65 thoughts on “Another Early Morning Seminar, Another Ethics Alarms Open Forum!

  1. Several days ago an adjunct professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Hagerstown Community College penned an Op-Ed in the Morning Herald newspaper here in Hagerstown, MD decrying Individualism as a disease of the mind which leads to racism and these mass shootings. I am sharing my rebuttal to the group.

    On August 9th under the headline “Enemies of a Nation” Don Stevenson penned an Op-Ed telling readers that individualism is a “severing, often arrogant, disease that applauds the free-wheeling person or entity and claims the self-directing power of a sole personality or mind-set with little respect for diversity. This is pure fiction. There is no reference to individualism as a mental disorder in the DSM-5 manual. Do not equate individualism with sociopathy and psychopathy both of which, in my opinion, are nurtured through the self-aggrandizing processes of social media. The need for likes and followers is suggestive of a need for love and fame. The perennial lack of likes and followers reinforces a person’s dissociative mindset. This gives rise to aberrations of violence among a minute number of mentally ill people who lack the ability to process information normally. A discussion of the effects of social media and the increasing incidence of suicide is left for another day.

    Mr. Stevenson’s piece was an ill-informed hit piece to suggest the El Paso shooter’s motives were based only on nativist hatred of immigrants. It was obvious to me that Mr. Stevenson did not read the manifesto and relied solely on news accounts for if he had he would have quickly realized the shooter was claiming to focus on the common good for Americans; Mexicans just happened to be the target. The shooter clearly and unequivocally stated that his goal was to reduce the population because we are destroying the environment with too many people but he was unable to bring himself to kill his own countryman. He said Americans won’t change their lifestyle and we can’t afford to let others get used to this lifestyle. He claimed automation was going to create massive unemployment and, while universal health care and universal income would help, civil unrest will naturally occur. He railed against corporations manipulating policy. Readers should ask why the parts of the manifesto that do not fit the anti-Trump narrative but instead reflect exact opposite are not as widely disseminated as his beliefs about cultural replacement. Why do we hear nothing about the leftist motivations of the Dayton and Gilroy shooters? Nothing is more unethical than to have a teacher of ethics not research the subject matter beforehand, or worse, twist the facts to suit a desired narrative.

    Individualism is defined as “a social theory favoring freedom of action for individuals over collective or state control”. Individualism gives us the Bill of Rights. Individualism is an American ideal. Collectivism and Utilitarianism posit that an individual’s rights are determined by group fiat. The collectivists determine what is “good” and to whom it is distributed, and what is bad and who must compensate society for that bad. That means you have no inalienable rights because the leaders determine what rights are in keeping with the collective good. It is individualism that created the society that lifted more people out of poverty and protected so many other nations from the pestilence that is true fascism than any other in history. Individualism focuses on personal responsibility and self-reliance. Individualism embraces the moral value of the person not the group. In short, individualism demands that true diversity be respected. Individualism eschews handouts and government intervention in their lives. They ask for nothing and deliver much.

    Those who push the idea that diversity is our strength by equating diversity with ethnicity, skin tone, gender or other immutable characteristic are simply number crunchers. None of these physical or ethnic traits create diversity that yields synergistic social benefits just as they do not detract from the person’s skills or humanity. For diversity to have any benefit there must be an opportunity to transfer of skills and knowledge, and understanding that arise from diverse experiences. Imputing racist motivations among any group that rejects the offered ideas and experiences as racist is itself racist as it requires people to accept as superior the ideas and decisions of all those who use their race as a shield against criticism. Forcing people to abandon their ideas out of fear of economic or physical harm is the hallmark of racist groups and just another form of racial terrorism.

    Diverse experiences can only come from individualism. To believe otherwise would be to condemn people as nothing more than a singular commodity exhibiting only minor design differences that also come in different colors. Common experiences, common politics, and common associations usually results in hive thinking no matter what diverse immutable characteristics the members of the group possess.

    Stevenson spent considerable time discussing the Know Nothing party but failed miserably in giving context to the period. He relies on public ignorance of history to make his points about Nativists. In the mid-19th century worrying about newcomers was based on whether you and your family would starve to death. The masses jammed into multi-story walkup tenement housing. You work or you don’t eat. If there was no work you did what you had to just to survive. There was no unemployment insurance, no food stamps, and no workers compensation. You were on your own. If you die in the mine or the factory, another right of the boat will simply take your place. You lose a hand or a foot in the factory or maimed in a boiler explosion, one of the 3 million bodies coming each year will be happy to replace you. In a sense, Nativists led society toward unionized labor. I even bet Emma Lazarus’s father Moses, the wealthy New York socialite and sugar refiner, shared his love of a never ending supply of cheap labor with his poet daughter and Protestant business associates.

    Who today lobbies against individualism in the workplace; or for zoning that limits housing development in existing pastoral lands, and commercial development in residential areas to protect their views and land values? Who are they that fight against low income housing when it is planned to be built in their neighborhoods? And, who are those that protest gentrification to prevent the loss of affordable neighborhood housing for the existing residents? The irony of Nativism is that the goal is always to protect the existing group’s common good. The question is who decides who is allowed in the group. For that we have federal immigration laws. Executing existing law is not racist or xenophobic because we are a nation of laws not men.

    The gangs of New York exist everywhere, especially among the “woke” and intersectionalists. It is the “woke” and intersectionalists who seek to crush the non-compliant individualists into compliance with the groupthink using the power of the courts.

    Chris Marschner
    Hagerstown, MD

    Chris Marschner

      • Superb Op-ed, Chris.

        I’ve seen papers waive their length guidelines many time. They probably won’t, assuming they don’t agree with your arguments, but they certainly have the option, and if they truly wanted informed debate, they would waive it.

    • Wow…just…Wow!

      I particularly appreciate your mention of the importance of historical context. There was a time when American schoolchildren learned Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride” by heart or the Gettysburg Address or Daniel Webster’s “Liberty and Union” speech.

      Now, we are moving into a post-American culture where people not only don’t know much about our history and traditions, but are becoming hostile to it.

      • Not that I was excited to memorize things like the Gettysburg address by rote, it really did no harm and primes for later more adult understanding. Later for a language class, I had to memorize it in another dialect of the area, Pennsylvania Dutch.

        More than three decades later, if I try to recite the GA, I switch beck and forth between the two languages, and I’m not certain I skipped a word or phrase.

    • Great response Chris.

      Leaving aside all your perfectly valid observations and points, what I don’t get is that the author, like so many before him, assure us that “diversity” is an unalloyed good, but never explains why.

      I wonder why that is? Is it so obvious that it needs no exposition? How much “diversity” is enough, and can we ever have too much?

      I think this is kind of important, since he’s saying “diversity” as the thing we’ll miss if we don’t do something about the dual evils of nativism and individualism.

      The Left invokes diversity as if were Holy Writ. Funny, I can’t find it anywhere in the scriptures, which suggests that perhaps we are looking at more of a religion than anything else when we see these paens to “diversity.”

      • One of the great mysteries of life is on the continuum of existence the more we move away from absolute sameness toward absolute differences the more we move toward diversity and individualism

    • Here is a recent blog post that might interest you and Don Stevenson, A Rant: The Indoctrinated Social Justice Hive Mind

      In the United States there is currently an internal sociopolitical battle going on between the individualism that’s at the very core of the freedoms that the United States of America used to build the American Dream and the irrational totalitarian hive mind that’s shown itself to be anti-American Dream and anti-Constitution. It’s now quite clear that it’s the irrational totalitarian hive mind that’s currently threatening the common good in the United States NOT the individualism that Stevenson appears to be trying to demonize.

      “The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (democracy, rights, liberty, opportunity and equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, as well as an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers. In the definition of the American Dream by James Truslow Adams in 1931, ‘life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement’ regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.”

      The American Dream is the dream of the individual, the totalitarian hive mind is anti-American.

    • Chris Cuomo was reacting like a drunken dumbass trying to measure his manhood against the other guy’s all over being called Fredo? That stupid shit is gonna play on the airways forever. Cuomo = Foolish!

      • Kinda remind you of a certain other drunken dumb@$$ with whom we’re acquainted?

        “That stupid shit is gonna play on the airways forever. ”

        I’m hoping, but not hopeful, that it’s the albatross that becomes permanently affixed around his neck from here on in.

        Anywho; the ethics of eagerly awaiting a raucously cacophonous blowback, and subsequent indefinite furlough, that would, in a perfect world, surely follow a similarly offending Righty?

        In a perfect world, we’d be hearing the CNN brass channeling the late J. T. Walsh line (can’t recall the flick…Wing in Tin Men?) You’re So Fired It’s Pathetic.

      • So interesting he called a guy a “fucking bitch.” That’s not nice, Chris. What would Anderson Cooper think of that? You’re channeling Alec Baldwin? I think Chris either has a Goomba problem or a steroid abuse problem. I did not know “Fredo” was the Italian American equivalent of nigger. Learn something every day. Whatever happened to WOP or Guinea? Greaseball? Paisan? Every Italian American has seen all the Godfather movies? In CYO classes at church?

      • That’s doubtless the left’s response. He’s one of our guys. But woke, enlightened guys don’t act like that, do they? Isn’t that toxic masculinity, with more than just a dash of homophobia? Doesn’t Chris know the importance of at least appearing to be earnest at all times? He’s a hypocrite. That’s a problem worth seeing.

        • A hypocrite, yes, but really just a snowflake who wants to represent himself as a tough guy. After all, who gets so exercised when someone pokes a little fun at his politics.

          Oh, that’s right – Donald J. Trump, how could I forget? Apparently, Cuomo learned at the foot of the master. Cuomo’s provocateur should’ve pointed that out, I’m sure it would’ve stung.

          Anyway, I just can’t get excited when a guy responds to someone picking on him, hypocrite or no.

    • I am of two minds on the “Fredo Affair”.

      Let’s stipulate that Chris Cuomo is neither bright or anything else. Idiot comes to mind. He is an arrogant, entitled blow-hard trying to make himself relevant in light of his family’s position. “Fredo” truly fits.

      First, I thought Cuomo overreacted. I have never heard “Fredo” used as a pejorative against Italians in the way “Spick” or “Nigger” have been used against races or ethnicities. Maybe it’s a New York thing. To me, it meant that he is Cuomo the Lesser and he knows it and that’s why it stung. That was a new one but I couldn’t help thinking Cuomo was making up stuff to bludgeon the Hurdler of Taunts into submission.

      Second, if the Hurdler of Taunts is going to mock Cuomo (something everyone should do until he slinks away into obscurity, representing bail bondsmen and DUI defendants) then he should have expected Cuomo’s profanity ladened response and stood up for himself. Especially so when Cuomo threatened to throw him down the escalator. Hurdler should have said, “Oh, yeah, tough guy? Bring it.” Hurdler didn’t. He caved. Completely. What a tool. And a coward. How could he give in to Chris Cuomo? A bit of a push back and Cuomo would have demonstrated for all the world to see what he really is: A gas bag of the highest order.


        • “No way “Fredo” is an ethnic slur.”


          Fredo is only an ethnic slur to an irrational snowflake, which by the way is exactly what I’d call Chris if he spouted all that shit at me, then I’d walk away forcing that emotionally charged nut job to actively peruse me if he wanted to take it any further.

          Personally I think the guy that called Cuomo “Fredo” was likely publicly trolling Cuomo intentionally trying to get him to explode on camera which is the same kind of entrapment that social justice warriors use on Conservatives – it’s unethical bull shit!

      • “Oh, yeah, tough guy? Bring it.”

        That’s actually asking to be physically assaulted and wrong, damn near as wrong as threatening. What Hurdler did was to remain calm and let Cuomo go off the rails. If Cuomo had launched into something physical with Hurdler being calm and non aggressive then he could protect himself and Cuomo would be the one charged with assault and Hurdler would be off the hook as long as he didn’t go overboard protecting himself.

        Asking for it makes a LOT of difference!

    • Even left-leaning sires aren’t buying the “Fredo” = “nigger” claim; poor Chris. It doesn’t help that someone has put out a recording of Cuomo using it, himself. There are also, of course, videos of plenty of others using it as the commonly understood (and not ethnic) metaphor for “weak” or “loser”, especially as compared to other family members.

  2. I think it interesting that California has passed a law saying that to be on the presidential ballot, Trump must release his tax returns. The fact of the matter is that Trump is not on the presidential ballot in California or any other state. The people on the ballot are electors, who are pledged to vote for a particular person for president. I don’t think the voters in California give a damn about the tax returns of the electors. Doesn’t anybody read the Constitution any more?

  3. Judith Bergman wrote about the UK going easy on ISIS terrorists, hard on those who fought them.


    Pari Ibrahim, the founder and executive director of the Free Yezidi Foundation (FYF), told the website Kurdistan 24 that she is very concerned about the Yezidis in Iraq. “We do not think European immigration authorities should be rejecting Yezidi asylum cases,” she said. “Survivors of a genocide have special and unique needs that should be recognised.”

    Some officials in the Netherlands, evidently, appear to think otherwise.

    In addition, some European countries are actually in the process of prosecuting nationals who travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight against ISIS.

    In the UK, it is estimated that just a few dozen British volunteers fought against ISIS. By comparison, approximately 850 UK nationals travelled from the UK to join ISIS.

    Jim Matthews was the first person prosecuted for fighting with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG is not a proscribed terrorist group in the UK; its forces were backed by the British military and international airstrikes to drive ISIS out of its Syrian territories. Nevertheless, Matthews was charged with “attending a place used for terrorist training” for attending the training camp used for all YPG recruits. He told the Independent, “We [British YPG volunteers] went out there because our government was not doing enough. It was a job that needed doing, we had to get Isis out of that territory.” He was also evidently “jolted” to join the fight against Isis after seeing a photograph of a jihadi holding a woman’s severed head on Facebook. “It seemed like one of the most evil single images I’ve ever seen in my life,” he said.

    When he came back to the UK, he was arrested and accused of terrorism. In February 2019, the charges against him were dropped, seemingly for lack of evidence.

    A second British national, Aidan James, who fought with the YPG against ISIS, was arrested and charged with terror offences in February 2018. James was charged with receiving training from the PKK, before going on to fight with Kurdish YPG units in Syria. James’s case, tried in April, was inconclusive: the jury failed to reach a verdict on whether he had committed terror offences by fighting against ISIS. Prosecutors said they would be seeking a retrial of his case.

  4. MeToo comes to straight opera: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7351217/Women-accuse-opera-legend-Domingo-sexual-harassment.html

    Since when, at least in the ’80s until now, is an opera superstar not entitled to plow the fields of beautiful, young sopranos? Plus, the guy’s a Spaniard. Look what they’ve done to my car! If one of the three tenors isn’t entitled to free rein, who the hell is? Placido must be as mystified and confused as Bill Clinton was. “Wait, I’m a president! Don’t I get to fuck whoever I want like JFK did?”

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