1. Notre Dame fire ethics: Michael West, whose rare (of late) comments are valued as pearls, offered a proposed poll regarding the proper response to the destruction of the ancient cathedral’s spire. Here it is, with a few tweaks from me:
At the risk of tainting the voting, I have a pretty strong opinion about this. The structure should be left as it is. Did they repair the Great Sphinx’s nose? Did they cover up the crack in the Liberty Bell? Once a part of an ancient structure or monument us gone, it’s gone. Replacements and restorations are ersatz and deceptive. The fire is part of the cathedral’s history, and what remains should reflect it. There are far better—and more ethical– uses for the many millions it will take to restore the spire.
2. Thanks for all the kind comments in light of Ethics Alarms hitting two major milestones on the same day. In commemoration, the blog will launch a new series, Ethics Alarms Retrospective (EAR), focusing on one or more of the 10,000+ posts I have immodestly placed here, most of which even I have forgotten.
For the first installment of EAR, I offer “The Unethical Humiliation of Sister Rita X”from August 10, 2010. The topic was Sean Hannity’s practice of allowing clearly deranged progressives to have extended exposure on his radio call-in show, so he could engage in cheap mockery with the implication that they are representative of the Left generally. The comments are especially fascinating, almost all of which were Hannity fans who concocted all manner of distortions and rationalizations to justify what was the equivalent of exploiting the mentally ill for laughs. Comment highlight? This:
Again- I don’t expect you to respond- because you already said you would cut this conversation off.
Again- typical lib.
And I have facts.
What have you got besides a hollow ideology and kool aid?
That’s me, all right: a typical lib! By the way, that (minor) post was shared 4 times on Facebook, where as the last several hundred or so have received none.
3. This one is res ipsa loquitur, no? Many students at the University of the Arts are demanding that famed iconoclast Camilla Paglia be fired from the faculty because her non-conforming opinions are putting students “at risk,” and that she should be replaced by a “queer person of color.” These and other demands are outlined in a petition at Change.org, started by student Sheridan Merrick that has been signed by over 800 people, including at least one faculty member. What is the “thing” that this episode fully reveals without further elaboration or evidence? There are several, actually:
- Universities are teaching and indoctrinating whole generations of students into censorious, speech-suppressing, close-minded totalitarian certitude, with no appreciation of the value of diverse critical thought or positions that challenge their ideology.
- The youth-led Left is establishing, as someone recently wrote, the self-refuting position is that dissent from their “truth” is violence, but violence against dissenters is good.
- Being unable to win debates with facts and logic, the Left increasingly resorts to intimidation and censorship.
- Bigotry and racism are now extolled by progressives as long as it’s the right kind of bigotry and racism.
4. This judge won’t be disciplined despite flagrantly unethical conduct. Guess why. Federal Judge Carlton Reeves used his receiving of an award at the University of Virginia to issue an intemperate and nakedly partisan rant against President Donald Trump, with such inflammatory rhetoric as..
“When politicians attack courts as ‘dangerous,’ ‘political,’ and guilty of ‘egregious overreach,’ you can hear the Klan’s lawyers, assailing officers of the court across the South. When leaders chastise people for merely ‘using the courts,’ you can hear the Citizens Council, hammering up the names of black petitioners in Yazoo City.”
Funny, I’ve been hearing politicians, legal commentators and pundits call the courts and judges ‘dangerous,’ ‘political,’ and guilty ‘egregious overreach,’ for decades, but suddenly the President is the one whose complaints evoke the Klan. Jonathan Turley disapproves, and says the judge’s speech raises “troubling issues about Reeves engaging in political speech in violation of core judicial ethical rules.” This is the professor being a weenie again. No, the speech IS a violation, bright and ugly, of judicial ethics:
A judge shall uphold and promote the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
A judge shall conduct the judge’s personal and extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with the obligations of judicial office.
A judge or candidate for judicial office shall not engage in political or campaign activity that is inconsistent with the independence, integrity, or impartiality of the judiciary.
5. The Omar 9-11 Ethics Train Wreck is really rolling now…
- President Trump issued either an inflammatory or brilliant tweet—that’s assuming one thinks he should be tweeting at all, which I don’t—
Never forget that Rep. Omar trivialized the terror attacks? Never forget the terror attacks like Rep. Omar apparently has? Never forget who was behind the terror attacks, as Omar appeared to have forgotten (“someone”/”something”)
- Senator Cory Booker sputtered on “Face the Nation”: “That is so objectionable. That is so offensive. And- and- and this is what I mean about moral vandalism in our country that’s going on from the highest offices stoking hatred, stoking fears, pitting people against each other.”
How much longer can Democrats, who constantly call the President a racist, a fascist and a traitor, flip-flop as if this hasn’t been a three-year mantra and bemoan the President “stoking hatred, stoking fears, pitting people against each other.” Democrats have shot GOP Congressmen and seeded violence against peaceful citizens wearing MAGA hats, and using demonizing rhetoric to characterize conservatives, Republicans and supporters of the President, and a tweet saying “We will never forget” is “moral vandalism”?
Once again, it appears one whole side of the political spectrum is betting on public amnesia, inattention and gullibility.
6. And speaking of betting on public amnesia, inattention and gullibility...Quixotic, and not in a good way, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld says that he’s going to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination, arguing that Trump is “unstable.” Boy, if there is a politician alive who is estopped from calling anyone “unstable” it’s William Weld. He resigned as Governor to pursue a doomed effort to become Bill Clinton’s Ambassador to Mexico (don’t ask me what his thinking was there). He endorsed Barack Obama over John McCain in 2008, then endorsed Mitt Romney over Obama in 2012. Weld left the Republican Party to run as the Libertarian VP on the ticket headed by the ridiculous Gary Johnson, and before the election said that he would be voting for Hillary Clinton.
Trump should ignore Weld and let them hold primaries without his wasting one second in debates or campaigning against one of the few people alive whose hair is a stranger color than Trump’s. (No, that’s not an ad hominem attack. Weld’s hair brings to mind Jerry Seinfeld’s routine about bad toupees. It’s a visual insult, implying that we are too gullible to realize the hair is fake–At least leave the price tag hanging, Jerry suggests.) For a 74-year-old man to have his hair colored like this…
…suggests a lack of trustworthiness as well as vain delusions.