Ethics Footnotes, 1/17/21:Well, I’M Reading, Anyway…

Boy, only diehards are on Ethics Alarms today, yesterday too. I don’t get it; it’s a long weekend, but so what? It’s not like everyone is traveling on long weekends while American are still trembling in terror over the Wuhan virus. Must ethics take a holiday? Apparently so...

1. How can anyone have sympathy for New Yorkers? The city is falling apart. Crime is up, the wealthy are fleeing, corporations are fleeing, the mayor has eliminated admission tests for much of the public school system and stated that his goal is to redistribute wealth, Times Square has returned to pre-Rudy squalor, and tourism was falling like a rock even before the pandemic. They voted for a confessed socialist as mayor (and for his communist, conflict-of-interest flaunting wife)—perhaps acceptable as a novelty—then re-elected him after a disastrous first term. Now, six months ahead of this year’s Democratic mayoral primary that will decide who the next mayor will be because the city’s minorities wouldn’t vote for a Republican if he was running against Nero, the natives are getting restless. Polls show that New Yorkers regard de Blasio’s pet issues of combating climate change and pollution on the bottom of their priority list, but only 56% of respondents said they hold a “very or somewhat unfavorable” view of the guy that was the architect of the city’s collapse. Why isn’t it more like 90%? I suppose for the same reason they elected him twice. In democracy, you get what you deserve. Civic literacy is the individual’s ethical responsibility, nobody else’s.

2. Now THIS is an incompetent elected official…Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) actually said in a video posted last week—I wouldn’t kid you!-–“This idea that saying that Pennsylvania was ‘rigged’ or that we were ‘trying to steal the election,’ that’s a lie. And you do not have the right, that is not protected speech.” Fetterman goes on to say that Twitter should have immediately removed any tweet from President Donald Trump that questioned the integrity of the election, and, in the immortal mark of someone who doesn’t know the First Amendment from a Yorkshire Terrier, compared Trump’s claims to “yelling fire in a crowded theater when there is none.”

This idiot is reportedly considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2022.

To be fair, Fetterman’s view of the free speech,which is to say “there is none unless progressives approve,” appears to be on the way to becoming the predominant one in the Democratic Party.

Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos…

3. Phil Spector just died in prison. Should decent people refuse to listen to his iconic “wall of sound” singles that changed pop music forever? After all, he was convicted of murder, shooting an unsuspecting starlet for no discernible reason. Talk about deserving to be cancelled.

No, Spector’s work was brilliant and his creations are just as worthy of enjoyment and admiration now as in the Sixties. The art doesn’t change because the artist is despicable; I’ve made this point so many times I’m sure you’re sick of it. The cognitive dissonance scale is powerful, but it’s also irrational.

4. The lesson is “supervise those to whom you delegate in trust.” Holderness Academy and Sixth Form College in Hull, Great Britain had to apologize to pupils and parents after a teacher sent a troubling “draw an owl” worksheet to hundreds of children without checking it out. Year Seven pupils were taken aback when they downloaded an art worksheet instructing them to “draw two circles” followed by the instruction, “Draw the rest of the fucking owl.”

5. American Thinker is having a hell of a week. After babbling incoherently about why it was eliminating comments, the conservative website was forced by a threat of a lawsuit by a deep pocket plaintiff to issue this:

American Thinker and contributors Andrea Widburg, R.D. Wedge, Brian Tomlinson, and Peggy Ryan have published pieces on www.AmericanThinker.com that falsely accuse US Dominion Inc., Dominion Voting Systems, Inc., and Dominion Voting Systems Corporation (collectively “Dominion”) of conspiring to steal the November 2020 election from Donald Trump.

These pieces rely on discredited sources who have peddled debunked theories about Dominion’s supposed ties to Venezuela, fraud on Dominion’s machines that resulted in massive vote switching or weighted votes, and other claims falsely stating that there is credible evidence that Dominion acted fraudulently.These statements are completely false and have no basis in fact. Industry experts and public officials alike have confirmed that Dominion conducted itself appropriately and that there is simply no evidence to support these claims.It was wrong for us to publish these false statements.

We apologize to Dominion for all of the harm this caused them and their employees. We also apologize to our readers for abandoning 9 journalistic principles and misrepresenting Dominion’s track record and its limited role in tabulating votes for the November 2020 election. We regret this grave error. 

Like all apologies issued with a gun to the head, who knows how true or sincere it is?

27 thoughts on “Ethics Footnotes, 1/17/21:Well, I’M Reading, Anyway…

    • …just how effin’ stupid does Lefty think their target audience is?”

      What evidence is there that their leaders should think otherwise?

      One confirmation: Congressthing Hank “Guam might capsize” Johnson was first elected in 2006. In 2014, Johnson was voted “Worst Speaker” and “Most Clueless” by congressional staffers for The Washingtonian‘s “Best & Worst of Congress” list.

  1. 1. None whatever. This communist piece of trash and the idiots who elected him undid in 8 years what Rudy and Mike struggled to do in 20. They made their bed, now they can lay in it. It’s too bad. I really liked the parades, the museums, the restaurants and the concerts, but none of them are worth getting killed for. By creating this situation the voters of New York have diminished my life experience.

    2. This makes for a much more diminished life experience for all, but, again, we get the government we elect. A majority of people are apparently ok with curbing free speech…as long as it’s not their free speech being curbed.

    3. Never paid much attention to his music.

    4. That teacher is an idiot and deserves to be fired.

    5. The threat of a lawsuit with a lot of power and money behind it can work wonders. It’s almost as good at changing minds as cash in large amounts.

    • They made their bed, now they can lay in it. It’s too bad. I really liked the parades, the museums, the restaurants and the concerts, but none of them are worth getting killed for. By creating this situation the voters of New York have diminished my life experience.

      A similar thing can be said about Chicago.

      My longtime Usenet ally, Christopher Charles Morton, made this note.

      http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2011/08/police-supt-mccarthy-legacy-of-racism-plagues-todays-police-officers.html

      The truth is that the rank and file of the Chicago Police Department has operated beyond the rule of law for so long that they simply will not tolerate ANYONE who even hints at reining them in. This is an institutional problem of long standing… such long standing that it was an old story when my late grandmother was a trainee ambulance driver for WWI.

      Will this ever change? It’s doubtful. Who were the victims of Jon Burge’s torture ring? Blacks. Who elected and reelected for 20+ years as mayor, the man who was Cook County State’s Attorney during the height of the reign of terror? Blacks. It’s like French Jews voting for Klaus Barbie as Mayor of Lyon.

      As far as I can see, Chicago is the way it is because the people are content to have it so. And that includes having a police department inside of which a home invasion and kidnapping ring could operate for YEARS without anybody seeing ANYTHING.

      A majority of people are apparently ok with curbing free speech…as long as it’s not their free speech being curbed.

      It is quite similar to support for “common sense”, “sensible” gun legislation by people in upper-middle-class neighborhoods. They have no problem with such laws as long as they are only enforced in the ghetto.

  2. That apology will save a lot of money in the settlement. Hundreds of millions in all probability.

    It may stave off bankrupcy.

    While I cannot be 100% certain that the authors did not act in good faith, thereby providing a defence, at least as to quantity of damages, I am very confident indeed that their insurers insisted on this apology, though the wording is unusually extreme.

    They screwed up though. The headline is “Statement”, nothing else, and the article buried, not on the front page. That will prove costly.

    ” But the plans were on display…”
    “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
    “That’s the display department.”
    “With a flashlight.”
    “Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
    “So had the stairs.”
    “But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
    “Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

    If you are going to make a grovelling apology like this, don’t give the plaintiff a chance to tack a 0 or two on the damages by cutting corners. That could be seen as a sign of bad faith.

    Grovell properly, then pretend it never happened. “Just don’t mention the war”.

  3. Omri Ceren, national security adviser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), sarcastically pointed out, “What if the lies about ‘trying to steal the election’ are published and echoed by the republic’s most prominent media outlets, and are repeatedly debunked but nevertheless consistently revived by those outlets quoting anonymous officials, over half a decade? Hypothetically?”

    I deduce that Ceren was referring to “Russian collusion” and “Russia hacked the election” memes.

  4. A quote from an article by Stephen Daisley.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-case-for-liberal-pessimism

    America lacks leadership and above all it lacks moral leadership. The storming of the Capitol brought this home in the moral surrender of the GOP and the moral vacuity of its condemners in the Democrat Party, the mainstream media and civil society. A mob, encouraged by the President of the United States, breached the Senate in an attempt to obstruct the confirmation of an election. This un-American carnage called for clear, thunderous declamation, yet while the words that came brought volume there was a weightlessness to them because of who they came from.

    They rebuked ‘an unspeakable assault on our nation’ who, asked whether mobs had the right to tear down Christopher Columbus statues, had shrugged: ‘People will do what they do’. They denounced ‘that Trump mob that attacked the citadel of our democracy’ who, mere months ago, had demanded ‘show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful’. They deplored a ‘domestic terrorist attack’ on Capitol Hill who, last summer, had proclaimed ‘there needs to be unrest in the streets’. The point is not that one articulation of violence excuses another, nor even that moral parity exists between them, but that the legitimacy of violence has become a debate within mainstream US politics.

    • Daisley is wrong. This isn’t an “American Leadership” problem. It’s a Democrat and Democrat projection problem.

      I cannot actually think of a single example of a Republican lawmaker who carried water for the DC rioters the same way Democrats in leadership positions carried water for BLM riots and Antifa terrorism. Right now, Democrats are mewling for Cruz and Hawley to be removed from the senate for cheering on insurrectionists. Gag me. If the actions of Cruz and Hawley are the worst you can find from Republican leadership, you’re giving away the argument; You’re having to twist and contort what they said into dog whistles and innuendo, when people like Maxime Waters were telling her supporters overtly, in plain language, to harass Republican lawmakers. “Impeach The Motherfucker” without a cause to actually impeach is probably functionally worse than anything Cruz or Hawley said. These people have no legs to stand on.

      While we can all agree that rioters are bad, we’re only agreeing right now because the rioters are on the right. The moment the rioters are on the left, I fully expect a return to bullshit, and because of that, I refuse, utterly, completely, to be lectured to by moral molehills.

  5. 1 is an interesting conundrum. Are unconscionable cesspools caused by Democratic governance, or is democratic governance the result of living in an unconscionable cesspool?

    I could believe either, from the “Cesspools vote Democrat” side; Areas with disproportionately poorer people tend to vote for Democrats because Democrats do a better job of saying that they’ll address the needs of poor people. It’s a lie. They won’t; They’ll throw out crumbs in social programs while choking the lifeblood out of local industry, making sure that the peons will have to suck on the teat of assistance in perpetuity until at some point the locations reaches a critical mass and industry collapses around them (It’s kind of like what Wal Mart does in mid-sized towns to small-sized cities), but they’ll do what they do CoMpAsSiOnAtElY! And isn’t that really what counts?

    From the “Democrats create Cesspools” side, Basically, see above, but the causation is different; An overabundance of wealth and education gives people the wacky nonsense idea that they could attempt and succeed at socialism*, which has a 0% success track record, but they’re the best people who have ever existed, so they’re the ones that will get it right, so they start doing the socialism, and it seems to work, because in reality, a little bit of socialism does make a certain amount of sense… But then, encouraged by that success, they add in a little more socialism, and a little more, until they reach the critical breaking point in humanity where once you take away the ability to succeed, either by taxing the living bejesus out of them or chasing away all work opportunities, people stop trying to succeed, and then there’s the sneaky death spiral of “Well, obviously we have problems, but of course the answer is more socialism”. And well… It’s turtles all the way down from there.

    *I had a really interesting conversation with a communist recently. He *said* he was a Democratic socialist, but I asked him, point blank, if he could describe the difference between a socialist, a Democratic socialist and a communist. His answer was about what I’d expected: They were the same base idea, but there was more accountability in a Democratic Socialist government because the leadership had to be elected, so it controlled against corruption, I’m not sure that that’s true, but it’s by far the most common answer I get. He also amusingly made communism sound so much more awful than it even was (which is saying something, because communism was awful), that he basically defined communism out of existence. I believe my exact line was: “You know that The Chinese Communist party gets elected every now and again, right?”

    • I’d say you just delivered a twofer, HT. Two comments of the day in one post.

      Again, having grown up among Cuban refugees (one of whose father was murdered by Che Guevara), I just don’t get the attraction people have to Communism. Particularly Jews. Don’t Robert Reich and Bernie Sanders know what “pogrom” means?

      • Most people who are fans of communism are only fans because they envision themselves as being part of that party elite that gets to make the rules. It never occurs to them that they might end up being in that larger group who have to follow those rules, on pain of death.

        History is full of people who also had these same incorrect assumptions, who ended up with a Makarov bullet in their brain… You could ask a Menshevik about it, but they’re extinct. It’s probably the only genuine pleasure communism allows for the proles: the deep, satisfying schadenfreud of imagining how betrayed and angry the AOC’s and Bernies of the world will feel when their own movement devours them.

        • It is like gun control sympathizers who live in the ghetto. They think these laws will only be enforced against the thugs and gangbangers down the street -until they are arrested for possessing an unregistered handgun or a high-capacity magazine.

        • Exactly. The promoters of Communism are really trying to establish a new hereditary nobility. If you look at Communist regimes, they have a hereditary elite and then everyone else. It is a more brutal elitism than medieval Europe. They resent these ‘upstarts’ who get ahead due to ‘merit’. You also have the billionaires who realize that they will become the new MySpace in a few years if something isn’t done to prevent competition like Parler.

  6. I initially misread “Boy, only diehards are on Ethics Alarms today,” as “Boy, only discards are on Ethics Alarms today,”

  7. Why do I never find things like this on a Friday?!?

    https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/About/22746/2020-Migration-Trends-U-Haul-Ranks-50-States-By-Migration-Growth/

    UHaul annually reports the migration trends patterns for the US; they measure how many Uhauls have a destination in any given state, less how may Uhauls have an origin point in that state.

    For 2020: The states most disproportionately moved to were, in order:

    1. Tennessee
    2. Texas
    3. Florida
    4. Ohio
    5. Arizona
    6. Colorado
    7. Missouri
    8. Nevada
    9. North Carolina
    10. Georgia

    Which are disproportionately Red States. 7 out of 10, I think. But it’s actually even more starkly correlated when you consider the state’s economic and personal freedom ratings (Read: Even the Blue states on this list aren’t *that* blue.).

    The 10 most disproportionately moved from states?

    40. Michigan
    41. Pennsylvania
    42. New York
    43. Connecticut
    44. Louisiana
    45. Oregon
    46. Maryland
    47. Massachusetts
    48. New Jersey
    49. Illinois
    50. California

    I guess people originally from Michigan still wanted to Garden, eh Gretchen? And why wouldn’t someone want to live in New York? Haven’t they basically beat covid? I mean, I remember a paper-mache mural commissioned by Cuomo that said so. The coup du grace though, has to be California, at dead last… Not even a little bit because of the streets full of human feces and tax collectors (But I repeat myself).

    • And they bring their politics, which is what is causing those states to be the cesspools they are, with them to their new states…

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