Monday Ethics Meander, 4/26/2021: Oscar, Rachel, Ma’Khia And The ACLU [Updated]

Beyond the admirable speech by Tyler Perry, I’m not devoting any whole posts to the Oscars, which are no longer culturally significant enough to compensate for their traditional lack of integrity. I will note in this preface to today’s ethics notes that the results yesterday proved the advantage of anonymous voting. Basically under a command to honor minority artists irrespective of merit, since the awards, and all awards, and all honors, benefits and advancement, must be based on “diversity and inclusion” above all else, the voters nonetheless voted for old white British guy Anthony Hopkins for Best Actor over Chadwick Boseman, who was considered the frontrunner for the award since he had the unbeatable qualities of being excellent in the role (of a rebel musician in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,”) being black, and being dead. I think it may have been a tiny backlash against the Racialization of Everything. It’s too bad this was where that point was made, since Boseman was obviously a huge talent and would have been a worthy winner.

But I won’t be doing my annual tribute to the performers that the Oscars left off its “In Memoriam” segment this year, or ever again. Turner Movie Classics does one every year that’s less rushed, more interesting, and better. Who needs the Academy Awards version, especially since it has rebranded itself as an affirmative action organization? Nine of the 20 acting nominations went to minorities this year. Did their ethnic origins and skin shade help them get the nod? Like all the other kinds of bias that pollute the Oscars, the fact that there is even a question makes the the exercise unworthy of serious respect.

1. The irrational bias against police reaches the level of farce. I assumed even the most deranged, anti-cop, wokist heralds of presumed racism would back off from their accusations once they had the facts in the shooting of teenager Ma’Khia Bryant in Columbus right before she was able to stab another young woman. Former Reason writer now with the Washington Post, Radley Balko, was the exception, talking down his tweet critical of the cops and apologizing for his premature criticism. In contrast, shameless demagogues like Valerie Jarrett—this woman was Barack Obama’s prime advisor—think about that—wrote, “A Black teenage girl named Ma’Khia Bryant was killed because a police officer immediately decided to shoot her multiple times in order to break up a knife fight. Demand accountability.” No, he shot her to save the other black girl’s life. In order to make the wacked-out assessment made byof Jarrett and others, progressives are pushing the astounding narrative that knife fights are just part of growing up back. Even sillier are the amateur recommendations of how police could stop an imminent knife attack without resorting to gunfire. These include “long sticks,” “shouting ‘drop the weapon,” “tripping the assailant,” “rubber bullets,” “dogs,” trying to talk to the attacker,” and the ever-popular “winging her.”

Personally, I’m fond of the old Marty McFly trick of pointing and shouting, “What the hell is THAT??” as a distraction. It worked with Biff!

2. Boy, we could sure use a national organization that fought for free speech. Why doesn’t someone start one? Glenn Greenwald quite properly chastises the one-time champion of the First Amendment, the American Civil Liberties Union, for avoiding the growing problem of on-line censorship. The reason is apparently money. Greenwald writes,

How is it possible that the ACLU is all but invisible on one of the central free speech debates of our time: namely, how much censorship should Silicon Valley tech monopolists be imposing on our political speech? As someone who intensively reports on these controversies, I can barely remember any time when the ACLU spoke up loudly on any of these censorship debates, let alone assumed the central role that any civil liberties group with any integrity would, by definition, assume on this growing controversy… They obviously cannot defend Facebook’s censorship — affirmatively defending the stifling of political speech is, at least for now, still a bridge too far for the group — but they are petrified of saying anything that might seem even remotely critical of, let alone adversarial to, BLM activists and organizations. That is because BLM is one of the most cherished left-liberal causes, and the ACLU now relies almost entirely on donations and grants from those who have standard left-liberal politics and want and expect the ACLU to advance that ideological and partisan agenda above its nonpartisan civil liberties principles. Criticizing BLM is a third rail in left-liberal political circles, which is where the ACLU now resides almost entirely, and thus it again cowers in silence as another online act of censorship which advances political liberalism emerges.

If the ACLU will not stand up against censorship in all of its forms and no matter what ideology it supports, then there is no ACLU…only an empty, conflicted, useless shell.

3. From the Double Standards files, cross-filed in “Methinks She doth protest too much”: Rachel Maddow—and incidentally, anyone who continues to watch this dishonest hack after her disgraceful coverage of the Russian collusion investigation is either too gullible for words or has never received news from any source by MSNBC—wrote this regarding the GOP audit of the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, Arizona, two-thirds of the entire vote statewide: “This is a ridiculous story that will become very dangerous in the long run. It will become a lie that the craziest part of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory world will try to live on and build on for a long time to come.”

Democrats also went to court to try to stop the recount. Why? When newspaper reporters converged on Florida to check the 2000 election votes, the Republicans didn’t try to block it, and that was hardly a non-partisan group doing the counting. Everyone was positive that the hand-count then would prove that Bush “stole” the state and the election; in fact, it showed that the result was probably correct….so the media buried the story.

My guess is that the same result will occur this time, but without the burial: Arizona was correctly called for Biden. But if there was sufficient voter fraud or other irregularities to change the result, wouldn’t it be in the nation’s best interests to know that?

4. Meandering back to the beginning: “Oscars viewership was down over 50% off last year’s numbers, which were the worst ever.”

And the sad part is, Hollywood will have no idea why.

25 thoughts on “Monday Ethics Meander, 4/26/2021: Oscar, Rachel, Ma’Khia And The ACLU [Updated]

  1. 1. I can’t wait for the first case of an officer dealing with the aftermath of killing an innocent bystander when he tried to shoot his assailant in the leg and missed.

    2. One of the problems with free speech is that anyone can say just about anything. Isn’t about time we admitted that free speech isn’t actually a liberty? It’s just too dangerous to let people say things. People might start thinking things they shouldn’t, and then where would we be? Don’t we actually need more institutions in place to be monitoring what people say so we can crack down on all these egregious errors?

    3. To be as fair as I can, there’s always a concern that additional scrutiny will find things that you never suspected were a problem. Even if you’re always taking very good care of your children, it is unwise to let Family Services into your house because they might find dirty dishes in the sink, a bed unmade, and a half-eaten sandwich decaying under the hutch. Then you’re under the gun to demonstrate you’re meticulously following their ideas of proper child-rearing.

    In terms of game theory, either there was something problematic with the election, or there wasn’t. And either the results are audited, or they are not. We can then make the four cases: Problem/Audit, Problem/No Audit, No Problem/Audit, and No Problem/No Audit. Obviously the first case is extremely problematic, and would have a very negative weight. The No Audit cases are then business as usual and can have almost no weight at all. The No Problem/Audit case is where the analysis gets tricky. Would the Audit actually reveal there were no problems, or would the audit be insufficient to sway those who believe there were problems? After all, how many still think GWB stole the 2000 election? The worst scenario for the No Problem/Audit case is if a handful of isolated cases of fraud are discovered. That would bolster the narrative that the election was stolen (especially given the propensity for conservative sites to write hysterical headlines for little cases of fraud involving maybe 10-15 votes). So the No Problem/Audit probably has a negative weight, or a least a less positive weight than No Problem/No Audit. This means that any way you play it, the No Audit cases are more preferable to the Audit cases.

    From my conservative outlook, I’m hoping that the audit will be strong enough to dispel doubts. If there was systematic fraud, I hope it finds it and leads to preventing such things happening in the future. If there was not, I hope it will change minds about the legitimacy of the election (including mine!).

    P.S. My response to #2 is in fact dripping in sarcasm. Please respond accordingly.

  2. 1) Because releasing German Shephard dogs on an African American suspect is going to be greeted with open arms by the woke community.

    No, the goal is to make policing impossible so that the communities scream for a Federal solution.

    Then we’ll get a nationalized police force and hear propaganda about how awesome it is.

    But then we’ll really have street level policing with ZERO immediate accountability as the bosses would be fat and happy behind the Biden-Regime Wall in the Washington, DC ruling party Forbidden City.

      • We have street level policing now. My emphasis is that we’ll have street level policing with virtually zero accountability on levels exponentially worse than what the hyperventilating class has been telling us is the reality now.

        • (And make no mistake, I’m not using “street level policing” as some sort of jab. Street level is precisely what we need. In fact what more of these communities need is MORE police, physically on the streets. And it’d do them a lot of good if some of communities started having home-grown police officers. Except, as I suspect, just as soon as any member of a troubled community gets good at something, I imagine they don’t come back — with the blessing of their parents)

      • I was hoping my allusion to the oft published images of police dogs attacking African American protesters from decades ago would resonate here.

        Yes, there will be an abject backlash against police if they ever let a dog loose on a George Floyd or Makhia Bryant.

        PETA would flip for putting a dog in danger.
        The Woke would flip because the woke just flips.
        Race-grievance industrialists would flip because of the imagery.

  3. 4) A group of deviant perverts rolling in their luxury and privilege lecturing us low brow 40 hour work week types about the evils of capitalism and excess possessions. What’s not to want?

      • What the fuck is a “plant based beer?” Aren’t all beers plant based? Are they petroleum based? What has Joe Biden done? Chuck, didn’t your mother ever tell you to not get so close to the TV when you were growing up?

        • A local company started brewing a beer with gross futuristic ingredients to simulate what beer would be like in the post-climate change hell hole that will be planet earth. It is meant to be a fundraiser to fight climate change.

          I for one am excited to taste their intentionally gross future beer. I’m sure people will line up for miles (due to social distancing, of course) to try it!

  4. 1. Anyone want to bet it was Valerie Jarrett who came up with the idea to have her boss talk about “bringing a gun to a knife fight?”

    So rich that these idiots are talking about knife fights being typical teenage rough housing and nothing more. Maybe they should check out “Romeo and Juliet” or “Westside Story” after they’re done gushing over “Hamilton.”

  5. (1) As usual, the leftist media and politicians will defend the right of African Americans to kill other African Americans. It is multiculturalism, really, when the police interfere, it is colonialism and an expression of white supremacy.

    (2) It should be the Anti-Civil Liberties Union.

    (3) In Georgia, didn’t the secretary of state go to court to stop an examination of the ballots as well? He was OK with auditing the machines, but he didn’t want anyone looking at the ballots.

    OK, 1 and 2 are sarcasm.

    • I don’t see a bit of sarcasm in #1. It’s an indisputable fact that if MaKilla had carried out her attack you’d never hear of it. But the fact that she was fatally stopped by a white cop makes it worldwide news. The net result : one dead young black woman, is exactly the same. What matters to the civilizational arsonists is how she got that way.

      • Absolute proof of this: Nyaira Givens, age 13, was stabbed to death by another 13-year-old girl in Cincinnati the day before the Bryant shooting. So far, none of the usual race-baiters and hucksters have come out to demand we “say her name” or shrugged it off as just kids having a normal, ordinary childhood knife fight. Indeed, none of them have even mentioned her at all, but I’ll bet if a cop had saved Nyaira’s life by shooting her murderer, we’d all know the attacking girl’s name, as well as the police officer’s.

  6. Prologue: Well, the only part of the Oscars I ever watch is the “In Memoriam” segment the day after so I can see who they left off. This year’s snubs:
    David Prowse – Darth Vader
    Jeremy Bulloch – Boba Fett
    John Saxon – primarily known for TV but also appeared in a number of films.
    Kenny Rogers – musician, yes, but starred in a movie.
    Honor Blackman – Bond girl
    Geno Silva
    Annie Ross
    Mac Davis – musician, again, but also starred in a movie
    Stuart Whitman – primarily known for TV, but appeared in “The Longest Day” and “The Comancheros” with John Wayne.
    Diana Serra Cary a.k.a. “Baby Peggy” –

    They included late African-American actress Ja’Net Dubois, who was best-known as wacky neighbor Willona Woods in the tv sitcom “Good Times”, whose film work appears to be relatively insignificant. She died several days after last year’s Oscar telecast and wouldn’t have been included then anyway, but including her at all in the Oscar In Memoriam seems odd, especially in comparison to some of the above exclusions who had more prominent roles on film.

    It’s not unusual for the Oscars (or the Emmys, for that matter) to pad their “In Memoriam” segments with performers who were best known for music or sports. I think the Oscars included Steve Jobs one year.

    But I couldn’t shake the notion that they stuck Ja’Net in there to make sure there were some African-Americans in there. Kind of like the ridiculous extreme of Ricky Gervais’ 2020 Golden Globes joke about him refusing to allow an “In Memoriam” segment there because there wasn’t enough diversity in the people who died.

    My husband watches the Oscars every year. He watched 44 of the 51 films that received some kind of nomination this year. He knew ahead of time that the nominated songs would be played during the ceremony – as prerecorded segments.

    What he did not know was that those songs would be played during the pre-show…which he never watches. Once Twitter reported the nominated songs were being played before the ceremony, we had to turn the station quickly so he could catch the remaining songs. Not nice of Oscar to not inform viewers that they had to watch the preshow to get all of the segments.

    The preshow had two black performers interviewing people on the red carpet, African-American actress – and last year’s Best Supporting Actress – Regina King opened the ceremony (more on that in a minute) and the aforementioned “In Memoriam” segment, which traditionally ends with the most famous of the notable deaths, made sure to showcase Chadwick Boseman over such long-time luminaries as Christopher Plummer and Olivia de Havilland, the latter of whom I was sure would receive the honored final position in the segment (Just fyi: the 2020 Emmy Awards ended its “In Memoriam” segment with Boseman, as well, despite his being largely a film actor).

    I was never going to watch the entire ceremony, but I was chased out of the room the minute Regina King started off the evening by referencing the Chauvin trial and began her off-topic lecture by saying, “Before you reach for your remotes…”. Too late. I kissed my husband good night and told him I was going to let him enjoy his show in peace.

    In other news, I understand the ratings were terrible. Again.

    That doesn’t even include my snarking at the pre-show about David Rubin extolling how stringent they were being with everyone’s safety while unmasked people loitered in the background well within six feet of each other.

    • Comment of the Day, especially since I’m skipping the Oscar snubs myself.John Saxon? he’s the male lead in “Black Christmas,” my wife’s favorite slasher movie, and also “Nightmare on Elm Street”—and a good actor. Stuart Whitman was a solid actor, more known for TV work, but has some substance in his Longest Day appearance, and one would think an iconic Bond Girl like “Pussy Galore” would rate a bit more immortality.

  7. #1
    I wonder at how much my perspective would be reformed to more better gentleness if I could only watch body cam footage of the secret service having a de-escalation conversation with a knife wilding assailant in the midst of a downward stroke aimed at someone important under their care.

  8. Related to #1. The entire BLM / activist’s argument about police killings is predicated on the construct of disproportionate impact. They know full well that more whites, both armed and unarmed, are shot in the process of being arrested than blacks.

    With that said, why does disproportionate impact only seem to be applicable when blacks or some other minority can apply it to show inequity in the system for the purpose of gaining a legal or political advantage? If disproportionate impact undergirds all systemic racism why does it not apply when whites are disproportionately impacted? If equity is paramount in their minds why do they ignore situations in which their racial status gets disproportionate advantages? I would suggest that the IRS disproportionately audits more whites than blacks or other minorities:

    “Tax Year 2015 provides a good historical overview of where IRS compliance priorities are focused. The exam coverage rate of taxpayers with incomes of $10 million or more is 8.16%. The rate for those between $1 million and $10 million is 2.53%. And other income categories are far below that – generally less than 1%.” https://www.irs.gov/about-irs/irs-audit-rates-significantly-increase-as-income-rises.

    Obviously, if incomes were equally distributed across racial and gender lines, which would of course obviate any argument about income inequality, then the probability of equal chances of being subject to IRS scrutiny would be relatively proportional. But given that progressives do not believe that incomes are fairly distributed and are demanding equity in outcomes why do they not ever mention the disproportionate IRS scrutiny and tax burden on whites. Has the IRS ever leveled a charge of tax evasion against any of the white, black or green street dealers of narcotics who are convicted of drug crimes? If not, why not. Seems to me they don’t file honest tax returns. I also don’t see the activists picketing sports games that feature teams that do not reflect the proportional racial makeup of the United States. If you mandate equity in all things then you must eliminate choice and merit.

    (I am using the racial designation of green to be ecumenical to all bipedal humanoids)

    I used the above to illustrate that disproportionate impact should not be used to address equity issues that result from individual choices unless we are prepared to evaluate all areas in which one race or gender dominates the field. Using disproportionate impact where personal choices are made gives that individual artificially lower opportunity costs and imposes costs on everyone else. That is the definition of inequity.

  9. Why have you not finished Part 3 of The Pandemic Creates a Classic and Difficult Ethics Conflict?

    1. The irrational bias against police reaches the level of farce.

    Remember, these people lead the gun control campaign.

    The rank-and-file may support gun control because they feel it would make them safer from the street thug and the gangbanger, but this is further evidence that the leadership favors the street thug and the gangbanger.

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