Not depressed or crazy yet!
This translated (by Mort Shuman) Jacques Brel song made my mother depressed and crazy, yet she insisted on playing it. She was like that. You know…Greek. I’m really glad that she didn’t live to see this particular ordeal through, because I would have made my folks live with us for the duration, and I would definitely be crazy by now.
I did not know John Denver recorded this; as with everything else he sung, he does a masterful job. He fought depression his whole life, which astounded me, given his public demeanor, when I first learned that. That was before I learned how common and pervasive this terrible illness is. They are not being hyperbolic when they say that a protected lockdown will eventually cause a lot of suicides.
1. One more from “Social Q’s. In the same column that triggered me regarding this issue, there was another interesting query :
Like millions, I am working from home and spending lots of time videoconferencing with co-workers and clients. My boss conferences in from his home office, where, behind his smiling face, hangs a painting of a cyclone tearing through a city. He may be so used to it that he’s oblivious to the bad message it sends. He’s not a friend, but we have a cordial relationship. Should I point out that the painting may upset people?
I am less interested in this question for its ethical issue, which is not worth discussing–“No, you idiot, you do NOT have any business telling someone forced to participate in a video conference that he has an obligation to decorate his home to please other participants and to avoid “upsetting” the hypersensitive!”—than I am curious about how anyone would get the idea that such an obligation exists. It’s not as if he has a swastika or a Confederate flag hanging behind him, or erotic art, or a historical photograph that could fairly be called unduly provocative.
I find this to be a nascent totalitarian mindset, requiring conformity in all things, and it scares me to death, frankly.
2. The indoctrination problem. I just got the latest copy of the Georgetown University Law Center alumni magazine, and was impressed by how large, slick and professional it has become in the decades since I put together the first issue when I was the GULC Director of Development under Dean David McCarthy. Oh, they changed the name a few years ago: the Dean and I had called it “Res Ipsa Loquitur,” which should come as no surprise to any regular readers here. The real revelation, however, is what a pure progressive and partisan indoctrination factory the school has become. Justice Ginsburg welcomed the incoming class. Nancy Pelosi and Henry Louis Gates ( of Beer Summit fame) addressed the graduating third year students. New York Solicitor General Barbara Underwood successfully sued the Trump Foundation, so she was worthy of an honorary degree.
The featured interview in the issue: Justice Elena Kagan. A new Workers Rights Institute has been launched. Invited to serve on a panel about “Challenges to the Rule of Law,” was George Conway. The school just dedicated its “green spaces” to Democratic D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. There is a major article about our obligation to guarantee the health of “migrants,” the current cover-word of choice meaning “Illegal immigrants.” Of course, there’s a climate change activist piece, an anti-nationalism piece, and a pro-diversity piece.
Law students aren’t kids; they come to law school with relatively well developed perspectives and values. Their brains aren’t easily washed. Nonetheless, most have already experienced progressive indoctrination, so for those students, this kind of one-sided perspective just acts to lock it all in. It should not be necessary to argue this: law school is supposed to teach quality reasoning and dispassionate advocacy. Concentrating on only one side of the political spectrum is a distortion, a disservice to the students, and a betrayal of the law schools’ duty to the law, justice, and society.
3. Oh, great. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told an interviewer yesterday, “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this is happening at this time. During this week we celebrate the ultimate sacrifice that was made for us. God sent His only son to die for us, and it was sad, initially, but then we saw salvation at the end of it.”
People, public figures and professionals who exploit a natural catastrophe like this to bolster theology are engaging in a conflict of interest, and allowing their biases to influence their judgment. It is inexcusable for a Surgeon General to engage in this. It ‘s bad enough when the Pope does it.
4. Segue time! And speaking of the Surgeon General: Dr. Adams stepped on political correctness landmines when he pleaded with the African-American community and other communities of color to follow the pandemic guidelines yesterday,
asking blacks to do it “for your abuela….for your granddaddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your poppop’.” He was quickly accused of pandering and condescending to the black community (of which he is a member) and told that his advice to stop drinking and smoking while carrying an antidote for opioid overdoses during the pandemic was “offensive.”
Better, after all, to just accept the disproportionate death rate of African Americans from the Wuhan virus than to recommend steps to mitigate it. “There is nothing inherently wrong with you, ” the Surgeon General said, addressing African Americans, but he said “social ills” may cause the death rate among them.
The Surgeon General defended using terms for parents, saying, “I used the language that is used in my family.” he should take a page from his boss’s playbook, and refuse to address the criticism, or defy it, saying, “If you’d rather complain about words than stay healthy, fine. It’s your choice.” (Pointer: Other Bill)
5. To post or not to post? Satire isn’t ethics, but this is commentary on the 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck, and it’s my blog, so to hell with it. From the Babylon Bee:
6. Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! I was going to skip this one, a pure conservative media story that your Facebook Borg friends will deny and deride (the former Ethics Alarms commenter I addressed here always adamantly denied that the news media was anything but even-handed and fair), but the report that Willem Reese sent along changed my mind.
Last week, a number of media outlets accurately reported that Senate Democrats had blocked a Republican proposal to offer further assistance to small businesses during the shutdown. A typical headline was this one, on the Times site:
As State Pleas Mount, Trump Outlines Some Federal Action; Senate Democrats Block Stimulus Package
It took less than an hour, but the word went out from Axis of Unethical Conduct headquarters (that’s the Democrats/”resistance”/ mainstream media alliance) that the proper way to describe the situation was a “stalemate.” Then it’s the fault of both Republicans and Democrats. The Times shifted to the stalemate line. CNN originally headlined “Democrats block GOP-led funding boost for small business aid program” at 10:36 a.m. Thursday. By 11:15 am, the headline was “Senate at stalemate over more COVID-19 aid after Republicans and Democrats block competing proposals.”
Politico headlined the story, “Senate Dems to block new coronavirus relief in bid for more money.” That headline was duly changed to read “Senate fails to approve new coronavirus relief after partisan stalemate.” Someone at the AUC must have realized that people like me would notice the suspiciously similar cover word, so now it reads, “Senate brawl derails fast push for new coronavirus relief.”
That should fool ’em!
Some of the mainstream media sources used their thesauruses. NBC News’ original headline read “Senate Democrats block GOP bid for $250 billion in small business funds amid impasse over coronavirus aid.” The same NBC News report now says “Senate hits impasse over $250 billion in coronavirus small-business funds.”
Impasse! That’s a good one! Now how about “stand-off”? Bloomberg originally headlined its story “Democrats Block McConnell Push to Boost Small Business Aid.” That was changed to “GOP, Democrats in Standoff Over Boosting Same-Business Aid.”
Those who deny that these news organizations aren’t deliberately trying to manipulate public opinion and the political process are insulting us, and enabling the corruption of our democracy.