Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2020: You Know, If People Keep Putting Impeachment Ethics Fouls In Front Of Me, I May Have To Comment On Them

Good Morning!

January 23 is a big day in ethics, good and bad. In 1964, poll taxes were finally banned via the 24th Amendment. In 1973, peace was finally declared in the Vietnam War (though it was hardly the “peace with honor” President Nixon called it.)In 1977, “Roots” debuted as a TV mini-series, helping to educate millions of Americans who knew very little about slavery.  In 1988, the Challenger exploded as a result of an engineering ethics breakdown. On this day in 1998, Bill Clinton looked America in the eye and denied having sex with Monica. Of course, he wasn’t lying, because he meant “sexual intercourse.” Sure. And finally, in 1989, Ted Bundy was electrocuted. Good.

1. Impeachment notes. I will not watch the trial, but these kinds of things that come to my attention cannot be ignored:

Instead, we are here today to consider a much more grave matter, and that is an attempt to use the powers of the presidency to cheat in an election. For precisely this reason, the President’s misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box—for we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won. In corruptly using his office to gain a political advantage, in abusing the powers of that office in such a way as to jeopardize our national security and the integrity of our elections, in obstructing the investigation into his own wrongdoing, the President has shown that he believes that he is above the law and scornful of constraint.

Good Lord.

a.) How do you cheat in an election that is more than a year away, when the candidates haven’t been determined? You can’t. b) Every President uses his powers to enhance his popularity, give him an edge with voters, and help him and his party win. This is apparently only illegal when done by Trump. c.) By Schiff’s logic, every “October surprise” is an impeachable abuse of power. d.) Uncovering genuine corruption by any candidate for high office so voters are informed is not “cheating.” e.) The suggestion that a phone call with a foreign leader justifies being suspicious of a Presidential election is a new low, even for Schiff, and is laying the groundwork for yet another refusal by the democratic party to accept the results of an election.

Meanwhile, the networks are calling Schiff “brilliant” and “dazzling.”

Fact check: He’s a lying, Machiavellian, enemy of democracy whose words and conduct disgrace the House.

  • Speaking of fact checks, CNN fact check reporter Daniel Dale fact only checked claims made by President Donald Trump’s lawyers during the first day of the Senate’s impeachment trial,  but did not fact check those of any of the Democratic impeachment managers. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias.

2. And now, in memory of Monty Python’s Terry Jones, who died yesterday, for something completely different. The National Archives Museum altered a photograph of the 2017 Women’s March on Washington, blurring out the ext of protest signs that read, “God Hates Trump” and “Trump & GOP — Hands Off Women”…

Morons. Everyone connected with this historical airbrushing should be fired. The excuse given by the staff was that the anti-Trump statements were censored in order to avoid “current political controversy,” and that  the photograph was for display, rather than being a historical record, or something. Fire whoever was responsible for this garbage, including the spokesperson.

Finally the Archives issued an apology and vowed to undergo “a thorough review” of its policies. Who’s responsible?  In addition to the Archives staff and management, President Trump and his simpering lackeys share responsibility, just as they shared responsibility when White House officials, reportedly without checking with the President, told the Navy to cover up the name of the USS John McCain and give its crew who wear hats bearing that name the day off when President Trump was coming by for a visit.

3. But even when they have a legitimate reason to criticize, the “resistance” and the news media are incapable of playing it fair and straight. Writing about the scandal, David M. Perry the senior academic adviser to the history department at the University of Minnesota—no profession has debased itself more since November 2016 than historians—asked, “As a historian I worry about how many other altered documents the Trump administration has buried in our records. Will we ever know?” No, and we’ll never know what altered documents the administrations of Presidents Obama, the Bushes, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, Johnson, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman…need I go on? Perry marked himself as a hack with that statement, implying wrong-doing with no evidence whatsoever.

Oh, he has more, invoking Big Lie #3: “Trump Is A Fascist/Hitler/Dictator/Monster”:

The historian Ian Kershaw coined the phrase “working toward the Führer” as a way to explain how fascist regimes work. Hitler was not a bureaucrat, but a skilled rhetorician able to articulate his values to his administration and countless other Germans, who then on their own worked to figure out how put his ideals into action.

Oddly, this wasn’t called “working toward Obama,” though Perry was silent when a far more dangerous, sinister and consequential example of the phenomenon affected the 2012 Presidential election. Obama’s IRS “figured out how put his ideals into action” by illegally obstructing the advocacy activities of conservative groups during the campaign. The mainstream media, however, furiously defended that President against any suggestions that he passively encouraged the conduct.

I’ll have more about Perry later today.

4. I’ve been meaning to mention…a few days ago, on a whim, I decided to count the number of mixed race couples portrayed in TV commercials. It was almost 40%. That may have been a two-day anomaly, but this  wildly misrepresents U.S. demographics, in which all mixed race marriages comprise slightly less than 10%. A U.S. society where love is racially blind would be a positive development, but I am uncomfortable with TV and Hollywood using their power to push public attitudes where they think it should go.  It’s a form of stealth propaganda, and there’s a lot of it on all sorts of topics.

43 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 1/23/2020: You Know, If People Keep Putting Impeachment Ethics Fouls In Front Of Me, I May Have To Comment On Them

  1. #1 – If Senators Sanders, Warren and Klobuchar vote for conviction, they are voting for removing their political opponent. As soon as the Republicans regain the House, they should apply the Democrats new standard and impeach all three for interfering with the 2020 election.

    • I don’t believe Senators are subject to impeachment. They are subject to removal when the election comes around, however. The people have a bad habit of placing idiots and fools in elected positions, and we just have to develop ways to find a work-around. I certainly don’t want the HoR deciding to remove a representative I voted in, but maybe one I opposed….?? But that slope requires, crampons and pitons.

    • Matthew, members of the House and Senate cannot be impeached. They only way they can be removed form office is either 1) be being beaten in an election, or 2) being expelled from their chambers by a vote of their peers. Although the rules on expulsion are slightly different in both chambers, it takes a vote of 2/3 of the members of that body to expel.

      • Since the House has sole power of impeachment, I would think the House can determine who can and cannot be impeached. Senator William Blount of Tennessee was impeached by the House in 1797 and the charges were eventually dismissed by the Senate as he had been expelled from the Senate before his trial. Impeachment followed by conviction in the Senate bars the individual from holding any federal office. I don’t think it ever would happen, but it would be interesting to see some former officials impeached solely to keep them from being nominated for high federal office (e.g., a former president becoming a Supreme Court Justice).

    • …and this is one of the utterly ridiculous aspects of this whole charade. Do House Democrats even think to that logical conclusion? Everything done by every President (and Presidential candidate) is carefully calculated for maximum political gain…to positively influence the outcome of the next election in his/her favor. Does all of it become “abuse of power”?

      Yet one more damning indictment among many…

  2. If I’m not mistaken, it was David McCullough’s “Truman” which exposed that Ike’s letter to General Marshall asking permission to divorce Mamie so he could marry Kay Summersby (his driver/lover) was removed from files by Truman himself before Ike took office.

    Who knows what incriminating documents have been seized by Presidents or their minions?

  3. “January 22 is a big day in ethics, good and bad. ”

    I’m not sure if you intended to write 22 or 23. If you did mean the 22nd, I wanted to point out it was also the day Roe v. Wade was decided. Another terrible and important day in our history.

  4. 4. I’ve been meaning to mention…a few days ago, on a whim, I decided to count the number of mixed race couples portrayed in TV commercials. It was almost 40%. That may have been a two-day anomaly, but this wildly misrepresents U.S. demographics, in which all mixed race marriages comprise slightly less than 10%. A U.S. society where love is racially blind would be a positive development, but I am uncomfortable with TV and Hollywood using their power to push public attitudes where they think it should go. It’s a form of stealth propaganda, and there’s a lot of it on all sorts of topics.

    Love being *blind* is not now and will never be a positive development. It should be seen as a questionable development and a problematic development. Instead of racial mixing being seen as a ‘good’ or as ‘neutral’, the argument could be made — a better, a stronger argument — that it is best to seek marriage within one’s racial group. There are many many reasons why this is good. But to develop that idea requires a wider conversation. Such a conversation is *illegal* in America today because of progressive ideologies, and the same is true in Europe.

    When forced mixing of races is sponsored by government, now that is a unique development. And when it becomes a goal of advertising, or as sponsored by corporations, then the forces that are sponsoring it can be critically examined, because then it is ‘social engineering’. Postwar ‘social engineering’ can be examined. E Michael Jones has done a good job at that. (read: Slaughter of Cities).

    And when it is critically examined very strange things come up around it, as part of it. If one can examine social engineering in this one instance, it can then be examined in many other areas. Such as the encouragement homosexuality and the ‘globo-homo culture’.

    There has been a great deal of conversation in dissident media about these questions. A great deal of it has been *scrubbed* from You Tube but a few instructive vids remain.

    There is also the issue of ‘anti-whiteness’ or idiotic and humiliating portrayal: another insidious element in cultural and social debasement in a ‘war against whiteness’:

    [ ]

    OK, I am crawling back in my hole now… just yell if you need me! 🙂

    • Corporations work to engineer society only insofar as they will profit from it. If research shows that 5 year old’s make most of the buying decisions in a household advertisements will feature giant purple dinosaurs.

      Most ads for consumers target the 18 – 34 year old demographic because this group relative to the next older segment has the least amount of accumulated stuff and is ripe for the pickin’s – so to speak. However, recently because of what I will call economic developmental retardation in that group that resulted from the extended malaise that began after the housing collapse, that part of this demographic group who have done better that the majority in that group economically will more than likely embrace the ideals of the woke social structure. Look at what is being pitched to them, high end luxury goods. The ads for fundamentals like homeowners insurance still reflect the traditional family structure of a same race mother and father with 2 kids that look like them.

      Advertisements are created to reflect the ideals and mores of the target segment. To the extent that they try to massage the ideals and mores of a given segment, they do so only when it makes their products more appealing to the consumer. Corona beer doesn’t try to get all different types of people together it suggests that drinking their beer will help you be included in a group with sexy women – a desire for affinity or affiliation is a huge motivator. It’s that simple

      • Nothing — I am concluding — nothing is ‘that simple’, and when you-plural use such terms I take it immediately to mean that there is more there, and more that needs to be discovered and looked at. It is more or less an alarm bell at this point!

        A society that is losing or has lost its so-called moral compass (I recognize this means different things to different people but it means a specific group of things to me) then that society becomes, with each passing month year and decade more malleable, more pliable. The way I look at things seems quite different than the way you look at things. In brief, my analysis is neo-Thomist. I am concerned about the mechanisms by which corruption enters our advanced, technologically-driven cultures.

        And identifying the cause of moral corruption — and stating it as a predicate — is a difficult and a fraught affair. Because a great deal depends on the one who makes the analysis. Their formation, their values.

        How some corporations begin to cater to the tastes and desires of people who have become ‘morally corrupt’, as I say, or who have lost their moral compass, as others say, is a worthwhile question to ask. Ah, but only for a person interested in the answer. That a *corporation* is an entity only concerned for getting money is definitely problematic when the question of corruption is examined leads one to surmise that a *corporation* cannot be ‘moral’. And that is certainly problematic for any natural person with some of their brain and heart still in place.

        How does their money-making desire and rhetorical sophistry get translated into PR and propaganda is a good question. It is an interesting mechanism. The same question could be asked of governments/corporations as they work together to *sell war* and other forms of destructive and nation-destroying (I mean self-destroying) projects to the people in that most holy of American senses.

        And the same general question can be asked when open sexual perversion and a general perversion become *social norms* and when they become *tools of social control*. N’est-ce pas?

        The larger questions have to be seen first. But they can only be seen at all by a mind so prepared to distinguish them as important.

          • I think that the larger issue has to be identified when one focuses on the smaller, limited issue. At times I have thought that Jack’s tendency to focus on one, singular ethics issue at a time is because he was trained as a lawyer, and lawyers (I gather) focus on the legality and illegality of tight, defined issues. The art of jurisprudence is applying judgment based on issues that have gone before. But there must always be a tight, controlled and rational focus on immediate issues and one cannot go beyond that.

            Often here, I see focus on small issues and the presentation of them for some decision of ethical jurisprudence. In my own case I tend to see or I am more interested in the larger problems. I could speak about ‘forced integration’ an the inevitable result of mixed marriage and mixed culture as an example. I am less interested in the smaller issue (the marriage, the relationship) and more interested in the meta-social and meta-political situation that has produced our present situation where not only is this mixing, in all its different ways, not resisted but it is posited as a *good*. Jack used the term ‘color-blind love’ and it is clear that he is asserting that this is a ‘good thing’. And seen at that small scale it might look and seem that way.

            But what interests me is how this view or acceptance results from ideological shifts, and those shifts are not necessary either ‘proven good’ nor are they necessarily thought-through. Let me introduce one example: We say that we are interested in and ‘believe in’ diversity. But this is an emotional and non-thought statement because, in fact, what we mean by ‘diversity’ and what results from it is exactly & precisely the destruction of what is diverse. Diversity implies there are two or more diverse and separated things and each one pursues its own line according to the rules of its being as sovereign.

            So, it is pretty easy to see when even a slight amount of ‘hard reason” is applied that the diversity thing is a scam, a sophistry, and a disturbingly deceptive use of rhetoric. If I then take that as a *solid idea* or as a *truth*, then the way that I will look at these ridiculous representations in commercials and on the TeeVee from a different angle. Instead of being ‘good’ I can see that in fact they are ‘bad’. And if I go further in my analysis I then have to turn my focus to those who concoct these representations. So, the initial problem then opens up into a far larger problem, and that ‘problem’ has to be named.

            Naming is problematic however because it involves critical judgment. So, I call it ‘social engineering’ but that is not enough. More analysis and description is required. Who is ‘socially engineering’? and for what purpose? My critical analysis — obviously! — extends to making statements about ‘corruption’ and ‘decadence’, and this then hinges into issues that pertain to ‘hyper-liberalism’ (my own term unless I am mistaken) and the kind of ideological manipulation that is formulated in PR offices and — worse — in propaganda offices. With these ideas, or these suspicions, I have to bolster them with other research, other views, and other facts.

            And with all this — if it is not obvious — I have a larger and more knotty ethical problem.

            Now, those who are seeing in the ways that I am seeing, we tend to be viewed with fear & suspicion. One reason for this is because we turn against the *liberal ideological constructs*. Often we are *illiberal* in certain, precise senses. But one reason for that suspicion is because no one has been able to hear our discourse. For example, here, now, I have shared my *discourse* on one small point and I assume that you do not immediately think that simply by thinking as I do, and seeing as I see, that I am ‘evil’ nor perhaps even ‘racist’. Comprehension leads to understanding, but understanding does not lead to condemnation. And that is one reason why *some people* find it expedient never to allow conversation that leads to understanding. Because high-pitched ‘condemnation’ is emotional and easier to focus and when one condemns one cannot understand.

  5. 4. Redheads. Yep….reheaded females in commercials. I am married to a ginger and they make up about 1-2% of the population. I have noticed the last few years an ever increasing number in commercials. I pointed this out to my spouse and she also noted the same.

  6. There is an Occam’s razor answer to point 4. There is a finite number of commercials which are repetitively aired. Given that each advertiser believes it necessary to be woke and present a family unit that is comprised of a mother alone, a mother and father family unit, or a gay family unit it stands to reason that the most efficient use of ad dollars is not to create many permutations of the same ad but simply to create a familial structure that embodies all the necessary elements of the three target demographic segments that will complain if not represented. These are:

    Interracial couples with or without mixed race children;
    Single mothers of any race with same or mixed race children;
    Gay couples same race or different races with or without children of any type.

    Given that most TV ads are developed by a handful of national media firms with each advertiser having perhaps only one or two different produced commercials, and that all want to avoid the angst of the chronic complainers it stands to reason that there will be a disproportionate number of commercials representing relatively small demographic segments. The simplest answer is the usually the most accurate one. Is it propaganda? Sure it is but it is not conspiratorial. It simply represents banality in most TV advertising.

    • But it’s really annoying, Chris. And bizarre. The combo I find most annoying is a white, straight mother or father with black or mixed race kids where there’s no other parent in evidence. Kids of color need white parents? Clearly the left demands commercials and television depict life as the left wants it to be to make aggrieved communities feel good about themselves and “represented” and “visible.” Even if the thing made visible is, in fact, an invisible fiction.

      • It’s kind of comical as well. What are these advertising people thinking when they’re making commercials where the viewer’s first reaction to a spot is, “Wait a minute, what’s going on? Are you pulling my leg?” The viewer loses sight of the product. They’re so desperate to appear “woke” that they lose the plot.

      • OB
        I find much of what “Madison Avenue” does is both obnoxious and incongruous. They see only one tree at a time in that vast forest of time wasting commercials. Commercials have utility when they serve to inform. None, of what I see today gives consumers any significant information relevant to decision making. It is all about products yelling “see me, see me” or trying to create allusions to false realities.

    • Chris writes:

      The simplest answer is the usually the most accurate one. Is it propaganda? Sure it is but it is not conspiratorial. It simply represents banality in most TV advertising.

      Curious word: banal:

      banal (bəˈnɑːl)
      lacking force or originality; trite; commonplace

      I think that what you are saying is that they do not receive an order from some politburo or other agency to deliberately create mixed-race or other perverse advertisements in order to normalize or stimulate the phenomenon or tendency in society?

      That is likely true, up to a point. But there is a whole range of influences and influencers, as they are termed, that work to create the conditions where such phenomena are presented or normalized and in that sense *sold*.

      I think people have a hard time *locating* in a precise sense these influencers so they use imprecise and general terms: Hollywood, ‘Cultural Marxism’ and other such generalizations.

      For example, I doubt that you will accept when I say that they proceed from Satan’s Anus, am I right? 🙂

    • Here is an interesting one. Can you imagine this being possible even 10 years or 20 years ago? So yes, selling a product to a ‘market audience’ but also doing a great deal more.

  7. Uncovering genuine corruption by any candidate for high office so voters are informed is not “cheating.”

    Just remember that Schiff’s side dowes not consider a questionabkle indictment as cheating.

    Schiff’s side in fact openly supported the use of criminal prosecution as a political tactic,. while excusing real crimes committed by people on their side.

    Here are some quotes from Maraxus.

    Still doesn’t matter. None of the people you mentioned are elected officials. We have legal ways of removing people from office. This was, in my view, not one of them. Perry’s window dressing justification isn’t really all that important.

    And as for The Hammer, that’s true. He did get his conviction overturned by the Texas Supreme Court, an elected body that consists almost entirely of conservative Republicans. They didn’t think DeLay actually did all that stuff, and Texas doesn’t really have much in the way of campaign finance laws anyway. It makes no matter, though. He was still a cancerous growth on Congress’ asscheek, begging for a public fall from grace. And when he got convicted the first time around, we as a nation are better off for it. Ronnie Earle did humanity a favor when he realized that DeLay broke campaign finance laws, and he did us an even greater one when he got DeLay convicted. Whether or not “justice” was actually served against him isn’t so important. The fact that he no longer holds office though? That’s very important.

    (emphasis mine)

    another howler from Maraxus

    Frankly, I don’t put much stock into the idea that people who serve as prosecuting public officials have to be moral exemplars. It is much less important, in my mind at least, that we have moral exemplars in office so long as the prosecutor’s office is efficient and effective and just. And so far, I’ve heard nothing to suggest that the PIU’s work, before or after the scandal, has been anything other than excellent.

    Of course! And the people on the Travis Commissioner’s Court would have tossed Lehmberg out on her ass a long time ago. They’re not doing it because there are, frankly, more important things at stake. In a state like Texas where the GOP has historically run roughshod over the Dems, they cannot afford to lose powerful positions like this. Considering the number of cases coming out of the PIU, including, incidentally, a Perry-allied ex-official who channeled millions of dollars to some of his big contributors, he Travis DA’s office has more influence than just about any Democrat in the state. If Perry didn’t have the right to appoint her replacement, and he almost assuredly would have appointed a fairly right-wing replacement, I’m sure the Travis County Dems would like to tell Lehmberg to take a short walk off a long pier. Unhappily, there are more important considerations at hand.

    We know they have no principles.

  8. #4 “A U.S. society where love is racially blind would be a positive development, but I am uncomfortable with TV and Hollywood using their power to push public attitudes where they think it should go. It’s a form of stealth propaganda, and there’s a lot of it on all sorts of topics.”

    My wife watches a lot of HGTV in the evenings because there’s nothing worth watching, seen the same old sitcom reruns way too many times now, and I have the opportunity to catch a bunch of what’s going on while I’m reading/commenting on the computer and I’ve noticed over the last couple of years that HGTV has been pushing non-heterosexual couples into many of their evening shows. The change has been kinda rapid and the balance as you said is way off of what’s actually normal in society; without counting I’d guess that over 50% of the couples in the evening shows are now non-heterosexual, there was even an obvious drag couple in one of the shows. I also find the number of gold-digger and sugar-daddy couples they show off in some of the shows. Personally I don’t really care that much because most of these shows are about home/remodeling styles, the obvious style and budget conflicts, and the surprise disasters behind the walls that are built into absolutely every one of the supposed off-the-cuff “scripts”. It’s like watching a Hallmark movie, you pretty much know from the start what the end is going to be like.

    • the obvious style and budget conflicts

      Speaking of distorting reality, how about the budgets on those shows?

      “I’m a part-time kindergarten teacher, and my husband organizes drum circles for squirrels. Our combined home/renovation budget is $1.2 million.”

    • Agreed. The cable game/reality-based shows have been heavy on the LGBTQ folks for years, especially cooking and design shows.

      I finally had to stop watching endless reruns of “Sell this House!” precisely because of the repetitiveness of painting a room, removing furniture and changing the lightbulbs magically making a house more marketable.

      Instead…I’ve been watching “Hogan’s Heroes” at night.

  9. I see the overrepresentation of interracial couples on TV as not materially different from all the other “aspirational” distortions of reality that are so common and longstanding we barely see them anymore. In TV-land, hardly anybody is fat, especially if they own any kind of exercise equipment. There are so few elderly people you seriously have to wonder if 95% of them die before age 70. Even the consumers of adult diapers and arthritis drugs look like they top out at 55. The average male IQ is about 60. Roads never have more than one car on them at a time. Kitchen implements that in the real world haven’t changed markedly in 1,000 years are practically unusable. So, all in all, is just another brick in the wall.

  10. 1. Be strong, Jack. Don’t do it! You will be responsible for countless head explosions … besides your own.

    4. But awfully hard to control. Who could say what company couldn’t use that sort of ad? Or say which company had to take theirs down? A biology professor once remarked to her class who had been wrangling about the origins of “black” and “white” for days: “someday, class, everyone on the planet will be the same color. What will they fight about then?” A ridiculous remark, genetically speaking, but effective.

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