Ethics Warm-Up, 10/15/2019: Farrow, James, Biden, And Another Diploma Bites The Dust…[CORRECTED]


Now there’s a tidal wave of too many ethics stories and issues to cover…

…and more than ever, I feel that an impeachment information and analysis website is essential, a civic  obligation, and likley to foce me to live out of a cardboard box. I also need to get Mrs. Q’s featured column launched. Naturally, I leave on another ethics seminar road trip today.

If the Red Sox were in the post-season, I’d have to shoot myself…

1. The up-side of the NBA’s cowardly pandering to China and its suppression of basic human rights…we learned what a shallow hypocrite LeBron James is. Of course, many of us knew this when James did his grandstanding champion of social justice act and  extolled Colin Kaepernick’s useless and incoherent protest.  “I stand with anyone who believes in change,” the B-ball superstar said, as if that means something.  It was still enough to attract excessive praise from the sports media. Last week, however, as the Los Angeles Lakers  returned home from a week-long tour of China, James said,

“Yes, we do have freedom of speech.  But at times, there are ramifications for the negative that can happen when you’re not thinking about others, when you only think about yourself. I don’t want to get into a word or sentence feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at hand, and he spoke.”

Morey, the Houston Rockets GM who tweeted support for the Hong Kong protesters resisting China’s iron boot, only lacked education on how venal and without principles his league was, including stars like James. Morey was “thinking of others”: he was thinking of the people of Hong Kong desperately trying to hold on to as much liberty as they can. No, he wasn’t thinking about James’s giant paycheck, which is clearly all LeBron cares about.

He can take solace in a victory in the NBA’s “It’s not the worst thing” sweepstakes. San Farncisco Warriors coach Steve Kerr, when asked if he’d ever been confronted about human rights abuses on earlier trips to China, Kerr replied, “No. Nor has (America’s) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.”

That’s right, Steve, there is obvious moral equivalency between China’s 30-65 million mass murders and its current oppressive government, and the United States of America.

2. Irony: the news media can be trusted not to report on the evidence that shows how untrustworthy the news media is. NBC News is denying investigative journalist Ronan Farrow claims in his forthcoming book, “Catch and Kill,” that the network tried to conceal complaints about the former “Today” host Matt Lauer  as well as actively obstructing  Farrow’s reporting into the film mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Farrow’s book also reveals that Hillary Clinton pressured him to drop the investigation into Harvey Weinstein, whose history as a serial sexual harasser, assaulter, and rapist was being discovered even as he was assisting Hillary’s campaign. So far, only Hollywood pariah Rose McGowan (who says Weinstein raped her) has reacted appropriately, tweeting,  “I knew that Hillary Clinton’s people, were protecting the Monster. I can’t believe I used to support her. I guess predators are her style.”

Well, better late than never, Rose. It was obvious that predators were Hillary’s style approximately 30 years ago, but welcome to enlightenment. A smart, level-headed female Ethics Alarms reader recently chastised me in an email for being mean to Hillary Clinton, saying she was a good person. Why do people believe that? Why did people ever believe that?

3. Well, I’ve turned my Harvard College diploma to the wall, and I guess my Georgetown Law Center diploma is next. Kevin K. McAleenan, the now resigned acting Secretary of Homeland Security, was prevented from speaking at Georgetown University Law Center  by student demonstrators who shouted down his planned keynote address. Apparently they are under the impression that immigration laws shouldn’t be enforced, and that it is wrong to try to enforce them.

This is some group of future lawyers you are training, GULC.

As soon as McAleenan was introduced to give a speech hosted by the Migration Policy Institute, about a dozen angry law students in the crowd stood up holding signs saying, “Stand with immigrants” and “Hate is not normal.” McAleenan tried to speak, but was drowned out by chants of: “When immigrants are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back.”

You know, the law is about precision of thought and language. If GULC’s students don’t comprehend the distinction between “immigrants” and “illegal immigrants,” the far more subtle distinctions required in legal practice are certain to elude them.

The law students who spoke to the media confirmed my assessemnt that the law school has failed its duty to educate. First-year law student Daniel Berchenko told the BBC that “silencing the oppressor” is a duty. Sabiya Ahmed, a third-year law student, told the BBC that  silencing a speaker is better than debating him. “If we think that there needs to be a discussion around [Trump administration immigration policy], that there’s room for discussion around whether those policies are justified, I think there’s something really wrong with us. So when we saw him leave, I was just, we started clapping.”

Challenged as to whether he is personally oppressed by the state, Berchenko ridiculously replied, “Something that is very important to me is that you don’t need to be affected by something to understand that it’s wrong.”

4. The Hunter Biden Saga. I find it impossible to believe that the Democrats and news media will be able to thread the needle and focus on the President’s request to investigate Hunter Biden without revealing to the world, and certainly the public,  how corrupt and legitimately worth investigating Joe Biden’s son’s machinations were.

Althouse has comments about Hunter’s ABC interview, and Professor Turley has a post up at The Hill wondering why the news media has gone to such lengths to avoid examining Biden’s conduct. Oh, he knows why. Turley concludes,

All of this should be of some interest to the media, which has exhaustively – and rightfully – pursued foreign deals by the Trump family. And there is no reason why the media cannot pursue allegations against both the Trumps and the Bidens. That, however, would counter the narrative that there’s “nothing wrong” with Hunter Biden’s dealings and that it’s all a “lie” that’s best to ignore.

13 thoughts on “Ethics Warm-Up, 10/15/2019: Farrow, James, Biden, And Another Diploma Bites The Dust…[CORRECTED]

  1. “…recently chastised me in an email for being mean to Hillary Clinton, saying she was a good person.”

    The perplexing thing about it is that Hillary Clinton doesn’t even do a half-convincing simulation of a good person. Some politicians are good enough actors that they can fake sincerity and make people believe that they’re genuinely good people, while being terrible humans behind the facade. Hillary isn’t one of those, by a long shot. She’s a transparently calculating, scheming, dishonest, awful human being. I can understand if someone agrees with her politics and wants to defend her on that basis (though I suspect her politics are merely a means to an end – power and wealth – and have little in common with what, if anything, she really believes in), but to contend that she’s actually a good person? Such a belief requires a superhuman level of credulity and the critical thinking skills of a pet rock.

  2. ““No. Nor has (America’s) record of human rights abuses come up either… People in China didn’t ask me about, you know, people owning AR-15s and mowing each other down in a mall.””

    It would be sketchy to compare the millions who died under Mao to Native American genocide or the slave trade…but to even imply that there’s an equivalence between China’s well-known human rights abuses and mass shootings in the United States is idiocy.

    • A M
      I think the relevant time frame of reference is the last 70 years unless we want to evaluate the last 400 years on both sides. I would suggest the more recent events carry more weight than things occurring many years ago.

      • But why choose school shootings over the race conflicts of the last 70 years, such as the ’40s-’60s Civil Rights movement? I don’t get why mass shootings by troubled people are considered the equivalence of government oppression.

  3. A smart, level-headed female Ethics Alarms reader recently chastised me in an email for being mean to Hillary Clinton, saying she was a good person. Why do people believe that?

    It depends upon your definition of what makes a ‘good’ person, Jack.

    Let me unpack for a moment.

    In order to define Hillary as ‘good,’ one has to believe that what she opposes is ‘bad.’ In the progressive worldview, there is only a binary choice, and one that, moreover, can be changed upon a whim by those setting the definitions.* Gray area exists only if it can be used to define an ambiguity such that it also is correct (ideologically), which, of course, makes it once again ‘good.’ One does not have to think about hard choices (or at all) when everything is predefined broadly in this manner.

    Once a person is used to defining the term ‘good’ as ‘that which is beneficial to me and those like me’ then the term loses the generally understood meaning for that person.** This is an intentional crippling of true communication that cripples the linguistic capabilities and conceptual comprehension of progressive drones.

    (Geez, I sound like Alizia)

    Your ‘very smart, level-headed’ reader has decided that Hillary’s opponents are deplorables, including pretty much every commenter here at EA: we must be opposed, as we are ‘bad.’ Anything that opposed ‘bad’ is ‘good.’

    *Look up the terms ‘TERF’ and ‘Cotton Ceiling’ to see how formerly ‘good’ people are suddenly ‘bad’ even though they did not change themselves. They were simply left behind by the race to the left. Another victim group is female athletes who now have to compete against mediocre men who only have to say they are women to break world records.

    **Ironically, this make the use of the term mean the opposite of general usage, and an intention to deceive in and of itself

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