Best of Ethics Award 2022, The Ethics Hero of the Year: Elon Musk

I know that it’s relatively easy to be bold, principled and even reckless when you have billions of dollars to play with, but that should not diminish the admiration due to Elon Musk for sinking 400 billion dollars into what might be a quixotic effort to bolster freedom of public discourse and information online by reforming one of the worst partisan offenders in that crucial area.

As with the mainstream media’s abandonment of democratic principles to become a progressive/Democratic Party propaganda tool, the major social media platforms have engaged in outright censorship based on viewpoint discrimination, and, like the mainstream media, have dismissed complaints about bias as “conspiracy theories.” In addition to opening up Twitter to all viewpoints, Musk has also vowed to publish Twitter records demonstrating exactly how biased its previous content vetting process was. Wonderful.

As I’m sure he predicted when he threw down this gauntlet, the attacks on him have come from all angles and directions. The Biden administration darkly warned that it would be “watching” him closely—nah, no intimidation attempt there! Glenn Greewald writes of the media’s attacks,

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It Can’t Happen Here…Can It?

I’m seriously considering using Major Clipton (who has the last word after the mind-blowing and bridge blowing finale of “The Bridge on the River Kwai”) exclusively for unethical climate change policy craziness. There is plenty—as in “an outrageous amount” already—with more to come.

The Dutch government is going to buy and close down up to 3,000 farms near environmentally sensitive areas to comply with EU nature preservation rules. These will be forced sales. How will the elimination of the livelihoods of thousands of Dutch families prevent a speculative climate-created cataclysm at some undetermined point in the future, if it would occur at all? Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Thanksgiving At Ethics Alarms: The Ethics Holiday”

Before Thanksgiving completely out of view in the rear view mirror, I’d like to recommend Steve-O-in NJ’s valuable, as always, overview of the holiday and its meaning, historically and to our American society now. This is a particularly good candidate for Comment of the Day because, as always on holidays, traffic was confined to only the most active commenters, and many may have missed it.

In response to the post, “Thanksgiving At Ethics Alarms: The Ethics Holiday,” heeeer’s Steve-O!

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C.S. Lewis writes that history taught under a tyrant’s rule was “duller than the truest history you ever read, and less true than the most exciting adventure story,” while designated hero Prince Caspian is taught the truth in secret – that the tyrant is trying to cover up the past for his own benefit.

As far as I know, Joy Reid, who I think did another piece bashing the 1950s, has no background in history or much of anything else. She is simply someone who spreads anger, hatred, and unhappiness into the world in the interest of feeding the confirmation bias of her idiot followers and sowing discord and division otherwise.

Celebrations of thanks in Europe date back at least to the chanting and later singing of the Te Deum, a fairly lengthy prayer of praise offered in thanks for victory in war, recovery of leaders from illness, and just about any good event, the idea being we mortals should acknowledge whence whatever blessings we received came. The idea goes back still farther to the 100th psalm, “Praise the Lord all ye lands,” sometimes sung in the Christian tradition as “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”or other translations.

Services of thanksgiving were and still are a thing in Europe not necessarily tied to any one particular day or event. For the first century or so of this nation’s existence, that was the case here also. Washington was the first president to proclaim a one-off day of giving thanks,and other presidents followed the custom by presidential proclamation as they saw fit. In fact the ancient Te Deum was offered after the Battle of New Orleans in the Cathedral of St. Louis, the oldest continually used cathedral in North America. Continue reading

Where Did That Post Go?

I just took down the post showing how David Portnoy was unethically slimed by the New York Times. When I tried to add the link to his video (which I did not feel was necessary to make the point, but several readers asked for it), WordPress went rogue and eliminated the headline, even though it showed on my draft. (The mysterious “draft that doesn’t match what appears when the draft is published” problem is always a nightmare.) I tried everything to fix it—new version, re-editing, copying, going back to the original version. After way too long spent on a minor post, I decided to hell with it. You can check out what I regarded as res ipsa loquitur here, at Instapundit.

A few comments went away with the post; I’m sorry, except for Steve Witherspoon: his comment prompted me to do whatever I did that made WordPress turn on me. I blame him.

More Tales Of The Great Stupid: Legal Jaywalking

Guess why California just legalized jaywalking. Go ahead, guess. You know why.

The misleadingly titled “Freedom to Walk Act”—gee, would the old Twitter regime ban a “Red State” that a called a law that? Because we al have the freedom to walk, except where we know it’s not permitted. Are Californians free to trespass now? I think not—decriminalized jaywalking, which used to carry a fine, as long as the jaywalker isn’t deemed to be putting themselves or others in danger. It goes into effect January 1. Think about what such a law means: violating clearly indicated pedestrian rules that everyone is taught in childhood is now legal. So what are those rules, then? When a rule isn’t enforced, it isn’t a rule. It’s unethical to violate rules, but then California has such shattered and malfunctioning ethics alarms that it’s foolish to expect the government or the public to understand that.

Oh, right, that question: give up? Here’s the answer: the bill’s author, state Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco—I bet you could have guessed where such a law’s author came from too, right?) says jaywalking laws “are arbitrarily enforced and tickets are disproportionately given to people of color and in low-income communities.” Of course that was the rationale. That’s the reason petty theft is legal now in Ting’s city, and why shoplifting is OK. If there’s a law that “criminal of color” violate in numbers disproportionate to their demographic percentages, the easy solution is to just eliminate the law! By this logic, Chicago needs to make murder legal.

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On The Trump-Deranged And Totalitarian Left’s Elon Musk Twitter Takeover Freakout

Rick Wilson is the disgraced Republican operative who helped fund the corrupt Lincoln Project to undermine President Trump. His recent self-indicting tweet was another product of his Trump Derangement once Trump’s purely partisan banishment from Twitter was ended by its new CEO, Elon Musk. The argument that it does anything but constrict public discourse to block a former President and current political leader from using a social media platform is untenable on its face. Wilson’s amusing unmasking, however, was small potatoes compared to how the entire resistance/Democratic Party/mainstream media alliance has donned neon-blinking signs reading: “I’m a totalitarian and proud of it!” on their heads.

The tantrums over the prospect of an even playing field on Twitter have been voluminous, indeed too many to catalogue. The “clear and present danger”: conservatives, Republicans and objective critics of the Left’s agenda, policies and protected tribes will now have the same opportunity to engage on Twitter as their esteemed opponents have had for years. This is, we are being told in various levels of hysteria, a threat to democracy. After all, criticism of the Left’s pets and pet projects is hate speech; criticism by the Left of those conservative fascists is just warning the public. Accurate assertions that the Left finds inconvenient are “misinformation”—you know, like Hunter Biden’s laptop—while fake news and false assertions that demonize Republicans and conservatives are legitimate political speech.

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Holiday Craziness Ethics Kick-Off, 11/28/2022: Poop In A Pringles Can Ethics

I finally figured out how I can resuscitate the Ethics Alarms Awards after a five year drought. What made them impossible beginning in 2017, after eight years of announcing the Best and Worst of ethics every year, was their sheer size and the time it took to assemble them, essentially keeping me from effectively covering developing ethics events and issues in order to review old ones. I usually couldn’t get the job finished until February. Starting today, I’ll be posting at least one award each day through mid-January, 2023. Then I’ll gather them up for two summary posts. Nominations are encouraged: if you want a review of the categories—and I will always consider news ones, the 2016 Worst in Ethics awards are here, here, here; the “Best” categories can be recalled here and here.

1. I might as well get started: Here’s the Ethics Alarms 2022 Asshole of the Year.Yes, it has to be Donald Trump, though it was a closer race than I expected. The dinner with “Ye” and the ridiculous Nick Fuentes, plus Trump’s changing stories about how the dinner came to pass, locked the honor up, but the threats directed at Gov. DeSantis after Trump’s obsession with his 2020 loss helped cost the GOP the Senate had already made him the presumptive champ in this category—again.  What really clinched it was that Mediaite’s Trump-Deranged, blatantly biased reporter Tommy Christopher reported today that Trump asked Kanje “Ye” West to be his running mate in 2024. I don’t believe anything Christopher writes, but I still found myself wondering if the story could possibly be true. Trump is that big an asshole. Runner-up: Liz Cheney.

2. The ethics value missing here: proportion. A real headline today: “Alcohol-fueled family game of Monopoly turns violent as furniture is overturned, gunfire erupts — and man goes to jail on assault with a deadly weapon charge” Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month: CNN Intelligence Analyst Robert Baer

“And you know, this freedom of speech is just nonsense because you can’t go in a movie theater and yell ‘fire.’ It’s against the law.”

—Former CIA case officer and current CNN intelligence analyst Robert Baer, arguing that Elon Musk’s allowing banned users—like Donald Trump—back on Twitter and not censoring “misinformation” constituted a security risk.

You know that feeling when you think you have made a persuasive argument, or at least fooled people into thinking you have, and then something comes out of your mouth that proves you don’t don’t know what you’re talking about? No, me neither, but if Robert Baer didn’t have that feeling when he uttered the ethics and legal nonsense above, he should have.

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Ethics Dunce (But FUNNY!): Alyssa Milano…

…who tweeted,

I was going to include poor Alyssa’s tweet in a post under construction about the Elon Musk Twitter take-over freakout, but this is so special it deserves special attention. The former child-star turned full-time social media-obsessed Hollywood has-been embarrassment  really outdid herself this time. She added even more evidence to the already air-tight case that progressives, the Hollywood left and mainstream media regarded Twitter as their own propaganda organ and a crucial tool in censoring opposing views while indoctrinating the public to achieve their partisan goals. She again illustrated the truism that celebrities typically have little of value to contribute to public policy discourse. When one is biased, ignorant and ill-informed, it is best not to widely distribute your incompetent and irresponsible analysis of current affairs.

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Comment Of The Day: On The State of Feminism (Open Forum, 11/25/22)

Another Comment of the Day from CD-VAPatriot, who has to cope with the increasingly annoying glitch at WordPress that cases in to spam certain commenters’ posts for no apparent reason.

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I think it all depends on one’s definition of “feminism.” I used to think the term simply meant that women were overall equal to men in terms of career opportunities, earning potential, deciding whether or not they wanted to get married and/or have kids, etc.. These days it seems that a lot of women I know feel that being a feminist means that “women are the SAME as men”. Well, forgive me for being a traitor to my gender (which yes I have been called) but I believe that there ARE significant differences between the sexes. Oh, and I’m also apparently a traitor and a woman-hater for being pro-life. (Who knew?)

As the female half of a boring old married, heterosexual couple who has been trying to get pregnant for over a decade, I really don’t think my hubby and I fit the “norm” anymore. We’ve noticed that in just the last decade, our friends and the couples we’ve met during that time have significantly changed their overall outlook quite a bit. Fewer couples are getting married: “who, like, needs a stupid piece of paper or like, some rando God to decide if our love is like, legit?”

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