Brand New Week Full Of Hope And Promise Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/9/2019

Ah! I also feel wefweshed!

1. On torturing the homeless with earworms. The city of West Palm Beach, Florida  has been blaring the horrible kids song “Baby Shark,” as well as another annoying song in the genre, “Raining Tacos,” outside an event center to drive homeless people away. Listen…

The homeless and their advocates object to the tactic as cruel and counter-productive. The city says it only wants to make them go to homeless shelters.

This is a case of “ick” rather than unethical conduct. Music is used to keep subjects of torture awake in some cases, and auditory assault by kids’ songs is only different in kind from high-pitched beeps and  other more direct methods used around the country, such as recordings of chain saws . Some cities have even outfitted parks and public spaces with devices that blast a high-frequency sound that only teenagers and young people can hear.

The use of annoying songs passes the utilitarian test, I think. In this case, the desired end justifies the means. I will change that assessment of there is evidence that one or both of the two songs are literally driving the homeless insane.

That is a distinct possibility. Here’s “Raining Tacos”:

2. Let’s try to think of the least qualified, most objectionable candidates who would still be better than this trio...It’s official!  Mark Sanford, who had to resign as South Carolina governor to avoid being impeached after going AWOL and conspiring to cover it up as he secretly visited his soul mate, a South American seductress, or, as such were called in less politically correct times,  “firecracker,” has now declared that he will accept the GOP nomination for President.  He now joins failed semi-Republican Senate candidate and Gary Johnson running mate William Weld, who is 74 and hasn’t held office in 22 years; he distinguished himself as a nominee of the Independent Party by announcing that he would vote for Hillary Clinton.  Then there’s Joe Walsh, who spent all of one term in the House, and was reduced to being a radio talk show host after it was revealed that he was a deadbeat dad.

The news media is faking fainting spells because the Republican National Committee is not going to hold debates among this ridiculous crew, and is cancelling primaries as well. The RNC’s position isn’t unethical, it is responsible. I held in 2015 that  the GOP had no obligation to allow Trump to run for the GOP nomination, and he was a more acceptable and serious candidate than any of these fools—which is not to say that he was serious or acceptable. These are three dead in the water political failures trying to use NeverTrump hate to breath life into the corpses of their careers.

Here’s how bad they are: I’d vote for Newt Gingrich (ugh) or Mitch McConnell (ugh X infinity) over any of them.

3.  And this is why our rights are in real and immediate danger. From the Washington Post:

“Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks for gun buyers and allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, as President Trump and Republicans face fresh pressure to act.”

“Allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals,” aka the “red flag” laws, is a violation of due process, the Second Amendment, and also a “pre-crime” measure. The public support sit because a) unscrupulous politicians demagogue the issue of gun control, b)the average American, thanks to our incompetent public school system, can’t distinguish a constitutional right from prickly pear, and c) limiting the rights of hypothetical “bad people” is so easy, compared to when one’s own rights are being infringed.

This is a useful poll, because it shows how vulnerable the ignorant are to politicians who want to take over their autonomy and weaken our democracy under the impetus of “do something.” Who is going to explain to these millions of inattentive people with weak critical thinking skills why “red flag” laws are the totalitarian camel;s nose in the tent? President Trump, with his junior high school level rhetoric?  Me, with my essays that violate Facebook standards? The news medi-ack! Ack! Gag! Cough! I couldn’t even that ridiculous possibility out. Who?

And who gets to define a “troubled individual”? Anyone with symptoms of depression, anxiety, or stress? That describes 90% of the people I know. Those with irrational anger and obsessions? That’s  the entire Trump-hating Facebook Borg, based on my reading this week. People with rocky marriages, conflicts at work with supervisors and co-workers; ranting bloggers? Charles M. Blow? Kurt Schlicter? Stephen Colbert? Alec Baldwin?

We have a dumb, ignorant, lazy, badly educated, civically incompetent  electorate that the news media and politicians want to make worse on all counts, and work constantly to accomplish that goal.

14 thoughts on “Brand New Week Full Of Hope And Promise Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 9/9/2019

  1. Would it be in bad taste if the raining tacos song was the campaign’s theme song for its southern border issue?

    Using earworms to drive people out seems counterproductive. Such tactics will drive out the desireable folks long before the undesireables. It is assumed the reason for resorting to such tactics is that they are losing desirable traffic to the undesireable traffic.

  2. Re: No. 1; “Musical Torment.”

    Really?! You posted an hour-long version of “Baby Shark”?! Have you no decency? At long last, have you no decency? Just for that, here is Tobuscus and the “Viral Song”. See if you can watch it without clawing your eyes out!

  3. On point 3.

    I would like to ask all those pushing for common sense gun laws such as mandatory buy backs if they would support laws to reduce illegally obtained weapons by allowing periodic random searches of public/subsidized housing for contraband weapons and drugs.

    If we are going to support sweeping taking of rights doesn’t it make sense to focus on the illicit weapons before we start taking away the equivalent self defense tools from the law abiding.

    For those that will scream that such a policy would violate the rights of many innocent public housing residents taking away the 2nd amendment rights of innocent gun owners to protect the population from a relatively small number of offenders who perpetrate the lion’s share of gun crime is subjectively worse because it could potentially affect everyone while not everyone could be affected by periodic sweeps.

    Aside: personally I do not support either I offer this only as rebuttal to the argument that taking rights away from gun owners is for the greater good.

    Point 3 continued.
    Does Bernie Sanders believe that gun related suicides are as beneficial to the environment as his call for increased abortions in 3rd world countries?

    • The response would be, “well, if you have nothing to hide, why are you afraid to allow the government to do a limited inspection of your firearms. Too many people have more guns and types of guns than they need, so what is the problem? Who needs an assault style weapon of war for target practice or deer hunting, anyway?”

      The closer question would be to ask them if they think the government should have an interest in preventing abortions.

      jvb

      • Jvb
        I would bet Harris , Booker and others would object vociferously to random periodic searches of publ8c housing.; the screams of bias due to disparate impact would be deafening

        However, if the searches were anyone’s home they probably would counter any objection with the “if you have nothing to hide” mantra. That gives them cover because they can obfuscate the issue.

        I chose public housing and subsidized housing as it primarily impacts the socialist totalitarian core urban constituency. It is not necessarily along racially delineated groups.

        I believe it is a reasonable assumption that an overwhelming amount of gun crime does not have its origins in middle and upper income housing developments. There could be some but if the states were truly the laboratories of social innovations then it makes sense for them to address the issues of gun crime -not gun ownership- at the state level and then we evaluate what are the most effective methods that can withstand constitutional scrutiny.

        • Chris wrote,

          “I would bet Harris , Booker and others would object vociferously to random periodic searches of publ8c housing.; the screams of bias due to disparate impact would be deafening.”

          I totally agree. The outrage would be shouted from the rooftops.

          jvb

      • I would like to ask all those pushing for common sense gun laws such as mandatory buy backs if they would support laws to reduce illegally obtained weapons by allowing periodic random searches of public/subsidized housing for contraband weapons and drugs.

        If we are going to support sweeping taking of rights doesn’t it make sense to focus on the illicit weapons before we start taking away the equivalent self defense tools from the law abiding.

        For those that will scream that such a policy would violate the rights of many innocent public housing residents taking away the 2nd amendment rights of innocent gun owners to protect the population from a relatively small number of offenders who perpetrate the lion’s share of gun crime is subjectively worse because it could potentially affect everyone while not everyone could be affected by periodic sweeps.

        That was done by President Bill Clinton.

        https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1994-04-08-mn-43649-story.html

        CHICAGO —

        Police can’t conduct warrantless gun searches in public housing projects, a federal judge said Thursday in a decision that rebuffed pleas from housing officials and tenants who hoped the sweeps would quell gang violence.

        U.S. District Judge Wayne Andersen’s ruling ended the latest round in an emotional dispute between city officials and civil libertarians who argue that the courts can’t grant a wholesale waiver of the Constitution’s protection against unreasonable searches.

        “The erosion of the rights of people on the other side of town will ultimately undermine the rights of each of us,” Andersen said in refusing to lift a ban he imposed last month.

        Violence last summer prompted the Chicago Housing Authority to ask police to conduct the random, door-to-door searches for weapons.

        President Clinton said after the ruling he has ordered Atty. Gen. Janet Reno and Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros to develop a search policy for all U.S. public housing that is constitutionally permissible.

        “We must not allow criminals to find shelter in the public housing community they terrorize,” Clinton said in a statement.

  4. 2. What is wrong with this Mark Sanford guy?

    From an interview by Chris Wallace on Fox News:

    “You’ve got to know, you basically have no chance of winning the Republican nomination, so why run for president?” Wallace asked Sanford.

    “I think you probably would have said that thing to Donald Trump just a matter of months ago as he faced the likes of Jeb Bush and others,” Sanford responded, referring to Trump’s 2015 entry into the GOP primary.

    “Do you honestly think you have a serious chance?” Wallace asked.

    “I’m saying you never know,” Sanford said.

    How’s that for a campaign slogan: “Vote for Mark Sanford. You never know!”

  5. “Allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals,” aka the “red flag” laws, is a violation of due process, the Second Amendment, and also a “pre-crime” measure. The public support sit because a) unscrupulous politicians demagogue the issue of gun control, b)the average American, thanks to our incompetent public school system, can’t distinguish a constitutional right from prickly pear, and c) limiting the rights of hypothetical “bad people” is so easy, compared to when one’s own rights are being infringed.

    This is even more extreme than what I proposed five years ago.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2014/05/27/a-futile-ethics-request-to-anti-gun-activists-dont-exploit-richard-martinez/#comment-203483

    What I would propose is civil restrictions on persons who fit Elliot Rodger’s psychological and emotional profile. if they fit the propfile, they wikll be considered psychologically and emotionally deviant. The key word is civil because only a preponderance of evidence will be required.

    Persons found to be deviant will be required to register with the state. Refusal or failure to register will be a felony. There is no fundamental right to refuse to register with the state.

    Deviants will be required to wear distinctive insignia. Failure or refusal to do so will be a felony. Again, there is no fundamental right to be free from wearing distinctive insignia when required to do so by the state.

    Deviants will be banned from certain professions, such as law or medicine. There is no fundamental right to practice law or medicine or any profession.

    Finally, there will be a massive state-funded propaganda campaign to educate the public about deviants. This campaign will be directed towards the man in the street and the man in the beer hall. Catchphrases include “Deviants are Among Us” “Deviants Have No Place in America” “Do Your Patriotic Duty: Report Suspected Deviants” “Remember Isla Vista” “1 in 4 Women in College Are Raped. 4 in 4 of These Rapes are Committed By Deviants” The goal of this propaganda campaign is to make deviants pariahs and outcasts in American society, to get Americans terrified of deviants, terrified that they might go killing at any moment. There is no fundamental right to be free from a propaganda campaign to turn America against you.

    Note what I do not propose.

    I do not propose infringing on First Amendment rights, even the right tio disagree with my proposed policy, or to run a counter-campaign to attempt to get Americans to accept deviants.

    I do not propose taking away their Second Amendment rights. Deviancy will not be deemed sufficient cause to prohibit a person from keeping and bearing arms

    I do not propose taking away Third Amendment rights.

    I do not propose taking away Fourth Amendment rights.

    I do not propose taking away Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, or Eight Amendment rights. Deviants accused of crimes will still be entitled to due process of law.

    This leaves equal protection. Deviants are not a suspect class, so rational basis scrutiny applies. all the policies I mentioned are rationally related to the compelling interest of public safety. The policies I propose will survive a federal equal protection challenge.

    Here was a response by Scott Jacobs.

    The first politician who actually suggests what you just discribed should be hung from a tall pole as a warning to others.

    A government that enacts such measures would find itself on the business end of the first rebal army I could put together, which would have the sole purpose in life of purging from creation every shitpile that voted for it.

    You and your “label the deviants” bullshit are anti-liberty. That you could sit there and not see any fucking problem with using a “51% of the evidence” standard to label someone – anyone – enrages me to the point that I now understand why Almighty God has seen fit to refuse to grant me the power to kill with my mind. You are nothing but a totalitarian, eagerly seeking a way to punish what you consider to be wrong thought.

    Fuck you. The day I would sit idle while shit like that happened is the day they put a fucking tag on my toe.

    You just try to push for this shit. You just try.

    The Red Flag laws are much, much worse.

    Where is Scott Jacobs’s rebel army?

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