Martin Luther King Day Ethics Overview, 1/20/2020: Another Warren Lie, The Times’ Misandry, Doris Kearns Goodwin Gets Dorian Grayed, And More

Let us be grateful today for Rev. Martin Luther King.

I have no doubt that the nation would be a worse place today without the leadership of Martin Luther King, and I believe a holiday dedicated to honoring him is appropriate. He is also a symbol, perhaps, of the toxic hypocrisy dividing the nation, as well as the excesses and exploitation of the civil rights movement since his death.

From Jonathan Rauch’s review of Christopher Caldwell’s new book, “The Age of Entitlement”:

In Caldwell’s telling, the Civil Rights Act, which banned many forms of discrimination, was a swindle. Billed as a one-time correction that would end segregation and consign race consciousness to the past, it actually started an endless and escalating campaign of race-conscious social engineering. Imperialistically, civil rights expanded to include “people of color” and immigrants and gays and, in short, anyone who was not native-born, white and straight — all in service of “the task that civil rights laws were meant to carry out — the top-down management of various ethnic, regional and social groups.”

With civil rights as their bulldozer, in Caldwell’s view, progressive movements ran amok. They “could now, through the authority of civil rights law, override every barrier that democracy might seek to erect against them”; the law and rhetoric of civil rights “gave them an iron grip on the levers of state power.” And so, today, affirmative action discriminates against whites and then lies about it; public and private bureaucracies trample freedom of association; political correctness stigmatizes dissent and censors language and even thought; “every single state must now honor” Martin Luther King Jr., “and affirm its delight in doing so.”

1.  Senator Warren’s latest lie! The previous post about Warren lying omitted her most recent one, which came up while I was drafting it.

Campaigning in Iowa,  Warren was asked  when she plans on using presidential authority for some of her policy agenda instead of relying on Congress. She responded in part,

“Let me remind you, I think, I’m the only one running for president whose actually been on the executive side. Remember, after the consumer agency was passed into law, Barack Obama, President Obama, asked me to set it up. So I set up a federal agency. We effectively went from two employees the day I walked in the door to about 1000 and spent a year getting it up and operational.”

Now, as I did yesterday regarding an alleged Trump lie, the use of “I think” can be a defense to an accusation of lying, since it means, “I could be mistaken.” In Trump’s case, what he erroneously thought (that he had been on more TIME covers than anyone else) could have plausibly been caused by not knowing facts that were not well known or easily found. There is no way that Warren could have thought that her smidgen of executive experience exceeded that of her competition for the nomination. Joe Biden was Vice President, also on the “executive side,” and was in charge of more than helping to set up one tiny agency. Bernie Sanders was once mayor of Burlington, Vermont. Mayor Pete is, after all, a mayor. Mike Bloomberg was Mayor of New York City, which many regard as the equivalent of being a governor.

2. The New York Times’ revealing endorsement. One thing you have to admire about the Times: it doesn’t try to hide its unethical biases. It waves them like a flag, and just counts on its readers and defenders to agree with them, or engage in wilful blindness and ignore them. How else could you explain its bizarre editorial endorsement yesterday? The Times endorsed both Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Elizabeth Warren, who have as little in common as two Democrats can have, except  one little thing. They are both women. Asks Ann Althouse, in the course of pronouncing the move “semi-nuts”: “If Kamala Harris were still in the race, would the Times have picked 3?”

This is nothing more nor less than a direct call for gender discrimination, right in line with the Hillary Clinton argument for her election in 2016, right in line with the open misogyny that so many Democrats and progresives have engaged in of late, right in line with Barack Obama’s fatuous and pandering  statement that women are “better” than men.

As for any protests that the Times was just picking its favorites for the Democratic nomination, and hadn’t yet chosen between the Republican nominee and the Democratic opposition, this chart of Times editorial endorsements for the Presidency may help dispel that confusion:

3. Photoshopping ethics. Airbrushing away a wrinkle or two is de minimus, but when a photo is so photoshopped that the subject’s closest relatives couldn’t recognize it, that’s not just intentional deception (Ethics breach: dishonesty) but also stupid deception (Ethics breaches: incompetence, disrespect for the intelligence of the audience and the sensibilities of the subject) Here’s a recent photo of my old, and I do mean old (she’s 77)Harvard history professor Doris Kearns Goodwin:

Now, here’s an ad for a show promoting her latest book:

4. Remember, the impeachment is a solemn, non-partisan process:

5. Second Amendment ethics. As I write this, supporters of the Second Amendment are having their annual demonstration in Richmond. Gov. Ralph Northam pre-smeared the lawful protesters by declaring a state emergency and banning guns on the Capitol grounds, though no previous demonstration by this group  has led to gun violence. It is pretty clear to me, and many others, that Northam, Democrats, and progressive are hoping for violence to help fuel antigun sentiment. Meanwhile, the media is, as usual, doing what it can to push the approved propaganda. NBC reporter Ben Collins tweeted, “Reporters covering tomorrow’s white nationalist rally in Virginia, I’m absolutely begging you: Verify information before you send it out tomorrow, even if it’s a very sensational rumor you heard from a cop. Don’t become a hero in neo-Nazi propaganda circles with made-up stuff,”

Referring to the recent ethics Alarms list of fake news varieties I designate this as a #1: Outright false stories deliberately published to mislead.  Indeed, Collins was spreading multiple falsehood. The demonstration was not a “white nationalist rally,” but a demonstration by supporters of the Second Amendment. Contrary to Collin’s innuendo, gun owners and civil libertarians are not not white nationalists.

I expected this: Some are criticizing the rally because it is happening on Martin Luther King Day, and King was assassinated by gunshot.

Here’s an  from UCLA law prof Adam Winkler points out,

Most people think King would be the last person to own a gun [ who is this ‘we,’ kemosabe? -Steve]. Yet in the mid-1950s, as the civil rights movement heated up, King kept firearms for self-protection. In fact, he even applied for a permit to carry a concealed weapon.

A recipient of constant death threats, King had armed supporters take turns guarding his home and family. He had good reason to fear that the Klan in Alabama was targeting him for assassination.

William Worthy, a journalist who covered the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, reported that once, during a visit to King’s parsonage, he went to sit down on an armchair in the living room and, to his surprise, almost sat on a loaded gun. Glenn Smiley, an adviser to King, described King’s home as “an arsenal.”

22 thoughts on “Martin Luther King Day Ethics Overview, 1/20/2020: Another Warren Lie, The Times’ Misandry, Doris Kearns Goodwin Gets Dorian Grayed, And More

    • Indeed. I recently read the one she’s holding in the doctored photo. I’m currently reading her book on Lyndon Johnson. Not a bad author, but, c’mon, Doris, let’s be real here!

  1. About Martin Luther King Jr.’s “dream” speech. I’ve been running into more and more people that are intentionally trivializing King’s “dream” speech saying or directly implying that it was insignificant and doesn’t doesn’t fully encapsulate his philosophy. Here is how one person put it…

    First of all, you make the same cheap, lazy mistake that most people do: focusing entirely on the “I Have A Dream” speech. That was one speech in one moment to one audience. It doesn’t fully encapsulate his philosophy anymore than any one speech of any person.

    Yup that’s right, the most influential civil rights speeches ever from the most prominent civil rights leader in the USA ever was insignificant and doesn’t fully encapsulate King’s philosophy.

    Wait, WHAT?

    Let us be grateful today for Rev. Martin Luther King.

    I have no doubt that the nation would be a worse place today without the leadership of Martin Luther King, and I believe a holiday dedicated to honoring him is appropriate. He is also a symbol, perhaps, of the toxic hypocrisy dividing the nation, as well as the excesses and exploitation of the civil rights movement since his death.

    I completely agree that King’s leadership helped make the USA a better place and a holiday honoring him is warranted.

    You touched on something else, some of the unfortunate “excesses and exploitation of the civil rights movement since his death”. There’s been a lot that’s happen since King’s death and some of it’s not necessarily ethical. I posted the following link one other time, here it is again; The 21st Century’s Bastardization of “I Have A Dream”.

    • Steve wrote on his Blog:

      As I came to understand it, the core of King’s dream was to make the statement inscribed in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal” more than just a meaningless moral platitude, he wanted it to be part of our core beliefs, an integral part of our everyday life and become an automatic part of our decision making process. King’s dream speech was a courageous public act. King’s public activism was courageous throughout the movement, and King paid the ultimate price for his courage. Regardless of King’s ethical struggles in other areas of his life I believe King’s public activism to be very heroic. King is a true American hero.

      I thought it was an interesting piece of writing. I admire it for its zealousness and its general effort. On the basis of it I would have no choice but to recognize in you, at a most fundamental level, the most overt progressive ideology and egalitarianism that I can imagine. You demonstrate it. You show how it came to be and how it functions. This is precisely what defines American progressivism in the most *virulent* sense. But I take virulent not quite as intensely as

      a. Characterized by, causing, or promoting the rapid onset of severe illness. Used of a disease or toxin.
      b. Capable of causing disease by aggressively interfering with the immune system of the host. Used of a pathogen.
      2. Extremely hostile or malicious: virulent criticism.

      But similarly. So the idea that I work with (until I have verified it, or refuted it) is that it is this as a radical ideology which promotes the onset of a severe illness; and interferes with the ‘immune system’ of the host. And when we move forward in time we notice not ‘unifying effect’ but exactly the opposite! Yet the installed ideology, which is ‘an automatic part of our decision making process’, shows such virulence that it cannot be challenged. We cannot even turn around to see it (in the sense of turning around to see the *projectors* that cast the image on the wall).

      It is a very odd state of affairs.

      It is a curious — and discomfiting — twist on the standard perception, don’t you think? The standardized perception says that we are the problem — the virulence — that needs to receive the medicine in order to ‘get right with God’ so to speak. God spoke through King, right? And he gave ‘radical American egalitarian marching orders’ to a whole generation so that these became ‘an automatic part of our decision making process’.

      What also is interesting is how you have absconded, so to speak, with the platform of the left-progressives who were the original owners of it. And you rebuke them! They are the ones who took up the marching orders years back when you were neutral. Now, you inhabit their position of radical progressivism and chide them for having ‘gone too far’. You now define the ‘rational center’ and they are . . . lunatics spinning out of sane orbit.

      You’ve got to admit this is sort of interesting.

  2. I guess it figures: I do not define radical egalitarianism of the American variety as a proper base. Though I understand and admire King in an abstract sense, there is an entire concomitant result from the ‘general philosophy’. It is itself that produces the conflicts. And then it asks that people adapt to what it has determined, falsely, is *good and necessary*. It is one thing to apply it to one errant nation, quote another to then apply it, through radicalism, to the world.

    Here’s a little thing I wrote on the topic. Enjoy! 🙂 (I obviously don’t get invited to many *hip* parties . . .)

    From the article referencing Caldwell’s book:

    I overlooked Codevilla’s article in 2016, but I am paying attention now. As he predicted, American conservatism is moving in an ever angrier, more radical direction, unassuaged by its control of the presidency, the Senate and a majority on the Supreme Court. The sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan’s City on a Hill is banished; Steve Bannon, Sarah Palin, Patrick Buchanan and the ghost of George Wallace lead conservatism now. And, of course, Trump. If Christopher Caldwell’s new book is any indicator, the movement is only headed deeper into gloom, resentment and white identity politics.

    I wonder if other people here have watched the PBS series of interviews [“America’s Great Divide”] through which they try to bring to light what happened and what is happening in American society. Though I more often than not can identify PBS’s bias — or more realistically I would say their ideological stance which is somewhat different from ‘bias’ in the taken sense — there series has opened my eyes to many things I did not understand before. Though they do seem to lead the interviewees, nevertheless they get out from them their authentic view — their position in relation to the struggle as they see it, and of course their *interpretation* of the meaning of the American present. If they would go further, now that would be interesting! Bannon and Coulter is about as radical as they will allow. I could list some others . . .

    But if one starts from an unusual supposition, one that is regarded as near-psychotic by the present day, that the entire motion of liberalism has to be arrested, revisited, reconsidered, and reversed, one could begin on that base to construct and reconstruct a ‘sane society’. Liberalism, taken as a totality, not its individual pieces, is a beast that destroys itself. It literally devours itself as we observe now. Liberalism, unless it is united with a defined sense of spiritual liberty, is a false, revolutionary, mis-guided and always destructive force which sucks people into its machinations and — I say this literally — denigrates their souls (as we witness, obviously, today). If one is honestly going to define ‘liberty’ this can only be done in the context of definition of absolutely rigorous definitions of duty and obligation. It changes everything.

    The ‘present’ (as I often say) is substantially *out of control*. It literally *careens out of control* in so many observable, notable ways, such that ‘liberty’ is mocked in all important senses. I cannot even be sure at this point if the Founders understood what ‘liberty’ is. Their impetus to employ the liberty-concept may have been a ruse to trick themselves as they opened up a highway to *license*. There has to be a causal chain that has led to *present conditions*. But I do recognize that only certain people seem to recognize, in full dimension, the perversity of the present and where and to what it inevitably leads. (If I am not mistaken it leads to chains).

    So, who is “Jonathan Rauch”? I mean, What informs him? What is he working for? You see, I think his entire view-structure can be examined in a ruthless kind of light. So please Mr Rauch, do not lecture me about ever angrier, more radical direction, unassuaged by its control of the presidency when the real issue is how a radical liberal view-structure, a Weltanschauung of such perverse potency that it infuses all minds becomes ‘evermore potent and evermore insistent’ has become ascendent.

    To reverse that means to go radically in a different direction. To establish — or reestablish — very different definitions and predicates. But that cannot happen if *that other direction* is not at all understood. I really hate the say this, because it seems so very upsetting to people, but what he tries to imply when he says ‘white identity politics’ is an emblem of his total misunderstanding! What will be and is not required is to enter into that phrase in the sense of entering into its meaning. To do so is to pursue goodness and also truth.

  3. Apparently, some antifa groups in the area offered to march with the folks who were already planning to protest today at Richmond. When you got folks from both ends of the political spectrum marching against your policies, you might be doing something disagreeable.

    And despite warning of threats of insurrection, even the WaPo has to report that there aren’t any arrests at the rally and that it’s going along very peacefully.

  4. Always remember, the same people who screamed about us entering into WW3 two weeks ago with Iran (does anyone remember Iran?) were the same people screaming about the upcoming violence of Civil Rights protest in Virginia’s capital.

    There’s no reason to trust any of them about anything ever again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.