Ethics Resuscitation,12/23/21: Lift, Spirits, LIFT!

Boy, has today ever been a rotten prelude to Christmas! There’s nothing like feeling like Bob Cratchit and Scrooge at the same time….Hit it, Judy!

Yeah, easy for YOU to say…

1. Admittedly, it’s hard to be unusually unethical on a phony show like “Paranormal Experiences,” but I was fascinated to see how actual news footage of a dog rescue would be tied into the show’s theme. A dog was viewed by a crowd at New York’s East River as it desperately dog-paddled for land, then panicked and began swimming in circles. A police officer dived into the freezing (and filthy) water and grabbed the dog by the collar, getting bitten in the face and hand in the process, to tow the canine to safety as the crowd cheered him on. How was this “paranormal”?

As one onlooker explained it, the officer was a water rescue specialist, and the crowd had gathered for a ceremony honoring him. It couldn’t be a mere coincidence that a drowning dog just happened to turn up during that ceremony for that officer, could it? No, something supernatural was afoot! Such a coincidence can’t happen by itself!

Yes, it can, and does, every day, many, many times, you moron. A TV episode like this makes the public stupid and superstitious, which makes them easy to manipulate and con. Given enough time and random events, anything that can happen will happen, and the proclivity to see portents and miracles in standard chaos-driven events undermines life competence.

Where do you think the term “lucky dog” came from?

2. “The Five Deadly Sins of the Left” have been again identified by disillusioned progressive Ruy Texiera in his substack follow-up to an earlier essay. Those “sins,” which he has concluded his ideological think are virtues, are

  • Identity Politics (of course)
  • Retro-Socialism (Capitalism is evil and racist!)
  • Catastrophism (Mask or die! End fossil fuel energy or die! Defeat Trump or die!)
  • Growthphobia (rejecting the goal of faster growth to “eliminate” economic inequality)
  • Technopessimism (because technology costs jobs while requiring planet-killing energy)

Both essays are excellent, though I think any aware readers will wonder why his list isn’t longer, like “Suspicion of American institutions”; “Ideological indoctrination of the young;” and “Demonization of U.S. achievements and denigration of historical icons.”

2. Speaking of which…the Washington Post, with the assistance of Virginia Tech and the thoroughly woke-crazed  National Endowment for the Humanities decided it was important to point out that a lot of the soldiers who saved democracy and the world from Nazism and whatever it was Japan was selling were sexist and racist by today’s standards, so, of course, that wasn’t the “Greatest Generation” after all. We should all be ashamed to be in the debt of such monsters. Or something.

Servicemen’s attitudes on topics “including race, women, sex, gender and combat” were found in 65,000 pages from Army surveys by a Virginia Tech historian who searched the National Archives. The project is called “The American Soldier in World War II,”  and is directed by Edward J.K. Gitre, an assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech, who says, “It does speak to a generation. The good, the bad, the ugly, heroic, not heroic.”

No, it speaks to rampant presentism and arrogance, as well as an academic alliance with the extreme Left’s goal of eliminating American pride, values and respect for what the nation has accomplished. Were sufficient numbers of those soldiers surveyed willing to risk, and sacrifice, their lives to get their nation to 2021 so academics and generations who would rather be Red than dead could insult and deride them from their laptops? Why yes, I think that’s clear. Then I don’t care what they wrote on a survey 80 years ago, and neither should anyone else. We should care that a major newspaper, a government agency and our educational institutions are determined to smear a generation that deserves honor and thanks.

3. Can you say “ethics estoppel“? Sure you can! Conservative pundit John Podhoretz authored an attack piece called “Joe Biden’s Omicron speech was a pack of total bull,” and it was attacked in turn by Ann Althouse, who wrote in part,

Why can’t people face what Omicron is? …Deal with it people. It’s always the President’s miserable fault when the President is in the party that’s not your party. For Podhoretz, a Republican, Biden is an outrageous idiot. Democrats support their President, so, needing to blame people, they blame Republicans — all those Republicans who won’t get vaccines and won’t follow the rules.  But it’s a virus, which has no party affiliation and no capacity for good and evil. Just deal with it.

Wouldn’t that be wonderful for the Democrats! Biden himself said repeatedly that Donald Trump was responsible for 100,000 deaths, but now that he’s the one dealing with a virus (with a clueless CDC and twists and turns nobody predicted), the public should view Joe as just a hard-working leader trying to do what he thinks is best, when he has inadequate information and no crystal ball.

No, no, no. I can say that, and Ann can say that, but Biden and the Democrats, having ridden the dishonest vehicle of pandemic finger-pointing and fear-mongering into power, must be held to the standard they devised. That is condign justice, and ethically essential to discourage future lies and public manipulation. Biden may not change the rules he benefited from as soon as they threaten him.

4. Time out for a well-aimed joke…The New York Times’s latest effort to try to bolster hopeless VP Kamala Harris informs us that “Ms. Harris has privately told her allies that the news coverage of her would be different if she were any of her 48 predecessors, whom she has described as all white and male.” Acrid blogger Ace of Spades’ response made me smile: “Kamala, if you were a white man, you would be running title checks in a real estate office.”

5. When the truth hurtsban it? U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher L. Ray of the Southern District of Georgia ordered lawyers for an injured longshoreman to “not impugn Chinese culture” in future depositions in his lawsuit against a Chinese shipping line. Ray said the plaintiff’s lawyers indicated that his lines of questioning were intended to demean Chinese culture, and that such an intent was justified. They argued that they should be allowed to ask about cultural differences that could color the deponents’ testimony. Rejecting the argument, Ray said that, in future depositions, the plaintiff’s counsel:

  • “Shall not impugn Chinese culture or suggest that it is to blame for any allegedly negligent” or improper acts.
  • “Shall not ask questions drawing distinctions between American and Chinese cultures with the implication that Chinese culture is inferior.”
  • Shall not suggest that the deponents or defendants don’t care about the plaintiff..

…among other limitations.

In related news, authorities in Hong Kong today removed an artwork that memorialized those killed in the 1989 government massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators in Beijing, part of the recent crackdown on political dissent in the Chinese territory.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, or a culture that approves of it! No indeedy…

The 26-foot copper statue, known as the “Pillar of Shame,” was created by the Danish sculptor Jens Galschiot in 1996. It commemorates the massacre of pro-democracy students and workers around Tiananmen Square by the Chinese government in June 4, 1989. But there’s no reason to take its removal as an indication that Chinese culture is inferior ethically to U.S. culture! Right, Judge?

Here is the now dismantled memorial…

Pillar of shame

The episode brings back memories of how I lost a $10,000 contract with a national institute because I would not apologize to a Chinese national for referencing in class the unethical nature of Mao’s slaughtering an estimated 60 million citizens. “It wasn’t 60 million,” the attendee of my seminar said indignantly. “It was only 16 million, and that was necessary.” He really said killing 16 million people was “necessary.”

The institute asked me why I wouldn’t apologize, and I said that I do not apologize for telling the truth, nor for offending Communists. That’s still true, and I would handle the situation the same way today.

That $10,000 would sure come in handy right now, though…

3 thoughts on “Ethics Resuscitation,12/23/21: Lift, Spirits, LIFT!

  1. 1. You and he are right. Sometimes short lists are easier to manage.
    2. And the worst part is that they took all the credit from the heroic Soviet cannon fodder.
    3. Americans hate being lectured. Why the Democrats and their allies have forgotten that is beyond me.
    4. I read that article. Title clerk is being generous. She was hired solely for her skin color and gender. Once the goal of winning was accomplished, her usefulness was over.
    5. That judicial order isn’t spooky, is it?
    Frankly. I’m surprised the monument lasted this long. Totalitarian regimes love making sure citizens have a skewed version of what happened in the past.

    Yep, $10K would be great, but it would be dirty money. It would have been more ethical to take Belle Watling’s money “for the cause”.

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