Saturday Afternoon Ethics Stimulus, 11/19/2022: Lincoln Was Right

On this date in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivered the most famous speech in U.S. history, authored by him, in a remarkable burst of historical and ethical clarity. Dedicating the military cemetery on the battlefield with rotting bodies still covering the ground after what we now know was the turning point in the Civil War, Lincoln captured the mission of this nation as it was while redefining it going forward:

 Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

How he missed the fact that the United States was really founded to protect slavery and was dedicated to being a scourge of human rights, we’ll never know.

I wonder how many of the “experts” who now train our children to be good citizens include the Gettysburg Address in their curriculum. To be fair, there may not be time, given the importance of imparting critical race theory and joys of transgenderism.

It is also worth noting that Abraham Lincoln developed the critical thinking and rhetorical skills that produced his masterpiece without any formal education. He just read many of those books by the same dead white men who are now considered the heralds of white supremacy.

I suppose three arch statements in a row are excessive on an ethics blog….

1. Another confirmation bias classic: A typical New York Times reader writes, “Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to step down from her leadership position was timely and astute. A good leader knows when it is time to go. Moreover, her speech was extraordinary in spirit, wisdom, humility, grace and gratitude….”

Nobody should care what Pelosi said, or says. She already showed us her spirit, wisdom, humility and grace many times, over many years. She was a consistently toxic and divisive feature of American politics, and her party and her nation are much diminished because of her.

2. Why Twitter is unethical and dangerous to public discourse and free speech…Even if Elon Musk’s kamikaze attack to end Twitter’s censorship and distortion of values, news and opinion fails and the damn thing goes down in flames, he still would have done a great service to the nation. A rogue Twitter censor suspended for sharing a clip of former President Barack Obama, campaigning in Pennsylvania in 2008, discussing potential problems with American voting machines and demanding paper trails for ballots. All the conservative news aggregator did was present the video, and Twitter slapped a “misleading” ticket on it. The video is still available elsewhere, like here. The furious outcry against Musk’s purchase of the social media platform is sufficient to prove what Musk and others had concluded: Twitter was a progressive/Democratic Party propaganda machine posing as a neutral moderator, and it needs to reform or die.

As Musk struggles against a hostile workforce of leftist techies, progressive politicians are pressuring corporations to pull their advertising. One recent sign of progress: The Babylon Bee, suspended because its anti-Left satire was just a bit too accurate (its treatment by Twitter was reminiscent of the Smothers Brothers being cancelled by CBS for criticizing the Vietnam war), had their account restored.

3. And while we’re on the topic of misinformation...Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), another horribly unethical House member who keeps getting re-elected, argued again for slavery reparations (eg. “take money from guilty white people and transfer it to their perpetual victims, black people”—you know: equity!) arguing,

“It stands on the basis of facts. There is no doubt we have been impacted, that DNA in the trajectory of slavery to today. For example in COVID,Black African-Americans got COVID at a rate of nearly 1.5x higher than that of white people, or hospitalized at a rate of nearly 4x higher and 3x likely to die. COVID hit us very disparately..reparations for African-Americans could have cut COVID-19 transmission and infection rate, both among blacks and the population at large.”

In addition to the bizarre logic, Lee, as is often the case, had her facts wrong. The Washington Post recently analyzed Wuhan virus deaths in the U.S. Early in the outbreak, deaths “were concentrated in dense urban areas, where black people died at several times the rate of white people.” But “Over time, the gap in deaths widened and narrowed but never disappeared until mid-October 2021, when the nation’s pattern of COVID mortality changed, with the rate of death among white Americans sometimes eclipsing other groups.

The Post determined that the racial disparity had vanished by the end of last year. So, for Lee and the other reparations hucksters, its time to move on to whatever bad argument for an impossible measure that could never be passed, would be impossible to implement and that would cause racial divisions like nothing we have seen since the Sixties they can dream up next.

4. Deceitful misinformation! “At least 32 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the U.S. in 2022,” shouted a headline at Axios. Obviously, it’s open season on the instant gender switchers, or that was the headline’s perceived intent. In the article itself, however, there is no indication that any of the victims were killed because they were transgender. Not only that, the national murder rate is 6.6/100,000. The US trans population is (supposedly) 1.6 million, making the trans murder rate: 2 per 100,000.

5. And why I don’t belong to the American Bar Association (though they do ask me to do ethics seminars for them). The ABA’s Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions has advanced a proposal to make standardized admissions tests optional at accredited law schools. Even if it eventually passes in the membership, the new standard wouldn’t take effect until 2025 at the earliest. Those in favor of the new standard claim it it “would open law school doors to more underrepresented students and improve diversity in the legal profession.”

Translation: it would make it easier to admit less qualified minority applicants over whites and Asians without having to face lawsuits.

4 thoughts on “Saturday Afternoon Ethics Stimulus, 11/19/2022: Lincoln Was Right

  1. Regarding #4, people with genuine gender identity disorder are far more likely to commit suicide than those without. I believe the rate of suicidal ideation is greater than 30%, including the gender-confused that have been subjected to “gender affirming care.” Were those 32 people murdered? If so, was it because they were transgender?

  2. Dang. Just reread that speech. Every phrase, every word is so perfectly crafted, so well placed. And it is pared down to the essential bones. And what marvelous bones they are! Every time I get to the end of that speech, I am nearly in tears.


    I know that Lincoln is from the very deep end of the gene pool, but think upon that man when you contend that disadvantaged kids cannot possibly succeed in life. He came from virtually nothing to become such an exquisite wordsmith and statesman.

  3. Enough has been said about Pelosi. She is gone, gone, gone as a presumed ‘thought leader’ and wheeler-dealer. Too little and too late.

    I think you are awfully hard on Lincoln. He was a man of his times, but aspired to so much higher. We will never see the like of him again. (And I am certain you harbor deep jealousy about his way with words). He is he embodiment of the old writer’s saw “less is more.”

    Oh, and aside from all that he did preserve the union.

  4. I wonder how many of the “experts” who now train our children to be good citizens include the Gettysburg Address in their curriculum. To be fair, there may not be time, given the importance of imparting critical race theory and joys of transgenderism.

    This is why we have Memorial Day, and why parents need to bring their kids to the ceremony. Every year, the valedictorian recites the Address, and the salutatorian reads Flanders Fields. Cultural exercises like these, though kids fidget and squirm, help pass down our nation’s values.

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