From An Ethics Perspective, No Change Since 2015: Almost Anyone But Trump As The GOP Nominee In 2024

It’s too early, of course; many a Presidential candidate has emerged out of the primordial ooze to evolve from a near unknown to the nominee in three years. In the case of the Republicans (and the Democrats too) such an emergence is greatly to be wished. However, two objectives will remain constant: it is imperative that the lying, Machiavellian, totalitarianism-embracing Democrats be ejected from both branches of the government with sufficient force that they ponder their sins and reform, and that Donald Trump does not return to the Presidency.

Trump himself isn’t dangerous. If fact, in many ways he was an effective President, and his policies were more often reasonable than not; my objections to him as President involve character and style (and they are major objections that his accomplishments cannot counter-balance). However, the Left’s reaction to him is an existential threat. They have convinced themselves that eliminating him is a mission that must be accomplished by any means necessary, and they will continue to work to terrify the weak-minded, inattentive and gullible from now until the 2024 election…and, if necessary, after, no matter what the consequences may be.

They succeeded in convincing millions of Americans that he would destroy the country when he was elected the first time; he didn’t, but their tactics against him nearly did, and might yet. The nation cannot withstand another polarizing election with both sides claiming the other is trying to wreck all that is good about America, and with Trump as the Republican nominee.

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So Maybe Biden’s Georgia Tantrum Wasn’t Necessarily The Worst Presidential Speech Ever…

President Biden’s angry, shouting, hyperbolic speech condemning anyone and everyone who opposes him was, most objective critics agree, an epic botch: unpresidential, undemocratic, nasty and bad politics as well. “[It] was aggressive, intemperate, not only offensive but meant to offend, ” was Peggy Noonan’s assessment in the Wall Street Journal. “It seemed prepared by people who think there is only the Democratic Party…in America, that’s it, everyone else is an outsider who can be disparaged. It was a mistake on so many levels…. The over-the-top language of the speech made him seem more emotional, less competent. The portentousness—’In our lives and . . . the life of our nation, there are moments so stark that they divide all that came before them from everything that followed. They stop time’—made him appear incapable of understanding how the majority of Americans understand our own nation’s history and the vast array of its challenges. By the end he looked like a man operating apart from the American conversation, not at its center…”

Noonan’s evaluation was just about the consensus, and it sent historians to the archives to find another POTUS speech of similar rotten timber. Professor Andrew Busch at Claremont McKenna College believes he found one: as Harry Truman fought for his political life as the underdog to Republican Presidential nominee Tom Dewey in the 1948 campaign, he stooped to similarly vile demagoguery. “In our time,” Truman told a Chicago audience little more than a week before the polls opened, “we have seen the tragedy of the Italian and German peoples, who lost their freedom to men who made promises of unity and efficiency and sincerity…and it could happen here.” He went on to say, “Republican leaders, of course, give lip service to the principles of democracy. But the Republicans preach one thing and practice another. The actions of the Republican 80th Congress opened the gate to forces that would destroy our democracy…This is not just a battle between two parties. It is a fight for the very soul of the American Government.” Truman also implied that Dewey was a “front man” for fascist interests, just as Mussolini and Hitler had been.

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Unethical Quote Of The Month: Golden State Warriors Owner Chamath Palihapitiya

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay. You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line.”

—–Golden State Warriors owner Chamath Palihapitiya, in an interview.

This statement, classic signature significance, neatly explains why the National Basketball Association remains metaphorically in bed with the brutal regime in China, why the Biden Administration refuses to hold the country responsible for its role as an international outlaw (and inflicting its virus on our population,economy and the world), and if you change just one word, why the United States allowed Hitler’s Final Solution to proceed as far as it did.

Give credit where it is due: at least Palihapitiya is being honest. As for his fellow owners, we can see that they feel exactly the same way through their conduct, but prefer not to say so out loud. It might cut down on the profits from souvenir NBA jerseys. Continue reading

AARGH! The University of Michigan Firing Its President Made Me Think About Bill Clinton Again!

Mark S. Schlissel, the president of the University of Michigan, was fired  yesterday after an emergency meeting of the Board of Regents His relationship with a subordinate at the university had been revealed by an anonymous whistleblower who was, ironically, named Linda Tripp. Nononono! I’m sorry: damn flashback again.

The Board easily concluded that Schlissel had violated university policy and behaved “in a manner inconsistent with the dignity and reputation of the university.” His employment was terminated effective immediately, canceling a contract that would have continued paying him his base salary of $927,000 for four more years. The letter to Dr. Schlissel informing him that he was being fired said the complaint had arrived on December 8. “There can be no question that you were acutely aware that any inappropriate conduct or communication between you and a subordinate would cause substantial harm to the dignity and reputation of the University of Michigan,” the letter said.

The month long investigation triggered by the anonymous tip revealed dozens of email exchanges using “inappropriate tone and inappropriate language,” and showed that Dr. Schlissel used official business to carry out the relationship. His conduct was “particularly egregious,” the letter said, because he had taken a public position against sexual harassment, handing out pens to feminists like Bella Abzug after signing into law an anti-sexual harassment…no, I’m sorry, that was Bill Clinton.  Schlissel had only used the occasion of a university provost, Martin Philbert, being accused of sexual misconduct in August 2020 to send a letter to the university intoning that “the highest priority” was to make the university “safe for all.”

Dr. Schlissel, who is married and has four grown children. His wife, in response to the firing, immediately declared his demise to be the result of a vast right wing conspiracy. DANG! There go those flashbacks again!

I vowed a while back not to write any more about Bill Clinton. It was, as a few of you remember, the revolting ethical blindness revealed by Clinton’s defenders during Monica Madness and the even more revolting hypocrisy by passionate feminists who refused to condemn the POTUS’s text-book sexual harassment of a lowly intern (Bill supported abortion, you see, so that gave him immunity) that got me into the ethics blogging trap in the first place.

As an ethicist, I found the rationalizations being thrown out to get Clinton off the hook copious and nauseating, beginning with “Everybody Does It,” Number One, and including the worst of all. #22, “It’s not the worst thing!” Even though Clinton used Monica Lewinsky as his personal inflatable sex doll in his workplace, during work hours, with the knowledge of other subordinates, Democrats and pundits insisted on dismissing this as “private, personal conduct.”

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Yikes! I Better Finish “Will The Audacious ‘It Isn’t What it is’ Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?” Quick Before The Answer Is Too Obvious To Bother With: The Democrats’ Amazing Filibuster Hypocrisy

Wowie Zowie, Democratic “It isn’t what it is” grandstanding is reaching record heights faster than I can comment on them!

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), cementing her Ethics Hero credentials that (I admit) I doubted would stand up in June) delivered a speech yesterday in which she reiterated her  support for the filibuster, pretty much killing Democrat Party efforts to unilaterally change the rules to enable the party to ram through legislation that would federalize elections and permanently weaken their integrity. The filibuster is a long-standing procedural device that requires three-fifths of Senators to agree in order to advance toward a vote. It is very much a pro-democracy measure, instituted to prevent a bare Senate majority from passing important and controversial legislation without bi-partisan support. You can’t have a smaller Senate majority than Democrats do now, with a 50-50 split only enhanced by the Vice-President’s tie-breaking vote.

Sinema said that she personally supports both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, but does not believe it is wise to kill the filibuster. “And while I continue to support these bills, I will not support separate actions that worsen the underlying disease of division infecting our country,” Sinema said. “There’s no need for me to restate my longstanding support for the 60-vote threshold to pass legislation.” 

She did this despite President Biden’s disgraceful speech this week claiming that anyone who continues to support a filibuster to stop his party’s voting rights legislation is choosing to “stand on the side of George Wallace over Dr. King, Bull Connor over John Lewis, and Jefferson Davis over Abraham Lincoln.” It had to be one of the worst examples of race-baiting as an illicit political tool of recent memory, particularly since the claims that the legislation has any connection to race is fictional. It is not discriminatory to require voters to prove who they are at the polls. It is not “racist” to limit early voting. I would eliminate it entirely: the procedure encourages blind, knee-jerk, fact-free partisan voting over voter consideration of all relevant information during the campaign. It supports incompetent democracy. It is not racist to place limits on mail-in voting, vote-harvesting, or drop-boxes. It is responsible. Moreover, allowing such easily manipulated weaknesses in election controls encourages distrust in the final results.

It is profoundly disturbing that all but two Democratic Senators have the courage and respect for democracy to oppose the filibuster rule change, and apparently none will stand up for the integrity of elections. Meanwhile, Sinema is being called a racist and a foe of democracy for doing the right thing. Continue reading

Authentic Frontier Gibberish Of The Year (So Far): Kamala Harris

Normally, I would be confident that a stunner like this would be a guaranteed winner, but, 1) this is Kamala Harris, and she frequently talks like English is a foreign languge and 2) her two most high-ranking Democrat colleagues, President Biden and Nancy Pelosi, are also likely to make no sense for extended periods, though in their cases…well, let’s just leave it at that.

On the Today show, Craig Melvin asked the eminently qualified Vice President—she’s “of color,”,female, and has a pulse—- whether it is time for the White House to try a new strategy to deal with the pandemic. This was Harris’s verbatim answer:

It is time for us to do what we have been doing and that time is every day. Every day it is time for us to agree that there are things and tools that are available to us to slow this thing down.

Now who can argue with that? Melvin, since he works for NBC and has no Continue reading

Observations On The Rasmussen Poll Showing Trump Crushing Biden If The Election Were Held Today

First of all, polls.

The one in question is Rasmussen, which is the among the few polling organizations that do not have a perpetual left-wing bias, and that may have a conservative political bias. It is also worth noting that the election will not be held today, or even this year. Thus it is in the category of fake news that Ethics Alarms calls “future news.”

Many doubt, with some justification, that Joe Biden will last as President until 2024. He’s 79, and before this year is out will turn 80, what my father called the threshold to “the red zone,” when anyone that ancient or older faces a not insubstantial daily risk of dropping dead with little or no warning. Dad made it to 89 before dying—unexpectedly—during a nap, but he looked and seemed a lot healthier and less on the decline than Joe these days. Comedian Bob Saget was just 65 when his time ran out last week, also without warning, and he wasn’t even in the yellow zone.

Trump is no spring chicken either. He’ll be 76 this Spring: would you want to bet the farm that he’ll make 78 sufficiently hale and hearty to run a vigorous campaign, hold chatty rallies, and insult everyone who disagrees with him daily? The life expectancy of a 78-year-old male now is less than 10 years. That’s cutting it close. I’ll keep that farm, thanks.

Oh yeah, about the poll. A new Heartland Institute and Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey concluded that if the election were held today, 40% of likely U.S. voters would vote for President Biden, and 46% would vote for the previous POTUS, a large advantage.  10% say they would choose some other candidate in a Biden-Trump rematch, which doesn’t mean much: nobody knows who those other candidates might be, or if there will be any worthy of attention. If the also-rans are no better than the pathetic alternatives who were on the 2016 ballot, 10% is a highly inflated number.

Trump would get 81% support from GOP voters—that’s against Biden, remember: he’d get almost 100% when if he ran against, say, a piece of cheese. Biden would get 75% of Democrats, which is low for a party’s incumbent President.  With  independent voters, however, Trump would win today by a 16-point margin,  45% to Biden’s 29%.

Other observations that flow from this data… Continue reading

P.M. Ethics Dispatches, 1/11/2022

We have to keep baseball ethics alive even if baseball itself is in a state of suspension: the owner and players are, for the first time in decades, arguing about how to divide up their billions, everything from roster size to minimum salaries are on the table, and as of now, the two sides aren’t even talking with the season just a couple of months away. One of the issues to be settled is whether the National League will finally capitulate and adopt the designated hitter rule, which was accepted in the American League on this date in 1973, a day which many traditionalist fans then and now regard as an unforgivable scar on the integrity of the game. Baseball has always been celebrated for its equity and balance: as it was envisioned, every player on the field had to both hit and play defense. The DH, which is a batter who never uses a glove, also allowed the pitcher to be a defense-only specialist, never picking up a bat which, advocates of the new rule argued, was a result much to be wished, since the vast majority of hurlers are only slightly better at hitting the ball than your fat old uncle Curt who played semi-pro ball in his twenties. All these decades years later, the National League and its fans have stubbornly maintained that the DH was a vile, utilitarian gimmick spurred by non-ethical considerations, mainly greed. When the rule was adopted, American League attendance lagged behind the NL, which also was winning most of the All Star games, in part because that league had embraced black stars far more rapidly than “the junior league.” The DH, the theory went, would make games more exciting, with more offense, while eliminating all the .168 batters in the ninth spot in every line-up.

I had a letter published in Sports Illustrated in 1973 explaining why I opposed the DH as a Boston Red Sox fan. Since then, I have grudgingly come to accept the benefits of the rule: it gave the Sox David Ortiz, allowed Carl Yastrzemski to play a few more years, and let American League fans see such all-time greats as Hank Aaron at the plate after they could no longer play the field. It was a breach of the game’s integrity, but it worked.

1. At least that’s fixed. The Supreme Court issued a corrected transcript of the oral arguments in the Biden vaccine mandate case, and it now accurately records Justice Gorsuch as saying he believes the seasonal flu kills “hundreds…thousands of people every year.” The original version wrongly quoted him as saying hundreds of thousands, which allowed those desperately trying to defend the outrageously wrong assertions by Justice Sotomayor regarding the Wuhan virus to point to Gorsuch and claim, “See? Conservatives are just as bad!” Prime among these was the steadily deteriorating Elie Mystal at “The Nation,” who, typically for him, refused to accept the correction. Sotomayor is one of the all-time worst Supreme Court justices, though she will be valuable as a constant reminder of the perils of affirmative action. Her jurisprudence makes the much maligned Clarence Thomas look like Louis Brandeis by comparison. Continue reading

On Transgender Competitors Being Permitted In Women’s Sports: Is It Possible To Be More Ethically And Logically Muddled Than This?

I doubt it. I doubt if anything can be more ethically and logically muddled than the article —actually two articles—about another biological male crushing female competitors in a women’s sports competition. Right at the start, the USA Today piece sets a new absurd bar for “It isn’t what it is” rhetoric. The article begins, “The sentiment is universal: Everyone agrees that Andraya Yearwood should be allowed to compete in her chosen races as a girl.”

Wait: the same article in its headline says that Yearwood’s eligibility is a matter of “controversy.” If there is controversy, then obviously the sentiment isn’t “universal.” Normally, a statement that self-evidently contradictory would make me stop reading because the writer is an idiot, but I read this junk so you won’t have to.

The next sentence is just as bad:

After all, she identifies as a girl, trains alongside fellow females and plans to eventually undergo hormone therapy to complete a transition from her male birth gender to female.

“After all’? None of that is convincing proof that a biological male should be competing against women. Then Cam Smith—that’s the name of the idiot, whom USA Today entrusts with High School sports stories—gets the Triple Crown, or a hat trick, or whatever you call three brain-melting statements in a row: Continue reading

Unethical Quote Of The Month (And Signature Significance): Barack Obama

“Few people have done more for this state and this country than this driven, brilliant, sometimes irascible, deeply good man from Searchlight, Nevada.”

—-Former President Barack Obama, speaking at former Democratic Party Senate leader Harry Reid’s funeral.

Harry Reid was asked about his repeated lie during the 2012 Presidential campaign that Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney had not paid any taxes over the previous decade.  Reid even made that allegation from the floor of the Senate.

Reid’s accusation was an outright, brazen lie. Romney released his tax returns for those years. In 2011, Romney paid $1.9 million in taxes; in 2010, he paid slightly more than $3 million in taxes. The Washington Post Fact Checker, a reliable defender of unethical conduct by Democrats, gave Reid Four Pinocchios for his “no taxes” claim. Another inveterate left-biased factchecking group, PolitiFact, gave the claim a “Pants on Fire” rating.

Reid’s answer to the query became infamous: he responded, “Romney didn’t win, did he?” Later, he insisted  that the lie was “the best thing he ever did.” Continue reading