Well, It SHOULD still be “Good Morning!”, but it’s not…
1. The most unethical Presidential campaign in recent history. This profile of in Wisconsin, nicely illustrates the central ethics rot at the core of the Sanders campaign and his appeal. Michelz, we learn, is desperately in debt. He is therefor banking on Sanders to solve his problems by taking money from other people and giving it to him.
This is where the hyping of “income inequality” leads, and it is the basis of Sanders’ unethical message. It is inherently unfair that other people make more money than you do, so the government should use its power to “equalize” income and wealth. We learn in the course of the piece that in last week’s California primary, 47 % who said income inequality was their most important issue picked Mr. Sanders. 13% voted for Joe Biden.
How do individuals brought up in the United States, a nation built on the belief in personal liberty and the responsibility for choosing and making one’s own path in life, come to believe that there is an intrinsic right to a level of wealth and success, regardless of personal choices, industry, talent and character? We don’t need to ask how we came to have a Presidential contender whose strategy is to appeal to such people and exploit their unhappiness with their current state in life. That is a market-tested approach to acquiring power that has been effective around the world, with disastrous results.
2. Thank you, 1960s! From the res ipsa loquitur department: A new Pew Research Center study of 130 countries and territories shows that the U.S. has the world’s highest rate of children living in single-parent households. From the study:
“Almost a quarter of U.S. children under the age of 18 live with one parent and no other adults (23%), more than three times the share of children around the world who do so (7%)….In comparison, 3% of children in China, 4% of children in Nigeria and 5% of children in India live in single-parent households. In neighboring Canada, the share is 15%”.
This is what mockery and rejection of those nasty old “family values” leads to for a culture, as well as an entire generation’s embrace of Rationalizations #1, The Golden Rationalization, or “Everybody does it,” #1A. Ethics Surrender, or “We can’t stop it,” #4,Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical,”#23 A, Woody’s Excuse: “The heart wants what the heart wants,” #30,The Prospective Repeal: “It’s a bad law/stupid rule,” and #52,The Hippie’s License, or “If it feels good, do it!” (“It’s natural”).
3. News aggregator ethics: Have you noticed how often your Facebook friends post, with great anger and indignation, links to stories that turn out to be years out of date? I’ve been caught a few times doing that on Ethics Alarms. The reason it occurs is that online news aggregators like The Daily Beast, The Daily Caller and The Blaze pad their sites with old stories, presenting them exactly as they present current stories. Here’s one that was up at Glenn Beck’s The Blaze yesterday. It’s almost two-and-a half years old. This is the ethical equivalent of a web hoax.
4. Back to life competence: Let me get this straight: your brakes fail on your truck, and the best alternative for stopping it is to crash into one of Easter Island’s iconic stone heads? Where was, say, the Rosetta Stone when this guy needed it?
Camilo Rapu, President of the Ma’u Henua community which protects the heads, locally known as moai, suspects that the crash may have been deliberate. “As people know, the moai are sacred structures that possess a religious value for the people of Rapa Nui,” he said. “Something like this isn’t just dreadful, it’s an offense against a living culture that has spent the last few years fighting to regain its historic and archaeological heritage.”
In retrospect, he says, allowing people to drive vehicles near the sculptures appears to have been a mistake.
5. No, I’m not going to defend Bill Maher. Maher, who has always been a pig and not bashful about showing it, decided to stand up for Chris Matthews, who was recently forced out of his job at MSNBC because of a late-hit allegation of borderline sexual harassment. (But we know why he was really fired, don’t we?) As is the obnoxious comic’s wont, his approach was repulsive. He began,
“MSNBC used to run this thing: this is who we are. Well, I didn’t like who you were this week, and I don’t think a lot of people who work there liked this ether, and I think this ‘cancel culture’ is a cancer on progressivism.’ Liberals always have to fight a two-front war. Republicans only have to fight the Democrats; Democrats have to fight the Republicans, and each other.”
So far, so good. This was indeed “cancel culture” at work, and Democrats and progressives are juggling ridiculous double standards right now, trying to prop up serial harasser Joe Biden as the Great White Hope to unseat President Trump, and yet using an old episode of Matthews flirting with a female guest to punish him for comparing Bernie Sanders to Communists and Nazis. But Bill had to keep flapping those lips:
“[So Matthews] said some things that are kind of creepy to women. You know, I just, guys are married for a million years, they want to flirt for two seconds. He said to somebody, Laura Bassett, four years ago, she’s in makeup, he said, ‘Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?’ Yes, it is creepy. She said, ‘I was afraid to name him at the time out of fear of retaliation. I’m not afraid anymore.’ Thank you, Rosa Parks. I mean, Jesus fucking Christ! I guess my question is: Do you wonder how Democrats lose?”
This is hardly news, but Maher just doesn’t get sexual harassment law. It’s simple: the workplace isn’t a dating bar, and women (or men) should not feel that being ogled, targeted for amorous overtures, or treated like pieces of alluring meat should be a part of their professional experiences. Yes, as long as some women (and men) take advantage of hormonal-based favoritism in the workplace and cultivate it makes legal penalties especially blunt, hard to prove and often excessive. That does not excuse the men who act like Matthews did on the occasion in question,and, apparently, others.
My problems with Bassett’s complaint are 1) she should have confronted Matthews at the time 2) I doubt that his silly comments were really unwelcome until it became useful to her to call them unwelcome and 3) her timing is suspicious. Maher’s claim that married men (Bill is also anti-marriage, being a child of the Sixties) are due some kind of sexual harassment license (this was also part of his defense of Bill Clinton) is so ethically obtuse that it makes my head hurt. Why should every woman withing range have to suffer because a married man feels frisky?
And why does a pig Bill Maher still have a job while Chris Matthews doesn’t?