Sunday Evening Ethics Nightcap: 5/3/2020: It Isn’t What It Is

Good NIGHT!

Yoo’s Rationalization, or “It isn’t what it is” seems to have become popular in recent weeks, and this collection reflects that hellish development.

1. Some things just aren’t true because you want them to be. In Great Britain, Freddy McConnell gave birth after transitioning (but obviously not completely, correct?), so he is fighting in the courts to be officially listed as his child’s father rather than his mother. His argument has been repeatedly rejected, most recently when he unsuccessfully appealed the court decision that he could be registered only as his son’s mother. He now wants to take his case to Britain’s Supreme Court.

What is it about people who think that the law can and should declare up to be down (because they prefer down) and why do they feel it is reasonable and ethical to take up time and resources to try to force the government  to endorse an eccentric  interpretation of reality? This reminds me of the argument that Bruce Jenner’s victories in the Olympics should be recorded as wins by his future female alter-ego. But women can’t compete in those events, can they? Similarly, the human being that gives birth to another human being is that individual’s mother, by definition. Like Abe Lincoln’s quip about how a dog doesn’t have five legs just because you call its tail a leg, McConnell can call himself anything he likes, and have his child call him what he likes. But he’s still kid’s mother.

Own it, dude, and stop wasting everyone’s time.

2.  Wait, what? The New York Times has a story headlined, “‘Murder Hornets’ in the U.S.: The Rush to Stop the Asian Giant Hornet/Sightings of the Asian giant hornet have prompted fears that the vicious insect could establish itself in the United States and devastate bee populations.

Explain, please, why it’s somehow racist to call the virus that came from the Wuhan Province in China “the Wuhan virus,” or the Chinese virus, but the same paper that has championed the cheap Trump-bashing  tactic of condemning the naming of a pandemic after its place of origin refers to a “vicious insect” from Asia the “Asian Giant Hornet’?

Then there is this head-exploder: In China, Wuhan has passed Beijing as the top domestic destination for Chinese tourists. It ranked only eighth before the pandemic.

The hashtag “武汉成为疫情后网民最想去旅游的城市,” roughly translated as “Wuhan is the top city netizens want to visit after the epidemic” has become viral on Chinese social media. Why? Apparently it’s because something momentous happened there. History!

So to sum up: Chinese people regard Wuhan as the origin of the pandemic, and that makes it more attractive to them as a tourist destination, but if Americans identify the same area with the pandemic here, they are racist.

3.  Double standards? What double standards? Some of those who irredeemably persecuted Brett Kavanaugh on the unsustainable pretense that Christine Blasey Ford’s allegations were decisive and beyond reproach are now furiously covering their tracks. One especially revolting example is Kirsten Powers, the CNN analyst. She recently deleted all of her tweets relating to the Kavanaugh hearings,  Fortunately, conservative bloggerJim Treacher saved them.

Good.

Over at the Federalist, editor Molly Hemingway provides a thorough indictment of the pure bias engaged in by the Washington Post in its coverage of Blasey Ford, and its opposite approach to  Tara Reade’s allegations. On its coverage of Blasey Ford, Hemingway writes,

As Kavanaugh’s nomination seemed inevitable, the desperate paper dramatically rolled out and sympathetically handled an unsubstantiated allegation against Kavanaugh from Christine Blasey Ford. Although she never had any evidence in support of her allegation — in fact she didn’t even have evidence she had ever met Kavanaugh, much less that he had tried to rape her — the Post’s legitimizing of the claim set off one of American journalism’s most devastating feeding frenzies. Millions of Americans watched in horror as nearly every media outlet joined the Post in the effort not just to keep Kavanaugh off of the Supreme Court but to destroy the life and reputation of the married father of two young girls.

While the Post’s Emma Brown had been working with Blasey Ford since early July to help her craft a sympathetic telling of her allegation, she gave Kavanaugh just a couple of hours’ notice one Sunday morning that she was about to accuse him of being an attempted rapist when he was in high school.

The several-thousand-word story could not have been more sympathetic to Blasey Ford. It accepted Blasey Ford’s claims at face value, allowing the story to be spun as if it were true even though Blasey Ford had no evidence in support of it. All of the many problems with the story, such as that it kept changing and lacked evidence, were papered over by Brown and her editors.

Nice.

On the Reade allegations, Hemingway writes,

Compare the approach the Post took for Tara Reade’s allegation against her former employer, Biden. Far from breaking the story, the Post was finally forced to cover the allegation against Biden after a 19-day blackout when The New York Times ended their own blackout by finally covering it on Easter Sunday…During the 19-day blackout, the Democratic nomination battle remained in full swing. Those who worry about collusion between the media and official Democratic leaders will not be comforted by the fact that The New York Times removed one of its only critical lines and tweets about Biden — the data point that many women have accused him of unwanted touching — at the request of the Biden campaign. The Post’s Alice Crites was given the duty of burying the Reade story by conveying the information in as dry a manner as possible — the complete opposite of the riveting, sympathetic approach taken by Brown and her editors against Kavanaugh. The downplaying was so extreme, some of it had to be corrected. From her first line to her last, Crites’s skepticism of Reade’s account is the main takeaway. Blasey Ford’s story changed significantly in the six or so years she told it, from saying it was a physical assault to saying it was a sexual assault, from not mentioning Kavanaugh at all to mentioning him explicitly, and from saying she was assaulted by a gang of four boys to saying that it was only four boys at the party but two in the room (she continued to give inconsistent accounts of how many people were at the party throughout 2018).

 

19 thoughts on “Sunday Evening Ethics Nightcap: 5/3/2020: It Isn’t What It Is

  1. 2. I’m going to guess the Chinese government is cooking the tourist books, or perhaps organizing its own junkets to Wuhan, to show the world that everything is A-OK there.

  2. What if… he’s the mother OF the child and the child’s father. Is that not more true.

    It’s like birth mother and adopted mother which most go with “mother” the one doing the mothering.

    So since in this case… since only a woman biologically can give birth it’s the child’s mother in coming into the world and will be raised and fathered by the man he wants to live as and who he identifies with and the societal role he wants to live in.

    That works for me and is accurate.

    What is so funny about all this is those who want to change gender argue but it’s just a societal construct so it doesn’t really matter if they’re a woman or a man or what traits those things have. yet, by the very definition of fighting to become one of these constructs they completely invalidate their whole argument for why they should become the thing that isn’t even real that society made up! it’s absolutely crazy.

    Exciting time to be alive!

  3. While we’re saying that women can be men, why can’t we just say that fathers can give birth? Why can’t we say that we already say that fathers give birth? Why can’t any word be any other at any time? Thlwipre hargichrop gulminario!

    I’m going to asphyxiate laughing at society before it gets to the inevitable business of collapsing at this rate. It’ll just be worse the longer we put it off. Give in. Chaos is easier than sustaining a web of lies this complex. Just fall down! We can name the act of lying on the ground in scattered pieces ‘standing proudly and intact’ if that’ll make it easier.

      • “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”

        “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”

        “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.’

        —“Though the Looking-glass”

  4. The attorney Lisa Bloom wrote that she believes Tara Reade, but she still supports Joe Biden. She says she believes that he sexually assaulted her. She fights for women’s rights, unless that fight would be against a Democrat.

    • If Biden is the nominee, I suspect there will be many who will agree with Bloom, not publicly necessarily, and who will vote for Biden anyway with the same rationalization. And, why not? On the other side, there are those who believe Trump assaulted women and will vote for him anyway.
      Jack wrote previously about the ethics Zugswang for the 2016 election. He was not alone in concluding neither candidate then deserved the vote. We seem to be headed in that same direction for 2020.
      Heaven help us if either Biden or Trump were to get a record number of votes.

  5. Monday morning schadenfreude from….New York magazine?!
    (Credibility check: some of folks in the comments section are accusing the author of being a Trump plant)

    Tara Reade Is Making It Harder to Hide Joe Biden

    Joe Biden’s most effective campaign strategy has been to lie low and let people vote for whatever imagined version of Joe Biden congealed inside their heads. On Friday, he went on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to discuss the Tara Reade allegations. It was not a good argument for changing this strategy…
    …We’re now at the point where corroborating testimony supporting Reade’s allegations meets or exceeds the threshold established by those made against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and President Trump. Many of their defenses are now being deployed to protect a man whose efforts to nullify the former’s power and depose the latter are being framed by his supporters, and even some of his skeptics, as America’s best alternative to catastrophe, moral and otherwise. Opportunism guides political behavior as much as cynicism and hypocrisy shape it. That’s about as involved an explanation as this reversal merits, I think. More striking is that Biden hasn’t had to do much of the defending himself. Mounting evidence supporting Reade’s claim makes things harder, but he’s largely staying true to the strategy that’s guided his campaign since early on, which holds that the winningest Biden is one to be imagined, not seen, heard, or even thought about too hard. His staff recognizes that the less its candidate speaks, the less opportunity his supporters have to neglect evidence that undermines their faith — in his competence, his election odds, and, increasingly, his innocence. If there’s one thing for which the Democrats have yet to punish Biden this cycle, it’s his silence in the face of lingering doubt. To change that now would be to change the very foundation of his campaign’s success.

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/joe-biden-stays-quiet-tara-reade.html

  6. “1. Some things just aren’t true because you want them to be. In Great Britain, Freddy McConnell gave birth after transitioning (but obviously not completely, correct?), so she is fighting in the courts to be officially listed as her child’s father rather than her mother. Her argument has been repeatedly rejected, most recently when she unsuccessfully appealed the court decision that she could be registered only as her son’s mother. She now wants to take her case to Britain’s Supreme Court.

    What is it about people who think that the law can and should declare up to be down (because they prefer down) and why do they feel it is reasonable and ethical to take up time and resources to try to force the government to endorse an eccentric interpretation of reality? This reminds me of the argument that Bruce Jenner’s victories in the Olympics should be recorded as wins by his future female alter-ego. But women can’t compete in those events, can they? Similarly, the human being that gives birth to another human being is that individual’s mother, by definition. Like Abe Lincoln’s quip about how a dog doesn’t have five legs just because you call its tail a leg, McConnell can call herself anything she likes, and have her child call her what she likes. But she’s still kid’s mother.

    Own it, ma’am, and stop wasting everyone’s time.”

    With all the pronouns fixed, it’s clearly the subject of this article who sounds mentally ill, not the society she wishes to bend to her will.

  7. 1. Through 99.9999% of nature, females give birth (there is one species of frog that can actually change sexes — a single anomaly); males provide the means. Just because a man has managed through surgery to be somehow both male and female doesn’t necessarily give him a choice of motherhood or fatherhood. If he still has a uterus, conceived and birthed a child, s/he’s a mother and I don’t really care what other sexual organs he’s managed to maintain. (Love the “Alice” quote, by the way…

    2. Biden. I know a Trump-deranged individual who agrees that he is likely a sexual predator, but “there’s no other Democrat” who might, possibly beat Trump. Where are all the sane, intelligent, capable Democrats? Have they all gone insane? I hope for a brokered convention, which will break up the party, and they’ll deserve it

  8. One more thing. Definitely, let’s NOT offend China by using the term “Wuhan.” After all, at least 50% of protective masks are being made in China, and we need them. Great for their economy, and of course China is a strong ally. (WHAT?) And what nutball really thinks Wuhan will ever be a tourist attraction for anyone who is not Chinese? Of course, any American actually going to Wuhan can’t use that term. How about Huwan as a PC substitute?

    Simultaneously, it seems perfectly all right right to offend all of Asia with headlines on “Asian Murder Hornets,” though we do have many good nation friends on that continent.

    And remember “killer African bees” who decimated our necessary pollen-carrying bees and had a significant negative impact on our farming? It was all right then as well to offend an entire continent.

    George Carlin said: “Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners.” (Thanks for the quote, Jack.) I think political correctness is just meaningless now: like Humpty Dumpty, it means whatever the speaker/writer wants it to mean.

  9. Pretty soon, birth certificates will have to be overhauled to demonstrate 5 different names:

    1) Egg Supplier / Donor
    2) Sperm Supplier / Donor
    3) Incubator / Surrogate
    4) Legal Guardian #1 (Priority, Traditional Mother)
    5) Legal Guardian #2 (Reserve, Optional, Traditional Father)

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