Ethics Wreckage, 11/1/2021: Moral Stains, And More


1. Stop making me defend President Biden! President Joe Biden apparently fell asleep during today’s opening sessions at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Naturally, the conservative media and bloggers are having a ball mocking “Sleepy Joe.” It’s unfair. I wonder how many of the critics have had anything close to the killing schedule Presidents have, with constant travel and stress, time zone changes and everything else they have to deal with. Much younger Presidents than Biden have nodded off during meetings. I dozed off myself briefly at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce briefing, and I was 29 at the time.

2. Bingo, Ann Althouse! Ann reviews a stream of consciousness blatherfest by Speaker Nancy Pelosi that read,

“So again, the transformative agenda, the president was knowledgeable. I mean, he knows chapter [inaudible 00:04:20] because he wrote this, he campaigned on this. He spoke to this in his state of the union address. I told him last night, on phone last night, but today in front of our colleagues, that when he gave that state of the union address, we were sitting behind him, the vice president of the United States, Kamala Harris, and the speaker of the House, me. And people said, “How did it feel? How did it feel? The two women.” I said, “Well, that was exciting and historic.” What was really exciting is the speech the president made about women, not about two women, but America’s women, and what would happen with this progressive agenda that he was putting forth. At the same time, we’re moving forward with BIF, a once in a century chance to rebuild the infrastructure that past the Senate a while back. The BIF has good things and it has missing things. And of course, the fact that we have the reconciliation… Let me not call it that anymore, let’s call it the Build Back Better legislation is essential because that’s where we have the major investment in climate. Although there is some in the BIF. Roads, bridges, water systems, crumbling. Some water systems are over 100 years made of, and our colleagues talked about their own experiences in their own communities, some made of bricks and wood. That’s a nice water system, right?”

Quoth Ann: “If Trump spoke with that level of coherence, he would have been derided as a blithering idiot.”

3. So the mainstream media’s news blackout is effective, then? According to one poll, about 40% pf the public has never heard of “Let’s go, Brandon!” and isn’t aware of the outbreak of “Fuck Joe Biden” chants.


4. “Moral stain” #1. Seven senior military officers who heard graphic descriptions last week of the brutal torture of a terrorist while in CIA custody declared it “a stain on the moral fiber of America.” They are right, and the condemnation is appropriate. I wrote a similar assessment on The Ethics Scoreboard in 2009.

5. “Moral stain” #2. This one, however, is delusional. The Biden Administration is reportedly considering compensating illegal immigrant families separated at the southern U.S. border by the Trump Administration as a result of the  “zero-tolerance” policy. The program could theoretically pay out more than $1 billion, with payouts of around $450,000 per person or $1 million per family. The American Civil Liberties Union claims about 5,500 children were separated from their parents by the Trump Administration.

The parents of these children chose to put them at risk by using them as human shields against immigration enforcement. Since the children could not be confined with the adults, they required separate accommodations. Some were permanently separated from their parents. Some of the 940 lawsuits allege that the children suffered trauma from the months without their parents, resulting in anxiety, fear of strangers and nightmares. Lawyers for the border-breaching aliens say they they are currently negotiating over settlements with the Biden Administration, and hope to reach a deal by the end of November.

“President Biden has agreed that the family separation policy is a historic moral stain on our nation that must be fully remedied,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s immigrant-rights project. “That remedy must include not only meaningful monetary compensation, but a pathway to remain in the country.”

The “moral stain” rests entirely with the families that intentionally placed their children in peril. For illegal immigrants to set out to break our laws while putting their own children at risk, and then benefit financially from doing so is Bizarro World justice. “Think of the children!” mania can only be stretched so far. Whatever the children suffered, it was due to parental negligence.

I’m certain there are some struggling, law abiding American families that could use some of that billion dollars.

6. These are “the bad guys,” and they keep proving it. Progressive activists disrupted a private wedding being officiated by Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), currently a target of harassment and attack by Democrats for daring to oppose the irresponsible $3.5 trillion Democratic spending bill being dictated her party. The mother of the bride pleaded with the protesters to let her daughter enjoy her wedding in Brisbee, Arizona, but they would not. The bride also confronted the demonstrators, saying, “Thanks for ruining my wedding. I really appreciate it. It’s just my wedding. I really wish I could enjoy my wedding without you ruining it.”

These fanatics are adopting the unethical tactics of the Westboro Baptist Church that were once so reviled by the Left. But President Biden assured us that it is all part of the system, so it’s OK.

Good, ethical, rational, fair people don’t act like this, harming innocent parties to advance their agenda. What else is the progressive and undemocratic mob willing to destroy, and who else is it prepared to harm, to get their way?

27 thoughts on “Ethics Wreckage, 11/1/2021: Moral Stains, And More

  1. 5. The analogy I care to use is similar to prostitution. Both parties know what they want in the only haggling is about the price. This is the same with this monstrous and absurd claim. Federal lawyers and lawyers for the claimants I just arguing about the price.

    • The difference though, is that Manchin and Sinema are OK with the number $0, particularly Manchin.

      They’ll entertain something as large as 1.5 trillion, which is still an ungodly amount of money, and has a whole lot more than just “infrastructure” in it (by definition, there was maybe 700 billion in what we normally think of as infrastructure (roads, bridges, ect) in that bill, and even if you squinted really hard and added things like cell phone towers you’d only get to 1.2, but there’s no universe where they get even 1.6, Manchin has been fairly adamant about it.

      Let’s look at the progressive caucus for a second… They’re holding up the 1.5 trillion up because they want to negotiate for more, but you can only negotiate when you have leverage. They have no leverage because, I repeat, Manchin and Sinema are OK with $0 so threatening to hold up the bill isn’t going to force a better bill, it’s just going to make sure the number is $0.

      Which is why outbursts like this were inevitable: Progressives writ large have no leverage, they’re absolutely childish in loss, they have no shame, and they’re trying to find a path forward by any means necessary, and in this case, it’s co-opting the tactics of the Westboro Baptists. This is going to be about as effective as Westboro’s tactics, I mean, really… “You were mean to me, and stalked me in a bathroom, so let me give you trillions of dollars” but it’s what they’re reduced to… What else they gonna do? Kill the bill?

      Worst?… Best? Burst? Thing about this is that even were they to harass Sinema into spending 3.5 trillion dollars, they still need to harass Manchin as well, and then the other half dozen senators that probably won’t vote for this either, but so long as Manchin and Sinema are standing in the breach, they don’t have to out themselves and put up with the shit and abuse. Good luck with that.

      • Way back in the 80’s I oversaw a research project by a Stanford academic institute and leaders from all of the transportation sectors that concluded that it would require several trillion dollars to repair the infrastructure THEN. That included roads and bridges, railway beds and rails, canals and waterways, aging transit systems, pipelines, sewage and water pipes, the power grid, and more—there was no internet then. If it was really just infrastructure, the 3.5 trillion would be worth it….and really, still not enough.

        • There’s an old Libertarian Maxim that’s also an inside joke: “But who will build the roads?!?!”

          Starting out Libertarian me didn’t understand the point. Who *would* build the roads? Roads needed to be built, if the government didn’t do it, who would? Companies? Good luck. Wasn’t this a valid criticism of Libertarianism?

          For anyone who takes it literally, it would be. But it’s more generally understood as an acceptance of reality: No one builds the roads. Bills are passed saying they’re going to build the roads…. The roads don’t get built. Taxes are passed saying that they’ll go to the roads…. The roads don’t get built. “The Roads” are an excuse to get damn near everything but the roads paid for.

          This stupid bill is a case in point. More than a trillion of the 3.5 trillion…. A full third of the infrastructure bill, was going to education and daycare. Regardless of whether or not you think universal pre-K and daycare benefits are budget worthy items, they sure as fuck aren’t roads.

          America needs a massive infrastructure overhaul. It’d be nice if anyone was interested in doing one.

          • Maybe it’s partly a function of where one lives. In Arizona, infrastructure is fairly new, I suppose. But The Union Pacific has doubled its track in the last few years and is constantly re-doing the bed and the ties and the tracks. Maybe its Warren Buffet. I-19 is constantly being repaved because it takes a lot of abuse from all the semis hauling vegetables from Mexico throughout all of north America. I-10 is being widened throughout Phoenix and new roads are built all the time. I guess from my point of view, I’d use Cedric the Entertainer’s line: “It ain’t so bad.” If all the crooks in older urban areas have been lining their pockets instead of maintaining things, that’s on them.

  2. #1 I’m not going to get too tough on Biden for falling asleep at this lecture snooze fest. To quote Greta, there is a lot of blah, blah, blah going on there. I’ll be tough on Biden for pretending to take it serious though. I hope most of the world leaders and their minions carpooled for the sake of Mother Gaia.
    #5 I think the Biden Administration should go with paying lawbreakers compensation for breaking our laws. It goes with the spirit of this administration, and just maybe it’ll get some ignorant people indignant about the dumb crap our government does. I think it’ll be a great issue to campaign on. ” Vote for me, I’ll give handouts to randos, while you pay for them, peasants!”
    #6 I know that you end that point with a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer. All who stand in the way of Progress will be swept to away. We’re getting it good and hard, as per the agreement.

  3. 6. When our dog Bailey lived with our son, she shared space with another dog – a spastic, undisciplined Dachshund that badgered her all the time. He was constantly pestering her, disrupting her, getting in her grille, trying to lick her ears, eat from her bowl, rough-house, you name it. And Bailey – for the most part – was accommodating. But then that dog would cross the line and Bailey would snap, and the Dachshund would howl and squeal…and then slink away with a bloodied paw or a bloodied ear or teeth marks on his snout.

    Let him who has ears to hear…

    • Good, ethical, rational, fair people don’t act like this, harming innocent parties to advance their agenda.

      These are Marxist zealots. Gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet. This woman’s wedding is just collateral damage on the way to the revolution. Besides, she’s probably marrying a cisgendered white guy. She deserves the grief.

      Assholes. But they are executing a plan. They are dangerous and relentless.

  4. #5. Thus far, I haven’t seen any report estimating what portion of the proposed settlements the ACLU will retain. My first reaction when I heard this news story was how clever of the ACLU to find a way to create a substantial endowment that will insure more such absurd lawsuits for years to come. As always, follow the money . . .

    • What is it about the name American Civil Liberties Union they don’t understand. Should it be the Foreigners’ Civil Liberties Union?

  5. “What else is the progressive and undemocratic mob willing to destroy, and who else is it prepared to harm, to get their way?”

    I think they’ve made it crystal clear that the answer to those questions are “anything” and “anyone”. This is no longer just a political movement, it is a religious cult, with all the potential for terrifying fanaticism that implies.

  6. 1. For any other meeting covering, for example, national security or the economy, sure, go ahead and doze off. But this is:

    “The existential threat, threat to human existence as we know it… So let this be the moment we answer history’s call here in Glasgow.” — U.S. President Joe Biden

    I’ll believe this is an emergency when world leaders can manage to stay awake while discussing it.

  7. “I’ll believe this is an emergency when world leaders can manage to stay awake while discussing it.”

    The…um…WOKE have been saying this for a while.

    Bonn 2001: A Global Warming Treaty’s Last Chance. Time Magazine, 16 Jul 2001

    Montreal 2005: With time running out for the global climate, your meeting in Montreal represents a last chance for action. The Independent, 28 Nov 2005

    Bali 2007: Bali could be the last chance to avoid the worst effect of global warming, said Tony Juniper, executive director of Friends of the Earth. The New Zealand Herald, 3 Dec 2007

    Poznan Poland, 2008: The world will “suicide” if it cannot strike a strong climate pact soon, The Age, 9 Dec 2008

    Copenhagen 2009: The world faces a final opportunity to agree an adequate global response to climate change at a U.N.-led meeting in Copenhagen in December, The Telegraph, 10 Aug 2009

    Cancun 2010: Jairem Ramesh, the Indian environment minister, sees it as the “last chance” for climate change talks to succeed; The Telegraph (UK), 29 Nov 2010

    Durban 2011: Rev. Dr. Olav Fyske Tveit, who leads the World Council of Churches, says the upcoming climate conference in South Africa is mankind’s ‘last opportunity’ to address climate change. Spero News, 27 Nov 2011:

    Doha 2012: Tomorrow: the earth’s last chance with climate change? The Examiner, 25 Nov 2012

    Warsaw 2013: Is the Warsaw Climate Change Conference a last-chance summit? Sustainable Mobility, 14 Nov 2013

    Lima 2014: Last chance: Change needed for climate negotiations in Lima 2014. WWF Global, 23 Nov 2013

    Paris 2015: The UN meeting in December is “the last chance” to avert dangerous climate change, according to the Earth League. BBC News 22 Apr 2015

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twelve (12) times (and counting!), shame on…..

    • @Paul
      Now it’s “one minute until midnight” whatever that means. Um.. a slow moving problem we actually can’t solve in a meaningful way isn’t a disaster. What may be a disaster is making the kids who are in their teens and 20’s so upset about it they choose to not have kids to save the planet from global warming.

  8. 1. The climate has been changing since the climate began, and to think that man can control it is the height of arrogance. The “Climate Change” agenda has never been about addressing climate but rather about controlling people and governments and resources and, ultimately, money…YOUR money. When all is said and done, man-caused climate change will be shown to be the biggest scam in the history of scientific research. And for those that take a Biblical view of the world, it is understood full well that the planet will never be saved no matter what measures are taken. It’s destined for destruction. It’s over.

    2. How easy this has become. The fish in the barrel aren’t even scared anymore. Tragic that her district pays her money to speak like that. The comic sadness.

  9. 1. Biden knows they call him “Sleepy Joe” and that he’s being portrayed as a senile old fart who’s not up to the job because he can barely stay awake and barely keep his mind on things when he is awake. He of all people should not let himself be seen nodding off. No one should be falling asleep on the job anyway, but least of all the President. Heck, when the call comes at 3 a.m. will he even wake up to answer it? Yes, some other presidents, notably Taft and Cleveland, who were both very overweight, occasionally conked out on the job too, but so what?

    2. That would just cause me to go into my Kermit the Frog scrunched-up face and say “Wha?”

    3. Not completely effective, apparently, and if 6 of 10 know it, the rest will soon. Let’s go, Brandon!

    4. Hard for me to care too, too much about this. Sometimes it just plain sucks to be a Muzzie fanatic and terrorist. Don’t be one and maybe you won’t get tortured.

    5. When did America become the world’s refugee camp? If the Federal government makes these payments then there should be a class action suit for theft of tax money, because that’s what it is. Who voted for this ridiculous policy?

    6. If you can’t answer this one after last year, then you haven’t been paying attention, and I know pretty much everyone here, especially Jack, has been paying attention. There IS no limit to what they’ll do. The answer was written clearer than the letters on the wall at Belshazzar’s feast pretty much from the get-go in 2016. I make a point of attending the Veterans’ Day Parade in NYC every year, and, if you remember, that was the Friday after the election in 2016. I was more than a little nervous about what I would run into in the City after the crazy protests the two days before, who knew what anyone would do. Well, the parade went off without a hitch – with half a dozen policemen on every block, both sides of the street, and DOHS officers with tactical vests and rifles (or other long arms) at every intersection. I applaud all agencies involved for making it happen, but it shouldn’t have come to that. The people of this nation should be able to gather to honor our veterans without being concerned that some idiot or idiots will disrupt things.

    Just as an aside, the president regularly gets invited to this parade, but Trump was the first to actually go. Every president should, in my opinion, go at least once.

  10. #3
    Over on the althouse blog, a commenter asserts…
    [In a response to Brian Taylor Cohen, journalist Stephen L. Miller disclosed that he had actually been on the flight. Miller shared firsthand knowledge of the meaning behind the pilot’s use of the phrase.
    “Hello @SouthwestAir – I’d like to clear this up. I was a passenger on the flight in question,” Miller said. “There was a young kid on the flight next to me with his mother who told me he was on his way for a bone marrow transplant. His name was Brandon and the flight attendant was aware of this.”]

    If this is actually true, it only makes the LGB slogan more powerful as a tool for mockery.
    Will they then bury the clarification to avoid attention being drawn to the original episode and the overreaction?

      • 5. I love how things work these days. If you were separated from your child by Donald Trump, it is worth between $450,000 and $1 million. If you were separated from your child in the same facility under worse conditions by Barack Obama of Joe Biden, it is worth $0.

        It is just like masks. Angela Merkel got out of her chauffeured vehicle, put on her mask while outside to walk by the ‘little people’, entered a building, and then took her mask off before shaking hands with the Italian Prime Minister. So, masks are just to protect you from ‘the little people’, they aren’t needed indoors or in vehicles as long as the other people are ‘important’.

  11. #1

    I defended Biden. Him falling asleep during a mass meeting of our betters bloviating about things they cannot change nor have any intention of trying to change despite their rhetoric, is the first thing he’s done as President that normal Americans can identify with.

  12. #5 What are the odds that the settlement of the ACLU’s case includes provisions for a permanent injunction, binding on all future governments, against enforcement of the immigration laws? DiBlasio used a similar tactic here in New York settling the stop-and-frisk cases.

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