Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up: I Woke Up Feeling Like A King!

Unfortunately, the king I woke up feeling like is King Canute. I was reviewing the trends in the past ten years of ethics posts, and there is no question that the nation’s ethical bearings are worse, not better. Fewer people read the blog than five years ago.

Ethics blindness in national and political matters seems more advanced among my neighbors, colleagues, friends and relatives than ever before (although almost none of these read Ethics Alarms or have ever read it, which says something about me, though I’m not sure what,)This was a particularly depressing week from the ethics perspective, but then they’re all depressing. The unfolding Joe Biden document scandal kept getting worse, and rather than admit Biden’s hypocrisy and the dangerous double standards applied to Trump, partisans invested in a weak, corrupt, mentally deficient President shifted into denial mode. Evidence of Virginia schools deliberately sabotaging superior students in pursuit of “equal outcomes” for those who don’t do their homework, come to school stoned and disrupt classes kept on coming, and the DEI-converted dealt with the matter by denying it. A Democratic Congressional leader introduced legislation criminalizing not just speech, but thought. Facebook chilled MY speech because its bots didn’t understand what I posted.

The signs of rot were (are) everywhere, in matters large and small. I learned that a lawyer received professional discipline because a judge thought “Gadzooks!” was a dirty word, or something, reminding me that we rely on judges who have the same level of literacy as Michael Steele.

I received the always welcome “Bill James Baseball Handbook” for 2023, and a featured article by Joe Posnanski, much revered as an intellectual giant among sportswriters, demonstrated that the intellectual giant among sportswriters is as ethically inert as all the others. There were lots of outbursts like this one, by a much-honored African-American writer whose work has appeared in the The Atlantic, New York Times, the Washington Post, TIME, ESPN, NPR, CNN, and more:

It’s worth mentioning, I guess, that the way we use the tale of King Canute the Great  (985 to 1035) who was real king of England and a successful one, is unfair to him, making him out to be an idiot. If he did have his throne placed on the banks of the Thames and futilely demand that the rising tide subside (and there is some evidence that the incident really occurred), it was not because he was arrogant or a fool, as the typical telling of the story implies. As “the rest of the story” shows, as related in one of the earliest accounts ( by Henry of Huntingdon in his “Historia Anglorum”):

“But the sea carried on rising as usual without any reverence for his person, and soaked his feet and legs. Then he moving away said:  “All the inhabitants of the world should know that the power of kings is vain and trivial, and that none is worthy of the name of king but He whose command the heaven, earth and sea obey by eternal laws”.

The ones who should heed King Canute are the allegedly smart people like John Kerry (Sorry, I couldn’t write that without giggling) at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

1. I admire Brooke Shields in many ways, but…in her new documentary “Pretty Baby,” the former child star/actress/model reveals that she was raped in her twenties by a still current Hollywood insider. She refuses to name the rapist, who is presumably still raping, or was until his testosterone ran out, and she waited decades to even reveal the assault. I thought #MeToo was supposed to have changed the Hollywood culture! No, I really didn’t think that: it has become increasingly clear that #MeToo was a partisan cynical feminist ploy to clear out some powerful men—many of them pigs and criminals, to be sure— and replace them with women who were no upgrade in many cases, while giving the Left a strengthened weapon to shiv foes like Brett Kavanaugh.

In related news, the other organization spawned by the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Time’s Up!, announced it was shutting down, the inevitable result of two of its founders secretly assisting Andrew Cuomo’s efforts to discredit his sexual harassment victims.

2. This is actually funny, if screaming hypocrisy can be funny.  As the Department of Justice found six more items with classification markings at President Joe Biden’s personal Delaware residence  two days ago after conducting a search, Fox News (no other news source would do it, of course) dug up this bit of history: In the late 1970s, Senator Joe Biden got President Jimmy Carter’s nomination of Ted Sorensen to head the CIA rejected because his home contained classified documents from his days in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.  Sorensen kept the  material for a book about the Kennedy administration. During Sorenson’s confirmation hearing, Biden said the “real issue” was “whether Mr. Sorensen intentionally took advantage of ambiguities in the law, or carelessly ignored the law. . . . If he did so, can he now bring the activities of the intelligence community within the strict limits of the law?” He insisted that the head of the CIA must be held to a “high standard.”

As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy notes, U.S. Presidents should be held to at least as high standards as CIA chiefs.

3. See? Nancy Pelosi really is a devout Catholic after all! True, she doesn’t observe that funny Catholic thingy about not killing babies in the womb, but still. Pelosi’s daughter Alexandra, the New York Times reported yesterday,  had priests perform a cleansing of demonic entities at her San Francisco home over Thanksgiving as a response to the still-mysterious hammer attack on her husband.

4. Let’s play another round of “Stupid or Lying?”! Robert Reich, an alleged academic and public intellectual,  tweeted this:

Clearly, our schools do not train our citizens sufficiently in critical thinking for Reich to fear that the manifest dishonesty of his tweet will be discerned by the average reader.

The debt ceiling would indeed restrain spending and force the nation to pay down the debt if it were taken seriously and obeyed. Of course if we completely ignore it and keep raising it ad infinitum it will have no effect, but that’s the whole point of the dispute. Reich’s logic is like saying that a daily calorie limit won’t make you lose weight. Sure it won’t—if the way you handle it is to say, “Gee, that pie looks yummy: I guess I’ll raise my caloric intake limit by 2,000!”

5. Here’s some good news: The Great Stupid is even stupider in Norway. Well, just a bit. The Research Council of Norway is spending over $1.2 million on discovering how the country has contributed to the spread of “whiteness.”  The research project, “How Norway Made the World Whiter (NorWhite),” is being run at the University of Bergen, which describes “whiteness” as “​one of today’s key societal and political concerns.” One of the topics of the study—I’m not making this up—is that Norway “has played a globally leading role in establishing white as a superior color” through, notably, the efforts of Norwegian chemists to perfect white paint in 1916, developing a type with far better coverage than what was previously used, leading to many notable buildings around the country being painted bright white!




10 thoughts on “Sunday Morning Ethics Warm-Up: I Woke Up Feeling Like A King!

  1. 5. Wait. Isn’t Norway in Scandanavia? Isn’t it perfect? Aren’t we supposed to be like Norway? Norway’s bad? Somebody better explain this to Bernie Sanders.

    • As do all ideologues. As is Bernie and so many of their fellow travelers, Robert’s a red diaper baby Commie. Revolutionary zeal makes people stupid.

  2. 4. Reich is correct in only one respect. The point about paying bills is true if we view promises of future payments as fixed and non-cancelable. Mandatory spending or entitlements have gotten out of control and those need to be reigned in.
    Biden’s attempt to forgive loans is another way we rack up more debt than we would have otherwise. We need reevaluate every program and if we cannot control entitlements then we need to eliminate ALL non-constitutionally mandated government agencies such as the department of ed, energy, EPA etc before we incur more debt.

  3. lol!

    They contribute to whiteness. By snowfall too.

    Better move their damn country to a place that doesn’t snow.

    They’d all get tan too…

    Can help the issue both ways.

    Oh and… better stop drinking milk…

    People have lost their minds!

  4. “A Democratic Congressional leader introduced legislation criminalizing not just speech, but thought.”
    We already penalize those in legislation for “hate” crimes.

  5. William read the bill. Current hate crime legislation is an enhancement to an act of violence. This bill makes any white person guilty of a hate crime if any comment on social media can be said to instigate an act of violence against any non-white person.
    This bill directly and only criminalizes behavior or ideas promulgated by whites. Clearly unconstitutional.
    I personally find CRT theory hateful and is designed to foment violence against whites- it is foreseeable that some non-white persons might be invited to violence having been told that all their troubles lay at the feet of whites but I am not going to demand criminal sanctions against those who espouse it. Theoretically, this bill will deny any persons ability to challenge CRT or mobilize politically against it.

    • “Current hate crime legislation is an enhancement to an act of violence.” Yes, it’s a punishment for having unapproved thoughts while planning or committing a crime. The “enhancement” makes the wrongthink a crime when acted upon by the primary. SheJack’s (what some of the sane in Houston call her) bill expands the liability so the thought can be punished for actions by secondary characters.

  6. 1. It does no good to reveal that you were attacked years ago, know the name of your attacker and refuse to identify him. My guess is that Hollywood still has the expectation of silence and loyalty to the system and, if you break your silence, you are considered disloyal and can be blacklisted. No wonder Hollywood resented the HUAC all those years ago. It reminded them too much of how the entertainment industry works.

    Years ago, the late Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Rand on “Star Trek” for several episodes, revealed that she had been raped by an unnamed Executive. She confided in Leonard Nimoy who advised her to keep it to herself because he knew she’d harm her career if she said anything. She didn’t have much of a career after that anyway and her life spiraled out of control for years until she was able to turn her life around by becoming a Christian. She did not reveal the assault until her autobiography and still did not name the guy despite the fact that it had been decades. Because the likelihood that her attacker was dead was significant, fans were concerned that she still did not name him. It seemed that either the jerk was still alive, albeit ancient, and still powerful enough to cause trouble or he was dead but so important and/or beloved that she didn’t dare name him.

    Which has long led fans to wonder: Was Grace’s attacker the well-known womanizing creator of “Star Trek” himself Gene Roddenberry?

    Since Roddenberry, Whitney and Nimoy are all dead, we will probably never know.

    2. The glaring hypocrisy is bad enough, but I am sick of the nitpicking, as well as arguments that Trump’s holding of classified documents was worse because….just pick one…he held onto them, he lied about them, he didn’t disclose he had them, he didn’t turn them over when asked, he had them in his house while Biden – as far as was known at the time – had them in his so-called former workplace, he’s Trump….

    My God, this is not a contest. Why do they constantly turn it into one? Figuring out the worst offender does not exonerate or condemn the other. Or, at least, it shouldn’t.

    This is where we are now.

    3. I honestly have no words here.

    4. I’m tired of this constant fight every year over the debt ceiling. Democrats want to raise it, causing long-term harm to our country’s finances, deny that’s what they’re doing, demonize Republicans who want to hold back and then chant their victory dance only to repeat the next time.

    Maybe former Speaker Pelosi should have her daughter bring an exorcist into Congress to get rid of the demons there. It would be far more fitting.

    5. Now, there’s a pickle. Last year, Purdue University developed a paint so white that it’s being speculated that buildings painted with it might be able to do without air conditioning. Now that we find out that white paint is racist, who do we pander to? The racial justices extremists or the Climate Change hysterics?

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