Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/21: Hey! I Have Enemies!Charles Mackay Says That’s Great!

Enemies2

My brief post about “You Have No Enemies, the Charles Mackay poem that was a source of solace and inspiration for Margaret Thatcher, was the top Ethics Alarms article of 2020. It’s a good thing I learned about it, because Ethics Alarms Derangement Syndrome seems to be catching on. One self-banned commenter is now writing hate mail to my personal email spam account. Mark Draughn, who blogs at Windy Pundit and was once named an Ethics Alarms Commenter of the Year, now routinely posts “Jack Marshall is evil” screeds. There are others. Part of this, though not all, seems to stem from my adamant refusal to join the mob seeking to drive Donald Trump from office, and to insist that such ethical niceties like fairness, due process, objectivity, avoidance of bias and consistent standards should apply to him the way they had always applied to previous White House occupants.

For all I know, the would-be censors, vendetta-mongers and Trump Hate Posse is behind the otherwise inexplicable dive in traffic here since Christmas. Well, to quote my late, tragic college roommate Andy Kinkaid, a traumatized Viet Nam veteran whose response to problems great and small was always the same: “Fuck it, right?” One of the many invaluable lessons my father taught me early was never to back down when you believe you are right. He didn’t, and I don’t.

1. Feb. 4 is a major day for ethics, good and bad:

  • In 1974, Patty Hearst, the 19-year-old granddaughter of newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst,was kidnapped by a real domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, and subsequently brainwashed into joining their cause, even to the extent of participating in an armed bank robbery. This was the first instance of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” being widely publicized, but the defense didn’t work. Good. “Tania,” as she called herself, was sentenced to seven years in prison and served 21 months before her sentence was commuted by President Carter. She later married her bodyguard, and ended up acting in John Waters films. She was pardoned by President Clinton in January 2001. Poor little, dumb little,  rich girl…
  • In 2004, Facebook launched—a day that will live in infamy.
  • Rosa Parks was born on this date in 1913.
  • In 1861, the slave-holding states met to form the Confederacy. Now THAT was an insurrection…
  • In 1789, George Washington was unanimously elected (by 69 Presidential electors) as the first President of the United States. Washington was a natural leader, wary of executive power, and a ethical to his bones. A worse choice could have sunk the fledgling nation. That Washington was so able was largely moral luck, but until recently, the United States had been extraordinarily lucky.
  • Feb. 4, 1945 saw the Yalta Conference, in which President Roosevelt and Churchill sold out Poland and laid the groundwork for the Iron Curtain in exchange for Stalin agreeing to join in the war against Japan.
  • And in 1983, singer Karen Carpenter died, the victim of an eating disorder brought on by the cruelty of conventions regarding women’s appearances in both the entertainment business and American society. She was 32.

2. Today the House will vote on whether to strip Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments because she is an unapologetic, conspiracy theory espousing embarrassment. Headline News this morning termed the vote a “struggle for the soul of the Republican Party.” That’s typical, and false. There are legitimate arguments for not punishing Greene. Most of the statements prompting her attempted censoring occurred before her election, and that’s a dangerous precedent to set. The Democrats’ motives are also suspect, since she has filed impeachment articles against President Biden, and is a vocal Trump supporter. The problem could have been mitigated if Minority House Leader Kevin McCarthy handled Greene as a matter of party discipline. He is a weenie, however, and a coward, terrified of a backlash from pro-Trump fanatics. Thus he will permit the entire House to demote an elected representative based on conduct the voters had a chance to consider.

3. Speaking of members who are an embarrassment to the House and the nation…Here is House impeachment trial manager Maxine Waters today: “As a matter of fact, he absolutely should be charged with premeditated murder because of the lives that were lost with this invasion, with this insurrection.”

Absolutely! The fact that Waters, who is a ignorant as any House member in history, and who knows nothing of the law or the Constitution, was chosen to assist in presenting the House Democrats’ non-argument for impeachment shows how unserious the enterprise is, and the degree to which Speaker Pelosi feels that she has to submit to the fantasies of her party’s Trump-hating loonies.

4. Humina-humina of the Month. President Joe Biden’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, sounded like an evasive, wildly-spinning fool yesterday as he was questioned sharply by Senator Rand Paul about allowing transexuals and transitioning young men to compete against women in athletic competitions. This creates a rebuttable presumption that Cardona IS an evasive fool. However, he is Hispanic, and its some kind of first, so that’s all that matters, right, Joe?

Paul began his questioning of Cardona in the confirmation hearing by pointing out that the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights “sent a letter to Connecticut saying that boys can’t compete with girls in sports.”

“If you’re confirmed, will you enforce that Office of Civil Rights opinion?,” Paul asked.

Cardona’s reply: “It’s my responsibility and my privilege to make sure that we’re following civil rights of all students, and that includes activities that they may engage in in high school or in athletics.”

That’s a non-answer.

“What do you think in general about boys running in girls’ track meets like they have been doing in Connecticut?” Paul asked.

The nominee replied, “I think that it’s critically important to education systems and educators respect the rights of all students, including students who are transgender, and that they are afforded the opportunities that every other student has to participate in extracurricular activities.”

Non-answer.

Paul: “Does it bother you that the top 20 percent of boys running in track meets beat all of the girls in the state and that it would, you know, completely destroy girls’ athletics? That girls are being pushed out? [If] they don’t make the finals in the state meet, they don’t get college scholarships? That’s it’s really detrimental to girls’ sports? Do you worry about having boys running girls’ track meets?”

Cardona blathered that he “appreciate[d] the concerns” and “the frustrations expressed.”

When young female athletes see women’s sports destroyed by this politically correct but logically indefensible policy, they can only blame feminists who betrayed them by supporting a party that they knew would take this position.

But at least the women who can’t compete in sports any more will be able to get abortions at will, and that’s all that matters. Right?

.

15 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/4/21: Hey! I Have Enemies!Charles Mackay Says That’s Great!

  1. But at least the women who can’t compete in sports any more will be able to get abortions at will

    Along with all the uterus-having men, of course.

  2. “In 1861, the slave-holding states met to form the Confederacy. Now THAT was an insurrection…”

    In the interests of accuracy:
    On February 4, 1861, seven slave states which had seceded from, the Union (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas) met to form the Confederate States of America. After Mr. Lincoln signaled his coming invasion of the South and began to pressure southern governors to raise troops to invade their neighbors, four more slave states (Tennessee, Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina) seceded in April and joined the CSA. Slave states that did not secede from the Union were Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky and Missouri.

    The Cambridge English Dictionary defines an insurrection as “an organized attempt by a group of people to defeat their government and take control of their country, usually by violence.” The seceding states did not seek to take control of the United States, but to separate from the United States.

      • I am surprised that the new definition doesn’t include, “fronted by a Viking hat wearing tattoed buffoon wielding a makeshift spear of some sort, bent on attacking and killing the only Latina member of the Squad who may or may not have been in the House chambers at the time, though there is considerable evidence that she is an hysteric with a penchant for exaggerating things to inflate her own importance.”

        jvb

      • The various states of the United States formed a union voluntarily and any organisation you join voluntarily you have a right to leave voluntarily unless you give away that right in the relevant document, in this case the US Constitution. Unless I missed it there is no such provision in the Constitution therefore once the Southern States seceded from the Union any action the took cannot be classed as an insurrection.

  3. Jack wrote: One of the many invaluable lessons my father taught me early was never to back down when you believe you are right. He didn’t, and I don’t.

    Jack, I wish I could have known your father. Each time you mention him, and of his endearing, ethical nature and strong character qualities, slight envy of you strikes me in gentle ways. You were and are blessed to have had such a dad! In this instant quote from your father, I sense a kinship. Never backing down when you believe you are right, and for the right reasons too, rings true for me. Thanks (to you both).

  4. Here’s another Feb. 4th event which may have no direct ethics implications but is certainly significant to our legal system:
    On February 4th, 1801, John Marshall took office as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. John Adams called Marshall his “greatest gift to the American people” He served until his death in 1835, the longest tenure in Supreme Court history.

  5. Absolutely! The fact that Waters, who is a ignorant as any House member in history, and who knows nothing of the law or the Constitution, was chosen to assist in presenting the House Democrats’ non-argument for impeachment shows how unserious the enterprise is, and the degree to which Speaker Pelosi feels that she has to submit to the fantasies of her party’s Trump-hating loonies.

    A reminder.

    https://ethicsalarms.com/2021/01/27/ethics-cleansing-1-27-2021-im-afraid-this-edition-exceeds-the-limit-for-disturbing-stories/

    Miller is getting all sorts of outraged responses from critics online who seem to have missed the critical fact that he was just quoting Maxine Waters’ call for harassment of Trump administration officials. Normally I regard deliberate posting of positions one doesn’t believe as unethical unless the poster makes the sarcasm or irony obvious. This one is obvious, unless the reader wasn’t paying attention to how irresponsible and vicious Democrats were in the past four years, and if the such a reader was that ignorant, he shouldn’t be involved in the discussion at all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.