[Here’s a Warm-Up warm-up that has nothing to do with ethics. In “Ben-Hur,” which I watched again last week, Charlton Heston’s character is know by three completely different names. One, of course, is Judah Ben-Hur. What are the other two?]
1. Virtue signaling and pandering are both inadequate to describe this. If only it were a joke—but it appears to be proof of institutional brain rot. The British army is reaching out to “selfie addicts,” “snowflakes,” “me me me millennials”—remember, I’m not making this up!—“class clowns”, “binge gamers”,and “phone zombies” celebrating the alleged virtues these juvenile behaviors demonstrate, such as self-belief, spirit, drive, focus, compassion and confidence. Here are two examples of the new posters:
To state the obvious, or at least what should be obvious, these are false characterizations of the toxic qualities that have led to the derogatory labels involves. “Snowflakes” aren’t compassionate; they are crippled by political correctness and hyper-sensitivity to the extent that they regard the vicissitudes of the real world as “offensive.” The “self-belief” of “Me me me Millennials” is a delusion created by a misguided society that elevates self-esteem above self-awareness. An equivalent and no less deranged recruitment campaign would target virulent racists, child molester and serial killers because the Army needs them and their “passion.”
A military that is capable of approving such a bonkers campaign really can’t be trusted by the public it is supposed to protect.
2. So we’re back to this again! It’s a close competition as to which of the New York Times’ extreme left columnists are most outrageous in the slobbering hatred of President Trump. Paul Krugman, Charles Blow and David Leonhardt are closely bunched—a newspaper that was not hopelessly biased itself would not tolerate the excesses of any of them—but Leonhardt, whom I’ve written about before, may have pulled ahead with this op-ed, titled, “The People vs. Donald J. Trump—He is demonstrably unfit for office. What are we waiting for?”
Read it, with hands clasped firmly over your head to prevent cranial explosions, and some Pepto within reach. What an embarrassment, especially to those Times readers who are so far gone that they don’t realize how embarrassing it is. What are we waiting for? It’s called “an election.” The fact that those who didn’t vote for the President—like me— because they thought he was unfit for office–were over-ruled by sufficient numbers of voters who concluded, not without some justification, that he was fit enough to be preferable to the alternatives. Leonhardt’s “argument” is essentially a call for a coup, a rejection of Democracy, and a dangerous invitation to single party totalitarianism. I’m sure this was on the way to the press before Rep. Tlait spilled the beans and the Times’ previous editor admitted that the Times is out to bring down Trump’s Presidency, or at least to appeal to readers who are.
Good timing, Dave!
3. Question: “Is it unethical to give your cat catnip?” Answer: Of course it is. Isn’t it obvious? “The Conversation” examines the question with more wigor than someone with functioning ethics alarms should require. Catnip, botanical name of Nepeta cataria, induces behavior in cats that is similar to intoxication in humans. The difference is that when drugged by the stuff, cats don’t know what is happening. Giving catnip to cats is like giving beer to dogs or pot to toddlers. Almost 40 years ago, when my wife-to-be introduced me to what would become my first pet (the turtle doesn’t count), her Siamese cat, I asked her if she ever gave him catnip. “Never,” she said emphatically. “It’s a rotten and cruel thing to do to an innocent animal.”
4. Boy, do I hate it when politicians use “ethics” as a cover to pursue objectives that are anything but ethical. The “For the People Act, one of the first bills offered by the coup-seeking Democratic majority in the House, claims to be a comprehensive elections and ethics reform package targeting a “culture of corruption in Washington.” Right.
The bill would create automatic national voter registration, expand access to early and online registration, restore protections provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act struck down by SCOTUS, prevent states from purging their voting rolls, and require Presidents to make ten years of tax returns public.
The bill would also increase federal support for state voter systems, including paper ballots to prevent fraud, and restore voting rights for ex-prisoners, but including some valid provisions in a bill like this is standard operating procedure when the only purpose is grandstanding for the news media and the base. The rest of the bill ensures that it will be Dead on Arrival in the Senate, and should be. But the rejection will give an opportunity to Democratic demagogues, and that’s the real reason for the bill.
- Voting rolls have to be purged. Leaving names of dead and inactive voters on the books is inviting voter fraud.
- Apathetic and ignorant voters distort elections and can be easily manipulated—that’s why politicians like them. Registration should be easy, but some effort and interests should be shown by a citizen. Automatic registration is irresponsible.
- The 1965 Voting Act was unconstitutionally out of date, and gave the Justice Department power to meddle in the election policies of some states based on half-century old evidence of systemic discrimination. This part of the House bill is not only unethical, it is dishonest and deceptive.
- The tax disclosure provision is virtually a Bill of Attainder, an unconstitutional law aimed at a single individual. Every citizen has a right of privacy, and the government may not disclose private information it obtains for a limited purpose, like tax collection. Voters are free to come to whatever negative conclusions they choose when a politician refuses to reveal his or her tax returns, but it must remain the individual’s choice to disclose or not.