1 A Big Lie is born! The fact that Tom Arnold married Rosanne Barr tells me all I need to know about his intelligence and judgment, though it did get him a single good movie role in “True Lies,” which I never could completely enjoy because the her husband’s abuse of Jamie Lee Curtis’s character seemed so cruel and offensive, but was still played for laughs. That movie is decades old, but Arnold is still holing on to shred of celebrity by being a full-time President Trump troll, thus getting him the love and fealty of thousands of like-minded Twitter users. 250,000 of them.
Last week, he tweeted that “80% of gun owners shoot themselves or members of their own families.” His tweet was shared all over social media, and not entirely by those who used it to demonstrate beyond the shadow of a doubt that Arnold is a moron. Thus it will believed by many Americans, quoted by the anti-gun addled, and generally make Americans even dumber on this topic than they already are.
2. When will they ever learn? Or un-learn? The University of Montana is now featured as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s (FIRE) “Speech Code of the Month.” It earned the honor by declaring in its Student Code of Conduct’s ‘Statement of Responsibility’ that all members of the campus community “have the personal responsibility to promote an atmosphere of civility,” and that discussions “should never become mean, nasty or vindictive.”
Of course, since the administrators of a committed left-biased institution will decide what is “mean” or “uncivil,” both subjective standards, you can guess whose speech will be chilled by this.
When did freedom of expression stop being a liberal value? Presumably it began when progressives stopped being able to defend their most extreme conduct, positions and beliefs…
3. Camille Paglia, Democratic truth teller. Which makes her the equivalent of a snail-darter or a blind dolphin…Iconoclast Camille Paglia has a wonderful interview at the American Spectator. As always, the feminist, iconoclast essayist pulls no punches, and refused to parrot conventional wisdom (Pointer: Other Bill). A highlight, on the Democratic field for 2020:
“Screechy Elizabeth Warren has never had a snowball’s chance in hell to appeal beyond upper-middle-class professionals of her glossy stripe. Kirsten Gillibrand is a wobbly mediocrity. Cory Booker has all the gravitas of a cork. Andrew Cuomo is a yapping puppy with a long, muddy bullyboy tail. Both Bernie Sanders (for whom I voted in the 2016 primaries) and Joe Biden (who would have won the election had Obama not cut him off at the knees) are way too old and creaky.
To win in the nation’s broad midsection, the Democratic nominee will need to project steadiness, substance, and warmth. I’ve been looking at Congresswoman Cheri Bustos of Illinois and Governor Steve Bullock of Montana. As for Hillary, she’s pretty much damaged goods, but her perpetual, sniping, pity-me tour shows no signs of abating. She still has a rabidly loyal following, but it’s hard to imagine her winning the nomination again, with her iron grip on the Democratic National Committee now gone. Still, it’s in her best interest to keep the speculation fires burning. Given how thoroughly she has already sabotaged the rising candidates by hogging the media spotlight, I suspect she wants Trump to win again. I don’t see our stumbling, hacking, shop-worn Evita yielding the spotlight willingly to any younger gal.”
4. Speaking of 2020, Joe Biden says he’s the most qualified person to be President. Besides the obvious—he is, you know, dumb as a brick, though I would have voted for him over Trump—Biden is also 76, and would be 78 by the time of the 2020 election. (Bernie is a year older.) Nobody that old is qualified to be President, and anyone that age who runs has proven that he or she is too irresponsible to be trusted.
He also swims in the nude, and has forced his female Secret Service agents to watch. This is per se sexual harassment, the creation of a hostile work environment. I doubt any male candidate can escape #MeToo anbushes and win the Democratic nomination, but Biden is especially vulnerable. [See https://ethicsalarms.com/2018/06/14/morning-ethics-warm-up-6-14-18-derangement/#more-44978, Item #4]
5. Even a stopped clock is right two times a day—or is it? Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly elected US House representative who would be a good match for Tom Arnold in Scrabble, criticized her future colleagues in Congress for paying their low-level staffers salaries below the “living wage” and for employing unpaid interns.In general, unpaid Congressional interns are exploited, and the allowing them to volunteer creates an unfair bias toward interns from wealthy families, who can afford to work without a paycheck. So Ocasio-Cortez is half-right, which for her constitutes a good day. But as with her (and much of her party’s) mad embrace of a 15 dollar minimum wage, the likely result of requiring paid internships is to reduce opportunities and employment, in this instance the number of young, aspiring graduates who have the opportunity to gain experience on the Hill. There are ethiacl trade-offs to consider, but smug ideologues like Ocasio-Cortez are usually incapable of considering them.
6. The Fredo Principle.
Fredo Corleone: ” I’m smart! Not like everybody says, like dumb. I’m smart and I want respect!” Smart people don’t tell you how smart they are. As I wrote here,
“Yes, I frequently pointed out last year that Candidate Trump was an idiot, and explained why I reached that conclusion. The signature significance sign was that he kept saying how smart he was. Smart people don’t do that, because it is a per se stupid thing to do, and because if they are really smart, they shouldn’t have to proclaim it. Fredo, the brain-damaged Corleone brother, is the one who protests that he’s smart….
[I]diots with power and influence are dangerous. It is ethical to point out the idiots before they can do real damage, and to try to create clear standards of idiocy so the public can return the practice of spotting the obvious ones and persuading them to stick to tasks they are able to do, if not exactly competently, harmlessly.
This brings us to Senator Maizie Hirono, who recently told an interviewer,
“I’ve been saying it at all of our Senate Democratic retreats, that we need to speak to the heart not in a manipulative way, not in a way that brings forth everybody’s fears and resentments but truly to speak to the hearts so that people know that we’re actually on their side. But we have a really hard time doing that and one of the reasons it was told to me at one of our retreats was that we Democrats know so much, that is true. And we have kind of have to tell everyone how smart we are and so we have a tendency to be very left brain.”
During the Kavanaugh hearings, Hiromo said that the fact that Kavanaugh was conservative was all she needed to determine that he was lying. She’s smart! In a CNN interview, she said,
“Guess who’s perpetuating all these kinds of actions? It’s the men in this country. I just want to say to the men of this country — just shut up and step up. Do the right thing for a change.”
She’s an anti-male bigot—you know, smart! Hiromo also adopted the legally and logically inert argument that President Trump couldn’t legitimately appoint a Supreme Court Justice because he’s “under suspicion” of criminal activity. Wow, how smart can you get?
38 thoughts on “Mourning Ethics Warm-Up, 12/5/2018: Fredo, Tom Arnold, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, Senator Hirono, Fredo, Joe Biden, And Camille Paglia—Who Doesn’t Belong In This Group?”
5–Good thing that’s the only knock on Ocasio-Cortez, who is inadvertently assembling quite the gaffe reel.
2. Hard to find a better word smith smithing today than Paglia:
“As a bumptious adolescent in upstate New York, I stumbled on a British collection of Oscar Wilde’s epigrams in a secondhand bookstore. It was an electrifying revelation, a text that I studied like the bible. What bold, scathing wit, cutting through the sentimental fog of those still rigidly conformist early 1960s, when good girls were expected to simper and defer.
But I never fully understood Wilde’s caustic satire of Victorian philanthropists and humanitarians until the present sludgy tide of political correctness began flooding government, education, and media over the past two decades. Wilde saw the insufferable arrogance and preening sanctimony in his era’s self-appointed guardians of morality.
We’re back to the hypocrisy sweepstakes, where gestures of virtue are as formalized as kabuki. Humor has been assassinated. An off word at work or school will get you booted to the gallows. This is the graveyard of liberalism, whose once noble ideals have turned spectral and vampiric.”
Go Camille. (“Kabuki theater,” one of my favorite metaphors for so much of what purports to go on these days.)
Not to be mean to Camille Paglia, but this collection of her quotes is…interesting, to say the least: https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/a-brief-autobiography-of-camille-paglia-as-told-through-introductory-appositive-phrases-in-her-online-column
Does this collection somehow diminish her?
Paglia is a wonderful intellect, there is no doubt about that, but in my own view one cannot rely on her in order to arrive at an *operational perspective*. She is also — and I say this though I admire her — an attention hound.
She is very good at critical break-down, and less good at constructive up-build.
If it were possible to genetically combine Slavoj Žižek with Camille Paglia, I think a strange new (but very interesting) race could take hold of the planet. Life would get very weird but would never be dull …
Absolutely correct. And she loves to hear herself talk, but I can’t blame her. Few speak any better.
“She is very good at critical break-down, and less good at constructive up-build.”
I’ll take that any day of the week. Critical thinking is in short supply these days. And a super abundance of constructive up-build without a foundation of critical thinking plagues us, producing a bunch of idiots like Bernie Sanders, Occasional Cortex and Barack Obama and their fuzzy but supposedly inspirational thinking.
The entire left is great at up-build, but they never ask the critical question of “Who’s going to want to pay for this?”
#6 Do I hear an echo in this chamber?
As far as I’m concerned Senator Hirono is full-o-shit, the problem is that most of the political left thinks just like her – it’s a hive mind of hypocrisy and projection.
#1 “Tom Arnold tweeted that ‘80% of gun owners shoot themselves or members of their own families.’ ”
He’s a damn fool for posting such an obvious lie but of course the anti-gunners will eat it up and probably make family members terrified of their other gun owning family members. This lie is intentional and utterly despicable.
Not sure it is a lie.
I don’t know where he is getting his info but it would not surprise me if the data actually showed that 80% of gunshot victims are injured by their own gun or a gun in the household.
That could be true,would represent a greatly different number and, fatal to Tom’s Arnold’s statement, requires a more than slight knowledge of statistics and a slightly greater understanding of English grammar and composition.
Well, it’s harder for cretins to lie.
This would be like interpreting a stat that 75% of fatal accidents occur within 5 miles or less of the home to mean that 75% of people are killed in accidents near their homes.
Tangent on the “accidents close to home” statistic.
Having heard it a number of times, it kind of looked like a silly curiosity. A reflection that people get distracted on familiar roads or whatever.
Then my college stats professor asked on day when it was brought up: “Well guys, what fraction of your driving do you within 5 miles of your home?”
The room went silent, and we were enlightened.
JutGory wrote, “Not sure it is a lie.”, “it would not surprise me if the data actually showed that 80% of gunshot victims are injured by their own gun or a gun in the household.”
When it comes to anti-gunner rhetoric Halon’s Razor simply doesn’t apply.
These people have proven over and over again that don’t give a damn if they lie directly to your face, it’s all about ginning up emotions and not about presenting facts, once the emotions are fired up all the facts and critical thinking are flushed straight down the toilet. They are despicable and they don’t care, it’s all ends justifies the means poppycock.
I have been reading their messages on newsgroup likes talk.politics.guns for twenty years.
As longtime commenter Chris Morton put it.
Tom Arnold was another example proving him right.
In my humble opinion; invincible ignorance = intentional lie
When relevant actual facts clearly state otherwise, and they have for many years, and the person(s) are willfully ignoring relevant actual facts so they can claim ignorance later, it’s intentional ignorance, it’s an intentional lie, and it’s malice.
Given that 7% of the population make up about 2/3 of murder victims, I don’t see where that 80% stat can be true, in any twisted statement of facts. The numbers just do not add up.
An interesting source:
#2 “Of course, since the administrators of a committed left-biased institution will decide what is “mean” or “uncivil,” both subjective standards, you can guess whose speech will be chilled by this.”
Of course that is the purpose. Everyone voicing an opinion that differs from the Progressive left is uncivil and evil.
#3 & #4 Kamala Harris will likely be the Democratic Party nominee.
Hmmm, how about this for a Democratic Party ticket?
Kamala Harris = President
Stacey Abrams = Vice-President
Seriously; I’m wondering how long it’s going to take the Democratic Party to parade Stacey Abrams across the United States for political feelers.
It’s my opinion that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a blithering idiot and a pawn of the extreme Progressive left. She is the epitome of Foot-In-Mouth Syndrome.
#2: “When did freedom of expression stop being a liberal value? Presumably it began when progressives stopped being able to defend their most extreme conduct, positions and beliefs”
That is your mistake, Jack. Progressives are not liberals. People need to understand that distinction.
“Progressives are not liberals. People need to understand that distinction.”
A big reason people make this mistake is that a large percentage of progressives think that they are liberal as they themselves do not know the difference.
Ocasio-Cortez and Trump almost as similar as different. Both are ignorant of many important things, tweet and say incomprehensible nonsense frequently at odds with the truth, display their ignorance as a badge of honor and assail those who point out the truth to them. Ocasio-Cortez at least has the excuse of youth and can’t really punch down, whereas Trump gleefully does so even if he should know better. Neither of them knows what they don’t know, but are both certain they know enough to comment on almost anything.
Ocasio-Cortez can’t be troubled to learn new things because they might conflict with her ideological purity, and that ideology is a demonstrated loser in terms of public policy. Trump, on the other hand, doesn’t have to worry about ideology since if he has one other than his own hubris, it is inscrutable. The are the face and obverse of the same crazy coin.
Minor point: Trump has been successful in life, as a level AOC is unlikely to duplicate. He wins on sheer competence points.
Heh. Fair enough, I guess.
Trump may be an incompetent boor as president, but he’s clearly a competent businessman. What Ocasio-Cortez is competent at is… convincing people she’s a socialist, I guess. Not much to recommend.
She was effective at defeating an establishment Democratic politician in a primary.
No matter how much you disagree with her opinions on public policy, you have to give her credit for that.
Meh… not so much. The establishment type neglected to campaign. A baloney sandwich could almost win in that environment.
#6 remins me of a Reagan quote I love.
The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.
I often wonder what constitutes being “smart”.
I can see the point that someone that claims to be smart may in fact not be. However, making statements designed to illustrate how “smart” you are suggest the same basic sentiment; I am as smart or smarter than you. Either way both demonstrate a general lack of confidence in one’s own capabilities.
I have seen some brilliant people do or say some spectacularly stupid things. I have seen people with IQ’s below 100 make some astoundingly insightful observations.
It is what we do with our intellect that is important. If you spend your life trying to showcase your own intellect without ever solving a problem you are as worthless as single celled organism. Conversely, if you create value for others even with limited intellectual capacity then you have achieved more than the intelligentsia who simply spend their days pontificating on esoteric matters.
The worst are those with great intelligence that us it to control the less gifted.
What is smart is a great and complex mystery full of surprises. What ISN’T smart is a snap. Saying you are smart in public isn’t smart. It’s dumb as dumb can be. Poor Fredo.
I agreed with that. I was trying to point out that many communicate the same sentiment, they just use far more polysyllabic words.
The smartest people I know ask more questions than offer answers.
He should have said he’s a very stable genius.
Then he’d look smaht.
”Saying you are smart in public isn’t smart.”
Self praise (especially the unsupported variety) stinks, a smart person would know that.
Funny how that applies to Trump AND Obama.
From Sen. Hirono:
I very much remember this line. This was, arguably, one of the most egregious things I heard come out of a politicians mouth during that episode, and that episode was rife with stupid things being said.
Initially when I heard her say this, and every time thereafter, that last sentence sticks in my head, and I think of the story of Army Rangers at the D-Day invasion, climbing a cliff at Pointe-du-Hoc under direct machine gun fire. When I think about the men of that era, how they went out and joined the military, with full knowledge of the horrors of WW1 as well as how badly it was going for the Allies in WW2, and then think about that statement from Sen. Hirono, it really brings to light her character flaws. I think that statement is of signature significance (as Jack would say)
I too was mourning the state of ethics the other morning.