Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/18/2019: Nauseatingly Unethical

Gooood Morning, and Ick.

1. Illegal immigration battles update:  a) The Empire State’s governor,  Andrew Cuomo,  signed legislation granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants—NBC calls them “undocumented immigrants, which is unethically deceptive —right after the measure passed the state Senate. New York is now the 13th state to take this unconscionable  course, creating an incentive as well as a reward for breaking U.S. laws and defying its borders.

There is no justification for ever rewarding lawbreaking  through public policy, unless the objective is to eliminate the law. Yet the Democrats who rationalize these measures still say that their party doesn’t want open borders.  How long can sentient individuals believe that? The existence of these laws, as well as sanctuary cities, prove otherwise. As idiotic and suicidal as it is, an open borders position should at least be honestly proposed and debated, since that is what progressives are really pushing for. I could have some respect for that approach. This one–lying about the intention while undermining immigration laws–is indefensible as well as cowardly.

b) In that vein, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez described the unavoidable detention facilities at the border as “concentration camps.” “I want to talk to the people that are concerned enough with humanity to say that ‘never again’ means something,” she said in an Instagram rant yesterday. Calling the President  a “fascist” (This will be today’s Big Lie entry, as the directory continues), she went on, “I don’t use those words to just throw bombs,” she said, throwing bombs, “I use that word because that is what an administration that creates concentration camps is. A presidency that creates concentration camps is fascist and it’s very difficult to say that. The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”

How many blatant misrepresentation and lies are in those statements? Well, how much time  ya got? Detention centers are unavoidable. They aren’t concentration camps, and the Holocaust comparison is ignorant, inflammatory and obnoxious as well as false. (“What happened to people in concentration camps?” asked OtherBill, who flagged this for me). The President is bound by his oath of office to see that the rule of law remains intact, and to protect the Constitution. A growing hoard of illegal immigrants breaching the law and established procedures to get over the border and then vanish into sanctuary cities creates a threat to both.  The Nazis put their own citizens into concentration camps (you know, like FDR did with Japanese Americans? ), and then murdered them. The illegals at the border are not citizens, they are not legally refugees until we say so, and the U.S. has no obligation, legal or otherwise, to accept what has become a cynical excuse to flout our laws.

c) If one is fair and objective, one has to give President Trump credit for remaining serious and determined in his effort to minimize illegal immigration. His latest gambit is to cut $370 million in aid to  El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras unless they take effective action to limit the armies of attempted illegal immigrants creating the crisis at the our southern border. The tactic raises question both ethical and practical. The U.S. should not be encouraging dependent nations to make prisoners of their own citizens. Nations should also not take foreign aid for granted when their incompetent, corrupt and undemocratic governments somehow fail to make conditions better for their own citizens

2.  Today’s warm-up KABOOM!

On April 26, Teen Vogue posted an article called “Why Sex Work is Real Work” by Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng. Teen Vogue tweeted a link to the article yesterday, just to make sure as many heads exploded as possible. The article sings the praises of prostitution as a career, even making it sound compassionate. “The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support,” Mofokeng writes.

Teen Vogue’s core audience are minor teens and “tweens.”

I doubt anyone needs exposition about what’s wrong here, but these comments from The Federalist are apt:

Not only was the article was tasteless, given the audience, but it also failed to talk about legitimate problems with consensual prostitution and closely-related sex trafficking… This article was a slap in the face to those young women who are trafficked and abused at skyrocketing rates. … While Teen Vogue is pushing a sex liberation agenda on young women, they are bypassing the unfortunate truth that some of their readers may become victims of this industry. Promoting unlimited, legal prostitution is not freeing and not something that we should be promoting to young women, especially during a time when women are doing exceptionally well in America and the doors are opening for women in all job fields. …Why should we open up avenues for women to fall into the dangerous clutches of sex work—or worse, sex trafficking…? We should not be promoting a sex liberation narrative to 13-year-olds. We should be teaching 13-year-olds about community, family, careers, literally anything else…It is unimaginable how someone would promote such a skewed ideology of feminism to such a vulnerable readership.

Oh, it’s not unimaginable at all, nor are the joys of prostitution the only poisonous ideas—or the worst— being pumped into our children’s minds by far Left ideologues in the media and popular culture.

3. Here’s an example of warped societal ethics and values cluelessly proclaimed: Abortion bans could cost American taxpayers billions of dollars each year” says Yahoo’s Kristin Myers.

Yup, before we try to save all of those doomed babies, we better think of the bill! “To put this cost into perspective,” she writes, research shows that in 2010 the public paid just under $13,000 on “prenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum care and 12 months of infant care.”

Wow. Think of what we could save if we aborted them all!

4. Confession: I have a really hard time feeling very sorry for anyone who pays money to attend self-actualization seminars. It’s a flaw; I know it. I had a girlfriend once who was completely sucked into the rip-off EST-like cult/scam LifeSpring, and I determined that this proved that she was too gullible, silly and weak-minded to take seriously. I even went to a meeting as a show of support, one of the most ridiculous three hours of my life, and believe me, that’s saying something. Now comes this, from BuzzFeed:

Tony Robbins punishes followers who fail at his self-help tasks by calling them onstage in front of large crowds and making them drink an unidentified mixture “designed to have a lasting effect for several hours.”

Video and internal documents reviewed by BuzzFeed News reveal that Robbins places “L” stickers on audience members’ foreheads and then, while the song “Loser” by Beck plays over the speakers, forces them to down a “gross shot” whose contents he does not disclose to them.

The practice is part of a pattern in which the embattled self-help superstar urges his followers to ingest potions while on their quest to “live a healthier, wealthier, more fulfilling, passionate and purposeful life.”

One former staffer told BuzzFeed News that audience members are deliberately led to believe that the “nasty” mixture contains laxatives. “I always felt that this was highly inappropriate and falls into the category of public shaming, which is common for Robbins,” he said.

Two more former insiders said they had also witnessed fans being given drinks at other Robbins events, which they were told would have health benefits but made many people sick.

“Participants were throwing up all over the place, in public restrooms, hotel rooms,” said Gary King, Robbins’ former director of security.

I would think, wouldn’t you, that after that little Jim Jones episode, followers of charismatic leaders would draw the line at drinking noxious beverages. Guess not.

Morons. See, there I go again…


38 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 6/18/2019: Nauseatingly Unethical

  1. So, now the linkage between driving privileges and illegals voting are closer than ever. Sure glad it’s New York, because it was never going to buck against the left anyway. And, if the country eventually breaks apart, they won’t be in my version of America anyway.

    Can no longer look at AOC as a simpleton; she is an apparatchik. She and her Alinskyite ilk seek to destroy the Constitution. Someone please exile her to a workers paradise like North Korea; it’s her only hope of waking to reality.

    Have to disagree on the notion Trump (our) policies aid in imprisoning foreign nationals within their home countries. Pretty sure they can leave as we can legally, you know, with a passport to a wide variety of destinations. Leveraging control of our border absent a wall and better processes is wise.

    • But we don’t need a passport to leave the country, just to get back in, or to go somewhere that requires one. For example, I can go to the Bahamas with a drivers license. If Mexico lets them in, how can Guatemala keep them in?

      • Can you still get back in with a driver’s license? I had to start bringing a passport along on American trips back in the Obama years because us Canadians were such a dire threat our licenses would no longer suffice.

      • You must have a passport for the Bahamas now. It has been for some time. At one point you could provide a birth certificate with a raised seal but no longer. I got my first passport in 2001 to meet the new requirement for my travels to Nassau. If they have changed since my last trip there in 2003 I will stand corrected.

        • I am officially out of date. Thanks. The latest: the only non-US destinations that you can go to without a pass port are the US territories: The U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico ; American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

          • Actually, I did travel to Canada in March without a passport. Had my gold star certified citizenship drivers license and notarized birth certificate. No issues.

            To your point though, foreign nationals can leave without a passport, but who would accept them upon arrival? No one, but the borderless US. Thus different measures to discourage illegal behavior.

      • We are getting passports and visas confused. Passports designate orgin of citizenship not permission to enter or exit a country. Passports designate who has a right to enter be they a citzen of that country or someone requesting entry under the agreed terms of the countries in question have negotiated by treaty.

        Only totalitarian regimes require exit visas but every country requires an entry visa. Some visas are automatically given by virtue of signed travel treaties. Some require advance approvals for entry.

        However to say you don’t need a passport to leave is like saying you don’t need a key upon leaving to renter your home after you lock the door.

        • However to say you don’t need a passport to leave is like saying you don’t need a key upon leaving to renter your home after you lock the door.

          And that’s true, too. If you are leaving for good, you don’t need a key.

    • I was just thinking of moving to the Bronx to run against AOC. I really think she and Aliab and Omar are going to be one term wonders. What are the residency requirements? Would something like Yankees season tickets constitute a residency? Those La-Z-Boy like seats behind home plate look down right residential verging on palatial.

      I’m going to assume there are Holocaust victims’ and survivors’ descendants who vote in the Bronx. What an incredible insult to the families of those imprisoned and/or murdered by the NAZIs. Does she even realize it? No. What a thoughtless little shit. Again, she’s just a sock puppet for the Justice Democrats. This may have been a script given to her, or she may have gone off script. Either way, it’s clear these people are incredibly and ruthlessly anti-American.

      Reminds me of description I heard of current day Congress: In years past, the local pharmacist would get elected to Congress and go off to Washington to represent the district. The local crackpot/chronic complainer would sit at the soda fountain in the pharmacist’s drugstore and bitch and moan about everything. Now, the pharmacist stays at home and runs his drugstore while the local crackpot/chronic complainer goes off the Washington. Brilliant.

  2. #2 – I say this as a person who’s rather libertarian and I am after legalizing most things that make others cringe.

    One of the things I’m not so hot on is the legalization of prostitution. I most of all don’t want to see the criminalization of the women involved because for the most part, they are victims in this. What is needed is to provide a safe haven for the women to escape, not to throw them into prison. It appears that effort is taking hold in many US cities.

    My opinion has been formed due to many work trips to Europe. Decriminalization or outright legalization is universal in continental Europe, and it’s not pretty. It’s not confined to specific districts, there are brothels mixed in with other businesses. Even if you’re not looking for it, it is in your face, including solicitations “to come join the fun”. The demand vastly outpaces supply, and trafficking in women (and barely women) is rampant. They lure women out of poor Eastern European countries, and keep them in near slavery conditions. The locals, including law enforcement, to a large degree turn a blind eye to the criminality.

  3. Jack,

    “We should not be promoting a sex liberation narrative to 13-year-olds. We should be teaching 13-year-olds about community, family, careers, literally anything else…It is unimaginable how someone would promote such a skewed ideology of feminism to such a vulnerable readership.”

    Says who? I largely agree with his point but the author offers no evidence as to what makes argument more correct. After all, the his evidence stems from the status quo, wherein it’s mostly illegal. This does little to sway anyone arguing that things would be different if the laws were changed. The Federalist response reads like someone condoning another’s behavior simply because “that’s now how I was raised and look how I turned out.” The Teen Vogue article doesn’t promote or glamorize sex work, it argues for legalization. The response (and your commentary), however, reads like an over-reaction by someone who’s never even met a sex worker.

    I get that you’ve given up trying to sway people’s minds, but your work of late only preaches to an already-devout choir while offering little in the way of analysis. No one in favor of sex work would read what you’ve written and come away with even knew ideas to consider. Your dismissiveness turns people off immediately, as does the judgmental tone.

    PS – Did you really never receive the phone message I left you last year when I was in DC (and standing at your father’s grave in Arlington)? You seem to have previously avoided the question. You also continue to refuse to accept my apology or even talk about why …

    • Re the last—no, I never heard the message. I don’t collect my messages, and sometimes they fall through the cracks. This one did. Completely my fault, and I am genuinely sorry—I would have liked to finally meet you in person.

      • As to the rest—as is often the case, I am confused about both your innuendo and your timing of it. I have not “given up trying to sway people’s minds”, though swaying people’s mind isn’t the objective here and never was. The point is to practice looking at ethical problems from an ethical rather than emotional perspective. In this instance, the ethics issue shouldn’t be controversial, which is why neither I nor the Federalist author decided to make an A-Z argument. An article that makes the case that prostitution is a perfectly acceptable career, like teaching or being a jockey, to an audience too young to legally or safely engage in that activity is obviously irresponsible, and if it isn’t obvious to some readers, their problems go deeper than I have time to address. I also thought the Federalist points were accurate and sufficient: the danger of sex-trafficking, the abundance of better career choices (prostitution has traditionally been the last recourse of desperate women without skills or options). The Teen Vogue article DOES sugar-coat prostitution with the paragraph I quoted, and that’s bad enough.

        As for “We should not be promoting a sex liberation narrative to 13-year-olds. We should be teaching 13-year-olds about community, family, careers, literally anything else…It is unimaginable how someone would promote such a skewed ideology of feminism to such a vulnerable readership,” It’s res ipsa loquitur. The point is that this is a dangerous, socially demeaned, dangerous, unethical (Taking money to undermine other women’s relationships is unethical) slippery-slope, extreme option (even taking the best possible spin), and there are plenty of safe, healthy, uncontroversial career life options that a child should be taught about first before this one. Again, I just don’t see that as a controversial or even debatable proposition. It’s like saying that boys should be taught about more traditional life courses like college, professional training, traditional careers and career tracks before they are encouraged to join the carnival, be a stunt man, do motorcycle stunts or enlist in the Marines.

        I’ve discussed what I think is misguided and societally irresponsible about legalizing prostitution before (and will again), but this particular post wasn’t about that. It was about peddling prostitution to girls.

        • There’s plenty of evidence, just using the US as a sample, that sex-slavery, abuse, and other illegal activity ramp up in places where prostitution is legal.

          “The idea of purchasing intimacy and paying for the services can be affirming for many people who need human connection, friendship, and emotional support…”

          Makes me think of 27-year-old obese comedian Chris Farley, sensing his impending death, begging the prostitute at his home to not leave him alone as she walked out with her money. Those were his last words. Such genuine emotional support and friendship!

    • The response (and your commentary), however, reads like an over-reaction by someone who’s never even met a sex worker.

      As someone who has met a sex worker, and who knew her before entering the industry when she was the target age for the magazine, Jack’s commentary seems measured and under-stated.

    • Interesting perspective, Neil.

      I read the Good Doctor’s Op-Ed. It is nonsense. The Good Doctor is Tlaleng Mofokeng, MD, founder of Nalane for Reproductive Justice and is the Deputy Chairperson of the Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition of South Africa.

      She equates sex work with the practice of medicine (I guess because she counsels people of safe sex practices in Africa). She openly declares that she is a sex worker because she is . . . a . . . uh . . . licensed . . . physician . . . ? Here is her comment:

      “I find it interesting that as a medical doctor, I exchange payment in the form of money with people to provide them with advice and treatment for sex-related problems; therapy for sexual performance, counseling and therapy for relationship problems, and treatment of sexually transmitted infection. Isn’t this basically sex work?”

      Oh, and this little pearl of wisdom:

      “I do not believe it is right or just that people who exchange sexual services for money are criminalized and I am not for what I do. Is a medical degree really the right measure of who is deserving of dignity, autonomy, safety in the work place, fair trade and freedom of employment? No. This should not be so. Those who engage in sex work deserve those things, too.”

      So, why would Teen Vogue run this Op-Ed. in its magazine? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Remember, this Op-Ed. is published in Teen Vogue. Its mission statement is: “The young person’s guide to conquering (and saving) the world. Teen Vogue covers the latest in celebrity news, politics, fashion, beauty, wellness, lifestyle, and entertainment.” I suspect the average reader is a teenage girl, based on my son’s experience that anything contained within the front and back covers is simply meaningless. Our son is a competitive swimmer but he would find the article “Meet the Swimwear Brand Fixing the Biggest Issue with Bikinis” completely useless unless it had something to do with better and faster competition tech suits.

      Teen Vogue issued a statement defending the Op=Ed.:


      • [ ]

        This is a very (very!) complex text. It requires (but it does not ask for) exegesis. It presents a whole array of attitudes and decisions and would prefer that you do not think them through.

        I have my own *problem* because I look at it and I see demonic tricks. I assume that Taylor Swift does not see herself as a purveyor of demoniac influence, nor do the girls who I assume are her audience. It is clearly a message to the backward Christians who are hanging up everyone from enjoying the pleasures that are there waiting. It fits into a vast seduction which presents the mutable and the momentary as the worthy sacrifice, but what is traded is transcendental value, of which this text shows not even a trace.

        These are very complex messages and they bypass the rational, intelligent mind and communicate to something deeper. Just think of the way a girl looks at this, what it presents to her as *important* and as *valuable*. It is not at all hard for me to understand why people — parents — see a need to shield their children from this level of influence.

        But what is it? How would one describe this level of influence? Music, the movements of the body: the female gestures that communicate irreverence and girlish resistance & rebellion are what I first notice. There is nothing reverent in any sense in any of this, not the colors, the objects, the stage nor all her homosexual *friends* in a trailer park. Here, it is a heterosexual adult figure steering the viewer to accept and even relish deviance. I use the word ‘deviance’ to describe how these people, these actors, present themselves through their own posture and comportment. So, it is a celebration of the deviant and an invitation to participate in it in order to gain admission, to be accepted, to be one of the gang and the group.

        Once a girls has taken that step she will be moldable putty . . .

        Now, what influence would modify this seduction? A present father who can demonstrate that this is all lie. Or what woman-figure would oppose this? I mean, what dance-performance, what work of art, what MTV enactment can compete against it? Millions of dollars went into it, and the producers all infused it with levels of intentionality.

        In the Vedas, I can’t remember where I read it now, it was proposed that if you corrupt woman you corrupt society at the most fundamental level possible. If you wish to corrupt society, that is where you start. (I watched Pleasantville and this was one of the core messages there). The result is social breakdown. These are intended consequences.

        It is obvious to me as a woman that what I am being tempted with there is ‘sexual power’: the power to control men (or perhaps other women given the bisexual tones) through performing for their gaze. Every girl has an awakening to what this means.

        Here, I think it is clear as day, it is entirely outside of what is ‘traditional’ in the sense of the authentically and timelessly human: the world of the family. Were there children in that video? Those *friends* are part of a perverse non-family or family-substitute. They are child and adult but more child than adult.

        I suggest that it is not possible to be happy nor fulfilled in a circumstance that looks like that, ever. Thus, it represents (what I see as) demonic temptation. The ‘demonic’ is not the stuff of horror movies and ‘possessions’ but rather the corruption of, and thus the loss of, what really has value in human life. It reduces man and woman to victimhood.

  4. That was a draft under construction that I never intended to post in so sloppy a form. Unfortunately, one of my typos included hitting “enter” prematurely My apologies.

  5. Polls are polls, and the only ones that count are those generally conducted on election Tuesdays at the REAL polls, but it appears some of the shine is off the talented Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.

    Poll: AOC Disliked, Distrusted, Unwanted In Her Own NY District

  6. 1a. New York better figure out soon that they will reap what they sow.

    1b. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is showing showing a great lack of intelligence and common sense, aka stupid.

    1c. I have no really problem with them cutting aid to these countries and use the money to fox some things here but cutting the aid will not stop the flow out of these cesspool countries, if they want to leave, they will leave. What needs to happen is that countries need to enforce their own laws at their borders, if people wandering across their borders do not have the legal right to be in their country they need to send them back.

    2. These arguments have been lurking below the surface of acceptable society norms for quite a while. The people that support such things as being legal would love for any law that makes individual choices illegal to be scrapped. About prostitution in general; personally I just don’t give a shit if someone chooses to legally sell their body for sex. There are a LOT of people that make a LOT of self-destructive legal and illegal choices that I don’t approve of and would never participate in, drugs, prostitution, gambling, football, or gladiator to name a few. I think glorifying of prostitution using the words intimacy, need human connection, friendship, and emotional support are all lies, there’s nothing beyond carnal sex and if people allow themselves to be deluded into believe it’s something intimate then they need professional help.

    3. These people are stupid,so it’s no real surprise that they would come up with that kind of clueless nonsense.

    4. I have no problem with people attending these seminars for the first time to see what all the hype is about, but if they allow themself to get sucked in and go back they’re acting moronic. I’m sure the same people would be sucked in by conspiracy theorists too, it might be a genetic defect.

  7. 2. Like many publications, Teen Vogue is struggling. Their target audience goes to YouTube and Instagram for whatever they used to get from magazines. Articles like this aren’t for teens specifically, they’re for whoever will click on them to raise ad revenue.

    It’s still lazy and gross, though.

  8. If you examine this person, her background, her activism, her goals & objects, I think you will fairly quickly see that she is connected to the ‘radical Marxist social model’ that inspired South African activism and social revolution.

    Her positions are completely feminist in the Marxian sense as is her notion of the quest for ‘female power’ or recovery of power as she describes it. It is a strange — but attractive or perhaps seductive is the word — social quest for a woman and for women. The basis of her social activism, her philosophy I reckon, is centered around the project of women gaining power and asserting their power by controlling sexual interchange. All of the same material, from what I understand and what I have read, was prevalent in the US and Europe in the 1970s and 1980s.

    Once you accept the root tenets here — if you do — then all that will come about in a given society as a result of this ideology will be seen as ‘good’ and ‘natural’. You will then inevitably *teach* those same values — the ones you believe in, the ones you think are right and good — to your daughters.

    It is ‘fitting’ that this article and ones like it appear and have influence among teens. If you can insert the tenets of a socially radical doctrine then, and if it influences choices, your work will be done largely.

    To create a ‘counter-argument’ against this type of activism, and against Marxian feminism, is to confront a total trend that has taken root substantially in America but in many other places too. The social revolutionary project is powerful & complex, and resisting it involves one in a substantial process of contradiction [from the verb contradicere, originally contra dicere ‘speak against’].

  9. ”It is ‘fitting’ that this article and ones like it appear and have influence among teens.”

    Do tell. I imagine a failed Austrian artist may have had just that in mind when he observed:

    “He (she?) alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.”

    ”If you can insert the tenets of a socially radical doctrine…”

    The Social Justice Summer Camp Budding Roses (a “volunteer-run collective of educators, students, and activists” in none other than the Bedrock Conservative Bastion of Portland, OR) appears poised to exploit that niche.

  10. 1a: Oddly enough, Tennessee passed a law, or more correctly an amendment to driver licensing law, in 2001 that, although supposedly designed to make it more likely that legal immigrants would get a license (and thereby have to learn the rules of the road well enough to pass the test), in actuality made it easier for illegal immigrants to obtain a license. ( )
    After it was realized (by 2004) that many illegals were obtaining Tennessee drivers licenses, it still took until 2006 to get this abomination totally repealed. Many of us in law enforcement at the time thought the legislature only enacted it to bring in more money in testing and licensing fees. (I have been told on good authority that over 50,000 licenses were issued to illegal immigrants. Multiply that by $26.50 a pop and you’ll see my point) The public (not to mention law enforcement and homeland security officials) reacted strongly after the unintended consequences became generally known. Regardless of good intentions to the contrary, it granted an undeserved legitimacy to illegal immigrants and should have been more thoroughly considered before it was enacted in its flawed condition.

  11. Tony Robbins has gone off the deep end: Although he is a gifted hypnotist and certainly a great self promoter, this abusive shaming of his workshop participants is disgusting and I’m pretty sure that lawsuits will follow.

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