Ethics Coda, 1/11/21, At The End Of A Long, Bad Day…

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1. Let’s start with an Ethics Alarms project…I’d like to see as many people as possible to post this story on Facebook: “Facebook Suspends Ron Paul Following Column Criticizing Big Tech Censorship.” I did, just to see if Facebook would suspend me. After all, it banned Ethics Alarms for two years because I dared to question whether it was fair to regard Fred Astaire’s use of dark make-up to portray Bill Robinson in a “Top Hat”number as racist. Ron Paul did nothing except share an article he wrote criticizing Twitter and Facebook for banning President Donald Trump from their platforms. Paul wrote in part,“The justifications given for the silencing of wide swaths of public opinion made no sense and the process was anything but transparent. Nowhere in President Trump’s two ‘offending’ Tweets, for example, was a call for violence expressed explicitly or implicitly. It was a classic example of sentence first, verdict later.”

Yup. That makes sense. It makes more sense than a lot of what Paul says. There is no possible justification for what Facebook did. (So far, I haven’t been “deplatformed.” I just checked.)

What’s going on here?

2. Race-baiting at its worst. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA)—yes, the same guy the expressed concern that U.S. troops on Guam might cause it to “tip over”—told a nodding Al Sharpton that he has “no doubt” that the Trump supporters who raided the U.S. Capitol would have “lynched” black lawmakers like him had not police prevented it. He really said this. He may even believe it. He is part of the Democratic House majority. Does anyone in that majority have the integity to tell him he’s an irresponsible fool, or is this the accepted narrative: that Americans who don’t trust the election results want to kill African Americans? That’s funny: it’s a lot like the idea behind the riots the Democrats and mainstream media were justifying over the summer,

But it’s not just Johnson, though he’s special.

During an online video conference with her San Francisco constituents, The Hill reported that Nancy Pelosi said,

“When that assault was taking place on the Capitol, 3,865 people in our country died of the coronavirus, many of them people of color because of the injustice of it all. The next day, on Thursday, 4,000 people died of the coronavirus. Why? Because decisions were made at the highest level, months before in the Oval Office, of denial, distortion, delay, calling it a ‘hoax.” I thought it was going to be an epiphany for those who were in opposition of our democracy to see the light. Instead, it was. an epiphany for the world to see that there are people in our country, led by this President, for the moment, who have chosen their whiteness over democracy. That’s what this is about.”

Is the woman stupid, or evil? The “hoax” canard has even been abandoned my the media: the President said the “hoax” was what Pelosi said in that quote, that the pandemic deaths were due to unspecified mistakes by the President, After all this time, the Big Lie that Trump’s election was all due to white supremacy is still alive and well.

3. Because polls about Trump have been so reliable…a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released today had the gall to expect us to believe its findings that roughly 48% of respondents agreed that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings to remove Trump from office, compared to 44% who disagreed. Also today, Rasmussen announced that Trump’s approval rating rose 2% after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.

4. . How humiliating. Now Europe is lecturing the United States about the importance of free speech.

5. I know we knew this, but Patriots coach Bill Bellichick is an asshole. The Patriots head coach and established ethic corrupter announced that he was rejecting the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as just another gratuitous insult to the President. “Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior recipients,” Belichick said.”Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award. Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our nation’s values, freedom and democracy.”

No you aren’t, you grandstanding ass. If you were, you would know that the award comes from the Office of the Presidency, which represents the United States of America. Snubbing the honor disrespects both, and is more than just another virtue-signalling cheap shot to suck up to Massachusetts Trump-haters.

The bright side is that Bellichick was a terrible choice for the honor, and was selected by Trump because the two men share dead ethics alarms.

26 thoughts on “Ethics Coda, 1/11/21, At The End Of A Long, Bad Day…

  1. Because polls about Trump have been so reliable…a POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released today had the gall to expect us to believe its findings that roughly 48% of respondents agreed that Congress should begin impeachment proceedings to remove Trump from office,

    Maybe they just never read your arguments.

    • Exactly. This was a business decision made, likely in agreement with owner Robert Kraft, to avoid unnecessarily shining a negative spotlight on the team and finding themselves in the media crosshairs.

    • I missed the paragraph where they dismissed all the charges against the BLM protesters, but can’t wait to charge more from the January 6th affair.

      It’s got to be in there somewhere…

  2. 2. In 1983, Susan Rosenberg and other members of a communist terrorist group, called M19, planted a bomb outside the US Senate chamber to assassinate Republican senators. The subsequent explosion caused over a million dollars in damage to the U.S. Capitol building.

    In 2001, Susan Rosenberg was pardoned by Bill Clinton, at the urging of Jerry Nadler. Susan Rosenberg is now a board member of Black Lives Matter, and teaches women’s studies at CUNY’s Hunter College in Manhattan.

    Is anyone on the left outraged about that? Do any leftists think that it is wrong for communists to commit violence? Is anyone on the left trying to cancel her? Get her fired from her job? Persecute her and from the public square of Twitter, Facebook or other social media? No. They are excusing it.

    Snopes did a “fact-check” on this, and claims that it is only partly true because “ In the absence of a single, universally-agreed definition of “terrorism,” it is a matter of subjective determination as to whether the actions for which Rosenberg was convicted and imprisoned — possession of weapons and hundreds of pounds of explosives — should be described as acts of “domestic terrorism.””

    As we should all clearly see, when leftists blow up the Capitol, it’s not really domestic terrorism. “Domestic terrorism” is only “domestic terrorism” when non-leftists commit terrorism. Violence is only violence when people on the right commit violence, or say things that make people upset. A riot is only a riot when people on the right gather in large groups and cause trouble. If the left gathers in large groups and burns down a city, or blows up a building, or murders someone, that is simply social justice. If the left fights with police and breaks into a government building, sets it on fire, and blockades the police in to burn to death, it is speaking truth to power. If the right gathers in a large group, fights with police, and break into a government building to take asinine selfies and wander around aimlessly because they are too unaccustomed to perpetrating crimes to understand how it works, it is insurrection, it is domestic terrorism, it is racism.

    The idea that “violence in the Capitol building is unprecedented” is bunk. The hysteria flowing from media, Big Tech and politicians is transparent propaganda. None of the people preaching hysterically about how horrible the riot at the Capitol was care one whit about violence or riots or the sanctity of the constitution or anything else they are piously screeching about.

    No one on the left, not the media, not Big Tech, and certainly not the politicians, have any moral authority on anything related to violence, protests, riots, or domestic terrorism. The insipid, cowardly, patently stupid, arrogant way they have spent the last few days preaching blatant hypocrisy like it is the gospel makes me nauseous. The way the republicans have spent the last few days bent over with their lips glued to the leftists’ backsides is mind-bogglingly revolting. There are not two parties in this country, there is only one, and it is nothing but a seething mass of lies, condescension, arrogance, stupidity, greed, hypocrisy, propaganda and narcissism.

    • Slight correction here. She was not pardoned by Clinton, her sentence was commuted from 58 years to the 16 she actually served. Beyond that, bullseye, and I think we are about to see just what kind of double standard there is as “armed protests” sweep all 50 state capitals. Unfortunately, once you set the precedent that the way to get what you want is to take to the streets, rough people up, and break stuff, eventually the other side is going to take it up as well, and the far right, once it gets going, has many more competent destroyers than the left. Fear three things, they say: the sea in a storm, the night without a moon, and the anger of a gentle man. I say fear three men: the scarred man where men are handsome, the old man where men die young, and the silent man who once had a lot to say.

      • Unfortunately, once you set the precedent that the way to get what you want is to take to the streets, rough people up, and break stuff, eventually the other side is going to take it up as well, and the far right, once it gets going, has many more competent destroyers than the left.

        Which begs the question as to why they set this precedent in the first place.

      • I pulled the pardon from a New York Post article. I looked in some other places after reading your comment and see it says her sentence was commuted. I would correct it but there is no edits.

  3. More about rioting from Jeff Jacoby

    http://view.email.bostonglobe.com/?qs=2130d66eb806776927956fa2028798a0fb730b299df97b4206575e26932a0b46564527aa6a0e23023523db37abd496a4a9af1ef018222d352be4ad7449d53efc10bedc1cc6111d2f4cb0cfc2b548989599ee03ec11ce0772

    Monday, June 8, 2020

    Subscribe to Arguable

    Are riots violence?

    My column in Sunday’s Boston Globe described the repeated looting last week of a store managed by my son (see ICYMI, below). The violence and destruction he had to deal with was considerable, but it was only a drop in the ocean of mayhem unleashed by rioters in cities nationwide.

    Surely no American adult with a normal sense of ethics and justice could fail to be horrified by the scenes of carnage, just as no one with a normal sense of ethics and justice could fail to be horrified by the pitiless killing of George Floyd. Right? Surely it is self-evident that the two are not mutually exclusive — that you can feel heartsick and angry because of what the police in Minneapolis did to Floyd, and feel heartsick and angry at the behavior of the thugs who left so many businesses and neighborhoods in ruins. You can raise your voice against police brutality without minimizing or condoning the devastation suffered by countless innocent victims of the rioters’ brutality.

    That was the very first point made by Terrence Floyd when he spoke last week at the site where his brother was killed. His grief for his brother was raw and palpable. So was his disgust and anguish at the orgy of smashing and burning:

    I understand y’all are upset. I doubt y’all are half as upset as I am. So if I’m not over here wilding out, if I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing? What are y’all doing? Y’all doing nothing. Because that’s not going to bring my brother back at all. . . . Do this peacefully — please.

    Much the same note was struck by former President Obama. In an essay posted on Medium , he began by acknowledging that “the waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system.” He noted that “the overwhelming majority of participants have been peaceful, courageous, responsible, and inspiring [and] deserve our respect and support.” And then he condemned the rioters and looters:

    On the other hand, the small minority of folks who’ve resorted to violence in various forms, whether out of genuine anger or mere opportunism, are putting innocent people at risk, compounding the destruction of neighborhoods that are often already short on services and investment and detracting from the larger cause. I saw an elderly black woman being interviewed today in tears because the only grocery store in her neighborhood had been trashed. If history is any guide, that store may take years to come back. So let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it. If we want our criminal justice system, and American society at large, to operate on a higher ethical code, then we have to model that code ourselves.

    The elderly black woman Obama referred to was one of innumerable Americans victimized by last week’s pillaging and wreckage. Perhaps this was the video he saw: A frightened resident tells a reporter that it was “scary” to see the riots in her neighborhood.

    They went straight to Office Max, to Dollar Store, and every store over here that I go to. I have nowhere to go now. I have no way to get there because the buses aren’t running. These people did this for no reason. It’s not going to bring George [Floyd] back. . . . These people are tearing up our livelihood. This is the only place I could go to shop, and now I don’t have anywhere to go. I don’t have any way to get there.

    The losses facing business owners and store managers in the wake of the mayhem is staggering. Joel Bertet, the owner of a high-end furniture showroom in Los Angeles, described some of that mayhem among his fellow shop owners:

    West Elm is across the street from me and was destroyed and emptied out. The precision and logistical aptitude carried on by the looters would have impressed FedEx. What is left is a completely boarded, immense eyesore. Graffiti is all over the building: “Eat the rich”; “Kill All Cops.”

    Further down the street, For Eyes was destroyed and ransacked as well. Mandarette Chinese had broken windows and vandalism [all] over the building. On Sunday morning, the owner was trying to clean up as best he could. Eddie’s Pharmacy farther down on Beverly was destroyed and emptied. CVS at the Beverly Connection is completely boarded up and closed after having been ransacked and looted.

    What really broke my heart was seeing Mel & Rose Liquor being methodically ruined and emptied out. My good friend has been there for years. The business closed and boarded up. It will be months before he will be able to reopen − if ever. Trashy Lingerie and BevMo also were destroyed and raided. Fairfax was on fire, and all of the hip and cool stores up and down were ruined and looted. . . .

    Many businesses will never reopen. The rest will struggle for years to overcome the enormous loss. Many will die slow deaths.

    Terrence Floyd, at the site where his brother George was killed, pleaded with looters and rioters to stop: “If I’m not over here blowing up stuff, if I’m not over here messing up my community, then what are y’all doing?”

    A Wall Street Journal editorial quoted a few of those crushed by the looting and arson:

    Luis Tamay is an immigrant with an Ecuadorean restaurant in Minneapolis. . . .

    “Seventeen years of work is gone,” Tamay told the Minneapolis Star Tribune after his restaurant, El Sabor Chuchi, burned to the ground. When the rioting began, he stood watch. But last Friday he obeyed curfew, believing that the National Guard would control the streets. Then on Facebook he saw video of his restaurant on fire. He told the newspaper he didn’t have insurance because it was too expensive.

    Safia Munye, a Somali immigrant in Minneapolis, opened Mama Safia’s Kitchen in 2018 with money saved for retirement. When the pandemic arrived, NPR reported, she couldn’t afford both insurance and to pay her workers. She did the latter. Now the restaurant is wrecked, but she’s hardly the intended target of George Floyd protesters. “My heart is broken. My mind is broken,” she said. . . .

    King’s Fashion in Philadelphia is a burned-out mess. “I don’t know what to do right now,” Helen Woo, a co-owner, told the Journal. “I built it up,” said her husband, Sung. “And it’s gone. My life is gone.” Masum Siddiquee lost about $200,000 of merchandise from his Philly store, MN Fashion and Jewelry. “I have no money right now,” he said.

    “I lost everything in one night,” said Sam Mabrouk, counting an estimated $70,000 in product stolen from his clothing shop in Columbus, Ohio. “That was my savings from 11 years of working. That’s what hurts more than anything.” In Milwaukee, Katherine Mahmoud’s cellphone store was looted empty, which she said had nothing to do with what the Floyd protesters are fighting for. “I look just like them,” she told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Why?”

    Who, seeing such pain and havoc, could react with unconcern or disdain?

    Maura Healey could.

    The Massachusetts attorney general, a liberal Democrat, delivered a speech via Zoom to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday. She claimed that her foremost priority as AG had been to address “centuries-long systemic racism.” (Actually, Healey’s priority has been to file lawsuits against the Trump administration, which, as Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi has written, “puts Healey in the national spotlight, generating favorable headlines.”) As violence and looting were shattering so many communities, this was the message Healey wanted her audience to take away:

    “Yes, America is burning. But that’s how forests grow.”

    In more than 30 years of following Massachusetts politics, I’m not sure I have ever heard a major state official utter words so callous and incendiary. Healey wasn’t speaking off the cuff, she was reading from a script. She actually smiled as she brushed off the tidal wave of arson and looting — and murder — as being in a good cause. She posted the quote on social media, leading one reader to comment: “I minored in Forestry. It takes a burned forest at least 50-100 years to fully recover. Is that what you want?”

    Healey’s atrocious attitude is what you get when ideologues allow theory to override common sense and decency. If violent criminals were burning Healey’s offices or threatening her loved ones, she wouldn’t regard it serenely as “how forests grow.” In Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reports that the riots and arson “have devastated organizations and businesses that serve communities of color. Destruction . . . has hit immigrant- and minority-owned businesses already struggling amid the pandemic-induced shutdown. Now, ethnically diverse neighborhoods are grappling with the loss of jobs, services, and investments.” That’s how hope dies, not how forests grow.

    Too many media celebrities were also quick to euphemize or indulge the eruption of lawlessness.

    “Show me where it says protests are supposed to be polite and peaceful,” demanded CNN’s Chris Cuomo.

    MSNBC’s Ali Velshi denounced as “nonsensical” those pleading with angry protesters not to “do these things that are destructive.” There is “socioeconomic injustice and racism,” he insisted. “That’s what’s behind this. That’s why people are prepared to come out and do damage to private property.”

    Nikole Hannah-Jones of the New York Times went on CBS to insist that the destruction of business and trashing of neighborhoods shouldn’t even be called violent. The killing of Floyd was violence, she said, not the mere destruction of “property, which can be replaced.”

    This willful determination by politicians and journalists to downplay the savagery and seriousness of the rioting and looting — or worse, to justify it — is a terrifying symptom of a society going off the rails. Scores of innocent bystanders were killed and wounded in these riots. Innumerable livelihoods have been demolished. Excruciating pain, emotional no less than financial, has been inflicted on countless people who did nothing to deserve it: People, in many cases, who fully supported the protests seeking greater social and racial justice.

    Broken windows can be replaced. It isn’t so easy to replace broken dreams, shattered expectations, devastated finances. Riots leave neighborhoods scarred for decades, exacerbating the very conditions that protesters so vehemently decry.

    “Let’s not excuse violence, or rationalize it, or participate in it,” President Obama said. Who would have imagined that that would now be a controversial opinion?

    • (shrug) Take away the jury box, the ballot box and the soapbox, and people will turn to the cartridge box. That’s what’s happening now. This is the Indians in Jersey City organizing to fight back physically after one too many of their own found himself surrounded by white guys who said “Hindu! Hindu! We are the dotbusters!” Smack! Wham! Shove! Push start! This is the Protestants in Belfast organizing the Ulster Defence League after one too many IRA bombings. This is also the Minutemen standing on the bridge at Concord, saying enough is enough and this is too much, and firing the shot heard ’round the world. It’s also Pierre Beauregard firing on his old instructor at Fort Sumter. It’s also Abbie Hoffman ranting on the Mall and the Berrigan brothers destroying records. When people are getting ignored, or pushed aside, or told to be quiet, or told they don’t matter, or their interests don’t count, they will turn to violence to get attention. That goes double when other people get away with violence and even get encouraged to do it without consequences.

  4. Did anyone read The Blaze article on the European leaders lecturing us on free speech? Turns out that they’re not opposed to suppressing free speech, only opposed to big tech companies doing it. They see it as the government’s role.

    • Oh, I did. That’s why being lectured by them is so nauseating. They don’t understand what’s wrong with government free speech suppression, but they can see what the Democratic Party’s alliance is doing.

  5. In the 1950’s, Democrats saw nothing wrong with businesses denying service to blacks. “It is a private business, they can do what they want”. Companies denied jobs to people. Real estate companies refused to process home sales based on race the same way. Isn’t this the same cry today? Finally, white Republicans saw that this was wrong and helped the Civil Rights movement show America that it is fundamentally wrong for private businesses to discriminate against people based on race. This has been expanded to include a multitude of other conditions. Political affiliation or beliefs on social issues were not included, however. Why not? I think it is because no one ever thought that it could happen. No one thought that Democrats would become so powerful that they would use the tactics they successfully used against blacks to try to subjugate all of America.

    As for the Realtors, they are at it again. If you want to be a Realtor now, you have to abide by their ‘Hate Speech’ ruling in your professional and private life. No more bivocational Christian ministers working as Realtors. No more Republicans working as Realtors. Next week, expect the AMA to apply this to physicans. Then it will be applied to nurses, teachers, etc.

    https://reason.com/volokh/2021/01/08/new-ban-on-harassing-speech-or-hate-speech-anywhere-any-time-by-national-association-of-realtors/

  6. Re: No. 2; Racists are Racists.

    Well, Rep. Johnson is a nasty human being. But, did we see Harri . . . erm . . . Biden’s pick to head the DOJ civil rights division? His choice is Kristen Clarke. Yes, she is impressive. What do we know about the Right Honorable Kristen Clarke? She penned a letter to the editors of the Harvard Crimson in 1994, in which she made a series of assertions regarding Black superiority, including the following: “Melanin endows Blacks with greater mental, physical and spiritual abilities–something which cannot be measured based on Eurocentric standards.” Even the Harvard Crimson editors were unhappy and encouraged her to withdraw the statements. Here is their statement:

    https://www.thecrimson.com/article/1994/11/4/clarke-should-retract-statements-pbtbwo-years/

    Did she recant? Nope. She doubled down. Biden agrees with her and has nominated her for appointment to the DOJ civil rights division. Check it out:

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/tucker-carlson-kristen-clarke-doj-civil-rights-division

    That is some unity, eh?

    jvb

  7. Re. 5. I’m glad he turned the medal down. I was dreading seeing a photo of him in the Oval Office in his awful sawed off hoodie getting a medal draped around his neck. A very successful guy in a terrible, terrible business.

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