Comment Of The Day: Wednesday Ethics Windstorm,11/11/20: Liars, Knaves, Fools And Birds

Steve Witherspoon gets a Comment of the Day nod for a frank expression of his current state of mind, which I’m sure mirrors that of many citizens right now. He’s wrong to be so despairing, because despair is always wrong, and more importantly, it has not been the American way, even in times far, far darker and more ominous than these.

“Hope is dead” he writes. Hope is dead? “That way madness lies,” King Lear said, and the crazy old coot was right for once. Sure, there’s a lot to worry about; there always is. But the American spirit is strong. As long as this race—the American race, which comes in all colors—refuses to be pushed around, and it does, Steve’s gloom will be unwarranted.

I have written too many posts perhaps, and I know regular readers notice a few stories I have cited more than once. This one I am sure I have referenced before, if not in a post then in a comment (incidentally, Ethics Alarms passed 300,000 comments this week!), but when I’m feeling like Steve is this morning, it’s one of American moments that reminds me that there is hope, and why.

When Jimmy Carter, a President we elected when America was momentarily sick of Presidents, lectured the nation in a televised address about sacrifice and doing with less, he told everyone to lower their thermostats in the dead of winter (I don’t recall how low, but the idea was “wear a sweater”). This was because the U.S. was running out of oil and at the mercy of the Middle East cabal, or so we were told. (Windmills and solar panels would solve it all, of course.) All of the media talking heads were nodding like those stupid plastic dogs people used to have in rear windows of their cars. Then a local reporter went into the public square to interview a “man in the street,” who was NOT run down by a lorry like the “man in the street” interviewed on a Monty Python episode. This particular man was asked if he was going to lower his thermostat as President Carter asked/begged/commanded.

The answer was vociferous. “Lower it? Hell, I’m going to raise it. Who the hell is the President to tell me what I can do in my own home?” The interviewer was stunned, and my father started applauding and laughing.

“There it is!” he said. “That’s what I was fighting for! How does someone become President who understands so little about his own country?”

Good question, Dad. Donald Trump, for all of his flaws, gets that aspect of the American spirit at least. The Axis of Unethical Conduct’s four-year Operation Get Trump may have succeeded, smashing ethical principles left and right, but the Democrats and progressives got clobbered in this election. If they don’t heed the obvious warning, they will be clobbered worse in the next one. The sane Democrats know it. Yes, the news media is a big, big problem, perhaps most of the problem, but  the fact is that the people who run these news organizations just aren’t very smart: the whole profession of journalism has always attracted mediocre minds. Look what Fox News has done to itself in a single year. Don’t worry too much Steve. They are mostly morons.

“Maybe a couple of cups of coffee will lift this morning’s veil of darkness and improve the psyche.,” Steve concludes. That usually works for me—that, a stirring rendition of a Sousa march, Judy singing “Zing Went The Strings of My Heart” in Carnegie Hall, or seeing the Duke tell Lucky New Pepper, “Fill your hand you sonofabitch!” as he jams the reins of his horse in his mouth and charges, guns blazing.

There is always hope.

Especially in the USA.

Here is Steve Witherspoon’s Comment of the Day on the post, ‘Wednesday Ethics Windstorm,11/11/20: Liars, Knaves, Fools And Birds.”

It’s a dark, dark morning for the Witherspoon psyche, the optimist in me is completely suppressed right now and the pessimist in me is in full control.

There are so many openly anti-Constitutional, anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-civility and anti-rule of law things being done and said by political leaders and common citizens across the USA and it’s been going on for so long now that I really am to the point that I truly and actually believe that all the societal signs are showing us that the United States of America is on its way towards some form of totalitarian styled socialism/communism and it will likely happen in my lifetime. It’s now become politically correct, a social norm and in some places it’s to be expected to be anti-Constitution, anti-American, anti-Democracy, anti-republic, anti-rule of law, anti-civility, anti we’re in this together, etc.; the foundations of the USA have all been undermined in the psyche of a huge swath of the public; I think we’re done.

Biden’s statement’s about unity, Republicans are not our enemies and working together in peace are a rhetorical smoke screen from an empty suit puppet of the extreme political left. Republicans or anyone that opposes the far left’s rise to power are being shunned as a social outcasts, they will be the USA equivalent to the Jews in Germany in the 1930’s. What form of Scarlet Letter do you think the left’s opposition (half of the voting population) will be forced to display on their clothing? They’ve been projecting their recruiting methods for a while now, if you’re not actively and publicly advocating for their side then you are a racist, you’re either pro them or you’re against them, there is no in middle ground.

What will the Left call their brown shirts and Nazi youth brigades?

Since the political left’s way has shown to be that it’s their way or the highway, the only thing that will turn this around is either limited armed insurrection or full-blown civil war. At this point looking forward I truly believe that the political right will either be forced to lay down their arms or they will be forced to use them – I really do think it’s inevitable.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not advocating for war of any kind, in fact I hope we can turn the tables on this and put a sudden stop to the far left’s extremist goals for another hundred years or more, I just don’t see how it can be accomplished. Hope is dead.

Maybe a couple of cups of coffee will lift this morning’s veil of darkness and improve the psyche.

32 thoughts on “Comment Of The Day: Wednesday Ethics Windstorm,11/11/20: Liars, Knaves, Fools And Birds

    • Hope lies in a younger generation having an understanding what’s at stake in governance, or gaining it as they move though life.

      When true debate and discussion are not engaged in face to face (when comedians reference families at restaurants all on their phones…), and vast swaths rely on big tech for nearly all of their communication, which censors debate points not theirs (Ethics Alarms is still blocked, right?), how will people be able to do that in numbers that matter? To know how unique this country is, and how brutal the rest of the world is, to really flesh that out? And I question how many people of any age want to do that anymore, nevermind our tech savvy youth and Silicon Valley overlords.

      Now, I engage my leftist daughter (or so I think she is based on her positions) in brutal debates that take time to develop, and she sees after a time, and I’ll be less brutal with friends (who are more open to debate, generally) so I do my part where I can, but, see Steve’s comment….

      I believe Mr. W is correct, unfortunately.

      But, I do need some coffee this morning.

      • Hope lies in a younger generation having an understanding what’s at stake in governance,

        Not likely if their teachers are under 55, or not raised by parents (and maybe a grandparent or two) whom they talked to, who had had at least Cs in Civics class and a college, vocational or apprenticeship behind them, who has taught someone else something, who has liked five or more “real” books they had read on their own, who knows that “social” media is toxic, and who has at least considered getting rid of the TV – except for Jack, who has to watch all 17,532 stations at once.

        An entire generation of education faculty have taught several generations of student teachers how not to think – to be afraid to think, to forbid or replace words, to stifle any opinion other than the teachers’ and, for administrators, how to bring parents to heel. The educators have inculcated in today’s teachers a belief that there is no case for merit, no need for music, or art (okay, Tex, however it’s defined) , nor dance, or drama, “shop” and “domestic sciences” why not?,,,, and to turn their backs on honest sex education, an honest and thorough history that may need expanding in general but never special histories invented for people who want to think they have a separate history. They stomp out any fire that burns to “borrow or steal” from any culture that has ever been in this world … and, most of all to disrespect individuality.

        I still have hope that it is not the future (hope is, after all, what the future is about), but I think it’s too late.

  1. A particularly astute comment in today’s WSJ in an article about WHO yielding to PRC pressure (surprise!) regarding Taiwan (No, I didn’t write it):

    “When I read the figures about Communist China’s experience with covid I thought of something we see frequently in domestic news. “Without citing any evidence” is a phrase we often see in print and hear broadcast when Pres. Trump makes a claim, say, a claim about voter fraud.

    I didn’t see any similar skepticism about the numbers coming out of Communist China and the claims of success by its authoritarian gov’t.”

    • The memo went out to all the media to use the word “baseless”as the preferred adjective when describing anything Trump said. The phrase “without evidence” is also used.

      Funny they never use that word or phrase when they put a label on people.

    • “Without citing any evidence” is also not used for WHO or CDC pronouncements. No one says “The CDC is promoting the use of masks to reduce the spread of Covid-19 without citing any evidence”, yet that is true. They say “Trump claims mail-in voting will increase voter fraud without evidence” despite the fact that 80% of Europe, Mexico, etc banned mail-in and absentee voting after major scandals destroyed the credibility of their elections. Mail-in voting causes so much fraud that the Italians noticed, but that isn’t considered ‘evidence’.

      Even worse is their statements of ‘Trust the science’, then they completely ignore the science. If you wanted to follow what science indicates about this outbreak, it indicates that we need to fire EVERYONE at the CDC. They have collected data in such a way as to obscure the number of sufferers and deaths from COVID-19. They have allowed incompatible reporting criteria in different parts of the country and mixed the data, muddling any interpretation. They have changed the definitions of cases several times, making future predictions difficult and analyzing the success of prevention measures impossible. They have grouped the data in age ranges that make it impossible to compare this outbreak to other, similar disease outbreaks. They have applied the Real-Time PCR tests incorrectly, resulting in great uncertainty about what a positive COVID-19 test means (it appears that only ~10% of positive tests actually indicate a current, infectious case). They actively call for the censoring or firing of anyone who questions the official line, yet contrarian voices are how science ACTUALLY progresses.

      When they say ‘Without citing any evidence’, they mean ‘There is a lot of evidence’. When they say ‘Trust the science’, they mean ‘Trust in authority, don’t you dare think for yourself.’

      My students pointed out the fact that the CDC does not actually believe that masks work. They complained that the CDC guidelines force them into quarantine if they have been within 6 feet of someone with a positive test and it doesn’t matter if anyone was wearing a mask or not. They asked “If masks work, wouldn’t there be a different guideline for ‘with masks worn’ and ‘no masks worn’?” Yes there would.

  2. Steve, this is a grim comment to be sure. I doubt if I can elevate your mood, but I will make a couple of observations:

    There are so many openly anti-Constitutional, anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-civility and anti-rule of law things being done and said by political leaders and common citizens across the USA and it’s been going on for so long now that I really am to the point that I truly and actually believe that all the societal signs are showing us that the United States of America is on its way towards some form of totalitarian styled socialism/communism and it will likely happen in my lifetime.

    I don’t totally agree, but I do agree that this is a danger. I am heartened by the resurgence of the Republicans in the house and the conflagration of so much Democratic money attempting to unseat Republican incumbents. The Democrats burned almost 70 million dollars in the senate race in Kentucky alone (against 30 MUSD for McConnell) only for the pleasure of being curb-stomped. McGrath posters and ads blanketed the media and the streets, outnumbering “Team Mitch” 100-1 even in the most conservative areas of Kentucky, and that money might as well have been dropped in a bottomless hole for all the good it did.

    That tells me the signal of freedom is still getting out there, and being heard.

    The flood of new subscribers to Parler, MeWe and other alternate social media is heartening. The defenestration of Fox News after its sudden left turn is heartening. The bare margin of the presidential election even after rampant fraud and a non-stop 4-year fully-paid-for media campaign commercial for the Democrats is heartening. There are silver linings to be found, dark as the clouds may be.

    There is more than just a little hope, but your point is not unworthy — there is also grave danger.

    Biden’s statement’s about unity, Republicans are not our enemies and working together in peace are a rhetorical smoke screen from an empty suit puppet of the extreme political left.

    Even worse, it is totalitarian, a tactic of the old USSR. A call to unity in such a closely-divided and openly hostile electorate is a deadly insult, and a threat of repercussions for failure to conform. It is being rejected, as it should be, as the condescending, offensive, Communist offal it is. The Democrats are the enemy, and no mistake. They must be defeated, and their nascent crypto-Communism rejected utterly.

    At this point looking forward I truly believe that the political right will either be forced to lay down their arms or they will be forced to use them – I really do think it’s inevitable.

    I’m sure we will be given that choice. I suspect, however, the Left will ultimately back down when faced with the reality of open conflict and play for time, hoping we will all tire of the confrontation. It is not a foregone conclusion that they are wrong, but I have to believe they are.

    I hope you feel better, but if not, the best thing you, and the rest of us can do, is prepare for the worst and work hard to defend our Republic, praying all the while that armed conflict is but the specter of a dystopian future and not the reality.

    • Nicely done, Glenn. You made points I was about to make but more eloquently.

      Steve, take heart. There are already signs of the Left imploding on itself. Robspierre, anyone? At a “spontaneous” celebration of Biden’s monumental unity victory over Orange Man Evil, BLM supporters openly fought with Biden supporters – I mean fist fights. It was lovely. The funny part was when a black man supporting BLM openly pummeled a woman Biden supporter and the emcee justified it by attacking police officers attempting to arrest the guy for assault. Race trumps unity? Go figure.


      • I happened to be on Amsterdam’s crazy, high end, Rodeo Drive kind of shopping street when there was suddenly a lot of noise and a BLM protest came down the middle of the street. In a word, it was intimidating and scary. Okay, in at least two words. They strike me as a really nasty crew.

      • But you got the clip.

        The funny thing is that in 1963 when AH is set I had the exact shirt Belushi is wearing during that tirade.

        I am going to try to find that school pic of me in it.

      • Dean Vernon Wormer to Greg Marmalard: Put Neidermeyer on it. He’s a sneaky little shit just like you. Don’t the credits say Neidermeyer was “fragged” by his squad in Vietnam?

        The entire returning Obama administration reminds me of the Omegas. Ben Rhodes? Susan Rice? Rahm Emmanuel?

        • Chuck Schumer would make a great Dean Vernon Wormer. Either of the Cuomo brothers could play Carmine De Pasto:

          Dean Vernon Wormer: Carmine, I don’t think it’s right that you should extort money from the college.

          Mayor Carmine De Pasto: Look, these parades you throw are very expensive. You using my police, my sanitation people, and my Oldsmobiles free of charge. So, if you mention extortion again, I’ll have your legs broken.

  3. “Jimmy Carter, a President we elected when America was momentarily sick of Presidents”

    Made my day. Thanks.

    During the suppressed Hunter Biden “coverage,” all I could think of when viewing Hunter snuggled up to his crack pipe was, “Man, this kid has retired the Billy Carter Trophy awarded to embarrassing relatives of politicians.”

  4. I have read Steve’s comments over the years. I was surprised by the dark tone as most of his comments are hopeful and optimistic.

    Despair, though, is a terrible place. It feeds on itself and ends in a bad place. There us always hope.


  5. I read his comment earlier this morning; Steve is one of my favorite (if not the favorite) commenters here. Seemingly, I have the same thoughts as Steve but he is so much better at putting those thoughts into words. When I finished reading his comment this morning, I thought, yes, that’s how a lot of us feel at this point but hope never dies.

  6. Being scared, being mad, being vengeful, and being depressed about this is what our more unhinged members of society want.

    Don’t give them the satisfaction.

    (Bring out the swords because here’s my Pollyanna moment.)

    In spite of the incredible depths to which I have seen my fellow Americans go to destroy a President, we know for sure at least 70 million people didn’t buy it. Considering certain factions have the most media, tech, entertainment, schools, and non-profits in alignment with The Agenda, tens of millions Americans gave them the proverbial finger.

    Against the odds, you can’t deny that’s a lot of people who won’t be told what to do by smug bullies who right now appear to have the most power to persuade.

    I do believe we will see doubling down. The popular kids don’t just want Trump gone, they want
    those who voted for him to experience some sort of consequence. Again this is only the most unhinged…for now. Utopian pursuits will continue to amplify marxist-globalist goals I suspect. The great kum-by-yah for many will be an even bigger kum-by-no for the rest of us.

    However they are starting to see they don’t own minority votes either. As Douglas Murray noted in a recent article on Unherd:

    In the last couple of days, broadcasters on major American networks have claimed on air, on the basis of Trump’s Mexicans comment, that Hispanics have suffered more prejudice than at any point in their lifetimes. The same Hispanics who just voted for Trump in record-breaking numbers.

    In some minority demographics support for Trump doubled. That’s great news!

    In ways, this new conservatism is kinda punk rock. We’ve become the Johnny Rotten’s of this new millieu. We’re bold enough to say, “I won’t go along and be told how to label myself or how to think about this country.”

    So now we live our lives with heads up, with humility, knowing we’re not alone. And you know what? That drives the politically religious left bananas. They hate that for us, politics isn’t the beginning and end of our moral leanings. They hate that we can endure our candidate losing (legitimately or not) and still go on to be happy and free.

    It’s okay to be concerned for the future. It’s not okay to let it stop us from doing what we can, while we can to help others. 70+ million voters chose to think for themselves rather than let propaganda, accusations, threats and violence stop them from casting a vote for Trump.

    History shows nothing lasts forever. Those who stay strong and focused pass that on to future generations, even if they suffer in the process.

    Tears in beers at night lead to coffee fueled purpose in the morning. Grieve. Then get to work on what’s most important: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And don’t let any Baader-Meinhoff personality type take that from you, ever.

    If I could I’d give you a big hug Steve.

  7. >>>They hate that we can endure our candidate losing (legitimately or not) and still go on to be happy and free.

    Amen to that! It hurts, and watching what they’ll do in power will make us cringe, but that’s not the sum total of our existence.

    As long as we — the GOP — can remember what Trump was plugged into, we will be back. He has the pulse of the people like few others in my lifetime, I think.

    And, speaking of lessons from the election, look at California. Biden won the state by almost 5 million votes. Naturally the affirmative action amendment won easily, right? Nope, it lost. The amendment to make gig workers employees. It lost. The amendment to lift the property tax limits on commercial property. It lost.

    What’s up with Californians? You might think they’re tired of drinking the Kool-Aid …….

  8. I posted this same comment elsewhere on the internet this morning and here is a small piece of one of the replies…

    “They say the First amendment and citizens united allows it. Ok well then, sure, that is the law but let the law be changed. Lets get rid of that First amendment. Overhaul that thing. The case law stinks, and the words have failed in their essential purpose. The people can write new law, it is not holy write. I don’t think it’s protecting us anymore just the billionaires. If we need to change it to get to them, then it must be done. Save the nation by destroying the parasite which has seized our nervous system and turned the body politic into a zombie. Bring the nation back to life.”

    (I boldfaced some of the text for emphasis)

    My reply was…

    “This is exactly the kind of anti-Constitution garbage that I was talking about in my comment. If the Constitution prevents you from getting your way then you want to change the Constitution; this is irrational anti-Constitutional, anti-American, anti-freedom, anti-civility and anti rule of law magical thinking. It’s also shows completely ignorance and lack of respect for the Constitution and its purpose.

    No! Getting rid of the Constitution, or parts of the Constitution, because it prevents you and others from stripping rights from people you oppose is NOT the correct path to unity, sanity or safety, it will lead to civil war. Your kind of thinking is ends justifies the means garbage and based on open bigotry. Your kind of thinking to suppress the rights of those you oppose translated into actions will be an enemy to the Constitution.

    Bigotry: obstinate or unreasonable attachment to a belief, opinion, or faction; in particular, prejudice against a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

    Bigot: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions.”

    The mentality of the left to far left has changed in the last 10+ years, if the law prevents them from getting their way they think it’s the law that’s wrong; this magical thinking is pure poison to our constitution, law and order and our society as a whole.

    Also I’d like to personally thank everyone that’s tried to talk me off the ledge today, starting with Jack. All your efforts are genuinely appreciated.

    It’s interesting how a little caffeine and some food directly affects the psyche. I’m feeling a little more like myself after lunch time and a little freedom time in the motorcycle saddle even though it’s only 52° but I’m still in a really grouchy mood which is likely due to an absolute lack of REM sleep over the last four weeks. I feel a lot like I used to feel when training privates and cadets in the Army many years ago.

    Here’s my little piece of mind-numbing wind-whipping freedom machine sitting outside my office window.

      • You got the model and size correct, good job! These are great bikes for short hops around town and an hour or two ride in the country, I’d never talk it on long hauls, it’s simply not comfortable on to ride on the highway. I just picked up this bike in August, 20,000 miles and like new great price, going to put some Cobra drag pipes on it over the winter or early next year because I don’t like the baffle modification the previous owner did, it’s plenty loud right now but has a hollow wonkiness to the sound that I dislike.

        I’ve had two of these Intruders over the years the first one was the 750 in my Army days and now this 1400, had one used HD Low rider for a few years just after my Army days a while back, then I got a new Honda Goldwing (below) for a long solo tour around the USA one year…

        A long time ago I had a couple of smaller Honda’s (2) 175, 550 four cylinder (great bike!), 750, and I have plans in the works to get a new one of these for Midwest area day trips and area group rides…

  9. Last Friday I test rode this bike…

    Yup, it was 38°F outside and I’m test riding a new motorcycle down the interstate 90/39 at 75mph; am I crazy or what? Conclusion after the test ride; it’s a good looker but it’s not for me. I’m going to wait for the 2021 models to hit the market and start test riding again.

    I’ll likely end up with one of these bagger models and all the functional bells and whistles that the tour models have…

    Pandemic or no pandemic, I’m going to have some unmasked spring/summer/fall motorcycle fun next year.

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