Ethics Clean-Up On Aisle Thursday, 6/2/2022: An All-Stupid Tag Team Event!

What a mess!

I watched the controversial Netflix Ricky Gervais special. I find Gervais funny but tiresome after a while, and a lot of the jokes are cheap: taking dumb tweets from his detractors and highlighting what’s dumb about them is the epitome of low-hanging fruit, for example. Are his jokes about trans individuals hateful and “dangerous”? If you claim to be woman and have a penis, I think at very least you are obligated to appreciate the opportunity for ironic and absurdist humor, and Gervais’s mockery of the pronouns battle is both funny and illuminating.

His most provocative comment is at the very end, as he defends humor in general against the assault of the offended. He’s a joke absolutist, which I question ethically, but his tale about he and his brother making a pact that if they ever thought of a remark that was funny, they would say it, “win, lose or draw,’ with no self-censorship has me intrigued. His reasoning is that humor serves as a balm for humanity, and there is a net loss if fear of one person’s negative reaction kills an unborn joke that might cheer, and uplift the spirits of others. At it core, this is a utilitarian argument.

1. When the only tool you have is a hammer... NYC City Councilwoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn, who represents neighborhoods in Brooklyn, shot off this tweet:

What a bigot! What an idiot! She was so sure a white guy did the killing that she tweeted this without even checking, and sure enough, he was black. She’s the epitome of the current knee-jerk strategy of her party in response to virtually everything now. (Did I mention her party? Did I need to?)

2. Speaking of stupid, here’s a headline…

Mistreatment? literally no neutral observers of the Depp-Heard trial felt that Heard was shown to be anything but a serial liar and a wacko. The “Believe all women!” mantra has long been discredited by a parade of unbelievable women, with Heard being a spectacular example. Can’t women be objective when the evidence is this unequivocal? Here’s another “my tribe, right or wrong” piece in “Rolling Stone.” “Men always win” is an infantile and irresponsible reaction in a case where the man deserved to win.

3. More Stupid, but scary stupid this time: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) blurted out in an argument with Republican Matt Gaetz on a proposed gun bill, ““Spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights!” And there it is: the attitude of far too much of the political Left when the progressive agenda runs afoul of the Constitution.

4. Creative or desperate? Progressives are throwing anything they can up against the metaphorical wall to see if it sticks in an effort to put a happy face on Joe Biden’s inflation. Here’s one: a Times opinion piece arguing that high prices create an ideal motivation to finally stop eating meat. Yes, inflation is going to make us healthier, just like the high gas prices will combat climate change.

5. If you cross stupid with climate change, you get…“The View’s” Sonny Hustin! This woman is a lawyer, and yet she defended a fellow idiot, the guy who threw a pie at the Mona Lisa. Why? “We’re talking about it,” Hostin said. “I think climate change is something that we ignore so much, not only in this country but around the world. Obviously we’re talking about this issue.”

Somebody tell her that a bunch of know-nothing, loud-mouth celebrities “talking about” climate change is about as productive as…throwing a pie at the Mona Lisa.

6. How is this newsworthy, illuminating or convincing? CNN tracked down Richard Small, who said he was an “NRA Republican” and long-time gun owner. and who told CNN that the Uvalde, Texas, shooting made him question why he owned an AR-15-style gun. So what? Not that I care about the guy, but why would he question his owning a type of gun because it was used in a crime, if he’s a law-abiding citizen with all of his marbles? If I owned a Derringer, would it make sense for me to get rid of it because John Wilkes Booth shot Lincoln with one? This grandstanding boob epitomizes the flaccid thinking we’re hearing and reading from all the anti-gun hysterics. It’s the gun that’s bad! Bad gun! Bad! Whether Small owns an AR-15 or not has no impact on gun violence whatsoever.

Small said he donated his evil gun to the police. So they could kill people with it.

7. Speaking of police…In Kansas City, activists claimed that police shot an unarmed black woman five times, while she had her hands up. I read this and thought, “Great, another Mike Brown mess, but with a pregnant woman.”

The indignation, fury and evil police drums began beating:

  • The Kansas City Defender: “Kansas City Police Department shot an unarmed Black woman 5 times. Eyewitnesses say the woman had her hands up. The police handcuffed her while she was bleeding out on the pavement.”
  • Linda Sarsour: “Cops can apprehend white mass murderers without a scratch but will shoot unarmed Black people that pose no threat to them. Leonna Hale. Kansas City, MO.”
  • Occupy Democrats: “BREAKING: A witness reveals that Kansas City police shot Leonna Hale, a pregnant unarmed Black woman, five times as she was running away from them — she has been hospitalized with serious injuries but remains stable.”

Then the officer’s camera revealed…

It’s not yet certain that she is pregnant either (she survived).

Never mind: Black Lives Matter is looking for a new justification to riot. The activists claim it’s all a lie by police. Facts Don’t Matter, and neither do photographs.


22 thoughts on “Ethics Clean-Up On Aisle Thursday, 6/2/2022: An All-Stupid Tag Team Event!

  1. “I think climate change is something that we ignore so much… ”

    Yeah, that’s the problem, we don’t hear about fucking climate change enough… It’s not like it’s shoehorned into every news broadcast and artificially grafted onto every issue whether it’s connected or not. If only someone would draw attention to it!

  2. First, I’m not surprised Councilwoman Hermelyn assumed the shooter was white – information about his identity wasn’t released immediately, and even now most articles aren’t likely to include a photograph, and none will reference his race directly. The public is intended to believe he was white.

    Second, the incident brings up something not mentioned much about the opioid crisis: its effect on pain management. Government crackdowns on opioid prescription practices has led to routine under-treatment of pain. My wife recently had an appendectomy, and was sent home with 2 days of prescription pain pills. It isn’t nearly enough.

      • That is essentially how many readers are now reading between the lines on national articles that leave out that information. Skin color or ethnicity is left out or a name is left out that may identify probable skin color, ethnicity or, in some cases, certain religious believers is generally now interpreted to mean non-white.

        The news sources that still allow comments are often helpful as those who live in the areas where the incidents occur will sometimes link to articles from their local news that aren’t shy about identifying the names and showing photos of the suspects.

  3. The NRA Republican, which sounds like a classification made up by someone who doesn’t know what the NEA or a Republican is, sound like a fake and not real person.

    Dick Small sounds like the name SNL would make up for the guy that owns and AR-15 and probably drives a big, polluting F350 diesel with a “No Fat Chicks” sticker across the rear window.

    • The NRA has been a joke or worse among gun owners for awhile. Those still on the fence about them turned away after the NRA sold out the gun owners over the bump stock ban during Trump’s administration. I don’t know a single gun owner who supports the NRA and most spit on them. The GOA and FPC are the 2A defenders now. Only Democrats think the NRA matters to Republicans and gun owners. This is a deceptive label. A Democrat would look at ‘NRA Republican’ and think “This is someone who would NEVER give up their guns”. A gun owner would read ‘NRA Republican’ and think “This is a gun owner would give up their guns for a Klondike bar”.

    • You forgot the fact that Dick Small would have truck nuts on his F350, he works in middle management, and the only thing he has ever hauled in his truck is a fake plant from ‘The Great Indoors’ for his wife.

  4. 3. He said the quiet part loud. His party believes that an alarmingly decreasing number of things should be in the Constitution but will protect their pet agendas with that precious Constitution whenever they can.
    4. Arguments like that make those who believe that this whole two-year debacle was engineered to create the Great Reset in order to change our entire lifestyle cling more tightly to those beliefs.
    7. Exactly..Facts Don’t Matter. This is why I think the police cameras are pointless and did even when BLM and other activists were arguing for them. The likelihood that the cameras wouldn’t be believed was significant. And has proven to be the case.

  5. ““Spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights!” Where is this Congressman on no knock warrants or stop and frisk. Seems to me that bans on Armalite or similar firearms will disproportionately impact whites which is the argument against stop and frisk in inner cities where blacks are the ones advocacy groups claim to be having their Constitutional rights abridged.

    So until these “do something” demanders are willing to advocate for the above to stem the violence in the inner cities then they need to shut up and focus on making it more difficult for nuts to gain access to schools. Hardening every school would be a lot more effective and at less cost than trying to ban certain firearms. Are those who advocate such bans willing to say that they also advocate no knock searches of homes to confiscate that which they intend to make contraband? When Biden disarms his security detail then he can begin to talk about disarming the rest of us. He is no more important than any other citizen.

  6. Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) blurted out in an argument with Republican Matt Gaetz on a proposed gun bill, ““Spare me the bullshit about constitutional rights!” And there it is: the attitude of far too much of the political Left when the progressive agenda runs afoul of the Constitution.

    Here is a dirty little secret about our Constitutional rights.

    The street thug and the gangbanger use them to facilitate their crimes.

    They peaceably assemble to plan, plot, and prepare their robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They peacefully bear arms to and from the scenes of robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They use their freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures to conceal evidence that they committed, or are about to commit, a robbery or a drive-by shooting.

    They use their right to a fair trial, their right to an attorney, their right to due process of law, to escape punishment for committing robberies and drive-by shootings.

    They use their freedom from cruel and unusual punishment to avoid the punishment that they deserve for committing a robbery or a drive-by shooting, even if they are judged guilty consistently with their other rights.

    Without the Constitution protecting these rights, the cops can judge street thugs and gangbangers guilty and give them the punishment that they deserve.

    But what would make us think that they will only go after the street thug and the gangbanger?

    What makes us think that they will even go after the street thug and the gangbanger?

  7. #1. Hermelyn’s tweet is problematic in many ways. She deserves the derision she receives here. But the first thing that came to my mind was Erick Erickson’s tweet after the Oslo bombing a few years ago: “Terrorist bombing in Oslo. I bet you it was not Lutherans who did it.” It was, of course, a Lutheran (or at least a Christian). No ideology has a monopoly on what a beloved grad school prof called “premature evaluation.”
    #2. I find this interesting. I have paid little attention to the Depp/Heard spat. A number of my Facebook friends have, however. The people I’ve seen posting about it are all, and I do mean all female, at least as liberal as I am, and 100% convinced that Amber Heard is a wackadoodle. (They aren’t all black, but at least a couple of them are.) There is little if any relationship between those headlines and what the overwhelming majority of progressives think.
    #3. I agree with Rep. Cicilline: much of the invocation of Constitutional rights is indeed bullshit, although using that term on the House floor is inappropriate at best. As Michael pointed out in a recent COD, the 2nd Amendment is not absolute. A private citizen can’t own a surface-to-air missile, a B-1 bomber, or (except with a fair amount of licensing and other paperwork) a fully automatic weapon. In other words, there’s a line: on this side, it’s OK; on that side, it isn’t. What most gun control advocacy seeks is not to invent a line in the proverbial sand, but to move a line that already exists.
    Discussions about age limits, training, licensing, waiting periods, or whether semi-automatic weapons ought to be on one side or the other of that line are reasonable. Suggesting that AR-15-type weapons ought not to be available to disturbed 18-year-olds doesn’t seem to me to be an infringement of Constitutional liberties. Indeed, whereas there are two (or more) sides to deliberation about what is and is not covered by the 2nd amendment (“well-regulated militia,” anyone?), there are indeed differing, reasonable, perspectives. Absolutist arguments intended to close discussion amount to nothing more than a puerile insistence that I’m right and you’re wrong. That is certainly redolent of bovine fecal matter as far as I’m concerned.
    #s 4 and 5. I agree with you.
    #6. I don’t see Mr. Small as a “grandstanding boob.” As you say, it appears that CNN “tracked [him] down.” He just answered their questions. I think if I had a controversial weapon that was just used in a mass shooting in a small town not that far from my own, I might indulge in a little introspection, especially in the immediate aftermath of that event. It strikes me as a nothing-burger story either way: I don’t care what he thinks, and I don’t care what others think of him.
    #7. The cynic in me notes that both accounts can be correct: that she had a gun (clearly, and contrary to much of the early furor) and that at the moment she was shot, she may have been unarmed and surrendering. The still photograph from the body cam was obviously from before she was shot. The video available online was equally obviously taken after she was shot.
    Do I trust the “witnesses” to be telling the truth when lying could implicate the police? Do I trust the police not to cover their ass, knowing they’re in the wrong? The answer to both these questions is not merely “no,” but “hell, no.”
    I’m more inclined to believe the police, but I note that the prosecutor’s statement says only that she had a gun, not that she had one at the time of the shooting. The body cam video would almost certainly tell us, either way. I confess that I’m suspicious, therefore, since the logical thing to do if the cops are completely exonerated would be to release the video instead of a single still image, or at least to state unequivocally that she had the gun at the time she was shot.

    • Semiautomatic weapons are most certainly NOT on the table for discussion as a blanket category. The technology has been in civilian hands for over a century, and includes the majority of the civilian market. Heller, while is does not preclude all regulation, protects firearms in common use for lawful purposes. A ban on semiautomatics would not come within a light year of “reasonable”.

    • Suggesting that AR-15-type weapons ought not to be available to disturbed 18-year-olds doesn’t seem to me to be an infringement of Constitutional liberties.

      Who decides whether or not someone is disturbed?

      By the way, I believe the NFA and the Hughes Amendment violate the Second Amendment.

    • On #6: if you don’t have anything useful to relate, don’t relate it just because a network wants to exploit you. I have no problem with giving away a gun, a bicycle, or a pair of shoes. But having that decision used to validate an political position is enabling bad reporting, and he shares responsibility.

      7. Oh, I agree. But the initial reports made it sound like crazy police gunned down an innocent, unarmed black pregnant woman. That photo effectively shows there was at least some reason that she came under scrutiny.

  8. So, regarding # 3, precisely where does this fit in? Asking for a friend

    5 U.S. Code § 3331 – Oath of office
    An individual, except the President, elected or appointed to an office of honor or profit in the civil service or uniformed services, shall take the following oath: “I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.

    Is there a penalty for breaking one’s oath?

    • Dr L,
      As a retired Lt Col, I have taken that oath at least 3 or 4 times in my 22+ years in the Air Force, and administered it more than just a few times, to others. In the military, the penalty for breaking your oath is as prescribed in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, now a part of the USC, with enforcement undertaken by a superior with the authority to file a complaint to an officer who is a convening authority.

      Despite every federal employee swearing this oath, including elected Representatives, Senators, Judicial Officers, and even State officials (required oath form varies from State to State, but all include something like supporting and defending the US Constitution, I believe), Rep Cicciline cannot be held liable for a violation of oath if his comment was made on the House Floor, in session, and subject to the Speech and Debate Clause, unless I’m mistaken. His constituents should certainly consider his comment and commitment to the Constitution come election time. But, will they?

      The one I have the most trouble with is the President’s Oath to “…preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.” Do we have a President who perhaps doesn’t meet that standard? If so, isn’t the political process of Impeachment our only recourse for such a person?

      It is up to the House to decide if Censure or some other sanction is an appropriate action for a Representative who rejects the very Constitution he or she is sworn to uphold and defend. In our divided country, I don’t see enough members with sufficient backbone to break party discipline and refer his comments to the House Ethics Committee.

      Just my thoughts (apologies for any legal errors within).


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