Best wishes for an ethical week ahead!
1. They just can’t help themselves. Golden Globe hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh went out of their way before the show to sell the idea that last night’s Golden Globes Awards would avoid political grandstanding, but sure enough, there was Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical winner Christian Bale, who plays Dick Cheney in “Vice,” accepting his honor by saying that he was “cornering the market on charisma-free a—holes … What do we think, Mitch McConnell next?” [Pointer: Zoltar Speaks!]
If I were the producer or on the Golden Globes board, I’d ban him from future ceremonies. Bale, who is probably the best actor still acting now that Daniel Day-Lewis has retired, was just virtue-signaling to the left-biased Hollywood crowd, and willing to annoy a lot of his audience to do it. There’s nothing productive or profound about calling two public servants, one of them retired, “a-holes” on national television; it’s just uncivil and rude. Not only that, but Bale is a genuine hypocrite: Less than a month ago, the actor spoke glowingly about Cheney, telling Fox News, “He was a wonderful family man — he’s a great dad, he’s an avid reader, he has a brain like a vice and he constantly reads history.” It sounds to me like Bale cuts his opinions and words to fit the audience he’s addressing.
2. From the Ethics Alarms “How Dare You Make Me Act Like A Jackass?” Files: The mainstream media has been using a Gallup poll showing that 16% of Americans polled say they want to leave the country as an indictment of President Trump. The spin is based on the narrative that anything negative is Trump’s fault, and anything positive that occurs is dumb luck, a late result of Barack Obama’s brilliance, or because Trump’s real objectives were foiled. In truth, the uptick in citizens saying they want to leave is a direct result of non-stop anti-American propaganda, in the schools, the colleges, in the news media, and from activists who pretend that the nation is an oppressive, autocratic, Fascist Hell where every woman is at risk of being raped, white supremacy is rampant, and African Americans are hunted down and shot on the streets for “living while black.” This state of mind has been seeded and cultivated entirely by “the resistance” and the ideologues who created it.
As several others have pointed out, Gallup’s summary that “a record number of Americans want to leave the U.S.” is fake news, and in multiple ways. There is no “number,” just a percentage of the group Gallup polled. That percentage, moreover, represents the alleged pollees who say they want to leave the U.S., not the ones who really want to, which would be demonstrated by some proactive steps to accomplish that objective. Women, under-30s and the poorest Americans make up the bulk of the 6% jump from the 10% of Americans who said they wanted to flee while Obama was President. I attribute the result to 1) the despicable, constant fear-mongering by Democrats, as in the ridiculous claims that Brett Kavanaugh would send the nation’s women into “A Handmaiden’s Tale”-style sexual slavery; 2) the general civic ignorance of millennials, too many of whom who get their knowledge of national affairs from Stephen Colbert and social media, and who have been conditioned to think that trading liberty for nanny state socialism would be a rational trade; 3) the false narrative, pushed by the news media, that President Trump is a racist; and 4) the fact that it is traditionally the progressives who threaten to leave the country whenever the Democrats aren’t in power, not conservatives when their star is waning. (Why is that?)
Ethical and civically literate Americans recognize that they are responsible for changing their nation for the better, whatever “better” is. Leaving is a cowardly and unpatriotic act, and my position is that if someone thinks losing an election is justification to leave for foreign shores, the U.S., its society and its politics are better off without them.
3. Re: The Shutdown. How many news sources have reminded their readers of this? Old friend and EA commenter Michael pointed out on Facebook:
There have been shutdowns in the Reagan Administration, the Clinton Administration, the George HW Bush Administration, the Obama Administration, and now the Trump Administration. The longest were under Clinton (21 days) and Obama (17 days). The shortest was George HW Bush, a weekend. For those on the left and right who are sharing misinformation, here’s a summary from Wikipedia: “During the Ronald Reagan administration, there were a total of eight shutdowns lasting four days or less. Reasons were arguments over the fairness doctrine, welfare package, water/crime fighting packages, foreign aid cuts, MX missile funding, needed spending bills and cuts in defense. A funding gap in 1990 during the George H. W. Bush administration caused a weekend shutdown. During the Bill Clinton administration, there were two full government shutdowns during 1995 and 1996 lasting five and 21 days respectively, based on disagreement on whether to cut government services. During the Barack Obama administration, a 17-day government shutdown occurred during October 2013 over Democrats and Republicans not coming to an agreement for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known colloquially as Obamacare. Three shutdowns have occurred during the Donald Trump administration: a three-day shutdown during January 2018; a funding gap that occurred overnight on February 9, 2018, which did not result in workers being furloughed; and an ongoing shutdown that began during December 2018, over proposed funding for a US–Mexico border wall.”
In almost every case, it was the President who “won” these stand-offs, and Congress that received the bulk of public criticism. Most involved Presidents wanting to fulfill campaign pledges. President Trump announced that he would accept responsibility for this impasse, but inevitably local voters start to see no benefit to them as they miss government services, and then hold their representatives responsible for sacrificing their constituency’s welfare to abstract principles and political warfare. Border control and national security are macro-issues that affect the President’s nationwide constituency, and this President isn’t swayed by polls or media hostility.
Already news notes are surfacing that point out that the government shutdown will soon cost more than the price tag on the “wall.” Internet memes are surfacing saying that Democrats care more about the non-Americans who want to enter the country illegally than about the law-abiding citizens who are already here. Each new episode in which an illegal immigrant kills an American, or worse still for the Democrats, a legal immigrant, makes the Pelosi position less tenable. As the shutdown is increasingly seen as a personal vendetta against the President, public support from all but the open borders crowd will collapse. Eventually the only thing keeping Democrats from capitulating will be the realization that letting Trump prevail will spark a civil war in their party.
This episode is mass incompetence by Democrats. Well done! Imagine the fix they would be in if Trump wasn’t a lunatic idiot….
4. The bell begins tolling for the Southern Poverty Law Center. Good. Ethics Alarms has previously noted that the once honorable SPLC now functions as an anti-conservative speech and policy hit group, labeling as “hate groups” organizations that differ with it philosophically,thus allowing the mainstream media to slime such organizations with the damning clause, “which has been categorized as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Last month, a lawsuit was filed against the SPLC arguing that it should have its 501c3 tax-exempt status revoked, that it owes the plaintiff restitution for racketeering, and that it should pay $6.5 million in damages to an individual whom the group falsely labelled a racist. The suit also accuses the group of undermining free expression, which, in fact, seems to be ist objective. In an August 2016 interview with The Washington Post cited in the lawsuit, SPLC Intelligence Project Director Heidi Beirich spoke of watching the plaintiff “like a hawk” because he had “the worst ideas ever created.”
It is not the business of the SPLC, or any organization, to suppress “ideas.”
(Remind me to point this out to Facebook as it censors Ethics Alarms..)
“This East Europe Communist thought-crime surveillance mentality is antithetical to fundamental American cultural and Constitutional principles protecting freedom of expression and association,” the suit says, in the process of exposing the SPLC’s strategy of branding its ideological opponents “hate groups” and orchestrating campaigns against them. Earlier this year, the SPLC was forced to apologize to one of its targets and retract its characterization. As I wrote in 2017,
“Hate group” has no accepted definition, but SPLC defines a ‘general hate group” thusly: “These groups espouse a variety of rather unique hateful doctrines and beliefs that are not easily categorized.” Got it. The Southern Poverty Law Center is a hate group by its own definition. To be a reliable arbiter of whether a group is promoting hate rather than a just a controversial policy position, a group would have to be non-partisan, objective and politically neutral. all things that the SPLC is not. This is an organization that designates groups that espouse views that it hates as hate groups.
I hate that.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the SPLC epitomizes Eric Hoffer’s observation that every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. Other examples: The Republican Party, the NAACP, the ACLU, and the Roman Catholic Church.