Looking forward to the best ethics week yet…
…but not really expecting it.
…Maybe I’ll get lucky.
1. A Progressive war on luck. Yesterday, NPR, which we all pay for, offered a long segment that was ostensibly about “luck,” but it actually was an extended argument for socialism and a political ad against President Trump. “One we move from talking about merit to concentrating on opportunity, then we have changed our focus from scarcity to abundance,” some Ted-talker said. “Then there is no need for walls.” The general thrust of the program, which included at least one speaker (I didn’t stay to hear all of the agitprop) who literally didn’t know what luck is, was that successful people think that hard work and talent is what got them where they are, when in reality it was all, or mostly luck. Thus the idea being pushed was that national policy should eliminate, or at least minimize, the effect of mere chance on human affairs. This means, once you read between the line, government distribution of resources, jobs and benefits to ensure the “fairness” that the random vicissitudes of cruel fate so often eschew.
As I touched on in a recent discussion of Clarence Darrow’s progressive principles, the rejection of personal responsibility and the very idea of free will has permeated progressiveness from its origins. It is, and has been, an anti-American construct that runs against the core principles the nation was founded on, but the theory has always appealed to those who welcome the opportunity to blame others, or just cruel Fate, for their own mistakes and failures.
That said, of course luck plays a massive and sometimes decisive role in our lives. That’s called “life.” Ironically, one of Clarence Darrow’s favorite poems (I know I have posted this before) makes the point:
Whist by Eugene Fitch Ware
Hour after hour the cards were fairly shuffled
And fairly dealt, but still I got no hand;
The morning came, and with a mind unruffled
I only said, “I do not understand.”
Life is a game of whist. From unseen sources
The cards are shuffled and the hands are dealt;
Blind are our efforts to control the forces
That, though unseen, are no less strongly felt.
I do not like the way the cards are shuffled,
But yet I like the game and want to play;
And through the long, long night will I, unruffled,
Play what I get until the break of day
2. Speaking of controlling “opportunity”…which usually means constraining liberty and autonomy, officials at Lakeland Regional High School in Wanaque, New Jersey have forbidden prom goers from hiring limos or private vehicles to arrive and leave in. The boilerplate official explanation is that the change ensures safety for all students, but it also is an effort to create “equality” because not all students can afford a limousine or party bus. Of course, not all students can afford a prom gown or to rent a tux. Why not ban formal wear, and have a simple dress code that all families can afford, like jeans and a T-shirt?
The school will charge each student $15 for transportation costs.
3. Thank-you, Captain Obvious! Avner Zarmi has written an essay in which she argues that President Trump’s “style” undermines his effectiveness. Ya think? What was Avner’s first clue, I wonder?
If the President could restrain his inner jerk as effectively as his predecessors (for he is far from the biggest jerk to occupy the White House—my vote would be with JFK, but there is lots of competition) and if he wasn’t opposed by a hostile news media determined to magnify his deficits and ignore his accomplishments, he would have a 60% approval rating.
4. And this is why there is a national emergency…
- Bernie Sanders has hired a deputy national press secretary who is an illegal alien. She’s covered by DACA, but won’t be eligible to vote for Sanders.
Of course, most of us won’t be able to vote for Bernie, because he won’t be on the ballot next November.
- The New York Times continues to romanticize illegal immigration. The main story on today’s front page is headlined, “Braving heat and coyotes to be raped at border.”
I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Times feature a story sympathetically representing the travails of other law-breakers as they go about their law-breaking. Of course, it’s only luck that the “migrants”—that’s the latest deceitful Times euphemism for “illegal immigrants” weren’t born in Boston, and that I’m not in Guatamala dreaming of a better life. Open borders it is, then!
[…the U.S. Senate gained the fourth and final vote needed to block Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration when Rand Paul announced that he would support a Democratic measure to overturn the president’s executive action. The bill, which has already passed in the House, would then get sent to Trump’s desk—where the president would almost certainly issue a veto.
Paul, the “libertarian-ish” senator from Kentucky, offered a candid explanation for his decision to rebuke the president’s attempt to circumvent Congress to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. “In September of 2014, I had these words to say: ‘The president acts like he’s a king. He ignores the Constitution. He arrogantly says, ‘If Congress will not act, then I must,’” Paul wrote in an op-ed for Fox News, referring to his opposition to Barack Obama’s executive order on immigration. “I would literally lose my political soul if I decided to treat President Trump different than President Obama.”
I respect Paul’s devotion to integrity, but he’s a doctor, not a lawyer. Obama’s EO changing immigration enforcement policy was a separation of powers breach, and there was also no “emergency.” Paul thinks the Supreme Court will strike down the border wall order, and he may be right, but it won’t be because there aren’t material distinctions between what Obama did and Trump’s order. Paul also may be grandstanding: he knows his vote will have no real impact.
Fun Fact: Grover Cleveland issued 404 vetoes in his first term. Trump hasn’t vetoed anything yet.
5. Everyone said this would happen, everyone knew it would happen, and it happened, but New York passed the minimum wage hike anyway, because Socialism Good: New York City lost more restaurant jobs after the requirement of a $15 per hour Minimum Wage than it did in the aftermath of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Following the labor movement’s “Fight for $15” victory, New York City has experienced its sharpest decline in restaurant jobs in nearly 20 years. December’s restaurant jobs were down by almost 3,000 ( 1.64%) from the December 2017, “and the 2.5% annual decline in March 2018 was the worst since collapse in restaurant jobs following the terrorist attacks in 2001.
Well, at least Amazon may hire some of those workers who…oh. Right.
(Here’s another helpful song:)