Morning Ethics Warm-Up, May 2, 2019: Low, Lower, Lowest

Six computer crashes already, but I’m going to get this %$#*&@ post up if it kills me, and I’m STILL calling it a “morning” warm-up.

1. Speaking of %$#*&... Senator Lindsay Graham used “fucking” on both CNN and Fox News, live, coast-to-coast. He was quoting former from one of FBI agent Peter Strzok’s texts, to illustrate the anti-Trump bias among those investigating him, as well as Hillary Clinton.  “Trump is a fucking idiot,” Graham read. He added, “Sorry to the kids out there.”

Good for him. If the word is relevant to a legitimate issue, and part of a quote or an example, then use the word. The principle is the same as when professors of linguistics or social studies utter the word “nigger” to raise questions about the way the word itself is used in society.

2. Unethical industry seeks guidance from unethical organization. So desperate is American horse racing to reverse its precipitous decline that leaders in the sport are seeking guidance from PETA.

That will work out well, I’m sure. Any time a business seeks guidance from an outside group that really doesn’t care about whether the business lives or dies, the end is near….not that this is a bad thing in this case. Horse deaths have been increasing across the country, and the anger of animal rights activists is threatening the very existence of “the sport of Kings.” California is close to banning the sport already. The use of drugs to keep sick and injured thoroughbreds running until they drop and the use of whips are the main sources of contention.

The popularity and profitability of horse racing has been falling for a long time. ONce, it ranked with boxing and baseball as one of the three top professional sports in the nation. Those days are gone for ever. Meanwhile,  more than $15 billion was bet on races in 2002; last year,  the total was $11 billion. In 2002, nearly 33,000 thoroughbred foals were registered as racehorses.  19,925 were registered last year.

Like boxing, horse racing appears to be doomed by its very nature The NFL, it it looks really hard, should be able to see its future, or lack of it. The process takes an infuriatingly long time, but people do become more ethical as time and experience accumulates.

3. Boy, “Above the Law” just keeps getting worse and worse. Why do I keep checking out this rag of a legal gossip website, which now had become so partisan and politically extreme–one of its main columnists, a lawyer, has advocated juries acquitting all African-American defendants—that it is more of a clinical exhibition of progressive derangement than a useful source for legal news. Here is some of its commentary on Law Day, with the ridiculous title, “Happy Law Day! Remember That The Law Is Mostly Terrible.”:

Happy Law Day, everyone! Law Day, a special day of celebration “for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life,” is an opportunity for the lifelong gunners among us to wrap themselves in the flag and declare themselves the very model of a modern Atticus Finch — except without all the racist parts…

And where do we find ourselves on this anniversary of Law Day? Well, there’s a Supreme Court bolstered by a seat taken in broad contravention of over 200 years of constitutional norms has upended decades upon decades of precedent to hamstring organized labor. With a frathouse drunk joining the Court — and the rest of the judiciary populated by right-wing bloggers and hack children — these attacks will only grow more strident. Meanwhile…..the former FBI Director is scolding the Attorney General for frustrating an investigation. Some would say that the rule of law is on the ropes these days.”

Wow. How many outright misrepresentations and distorted statements can you count there, even ignoring the bile? We have the Left’s favorite “norms” gibberish again, presumably referring to Mitch McConnell’s refusal to let Merrick Garland’s nomination get a hearing in the Senate, but of course, that maneuver was legal and Constitutional. Even if we accept the characterization of Justice Kavanugh as a “frat house drunk,” saying a frat house drunk joined the court is like saying that a KKK member joined the Court when Hugo Black was confirmed, or that a pot-head joined the Court when Breyer was confirmed, or that a teenager joined the Court when any justice is confirmed. The “hack children” line refers to a single   Trump judicial nominee—“hack child” would at least have the number right—who is under 40, and has a stellar resume. Maybe the most ludicrous of all is the suggestion that if the disgraced James Comey criticizes the Attorney General,  it is anything but a compliment to Bill Barr.

Meanwhile, who celebrates Law Day? Who even knew yesterday was Law Day? Talk about a weak excuse for a partisan rant.

4. Apparently there is no low among the Democrats regarding their impeachment obsession that can not be surpassed by a new low. Yesterday’s grilling of Attorney General Bob Barr was apparently designed to confuse the dimmer members of the public while thrilling the Democratic “resistance “base by beating up on President Trump’s Attorney General. So for five hours, Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee vented  their frustration over the Mueller report’s failure to charge President Trump with any crimes, trying to make Barr the villain.

It makes no sense. Who cares, or should care, whether the letter Barr wrote to Congress summarizing the bottom line findings made Mueller happy, who apparently felt that the letter misrepresented the “context” of the final report? The summary was correct:  no charges or evidence for conspiracy with Russia had been found,  and there were no chares on obstruction, with Mueller leaving the call up to Barr, his boss, and Deputy AG Rosenstein. They decided there was not a prosecutable case. If Mueller was certain that there was such a case, he should have said so in the report. He didn’t.

 Several Senators insisted that Barr had misrepresented the Mueller report in his letter, and cited the letter written by Mueller to Barr in March that was mysteriously leaked right before the hearing.  But again, so what? Barr released the entire report, and knew he was going to release it. If the Senators, or Mueller, don’t agree with the summary, that’s swell, but they can’t argue there was an intent by Barr to mislead when the full report was on the way.

Legally,  Barr didn’t have to release the report at all. By his “context” objections, I assume that Mueller wanted more mention of the extraneous, non-substantive, unflattering accounts of the President’s words and conduct, which didn’t belong in the report anyway. So unable to find legitimate support in the investigation results to impeach Trump, the Democrats’ objective ever since he was elected, they have shifted to venom and grandstanding.  The low this time were the comments of Hawaii Senator Maisie Hirono, who accused Barr of lying to “cover-up” for President Trump. Cover up what? Then she said, “Mr. Barr, now the American people know that you are no different from Rudy Giuliani or Kellyanne Conway or any of the other people who sacrificed their once decent reputation for the grifter and liar who sits in the Oval Office.”

Nice. Play-ground Name-calling. Speaking of the “norms” that Democrats profess to worship, a Senator using such language to describe a President is completely unprecedented. Appropriately,  Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham cut her off, saying “Listen, you’ve slandered this man from top to bottom. So if you want more of this, you’re not going to get it. If you want to ask him questions, you can.”

14 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, May 2, 2019: Low, Lower, Lowest

  1. My favorite part was when Barr said the DOJ’s job was done and it was time to stop trying to criminalize politics – I wish I could remember the exact quote.

    I just wish Barr had asked Kamilla Harris if she meant all 2 million documents when she asked if he had personally reviewed all the underlying evidence. Then stated that would have taken far longer than the 3 weeks he was criticized for taking for the required redactions.

    I wonder if Kamilla Harris has even read the public report.

  2. 2. “[P]eople do become more ethical as time and experience accumulates.”
    We can only hope. And yet…cognitive dissonance strikes me here.

    I can see more sincere civil behavior toward “sexual minorities” and toward blacks by whites, for examples. And, I can see more evidence of people being other-than-cruel to animals, these days. I have seen those evolutions in my lifetime.

    But, more ethical? I have lived long, and there is NO WAY that I have become more ethical. And there is no way that a Nation of Assholes, such as we live in, can be said to be a people who have “become more ethical as time and experience [have accumulated].”

    3. “…a pot-head joined the Court when Breyer was confirmed,…”
    Well…sometimes the shoe actually fits.

    Hey, diversity AND equality! Can’t have a court with a frathouse drunk, without also having a pot-head. And, TWO sexual predators (one black, one white). PROGRESS!

    • I wonder if there’s a large-scale version of “moral accounting” or for the concept that person only has so much emotional energy to invest in “being good” and has to prioritize carefully.

      Slavery and systematic racism are mostly illegal and unacceptable, but on the other hand, the abortion business is booming, the family model has been nuked by out-of-control sex and porn, and no one seems to care about the many ways that this is harming children (the average teen now has the anxiety levels of a 1950’s mental patient.)

      You don’t hear much about lynchings anymore, but you didn’t hear much about indiscriminate mass shootings back then. Maybe we’re not necessarily more ethical, but just differently unethical.

    • I can see more sincere civil behavior toward… blacks by whites…

      I can certainly see the opposite after the last decade. People who KNOW ME from a small child call all whites ‘racist’ when they know better. many blacks have simply decided that whites are the source of all problems, and act accordingly.

      • Slick: Do you mean Black Americans, in the main, decided, after being indoctrinated and fed non-stop bias, that whites are the source of all problems?

  3. “Well, there’s a Supreme Court bolstered by a seat taken in broad contravention of over 200 years of constitutional norms has upended decades upon decades of precedent to hamstring organized labor. With a frathouse drunk joining the Court — and the rest of the judiciary populated by right-wing bloggers and hack children — these attacks will only grow more strident. Meanwhile…..the former FBI Director is scolding the Attorney General for frustrating an investigation. Some would say that the rule of law is on the ropes these days.”

    Is there an official term for this rhetorical technique? I call it, “The Big Ball of Stupid,” where you toss out several different specific accusations against a person or idea, all either false, mostly false, or grossly misrepresented, as part of one big, angry run-on sentence. Because you told so many lies tangled into one paragraph, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to unpack and refute each one, and even if they do so (as Jack did here,) the counter-argument doesn’t have nearly the same impact as the initial argument, which was powerful and succinct.

    I first encountered this technique used on a lot of atheist websites and forums, where 100 different horrible, discredited, high-school-freshman level criticisms of Christianity were often crammed into one short screed (“why should I believe in your genocidal, jealous, anti-scientific, racist sky-daddy?”, etc.) Basically the trick is that there are as many lies as possible crammed into a short space, so that untangling the Big Ball of Stupid is a ton of work and produces a long, nerdy response that most people don’t have time for.

  4. People are becoming more ethical in their taste in sports? Not sure about that. Boxing may be on its way out, but its been replaced by UFC. No gloves — just people knocking the shit out of each other. Unimaginable in the 1970’s that this would become a mainstream sport.

    • UFC is not within the stratosphere of boxing at its peak. There’s no prime time TV UFC show. Everyone knew the name of the Heavyweight boxing champ from the beginning of the 20th Century through Larry Holmes, and often the middleweight champ too. It has a loyal and lucrative audience, but its not a major sport.

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