Morning Ethics Warm-up, 7/18/2019: Heading Toward An America Where “America” Is Banned, Where It’s Illegal To Call An Illegal Illegal, Where Judge’s Say “Good Work!” To Felons, And Where Illiterate Celebrities Are “Influencers”


Everything is seemingly spinning out of control!

1. For example, this stupid controversy, and surprisingly, it involves the Kardashian family. Kylie Jenner, Kim’s half-sister, is, as you may know, a “social media influencer,” which means companies pay her millions to use Instagram to promote their brands or products to the mouth-breathing idiots who follow this fatuous and useless celebrity.

Kylie recently issued a post featuring this photo of herself nude in a huge straw hat…


which rankled another “influencer,” Amanda Ensing—how can someone get paid to influence people when I’ve never heard of them?— who accused Jenner of stealing her pose.  Ensling has more than one million followers on both YouTube and Instagram, where she posts her outfits, makeup looks, travel experiences, and hairstyles, and  had previously appeared on Instagram like this…

She implied that Jenner had engaged inInstagram pose plagiarism, or something. (There’s no such thing.) The ever-articulate half-Kardashian lashed back, in words reminiscent of Dryden or Wilde in high form,

“from the words of Kim K ur not on my mood board but i did get my inspo off Pinterest”

This exchange justified breathless accounts in People, The Daily Beast, Cosmo, E!, Us, and dozens of other websites, as well as celebrity cable shows, spreading the false impression that what these semi-literate narcissists  say or do matters, thus increasing their ability to make our young trivial and even dumber that our schools make them.

Apparently Pierre Auguste Renoir isn’t active on social media, or he might have complained to both “influencers.”

2. From Minnesota, a very different kind of stupid: In an epic example of woke virtue-signaling because Nationalism Bad,  the city council for St. Louis Park in Minnesota decided to end the practice of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its meetings—you know,  to be more “inclusive,” which means to pander to members who don’t care that much for the United Sates of America.  Then they were shocked to discover that a very vocal majority of constituents found the move offensive, so the city council members did a complete 180,  said, “Never mind!” and reversed themselves unanimously,though complaining bitterly and implying that Deplorables made them do it. Integrity! Principle over expediency!

But this is Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district, which elected an anti-American bigot to  Congress, probably because the majority of normal citizens weren’t paying attention.  No wonder the council members are confused.

Protestor Marni Hockenberg said she regarded the council’s anti-Pledge decisionas another freedom “being taken away from us bit by bit.” “Why take that right away from other Americans who are really proud to be united and indivisible in one nation?” she said. “I think the Pledge of Allegiance celebrates our diversity, that we’re all united.”

I don’t know what “right” she’s talking about, but she’s in the correct ballpark.

3. The King’s Pass, again. Former NBA star Chuck “The Rifleman” Person avoided prison time after pleading guilty to taking bribes as an NCAA coach to steer student-athletes to a financial adviser. How did he avoid jail time? The judge,  U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska,  said that he was such a good guy that he deserved leniency. You see, he had given so much money to charity that he was broke.


Note to judge: Good guys don’t commit felonies to line their own pockets.

Person, a former assistant basketball coach at Auburn University, was one of four coaches who were nabbed in yet another NCAA scandal, this one involving Marty Blazer, a former financial adviser turned government witness who gave Person $91,500 in illegal loans. The judge allowed Person to avoid the sentencing guidelines’ recommended  prison sentence because he was generous to family members, buying them houses, cars and homes, and purchased school uniforms and computers for his high school in Alabama, and  a softball complex for kids in the town of Laverne, Alabama.

Note to judge 2: The gangsters of the Twenties and Thirties also were known for  their generosity to the “little people.” Jeffrey Epstein, the child predator who received a lenient plea deal from ex-Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, costing the latter his job, contributed many millions to various worthy causes and institutions. Funny, nobody has concluded from his generosity that he was too good to jail.

“In my view, these crimes came about because of Mr. Person’s acts of charity,” Judge Preska said. So Person just has to pay back the bribes he received, and do 200 hours of community service mentoring underprivileged kids at a facility in Georgia.

“The worst thing you have to say is that you were charitable to a fault,” she told Person, who wiped tears from his face repeatedly. “Keep up the good work.”

No, the worst thing was that he betrayed the trust of students, his employer, the NCAA and his sport. “Keep up the good work”????? KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK????

“No purpose would be served by incarceration,” Preska added. No purpose other than upholding the law, that is.

4.   Orwellian speech control I  Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) this week introduced H.R. 3776, a bill to prohibit federal agencies from using the word “alien” to refer to foreign nationals. Castro is the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and 13 of the 16 cosponsors are members of the caucus as well. Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) also cosponsored the legislation. What a surprise.

“Words matter. It’s vital that we respect the dignity of immigrants fleeing violence and prosecution in our language,” Castro said in a press release on the bill. “The words ‘alien’ and ‘illegal alien’ work to demonize and dehumanize the migrant community. They should have no place in our government’s description of human beings.”

Non-citizen human beings who deliberately break U.S. laws to cross our borders are illegal aliens, and a law preventing us from saying so doesn’t change reality, any more than “War is Peace” did in “1984.”

5.   Orwellian speech control 2…Colorado State University has an “Inclusive Language Guide for students. Among the word and phrases disapproved:

That’s about half. You can see the whole list here, if you have the stomach for it.

37 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-up, 7/18/2019: Heading Toward An America Where “America” Is Banned, Where It’s Illegal To Call An Illegal Illegal, Where Judge’s Say “Good Work!” To Felons, And Where Illiterate Celebrities Are “Influencers”

  1. If you can’t call some one from the U.S an American then why is it ok to call some one a Cuban-American? How does that avoid the first rule? If it is proper to say Cuban -American then calling an born in the US American an American-American must be ok too because it is more inclusive. Because they are like, more American right?

    • Nope. The reference should be to their country of origin (for at 30 generations back) and an inclusion of which continent the person most recently considered as the prevailing country of origin. Therefore, as in your example, the Cuban-American should be read as: “Latin-Cuban-Caribbean-Islander-North-American.” Someone from Mexico, then, should be referred to as “Latin-Mexican-Mestizo-(insert proper tribal identity [Mayan, Aztec, Totonacan, etc.)-Spanish (possibly French, Lebanese [don’t me started], English, Dutch/German,etc.)-North-American-American.” Canadians are, well, Canadians. We in the United States should call ourselves “United Statesers” or “Murderous Expansionist Global Meddlers”. And lest you not forget, “Latin” is, in itself, unacceptable. “Hispanic” refers to Spanish heritage. “Latin” would refer to languages with a Latin root. What about Aruba? Curaçao? Have you thought about Belize? That is a doozie: Those people are all messed up, genetically. They are English, Dutch, and a whole host of other nation-states. And, then there is Brazil. Some dispute that Portuguese is a Latin-based language. So, what do we do about that?


  2. Students at CSU should find a way to use at least 2 of the forbidden terms in every sentence uttered from that point on. In fact, I would issue a challenge to the student body to do so as well, posting it on bulletin boards and the school newspaper.

    • joe, joe, joe. Get a grip. You’re thinking colleges are the way the used to be, back when administrators and faculty were adults and students were rebellious overgrown children. Long time ago, buddy. For the last twenty or thirty years, the students have been fed a line of baloney by childish faculty and those students are now emboldened by said faculty to make demands upon the now childish, gutless, wildly overpaid administrators. Whereupon, said completely useless administrators capitulate to said demands post haste. Capice?

  3. Colorado must be in some kind of stupid contest with California to see which state can become more stupidly “woke.” Play stupid games, win stupid prizes!

    • California is in the lead. Check out this story from Simple Justice, about the Berkeley City Council renaming “manholes” to “maintenance holes”. It is fascinating:

      Scott Greenfield writes, “[a] lot of people cared. Not so much about the silly renaming of manholes, which might have given Ed Norton pause, but doesn’t tend to rank high on most people’s causes célèbre. Rather, it’s because it was just so trivial, so utterly meaningless in anyone’s life, and yet meaningful enough for the Berkeley City Council to take it up.”

      Greenfield’s last two paragraphs are brilliant:

      “Perhaps the more significant point isn’t that anyone gives a damn what manholes are called, particularly since they’re going to be called manholes regardless of what the Berkeley City Council says, even if it means that a transgender person will cry xerself to sleep at night due to the trauma of knowing that somewhere, someone is saying ‘manhole.’

      “The more significant point is that as much as no reasonable person wants to live in a plutocracy run by a vulgar, amoral ignoramus, they similarly don’t want to live in an idiocracy run by the sort of people who feel something as manifestly silly as the word ‘manhole’ needs changing. Thank you for asking.”

  4. “Then they were shocked to discover that a very vocal majority of constituents found the move offensive, so the city council members did a complete 180, said, “Never mind!” and reversed themselves unanimously,though complaining bitterly and implying that Deplorables made them do it.”

    One of my earlier jobs was a member of middle management for a Retail Co-op several years ago. Retail Co-ops in Canada might be a little different than those in the states, but basically they are corporations that sell “memberships” which also function as shares in the corporation, and then operates as a normal retail outlet. The corporations tracks your purchases throughout the year and at the end of the year, allocates profits back to “members” (shareholders) relative to their proportional spending throughout the year. Your Average membership cost varies, but it’s usually $10.

    The parts in there that is important is that anyone can be a member, membership is cheap, and membership includes being a shareholder, and you are only able to buy the membership’s value in shares. Once a year, by law, Retail Co-ops are requires to hold a Annual General shareholder Meeting, or AGM. At those meetings the membership is given the mail in election results, confirms auditors, and votes on major policy or by-law changes. These meetings are a perpetual shitshow. With a membership of more than 400,000 people, maybe 400 show up. You generally have an army of seniors and schoolmoms more interested in the free food than the state of their investment playing shareholder at a meeting where everyone has an equal vote.

    I bring this up because the quote above reflects my experience when it comes to the boards of retail Co-ops. My last AGM, the board had looked at the requirements to be a board member, and thought that a requirement to purchase $1250 dollars worth of product annually was too low, the Co-op sold Food and Fuel, and frankly, if you fill your car and eat for less than $1250 annually, please Email me and tell me your secrets, but the idea was that people who weren’t making that purchase requirement didn’t have any skin in the game, and they wanted to raise the bar.

    It wasn’t a horrible idea, I actually thought that it should increase and then be tied to a rate of inflation they wouldn’t have to talk about it every couple of years, but you can imagine how well that went over in a room full of seniors on fixed incomes that don’t drive anymore. The peanut gallery was insane: “You’re trying to disenfranchise us” “We can’t spend that much!” “You’re not including newcomers” “What about people on social assistance?” “What about minorities?”

    The right answer was: “People on social assistance have absolutely no place on a board of a company that retails a billion dollars a year in food and fuel, and the human requirement to eat is shared by every human being on the planet, if you’ve figured out how to eat for less than $25 a week, write a book and get rich.” The board team instead folded faster than a stack of cards: “You direct, we implement” actually came out of one of their mouths. From a Director. I’ve never seen more sniveling hand-wringing in real time. It was painful. Not only did they back down completely, they accepted an impromptu bylaw adjustment from the floor and LOWERED the requirement to $250.

  5. Colorado seems to now be completely riddled with Kalifornication. I don’t know when Minnesota went off the rails…with Ventura, maybe. Why is the CDC not looking into that?

  6. 1. I’m trying to figure out the ethics angle. Apparently, there are some things that are so dumb, ethics itself turns its face away…

    2. Heh. I heard about this on Fox News the other day.

    So in other news, the house voted 419-6 to repeal the Obamacare “Cadillac” tax on health insurance the government deemed too good for consumption. This is the same tax Obama and the Democrats, including Nancy “You have to pass it to see what’s in it” Pelosi pointed to as a linchpin of the program.

    Both these things illustrate a fundamental principle, although not of ethics, known as “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.”

    So I wonder — how is it ethical to forbid pledging allegiance to your country? Isn’t leaving it the ethical thing to do if you can’t love it? I mean, it’s one thing to fight for change, but wouldn’t virtually any change make the country’s pledge anathema to somebody? It looks like a no-win to me.

    So is the answer not to pledge allegiance to anything? I’m so confused…

    3. Wait, isn’t this Ethics Accounting rather than The King’s Pass?

    4. This is how the Woke Left thinks it can win. Next thing you know, they’ll want to put the words “pro life” off limits, because, you know, women’s rights and stuff.

    5. The federal government should sue on the basis of coerced suppression of speech. It should do this every time a college that takes federal money puts out one of these guides. Or, it should tie any money the college gets to be contingent on eliminating such guidelines.

    The private colleges can do what they want. Maybe they will help us all out and drag all the lefties to them, and leave the public colleges to the rest of us.

    And no, I don’t have the stomach for the rest. Not after seeing “ze, hir, hir, latinx, latine, mx, and “gender non-binary/conforming.” Also “Long time no see?” “Hold down the fort?” “Hip hip hooray?”

    This is suppression of culture!

  7. Looked at the CSU list–quit on the first word: addicted. They assert that the word can “cause harm to those who are truly experiencing drug addiction or are in recovery, or have friends/relatives who have experienced addiction.”
    No, voicing that word does not harm anyone or any of their friends.

    • I wonder what they want to call an overdose? Hypernarcodemia perhaps? What difference does it make to an addict who needs Narcan.

      As for addict, their suggestions are ludicrous. If your body requires a foreign chemical to be ingested to avoid “getting sick” or what I like to call withdrawl then you are addicted to a substance, if your feelings get hurt because the word addict is used then we will not use it and you will no longer be eligible for substance abuse treatment because addiction is a physiological conditiin and the word police have deemed your condition to be behavioral not physiological.

  8. It just occurred to me that the pictures of the two women both scream:

    “Look at me, everybody! I’m rich, beautiful and privileged!” Why aren’t the lefties howling about that?

    Beauty, of course, remains in the eye of the beholder. Also, there is no question in my mind that Kim K, ripped the other woman’s photo idea off, either directly or via another copycat. Whether or not that’s “plagiarism” I can’t really say.

    • According to the list you cant use the word “insane” or “imbecile” no matter how moronic they may be so sayeth the persons from Berkley or are the Berklites or Berklicans. I have no idea.

  9. These days, criminals normally give away most of their loot: this often prevents the government or victims from recovering it through civil suits or RICO confiscation.

  10. Re: Nos. 4 and 5:

    Recently, Adam Carolla was on the “Next Revolution with Steve Hilton” and made this observation, which I will paraphrase:

    He was asked about the term “progressive movement” and he said this:

    The progressive movement is a movement that never stops. It is always moving the proverbial goal posts. He used smoking as an example. At first, smokers could smoke anywhere they wanted. Then, it was decided that smoking in restaurants around eaters and kids was not such a good idea, so it was decided there would be a smoking section. Smokers picked up and moved to the smoking section.

    Then, it was decided that wasn’t good enough, so the smoking section was closed down and smokers were moved to the bar to smoke. Smokers complied and enjoyed a Benson & Hedges along with a cocktail. Then, it was decided that smoking in the bar wasn’t good enough, so smokers went outside to smoke. After that, smokers were told they were too close to the front door and were asked to smoke farther away.

    Eventually, smokers were told that they could smoke in the park next door, but someone else decided that smoking in the park is a bad idea, so they were relegated to their homes and/or apartments, until someone decided that smoking in one’s own home/apartment was not acceptable either.

    Some, he said, caught on to the game. He mentioned the NRA, but I was thinking Planned Parenthood, as well. In his example, the NRA pushes back. Someone offered to ban large capacity magazines. The NRA said, “No, we are not going to the smoking section.”

    Here is a video of the commentary:

  11. Going through the whole list, they said peanut gallery was verboten because those were the poor seats where black people sat during vaudeville shows? Isn’t that racist to assume that only black people were poor?

    • That is often my response. They complain that Reagan’s reference to a Welfare Queen was racist, though it contained no reference to race, and then will point out that the majority of welfare recipients are white.

      So, they infer that a reference to welfare is racist to slander the other side, before debunking their own inference to prove, again, that it is racist to connect welfare to black people, even though they are the ones who did it to begin with.


  12. Point 4.
    Joy Behar actually stated that the ACLU should sue Trump for hate speech because he got his crowd fired up to start chanting send her back.

    The scary part is she is a thought leader for millions, well, maybe dozens of people.

    • Behar’s independent societal influence is highly questionable/suspect. She is an idiot and everyone knows she’s an idiot, so she is discounted as an idiot. The problem is that the others on the show make equally stupid comments so by sheer force of quantity, they dumb down critical thought processes.


      • I don’t know what the viewership is for that program but I doubt if people watch it for comedic enjoyment.

        I assume the target viewer is female between 24-54.

        What concerns me is that the view infects this group with their ignorance who in turn spread the virus of stupidity and anyone who tries to correct them are condemned for mansplaining.

    • There’s a funny and revealing interview with Whoopie Goldberg in the last Times magazine. They asked her if being the leader of “The View” wa rewarding. Her answer:”No.” And later: “It’s a job.”

  13. Instead of “illegal alien,” may I suggest “criminal foreigner” or the even more straightforward “foreign criminal”?

  14. I saw a brilliant post on Facebook recently—one of the many that have popped up with advice on how to resist ICE raids—talking about the rights of “undocumented citizens.” These people really think they will control the narrative by that banning and redefining words. And the depressing thing is, they aren’t entirely wrong.

    • This is the result of the “Great Awokening” described by Matthew Yglesias.

      For all the attention paid to the politics of the far right in the Trump era, the biggest shift in American politics is happening somewhere else entirely.

      In the past five years, white liberals have moved so far to the left on questions of race and racism that they are now, on these issues, to the left of even the typical black voter.

      This change amounts to a “Great Awokening” — comparable in some ways to the enormous religious foment in the white North in the years before the American Civil War. It began roughly with the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, when activists took advantage of ubiquitous digital video and routine use of social media to expose a national audience in a visceral way to what otherwise might have been a routine local news story.

      The change, however, appears to predate Trump and, in fact, to have relatively little to do with the calendar of presidential politics. Instead, polling from the Pew Center shows that as late as 2014, most Americans believed there was no longer any need for the country to make changes to address black-white inequality. Consequently, few people believed discrimination was the main barrier to black upward mobility. These numbers then started to change rapidly, with the shift driven overwhelmingly by a change in the views of self-identified Democrats.

      The timing of this change suggests that the Ferguson protests were a key flashpoint in changing thinking about the discrimination issue. But Brian Schaffner, a Tufts University political scientist, says the beginnings of the shift were visible even during Barack Obama’s first term.

      “I don’t think it’s just a reaction to events,” Schaffner says. Rather, “even prior to Ferguson, people take cues from elites,” and Democratic elites were beginning to signal to the rank and file that they should take systemic racism concerns more seriously.

      Obama’s 2012 observation that “if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” is just one small example of how elite actors have helped push a shift in whites’ perception of race. And the shift, once underway, became mutually reinforcing. Liberal white audiences became increasingly interested in black intellectuals’ conceptions of race and racism in America. Back in April 2015, the social justice group Race Forward produced a series of videos starring Jay Smooth trying to explain the concept of “systemic racism” to a mass audience. Hillary Clinton used the term in a February 2016 speech.

      The extent to which that model has become mainstream among Democratic Party leaders is now evident. Just this March, Beto O’Rourke told an overwhelmingly white audience in Iowa that American capitalism is “racist.” The previous summer, Elizabeth Warren called the criminal justice system “racist.” Even Joe Biden — who in the mid-1970s was a leading political opponent of aggressive school integration measures — in a January 2019 speech called on white America “to admit there’s still a systemic racism” in American life. Mainstream Democratic Party politicians, in other words, are beginning to take for granted that their constituents will embrace the more institutional understanding of racism.

      Back in 1996, the Democratic Party platform read like something out of a Trump campaign ad. “In 1992, our borders might as well not have existed,” the document states. “Drugs flowed freely. Illegal immigration was rampant. Criminal immigrants, deported after committing crimes in America, returned the very next day to commit crimes again.” Bill Clinton went on to run for reelection boasting about his crackdown at the border. (emphasis mine)

      Trump’s election was a reaction to this “Great Awokening”

  15. This is related to the above.

    The Gadsden flag — which was created by Continental Army Brig. Gen. Christopher Gadsden — involves a coiled rattlesnake over a message that reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.”

    Though the insignia is used by the US Men’s Soccer Team, as well as the band Metallica, it also has been adopted by far-right political groups and Second Amendment supporters. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says it is “sometimes interpreted to convey racially tinged messages in some contexts,” Yahoo News reported.

    So when Pratt went for a stroll in Pacific Palisades, Calif., with his new bride, Katherine Schwarzenegger, his outfit choice became a lightning rod on social media.

    “Nice shirt… Only people I see with that flag are alt-right racists,” tweeted one user.

    Another Twitter user wrote: “Unfollowed already. Haven’t liked him since Parks & Rec anyhow, and I can easily cancel him in that too. @prattprattpratt hope those bigots pay you a good pay check.”

  16. Back to Berkeley (Berzerkeley to the initiated) for a moment: In that same council meeting that renamed the manhole, they dictated that no new construction could include natural gas piping. This dooms the occupants of new homes (it is unknown at this time if remodeling will have to comply in some way) to electric heat and cooking, which is more expensive. Not to mention that electricity’s availability is at the whim of PG&E, which is now rolling out plans for shutting down portions of the power grid when they fear they will start fires under some weather conditions.

    • Oddly enough, I have found that without electricity natural gas is useless in modern appliances. My furnace has a blower which requires electricity. My stove has a fail safe switch that stops gas flow when the power is out. Gas dryer needs power to spin. My water heater will still work, so I have that going for me… if I disable the electric cut off valve that stops water flow when there is a leak. (yes I can override that one)

      Most people will not consider these features when purchasing appliances: there are good safety reasons for each. On has to go out of one’s way to make sure these appliances still work, if it is possible at all. I can get a natural gas non-electric stove or space heater, for instance.

      But most won’t.

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