Ethics Cool Down, 8/27/2020, From A Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Day…

(I told you there would be more)

1. Kudos to luckyesteeyoreman, the venerable EA commenter who exactly predicted what Joe Biden’s ventriloquists would have him say about the riots, aka “the angry genie the progressives will never get back in the bottle”: The violence is “Donald Trump’s America.”  Lucky bested me: I never thought even the Democrats could be that incompetent. By claiming that the riots are the President’s fault, he sends exactly the opposite message from the one he needs to send,which is that the riots are not being blamed on Trump, but on the Democrats. Biden’s argument, “he made me riot” is one that the campus Left has been justly mocked for, and nobody but cowering college administrators and indoctrinated students regard it as anything but risible.

2. Speaking of things the Democrats and media are having no luck blaming on Donald Trump, Issues and Insights published five charts that nicely debunk the “The pandemic in the US is worse than anywhere!” talking point.  These are the best:

Of course, nobody in their right mind or who isn’t a Times reporter or  works for CNN believes the figures from China, Iran, or Russia.

Then there is this.

3. ‘Oh! Is a black person making such a ridiculous argument? Then we agree completely!’ But seriously, folks, I don’t understand how anyone can let someone get away with this. The Whitney Museum of American Art  canceled an announced exhibition after “artists of color” objected to the museum obtaining their work charity sales “largely meant to benefit racial justice charities.” The artists accused the museum of “trying to capitalize on their work without properly compensating them.”

What? The artists placed their works on sale for a price. The museum paid the price asked. That is “proper compensation.” I know you all are Marxists, but jeez, read a book.

The exhibition was to be called “Collective Actions: Artist Interventions in a Time of Change,” and would  feature work by artists who participated in projects responding to the Wuhan virus  pandemic and Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

About 80  artists received emails saying that their work would be included in the exhibition, which was scheduled to open on September 17. When one artist learned in the email that the museum had obtained an untitled print that she had made available to See in Black, a coalition of Black photographers that sold artists’ work at the reduced rate of $100 per print (Usually she sells her print for much more) to benefit Black communities, she was outraged.He  intention behind donating her work was to put art in the hands of people who weren’t typically able to afford it, but The Whitney, she reasoned, was able to afford it. The artist wrote back, “Not that you even deigned to ask me, but NO you cannot exhibit my work without my permission.”

Yes, you idiot, it certainly can, just as I can drive my used car without getting permission from the previous owner. You sold the work. It’s not yours any more. As a non-profit operated by donated funds, a museum is obligated to spend as little of its money as possible. If an item is put up for sale at a discount, anyone can purchase it, and there is no “exploitation” involved.

The Whitney, by giving any credence to this crazy complaint, is engaging in Affirmative Action of Bad Ideas.

4. This isn’t even subtle. Here’s an example of how the New York Times pushes Big Lies. Jennifer Szalai’s book review today begins,

The impulsiveness and grandiosity, the bullying and vulgarity, were obvious from the beginning; if anything, they accounted for Donald Trump’s anti-establishment appeal. For the nation’s  unpopular conservative elites, his energy and theatrics made him an enticing partner when he became President… But anyone who thought — that he would rise to the occasion or be hemmed in by it, becoming a dignified statesman who sought compromise — was summarily purged from the system that conservatives assumed they controlled. An utter impossibility had become the indomitable reality.

I’m sorry—that’s not quite accurate. Where I wrote “Donald Trump,” the actual paragraph reads “Hitler.” Where I wrote “the nation” it reads Germany, and instead of President, Szalai wrote “Chancellor.” The review is titled in my print edition, “The Lethal Final Years of a Liar, A Tyrant, and Braggart.” (The online version plays it straight, calling the review, “In the Second Volume of ‘Hitler,’ How a Dictator Invited His Own Downfall.”)

5. I hearby pledge and swear...If I am ever in a D.C. restaurant, and a mob of Black Lives Matter assholes burst in shouting “”silence is violence,”demanding that I and everyone else raise their hands to indicate solidarity with the goals of BLM, I will NOT raise my hand. I will stand up and loudly tell everyone in the room that they must not comply with such bullying, and if the owner of the establishment does not do everything possible to protect me and other diners, I will empty my savings to make sure the restaurant suffers for it. I will not kneel before dictators and tyrants, which is what these thugs aspire to be, and shame on any fellow citizens who will.

Those who have been meekly complying with these totalitarians are a disgrace to the nation. The proper response to bullies is to tell them to go to Hell, and have the guts to face them down.  Writes Robby Soave at Reason,

“This is the Evergreen College model of social justice deployed off-campus. Readers may recall the infamous 2017 episode involving a progressive professor who was forced to leave campus after drawing the ire of activist students. These students then essentially physically cornered the president of the college and refused to let him leave a meeting until he accepted their demands. In 2020, these theatrics are by no means confined to a college campus: Last night, activists walked the streets trying to bully people into submission. It’s a poorly considered tactic almost perfectly calibrated to breed resentment toward the very cause it purports to serve: racial justice.”

How does forcing someone to say they support you serve any cause, other than acquiring power? I won’t repeat the whole spiel again, but such protests advance no legitimate causes at all. In my view, the current bullying tactic by the presently virtue-anointed mobs of violent assholes continues a spectrum begun in 2016 by the cast of Hamilton, when it ambushed Mike Pence. Fairness and civility mean nothing to such self-righteous individuals, and those who actively or passively support them and their tactics should, and I think will, pay a high price.

The usually respectable Soave grovels a bit in his critical article, calling Jacob Blake’s shooting the “horrific and unjust police shooting of a black man.” I’ll give him a pass on “horrific,” but it is irresponsible and unethical to call the shooting “unjust.” Blake was resisting arrest and trying to flee The officers had already tazed him. If he reached into the car in what appeared to be an effort to grab something, the police had reason to shoot. It doesn’t matter whether there was a gun or not: that’s pure moral luck. The police deserve the presumption of a righteous shoot.

30 thoughts on “Ethics Cool Down, 8/27/2020, From A Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Day…

  1. On number 4, I wonder if there are laws like there are for music and movies preventing you from playing the music or movie public without a license, not just buying the media?

    • Read the whole thread.

      Multiple things are true-

      1) Don’t attack another person…let alone a kid…let alone a kid with a firearm…don’t attack another person.
      2) Don’t be tied up in a riot…especially if you are a kid.
      3) Don’t riot.

      Many things are being asserted that are grossly unsubstantiated-
      1) This kid is a white supremacist.
      2) This kid is a domestic terrorist
      3) The crowd was *merely* “affirming” the dignity of the black community

    • If you just read the charging document, it gives the self defense right from the prosecutor.
      The videos are very clear on the subsequent shootings, it is the first one that was in question. The charging document states that Rittenhouse shot when the rioter who was chasing him and cornered him had grabbed at the barrel and was trying to take the rifle from him.

  2. A few comments, and a request.

    “I will not comply!” Yikes, you were reading our minds ever since we heard about the demands made by BLM types of innocent folks just enjoying a meal out. We were horrified by the number of restaurant patrons who DID comply with such totalitarian acts.

    Hubby, Glenn, teaches values to sixth graders in three local synagogues; substitute-teaches history, public speaking, etc. to middle schoolers at three local private schools; and coaches students for the “We the People – The Citizen and the Constitution” competition yearly…. He’s encouraged by the middle-school students he works with because when challenged to think independently, they tend to rise to the occasion…unlike the sheep we often see kowtowing to the newly woke.

    Anyway, we just celebrated our 50th anniversary and decided a perfect treat would be to have a chat with you.

    While we don’t comment much, we have been long time followers of Ethics Alarms and find it one of the more refreshing written examinations of current events. Not to mention how much we loved productions at American Century Theater – *Moby Dick Rehearsed* being one of our all-time favorites.

    We’ve lived in the same wee brick Cape Cod in Alexandria for more than four decades and have a simple but welcoming deck, perfect for sharing lunch/dinner and some good conversation. Would love to have you join us at your convenience.

  3. RE #1: “The violence is “Donald Trump’s America.” Lucky bested me: I never thought even the Democrats could be that incompetent.

    Shameless, deceitful, sleazy and dishonest? Yes. Incompetent? Sadly, no. Memes to this effect have been showing up on my Facebook feed, courtesy of some of my less-thoughtful progressive acquaintances, for some time now.

    The silly buggers actually believe it, I’m concerned to say.

      • Oh, they’re deranged, all right. But there’s a lot of ’em. And the DNC knows that there’s a lot of ’em, and they’ll fall for it. Cynical, disgraceful, and appalling? Yes. Deeply unethical? Of course. But not incompetent. Competence can be independent of ethics, unfortunately – at least, if one measures strictly by choosing a goal and how effective they are at achieving it. I hope this tactic fails. But it’s not without traction.

        • Who cares if they fall for it? They’re already deranged. Who among the underanged are going to say, “Oh! Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Two black men not the victim of racial profiling and resisting arrest in a Democratic run city in a Democratic run state, end up dead or injured by cops regarding whom, thus far, there is no evidence showing they were motivated by racial animus, and a anti-white anti-cop group that was formed in response to shootings during the Obama administration begins nationwide riots in response! So it’s Trump’s fault!” Right. I don’t believe it flies.

          • It won’t fly in the heartland, certainly. But it’s soaring on the wings of eagles on the coasts and prog bastions in the upper Midwest and mountain states.

            I’m not saying its a lock on a winning strategy, but it’s solid red meat (or tofu) for the prog base.

            • But the prog base was going to vote for a lawn chair against Trump three years ago. If that’s the audience this will work with, what good is it? The sane see Leftists rioting. “You made me do it” has been a standard Left wing excuse since I was a child, and it never resonated with anyone but fanatics.

              • I submit that there are a lot more fanatics these days; look at the steady leftward drift of the Democratic party. They’ve moved the window on what’s considered mainstream. A generation ago – heck even ten years ago – D-controlled cities would ultimately tamp down riots within a week or so. The worst of the Michael Brown aftermath was over in about a week; though there were periodic flareups for months, it wasn’t continuous like what we’re seeing here.

                Look at how professional sports is reacting – basketball, baseball, even hockey (Stanley Cup play didn’t happen last night). As a standalone, this “This is Trump’s America” meme isn’t a kill shot. But as part of a larger “Orange Man Bad” narrative, it serves to keep anger on the front burner and drive the ignorant to the polls.

                The only question is whether it’ll drive ENOUGH to the polls to overcome the growing distaste in the heartland. Clearly, the DNC strategists – and whoever’s pulling Biden’s strings – believe that it either is, or that it’s their best shot.

                • AIM, I don’t think they have any shots. They fired them all, and they were duds. This is a recycled shot. Stupid is stupid. If I line all the factors together, all are more positive for Trump now than in 2016. I still think, absent some massive gaffe or scandal, which is always a possibility, the question is whether Trump wins in the EC again–which is a worst case scenario—or by a 1972/1984 level landslide.

                • Today:

                  “In a trend that began in July, the once-slumping odds that President Trump will win reelection have risen from 36% to an average of 50-50, with some gambling sites giving him a better than even chance of winning.

                  Oddschecker’s Pete Watt said Friday that Trump’s odds haven’t been this positive since May 28, 92 days ago, and come on the morning after the president accepted the Republican Party’s nomination to run for a second term.

                  Trump never had 50-50 odds in all of 2016, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t get better for him from here.

  4. The “riots are Trump’s fault because this is Trump’s America” message appeared all at once, suddenly, spread by everyone from random paid meme-artists to Joe Biden’s own Twitter account. It’s literally a coordinated effort.

    And it began EXACTLY after Don Lemon publicly complained that internal polling (the private polling done secretly by Democrats) showed that the riots were hurting Democrats (his team.)

    So which is it?

    a) Joe Biden doesn’t know what federalism is anymore, because he’s losing his mind and forgets things that he learned in 5th grade social studies class,
    b) Joe Biden’s intern doesn’t know what federalism is, and is just repeating what he saw in memes,
    c) Joe Biden knows what federalism is but has no morals and hopes you’ll be stupid enough to believe that presidents control city police forces,
    d) Joe Biden thinks that U.S. presidents SHOULD have dictatorial control over all 50 states, because he watched Obama for 8 years.

    • Oh, it’s obviously c), and it’s also obvious that this is, like so much that we’re seeing in the media, pure desperation. Just as the public wasn’t swayed by the “Trump should have acted quicker to stop the pandemic, and Trump is to blame for the economic effects of trying to stop that pandemic” fantasy, they won’t be swayed by this one. Wait—the Democrats had a whole week and didn’t mention the riots, and the GOP hammered on them, and that’s because the riots are something the GOP wants to hide???


      • Fair points all, but Facts Don’t Matter. The outline of the Democrat strategy as Election Day approaches is becoming clearer by the minute:

        1. Biden will not debate Trump. (Trump will not accept a virtualized debate.)

        2. Mobs will do the “debating” for Biden, actively supported by Democrats. Everywhere Trump or Republicans make a public campaign appearance, riotous “protesters” will stalk, assemble with professional organization, and disrupt as much as they can achieve. The Marxstream media will dutifully report on the “tone-deafness” of the candidates, their party, their voters, and the “thoughtful, cogent, and civil” ostensible “solidarity” of the heroic disruptocrats. Any media capture of any expression of hostility, aggression (even counter-aggression), or mere annoyed speech on the part of any campaign sympathizer, or any similar action (however lame) by Trump supporters at any Democrat rally, will be condemned as a glaring example of “Donald Trump’s divided, divisive, violent, racist America.”

        3. Biden-Harris will continue the drumbeat of attributing “unrest” to Trump.

        4. (and this might be “controversial” to say, but, it’s how the Deep State works) Federal employees in “career” positions, in cahoots with elected Democrats in the nation’s largest cities and “bluest” states, will overwhelmingly “steer” the operations of government to the advantage of the Biden-Harris ticket and disadvantage of the Trump-Pence ticket. Such employees are absolutely without accountability (Hatch Act provisions notwithstanding), except to their politicized chains of command. The vast majority of the rank-and-file public employee drones will roll over in response to the obvious “steering” like lame sheep; so will virtually all of the government contractors and their employees. Why not? They, too, are unaccountable, except for the obligation (the only obligation, for now – more faux-patriotic obligations to follow) of “virtue-signaling.” (Follow. The. Money.)

        5. Any natural disaster like a pandemic, flood, earthquake, wildfire etc. will also be exploited for political capital by characterizing every emergency response as grossly, reprehensively inadequate (and attributable to Trump and Republicans).

        6. Any actual or perceived police misconduct in any locale, by any member of any level of police force, will be blamed on Trump.

    • The democrats, both the party and the rank and file are adamantly opposed to federalism except when it can be used to bash their opponents. Generally federalism gets in the way of their massive government plans.

      I think part of the rise in divisiveness in America falls at the hands of a fall in federalism. For example, the democrats could have made universal health care in California, New York and Michigan and most of the country wouldn’t care. Instead, they are fighting for a national system.

  5. Boy, #metoo really went away fast! A woman files a restraining order against a man, possibly also filing a sexual assault complaint against him. He, a convicted rapist with an open arrest warrant for sexual assault, violates the order, attacks her, and takes away her car keys so she can’t escape. He is armed with a knife and after he fights with police and they tase him to no effect, they shoot him. Nationwide riots erupt IN SUPPORT OF THE RAPIST! News media and politicians fawn all over him. I guess that is what happens when your leftist movement for social justice can’t seem to find a single credible case against a Republican…

    • It’s been a great deal of fun watching the loose web of online Catholics use this as an effective moment to ruthlessly mock libertarianism (or liberalism in general). General Francisco Franco has never polled better.

      The fact that his eldest granddaughter is married to Louis de Bourbon (Louis XX) is fun to think about.

      He just looks like the rightful king, obscure prophecies aside. If there’s a pool, my money would be on this guy. I don’t think I have to see the other claimants.

      And who can take Napoleonic legitimists seriously, anyway?

    • Just imagine how many (firearms-bearing) Secret Service agents and phalanxes of additional helmeted riot police would be surrounding each and every Democrat U.S. House Member or Senator who makes any public appearance on any city’s streets, within hours after just one of their fellow Democrats was subjected to the terrorism we see in that video. Will we see heightened protection of Trump and Republicans in similar future circumstances? Why, NO, of course not! It’s a two-tiered heckling system…

      Deep State, indeed!

  6. People around my area certainly aren’t buying the “blame Trump” arguments, and the folks I speak with are concerned that BLM / Antifa violence will move out of the urban areas. The gun stores remain sold out of many common defensive rifles / handguns, and popular calibers of ammunition remain difficult to find in significant quantities. Living way out in the country and being previously prepared, I’m not overly concerned for my neighborhood just yet, but several residential communities I’m familiar with are already forming Mutual Assistance Groups (sort of like Neighborhood Watch on steroids) and coordinating small-scale nighttime neighborhood patrols with the sheriff’s office. There’s still a high degree of trust and confidence in our local law enforcement.
    We are certainly a long way from the publicized riots, down here among the “hills and hollers,” but there is much going on in flyover country that never makes the national news, with virtually every college of any appreciable size having its obligatory contingent of horribly oppressed students finding some local statue, park, cemetery or monument with which to become offended. A recent SCV ceremony dedicating a new headstone for a Confederate soldier’s grave (in a local Confederate cemetery owned by the SCV) drew BLM protesters from a nearby university. The local TV news showed up to cover their protest and gave them the kid glove interview. After the camera crew left, the protestors cut loose with their obscene shouts and threats of violence. Their conduct never made the TV news. In another local controversy, a 1911 monument to Confederate dead that is owned by and sits on property owned by the local UDC has been targeted by BLM, with daily protests and counter-protests for over a month now. . One might think that the monument’s private property status would be enough to make city government shy about getting involved, but no, the city council voted 4 – 3 (against the passionate advice of the city manager) to form a committee to make recommendations to resolve the issue. (I have been told that the UDC has more lawyers volunteering their services than they can possibly utilize.) Confrontations between protesters and counter-protestors have sometimes been tense, but so far without violence. But the potential for violence hovers over far more of the country than media coverage would suggest.
    Apropos of nothing, I just saw a news piece about professional sports teams walking off the fields and out of their arenas, refusing to play. I hope they all go broke and they can plant potatoes in their ballfields turn the indoor arenas into boat basins for all I care. All those poor woke and oppressed millionaire athletes! The horror!

  7. 5. “Those who have been meekly complying with these totalitarians are a disgrace to the nation. The proper response to bullies is to tell them to go to Hell, and have the guts to face them down.”

    Vladimir Bukovsky, the noted Russian dissident, made this point in his book “To Build a Castle: My Life as a Dissenter”. He noted that the communist’s power depended on public obedience and submission. Each person who refused to submit reduced their power. When the totalitarian government tried to make a dissenter submit, the purpose was not to demand a belief in communism itself but simply a demonstration of the willingness to submit to or compromise with the system. BLM is following the Marxist line and understands their power lies in displays of obedience and submission. They know that coercing someone into putting their hand up does not make that person a true believer, but it does demonstrate that person’s willingness to submit to whatever irrational demand is made and that is power.

    I highly recommend Bukovsky’s book. He is a great writer and offers a detailed look into Soviet life. I was surprised to find so many issues he mentions that parallel things going on here currently including the state of journalism. He writes, “Only one person in my entire life has said that he actually likes living in a Communist state—because it allows him to earn a good salary by publishing all sorts of demagogic rubbish in the newspapers. “In a normal country,” he said, “they wouldn’t let me within a mile of the press! What would I be doing? Working as a navvy.” “

  8. Thanks, Jack, for the kudos. I sincerely feel flattered. That was a rare moment for me. I can’t brag, except to say that I am the luckiest.

    Venerable? For me? Just say “crabby old:” True, clear and fair.

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