Aaaand THEY’RE OFF! The Week’s Ethics Race Begins, 4/1/2019: No, Ethics Is Nothing To Fool About…

Good morning!

(and I’m not fooling…)

1. Why is this result considered good news? McLaughlin & Associates, a research firm, conducted a poll online March 18-25 asking the question, “Would you favor or oppose an executive order ensuring that free speech would be protected on all college campuses?” With 1,000 likely 2020 voters thus polled, the results showed 73% in favor of protecting free speech on campus, 18 % opposing, and the typical 9% of slugs who said they were “unsure.” McLaughlin and Associates found “no statistically significant difference by education level, with college graduates favoring the executive order 72 percent to 21 percent and non-college graduates favoring 74 percent to 16 percent.” Similarly, men and women both favored  the executive order at a rate of 73%, and there was no significant difference by party affiliation either.

The fact that less than 75% of American citizens whole-heartedly support freedom of speech in higher education is no less than horrifying, and shows how badly the ahte speech and thought-control termites have gotten into our foundation.

2. Speaking of those inherently untrustworthy polls a Washington Post-Schar School poll found that nearly two-thirds of registered Democrats reject special counsel Robert Mueller’s finding of no collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. It’s a “Don’t confuse me with facts, my mind’s made up!” classic, and also demonstrates how believing the mainstream news media agitprop because their biases fit neatly with yours—except you’re not paid to be objective and indep…oh, never mind. Why do I bother?—eats your brain. What in the world to these alleged (poll assertions are always alleged at best) skeptics base their beliefs on, other than the fact that, like Rachel Maddow, they so,so,so want our President to be an impeachable traitor? Mueller spent three years shaking down people and crushing them with his  prosecutorial boot to get evidence of Trump collusion that would stand up in court, and failed. And those Democrats know better?

3. Wait, what? Authentic Frontier Gibberish from cool guy Democratic Dark Horse Pete Buttigieg! In response to despicable creep Bill Maher’s question, “[Trump]’s fat, you’re thin. He’s old, you’re young. You went to Afghanistan, he dodged the draft…. So how do you beat him?”,  the gay mayor nobody heard of answered:

“We gotta be willing to talk not just at the highest level, about our values, but at the ground level, about how following our values cashes out, and instead, a lot of the time we’ve been stuck at that middle level, which is about the policy designs, before we really win the day, either for the values that motivate those policies or for the results that come from those policies.”

And THAT my friends, is how Trump wins debates. When anyone answers a question with that kind of impenetrable drivel, I don’t trust them. Pretending to be profound and intellectual when you really have nothing to say is a form of lying. Why is Maher a creep? He’s a creep because his question is a long ad hominem attack and mostly bigotry: using fat and old as implied flaws is exactly what the Left calls hate speech when it’s directed at someone they like (Alternate Universe Maher to Mitt Romney in 2011: “Obama is black, you’re white; he’s got big ears and is funny looking, you’re handsome…) [Pointer: Althouse]

4. This makes me uncomfortable. You? The Trump campaign sent a missive to TV executives warning them not to book Russiagate conspiracy purveyors like Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Representative Adam Schiff, and others. The government, including the Executive, crosses a big, think line when it starts threatening journalists of dark consequences if they displease the State. Heck, I’ll warn them to stop being irresponsible and untrustworthy lest they destroy their own profession, but I don’t have any way to punish them when they go ahead and become an arm of  the political Left anyway. The President does, or at least might think he does. And why stop with elected officials? Why not warn the networks to stop kissing Dan Rather’s ring, or to quit giving has-been Carl Bernstein a platform to pretend Trump is Richard Nixon, or to send unethical journalists like Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo, Joy Reid and Rachel Maddow to journalists to the unemployment line? The President punching down at them by calling the news media “enemies of the people” is bad enough (though he’s correct). Warnings about displeasing Big  Orange Brother are worse.

5. “Oh, come on!,” as Professor Butler of Georgetown Law Center memorably interjected  to shut me down on NPR because I was accurately describing sexual harassment law, and he and my host thought that it would excuse President Trump. Now pundits and journalists, perhaps realizing that old, white, not-too-bright, bungling Joe Biden might still be the Democrats’ best chance of unseating President Trump now that the coup seems to have failed and all the “woke” candidates appear to be light-weights, wackos, hypocrites or socialists, are trying to excuse the ex-Veep using the time-worn, “that’s just how he is,” “he doesn’t mean anything by it,” “he means no harm.”

What? This was exactly what I was explaining on NPR: older men often blunder into sexual harassment without meaning harm, because what matters is a) whether the object of his touching or staring or verbal flirtations like it or not, and b) how it affects how others in the workplace view the culture. Some of the worst sexual harassers sincerely see nothing wrong with how they treat women, because they were brought up seeing women treated that way all the time. Too bad: sorry, that’s no excuse…not for Joe, not for Harvey Weinstein not for anyone. Intentions are irrelevant.

For the Washington Post to try to cover for handsy Joe at this point is head-exploding hypocrisy. The Post piece I link to above says that Joe’s unwanted touching is “affectionate.” COME ON! Sexual harassers, especially the touch-feely species,  are usually “affectionate.”

6. As W.S. Gilbert wrote, “Things are seldom what they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream.” The recent PBS documentary on “American Masters” covering the life of entertainer Sammy Davis, Jr. revealed that Presient-Elect Jack Kennedy had Davis dis-invited from a private inauguration party hosted by Davis’s pal Frank Sinatra because Davis was married to a white woman. Nice. I was surprised, given Jack and Bobby’s ostentatious civil rights pretensions, but I don’t know why. The hypocrisy of the entire Kennedy myth apparently has no bounds.

 

21 thoughts on “Aaaand THEY’RE OFF! The Week’s Ethics Race Begins, 4/1/2019: No, Ethics Is Nothing To Fool About…

  1. 5). There are two standards. One for Conservatives like Brett Kavanaugh whom we are duty bound to destroy, and one for Liberals like Joe Biden whom we are duty bound to protect.

  2. I do not trust any politician! But this dodge was avoiding a personal attack on the president. So it was classier then the question.

  3. 2). Viva La Resistánce!!!

    But seriously, this kind of clinging to and promoting of conspiracy theories is what got people like Alex Jones excommunicated from the public discourse-that and activists masquerading as objective journalists (looking at you Oliver Darcy).

    Will we see the likes of Rachel Maddow receive the same treatment? The answer is, no we won’t-though she has been receiving her fair share of criticism from left leaning publications for still clinging onto said #Russiagate conspiracies.

    In all honesty I would oppose her being excommunicated in the same way that I opposed Alex Jones’ unpersoning-not because I lend either of them ANY sort of credibility, but because the censorship and subsequent removal of anyone from public discourse, due in part to concentrated media smear campaigns by activist journalists against people of the ‘opposition’ is wrong, and sets the MSM, and society down a very dark, and dangerous path.

    “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.”

    George Orwell, 1984

  4. 1. “The fact that less than 75% of American citizens whole-heartedly support freedom of speech in higher education is no less than horrifying …”
    I did not draw the same conclusion from this survey. Others, like myself, may have thought an Executive Order to be executive overreach and a pathway to trouble, much as the “Dear Colleague” letter was.
    My understanding of executive orders is that they are instructions to the executive branch. Directing members of the executive branch bureaucracy to ensure free speech on college campuses sounds great in theory, but, as in a lot of theories, the devil is in the details.
    Suppose, well, don’t suppose, just look at what happened recently in Beloit, WI. Eric Prince, who, like all of us, has some pluses and some minuses in his background, was invited to speak, but, some locals decided it would be better to prevent that from happening, and they did. They claim free speech – banging on a drum (i.e. music) and cluttering the stage with chairs (i.e. dance) is an expression protected under the 1st Amendment. Others might think this was suppression of free speech.
    Do we really want the Feds sticking their noses into that and determining who is for free speech and who is opposing it? Should the Education Department and the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department launch a team into Beloit and arbitrate who gets to speak, play music, dance, or whatever, and when they can do it? I think not.
    Better, in my view, is let the locals sort that out, which is what they are trying to do. Better, in my view, is to let a free flow of commentary saturate The Beloit Daily News, the Janesville Gazette, the local and regional radio and TV outlets, et. al., so local officials can come to the right conclusion on how to deal with this.
    In other words, the antidote to suppression of free speech is more free speech. If criminal prosecution is needed to support the 1st Amendment, then bring ‘em in, but, otherwise, no executive order, no federal enforcement team.

  5. 1. 73 percent

    Good question. And you’re right, it is horrifying. I’m reduced to hoping that at least half of these dissident people are ignorant of what “free speech” means, and I am no less horrified by the prospect that may be true.

    Or perhaps they’ve been so programmed by “woke” educators that they think they must respond in the negative or be racist/sexist/homophobic/non-“woke.” Even if true, horrifying also.

    I guess there’s just no relief from the horror…

    2. Don’t confuse me with facts

    This does not surprise me. If you have enough invested in an outcome, getting a resounding rejection of that outcome is going to yield denial. It’s a state of mourning, which is exactly what these folks are going through.

    3. Pete Buttigieg

    I read Buttigieg’s quote as:

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Maecenas erat mi, interdum interdum turpis sed, dignissim ullamcorper risus. Aenean vitae tristique erat, eu porttitor urna. Quisque arcu eros, aliquet eu turpis vel, condimentum egestas urna. Suspendisse ut eleifend dui. Donec ut nulla ut ipsum faucibus porttitor laoreet at erat. Sed vehicula orci quis vulputate vulputate.

    Makes just as much sense, and serves exactly the same purpose — to take up space in a reported article.

    4. Uncomfortable

    So what is the threat? Was there another shoe that I missed — you know, the “or else …?”

    I agree it does seem like an implicit threat coming from the government, but in reality it’s not, because there’s simply nothing the government can do. A meaningless threat, even from high places, is not really a threat.

    Still, it’s definitely both stupid and unethical. And if I start hearing “or X,” I’ll worry too, or if I start seeing investigations or other executive actions that look like a reaction. Until then, I chalk it up to Trump being Trump, the adolescent wanna-be bully.

    5. Professor Butler

    I’m fine with “that’s just how he is” for Biden if Trump gets the same pass. No, you say? Okay, well then he’s just a partisan hack, and so is the Post.

    6. Kennedy

    I wonder if there are any of my childhood hero-worship notions about Jack Kennedy that have not been trampled into the dust by the gory reality? Probably not.

      • Heh. Well, I used to live and die by it. Nowadays, I’m much more … at peace with it all.

        It’s games played by callow young men. Old men like me need to keep that in perspective when our teams lose. To my credit, after six decades, I’ve finally become able to enjoy it even after my team gets dismissed.

        To my shame, it took most of the six decades, alas. 🙂

        But for perspective, this has doubtless been one of the most competitive NCAA Men’s Basketball tournaments in my memory, and I reckon it the most competitive ever as my memory doesn’t contain recollection of a better one. Almost every game after the opening round has been a one or two possession game at the end, and I’ve said “what a great game” so many times it’s become rote.

        The Final Four contains only one team who has previously won the NCAA Tournament championship — Michigan State. Two of the four have never before been to the final weekend — Texas Tech and Auburn. Texas Tech has only 17 NCAA Tournament appearances in history, and Auburn has only ten.

        Any of these teams can win, and the games are likely to be very close. The diversity of basketball styles in this tournament is absolutely fascinating for fans of the game, with Virginia’s pack-line defense and deliberate style, Texas Tech’s tenacious man-to-man defense and gritty execution, Auburn’s wide-open bombs-away style and in-your-face pressure, Michigan State’s near-perfect-as-possible fundamental basketball and stellar point guard play. All different styles, and all winning close, tough games.

        A final point is that all of these teams are “old” by today’s college basketball standards, mostly utilizing upperclassmen, and are reckoned less talented than many of the teams sitting at home. That demonstrates once again, as if it were actually necessary, that basketball is a team sport, and while individual talent is important and useful, it is anything but dispositive. In this tournament, the “best” team rarely wins, which is one reason why it’s so popular. But a very good team almost always wins.

  6. I think 25% is a little high to just be this, but depending on the question, they might fit into the LizardMan constant on the poll. SlateStarCodex is a little too picky I think. “Lizardman” is pretty blatant, but given something less blatant I think 20% margin for stupid (another phrase I’ve heard it called) is fairly common.

  7. #6 You’d think that that story alone would be enough for the social justice warriors wackos to protest all over Arlington National Cemetery to have JFK’s eternal flame extinguished, his body exhumed from Arlington National Cemetery, and reburied that racist pig in an unmarked grave in a local public cemetery for unknown vagrants.

    • last I checked, he still polls as the Under 40 groups favorite US President, after Obama, of course. The fact that most can only name about 8 President total has something to do with it…

    • I never knew Kennedy was supposed to have any civil rights credits. It was well known that JFK didn’t like blacks and it was touted that LBJ used Kennedy’s legacy to get any traction with civil rights from Democrats.

      • Michael R. wrote, “I never knew Kennedy was supposed to have any civil rights credits.”

        That’s irrelevant especially to the totalitarians fools and social justice warriors trying to impose their will on our entire society.

      • JFK had civil rights creds on the street. LBJ had a lot of hard-nose Senate experience (he knew where allm the skeletons were buried) and used that to get Kennedy’s Civil Rights Act passed. I watched it all unfold on TV.

  8. #2 When the psyche of the vast majority of the outspoken political left resides in an emotion based reality, what do you expect?

    Emotion-Based Reality is a delusional reality created by emotions run amok in the psyche.

  9. As W.S. Gilbert wrote, “Things are seldom what they seem; skim milk masquerades as cream.”

    Someone, somewhere, at some time, has edited that. Internal evidence shows that, because it contains a modern variant spelling.

    (Yes, by itself, that would be a quibble – but it is a signature that someone has been at your sources, so you don’t know what else might have diverged.)

    • Huh. Took it right out of my “The Complete Librettos Of Gilbert and Sullivan,” published in 1965, and autographed in 1967, by the great Martyn Green! (Aside: my first experience with the truth that people you admire for their accomplishments are frequently nasty people.)

      I wonder how they managed to mess with THAT source? Amazing…

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