Slow Friday Ethics Pick-Me-Up, 7/19/2019: The Chant, The View, The Times, The Recidivist, The Fire, The Comic

Let’s see…what’s percolating today?

1. Do they even teach the First Amendment any more? I wonder how many of the Trump supporters who chanted “Send her back!” regarding Rep. Omar were doing so tongue in cheek, and realized that the U.S. can’t “send back” naturalized citizens? I admit that I’m rather afraid of the answer.

Yes, there’s a big difference between the President’s “why don’t they go back” line in his stupid tweets and “send her back,” but there’s no way he can escape some accountability for the ugly chant. He now says he disagrees with it, and except for those who will always assume the worst motives in this President, there is no reason to doubt that; after all, if he believed she should be “sent back,” he would have tweeted as much himself.

Of course, when network-anointed “experts” on social policy and politics like the ladies of “The View” broadcast ignorance of the First Amendment to their loyal and gullible audience, it doesn’t help. Co-host Joy Behar—is she the dumbest one on the panel? I think so— asked yesterday why President Trump had yet to face any legal consequences for “hate speech” directed at Democratic Rep. Omar, blathering, “Why can’t he be brought up on charges of hate speech?Why can’t he be sued by the ACLU for hate speech? I don’t get it. How does he get away with this?”

“Hate speech is tricky,”  was the best that cowardly former federal prosecutor Sunny Hostin could muster to clarify matters, making things worse. There is no such thing as “hate speech” in the law, which means it is more than “tricky,” it is a delusion, unless one means “hateful speech,” which can be a subjective definition, but is nonetheless protected by the Constitution.

If ABC were a responsible network, a comment like Behar’s should trigger an instant on-air intervention in which a team of law professors, judges and maybe a literate 6th grader or two burst onto the set and explain to this fool what freedom of speech means.

2. So this is how it’s going to be, is it? The New York Times signaled its alliance with the “Denigrate America” Left by  publishing an article called “How the Soviets Won the Space Race for Equality,” arguing that Communism allowed people of “the humblest origins” to achieve success (while the U.S. lagged in that category). While America put the first man on the moon, the Times explained, Soviets sent the first man into space in 1961, before the U.S., and then sent “the first woman, the first Asian man, and the first black man into orbit – all years before the Americans would follow suit.”

“Cosmonaut diversity was key for the Soviet message to the rest of the globe: Under socialism, a person of even the humblest origins could make it all the way up,” Sophie Pinkham wrote. That “socialism” word is deceit and misrepresentation by the Times: the USSR was a Communist country. The article doesn’t explain to young, ignorant readers that the glorious diversity also extended to food lines, suppression of dissent, re-education centers, and KGB persecution. But, it’s true, everyone was persecuted equally, and the USSR had diverse Cosmonauts.

Given an opportunity to celebrate American achievements in science with the 50th Anniversary of the moon landing, the Times chose instead to diminish the achievement while—this is astounding to me; why am I still astounded?—extolling the Soviets. The article also embodied an obnoxious sub-category of fake news, the cherry-picked stat. Since 1963, USSR and post-Soviet Russia have had  four women astronauts . The USA’s total is close to 50, including the first mother, first China-born woman, female payload specialist, married couple, black woman, Hispanic woman, shuttle pilot, commander, ISS commander, and teacher.

3. How to make the justice system and compassionate sentencing look bad, Albert.

Albert Flick spent decades in prison for fatally stabbing his wife, was released from prison after being deemed by a judge too old to pose any threat to society, and then stabbed another woman to death, just as he had his wife in the 1970s, leading to his 1979 conviction.

Maine jurors found Flick, now 77, guilty in the 2018 murder of a homeless mother, Kimberly Dobbie, whom  Flick stabbed 11 times while her twin sons watched.

Flick was freed from the 1979 sentence in 2004,  only to be sent back to jail in 2010 for assaulting yet another woman. The judge ignored the prosecution’s recommendation for a longer sentence, stating that Flick wouldn’t be a threat because of his advancing years. Thus he only spent four more years locked up, and in 2014 moved to Lewiston, where he met his presumably final victim. Whatever it was he had, he proved that despite his senior status, he still had it.

4. Here’s what you do when you can’t get guns. Shinji Aoba, a mentally ill man with a criminal record, sought revenge against Japan’s  Kyoto Animation studio, and is being held on suspicion of starting a deadly fire that killed 33 people. “Since [the studio] stole my novel, I poured out the liquid and set it ablaze,” the Aoba reportedly told police.

We’ll see if a movement starts in Japan to ban fire.

5. Grandstanding exposed. Comedian Jon Stewart was declared to be a truthtelling hero by the media  when he testified at a Congressional hearing to attack members of Congress for not showing more support for extending funding for  survivors of the 9/11 terror attack. This was self-evident preening and virtue-signaling at the time, I concluded: a) a comedian had no business appearing at the hearing anyway b) the argument that these victims are more deserving of taxpayer support than the victims of other tragedies ( for example, the Las Vegas sniper attack) has never made any ethical sense, but nobody has the courage to challenge it, and c) Stewart’s argument was legislatively simplistic. Stewart also criticized Senator Rand Paul  for introducing an amendment to the bill that would require taking funds from another part of the budget to fund the benefits, and thus not increase the deficit.

Yesterday, Paul exposed Stewart’s ignorance and grandstanding, and didn’t hold back his contempt:

“I know Jon Stewart, and Jon Stewart is sometimes funny and sometimes informed, but in this case he’s neither funny nor informed. I’ve spent me entire senate career putting forward pay-fors for any time spending is expanding. As soon ago as two weeks ago I put forward a pay-for for the border funding, I put forward a pay-for for the disaster funding. I do this on every new bit of funding.

“So he’s really not informed, and his name-calling just sort of exposes him as a left-winger, part of the left-wing mob that really isn’t using his brain and is willing to call people names. It’s really kind of disgusting, because see, he pretended for years when he was on his comedy show to be somebody who could see both sides and see through the BS on both sides, well now he is the BS, the BS meter is through the roof.

“When you see him calling people names, calling people an abomination, when I’m asking for something very reasonable, that an amendment be included to consider whether we should pay for this, by taking money somewhere else in the budget. It doesn’t actually reduce the deficit, it just keeps the deficit from getting bigger. It’s a very reasonable thing, I’ve done it dozens and dozens of times.

“The left wing mob doesn’t care about the truth,Jon Stewart doesn’t care about the truth. It’s all about me me me Jon Stewart, look at me, I’m on TV!”


But when did Jon Stewart pretend could see both sides?

39 thoughts on “Slow Friday Ethics Pick-Me-Up, 7/19/2019: The Chant, The View, The Times, The Recidivist, The Fire, The Comic

  1. Sorry—lots of typos in the first posted version. I posted it, started doing the final proofing, was interrupted by a lon phone call, and the typos had a much longer web life than I intended.

  2. 1. I think that, by constantly talking about so-called Hate Speech, the Left’s fellow travelers are hoping to ram that phrase into the minds of people, especially young people who’ve been taught nothing good about the United States so that they will eventually vote for an adjustment to the First Amendment banning this nebulous Hate Speech. Then it will backfire on them and we’ll all be in trouble.
    2. Speaking of ignorance and hatred of the United States, am I juvenile for chuckling that someone extolling the virtues of Soviet Communism is named PINKham?
    3. 70 is the new 40, apparently.
    4. Clearly we’ll be reduced to stones and clubs before it’s over.
    5. I do understand that all citizens have the right to petition their government, but does that necessarily translate into people with no particular expertise or connection to an issue being allowed to show up and testify before Congress? Why does Congress allow this?

    • AM:

      2. Yes, yes you are. It is still funny.

      4. I will choose my shooting club, thank you very much.

      5. “Why does Congress allow this?

      Virtue signalling, baby, simple virtue signalling

  3. 1) I am curious. Is it “hate speech” because it’s been deemed “racist,” or is it “hate speech” for some other reason?

    2) I think I should find a copy of this edition of the Times, take a video of myself burning it to ashes, and post it on Facebook.

    3) We must find ways of preventing the mentally ill from obtaining flint, gasoline, matches, lighters, kindling, etc. Do something!

    4) A friend of mine praised Stewart’s angry speech at the time, and suggested he would make a good president. I replied that he’d be about as qualified as Bill O’Reilly; perhaps funnier, though. The demand to appropriate more federal funds for NYC’s 9/11 first responders made me think of the story about Davy Crockett’s opposition to a bill to appropriate funds for the widow of a naval officer. Stewart would probably be better advised to raise charitable donations from private citizens.

  4. 1. Hate speech is a tool of the oppressor. It can be defined any way the one in power decides, and changed on a whim. As the left decides to do, so will be done unto them.

    2. The Times has ALWAYS been a pinko communist supporter. The record speaks for itself. ‘Paper of record’ my ass…

    3. I wonder what states allow this serial killer loose upon the public, each time? Is correlation causation when criminals are allowed to roam free?

    4. Buy your strike anywhere matches now, before they are banned.

    5. I have no fondness for Rand Paul, for the record. Steward has never been even handed that I can remember. Paul was being charitable, I think.

  5. 2.
    Let me get this right, the NYT’s claims Trump is a stooge of Russia’s,Putin and then the Times run a pro-Russian society propaganda piece.

    Seems to me they just outed themselves as an arm of Putin’s government. Perhaps they should be banned from participating in publishing information on the candidates. We cannot allow Russian operatives try to influence our elections.

    • Nice catch, Chris. What is Russia? The evil empire or the jovial re-settees of “the ’80s called and they want their foreign policy back?” Can’t have both, lefties. Need to pick one. Of course, having a Soviet Bernie Sanders running for the Democrat nomination doesn’t make things easier, does it?

      • My rule for figuring out if the Left is trying to set up conditions for it’s own bad behavior, or diverting from current bad behavior or covering up old bad behavior is whether or not the Left is screaming and ranting about the right engaging in that particular bad behavior.

        I consider among the top 3 candidates for the ultimate example of this being the Left’s current neurosis with trying to pin “Russia Collusion” on Trump.

        If there is any competing worldview in our nation that is more in bed with Russia than the modern Left, I don’t know what it is. The current DNC are the heirs of the world view and brain trust that came directly out of the radical universities of the era that the Soviet Union most aggressively infiltrated American culture with subversive ideas designed to undermine the Republic.

        That the DNC is screaming that somehow Trump is in bed with Russia is just laughable, given that you’d be hard pressed to find some plank of the DNC’s platform that doesn’t come straight out of Bolshevism.

  6. #2, congratulations Soviet Union, by forcing EVERYONE into humble means and killing off anyone who disagrees, you can guarantee ALL your “accomplishments” are achieved by people from humble means.

  7. “But, it’s true, everyone was persecuted equally…”

    Well, everyone except the Jews, who the Soviets (like many governments), singled out for a little extra bit of persecution and mistreatment.

    I’ve heard this argument (that the Soviets were so egalitarian because they sent the first woman, black man, etc into space before the U.S.) many times before, and there’s never any acknowledgement that in each case, it was an obviously engineered stunt for propaganda purposes. How do we know this? Because none of those minority groups were ever truly represented in the cosmonaut corps after the “historic first” was claimed. The Soviets sent up two female cosmonauts in 30 years (the other two Russian female cosmonauts came after the fall of the USSR), but after Sally Ride became the first American woman in space, female astronauts became a large and vital part of the U.S. space program, as did racial- and ethnic-minority astronauts. Anyone who suggests that Soviet society in the middle part of the 20th century wasn’t at least as sexist as American society is either an idiot or a dishonest revisionist.

    • Mao pulled the same sort of Social Justice grandstanding, claiming that his Chinese utopia would be place of equality and justice for women and the oppressed. The feminist angle was one of the reasons so many Leftists supported Mao and denied or downplayed his atrocities, right up until they couldn’t feasibly do so anymore. They believed in the dream.

      It seems as if this type of insubstantial “show-justice” is a canary in the coal mine, warning you that your country is about to go belly up from socialism. Doesn’t look good for us, then.

  8. 1: I’m not a fan of the oft misapplied “both sides are guilty” argument, but in this case, Republican support for establishing hate crime laws, that essentially do punish speech and thought, contribute to this erosion of the First A.

    2: Of course the Times approves, perhaps without even being fully aware of why the are inclined to do so. The Soviet actions were clearly virtue signalling…just before the concept was widely recognized.

    4: We won’t hear much about this; it doesn’t fit the narrative. Remember how long news coverage lasted after the school shooting in Texas where the perp used a (stolen from his father) revolver and a pump shotgun, rather than an AR type rifle, and many of the people affected still expressed support for the Second amendment?

    5:But when did Jon Stewart pretend (he) could see both sides?” Well, the pretending part was all he did. In his previous gig his shtick was to pretend to do so by playing a caricature of a conservative pundit.

    • I think the KyoAni fire will be talked about for quite a while. It’s a huge studio in Japan, and quite a few of their shows are popular in America as well. The GoFundMe campaign for helping the families and the studio raised over $1,000,000 in the first 18 hours. This might not be as loud as the political spats, but it will still be talked about.

      • We’ll see. You can color me astounded if this story gets anywhere near the play of the Christchurch or Parkland incidents.

        • I mean, Reddit’s no bastion of conservatism, and the fire is very much front-page news there, receiving more attention from commentators and lurkers even than news about Iranian-American “diplomacy”. To be a bit tongue-in-cheek, never underestimate the power of cute anime.

          • Also, that whole thing about it being one of the deadliest massacres in post-war Japan, killing almost three times more people than the Tokyo sarin attack.

          • Well, Reddit’s a bit of a weird little enclave of the media, not exactly MSM, or even Twitter or Facebook. I’ll stand by my prediction for now.

      • The corporate media doesn’t necessarily “bury” stories like this. They’ll talk about it for a day or two. They just won’t select is as one of those items cherry-picked to start a “national conversation” and be dragged out for weeks. It will simply be reported straight up, without commentary, and immediately moved on from.

        The trick of “legitimately” spinning the news is all about focusing and harping on certain stories beyond all reason, reporting some stories straight, and, when warranted, completely burying some. They can control the narrative about what you’re supposed to CARE about, and how much, with deniability. Outright lies are frowned upon because they ruin the deniability part. The only reason they get caught in outright lies so much is that they just can’t help themselves.

  9. I was confused about Jon Stewart being at the hearings. I watched his entire speech there. It didn’t make any sense that he kept using the word we when he was talking about the responders. He didn’t help with rescue efforts, as far as I can tell. It just didn’t make much sense for him to testify.

  10. In honor of the work the people at Kyoto Animation have done over the years (and because we could all use a pick-me-up these days), here’s a clip from their show Sound! Euphonium (an anime about, yes, high school concert band):

      • Just mucking about; at this point, I kind of feel like adding my two-cents would just add to the muddled mess that makes up too much of discourse these days (and perhaps since forever ago), especially since I’m not totally sure what to make of anything nowadays (call it a reluctance to put my foot in my mouth, if you want to be generous). I just posted this because I wanted to share something unambiguously positive with you all.

  11. 4: Jack said: “We’ll see if a movement starts in Japan to ban fire.”

    In the comments on an the NYT article about the fire:
    I dream of a day when gasoline is banned from being sold and used. It’s a horrible liquid that is leading humanity towards environmental catastrophe.

    Also, according to the NYT, the bad thing about the fire is that it killed more women than men.

    • “I dream of a day when gasoline is banned from being sold and used. It’s a horrible liquid that is leading humanity towards environmental catastrophe.”

      Wow. I hope that was immediately followed by, “…and that’s why I never, ever use the stuff for anything.”

    • “World to End Tomorrow; Women and Minorities Most Affected”
      Comedian Mort Sahl said in 1988 that is the way the New York Times would headline a giant asteroid that was predicted to destroy the earth the next day. Some things never change.

  12. I never saw a similar headline during Viet Nam bemoaning the overrepresentation of men being killed or wounded. Funny about that.

    The premise of the headline and the reportage of the demographics are silly. The message I derive from such drivel is that the writer wants to signal the firm’s virtue for hiring more women but then laments the losses by suggesting the women have intrinsically higher social value.

    Why should it matter if the genders of the dead are male or female? The families of the victims make no such distinction.

    • Men are, by far, the majority of homicide victims worldwide. They are obviously also, by far, more likely to die as soldiers, police officers, and firefighters, often while rescuing women. But we need to believe that there is systematic inequality and injustice against women worldwide, so that’s what we’re going to get goofy NYT articles insinuating, even if it means exploiting a tragic fire that killed indiscriminately. I’m sure the families of those male victims will understand that their loved ones were probably just holding back a more deserving woman from having those careers.

  13. 2)My recollection was that Valentina Tereshkova was chosen because she was a woman and not for any aeronautical qualifications (isn’t it interesting that I remember her name after 50+ years?). Of course, Soviet cosmonauts were much more passengers than American astronauts, who generally had at least some input in flying their spacecraft.

    Looking at Wikipedia, it appears that one of the main reasons Tereshkova was chosen was that she had done some skydiving — this was important because the Vostok cosmonauts ejected from their capsules during re-entry and finished their flights by parachuting to Earth. Otherwise she was a factory worker, a Communist Party member with no aeronautical experience prior to being chosen. And she was 26 when she flew, which was another indication that she was not chosen for her flying experience. She and the other women in the first class were commissioned junior Lieutenants in the Air Force when they graduated.

    Nonetheless, she did fly a solo space mission and appears to have used that experience to her benefit in life, both in the military and politics. She is apparently still an elected member of the Duma.

  14. I was surprised (unless I missed it) there was no EA Chappaquiddick Golden Anniversary treatment.

    I submitted an LTE, which they have yet to post:
    ​Yesterday’s Journal “Today In History” column’s ”Key Event” was: ”On July 18,1969, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D- Mass., left a party on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard with Mary Jo Kopechne, 28; some time later, Kennedy’s car went off a bridge into the water. Kennedy was able to escape, but Kopechne drowned.”

    Edgartown Fire Rescue Captain and diver John Farrar recovered Kopechne’s body the next morning, he later testified that she died from suffocation, not drowning, surviving in the vehicle’s air void for 3 to 4 hours.

    Kennedy’s excuses for an unconscionable delay in reporting the incident (~7 to 8 hours) were as phony as the neck brace he wore to Kopechne’s funeral. His many post-accident phone calls (to lawyers, the family “fixer,” his mistress!) while Kopechne was fighting for her life failed to include the only one that counted; alerting the authorities. If he had, Kopechne might still been alive today.

    Both Kennedy and Kopechne were likely thinking the very same thing while she was dying an excruciatingly slow and horrifying death, (“how am I going to get out of this?”), but for two completely different reasons. Kennedy goes on to become the liberal ”Lion of the Senate,” Kopechne becomes an afterthought in a completely preventable tragedy.

    “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Aesop

    Paul W. Schlecht
    Madison, WI

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