Comment Of The Day: “Fake News Watch 2: The Missing Mask”

What follows is Null Pointer’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Fake News Watch 2: The Missing Mask”.

The Introduction to it is here.

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The media transformation from relatively accurate reporting to lying about everything has been a sight to behold. It was an incremental process that started with bias and evolved into just making stuff up.

The media started out by omitting a fact or two they didn’t like from coverage. No need to confuse anyone with extraneous data that might be interpreted wrongly. The media has a duty to keep people informed with easily interpretable information.

This bias led to the next bias stage, which entailed neglecting to cover stories that were inconvenient to a narrative. People don’t need to know everything. They only need to know the important things. If you report unimportant things, people might get distracted from the important things. The media has a duty to keep people informed of all the important things and they cannot do that if people are distracted by unimportant things.

Then the media started adding opinions to straight news articles and presenting them as fact so people wouldn’t get confused. You have to explain to people why the facts they are looking at don’t say what a normal person would think they say, you see. It is important to be clear. Clarity is important when informing people of things! You cannot just tell people the facts, you need to explain them. Otherwise people might have opinions that conflict with the truth. Then they might question the truth, and questions lead to confusion and misinformation. Confused, misinformed people don’t know the truth. The media has a duty to inform people of the truth. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Fake News Watch 2: The Missing Mask” (Introduction)

This is a little different: I’m going to take up an entire post with the introduction to Null Pointer’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Fake News Watch 2: The Missing Mask.”

This is because the topic of his comment, the gradual devolution of American journalism into what he describes as a continuous slippery slope into complete fiction with an agenda, dovetails so conveniently with a post I was already in the process of writing. “Why not invent a source and say what you think they ought to say?” Null asks. “Then, once you are making stuff up, why not go one step further and just start printing whatever you can imagine? Who cares about the actual truth?”

The fact is that journalists increasingly do not care about “the actual truth.” They no longer see that as the mission of journalism. They see journalism as a tool for social change and political virtue, and feel justified and empowered in doing all all of what Null Pointer describes to that end.

Ted Koppel, the iconic host of ABC’s “Nightline,” has been one of the few voices from broadcast news to try to expose the damage being done by progressive media bias. His opportunities to do so to a large audience have been few: compare the number of times you have seen Koppel opine on the state of journalism compared to Dan Rather, an advocate for manipulated facts for “the greater good,” meaning Progressive Utopia. In 2019 Koppel declared that Trump was “not mistaken” in his belief that the liberal media is “out to get him”—hardly a “Eureka!” worthy observation, but one that Left continues to deny—while it holds one-sided hearings in an investigation designed to find some way to lock Trump up before he can run for President.

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Comment Of The Day: “More From The Bulging ‘It Isn’t What It Is’ File! Unethical Quote Of The Week: Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus

With today’s Comment of the Day, Jim Hodgson weighs in on bad analogies as well as related matters. Bad analogies are a frequent topic here, and The Great Stupid may represent the zenith of bad analogies in our culture—at least I hope and pray it is.

My father, who, like me, was a lawyer who seldom practiced law, maintained that “everyone” should get a law degree, because the kind of critical thinking that law school teaches is no longer available in most colleges. (Once it was taught in grade school). One concept legal arguments rely on constantly are analogies. This is why I found Ruth Marcus employing such a wretched and irredeemable one in the Washington Post so depressing and infuriating. Striking down a vaccine mandate not supported by the law is inconsistent with the Court running its own operations with requirements that those who come into contact with the mostly high-risk Justices have to take very precaution is hypocritical? How? Why? Marcus is a Harvard Law School grad: she was taught better reasoning than that.

I see terrible analogies everywhere. Comparing Donald Trump to Hitler was ridiculous, but comparing the January 6 riot ( when “our government was almost overthrown last year by a guy wearing a Viking hat and speedos,” as Marco Rubio deftly put it) to Pearl Harbor was more ridiculous still, and the Vice President did that, more than once. Was making that idiotic analogy worse than the President calling limits on mail-in balloting the equivalent of Jim Crow laws? Or worse than claiming that enforcing the nation’s borders is “racism”? Actually, this might be a fun parlor game: “The Worst Analogy.”

Here is Jim Hodgson’s Comment of the Day on the post, “More From The Bulging “It Isn’t What It Is” File! Unethical Quote Of The Week: Washington Post Deputy Editorial Page Editor Ruth Marcus”…

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Misleading analogies and false equivalencies are among the favored tools of today’s “journalists.” The Progressive Left and the media (but I repeat myself) have a clear agenda and it isn’t good for the republic. Forty years ago, I railed against the (comparatively mild) bias of news anchors; nowadays they look almost Fox News-ish by comparison.

Marcus and her ilk aren’t really trying to convince “searchers for the truth,” they are merely reinforcing the beliefs and attitudes of those in the “woke bubble” and reaching out only to the easily swayed. I spend a few hours most days reading a variety of news sources online, trying to get an accurate and more complete view of national and world events and issues than I find from any single source. I know not everyone makes this effort, and I regularly refer friends and family to articles and sources (including E.A.) that I think will improve their understanding of issues and events. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Bias Also Makes Philosophers Stupid”

Cornell associate professor of philosophy Kate Manne, decided to employ the disciplines of philosophy to rationalize why she didn’t want to diet any more, calling the urge to lose weight “immoral.” Is it unethical to misuse ethical principles for selfish ends, making trusting readers less informed in the process? I think so.

Commenter Isaac submitted this Comment of the Day to register his objections to her arguments, as he examined the post, “Bias Also Makes Philosophers Stupid” [that’s reality TV star Tammy Slaten above with her boyfriend, who likes her just the way she is…]

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This part is unforgivable and exposes a tainted, delusional worldview:

“patriarchal forces — the forces that tell girls and women in particular to be small, meek, slight, slim and quiet…”

Let’s break down what the “patriarchy” is supposedly demanding of girls, according to the lens through which people indoctrinated like this see the world:

1. “Small” – Women are smaller than men, across the board. Is biology a patriarchal system? Is she saying that by ballooning out into an obese woman, she will achieve equality with taller men and their more dense body structures? Or is she just saying that the patriarchy demands healthy women? (Historically, that’s not even true, if old European paintings have taught me anything.) But even if it were true that the patriarchy desires fit women, survival in a state of nature also demands a healthy body. If anything, “patriarchal” structures (like agriculture and cities) have made it possible for obese people to even exist in the first place. In some utopian feminist treehouse-jungle, fat women would just be eaten by tigers.

This is even dumber when you consider that NOBODY likes, wants, or respects a fat man. As if the patriarchy loves fat dudes but not fat women. She’s already veered into insanity, and it’s just getting started.

2. “Meek” – This is also a product of biology, not culture. Men have higher levels of testosterone, which means they generally take more risks, are louder, more aggressive, and act out more physically, compared to women. If women were as aggressive as men but with otherwise the same biology, they would be getting themselves killed in violent confrontations with men at obscene rates throughout history. It’s not likely that the demographic balance between men and women would even be sustainable that way, which means over time women would just go back to being largely “meek” again, as less aggressive women would outlast more aggressive ones. Instead of celebrating the unique qualities of women, this philosopher thinks that it’s unfair that women aren’t just…men.

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

In this Comment of the Day, the first of two this morning, Extradimensional Cephalopod provides useful perspective on the logical and ethical flaws inherent in the trans athletes fiasco, as well as the weak arguments presented by advocates of biological males competing in girls’ and women’s sports. [That’s transgender female powerlifter Janae Kroc above, before (when she was Matthew Kroczaleski, and after. He/she calls himself/herself “gender fluid,” so when feeling feminine, Janae competes against women. She does…well.]

Here is EC’s COTD, on the post, “On Transgender Competitors Being Permitted In Women’s Sports: Is It Possible To Be More Ethically And Logically Muddled Than This?”

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The nature of most sports is a form of the liability of conflict: uncertain motivational obstacles. People want to be uncertain about the outcome of a sporting event, such that much of what decides the outcome is the motivation, the character, and the efforts of the competitors. That’s why weight classes in wrestling and boxing exist. If one competitor is larger and more physically powerful than the others, and that makes a predictable difference, that moves the event into the realm of scarcity: known physical obstacles, and out of the realm of sports.

If we want to spend the money to decouple gender and ability in sports, well and good. As long as they’re tied together, though, ability must be the priority for arranging match-ups, or else it stops being sport. (Testosterone treatments are a separate factor that would probably need to have its own class, because they’re artificial treatments that cause muscle growth.)

Due to budgetary constraints, only a subset of the most physically capable (cisgender) students are usually able to compete in academic sports, which rules out most students. (Sometimes there are also the equivalent of the Paralympics, to allow people with physical impairments to compete in sports with other athletes of similar physical ability.) Everyone who doesn’t make the team does other things, and sometimes they do amateur sports. People aren’t entitled to be on the school team, though. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Introduction: Will The Audacious ‘It Isn’t What it is’ Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?”

And today’s Comment of the Day by Steve-O-in-NJ is….but seriously folks, Steve-O has been especially pointed and prolific since he was called a “racist suck-up” by a troll who got himself banned here in record time. (Steve-O’s commentary on that was also Comment of the Day worthy.) This COTD takes off from the post’s citing of the Obama Administration’s disingenuous justification for not enforcing our immigration laws. And then there’s more.

Here is Steve-O’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Introduction: Will The Audacious ‘It Isn’t What it is’ Propaganda Assault By The American Left Succeed?”

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Prosecutorial discretion? Prosecutorial discretion is moving to dismiss a case because the evidence is weak and might not make it over the hump of reasonable doubt or there were procedural errors that might result in it getting kicked. It might also be dropping prosecutions because the law has changed or is about to change (i.e. the repeal of the Volstead Act). Like any discretion, though, it can be abused, and I’d say that wholesale refusals to enforce broad areas of the law constitute abuse of discretion. The point of being a prosecutor in the first place is to enforce the law by prosecuting offenders, not thwart the law by dismissing offenders.

The times were when this crap wasn’t tolerated. Waaay back in 1994 George Pataki was elected Governor of New York, denying Mario Cuomo the fourth term that now his son will also never get. He was elected partially on the promise to bring back the death penalty, which Cuomo steadfastly opposed. He did and was applauded for doing so by a fed-up populace. However, liberal “maverick ” (or so the media called him) Robert Johnson, then District Attorney of the Bronx, publicly declared that his office would not seek the death penalty under any circumstances. Inevitably, a case that was eligible came up, he declined to seek the penalty, and Pataki’s AG took the case away from him, which the courts later upheld, since District Attorney was an executive office and the governor was the head of the executive branch, although NY district attorneys are elected, not appointed by him like county prosecutors are in NJ. That said, I am metaphysically certain that there would have been no such case had the governor and the DA not been of different political parties. Even assuming the death penalty was already in place, and not a just-passed pet project of the governor, I am certain that a Democratic governor would have just said “prosecutorial discretion” and that would have been the end of it.

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Comment Of The Day: “Council Rock Elementary School, ‘Jingle Bells,’ And When Something Trivial Demands A Strong Response (Part One)”

The infuriating/ridiculous/frightening saga of an elementary school in Brighton, New York deciding to ban “Jingle Bells” inspired several superb posts, none better than the Comment of the Day by Charles Abbott. Mr. Abbott lives in Brighton, and provided much insight regarding this weird episode, which I wrote about here and here. And here is Charles’ Comment of the Day:

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Brighton is a suburb of Rochester NY. Rochester NY is about half way between Buffalo and Syracuse in the western part of New York State.

Brighton is a prosperous suburb, mostly inhabited by households in the upper middle class or professional classes. The suburb of Brighton is contiguous to the City of Rochester. The Brighton Central School District student performance consistently ranks among the 10 best school districts in all of New York State. This has a lot to do with the characteristics of the households who live there, as well as the quality of the teachers and the curriculum.

It’s worth mentioning that a Brighton zip code, 14618, is possibly the “most Jewish” zip code in New York State west of the Hudson River Valley. I live in 14618–offhand I can think of 5 synagogues within a 2 miles of my rhouse–two of them are pretty large by local standards. A Jewish friend of mine pointed out to me that I actually live within an “eruv” (look it up–it was news to me!). I mention this because observers have long noted the tendency of Jewish Americans to lean liberal or Left. The most conservative suburb of Rochester is probably Greece, NY to the NW of Rochester. Brighton tends to be a liberal suburb–upper middle class and liberal–perhaps smugly liberal. Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “Christmas Ethics Stocking Stuffers, 12/25/21,” Item #3, The ACLU And Canceling Student Loan Debts

Activists And Musicians Gather At The White House To Greet The Staff With Joyful Music And A Demand To Cancel Student Debt

I have a frightening backlog of posts and topics (especially after getting the bare minimum up during the traditional Christmas Traffic Crash,though in 2021 the whole year has been something of a crash, but “that way madness lies”), but this Comment of the Day by the ever-provocative and reasonable Extradimensional Cephalopod pushed it’s way to the front of the line on sheer merit.

Here is his/its (EC had never specified his pronouns, and for that I am grateful) COTD on yesterday’s collection of notes, specifically #3 on the ALCU pimping for student loan forgiveness:

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I think the whole “student debt” issue should be re-framed.

Q1: Why do so many people need to go to college?

A1a: To learn how to think, in theory.
Rejoinder to A1: They should be learning to think in primary and secondary schools, and in their families and communities.
A1b: To get jobs that require college degrees.

From A1b:
Q2: Why do they need jobs that require college degrees? Continue reading

Comment Of The Day: “An Ethics Alarms Challenge: How Would You Respond To This?” [Corrected]

Dear Friend

As I suspected it might, the Ethics Alarms post challenging readers to propose the best and most ethical way to respond to a lawyer’ self-flagellating declaration that he was a racist and only recently realized it sparked several Comment of the Day-worthy responses. The first is from mermaidmary99, whose comments are almost always spammed by WordPress, including this one. I have no clue why. Here is mermaidmary99’s Comment of the Day on the post, “An Ethics Alarms Challenge: How Would You Respond To This?.”

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Dear Friend,

Wow, thank you for sharing such a heartfelt and personal journey.

In reading your words, I can see you are deeply moved. I’m thankful for your awareness of your experiences.

What I’m not understanding is how what you shared makes you a racist. In fact, that you see there have been injustices to me would show the opposite.

Can you clarify how you specifically are racist? Do you believe Mexicans are lazy? Do you hold that native Americans were savages? That black people are lesser because of skin color? Have you deliberately treated others badly and wished them harm because of their race?

I’m not seeing that in your writing, but if so, then yes, you have acted with prejudice in the past and that’s wrong and good to become aware of.

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Comment Of The Day: “The Police Traffic Stop Ethics Dilemma”

Daunte-Wright-and-Kim-Potter

I am grateful to Humble Talent for authoring a more thorough consideration of the ongoing Kim Potter trial , in which a Minnesota ex-cop faces murder charges for fatally shooting young, black Daunte Wright behind the wheel of his vehicle when he appeared to be preparing to flee, placing a fellow officer in danger. She mistakenly drew her gun and fired it instead of her taser, and there is no dispute over whether this was an accident or not. It was. I believe that bringing murder charges against Potter was an abuse of prosecution discretion, and yet another instance of prosecutors letting public opinion and threatened violence dictate their decisions.

Here is Humble Talent’s Comment of the Day on the Kim Potter trial and the Daunte Wright case’s relevance to the post, “The Police Traffic Stop Ethics Dilemma”:

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“Being pulled over for a broken taillight shouldn’t end in death. Too often, it does.”

I’ve followed this case since jury selection. And boy howdy this one has been dry… Some of the more interesting parts of this were probably the jury selection… by the third day of jury selection the state had used all their unqualified passes, so they had to let through a finance guy who LARPs with a battleaxe on the weekends and had some very pro-defense inclinations, as an example. There was also an ACAB activist who tried to lie to sneak onto the jury, but Earl Grey (the lawyer’s actual name) had scoured all the potential jurists social media feeds and fed her back quotes about how cops should be shot. The shock in the potential jurists voice and the immediate change in her demeanor was delicious.

And so I think that I’ve seen at least what the jury has in this case. The only thing they’ve kept from the feeds are the pictures of the deceased, and I’m pretty sure they’re doing that because Daunte’s pants slid off during first aid and they didn’t want his junk on primetime. Empathetically: Daunte was not shot over for a busted taillight.

He was pulled over because he had an air freshener hanging off the rearview. Apparently this is a ticketable offense in some jurisdictions. But I’m not sure that he actually would have been ticketed for the tree… Things like that are often pretenses to see if you can find more. And boy howdy, did they.

Before they got out of their car, for instance, they knew that the tags on the vehicle’s insurance was expired. When they interacted with Daunte, Daunte told them he didn’t have his license on him, but he gave them his name, date of birth, and some other information. The officers noted the strong smell of marijuana and saw some bud in the console. They went back to the car and were able to surmise a few things:

1) The car was not in fact insured. (They didn’t know this at the time, but it hadn’t been for years)
2) Daunte did not have a driver’s license. (They didn’t know this at the time, but he never had)
3) Daunte had an outstanding warrant for a weapons violation. (They didn’t know this at the time, but he tried to extort rent money out of a tenant at gunpoint.)
4) Daunte also had a restraining order out against him from his ex-girlfriend, and there was a female passenger in the car.
5) Marijuana is still fully illegal in Minnesota.

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