“High Noon For Democracy” Ethics Warm-Up, 1/2/22: There Is Hope!

Hopeful sign #1: On this date in 1962, in the middle of the Kennedy administration, now hailed as the dawning of a new liberalism, the iconic folk group known as the Weavers’ appearance on “The Jack Paar Show” was cancelled because the four members refused to sign a loyalty oath. The Weavers had been blacklisted during the Red Scare (they were, in fact, Communists), but it is impossible to imagine an artist being required to sign a loyalty oath today. That’s progress. Of course, an artist today is at risk of being “cancelled” for not mouthing sufficiently woke sentiments to satisfy the left’s social media mobs. That is definitely NOT progress.

(I don’t  believe 2022 is “high noon for democracy,” but that is definitely the message both political parties and their ideological allies are pushing to begin the new year.)

1. More hope...the New York Times readers aren’t as brain-washed as I thought they were. The Times reader poll to name the top books published during the 125 years of the Times Book Review supplement chose as #1 Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.” This occurred despite the increasing drum-beats from Woke World to declare the classic racist, mainly because its iconic hero, lawyer Atticus Finch, teaches his daughter that it is important to try to understand people who think differently than you do, including racists, and that even those with racist beliefs can be good people.

I would have assumed that Times readers would have fully assimilated that narrow view of Lee’s masterpiece; clearly they did not. Also encouraging is the third place ranking of George Orwell’s “1984,” which I would argue is the single most important book for students to read in 2022….maybe for everyone to read.

2. But then there is this: Here was the Tournament of Roses Parade float yesterday called “Vaccinate the World”…

Sometimes I wonder if the idea is to make as many Americans as possible afraid of the vaccines. Here we see a scary robot nurse wielding a giant hypodermic needle, as another needle almost as big as she is lies on the floor. Who approved this thing?

3. Ugh. No, Barry Bonds does not belong in the Hall of Fame. With baseball currently in a lock-out due to the stalled negotiations between the players’ union and the team owners, the upcoming Hall of Fame vote will probably get even more attention than usual, generating more opinion pieces like this one  by the Federal Agent who investigated Barry Bonds for steroid use. Like all of the defenses of Bonds, it’s bad and ethically obtuse, relying on rationalizations to blow past the fact, and it is a fact, that Bonds cheated, he unethically shattered important baseball records by cheating, he never faced any consequences for cheating, and the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown has a sportsmanship and good character requirement. The ex-agent, Jeff Novitzky writes,

…yes, the Hall of Fame selection criteria include “integrity,” “sportsmanship” and “character,” not just stats and ability — no doubt, some baseball writers place a great deal of weight there.

The writers have to place “weight” there, because those are the Hall’s requirements. His is a dumb “Well, if you want to get nitpicky about it!” argument. Manny Ramirez, another one of the steroid cheaters otherwise qualified for the Hall this year (along with Roger Clemens, Gary Scheffield, Sammy Sosa, and worst of all, Alex Rodriguez) responded to one of his positive tests (there were two) by saying that it wasn’t a big deal. (That’s Manny: at least he’s honest about cheating, unlike Bonds.) I’m sick of writing about it: my many—too many–Ethics Alarms essays on Bonds’ lack of fitness for the Hall are here; before that, I wrote about his ethics status on The Ethics Scoreboard here, here, and here. (I’m especially fond of the last one.)

4. Wow! The New York Times is going all out to salvage the 2022 elections for the Democrats, and it’s only January 2! In today’s Sunday Times, the huge, “Pay heed you proles before it’s too late!” editorial by the Times editors screams, “Every Day Is Jan. 6 Now” and contains such deliberate fear-mongering rhetoric as

  • “a deadly riot at the seat of American government, incited by a defeated president amid a last-ditch effort to thwart the transfer of power to his successor”

Now there’s a fair and balanced description of events! The riot was “deadly” because a couple of rioters died of natural causes, and mostly because a bad cop needlessly shot an unarmed rioter under circumstances which, if their colors had been reversed, would have caused BLM “mostly peaceful” demonstrations across the country. By no proper definition of the word did President Trump “incite” the riot. By no stretch of the imagination was a mob of 300 idiots going to “thwart” anything.

  • “After four years of chaos, cruelty and incompetence, culminating in a pandemic and the once-unthinkable trauma of Jan. 6…”

Ah! Trump is responsible for the pandemic again, now that President Biden’s assurances that he knew how to control it have been proven to be the blather they were.

  • “…the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends.

“Openly contemptuous of democracy?” Wait—which party are we talking about here?

That’s just half of the Times propaganda push. The other is a full section headlined in giant type, “A World on Fire,” purporting to trace the effects already evident of climate change nation by nation and state by state. Life on Earth will never be the same already, the Times tells us, and “this is just the beginning”! Re-elect Democrats, or we’re all doomed! DOOMED!

This is partisan activism, not journalism. But the Times is right: “this is just the beginning.”

10 thoughts on ““High Noon For Democracy” Ethics Warm-Up, 1/2/22: There Is Hope!

  1. “… it is impossible to imagine an artist being required to sign a loyalty oath today.”

    Being required to submit to an experimental medical procedure that doesn’t really work as advertised (and for which no one takes responsibility for adverse outcomes), however, is disturbingly common. A loyalty oath seems almost adorably quaint by today’s standards.

  2. 4.) Thank you for reading the NYT, I don’t think I could tolerate more than a paragraph or two. I do subscribe to “The Economist” mostly for their international coverage (avoiding coverage of U.S. politics — I get plenty of that elsewhere). Occasionally, however, I wade through an article on U.S. politics to keep tabs on MSM thinking. The latest one: “The Republicans are still Donald Trump’s party, and they can still win” shows the TDS fever still going strong:

    a.) The riot of Jan 6th is still referred to as an “insurrection”.
    b.) Liz Cheney is a (probably doomed) hero for voting to impeach.
    c.) Both parties are described as becoming more hardline, but “the Democrats’ shift is so much more modest as to be almost incomparable”.
    d.) (the most laughable assertion) “[Trump is responsible] for violence that claimed five lives on the day, would claim another four in police suicides and saw a Confederate flag paraded through the Capitol”.
    e.) Trump won 74m votes in 2020 “despite his deranged handling of covid-19”.

    • Re: 4(c): “Both parties are described as becoming more hardline, but ‘the Democrats’ shift is so much more modest as to be almost incomparable’”.

      Truth be told, the shift to hard left totalitarianism of the Democrat party is a shorter trip than the supposed hard-right shift to Pinochet’s fascism of the Republican party. I mean, the Democrat party has been hovering over Marxism for decades.

      jvb

  3. “a deadly riot at the seat of American government, incited by a defeated president amid a last-ditch effort to thwart the transfer of power to his successor”

    Incited in the same manner that Patrice Cullors and Nikole Hannah-Jones incited the riots in Minneapolis, Portland, and Kenosha.

    By no stretch of the imagination was a mob of 300 idiots going to “thwart” anything.

    Another mob of 300 idiots tried to burn down the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland.

    “…the Republic faces an existential threat from a movement that is openly contemptuous of democracy and has shown that it is willing to use violence to achieve its ends.

    Like the Walls of Moms and Walls of Vets protecting rioters and arsonists at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland?

    “After four years of chaos, cruelty and incompetence, culminating in a pandemic and the once-unthinkable trauma of Jan. 6…”

    More died under FJB’s watch.

    That’s just half of the Times propaganda push. The other is a full section headlined in giant type, “A World on Fire,” purporting to trace the effects already evident of climate change nation by nation and state by state. Life on Earth will never be the same already, the Times tells us, and “this is just the beginning”! Re-elect Democrats, or we’re all doomed! DOOMED!

    And yet they do not consider the record snowfall on Lake Tahoe. It is as if they have double standards regarding the use of anecdotes to prove climate change.

    Of course, if this is a problem, Carl Sagan proved that 100 megatons is all it takes.

    http://www.st-v-sw.net/STSWbd0.html

    Now, as a comparison: 100 megatons is enough to wreck the Earth and cause nuclear winter (see Carl Sagan’s “The Nuclear Winter”)

  4. “It is as if they have double standards regarding the use of anecdotes to prove climate change.”

    “As if” my eye. They have double standards for proving everything, and if you haven’t figured that out by now, you haven’t been paying attention, and I know you have. I know I’ve said this already too many times, but it doesn’t seem to be getting through to people. If it were not for double standards, the Democratic party would have no standards at all.

  5. Re: NO. 2; The Robotic Injector.

    I wonder if the nurse float was supposed to be a play on the Jettsons. Probably, but who knows anymore.

    Speaking of Who Knows Anymore, apparently, Ocasio-Cortez has been criticizing Ron De Santis for having “gone missing” for, in her words, “like two weeks”. In reality, it was a two-to-three hour pleasure jaunt over to his wife’s oncologist to accompany her while she had the audacity to be treated for breast cancer. Boy, that De Santis guy has no concept of doing his job, especially when Omicron cases are skyrocketing in his state (incidentally, that didn’t stop Ocasio-Cortez from partying maskless at a drag queen soirré in Florida, but, hey . . .). I wonder what Ocasio-Cortez thought about Pistol Pete going missing for “like two or three months” when the supply chains had come off the sprockets. I don’t recall if she was mad about that. Who knows anymore . . .

    jvb

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