Sunday Ethics Picnic Ants, 7/17/22: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…

Let me just say  it really annoys me that I still tear up every time I watch “E.T,” especially when Spielberg stoops to that icky rainbow trail for the spaceship at the end…

And what has happened to Disneyland is also worth choking up over. Walt’s culture-changing theme park opened on this date in 1955. After years of growing up with Walt, the “Disneyland” TV show, the “Mickey Mouse Club,” and the “Wonderful World of Color,” I looked forward to finally visiting the “happiest place on Earth” like Christmas morning, but as a college sophomore, I was certain that the reality would be a let down. But it wasn’t! Disneyland was every bit as magical as I imagined, and the full day I spent at the park was just about perfect. Today, that’s impossible, because Disney’s successors have allowed political and social agendas to make a carefree, innocent visit impossible.

1. Tucker Carlson’s unethical accusation. Last night, Fox News’ habitually unreliable star made the following claim:

“How did he manage to get through the campaign? Well, it turned out, we learned later his staff, supervised by Dr. Jill, his wife, was giving him pills before every public appearance–checking the time and at a certain hour giving him a dose of something. Now it’s not a guess, we’re not making that up. We’ve spoken directly to someone who was there and saw it happen multiple times. Now, before taking the medications this person said, Biden was quote ‘Like a small child. You could not communicate with him, he changed completely because he was on drugs and he clearly still is on drugs.’ Someone’s pushing, we don’t know what those drugs are. We should know.”

Making an allegation like that on television without citing a source or evidence is indefensible, but that’s how Tucker rolls. He should “put up” or apologize, and quick.

2. Good news! The New York Times isn’t Pravda after all. It’s Izvestia! Matt Tabbai, the ex-Rolling Stone reporter now exposing media bias rather than participating in it, writes of the Times in his newsletter,

Along with companion outlets like the Washington Post and The Atlantic (as pure a reflection of establishment thought as exists in America), the paper in this sense fulfills the same function that Izvestia once served in the Soviet Union, telling us little or even less than nothing about breaking news events (“Can NATO Long Exist?” was among Pravda’s final questions in 1991) but giving us comprehensive, if often coded, portraits of the thinking of the leadership class.

Matt mentions this in discussing how the Times is suddenly making readers aware of the fact that Joe Biden is too old and shows all the signs of a failing intellect. He writes in part,

Biden’s descent was obvious six years ago. Following the candidate in places like Nevada, Iowa, and New Hampshire, I listened to traveling press joke about his general lack of awareness and discuss new precautions his aides seemed to be taking to prevent him engaging audience members at events…

My former editor at Rolling Stone John Hendrickson… insisted from afar that Biden’s problems were due to continuing difficulties with a childhood stutter…The Times added op-eds from heroes like airline pilot Captain “Sully” Sullenberger with titles like, “Like Joe Biden, I Once Stuttered, Too. I Dare You to Mock Me.”

But I’d covered a much sharper Biden in 2008 and felt that even if the drain of overcoming a stutter had some effect, the problems were cognitive, not speech-related. He struggled to remember where he was and veered constantly into inappropriateness, challenging people physically, telling crazy-ass stories, and angering instantly….I called the mental health professionals who were all too happy to diagnose Donald Trump from afar for a story about the effort to remove Trump under the 25th amendment, and all declined to discuss Biden even off the record for “ethical” reasons.

This week, all that changed. Add stories like “Biden Promised to Stay Above the Fray, but Democrats Want a Fighter” and Michelle Goldberg’s “Joe Biden is Too Old to Be President Again,” and what we’ve got is a newspaper that catches real history spasmodically and often years late, but has the accuracy of an atomic clock when it comes to recording the shifting attitudes of elite opinion.

Needless to say, what Matt is describing isn’t journalism.

3: The Yellow Bus Project headed to Sen. Ted Cruz’s house as the first stop for the “NRA Children’s Museum,”a stunt coordinated by Change the Ref, the anti-gun, anti-Second Amendment, anti-NRA non-profit started by Manuel and Patricia Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida. 52 yellow school buses making up the display have 4,368 empty seats to represent the children allegedly killed by guns in the last two years. The first bus at the front of the procession includes photos, videos, audio recordings, and other memorabilia relating to the dead kids.

It’s a pure appeal to emotion, of course. The shootings aren’t Cruz’s fault, nor the NRA, nor anyone else targeted by the protest. Nor does the protest have any chance of changing anyone’s mind about guns, unless it is people who discard all reason in the face of a “Think of the Children!” assault. [Pointer: Willem Reese]

4. Oh sure, why not? The University of Pennsylvania defiantly nominated biologically male swimmer Lia Thomas for the 2022 NCAA “Woman of the Year” award. Lia’s a woman because she says so, and for no other good reason, unless you call the fact that she enabled UPenn to win a lot of swim meets by cheating.

NCAA rules do not specify that one must, in fact, be a biological female to be nominated for the Woman of the Year award, because nobody but a satirist could have predicted that the charade of self-identifying gender switches would ever impinge on reality as it has. The rules do require that candidates must be eligible “female student-athletes,” but since “female” now means whatever anyone wants it to mean, sure, Lia qualifies.

And, of course she accepts the nomination. I wouldn’t hire Thomas for any job regardless of what she was calling herself at the moment. She’s dishonest and an opportunist.

As for the award, it already has no integrity. Schools may nominate up to two female student-athletes, but at least one of must be “an international student-athlete or student-athlete of color.” So if the two most outstanding female athletes are white, one must be passed over based on skin color.

Meanwhile a biological male identifying as a transgender woman behind bars at a New Jersey women’s prison impregnated two fellow inmates who were biological women, prompting officials to move her to a different facility.

The prison has reportedly nominated her as “Female Prisoner of the Year.” No woman has ever done that! (Kidding.)

11 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Picnic Ants, 7/17/22: Why We Can’t Have Nice Things…

    • It’s a pure hysteria piece. He cites a woman who has never gone to a movie since the shooting in Colorado. That’s rational? Do these people drive cars? An anti-gun propagandist estimates that there is 0.000033% chance, or 1 in 2.99 million of any given child being killed in any given year in a school shooting. Then he goes to great lengths to distort the odds. The fact is, the chances of this guy’s kids being shot in infinitesimal, and if they don’t feel safe, it’s because people like their father are deliberately terrifying them.

      • RE 3 It was stated that gun violence has overtaken auto deaths among children. Seems to me that abortion killed more children in any given year than either of the two cited. Will he identify all those legislators who support the killing of the preborn?

        Funny, how drug deaths either by overdose or as a result of violence associated with trafficking is also never mentioned.

  1. It’s a pure appeal to emotion, of course. The shootings aren’t Cruz’s fault, nor the NRA, nor anyone else targeted by the protest. Nor does the protest have any chance of changing anyone’s mind about guns, unless it is people who discard all reason in the face of a “Think of the Children!” assault.

    I suppose it would be just an unethical if the yellow buses visited those promoting “restorative justice” and “defund the police”.

  2. #3: The left seems particularly fond of trying to blame Cruz, in particular, for random things over which he has no control. He was apparently responsible for the bad winter storm and electric grid problems in Texas a while back. Saw a recent tweet claiming that the CF in Uvalde was in his “purview”. Not sure how many democrat senators are responsible for the actions (or inaction) of small town city councils and police departments.

    I do wonder how they wrangled up 52 electric school busses (they are electric, right?), and when they’ll be heading to Baltimore, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, DC,…

  3. RE: # 4 “The rules do require that candidates must be eligible “female student-athletes,” but since “female” now means whatever anyone wants it to mean, sure, Lia qualifies.”

    Well wait just a minute. Trans people are claiming rights to use gender descriptors such as woman, she and her only. The term female describes a biological difference that is immutable. Therefore, Lia Thomas ineligible as she is not a female. If she were a female, she could not be a transexual woman because she had to be a biologically different sex to start with. In her case she is a biological male.

    • Great! Now go to some affirming folks who have lawn signs with snooty platitudes like “I believe in science” and present your argument.

      I’ll be sitting far over here with my popcorn.

  4. Jack wrote ion #3, “The shootings aren’t Cruz’s fault, nor the NRA, nor anyone else targeted by the protest.”

    That’s completely irrelevant to these brainwashed anti-firearm fanatics.

    For these fanatics to openly admit that the underlying root problem is the actual person that chooses to be a violent murderer and not the inanimate firearm and anyone that supports the 2nd Amendment would completely undermine their narrative. Their narrative is that firearms are evil and anyone that supports firearm ownership in any way is evil. Evil must be destroyed.

    The Dikes of Reality Have Been Breeched and Tidal Waves of “Bias Makes You Stupid” Hysteria Has Undermined Critical Thinking

    • Once again, we note the difference between the leadership, the spokesholes, and the rank-and-file.

      The rank-and-file gun control supporters and sympathizers fear the street thug and gangbanger. Sadly and tragically, too many people have compelling reasons to fear the street thug and gangbanger. Then rank-and-file view gun control as one of many important tools to keep them safe from the street thug and the gangbanger.

      The leadership and spokesholes feel differently. They are on the side of the street thug and gangbanger.

      they are on the same side as “restorative justice” they are on the same side as “defunding the police”. They are on the same side as this.

      They have far more hostility against Kyle Rittenhouse than the McMichaels.

      They use gun control as a culture war issue against White conservative males, whom they feel represents private gun ownership.

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