Now THIS Is An Unethical Movie Review!

True, it comes to us from The Daily Kos, so it shouldn’t be news. That far, far Left site jumped the ethics shark so long ago, the shark was a Megalodon, and the Julie Principle was devised for such situations. The Daily Kos is dishonest, biased, and believes in stimulating its loyal progressive-wacko readership by any means necessary, so why is Ethics Alarms pointing out that it is again doing what it does and can be relied upon to do, without shame or regret?

Just this: unethical film, stage, and book reviews are a passion of mine, and I’ve never seen one this bad.

The headline at the Kos is “Movie review: ‘My Son Hunter’ is a soft-porn conspiracy flick for weird conservative incels.”

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The President Scores A Jumbo!

And it’s a really funny Jumbo, almost as funny as Jimmy’s (“Elephant? What elephant?”), if you ignore how sad, scary and pathetic Biden saying that now is.

Biden last night: “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our Republic.”

Biden today: “I don’t consider any Trump supporter a threat to the country.”

Divisive rhetoric? What divisive rhetoric?”

Ah, so many things jump into my fevered brain…

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Ethics Dunce: The Denver Public School System

Oh yeah, our public school students are in the very best of hands.

Get this:

A video called “Don’t be a Bystander: 6 Tips for Responding to Racist Attacks,” was shown to Denver South High School students in their classes. The film explains that “in our current political moment, White supremacists and White nationalists have been emboldened, and as a result, public attacks are on the rise.”  Those tips for responding to “racist attacks” include do “not call the police” because it “escalates, rather than reduces” violence.  You see, “police have been trained to see people of color, gender-nonconforming folks, and Muslims as criminals, they often treat victims as perpetrators of violence. So, if the victim hasn’t asked you to call the police, do not — I repeat, do not — call the police.”

Apparently some parents had a problem with this particularly heinous example of indoctrination. Five law enforcement associations in Colorado also objected  to the video, warning that it would increase “negative perceptions of law enforcement and [hurt] our efforts to build trusting relationships within the communities we serve, including schools and student populations.”

Ya think?

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Ethics Dunces: The Operators Of Detroit’s Belle Isle Park

This place should not be in business.

The Giant Slide at Belle Isle Park reopened last week after being closed for two years because of the pandemic (how this ride could possibly be a virus-spreader is beyond me, but that’s The Great Stupid for you). The 50-foot metal slide has been a  Detroit summer tradition since 1967. When it went back into operation last week, however, “the waxing was a little robust,” according to Ron Olson, the chief of parks and recreation for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It’s nice that he can be so cavalier about people nearly breaking their necks. As a result of that robust waxing, every bump in the slide sent fun-seekers airborne, as you can see from one of the many videos made of the thing above. One woman bumped her head and lost her phone, headphones, glasses, a shoe and even a sock on the way down.

What fun! GMAC Cash, a Detroit rapper, even put the experience to song: “You can break your back, on the Giant Slide,” he raps. “You can even break your neck, on the giant slide. You can even bump your head, on the giant slide.”

Apparently nobody connected with the park bothered to stage a few test runs to see if the slide was safe after being put back into service after two years. No state agency checked it either, though most such amusement park attractions have to be inspected before the public can use them. It gets worse. Even though the ride was obviously dangerous, over 500 sliders risked their necks before the slugs operating the park thought hard about the violence they were seeing and said, “Ya know, maybe we need to fix this.” Then they closed the ride. (It reopened last weekend.)

The ethical values on display here are competence and responsibility, or rather the lack of them. The fact that nobody was seriously injured is pure moral luck. This is how people get killed.

The episode ranks an “Otter”:

Unethical Quote Of The Month: NY Gov. Kathy Hochul

“We are fighting for democracy. We’re fighting to bring government back to the people and out of the hands of dictators. Trump and Zeldin and Molinaro – just jump on a bus and head down to Florida where you belong. OK? Get out of town. Because you don’t represent our values.”

—-New York’s unelected, acting-Governor Kathy Horchul, fighting for democracy and against dictatorship by ordering American citizens out of her state because she doesn’t like their political beliefs

Wow. How must it feel to New Yorkers to get rid of a thuggish governor like Andrew Cuomo and have this as his replacement? Well, come to think of it, it probably feels fine, since they continue to vote for unethical hypocrites election cycle after election cycle. Nonetheless, Hochul is special. Democrats have been projecting their own totalitarian ways on their political opponents for many moons now, but seldom has the flagrant absurdity reached this epic level of self-indictment. Does Hochul even know what democracy means? Does her party? “Get out of the state if you won’t do things my way”? Exile for  dissidents?

We saw this before from Democrats—if a GOP mayor or governor ever demanded that her opponents move out, I missed it—back in 2012. Then the mayors of Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City all vowed to ban the fast food chain Chick-Fil-A  from their cities because its CEO Dan Cathy expressed his support for a traditional definition of marriage, meaning that same-sex marriage was not on his list of favorite things. Pundit Ed Morrisey called their grandstanding the beginnings of “the easy slide into fascism.” Ethics Alarms called it “Democratic politicians attempting to use the power of elected office to stifle free speech and impose mandatory thought conformity,” and elaborated in part, Continue reading

Weekend Ethics Loose Ends, 8/21-22/2022: Brian Stelter Does A Cheney

Now THAT was an insurrection! On August 22 in 1831, Nat Turner, an educated slave, killed his owner and escaped withe seven followers, planning on recruiting a slave army and capturing Virginia’s Southampton county armory. His strategy was then to march 30 miles to Virginia’s Great Dismal Swamp, where his army could hide out and strike at will. Turner and his recruits attacked homes throughout Southampton County, killing about 60 white men, women and children. The Virginia state militia, with greatly larger numbers, ended the rebellion while killing many of those who had joined him. The episode resulted in vengeful lynching of many slaves, even those who were not involved in Turner’s revolt

Nat Turner eluded capture until the end of October. Unrepentant, he  was tried, convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged on November 11.

I noticed, in researching this story, that apparently the word “slave” is now taboo, and the politically correct term is “enslaved people.

They were slaves. That is what I will continue to call them. Next we will be commanded to refer to them as “non-volunteer unpaid employees.” The only way to stop creeping Orwellian linguistics is to refuse to tolerate it.

1. Careful…whatever it is that Liz Cheney has might be contagious. Cheney’ s vainglorious self-celebration and presumption of martyrdom after being justly crunched by Republican primary voters in Wyoming was quickly followed by an even more outrageous display of imagined virtue by the ridiculous Brian Stelter, now looking for some other news organization to help pervert. Among a myriad of other flaws, Stelter’s fake journalism watchdog show, “Reliable Sources,” had finally tanked in the ratings (along with CNN in general), perhaps because it no longer even pretended to report informatively on how well (and ethically) the news media was doing its job, and was only repeating anti-Trump, anti-conservative talking points and attacking Fox News.

In his final show, instead of leaving in an ethical and dignified manner, Stelter decided to perform a Cheney on steroids. Among his gagworthy declarations was that “teachers use segments from this show all the time in classrooms, in lessons, guiding and teaching the next generation.”

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Ethics Dunce: GOP Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake

Boy, there are a lot of horrible, unqualified, inept Republicans running for office! In Georgia, Senate candidate Herschel Walker continues to make little sense while mangling facts every time he opens his mouth. Carl Paladino, the New York GOP’s candidate for Congress who already declared that Adolf Hitler was a “doer” and the kind of leader we needed today, recently said the US attorney general should “probably be executed.” After people had a problem with this for some reason, Paladino swore he was just joking. He’s a funny guy!

In Pennsylvania, where the Democratic candidate for on open U.S. Senate seat is suffering the after-effects of a stroke and still has trouble speaking (though his party’s President has lowered the bar on that score considerably), the GOP is running TV doctor and Oprah acolyte Mehmet Oz because Republican primary voters just can’t resist unqualified celebrities (See Walker above). Oz made his honesty an issue when he was asked an easy question: “How many homes to you own?” Dr. Oz’s reply: “Well I, legitimately, I own two houses. But, uh, one of them we’re building on; the other ones I rent.”

Translation: “Huminahuminahumina…” As a little research rapidly demonstrated, the former TV doctor actually owns ten residential properties (plus as many as eight commercial ones). After this was pointed out by his opponent, Oz “clarified” by resorting to the Clintonesque tactic of distinguishing a house from a home. Obviously Oz wouldn’t give an honest answer because it would make him look like what he in fact is: someone who is, by average American standards, wildly wealthy…not that there’s anything wrong with that.

And now we arrive at Kari Lake, another Trump-endorsed Republican candidate, running for Governor of Arizona. She’s attractive! She’s female! She’s conservative!

She endorsed a raging anti-Semite!

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And THIS Is Why I Do Not Trust “Philosophers”: Sam Harris, Ethics Villain

lf you are not familiar with Sam Harris, who has gained a fair amount of visibility (hear-ability?) as a result of his podcast, you might want to listen to the first 35 minute or so of the interview with him above, but the important part comes afterwards. As soon as your hear that, assuming you’re not Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff or George Conway, you will realize that you wasted your time, because the man is not worth taking seriously.

He is completely, thoroughly, through-and-through ruined by the hatred of Donald Trump, and so biased that his reasoning cannot be relied upon for anything. It doesn’t matter that he’s a neuroscientist, New York Times best-selling author, a genuine philosopher, and credentialed public intellectual. He’s useless. He’s a fraud. Trustworthy people simply don’t hold such opinions—not only hold them, but eagerly broadcast them. It’s a signature significance orgy!

The interview is outright scary, and should make people seek psychiatric attention when they sense they are nearing the point that Harris has, tragically, reached. Harris is honest and clear-eyed enough to recognize the (still running) 2016 Post Election Ethics Train Wreck for what it is [“Taking down the New York Post’s [laptop article]? That’s a Left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump. Absolutely it was. But I think it was warranted.”] but not ethical enough to realize that as an authority and scholar lesser mortals rely upon for enlightenment, he has an obligation not to sink into mob mentality just because he is surrounded by peers and friends who are consumed with unthinking fear, anger and hate.

After expressing his approval of Liz Cheney’s announced determination to use any means necessary to prevent Donald Trump from running for President, Harris is asked “You’re content with a conspiracy to prevent somebody being democratically elected President?” He responds with a flaming rationalization stew (and a terrible analogy) that belongs in the “Bias makes you stupid” Hall of Fame: “If there was an asteroid hurtling toward earth and we got in a room together with all of our friends and had a conversation of what we could do to deflect its course, is that a conspiracy?”

Ah! See, if Trump is the same as an extinction-threatening asteroid, so “Ethics is a luxury we can’t afford,” “It can’t make things any worse,” “It’s for a good cause,” “These are not ordinary times” and more rationalizations all apply. But Trump is just a politician and a human being, and even our politicized scientists cannot declare him an extinction event. Nor is planning a conspiracy: there are no laws declaring that blocking the path of an asteroid is wrongful. When someone as intelligent as Harris once was hears something that stupid leaping from his mouth, he must be able to recognize it, or something is seriously amiss.

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Ethics Dunce (And Partisan Hack): Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Goldman

Daniel Goldman earns the Ethics Alarms clip with Sir Thomas More’s scalding indictment of the character of “A Man For All Seasons” villain Richard Rich, “Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales?”

Donald Trump, fighting a coordinated (I believe) Democratic assault from all sides in a desperate effort to neutralize him (an effort than has continued unsuccessfully for a ludicrous six years!) invoked his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination at a deposition for New York Attorney General Letitia James (D). While the ongoing January 6 kangaroo court in the House seeks to prove that Trump planned an “insurrection,” and the Justice Department raided his home ostensibly to find sufficient evidence to prosecute him for mishandling of classified documents, James is continuing her state’s long-running attempts to prove Trump engaged in illegal financial activity and/or corrupt business practices

After Trump’s non-response was reported, Goldman, who was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York for 10 years, tweeted,

“The Fifth Amendment ensures that people are not forced to incriminate themselves. But you don’t take the Fifth if you didn’t do anything wrong.”

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Stop Making Me Defend Pete Rose!

Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hit leader who received a lifetime (and justified) ban from baseball for betting on games while a manager, was my very first Ethics Dunce, way back in January of 2004, on the old Ethics Scoreboard. Since then Pete has come up here often, with a thick and varied ethics dossier. The man is a slimeball; there is no disputing it. He knowingly violated baseball’s most inviolate rule; he lied about it in more than one way; he ended up in jail for defrauding the IRS; he has attempted multiple schemes to cash in on his own misconduct. Rose is the poster boy for the King’s Pass: he assumed that rules and laws didn’t apply to him because he was a Great and Beloved Player. Yes, he was a great, beloved, unique and entertaining player, but Pete Rose wouldn’t know an ethical value if it were nailed to his forehead.

And yet…the most recent attack on Rose’s character is contrived and unfair.

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