Afternoon Ethics Alarms, 6/26/2020: Ethics Zoom!

This, as some of you might recall, is the logo for the old PBS kids series, the lively cast members of which are now middle-aged and arthritic. I don’t like to think about it…

I just did a dry run of an upcoming Zoom CLE conference, and other than the fact that I look like hell, I was impressed. If there’s any enthusiasm among readers, I am think hard about holding weekly ethics symposium using the technology. I can accommodate up to a hundred participants, and the time is unlimited (though their patience surely will be.) Let me know if you’re interested!

1. I’m used to cynical, but…The Democrats voting to not even debate the GOP Senate police reform bill was so openly partisan. The party didn’t went to pass anything that would give Republicans credit for addressing the police issue, and they are counting on Pelosi’s House Bill to be rejected by the Senate so they can have another election issue to energize their base. Mark Thiessen writes,

“What Democrats should be apologizing for was their shameful vote on the Senate floor Wednesday to kill Scott’s legislation — and with it any chance of passing police reform this year. Democrats knew exactly what they were doing. As Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), one of three members of the Democratic caucus who voted to advance the Scott bill, explained, “voting against it will end the discussion of this subject in the Senate for the foreseeable future, and leave us with nothing to show for all the energy and passion that has brought this issue to the forefront of public consciousness.””

To be fair, this is “do something” legislation that will not significantly reduce incidents of police misconduct toward blacks or whites. Situations like the Atlanta shooting, mysterious shootings like the traffic shot death of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer, who was white, and falsely reported shootings (“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”) will still occur, because of the nature of police work—unless police simply stop policing out of fear. I suspect that’s what will happen, and many more Americans will die under those conditions.

To date, ten unarmed black men have been killed by police this year.

2. Some call them the “1619”riots. This is the woman the New York Times allowed to lead its inflammatory and false slavery project:

On November 21, 1995, Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote a letter to the editor of the Notre Dame University student newspaper, The Observer,to condemn a November 9, 1995 op-ed. She wrote in part,

“What responsible editor would print an article that applauds and dignifies the white race’s rape, plunder, and genocide of a whole race of people? I find it hard to believe that any member of the white race can have the audacity and hypocrisy to call any other culture savage. The white race is the biggest murderer, rapist, pillager, and thief of the modern world. Europeans have colonized and destroyed the indigenous populations of every continent of this planet. They have committed genocide against cultures that have never offended them in their greed and insatiable desire to control and dominate every non-white culture. Christopher Columbus and those like him were no different [than] Hitler. The crimes they committed were unnecessarily cruel and can only be described as acts of the devil…Africans had been to the Americas long before Columbus or any Europeans….It was not enough for whites to come to the Americas and learn, they looked upon the native people as inferior and a people to be annihilated. Their lasting monument was the destruction and enslavement of two races of people. Using Christianity as their excuse, the white race denied the native people their humanity.”

Bias? Racism? “Hate speech?” People are being fired, “canceled” and shunned in every segment of society for far less bigoted comments that are also older….but those victims of the new “Terror” are all white. The position at Ethics Alarms is that ancient excesses of rhetoric, including offensive jokes, should not be used to discredit anyone, but also that the leaders of the cancel culture should be held to their own rules.

3. He’s not wrong, just inarticulate. President Trump was recently roasted for suggesting that the election was being “rigged.” That’s not quite the word, but the democrats, as they have been since the election, are clearly committed to avoid the vagaries of the American campaign and election system. Joe Biden has been hidden away, only emerging in highly controlled circumstances (Joe can still read a teleprompter) to minimize voter scrutiny; the Democratic convention will be minimized to the point of insignificance, and now, as many predicted, the idea is being floated by Biden mouthpieces that we really don’t need any debates.

Everything will come down to how lazy, gullible, submissive  and apathetic the public is. that’s no way to run a democracy, but if it works, Democrats are apparently all for it. And if it works, the public doesn’t deserve a democracy, and  will have answered Ben Franklin’s ominous answer when asked by a group of citizens what sort of government the delegates had created as Ben exited the Constitutional Convention. He replied,  “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We’ll find out if we can.

4.  Today’s ridiculous “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias” note. God, Chris Cuomo is an embarrassment, but apparently not to CNN. This week he shamelessly praised his brother, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), during an interview. One publication called it “a close approximation of a campaign endorsement,” which was unfair. It was a campaign endorsement:

“You stepped up in an unusual way that really was created by a vacuum of power on the federal level, But these unusual times have demonstrated some unusual characteristics in people,.And of course I won’t always be able to keep having you on the show. It will never be seen as fair in people’s eyes, and we both get that, that’s OK, you have plenty of people to talk to. I hope you are able to appreciate what you did in your state and what it means for the rest of the country now and what it will always mean to those who love and care about you the most. I’m wowed by what you did, and more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it. This was very hard. I know it’s not over. But obviously I love you as a brother, obviously I’ll never be objective, obviously I think you’re the best politician in the country. But I hope you feel good about what you did for your people because I know they appreciate it. Nothing’s perfect, you’ll have your critics. But I’ve never seen anything like what you did and that’s why I’m so happy to have had you on the show. And I hope you know that.”

This goes far beyond  conflict of interest to sycophancy and propaganda.

New York had the most cases and most deaths of any state, and Cuomo’s decision to dump invested seniors in nursing homes comes close to mass negligent homicide.

5. Which George Kirby, I wonder? Nancy Pelosi inadvertently referred to George Floyd as “George Kirby.” I wonder which George Kirby she was thinking of? There is this one, the black comedian- impressionist who had his own TV show  In the 70s and was a regular on the all-impressionists show, “The Kopykats” with Rich Little and others. then he turned into a drug dealer and went to prison for selling heroin to an undercover cop. Mass-incarceration!

Or did she mean the ghostly George Kirby, half of the spectral couple that haunted Cosmo Topper in several Thirties films and a successful TV series? That one, the white guy, was memorably played by Cary Grant, and on the TV series by Robert Sterling.

23 thoughts on “Afternoon Ethics Alarms, 6/26/2020: Ethics Zoom!

  1. 2. Why should she be cancelled for reciting progressive dogma?

    4. That’s Authentic Frontier Gibberish. Do you suppose Andrew has incriminating photos or VHS tapes of Chris from their earlier days?

  2. “Using Christianity as their excuse, the white race denied the native people their humanity.”

    Lady, when the Spanish got here the Aztecs were cutting the hearts out of a thousand living people in a day just to ensure the sun would continue to rise. I’m real sorry we put an end to that. Likewise sorry we went around dragging people kicking and screaming into the modern world. So if it’s just too much for you go back to Africa, throw away your shoes, avoid any concrete or railroads the White Devil colonial powers put there and if you find any copper wire about maybe you can make a pretty necklace with it. Because you sure won’t be transmitting electricity along it. That’s the evil White man’s magic!

    Oh, you didn’t excerpt the bit where Africans sailed to the New World and built pyramids with their new friends. Funny how they had no sailing ships when we met.

  3. Count me in. As far as Nikole Hannah-Jones, besides being historically ignorant she sounds like Hitler ranting about the Jews in one of his speeches. Maybe she should write a book called “Five Hundred Years of Lies, Racism, and Genocide”

  4. 2. It is tempting to go after Hannah Jones for that ignorant, hate-filled rant. Turnabout is fair play, right? But, she was a college freshman at the time, about 19 years old. If she joined the mob attacking Kavanaugh, a case could be made. I haven’t seen that, so it’s not really turnabout. But even if she did, I’d let it go, and focus on her current ignorance (or duplicity) and hate, perhaps only noting in passing that despite the years since then, her reasoning and understanding of history have not advanced.

      • Then it’s those allies we go after. Hannah Jones then could be one of a few examples of their double standard, and that would be both satisfying and instructive. Alleging guilt by association necessitates some caution, even when opposing voices don’t exercise it.

  5. To be fair, this is “do something” legislation that will not significantly reduce incidents of police misconduct toward blacks or whites. Situations like the Atlanta shooting, mysterious shootings like the traffic shot death of 25-year-old Hannah Fizer, who was white, and falsely reported shootings (“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”) will still occur, because of the nature of police work—unless police simply stop policing out of fear. I suspect that’s what will happen, and many more Americans will die under those conditions.

    It is part of our constitutional structure.

    Congress can not directly commandeer the states. At most, they can provide remedies for civil rights violations by state actors.

    I doubt that Congress can ban chokeholds per se, although they may be able to punish chokeholds in connection with civil rights violations more harshly than other forms of civil rights violations.

    Joe Biden has been hidden away, only emerging in highly controlled circumstances (Joe can still read a teleprompter) to minimize voter scrutiny; the Democratic convention will be minimized to the point of insignificance, and now, as many predicted, the idea is being floated by Biden mouthpieces that we really don’t need any debates.

    When has hidiong away worked?

    Neither Clinton, nor Reagan, nor Carter ever hid away?

    I mean, Biden is supposed to be the candidate who can bring the racially conservative Democrats, as described by Matthew Yglesias, back home, away from that nasty Pied Piper who led them astray. How is he supposed to do that by hiding in the basement?

    If he can’t face the Pied Piper, how can he bring them home?

    • Note how the media is harping on mask wearing being a political statement (without sharing the quote or context), then Biden emerges from hiding, wearing a mask on TV while 20 from feet all other people, to make a political statement.

  6. 4. Chris, you keep using that word, ‘wow’. I don’t think it means what you think it means.
    “I’m wowed by what you did and, more importantly, I’m wowed by how you did it.” —CNN’s Chris Cuomo to his brother, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.
    NY State population: 19.44 million. COVID-19 deaths: 31,066.
    FL State population: 21.48 million COVID-19 deaths: 3,327.
    Wow!

  7. I would love to take part in an E-Symposium.
    I’ll even volunteer to assist with the technical/IT part of it if it helps.

    –Dwayne

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