Category Archives: Comment of the Day

Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/16/ 2018: The Fake Moussaka Edition”

I fear that a theme on Ethics Alarms over the next few days is going to be the awful conduct and deteriorating ethical standards of the Trump-hating left. This situation is not really debatable, and flagging it from an ethical perspective should not be regarded as a partisan or an ideological act. It is, though: I have the emails, comments and Facebook insults to prove it. Why aren’t progressives and Democrats properly outraged? Why don’t they find this conduct by their apparently unhinged compatriots as repulsive as I find it—as repulsive as it is? I don’t understand it. When they are confronted, and I have confronted many, they have no answer, no reason. Just rationalizations, or more often, just emotional outbursts. Today a Facebook friend, and a real friend too, an actor and, I am pretty sure, a Communist, wrote in Facebook that he would rather have Harry and Megan running the country, because republican democracy wasn’t working out so well. He wasn’t kidding, either, and nobody in the progressive Facebook echo chamber challenged him. People are going insane, and they are rotting from the inside out.

Steve-O-wrote this in response to Item #1 in the 5/16 Warm-up. That section was about all the Democrats and pundits actively cheering for the North Korea talks to collapse, because they are so filled with hate that they want Trump to fail even when his successes would be good for the country and the world. That is, in a word, diseased. And that is what the “resistance” has devolved into in less than two years. I could not be more disappointed in my fellow citizens. I thought they were better–fairer, smarter, more patriotic, with a firmer hold on the values they claimed to possess—than this.

They’re not.

Here is Steve-O-in-NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post,Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/16/ 2018: The Fake Moussaka Edition:

David Gergen once said that those who dislike and criticize this nation, particularly blacks who don’t celebrate July 4 because they are still bitter about their history aren’t unpatriotic, they just practice “a different form of patriotism.” He also said that Jeremiah Wright might well love this country more than conventional patriots, but just believe we have fallen short of our ideals. The concept of “matriotism,” a sort of pacifistic yin to patriotism’s yang, was floated for a while, but never really caught on.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of us on the right loathed Obama and loathed his policies, but we never let that turn into us hating our own country, and we never stood against our own servicemen, even when Clinton wasted our efforts in the Balkans and Obama led from behind to topple Gadaffi…without a clue of what to do afterwards. We (except a few crackpots) also never talked of taking up arms against our own elected officials, nor rioting. Guess who put mobs in the street before the War on Terror and rioted the day Trump was sworn in, the duly elected president? Hint: it wasn’t the right.

The fact of the matter is that the left is a strange mix of the ultra-violent (the Black Panthers, antifa) and the ultra-disloyal (the National Lawyers’ Guild, the Peace and Freedom Party) held together by a few charismatic folks who want ultimate power and don’t give a damn how they get it. The only problem is that the right is in the way, and after Vietnam the right has pretty much a lock on the flag and conventional patriotism, which the average Joe still reveres. Like it or not, Donald Trump has become identified with the flag, strong law enforcement, a strong military, and other conventional symbols of pride in this nation. That’s still pretty powerful. Worse still, under Trump the economy is doing better, people have more money in their paychecks, and overall things seem to be looking back up after years of looking down. Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Around the World, Character, Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics

Comment Of The Day: “Morning Ethics Warm-Up Overstock, 5/15/ 2018: It’s Use Them Or Lose them…”

Good things can even come out of really dumb ethics episodes, like the effort to silence critics of illegal immigration by pointing out that they had legal immigrants in their lineage, a non sequitur if there ever was one.

This good thing is Greg’s Comment of the Day, on Morning Ethics Warm-Up Overstock, 5/15/ 2018: It’s Use Them Or Lose them…:

The notion that immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries assimilated much more quickly than today is largely untrue. In fact, most Americans in the early part of the 20th century believed that the failure to assimilate by Lahren’s ancestors and millions of others like them was a matter for grave concern. These days, we read over and over again that the laws passed in the 1910’s and 1920’s restricting immigration were motivated primarily by racism. But that is a gross distortion. If you read political commentary at the time when those laws were debated, you will certainly find discussion of race (usually referring to what we would now call “nationality,” not to what we now call “race”), some of it quite offensive to modern sensibilities.

But the most important concern expressed by immigration restrictionists was that too many immigrants were failing to assimilate. Most immigrants were not becoming citizens. Consulting my grandfather’s trusty, albeit brittle and yellow, 1924 World Almanac, I see that in 1914, the last year before the first restrictive immigration act was enacted, the Census Bureau reported that there were 1.2 million immigrants to the United States but only 0.1 million naturalizations.

The vast majority of immigrants moved to a few large cities in the North. Census figures in 1910 revealed that in most major northern cities, Americans born of parents who had been born in America (as shorthand, in order to avoid wordy repetition, I’ll call them “American-Americans”) were outnumbered by immigrants and their children. In many cities, the number of immigrants was more than twice the number of American-Americans, and the number of immigrants and their children (about two-thirds of them born to two immigrant parents) was often three to four times the number of American-Americans.

Moreover, most immigrants clustered in insular ethnic neighborhoods where they continued to speak their native languages and follow their native customs, standing largely outside the broader American society. In the 1910 census, the population of the United States was 92 million, of which 33 million were immigrants and their American-born children. Of those 33 million, 23 million told the census that English was not their primary language, with 3 million admitting that they did not speak English at all (although the actual number was generally believed to be much larger). Those heart-warming Italian, Irish, Jewish and other ethnic neighborhoods that you see in countless movies and books? There was a widespread conviction that those neighborhoods were a serious social problem. They were viewed, not unfairly, as encouraging their inhabitants to maintain dual loyalties or primary loyalty to their native countries, perpetuating European ethnic hatreds that imported from their native countries, breeding ethnic criminal gangs (Irish, Italian, Jewish and others), fomenting anti-democratic political tendencies, and most of all, undermining America’s sense of itself as a people joined by common values and purposes. Most Americans believed that something should be done to induce people in those neighborhoods to assimilate into the mainstream of American society; and that this necessary assimilation would never happen if immigration were not curtailed. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Education, Government & Politics, History, language, Law & Law Enforcement, U.S. Society

Comment Of The Day: “Unethical Quote Of The Month: New Mexico Congressional Candidate Pat Davis (Guess What Party!)”

This is one of the times I am grateful for a backlog of worthy Comments of the Day. I have several posts pending requiring a lot of thought, research and writing, and I’m exhausted as well as swamped. It’s nice to have some excellent ethics commentary from the regulars here to keep new content flowing. I am very grateful to all of the authors.

This time it’s Still Spartan, a mother, a lawyer, a self-described liberal (though on today’s spectrum I’d call her a left of center moderate) with an interesting back-story. In fairness, I should note that she protested later that if she knew this would be a COTD she would have been more circumspect regarding her choice of words. With the exception of “sucks,” which I believe now is an acceptable rhetorical device for emphasis (though my father would still object if I used it), I made some minor edits to address those concerns. I hope she approves.

As is often the case here, this Comment of the Day came out of a thread inspired by the post but pretty much irrelevant to it. Although the post concerned the gratuitous vulgarity of an anti-NRA House candidate, much of the discussion was about illegal immigration, or as it’s known around the Marshall house, The Amazing Controversy For Which  There Is No Logical Or Defensible Justification For The Pro- Position, But That Roils Politics Anyway (TACFWTINLODJFTPPBTRPA, for short). Another prolific commenter, Slickwilly, had written in part this response to a comment defending illegal immigrants and discarding claims that they are a burden on citizens,

I have been poor… I worked my way up just a bit, but still sit in the lower middle class, if not the upper poor….I STILL pay taxes, and the illegals suck that money down. While the legal poor may sometimes use those tactics, it is NOT the norm, as THEY HAVE ROOTS HERE. You know, like family, friends, jobs, or at a minimum welfare payments. All of those make it harder to just up and leave, especially in this day and age of computer tracking. Illegal Aliens have none of those ties. I have lived with them my entire life, and know more on a bad day than you ever will. Most are good people, if you ignore that they are criminals. They run up bills and change addresses, change names, change jobs, as a matter of course. They do not pay any type of insurance. They cause car wrecks and abandon the scene, running to Mexico until the heat is off. They clog emergency rooms with minor, minor ailments, BECAUSE IT IS FREE. They steal identities causing citizens hundreds of miles away tax problems, when they bother to pay taxes at all (and those that hire them should be in jail).

Here is Still Spartan’s response to that comment, and her Comment of the Day on the post, “Unethical Quote Of The Month: New Mexico Congressional Candidate Pat Davis (Guess What Party!)”:

Actually, I think Slick’s comment is indicative of many people’s thinking right now (and I am not writing this with any snark at all). We have a large population of white, rural, poor people in this country. And it sucks. I was one of those people. Good jobs have become scarce, especially with blue collar jobs virtually disappearing overseas. And the jobs that are left don’t pay the bills. These people also don’t have the money to move elsewhere — or tend to not have the education needed to get a good paying job in the information age anyway.

Now, we have poor black populations and poor Latino populations as well of course, but what makes the white rural poor unique is that they tend to be isolated in the country and do not have the freedom of movement that predominantly urban poor have. The white rural poor do still have some advantages: 1) they are white (so they don’t face discrimination); 2) food scarcity isn’t as big of a problem. Many supplement with gardens, hunting, and even farms if they have the space; 3) because people are spread out, crime isn’t as big of a problem. But these people still want jobs. And they see, for the most part, that they are struggling even more than their parents did. It is scary. Liberals are not doing enough to appeal to them. Continue reading

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Filed under Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Finance, Government & Politics, Law & Law Enforcement, This Helps Explain Why Trump Is President, U.S. Society, Workplace

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Quiz: The Child-Molesting Pitcher”

I think my favorite Comments of the Day are those where a reader is moved to relate a personal experience. That is what Zoltar Speaks!, currently on an Ethics Alarms sabbatical—I can relate—does here, in response to the Ethics Quiz about the star college who either was, or was not, a child molester in his teens.

Incidentally, the poll results on that quiz revealed tat only 25% of those polled felt that his guilty plea should affectt his college baseball career now.

Here is Zoltar’s Comment of the Day on the post, Ethics Quiz: The Child-Molesting Pitcher:

I’ve been waiting to share this since I read this blog post and I just got the “okay” to share this story about an old friend. If this reveals my identity to people that have knowledge of these events please respect my choice of anonymity.

I can tell you that sometimes the accused get terrible, terrible legal advice, my friend was one that got such terrible advice.

Many, many, many years ago my friend was advised, by his attorney and a prosecutor, to plead guilty to a statutory-rape charge about six months after he turned 18 for having sex with a minor girl. The thing is that he never had sex with her but yet he was being accused of it both legally and he was being smeared in the public. He had actually only been on a few of dates with her when we figured out she was a minor, if I remember right she was about to turn 17 – she looked older. My friend dumped her, it was a public rejection revealing that she was lying about her age and she made quite a scene – I was there.

The attorney that advised him to plead guilty was fired and he got an attorney that would fight for him. In the end it turned out that the girl had proven herself to be a pathological liar and this was just one in a long line of big revenge lies she had concocted over the years. It was really interesting that her mother was the one that got directly involved in this case and due to her involvement it was eventually proven by a medical doctor that the girl was still a virgin. I was told that the prosecutors face fell off the front of his head when the evidence was presented to him. The case was dropped before it ever got to court but the accusation stuck in the minds of the public. It’s amazing how that accusation of raping a minor stuck like glue on my friend, people presented the accusation as some kind of evidence that he was a terrible person even though it was completely false. He ended up moving from the area as a result of having to prove himself innocent over and over again. I’m sure there are still people that would think he is a rapist or worse just because he was accused.

You would think that moving away was pretty much the end of the story; nope, there’s more.

A few years after this took place my friend was in a bar a couple of states away from where this all had taken place and ran into this girl, now an adult, with her boyfriend. He didn’t know she was in the bar until her boyfriend confronted him with the accusation that he was the guy that had gotten away with raping her when she was a minor. My understanding is that it came very close to a physical confrontation but he was able to convince the boyfriend to allow him to prove his innocence with actual documentation that he had saved (his attorney advised him to keep everything related to the case in a safe place). You’ll never guess how he got the guy to allow him to prove his innocence; this pathological liar girl had changed her name and that came out in the confrontation and the boyfriend hadn’t known anything about that. The next day, my friend allowed the boyfriend to read the documents plus he got to see photos of the girl as a teenager to prove it was the same girl. He learned that she was a pathological liar, actually thanked my friend for helping him dodge a bullet, and he dumped her. The last I heard anything about the girl, she was in a prison somewhere out west. Continue reading

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Filed under Childhood and children, Comment of the Day, Gender and Sex, Law & Law Enforcement, Romance and Relationships

Comment Of The Day: “Ethics Dunces: Jeremy Lam And The Cultural Appropriation Police”

Huh! I didn’t know this was traditional Chinese business attire! Imagine: This is what Marco Polo must have seen!

The most amusing reaction to the apotheosis of progressive silliness that was the attacks on Utah high-schooler Keziah Daum for wearing a Chinese-style prom dress came from China, where the South China Post’ s Alex Lo, who authored a column titled, “Go ahead, appropriate my culture.” He wrote in part,

If anyone thinks social media is harmless, this incident should prove otherwise. A person called Jeremy Lam apparently first tweeted about her transgression, which is now being called “cultural appropriation”. “My culture is NOT your goddamn prom dress,” he posted…I apologise in advance for contributing to the silliness, but just needed to get it off my chest.  A publication as esteemed as The Independent of London ran a column supportive of the criticism.“The debate her prom pictures have prompted is justified,” the columnist wrote. “Cultural appropriation is about power, and to many she is the embodiment of a system that empowers white people to take whatever they want, go wherever they want and be able to fall back on: ‘Well, I didn’t mean any harm’.”

I would argue those who scream loudest about cultural appropriation are themselves after power…Why does Jeremy Lam think Chinese is his culture? Is his the same as mine? Is it some kind of property like an inheritance? If so, where is the will, written in our DNA, perhaps? And is it taxable or payable, and by whom? Why did Lam write in English? Isn’t he inappropriately appropriating English-speaking culture? …SJWs turn culture into some kind of finite asset, a zero-sum rather than a growing-sum game. They are oblivious or ignorant of how human cultures actually work: culture is cultural appropriation.

The topic sparked many excellent comments here, including this Comment of the Day by Alexander Cheezem…on the post, Ethics Dunces: Jeremy Lam And The Cultural Appropriation Police:

It’s worth noting the issue of what I can only call — with much irony — aggregation bias here. There _has_ to be a term for it that doesn’t rely on punning off a statistical concept, though…”

In reflection, I suppose that what’s going on is technically a variant of the ecological fallacy — but it’s manifesting as a form of bias (in the non-statistical sense) based on the aggregation of behavior… so the term isn’t quite right, leading me right back to punning off of the statistical concept. I can’t explain the issue without a massive amount of technical language (e.g. “the emergent nature of many features of a complex system”).

And that is a huge problem with modern liberalism. Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Around the World, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Journalism & Media, Social Media, U.S. Society

Comment Of The Day: “A Particularly Sad Ethics Dunce: Senator John McCain”

I am bumping Steve-O-in-NJ’s reaction to the depressing drama of Senator John McCain spending his last days in anger and bitterness up in the queue of  pending Comments of the Day, which is long right now. The reason is that his analysis fits neatly into a post I was about to write, but will summarize here as a preface.

The impulse to defend McCain’s recent conduct, notably disinviting President Trump from his funeral in advance, is one more in a long line of signature significance moments, definitively identifying late stage sufferers of anti Trump hysteria. (Trump Derangement Syndrome just isn’t an accurate diagnosis, because it suggests equivalence with the more unhinged critics of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama. There is no comparison. It is like comparing a bad cold to the bubonic plague.) The grotesque theater of a public figure choosing, rather than to end his life with grace, forgiveness and unifying good will, choosing to emulate the mad Ahab, screaming,

“To the last I grapple with thee; from hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee!”

He has gone full-Ahab. You never go full Ahab. But because the equally mad haters of the elected President relish the thought of any insult, attack or indignity hurled Trump’s way, the can’t perceive the obvious. Defending McCain’s prospective snub is as clear a symptom of anti-Trump hysteria as a dog recoiling from water signals rabies.

My usual course is to make an ethics analysis and then check the opinions of analysts who I trust as generally fair and perceptive. Here was Ann Althouse’s take, in part:

It’s very strange — these statements coming from a dying man about what he wants at his funeral. I can’t remember ever hearing anyone talking about his own funeral with the assumption the President of the United States wants to attend and then taking a shot at the President saying don’t attend. I mean, how do you get to be the sort of person who, facing death, imagines everyone clamoring to attend your funeral and then telling some of them you don’t want them there? It’s similar to a Bridezilla, thinking everyone’s so interested in attending her wedding and then being dictatorial toward these people.

I don’t understand it…good Lord! What would possess you to think your funeral is going to be such a hot ticket people will be put out if they can’t attend and then letting it be known who you want on the outs?

I’d like to see more dignity and privacy around McCain as he plays his final scene. It’s his brain that is wrecking him. Shouldn’t his family enclose him and protect him?

Those who respect and care about McCain want him to stop. Those who hate Trump so much they are willing to see a war hero and former Presidential candidate embarrass himself to deliver one more divisive insult just regard him as a means to an end.Here is Steve-O-in-NJ’s Comment of the Day on the post, A Particularly Sad Ethics Dunce: Senator John McCain:

Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Character, Comment of the Day, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics

Comment Of The Day: “Regarding Hormone Restrictions In Women’s Sports”

Heidi/Andreas Krieger, Esat German women’s shotput champion

There were an unusual number of superb comments on this topic. This one is a worthy representative of them all.

Here is Sue Denim’s Comment of the Day on the post, Regarding Hormone Restrictions In Women’s Sports:

While I strongly support the use of science and evidence to make these decisions – this stinks to high heaven. The books were cooked, and very obviously so.

”One of the world’s most respected sports lawyers has quit his position on a committee of the governing body of international athletics, slamming the controversial new rule that is believed to target gold medal-winning South African runner Caster Semenya.”

Four months after being appointed to the IAAF’s disciplinary tribunal, Steve Cornelius said “in good conscience” he could not continue in the role.”

Without going into allegations about “real reasons”, let’s just look at the facts.

“A peer-reviewed article co-authored by Dr Bermon and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found female athletes with high testosterone had the greatest advantage in the pole vault and hammer throw, yet these events were not included in the newly created “restricted events” category.

The IAAF’s investigation also found no advantage in the 1,500 metres event but it was included..”

Let’s look at the evidence of advantage. Continue reading

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Filed under Bioethics, Comment of the Day, Gender and Sex, Research and Scholarship, Science & Technology, Sports