Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/9/2019: “Your Host Is Finally Feeling Better’ Edition.

Good day!

1. More evidence that a lot of Americans have trouble with this “democracy” thing. Former Democratic Representative John Dingell ofMichigan died this week at 92. He became  the longest-serving member of Congress in history before he finally agreed not seek re-election in his 80s, but that’s not the real head-exploder in his obituary. It was this…

“Dingell first arrived to Congress in 1955, taking over the seat held by his father John Dingell, Sr., who had died earlier that year, and the younger Dingell continued to serve in the House for more than 59 years. He announced in 2014 that he would not seek re-election and instead his wife, Debbie Dingell, ran for his seat and is now serving her third term.”

A little googling will reveal that Daddy Dingell served in Congress from 1933 until Junior took over. That means that voters in the district have sent only members of the Dingell family to Washington for 86 years. Debbie Dingell, the alliterative named widow of the departed, had no apparent experience in legislation before she was elected to hold the Perpetual Dingell Seat.

This is laziness, civic inattention, vestigial aristocracy and passive democracy at work, or rather, in a semi-coma. There is no excuse for electing leaders based on family connections and name recognition, except that Americans have been doing it for a couple of centuries. I know you can’t fix stupid, but the parties are exploiting stupid, and that goes to the heart of democracy’s greatest weakness: government by the people means a lot of really lazy, ignorant, biased and irresponsible people are going to involved in government.

2. Of course. The New York Times today defends the ongoing efforts by Congressional Democrats to make it impossible for the elected President to govern by burying the administration in specious and intrusive investigations. “Harassment? Nope. Oversight.” is the disingenuous headline of the paper’s Saturday editorial. Oversight is an important Congressional function, but investigations based on the logic “Gee, this guy seems sleazy to me and we don’t trust billionaires, so let’s keep digging into his personal and business affairs until we find some dirt” or “So far our impeachment bills have gone nowhere, but if we keep investigating, I bet we can find some real offenses” are not oversight. Oversight must be handled in good faith, and there is no good faith among Democrats, who made their intentions clear the second Trump humiliated Hillary Clinton. Their stated objective is to get him removed from office by any means possible, and if that fails, at least to reduce his public support to the point where he cannot govern. Harassment in the workplace is defined by creating a hostile work environment that makes it impossible for the target to do his or her job. Could this describe what kind of work environment the “resistance” and the news media (the Times, in defending Congressional Democrats, is also defending itself) have created for President Trump any more precisely?

3. And this is why he’s a former NFL coach. Former NFL coach Chip Kelly recently told TMZ when asked if Head Kneeler ColinKaepernick should be in the NFL, “Yes … I think he’s ready to go.”  He’s ready to go! The man hasn’t played pro football in two years, and wasn’t all that good when he was playing. The claim also ignores the fact that Kaepernick isn’t just another unemployed quarterback; he is a player whose presence has been so politicized that any team foolish enough to hire him will have turned its operation into a traveling media and political circus.

4. Speaking of clowns: here’s the latest from Virginia. a) Essentially every Virginia Democrat is calling for twice-accused Justin Fairfax to step down as Lieutenant Governor. Of course they are! This is the standard Democrats have constructed for their political advantage: believe all women, a man is guilty until proven innocent, and no-tolerance or perspective where accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct are involved. Fairfax hurts the party and undermined the strategy every second he stays in office—isn’t that obvious? As a loyal Democrat, he is ethically obligated to resign. Do I think he’s guilty? I have no idea if he’s guilty. But in Democrat World, where Al Franken had to leave the Senate because of sexist spoofing while he was still a comedian, he’s guilty enough, and this is the unfair world HE chose. b) Meanwhile, Gov. Northam, who has exposed himself as a principle-free weasel in this matter (some of us figured that out before his 2017 election), announced his strategy for survival: PANDER. Pander for all he’s worth. From the Washington Post:

Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Saturday that he believes there is a higher reason for the “horrific” reckoning in the past week over a racist photograph in his medical school yearbook, and that the humbling experience leaves him better positioned to remain in office, explore the issue of “white privilege” and push an agenda of racial reconciliation.

In his first interview since the photograph came to light on Feb. 1, Northam, 59, said that despite widespread calls for his resignation he is determined to spend the remaining three years of his term pursuing “equity.”…Looking ahead, Northam said he has asked his cabinet secretaries to come up with specific proposals to begin addressing issues of inequality, such as expanding access to health care, housing and transportation, and to begin reporting suggestions on Monday….“There are ongoing inequities to access to things like education, health care, mortgages, capital, entre­pre­neur­ship. And so this has been a real, I think , an awakening for Virginia. It has really raised the level of awareness for racial issues in Virginia. And so we’re ready to learn from our mistakes.”

Northam has been in seclusion all week, using tunnels to shuttle between the mansion and the nearby building where he has an office. He has met with African American legislators and faith and community leaders, and has begun reading up on race – “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nahesi Coates, a few chapters of “Roots” by Alex Haley. He said he has reflected on his own origins and tried to confront his lack of understanding.

Once again, the theme of this week: how gullible is the public, especially Democrats, and how stupid do politicians think we are?


5. Gender discrimination, per se. How do you defend this? University of Southern California Ph.D. student Kursat Christoff Pekgoz filed a law suit,  supported by more than 185 professors, scholars, and activists, alleging anti-male bias by Cornell. The complaint, which was sent to the Department of Justice and the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, includes a “List of Exclusionary Programs” at Cornell.  The complaint is predicated  on the fact that there are no male-only programs at Cornell, compared to a significant number of university-sponsored female-only programs.

That Cornell could permit this and not know that it creates a clear message of gender bias shows the astounding arrogance and self-righteousness of feminist ideologues, who now dominate the Ivy League and much of academia. Double standards are unethical, and obviously so, a breach of the core values of fairness and equity. Cornell’s conduct shows dead ethics alarms—or perhaps intentionally muted—on an institution-wide basis.

14 thoughts on “Saturday Ethics Warm-Up, 2/9/2019: “Your Host Is Finally Feeling Better’ Edition.

  1. Oversight is overseeing an ongoing process – real time assessment of real time actions. If they’re providing oversight, it’s of the day to day activities. Vetting (Due Diligence) is into things of the past prior to the point in time of their importance (Leading up to the election. Investigation is into things of the past after the damage has been done.

    If they’re gathering further historical information so as to inform the context of current activities, ok – but tell us how it relates to current activities and initiatives; but without a nexus to “today” or a future decision, it’s an investigation. If they don’t have something to show for it after 2 years, it’s probably a pointless investigation. AKA “Harassment”.

    • Thanks, Tim. Well stated. I should have mentioned the analogy in crime dramas where a detective says, “I’m going to be watching you every second. If you so much as spit gum on the sidewalk, I’ll be there, and then I’ve got you.” The target’s lawyer then complains to the media of harassment, and the mayor or police chief says to the cop, “Back off.”

  2. “This is laziness, civic inattention, vestigial aristocracy and passive democracy at work, or rather, in a semi-coma.”
    I agree
    So many times when I was younger and living in a rural part of the country, actually one of the poorest counties in the United States, I would ask adults why they won’t vote for a challenger and keep voting in the same people. The reply was always the same. We know what we got now, we don’t know what the other guy will do. I would always say that doesn’t make sense. They would just look at me like I was from outer space.

  3. 1. This is a problem… but the alternatives may be worse. Term limits only hand more power to bureaucrats – who will now feel they ca outlast a given member of Congress – as well as the staffers.

    2. The New York Times stopped being objective a long time ago. The thing is… they will be protected by progressive privilege.

    3. Kapernick may be a good quarterback, but is mind on winning games, or is it on his next social cause?

    4. Of course that is how Northam is going to “redeem” himself, and the Washington Post will gladly help him do so for the rest of his term. Northam and the AG also have Tommy Norment as a “what about” excuse to stay in.

    5. The fact of the matter is that the only difference between the architects of Jim Crow and today’s Left is the target selection. On principle, they are still okay with the notion of unequal protection under the law.

  4. 1. I wonder what would happen if someone claimed Debbie Dingel is an example of white privilege?

    2. I wonder what would happen if Trump filed a hostile work environment suit against Schiff, et al. I believe Tim laid out the Congressional oversight function.

    3. I have not followed football or their overpaid players.

    4. I am not of the opinion Fairfax should resign until the matter(s) are adjudicated. I understand your point about obligation to the party but does the opposite hold true that the party has an ethical duty to support one of their own while he is presumed innocent or should they jettison that value because it could hurt them if they do not. The question therefore is it ethical to discard a deeply held principle if clinging to it could cause you to anger those that support you?

    5. I wondered when this would happen and I am glad it did.

    • Oh, no, the Party’s duty is to the party and the nation. A member who becomes a liability should expect no support. Remember the scene in “The Untouchables” when Al Capone talks about teams and baseball and beats in the head of one of his cronies because he’s become a liability? It’s exactly like that.

      On that basis, I argued that the GOP should have refused to nominate Trump at the convention. I was right, too.

      • I can accept the notion that the party’s duty is to the party. The party has every right to withdraw support for any reason it desires. However once the support is withdrawn from the candidate the candidate should have no further obligation to the party. The office holder’s duty is to him or herself at this point. We do not elect party’s we elect people. If the people want him to resign and he does not nothing stops either party from creating articles of impeachment.

        If we require elected leaders to resign based on unadjudicated allegations then Trump should resign based on the allegations that he is Putin’s puppet. In addition, there would be no need for impeachment procedings, simply get some people to level allegations of rape against any office holder.

        • Who said anything about “requiring”, Chris? Ethics isn’t about requirements, it’s about doing what is right despite non-ethical considerations. (I know you know this.) A politician in Fairfax’s (or Northam’s) position still has an obligation to not do harm, even if it is disadvantageous personally. Both are embarrassments to the party and the state in equal measure with or without party support.

          • Perhaps I am getting stuck on the ethical ( do what is right – not expedient) duty to hold the principle of innocent until proven guilty sacrosanct.

            I can agree that the right thing to do is to resign to prevent further embarassment to another; and, I can also agree that fairness requires I consider people innocent until proved guilty to be the ethical choice

            I suppose doing what is thought to be ethical relies on the ordinal rankings of what is right.

            If resigning is ranked higher than holding fast to the innocent til proven guilty principle then resigning is ethical choice.

            Conversely, If I rank the innocence principle higher than my immediate need to avoid further embarassment then demanding someones resignation shall have to wait for the issue to be adjudicated.

            Sure as a Republican I should be jumping up and down demanding all three resign which puts an R in the Governors mansion as I understand the 4th in succession. If I did this I would have to violate a core value which is to seek equal treatment for all.

  5. 4- “He has met with African American legislators and faith and community leaders, and has begun reading up on race – ‘The Case for Reparations’ by Ta-Nahesi Coates, a few chapters of ‘Roots’ by Alex Haley.”

    Leaving aside that Haley was a liar and a plagiarizer and Coates is race-baiting moron extraordinaire, isn’t that not only bold-faced pandering but cultural appropriation as well?

    It gets worse….or better if you’re a patron of the Theatre of the Absurd.

    Northam is now claiming that he can’t possibly be one of the two EVIL racists in the year-book picture because they’re holding their Barley Pops with their right hands and he is left-handed.

    And worse yet.

    Fox News’ Chad Pergram asked SanFranNan: “With everything that’s been going on with Virginia, the governor, the attorney general here … does that filter down and damage the national Democratic brand in any way?”

    She reassured understandably freaked Lefties everywhere by calmly asserting, and I quote:

    “No, it does not,”

    Good thing he didn’t follow up with a query on the Green New Deal, she might have gone into vapor lock.

  6. 1 Dingle-berries

    Weak, sad, and un-American. This is truly shameful.

    2 Harassment

    Well, maybe it will work out for the Dems. They seem to be shoving all their chips in the middle, going “all in”, and counting on the Times & Co. to cover for them.

    If I were the President, I would play the game by their own rules — refuse to respond to subpoenas, order the justice department to refuse to charge congressional referrals, and generally flip the middle finger in their general direction.

    That’s essentially what Obama did, a point I would make at every media availability. It’s not ethical, but ethics went out the window so long ago we may never see them in DC again in our lifetime.

    3 Chip Kelly

    Coaches can’t speak their mind anymore. They are required to toe the leftist line unless they want to deal with player problems, and as current UCLA coach, he can’t say anything else and save his job.

    The only coach who comes close is Dabo Sweeney, and one of these days he’s going to step on his manhood and say the wrong thing. That will be the end of him, dynasty or no.

    4 Virgina train wreck

    Once again, the theme of this week: how gullible is the public, especially Democrats, and how stupid do politicians think we are?

    Answer: Totally and very.

    And for the most part, they are right. After all, “we” elected this clown show, did “we” not?

    With the media parroting the Democrats’ every rationalization with a constant “ends justify the means” sub-plot, how is a low-information voter to do anything else?

    I can’t even blame them, except to the extent I blame every person who fails to engage in the political process critically, and beyond what they see on their Facebook or Twitter feed.

    5 Gender discrimination

    a. Double standards are unethical, and obviously so, a breach of the core values of fairness and equity. Cornell’s conduct shows dead ethics alarms—or perhaps intentionally muted—on an institution-wide basis.

    I’m done applying Hanlon’s Razor to the left. This is deliberate bias with malice aforethought, with the goal being to elevate women’s rights above those of non-minority men, and the result of the complete domination of academia by the left.

    Hopefully, the suit will end with a finding for the plaintiff on all counts, and significant sanctions placed on Columbia.

    If that happens, wait until you see what the congressional Democrats try to do. Your head will explode with the force of Krakatoa.

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