He had an incredibly good beard for that period, at least compared to say, Longstreet, who looked like a member of ZZ Top. He was incredibly conflicted over which side to fight for. He had incredible guts.

Incredibly, though not really, because the mainstream news media has established that there are no depths to which it will not stoop in its unethical bias and incompetence, NBC tweeted that to bolster the long-running false narrative that President Trump is a racist, which he must be to extol Robert E. Lee,  the object of a particularly vile historical airbrushing and statue-toppling movement, a part of the Left’s Orwellian indoctrination and mind control effort as it slowly but surely embraces totalitarianism.

But if one actually knows the context of Trumps’ remarks, he was not praising Lee, though there is no reason why he shouldn’t, but making the point that despite Lee’s credentials and reputation, it was unheralded Ulysses Grant, denigrated as a joke when the war started, who defeated Lee. Trump was, as he usually does, talking about himself, and NBC’s tweet was intentionally misleading, and just more pandering to Trump-haters, attempting to further divide the country.

3. Floss! Floss! One of the very first posts on Ethics Alarms was about the ethics of people flossing their teeth in public. Having read this story, about a woman who began giving herself a pedicure during an airplane flight, I hereby officially proclaim that the conclusion in that post applies:

Manners and public etiquette are always evolving, and society determines what it will and will not endure. The passive, “mind your own business” theory always espoused by the least respectful, rudest and least considerate among us is a prescription for an endless deterioration in the quality of public life, and a greased slide into culturally-endorsed bad conduct. Every citizen has an obligation to his and her community to confront conduct that he or she feels does not belong in public, confront the offender, and support others who do so. Doing otherwise is not “minding one’s business,” but endorsing and entrenching bad conduct, abdicating the public duty of cultural preservation.

On a related note, there’s this. 

4. Nah, there’s no mob! Apparently progressives and Democrats are listening to Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Maxine Waters more than they are heeding Michelle Obama. The AP reports that

Vandals damaged a Republican office in Manhattan ahead of a planned appearance Friday night by the founder of a far-right men’s organization. Damage to the Metropolitan Republican Club included smashed windows, a spray-painted door and a keypad lock covered in glue, according to state party officials. The damage was discovered Friday. A note left at the scene claimed that the damage was “just the beginning.”

This, following alarming video of crazed protesters clawing at the doors of the U.S. Supreme Court. I wish the cowardly “resistance” supporters who have fled the Ethics Alarms comment battlefield after finding that they had no valid arguments beyond denial were around now to explain why we have never seen Republicans claw at doors, attack Democratic offices or drive Democratic official out of restaurants. The position that Democrats have “gone high” is now officially in Bizarro World territory, where the natives say “goodbye” when they mean “hello.” Today’s New York Times front page, I kid you not, has an above the fold headline that reads “Democrats Debate if High Road in Politics is Leading Anywhere”! High road! Yikes:  if the Democrats think hwo they have been behaving since 2016 is the high road, what do we have to look forward to now, snipers picking off Republican members of Congress?



5. Let’s stop beating around the bush, shall we? Chris Cuomo is a disgrace, and CNN can never be taken seriously as legitimate news source while it continues to support such a dumb, partisan hack, not the he’s the only one. Here’s the latest res ipsa loquitur: Cuomo accused President Trump of thinking racist thoughts while listening to Kanye West in the Oval Office. “My mind went to what is going on in Trump’s head,” Chris Cuomo said, as he showed video the President’s meeting with Kanye West. “Let’s take a look at him. Here is my educated guess, okay? Other than a warm serotonin flush of happy hormone, imaginary headlines, ‘Blacks love Trump,’ ‘He’s blacker than Obama!’'”

Gee Chris, why not “Boy, could that guy pick a lot of cotton in a day, or what?” or “Gee, I wonder what his jump-shot is like?” or “I bet he can dance. Should I ask him to dance?”?If you are going to engage in amateur mind-reading to denigrate the President of the United States, why be timid about it?  Go all the way: guess that Trump was thinking, “Why did we ever free these people?” or “Is it too late to send them back to Africa?”

Chris Cuomo is incapable of an “educated guess.”

6. Late addition! I meant to include this in the original post. In the recent poll about the restaurant owner who threw a cancer survivor out of his establishment because his scarred face was so hideous, the option that the owner was justified in protecting the dining experience of other customers was something of a trap. Justifying such treatment of a fellow human being is indistinguishable from refusing to serve a black man, a Jew, a Muslim, a Hispanic-American, a transsexual or a handicapped person because someone else might feel uncomfortable in their company—in other words, it’s unethical as well as cruel conduct. Yet five poll respondents have chosen it. True, that’s only 6%, and it’s a small sample size, but still: what a horrible argument for someone reading an ethics blog. I know that some of you like to troll the poll by voting for the worst choices, and I am hoping that explains all the votes for ugly bigotry.


Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Education, Ethics Train Wrecks, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, Health and Medicine, Journalism & Media, Leadership, Race, U.S. Society

7 responses to “Saturday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 10/13/18: The Mob, Bizarro World, Mid-Air Pedicures, And Robert E. Lee [UPDATED!]

  1. E2

    Re #4, the defacing of the Republican office in Manhattan. Does any one know their 20th century history? Hitler’s SA (eventually subsumed into the Wehrmacht and SS) was, they said then, simply over-zealous Hitler supporters ‘who sometimes crossed the line.’ (You can read this about any of the histories about Hitler as Chancellor, before he ascended to absolute power). The SA was highly organized by the Nazi party, had specific targets (even American citizens there on vacation who refused to “Sieg Heil” at the appropriate times), and were the ordered to undertake the infamous “Kristallnacht” (night of broken glass) when Jewish businesses, synogogues, homes, and occasionally, by mistake, Roman Catholic churches were destroyed and burned. Presumably, this was a ‘spontaneous exhibition’ of the general German hatred of Jews.

    Who are the Democrats making into metaphorical ‘Jews’ in this country today? Republicans, conservatives, anyone who disagrees with their ‘resistance.’ No one can convince me that any of these demonstrations are spontaneous in any way. I want to know who’s funding this stuff. Soros and the rest need to be exposed. This is totalitarian stuff, and it is really frightening.

  2. crella

    I noted that Pedicure Lady was headed to Boston, and wondered if she was the same charming individual who was on a Capt. Bill whale watch with me years ago, who peeled her feet and threw the skin on the deck…

    Regarding the fearmongering: The age cohort that graduated from high school around 2008-10, in the group I know personally, despite crime stats to the contrary, in a bizarre atmosphere of fear (I can’t speak for those a bit younger, I don’t know any). They were given cell phones and directed to text when they reached the bus stop, when they got, when they got off the bus stop coming home, as if there were a kidnapper or pervert behind every tree. In discussion they go from zero to scream in no time flat, they can’t stand their viewpoint being questioned. I see them panicking at every mention of Roe vs Wade and birth control, based on next to nothing. It’s a shame they’ve been brought up to distrust the world and our country so much. The days in the immediate aftermath of the election were shocking and sad…’Stock up on your preferred birth control or get your tubes tied, because Pence will outlaw it’ ‘They’re coming for Roe vs Wade, I give it a year’ and other off-the-wall panic posting. If it’s the same in other regions, if this age group shares similar easily-triggered fear-motivated behavior, that’s a heck of a propaganda machine.

  3. I wish the cowardly “resistance” supporters who have fled the Ethics Alarms comment battlefield after finding that they had no valid arguments beyond denial were around now to explain why we have never seen Republicans claw at doors, attack Democratic offices or drive Democratic official out of restaurants.

    Give it a little time. Human nature says this will happen.

    The difference will be that when non progressives act this way, progressives will stump for laws to stop the behavior, completely ignoring who started it.

    Like they always do.

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