Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/12/2021: It’s The Great Stupid, Charlie Brown!

Gypsy moth

1. Incompetent Elected Official of the Month: Guess who! Yes, of course it is VP Kamala Harris, and this would be a stand-alone post if I hadn’t begun the day with another Kamala story. You may have heard about this one, if you don’t depend on mainstream media.

The Vice President suggested during an interview at the end of last week with BET News that voter ID laws will make it unacceptably difficult for rural voters who do not live near Kinko’s or OfficeMax to cast ballots. “In some people’s mind, that means you’re going to have to Xerox or photocopy your ID to send it in to prove who you are. Well, there are a whole lot of people, especially people who live in rural communities, who don’t — there’s no Kinkos, there’s no OfficeMax near them,” she warned. “Of course people have to prove who they are, but not in a way that makes it almost impossible for them to prove who they are.”

Naturally the interviewer, the historically unobjective Soledad O’Brien, who was the worst talking head at CNN before the whole network went to Journalism Hell, just smiled and nodded as if Harris had said that the world was round. Elsewhere, Kamala’s idiotic statement got the reaction it deserved. Harris had managed to insult rural America and show her own ignorance in one single gaffe. Kinkos hasn’t existed for several years; it’s called FedEx Office now. Wrote PJ Media’s Bryan Preston, his tongue piercing his cheek,

“Rural Americans have access to these things called ‘smartphones,’ which they can use to scan and send their IDs if they need to. They also have access to these things called ‘scanners,’ ‘printers, and these amazing devices that can scan,  print, and even digitally transmit information wirelessly. It’s like magic, really. Rural Americans also have this amazing communications tech called ’email.’ They also have various means of getting their information from where it is to where it needs to be — in physical form! There’s even a whole government service dedicated to moving physical pieces of paper and even packages from place to place called the ‘U.S. Postal Service.’ We truly live in an age of miracle and wonder.”

One Tweeter writes, “She’s so misinformed and so ridiculous. It’s absurd.” Yes, It’s that trademark Harris smug laziness, all right. If she is going to keep up the dishonest Democratic talking point that voter ID is racist and a means of “voter suppression,” it would be prudent to check some facts. Harris doesn’t do that very often. The episode was reminiscent of President Bush the Elder expressing amazement at a grocery store checkout scanner, causing widespread mockery in the media over how out of touch he was. Yet I can’t find any mention of Harris’s telling botch outside of the “conservative media.” Gee, why is that? When poor Dan Quayle was VP, the fact that he misspelled “potato” was news for a week. Harris shows that she thinks of rural America as a primitive wasteland, and it isn’t newsworthy at the Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS and the rest.

2. Speaking of voter fraud, Hervis Rogers, the Texas man who was lionized in the media after he waited for six hours (he claimed) to cast a ballot in last year’s presidential primary, was arrested last week in Houston, charged with two counts of illegal voting. Hervis, who is black, is being held in jail, unable to pay bail set at $100,000. Rogers voted twice while on parole for a 1995 conviction for burglary, and in Texas it is illegal for convicted felons to vote in an election until their sentence is completed, including probation and parole. Rogers’ parole began in 2004 and expired in June 2020, after the Texas primaries, in which he voted.

As predictable as sunrise, New York Times race-baiter Charles M. Blow decried the arrest as Texas racism: “He is a Black man with a criminal history, a perfect boogeyman and scapegoat to help illustrate a virtually nonexistent problem of voter fraud.” Blow apparently can’t figure out that Rogers was only caught in his act of voter fraud because he drew attention to himself, and his eligibility was checked, unlike the vast majority of voters, fraudulent or not.

3. ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help you.’ At least this Biden Administration fiasco that crashed because of its illegal racial discrimination was reported, sort of. $28.6 billion federal relief fund for restaurants and other food businesses closed this month after running out of money. It had fulfilled fewer than a third of the grant requests it received. First, it was carelessly conceived, as the Biden team didn’t calculate what the likely demand would be. Second, it was obviously illegal. As I wrote here, the program prioritized “restaurant owners of color,” meaning that white restaurateurs, hurt equally badly by the pandemic shutdown, had to sit in the back of the government hand-out bus. They sued, those racists, and won. Federal judges ruled that they were likely to succeed in proving their claims that the program’s policy violated the Constitution’s equal protection clause. In response, the SBA ended the policy and rescinded the awards of nearly 3,000 priority applicants who had been told they would receive grants.This threw the program into the chaos it richly deserved. In addition, applicants were foiled by many systemic glitches because, you know, that’s how big government behaves.

With white citizens able to have equal claim to the funds, the effort quickly ran out of money.The Small Business Administration told unsuccessful applicants in an email that it was unable to fund all qualified applications because of “overwhelming demand.” Gee, who could have predicted that?

A telling ethics note from the Times story (buried on page B-7):

“For those who got grants, the money was often a lifeline. Tamra Patterson, the owner of Chef Tam’s Underground Cafe in Memphis, received funding in May. She immediately hired more workers and gave her employees a raise to $16 an hour. ‘This literally resuscitated my business,’ she said. ‘This past year has been like sucking air through a straw in the middle of the ocean. This finally let us breathe.’”

If funds were limited, why did the SBA permit those who received relief funds to use them to raise salaries?

4. Entomological Ethics. Oh, sure, why not? After all, didn’t you immediately think bad things about people of Romani descent when someone talked about gypsy moth caterpillars? I know I…well, come to think of it, I didn’t make that connection at all. When I was watching “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” I also didn’t think the fact that the dumbest robot, made out of a canister vacuum cleaner, named “Gypsy” cast aspersions on anyone either.

But then I’m not looking for ways to signal my awesome sensitivity, like, say, the Entomological Society of America, which announced that it will no longer refer to common species of insects as “gypsy moths” (above) and “gypsy ants,” because their names are derogatory to the Romani people. Silly me, I just assumed “gypsy” meant they moved around a lot, like in those colorful wagons of old. But the Woke want us to get used to censorship and mind-control, so this is just another trivial instance of slowly boiling the freedom of expression frog. After all, who cares what they call moths, ants and caterpillars?

You know, my first name is often used in a derogatory context. “Jack shit,” “jack-off,” “jackass”…are those words anti-Jack bigotry? I never thought of them as such, but then I’m sane, and I believe that words should never be banned, because it’s a bad habit.

How long do you think it will be before a major effort gets underway to ban any negative, or supposedly negative, or conceivably negative, use of the word “black”?

24 thoughts on “Monday Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 7/12/2021: It’s The Great Stupid, Charlie Brown!

  1. 4) I still cannot believe this nonsense is actually happening. Almost everything about the Great Stupid has me feeling as if I’m actually living in the Twighlight Zone. I would never have imagined that many of the events happening today would have ever occurred in a sane reality.

    Next on the Entomological Ethics list must be the Japanese Beetle.

    Another one I heard when I was younger was jack-squat as in: He knows jack-squat (nothing at all).

  2. Allow me to defend Bush and Quayle because no one else will.

    The supermarket scanner was impressive because it could read damaged barcodes. That was kind of a big deal at one time. UPC scanners had been out in the wild since the mid 70s. The man was the director of the CIA. Are we supposed to believe he’d never seen such a thing?

    As for Dan, hey that’s how it was spelled on the card the schoolteacher gave him. What, he should correct a schoolteacher? The holiest of god’s creatures? Well next to drugged up, amateur porn acting, home invaders that is.

  3. #4. “How long do you think it will be before a major effort gets underway to ban any negative, or supposedly negative, or conceivably negative, use of the word “black”?”

    This has already begun among the tech “elite”. My friend works for Intuit and they have a list of forbidden words given to employees that include “white glove” (because it apparently has ties to racist minstrel shows), “white hat (hacking)” (this term apparently ‘enforces the “white is good” and “black is bad” paradigm’), “grandfathered” (apparently tied to Jim Crow voting laws?), “master account” (you know where they are going with this one), “black box”, “whitelist/blacklist”, the insanity goes on and on.

    • My sister just got the plans to her new house delivered to her. No Master Bedroom, but she does have an Owner’s Bedroom.

      Of course, slaveowner is a common term too, so they’re not very good at whatever it is they think they’re doing.

    • You know, when I was in college, almost 30 years ago, the then-current wave of feminists were pushing language control, and they had their list of forbidden words and expressions, too, like chairman, man-hours, congressman, man of the people, and so on, not to mention demanding EVERY pronoun be “he or she” etc. Then not too long ago you had the vegans saying you can’t say “don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” instead you have to say “don’t put all your berries in one bowl.” I wonder if next chess whizzes will have to be called something other than “grand master” as FIDE is made to get with the times. Is there an end to this? Do we have to wait four more years for this country to come to its senses? Was one act of police misconduct, for which the perpetrator was tried and punished, just THAT bad that every aspect of society must undergo a forced change?

  4. As someone who lives in a fairly rural location (250 miles to the nearest reliable airport, 2 grocery stores within 40 miles, no clothing stores, must drive at least 100 miles for all but the most basic medical services), I will admit that we CHOOSE to face some hardships in return for some other benefits. However, what in the world was Harris thinking? (Ok, we pretty much know she doesn’t think, but still…). A town MUST have a post office for it to be a town. I am quite familiar with towns that are nothing more than a post office for farmers/ranchers to claim their mail from. And you know what? Most of those ranchers have jumped on the electronic communication bandwagon as a way to better market themselves. I bought half a cow from one off of Facebook last year (before I jettisoned Facebook from my life), and next year my cow will come from a guy who bases his business off of his cell phone. Even the most luddite rural folks I am familiar with have smart phones. This woman has always made me wonder if she or AOC was less intelligent and aware of the real world. Until the next time AOC opens her mouth, Harris currently is winning that race to the bottom.

  5. 1. Harris shows that she thinks of rural America as a primitive wasteland, and it isn’t newsworthy at the Times, Washington Post, CNN, CBS and the rest. Why isn’t it newsworthy? BECAUSE THEY THINK THE SAME DAMNED THING!

  6. 4. I’m going to open up a consulting firm to come up with new names for all sorts of things (for a handsome price): French toast, Belgian waffles, Swiss cheese, Vienna sausage, German shepherds, Welsh terriers, Irish whiskey, guinea fowl. French people are burnt? Belgians can’t make up their minds. The Swiss are cheesy? The Viennese are weenies? Welsh are vicious, diminutive curs? Of course, the Irish are drunkards. Italians are for the birds? I’ll make a fortune.

  7. 4–As I await comment from my Professor Emeritus (Entomology) pal/neighbor…is the Sweet Gypsy Hybrid Pepper in the on deck circle?

    DISCLOSURE: I have four (4) of the above mentioned plants in one of my pepper beds, thriving, with many fruit already set and blossoms galore; am I proactive and plow them under, or soldier on and embrace the equivalent of a F*CK YOU’s?

  8. Blackbird, Black gold, black as the ace of spades, Blackhole, Black Sea, Blackhawk, Blackboard, black hair, black tie, and tails, blackout, blackball, blackhearted, blackness, in the black,- are all forbidden expressions.

    • My brokerage account indicates it’s in the black with green figures, but it indicates it’s in the red with red figures.

      Should Native Americans weigh in, and if they do, what’s Lefty part?

      It’s all just so confusing……..

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