Sunday Ethics Leftovers, 10/21/18: Gibberish! Lottery Schemes! Comment Spam! Fake Protests!

Good night!

1. Comment moderation ethics. In many online news sites, including those of major newspapers, the comments contain  this spam:

I have received $18429 last month by working online from home. I am a full time college student and just doing this easy home based job in my spare time not more than 3 to 4 hrs a day. This online job is very easy to do and its earnings are awsome than any other office type full time job. Join this home job right now and start making more cash online by just follow instructions on this blog…..

I’m looking at a Boston Herald online article about the World Series, and out of 14 comments, 8 are some version of the text above. First of all, of course, the people who post it are unethical creeps, polluting a discussion forum to pick up some cash. The site operators are just as bad. If you can’t moderate a comments section and keep it readable and on-topic, then don’t have one. Lazy, irresponsible and with no respect for readers—and they wonder why the public doesn’t trust the news media.

2. Here’s a rule of thumb: If a group or individual publicly announces a formal ethics complaint being made against a lawyer or a judge, it an abuse of process and the complaint system. Such ethics complaints should be made privately, since they are investigated and only become public if reason is found to levy sanctions. The announcement of a complaint in a press release or other public forum means that the complainant is trying to impugn an individual without proof, fair gearing or due process.

Judicial Watch has filed a complaint against Christine Blasey Ford’s lawyers,  and released the letter to the bar to the public. There may be some grounds for discipline, though it’s borderline. More unethical, in my view, is Judicial Watch using the ethics complaint process as a political weapon.

3. Signature significance, but of what? Comedian Amy Schumer announced that she won’t appear in any Super Bowl commercials to show her support of Pioneer Pointless NFL Kneeler Colin Kaepernick. What is that? Can you boycott something you haven’t been asked to do? Why is she boycotting the Super Bowl to support a protest against (sort of) racial injustice and police brutality? If people were desperate to have Amy in an ad, what would they have to do? Pass laws letting people resisting arrest to threaten police officers without consequences? Authorize reparations to be paid to anyone with an Elizabeth Warren-like percentage of slave blood? Now, Amy protesting the fact that NFL is making billions by giving young athletes brain disease, that would make some sense.

I think making a pointless and silly announcement like this is signature significance for someone who  will do anything to get publicity and signal their virtue to the social justice warrior faithful. Anyone else would realize how idiotic it is.

4. Not “It’s not the worst thing,” but double standards. You know: It’s different, because it’s Trump. Writes blogger Charles Glasser about the wall-to-wall coverage of the Jamal Khashoggi murder, 

“Let me get this straight. Saudi Arabia sponsored the 9/11 hijackers, stones rape victims to death for being unchaste, hangs people for being gay…and NOW you’re upset with them?”

Well, sure. This fits an anti-Trump narrative that he is tolerant of authoritarian regimes, and that he doesn’t like journalists. The game is now to weaponize the news against Trump, not to seek perspective or fairness. Glenn Greenwald, hardly a Trump supporter, accurately observes,

Verdict: True.

5. Authentic Frontier Gibberish Alert!  on an NPR roundtable about how to reach the poor, ignorant souls who question the basis and logic of climate change hysterics, guest Dr. Sarah Myhre, the founder of the Rowan Institute and a “public feminist,” whatever that is, opined,

“My view is that we need to indict public leaders who are trafficking in science denial as a form of misconduct and a form of putting the American public into danger. However, I do think that we as scientists have engaged nonstop in trying to confront denialism and often that engagement is a very—it’s coded male power brokering that is very problematic in the culture because it pits people against each other instead of focusing on shared values.”

“Indict”? “Trafficking”? “Denialism”?  “Coded male power”? Did it occur to NPR that one reason people are dubious about climate change is that it is being supported by advocates who talk like that?

Taxpayers finance this crap.

5. This isn’t news, it’s complicity. By all means, let’s give free promotion to the unethical government scheme to exploit the poor and addictive by getting as many stupid people as possible excited about a huge lottery pay-off as likely as being killed in a sharknado.

______________

Source: Instapundit

28 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Leftovers, 10/21/18: Gibberish! Lottery Schemes! Comment Spam! Fake Protests!

  1. #4. How long ago was it that the Leftwing Media was falling all over itself to figuratively propose marriage to the entire nation of North Korea at the Winter Olympics?

    Anyone else remember that?

    • Agreed. The general consensus has turned against her; Amy Schumer is a minimally funny plagiarist, and ever since her last special bombed, she’s been using social justice politics to try and regain relevance. I think the best thing we can do as a society is just ignore her until she gives up.

  2. #1. Though I agree that moderators should do more moderating (it would probably mean hiring a full-time monitor for the newsroom), I think most of those posts are generated by bots or whatever they’re called. I am skeptical as to their reality. They’re everywhere on news sites for some reason, but I don’t see them anywhere else, really. (I’ve also never researched this idea, so you’re getting my “I’m a middle-aged man who knows just enough about the interwebs to make a comment like this” opinion.)

    • They’re absolutely bots, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be moderated.

      The problem is that it costs money, and multiple full-time moderators (I’d say at least 2 for every shift to get 24-hour coverage). For a big news site, it comes out to a lot of money that could be saved just by disabling comments like CNN did with their absolutely awful comments section.

        • Is it incompetent? It’s ugly and something of a minor nuisance, sure.
          But it seems equally true that some people are willing to put up with the visual spam of bot posts in order to partake in a comment section that’s not behind a pay-wall. Of course, having such a comment section marks the host as the kind of organization that’s willing to pander to the people who don’t mind a spammy comment section, which limits the audience somewhat. But it seem to me that mandating everything be nice is most likely to result in everything just getting (more) expensive, and limiting the range of goods/products available. I’m not sure about this, and probably am missing something, though.

        • This is silly. Computers are “smart” enough to recognize ads like this – a good programmer (age 14+) should be able to write one. Then the days run can be looked over in a flash by a non-bot and just as programmatically bulk-deleted. … Or am I missing something?

          As a matter of fact, I have run into such ads in Variety’s Comment section. The online paper says: “Report any comments that are offensive” or similar wording. I take that as a direct order.

          • Looking back at Schmendrick’s post, I see I have inadvertently duplicated his “am I missing something.” No mimicry or irony intended, sir.

      • Of course they’re bots, but I’d rather read that than 12yo-level comments like “you’re probably strumming your bone just thinking about this” or Dan Savage/Keith Olbermann-like comments that are nothing but venom and profanity. Yes, I’ve been guilty in the past, but I am trying to get away from being a grade-A jerk.

  3. To protest Nike, I will not accept the position of ceo or even a member of the board of directors. Take that Nike!!

  4. “Indict”? “Trafficking”? “Denialism”? “Coded male power”? Did it occur to NPR that one reason people are dubious about climate change is that it is being supported by advocates who talk like that?

    This is evidence that climate change is as true as Lysenkoism.

    • This is exactly how they want to run things: decide the preferred answers (based on whimsy) and punish anyone who says the obvious: the emperor is naked.

      The USSR took a political doctrine and made it fact in nature. they then proceeded to imprison and kill dissenting scientists retroactively, based on opposition to the rule while it was being debated.

      “Over 3,000 biologists were imprisoned, fired, or executed for attempting to oppose Lysenkoism at one time and overall, scientific research in genetics was effectively destroyed until the death of Stalin in 1953.[2] Due to Lysenkoism, crop yields in the USSR actually declined as well”
      – Birstein, Vadim J. (2004). The Perversion of Knowledge: The True Story of Soviet Science. Westview Press. ISBN 0813342805

      This is what climate cultists have in store for rational thinkers.

  5. 4. The US has been kissing up to dictators since FDR said that Somoza in Nicaragua “may be a SOB, but he’s our SOB,” and the idea goes back at least as far as UK Prime Minister Lord Palmerston saying that nations had no permanent friends or enemies, only permanent interests. Jimmy Carter tried to be the human rights president, but he only wound up looking dangerously naïve and casting the US as a pitiful helpless giant. A nation’s first job is to guard its interests and thereby guard its citizens’ interests. Sometimes doing that requires dealing with some less than savory and certainly less than perfect characters because they either have the interest or they are all there is to deal with.

    We’d rather have dealt with a democratically elected prime minister and parliament in Jordan. We got the Hashemite dynasty. We’d rather deal with a real democratically elected president in Russia. We’ve got Putin. We’d rather have dealt with an honest democratically elected president who was connected with reality in Chile. We got Salvador Allende-Gossens, who would have turned the place into another Cuba, and we decided that the strongman rule of Pinochet was preferable to that. I’m also sure we’d love to see the House of Saud turn most of the political power over to a parliament and elected officials and become simply constitutional monarchs, and write a real constitution rather than having the Koran be their constitution. However, that’s not going to happen, and they’ve got the oil we depend on to maintain our lifestyles. Since we’ve decided we’re not going to all put on sweaters in the winter and take public transportation everywhere like Grady Wilson, it’s on us to live with the ethical consequences of that decision.

    • …they’ve got the oil we depend on

      This need not be true. Texas alone could supply all the oil needs of our nation, if the delivery systems were allowed to be developed. I have seen estimates of known reserves in shale oil that would take care of America for the next 100 years, even with expected growth of demand.

      • But Texas can’t supply the whole world, and we are not an island unto ourselves. The ‘we’ cannot realistically be limited to the United States.

        Then, too, think about this: The price of oil is rising, despite there not being any shortage in supply right now. However, what there is is a shortage in distribution — there’s not enough infrastructure to get that oil out of West Texas. Granted this can be and is being addressed, but if we needed to drastically increase production there, it’s going to take a fair amount of time and investment.

        It’s the same reason the oil and gas companies have had to resort to rail transport, as unsatisfactory as that really is. The pipelines out of North Dakota and elsewhere take a lot of time and investment to be built.

        • ‘We’ CAN be independent of foreign oil. We can also be an exporter: we have as much or more oil/energy resources as any nation in earth. The distribution is a problem, but the political will and market forces are much worse. I agree that, short of a war, we won’t build enough infrastructure.

          The price is a sticky situation, since our enemies (and frenemies like Saudi) have some input into prices. But American exceptionalism solved this problem before, and can again. American producers meet (or slightly beat) market prices, as they have shareholders to keep happy. Part of the price of capitalism.

          PS: West Texas is a drop in the bucket compared to South Texas reserves!

    • Jimmy Carter tried to be the human rights president, but he only wound up looking dangerously naïve and casting the US as a pitiful helpless giant. A nation’s first job is to guard its interests and thereby guard its citizens’ interests. Sometimes doing that requires dealing with some less than savory and certainly less than perfect characters because they either have the interest or they are all there is to deal with.

      We’d rather have dealt with a democratically elected prime minister and parliament in Jordan. We got the Hashemite dynasty. We’d rather deal with a real democratically elected president in Russia. We’ve got Putin. We’d rather have dealt with an honest democratically elected president who was connected with reality in Chile. We got Salvador Allende-Gossens, who would have turned the place into another Cuba, and we decided that the strongman rule of Pinochet was preferable to that. I’m also sure we’d love to see the House of Saud turn most of the political power over to a parliament and elected officials and become simply constitutional monarchs, and write a real constitution rather than having the Koran be their constitution. However, that’s not going to happen, and they’ve got the oil we depend on to maintain our lifestyles. Since we’ve decided we’re not going to all put on sweaters in the winter and take public transportation everywhere like Grady Wilson, it’s on us to live with the ethical consequences of that decision.

      Here we have a citizen, with little what I call *complicity*, defending the Nation’s ‘interests’, which are in fact not the same interests a those of the people. Or are they? The key to analyzing this statement is within that particular area of distinguishing interests.

      According to this analysis it is the place and duty of a citizen to recognize and to serve — this is what it comes down to — the interests of certain powerful echelons within society. One must *identify* with them and see that Nation as a person. It is therefor unpatriotic to oppose those interests if this analysis is carried forward to its logical conclusion.

      It is very true, a ‘nation will guard its interests’. And this must happen even if those interests have nothing, or very little, to do with the stated values and aims of that Nation.

      So, what function and purpose do the ‘declarations of aims and values’ have? They are essentially a trick. Why bother with them? The powerful don’t seem to…

      As I have mentioned a few times, America’s attack and destruction of Iraq had little do do with ‘higher aims’ and a great deal to do with defending interests. So far so good. And what is the cost of securing those interests? Oh, maybe up to a half million dead. Does it matter if it was 250,000 or 500,000?

      It does not matter. Soon, those dead will be just dust blowing around in the desert. The mother’s anguish just a fading cry in the desert wind. They have American television don’t they? We are doing real good, aren’t we? (They hardly give us thanks!).

      It is a very curious quandary. On one hand I can see that a given Empire must be built on force and power, values be damned. I think I could even accept it if it did not involve the hypocrisy of insisting it is about ‘values’ and ‘spreading the American way of life’ or feminism and liberation and fa**otry (if you will permit the rather blunt turn of phrase).

      Steve tells the truth about ‘power and how power functions’. It is refreshing.

  6. On point 2. I agree in principle that details of ethics complaints should be kept private for the reasons you gave The Bar Associations could remedy this easily by stating that any public disclosure of an ethics complaint by a complaining party is an ethics violation itself and subject to equivalent sanctions at the minimum and outright dismissal of the original complaint at the maximum.

  7. 1. These are bots, and could be easily tracked and culled without human intervention. There are companies that write monitors for such, and they are not near as expensive as employees. It is, however, more expensive than ‘we don’t care.’

    2. Another example of the Right following the Left down the rabbit hole of realpolitik and ‘because we can.’

    3. Schumer sees her brief brush with fame slipping away, and will do anything to keep the ride (and income) rolling. Her movies are failures, her specials flop, and her attempts at virtue signalling turn off otherwise open minded audiences. She is an ugly person, and progressives have no sense of humor from which to support for her comedy. Note that Dick’s Sporting Goods has also found that progressives don’t spend enough dollars to support them, either. Piss off you paycheck at your own peril.

    4. This will help get Trump re-elected, and will help the GOP this November. Love them or hate them, you gotta admit the left just does not know when to shut up.

    5. I said this before, but it bears repeating: This is exactly how progressives want to run things: decide the preferred answers (based on whimsy) and punish anyone who says the obvious: the emperor is naked. The old USSR did this in many aspects, and suffered for it in tangible terms: it got to be where having an opinion was life threatening, as anything you were on record saying could be judged criminal retroactively.

    This is what climate cultists have in store for rational thinkers.

    6. The Lottery is a tax on those who are bad at math.

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