Weekend Ethics Update, 10/4/2020

Weekend Update

1. I’m not going to dignify all of the online cheering of President Trump’s positive test for the Wuhan virus with quotes from celebrities and social media creatures, though I have them. There have been similar reactions to the fact that Kellyanne Conway recently tested positive as well. A reputable poll—assuming that any are reputable polls—found that 40% of Democrats surveyed were “happy” the President was sick. I have never been happy that anyone was sick in all my years on this planet. This is a mean, vicious, ethically warped group of people that are behind Joe Biden in this election, and one more factor pushing me to a tipping point. (No, I’m not there yet.) But I really do wonder how decent people can make common cause with hateful individuals like this.

For what it’s worth, my perspective is that if the President plays this right, the bout with the virus will help him in November.

I agreed with his decision to largely eschew masks in public appearances, just as FDR kept his wheelchair mostly hidden from public  view and like George Washington riding into battle in full uniform, gleaming white wig, ring a tall white charger. That’s part of leadership: looking strong while also being strong. The President got sick while doing his job. Joe Biden has been hiding in the basement, taking half-days and yesterday gave a speech while wearing a mask. He looks weak, and is weak. There has never been anything especially leader-like about Biden, and most of his support is based on blind, irrational hatred of his opponent fanned into dangerous intensity by the news media and the Angry Left. I think Donald Trump may have been the only President elected more out of dislike of the opposition than genuine support of the winning candidate, and I’m not even certain of that. The candidate perceived as the strongest leader almost always wins.

2. Nah, the First Amendment isn’t in any danger from progressives! Don’t be silly! In June, the president of Miami University appointed a task force of faculty, students and staff to develop recommendations on improving the school’s “diversity, equity and inclusion.” Tellingly, no lawyers or civil libertarians make the membership list.

Now the task force has produced its recommendations, and a more confounding mass of Authentic Frontier Gibberish it would be hard to find. ( “As an Ohio public university, Miami may serve the greater community by expanding IGD pedagogy and praxis to alums and the business community”… “Create internal and external diversity marketing plans to promote literacy around intergroup dialogue and allyship across diverse social identities with sensitivity to Miami’s status as a predominantly white institution…”)  Naturally, re-education and indoctrination are among the 43 recommendations: “Make IGD mandatory for all undergraduate students, beginning with first year students, by requiring incoming first-year students to take a 1-credit IGD course (equivalent to the CAWC’s Intro to Voices program) following UNV 101 (or similar discipline-designated courses; e.g., CHM 147). Thereafter, provide other academic and co-curricular IGD opportunities for further development.” Then there’s this:

“Miami University must be able to determine under what conditions employees can be terminated and students can be dismissed from the university if proven they have made discriminatory (e.g., racist, sexist, homophobic, etc.) comments.”

Never mind that any policy that allows a public school to kick out or discipline students based on the content of their their speech would violate the First Amendment. UCLA  Constitutional Law professor Eugene Volokh pointed out the obvious, or what should be obvious:

“The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force may not ‘fear … First Amendment violations,’” he wrote, “but the university, which will have to pay for those violations (and which presumably wants to comply with the law) should.”

That’s a non-ethical consideration, though. A university should be concerned with the ethical point, which is that freedom of speech and expression is a bulwark of American values, and the foundation of liberty itself. It should also embrace the idea that the objective of higher education is to expand a student’s exposure to varying opinions, not restrict them. The Left of the 21st Century, however, views the entire Bill of Rights as an impediment to righteous power and mandated GoodThink, not as a crucial weapon against tyranny.

3. The weekend’s race-baiting note:  Police at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches went to 17-year-old Christin Evans’ dorm room after receiving a false report that she was threatening other students with a scissors. This prank is called “swatting,” and it is obviously illegal.

Evans is black, so media reports are highlighting that in their headlines. So are Evans’ lawyers, who say the incident’ was plotted by her three roommates and seven other girls “who she said were mostly white.”  Wait—each girl was “mostly white,” or the group that set up the raid had mixed racial membership?  The Chief of the university police department issued a statement that said:

The university is investigating a racially diverse group of students in an incident involving a false report to the university police department. The students responsible will be held accountable for their actions at every possible level.”

So just because the victim is black, we are to presume this was a racial incident? Would the same be true if Evans had been white and her tormenters were a “racially diverse group”?

This is the unwarranted unethical presumption of racism once again, just as in the various police incidents that have been used to justify riots, the deaths of innocent people, and millions of dollars in property damage. It is, I’ll concede, a wonderfully profitable starting point for lawyers and litigants seeking quick settlements from situations terrified of being labeled racist.

The fact that it also exacerbates racial divisions and distrust seems not to bother anyone all, at least not anyone with the guts and integrity to object to it.

Fact: every time something bad, unpleasant, unfortunate or wrongful happens to a black American, it is not due to racism. It is equally damaging to blacks and whites to claim otherwise, yet that is exactly the presumption that activists, political forces and the news media are pushing.

4. Ooooh! Dangerous ideas! Dangerous expression! Dangerous art!

Four major museums announced that they will delay until 2024 a retrospective of the work of modernist painter Philip Guston. The museums’ tweedy Chablis liberal boards concluded decided that Guston’s trademark motif of cartoonish, haggard white-hooded Ku Klux Klansmen “needed to be better contextualized for the current political moment”—you know, like “Blazing Saddles” and “Gone With The Wind.” The public is just so darn unsophisticated about anything involving race, the poor dears.

It’s funny, though: Some of the same museums exhibited “Piss Christ,” the 1987 photograph by the American artist and photographer Andres Serrano, depicting a crucifix submerged in the artist’s urine, and protests that the work was not sufficiently “contextualized” were dismissed as the whining of redneck Bible-clinging yahoos too dumb to understand the nuances of art.

This week, though, 33 years later. the directors of the four museums released a joint statement saying that they were “postponing the exhibition until a time at which we think that the powerful message of social and racial justice that is at the center of Philip Guston’s work can be more clearly interpreted.”

Some apparently see the problem with this. Darby English, a professor of art history at the University of Chicago and a former adjunct curator at the Museum of Modern Art, called the decision “cowardly” and “an insult to art and the public alike.” Mark Godfrey, a curator at Tate Modern in London who co-organized the exhibition, wrote that the decision was “extremely patronizing” to audiences because it assumes that they are not able to understand and appreciate the nuance of Guston’s works.

Right. They are afraid that Black Lives Matter won’t understand and appreciate it, will call all these nice, rich progressives racist, and will stage “mostly peaceful” protests outside the exhibitions. Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, said in an email that if the museums had not taken a step back to rethink the exhibition, it would have appeared “tone deaf.”

To whom, Mr. Walker? If “Piss Christ’ wasn’t ‘tone deaf,” why would it be tone deaf to exhibit this?

Guston

We are seeing how the mobs and violence cheered on by Kalama Harris and the Democratic base constrict culture, thought, and expression, which is exactly what they are designed to do. And once again, we are hearing doubletalk, vagueries and equivocation instead of what needs to be said.

152 thoughts on “Weekend Ethics Update, 10/4/2020

  1. Your analogies are off. Did Washington or FDR hurt anyone with wigs or foregoing wheelchairs? I don’t wish Trump sick either, but hosting events in the Rose Garden where guests are sitting on top of each other, unmasked, is irresponsible, dangerous., and poor leadership. I’ll also add that while I have never been on the “Impeach Trump” train, if the timeline is accurate and he went to a fundraising event — unmasked — after a positive Covid test, then he not only should be impeached, but he should be prosecuted for negligent homicide if someone dies.

    • Not wearing a mask or practicing social distancing is not a high crime or misdemeanor.

      The President of the United States cannot barricade himself inside the White House and refuse to see anyone.

    • In Washington’s case, surely: if he had been picked off, and he easily could have, then the war would have been lost.

      You sound like a Wuhan hysteric. It’s not the plague, and it kills a tiny percentage of those who are infected. It may not be your approach, but it is a valid one: life has to go on, and if risking the virus is the cost of continuing a society, feeding a family and continuing a sane civilization, so be it.

      Just checking: did you express similar intense alarm at the John Lewis funeral? The BLM demonstrations with protesters shoulder to shoulder?

      Those who consider themselves high risk should stay inside and isolated. If they go to a fundraiser or any gathering, they have made a choice, and whatever happens is their own responsibility.

      • Anyone who puts together a gathering and does not enforce mask protocol is irresponsible and dangerous. And if Trump KNEW he was contagious, then he had a duty to not attend events publicly. Have you lost your mind?

        • There are NO reports, NONE, that the President knew he was contagious. This is a straw man. He knew he had been exposed. I assume I’ve been exposed every time I am with people. I was exposed when my son and his girlfriend tested positive while living in my house, I had no symptoms, and did not assume I was contagious. So you are constructing a murder fantasy based on an assumed hypothetical.

          Who’s losing their mind?

          It’s not even a matter of medical consensus that asymptomatic people can spread the virus—STILL.

            • I would take that case. I would love to see the State prove causation. Trace everyone at the event. Trace everyone that that person interacted with outside that event. Finally, blame Kellyanne Conway.

              Causation is a little easier to prove with HIV.

              -Jut

            • Again, that’s nonsense, but there’s a larger issue.

              My father and millions of other American knowingly risked his life to preserve the United States and its values, and all but the worst of the worst of us agree that it was worth the sacrifice. I know that the Wuhan virus has been politically weaponized from the start as one more attempt to remove this President and to guarantee his failure, and someone who has obviously been marinating in the Trump-Hate Stew for more than long enough, you clearly view it that way.
              In truth, the U.S., it’s values, its history, culture, viability and existence is under an organized attack. The people you are hanging out with and allowing to met your brain really want democracy to die, and have proven it for four years to my satisfaction. They are now rioting and intimidating those who dare to publicly oppose them, attacking the First Amendment, seeking to abolish the second, and weakening the Fourth and Sixth, among others. They want to repeal the Equal Protection, and install race-based systems of advancement in all fields. The want to use their next majority to rig the system so there is no opposition, and impose the crippling restriction on our liberties that we already hear openly supported. They want to erase our history, eliminate the American story, ensure that there is no buy-in to our traditional culture. They are determined to use fear-mongering about the future climate to justify crippling the economy, mobility, and invention, and to continue to see the schools devolve into tools of conformity.
              As I have noted before, I don’t know what kind of sick deity thought up the idea of having the firewall for such a catastrophe be an unsavory human being like President Trump. I hope its worth the giggles. That, however, is the case, nauseating as I might find it. His job, and it is as important a job right now as the burden on Washington’s shoulders during the Revolution, is to stop the alliance of radical progressives, environmental fascists, Black Lives Matter, Marxists, anti -free speech totalitarians, socialists, America-haters and the “news media,”which now deals primarily in propaganda from prevailing, and making sure that what the world has known as the United States is unrecognizable.
              600,000 died in the Civil War to prevent that; even if the President knows that prevailing in the election requires him to put others at risk, defeating this existential threat is easily worth it, and is indeed the ethical choice. When Sen. Graham said that all the current Democrats want is power, and god help us if they ever get it, that was not hyperbole. The President knows that he stands between the US that has been the light of the world, and an oppressive, gray, empty “progressive paradise,” and that he cannot just sit back and “be safe.” Leaders can’t do that, much as their opponents want them to.
              So not only does he have to continue to do whatever is necessary to prevail over the Democrats, their puppet “leader” and his check-box understudy, whatever risks it entails, it is the only ethical course at this time.

                  • In truth, the U.S., it’s values, its history, culture, viability and existence is under an organized attack. The people you are hanging out with and allowing to met your brain really want democracy to die, and have proven it for four years to my satisfaction. They are now rioting and intimidating those who dare to publicly oppose them, attacking the First Amendment, seeking to abolish the second, and weakening the Fourth and Sixth, among others. They want to repeal the Equal Protection, and install race-based systems of advancement in all fields. The want to use their next majority to rig the system so there is no opposition, and impose the crippling restriction on our liberties that we already hear openly supported. They want to erase our history, eliminate the American story, ensure that there is no buy-in to our traditional culture. They are determined to use fear-mongering about the future climate to justify crippling the economy, mobility, and invention, and to continue to see the schools devolve into tools of conformity.

                    I totally concur.

                    600,000 died in the Civil War to prevent that; even if the President knows that prevailing in the election requires him to put others at risk, defeating this existential threat is easily worth it, and is indeed the ethical choice. When Sen. Graham said that all the current Democrats want is power, and god help us if they ever get it, that was not hyperbole. The President knows that he stands between the US that has been the light of the world, and an oppressive, gray, empty “progressive paradise,” and that he cannot just sit back and “be safe.” Leaders can’t do that, much as their opponents want them to.

                    I did see he went on a drive-by greeting of supporters who came to wish him well at Walter Reed. It was necessary.

              • With full respect (though I acknowledge that you hold me in contempt) I make the following comments:

                Jack writes: My father and millions of other American knowingly risked his life to preserve the United States and its values, and all but the worst of the worst of us agree that it was worth the sacrifice.

                I do not think that the US was in a specific danger. That war was fought “to preserve the United States and its values”? It was fought for many reasons.

                What you wrote in your post also resonated with me. And so much of what you say I agree with. But in what I have quoted here I see you as a romantic. This romance is the stuff of the American civil religion, as I have said about 100 times. The powers that direct and directed the US waged war for many many different reasons. The forces that pulled the US into the war also did so for their own reasons. There are whole complex narratives that would have to be mentioned here.

                That is how the world works I guess. The patriotic story does not tell enough of the story, and in a way it obscures.

                People that I have read — I will mention just one because his approach to the issue is the one I most remember (Jonathan Bowden) — take a critical view of that war and certainly why it came about. They tell a somewhat different story about it. Not completely contrary. But different. They are, of course, revisionists: reviewing historical narratives and examining them critically.

                There are American dissidents — such as the progressive Randolph Bourne who wrote during the First WW but his ideas still have importance — who wrote eloquently and rationally about ‘war machinations’ and that ‘war is the health of the state’. What has happened in the US and to the US has a long causal chain.

                Who are ‘the worst of the worst’? I have critical ideas in relation to the US involvement in that war. Does that mean I am one of the ‘worst’?

                His [Trump’s] job, and it is as important a job right now as the burden on Washington’s shoulders during the Revolution, is to stop the alliance of radical progressives, environmental fascists, Black Lives Matter, Marxists, anti -free speech totalitarians, socialists, America-haters and the “news media”, which now deals primarily in propaganda from prevailing, and making sure that what the world has known as the United States is unrecognizable. 600,000 died in the Civil War to prevent that…

                Oh no. This is way off the mark of truth. I sincerely want to indicate my respect for you and what you think, but you mix romantic sentiment in with ‘truth assertions’ that just do not hold up.

                I assert that we cannot approach historical analysis, nor can we really understand our present, if we force our romantic narratives on reality. The truth is tremendously more complex.

              • The president is doomed, Jack. He and too many of his top advisors have been laid low by this virus, just when it would hurt most. Meantime Biden is starting to break it wide open, and doesn’t even have to do much. Check Bloomberg if you don’t believe me.

              • Wow. Solid. I’ve been toying with writing a modern version of Declaration of independence, listing all the dangers the radical Left actually pose to our nation and the tactics they’ve been employing to get there.

                I may use this list as inspiration: “really want democracy to die, and have proven it for four years to my satisfaction. They are now rioting and intimidating those who dare to publicly oppose them, attacking the First Amendment, seeking to abolish the second, and weakening the Fourth and Sixth, among others. They want to repeal the Equal Protection, and install race-based systems of advancement in all fields. The want to use their next majority to rig the system so there is no opposition, and impose the crippling restriction on our liberties that we already hear openly supported. They want to erase our history, eliminate the American story, ensure that there is no buy-in to our traditional culture. They are determined to use fear-mongering about the future climate to justify crippling the economy, mobility, and invention, and to continue to see the schools devolve into tools of conformity.”

                I have others as well.

              • I’m unclear how you can make the argument that Trump is the only thing keeping the US from falling into leftist totalitarianism, that he is the “firewall”, as you put it, yet still not have reached the tipping point to vote for him. If your view is he’s the only thing standing between America as we know it and the abyss, what more could it possibly take at this point to push you over?

                  • I’ll give you my take, for what it’s worth: I dislike the man intensely. Not to the point where I would support undermining our institutions to spite him, such as holding frivolous impeachment proceedings, but certainly to where if I did anything to actively support him, like voting for him, I’d need to take a weeklong shower to get the slime off.

                    It’s like one of those Bear Grylls Man vs. Wild shows, where the only way to live through the freezing cold desert night is to slice open the dead camel and climb inside the carcass. It may be the only way to survive, but I’m still debating if it wouldn’t be a better option just to freeze to death.

          • Just checking: did you express similar intense alarm at the John Lewis funeral? The BLM demonstrations with protesters shoulder to shoulder?

            I had to use Google to search your previous blog posts and could not find a comment from Still Spartan expressing similar alarm.

            • I rarely comment here at all — but I did want to see how Jack was analyzing this busy news weekend. Superb analysis. A+.

        • https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR3-wrg3tTKK5-9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q

          This report is very interesting. Granted, it was last updated 4 days ago, but it gets updated roughly every week. What we find here shows that most people who died with Wuhan Virus in their system also had one or multiple other diseases or issues when they were brought in. Influenza and pneumonia (one group), respiratory failure, and hypertensive diseases were the most common other causes. Now, since people with multiple other issues were listed in multiple columns, you can’t just add them up and subtract from total deaths. However, multiple news articles have discussed how roughly six percent of the deaths are attributable to only Wuhan Virus. However, take that with a grain of salt, since it is news media we’re talking about here.

          The point, however, is to show that most people who die from Wuhan Virus most likely died from one or several other factors that the virus exacerbated, if the virus was a cause at all. to say 213,550 souls died from Wuhan Virus is misleading. Roughly 94% of those deaths, or roughly 201,000 deaths, had one or several other issues that contributed to their deaths. In at least some of those cases, Wuhan Virus had no part in their passing.

          • (As a coroner, who determines cause and manner of death for a living), I would say that interpreting death statistics is complicated, just like interpreting epidemiology or viral microbiology or public health policy. Duh.
            The bottom line is that human beings are complex machines. On one reductive end, everybody dies when their heart stops*; on the other end, everybody dies due to a combination of a hundred interlocking factors. Thinking about cause of death from ether extreme is unproductive.
            In death determination, is is useful to think of “but for” factors. Case in point: elderly person with multiple medical comorbidities, including some that might predispose him/her to a fall, falls down the stairs, bleeds into the brain, stops eating, then dies a week later when his/her heart stops. Probably the cancer and the dementia made the downward spiral faster, but BUT FOR the fall, our case patient would be alive. Cause of death is the fall, full stop.
            Comparison case: same person comes down with COVID-19, tires out from respiratory failure, stops eating, then dies a week later when his/her heart stops. In case it isn’t clear, the cause of death is COVID-19, also full stop.
            I can’t speak to how rigorously this thought process is applied when COVID-19 is placed on a death certificate, and I am certain that is it mis-included or its inclusion is at least controversial in many cases, but that’s how death determination is. It’s often not possible to be sure of diagnoses in life and it is often not possible to be sure of cause of death in…death. As a coroner (and medical professional), I am inclined to believe that the vast majority of professionals who are assigning causes of death are well-enough trained and sound enough ethically to assign COVID-19 as a cause of death only when appropriate. As much as it’s become a “liberal talking point”, I would gently remind non-professionals doubting the above to seek information from knowledgeable sources and not a) be content to leave questions unanswered in limbo and then b) assume the worst.
            Do I think that, BUT FOR COVID-19, close to 213,550 Americans would still be alive today? Yes, and that means it’s their cause of death. You can argue semantics if you like, but that is not how death determination is done, and it doesn’t change the fact that people died before they otherwise would have because of COVID-19, even if (and I hope nobody here seriously feels this) there seems to lurk a temptation to view elderly/sick life as less valuable.
            Do I agree with public health policy with respect to COVID-19? TRICK QUESTION, it’s being done a million different ways and there are pros and cons with each approach. We just have to be less emotional, understand the values of people who seem to hold a different position and come to some compromise. No strictly right or wrong answers here.

            *other definitions of death, like brain death, are the rare exception(s)

            • Tony writes: “I am inclined to believe that the vast majority of professionals who are assigning causes of death are well-enough trained and sound enough ethically to assign COVID-19 as a cause of death only when appropriate. As much as it’s become a “liberal talking point”, I would gently remind non-professionals doubting the above to seek information from knowledgeable sources and not a) be content to leave questions unanswered in limbo and then b) assume the worst.

              Do I think that, BUT FOR COVID-19, close to 213,550 Americans would still be alive today? Yes, and that means it’s their cause of death. You can argue semantics if you like, but that is not how death determination is done, and it doesn’t change the fact that people died before they otherwise would have because of COVID-19, even if (and I hope nobody here seriously feels this) there seems to lurk a temptation to view elderly/sick life as less valuable.”

              You here substantially refute the analysis offered above by Andrew. What you say also makes sense (to me a non-medical person). It is horrifying that getting true and trustworthy information is next to impossible.

              But I must say that despite wishing to believe the Wuhan cases have been amplified (the deaths-from) I would tend to believe what you are saying about its mortality.

            • I would not disagree that for the most part, we can accept a death certificate at face value, not requiring further investigation unless there is a reason to suspect some shady actions by the coroner. Almost to the point that it’s not a concern. So, for a death certificate to list Wuhan Virus (or whatever name for it is put on there), we can say that it was the Wuhan Virus that gave the death knell.

              Now, let’s take a look at your example. It was the fall that killed the man. But for the fall, he’d still be alive. If that man did not have dementia, he might have called for help, and been taken to hospital. He would get treated, and be alive when discharged. In this version of the example it would be fair to say that but for the dementia, the man would still be alive.

              Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but when a coroner is determining what to put as cause of death on the death certificate, his/her main concern is the final straw, the one thing that was too much for the body to handle. Something has to be put as the cause of death.

              In other situations, however, it would be important to take those other factors into consideration. Such as public policy, or policy for healthcare providers. As has been stated multiple times here on this blog, different experts have different priorities. And especially when describing the situation to the public, it is important to note that but for those other factors besides the Wuhan Virus, roughly 200,700 people might still be alive. People need the whole picture, or as accurate a picture as possible, to help make good decisions. And just throwing the 213,000 and counting number without any other information promotes more fear and bad policy than understanding why the number is where it’s at, and whether there are any actions that can be taken to negate or mitigate, or at least help manage, some comorbidities that were they not present, less people would have died from Wuhan Virus.

              • All good points.

                You’re right — recency definitely plays a big part in assigning cause of death. If our case elderly person with comorbidities got into a car accident (or fell down the stairs or got COVID), medically AND, I would argue, intuitively, the “final straw” would be the cause of death, even if the same insults would have been survivable by a young, healthy person. It’s more correct to say, in our example, that BUT FOR the comorbidities/advanced age, the person MIGHT have survived, but BUT FOR the fall, they’d almost certainly be alive. It’s true, it isn’t always black and white. People get multiple injuries or multiple infections or an infection with an injury or slowly waste away from 10 chronic conditions, etc.

                In my jurisdiction, we (try to*) include comorbid conditions as contributing factors on the death certificate. They are certainly still important from a public health point of view, but again, it’s almost always clear medically and intuitively whether it’s the car accident/fall down stairs/COVID or the dementia/diabetes/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease that the decedent had lived with for 10 years that is the cause of death.

                And, of course, to be clear, we CONTINUE to treat/prevent/mitigate comorbid factors, though it’s true and unfortunate that COVID restrictions are limiting access to and willingness to access healthcare.

                I certainly agree that COVID reporting lacks this context. It works well for the majority of people who are more willing to take recommendations and statistics at face value, but for those who want to think about them more deeply, it’s quite the barrier.

                *I see lots of other people’s death certificates and do see this field is frequently skipped. One might cry foul, but it IS factually much less important, from a public health point of view, to document the 10 millionth person who died with, say, congestive heart failure as a contributing factor, than to document each person who passed from an accident or an infection.

        • Non-sequitur.

          It’s still not the plague, and it still kills a tiny percentage of those who are infected, and that’s if you claim everyone who dies with the virus died because of the virus, which we know isn’t true.

        • So… that comment is super problematic, but for a reason other than what Andrew highlighted with questionable numbers.

          I don’t think you meant it, valkygrrl, but by saying what you did and only using the American death tolls, you’re also functionally saying no one outside America has a soul… or at least, not one worth counting.
          Because the death toll for COVID-19 is well in excess of a million people now.

      • Whuhan hysteric indeed. I’ve noticed this phenomenon in our kids’ generation, the forty-something parents of ten and twelve year-olds. I think, in a weird way, they find the virus exciting. It’s kind of the way we felt as ten year-olds when a hurricane would be coming. We’d get out of school and have to stay home with our parents and put up the storm shutters. The storm would blow and we could stay up all night until the power would go out. We’d awake to some downed trees and people would have chainsaws. Neat!

        Plus, safetyism runs rampant in this generation. They were brought up with “stranger danger” TV commercials. Free range childhood is a thing of the very distant past. Seat belts, air bags, kids sitting in back seats only, global warming, systemic racism, etc. Any risk is unacceptable. And government is there to issue regulations regulating every aspect of human behavior. For the better, of course. And then there are safe spaces and micro aggressions. It’s a very dark world Sparty and her contemporary fellow travelers inhabit. And they can confidently point at the virus and say, “See! I told you so! Everything IS terrible. And it’s all the Baby Boomers’ fault!”

    • Prosecuted? You have to be kidding. Does the name Governor Cuomo and his directive to put civid patients in nursing homes ring a bell. I call that premeditation.

      You have no idea if he was unmasked at all times. Do you ever see all the talking heads on TV deliver news or opinions masked? No. Maybe one of them gave it to him.

      If the timeline I have is correct he took the test after returning from an event. Upon the initial positive result he underwent an addition PCR test to confirm.

    • Still Spartan wrote, “if the timeline is accurate and he went to a fundraising event — unmasked — after a positive Covid test, then he not only should be impeached, but he should be prosecuted for negligent homicide if someone dies.”

      This is over the top utter nonsense.

      Were you engaging in hyperbole to incite some opposition or were you actually serious.

    • An incandescently radiant intellect wrote: “Your analogies are off. Did Washington or FDR hurt anyone with wigs or foregoing wheelchairs? I don’t wish Trump sick either, but hosting events in the Rose Garden where guests are sitting on top of each other, unmasked, is irresponsible, dangerous., and poor leadership. I’ll also add that while I have never been on the “Impeach Trump” train, if the timeline is accurate and he went to a fundraising event — unmasked — after a positive Covid test, then he not only should be impeached, but he should be prosecuted for negligent homicide if someone dies.”

      I admit to thinking that with a little time, a little more experience, that your intelligence level would rise a bit. I was totally wrong. You are one of the dimmest bulbs who has written on this blog. You astound me with you deathlessness. You embarrass me as well. I am embarrassed for you because you don’t seem to be embarrassed for yourself.

      In regard to your *noble sentiments* about Trump’s health I’d say that I do not believe you. I believed when you said it (I still do) that you are a very good mother. That is a very noble thing. But thinking and reasoning, you dolt, is obviously *not your department*. There is something almost diabolically wicked in your stupidity(if such a thing is possible) and I assume your moral innards are just as damaged.

      If what you have written reflects your understanding of then you really should have stayed home barefoot birthing children, sister. I am obviously not a trained lawyer but I grasp elemental jurisprudential concept that elude you. But as I often say it is much larger than just one loudmouthed nicompoop. Whole classes of professionally trained men & women have fallen into hysterical modes and can no longer reason. I am ashamed (for you) to read the stupidities you wrote. I am a naturalized American and I am embarrassed that you are a natural born America.

      You are working with an hysterical wish. You wish that he would have gone to some event when he knew he tested positive. But even if it weren’t true, you will likely find a way to make it true, and no matter what the truth is you will likely begin to believe it and tell all your friends that you believe it.

      Have you no shame? My God . . . .

      (I think this might be as close to an *angry post* as I ever had got. I sort of apologize. But I sort of don’t. Things have gotten to me of late. It is odd, I often feel with political figures that I am dealing with cartoon portrayals. But I actually prayed for Donald Trump’s recovery. There are a dozen things I don’t like about him (things he does) but I actually admire very much the way he rises in decency. He rises to the occasion. I wish him only the best).

      • OK, now I will definitely turn off the spellchecker!

        deathlessness was supposed to be depthlessness (that’s what you get for twisting English with neologisms!)(if it is not a real word it should be one!)

      • Someone please correct me if I’m incorrect; but, this entire comment from Alizia except the last paragraph reads like a one big ad hominem.

        Ad Hominem: directed against a person rather than the position they are maintaining.

        Alizia, you might consider taking a break from participating.

        • In a way you are right. But in truth when I express something that seems sentiment-based or emotional, it is a sham-sentiment when I express it personally to someone. Because I don’t let my emotions get involved with my political ideas or my thoughts on current events — and in regard to the personalities of the people who write here. But this does not mean that I do not feel a sort of emotional-intellectual (and spiritual) involvement with the events of the day.

          They are careening to very very strange points!

          You are very free to offer your opinion about needing a break, and about anything else of course, but if I do that you will know simply because I won’t write!

          Let the ‘someone’ you refer to . . . be me!

          I was thinking today about *the nature of the time we are in*. It is a mass social-event. Everyone links to it and participates in it with an unusual level of psychological intensity. Some people are truly *hooked* and it seems their very ‘self’ is determined by the exterior.

          Mass psychological projection is what is going on.

          Our country is sort of *having an episode*. God only knows what will happen next. I thought today about this (the political-social intensity) but as I was thinking about all that is happening — which is a great deal — in relation to my own inner spiritual life. And I sort of pre-visualized saying what I am saying here. I guess I must have thought that someone would likely point out what you pointed out. Because it is true: it was a reaction.

          Spartan, interestingly enough (or ‘as the case may be’) reacted to some of my thoughts years back with extreme forms of condemnation and judgment. Very ugly things really. And the reason for this is because I come from a ‘dissident’ position in so many ways. I came into this particular space, revealed some of my thinking, and received a sort of standard version of what they call today *hate*. It’s when you dump on someone, for one reason or another. Many people have done this. I am honestly not trying to play a victim or something. I am aware of what I do and what I say and why I receive these reactions. We on the dissident right are related to in this way. We are sort of *your demons*. I mean, you turn us into those. We serve this function for you (here I mean a large plurality). We become ‘the evil ones’ and your ‘Hitlers’. It is really a trip when you think about it.

          The reason I talk about this is because it is part-and-parcel of our sick present. In a sick country. Among sick people — some of who cannot even grasp that they are sick. That the nation is sick. That it has become sick for a group of reasons. Many will not (or do not seem in my view to be able) to even *see* this. And then to see what I call *complicity*.

          So, it is all really strange and there are so many dimensions to it. So many levels of meaning. But the part that I wanted to share, which is related, at least in my own case, is what is going on inside of me on a spiritual level. (Others in my family and those around us have said similar things).

          In a way I saw myself as a rather superficial Christian. Perhaps I really am. Yet, innerly, I have become aware — rather acutely aware — that all that is going on *out there* and *over there* has very direct links to what is going on *in here* *in me*. It is a transformation. A series of realizations about myself, the level of sin and how deeply it had penetrated. Going back over long-ago episodes. Like being subject to a moving picture.

          How steeped the world is (the American world for example, the cultural world) in the effects of sin; a sort of putrescence. I do not care if you do not understand one word of what I am saying!

          No, I cannot *take a break* my fine toothèd one! Don’t you see? We all have to stay for the dénouement! We cannot escape. Where would we escape to?

          • One has to have been regularly reading the blog since about 2013 at the latest to fully appreciate the astonishing lack of self awareness here,

            As for myself? I don’t have kids but at least I can bake pumpkin bread barefoot this week.

            • One has to have been regularly reading the blog since about 2013 at the latest to fully appreciate the astonishing lack of self awareness here…

              You’d have to explain yourself. You’d have to fill out your ideas. You’d have to reveal something substantial about yourself, and take risks. You would actually have to begin to *enter the conversation* and take part in order to share your perspective. You don’t now. You never will. So I have no clear sense what you are getting at.

          • Alizia Tyler wrote, “Also, I am not what she says I am. And I am not what you say and believe I am. You engage in calumny and I do not appreciate it and it is not fair.”

            That’s directly from the mouth of a mouthy self-centered snowflake. Woe be unto you.

            The words that start from your brain, emit from your fingertips and pass through your keyboard, and then submitted as a comment on Ethics Alarms represent who you actually are to the people that read Ethics Alarms regardless of how you perceive yourself. You have chosen how to represent yourself here, as far as we know no one is forcing your to post the words you choose and no one here is making up things to misrepresent you.

            Own your virtual persona or change it I don’t really care, but to trying to deny what you yourself have presented on Ethics Alarms is one of the most unethical, intellectually dishonest, foolish trolling things you could possibly do on this blog.

            • Own your virtual persona or change it I don’t really care, but to trying to deny what you yourself have presented on Ethics Alarms is one of the most unethical, intellectually dishonest, foolish trolling things you could possibly do on this blog.

              I don’t take lectures or recommendations from you Steve, just for the record! You most marvellous feature is your stunning teeth . . . not the quality of your ideas. 🙃

              I am not talking about any sort of change in me, and not of my *virtual persona*. I stand behind everything I have written when I express something that I definitely believe, or that seems true in that moment (though ideas and understandings are always shifting), and I would never retract the sets of ideas that I have presented here, some written by others, that delve fairly and realistically into matters that involve, sometimes peripherally, race & ethnicity, cultural engineering and everything else.

              You are looking right now for something, anything, that you can use to discredit or invalidate what you don’t like about what I think or how I express it. At the very very beginning with you you determined I was a *troll*. That was your core and original distortion and calumny, and you have run with it ever since.

              When I wrote, just above, to Spartan “I am not what she says I am. And I am not what you say and believe I am. You engage in calumny and I do not appreciate it and it is not fair” I mean something very different from what you took it as. I am definitely not what she says I am because she has no idea what I am, or the depth and nuance of my thinking, or the material that I have read and consider. She has no thoughts at all, ever. She is not moved by ideas.

              She can refer to me as a *racist-bot* if she wishes. And you and anyone else can chime in “Boy, you got that right!” but you-plural do this because you-plural show yourselves — have shown yourselves — similar in the way you form specific and hard judgments when you encounter ideas that are different, slightly or much, from the monolith of your agreed thinking (or ideologies as it sometimes seems to be).

              Additionally, Spartan is a classic “White Liberal” and no one in their right mind, ever, can or should trust a White Liberal in questions related to race and ethnicity because of stunning historical hypocrisy. The point that I make here is that within this general environment — an American Conservative blog (and a very respectable place all things considered) you-all do, quite often, something very similar to what Spartan does. You refer to ‘tropes’ and ‘labels’ that you feel confident in assigning — weilding as I often say. She uses hers like a club. There is no other purpose to it. She cannot and will not ever talk these things out. Her use of racist-bot is similar in function to your ‘troll’. You cannot engage intellectually with troubling and difficult concepts and ideas and like some troglodyte you put on a huge display of condemnation and judgment.

              I have not ever been dishonest in anything I have written; I have been exceedingly honest and I have take many risks in a fight to get clarity about important things.

              I completely reject your insinuation of ‘intellectual dishonesty’. That is rich coming from you!

              The central core of my own ideation is not ‘racism’. The central core of my ideation is Christian and philosophical. And within Christian morality and ethics I could never define nor defend what you take ‘racism’ to mean. Racist? No. Racialist? Race-realist? Definitely. And those are fair and decent topics.

              Finally, you-plural, like the Progressive Left, allow yourselves to use too often those ‘hot’ words like ‘racist’. They cannot be used within honest discourse. They are just words you *shout* at your perceived enemy.

              Hope this clears things up. But I know that virtually nothing can get through that very very hard head of yours! I used to think I could influence your through your teeth . . . but alas! I failed there as well! 😍

    • Still Spartan, you have been misinformed. President Trump had not tested positive for Covid prior to his attendance at the fundraiser. The claim that he had already tested positive for the virus is just another attempt to manipulate the public. The mass media are hyping this as part of their “nuke the bad Orange Man” scheme.

      Now, I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV, but I can research available literature as well as anyone else can. The facts known about the disease don’t support many of the claims that have popped up in the last couple of days.

      Contrary to some fearmongers’ theories, Covid-19 exposure does not mean that someone is immediately contagious. Victims typically begin to display symptoms approximately 4 to 6 days after exposure (less commonly, this can range from 2 to 14 days). They are not initially contagious, with observable viral shedding up to 56 hours prior to symptoms manifesting. This viral shedding is most pronounced in the last day or so prior to seeing symptoms. President Trump would have been exposed to the disease from Hope Hicks on Tuesday. She was tested as positive Wednesday evening, so the likelihood that President Trump had become particularly contagious by Thursday afternoon was minimal.

        • The “orgy of I-told-you-so’s” is exactly what I anticipated, at first learning of Trump’s infection. And zoebrain’s reply to my comment was exactly the embodiment of that “he-had-it-coming” rationalization that I expected.

          • I for one would be in dire straits if I always got what I deserved.

            Trump’s actions killed 150,000 Americans, to put it bluntly.

            • One of the wonderful things about America is that you’re entitled to your opinion, regardless of how wrong I think it is.

              One of the strange things, as Jack has pointed out, is that Trump may be the one thing standing between us and losing that right.

              The Democrats have certainly indicated they’re not in favor of free speech any more.

            • Zoe writes: Trump’s actions killed 150,000 Americans, to put it bluntly.

              In a crisis there is only one crisis. I mean, there is not a ‘control crisis’ that can be put beside the Covid crisis as a point of comparison. This crisis occurred and was handled as it was handled. President Trump had a role in that, no doubt, but so did the entire country. A very complete event.

              It is fair to say that 200,000 people died during this crisis. It is less obvious where blame can be, and even if it can be, assigned to any one person or to this man.

              It is likely that a similar number of deaths would have occurred no matter who had been in the presidency.

              It is fair to call attention to ‘Trump’s actions’ in relation to the Virus. It is also fair to examine a great deal of ancillary information and data about how the States reacted to it.

              I am not so much negating your point (your fact-point) but I think that there is a larger conversation around it, and it is an issue that immediately involves politics. And at that point ‘truth’ flies out the window heading to distant islands . . . 🙃

              • Good post.

                My statement was based on two culturally similar (near identical in many respects) countries, sharing a border, both federations of states with both highly liberal and highly conservative state legislstures.

                Both handled the pandemic imperfectly.

                One has 3 times the death rate and infection rate per head of the other. That started immediately after they diverged in the way the federal governments handled things.

                While the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy is always a danger, this divergence is the only plausible explanation for a situation that is continuing.

                Saying that Trump, and Trump’s political appointees, killed 150,000 Americans is harsh. Harsh, but fair.

                We can’t examine parallel universes, so I have to guess that a President Clinton would have screwed up about as badly as the Canadians, though based on the Obama administration’s moderate mishandling of H1N1, Ebola, and Zicka, it might not have been quite as bad. Or, it could have been slightly worse. Comparable.

                The point is 210,000 Americans are dead, while the POTUS deliberately lied to them, telling them anti pandemic measures were un necessary, “so as not to cause panic”.

  2. #2 although this Weird Al video is more about corporate-speak than full Authentic Frontier Gibberish, I think it is surely a subset:

  3. As a presidential scholar you should be aware that Washington never wore a wig, although many other important men of the time did. He was not like his subordinate Glover, who also refused to wear a fancy uniform, but GW always wore only his own hair, although he did powder it and pull it back in a queue as was the style then. I could also make the joke about Napoleon asking his staff to bring him his red coat, then to saddle up his white horse Marengo…and then asking them to bring him his brown pants. 😀

    Anyhu, you shouldn’t be surprised at the statements from all over the place that the left is glad the president has fallen ill. The left is loaded with sociopaths who think they are smarter, better, and just plain right, and that anyone who disagrees with them are bugs, to be squashed at will and mocked when they are squashed. I have only publicly cheered the death or illness of two public figures, one being OBL, who we were all happy to see go, and the other being Ted Kennedy, in an attempt to ape Ted Rall’s postmortem attack on Ronald Reagan. The latter didn’t sound that great when I did it, and as someone whose ethics alarms haven’t gone completely dead and who still understands the Golden Rule it just didn’t “feel” right. BTW, Biden’s lead just widened to 14 points after the debate according to NBC. This is becoming like a man racing a car, with the President playing the part of the man, running as the car leaves him farther and farther behind.

    These universities and the museum are frankly, just reeds bending with the prevailing wind of the times. At least for now, yes, anything that befalls a black person is assumed to be racism, and to assume otherwise is to court disaster. You’re damn right the museum didn’t give a damn about biblically-minded Christians seeing a crucifix in a jar of urine, because Christians don’t tend to do much more than squawk, and every squawk was free publicity. These days I’d just sneer, and say that it was a cheap and stupid attempt to be as offensive as possible, and those who applaud a cheap and stupid attempt to be as offensive as possible are just showing who they are. Let’s not forget that around the same time there were many other attempts by artists to be as disgusting as possible. It kinda says what art has become when photographs of corpses, puddles of plastic vomit, piles of excrement are considered “edgy” and artistic, but cathedrals and statues of historically significant figures are considered so offensive they need to be removed from view or destroyed. It says it has become the field of cowards and weaklings, You are also absolutely right, that any museum that displayed something that was not in keeping with the current political climate would be inviting “mostly peaceful” protests that would be likely to result in a lot of damage, caused completely by “white supremacists looking to cause trouble” of course.

      • No one I know did so, and I am pretty well plugged in with folks on the right. At most, people said she’s going to have to answer in the afterlife for her pro-abortion stance, although I prefer to leave the thought of what awaits who in the afterlife up to God. I said the left is loaded with sociopaths and narcissists who think they are better than others, and hence cheering the death or illness of someone they disliked would come naturally. The right does not to be so composed, although it isn’t without its share, the president topping the list. Even he didn’t publicly say it was great. Did I say it came at a time guaranteed to have maximum impact? Yes. Did I say she probably should have stepped down when she had a chance for Obama to appoint her successor? Yes. Do I still dislike some of the things she did? Yes. Am I dancing with glee that she’s dead? No. Did I say something to the effect of dedicating the birth of my next child to her memory, like Dan Savage dedicating gay sex to the memory of Scalia? No. Did I immediately put on “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead,” like some folks did when Baroness Thatcher’s time came? No. You make of this what you will.

      • So you would describe the people who celebrated Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death as sociopaths as well?

        This is an interesting problem. It is an ethical question obviously. We know for a fact that it is absolutely fine and fair to hope for and celebrate the death, even the most violent and horrid death, of one who truly deserved it. Obvious, I can make the reference to Hitler to illustrate my point. But you could come up with your own list.

        Now, I would never, ever ‘celebrate’ anyone having to face their death, or being in pain while dying. It is not a sentiment that rises up in me.

        But the curious thing — I am not conflating two very distinct events but I am drawing a parallel — is that RBG’s advocacy and activism, as part of a larger social movement for which she is not solely responsible (she being just an important player) have a huge responsibility for the deaths of many, but they are deaths of a different sort.

        Now the question is Would it be ethical to celebrate the death of Hitler? Or the man they killed recently in Iraq with that drone (the one that slices people to bits)? If I can celebrate the killing of these men, or their death, why could I not ‘celebrate’ (feel gladness, or exultation) that RBG died?

        Did people ‘celebrate’? What did they say when they celebrated? (I saw no such thing myself but don’t at all doubt that they did).

        It is sociopathic in a way to ‘celebrate’ someone’s death, even a political opponent. But the important issue here is that celebration is indeed allowed, and even encouraged, when ‘the enemy’ has been identified. Hitler, Saddam Hussein, you get the point.

        There is a stretch in implicating RBG in ‘the murder of millions’. She is part of a wide processes and did not herself make those decisions. But I admit that the parallels interest me, philosophically.

        I made a joke — in deliberate poor taste — because RBG acted intensely stupidly, and against her own party’s interest and the interests of all those women who see her as their champion, in not resigning so her clone could be appointed. That is not ‘sociopathic’ (I say in my own defense! Perhaps I have some doubts? 🙂 )

        • I had been (as always) researching word meanings. I was interested in the verb in Spanish despreciar. The closest translation is ‘to detest’. [For example to say “I despise you” it would be “te desprecio”]. But when I looked into the Latin origin I found something interesting:

          de·test (dĭ-tĕst′)
          tr.v. de·test·ed, de·test·ing, de·tests
          To dislike intensely; abhor.
          [French détester, from Latin dētestārī, to curse : dē-, de- + testārī, to invoke (from testis, witness; see trei- in Indo-European roots).]

          detest (dɪˈtɛst)
          vb
          (tr) to dislike intensely; loathe
          [C16: from Latin dētestārī to curse (while invoking a god as witness), from de- + testārī to bear witness, from testis a witness]

          What interested me — obviously for my own purposes — is the idea of ‘appropriately loathing’ s.o. or s.t. But within that loathing an element of curse. There is a notion of witnessing, and explaining.

          • That’s odd. I had thought deprecate was a closer translation for despreciar, but upon looking it up I find it’s a false cognate.

      • “So you would describe the people who celebrated Ruth Bater Ginsberg’s death as sociopaths as well?”

        Possibly, if such people were actually celebrating her death and not just hyperbolic about being glad she was no longer on the court. Even many of her fans would have celebrated her leaving during obama’s term, and some have cursed her for not having done so. Would those who wanted see her hang on for another year (or five) while increasingly suffering be any better than those who truly wished her dead?

  4. As a side note to my fellow Ethics Alarms commenters…

    Ethics Alarms has been a staple of reading for many of us over the years. The blogger Jack Marshall has never asked a thing from any of us over the years. Now it’s time that we give something back that shows the value that his efforts have been and continue to be. Jack inspires discussion about the ethical lessons that can be learned by looking at current events. Other than the automatic fees that GoFundMe charges, 100% of the gifted dollars will be sent directly to Jack Marshall for the purpose of getting a new laptop blogging computer of his choice.


    Ethics Alarms New Laptop Fundraiser

    • Thanks for starting this, it’s something I wouldn’t have thought of. If it helps Jack and makes his life easier I am all for it.

      He does a monumental job with this blog and I really appreciate it, even the posts where I have some disagreements.

    • Steve, do you have a plan on what Jack’s getting? As a former BigTech employee I may be able to get something nice on discount (or not, depends on what the warehouse has). Reach out to Jack via email and add me to that thread (he has my address) and I’ll see what I can find.

      • Alex wrote, “Steve, do you have a plan on what Jack’s getting? As a former BigTech employee I may be able to get something nice on discount (or not, depends on what the warehouse has). Reach out to Jack via email and add me to that thread (he has my address) and I’ll see what I can find.”

        As I wrote above, “the gifted dollars will be sent directly to Jack Marshall for the purpose of getting a new laptop blogging computer of his choice.”

        All I’m doing is facilitating a place for others to participate, if they choose, in offering a gift from the heart to Jack. You can contact Jack directly if you wish and offer your suggestions.

      • Good idea. If you get models narrowed down, I could check with one of my “old” Scouts who’s the manager of a local Best Buy. Same sort of deal…availability may vary, and some types of items don’t really have much markup to retail.

  5. When the numbers are finally tabulated there will be little change in the year-to-year death count. Right now we are running ahead of 2019, but not by much. How much of that is attributed to skipped medical care? As cold-hearted and inhumane as it sounds this virus is picking off those who were quite possibly in God’s waiting room. What is becoming clear to me is this virus is like all others and is stealth. It will come back masks or no masks, SD, lockdowns, etc.

    • I have seen a lot of talk by people saying that as most of the people dying from the Wuhan virus are elderly or as you say in God’s waiting room, which suggests that as these people in their seventies or eighties are near death so that they were going to die anyway, which also suggests that there is not much of a loss from this virus. But the thing is that as aged as these people are, some of them still have many years ahead of them. An example is my father who had a heart attack at 77. If the Wuhan virus was around then there is a good chance that with the combination of heart attack and Wuhan he would have died but fortunately he didn’t. Next Sunday I will go to visit him to celebrate his 93rd birthday.

      • I live in Massachusetts and 67% of our dearths are in nursing facilities. Over 6,000. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but three things hit home with the virus right up front: (1) the Cruise ship (2) The Biogen Conference and (3) The nursing home in Washington State that had 22 quick kills. Summary to me is it spreads and hits old folks. And that is what has happened especially old folks (and others) with underlying issues. The government has provided incentives for COVID-19 deaths so if you die of a heart attack and have COVID-19 it can be listed.

        There is plenty of finger-pointing available on all levels and Trump deserves his share but my ire is towards Cuomo and Baker. Especially Baker. Hindsight is great but everyone knew damn well about this targeting the elderly. We knew it from Asia and especially Europe.

        I like the Swedish approach and wished we had used that with a bit more modification since masks help (minimally) but provide comfort to others. Otherwise, they kept the economy going as best they could and schools open with the young adult students’ virtual learning.

    • Other Bill, not sure. It was not defined, but this phrase appeared in there somewhere: “intergroup dialogue.” That is my guess.

      -Jut

      • Ah Hah! “We need to have a conversation!” Got it. Which means, “You have to sit quietly while I tell you how the cow eats the cabbage.” Delightful.

  6. But I really do wonder how decent people can make common cause with hateful individuals like this.

    They can not.

    I agreed with his decision to largely eschew masks in public appearances, just as FDR kept his wheelchair mostly hidden from public view and like George Washington riding into battle in full uniform, gleaming white wig, ring a tall white charger.

    Joe Biden has been hiding in the basement, taking half-days and yesterday gave a speech while wearing a mask. He looks weak, and is weak.

    The purpose of wearing a mask is to protect others if one is an asymptoamatic carrier, and as you point out, there is no mediucal copnsensus on the idea that asymptomatic carriers can infect others.

    President Trump is tested at least once a day, and more if he was inc lose contact with others (such as attendees at a Rose Garden event). His non-use of a mask can be justified by his previous frequent negative tests.

  7. Regarding #3:

    “The university is investigating a racially diverse group of students in an incident involving a false report to the university police department. The students responsible will be held accountable for their actions at every possible level.”

    I may be missing something, but I interpret this to that by emphasizing the offenders were “racially diverse”, that they are not treating it as a racially motivated “hate crime”, but are treating the “swatting” incident as a serious crime in its own right.

      • I was curious to see Jack’s analysis, and I normally read his blog several times a week, I just choose not to engage. Truthfully, I’d probably be a commenter here more often but for the fact that I have zero interest in engaging with the racist bot. And her comments take up so much real estate, I risk serious carpal tunnel sydrome just scrolling by. I have another friend who stopped commenting here for the same reason. 🙂

          • It is your blog, and you should do what you want. How you choose to moderate this site will influence the number of commenters and the quality of the comments. I personally think that you lost readership because of her. It’s not just her ideas, but her refusal to post anything of value or stay on topic. It dumbs down your blog and thus your readership. She writes essays about nothing and then proclaims herself so deep that only she can understand the bigger picture. Quite frankly, she is the stupid girl in your Philosophy seminar who doesn’t know she’s stupid and ruins it for the rest of us because she’s unable to understand social cues or she’s just an ass. So, we end up dropping the class.

            • Still Spartan wrote, “She writes essays about nothing and then proclaims herself so deep that only she can understand the bigger picture. Quite frankly, she is the stupid girl in your Philosophy seminar who doesn’t know she’s stupid and ruins it for the rest of us because she’s unable to understand social cues or she’s just an ass. So, we end up dropping the class.”

              We have some similar viewpoints on this particular topic but my opinion is just a bit different, I shared it back in a different thread back in late August.

          • I just went through this group of comments. And of course you and all others are entitled to their opinions. Only I think you are dishonest. There have been numerous people who have appreciated what I have written.

            But when Spartan writes: “It is your blog, and you should do what you want. How you choose to moderate this site will influence the number of commenters and the quality of the comments. I personally think that you lost readership because of her. It’s not just her ideas”

            she is of course right. I am highly certain that this was so in the case of Alicia Klein who, unaware even of the deep conflicts within Israeli society about Zionism (there is a very strong Haredi anti-Zionist movement) could only assert that I am a (as the term is so broadly used) anti-Semite.

            But where I differ, of course, is that it really does have to do with *the ideas*. I have never been cruelly or maliciously insulting and I have always kept a respectful tone. I have engaged in some sarcasm and some ridicule (Steve Witherspoon comes to mind), and I did many times write to you saying that out of respect for your blog I would, at a mere word, stop posting here out of respect to you.

            Why did you not take me up on the offer? Why instead of coming out and saying what you think would you always post comments after other’s comments to indicate whatever it is that indicates?

            Spartan, Steve, Humble and numerous others definitely *hate the ideas* that I work with and have presented. If my ideas would have been more consistent with theirs I would have been much more accepted, and more part of the club or cabal that developed on blogs like this. The *world at large* is on a daily basis banning people and sited who deal in the critical areas of ideas I deal in.

            I have thought many many times how many people, not just a few, would read some of the opinions or views I-we think about and consider and very definitely would not feel *comfortable* participating. But that is true even with some people who are really only a bit to the right of center (or in the zone like Pat Buchanan and Ann Coulter).

            Certain ideas are just *intolerable* and even when there is, for example, a real commitment to free expression (one that you recognize), certain thoughts are effectively not permitted. The denizens have to *hate* them. As Spartan did right at the very start when we differed on opinions about sexuality.

            It is the people that *hated* me (I use this in the sense I defined above) who are still carrying on in that same way. For Spartan I became a ‘racist-bot’ and for Steve a ‘troll’. And these people always seem to have their ways to get their way. Just by perseverance. And by constant suggestion, a form of meddling.

            But again Spartan is not wrong. If you and they and we were really honest my ideas are not good for your blog-project. But what that means is that you seek a group of people who more-or-less agree with each other. I do understand that that is how things work in forum-environments.

            In any case 🙂 I guess I am rambling again as is my tendency.

            I do not agree with your or their assessment of my ideas. I have covered far more ground in many different areas. I am not a subtraction or a deficit I am an addition. I have a great deal to contribute. And my sense of what I am or what I have to offer does not depend on the silly things (unsubstantive with no reference to any particular area of idea) that have been said.

            At the same time, months ago, I had myself been thinking of moving on. And I think this is as good a time to do so as any.

            You and any others are free of course (invited is the word) to write some parting thoughts, some words of advise, and I promise that I will read them. But obviously I will refrain from posting here. Sincerely and honestly I wish you all the very best in your lives in all possible senses.

            Finally, there are a number of people who have have understood and have appreciated some of the thoughts and ideas I work with. I would not even mention names because it seems somehow crass or vulgar (I always about politics and *teaming up* one against others or — in this case — small group against one. But I do sincerely thank those who have mentioned their appreciation or agreement with at least some aspects of my thought. (And they ‘know who they are’ as the saying goes).

            And also a solid thank-you to you. I have without doubt learned a great deal from you. I also know, with certainty, that I disagree with what I would call a whole *underpinning* to your political, and definitely your ethical, views. But just the fact that you do this and do it with such strength is amazing.

            Let’s see, anything else?

            Oh I forgot … what was the topic? 🙂

  8. #3: I don’t know if this is quite race baiting, but it’s at least Balkanization (one thing we need more of, surely 😉 ). Just became aware that NBC news apparently operates separate twitter feeds for black, latino, Asian, and alphabet groups. Check out @NBCBLK, etc. at

  9. Two observations ; I have seen almost no reports of how well or otherwise Melania Trump is doing.
    And while Trump’s erratic behaviour would definitely be put down as steroid induced mania if it were anyone else but Trump, it may not be.

    All of the medics I know personally are most concerned for Trump’s health, far more than they were on Friday. The little information we have suggests, strongly suggests, the same pattern seen in similar cases, in particular that of Herman Cain.

    Strong suggestion is not proof. But if you’re into prayers, better start saying em.

    • 1. Reporters didn’t even ask about Melania, because, in essence, they don’t give a damn, and assume their readers and viewers don’t give a damn. She has been dehumanized from the beginning.

      2. One should presume that the President is getting the best medical advice available, and I’m sure you know that with this demon virus, no case can be safely analogized to any other. Again, it is the President’s duty to appear as strong and resilient as possible, and to get back on the job. This, of course, places his fate, and perhaps ours, at the mercy of moral luck.

      3. But it is anyway…

      • Reporters only are interested in Melania when they can malign her for her accent or her choice of clothes. As far as they are concerned she’s just a whore who barely speaks English and got lucky. What they REALLY would like to see happen is for this virus to take the president out of the running, or out of life entirely, so that they can say “I told you so” while hailing that Biden finally made the Orange Man Bad “shut up already.”

      • P.S. Mike Pence might as well fold his tent, because as far as reporters are concerned, Kamala Harris has already wiped the floor with him, because a sexist guy like him CAN’T win against a successful black woman who already ran circles around Brett Kavanaugh (unfortunately Susan Collins messed that up, but she’s done now).

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