Bad Tweets

There are enough unethical, dumb, disturbing and occasionally  illuminating tweets from organizations and public figures every day to devote a whole blog to them; indeed, this is what Twitchy does, albeit with a strong conservative bias. I’m not going to make a habit of it, but these are too ethically provocative to pass up:

1. Here’s a tweet from conservative host and pundit Erick Erickson, a prominent NeverTrumper:

What does this even mean? The Constitution insists on free speech; how is the government enforcing Constitutional principles that ensure freedom, “not free’? The Executive Order he was reacting to only affects government-supported colleges and universities (obviously). Erickson is no idiot: this is Trump Derangement—if President Trump does it, it’s wrong— at its saddest. Combine that with Twitter, and the result is sadly predictable.

2. I don’t see how anyone can argue with Federalist editor Mollie Hemingway here, reacting to a tweet from CNN legal commentator (and Democrat) that is part of a general effort by the mainstream media to cushion the blow for “resistance” members when the Mueller report fails to show that President Trump had a traitorous deal with Russia to steal the election:

3. While issuing its really bad “Editor’s Note” trying to tap-dance around its incompetent handling of the Covington students episode, the Post also deleted this tweet from January 18:

Ethics Alarms Notes:

  • Phillips didn’t fight in the Vietnam War, and this has been known for more than a month. The Post didn’t check its facts.
  • That statement by Phillips was a lie. A retraction by the Post was called for, not eliminating the evidence.
  • The Post announced that it was eliminating the tweet, but that’s not the ethical way for newspapers to deal with errors.

4. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says and tweets so many ridiculous and alarming things that I resist the temptation to use her as daily titillation, especially since the conservative news media is addicted to her. However, this tweet warrants exposure:

Such a statement reveals ignorance, arrogance, and an ethical void. It is also the perfect expression of the “Do something!’ mentality that is built on pure rationalization. Citizens in a democracy don’t have any obligation to devise their own alternative policies if they want to object to bad ones. Nor does Ocasio-Cortez have the right to frame the issue in such a way as to limit dissent. Critics don’t necessarily agree that there is a crisis, and if they do, they may not agree on the scope and nature of the crisis. Decision-making and management don’t require that a bad idea, an irresponsible policy, poorly conceived plan or flawed logic must be the default consensus just because no good ideas, sound policies, realistic plan or compelling logic to address a problem have been found. In fact, competent decision-making and management require the opposite approach.

Then there’s the matter of Ocasio-Cortez sounding like a totalitarian, which is the only government that would have a prayer of enacting a crack-brain scheme like her “Green New Deal.” No, you fool: you’re not in charge of anything. The people are in charge.



29 thoughts on “Bad Tweets

  1. 4. How ’bout this one:

    The federal government does nothing, and accepts that even if climate change was a danger on the scale they claim, we are not going to stop it. Even if we did “our part” by submitting to a particularly totalitarian form of socialism and going into unfathomable debt in hope that it will magically produce green energy, there is no way that Russia and China and India will do the same, especially with the left activly trying to burn any bridge Trump has touched.

    Instead, I’d recommend that those who are concerned about it make investments in SpaceX, or various projects exploring man-made islands or underwater enviroments. The world is not going to hold hands and buy the world a coke and end carbon emissions, but there’s no doubt in my mind that our ingenuity will make the world (or other worlds) habitable no matter the conditions.

    …but that doesn’t get AOC the socialist dictatorship she wants, so I can see why she’d dismiss it.

  2. 2: So tired of the breathless news stories trying to beat that dead horse yet again. Find something directly illegal since that inauguration, not the ancient history of the twitter world. Or take your licks and give the public laws and programs that will have palpable benefit to more American citizens over the status quo. That’s the government’s job.

    I always can tell we’re in for another round of wasted tax money (has anyone counted that at the GAO what this soap opera is costing us directly and indirectly?) because they preempt my Jeopardy. A far, far more educational show.

      • Nope. She was talking about Jeopardy!, a trivia quiz show, which IS far, far more educational. I, too, resent it when CBS interrupts Alex Trebeck, usually with a breathless announcement of something utterly trivial…no pun intended.

        • Could have been a tad too much presupposition on my part while streeeeetching for a laugh; a condition not uncommon within the Court Jester demographic.

          That said, aren’t Jeopardy contestants given answers and then respond (score, hopefully) by giving their answer in question form?

          Jeopardy airs on NBC up in these parts.

          • Eh, that’s just trick phrasing. Inverted phrasing doesn’t mean much. It’s a CBS station from one direction and an ABC from the other, but the noon one from a year ago doesn’t repeat. I can see why they are doing the experiment in a mega match format to give other teams a better chance against Rutter and Jennings since they are off stage 2/3 of the game. I don’t really want it to repeat as there were two full episodes’ worth of filler. For me, it’s all about the questions, as other trivia shows make a big deal if they have 20 questions a show, but this has 61.

          • Yep, that’s exactly how it’s played. And it’s on CBS here. And I’m with Marie…I really don’t like this Team Tournament thing. Let’s go back to actual Jeopardy.

    • I finally read the text of the “Green New Deal” resolution (

      Ocasio-Cortez had the gall to include:

      (K) enacting and enforcing trade rules, procurement standards, and border adjustments with strong labor and environmental protections—

      (i) to stop the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas; and

      (ii) to grow domestic manufacturing in the United States;

      All the while Democrats were mocking and outright condemning President Trump for renegotiating treaties to attain these very ends

  3. We know the dire global warming predictions are not real. If they were real, Canada would be all in for global warming. The vast amounts of likely arable land that would become viable due to massive warming would turn Canada into a global superpower.

  4. 1: Isn’t an insistence on free speech just just a stance against the illegal suppression of speech? Is Erickson in favor of the latter? I doubt it, but that would be the logical interpretation.

    4: I propose giving everyone a unicorn that alternately poops gold and fair-trade coffee. This is just a starting point for the discussion; don’t criticize me.

  5. 3) I’m still having trouble finding a clip where Nathan Phillips claimed to be a soldier in Vietnam. The only one I seem to find is always a shortened version of a larger comment where he called himself a “Vietnam era” soldier.

    None of which absolves him of his conduct in the Covington smear.

    • I was thinking more of FDR, the WPA etc. That really was classic, unalloyed Socialism.

      Quite different from the usual use of the word today, which describes anything covered by Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution.

      • Not sure how to respond to this comment made so matter of factly.

        It’s well known that FDR’s programs, however you want to label them, were not working and that WW2 drove the demand for actually useful employment of people.

        I have no idea what your point is in your last sentence that seems to be mostly thinly veiled sarcasm.

        • The New Deal was the exception that proves a couple of rules. It “worked” in the sense that it was “doing something,” even though the “something” couldn’t fix the problem, that, plus FDR’s speaking skill and salesmanship, probably prevented an armed insurrection and saved the country—it was, in essence, a placebo. Then the war bailed us out, and eveeyone forget that the Depression was getting worse despite FDR’s radical policies. Now his party is addicted to “do something” policies and “Four Freedoms” fantasies, following FDR’s formula of bread and circuses and soaring rhetoric that all defies hard reality. FDR may have saved the nation and the world, but he also planted the seeds of corruption for his party.

  6. Actually, it *is* Mueller’s job to prove collusion, beyond reasonable doubt, if he can. That may not be possible even if collusion occurred, but this is a legal issue not a political one.

    Ethics come in for prosecutors etc when they know a crime didn’t occur, but they can “prove” it did by only looking at evidence admissible in court. One one hand, it’s not their job to determine what happened. Also they must maximise convictions within a strict set of rules of evidence, not concealing any exculpatory fact from the defence, though there is some discretion, or should be.

  7. Quoth AOC (Air Officer Commanding?):-

    … If you don’t like the #GreenNewDeal, then come up with your own ambitious, on-scale proposal to address the global climate crisis.

    Until then, we’re in charge – and you’re just shouting from the cheap seats.

    As well as endorsing our host’s observations about that, I can add this: it’s also arrogant from completely disregarding all the (non-PC) suggestions that have often been put forward, partly as a sort of reductio ad absurdum to see how sincere these types are, and partly to suggest practical exploratory projects to find out just what the reality is. She’s telling us we have no standing from not contributing even though it’s the likes of her that block that. You know, like an example of chutzpah being a parricide throwing himself on the mercy of a court on the grounds that he is an orphan.

    Just as a taster, here are a few examples of such suggestions:-

    – Build more nuclear reactors, or at the very least do more R&D towards deploying them conveniently and safely as replacements for other power sources, power sources to be cut so they can’t harm the climate crisis any further.

    * Force or “nudge” all those useless deplorables and third worlders who are clearing forests to make lots and lots of Terra Preta with controlled charring. That will lock up lots of carbon, if they can only make enough.

    – Set lots of controlled forest fires, over and over, between regrowing. That will make even more elemental carbon, even though a lower proportion of it will get removed from the atmospheric cycle. Still, any of it that gets into running water will escape sun bleaching, sink, and get into the very slow geological cycle (it would be a shame if, oops, we ever overshoot and want some back, but hey, eggs and omelettes).

    * Chuck out all those efficient cars and engines and force or nudge everyone to use Soviet bloc two stroke cars, while also forcing or nudging suppliers to use organically grown alcohol fuel with – and this is important – castor oil as lubricant. The smoke from all that will also tie up carbon in soot until rain takes it out of the cycle, as described above! It’s a shame if those castor oil fumes give passers-by the trots, but hey, at least they will know it’s all heading out of the important cycles.

    All of those are ridiculous in PC terms or in sensible terms, of course – but not according to what the Greens claim they are after, for the climate. I think the Greens would wear the asterisked points above. They are all actually practical engineering (I’m not looking at financial and other issues).

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