Woke World is losing what was left of its collective mind over “Ye’s” (that’s who used to be called Kanye West) stunt of using designer “White Lives Matter” T-shirts to promote his new fashion line “YZY” during Paris Fashion Week. Not only was the former Mr. Kardashian wearing the automatically offensive garment, but so was much-reviled black conservative Candace Owens.
Ye is almost certainly mentally and/or emotionally ill, but the rapper’s schtick is pushing buttons, and he does that boldly and very well. Being a little crazy probably helps. The question: Is there anything wrong with a T-shirt that says “White Lives Matter,” or unethical about wearing one?
There is one aspect of it that may be wrong: if doing so is only an intentional effort to upset people, reasonably or not, then the shirt invokes the Second Niggardly Principle:
“When an individual or group can accomplish its legitimate objectives without engaging in speech or conduct that will offend individuals whose basis for the supposed offense is emotional, mistaken or ignorant, but is not malicious and is based on well-established impulses of human nature, it is unethical to intentionally engage in such speech or conduct.”
Ye, being Kanye (or vice versa) only wants to offend, because that’s what gives him the publicity and attention that to him is like water to a fish. The shirts are not the product of deep philosophical thought. Nonetheless, the fashion writer that the New York Times sicced on the controversy m (Vanessa Friedman) is showing her bias (and you know what bias does) by writing, in a piece called “There Is No Excuse for Ye’s ‘White Lives Matter’ Shirt,”
The current mainstream media propaganda narrative is that the new Supreme Court term that began this week is shadowed by the peril of “losing legitimacy,” a code for “not following rigged polls and angering Democrats who don’t have a SCOTUS rubber stamp any more like they did for decades.” This theme is (I would say obviously but I’ve decided I use “obviously” too often) part of the strategy, begun under Barack Obama to save his unconstitutional Affordable Care Act, to bully, intimidate and lobby the justices in what is a blatant corruption of the justice system.
“The Week’s” contributing editor Harold Maas helpfully has produced an opinion piece that serves as a useful template in considering the legitimacy of these laments about Supreme Court legitimacy. To begin with, Maas isn’t a lawyer, which explains why he doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. He, like most of the critics of the Court he cherry-picks in his screed, seems to think that whether a judge’s decision is right or not depends on how popular it is or whether the public would rule the same way. Under this warped concept (see, I wanted to write “of course” again) Judge Caverly would have responded to Clarence Darrow’s eloquent and thoughtful plea for mercy to be shown the young thrill killing duo of Leopold and Loeb by having them hanged. There would be no Brown v. Board of Education. We would have had many more decisions like the infamous ruling in Korematsu v. United States where a liberal Court approved FDR’s internment of U.S. citizens of Japanese ancestry because the racist, panic-driven, wildly unconstitutional policy was popular.
You know: Legitimacy!
I’ve already read, just in the last few days, more than ten articles making essentially the same (bad) argument as Maas, though he makes it particularly unethically and so transparently from the perspective of a progressive partisan, which is why I admire it. Consider:
In his Comment of the Day, Steve-O-in NJ came up with something I’ve been searching for: a good analogy for the hate that Donald Trump has been subjected to. Tellingly, Steve’s analogy is a nation, not another human being. But in Steve’s example, only one man was demanding destruction, not whole institutions and sectors of society: Cato the Elder, also known as Cato the Censor and Cato the Wise.
Boy, I would much rather write about Marcus Porcius Cato ( Born: 234 BC, Tusculum, Italy; Died: 149 BC, Rome) than Trump. His best quotes alone should pique your interest, among them:
“After I’m dead I’d rather have people ask why I have no monument than why I have one.”
“An angry man opens his mouth and shuts his eyes.”
“Anger so clouds the mind that it cannot perceive the truth.”
“Grasp the subject, the words will follow.”
“He is nearest to the gods who knows how to be silent.”
“He who fears death has already lost the life he covets.”
“I can pardon everybody’s mistakes except my own.”
“I prefer to do right and get no thanks than to do wrong and receive no punishment.”
“If you are ruled by mind you are a king; if by body, a slave.”
“Patience is the greatest of all virtues.”
“The hero saves us. Praise the hero! Now, who will save us from the hero?”
“The worst ruler is one who cannot rule himself.”
“Those who are serious in ridiculous matters will be ridiculous in serious matters.”
“‘Tis sometimes the height of wisdom to feign stupidity.”
“Wise men learn more from fools than fools from the wise.”
I wouldn’t raise the issue except that the conservative blogs and commentators seem to be horrified by this most minor of pop culture developments—the sexual orientation of a five-decades-old Hanna-Barbara cartoon character?–and the usual progressive suspects are awash with joy. (Well, I guess you have to take your victories where you find them, however minuscule.)
The ethics issues are encompassed in the routine question, “What’s going on here?”
Shortly after turning over 15 boxes of government material to the National Archives in January, former President Donald J. Trump directed a lawyer working for him to tell the archives that he had returned all the documents he had taken from the White House at the end of his presidency, according to two people familiar with the discussion.
The lawyer, Alex Cannon, had become a point of contact for officials with the National Archives, who had tried for months to get Mr. Trump to return presidential records that he failed to turn over upon leaving office. Mr. Cannon declined to convey Mr. Trump’s message to the archives because he was not sure if it was true, the people said.
The story was leaked to, naturally, Maggie Haberman, the full-time Trump Fury on the Times staff. She’s currently peddling a book full of anti-Trump tales, gossip and embarrassments. A lot of her stories over the last six years have been about what the President supposedly said behind closed door, or suggested, or asked others to do, none of which actually came to anything but the point is to make Trump look bad, dangerous or stupid. Of course, ethical aides, associates and lawyer don’t tell hostile reporters (or anyone at all) about such conversations because they are in the positions they are because the President trusts them. Donald Trump has been betrayed by such people more times, I would estimate, than all of the last six Presidents combined. Continue reading →
Gee, what a shocking development! Non-gay audiences haven’t flocked to see a romantic comedy that advertises itself like that!
I’m a movie fan. I have lots of gay friends, family members and associates: I worked in the theater for decades. I respect them all; I support their right to live and love and marry whomever they please; I want them to be treated like any other law-abiding Americans in all things as they are judged solely on the content of their character, and regard discrimination and bias against them as despicable and unconscionable.
But I don’t enjoy watching gay sex and related activities. I have every right to feel that way. I would no more pay, or take time out of my sock drawer duties, to see “Bros” than I would watch an NFL game, or attend a one-man show by Alec Baldwin. So sue me. But I think there are millions of Americans with similar tastes, and they span the generations.
Apparently the makers of “Bros” convinced themselves that non-gay (I will say “cis” when there is a loaded gun at my head and not before) Americans, who are, believe it or not, the majority, would go to see a romantic comedy about gays because they have been told that they should, and are bigots if the don’t comply. Non-gay America replied, “Bite me!,” and good for them. Continue reading →
The first observation is that neither of the surprises should surprise anyone at all. Former NFL football star Herschel Walker is about as vulnerable a political candidate for high office as one can imagine, even in the “Get Trump!” era. I’ve covered much of this already. He’s exaggerated his scholastic achievements, hidden the fact that he has several children conceived without the formality of marriage, admitted bouts with mental illness and a suicide attempt, and vaguely acknowledges committing domestic violence.
Walker has no political experience or relevant achievements that would make him a qualified candidate for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. He’s a local celebrity and has personal charisma; he is also an African-American in a state with a lot of black voters (and football fans). That’s about it. In the United States of America in the Age of the Great Stupid, that can also be enough.
It was irresponsible for the Republican Party to present such a cynically-chosen nominee to the voters of Georgia, incompetent for voters to check his name in the primary, and certifiably stupid for the GOP to store a substantial amount of their chances of taking back control of the Senate on such a shaky vessel.
…and for Amherst itself, a test of how well its totalitarian indoctrination program is working. Just look at this head-exploding thing:
The new policy at Amherst College has each student and teacher fill out an anonymous survey to state whether they want a mask mandate in their classroom. If a single student, or the instructor, so desires, everyone will be required to wear a mask, despite the fact that masking as the paranoid and largely useless security-blanket response to the lurking Wuhan virus and its relatives is no longer required by CDC guidelines (Science!) and that masks are now almost exclusively worn by phobics, lock-step progressives seeking to show their fealty using the equivalent of a Nazi armband, and people so immuno-compromised that they probably shouldn’t be out in public at all. Continue reading →
Ugh. Even the trustworthy right-ish media misled inexcusably on this one, and, of course, “Republicans pounced.”
Two days ago, Indian actress Priyanka Chopra Jonas asked Harris at a Democratic National Committee event about the Biden administration’s goals as a “global influencer” on climate policy when it comes to poorer countries.
“It is our lowest-income communities and our communities of color that are most impacted by these extreme conditions and impacted by issues that are not of their own making,” Harris replied. “And so we have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity.”
How did this become a statement by Harris about how aid would be distributed to communities in Florida and South Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Ian? Let’s see: