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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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.

About the tweet: Continue reading

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.

***

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?”

Continue reading

Ethics Observations On Trump’s Dinner With Kanye (And Nick)

Last week Donald  Trump  had dinner at Mar-a-Largo with Kanye West—I’ll start calling him by his new name, Ye, once I’m convinced that it’s not just another gimmick, or in other words, “never”—as well as Nick Fuentes, a 24-year-old leader of an annual white-supremacist event called the America First Political Action Conference, and Karen Giorno,  a veteran political operative who worked on Trump’s 2016 Presidential campaign. Never in my memory has the identity of dinner companions ever been used by the media as a supposed smoking gun against the dinner’s host. West, you may recall, had a much publicized meeting with Trump when he was President; he has recently been “cancelled” for making what seemed like anti-Semitic comments. (Kanye, it is fair to say, is mentally unstable and a publicity addict, and is likely to say anything at any time.) Fuentes dining with Trump, however, has been the focus of most of the criticism from the media, political figures, and others. The Times’ house anti-Trump specialist, Maggie Haberman wrote,

Even taking at face value Mr. Trump’s protestation that he knew nothing of Mr. Fuentes, the apparent ease with which Mr. Fuentes arrived at the home of a former president who is under multiple investigations — including one related to keeping classified documents at Mar-a-Lago long after he left office — underscores the undisciplined, uncontrolled nature of Mr. Trump’s post-presidency just 10 days into his third campaign for the White House.

She (and her co-reporter Alan Feuer) also quoted several figures who condemned Trump’s guest list:

  • “To my friend Donald Trump, you are better than this,” David M. Friedman, who was Mr. Trump’s longtime bankruptcy lawyer and then his appointee as ambassador to Israel, wrote on Twitter. “Even a social visit from an antisemite like Kanye West and human scum like Nick Fuentes is unacceptable. I urge you to throw those bums out, disavow them and relegate them to the dustbin of history where they belong.”
  • “This is just another example of an awful lack of judgment from Donald Trump, which, combined with his past poor judgments, make him an untenable general election candidate for the Republican Party in 2024,” said Chris Christie, a former governor of New Jersey who is considering a candidacy of his own.
  • “Matt Brooks, chief executive of the Republican Jewish Coalition, said, ‘We strongly condemn the virulent antisemitism of Kanye West and Nick Fuentes, and call on all political leaders to reject their messages of hate and refuse to meet with them.’”
  • Jonathan Greenblatt, the C.E.O. of the Anti-Defamation League, condemned Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Fuentes, [saying], “Nick Fuentes is among the most prominent and unapologetic antisemites in the country…He’s a vicious bigot and known Holocaust denier who has been condemned by leading figures from both political parties here, including the R.J.C….[that  Trump ]“or any serious contender for higher office would meet with him and validate him by sharing a meal and spending time is appalling. And really, you can’t say that you oppose hate and break bread with haters. It’s that simple.”

Observations:

Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “The Ethics Alarms 2022 ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ Ethics Guide”

Here, a Comment of the Day by John Paul, is a story about a real life “Bailey Bros. Savings and Loan.” Enough said.

***

Every year it seems like you post this and every year I find it inspirational. Last year was the first time I ever watched the movie. I think, it was a little fitting, because I found myself being a lot more sympatric to George and the Elder Bailey based on another project I started then. I would like to share a little bit about that and perhaps offer a different prospective on why George decided to stick around.

I serve as the president of the board for the local Fuller Center for Housing. We are a non-profit group whose goal is to provide affordable housing for low income people in the name of Christ and in the name of our founder Millard Fuller. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the man, I highly suggest you check out his story. It’s a good one.

By 29 he was a self-made millionaire, but his money and his commitment to his practice (lawyer) were tearing his family apart. His wife, thinking it was the end of their relationship, took his children and his kids to New York. He followed them, and after a long talk, they agreed to get their lives together and give away most of the money. In the following years they ended up on Koinonia Farm (another good story), Zaire (now the Congo), then came back to start one of the most successful housing movements in the United States: Habitat for Humanity. As of 2013, Habitat was the largest non-profit builder in the world and has helped more than 35 million people construct, rehabilitate, or preserve homes since 1976. Fuller Center, while different in name, has a similar mandate and purpose.

Well, what do we do? In some ways, we are a little bit like the Bailey Building and Loan. We act like the bank in the normal transaction between the people in need of housing and the builders who will build the housing. However, the biggest difference is we not only charge 0% interest on our loan, but we only charge for cost of the materials and contracted labor (we also do 80% of building). We have smaller projects we do as well; they might be home repairs such as roofs, bathrooms, ramps, or anything a person might need costing less than $5,000. Our motto is “Hand up, not hand out.” We are going to do everything we can to get you what you need, but in the end, we still expect you to pay for it. More than that, we expect you do put in a number of hours of what we call “Sweat equity” where you must help out with the home or other projects related to the program.

Continue reading

In This Law Vs. Ethics Clash, Choosing Law Over Ethics Is The Ethical Course [Link Added]

Clear?

Probably not. Let me explain.

On July 5, 2005 in Kirkwood, Missouri, police were executing a search warrant. While they were in his home, twelve-year old Joseph Long suffered a seizure and collapsed. Police, maybe thinking he was faking, maybe worrying about being distracted from their jobs, maybe because they were just cold-hearted bastards, did nothing to help him, and wouldn’t let his mother intervene either. The child died. Two hours later, the same officers responded to the same neighborhood after getting reports of illegal fireworks being set off. Kevin Johnson, the dead child’s older brother, spotted officer William McEntee, one of the police who had been at his home earlier that evening. “You killed my brother,” he said, and fired a gun at the officer multiple times, killing him.

Johnson was tried, sentenced to death, and now, 17 years later, has run out of appeals. He’s going to be executed. His daughter, Korry, just two when he murdered the police officer, is now 19 and wants to be among the limited number of attendees at her father’s death. Missouri has a statute, Revised Code Section 546.740 that determines who is eligible to watch an execution: Continue reading

Historical Ignorance Is Dangerous: This Isn’t The Low Point In American Political History

I’ve been meaning to mention this for a while now.

I’ve been reviewing some Presidential history as I prepare to continue the Ethics Alarms search for the Worst President Ever, as more evidence of Joe Biden’s proper ranking accumulates. what has stood out is now much worse things have been in the past than they are now by any objective measure. The pundits and other hysterics currently opining daily that the nation is on the verge of unraveling either don’t know our turbulent history, or are deliberately trying to stir up fear and unrest.

They are underestimating the United States of America, and the intrinsic strength of its mission and values.

Take the 15 year period immediately after the Civil War—“Please,” as Henny Youngman would say:

  • Following a catastrophic conflict that left 2% of the population dead, the nation shattered, a whole region’s economy and society destroyed and the nation faced with somehow dealing with more than four million newly freed black slaves, President Lincoln, the one individual who had the brilliance and political skill to—maybe—navigate this confluence of crises was assassinated in a conspiracy that may have included powerful members of the government itself, or so it seemed.
  • The Vice-President who took over as President, Andrew Johnson, was a Southern Democrat who was distrusted and disrespected by the overwhelmingly Republican Congress. Worse, he was stubborn and averse to compromise. The nation’s work, at a critical time, with the nation divided and struggling,  quickly deteriorated into all-out political war between the Executive and the Legislative Branches, with Congress passing laws, some of which were unconstitutional, Johnson vetoing them, and Congress over-riding the vetoes. Members of Johnson’s own Cabinet, actually Lincoln’s Cabinet, were working with Johnson’s enemies in Congress and against him—talk about the “Deep State” !  Congress finally contrived reasons to impeach the President, who had no defenders in the press either, basing the action mostly on one of those unconstitutional laws. Johnson refused to follow it or obey it (the law prevented a President from firing a Cabinet member without Congressional approval, a clear breach of the Separation of Powers), and there it was: “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”! The Senate failed to convict Johnson by a single vote, with many believing that the pro-Johnson votes had been bought (and they might have been!).

Continue reading