Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/28/19: Ethics Avalanche!


Too many festering ethics issues to cover in as much detail as they deserve…

1. The deterioration of the New York Times, and with it respectable print journalism, continues. Over the weekend, the Times published a very large, front page diagram showing the President in the middle of a circle of indicted aides, advisers and others with some connection to his campaign. (I’m looking at it right now; I can’t find a version on the web to post.) It belongs in the Guilt by Association Hall of  Shame, and some other shameful halls as well. Literally none of the indictments involve any campaign activities by Trump or his campaign that would constitute illicit cooperation with Russia to affect the 2016 election—you know, the supposed point of having a Special Counsel. The bulk are so-called “process” violations, which means that the individuals lied in some aspect of the investigation, and was charged to pressure him to “flip” on the President.The one individual whose charges are linked to Trump is Michael Cohen, whose actual crimes had nothing to do with Trump, and whose alleged crime involving Trump–paying off an adulterous sex partner to keep quiet—is probably not a crime at all, even though Cohen pleaded guilty to it to save his skin.. The graphic proves nothing and clarifies nothing. It is just raw meat for Trump-haters, asserting guilt without substance. Similar circles could be assembled around many, many national figures and politicians (Bill Clinton comes to mind, and Barack Obama), especially following two years of targeting their associates.

2. Ann Althouse vivisects Tom Brokaw.  Just go to this link and read Ann’s expert commentary on Tom Brokaw’s bizarre turn on “Meet the Press,” and the even more bizarre tweets he issued to apologize to the social media mob for opining that “Hispanics should work harder at assimilation.” (Hispanics assimilate just fine, especially when they are here legally.)

Yes, poor Tom really did tweet, ” my tweet portal is whack i hv been trying to say i am sorry i offended and i so appreciate my colleague.” 

3. This would be an unethical quote of the day except that CNN fake media ethics watchdog Brian Stelter says and writes unethical things so often that it is no longer worth highlighting. Stelter re-tweeted with favor this quote from a panelist on his show as they discussed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex:

“She’s got a target on her back because she ticks every box that makes conservative men uncomfortable.”

Of course, this is pure race- and gender-baiting, the progressive and media reflex response to any criticism of female or minority Democrats, and insulting to women and progressive men as well. I assume many of the latter—the smart ones, anyway—are also made “uncomfortable” by arrogant, ignorant, under-qualified, anti-Semitic, Socialist naifs who garner a disproportionate amount of publicity while advocating absurd and irresponsible policies. A member of Congress who blathers like AOC would be like fingernails on a blackboard if she were a midde-aged he of Nordic descent.

Boy, Stelter is terrible. I hereby apologize to Howard Kurtz for being so hard on him when he had Stelter’s job. Compared to Stelter, Howard is me.

4. This would be an ethical quote of the day except that it is so obvious, and the only thing unusual about it is that the speaker is another CNN race-baiter like Brian Stelter. The bipartisan criminal justice reform act, signed into law last month by President Trump, was overwhelmingly supported bySenate Democrats. In the House, however,   57 Democrats, including Reps. John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Elijah Cummings and Al Green voted against the law, which had been championed by African American activists. In a remarkable burst of candor, CNN African-American commentator Van Jones, a supporter of the bill, said,

“I think privately, they just didn’t want Trump to have a victory.”

That is also why the Democrats refuse to compromise on Trump’s wall, even to benefit the “Dreamers” they hold so dear.

Petty, vindictive and stupid is no way to run a country, son…

5. What life is like without freedom of speech...Naturally, the story hails from England, where Humberside Police questioned Harry Miller  for more than half an hour because he “liked” a tweet that mocked the transgender persons. The grilling questioned his “thinking” and his reasons for liking the tweet. Miller wrote, describing the episode on social media, “I asked if any came close to being criminal…and he read me a limerick. Honestly. A limerick. A cop read me a limerick over the phone.” After telling the PC he did not write it, Miller says the copper replied: “Ah. But you liked it and promoted it. It’s not a crime, but it will be recorded as a hate incident.”

I must add that what Miller liked was dumb, unfunny, not clever, and most of all, not a limerick. Not even close.

Morons. Everywhere.

6.  From the “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind’s made up!” files. A new study conducted by the New York City Hospitality Alliance indicates that as widely predicted by anyone with a smattering of economic literacy who wasn’t lobotomized by progressive cant, the city’s extreme minimum wage hike is costing workers hours and income. Surveying 574 restaurants, the study found that 75% of full-service establishments plan to cut employee hours, and 47 percent will eliminate jobs entirely in response to the forced minimum wage hikes.In 2018,  77% of full-service restaurants reduced employee hours and 36%  cut jobs, also in response to the mandated wage increases.

When the increase went through and my left-wing, knee-jerk Facebook friends began cheering, I nicely pointed out that with their progressive can virtue-signaling they were revealing their ignorance. The response was that “experts disagree.” [Source: Reason]

7. Covington Catholic Students Ethics Train Wreck.  Bishop Foys of Covington sent a letter of apology to the students and their parents that he had previously condemned the boys over false accusations of racist behavior arising from a deceptively edited video and the credulous acceptance of a Native American activist’s lies. One part of the letter is especially disturbing:

“We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.”

What good are supposed moral authorities if they are so cowardly and without integrity that they betray their own rather than stand up for their rights and defend them? How can such people be trusted to teach the young? How does one “bully” the Catholic Church, if it is guided by the principles and values it claims to be?

8.  Just curious: Who read or heard any mainstream media reports about the fact that Democratic operatives, funded by Democrat tech billionaire Reid Hoffman, ran a Russian-style disinformation campaign on Facebook pages in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections? American Engagement Technologies (AET), founded by former Obama administration official Mikey Dickerson, bought ads for two Facebook pages, “The Daily Real” and “Today’s Nation,” encouraging Republican voters to stay home in the midterm elections, accordi8ng to Facebook’s ad archives. The two pages were devised to looks and read like  they were operated by frustrated conservatives rather than by Democratic operatives.The pages encouraged conservative voters to either stay home in November or vote for Democrats to punish Republican House members for their ineptitude.

There is an obvious double standard and hypocrisy issue here, but I’ll let you define it yourself.

9. Finally and sadly...Young, brilliant, jotous African American Red Sox star and recently-minted MVP Mookie Betts now says that he will not join the team when it is feted at the White House. This is a bad thing all around, but I can’t blame Mookie, who is a smart young man but also vulnerable to the core false narrative, or Progressive/mainstream media Big Lie if you prefer, that the President of the United States is a racist. Such championship team visits to the White House are unifying and healthy for the nation, but the plan is to rob this President from all the trappings and honors of the office. Mookie is helping out the “resistance” as an innocent dupe who believes what he is told.

I don’t want to think about it any more.


46 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/28/19: Ethics Avalanche!

  1. Mookie Betts is an adult and makes his own decisions. Giving him a pass because he is young is contrary to what you stated earlier about AOC.

    Both are adults and should be acting as adults.

    • AOC is an elected official, and presents herself as someone who is qualified to make laws and public policy. Her ignorance is negligence and incompetence, because it relates to her duties and profession. Mookie Betts is a baseball player who doesn’t need to know we have a President, much less how that President is misrepresented, to fulfill all of his professional obligations, and in an outstanding fashion. Assuming the typical level of interest in public affairs by the average young, elite pro athlete—that is, none—one cannot fairly blame Mookie for adopting the conventional wisdom of the black sports echo chamber. Heck, I follow this issue in detail, and I can easily see how people are misled and deceived.

      • Jack, I place the same duties and responsibilities on each and everyone of us that I do on those elected to office.
        We cannot lament the ignorance and arrogance of those we elect if we choose them based on our own ignorance and arrogance.

        • I agree with Chris. Many times on this site baseball ethics features transcend the sport by providing a foundation to discuss generalities in ethics. We have read posts about how sports (whether baseball, basketball, curling [a personal favorite], hockey, etc.) should be unifying ventures to the culture.

          We can fight like cats and dogs over whether the LA Rams should be in the Super Bowl this year but can come together as a nation to say the Super Bowl is a good opportunity for people to enjoy competition, camaraderie, and culture. Mookie knows this, or at least he should know it, and if he doesn’t then his manager (and/or his overpaid sports agent) does and should set him to rights.

          There is absolutely no justification for him to reject a trip to the White House based on some ill-conceived and incoherent protest. In fact, no sport champion should have any sort of justification for rejecting a trip to the White House. If Mookie is making a comment about police brutality, and racism, and Kaepernick not have a job, then he is disgracing the tradition of celebrating a national championship in the White House. After all, the World Series is an American institution and Mookie should honor the tradition. I refuse to believe that his young age provides his with a pass.

          Moreover, protesting a visit to the White House with Trump in the Oval Office is insulting to the Oval Office and the country as a whole. Kaepernick doesn’t have a job because he has made himself unemployable and no NFL team wants that baggage. Any front office of any team is looking at his application and saying, “Hey, this Kaepernick guy’s good but check out this other applicant – he can do the 40 yard dash in 3.8 seconds flat and a 5 foot vertical leap. Let’s talk to him.” Kaerpernick wants to shroud his unemployability in a political stunt he figured would prevent the 49ers from ever putting him out to pastu . . . I mean put him on waivers. He knelt, the 49ers looked on, and Kaepernick blinked, resulting in no job. Sorry, Colin. Life’s tough sometimes.

          Yet, let’s assume that Kaepernick has a valid point. Did something change in the country at the time he decided to kneel? Did 2016 signal to police that it was a good time to clean their barrels and go hunting for young black men? If I recall my history, we have been confronting these problems for over 200 years. Trayvon Martin (yeah, I know . . .) happened in 2012; Eric Garner happened in 2014, and Michael Brown happened in 2014. How many athletes declined invitations to the White House in those years to protest police brutality and systemic racism? I can’t remember any. Can you?

          So, why are athletes kneeling now? Why didn’t they kneel in 1986? 1996? 2006? Heck, we had some Olympians stand on a track and field podium and raise their fists in protest in Mexico City in 1968 because of these problems. Where was the NFL then? How about baseball? The NBA? Hockey? The protests in 1968 were more coherent and timely than what The Kneelers are doing now. If Mookie can’t figure that out, then maybe Pres. Trump should say to them: “Come all or don’t come at all.”


          • “I won’t be going there,” Betts said. “I decided not to.”

            I hadn’t checked what Mookie had said, but I assumed he wouldn’t elaborate. Yes, I agree that’s it’s disrespectful, but its hardly a political statement when put on that footing. It’s an invitation, not an order. And again, I don’t expect guys like that to have all the facts, or think it through. But it’s not a protest unless he says it is.

    • It’s like all the other supposed “racist” positions. The subjects happened to be black. There is no reason to believe that he would not have had the same opinion if the Central Park 5 were white, or if a white President had a controversy over whether he was born here—except the assumption that he is a racist. A self-validating fallacy.

  2. #9 I recall in the halycon days of Barrack, when some athlete said he didn’t wan’t to go the White House, because he had disagreements with the administration, the media and sports media would pounce about how terrible that is, this is a non-political event, it’s neutral, why would one make this political, it’s not about that, and how could you. Boy, times have changed.

    • Times haven’t changed, just the players. I’m guessing that was Curt Schilling. Curt’s conservative. Barack was a lefty. Schill was a righty. Of course he was skewered. Plus, Schill doesn’t particularly like sportswriters. Who are all lefties. Nor does he suck up to sportswriters just because they vote people into or out of the Hall of Fame.

      • Steve, I think Trump just bought himself some more time. Not a bad negotiating technique. At some point, the Dems are going to have to give him something. They can’t just continue to say “no” indefinitely. Bad optics. Was it a defeat for Trump? No. Strategic retreat/rope-a-dope? Yes. Victory for Pelosi. Not at all.Trump has not given up. Three weeks is a pretty short budget time frame. Will all the bureaucrats even have found their desks in three weeks?

        • OB, with a willing sycophantic media they can do whatever they want forever. It is their only real plan beyond entirely subverting the Constitution.

          • Well, Trump won without advisors in 2016. He may just stick to the wall thing for the next two years and it may get him elected. Maybe reasonable, adult voters might think the Dems are being unreasonable and not like it. The ‘experts’ were all wrong in 2016. They could be very wrong on this wall thing as well. I’m just not sure people tell the truth to pollsters any more.

            • You’re right there as it applies to 2016. Question is how long can any population hold to its values or policies when under endless media and socio-cultural assault. Sieges usually end with the defensive side succumbing to the aggressors. Feeling besieged? I am.

              • I’m with you. There are times I feel in twenty years Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be Speaker or head of the Ways and Means Committee and the country will be essentially a Communist operation. The lure of free stuff will be irresistible to the lazy electorate. The whackjobs in academia will have brainwashed two or three generations and the country will become Venezuela.

                • You might be right – to hear the MSM this shutdown is the beginning of the end for Trump and the GOP. The shutdown was the fatal error that’s going to give us President Harris next year.

                  • I suggest it is a pretty serious mistake on the part of Washington to take too strong a lead in toppling Maduro. Remember, the reason Chavez came to power is because, directly because, of the corruption in the government that gained power in the Postwar era. Thorough corruption. Ridiculous levels of corruption.

                    Eighty percent of the population of Venezuela lived (and lives) in poverty and they do not have the education, skills nor means (nor capital) to create wealth. This is the *Latin American problem*. What to do?

                    It must be remembered because it is totally and undeniably true that Chavez achieved his objectives through democratic means. Nearly a chemically pure example of populism and democracy. This is just a fact (though I cannot emphasize enough the contempt I have for him, for a group of reasons). Despite any *reports* in the MSM (which you and others now recognize as lying and distorting), Maduro has a substantial base of political support. And Venezuela, despite reports, still functions through democratic processes. This is just a fact.

                    If the US were to invade — an operation like that of Panama under the elder Bush — it would represent a rather grotesque and obvious hypocrisy if one really did take the rhetoric of the US (in respect to democracy) seriously.

                    The same is true if it spear-headed a coup. (It would be much better if it remained behind the scenes, giving a lead role to Colombia and Brasil).

                    I suggest that this is a perfect example of how US hypocrisy functions. It is much simpler to drop all the nonsense about ‘defending human rights’ or ‘constructing democracy’. You know and I know that at the upper echelons the conversations do not have to do with such ‘noble causes’. No. These are issues (as Chomsky says) of ‘straight power principles’.

                    Democracy, including a democracy that will go through all its own social and economic lessons (as Venezuela is now) cannot be allowed and will not be allowed. Not there, not anywhere. I beg you to be honest with me and admit that, you too, recognize this.

                    *Democracy* is a false-term. We live in pseudo-democracies. We live under plutocratic and oligarchic structures and they have designed for us pseudo-democratic forms and the illusion of popular participation. And the MSM are integral parts of this phantasy-system.

                    So, it is very true that Venezuela and all the Bolivarian nonsense has been tremendously mismanaged. The social and economic problems in Venezuela are real as rain. (And Chavez and Maduro were absurdly corrupt! as will immediately happen with Juan Guaidó!)

                    But what should now happen? An intervention by the US, and the recapture of Venezuela by its own elite class in concert with the elite financial class of the US and other players in the region?

                    Or, a revolution and uprising on the part of Venezuelans themselves? and one where they deal with their own issue and problem?

                    With all that said, and reflecting on my (and my family’s) experience in Colombia, the Colombian oligarchic pseudo-democratic system will function well for many in Venezuela. Here in Colombia, they still regularly assassinate political organizers and people who work to organize peasants. The underpinning of power is in sheer violence. But now, in Colombia, there is a very real betterment simply by virtue of a swelling economy. The difference now compared to 10 years ago is like night and day.

                    It is a curious problem: to accept a false-democracy and all the lies and distortions that are part of that charade, and to accept what amounts to rule by The Mob (which is what a power-elite really is: a racket-system among interconnected families and constellations of corporations) who can offer relative levels of economic well-being.

                    *You* in the US really have the same problem. You do not really have nor live in a democracy. You live in and under an oligarchic and plutocratic system which, as it happens, has incorporated into it, or is moving in that direction, elements of the socialist model.

                    Venezuela will also (from the look of things) soon collapse, or Maduro will be forced to accede to the will of the US, and the next step will be to incorporate Venezuela into the general model of South America. All the capital entities the fled will be able to return. And a System will be reestablished. But like in Colombia, and like in the US, it will be incorporated into the semi-socialized model that allows for international capital to ‘have its way’ as a socialistic model is established in parallel.

                    Does this make it seem that I am opposed to toppling the government in Venezuela? That is not really the case. If I have as my goal to *see clearly* and to *see what is* and not to deceive myself, are not I obligated to make an effort to *tell the truth*?

                    Ah, but *to tell the truth* in the present dispensation is not really allowed, is it?

                    • I think Trump should round up Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Noam Chomsky, and all our other ‘Socialism is great, it just has never been tried properly’ people and tell them to ‘Put up or shut up!”. He should offer them $50 million in foreign aid to go to Venezuela and sort this whole thing out. Venezuela went from the most prosperous South American country to a basketcase in just a few years after they went socialist. Since socialism is wonderful, this is obviously just the result of a simple misunderstanding. They should be able to fix this and turn Venezuela into a socialist utopia in no time. Put up or shut up.

                    • Venezuela went from the most prosperous South American country to a basketcase in just a few years after they went socialist.

                      Venezuela, I regret to say, was not ever really prosperous. Venezuela could have been very prosperous though. First, having petroleum only provides a source of free dollars, more or less. In the Postwar era in Venezuela this money functioned like a drug. Industries were not built. There was not investment in infrastructure, industry and education, and — really sadly in fact — 80% of the population lived in poverty. Therefore, Venezuela could not be said to be prosperous. Yet there was a certain amount of money floating around, and certainly the sector of the population allied with the reigning government had access to it. But, there was too astounding levels of corruption and open robbery of the petroleum treasure.

                      In the 1990s, because the funds had run out to keep up the subsidies for poor people’s food, and because the Bolivar was devaluated against the dollar, a crisis developed which led to *unrest* as it is called. This came about not because of socialists or communists but because of historical failures on the part of the ruling elite. Thus, the failure began with this class and by their failures.

                      That *eighty percent* of the population, classically ignorant, unable to grasp how things had turned out this way, but angry and riled, and with no one to blame but the ruling elite which abused their social and economic position in astounding ways, turned to a classic Latin American solution: the Caudillo [Spanish, from late Latin capitellum, diminutive of Latin caput ‘head’. The title El Caudillo, ‘the leader’, was assumed by General Franco of Spain in 1938]. Hugo Chavez was *their man*.

                      It is totally true that Chavez steered the country toward the socialist model. And he allied Venezuela with Cuba out of unadulterated resentment and contempt for the Yankee. And people like Chomsky (in fact Chomsky himself who visited Venezuela numerous times) contributed to the dreamy hope that some alternative existed to a form of subservience to Washington. (Again, these are straight, cold facts).

                      But it is also true that Chavez did more for that *80%* of the poor than any other government. People would say “Chavez is the answer to our prayers” and they meant it literally. And it is also true that he gave a kind of pride to the poor or Venezuela that was inconceivable. The sense that they had some (democratic) power over their own destiny. These are facts. Maduro (who succeeded Chavez) still has a large base of support. This is also a fact.

                      As I see things, the point is not to side with the *capitalists* or defend the *socialists* when describing what happened in Venezuela. I personally recognize that Venezuela will do better and prosper more when the present rulership is replaced. True, it may develop into a civil crisis because there still are very dedicated Chavistas [Chavismo is a left-wing political ideology based on the ideas, programs and government style associated with the former Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez that combines elements of socialism, left-wing populism, patriotism, internationalism, Bolivarianism, feminism, green politics and Caribbean and Latin American integration] who will resent and oppose a Yankee imposition. I think there is a larger point and it has to be *put out on the table and talked about*.

                      President Trump came into office speaking of ‘draining the swamp’. What does this mean? In our present, now, people are rebelling against ‘globalism’ and attempting to name what is the force that drives things along certain paths: the paths of liberalism and hyper-liberalism.

                      On this blog there are notable ‘patriots’ of the US and its policies of intervention, attack and war-making, yet who at the same time take issue with the Liberal System which is showing its face and its power as it sits you down and TELLS YOU what will be. How does it feel?

                      I suggest there is a failure to understand the relationship between the attack on sovereignty which is occurring in the US now, the symptoms of which are becoming visible even to the American Patriots, and the machinations of huge capital players who definitely are not pro-democracy if democracy is actually an expression of nationalism and the sort of social enterprise that, imperfectly and even disastrously, was begun in Venezuela. A true nationalist project has to have a social dimension, and resources must be directed toward people if only through education and infrastructure and other such means.

                      This is, I suppose, my dilemma. I am not a progressive-leftist, and definitely not a communist or a sociality. But I am not an American pseudo-conservative who gives assent to concentrations of power and finance that engage in interventions and war-making and which is now, right now, usurping power in the US. How does one describe this American Rightwing? I do not even know what the words are.

                      But it is the same sort of failure to responsibly rule, and to responsibly care for one’s own people (as happened in Venezuela) that contributes to the rise of an ignorant, angry, populist mass such as you now witness in the US.

                      Therefore, ‘true conservatism’ and its principles have to be
                      rediscovered and re-enunciated.

  3. The Covington Diocese was too busy jumping in front of the virtue signaling bus to wait for the facts. Naturally it got run over. Saying it was bullied compounds the problem. They bowed to pressure while chastising students for supposedly bowing to negative pressure. They need to issue refund checks to the students’ families.

    • Guess you can’t be a pedophile AND not hate Trump at the same time. Have to try to score as many social justice points as possible. Despicable. Gutless.

    • Bullied nothing. The Catholic Church knows its moral authority is at its lowest ebb after this disastrous revelation last year of just how widespread the pedophile enabling was among its upper echelon. However, it also knows that there is no faster way to redeem yourself with the left than to go all-in on social justice, just like John Murtha went from a semi-corrupt congressman under investigation for steering government work to family members to a hero of the anti-war left. All of a sudden it was, “investigation? What investigation? They should be investigating the false pretenses GWB launched this war under.” Most of the left doesn’t care about the truth, they only care about what can hurt the other side, and if that involves some lying or stretching the truth, well, then being morally correct is more important than being accurate, as AOC has said.

    • “We should not have allowed ourselves to be bullied and pressured into making a statement prematurely, and we take full responsibility for it.”

      Jack writes: “What good are supposed moral authorities if they are so cowardly and without integrity that they betray their own rather than stand up for their rights and defend them? How can such people be trusted to teach the young? How does one “bully” the Catholic Church, if it is guided by the principles and values it claims to be?”

      It may or may not be of interest to you or other readers, but within the New Right (the Right that challenges typical American conservatism) and also the Traditional Religious Right (people of religious orientation, both pagan and Christian who see the world through a religious lens and have issues with ‘corporate America’ and ‘American hyper-liberalism’ and the Hyper-liberal destruction of value & meaning), there is a good deal or conflict and disagreement about how racial and ethnic issues, and also typical issues of Christian social progressivism, should be thought about and handled. It is quite hard for typical Catholics, for example, to have and define ‘harder’ positions on social matters. There is little doctrinal authority to handle the conflicts that are arising in our present.

      In America today everyone is given and everyone receives a worldview that is analogous to the short clip of video that did circulate of the smirking boy and the noble elder. They are primed to receive that sort of image and react against it with moral horror.

      It is understandable that a Church entity or one person within the Church, in the present dispensation, would feel it necessary to instantly condemn the boys. Because the whole nation did it. The whole nation responds, like Pavlov’s Dog, and salivates upon demand.

      How could the Church condemn the Black Israelites? What terms would it use? How would it articulate it? (I do not mean for the bad language they use but for their destructive anger). And what terms would it use to condemn the Indian who, to all appearances, has nibbled excessively on the Loco Beans?

      (Mr Phillips is a postmodern Indian if ever there was one. Raised by Whites, having served in the military, and then integrated himself with the American Indian Movement, he is ’emblematic’ of a crisis of identity and thus has cobbled together a postmodern identity. So in truth are the Israelites. These people show what ‘crisis of identity’ and desperation look like).

      The Church is tongue-tied. I do not think the Progressive Catholic Church, like poor embattled America herself, can find the terms with which to confront the ultra-strange present: a chaos of peoples, values, intentions, prejudices, desires, needs. No ‘rough hand’ could develop. Nothing decisive. No decision can be made.

      It would be difficult — difficult but not impossible — for the Church to define positions that could ally it with the New Right. It would amount to a very detailed and structured expression of carefully expressed ideas in which the spiritual aspect of man is defended in absolute terms, but aspects of social hierarchy and inegalitarian notions are explained and defended. How could a Christian defend ‘white nationalism’? That’s a rhetorical question but trust me the Traditional Christian Right is working on it!

      There is a book out now: The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity that outlines a very significant development within all of Christendom: the center of gravity has shifted to the South. Africa and South America and also South Asia. Nothing like this has ever happened. It’s a world-level event and one of the more significant in Christian history. Just as Northern Europe did 1000 years ago when it was confronted by Roman Christianity, the world of the South will infuse Christianity with its own *colors* (that was an unintended pun!)

      The future of Christianity is with the ‘brown southern masses’ (if you will permit this rather stark turn of phrase) and not with white Europe or America (or the former English colonies).

      E Michael Jones — a dedicated and I think a sincere Catholic — cannot defend white people as white people when he is confronted by white ‘race-realists’ in podcasts and in debate-settings. He sees Christianity as ‘logos’ and he sees that ‘logos’ is penetrating far and wide in the world. It transforms wherever it appears and is valued.

      It would seem that little of this has bearing on the Covington incident, but I would differ. We live in a *connected world* and all things bear on each other.

      Some quotes from Isaiah (about opposing Logos):

      Woe to those who quarrel with their Maker,
      those who are nothing but potsherds
      among the potsherds on the ground.
      Does the clay say to the potter,
      ‘What are you making?’
      Does your work say,
      ‘The potter has no hands’?
      Woe to the one who says to a father,
      ‘What have you begotten?’
      or to a mother,
      ‘What have you brought to birth?’

      “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
      neither are your ways my ways,”
      declares the Lord.
      “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so are my ways higher than your ways
      and my thoughts than your thoughts.
      As the rain and the snow
      come down from heaven,
      and do not return to it
      without watering the earth
      and making it bud and flourish,
      so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
      so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
      It will not return to me empty,
      but will accomplish what I desire
      and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

      How to cooperate with Divine Processes, and yet also to preserve one’s sovereignty and one’s sanctity of self, is of course the issue and the problem here. Is ‘globalism’ a manifestation of ‘God’s will’? Is the blending of the races? Is America in accord with ‘God’s will’?

      Knotty problems!

  4. 5. If the guy was questioned by police for just “liking” the hateful tweet, what happened to whomever actually made the hateful tweet? I fear this is a glimpse into our brave new progressive future.

  5. In 2018, when 77% of full-service restaurants reduced employee hours and 36% cut jobs, also in response to the mandated wage increases.

    Can someone please fill in what went missing here?

  6. In the House, however, 57 Democrats, including Reps. John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Elijah Cummings and Al Green voted against the law, which had been championed by African American activists. In a remarkable burst of candor, CNN African-American commentator Van Jones, a supporter of the bill, said,

    “I think privately, they just didn’t want Trump to have a victory.”

    “No, American politics is now merely a MacGuffin, an important-sounding but ultimately inconsequential and disposable plot device for holding interest in the Hero’s Journey.

    Ultimately the only thing that matters is the Hero itself. It doesn’t matter why the Hero Barack Obama wants the Lost Ark of Sensible Gun Control, or the Shankara Stones of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, or the Democratic Holy Grail of Affordable Health Care. These are very minor details and only matter to the extent the Hero exerts himself to achieve them.

    The viewers of this film don’t really care about these things, but only Obama’s frustration at being denied them, or his joy in attaining them.” –Ace of Spades

    Written in 2013. Still relevant today.

    When the increase went through and my left-wing, knee-jerk Facebook friends began cheering, I nicely pointed out that with their progressive can virtue-signaling they were revealing their ignorance. The response was that “experts disagree.” [Source: Reason]

    A comment I posted elsewhere before, I repost here for those who need it.
    Let’s imagine Kevin. Kevin is a worker at McDonald’s. Let’s say he makes $5 an hour. After one day of working 8 hrs, Kevin has $40.

    Is that a lot? Is it a little? We can’t say, because we lack any context for the money to have value. We must determine the purchasing power of those dollars. So let’s keep things simple, let’s say a whole Big Mac cost $1. So after a day of work, we know that Kevin can get 40 big macs. Well let’s break that down further. Say a big mac is all Kevin needs for a meal. 3 meals a day, for 7 days a week, comes out to 21 meals needed to survive a week. So of Kevin’s pay, just over half of it can be spent to feed Kevin for a week, meaning he can save 19 big macs for a rainy day. Note: this is what is meant by the time value of money. It would be a pain for Kevin to try and keep 19 big macs in a freezer, much easier to keep $19 in the bank.

    Now let’s now imagine our good hearted do-gooder declares Kevin isn’t making enough, he needs more money. Yet our do-gooder isn’t totally stupid, he knows the money must come from somewhere. So let’s increase the price of the Big Mac by $1 and pass that dollar STRAIGHT onto Kevin. Congrats, Kevin! You’re now making $6 an hour! So after an 8 hr day, Kevin now walks home with $48 in his pocket. All’s good, right?

    Well… except Big Macs now cost $2, remember? So after a day of work Kevin can actually buy… 24 big macs. But a week’s worth of meals is still 21 meals. Meaning now he covers an entire week’s worth of eating, and only has 3 Big Macs left over for saving compared to 19 before his pay raise. By increasing Kevin’s pay, we’ve now made it so he can only purchase slightly more than half of what he used to be able to purchase. So has Kevin actually gotten a raise?

    And that’s in our super-simple model. Now start to imagine adding in taxes and housing prices and interest rates and gas prices and all the rest of life, and we can start to see how the chase after a living wage ends up being a treadmill run with no end in sight.

    What good are supposed moral authorities if they are so cowardly and without integrity that they betray their own rather than stand up for their rights and defend them? How can such people be trusted to teach the young? How does one “bully” the Catholic Church, if it is guided by the principles and values it claims to be?

    “This, indeed, is probably one of the Enemy’s motives for creating a dangerous world—a world in which moral issues really come to the point. He sees as well as you do that courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty, or mercy, which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful till it became risky.” -CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

    • Here is an interesting article about the minim um wage.

      Minimum wages and carbon taxes
      Posted by Brian on September 8, 2017 · Leave a Comment

      At first blush you might think that the minimum wage and carbon taxes have nothing to do with one another. You’d be quite wrong however. That’s because the logic of carbon taxes is premised on the impeccable economic notion that the price of things affects people’s behaviour. Indeed that is the *purpose* of prices: they give people valuable information about the social cost of the things they want to buy and how great the competition is from others who also want those same resources. When prices rise, people tend to economise (i.e. buy less). That’s why Kathleen Wynne is a fan of carbon pricing: it will cause people to buy and use less carbon by harnessing the power of prices.

      But why is the premier so unwilling to acknowledge that the same impeccable economic logic applies to wages (which are the price of labour) too? She steadfastly refuses to admit that pushing the minimum wage up to a hefty $15/hr won’t affect employment. As my professor at the LSE used to say, “Bollocks.” I lay out the case in an op-ed published on iPolitics on 9th June 2017. You can read the unedited text below or find it on-line here.

      At first blush you might think that carbon pricing and minimum wages have nothing to do with each other.

      You’d be wrong.

      Putting a price on carbon is a strategy inspired by the economic way of thinking. The argument is that carbon spewed into the atmosphere creates costs for everyone else, so the people burning the carbon should in effect have to pay to clean up the damage. Even more importantly the thinking is that the price of carbon, being too low, encourages people to use more carbon than they would do if they were paying its full cost (including cleaning up the environmental damage).

      In fact one of the key arguments for carbon pricing is that raising the cost of carbon will make previously uncompetitive energy sources like solar and wind more price competitive as people respond to higher carbon prices by trying to substitute newly cheaper alternatives. That’s what such incentives are for: they reward entrepreneurs and innovators who come up with clever ways to do things in a more economical way than before.

      Clearly Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne believes in the power of carbon pricing. She is collaborating with other jurisdictions on a so-called “cap and trade” system that will use market mechanisms to generate a higher price for carbon to achieve exactly the effects I’ve listed above. She believes that higher carbon prices will reduce fossil fuel use and reward the use of alternatives.

      Ergo she must believe in the power of prices to alter human behaviour, just as she must believe in one of the most fundamental propositions of economics, that if you raise the price of something, people will buy less of it. In fact I would make the case that the most powerful thing prices do is to send signals to buyers and sellers about the state of supply and demand.

      If the price of something (fuel, clothes, data services) rises, the market is signalling that we should try and reduce our use of those commodities because there wasn’t enough to go around at the previous price. On the other hand, falling prices encourage us to buy more. That’s why prices play a powerful co-ordinating role in human activity because we respond intelligently to the information they are signalling to us.

      Here is the problem. If she believes in all these things, as she says she does, she cannot simultaneously believe, as she says she does, that putting up the minimum wage by 30 percent won’t harm those people who work at the minimum wage.

      Wages are just the name we give to the price of labour. And anyone who understands the power of prices to affect human behaviour knows that putting up the price of workers at the bottom end of the wage scale will have certain foreseeable consequences.

      They are exactly the consequences predicted for putting up the price of carbon.

      Seeing that it will be more expensive to hire low wage workers, employers will see a signal that they should reduce their reliance on such workers, especially ones whose productivity will not compensate employers for the wage they must now pay. That means the effects will fall most heavily on the weakest workers, such as those with some kind of productivity-lowering disability or young people with no job experience or new immigrants with weak language skills.

      Then there’s that pesky substitution effect. Just as carbon pricing creates incentives for innovators to come up with substitutes for carbon, a higher minimum wage gives incentives to those same innovators to find substitutes for low-wage labour. Previous minimum wage increases have already hastened this process, which is why those low wage jobs that used to be so plentiful have been automated out of existence.

      When was the last time you dealt with a parking lot attendant or a car washer, let alone an elevator operator? Soon fast food, which provided a lot of entry-level employment, will be equally heavily automated.

      It is these predictable economic effects, falling hardest on those with the fewest employment prospects, that led not one but two Ontario government expert panels to recommend against increasing the minimum wage. The authors of these reports were presumably unimpressed by the arguments of the minimum wage hikers that somehow, magically, people won’t react to putting up the cost of labour in exactly the way the same governments expect them to react to putting up the price of carbon. The Canadian data even put a number on it. For every ten percent the minimum wage increases, teenage unemployment will rise three to six percent.

      Premier Wynne can either believe in the power of raising carbon prices or she can think rising minimum wages won’t cut employment. She cannot, however, believe both at once.

  7. I don’t see a problem with this quote, I think it is quite accurate.

    “She’s got a target on her back because she ticks every box that makes conservative men uncomfortable.”

    Why does she make conservative men uncomfortable?
    (1) She is unqualified
    (2) She is completely ignorant of every subject she has publicly encountered
    (3) She confidently promotes disastrous economic policies
    (4) She is sexist (on a warpath against white men?)
    (5) She is racist
    (6) She is for morality over facts
    (7) She promotes the morality of Stalin

    Yep, that ticks off all the boxes.

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