Category Archives: History

Fire Lisa Mars

I usually hesitate to call for anyone to be fired, though there have been exceptions. In this case, however, the call is mandatory on ethical grounds. It is unethical for a school dedicated to the arts to hand oversight to an gross incompetent who doesn’t comprehend the arts she is supposedly responsible for teaching; it is unethical for someone to take on this responsibility who is wildly unqualified for the job; and it is unethical for that individual to act in a way that undermines the mission of the school she heads.

I have just fairly described Lisa Mars, currently the principal at the Fiorello LaGuardia High School, the high school “of music, arts the performing arts” made famous in the movie and TV show, “Fame.”

On opening night of a school production of “The Sound of Music,” she ordered all Nazi-themed props and set pieces struck. They are offensive, you see. Never mind that the show is set during Germany’s take-over of Austria as the Third Reich was expanding. Never mind that Nazi Germany and its officers are major elements in the plot, or that the plot is based on the real-life escape of the singing Von Trapp family from the Nazis. Never mind that theater is a representational art form. Stage deaths are not real killings, stage rape isn’t really rape, stage racism isn’t really racism, and stage representations of Nazi symbols do not promote fascism. Most grade-school actors can grasp this basic principle, but not the head of a school for the performing arts.

“This is a very liberal school, we’re all against Nazis,” one sophomore said. “But to take out the symbol is to try to erase history.” Yes, that too. “Obviously the symbols are offensive,” he added. “But in context, they are supposed to be.”

Make him principal. Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Arts & Entertainment, Education, Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Train Wrecks, Government & Politics, History

It Finally Happened: I Am At A Loss For Words….

…because of this…

I cannot think of a sufficiently descriptive headline or even a category for this Christmas display at Saint Susanna’s Parish in Dedham, Massachussetts, and others—yes, there have been others--like it.

Here I was, about to point out the arrogance and anti-religious bigotry of Democratic chair Tim Perez, who just suggested that the only reason anyone opposes abortion must be that they are ignorant and foolishly pay attention to religion, and here is something that supports his view that at least some of those preaching from pulpits on Sunday may not be all that bright, since they have the grasp of reality of a six-year-old.

The dimwit who approved this abomination, Pastor Stephen Josoma, told radio station WBZ, “We try to take a picture of the world as it is and put it together with a Christmas message.” That message this year questions about peace on Earth. He says Jesus represents migrant children being held at the southern border separated from their parents. The wise men represent the caravan of migrants behind the border wall. “Jesus was about taking care of one another. This is not the way to take care of one another,” said Josoma.

How do you even begin to unpack all the ignorance, false logic, bad analogies, historical fatuousness and political nonsense in this statement along with the offensive creche scene it attempts to justify? I’m not up to it. It would probably begin with “There are material differences between 6 B.C. in Gallilee and the 21at Century United States of America. You idiot” and expand out from there. For now, all I will say is that turning Christmas into a divisive, ugly, partisan debate while exploiting the symbols of Christmas into simplistic social justice warrior propaganda is a betrayal of the season, the event, the spirit behind the event, and the cultural purpose it endures to serve.

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Ethics Alarms Award Nominee, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, History, Religion and Philosophy

Comment Of The Day on “Comment Of The Day: ‘Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 11/27/18: …And Slanted History’ [Item #5]”

This concise but useful comment of the day takes the baton from the previous one, which discussed the reasons for the increasing politicizing of American history, often with the objective of vilifying the American experience.

Here is JutGory‘s Comment of the Day on the post, Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: … And Slanted History” [Item #5]

Tempted to write several times, but never felt I would have the time to do my thoughts (or the topic) justice. Not that I consider myself a good student of history, but even big idiots can usually crack the 90th percentile (and I am a bigger idiot than most).

Progressives are undoing a grand bargain. Grant won; Lee lost; Grant let the defeated army walk home; and Lee agreed the cause was lost. Both sides saved face; they agreed to bury the hatchet. The South had formal and substantive arguments that formed the basis for secession (or war). That issue was put to rest and both sides were able, through the wisdom of the generals on both sides, to put an end to the fight.

The hatchet has been dug up by the progressives. The honest differences cannot be entertained. There cannot be honor on both sides, which was the deal struck (even for the losing side). The implicit agreement to let the past be the past has been ripped open by those lacking the wisdom of the Founders, who kicked the can down the road, or Grant and Lee, who decided to stop kicking it. Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Government & Politics, History, War and the Military

#41 Funeral Ethics Quiz: Honoring Our Presidents

This is a National Day of Mourning, and since President Trump ordered it, reporters, pundits and Democrats are bitching about it. It also helps that the dead President in question is a Republican. Had a National Day of Mourning been designated to bury recently-canonized Trump-hater John McCain, I doubt any complianing would have been put in print. Or (still kicking) Jimmy Carter, on my ranking list an equally inept President as Bush #1.

Over at the National Review, Charles Cooke questions whether we “over-honor” our Presidents, writing in part,

“Irrespective of whether he was a great man or a poor one, George H. W. Bush was a public employee. He was not a king. He was not a pope. He did not found or save or design the republic. To shut down our civil society for a day in order to mark his peaceful passing is to invert the appropriate relationship between the citizen and the state, and to take yet another step toward the fetishization of an executive branch whose role is supposed to be more bureaucratic than spiritual, but that has come of late to resemble Caesar more than to resemble Coolidge.”

Well, that’s your quiz: is he right? Or is the National Day of Mourning just a waste of money and over-kill, if you’ll excuse the term?

Your Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day, dedicated to George  Herbert Walker Bush,  is…

Do we over-honor our Presidents?

Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Etiquette and manners, Government & Politics, History, Leadership, U.S. Society

Ethics Hero: Bob Cousy

I was thinking of adding “Boston Celtics and pro basketball legend” to the title, but I depressed myself thinking it was necessary, which of course it is. When Bob Cousy retired, in 1962, there wasn’t a more famous NBA star alive. Now, not only is the play-making wizard who led the Boston Celtics through the beginning of their unparalleled dynasty unrecognizable to most Americans, so is the kind of basketball he played, before it was all dunking and styling by pituitary cases.

But I digress.

In the newly published book “Last Pass” by Gary Pomeranz,  Cousy, the Hall of Fame Boston Celtics captain who led the team to its first six championships, opened up about his relationship with Bill Russell, the great, enigmatic, difficult, defensive genius  who was the center on Cousy’s teams, and on many Celtics championship teams thereafter. Russell was the first back superstar in sports-crazy, perpetually racist Boston,  and as he reaches 90, Cousy is reflecting on what he did, and what he didn’t do, as the white superstar on a team whose brilliant black center was often the target of racists. In the Boston suburb of Reading, vandals once broke into Russell’s home, spray-painted racist graffiti on walls and defecated on his bed. The Cooz, as he was called, is remembered as being  ahead of his time as an NBA player in his sensitivity to race and civil rights. Still, Cousy blames himself for not having done enough, and for not having understood the depth of prejudice Russell faced as an African-American in Boston. Cousy told the historian that he wants to make amends. Continue reading

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Filed under Character, Ethics Heroes, History, Race, Sports

Comment Of The Day: Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: “Unethical Perry Mason, Icky Science, Race Card-Playing Democrats, Intrusive Bosses And Slanted History” [Item #5]

I was searching for lost Comments of the Day, and rediscovered this, from Michael West. His commentary of a week ago struck a new chord because of this story, which ruined today for me. Apparently last year a fraternity that had run into trouble for various infractions was told  by a Stanford University administrator  that it could improve its image on campus by taking down the American flag it flew from the house. The Stanford administrator allegedly said “that the American flag, as a symbol, could be intimidating, aggressive or alienating.” 

Why are elite American institutions teaching students to regard the symbol of the United States as an offensive one? Who is responsible for this culturally suicidal trend? Why wasn’t it nipped in the bud long ago?

[Tangential observation: Anyone who talks about the border conflict while using the phrase “tear-gassed women and children” deserves to be rhetorically crushed in the toughest possible terms.  It is signature significance for an ignorant jerk. At this point in history, any progressive who defaults to the 20th Century concept they have relentless mocked and derided, that women are a tender gender that deserves special delicacy in all things, is a fraud and a hypocrite. If the men trying to rush our border and stone our agents are justly tear-gassed, and they were and are, so are the women who support them.  As for the children, they are not being tear-gassed; the adults who disgracefully and cynically use them as human shields are, and the children, due to the cruelty of those who should be keeping them out of danger rather than thrusting them into it,, are the victims of criminal activity.

The alternative is to create a mad precedent that law-breakers can ensure special immunity from law enforcement if they carry children as talismans.]

Last month a survey reported that “Younger Americans are turning on the country and forgetting its ideals, with nearly half believing that it isn’t ‘great’ and many eyeing the U.S. flag as ‘a sign of intolerance and hatred,’ according to a new and disturbing survey.” If this is accurate, then, in order, parents, the education system, irresponsible politicians and the new media are my first candidates for the accusing finger. The fact that someone like Donald Trump is the most visible and prominent advocate for patriotism is certainly not helpful either.

This is an existential development. American values are linked to the nation itself. If people reject the nation, those core values are also at risk. No wonder attacks on our institutions, efforts to unravel the Bill of Rights, minimizing American contributions to world civilization,  and other efforts to erase the essence of our culture are suddenly finding more success than ever before. Once, the Stanford story would be dismissed as an outlier, “News of the Weird.” No more. In fact, we have been dangerously blase about such stories. It’s time to take them seriously.

Oh—that Stanford fraternity responded to the anti-flag tip by buying, and flying, a bigger flag. That’s the America I know and love. Let’s fight for it, shall we?

Here’s Michael West’s Comment of the Day on item #5 in the post, Morning Ethics Warm-Up. 11/27/18: Unethical Perry Mason, Icky Science, Race Card-Playing Democrats, Intrusive Bosses And Slanted History: Continue reading

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Filed under Citizenship, Comment of the Day, Education, Government & Politics, History

“Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” Ethics

Yes, it’s come to this.

The last time I had to write about attacks on the children’s Christmas song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” it involved a school capitulating to a single Jewish parent who complained that teaching students the song indoctrinated kids into Christianity. (Naturally, the school capitulated, and banned Rudolph.) This time the complaints involve the ancient Rankin-Bass Puppetoon version of the story, which invades our TV sets every Christmas season. Here’s the account of quirky blog Victory Girls, after citing various tweets and blog criticism of the show from newly woke Americans:

Santa is a big, fat jerk and a bigoted, d*ck, apparently. Rudolph’s father was “abusive”. Comet was a terrible coach. Yukon Cornelius is a gun-toting redneck who engages in animal cruelty. GASP! And who isn’t triggered by Burl Ives’ character, Sam the Snowman?! He’s ALL WHITE for crying out loud! If you sing along to any Burl Ives’ Christmas Carols, you might be a white supremacist. Delete all Burl Ives Christmas tunes from your Apple playlist STAT! Never mind, I forgot. These folks would never know how to have a Holly, Jolly Christmas if someone threw it at them and gave it to them gratis and called it a college education.

As a kid in the 70s and 80s, I would look for its listing in the TV Guide. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer was one of my most beloved, go-to Christmas classics and still is. But now, in the days of woke, the story behind Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is “seriously problematic” and those who don’t see it this way have “serious problems”. Those people are, according to the hyper-vigilant SJWs, Conservatives. Whilst making tongue-in-cheek social justice commentary about Rudolph, they have neglected the key takeaways of this story from years ago. Although he was bullied, left out of all of the reindeer games, unaccepted, different-quirky even-young Rudolph was able to overcome and do something absolutely great. He saved the day! He made kids smile. And his story is magical. He didn’t stomp his hooves and whine and go to a “safe space” and resign himself to life being too hard as a red-nosed reindeer and call it quits. He didn’t blame others and become a victim. He didn’t expect special treatment or demand it from his peers because he was different. He may have shed some tears and that’s okay. When given a challenge, he rose to the occasion and excelled and proved his biggest critics and his bullies wrong.

Continue reading

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Filed under "bias makes you stupid", Animals, Arts & Entertainment, Childhood and children, Ethics Dunces, Government & Politics, History, Popular Culture, U.S. Society