Now THAT’S A Threat To Democracy!

“That” in this case, meaning the abysmal, irresponsible quality of individuals both parties present to the public for election to Congress, and the willingness of lazy, intellectually-stunted Americans to vote for them.

Let’s just look at two, a sitting member of the House and a candidate for the job, the former a Democrat, the latter a Republican.

First, the Congressman, Democrat Modaire Jones of New York (that’s him on the left, above). On the floor of the House yesterday, Jones stated that Officer Brian Sicknick was “bludgeoned to death” in the Capitol on January 6th, 2021. That’s an outright, calculated lie, and has been a lie ever since the news media belatedly corrected its false narrative and admitted that Sicknick died of a series of strokes the next day that no physician could tie to his experiences in the riot; the medical examiner ruled his a death of “natural causes.” True, President Biden continued to use the false narrative either because he’s dishonest or because he’s sliding into dementia, but Jones doesn’t have the latter excuse. He made a deliberately false statement to continue the absurd “the riot in the Capitol was the worst thing ever and proves we’re threatened by fascism” theme that Democrats hope will keep them from being wiped out in November. Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC.) couldn’t let him get away with it, and corrected Jones on the spot. Continue reading

Ethics Quiz: Those Illegal Immigrant Exporting “Stunts”

In today’s Open Forum, veteran commenter Arthur in Maine writes in part,

I’m sure you’ve all heard about the fact that Ron DeSantis sent two charter planes loaded with illegal aliens to Martha’s Vineyard, which is about 10.5 miles south of me. I find this situation absolutely hilarious on the macro scale. But from an ethics standpoint, it’s more troubling.

1) The Biden administration has been flying illegals to airports all over the country and dumping them off. This, in my view, is unethical (as is the administration’s policy on the southern border). Essentially, DeSantis did the same thing, but that doesn’t make it ethical in return.

2) Conservative media is, in my opinion, overstating the reaction on the left. Unethical. That said, there’s enough pearl clutching on the left to make this all highly entertaining. To me. Which is unethical, and I’m not proud of it, but I never claimed to be perfect.

3) DeSantis’s timing could have been better. Most of the uber-rich limousine liberals with summer homes on the Vineyard head out around Labor Day. Had he done this in August, he actually could have made this a bigger story. Which would, of course, be unethical – but no more so than it already is.

4) The aforementioned pearl-clutchers on the left are calling this a political stunt, using illegal aliens as pawns. That argument is not without merit. But it’s curious that they didn’t seem to care much when the border states were bearing the brunt of hundreds of thousands of illegals by themselves. Which is… unethical.

DeSantis’s move, though it is funnier and more diabolical (can something be ethical and diabolical?), has to be considered in the same category as the busloads of illegals that were sent to the “sanctuary cities” of New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. The original idea was the inspiration of Texas Governor Greg Abbott, or a particularly creative advisor.

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is…

Is it unethical for the governors of Texas and Florida to be sending illegal immigrants to ostentatiously progressive destinations?

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Verdict: “Quiet Quitting” Is Unethical. Next Question?

I had happily never heard of the term “quiet quitting” until last week, and now it is supposedly a hotly-debated ethics topic. There’s nothing to debate about. “Quiet quitting” is not new (the term may be new), nor is there any defense for it. It is un-American to its core. But as so many American values are being eroded by revolutionary fervor of people who simply don’t like the unique history, culture and principles that make the nation the unique entity that it is, it figures that slacking at one’s job and being self-righteous about it would be on the rise.

It is, there is little doubt about that. Ethics Alarms has mentioned the trend of increasingly poor and unaccommodating service in every sector. The usual explanation is the under-staffing that the destructive pandemic lockdown facilitated, but it’s good that focus is falling on the declining belief in seeking excellence in all one does, and putting out one’s best effort at all times. The death throes of American dedication to excellence as a cultural value is what has been newly christened “quiet quitting,” the many ways in which workers reduce the time, energy, and care they commit to their jobs.

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New Week Dawning Ethics Warm-Up, 8/29/2022: It’s Bernie Sanders Appreciation Day!

Before it is too far back in the rear view mirror, I must mention yesterday’s place among ethically momentous dates for both good and ill.

Most significantly, the ill comes to mind: it was on August 28 in 1955—the same date represented in “Back to the Future” as a time of innocence and naivete—that Emmett Till, a Black teen , was abducted from his uncle’s home in Money, Mississippi, by two white men after a white woman told her husband that he had whistled at her and brushed against her. The boy was brutally murdered, and his death has remained an iconic symbol of Jim Crow and American racism to this day. Also on the dark side of ethics, in 1968, police and anti-war demonstrators battled on the 28th in the streets of Chicago as the Democratic National Convention nominated Hubert H. Humphrey for President despite a popular upheaval seeking a peace-seeking alternative to the Lyndon Johnson administration. In my assessment, that rioting was far, far more threatening to the U.S.’s confidence in the health of its democracy than the antics of the middle-aged clowns who swarmed over the Capitol on January 6, 2020. Less earth-shattering but still the culmination of an ethics train wreck, on yesterday’s date in 1996 the 15-year marriage of Britain’s Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially ended. The ethics lesson is how important it is for leaders and admired role models to live up to the best standards of conduct, and when they don’t, the institutions they represent suffer, sometimes irreparably.

There is at least one shining ethics milestone to salvage August 28: in 1963, more than 200,000 people heard the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., which includes the perplexing statement his followers today want to wish away: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

1. Wait; corporal punishment is still allowed in public schools? Tell me again: why do we have a Department of Education? About 70,000 public schoolchildren were abused with corporal punishment in the 2017-18 school year, which is the most recent year for which federal data is available. Nearly 4,000 schools reported using corporal punishment during that school year, and as children head back to classrooms, some teachers are dusting off their paddles. So I guess there were some positive aspects to remote schooling.

No wonder school boards assumed that parents would be supine in the face of critical race theory and transsexual propaganda, if they allow teachers to beat their children.

2. For today’s depressing example of the quality of reason, rhetoric and argument employed by high elected officials, I give youSenator Bernie Sanders of Vermont! Asked by ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos about complaints that Biden’s $300 billion giveaway to students owing payment on their student loans, Sanders’ replied, “I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires!” Yeah, and they don’t complain about the designated hitter, either!

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The FBI Raid On Mar-a-Lago

Above are some of Andrew Yang’s tweets regarding the raid on Donald Trump’s resort residence in Palm Beach,Florida yesterday, executed by the FBI reportedly to find and retrieve classified documents that the former President improperly kept after leaving the White House. Yang is a tech executive and an amateur politician at best, but he’s smart and perceptive, and as the recent founder of a (doomed) centrist third party with national aspirations, is arguably more objective than most observers.

Except Ethics Alarms, of course…

Here is what we know: The Times reports…

Trump said on Monday that the F.B.I. had searched his Palm Beach, Fla., home and had broken open a safe — an account signaling a major escalation in the various investigations into the final stages of his presidency.

The search, according to multiple people familiar with the investigation, appeared to be focused on material that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, when he left the White House. Those boxes contained many pages of classified documents, according to a person familiar with their contents.

Mr. Trump delayed returning 15 boxes of material requested by officials with the National Archives for many months, only doing so when there became a threat of action to retrieve them. The case was referred to the Justice Department by the archives early this year….

The F.B.I. would have needed to convince a judge that it had probable cause that a crime had been committed, and that agents might find evidence at Mar-a-Lago, to get a search warrant. Proceeding with a search on a former president’s home would almost surely have required sign-off from top officials at the bureau and the Justice Department.

Trump’s statement regarding the raid was classic Trump:

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Over 60 American Companies Want To Ignore The Constitution For “The Greater Good”

You’re on, Geena!

Indeed, be very, very afraid.

Next term, the Supreme Court will hear two high-profile cases challenging affirmative action policies at the University of North Carolina and Harvard College. The court just barely upheld affirmative action in 2016, but it seems likely that the current Court’s composition is unlikely to allow it to continue. This is a good thing, though those who benefit from racial discrimination not surprisingly are horrified by the prospect. John Roberts mysteriously shocking quote the last time around— “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race”—is pretty much indisputable. As in a growing number of areas, the American Left simply does not like the U.S. Constitution. In the area of colleges and grad school admissions, this is because the document requires that all races be treated equally under the law. Continue reading

Why Must I Be A Blogging Ethicist In Ethics Zugzwang?

I was going to sing it, but it doesn’t fit the music…

Here is my problem…

Describing the ugly developments arising out of the Democratic Soviet-style show trial aimed at neutralizing Donald Trump by criminalizing his post election excesses, and, if possible, intimidating and harassing his supporters past and present, esteemed former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy writes in part, Continue reading

Tuesday Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 7/19/2022: Harvard, Redheads, Uvalde, Bad House Guests And More

A lot of people find images like this, and the motto, offensive, presumably because of the association with Ronald Reagan, who brilliantly appropriated optimistic patriotism as a conservative value in response to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” vision of the nation. Being negatively triggered by one’s own flag and expressions of pride and enthusiasm regarding the nation it represents is not a healthy state of mind, and therefore it is unethical conduct to actively promote such an attitude…which we now see being done every day.

1. It may be unethical, but Harvard at least has gall…In April, Harvard University set out to exceed its previous record for virtue signaling, committing $100 million to “redress its ties to slavery” after a report concluded that slavery played an “integral” role in shaping the University. This is the Cambridge version of reparations, and the flagrant act of misusing donated non-profit funds wasn’t even controversial. The whole board signed on without dissent, which shows how Borg-like the Harvard leadership is. “Diversity” of thought when wokeness is at issue is not welcome. In this month’s alumni magazine, amusingly, Harvard begs for contributions to keep the magazine operating at a high level (it is an excellent alumni magazine), as if  tossing away 100 million dollars on non-educational matters didn’t make the appeal ridiculous. As one contrarian alum noted in a letter to the editor, if Harvard can give away all that money to assuage its conscience about supporting and benefiting long ago from a legal and predominant practice that had gone on for centuries, “it doesn’t need mine.”

In other damning news from Old Ivy, the Harvard  web site calls Students For Fair Admissions v. Harvard,  currently pending before the Supreme Court, as a “politically motivated lawsuit.”  That’s the case in which Asian-American students allege that Harvard discriminates against them (like it discriminates against whites) in its admissions policies.  The web site states, “Harvard College does not discriminate against applicants from any group in its admission processes.” This is pure “it isn’t what it is” gaslighting. One can argue that affirmative action, which is the real issue  in the case, should continue and that it passes ethical standards via utilitarian balancing, but it cannot be denied that  the practice isn’t discrimination. The statement is a lie. Continue reading

Founders’ Are Denigrated In Their Own Homes …And An Organized Protest Is Required

Apparently the Mad Left’s historical air-brushing mania that began with toppling statues of important American figures from the Confederacy such as Robert E. Lee, moved on to removing statues of Teddy Roosevelt and banning benign college mascots that evoked the Revolutionary era (like George Washington U’s “Colonial”), and generally has sought to “cancel” any American patriot or President who owned slaves, is now turning tours of Thomas Jefferson’s and James Madison’s homes in Virginia into attacks on the two essential figures in our democracy.

At Monticello, Jefferson’s self-designed home that is a tourist attraction in Charlottesville, Virginia, the non-profit operating the site is using its progressive political agenda to make a visit less a pilgrimage of respect than indoctrination into anti-Jeffersonism. A recent visitor described the experience as “depressing and demoralizing and truly upsetting,” with Jefferson-hostile tour guides claiming that his reputation is “wildly overblown.” Of course, this is all because Jefferson was a slave-holder, in direct contradiction of the values and rights he espoused in the Declaration of Independence. Arguably, Jefferson’s slave-holding was more revolting than that of other men of his time, as it included treating one of his slaves, Sally Hemings (and his dead wife’s half-sister) as his concubine. Ick. But Jefferson was a weak and conflicted man with a brilliant and perceptive mind; his slave-holding and other personal flaws, and there were many, are not why he must be celebrated and honored as one of those most responsible for the nation’s existence.

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Ethics Estoppel: Awww, Do The Poor Democrats Regret Putting Biden In the White House? They Can Shut Up And Bite Me…

I have standing to complain, but they don’t.

A New York Times/Siena College poll just out purports to show that 64% of Democratic voters don’t want Joe Biden to be President after his current term expires, and the reason is that even they can tell the country is falling apart. Biden has been President for less than two years, and yet it has come to this already.

Assuming the poll is accurate (you know…polls) this result warrants a dirge from the tiniest violin in existence. How dare Democrats say this, when they foisted Biden on the nation with full knowledge that he was too old, declining mentally, and was a career mediocrity on the smartest day of his life? It was an epic example of irresponsible citizenship and a breach of trust, motivated, like most actions by members of their party since 2016, by pure, primitive, unreasoning, unquenchable hatred of Donald Trump. They would have voted for an inanimate carbon rod for President in 2020 if polls showed it to have the best chance of winning.

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