Still More Ukraine Invasion Ethics Points…Now With “The Trump Connection”!

1. How many times do I have to say that Twitter makes you stupid? Here’s a U.S. Senator publicly calling for the assassination of a foreign leader:

It is fine to think this or even to say it in private, as long as you are not Donald Trump and you know whoever you talk to will immediately leak it to the media. However, Executive Order 11905signed on February 18, 1976, by President Gerald Ford, banned political assassination.This EO was reinforced by Jimmy Carter’s Executive Order 12036 in 1978. It is still the law in the United States. Graham is a lawyer, and he knows that as a lawyer, it is an ethics breach to cause a third party to do what the lawyer cannot do himself.

Moreover, if such an act were to take place, Graham’s tweet would be justification for Russia to suspect, or even conclude, that the U.S. government was responsible. A foreign power assassinating or even attempting to assassinate a nation’s leader is an act of war.

2. Where’s Bandy Lee when you need her? It is unethical for a psychiatrist to diagnose anyone with mental illness without examining the patient in person. This is why the American Psychiatric Association’s  Principles of Medical Ethics state that its members should not give a professional opinions about public figures whom they have not examined in person, and from whom they have not obtained consent to discuss their mental health in public statements. Never mind: Bandy Lee of Yale, a Professor of Psychiatry, made a brief career out of breaking the rule regarding President Trump, because hating Trump suspends all ethical obligations and values. MSNBC and CNN flocked to her; eventually, Yale fired her. Now, if it was unethical for a psychiatrist to be diagnosing a political figure as mentally ill from afar, and it is, what is it called when a non-psychiatrist goes on Fox News and claims to be convinces that something has snapped in Vladimir Putin’s head? That what Condoleeza Rice has done twice already. Her opinion on the topic of Putin’s sanity is no more authoritative than that of anyone else who hasn’t spoken to Putin face to face in years.

3. Delicious irony, if only it might not mean that we’re all going to die horribly. When Donald Trump was elected and the undermining of the American public’s confidence and trust in their just-elected President was launched by the news media in full force, one persistent fear-mongering narrative was that Donald Trump was likely to trigger World War III. Now the weak and bumbling Joe Biden, who was elected to supply “normalcy”  and stability to the White House, has placed the nation and the world in its worst threat of nuclear war since the Cuban Missile Crisis. Biden accomplished this impressive feat through eliminating the energy independence from Russia that that crazy President Trump had built over four years, and by showing, through his unilateral abandonment of Afghanistan and eagerness to be pals with Iran, that he lacked the fortitude to be credible at levying threats of dire consequences to aggression-minded international criminals. Now the U.S. faces genuine nuclear brinksmanship in a chaos-riven scenario with a feckless and over-matched puppet in at the helm.

Good job, everybody!

4. And continuing that theme…Why is everyone so certain that only military confrontations with Russia risk war? If the United States had its economy crippled and the property and wealth of its important business and political leaders attacked by a foreign power, it could justifiably regard these as provocation for war. A cyber attack? An attack on the power-grid? The public is actively being deceived by blather from the administration and the news media asserting that as long as the US doesn’t militarily confront Russia, it can’t be pulled into war. An act of war is whatever a nation decides it is, and the United Nations has forfeited any power or influence in the matter by its weakness and irrelevance.

5. Guilt by association and refusal to vocalize a mandated position….somewhere in Hell, Joe McCarthy is smiling. Yesterday, the news arrived that Anna Netrebko, the celebrated Russian opera soprano, will no longer appear at the Metropolitan Opera this season and probably any other after she failed to submit to the company’s demand that she distance herself from President  Putin. What is ethically wrong with this was discussed yesterday, in item #2, here.  But that item didn’t age well: the headline was “Small Consolation Dept: At least we still have more respect for freedom of thought than…Germany.”

What was I thinking? Just as acclaimed Russian conductor Valery Gergiev was fired from the Munich Philharmonic orchestra this week for being a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and refusing to publicly condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the predominant U.S. opera company did exactly the same to Netrebko. Germany is Germany; the Met, like most arts institutions, is infected by the progressive virus that has mutated in the direction of totalitarianism of late. This is, for a democracy, the deadliest slippery slope of them all.

If an artist can be fired, shunned and banned for not declaring opposition to Putin, one can be treated similarly for not condemning Donald Trump—and will, I assume, soon. If this can be done to an artist, it can be done to an athlete, a lawyer, a professor or a business owner. If not condemning one public figure can be justification for this treatment, then not condemning anyone the government, a business, an institution or a majority of the public disapproves of for any reason can be similarly punished.

This is how free speech, thought, expression and association get snuffed out by the “good people.”

6. Cats! In virtue signaling, shamelessness and hypocrisy knows no bounds. We endured a whole year, 2020, of companies and organizations nauseating us with “In these challenging times…” sops to Black Lives Matter intimidation and pandemic hysteria. Now it’s the Anti-Russia craze. My favorite so far: The Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) issued a statement announcing that “no cat bred in Russia may be imported and registered in any FIFe pedigree book outside of Russia. … No cat belonging to exhibitors living in Russia may be entered at any FIFe show outside Russia.” The ban is on until at least the end of May. Feline breeds such as the Russian Blue (above) and the Siberian cat are being taught what it will cost to be associated with Vladimir Putin.

7. Oh, right, the hypocrisy…Recent studies indicate that the pandemic did indeed originate in a Wuhan Province wet market in China. Yet the virus isn’t called the Wuhan Virus (except on Ethics Alarms), because it was decreed that doing so was racist (because President trump used the term) and because of “the Idiot’s Veto,” fear that morons would harass and blame individuals of Chinese ancestry in the U.S., as if the scourge was their fault. Today, however, the same people who made this incompetence argument are advocating banning vodka, Russian singers, and cats.


8 thoughts on “Still More Ukraine Invasion Ethics Points…Now With “The Trump Connection”!

  1. If the United States had its economy crippled and the property and wealth of its important business and political leaders attacked by a foreign power, it could justifiably regard these as provocation for war.

    Exactly right. I was wondering the same thing. Economic warfare could be rationally considered an act of war.

    Furthermore, threatening the property of prominent Russian citizens by calling them “oligarchs” has no basis in US or international law that I am aware of. Exactly what part of US law allows us to seize the property of foreign citizens because we don’t like what their leader is doing to another country (which, by the way, is not even a United States ally)?

    Tragically, people like Biden imagine that the US only needs to avail itself of the law when it is aggrieved. In our righteous anger, we can apparently do what we want without the benefit of law. A Man for All Seasons, call on line 1…

    If an artist can be fired, shunned and banned for not declaring opposition to Putin, one can be treated similarly for not condemning Donald Trump—and will, I assume, soon.

    Right you are. To quote an all-too-common lament, the 21st century is not turning out like I’d hoped…

    Feline breeds such as the Russian Blue (above) and the Siberian cat are being taught what it will cost to be associated with Vladimir Putin.

    Insanity. I read this, and just … cringed. Just one more way the Internet has made it mandatory for people to do evil in an attempt to show that they are not evil.

  2. 2. Rice is not a licensed psychiatrist. Her’s is just one person’s opinion. I don’t see any harm in her expressing it. All kinds of generals and lawyers blather on about any and everything on television. Big deal. For God’s sake, Alexander Vindman gets to say whatever he wants all the damned time. I don’t think diplomats are ethically prohibited from saying dumb things. If it were the case, John Kerry would be gagged and in a strait jacket.

  3. Mrs. OB and I are hosting a piano recital in our home at the end of March as a fund raiser for the local historical society Mrs. OB slaves away at as if she were expecting a bonus and stock options. The pianist is a longtime friend, Kirill Gliadkovsky. Yes, he’s Russian. He came to the US to obtain a masters at Southern Cal. By the time he was finished in 1992, he was told there was nothing left in the Soviet Union for him to come back to. So, he obtained a Ph.D. from Southern Cal. He and his wife teach at a community college in Southern California. He’s now a U.S. citizen. They are a terrific family and he’s a tremendous player and a really neat guy. He’s interested in almost everything. His father was an astrophysicist in the Soviet space program. His mother was a concert pianist. His mother-in-law was a concert violinist, and his father-in-law was a flight surgeon for the Soviet Air Force in Vladivostok. These are all tremendous, solid, accomplished human beings. Fifteen or so years ago, I heard Kirill opine to my half-Ukrainian former friend that Ukrainians basically consider themselves Russians, which sent my former friend into apoplexy.

    Mrs. OB asked me the other day whether we should postpone or cancel the recital, so people won’t get upset or cause a scene. I said hell no. Doing so would just be so wrong in so many ways that are nearly impossible to catalogue.

    By the way, I’m still waiting for Adam Silver and the NBA (and LeBron James!) to address the fact the Brooklyn Nets have been owned by a Putin crony and Russian kleptocrat/oligarch for years. The league is willing to take the guy’s money and let him play in their gold-plated sandbox and simply look the other way while the guy makes American robber barons look like saints. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

  4. 4. Don’t people know what a casus belli is? They are more then just military force. I’m pretty sure WW1 was started over the killing of an archduke.

  5. 6. I’m certain that hearing the cats of Russia are banned from future international competitions that Putin will throw up his arms and call off the whole thing. The professional cat breeders are well known for their political influence and high esteem across the globe, after all…. Or not. Probably not.

  6. Vodka, that has already been paid for is taken from the shelves. Russian singers are being silenced because they are Russian. Tankers filled with Russian oil already paid for, are being left unloaded. All mere virtue signaling. Soon we won’t’ have Russian dolls, won’t be able to watch James Bond movies or Dr. Zchivago, Tolstoy will be banned from the libraries and school, We won’t be able to listen to Tchaikovsky. But that leaves us one question- will the Hollywood elitists and other virtue signalers take to the streets and burn their sable coats?

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