Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/1/2018: Battling Toddlers, Racist Lemons, And Justices In Love

Welcome November!

1. Warm-Up musings…I suspect that the Warm-Up format costs the blog traffic, potentially a lot of traffic. If each was broken into components and posted individually, there would be a lot more clicks. Of course, I wouldn’t have time to post each separately—I estimate that a single post adds 15 to 20 minutes to the process—and there would be fewer issues covered. Capturing more of the events and issues that get into my files is one of the main reasons I started this. A better blog but less appreciated? Nah, I’m not going to measure success by traffic, as tempting as it is. I resist click-bait—there are topics that guarantee flood of comments—and don’t resist posting analysis that I know will cost me followers: I literally watch the numbers go down. And, of course, there are once regular readers who have fled because I have been consistent in my approach to the Trump Presidency, and regard his treatment by the “resistance,” Democrats, progressives and the news media as a national ethics catastrophe, irrespective of his own neon flaws. They fled, in part, though they will not admit it, because they simply could not muster valid arguments for why this President did not deserve the same presumptions of good will, good effort and public loyalty as every other President, traditional benefits that are essential to the office working and the nation thriving. What they represented as arguments were really presumptions of guilt and the byproduct of hateful group-think magnified by confirmation bias. I hope they eventually get well, and that when they do they aren’t too remorseful for being appropriated by an angry mob.

In the subsequent items, I’ll briefly explain why they are here rather than in a full post.

2. Unethical quote of the week: Don Lemon. Again. Earlier, Lemon said on his CNN platform,

“We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them. There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?”

Like so much Lemon says, this was incoherent, biased, and intellectually lazy. He said to stop demonizing people, and demonized a gender and race in the same sentence. “Start doing something” is typical political humming: do what, exactly? Lock them up? What? Any fool can say “Do something!”, and Lemon is just the fool to say it.  The travel restrictions are a non-sequitur, the kind of lame-brained argument that social media advances in memes and “likes.” Those restrictions involve non-citizens and their ability to immigrate. It was not based on race or ethnicity, but nation of origin. It’s an ignorant and misleading statement. “There is no white-guy ban. So what do we do about that?” is flat out racist, and intended to be—unless Lemon can’t speak clearly, which you would assume is a job requirement. A responsible news organization would have fired him, but he’s black and gay, so that’s not going to happen.

Then he came back and said this:

“Earlier this week, I made some comments about that in a conversation with Chris [Cuomo]. I said that the biggest terror threat in this country comes from radicals on the far right, primarily white men. That angered some people. But let’s put emotion aside and look at the cold hard facts. The evidence is overwhelming.”

Similar statistical evidence is “overwhelming” on the question of disproportionate criminal activities by blacks. In 2013, the FBI has black criminals carrying out 38 per cent of murders, compared to 31.1 per cent for whites. From 2011 to 2013, 38.5%  of people arrested for murder, manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault were black. Blacks comprise about 12% of the U.S. population. A white broadcaster making lemon’s argument would be canned in a heartbeat, and rightfully so. It is a misleading, inflammatory, meat-ax position that appeals to racial bias.

If progressives were not themselves addicted to group bias, and the demonization of white men in particular, they would be clamoring for Lemon’s ouster.

[This is in the Warm-Up because I’ve written enough posts about this unethical, unprofessional faux-journalist.]

3. When ethics Alarms don’t ring: the toddler “fight club.” According to a law suit, Mikayla Guliford and Tena Dailey of the Adventure Learning Center in St. Louis encouraged 4-year-olds to fight with each other while wearing Incredible Hulk toy fists. The filed papers accused the day care in court documents of permitting another child “to intimidate and harm” the plaintiff’s  son while directing a “fight club.”A video shows 4-year-olds punching each other while a teacher looks on. In documents released by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the director of the center said that when she confronted Guliford about the incident, she said the children “were bored” and that “we ran out of things to do.” Guliford and Dailey were fired.

The coverage of this story is a bit hysterical. I used to have my son, when he was even younger than four, have “fights” with a giant stuffed bear while I manipulated the thing. I presume the kids weren’t hurt. I also presume that they had fun. However, this isn’t the kind of activity that children should be encouraged to engage in by caregivers without parental consent, and I can’t imagine parents giving consent. Let’s have a poll! (With this poll, Ethics Alarms no longer allows repeat voters.)

[This isn’t a full post because I already wrote about a “baby fight club,” a far worse one, here.]

4.  “When William Met Sandy”  NPR reports  that while a law student, the late Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist proposed marriage to a Stanford  classmate named Sandra Day. She became Sandra Day O’Connor, and the two, who had dated, ended up on the same Supreme Court. Apparently, nobody on the Court ever knew, nor did the Senators who confirmed O’Connor’s nomination.

I don’t think it’s a disqualifying conflict of interest, but it is certainly a potential conflict that O’Connor should have disclosed. Rehnquist also should have told his fellow Justices.

[ It’s interesting, that’s all.]

5.  Now that’s a cold snap! Sergey Savitsky, a Russian scientist working at a remote research station in Antarctica has been charged with attempted murder— either the first or second such charge in the continent’s history—for allegedly stabbing a colleague in the chest. Apparently he snapped because the victim kept revealing the endings of books in the outpost’s library.  Attacker and victim  are professional scientists who spend a year at a time at the Bellingshausen Station in the South Shetland Islands. I must say, I have sympathy for Savitsky, and intentionally aggravating someone you are cooped up with for a year is extremely unethical. It doesn’t justify killing him, of course. [Pointer: ABA Journal]

This reminded me of this story from 2013.

[ It’s law vs. ethics, but I couldn’t tease a full post out of this.]

 

83 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Childhood and children, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Professions, Race, Romance and Relationships, Workplace

83 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/1/2018: Battling Toddlers, Racist Lemons, And Justices In Love

  1. Glenn Logan

    Re: Warm up musings

    When I was blogging, we always used to do what we called “link dumps” every day. I would do them similar to yours, where I would offer short commentary on some of the links, and all were just too short or to tangentially relevant for a full post. I would also usually do a fairly long commentary at the beginning.

    I always found they were the most-read posts except for more tempting controversial items in any given day. They help people a lot by giving them some variety, and as you say, it really isn’t an option to make these into full posts for a variety of reasons, time being the most difficult to overcome.

    Traffic is important, but more important is saying what you want to say, and communicating the message you want to communicate. Yes, more content means more traffic, but quality is even more important than quantity, not so much for traffic, but for the mission of the site.

    You do great work, and I appreciate it.

  2. Rusty Rebar

    I watched the fight club video. It did seem a bit over the top to me. Kids will play, and kids will fight, but I don’t think encouraging this kind of play is the best thing for a preschooler. In preschool you are supposed to be learning about working on differences without resorting to violence. So, no, I do not think this is the kind of thing we want to be teaching our children.

  3. Alex

    Re 2: Me and my closest friends have been knocking ourselves silly since age 7 (I did martial arts for decades). I think it’s better under adult supervision.

    Re 4: I’ve been really close to working with a girl I dated for a long time. If that ever happens, the first conflict of interest disclosure will go to my wife… and we’ll probably find a way to not work in the same team.

    Re 5: [SPOILER ALERT!] It was the dog, it was always the dog.

  4. 5) “he snapped because the victim kept revealing the endings of books in the outpost’s library. ”

    Clearly justifiable homicide if ever there was a case. All the jury has to do is to put themselves in this poor man’s reading glasses for just an instant, and they’ll acquit without having to leave the jury box.

    Well, yes I’m kidding………aren’t I? Hmmm

  5. Chris Marschner

    Point 3
    As a male I know that finding outlets for little boys to expend energy can be difficult. Boxing matches among preschollers seems to me a stretch even with parental consent. Pillow fights would serve roughly the same purpose and would be less likely to be seen as violent activities. Gone are the days of kids playing army or cowboys and indians which involved a great deal of running around burning off excess energy.

    • PennAgain

      Agree on both counts, Chris M. There are natural ways for boys to test their strength (ever try to keep a line of bored or excited kids from jostling one another?). Starting at home, even toddlers will butt their heads or shoulders against older sibs or grownups just to see how far they can go (yes, in both senses: strength tests in children are often doubled with pushing emotional limits). Wrestling – the junior WWE kayfabe kind where each adversary has a known role – usually starts with giant toy animals and dad or other adults the child is sure of. By the time a boy gets to pre-school, a push or shove is often a sign of friendship given and taken.

      But hitting (with the closed fist, padded or not) or kicking, for good reason because both are meant to hurt — and even a toddler knows this — are generally discouraged. Punching another child is not a test of one’s own strength but of power over others. A closed fist expresses extreme tension and of itself engenders anger. [Try closing your fist without contorting your mouth, your whole face.] At the risk of getting into arguments with the more conservative parents here, there are other and better ways to build muscles, or teach footwork, hand/eye coordination …. or try to get rich and famous. And braindead, of course.

      • *likely the most conservative parent here… my kids were not allowed to play Pokemon or watch Power Rangers… for reasons I don’t quite understand anymore

        Contact sports – yes. Fighting for fighting’s sake – no

        My first child learned karate, and all of them have had ‘Dad’s course of dirty fighting tricks, slips, and foul moves.’ (No move is out of bounds when protecting yourself) The purpose of a self defense fight is to end the fight. Hollywood fantasies aside, that usually happens (sans training and experience) after the first decisively powerful blow. It takes the wind out of the aggressor (literally, if you do it right)

        Although the Army uses Pugil sticks and lots of padding to allow basic trainees beat the crap out of each other without causing serious damage. Basic trainees, by week four of the training, are a LOT like toddlers.

  6. Other Bill

    4. In the early ‘80s, around the time Sandra Day O’Connor was a media darling because she’d been appointed to the SCOTUS, I had the good fortune to work with Fred, a really pleasant, bright, funny, quirky to the point of eccentricity, lawyer who’d graduated from Stanford Law School with his fellow Arizona residents, Rehnquist and Day O’Connor. There were loads of hagiographic articles about Day O’Connor, all of which mentioned she’d been third in her law school class (and Rehnquist had been first). In the midst of all the hoopla, for their class held their thirty-year class reunion/cocktail party, Fred had made for, and distributed to, all the members of the class other than their two Supreme mates, campaign buttons/pins which read: “I was No. 2”

  7. JimHodgson

    In regard to #5, I think Savitsky was just standing his (literary) ground.

  8. Still Spartan

    “They fled, in part, though they will not admit it, because they simply could not muster valid arguments for why this President did not deserve the same presumptions of good will, good effort and public loyalty as every other President, traditional benefits that are essential to the office working and the nation thriving.”

    You’re a mind reader now too? Isn’t it possible that they, like me, simply feel that you are wrong on some of these issues? What an incredibly arrogant comment to make Jack.

    • I assume that intelligent commenters who think a position is wrong can muster a legitimate, factual, well-reasoned argument to the contrary. If they can’t or won’t, then I believe its likely that they just won’t deal with uncomfortable facts. Chris, for example, just felt stating that Trump had conspired with the Russians because he was that kind of guy was a sufficient argument. Charles refused to believe that the FBI had employees that were intent on undermining the President, and refused to consider evidence to the contrary. In other words, their minds were closed, and they couldn’t stand the banging on the doors. I don’t see what’s arrogant about that diagnosis. This is not a comfy place for those whose opinions are driven by ideology.

      You have some wacky opinions—like wanting open borders—but you are not ideological to the exclusion of reality.

      • crella

        Exactly. When someone does The Flounce off a website or blog, I’ve always thought it meant they could not defend their position, or couldn’t stand hearing opposing views.

        • Still Spartan

          Many people here don’t flounce. They just stop commenting. Jack seems to think that they just can’t handle his impeccable reasoning. But, they might just think he’s wrong and do not think arguing is a good use of their time.

          • Still Spartan wrote, “Many people here don’t flounce.”

            Maybe, maybe not.

            Still Spartan wrote, “They just stop commenting.”

            That part is obvious.

            Still Spartan wrote, “Jack seems to think that they just can’t handle his impeccable reasoning.”

            Now you’re the mind reader? 😉 You’re spinning; that’s clearly not what Jack wrote or implied.

            Still Spartan wrote, “they might just think he’s wrong and do not think arguing is a good use of their time.”

            You assume that they are making a choice that correcting someone who they believe is wrong is not a good use of time? First, why would you make that kind of assumption about someone? Second, Isn’t that some kind of rationalization?

            • Still Spartan

              I give up. Note that I am not flouncing, I just don’t think further debate would be beneficial to either of us.

              See what I did there?

          • crella

            I did not say everyone flounces. Regarding those that do, though, my opinion stands.

      • Luke G

        “…can muster a legitimate, factual, well-reasoned argument to the contrary.”

        Unfortunately, Jack, one of the casualties of the post-election train wreck seems to be your willingness to acknowledge the reasoning of those who disagree with you. In the last 2 years I’ve noticed a rising tendency for you to dismiss arguments as stupid, malicious, disingenuous, or lame. You’re more and more likely to present your interpretation as unassailable fact, and then treat anyone with a different interpretation as though they’re saying water isn’t wet.

        At the same time, there’s a lot of tolerance for emotive and aggressive commentary from those who agree with you, especially when it’s aimed at people who don’t agree with you.

        Were I a regular left-wing commentator here and the experience went from “intense but gripping discussions on issues” to “having every argument dismissed as stupid nonsense while the peanut gallery issued veiled threats and insults”, I might also have decided that it wasn’t a good use of my time.

        • Luke G wrote, “Unfortunately, Jack, one of the casualties of the post-election train wreck seems to be your willingness to acknowledge the reasoning of those who disagree with you.”

          You’re welcome to your own opinion but not your own facts. Jack acknowledges why people disagree with him and he explains himself quite well in that regards.

          • Additionally; the ability of others to not understand and not accept Jacks opinion seems to be based primarily on political bias not logic and ethics.

          • Luke G

            Simply put, I think there’s been an overall shift in tone from “this commenter disagrees because he thinks X, but I find that unconvincing because Y” to “this commenter disagrees because he’s so stupid/biased he thinks X, which is obviously wrong”

            • Simply put; it’s my opinion that you are making a generalized statement about Jack that’s false.

              • Luke G

                Which you’re entitled to, of course- and yet, if I decided to leave because I decided the quality of the debate here had gone downhill, I’d probably also be mocked in absentia as leaving in a huff because I realized my arguments were all terrible and I couldn’t support them.

                • Luke G wrote, “if I decided to leave because I decided the quality of the debate here had gone downhill, I’d probably also be mocked in absentia as leaving in a huff because I realized my arguments were all terrible and I couldn’t support them.”

                  This is “Minority Report” kind of stuff. Smear them now for what you perceive they might do in the future?

        • Point taken. I disagree.

          I have always designated some positions as indefensible. Trump’s election has simply surfaced more of them. I wrote essays about how illegal immigration had never been defended honestly way back in 2003. Nobody was seriously arguing that “hate speech’ was unprotected speech until relatively recently: yes, it’s an ignorant position, from Chris Cuomo, or from a commenter. The position that gays don’t deserve teh same rights as other Americans is similarly indefensible, and I have been consistently aggressive against those who insist otherwise in the absence of fact, science, or law.

          I dismiss stupid nonsense as stupid nonsense, and always have. Of course, the ethical way to argue YOUR point is with actual examples rather than vague characterizations and generalities.

          I will admit to losing patience with Big Lies and False Narratives, which poison discourse, and have become the go-to method of advocacy on the Left. Currently mu leftist Facebook friends are attacking me because I insisted, and still insist, that calling the idiot who sent the bomb-ish packages to Democrats a “bomber” was confirmation bias and misleading. And it was. And is. And I’m sick of the deceit. I just read the charges against the guy. Nothing about murder, No mention of bombs. he is charged with terror, threats, misuse of the mail, and sending explosives. Explosives aren’t bombs. [Note: the original text was corrected. My error]

          Again: show me an example where I dismissed a serious argument supported by facts rather than ideology as “stupid.” If I was unfair, I’ll say so. But you know, in this nation, nobody should have to argue that the presumption of innocence should be ignored, to take another example, any more than we should have to listen respectfully to claims that certain races are inferior or that the Holocaust was a myth.

          • The more I think about it, the more I really want to see an example from you. I;m pretty sure that the last two years have surfaced more indefensible progressive arguments than the previous ten. What is the best rebuttal to someone who says that NFL players have a “First Amendment right” to protest on the field, in uniform, in front of a paying crowd? The shortest is: You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about, and why don’t you read the damn amendment before you come on here and mislead everyone about it. Now, I haven’t gone that far, but the assertion deserves only a slightly less direct rebuke.

            • Luke G wrote, “if I decided to leave because I decided the quality of the debate here had gone downhill, I’d probably also be mocked in absentia as leaving in a huff because I realized my arguments were all terrible and I couldn’t support them.” [Bold Mine]

              Luke,
              Jack’s statement “I really want to see an example from you” should be a welcomed opportunity for you to support your argument.

              • Charles, a very smart guy, announced his exit because I wrote about the irregularities and legal breaches in the FISA warrants and the continued presence of two FBI employees who communicated their bias and antipathy against the President during the investigation. He didn’t rebut the post, he just dismissed it as insane. “I don’t believe it”, pure confirmation bias, has been the theme of the most vociferous critics. And yes, when someone just says “I don’t believe it” and picks up their ball and goes home, I assume that denial is all they’ve got. Is that unreasonable?

          • Is this the outline of the charges against Cesar Sayoc that you referred to? Doesn’t it say in the first one that murder could have resulted and that they were IED’s?

            • Nope, never saw the actual indictment, just what I now know was a misleading summary. Thanks.

              That’s over-charging, though. There are no reports of any of te “devices” exploding, or that they COULD explode. I think my source determined that #1 is a non starter.

              • OK, I am just trying to understand these legal questions. What I posted is the actual list of the counts of charges brought against him, right? That is, what his lawyers would have received and what he has to defend himself against?

                Also, isn’t it ‘standard practice’ to overcharge? It has been described as ‘throw so many charges (against the wall) with the intention that one or more stick’. Isn’t that what the prosecution must do? Do you see that as unethical?

                • My other question — this just occurred to me — is that if they overcharged a great deal he would have no other option but to plead not-guilty. But if the charges were precise and accurate, he might have a) plea bargained and b) plead guilty.

                  Is it because they want a trial? For their own possible publicity purposes?

                • It is. It’s an unethical practice, too. The big charges are often in the indictment as trading chips. I can’t see a conviction on sending bombs if an expert testifies that they were never going to explode.

      • Note that Chris and Windy are too cowardly to post here anymore: they just snipe from afar where their precious little bubble won’t be burst.

    • Still Spartan wrote, “You’re a mind reader now too?”

      No Sparty, it’s an opinion based on observed traits.

      It’s painfully obvious to anyone that is not blinded by political bias that some of the self exiled and banned commenters “could not muster valid arguments for why this President did not deserve the same presumptions of good will, good effort and public loyalty as every other President, traditional benefits that are essential to the office working and the nation thriving”.

      Still Spartan wrote, “Isn’t it possible that they, like me, simply feel that you are wrong on some of these issues?”

      They have not been able to effectively explain themselves in that regard and choose other rhetorical methods of commenting that get them into hot water with Jack and other commenters.

      Still Spartan wrote, “What an incredibly arrogant comment to make Jack.”

      Just because the truth hurts doesn’t mean that it’s arrogance; however, stating that Jack’s comment is “incredibly arrogant” is actually incredibly arrogant. If that makes me arrogant too then I own it.

  9. Still Spartan

    One more comment — I thought EVERYBODY knew that O’Connor dated Rehnquist in law school. It was a discussion point in one or more of my law school classes.

  10. Re: No; 2; Don Lemon is an Idiot.

    I don’t know what is more maddening: Lemon’s self-indicting statement or the fact the Cuomo did not have the intellectual capacity or honesty to call him out for it. Cuomo just sat there, expressionless*, in awe of Lemon’s wokeness. That might be asking a lot of Cuomo as he has repeatedly demonstrated his inability to form coherent thoughts.

    jvb

    *Ed. Note: A thought did cross mind as I watch Lemon and Cuomo: Did Cuomo let the awful statement lie right there in plain view thinking that he could use it at a later date to gain some kind of advantage over Lemon or CNN by playing the good social warrior/peon?

  11. Greg

    I would definitely let my kid fight with Hulk gloves if he was being supervised by somebody who wasn’t an idiot. It would be a lot of fun for him. But these people watched one kid lying helplessly on the floor trying to cover up while the other kid hammered on him and they did nothing to intervene. The kid on the bottom certainly did not look like he was having fun.

  12. Re: No. 3: Pugilant Pipsqueaks.

    I voted for “Of course! It encourages violence as recreation!” for this reason: the parents were not consulted and did not consent, and the kids involved had no real concept about what they were doing or why they were doing it. Moreover, these are 4 year olds. There was very little supervision to ensure things did not get out of hand.

    Here is a link to a different story with more video (please ignore the anti-John Culberson political ad):

    https://www.kidspot.com.au/news/video-reveals-preschoolers-beating-each-other-while-cheered-on-by-teachers/news-story/99d98d6ec8d11a875d9e9db8ae372010

    If you watch the video (pay close attention to the one teacher jumping up and down before the fight), at one point one child (the one in the blue shirt) is on top of the other (the boy in the black shirt), wolloping the bejeezes out of the other boy with that foam Hulk hand. It took another CHILD to intervene to pull Blue Boy off of the other. Additionally, the other kids are jumping up and down, inspired by the chaos. How could any adult with an IQ above room temperature not see that was a terrible idea? If you, as a teacher, can’t find something more constructive to do with your charges (for instance, singing songs of the Resistance or Lennon’s “Imagine”) then you have business being an early education teacher. According to the linked article, the two teachers were fired. Whew! That school dodged a bullet.

    I did find the linked article interesting, though. According to the article, “One of Merseal’s sons recorded the episode on his iPad and sent it to her. She then called the police and had them visit the day care and interview the director and staff. Her children were also questioned by investigators.” If the article is correct and these are 4 year old kids, what in the name of Mike is a toddler doing at school with an iPad?

    jvb

  13. The Shadow

    Just for clarification, how is “Trump is the kind of guy who would do anything to win, including taking help from a foreign government” different in a meaningful way from Jack’s summary of “Trump had conspired with the Russians because he was that kind of guy”?

  14. Only been out of Texas for less than a day and things got lit?

  15. If progressives were not themselves addicted to group bias, and the demonization of white men in particular, they would be clamoring for Lemon’s ouster

    I noticed that there was this fringe which spoke about white males the way Adolf Hitler and the Nazis spoke about the Judenvolk.

    Is this becoming mainstream?


    • First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Socialist.

      Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

      Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
      Because I was not a Jew.

      Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

      MARTIN NIEMÖLLER

  16. Okay…I gotta ask… Of the fighting four-year-olds, you say “this isn’t the kind of activity that children should be encouraged to engage in by caregivers without parental consent, and I can’t imagine parents giving consent.”

    I heartily agree. And there’s a difference between friendly sports competition to build character and fighting for the amusement of others. However, in the comments to an earlier post, you wrote “If four year olds were deemed necessary to win a war, then the government needs the power to conscript four year olds.”

    This feels to me like it’s an inconsistent position on the subject of adult-ordered violence by four-year-olds without parental consent.

    • Windypundit wrote, “This feels to me like it’s an inconsistent position on the subject of adult-ordered violence by four-year-olds without parental consent.”

      Wow Windy; that correlation is way, WAY out there.

    • Context is everything: What I wrote—and thanks for the link—was,

      “Wars can’t be waged by poll or vote; it’s a basic principle. If four year olds were deemed necessary to win a war, then the government needs the power to conscript four year olds, Ethics rules are suspended in war: its a survival situation. I registered. I looked at it as a duty of citizenship, and like my peers, I had no basis on which to decide what proper Southeast Asia policy should be. Wars and foreign policy are not matters for the public to decide. I didn’t think my ability to vote was relevant to my duty or my obligation, and I still don’t.”

      The obvious intent was to communicate the principle that anything truly necessary to win a war can be and must be authorized. Frying two cities of civilians with atomic bombs is, I’m sure you will agree, more repugnant than sending in troops of four-year olds. But it had to be done. I chose the most absurd example I could think of at the time.

      • Thanks for the serious reply. That comment has disturbed me ever since you wrote it. That you realize its absurd is probably helpful.

        • Indeed I intended it to be absurd. I’m troubled that anyone, especially you, would take it as anything but.

          • Well, I figured 4-year-old draftees were probably an exaggeration. But you seem to clearly approve of conscripting 18-year-olds, and you implied that you approve of 16- and 15-year-olds, and you say ethics rules are suspended in war…so it hasn’t been real clear how you draw that line.

            • 18 years olds are adults, and no, I have no problem with mandatory military service for men and women as a condition of citizenship. There’s no magic in ages, or where the line is drawn. In a national emergency would drafting physically mature sub-18 teens be justifiable? Sure….if it were a matter of national survival. That’s ethics conflict territory: one ethical principle has to be given higher priority over another.

  17. One cup of coffee, 17 grams, pour-over method, Melitta filter. One half teaspoon of panela, an ounce of milk:

    Nah, I’m not going to measure success by traffic, as tempting as it is. I resist click-bait—there are topics that guarantee flood of comments—and don’t resist posting analysis that I know will cost me followers: I literally watch the numbers go down. And, of course, there are once regular readers who have fled because I have been consistent in my approach to the Trump Presidency, and regard his treatment by the “resistance,” Democrats, progressives and the news media as a national ethics catastrophe, irrespective of his own neon flaws. They fled, in part, though they will not admit it, because they simply could not muster valid arguments for why this President did not deserve the same presumptions of good will, good effort and public loyalty as every other President, traditional benefits that are essential to the office working and the nation thriving. What they represented as arguments were really presumptions of guilt and the byproduct of hateful group-think magnified by confirmation bias. I hope they eventually get well, and that when they do they aren’t too remorseful for being appropriated by an angry mob.

    I am interested in this part: “…and regard his treatment by the “resistance,” Democrats, progressives and the news media as a national ethics catastrophe, irrespective of his own neon flaws” and I am interested in looking at this in the light of Spartan’s recent comments.

    What I first notice is that Spartan and Jack — I use these names only to characterize one aspect of the general division that is manifesting itself in the present — should actually be on the same side. The same with Charles. In fact all of you are, at least essentially. What you stand in opposition to, if the truth were told, is a person with ideas like mine. In fact, I am opposed by both *factions* (if you accept that each of you is part of a faction). That is to say that what I am think opine and write is *hated* and *feared*. But, and this is the important part, I am just one member of a largish and also a developing movement in ideas.

    I cannot help but personalize this to some degree. I mean, I cannot reveal my thoughts without including the personal element because I really think it is important.

    I remember that when I first had encounters with Spartan she was puzzled by me yet open, to some degree. But when she fully registered that elements of my thinking were radically different from hers, she performed on me what the larger *America* and the Media-Systems are now performing on *us*. That is, vilification, exclusion, ridicule, and when ridicule alone doesn’t work: other means such de-platforming or *doxxing*. It was interesting to me that this manoeuvre of hers involved the declaration that I was mentally ill. This is important because this really is the underpinning, in our present, of the attack on more traditional Americans and also americanism. It is based on an idea that there is a segment, an intellectual segment, a culturally dominant group, who represent social wellness and thus progress and also goodness. It is I think literally connected to psychoanalytics and to views that have been constructed in America in the Postwar. These ideas were diffused in the American Universities and *her* generation and also *your* generation have incorporated these views.

    (Yet — and this is what *we* say — *you* can quite easily be described as the *sick* ones. Your social and political perversions, your sexual and marital perversions, your incapacity to defend the family, your thrall to ‘homosexual agendas’ and other transvaluating trends in society: at the very least a claim can be made that *you* have failed and that the rest of us — even at a world-level — must suffer the consequences of your moral and ethical failings).

    I think it is fair to note that these *Spartans* for all their apparent niceness, will quickly shift into a sort of militant opposition. But *Spartan* in this sense represents The System and I mean this only as a general description of the regime that dominates in America right now. It is, in this sense, a regime of thinking and also of non-thinking. It is a set of conventions and *tenets* that have not been really well examined (and are questionable in any case).

    But this leads to the actual point I want to make. Though as Jack says the office of the presidency *should* be respected, it is I think fairly clear that Trump exists and came into his presidency because of the condemned constituency: the Deplorables as they were accurately called. I do not mean that the term is correct or fair but that now there really is a developing counter-movement that is certainly threatening to the Postwar *construct* if you’ll permit that quirky term.

    Therefor I do not see either Charles nor Spartan nor (beloved) Chris as necessarily being in improper *resistance*. The threat that they perceive in Trump as a manifestation of the times, is not unreal. But I would go further. The movement that is arising that goes under the name of ‘the democrat party’ though they are adamant and hysterical — and ruthless too, in their bizarre ways — is not incoherent. What I mean is in the sense of their *intentions* at least socially (I won’t comment on the economic-socialistic movement since I don’t understand it well). They really do represent not America but what America has become and is becoming. One either sees this or one doesn’t. It is the rising New Demography that will, if it goes forward, or as it goes forward, really transform America to accord with its basic vision.

    Who opposes this? Jack, Zoltar, Chris M., Michael West, Adimagejim, or any of you? Is there even one person who could state, clearly and directly, that they stand in opposition to the creation of this New America? If you did you would be stripped of your job and standing. Because that represents going backward and turning against the current of the times. You could only take the position that I take (and perhaps that *we* take as an outsider with little to lose).

    The so-called *catastrophe* of the behavior of the News Media has been completely in accord with the general liberalized direction of things which no one can articulately oppose. Opposition seems then to go underground. You can’t really state what you are opposed to, so it takes other forms of resistance.

    The real issue is thus: if free rein is given to free-speech and to the free and open communication of ideas, the grip that the Media have (meaning intelligence, government, the academy and ‘the regime’ that dominates the present in that culturally hegemonic sense) will be defeated. Our ideas are actually ideas whereas, for example, Spartan deals not in an idea-platform but a sentimental platform and one that was established through integration of complacent conformity. The horror, for *them* (and this also means Spartan, Michael West, Zoltar and many others) is that their platform no longer functions as such! It is now disintegrating. A new one will have to be formed. The old one is part of a ‘relic’.

    What they represented as arguments were really presumptions of guilt and the byproduct of hateful group-think magnified by confirmation bias. I hope they eventually get well, and that when they do they aren’t too remorseful for being appropriated by an angry mob.

    I see and understand what is being referred to, and I think that one must anticipate what comes next. I speak here as *Cassandra*. Now that *they* (the power-structure, the NY intellectual class, the Deep State: I don’t even completely know what *they* are) see that their guilt and shaming won’t work and that they continue to lose ground, they will begin (they are beginning) a game that can be said to be *hard ball*. They are that adamant. They are too that sure of themselves and their *righteousness*.

    The real issue is what will happen, and where *you* will stand, when the game really gets going. Your differences are not large, they are small.

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