Morning Ethics Expectoration, 4/15/2021: I’m In A Really Bad Mood (And Ethics Is Just A Part Of It…)

Let’s see what revoltin’ developments we have accumulated, shall we? But first, some positive news…

1. Bernie Madoff has died in prison. Good. If there was ever a case for using capitol punishment for crimes other than murder and treason, Bernie is it. He was convicted of orchestrating the biggest Ponzi scheme in American history and was serving a 150-year sentence that he managed to escape by dying in prison of natural causes at age 82. He was a stone-cold sociopath who destroyed his family, foundations, charities and lives, all out of greed. On the plus side, his exploits did spawn two excellent dramatic portrayals, one by Robert De Niro and the other by Richard Dreyfuss. I liked Richard’s better, but after his disgusting conduct during the Trump years, Robert is permanently unwelcome to my eyeballs.

So much for the good news…

2. Don’t tell me again how poor Pete Rose deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Pete was the second Ethics Dunce of them all, way back in 2004, here. Knowing well that baseball had an iron-clad, one strike and you’re out forever rule forbidding players, coaches and managers from betting on games, he did it anyway (as a manager) because, see, he is Pete Rose, and the rules don’t apply to him, but mostly because he’s an idiot. So he got banned from the game and the Hall of Fame despite being the all-time hit leader, ahead of Ty Cobb. He’s a walking, talking ethics corrupter, prompting fans and writers to resort to rationalizations to explain why he should be forgiven.

Now we have this:

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Ethics Hero: University of Vermont Professor Aaron Kindsvatter

Disgusted with the anti-white racism running amuck on his campus and elsewhere do to the blind (or manipulative)support of “critical race theory, University of Vermont professor Aaron Kindsvatter created this video entitled “Racism and the Secular Religion at the University of Vermont:

He calls the the thinking that informs “critical race theory” crude, and notes that the condemnation of “whiteness” “speaks so eloquently to our tribal impulses,” the same logic, he says, that “can easily find its way to desperate persons who need a group to hate and who will adopt the suppositions that inform whiteness towards their own ends.” As he closes, the professor says that the pressure to adopt the racist propaganda (my words, not his) of Ibram X. Kendi and his ilk is making him sick.

Hey, me too!

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The New Fascists Among Us, Part II: The American Medical Association

The tweet above is the smoking gun that proves the attitude toward freedom of thought, opinion and expression in the American Medical Association, a group that most Americans believe is dedicated to the area of expertise of its members: health and medicine. The tell-tale words of the fascist are right there: “harmful podcast and tweet,” because words that challenge the required orthodoxy must not be allowed, and “We are taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again,” meaning intimidation, punishment, indoctrination, and censorship. These are the tools of those who fear free speech, and who demand compliance with mandated beliefs.

Once the damning tweet was exposed by, among others, Campus Reform, the American Medical Association took it down. There is no reason to do this unless the group realizes that it reveals too much. This tweet, however remains:

That tweet exposes the AMA for what it is: a political ally of an ambitious rights-repressive regime, and an organization that is abusing its perceived authority and the public trust. As with a similar recent proclamation by the CDC, firearms and the Second Amendment are not the proper concern of the AMA. Using the power of a collective professional organization to lobby publicly or privately for restrictions on American rights unrelated to medicine is an abuse of power and a misrepresentation. (The American Bar Association, and many, many others, engage in the same insidious mission creep. It is why I refuse to belong to the ABA.)

In past posts on this topic, I have noted that if my doctor started questioning me about whether there is a firearm in my home (there is), I would a) end the discussion, b) leave the office and c) find a new doctor, just as I would if he quizzed me about how fast I drove or what kind of dog I owned. Physicians are authoritarian by nature, and I suppose it is to be expected that they would gravitate toward totalitarian government and its methods. Expected, I say, but not tolerated or excused, at least by me.

Nobody else should tolerate or excuse it either.

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The New Fascists Among Us, Part I: Unethical Tweet Of The Month

The tweet above, located by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, comes from Sarah Jane Glynn, self-described on her Twitter feed as “Expertise in Econ/Gender/Lady-business. Professional Feminist & Semi-Professional Eyeliner Expert. All mind blowing views my own. She/Her.” Sarah left out “Good German,” perhaps for space, but a classic example of the rising Fascists of the Left she is, a toxic mutation of American that, in retrospect, we now realize emerged as tadpoles during the Obama Administration when the squiggly things were directed to use family holidays to propagandize relatives about the evils of climate change and the virtues of Obamacare. Now those tadpoles are full-fledged toads, and ugly ones indeed, like Sarah.

It is encouraging—maybe I’m grasping at straws here—that her tweet has many more re-tweets than “likes.” Perhaps that means that Americans haven’t lost the ability to recognize a fascist when they see one, even after four years of the fascists of the Left calling Donald Trump a threat to democracy when he was nearly the exact opposite except for his intemperate bluster.

Boy, I hope so. I have been composing in my head a series of questions for the nearby neighbor who has erected the giant eyesore of a sign near my home, a six-foot by four-foot black-painted wooden board with a giant red heart bearing the words, also in black, “Black Lives Matter,” accompanied by a medieval suit of armor standing next to the sign, for some reason. This display has been up for nearly a year now. Maybe the armor represents “systemic racism,” the accusation rather than the condition, since those who favor it think it makes them invulnerable to criticism, facts, or logic. The new fascists believe this phrase imbues them with moral certitude and unquestionable wisdom when they adopt it as their mantra, though the concept itself is empty, facile, tautological and insulting. Accepting that the United States exists and continues its evil ways because of “systemic racism,” essentially the fantastic “1619 Project’s” view of America, has become the “Heil!’ sign of the rising totalitarians among us.

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Daunte Wright Dining Car Specials On The George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck…

1. “Nah, there’s no mainstream media bias! Naturally, the New York Times has a ticket…The Timed headline in its print edition: “Minnesota Police Kill Another Man As Tensions Build.” Oh, did the jury rule that the Minnesota police officers killed George Floyd already? They didn’t? Then what the hell is the New York Times saying “Another” for?

The news media decided that Derek Chauvin is a murderer and has been repeating that assertion as fact for almost a year now.

2. Wait, the Chaivin jury hasn’t been sequestered? Chauvin’s lawyer, Eric Nelson, had argued yesterday that the jurors should be ordered to avoid all media and spend the rest of the trial sequestered, because he feared that rioting in the nearby community where the Wright shooting took place might limit their ability to be fair jurors. The unrest will be at “forefront of the jury’s mind-set,” Nelson argued. He also asked for new interviews with the jurors to determine whether this recent event had already biased them. The judge, Peter Cahill, denied both requests. “This is a totally different case,” the judge held, since the current riots aren’t about a jury verdict but a shooting.

Wow This pretty much convinces me that this is a kangaroo court, and that the judge is trying to do his best to see Chauvin convicted.

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Morning Ethics Warm-Up As If We Need One These Days, 4/13/21

There was recent news about Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”…did you miss it? A tiny inscription in the corner of the original (the artist made several more) reads, “Can only have been painted by a madman.” For decades, expert have been arguing over who wrote it. The definitive answer came last month: it was the artist himself, who had been upset when a critic at an exhibition suggested that he was mentally ill. My wife and I saw a special traveling exhibition on Munch’s work in London several years ago. He kept painting the same disturbing images over and over again, not just “The Scream,” but others, like a woman with wild red hair that snakes out to strangle a man. We concluded then that he was nuts.

1. CNN has provided yet another example of miserable, biases, incompetent journalism. This one begins,

Poll of the week: A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that 55% of Republicans falsely believe Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was the result of illegal voting or rigging. Additionally, 60% of Republicans incorrectly agree that the election was stolen from Republican Donald Trump. These polls are the latest to indicate that Republicans mistakenly think that the 2020 election wasn’t legitimate, when it clearly was.

Who says it “clearly was”? How is that a fact? If it’s a fact, prove it. This is CNN injecting opinion into news reporting, and stating as fact what is the reporter’s opinion. Nor did those who replied that the 2020 election totals were the result of illegal voting or election rigging state that election “wasn’t legitimate.” They weren’t given that option. I, for example, think the election could be fairly called “rigged,” but it was still legitimate. Nor can CNN say that 60% of Republicans “incorrectly agree” that the election was stolen from Donald Trump. First, it is nearly impossible to prove a negative; this is CNN’s assumption. There are polls that claim to show that the fair reporting of Hunter Biden’s laptop and emails alone would have flipped the election. Second, “stolen,” like “rigged” is not defined. I think it is unlikely that the election totals were manipulated sufficiently to change the result in key states. I am certain that the news media and the other anti-Trump forces unethically set out to undermine the President’s chances at re-election with a four year battering of Big Lies, anonymous leaks, fake news, slanted news, biased news reporting and non-reporting of facts favorable to Trump or unfavorable to Biden. They cheated, and claiming now that those who feel the cheating made a difference are mistaken is like claiming that a runner unfairly tripped at the opening gun would have lost anyway.

2. On the related topic of absentee ballots…RealClearInvestigations nicely shows the New York Times’ hypocrisy on the matter of absentee ballots:

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Comment Of The Day: “Comment Of The Day: ‘Monday Ethics Final, 3/8/2021: A Bad Day In The Revolution'(Item #5)”

Some might think I’m making this gem by Mrs. Q a Comment of the Day for an ulterior motive. She’s a undisputed star commenter, and she’s been MIA for a more than a month now. This was her most recent comment, but I’m not honoring it as an enticement, though I desperately want to see her unique perception and wit back on Ethics Alarms. This was supposed to be a Comment of the Day a month ago, but stuff happened: it’s my fault.

Commenters come and go, then come back sometimes. I always take it personally, which is foolish, but that’s me. When ever I go back and review essays from a few years back, I am struck and depressed by the voices we have lost. Whither wyogranny? Shelly Stow? Steven Mark Pilling? Extradimensional Cephalopod? There are so many.

I also worry about those who disappear, and often send emails to inquire after their health and welfare. Sometimes the responses are reassuring. Sometimes I get no response. Sometimes I forget to send the note. Most bloggers don’t do this, and I’m not sure it’s rational for me to do it.

Here is Mrs. Q’s Comment of the Day on the post, Monday Ethics Final, 3/8/2021: A Bad Day In The Revolution'(Item #5):

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‘Unethical And Unethical-ler,’ As The Daunte Wright Ethics Train Wreck Speeds “The Great Stupid”Across The Land

As if it needed any help…

The police-involved death of 20-year-old black man Daunte Wright, which on its apparent facts (“Oopsie!”) did not indicate either racism or police brutality, quickly demonstrated that this was yet another car on the George Floyd Ethics Train Wreck, itself but an extension of the Ferguson Ethics Train Wreck, which emerged from the Trayvon Martin Ethics Train Wreck. All have converged to intensify The Great Stupid, as many parties have learned nothing from the previous fiascos, and too many have learned the wrong things.

Recent unethical developments:

1. Naturally, there was a second night of riots. This is stupid and unethical by definition. So are media accounts like this one, picked at random, from The Boston Globe, about the previous night’s disturbances: “Officials announced curfews, schools suspended in-person classes, professional sports teams canceled games and businesses boarded up after a first night that included peaceful protests – but also clashes between police and demonstrators, as well as looting of local businesses.”

It included peaceful protests, you see, but then there was the rioting and the violence and the looting. This isn’t journalism, it’s spin. It is like writing, “the mob contained reasonable, concerned citizens, but also those who burned down businesses and attacked police.” It sets out to minimize negative reader perceptions—out of what motive? Sympathy? Bias? Incompetence? Malice?

Added: Dr. Emilio Lizardo adds this on the topic of the news media trying to establish the “peaceful protest” narrative.

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Annals Of “The Great Stupid”: Pro Baseball Postpones a Game Because A Black Man Is Shot By A Police Officer

Today I arranged my day so I could watch the Boston Red Sox (who are on a roll) play the Minnesota Twins in a day game at the Twins’ park. Minutes before the game, it was called off, though the sun was shining and a crowd was on-hand. Why? Well, Daunte Wright, 20, was killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota., about 10 miles northwest of Minneapolis.

This has, or should have, nothing whatsoever to do with baseball, or any other activity in the Twin Cities or anywhere else. It is a local law enforcement event, and as of now, it is impossible to determine what happened with certainty. Never mind, though: Black Lives Matter has decreed that every death of a black man or woman in a confrontation with police is by definition an undeniable example of race-motivated homicide, and the proper response is to riot.

First and foremost, the proper response is never to riot. Protesting and demonstrating are seldom the proper responses either. Second, rioting, demonstrating, protesting, and making accusations about an event before it has been made clear what in fact occurred, is irresponsible, dangerous and indefensible always, with no exceptions.

The female police officer shot Wright yesterday afternoon after pulling his car over for a traffic violation and discovering that he had a warrant out for his arrest. The police tried to detain Wright; he briefly struggled with police, and then he stepped back into his car, apparently trying to flee.

Of course he did. In the vast majority of these police-involved deaths with black Americans involved, the eventual victim resists the lawful orders of police. George Floyd did it. Mike Brown did it. In such cases, I bristle when I am told, as I heard one activist say today, that the community should “honor” the victim by not rioting. Those who get shot or killed as a direct result of resisting arrest should not be “honored,” because that is not honorable conduct. It is anti-social conduct that ruins some lives and ends others.

Body-camera video released by the police department shows the officer shouting, “Taser!” before firing her gun. She is then heard on the video saying, “Holy shit. I just shot him.”

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Wherein Having Ethics Alarms Ringing 24-7 Again Proves To Be Inconvenient…

I took Spuds out for a walk in the light rain, and was relieved when he relieved himself with his usual impressive fecal discharge early on. I dutifully collected it in a blue New York Times bag—using the delivery bags for this purposes amuses me, as the final content of the bag is less noxious than its original product. Spuds even did his doo-dooty near a trash receptacle. “Now that’s over with!” I thought. Then I took my sweet dog on walk down one of the boutique streets in the neighborhood: lovely houses, elaborate gardens, perfect lawns. And Spuds walked quickly onto one of the latter, and duplicated his earlier performance. Topped it, in fact.

He almost never does this, but I almost always carry a second New York Times bag in case he’s feeling prolific. This time I hadn’t.

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