Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/17/2019: The Deluded, The Narrative, “The Squad,” The Hedgehog, And Other Things…

PERK UP! There’s ethics to think about!

(I’m talking to myself here…I’m sure you’re fine)

1. Today’s ridiculous note on the heartbreak of  Self-Awareness Deficit. Republican Mark Sanford, the defeated  former U.S. congressman from South Carolina who is best known for having to resign as governor after going AWOL to visit his South American mistress, said yesterday that  he is considering mounting a primary challenge to President Donald Trump. (Psssst! Mark! The RNC has already said that there would be no debates, and the primaries are a mere formality.) Sanford says he will decide in the next month or so whether to oppose Trump for the 2020 presidential nomination.

The basis on which to run against Trump is character and ethics. Of the entire universe of legitimate potential challengers, an ex-governor who escaped impeachment by resigning after making a spectacle of himself has to be near the bottom, if not lying on it.

Somebody tell him.

2. Update: The Red Sox and the late Ken Poulsen’s son are still resisting common decency, I’m sorry to report. I wrote about the on-field presentation to Brett Poulsen last week, when he was awarded the 1967 World Series ring that his father had inexplicably never received despite being part of the that magical Red Sox season. Then we learned that the Sox infielder’s daughter Kendra had never been contacted by the team or her brother, so she and her children, Ken’s grandchildren had been left out of the ceremony. I’ve tried to alert the team and have passed the story along to a baseball writer friend, so far to no avail. Last night, NESN, the Red Sox-owned cable network, interviewed Brett in the stands during the Sox-Blue Jays game. Once again, the false impression was left that he is the only offspring of Ken Poulsen.

I’m sorry Kendra. This is wrong. I’ll keep trying.

3. Another day, another transgender competitor is permitted to cheat to win a women’s athletic contest. In the 2019 Pacific Games in Samoa. transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand, who was born male and transitioned to female in his 30’s,  won two gold medals and a silver in three heavyweight categories for women weighing more than  192 pounds.  The former Gavin Hubbard  finished first in the snatch-lift and combined categories, then second in the clean-and-jerk.

The born-female-still female competitor who came in second place  was Feagaiga Stowers of Samoa. She won a gold at the  Commonwealth Games when Hubbard was sidelined with an injury.

The sanctioned mythology by LGBT activists is that being born male confers no competitive advantage whatsoever to female athletes in strength-related sports.

This is the Emperor’s New Clothes come to life.

4. But…but “everybody knows” President Trump is a racist! Ah, narratives!Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin explained during a congressional hearing that the new, Obama administration-approved Harriet Tubman $20 bill would not go into circulation until 2028, it was immediately seized upon by Democrats and the news media as more proof of the Trump administration’s racist heart. For example, here’s Nancy Pelosi, June 20, 2019:

It is an insult to the hopes of millions that the Trump Administration is refusing to honor Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill. This unnecessary decision must be reversed.

And inveterate race-baiter Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, June 14, 2019:

“The Treasury Department had designs to place Harriet Tubman on the $20 in the works. The Admin’s decision to delay this honor is unacceptable. I urge my colleagues to support my bill, the Harriet Tubman Tribute Act, to ensure Harriet Tubman is included on the $20 by 2020.”

I guess the Washington Post figured that since everyone was calling Trump a racist for his moronic tweets telling the four anti-Semitic, crypto-communist, America-bashing House freshmen making up “The Squad” to “go back where they came from,” it was safe to finally tell the truth about the Tubman bill. From the Post, that Trump-loving, racism-enabling newspaper:

Three current or former high-ranking government officials who served in the Obama administration, and involved in the design and release of currency, said the Trump administration has not delayed the release of a new $20.

Instead, they say, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin — while expressing indifference about Tubman’s placement on the currency, whereas his predecessor backed the change — has followed a timeline set under the Obama administration for the introduction of the new $20 bill.

In 2016, President’s Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said a “final concept design” of the Tubman $20 would be released in 2020. He asked the government to accelerate the process of the redesign, saying the new look would be released by 2020, the 100th anniversary of women winning the right to vote.

But inside the agency, some government officials doubted that deadline could be met. A confidential 2013 report by the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence committee, an interagency group that oversees the redesign of U.S. currency, said the $20 would not enter circulation until 2030, similar to the timeline announced by the Trump administration, according to Larry R. Felix, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 2006 to 2015.

Felix and other senior officials believed it would not be possible to release a “concept” design of Tubman on the $20 in 2020, given that these designs are never released several years — much less an entire decade — before they enter circulation.

Funny how the Post didn’t bother to look into this until after that June installment of the “Trump is a racist” Big Lie was fully digested by the public.

5. Ethics Quote of the Day from Louisiana Senator John Kennedy (no relation) [Pointer: Althouse]:

In America, if you hate our Country, you are free to leave. The simple fact of the matter is, the four Congresswomen think that America is wicked in its origins, they think that America is even more wicked now, that we are all racist and evil. They’re entitled to their opinion, they’re Americans. Now I’m entitled to my opinion, & I just think they’re left wing cranks. They’re the reason there are directions on a shampoo bottle, & we should ignore them. The ‘squad’ has moved the Democrat Party substantially LEFT, and…..they are destroying the Democrat Party. I’m appalled that so many of our Presidential candidates are falling all over themselves to try to agree with the four horsewomen of the apocalypse. I’m entitled to say that they’re Wack Jobs.”

This, among other things, convinces me that as dumber than dumb Trump’s tweets about the Squad may have been, I doubt they will lose him a single vote. The people most outraged about the “love it or leave it” tinge of the rhetoric (that’s not what he said, but that is how it is being falsely framed) are either already resistance enthusiasts or NeverTrumpers looking for reasons to support the Democrats.

I long ago decided that in the famous “Fox or Hedgehog” dichotomy, Donald Trump is a Hedgehog—he knows one Big Thing that allows him to routinely defeat the Foxes who know many things. The question is, what is that Big Thing? It may well be the Cognitive Dissonance Scale.

Despite decades of indoctrination to the contrary, most Americans are proud of their country and do not believe it has been a force for evil in the world. They recognize that capitalism has been responsible for the much of the nation’s success, and they do not want to emulate the European nanny states. Most Americans also regard the office of the Presidency as an inherently good institution. The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, as the President now calls them, do not believe these things, and by clearly opposing a group that is deep, deep in negative territory on the scale, the President is certain to derive a net benefit. Although I have heard the Stage 5 Trump Deranged argue that he does not love his country and does not have its best interests at heart, that is an unsupportable position fueled by dislike alone. Nobody becomes President who isn’t a patriot, and no President wants to go down in history as a bad one. Now the entire Democratic Party is tying itself to these four repulsive, anti-American extremists, which is the equivalent of the party tying itself to an anchor on the Scale.

35 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/17/2019: The Deluded, The Narrative, “The Squad,” The Hedgehog, And Other Things…

    • Oh, sure he was, and is. He has more reason to love America than most, in fact. He wanted to be a good President. He just didn’t have a clue how, except that he knew how to act Presidential, which isn’t insignificant.

      • Have to disagree. Someone who wishes to “fundamentally transform America” was not, is not and will never be a patriot in my book. Obama is emblematic of the hopes of the Alinskyite resistance so inconveniently derailed in 2016. This begat the TDS, justice Democrats, and neo-communism we now all suffer with. They simply cannot believe their irrational trip to utopia while gleefully overturning the Constitution has been wrecked.

          • I thought Obama became president because Wall Street arranged it and wanted him to funnel them trillions of newly minted dollars. It may be cynical, but that is the way it looks in hindsight.

  1. Oh God, here we go . . . This has to be carefully deconstructed . . . I will try . . .

    Despite decades of indoctrination to the contrary, most Americans are proud of their country and do not believe it has been a force for evil in the world.

    Most Americans have not been taught how to bring forward their own concerns becuase, significantly, they live in a pseudo-democracy. The actual powers that make all the important decisions, they are no part of. Pride has various facets. One is genuine pride of accomplishment. But there is another ‘pride’ which is part of patriotic sentiment that, at times, has a jingoist mood. Therefore, what is needed is a critical posture that comes FROM THE RIGHT and not from the radical Marxian Left. There is no Right-leaning critic of State power on this blog.

    So, this sort of statement (the one I quoted) is a way that a damper is put on genuine criticism. It stops it by making it seem un-American.

    They recognize that capitalism has been responsible for the much of the nation’s success, and they do not want to emulate the European nanny states.

    The use of a ‘they’ has to be questioned. Some might think one thing, others something else. It is not uniform. America is not a uni-voiced entity.

    When you say ‘capitalism’ you mean really something more. Or, you might mean the smallish capitalism that makes America run (and makes it great) in contradistinction to vast concentrations of capital that have been allowed far too much access to government and to influence. This results in pernicious influence and should be critiqued FROM THE RIGHT. This is an area that the American Conservative Right has no capacity, or little, to bring forward critique.

    Most Americans also regard the office of the Presidency as an inherently good institution. The Four Horsewomen of the Apocalypse, as the President now calls them, do not believe these things, and by clearing opposing a group that is deep, deep in negative territory on the scale, the President is certain to derive a net benefit.

    I think that ‘many Americans’, in fact, have large doubts that if their interests really have importance to the ‘powers that be’. They have become cynical and suspicious. As they indeed should. There is a great deal of corruption n the political body and none but the lunatic radical-progressive — or the former Left Progressive — can articulate a critical position.

    Although I have heard the Stage 5 Trump Deranged argue that he does not love his country and does not have its best interests at heart, that is an unsupportable position fueled by dislike alone. Nobody becomes President who isn’t a patriot, and no President wants to go down in history as a bad one. Now the entire Democratic Party is tying itself to these four repulsive, anti-American extremists, which is the equivalent of the party tying itself to an anchor on the Scale.

    This is more complex. There have been government policies that have deeply affected the nation that were put in motion by deeply cynical and lying men in government. That is how I think the Iraq War should be looked at. This provides an anatomical picture of how business interests corrupt Republican interests and of course values. To lie so brazenly requires a mendacious policy. But those policies are in no sense ‘of benefit to’ America as in ‘the demos’. They are patterns of destructive activity that, historically, have been known to doom a nation. The far-too-close-to-Israel policy of Trump — with all these State events attended by cabinet members — is obviously absurd and certainly questionable.

    But that ‘conversation’ is totally off limits! (And a whole PC force-field surrounds it with fiery swords like at the entrances to Eden!)

    So, what are the ‘best interests’ of America? Which America? This is such a simple question! It is based in simple, common-sense predicates: that of different poles or factions. But for those who are statist apologists and who allow no substantial critique, well, there is only one conversation allowed: patriotic praise.

    But this has brought the Nation to its present critical position! And it has been allowed, I suggest, by those with improper, or perhaps *twisted* patriotic sentiment.

    The whole question of ‘patriotism’ — what it is, what is good patriotism versus bad — must now be brought out for full discussion.

    Let me know how I can help!

    • I take exception to your claim there are no right leaning critic of state power. I stand for limited government and fiscal conservatism. Simply because I support some parts/behaviors of government does not mean I am silent because you don’t get a copy of my correspondence to my elected representatives.

      Perhaps you are unaware that our system is designed to be a representative democracy not a pure democracy. I know that others have different ideas and my representative needs to appeal to the many so my issues may take a back seat at times. It has become in some districts a polemic representation. Congresswoman Pressley is pushing polemic representation.

      Calling it a pseudo democracy is, I suppose synonomous but the word pseudo has negative connotations. A pure democracy would result in a tyrany of the majority. Further, how exactly would any decisions get made with 350 million people get to weigh in on every topic?

        • This has to be the shortest Alizia post ever. Well done, lass. Well done, indeed.

          As for Chris’ comments, I agree with him. There is a big difference between and betwixt “republican”, conservative (á la that bozo Sean Hannity – which I believe Alizia alludes to in her post), the George Willian (if Alizia can use “Marxian” as opposed to “Marxist” then I can use “Willian”) conservatism, and libertarians. The Hannity conservatives will support big government programs to the extent those programs support their agenda; George Willian conservatism will reject the centralization of power in the “Establishment” (which is something Alizia is very adept at discussing, usually with great insight) in favor of decentralizing power in the states, akin to Chris’ objection to the federal Education Department. George Will would argue that if it is not an enumerated power within the Constitution, then the federal government has no Constitutional authority to participate in that agency.


          PS: I do like reading your posts/comments. I swear there is a Rush (the Canadian Triumvirate) just yearning to break free!

    • Just had an interaction yesterday with 4 Iraqi young women, 2 of whom were Kurds, who do not seem to see the regime change brought about by the US and those you accuse of corruption and being particularly Republican as being a particularly bad thing. The Kurds admit their pride in greatly helping defeat ISIS, an entity largely created by a Democratic administration. They are also clearly not fans of Iran or Mr. Erdogan’s Turkey, both adversaries of American Republicans.

      If you’re definition of patriotism boils down to its a matter of perspective, I would then argue you’ve lost yours. One faction generally supports the Constitution (patriots to it); the other wishes to hobble or erase it (enemies of it).

      • You would also have found German Czechs who’d have supported the German occupation of Czechoslovakia.

        You’d have found foreign-born citizens of the of the US — they definitely existed — who will speak of support for invasion of Iran as well.

        Et cetera . . .

        That is not a very good argument if you run through it.

        But the more important point has to do with state power and how it is used. And a critical stance, from a right-perspective, is necessary and possible.

        I pose questions about patriotism. Let me put it this way because it has some teeth in it: I see what has happened to the US and the disaster that has been created and is now manifesting itself as a civil crisis. And I want you to tell me: Who shall I ask to take responsibility for what has happened? Who? Yes, and were they ‘patriots’?

        Tell me: Who is a patriot? And what is a patriot an activist for? I have another question: Is Wilmot Robertson, whose ideas and essays are definite, thorough and absolute THOUGHTCRIME in our present by any measure! is he a patriot or an anti-American? Please, an answer.

        I question your-plural definition of patriotism. This sound like an offensive statement but it is not intended as such. It is a necessary and a genuine question. But it is not one that I expect you to answer. I expect you to 1) go into ‘dynamic silence’, or 2) use all rhetorical subterfuge to avoid considering the full thrust of what I have wrote.

        • Oh I agree, there are many shades of gray between the poles I offered. In the context of this discussion actual patriots uphold the tenets of the Constitution rather than blaming America first and seeking to undo our founding document. Holding to it or returning to it is my quite rational perspective on who are and are not patriots. Sorry to be such a simpleton.

          I have no idea who Wilmot Robertson is. As someone with at least two day jobs, reading his work will have to wait, but will genuinely give his work a spin as time permits.

          (Your expectations are so inaccurate as to be the stuff of fortune tellers.)

          • Wilmot Robertson, I relatively recently discovered, is one of the most influential personages in the developing ideas of a New American Right (excuse the capitals, and the term, as I do not want to say ‘Alt-Right’ but, if need be, will use that terms though it is misleading).

            Every figure that I am aware of on this New Right (as opposed, shall I say, to the Establishment Right) has read and refers to the ideas and views or Wilmot Robertson. What I find interesting in what you say, though I understand it, is the lacuna in your (and I mean you-plural, and of course America’s) grasp of its own historical base. There is a suppressed dissident American Right and, as I understand things, these figures were purged out of the American Conservative movement by WF Buckley.

            What I try to do — I do not in fact try to convince anyone — is to share what I consider to be highly relevant research about the developing dissident Right. Both in America and in Europe.

            If you do not understand — if you are not just a little familar with it — you would not and could not have a clear enough perspective of the developing conflict.

            Robertson is certainly described as an evil and misguided figure in American political theory (if one relies on Google and mainstream theorists), yet I would definitely name him as an American patriot of the first order. That is my point: Who is the true patriot? And what does a ‘true patriot’ advocate for?

            PS: The ‘tenets of the Constitution’ is a contested territory!

            I do not get the fortune teller reference. But let obfuscation and dynamic silence have their day!

  2. Only in government would a fifteen-year timeline to develop and print a design for artwork on a six-inch strip of paper be considered “fast track”.

    Yes, I’m aware that they’ve got to incorporate a bunch of anti-counterfeiting measures into the design. But can you imagine a private company that needed a counterfeit-resistant paper certificate (for whatever reason) not being able to come up with a solution in less than a year? Maybe two if they were really being conservative about it? What if, like the U.S. Mint, that company’s only job was providing such certificates, and they had well over two centuries of experience doing it, how long could one reasonably expect it to take?

    • Yeah. It does boggle the mind. Why does it take so long to issue new currency designs?

      But to Jack’s broader point, the delay (such as it is/was) was a non-issue. Trump merely delayed approval of a 2020 minting plaque. He didn’t change the deadline for issuance of the notes because, as those idiots on CNN seem to think, that he couldn’t fathom a $20 note with a black person’s face on the front during his presidency. He just didn’t “fast track” the release date. Orange Man Bad!


  3. It bothers me that there are not more numerous people already in Congress who are saying what Louisiana Senator John Kennedy said – and more, and better.

    For the sake of the republic’s survival, the political right has to “roar” more, MUCH more, like Kennedy did – everywhere, but especially, on the streets, on college campuses and in classrooms, at opponents’ rallies and town halls, and in other high-profile, public venues.

    More bumper sticker chants are direly needed – something more and better than just “Lock her up!” They need to be roared at sufficient volume and with sufficient ubiquitousness (? – ubiquity?) to make it clear to the leftists and their stooges that they, the left, don’t have a monopoly on ideas, or on passion, or on volume, or on ubiquitousness of roaring expression.

    Screw the Internet – it’s owned by the enemy, and besides, it’s too easy to find echo chambers there while avoiding the in-your-face, fierce advocacy that the right has allowed the left to virtually monopolize even outside of cyberspace.

    This is war, and the right had better get its activism act together NOW – strategy, tactics, plans and direct actions – and take the fight directly to the enemy in a sustained and swelling campaign. Or else, the republic will be lost, as soon as 2020.

    • You should read David Hines’s rants on Twitter (@hradzka) or at (look for his posts, it’s a group blog).

      He’s a righty, digesting lefty organization tactics and does an excellent job of it.

      Also, attend a lefty organization rally (in my corner of the world Tech Solidarity is a “good” one) to learn how the thing is run.

  4. Jack, Gordon Edes of the Sox called me just an hour ago. He was very apologetic but states that my brother DID know that they would be honoring my father at the game and my brother told him that we were not able to make it. Gordon took my brother’s word for it and never contacted me or asked for my number. Apparently my mother was invited as well.

    My brother did tell me that we were offered free tickets to a Game on July 12th. I asked if anything was going on (i.e. presentation, ceremony…something) My brother stated as far as he knew it was free tickets to a game, no Pomp and Circumstance. I declined the free tickets as I was leaving for a 12-day vacation just a few days later and taking off more work would be difficult but if something SPECIAL was going on I would be there no matter what! I even asked him again the week before he left, he was at our home for 9 days the week before.. I told him if he knew of anything special I would go. He again stated he knew of nothing. Mr. Edes states the ring was a surprise but my brother knew my father would be honored at the game and he knew they had something special planned.

    So we have our answer. The Sox didn’t do their due diligence but most importantly the brother failed his duty to his sister, nephew (and mother). Mr. Edes stated she was invited as well and they would have loved to have her there more than anyone, as she was married to him through his baseball career. Also, they would have made TWO rings. Aaaargh!

    I appreciate your help! I have my answers.

    • Nice work, Jack. Congratulations.

      Best wishes, Ms. Paulsen, and thanks to your Dad and that Red Sox team, my wife became a life long baseball fan and, of course, a Sox fan.

    • That’s something, at least, Kendra. I was hoping one of the Boston sportswriters would track this down, and good for Gordon for reaching out. I’m sorry this was botched so badly.

      • Thanks Jack for everything, I just got back from my 2 week vacation in Europe. Out of curiosity did anyone ever get back to you? I think the only reason I got a call is because I created a firestorm on Twitter. I pulled a “Donald Trump”! Oh well, it worked.

    • Any indication that they might still at least MENTION you and his wife and grandkids, or did your brother tell them he was the only surviving relative? Next time you talk to your brother in person, you might want to have a skillet in your hand.

      • My brother told them that me and my mother were not interested and they took his word for it. The Sox knew my father had a son and a daughter. They knew my mother’s name too. He also has a brother Mark who would have been there as well.

  5. 1. Bwhahaha! Run, Mark, run! You are one of the few Republicans who can make Trump look far less bad by comparison.

    3. This is what keeps me smiling. This is known as “woke” people being defeated by their own religion. Yes, I know, innocent “un-woke” folks are getting caught up in the gears unfairly. Egg, meet omelet.

    4. Figures. The WaPo’s reaction is just like an administration dropping bad news late Friday afternoon.

    5. This is spot on. I have nothing much to allow, except I can’t imagine how much more powerful Trump would be if he were only able to inch his learning curve from flat at the molecular level to a 1% grade.

  6. I contacted the Red Sox directly through their web site and asked for an explanation as to why Kendra and her son were not recognized. No reply at all. Red Sox su Oh, never mind; I don’t want to start a fight

    • That they called Kendra back and apologized was a nice first step. But that is all it was, a first step. There is a GREAT deal that they need to do to fix this. Personally, I’d start by publicly humiliating her brother…preferably BEFORE he sells the ring.

  7. 3 Since they’re all for equal (pay) treatment, I wonder if the women’s soccer team is also up for these transgendered guys taking over their team, if they outperform the “natural born” members? It might be tough for their captain to explain why not.

    4 The thing they should really hit the kill switch on, if there is still time, is former (under Obama) Navy Secretary Ray Mabus’ politically driven naming of new ships for SJW icons like the pedophile (but gay, yay!) Harvey Milk, instead of any number of deserving choices available who were Navy or Marine heroes, or otherwise actually important to the Navy.

  8. Can we start a running open forum called “America is an irredeemably racist nation in every possible way, at least according to the media”? Where we can post the extreme volume of articles that have completely jumped the shark?

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