Prelude To “The Pandemic Creates A Classic And Difficult Ethics Conflict, But The Resolution Is Clear,” Part III… Ethics Quote Of The Century: President Donald J. Trump

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“Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life.”

—–President Donald J. Trump, writing on Twitter in October, after he tested positive

When everybody is attacking and insulting the President now, especially those who didn’t have the guts to do so when he wasn’t a lame duck and they were still afraid of him, this seems like a propitious time to give him due credit for an important and perceptive statement that perfectly expresses the message of the final installment of an Ethics Alarms series that began way back in May.

The sentiment the President succinctly and eloquently expressed was quintessentially American, as well as identical to what other leaders have been lauded for in the past. President Trump, in contrast, was attacked and condemned for expressing this simple truth. He “downplayed the deadly threat of the virus” said the Times. “He isn’t taking the pandemic seriously!” erupted Vogue. After all, the virus “ruined” Amanda Kloot’s life! How dare he not tell as all to be terrified, and to make all of our plans and calibrate our decisions and goals based on the assumption that doom was nigh.

Funny, I don’t recall historians condemning FDR for “downplaying” the threat of the Great Depression when he said,

I don’t recall the British accusing Winston Churchill of downplaying the threat posed by Nazi Germany while hundreds of thousands of British troops were nearly trapped an Dunkirk, and he announced to Parliament, “We will never surrender!”:

This is because the news media, tunnel-visioned health experts, and elected officials who want to make Americans dependent of the government psychologically and factually, want the nation to be fearful. They want us to surrender to the pandemic. They want us to allow it to control out lives. And for most of this year, it has.

President Trump is among the Americans I would view most unlikely to utter an ethical statement, much less a great one, but this was a great statement, essential, inspirational, and right.

I assume this is sufficient notice of what the conclusion of Part III will be.

[If you review the linked post, note that every one of the ten stipulation I laid out in May are still accurate.]

Tales Of The Great Stupid: Wow…Who Could Have Seen THIS Coming?

Children are being bombarded by media and social media propaganda asserting that a vast number of people are trapped in bodies having the “wrong” sex organs, and celebrating the “T’s in the LGBTQ+ interest-group-of-convenience as the cool new martyrs. Thus an increasing number of these children convince their woke and irresponsible parents, and doctors who would rather be politically correct than “do no harm,” to divert their fates from the natural biological path to something else, because everybody is doing it, or everybody is saying it’s the right thing to do. It shouldn’t take much to figure out this is a terrible trend based on terrible reasoning, but there are so many such trends and ideas flourishing now that it’s hard to bat them all away.

And so we have the case of 23-year-old Keira Bell in Great Britain, who is suing a National Health Service gender clinic that she says should have challenged her decision to transition to male as a teenager. A tomboy as a child, Keira says her determination to switch gender gradually built up as she found out more about transitioning online, and “one step led to another.”

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New Year’s Ethics Warm-Up, Entertainment Edition

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1. “That’s Entertainment!” Once again, Turner Movie Classics ran all of the “That’s Entertainment!’ series as its New Year’s Eve programming. Last time TCM did this, primary host Ben Mankiewicz won ethics points for having the guts to say, as his fellow hosts were gushing about MGM musicals between “That’s Entertainment!” 1 and 2, that he regarded movie musicals as in the same category as super-hero movies today: diverting fluff, but not cinematic masterpieces. I don’t completely agree with him, but as Mankiewicz has shown before, he has integrity as an expert analyst, and does not hesitate to register opinions that his audience might not like. (Where Ben is wrong in his comparison is that the old movie musicals showcase astonishing talents that we are unlikely to see the like of again—Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Danny Kaye, Julie Andrews and others—while the super-hero movies merely display special effects that we are doomed to see repeated for the rest of our lives. In support of Ben’s point, I have to admit that watching “That’s Entertainment” one is struck by how few truly great movie musicals there were.

Last night, Ben scored again as a truth-teller. After mouthing the conventional wisdom that Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire were regarded as the greatest dancers in Hollywood history, he added, “Of course, Eleanor Powell and the Nicholas Brothers might disagree.” As an early clip in “That’s Entertainment!” shows, a dance-off between Astaire and Powell, she could match Fred step for step. The Nicholas Brothers, who only appear briefly in TE1, never had a chance to impress white audiences, but when you watch them, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that they could perform feats of feet that neither Kelly nor Astaire could match.

2. “That’s Entertainment!” (cont.) The series is as good an example as one could find of why sequel are cheats most of the time. The first in the series was perfectly conceived: at a time of national cynicism in the wake of Watergate and Vietnam, during a period where movies were becoming violent and bloody and MGM, once the “Dream Factory,” was being sold off. Jack Haley, Jr, the son of Judy Garland’s Tim Man and an MGM executive, had the idea of using old clips and old stars from Hollywood’s Golden Age to show a new generation what thrilled their parents and grandparents. In part because of Haley’s clever choices of material and his editing, the movie worked better than anyone could have imagined. I saw it in D.C. grand Uptown theater (it just closed it doors forever, killed by the lockdown) with a packed house of Baby Boomers. During the opening credits, the audience broke into spontaneous applause as each names of the co-hosts, past their primes all (except for Liza Minnelli), appeared on the screen. Donald O’Connor! (Applause)…Mickey Rooney! (Applause). I’ve never witnessed anything like it.

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Follow-Up From The Ethics Alarms “I Don’t Understand This At All” And “Wuhan Virus Ethics Train Wreck” Files: Why Are We Allowing This To Continue?

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Minnesota state Representative Mary Franson and Senator Scott Jensen (who is a physician) collected 2800 death certificates provided by the Minnesota Department of Health, checking to see if alleged Wuhan virus deaths were being over-counted. (Well, anyone who sees the obituaries of 95-year-olds and 103-year-olds who are called pandemic victims knows they are being over-counted. Ethics Alarms has noted this tool of the hysterics, nascent totalitarians and fearmongers before.) Jensen had earlier pointed out that hospitals had financials incentives to use the pandemic as a default cause of death.

Jensen explains that while one would typically look to the “UCOD” or “Underlying Cause Of Death” for classification purposes rather than the “immediate” cause or the “intermediate” causes. The practice the CDC had always required in classifying deaths was to use the UCOD.

But for the Wuhan virus, the CDC practice of 17 years was changed, and physicians were told, “If someone had the pandemic virus, it doesn’t matter if it was actually the diagnosis that caused death. If someone had the virus, they died of it.” Stroke? Multi-organ failure? If the deceased tested positive for the Wahun virus, that was the cause of death. Franson and Jensen uncovered examples where victims of a fall were called pandemic casualties. Drowning victims. One “Covid 19” victim died after being thrown from a speeding automobile. About 800 of the 2,800 death certificates examined indicated that the virus was not the underlying cause of death. That’s a 40% overstatement.

It isn’t just Minnesota that’s doing this, either. It’s every state, and the whole country.

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Waning 2020 Ethics Warm-Up

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A reader reports that he can’t pull up Ethics Alarms on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. Is anyone else having this problem?

Wasn’t it nice when we naively assumed that such things were just technical glitches and not part of Big Tech’s increasingly intrusive alliance with the totalitarian-minded forces of the extreme Left?

1. Embrace the narrative. “Louisiana Congressman-elect Luke Letlow dies with COVID-19” is just one of many headlines announcing that the 41-year-old Representative-elect died from the Wuhan virus. So far, every headline I’ve seen is some version of this. Letlow died of a heart attack, in fact, during some un-named procedure related to his treatment for the virus. People die of unexpected heart attacks with some frequency during hospital procedures for other problems, and the cause of death is usually listed as “heart attack.” Maybe the virus caused his death and maybe it didn’t, but the headlines stating this as fact is more pandemic fearmongering, and. yes, fake news.

2. Good. You will recall that Twitter censored The New York Post’s account of the incriminating Hunter Biden laptop being found because it claimed that the business memos, photos of a Hunter using illegal drugs, and other disturbing photos came from a “hacker,” when Twitter’s real objective was, it seems fair to conclude, to keep as many people as possible from learning about matters that might cause them not to vote for Hunter’s father. Now the computer repair company’s owner is  suing Twitter for $500,000,000.00 for libel, defamation, and ruining his business, claiming that the social media giant disparaged him.

3. One more reason to distrust the election results: President Donald Trump topped former President Barack Obama for the title of most admired man in America in Gallup’s 2020 survey. Trump had tied with Obama in 2019 while Obama beat him in 2017 and 2018. President Joe Biden came in third. Obama had been #1 since 2008.

Don’t you find this strange?

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Unwrapped Ethics, Christmas, 2020, Because Ethics Never Takes a Holiday [Corrected]

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I hope everyone manages to have the best, most love-filled, happy Christmas possible. Everyone but me and the dog are sick, depressed are both in my household, but I’m making it work. It will be a “Christmas Story”-style Chinese food Christmas, though, the way it’s shaking out.

1. Now THIS is an unethical home Christmas decoration…

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…except that according to the story, the neighbors don’t mind. At great expense, Jason Pieper erected this 900 pound thing after purchasing it at an auction for over $2,000. He then decorated surrounding trees with blue and white lights to follow the theme: remember those blue light specials? To me, this would seem to be a bit out of whack with the spirit of the holiday, but perhaps no more than the giant Christmas Imperial Walker, the 20 foot inflatable penguin and some of the monstrosities in my neighborhood.

2. Workplace ethics. Jeffrey Toobin should feel too bad. An L.A. County Sheriff’s deputy had his radio mic open while he was in flagrante delicto. His sex partner was moaning over his panting as the dispatcher from the Sheriff’s station tried to get her deputy’s attention without success. “The deputy was immediately relieved of duty,” the Sheriff’s office informed the media.

Americans are becoming such prudes.

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Ethics Dunce, Rogue And Fool To Be Held Up As An Example Forever More: Dr. Anthony Fauci

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From the New York Times:

“In the pandemic’s early days, Dr. Fauci tended to cite the same 60 to 70 percent estimate that most experts did. About a month ago, he began saying “70, 75 percent” in television interviews. And last week, in an interview with CNBC News, he said “75, 80, 85 percent” and “75 to 80-plus percent….In a telephone interview the next day, Dr. Fauci acknowledged that he had slowly but deliberately been moving the goal posts. He is doing so, he said, partly based on new science, and partly on his gut feeling that the country is finally ready to hear what he really thinks. Hard as it may be to hear, he said, he believes that it may take close to 90 percent immunity to bring the virus to a halt — almost as much as is needed to stop a measles outbreak.

No, what is hard to hear, though at this point hardly a shock to anyone with a functioning brain, is that Fauci now admits he’s been lying….you know, “for our own good.”

Don’t heed the spin, the double-talk and the euphemisms: when someone tells you something other than what he or she knows to be true or believes to be true, that individual is deliberately attempting to deceive you by communicating what they believe to be untrue as true. That’s lying. No debate. No defense. That’s what it is, by definition. “I did it for your own good” is a rationalization.

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Unethical Quote Of The Day: Dr. Deborah Birx

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“I will have to say, this experience has been a bit overwhelming.It has been very difficult on my family.I think what was done in the past week to my family — you know, they didn’t choose this for me. They’ve tried to be supportive, but to drag my family into this..”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the Trump administration’s Wuhan virus response coordinator, in the course of announcing her retirement, apparently out of pique for being justly hammered in the media and social media for violating her own guidelines over the holidays.

As the “Saved by the Bell” girls were indicating above, gag me with a spoon. It took everything in my power not to headline this post “Dr. Birx is an asshole.” I’m still sorely tempted.

She is the one who directly and arrogantly did exactly what she cautioned “the little people” not to do, as I wrote about here (item #4). How dare the woman play the victim, and especially how dare she play the “leave my family out of it!” card when it was she who involved her family by joining them in doing exactly what she said everyone else’s family—well, everyone but elected officials— couldn’t do. To make her family whining worse, it was her own family member that blew the whistle on her!

Birx went on to say,

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Christmas Week Ethics Warm-Up, 12/21/2020: Clogging, Lying And Spinning

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Has anyone come up with a convincing theory about why there are more outside home decorations and Christmas lights than we have seen in a long while, if ever? Another trend, at least in my neighborhood: a welcome return to multi-colored lights after the (cold, boring) white lights appeared to take over years ago.

1. I finally figured out what’s been bothering me about that GEICO “clogging” ad. It’s racist. (In addition to being, you know, stupid.) I guess GEICO thinks that as long as it sticks an inter-racial couple in their ads, nobody will notice (Though according to Madison Avenue, almost every couple in America is inter-racial.)

Here’s the ad, if somehow you’ve missed it:

Ah, those weird white people and their weird activities! Now imagine if the noisy family upstairs was an African-American clan practicing their break-dancing. Or doing authentic African tribal dances.

2. Boy, those college administrators are quick. CNN was reporting this morning that a handful of colleges are finally reducing tuition. “A Princeton spokesperson said that the Covid conditions have “diminished the college experience.” Really? Not being on or near a campus, being isolated from classmates, not participating in clubs, social activities and late night “bull sessions,” not to mention only seeing one’s professors through a screen, isn’t as valuable as actually attending college?

I’m only speaking for myself, but I would have regarded my own college experience as little better than a correspondence course under today’s conditions. All colleges were ethically obligated to cut tuition substantially. They got away with not doing so because they are selling degrees, not education or personal growth.

3. With all the legitimate questions being raised about Hunter Biden, his apparent influence peddling abroad, and what his father’s role was, the Biden team allows him to be interviewed by…Stephen Colbert. Are even the most impenetrable Biden supporters not troubled by this? If not, do they even have ethics alarms any more? Even with a journalistic establishment filled with shameless pro-Democrat hacks, the toughest interview the President Elect was allowed to brave was by a comedian?

And not just any comedian, but a comedian who dedicated himself to anti-Trump, anti-Republican propganda for four years. Thus here is the type of question Joe had to answer—one that was phrased with the assumption that the Hunter Biden laptop matter was just another conservative conspiracy theory:

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Pre-Christmas Panic Ethics Warm-Up, 12/18/2020: “The Virus Made Me Do It!!”

I have to give Harry a callout: his Christmas classic is the only recording on the Sirius-XM Christmas Traditions channel sung by a still-living singer. Harry’s 93 now and the clock is ticking. His voice is shot, and he has become progressively more radical, angry and bitter over the years. But ah, what a great and transformative talent he was!

I also note that just this week, YouTube has slapped ads on all its songs and movie clips. Of course it has.

Why am I panicked? Oh, the tree’s not up, its a pine and too soft to hold about 40% of our cherished ornaments,we’re behind on other decorations, no shopping has been done, and “there’s plenty of time” suddenly mutated into “Holy crap! There’s only a week left!” At least Christmas decorations around the neighborhood are at an all-time high. I’ve been walking Spuds around to see them: boy, those huge inflatable lawn things are horrible. What does an Imperial Walker have to do with Christmas? Spuds tried to kill a giant inflatable Nutcracker Prince. I was proud of him…

1. This is, in short, a lie. “COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the U.S.” says an editorial published Thursday in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This false and intentionally fear-mongering conclusion is in part based on the U.S. practice of calling every death of someone who was diagnosed with the illness a death caused by the illness. That’s ridiculous. Three researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, cite current daily mortality rates to show that COVID-19 has now surpassed heart disease and cancer as the leading daily cause of death in the U.S. “It’s been a long time since an infectious disease was the leading cause of death for the whole country,” said lead author Steven Woolf, M.D., director emeritus of VCU’s Center on Society and Health. “And it’s a tragic milestone we could’ve prevented.” As for that last statement, prove it, without a time machine. Meanwhile, it appears that Wuhan virus-“caused” deaths also include deaths from other causes that killed people because they put off getting medical treatment.

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