Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/22: Snap Out Of It! Or “When Bill Maher Is An Ethics High Point, Things Have Gone Terribly Wrong…”

Just from casual observation and also from having to comb the news and opinion sites, I think people are going nuts, and there are other people in high, powerful and influential places trying to keep them that way, since they will be all the more receptive to irrational ideas.

February 8 is an appropriate date to remember, not just in Black History Month (we should not have months that favor single races, genders and ethnicities, first, because there are only 12, and second, because it is divisive and discriminatory, and therefor unethical), always. This was the date of the Orangeburg Massacre in1968, when police officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina open fire on a mostly black crowd of  youths during a protest against racial segregation. Three were killed and about 30 were wounded; one of the dead was a high school student siting on a curb waiting for his mother to pick him up.

It all began when activists in Orangeburg pointed out that Harry Floyd’s bowling alley was segregated despite the 1964 Civil Rights Act making such a policy illegal. Floyd refused to obey the law, and authorities in Orangeburg refused to enforce it. A protest followed and extended into days. After a window was smashed in the bowling alley by protesters, police responded with clubs and arrests. Then the protest spread to South Carolina State University, one of the “historically black colleges.” (These are also an anachronism and inherently hypocritical.) When a report of a fire on campus set by protesters caused the Highway Patrol to respond, one protester threw a piece of wood at the officers, who opened fire. Several investigations failed to back up the Highway Patrol’s claim that the demonstrators had attacked them with fire bombs and sniper fire.

With everything else that happened in 1968, still one of the most cataclysmic years in U.S. history, the Orangeburg Massacre has been relatively neglected in our collective memory. While researching the event  today, I noticed this statement on the History Channel site:

Shootings on college and high school campuses continue to plague the United States, as does police violence against African Americans—nearly 1,000 people are killed by police every year, and Black people are 2.5 times more likely to die at the hands of law enforcement than white people.

It is unethical for a history website to spin and distort facts like that. The campus “shootings” referred to are not police shootings. Since 1968, every campus shooting—I count eight— has been at the hands of someone who was mentally ill. Eight in 53 years is not a “plague.” After mentioning “police violence against African Americans,” itself a loaded phrase, the article jumps to the total number killed by police, which includes whites, and the 2.5 number is deceptive without context: blacks are 2.5 times more likely to have confrontations with the police, and not just because they are black.

These are anti-gun, anti-police, Black Lives Matter talking points, not “history.”

1. Of course they will. The New York Times notes that the tactics of Nancy Pelosi’s partisan witch hunt, the Jan. 6 Panel, will guarantee that Republicans will return the criminalization of politics in kind when they are in power. “The House select committee scrutinizing the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol is borrowing techniques from federal prosecutions, employing aggressive tactics typically used against mobsters and terrorists…[to] develop evidence that could prompt a criminal case,” the article begins.

What the article doesn’t say, but what is screamingly obvious, is that the primary objective of the 100% biased investigation is to try to stop Donald Trump and his allies from gaining power in 2024. If they can lock him up, all the better. The Times does say that using the House investigative process this way is unprecedented. Wait! I thought defying “democratic norms” was what made Trump a threat to democracy! I’m so confused!

Seeking to find reasons to imprison political opponents is banana republic-style politics, and while Trump audiences may have chanted to lock Hillary up, it is the Democrats who are actually seeking to prosecute an opponent they hate and fear. They are also using a rigged investigation to do it: it’s bipartisan in name only. Republicans are angry, and should be, as should be anyone who is really interested in protecting democracy. The GOP, however, will not take the ethical course and take steps to prevent future House Star Chambers. You know it won’t. It will take that broken norm, and turn it on the party that broke it.

2. Question: If the New York Times is so objective and non-partisan, why does it allow two wild-eyed anti-white, police-hating, CRT-promoting lock-step leftist ideologues to have weekly columns? The delusional Jamelle Bouie in a recent screed flatly describes critical race theory-linked instruction in public schools as an “accurate history of racism” in the United States and mocks the description of it as “indoctrination,” which by any definition, it is. Most of his essay is devoted to an appeal to the authority of W.E.B. Dubois’s critique of 1930s historians, because in the eyes of the race-grievance mob, nothing has changed in U.S. race relations in 90 years. But even Bouie can’t top Charles M. Blow for pure Leftist edicts that ignore competing reality. He describes Republicans as “the enemy”—-funny, I’m old enough to remember the Times condemning Richard Nixon for using the term to describe his opposition, and Donald Trump for using the same term to describe (accurately) the Times—writes in part,

Biden and the Democrats are the only option, the only chance for normalcy, sanity and truth. They are the only hope democracy has in this country.

In what alternate reality would the first year of the Democratic regime be described as “normalcy, sanity and truth”? He goes on,

McConnell led Republicans to eliminate the filibuster for Supreme Court justice nominees. This allowed Trump to push through three justices, one accused of sexual assault.

That last sentence is signature significance for a character assassin, and no fair and competent editor would allow it. The accusation against Brett Kavanaugh was contrived, unconvincing, unsupported, and would have sustained a slander lawsuit in any other context. If the Times is going to let a columnist smear a SCOTUS justice that way, then references to President Biden should include “who was accused of rape by a staff member…” and much more credibly, too. Fair is fair.

3. Another reason to be glad Andrew Yang didn’t get very far when he ran for President. In the still expanding Joe Rogan and Spotify Ethics Train Wreck, Andrew Yang bought a ticket by opining via Twitter, “I don’t think Joe Rogan is a racist — the man interacts with and works with black people literally all of the time…Do I know black friends of Joe’s who would swear by him? Yes I do.”

That’s weak reasoning, to be sure, in the vein of “Some of his best friends are black.” Still, there is no evidence whatsoever that Rogan is a racist. Never mind. As soon as Yang’s support got him some mean tweets back, he grovelled mightily:

What a weenie.

4. When you have to depend on Bill Maher for important informationMany have noted that the recently released Johns Hopkins study that concluded that lockdowns have been a disaster has been largely buried by the mainstream media. Some of those who refuse to check the conservative news sources at least got a glimpse of the real issues when popular HBO jackass Bill Maher mentioned the study on his weekly show, and also the fact that it wasn’t being reported.

Flipping away from knee-jerk support of progressive mania is a cynical course correction for Maher, whom I trust approximately as much as I trust Newt Gingrich or John Edwards. But while he’s “cutting his conscience to fit this year’s fashions,” to quote Lillian Hellman, Maher at least is doing some good.

5. Nice. Gawker tells its readers exactly how they can obtain Sen. Sinema’s social security number for a measly eleven bucks. It also gives out some ideas about how that information can be abused. Sinema deserves this, you know, because she dared to oppose Democratic efforts to eliminate the filibuster, so her privacy doesn’t matter.

Gawker, as always, is a blot on civilization.

6. Do NOT take advice from SpongeBob Squarepants! And now for something completely stupid AND scary…After a 3-year-old girl’s body was found in a trash bag in Michigan, the girl’s mother explained the murder to police, saying that  while trying to withdraw from her heroin addiction, she had a hallucination in which SpongeBob told her to kill the girl or face death from her television.



10 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/8/22: Snap Out Of It! Or “When Bill Maher Is An Ethics High Point, Things Have Gone Terribly Wrong…”

  1. 1. Speaking of violating norms, did you know that if you don’t agree with the government narrative on covid-19 or election security, you might be a terrorist?

    “ Key factors contributing to the current heightened threat environment include:

    The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions:
    For example, there is widespread online proliferation of false or misleading narratives regarding unsubstantiated widespread election fraud and COVID-19. Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.”

    I suppose it is best to agree with everything the government says and not question them at all. Wouldn’t want to be placed on a terrorism watch list.

    • The proliferation of false or misleading narratives, which sow discord or undermine public trust in U.S. government institutions

      These false and misleading narratives came from U.S. government institutions.

      Grievances associated with these themes inspired violent extremist attacks during 2021.

      That is like saying that false narratives perpetrated by Patrice Cullors and Nikole Hannah-Jones inspired violent extremist attacks in Minneapolis, Portland, and Kenosha.

  2. Bill Maher didn’t change; the left changed. Bill Maher grew up in a world where conservative ideas were seen as wrong but not evil. He likes to poke fun at the excesses of organized religion, but you can always tell part of him has a good natured side.

    These current progressives act like they need to be on medication. They are angry, anxious, and aggressive about every single thing all the time. They don’t even act like happy people. Anyone that I know that’s on that far left of the spectrum is constantly upset. I’ve told people they need to chill out and just enjoy life sometimes.

    • Bill cheerleaded the four year sliming of President Trump, the two contrived impeachments, and made constant jokes about Trump’s “collusion” with Russia. He helped get the Left where it is now, and since that looks like a declining market, he’s trying to reposition himself.

      He is scum.

      • Most detestable is Maher’s constant “comedian” dodge for his political advocacy. Anytime he is criticized, he falls back on the “don’t take me seriously, I’m a comedian.” Limbaugh was an entertainer, used humor and mockery to great effect, but never tried that dodge. IIRC, Limbaugh may have even made the same point. Maher knows exactly what he’s doing.
        Maher also liked to push the criminalization of politics, yet cried when it was used by those he supported. He backed the use of the FBI witch hunt method where they ask the question many times and nail you for not getting the story exactly right each time. Maher praised the prosecution of Scooter Libby.
        While I do appreciate he’s starting to turn on the left and it is effective at reaching a few, he’s an asshole.

  3. (Intro): Whenever I hear statistics about police shootings or about events such as the “Orangeburg Massacre” (3 killed/28 injured), I compare them to a typical July 4th weekend in Chicago. For 2021: 19 killed and over 100 wounded (13 of them children).

    There is a distinction to made between killings by the state and private citizens, but, to the extent that it is the government’s job to secure law and order, the local Chicago (and many other large U.S. cities) government is at least an accessory.

    If my child was killed while playing in a local park, it would make no difference to me if it was by a police officer or by gang members settling some dispute. It would make all the difference in the world, however, to the BLM activists (assuming the child was black, or course).

  4. The GOP, however, will not take the ethical course and take steps to prevent future House Star Chambers. You know it won’t. It will take that broken norm, and turn it on the party that broke it.

    I think something called Game Theory applies.

    How, exactly, do you ensure the norm is never broken again?

    • Punish those who break the norm and reward those who don’t? The trick is getting enough people behind that. It requires both the wisdom to recognize when a norm is being violated (and to judge what’s a proportionate response) and the will to enforce the norm even at personal inconvenience.

    • And does the tactic of mutually assured destruction become less ethical when one side goes crazy and starts shooting wildly, not caring about the potential of destruction?

      That’s where I feel many elements of the left currently are. They WANT to break the country. They WANT to see it ruins. It’s old, and racist, and worst of all, they aren’t completely in charge. Better to break it in such a way that they can pick up the pieces and assemble it however they like.

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