Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 1/13/19: Walking Through The Ethics Woods On A Snowy Evening

Good evening!

1. Pro tip for James Comey: appealing to the Cognitive Dissonance Scale is the tactic of a scoundrel. Also an idiot. Comey, responding to one of President Trump’s anti-Comey tweets—it doesn’t matter which–responded yesterday,

It takes only a rudimentary knowledge of world history to recognize how many absolute villains, psychopaths and sociopaths could and would make that statement. Vlad Tepes (aka “Dracula,”), feared foe of the Turks. Joseph Stalin, enemy of Hitler. Hitler, enemy of Stalin. Comey and President Trump are both equally loathed by Hillary Clinton: puzzle that out.

How did someone with Comey’s character deficits last as long as he did, and what damage did he do over that time that we don’t know about? The mind boggles.

2. And speaking of mind-boggling: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Apparently not capable of figuring out that her problem is her own big mouth and some serious critical thinking issues, the irrepressible Congresswoman from New York is playing the pity AND the victim cards simultaneously. Unfortunately, as is her wont, she also inadvertently played the “unqualified to be in Congress because she never read the bill of Rights” card. “When does nonstop criticism of me by the Daily Caller rise to the level of ‘harassment’?” she tweeted plaintively.

Of course, as any reasonably well-educated 6th grader should be able to explain, the answer is “never,” or perhaps, “Never, you idiot,” even if the frequent criticism wasn’t warranted, which it obviously is.

3. Political Hot Stove suggestion. This is the time between baseball season known as the “Hot Stove League,” where baseball fans concentrate on free agent signings and trades, real, hoped for, or imagined. Here’s one involving politics: the Republicans should offer to trade Steve King (R-Iowa) to the Democrats for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez. The problem is that even the Democrats aren’t stupid enough to take the bait. King is a long-running disgrace and embarrassment, the embodiment of what the news media and Democrats want the public to think every Republican and conservative is really like.

In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, King asked: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” The fact that an elected  official anywhere from Congressman to town selectman could say that, hear what just came out of his mouth, and not recoil in horror while screaming: “That came out wrong! That’s not what I meant!! I don’t believe that, I swear!” is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt the speaker is a bigot and a fool. He is also a detriment and a pathogen in his party, which will be accused of racism and racist codes and “dog whistles”  for using the wrong tone of voice or expressing admiration for Winston Churchill.

King is also wrong. As Jonah Goldberg writes in the National Review,

“Among the best ideas and ideals of Western, Christian, and, most importantly, American civilization is that we are supposed to judge people on their individual merits, not keep score based on their ancestry. This vision was central to the creation of the Republican party, which is why it’s so dismaying that Representative King calls himself one.”

Bingo. Another good line from the article: “If there’s one thing King has not earned, it’s the benefit of the doubt. Even accounting for an IQ that seems to be in conflict with the idea that white people are superior, the man understands what he’s up to.”

What should be done about King? With the First Amendment under attack by Democrats, it is no time for the Republicans to try to expel him from Congress (I’m Democrats would go along). What they should do is kick him out of the Party. They can do that.

4.  Speaking of benefit of the doubt, the twin Get Trump newspapers of record, ironically the most respected papers in the country, both gave front page play to genuine news stories spun to cast suspicion on the President with no justification whatsoever. The Times revealed that The FBI undertook an investigation to determine whether he was a Manchurian Candidate, suggesting that this somehow suggests that he was, and the Washington Post reported the “bombshell” that Trump went to unusual lengths not to permit the content of his official meetings with Putin be known to others, implying that this suggested a sinister relationship between the two. Both stories were based on the presumption of guilt without evidence of guilt. Both stories framed the facts to undermine trust in the President, which is what the Times and the Post, along with CNN, the major news networks and most of the media has been attempting to do since the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck pulled out of the station. The FBI story only further proves the anti-Trump bias in a rogue law enforcement agency. The Post’s story about Trump’s Putin meetings tell me—but then, I’m not looking for reasons to impeach the President—that a President who didn’t trust his staff and “the Deep State” not to leak information to a hostile news media which would then use it to manufacture a new three-day “scandal” felt that the most valuable way to have a frank diplomatic conversation was to assure his adversary that he would be unusually discreet. I think this is probably wise. I also start withe presumption that Donald Trump, like every other President, is in office to do what he believes is in the best interests of the United States and its citizens.

What a concept.

18 Comments

Filed under Character, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, Incompetent Elected Officials, Journalism & Media, Law & Law Enforcement, Race

18 responses to “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 1/13/19: Walking Through The Ethics Woods On A Snowy Evening

  1. “(I’m Democrats would go along).”

    Did you mean “I’m sure the Democrats would go along”?

    And as for the New York Times and Washington Post still being the “most respected” newspapers in the country, it depends on who you ask and how they are counting. I Googled “American newspapers most subscriptions”, and according to the top result, agilitypr, NYT and WP are indeed the top 2, but according to Mashable, Wall Street Journal is on top (if you count print), and WP is down at number 7. I hoped they’d both be off the top ten, but I guess we can’t have everything.

  2. Glenn Logan

    1 Comey

    How did someone with Comey’s character deficits last as long as he did, and what damage did he do over that time that we don’t know about? The mind boggles.

    The damage he did is clear. The FBI has become a politicized shithole reminiscent of the worst of J. Edgar Hoover’s years.

    2 AOC

    Of course, as any reasonably well-educated 6th grader should be able to explain, the answer is “never,” or perhaps, “Never, you idiot,” even if the frequent criticism wasn’t warranted, which it obviously is.

    I vote for “never, you idiot.” She does not know how ignorant she is.

    I hesitate to call her stupid, because naivety and ignorance are fixable problems for the willing. Stupid is bone-deep, and no amount of education can fix it. But I worry.

    3 Steve King

    Here’s one involving politics: the Republicans should offer to trade Steve King (R-Iowa) to the Democrats for Rep. Ocasio-Cortez.

    I’d be willing to make that trade. I think AOC can actually be taught. Steve King is stupid. I think I’d send a few million dollars along with King just to sweeten the deal.

    His natural home is the Democrat party, anyway… at least the Democrat party of 50+ years ago.

    4 Benefit of the doubt

    To be fair, the papers would say that Trump has not earned the benefit of the doubt, and I think they have a point.

    Where they go wrong is trying to get Trump at all costs to their own credibility, and trying to spin every story as a “damning bombshell.” We’ve had so many media-described “damning bombshells” now that I’ve lost count, but it must be approaching 100. Yet somehow, there is still no proof or even significant evidence of Trump’s alleged cooperation with Russia to affect the election.

    “Bombshell” must not mean what I think it means.

    • JimHodgson

      1. Comey seems to fit the mold of several people I had dealings with during my career. Throughout their professional lives, they occasionally display questionable inconsistencies in character and behavior that are relatively minor and usually overlooked or explained away in the context of otherwise competent performance. Only when they reach a level of substantial authority does really atrocious behavior emerge and the true nature of their character become clearly revealed and undeniable. I have personally seen it in sheriffs and police chiefs, mayors, judges and legislators with whom I was acquainted. Comey’s narcissism is apparently boundless.

    • “Bombshell” must not mean what I think it means.

      At least no one except their eternally hopeful progressive core believes them anymore. They have used that phrase too often for it to mean anything.

  3. JimHodgson

    #3: I suspect Rep. King’s days are numbered. The RNC withdrew financial support of his mid-term campaign and he very narrowly won re-election in 2018. His only “virtue,” for Republicans is that he has been a reliable vote for the agenda of party elites. I would bet money that a moderate Democrat -and I hear that such people exist- could beat him next time out. Anytime I hear remarks such as those made by King in this case, I recall being taught in my youth that “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Secondarily, I am glad he is not from the South.

  4. A.M. Golden

    ““When does nonstop criticism of me by the Daily Caller rise to the level of ‘harassment’?” she tweeted plaintively.”

    Change Daily Caller to Daily Beast and change the Tweeter to President Trump and that statement is considered by the Left and the media as an all-out assault on Freedom of the Press and indicative of the President’s fascism.

  5. John walked into a bar and sat down next to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as the 10 o’clock news came on. The lead was a story of a man on a ledge of a large building, preparing to jump.

    AOC to John: “Do you think he’ll jump?”
    John: “You know what, I bet he will.”
    AOC: “Well, I bet he won’t.”
    John placed $50 on the bar: “You’re on!”

    Just as she placed her money on the bar, the guy did a swan dive off of the building, falling to his death. AOC handed $50 to John, saying, “Fair’s fair… Here’s your money.”

    John: “I can’t take your money. I saw this earlier on the 5 o’clock news and knew he would jump.”

    AOC: “I did too, but I didn’t think he’d do it again.”

    (H/T David Blaska)

  6. Rich in CT

    Regarding No. 4, I was absolutely disgusted that Congressional Democrats threatened to call Trump’s translator during the Putin talks to testify. That is a kaboom worthy threat that destroys any possible sensitive diplomatic talks for any future president.

  7. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me just came out of his mouth, and not recoil in horror while screaming: “That came out wrong! That’s not what I meant!! I don’t believe that, I swear!” is proof beyond a shadow of a doubt the speaker is a bigot and a fool. He is also a detriment and a pathogen in his party, which will be accused of racism and racist codes and “dog whistles” for using the wrong tone of voice or expressing admiration for Winston Churchill.

    I cannot say if he is intelligent or non-intelligent, well-educated or badly-educated, but I can definitely say that all that he has said about *Western civilization* is accurate and fair. Also completely moral and ethical.

    What he says about declining birth among Whites is also completely true. And if he is an advocate for raising the birth-rate to ‘replacement levels’ there is nothing at all wrong with that. It is completely fair and totally logical to say that we cannot import bodied into Europe, Canada, Australia and America and ‘raise their babies’. What that means is cooperating in a project of democratic replacement. When he said that ‘demography is destiny’ he said something very true; demonstrably true.

    A am going to go on-line later and make a contribution to him or his campaign or to other people or parties who think in this way. It is a very good example of the ‘flyover interior’ of the country having ideas and sentiments that are vilified by the MSM. Look on YouTube under Steve King and every one is a MSM Maoist-Media Hyper-Liberal take-down of the man.

    What he says CANNOT BE SAID. You are not allowed to think it or to say it and if you do they will crush you. White people are not allowed to defend their own interests. It is that simple. And this is one of the reasons why the term ‘white genocide’ has meaning. It is not a false thing, it is a real thing.

    True, ‘Republicans’ and ‘Conservatives’ do not think like this or speak like this because they have been coopted. They have become helpers and fellow-activists of Progressive projects. And also: America and Americanism have been redefined according to progressive notions and ideals.

    I root my views and ideas far more within classical Liberalism than in any extremism. But my ideas are now defined as ‘radical extremism’. That shows you that the centre has moves waaaay over to the Hyper-liberal Left. Steve King’s ideas are simple liberalism of an older school. They seem extreme given the mental state that has been established.

    But once one punctures that; once one sees that their position is radical, arbitrary, and depends on coercion and shaming, one can see through this false-liberalism. When one sees it as in fact radical progressivism underpinned by Marxian ideas and radical theory, one can begin to define a sane alternative.

    “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

    A very good question! Except that today, in a Maoist-run education system, you will get none of that at all. You will get no background in why Occidental systems are better and why it is important to defend them. You will not get that understanding. His mistake was to include the term ‘supremacist’. He might not have thought things through well enough. But the overall paragraph is correct.

    There is nothing wrong with speaking about ‘white nationalism’ and defining the term. It is morally and ethically defensible. To speak against it is unethical and immoral.

    True that all these topics are not simple and to defend the position I outline here would take time. But it can be done.

    The Jonah Goldberg article (it hardly qualifies as more than a burp) I can decimate in 20 seconds and leave it twitching on the floor. 🙂

    • Making an association between the success of Western civilization and race is not correct, moral, ethical, justified, or right. It is the Texas sharpshooter fallacy: Greeks, Romans and Britons considered themselves different races, not “white.” Are the Egyptians “white”?

      He’s an idiot. And a racist.

      • Making an association between the success of Western civilization and race is not correct, moral, ethical, justified, or right. It is the Texas sharpshooter fallacy: Greeks, Romans and Britons considered themselves different races, not “white.” Are the Egyptians “white”?

        No, it is absolutely and 100% correct. And ethically defensible. And moral in fact. But it is a fact that cannot be entertained, spoken of, nor allowed. The reason it cannot be allowed is because of the force and coercive power of PC-thinking. And the reason this mode of thinking has come to be dominant and unquestionable can be examined, talked about and I think rejected. And it can be done reasonably, fairly, openly and in accord with ethical and moral and intellectual principles.

        Western civilization, and American culture, were created by people of European extraction. The institutions they created were extensions and continuations of cultural, civic projects, philosophical developments, religious developments strictly pertaining to that culture. Only that culture did come up with those things. No other one. In a general sense, as everyone knows, one can speak of that as European accomplishment. And as everyone knows this now means ‘white’.

        Therefore, it is totally appropriate as well as necessary for white people to wish to discover or recover a way to talk about that. And it is ethical and moral that they understand it and talk about it. And that they begin to see what is acting against them in doing so.

        Once a small opening is made in this area, the rest follows. That has been my experience.

        Right now, there is an ideological war going on that has to do with *controlling the conversation*. The slightest squeak that seems to indicate an understanding that it is ‘white culture’ (Europeans and European ideas and intentions) that created and also sustain Europe, and thus America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, will be violently and ruthlessly attacked. Just as they are doing everything in their power to take down Steve King.

        The proper term is not ‘race’ in and of itself. The proper way to couch the conversation must have to do with a wide range of things and one of them is race and ethnicity in a far wider cultural context. Therefore it is not the only consideration and not the only element which must be seen and understood. It is a group of things. This is what Steve King was getting at and what he needs to do is to be better able to understand his own argument. Now, he is ‘waling back’ in order to save his political career. Because they will set out to destroy him and are doing so now.

        As the attack against Occidental civilization goes on, and as an attack against Europeans-as-white goes on and progresses, the distinctions within diverse Europe (different cultures, different traditions, different nationalities, differing temperments) begins to fade.

        And an attack takes shape that is framed ‘against whiteness’. Because everyone sees it and it is universally recognized and understood. Therefore, ‘whiteness’ becomes a considerable and defensible category even though, at one time, there was great conflict within the European family, and even though European colonialism and imperialism had destructive aspects.

        This is not racism. It is a general and I think liberal realism.

  8. In an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, King asked: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?

    You can answer that question.

    But the Washington Post editorial board could not.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/how-to-make-sure-racism-cant-win-on-college-campuses/2017/05/10/0e9596be-3584-11e7-b373-418f6849a004_story.html

    In a rising national tide of racial intolerance, colleges have not been spared puerile, pathetic and threatening incidents, which play on the volatile campus sensitivities of an era defined by trigger warnings and safe spaces. At AU, African American and other students demanded a “sanctuary space” be established for minority students at a campus cafeteria; a policy granting extensions for final exams to minority students; and an open-door policy for outside groups such as the NAACP to investigate hate crimes and racial incidents at the university.

    Eager to ease tensions, administrators granted those demands, and have gone the extra mile, or miles, by agreeing to additional nighttime patrols and racial-sensitivity training for students; offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps to identify the banana vandal, whose blurry image appears on security camera videos; and contracting with a prominent historian of American race relations, Ibram X. Kendi, to set up an anti-racism center on campus.

    That’s a smart, proactive agenda, one that might serve as a blueprint for other universities facing similar problems. Two days after the banana nooses appeared at AU, campus police at the University of Maryland at College Park said they were investigating a noose found hanging in the school’s Phi Kappa Tau fraternity house.

    this was my comment.

    In the mid-1950’s, the city of Montgomery in Alabama offered sanctuary spaces for certain minorities in their buses. I wonder why MLK Jr. and company made such a big fuss about it.

    Can someone explain to me why the Washington Post editorial board would have a problem with Steve King?

    Or what about the Harvard University, which engages in systemic racial discrimination? What is their objection to Steve King?

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